Meet Michele Chaboudy, President and WACSC Board Member
We were so pleased to announce in September 2021 that Michele would take on the role of President of the Board. Along with her energy, curiosity and intelligence, Michele brings a unique blend of business and academic accomplishment, management expertise and a passion for community service. She writes:
I grew up in Portsmouth, Ohio, as part of a family dedicated to community service, and early on I knew that this spirit would stay with me no matter where life took me. Upon graduating from Portsmouth High School, I headed to DePauw University, where there was no question what my major would be — history. Receiving my B.A., I went on to Indiana University, earning an M.L.S., and from there turned my sights west, for an M.B.A. at Pepperdine University. I was now ready to take on the world!
Early business experience came with Silicon Valley hi-tech companies, including market analysis with TRW Vidar; contract negotiation with Ford Aerospace; and product management with Icore and Raychem, with whom I got my first taste — but hardly my last — of European business travel.
Looking for new challenges, I spent the next ten years as an executive in the media industry, serving on the senior management teams of two large metro newspapers — The San Francisco Chronicle and The Houston Post — where I traveled to Russia, Australia and Argentina, giving presentations on “New Media.” I was also a media consultant in the Boston area, traveling to Bogota for a job at El Tiempo.
Then, in the late 1990’s, another door opened, and I plunged into the entrepreneurship/start-up world, and was a pioneer in the Internet industry as a founding team member of ventures including World Pages, Wired News, CBSMarketWatch.com and more. During those years, I again traveled internationally, to increase distribution of electronic news services in Europe and Russia.
Always one to keep a step ahead educationally, in 2015 I received a Certificate in Strategic Foresight from the University of Houston. And I have remained active as an advisor to start-up ventures, locally and internationally. Serving as a judge for pitch competitions helps me keep track of the latest innovations in Northern California and beyond.
True to my roots, community involvement keeps calling me, with service on boards of directors including Edgewood Center for Children and Families (one year as Board President); The Sea Ranch Association and The Sea Ranch Water Company; Ethical Metalsmiths; The Point Arena Lighthouse Keepers, North Bay Angels, and more.
Oh, and I also love teaching, having served for ten years on the adjunct business faculty of Golden Gate University; and I now teach Innovation in Santa Rosa Junior College’s entrepreneurship program.
On a more personal note, I’ve always been on the adventurous side, earning a private pilot’s license, owning three motorcycles and competing as a triathlete for 12 years. I try to keep up with my husband Eron (also very active!) and Lucy, our Old English Sheepdog, who serves as an assistant therapy dog. We split our time between The Sea Ranch and Healdsburg, and try to enjoy everything our beloved Sonoma County has to offer.
As for our very special World Affairs Council — My vision is to:
- Strengthen it, so it can better serve our current members.
- Bring in new members.
- Increase its influence throughout Sonoma County.
- Make sure that our programs are ever more diversified.
- Augment awareness among civic groups and news outlets.
Most of all, I want to hear your ideas for an ever-more satisfying World Affairs Council experience.