About Us_01

Life sometimes conspires beautifully in your favor!  That’s our story.  We believe it was serendipitous how our paths continuously kept crossing; merging and intersecting creating an inevitable coming together.  The mutual love of our families, our work and our community only served to seal the deal.  The mission of Touchstone and the conference grew out of our desire, as women, to learn, grow and do better. Most importantly, our experience as mentors and support of other women and each other drives what we would like to encourage in others.  It’s our dream to create a movement that promotes inclusivity, community and encourages trust and open discussions and sincere collaborations amongst women.

Diane Adam

I have been very lucky to have great women friends in my life.  They are always the ones I look to when I need help, advice, a shoulder to cry on or a good kick in the pants.  To be able to help each other in hard times and celebrate each other in good times are both honors that I cherish.  I like to have an open heart and a healthy attitude toward all the ladies in my life.

Just when I think I do not have space for one more thing there is always a friend, daughter, sister, mother or colleague to help me think things through.

Leading with Love means that I must endeavor to be a good colleague, friend, community member and human being.  In my past 20 years as a community volunteer and non-profit leader I have always tried to be honest with my word and open with my heart.

Leading with Love is also the best way to get what we need from other after all “you gotta give to receive!”

I try always to be an active listener.  It is important for me to be with the person talking in terms of time and attention. One of my three mottos for life is “you can learn something from everyone you meet”.  Learning happens better when I am not talking.

Emily Smith

The concept of Leading With Love conference came out of many conversations about relationship dynamics at work and in life.  A professional in industry, a community-volunteer and over 20 years of experience in education, I’ve been blessed to work along side many women. I recognized how much more can be accomplished when we care for and respect one another.  Being kind doesn’t make you a pushover or weak, it actually has the opposite effect.  When you demonstrate caring approaches to work and life, people respond positively and more productively. Showing genuine concern and compassion for the people you share life with doesn’t diminish your respectability or reputation as a strong leader, but instead brings out the best in others while fostering an environment that is supportive and trusting.  I believe that this is the best scenario for creating whole-hearted and fulfilling collaboration.

One of my favorite quotes is “Your life is a story, make it a bestseller”.  What I have learned is that we all have a personal story.  When we work from the heart we listen more, taking time to understand one another.  This results in more opportunities to learn and grow.  Sharing and listening removes barriers.  Leading with love may seem unconventional, but it is good for ANY organization or relationship.  There is no business or life without people.  When people thrive, so do your business and your relationships.

I am so exited to spend the day with 300 women who are eager to learn and grow together. It is my greatest wish that all who participate in the conference would be encouraged to Lead With Love!

Touchstone Leadership Team

Leslie Anderson

As a Marriage and Family Therapist I certainly can recommend this day for all women and know when we open our hearts we will always lead with love….

Ali Bailey

Your greatness is not what you have but what you give.  The Leading With Love conference excites me as encouraging women is a passion and calling for me.

Petra Gomez

Wendy Thies Sell

Strong women have leaned in for me my entire life; from my encouraging mother to my music teachers to TV newsroom managers.  It is important for us to not only embolden other women but help them succeed.

Terri Lee Coleman

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”  ~Maya Angelou

XiXi Zhai

XiXi, a DO is passionate about mindfulness and meditation as well as arts and crafts! She leads with love with her own holistic medical practice in Santa Maria. XiXi is an osteopathic physician who uses a combination of manual medicine, mindfulness, and lifestyle changes for healing.

“Every patient is a human being with their own unique story and background. I wish to get to know people so we can work together towards better health and well-being. I love being a part of the Central Coast and it is with gratitude that I am able to serve this wonderful community.”

Lisa Murray

Lisa, a board certified life and parent coach enjoys working with individuals seeking to improve the quality of their life and increase their happiness.  She particularly enjoys coaching people who are either entering a new chapter in their life (life transitions) or just feeling “stuck” and ready to explore what they really want in life.

“Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.” ~Edmund Burke

Darlene Chavez

Darlene has been a resident of Santa Barbara County for over 30 years.  She’s an active member of the community, serving on Leading With Love’s Planning Committee, Leading From Within’s Alumni Committee, Big Brothers/Big Sisters as a Mentor for 9 years and member of the Program Committee, Vitalant blood donor for 20 years, Make-A-Wish Wish Granter, Advisor on Allan Hancock’s Computers and Business Office Technology Advisory Committee, and numerous other contributions.  With an MBA, she’s held leadership roles in call center management, nonprofit fundraising, and business development.  Her passions are helping build a healthier community, traveling, and home improvement projects.  Her mantra is “Put yourself in others’ shoes.”

Erica Flores

Erica “Leads With Love” in so many ways.  Erica will be one of our presenters at the March 7, 2020 conference.  Check out her full bio on the conference presenters page of our website.


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