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

Annie Smith

“By acting compassionately, by helping to restore justice and to encourage peace, we are acknowledging that we are all part of one another.”  ~Ram Dass

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….

Petra Gomez

Natalie Rucobo

Susan Grahame

Susan Grahame is a Healthcare Business Development Sales Executive.  Her experience spans working for large healthcare corporations such as Tenet Healthcare and Dignity Health and representing other specialties such as Orthopedic, Home Health & Hospice, Addiction Medicine and Ophthalmology. “I find great joy in making a difference in the lives of people and the community we live.”

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.

Kerry Hansen, Debra Hood, Leslie Anderson

Being mindful and taking time to pause and reflect on your own thoughts and emotions, as well as what’s happening around you, leads to stronger and deeper connections.

Kathy Marcove – A Conversation With Women


Kathy is deeply committed to creating respectful workplaces with engaged employees everywhere.  Her specialty is training professionals in organizational behavior, managing diversity, train the trainer, and strategic planning through her company Marcove Executive Training.  Kathy is considered a Master Trainer and Organizational Success Coach consulting for a wide variety of private and public organizations throughout the world.

Emily Smith, Kelly Matosich

“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.”  ~Helen Keller

Candice Monge – A Conversation With Women


Candice serves as the Chief Nurse Executive Officer for Dignity Health.

Torrie Cutbirth – A Conversation With Women


Torrie, the Executive Director of The Arts Fund, Santa Barbara believes that exposure and involvement in the arts are essential to enrich and strengthen community.

A quote from Torrie’s all-time favorite author!

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.  No heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream.” ~Paulo Coelho

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.

Sandy Blair – A Conversation With Women


Sandy was born in Jamaica and grew up in New Jersey.   In 1993, she joined the Air Force as an active duty Airman and proudly served 12 years. After a challenging time transitioning to civilian life, Sandy eventually moved to the Central Coast and founded the non-profit Operation WEBS (Women Empowered Build Strong).  The mission of Operation WEBS is to build affordable tiny homes on wheels (THOW) as a sustainable solution for displaced and homeless women veterans struggling to transition back to civilian life after serving in the military.

Sandy Patel – A Conversation With Women


Sandy has over 28 years of banking experience and is currently the Marketing Supervisor for Santa Barbara Teachers Federal Credit Union.

“Money, if it doesn’t bring you happiness, it will at least help you be miserable in comfort.”

Terri Lee Coleman

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