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When I met Jocelyn Larkin, she was a celebrity of the plaintiffs’ bar, and I was a fan girl. When she asked me to join the Board of Directors and Grant Advisory Committee, I was floored, felt way out of my depth, and said ‘yes’ all the same.

In the spring of 2016, before my first Board meeting, Jocelyn invited me over to the Impact Fund’s office in the Berkeley Marina to meet the staff and get oriented. After a short meeting in her office, Jocelyn took me around to meet the team. Teddy—as gracious and knowledgeable about the matters at hand as I was clueless—gently guided me through what was (and was not) expected of Board members. Amy couldn’t have been warmer, and I was so impressed with what she explained to me about the grant program.

Then I met Lindsay. She’d recently joined the Impact Fund, succeeding Robert Schug as director of litigation and training. Anyone who knows Robert and the special place he occupies in the organization’s (and Jocelyn’s) heart, knows those are giant shoes to step into. But it was immediately clear to me that Lindsay was super-smart and super-competent (and also hilarious).

In the 7+ years since then, my first impression has been borne out, and then some—in too many ways to recount. Take the annual Class Action Conference, for example, where Lindsay in her unassuming way has gradually taken the reins from Jocelyn, has emerged as an unmatched panel-planning boss, and—so importantly—has figured out how to meaningfully amplify voices that ought and need to be heard. Lindsay is open, kind, and approachable, and has thus been able to bring to light perspectives and ideas we may otherwise never have had a chance to learn from. Her work in the Training Institute has yielded next gen Impact Fund acolytes who now know who to call when they don’t know where else to turn. What was mostly a California thing when I joined the Board somehow now feels like a lot more than a California thing, in large part because Lindsay casts the net far and wide, and sees value in everyone.

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Felecia Phillips Ollie DD (h.c.) is the inspiring leader and founder of The Equality Network LLC (TEN). With a background in coaching, travel, and a career in news, Felecia brings a unique perspective to promoting diversity and inclusion. Holding a Bachelor's Degree in English/Communications, she is passionate about creating a more inclusive future. From graduating from Mississippi Valley State University to leading initiatives like the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Equal Employment Opportunity Program, Felecia is dedicated to making a positive impact. Join her journey on our blog as she shares insights and leads the charge for equity through The Equality Network.

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