PWC Speaker Series

The Petaluma Woman’s Club (PWC) announces its new Speakers Series:

“Conversations with Women Leaders in Our Community”

Hear about the achievements and insights from women leaders in our community, and plan to attend each event in the series…

Enjoy conversations with women leaders in our community by viewing our Speaker Series 2020 recordings, presented by Petaluma Woman’s Club (PWC).  The series is organized by PWC club member and past president Colleen Mahoney. 

“It will be a relaxed and friendly way to meet women leaders in Petaluma”, said Mahoney. “One of the club’s original objectives is to promote education and create a center for social enjoyment.  All are encouraged to come enjoy our clubhouse and community.”

Look forward to our upcoming Speaker Series when we can rejoin…

View our 2020 Speaker Series Presentations

Red Hawk, Chimney Rock, and Devils Gulch sound straight out of an old Western movie, but they happen to be bestselling aged cheeses produced in Northern California.

Cowgirl Creamery’s co-founders, Sue Conley and Peggy Smith, are pioneers but not exactly cowgirls. They met at the University of Tennessee and have been integral to the Bay Area farm-to-table food scene for decades.  In Berkeley, Conley co-owned and cooked at Bette’s Oceanview Diner while Smith was in the kitchen at Chez Panisse for 17 years.

From those experiences, they forged bonds with local farmers and dairy suppliers.

None has turned out to be more important than Ellen Straus, the matriarch of Marin County ’s Straus Family Creamery, which led the organic milk movement in the U.S. in the 1970s.  It was Straus who one day observed a young woman hitching her horse to a post in front of the bank in tiny Point Reyes Station, an hour north of San Francisco, and told Conley and Smith, “ We’re living in the Wild West out here.”

Conley countered, “Then we must be cowgirls!  And this must be the Cowgirl Creamery.”

In the early 1990s, Conley and Smith had launched Tomales Bay Foods, a marketing company designed to help local farms and dairies connect with the Bay Area’s top restaurants. Then they started making fresh cheese in their renovated barn, sourcing the milk from Straus Family Creamery.  Hear and see their interesting and insightful presentation here.

Cowgirl Creamery Presentation


Kathrine Rinehart
Commemorating the centennial anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment – Women’s Right to Vote, our PWC Speaker Series in partnership with the Village Network of Petaluma presented Katherine Rinehart
Katherine Rinehart is the author of “Petaluma: A History in Architecture”, a consulting historian and former manager of Sonoma County History & Geneaology Library.   View her presentation… 
Where Women Made History:
Exploring Sites Associated with Petaluma’s Suffrage Movement
Brainerd Jones

To celebrate the 125th year anniversary of the Petaluma Woman’s Club, Brent Russell presented a history on Brainerd Jones.

Brainerd Jones was an American architect who designed and built most of the architecturally significant buildings in Petaluma.  The overall importance and character of the Petaluma downtown can be partially attributed to Brainerd Jones’ contribution …especially our Petaluma Woman’s Clubhouse.

Learn all about Brainerd Jones and our beautiful Petaluma architecture in this video…

Brainerd Jones Presentation

Maria Stipp

We also had amazing evenings with our past conversation speakers – Maria Stipp, CEO of Lagunitas Brewing Company, Dr. Jane Saldaña-Talley and Dr. Catherine Williams, both of Santa Rosa Junior College, Petaluma Campus. 

Dr. Jane Saldaña-Talley
Dr. Catherine Williams

Postponed until Reopening 2021
Our 2020 date with Dr. Bonnie Bergin has been postponed due to COVID-19.  We will update the date soon.  Stay tuned!  Sign up for our newsletters on our member event page.

Meet Dr. Bonnie Bergin
Founder, Canine Companions for Independence and President / CEO of Bergin University of Canine Studies

Dr. Bonnie Bergin originated the service dog concept. She founded the world’s first service dog agency 25 years ago where she has devoted her life to her work, training service dogs for disabled people.

In 1991, Dr. Bergin started the Assistance Dog Institute so that further research could be done.  Her goal was to produce a better service dog.  Two years later she began an innovative program called the High School Assistance Dog Program.  Her idea was to show at-risk teenagers how to train the service dogs.  This, to her, was a win-win situation because she could serve two distinct groups at one time.  Today there are 10 such programs operating around the country due to Dr. Bergin’s efforts in Rohnert Park.

The High School Assistance Dog Program pairs troubled teens who are incarcerated or in a group homes – often on probation – with a golden retriever.  They have daily sessions in the instruction of service dog commands.  These are children who have committed crimes against the community, but they are now giving back to their community by training service dogs for disabled people.  The teens gain self-esteem, communication skills, and anger management, as well as the unconditional love of their dog. The disabled person gets much needed help for their independence, as well as a new friend.

Dr. Bergin provides the children with job references, consults with a psychiatrist on the best ways to work with them, and provides many other opportunities for these children who generally come from troubled families.

Dr. Bonnie Bergin

The mission of the agency she founded is “Helping Dogs Help People,” and Dr. Bergin does this in many ways.  With her help, the at-risk teens learn about helping others, too.