Chairman and CEO, rand* construction corporation
Founder and Owner, Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats
Linda Douglass is a senior advisor to Atlantic Media and oversees communications for all divisions of the company, including The Atlantic, National Journal Group, Government Executive, Quartz and Atlantic Media Strategies. Until recently, she was senior vice president for Global Communications at Atlantic Media. In 2007, Ms. Douglass served as a contributing editor at National Journal and was a frequent guest on cable programs such as MSNBC’s “Hardball” and CNN’s “Reliable Sources” and hosted a weekly radio program, “National Journal on Air”. Previously, Ms. Douglass served as director of communications for the White House Office of Health Reform and senior advisor to the 2008 Obama presidential campaign. Prior to working in politics, Ms. Douglass spent nine years as the chief Capitol Hill correspondent for ABC News, where she filed frequent reports for World News Tonight, Good Morning America and was often a roundtable commentator on This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Before joining ABC News, Ms. Douglass was a Washington-based correspondent for CBS News, and reported for KNBC-TV and CBS local and network news in Los Angeles. Ms. Douglass began her career as a researcher for KCBS in 1973. Ms. Douglass received her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Southern California.
Doron Petersan is the head of Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats, a vegan bakery that opened in 2002. In the years prior to starting the bakery, Ms. Petersan worked for two of the largest animal shelters in the nation as an animal handler, technician, and public educator. She moved to Washington in 1996 to be with her husband, also an animal rights activist, and worked with the Humane Society. After becoming a vegan, Ms. Petersan drew upon her studies in nutrition and food science to re-create family-favorite sweets without using animal products. In 2002, she decided to open a restaurant in Dupont Circle to showcase her vegan recipes and, after finding a strong following among D.C. foodies, moved the business to a bigger space in Columbia Heights in 2006.
Accolades for Sticky Fingers include the past three years being voted Washington City Paper “Best of D.C.” for a bakery and vegan restaurant, as well as ranking in The Washingtonian’s “Best Eats.” Ms. Petersan has also made three appearances on the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, winning the baking competition two times. Her first book, Sticky Fingers’ Sweets, was released in February 2012. Ms. Petersan holds a BS in dietetics from the University of Maryland.
Heather Podesta is a leading legislative and public policy strategist with experience on Capitol Hill and in the private sector. Her firm was recently named one of DC’s top 50 government relations firms by The National Law Journal. Ms. Podesta has guided clients from Fortune 500 companies to nonprofits to success in Congress and the Executive Branch.
Linda Rabbitt is chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Rand Construction, which she founded in 1989 as a pioneer for women in the construction industry. Rand has since grown from a small-scale, Arlington, Va.-based firm to a nationwide general contractor licensed to work in 48 states with revenues exceeding $263 million annually. Rabbitt, a member of the International Women’s Forum, is the current chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and the lead director
of the board of directors at Towers Watson. She sits on the board of directors for The Economic Club of Washington and is a trustee of George Washington University. Rabbitt has been recognized for her professional achievements, and her service to breast cancer support and research organizations
and other causes, by Washingtonian magazine, the Washington Business Journal, Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), and the National Association of Corporate Directors.