On Monday, November 7 (election eve), Parlay House hosted “A View Behind the Curtain”, one woman’s experience running for Mayor of San Francisco. Our featured speaker was the one and only Joanna Rees. Joanna was a candidate for Mayor of San Francisco in November 2011. She was mentored by Ann Richards, former Governor of Texas, through her participation in the Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellowship. Ann would always talk about “when” Joanna should serve, not “if” she should serve, and Joanna took Ann’s bait and rose to the occasion.
In her two-year preparation for the campaign, she went on a listening tour, meeting with San Franciscans in their homes, offices, schools and community associations. She worked with Mayors across the U.S. to create a peer network, and she formally filed to run on Ann Richards’ birthdate in September 2010. During her campaign, she held over 200 neighborhood talks, participated in 55 debates and with her team knocked on 110,000 doors. To this day, her competitors say she ran the best campaign of anyone in the race. Although she didn’t win, it was a game changing experience which Joanna is willing to share with all of us.
Joanna is now a Managing Partner at West, a market creation company founded by Allison Johnson the former head of marketing at Apple. She is also a Senior Partner of the B Team (www.bteam.org). She serves on the corporate board of FICO (NYSE: FICO), Care.com (NYSE: CRCM), Harvest Power, Prelude Fertility and Hickies Inc. Most recently, Joanna led the formation and capital raise for Endeavor Catalyst, an impact investment fund supporting high-impact entrepreneurs in emerging markets.