HBA San Francisco is delighted to announce our 2016 LEAD award winner, Rosa Lau. LEAD stands for Leadership Excellence And Dedication. This award is the highest chapter honor, and is given to one outstanding volunteer, selected annually by the chapter board.
Rosa started her volunteer journey in the membership committee in the Spring of 2014. She first learned about the HBA through an event hosted by Roche Diagnostics Women in Leadership Initiative (WLI). During this event, one of the former membership directors in the HBA SF chapter, Mandy Brown, introduced her to the HBA and the opportunities for networking. Rosa was very inspired by Mandy’s personal approach and felt encouraged to explore and engage with the HBA.
Soon after becoming a member, Rosa volunteered in the membership committee. At the time, our chapter’s directors at large, Angela Sanchis and Mandy Brown, proposed extending HBA programs to the East Bay with informal meetings. Rosa embraced this idea and hosted the first coffee chat, which started as a dinner event. “It made sense to the group at the time”, she says, “but it quickly transformed into a brunch on weekends – creating an informal and relaxed atmosphere, yet engaging in powerful conversations.” Coffee chats have grown to become very popular informal HBA networking events that expanded throughout five regions in the SF Bay Area. The East Bay coffee chat group celebrates the anniversary of the first event by having a “coffee chat goes to dinner” once during the summer.
In 2015, Rosa became an interim co-director at large of membership committee, and since then has been representing the SF chapter in this committee. Her dedication and drive for results have been vital for the chapter. Later in the year, Rosa was recognized with the HBA Innovation Award for strategic programs created to build membership for HBA SF Bay Area.
Rosa says, “The most exciting part of my volunteer engagement is to be able to model leadership notions offered through HBA programs in a safe environment. The forum is very conducive to practicing soft skills that complement my leadership style.” She maintains being a committed, active volunteer on top of her day work as a principal technical writer at Roche Molecular Diagnostics in Pleasanton, California.
In nominating Rosa to the LEAD award, one of the board members wrote, "Rosa continues to amaze me. She has a pretty demanding job and home life yet is always available by email. She responds in an incredibly rapid fashion, which keeps projects moving to completion. Rosa lives in a remote location to SF generally yet shows up to events and meetings without a care that she spent two hours in the car to get there. She is a huge HBA advocate and is always encouraging members and non-members to connect via many different avenues. She helped to create coffee chats and happy hours, which have been very successful in networking, retention and new membership. Rosa pitches in whenever and wherever needed. She understands our chapter well and its needs. Rosa knows that which she doesn't know and seeks to work with the appropriate people and committees to gain clarity so she and others may move forward. Rosa is a delight to work with and is truly an ambassador of the HBA."
Rosa is grateful for receiving the LEAD award and is looking forward to the future of the HBA SF Bay Area chapter. She says, “During the past couple of years, our membership has increased, new programs were formed, and the membership committee volunteers of about 25 members have remained engaged. As the HBA grows, I see a myriad of possibilities for continuing the mission as stewards for gender parity.”
Hearty congratulations, Rosa, on being a winner of the 2016 LEAD award.