Del Mar, Solana Beach residents among ‘Cool Women of 2016'

Girl Scouts San Diego’s Cool Women of 2016 are: (back row, from left): Jo Dee C. Jacob, Martha Dennis, Darcy C. Bingham, Ashley Nell Tipton, Cool Girl Elizabeth Hosie, M.A. Beyster, Lelya Sampson, Betty Beyster; and (front row) Anne S. Fege, VADM Nora Tyson, USN, Debra L. Reed, Susan Shirk and Erica Ollmann Saphire. Not pictured: Debra Turner.

Three North Coastal residents are among Girl Scout’s San Diego’s Cool Women of 2016: Darcy C. Bingham, Debra L. Reed and Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D. of Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe and Solana Beach, respectively, were honored during an awards luncheon and ceremony at Coasterra on Harbor Island. Girl Scout Elizabeth Hosie of Vista was named the Cool Girl of 2016.

Del Mar residents Linda Katz, who was named a Cool Woman in 2002, welcomed Darcy Bingham to the Cool Women Class of 2016 during Girl Scouts San Diego’s awards celebration. Courtesy photo

“We’re proud to honor these exemplary women for their extraordinary leadership and community service,” said Jo Dee C. Jacob, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts San Diego. “Our Cool Women’s personal and professional lives make them consummate role models for girls.”

At the end of the ceremony, Jacob was surprised to learn that she herself was named a Cool Woman of 2016. Jacob, a former U.S. Navy captain, retired this month after nearly 15 years at the helm of Girl Scouts.

Girl Scouts San Diego board member Julia Brown (a Cool Woman in 2005) and Joye Blount (a 2013 Cool Woman) co-chaired the 16th annual event.

During the ceremony, a Cool Woman alumna introduced each awardee.

Del Mar resident Linda Katz of the Cool Women Class of 2002 presented Bingham, a self-defined “philanthropreneur” who empowers young people to access college educations. An honorary alumna of UCSD, Bingham serves as its trustee and Student Foundation chair, and is a past-chair of the Undergraduate Scholarship Council. She co-founded San Diego Social Venture Partners and the San Diego Women’s Foundation. This former Girl Scout currently serves on the San Diego Regional Disaster Board and the national board of NIRSA, an organization dedicated to collegiate health, recreation and wellness. She has been on The San Diego Foundation board since 2000.

Reed puts into practice the Girl Scout Law she memorized as a Brownie in Long Beach. She continues to live by those values today as chairman and CEO of Sempra Energy. Aided by a scholarship and a part-time job, she was the first in her family to attend college, graduating summa cum laude from USC with a civil engineering degree. By age 32, she was the youngest — and first female — officer at Southern California Gas Company. Today, as one of just 23 women heading a Fortune 500 company, Reed oversees 17,000 employees and nearly $40 billion in assets.

Ollmann Saphire, an alumna of Girl Scouting and Rice University, is a structural biologist with The Scripps Research Institute who studies the proteins that spur the development of deadly hemorrhagic fevers, such as Ebola. She has embarked on an unprecedented mission: galvanizing a global consortium of 40 labs on four continents to work together to rapidly understand and defeat viruses like Ebola, Marburg and Lassa. Ollmann Saphire received a Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering. Her work has taken her to Gabon, northern Thailand and Sierra Leone.

Known as “Lizzy,” Elizabeth Hosie, 18, was a delegate to the 2014 national Girl Scout convention. This Cool Girl leads workshops for younger Girl Scouts, serves on Girl Scouts San Diego’s CEO Girl Advisory Board and frequently speaks at meetings for adult volunteers. Balancing athletics with academics, she garners awards on the volleyball court, takes advanced classes as a senior at Rancho Buena Vista High School and competes on the academic team. She will enter the U.S. Naval Academy this summer.

Other members of the Cool Women Class of 2016 are Betty Beyster (philanthropist and community volunteer) and her daughter Mary Ann “M.A.” Beyster (film producer; president, Foundation for Enterprise Development); Martha Dennis, Ph.D. (technology entrepreneur); Anne S. Fege, Ph.D. (forester, educator and nature advocate); Lelya Sampson (retired teacher and community volunteer who inspired U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera); Susan Shirk, Ph.D. (chair, 21st Century China Program, UCSD); Ashley Nell Tipton (fashion designer who won Project Runway); Debra Turner (philanthropist and community volunteer); and VADM Nora Tyson, USN (commander, U.S. Third Fleet).

Proceeds from the luncheon will help support program outreach for girls in schools in low-income neighborhoods, homeless shelters and the Girls Rehabilitation Facility.

To learn more about Girl Scouts San Diego, including opportunities for local girls in grades K-12 and adult volunteers, visit or contact Blanca Santos at or (619) 610-0757.