Member Spotlight – Vivian Panou, NEW Southern California

“NEW enables women leaders a place to develop and support each other with our career goals.”

Name: Vivian Panou, Co-Founder, EarthFund Global

Member Since: 2018

How did you first hear about NEW, and what prompted you to join?

I first heard about NEW at the Top Women in Grocery event in 2018. After hearing the organizations history and mission of empowerment, I couldn’t help but want to be a part of it. At that time I was a director at ECOS and our CEO was happy to support my desire to get involved with NEW.

Tell us about a recent personal accomplishment or event in your life.

My most recent personal accomplishment is the launch of EarthFund, a global non-profit committed to empower countries or states with innovative education, groundbreaking tech and reliable capital to exceed national clean energy goals customized to the needs of each territory by 2030 starting with Greece. Since childhood I’ve been passionate about the health of our planet. A former co-worker said “leave the science to the scientists” after I questioned her about her position about something. Her comment saddened me but also empowered me to make sure I did something bigger than that tiff to support scientists to help save our planet. I’m pleased to say that our team is mostly women and less than half are scientists. 🙂

What is your favorite NEW event you’ve attended?

Each NEW event is brilliantly produced. My favorite was the first joint ZOOM event put on PAC NW and So Cal. It was a wine tasting that featured the maker of Maso Poli wines who joined us live from Italy. She (Ms Togn) was so colorful and vibrant and PASSIONATE about her family’s history of winemaking, and of her father’s belief in her to be the woman leader of the family business.

What other activities, aside from being an amazing member of NEW, do you enjoy in your free time?

My favorite activities (aside from NEW) include watching my daughter, Katerina, play soccer, and my daughter Aria, swim and perform TikToks. The fact that they could live out their passions makes me feel like my fight for equality is paying off. They don’t live in wonder, they know what they wonder could be attained. I also like to travel, swim, hike, cycle, read, write and listen to my parents tell stories of their childhood. 🙂

Lightning round questions!

Nickname your parents used to call you? Vivitsa
You get one superpower, but you must choose between invisibility and flight. Which do you pick? FLIGHT! I love to fly!
Last Halloween costume? WONDER WOMAN
Favorite word? BRILLIANT
What food could you eat for a week straight for every meal? SPANAKOPITA
Finally, any funny stories about your time with NEW?

Every chapter board meeting is fun. Our So Cal Chapter is comprised of brilliant and supportive leaders who are committed to helping each other during the good, the bad, and the ugly. I know this to be true as I have experienced all three during my time as a NEW board member. Forever grateful for this sisterhood.


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