Every living thing needs protection and some, like Mother Earth, need more than others. It is not often that a person’s passion for our planet’s survival can be woven into a professional endeavor, however, for Anoosheh Oskouian, she was able to do just that.
Oskouian, president and CEO of California-based Ship & Shore Environmental Inc., is the subject of this month’s cover story and arguably one of our fiercest Lionesses to date. Born in Iran, Oskouian came to the United States in her teens, earned her degree from the University of Colorado Denver, and has devoted her professional life to the purification of air quality by helping manufacturers abate emissions.
Oskouian, a 2015 Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipient, is also candid about her life as a woman in Iran. She told Lioness reporter Carley Dangona, “With all that I’ve seen go on there, I’ve often made the comment, ‘I probably would have been prosecuted a long time ago because I’m a very outspoken person and I believe in human rights.’ I’ve always been that way, even from a very, very young age.
She added, “I don’t think I would’ve survived very long had I been left back there. I don’t think I would’ve been given the opportunity to do what I do here now if it wasn’t for being here. The United States truly is the land of opportunity. You can stand on your own feet to make a future for yourself if you believe in yourself and are truly dedicated to doing what it is you want to do. I don’t think there are very many countries that give you that opportunity.”
Deborah Jackson, founder of Plum Alley, is also looking to “clean up” the professional landscape in the realm of crowdfunding. Lioness reporter Tara McCollum exposes readers to Plum Alley’s unique school of thought that seeks to slim the often-crowded crowdfunding world.
Julia Maltby, director of Campaigns for Plum Alley, explained, “We are kind of selective about what’s on our site and we really try to maintain our core, e-commerce background … It’s more just a matter of making sure that you’re serious and that you know the project makes sense and that ultimately we think you’re ready to be successful, because it takes quite a bit of work and we don’t want you to get started on all that if we don’t think you’re in a good place to be successful.”
From global crowdfunding to grassroots entrepreneurship, McCollum also sheds light on the hobby-turned local business, Just Jane’s, a homemade jam company located in Massachusetts. Jane Janovsky founded the business after giving up a 10-year teaching career.
She bravely confessed to McCollum, “I’m basically jumping off a cliff, career wise. I’m hoping to float but you know I do have a graphic design and photography background so I’m hoping to fall back on that until I really get this business rolling. But at least I’ll have the time to really keep up with it now.”
Whether it’s working to combat air pollutants or providing female entrepreneurs a reliable crowdfunding venue or laboring over a hot stove to fulfill the dream of running a gourmet jam business, the women featuring in this month’s issue of Lioness Magazine are truly inspirational. The female entrepreneurs featured in each and every issue, I’m proud to say, should give us all pause to realize how much we can achieve should we only have the courage and tenacity to pursue our professional aspirations. Carpe diem!