Vote for Your Favorite Female Influencer in Greater Palm Springs, Presented By Wells Fargo

Written By: Alana Aronson Female Influencer in Greater Palm Springs


As CEO, Kyle is responsible for strategic business development and management of the JONES AGENCY, in addition to serving as the Agency’s Strategic Planner. She possess extensive expertise in business development, marketing and communications. The JONES AGENCY is iconic in Palm Springs and holds the title as the oldest advertising agency in the Inland Empire/ Coachella Valley—going on 60 years of year-over-year success. And for the past 13 years, she’s been lucky enough to have had a career that has allowed her to lead a brilliant team—blending creative innovation with solid business building techniques. Some call it right brain/left brain, she calls it the art of the Advertising business. Formerly from Chicago, she’s held senior positions at several national advertising agencies with extensive experience in hospitality, tourism, destination marketing and an assortment of packaged goods. Kyle has over 30 years of marketing and operational expertise, including a 7 year stint as the Director of Retail Operations for McDonald’s Corporation. While in The Windy City Kyle held officer positions on many high-profile, branded accounts, launching national campaigns such as Corona Extra Lime, and the wildly successful Be Like Mike (Jordan) Gatorade campaign. Other high profile accounts have included Anheuser Busch/Bud Light, General Mills/Cap’n Crunch, Disney/Parks and Home Videos, Frito-Lay/Planet Lunch, Lincoln Park Zoo and Mayor Daley/City of Chicago reelection teams.

Susan L. Davis, Founder and President, Desert X; Editorial Director, The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands

Susan Davis, an award-winning public relations professional with more than 30 years of experience, works at The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands as Editorial Director. A born and bred New Yorker, Susan moved to Palm Springs six years ago and joined Sunnylands after 15 years as Director of Communications at Cardozo School of Law. Prior to that appointment, she worked in major social service agencies and with national performing and visual arts programs and organizations. In New York, she was an adjunct professor of art history at St. Francis College, started the Cardozo Collection of art and photography, founded the Elsa Mott Ives Gallery at the YWCA of the City of New York, and was involved for more than 10 years producing poet/artist collaborations for theater and dance. For six years, Susan was a founding member of the President’s Committee for the Arts and Humanities, appointed by President Ronald Reagan and nominated by House Speaker Tip O’Neill. She holds an M.A. in art history from George Washington University.


Kelly McFall, Owner, Wilma & Frieda’s Cafe

After many years in the hospitality and coffee industry, Kelly McFall decided to make her dream come true to create and own a restaurant. The cafe is named after her two grandmothers.  Wilma & Frieda’s Cafe, which her mother, Jan Alexander, and her brother, Kreg Alexander joined her in making this come to life, is in Palm Desert, CA. The restaurant is a breakfast and lunch cafe that takes farm to table to a new level with a twist. With her Chef Chad Spears, they create dishes that are reminiscent of your childhood and made better by taking items formerly thought of for dinner and made more approachable for breakfast. From Blueberry Custard Bread Pudding French Toast, Signature Meatloaf & Eggs to a new B.O.S.S. Benny, the options are endless. Combining great food, and selecting a wonderful staff and welcoming environment, the cafe provides the best of all worlds to create an experience sought after for brunch. The cafe recently earned the distinction of the “Top 100 Things To Do Before You Die, in Palm Springs.” Kelly feels that combining this environment and becoming a solid part of the community through charity has been the success of the cafe.  Kelly expresses her gratitude for all that the cafe has brought to her family, and says “We certainly don’t live an ordinary life.”


Sonja N. Fung, ND, Co-Founder/COO, Live Well Clinic

Dr. Sonja Fung is a primary care naturopathic doctor (ND) and co-founder/COO of Live Well Clinic in La Quinta. She received her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon and her BS in Psychology/Biology from UCLA. Dr. Fung has been practicing in the Coachella Valley since 2008 with a focus on integrative cancer therapies, regenerative injections (prolotherapy/PRP) for joint pain, and IV nutrient support. She is a member of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians and Society of Integrative Oncology, and a Board member of Desert Cancer Foundation. Dr. Fung was recognized in Suzanne Somer’s book, “Knockout”, for her integrative cancer practice and was a recipient of the 56th Assembly District’s “Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Business Women of the Year” award in 2013.  As an advocate for professional development of young women in the community, Dr. Fung was the past Treasurer of the Board of Directors and is actively involved in WLF’s Young Women Leaders Mentorship Program.


Barbara Keller, Co-Owner, LULU California Bistro

Barbara Keller’s background includes multiple diverse careers—theatre producer, author, drama teacher, director, union representative, publisher and restaurateur. She currently owns LULU, a popular California Bistro in Palm Springs. She is past board president of the Desert AIDS Project for which she co-chaired seven galas, vice chair of the board of the Palm Springs Art Museum for which she chaired the 75th anniversary gala and honorary chair of One Night Only for Jewish Family Service. Barbara has a walk on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars and numerous other honors.


Jillian Wills, Realtor, HÔM Sotheby’s International Realty

After graduating from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, Jillian returned to her hometown of Palm Springs and quickly became inspired by her mother’s passion for real estate and home staging. Her involvement with the community and charities compelled her to become involved with the California Desert Association of Realtors Desert Young Professional Network (YPN) and Community Service Committee to assist with local youth and senior programs. While currently serving as the 2016 Chair of Desert YPN, Jillian has been redefining the local real estate culture by bringing the tech savvy young professional together with the experienced real estate agent. Jillian was honored to have just received the 2016 California Association of Realtors YPN ‘Rookie of the Year’ award. Jillian continues to provide the best client service with her local expertise and HÔM Sotheby’s International Realty’s global strength.


Tracy, President, Just Blow Drys LLC

Born wearing high heels and lipstick, growing up in Palm Springs, Tracy was destined for the beauty world. Tracy has been in the beauty industry for 30 years and has worked every aspect. Starting as a 2nd assistant to the top stylist in a posh salon in San Diego, moving into doing manicures and pedicures, and becoming a makeup artist for Laura Mercier, she eventually started her own bath and body line called Ooohlala of Beverly Hills. Tracy started Ooohlala of Beverly Hills with only four products and grew it to over 30 SKUs. Ooohlala of Beverly Hills was seen on the shelves of high-end boutiques, as well as in numerous Nordstrom, and Henry Bendel in NYC and an appearance on QVC. While building the Ooohlala of Beverly Hills brand, Tracy found a niche in the doggie clothing industry when her 12 week old, Yorkie Lucy got pneumonia and it was recommended that she stay warm. After searching high and low for proper fitting doggie shirts, and of course something that was stylish, there was nothing on the market, so Tracy decided to design her own. Cutting paper grocery bags and making a pattern, sewing, pinning and making numerous adjustments she finally got the fit right. Tracy then found a sewing room and started Tres Chic Amis – (Very Stylish Friends) and sold to doggie boutiques around the US. In 2009, Tracy decided these two niche markets were no longer viable and became too hard to compete in, and decided to close down both business. In 2011 Tracy moved back to the Coachella Valley and discovered once again, that there was something missing, a blow dry salon and a lash bar, and she was on the mark. In 2012 Just Blow Drys and Wink Lash & Beauty Bar were born. In April 2016, Just Blow Drys acquired a second location near Santa Barbara in Montecito and now her team has grown to 17 employees. What’s next? Tracy has a couple new locations for Just Blow Drys in her sight!


Bianca Rae, Morning Anchor KESQ New Channel 3; Founder of the Bianca Rae Foundation

Bianca Rae anchors the #1 rated morning television newscast in the Coachella Valley, and has covered everything from breaking news to red carpets events. Her live coverage of the September 2014 flood that devastated parts of the Coachella Valley garnered her an Emmy nomination. She’s interviewed some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, such as Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon. At just 27 years old, Bianca is the CEO and Founder of the Bianca Rae Foundation, a nonprofit serving disadvantaged children and all animals. The foundation created the Annual Rae Of Hope Leadership Retreat, where she teaches 6th, 7th and 8th grade girls about leadership and self-love in a one day retreat. The Bianca Rae Foundation also organizes adoption events and funds transports to no-kill shelters to find homes for shelter animals. Bianca has thousands of followers on social media, and uses this platform to be a role model for youth, as well as to encourage people to adopt shelter pets. Bianca was voted Best TV Personality in Palm Springs twice. She was also chosen as one of Palm Springs Life’s ’40 Under 40′ most successful people in the Coachella Valley and one of the 12 Most interesting and Influential Women of the Valley. Follow her on Facebook (Bianca Rae) and Instagram/Twitter (Bianca__Rae) and get inspired to be a ‘Rae Of Hope!’


Kirstin Fossey, Director of Communications and Executive Assistant, Toscana Country Club

Kirstin was born and raised in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. She attended the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management, and earned a degree in Business with a minor in Political Science. Soon after graduation, Kirstin started her career at UnitedHealth Group in Business Analytics and Communications. Fossey has a proven track record in Marketing & Communications with numerous work related achievements including various fundraising efforts for major corporations. Fossey is a considerable force in the Coachella Valley due to her involvement in the world of golf and charitable organizations. Kirstin is in her second year as a Board Member for The First Tee of the Coachella Valley, a nonprofit that supports building character in children through the game of golf. In addition to The First Tee, she is the Assistant to the President of the PGA of America- the largest active sporting organization in the world. She is also Director of Communications for Toscana Country Club in Indian Wells, California. She has been an avid golfer since the age of 6. Kirstin and her husband live in La Quinta, California with their two children. In her spare time, you can find her at the baseball field; she is the team mom for her sons’ traveling 8U LQYSA team. She also enjoys golfing, hiking, snow skiing and water skiing.


Stephanie Greene, CEO, FG Creative

Stephanie Greene started the boutique agency, FG Creative, Inc., in 2002 to serve the Coachella Valley and So Cal region after learning the ropes and seeing a need for an agency that provided strategic results-oriented marketing solutions and not just pretty ads.  Prior to founding FG Creative, Stephanie worked with Donald Trump and his team at Spotlight/Trump 29 Casino, served as the marketing director for several Orange County shopping malls, and worked in a leading OC advertising agency. Stephanie and her team at FG Creative have created many enduring brands, campaigns and websites for a long list of stelar clients, and worked with many of the area non-profits such as Desert Cancer Foundation, Palm Springs Art Museum, The LIving Desert, The Girlfriend Factor and many more.  Stephanie has been honored recently by being named one of the 12 most influential women in the Coachella Valley, and credits her strong team of professionals and her enthusiastic clients for keeping it all exciting and fun.  After hours, she enjoys her ranchita, rescue pets, horses and star gazing with her husband of 30 years.


Marcie Graham, Marketing & Events Supervisor, City of La Quinta 

From non-profits to professional sports, Marcie Graham has developed strategic marketing, production and media planning for companies including Fox Sports West, Time Warner Cable, and most recently with the City of La Quinta. Marcie’s keen media and marketing perspective is shaped by her diverse interests and her working knowledge of all aspects of media coordination from development of strategic messaging and production to multi-faceted marketing campaign execution. Earning a Bachelors of Liberal Arts in Broadcast Journalism from California State University Long Beach, and her Masters of Arts from California State University Dominguez Hills, Marcie’s a huge fan of college sports, and you may even catch her rooting for her beloved UCLA Bruins game day. Unapologetic for it, Marcie is a techie-loving Star Wars fan, and is always ready to take on a challenge in movie/television trivia.


Trina Turk, Founder, TRINA TURK

Trina Turk is inspired by California’s vibrant multicultural mix, architecture, and landscape—a synergy that permeates her contemporary, colorful aesthetic. Infused with bold signature prints and dynamic hues unique to each collection, Trina’s modern and optimistic outlook meld the best of classic American design with a California confidence, incorporating beautiful fabrications and impeccable quality. Founded in 1995, TRINA TURK celebrates Golden State style with eleven annual collections of chic women’s ready-to-wear and accessories, plus swimwear, recreation, a Mr. Turk menswear line, residential décor and textiles, handbag, jewelry and eyewear collections.


Nicole Ortiz, Naturopathic Primary Care Doctor, Co-founder Live Well Clinic

At 12 years old Dr. Nicole had a face full of acne and was a tomboy. She had the toughest outer shell but remembers that she at times couldn’t even hold her head up to look someone in the eyes because she was ashamed of her face. Not long after she noted that her hair was falling out in clumps and she was afraid of going bald. The hair loss has continued into her adult years.  To most in this community, she is seen as a healthy  confidant woman, though, she she knows the challenges of self worth are a daily struggle. Despite this, her own experience has shaped her passions as a doctor and brought about an abundance of blessing in her journey to help others.  She is the co-founder of integrative Clinic – Live Well where she practices regenerative medicine. The past two years she has worked tirelessly on a method that will treat balding heads, acne, and aging skin through a natural treatment from a person’s own blood derived growth factors. She has created a way to stimulate the body’s own restorative abilities without drugs or chemicals. She believes that every person deserves to feel that their outer shell reflects the vibrancy that is alive within them. Aging, acne and balding can strip a person of self-worth and dramatically change their course in life. The good news is, that this doesn’t have to be a reality anymore.


Kylie Kolz, Manager, Pure Barre Palm Desert

Kylie’s fitness passion emerged when she was just 18 months old, starting on a pair of snow skis up on the mountain and it has lead her to the desert at the barre. Through tennis, gymnastics, swimming, soccer, hockey, hiking, biking and cheerleading; training, conditioning and working out have always been consistent aspects of her life. In 2010, at age 21, Kylie found Pure Barre, the fastest, most effective, yet safest way to change your body. She began teaching the classes shortly after, and wanted to share the extraordinary technique, friendly, high-energy atmosphere and lifestyle with the Greater Coachella Valley. She fell in love with the workout, the community it has created, and being a small part of people’s lives every day.


Kelly Gray, Creative Director, Grayse

Kelly grew up at St. John, the high end knitwear company founded by her model-turned-designer mother and businessman father in 1962. She made it her business to familiarize herself with every aspect of the company, working in departments as varied as shipping and accounting, production and retail, each experience deepening her knowledge of the industry. She moved up the corporate ladder quickly, becoming the company’s Creative Director when she was in her mid-20’s, and just before her 30th birthday taking over the reins as CEO. Taking the firm from a $100 million-a-year company to one with annual revenues of $400 million.This is the Kelly’s first time collaborating with her mom since their departure from St. John Knits almost a decade ago.


Penny Gundry, Owner, Zense

Penny Gundry established ZENSE in 2003 in order to bring a unique shopping experience to Palm Desert. She said the idea for her boutique came from her many shopping excursions to New York. “I love to shop in New York, as do many fashion conscious women of the desert, ” Penny said. “I got frustrated when I couldn’t find truly unique items, especially handbags and other fashion adornments, in the desert. I decided to open my own boutique and bring those items here.” Now Penny is recognized as the leading source in the West for one-of-a-kind artisans from Europe and the United States.

Female Influencer in Greater Palm Springs

Join our mailing list.Be the first to know about the best eats, shops, sights and escapes of Southern California.