Climbing | United States
Sasha DiGiulian is an athlete, ambassador and writer. She first began climbing at 6 years old, in 1998. Sasha has won the World Championships for Female Overall, placed Silver in the Bouldering World Championships, and Bronze in the Duel. She has remained the undefeated Pan American Champion since 2004, and is a three-time US National Champion. Outdoors, Sasha is the first North American woman to climb the grade 9a, 5.14d, recognized as one of the hardest sport climbs achieved by a female. She has completed two climbs at this grade and was only the third woman in the world to do so. Additionally, Sasha has on-sighted multiple 8b+’s, 5.14a’s, ascended groundbreaking multipitch routes of up to 1000 feet of 8c climbing, and has accomplished multiple First Ascents and 28 First Female Ascents around the world, including a First Female Ascent on the north face of the Eiger mountain, part of the Bernese Alps.
She graduated from Columbia University in New York City, having studied Nonfiction Writing and Business. Sasha is on the Board of the Women’s Sports Foundation and serves as a Global Athlete Ambassador for Right to Play, Up2Us Sports, and the American Alpine Club. She previously served as an Athlete Representative on the board of the International Federation of Sport Climbing. Sasha is the recipient of multiple prestigious awards, including GLAMOUR Magazine’s Top College Women of the Year, 2016, the Cutting Edge Athlete Award for 2014 performance, presented by the American Alpine Club, The Golden Piton Award, and the Arco Rock Legend Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Outdoors. In addition to climbing, DiGiulian has a column with Outside Magazine and has had works published by National Geographic, Rock and Ice, SELF, Seventeen, and CRAVE.
CEO | Seedling Fund
MENTOR | IWF California
Gayle brings a driving passion to everything she does, from personal pursuits to the entrepreneurial arena where she has been involved for over 45 years.
Since 1972 with her business partner husband, Gayle has been co-founder of startups concentrating predominantly in health, wellness and social responsibility. Their business, Kashi Company – a producer and marketer of institutional and retail consumer cooking and ready-to-eat cereals and cereal based products – was sold to the Kellogg’s in 2000, and the Taubers continued under the Kellogg’s umbrella through 2001.
Founded in their home in 1983, Kashi Company grew into an international company with sales and distribution to all levels of trade in the food industry. In her capacity as co-founder, Gayle was actively involved in all aspects of the business: product creation, strategic positioning, production, distribution, sales and marketing, planning and implementation, governance, human resources, and financial planning. Kashi’s emphasis on marketing and sales to attain its goals led the Taubers to originate, develop, and sponsor cause-oriented events by working with many charitable organizations that focused on health and human services, the environment, and cultural and social issues.
It was in 1981 that the Taubers co-founded AMEX Marketing, an American-Mexican real estate venture that participated in the inflationary real estate boom of the early ‘80s. AMEX Marketing focused on distressed property turnarounds. The company was dissolved with the creation of Kashi Company.
At Los Angeles’ Vince’s Gym in 1979, Gayle became involved in the re-branding and marketing of celebrity and legendary bodybuilder, Vince Gironda. It was at Vince’s Gym that she took part in the introduction of women to bodybuilding, making Vince’s Gym the first coed bodybuilding gym in the United States. It was also during this time that she learned the importance of nutrition to health and well-being, not only for men but also for women, and the corresponding relationships of high protein foods, complex carbohydrates, and nutritional supplements. The experience was transformational and was a catalyst for the development of the future Kashi line.
From 1972 to 1978, the Taubers developed startup business, California Specialties, a leader in popularizing indoor plants and trees in the United States. These were exciting years in a new and unknown industry, and Gayle spent her first years experimenting and developing her sales and marketing skills. During the six years, California Specialties pioneered important aspects of the indoor foliage industry: wholesale and retail sales, the plant/tree rental and plant maintenance services – services that became separate industries. California Specialties, dba “The Plant Pusher”, was the first to commercially produce the beaded macramé and the plastic-lined basket plant holder and to additionally develop containerized air shipping for indoor foliage. The company was also responsible for bringing indoor foliage into the grocery sector as a sales category. It was sold in 1978.
Gayle is currently CEO of Seedling Fund LLC, a family investment company that takes positions in first-stage companies. Gayle and Philip provide consultation services to businesses on strategic marketing positions and are speakers on entrepreneurial business issues.
Gayle is past president of The Trusteeship, a Southern California chapter of the International Women’s Forum, an international organization that advances women’s leadership across careers, cultures and continents and remains a Director. She is co-founder and former co-president of Women Give San Diego, a 142-member, nonprofit organization with a focus on economic security and self-sufficiency for low-income women and girls in San Diego County and remains on its Executive Committee. She is also a founding board member of Allies for Women. Gayle is a past board member of: Women’s Foundation of California, an organization that focuses on low-income women and girls throughout California; the University of San Diego’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences, and; San Diego Women’s Foundation.
Gayle has been married to her business partner/husband for 49 years and has two daughters and two granddaughters. She is an artist and remains a devoted athletic enthusiast.