The Girlfriend Factor is being brought to life by a small but mighty group of women who passionately believe in the power of Girlfriends. Each of us has our own unique reason for becoming involved, but together we intend to make a difference in other women's lives.
Board of Directors
Founder & CEO
Joan is a Certified Public Accountant with her own accounting firm in Palm Desert, California specializing in working with women. She is the author of Surviving Beyond Happily Ever After, a guide for women who are not prepared to handle life on their own, and a public speaker on the relationship between women, finances and power. In 2009 Joan received the Riverside County Commission for Women’s Woman of the Year Award as a woman who has made notable contributions that improve the lives of women and families in the county, and the City of Palm Desert Athena Award for her unmatched commitment and contribution to the community.
“Ever since I returned to school years ago, faced with raising two little boys and very few financial resources, I have been fasinated with the common threads that run through all women's lives. We have so much to offer each other and we have so much potential to tap into. It's simply time to give back and assist other women in reaching their dreams.” Contact Joan
Jan has been a desert resident since 1977. She believes that education is the foundation for the growth and prosperity of our community and has worked with several organizations to support that principle. A Palm Desert High School Foundation board member since 2003, she is currently the President, has served on the Board and the Scholarship Committee for National Charity League, worked for the American Heart Association and with Desert Cancer Foundation.
Raising four daughters has provided a clear illustration of the importance of lending a hand, developing self-reliance and always "remembering who you are".
Diana has worked with families in various settings over the last twenty-eight years. She has a Master's Degree in Counseling, Parent Community Work, and Administration of Programs for Young Children. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in Palm Desert, CA.
Diana has taught child development at graduate and undergraduate levels for Chapman University, College of the Desert, and Pasadena City College. She was also a founding Board member of the local chapter of California Marriage and Family Therapists. Contact Diana
Gayle has led an amazing 28 year career in law enforcement starting as a University police officer while attending Washington State University, transitioning to positions as a state trooper, undercover drug investigator, crime scene technician and ultimately a United States Secret Service Agent working in the Presidential Protection Division. After retiring from the USSS she was Vice President of Corporate Security for MGM Studios. Since relocating to Palm Desert in 2005 Gayle has directed two proprietary security departments at private residential golf club properties. She is a licenses private investigator, a private patrol operator and provides investigative and security survey services through her own company, Gemis Investigative Services.
The GFF Board feels very safe having Gayle among us.
Casey moved to the desert area in 1993 from San Diego, originally from West Los Angeles where she graduated with honors from Loyola Marymount University receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and a Business Degree. In San Diego she was the Spa Director at the La Costa Resort and Spa, a multimillion dollar venture where she managed over 140 employees. After moving to the desert she managed the prestigious Givenchy Spa and went on to create her present day Health Spa Consulting Firm. Casey works diligently with resort developers in Designing, Managing, Equipping, Marketing, Staffing and providing Liability Guidance for their new spa facilities within their planned resorts.
Casey has numerous athletic achievements and awards and continues to enjoy sports of all kinds. She also enjoys travel and the great outdoors.
Ellen relocated to the Coachella Valley in 2003. She was raised in Iowa where she attended Central College in Pella, Iowa and received a Bachelor’s Degree with a double major in Business Administration and Spanish. Her overseas language studies included a year long program in Spain and additional semesters in Peru and Mexico. She has built a career in outside sales working for major companies such as Lee Jeans, HUE Hosiery, and AVIA. Ellen currently is an account sales executive for HIBU-formerly known as Yellowbook. She has achieved with past and current employers the honor of President’s Club.
Additionally Ellen obtained culinary training in New York City and has worked as a private chef on estates located in Dallas, TX Lexington, KY and Palm Springs, CA. She continues to explore culinary education with recent trips to Italy and France.