Join us in making Rising history!

In celebration of our 15th anniversary, we're launching the groundbreaking initiative, Rising Together 360!

Rising International enables local women who are surviving poverty, homelessness, and human trafficking to connect with other survivors around the globe, and through the power of entrepreneurship, help each other to rise.

For over a decade, our local and global entrepreneurs have been supporting each other without ever meeting.

Thanks to Impact Creative (A virtual reality media company), the survivor-entrepreneurs in our program will be able to meet each other for the very first time.

Please join us at our Hands of Hope Gala Luncheon for this awe-inspiring launch of Rising Together 360.



Dolce Hayes Mansion

200 Edenvale Ave.
San Jose CA 95136

Phone: Toll free 866-981-3300

Time | Schedule:


At Registration you’ll receive your table name/number. If you purchased a VIP ticket, you will also receive a VIP wristband.
Shop boutique-quality gifts handcrafted by women survivors of war, gender-based violence, and human trafficking.


Lunch Entree: To Be Announced.


Shopping! Everything you buy impacts a life.
This is a great way to find meaningful gifts for the upcoming holidays!

2:00pm – VIP AFTER-EVENT (admittance with VIP wrist band) 

Keynote Presentation Panel:

Our panelists will introduce us to the profound new world of virtual reality. Virtual reality enables us to see each other's stories and connect in ways once believed to be impossible. Our speakers will share their hopes, insights, and vision for using VR to unleash a beautiful force for good.

Rachel Franklin
Rachel is head of Social VR at Facebook where she leads the company’s efforts to build virtual reality experiences with people at the center. Her team recently launched Facebook Spaces, an app for Oculus Rift that lets people connect and spend time with their friends and family in VR. Before Facebook, Rachel led teams at EA Maxis as VP and GM. She was also the Executive Producer of The Sims 4, which was the best-selling PC game of 2014 and 2015, moving over 5 million copies. She previously worked at cloud gaming startup OnLive, as well as game studio Activision after earning a degree in applied math and computer science from Carnegie Mellon.

Paula Cuneo
Paula is the Head of Partner and Experience Marketing at Oculus. Highly-respected in the video gaming and tech industries where she has worked for 20+ years, Paula perpetually strives to build highly-inclusive places to work and experiences to enjoy. Most recently, she unveiled the highly-anticipated VR for Good initiative, and executive produced nine short films focused on social issues that premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January 2017. Paula envisioned, created, and produced Oculus Connect, the number one global virtual reality developers conference (approaching its fourth year), and champions the largest gathering of female VR developers in the industry by expanding the developer ecosystem through dedicated diversity programming initiatives which support, educate, and produce content by underrepresented communities in entertainment and technology. When she is not applying her rich expertise in business development, branding, and marketing, her vibrant life includes a love of punk rock, champagne, and her inspiring family.

Yelena Rachitsky
Yelena is an Executive Producer of Experiences at Oculus, sourcing and producing content around entertainment, news, documentaries and experiential work on the Oculus platform. Prior to Oculus, she was the Creative Producer of the annual Future of StoryTelling (FoST) summit which brings together top executives, marketers, creatives, and technologists with the vision and influence to change how people communicate and tell stories in the digital age. Rachitsky is a consultant for the Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontier program, and helped to curate the exhibition and conversations around the future of the moving image at the festival. She also spent four years in the documentary division at Participant Media, working on films like Food Inc and Waiting for Superman.

Panel Moderator:

Dr. Sara L. Terheggen (“Dr. T”)
Dr. Terheggen is a leading corporate attorney specializing in securities transactions and private equity fund formation. To date, she has advised on transactions with an aggregate value of approximately $100 billion. Dr. Terheggen is currently a Corporate Partner at Morrison & Foerster. In addition to serving as the Chair of Rising International’s Board of Trustees, Dr. Terheggen sits on several boards, including the Boalt Hall Alumni Association Board, the Association for Corporate Growth (Silicon Valley), and the Global Advisory Council for 100 Women in Finance. She also serves as a California delegate to the Vision 2020 Project, a national campaign to advance American women’s economic and social equality. In connection with this initiative, Dr. Terheggen has developed a “Think Tank” series that focuses on increasing the number of women in senior leadership positions. The series is co-sponsored by The Stanford Rock Center, the Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy and the Association for Corporate Growth (Silicon Valley). Dr. Terheggen was also invited to the White House on two occasions, to participate in forums on women in the financial sector and a Business Council leadership discussion.


Carmel Jud
Carmel is the visionary founder and executive director of Rising International. Her entrepreneurial passion began at age 19 when she launched Carmel Jud Creative Group (CJCG), a San Francisco Bay Area award-winning advertising production and market research firm specializing in broadcast media. In the 18-year history of the company, Carmel led CJCG from a start-up to working with fortune 500 companies. In 2002, drawing upon her extensive background in marketing and management, Carmel launched Rising International. Rising International is the first non-profit to use the home party business model to contribute to solving world poverty. Carmel's innovative idea for alleviating poverty using the direct sales model has earned her much recognition and several awards, including Huffington Post’s “Greatest Person of the Day,” opening for Melinda Gates at a TEDx event, receiving the 2012 “Woman of the World” award, and securing first place in the Cruz Cares Social Change Competition. In 2014, Rising International received the highest scores (out of 200 San Francisco Bay Area non-profit participants) for an innovative idea for “activating empathy to create change” and won the prestigious Ashoka Changemaker Award.

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Your Support Is Key!

Near the end of the event, there will be an opportunity for you to donate and/or sign-up to be involved with Rising International.

“After learning what was happening to women, I sold nearly everything I owned to start this organization. How could I not? I hope you’ll attend our event, and join me in believing that women and girls matter.”  - Carmel Jud, Founder Rising International

In Gratitude to Our Host Committee! 

Susan Burnett, Consultant & Rising Board of Trustees | Shana Cohen, Looker | Shannon McElyea, Consultant | Joan LeMahieu, Rising Board of Trustees | Sara Terheggen, Morrison and Foerster & Rising Board of Trustees | Rosy Davalos, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage | Yvonne Meyer, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage | Sue Ramirez, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage | Felicia Wilson, Intuit | Carmel Jud, President - Rising International

A Huge Thank You To Our Amazing Sponsors!



- Rising Heroes -

Joan LeMahieu

- Rising Champions -

Lydia Vidovich

For more details about Rising International or Hands of Hope Events,
Call us at (831) 429-RISE (7473)

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