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Ideas Festival: Women's Sexual Health

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From Policy to Practice: Stripping Down the Language, Business and Complexity of Women's Sexual Health, with  Rachel Braun Scherl, Jennifer Weiss-Wolf and Candice Davenport

Rachel Braun Scherl is a growth strategy consultant and marketing expert. As Managing Partner and Co-Founder of SPARK Solutions for Growth, a consulting firm advising businesses on strategic growth and partnerships, product development and marketing, Rachel has built an international client base that includes Johnson & Johnson, Allergan, Pfizer, Merck, Bayer and Church & Dwight. In 2008, Rachel and her business partner collaborated to create Semprae Laboratories. As President, Rachel and her team built a company that developed and marketed sexual health and wellness products for women - creating a new category in the process.

As a nationally-known Vagipreneur®, Rachel’s work includes growth strategy, operational support and business development for companies in all aspects of women’s health, including birth control, menstruation, disease prevention, fertility, pregnancy and arousal. Rachel has appeared on ABC’s Nightline, CBS News and MSNBC, and been interviewed for major platforms including The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Forbes, and CNN. Rachel has contributed over 4 dozen articles to The Huffington Post, and contributes to Inc. Her book, Orgasmic Leadership: Profiting from the Coming Surge in Women’s Sexual Health and Wellness,  highlights the successes and challenges that Vagipreneurs face and conquer as they build businesses that provide new solutions for women’s health and wellness.

Jennifer Weiss-Wolf is vice president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law and the organization’s inaugural Women and Democracy Fellow. A passionate advocate for issues of gender, politics—and menstruation—she was dubbed the “architect of the U.S. campaign to squash the tampon tax” by Newsweek. Her 2017 book Periods Gone Public: Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity was lauded by Gloria Steinem as “the beginning of liberation for us all.” Her writing and work have been featured by The New York Times, Washington Post, TIME, Ms., Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, and NPR, among others. Jen and her family resided in Maplewood for the last 20 years (though recently made the move to Jersey City!).

Candice Davenport is the Public Health Nursing Supervisor/ Health Educator for the Maplewood Health Department and has worked for the township since 2012. In this capacity, she works on raising public health awareness on a variety of public health issues such as immunizations, lead in housing and other environmental health issues and coordinates screenings for cardiovascular health, diabetes, cancer and other chronic diseases.  Other nursing services include communicable and infectious disease investigations and prevention, coordination of annual influenza vaccination clinics, and immunization audits of schools and childcare facilities. Candice has facilitated the implementation of free feminine hygiene products in municipal buildings in partnership with the organization, Girls Helping Girls, Period and, in her capacity, has built partnerships with community organizations to provide much needed hygiene and comfort supplies and services to mothers and young babies in need.  Candice is also the Chairperson for the South Orange/ Maplewood Municipal Alliance.