Roberta Guise, founder and principal of Guise Marketing + PR, is one of those people who’s explored a remarkable number of things in her lifetime, in many different places around the world. On any given day you may find Roberta swimming in San Francisco Bay, working to close the gender gap in technology, or advising professionals and executives on how to build their personal brand.

Roberta, a new member of the Hebrew Free Loan Business Circle, celebrated a recent birthday by swimming from Alcatraz to San Francisco. However, she began her life far from the Bay Area, spending a few years in a crowded London flat with her mother, older sister, aunt, and two cousins. She was sent off to English public boarding schools at a young age, until her mother’s Zionist dreams took the family to Israel.

“The Hebrew Free Loan Business Circle provides me with a vital connection to my fellow Jews and allows me to do my part in making the world a better place.”

During Roberta’s service in the Israeli Air Force, she first became a meteorologist, and then performed in a troupe that put on shows for soldiers stationed in dangerous, remote locations. She later studied drama and performed in Tel Aviv’s primary repertory theatre.

When Roberta headed to the Bay Area in her mid-20s, she hadn’t yet finished high school. A friend told her that to get anywhere in life one needs an education, which provided the spark that motivated Roberta to attend adult high school and earn her GED. From this point on, critical thinking and learning became lifelong practices for her.

Roberta went on to get a degree from San Francisco State University in radio and TV and become a professional producer of corporate storytelling and educational videos. When a fitness video she produced and marketed became a bestseller — Keys To Weight Training was called “one of the 15 classic exercise videos” by Shape Magazine — Roberta realized she had a natural gift for marketing.

Fast forward a few years, and Roberta earned her MBA from Golden Gate University and launched Guise Marketing + PR. Today, she advises professionals, executives, and small business CEOs in personal branding strategies for becoming known as authorities in their field. She specializes in helping people identify their deep purpose and lays out concrete steps they can take to build a distinctive reputation that reflects that purpose.

Roberta learned about the Hebrew Free Loan Business Circle when a colleague invited her to our Annual Business Circle Luncheon featuring a conversation with Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies. She became a Business Circle member herself to help Jewish entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses through Hebrew Free Loan’s interest-free business loans.

In addition to helping businesses and business leaders grow and thrive, another one of Roberta’s passions is closing the gender gap in technology. She founded a nonprofit, FemResources, that aims to increase the number of women working in tech, both in entry level jobs and in senior leadership.

Watch Roberta’s Food for Thought video interview with Roman Polnar, chair of our Business Circle, to hear more about how professionals can build their personal brands and “rock” their reputations.

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