Natalie Krishna Das: Pro Skateboarder, Founder of iLList Light Productions

Natalie Krishna Das, pro skateboarder, photographed in downtown Phoenix with her dog, Valkor, by Nicki Escudero

Natalie Krishna Das, pro skateboarder, photographed in Downtown Phoenix with her dog, Valkor, by Nicki Escudero

Natalie Krishna Das
facebook.com/NatalieKrishnaDas

Natalie Krishna Das is one of the most badass gals in the Valley. The 32-year-old Phoenix resident is a pro skateboarder, and she spends her off time surfing waves and snowboarding mountains. What makes the Los Angeles-born beauty even cooler: she’s the founder of the Arizona division of Falling Whistles, a nonprofit that brings exposure to war and the use of child soldiers in the Congo.

When Krishna Das isn’t busy holding up her title of 15th in the world for Women’s Pro Bowl Riding, she’s working on iLList Light Productions, the creative strategy, marketing and social media company she founded.

See some of her cool skateboarding moves here on her YouTube channel, and read on to find out how she became a beast in the bowls. You can also watch a video of her talking about her favorite reasons for repping the Valley, below.

What brought you to Arizona?

I moved here when I was 16 for school and to live with my mom. I went to Ironwood High School and graduated from ASU with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. Continue reading

Elle Shelley: Pinball Strategy Founder

Elle Shelley, founder of Pinball Digital, photographed at Petite Maison in Scottsdale by Nicki Escudero

Elle Shelley, founder of Pinball Strategy, photographed at Petite Maison in Scottsdale by Nicki Escudero

Elle Shelley
twitter.com/ElleShelley

Elle Shelley didn’t always plan on being an entrepreneur, but the 30-year-old digital marketing strategist saw an opportunity to make an impact on the Valley’s social media scene by launching her own company, Pinball Strategy, this year with a current four client roster. Shelley and her partner have created a full-service digital agency specializing in creating online solutions for businesses using user experience (UX), content marketing, and digital public relations. Shelley says she’s incredibly happy she’s ventured out on her own. Read on for how she hopes to impact the Arizona technology scene, as well as five reasons why she loves living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

I’m a native. My dad is fifth generation Arizonan, and my mom was born and raised in Colombia. I grew up in Gilbert and went to Highland High School. I have a B.S. in business management from Arizona State University. Continue reading

Amy Donohue: Owner of The Fab Social, Kidney Donor, Comedian

Amy Donohue

Amy Donohue, photographed at Windsor in central Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Amy Donohue
twitter.com/thefabulousone 

You’ve probably heard of Amy Donohue if you’ve lived in the Valley the past couple years. The self-proclaimed shameless self-promoter, 41, has not only turned her passion and savvy for social media into her own business (The Fab Social), but she’s also garnered national attention for her donation of her kidney in 2011, which came about through Twitter. Donohue, who has lived in the Valley for 10 years, has also been a strong female force in the local stand-up comedy scene, as well as a radio personality on local station KWSS 106.7-FM. Read on for what brought her to the Valley and how her organ donation has changed her life — including more on her documentary that’s currently in the works — and scroll down to hear Amy tell you five reasons why she loves living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

I came here on vacation in July 2002 to visit my best friend from high school, whom I hadn’t seen in like 10 years. I was here during a monsoon, and I was like, ‘This is the greatest thing ever.’ I was living in upstate New York at the time in Saranac Lake, 5 hours north of New York City. I thought Phoenix was just sand and cactus. I didn’t know there was so much to do in the city, and I was going through a divorce and needed a new start. Before I went to the airport, I put a deposit down for an apartment and moved here 6 weeks later. I sold everything I owned–I fell in love with it!

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