"The program gave me a close-up view of political, business and social issues and trends, information that is invaluable to me as an entrepreneur and active participant in the success of our great state. The speakers were incredible� they inspired us and stretched our minds. The opportunity to connect with successful and dynamic California women leaders was a main highlight. Being part of Leadership California is like being part of a powerful sisterhood."

—Ursula C. Mentjes, M.S., ACC
President and Certified Business Coach
Potential Quest, Inc.
"I have enjoyed my involvement with Leadership California. Our trip to the state capitol was most enlightening. As a result I have gotten involved with the Los Angeles African American Women's Political Action Committee. Thank you, Leadership California, for sparking a genuine interest in the political process."

—Shawn Farrar
Director Corporate Diversity
Sempra Energy
"The CIT program brings together successful women from all over California, and gives them the opportunity to build a network with other successful women. It's a way to learn about the important issues in our state, and to get ready to take the next step in your professional life."

—Isela Vilchis Hoenigmann
"Leadership California has provided me a panoramic view of issues, challenges and opportunities for this lovely state that I live in. The program was my introduction to women of unbelievable talent, experience and passion who are set to make a difference. The feeling to want to be more, to accomplish more, is simply contagious. I hope to know these women for the rest of my life."

—Rosario Montes-Arena
Manager, IBM Software Executive Briefing Program
Silicon Valley & Worldwide Briefing Program
"As a young immigrant woman working in the nonprofit sector, it was inspiring to see women leaders in action, to be able to network with them, and talk about the issues that are relevant to our communities and our state. I feel honored and privileged for the opportunity to participate in such an awesome program that weaves women leaders from different sectors and geographies of California to engage in a conversation about the social, political, and economic fabric of California."

—Winnie Hui-Min Yu
Development Associate
Asian Law Caucus
San Francisco
"I've spent half of my work life in the corporate world, and the past ten years in the nonprofit world, but neither taught me how to be who I am at work�the whole pastiche of talent and spirit. I found role models who excited me, the true state of our state of California (which frustrated me), work partners continually learning like me, and friends."

—Peta G. Penson, Ed. D.
Oakland Unified School District
"Leadership California sessions feature influential speakers and lively discussion on timely issues shaping the economy and workforce. The session on work-life balance struck a chord with me, where key leaders advised us to map out a personal career plan. Networking with other women was invaluable. Leadership California is an engaging and downright fun experience."

—Roberta Tinajero-Frankel
Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit Dept.
Healthy Eating, Active Living Project Manager
"Simply put, Leadership California is time well spent that will benefit me personally and professionally for years to come. I've not only kept in contact with my fellow classmates on a social level, but have had opportunities to work with some of them on business projects as our professional paths crossed. The sessions gave in-depth looks at the critical social issues that many Californians face, inspiring me to get more involved in my community�s outreach programs."

—Teena Massingill
Manager of Corporate Public Affairs
Safeway Inc.

Leadership California is a network of accomplished women, dedicated to advancing the leadership role women play in impacting business, social issues and public policy.

Leadership California is also a unique program, designed to develop and mobilize female leaders. From corporate, academic, state and community organizations across the state, Leadership California draws a diverse group of executive women into its California Issues and Trends Program. Alumnae gain new insights on complex global, national and regional issues facing California.

Message from the President
2016 Program Overview
2015 Program Overview

We're looking for successful women to join us for the journey of a lifetime, the California Issues and Trends Program. 
Grow your leadership insights, build your power network, make a positive difference in your professional life and envision your role in California's future.


“Future of World Depends on Women” with Leadership Expert Margaret Wheatley, Ed.D.

THE CLASS OF 2016, alumnae and friends gathered to hear MARGARET J. WHEATLEY, Ed.D. speak at Woodbury University in Burbank on April 15. Women leaders from across the region attended. The speaker, author of eight books, management consultant and organizational expert spoke as part of an annual series honoring distinguished women leaders.

WHEATLEY OPENED HER SPEECH, "The Future of the World Depends on Women,” by asking the audience to invoke the memory of a woman family member who had provided affirmation and leadership, inviting them to symbolically sit down among the audience. "All the seats are full now," she said. "We stand on lots of shoulders before we go forward." Wheatley called her visit part of a women's leadership "revival" tour, and remarked on the need to revive women's spirit and motivation in these troubled times. She decried the current "dark times" for women, with sexual slavery rampant around the world and rape as a weapon of war.  She asked us to compare our experiences with those of women in Zimbabwe and South Africa with whom she had worked, whose daily hardships were overcome by working collaboratively and leading compassionately. She offered women in our society ways to carve out a new niche for themselves. "If you find yourself shrinking—in work, relationships, or activities—walk out of the situation," she advised. "Leave your safety zone and step out into the unknown. If you once felt creative, powerful, robust, and empowered, you can find a new way, you can claim yourself. You must walk out in order to walk on."

THE EVENT ALSO FEATURED an awards luncheon. Leadership California presented Wheatley with a recognition plaque for thought leadership, and Woodbury University awarded the Utah resident and retreat leader its Clara Snell Woodbury Distinguished Leadership Award. Wheatley was also showered with honors from city, county and state government officials, including state senators Carole Liu and Kevin de León, State Controller Betty Yee, the County of Los Angeles, the LA City Council, and Mayor of LA Eric Garcetti.

LEADERSHIP CALIFORNIA co-sponsored the event with Woodbury University as a special event celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Leadership California's Issues & Trends program.


Alumnae and friends Danell Scarborough, Carol Caley, Yvette Herrera, Pam Hemann and Barbara Kaufman, Ph.D. attended.

Wheatley received a thought leader award from Leadership California, presented by Executive Director Pam Hemann.  



A panel of women leaders discussed education and the workforce and how technology can advance careers in the Central Valley. Panel moderator was Andrea McAleenan, left, of Fresno Pacific University School of Business.

Second Annual Central Valley Women’s Forum Opens Up Dialog on Central Valley Issues & Trends


THE CENTRAL VALLEY WOMEN'S FORUM from Leadership California met for its second annual session on March 30, with 50 women leaders from the region attending. The leaders learned about pivotal issues and trends of their home region, while networking at the day-long workshop with a group of diverse, accomplished peers who are engaged in making a difference in their work and communities.

WOMEN FROM ACROSS California's great valley attended the event, which met at Fresno State on March 30. A special Leadership California 25th anniversary reception preceded the Forum on March 29, where women mingled with Forum attendees and alumnae of the California Issues & Trends program. The reception was hosted at the Central Valley Community Foundation in Fresno.

THE PROGRAM INCLUDED SPEAKERS and presentations on California demographics, the drought, international trade and commerce, workforce, education and technology. A panel of women leaders participated in a Q&A.

THE PROGRAM WAS LAUNCHED LAST YEAR as a pilot in partnership with Wells Fargo Bank. It was so successful that Central Valley leaders requested a reprise. The program is set to be an annual event in future years.

A special guest was Dr. Lynette Zelezny, left, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Fresno State. Leadership California Executive Director Pam Hemann led the daylong event, and moderated a "Lessons Learned on the Journey" segment, where a diverse panel of women leaders shared their career paths.

Thank you to our sponsors:
E&J Gallo Winery
Fresno State
Pacific Gas & Electric Company
State Farm
Wells Fargo

Alumnae and guests gathered on the Senate floor, where Leadership California President Diana Reyes and Executive Director Pam Hemann held the Senate Resolution recognizing Leadership California for 25 years of advancing women’s leadership in the state. The group visited both the Assembly and Senate floors for the formal Joint Resolution. SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE

Alumnae, Supporters and Friends Turn Out for Silver Anniversary Grand Kickoff

Joint Resolution in State Senate and Assembly turns Statewide Spotlight on Leadership California


LEADERSHIP CALIFORNIA STARTED 2016 with a bang on January 11, launching its series of 25th anniversary celebrations in the state capital. A day of special events marked the organization’s year-long “A Silver Celebration in the Golden State”, recognizing the 25th year of the California Issues & Trends (CIT) program.

LEADERSHIP CALIFORNIA HELD EVENTS in conjunction with the California Legislative Women's Caucus, led by Senator Hanna Beth Jackson, Chair of the Women's Caucus, and Co-Chair Assembly Member Cristina Garcia. Alumnae and friends visited the Assembly and Senate floors for a joint resolution recognizing the contributions Leadership California has made to women’s leadership throughout the state.

AFTER THE RESOLUTION, A DAYLONG SLATE OF EVENTS for alumnae, elected leaders and guests featured a reception in the conference room of California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, a panel Q&A with women leaders and an evening reception at the Leland Stanford Mansion.








Meet our 2016 Honorees

May 2, 2016
Park Central Hotel - San Francisco
6:15 pm - 8:45 pm





2016 Legacy of Leadership
Community Leader Award

AFFIRMING YOUTH – “What I found here that I found nowhere else was that I could see change on a daily basis. You can plant a seed. You can see a light go on in a child’s mind. That’s what I really find rewarding.” Regina Jackson will be honored with a Community Leader Award at Leadership California's Legacy of Leadership celebration on May 2, 2016 in San Francisco.



2016 Legacy of Service Award

PRECIOUS COMMODITY – On issues from the drought to water rights, Felicia Marcus sees her role as building bridges between bureaucracy and the lives of real people. She works with policy makers and communities on California’s most precious commodity: water. She will be honored with a Legacy of Service Award at Leadership California's Legacy of Leadership celebration on May 2, 2016 in San Francisco.



2016 Legacy of Leadership
Trailblazer Award

WORKING FOR SUCCESS OF WOMEN AND GIRLS – Lois De Domenico is a philanthropist who has made significant contributions, financial and otherwise, to numerous Oakland and Alameda County nonprofits, including the East Bay Community Foundation and Girls, Inc. of Alameda County.



2016 Legacy of Leadership
Trailblazer Award

OATH OF A CHIEF Debbie Manning received the Oath of Office as Chief Sergeant-at-Arms of the California State Senate along with Secretary of the Senate Daniel Alvarez, administered by California Supreme Court Justice Tani Cantil-Sakayue on December 1, 2014. Debbie will be honored with a Trailblazer Award at Leadership California's Legacy of Leadership celebration on May 2, 2016 in San Francisco.



2016 Corporate Leader Award

TECH LEADERSHIP SHEILA JORDAN is the chief information officer at Symantec Corporation. She will accept a Corporate Leader Award on behalf of Symantec at Leadership California's Legacy of Leadership celebration on May 2, 2016 in San Francisco.










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