"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
2014 Program Overview
2015 Program Overview


Its time to apply
for CIT 2015!

Submit an application today
or nominate an amazing woman leader as a candidate.

Forum Brings together Women Leaders, Central Valley Issues
January 12, 2015

A FIRST-EVER LEADERSHIP CALIFORNIA CENTRAL VALLEY WOMEN'S FORUM will be held in Fresno on February 11, featuring a slate of speakers and presenters that will bring California’s issues and trends squarely front and center for women leaders from across the region. Attendees will gain new insights on complex issues facing California, with insights on their regional, national and global impacts for Californians.

Regional Issues & Trends, California’s Forward-Looking Businesses

THE LEADERSHIP CALIFORNIA ORGANIZATION is well-known for its statewide California Issues & Trends program and its powerful network of accomplished women who are dedicated to advancing women’s leadership in the state and beyond. The new program will feature segments on California’s global economy, demographics with diversity and inclusion, and innovation as part of the distinct California identity.
SPEAKERS WILL INCLUDE Elmy Bermejo ('03) of the U.S. Department of Labor, along with speakers on agriculture as an economic driver in the state. Diversity and inclusion expert Kay Iwata will speak on "Diversity Competencies". Jake Soberal, CEO, Bitwise Industries will share his knowledge of innovative technologies that are the hallmark of California’s forward-looking business sector.

A Generous Grant, A Full Day of Learning

A DIVERSE GROUP OF 50 WOEMN LEADERS will attend. The unique program will draw women from corporate, academic, state and community organizations across the region. A generous grant from Wells Fargo will underwrite the entire one-day event, including attendees’ registration and tuition.

LEADERSHIP CALIFORNIA AND WELLS FARGO share a strong record of growing women’s leadership across diverse audiences and regions of California. Both organizations recognize the need to bring greater resources and expanded opportunities to women leaders. Both have an interest in strengthening women’s leadership in the Central Valley. Together, the two organizations created this pilot event to raise awareness of women as drivers of organizational success and to strengthen the connections among women from across backgrounds, sectors and professions.

All-Day Event for Invited Women Leaders

REGISTRATION INFORMATION WILL BE SENT to invited women leaders along with the day’s agenda. Leadership California alumnae from the region will be invited as guests to attend an afternoon reception from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m., where author Betsy Lumbye, formerly editor of the Fresno Bee, will share her book about the Central Valley’s Berry family: Beyond Luck: The Improbable Rise of the Berry Fortune Across a Western Century.


This event made possible by a generous grant
from Wells Fargo


Lisa Marie Platske  

Lisa Marie Platske Headlines Leadership Success Summit: REGISTER NOW

Leadership California alumna, speaker and author Lisa Marie Platske (’07) is offering attendees of her 7th Annual Leadership Success Summit a way to stand out from the crowd and leverage their expertise. The event is January 23-24th, 2015 in Manhattan Beach, California.

Platske has been a popular speaker at Leadership California sessions and is a member of the Leadership California Executive Advisory Council.

The Leadership Success Summit offers presentations and workshops for strategizing, energizing and mobilizing business success:

  • growing a business or getting a promotion
  • positioning yourself as an expert in your field
  • defining a dynamic mission, vision, and value system for you and your team
  • making profitable connections
  • cultivating the ability to lead without changing who you are

Visit http://www.LeadershipSuccessSummit.com/ for complete details and registration.





Leader Award

Monday, April 27, 2015


Faye Washington (holding scissors) cuts the ribbon at the dedication of The Faye Washington Youth Empowerment Center at the YWCA Greater Los Angeles Urban Campus on October 4, 2012, with (from left) YWCA GLA Board Chair Eleanor Beasley, LA City councilman Jose Huizar, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal Allard, former LA City councilwoman Jan Perry and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Faye will be honored with the Community Leader Award at Leadership California's Legacy of Leadership celebration on April 27, 2015 in Los Angeles.

Faye Washington:
Champion of Those Who Have Not


FAYE WASHINGTON is a rainmaker in the world of non-profit, with a 32-year record of management, personnel administration, strategic planning and legislative and budget policy development and implementation which led to her groundbreaking tenure at the YWCA Greater Los Angeles in its mission of eliminating racism and empowering women.

Washington has successfully orchestrated the establishment of three multi-million dollar facilities for the Los Angeles community: the landmark Job Corps Urban Campus, which serves as a home to 400 at-risk youth; the Union Pacific Empowerment Center in East Los Angeles; and the Supervisor Gloria Molina Community Empowerment Center in Walnut Park.

Her philosophy is for community programs that embrace the “whole family” approach, including child care, job training, supportive housing and individual empowerment. She leaves a brilliant legacy of making Los Angeles a better place for its citizens to live, learn and grow.

Faye Washington will be honored with a Community Leader Award Leadership California's Legacy of Leadership celebration on April 27, 2015 in Los Angeles.


by Carol Caley
January 22, 2015

Q: FAYE, YOU'RE THE FUNDRAISING MASTERMIND who directed efforts to bring in $70 million to the YWCA Greater Los Angeles (YWCA GLA) to build the remarkable Job Corps Urban Campus in downtown LA, which is now home to 400 at-risk youth. You envisioned it and had it built, finished in 2012: a LEED Silver certified seven story building with a health and wellness clinic, library, commercial kitchen and dining  hall, vocational training classrooms, 100 dormitory suites and offices for YWCA staff. This effort took you seven years. When you started out on this journey, you had little fundraising experience. Help us understand what it took to bring about such a monumental undertaking: was it special expertise, personal values like grit and determination, perhaps knowing the right people?

A:IT'S TRULY BEEN A LABOR OF LOVE. It took a long time, but it’s proof that if you want something for the right reasons, then it will happen. In The Alchemist, the wise King advises the shepherd boy about his Personal Legend, about pursuing a dream, he tells him “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” I feel this has absolutely been my experience. There have been challenges, but it certainly was worth seeing it through.

Q: WHAT DID IT TAKE to bring about something so monumental? How did you pull that out of yourself?

A: THERE WAS A NEED, AN INCREDIBLE NEED. We are in charge of implementing a program called Job Corps. When I took over as CEO, I realized that the program location was less than desirable. I come from a very large family—there were 13 of us. I grew up in a very small house with a lot of people, where I experienced that life can be pleasant, beautiful and safe and secure. You feel loved, and you feel hope in that environment. Well, that was not the environment that I felt when I took over as CEO. I saw youth who are at-risk, who in many cases had been homeless, who’d come from foster care systems, who had not had the best start in life, and yet here they were asked to do without, in many respects.

SO MY HEART WENT OUT TO THEM. I had completed a career less than a half-mile from this location, and I knew not that this place existed, just blocks from City Hall. I thought I knew everything when it came to grant programs for the City of LA. When I learned that the YWCA GLA owned the buildings in which this less-than-desirable program was taking place, I knew it was my responsibility as the new CEO to make something happen.

Q: TO RAISE THE PROFILE of the organization, because it was so beneath the radar?

A: I BELIEVE IT'S THE RESPONSIBILITY OF GOVERNMENT, of nonprofits, of for-profits, it’s the responsibility of us all, to make certain that folks have access to opportunities. That has been the driver for me. I wanted to give these young people an environment that provides a sense of hope, that says, “we care, we care what happens to you.” That can’t just be words, that has to be the deed. That has to be reflected in the surroundings we create for their learning and wellness and safety.

Q: SO YOU KNEW YOU HAD TO BUILD a new facility.

A: I CONVINCED MY BOARD THAT I WAS NOT CRAZY, that we were, in fact, going to build this location. They said, “If you can, Faye, go for it.”

FOR ME, HAVING BEEN NUMBER 12 of 13, that’s all I’ve been used to: being the scrapper. My experience in 32 years of sitting in some unique seats in LA City government really afforded me a knowledge base. I became expert in budget, expert in finance, expert in legislation, expert in identifying public and private grants and resources.

IF I HAVE SPENT 32 YEARS learning all this, what better opportunity would I have to utilize this skillset to the benefit of those who have not? So I came out of retirement for this. I embarked upon this quest to make this building happen.

Read more

Come with Us
to Washington D.C. in September!

Register NOW for
The Ultimate Leadership California Experience

The 2015 Leadership California LC to DC delegation will visit the
Martin Luther King monument on a nighttime tour.

Registration Now Open:
CLICK HERE to Register

Leadership California Goes to Washington D.C. (LC to DC) is now open to registration, with convenient options to register and pay online.

Our Washington DC 2015 Optional Session is a special opportunity for California women leaders to study how national and international issues influence Californians and California business, and how California’s issues and trends influence the nation and the world. LC to DC is available as an add-on to CIT 2015 or may be purchased separately as an individual session.

Program dates are September 27-30, 2015

LC to DC offers the scope and depth of the California Issues & Trends Program, highlighting the capital's most inspiring sights and featuring highly engaging and thought-provoking content.

Leaders will study issues and trends of national importance, learning how these national and international issues and trends affect California's leaders, California's businesses—and all Californians.

LC to DC is open to all executive women: You don't need to be a CIT Alumna or CIT applicant to register.


CLICK HERE to email Leadership California with my pre-registration. I understand that I will be invoiced for tuition at the early-bird rate of $1,395 with payment due before July 31, 2015.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON LC TO DC 2015, a tentative program agenda, program prices and hotel details.

Questions about registration or tuition payment? Please call Yvette at (626) 793-7834





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