"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.

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300 Gift Bags Provide a Holiday Gift of Clothing and More for Women in Poverty

November 9, 2015

WHEN THEY MET FOR THE LAST TIME AS THE CLASS OF 2015 ON NOVEMBER 1-3, the sixty-two women participants in the current California Issues & Trends program engaged in a special community service effort. Leadership California women want to give back to San Diego, a city that has welcomed Leadership California for more than a decade.

AT SESSION IV on November 1, the Class assembled 300 gift bags at the Gary & Mary West Senior Wellness Center in San Diego for distribution to home-bound women in poverty throughout the holidays, along with home-delivered meals. 

MOLLY CARTMILL is board chair of Serving Seniors, which operates the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center. An LC Alumna, she has helped raise funds to support the organization's Senior Nutrition Program, and this year has helped bring in funding to provide more than 160,000 nutritious meals to low-income seniors who might otherwise go hungry. Molly is a former Leadership California board member and 2002 CIT Class member. 

THE CITY HAS PROVIDED RICH educational experiences and a vibrant community environment for the LC program. Helping women in poverty is a common thread among CIT class and alumnae, and LC women stepped forward, offering to help with this small assist to make ends meet for women who often have to make a difficult choice between buying medicine or having a place to stay.

Serving Seniors and Homeless


A growing number of seniors are falling into poverty and I believe it is our collective responsibility to help provide for them.

THE WELLNESS CENTER SERVES SENIORS from all backgrounds, providing daily meals and many more services. Molly Cartmill, Serving Seniors board chair, spoke of the social responsibility of community members for the well-being of those in poverty: “For me, it is such a privilege and honor to be able to serve seniors,” she said. “A growing number of seniors are falling into poverty and I believe it is our collective responsibility to help provide for them. At Serving Seniors, our support usually begins with the provision of a nutritious meal – and that meal often then provides the gateway to lifesaving wrap-around services, such as housing, health and social services.”

LEADERSHIP CALIFORNIA'S WOMEN provided the tote bags for the project as well as gift items—both practical and fun—that were included in the bags. Many items were donated by class members themselves and by their companies. Some items, such as small towels, small blankets and toothbrushes and toothpaste were purchased with cash donations from the class, supporters and friends. 

If your company exhibits at expos or trade shows, you can donate give-away items from those events. Logos are OK.”


New Usefulness for Trade Show Items

A MIX OF ITEMS WAS COLLECTED, so the bags were filled with whatever donations came in. Tote bags and items for stuffing had many different company logos. Some were left over from company events such as fundraisers and trade shows. All of the items were new except for gently-used paperback books. Each recipient will get a book.

THE CLASS DID A GREAT JOB of working together to stuff the 300 bags in less than an hour.










Exploration, Inspiration mark Leadership California Visit to D.C.

LEADERSHIP CALIFORNIA WOMEN IN THE NATION'S CAPITAL - A diverse group of thirty-four women leaders convened in Washington D.C. to study issues and trends of national importance on September 27-30. READ ABOUT THE D.C. VISIT HERE

INSPIRED BY MLK - The visit featured Washington D.C.'s most inspiring sights and an insider's view of national institutions including the Supreme Court, the Capitol, national monuments, the Smithsonian, the Embassy of Canada, United Nations Foundation, and Woodrow Wilson International Center. READ ABOUT THE D.C. VISIT HERE

Here’s that Photo We Promised You

August 1, 2015—“Not a Photoshop trick but the real deal!” said Kay Iwata, mom of Audrey Yamamoto (’10), who posed with President Obama for this photo on a visit to the White House on May 5.

“She was in DC for a meeting of foundation leaders, and got to meet a couple of Cabinet members. She had an invite to a reception with the President, and was just hoping he would not be called away so she could at least see him in person," wrote Iwata as she distributed the photo of her daughter to friends and family.

"Lo and behold, the White House called her that morning and asked if she would like to be in the photo line. According to her account, it went by in a flash, but she did get to tell the President that Justin, her 7-year old, really loved reading the book he wrote for his daughters. The President asked if she had it with her, as he would be happy to sign it! She did not, but sent one in to be autographed later. Who would think!!!” Iwata signed off as “Proud Mama.”

Audrey is a foundation representative of the San Francisco Pathways to Citizenship initiative, the reason she was invited to the White House on May 5, the Cinco de Mayo holiday. Kay is a faculty member of Leadership California's CIT program and Central Valley Women's Forum, a member of LC’s Executive Advisory Council, and a specialist in diversity and inclusion.

Leadership California congratulates Audrey for her recognition and for participating in the public policy dialog on citizenship and immigration.

See more photos and story about the White House visit HERE





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