"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


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.





2014 Legacy of Service


BEN GETS A MAKEOVER - Treasurer of the United States ROSIE RIOS, second from right, holds up a newly-redesigned $100 Federal Reserve Note at an unveiling ceremony in 2010. Sharing the moment: from left, former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Special Agent in Charge John Large from the U.S. Secret Service. Rosie will be honored with a Legacy of Service Award at Leadership California's Legacy of Leadership celebration on April 28, 2014 in San Francisco.    

ROSIE RIOS serves as the 43rd Treasurer of the United States. She has direct oversight over the U.S. Mint, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and Fort Knox and is a key liaison with the Federal Reserve. In addition, the Treasurer serves as a senior advisor to the Secretary in the areas of community development and public engagement. She is especially passionate about supporting women in finance and issues of Main Street in the economic recovery.

Prior to her confirmation as Treasurer, Rios worked at MacFarlane Partners, where she was managing director of investments.Working with MacFarlane Partners’ development and global capital partners, Rios played a central role in facilitating equity transactions for large mixed-use development projects in major urban areas. In November of 2008, Rios took a leave of absence from MacFarlane Partners to serve on the Treasury/Federal Reserve Transition Team. She is a graduate of Harvard University.

Rosie Rios will be honored with a Legacy of Service Award at Leadership California's Legacy of Leadership celebration on April 28, 2014 in San Francisco.


Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios

Happy with Her Pie of Life: Any Way You Slice It, Rosie Rios Feels Privileged to Serve

by Carol Caley
April 7, 2014

Q:  You’re a California girl, yet you grew up without anything like Hollywood glamour or a swimming pool in your backyard. Your beginnings were in the “Tortilla Flats” (as you’ve called them) of Hayward, side by side with crime and poverty. But you rose to a position of power and influence that must have been unimaginable in your youth. Tell us about that.

A:  I WAS FORTUNATE to have a very strong mother. She raised all nine of us with a focus on discipline and getting an education. She made sure that she sent us all off to college so that we would have a good foundation for pursuing our dreams. I still consider her my mentor, I still talk to her constantly, even though I still don’t think I talk to her enough. If it were up to me I would still have her live with me. I miss her dearly. So she is a constant influence, a constant inspiration, and to this day, my role model.

Q:  It also took some personal strengths to achieve what you have in your career, right? Some passion or resolve to rise to the position that you’re in?

A:  ABSOLUTELY. FOR ALL OF US in the family, it was pursuit of higher education and ingrained in our minds that we were capable of pursuing whatever we wanted to pursue.

Q:  Early in your career, that pursuit was community redevelopment, correct?

A:  MY CAREER FOUNDATION has always been in real estate finance. I actually started out in the private sector, in commercial real estate, right out of college, and after grad school.

AROUND 1994, I HAD A CALLING, so to speak, for public service.  I knew that I wanted to work in local government. For me, the easiest way to segue between commercial real estate and local government was in urban renewal. I always had this focus on community development, on downtown revitalization, and that turned into the positions that I held in many cities as a director of economic development and/or redevelopment.

Q:  You had a passion for social justice that’s been a big driver of your career. As a youth, you saw things in your community that needed fixing. Tell us how that worked later on in your career.

A:  FOR ME IT WAS THIS PASSION for working on issues of “Main Street,” it was a passion for working on a community level. From a real estate perspective, and certainly from a local government perspective, it was being able to work directly with the folks that I was directing. Whether that was downtown merchants, high-tech businesses, whether it was a revitalization plan that included a bricks-and-mortar approach to renewing a community, that for me was a tangible way to see the fruits of my labor in a collaborative effort. That was very meaningful for me.

  I was part of the Treasury Transition Team in the fall of 2008it was literally the eye of the storm.

Q:  In your current role, how does that work?

A:  IF YOU LOOK AT MY CAREER PATH, it pretty much fell into three different areas. It always had a finance basis, but my focus has been on real estate, economic development, and investment management.

I CAME INTO THIS ADMINISTRATION literally at the height of the financial crisis, and for me that convergence of these three areas of focus translated into jobs, housing, and access to capital. It was a natural progression, and a natural convergence, that led me to play this role today. I’m a senior advisor to the Secretary on issues of community development, and I sit on the Community Development Financial Institutions Advisory Board. I’m also the lead staff member on White House initiatives that focus on community development, including Ladders of Opportunity, Strong Cities Strong Communities—a number of initiatives that continue to look at how community development plays a significant role in the economic recovery. In addition to that, certainly, the finance background has been very helpful in facilitating both the operations, and the vision, for the future of coin and currency from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the U.S. Mint.

Q:  Helping average Americans recover from the recession is one of your goals. How do you go about rectifying the setbacks suffered by “the 99%?”

A:  I WAS PART OF THE TREASURY TRANSITION TEAM right after the election, so I was here, starting in November of 2008. The role of the Transition Team was to conduct all of the due diligence for the Obama Administration while the Bush Administration was still in office, so if you recall, during that time in the fall of 2008, it was literally the eye of the storm.

THIS TEAM HAD TO THINK ABOUT, first of all, how to stabilize the economy. So the Office of Financial Stability was set up during that time, which managed what was known as the TARP, or Troubled Asset Relief Program. It was also a way to look at Treasury in more of a programmatic role versus a functional role. So that would be Treasury’s role in designing and implementing the Small Business Lending Fund, or the State Small Business Credit Initiative, or the Home Affordable Modification Program. All those programs didn’t exist until this administration. So to have that level of thinking and participation, and integration into how that would help stabilize the economy and provide a path forward for recovery was obviously very important to this administration.






April 28, 2014
San Francisco

Register Now!

Read more about the 2014 Awards HERE

The Class of 2014 visited the floor of the California State
Assembly on March 11 at Session I.

March 9-11, 2014

The Political Landscape: California's Dynamic Government Today

VIEW all Session I photos HERE

SEAT OF GOVERNMENT: From the heart of state government at the Capitol building in Sacramento, the Class of 2014 studied the complex issues that make governing our diverse state so challenging.

ONE-ON-ONE WITH LEGISLATORS - The Class attended a breakfast in the Eureka Room where they enjoyed opportunities to talk individually with elected leaders. Above, in pink, Senator Hannah Beth Jackson sat down with class members.


INSIDER VIEW: Class members convened with senior staff in the private Governor's Council Room to learn about the legislative process. Susan Essaf and Anne Kraus posed with a brass bear and schoolchildren outside the governor's office.

SENATE FLOOR: The class visited both the Senate and Assembly chambers.
WOMEN LEADERS OF WINEMAKING: The class enjoyed a tasting at the wine cellar reception area at E. & J. Gallo Winery in Modesto. Women leaders at the company hosted the Class at a facilities tour and gourmet dinner.
MAKING CONNECTIONS: A top priority of Session I is to make sure classmembers meet and connect. Johanna Pyles, left, and Michelle Hahn get acquainted.
LELAND STANFORD MANSION: At the state’s official reception center for leaders from around the world, the class attended a luncheon with Priya Guha, British Consul General in San Francisco.

VIEW more photos/stories HERE




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