"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.


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 RECEPTION FOR GUESTS was held in the conference room of California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, which included Leadership California alumnae and elected and appointed leaders.

A reception at the Capitol conference room of California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León included Alumnae, elected leaders and special guests.

THAT AFTERNOON, GUESTS ATTENDED A PANEL Q&A with women leaders at the Leland Stanford Mansion, where women legislators, a state official and a businesswoman shared their personal stories of leadership successes and setbacks.

EACH SPEAKER REVEALED A REMARKABLE PERSONAL INCIDENT illustrating how forthrightness, clarity of purpose and personal confidence brought each of them professional success—but also a powerful belief in their ability to take on the toughest challenges to better the lives of others in their communities. At the age of seven, recounted Senator Hannah Beth Jackson, she circulated a petition against the Little League for its policy of excluding girls. Senator Jean Fuller won a chance for a job interview—and subsequently won the job—by sharing the story of her harrowing flight to earn her pilot’s license. Answering a challenge from her sister, Assembly Member Cristina Garcia took action to make corrupt public employees take responsibility for their role in the City of Bell’s financial scandal. Panelists touched on the influence women leaders can have on public policy, securing economic opportunity for women, such as equal pay and paid family leave, and the connection between motherhood and poverty.

Panelists included, from left, Senator Jean FullerExecutive Vice President of Global Communications, Estée Lauder Companies Inc. Alexandra Trower, Senator Hannah Beth JacksonAssembly Member Cristina Garcia and State Controller Betty Yee. Clothilde Hewlett, Partner, Nossaman LLC, moderated.

AN EVENING RECEPTION followed at the mansion, where legislators, alumnae from the Sacramento area, members of the LC Executive Advisory Council, Board of Directors and special guests met in the historic rooms of the restored home of Leland Stanford, governor of California from 1862 to 1863, U.S. Senator, railroad tycoon and founder of Stanford University.

An evening reception at the Leland Stanford Mansion capped the day's events and marked the first of many celebrations planned for 2016 across the state for the organization's 25th anniversary, “A Silver Celebration in the Golden State.”

THE SILVER ANNIVERSARY KICKOFF was a day-long celebration of women’s leadership, representing the organization’s core value of “Moving Women from Success to Significance” and recognizing women’s pivotal role in California’s future

CIT graduates lead in all sectors, geographic regions and professional endeavors, as they successfully fill roles as college and university presidents, high-ranking corporate executives, elected and appointed leaders, public officials, successful entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders. The women of Leadership California are prepared to make a commitment to changing the face of California.

Presenting sponsor was The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. Supporting sponsor was Chevron Corporation.

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.










Meet our 2016 Honorees

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


CRITICAL ISSUES FOR THE GREAT VALLEY: At the Central Valley Women's Forum, women leaders study the issues and trends of the region, including jobs, financial security, agricultural concerns, diversity and inclusion, tech business and the smart-growth future of cities.

Central Valley Women’s Forum Set for March 30

DUE TO THE RESPONSE AND SUCCESS of the first Leadership California Central Valley Women's Forum in 2015, women leaders from the region will have the opportunity to attend this vitally important event in 2016, to learn about pivotal issues and trends of their home turf, while networking at a day-long workshop with a group of diverse, accomplished peers.

The Central Valley Women’s Forum (CVWF) from Leadership California will gather 60 women leaders who are engaged in building the future of California’s great valley and influencing the future of our state.

THE PROGRAM WAS LAUNCHED LAST YEAR by Leadership California in partnership with Wells Fargo Bank as a pilot program focusing on significant issues and key trends of the region. The program was so successful that Valley leaders requested a reprise, to be held on March 30, 2016. The program is set to be an annual event in future years.


LEADERSHIP CALIFORNIA HAS CONDUCTED A BROAD OUTREACH to invite women to the CVWF from across the Central Valley in Fresno, Bakersfield, Modesto, Stockton and other cities. Registration is by invitation only, with women who are ready to make a difference in their work and communities invited to attend. The 2016 CVWF will require a registration fee. The day-long CVWF will meet at CSU Fresno. Watch for an email invitation!

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

A SPECIAL LEADERSHIP CALIFORNIA 25TH ANNIVERSARY RECEPTION will be held on March 29, the evening preceding the Forum. CVWF registrants receive a complimentary invitation to the reception, and CIT alumnae and friends will be able to attend for a registration fee.

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




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