"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.

2011 CIT Session I

The Political Landscape: California's Dynamic Government Today

From the heart of Sacramento, the Class of 2011 studied the complex issues that make governing our diverse state so challenging. 

Public Sector Leaders from the Capitol and multiple Sacramento institutions addressed California's big issues and inspired the class with their passion for public service.

Insider View at the CapitalClass members enjoyed one-on-one conversations with Capital leaders, and an insider's view of its protocols and its rich history. The class traveled to the California Museum and toured the Capitol.

A visit to the historic Capitol building included tours of both legislative chambers.

Senator Mark Leno and a slate of Assembly and Senate leaders sat down for one-on-one conversations with class members at a Breakfast with Capital Leaders in the Capitol Dining Room.

A panel in the Governor's Council Room with Capitol women leaders was part of the Session I experience.

Secretary of State:
 At the California Museum, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, center, addressed the class. Joyce Ibardolasa, Director, Diversity & Inclusion, PG&E, left, and Debbie Manning, Leadership California President, right.

Senate Floor:
 Class members enjoyed a rare privilege: seating on the Senate floor. Senate Conveners were Gregory Schmidt, Secretary of the Senate, and Tony Beard, Jr., Chief Senate Sergeant at Arms.
Welcome and Orientation

Alumnae Laura Mason-Smith, Judy Kjelstrom, and Denelle Ellison came to orientation to meet the new class.

 Carrie Calkins, Development Director, welcomes Lilliam Romero.

Judy Kjelstrom with Leadership California President Debbie Manning.

Barbara Gross and Joyce Ibardolasa pick up their new class materials.

Yvette Dominguez, Administrative Director, hands out name tags and binders.

Lisa Hernand and Raminder Somal check in.

Myesha Jackson, Class of 2010, with Dr. Judy Kjelstrom, Class of 2008.

Gwen Harrison and Sally Stephens

The class gets acquainted.

Gayle Hamilton takes the microphone.

Pam Hemann, at podium, with Dr. Judy Kjelstrom and Debbie Manning.

Joyce Ibardolasa makes a comment.

Lisa Marie Platske:
Leadership Connections

Lisa Marie Platske, third from left, with Myesha Jackson, Susan Halliday and Lisette Islas.

Platske led a fast-paced networking exercise.

Ginger Rutland:
State of the State

Ginger Rutland, center, associate editor at The Sacramento Bee, with class members Eileen Fry-Bowers and Kristi Campbell.

Rutland spoke on the conundrums and tradeoffs we face as a state.

With a 94-year-old mother who wrote a memoirshe signs a copy aboveand a daughter who is passionate about libraries and reading, Rutland sees hopeful signs in the drive and enthusiasm of young people.

Senator Jean Fuller and Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner:
Legislative Issues Overview

Same Issues, Different ViewsState Senator Jean Fuller, right, and Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner presented a capsule view of issues in the state.

Managing a Diverse StateCrafting legislation for Californians in today's economy entails many tough choices.


Secretary of State Debra Bowen and
the California Museum


Pam Hemann addresses the group on a bus trip to the California Museum.

Jayne Battey and Felicia Van Frank at the museum.

Debbie Powell and Kathe Cordova

Eileen Fry-Bowers and Lisette Islas

Leadership California President Debbie Manning  with Ruth Holton Hodson, Deputy Controller, Office of the Senate Controller, and Secretary of State Debra Bowen.

Joyce Ibardolasa, Debra Bowen, Debbie Manning
A Visit to the Central Valley:
E. & J. Gallo Winery

A highlight of the session was a visit to the E. & J. Gallo Winery in Modesto.

The class got a look at the Central Valley's major wine producer.

High-speed production lines at the bottling facility.

Elena Mangahas and Sonia Delen at the Gallo glassworks

The Gallo campus features
landscaped grounds that are home to peacocks and a collection of flowering trees and shrubs.


The class marched down a narrow passageway to
the company's wine cellar.

The class was treated to a reception and dinner with Gallo women leaders in the company wine cellar. Joanne Tran and Gina Orozco-Mejia taste the hors d'oeuvres.

Gallo women leaders hosted the event.


Stephanie Gallo, granddaughter of Ernest Gallo and Vice President of Marketing at E&J Gallo Winery addressed the class.
A Day at the Capitol    

The class got up early for a daylong Capitol visit.

California's Capitol serves as both a history museum and the state’s working seat of government.

View of the Sacramento mall with Tower Bridge.

The Capitol Rotunda

The Rotunda Dome
Breakfast with Capital Leaders

Assemblywoman Fiona Ma served as breakfast host and introduced legislators.

A slate of Assembly and Senate leaders sat down for one-on-one conversations with class members at a Breakfast with Capital Leaders in the Capitol Dining Room. Above, Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal.

Assemblymember Henry Perea

Assemblymember Toni Atkins, right

Assemblymember Richard Pan

Senator Mark Leno

Senate Majority Leader Darrell Steinberg

Assemblymember Alyson Huber

Assemblymember Steven Bradford

Assemblymember Richard Gordon

Debbie Manning, Fiona Ma

Diana Reyes Baughman ('09), Fiona Ma, Debbie Manning

The Legislative Process:
Governor's Council Room

In the Governor's private conference room, the class studied the legislative process with a presentation on "Making Law and Getting the Work Done."

Presenters and panelists on the legislative process were, from left, Sara Ramirez, (’99) Chief of Staff, Speaker of the Assembly John Pèrez; Jacque Roberts, Assistant Legislative Secretary, Office of the Governor; Kathryn R. Dressler (‘03), Chief of Staff, Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg;and Michelle Castro, Senior Government Relations Advocate, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
California State Council.

From left, Jacque Roberts, Kathryn Dressler and Michelle Castro talk with class members.


From top left, Sara Ramirez; Fredericka McGee (’05), General Counsel, Office of the Speaker, California State Assembly; Diane Boyer-Vine, Legislative Counsel of California; Jacque Roberts; Kathryn Dressler; and Michelle Castro.

A Capitol Tour: The Class
Convenes on the Senate Floor



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