"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.


2013 CIT Session IV

November 6-8, 2013

Sustaining Quality of Life in California
through Innovation

POWERED BY INNOVATION: The class toured the new San Diego Gas & Electric Energy Innovation Center for a firsthand look at an energy-efficient "smart home."

BALBOA PARK VISIT: The Class traveled to Balboa Park in San Diego for a session exploring innovation in arts and science at the Museum of Photographic Arts.

GROUNDBREAKING RESEARCH: At the Scripps Institution of Oceanography's Birch Aquarium, the class toured an extraordinary collection of sea creatures, including exhibits of live seahorses.

THE POWER OF COMMUNITY: The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation demonstrated for the class the power of community partnerships in changing neighborhoods and changing lives. The Jacobs Foundation partnered with residents of an underinvested community, the Diamond Neighborhoods of southeastern San Diego, to ensure that residents could envision, drive, and own the changes in their community. Above, the class visits Writerz Blok, a youth art park.

FAREWELL TOAST TO THE CLASS OF 2013: The final session of the year featured a Class of 2013 graduation ceremony and dinner.


The Female Vision
with Sally Helgesen

Researcher and author Sally Helgesen found in her research that men and women notice and value different things.

Women scan the environment to pick up clues, men have single-minded "laser vision," focused generally on the bottom line. Men's narrow focus is seen by organizations as a leadership behavior.

Pam Hemann and Sally Helgesen

Kathleen Mertz

Women can capitalize on their value by framing their unique view as an asset to organizations.

Helgesen, center, signs copies of her book, The Female Vision, for Lynn Greenwade and Kaye Foster-Cheek.

Women Leaders: Lessons Learned on the Journey    

"Lessons Learned on the Journey," introduced by Pam Hemann, featured panelists who shared stories about their professional careers.

Panelists were (left to right) Amy Chiu, Vice President, Information Technology, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) & Southern California Gas Company; Randa Trapp, Judge, San Diego Superior Court; and Andrea Tevlin, Independent Budget Analyst, City of San Diego–Office of Independent Budget Analyst.

 Chiu has a degree in theoretical math but followed a non-linear career path. "If tomorrow I want to be a garbage collector, I will be the best," she said. Trapp was motivated to break down barriers by the civil rights movement and feels "blessed and honored" to serve as a judge.Tevlin described herself as "the perfect example of someone with a ridiculously linear career path," having changed jobs only 3 times in 30 years.

Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography with Nigella Hillgarth, Ph.D.    

The class arrived before business hours to enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the Birch Aquarium.

The aquarium is the interpretive center of the research center, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The Birch's Executive Director Nigella Hillgarth, Ph.D. met the class in the aquarium foyer and spoke on her career as a scientist and leader in charge of educating the public about the Scripps mission.

The class enjoyed breakfast and a presentation about Scripps research projects.

The Birch is the public the face of the world-renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of San Diego.

The aquarium foyer features artistic representations of the amazing species that live in California's coastal waters.

A view of the coastal cliffs overlooking the Pacific.

The aquarium displays a stunning variety of marine life in more than 60 habitats, including these outdoor tidepools.

Nigella Hillgarth, Ph.D. with Pam Hemann

The class studied an exhibit on global warming and the role of climate change in the destruction of coral reefs.

Kristi Whalen and Kari Endries view a display of live coral. Coral reefs' worldwide decline is being tracked by Scripps researchers.

The Birch fosters an extensive collection of seahorses and is known as the first institution in the United States to initiate a successful long-term Pacific seahorse breeding program.

A nursery exhibit shows off hatchlings of various species.

The class enjoyed close encounters with a captivating collection of seahorses, sea anemones and starfish

The Birch features more than a dozen seahorse species and their kin, including these fairylike seadragons.

Leading the Way to Energy Innovation at San Diego Gas & Electric's Energy Innovation Center    

The Energy Innovation Center is a working showcase that demonstrates smart energy initiatives and green building practices, housed in a unique setting.

The facility is a 27,000 square foot center offering visitors a venue for learning and exploring the latest in energy efficiency, renewable energy, smart grid and alternative fuel technologies.

Pam Hemann with Cecilia Cazares, Coordinator, SDG&E Energy Innovation Center. The center's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Platinum certified plaque is proudly displayed, indicating the building's high level of energy-efficiency. About 85% of the original building’s materials were reused or recycled.

The class learned how SDG&E mixed energy efficiency, water conservation and sustainable materials to make the Center an eco-friendly state-of-the-art learning center.

The parking lot features "solar trees"—covered parking areas with solar panels on top that swivel to face the sun and provide shade for cars and power for the region.

A commercial demonstration kitchen helps business owners to embrace energy-efficiency. For example, all water fixtures at the site are ultra low flow, helping to reduce water consumption up to 30%.

The Center features the newest technology in lighting, reducing energy use. Each room is equipped with sensors that automatically turn off the lights when not in use.

In the shade of the solar trees, an EV charging station.

Even street lights can be innovative. This one is completely self-sufficient and operates off the grid, requiring no electrical connection, since it's 100% solar-powered.

Use of overhead fans cuts energy use by minimizing the need for air conditioning.

The garage can be an energy-efficiency center, with power-saving appliances and a charging station for electric vehicles. EVs play an important role in transitioning to a cleaner environment and energy independence. 

A "Living Wall" demonstrates the beauty and practicality of low-water-use succulents in landscaping a courtyard. 

A vegetable garden provides community volunteers with opportunities to grow fruits and vegetables using water-wise and space-saving techniques. 

The Class of 2013 paused for a snapshot at the Energy Innovation Center.



Leading the Way to Arts & Science Innovation    

A walk through the beautiful grounds of Balboa Park preceded the visit to the Museum of Photographic Arts.

The Class gathered at the museum's theater.

Nan Renner, Director, San Diego Incubator for Innovation, discussed using the arts to spark creativity and innovations in STEM fields.

Joaquin Ortiz, right, Director of Education and Innovation, Museum of Photographic Arts, visits with Pam Hemann.

The Class visited the museum's photo exhibits.

Joaquin Ortiz, with Class member Tiffani Alvidrez, discussed the decline of the historic role of museums as destinations for families to relax and learn, and the need for a new paradigm for museums of all kinds.

Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and Market Creek    

The Class traveled to an area called the Diamond Neighborhoods in southeastern San Diego, now called Market Creek, to visit the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation.

Sixty acres of land was transformed into a vibrant commercial and cultural hub by a diverse coalition of residents in partnership with the Jacobs Center.

Renee Novo, Manager, Investor & Partner Relations for Jacobs Family Foundation & Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation.

Together with community members and groups, the Jacobs Center worked on a comprehensive development plan to transform unused, untended, and underutilized land into The Village at Market Creek.

Public art at the Jacobs Center and Market Creek site embraces cultural diversity and traditions, and reflects community pride.

A bridge spans a natural riverbed that courses through the property. The development transformed the riverfront into a gathering place for concerts and performances.

Bevelynn Bravo, Community Coordinator, Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, gave a tour of the Market Creek development.

The community has a diverse immigrant population, bringing a wide variety of artistic traditions.

A display of structures representing traditional homes from diverse cultures surround a frequently-used space for outdoor celebrations.

The class receives an introduction to Market Creek's art park, Writerz Blok.

The colorful facility provides a place for self-expression for young people and offers instruction in graphic design, mural painting, silk screening, and multimedia.

Writerz Blok plays a role in turning taggers around and helping them understand that they have a productive place in the community, and potential art careers.

All taggers aren't guys. A female artist contributed this design.

The class talked with artists and viewed 10,000 square feet of original artwork.

The innovative Writerz Blok is an urban arts youth program offering workshops, classes, job training and a place to hang out.

A Conversation on Innovation in Philanthropy with Merle Brodie    

Merle Brodie, Gift Planning Officer, Girl Scouts San Diego and Co-President, Women Give San Diego, shared her knowledge of philanthropy.

Brodie gave old aphorism a new twist:"You know the old saying: Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day... In the world of women's funds, the saying goes like this: If you give a woman a fish, she will feed her family first and might possibly go hungry. If you teach a woman to fish, she will feed her family until outside forces take away her fishing rights or pollute the lake. If you help a woman buy the lake, she will feed her family, keep the lake environmentally clean and have something to pass on to future generations." (From the Women's Funding Network)



Graduation Evening
for the Class of 2013

Farewell to the Class: The final session of the year featured a Class of 2013 graduation ceremony with dinner and presentation of pins and certificates of recognition from the California State Senate.

As program alumnae, the Class of 2013 will become part of a statewide network of over 1,300 women leaders who are committed to making a difference in California.


Kristi Whalen, Tanya Moniz-Witten, Kari Endries, Betsy Swantner

Yvette Dominguez, Carrie Calkins, Pam Hemann prepare for the ceremony.

Keisha Brown

Sohelia Khosravani  

Alana Mathews

Kathryn Rees

Charlene Rosales

Lucy Santana

Sabrina Steele

Genevieve Evans Taylor

Lyn Vice

Celina Zacarias

Carrie Calkins, Yvette Dominguez


Congratulations, Class of 2013!


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