"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.


2014 CIT Session IV

November 5-7, 2014

Sustaining Quality of Life in California
through Innovation

POWERED BY INNOVATION: The class toured the San Diego Gas & Electric Energy Innovation Center for a firsthand look at energy-efficient products and technologies.

FAREWELL TO THE CLASS OF 2014: The final session of the year featured a Class of 2014 graduation ceremony and dinner. After the ceremony, class cutups wore their Leadership California lapel pins as earrings.

UP ON THE ROOF: Summer weather brought the class to the hotel roof to enjoy the sunset and a glass of wine. It was one last chance to renew friendships that have grown over the past year.

GROUNDBREAKING RESEARCH: At the Scripps Institution of Oceanography's Birch Aquarium, the class toured an extraordinary collection of sea creatures, including this outdoor tide pool exhibit.

OCEAN, EARTH AND ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE: The Birch Aquarium is the public face of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, designed to make Scripps scientific research accessible to the community. The class was served breakfast in the aquarium foyer, featuring stained glass windows and shark specimens.

HEALTH AND COMMUNITY: The class traveled to the Gary & Mary West Senior Wellness Center for a look at innovation in community service. The Wellness Center provides meals 365 days a year, affordable housing, health and wellness services, and community education classes to thousands of disadvantaged seniors each year.

Women: Consumer & Marketing Trends
with Jenny Darroch, Ph.D.

The class re-convened in San Diego on a Wednesday afternoon to hear Jenny Darroch, Ph.D. and to learn about her research on marketing strategies directed at women.

Professor of Marketing at the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University, Darroch specializes in market definition and market segmentation.

Darroch shared insights from her book, "Why Marketing to Women Doesn't Work: Using Market Segmentation to Understand Consumer Needs."

Women Leaders: Lessons Learned on the Journey    

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

Panelists were (left to right) Randa Trapp, Judge, San Diego Superior Court; Monica Haas, Vice President of External Affairs and Administration, Sempra U.S. Gas & Power;
and Andrea Tevlin, Independent Budget Analyst, City of San Diego–Office of Independent Budget Analyst.

Trapp was first in her family to go to college, then did a stint in the military as a pharmacy tech. The civil rights movement inspired her to go to law school and become a judge. Haas, the youngest of 12 children from a family in poverty, had a burning ambition to do something with her life. She now has 20 years of experience as a leader in the energy sector. Tevlin advised that fear should not hold a leader back: "Fear is normal. You just have to go with it."

Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography with Dr. Margaret Leinen    

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

Dr. Margaret Leinen, at left with Pam Hemann, is director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, vice chancellor for Marine Sciences at UC San Diego and dean of UC San Diego Graduate School of Marine Sciences.

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

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

Dr. Margaret Leinen spoke about her career as a scientist and leader in charge of educating the public about the Scripps mission.

A view from the coastal cliffs overlooking research facilities on the shore below.

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

The class studied an exhibit on global warming illustrating the increase in atmospheric Co2 in  recent decades.

Photos and aquarium exhibits show the role of climate change in melting glacier ice and the destruction of coral reefs.

A nursery exhibit shows off seahorse hatchlings. The Birch fosters an extensive collection of seahorses and is known as the first aquarium in the United States to initiate a successful long-term Pacific seahorse breeding program.

Fantastical sea dragons cruise around their tank, disguised as bits of seaweed. The Birch features more than a dozen seahorse species.

Gerri La Rue Higgs and Linda Brown view a display of live coral and sea anemones.

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.

A "Living Wall" demonstrates the beauty and practicality of low-water-use succulents in landscaping a courtyard. Cecilia Cazares, Coordinator, SDG&E Energy Innovation Center gave a tour of the facility. 

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

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. The lot's landscaping includes drought-tolerant plants and trees.

In the shade of the solar trees is an EV (Electric Vehicle) charging station. EVs play an important role in transitioning to a cleaner environment and energy independence.

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

Pam Hemann, left; Diana Day, Vice President of Enterprise Risk Management, San Diego Gas & Electric; and Molly Cartmill, Director, Corporate Responsibility, Sempra Energy pose with the center's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Platinum certified plaques, which indicate the building's high level of energy-efficiency. About 85% of the original building’s materials were reused or recycled.

The Class of 2014 paused for a class picture at the Energy Innovation Center.

Leading the Way through Civic Engagement with
Danell Scarborough Ph.D.

Dr. Danell Scarborough shared her experiences in civic engagement and discussed the process of selection and service on boards and commissions. She is executive director of two different City of San Diego public agencies: the Human Relations Commission and the Citizens’ Review Board on Police Practices. 





Graduation Evening:
Class of 2014

Farewell to the Class: The final session of the year featured a Class of 2014 graduation ceremony with wine reception, dinner and presentation of pins and certificates of recognition from the California State Senate. From left, Lisa Davidson, Linda Brown and Julie Johnson.

As program alumnae, the Class of 2014 will become part of a statewide network of over 1,400 women leaders who are committed to making a difference in California. Ann Blackwood, Mary Lynn Coffee and Alia Fitzgerald

Keesha-Lu Mitra, Terrina Yamamoto, May Gnia Her, Janice Frazier-Hampton, Janine Lynch, Julia Nader


Lisa Larroque Alexander, Teresa Mayer Speck, Shannon Shellenberg, Natalie Cardenas 

Sandra Flores, May Gnia Her, Terrina Yamamoto

Johanna Pyles, Pam Hemann, DaVina Flemings, Gerri La Rue Higgs

Janine Lynch, Sheryl Bilbrey, Chauna Moreland, Karen Yost, Terri Van Hare, Irene Partridge 

Shannon Shellenberg, Trisha Muse, Dawn Parker, Michelle Youngquist, Emily Stauffer, Natalie Cardenas, Lisa Larroque Alexander

Carrie Calkins, Yvette Dominguez, Danelle Scarborough, Hillary Hebert, Lisa Davidson, Julie Johnson, Linda Brown, Pam Hemann  

Alia Fitzgerald, Ann Blackwood, Susan Essaf, Roxanne Gould, Laura Davick, Teresa Mayer Speck, Cristin Hubbard, Christi Haley-Stover, Christy Woods, Nakeya Shelton 

Mary Lynn Coffee, Lynn Walter, Janice Gutierrez, Sandra Flores, May Gnia Her, Terrina Yamamoto, Peggy Song

Cristin Hubbard, Alia Fitzgerald, Teresa Mayer Speck, Roxanne Gould, Laura Davick, Christi Haley-Stover, Nakeya Shelton, Susan Essaf, Christy Woods

Leading the Way to Community Innovation: The Gary & Mary West Senior Wellness Center    

The Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center in downtown San Diego is a high-energy place, "Definitely not your grandma's senior center."

Paul Downey, left, is president and CEO of Serving Seniors, the organization which provides services at the Wellness Center. With him are Pam Hemann and Brent Wakefield, VP of development at Serving Seniors.

The Wellness Center offers health education, lifelong learning, meals, affordable housing, and supportive services such as healthcare screening and financial counseling.

The Mind, Body, and Spirit Room embodies the holistic approach to comprehensive health services at Serving Seniors.

A community room provides clean, comfortable respite for homeless seniors, who can rest in comfortable chairs, watch television, chat with friends or play board games.

A cyber cafe allows seniors to learn computer skills, open social media accounts and communicate with family members.

The cyber cafe provides a window on a wider world for low income seniors who lack access to computers.

Health screening services create a link to healthcare providers and mental health professionals for seniors in poverty.

A service dog strolls the halls of the center dispensing canine affection.


Congratulations, Class of 2014!


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