"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.


2015 CIT Session II
April 26-28, 2015

California's Heritage:
Shaping the New California


SIX PRESIDENTS' LESSONS LEARNED ON THE JOURNEY: With Barbara Kaufman, Ph.D. facilitating, all six women presidents of the California State University System shared their leadership experiences in a panel discussion.

LA AMBIANCE: Downtown Los Angeles was the setting for Session II, with Disney Hall, the Music Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art nearby.

DEMOGRAPHICS AND TRENDS: With Mary O'Hara Devereaux, Ph.D., the class explored California's demographics and peered into California's future.

A CELEBRATION OF LEADERSHIP: Extraordinary women leaders were recognized at the 2015 Legacy of Leadership Awards on April 27, for their contributions to community, their record of service, their trailblazing accomplishments and their support of diversity and inclusion of women at their organizations.
See all the Awards photos HERE

HISTORY IN THE GARDEN: A VISIT TO THE HUNTINGTON -The class enjoyed a visit to Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, where they studied major themes in California history.

LEADERSHIP STYLES AND BEHAVIORS: With Barbara L. Kaufman, Ph.D. presenting, the class used an evaluation tool to analyze their leadership strengths.

MAKING DIVERSITY A PRIORITY: Diversity and inclusion specialist Kay Iwata, president of K. Iwata Associates Inc., led a thought-provoking and sometimes challenging presentation on learning to thrive in diverse environments at work and in the community.

Achieving Styles Inventory
with Barbara Kaufman, Ph.D.

Barbara Kaufman, Ph.D., left, is president of ROI Consulting Group, Inc. She's a Leadership California past president and is a current Executive Advisory Council member. At right, Pam Hemann.

The class learned how to use an evaluation tool, the Connective Leadership Institute's model of leadership styles, to evaluate their individual personality traits and determine their leadership styles.

Good leaders learn which style works best in each unique situation, and can access other behaviors without necessarily relying on their natural strengths.

Christine Briceno contributed to the discussion

Margot Everett and Carla Castilla did classwork on their leadership styles

Melinda McClain and Terrina Yamamoto

Jessica Hogle and Junay Gardner

Gloria Quinn and Regina Maurantonio

Deb Pacyna and Mary Verdin


At the Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
with William Deverell, Ph.D.


The class arrived for an early morning breakfast, followed by an introduction to the Huntington's unique history as a cultural institution.

William Deverell, Ph.D., gave a presentation on the major themes in California's history, including the state's diversity, environmental complexity, economic drivers, and democratic innovations.

Deverell is chair of USC's history department and director of the Huntington–USC Institute on California and the West at Huntington Library.

Deverell delineated California's history from the time of its first habitation by wayfarers who populated the area by crossing a Bearing Sea ice bridge. Anthropologists study this ancient group by looking at trash middens.

Class members followed shady paths and crossed rolling green lawns to visit the Huntington mansion, now an art gallery. Above, a pause at a fountain in a sculpture garden.

Henry Huntington and his wife Arabella built the Huntington mansion, amassed a fine library, collected art and developed the botanical gardens on the San Marino property in the first two decades of the 20th century. A nonprofit trust is now in charge of the property and collections and established a research institution for scholars.

California Demographics and Trends
with Mary O'Hara-Devereaux, Ph.D.

Mary O'Hara Devereaux, Ph.D., Founder & President, Global Foresight, gave an overview of California's demographics and a clear view into the future of our state with "People Crossing Generations, Cultures & Global Boundaries." She advises leaders on what's required to be a successful global business player.

Some trends: By 2016, Latinos will be the largest population group in California. The state's population is becoming older and more diverse. People are living longer, healthier lives. "People from 60-80 are enjoying a second middle age," she said.

O’Hara-Devereaux is a futurist, trend analyst and China expert who uses her cross-industry and cross-cultural expertise to deconstruct economic and social shifts.

Lessons Learned on the Journey with Barbara Kaufman, Ph.D. and the Cal State University Women Presidents    

All six women presidents of the California State University system shared stories from their leadership experiences in a panel conversation moderated by Barbara Kaufman, Ph.D. Kaufman is an educator, executive coach and trusted advisor to higher education leaders.

The six, here introduced by Pam Hemann, participated in the special interview session in advance of the Legacy of Leadership Awards. From left: Mildred García, Ed.D., CSU Fullerton; Karen S. Haynes, Ph.D., CSU San Marcos; Dianne F. Harrison, Ph.D., CSU Northridge; Jane Close Conoley, Ph.D., CSU Long Beach; Soraya M. Coley, Ph.D., Cal Poly Pomona; Lisa A. Rossbacher, Ph.D., Humboldt State.

An invitation-only audience of alumnae, members of the Leadership California Board of Directors and Executive Advisory Council, the Class of 2015 and other special guests attended.

Each president has been a notable voice of academic leadership. Each has been a groundbreaker and precedent-setter in current and past roles, and each is a model of achievement for women leaders from every sector across our state.

Leadership California President Yvette Herrera introduced herself to each of the six.

Following the panel, Leadership California had the distinction of honoring the six as Trailblazers at the Legacy of Leadership Awards.

The Legacy of Leadership Awards
See all the Awards photos HERE


The celebration recognized the accomplishments of women leaders who have positively influenced the lives of Californians. Nearly 300 attendees and a capacity crowd of state leaders, corporate representatives and academic and nonprofit celebrants enjoyed a “moveable feast” and ceremonies with a stellar slate of honorees.

A highlight of the evening was the presentation of Trailblazer honors to the six women presidents of the California State Universities.

Faye Washington, right, president and CEO of YWCA Greater Los Angeles, received the Community Leader Award, presented by honorary co-chair Linda Alvarez.

Legacy of Service honoree Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, left, received her award from honorary co-chair Janet Clayton

UPS was recognized with a Corporate Leader Award. Accepting the honor was UPS Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and Vice President of Strategic Human Resources Amy Whitley, left.

Chancellor Tim White from the California State Universities spoke to honor the six women CSU presidents.

The Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza provided the venue for a mix-and-mingle buffet dinner and a dessert party accompanying the awards presentation.

Barbara Kaufman, Ph.D., left, with Trailblazer honoree Karen S. Haynes, Ph.D., president, CSU San Marcos.

Haynes holds her award upside-down, garnering laughs from her table guests.

Amy Whitley attended with a team from UPS including Kevin Foley, left, and George Gibbs, right.

Alumna Julie Filizetti, center, brought team members from Isaacson Miller.

Trailblazer awardee Soraya M. Coley, Ph.D., second from right, with her table guests. She is the first woman president of Cal Poly Pomona and an alumna of Leadership California, Class of 1999.

Honorary co-chairs Janet Clayton, left, and Linda Alvarez were emcees for the evening.

From left, former Leadership California President Cathleen Greiner, Ph.D., Leadership California Secretary Danell Scarborough, Ph.D., and current Leadership California President Yvette Herrera

Class of 2015 members and alumnae from Leadership California's 24-year history met for the annual awards event to celebrate civic, business and service achievements of women leaders.

Our Diversity Competencies
with Kay Iwata

Kay Iwata led a presentation on diversity and inclusion, offering ways for women leaders to “get off their eggshells” and take a hard look at barriers to communication. She gave tips and led interactive exercises on how to deal with stereotypes, overt bias and unintentional bias in the workplace. Iwata is president of K. Iwata Associates, Inc. and a Leadership California Executive Advisory Council member.

Iwata gave a "facts and perceptions" quiz that addressed myths about various racial groups and how they fare in the workplace. Groups shared stories of how they have been perceived at work and their strategies to deal with others' assumptions about their race, gender, or age.

Class work gave attendees a chance to put themselves in others' shoes. Feeling excluded can affect an employee's ability to contribute as a team member, and can diminish value to the company, said Iwata.

Meeting Energy and Utility Demand
with Gillian Wright

Gillian Wright, right, Vice President Customer Services, SoCalGas, gave an overview of how energy and utility companies have responded to consumer demands for safe, reliable power.

The history of energy in the state engages governments and suppliers in the continuing process of building, regulating, and ensuring infrastructure upgrades to keep up with growth and demand.

Wright described technologies that can produce renewable natural gas and promoted the conversion of heavy vehicles from diesel fuel to natural gas.

California State of Mind: The Legacy of Pat Brown with Sascha Rice    

Sascha Rice, filmmaker and granddaughter of California Governor Edmund G. Brown, showed her film, "California State of Mind: The Legacy of Pat Brown." The governor created a master plan for education, built the state's modern water system and supported fair housing.

Rice and sister Hilary Armstrong wrote and produced the film. In her family, being a responsible leader was a family tradition, but she wanted to become a creative. "As Californians, we embrace innovation, we set trends, we break with traditions," said Rice.

Class members chat with Rice after the film presentation. "California State of Mind" is an inside look at leadership. It's a tribute to three keys to her grandfather's success: optimism, curiosity and legacy.





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