"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.


December 2017

Transition: New Year, New Team for Leadership California

AFTER ISSUING A REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS and engaging in a rigorous search and selection process, the board of directors has named Smith Moore & Associates of Sacramento, an association management company, to manage Leadership California, effective January 1, 2018. A new executive director, Jennifer Persike (’17), has also been selected and will work closely with current executive director Pam Hemann as she departs from her role as executive director of Leadership California on December 31, 2017.

SMITH MOORE & ASSOCIATES will assume all program and management tasks, including CIT session and program/event planning, class recruiting, fundraising, communications, and implementation of the board’s initiatives and directives.




New Face at CIT Podium

JENNIFER PERSIKE will be the new face of the organization, and as executive director will lead CIT sessions and serve as liaison between the board and the new management firm. Jennifer has most recently been the deputy executive director of external affairs for the Association of California Water Agencies in Sacramento, where she led a team of 23 employees and oversaw member services, conferences and events, association governance, external affairs and outreach. She is a Leadership California alumna, Class of 2017, who graduated from the CIT program in November.




President of New Management Team

CATHERINE A. SMITH, CAE, Melissa Dixon, CAE, and Justin Lewis, the partners at Smith Moore & Associates, will lead the new management team. Catherine is the president and owner of Smith Moore & Associates, bringing more than 30 years of experience in association and nonprofit administration on local, state, national and international levels. Catherine founded Smith Moore & Associates in 2006 after nearly 13 years as the executive director of the California Special Districts Association. Melissa is the COO and an account manager at Smith Moore & Associates, with a background of nearly 18 years of experience in administrative and management services to trade associations. Justin is the chief information officer and has worked in the IT field for more than a decade.

Register for TWO Special Events in Sacramento




Honor Pam Hemann on the Assembly Chamber Floor

Monday January 8, 2:00 p.m.
Assembly Chamber Gallery

Be there to support our outgoing executive director, Pam Hemann. A resolution will be read on the floor of the California Assembly in an extraordinary recognition ceremony, honoring Pam for her years of service to Leadership California and women across the state. There is no charge for this event, however you must register to attend. Seating is is first-come, first-served in the public balcony of the Assembly Chamber.




Presenting Sponsor

Sponsorships are available!
Contact Carrie Calkins
at carrie@leadershipcalifornia.org


Join the California Legislative Women’s Caucus for a program and reception at the Stanford Mansion

Tuesday January 9, 3:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Leland Stanford Mansion
800 N Street, Sacramento

3:30 p.m. - Keynote Monisha Machado-Pereira,  Partner, McKinsey & Company on McKinsey's 2017 “Women in the Workplace Report”

4:30 p.m. - Women leaders interview panel on "Women in Technology and the Workplace" with representatives from the Legislative Women's Caucus and business

5:30 p.m. - Reception with Leadership California CIT Alumnae, friends, Women’s Caucus members and guests to honor Pam Hemann and introduce our new executive director, Jennifer Persike

7:30 p.m. - Adjournment

Registration per person: $30.00

Board Names New Officers




A NEW SLATE OF OFFICERS FOR 2018 has been elected by the Leadership California board of directors, in accordance with its policy of regular annual board elections. Former VP Margie Wheeler, D.P.D.D. ('11) will become board president, as Diana Reyes ('09) departs from that role and becomes immediate past president. Board officers typically serve 2-year terms.

Kathleen Grave ('15) and Nancy DiLella ('16) will serve as vice presidents. Grave is CEO, El Group. DiLella is vice president, corporate law at Genentech. Carol Hunter ('08), senior director, legal, at Symantec Corporation, will continue for another year in her role as treasurer. Sue Parker ('16), assistant chief clerk, California State Assembly, Office of the Chief Clerk, will serve as secretary.

MARGIE WHEELER is an executive strategist for The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. An employee of Metropolitan for more than 20 years, she has held various positions in water planning, public affairs and the executive office. She recently received her Doctor of Policy, Planning and Development at USC, and holds a master’s degree in advanced management from the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at the Claremont Graduate University and a MBA from the University of La Verne. She also serves as an adjunct professor in the MBA program at the University of La Verne.

Roundtables Feature Women Leaders from Japan, Middle East and Northern Africa

Leadership California Alumnae and supporters met in the capital on November 8 for roundtable talks with women in a delegation from Japan. A luncheon and open forum discussion highlighted the meeting. Participants included Kate Killeen, Margie Estrada, Debbie Manning, Maryellen Kassotakis, Linda White, and Shannon Shellenberg. On December 13 and 14, Leadership California women will participate again, meeting with nine women from the Near East and North Africa.

Leadership California often welcomes women's delegations from across the globe at the state capital. The Northern California World Trade Center partners with the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program to bring current and emerging foreign leaders to California, and provide them with high-quality, substantive professional meetings. The exchanges create opportunities for increased cultural understanding, and strengthen diplomatic ties between the U.S. and its international partners.

Apply today or nominate an amazing woman leader for CIT 2018

Download 2018 program overview



March 4-6, 2018
Leadership California
Session I, CIT Program

The Political Landscape: California's Dynamic Government


March 28, 2018



April 29-May 1, 2018
Leadership California
Session II, CIT Program

Shaping California's Future: Diversity & Inclusion at the Core
San Francisco


April 30, 2018
San Francisco



July 18-20, 2018
Leadership California
Session III, CIT Program

California's Global Business & Economy: Opportunities & Challenges
Los Angeles



November 7-9, 2018
Leadership California
Session IV, CIT Program

A Thriving California through Innovation & Inspiration
San Diego


September 22-25, 2019
Leadership CA Goes to Washington D.C.


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LEADERSHIP CALIFORNIA is a network of diverse, accomplished women leaders who are engaged in shaping the future of California. We accept applications on a rolling basis for the yearlong California Issues & Trends program:  APPLY NOW on our home page.

Visit us at leadershipcalifornia.org or call 626-793-7834



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