"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.


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January 2017

Our First Session of the Year with our CIT
Class of 2017!

March 5-7, 2017
Leadership California
Session I, CIT Program
The Political Landscape: California’s Dynamic Government Today


March 29, 2017

JOIN US for our 3rd Annual Central Valley Women's Forum, a program for women leaders who are changing the face of our Central Valley.

FEATURING California issues and trends and regional perspectives important to the Central Valley, the daylong event includes continental breakfast and lunch, outstanding speakers and unique networking opportunities. Registration per person is $75.00


April 23-25, 2017
Leadership California
Session II, CIT Program
Shaping California’s Future: Diversity & Inclusion at the Core
Los Angeles


April 24, 2017

The Omni Hotel, Los Angeles


July 19-21, 2017
Leadership California
Session III, CIT Program
California’s Global Business & Economy: Opportunities & Challenges
San Francisco


September 24-27, 2017

The ultimate Leadership California experience, open to all executive women. Leadership California Goes to Washington DC 2017 is a special opportunity for California women leaders to study how national and international issues influence Californians and California business, and how California’s issues and trends influence the nation and the world.


November 1-3, 2017
Leadership California
Session IV, CIT Program
A Thriving California through Innovation
San Diego



Monday, April 24, 2017

Janet Napolitano: 2017 Legacy of Service Honoree

BOLD LEADERS IN THE MAKINGJanet Napolitano with the UC Santa Cruz women's soccer team. She will be honored with a Legacy of Service Award at Leadership California's Legacy of Leadership celebration on April 24, 2017 in Los Angeles. Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta.

President, University of California
Transformative Leader in Law, Government, Academia fulfills each Role with Resolve

by Carol Caley
January 12, 2017
This article has been edited for length and clarity.

Q: President Napolitano, your career switches have been both phenomenal and inspiring. From practicing law, you became a U.S. Attorney, then Arizona Attorney General, Governor of Arizona and then U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. You’ve been University of California President since 2013. Tell us about your remarkable career trajectory. Did you have a plan, or did you leap at opportunities that came your way, or both?

A: I DIDN’T HAVE A PLAN PER SE. Most people I meet in leadership positions didn’t have a straight linear trajectory, but you do have a sense of where you’d like to be, where you’d like to devote your energies. I’ve always had a desire to be in public service of some type. I did not contemplate being in Arizona. I ended up there because I got a judicial clerkship there after law school, and I decided to stay. Then different opportunities arose, and I took them.

Q: Some leaders call it a “jungle gym” approach to their career: being able to swing from one place to another, not go on a linear path.

A: THE KEY THING is being prepared and being flexible. Thirdly, being willing to accept some risk.

Q: How so?

A: WHEN I MADE THE DECISION to run for elective office—that’s a risk. I was a Democrat in Arizona, and I could lose. That was very easy to see. I had to say, well, that’s the risk, but on the other hand, this is an office I could win, and that I’m prepared to take. So being willing to jump into that pool was a big decision, but it was the right decision. READ MORE


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Network with our Alumnae from every class year!


LC Recognizes Passing of Notable Historian

KEVIN STARR, the State of California's foremost historian, author and admired faculty member of the California Issues & Trends program, died on January 14. He is best known for chronicling the social forces that shaped California, including the imagination and innovative abilities of Californians past and present, and also the greed, cruelty and vanity that often played a role in defining the state's history. He was a professor at USC and former California State Librarian.

STARR IS ESPECIALLY REMEMBERED by the Class of 2016. Prior to meeting the class at Session II last year, Starr painstakingly wrote a personal note to each class member in their gift copy of his book, California: A History. "I wanted to recognize each of you for the role you play in the history of our state," he said. Above, Sue Parker ('16) assistant chief clerk of the State Assembly and LC board member, with the historian and her signed copy of his book.


New Faces on LC Board of Directors

  Carol Hunter ('08) has been elected treasurer of Leadership California. She is currently a senior director for Symantec Corporation's Consumer Business Unit, where she oversees legal matters. She manages a team providing legal coverage including sales deals, support and services, product development, and business development.
  David Boyd, DNP, RN, CNS, RN-BC is regional director of nursing informatics for patient care services at Northern California Kaiser Permanente. His interests include use of electronic health records and information technologies to enhance professional nursing practice, develop decision support tools, advance nursing leadership, support regulatory compliance, and align health care quality and information system governance.
  Nancy DiLella ('16) is a legal leader and business attorney who has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 20 years, currently serving as the associate general counsel of the Healthcare Law Group at Genentech, Inc. She leads a group of 40 attorneys who provide legal counseling in support of innovative pharmaceutical molecules from clinical development through commercialization.
  Kathleen Grave ('15) is an executive at IBM, providing solutions in cognitive computing, cloud, and analytics to global clients. Kathleen has held leadership roles in these strategic growth businesses, where her focus has been to define global strategies and mobilize new channels and ecosystems to market. Kathleen recently became global director, channels at The Weather Company, an IBM company. Kathleen was the first IBM worldwide sales leader for IBM Watson.
  Mary King ('14) oversees labor relations, diversity & inclusion, talent acquisition, workforce development, and HR Business Partner at Pacific Gas & Electric. She is a West Point graduate who served for 6 years as a captain in the U.S. Army. Returning to civilian life, she worked for Indianapolis Power & Light, pursued a law degree, then became the utility's chief negotiator. She has worked in roles in labor relations, human resources, and as chief of staff to the president.
  Sue Parker ('16) is assistant chief clerk of the State Assembly, where she is responsible for publishing the Assembly’s official record. She oversees operations of the Assembly Desk and manages staff responsible for publishing the Assembly’s three key publications: Daily File, Daily Journal, and History. She also leads processing of committee reports and amendments and reprinting of bills. She has had a key role in streamlining procedures of the Assembly Desk to allow greater public access to the legislative process.
  Tina Shih ('10) serves as consul and trade commissioner at the Consulate General of Canada in Los Angeles with a mandate to increase bilateral commercial partnerships and to attract foreign direct investment to Canada. Tina has worked in public affairs and communications in the Office of the Minister of Industry Canada, as a communications advisor for Industry Canada, and as a trade commissioner at Global Affairs Canada. Tina served as first secretary and trade commissioner at the High Commission of Canada in India.
  Janice Doucet Thompson, Ed.D. ('97) is founder and principal of JD Thompson & Associates, a Sacramento-based leadership and management consulting firm. As an organization development practitioner, she optimizes leadership effectiveness and resiliency at client organizations, including succession planning, talent management, leadership and management development, change leadership and executive coaching. Janice also teaches in the school of business administration at the University of San Diego

New Executive Advisory Council Member

Anthony C. Williams, director of government relations for The Boeing Company, has joined the Leadership California Executive Advisory Council (EAC), which offers advice and guidance to the Leadership California board of directors. He will join more than two dozen others on the EAC who serve as advocates for Leadership California and are committed to advancing and promoting the organization. Members also share ideas on collaborations, resources, and participants, and make advisory contributions to enhance the organization.

ALUMNAE let us know your news! Do you have an update to publish? Email details to carol@leadershipcalifornia.org


LEADERSHIP CALIFORNIA is a network of diverse, accomplished women leaders from the California Issues & Trends program (CIT), who are engaged in shaping the future of California. Learn more about Issues & Trends by visiting our website at leadershipcalifornia.org. We accept applications on a rolling basis for CIT: Click the APPLY NOW link on our home page. Click here to register for LC Goes to DC, our biennial Washington DC program.

Visit us online: leadershipcalifornia.org or call: 626-793-7834



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