"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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April 2017


April 24, 2017

The Omni Hotel, Los Angeles

SPONSORSHIPS STILL AVAILABLE! Call 626-793-7834 to become a sponsor


April 23-25, 2017
Leadership California
Session II, CIT Program
California’s Heritage Shaping its Future: Diversity & Inclusion at the Core
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 & Inspiration
San Diego




Monday, April 24, 2017

SPONSORSHIPS STILL AVAILABLE! Call 626-793-7834 to become a sponsor

2017 Trailblazer Award

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey will accept the Trailblazer Award at Leadership California's Legacy of Leadership celebration on April 24, 2017 in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey

She Leads the Way Toward Justice for both Victims and Defendants

by Carol Caley
April 4, 2017

You’ve been a champion on behalf of victims of human trafficking, elder financial abuse and fraud schemes. You’ve worked on behalf of fair and humane treatment for mentally ill incarcerated adults. You supported establishing a training program for law enforcement officers on how to interact with people in a mental health crisis. You’ve gone after those who perpetrate environmental crimes and have prosecuted government officials who violate the public’s trust. You’ve sought legislative reforms on such issues as Three Strikes and violent predator laws. You have worked to engage and educate people about the criminal justice system. With so many pressing issues, and work to be done on so many fronts, how do you prioritize?

BEFORE I FIRST GOT ELECTED IN 2012, I had to ask myself the question, what are you running for and why? I was about a month into my run for office when someone asked me that question. I felt like a deer in the headlights. I had been working in the trenches of the DA’s office for so long, always working under another leader, and fulfilling another person’s vision. I hadn’t done soul-searching about what I wanted to accomplish: Why am I running, and how will the DA’s office be better?

After you did the soul-searching, were there specific areas that you wanted to concentrate on?

I DECIDED EARLY ON TO PICK FOUR AREAS. Some of these were from my personal experiences, others were areas where we could improve. The personal ones were cybercrime and identity theft. I had been the victim of identity theft. I also wanted to warn seniors about financial fraud, because my mother had fallen prey to a telephone scammer who said her grandson was in jail. I thought, if she was preyed on after all my warnings, other seniors out there could be too. I was interested in mental health. I wanted to know: why did twenty percent of people we incarcerate also have untreated mental illness? Was there a link, and could we do better? And finally, I had an interest in environmental crimes—making sure our environment was protected, so that we could have clean air and water, and ensure that companies and entities obey the laws. READ MORE

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Women’s Forum Tackles Big Central Valley Issues

Leadership California drew together a diverse group of 60 women leaders from across the Central Valley in a special all-day session on March 29 at the Central Valley Women's Forum (CVWF), hosted at Fresno Pacific University. Keynote speaker University of California Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland spoke on educational challenges of the UC system and the region.

Leaders connected with a group of accomplished peers who are making a difference in their work and communities through their engagement in education, workforce development and economic expansion. Panels covered pivotal issues and trends facing California and the Central Valley.

The CVWF is an annual program from Leadership California, and will return to the Central Valley next year. Sponsors were Fresno Pacific University, PG&E, State Farm and UPS.

See CVWF photos


Kjelstrom and Staley-Brooks are Mentors at Event




    Judy Kjelstrom, Ph.D. (’08), Director of Biotechnology, UC Davis and Rhonda Staley-Brooks (’12), Executive Director, Nehemiah Community Foundation were chosen to participate as mentors in Sacramento Business Journal's Bizwomen’s Mentoring Monday on April 3. The event offered attendees a choice of 40 mentors in fast-paced, one-on-one coaching sessions, allowing each attendee to meet between one and seven mentors, with networking in between. The event was one of 43 held by Business Journals across the country, involving 8,600 mentees and 1,700 mentors.


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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