Meet these amazing leaders from our California Issues & Trends Class of 2017! More to come...
INTRODUCING a few more of our accomplished, diverse, and knowledgeable women leaders from across the state! You'll meet them all—watch your email to meet each member of our Class of 2017.
Chief Financial Officer
Los Angeles County Fire Department
Theresa has over 28 years of budget, fiscal and internal control experience with the county of Los Angeles, holding positions of increasing responsibility with the Auditor-Controller, the Department of Public Social Services and the Fire Department. She is currently responsible for managing the Fire Department’s over $1 billion operating budget and the budget for seven special funds, and oversees 68 professional and technical staff members.
Theresa holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting from USC.
Humboldt State University
Amber is passionate about higher education and has worked at Humboldt’s beautiful campus, nestled in the redwoods, for eight and a half years. She is responsible for planning, developing, and managing the University’s $130 million annual operating budget and oversees an additional $70 million in annual budgets for the University’s self-support entities and auxiliary organizations. Amber provided leadership and support in building out the University's strategic budgeting framework and is currently leading campus reserve planning and policy development efforts.
Prior to her work in higher education, Amber worked for Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk, where she provided budget and reporting support for the California Governor and First Lady’s Conference on Women, led by then First Lady of California Maria Shriver.
Director, Employee Experience
Shauna has played a key leadership role in transforming communications and building a high-performing culture at Symantec, guiding employees through highly visible and complex mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, C-level executive transitions, and downsizing and transformation initiatives. She speaks at industry conferences on topics of the employee journey and experience to address times of major transition and transformation.
Shauna holds an M.B.A. and a B.S. in marketing from Portland State University. She has received a number of awards from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals.
Assistant General Counsel – Regulatory
Southern California Gas Company
Sabina manages a team of seven regulatory attorneys and several staff. She joined Sempra Energy in 2007 as Senior Counsel, where she engaged in complex business litigation and served as the subject matter expert on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), then served as the Managing Attorney for FCPA compliance and litigation. In 2015, she was promoted to Assistant General Counsel of the regulatory law group for Southern California Gas Company, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy.
Sabina has a long history of participating in diversity bar organizations as both a board member and an officer. She is a frequent speaker at diversity bar organization events.
Associate Vice President & Chief of Staff
California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo
Jessica oversees daily operations of the President’s Office, which includes University Communications, the office of Student Ombuds Services, and the Office of University Legal Counsel. She serves as President Jeffrey Armstrong’s point of contact with Cal Poly’s Academic Senate, Associated Students, Inc., and other internal and external stakeholders.
Jessica previously served for three years as Deputy Chief of Staff for CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. Prior to that, she worked for seven years in the Chancellor’s Office at UC Riverside. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from UC Riverside and a master’s degree in management from the University of Redlands.
Head of Legal Operations
Veritas Technologies LLC
Jill oversees day-to-day operations of a 70+ member legal team, leading efforts to increase efficiencies, reduce spend, and improve effectiveness of the department. Prior to her current position, she worked in legal operations at Symantec Corporation. Prior to her corporate roles, Jill served as a Court of Appeals clerk and worked as an employment law and KM attorney at several different firms. She then became an academic law librarian and instructor at UCLA and the University of San Francisco.
Born and raised in Hawaii, Jill received a B.A. in journalism and a law degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She holds a master’s in library and information science from the University of South Florida.
Amy Gryshuk, Ph.D.
Physical Life Sciences
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)
Amy develops and implements action plans and partnering strategies for multidisciplinary research collaborations and agreements between LLNL investigators and external partners, including government, academia, industry, and entrepreneurial organizations. She fosters collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Cancer Institute and is serving as a co-manager for three research pilots that are focused on extreme-scale computing in cancer applications.
Prior to joining LLNL, Amy served as the director of new ventures at the National Science Foundation-funded Center for Biophotonics Science & Technology at UC Davis.
Amy holds a Ph.D. in molecular pharmacology from the State University of New York at Buffalo – Roswell Park Cancer Institute. She conducted her postdoctoral research at UC Davis and LLNL.
Attorney/Executive Policy Advisor
California Department of Water Resources
Laura advises department managers and executives on regulatory issues, regional planning for public infrastructure, and flood management planning in the Central Valley. Prior to coming to the Department, Laura was an associate attorney with Meyers Nave Riback Silver & Wilson PLC, and served as city attorney to the City of Plymouth and assistant city attorney to the City of Winters. She also served as counsel to several local planning commissions, and advised numerous local agencies on public law topics. Before joining Meyers Nave, Laura served as a law clerk at East Bay Municipal Utility District.
Laura received her law degree and a master’s in environmental law from Vermont Law School, also a bachelor’s in environmental studies from Bates College.
Amreen Husain, M.D.
Group Medical Director
Amreen is a global development team leader in late-stage oncology drug development. She is committed to advancing improvements in cancer care for women in her work in drug development and global health, and has worked on numerous international health outreach projects.
Amreen received a B.A. in philosophy at Bryn Mawr and her M.D. at New York Medical College. She trained in obstetrics and gynecology at New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center, and completed a gynecologic oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She was an assistant/associate professor at Stanford’s department of obstetrics and gynecology, gynecologic oncology division, and served as associate division chief. She is currently a clinical adjunct faculty member at Stanford University Hospital.
Finance Manager, Richmond Refinery
Amanda oversees a team responsible for the Refinery’s financial reporting, business planning, performance analysis and compliance. In prior roles, she was strategy and planning manager for Chevron’s business and real estate services organization, and was a senior treasury analyst in Chevron’s corporate finance group. Amanda joined Chevron eight years ago on the finance M.B.A. development program, and has held positions including corporate comptroller, upstream strategy and corporate M&A. Prior to Chevron, Amanda worked for the International Finance Corporation and Goldman Sachs.
Amanda graduated summa cum laude from Rice University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and managerial studies. She also holds an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School with a focus on finance and management.
Biofuels Commercialization Project Manager
Winnie’s key strengths are building strong relationships and being a change agent in her industry. She is responsible for directing biofuels commercialization projects and leads teams on renewable feedstock strategy and new technology scale-up. Prior to this role, her diverse career has included business planning, organization capability development, environmental advocacy, refinery operations optimization, supply chain, competitive intelligence, and venture capital investment analysis.
Winnie is passionate about STEM and actively volunteers with organizations to inspire and encourage girls to pursue STEM careers.
Winnie earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering at the University of Alberta, Canada, and her M.B.A. from Cornell University.
Executive Director, Workforce Development Board; Executive Director, Housing Authority; Assistant Director, EDA; Commissioner of Foreign Trade
County of Riverside/Economic Development Agency
Heidi is a seasoned public administrator who has over twenty years of experience in non-profit and public sector management. In addition to her designated roles leading and managing economic development, housing, and workforce development for the County of Riverside, Heidi is responsible for communications and marketing, the office of film and television, the office of foreign trade, and energy divisions.
She spearheaded efforts to produce over 5,000 units of affordable housing, reduce veterans’ homelessness by over 60% in one year, and achieved high performance marks for a period of thirteen years in a large scale Section 8 program. Heidi holds a B.A. in political science and a M.S. in public administration.
Principal Deputy Legislative Counsel
Office of Legislative Counsel
State of California
Sheila supervises a branch of the Office of Legislative Counsel that handles laws relating to courts, criminal law, estates and trusts, family law, gaming, health and care facilities, health care service plans, health insurance, insurance, juveniles, Medi-Cal, military and veterans, prevailing wage, public health, public social services, vehicles, and workers’ compensation. Previously, Sheila served as deputy legal affairs secretary in the office of Governor Gray Davis. She also worked in the office of administrative law, initially as special counsel to the Governor and then as acting director and chief counsel.
Sheila received her J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law. She earned her undergraduate degree in anthropology and art from UC Riverside, where she graduated magna cum laude. She is a member of the California State Bar.
Senior Manager, Strategic Projects, Global Corporate Affairs
Elaine is responsible for defining and executing a broad scope of strategic projects as part of the global corporate affairs team. She works closely with senior executives, external stakeholders and manages cross-functional teams in support of corporate positioning, policy and thought leadership.
Prior to joining Herbalife Nutrition, Elaine oversaw strategic communications planning, materials and implementation for various campaigns for more than 8,000 employees as part of The Walt Disney Company’s television division. She has worked in various communication roles within the entertainment and hospitality industries, on communications and public relations plans supporting film, music, product launches, and multi-million dollar partnerships. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from CSU Northridge.
Shehry is a finance professional who has spent more than ten years at Genentech, Inc. focusing on various areas of finance including commercial, business development, and medical affairs. She has mostly been based out of the San Francisco Bay Area but recently returned from a yearlong global assignment in Switzerland.
Prior to Genentech, Shehry was a vice president at Goldman, Sachs, and spent close to 10 years in investment banking in New York. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from MIT and is a native of New York City.
National Sales Director – Rheumatology
Kate leads a team of 270 individuals across the U.S., who generate over $1.5 billion in revenue for the organization. She has served in various roles in sales and marketing across rheumatology, immunology and oncology. Kate began her career at Genentech as an M.B.A. intern, then joined Genentech full-time in 2005 as a clinical specialist in Washington, D.C. She moved into various marketing roles in the rheumatology franchise, before joining in the biooncology business unit. There she served as the director of marketing for the melanoma franchise before returning to rheumatology in her current capacity. Prior to Genentech, Kate worked at Biogen and at Navigant Consulting.
Kate holds a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from Tufts University and a M.B.A. from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business.
Associate Vice President, University Development
California State University, San Bernardino
Kimberly has served as a fundraising, public relations, and community outreach professional for nearly two decades. Inspired by her late great uncle, Los Angeles Councilman Gilbert Lindsay, and grandmother, Ozie B. Gonzaque, Commissioner and former chair of HACLA, Kim remains passionate about community, volunteerism and mentoring.
Kim took part in securing the university's single largest cash gift in its history, to name the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration. Previously, she served as senior director for corporate and foundation relations and chief fundraiser for its college of business and public administration. Prior to CSU San Bernardino, Kim served at USC in various leadership positions, including managing fundraising programs for the Keck School of Medicine and Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Prior to her fundraising career, Kim worked for public relations firms. She also worked on the first museum of news, the Newseum, in Washington D.C.
Kim received her bachelor's degree in journalism and a master’s in public administration from CSU Northridge.
State Farm Insurance
Born and raised in Illinois, Lisa attended Illinois State University, earning a criminal justice degree. She also attended cosmetology school, a decision that helped pave the way for her at State Farm. In her beautician career, she met a client who had a common bond—she had lost her mother to illness. At the age of 18, Lisa had learned the importance of life insurance when she lost her own mother. The client advised her to look into an insurance career at State Farm, and convinced her she was a born agent.
She was able to secure a position with a local agent and worked with him for a year and half. Selected for an agency opportunity in Las Vegas in 2009, she served as a State Farm agent for three years before being asked to move to California to join a leadership team. She’s been in field leadership since then, loves her job and loves working for State Farm.
Senior Director of Biometrics
Beiyao oversees a team of statistical programmers and biostatisticians who assist with study design and clinical development plans, and conduct statistical analyses of clinical trial data to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of experimental therapies. Analyses are used to support objectives including decision making, publication, and regulatory filings before a therapy can be approved and marketed.
Prior to CytomX, Beiyao worked for more than 15 years in biotech, primarily for Genentech. She also was an assistant professor of biostatistics at Wake Forest University Medical School.
Beiyao has a diverse educational background. She first pursued electrical engineering, then a B.A. degree in English and a graduate program in linguistics at TsingHua University in China. She came to the U.S. to study philosophy and education at the University of Florida, switched to psychometrics, and finally obtained a Ph.D. in statistics.