"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.

July 2017

Meet more amazing leaders from our
California Issues & Trends
Class of 2017!

INTRODUCING more of our accomplished, diverse, and knowledgeable
women leaders from across the state, now part of our CIT network!



Ann Marie Allen
Senior Director
Growing Inland Achievement

Ann Marie works to promote the goals of a new nonprofit, comprised of educational and economic organizations in the Inland Empire, creating strategic relationships toward a well-educated workforce, thriving communities and vibrant economy.

Ann Marie earned a B.A. in political science and a M.A. in national security studies at CSU San Bernardino. She worked as a research analyst and spent a year studying and teaching in Ankara, Turkey.

She has held positions with San Bernardino County and San Bernardino City Schools, YMCA, and San Bernardino Community College District. Most recently, she worked for Chaffey College, connecting K-12 students, parents and teachers to college and career opportunities and coordinating the Inland Empire Training Consortium of 12 colleges and universities.



Sandy Blair
Director, Retirement Readiness Division
California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS)

Sandy oversees member benefits education efforts, field benefits operations, and member and employer outreach activities. Her tenure at CalSTRS began in client outreach and guidance, where she established a model for the organization’s first member service center in West Sacramento, and was promoted to field manager. Sandy administers the CalSTRS Pension2 personal wealth plan, which serves as a supplemental savings plan for all California school and community college employees. Under her leadership, the CalSTRS defined contribution plan experienced tremendous growth, representing over $600 million in assets on behalf of more than 10,000 plan participants. Sandy has extensive private sector experience in consumer banking, finance and tax preparation.

She earned a BS degree in business administration and finance from CSU Sacramento. In 2016, Sandy was elected to the Board of the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators, Inc.



Dr. Darla Calvet
CEO & Senior Learning Strategist

Blue Tiger Higher Education Consulting Services

Darla provides targeted solutions for curriculum design, program establishment and evaluation and accreditation services. She is a seasoned professional speaker, published author and researcher. She is also a Certified Federal Compliance Officer and specializes in grants management. Her higher education experience includes work with the United States Department of Education, United States Congress and House of Representatives, California Community College Chancellor’s Office and the Governor’s Office of the State of California. She has worked extensively with such accrediting bodies as the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges and the American Bar Association. Darla formerly served as an associate vice chancellor, and as vice president at National University. Her client list includes colleges and universities across the state, Stomodea, Inc., Women Heart and Scripps Health.


Dr. Lisa Cowan
Regional Director, Maternal Child Health

Kaiser Permanente

Lisa is clinically trained as a women’s health nurse practitioner and has worked in that role and as a nurse leader for 11 years with the Permanente Medical Group in the Sacramento area. She is board certified as an Advanced Nurse Executive. Lisa also serves as adjunct faculty for University of San Francisco’s doctor of nursing practice programs. She is a member of professional associations including American Organization of Nurse Executives, Association of California Nurse Leaders (ACNL), and Sigma Theta Tau International. She is a Fellow for the American College of Healthcare Executives, and is the president of the Sacramento Chapter of ACNL, currently serving on its health policy committee.

Lisa earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree in executive leadership at University of San Francisco. She earned her nursing undergraduate degree from CSU Long Beach. She also holds a master’s degree and Nurse Practitioner certification.


Christine Cowsert Chapman
Senior Director, Gas System Operations

Pacific Gas & Electric Company

Christine has served in various natural gas engineering roles at PG&E for the last 15 years, providing strategic and operational leadership for the department responsible for delivering natural gas safely and reliably to customers. Her role entails controlling, routing, and continuously monitoring the flow, pressure and quality of gas; understanding and mitigating operating risks in real time and directing emergency response. She directs engineering planning support, leads R&D and innovation, and oversees wholesale marketing and business development.

Christine has a B.S. in mechanical engineering, a M.B.A., and is a Registered Professional Engineer in the state of California.



Nicole Elliott
Director of Legislative and Government Affairs, Mayor Edwin Lee

City & County of San Francisco

Nicole currently serves the Mayor as a strategist on federal, state and local issues. She previously was the Mayor’s liaison to the legislative branch, director of Mayoral appointments and liaison to boards and commissions. Prior to working for the Lee administration, Nicole served the Newsom administration as former Mayor Newsom’s director of scheduling, as a policy and fiscal assistant in the Mayor’s budget office, and as a legislative and policy analyst.

Nicole is a San Francisco representative on the Association of Bay Area Governments executive board, and is a member of the Carrie Wheaton Memorial scholarship board. She received her B.A. in sociology and politics from the University of San Francisco, graduating magna cum laude.



Penny Fottrell
Planning & Performance Manager

Chevron Environmental Management Company

Penny is responsible for facilitating strategies, business planning, communications and direction to manage long-term environmental liabilities for technically challenging, large legacy and active refinery and remediation projects. She has served on responsible party technical and management committees for CA Superfund sites. Prior to joining Chevron, she was an environmental engineering consultant, working on a broad range of environmental and construction management projects for clients in the utility, municipal, commercial and industrial sectors.

From UC Berkeley, Penny holds both a B.S. in civil engineering and M.S. in environmental engineering. She is a California registered professional civil engineer.


Jody Fujii
Chief of Staff
Senator William W. Monning

Jody serves as the chief of staff for California State Senator William W. Monning, a position she has held since 2008, when the Senator entered the California Legislature as an Assemblymember. Previously, she worked as chief of staff and legislative director for State Senator Michael J. Machado, and as a legislative assistant for Assemblymember Rusty Areias.

In the community, Jody is a board member of the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project and successfully developed and implemented the Federal Women, Infants and Children Farmers' Market Nutrition Program in California – a program entering its 25th year.

Jody received her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from UC Santa Barbara.



Moira Griffin
Senior Manager Diversity Initiatives

Sundance Institute

Moira fosters inclusiveness for artists, helping them thrive through Sundance programs and gain access to the international marketplace, finance opportunities and emerging technologies. She is also a strategist for TED conferences, working to build a diverse community of attendees. Prior to her position at Sundance, she worked as an independent producer and festival strategist on music videos, short and feature films, documentaries and web series for companies including PBS, YouTube, and NBC Universal. Previously, she worked as VP of development with Pipedream Productions, developing scripts with established and emerging writers. A founding director of Rooftop Films, she curated film programs for multiple organizations. She holds degrees in media studies and Japanese studies from the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.



Crystal Gutenberger
Principal and Founder

Global Sages

Crystal is a senior leader with organizational transformation, program management, and business operations capabilities. With 20+ years of experience, Crystal has held senior leadership positions in large organizations, and has been a success in leading cross-functional teams, driving business process transformation, and achieving operational excellence. Crystal’s diverse industry experience includes energy & utility, financial institutions, and big-four management consulting. She is passionate about social causes and has recently launched her global project to build sustainable communities in Southeast Asia.

Crystal holds credentials including Project Management Professional, Lean Six Sigma, Facility Management Professional, Professional Engineer, and Incident Command System. Crystal is a graduate of USC with a B.S. in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in business administration.



Randi Hinton
Director of Sales


Randi is responsible for revenue growth within the metro Los Angeles area, engaging with area sales managers and account executives to drive results in key areas of the business plan, including profit, revenue growth and people development. Randi collaborates with team members to develop robust account strategies and ensure effective selling.

Randi holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Clemson University.



Christine Huddleson
Managing Director, Consulting, State and Local Government


Christine is focused on serving public health and commercial health care providers. With more than 18 years of experience, she leads the implementation of large scale solutions to enhance health care delivery, including electronic health records systems, business intelligence and analytics solutions, case management systems, and mobile apps.

Christine leads Deloitte’s Women’s Initiative for the San Francisco office, coordinating efforts to attract, retain and advance women through a variety of professional development, mentoring, networking and community involvement events.

Previously Christine worked for the California State Senate, focused on health and human services, workers’ compensation, and transportation issues. She received her M.S. in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.A. in economics and government from Claremont McKenna College.



Kimberly Johnson
Program Management

Financial Services

Kimberly is a financial services professional focused on payments and financial technology. She has worked as an account manager, solutions architect and project manager and has held leadership roles in client services and program management. During her career, she has supported ATM, debit card, credit card and prepaid programs with financial institutions and vendors in North America and Latin America. Kimberly enjoys collaborating with business and technical teams to make banking accessible and improve consumer awareness and education.

Kimberly holds a M.B.A. from Arizona State University. She is a certified project management professional, a Stanford Certified Project Manager and also holds a Stanford Strategic Decision & Risk Management certificate.

She volunteers for organizations focused on youth development and women’s leadership.



Karin Kelley-Torregroza
Executive Director

Teen Success, Inc.

Karin leads a non-profit committed to the success of California’s teen mothers and their children, working to empower teen mothers to achieve their full potential in school and as parents. She oversees strategic planning, program development, finance, fundraising, and operations.

Prior to joining Teen Success, she served as executive director of Vision Action Network, focused on issues of healthcare access, economic security, education, aging and sustainability. Prior to that role, she worked on cross-sector collaborative initiatives in the Bay Area.

Karin has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Santa Clara University and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from John F. Kennedy University. She is a graduate of the Luke Center for Catalytic Leadership’s Pacific Program.


Anna Klein
Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Global Communications

The Estee Lauder Companies

Anna strengthens and accelerates the global communications strategy of Estee Lauder Companies to align with business priorities, manages issues, enables risk mitigation and identifies opportunities to advance the company and its brands. She works as a senior communications advisor to executive leadership and global functions, drives executive chairman William P. Lauder’s strategic communications, and oversees new business development communications. She was part of the team that developed the company’s first full-length corporate responsibility report, and spearheaded efforts to drive global issues management capabilities. She plays integral roles on the issues working group and the crisis leadership team.

Anna supports corporate reputation initiatives and serves on the communications and crisis committees for the Personal Care Products Council, a cosmetics industry association.



Mary McDonald
Director of State Affairs

California Independent System Operator

Mary has broad expertise in government affairs in the public and private sector at both the state and federal level. In her current role, she oversees the ISO’s relations with the state legislature and international delegations and represents the ISO at various state, business, environmental and international forums. The California ISO is a nonprofit public benefit corporation that operates the electrical grid for 80% of California and a small part of Nevada. The ISO also operates a balancing market in California and seven additional western states.

Prior to joining the company, Mary was VP of corporate communications for the California Power Exchange. She also served in three California governors’ administrations. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mass communication and a minor in political science from UC Davis.



Dr. Jamie Moore
Senior Director, Pharma Technical Development

Genentech, Inc.

Jamie leads the organization that designs, implements and supports analytical technologies and optimized dosage forms to meet the needs of research, development, and commercial operations. She joined Genentech in 2004 as an associate scientist, moving to director roles in early stage pharmaceutical development and late stage pharmaceutical development. 

Jamie is passionate about leadership, establishing a Leadership Learning Community and serving as a core team member for Genentech Women in Science and Engineering. She is also active in biotechnology industry groups, participating on conference organizing committees. She has a B.S. in chemistry and a Ph.D. in chemistry and chemical biology from the UC San Francisco.



Jennifer Persike
Deputy Executive Director

Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

Jennifer is a senior-level association executive with more than 25 years of experience in public policy and local government issues, legislative, regulatory and policy processes, organizational and project management, board relations and governance, external affairs/campaigns, marketing and branding, human resources, strategic planning, and coalition building. She leads a team of 23, overseeing the association’s member services, conferences/events, association governance, external affairs and outreach. She represents the association before numerous organizations and is a frequently requested speaker.

Before joining ACWA, Jennifer worked for the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District and for Sun-Diamond Growers of California.

Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from Chico State University. She is active in statewide and national water organizations and serves on the board of the Water Education Foundation.


Brooke Reilly
Director, Demand Response and Data Platforms
Pacific Gas & Electric Company



Angela Saverice-Rohan
Executive Director & Leader of National Advisory Data Privacy Practice

Ernst & Young (EY)/Professional Services Firm

Angela advises clients on global privacy compliance, privacy program design and operation, privacy risk management and integrated privacy and security functions and controls. Prior to consulting, Angela practiced law for 13 years, advising CIOs, CISOs and CPOs in financial services, global e-commerce, healthcare, and at a data-driven technology company. She has managed national data breach incidents, FTC and Senate investigations, as well as privacy related class action litigation.

Previously, Angela served as the general counsel and chief privacy officer for Spokeo, where she was hired to transform the company in light of public criticism and regulatory scrutiny. During her tenure, the case against Spokeo was heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the US Supreme Court, where Spokeo prevailed.

She mentors junior women to help them advance their careers.



Frances Teves
Chief of Operations, University Advancement

California State University, Fullerton

Frances is responsible for advancing strategic initiatives on behalf of the vice president for University Advancement, including the Cal State Fullerton Philanthropic Foundation Board of Governors, diversity efforts, and divisional strategic planning and assessment. Prior to this role, she served as the university’s director of state relations and advocacy.

Frances has more than 20 years of experience in both non-profit and university settings. She has advocated on behalf of women’s rights, healthcare access, and higher education in legislative and community arenas. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from CSU Fullerton and a Master of Public Policy from the Price School of Public Policy at USC. She received the Edwin Crawford Award for Innovation in 2012.



Harriett Wu
Manager, Executive Compensation

Chevron Corporation

Harriet supports the management compensation committee and the design, compliance and administration of executive compensation programs. Before her current role, she held managerial positions within Chevron’s total remuneration group, including compensation and benefits support for Chevron’s corporate functions and service groups, global benefits design and global retirement administration. Prior to joining Chevron, Harriet was a principal consultant at Mercer.

Harriet has a B.A. in international commerce from Shanghai University and a M.A. in economics from Washington University, St. Louis. She is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries.






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