"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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August 2017

Executive Director Transition at Leadership California


Pam Hemann Transitions from Executive Director
to Advisory Role in the New Year

The Leadership California Board has released the news that Pam Hemann has announced her departure from her longtime executive director role at Leadership California, and that the organization will transition to a new management team on January 1, 2018. Pam will continue with the organization in an advisory role through the first quarter of 2018. She will take on individual projects in the future that are of mutual interest to her and the organization.

Leadership California’s board and executive advisory council, comprised of more than 40 professional women and men, are working together to transition the organization seamlessly to a new executive director and management team.

“For over 19 years, Pam Hemann as executive director, has developed, organized and delivered key programs and events that have benefited over 1,600 women leaders, and a community of nearly 3,000 speakers, sponsors, advisors and supporters. We are grateful to Pam for her many contributions and tireless passion to help advance professional women,” said Diana Reyes, president of Leadership California and manager, change and communications of Chevron Corporation. 

During the coming months, CIT Alumnae and friends will have opportunities to say farewell to Pam and her staff and celebrate Pam's 26 years with the organization. Dates will be announced.

Planning and recruitment for the California Issues & Trends program (CIT) remains underway. The new leadership will be in place to welcome the Class of 2018.

The organization continues to uphold the goal of moving women from success to significance. All Leadership California programs, including CIT, the Washington D.C. program (LC to DC) and Central Valley Women’s Forum will continue to help position women leaders to influence, impact, and strengthen the future of California in innovative ways.

“As we look to our future, our strong foundation sets us on a steady course to continue to increase the representation and influence of diverse women leaders across the state,” said Reyes, “We are proud to play a role in motivating and inspiring accomplished women to reach higher aspirations and to have the knowledge, confidence, and connections to improve California’s future, our nation’s and beyond."

LC GOES TO D.C. - Women leaders from across California, including these leaders from the
Class of 2017, will meet in Washington D.C. September 24-27, 2017. Program seats are sold out. 

Delegation of 40 Women will visit D.C.

LEADERSHIP CALIFORNIA is proud to say that our LC to DC program is now at capacity! A delegation of forty women will travel to D.C. in September to join colleagues and peers from across a diverse spectrum of businesses. The 3-day program offers opportunities for California women leaders to study issues and trends of national importance, and to learn how national and international issues affect California's leaders, California's businesses—and all Californians. Activities will include a visit to the Capitol, breakfast with elected women leaders, a meeting with attorney Sarah Weddington on SCOTUS, a visit to an embassy on Embassy Row, and dinner at Mount Vernon.

IF YOU WISH TO BE ADDED TO A WAITING LIST, please contact the Leadership California office at 626-793-7834. Seats will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis.

Most Influential Women Congratulated at CIT Alumnae Mixer

Alumnae chosen as San Francisco Business Times “Most Influential Women in Business” were recognized at a happy hour mixer in San Francisco. Leaders recognized were Leadership California President Diana Reyes ('09), Linda Havard ('92), Leslie Katz ('97), and Mary Wardell-Ghirarduzzi, Ed.D. ('12).

Twenty-four women leaders took the opportunity to reconnect and network with alumnae from all years of the CIT program on June 13. Alumnae were invited to bring a colleague from another company as a complimentary guest. The evening event was held at the PG&E General Office in San Francisco.


Clare Hasler-Lewis in New CEO Role

After 13 years of successful leadership as founding executive director of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science at the University of California, Davis, Clare Hasler-Lewis Ph.D., MBA ('09) has retired to focus full time on serving as CEO of OlivinoLife, Inc., a company she co-founded with her husband. The company focuses on dietary supplements derived from foods in the Mediterranean diet: olives, grapes and tomatoes.



Fiona Ma Runs for State Treasurer

Fiona Ma (’14) has announced her candidacy for State Treasurer. She has campaigned on issues including how to amplify girls' voices using media and art, electing women representatives who will fight for pro-girl policies, and building inclusive gender justice movements. She also works to advance political and civic empowerment of the Asian Pacific American community and to end child poverty. She is a member of the advisory board for Alliance for Girls, and supports the Together We Rise summit. She has been endorsed by California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, California State Council of Laborers (LiUNA), and Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association.


Gwyneth Borden Hosts Restaurant Awards, Thanks Supporters of her Election Campaign

Gwyneth Borden (’07), Executive Director, Golden Gate Restaurant Association, hosted the first annual Saucy Awards, the restaurant-industry nominated and voted upon awards ceremony recognizing local leaders in the culinary community, including employees and restaurateurs.

She also thanked friends for their support in her run for San Francisco’s open seat on the BART Board of Directors in last November’s election. Borden, who serves on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Board of Directors, was unsuccessful in her bid for the BART seat, but she was seen as the most likely challenger to former San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who prevailed. Dufty has strong name recognition from his decades in San Francisco politics. It was Borden’s first run for elected office.


Regina Jackson Gives TED Talk

Legacy of Leadership Community Leader honoree in 2016 Regina Jackson has presented a TED talk entitled "Taking Risks to Transform," featuring a delegation she led to China in support of President Obama's 100,000 Strong initiative. Regina, the president & CEO of East Oakland Youth Development Center, has made it her mission to invest in the future of children, mentoring young people and transforming lives. She believes her organization’s biggest challenge is combating hopelessness, and that children can rise to meet and exceed expectations. Watch TED talk HERE

September 24-27, 2017
Leadership CA Goes to Washington D.C.

Apply now or refer a friend for the 2018 CIT program


November 1-3, 2017
California Issues & Trends Program
Session IV
A Thriving California through Innovation & Inspiration
San Diego


March 4-6, 2018
California Issues & Trends Program
Session I

The Political Landscape: California’s Dynamic Government


March 28, 2018
Central Valley Women's Forum


New Date!

April 29-May 1, 2018
California Issues & Trends Program
Session II
Shaping California’s Future:
Diversity & Inclusion at the Core

San Francisco

April 30, 2018

July 18-20, 2018
California Issues & Trends Program
Session III
California’s Global Business & Economy: Opportunities & Challenges
Los Angeles


November 7-9, 2018
California Issues & Trends Program
Session IV
A Thriving California through Innovation
San Diego

Alumnae, let us know your news!
Do you have an update to publish? Share your latest accomplishment with our alumnae group. Email details to carol@leadershipcalifornia.org

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Network with our Alumnae from every class year!




“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.”

—Woodrow Wilson, 28th U.S. president

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. We accept applications on a rolling basis for CIT: Click APPLY NOW on our home page.

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









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