"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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SPECIAL EDITION - October 2017

THE LEADERSHIP CALIFORNIA TEAM - Pam Hemann and the management team, from left, development director Carrie Calkins, administrative director Yvette Dominguez, executive director Pam Hemann and communications and marketing director Carol Caley.

Pam Hemann on Her Legacy at Leadership California:
A Look Back, and a Look Forward

Pam Hemann will depart from her role as executive director of Leadership California on December 31, 2017. New leadership for the organization will be announced in the coming weeks.

By Carol Caley
October 12, 2017

Pam, in your role as executive director you’ve been the face of Leadership California—really the heart and soul of Leadership California—for 26 years. Tell us about your history. How did you get started with the organization?

What I love is this: it’s really the same story as this organization’s: it’s all about networking, learning, and connecting with people.

I got married and moved to California in 1988. I didn’t know a thing about the state—other than what you read when you live on the East coast, which makes it sound like a very odd place (laughs). Simultaneously to my coming here, our founding director, Sarah Smith Orr, had also married and moved to Pasadena. Her life’s work was in the nonprofit arena. My work was in the association arena in Washington D.C. We both immediately got ourselves overcommitted in community work, and that’s where we got acquainted. We found out our husbands knew each other, and we became friends. She was very involved as one of the founders of Leadership California, and she was recruiting me into the first California Issues & Trends (CIT) class.

Who would think that you started out as a would-be class member?

Yes, Sarah was trying to recruit me into the Class of 1992. Then, as the founders were working on the launch of the inaugural program, they realized they needed help managing it.

It dawned on them that you had the expertise to lead rather than participate?

Sarah had been named the founding executive director. There was a very active board of 12 people. They came to me and said, we know you have a management company, and what we really need is your expertise in running the logistics and administrative parts of the program. So I came on to do that, and work with program committees.

So the new program got off the ground.

My company, Association Management Services (AMS), was founded in 1988. I was looking to grow my business, and they were looking to grow LC, so it was serendipitous.

My company grew along with LC. I spent 11 years working with associations in D.C., and my last position was as VP of education for the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. That background allowed me to continue to build my skills, and gave me the flexibility to expand my business and also help LC grow.

It’s been a wonderful 26-year ride for me personally, for my company, and certainly also for LC, a great growth curve. READ MORE

Transition Plans Underway for Management Team Selection

LEADERSHIP CALIFORNIA's management transition team has announced a strong response to its request for proposal (RFP) last month. The transition team, chaired by LC Secretary Danell Scarborough, is tasked with selecting a new management company to replace Association Management Services (AMS), which currently manages Leadership California. A new executive director and management team will take over after December 31, 2017. Pam Hemann will transition to an advisory role in 2018 and looks forward to being an active volunteer with the organization.

Reserve your seat for Nov. 3 celebration in San Diego!


November 3 luncheon in San Diego is first of many recognition celebrations honoring Pam Hemann and her staff

Pam's Recognition Luncheon, San Diego
November 3, 2017 12 noon-1:30 p.m.

San Diego Central Library, Shiley Special Events Suite
330 Park Blvd., San Diego

AN OUTPOURING OF GOODWILL and support for Pam Hemann is gathering as she prepares to transition from her executive director role at Leadership California to an advisory role at the beginning of 2018. Register now for this big celebration, as this event is sure to sell out!

A luncheon in San Diego on November 3, during the Class of 2017's final CIT session, kicks off events across the state honoring the outgoing leader that will stretch into 2018. Click REGISTER NOW to find out details.

Leadership California alumnae, friends and supporters will have opportunities to say farewell to Pam and her staff and celebrate Pam's 26 years with the organization. Dates will be announced for more celebrations in 2018 across the state. Watch your email for formal announcements of future celebrations.


Lisa Massarweh Receives DNP, Promotion

Lisa J. Massarweh (’17), DNP, RN, PHN, NEA-BC, CPHQ, CCRN-K has successfully completed her doctoral studies at University of San Francisco, earning her doctor of nursing practice with a focus on executive leadership. She has also received a promotion to executive director, PCS Performance & Workforce Strategy at Kaiser Permanente Patient Care Services, Northern California. In her new role, she leads finance and staffing projects across 21 medical centers, ensuring consistency of strategic decision support and maximizing workforce efficiency and effectiveness. Lisa was formerly the director of financial performance and staffing operations. She recently co-authored an article published in Nursing Economic$ on technology to facilitate nurse-to-patient staffing ratios.

Apply today or nominate an amazing
woman leader for CIT 2018

Download 2018 program overview


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


Welcome Class of 2018!

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


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

San Francisco

Monday, 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


September 22-25, 2019
Leadership CA Goes to Washington D.C.

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!




LEADERSHIP CALIFORNIA is a network of diverse, accomplished women leaders who are engaged in shaping the future of California. We accept applications on a rolling basis for the yearlong California Issues & Trends program:  APPLY NOW on our home page.

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