Impact, Connection and Leadership
“30 years in, Southern California Leadership Network holds a unique position, bringing together people across sectors, demographics, political perspectives, and geographic boundaries to address the challenges faced by our region and state. There are countless stories of good that simply would not have happened if not for connections made and lessons learned during an SCLN fellowship,” writes Nancy Olson, VP of the Chamber’s Center for Leadership.
To mark the 30th anniversary of the Southern California Leadership Network (SCLN), which works to create a more dynamic and prosperous region and state led by informed, collaborative, inspired, diverse and capable leaders, SCLN will honor 30 outstanding alumni throughout 2017, culminating in honoring all 30 of them at the "Visionaries Awards" on November 30, 2017, at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.
SCLN alumni are those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding community service and completed one or more of the following fellowships: Leadership L.A., Leadership Southern California, California Connections and/or the Riordan Leadership Institute.
Join them as they honor 30 of SCLN’s outstanding alumni from across the years, who work hard every day to make a difference, inspired by what they learned during their SCLN journey. Find out more about these 30 leaders who impact our region, our state and our nation!
SCLN is a partnership with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. To learn more about the Southern California Leadership Network, visit www.leadershipnetwork.org.
SCLN 30-in 30 Honorees
April 14, 2017 - Hyepin Im
Hyepin Im is one of SCLN’s 30-in-30. A graduate of Leadership Southern California class of 1997, she is the Founder and President of Korean Churches for Community Development (KCCD). Hyepin is a U.S. Presidential Appointee, serves on multiple boards, and inspires leaders from the faith community, nonprofits, government and business to address some of society’s most challenging issues. To read more about Hyepin Im's personal leadership journey, click here.
April 21, 2017 – Donella Wilson
Donella Wilson has shown that being a true community leader is more than just a title. She is an audit partner at Green Hasson Janks, leading the firm’s nonprofit practice. However her leadership responsibilities do not end there. She also serves as the Board President of the Downtown Women’s Center, a nonprofit organization committed to ending homelessness for women. For Donella, “Leadership is about engaging and empowering others to achieve their full potential as they work towards a shared goal.” To read more about Donella Wilson’s personal leadership journey, click here.
April 28, 2017 – Darin Chidsey
Darin a SCLN board member and dual alum, Leadership Southern California ’08 and California Connections ’12, is the Chief Operating Officer for the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). SCAG is the nation’s largest Metropolitan Planning organization, representing over 18 million people, 191 cities, 6 counties and 6 county transportation commissions. His role and organization exemplifies the complexities of California and the importance balancing the interests of multiple stakeholders through skills such as cross sector collaborations and strategic partnerships. To read more about Darin Chidsey’ s personal leadership journey, click here.
May 5, 2017 – Rachelle Arizmendi
Rachelle is a graduate of Leadership Southern California class of 2012, and serves as both Mayor of Sierra Madre and Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment. As the first woman of color to be elected to the Sierra Madre City Council, she is being recognized in May in honor of Asian Pacific Heritage Month. Rachelle, an active member of the community, has served on many boards including California League of Cities; Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council; and the Foothill Workforce Development Policy Board. She also firmly believes in the importance of professional development participating in fellowships such as the Asian Pacific Institute for Congressional Studies; the Asian Pacific Capitol Academy through the California API legislative Caucus; and Harvard Kennedy School of Executive Education: NeighborWork’s Achieving Excellence. To read more about Rachelle Arizmendi’s personal leadership journey, click here.
May 5, 2017 – Shawn Landres
Connecting people, ideas, and resources, California Connections 2016 alumnus Shawn Landres, PhD, has earned international recognition for his leadership in social innovation. He currently chairs the Los Angeles County Quality and Productivity Commission and the City of Santa Monica Social Services Commission. As co-founder of Jumpstart Labs, which advances research and innovation in philanthropy, interreligious engagement, and community building, Shawn has been featured as a White House “spotlight innovator” and his work has been covered in major national and international media.
May 19, 2017 – Albert Hernandez
Join us as we honor Albert Hernandez, Executive Director of Verdugo Family Services, as one of Southern California Leadership Network’s 30-in-30, a campaign to celebrate SCLN’s 30th anniversary by honoring 30 outstanding alumni throughout 2017.
Albert Hernandez grew up in a single parent household with 11 brothers and sisters. He went to an alternative high school so that he could work and support his family. Through that experience, Albert was able to see what he wanted to dedicate his life’s work to: serving others. For nearly 16 years Albert has been a true leader in the social services sector. Albert describes his SCLN experience, “With all the information that I learned I was able to build partnerships with business owners and other nonprofits to help better our communities.” To read more about Albert Hernandez’s personal leadership journey, click here.
To read more about Shawn Landres’ personal leadership journey, click here.
May 26, 2017 – Mayor James Butts
Join us as we honor Inglewood Mayor James Butts as one of Southern California Leadership Network’s 30-in-30, a campaign to celebrate SCLN’s 30th anniversary by honoring 30 outstanding alumni throughout 2017.
Mayor James Butts, a graduate of Leadership L.A. ’01, has 45 years of public service experience including 19 years in the Inglewood Police Department rising to the rank of Deputy Chief and 15 years as the Chief of Police for the City of Santa Monica. He was elected Jan. 11, 2011 as the City of Inglewood 12th mayor. In less than five years, his strategic vision and operational expertise prevented impending bankruptcy. To learn more about Mayor Butts’ personal leadership journey, click here.
June 2, 2017 – Controller Ron Galperin
Join us as we honor Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin as one of Southern California Leadership Network’s 30-in-30, a campaign to celebrate SCLN’s 30th anniversary by honoring 30 outstanding alumni throughout 2017.
Controller Ron Galperin, a graduate of Leadership Southern California ’07, currently serves as Controller of the City of Los Angeles – working as the watchdog for L.A.’s taxpayers. As controller, Galperin launched ControlPanel.LA, the city’s first open data portal – featuring the city’s checkbook, details on the goods and services the city buys, assets and liabilities, employee compensation, operating indicators and much more. Because of these efforts, L.A. was named the No. 1 digital city according to the U.S. City Open Data Census. Controller Galperin is being recognized in the month of June to align with LGBT Heritage Month, a month-long observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, civil rights and advocacy. To learn more about Controller Galperin’s role and personal leadership journey, click here.
June 9, 2017 – Javier Angulo
Javier, a SCLN board member and alum of California Connections ’15, is the Director, Public Affairs and State & Local Government Relations for Walmart. Javier was raised to know the value of hard work, problem solving and independence which eventually motivated him to assume leadership roles that sought to improve the educational, economic and health outcomes of minority and disadvantaged communities . Through Walmart, Javier is able to apply his leadership ability to bring about positive change here in Los Angeles and across the U.S. by partnering with community members and leaders to bring opportunities to communities. To read more about Javier Angulo’s personal leadership journey, click here.
June 16, 2017 – Nancy McPherson
Nancy, an alum of Leadership Southern California ’16, is the State Director for AARP. Two years ago Nancy was enticed to move back to her home state as the interim state director for AARP, and the challenge became inspiration. She was responsible for creating a new vision for AARP’s work, new relationships with state leaders, and burgeoning work in local communities - skills that are honed in Leadership Southern California’s leadership curriculum focused on leading collaboration and build strategic partnerships. Read more about Nancy McPherson’s leadership journey.
June 23, 2017 – Amy Grat
Amy Grat as one of Southern California Leadership Network's 30-in-30, a campaign to celebrate SCLN's 30th anniversary by honoring 30 outstanding SCLN alumni throughout 2017. Amy is an alum of Leadership L.A. ’06, is the Chief Executive Officer of International Trade Education Programs, Inc. (ITEP). Amy learned through Leadership L.A. that her “network is her net worth.” During the program, fellows regularly shared insights from their respective roles and industries. Since her fellowship experience, Amy has directly engaged classmates with her work at ITEP including, a classmate who sits on their board of directors, a classmate who volunteers on their industry advisory board and promotes careers to their youth, and a classmate who is not a corporate sponsor. Learn more about Amy Grat’s leadership journey.
June 30, 2017 – David Eads
David Eads, an alum of Leadership Southern California 2008, is the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director or the Tournament of Roses and former COO of the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce. Eads shared some valuable words on what it means to be a leader, “To me, leadership means creating a vision. It’s bringing people along, inspiring them to follow that mission, it’s putting a plan in place to implement that vision. And then it’s making sure you deliver.” Watch David Eads’ video to learn more about his path to leadership.
July 7, 2017 – Chief Phillip Sanchez
Join us as we honor Pasadena Chief of Police Phillip Sanchez as one of Southern California Leadership Network’s 30-in-30, a campaign to celebrate SCLN’s 30th anniversary by honoring 30 outstanding alumni throughout 2017.
This week’s SCLN 30-in-30 honoree is no stranger to being recognized for his exceptional leadership skills. Chief Sanchez has been honored by United States Congressman Adam Schiff, California State Senator Carol Liu, California Assembly Member Anthony Portantio, and Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich. Chief Sanchez’ commitment to his community and to Southern California is truly inspirational! Watch his video to learn about his leadership and the impact of his SCLN experience.
July 14, 2017 – Sydney Kamlager Dove
Love and Leadership. Join us as we honor Sydney Kamlager Dove as one of Southern California Leadership Network’s 30-in-30, a campaign to celebrate SCLN’s 30th anniversary by honoring 30 outstanding alumni throughout 2017.
This week’s SCLN 30-in-30 honoree has probably the most romantic leadership story around. Sydney Kamlager Dove met her husband when they were both in SCLN’s California Connections fellowship, while on the bus in the Central Valley. Sydney, a dual alum of Leadership L.A. 2012 and California Connections 2013, serves on the Board of Trustees for the Los Angeles Community College District. In this role, she represents the post-secondary interests of students, faculty, staff, administrators and taxpayers and works to advance efforts to improve L.A.’s nine campus community college system. Watch her video to learn about her leadership journey and finding love in the Central Valley.
July 28, 2017 – David Porges
“Are leaders born, made or self-made?” Peter Drucker, Austrian born management consultant, educator and author, liked to ask this question. SCLN’s 30-in-30 honoree David Porges, Director of Corporate Responsibility for Grant Thornton, used this question to reflect on his last 30 years in business and his journey as a leader. Read his post to learn about his insights over the last 30 years and what SCLN contributed to his experiences.
August 4, 2017 - Brissa Sotelo-Vargas
This week's 30-in-honoree is a wonderful partner to SCLN. Brissa Sotelo-Vargas is the Manager, Public and Government Affairs for Andeavor Corporation, LLC. A dual alum of Leadership Southern California and California Connections, Brissa stays active and engaged by participating in alumni programing and speaking to current fellows. Brissa was also recently recognized by Hispanic Lifestyle Magazine for the Latina of Influence award.
August 11, 2017 - Scott Witter
This week's 30-in-30 honoree is Scott Witter, Leadership L.A. ‘95, Executive Vice President of personal and business banking for City National Bank. Taking advantage of opportunities that truly test leadership skills, Scott’s lasting experience with Leadership L.A. 20 years ago, allowed him to learn about the community of Los Angeles, big city infrastructure and politics while broadening his network. These insights exposed, allowed Scott to better understand his role and the role of City National Bank in the future of Los Angeles.
August 25, 2017 – Sheriff Jim McDonnell
This week's 30-in-30 honoree is a long-time supporter of SCLN’s work. Jim McDonnell, Sheriff of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is a graduate of Leadership L.A. and standing SCLN board member. Sheriff McDonnell, a firm believer in the power of collaborative leadership, recognizes the consistent need to build working relationships with vested stakeholders. This leadership philosophy has only strengthened throughout his career and 36 years in law enforcement. Click here to hear first-hand about Sheriff McDonnell’s leadership style and his experience with SCLN.
September 1, 2017 – Yesenia Vallejo Monsour
This week's 30-in-30 honoree is Yesenia Vallejo Monsour, Leadership Southern California 2016, a first-generation Mexican-American and accomplished community leader. In her current role as director of Public Affairs and Brand Communications for Kaiser Permanente, Monsour is able to work in the community, aligning mission driven organizations with communities. Click here to learn about Yesenia's leadership style and her experience with SCLN.
September 8, 2017 – Karen Baker
In recognition of Disaster Preparedness Month, this week's 30-in-30 honoree is Karen Baker, Leadership Southern California '91. Karen is the dynamic leader of CaliforniaVolunteers, the State Service Commission housed in the Governor’s Office, charged with administering the nation’s largest state AmeriCorps portfolio. In addition, CaliforniaVolunteers serves as the lead agency for disaster volunteering and donations management, and promotes volunteering and service across California. Click here to learn about Karen's engaging leadership style and her experience with SCLN.
September 15, 2017 - Ricardo Lara
It is with great #pride that we announce our week 21 30-in-30 honoree, Ricardo Lara, State Senator, District 33 and graduate of leadership L.A. 2007. Senator Lara made history in 2012 by becoming the first openly gay person of color elected to the California Senate. He advocates on behalf of his constituents on education, clean air, healthcare and American values. Learn more about Ricardo Lara.
September 22, 2017 - Abbe Land
This week’s honoree is a nationally recognized healthcare professional and activist. Abbe Land, former Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project, has an impressive history of ensuring care to underrepresented populations and advocating for youth in the LGBTQ community. A graduate of Leadership Southern California 1995, Abbe has a wealth of public policy knowledge and has served as City Councilmember and Mayor for the City of West Hollywood. Watch the video Abbe provided to learn more about her leadership journey.
September 29, 2017 - Pete Aguilar
This week’s 30-in-30 honoree is U.S. Representative Pete Aguilar. Representative Aguilar, an alum of Leadership Southern California 2005, was re-elected in 2016 to represent the 31st Congressional District of California and serves on the House Appropriations Committee. Representative Aguilar is a voice for middle-class families throughout the Inland Empire. Read his story to learn more about his leadership style and experience with SCLN.
October 6, 2017 - Vince Wong
For this week’s 30-in-30 honoree, we would like to congratulate Vince Wong, graduate of Leadership L.A. 2014 and Director of Policy and Civic Engagement for Michelson Found Animals Foundation. October 4th is World Animal Day and we are proud to have Vince as an alumni and champion who advocates for policy and social change for a vulnerable and voiceless population. Learn more about Vince’s leadership and other philanthropic endeavors.
October 13, 2017 - Andy Carrasco
For this week’s 30-in-30 honoree, we would like to congratulate Andy Carrasco, graduate of Leadership L.A. 2009 and Director of Regional Public Affairs for SoCalGas. Andy’s leadership journey began in high school. Born and raised in East Los Angeles, he is a proud product of LAUSD’s Garfield High School. I was a student of the legendary Calculus teacher Jaime Escalante, featured in the film “Stand and Deliver” who dedicated his career to changing lives and inspiring many. Learn more about Andy’s experience with this legendary leader and his journey since high school.
October 20, 2017 - Juan Devis
Congratulations Juan Devis, graduate of Leadership L.A. 2012 and Chief Creative Officer for KCET as this week’s 30-in-30 honoree, a campaign to celebrate SCLN’s 30th anniversary. Juan is an engaged alumni, regularly lending his time and expertise to attend seminars, speak to fellows and make meaningful connections. SCLN caught up with Juan to learn more about his leadership style and work in the creative community. Click here to learn more.
October 27, 2017 - Danielle Brazell
“Creativity is uniquely human. It is a vehicle for unlocking human potential, and it cultivates leaders who contribute their time, talent and energy back into making our communities vibrant and resilient.” Danielle Brazell is this week’s 30-in-30 honoree, an alumni of Leadership L.A. class of 2010, and was a scholarship recipient funded by The Boeing. Read more about Danielle’s story and the intersection of arts, civic life and community.
Check back each week for the reveal of the next SCLN 30-in-30 honoree!