The Annual Young Women's

Career Conference is an important

way in which the GALA community recognizes and celebrates

International Women's Day.


YWCC gives our students the opportunity to interact with, learn from and be inspired by women currently leading and working in STEM Careers.

2020 Guest Speakers 

YOUNG Women's Career Conference

Wife and Mother of Two, BA and MA – Columbia University. PhD – UCLA , FIFA World Cup Veteran African Cup of Nations Silver Medalist . Former Fashion Model – Wilhelmina , TEDx Speaker , Professor – UCLA, LMU, Occidental  Author , Player Development Consultant – Philippines Women’s National Water Polo Team  Mimi is passionate about integrating science and philosophy to teach and promote social justice. She pulls from her diverse personal and professional experiences as a world class athlete, an Ivy League-trained researcher, a fashion model, and a working mother to deliver inspiring, but relatable presentations about empowerment, identity, and leadership. For many years, Mimi has been involved in women’s empowerment research and scholarship. She has taught several courses that include empowerment components as an adjunct faculty member at UCLA, LMU, and Occidental College.

Keynote Speaker

Dr Mimi Nartey

Founder & CEO, Race Class & Parenting

Gina T. Minchella, PT, DPT, OCS, received a doctor of physical therapy degree from the University of Southern California in 2004, and is a board-certified clinical specialist in orthopedic physical therapy.  Gina is also certified in Pilates, dry needling, and is an APTA certified clinical instructor.  She has treated a wide variety of patients, from children to seniors, and has worked most often with professional athletes and performing artists. In 2015, she started her own niche practice to provide on-set physical therapy to the cast and crew of TV and film. When she’s not on the set of Dancing with the Stars, Gina tours with on productions throughout the country, treats professional athletes at their training centers, and works with her patients in her private practice in Hermosa Beach.

Dr Gina Minchella

Physical Therapist

Dulari Amin is co-founder of Synergy Ventures, an evergreen venture-fund and business strategy think-tank. She invests in and is an advisor to early stage and growth companies. Her focus is ‘better-for-you” consumer brands and disruptive technologies.  She has invested in over a dozen companies with valuations from $10M to $800M. Previously, Dulari was co-founder and president of Phenomenon, a brand strategy and creative agency. From 2006-2017, Dulari boot-strapped the company from ground up to over 120 employees and ~$100M in fee revenue. Her clients included some of the most recognized brands in the world. During her 10-year leadership, the agency won several awards—The Webby, Clio, and Cannes Lion. The company was featured in Ad Week’s Agency 3.0 list, in Inc. 500, and recognized as LA’s Top 100 Digital Companies. Dulari started her career at Dentsu working in the network's high-growth agencies in NYC and New Delhi.  Dulari was featured in Advertising Age’s under 30.

Dulari Amin

Co-Founder Synergy Ventures

June Bardwil started her career as the youngest and only female West Coast salesperson at a Fortune 500 data storage company.  In her first year of sales, June closed the single largest order in the history of the company and she never looked back.  Her unwavering focus on maintaining high standards, a rigorous work ethic and building relationships with like-minded people has resulted in a 35+ year career in Information Technology where she has held management and executive level positions with national consulting firms as well as Fortune 500 technology companies.  June is an owner at PlanNet Consulting, a technology consulting firm specializing in technology design for buildings, workplaces, schools and healthcare facilities.  She is primarily responsible for developing and maintaining client relationships and is actively involved in many high-profile projects.

June Bardwil

PlanNet Consulting

As seen in Newsweek, Los Angeles Times, Teen Vogue and more, at the age of 25, Tara Campbell became the Mayor of her hometown of Yorba Linda, CA making her the youngest female Mayor in California history. She was first elected to the City Council three years ago at age 23. The native Yorba Lindan credits her position to the elected women who came before. She remembers being captivated by her U.S. history teacher’s lecture at Rosary Academy about the sacrifices American women endured to earn the vote.  While attending USC, she intended to pursue a career in sports journalism. One summer, she interned in Washington, D.C. for the nonpartisan political group No Labels, which aims to end partisan discord. She then graduated from the University of Southern California with a Masters in Public Administration, a Certificate of Public Policy, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Broadcast & Digital Journalism. She is bringing her education back to her hometown.

Tara Campbell

Mayor of Lorba Linda

Seema is an experienced leader in the Supply Chain Operations area-- if selling lemonade, supply chain is all about obtaining the right lemons, sugar, and water, making the lemonade, setting up street-corner stands, cups, and cashbox, to sell it to customers.  She started at HP (Hewlett-Packard), optimizing its massive supply chain for laptops and printers, then joined Tesla to help scale up operations for the popular Model 3.  Most recently, she served as Head of Supply Chain at Bird, deploying electric scooters to advance environmentally-friendly transportation.  Over the course of these experiences, Seema has become a sincere believer in leading yourself outside your comfort zone, for greater challenge, growth, confidence, and achievement.  Seema has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Industrial Engineering, from Stanford University.  She has two grade school daughters, and loves to travel and engage in outdoor activities (from snorkeling to skiing!) with her family.

Seema Gupta

Supply Chain Operations Leader

After growing up on the East Coast and venturing over to the West Coast for a Masters degree, I worked as a Structural Engineer in Los Angeles for four years. As a Structural Engineer, I worked on the design of hospitals and schools, and performed construction site visits to make sure construction teams complied with our designs.  Following that, I decided to pursue law school and have since worked in intellectual property litigation, specifically patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret law.  I worked at a large law firm for three years, where I litigated intellectual property lawsuits.  Now, I work at a federal courthouse as a judicial law clerk, where I assist a federal judge in handling his docket.

Yung Moon

Attorney, Central District of California

Diondraya Taylor is a senior at UCLA studying both psychobiology and entrepreneurship.  She works in the accelerator program, Startup UCLA, that gives budding entrepreneurs the space and resources to scale. She has served in integral roles with startup company BellaNovè and non-profit The Princess Project Los Angeles. She has also been a mentor for young women like herself and younger through her volunteerism with CA Miss Amazing, Love Volunteers, Women Founders Foundation, and Girl Scouts. As she fell in love with the startup space, she recognized entrepreneurship as an amazing tool to encourage innovation, goal setting, and boldness in girls at a time where gender inequity is still a reality.

Diondraya Taylor

Entrepreneur, UCLA Senior

Duan Peng is VP of Data Science at The Walt Disney Company, where she leads the development and deployment of machine learning algorithms and systems, AI applications and products for Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer and International Technology. Prior to Disney, Duan has held various leadership roles to build and grow advanced analytics practices and data science teams to drive impact and innovation across media, technology, financial services, and auto industries. She obtained her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Miami.

Duan Peng

VP Data Science Walt Disney Co

Hi everyone! My name is Yasmine Choroomi, and I’m currently a fourth year studying Biology and Spanish as an undergraduate at UCLA. I’m currently a pre-medical student and applying to medical schools for the upcoming year. In the past four years, I’ve spent my time volunteering for the Language Services Department at the Ronald Reagan Medical Center, conducting research on the effects of electronic cigarettes, and running an organization that focuses on mentoring high schoolers in Southern California. In my free time, I mostly play basketball, work as a camp counselor, and take care of my two dogs!

Yasmine Choroomi

Undergraduate - Senior UCLA

Monica Carlos Tellalian is a program manager of Neighborhood Improvement Projects with the Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative.  A part of the LANI team since 2002, Monica has almost 20 years of experience in community and economic development, with expertise in both the public and nonprofit sectors.  She created and implemented LANI’s Inaugural Community Forum and the LANI Maintenance Matching Fund Program.  Monica works hands-on with community members helping them to identify and prioritize improvements and she has overseen planning and construction projects.  Monica has a BA in Sociology and an MA in Urban Planning, both from UCLA.   She is a proud graduate of an all-girls high school.

Monica Carlos Tellalian

Prj Manager LA Neighborhood Initiative

Chrystal Ferber is an attorney and an Associate in Lewitt Hackman’s Employment Practice Group.  Chrystal earned her Juris Doctor in 2018 from UCLA School of Law. While in law school, she served as an extern for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she worked with an Administrative Law Judge on employment law cases.  She also worked as a judicial extern at the Los Angeles Superior Court and as a law clerk for law firms in the Los Angeles area. While working on her JD, Chrystal served as an editor for UCLA’s Journal of Environmental Law and Policy and as a Writing Advisor to first-year students. She graduated magna cum laude from California State University, Fullerton earning her undergraduate degrees in both Political Science and Women’s Studies. Chrystal took three years off from school to work as an AmeriCorps volunteer and as an undercover investigator for a national animal advocacy organization.

Chrystal Ferber

Employment Attorney, Lewitt Hackman

Jane Chung is the general manager of animation at Riot Games. During her 9 years at Riot, she helped launch League of Legends (#1 PC game in the world) in over 8 markets. Most recently, she built the foundations of Riot's animation division and produced its inaugural animated series, Riot Games Arcane. Jane has over 12 years of experience in the interactive entertainment industry. Prior to that, Jane started her career in private equity. She received her Bachelor's degree at Wharton and earned a Masters in game design from The Guildhall program of Southern Methodist University.

Jane Chung

General Manager Animation - Riot Games

Rosanne Sachson is an architectural interior designer and an ambassador with the NASA Solar System Ambassadors Program.  Rosanne has a passion for space exploration and, as an architectural interior designer, the two passions go hand in hand.  Because she traveled the world over the years, her practice has included many exciting and diverse design projects with form and function always at the forefront.  Rosanne received a commission to create the architectural and interior design for JPL's innovative Flight System Testbed building and the first Project Design Center.  Roseanne was responsible for architectural and interior design, customized furnishings, millwork, and overseeing all phases of construction. Her background is from the Arts field and as a STEAM’er and presenter, Rosanne speaks on a number of topics, including her nine-month projects at a NASA facility, interviewing others with a passion, and firsthand knowledge about where space exploration is going in the future as well

Rosanne Sachson

Architectural Interior Designer, NASA

Laurie Cousins is a trauma-informed nonviolent parent educator and mindfulness teacher with extensive training through the mindful centers of UCLA & UCSD. She is a lead teacher for Susan Kaiser Greenland’s Inner Kids program and teaches throughout Los Angeles. Laurie is on the clinical team at Hope Integrative Psychiatry in Sherman Oaks and has a private practice specializing in helping kids, parents, and families reduce stress, cultivate connection, and build resiliency.

Laurie Cousins

Mindfulness Teacher, UCLA 

Judge Deborah Chuang Servino earned her Bachelor of Arts degree and graduated with honors from Duke University. She graduated from U.C. Berkeley School of Law. After law school, she worked as a law clerk for Judge Melvin Brunetti of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. After her clerkship, she worked as an associate in the business litigation section of Rutan & Tucker, LLP. In 1997, she began her career as a prosecutor in the California Attorney General’s Office, handling complex cases of nationwide and statewide importance. In 2007, she was honored with the California Attorney General’s Award for Sustained Superior Accomplishment.  In 2009, Judge Servino was appointed to the bench by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. She was the first Taiwanese American appointed to the Orange County Superior Court. She currently serves on the Unlimited Civil Panel. She has served on the Juvenile Panel, Family Law Panel, North Justice Center Panel, and Appellate Division.

Deborah Servino

Judge - Orange County Superior Court

Susan Bell is a web producer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  She manages technical media projects through development, production and post-production.  Her specialties include: social media content and marketing campaigns; web, interactive and print product design; film, video, animation, digital production; script and copy writing/editing; and transmedia and digital interactive storytelling, including alternate reality gaming.  Susan is also a commercial, instrument-rated ASEL and glider pilot who flies competition aerobatics in an Extra 300 aircraft. Susan is a graduate of Baylor University.  Susan is looking forward to seeing GALA’s flight simulators!

Susan Bell

Web Producer, NASA's JPL

Siannah Collado Boutté was born and raised in San Pedro, California to Panamanian  immigrant parents. She lived in Panama from 7th grade through high school. She graduated as Valedictorian and Class Vice President and moved back to California. She graduated from USC with a BA in International Relations with honors. After graduating, Siannah took a year off to figure out if she wanted to teach or go to law school.  Siannah decided on law and started at Southwestern University in the fall of 2004. During and after law school she worked at the Law Offices of William Beverly in Torrance where she was law clerk and then a litigation associate.  Siannah comes to us from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office – Compton Branch where she was a senior trial deputy assigned to murders and complex gang cases. Prior to that Siannah did her juvenile rotation in Long Beach.

Siannah Collado Boutte

Trial Attorney The Simon Law Group

Dr. Krisena Borenstein is a board-certified orthodontic specialist. She attended dental school at Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Then she completed a three-year residency in orthodontics at UCLA, where she earned a master’s degree in oral biology, as well as her certificate to practice as an orthodontic specialist for children and adults. She also holds a part-time faculty position at the UCLA School of Dentistry in the Orthodontic Department. Dr. Borenstein is also a member of the St. John’s Cleft Lip and Palate Team where she volunteers her time to help children with various craniofacial needs. Dr. Borenstein is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, a member of the American Association of Orthodontics, the Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontics, and the Academy of Orthodontic Excellence, as well as other orthodontic study clubs.

Dr Krisena Borenstein


For over 20 years I have run a small business management firm.  At the firm we not only help clients with all of their daily financial needs, but we work with clients to understand their relationship with money, money patterns and how they were created, and tools to help our clients become more mindful about their spending so their money can bring them maximum joy.  I am passionate about educating men and women about financial choices they will be faced with  at every stage in their life and how to prioritize savings, spending, investing, and how to  create a realistic financial plan that they can stick to.  I want to take the shame and confusion out of money conversations and make sure young people feel empowered before they make any financial decisions.

Carrie Casden

Owner Summit Financial Management

Award winning entrepreneur. Invented The Copenhagen Wheel, a TIME Magazine Best Invention. Formerly Chief Product Officer at Veritas Prep. Built the adaptive study app ORION. Named Top 36 Most Creative Women (Business Insider) and Top 100 IoT thinker.

Christine Outram

Chief Executive Officer, Everydae

After graduating from Cornell University, Nina Golden received her Masters degree in Deaf Studies from California State University, Northridge, followed by a law degree from the University of San Diego.  Fortunate enough to be offered a class to teach at CSUN a couple of years later, Nina fell in love with teaching and has been doing so full-time in the Department of Business Law since 1987.  Now a full professor, in addition to her teaching, committee, and research obligations, Nina oversees the peer-to-peer BLAW tutoring program, and also runs a program at her synagogue that engages 6th - 12th graders in reading torah and participating in services.

Nina Golden

Business Law Professor CSUN

Dr. Leslie Klein was born to deaf parents and raised in LA. She attended UC Berkeley and received a BA in Biophysics. She attended medical school in Pomona to become an osteopathic physician. Leslie spent 2 years, and many summers, traveling around the world, spending lots of time with indigenous cultures from Kenya and Malawi, Africa, to islands off of Sumatra, in Borneo, Indonesia, to Latin America and more.  Leslie currently works as a Family Practice Physician, primarily in East LA.  She created a food forest at home with over 28 fruiting trees and lots of milkweed for monarch butterflies. She teaches composting and gardening.  She has a deep interest in oceanography and was privileged to swim with humpback whales 4 times.

Leslie Klein

Doctor and Environmentalist

Donna Branchevsky works at The Aerospace Corporation as an electrical engineer.  Donna works on a variety of projects involving software defined radios and applications of machine learning/artificial intelligence to communications.  She is also getting her Masters degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at UCLA, and will be graduating in March.

Donna Branchevsky

Engineer - Aerospace Corp

Sophie Pierce graduated from Ithaca College in New York with a degree in drama and minors in Dance and Sociology.  In 2007, she opened Sophie Dance, her childhood dream come true.  Sophie Dance on Third Street now hosts seven hundred weekly dancers (including GALA students) and Sophie Dance in Atwater Village is home to over four hundred weekly dancers.  She prides herself on running dance studios that allow children to express themselves through the use of music and movement in a nurturing and mindful environment.     In addition to being a dance teacher and a mommy to three daughters, Sophie is an active member in the Los Angeles Community and focuses on giving back to local families in need as much as possible. She is a member of the Alliance of Moms, a supporter of The Alliance for Children’s Rights, and Chrysalis, an organization dedicated to transitioning low income and homeless individuals back into the workplace.

Sophie Pierce

Owner, Sophie Dance

Jessica Iwamoto is an electrical engineer at The Aerospace Corporation. She graduated from Harvey Mudd College in 2016 with a BS in Engineering and received her MS in Electrical Engineering from UCLA. She has been working on digital communications systems, such as designing GPS receivers and satellite communication systems, at Aerospace for the past 3 years.

Jessica Lwamoto

Engineer - Aerospace Corp

Kim Yu is currently the Hazardous Materials Specialist for the City of Pasadena, Fire Department.  She has been with Pasadena Fire Department for over 12 years, serving 11 years as Hazardous Materials Inspector, and almost 2 years in the role of Hazardous Materials Specialist. She is responsible for overseeing the Hazardous Materials Section, which is responsible for ensuring that Pasadena business and property owners adhere to environmental and safety regulations, particularly those that store or utilize hazardous materials and have underground storage tanks.  She also responds to hazardous materials incidents to assist with on-scene operations and regulates all professional pyrotechnics and special effects in Pasadena.  Prior to coming to the City, Kim worked at the Los Angeles County of Public Works as an Environmental Inspector. She also worked at UCLA managing the day-to-day operations of all instructional chemistry labs.

Kim Yu

Haz Mat Specialist - Pasadena Center

Alexandria is a Registered Nurse in Orange County, CA. She is from Portland, OR, and moved to southern California to pursue a career in nursing. In 2017, she obtained her Master of Science in Nursing from Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science. In 2012, she earned her MBA from University of Phoenix. She received an Under 40 Award from the National Black Nurses Association in 2018, an award given to young nurse leaders acting as change agents in their community. She is currently enrolled in the Nursing PhD program at University of California, Irvine, and is a Eugene Cota Robles Fellow. Prior to becoming a nurse, Alexandria earned her Bachelors in Human Development and Family Studies, and worked as a preschool teacher.

Alexandria Jones-Patten

Registered Nurse

Sharlane Bailey, Director of Facilities with Foothill Transit, has a passion to build. As such, she is responsible for managing all the capital construction projects, facility rehabilitation projects, as well as ensuring the physical assets for the agency are maintained in a state of good repair. Sharlane is also co-chair of the Transportation You Committee with WTS-Los Angeles and a recent graduate of Leadership APTA (American Public Transportation Association) Class of 2018.  Sharlane earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Bradley University, and Master of Science in Construction Management from Arizona State University. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Her hobby is running, enjoys to travel with her family and in 2020 her other goal is to complete three full marathons

Sharlane Bailey

Director of Facilities - Foothill Transit

Stephanie Prevo is currently the Senior Project Manager/Scrum Master at Fox Television Stations with the Digital group in Los Angeles, working out of the KTTV Los Angeles office.  Stephanie is responsible for managing the Fox News mobile applications and website projects.  Prior to working at Fox, Stephanie spent 22 years working for Universal Music Group in a variety of roles such as Project Manager, Scrum Master, Agile Coach and Quality Assurance Testing Manager. Stephanie specializes in the Agile Development Methodology, managing people, and working closely with executives and stakeholders on prioritization and milestones.

Stephanie Prevo

Scrum Master - Fox Television

Ayanna Lonian is the Head of the Worldwide Major Studio Licensing & Strategy Team at Amazon.com. She leads a content acquisition team that is responsible for negotiating with US major studios (e.g., NBCUniversal, WarnerMedia, ViacomCBS, The Walt Disney Company, etc.) and major TV network groups to secure the SVOD streaming rights to popular TV series and movies which Amazon makes available on its Prime Video streaming service in the US and in international territories. Prior to her current role at Amazon.com, Ayanna was on the content distribution team for The Walt Disney Company’s Disney and ESPN Media Networks (DEMN) division.  In that role, she was responsible for negotiating key deal terms (e.g., distribution parameters, license fees, marketing commitments, etc.) with cable, satellite and telco operators for the domestic distribution of ABC Entertainment, ABC News Now, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Freeform, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN HD, ESPN2...

Ayanna Lonian

Licensing Strategy - Amazon Prime Video

Victoria “Vee” Grant is the CEO of Making XR.  Vee is an installation artist and 360° industry leader who uses her tech knowledg and a love of sharing to bring people together from across the digital divide.  In January 2019, she worked with a team of developers and artists who won “Best in Mixed Reality” at the 2019 MIT Reality Virtually Hackathon.  In April 2019, she won “Most Sustainable” at the Techstars Startup Weekend Los Angeles: AI For Sustainability. Her project SAMi, converts existing payphones into solar power charging stations for the homeless.

Victoria Grant

CEO, Making XR

Dr. Lisette Gold is a proud UCLA Bruin. She earned her Doctorate of Environmental Science and Engineering Degree in 1995 from the UCLA School of Public Health. She holds a Bachelors and Masters in Chemistry. Dr. Gold uses chemistry every day in her job as an Environmental Engineer for the City of Santa Monica Water Resources Division. For the past 18 years, she has worked on groundwater management, drinking water protection, and hazardous waste remediation for the City of Santa Monica. Overall, Dr. Gold has had a highly successful 31-year career working in the field of hazardous waste clean-up; groundwater management; groundwater remediation; and environmental regulatory compliance. The protection of public health and the environment is her primary mission. She is responsible for the management of over $10 million in environmental contracts with the City. Dr. Gold is also a Girl Scout Leader.

Dr Lisette Gold

Env Engineer, Santa Monica Public Work

Caroline Welch is co-founder and chief executive officer of the Mindsight Institute in Santa Monica  and co-founder of an educational entertainment startup in New York City.  She offers lectures and workshops to enhance well-being in our personal and professional lives.  Caroline’s first book, The Gift of Presence: A Mindfulness Guide for Women, will be released on March 17, 2020. Born on a working dairy farm, Caroline’s first trip out of Darien, Wisconsin was to Shiraz, Iran on a high school exchange program. That was the beginning of her love of travel and exploration which has included climbing Mount Kenya, teaching English in Japan for three years, and backpacking through 25 different countries.  A graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School, with a master’s degree from the University of Southern California, Caroline started her legal career as a corporate litigator.

Caroline Welch

CEO, Mindsight Institute

Maytal Dahan is a computer scientist at the Texas Advanced Computing Center.  Maytal is the Director of Advanced Computing Interfaces overseeing the Web and Mobile Applications and the Cloud and Interactive Computing groups. Maytal joined TACC in August 2002 as a Software Developer. She is co-PI of the Science Gateways Computing Institute managing the Scientific Software Collaborative group. Maytal is involved in several software projects that develop Science Gateways and backed Gateway supporting infrastructure. Maytal is the project lead for the XSEDE User portal and manages the User Information and interfaces in XSEDE. Before joining TACC, Maytal worked at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) in the Grid Portals Architecture Group.

Maytal Dahan

Comp Sci - Texas Advanced Computing

Natalie White is Senior Vice President of the Los Angeles Sparks.  Natalie oversees ticket sales, marketing and community relations for the three-time WNBA champions.  Natalie is a 10-year veteran of WNBA business operations, previously working for the Atlanta Dream from 2009-2017, ultimately becoming the Vice President of Basketball Operations. In that role, Natalie oversaw player branding and assisted in the scouting and recruitment of players. Prior to the WNBA, Natalie worked for NIKE for 10 years, ultimately managing an account base of $24 million in Southern California. In addition to her executive work, Natalie also founded Natalie White Basketball and A10TION Foundation, where she’s served over 1500 youths through basketball camps and academic mentoring.  Natalie earned a B.S. in communications and an M.S. in sports management from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU).  Natalie also played four years of basketball at FAMU and was named to the FAMU Hall of Fame.

Natalie White

Senior Vice President LA Sparks

Patricia Cannon is the Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs for the NBCUniversal Television Group, where she specializes in scripted television legal issues.  She has served as lead production counsel for all the company's Dick Wolf television productions, including Law & Order: SVU and the Chicago franchise series.  Patricia has many other shows in her portfolio as well (including, The Office, Parks and Recreation, The Good Place, and Brooklyn 99), and regularly handles a wide variety of production issues.  She also served as Co–Chair of the NBCUniversal Legal Department’s Professional Development Committee.  Patricia joined NBCUniversal in 1998.  Before becoming a television lawyer, Patricia worked as a criminal defense attorney for eight years, with the Los Angeles County Public Defender's Office.  Patricia received her J.D. in 1990 from the UCLA School of Law and her B.A. in History from Yale University in 1987.

Patricia Cannon

Sr V.P. Legal Affairs - NBC Universal

Sarah Parhami has been a clinical psychologist for 5 years working in a maximum security prison ( CA State Prison, Los Angeles county) helping to rehabilitate male inmates. I conduct individual and group therapy targeting issues such as depression, anxiety, anger, substance abuse and psychosis. Many of our patients have come from difficult backgrounds and have suffered a lot of trauma. We work to help inmates have a better chance if they are released and to gain insight into their problems. We also work with inmates serving life sentences and help them to cope with their time in prison. In private practice (Santa Clarita, CA) I work with individuals seeking psychotherapy for mood issues, poor self confidence, relationship problems, and to overall better manage life. Our goal in therapy is to help clients help themselves so they can live with more peace of mind and independence.

Sarah Parhami

Psychology - California State Prisons

Julie Giuffrida is a professionally trained chef, educator, marketer and recipe developer. She holds degrees from Syracuse University, Cornell University, and Le Cordon Bleu College for Culinary Arts. From line cook to chef to business consultant to marketing executive, Julie has worked in a variety of capacities in the food service and culinary world as well as in the publishing and telecommunications industries. She is currently the Test Kitchen Coordinator at the Los Angeles Times.

Julie Giuffrida

Chef & Kitchen Coordinator, LA Times

BA in Political Science (Earlham) BS in Nursing (Univ. of Penn) MSN in nursing (Univ. of Penn) RN x 10 years in neonatal intensive care Nurse Practitioner x 25 years (pediatrics) Peace Corps x 2 years (West Africa) Operation Smile Volunteer (South America) Red Cross Volunteer USAID Consultant (Ukraine) Foster parent Speak Spanish/French/Zarma

Elizabeth Bowen

Registered Nurse

Barbara Marquez is the Deputy District Director for Sustainability and Innovation in District 7.  She is responsible for the development and implementation of both the Sustainability and Innovation Programs for both Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.  She manages efforts in the District that align with Goal 3 of the Caltrans Strategic Management Plan – “Make long-lasting, smart mobility decisions that improve the environment, support a vibrant economy, and build communities, not sprawl.”  Barbara works closely with all Divisions in District 7, as well as with our external partners and the public to educate, innovate, inspire, and lead sustainability and innovation efforts. Barbara started her civil service career in Caltrans District 7 where she worked for 18 years in the Division of Environmental Planning.  She also worked for the California High-Speed Rail Authority as a Supervising Environmental Planner, and most recently was the Sustainability Program Manager in Caltrans District 12

Barbra Marquez

Deputy District Director, Caltrans

Samantha Chaney Prado was born and raised in La Mirada.  She attended Cerritos Community College and graduated from Cal State Dominquez Hills with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies.  Her plan was to become a high school math teacher.  Samantha’s plans changed when she gave birth to her daughter at the age of 22.  She was forced to find work to provide for her daughter.  She began working in the legal department of a large corporation.  Her education helped promote her to the company’s paralegal where she stayed for 10 years.  In 2016, Samantha decided to follow her true dream…becoming a firefighter.  She is currently a firefighter for the Los Angeles Fire Department.  Samantha resides in Huntington Beach with her two daughters ages 17 and 9. In her spare time she trains and competes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and coaches youth sports.

Samantha Prado

Firefighter, Los Angeles

Mia Brumfield is an LA based writer and content creator. After graduating from UCLA in 2017 with two bachelors degrees (one in English and another in Psychology), Mia took her talents to the entertainment industry. She worked as an assistant at William Morris Endeavor, one of Hollywood's biggest talent agencies, helping clients turn their favorite books into TV shows and films. In 2019, Mia left WME to begin her journey as a TV writer, working as a Writer's Production Assistant on the hit TV show, THE CHI by Lena Waithe. When she's not dreaming up new TV ideas, Mia is usually creating videos for her YouTube channel or shooting content for her fashion & lifestyle blog.

Mia Brumfield

Writer - Content Creator

Dr. DeMatteis has worked in the Aerospace industry for over 20 years. Her technical research focus was in the areas networking and distributed fault tolerant systems.  Throughout her career, she provided technical support to several space programs in the areas of network management, mission control systems, software engineering, engineering and integration, and mission assurance. She served as head of the corporate university for several years and currently manages key initiatives within the corporation. She recently graduated from USC with a doctorate in education and her research focused on low enrollment rates for women in engineering and computer science.

Dr Cheryl DeMatteis

Principal Engineer, Aerospace Corp

Over 30 years in market research, with 20 years owning and operating my firm, Moore Research, serving over 100 clients and managing a staff up to 50 people. She is an experienced, award-winning marketing researcher today with Epson America.  with comprehensive marketing research skills and passion for using the voice of the consumer to improve products and increase sales. Sharlene is a graduate of Bernard Baruch College of New York.

Sharlene Moore

Market Researcher - Epson America

Karen Sturges is SVP of Finance at Endeavor Content, a full-service premium alternative to the traditional content studios.  She manages financial strategy and oversees all financial functions for the company.  Sturges is committed to maximizing the value of the studio’s assets, ensuring a diversified portfolio of projects and maintaining a high level of integrity and transparency. Sturges became SVP, Finance at Endeavor Content 9 months ago.   Previously, she spent almost eight years as CFO Global TV and Digital Distribution at NBCUniversal.  Prior to NBCUniversal, she held leadership positions at WarnerBros and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Sturges has extensive experience in the entertainment industry working with film and TV production, sales and distribution and consumer products businesses.  Her areas of expertise include financial planning and analysis, accounting, audit, financial compliance and system implementation.

Karen Sturges

SVP of Finance, Endeavor Content

Vicky Rangsuebsin is a Private Wealth Advisor with Ameriprise and has been with the company for 21 years. In addition, she is a Certified Public Account (CPA) and a Certified Financial Planner™. Vicky was born and raised in Hong Kong and like the students at GALA, went to all-girls schools from elementary through secondary (or high school) in Hong Kong. She came over to the United States to attend college at 17; graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Economics, with an emphasis in Accounting; and decided to stay in the US after college to grow roots. Right after college, she worked at the Budget Office at the College of Letters and Science at UCLA, and went on to work at a large local CPA firm in Santa Monica to earn her CPA designation. Thereafter, she worked at Disney at the Consumer Products International controllership division to earn some Fortune 500 experience prior to becoming a Financial Advisor at Ameriprise.

Vicky Rangsuebsin

Private Wealth Advisor, Ameriprise

Melissa Kelley was raised in Los Angeles by a single mother and her grandparents. Her grandfather happened to be a Firefighter for the Los Angeles County Fire Department where she was a frequent visitor. In High School, she played many sports, the main one being Figure Skating and she planned to become a competitor. However, when she was 15 she met the first female firefighter for Los Angeles, and the seed was planted. In college, she finally decided to take a chance and sign up for a class called Firefighting 101, within 30 minutes of the class, she knew this was her dream. She was lucky enough to secure a job as a seasonal brush firefighter for Cal Fire which she happily did for 5 years while she continued to fight for a permanent position on a municipal department. In 2001, she became a firefighter for the Los Angeles Fire Department and will soon celebrate 20 years. She also became a Paramedic and teaches at UCLA Center for Prehospital Care.

Melissa Kelley

Paramedic & Firefighter, LA Fire Dept

Kristen Hammer is in Business Development at Virgin Hyperloop. As the first hyperloop systems take off around the world, Kristen works closely with local transport agencies, business partners, members of Congress, and federal regulators to move hyperloop projects forward in the U.S. Leveraging her background in engineering, Kristen bridges the business and engineering sides of the house to advance hyperloop certification and project development. Kristen was one of the early employees of the company back in October 2015 and has previously led the company’s Materials Engineering program. She also led welding and inspection efforts at VHO’s Devloop test track, the world’s first full-system hyperloop. Kristen is passionate about inspiring the next generation of STEM leaders and often speaks at schools, universities, and local programs to encourage underrepresented students to explore a career in STEM.

Kristen Hammer

Business Development Virgin Hyperloop

Michelle Salcedo is an award winning director with over 20 years experience in the entertainment industry. Born in Miami to a Cuban mother and Ecuadorian father, Michelle Salcedo moved to New York to attend Columbia University and graduated in 1997 with a B.A. in Film Studies. She was immediately hired by Miramax Films where she worked in the film marketing department for five years. She produced theatrical trailers and TV campaigns for over thirty films including Academy Award winner “Chicago”, and Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York”. Her first feature screenplay, “Maria” was finalist for the screenwriting lab at the Sundance Institute. Since 2002, she’s edited over fifty episodes of non-fiction T.V. including BBC’s “What Not to Wear” and “While you Were Out”, Emmy award winning, “A Baby Story” (TLC), “Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style” (Bravo), “Tough Love” (VH1) and “Dale con Ganas” (Univision).

Michelle Salcedo


Pilar is a chemical engineer, originally from Spain. She attended college in Madrid and France. She has over 10 years of work experience in five countries, covering projects in green energy, clean water and sustainability. She has worked with public institutions, universities, local communities, NGOs and the private sector. Most recently she was a quality control director at a NY-based startup which turned food scraps into consumer products. She is fluent in French, Spanish, English and Portuguese and is passionate about solving environmental issues linked to different sectors like: agriculture, biotechnology, green energy, waste management and projects with a social impact.

Pilar Sanchez

Chhemical Engineer

Kathleen Cohen is an XR immersive and experience strategist with over 20+ years building both user and guest experiences. Kathleen's background includes working as a Creative, as well as a Producer/Sr. Producer for DreamWorks Interactive, IBM Centers for Innovation and Disney Parks & Resorts Online. Kathleen also had a brief 4-year stint in civic engagement as the Vice President of Digital Innovation & Integration for the National Constitution Center, helping to tell the contemporary story of our nation’s Constitution while also contributing to U.S. Heritage Tourism and a commitment to the persons with disabilities community.

Kathleen Cohen

Founder, The Collaboratorium

Stephanie Barron is Senior Curator  and head of the  modern art  department at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) where she has organized over 100 award winning exhibitions and catalogues including several devoted to German art of the 20th century, as well as shows of David Hockney, Alexander Calder, and Rene Magritte. Ms. Barron received her undergraduate degree in art history from  Barnard College and her graduate degree from Columbia University. Born in New York, she has lived in LA since 1976, and is the mother of Max, a filmmaker, who also graduated from Columbia.

Stephanie Barron

Sr Curator Modern Art, LACMA

Sara Arastoo is a fourth year medical student at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and is going into anesthesiology. She was born and raised in Orange County, CA, and obtained her Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences at UC Irvine in 2014. During medical school, she has been passionate about undergraduate and graduate student mentorship and teaching. She has also been involved in research investigating the effects of electronic cigarettes on cardiovascular health. In her free time, Sara enjoys playing basketball, exploring new cafes, and watching sports.

Sara Arastoo

4th Year Medical Student, UCLA

Tess Taylor is the president of the National Association of Recording Industry Professionals, which promotes career advancement, education and good will in the record industry and related music fields. She is creator of NARIP’s Music Supervisor Pitch Sessions which have yielded over 1,000 music placements for participants and sold out in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, Berlin, Paris and London.  She is also creator of NARIP’s Synch Agent Pitch Sessions which have secured twelve synch rep and/or music publishing deals for NARIP members since series inception in 2018.  Tess is also President of the LA Music Network (LAMN.com, est. 1988) and creator of the LAMN Jam Music Contests which launched the Mowglis who won in 2011.  LAMN Jams helped launch 2006 winner Tim Fagan who then won a Grammy with Colbie Caillat, and 2007 winner Aloe Blacc.

Tess Taylor

Pres, Nat Assoc Record Industry Pros

Theresa has over 10 years in leading and growing client engagements through industry changing technology transformations in financial services and housing markets. She enjoys leading cross functional teams through complex assignments and thrive in fast-paced, high-stakes, and entrepreneurial environments.

Stephanie Barron

Sr Curator Modern Art, LACMA

Amy Friedlander-Hoffman

Angela Fitzmorris

Apryl Boyle

Marine Sci & Founder, El Porto Shark

Danielle Adaliz

Actress & Comedian

Deborah Chang


International women's day

International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. International Women's Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific. Make IWD your day - every day.


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please click the button below to donate or sponsor the event.

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