Main Stage Speakers
Lisa Lane '07
Sports Reporter, FOX Sports San Diego
Mistress of Ceremonies
Lisa has 10 years of experience working in media as a sports reporter, host, producer, writer, editor, and content creator. She currently works for FOX Sports San Diego and as the In-Stadium Host of the Los Angeles Rams. Lisa’s passion is being a dedicated philanthropist; creating anti-bullying campaigns for middle school campuses, hosting food and clothing drives, and co-founding the non-profit organization, Excel Like 12, focusing on inspiring less fortunate youth to excel in all aspects of their lives.
Chairwoman Kristin Gaspar
County Supervisor, District 3
Supervisor Kristin Gaspar is Chairwoman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. She is the youngest woman ever elected to the board. Prior to becoming a Supervisor, Gaspar was an Encinitas City Council Member and went on to become the first Mayor ever elected in that city. She and her husband Paul, have three children. Kristin was born and raised in North County and is proud to represent her hometown community.
In her first year as Supervisor, Gaspar teamed up with Supervisor Dianne Jacob to launch an initiative that will help the growing number of seniors with dementia who end up in crisis. The effort is an outgrowth of The Alzheimer’s Project, the county-led initiative to find a cure and help families struggling with the disease.
Chairwoman Gaspar also co-initiated an investment of more than $400,000 to install five additional cameras in key fire-prone areas around the county. This will also boost the wireless network’s capacity and capability, ensuring first responders have real-time information that enhances fire protection.
Before being elected Supervisor of District Three, Gaspar was CFO of a physical therapy company. She is very involved in her children’s schools and extracurricular activities and serves as a pop warner cheerleading coach.
Author of STEM Gems, Chemical Engineer, Founder of MathSP
Stephanie Espy is on a mission to empower the next generation of STEM leaders by developing their skill set and passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Born and raised in Decatur, Georgia, Stephanie earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from MIT, master’s degree in chemical engineering from UC Berkeley and MBA from Emory University. She is the founder of MathSP Academic and Test Prep Coaching and the author of STEM Gems: How 44 Women Shine in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and How You Can Too!
Founded in 2009 to strengthen the quality of STEM education provided in Georgia, MathSP, which stands for Math Strategies and Problem-solving, transforms the lives of its students by unlocking their potential, imparting a world-class education that centralizes problem solving and critical thinking, and empowering them to achieve their dreams and thrive. By strengthening students’ skills in math and science subjects and equipping them with winning strategies for standarized test preparation for college admissions, Stephanie and her team are forging a society where every child is motivated to realize their highest potential. Learn more at www.MathSP.com.
Stephanie is the author of STEM Gems: How 44 Women Shine in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and How You Can Too!, an inspiring book that gives girls and young women role models in STEM, opens their eyes to a world of opportunity and helps them to create their own unique paths. STEM Gems features 44 women STEM leaders of today, each with different goals, paths, and aspirations, and each within their own unique STEM field. Stephanie strongly believes that girls and young women need female STEM role models to see themselves as scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians. STEM Gems gives girls exposure to women doing amazing things in STEM, and gives them the tools to learn how to be STEM Gems themselves. Learn more at www.STEMGemsBook.com.
As a chemical engineer, Stephanie has worked in both research and industry. Her research involving metabolic engineering of rubber-producing plant species to improve the quality and yield of natural rubber culminated in the authorship of two noted scientific publications. In addition, she has worked in various capacities for BP, both in the U.S. and U.K., and later for Merck & Co. However, today Stephanie dedicates her time and efforts to STEM advocacy through her work at MathSP and STEM Gems.
From her experience, Stephanie believes that STEM isn’t a special brain. STEM doesn’t come from a life of privilege. STEM is simply an exposure to what is possible and an internal believe that anyone can be a STEM Gem.
Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Welk Resort Group
Carisa Azzi joined Welk Resort Group in 2005 as Treasurer and was later promoted to serve as Chief Financial Officer/Vice President in 2010 and Senior Vice President in 2013. Carisa, with more than 19 years of experience in real estate and the banking industry, currently oversees the accounting & finance for Welk Resorts, one of the largest private companies headquartered in San Diego. By driving the capital structure at Welk, Carisa has securitized more than $437 million since 2013.
Prior to joining Welk, Carisa was the Vice President of Commercial Banking in San Diego, where she maintained a portfolio of business clients ranging from real estate developers to manufacturers. Carisa was also a Licensed Real Estate Agent for Coldwell Banker prior to banking. She is on the executive leadership team of the San Diego Chapter of the American Heart Association. Carisa earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Economics from the University of San Diego where she was Suma Cum Laude with the highest GPA in the major. Carisa went on to earn Master’s in Business Administration - Finance from the University of San Diego and completed Comerica Bank’s credit college.
Director of Learning and Engagement at Hera Hub
As Director of Learning & Engagement for Hera Hub, the first international female-focused coworking space, Sarah Bacerra has had the privilege of working with hundreds of women-owned companies, supporting them by way of strategic business coaching, execution of educational program development, and vital alliance-building to help them take their businesses to greater prosperity.
Sarah has a Master of Arts in Organizational Management and is passionate about making inclusion in the workplace a top priority within organizations. She has been able to contribute to these efforts in her current role by increasing awareness and action regarding the high levels of disparity between venture capitalists investing in men- versus women-owned companies. (Women-led businesses only account for 4% of VC-backed companies.)
Beyond being wild about humans and their collective inclusion and equity, Sarah is adept at creatively building systems, processes, and relationships aimed at helping organizations work more efficiently, effectively, and collaboratively. She hopes to live in a world where women are revered for their boundless talents and is grateful to be part of the Hera Hub environment that cultivates a culture of support, encouragement, and the continuous uplift of women around the globe.
Commercial Director, Google Mexico
Karla Berman leads the Consumer Packaged Goods vertical for Google Mexico. In her previous role, she was responsible for the ads strategy for YouTube for Spanish Latam.
Before joining Google, she was in charge of the digital businesses for Grupo Expansión, a Time Inc. company in Mexico, where she launched and led most of their digital portfolio, including a Joint Venture with CNN for its online presence in Mexico. Her role was pivotal for the digital transformation of the company.
Karla was an analyst for McKinsey & Co. and worked as a reporter for the newspaper Reforma. She holds an engineering degree from Universidad Iberoamericana, where she graduated with excellence and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
She is passionate about women's issues and has been the chapter lead for [email protected] in Mexico, as well as being a founding member for MBA Mujeres de México A.C. Ms. Berman writes regularly for The Huffington Post and Milenio. She lives with her husband and 4 daughters in Mexico City.
Founding Partner of Brown Law Group
Janice P. Brown is the founding partner of Brown Law Group, a leading Southern California and Nevada litigation firm specializing in all aspects of employment law, including business litigation and corporate law. Ms. Brown is known for her professional distinctions as well as her commitment to the community with over 30 years as a trial lawyer with significant trial, arbitration, and appellate experience.
Ms. Brown received her undergraduate degree in Journalism and graduated with honors from the University of Montana in 1981. She graduated from Gonzaga Law School in two years and joined the Justice Department’s Honors Program in 1984. At the Department of Justice, Ms. Brown tried lawsuits on behalf of the United States. Her distinguished career includes receiving the Department of Justice “Outstanding Trial Attorney” Award in 1987.
Ms. Brown is rated AV®-PreeminentTM by Martindale and has been recognized as a Super Lawyer since 2007. Ms. Brown’s commitment to excellence has earned her numerous accolades and awards throughout her career, including the following: California Association of Black Lawyers – Lawyer of the Year, 1995; San Diego Witkin Lawyer of the Year, 2003; Gonzaga University Alumni Association - Distinguished Alumni Merit Award, 2010; San Diego Regional MSDC - Diversity Supplier of the Year, 2011; California Minority Counsel Program inaugural Hall of Fame member, 2014 and Junior Achievement San Diego Business Hall of Fame Lifetime Laureate, 2017.
Associate Director of Public Relations at Illumina
Jen Carroll is a communications leader at Illumina, the global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies headquartered here in San Diego. With more than 20 years of global public relations experience in the technology, consumer and life sciences industries, Jen continuously relies upon her deep passion for people, teams, culture, inclusion, innovation and storyteller to lead her public relations team at Illumina.
In 2017, Illumina was recognized by MIT Technology Review's 50 Smartest Companies (for the 5th straight year), Forbes’ 2017 America’s Best Mid-Size Employers, BioSpace's 2017 Life Sciences Ideal Employers, and Computerworld’s Best Places to Work in IT.
Jen is the proud mom of two daughters, a practicing Catholic, an avid reader and world-traveler who believes and strives to live by the simple philosophy: “Here’s to good women: may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.” Jen graduated from the all-women’s college, Saint Mary’s Notre Dame, in Indiana 20 years ago where she played on the Varsity Basketball Team, studied abroad in France for a year, and served as Student Body President. She volunteers with numerous San Diego charities and is currently the President of the San Diego Saint Mary’s Alumnae Club.
Consul General Marcela Celorio
Consul General of Mexico in San Diego
On April 28, 2017, Marcela Celorio was promoted to the rank of Ambassador of Mexico, becoming the first Ambassador who graduated from the “Escuela Libre de Derecho” in Mexico City. Her promotion was well-deserved considering her long list of achievements.
Her leadership career began In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the National Director of Naturalization, where she helped promote and encourage the recognition of dual nationality. Her efforts culminated with the constitutional reform of 1997 and the approval of the new nationality law of 1998 in Mexico. In 1999, she incorporated the Mexican Foreign Service as Diplomatic Attaché and ascended in each of the categories.
Afterwards, she became the Politics Protection Director, where she helped implement the mechanisms of border cooperation between Mexico and the United States. In 2000, she became the Director for the United States of America in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On the side, she conducted Public International Law teachings at the Ibero American University, directing research and investigations into topics such as dual nationality and citizenship, national Security and Northern American integration.
She then moved onto things outside of Mexico when she was assigned to the Mexican Embassy in the U.S. as Chief of Staff from 2002 to 2006. In September 2006, she was commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to serve as Deputy Director General in charge of the North American region. From 2009 to 2012, she served as Chief of Mission in Israel and as an advisor for economic, trade and cooperation affairs. In 2012, she was assigned as Counselor for Political Affairs at the Mexican Embassy in relation to the Kingdom of Belgium and to the Mexican Mission for the European Union. From 2013 to 2016, she was recognized as the Deputy Consul at the Consulate General of Mexico in New York.
Marcela is completely fluent in English and has knowledge in French, Italian and Hebrew. Her education includes a law degree from “Escuela Libre de Derecho,” a Master’s in Diplomatic Studies from the Matias Romero Institute and a Master’s in Security and Defense from the National Defense College. She also studied at UCSD and distinguishably attended the American University in Washington D.C. as the first diplomat from the Mexican Foreign Affairs.
Senior Vice President, Director of Stores, ANN INC.
Joan Ciancaglini is Senior Vice President, Director of Stores of all ANN INC. brands. She oversees all aspects of the field & client experience, including store operations and facilities. Joan is a leader who is passionate about client experiences in-store and online and the development of talent. She joined ANN INC. in September 2007 as Director of Stores for the LOFT brand and assumed responsibility for all brands in 2014.
Prior to joining ANN INC., Joan was with Gap Inc. for 20 years. While there, she served in various leadership roles with increasing responsibility within the Banana Republic, Forth & Towne and Gap divisions. She holds a degree in Business from Drexel University.
Meagan E. Garland, Esq.
Founder of Garland Law
Meagan E. Garland is the founder of Garland Law, APLC, a minority-and-woman-owned business in San Diego, California. She has been recognized as one of San Diego’s “Best Attorneys;” a Super Lawyer; Rising Star 2015 – 2016; one of 19 “Women Who Impact San Diego;” and one of the “National Black Lawyers – Top 100.”
Ms. Garland has represented a host of clients, varying in sizes and industries, with respect to their business disputes and employment matters — both litigation and transactional. Ms. Garland’s years of experience, practical approach and cultural sensitivity have made her an invaluable resource and business partner to her clients. She is licensed in both California and New York and has practiced at the international law firm of Baker & McKenzie, LLP, Brown Law Group, and was a shareholder at Cara & Garland, APLC.
Ms. Garland is called upon regularly by media outlets, including ESPN, The San Diego Daily Transcript, The San Diego Metro, and KOGO News Radio, to provide insight on Labor and Employment laws affecting California employers. She serves as the Secretary to the Board of Directors of LeTip of Greater San Diego, and is an advisory board member to the San Diego Black Nurses Association. Ms. Garland volunteers her time to the Girl Scouts of San Diego; the San Diego Delta Foundation, Inc.’s Leadership Development Intern Program; and The Juvenile Book Club.
Ms. Garland graduated summa cum laude and phi beta kappa from Spelman College and earned her Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School, where she was awarded the prestigious Law School Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Promise of Professional Achievement, one of only two such awards given to the graduating class. She is also a licensed minister and the 2015 recipient of a Master’s Degree in Theology and a teaching certification in Christian Education. Ms. Garland is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
President and CEO, Golden State Consultants
Ashley Hayek is a successful business owner with huge aspirations for her San Diego based political finance firm, Golden State Consultants. Since founding her political and non-profit fundraising firm in 2006, she has worked with leaders and organizations across the country raising millions of dollars for her clients. She has extensive experience in finance strategy and development, as well as event coordination and production.
In addition to running her company, Ashley serves as the Executive Director of the California Women’s Leadership Association (CWLA) and the CWLA PAC. She's a member of the Defense, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln Club of San Diego County, Chairman’s Circle for the Republican Party, Del Sur Elementary School Foundation volunteer and the former Family Readiness Assistant for First Battalion First Marines Scout Sniper Platoon. She’s also served on various boards and committees for Voices for Children, Habitat for Humanity and is a past member of the New Majority Los Angeles.
She first got the political "bug" collecting signatures for the Recall effort of Governor Gray Davis, inspiring her fervor for fiscal reform and working with pro-economic candidates for office.
Her academic background includes a BA in Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. She also received training through the Marian Bergeson Series; a California based executive leadership and education program for Republican women to succeed as political leaders.
As the proud wife of Captain Brian Hayek, USMC reservist, mother of 3 children, and a yorkie named Tink, Ashley's life can be a juggling act. However, having been raised in the small agricultural town of Clovis, CA, Ashley's background is humble and wholesome, and has taught her the hard-working values she uses today. Ashley has proven she can more than hold her own in America's 8th largest city.
Ariana Longley, MPH
Vice President of Patient Safety Movement Foundation
Ariana graduated cum laude from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and worked at the University of California Irvine’s Institute for Immunology in the laboratory. She then earned her Master’s of Public Health from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland in 2012, with a focus on oral immunotherapy for children with egg allergy. Upon returning to California, Ariana spent time at the Orange County Healthcare Agency in the Health Promotion Division.
She then seized the opportunity to work at Masimo in the Fire and Emergency Medical Services sector, where she worked closely with marketing and sales to develop a Grant Assistant Program to help Fire and EMS Departments procure devices to help them screen for carbon monoxide poisoning. After volunteering at the Patient Safety Movement Foundation’s 2015 “Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit,” Ariana knew that she wanted to step into a leadership role to support the foundation’s audacious mission. Ariana has been with the Patient Safety Movement Foundation since early 2015 and is currently serving as Vice President.
Since joining the Patient Safety Movement Foundation, Ariana developed the Committed Partners opportunity for professional societies, associations and other aligned healthcare-related nonprofits to work with the foundation, and has helped grow the number of committed hospitals to over 3,500 worldwide, spanning 43 countries. Ariana is an avid traveler, practices yoga and is dedicated to ceramics – having been reacquainted with the hobby in 2017 after a short hiatus.
Dr. Patricia Marquez, Ph.D
Dean of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, Associate Professor of Management, USD
Patricia Márquez, Ph.D. is the Dean of the Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego (USD). She was the Cisneros Visiting Scholar at Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at the Harvard Business School. Dr. Márquez is an academic entrepreneur, who since her arrival at USD in 2007 has founded the Center for Peace and Commerce (CPC), a partnership between the Kroc School and the School of Business Administration, and the USD Changemaker Hub.
Senior Development Test Engineer for Solar Turbines Incorporated
Kamisha Mason is a Senior Development Test Engineer for Solar Turbines Incorporated, an owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc, based in San Diego, California. She leads a team of technical experts responsible for research and development testing conducted for various components of the gas turbine engines to ensure product quality. Prior to being promoted into her current position, she held the position of a rotation engineer at Solar Turbines Inc and held a process engineering role with a former company.
Kamisha is very active within San Diego’s local community and holds various board positions in organizations such as: Secretary of The Society of Women Engineers, President of the Toastmasters Club: Turbo Toasters, Co-chair of the Solar Women Engineers, and an adviser on the board of Caterpillar African American Network Solar Chapter. She is passionate about volunteering for and leading outreach programs to engage young girls and minorities in the field of engineering.
Kamisha earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tennessee State University and a Master’s degree in Engineering Management from Lipscomb University. She also holds a PMI Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certificate.
Josette Persson ’90
Executive Producer & Partner of Point Studio
Josette Persson is three-time Emmy award-winning Executive Producer and Partner with the video and media production company, Point Studio. Josette is involved with every aspect of the company, from development and directing/producing to running large international production teams. She works with NBC and covered the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, and is covering the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Other clients include Women in the World in association with the New York Times, Columbia University, Lincoln Center, Mastercard, Seneca Women, Virtue Foundation and many others.
Prior to Point Studio, Josette worked at Universal Music Group and on breaking stories and features for ABC News’ Emmy award-winning show “Good Morning America.” Josette graduated from the Academy of Our Lady of Peace in 1990 and attended St. Mary’s College of California. She is currently on the Board of Directors for Mary’s Meals, creating school feeding projects in developing countries.
Dr. Liza María Pompa González, MD, Ph.D., FACS
LIMARP International Center of Excellence for Obesity
Dr. Liza Maria Pompa Gonzalez is considered an international leader in bariatric surgery for those who are suffering from the epidemic of the century: obesity. A Tijuana, Baja California native, Dr. Pompa has built a practice offering medical care that surpasses U.S. standards, but at more accessible rates and with the human touch that characterizes Mexican doctors. Her clinic, the LIMARP International Center of Excellence for Obesity, has received the prestigious Surgeon of Excellence and Center of Excellence certifications and draws patients from all over the world. She also founded the nonprofit LIMARP Foundation, which helps low-income, obese patients recover their health and designs campaigns to fight obesity in Tijuana.
Dr. Pompa attended the prestigious School of Medicine of the Autonomous University of Baja California and graduated with the highest honors, earning the Academic Merit Award. She specialized in surgery at the Tijuana General Hospital, and perfected her skills with new and advanced laparoscopic surgical techniques at the world-recognized Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota. In 2013, Dr. Pompa became the first Hispanic woman inducted as a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, which is the maximum level a surgical specialist can obtain.
In addition to directly helping patients, she uses her specialized knowledge to participate in the creation of medical instruments and products. She designed a surgical instrument line for advanced laparoscopic and bariatric surgery under the name “Dr. Pompa Innovations,” especially made for female surgeons to accommodate their smaller hands. She also created a unique product line of vitamins and protein supplements formulated for the needs of post-surgical bariatric patients.
Dr. Pompa has been inducted into the Tijuana Hall of Fame, and was named one of Latin America’s most influential Bariatric Surgeons and a top surgeon worldwide by Newsweek. TIME Magazine placed her on its Obesity Awareness Leaders list, and in 2015, she spoke at the Masters in Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery World Forum at Harvard, representing Latin America. Her book, How Much Does Your Life Weigh?, is dedicated to both adults and children who are searching for medical help to solve their excess weight or obesity problems.
Manager of Inclusion and Diversity at Qualcomm
Carrie Sawyer rejoins Qualcomm as the Manager of Inclusion and Diversity. She previously worked in the field of User Experience for 13 years, understanding the needs, expectations, and behaviors of people to better inform the design process. Carrie earned her Master’s in Human Computer Interaction from the University of Michigan and her Bachelor’s in New Media Arts and Science from Indiana University.
Carrie is now applying her people-centered perspective to developing and implementing a diversity and inclusion roadmap for Qualcomm. She is most interested in the intersection of diversity and Design Thinking, an applied practice of shared discovery through which we find ways to make “it” better. Today, Carrie’s “it” is the state of diversity in tech, and she believes that applying a Design Thinking lens will shed new light on how to improve representation in tech and build teams where each person feels valued, contributes fully, and achieves their career goals.
Carrie hails from the Midwest and after five sunny years in San Diego, considers it her home! In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors, playing beach volleyball and making pottery.
Partner, Law Offices of Vaughn and Vaughn
Kathryn Vaughn is a visionary leader and experienced attorney who is passionate about investing in our community’s future and advocating for justice. She graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University in 1980 and obtained her Juris Doctorate of law from the University of San Diego in 1984. She began her legal career at the San Diego City Attorney’s office and then merged her practice with Don Vaughn in 1997, founding the Law Offices of Vaughn and Vaughn, a civil litigation law firm, where she is the managing partner.
Ms. Vaughn is a strong advocate for the nonprofit sector. Her first major volunteer commitment was with the Junior League of San Diego in the 1980s. In 2002, she became a board member of Child Abuse Prevention Foundation and witnessed firsthand the deficit of care and support that is given to foster youth as they emancipate from foster care at 18. Unwilling to accept this norm, Ms. Vaughn rallied the San Diego community to provide support and co-founded “Just In Time For Foster Youth.” She also enlisted the help of fellow attorneys Don Vaughn and Steve Doyle to found the program “Legal Eagles for Youth” to teach 18-year-old foster youth the fundamental laws and obligations needed to thrive as an adult.
One of Ms. Vaughn’s passions for supporting leaders of integrity soon grew into supporting law enforcement and military. In 2011, Ms. Vaughn became a board member of the USO San Diego and a member of the San Diego Police Foundation, chairing their galas, programs and events. Ms. Vaughn and her husband also chair and sponsor the Sailor of the Year for the Third Fleet Honor celebration. This year, Ms. Vaughn was privileged to join the Commissioning Committee for the USS Raphael Peralta, a Marine who lost his life serving his nation.
As Ms. Vaughn’s community involvement expanded, she became passionate about growing the San Diego economy to create strong options for future generations. She became a committee member of the San Diego Bowl Game Association in 2011, a non-profit organization committed to generate tourism, exposure, economic benefit and civic pride for San Diego. She has chaired a number of Bowl Committees from 2011-2017.
Advocating for women has also been important to Ms. Vaughn. She first joined forces with Soroptimist International, a worldwide volunteer service organization for professional women who work for peace and improving the lives of women and girls. Then in the summer of 2013, she interjected her voice for justice into the public arena and rallied San Diego citizens to fight back against sexual harassment. She led a successful citizens march in the streets of Downtown San Diego to voice their extreme concern regarding the allegations of sexual misconduct against San Diego’s then-mayor, Bob Filner.
Ms. Vaughn also recognizes the importance for women to become advocates of their own health care and, in 2014, became a founding member of the Sharp Mary Birch Philanthropy Council. Like Ms. Vaughn, the council is passionate about engaging the community with health initiatives that best support the needs of the hospital for women and newborns.
Most recently, from 2016-2017, Ms. Vaughn served as the 20th President of The Patrons of the Prado. She is most proud of her work with the Bucks4Buses program, which provides critical transportation and educational programs for many low-income school children at ten art, science and cultural centers on the Prado in historic Balboa Park.
Ms. Vaughn has received numerous awards for her service. In 2010, she was recognized by California’s First Lady Maria Shriver as a state leader who positively changed the face of foster care in San Diego when she was awarded the Governor and First Lady’s Medal for Service award as California’s Volunteer of the Year. USD also honored her as Alumnus of the Year in 2010 for her remarkable community service work. Soroptimist International awarded her the “Making a Difference for Women” in 2008 and “Honoree of Distinction” in 2012. Finally, the Junior League of San Diego awarded Ms. Vaughn the “Spirit of Community Award” in November 2016 for her lifetime of giving back.
Jessica (Schulte) Walker '01
Co-Vice President of Employee Benefits, Schulte Insurance Agency
Jessica (Schulte) Walker '01 graduated with a Bachelor's degree in business with an emphasis in entrepreneurship and management from Loyola Marymount University in 2005. Her current position is Co-Vice President of Employee Benefits at Schulte Insurance Agency in Encinitas, and she also serves on the Board of Directors for the Emilio Nares Foundation and the San Diego Association of Health Underwriters.
Kaila Weedman '08
Senior Director, Golden State Consultants
Kaila Weedman ‘08 graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of San Diego in 2012 with a Bachelor’s in history and communication studies. While at USD, Kaila took a position with a political, non-profit fundraising firm in San Diego called Golden State Consultants, where she is now Senior Director. While at Golden State, Kaila has assisted in breaking numerous fundraising records and has enjoyed helping many strong female candidates get elected and appointed to office. Supporting female leaders is a passion Kaila developed at OLP and she’s thrilled to have been able to translate that into her career. She very much hopes to have the opportunity to support an OLP alumna seeking elected office in the future. Kaila is honored to serve as the 2018-2019 Chair of the OLP Alumnae Association.
Head of Talent Acquisition and Employee Engagement, Sony
Lee has built an extensive background in Diversity & Inclusion, Talent Acquisition and Employee Relations at FORTUNE 500 Companies, Intel, Qualcomm and now Sony. She currently leads the recruitment and hiring process for all levels, interns to executives. Lee developed and implemented programs, initiatives and systems to drive under-represented employee recruitment, development and retention for women, people of color, individuals with disabilities & US Veterans. She has coached employees and managers proactively and through complex issues.
Lee has developed and led teams across functions, organizations and geographies to address issues, drive improvements and deliver business results. She has earned a Bachelors of Science in Business Management from the University of Redlands, a HR Certificate from Chapman University and completed Executive Leadership at UCLA Anderson School of Business.
Lee is the co-founder of the Links to STEM Program for students, current Board Member of Athena San Diego, and previously, a member the Conference Board, the Board of Walden Family Services, LEAD San Diego and past Board Chair for the Urban League of San Diego.She was recognized by the San Diego Business Journal with the Women Who Mean Business Award and has spoken nationally at BDPA, National Center for Women in Information Technology and the Conference Board. Topics include Diversity & Inclusion, Mentoring/Sponsorship.
Vice President at J. Walcher Communications
Sandy Young is the vice president at J. Walcher Communications, one of San Diego’s top public relations and marketing agencies. After joining the JWC team in 2009 as an account executive, Sandy rose to second-in-command at the agency, mentoring staff and helping manage day-to-day office operations. She specializes in nonprofit and professional services clientele and her areas of expertise include PR/marketing strategy, writing/editing, media relationship building and crisis communications.
She has worked for several of San Diego’s top public relations and marketing communications firms, as well as with clients throughout the nation, on a full-time and consultant basis. She has also served as a freelance writer, columnist and contributor for various media outlets.
Sandy was the 2017 “cover girl” of SD METRO Magazine’s “40 under 40” Awards, and was previously named San Diego X Brand Diego Awards’ “2015 Young Achiever” and a Patch.com “30 Under 30” Leader in San Diego County, as recognized by the California State Senate.