Originally from San Diego, City of Visalia Mayor, Steve Nelsen is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton. He is a family man that has been involved in the community for years. Being a father to three and grandfather to fourteen he also made time to be a Founding Member of the Visalia Advisory Flood Map Committee, Member and Deacon of Neighborhood Church and High School Soccer Coach at Golden West. Mayor Nelsen has served as a Visalia City Councilmember since 2010 and was appointed Mayor in 2014. He has served on various committees and boards including the San Joaquin Valley Partnership. Mayor Nelsen is currently the CEO and President of the CARE Foundation which was established to ensure that people afflicted with memory care issues receive care with respect and dignity.
STAN CARRIZOSA President/Superintendent COLLEGE OF THE SEQUOIAS
Stan Carrizosa was born on January 3, 1960. The product of a broken home, he was raised by his grandparents in the barrios of the Central Valley. A 1978 graduate of Dinuba High School, he worked his way through college attending California State University, Northridge, where he earned a major in physical education and a minor in science. In 1984, he returned to the San Joaquin Valley. While teaching, he earned a Master’s degree in Education Administration and an Administrative Credential. Mr. Carrizosa’s 30 years of experience range from classroom teacher, coach, student adviser, assistant principal, principal, district director, assistant superintendent and superintendent. He served as superintendent of Dinuba Unified School District for 7 years, superintendent of Visalia Unified School District for 10 years, and as superintendent of Burbank Unified School District for 2 years. Most recently he has returned to the Central Valley and now serves College of the Sequoias Community College District as superintendent/president.
KEVIN FLEMING SUCCESS IN THE NEW ECONOMY
A recovering academic elitist with teaching and administrative experience at 4-year public, 4-year private, and 2-year public institutions. Dr. Fleming currently serves dual roles at Norco College (CA) as the Dean of Instruction, Career & Technical Education and as the Principal Investigator for the National Center for Supply Chain Technology Education funded by the National Science Foundation (Washington DC). In addition, Dr. Fleming is the CEO of Telos Educational Services, an international consulting firm which provides keynote presentations, animated videos, research, and organizational strategy with expertise in the educational sector. Dr. Fleming has been facilitating workshops and conducting leadership training sessions for over 15 years accompanied by numerous conference presentations and published articles.
Previously, Dr. Fleming analyzed industry trends to provide economic development and labor market research through the Centers of Excellence for the California Community College system; the largest public educational system in the world. A true entrepreneur, Dr. Fleming has also founded four companies in different service sectors (West Coast All Stars LLC, Green LMI, Living The Ritual, and Telos Educational Services), and serves on the advisory boards for Paragon, Inc. and California Baptist University's School of Education.
Specialties: Academic Affairs, Career & Technical Education, Supply Chain Technology Education, Program Vitality & Discontinuance processes, Grant Writing & Grant Management, Program Development, Student Affairs, External Evaluation, Economic Development & Workforce Training, Greek Life, GIS, Development/Fundraising, Etiquette Training, and Consulting/Speaking/Facilitating.
CORINNA PEREIRA Apprenticeship Consultant, Central Valley
DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
A Riverdale native, Corinna Pereira is the Central Valley
Region Apprenticeship Consultant under the Division of Apprenticeship Standards
(DAS). In her position, Corinna acts as a liaison between the DAS and
registered apprenticeship programs, local education agencies, adult education
consortiums, employer associations, labor unions, Workforce Investment Boards, local
area contractors, and the public. She assists employers in the development and
state registration of apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs, performs
training, and provides outreach for apprenticeship and workforce development to
close the current skills gaps in the Central Valley. Corinna is the Chairperson
for the Kings County Youth Council and the Co-chair of Fresno’s Women in Trades
Council. She is also a member of the San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Cluster,
The High Speed Rail Education Committee, and is active on many Veteran
Employment Committees throughout the region. Corinna is a graduate of Columbia
Southern University and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business
Administration with a Concentration in Human Resources Management.
CONNIE CONWAY Board Member, Board of Governors CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY COLLEGES
Connie Conway was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors in April 2015. Conway has been a member of the California Women Lead Board of Directors since 2008. She served as a member of the California State Assembly from 2008 to 2014, where she was Minority Leader from 2010 to 2014. Conway was a member of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors from 2000 to 2008, serving as chair in 2005 and 2008. She was chair of the Cities Counties Schools Partnership in 2007 and president of the California State Association of Counties in 2006.
LOWELL RICHARDSON Vice President, Human Resources CALIFORNIA DAIRIES Lowell Richardson joined CDI in November of 2014 bringing more than 20 years of HR and Management leadership to the role of SRVP, HR.
He has expertise in training and development, talent management, labor relations, benefits management and operations management. For the prior seven years, Lowell had been employed by Dean Foods where he held the roles of Director Human Resources, Senior Director Human Resources and, most recently, Vice President Human Resources. Previously he spent 10 years at Amcor Sunclipse North America in various human resource and management positions, including General Manager and Vice President of Learning and Performance.
He is a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in political science. He also holds the professional certification of SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources).
STEPHANIE THIESSEN Vice President, Human Resources MUNGER FARMS
Stephanie Thiessen is the Vice President of Human Resources with Munger Farms in Delano, CA. Munger Farms grows and distributes blueberries under the Naturipe Berry Growers, Inc. label, as well as pistachios and almonds. Prior to working with Munger Farms, she has had twenty years of Human Resources experience in a variety of industries including food manufacturing, packaging, equipment and energy, all in the Central Valley. Stephanie is a manufacturing subcommittee member of the Tulare County Workforce Investment Board, is part of the Dairy/Food HR Labor group and has been worked as a blue ribbon mentor with CSET/Employment Development Department. She has experience in labor relations, leadership development and training, among other human resources functions. Stephanie is a graduate of California State University, Bakersfield.
CATHY MARTIN CALIFORNIA HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION
Ms. Martin is the vice president of workforce policy for the California Hospital Association (CHA).
In this role, she is responsible for leading the CHA Workforce Committee, a hospital-led committee which focuses on identifying and implementing coordinated, strategic solutions that will address the long-term need for health care professionals in California. In addition, she is responsible for leading the Health Laboratory Workforce Initiative, which is comprised of clinical laboratory experts who are developing strategic solutions to the laboratory personnel workforce shortage in California.
Ms. Martin has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 20 years, of which, the last twelve have been directly related to health care or public health. Prior to joining CHA, Cathy was the Executive Director of the California State Rural Health Association (CSRHA). A primary responsibility in that role was to lead the Rural Workforce Collaborative, a CSRHA taskforce organized for the purpose of developing recommendations to address health care workforce shortages in rural areas.
From 1992-2006, Ms. Martin was the Associate Director and Chief Financial Officer of the California Center for Civic Participation. The Center is a non-profit organization in Sacramento that provides California youth with the knowledge and critical thinking skills necessary to become informed participants in the democratic process, thereby empowering them to take actions that result in policy outcomes that positively impact the health of their communities.
ELIZABETH JONASSON Information Officer CALIFORNIA HIGH SPEED RAIL AUTHORITY
Ms. Elizabeth Jonasson presently serves as an Information Officer for the San Joaquin Valley office of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.
Born in San Bernardino, California, Ms. Jonasson has lived and studied in five countries. During her summer studies at California State University, Fresno, she was moved by the friendliness and vitality of Fresno and decided to make it her home upon earning her bachelor’s degree from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México in Mexico City.
With her international background and entrepreneurial instincts, Elizabeth began Jonasson Consulting to serve the thriving Fresno business community interested in capturing a larger portion of the Hispanic Market with expansion into Mexico. Impressed with her skills, she was invited to join the City of Fresno to do community outreach and Spanish-language media relations. She continued to use her media and outreach experience joining Coalition for Clean Air, a statewide policy advocacy organization.
Elizabeth actively participates in numerous civic and professional organizations including Tzu Chi Medical Clinics and Junior Achievement, and has served on various local and regional committees. Ms. Jonasson was honored as the 2010 Rising Star from the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Elizabeth recently completed her MBA studies at California State University, Fresno where she received the Craig School of Business Graduate Dean's Medal. Ms. Jonasson also teaches a Business Communication course at Fresno State.
Manager - Workforce Development E. & J. GALLO WINERY
In her position at E. & J. Gallo Winery, Rebecca has worked
in various different training and development roles, and in the past three
years has been responsible for designing and developing training initiatives
and programs for the Operations and Supply Chain Side of the business. This
includes the designing of a companywide mechanic apprenticeship program,
helping to develop and implement training standards for the organization,
working as a performance consultant to help drive performance improvement,
developing a high performance work team culture, and working to develop and
find the workforce of the future, by working with education partners at
different levels of education, in particular within K-12 and the Junior College
Prior to joining Gallo
Rebecca has worked in both Corporate Training roles and Operational Management
roles. In Rebecca’s prior role she worked with a nonprofit organization as Training
and Quality Manager for a contract with the State of California. In previous
role’s Rebecca has worked for both Gate Gourmet and Hilton Hotels.
Rebecca has a background in
training and curriculum design, having helped design numerous training programs
for both soft and technical skills within Hilton Hotel’s and Gate Gourmet.
Rebecca played a key role with both Hilton’s redesign of corporate orientation
and on the job skills training programs. In her role with Gate Gourmet, Rebecca
introduced a manager and a supervisor development course and chef academy to
the UK operations team.
Prior to working within
Corporate Training roles, Rebecca worked operationally managing hotel
restaurants, bars, conferences and events for both Hilton and Fairmont Hotels. Rebecca has BA (Hons) in International Hospitality Management and a Post Graduate Certificate in Post Compulsory Education and Training both from the University of Wales.
Richard (Rick) Coffey E. & J. Gallo, Corporate Training Director E. & J. GALLO
Richard (Rick) Coffey was born in Southern California and
grew up in the East Los Angeles area.His
first full-time job was with Designed Programs Corporation (a data processing
firm in Montebello, CA). He was employed
by the company for 10 years and served in several computing, administrative,
and supervisory roles.In 1987, Rick accepted
a position with Unisys Corporation where he worked as a software technical
writer prior to moving to Seattle and joining The Boeing Company in 1989.
At Boeing, Rick served in a variety of administrative and
management positions in information systems, manufacturing, project/program
management, human resources, and training.For the last 20 years, he led numerous training and workforce
development efforts for Boeing. In this capacity, he and his organization were
responsibility for providing job specific and compliance training for over
70,000 manufacturing employees located in more than 30 domestic facilities in 13
states.He also led global training
efforts aimed at supporting manufacturing skill needs of employees within
several major Boeing suppliers located in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Rick retired from Boeing and joined the E. & J. Gallo in
Winery September 2014 as the Director of Workforce Development for Operations
& Supply Chain.In this role, his team is responsible for
shaping the future workforce development strategy and plan for the organization
and for driving incremental improvements in education and training practices
Rick has actively pursued numerous educational goals for
over 30 years now and during this time has completed an undergraduate degree in
business, four graduate programs, a doctoral degree, and numerous professional
certificate programs.He is also a
graduate of the Columbia University Senior Executive program.
JOHN MERRIS-COOTS CalCRN CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
John is the coordinator of the California Career Resource Network (CalCRN) program at the California Department of Education (CDE). He has been an Education Programs Consultant at the CDE and supported the development of CalCRN’s career development resources since 1998. These resources include the California CareerZone, the California Career Center, and the Career Surfer mobile application.
KRIS COSTA Career Pathways Engagement Manager TULARE COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION
Raised on a dairyfarm in Waukena, Kris Costa has been in Agriculture Education since birth. After 7 years in the Agriculture education classroom, she assumed the role of Tech Prep Coordinator for 8 years and then Director of Agriculture Programs for 3 years, all at College of the Sequoias in Visalia.
Kris is the Career Pathways Engagement Manager for Tulare County Office of Education and a consultant for the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. Both of these roles allow her to apply all of her experience in and out of the classroom to increase school to college transitions for students in Tulare County and statewide.
MARILYN ASHLIN FOUNDATION FOR CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY COLLEGES
Marilyn Ashlin is Capital Region Pathway Senior Specialist with the Foundation for California Community Colleges (FCCC). In this role she is responsible for college engagement in the Foundation’s career pathway and work-based learning workforce development initiatives. Prior to joining FCCC, Marilyn served as business services representative for the workforce investment boards of Solano and Contra Costa counties and was on the work experience faculties of Santa Rosa Junior College, College of Alameda, and Diablo Valley College. At Diablo Valley College Marilyn participated in a number of career pathway and workforce development projects and served as interim coordinator of Cooperative Work Experience Education. Before entering the higher education and workforce development fields, Marilyn was a senior manager, trainer, and career development consultant in private industry. Marilyn received a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Master of Arts in Organizational Communication from Purdue University.
JULIE PRESTON-SMITH REPRESENTING CAREER CAFE
Julie Preston-Smith is currently the Matriculation/SSSP
Coordinator for Fresno City College.She
has over 20 years experience in college and high school counseling and has
always had an emphasis on career education and guidance.She has worked as college counselor, Interim
Dean of Student Services, Career Specialist, adjunct university professor, and
college instructor for career planning.She served many years as the Central Valley representative on the
statewide Career Development Advisory Committee for the California Community
College Chancellors Office where she helped develop Career Pathway martials,
Career Café, and Career Briefs.