We’re thrilled to announce our 5th Women in Leadership Cohort!
Associate Director, Development Division
Tiffany Barlow is a nonprofit management professional with experience in multiple industries as both a consultant and as part of an organization. She is currently an Associate Director at Cedars-Sinai, specializing in Gift Administration in the Development Division. She is known for her penchant for process improvement, bridging gaps across departments and translating siloed language along the way. Tiffany holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and both an MPA and MSW from the University of Southern California. She believes that authentic leadership is critical, particularly during times of uncertainty. She has chosen to take this global moment to enhance her leadership skills, pursuing strategic opportunities for growth. Doing that work through a proven organization like Coro is an exciting privilege that she welcomes with pride and vigor.
National Director, Network of Promotoras
CHW, Vision y Compromiso
Norma Benitez is the daughter of Mexican immigrant parents and a proud Promotora from South Central Los Angeles with values rooted in social justice, equity, and community transformation. She currently serves as the National Director of the Network of Promotoras and CHWs with Vision y Compromiso, a nationally respected organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of underrepresented communities. With a strong commitment to the Promotor/CHW movement, Ms. Benitez is a firm believer that Promotores/CHWs are an integral part of the fabric of strong communities and thriving workforces. Throughout her 20 years in the nonprofit field, she has developed her skills in areas of community and parent engagement, project management, leadership, and workforce development. Through the CORO Women in Leadership program, she is ready to put her passion, hard work ethic, and dedication and join a cadre of strong women leaders ready to support each other in our professional growth.
Aretta Frazier is a Development Manager of LA’s BEST, an after school enrichment program serving more than 25,000 talented elementary school students who come from neighborhoods with the fewest resources and the greatest needs. Prior to LA’s BEST, her private & public sector experience focused on successfully driving national branding campaigns within several sectors including government, automotive, consumer packaged goods and education. Her personal philanthropic efforts include having served as a board member and Chair of the Young Professionals Board for Inner-City Arts and as the U.S. representative for the Universidade de Siena European Millennials Innovation Lab in Italy. Through the Coro Women in Leadership program she looks forward to engaging with civic issues through a gender lens and the intersectionality of leadership to affect positive change for the City of Los Angeles. A Los Angeles native, Aretta earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications from California State University, Fullerton.
Author and Educational Consultant
Laura Gaboudian is a published children’s author and educational consultant supporting organizations with curriculum and instruction. In her most recent full time position, she served as Green Dot Public Schools’ District English Language Development Coordinator, where she provided leadership in designing and implementing district programming to ensure the success of emerging bilingual students. Additionally, Laura published her book, Under the Light of the Moon, written under the name Laura Michael in 2018. It introduces young readers to the difficult topic of the Armenian Genocide in a developmentally appropriate manner. She has presented her book across the U.S. Laura graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from the University of Rhode Island and holds a dual master’s degree in Foreign Language Education and TESOL from New York University. She is thrilled to join CORO’s WIL and looks forward to connecting and growing with a network of professional women leaders.
Carleen N. Gonzalez
Security Administration Coordinator
Port of Long Beach
Carleen Gonzalez is a seasoned administrative professional with over 23 years of experience in local government. Carleen began her career supporting two Los Angeles City Councilmembers – providing her refined skills in management and leadership. In her current role, she synthesizes and analyzes information to provide recommendations and administrative support to three Port of Long Beach Security Division executive managers. Carrying both a bachelor’s in Political Science and master’s degree in Public Policy and Public Administration, Carleen brings in-depth knowledge of public-sector background, challenges, and solutions to her professional responsibilities. In her personal time, Carleen feels most engaged and fulfilled when aiding those who seek help in areas outside of a professional setting and most of all, spending time with her family. She is passionate about solving complex issues and is eager to cultivate new skills to aid in her effort to improve public organizational challenges.
Project Manager, Community Benefit and Systems Planning Department
Krystal Green is a public health professional and advocate dedicated to advancing the quality and accessibility of health care for vulnerable populations. Her experience includes working in community-based organizations and public health agencies with a focus on cross-sector partnership development, health policy and systems change. Currently, Krystal serves as a Project Manager in the Community Benefit and Systems Planning Department at Cedars-Sinai. In this role, she supports the design and implementation of a cohesive cross-departmental social determinants of health program, which aims to increase patient health through health-related social needs assessment and linkage to community-based services. Krystal holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Studies from USC’s Keck School of Medicine and a Master of Public Health in Community Health from CSUN. Krystal looks forward to deepening her leadership capacities, building relationships, and learning from the diverse experiences of women across industries.
Contract Compliance Analyst
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Contract Administration
Kristine Harutyunyan is a Contract Compliance Analyst currently serving the City of Los Angeles, Bureau of Contract Administration (BCA). In this role, Kristine works closely with the public and contractors at Los Angeles World Airports to enforce the City’s many contracting ordinances as part of the Equal Employment Opportunity Enforcement Section. Kristine serves on the Board of the Los Angeles City Employees Asian American Association and the Bureau’s Racial Equity Committee. Prior to joining BCA, Kristine served as a Real Estate Associate at the General Services Department providing real estate transactional support to elected officials and Council-controlled City departments for the acquisition and sale of property. She is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and a Professional Certificate in Accounting along with a salesperson’s license with the CA Department of Real Estate. Kristine’s goal is to bring together her knowledge from different fields to become an effective leader at the City of LA and all other spaces where she is a stakeholder. She is a firm believer that complex problems require leaders that have a large array of experience and knowledge to draw upon to offer outside-the-box thinking and innovative solutions. Kristine is originally from Armenia but has called Los Angeles home for the last two decades. She hopes to enrich the lives of all Angelenos the same way living and working in Los Angeles has enriched hers. Through the Coro Women in Leadership program, she hopes to gain new skills that will help her make an impactful contribution to the future growth of the City of LA.
Ann M. Isbell, PhD
Program Officer, Health Systems Team
First 5 LA
Ann M. Isbell, PhD, is a Program Officer at First 5 LA in the Health Systems Team where she works on strategies to transform early identification and intervention services for developmental delays and adverse childhood experiences. In this current role, she seeks to partner with stakeholders across diverse sectors to ensure comprehensive supports and services for young children and their families. Prior to coming to First 5 LA, Ann worked in the mental health sector at the non-profit and local government levels and is a former childcare provider. She has over 15 years of experience in program planning, implementation and evaluation and holds a PhD in applied developmental psychology from Claremont Graduate University. As a mid-career professional, she is looking for new challenges and opportunities to build on existing strengths and to create a network to co-learn with others from different fields and backgrounds that the Coro program offers.
Los Angeles Unified School District
Casey Jagusch is a lifelong learner and has dedicated her professional career to facilitating learning. She began her career as a Project Manager for the City of Mission, Kansas, and has spent the past 12 years teaching 6-12 Social Sciences. Currently, Casey teaches pre-service teachers methods of instruction for English Language Learners at Brandman University and 7th grade History in the LAUSD. Casey also advocates for equitable education for Black students as part of the Teach Action Team with Educators for Excellence. An LA transplant from the Midwest, Casey earned her political science degree at the University of Minnesota and her Master of Education at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri. She enjoys tap dancing and her new volunteer role with the Pasadena Tournament of Roses. She is excited about connecting with women across professional industries and looks forward to learning from so many amazing women!
Teach For America Los Angeles
Lida joined Teach For America in 2010 with 20 years of leadership experience in the higher education and corporate retail sectors, and is now in her sixth year as Executive Director of Teach For America Los Angeles. Prior to assuming this role, Lida held multiple roles on the TFA LA leadership team, including Managing Director of Strategy, Talent, and Operations; and Managing Director of District and School Partnerships. Lida is originally from Houston but grew up in Orange County, CA. She received her BA in psychology from Smith College, an MBA from USC Marshall School of Business, and a Doctorate in Education from the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. In 2018, Lida was recommended to the Executive Leadership for Multicultural Women Foundation at USC and soon enrolled in their flagship program by the same name. After completing the program she was asked to serve as a coach for the 2019 program participants. Before joining TFA, Lida served as Assistant Dean at the RAND Corporation following nine years as the Director of the full-time MBA Program at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. Prior to relocating to Los Angeles to attend business school in 1998, she held a series of store-line and buy-side leadership roles at both Macy’s California and The Gap in San Francisco. Lida has extensive experience volunteering for non-profit organizations in both San Francisco and Los Angeles and currently serves as a board member for Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, ExED, and Davinci RISE High. She is also a member of the Loyola Marymount Graduate School of Education Board of Visitors.
Tanja Krakovic MBA, CFP®, CRPC®
Merrill Lynch, Bank of America
Tanja is a California native, raised in Eastern Europe, Serbia. Prior to joining Merrill Lynch, Tanja worked in a family business in the automotive industry and did freelance work in graphic design. Her main role was in marketing and business management. Tanja’s entrepreneurial spirit grew and she established a hand-knit line of clothing for children. The clothing line was hand-knit by women in Serbia. These were women teachers, farmers who had limited or no income, a lot of talent, but no voice. Their hand-knit tops and designs were placed in the famous show “Sex and The City”, trendy boutiques in New York and Los Angeles, such as Calypso & Fred Segal, and published in magazines. Paying it forward and helping others has always been Tanja’s personal mantra, and one of the reasons she became a Co-chair of Great Los Angeles LEAD(Leadership, Education, Advocacy & Development) for Women, at Bank of America.
Claudia Oliveira is a Board Director and Government Liaison Co-Chair for the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council. In her elected capacity, she produced Job Fairs for Skid Row’s unhoused population and spear-headed the first Downtown Los Angeles Small Business Symposium. Her goal is to address all social-economic issues and develop Downtown Los Angeles into a complete community with a strong micro-economy. Claudia’s commitment to immigrants’ rights led her to Sacramento to testify in the Assembly Judiciary and assist Senator Durazo in the passing of the Inclusionary Act, which allows Citizens of California to be appointed to committees regardless of immigration status. She believes that by changing narratives, we can make space for a vigorous future. Claudia is thrilled to join Coro’s Women In Leadership cohort to explore new concepts, propel forward her leadership skills, and use new tools to enhance productivity within her council and private initiatives.
Felipa Penaloza is an Account Executive at GrassrootsLab, a California based political consulting firm, where she works with a wide array of clients aiding with political campaigns and other legislative efforts. Since she joined the firm in 2015, Felipa has worked on local council and mayoral races, supervisorial races, legislative races, and a governor’s race, for candidates on all sides of the political spectrum. Additionally, she manages the websites, newsletters, and social media for several publications focused on local politics. Felipa graduated California State University, Long Beach with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a specialization in Public Relations and a minor in Sociology. She is looking forward to learning from her peers in this cohort and working toward being a better leader in her community.
Chief Strategy & Integration Officer
The People Concern
Kait Peters is the Chief Strategy & Integration Officer at The People Concern, one of the largest housing and social services providers in Los Angeles County. She joined the agency in 2010 as Development staff but first experienced the tremendous heart-led work of the agency’s front-line staff as a volunteer. Kait is committed to changing the status quo approach to regional homelessness and is honored to work with the team at The People Concern toward that end. She has a particular interest in the intersection between nonprofit employee engagement, retention and organizational effectiveness. Kait has an MBA and prior to working in social services, she was a fundraiser for the arts and politicians. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, their 6-month old baby and their dog. Kait is excited to connect with other folks in the Coro Women in Leadership program to share perspectives, support and inspiration.
Los Angeles Executive Director
Martha Sanchez is the Los Angeles Executive Director of Thrive Scholars. In this role, she helps to galvanize resources from the Greater Los Angeles area which support Scholars from the region to achieve their full career potential. Ms. Sanchez has deep programmatic experience supporting low-income students of color, including serving as Thrive’s National Director of College Access, and in higher education and secondary education settings as both a college admissions officer at Mount St. Mary’s University and an alumni and career advisor. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration and minors in Spanish and Psychology from Marist College. Martha is excited to join the Coro Women in Leadership program to fine tune her leadership style and to learn from a group of diverse women across various sectors who look to make an impact in their communities.
Department Business Officer
Department of NanoEngineering; University of California, San Diego
As a first-generation college graduate, Ji Song has always been passionate about higher education and the possibilities it holds for students, scientific and social advancements, and positive impact on the community. Ji began her career at UC San Diego as a student worker, then transitioned into a temporary position, and since being in a career position, has steadily grown professionally through various positions. As the Department Business Officer for NanoEngineering, Ji oversees the department’s entire administrative function which includes the areas of Student Affairs, HR, facilities, and finance. Ji is excited to join the Coro Women in Leadership program to gain new ideas to better lead and serve the staff, faculty, and students.
Senior Marketing Strategist
Brianna Ziegler is a Senior Marketing Strategist at the creative consultancy Brand Knew. She manages marketing, development, and digital communications in both their nonprofit and lifestyle/entertainment divisions. Prior to Brand Knew, Brianna has had diverse work experience across the social impact space, with tenures at start-ups, health care institutions, and private foundations. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker, she received her Masters from Columbia University and her Bachelors in Sociology from UC Berkeley. Her passion for cross-sector collaboration between public and private entities drives her work to effect positive social change. Having a deep interest in community engagement, political activism, and the arts, she hopes to weave these elements into her work with CORO. Brianna looks forward to exploring new frameworks for service through Women in Leadership. She is excited to learn from the inspiring women in her cohort.