We’re thrilled to announce our 6th WIL Cohort!
Founder & Principal Consultant, Purposeful Impact, LLC
Sarah Chandler is the Founder and Principal Consultant at Purposeful Impact, supporting school systems, nonprofits, and other mission-driven organizations nationwide to improve effectiveness and maximize impact. Sarah formerly served as a board member and Vice President of Talent and Strategy at Equitas Academy, a network of charter schools in Los Angeles, where she built the talent function and led strategic growth planning to double in size. Prior to that, Sarah was a Director at The Broad Center, where she spearheaded the organization’s transformation to become an accredited master’s degree-granting institution. Sarah has also served as a management consultant with Boston Consulting Group and led sales teams in the wine industry. Sarah has an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in business from Michigan State University. Sarah is excited to connect with inspiring women across sectors and collaborate to increase equity in our society.
Vice President, Los Angeles/ Ventura Chapter, Building Industry of Southern California
Diana Victoria Coronado works as the Vice President of the Building Industry Association – Los Angeles/Ventura Chapter. Her focus is on lobbying and advocating for housing throughout Los Angeles and Ventura counties. As someone who is committed to the advancement of women, Diana is thrilled to be a part of Coro’s 2021 Fall Women in Leadership (WIL) program. She hopes to be directly engaged in identifying solutions that eliminate the barriers keeping women from equal social and economic opportunities while strengthening the professional support for her female peers. Prior to her work in housing, Diana served as the in-house lobbyist for the Association of California Cities and worked in Sacramento as a Legislative Director in the State Assembly. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Cal State Fullerton and is an alumna of the Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) Leadership Institute, and the Sacramento Capital Fellows Program.
Interim General Manager/ Assistant General Manager, Office of Exposition Park Management, State of California
Vanessa Esparza is the Interim General Manager and Assistant General Manager with the Office of Exposition Park Management (OEPM). In these roles, she directs internal operations and external partnerships of Exposition Park to support the common interest of park entities and advance the goals of the State of California. Through her nearly 15 years of experience in the public, private, non-profit, and philanthropic sectors, Vanessa has learned the importance of community empowerment, strategic operations, fiscal prudence, and leadership development in building safe, thriving, and sustainable communities. This experience has defined her commitment to work to transform the social fabric and built environment of communities across the Los Angeles region. In her previous role, as Director of Community and Family Support, she helped implement core education and social service programs within 18 community schools and three communities as part of the Promise Neighborhood Initiative– one of President Obama’s signature neighborhood revitalization programs. Vanessa is committed to constant growth, learning, and uplifting women leaders and looks forward to participating in the CORO WIL program. She holds a Bachelors’s degree in Urban Studies from Loyola Marymount University and a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Associate, Benenson Strategy Group
Nicole is a pollster and messaging consultant who works with political campaigns, advocacy nonprofits, and companies to understand and shape public opinion. She works in polling because she believes it’s one of the few ways for organizations, government, and political leaders to listen to people at scale – especially those who don’t have the biggest platforms or access to people in power. As an Associate at Benenson Strategy Group, she’s helped progressive candidates in tough local and congressional races build their brands, and worked with groups like EMILY’s List, Women’s Equality Center, and the ACLU, weaving together creative qualitative and quantitative research techniques to build long-lasting issue narratives. When she’s not at work, she’s probably doing Irish dance, volunteering at election sites for LA County, or sometimes skydiving. She’s looking forward to connecting and building a supportive network with women who are charting their paths in different industries.
Deputy for Bioscience, Economic & Workforce Development, City of Los Angeles, Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas (CD #10)
Yordanos Gebretatios serves as Deputy for Bioscience, Economic, and Workforce Development for Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas, overseeing all policies, programs, and advocacy related to bioscience, job creation, and workforce pipeline. She spent the past 10 years in the nonprofit sector, and previously served as Executive Director of LA Bioscience Hub. Yordanos holds a Bachelor of Science in Bioscience from Rice University and a Master’s of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. Through Coro’s Women in Leadership, Yordanos hopes to refine her personal leadership style and build lasting relationships with women dedicated to improving their communities.
Program Officer, The California Wellness Foundation, Programs Department
Monica Gomez is a program officer for the Economic Security and Dignity portfolio at The California Wellness Foundation. In her role, she reviews grant proposals, conducts site visits, and makes funding recommendations. Monica is a seasoned non-profit professional with more than 20 years of experience in fund development and program development. Throughout her career, she has dedicated herself to leveraging resources for and supporting the capacity-building efforts of organizations working towards social change, racial equity, economic and social justice. In 2020, Monica completed the Master Gardener training with the UC Cooperative Extension for Los Angeles County. She has a Master of Public Policy from UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, and a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from Occidental College. Monica is thrilled to join the CORO WIL program, where she hopes to expand her professional network, hone her leadership and management skills, and engage in sharing and learning with other participants to learn from one another’s experiences.
Director of Policy, Advocacy, and Engagement, Friends of the LA River
Liliana Griego serves as Director of Policy, Advocacy, and Engagement for Friends of the LA River. As an Angelino who grew up along the Arroyo Seco, she has had an intimate relationship with LA’s living waterways and uses her story and scientific background to advocate for a healthy, resilient, and equitably accessible LA River. Liliana is also a Public Lands Advocate. She is a member of the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter Executive Committee and National Park Conservation Association Young Leaders Council. Liliana holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and an International Master of Science in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation. Liliana is looking forward to joining the Coro Women in Leadership program to learn from a community of diverse, passionate, and driven women.
Legislative Director, City of Los Angeles, Councilmember Mike Bonin (CD 11)
Elaina Houser currently serves as the Legislative Director for Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin. In this role, she develops policy primarily on housing and homelessness issues and collaborates with other Council offices, the Mayor, the County, and members of the state legislature. She has more than a decade of experience working for members of Congress and political campaigns, with a focus on economic policy. She previously served as Legislative Director to Bill Pascrell, Jr., a senior member of the Committee on Ways and Means in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she specialized in tax and trade policy; prior to that, she worked in the offices of Senator Sherrod Brown and Senator Al Franken. She also worked on the 2012 Obama campaign and volunteered for numerous others, including with the policy team of the Biden-Harris 2020 campaign. An Ohio native, Elaina attended American University in Washington, DC, and worked in national politics for the subsequent decade. She is eager to expand her network, expertise, and presence in Los Angeles and southern California, and to develop leadership skills to take her career to the next level.
Director of Grants Management, The California Wellness Foundation
Amber López’s driving values of service and racial justice led her to a career in the nonprofit sector. She is the Director of Grants Management at The California Wellness Foundation, where she is known for her creativity in bringing a systems lens to equity in grantmaking. She has led several technology implementations practicing human-centered design. A collaborator at heart, she strongly believes in working together for the better. Previously, López advocated for immigrant rights at a rural California think tank and taught entrepreneurship with Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe members. She is a board member of Walden Family Services, providing housing and services to transition-age foster youth. López was the first in her family to attend a four-year college, studying at the University of the Pacific’s School of International Studies, earning a degree in Development and Cultural Change. López is grateful to join a network of passionate leaders dedicated to growth and learning.
Senior Product Manager, Instructure
Christine Nguyen is a Senior Product Manager at Instructure, with a passion for delivering high-quality educational technology to enhance the learning process for students and teachers. Christine began her career working as a third grade teacher within the Los Angeles Unified School District and was deeply impacted by the challenges she faced as a teacher. She moved into educational technology as a different approach to focusing on student-centered teaching and learning by creating innovative technology tools and practices to support student equity, access, and advancement. Christine holds a B.A. in Communications and a Masters of Education from UCLA. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two daughters, and a dog. Christine is excited to join the Coro Women in Leadership program and is looking forward to deepening her leadership skills and connecting and learning from a diverse group of women looking to make an impact within Los Angeles.
Director of Programs & Conferences, Southern California Grantmakers
Katy Pelissier is the Director of Programs & Conferences at Southern California Grantmakers. In this capacity, she develops and implements educational and networking opportunities for Southern California’s philanthropic community in issue areas including the environment, health, disaster resilience, and pandemic response. She leads planning for the organization’s two major conferences per year, which bring funders together to engage in public policy, advance racial equity, and integrate philanthropic best practices into their work. Prior to joining SCG, Katy spent eight years in the Pacific Northwest working on local food and agriculture issues. She graduated from the University of Oregon with B.A.s in Family & Human Services and Theatre Arts, and in her free time, enjoys staying active in any way possible, gardening, and getting outdoors. Katy hopes that her time in the Coro WIL program will yield deeper professional networks and a greater understanding of herself as a social sector leader.
Director, Youth Programs, Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation
Tiffany Rubin is the Director of Youth Programs with the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF). Under her leadership, she oversees the Dodgers RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) program which is a youth development program that uses the power of sport to provide critical resources and services to communities who are experiencing social injustices. The program serves over 10,000 youth annually. She also leads the Dodgers Dreamfields program which revitalizes baseball and softball fields to increase opportunities for play in underserved communities. To date, the program has completed 57 fields. Tiffany played softball at the collegiate level and earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Morgan State University. She is excited to join the Coro Women in Leadership program to grow her leadership skills and network with other leaders.
Energy Director, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator
Mayte Sanchez is the Director of Energy at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, where she manages and develops initiatives that support the region’s efforts to accelerate the commercialization of clean energy technologies. Prior to LACI, Mayte worked as the Senior State Affairs Liaison at the California Independent System Operator, advancing initiatives that supported California’s clean electric grid transition. Mayte began her career serving as a Legislative Aide for the California State Assembly, where she led a coalition that passed the Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing Program. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Pitzer College and remains active as an Alumni Interviewer for incoming students.
Senior Contracts Associate, Community Partners
Caroline Stockstill is a Senior Contracts Associate at Community Partners. In this role, Caroline manages the drafting and processing of contract agreements for Community Partners’ fiscally-sponsored projects. Prior to joining Community Partners, she served as Contracts Manager at Child360, formerly Los Angeles Universal Preschool, an early education nonprofit, where she managed the contracts process for the network of preschools and early childhood centers that Child360 operated. Caroline has also worked as a newspaper reporter, completing stints at the Pasadena Star-News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, and The Wall Street Journal. Caroline holds a B.A. in English and American Literature from New York University, with a minor in Journalism. Through the Coro Women in Leadership program, she hopes to gain new skills that will help her make impactful contributions in her community and looks forward to supporting other women leaders in their professional growth.
Legislative Deputy, City of Los Angeles, Councilmember Paul Krekorian (CD2)
Morgan Sutton serves as Legislative Deputy for LA City Councilmember Paul Krekorian, specializing in homelessness policy, economic development, and early childhood education initiatives. Morgan got her start in politics working on campaigns and interning with Senator Bob Hertzberg’s field office conducting research and organizing community events. Morgan thrives on working with community leaders and neighborhood groups to facilitate improvements across the city. The Coro WIL program will support Morgan’s goals of improving her ability to critically analyze policy, expanding her network of women in leadership positions, and inspiring her overall growth as an effective leader. The structures of the nation are experiencing a paradigm shift, and Morgan is committed to being at the forefront of a more equitable future, and to serving her community during these incredible changes. On a day off, Morgan heads to the coast for some dune hikes and shrimp tacos with friends and her terrier, Jazzy.
Senior Manager Global Government Affairs, Herbalife Nutrition
Brooke Switzer is the Senior Manager, Global Government Affairs at Herbalife Nutrition where she leads global projects on public policy and regulatory matters, advocacy initiatives, and external engagements with the leadership community. Brooke is a public affairs specialist with nearly 20 years of experience developing volunteer-led and community-based programs and campaigns for NGOs and governments in a variety of international markets. Brooke holds a BSBA from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio, and an MBA from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. She also served as a small business development Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco. Having recently relocated to the city of Los Angeles this summer, Brooke is looking forward to networking with a diverse group of women across a variety of sectors participating in the program.
Administrative Services Officer, City of Santa Monica
Margaret Talamantes has over 24 years of experience in local and federal government, including the Cities of Santa Monica, Inglewood, Seattle, and the U.S. Department of Labor. Her areas of expertise include local government budgeting, capital improvement project management, community development, grants management, information systems, and prevailing wage programs. Margaret created and managed the City of Santa Monica’s first Labor Compliance program, ensuring all workers are paid prevailing wages while employed on City projects. During the COVID-19 disaster, she served as the Financial Recovery Lead for the City of Santa Monica’s Emergency Operations Center. Margaret’s passion lies in helping local government agencies plan innovative projects and programs to help communities improve the quality of life for their residents. She has a Bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Washington. She looks forward to joining the CORO Women’s Leadership community to engage with colleagues who want to make a positive difference in our region.
Regional Vice President, Block By Block, Southwest Region
Daniela Vasile is a Regional Vice President at Block By Block, the leading provider of security, cleaning, and hospitality services for Business Improvement Districts and cities across the United States. She is currently responsible for 16 accounts spread across Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Hawaii. She joined Block By Block in July 2013 as Director of Operations and was promoted to Regional Vice President in January 2015. Daniela has a diverse and extensive professional background in hospitality, internal audit, and finance. After studying business and science at the University of Southern California, she joined the restaurant industry where she was involved in the growth and development of two separate fast-casual concepts. Along with her other professional attributes, she speaks fluent Romanian, is conversant in Spanish, and currently learning French and Italian. Daniela looks forward to being part of a dynamic and connected cohort of women and building long-lasting professional relationships.
Emylou Vergel de Dios
Care Coordinator, Union Station Homeless Services
Emylou Vergel de Dios is a Care Coordinator for Union Station Homeless Services and a community organizer. Outside of her day job, Emylou spends her weekends organizing distributions and community drives to provide unhoused neighbors in her city with basic necessities. Emylou received her B.A. in Political Science from UC Berkeley with a minor in Public Policy. She spent her time in Berkeley serving as an intern at multiple non-profit organizations, student associations, and the City of Berkeley. Emylou is currently pursuing her M.A. degree in Public Administration at Cal State Fullerton so that she may strengthen her management and policy knowledge. She plans to use her non-profit and community organizing knowledge to uplift individuals from homelessness and to resolve the root causes of poverty in her community. She is excited to foster relationships with fellow women navigating the same governmental and non-profit spaces as herself.