Meet the Fall 2019 WIL Cohort

We’re thrilled to announce our second WIL cohort!

Stephanie Alvarado
Director of Individual Giving
Liberty Hill Foundation
Stephanie is the Director of Individual Giving at Liberty Hill Foundation. Stephanie has dedicated her career to social justice and has worked with various organizations in the nonprofit sector for over ten years. She has on-the-ground experience working on a wide range of social justice projects and has extensive experience planning conferences, facilitating workshops, leading community engagement efforts, and advocating for people-centered policies that promote racial and gender equity. Stephanie is passionate about fundraising for causes she believes in and successfully managed development efforts at local and national organizations including the East Los Angeles Women’s Center and The Trevor Project. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Spanish, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management. Stephanie hopes to build relationships with dynamic women across sectors and to learn new leadership skills to make a more meaningful impact at Liberty Hill and in Los Angeles.

Joni Angel
Vice President, Political Affairs
California Charter Schools Association
Joni Angel currently serves as the Vice President of Political Affairs at the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA), an organization dedicated to advocating for high-quality public schools for all kids in the state. Her work focuses on building the political strength of the charter school sector. She has been with CCSA for nine years. She started her career as a science teacher in New York City, with Teach For America, and then went on to teach chemistry at an all-girls charter school in Chicago for another three years. Joni holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. She is excited to be joining the new cohort of Women In Leadership and looks forward to meeting and learning from women from across a wide variety of sectors and backgrounds.

Nancy E. Cabrel-Perez
Contracts Manager
Para Los Niños
Nancy E. Cabrel-Perez currently serves as the Contracts Manager in the finance department at Para Los Niños. She is responsible for leading the analyst team in obtaining, executing, and managing government, corporate, and foundation grants. Nancy’s experience includes over 10 years of youth development, program supervision, grants management, and fiscal compliance. She is a graduate of Mount Saint Mary’s University, where she earned her B.A. in Political Science and English with minors in Pre-law and History. By participating in the Coro WIL program Nancy hopes to take this opportunity to expand her network, conduct meaningful self-reflection, and hone in on her managerial and coaching skills. In her free time, Nancy is always on a quest to expand her international palate by scouring the city for the best eateries, checking them off her bucket list, and sharing her prized spots with others.

Jessica Cohn
Independent Consultant
Public Education Sector
As an independent consultant, Jessica Cohn helps inspiring education organizations turn their ideas into impact. In the 10+ years she spent working behind the scenes in the public education sector in operations and strategy at two of LA’s top-performing school networks, she gained exposure to nearly every aspect of starting and leading mission-driven organizations. Today, she partners with schools, education nonprofits, and foundations to help them plan and execute large, mission-critical projects. Through the Coro Women in Leadership program, she hopes to build relationships with women across sectors, sharpen her skills for making change, and develop a broader perspective that helps her to set her ongoing work in education into greater context in the city.

Jasmine Elbarbary
Youth Programs Director
City of Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, EmpowerLA
Jasmine Elbarbary is a community organizer for the City of Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, EmpowerLA. She believes in people power and connects local communities with City Hall, City Departments with stakeholders, and city government with the people it serves. As Youth Programs Director, Jasmine has graduated 330 students through two EmpowerLA youth programs she created and leads: Civic Youth Leadership Academy and IgniteLA. As the Department’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Jasmine advocates for policy and legislation that helps neighborhoods thrive; She accomplishes this through environmental education and community action on sustainability and resilience across Los angeles. She hopes to perfect her professional narrative, learn from a strong network of intersectional feminists, and influence change on purpose and with purpose through Coro’s Women in Leadership Program. A native Angelena, Jasmine is grateful for the ongoing and tremendous opportunity to make this great City a better place each and every day.

Mia Ellis
Assistant Chief Trial Counsel, Office of Chief Trial Counsel
State Bar of California
Mia Ellis is an Assistant Chief Trial Counsel in the Office of Chief Trial Counsel for the State Bar of California. In managing a unit with over 50 staff, Mia oversees the investigation and prosecution of attorney discipline cases. She also assists in the development and implementation of policies, procedures, and operational guidelines for new initiatives. Before joining the State Bar, Mia spent a few years in private practice working in the area of workers’ compensation. Prior to beginning her legal career, she worked for several years in Washington, D.C. as a legislative aide for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. Mia is excited to join Coro WIL as she aspires to become a more effective advocate and leader, and hopes to learn from and be challenged by other accomplished women leaders. A native of Los Angeles, Mia holds a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA and a Juris Doctor from Southwestern Law School.

Naomi Fink
Retirement Economist
Capital Group’s Retirement Research Initiative
Naomi Fink is the Co-Chair of Capital Group’s Retirement Research Initiative (RRI) and Academic Research Specialist. The RRI offers research on retirement-related issues, including savings, income, demographics and health, in support of Capital’s investments and business. Prior to joining Capital in 2016, Fink founded Europacifica Consulting, a global economics and strategy consulting firm. Before she founded Europacifica, Naomi established herself as financial market strategist and macroeconomist for some of the world’s leading financial institutions, across a variety of markets and has provided expert media commentary (radio, television and print). Naomi holds an MSc in Specialized Economic Analysis from Barcelona GSE, an M.A. Honours from the University of St. Andrews, and was nominated to the Japan Society of Monetary Economics in 2014. Given the contribution of the compounded pay gap to the gender divide in retirement outcomes, she remains passionate about cultivating women’s leadership talent to improve equality in economic outcomes.

Laurel Finster
Research Advisor
Research Center for Health Equity at Cedars-Sinai
Laurel Finster is a public health professional with expertise in health disparity research, strategic planning, and program development. She received an MPH from San Diego State University, and a BA in Social Ecology from UC Irvine. In addition to participating in several international research projects, she was awarded a Global Health Fellowship from Duke University and trained at the World Health Organization. She spent several years at Australian National University, researching food security across the social gradient, under the framework of social determinants of health. More recently, she has worked with adolescents and young adults with cancer. Laurel is currently the Research Advisor at the Research Center for Health Equity at Cedars-Sinai and aims to reduce cancer disparities among underserved populations in Los Angeles County. Through Coro, she hopes to better understand topics such a power dynamics, influence, public speaking, and the balance of being a working mom.

Shruti Garg
Senior Associate
Nonprofit Finance Fund
Shruti Garg currently serves as a Senior Associate at the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), where she works to strengthen the financial health of nonprofit organizations across the US. Before joining NFF, Shruti served as Membership Engagement Director for Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP), where she partnered with over 50 foundation and 400 individual members to oversee national programs that increased investments to Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Shruti has worked for major philanthropic institutions including the Open Society Foundations (OSF), where she managed the investment of more than $45 million over 3 years to immigrant rights, racial justice, and low- wage worker rights organizations. She proudly  serves as board treasurer for South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a national racial justice advocacy organization. Based in Los Angeles, Shruti graduated from Smith College and received her Master of Public Policy from the University of Southern California.

Erin Keller
Senior Director
The Broad Center
Erin is a third generation Angeleno and a Senior Director at The Broad Center, where she currently oversees recruitment and selection for The Broad Residency, a national education leadership development program. Prior to joining The Broad Center, Erin spent several years working within education locally, both in the classroom as an LAUSD high school teacher and for City Year Los Angeles. Erin earned a bachelor’s degree and a master of business administration from the University of Southern California. Through the Coro Women in Leadership fellowship, Erin is excited to develop her own leadership and be exposed to the great work that women are leading across many sectors in Southern California.

Nomsa Khalfani, PhD
Executive Vice President
Essential Access Health
Nomsa Khalfani, Ph.D. is the Executive Vice President at Essential Access Health, where she leads key initiatives in support of Essential Access’ strategic priorities, to further the growth and position of the organization. Under her leadership, Essential Access Health’s Learning Exchange has increased the overall number of training participants, training revenue, and training participants beyond California. She also launched Essential Access Health Solutions, which offers a broad range of consulting and product solutions. Nomsa serves as Board Chair at CADRE and Community Health Councils and serves as a Board Member for California Pan-Ethic Health Network. She is also a member of the LA County Community Prevention and Population Health Task Force and the African American Infant and Maternal Mortality Steering Committee. Dr. Khalfani is at a stage of personal inquiry, and being immersed in a group-structured experience, intentionally targeting women through Coro’s WIL fellowship, is another step in her leadership journey.

Erin Lanahan
Nonprofit and Health Care Sectors
Erin is a consultant in the nonprofit and health care sectors. Prior to this, she served as Associate Director of Cedars-Sinai’s Community Benefit Giving Office, which she helped to launch in 2013. Erin developed and implemented a proactive grant-making strategy that included the flagship Community Clinic Initiative, a capacity-building endeavor for 35+ community clinics serving over 800,000 patients annually. Erin also spent seven years at the Washington-based Advisory Board Company, a best practice research firm. There, Erin ran the Philanthropy Leadership Council, where she supported chief development officers at 750+ hospitals and health systems. She was recognized as a national expert on grateful patient fundraising and performance management. Erin received a BA from Yale University in History and an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles. Erin currently serves on the advisory board of the Institute for High Quality Care. With her fellow Coro leaders, she is excited to unlock intersectional power to effect greater change in LA.

Laura Lull
Executive Director
META (Making Education the Answer) Foundation
Laura Lull has more than 25 years of nonprofit experience. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the META (Making Education the Answer) Foundation where she supports outstanding Latinx college scholars in fulfilling their educational goals. Laura’s philanthropic passions revolve around education and youth. From teaching diverse middle school students just outside of Washington D.C, to starting an intergenerational program connecting youth with senior citizens in Oakland, to launching strategic communications for a large grantmaker, Laura’s work and philanthropic interests have always intersected. In her volunteer work, Laura serves as a Drop-In Coach for ScholarMatch, an advising program for low-income students. Laura holds a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and a Bachelor’s Degree (BS) from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Through Coro WIL, Laura looks forward to expanding her leadership skills and collaborating with other like-minded women.

Valerie Matron
Realtor, Business Owner
Valerie Matron is all about personalization and uncovering her clients’ needs and goals. She believes there is nothing more personal than choosing where to call home. Valerie’s journey to real estate began with a passion and interest in community and urban development. An expert in market research, prior to working in real estate, Valerie worked as a product manager in the digital health space, as an advisor on international affairs, and as a service designer and strategist. Valerie is passionate about supporting women in their path towards home ownership and through WIL, she hopes to strengthen her communication skills to better convey her values, story, and processes to clients and the broader community. In addition to her real estate business, Valerie is a teacher-in-training with the Miracle Project, a nonprofit that focuses on supporting individuals with autism and disabilities in their journeys towards fulfillment and self-expression. Valerie is bilingual in Spanish and English and proficient in French. She holds a B.A. from Tulane University in Political Science and International Development. She loves live music, traveling, a good swim, and writing children’s stories.

Tiffany Mayberry
Director of Legal, Original Programming
Tiffany Mayberry currently is a Director of Legal, Original Programming at HBO. She received her Bachelor of Arts from University of California, Berkeley and later attended Columbia University School of Social Work. Throughout her career, she has been a  recipient of the NAMIC Leadership Program, graduate of AABLI (African-American Board Leadership Institute), a member of the Los Angeles African-American Women’s Public Policy Institute, and is currently an Ambassador for Proctor & Gamble’s ‘My Black is Beautiful’ campaign, as well as an active participant in her community. In 2017, Ms. Mayberry became a Leadership Council Chair Member for the Downtown Women’s Center, serving as the Advocacy Chair, and now serving as President. By participating in the Coro Women in Leadership program she hopes to gain further knowledge, a stronger skillset and an enriching opportunity to sharpen her capability to be an impactful leader.

Jennifer McElyea
Senior Managing Partner
Watt Companies
Jennifer is a Senior Managing Partner with Watt Investment Partners, the commercial real estate acquisition arm of the Watt Companies, a 70-year-old development company based in Los Angeles. Jennifer has nearly 20 years of experience in real estate investing with a focus on development, land use and the entitlement process. As such, she has spent considerable time at the intersection of finance, public policy, community engagement and law. More recently, Jennifer has focused on public-private- partnership opportunities and the use of innovative financial structures to address the housing crisis. Jennifer holds a Master of Real Estate Development from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and German Literature from the University of Virginia. She is looking forward to engaging with other women executives about cross-sector solutions to homelessness and building an equitable Los Angeles.

Jessica Meaney
Founder and Executive Director
Investing in Place
Jessica Meaney is the Founder and Executive Director of Investing in Place, an organization committed to transportation investments that strengthen communities. This passion pushed her to create Investing in Place in January 2015. Investing in Place’s vision mobility of Los Angeles includes beautiful shade giving trees along accessible sidewalks, bus only lanes where buses are faster than cars, and barrier protected bike lanes designed for families and more. Investing in Place’s work is focused on the implementation of policies and investments at Metro and the City of Los Angeles, focusing on equitable investment and increased access. Investing in Place works to build capacity with partners to collaborate on campaigns and project development that invests our billions of transportation public funds back into a system that prioritizes the needs of our most vulnerable first. Jessica has her Master of Arts in Urban Sociology from California State University, Los Angeles. Prior to Investing in Place, Jessica worked at the Southern California Association of Governments as Regional Transportation Planner and at the Safe Routes to School National Partnership as the Southern California Policy Director.

Karla Mercado
Senior Manager
Southern California Grantmakers & Philanthropy California
Karla Mercado is a Senior Manager at Southern California Grantmakers and Philanthropy California. In this dual role, Karla supports SCG’s public policy efforts and manages Philanthropy California’s statewide initiatives. Prior to SCG, Karla was the coordinator of special events for a public relations firm where she developed and coordinated strategic networking events for local nonprofits, institutions, and corporate clients, to expand their community engagement and exposure. She began her work in the nonprofit sector as a case manager for Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters, where she supported and maintained records for youth and their mentors to ensure positive youth and match development. Karla has a B.A. in Sociology from California State University, Los Angeles and an M.P.A. and certificate in nonprofit Management from California State University, Northridge. Through Coro WIL, Karla is excited to build cross-sector relationships, develop new leadership skills, and learn from women leaders in SoCal.

Trisha Muse
Director of Community Relations
Southern California Gas Company
Trisha Muse is the Director of Community Relations for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility. SoCalGas delivers clean, reliable and affordable energy to over 22 million consumers through 6 million meters in more than 500 communities in 12 counties from Central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. SoCalGas is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy, a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. In her current role, Muse is responsible for community investment, employee engagement and community involvement. SoCalGas’ community investment priorities include: Emergency Preparedness & Safety, Environmental, STEM Education and Homelessness. In addition, Muse has more than 20 years of strategic communications experience. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with an emphasis in marketing, from California State University at Fullerton. In addition to participating in many industry organizations and committees, Muse serves the Board of Directors for Southern California Leadership Network, a nonprofit network focused on advancing the region and the state by inspiring, preparing and connecting leaders to drive change. And, she serves on the Board of Governors for KHEIR, a healthcare center committed to providing linguistically and culturally-sensitive quality primary healthcare and human services support to the underserved and uninsured residents of Southern California. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Discovery Cube Foundation of Los Angeles, a nonprofit organization impacting the lives of children for over 35 years, through hands-on science education.

Zachia Nazarzai
Associate Director of Neighborhood Services
Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti
Zachia Nazarzai is the Associate Director of Neighborhood Services in the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti. In this role, she promotes access to public open space and recreation programs, working closely with the Department of Recreation and Parks and the LA Zoo. In 2018, she helped launch SwimLA, a citywide campaign that resulted in doubling enrollment in the City’s summer swim classes. Zachia also serves as the Executive Director for the Afghan-American Conference, an organization that convenes the Afghan-American diaspora and through dialogue creates a more supportive, empowered, and engaged community. Through the WIL program, Zachia hopes to learn how to create an environment in which people with different leadership styles can work together both authentically and effectively. She received her BA in International Development Studies and Political Science from UCLA and her Masters in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

Nina Nguyen
Program Manager
The Los Angeles Trust for Children’s Health
Nina Nguyen is a Program Manager at The Los Angeles Trust for Children’s Health where she oversees programs relating to nutrition and physical activity promotion. Through the L.A. Trust, Nina has coordinated projects relating to children’s health including asthma care and healthcare access; she also has knowledge about school-based health care in Los Angeles. She has a background in Ethnic Studies from California State University, Fullerton and a Masters of Public Health from Loma Linda University. She also became a Certified Health Education Specialist to further her knowledge and skills in program development and evaluation. Her passion for public health is rooted in her experience as a Giant Cell tumor survivor and 2nd generation Vietnamese American. Whether her work involves organizing nail salon workers on environmental health or developing a youth nutrition education program, Nina strives to improve health equity for immigrant families and children.

June Park
Development Partner
SDG Housing Partners
June Park is a Development Partner at SDG Housing Partners, where she brings over 15 years of experience in affordable housing and real estate. At SDG, June is responsible for all aspects of development; including acquisitions, debt and equity structuring, and asset management. Most recently, as Vice President for U.S. Bank, she originated and structured debt financing for affordable housing projects. Prior to U.S. Bank, she was a fund manager for a national tax credit syndicator. She started her career as a city planner after college and was a project manager for an affordable housing developer after graduate school. Ms. Park holds a Masters in Regional Planning from Cornell University and a BA in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. She serves on the board of SRO Housing, a nonprofit provider of affordable housing. She looks forward to strengthening her leadership skills to effectively lead and make an impact in the affordable housing industry and the greater Los Angeles community

Amanda Parsons
External Affairs Director
Sentinel Peak Resources
Amanda Parsons has over a decade of experience working in the government, private and nonprofit sectors in public relations and policy development. She currently leads external affairs for Sentinel Peak Resources and teaches part-time in the School of  Journalism and Public Relations at California State University Long Beach. Previously, Parsons served as the media relations manager for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, as communications director for a state assemblyman, and as press secretary for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Parsons holds master’s degrees from Pepperdine University in both public policy and dispute resolution.

Kirby Rock
Director of External Affairs
Kheir Center
Kirby Rock is the Director of External Affairs at Kheir Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides linguistically and culturally-sensitive healthcare and human services to the underserved and uninsured residents of Southern California. Kirby oversees programs that increase awareness of Kheir’s services, promote cross-sectoral collaboration, and engage donors, partners and volunteers. She is responsible for fundraising, communications, strategic planning, board relations and event management. She is a founding member and former Co-chair of the Korean American Health Coalition. Before joining Kheir in 2010, Kirby was a high school English teacher in South LA and the San Fernando Valley. A native of Dallas, Texas, Kirby received her bachelor’s  degree in English and a master’s degree in teaching from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Through WIL, Kirby hopes to strengthen her leadership skills, learn from the other accomplished women in the cohort, and increase her impact in the community.

Amber Roth
Director of Operations and Programs
Homeless Health Care Los Angeles (HHCLA)
As the Director of Operations and Programs for Homeless Health Care Los Angeles (HHCLA), Amber Roth, LCSW is responsible for program development and implementation, oversight and development of staff, oversight of agency operations, and establishing strategic partnerships. Amber has over 19 years of experience working in homeless services and 15 years’ experience in leadership roles. Amber earned her Master of Science in Criminal Justice at California State University Long Beach and her Master in Social Work at California State University Northridge. Amber is also a 2014 graduate of the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management‘s UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Executive Program and the University of Southern California, California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions Leadership Institute. Through the Coro’s Women in Leadership program, Amber looks forward to develop new cross-sector partners, continue her leadership growth and learn new skills to have a larger impact in the community.

Christina Sanchez
Los Angeles County-based independent consultant
Christina Sánchez is a Los Angeles County-based independent consultant supporting mission-driven organization with strategic planning, program design and evaluation, and professional development. Prior roles included serving as the Director of Programs for A Place Called Home, a community and youth center in South Central Los Angeles, launching parent-organizing efforts across the state of California, teaching at an LAUSD middle school, and working as an admissions officer for her alma mater, Yale University. Christina holds a Master in Public Policy and Urban Planning from Harvard’s Kennedy School and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration from Yale University. Through WIL, Christina hopes to reflect on her leadership journey, strengthen her capacity to facilitate cross-sector partnerships, and meet thoughtful public servants who are creating transformative results for the communities of Southern California.

Laura Sklaroff
Research Analyst III
Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
Part-Time Instructor
California State University, Northridge
Laura Myerchin Sklaroff has focused her career on the improvement and equity of health care for people in the safety-net. Currently she is a researcher, grant writer, and evaluator with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services where she created and organizes/hosts the “Research Fast Pitch” Competition, an annual “shark-tank”-meets-healthcare research community event. Ms. Sklaroff teaches Program Evaluation at California State University, Northridge. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Guilford College and received a Master’s degree in Applied Psychology and Evaluation from Claremont Graduate University. Ms. Sklaroff spent time at Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland studying the impact of culture on the evaluation of peace programs. As a utilization-driven evaluator, Ms. Sklaroff focuses on applying social sciences to best improve programs in context-focused, sustainable ways. She hopes to grow as an equality driven leader focused on impactful change.

Megan Szabo
Director of Talent Development
KIPP SoCal Public Schools
Megan Szabo is currently the Director of Talent Development at KIPP SoCal Public Schools. Megan joined KIPP in 2010 as the founding operations leader of KIPP Comienza Community Prep. In her time at KIPP she has worked on the regional operations team and as an assistant school leader where she worked alongside a talented team that has made KIPP Comienza one of the top-performing elementary schools in California and a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School. She began her work in education as a Teach for America corps member in Los Angeles. Megan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and a Masters of Arts in Urban Education from Loyola Marymount University. She is looking forward to being part of a learning community that will facilitate her leadership development, foster new relationships, and further build her capacity to enact positive change within Southern California.

Elana Wien
Vice President, Center for Designed Philanthropy
Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles
Elana is a results-oriented, values-driven leader with a track record of supporting innovation, building capacity, fostering meaningful partnerships and taking projects and organizations to scale. She oversees grant programs for the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, with assets of over $1B under management, and guides donor families with combined charitable assets of $300M in their philanthropy. With a background in community work, public affairs, civil rights, fund development, philanthropy and communications, she has served a variety of nonprofits including a leading anti-hate international organization, a regional medical center, a national early childhood think tank, a major LA County community clinic system, and a youth homeless services agency. She was born and resides in LA with her wife and children. Through the Coro SoCal Women in Leadership she looks forward to building and deepening her cross-sector network of talented women leaders tackling the community’s most pressing challenges.

Victoria Yeliokumson
Senior Marketing Analyst
Los Angeles Times
Victoria Yeliokumson is a marketing and research leader at the Los Angeles Times. She creates and ideates B2B marketing and sales efforts using analytics and research for customized campaigns. With an extensive background in media from her time at OMD, a global ad agency and account management and integrated marketing roles at a startup, she excels at developing brands and activating go-to-market strategies. A Los Angeles native and UC Berkeley graduate, Victoria has gained a lot of perspective in her previous roles and hopes to advance her talents in the local market. She is always looking for ways to further develop her leadership skills and professionally advance in her field. By participating in Coro, Victoria is looking forward to improving her leadership skills, learning to manage challenging situations, and engaging with fellow strong female leaders.