The Trusteeship

February 2023


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Welcome our new members!

February 22, 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Dear Trusteeship members,


We are thrilled to announce our new members for 2022. I hope you’ll reach out to them personally to build the rewarding relationships we have come to experience in this group.


Our next Call for Nominations will happen in March of this year. We will add another cycle for member nominations in September of 2023. Please start thinking of women that you’ve encountered that should be in this group of accomplished people.


Don’t miss your chance to meet our new members on the evening of February 22, 5:30 – 6:30 pm via Zoom. RSVP here.



Warm regards,

Jennifer Ferro

Membership Chair

Erika Beck


California State University, Northridge


CSUN has a student body of almost 40,000 and 2,200 faculty. It has the 2nd largest undergraduate population of the 23 campuses in the Cal State system and 3rd largest student population. CSUN’s size also has an economic output in the region which is estimated to be more than $1.9 billion.


Preeminence: Dr. Erika Beck is President of CSUN and has been in the educational field for most of her career. Erika has also served as President of Cal State Channel Islands. She has been recognized as a forward thinker who is addressing inequities within education and has helped improve student achievement and graduation rates. As President, she has helped guide CSUN in securing major gifts and support for her vision ($40 million gift from Mackenzie Scott, $25 million gift from Apple and $25 million from Governor Newsom) to transform CSUN including a new Global HSI Equity Innovation Hub. She hassled efforts on campus to build upon the designation of CSUN as Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). Erika was named one of the Most Influential Leaders in Education by the Pacific Coast Business Times and Woman of the Year by the California Women’s Caucus.


Sphere of Influence: Erika serves on the boards of the L.A. Chamber, LAEDC, the Big West Conference and the finance committee of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. She previously served on the board of the Santa Barbara Zoo. At Channel Islands (CI) and CSUN, Erika has led the way increasing opportunities for diverse student populations.


Erika holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego; an M.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University; and a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of California, San Diego where she also served as a faculty fellow.

Sponsor: Wendy Greuel


Birthday: May 31


Cell Phone: 818.233.6278


Office Phone: 818.677.2121



Sponsors: Nikki Clay and Julie Meier Wright


Birthday: May 5


Home (mailing address):

1440 Columbia Street

San Diego, CA 92101


Cell phone: 708.341.0352



750 B Street Unit 1500

San Diego, CA 92101


Office phone: 619.232.3101



Julie Coker

President & CEO

San Diego Tourism Authority


The San Diego Tourism Authority (SDTA) is a private, non-profit, mutual benefit corporation that has been in existence since 1954.It is composed of nearly 1,000 member organizations, businesses, and local governments, including tourism-related entities, such as lodging, dining, arts and attractions, shopping, and transportation, and companies indirectly involved in the visitor industry. As a sales and marketing organization, the main objective of SDTA is to market San Diego County as an ideal vacation destination and convention site.


Preeminence: As President and CEO, Julie leads San Diego Tourism Authority (SDTA), San Diego’s only tourism sales and marketing organization. Previously she served as the President and CEO of Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau where she oversaw the 2017 NFL Draft and the 2016 Democratic National Convention, which had a combined economic impact of $325 million for Philadelphia. In 2019, the Philadelphia Business Journal named Julie among their Women of Distinction honorees. She was the 2017 United Negro College Fund Mayor’s Ball Honoree for Civic Leadership and was named one of the Network Journal’s 25 Most Influential Black Women in business


Sphere of Influence: Julie serves on several boards, including the California Travel Association, Visit California, The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, The San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation and the Downtown San Diego Partnership. She is an Executive Committee Member of the U.S. Travel Association and Destinations International.


Julie is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, where she received a Bachelor of Science in hospitality management and graduated magna cum laude.

Andrea Ghez

Professor and Director of UCLA Galactic Center Group



The UCLA Division of Physical Sciences encompasses six departments, including the Department of Physics and Astronomy. The Division has over 200 faculty members and matriculates on average over 700 undergraduates and 150 graduate students per year. The UCLA Department of Physics and Astronomy celebrates its diversity.


Preeminence: Andrea is an astrophysicist and professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and the Lauren B. Leichtman & Arthur E. Levine chair in Astrophysics, at UCLA. She is the Director of the UCLA Galactic Center Group. Her research focuses on the center of the Milky Way galaxy. In 2020, she became the fourth woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. The Nobel Prize was awarded to Andrea and Reinhard Genzel for their discovery of a supermassive compact object, now generally recognized to be a black hole in the Milky Way’s galactic center.


Sphere of Influence: Andrea is very committed to the communication of science to the general public and inspiring young girls into science. Her work can be found in many public outlets including TED, NOVA’s Monster of the Milky Way, Discovery’s Swallowed by a Black Hole, TED, and Griffith Observatory.


Andrea earned her B.S from MIT in 1987, and her PhD from Caltech in 1992 and has been on the faculty at UCLA since 1994.

Sponsor: Leslie Gilbert-Lurie


Birthday: June 16


Cell phone: 310.562.6322



UCLA 430 Portola Plaza

Los Angeles, CA 90095


Office Phone: 310.206.0240



Sponsors: Margaret McKeown and Martha Gilmer


Birthday: February 25


Cell phone: 301.537.1390


Office: P.O. Box 121390

San Diego, CA 92112


Work phone: 619.255.0216



Judy Gradwohl

President & CEO

San Diego Natural History Museum


The museum is the second oldest scientific institution in California. Judy oversees more than 100 full-time employees, along with a large complement of part-time employees, a budget of $12 million, and 400,000 annual visitors. As CEO, she is responsible for over eight million specimens of native insects, animals, fossils, plants, and more. The museum is highly regarded for its exhibits and community education programs while functioning as a university-grade research department collaborating with the scientific community to make discoveries and lead conservation efforts for birds and mammals, botany, entomology, herpetology, marine invertebrates, mineralogy, and paleontology.


Preeminence: Judy is the first female president and CEO of the San Diego Natural History Museum since its founding almost 150 years ago. She joined The Nat in July 2016 following more than 30 years at the Smithsonian Institution. Under her leadership, the Museum developed a new strategic plan that focuses on regional science, collections, education, and conservation. A new master plan for the building emphasizes energy conservation, maximizing visitor experiences, safeguarding collections, and improving working conditions for staff and volunteers. Some of the most notable strategic shifts under Judy’s leadership include transitioning from traveling to in-house exhibitions, developing an internal venture fund to encourage experimental thinking, bolstering awareness of the museum’s important conservation work, and—amidst the backdrop of a global pandemic—rethinking the museum’s programming as a new blended model of onsite, online, and nature-based activities. She is published on animal behavior and ecology, conservation, and museum practice.


Sphere of Influence: Judy serves on several boards, including Audubon California, Balboa Park Cultural Partnership; Aspen Institute Advisory Council for Science and Society Program.


Judy received her B.A. and M.A. in Zoology from the University of California at Berkeley, where she also gained her first museum experience: developing and teaching classes at Lawrence Hall of Science, and dusting the case tops at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.

Jessie Kornberg

President & CEO

Skirball Cultural Center


The Skirball Cultural center has more than 250 full and part-time staff. The facility has been described as a center that features a museum with regularly changing exhibitions, film events, music and theater performances, comedy, family, literary, and cultural programs. The campus includes a museum, a performing arts center, conference halls, classrooms, libraries, courtyards, gardens, and a café.


Preeminence: Jessie became the President and CEO of the Skirball Cultural Center in July 2020. To the Skirball’s leadership team, she brings two decades of civil rights work—a career dedicated to dismantling systemic inequality. This commitment began with frontline anti-poverty services at the largest provider of homeless family housing in New York City. Jessie went on to work with the NAACP and NOW before founding Ms. JD, an online community dedicated to supporting and advancing the careers of women in the legal profession. She co-chaired the pro bono program at the Beverly Hills litigation boutique Bird Marella, focusing the firm’s resources on prison condition reform, including a groundbreaking class action on behalf of the death row inmates at Angola state penitentiary in Louisiana.


Sphere of Influence: Jessie currently serves as a trustee for the L.A. Urban League, the Motion Picture Television Fund and UCLA School of Law and is on the President’s Council for Bet Tzedek.


Jessie earned her J.D. at UCLA, and she earned her bachelor’s degree in American history from Columbia University.

Sponsor: Wendy Greuel


Birthday: April 20


Home (mailing address):

2284 Moreno Dr.

Los Angeles, CA 90039


Cell Phone: 917.446.8991



2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90049


Office phone:310.440.4710



Sponsors: Billie Greer and Cristina Rose


Birthday: November 21


Cell phone: 323.896.8103


Office (mailing address):

707 3rd Street

West Sacramento, CA 95605


Work phone: 916.201.0565



Ana Maria Lasso


California Department of General Services


The Department of General Services (DGS), lead by Ana, has 3,500 employees and a budget of more than $1 billion. The department serves the public by providing a variety of services to state agencies through procurement, acquisition solutions, creative real estate management, design, innovation, environmentally friendly transportation, and funding for the construction of state schools. DGS manages nearly 3000 properties totaling 7 million acres owned by the state. The department also serves as a control and oversight department to help protect the interests of the state of California.


Preeminence: Ana M. Lasso was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to serve as the Director of the Department of General Services on March 19, 2021. Previously, Director Lasso represented the State with real estate negotiations to secure the Los Angeles Football Club—Banc of California Stadium and the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art at Exposition Park. She also led Exposition Park through one of its most triumphant economic development periods, with over $1 billion in construction dollars invested throughout the 160 acres known as Exposition Park.

Prior to becoming a state appointee, Director Lasso managed the Joint Use Development Program for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), The Joint Use Development Program developed community partnerships and capital improvement projects to provide features and enhancements for public schools and the surrounding community. 


Sphere of Influence: Ana is a member of the MIT Alumni Association, UCLA Alumni Association and Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE). Lasso is an executive board member and vice chair at the Figueroa Corridor Business Improvement District.


Director Lasso holds a Masters in City Planning and Urban Design Certificate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and dual Bachelors from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Natalie Samarjian

President & CEO

Coro Southern California


The Coro Southern California for Civic Leadership trains civic leaders nationwide. Coro leaders develop skills; master tools needed to engage and empower communities; gain experience in government, business, labor and not-for-profit community organizations; and participate in special community and political problem solving. Over 1,000 participants a year go through Coro programs nationwide. There are over 10,000 program alumni currently serving as leaders in local, regional and national/global businesses, non-profit organizations, labor unions, governmental agencies and elected public office. Coro Southern California’s revenues were approximately $1.2 million in 2020.


Preeminence: Natalie is President and CEO of Coro Southern California. Coro’s mission is to strengthen the democratic process by preparing emerging leaders for effective and ethical leadership in public affairs. Under Natalie’s leadership, Coro has developed a new strategic plan, expanded programs, partnerships, and revenue, and cultivated a growing community of Coro alumni who are transforming communities across the country. Natalie comes to Coro Southern California from the California Women’s Law Center (CWLC), where she worked to address the comprehensive and unique legal needs of women and girls through impact litigation, public policy advocacy and legal education. Prior to CWLC, Natalie was Staff Attorney and Dickran Tevrizian Fellow at Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County (NLSLA), where she provided individual representation to victims of domestic violence, supported impact litigation, including a successful appeal in Montagner v. Montagner, engaged in public policy advocacy, and conducted extensive community outreach and legal education.


Sphere of Influence: Natalie currently serves on the Los Angeles City Commission for Human Rights, and the Los Angeles County Commission on the Economy & Efficiency Commission. She also serves on the Boards of Public Counsel, Heidi Duckler Dance, and the UCLA Alumni Association, and as Board Chair for Emerge California.


Natalie earned her Juris Doctorate from UCLA School of Law, her Master of Science at the Heinz School of Public Policy & Management at Carnegie Mellon University, and her Bachelor of Arts UCLA. 

Sponsors: Billie Greer and Cristina Rose


Birthday: September 14


Home (mailing address):

1044 Camann St

Glendale CA 91208, US


Cell Phone: 818.422.1492



Sponsors: Abbe Land and Billie Greer


Birthday: April 28



427 W 5th Street, #314

Los Angeles, CA 90013


Cell phone: 909.724.8392


Office (mailing address):

1 Gateway Plaza

Los Angeles, CA 90012


Work phone: 213.922.7555



Stephanie Wiggins


Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority


The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, is the largest public transit operator west of Chicago. Created by the State of California to set policy, coordinate, plan, fund, build and operate transit services and transportation programs throughout Los Angeles County, Metro supports the transportation improvement programs of 88 cities and 16 municipal transit operators as well as LA’s paratransit provider and its regional commuter rail service provider, Metrolink. As the principal transit provider in the southern California region, Metro serves about 75% of all transit trips within its 1,433 square mile service area, carrying approximately 900,000 passengers per day on buses and nearly 360,000 passengers on rail. Metro operates four light rail lines and two heavy rail lines. Metro also provides funding to 40 other municipal operators that offer fixed route service. Additionally, Metro provides highway construction funding and traffic flow management. Budget: $7 billion.


Preeminence: The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (Metro) Board of Directors voted to hire Stephanie as LA Metro’s CEO on April 8, 2021. A lifelong trailblazer and champion of equity and inclusion, she will be the first woman – and first African American woman – to lead LA Metro in the agency’s history, which dates to 1993. The appointment as CEO is a homecoming for Stephanie who served as Deputy CEO of LA Metro until December 2018.

Before rejoining LA Metro as CEO in June 2021, she served for two and a half years as CEO of Metrolink. Metrolink is the nation’s third largest passenger rail system covering 538 route-miles throughout Southern California. At Metrolink, she managed an annual budget of $793 million at an agency that employs 282 full-time employees. She was the first woman and first African American to lead the 28-year-old organization.


Sphere of Influence: Stephanie is the founding president of the Inland Empire Chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar. She is a Board Member of the Los Angeles Chapter of Friends of the Children, and a member of the Whittier College Board of Trustees.


She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Whittier College in 1992 and in 2007 earned a Master of Business Administration from the USC Marshall School of Business.

Transfer Members

Felice Forer Axelrod

Special Projects

Bloomberg Philanthropies

(Transfer from IWF NYC)


Felice is a highly experienced Board Director and Corporate Philanthropy and Fundraising Executive driving strategy, innovative partnerships and employee engagement for multi-million dollar organizations. She advises CEOs and Board Directors on development and corporate donor and community engagement programs. She is currently Special Projects consultant for Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies where she provides strategic and operational oversight of global Corporate Philanthropy initiatives. She builds innovative partnerships to connect leading consumer brands (e.g. Urban Zen, Red Bull, Bloomingdale’s) and nonprofit organizations. Additionally, Felice advises nonprofits on fundraising and strategy.


Felice serves on the Boards of Directors of Women’s Forum of New York, Art Table, Event Fluence (Council of Protocol Executives), Jeffrey Modell Foundation for Primary Immune Deficiency, and Finch College Alumni Association Foundation Trust. She is an experienced Executive Committee Chair and Member of Governance and Nominating, Communications, Membership and Development Committees.


Felice is an accomplished speaker on fundraising, nonprofits and political campaigns at local and state conferences. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Finch College.

Birthday: May 26



1221 Ocean Avenue

Santa Monica, CA 90401


Cell phone: 917.974.9144


Office (mailing address):

25 East 78th Street

New York, NY 10075



Birthday: August 15


Home (mailing address): 8500 W Sunset E803

West Hollywood, CA 90069


Cell phone: 408.772.8699



Susan Seilheimer Brennan


Susan Brennan Leadership LLC 

(Transfer from IWF Northern California)


Susan has 30 plus years of experience in battery, automotive and energy industries, As the CEO at Romeo Power, COO at Bloom Energy and Manufacturing General Manager and other strategic leadership roles in Nissan Motor and Ford Motor Company, she has led teams through change and growth. She was one of the first women to hold an operational executive position at a leading Japanese corporation. Her experience includes spearheading several large-scale initiatives within complex, global organizations aimed at addressing financial challenges as well as scaling and commercializing new and emerging technologies. She has the flexibility to work in large complex organizations as well as build successful startup organizations from an idea. Susan drives transformations with systemic process and culture change while managing teams through difficult business transitions, often from idea to revenue.


Susan currently serves on the Senior PLC, Founder and board member; Southern Automotive Women’s Forum; Ambassador for C3E; for Department of Energy; Board member C200; Cal State Long Beach advisor to Dean of Engineering.


Susan received her M.B.A in Economics from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, her B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana, and she is an alumna of the Prince of Wales Business and Environment Program.

Rabbi Malka Drucker

Rabbi Emerita

Temple Har Shalom

(Transfer from IWF New Mexico)


Rabbi Drucker was Ordained in 1998 from the Academy for Jewish Religion, a transdenominational seminary, she is the founding rabbi of HaMakom: The Place for Passionate and Progressive Judaism in Santa Fe and served for fifteen years. Current Rabbinical Position: Temple Har Shalom, Idyllwild, California. Spiritual Director and Sageing Mentor, Spiritual Director. She is the author of 21 books including the award-winning Frida Kahlo, Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust, Grandma’s Latkes and The Family Treasury of Jewish Holidays. 


She currently sits on the board of JStreet Academy for Jewish Religion Yerusha OHALAH Congregation Bnai Brith.


Rabbi Druker received her B.A. in English from UCLA and a teaching credential from USC. She also studied at The Academy for Jewish Religion, New York. 1996-1998; Jewish Theological Seminary, New York. Summer 1996; University of Judaism, Los Angeles; Summer 1995; Hebrew Union College, Jerusalem. 1985.

Birthday: March 14


Home (mailing address):

622 Escalona Dr.

Santa Cruz, CA 95060


Cell phone: 505.660.1000



649 Avenida Pequena

Santa Barbara, CA 93111



Birthday: January 25


Home (mailing address): 3755 Wellborn Street

San Diego, CA 92103


Cell phone: 724.612.1005



Aradhna Malhotra Oliphant

Board Director

First Commonwealth Financial Services

(Transfer from IWF Pittsburgh)


Aradhna serves as a Board Director for a publicly traded financial services company and has a consulting practice specializing in Governance, Leadership, and Program Development. Prior to her recent move to Southern CA she served as the President and CEO of a leadership institute in Western Pennsylvania that is now considered among the top five in its field nationally. In that role, Aradhna is credited for turning the organization around fiscally and in its impact across multiple disciplines, diversity of companies, and segments of professional populations including military veterans. Under her leadership the organization launched nationally recognized new programs and saw an increase of over 300% in revenue despite challenging times for the field. She came to her role at the leadership institute with experience in philanthropy, capacity building, and arts education.


Aradhna served as President, IWF of Pittsburgh 2017-2019; current Chair of IWF Global Philanthropy Group. She also serves on the Boards of National Conflict Resolution Center and of Chatham University.


She holds an MBA from Rutgers University and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa at her graduation in 1992. She received the prestigious Gold Medal for achieving the highest rank in the entire University of Bhopal, India, for Masters of Psychology in 1987.

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“The Trusteeship has introduced me to great role models, lent encouragement when needed, and challenges us to be better. The unique experiences, conversations, and shared stories keep The Trusteeship an integral part of my life.”

– Melinda