Keynote Speaker

Raphael Sonenshein photoRaphael J. Sonenshein is the 2015 Policy Convention Keynote Speaker. He is the executive director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles and Director of the PBI Poll. The Pat Brown Institute’s mission is to promote civic and community engagement for an inclusive and informed public policy.

An insightful and fiery speaker, Raphael has taught political science at CSU Fullerton and served as its Chair of the Division of Politics, Administration, and Justice. He has authored three books, including Politics in Black and White: Race and Power in Los Angeles, which received the Ralph J. Bunche Award from the American Political Science Association.

Session Speakers

Fred Ali photoFred Ali is the President and CEO of the Weingart Foundation, a private foundation that supports nonprofits in addressing the needs of low-income and underserved individuals and communities in southern California. Prior to his appointment to the Foundation in 1999, Fred held senior leadership positions with nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies. He is a national thought leader on issues and trends affecting nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. Forecasting the Future of Philanthropy and Townhall Meeting on Nonprofit Overhead

Elizabeth Bluestein photoElizabeth Bluestein is the Vice President and General Counsel at Public Counsel. Throughout her work at Public Counsel, Liz has provided a wide range of legal and capacity building services to nonprofit community-based organizations and now supervises Public Counsel’s legal programs ensuring their compliance with corporate and legal requirements. She is also an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School Los Angeles where she teaches a nonprofit tax and transaction clinic. 10 Rules Your Nonprofit Needs to Know for 2016

Melissa Breach photoMelissa Breach is the Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of California, a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Melissa has over 15 years of service in nonprofit leadership with significant experience as a nonprofit strategist. She was Director of Programs at the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership and Executive Director for Resourceful Women. Melissa has also sat on numerous nonprofit boards including the California Arts Commission’s Public School Partnership Initiative, California Partners in Education, and Theatre for Young People. How We Can Influence the 2016 Election

Cynthia Bryant photoCynthia Bryant is Executive Director and COO for the California Republican Party. Over a long career in Sacramento, she has moved easily between politics and policy. Cynthia worked in the State Capitol as legal counsel to the Assembly Republican Caucus and policy director for the Senate Republicans. She joined the Schwarzenegger administration as Chief Deputy Legislative Affairs Secretary and held a variety of positions concluding with a 27-day tenure as his final Director of Finance. Prior to joining the Republican Party, she was Senior Vice President at the California Charter Schools Association. Q & A with the Democratic and Republican Leaders of California

Meredeth Clark photoMeredeth Clark is the Founder and CEO of CalNonprofits Insurance Services. Working for more than 30 years in the nonprofit sector, Meredeth has developed a unique combination of expertise including organizational development, financial management, service delivery and an understanding of the needs of the nonprofit community. Co-founder of the Santa Cruz Community Counseling Center, Parents Center and the California Association of Nonprofits she has experience in building nonprofits from concept through implementation and sustainability. Meredeth currently heads up the California Association of Nonprofits Insurance Services (CIS) which serves the insurance needs of more than 800 California nonprofits. Nonprofit Insurance Boot Camp

Rick Cohen photoRick Cohen is the Washington-based national correspondent of Nonprofit Quarterly and an award-winning investigative journalist. Prior to joining NPQ he had been executive director of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, a national philanthropic watchdog. He has been published in Washington Post, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Financial Times, San Jose Mercury News, Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, and many others. Forecasting the Future of Philanthropy and Beyond Callifornia: National Political Trends and Predictions

Jennifer Fearing photoJennifer Fearing is CalNonprofits’ Sacramento Advocate. Prior to starting her firm Fearless Advocacy, Jennifer led policy efforts in California for the Humane Society. She has helped pursue more than 50 positive legislative and regulatory outcomes in Sacramento since 2008 including high profile legislative battles. Jennifer has authored opinion editorials that have appeared in the Sacramento Bee, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times and other newspapers, and has been described by CalNewsroom as "one of the Capitol's best and brightest." Closing Plenary Q&A with the Democratic and Republican Leaders of California

Rosemary Fai photoRosemary Fei is a principal at the law firm of Adler & Colvin. Her firm represents nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations exclusively, and her practice spans the full range of nonprofit and tax-exempt legal issues, with emphasis on political advocacy issues and nonprofit corporate governance. An engaging and candid speaker, Rosemary also served as budget director for the Dukakis presidential campaign and an attorney in the U.S. Department of State. Rosemary is a member of the CalNonprofits board of directors. 10 Rules Your Nonprofit Needs to Know for 2016

Tim Gage photoTim Gage spent over 24 years as a fiscal advisor with both houses of the California Legislature and as the Director of the California Department of Finance. After leaving Finance, Tim founded the Blue Sky Consulting Group, a public policy and economics consulting firm. Tim also serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California and on the Board of the California Budget and Policy Center. An Economic Forecast for the California Nonprofit Sector

Geoff Green photoGeoff Green is CEO of the Santa Barbara City College Foundation. Prior to joining SBCC, Geoff served for more than 20 years as executive director of the Fund for Santa Barbara where, where his community leadership and activism served many causes and nonprofits well. Geoff has served on numerous boards and has advised hundreds of nonprofit organizations, foundations, public agencies, and labor organizations. Geoff is currently serving as the Chair of the Board for the California Association of Nonprofits.

Chet Hewitt photoChet Hewitt is the President and CEO of the Sierra Health Foundation and its independent operating unit, the Center for Health Program Management. During his tenure with the foundation, Chet has focused investments on health disparities, health equity, and the healthy development and well-being of vulnerable youth. Prior to joining Sierra Health, Chet was the Agency Director of Alameda County’s Social Services Agency and as Associate Director for the Rockefeller Foundation where he established its West Coast regional office. He is the recipient of several national awards including the Annie E. Casey Foundation Child and Family Leaders Fellowship and Child Welfare Administration of the Year. Forecasting the Future of Philanthropy

Kim Klein photoKim Klein is a partner at Klein & Roth Consulting. She is an internationally known and legendary speaker and author of five books including Reliable Fundraising in Unreliable Times, which won the McAdam Book Award in 2010. Her classic text, Fundraising for Social Change, now in its sixth edition, is widely used in the field and in university degree programs. Kim is a member of the CalNonprofits Board of Directors. Beyond Callifornia: National Political Trends and Predictions

Liz Laderman photoLiz Laderman is Senior Economic Outreach Economist in the Economic Education and Outreach Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. She speaks to outreach audiences on current economic conditions, the economic outlook, and monetary policy. Liz also does research on household finance, small and new business finance, and small and new business employment as well as other labor market topics. She has published over 50 research papers and articles. Liz has a B.A. in mathematics from Grinnell College and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. An Economic Forecast for the California Nonprofit Sector

Ellen LaPointe photoEllen LaPointe is the President and CEO of Northern California Grantmakers (NCG), a nonprofit organization that advances the collective interests of its members to impact philanthropy in Northern California. Ellen has expertise in organizational leadership, strategy development and implementation, partnership cultivation, fund development, communications, financial management and program oversight. Prior to joining NCG, Ellen was Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at HopeLab. An Economic Forecast for the California Nonprofit Sector

Jan Masaoka photoJan Masaoka is CEO of CalNonprofits and a leading writer and thinker on nonprofit organizations. She is a frequent speaker in Sacramento and at nonprofit meetings across the state, and serves on the national Policy Committee for Independent Sector. She is the founder of Blue Avocado magazine and has been named eight times as one of the “Fifty Most Influential People” in the nonprofit sector nationwide. An Advocacy Agenda for California's Nonprofit Community and Report on CalNonprofits' Work and Town Hall Meeting on Nonprofit Overhead

Terence Mulligan photoTerence Mulligan is the President of the Napa Valley Community Foundation (NVCF). In 2011, NVCF was ranked as the 13th most active grantmaker among more than 750 community foundations across the country. Terence has a mix of public and private sector experience, including positions at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Institute for International Economics, Accenture, and the Peninsula Community Foundation. Terence is a member of the CalNonprofits board of directors. Forecasting the Future of Philanthropy

Shamus Roller photoShamus Roller is the Executive Director of Housing California, a statewide coalition working to ensure that all Californians have a safe and affordable home. Shamus started his career in street outreach programs and drop-in centers for homeless youth before becoming an attorney and later head of the Sacramento Housing Alliance. As a CalNonprofits board member, Shamus has also testifies in the legislature on behalf of nonprofits. An Economic Forecast for the California Nonprofit Sector

Mindy Romero photoMindy Romero is the Founder and Director of the California Civic Engagement Project (CCEP) at the UC Davis Center for Regional Change. Romero is a political sociologist and holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Davis. Her research focuses on the intersection of political behavior and race/ethnicity/age. Her research has been cited in major news outlets, including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Politico and the Huffington Post. She currently serves as President of the Board of the non-profit organization, Mutual Housing California, and is the vice-chair of the Social Service Commission for the City of Davis. How We Can Influence the 2016 Election

Rita Shamu photoRitu Sharma is the CEO of Social Media for Nonprofits, bringing social media education to nonprofits worldwide through signature one-day conference series, webinars, content and online learning. She speaks frequently around the world on a variety of topics in the nonprofit and social media spheres with a passion for effecting social change through social technologies. She writes a blog at the Huffington Post on the intersection of social media, social change and leadership. Using Social Media to Raise Money

Latonya Slack photoLatonya Slack, an executive coach and facilitator, is principal and founder of Slack Global Consulting specializing in facilitation, visioning and assisting individuals and organizations with planning and navigating critical decisions. Previously, Latonya was the senior program officer at the James Irvine Foundation, and the executive director of the California Black Women’s Health Project. Latonya is a member of the CalNonprofits Board of Directors as well as the CalNonprofits Insurance Services. Town Hall Meeting on Nonprofit Overhead

KaySohlforWebKay Sohl co-founded and served as the executive director of TACS (now known as NAO – the Nonprofit Association of Oregon), the Northwest's largest resource for nonprofit capacity building assistance. She is a Public Accountant and co-author of The Oregon Nonprofit Corporation Handbook, now in it its fifth edition. She combines a deep background in community nonprofits with technical financial expertise and unusual ability to make financial concepts easy to understand and usable. Real Costs - Realistic Strategies: Understanding, Communicating and Funding the Full Cost of Your Services Workshop and OMB Uniform Guidance: Evaluating Options to Recover Your Full Costs Workshop

Gene Takagi photoGene Takagi is the managing attorney of NEO Law Group and contributing editor of the Nonprofit Law Blog. Gene has been published by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Nonprofit Times, and the Nonprofit Quarterly, is a frequent conference speaker, and has authored several popular articles for CalNonprofits members. He is a graduate of UCLA School of Law and a recipient of multiple awards for his work. Gene currently serves on the board of CompassPoint and the public policy committee of Independent Sector. 10 Rules Your Nonprofit Needs to Know for 2016

Shawnda Westly photoShawnda Westly is Senior Strategist with the California Democratic Party. Shawnda has over 20 years experience in Democratic and Union politics including spearheading the California Democratic Party’s aggressive 2010 turnout operation that aided in Democrats sweeping all statewide offices, during a year that saw Republicans make gains across the nation. Most recently in 2014, Shawnda oversaw a Democratic turnout operation that resulted in a repeat of a statewide sweep, the successful defense of all contested Democratic Congressional seats and the addition of a new Democratic Congressional seat in the Inland Empire. Q & A with the Democratic and Republican Leaders of California

Previous Conventions

For questions about our convention, including sponsorship and advertising opportunities, please contact Executive Assistant Dishauna Castro.