Providing Leadership and Service for Women Since 1983

Meet our Board Members

2018 Board of Directors

Honorary Member: Fiona Ma

Elected to the California State Board of Equalization (BOE) in November 2014, Fiona represents nearly 10 million Californians in the 23 counties that run from the Oregon border to Santa Barbara County in the Second Equalization District. As one of the few Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) to serve on the BOE, Fiona is a strong voice for taxpayers – creating informative webinars, publications, seminars, and other educational tools for small business owners, veterans, women/minority-owned businesses, and nonprofit organizations to help them navigate California’s complex tax laws and be successful in California’s business climate. She has supported legislation to remove barriers to tax payments such as expanding the time businesses can file returns when a disaster strikes and reducing the amount of interest due when a taxpayer pays one day late via electronic funds transfer.

Fiona served as Chairwoman of the BOE in 2016, is currently the Chair of the BOE’s Legislative Committee, and serves on the State Treasurer’s Cannabis Banking Working Group. As a small business owner, Fiona served as President of the Asian Businesses Association in San Francisco. Fiona was later elected to represent District 4 on the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors from 2002-2006. During her tenure in the Legislature, Fiona represented the 12th Assembly District from 2006-2012; served as Majority Whip; and then the first Asian-American female Assembly Speaker pro Tempore in California history.

Fiona received her B.S. in Accounting from the Rochester Institute of Technology, her M.S. in Taxation from Golden Gate University, and an MBA in Business Taxation from Pepperdine University.  She serves on the board of several nonprofit organizations, and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, Aspen Institute’s 2009 Class of Aspen-Rodel Fellows, and the California Film Commission. She has been licensed in California as a CPA since 1992.


President: Dorothy Johnson

Dorothy Johsnon currently serves as Legislative Representative for the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) where she is the lead advocate on finance and administration policy on behalf of California’s 58 member counties.

She has been a Capitol Network Member since 2010 and joined the board as an At-Large Member in January 2015. She also served as Chair of the Mentorship Committee.

Over the last decade Dorothy has advocated for local government agencies on a variety of issues including governance and employee relations for the CA Special Districts Association and public works and public safety with the League of California Cities. She has also served as Grassroots Director for the American Heart Association’s Western States Affiliate and Senior Account Executive with Perry Communications Group. Her first experience in the Capitol was an Assembly intern but her affinity for lobbying came from an internship where she worked with local government agency and public service association clients at Shaw/Yoder, Inc (now Shaw/Yoder/Antwih).

Dorothy graduated with highest honors from the University of California, Davis with a BA in Sociology (Law and Society Emphasis) and Political Science.

Vice President: Rachael O’Brien 

Rachael currently serves as the Assistant Secretary for the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Prior to her appointment she served as Manager of Government Affairs at the Agricultural Council of California, representing approximately 15,000 farmers across the state of California, ranging from small, farmer-owned businesses, to some of the world’s best-known brands. Rachael also served as a Legislative Advocate for Gonzalez, Quintana & Hunter, LLC, focusing on energy, water, air quality, CEQA, and tribal policy areas. Rachael also worked as an Associate for EcoConsult, a political environmental advocacy firm and held an internship position with Assembly Member Skinner’s Capitol office.

Rachael received a Bachelors Degree in International Relations and Global Politics from California State University, Monterey Bay. In her spare time, Rachael enjoys camping, hiking, traveling and spending time with family and friends. 

Secretary: Angela Pontes

Angela Pontes is currently Legislative Director for Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry.


Prior to returning to the Capitol to serve in Assemblymember Richard S. Gordon's office, Angela worked in the Third House as a Legislative Coordinator and Advocate at Gonzalez, Quintana & Hunter, representing a range of clients. She also spent time working with the former First Lady of California, Maria Shriver, on her research and communications project titled "The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink." Angela graduated from Georgetown University, where she majored in International Health and Spanish Language, and was also an NCAA Division I athlete.

Treasurer: Vanessa Garcia 

Vanessa Garcia is a Legislative Advocate for CalSTRS, the state retirement system for teachers. Prior to this role, she served in Treasurer John Chiang's office as a Legislative Assistant where she was responsible for researching, tracking, and analyzing bills, testifying in legislative hearings and providing policy recommendations to the Treasurer. Vanessa was an Executive Fellow in the Capital Fellows Program from 2014-2015 and worked at both the Fair Political Practices Commission and the Department of Business Oversight during her fellowship year. As an undergraduate, Vanessa was a student lobbyist and executive on the University of California Student Association’s Board of Directors. Vanessa graduated from the University of California San Diego in 2014 with a B.S. in Cognitive Neuroscience and a B.A. in History.

Immediate Past President: Courtney Jensen

Courtney Jensen

Courtney serves as Vice President of State Government Affairs at California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues. She previously served as Legislative Director for Assembly Member Ian Calderon. 

Members At Large:

Julie Phillips


Julie Phillips is Vice President of Public Affairs at Randle Communications, offering clients public affairs and public relations support. Previous to joining Randle Communications, Julie worked in the State Senate as a Legislative Aide and Communications Director. Julie is an alumni of the California Senate Fellowship program and serves on its alumni board of directors. Julie is a graduate of University of California, Davis.

Margo Parks

Margo Parks currently represents the Western States Petroleum Association.

Shelia Johnston 

Sheila Johnston is Vice President of Member Relations and Administration for the Association of California Healthcare Districts (ACHD). In this capacity, she is in charge of all educational events, membership and administration for the Association. In 2017 she served on the Mentorship Committee, assisting Board Member planning events and connecting mentees with mentors.  

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