WOMEN'S ECONOMIC POWER:

Surviving to Thriving to Driving Change

March 28, 2024

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The *Women’s Leadership Conference is an in-person gathering where people share their lived experiences on economic equity for women and the impact of childcare and early education on families in San Mateo County. These people are invested in creating change in the workplace, government, businesses, and other sectors of community to empower and develop economic equity for *women and girls in San Mateo County.

Registration will be available starting January 17th .

2024 Keynote Speakers

Lauren Babb

Lauren Babb

Vice President of Public Affairs

Planned Parenthood Mar Monte

Malia M. Cohen

Malia M. Cohen

California State Controller

2024 Speakers

Dayna Chung

Dayna Chung

Supervisor Noelia Corzo

Supervisor Noelia Corzo

Sarah Kinahan

Sarah Kinahan

Susan Kokores

Susan Kokores

Shireen Malekafzali

Shireen Malekafzali

Christine Padilla

Christine Padilla

2024 Agenda

Thank you for supporting RISE 2024

Rise 2024

Agenda

8:30 AM

Check-in & Breakfast Buffet

9:00 AM

Welcome & Keynote Talks

Speakers

Susan Kokores

Supervisor Noelia Corzo

Shireen Malekafzali

Lauren Babb

10:00 AM

San Mateo County’s Financial Gap Presentation and Table Talks

11:00 AM

San Mateo County’s Child Care Accessibility and Table Talks

Speakers

Dayna Chung

Christine Padilla

Sarah Kinahan

12:00 PM

Lunch/ Marketplace

12:30 PM

Keynotes

Malia M. Cohen and Surprise Guest

1:25 PM

Closing Remarks

1:30 - 2:00 PM

Marketplace / Networking

Lauren Babb

Lauren Babb

Vice President of Public Affairs

Planned Parenthood Mar Monte

Lauren Babb is an accomplished community leader and public affairs professional, specializing in local policy and advocacy. With over a decade of experience in community and electoral campaigns, she has collaborated with prestigious organizations such as Planned Parenthood, AFSCME, UAW, and Obama for America. Currently serving as the Vice President of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, the country’s largest affiliate, Lauren also oversees the 501-C4 advocacy organization Planned Parenthood Advocates Mar Monte and the super PAC We Vote. In 2023, she successfully completed BISC’s Ballot Measure Leader Training Program, enhancing her skills and expertise. Lauren is an active member of the Nevada for Reproductive Freedom Ballot Initiative Steering Committee.

Dedicated to addressing women’s issues, Lauren previously chaired the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls. During her tenure, she implemented California’s first grant program dedicated to women’s economic recovery amid the challenges of COVID-19. Engaged in various organizations, Lauren serves on the board of directors for California Women’s List and California Women Lead, and she is a valued member of the California Black Women’s Health Project advisory committee.

Lauren’s exceptional contributions have been acknowledged with the Gen Now award from the California Black Women’s Collective and the Women’s Foundation of California. She was also honored as one of the “4 Black Policy Movers & Shakers You Should Know.”

Malia M. Cohen

Malia M. Cohen

California State Controller

State Controller Malia M. Cohen was elected in November 2022, following her service on the California State Board of Equalization (BOE), the nation’s only elected tax commission responsible for administering California’s $100 billion property tax system. She was elected to the BOE in November 2018 and was Chair in 2019 and 2022. As Controller, she continues to serve the Board as its fifth voting member.

As chief fiscal officer of the world’s fifth-largest economy, Controller Cohen’s primary responsibility is to account for and protect the state‘s financial resources. Controller Cohen also independently audits government agencies that spend state funds, safeguards many types of property until claimed by the rightful owners, and administers the payroll system for state government employees and California State University employees. She serves on 70 boards and commissions with authority ranging from affordable housing to crime victim compensation to land management. Controller Cohen chairs the Franchise Tax Board and serves on the boards of the nation’s two largest public pension funds, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) Boards, which have a combined portfolio of $750 billion. The Controller is one of eight statewide constitutional officials who are elected every four years in California.

As the BOE Board Member for District 2, she represented 10 million constituents living in all or parts of 23 counties extending from Del Norte County in the north to Santa Barbara County in the south. As Chair of the BOE, she led the effort to modernize California’s property tax system, provide guidance to the 58 county assessors on remote assessment appeals board hearings, and utilize property tax abatements to stimulate affordable housing. Controller Cohen also ensured that the views of all who came before the Board were considered carefully, with respect, civility, and courtesy.

Prior to being elected to the BOE, Controller Cohen served as President of the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco. As a Supervisor, she served as Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee and the Audit and Oversight Committee. During this time, she also served as President of the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System (SFERS), which at the time was a $23 billion pension fund.

Controller Cohen has championed policies and programs that protect public health, foster economic development, promote new affordable housing, and create good jobs through protecting and expanding San Francisco’s manufacturing base. She has dedicated her career to public service, focusing on making public dollars work for all Californians.

Controller Cohen was born and raised in San Francisco and attended public schools. She received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Fisk University and a master’s degree in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University. She and her husband reside in San Francisco along with their daughter.

Dayna Chung

Dayna Chung

Co-Founder and Executive Director

Community Equity Collaborative

Dayna Chung (she/her) is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Community Equity Collaborative, a local nonprofit incubator for initiatives that increase equity in education. She has been a guest speaker and facilitator for numerous events related to equity, education, women and child care – including the RISE Women’s Leadership Conference. Dayna is part of many Bay Area organizations including the San Mateo County Commission for the Status of Women, the KQED Community Advisory Panel, the Child Care Partnership Council Workforce Committee (SMC), Menlo Park City School District LCAP & Equity Team, and the child development advisory boards at Cañada/Skyline and Foothill community colleges. As the spouse of an Asian immigrant and parent of biracial, LGBTQ+ children, she’s seen the impact of systemic changes that build power and equity for women, children and diverse communities. Prior to entering the nonprofit world, Dayna worked in product marketing and organizational development for both technology companies and consulting firms operating in the US and Taiwan. Dayna graduated Summa Cum Laude with Highest Honors in International Studies from Butler University and also holds an MBA in International Management from the University of London. 

Supervisor Noelia Corzo

Noelia Corzo

San Mateo County Supervisor

The County of San Mateo

Noelia Corzo is a San Mateo County Supervisor representing District Two. She made history as the first Latina on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, a county with over 62% people of color, and is currently the only woman on the Board. 

A lifelong resident of San Mateo County, Supervisor Corzo is a single mom, daughter of Guatemalan immigrants, and bilingual Spanish speaker. Prior to being elected Supervisor, she was twice-elected Trustee of the largest school district in San Mateo County. She also worked as a social worker and a community organizer, training grassroots leaders to address systemic inequities. She is passionate about interrupting inequity, promoting representation and belonging, and creating lasting change that better serves all. 

In 2018, Noelia was on the cover of TIME magazine, featured with other women as “The Avengers. First They Marched. Now They’re Running.” Supervisor Corzo has a B.A. in sociology from San Francisco State University. She lives in San Mateo with her son, Mikey, and her dog, Quetzi.  

Sarah Kinahan

Sarah Kinahan

Coordinator for the Child Care Partnership Council

San Mateo County Office of Education

Sarah Kinahan has spent the past two decades working for nonprofit and government programs in the early care and education sector to support children and families in San Mateo County. She has dedicated her career to improving early care and education opportunities for children because of the power these experiences have to change a child or a family’s life. 

Sarah began her career at the Child Care Coordinating Council (4Cs), where she ultimately served as the Executive Director for two years, providing strategic direction during the Great Recession. After the birth of her two children, now 10 and 12, she left 4Cs to work as a strategy and communications consultant for organizations such as First 5 San Mateo County and Izzi Early Education, our local Head Start provider. Her most recent consulting project, prior to joining the San Mateo County Office of Education, was to help with the founding of Build Up – an initiative that has tackled the shortage of early care and education facilities and helped to develop more than 2,300 new child care spaces. Sarah was excited to join the San Mateo County Office of Education in 2020 as the Coordinator for the Child Care Partnership Council because this position allows her to synthesize previous experiences working on public policy, data and research, and advocacy to continue to improve the early care and education systems in the county. While at SMCOE, she played a key role on the San Mateo County COVID-19 Child Care Response Team. In 2022, Sarah was awarded the Mary Petsche Visionary Leadership Award by the Child Care Coordinating Council of San Mateo County.

Sarah is also an active volunteer in her children’s schools in San Carlos, participating in PTA events and acting as a docent for Art in Action. In 2022, she was elected as a trustee for the San Carlos School Board. Sarah can relate to all of the families looking for quality child care – she has worked with eleven different providers over the past eleven years – ranging from Family Child Care, nannies, preschools, drop-in centers, grandparents and after school programs. She is in awe of the dedicated early care and education professionals working every day in our County!

Susan Kokores

Susan Kokores

President of Commission On The Status Of Women

The County of San Mateo

Susan Kokores, born and raised in the City of San Mateo, is both a native and current resident of San Mateo County. She resides in Menlo Park with her husband Roger, having raised two adult daughters. Before joining the Commission on the Status of Women and becoming the CSW’s current President, she retired from her position as Executive Director of WANDA. WANDA is a non-profit she co-founded over 12 years ago that enables low income single mothers living or working in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties to gain financial stability and career and life success. Previously, she was the Major Gifts Director of United Way Silicon Valley, and the Development Director of Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Palo Alto. In her early career years, she was an RN with positions at Stanford Hospital, public health and home health organizations. She also co-ran a small business for over ten years providing educational programs for employees of local corporations. She previously worked for the Senior Center of Palo Alto (now Avenidas).

Susan attended University of California, Berkeley, graduating from the University of California, San Francisco, School of Nursing and eventually from San Jose State University with a Masters in Public Administration. She has always been active in the community including as a member of a local committee that successfully campaigned for a parcel tax benefiting Los Lomitas School District and was a Trustee of Castilleja School in Palo Alto. She enjoys many hobbies including tennis, reading, traveling and spending time in the local San Mateo County Parks and Preserves.

Shireen Malekafzali

Shireen Malekafzali

Chief Equity Officer

The County Of San Mateo

Shireen Malekafzali (she/her) is a leader in advancing equity with over 20 years of experience working across issues in the government, non-profit and philanthropic sectors. She serves as Chief Equity Officer for the County of San Mateo. In this role, she has established County infrastructure to operational equity and works with stakeholders inside and outside of the organization to progress the County’s commitment to equity in services, business operations, democratic processes, and outcomes. 

Previous to her current role with the County, Shireen served as health equity officer and senior manager for the policy, planning and equity. Prior to joining the County, she was associate director at PolicyLink, a national racial and economic equity institute. She currently serves as a member of the State of Equity Advisory Committee, Government Alliance for Race and Equity National Steering Committee, Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Equity Forward Advisory Committee, and on the board of Human Impact Partners.

Across projects, she works to bring a community- and data-driven perspective, rooted in values of racial and social equity, collaboration, love, and emergent strategies. She facilitates the County’s Shared Prosperity Coordinating Council to support a coordinated approach to expanding upward mobility in a county full of prosperity but lacking in shared prosperity across racial and geographic lines.  

Shireen became committed to equity and a just democracy through her lived experience as an immigrant in the United States and her engagement with the environmental justice movement as an undergraduate. Visit her “I am” poem for more about her background.

Christine Padilla

Christine Padilla

Director of Build Up San Mateo County

The County of San Mateo

Christine Padilla, born and raised in San Mateo County, has spent her career at the intersection of service and government working to improve women and childrens’ lives. She is currently the Director of Build Up San Mateo County, a countywide collective impact initiative that preserves, expands and improves the supply of child care facilities. She’s also been a nonprofit executive director, a senior congressional staff member (for 10+ years), and a corporate government relations director. She served 3 terms on the San Mateo County Commission on the Status of Women and is currently serving on the County’s Child Care Partnership Council. She is co-chair of KQED’s Community Advisory Panel working to ensure diverse community voices are represented throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Christine is committed to making high-quality early care and learning accessible and affordable for working families while supporting and advocating for those who teach and care for their children.

Opening rally with Aimee Allison and _____

10 AM

Details about the Event