Introducing Emerging Leaders Class 2023

Leadership Council SMC Launches Its Inaugural Emerging Leaders Class!

You could feel the energy as an exciting group of 33 individuals from across San Mateo County came together and became the inaugural Emerging Leaders Class of 2023!

Their two-day September Opening Retreat was their start, giving the group time to get to know each other and to create connections that will become an integral part of their work together.

The retreat centered around building their inclusive Emerging Leaders community and they were “all in,” diving deeply into learning, self-reflection, and openly sharing of themselves with their new classmates. They set to work on their leadership skills with early foundations from their coaching team, received an overview of San Mateo County and its current initiatives from County Executive Officer Mike Callagy, and heard presentations from community organizations that they will engage with over the coming months. On Day 2 they worked with Amber Checky and Heather Checky of Inclusion Counts, examining how personal identity influences behaviors, decisions, and interactions. And they looked inward, each establishing their purpose for making this year-long commitment to personal leadership development.

This enthusiastic, generous, and engaged group live and/or work all across San Mateo County, and come to the Emerging Leaders Program from the business, government, and nonprofit sectors. Eager to engage and connect, it was wonderful to see them laughing together and enjoying one another’s company by the end of the retreat. Building relationships is a key element of their year, and they are off to a smashing start!

We can’t wait to witness their transformation as leaders, community members, and colleagues, and see the impact they will create for their organizations and for San Mateo County.

Watch our News in the coming months for more!

Meet the Emerging Leaders Class of 2023!

Alexa Altamirano, Oncology Registered Nurse, Stanford Health Care

Maurice Baker, Acting Community Services Manager, City of East Palo Alto

Shayna Barnes, Operations Specialist, Peninsula Clean Energy

Willa Brock, Manager of Interpretation and Learning Experiences, Filoli

Mandy Brown, Senior Management Analyst, Town of Hillsborough

Armando Castillo, Program Manager, San Francisco 49ers Academy

Andrea Chow, Sustainability Analyst, City of San Mateo

Kenny Chu, Senior Community Program Specialist, County of San Mateo

Barbara (Babs) Deffenderfer, Housing and Community Development Supervisor, County of San Mateo Department of Housing

Jasmine Del Chiaro, Management Assistant, Central County Fire Department

Mary Eusebio, Permit Center Supervisor, City of San Mateo

Marissa Garren, Management Analyst, City of South San Francisco

Josh Gevertz, Arboretum Director, Cypress Lawn Cemetery Association

Alex Golding, Health Equity Coordinator & Clinical Program Analyst, StarVista San Mateo Pride Center

Jennifer Castillo-Gonzalez, Middle School Program Manager, San Francisco 49ers Academy

Tamiko Huey, Management Analyst – Community Health & Wellness, City of South San Francisco

Andrew Knaack, Equity & Belonging Associate, County of San Mateo

Patty Koch, Deputy Fire Marshal, Central County Fire Department

Garrett Kuramoto, Community Library Manager, San Mateo County Libraries

Kamille Lang, Climate Action Specialist, County of San Mateo, Office of Sustainability

Vanessa Lemus-Tapia, Titan Operator, Teamsters Local 350

Colleen Lettire, Communications Program Manager, City of Half Moon Bay

Jennifer Llamas, Immigrant Services Coordinator, County of San Mateo

Karina Mendoza Escobar, Senior Program Manager, CASA of San Mateo County

Nicole Morales, Business Manager, San Mateo Consolidated Fire Department

Larisa Ocañada, Marketing, Communications and Operations Manager, SAMCEDA

Federico Pacheco, Public Affairs Manager, Gilead Sciences

Julie Paping, Principal Management Analyst, City of Foster City

Alma Pulido, Community Affairs Manager, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Lena Silberman, Legislative Aide, San Mateo County Board of Supervisors
District 3

Lauren Sullivan, Events Manager, AbilityPath

Luis Valdivias, Director of Programs, El Centro de Libertad

Kim Wever, Transportation Programs Specialist, City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County