California Leadership Lines - April 2019
Our annual Legacy of Leadership celebration will be held on May 6, 2019 in Los Angeles at the Omni Hotel. Help us celebrate the power of women!
2019 Legacy of Service Award Honoree
Gloria Gray
Board Chairwoman, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California; Director West Basin Municipal Water District
Hard work and community service are clearly what drives Gloria Gray’s. Coming from a working-class family, she learned the value of hard work first hand. Her parents were like many; sacrificing to provide for her siblings and her. They made sure they had character, fortitude, respect for others and integrity – values that have helped Gray throughout her life and career. 

As she worked her way up the professional ladder, each job opened her eyes to the world around her, the diverse needs of the communities served, the complexities of the problems we face and the variety of stakeholders working to make a difference. She began to appreciate public service and the value of giving back to her community.  

Her service to others and desire to educate communities has brought her to her biggest and most notable role yet. She was selected in 2009 to serve as West Basin’s representative on the board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California – the largest water district in the world, serving 19 million people through all or parts of six counties in Southern California. Her colleagues elected her to serve as Board Chairwoman in January 2019, the first African-American and the second woman to lead the District.
“Bring others along with you, leave the ladder down,
and encourage each other.”
– Gloria Gray
2019 Legacy Trailblazer Award Honoree
Dr. Bernice Ledbetter 
Dean of Students and Alumni Affairs, Director Center for Women in Leadership
Pepperdine University
Program Chair, MS Management and Leadership
Dr. Bernice Ledbetter describes her career path as a traditional hero’s journey: Great progress marked by sliding back after hitting some obstacles or challenges, then discovering new insight to move forward again. She will tell you that it is challenges that make us sharp and help us gain deep understanding of ourselves. 

One of the biggest lessons Dr. Ledbetter has learned along her journey is one that she now teaches her students at Pepperdine University: Preparation. Prepare themselves for the opportunities to come; prepare themselves to take on new challenges. 

As Director for the Center for Women in Leadership at the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School, she’s now preparing other women to be leaders.
“Lay the groundwork now. Prepare yourself for what will come.”
– Dr. Bernice Ledbetter
For more on our honorees, the event, our sponsors and how you can can support this event, visit our website at
Sunne Wright McPeak, who has played many high profile roles in the corporate sector, as a member of the Governor’s Cabinet member and in local elected office will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies for the Leadership California’s Legacy of Leadership Awards event on May 6 at the Omni Hotel in Los Angeles. McPeak is currently CEO of California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF). She held the position of Secretary of California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency for the state of California. Prior to that post, McPeak served for seven years as President and CEO of the Bay Area Council and prior to that three years as President and CEO of the Bay Area Economic Forum. For 15 years she was a member of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisor. She has led numerous statewide initiatives on a wide range of issues. and was named “A Woman Who Could Be President” by the San Francisco League of Women Voters.
Session II of Leadership California’s California Issues & Trends (CIT) Program will look at all aspects of California’s history and diversity. The Session kicks off on Monday, May 6 at the Omni Hotel in Los Angeles. The Class of 2019 will hear content on a variety of topics including:

  • CA Demographic Trends and Impacts
  • Leading a Diverse Workforce
  • VIP: Special Session Panel with CSU Women Presidents
  • Understanding Your Values & Shaping Your Credo with Dr. Janice Thompson
  • Women Leaders Panel: Advancing Diversity and Inclusion
  • Panel on California’s Infrastructure: Serving Diverse Communities
  • Field Trip to the Huntington Library and Gardens and Presentation on California history and growth

The Class also will take part in the 2019 Legacy of Leadership Awards program set for the evening of May 6, from 6 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. 
Other sessions set for 2019 include:

  • CIT SESSION III – CALIFORNIA’S GLOBAL ECONOMY: OPPORTUNITIES & CHALLENGES – SAN FRANCISCO - July 17, 2019 – July 19, 2019 – Sir Francis Drake Hotel, San Francisco
  • CIT IV – A THRIVING CALIFORNIA THROUGH INNOVATION – SAN DIEGO - October 27, 2019 – October 29, 2019 – Omni, San Diego

For more about our honorees visit our website.
We thank our Session II Sponsors:

CIT Strategic Partners
CIT Session Partners II
Official Airline of Leadership California
CIT Session II Supporter
Leadership California Goes to Washington, D.C.
“Witness the Power of She”

September 22 – 25, 2019
Mayflower Hotel
Washington D.C.

On the heels of a historic election that ushered in a new era for women in Congress, Leadership California will “Witness the Power of She,” during the Leadership California Goes to Washington, D.C. Session, September 22-25, 2019, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The program features provocative content addressing issues and trends of national importance to California and with a focus on:

  • Women leaders in Congress, the nation’s history and military service.
  • Participants will hear from members of Congress, experts on the nation’s history, state of the nation, and efforts to keep America safe.
  • Visits to important national landmarks and museums and an international embassy.
LC to DC is offered biennially and is an independent, stand-alone program. It is open to all women leaders interested in learning more about our nation’s Capital and how they impact California.
Space is limited. Registration details at

Contact: Elizabeth Cardwell, 916-330-2704;