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Catalyst Program


Since 2007, the Catalyst Leadership Program has been a tremendous success for our Chamber.

The Catalyst Leadership Program is a hands-on, 9-month structured leadership development program designed to develop the individual leadership and management skills of diverse young professionals and emerging leaders. During the program, participants develop an individual leadership plan; join a community, social service or professional organization; and meet with community leaders in order to forge key relationships within and beyond the greater Sacramento region.

The primary objectives for our program graduates is to continue their success and advancement in their companies, to increase their service on boards of nonprofits and public commissions, and to be an active participant and inspiration for their communities.

Program Director

Mona Pasquil

Mona Pasquil is a nationally recognized political and policy leader, strategist and grassroots organizer. She currently  serves as Appointments Secretary in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. In her day to day responsibilities helping the Governor build an administration recruiting some of the most qualified and diverse candidates to serve the state of California. Widely respected for her management expertise and acumen, Pasquil previously served as Chief of Staff to California Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi and Acting Lieutenant Governor, after Mr. Garamendi was elected to Congress. A uniquely proud moment for Pasquil, her family and the State, this marked the first time an Asian Pacific Islander or Filipino-American woman served in this role. With an extensive background in political and policy campaigns, Pasquil is a renowned senior veteran political advisor and strategist for more than three decades directing presidential, gubernatorial, and local campaigns across the nation. In addition to working with California and Washington’s heaviest political influencers, Pasquil has also had the opportunity to deploy her skills with a variety of other sectors including as a strategic consultant for IBM’s national, state and local government sales team.

Pasquil’s commitment to service and seeding the next generation of leaders is one of her most personal and deepest commitments. She is most proud of her work mentoring California’s youth to become more active in their communities. This work includes founding the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project of California, an organization dedicated to boosting Asian and Pacific Islander youth involvement in California policy.

 Benefits for participants:

• A better understanding of their skills and strengths
• A strategy for implementing those skills to advance their careers
• A greater role in helping solve community issues
• A network of support from fellow emerging leaders
• Skilled coaches for career guidance

Benefits for employers:

• An emerging leader to draw upon
• An immediate contributor with a clear understanding of skillset
• Greater access and connection to the regional business network
• Personal insight and relations with underserved communities
• Fresh ideas, energy and perspective to troubleshoot challenges
• Civic goodwill and positive exposure

Enrollment Capacity: 20 participants

Class Modules

• Developing Your Leadership Network
• Leading with a Vision
• Leading Highly Effective Teams
• Project Leadership
• Individual Leadership Plan
• Negotiations and Conflict Management
• Leadership Communications and Social Media
• Leading Organizational Change

Individual Leadership Plan

Each participant creates a custom-tailored personal development plan focused on achieving leadership competencies, skills, and experience. Participants identify a future (or current) leadership position and characterize the dimensions of the ideal leader in that position. Using a Radar Diagram, they assess their current leadership capabilities relative to the ideal. Working with the Program Director, they will construct a development plan to close the gap in each of their prioritized capabilities.

Catalyst Alumni

Class X Alyssa Chow, Family Wealth Law Group, PC I John Costa, PG&E I Rosie Dauz, My Sister’s House I Dmitri Godamunne, Capsity I Nikki Khamsouksay, Sacramento State University I Kirin Kumar, Walk Sacramento I Bianka Melecio, SACC I John Na, SMUD I Tam-An Nguyen, Kaiser Permanente I Alex Shigenaga, Sacramento State University I Jennifer Simek, PRIDE Industries I Kathleen Soriano, University of Southern California I Jenny Tipple, Kaiser Permanente I Laura Vo, SMUD Class IX Haley Anthonisen, Digital Deployment I Reenu Dhillon, Kaiser Permanente I Ryan Fong, SACC I Cindy Ho, U.S. Bank I Isaac Hurley, Kaiser Permanente I Shanté Johnson, Sacramento State University I Luis Kischmischian, Sacramento State University I Ashley MacDougall, Laos Family Community Development I Ammon Rice, SMUD I Luis Sosa, Merlot Marketing I Rekha Tejpal, Kaiser Permanente I Chao Vang, Sacramento State University I Paul Willis, City Year I Michelle Yung, SMUD Class VIII Sonia Aery, Goodwill Industries I Romel Antoine, City Year I Phe Bach, Mira Loma High School I Emilie Cameron, Downtown Sacramento Partnership  I Jinky Dolar, Crossings TV I Juan Garcia, California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce I Sofia Gutierrez, Halldin Public Relations I Monica Jones, Kaiser Permanente I Gaosheng McCauley, Sutter Health I Wanda Perez, SMUD I Heidi Pyle, Drexel University I Susan Roy, PRIDE Industries I Pranil Shankar, University of Phoenix I Erica Shima, Cal Northstate University College of Pharmacy I John Yu, SMUD Class VII Emily Bacchini, SMUD I Nicole Baltazar, Kaiser Permanente I Blake Butler, SMUD I Erin Chandler Boys & Girls Club I Clanci Cochran, City Year I Jaime Collard, PG&E I Joseph Do, MetroPCS I Greg Groshong, University of Phoenix I Sean O’Brien, Merrill Lynch I Jonathan Ong, Wells Fargo I Alex Shvetsky, University of Phoenix I Jeffrey Sugiyama, Prudential Financial I Dave Wickersham, PRIDE Industries I Carrie Yuhre, Western Health Advantage Class VI Keith Ng, AT&T  I Eileen Chuong, DeVry University I Linzie Fukushima, Drexel University I Aubrey Currington, Merrill Lynch I Michelle McIntosh, Runyon, Saltzman & Einhorn I Cecelia Sandoval, Kaiser Permanente I Jeff Hausman, Kaiser Permanente I Nancy Cabrellis, PG&E I David Lo, PG&E I Jenine Smith, PRIDE Industries I Jim Alves, SMUD I Bastian Reinhart, SMUD I Su Watkins, University of Phoenix I Mike Conner, University of Phoenix I Chris Barr, Wells Fargo I Pallavi Mamidi, Union Bank I Ashley Kaihara, SACC Class V Karyn Wong, Chik-fil-A Arden Fair FSU I Dorene Cairns, Kaiser Permanente I Vivian Chen, Wells Fargo I Jude de la Concepcion,  Drexel University I Frank Fernandez,FCF General Contractor I Matt Fristch I Martha Helak, SMUD I Allison Joe, State of California – Governor’s Office of Planning and Research I Dennis Loo, Wells Fargo I Elena Medrano, Marketing Specialist I Adam Peterson, University of Phoenix I Kimberly Portolos, Kaiser Permanente I Nicole Ray, University of Phoenix I Lynn Ryan, Drexel University I Kimberly Speakman, SMUD I Matt Sumida, SACC I Geneve Villacres, PG&E I Steven Zhang, Class IV Brent Adams, SMUD I Alena Balesteri, University of Phoenix I Christy Dray, SMUD I Marie Fiore, Sacramento County Airport System I Mark Gilroy, Western Health Advantage I Bobbie Harris, SMUD I Si Si Lee, AT&T I Kelly Lyons, PRIDE Industries I Feli Ortega, Pressey & Associates I Barbara Reece, University of Phoenix I Harriet Ross, ESA I Kim Thakur  I Michael Tianco, Kaiser Permanente Class III Michelle Correia I Kimberly Crawford, SMUD I Jeff Dern, PRIDE Industries I Megan Franks, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America I Stephanie Holman, AT&T I Laura Lewis, SMUD I Sonya Logman, California Exposition & State Fair I Baljit Pegany, Kaiser Permanente I Shante Perez, Hewlett Packard I Erin Phister, Allstate I Carmen Raggio, Cristo Rey High School I Jason Shibata, SMUD I Daisy Sugiyama, Boniform I Darin Tankersley, Kaiser Permanente Class II Nicole Howard, SMUD I Amie Ichiho, Kaiser Permanente I Daniel Kim I Carol Lazo I Choua Lee, Asian Resources, Inc I Jeff Louie, Capsity Offices I Gus Madrigal, SMUD I Karen Nelson, American Leadership Forum  I Sally Phonthachack Esther Tan, Comcast  I Ajay Tejpal, Kaiser Permanente I Maisee Xiong, PG&E I Alice Yu, KVIE Class I Millie Bun I Arlene Chacon, SMUD I Rachel Huang, SMUD I Philip Leung, SMUD I Suzanne Phan, News 10 I Michael Yee, State Farm



For more information, contact Lauren Oto at