JUNIOR LEAGUE OF LOS ANGELES LEADERSHIP

The Junior League of Los Angeles (JLLA) is overseen and managed by two governing bodies – a Board of Directors and a Management Council.

The Board of Directors serves to advise, govern, oversee policy and direction, and assist with the leadership and general promotion of JLLA so as to support the organization’s mission and needs.

The Management Council oversees the day-to-day operational organization and performance of the League and the nine Councils that make up JLLA.

Each of the nine Councils is made up of several Committees, and each Committee has a Chair and an Associate Chair or Co-Chair.

During the 2021-2022 League year, more than 100 women are serving in leadership roles.

2021-2022 Board of Directors

Sarah Christian, President

Sarah Christian joined the Junior League in 2011. Her leadership experience in the Junior League of Los Angeles (JLLA) includes chairing the Daybreak/The People Concern and United Friends of the Children projects, training new members as part of the Provisional Training Team and spending three years on the Nominating Committee, including as Nominating Director. Sarah also loved spending time as the Membership Vice President before serving as President-Elect and currently President.

Sarah attended the University of Texas at Austin for her undergraduate studies, majoring in Political Science. She received her law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law in 2010. Sarah is a partner at Gilbert & Stern LLP, a personal injury law firm in Century City. She is passionate about helping her clients achieve justice. One of Sarah’s other passions is mentoring young lawyers (particularly women).

In Sarah’s free time, she loves to travel to unique destinations (Namibia and Antarctica are up next!) with her family or girlfriends.

Joy C. Williams, President-Elect

Joy has been an active member of the Junior League of Los Angeles since 2003. She joined the JLLA because she is passionate about giving back to her community and developing the potential of women civic leaders. Joy currently serves as the President-Elect on the Board of Directors. As a member of the JLLA, Joy has gained substantial knowledge by serving in a variety of leadership positions including Secretary, Operations Vice President, Risk Management & Governance Board Committee Co-Chair, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force, Strategic Planning Chair, Board Fellows Chair, Nominating Committee, Annual Giving Chair, Public Relations/Publicity Chair, Neighborhood Provisional Advisor and she has received exceptional training by participating in the AJLI award-winning programs including Organizational Development Institute, Leadership Development Institute, Board Fellows and Appointments to Boards & Commissions Institute.

In 2019, Joy received the President’s Cup which is a special award recognizing a member going sustaining for her commitment to serving both the League and the community consistent with the Junior League mission and who has gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Joy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California, and a Juris Doctor from Ohio Northern University.

When Joy isn’t volunteering or working as a legal consultant for AmLaw A-List law firms she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, laughing, traveling, and playing sports.

Nene Ogbechie, Secretary

Nene joined the Junior League of Los Angeles in 2016 and currently serves as the Secretary on the Board of Directors. Within the Junior League, she has served as the Vice President of the Public Policy Council, Public Policy Institute co-chair, and member of the Public Policy Institute committee. Nene is also an alumna of the JLLA’s Leadership Development Institute.

Professionally, Nene is the Public Affairs and Communications Specialist at the College of Natural and Social Sciences for California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA), where she oversees the college’s marketing, communications, and public affairs efforts. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network – Los Angeles. As seen in her two-year stint as an AmeriCorps member, Nene is passionate about serving the community, first as a Literacy AmeriCorps member and later as an AmeriCorps VISTA member.

Nene is also a 2021 Founder’s Fellow for the American Society of Public Administration (ASPA). She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, San Diego, and a Master’s of Public Administration (MPA) degree at Cal State LA. She enjoys dancing, hiking, watching movies, attending comic book conventions, and being a proud aunt in her spare time.

Leanna Wood, Treasurer

Leanna joined the Junior League of Washington (JLW) in 2012. While a member of JLW, she focused on community placements, serving as Chair of the Literacy Lab and Done in a Day committees. Leanna transferred to the Junior League of Los Angeles in 2018 where she discovered her love of all things communications, serving as Social Media Chair and Communications Vice President. She is a graduate of JLLA’s Leadership Development Institute (LDI).

Leanna attended The George Washington University where she received her BA in International Affairs. She currently works at National Research Group as SVP of Global Operations.

Outside of volunteering, Leanna enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants, reading, and seeing live music.

Cathleen Cull, Nominating Director

Cathleen Cull joined the Junior League in 2008 and is currently serving as the Nominating Director. Her League experience includes several years working on many JLLA community-facing projects including Aviva, Heart of Los Angeles and Mar Vista Family Center. Cathleen has served in leadership as Done In A Day Co-Chair and Chair, FORWARD advisor, and spent two years on the Nominating Committee before becoming Nominating Director-Elect and now Director. Cathleen is a graduate of JLLA’s Leadership Development Institute.

Cathleen attended Loyola Marymount University and received her BA in English. After a successful career in media sales, Cathleen joined Rodeo Realty as a Realtor in order to put her service-first mindset to work for clients in a more deeply personal way. She also teaches Pilates for WundaBar Pilates in Studio City.

When Cathleen isn’t working or volunteering, you might find her on a horse, in front of the stove, or planning her next adventurous vacation.

Dawn E. Eash, Director-at-Large

Dawn Eash joined Junior League of Los Angeles in 2014 to give back to her community and is currently serving her second year on the Board of Directors. Her previous roles in Junior League include working directly with community partners to set up new projects for JLLA and developing programming for projects. She previously served as the Vice President of Community, the Chair-Elect and Chair of the Project Research and Development committee, and before that as chair and committee member of JLLA’s community project with Daybreak at The People Concern. Dawn is a graduate of JLLA’s Leadership Development Institute and Public Policy Institute and also the Riordan Leadership Institute. In addition to Dawn’s work with the Junior League of Los Angeles, she also volunteers with the American Statistical Association where she has served on and chaired the Committee on Career Development. In her spare time, Dawn enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Dawn earned her B.S. in Statistics and Finance from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and her M.S. in Statistics from North Carolina State University. She currently works as an Associate Director at Berkeley Research Group.

Jenn Hsu, Director-at-Large

Jenn began her journey with the Junior League of New York City in 2009 where she served on the Playground Improvement Project until she moved to Los Angeles in 2013 and transferred into JLLA. Her leadership experience includes serving as Chair of Board Fellows and placements on Daybreak and Project, Research & Development (PR&D), twice. Most recently, Jenn has spent the past two years serving on Community Improvement Project, contributing to its growth from incubation to now active JLLA project.

Originally from Knoxville, Tennessee, Jenn attended the University of Kansas where she received a BA in Communication Studies. After a career in digital media, she is currently home full time taking care of her two young sons. In addition to her work with the Junior League of Los Angeles, Jenn also serves on the board of Pathways LA working to provide low-income working families with access to quality early care and education services. In her spare time, Jenn enjoys riding horses, traveling, and reading.

Tamika L. Medley, Director-at-Large

Tamika L. Medley joined the Junior League of Los Angeles in 2007. She is currently a Sustainer serving as a Director-at-Large on the 2021-2022 Board of Directors. Her experience in the League includes service on the AVIVA Committee, Donor Relations, Rainey House Chair, Board Fellows and the College Application Program (CAP) Committee. Tamika is a graduate of JLLA’s Leadership Development Institute (LDI).

Currently, Tamika is CEO of Strategic Alliance, Inc., a management consulting firm in El Segundo. She finds this role to be a privilege and believes it is wonderful to work and interact with a variety of very talented people on a daily basis. Tamika has a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of Southern California (Fight On!!).

Tamika is a horse enthusiast and rides regularly. Her other hobbies and interests include cooking, reading, attending church and being an endearing helicopter aunt to her precious niece and nephews.

Leticia Valadez, Director-at-Large

Leticia Valadez joined the Junior League of Los Angeles in 2010. Throughout her League career she has served on a variety of councils including Training, Public Policy, Projects, and Community. Her initial leadership experience in JLLA was as the New-Member Training Development Associate during her first active year as a member. She continued to lead as Training & Education Co-Chair, as Training Director on the Board of Directors, and as the Public Policy Institute Chair. She has also served on the United Friends of the Children Committee, the Happy Trails Committee, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group, and on the Project, Research & Development Committee. She is also a graduate of JLLA’s Leadership Development Institute.

Currently, Leticia works for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles as a Division Administrator in the Department of Surgery leading the Plastic & Maxillofacial Surgery and Dentistry Divisions. She also volunteers with the National Association of Latino Healthcare Executives. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Loyola Marymount University and her Master’s Degree in Business from Pepperdine University.

In addition to her work and volunteerism, Leticia enjoys the many culinary options in Los Angeles by exploring new restaurants. She also enjoys cooking, cycling, binge-watching streamed television, especially a good scary movie, and spending time with family and friends.

2021-2022 Management Council

Joy C. Williams, President-Elect

Joy has been an active member of the Junior League of Los Angeles since 2003. She joined the JLLA because she is passionate about giving back to her community and developing the potential of women civic leaders. Joy currently serves as the President-Elect on the Board of Directors. As a member of the JLLA, Joy has gained substantial knowledge by serving in a variety of leadership positions including Secretary, Operations Vice President, Risk Management & Governance Board Committee Co-Chair, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force, Strategic Planning Chair, Board Fellows Chair, Nominating Committee, Annual Giving Chair, Public Relations/Publicity Chair, Neighborhood Provisional Advisor and she has received exceptional training by participating in the AJLI award-winning programs including Organizational Development Institute, Leadership Development Institute, Board Fellows and Appointments to Boards & Commissions Institute.

In 2019, Joy received the President’s Cup which is a special award recognizing a member going sustaining for her commitment to serving both the League and the community consistent with the Junior League mission and who has gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Joy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California, and a Juris Doctor from Ohio Northern University.

When Joy isn’t volunteering or working as a legal consultant for AmLaw A-List law firms she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, laughing, traveling, and playing sports.

Carmille Lim, Communications Vice President

Carmille joined the Junior League of Honolulu in 2010 and was a member of the Project Research & Development and then-nascent Public Policy committees. Carmille transferred to the Junior League of Los Angeles in 2019 and started as a Communications Strategist member, then subsequently served as the Communications Strategist Committee Chair. After two years in a League communications role, Carmille now serves as the Junior League of Los Angeles’ Communications Vice President.

Currently, Carmille is Vice President / Managing Director at the Pacific Council on International Policy and oversees the organization’s modern diplomacy projects. She previously served as executive director of Common Cause Hawaii, where she successfully lobbied for election day registration and vote-by-mail in Hawaii, and took part in nationwide automatic voter registration campaigns and election protection programs. She is a Master of Public Policy graduate from the University of Michigan.

Raised in Japan, Hawaii, and Washington, Carmille feels very much at home on the Pacific Ocean. She enjoys yoga, riding, kayaking, and has danced ballet for over 25 years.

Community Vice President (vacant)

Cole Miller, Development Vice President

Cole Miller transferred to the Junior League of Los Angeles in 2017. Throughout her time with JLLA, she has spent time in various roles across the Development Council.

Outside of the Junior League, Cole is an acting Regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Los Angeles, a member of the District Board of the Daughters of the American Revolution, an active PEO member, a lifelong member and previous representative of the Penn State Alumni Association. She regularly volunteers on behalf of SoFi Stadium and the Los Angeles Chargers foundations, and the professional group WISE LA.

She received a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology from Penn State University. She has spent her entire professional career in sales– primarily in the sports industry– and currently works for SoFi Stadium.

When Cole is not volunteering, she attends upwards of 100 sporting events in a year and takes photos of pre-civil war door frames.

Tessa Madden Storms, Development Vice President-Elect

Tessa Madden Storms joined the Junior League of Los Angeles in 2013. This is her second year on Management Council, where she previously served as Training Vice President for the 2020-21 League year. Tessa has been active in League leadership since 2014, supporting and managing the New Member Training Team for five consecutive years, followed by one year leading the League’s recruitment and membership engagement efforts.

Tessa holds a Master of Public Administration, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, both from the University of Southern California. Since 2011, she has worked for PATH (People Assisting the Homeless), a nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness for individuals, families, and communities across California. Tessa serves as Senior Director of Philanthropy, Media, and Marketing, managing the organization’s private giving, events-based fundraising, and statewide communications efforts, with an emphasis on increasing individual and corporate support, as well as celebrity engagement. Her background includes a variety of nonprofit development roles, including volunteer management, community engagement, media management, event planning, and individual donor cultivation.

In all her “free” time, Tessa enjoys traveling, cooking, and exploring local restaurants with her husband, friends, and family.

Janeane O’Dell, Finance Vice President

Janeane joined the Junior League of Los Angeles in 2017. She is currently serving as the Finance Vice President overseeing the financial administration and financial processes of the League and her previous leadership experience in the League includes chairing the Digital Communications Committee and training new members as part of the New Member Advisor team. She also served on the committee for Daybreak, a direct service project with community partner The People Concern.

Janeane attended Purdue University for her undergraduate studies and holds the CAIA Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation. She is a Vice President at Broadshore Capital Partners, a national real estate investment firm, where she is responsible for asset management of hospitality assets for the firm’s separate accounts and joint ventures.

In her free time, Janeane enjoys cooking, travel, and exploring Los Angeles’ restaurants, galleries, theaters, and hiking trails with her husband, dog, and friends.

Regan Templeton, Membership Vice President

Regan joined the Junior League of Los Angeles in 2017. Before becoming the Membership Vice President, she spent her League career on the Training Council. She trained New Members as a New Member Advisor and then served as the New Member Training Team Co-Chair. Additionally, she is a graduate of JLLA’s Leadership Development Institute.

Regan holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s of Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. When she’s not chasing her son around, she’s reading her way through the New York Times Best Seller List (or binge watching reality TV) and cuddling her miniature dachshund.

M. Heather Castle, Operations Vice President

Heather completed both of her degrees at the University of Alabama: an undergraduate degree in Finance and a Master’s in Business Administration from the Manderson Business School Executive MBA program.

Heather is the owner and founder of Castle Wealth Advisors, LLC, an Adjunct Finance & Economics Professor for California State University- Northridge, and is a CFP® Course Instructor for Kaplan.

  • She holds the following licensing:
  • Series 7, General Securities Representative
  • Series 66, Investment Advisor Representative
  • Series 9 & 10, General Securities Sales Supervisor
  • California & Alabama Life, Health, and Variable Insurance Licenses

In addition to licenses, Heather’s designations include:

  • Master’s in Business Administration
  • Certified Financial Planner™
  • Chartered Financial Consultant™
  • Accredited Investment Fiduciary™
  • Chartered Financial Analyst™ Candidate

Heather joined the Junior League of Los Angeles in 2015 and is currently serving as Operations Vice President also sits on the Finance Evaluation Committee.

Her past placements include Training VP, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee, Community Impact Working Group, Training & Education Chair, and also served as an Assistant to the Training VP.

She is a graduate of the League’s Board Fellows Program, Public Policy Institute, and the Leadership Development Institute. As well as, attending the Organizational Development Institute in October 2018.

Heather enjoys traveling, cycling, scuba diving, and spending time training and cuddling Rembrandt, her smooth collie!

Chelsea Elder, Projects Vice President

Chelsea joined the Junior League in 2017. Her experience in the League includes supporting recruitment, training, and leadership development programs.

Chelsea is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion professional at Boston Consulting Group. She is passionate about creating community, empowering voices, creating equity, and seeking to dismantle systemic injustices. She is also currently a mentor with America Needs You, an organization that strives for economic mobility for low-income college students by providing intensive career development.

Chelsea attended Northeastern University for her undergraduate degree. She is currently pursuing a Master’s of Science in Analytics from American University Kogod School of Business.

When Chelsea is not working or volunteering, she enjoys watching horror and sci-fi tv shows and movies and researching raciolinguistics.

Kimberly Alsabery, Public Policy Vice President

Kimberly Alsabery joined the Junior League of Los Angeles in 2017 and is currently serving as the Public Policy Vice President.

In 2020, Kimberly was instrumental in JLLA Co-Sponsoring California Senate Bill 1065 – more commonly known as CalWORKS: homeless assistance. Her leadership experience in the League includes two years as a Los Angeles Delegate on the California State Public Affairs Committee, where she served as Parliamentarian. She has also served on the Local Public Affairs Committee and Co-Chaired her new member “Thrive Through Literacy” project. Kimberly is a graduate of JLLA’s Leadership Development Institute and participated in the Organizational Development Institute hosted by the Association of Junior Leagues International.

Kimberly holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Arizona State University. She has worked in communications, public relations, and marketing for over a decade, and has significant nonprofit experience. She has advocated on behalf of those with disabilities and has spoken at conferences for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Chaired fundraisers for Special Olympics Southern California. Kimberly currently works as Advocacy Manager-California for the March of Dimes. She is a passionate philanthropist and advocate for women and children.

Kimberly spends most of her weekends boating with her significant other and her Italian Greyhound, Huckleberry. She can also be found photographing wildlife, researching her genealogy, cooking, relaxing with a classic novel, or trekking around Disneyland.

Lauren Ekerling, Sustaining Vice President

Desirée Finigan, Training Vice President

Desirée Finigan joined the Junior League of Los Angeles in 2012. She has been involved in leadership since her first active year, with placements as Development AA, Harvest Boutique Chair, New Member Training Team Advisor, and Finance Council Treasurer. She has previously served on both the Board of Directors and Management Council. As Development Vice President, she implemented the League’s inaugural Touch-A-Truck™ and Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI) fundraising events. Additionally, she oversaw the League’s highest grossing LA Big 5K and even attracted the attention of KTLA 5 Morning News.

Desirée’s experience with the League gave her an opportunity to return to her alma mater, Loyola Marymount University, where she worked as the Assistant Director of Development for the Alliance of Women Philanthropists (AWP.) The highlight of her position was overseeing the AWP Annual Speaker Series, where she secured guest speakers Busy Philipps (actress, New York Times best selling author, tv host) and Jameela Jamil (actress, advocate, tv host). A graduate of LMU’s School of Film and Television, Desirée began her career in television production and worked on various series including “The King of Queens” and “Criminal Minds.”

In her spare time, Desirée loves traveling and has a goal to visit all 30 ballparks. When in LA, she enjoys working on home improvement projects and Disneyland trips with her family.

Jeanette Woodburn, Nominating Director-Elect

Jeanette joined the Junior League of Los Angeles in 2013, and is currently serving as Nominating Director-Elect. Previously, Jeanette served as Chair of the Done in a Day Committee, League Advisor Chair, and Co-Chair of JLLA’s projects with Daybreak and Happy Trails. She is a graduate of JLLA’s Leadership Development Institute.

Originally from Ventura, CA, Jeanette now lives on the Westside of Los Angeles with frequent trips to dote on her nieces and nephew. She holds a bachelor’s degree in History from Stanford, a Master of Arts in Museum Studies, and a Master of Business Administration from John F. Kennedy University. Professionally, she is the CRM Manager for BURST Oral Care, though she still spends as much time in museums as she can. Along with her Junior League service, she spends her time volunteering as a board member of the Western Museums Association, needlepointing, reading, and baking.