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California State University, Long Beach
Women and Careers Conference
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Past Speakers - 2011

Celine Cordero currently serves as deputy mayor of Legislative and Intergovernmental Relations (LIGR) in the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa. She oversees federal, state and local relations for the Mayor and the Mayor’s Office offices in Washington DC and Sacramento. Previously, Celine was associate director of the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Public Safety.

Before entering law school at Santa Clara University School of Law, Celine worked for the California Democratic Party as a field director. After graduating from CSULB, Celine was selected as a Jesse Marvin Unruh State Assembly Fellow and spent a year in the office of former Assemblymember Martin Gallegos. As an undergraduate student she interned for both Senator Tom Harkin, in Washington DC, and former Congressmember Stephen Horn in Long Beach.

Ms. Cordero is a member of the California State Bar and received a B.A. in Political Science from California State University Long Beach and a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law. She is a member of the California State Bar, Mexican American Bar Association and Latina Lawyers Bar Association.


Mona Nesseth is a Graduate Gemologist and a “Private Jeweler”. Some people refer to her as their “Secret Jeweler” because her jewelry services are “under the radar”, available by referral and by appointment. She travels the world in search of the finest gems & jewels for her clientele of jewelry connoisseurs and collectors.

The year after graduating from CSULB in Marketing, Mona earned her Graduate Gemologist Diploma from the Gemological Institute of America. In the ensuing years, Mona’s many accomplishments have been exceptional and unique. Recently, she was included in an exhibit titled “All That Glitters: The Splendor & Science of Gems & Minerals” at the San Diego Museum of Natural History 2010 -2012. One of Mona’s career benchmarks was being honored with a private dinner for eight guests with the curator of the National Gem Collection in celebration of the Smithsonian Museum’s “The Splendor of Diamonds” Exhibition.

Mona’s charitable involvements include donations of historical jewelry to the Gemological Institute of America and the Boston Museum of Fine Art. She has chaired and served on numerous auction committees for non-profit endeavors including Oceana and the American Cancer Society.


Linda Novick has over fifteen years of project management experience, focused on designing and implementing demonstration and pilot projects that can influence public policy. Prior to her current position as a project manager for Harvest Power, Linda worked at the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis and in the private and non-profit sectors.

Linda has extensive experience working with multiple state and local agencies and diverse stakeholders to implement projects focused on innovative transportation solutions. In her off hours, she hikes, bikes, skis and is a political activist.

She earned her master's degree in urban and regional planning from Cal Poly Pomona and her bachelor’s in geography from Clark University.


Megan Rodriguez has over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry. Currently, she is the public relations manager with the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau where she is responsible for public relations strategy and execution, media relations and participation in brand development and awareness building for tourism in Long Beach. In 2010 alone, she managed a media relations campaign to promote Long Beach to business and leisure travelers that garnered a print advertising equivalency of more than $1.5 million. Prior to her current position, Megan was with a Santa Monica-based public relations agency with clients including hotels and resorts in Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas and throughout the Caribbean.

Outside of the office, Megan is a member of the Orange County Chapter of Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and is involved in the Mentor programs with both the Orange County and Los Angeles chapters. She is also a Big Sister with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. A native of Castro Valley, California, Megan currently resides in Long Beach.


Dr. Carolee Ogata is currently director of Certificated Personnel in Garden Grove Unified School District. Prior to working in personnel, she was the director of K-6 Instruction in GGUSD and served as the Principal of Faylane Elementary School in Garden Grove. Carolee is a former assistant principal and an English teacher in the Ocean View School District at Marine View Middle School. Past awards include Teacher of the Year, when Carolee was an English teacher, as well as PTA Service Awards at two schools.

Carolee’s undergraduate degree is in Speech Communications/English from CSULB. She holds a master’s of Educational Administration from National University and received a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California, Rossier School of Education.

Finding the best teachers for the students in Garden Grove is Carolee’s passion. She truly believes every child has the right to the best education every day.


Deborah Sanchez is Chumash and O’odham. A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge, she is believed to be the first Native American judge elected to the Superior Court. Recently appointed by the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, Deborah is now a member of the California Tribal and State Court Forum.

Before becoming a judge, Deborah practiced law for nearly 20 years. She was the supervisor of the Special Enforcement Unit at the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. Deborah prosecuted child pornography and child exploitation cases, hate crimes and worker death cases. She also drafted ordinances and legislation which are now law.

Deborah is the co-chair of the Barbareño Chumash Council and was a volunteer attorney for the Southern California Indian Center for many years. She was the recipient of the American Indian Scholarship Foundation’s Community Service Award in 2007; the Project Amiga Award for Community Service in 2007; the Distinguished Alumni Award, College of Liberal Arts, California State University, Long Beach in 2008 and has received many awards throughout her career.

After starting her college career while a teen mother, Deborah earned her bachelor’s in Sociology and left the welfare system behind. She received her juris doctor degree from Loyola Law School and now presides over a criminal court in Los Angeles County.


Elizabeth is the current founder and CEO of Cali Bike Tours, a bike touring company in Long Beach, California. As an avid cyclist and novice triathlete, it was a natural progression for her to start a business that promotes healthy, green lifestyles. Through Cali Bike Tours, Elizabeth has been able to share her passion and excitement about the city with locals and tourists through her bike tours.

In addition to being a budding entrepreneur, Elizabeth is employed as a senior financial analyst with Beckman Coulter, a bio-tech company in Brea, California where she is responsible for managing budgets, estimates, and actuals for multiple business groups within the Brea manufacturing site.

Elizabeth Williams has lived a life of community service. Among her numerous contributions, she has served as a volunteer tutor coordinator for School on Wheels which serves homeless children who are victims of domestic violence; volunteered with agencies that provided shelter relief and help repair homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina in Texas and New Orleans, and worked as a community small business and nonprofit consultant assisting clients with reaching their goals of starting a business.


Dr. Robin Lee currently serves as associate director of the Career Development Center at CSULB, and is also the founder and owner of Lee Success Consulting, LLC. She has more than 15 years of experience in education and research at the secondary education level through university, has done training and development, and is a successful grant writer.

The Chronicle of Higher Education,,,, and a host of career-related websites and blogs have called upon Robin’s services as a consultant. Additionally, she serves as a member of several local government and corporate boards, including the City of Long Beach, Wells Fargo, and Enterprise Rent-a-Car. The former president of the Association of Pan African Doctoral Scholars (APADS), a non-profit organization geared toward mentoring doctoral students, Robin is currently co-editor of the Journal of Urban Youth Culture. In 2008, she was accepted into the prestigious Fulbright International Education Administrators (FIEA) program which allowed her to conduct research on first-year student career development and retention issues in Germany.

Robin holds three university degrees, including a Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).


Dr. Pamela Ashe is a licensed psychologist in the department of Counseling and Psychological Services at California State University, Long Beach and in private practice in Culver City. She is actively involved in the areas of individual and group psychotherapy, campus outreach and consultation, human relations training, women of color issues and clinical supervision. She is also an adjunct professor in the department of Advanced Studies in Education and Counseling at CSULB.

Dr. Ashe earned her doctorate in counseling psychology at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she received specialized training in group therapy and the delivery of mental health services to college populations. Dr. Ashe is a member of the Association of Black Psychologists, the American Group Psychotherapy Association and the Los Angeles County Psychological Association.