Tom Epstein | President
Tom Epstein recently retired after 15 years as vice president of public affairs of Blue Shield of California, where he led government relations, corporate communications, philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. Prior to joining Blue Shield, Epstein was vice president of communications for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and served in the Clinton White House as a special assistant to the president for political affairs.
Previously, he was deputy commissioner of the California Department of Insurance. Mr. Epstein earned a J.D. from UCLA School of Law and a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He serves on the board of the Coalition for Clean Air and is a Senior Fellow at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.
Pamela Haynes | Vice President
Pamela Haynes was appointed to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2016. Haynes served on the Los Rios Community College District Board of Trustees for more than 17 years, including three terms as board president. She also sits on the Board of Trustees for the Community College League of California and the Los Rios Foundation Board. Before retiring from state service in 2012, she served for eight years as a deputy director and senior consultant for the California State Assembly, Speaker’s Office of Member Services.
Prior to that, she was the legislative director for the Capitol Office of Assemblymember Mark Ridley-Thomas. Haynes has also worked for the California Labor Federation, ALF-CIO; the City of Sacramento; the Bureau of State Audits; and Department of Health Services. A Santa Monica College transfer student, she has a bachelor’s degree from University of California, Los Angeles and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University.
Hildegarde B. Aguinaldo
Residence: Los Angeles
Hildegarde Aguinaldo currently serves as director, Corporate Counsel for DaVita Inc. Ms. Aguinaldo has a well-established history in both health care and government that uniquely positions her to address the complex issues arising from these dynamic fields.
Prior to DaVita, Ms. Aguinaldo served as associate general counsel at UnitedHealthcare and as an associate in the Health Care Litigation practice group of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP. Ms. Aguinaldo’s practice benefitted from the heightened understanding of healthcare systems she gained from her studies in the Master of Public Health program at UCLA and her service as a board member of a local Dignity Health hospital.
In 2013, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. appointed Ms. Aguinaldo to the California Acupuncture Board, where she was selected president and chair of its Enforcement Committee. In 2012, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas appointed Ms. Aguinaldo to the Los Angeles County Hospitals and Health Care Delivery Commission. In 2007, Councilmember Richard Alarcon selected Ms. Aguinaldo as deputy of Health and Legal Affairs for Council District 7. Ms. Aguinaldo’s government service was a primer to her recent endeavor as general counsel for the Santa Maria Group, a prominent government relations firm with local and global specialties.
In addition to health care and the law, Ms. Aguinaldo’s longest commitment has been to advocate for the Filipino-American community. From 2014 to 2015, following over a decade of involvement in the organization, Ms. Aguinaldo served as the president of the Philippine American Bar Association, where she sharpened the group’s efforts to advance judicial diversity and promote civic engagement. Ms. Aguinaldo continues to carry out the association’s mission in celebrating the contributions of the Filipino-American community and empowering students and attorneys to advance in the legal profession.
Darius W. Anderson
Darius Anderson is founder and CEO of Kenwood Investments, LLC, a California Real Estate Development and Opportunity Fund, and founder and managing member of Sonoma Media Investments, LLC. He is also the founder and CEO of Platinum Advisors, a full-service government affairs firm providing lobbying, public affairs and strategic consulting to corporations, governments, trade associations and non-profit organizations.
Geoffrey L. Baum
Geoffrey Baum was appointed to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2008 and reappointed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2014. He served as president of the board from 2014-2016. Baum was a governing board member of the Pasadena Area Community College District from 2001 to 2013, including two terms as president. He is the director of media relations at the Milken Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy think tank based in Santa Monica, California. Before joining the Milken Institute in 2017, he held leadership roles at the University of Southern California, Claremont McKenna College, the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands and C-SPAN, the public affairs television network. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from USC and a B.A. in Economics and Literature from Claremont McKenna College.
Felicia Escobar Carrillo
Residence: Los Angeles
Felicia Escobar Carrillo is currently Director of Immigration at The Beacon Fund, which works to unleash individual potential by investing in youth and their families, supporting communities, and removing systemic barriers to success. From 2009 -2017, she worked for the White House Domestic Policy Council where she advanced President Obama’s immigration legislative and administrative agenda, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Felicia also served as the Principal Consultant for the L.A. Justice Fund, a public-private partnership to increase access to legal representation for immigrants in deportation proceedings. She has extensive experience on Capitol Hill having worked for former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle on outreach and engagement strategies, and U.S. Senator Ken Salazar’s legislative team. A native of San Antonio, TX, Felicia earned a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University, Masters of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Juris Doctorate from UCLA's School of Law.
Amy M. Costa
Amy Costa was chief deputy director for budget at the California Department of Finance from 2016 to 2018, where she served as advisor to the director on higher education from 2014 to 2016. She was an account lead at Blue Beyond Consulting from 2012 to 2014 and director of state and local government relations at Safeway Inc. from 2010 to 2012. Costa served as associate director of advocacy and state relations at the California State University Chancellor's Office from 2009 to 2010. She served as policy director in the Office of California State Senator Dean Florez from 2008 to 2009, as a policy consultant in the Office of California State Senate President pro Tempore Don Perata from 2005 to 2008 and district director in the Office of California State Senator Don Perata from 2001 to 2005.
Colm Fitzgerald has been a student at San Joaquin Delta College since 2018. Fitzgerald was elected to serve a year in Delta’s Associated Student Organization as Senator of Legislative Affairs, where he became involved in the statewide Student Senate for California Community Colleges (SSCCC). He would later be elected to serve as Communications Officer for Region V, soon ascending to Vice-Chair of Communications for the entire senate. Special appointed by then President Iiyshaa Youngblood, Fitzgerald served on the Strategic Ad Hoc Planning Committee of the SSCCC, where he would help rewrite the organizations governing documents, and worked to craft the organization's five year Strategic Plan.
Kevin J. Holl
Residence: San Francisco
Kevin J. Holl is a partner at the San Francisco-based law firm of Gordon-Creed, Kelley, Holl & Sugerman, LLP. With more than 30 years of litigation and trial experience, he has received a Martindale Hubbell peer review rating of “AV Preeminent” and has been named a “Northern California Super Lawyer” for fifteen consecutive years. Mr. Holl is an appointed arbitrator with the San Francisco Superior Court. He also volunteers as an adjunct faculty member for the University of San Francisco School of Law Intensive Trial Advocacy Program. He is a co-founder of a scholarship fund at USF Law School which, since 1995, has provided financial assistance to law students. Mr. Holl was appointed to the Treasure Island Citizen Advisory Board in 2004 by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees at Archbishop Riordan High School in San Francisco. Holl is a former member of the Executive Committee of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of California. Mr. Holl earned an associate degree from City College of San Francisco, a B.S. degree in International Business from San Francisco State University, and a J.D from USF School of Law.
Jolena M. Grande
Jolena M. Grande is a licensed funeral service practitioner with Service Corporation International and current director of the Mortuary Science Program at Cypress College. She is a longtime faculty member in the department, where she served as an adjunct instructor from 1995 to 1999. Since 1989, she has enjoyed working as an embalmer, funeral director, crematory manager and cemetery manager in Southern California, where she was previously employed by Heritage Memorial Services, McCormick and Son, Inc., Peek Family Colonial Funeral Home, and Westminster Memorial Park and Mortuary. She has served on the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) Career Technical Education Leadership Committee and as an ASCCC representative to the System Advisory Committee on Curriculum and the Career Technical Education Faculty Minimum Qualifications Workgroup with the Chancellor’s Office. She was a member of the Cypress College Academic Senate from 2010 to 2017, holding the offices of secretary (2010-2013) and president (2014-2016).
Jolena has served on various college and district committees, including the college program review and department planning committee, curriculum committee, planning and budget committee, and president’s advisory cabinet, as well as a member of the district consultation council, council on budget and finance, and enrollment management advisory committee. Grande serves on various committees with the California Funeral Directors Association, is the current secretary of the National Associated Colleges of Mortuary Science, and vice president of the American Board of Funeral Service Education. She previously served on the California Department of Consumer Affairs Cemetery and Funeral Bureau Advisory Committee, and is an item writer for the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards. She earned a Master of Science degree in educational technology and a Master of Forensic Sciences degree from National University.
Jennifer L. Perry
Residence: Los Angeles
Jennifer Perry has been executive director at the Children’s Action Network since 1990, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the North American Council on Adoptable Children. She was director of public affairs at Act III Communications from 1988 to 1990 and served as director of special projects in the Office of Senator Alan Cranston from 1985 to 1988 and as staff assistant in the Office of Congressman Mickey Leland from 1982 to 1983.
Dr. Kim Perigo
Residence: San Diego
Dr. Kim Perigo earned a Doctor of Education degree with an emphasis in community college leadership and a Master of Arts degree in communication from San Diego State University. She current directs Mesa's Speech and Debate team and serves as a department chair. Under her leadership, the department was recognized as a Model Program by the Western States Communication Association in 2014. She has been active in the Academic Senate at Mesa since 2014, serving on numerous committees, as both the Chair of the Committee of Chairs and as Academic Senate President.
In her work at Mesa, she is active in institutional planning, accreditation, district and campus governance committees, guided pathways, academic affairs, and facilities. She is a member of the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges and the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. Students, colleagues and supervisors recognized her for excellence in teaching and coaching through the International Communication Association (2003-2004), San Diego State University students (2005-2006), San Diego Mesa College students (2015), and the Pacific Southwest Collegiate Forensics Association (2018). She started her career as professor of communication studies at San Diego Mesa College in 2006. She was a lecturer at San Diego State University from 2002 to 2005, where she directed the Aztec Forensics team. She has also taught public speaking to active duty Navy personnel and to Marine recruiters.
Residence: Diamond Bar
Representing: Classified Employee
Bill Rawlings has been a coordinator in the Academic Technology & Infrastructure department at Mt. San Antonio College since 1999, after beginning his career in education in 1993. He is a member of the California Educational Technology Professionals Association (CETPA) and the California School Employees Association (CSEA).
Having previously served on the CSEA Board of Directors and as chair of its Legislative Committee, Mr. Rawlings currently serves as the chair of the CSEA Community College Committee, which researches, educates and communicates with members on the issues and concerns of community college employees. Mr. Rawlings has previously represented CSEA on the California Community Colleges Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Committee, Legislative Program Task Force, and the Budget and Legislative Advisory Committee.
Mr. Rawlings also currently serves as vice president of the Board of Directors for the Watchmen Arts Association, a non-profit corporation that provides performing arts education and experiences to youth from throughout Southern California.
Residence: Long Beach
Alma Salazar has been senior vice president of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce since 2014. She held multiple positions at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, including vice president from 2008 to 2014 and director from 2000 to 2008. She earned a Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership and a Master of Public Policy degree from California State University, Long Beach.
Valerie Lynne Shaw
Residence: Los Angeles
Valerie Shaw was a commissioner at the Los Angeles City Board of Public Works from 1996 to 2013, where she was president from 2001 to 2005 and was an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California Department of Political Science from 2004 to 2011. She served as district director for Los Angeles City Council member Ruth Galanter from 1987 to 1993 and was a program manager at the Drew Economic Development Corporation from 1985 to 1987. Shaw served as public information officer for the Century Freeway Project from 1981 to 1985. She is a member of the 211 Los Angeles County Board of Directors, California Community Foundation’s Centinela Valley Medical and Community Funds, Wilfandel Club and the Los Angeles African-American Women’s Public Political Institute. Shaw earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California.
Dr. Blas Villalobos
Dr. Blas Villalobos currently serves as the Veterans Affairs director at Chapman University, where he provides resources and services for the student veteran population and their families.
Previous to his current position, Dr. Villalobos managed Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office of Veterans Affairs. Under this position, Dr. Villalobos developed, and implemented, Mayor Garcetti’s strategic vision to leverage private and public resources to assist veterans and their families reintegrate into civilian life, managing the 10,000 Strong Initiative, a program that helped more than 12,000 veterans find full-time employment. Dr. Villalobos also served as the Executive Director of Community Programs and Veteran Services for U.S.VETS Patriotic Hall, where he managed the Outside the Wire program, the Career Development Initiative, and the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program.
Dr. Villalobos also serves as a member of the Veterans Administration Advisory Committee on the Readjustment of Veterans, and was appointed to the committee by VA Secretary Shulkin in 2018. As a member, his role is to promote the effectiveness and adequacy of VA programs, to include the availability, ease of access, quality and consumer satisfaction with delivery of services designed to meet the readjustment needs of America’s war Veterans, by providing consumer-based recommendations to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Dr. Villalobos served in the United States Marine Corps from October 1999-October 2003. During his military service, he was deployed to Iraq during the invasion in March 2003, where he served as a Squad Leader during combat operations earning several awards, including the Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Iraq Campaign Medal with two bronze campaign stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Humanitarian Service Medal.
After his military service, Dr. Villalobos attended Long Beach City College, then graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and received a master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern California with a concentration in community organization, planning and administration, and a sub-concentration in military social work. Dr. Villalobos also completed his doctoral program in social work at USC.
Dr. Villalobos loves spending time with his daughter, Jessica, and his wife Vanessa.
Alexis Zaragoza, 21, is a student at Modesto Junior College, where she held multiple positions such as vice president in her associated student body and sat as a liaison to the Academic Senate and Guided Pathways Committee locally. She recently transferred to the University of California, Berkeley where she studies Sociology and Geography and serves on the UC-wide Board of Admissions and Relations of Schools. She was an organizer for Josh Harder’s congressional campaign in 2018 and continues to work in public service by participating in multiple statewide committees, including the Statewide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Implementation Workgroup and the Cal Grant Reform Workgroup. Alexis serves all students in the California Community College system but serves as a voice for Native American and Chicanx students like herself. She is now a McNair Scholar and hopes to one day attain a PhD and continuing on to do research for higher education to continue to help students across the state of California.