Providing Leadership and Service for Women Since 1983

Meet our 2019 Board of Directors 

Honorary Members:

Senator Ling Ling Chang

Assemblymember Rubio 

President: Rachael O’Brien 

Rachael currently serves as the Assistant Secretary for the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Prior to her appointment she served as Manager of Government Affairs at the Agricultural Council of California, representing approximately 15,000 farmers across the state of California, ranging from small, farmer-owned businesses, to some of the world’s best-known brands. Rachael also served as a Legislative Advocate for Gonzalez, Quintana & Hunter, LLC, focusing on energy, water, air quality, CEQA, and tribal policy areas. Rachael also worked as an Associate for EcoConsult, a political environmental advocacy firm and held an internship position with Assembly Member Skinner’s Capitol office.

Rachael received a Bachelors Degree in International Relations and Global Politics from California State University, Monterey Bay. In her spare time, Rachael enjoys camping, hiking, traveling and spending time with family and friends. 

Vice President: Angela Pontes

Angela Pontes is currently Legislative Director for Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry.


Prior to returning to the Capitol to serve in Assemblymember Richard S. Gordon's office, Angela worked in the Third House as a Legislative Coordinator and Advocate at Gonzalez, Quintana & Hunter, representing a range of clients. She also spent time working with the former First Lady of California, Maria Shriver, on her research and communications project titled "The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink." Angela graduated from Georgetown University, where she majored in International Health and Spanish Language, and was also an NCAA Division I athlete.

Treasurer: Vanessa Garcia 

Vanessa Garcia is a Legislative Advocate for CalSTRS, the state retirement system for teachers. Prior to this role, she served in Treasurer John Chiang's office as a Legislative Assistant where she was responsible for researching, tracking, and analyzing bills, testifying in legislative hearings and providing policy recommendations to the Treasurer. Vanessa was an Executive Fellow in the Capital Fellows Program from 2014-2015 and worked at both the Fair Political Practices Commission and the Department of Business Oversight during her fellowship year. As an undergraduate, Vanessa was a student lobbyist and executive on the University of California Student Association’s Board of Directors. Vanessa graduated from the University of California San Diego in 2014 with a B.S. in Cognitive Neuroscience and a B.A. in History.

Secretary: Michelle Reyes

Michelle Reyes joined Political Solutions in 2017 where she serves as an associate lobbyist. She has a distinguished background in media relations, public affairs, political campaigns, and public service. In her current capacity as an associate lobbyist she helps clients on an array of issues navigate through the complex world of politics and policy in the state Legislature.

Prior to joining Political Solutions, Michelle served as a Communications Director in the California State Assembly, where she utilized strategic and instinctual media relations to help drive messaging on social media and to key constituencies and audiences at the local, state, and national level. She also created original content and imagery to help deliver key messages, and identified media opportunities and pitfalls. Michelle has also served as Communications Director for the California Latino Legislative Caucus. During this time, she spearheaded statewide and nationally targeted media efforts to address issues that impact the Latino community.

Past President: Dorothy Johnson

Dorothy Johnson currently serves as Legislative Representative for the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) where she is the lead advocate on finance and administration policy on behalf of California’s 58 member counties.

She has been a Capitol Network Member since 2010 and joined the board as an At-Large Member in January 2015. She also served as Chair of the Mentorship Committee.

Over the last decade Dorothy has advocated for local government agencies on a variety of issues including governance and employee relations for the CA Special Districts Association and public works and public safety with the League of California Cities. She has also served as Grassroots Director for the American Heart Association’s Western States Affiliate and Senior Account Executive with Perry Communications Group. Her first experience in the Capitol was an Assembly intern but her affinity for lobbying came from an internship where she worked with local government agency and public service association clients at Shaw/Yoder, Inc (now Shaw/Yoder/Antwih).

Dorothy graduated with highest honors from the University of California, Davis with a BA in Sociology (Law and Society Emphasis) and Political Science.

Members At Large:

Julie Phillips


Julie Phillips is Vice President at Randle Communications. Previous to joining Randle Communications, Julie worked in the State Senate as a Legislative Aide and Communications Director. Julie is an alumni of the California Senate Fellowship program. Julie is also a graduate of University of California, Davis.

Erinn Ryberg

Erinn Ryberg is a Legislative Advocate for California Advocates. She brings  with her years of experience working in Sacramento's legislative and political spheres. She most recently served as Legislative Director to Assembly Member Cristina Garcia and before that worked in the same role for Assembly Member Matt Dababneh. For both members she handled judiciary, electronic transactions, banking, insurance, employment, and taxation issues. 

Margo Parks

Margo Parks joined the WSPA team in November 2017 as Manager, California Policy Advocate. Drawing on her experience advocating for both a trade association and a contract lobby firm, Margo works with WSPA’s members, navigating policy and politics to help achieve the organization’s goals in the legislature. Prior to joining WSPA, Margo was a lobbyist at Political Solutions LLC, where she worked on a wide range of policy issues including energy and natural resources. Prior to working at Political Solutions, Margo was employed by the California Cattlemen’s Association, and in the California Senate Fellows program. Margo graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Scripps College, Claremont, Calif.

Sheila Johnston 

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