Advocacy – How to Get Involved and Why Our Voices Matter | NAWBO

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 -
4:00pm to 5:30pm

REGISTER NOW DEADLINEApril 21, 2021 - 4:00pm

Everyone needs an advocate – as a parent you advocate for your child; as a caretaker you advocate for your patient; as a business you advocate for your brand. Meet three women who have taken a giant leap in advocacy to the public arena in California.

Passion, Grit, Focus all characterize these women’s journey in their careers and lives. Hear how both women are involved in statewide policy affecting women and have made their mark on issues critically important to their constituents and local community members.


Felena Hanson, President of NAWBO San Diego

Special Guests:

Donna Lucas 

Over the course of her 30-year career, Donna Lucas has earned a reputation as a smart, strategic and successful communications consultant and businesswoman. Since opening Lucas Public Affairs in 2006, Donna has grown the firm into a team of accomplished public affairs professionals who collaborate with clients to explain the complexities around many of the major public policy challenges facing the state. Donna provides strategic counsel to each of the firm’s clients, which range from financial institutions to nonprofit organizations and government entities.

Donna has held senior executive positions in both the public and private sectors. She served as deputy chief of staff for strategic planning and initiatives for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and chief of staff to First Lady Maria Shriver. Donna served as deputy press secretary for Gov. George Deukmejian, deputy treasurer for state Treasurer Tom Hayes and California press secretary for the 1988 presidential campaign of then-Vice President George H.W. Bush. Donna was the global and public affairs practice leader for Porter Novelli, an international PR firm, after it acquired Nelson Communications Group, where she served as president and CEO for several years.

Donna serves on the Executive Committee on the California Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. She is Chair-Emeritus of the Public Policy Institute of California and serves on the boards of the Crocker Art Museum, John Burton Advocates for Youth, College Futures Foundation, All About Sacramento, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Maria Shriver’s Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement. Donna is a founding member of She Shares, a conversation series featuring trailblazing women leaders who have created a lasting impact for women in California. She is routinely named one of Sacramento’s 100 most powerful people and is often listed as one of the state Capitol’s most influential people.

Alisha Wilkins, PhD

Dr. Wilkins is an organizational psychologist, who has conducted extensive research on the challenges individuals experience developing psychological connections with each other when communicating using technology.

She has over 17 years of public affairs and government relations experience in both the for-profit and non-profit sector. She served as owner and political consultant for the Empire Consulting Group, a government relations firm which offered campaign strategies and messaging to candidates running for public office; as well as, public relations consulting to businesses and organizations on public outreach and engagement with key decision makers.

Prior to her work with the Empire Consulting Group, Dr. Wilkins led the public affairs department for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest in Riverside County for ten years.

Dr. Wilkins was appointed by the Governor of the State of California to the Commission on the Status of Women & Girls in 2014. She currently serves as the Chair of the Commission. Her work as a Commissioner has focused on advocating for women’s pay equity and engaging girls in STEM. She also served on the board of the Fair Housing Council of Riverside County, Inc. and Board member for the Inland Empire’s Chapter of Run Women Run. She is a graduate of the Riverside Chamber of Commerce – Leadership Riverside Program and California Emerge.

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