Through networking, professional development, and philanthropic opportunities, our goal is to help make the journey as a woman in the field of homeland security a positive one. We foster a collaborative environment for industry professionals to learn about the discipline and build connections to better understand the roles of public and private sector practitioners in the prevention, protection and response to any type of incident. We’re proud to be the first West Coast organization of this kind, focused on building the homeland security community and improving our nation’s security and intelligence on critical issues.
Board of Directors
Michelle Constant, MBA
Michelle Constant is the Chief Executive Officer of Constant Associates, a homeland security consulting firm. Ms. Constant brings 20 years of experience in the industry and is recognized for spearheading innovative endeavors in health security, healthcare preparedness and emergency management. Award winning and published, Ms. Constant is known for her leadership as an industry expert and business executive. As an engaged contributor to the field, she has spoken at the National Homeland Security Conference, the International Association of Emergency Managers Conference, the National Preparedness Summit and several others. She has been published in prints such as the Crisis Response Journal and the International Association of Emergency Managers trade publication. Ms. Constant earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from California State University San Marcos, as well as dozens of other sector and threat-specific certifications. She serves as an active mentor for USC Marshall School of Business' Women's Mentorship Program. Ms. Constant is a California native and lives in the South Bay with her husband and sons.
Director of Sponsorship
Naomi Goldman is Principal of NLG Communications, a Los Angeles-based public relations, public affairs and crisis management firm. With more than 20 years experience, Goldman is recognized as a communications practitioner who safeguards reputations, engages communities and advances business and policy agendas. She has directed crisis and emergency management programs to help public agencies, nonprofits and Fortune 500 companies prepare for and respond to complex, high-profile crises including public safety and security threats, natural disasters, data breaches, labor strikes, litigation, legislative and regulatory actions and media attacks. She regularly conducts trainings on emergency preparedness, disaster response and recovery, crisis communications and public safety in conjunction with the California Emergency Management Agency, American Red Cross, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and local law enforcement. Her clients have included Metrolink, California Dept. of Health Services, CalEMA, Anthem Blue Cross, Universal Studios, UCLA, American Red Cross, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, J. Paul Getty Trust and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Goldman is a trained Emergency Preparedness presenter and Co-Chair of the American Red Cross Northern Valleys Board of Directors. Her work has received numerous awards and she is a frequent lecturer and media source on crisis communications and social impact programs. She received her degree in Political Science from UCLA.
director of programs
Mona Bontty, MBA
Mona Bontty serves as the Southern Regional Administrator for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services which includes overseeing emergency management and response operations in a region that spans 11 Counties, nearly 65,000 miles and serves a population of over 21,000,000 residents. Since her appointment as Regional Administrator in August 2013, Ms. Bontty has managed response to many varying types of emergency events throughout the region. Ms. Bontty has over 26 years of experience in State Service including positions with various leadership roles in environmental mitigation and remediation of hazardous cleanup sites, public affairs, community engagement and leading strategic planning for operational initiatives. She is a certified Emergency Manager with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management and a UCLA undergraduate degree in Psychology. She resides in La Verne with her husband and twin daughter and son.
Director of philanthropy
Brandy Chappell, PhD
Dr. Brandy N. Chappell has a strong background in campaign, events management, government, and non-profit organization work. She worked as a staff member for elected officials, at educational institutions and for community and economic development corporations. Dr. Chappell received baccalaureate and graduate degrees from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and the University of Southern California. She specializes in Urban and Social Policy, Economic Development, Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIST) and Public Health. She is a German Marshall Memorial Fund Trans-Atlantic Fellow (2013), a National Association of University Women Fellow (2012), a Southern California Leadership Network Fellow (2010) and a graduate of the CORO Neighborhood Leadership Program (2006). She serves as a member of the Board of Director’s for the Southern California Leadership Network and for Women in Homeland Security-Southern California. She is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and is a published author. She co-wrote “Rock the Vote: An Insider’s Account of the 2004 Campaign Strategy “in Tony Kelso and Brian Cogan’s, “Mosh the Polls: Youth Voters, Popular Culture, and Democratic Engagement. Dr. Chappell is the Master of Public Administration Program Faculty Director and, Center for Public Affairs Founding Director, at Azusa Pacific University. She specializes in local government and the use of GIST for data collection. A native Californian, she grew up in the Inland Empire, in the beautiful city of Rancho Cucamonga. Her lifetime goal is to demonstrate the science of public affairs- with a commitment to social responsibility. In her spare time, she likes reading, cooking and volunteering.
Director of communications
Alix Stayton is an emergency management consultant in Southern California. She works on projects nationwide, and provides disaster plan development, implementation support, exercise management and training, and curriculum development and coaching for trainers. Her current focus is on the intersection of the private, public and nonprofit sectors and the whole-community resilience efforts made possible by their collaboration. She has worked with the Emergency Network of Los Angeles (ENLA), the Los Angeles Emergency Preparedness Foundation (LAEPF), and the Homeland Security Advisory Council of Los Angeles (HSAC). Alix has provided subject matter expertise on government contracts for the State of California, the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and Wayne County (MI). Her training experience includes providing workshops at Facebook, the City of Los Angeles, the City of Long Beach, and American Red Cross Greater Los Angeles. Recent clients include Global Vision Consortium, I.T. Crisis Services, USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture and the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Ms. Stayton served previously as a National VOAD (NVOAD) member in her capacity as Director of HOPE Coalition America (HCA) at Operation HOPE Inc., and was an active member of NVOAD's Case Management committee. She then served as a NVOAD State Advisory Council member, representing the Southern California VOAD. She is a current member of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) and Women in Homeland Security. She is also an active participant in the Los Angeles Children in Disasters subcommittee.
Lorraine Schneider is a rising emergency manager with experience in preparedness, response and recovery. Through her work as a training specialist, she has developed, facilitated and implemented rigorous training and exercise programs serving the University of California, Los Angeles, as well as local jurisdictions, nonprofits and K-12 districts. She is the co-founder of KASSL Emergency Management Consulting, a firm specializing in training and exercise development for the public and private sector. Previous work at the City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department included involvement in multifaceted projects, such as a review of the City's Terrorism Prevention & Protection Annex and research into the link between disasters and domestic violence. Her contributions to the City's pilot project on Supply Chain Resiliency earned her a Certificate of Recognition by LA City Mayor, Eric Garcetti. Ms. Schneider earned a certificate degree in Homeland Security & Emergency Management from UCLA Extension and a Bachelor of Arts degree in North American Studies with a focus on U.S. foreign policy and war studies from the Freie Universität Berlin. In 2014, Ms. Schneider left her European roots behind to move to West LA, where she currently lives with her wife.
Diana Monzano-Garcia, MA
Diana Manzano-Garcia serves as the Disaster Management Area Coordinator for Area D which is composed of the the 23 cities from the East San Gabriel/Pomona Valley, ad serves as a liaison between her cities and the County of Los Angeles. Mrs. Manzano-Garcia’s career expands over 10 years experience in Emergency Management in the public and non-profit sector. She obtained her Master’s in Public Administration from the University of La Verne with an emphasis in Governance, and a B.S. in Criminal Justice Administration from the University of Phoenix. Her experience in the non profit sector led her to develop various programs, plans and polices addressing Emergency Management, Business Continuity, Pediatric Surge, Hospital Surge, and Mass Fatality Incident Management and Medical Countermeasures, along with CBRNE training. Her passion for educating communities has led her to participate in various events promoting personal preparedness at home and in the workplace. Mrs. Manzano-Garcia serves as an adjunct instructor for the Hospital Disaster Management Trainnig program. She currently serves in various committee groups in the Los Angeles County Operational Area. She resides in Montclair with her husband and four dogs.
Board Member at large
Jeanne O’Donnell is a Sr. Program Manager for the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management and works in the Emergency Operations Center during disaster activations. She has led the development of a number of countywide disaster plans including mass fatality, volunteer management, animal response, and donations management. She represents the County on numerous State task forces and twice served on the Board of Directors for the California Emergency Services Association, Southern Chapter. She is currently part of the Community Affairs Unit where she works on public education and training projects. Before joining the County Ms. O’Donnell spent twelve years as a consultant assisting cities, counties and territories throughout the United States on postdisaster recovery efforts. A graduate of California State University, Fullerton Ms. O’Donnell earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations.
Jenny Novak, MA
Jenny Novak is an award winning, Certified Emergency Manager, specializing in designing innovative preparedness and operational training and exercises. Currently, Novak is an Emergency Services Coordinator for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services where she acts as a liaison between the state and local operational areas. Previously, she managed the comprehensive Emergency Preparedness Program for California State University, Northridge, which serves a population of approximately 50,000 students, staff, faculty, and visitors. Novak’s academic background is in Hazards Geography. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography from Humboldt State University in 2007, studying earthquake and tsunami preparedness in Humboldt County, CA. Jenny went on to pursue graduate level disaster research at the University of Southern California, earning a Master of Arts Degree in Geography in 2012. In 2016, Novak was honored at the White House for her innovation in preparedness training development. She was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the California Emergency Services Association Southern Chapter. Novak’s service commitments have also included volunteering with the American Red Cross, Women in Homeland Security Southern California Chapter, and the Earthquake Country Alliance.
Arpen Shadkamyan, MA
Arpen Shadkamyan, a highly-motivated emergency manager with over ten years of experience in emergency response and management, obtained her Master’s in Emergency Management from the American Military University after conferring a B.S. in Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Shadkamyan has implemented leading concepts in emergency management and business continuity for one of the nation’s top universities. She contributed to the development of a modern approach to continuity planning for institutions of higher education, which was implemented at all ten University of California campuses. With vast knowledge in emergency management and business continuity, she serves as an adjunct instructor with Cal OES.
Sonia Brown, MN
Sonia Brown is a Senior Emergency Services Coordinator for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) in the Southern Region. She applies emergency management principles and concepts in mitigation, planning, response and recovery operations. She has developed numerous products used by various disciplines in the 11 Operational Areas as well as internal to Cal OES. She is responsible for several specialized emergency management projects and serves on a variety of committees. She has responded to various statewide County Emergency Operation Center (EOC) and Regional Emergency Operation Center (REOC) activations, one of the first being the Northridge Earthquake. Her educational background is a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and Biochemistry, and a Master’s Degree in Nursing. Her alma mater is UCLA. Early on in her nursing career, she has done work with Doctor’s Across Borders and other medical charitable organizations. She engages in charitable work with her church and other organizations.