Past Events

Event Recaps

July 2019

2019 Awards Ceremony Luncheon

Award Honorees

Pinnacle Award | Eileen Decker, MA, JD
Emergency Management Coordinator II
Pacific Intelligence and Cyber

Ripple Effect Award | Desi Matel-Anderson, MA, JD
Founder & Chief Wrangler
Field Innovation Team

Trailblazer Award | Gabriele Almon, MPP
Brain & Bullish

Resilience Award | NBC Universal
Emergency Management Program

Event Speakers

Captain Anita Hayden-Smith, MA
Port of Los Angeles
Police Department

Kristina Freas, MPA, CEM
Global Security

Mayor Pro Tem Laura Hernandez, MPA
City Councilmember
Port Huenemen

Topic of the Day

  • Transformational Leadership - how to spark change within an organization; how we can forward a vision for equity while promoting innovation and transformation in homeland security; the importance of confidence and integrity in leadership; the opportunity to incite change and innovation using big data.


The Make Sense Foundation

April 2019

The Wonder Women of Bioterrorism

Event Speakers

Shruti Dhapodkar, MD
Health Emergency Preparedness Manager
San Mateo County Health System-EMS Agency

Moon J. Kim, MD, MPH
Medical Epidemiologist
Hospital Outbreaks and Biothreat Response Unit
Acute Communicable Disease Control Program
Department of Public Health, Los Angeles County

Topics of the Day

  • Bioterrorism detection and response capabilities 

  • Readiness practices for biological threats

December 2018

Annual Holiday Event & Charity Luncheon

Event Speaker

Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmala
Office of Special Operations
Los Angeles Police Department

Topics of the Day

  • Key homeland security initiatives LAPD is leading

  • The path to success


The Union Station Homeless Services – an organization helping individuals and families rebuild their lives and end homelessness.

October 2018

Resilient Leaders

Event Speakers

Meredith K. Davis 
Special Agent
US Department of Justice ATF

Jill Barnes, Ed.D
Executive Emergency Strategist
Office of Emergency Services, Division of District Operations
Los Angeles Unified School District

Sandra Stark Shields, LMFT, LPCC, ATR-BC
Sr. Disaster Services Analyst
Emergency Outreach Bureau
Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health

Maggie Gonzalez, MPA
Senior Intake Coordinator
San Bernardino Inland Regional Center

Helen Chavez, MSW
Assistant Director
Preparedness Division 
Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office/Office of Emergency Management

Topics of the Day

  • Responder account of the San Bernardino mass shooting incident

  • First-hand account from survivor of the San Bernardino mass shooting incident

  • Mass shooting readiness for schools

  • Mental health considerations for mass shootings


The National Compassion Fund where 100% of donations go to survivors of mass shootings.

July 2018

Inaugural Awards Ceremony Luncheon

Award Honorees

Pinnacle Award | Anna Burton
Emergency Management Coordinator II
City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports 

Ripple Effect Award | Andrea Davies
Director of Global Crisis Management and Crisis Continuity
The World Disney Company 

Trailblazer Award | Kate Powers
Support Specialist
Constant Associates 

Event Speakers

Commissioner Rebecca Ninburg
Board of Fire Commissioners
City of Los Angeles

Chief Nikki Brodowy
Administrative Operations
Executive Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Chief Kristin Crowley
Deputy Chief
Los Angeles Fire Department

Topics of the Day

  • Female representation in the Fire Service

  • The importance of self-confidence to maintaining integrity


Los Angeles Women in the Fire Service - a Professional Association of Fire Service Women, providing a proactive network that supports, mentors, and educates current and future fire service women and men of the Los Angeles area.

June 2018

Situation Room Tour at Ronald Reagan Library

Event details

  • Co-hosted event with the Federal Executive Board at Reagan Library

  • In an actual White House Situation Room, participants engaged in an exercise where they played the roles of the press and White House staff using the latest in gaming technology

May 2018

Women Who Inspire Us

Event Speakers

Yoli McGlinchy
Emergency Services Manager
City of Santa Barbara

Patricia Frohock Hanes, PhD
School of Nursing, Azusa Pacific University

Chief Lisa G. Rosales
Police Chief
City of Glendora Police Department

Bernice Conley
Assistant Port Director
US Customs and Border Protection
Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport

Topics of the Day

  • Inspirational panelists shared stories and insights regarding their career

  • First-hand accounts about learnings on their professional journey

  • Candid discussions about what it is like to be a woman in the field, and how they leveraged their greatest strengths 


Dress for Success - Empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

March 2018

Seismological Lab VIP Tour

Event details

  • Co-hosted event with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) 

  • Our tour included the Exhibit Center and the Media Room, wherewe learned about cutting-edge technologies tracking earthquakes, such as incoming data from seismic networks, oceanic research cruises, remote sensing (think GPS, interferometric radar, Landsat etc.), and geologic field mapping.

February 2018

The Future of Homeland Security

Event Speakers

Shirley Feldmann-Jensen, DPPD, MPH
Program Coordinator & Lecturer
CSULB Emergency Services Program

Gabriele Almon, MPP
Homeland + Humanitarian Futurist
U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency 
National Advisory Council

Dawn Comer, MBA
FUSE Corps Fellow, Smart Cities 
City of Los Angeles Information Technology Agency

Courtney La Bau
Emerge California
Truman National Security Project
California Democratic Party Delegate

Topics of the Day

  • Future core competencies for homeland security

  • Public/private partnerships that are shaping strategy

  • Technologies, innovations & think-out-of-the box solutions for old problems

  • Smart cities & their nexus to homeland security


University of Southern California's Homeland Security Student Organization - an organization run by students for the purpose of connecting past, present, and future Trojans who are interested in the field of homeland security.

December 2017

Annual Holiday Luncheon & Children in Disasters

Event Speakers

Dawn Wilcox
Vice President, Corporate Partnerships
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Hilary Palotay
Manager, Youth Preparedness
American Red Cross

Sheryl Riccardi, RN
Clinical Nurse Educator
Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center

Topics of the Day

  • Specialty services brought to bear by Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

  • Disaster preparedness practices for the youth population

  • Red Cross’ pillowcase campaign

  • Best practices and lessons learned in pediatric surge readiness for medical facilities  


Children’s Hospital Los Angeles - a nonprofit institution that provides pediatric health care and helps our patients in a setting designed just for their needs.

November 2017

Women Preparing & Responding to Crises

Event Details

  • Partnership event with LEVO League Los Angeles

  • Panel featuring WHS SoCal members discussing their daily jobs and experiences handling emergencies


Lorraine Schneider
Emergency Management Training Specialist
Board Member
WHS Southern California

Jenny Novak, MEP, CEM
Emergency Services Coordinator
Southern Region Office
California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services

Gabriele Almon, MPP
Homeland + Humanitarian Futurist
U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency 
National Advisory Council

Kate Hutton
Emergency Management Coordinator
Emergency Management Department
City of Los Angeles


Michelle Constant, MBA
CEO + Founder
Constant Associates
Founder + Board Member
WHS Southern California

June 2017

Happy Hour & Mixer

Event Speaker

Cambria Findley-Grubb
Community Engagement Fellow, Los Angeles

Topics of the Day

  • Human trafficking in emergencies

  • Displaced children in conflict zones

February 2017

Women in Homeland Security Networking Luncheon

Event Speaker

Binnie Phan
Special Agent
US Federal Bureau of Investigation

Topic of the Day

  • Shared insights from the San Bernardino Inland Regional Center and Orlando Pulse nightclub incidents

October 2016

Women in Homeland Security Networking Luncheon

Event Speakers

Patty Todaro-Bolin
Senior Vice President, Business Development and Capture
Board of Directors
Women in Homeland Security – Washington, DC

Gabriela Noriega, Ph.D. 
Vice President of Operations, Technology & Research 
Homeland Security Advisory Council

Pamela Mottice-Muller
Director of Emergency Management
Beverly Hills

Stacy Gerlich 
Emergency Medical Services Training Coordinator
City of Los Angeles Fire Department

Mona Bontty 
Southern Regional Administrator
California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services

Topic of the Day

  • Shared stories as women in the field of homeland security

  • Tips and insights for career growth in our industry