Greater Bakersfield Chamber Announces Leadership Bakersfield Class of 2024

January 11, 2024

Shaping Tomorrow: Empowering Emerging Leaders to Navigate Bakersfield's Future

Bakersfield, Calif. (Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024) – Today, the Greater Bakersfield Chamber launched its annual 10-month Leadership Bakersfield program, setting the stage for 32 emerging leaders to acquire the essential knowledge and connections needed to navigate and lead in our ever-evolving world.

“Programs like Leadership Bakersfield empower professionals to build connections and deepen their engagement within their communities,” said Chamber President and CEO Janelle Capra. “Over three decades, this initiative has not only bolstered the quantity and quality of local leaders but has also significantly elevated our overall quality of life.” 

Every session within the Leadership Bakersfield program is designed to educate participants on diverse industry sectors and critical community matters. Participants will cultivate a deeper understanding of local industries and government operations. The sessions include informative tours and hands-on activities specifically designed to educate and engage participants.

Integral to the program is a collective project undertaken by participants, aimed at addressing a community need. This practical application allows them to channel the knowledge acquired toward effecting positive change within our community.

“Beyond education, this program thrives on action,” said the program’s  Advisory Council Chair,  Zane Smith, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Kern County. “The endeavors of participants showcase their dedication to making a tangible and positive impact within our community.” 

Participating in this year’s Leadership Bakersfield class are the following aspiring community leaders:

  1. Joseph Aguilar, Community Action Partnership of Kern
  2. Malicka Almansoob, Garden Pathways 
  3. Scott Andrews, City of Bakersfield 
  4. Ashley Antongiovanni, Amelia Molloy’s Angels, May 2023 Nonprofit  
  5. Cody Criswell, County of Kern
  6. Alyssa Cross, Kern Community College District 
  7. Rebekah Denison, Alert Disaster Restoration
  8. Mathew Dobbs, LeBeau Thelen, LLP
  9. Marcus Daurte Smith, Central Valley Commercial Brokers
  10. Norma Dunn, Mission Community Services Corporation 
  11. Marcos Gamino, Kern County Superintendent of Schools
  12. Zechariah Garcia, City of Bakersfield
  13. Juan Garza, Chain Cohn Clark 
  14. Stephanie Gines, Mission Bank
  15. Jordan Green, Greenfield Union School District
  16. Blade Griffin, Bakersfield Condors 
  17. Andrew Kao, Empire Eye & Laser Center 
  18. Yahya Kazi, Stewards Inc. 
  19. Toddasha Kim, Golden Empire Transit
  20. Scott Lazenby, Bakersfield Police Department
  21. Heather Lee, Hall Ambulance 
  22. Christian Lopez, California Water Service Company
  23. Staci Milson, Kern County Aging & Adult Services
  24. Angie Nelson, Community Action Partnership of Kern
  25. Christy Parker, Continental Labor and Staffing Resources
  26. Marilu Rodriguez, Kern Health Systems
  27. Baylie Scott, Independence Through Grace
  28. David Silva, California State University Bakersfield
  29. William Triplett, The Open Door Network
  30. Cepi Willingham, Greater Bakersfield Chamber
  31. Joseph Zasoski, Ordiz-Melby Architects, Inc
  32. Nate Wong, Daniells Phillips Vaughan & Book



The Greater Bakersfield Chamber is the region’s leading business membership, networking and advocacy organization, representing the interests of more than 1,100 members and more than 70,000 local jobs. Focused on creating a thriving local economy and improving the quality of life for every resident of Greater Bakersfield; the organization promotes economic vitality, facilitates networking and business development opportunities, and advocates for public policies that support quality jobs and inclusive growth. The Chamber guides Bakersfield toward a better and brighter future. Founded in 1920, the Chamber is driven by the belief that our community thrives when businesses succeed.

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