March is celebrated each year as Women’s History Month. It serves as a time for us to celebrate the massive contributions from women to our communities, as well as for us to recognize the inequities that still remain within society. This year, we’d like to commemorate those in our Assembly District who are breaking barriers and showing what it means to be a leader in the community.
Deputy Chief, Stockton Police Department
Kathryn Nance has been at the Stockton Police Department since 1996, where she has worked her way up ever since. From a promotion to Sergeant in 2011, to Police Lieutenant in 2016, the second ever female Captain in 2019, she has now broken yet another glass ceiling with her latest promotion to be the second ever female Deputy Chief in November of 2020 where she currently heads to Logistics Bureau. Throughout her time at the Department, Deputy Chief Nance is particularly proud of when she led an investigation of gang conflicts involving 11 separate shootings and attempted murder.
Deputy Chief Nance has been aware of her trailblazing career ever since she became the first female gang expert in San Joaquin County, but she says it does not weigh heavy on her throughout her day-to-day. While Kathryn likes to focus on the job at hand, she still recognizes that many young girls in the community look up to her as a role model, and believes that it's important for them to see women in positions of leadership. She enjoys taking the opportunity when out in her community to talk to these girls about how they can achieve anything men can and that they too can become leaders in their work.
Executive Director, Oasis City Center
This year, we celebrate Heather Green as Assembly District 13's Woman of the Year! Since 2017, Ms. Green has served as the Executive Director of Oasis City Center, an organization which serves as a community center to ignite hope through faith, fitness, and family activity. In February 2020, they launched a nonprofit, Oasis Cares, designed to be a small program that served snacks to local students throughout the week. However, along with the rest of the nation, they were forced to quickly adjust their strategies less than one month later as we learned to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Oasis Cares turned their intentions of a small operation into a new project designed to serve the community at large. They established a drive-thru food distribution center that provided everything from high-quality meats and pantry items to essential supplies like toilet paper, water, and cleaning products. As Executive Director, Ms. Green oversees the general operations of these distributions and works on outreach with community partners to maximize the scale of their distributions.
Coming into a full year of this work, Oasis Cares has provided food, resources, and hope to over 250,000 individuals and 50,000 families while giving away over 1 million pounds of product. Many of these community members they have served never would have expected to be in such dire circumstances, seemingly out of nowhere. The work that Oasis Center has done this past year has provided essential aid and hope to our neighbors and community at large during what many would consider, the most difficult time of their life.
Lisa Sunday Vela
Chief Executive Officer, San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Lisa Sunday Vela was appointed in December 2020 as the Chief Executive Officer for the San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SJCHCC), a network of over 300 individuals, businesses, and professional associations working together to grow opportunities for the Hispanic business community by providing resources and encouraging mutually beneficial ties with the public and private sector. SJCHCC advocates on behalf of the members as the work to expand business development throughout the region.
Ms. Sunday Vela aims for regionally-focused collaborations for the Hispanic-owned business community, and is focused on the development of innovative programs that help members achieve financial success and navigate policy changes. In 2014, Lisa was recognized for her commitment to community and public service and received El Concilio’s prestigious Amiga of the Year award. On top of serving her business community, she served as Vice-Chair of the Complete County Committee for San Joaquin County’s participation in the 2020 U.S. Census.
Athletics Director, University of the Pacific
Janet Lucas carries with her a wealth of experience in athletic management. She obtained a master’s degree in Sports Administration and has been shattering glass in the industry ever since. Ms. Lucas had spent a number of years assisting with the operational management of different collegiate athletics programs, including serving as the Interim Athletics Director at both UC Riverside and CSU Northridge. In 2015, she was named Administrator of the Year for NCAA Division I by the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators, now the Women Leaders in College Sports. Now, she currently serves as the first full-time female Athletics Director for the University of the Pacific.
Ms. Lucas is a nationally recognized athletics administrator with extensive leadership and management skills. To her, success is measured a number of ways. She strives to create an environment that builds champions in the classroom, in competition, and in the community. Ms. Lucas stands at the forefront of a national cultural shift that is bettering the situation for ALL athletes, coaches and administrators.