I am pleased to welcome Cassandra Pye—a distinguished leader in communications, government, and politics—to the PPIC Board of Directors. Cassandra has spent nearly four decades in public service at the global, national, state, and local levels. She is a former member of the PPIC Statewide Leadership Council and shares our commitment to shaping a better future for California.
Currently, Cassandra serves as executive vice president and chief strategy officer for Lucas Public Affairs, a Sacramento-based consultancy. In 2014, she launched 3.14 Communications, LLC. Prior to that, she was senior vice president for APCO Worldwide, a global strategic communications consultancy. In 2003, she was appointed deputy chief of staff to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, after having served on his transition team.
Throughout her career, Cassandra has held a wide variety of leadership positions, including corporate affairs vice president and political director for the California Chamber of Commerce, executive director for JobsPAC, director of public affairs for the California Retailers Association, director of governmental relations for the California Grocers Association, and state relations manager for the Food Marketing Institute. She is the immediate past state board president for California Women Lead. She currently serves as Sacramento board chair for Street Soccer USA, sits on the executive committee of the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, and is a senior fellow with the American Leadership Forum.
I would also like to say a heartfelt thank you to María Blanco, who is stepping down from the PPIC board of directors after eleven years. María has been an exemplary ambassador for PPIC and has provided outstanding service to the board though many years of critical leadership, wisdom, and advice.
Steven A. Merksamer, of counsel, Nielsen Merksamer Parrinello Gross & Leoni LLP has been re-elected chair of the PPC board; he begins his fourth year in this leadership position.
The other members of the board are myself; Louise Henry Bryson, chair emerita, Board of Trustees, J. Paul Getty Trust; A. Marisa Chun; Chet Hewitt, president and CEO, Sierra Health Foundation; Phil Isenberg, former chair, Delta Stewardship Council; Mas Masumoto, author and farmer; Leon E. Panetta, chairman, The Panetta Institute for Public Policy; Gerald L. Parsky, chairman, Aurora Capital Group; Kim Polese, chairman, ClearStreet, Inc.; Helen Iris Torres, CEO, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality; Gaddi H. Vasquez, retired senior vice president, government affairs, Edison International, Southern California Edison.
I want to thank these dedicated Californians for their commitment to PPIC and to improving the well-being of our state’s people, communities, and environment.