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Blog Post · September 21, 2023

PPIC Board Welcomes Two New California Leaders

photo - Poppy Superbloom near Lake Elsinore in Southern California

Two distinguished Californians joined PPIC’s board of directors yesterday. Each has made a unique contribution to public life in our state. Together they bring a wealth of leadership experience, a strong record of public service, and a rich knowledge of the forces shaping our state. They will be invaluable assets to PPIC as we work to shape a better future for California.

John Chiang is a member of the board of directors of Apollo Medical Holdings, Inc. He was California’s state treasurer from 2015 until 2018. As the state’s banker, he oversaw trillions of dollars in annual transactions, managed a $75 billion investment portfolio, and was the nation’s largest issuer of municipal bonds. Prior to being elected treasurer, he was state controller from 2007 through 2014. Previously, he served two terms on California’s Board of Equalization, including three years as chair. He has served as an Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow, a Hunt-Kean Fellow, and a fellow at the University of Southern California Center for the Political Future. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of South Florida and a JD from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Dave Puglia is president and CEO of Western Growers. Since joining the organization in 2005, he has focused on leading public policy initiatives affecting the agriculture industry in California and other western states. He has been at the forefront of major legislative and regulatory issues involving water supply, water quality, energy, air quality and labor. His work has included negotiating statewide water bond provisions to enhance storage capacity, advocating for a comprehensive safe drinking water solution in partnership with environmental justice leaders, and negotiating the nation’s first state regulatory standard for prevention of heat illness in agricultural settings. Before joining Western Growers, he served for seven years in the California Attorney General’s Office, first as press secretary and then as director of public affairs and communications. He has also worked as a public affairs consultant to numerous corporations and industry groups in addition to serving in senior roles on several statewide political campaigns. A Sacramento native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in government-journalism from Sacramento State University.

A heartfelt thank you to Phil Isenberg and Mas Masumoto, who are both stepping down from the PPIC board. Phil has been an exemplary ambassador for PPIC and has provided outstanding service to the board through many years of critical leadership, wisdom, and advice. Mas, who served as board chair from 2016–18, will continue to contribute his unique insights and experience to PPIC as a member of our Statewide Leadership Council.

I would also like to thank our current board members for their commitment to PPIC and to improving the well-being of our state’s people, communities, and environment. Chet Hewitt, president and CEO of the Sierra Health Foundation, is chair of the PPIC board. I also serve on our board, along with Ophelia Basgal, affiliate, Terner Center for Housing Innovation, University of California, Berkeley; Louise Henry Bryson, chair emerita, Board of Trustees, J. Paul Getty Trust; Sandra Celedon, president and CEO, Fresno Building Healthy Communities; A. Marisa Chun, judge, Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco; Steven A. Merksamer, of counsel, Nielsen Merksamer Parrinello Gross & Leoni LLP; Steven J. Olson, partner, O’Melveny & Myers LLP; Leon E. Panetta, chairman, The Panetta Institute for Public Policy; Gerald L. Parsky, chairman, Aurora Capital Group; Kim Polese, chairman and co-founder, CrowdSmart; Cassandra Walker Pye, president, Lucas Public Affairs; Helen Iris Torres, CEO, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality; Gaddi H. Vasquez, retired senior vice president, Government Affairs, Edison International, Southern California Edison.


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