Contra Costa County Commission for Women

Improving the economic status, social welfare, and overall quality of life for women in Contra Costa Count

Contra Costa County Commission for Women

Improving the economic status, social welfare, and overall quality of life for women in Contra Costa Count

Contra Costa County Commission for Women

Improving the economic status, social welfare, and overall quality of life for women in Contra Costa Count

Contra Costa County Commission for Women

Improving the economic status, social welfare, and overall quality of life for women in Contra Costa Count

Commission Member List


Chair - Iris Wong
Vice-Chair -
Natalie Oleas
Secretary - Liliana Gonzalez
Fiscal Liaison - Jennifer Cohen


District 1 - Joey Smith
District II - Beth W. Mora
District III - Jennifer Cohen
District IV - Iris Wong
District V - Kirsten Upshaw


Argentina Dávila-Luévano
Liliana Gonzalez
Phyllis Gordon
Angela Herron
Dr. Julianna Hynes
Jess Laird
Bonnie McCreary
Lanita Mims
Beth W. Mora
Natalie Oleas
Patricia Ramirez
Tracy Ward
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Jennifer Cohen was raised in the Bay Area, moving from San Francisco to Oakley 8 years ago. Currently Jennifer works in sales of high tech security solutions.

From the age of 16, Jennifer has been passionate about community service and women's rights. She volunteered with, worked for, and served on the boards of many organizations including CARAL, Planned Parenthood, Habitat for Humanity, Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed and Cystic Fibrosis Research Inc. Jennifer's goal on the Commission for Women is to advocate for women in Contra Costa County.
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Argentina Dávila-Luévano was born in Central America, became a Naturalized Citizen and has received a BSW from the University of Texas at El Paso. She has directed her life towards working as a Social Worker in numerous at risk cities throughout the US and has been involved in Women’s issues bringing equity to the table.

She has been with the Contra Costa Women’s Commission for 13 years, is currently the Lt. Governor for Division 26, Kiwanis International; elected to the Contra Costa County Democratic Central Committee; is a member on the East County Democrats for Action and Coalition for Concerned Medical Professionals (CCMP).

An accomplished Civil Rights Leader, her federal complaint alleging discrimination resulted in a sweeping change in policy for disabled Job Corp applicants. She is currently advocating on the Central American humanitarian effort for “Children on the Run” from Crime & Violence.

Argentina has served on the NWPC, NOW; LULAC National Educational Service Center & Women’s Commission wherein she was inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame, she is a recipient of the Anita Del Rio Award.
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Liliana P. Gonzalez is a young professional with a passion for social justice, women and children’s issues and early childhood intervention.

Originally from the Napa Valley, Liliana is no stranger to the numerous stories of her community from which she developed an appreciation and passion for the field of infant mental health and early intervention. At an early age, she started working with young women, children and parents, raising awareness on the topics of positive body image, eating disorders, immigration rights, parenting and early childhood development.

Liliana attended an all-women’s college in the East Bay, Mills College, where she received her B.A. in Research Psychology and M.A. in Infant Mental Health.

Currently working for the Unity Council’s Head Start and Early Head Start in Concord, Liliana serves her community as Coordinator of the Home-based Program and Disabilities Specialist. In working closely with teachers, parents, children, and Local Education Agencies, Liliana hopes to gain experience advocating for family and children’s rights.

Liliana decided to join the Contra Costa Commission for Women due to her passion for women’s rights and her belief that in order to support a successful future generation we must contribute to the economic empowerment of those caring for our future leaders.
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Phyllis Gordon has served on the Contra Costa County Women’s Commission since 1994. She came to Commission because of her passion for Women’s causes…in particular issues surrounding all forms of violence against women. Over the years that passion has become more encompassing to include issues around women’s equality in all forms of life including home workplace, health and pay equity etc. She has served as Chair, Vice Chair of the Commission and has chaired several Commission Committees.

Founding member of the Contra Costa County Women’s Hall of Fame. Northern California Representative ACCW (Association of California Commissions for Women) Member Board of Directors, NACW (National Association of Commissions for Women) and currently sits on their Fundraising Committee. Co-Chaired the NACW Conference 2013.
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Angela Herron is a native Californian having lived in East Contra Costa County for the past 18 years with her husband and two children. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist currently working with Contra Costa County Children’s Mental Health Services.

Angela is a workshop leader who has developed and led workshops that include topics such as: Balancing work and Life, Women’s Healthy Sexuality, Effective Parenting Skills, Overcoming Grief and Loss. She is passionate about women’s issues as they relate to physical, mental and emotional health. With a Master of Arts degree in Transpersonal Counseling, she has a distinct approach for working with individuals and families holistically – mind, body and spirit and desires to bring this perspective to awareness as it relates to educating and edifying the women in our community.
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Julianna Hynes, PhD is a gifted executive and leadership development coach and facilitator. She is the Founder and CEO of Julianna Hynes & Associates—a firm specializing in assisting existing and emerging women leaders in identifying, bridging, and achieving career and organizational goals. Dr. Hynes joined the Commission in 2011 and has supported the Commission in the Girl on Girl violence project, the biennial Women’s Hall of Fame and leads the Women in Leadership initiative. Her passion and why she joined the Commission is to support the career and economic advancement of women – particularly in Contra Costa County.
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Jess Laird grew up in Ohio and is happy to be a Bay Area transplant living in El Cerrito. She is currently a full-time graduate student pursing a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Social Work from California State University-San Bernardino. She is passionate about community organizing and seeking social justice through policy advocacy.

In addition to serving on the Commission for Women, Ms. Laird serves on the El Cerrito Human Relations Commission and on the executive board of the East Bay Young Democrats as the Contra Costa County Representative. She and her husband, Alex, live in El Cerrito with their son, Elliott, who they adopted from Poland as a toddler. They share their backyard with two chickens, Genevieve and Gwendolyn, in exchange for fresh eggs. Before stepping down to focus on graduate school, Ms. Laird was the Poland Program Director of an international adoption agency.
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Bonnie McCreary is Leadership and Talent Management Consultant where she works with organizational leaders to develop and align their talent management capabilities to achieve critical business initiatives and high-performance work environments.

She joined the commission as part of her commitment to bring more awareness for career development and workforce readiness needs of women in Contra Costa County. Bonnie believes “it is critical for the growth and diversity in our community to support the preparation and inclusion of women in the growing workforce in Contra Costa County. Part of being an advocate for women is ensuring that resources are available to help women who face challenges entering and advancing in the 21st-century workforce. The Contra Costa Commission for Women allows professional women like me to do just that.”

Bonnie’s consulting background includes over 20 years in human resources, talent acquisition, career and talent development and as strategic thinking partner. Her educational achievements include a Bachelors in Psychology from Holy Names University and a Masters in Leadership from Walden University. Bonnie lives in Contra Costa District V, represented by Supervisor Federal Glover.
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Lanita Mims joined the Commission in 2016. She is passionate about women's issues and believes it is her responsibility to support and give to the woman community. Lanita spent over 30 years of her career working with agencies and nonprofits that support single moms and provide services for single moms to raise their families. Lanita is building a small women owned business, supporting other women in business development, and mentoring/coaching young ladies under 21-30. In her free time she likes to swim, put on events, and hang out with family and friends.
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Beth W. Mora is the managing partner and owner of Mora Employment Law, a law firm in San Ramon dedicated to representing victimized employees throughout California.  She is a zealous and skilled advocate for those facing a wide range of employment law issues.  In every case she handles, Ms. Mora is committed to aggressively pursuing her clients' best interests. She believes in treating each person she serves with integrity, compassion and maintaining the utmost confidentiality. Ms. Mora was recently recognized in the 2016 Super Lawyers as a “Top 50 Women Attorney in Northern California.” 
Beth is married to her college boyfriend Jeff Mora.  Beth and Jeff have an 8 year old daughter Dakota who attends Contra Costa Jewish Day School in Lafayette.  The Mora Family lives in Danville with their two beloved dogs.   
Beth is strongly committed to women’s issues as evident in her legal practice as well as volunteer efforts, for which she strongly believes in the efforts of the Commission for Women. 
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Natalie Oleas, a California native, has worked as an advocate for over a decade. She graduated from Northeastern University School of Law in 2011, where her studies centered around victim advocacy, criminal procedure, and civil rights.

While living in Massachusetts, she worked as a Legal Consultant for a local Rape Crisis Center. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Santa Barbara, where she double majored in English and Sociology and worked as a Speaker for the Rape Prevention Education Program. She is a Certified Rape Crisis Counselor and works for the Contra Costa Family Justice Center, a county non-profit that supports survivors of gender violence.

Natalie is proud to be a member of the Women's Commission and hopes to improve the lives of women and girls in the Contra Costa area.
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Patricia Ramirez is a Financial Advisor and an Accredited Asset Management Specialist AAMSâ„  with an AAMS® Designation from the College of Financial Planning® at Raymond James & Associates Inc. With more than 20 years of experience in the financial industry, Patricia helps successful women, families, and business owners with a personalized financial strategy for their unique situation and goals so they can live every stage of their life with confidence.

Patricia joined the Contra Costa County Women’s Commission in 2015 because of her passion for women and girl’s rights and specifically for those women and girls who are economically disadvantaged.
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Ms. Joey D. Smith is an accomplished presenter, and speech coach who has a 20 + year career as a construction tradeswoman. She considers herself to be a “life-long community servant” and strives to inspire self-efficacy in others through expected and unconventional means.

Ms. Smith was appointed to our Women’s Commission in 2013. Her great passions are helping women understand and embrace their worth and exposing women and girls to viable career options that may be considered “non-traditional” for women.
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Kirsten Upshaw is a former banker who most recently founded her own business coaching firm, Business Minded Coaching. She is the newest commissioner appointed by Supervisor Federal Glover, representing District V. Kirsten joined the commission because of the importance of being a caring citizen and her passion for helping women find success at every level.
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Tracy Ward Tracy describes herself as a change agent. She is a social worker at heart and has been in the social service field for over 25 years. After serving 8 years as a Child Welfare Worker with Contra Costa County Tracy moved on to pursue a career in the non-profit world. She is currently the Director of Community Health Programs for the YMCA of the East Bay and is responsible for the delivery and coordination of services specifically in the West Contra Costa School District.

Tracy is also currently serving as the President of the Board of Directors for Take Wings Foundation which is a non-profit serving at risk girls throughout the Bay Area. She views her work with Take Wings as her "heart work" and believes that it is her responsibility to serve in this capacity. Tracy was raised in Hunters Point, one of San Francisco’s most notorious neighborhoods, by a single mother to whom she attributes her spirit of care-taking and self-responsibility. She believes that education, the arts and positive role models are three of the keys that can lead to the success of at risk youth. In 1993 Tracy graduated from Cal State Hayward with a BA in Sociology and went on to Sacramento State to obtain a Master’s Degree in Social Work in 1998. In December of 2009 she obtained her License in Clinical Social Work.

Tracy joined the Commission because she is very passionate about issues that women are facing. She believes that it is her responsibility to strive to have a positive impact on raising the quality of life for all women! A proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and The National Association of Social Workers, Tracy currently resides in Richmond, California along with her husband and two daughters.
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Iris Wong works for the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, and focuses on issues of gender equality in the workplace, women's healthcare, and women's human rights. Ms. Wong graduated from UC Berkeley in May 2013 with a B.A. in Integrative Biology.

As the newest and youngest Commissioner representing District IV, Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, Ms. Wong is interested in increasing girls' interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) classes and careers, engaging young women in public policy issues, and encouraging women to run for elected offices.
Members of the Commission are available for speaking engagements on a variety of topics including:  women's health and resources, teaching, financial planning, and business management. Please email us at Women's Commission. for more specific topics.

The Contra Costa Commission for Women meets monthly, generally on the third Tuesday of the month, 6:30 p.m. County Connection, 2477 Arnold Industrial Way, Concord, California. Public welcome to attend meetings.

Join the Commission

Download the County and Commission applications below or, if you'd like more information, send us an Email: Contra Costa Commission for Women.