Wednesday, July 6, 2022
Women In Power
By Sentinel News Service
Published March 17, 2016


Deborah Flint

Deborah Flint


Deborah Flint was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) in June 2015.

With oversight over three airports, Los Angeles International (LAX), LA/Ontario International (ONT) and Van Nuys (VNY), Flint is responsible for continuing the LAX Capital Development program, building on ONT’s 2015 increase in passenger traffic while transitioning ONT to its new local authority, and continuing to position VNY as a vital community partner.

Specifically, her responsibilities involve managing the largest public works project in the history of the city of Los Angeles. More than $8.5 billion for capital improvement investment through Fiscal Year 2019 at LAX are being used to improve passenger safety, and security, while enhancing the overall guest experience at all of the airport’s terminals.

“It’s a pivotal time to change and transform LAX. My vision is to restore it in all aspects to the iconic image that people have of LAX and to lead in the global rankings of airports the way that we should in this great city,” she told the Sentinel in an earlier interview.

3- Dr. B photo shoot SM3 11.09.15

Dr. Elaine Batchlor


Elaine Batchlor, MD, MPH, is the Chief Executive Officer of Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, which opened in 2015. She is the driving force behind efforts to open a new, state-of-the-art, community oriented, safety net hospital that will provide compassionate, quality care and improve the health of the South Los Angeles community.

“I don’t know what the grade would be but I can tell you that I am really thrilled that we opened the hospital on time, and that we are able to bring a state-of-the-art, high-quality hospital to a community that has an urgent need for it,” said Batchlor.

“I’ve been working on this project since 2010 and it feels good to bring quality health care to this community.

Throughout her career, Dr. Batchlor’s number one priority, she said, has been to improve access and quality of care for underserved communities utilizing innovative and collaborative approaches. Her work to increase access for underserved populations has been recognized as an example of leading best practices and adopted throughout California.

Kelli Bernardmain

Kelli Bernard

Kelli Bernard leads the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, with a focus on creating jobs and improving the local economy by supporting high growth sectors, nurturing small businesses, making doing business easier, and training and retraining Los Angeles’ workforce for 21st Century jobs. She has fifteen years’ experience in the areas of economic development, land use planning, housing, redevelopment and public affairs. She also has in-depth knowledge of public/private partnerships, public finance and local, state and federal regulatory and legislative issues. Bernard holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from University of California, Los Angeles and a BA in Sociology from University of California, Berkeley.

“I first asked Kelli Bernard to join my team back in 2007 so I could harness her passion for creating livable and vibrant communities to benefit the constituents of Council District 13,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Now, as Deputy Mayor of Economic Development, she is a champion for L.A. — helping businesses grow, keeping development moving, and ensuring more Angelenos are prepared for and working in good-paying jobs as part of my back-to-basics agenda.”


LaPhonza Butler

LaPhonza Butler is the Provisional President of SEIU Local 2015, which represents over 325,000 in-home caregivers and nursing home workers throughout California and is the largest local in the state. She also serves as one of twenty-five International Vice Presidents of SEIU – responsible for providing SEIU leadership with strategic vision and counsel. She is a nationally recognized power broker on the issues of working families and the labor movement and exemplifies the YWCA’s core mission to “eliminate racism and empower women”.

Prior to being Provisional President of Local 2015, Butler served as President of SEIU ULTCW and before that,  as SEIU’s Property Services Division Director in which she was responsible for the strategic direction of more than 250,000 janitors, security officers, window cleaners, and food service workers across the country. She was also instrumental in reaching collective bargaining agreements on behalf of 20,000 security officers in nine major cities across the United States and played a key role in uniting of 25,000 foodservice workers in a virtually non-union industry.

Under her leadership, the members of SEIU Local 2015 have successfully protected long term care services from devastating state budget cuts, won contracts delivering increased wages and benefits to more than 130,000 workers, and passed historic statewide legislation that will transform California’s home care program to better serve our seniors and people with disabilities for years to come.

In addition to her role as Provisional President of SEIU Local 2015, Butler serves as an SEIU International Vice President, President of SEIU California which represents 700,000 SEIU members and co-convener of Raise the Wage- a campaign that has successfully raised the Los Angeles city minimum wage to $15 an hour.

During her acceptance speech at Brotherhood Crusade’s 47th Annual Bremond-Bakewell Pioneer of African American Achievement Ceremony in 2015, Butler quoted the famous South African leader and Noble Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela, “Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely daydreaming but vision with action can change the world”.


Michelle King

Michelle King is the superintendent of schools of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest district in the nation. She is responsible for creating policy and making recommendations to the members of the Los Angeles Board of Education, creating the conditions for success for all students and staff.

As a veteran educator, King is committed to instruction and ensuring that all students have access to the tools they need to prepare for college and career opportunities. She has led district-wide reforms to increase graduation rates, particularly among traditionally under-represented populations. King has also been a champion of programs such as Restorative Justice, aimed at keeping students in school and improving citizenship.

King is a proud product of L.A. Unified, having attended Century Park and Windsor Hills elementary schools, Palms Junior High School, and Palisades High School. She has dedicated her 30-year career to the students of L.A. Unified, having worked as a teacher, coordinator, assistant principal, principal, chief administrator of secondary instruction, local district superintendent, chief of staff to the superintendent, senior deputy superintendent, and chief deputy superintendent.

King holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, Los Angeles, a master of science in administration from Pepperdine University, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in education at the University of Southern California. Earlier this year, she was named “Woman of the Year” by the non-profit organization Women On Target, an advocacy group supporting leaders in Southern California’s African-American community.


Stephanie Wiggins

Stephanie Wiggins Deputy Chief Executive Officer at METRO. Wiggins was the interim CEO serving after Art Leahy’s departure until Phil Washington’s arrival. Wiggins has been at Metro for seven years, and was Metro’s lead on implementing its ExpressLanes program.

Wiggins has served as the Executive Officer and Project Director of the L.A. County Congestion Reduction Program for L.A. Metro. She has over 17 years experience working for transportation agencies. She recently served as the Regional Programs Director for the Riverside County Transportation Commission and oversaw transit, commuter rail, rideshare, goods movement, programming, legislation, and rail capital projects. She has a BA from Whittier College and MBA from University of Southern California. And is a member of the Transportation Research Board Congestion Pricing Committee.

She was recently honored at the Meet the Decision Makers African American History Month Business Breakfast: Women Leading The Way.

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