Women in Leadership Bay Area (WiLBA)
Women in Leadership, Bay Area (WiLBA) is an independent student club at UC Davis Graduate School of Management, Bay Area MBA Program
About our Club
WiLBA is a sister club of the UC Davis main campus (WiL) that promotes similar interests and carries out projects in the Bay Area.
Our mission is to convene, connect, support and develop the GSM’s future women leaders and equip them with the tools to succeed through professional, educational and social activities.
WiLBA values diversity and inclusion, therefore membership is open to all GSM Bay Area students who want to participate and support the club.
WiLBA will execute the following programs:
- “Leading Ladies” is a group mentoring program designed to foster professional development among women leaders. Mentor/mentee groups will be formed to help empower women to greater competency through information, advices, coaching and counseling.
- “Women Warriors” speaker events are held quarterly (virtually or in person). These activities are designed so women can learn and engage in discussions with women in leadership positions about personal change, management, work/life balance, networking and other relevant topics.
- “Neighborhood Love” are fundraising and charity events that cater to the needs of women and children. We also consider environmental and animal charity programs.
- “Happy Hour Handshakes” are held quarterly to bring together WiLBA members for networking and fun. This program may include sports, cooking, motherhood, wine events, etc.
- “Manager Makers” are quarterly one-hour workshops designed to cultivate women leaders by providing the information and tools needed for career advancement. Topics include interviewing, public speaking and management.
- “Man Up!” is an ironically named program to get men involved in our gender-inclusion efforts. This program will create a partnership between women and men so they can learn and support each other in the workplace.
Meet our Board
Lavanissa is a 2021 MBA candidate focused on strategy and corporate finance. She has over 15 years of experience in the managed care industry and financial billing practices. Her natural leadership skills and strong team building abilities are assets she currently uses as a senior financial analyst at Blue Shield of California, a nonprofit health plan dedicated to providing Californians with access to high-quality healthcare at an affordable price. She creates innovative new processes and reporting mechanisms using her Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt skills.
Prior to Blue Shield, she was a revenue analyst at Brown & Toland Medical Group. She was also a dance instructor, couching women to be fiercely beautiful and empower them through dance and fitness. Lavanissa is a frequent traveler across USA, Asia and Europe who loves to explore different cultures through food and music.
Lavanissa’s mantra is Living without pretense, loving without dependence, speaking truth without offense.
Christine is a 2021 MBA candidate interested in marketing and organizational behavior. She has over 20 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector. Christine has held several positions, including director of counseling and sexual assault services. She is currently the director of nonprofit development at Tri-Valley Haven, an organization dedicated to serving survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and poverty.
Christine served as a board member at the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) and is also on the board of directors at the Tri-Valley Nonprofit Alliance, a local nonprofit that offers industry-relevant seminars, collaborative discussions and networking opportunities for the nonprofit sector. In her spare time, she loves to hike, exercise, travel and spend time with her kids.
Christine’s lifelong passion is ending violence against women and children.
Vice President, Internal Affairs
Olivia Thomas is a 2021 MBA candidate focused on business analytics. She is an environmental engineer at Valero Energy Corp. at their refinery in Benicia, Calif. A production facility is an exciting and dynamic work environment, and this fast-paced and challenging environment pairs well with Olivia’s personality. She is involved with advocacy with various government agencies, reporting, event responses, and various process improvement projects. She hopes to make the oil and gas industry more accessible to women.
Olivia is passionate about volunteering in the community and dedicates many hours each month volunteering at the Food Bank of Contra Costa County. She also loves hiking and traveling with her husband.