News & Press: CA Women Lead News

A Letter From Our CEO

Wednesday, January 23, 2019   (3 Comments)
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Dear Friends,
This is a really hard letter to write.
When I joined California Women Lead (then CEWAER) in 2001, I never imagined--even in my wildest dreams-- that we would get to where we are today. The impact this organization has had on women in California leadership has been remarkable. I am humbled to have had a role in shaping what the founders envisioned back in 1974 into what we are today - California's premier nonpartisan women’s association committed to encouraging all women in civic participation. 
I have loved traveling to all parts of the state meeting remarkable women who are taking risks in their leadership journeys -- women who never thought they would be serving in an appointed or elected role until they got involved with California Women Lead. I have loved watching women grow as leaders - moving from local office to the State Legislature and onto Congress. I am humbled to have played a small part in increasing women's voices when it comes to public policy and I am so personally appreciative of all the women AND men who have been part of my success leading California Women Lead. You have inspired me -- inspired me to run for political office and serve as an appointee at the local and state level, so thank you!
California Women Lead’s outlook is bright. We have worked to increase the number of women serving in appointed office to the highest level in our state’s history and, because of that foundation, we see an increase in the number of women serving in elected office at the local, county and state level. We hosted the first ever event with a sitting Governor celebrating the historic milestone of 50 percent of gubernatorial appointees being women. We hosted campaign trainings, LEADership Academies and Women's Empowerment Days in all parts of the state bringing together women from diverse backgrounds and political parties to offer opportunities for positive conversations in a safe environment.
I am honored and humbled to work with many amazing women who have served on the California Women Lead board of directors over my tenure with the organization. These women supported the vision, helped implement our goals and have been instrumental in the success. I cannot express enough what working with each and every one of them has meant to me.
I am grateful to have worked with so many women and men who share the mission of California Women Lead -- folks who supported us financially, who spoke at our events, who provided a sounding board for ideas, who promoted California Women Lead and our mission to their networks. You are all California Women Lead and I will always be appreciative and thankful for the role you play in the success of the organization.
I have learned from all of you, been inspired by each of you and am honored to call all of you my friends. It is because of that I was able to make a VERY difficult decision to move on to the next chapter of my career. 
I believe the mark of a good leader is knowing when it is time to move on and allowing someone else the opportunity to expand what has been built. For me, that time has now come. I will take all that I learned from my time at California Women Lead, and from all of the amazing people I have crossed paths with over my 18 years at CA Women Lead, with me on my new adventures. So, it is with mixed feelings of excitement and sadness that I want to share with you that next month, after our Legislative Reception, I will be stepping down as CEO of California Women Lead.
I am sad, but excited for what the future brings for me and my family, but also California Women Lead. An organization like California Women Lead is needed more now than ever, given how polarized our political environment has become, and I hope to continue to work with each of you to inspire women from all backgrounds from throughout the state to live up to their full leadership. I am confident that I leave the organization in good hands with an amazing board and a support team that will carry on all the good work we have set in place.
It has been the honor and privilege of a lifetime to serve as CEO of this organization. Thank you for giving me this opportunity, for trusting me, supporting me and for most of all for your friendship.
I look forward to what the future holds for women in California Leadership!


Click here to read more on Rachel Michelin's next chapter


Jennifer Kresge says...
Posted Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Dear Rachel, Thank you for all the years for which you devoted your energy, wisdom and encouragement to us. You have been an inspiration for so many women. While I live some distance from Sacramento, it has been wonderful to have been able to call you discuss concerns, ask questions and explore options. You have grown the organization to be what it is today, a resource for women who consider or choose leadership. We will miss you. I wish you wonderful explorations, joy and success! Warmly, Jennifer Kresge
Tatiana Shevchenko says...
Posted Thursday, January 24, 2019
Dear Rachel, as a new member I want to thank you for your work, and wish you all the best. I will see you at this coming event, and hope we will still have our coffee together soon. Thank you! Tatiana
Rita Gallardo Good says...
Posted Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Rachel, a very sincere congratulations to you on your new adventure. Thank you for your leadership and support of California Women Lead over the past years. Wishing you success and looking forward to hearing of all your accomplishments. Much love, Rita Gallardo Good