Sheldon Parker has worked thirty years in business and banking. Prior to coming to Tradeswomen, Inc. Sheldon was the Finance Manager for one of the largest nonprofit Gay and Lesbian rights organizations in Los Angeles; The LGBT Center. Mr. Parker has been responsible for creating budgets for multi-million-dollar grants totaling $5M. His tenure in the finance industry, focused on Branch Operations and Auditing as the Assistant Vice President of Operations, 10 years as a bookkeeper, tax preparer within the nonprofit sector.
Sheldon Parker has a Bachelor of Science in Business Management (BSBM), and a master’s in business administration (MBA). While working as Project Director Mr. Parker exceeded program participation by 150% of goal expectation and received a 5-year grant award.
Mr. Parker has revised policy and procedures for financial institutions which aided in the institution successfully passing their audit conducted by Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Mr. Parker has also served on the board of two non-profits as the Treasurer.
He also brings a breadth of knowledge to TWI, Inc. in the form of finance management, grant budget management, and operations management. He is pleased to have the opportunity to fill the position as Chief Operations Officer for TWI, Inc , and is looking forward to learning more about the organization and industry.
The Teamsters Union has several divisions, including a building material and construction trades Division. Members in this division are truck drivers who transport and haul material, merchandise, equipment or personnel between various locations-including construction sites, manufacturing plants, freight depots, warehouses and wholesale and retail facilities. They may also load and unload, make minor mechanical repairs and keep truck in good working order.
Joyanna started her construction career working iron in a fabrication shop in 1996. She joined the Field Ironworkers Union Oakland Local 378 in 1998. While working in the field, she ran work as a General Foreman, Welding Foreman, and Raising Gang Foreman. Traveling to Oregon she joined IW Local 29 for 6 years. Her career in the Ironworkers helped her to become an AWS Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) where she worked as an inspector for Local 3 Operating Engineers.
Currently, she works for the Field Ironworkers Apprenticeship Program, Locals 377(SF) & 378(Oakland) as an Instructor, Assistant Coordinator, and QC Manager overseeing the welding shops in San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose. As a 378 union member, she serves on the Executive Board and has served on the Examining Committee. She strives to educate, support, and mentor men and women in the construction trades.
Salafai ‘Susie’ Suafa’i, Program Manager, has been an advocate for women in the trades since 1974 at Women in Apprenticeship in San Francisco where she served as Director from 1976 -1986. From 1988-1993 she served as Women’s Program Coordinator for the Century Freeway Project in Los Angeles and from 1997-2009 she worked on construction sector workforce initiatives across the country for the National Economic Development and Law Center. Susie joined Tradeswomen Inc. in 2012 as Program Manager.
Salena Durrell, Central Valley Program Coordinator, joined Tradeswomen Inc. in June 2019 to cover the Fresno, Sacramento and Stockton areas. Originally from San Francisco has lived in Stockton for over 15 years where she attended Delta College. She got into the construction Trades in 2016 where she indentured as an apprentice with the Carpenters Local 152 and eventually the IUEC Local 8. In her time as an apprentice, she organized a successful meetup group event for Central Valley Tradeswomen, that was sponsored by the San Joaquin County Construction and Building Trades Council. She has always been an active member in her union, by attending meetings at her local and participating in city and state PLA hearings. In 2018 she testified in support of AB2358 that now is a law that prohibits harassment and discrimination of apprentices. She works closely with apprenticeship coordinators as she continues her passion of outreach and solidarity. In May of 2021, she became certified by North America's Building Trades Union as an MC3 Program Coordinator, and concurrently works with the North Valley Building Trades. In her free time she loves to listen to 80s/90s music with her daughter and go fishing.
Jenn’s career path in construction finance began in 1994, helping facilitate construction of a restaurant chain. She briefly left construction to broaden her skillset at Gulf Coast Workforce Board, a Florida non-profit organization. After four years Jenn returned to her roots in construction. She took a controller position for an established California subcontractor company. After eight years, Jenn saw an opportunity with Swinerton to continue her career goals. Over the last eight years, Jenn amassed more experience, and supplemented that with further education, earning her master’s degree in Business Administration. She currently serves on the Women’s Business Resource Group Committee and passionately strives to enhance opportunities for women in business. Currently the Director of Accounting, Jenn will be transitioning to Human Resources in 2022. As Talent Solution Director she will impact the firm by focusing on employee talents and positioning the workforce to maximize efficiency and job satisfaction.
My name is Alicia Mijares. I was born and raised in San Jose, California and began my sheet metal apprenticeship with Sheet Metal Workers’ local 104 in 1995. I turned out journeyman in 2002. As a journeyman I worked in the field and shop fabricating and installing heating and air duct and architectural metal.
My passions are social justice and organized labor, so I naturally became active in my union. I served as a shop steward and was asked to assist to organize a women’s committee for our local which I gladly did. Our committee has focused on retaining female members in our local through outreach and mentoring.
I was elected to the executive board in 2018 and chaired the local 104 Women’s Coalition until I became a Business Development Representative in 2019. I look forward to reaching out to women and getting them into a career in the trades.
Felicia Silversmith Templeton, Journeywoman boilermaker local #549, Chairwoman of women@workBM549 committee. 23 years in with union boilermakers. Welder, mechanic & rigger. Mother of 6 children. 3 sons and 3 daughters. Proud grandmother of 2 grandsons. Moved to the Bay Area in 2001 and have made my home in Concord, Ca.
I have worked in all refineries and power plants throughout California and across the states. I enjoy my time off with my family and close friends. I love the beaches and lakes. Hiking, kayaking and camping (glamping). Trying out new places to eat, karaoke meeting new people. Just got my passport and I’m my agenda is to travel.
Rey Zamora has 15 years of experience working as a services coordinator, bilingual psychotherapist, and consultant in the Southern California area. Mr. Zamora has been trained to work with minority individuals, families and children who have experienced trauma in their homes, communities, and country of origin. Mr. Zamora is clinically skilled as a trauma-informed psychotherapist, specializing in cognitive behavioral therapy and solution focused therapy. Specializations: Trauma, Anxiety, Depression, Domestic Violence and WorkPlace Stress. Currently Mr. Zamora is proudly working toward the completion of his Doctorate in Social Work.
Marketing Director on over 50 plus successful brands and companies. Impressively, Adrian has started over 25 plus successful brands from conception and built brand guides and strategic marketing strategies for companies worldwide. With his Masters Degree, Adrian Davis is not just
a creative that desires for you to dream, but a creative that wants to educate the dream as well.
We proudly announce the appointment of Dr. Kay Ramsey as the new CEO for Tradeswomen, Inc. Dr. Kay has worked at the intersection of equity, workforce development, social justice, mental health, and diversity for over two decades. Fueled by the commitment to interrupt systemic issues disproportionately impacting marginalized people, Dr. Kay has led organizations to rebuild systems and communities as a transformational leader and visionary. Dr. Kay will continue to further advance the mission and legacy of Tradeswomen, Inc. which celebrated its 43rd anniversary last year with excellence, thoughtfulness, and poise.
For the past decade, Dr. Kay has developed a niche in curating DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) strategies to ensure women and people of color take a seat at the table through creating opportunities for clients to reach their desired level of success. As an award-winning social change agent and published author, she has become a subject matter expert in strategic planning and implementing programmatic best practices on a micro and macro level. This also afforded her the privilege to deliver program grant requirements and implement capacity building projects for California's Departments of Labor and Education and Workforce Development Investment Board. In addition to County Departments of Mental Health and Child and Family Services.
Academically, Dr. Kay Ramsey has earned Master degrees in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy, and Business Administration from Pepperdine University. She also successfully completed her Doctorate in Public Policy and Nonprofit Leadership, and Post-Doctoral Certification in Change Management.
As a former foster youth and survivor of adversity, Dr. Kay fully understands the importance of establishing equity, empowering and motivating others to succeed in their careers. She is overjoyed to be appointed the new TWI CEO and firmly believes her faith and perseverance have prepared her to take on this role. Dr. Kay Ramsey is ready to effect meaningful change for the women and staff she will serve, please join us in welcoming her to the team.
Cheryl Franklin is a graduate of Mills College in Oakland, Calif. She is a mother, grandmother and career woman. Cheryl’s belief and passion is to help women increase their presence in the construction trades, retain their knowledge, skills and abilities to proudly represent working trades women across California and beyond.
Cheryl has worked in the Construction trades for more than twenty years. She attended and graduated from Cypress Mandela Training Center, worked for Operating Engineers Local 3 as a Construction Inspector. She joined EBMUD and worked her way through the ranks as an operator, Union activist and Chief Steward, then on to Construction coordinator, Asst. Supervisor and Shift Supervisor of the Main Oakland Wastewater Plant where she retired in Jan 2022. Cheryl joined Rising Sun Center for Opportunity shortly thereafter as a Construction Instructor. Now at Tradeswomen, Inc. Cheryl continues helping women enter pre- apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs.
Denise has been serving as a consultant in administration and HR for various businesses for over 15 years, including apparel, wine, financial, tax, service contracts, and property management, to name a few. She is an exceptional HR practitioner in full-cycle recruitment, onboarding, employee relations, policy development, workers' compensation, and benefits administration. Denise has successfully worked across the business at all levels developing trust and building effective partnerships. Denise was also a key contributor to administrative operations.
Before consulting, Denise served in various administrative roles for C-suite executives and marketing, where she showcased her knack for analyzing data and transforming it into actionable insights. Her proficiency in budget management and organizational skills bolstered her capabilities in crafting data- driven marketing campaigns. Denise has demonstrated her commitment to excellence, whether it's event management, interpersonal skills, or community development. She’s always curious, igniting the drive for innovation to question, explore, and discover new ideas and solutions. Her career journey has equipped her with a holistic skill set that bridges the gap between strategic planning and effective execution. Her passion is giving back and helping team members embrace their journey of skills development and career growth through fairness, trust, and respect.
Denise received her BA in Business Administration from St. Mary’s College and PHR and ethics certification through the Human Resources Standards Institute. When she isn’t working to solve people challenges or improving administrative processes, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, volunteering in the community, reading great novels and suspense thrillers with her book club, exploring new places, fussing in the garden, satisfying her taste for good food, and music – all different genres.
Denise is looking forward to contributing to the team and serving the women at Tradeswomen Inc.
Actor & Content Creator & social media sensation Brannon Watson also known as B Watts. Brannon, who is from Corsicana, Texas, is a passionate actor comedian and content creator who's been in the creative game since 2012. With a flair for creativity and a dedication to the craft, he’s made quite a mark in the digital landscape. His journey in the world of social media has been remarkable. Over the years, he’s nurtured and grown multiple platforms, amassing an impressive following of over 800k combined followers on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter. On the big screen, B Watts has taken on lead roles in feature films, starred in several captivating short films, and lent his talent to a couple of memorable commercials. Working with renowned brands like Popeyes, Madden, Vice Golf, Snapchat, Boost Mobile, BET, Tubi, and many others has been an exciting part of his career, showcasing his versatility as an artist. His passion for creativity not only drives him but also fuels his desire to share knowledge and collaborate with fellow creators. B Watts is here to inspire, innovate, and bring stories to life.
Quinesha is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 10 years of clinical and field experience. She graduated in 2014 with a Master’s degree in Social Work from University of Southern California; with the focus on Mental Health, Military Veterans and Families. Her clinical experience has ranged across settings from structured outpatient programs, project based housing facilities, non-profits, school based programs and government contracted mental health agencies.
Quinesha works diligently to meet the needs of each individual client she works with. She has an eclectic approach, utilizing a variety of techniques and evidence based practices including Solution Focused, Art Therapy, Positive Psychology, Strength-Based and Mindfulness Based Practices. She enjoys working with individuals, families & groups to navigate the challenges of life and to help each client to find more ease and joy in their lives. Outside of mental health; Quinesha offers organization and life skills coaching, enjoys working on her book, reading whatever she can get her hands on and traveling the globe.
Laurissa Miller has 13 years experience working with foster care, adoption, therapy with children with ptsd, trauma, ADHD, and Autism in the Southern California area. Mrs. Miller has been trained to work with families and children that have experienced trauma in their homes, communities and country of origin. Mrs. Miller is clinically skilled with her LCSW. Specializations: Trauma, Anxiety, Depression, Domestic Violence, PTSD, ADHD, Foster Care/Adoption and WorkPlace Stress.
Doc earned his B.A. in Psychology and American History from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and holds an M.A. and PhD in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology @ Alliant University. He has delivered more than two hundred keynote and invited seminar presentations at conferences on four continents on dating and relationship issues; working with LGBTQ+clients; diversity and mental health; substance abuse issues; and treatment with children, adolescents, and families. Dr. Canillas currently serves on the Board of Directors of This Is Jane Project, a non-profit that connects female and non-binary trauma survivors with no-cost/low-cost plant based medicine.
Melinda Ramirez has nearly a decade of experience in program development and grant writing for the nonprofit sector. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from CSU Chico and is working toward an MBA. She has been instrumental in the creation of several housing, outreach, and youth programs, and has been awarded grants totaling in the millions. Her skill set includes communication, data analysis, and community engagement. She serves on two Boards that focus on housing and environmental advocacy, and her passion for social justice and equity stems from overcoming her own personal challenges.
Powerful. Survivor. Intentional, are words that represent who DaJohnai Vincson is, who is also known as Daisy. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, California where she developed a strong passion for helping build up her community through organizing free of cost events with the help of local churches and schools. DaJohnai worked in her community for 7 years as a teacher assistant at LOCKE EEC and at a local job work source center. DaJohnai received her AA in Human Resources and her BA Degree in Business Administration. Later in life to DaJohnai’s surprise that her path would end up leading her towards the world of non-profit. Where she worked for 8 years in case management, data entry, administrative skills, and management. DaJohnai has run multiple million-dollar grants and has led with high rates of completion. As a woman DaJohnai understands firsthand what it feels like to find your place in this working world as a young woman with so many adversities and she has continued to set the bar high for herself and her community.
Madison graduated her 5 year Apprenticeship program from District Council 16 Northern California Architectural Metal & Glass Workers program. During her 13 years in the field Madison ran work as a Superintendent, Foreman & Leadman. Over the last six years Madison has continued her path in her career as a Union member, a Community Leader and advocate for careers in non-traditional employment. In this time, Madison has served as Business Representative, Glaziers LU718 San Francisco, Communications & Political Director and currently Director of Service, District Council 16 International Union of Painters & Allied Trades.
Barbara Dees started her career in IBEW 595 in 1984. As a single mother and foster mom for the majority of her sons’ childhood, she has long understood the rewards of having a career as an electrician. After her sons became adults and started their careers in plumbing and the military, Barbara became a full time volunteer in her local. She was appointed to the 595 executive board in 2013, where she currently holds a position still. She chairs the Women’s Committee in Local 595, she is the President of the Northern California Electrical Workers Minority Caucus and is currently the Vice President of Tradeswomen Inc.
Since 2012, John Brauer has served California’s working men and women as the Workforce and Economic Development (WED) Program Director at the California Labor Federation. WED acts as a workforce intermediary on behalf of its 2,000 affiliated labor unions and 2 million workers throughout the state. For the past seven years, Mr. Brauer has served on the California Workforce Development Board and its Executive Committee. He has also served for 3 years as an appointee of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff to the Oakland Workforce Development Board. In addition, Mr. Brauer serves on the board of the California EDGE Coalition whose mission is to advance state policy and investments that create and sustain pathways into the middle class for all Californians, including individuals facing barriers to economic and social mobility. Mr. Brauer is part of a blended-household, with 6 children that make him proud every day for their contributions to making the world a better place.
Olwyn Brown is a 25-year member of Carpenters local #713 in Hayward California. She serves as a Board Member of both Retention Apprentice Mentoring Program (RAMP) and Tradeswomen, Inc. where she focuses on workers who need support to succeed in apprenticeship, mentor peer relationships, group dynamics and comprehensive retention support. Tradeswomen, Inc. was one of California’s first organizations for women in the trades industry and continues to be one of the most active and effective organizations in the nation, focused exclusively on the needs of women in skilled trades. Olwyn recently became a board member of California Policy Center for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. (CPCIDD) this board was "Establish to take a strategic research and evidence-based approach to identify critical issues and program strengths with the system serving people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities." (IDD)
Ms. Brown teaches carpentry for Jobs Corps Treasure Island in San Francisco, California.
Terri started her 5-year apprenticeship in 1992 as a Steamfitter with UA local 342. After turning out in 1997 Terri wore many hats in the field from Steward to Project Manager. In the past 30 years you could see Terri serving on the COPE, By-Laws, Work Preservation committees at her union. Terri has spoken at city council meetings, school board meetings as well state legislators as an advocate of women in non-traditional careers. Terri was a delegate and Executive Board Member of the Central Labor Council Contra Costa County AFL-CIO for 20 years and was awarded Labor Leader of the Year in 2019. During this time Terri also held the role as a Trustee.
Terri enjoys mentoring the women in UA 342, and women in other crafts she has met in the field. Terri always looks for opportunities to talk to women about getting into the building trades.