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Leadership Pasadena Looks to Grow with an Investment in Community Leadership

An expanded Board of Directors and a new Executive Director will accompany the next leadership cohort in January.

Published on Friday, June 19, 2020 | 9:25 am
Aaron Wheeler, Amy Kan, Johanna Atienza
Anne Lee, Adrienne Englert, Larry Hammond

Leadership Pasadena has seen growth and attrition throughout its 20-year history of transformative community leadership development. After expanding for the last three years — adding a Veteran’s program to its core leadership programming — Leadership Pasadena is setting its sights on further impact within the greater Pasadena area by adding six (6) new members to its Board of Directors.

Pulling from leaders in technology, media, education, community engagement, and leadership training, the Board is adding expertise to support programming and strategic planning.

Leadership Pasadena is proud to welcome to the Board of Directors LP Alum Johanna Atienza, Director of Advancement & External Relations at Pacific Oaks College; LP Alum Adrienne Englert, Director of Training and Development at Bluebeam; LP Alum Larry Hammond, CEO of VIH Consulting; Amy Kan, CEO, Amy Kan Coaching; LP Alum Anne Lee, Development Director for the Boys and Girls Club of Pasadena; and LP Alum Aaron Wheeler, Head of Community Development at Pasadena Media.

The core program is typically an 8-month, immersion into Pasadena’s history, present, and future alongside a personal leadership development curriculum. Responding to the changing reality of in-person learning and community engagement issues, Leadership Pasadena will be restructuring the program to keep core elements while introducing new and innovative paths to developing emerging community leaders and reviewing its leadership content for 2021.

“Now, more than ever, we will need community leaders to help build Pasadena’s resilience and serve the communities we live and work with. With these new Board members and by pushing our course start to January 2021, we have the time and talent to develop a responsive program with the potential for immediate real-world impact,” according to Mary Spellman, incoming Board Chair.

Leadership Pasadena recently transitioned the Executive Director role from Cindy Bengtson who held the position since 2017, to Kaya Plansker, a 2019 program alumni and strategic communication consultant. The change reflects the hand off of an organization rebuilt around community leadership and ready to grow into a strong community partner.

Per Vice Mayor/Councilmember Tyron Hampton “There is so much potential for collaboration and innovation among city leaders. Pasadena has always supported a rich nonprofit, small business, and educational environment. Our new community challenges and opportunities require us to merge the old with the new and strengthen the City’s cultural and economic health for all our residents.”

To learn more about Leadership Pasadena, visit or contact Kaya Plansker at

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