Providing Leadership and Service for Women Since 1983

Who We Are

Capitol Network is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that supports building professional networks and fellowship among women in the California Capitol community, while promoting charitable giving to organizations supporting women and children in need throughout California.


Membership is open to women and men at all levels of professional attainment, and includes individuals serving in the Legislature or Administration, state departments and agencies, lobbying and government affairs, public affairs, and students in political science/government studies or related fields.


Structure

The Board of Directors is comprised of nine members (four executive officers, three at large members and two honorary members), plus the representatives of the five committees that guide the work of Capitol Network. These committees are: Charitable Giving, Events, Membership, Golf, and Mentorship.


  • Charitable Giving – Drives fundraising for annual grants given to charities supporting women and children. Also reviews and approves grant applications.
  • Events – Plans and hosts luncheon speaker series and Back to Session social activities
  • Membership – Coordinates member services and hosts bi-monthly happy hours for members
  • Golf – Organizes and produces the annual Capitol Network Golf Tournament, our largest fundraising event each year.
  • Mentorship – Conducts mentorship pairings for New Professionals and hosts Breakfast Speaker Series


If you would like to learn more, or join a committee, please contact email capitolnetworkit@gmail.com.


History

Capitol Network was created in 1983 when founder Joyce “Sunny” Mojonnier realized that the camaraderie between her male colleagues in the Capitol was rarely extended to the women professionals. She knew the women around her were equally as competent and worked just as hard, if not harder, than their male counterparts. The only thing that was missing was the opportunity to communicate in a welcoming, non-competitive setting.


Sunny acted early in her term (serving as a California State Assemblywoman for the 75th District from 1982 to 1990) to create a fun and enriching networking organization for female legislative and administrative professionals in Sacramento. Her first step was to create a name that spoke to the purpose of our existence and a logo that would become a recognized standard of opportunity and empowerment for women.


Sunny knew that building an organization that could and would withstand the test of time is never an easy task.


Capitol Network's inaugural event provided California`s politically involved female members the opportunity to communicate and network in a non-competitive setting and to have direct and exclusive access to a select few influential politically involved male counterparts.


On July 10, 1983 the invitation for the first Capitol Network event – a dinner at Sunny’s home – read: "Getting to know you is the theme, to draw from each other is the scheme. Female resources are the game, Capitol Network is the name. So this is the story, it’s ours to tell, we are professionals, we do our jobs well. If we meet with each other and know who we are, through this kind of networking, we can go far. Just socializing....no political ploys, no partisan politics, no ‘good ole boys.’ Now this could be the start of something new, Capitol Network is especially for you!”


After all the guests had arrived, everyone was beginning to wonder where dinner was. No tables were set. No food was being prepared. But then there was a knock at the front door of home announcing dinner was ready! Escorts brought the guests next door where dinner would be served.


The guests were quite surprised to see that the servers were male legislators and other key capitol figures, including Speaker Willie Brown (whom the Sacramento Bee then called "Willie the Waiter"), Assembly Minority Leader Bob Naylor (the Bee made note of his black bow-tie with flashing red lights), Senators Jim Elli-R and Art Torres-D, Rod Blonion and Dave Sterling from the Governor’s administration, and several others. Sunny is a firm believer in that so much can be accomplished through humor and fun. At that historic dinner were more than sixty of the best, brightest, most dynamic, and successful women ever to grace the halls of the Capitol. And that was the beginning of Capitol Network.


Continuing with Sunny's vision, Capitol Network has since provided two generations of women working in and around the Capitol with social settings that have proven to be the perfect environment to facilitate empowerment and success. These social events have also evolved with the goal of raising funds for charitable organizations that serve the needs of women and children throughout California. This includes our largest fundraiser, the incredible Golf Tournament held each fall. In addition, Capitol Network has expanded to offer a quarterly luncheon program featuring timely topics and keynote speakers, as well as a mentorship program for new professionals.










The Presidents of Capitol Network


1983-88 Sunny Mojonnier

1989 Norma Dillon

1990 Jeanette Bunch

1991 Meg Catzen

1992 Victoria Jones

1993 Cynthia Suzuki

1994 Jamie Khan

1995 Roberta Mendonca

1996 Janice Shields

1997 Eileen Reynolds

1998 Karen Yelverton

1999 Valerie Nera

2000 Diane Colborn
2001 Roxanne Gould




2002 Kristin Power

2003 Jennifer Hendrick Snyder

2004 Danielle Walters

2005 Kathryn Scott

2006 Cathy Senderling-McDonald & Erin O'Keefe Levi (co-Presidents)

2007 Cathy Senderling-McDonald

2008 Whitnie Henderson

2009 Joanne Bettencourt-Hetrick

2010 Jelisaveta (Elizabeth) Gavric

2011 Noelle Mattock

2012 Erin Sullivan

2013-14 Amy Blumberg

2015 Jolena Voorhis

2016 Courtney Jensen


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