Suzi Ishikawa
California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS)

Photo of an Asian woman wearing a grey fedora and glasses in front of her computer monitor.

Each year, Our Promise asks state agencies and departments to loan one or more of their valued employees to participate in the Leaders United Program, an 18-week working session to assist in the annual giving campaign. Leaders United participants (LUs) serve as an extension of the Our Promise team and work full time in the local United Way offices from late July to early November. Their work is absolutely vital to the success of the campaign and goes a long way to ensure deserving non-profits from throughout the state benefit from the money raised each and every year. 

This year, we wanted to highlight our LUs by shining a spotlight on their philanthropic passions.

Suzi, what inspires you during this challenging time?

What inspires me most is folks working together. Working together is always so much more than the sum of its parts. The diversity of experiences and gifts a team brings generates results likely no one could have even dreamed of. It is only together that we can truly weather hard times.

Nonprofits need Our Promise CA now, more than ever. What cause(s) have your attention in 2020?

The causes that have had my attention most given 2020 and its specific challenges are those that have existed, but whose need has exponentially increased: unique needs in healthcare, food insecurity, and housing challenges specially have had my focus.

If you are interested in learning more about the Leaders United program, please click here.