SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the following appointments:
Ana M. Lasso, 44, of Whittier, has been appointed Director of the Department of General Services. Lasso has served as Exposition Park General Manager at the California Natural Resources Agency since 2014. She held several positions at the Los Angeles Unified School District from 2006 to 2014, including Program Manager, Director of Planning and Joint Use and Innovation Bond Program, and Senior Planner. Lasso was an Associate at S&Y Capital Group from 2004 to 2006. She held several positions at the Office of Los Angeles Unified School District School Board Member David Tokofsky from 2002 to 2004, including Chief of Staff and Field Operations Director. Lasso earned a Master of City Planning degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Lasso is a member of the MIT Alumni Association, UCLA Alumni Association and Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE). Lasso is an executive board member and vice chair at the Figueroa Corridor Business Improvement District. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $197,796. Lasso is a Democrat.
Tara Lynn Gray, 57, of Fresno, has been appointed Director of the Office of the Small Business Advocate. Gray has been Chief Executive Officer of the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Foundation since 2017 and Chief Executive Officer of YADARI Enterprises since 2004. She was President of Ecopia Information Technology Consulting from 2000 to 2002. She was Senior Telecommunications Project Manager and Network Engineer for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan from 1995 to 1999, Client Side Systems Engineer for Lotus Development Corporation in 1995 and IT Director for Ross-Dove Company Auctioneers in 1989. She is a member of Black Women Organized for Political Action, Abundant Life Worship Center, the California Black Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Foundation Board, Central Valley New Markets Tax Credit LLC Advisory Board, the California Small Business Employer Advisory Council, Caltrans Small Business Council and California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, Hospital Supplier Diversity Commission. Gray earned a Master of Theology degree in Christian studies from Grand Canyon University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $175,644. Gray is a Democrat.
Leigh Flores, 49, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to the California Film Commission. Flores has been Chief Operating Officer for the 59th Presidential Inaugural Committee and Director for Scheduling and Advance at Biden for President since 2020. She was Senior Advance Lead at Biden for President from 2019 to 2020. Flores was a Consultant at Civic Nation from 2018 to 2019. She was Senior Producer for Events Messaging at LA 2028 from 2016 to 2018. Flores was Advance Lead in the Office of the Vice President from 2014 to 2016. She was Head of Editorial and Digital Content at Promax from 2013 to 2014. She was National Advance Lead at Obama for America from 2011 to 2012. Flores was Senior Advisor for Jerry Brown for Governor in 2010. She was Director of Public Affairs in the Office of the Los Angeles City Attorney from 2006 to 2010. Flores was Trip Director at the Democratic National Committee in 2004. She earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Columbia Business School and the University of California, Berkeley School of Business. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $122,724. Flores is a Democrat.
Darnell C. Grisby, 44, of Oakland, has been appointed to the California Transportation Commission. Grisby has served as Executive Director at TransForm since 2020. He was Director of Policy Development and Research at the American Public Transportation Association from 2011 to 2020. He was Deputy Policy Director at Reconnecting America from 2010 to 2011. Grisby was Government Affairs Representative at Farmers Insurance from 2007 to 2010. He was Legislative Director for the Office of Assemblymember Mike Davis from 2006 to 2007. Grisby was Budget and Policy Analyst at the New York Independent Budget Office from 2003 to 2006. He was Legislative Assistant at the Office of Assemblymember Jenny Oropeza from 2000 to 2001. Grisby was a Senate Fellow in the Office of Senator Kevin Murray from 1999 to 2000. He earned a Master of Public Policy degree in housing and transportation from Harvard University. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Grisby is a Democrat.
Joseph “Joe” Tavaglione, 97, of Riverside, has been reappointed to the California Transportation Commission, where he has served since 2002. Tavaglione has been President at Tavaglione Construction and Development Inc. since 1962. Tavaglione was a Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force from 1943 to 1945. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Tavaglione is a Republican.
E. Joaquin Esquivel, 38, of Sacramento, has been reappointed to the State Water Resources Control Board, where he has served since 2017 and serves as Chair. Esquivel was Assistant Secretary for Federal Water Policy at the California Natural Resources Agency from 2015 to 2017. He served in the Office of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer from 2007 to 2015 as a Research Assistant, Legislative Aide and Legislative Assistant for Native American, water and agriculture issues and as Director of Information and Technology. Esquivel was a Center Youth Manager at Gay Associated Youth from 2002 to 2004. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $164,122. Esquivel is a Democrat.