News & Events

California Workforce Connection 2024 Annual Conference

 2024 CWC Annual Educational Conference, May 3, 2024


Thursday, May 2, 2024

6:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M. No Host President’s Reception

Friday, May 3, 2024

8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. Educational Conference and Convention

Opening Ceremonies Presenters

Tyrone Carroll, Emcee

John Szeibert, Bybee Trustee

Matoya Terrell, State Council on Developmental Disabilities 

 Confirmed Speakers:

EDD Director, Nancy Farias
EDD Directorate Panel

Melissa Stone, Deputy Director Disability Insurance Branch

Grecia Staton,  Unemployment Insurance Deputy Director

         Javier Romero, Workforce Services Deputy Director

Panel Moderator: Cesar A. Valladares, WS Deputy Division Chief   

Noon- 2:00 P.M.  Awards  Luncheon

Devin Hughes, Motivational Speaker

Prize Drawings

New Officer Elections

Exhibitors: Aflac Representative


April 18, 2024 Deadline to register online with Eventbrite Link

(Processing fees will be added)

Email questions to:

Download Conference Draft Agenda

2024 Speakers Bios
Nancy Farias, Director of California Employment Development Department 

Nancy Farias, of Sacramento, has served as Chief Deputy Director of External Affairs, Legislation and Policy at the California Employment Development Department since 2020. Farias was Director of Government Relations at SEIU Local 1000 from 2017 to 2020. She was Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of Senator Henry Stern from 2016 to 2017 and District Director at the Office of Assemblymember Mike Gatto from 2015 to 2016.

She was Deputy Secretary of Legislation at the Government Operations Agency from 2013 to 2016, Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs at the California Department of Human Resources from 2012 to 2013 and Legislative Director at SEIU Local 1000 from 2009 to 2012. Farias was Senior Vice President at Smith, Ruddock & Hayes from 2008 to 2009 and an Associate at Wolkon & Pascucci LLP from 2002 to 2008. Farias earned a Master of Science degree in Political Science from Suffolk University and a Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University Law School.



Melissa Stone, Disability Insurance Deputy Director

Melissa Stone Deputy Director, Disability Insurance Branch at Employment Development Department. Experienced Manager Business Management with a demonstrated history of working in the government administration industry. Skilled in Government, Public Speaking, Legal Writing, Management, and Leadership.

 Strong operations professional with a Master of Business Administration – MBA focused in Business Administration and Management, General from University of Phoenix 2003 – 2006.



Grecia Staton – Unemployment Insurance Deputy Director

Grecia is an experienced individual who rejoined Employment Development Department in April 2021 as UI Deputy Director, building upon an early career with the Department. Initially serving in the Unemployment Insurance Branch as an Employment Program Representative and steadily advancing through various promotional opportunities before attaining an Employment Program Manager II and going to serve as a Staff Services Manager I, and Staff Services Manager II in the Disability Insurance Branch.

Prior to returning to the EDD, Grecia held a critical role as a member of the Executive Leadership team at the California Secretary of State. As the Management Services Division Chief, Grecia demonstrated a high level of competence and responsibility involving the review, evaluation, recommendation, and approval of policies, programs, and procedures governing the operations of the budget and accounting functions, business services, contracts and procurement, human resources, labor relations, building operations and the Safe At Home Program.

Grecia is deeply committed to the development of existing and emerging leaders and places great emphasis on cultivating a culture of inquiry. She firmly believes in empowering employees to ask thought-provoking questions, encouraging them to challenge the status quo rather than accepting conventional phrases such as “because we’ve always done it this way”. By cultivating this mindset, Grecia fosters a dynamic and innovative work environment that not only promotes critical thinking and continuous improvement but also inspires employees to acquire experience and nurture personal growth leading to a skilled and experienced workforce.




         Javier Romero, Workforce Services Deputy Director    

Javier Romero has over 25 years of experience in higher education and workforce development, which included a tenure of 14 years with the California Workforce Development Board. Prior to becoming the Deputy Director of the EDD Workforce Services Branch, his most recent experience was as a dean in the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Workforce and Economic Development Division for over 7 years. As a dean he oversaw California’s Adult Education Program, California Apprenticeship Initiative, as well as other programs.

As a manager at the California Workforce Development Board, he focused on issues related to organizing-to-organizing education and workforce development programs around regional economies, sector strategies, career pathways, expanding access to traditionally disadvantaged communities and non-traditional educational pathways.

Javier has extensive knowledge of the complex interactions between public funded systems, programs and services. His leadership experience and knowledge of organization development concepts provides him a solid foundation to assess and manage complex organizational issues such as strategic planning, team development, and empowering staff.

Cesar A Valladares, Workforce Service Deputy Division Chief

Cesar A. Valladares serves as the Deputy Division Chief of the Central Coastal Region in the Los Angeles/Coastal Workforce Services Division of the Employment Development Department (EDD)’s Workforce Services Branch.

 His experience in the workforce development system spans a career of over twenty years. Cesar’s responsibilities and oversight include the direction and evaluation of Title III of the workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) – all activities relating to delivery of Workforce Services, Employment and Training programs delivered within the America’s Job Centers of California (AJCC). Those programs include services to job seekers of all circumstances – Including Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers, Veterans, dislocated workers, Youth, and vulnerable populations.

 Cesar is an executive ember of EDD’s senior management team; he recommends policy and procedure that affect job services on a regional and division level. He’s also responsible for coordinating activities and service delivery models in six AJCCs, encouraging regional participation, and maintaining cooperative community partnerships.

Matoya Terrell – State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD)

A year ago, I embarked on a new journey with the State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD). SCDD seeks innovative ideas to improve the lives of people with developmental disabilities and their families. We provide tools and support needed for people to be fully included in their communities, and live safe and healthy lives. I am grateful to have the opportunity to partner with CWC and support the ideas and vision of our CWC members.

I am currently the Education Chair for the CWC Inland Empire Local Chapter and work as a Associate Governmental Program Analyst/QAC for the Inland Empire, Kern and Tri-Counties.

Devin C Hughes, Motivational Speaker   

Devin C. Hughes was the the keynote presenter  on “Changing Your Work Culture”  at  May 13m 2022 CWC Annual Educational Conference held in Costa Mesa, CA .   He uses a mix of storytelling techniques, interactive exercises, research, and real-life examples to give life to key messages, that are always tailored to needs of the audience. Devin C. Hughes is the current Founder and CEO of Devin C. Hughes inc., a boutique training and development firm created to help established and emerging leaders grow to reach their ideal potential as well as their teams. He currently works with a number of startups and large global organizations setting up best practices for their people strategy.

Devin is a captivating speaker, author, and culture expert. He helps leaders drive growth and engagement by aligning workplace culture with success. With 20 years of experience in conflict resolution, generational differences, and culture change, he is the author of 21 books and has spoken in over 15 countries.

Devin lives in San Diego, CA with his wife,  daughters and two rescue dogs. Devin’s experience is working on employee engagement strategy, evolving corporate cultures, talent management, and diversity & Inclusion brings a unique perspective in helping his clients plan for positive growth and evolution. His approach draws from the science of positive psychology, positive organizational research, appreciative inquiry, neuroscience, mindset, and mindfulness. As a result, clients receive the cutting edge in research on well-being and flourishing.

John Szeibert, Disability Insurance Manager III, Inland Empire President, CWC Bybee Board Trustee

John Szeibert is a Field Office Manager for EDD Disability Insurance Branch and the President of the Inland Empire California Workforce Connection (CWC) local Chapter. He is passionate about leading, improving, and inspiring others to create positive change. He values mentorships and has been part of the Disability Insurance Mentoring Alliance for several years. John is also a Member of the Karl Bybee Board for the last four years, a grant program administered by a three Board Members elected each year.

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