Wednesday, October 14, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM PDT
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California Department of Veterans Affairs 

CalVet Minority and Underrepresented Veterans 

Native American Day, observed annually in California, celebrates the cultures heritage, and history of the many Native American tribes. The day focuses on celebrating the culture, heritage, and history of tribes across the nation. Each diverse nation carries its own traditions, rituals, and beliefs. It’s also a reminder of their enduring legacy of strength, energy, and fortitude.

The Minority and Underrepresented Veterans Division collaborated with the Native American Veterans Assocation to host an informational webinar to commemorate Native American Day and honor Native American veterans. The event will focus on the traditions, culture and background of Native Americans veterans. In addition, the event will highlight the impact of the military to Native Americans service members and, future policy perspectives to support Native American Veterans in the military in today’s society. Federal, state and local military stakeholders will join to inform the California veteran community on services and legislation. Most importantly, veterans will have the opportunity to learn about state and federal benefits they have earned.


Vito Imbasciani MD, CalVet Secretary 

Vito D. Imbasciani PhD MD completed medical school at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, and his surgical and urologic residencies at Yale-New Haven Hospital and the West Haven VA Hospital (Connecticut). He earned MA and PhD degrees from Cornell University, and was a Fulbright Scholar to Rome, Italy in 1973. He held academic teaching positions at the University of Florida, Cornell University and Middlebury College (VT).

Dr. Imbasciani was commissioned in the Medical Corps of the United States Army in December, 1986 and retired after 27 years in 2014 with the rank of colonel. He has deployed four times in support of the wars in the Gulf, and received the Meritorious Service Award, the Combat Medic badge, the Army Commendation Medal (four times) and California Order of Merit. Campaign ribbons include Operation Desert Storm; the Liberation of Kuwait; and Global War against Terrorism (both expeditionary and service).

Dr. Imbasciani has practiced urologic surgery in Los Angeles since 1991, and with Kaiser Permanente since 1997. He is presently the Past President of the Los Angeles County Medical Association and the past President of the California Urologic Association. He was a member of the California Medical Association's Board of Trustees for ten years. He also served on the Board of the Southern California Permanente Medical Group (Kaiser Permanente) from 2003-2013, and was its Director of Government Relations from 2007-2015.

Governor Edmund J. Brown appointed Dr. Imbasciani as the 16th Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs in September, 2015, and he was confirmed by the State Senate several months later. A member of the Governor's Cabinet, he also serves on the Board of the California Housing Finance Agency, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Honor Committee, and the Governor's Military Council.

Dr. Imbasciani received a masters and doctorate in musicology at Cornell University, and was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Rome, Italy to write his doctoral dissertation. He has visited over 80 countries on five continents, speaks seven languages and loves traveling to new places. 

Assemblymember James C. Ramos- Guest Speaker 


Assemblymember James C. Ramos is a lifelong resident of the San Manuel Indian Reservation in San Bernardino County. He was elected to represent the residents of the 40th District in the California State Assembly on November 6, 2018. His district includes the cities of Highland, Loma Linda, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, and San Bernardino.

Ramos, as a member of the Serrano/Cahuilla tribe, is the first California Indian to be elected to the California State Assembly. As a child, Ramos lived with his family in a mobile home in an area that was one of the most poverty-stricken in the country. To help support his family, while attending school, he worked in fast food restaurants and as a janitor in the San Bernardino City Unified School District. He attended local public schools and graduated from San Gorgonio High School. Recognizing the importance of education, he went on to receive an Associate Degree in Business at Victor Valley College, a Bachelor Degree in Accounting at California State University - San Bernardino, and a Master of Business Administration Degree at the University of Redlands.

As a successful small business entrepreneur, Ramos accumulated broad experience in many levels of community and government matters. He has served as the Third District Supervisor for the County of San Bernardino since 2012, including serving as Board Chairman from 2015-2017. 

In addition to his elected service, Ramos is a proven civic leader and has served on numerous boards and organizations in the Inland Empire. He is the immediate past Chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, with a deep commitment to the preservation of California Indian culture. Additionally, Ramos is co-founder of the San Manuel Band’s Cultural Awareness Program, and serves as director of the California Indian Cultural Awareness Conference held annually at California State University, San Bernardino.


Ted Tenorio, Persident, Native American Veterans Association, Tribe Tewa Pueblo, New Mexico.- Guest Speaker

 Mr. Tenorio became part of the Native American veterans Association NAVA as a Board member 2003 as a Vice President to develop the Association's strategic goals, objectives and programs. Over a course of his tenure he was elected as President. He has brought NAVA to State and National attention as he build on partnership that enable NAVA to provide veterans resource and services.  Mr. Tenorio’s work has brought about awareness to Native American in the military, veterans and to their families.

Through his leadership on the Board and Committees Native American Veterans Association has received Veterans Excellence Service awards from the City of Los Angeles office of the Mayor, State of California, Employer Advisory Council, California State International Association of Workforce professionals, City of South Gate City Council, Senator’s, Assembly and County and City Councils and Supervisory members and the Native American communities.  NAVA received awards from various California American Indian Reservations for their service to Native American veterans.  

Known for his Native American activism and leadership, Ted served for three years with the The California Rural Indian Health Board, Advisory Board developing Tobacco Traditional educational program for American Indian Health Clinics on California Reservations and Rancherias.

Ted is an active citizen in Native American Affairs, served on The California Rural Indian Health Board, Advisory Board developing Tobacco Traditional educational program for American Indian Health Clinics on California Reservations and Rancherias. In addition, Ted is as part of the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisor First District Hilda L. Solis appointee to the Los Angeles City/County Native American Commission. 



SGT. Roy Two Bears Delarosa-Spirtiual Leader 

Roy Twobears Delarosa is an United States Marine Corps Veteran. Roy is Yoeme/N'de Yaqui and Apache Roy's last duty station was 1ST MAR DIV. 1STFMF Camp Pendleton California. Roy served from 1971 to 1977. Roy joined The Native American Veterans Association ( NAVA) at it's founding. 

Roy is a NAVA Board member, and member of Honor Guard and is NAVA'S acting Spiritual advisor. Roy is an advocate for Veteran rights and a voice for the present young generation of Veterans. Roy is also a member of The Golden State Gourd Society. 



Tim Romero (Gabrieleño-Tongva)-Keynote Speaker

At twenty years of age, during the early stages of his law enforcement career as a sworn police officer, Tim Romero decided to take a military leave of absence and serve the nation through the United States Air Force as a law enforcement specialist. Upon completion of his active duty commitment, he joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department while later transferring to other law enforcement agencies to perform the duties of patrol officer, motorcycle traffic officer, field training officer, and detective. In 1994, after obtaining his Bachelor of Science from the University of Redlands, Tim joined the U.S. Navy Reserve to begin work on his master's degree at a Vandenberg AFB remote campus.

In 1996, he began teaching at a local college in Santa Maria while working as a Crime Analyst for the Santa Maria Police Department where he was instrumental in establishing the first crime analysis unit and developing technologies under the Career Criminal Apprehension Program. To remain closer to his job, graduate studies campus, and college teaching campus, he transferred from the Navy Reserve and joined the U.S. Army National Guard at Camp San Luis Obispo to serve with the 649th Military Police Company.

In 1998, Tim changed careers to pursue an opportunity with United Airlines and travel throughout the United States under their Y2K systems upgrade project. Since that time, Tim has worked in technology performing various roles such as a Systems Integration Analyst Sr with Lockheed Martin and within county organizations. He continues to teach multidisciplinary courses in criminal justice, business, cybersecurity, and technology. Tim earned his MBA from Columbia Southern University and currently serves in the military with the California State Guard where he obtained his credential as a Master Military Emergency Management Specialist. He produced the documentary Journey to Zion, the interpersonal story about choosing the Native American flute as a connection to peace, spirituality, and love of the land that was once inhabited by our historical Native Americans. Tim performs as a musician with his flutes at various venues and proudly represents the Native American Veterans Association as a senior leader.


Xóchitl Rodriguez Murillo, Deputy Secretary, Minority Veterans Affairs -Masters of Ceremony 

Xóchitl Rodriguez Murillo was appointed on October 8, 2019 by Governor Gavin Newsom as Deputy Secretary for Minority and Underrepresented Veterans at the California Department of Veterans Affairs. She serves as Councilmember to the City of Woodland since 2016 and as a Sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve since 2012. She deployed with the Army from 2004-2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and received the National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M Device and Global War on Terrorism medals (expeditionary and service).

Xóchitl previously served as Mayor to the City of Woodland from 2018 to 2019. She served the California State Legislature from 2008 to 2019 under different capacities, as Appointments Consultant to Speaker Rendon from 2018 to 2019, Legislative Aide to Assemblymember Caballero from 2017 to 2018, Member Consultant to Speaker Atkins in 2016, Clerk to the Secretary of the Senate in 2016, Field Representative to Assemblymember Santiago from 2014 to 2016, Assistant to Speaker Pérez from 2012 to 2014 and Daily File Clerk to the Assembly Chief Clerk from 2008 to 2012.

Xóchitl holds a B.A. in International Relations and Spanish from the University of California, Davis and an M.A. in Spanish from the California State University, Sacramento. She is a member of the American Legion Yolo Post 77, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1985, California Latino Capitol Association Foundation and the University of California, Davis Cal Aggie Alumni Association. She currently resides in Woodland with her husband Antonio.



Terry R. Bentley, Tribal Government Relations Specialist,VA Office of Tribal Government Relations

Terry R. Bentley, an enrolled member of the Karuk Tribe of California and is the Tribal Government Relations Specialist for the Pacific District covering Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, California and Alaska. A former Health Systems Specialist for VHA Roseburg, Oregon. She has worked for the Office of Tribal Government Relations since August 2011. Her 32-year VA career includes working at the VHA facilities in Portland and Roseburg, Oregon. Terry is married and has five children. She has widespread experience in working with Tribal Governments and Tribal Communities. Terry has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management and Communications from Eastern Oregon University. She is the daughter of a Veteran and granddaughter of a WWII Veteran.


Eli PaintedCrow- Female Warrior

Eli Painted Crow's holds a proud  Lineage from the Yaqui and  Mayan Nation’s and descendant of Juaquin Murrieta, a Bandit of California.   A ceremonialist who also has 22 years of military service, Eli has had a diverse professional life as a drill instructor, communications specialist , a social worker, public presenter, and an organizer. She is also co-founder of Turtle Women Rising Now Eli is an esteemed elder board member at Healing Reconciliation Institute.  An activist for the planet, for Veterans, and for Indigenous women. Eli is a mother of two military veteran sons and a grandmother to 6 and grandchildren. Eli lives in California.


Tribal Coordination and Collaboration

The purpose of the Office of Tribal Coordination is to improve and maintain communication and collaboration between California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and all Native American Tribes in California. This office aims to create effective collaboration and informed decision-making where all parties share a goal of reaching a decision together. Our office priorities are to educate internal and external partners to become informed about the cultural settings of California Native Americans, their emergency management and homeland security issues and cultural sensitivities, for the purpose of improving Cal OES’s understanding of all Native American Tribes in California.


Windy C. Bouldin-Guest Speaker

Windy C. Bouldin is the Deputy Director for the Office of Program Accountability and the Returning Veterans:  Enlisting Their Skills for CAL FIRE Service (R.V.E.T.S.) Coordinator for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE).  R.V.E.T.S. is the Department’s grassroots effort to assist veterans, service members, and their families with integration and transition into service with the Department.  With over 28 years of civil service experience with the State of California including 24 years with CAL FIRE, Windy brings a plethora of experience in governance, policy formulation and implementation, program administration, human resources, internal audits, and leadership. 

Windy comes from a multi-generational military family and is a proud Navy Mom.  Using her knowledge of civil service processes, she brings practical tips to those interested in pursuing a mission to serve, safeguard, and protect the people and property of California.  Understanding the unique skill sets of those who have served, are serving, and their families, Windy is inspired to teach, develop, and mentor others interested in pursuing a career with the State of California. 

Windy and her R.V.E.T.S. team are dedicated to working with stakeholders in promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace through efforts such as the Building Bridges project to identify equivalent military occupational specialties for civil service requirements, submitting recommendations through the Governor’s Office California Leads Diversity Task Force, Diversity for All Pubic Safety Firefighter Sub-Committee along with the Strategy and Branding Sub-Committee, addressing mental health issues impacting the military community, and ensuring fair and equitable processes statewide through Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act and associated training. 



Connie Hernandez, Regional Program Manager, California Complete Count – Census 2020  

 Connie Hernandez serves as the Regional Program Manager for Region 10, San Diego & Imperial Counties at the California Complete Count – Census 2020 Office. Hernandez manages the County contracts and the Regional Administrative Community Based Organization which represents one of the Hardest to Count areas in the State.

 Hernandez has devoted her time in San Diego County to multiple organizations, including a founding board member of Ronald McDonald House Charities, VP of Community Relations for Chavez & Associates, VP of Marketing & Public Relations for MAAC Project, as an Administrator for the Make A Wish Foundation, and served as a Partnership Specialist for Census 2010 specializing in the Spanish-speaking hard-to-count communities.

 Connie attended the University of San Diego, College for Women and has received numerous awards for her community work including, Partners for Prevention Community Service Award; Hispanic Publishers Superior Achievement Award for Latinas in the Media; and Democratic Central Committee Community Service Award.

 Hernandez enjoys spending time with her family, volunteering for children’s and social justice organizations and traveling.