Thursday, September 24, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM PDT
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CalVet Minority and Unrepresentative Veterans Division 
California Department of Veterans Affairs 

Don't Ask Don't Tell Repeal Commemorative Webinar

The Minority and Underrepresented Veterans Division is hosting an informational webinar to commemorate this milestone in our military’s march towards equality. The event will highlight the impact of the repeal of Dont' Ask Don't Tell (DADT), what it was like to live and serve under DADT and future policy perspectives to support LGBTQ military families in today’s society. Speakers include CalVet Deputy Secretary Xóchitl Rodriguez Murillo (Masters of Cermony), Secretary Vito Imbasciani MD (keynote), CA Assemblymember Jaqui Irwin (Guest Speaker), Major General Matthew Beevers, California National Guard (Guest Speaker), Rick Chavez Zbur, Executive Director of Equality California (presenter), Jennifer Dane, Exective Director of Modern Military Association of America (presenter),and Maureen Siedor, Director of Legal Services Unit at Swords to Plowshare.
Vito Imbasciani MD, Secretary of CalVet - Keynote Speaker

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. 



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

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 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.



Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, District 44 - Guest Speaker 

Jacqui Irwin was first elected in 2014 to represent California’s 44th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Camarillo, Moorpark, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Thousand Oaks, and Westlake Village.

As the former Mayor of Thousand Oaks, Irwin understands the importance of working across party lines at the national, state, and local level to help make her community one of the safest places to live and raise a family.

In her first term in the Assembly, Irwin successfully authored numerous pieces of legislation into law and brought vital state funds back to her community. Through her leadership funding was allocated for the creation of the CSU Channel Island School of Engineering and for innovation centers on UC campuses to transform UC research into products. Her legislation created tax-free savings accounts for the disabled, increased the cybersecurity of state agencies, and removed barriers for military service members seeking mental health services.

Irwin continued her focus on ensuring safety for California families with laws that protect children from unsafe products, assist law enforcement investigating online crime, and empower parents to safeguard their child’s identity. Irwin also championed the environment with laws that expanded the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, promoted renewable energy resources, while also leading efforts to utilize the local brine line to bring purified water to local farmers.

Assemblymember Irwin currently chairs the Veterans Affairs Committee, and is a member of the Agriculture Committee, Business & Professions Committee, Higher Education Committee, and the Privacy & Consumer Protection Committee.


Zoe Dunning-California Veterans Board Member

 Zoe Dunning, of Oakland, serves on the California Veterans Board. A retired Commander in the United States Navy Supply Corps, she served on active duty from 1985 - 1991, and in the reserves 1991 - 2007. CDR Dunning was one of the leaders in the efforts to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. In 1993 she came out publicly as a lesbian and subsequently won her Don't Ask, Don't Tell administrative discharge hearing, and served as an open lesbian for 13 years in the Navy Reserves prior to the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. She stood next to President Obama as he signed the repeal legislation in 2010. She also serves on the United States World War 1 Centennial Commission, as an Advisory Board member for the nonprofit Vets in Tech, and as Board President for the non-profit Wall of Vets. She holds an MBA from Stanford University, and is a 1985 graduate of the United States Naval Academy.


Rick Chavez Zbur, Exective Director of Equality California - Presenter 

 Rick Chavez Zbur is a distinguished lawyer with a long history of advocacy for LGBTQ+ and environmental causes. Zbur has served as Executive Director of Equality California since 2014, when he retired from Latham & Watkins, one of the world’s largest and most respected law firms, where he was a senior partner and practiced law for 29 years.

 At Equality California, Zbur has led the organization through a period of significant growth and an expansion of its mission to include advancing civil rights and social justice for the diverse communities to which LGBTQ+ people belong — communities of color, communities of faith, immigrants, women and people living with HIV.

A lifelong LGBTQ+ trailblazer, Zbur was Latham & Watkins’ first openly gay attorney and first openly gay partner. He worked in all aspects of the firm’s environmental, land and resource practice, including leading the firm’s extensive work before the California Coastal Commission.

Zbur was cited one of Southern California’s top ten environmental attorneys by the Los Angeles Business Journal in its 2009 “Who’s Who in Law” feature. He was also cited as a leading environmental attorney by the Los Angeles Business Journal in 2008 and 2009.

A proud co-parent to three children with their lesbian co-parents, Zbur grew up in a farming community in the Rio Grande Valley south of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where his mother, Erlinda Chavez Zbur and her family have lived for generations.

Zbur is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School.



Jennifer Dane, Exective Director of Modern Military Association of America - Presenter 

Jennifer Dane is a veteran of the United States Air Force who served as an intelligence analyst focusing on geopolitical, terrorism, and threat vulnerability issues. Jennifer currently serves as the Executive Director of the Modern Military Association of America - the nation’s largest non-profit organization working to advance fairness and equality for the LGBTQ military and veteran community.

 Jennifer has earned a diversity and inclusion certificate from Cornell University, an associate degree in Intelligence Studies from the Community College of the Air Force, a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Bethel University, and a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice from Arizona State University. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in Education Policy with an emphasis on history at The Ohio State University. Jennifer is a past fellow of The Mission Continues – Service Leadership Corps and Veterans in Global Leadership.

Jennifer continually strives to change the world through learning, engaging with others, and honoring her commitment to leaving the world a better place than it was before she was born.



Maureen “Mo” Siedor , Director of Legal Services, Swords to Plowshares - Presenter

Maureen “Mo” Siedor directs Swords to Plowshares’ Legal Services Unit which provides assistance and legal representation to homeless and low-income veterans on their veterans’ benefits and military discharge upgrade cases. She originally joined Swords’ legal team in 2014. Prior to serving as Legal Director, Mo worked at the Center for Veterans’ Advancement at Public Counsel and the Homeless Veterans Project of Inner City Law Center. She began her legal careers as a staff attorney at DNA-People’s Legal Services providing legal assistance to victims of domestic violence on the Navajo Nation. She is a graduate of Boston College Law School and Barnard College of Columbia University, and is a member of the State Bars of California and Colorado.



Major General Matthew P. Beevers, California National Guard - Guest Speaker

Major General Matthew P. Beevers was appointed as Assistant Adjutant General -Army, California National Guard by Governor Edmund G. Brown on 16 April 2011. He provides current and future operational oversight to The Adjutant General for Army and Air National Guard matters in the state of California. General Beevers was commissioned through the Early Commissioning Program at New Mexico Military Institute. During his command, he participated in Operation Garden Plot, the response to the Rodney King verdict civil unrest in Los Angeles. After completion of the Armor Officer Advanced Course, General Beevers served as the Assistant Brigade S3 with 3rd Brigade, 40th Infantry Division (Mechanized). He then served as Operations Officer with the 69th Press Camp Headquarters, deploying with the 69th Press Camp Headquarters to Bosnia – Herzegovina in support of Operation Joint Forge. General Beevers continued to serve in the 69th Press Camp Headquarters as Executive Officer and later as Commander, deploying to Hungary with Task Force Warrior to train and equip the Free Iraqi Forces in the run up to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon his return, he was assigned as Executive Officer, 100th Troop Command and later deployed as the Director of Strategic Communications, Combined Forces Command – Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom. General Beevers returned to the 100th Troop Command as Executive Officer and later served as Assistant Chief of Staff, California Army National Guard. Upon completion of Senior Service College, he was assigned as Director, Command, Control, Communications and Computer Systems, J6 and later as Director of Operations, J3, Joint Force Headquarters – California. General Beevers went on to command the 100th Troop Command, California Army National Guard.