featured graphic for California State Treasurer Fiona Ma

New California State Treasurer fills staff positions

Fiona Ma, who assumed office Monday as California’s 34th State Treasurer, also completed her top staff appointments this week.

Treasurer Ma previously served on the California State Board of Equalization from 2015 to 2019, representing more than nine million taxpayers. There, she led historic reforms to increase the agency’s efficiency and transparency. While a state legislator from 2006 to 2012 she became the first and only Asian-American woman ever elected California Assembly Speaker pro Tempore, the second-highest ranking office in the Assembly. She was responsible for the passage of landmark legislation that banned toxic chemicals in children’s toys, protected small business-owners and expanded opportunities for homeowners. She also previously served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

“I am surrounding myself with people who will work just as hard as I intend to work on behalf of all Californians,” Treasurer Ma said. “As Treasurer, I want to ensure that we remain the fifth largest economy in the world and at the same time I intend to help us move forward as a state to enable more Californians to participate in our prosperity.”

Treasurer Ma’s appointments include:

Genevieve V. Jopanda: Chief of Staff

Genevieve Jopanda brings to the State Treasurer’s Office almost 20 years of experience in business operations with deep expertise in leadership and organizational development, and a record of success in developing and implementing methodologies that strengthen and maintain the health of organizations. She began her governmental career as a district liaison to then Speaker Pro Tempore Fiona Ma in 2010, serving as liaison to Northern San Mateo County. She previously held supervisory or management positions with the San Francisco Chronicle, Hertz Corporation, Zipcar and the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce. She also headed up the largest hepatitis B screening project in the nation as as Executive Director of SF Hep B Free Campaign, served on the Daly City Parks and Recreation Commission, and is a past recipient of the Filipina Women’s Network Global 100 Most Influential Filipina Award. Most recently, Genevieve served as the Chief Deputy to Fiona Ma at the Board of Equalization.

Tim Schaefer: Deputy Treasurer, Public Finance

Tim Schaefer served in the prior treasurer’s office in the same role. He also founded an Orange County-based public finance advisory firm after serving as president at a similar firm in Southern California, and was a regional vice president with a national financial advisory practice. As a consultant, Schaefer assisted the state with the structuring and sale of complex cash flow borrowings, the largest exceeding $10 billion. He began his career as a municipal bond salesman, syndicate manager, and secondary market trader. He managed the national short-term municipal trading desk at Chemical Bank in New York and the Public Finance Division of Bank of America. He also served more than twenty years on the Technical Assistance Committee to the California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission and acted as a private sector advisor to the Standing Committee on Governmental Debt of the Government Finance Officers Association.

Audrey Noda: Deputy Treasurer, Health & Education

Audrey Noda was a key member of the executive team under the prior treasurer, directing business development and external affairs. She worked to advance and launch core programs and initiatives and built partnerships with local governments and statewide networks with business organizations and stakeholder groups. She has more than 25 years of experience working in government. She was deputy chief of staff and assistant deputy controller to California State Controller John Chiang, and served as chief deputy at the Board of Equalization. She was an appointee under Governor Gray Davis, serving as deputy appointments secretary, assistant secretary, and legislation and executive director to the Commission on Infrastructure at the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency. She is an advocate for women’s issues, a past president of the Asian Pacific Women’s Network, and a co-founder of the Asian Pacific Women’s Center, a transitional housing center for survivors of domestic violence.

Jovan Agee: Deputy Treasurer, Housing & Economic Development

Jovan Agee is a veteran legislative advocate, strategic coalition builder and community relations professional. He served in the prior treasurer’s office as the deputy treasurer for legislative affairs. He has more than 15 years of professional experience in the public and private sectors helping prominent individuals and organizations advance their missions to improve the social and economic conditions of people and communities. He served as capitol director for former Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas and was a senior advisor to former Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. Agee is solutions-oriented and passionate about community revitalization and wealth building.

Kasey O’Connor: Legislative Director

Kasey O’Connor was the director of legislation and strategic partnerships for former Board of Equalization member Fiona Ma. Before that, she was the government affairs communications manager for the California Society of CPAs, where she worked on policy and regulations for the CPA profession, the California business community, and taxpayers. Kasey also has a strong policy background in such issue areas as veterans’ affairs, healthcare, the public employees retirement system, and environmental safety. She worked for a number of California State Assembly members, including then Assembly Speaker pro Tempore Fiona Ma.

Mark DeSio: Communications Director

Mark DeSio previously served as an information specialist handling statewide media for the U.S. Geological Survey, Water Science Center at California State University, Sacramento. He started his news career in 1982 as a reporter for the Visalia Times-Delta. He later wrote for the Redding Record Searchlight and the Oroville Mercury-Register newspapers. He entered state service in 1997 as a public information officer at CalPERS. In 2000, Gov. Gray Davis appointed DeSio as Assistant Secretary for Public Communications at the Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency. After that he was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as Deputy Director of External Affairs at Caltrans, where he worked from 2003 – 2010. He was a consultant for two public relations firms from 2010-2016. In 2016, he was appointed deputy director of external affairs by the Board of Equalization.

Frank Ruffino: Pension and Benefits Director

Frank Ruffino served six years as a gubernatorial appointee to the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners. He was appointed by the state Senate to serve as a member of the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists. He was the general services administrator at the California Department of Veterans Affairs; a regional administrative officer at the California Department of Fish and Games; and community partnership manager at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility. From 1985 to 2000, he served multiple management positions in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. In addition, Ruffino served as chair of the Board of the California State Employees Association, and as president of the Association of California State Supervisors.

Kathryn Asprey: Director of Constituent Affairs

Kathryn Asprey served for four years as senior tax policy advisor for former Board of Equalization Member Fiona Ma. Prior to that, from 2002 to 2014, she worked for the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, serving as a tax specialist and technical advisor in the agency’s Oakland District Office.

Gloria Li: State Director of External Affairs

Gloria Li joined then Board of Equalization member Fiona Ma’s office in 2015 as a district liaison to constituents in the Bay Area. She worked closely with taxpayers, providing resources and support. She speaks fluent Cantonese and Mandarin, and reads and writes Chinese. She also has worked in finance and marketing for among others Bloomberg LP, where she was a data analyst. In addition, she was a cross border private equity analyst for two years in Beijing.

The article above was released by the California State Treasurer.