Women Lead at Fresno EOC

Posted on Mar 07, 2018
(Photo from left: Angie Isaak, Linda Hayes, Debbie Darden, and Deanna Mathies)


After more than 30 years, Fresno EOC once again has a woman serving as Board Chair. Linda Hayes was elected to the role by her peers to serve in this leadership capacity for 2018. Hayes is the second woman to be elected for chair and the first African American woman in the role.

This year also brought us another first, all board leadership positions are held by women. Alongside Hayes are 3 other women: First Vice Chair, Deanna Mathies, Second Vice Chair, Angie Isaak and Treasurer, Debbie Darden.

“I think this is a step towards the right direction for the board. It is heartening to be in a position of leadership and have my experiences of being a woman, and specifically a black woman, be valued at Fresno EOC. Representation matters- and I hope to be a great role model to young girls, like my two young daughters, to be an active change agent in their communities,” says Linda Hayes, Board Chair.

Luisa Medina was the Board’s first woman chair, serving from 1985-1988 in that capacity. She recalls she was one of a just a few women on the historically male-dominated board. Today half of the board are women.  When asked about what she thought about the results of the recent election she remarked, “It has been in the back of mind over the years that we need to get another woman in leadership. I really do think it’s significant especially given who the clients are- a vast majority of below income families that are in poverty are headed by women- and I think it is appropriate that the leadership reflect that.”

Fresno EOC’s commitment to equal leadership is further demonstrated in the agency staff leadership team. Half of the Leadership Team are women and 9 out of 20 directors are women. “As CEO I recognize and value the contributions of a diverse team,” Brian Angus remarked “it is important for the future of this agency to have women in positions of power and leadership.”