Achieving a Better Life Experience for People With Disabilities (CalABLE)

The Seven-Member CalABLE Board


Fiona Ma

Fiona Ma, CPA
State Treasurer

Background: Ms. Fiona Ma was elected California State Treasurer in November 2018. She previously served as Chair and Vice Chair of the California State Board of Equalization from 2015 to 2019, representing more than nine million taxpayers. There, she led historic reforms to increase efficiency and transparency at the agency. As a state legislator, she was the first and only Asian-American woman ever elected California Assembly Speaker pro Tempore, the second-highest ranking office in the Assembly. During her time as a legislator, she passed landmark legislation to ban toxic chemicals in children’s toys, protect small business-owners and expand opportunities for homeowners. She previously served as a San Francisco Supervisor.


Malia Cohen

Malia M. Cohen
State Controller

State Controller Malia M. Cohen was elected in November 2022, following her service on the California State Board of Equalization (BOE), the nation’s only elected tax commission responsible for administering California’s $100 billion property tax system. She was elected to the BOE in November 2018 and was Chair in 2019 and 2022. As Controller, she continues to serve the Board as its fifth voting member.

As chief fiscal officer of the world’s fifth-largest economy, Controller Cohen’s primary responsibility is to account for and protect the state‘s financial resources. Controller Cohen also independently audits government agencies that spend state funds, safeguards many types of property until claimed by the rightful owners, and administers the payroll system for state government employees and California State University employees. She serves on 70 boards and commissions with authority ranging from affordable housing to crime victim compensation to land management.


Joe Stephenshaw

Joe Stephenshaw
Director of Finance

Background: Joe Stephenshaw was appointed as Director of the California Department of Finance by Governor Newsom in July of 2022. In this role, he serves as the Governor’s Chief Fiscal Policy Advisor. Prior to his appointment, Stephenshaw served in Governor Newsom’s Office as a Senior Counselor on Infrastructure and Fiscal Affairs.

Stephenshaw was Staff Director for the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee from 2017 to 2022. He held multiple positions in the California Legislature from 2008 to 2017, including serving as a Policy Consultant in the Office of the Senate President pro Tempore, a Special Advisor to the Speaker of the Assembly, and as a Budget Consultant for both the Assembly Budget Committee and the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee. Stephenshaw was a Budget Analyst for the California Department of Finance from 2005 to 2008.

Stephenshaw is a graduate of Menlo College with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He also earned a Master of Business Administration degree from California State University, Sacramento.

Wesley Witherspoon

Wesley Witherspoon
Chairperson of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities

Background: Wesley Witherspoon is the consumer advocate at USC’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), where he has worked for 15 years. He attended Special Education classes up to 11th grade and took regular classes while he was in school. After receiving a high school diploma, Wesley attended El Camino College, receiving an Associate’s degree in General Studies. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Wesley received awards and many reviews from consumers, parents, service providers, and organizations for his good work. Since May 2018, Wesley has served on the State Council of Developmental Disabilities, where he is the chair of the Employment First Committee and serves on the Legislative Public Policy Committee. Last year, he went to Washington DC to discuss the state of people with disabilities in California and advocated for more employment for people with disabilities at AUCD nationwide.

Joe Xavier

Joe Xavier
Director of the Department of Rehabilitation

Background: Mr. Joe Xavier was a small business owner for over 14 years before beginning his career in public administration in 1998. As a former Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) consumer, he has a profound understanding of the opportunities and barriers individuals with disabilities may face on their path to meaningful employment. Joe served as a gubernatorial appointee at DOR since 2008 and was most recently appointed as Director in February 2014.

Joe’s experience in business and public administration has spanned over 32 years. Joe has been actively involved in advocacy and community organizations, including the Association of State Employees with Disabilities and the Asian Pacific State Employees Association. He is a fellow of the Sierra Health Foundation leadership institute, graduate of the National Rehabilitation Leadership Institute, and alumna of the California Health and Human Services Agency Leadership Academy.

Nancy Bargmann

Nancy Bargmann
Director of the Department of Developmental Services

Background: Nancy Bargmann was appointed Director of the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) on March 4, 2016, by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. Director Bargmann has extensive experience in the developmental services field, both in the private, non-profit and corporate sectors, and the state.

Ms. Bargmann served as Associate Executive Director at the San Gabriel-Pomona Regional Center from 2015 - March 2016; and as Deputy Director of Community Services Division at DDS from 2012 – 2015. She served as Executive Director at Home Ownership for Personal Empowerment Inc., from 2009 to 2012; and as Vice President at MENTOR Network from 1998 to 2009; and held several positions at the Inland Regional Center from 1985 to 1998.

Ms. Bargmann started her career working with individuals who have developmental disabilities with the Orange County ARC in 1984.

A native Californian, Ms. Bargmann was born and raised in San Bernardino. She earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Pepperdine University School of Business and Management, and a Master of Science degree in Social Work from San Diego State University.

Lisa Hayes

Ligia Zuniga
Chairperson of the State Independent Living Council

Ligia Andrade Zuniga, MPA, is a disability rights advocate and leader focused on the empowerment of marginalized and underrepresented communities primarily women of color with disabilities. Being a first-generation Guatemalan American-woman of color, preserving cultural identity, while embracing intersection and interdependence is extremely important to her.

Ligia attended Notre Dame De Namur University in Belmont California and has worked in local government and nonprofit for over 15 years. In 2009 almost a year after graduating from graduate school Ligia sustained a spinal cord injury which opened the door to the disability community. Six months later she began to volunteer as a peer supporter through the Spinal Cord Injury Peer Support Program at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center where she rehabilitated and still continues to do so. In 2010 Ligia began working for the Silicon Valley Independent Living Center in the deinstitutionalization program where she learned about the Independent Living Movement.

Currently, she works as a Sexuality and Disability Educator and Advocate, empowering, educating, and creating access for individuals with disabilities and their allies on sexual health, healthy relationships, and reproductive health rights. Ligia is highly involved in civic engagement locally primarily influencing policy and regulation around individuals with disabilities. Groups she is affiliated with include; San Mateo County Commission on Disabilities, San Mateo County Public Authority Advisory Committee, San Mateo County Cal Medi Connect Committee, San Mateo County Health Commission, and Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities Board of Directors.

Ligia also values the visibility of parents with disabilities and has made sure parents with disabilities are visible and taken into consideration through the school experience with their children. Serving on boards and committees, and being present for activities such as football games, and parent-teacher conferences is a way she has made sure that happens.

Ligia Andrade Zuniga resides in San Mateo with her partner and two sons 21 and 16.