Lita Wallach says she views the Woodbridge Municipal Advisory Council as a team working together to make it a better community.
“I rely on them, and I think we rely on each other,” said Wallach, who was appointed the MAC’s new chairwoman in January.
Wallach has been a Woodbridge resident since 1990. She served on the MAC for four years in the 1990s and is now starting her fifth year in her second tenure on the council, an elected council that makes recommendations to county officials about Woodbridge issues.
Wallach said she is especially excited about the MAC’s and community’s role in the 2004 beautification project in the business area of Lower Sacramento Road, between Mokelumne Street and the Woodbridge Irrigation District canal.
“It took a lot of compromising, but that is what it’s about,” she said. “I applaud the county — Tom Flinn (retired public works director). He was concerned about the community being satisfied.”
The downtown beautification project brought a lot of residents and businesspeople together as they talked about how they wanted the business area to look.
“There is a lot of community pride in Woodbridge,” Wallach said.
Born in San Mateo and raised in Burlingame, Wallach is a self-employed consultant who focuses on matching educators with employers and works to get high school and community college students prepared for the workplace, especially in health care. Some students lack reading, math or social skills, and some don’t have a good work ethic.
“A lot of employers have to retrain their workforce,” Wallach said.
Wallach added that she would like teachers to emphasize how subjects like math and science apply to everyday life. That would include the need for math skills in fashion design, auto mechanics and building a bridge.
“I wasn’t so good in algebra,” Wallach said. “I kept asking, ‘Why do I need to know what x is?’ Now I know the importance of algebra. I wish I had it explained to me in my sophomore year of high school.”
Wallach said she works with a lot of high school teachers, including some in Lodi Unified School District, and with San Joaquin Delta College about how to better prepare students for the workforce.
“I like collaboration, working together and working with teams, and so does she,” said Hazel Hill, dean of workforce and economic development at Delta College. “We get along because she has total energy, she is totally organized and she likes to do projects. We have fun doing it, so it doesn’t seem like work.”
Hill and Wallach worked together to acquire grants related to career pathways all the way from kindergarten through 12th grade. They’ve taken eighth-graders on field trips to hospitals so they can see how hospitals operate first hand.
Wallach and her husband, Duffy, who she met when she was attending California State University, Fresno, moved to Lodi in 1988 to live closer to her ailing father. They moved to Woodbridge in 1990 and live in the Wine Country neighborhood.
“I loved Woodbridge and Lodi the minute I set eyes on (them),” Wallach said. “It reminded me a lot of Burlingame.”
Longtime Woodbridge MAC member Tasso Kandris said that Wallach has always enjoyed participating in MAC and community activities. She also did a good job submitting an application that resulted in the MAC receiving the San Joaquin Valley Blueprint Award for its leadership in improving Woodbridge’s business area.
It’s an adventure for Wallach to juggle her professional life, community service and family life, but she manages, even though she works about 60 hours per week, including evenings and weekends.
But it’s nothing her organizational skills can’t handle.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at email@example.com.
Lita Wallach at a glance
Born and raised: Born in San Mateo, grew up in nearby Burlingame.
Residence: Woodbridge since 1990; Lodi for one and a half years before that.
Education: Bachelor of Arts in social science: California State University, Fresno (journalism program); Master of Arts in public administration/political science, San Francisco State University.
Career: President of her own workforce and project management consulting firm; previously director of development at Eberhardt School of Business at University of the Pacific; deputy director of San Joaquin County Health Care Services; public affairs/marketing director for Kaiser Permanente in Stockton; and area manager for external affairs for Pacific Bell and AT&T for 13 Central Valley counties.
Community service: Woodbridge Municipal Advisory Council, Health Care Advisory Committee for 18th Congressional District, San Joaquin County Women’s Center board of directors, Central Valley Health Policy Institute Advisory Board. Previously served on Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce board, Stockton Boys and Girls Club board, Tierra del Oro Girl Scout advisory board and Stockton and Lodi Library Foundation boards.
Hobbies: Playing the flute (just joined Lodi Community Band); spending time with large extended family.
Family: Husband, Duffy Wallach, an AT&T manager for 25 years; son, Patrick, inside sales and ticket manager for the Fresno Grizzlies minor league baseball team; daughter, Kathleen, a senior at California State University, San Diego; mother, Dixie Belletto; mother-in-law, Pat Wallach, of Lodi.
— Source: Lita Wallach