About Michaela
Michaela is a Transgender activist, public speaker, groundbreaker and businesswoman with over 40 years of entrepreneurial leadership experience. She speaks from the heart in a touching yet direct way that engages the audience. Her courage, determination, life experiences and successes make her an expert speaker on a multitude of topics.
Michaela Speaks - Activism
Michaela is highly in demand as the "go to person" for major LGBT media outlets for her in depth perspective and "boots on the ground" approach to Activism.
2015: Michaela joined the Trevor Project (first Transgender Board Member). She works to expand their outreach and effectiveness to the Transgender community throughout the country and stands on 2 committees: 1) Finance and 2) Programs/Quality, as well as two sub committees: their Southern Initiative and Crisis Services
Michaela also volunteers on the Trevor Crisis Life Line.
2015: Founded TransCanWork - California Workplace Project (CTWP) whose mission is to make California a trans-positive work place and a model for the rest of the nation. TransCanWork works  closely with major employer groups, educating  management to create an environment for workplace diversity connecting job seekers with employers to create entry level jobs with pathways to management. TransCanWork has formed a coalition with LA LGBT Center, Trans-Latina Coalition and The Trevor Project and works closely with other major LGBT groups to achieve their goals.  Their current project with the CRA (California Restaurant Association) will include A series of HR and educational seminars for restaurant operators  across the state.
Michaela Speaks - Public Speaker
Michaela is an active public speaker on LGBT issues with nearly 200 engagements since 2011. She speaks at a variety of venues including regularly at universities and the Los Angeles Museum of Tolerance. Some recent engagements include; Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, USC Keck Medical School, UCLA, and Cal State University Northridge. Michaela speaks passionately about a wide range of transgender and LGBT subjects.
Michaela Speaks - Groundbreaker
First transgender contestant in the Ms. Senior California Pageant.
Consultant for “Orange is the New Black,” in the development of Laverne Cox’s character.
Michaela Speaks - Business
Michaela has been a successful business owner and CEO since 1973 when she founded and operated Games Unlimited which she built into the largest coin operated game company in California and served on the Board of Directors of the California Coin Machine Association. In 1988 she entered into a franchise agreement with the El Pollo Loco restaurant brand and served as the President of their nationwide franchise association for nine years. She has been instrumental in their brand development as a member of their Marketing Advisory Committee for over 25 years.

Michaela takes a seat on the Workforce Development Board

August 29, 2016 Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti wrote:

"In today's ever-changing and competitive economy, employers in the City of Los Angeles (City) report difficulty finding workers with the right skill sets to meet their workforce needs. This leaves many of our job seekers unable to qualify for available high-skill, well-paying jobs. Addressing this issue of labor force demand and supply imbalances is essential to the work of the City of Los Angeles Workforce Development Board (WDB).
I believe that you can significantly contribute to the WDB's effort to address the skills attainment, career advancement, and economic mobility issues of workers, as well as the human capital needs of employers."

Workplace Diversity
Michaela founds TransCanWork
California Trans Work Project
to make California a trans-positive work place and a model for the nation. TransCanWork is dedicated to working closely with service industries and chambers of commerce to create entry level jobs with pathways to management, through education and training. TransCanWork has formed a coalition with LA LGBT Center, Trans-Latina Coalition and The Trevor Project and works closely with Out & Equal and the DFEH.

TransCanWork has recently received a large grant from the state of Californa to facilitate it's work. On August 30th We will be hosting a major conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center titled, "The New Normal: Trans Inclusivity in the Workplace" as part of the Western Foodservice and Hospitality Expo. Michaela will be speaking on "The Business Case for Inclusivity in the Workplace" as well as moderating the seminar.

The work we are doing at TransCanWork has recently been covered by numerous high-profile media outlets including NPR, Huffington Post and Nation's Restaurant News. Most recently Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has formally requested Michaela's appointment to the LA's Workplace Development Board, to utilize her expertise in helping numerous grantee organizations assist underserved populations in the city.

This comes on the heels of Michaela's speech at the Diversity Job and Career Fair - the largest transgender geared career fair which took place in Southern California with more than 50 major employers in attendance (including Amazon, Microsoft and New York Life). The event was hosted by The City of Los Angeles Workforce Development Board in partnership with the City’s Department on Disability and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Michaela was honored to be on the panel with Rich Llewllyn, legal counsel to Mayor Eric Garcetti.

TransCanWork Website