Senior Advocate Steps Up to Lead CalChamber Policy Team

Jennifer Barrera, senior policy advocate for the California Chamber of Commerce, took over as senior vice president of policy and leader of the policy team on February 1.

She will oversee the development and implementation of CalChamber policy and strategy. Barrera led CalChamber advocacy on labor and employment and taxation from September 2010 through the end of 2017. She will continue to head CalChamber’s legal reform efforts, as she has since June 2012.

Barrera succeeds Jeanne Cain, a 18-year CalChamber veteran and outgoing executive vice president of policy.

“For the last 13 months, Jennifer and Jeanne have worked closely on developing policy strategy,” said CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg. “I am confident that CalChamber’s impact in the State Capitol will remain strong and effective under Jennifer’s leadership. She has distinguished herself as a successful attorney and policy advocate who has worked diligently on behalf of CalChamber members to protect our business climate.”

In addition to her advocacy duties, Barrera advises the CalChamber business compliance division about interpreting changes in employment law.

Before joining the CalChamber staff, Barrera had worked since May 2003 at a statewide law firm (now Carothers, DiSane & Freudenberger, LLP) that specializes in labor/employment defense. She represented employers in both state and federal court on a variety of issues, including wage and hour disputes, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, breach of contract, and wrongful termination.

She also advised both small and large businesses on compliance issues, presented seminars on various employment-related topics, and regularly authored articles in human resources publications.

Barrera earned a B.A. in English from California State University, Bakersfield, and a J.D. with high honors from California Western School of Law.

Cain plans to devote more time to her responsibilities as president of Fairview Farms, Inc., a family farming operation in Northern California, and will continue as a board member of California Women Lead. She will put nearly three decades of experience in public policy to use on various projects, including consulting with CalChamber on health care issues.