LOS ANGELES — The two-month-old Los Angeles chapter of Women in Public Finance has announced its inaugural luncheon, “Roundtable on Current Topics for Municipalities,” March 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the downtown Los Angeles office of Squire Sanders, located at 555 S. Flower Street, 31st Floor.

As the Chicago-based Women in Public Finance entered its 14th year in existence, its organizers made a decision to start adding chapters and affiliates, according to president Elizabeth Weber, a partner of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP. Chapters formed in Los Angeles, Minnesota, and Ohio in 2011. Indiana added an affiliate in 2012.

The group expects to add additional chapters this year as public finance professionals from several other regions have expressed an interest in starting a local chapter or affiliation, Weber said.

The Los Angeles chapter was formed in December 2011 when more than 25 members voted to join the national organization, according to organizers.

A number of officers and directors were elected.

Harriet Welch, a partner at Squire Sanders, will serve as founding president. Katie Koster of Piper Jaffray & Co., will be vice president of programs. Carmen Vargas of Cabrera Capital Markets LLC was tapped as vice president and national coordinator. Lisa Smith of Loop Capital will be secretary. Natalie Brill, debt manager of Los Angeles, will be treasurer.

“The Women in Public Finance Los Angeles Chapter wants to provide a forum for women in the public finance area to be recognized and to share their experiences with others,” Welch said.

Vargas, who will serve as a liaison between the local chapter and national organization, said WPF encourages women to develop careers in public finance through mentoring programs and by providing guidance to mentoring relationships.

The chapter plans to offer seminars, panel discussions, and informal events in conjunction with other industry organizations and for philanthropic causes, said Koster, who will organize events in her new role.

For information regarding the Los Angeles chapter or to RSVP for the lunch, email RSVP@squiresanders.com.

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