AlexandreChief Executive OfficerChandra
AlexandreChief Executive Officer
Chandra Alexandre, the Chief Executive Officer of Community Action Marin, is a seasoned nonprofit executive and fund development professional with 20 years of experience supporting organizations to social justice outcomes. Her work has helped strengthen regional affordable housing and early childhood education initiatives, expand education reform strategies nationally, and resource grassroots-led movement building for global women’s rights.
While at the Bay Area Council, she was commended by the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women for her work leading outreach, community engagement, and fundraising to support the 2011 APEC Women & The Economy Summit hosted by Secretary Hillary Clinton. Prior to her nonprofit roles, Chandra worked in financial services and for the US Department of State.
She has taught both full-time and part-time students in the University of San Francisco’s Master’s in Nonprofit Administration program focused on philanthropy and is an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, serving her local chapter as President in 2019. She is a mentor nationally in the AFP Women’s Mentoring and Leadership Development Program and locally in the United Nations Association of San Francisco. She is a member of the Strive Together Leadership Program focused on equity efforts in Marin County. Chandra is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and holds a certificate in Ethical Leadership from the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. She graduated from Columbia with a dual degree in psychology and philosophy and holds MBA and Ph.D degrees.
Chandra’s commitment to equity serves her well at Community Action Marin, where board and staff are standing with low-income families and individuals struggling to find opportunity and fulfill their dreams in challenging times. Her vision is to help propel local efforts to eradicate disparities forward while promoting self-sufficiency for all in a county that has the largest inequities between racial groups in California. Doing this will require a healing-centered approach that brings awareness of community trauma to the fore. Under her leadership, Community Action Marin will continue to provide the high-quality services necessary to meet community needs while also fostering and advocating for a thriving Marin County.Mike
CairnsChief Financial OfficerMike
CairnsChief Financial Officer
Mike Cairns brings 34 years of broad experience in Finance and Operations. Mike’s deep experience encompasses a broad range of enterprises. It covers everything from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and most recently institutions of higher learning. Along the way, Mike has engaged in over 20 M&A transactions, four successful turnaround situations and several start-ups and joint ventures.
Since 2015, Mike served as CFO and Vice President of Finance and Operations at San Francisco Theological Seminary. Through increased utilization of real estate, he has increased the Seminary’s annual revenue by over $1 million (14%). He was previously CFO and Vice President for Finance and Administration for Saybrook University. Saybrook is a non-profit, graduate school rooted in the humanistic psychology movement.
Mike grew up working on farms in Scotland. He emigrated to the United States to attend the University of Hartford where he earned his B.A. in Business Administration. Later, he moved to San Francisco and received an M.B.A. from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.
For the past 20 years, Mike has served in executive positions, he also started his own consulting firm. He teaches as an adjunct professor in business and accounting at College of Marin where he recently co-developed two certificate programs. Mike also teaches in the Marin School of Environmental Leadership, helping to create future (sustainable business) entrepreneurs.
Mike volunteers as an accreditation evaluator for WASC, is a judge for the Better Business Bureau Torch Awards for Ethics, and most recently was elected Treasurer and Chair of the Finance, Personnel and Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees at Goddard College.
In his spare time, Mike enjoys the teamwork of Tough Mudders, is a triathlete and a Double Dipsea survivor. Mike is committed to his family in Scotland and the U.S., is a dog lover, reads the Economist every week, and his favorite movie is Love Actually.Cassie
Cassie Ristine started her personnel training back in 1988 while enlisted with the U.S. Navy. In July 2000, Cassie began her employment with Community Action Marin as the Payroll Specialist and in 2002, she attended Sonoma State University where she received her education in Human Resource Management and was quickly promoted to Human Resources Director.
Cassie’s ability to deal with sensitive information and her knowledge of CAM policies and procedures has served the Agency well. Among Cassie’s many valued qualities, she is deeply committed to working in a collaborative, transparent and inclusive manner, which allows her to build positive and lasting relationships with staff and peers. Cassie serves as a member of the Executive Team, Management Team, and is a member of the union negotiation team for the agency.Laurel
HillProgram DirectorSafety Net ServicesLaurel
HillProgram DirectorSafety Net Services
Laurel Hill, Vice President of Mental Health Services, is an experienced executive with a long history in civic and social services. She has worked at Community Action Marin for 29 years in various roles, including as a Program Manager, VP of Children and Family Services, and Deputy Director.
In her present role, Laurel oversees all of the agency’s adult- and family-serving programs including Peer Mental Health, Family Partners, Economic Opportunity and Central Kitchen; collectively these programs serve 1,500 people a year with a budget of over $4 M and 45 staff. Laurel has deep experience managing State- and Federally-funded programs, and is particularly skilled at results-oriented outcome management, budget development and management, and outcome data collection and analysis.
Laurel’s prior professional experience includes work in the planning department for the City of Fairfax, and in escrow for a local real estate company.
Born and raised in Marin County, Laurel has a passion for galvanizing the community to engineer local solutions to local conditions of poverty, and promoting maximum participation in civic life for those with low incomes.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts from San Francisco State University with a focus in English Language and Literature/Letters. She now lives in Petaluma and enjoys gardening, the beach, and time with nearby family, including a 23-year-old daughter and two stepsons, both in their thirties.Monique
LiebhardVice President, Children and Family ServicesMonique
LiebhardVice President, Children and Family Services
Monique Liebhard began her career in the field of early childhood education as a preschool teacher in Oakland CA. She has more than twenty-five years of experience and her expertise spans from early intervention, case management, state subsidized childcare, to grants management and facilities development. She has served as the director of several large child development centers inclusive of Head Start and California Department of Education funding and has been involved in projects that have influenced early care and education for childcare initiatives in the state of California, such as First 5 California, California Early Childhood Mentor Program, West Ed-California Inclusion Behavior Consultation (CIBC) project, and several county QRIS programs. Additionally, she has taught courses in Early Childhood Education and Human Development at several California Community Colleges and holds a Master of Science degree in Educational Psychology.Heather
BettiniProgram DirectorEconomic OpportunityHeather
BettiniProgram DirectorEconomic Opportunity
Heather Bettini grew up in Marin County and is passionate about advancing social justice and equity so everyone has the opportunity to reach his/her full potential. Heather is Community Action Marin’s Economic Opportunity Director, and in this capacity, she leads the implementation of a proven financial/career coaching model and delivery of basic needs services that mitigate economic disparities in the community. Part of her work focuses on bridging resource gaps for low-income families who are unable to make ends meet, largely due to the 48% cost of living increase in Marin County over the past four years (2014-2018).
Prior to working at Community Action Marin, Heather led a national pilot project administered by the Center for Law and Social Policy and the American Association of Community Colleges, which demonstrated that when low-income students accessed additional financial support services, they realized greater success in school and in their careers. Heather earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Sciences with a focus in Cross-Cultural Studies, and minors in International Relations and French.
Heather has worked with the United Nations Environment Program in several capacities in Kenya, Germany and South Korea. Heather was a Peace Corps Master’s International student at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, where she earned a Master of Public Administration in International Management degree while serving as a Youth Development Peace Corps Volunteer in Belize City, Belize. While there, she conducted research on cognitive and emotional challenges Belizean children faced that impeded integration into their schools and communities. Heather is proficient in French and Creole and has basic Spanish skills.Jan
YarishHead Start Program DirectorChildren and Family Services
Administration and Program Leadership
NealFacilities & Contract ManagerGary
NealFacilities & Contract Manager
Gary Neal joined Community Action Marin in April of 2011 as a night janitor working at Old Gallinas Children Center. After three years he moved to facilities maintenance.
Prior to Community Action Marin, Gary worked the night shifts at Safeway stocking shelves and UPS loading the brown trucks. He also sold electronic equipment on eBay when eBay first started. His choices all supported being a stay-at-home dad to raise his son. His true calling was Landscape Contracting which he worked at for many years.
He shares his Santa Venetia home with his son, wife, two cats, two parrots and a snake. Gary has enjoyed backpacking, fly fishing in the past. He currently likes to read in his leisure time, and has a love of gardening his vegetables, roses and an outrageous lemon tree.
He attended UC Davis, where he met his wife of 31 years, and studied Biochemistry.Annie
LouisPeer Education InstructorAnnie
LouisPeer Education Instructor
Annie Louis has been working in the mental health program at Community Action Marin since Feb. 2018. Annie’s first position was as a CARE Team Mobile Outreach Peer Case Manager. She is currently the Peer Education Instructor and co-facilitator of Duel Diagnosis at the Enterprise Recovery Center.
Annie’s area of expertise is peer counseling, supervising people with addiction, and those with a criminal background by helping them re-enter the workforce.
Annie gained valuable experience from past employment. She worked for Goodwill of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin and for Salvation Army Drug Rehabilitation Center as a manager, and at San Francisco Legal Assistance Foundation, where she advocated for mental health clients who had been denied SSI benefits by writing legal briefs and representing them in court.
Annie holds an undergraduate degree in biology from Mills College in Oakland, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. She also holds an MPA degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and was awarded a Public Service Fellowship from the Department of Education.
She has a passion for counseling, teaching and inspiring hope, helping people with mental health challenges feel empowered, accepted, and valued.
Raised in Tiburon, CA. Annie has two grown daughters who gives her the greatest joy and meaning in life. In her spare time, Annie enjoys hiking, playing the flute, and spending time with her three pets.Iris
Allen-WillisDirect Services Manager of Peer Support SpecialistsIris
Allen-WillisDirect Services Manager of Peer Support Specialists
Iris joined Community Action Marin in November 2015 as a Peer Case Manager with our CARE Homeless Outreach Teams.
Iris also served as a Case Manager for Marin County’s Odyssey Program, which supports adults who struggle with severe mental health symptoms and, as a result, are homeless or at risk of being homeless.
Iris was recently promoted to Direct Services Manager of Peer Support Specialists. In this position, she provides leadership, education, problem solving and supervision to Direct Service Peer Providers working with the mental health service adult system of care throughout Marin County.
Iris holds a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Philosophy from Fisk University.
Raised in the Bay Area as the oldest of 3 children, Iris has a passion for jazz and politics.Michael
PayneCARE Homeless Outreach Team CoordinatorMichael
PayneCARE Homeless Outreach Team Coordinator
Michael Payne is the former director of Community Action Marin’s Peer Mental Health Program and served in that capacity for 20 years before retiring in July of 2015.
He returned to Community Action Marin in March of 2019 as a Senior Counseling Peer Specialist to work with the County of Marin’s STAR Program. He then turned his attention to Community Action Marin’s CARE Homeless Outreach as the Team’s Coordinator.
Michael has over thirty years in the field of mental health working with Veterans and the general public in both counseling and administrative capacities.
He holds a degree in Electronics Engineering Technology and worked in that field for over five years before turning his attention toward Vietnam Veterans where he began his counseling career.
Using his skill as a professional equine specialist and peer counselor, Michael still works with Veterans volunteering in the field of equine assisted therapy
Michael is a published poet, amateur radio enthusiast, and enjoys reading about and researching human behavior. He lives on a small horse ranch in Novato.Maricruz
AldanaWorkforce ManagerChildren and Family ServicesMaricruz
AldanaWorkforce ManagerChildren and Family Services
Maricruz Aldana has worked for Community Action Marin for the last 12 years, where she spent 10 of those years in a teaching capacity with children ranging from ages two years old to 13 years old in the Child Development Program. She has served the role as Workforce Manager for the last two years, supporting an entering workforce for the early childhood education field. Maricruz holds a bachelor’s in arts in Human Development with a concentration in Early Childhood Education and Development from Pacific Oaks College. She has developed a passion for providing quality services for children and families and for supporting the workforce to make it possible. She currently serves as Commissioner of Marin County Child Care Commission.Darcy
WoodallEnterprise Recovery Center ManagerFamily and Community ServicesGary
Gary Intersimone joined Community Action Marin as Finance Manager in March 2018, bringing 30 years of experience in Accounting.
Gary has served previously as Finance Director for MAC’s Children & Family Services Inc., Finance Manager for Wardrobe for Opportunity, Finance Director for Arcadian Health Plan, Senior Accountant for Scripps Health Inc.
Gary was raised in Burbank, California as the oldest child in a family of two kids. He has a passion for home improvement, cooking and gardening. He now lives in Santa Rosa, California with his German Shephard dog named Stormy, and enjoys eating out and concerts.Dawn
HensleyFamily Partners Program DirectorFamily and Community Services
Board of Directors
SimmonsPresident of the BoardRetired Urban Planner & Housing Finance ExpertJoe
SimmonsPresident of the BoardRetired Urban Planner & Housing Finance Expert
Joe Simmons is now retired after a career of forty-five years in urban planning and low-income housing financing. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Rice University, a Masters in Regional and Community Planning from the University of Rhode Island and a PhD in urban planning from UCLA. His professional career has included working for the Mayor’s Office in Denver and teaching at the University of Colorado and Iowa State University. Following his doctoral studies, he found that his planning experience provided a seamless transition into the financing of low income housing. The last twenty years of his working life were spent in the provision of funding for nonprofit low-income and community facility developers throughout the country. After retiring in 2012, Joe still resides in Novato, and has become active on boards in Marin County.Meredith
ParnellVice President of the BoardMeredith
ParnellVice President of the Board
Meredith Parnell grew up in Marin, where her parents were involved in local politics and taught her about the power of an organized citizenry. A former attorney, she has worked in the non-profit world for the last sixteen years, directing communications for Congregation Rodef Sholom and serving as executive director at MarinKids. Now working at the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Marin, she has also been a leader with Marin Organizing Committee since its beginnings in the early 2000s, fighting hard for funding for the public safety net, establishing renter protections, and protecting undocumented essential workers.Danielle
GeorgeSecretary of the BoardMarriage and Family TherapistDanielle
GeorgeSecretary of the BoardMarriage and Family Therapist
Danielle George has lived and worked in Marin County since 2015. She is a Marriage and Family Therapist. Prior to joining the private sector, Danielle worked for the County of Marin to ensure children and families were connected to mental health services in the community.
Danielle has a Masters in Clinical Psychology, and in addition to doing traditional therapy, she has experience in mental health plan contract management, substance use treatment, and involuntary hospitalizations. In her current position, she interacts with and supports families that are in crisis, struggling with substance use, insecure housing, or feeling the impact of mental health issues on their family. Danielle tries to always carry the perspective of the families she works with into her role as a board member for Community Action Marin.James
McLeanTreasurer of the BoardJames
McLeanTreasurer of the BoardChief Financial Officer at IDEO.org
James is currently the CFO at IDEO.org where he oversees the Finance and Accounting function, Business Operations and Human Resources for IDEO.org across all of the studios in the United States as well as Kenya.
James has been doing non-profit financial work for more than 15 years and most recently was the CFO at The Opportunity Institute. At The Opportunity Institute, James was one of the forming Board of Directors and helped build the organization from the ground up. Before that, James was VP of Finance and Administration at Next Generation where he oversaw the organization’s finances, Human Resources, and IT. James has also held finance positions at World Savvy and Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Before jumping into non-profit finance, James was a high school teacher at George Washington High School in San Francisco as well as an Institutional Salesperson on the Asian equities desk at HSBC.
James holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of San Diego and a Master’s in Education from the University of San Francisco. When not in the office, James can be found on the trails of Marin with his wife, 2 kids and 2 dogs.Amanda
Amanda McCarthy is now serving her third term on the Board of Directors. Formally trained as a plant biologist, she brings a unique perspective to the board and is eager to build relationships in the community, working diligently to create a Marin with equal opportunity for all. She has worked with the Marin Childcare Council, Canal Alliance, and Community Action Marin to create a process for large daycare approval in the City of San Rafael and excited to be a member of the agency’s Board of Directors as it supports fundraising, recognition, and advocacy within the community.Cheryl
TimoneyBoard MemberSenior Director, Customer Philanthropy at Salesforce.orgCheryl
TimoneyBoard MemberSenior Director, Customer Philanthropy at Salesforce.org
Cheryl Timoney is currently Senior Director, Customer Philanthropy at Salesforce.org, the social enterprise and philanthropic arm of Salesforce. At Salesforce.org, Cheryl leads the corporate philanthropy strategy to partner nonprofit and education institutions with the best of Salesforce technology and talent so they can better achieve their missions.
Prior to Salesforce.org, Cheryl managed pro bono volunteer programs with Taproot Foundation, and spent many years at nonprofits in the Bay Area developing community and economic development programs to increase access to housing, childcare, asset-building, and mental health services for low-income residents.
Cheryl brings her experience building high impact and cross-sector initiatives that engage corporations, nonprofits, and community members to the CAM mission and board. Cheryl lives in Marin County with her husband and young children.Roger
CrawfordBoard MemberAttorney & Equal Employment Director for the County of Marin
Roger Crawford has lived in Marin County for 12 years and has been a member of the Board of Directors for five years. Roger currently works as the Equal Employment Director for the County of Marin. In that role, he shares responsibility for the development and implementation of the county’s Diversity and Inclusion policies as well as the county’s Race Equity Plan.
Roger is an employment attorney and before working for the county, he worked in San Francisco at the employment law firm, Jackson Lewis and Liebert Cassidy Whitmore. Roger is originally from New York and he received his B.A. from Connecticut College and his law degree from Villanova University. Roger brings his commitment to equity and social justice as well as his legal background to the agency’s Board of Directors. Roger is married with three children.Jennifer
Jennifer came to the board of Community Action Marin through service to Marin Head Start as a liaison for Policy Council, a program oversight group comprised of Head Start parents elected each year. She is fluent in Spanish and has a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of Nevada, Reno. The mission of Community Action Marin to reduce poverty and promote equity speaks to her on a personal level and motivated her continued engagement this year as a board member. Jennifer comes from a diverse background and being a part of the low-income community has inspired her to search out means in which to be of service to others. In this search she found Community Action Marin and is looking forward to many years of service to our community.
Amanda McCarthy > Board Member and Parent
We want to create lasting impact in Marin. We are inspired and taking action to make real our commitments to community. I'm proud to be part of this incredible partnership of staff, board, and community today. Meet the team at Community Action Marin.