Need assistance with flood damage?
¿Necesita ayuda con los daños por inundaciones?

Call the Home Cleanup Hotline at 844.965.1386
Llame a la línea directa de limpieza de viviendas al 844.965.1386

Leading our
collective mission

Visit our careers page and join our team

Team

Our Community Action Marin team is made up of a diverse set of individuals that mirror our Marin community. These caring people drive the leadership of our agency, are passionate about our mission, and are on the front lines daily creating a stronger community. Take a look at those individuals who contribute to making Community Action Marin the largest social services provider in the county, and enable us to bring our services to thousands of Marin families each year. 

  • Leadership Team
    Chandra Alexandre
    Chandra
    Alexandre
    Chief Executive Officer
    Chandra Alexandre
    Chandra
    Alexandre
    Chief Executive Officer

    Chandra Alexandre, the Chief Executive Officer of Community Action Marin, is a seasoned nonprofit executive and fund development professional with over 20 years of experience supporting organizations to social justice outcomes. Her work has helped to 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.

    Earlier in her career at the Bay Area Council, Chandra 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.

    Chandra has taught fundraising and philanthropy at the University of San Francisco and is proud to serve on their Master’s in Nonprofit Administration Advisory Board. She is board chair of the Marin Promise Partnership, a board member at Presidio Graduate School where she received her MBA in sustainable management, and on the Advisory Council of United Way Bay Area.

    Chandra is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and holds certificates in both Ethical Leadership and DEI for Human Resources. She graduated from Columbia with a dual degree in psychology and philosophy and holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Religion with a focus on Asian & Comparative Studies.

    Chandra’s vision for Community Action Marin is to strengthen levers for change that ensure high-quality services necessary to meet community needs, shifts in narratives about poverty, increased power in community, and advocacy that disrupts the normative in favor of an equitable and thriving Marin County.

    Gina Guillemette
    Gina
    Guillemette
    Chief Strategy Officer
    Gina Guillemette
    Gina
    Guillemette
    Chief Strategy Officer

    Gina’s work to advance racial and economic justice is grounded in her personal values of human dignity, freedom, courage, and joy. With over 25 years of nonprofit experience, Gina has led organizational development efforts as well as policy advocacy in partnership with local communities and service providers to improve outcomes for communities that have been historically marginalized and underserved. Her work has helped improve approaches and increase public investments in early childhood education and family support, immigrant and refugee rights, housing, health care, income supports, and asset building.

    Gina joined Community Action Marin in 2020 where she served as an agency fellow and Chief of Staff. Now as Chief Strategy Officer, Gina leads advancement of agency strategy and advocacy efforts where she partners with leadership to ensure that staff, clients, and community stay at the center of all decision-making. Her work informs cross-agency synergies and guides collective practice to ensure strategic assets are deployed in line with agency priorities. As part of CAM’s Executive Team, Gina provides strategic and operational leadership to create a vibrant organizational culture and achieve outcomes in community to advance racial and economic justice.

    Gina received a Master of Social Work degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, a Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor’s degree from Alma College. Prior to joining the team at CAM, Gina served in a variety of nonprofit leadership roles, including with the Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership and Parent Services Project in California, and Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights and the Ounce of Prevention Fund (now Start Early) in Chicago, Illinois. Gina lives in Marin County where she enjoys local cheese, a year-round garden, and family game nights.

    Liz Valone
    Liz
    Valone
    Chief Program Officer
    Liz Valone
    Liz
    Valone
    Chief Program Officer

    Liz joined Community Action Marin as Vice President of Program & Strategic Initiatives in December 2021, bringing 15 years of experience in non-profit management, program design, and business development for U.S. and international non-profit organizations. Since joining the organization, Liz has increased her responsibilities and as of December 2022, will now oversee all program areas as Chief Program Officer.

    Liz has served previously as Senior Program Development Advisor and Program Director at Mercy Corps, an international non-profit that provides lifesaving humanitarian assistance and long-term development support in over 40 countries. Based in East Africa for six years, she led the design and implementation of country-level and regional initiatives. Her work included raising $115M for Mercy Corps for both humanitarian and development-focused programming.

    Liz first began her career as a non-profit consultant at Odell, Simms & Lynch based in the Washington DC area. Later, she worked as the Director of Training & Development at a social service non-profit organization – Women’s Housing & Economic Development Corporation (WHEDCo), located in the South Bronx. At WHEDCo, Liz led the training, mentorship and establishment of over 80 new businesses among low-income female entrepreneurs. Across these roles, she gained invaluable experience in partnership development, program design, and business development.

    Liz holds a Master in Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a BA in International Affairs from Lewis & Clark College.  She now lives in Ross and enjoys outdoor activities, including trail running and hiking.

     

    Sergio Perez
    Sergio
    Perez
    Chief Financial Officer
    Sergio Perez
    Sergio
    Perez
    Chief Financial Officer

    Sergio joined Community Action Marin as Chief Financial Officer in October 2022, bringing close to 20 years of non-profit accounting and finance experience to the agency.

    After beginning his professional career in public accounting at PwC in Boston, Sergio quickly realized that his true career passion resided in the non-profit sector, particularly at organizations where his work can continuously make a positive impact on the community by providing low-income residents with the tools and resources needed to transition from poverty to stability and from stability to success. For Sergio, this is especially important because the wide array of social services provided to his family as a young child by a community action agency very similar to CAM created an environment in which he was properly cared for, educated, and ultimately placed on a path to his own future success as both a finance and accounting professional and as an attorney in good standing in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As a result, Sergio has never lost sight of where he’s come from and remains dedicated to applying all of the education, skills, and training that he’s attained over the years to helping families within his community that are in need and that come from very similar backgrounds as his own.

    Sergio was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Judicial Doctorate from Suffolk University Law School in Boston. He now lives in Corte Madera and enjoys fitness and spending time with his family.

    Korinna Pedrosa
    Korinna
    Pedrosa
    Vice President, Human Resources
    Korinna Pedrosa
    Korinna
    Pedrosa
    Vice President, Human Resources

    Korinna Pedrosa joined Community Action Marin in June 2021 as the Director of Human Resources and was promoted to Vice President, Human Resources in December, 2022. As a member of the executive team, Korinna is responsible for leading efforts to obtain the highest level of recruitment, development and retention of high-performing, mission-aligned employees. Her role involves defining and shaping the organizational culture, nurturing employee engagement, and implementing people practices that increase the agency’s capacity to fulfill its mission. In her role, she also ensures the agency provides a safe and positive work environment in compliance with legal regulations and in alignment with the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion.

    Prior to joining CAM, Korinna held several HR leadership roles for various organizations including Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission, one of the largest community action agencies in the U.S. As an HR consultant she supported several nonprofits dedicated to serving low income, at-risk and underserved populations.

    She holds an MBA from University of Phoenix, and BA in Mass Communication and Journalism from California State University, Fresno and is HR certified. Her professional community involvement includes having served on the board of Central California Society for Human Resource Management, including as President, and coaching other HR professionals in obtaining professional certification.

    In her free time, Korinna enjoys adventures with her mini schnauzer, outdoor activities and spending time with her two grandsons.

    Heather Bettini
    Heather
    Bettini
    Senior Director, Economic Justice
    Heather Bettini
    Heather
    Bettini
    Senior Director, Economic Justice

    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 who was recently promoted from Director of Economic Justice, is Community Action Marin’s Senior Director, Economic Justice, and in this capacity, she leads the implementation of a proven financial and career coaching model that mitigates economic disparities in the community. Heather also oversees the agency’s workforce development programs which provide the training and skills for community members to secure living-wage employment in high-demand industries.. Part of her work focuses on bridging resource gaps for low-income families who are unable to make ends meet, largely due to the rapidly rising cost of living in Marin County.

    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.

    Michelle Fox
    Michelle
    Fox
    Director of Early Education
    Michelle Fox
    Michelle
    Fox
    Director of Early Education

    Michelle joined Community Action Marin as the Director of Early Education in February 2022, bringing 25 years of experience in early education, coaching, training, and management of early education and learning programming.

    Michelle has served previously as the Program Director with the Waugh Elementary School District, Bilingual Provider Support Specialist with the Marin Child Care Council, Site Supervisor, Center Director, and Mentor-Coach for local Head Start grantees as well as early education and learning non-profit agencies.

    Michelle holds a Program Director Permit granted by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. In her work in Title 5 programs, Michelle’s teams earned Tier 5, the highest rating a preschool program can achieve through the Quality Rating and Improvement Systems program.

    Michelle first began a career in early education as a Head Teacher with the Institute for Human and Social Development, a Head Start grantee, in 1994.  In this role, Michelle gained invaluable experience in planning and implementing curriculum, family engagement, and working within the Head Start comprehensive service models.  Work included classroom teaching, facilitation of parent meetings and training, participation in mentor teacher programs, and the agency’s Anti-Bias committee.

    Michelle was raised in San Rafael, California as the oldest child in a family of three kids. She has a passion for family, relationships, and early education access for children.

    Michelle holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development from Humboldt State University.  She now lives in Petaluma with her family. Michelle is proud of her children who graduated from the University of California Berkeley and the University of Wyoming.

    Michelle’s hobbies include daily walks with her dog and time with family and friends at local community events.

    Jennifer Thater
    Jennifer
    Thater
    Mental Health & Well-being Director
    Jennifer Thater
    Jennifer
    Thater
    Mental Health & Well-being Director

    Jennifer Thater joined Community Action Marin as the Mental Health & Well-being Director in November, 2021, bringing six years of experience in Director Mental Health Services; including Peer Program Development and Vocational Support Services.

    Jennifer has served previously as the Program Director for the Innovations Community Center and an MHSA funded Peer Led Wellness Center, under the leadership of On The Move Bay Area in partnership with Napa County Mental Health Services.

    She first began a career in the field of Mental Health as Administrative Director of a peer led vocational training program.  In this role, she gained invaluable experience in peer program development as well as experience in contract management and building relationships with service clients, contract partners, and community agencies.

    Jennifer was raised in Texas, New Mexico and California.  She was an only child and growing up she had a multidisciplinary upbringing that provided her with the opportunity to learn a great deal about a lot of things from family members and her extended “friend family”.   She has a passion for learning and for advocating on behalf of everyone’s right to experience hospitality, partnership, and love.

    Jennifer holds a BA in Liberal Arts from Sonoma State University.  She now lives in Napa with her son, their two cats and their two fish.  Her hobbies include writing, cooking, and gardening.

    Rob Palmer
    Rob
    Palmer
    Encore Fellow, Director of Learning and Evaluation
    Rob Palmer
    Rob
    Palmer
    Encore Fellow, Director of Learning and Evaluation

    Rob Palmer joined Community Action Marin as an Encore Fellow, Director of Learning and Evaluation, in August 2022, bringing 32 years of corporate experience and four years of non-profit experience.

    Rob served as Product Engineering and Technical Services Manager at Chevron, supporting their fuels, biofuels, and lubricants businesses, as well as various other roles in fuels manufacturing, supply chain logistics, process improvement & optimization, certification, and compliance.  He had the opportunity to work with a wide array of people at Chevron, including lab technicians, plant operators, engineers, data analysts, environmental scientists, and senior managers, gaining technical and interpersonal insights from each person. Rob was known for driving cross-functional collaboration & continuous improvement and bringing out the best in each member of the team.

    Prior to working at Chevron, Rob volunteered for two years as a high school teacher in the pacific islands of Micronesia with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC), then served two years in non-profit program support and fundraising for JVC in Washington, D.C. These experiences planted a seed of service and social justice that Rob cultivated through volunteer work while working and raising a family, with a goal of returning to the non-profit sector after retiring from Chevron.

    Rob was born in Syracuse, New York and raised in the Bay Area as the oldest in a family of four children.  He has a passion for the outdoors, education, and volunteering, including making learning accessible to everyone. Rob feels privileged to join the talented Community Action Marin family and is excited to use his experience to contribute to CAM’s mission.

    Rob holds a B.S. in Chemistry and an M.S. in Environmental Science from Loyola Marymount University. He lived in Los Angeles for 25 years and returned to the Bay Area in 2015. He has two sons (31 & 28) and a daughter (25) who are scattered across the west coast. Rob lives in Concord and enjoys hiking, observing wildlife, gardening, travel, and spending time with family and close friends.

    Jenna Ervice
    Jenna
    Ervice
    Development Director
    Jenna Ervice
    Jenna
    Ervice
    Development Director

    Jenna Ervice joined Community Action Marin as Development Director in December, 2022. Since she started fundraising 20 years earlier, she has always worked for organizations that served under-resourced communities or people with a particular type of need.  

    Most recently, Jenna was the Executive Director of the Belvedere Tiburon Library Foundation, where her role was to oversee the final stages of the library’s multi-million-dollar Capital Campaign. Through the campaign, Jenna and her team were able to double the size of the original library, add innovative programming, and even include an art gallery in the new building. 

    Jenna would like her work at CAM to impact Marin County by helping to enable CAM to reach and provide services to more individuals and families. She also hopes to educate the community about the disparity of well-being that exists in Marin and help to bring them into CAM’s ever-growing community of donors. 

    Jenna is originally from San Diego and moved to the Bay Area in 1998 thinking it would be a couple of years “layover” on her eventual way to New York City. Fast forward 24+ years—she’s still here and now lives in San Rafael.  In her free time, Jenna likes to play tennis, enjoys live music and is always redecorating a room in her house. 

    Shuddha Butler
    Shuddha
    Butler
    Director of Operations
    Shuddha Butler
    Shuddha
    Butler
    Director of Operations

    Shuddha joined Community Action Marin in February 2019 as Executive Assistant to the CEO and is now the Director of Operations.  In addition to supporting the CEO’s strategic work, she has oversight of the agency’s office management procedures. 

    Shuddha previously worked at Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa for 12 years, in a variety of roles with progressive responsibilities, advancing from Administrative Assistant to Accountant to Community Benefits Coordinator.  She brings exceptional organizational and time management skills to her role. Passionate about the agency’s mission, Shuddha enjoys being part of something larger that serves those in need.  Shuddha holds a B.S. in Business Management with an Accounting concentration.  She lives in Napa and enjoys traveling, yoga, reading, meditation, hiking, and trips to the beach. 

    Laurel Hill
    Laurel
    Hill
    Director, Safety Net Services
    Laurel Hill
    Laurel
    Hill
    Director, Safety 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 familyincluding a 23-year-old daughter and two stepsons, both in their thirties. 

    Margot Segal
    Margot
    Segal
    Director of Marketing
    Margot Segal
    Margot
    Segal
    Director of Marketing

    Margot joined CAM as an Encore Fellow, Director of Marketing, in September, 2021; bringing 40 years of experience in marketing strategic planning, program management and execution in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors.

    Margot has served previously as Chief Marketing & Operations Officer at Edventure More (EDMO) an educational enrichment nonprofit, as President at her own consulting firm and in key management roles at a variety of major advertising agencies in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

    Margot first began a career in marketing as an Account Coordinator for Sieber & McIntyre, a healthcare advertising agency. In this role, she gained invaluable experience in producing successful targeted marketing campaigns and all of the detail that goes into their planning, creative and production processes. Work included television, radio, direct mail, and print for a variety of pharmaceutical companies. This job was just the first step in what Margot considers a highly rewarding career ladder.

    Margot was raised in New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey and later Chicago, as the youngest in a family of two children.  She has a passion for equity and is thrilled to use her marketing expertise to help Community Action Marin’s mission of breaking down the barriers that get in the way of self-sufficiency and providing the services that people need.

    Margot holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Retailing, with a minor in Advertising from Syracuse University. She now lives in Corte Madera with her husband Alan, her twins Harrison and Sydney, cat Indy and dog Cali. She enjoys hiking, reading, spending time with family, and traveling.

    Paige Cross
    Paige
    Cross
    Director of Program Operations and Compliance
    Paige Cross
    Paige
    Cross
    Director of Program Operations and Compliance

    Paige joined Community Action Marin as Director of Program Operations and Compliance in September of 2022, bringing 16 years of experience in program planning, development, and evaluation for public and non-profit organizations to the agency. 

    Previously Paige served as Family and Community Partnerships Manager at San Francisco State University’s San Francisco Head Start Program where she developed and implemented citywide programs for low-income families with young children, providing oversight for the Policy Council and Family and Community Partnerships Advisory Committee.   

    Paige began her career as a therapist at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital’s Bridge to Wellness Program and Seton Medical Center’s Outpatient Psychiatric Program where she developed and implemented behavioral health and recovery programs. In addition, she served for many years as an Advisory Committee member for the San Francisco Safe Start Domestic Violence Prevention Program.   

    She has a Bachelor of Social Work degree with a Certificate of Specialization in Women’s Studies and Master of Social Work degree, both from the University of Georgia School of Social Work. Paige has been a resident of San Anselmo for over 16 years and is excited to join the team at Community Action Marin in serving children and families. 

  • Program Managers/Directors
    Chris Miranda
    Chris
    Miranda
    Senior Manager, Safety Net Services
    Chris Miranda
    Chris
    Miranda
    Senior Manager, Safety Net Services

    Chris was recently promoted to Senior Manager, Safety Net Services. He first joined Community Action Marin as a Data Specialist in January 2020, bringing eight years of underwriting experience to the organization. 

    In both of his roles, Chris has gained invaluable experience in short-term housing and utility assistance. Chris’s work has included providing access to all of the resources that help people in difficult times. He has also been assisting Marin residents stay housed through Community Action Marin’s rent and deposit assistance program.  

    Chris was raised in the Bay Area as the middle child in a family of four kids. He now lives in San Rafael with his wife and son, and enjoys traveling, baseball, and grilling.  

    Betsy Bateson
    Betsy
    Bateson
    Food Justice Manager
    Betsy Bateson
    Betsy
    Bateson
    Food Justice Manager

    Betsy Reynolds Bateson, our New Food Justice Manager, is an unrelenting advocate for the nutritional well-being of young children and their families. With her educational background in Community Nutrition from the University of California at Davis, and a graduate degree in Consumer and Family Studies at San Francisco State University, she understands the extreme importance of good nutrition for growing children, especially during their first years.

    Before joining Community Action of Marin, Betsy shared her love of nutrition and health education through El Dorado County’s Child Development Programs. Prior to joining the nutrition education field, she researched and developed new foods products, specifically for children, for national food corporations. She also directed her company, FoodonmyMind Consulting, and wrote for Sunset Magazine, sharing her passion for delicious, healthy, and locally grown foods. Betsy also coordinated a meals program for a Coop nursery school when her two children were young.

    Betsy is dedicated to sharing her nutritional knowledge and love of healthy lifestyle choices with her new community in Marin and looks forward to cooking side-by-side with Community Action Marin families. 

    Patrick Wales-Dinan
    Patrick
    Wales-Dinan
    Data Analytics Manager
    Patrick Wales-Dinan
    Patrick
    Wales-Dinan
    Data Analytics Manager

    Patrick Wales-Dinan joined Community Action Marin as Data Analytics Manager in December 2022, bringing four years of data science and analytics experience and over seven years of teaching experience to CAM. 

    Patrick has served previously as Principal Consultant of Data with Stage 3 Talent. 

    Patrick first began a career in data as an Instructor of Machine Learning and Data Science at General Assembly.  There he gained invaluable experience in data analytics, database management, predictive analysis, and data visualization.  Additionally, he helped in curriculum design and implementation of regression and classification models.   

    Patrick was raised in Duxbury, Vermont and his mother Amy was a Peer Advocate for Vermont Psychiatric Survivors, and his father Jim is a chef. Patrick is passionate about running and coaching.   

    Patrick holds a BA in Economics from Bates College.  He now lives in San Rafael with wife Annie and their son Jonas. 

    Fatai Tokolahi
    Fatai
    Tokolahi
    CARE Team Manager, Mobile Outreach & Peer Support Services
    Fatai Tokolahi
    Fatai
    Tokolahi
    CARE Team Manager, Mobile Outreach & Peer Support Services

    Fatai Tokolahi joined Community Action Marin in November 2020 as a Peer Outreach Specialist on the Community Alternative Response Engagement (CARE) Team. He later moved into the position of CARE Team Manager of Mobile Outreach and Peer Support Services in May 2022.  

    In his new role, Fatai supervises a team of talented and passionate outreach workers who go out on a daily basis to find people who are experiencing chronic homelessness and want to be connected to critical services; such as housing, health insurance, Social Security benefits, CalFresh, transportation, and more.  

    Before joining the agency, Fatai was a manager and direct service provider at Marin and East Bay non-profits that served a wide variety of clients. He has served as a language interpreter for trade union members and medical patients, taught middle schoolers and their parents about the prevalence and dangers of drug abuse, and helped people with intellectual and physical disabilities live more independent lives.   

    Fatai first began his career as a youth development worker in the Kingdom of Tonga nearly 20 years ago. His main areas of focus at that time was adolescent health, social and emotional development, and leadership development. He was also a UNICEF Life Skills Master Trainer for several years, where he trained youth leaders to teach essential skills to their peers. Before moving to the US, Fatai was a {roject Manager for a United Nations Population Fund and UNAIDS’s initiative that focused on HIV/AIDS prevention among transitional aged youth.  

     

    Fatai is a graduate of Tonga College and holds a Certificate in Youth Development from the University of the South Pacific. He has loved Australian rugby since childhood,and has learned to also love Bay Area baseball, basketball, and football. Fatai lives in San Rafael with his wife and kids.  

    Buntawan Vamnutjinda
    Buntawan
    Vamnutjinda
    Site Manager, Hamilton
    Buntawan Vamnutjinda
    Buntawan
    Vamnutjinda
    Site Manager, Hamilton

    Buntawan joined Community Action Marin as an Early Head Start Site Manager in July of 2020, coming to the organization with over 20 years of experience in the field of Early Childhood Education. She started with the agency, first in 2010 as an Early Head Start Teacher, then later becoming Site Manager for Early Head Start, Hamilton. 

    Her career first began in Early Childhood Education as an Infant/Toddler Teacher and Preschool Teacher at the Cross Cultural Family Center. In these roles, she gained more interest in individual child development, nature versus nurture studies, family studies, diversity, cultural differences, and human development. Her work included getting to know the family and the ways in which each has its own cultural values, which are reflected in their child-rearing and expectations of their children during developmental milestones.

    Buntawan has a passion for taking care of others and is naturally nurturing. In her childhood, she enjoyed caring for others who needed help and this has continued on through today, as it is both fulfilling and brings purpose to her life. 

    Buntawan was raised in Thailand as the middle child in a family of three daughters. She earned her Bachelor’s degree (BA) in Child and Adolescent Development and Master’s degree (MA) in Early Childhood Education from San Francisco State University. She now lives in San Pablo with her family and enjoys reading and hiking during her free time. 

    Esmeralda Garcia
    Esmeralda
    Garcia
    Program Support Manager
    Esmeralda Garcia
    Esmeralda
    Garcia
    Program Support Manager

    Esmeralda joined Community Action Marin as the Mental Health Education & Program Support Manager in November 2021. She brings to the agency, over thirty years of experience in building cross-functional teams by creating frameworks that sustain healthy working relationships and mindful communication.

    Esmeralda, presently serves on the HIV/AIDS Council, Marin County as Co-President. Previously she served on the Human Rights Commission of Marin County, Board of Community Action Marin. She also formerly worked as a Patients’ Rights Advocate at Community Action Marin, Operational Manager at Mercy Corporation, and Program Coordinator/Counselor Advocate Supervisor at My Sisters’ Place in Westchester, New York.

    Esmeralda first began her career in civic engagement with the American Red Cross. She has worked with many nationally known not for profits throughout her career. She has gained invaluable experience in advocacy and our responsibility to create an equitable society in her various roles. Her work has included providing advocacy, program development and management, and community organizing.

    Esmeralda was born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in Brooklyn, New York as the oldest child in a family of three sisters. She has a passion for social justice and promoting change. Esmeralda also holds a Master of Business Administration with a Concentration in Healthcare Leadership from Dominican University of California. She now lives in Mill Valley with her husband and has a son living with his wife and daughter in Bremerton, Washington. Se enjoys volunteering, going to the gym, hiking, traveling, and learning.

    Gary Neal
    Gary
    Neal
    Facilities & Contract Manager
    Gary Neal
    Gary
    Neal
    Facilities & 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.

    Sarah Philipsheck
    Sarah
    Philipsheck
    Operations Manager
    Sarah Philipsheck
    Sarah
    Philipsheck
    Operations Manager

    Sarah Philipsheck first became part of Community Action Marin as a parent in the Head Start program in 1981. Her youngest daughter was part of the classroom located in Fairfax at Christ the Victor Church. Her granddaughter also entered the Early Head Start program at four months of age and then transitioned into the Head Start program.  

    Sarah started her career at Community Action Marin, in 1981 as well, and began as an Office Assistant, after spotting an ad in the Head Start Office located in the old Larkspur/Corte Madera school. Sarah has been with CAM ever since. 

    Sarah’s passion for helping children & families began when she was in High School and her economic teacher made an impression regarding the importance of giving back to a community. And to helping the ones who struggle with everyday life to gain the confidence to succeed and to become self-sufficient. To help them learn how to advocate for themselves and to push themselves up and out of poverty. That same passion continues in Sarah today, after 41 years. One of the most important lessons Sarah learned from being in the program for so long is to make sure we “listen” to what the parents are saying and making sure they know that they are being listened to. 

    Sarah grew up in Massachusetts on Cape Cod, went to business school in Boston and the local Community College on the Cape. She decided she had enough school and hitched hiked with a friend out to California in 1970. Met her husband, went back home and made the move out west permanently in 1971.  

    Sarah has two daughters and four grandchildren and is a recent widow after 50 yrs. of marriage.  

    Janis Sturdevant
    Janis
    Sturdevant
    Brand & Communications Manager
    Janis Sturdevant
    Janis
    Sturdevant
    Brand & Communications Manager

    Janis joined Community Action Marin in October 2017, initially as the Fiscal Administrator of the Mental Health Program. With over 30 years as a marketing and creative professional, a position was created for Janis the following year, naming her as the agency’s first Marketing and Communications Manager.

    Using her talents in design, project management, and photography, Janis played a vital role in building the foundation of the agency’s newly created brand identity.

    In creating and evolving communications building blocks, Janis develops and maintains the agency’s resource library of stories and content, supports outreach to the community and all fund development efforts. With her new title of Brand and Communications Manager, Janis is developing the agency’s first ambassador program, a brand toolkit, and implementing a new Digital Asset Management (DAM) System; all in support of the agency’s growth and development.

    Janis has held numerous creative positions at ad agencies and design firms, in addition to launching direct marketing, catalog design, and photography agencies. She has worked with national Fortune 500 businesses and supported fundraising efforts for the National Boy and Girls Scouts, Easter Seals, US Olympic Society, and non-profits including The Salvation Army and American Lung Association.

    Janis has a BFA in Graphic Design/Illustration from Colorado State University and pursued post-grad education in fine arts at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco and advertising at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA.

    Janis enjoys doing anything creative, music, fine art, photography, writing, film, as well as the great outdoors, and spending time with friends and family.

  • Board of Directors
    Roger Crawford
    Roger
    Crawford
    President & Board Chair
    Roger Crawford
    Roger
    Crawford
    President & Board Chair

    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.

    Christopher Carey
    Christopher
    Carey
    Secretary of the Board
    Christopher Carey
    Christopher
    Carey
    Secretary of the Board

    Christopher Carey has lived in Marin County for 12 years and has been a member of the Board of Directors for the last two years.  In addition to Community Action Marin, Chris is a board member of the Novato South Little League and serves as a site council member to his local public elementary school.

    Chris is currently head of product at Ripple Health Group. At Ripple, Chris’s mission is leading the product organization to build innovative solutions/businesses so that people can experience healthier lives by connecting them to the care, support, and community they need.

    Prior to Ripple, Chris served as Chief Product Office of Rally Health (acquired by UnitedHealthGroup) whose mission was to build digital experiences that make it easier to access care and stay healthy while helping lower costs.

    Originally from southern Illinois, Chris brings his commitment to ensuring Marin makes progress in ensuring everyone living in our community can thrive.

    Mary Donovan
    Mary
    Donovan
    Vice Chair
    Mary Donovan
    Mary
    Donovan
    Vice Chair

    Mary spent most of her career at the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services. During her 35 years in the Department, Mary managed all of the welfare programs as well as the Employment and Economic Assistance Division. As the Director of the Workforce Investment Board, she worked collaboratively with county employers, educational institutions, non-profits, and labor organizations.  

    Although currently retired, during her tenure at the Marin County Department of Health, Mary partnered with Community Action Marin on many projects serving theirs and Community Action Marin’s mutual clientele. Based on Mary’s admiration for both Community Action Marin’s mission and the work that the agency has done in the county, she has chosen to spend her volunteer time, post-retirement working with the agency on the board/ 

    Mary grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a Marin County resident for most of her adult life.   

    Maria Frias
    Maria
    Frias
    Board Member
    Maria Frias
    Maria
    Frias
    Board Member

    Immigrating to Marin County from Mexico City, Mexico at the age of five was a formative life experience for Maria, which she says continues to influence her relationship with her community. Being a working-class immigrant, she was exposed to the difficulty in accessing and navigating resources, assisting her parents with their ESL homework, and experiencing discrimination both at school and in the community. 

    Maria came onto the Community Action Marin Board in 2019 after a stretch of personal life experiences which prepared her to work as a Peer Counselor, and more recently a Support Service Worker with the County of Marin Behavioral Health and Recovery Services. Each day, Maria assists our indigent and marginalized community members that live with a severe mental illness attain access to resources, get support in their recovery, and be treated with dignity. It is her philosophy that everyone wants to be seen, heard, and feel a part of the community. It is for that reason that Maria is a proud member of Community Action Marin. 

     

    Tonya Newstetter
    Tonya
    Newstetter
    Board Member
    Tonya Newstetter
    Tonya
    Newstetter
    Board Member

    Tonya Newstetter joined the Community Action Marin board in 2022, three years after moving to Marin County. She is currently head of Global Grants Operations at Salesforce, where she leads the strategy and development of core business and technology systems that power the company’s grantmaking in education, economic opportunity, community resilience, and climate justice.

    She brings to the board 15+ years of experience in the social impact space, with expertise in operations, finance, technology, and organizational development.

    Born in San Francisco, Tonya spent her childhood in a small town in the Sierras before returning to the Bay Area to attend UC Berkeley, and never left. She moved to Marin in 2019, where she now lives with her husband and son.

    Jennifer McInnis
    Jennifer
    McInnis
    Board Member, At Large
    Jennifer McInnis
    Jennifer
    McInnis
    Board Member, At Large

    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.

    Samantha Ramirez
    Samantha
    Ramirez
    Board Member
    Samantha Ramirez
    Samantha
    Ramirez
    Board Member

    Samantha is currently the Senior Program Coordinator for the Youth Leadership Institute-Marin Office. In her role, Samantha coordinates the Marin County Youth Commission and facilitates leadership programs for youth in Novato and San Rafael. She loves working in partnership with young people and together accomplishing great things. Samantha is constantly inspired by her students and feels grateful to be able to do this important work.

    She is passionate about helping others and empowering them through knowledge and resources. She wants our community to thrive and to her, that is what Community Action Marin is all about.

    As a Board member she has helped to create a financial literacy program for Transitional aged youth. The program included 1 on 1 coaching, group sessions and cooking classes. As Samantha has personally been affected by finances and lack of knowing how to save and invest in her future, it has been amazing to give youth the tools and knowledge of finances to thrive! 

    Samantha is a first generation college graduate and the daughter of immigrants from Central America. In her free time, Samantha enjoys music and dancing. She is also a very crafty and artsy person and loves journaling and scrapbooking. 

    See how Samantha is bringing about change for youth.

     

    Nicolette Van Exel
    Nicolette
    Van
    Exel
    Board Member
    Nicolette Van Exel
    Nicolette
    Van
    Exel
    Board Member

    Nico joined the CAM Board in July 2021, bringing twenty years of experience driving social and environmental impact in the nonprofit and private sector.

    Nico leads her own consulting practice, NVE Social Impact Services, which is focused on helping corporate and nonprofit clients implement social impact and sustainability strategies and programs, with a primary focus on climate and social justice solutions.

    Prior to that, she served as the Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at Intuit and at SAP, both global technology companies based in Silicon Valley. Nico spent the first ten years of her career working with global brands to reduce modern slavery in their supply chains, including at Intertek, a global monitoring firm, and at Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), a global sustainability consultancy.

    Nico was born and raised in the Netherlands. She has lived in Hong Kong, South Korea, and the UK, and she now resides in Marin County with her husband, two children, and dog. She enjoys spending time in the outdoors, either hiking, biking, or sailing.

    Nico holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of the Hague, and a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Amsterdam.

Take a look at the diverse demographics of our team

As a leading employer in the county with 200 employees, we are transparent around the race and gender makeup of our staff, leadership, and board of directors. We seek to attract, retain, nurture, and grow a diverse workforce. We also strive to be welcoming and inclusive in our policies and practices, with mindfulness on equity to ensure that people of color and people of low income are supported and have equal access to opportunities in our agency.

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.

Amanda McCarthy > Board Chair 2013-2019