Community Ambassadors

The Community Ambassador is a community-centric volunteer leadership role with the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region. Community Ambassadors are tasked with empowering their community to be self-reliant and resilient in the face of disasters.

Click Here for the Community Ambassador Role Description


  • Chris Grant - Agoura Hills; Calabasas; Hidden Hills
  • Claudine Gueniot - Altadena
  • Geoff Johansing - Altadena
  • Hassan Kheradmandan - Altadena
  • Sylvia Ramos - Arcadia
  • Sheldon Steier - Bel Air
  • Milo Anderson - Canoga Park; West Hills; Woodland Hills
  • Will Washburn - Carson
  • Christina Sanchez - City of Industry; Hacienda Heights
  • Alicia Hamilton - Compton
  • Hassnaa Elkalaa - Downey
  • Buffy Roney - Hancock Park
  • Teresa Curry - Hawthorne
  • Shamika Ossey - Historic South Central; Watts; Westmont; Willowbrook
  • Sharon Sylvers-Sidney - Historic South Central; Watts; Willowbrook
  • Michael Falkow - Inglewood
  • Gail Merchant - La Canada Flintridge
  • Paul Dutton - La Crescenta
  • Kathy Sauble - La Habra Heights
  • James Mercedes - Lawndale; Alondra Park, Athens, Gardena
  • Harold Omel - Long Beach
  • Philip Wendel III - Long Beach
  • Priscilla Schoch - Long Beach
  • George Butts - Manhattan Beach
  • Suzanne Dobson - Monrovia
  • Lisa Yang - Monterrey Park
  • Michael Farrar - Norwalk; Artesia
  • Elizabeth Giordano - Pasadena
  • Kenneth Dieball - Ridgecrest
  • Stephanie Cornthwaite - Santa Clarita
  • Kristin Sales - Sherman Oaks
  • Lucy Liou - Temple City
  • Dan Thomas - Torrance; Redondo Beach
  • William De Voe - Veterans Administration
  • Alison Berglas - West LA; Santa Monica

Milo Anderson

Milo Anderson - Communities Covered: Canoga Park, West Hills, Woodland Hills

Milo Anderson grew up in the West San Fernando Valley communities of Canoga Park and Woodland Hills. He vividly remembers his childhood experience of living through the Northridge Earthquake of 1994. He learned then, as a ten year old boy, the crucial importance of emergency preparedness on the individual, family, and community-wide level. As a youth, he was passionately involved in the Boy Scouts of America. Today he still cherishes the basic first aid, emergency preparedness, personal development, and civic mindedness he gained as a scout.

Milo went on to earn a Baccalaureate of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication with an emphasis on Broadcast and area of study of Speech Communication from CSU Humboldt State University in 2009. While earning his degree, he sat as Chair of his residence halls area for three semesters. He also served as Production Director and News Production Director of KRFH.net, the student radio station of HSU, for one semester each. Milo participated and won awards on the HSU Forensics, Speech, & Debate Team as well. As a part of his broadcast training, he studied public affairs video production and produced several professional videos.

Milo is a member of American Red Cross Disaster Action Team and believes strongly in Red Cross’ mission.


Chris Grant

Chris Grant - Communities Covered: Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills

Chris began his volunteer service to the American Red Cross with the Riverside County Chapter in early 2013, where he served as a government liaison, public information officer, and board member. As a member of the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region, Chris serves as a lead member of the external relations team with a focus on government relations, public affairs, community partnerships, and special projects.

As an Emergency Management Consultant and FEMA Certified Professional Continuity Practitioner, Chris brings more than twenty (20) years in emergency management and community policing skills to the American Red Cross. Chris previously served as Program Director for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Citizen Volunteer Program where he oversaw recruitment, recognition, training and deployment of volunteers. Chris has been certified in numerous levels of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the California Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS). He also holds over (100) certifications from the FEMA Emergency Management Institute in the areas of Mitigation, Preparedness and Technology, Professional Development, Disaster Operations and Recovery, Cyber Terrorism and Integrated Emergency Management.

During his professional career, Chris has worked with countless volunteers and volunteer boards, as well as the public, to build community coalitions and advance public health & safety. In these capacities, he has worked as a liaison with government officials and community partners at local, state and federal levels. Professionally, Chris has over (20) years of progressive leadership experience as a strategist in the emergency management and nonprofit industries, including extensive experience in planning, forecasting and reporting, capacity and resource development, and managing complex strategic planning processes. He has managed, recruited and developed multi-disciplinary groups on behalf of many local, regional and national organizations, initiatives and events.

For dedicated service to his community, Chris has received recognition from numerous local, regional and national organizations including previously being named Volunteer of the Year for the City of Calabasas and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.


Ken Dieball

Ken Dieball - Community Covered: Ridgecrest

Kenneth Dieball has volunteered with the Red Cross since 1997.  During his service he assisted with 22 Disaster Relief Operations (DROs) and earned eight recognition certificates.  He has completed 47 classes with the Red Cross, is a Shelter Supervisor, Emergency Response Vehicle driver, a Disaster Instructor, Preparedness and Pillowcase Presenter, Community Outreach, Home Fire Preparedness Campaign Instructor, and Map Your Neighborhood Facilitator Trainer. 

He has done presentations and community outreach events at schools, community churches, senior centers, and the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station. He has completed several shelter surveys between Ridgecrest and Los Angeles county, and held an ongoing Home Fire Preparedness Campaign in Ridgecrest – installing approximately 200 smoke detectors.  He created and managed a Community Preparedness Block Party for six year to assist Ridgecrest residents in preparedness. He also represents the Red Cross at the Ridgecrest Emergency Services Committee.


Michael Sproule

Michael Sproule - Community Covered: Arleta

Mike Sproule has lived in the San Fernando Valley for the last 20 years. He began volunteering with the American Red Cross after the Northridge Earthquake in 1994 as a First Aid/CPR/AED Instructor and as a member of the Disaster Action Team. Mike is interested in working with volunteers and promoting Red Cross services in his community by serving as a Community Ambassador. He has 20 years of professional experience in the Mortgage and Banking industries, and is currently a Board Member for Latin Cultural House. 


Stephanie Cornthwaite

Stephanie Cornthwaite - Community Covered: Santa Clarita

Stephanie loves to learn, that’s her in a nutshell. She is a certified instructor for both the Red Cross and the American Heart Association but the truth about being an instructor is that you get to learn all the time. This is her full time business: going out into the community of Santa Clarita and surrounding, she gets the opportunity to meet new people, go into local businesses, and share the life-saving skills of CPR and First Aid. But really, she gets to learn about different cultures and how different people learn the same material. Stephanie has been a Red Cross instructor for about 6 years 2 years here in Southern California as an LTP, building a CPR & First Aid training business. She is qualified to teach, BLS, Lay Responders CPR, AED & First Aid, blood borne pathogens, Wilderness and Remote First Aid, and California Child Care Providers: Preventative Health and Safety.

She was a CPR and First Aid volunteer instructor for the British Red Cross in Manchester while she lived there. Stephanie has connected into the community of Santa Clarita through CPR training with many businesses and community groups. She is connected to several networking groups local to the Santa Clarita Valley. She is an active member in her church as a member of the choir, worship team and safety committee member. The Church on The Way Santa Clarita is a designated Red Cross disaster shelter.

The common thread of each of those experiences was constant learning from others. Never stop learning, never stop contributing and sharing what you learn with those around you. Treating them as you would hope to be treated. Having lived in California, Alaska and the United Kingdom, diverse areas and with diverse cultures, has shown me the key to teaching, the key to disaster relief and the key to becoming a member of any community, whether you are an individual or a large organization, is communication, compassion and being willing to selflessly give to help others. She has founded her business on these principles and is also why she has chosen to become a Red Cross Volunteer.


Kristin Sales

Kristin Sales - Community Covered: Sherman Oaks

Kristin has strong relationships in the Sherman Oaks community of Los Angeles. She is the Police Community Representative in her area and she works as a liaison between her community and LAPD. She has been volunteering for this position since 2009. As a part of this role, she works closely with Los Angeles city council, the Mayor's office, our State Assembly member and other elected officials. She has also developed a strong working relationship between all other police community leaders throughout the Sherman Oaks community.

Kristin is also part of American Red Cross's pilot program for Map Your Neighborhood (MYN). She has personally trained over 19 groups of MYN - reaching over 125 people so far. In conducting MYN, she has become very well-versed in preparedness. Because of her MYN work, she has been asked to train MYN facilitators and has also been asked to give presentations on MYN at neighborhood council meetings, preparedness summits, neighborhood watch meetings and she has even done brief presentations as part of some local CERT training sessions. She is CERT certified - level 1 and is a graduate of the LAPD community police academy.

Every year Kristin plans two large community block parties - one in the summer and one in the fall with ~600 people in attendance. During every block party, she always offers some type of preparedness booth.


Claudine Gueniot

Claudine Gueniot - Community Covered: Altadena

Claudine Gueniot Voznick has been an American Red Cross volunteer since 2010. Prior to her service with the American Red Cross, Claudine has done community service work through the Goldman Sachs Community Team Works Project Assignments such as Art for Abused Children as well as Heal the Bay from 2007-2009. In her high school and college years, she could be found volunteering in at Terrebonne General Hospital in her hometown of Houma, LA, first as a “Candy Stripe”, responsible for running floor errands of patients and nurses as well as working in the gift shop, and then later as she entered nursing school at L.S.U.M.C., volunteering in the ICU and serving as a bedside assistant to the nurses and doctors. She did not complete a degree in Nursing but has always found a way to help people in need.

Since her nursing school days, she has been a constant blood donor at the hospitals in exchange for the numerous blood donations that her sister has needed over the course of two open-heart surgeries. Now, she is happy to find time to donate blood for the American Red Cross and others in need. She is committed to seeing the American Red Cross achieve its goals. Aside from attending to a toddler and volunteering when/where she can, Claudine works as an Executive Assistant to the Chief Investment Officer at the University of Southern California in downtown Los Angeles. Fight On!


Geoff Johansing

Geoff Johansing - Community Covered: Altadena

Geoff began volunteering while attending Saint Francis High School in La Canada. He worked with a group of students that would read to children at a school in South Central Los Angeles. He found volunteering to be incredibly rewarding. During the same time he began donating blood at his Red Cross sponsored Saint Francis blood drive. While giving blood at a donation center in the early 90’s he was asked by a nurse if he would consider donating platelets. After she explained the need and who would get them he started donating platelets and continues to do so.

As Geoff’s professional career began he was exposed to organizations looking for volunteers. He spent several years on Boards for a local ballet company, an insurance industry association, a police and student organization, etc. He has been a member of the Pasadena Rotary since 2002 and has worked with them on numerous projects, committees, as well as sitting on the Board.

Geoff is now married with two daughters and enjoys volunteering for their school and sport leagues. Currently Geoff is active with the Pasadena Police Activities League, Rotary of Pasadena, Knights of Columbus, Red Cross Disaster Preparedness, and he runs an insurance agency.


Sylvia Ramos

Sylvia Ramos - Community Covered: Arcadia

Sylvia Ramos is a Realtor, an independent contractor employee of Dilbeck Real Living. Sylvia is an advocate in the community of Arcadia. She is an executive officer at the Arcadia Association of Realtors and a trustee for a member based association with a membership of over 2,000 Realtors. Also, she is a Director for the California Association of Realtors.

Her experience working at a non-profit hospital as a Human Resource Specialist has enhanced her ability to work with a multi-culture population. She has developed policies and procedures to best work with a high level of complexity in traumatic situations.

Sylvia currently serves on the Chamber Board of Directors and is the immediate past Chairwoman for the ambassadors. She is also an active member for the Latino Community Outreach Committee at Methodist Hospital.

Sylvia is a Eucharistic Minister of Holy Angels Catholic Church at Arcadia and serves her community at Vista Cove Independent living, serving the seniors with Catholic ministries.

Sylvia is an active member of Rotary of Arcadia and she was immediately promoted to Red Badge President and is now the Red Badge Liaison for the Board of Directors.

Sylvia is married to her high school sweetheart Mark Ramos and resides at San Gabriel with her two sons Matt and Markie and daughter Sami. She also is involved in the care of her geriatric father Raymundo and family companions: Tiffany, Tera, Halo, and Fitzy all miniature Schnauzers, Gizmo the Yorkie, and Holly the Chihuahua (all rescues).


Paul Dutton

Paul Dutton - Community Covered: La Crescenta

Paul Dutton has been the Head C.E.R.T. Coordinator for the Crescenta Valley for 7 years. Paul and Lisa Dutton started the program from scratch and have held 14 trainings and have trained over 350 people, being one of the most active programs in L.A. County. Paul has been working as a Sheriff Volunteer on Patrol for 7 years and has integrated C.V. C.E.R.T. with the Sheriff’s Dept. and Red Cross. C.V. C.E.R.T. has worked closely with the Red Cross by inspecting the Red Cross bins in their area as well as having 25 cert’s Red Cross Shelter Trained.

Paul works with other agencies within the Crescenta Valley area, such as L.A. County Fire, L.AS.D., Glendale Fire, Glendale C.E.R.T., C.V.W.D., L.A Canada V.E.R.T., Altadena C.E.R.T., Red Cross, S.C.E., D.C.S., Ham Radio Clubs and Faith Groups. Paul has headed up the newly formed Crescenta Valley’s Emergency Preparedness Committee that collaborates with L.A.S.D., L.A. County Fire, C.V. C.E.R.T., C.V. Town Council and C.V. Fire Safety Council.

Paul serves on several committees including L.A. County Operational Area C.E.R.T. Coordinator Advisory Task Force and is registered with the American Red Cross as an E.M.R. Paul is also a Certified C.E.R.T. Instructor with L.A.S.D., on L.A.F.D, C.E.R.T. call out team, C.V. Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Past President of C.V. Chamber and is currently will be working on a new project with L.A. Dept. of Public Health. Paul’s goal has always been to integrate community agencies into the preparedness realm for the past 10 years.


Liz Giordano

Liz Giordano - Community Covered: Pasadena

Liz has been married to her husband Mike for 46 years. They have 4 kids and 14 grandchildren. That is her first priority. Her second priority is volunteerism. Starting as a Brownie leader, Liz did various PTA jobs culminating as San Marino PTA Council President. She was a member of the San Marino Schools Foundation and past President of San Marino Junior Alliance.

She was Board member and twice Benefit Chair of Five Acres, the past President of the San Marino Auxiliary of Five Acres, and 12 year active member of the Pasadena Showcase House of the Arts. Liz is a member of The Luminaires, which benefits the Doheny Eye Institute. Currently Liz is a 3 year member of the Board for the San Gabriel/ Pomona Valley Chapter of the Red Cross and she is the Chair of the Prepare San Gabriel Valley Committee where she works extensively with each city to ensure their preparedness efforts are met and they are connected to the resources of the American Red Cross.


Lois Ingham

Lois Ingham - Community Covered: Covina

Liz has been married to her husband Mike for 46 years. They have 4 kids and 14 grandchildren. That is her first priority. Her second priority is volunteerism. Starting as a Brownie leader, Liz did various PTA jobs culminating as San Marino PTA Council President. She was a member of the San Marino Schools Foundation and past President of San Marino Junior Alliance.

She was Board member and twice Benefit Chair of Five Acres, the past President of the San Marino Auxiliary of Five Acres, and 12 year active member of the Pasadena Showcase House of the Arts. Liz is a member of The Luminaires, which benefits the Doheny Eye Institute. Currently Liz is a 3 year member of the Board for the San Gabriel/ Pomona Valley Chapter of the Red Cross and she is the Chair of the Prepare San Gabriel Valley Committee where she works extensively with each city to ensure their preparedness efforts are met and they are connected to the resources of the American Red Cross.


Gail Merchant

Gail Merchant - Community Covered: La Cañada Flintridge

Gail began working with the Red Cross as a board member and a vital member of the Prepare San Gabriel Valley Committee. An active volunteer in her community of La Cañada Flintridge, she hopes to help others be better prepared for potential disasters. Her volunteer activities have included: the La Cañada Thursday Club, the Flintridge Guild of Childrens Hospital, the La Cañada PTSA, the La Cañada Junior Women’s Club, and the La Cañada Presbyterian Church.

Gail and her husband Ken have lived in La Cañada for over 25 years. They have two daughters, ages 24 and 18. In her professional life, Gail has worked in sales and marketing, primarily the high tech and office furniture industries. More recently she has done marketing for residential real estate and some property management work. Gail graduated from Syracuse University and has an MBA from Boston College.


Christina Sanchez

Christina Sanchez - Communities Covered: City of Industry & Hacienda Heights

Christina Sanchez has always volunteered in one way or the other since she was a teenager. High School, PTA, LA City Police Wives,– volunteering for Industry Manufacturing Council since 1979 and most recently the last twenty years - Supervisor Knabe’s Volunteer in Unincorporated Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, community and church activities, and of course – volunteering with the Red Cross for almost eleven years since the Katrina event in 2005.

She believes professional attitude, engaging training courses, and the tools to execute the assignment at hand as her most important contribution to American Red Cross. She surely appreciates volunteers’ time, effort and talent as they are “gifts” to those who are being served.

In the last 11 years, Christina Sanchez has been a Community Outreach Event Leader and served last 3 years as Community Outreach partner. She also has been an Ambassador for three years. As a Volunteer Advisor Council member, she immensely enjoys interacting with the general community members as well as elected officials.


Suzanne Dobson

Suzanne Dobson - Community Covered: Monrovia

Suzanne’s American Red Cross involvement began in the early 1980s as a First Aid Volunteer for the Pasadena Rose Parade. After a break from the Red Cross while living in Portland, Oregon, she is now a CPR and First Aid instructor at the Arcadia office. Suzanne completed her BA in Communications as well as Graduate Certificates in Training and Training Management. She worked 15 years for a Fortune 500 software firm as a training developer and project lead.

Suzanne is the Volunteer Coordinator and Liaison to the Monrovia Emergency Operations Center for Monrovia CERT. As a FEMA certified trainer, she teaches CERT to the community, businesses, and schools. Suzanne’s involvement in CERT began in 1997 in Portland. She is also the Volunteer Coordinator for the Monrovia Emergency Preparedness Amateur Radio Net for the Monrovia Police Department.

Suzanne is a member of the LA Operational Area Citizen Corps Council and the CERT Coordinators Task Force, the Fire Chief’s Advisory Council for the Monrovia Community Wildfire Protection Plan, and hosts neighborhood meetings at her home on behalf of the Monrovia Fire Department. Outside of preparedness she is a volunteer ranger with Monrovia Canyon Park and an active member of the PTA.

Suzanne’s goal is to better prepare her hometown to withstand any emergency through education, planning, and community cohesiveness. She hopes to bring this about through partnerships between Monrovia CERT, the Monrovia Area Partnership program, Monrovia Unified School District and the American Red Cross.


Lisa Yang

Lisa Yang - Community Covered: Monterrey Park

Lisa was born in China, and grew up in Taiwan. During her college years at National Taiwan University of the Arts, she produced and hosted both television and radio programs. Upon graduation, she became the Executive Secretary to the Vice President of China Airlines Overseas Operations.

When she arrived in the United States in 1969, she worked at Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech, and later became a successful business owner of Lisa’s Investment, a real estate brokerage and Development Firm serving the San Gabriel Valley & Los Angeles area for more than 20 years. She has also hosted her own program on KSCI Channel 18 America’s largest Asian television station.

Lisa has been an Arts & Culture Commissioner for the City of Monterey Park, Community Awareness Consultant to the University of Southern California for the Chinese-American Eye Study Program, the founding President the AARP-Chinatown Chapter, founding President of the Northern American Chinese Writers Association of Southern California, Co-Founder and President of Chinese American Citizen Alliance-Greater San Gabriel Valley Lodge, President of International Dynasty Lion’s Club, and President of Soroptimist International of Monterey Park/Rosemead, a volunteer organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls in their communities and the world.

Lisa has served as Board Member of American Red Cross-San Gabriel Pomona Valley Chapter since 2004, and in 2012, was named a Red Cross Ambassador, continuing to serve the community in which she lives.


Lucy Liou

Lucy Liou - Community Covered: Temple City

Lucy was born in Taiwan but came to the United States in 1980. She has been living in Temple City since 1999, and has been an active community member since 2012.

Lucy is a volunteer with the Temple City Neighborhood Watch as an Area Leader and a volunteer with the LASD, working closely with the Sheriff’s Temple City Special Assignment Team and City staff in charge of the program.

Lucy is also one of the Temple City’s Advanced CERT Members in addition to serving as the American Red Cross Ambassador for Temple City. She is also a bilingual Preparedness Education presenter with the American Red Cross and a member of the Asian American TMRG.

For her involvement with the City, CERT, LASD, American Red Cross, Relay for Life, Temple City Unified School District, and PTA, she has received several recognitions since 2013 and plans to continue her devotion to her fellow Temple Citians.


Michael Driebe

Michael Driebe - Community Covered: Pomona

Michael Driebe, President, Methodist Hospital Foundation, joined the Hospital Foundation in the fall of 2009. Mike has more than 15 years’ experience as a fund development professional and over 25 years’ experience in a variety of volunteer leadership roles with several nonprofit organizations.Prior to coming to Methodist, he was President of Driebe & Associates, an independent fund development consulting firm, assisting nonprofits with management issues, recruitment, development audits and board training. Previously, Mike served as Vice President for Development at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center in Pomona, California, and as Vice President of Development at the LeRoy Haynes Center for Children and Family Services in La Verne, California.

He is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and holds a Certificate in Fund Raising Management from Indiana University. Mike received a Master of Science degree in Leadership and Management from the University of La Verne.

Mike has served as President of the Pomona Jaycees and received the club’s Distinguished Service Award. He also served as Secretary of the California Junior Chamber of Commerce, and as a member of the California Junior Chamber of Commerce Foundation Board of Directors. He was named an Outstanding Young Californian by the California Junior Chamber and is a member of the Junior Chamber International Senate.

He served as President of the Pomona Chamber of Commerce, President of Pomona Rotary, and President of Fairplex Friends. He was a member of the Board of Directors for the Pomona Valley YMCA, the Pomona Economic Development Corporation, and was Chairman of the Pomona General Plan Citizen’s Advisory Committee. He has also served as a board member and studio volunteer for Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic – Inland Empire/Orange County Unit.

He is a member of the Los Angeles County Fair Association and serves as the chair of the Pomona Community Committee, and as a member of the Career and Technical Education Center Steering Committee. Mike is a San Marino Rotarian and a member of both the club’s governing and charities boards.On a national level, Mike has served as a member of the Board of Directors and Governors for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee from 2005 to 2010. He and his wife, Sylvia, have been married for 27 years and reside in Pomona.


Kenneth Ferreira

Kenneth Ferreira - Community Covered: El Monte

Kenneth Ferreira is a Real Estate Broker and Professional Property Manager in El Monte, CA. Kenneth enjoys working in a flexible environment where he can invest time into my community through volunteer and community based activities like participating with the American Red Cross as part of Prepare So Cal program for El Monte. When he is not creating memories with his wife, 2 boys, and dog he is busy building community based internet radio station.

Kenneth looks forward to educating our community on why disaster preparedness is important, and how being prepared leads to empowerment and survival.


Art Barrios

Art Barrios - Community Covered: El Monte

Art is a lifelong resident of El Monte; he attended local schools through high school, graduating from Arroyo High School. After studying to become a barber, he worked locally for almost thirty years, first for a local barber, and when that barber retired, Art purchased the shop and ran the shop until his own retirement in 1997.

During those years as a barber, Art gave haircuts to many city employees and officials. His love of local issues led him to be appointed to the City of El Monte Parks and Recreation commission in the early 1990s. He ran for City Council, and was first elected in 1997. After serving three terms on the City Council, he served on the Planning Commission from 2009 until this last February.

Art is active in several local service organizations; he is a member of Lexington Lodge No. 104, F&AM, El Monte Moose Lodge #1097, and serves as President of Five Points/El Monte South El Monte Rotary Club. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the El Monte/South El Monte Chamber of Commerce.


Rex Botengan

Rex Botengan - Community Covered: El Monte

Rex Botengan has worked for Our Saviour Center since 1992. Initially hired to manage a young program, he moved to administration and then into resource development and grant-writing, and finally to Executive Director in December 2012. Our Saviour Center is an incredible institution serving the unmet needs in San Gabriel Valley residence by providing food to the hungry; temporary shelter; clinical care; youth services; and other programs. The Center’s mission is to “share love, hope, and services with our neighbors in need.” Over 12,000 individuals annually access the Center’s programs

and services located at two facilities in El Monte. As the director of an agency dedicated to the most vulnerable, Rex is committed to insuring that “at risk” populations in San Gabriel Valley are prepared for emergencies and have ready access to disaster preparedness resource.


Richard Chavarria

Richard Chavarria - Community Covered: El Monte

Richard Chavarria is the pastor for Trinity Church in El Monte. He is in the process of working with the leadership of Trinity Church to revitalize ministry for a positive impact on local community. Richard is former Chaplain in the US Army. He served 22 years in various positions and countries with service in Desert Shield/ Desert Storm and the Operation Iraqi Freedom Conflicts. Service to country has been a lifelong aspect of Richard’s focus and he’s now focusing on the needs of El Monte/ South El Monte.


Victoria Burl

Victoria Burl - Community Covered: El Monte

Victoria Burl has worked with the City of El Monte, Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department since 1991, currently she oversees the El Monte Aquatic Center, an American Red Cross recognized Learn- to- Swim facility. With over 25 years experience in the Recreation Field, she promotes the El Monte Aquatic Center’s goal to have every child learn how to swing and reduce the risk of accidental drowning deaths. Victoria has been a champion in her field to introduce the importance of water safety and swim lessons for patrons of all ages.


Daniel Morales

Daniel Morales - Community Covered: Westlake/Pico-Union

Daniel Morales, Founder and Executive Director of Youth Empowered through Scholastic Sports and community Service( Y.E.S.S.S.)   Y.E.S.S.S  is a community based organization committed to a mission of building an informed and active citizenry in order to bring about social change in the community through grassroots organizing, education, sports, and leadership development. Y.E,S.S.S has provided its services to the community of Pico-Union in the City of Los Angeles for more than 16 years.

Daniel has promoted volunteerism through the members of his community, and week after week is responsible for organizing sports and community activities for more than 3 thousand members that take part in Pico Union-Westlake- MacArthur Park communities.  

With Central-American roots, Daniel lived in the war of Nicaragua in the year 1975-1978. As a child Daniel witness how his communities organized themselves to survive disasters such as the Nicaraguan war and one of the strongest hurricanes of the Atlantic in 1974, Hurricane Fifi. Daniel is honored to be part of the Red-Cross efforts, and looks forward to helping educate and organize members of his community so they can prepare themselves for any disaster and survive any catastrophe. 

 


Marco Antonio Pacheco

Marco Antonio Pacheco - Community Covered: Westlake/Pico-Union

Mr. Marco Antonio Pacheco is Board President of Casa De La Cultura Maya, a Non-Profit Organization dedicated to promote and preserve the Mayan Culture in the United States and Mesoamerica. Mr. Pacheco has been developing, along with NASA; UC Berkeley; the governments of the State of Yucatan, Mexico, Guatemala and the City of Los Angeles, educational programs and workshops to develop skills and knowledge among Mayan Communities about their ancestors' perspective of history and sciences.

With studies of Bachelors of Science in Business Administration and Mexican American Studies at California State University Northridge and West Coast University, Mr. Pacheco is a Senior Management Officer for ABM Onsite Services Corporation in the Southwest Region. He is a Board Member for the BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) Outreach Committee, Member of the Binational Health Initiative for the Americas, Member of the Westlake and Pico Union Collaborative, Member of the Okinawan Karate Federation, Member of the Elder Council in Guatemala and Yucatan, Board Member for the MacArthur Park Advisory Board, Consultant for the State Government of Yucatan, Consultant to NASA related programs, and has worked with numerous Community Based Organizations as a volunteer and a member.

Mr. Pacheco has been committed to work with the community for equal education and the respect for their civil rights of its community. Also for the past 20 years, Mr. Pacheco has been involved in the area of immigration reform, joining forces with other organizations to look for a possible solution.

Mr. Pacheco has received numerous recognitions by the Government of the State of Yucatan, Mexico, the City of Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles, several organizations including the Smithsonian Indian American Museum in Washington DC, Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland California, NASA and the University of Berkeley for his arduous work with the Mayan Communities of Los Angeles and Mesoamerica.


Sheldon Steier

Sheldon Steier - Community Covered: Bel Air

With more than 12 years of experience as a successful relationship building fundraiser, Shelly Steier has proven that his strengths lie in the ability to motivate and engage board members, volunteers, administrative staff and high net worth donors to support the mission statement of the organization. He is an exceptional communicator with a reputation for building trust and securing commitments through proactive and engaged interaction with key decision mak¬ers and high-net-worth donors. As the Director of Major Gifts at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor UCLA Medical Center (LA Biomed), he implemented a major gifts program where he secured gifts ranging from $25,000 to $1M while creating a higher level of visibility and recognition for the organization. As a Senior Gift Planning Officer at City of Hope, he raised millions of dollars. Shelly has also been acknowledged for bringing in the larg¬est amount of naming opportunities for City of Hope’s new research hospital.

He was credited for bringing in a $2 Million gift, the largest single gift during City of Hope’s Capital Campaign. For many years he has served on a variety of diverse nonprofit boards, often being selected to take on leadership roles in fundraising and coaching. Recently he served as a trustee on Leo Baeck Temple’s board as Vice-President of Development and chaired the temple’s most suc¬cessful annual fund campaign to date. Shelly is a proven closer with extensive knowledge of sales and marketing methods and an ability to integrate his business skills into development strategies.

With a passion for building resiliency in his community and a deep understanding of the importance of the American Red Cross mission, Shelly hopes to achieve real results for his Bel-Air community members.


Michael Falkow

Michael Falkow - Community Covered: Inglewood

Mr. Michael Falkow has 25 years of hands-on systems engineering, project management, business development, and executive-level municipal administration experience. He spent fifteen years in the area of digital imaging and information management, developing and implementing large-scale, enterprise-wide solutions across a wide array of industries including, financial services, insurance, legal, medical, and government. He is currently finishing an M.A. in Security Studies with an emphasis in Homeland Security from the Naval Postgraduate School (March 2013). Mr. Falkow already holds an M.S. in Computer Science with an emphasis in Software Engineering and a B.S. in Computer Science, with a minor in mathematics both from California State University, Fullerton.

Mr. Falkow is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®), and he has served as an online faculty member for the University of Phoenix where he taught courses in project management and systems implementation for their College of Information Systems & Technology and as a part-time lecturer for the College of Engineering and Computer Science at CSUF teaching undergraduate computer science courses. He is currently the Assistant City Manager and Chief Information Officer for the City of Inglewood, California, where he oversees the Information Technology & Communications (ITC), Parks, Recreation and Library Services, Human Resources, and Parking and Enterprise Services Departments. Mr. Falkow also serves as the city’s Deputy Director of Emergency Services where he is responsible for the non-public safety aspects of emergency preparedness & disaster planning. This role affords him the opportunity to work very closely with the city’s Police, Public Works, and Finance Departments as well as the City Attorney’s office and the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Finally, he serves as the Commission Advisor to the Inglewood Citizens Police Oversight Commission.


Alison Berglas

Alison Berglas - Community Covered: Santa Monica, West LA

Alison Berglas has been volunteering with the Red Cross since 2013 and participates in several departments including Disaster Action Team (DAT), Client Casework, Restoring Family Links (RFL) specifically Holocaust outreach, and Disaster Preparedness. She is excited about directing her talents and experience on her community of Santa Monica.

Alison’s current non-Red Cross Volunteer activities include working at an animal shelter in West Los Angeles and she is a reading tutor at the local elementary school and was able to coordinate a Pillowcase Presentation with the school.

Alison’s professional life included membership development for the Better Business Bureau which involved reaching out to the business community in four counties, Real estate sales she was an elementary school teacher, and also a Dance Instructor for west coast swing.


William “Bill” De Voe

William “Bill” De Voe - Community Covered: Veterans Administration

Bill has 20 years of extensive experience and expertise in Emergency Management has been developing processes, management standards, operating procedures, capability assessment methodologies, contingency measures/conditions, risk/vulnerability assessment methodologies, and applicable Federal regulations with The Veterans Administration Greater Los Angeles as Emergency Management Manager, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) as Crisis Management Manager, DIRECTV as Analyst Emergency Preparedness Planner and Countrywide Home Loans as an Emergency Response Planner.


George Butts

George Butts - Community Covered: Manhattan Beach

George moved to Manhattan Beach in 1992 and is now semi-retired after 36 years in ground transportation. He spent six years in the Army, the last 4 with the US Army Honor Guard, as a casket bearer at Arlington National Cemetery. George founded the Manhattan Beach Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in 2008. He is a FEMA adjunct instructor for CERT, a Red Cross instructor of First Aid, CPR and AED and the Community Ambassador for the City of Manhattan Beach, CA. He has trained over 400 south Bay residents in the last 8 years in disaster preparedness.


Dan Thomas

Dan Thomas - Communities Covered: Torrance & Redondo Beach

Dan and his wife of 23-yrs have lived at the same address in Torrance, CA for over 2 decades. Together they are raising 3 children (21, 18, 16 yrs.) Dan was born in Torrance and raised in the South Bay / Palos Verdes area. Dan is a true “Local” with lots of travel and business experience under his belt. Dan continues to work in the technology field and provides TWC Fiber Optic Secure Data Links, Business Internet, Managed Cloud Services, Phone and Cable TV for mid-size and large multi-location businesses. Before the 9-11 attack in 2001, he specialized in wireless telecom and international business. He has traveled to 42 countries mostly for business and still enjoys meeting new people and experiencing new cultures.

Dan is very active in his communities of Torrance and Redondo Beach. Dan has completed CERT training and is part of the CERT team for the City of Torrance. He has served on the Board of Director for the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce for 6-years. Dan successfully organized and moderated monthly Technology ‘Lunch-&-Learn’ program for the Torrance Chamber that he started 7-years ago. He also was elected by Torrance Mayor and City Council to be a Commissioner for the City of Torrance.

He has attended and led the Leadership Torrance program and has also attended the Torrance “Partners in Policing” program. Dan also has served on Boards of Directors for a Credit Union and Non-Profit Fund Raisers in Redondo Beach and Torrance. He is also very active and has served on advisory boards within local groups and his Church; St. Lawrence Martyr Catholic Church in Redondo Beach.

Dan gives blood regularly (11-gallons so far) and enjoys volunteering and giving back to the community. When not out visiting clients or attending networking events, Dan can often be found on social networking sites (LinkedIn & Facebook) or out for a casual weekend beach bike ride with his kids.


Tereza Curry

Tereza Curry - Community Covered: Hawthorne

Teresa Curry is a consultant and founder of 1Relief.net.  In addition to working with businesses on continuity planning, she develops region-wide community programming. Teresa is the author of, Managing Disaster in Unpredictable Times, and has been a Red Cross volunteer since her high school days. 

Previously, Ms. Curry served in the following capacities: Chair of LA County’s largest children’s character-building program; member of Governance Board for Valley Healthcare; Interpreter for International Flying Doctors of Mercy; Trustee for HUMC (Drew University, Communities of Shalom);Legal Researcher for Ortega-Franco;  Agent for Humanitarian Exporting; Fundraiser for Airport Marina Counseling Service; Blueprint for Workplace Success instructor (CWA); Docent at LACMA; advisor for LAX Community Advisory Board; founder of Talleres Legales; Vice-President of African American Heritage Society; Economic Development department at Legal Aid Foundation; and recipient of NAFE Philanthropy award by Huell Howser (2006).

Serving as Ambassador under LA Region Red Cross is a natural for Teresa, one that has always promoted this progressive, admirable and life support organization.

 


Buffy Roney

Buffy Roney - Community Covered: Hancock Park

Buffy Roney is retired military, 23 years. She holds a Masters in Developmental Psychology from UCR; J.D. from Whittier Law School, 1978, and has been in private practice in Los Angeles through 2014.

She is a graduate of Civil Affairs Course in US Army and has completed a training program for Certified Administrator for Elder & Hospice care, California, 2015. It is her goal to provide a voluntary service to the Hancock Park community that will assist in protecting its residents and safeguard them in an actual emergency.

For over ten years Buffy has donated time to train companion dogs for disabled persons. Hancock Park has been her home for 22 years and most of her friends live in this community; this is the community she wishes to represent as Red Cross Community Ambassador.


Mike Russell

Mike Russell - Community Covered: Koreatown

Michael Russell is a performance- driven manager with 15 years of experience in business management and public administration. He prides himself on my ability to demonstrate leadership with hands-on guidance to achieve solid results. Well versed in innovating concepts as well addressing client needs and concerns to continuously improve service standards, quality, and performance. He is accustomed to working with individuals of diverse cultures, organizational, and business backgrounds. As the Executive Director of the Wilshire Center Business Improvement District, he understands the importance of business being prepared so they can recover and get back to the business as soon as possible after a large disaster. Additional past experience include website development and branding coordination at Next Graphics, a marketing firm based out of Los Angeles, California. He also has been active community resident, small business owner, Board Member of the Wilshire Center- Koreatown Neighborhood Council, Chair of the LAPD Community Police Advisory Board, member of the California Downtown Association, and volunteer for the local Red Cross.


Saedee Lee

Saedee Lee - Community Covered: Koreatown

Saedee Lee has a BA degree in Economics and minor in East Asian Language & Culture from UCLA. She currently fee-lances as a non- certified Korean English Interpreter and volunteers with CPAF, PAVA World and Red Cross. CPAF is an outreach organization assisting survivors of sexual assault and/ or domestic violence. Saedee has volunteered for special events such as Christmas Gift Wrap Party, interprets for clients whose primary language is Korean, and translated CPAF’s education materials. PAVA World is an Environmental Volunteer Association organizing environmentally conscious student for project around the L.A. River and Southern California beaches. Additionally, students learn Korean traditional dance and music. Saedee assists in searching for funding and organizing activities. Saedee is looking forward to utilizing her interpreting and translating skills to assist the Koreatown coalition in helping the community become more resilient.


Ivonne Zaldivar

Ivonne Zaldivar - Community Covered: Koreatown

Ivonne Zaldivar is a Salvadoran- American, residing in Los Angeles since 1981. She came to live in Pico Union area, and it became her home for over twenty years. She was raised three children as a single mother.

She was 32 when she decided to go to college. During the time she was going to school, she working for several pharmacies selling and promoting their services. She received her B.S. in Marketing from Woodbury University in Burbank in 2005. The following year, she decided to pursue graduate school and enroll herself in dual degree program with Master’s Degree and PhD in Public Health. As she learned more about marketing and public health, she developed more programs to educate diverse

communities about the healthy lifestyle, and disease prevention. She worked with the American Cancer Society as the Health Programs Manager where her main job was to empower the communities she served with education about cancer prevention, coalition building, and support for cancer patients and their families. She is a licensed Financial Advisor and helps individuals , families, and businesses to ensure their assets, their lives, and the futures of those they love. She likes to volunteer and make sure that she gives to the communities that mean so much to her. She has long

moved from the Pico- Union area, but her heart is still there. She served on the board of El Salvador Corridor, an economic development area for Salvadoran in Los Angeles. She is a Coalition Member with the Red Cross for Koreatown and soon Pico- Union. Currently, she is a candidate for Pico Union Neighborhood Council.


Will Washburn

Will Washburn - Community Covered: Carson

Will came to the Red Cross in 2009 as a volunteer CPR instructor and he is still active with Physical Health Services & Safety (PHSS) to date. The more he learned about the Red Cross mission and saw its impact on individuals the more he wanted to explore other ways he could contribute. Having a background in law enforcement, 12 years with the Orange County Sheriff Coroner, and 6 years teaching experience it seemed like a natural fit to help others in a time of need, so he began participating with the Disaster Action Team (DAT). In 2011, he found out about the Preparedness Education training and began providing presentations to community groups. In 2013, he had an opportunity to provide business acumen and leadership development to the Red Cross Youth and he accepted the call. While going on DAT calls he started learning how to assist clients after the initial DAT call and got involved in Client Casework in 2014. In the last part of the year he became a “Map Your Neighborhood Trainer”.

Will’s skill sets were developed through his experience as an Orange County Sheriff Reserve Deputy Coroner Investigator, CERT instructor, Teacher in Career and Technical Education, and a Corporate Trainer. He is currently a five-term President of San Rafael Home Owners Association, a non-profit corporation where he started a Neighborhood Watch program through the Carson Sheriff Department.


Mike Farrar

Mike Farrar - Community Covered: Norwalk, Artesia

Mike Farrar has been a volunteer for the American Red Cross (ARC) since 2008. In the last six years, he has received many certificates and awards from ARC and its partners, including the Clara Barton Award, Volunteer of the Year award, and Service to the Armed Forces award, and a Good Citizen award from the City of Long Beach. He is currently the lead for Service to the Armed Forces for the Los Angeles Region as well as the lead for International Services. He is one of 14 Mentors for the Country representing Restoring Family Links on a National level.

He also represents National Headquarters as a National Advocate for the Restoring Family Links program. He is a supervisor in Disaster Assessment and Safe and Well Linking for national disaster assignments, along with being a Disaster Action Team (DAT) Leader and Emergency Response Vehicle driver. In his spare time he is a youth advisor for the Los Angeles Region.

Mike has been an advanced CERT member for Area E now for 5 years working directly with Raquel Vernola from the City of Norwalk. He has also been an amateur radio operator (KJ6PAC) for over 4 years.


Shamika Ossey

Shamika Ossey - Communities Covered: Historic South Central, Watts, Willowbrook, Westmont

Shamika Ossey is an Emergency Preparedness Public Health Nurse/Community Liaison Public Health Nurse focusing on building community resilience through education and outreach related to emergency and disaster preparedness. Ossey has been employed as a Public Health Nurse with the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health for over six years.

Ms. Ossey is the third annual recipient of the highest national award given for preparedness, the John D. Solomon Whole Community Preparedness Award. Shamika holds a BS in Nursing from Mount St. Mary's College (Chalon Campus) where she also served as an adjunct nursing instructor in her alma mater's Associate Degree in Nursing to Master's Degree in Nursing Program.

Ms. Ossey brings over eight years of community outreach and engagement experience and is a strong advocate for the needs of underserved and economically disenfranchised communities. Organizations she works closely with include LA City Council District 15, Kaiser Permanente Watts, Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, Los Angeles Police Department-Southeast Division, Los Angeles City Fire Department, The American Red Cross Los Angeles Region, First 5 LA, SEIU Local 721, 7-Eleven Corporation, US Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, CERT, Children's Institute, Inc., Tree People, Heal the Bay, East Side Riders Bike Club, Watts Neighborhood Council, LAPD Spanish Community Policing Advisory Board, Los Angeles Metropolitan Churches, and the Office of Congresswoman Janice Hahn. Shamika has resided and served in the South Los Angeles Community for over six years.

Ms. Ossey's mission is to empower and educate South Los Angeles residents, communities, faith leaders, houses of worship, elected officials, community based organizations and colleagues on the importance of individual and community preparedness, which will help us be better prepared to respond and recover from a natural and/or man-made emergency or disaster.


Sharon Sylvers-Sydney

Sharon Sylvers-Sydney - Communities Covered: Historic South Central, Watts, Willowbrook

Sharon is a Community Engagement and Resilience Consultant for one of the largest Community Based Organizations in South Los Angeles, The Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC). A Community Engagement and Resilience Consultant is a volunteer role to serve the community in providing awareness and education on Emergency Preparedness, in addition to engaging community in Resilience Activities.

She is a CERT instructor and Program Manager. In addition to her volunteer role, Sharon has been an Emergency Preparedness Public Health Nurse and designed, directed, implemented as well as served in the role of Program Manager for the first Watts Teen CERT training which earned her The John D. Soloman Award, the highest National Award in Preparedness at the White House in 2013. Over the course of two years she has currently trained 8 cohorts of youth and adults in CERT and CPR and has collaborated with community, faith based and private organizations such as; 7-Eleven Corporation, Council on Pakistani American Affairs, nonprofits such as American Red Cross, schools, local government agencies such as; Los Angeles Fire Department, Compton Fire Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, and community coalitions such as the Watts Gang Task Force in an effort to conduct Emergency Simulation Exercises in South Los Angeles including the first in the Nation, Aerial CERT.

Sharon participated in the development of a Community Engagement Tool Kit for a multi-million dollar Centers for Disease Control grant awarded to L.A. County to promote preparedness and resilience across sixteen cities. Sharon is the recipient of the 2014 Public Health Innovation Award and was nominated for Public Health Nurse of the Year 2014.


James “Jay” Mercedes

James “Jay” Mercedes - Communities Covered: Lawndale, Alondra Park, Athens, Gardena

Jay Mercedes is the Managing Director of FMT’s Los Angeles office, leading the company’s focus on gaining market share and strengthening the FMT footprint. He is responsible for executing strategic initiatives, running the day to day operations and managing the overall employee/customer experience. Jay oversees all sales and professional services activities.

 

Jay brings more than 20 years of experience in executive leadership and general management. He specializes in building effective teams, talent development, project management, business process improvement and sales channel development. Most recently he served as a member of the executive team and Director of Business Solutions at Blytheco Inc., a top 20 integrated and cloud business solution provider. Previously, Jay was Director of Business Sales at Apple, Inc., where he oversaw the enterprise sales organization.  Prior to joining Apple, Jay spent over 14 years with Verizon Inc. in various leadership roles spanning enterprise solutions, sales operations, and business strategy.

Jay received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Miami, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Georgia.


Harold Omel

Harold Omel - Community Covered: Long Beach


Philip Wendell III

Philip Wendell III - Community Covered: Long Beach


Priscilla Schoch

Priscilla Schoch - Community Covered: Long Beach

Priscilla Schoch joined the Red Cross in 1987. The Whittier Earthquake shook Priscilla and her family out of bed and the next day Priscilla was recruited by the Orange County Chapter to develop the role of the CDV (Coordinator of Disaster Volunteers) at the chapter. In this role, she was responsible for the on boarding of all new disaster volunteers and their career path within Disaster Services. She prepared them to become members of the Disaster Services Human Resource System. She worked with them to develop their training and prepared them for deployment on national disasters. At that time, she also became the VOAD Chair and took on the enormous challenge of going out and developing new partnerships on behalf of the Chapter. She was responsible for the task of researching, contacting, and meeting with all of the voluntary agencies in Orange County. Her role was to convince all the agencies to come to the table and begin the job of working out a plan for a coordinated disaster response. It took a long time, but it finally happened. In 1998 she transferred to the Greater Long Beach Chapter and continued in the role as a Disaster Services Human Resources Administrator. That title has evolved to the Disaster Workforce Administrator for the chapter. She is also currently the Government Liaison Chair and will be adding Public Affairs Chair to her responsibilities.

Priscilla was privileged to be sent to Naperville to be trained as a National Instructor. She has taught many disaster courses through the years and currently she teaches the Volunteer Connection training classes via WebX across the country.

Priscilla has worked numerous national disasters since 1987, to name a few: Hurricane Iniki in Hawaii, 9/11 in New York, the Northridge Earthquake, Hurricane Katrina in Baton Rouge, Hurricane Sandy and many more. During Hurricane Katrina she worked with Politicians, Officials, and Representatives exercising tact and diplomacy. Priscilla was the Manager for the Government Operations activity in headquarters. In addition to her job managing multiple EOC’s, she dealt on a daily basis with the politicians that walked in every day to make requests or suggestions to change our Red Cross operations to meet their needs. It required delicate verbal navigation to voice our Red Cross policies to these individuals that insisted on having matters their way in their state. She practices this verbal diplomacy when interacting with our local officials.

The 9/11 event in New York required special diplomacy. Federal Agencies, State Agencies, all branches of the Military, Politicians and visiting heads of state, Fire, and Police all needed to be represented within this 1000 man Emergency Operations Center located in Pier 92 on the Westside. Priscilla was the lone Red Cross Government Operations Manager that connected with our headquarters in Brooklyn. There she learned the process needed to work with all levels of the government on this job – under unrelenting stress. This experience was unique but from it, Priscilla received very valuable experience working with agencies at all levels of our government and VOADS.

Priscilla has received many awards and recognition, to name a few: 2 Golden Circle awards for outstanding leadership and service from the Red Cross Orange County Chapter, Volunteer of the Year for outstanding leadership, support and service in 2001 from the Long Beach Chapter, the Dorothy Wise Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Awards in 2009 from the Long Beach Chapter, the Volunteer of the Month Award in 2008, the Volunteer of the Month Award in June 2014, and many more. She was also the first volunteer to be chosen as a Loaned Executive for United Way. Only Board members or paid staff did this in the past. She is an incredible asset to the American Red Cross and is ready to continue her work in blue skies relationship management for Long Beach on behalf of the American Red Cross.


Linda Timmons

Linda Timmons - Community Covered: Paramount

Linda Timmons was raised mainly in California to humble southern parents that pressed the issue of

ethics and moral society.

Linda Timmons opted for an early retirement in Executive Management and retired in 2003 from City Government after having tenured 33 years. After retiring, she explored several business projects and volunteer opportunities through her church and other entities.

Hurricane Rita struck Texas and shortly thereafter Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. Linda took action to volunteer at the American Red Cross. One day she walked in the door of the Long Beach ARC with the intent to just fill out and application. The clerk was overwhelmed with phone calls. Linda sat down to volunteer to help with the phones and from that she was inspired to take several classes and become part of the Disaster Action Team (DAT) traveling to various disaster areas such as Katrina, Rita, Sandy, Texas and several other disaster areas to assist individuals and families displaced by natural and man-made disasters, including home

fires. Lind also worked the front line with the medical team during the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and flooding, which ravaged Haiti. Linda is presently the President of Advocates for Family Unity and working with the Orange County Court System as as professional Visitation Monitor and Counselor for families going

though difficult relational issues. The ultimate goal is family reunification.

Linda never lost her desire to work with the American Red Cross and continues to participate in various activities. Linda’s background and focus on the community collaboration has led her to a number of volunteer opportunities and community leadership roles with the ARC. She is also a blood donor. In working with the

Red Cross, it is always her primary motto “to improve the quality of human life and enhance individual self-reliance and concern for others.”


Kathy Sauble

Kathy Sauble - Community Covered: La Habra Heights

Kathy has been involved with the Red Cross ever since 1996, when she received the American Red Cross Certificate of Appreciation for helping organizing shelter and feeding during the Northern California floods. Kathy is currently a CERT team member in the City of La Habra Heights, City of La Mirada, and the LA County Sheriff’s Department. She’s also a member of the California Emergency Service Association (CESA) and has been a member of La Mirada’s Disaster Steering Committee since 1998. She previously served 9 years as a member of the La Habra Height Fire Dept. Rehab Team and 2 years as the City of La Habra Heights Parks and Recreation Commissioner. Over the years she’s also volunteered at City Hall, at emergency preparedness/safety fairs, and on the City of La Habra’s Hazard Mitigation Plan Project Team.

She’s also a deeply qualified volunteer, having been certified in numerous levels of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the California Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS). Kathy has even taken numerous trainings, which range in topic from the LA County Seminar on Biological Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction to Beyond the Fires: Emerging Lessons from the 2003 Firestorm. Among these various trainings and certifications, she’s been Red Cross certified in Shelter Operations and Simulation, Disaster Services, Mass Feeding, Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Operations and Mass Care & Shelter Operations. She has also been attending the OC Red Cross Disaster Academy annually for the past 12 years.

For her dedicated service to her community, Kathy was named the City of La Habra Heights Volunteer of the Year in 2000. In 2008, she was even honored with the President’s Call to Service Award – the highest award presented to volunteers – by President George W. Bush.


Melissa Albarenga

Melissa Albarenga - Community Covered: East Los Angeles

Melissa Albarenga was raised in East Los Angeles and graduated from Garfield High School in 2009. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Chicano/a Studies from the University of California in Santa Barbara in 2013. She is now the Family and Civic Engagement Coordinator at KIPP Los Angeles Schools where she engages with other community organizations to provide resources and tools for families in the East Los Angeles Community. She also runs non-partisan campaigns and encourages the East Los Angeles Community to get more civically engaged. One of her biggest events was on National Voter Registration Day in September where 400+ families attended and learned the importance of Civic Engagement. Melissa is fairly new at being an Ambassador but she is excited to get more of her families at KIPP Sol Academy engaged in emergency preparedness in ELA.


Rudy Salinas

Rudy Salinas - Community Covered: East Los Angeles

Rudy graduated from East L.A. College and then went onto Cal State L.A. He later acquired and MPA from USC. Rudy has spent summers working in Africa, Poland, Russia and Japan. He served two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia. He has worked for non-profits throughout his career, including the American Red Cross for 16 years. Rudy has been a volunteer member of the Rotary Club for 23 years and a blood donor with the Red Cross, currently with 840 donations. Rudy is looking to serve as an Ambassador for the Red Cross in East L.A.


Noemi Morales

Noemi Morales - Community Covered: East Los Angeles

Noemi Morales (East Los Angeles) received her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from California State University Los Angeles, and is currently a Program Specialist at YWCA GLA. Noemi runs the Senior Program at the Union Pacific Empowerment Center, in East Los Angeles. A side, from planning daily activities, Noemi teaches a senior computer class in Spanish, where her students learn basic computer skills, internet basics, Facebook, and now covering twitter. She enjoys bringing information to her student, allowing them to prosper in the 21st century. She was honored with Superior Performance Award during last year’s YWCA GLA Staff Recognition Awards, Noemi Morales became a member of the East Los Angeles Preparedness Coalition, which began in December 2015. Noemi is an official Volunteer for the American Red Cross and assisted with organizing the American Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign in East Los Angeles.


Lourdes Caracoza

Lourdes Caracoza - Community Covered: East Los Angeles

Lourdes Caracoza (East Los Angeles) is Senior Vice- President of Program Operations & Community Relations for Alma Family Services, an organization established in 1975 by East Los Angeles parents to provide bilingual comprehensive services for those with Intellectual Disabilities and their families.

For over 30 years she has served Alma Family Services in various capacities. In 2003 she was instrumental in establishing the Centro Estrella Family Resource Center which provides advocacy training, behavioral health services, parenting classes, preschool, resource library, socialization training program, and support groups. Continuing her pioneering efforts, Ms. Caracoza also established a bilingual ABA program and develop a child abuse prevention program which provides

support to families who have a child with an intellectual disability and have an open DCFS case. In conjunction with San Gabriel Pomona Regional Center, Ms. Caracoza has presented at a state level in various collaboration services model that serve adults with Intellectual Disabilities and mental health needs.


To learn more about the Community Ambassador Program, please contact Nikki.Davis@Redcross.org.