Program Associate, The San Diego Foundation
Sadie Brinton is the Program Associate for Regional Outreach at The San Diego Foundation, where she supports the work of seven affiliate foundations. The San Diego Foundation’s affiliate foundation help identify and meet the emerging needs of the diverse communities throughout San Diego County through collective philanthropy and member engagement. Sadie provides grantmaking and marketing coordination, membership management, and operational support to the seven affiliates and more than 200 active volunteers.
Sadie is Co-Chair of the Events Leadership Team of Women Give San Diego, a women’s collective giving organization, a board member of the Duke Club of San Diego, and an active member of the San Diego chapter of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy.
Prior to moving to San Diego in 2011, Sadie was an intern with the White House Office of Public Engagement, where she worked on disability policy and women’s issues. She also volunteered as a legal assistant at CASA de Maryland, a Latino and immigrant advocacy organization, and consulted for the Entertainment Industries Council, a nonprofit that raises awareness of major health and social issues through the entertainment industry and media.
Sadie grew up outside of Washington, D.C. in a Virginia suburb. Active in political campaigns since high school, Sadie most recently volunteered with the 2010 campaign of Virginia Congressman Gerry Connolly and the 2012 campaign of San Diego Congressman Scott Peters. Sadie received her Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina
Pharmacy Intern Coordinator, CVS Caremark
Paul Richardson currently serves as the Pharmacy Intern Coordinator at CVS Caremark for the Southern California and Southern Nevada regions. He works as a liaison between CVS Caremark and multiple pharmacy schools throughout the Southwest, where he oversees the interviewing and hiring of pharmacist interns and graduate interns that support over 300 CVS community pharmacies.
Paul started with CVS in 2000 in the pharmacy department as a Lead Technician, was a pharmacy trainer for five years, aided on the transition team for both the Sav-on and Longs Drugs acquisitions, and served as a problem solver for struggling stores until he began in his current role in 2010.
Paul is an active member of the Young Professional Council – A Program of the San Diego LGBT Community Center and served as CoChair for their 2012 Champagne Brunch fundraiser. He has been an integral part in launch of CVS Caremark’s first LGBT Colleague Resource Group, known as C-FI, Colleagues for Inclusion. He sits on the Community Advisory Board for both PIMA Medical Institute and Newbridge College Pharmacy Technician Programs.
Paul was born in Arizona and relocated to San Diego post high school, where he has made his home. In his spare time he enjoys volunteering, traveling, movies, and good food. He is currently finishing prerequisites to attend pharmacy school.
Director of Practice Development, The Moore Firm
Jacqueline Palmer is the director of practice development for The Moore Firm, a Sorrento Valley business law firm. She works closely with clients starting new businesses and ensures their compliance with state and local regulations.
Jacqueline moved to San Diego in 2007 after graduating from UC Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in linguistics. She got involved in the San Diego’s LGBT community and quickly realized a new passion for politics and community organizing. She worked on the No on Prop. 8 campaign as the phone bank manager for the San Diego/Inland Empire region. She then went on to work as the San Diego field manager for Equality California, where she led a voter persuasion canvass effort to raise public support for same-sex marriage.
She is also very passionate about women’s rights and reproductive choice. She volunteers with Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, and is a member of the San Diego County NOW and NOW PAC boards.
She has worked on a number of other campaigns, including: No on 1, Maine’s 2009 same-sex marriage ballot question; Mary Salas for State Senate 2010; Alliance for a Better California/Jerry Brown for Governor 2010; and, most recently, on Congressman Scott Peters’ successful campaign to represent the 52nd district.
She wishes to further develop her political career in San Diego and serve in a position of greater leadership to strongly advocate for the causes she cares about.
Policy Advocate, Environmental Health Coalition
Kayla Race has been working to protect the environment and public health for four years, most recently with Environmental Health Coalition (EHC). As a Policy Advocate with EHC’s Green Energy/Green Jobs Campaign, Kayla works to advance a green economy that will benefit all communities in San Diego region, with a focus on low-income communities of color.
Prior to joining EHC in 2011, Kayla worked for a local environmental remediation government contractor. She also spent nearly two years working for the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a Policy Research Analyst for the House Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, where she worked to advance legislation on energy efficiency, clean energy, climate change, water, electronic waste, and transportation.
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Kayla earned her B.A. in Environmental Studies from Middlebury College in Vermont.
When she’s not actively promoting policies and other solutions to protect our environment and health, Kayla enjoys running and bicycling in San Diego’s beautiful outdoors, and dabbling in various artistic endeavors. She is a member of Progressive Speakers, a local Toastmasters club of members sharing progressive values.
Kayla was featured in Patch.com’s 30 Under 30 Leaders in San Diego County for 2012.
Program Analyst, San Diego Housing Commission
Pari Ryan is a Program Analyst at the San Diego Housing Commission. Born in Iran at the height of the revolution, Pari’s family immigrated to the United States when she was three, and settled in San Diego.
Pari graduated from San Diego State University with a BA in Public Administration, and while completing her degree, received her first taste of local politics in 2003 as an intern in the office of Councilmember Donna Frye. In January 2005 Pari joined the Councilmember’s team full-time where she served as a community liaison, and an analyst for land use and housing issues. During this time, she was also heavily involved in the Councilmember’s mayoral and reelection campaigns, where she learned the art of organizing, from precinct walks and phone banking, to volunteer coordination and getting out the vote.
Coming from a family of small business owners, Pari recognized the potential impact of combining private and public sector best practices to effect positive change. So to balance out her professional experience, in late 2008 she took a position in a small firm in San Diego. There, she helped launch an award-winning green roof and living wall contracting company, the first of its kind in the region. Pari also dove head first into the world of construction, serving as estimator and project manager for the company. She developed a passion for sustainable contracting, which combined with her management responsibilities, gave her insight into the benefits and challenges that face small businesses on a daily basis.
In 2011, Pari recognized an opportunity to apply her professional experience to affordable housing, and joined the San Diego Housing Commission. Here, she combines her skills in community development and private contracting, with those developed in the fields of public relations and long-range planning. Pari looks forward to growing within the organization and, having spent her formative years living in affordable housing, is passionate about helping increase quality, affordable housing in the City.
She and her husband live in North Park, where they enjoy exploring the neighboring communities on their bikes, while planning their next big backpacking trip.
Founding Attorney, Law Office of Kimberly R. Simms
Kimberly earned her law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, California and started her own law practice focusing on the unique legal needs of the medical marijuana community. In this position she has fought relentlessly for patients’ rights, met with government officials to craft reasonable and effective regulations that allow for safe access, and litigated against cities when they refused to comply with state law. Kimberly is at the forefront of this emerging area of law. She has taught courses on Medical Marijuana Law and has been interviewed by NPR, CNN and various media outlets as a leading expert in this field.
Furthermore, as a passionate advocate for LGBT rights, Kimberly is committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of the LGBT community through legal work, education and public policy work. She is currently expanding her practice to include legal services in adoption and surrogacy matters. Kimberly is a member of the Young Professionals Council, a philanthropic organization supporting the San Diego LGBT Center.
As an active volunteer in the progressive community, Kimberly serves as a volunteer attorney for the California Innocence Project; a program devoted to releasing wrongfully convicted inmates. She serves as the Director of Communications for the San Diego County Young Democrats and is excited to serve her second term on the Executive Board of the Sa Diego County Democratic Central Committee as the Director of Fundraising. Kimberly looks forward to the work she and her NLC Institute Fellows will do throughout the community.
AVP of Classes & Coaching, Community HousingWorks/em>
Having fled the Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan in 1981, Ali Tarzi’s family fled to Frankfurt, Germany and finally settled in San Diego, California two years later. Arriving in the United States at the age of five, Ali spent his early all his early years in San Diego attending Helix High School in La Mesa and San Diego State University as a Public Administration Major. 2003 marked a pivotal moment in his life when a career opportunity presented itself within the residential real estate industry.
Ali spent the next five years gaining skills and experience in a Real Estate career, working primarily with first time homeowners. This career spanned across two brokerage firms and a private mortgage bank, lasting until the housing crash in 2008. As part of the recovery plan, Congressional appropriations began to make dollars and resources available to select non-profit organizations in early 2008; Ali was hired by one such organization, Community HousingWorks, to use his industry expertise to assist struggling homeowners. Over the next two years he directly counseled over 500 financially distressed San Diego families, serving as a fierce and calculated advocate.
Gaining knowledge in the intricacies of bank loss mitigation procedures, secondary market implications, and housing related bureaucratic complexities, Ali soon oversaw a team of 6 full time counselors, leading his team to local, statewide and even national recognition as a best practice model. Recognitions include appointment to Mayor Jerry Sanders Foreclosure Prevention Task Force, being awarded the San Diego County Bars Distinguished Servicer Award, being highlighted as a Freddie Mac National Spotlight Organization and receiving the National Council of La Raza’s (NCLR) Affiliate of the year Award. Ali himself was recognized in Sacramento, receiving the Soaring Condor Award from the California Reinvestment Coalition for Leadership and in Washington D.C., receiving a national Counselor of the Year Award for Outreach Efforts and Professional Development from the NeighborWorks America network, a network of over 250 housing focused non-profits. Today, Ali resides in the Hillcrest Neighborhood of San Diego, with his wife Rebekka.
Ali is currently the AVP of Classes and Coaching for Community HousingWorks assisting his department towards a comprehensive service model focused on financial recovery and resiliency for families. He advises on state level housing policy issues to NCLR through the California Housing Committee, sits on the NeighborWorks National Advisory Committee, and is the primary media contact for CHW’s home-ownership lines of business.
Veterans Advocate, Interfaith Community Services
Gena Truitt is a Veterans Advocate working with the Veterans Homeless Prevention Demonstration (VHPD) at Interfaith Community Services. As a Veterans Advocate, Gena provides case management services for veterans who are at risk of becoming homeless. Gena processes applications for VHPD while providing case management services for veterans assisting them find suitable housing, increase employment opportunities/income and budgeting.
In 2012, Gena graduated from the University of Southern California (USC) with her Masters of Social Work (MSW). While she was as a MSW student she developed two internships as the first MSW intern at both Wolff Canyon Elementary and at U.S. Senator Boxer’s office. While at Wolff Canyon Gena created a “Pride Club” for military children, where these children could strengthen social bonds with other military students and develop an internal support network. The “Pride Club” is now being implemented in multiple military impacted schools.
Gena received recognition for creating this program and had an opportunity to meet Dr. Jill Biden along with other MSW students who had created programs for military children. Gena also helped develop a student leadership role and provided representation for 160 MSW students attending USC, San Diego Academic Center.
Before Gena started her MSW program she served as a military spouse and is a veteran of the Armed Forces. Over the span of about ten years Gena served in the U.S. Navy as an Information System Technician and became a military spouse with two children. Gena had the opportunity to live in England for five years where she was able to immerse herself in a different culture and these years were very impactful. The experiences of living overseas gave Gena an understanding of different education systems and healthcare opportunities.
But, as a military spouse with children stationed in a foreign country, Gena noticed a lack of support for spouses. With the Ombudsman, Gena created and led a Family Readiness Group (FRG) and served as the President. As the FRG President Gena worked to increase attendance to social events and had a tremendous impact on the moral of the spouses who had felt isolated and alone. Through the FRG the spouses had created a support network with other military spouses. It was after serving as an FRG President Gena decided to continue her education and work towards her Masters of Social Work degree when her family was transferred to San Diego in 2009.
Jessica L. Nare
Supervisor, Youth Leadership Programs, Jewish Family Service of San Diego
Jessica L. Nare works at Jewish Family Service of San Diego where she supervises the Youth Leadership Department. While at JFS, Jessica designed and launched several new successful programs that emphasize leadership, empowerment and service learning. Girls Give Back, Ladies of Construction Technology Academy and Dare to Dream: the Teen Social Justice Coalition work to increase civic engagement and self- efficacy skills in San Diego’s next generation of leaders. Jessica continues to be inspired by the commitment, creativity and compassion of youth who give back to the community in a positive way.
Prior to working at JFS, Jessica directed programming at the Midge Costanza Leadership Institute for Public Policy and Politics where she supervised academic research, while managing volunteers and staff.
Jessica holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Ohio Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in Women’s Studies from San Diego State University. She has travelled widely to study women’s issues with scholars and community organizers throughout Europe and Asia. She brings these experiences to her work as an adjunct faculty member in Women’s Studies at SDSU and in the Departments of Sociology and Global Studies at National University. Jessica is passionate about exploring diversity, identity and social justice in the classroom and through youth programs. She is a native Californian, an avid reader, and is deeply fond of science fiction horror films.
Manager, Community Research, The San Diego Foundation
Wyn Furman conducts research on behalf of fund advisors at The San Diego Foundation (TSDF), a community foundation dedicated to preserving and enhancing quality of life throughout the San Diego region. Wyn’s work serves to deepen understanding of the regional nonprofit community, increase donor engagement, and inform charitable giving with the aim of encouraging data-driven and impact-oriented philanthropy. She originally joined TSDF to oversee all administrative aspects for Our Greater San Diego Vision, a community-planning project that engaged 30,000 people across the region.
Wyn has been active with Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy since joining TSDF, and now serves as the membership chair for the San Diego chapter. She is also a member of Women Give San Diego, an intergenerational collective giving organization that advocates for the economic self-sufficiency and security of lower income women and girls in San Diego County. She enjoys volunteering for a local animal rescue organization and for her alma mater as an alumni interviewer of prospective students.
Prior to her time at TSDF, Wyn worked for a consumer protection law firm, a senior-focused consulting firm, and a women’s reproductive health organization. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in European History and French Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.