LEADING THE WAY

HOPE BUILDERS LEADERSHIP TEAM.

shawna smith executive director

Shawna Smith, Executive Director

Since joining the staff in 1998, Shawna has held various roles and led the development of numerous strategic initiatives including successfully managing the transition of the organization’s founding director in 2008. In her role as CEO, she has led the development of Hope Builders' social enterprise ventures.... She has worked in numerous capacities in the nonprofit sector in the areas of workforce development, re-entry, intervention programming, emergency assistance, housing instability and volunteer service. She received her degree in English from Santa Clara University. She spent a year as a Jesuit Volunteer living and working among the poor of Central Orange County providing emergency assistance services to families on the edge of homelessness. In 2006, she was named a Marano Fellow by the Aspen Institute.

In 2012, she was named one of 40 Under 40 in Orange County by the OC Metro. More recently the LA Times OC acknowledged Shawna as a 2022 OC Visionary for her work with Hope Builders.

MORE »
zajid cova Director of Finance

Zajid Cova, Director of Finance

Zajid Cova joined Hope Builders in 2016. He leads the finance team to ensure general operating needs are met through finance, business planning, budgeting, administration of grants and payroll. Prior to Hope Builders, Zajid contributed to the success in managing KidWorks from a $300K annual budget... to $3.5M annual budget in 10 years. Zajid earned his BS in Business Administration with a focus in Accounting from California State University, Los Angeles.
MORE »
Amber Headshot

Amber Rizkalla, Director of Programs

Amber Rizkalla joined Hope Builders in 2023. She is responsible for the operational success of Hope Builders' programs, ensuring seamless service delivery, team management and development, and quality control. Amber has 15 years of experience in progressive roles in program management and leadership... within nonprofits, most recently overseeing the Transitional Youth Academy. Amber earned her BA in Communication and MA in Sociological Practice from California State University, San Marcos.
MORE »
christa sheehan Deputy Director

Christa Sheehan, Deputy Director

Christa Sheehan joined Hope Builders in 1998, assisting in the long-term planning efforts, including strategic planning, fundraising campaigns, marketing campaigns and advocacy initiatives. Prior to Hope Builders, Christa was a Program Associate at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. and the... Managing Editor of the Environmental Change and Security Project Report. Christa earned her BA, cum laude, in French/International Studies from Dickinson College and her MA in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh. She became a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) in 2005.
MORE »
laura stagner Senior Director of Development

Laura Stagner, Senior Director of Development

Laura Stagner joined Hope Builders in 2007 to focus on the agency’s annual fund donor activities. In 2018, Laura transitioned to the role of Senior Director of Development to assist in strategic planning efforts and the development and implementation of the Hope Builders Career Connections social enterprise. ... She now oversees fundraising and earned income activities. Laura earned a BA in Sociology from Georgetown University, and became a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) in 2012.
MORE »

BOARD OF DIRECTORS.

CARLOS Gonzalez
Chair
Bio
ALEX CALABRESE
Vice Chair
Bio
MIKE SMITH
Treasurer
Bio
Tim Blett
Chair Emeritus
Bio
MICHAEL CAWLINA
Director
Bio
TARA COWELL
Director
Bio
OLIVIA LINDSAY
Director
Bio
VINCE MCGUINNESS JR.
Director
Bio
SR. EILEEN MCNERNEY, CSJ
Director
Bio
MARIA ELENA PERALES
Director
Bio
JEFF RANDOLPH
Director
Bio
Shawna Smith
Director (ex officio)
JON STORBECK
Director
Bio
LISA WEAVER
Director
Bio

HOPE BUILDERS’ STAFF.

LEADERSHIP TEAM

SHAWNA SMITH
Executive Director
Ext. 109
ssmith@tsjhopebuilders.org
CHRISTA SHEEHAN, CFRE
Deputy Director
Ext. 112
csheehan@tsjhopebuilders.org
ZAJID COVA
Director of Finance
Ext. 114
zcova@tsjhopebuilders.org
AMBER RIZKALLA
Director of Programs
Ext. 136
arizkalla@tsjhopebuilders.org
LAURA STAGNER, CFRE
Senior Director of Development
Ext. 123
lstagner@tsjhopebuilders.org
 

ADMIN AND OPERATIONS

CORRINE HILL
Data and Learning Manager
Ext. 159
chill@tsjhopebuilders.org
PERLA LOPEZ
Executive Assistant to CEO
Ext. 110
plopez@tsjhopebuilders.org

FINANCE AND HUMAN RESOURCES

DIANE BALLEZA
Staff Accountant
Ext. 215
dballeza@tsjhopebuilders.org
ELYSSA OTERO
Contracts Coordinator
eotero@tsjhopebuilders.org
AZUCENA VERA
Accounting Coordinator
Ext. 100
avera@tsjhopebuilders.org

FUNDRAISING

JESSICA HUBNER, MPA
Donor Relations Manager
Ext. 124
jhubner@tsjhopebuilders.org
SARAY PALLARES
Development Coordinator
Ext. 126
spallares@tsjhopebuilders.org

OUTREACH

ROSARIO ESPARZA ZAVALA
Outreach Coordinator
Ext. 302
resparza@tsjhopebuilders.org
DOMINIQUE MISHER
Outreach Manager
Ext. 265
dmisher@tsjhopebuilders.org
KRISTI PONCE
Outreach Coordinator
Ext. 125
kponce@tsjhopebuilders.org
KATE WILKERSON
Outreach Coordinator
Ext. 148
kwilkerson@tsjhopebuilders.org

ADMISSIONS

KARISSA GUTIERREZ
Admissions Coordinator
Ext. 194
kgutierrez@tsjhopebuilders.org
ERICKA RIOS-STREITZ
Admissions Manager
Ext. 163
erios@tsjhopebuilders.org
CINTHIA TORRES
Admissions Specialist
Ext. 221
ctorres@tsjhopebuilders.org
 

TRAINING

SOFIA DIAZ
Clinical Medical Assisting Training Supervisor II
Ext. 157
sdiaz@tsjhopebuilders.org
LAUREN EDDY
Instructional Specialist
Ext. 275
leddy@tsjhopebuilders.org
DONIELLE GARRETT, CCMA
Clinical Medical Assisting Training Supervisor
Ext. 305
dgarrett@tsjhopebuilders.org
MANARA MCCOBB
Clinical Medical Assisting Training Supervisor I
Ext. 245
mmccobb@tsjhopebuilders.org
MICHAEL O'NEILL
Construction Training Supervisor
moneill@tsjhopebuilders.org
 

EMPLOYMENT READINESS

MANNY GARCIA
Employment Readiness Coordinator
Ext. 303
mgarcia@tsjhopebuilders.org
CINDY MENDIZABAL
Employment Readiness Manager
Ext. 195
cmendizabal@tsjhopebuilders.org
CHRISTIE NAKAO
Employment Readiness Coordinator
cnakao@tsjhopebuilders.org
 

SUPPORT SPECIALISTS

MICHELLE COOPER, MSW
Support Specialist II
Ext. 193
mcooper@tsjhopebuilders.org
MARIA DAVIS, MA
Support Specialist
(714) 790-8767 Ext. 145
mdavis@tsjhopebuilders.org
RUTH IBARRA, MSW
Support Services Manager
Ext. 248
ribarra@tsjhopebuilders.org
LAURA NARANJO, MSW
Support Specialist
Ext. 254
lnaranjo@tsjhopebuilders.org
MARIA PLANCARTE, BA
Support Specialist
Ext. 137
mplancarte@tsjhopebuilders.org
CARMEN REYES, BA
Support Specialist
Ext. 147
creyes@tsjhopebuilders.org
SABINE SHAH, MSW
Support Specialist II/Therapist
Ext. 167
sshah@tsjhopebuilders.org
 

HOPE BUILDERS CAREER CONNECTIONS

SANDY HERRERA
Recruiter
(714) 790-8768
sherrera@tsjhopebuilders.org
SYDNEY KELLEY
Recruiter
Ext. 225
skelley@tsjhopebuilders.org
GABRIELLE ROZELL
Account Manager
Ext. 129
grozell@tsjhopebuilders.org
 

Career Opportunities

Hope Builders is always looking for talented and dynamic individuals to join our team.

For questions on any job positions, please contact: (714) 543–5105 or email hr@tsjhopebuilders.org