BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Bob L. Johnson*, Chairman (Attorney)
Donna Bojarsky*, Public Affairs Consultant
Lulu Fou, Partner - Accenture
Germain Labat, Shareholder - Vedder Price
Ferrell Marshall, Actor
Martin Pedersen, Managing Director - Stellar Digital Design Agency
Yancey Quinones, Owner - Antigua Coffee House
Roger Guenveur Smith, Actor
Julie Tugend, Former COO - California Endowment
Beth Albrecht, Logistics Manager
Beth was raised in the suburbs of Los Angles and has a degree in Studio Art from UCSB as well as a Masters in Public Administration from USC. Her event planning experience includes four years as the event's chair for a creative business network in Austin, where she planned bi-annual craft shows, facilitated partnerships with non-profits, and worked with SXSW affiliates. She has volunteered all over the world and continues to work every summer as a volunteer director at a youth summer camp on Catalina Island. When she's not planning the next party or DIY'ing something, she loves running, camping, and napping at the beach.
Courtney Bloodgood, RSVP Pro Bono Manager
Growing up in Sacramento, Courtney’s capitol-hometown catapulted her into the middle of the Iraq war protests. This sparked a drive to become more active in her community and foster change so she began volunteering at local food banks and nonprofits. One day she realized that giving back needed to be her full-time position. Starting as an intern with L.A. Works, Courtney has subsequently volunteered for a variety projects over the past year and now joins the team full-time. “Since leaving my corporate job, I've been able to use my skills for something that matters to our community, and it's made me finally feel connected to the amazing community of Los Angeles!”
Abiram Brizuela, Director of Entertainment Development and Communications
Abiram (Abi) is a Venezuelan composer and orchestra conductor raised in El Sistema; the world’s largest community-based program to use music as a tool for social empowerment. In 2009 Abiram moved to the US and served as Program Director for the Miami Music Project, helping hundreds of children reach their full potential through the study and performance of music. In an effort to create a bridge between L.A.’s entertainment industry and art-based community programs in the city, Abiram joined the L.A. Works team as Director of Entertainment Development and Communications. Beyond our team, Abi composes music for theatre, films and video games, and serves as guest conductor for several youth orchestras in the US. He’s an avid fan of board games and identifies himself as a Burner.
Kami Bruner, Operations Manager
A relative newcomer to Los Angeles, Kami originally hails from Nashville, TN via New Orleans. She's interested in systems thinking, social justice and helping organizations achieve greater impact. Kami received a BA in Religious Studies from The University of the South (Sewanee) and an MS from Tulane University where she focused on sustainable community & organizational development. Between her studies, Kami interned with the U.S. Consulate in Germany, worked with the University of TN's Institute of Public Service as well as several environmental organizations, and was deeply involved in community activism in her hometown. As L.A. Works' Operations Manager, Kami provides support for all departments and facilitates capacity-building initiatives. When not at “the Works,” you'll likely find her repurposing scavenged treasures, TimeBanking, or having her ankles mauled by a tiny blind foster cat.
Deborah Brutchey, Executive Director
Prior to joining the L.A. Works team in June 2009, Deborah worked in development for a family service agency in Santa Barbara and program management for an organization serving children impacted by a parent with cancer in San Francisco. In 2001, Deborah was interim Executive Director of the AT&T Center for Service Leadership at the Pennsylvania State University. Deborah has served on the City of Los Angeles' "We Serve LA" Community Service Advisory Cabinet, is a member of the Points of Light's Corporate Institute Leadership Faculty, and is a graduate of the Los Angeles' Chamber Leadership Los Angeles class of 2014. Deborah completed her MBA degree from the USC Marshall School of Business with a focus in social entrepreneurship.
Nahtahna Cabanes, Director of Strategic Partnerships | Director of RSVP
Responsible for recruiting and supervising baby boomer volunteers, Nahtahna's appointment as the director of RSVP continues her life's work creating opportunity and change through advocacy, education and community outreach. WIth two masters degrees, she's an experienced educator having worked in high schools and colleges with low-income youth, incarcerated populations and single-working mothers. As a Bohnett Fellow, she worked with Mayor Villaraigosa on his education reform agenda. At CASA of L.A., she recruited hundreds of volunteers to advocate on behalf of abused and neglected children. She enjoys running half marathons and spending time with her morkie, Sia.
Max Ferguson, Program Associate, RSVP Signature Projects
Max Ferguson is originally from Seattle, but his first winter in Southern California precluded his continuing to live in the Northwest. He studied philosophy and literature at Pomona College in Claremont, California, where he developed an enthusiasm for service that led him to AmeriCorps and L.A. Works. Max has a millenial’s facility with technology and extensive experience working with diverse groups of people in the hospitality, retail and education sectors. He will apply this knowledge and experience to building the capacity of nonprofits throughout greater Los Angeles through better use of technology. In his free time, Max enjoys climbing, fishing and fixing things.
Beverlee Gale, RSVP Outreach Coordinator
After volunteering with our RSVP volunteer program, Beverlee has taken the leap to join our staff as the RSVP Outreach Coordinator. A lifelong volunteer, Beverlee has proudly taught her children and grandchildren the importance of giving back. Originally from Vermont, Beverlee was stationed in Europe for six years where she served as a telecommunications specialist with the U.S. Air Force. She brings 30+ years of Systems Project Management experience, as well as five years of marketing management for Toyota Motor Sales corporate offices. When she's not working, volunteering, racing Nascar, or spending time with family, Beverlee is busy honing her newfound skills as a line producer for independent films.
Scott Houston, RSVP Outreach Coordinator
Scott brings to L.A. Works a diverse background in public service, communications, business and manufacturing. In addition to his role building relationships and recruiting RSVP volunteers on the Westside, Scott serves as an elected official on the Board of Directors of the West Basin Municipal Water District where he is focused on sustainable water resources management, state and federal water policy, and the continued need to conserve and educate the public about responsible water use and habits. Scott previously served on the Board of Tree Musketeers, a youth-led non-profit dedicated to planting trees while teaching young people valuable leadership skills. His professional experience includes technology public relations as well as customer service management. When not focused on RSVP or California water, he enjoys reading, physical fitness and traveling.
Jessica Manzo, RSVP Senior Program Coordinator
Jessica is a Stockton native who became an Angeleno while earning her BA at Mount St. Mary’s University. Jessica went on to work at her alma mater for three years post graduation in Student Financing where she served as the Co-Chair for the Committee on Staff Affairs. As an AVID graduate and Dell Scholar Jessica feels very passionate about empowerment through education. During high school she volunteered as a tutor and looks forward to promoting educational programs through her role in the RSVP program. In her free time she enjoys hiking, cooking, decorating and traveling - especially to her parent’s hometown ranch in Michoacán, Mexico
Asia Olano, Volunteer Corps Manager
Asia is originally from the Bay Area. Her commitment to service and social justice deepened while pursuing a B.A. in Political Science at the University of California Santa Barbara and serving as the User Group Coordinator and Director's Assistant at the university's MultiCultural Center. She was heavily involved in a number of student organizations and service opportunities where she demonstrated her commitment to advocating for students of color and other historically underrepresented communities. Asia is excited to use her passion and experience to serve the Los Angeles community and give back through L.A. Works. In her free time, Asia enjoys reading and petting cats.
Kim Olpin, Director of Corporate and Community Engagement
Raised in LA, Kim has a Masters in Public Administration. She has a variety of non-profit event experience from Boston Pride, Los Angeles River clean-ups, and mobile medical clinics in the jungles of Panama. She loves LA and enjoys planning adventures for her friends around town. When she’s not working on some sort of event she sings in LA’s oldest lgbtq choir, the West Coast Singers; enjoys making and drinking tasty cocktails; and reads a lot.
Gyasi Parker-Ross, Director of Programs
Gyasi (Jah-C) got his start in volunteerism with HandsOn Bay Area our San Francisco affiliate back in 2009 where he served as an AmeriCorps VISTA and Corporate Project Leader. After his term of service as a VISTA, he spent two and half years with The Mosaic Project as their Youth Leadership Project Director. When he’s not promoting volunteerism here at L.A. Works, Gyasi enjoys songwriting and performing music around Los Angeles. He’s an LA native and San Francisco State University graduate with a deep passion for giving back, and creating opportunities for others.
Kalin Sims, Volunteer Corps VISTA Leader
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Kalin is the definition of a cultured traveler who embraces change and welcomes opportunity. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring new cities, and cultures. After graduating from Stony Brook University, she moved to Atlanta, GA where she completed two terms of service with Hands On Atlanta's AmeriCorps Program. Her love for sunny skies and blue waters, brought her to L.A. Passionate about non-profit work, Kalin is excited to bring forth change within the Los Angeles community.
Norberto Urrea, Event Production Coordinator
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Norberto is a college student pursuing a degree in Communications at California State University Dominguez Hills. His experience varies from construction and freelance work in film and theatre production to volunteer work at schools and elderly homes throughout LA County. Through LA Works he hopes to gain skills and knowledge that will allow him to continue helping his community as well as pursue his career ambitions in event production. In his spare time Norberto enjoys reading and writing short stories, going out with friends, and exploring any type of new art form.
P. J. Schumacher, Schumacher Financial Consulting
PJ has been serving as a notary, business management consultant, controller, and tax accountant since 1985. He formed Schumacher Financial Consulting in 1991 to provide full-charge bookkeeping services to a wide-variety of clients, as well as serving in the capacities of controller and tax accountant. P.J. joined the L.A. Works team in 1993.