Social Innovation Institute 2018


Veronica Alvarado

Program Coordinator, The Warehouse Worker Resource Center

Veronica Alvarado is the coordinator for the Warehouse Worker Resource Center, a non-profit organization founded in 2009 to promote safe jobs and worker leadership. Drawing from her multicultural and working-class background, she has engaged hundreds of warehouse workers, through bilingual trainings to develop workers’ leadership skills, their understanding of health and safety laws and to advocate for themselves and their coworkers on the job. Ms. Alvarado works with employers, organizations and foundations, government agencies and legislators with a primary focus on health and safety and labor rights issues.

Aidé Arana

Capacity Building Coordinator, Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice

Aidé Arana was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco and has lived in the City of Corona for 19 years. She completed her higher education at the University of California Riverside where she obtained a B.A. in Sociology Law and Society. She believes that is extremely important to be actively involved in community work that aims to improve the lives of immigrants and other marginalized communities.

Renele Awono

CAP Coordinator, CityLink

Serving with a heart of compassion, Renele Awono, assists individuals in building sustainable lives with dignity. She is an intentional Coach, Consultant & Catalyst who has served in the nonprofit, local government and international sectors. Working to bring solutions to issues worldwide, Renele has assisted underserved populations for over 15 years. As a conference speaker and writer, Renele is determined to fulfill her purpose to empower others to be ALL they were created to be.

Elizabeth Ayala

Program Associate, Women’s Foundation of California

Elizabeth is passionate about developing grassroots leaders and has conducted over a hundred leadership & advocacy trainings in both English & Spanish.  In her current role as a Senior Program Associate at the Women’s Foundation of California, Elizabeth focuses on the Women’s Policy Institute-Local fellowship. A graduate of Stanford University, she has also worked as a community organizer, a health education agency coordinator, a consultant, and research assistant in the nonprofit sector.

Jennifer Braun

CNA Services Manager, The RAP Foundation Center for Nonprofit Advancement

Jennifer Braun has worked 15-years in the nonprofit sector, providing consulting and grant proposal writing services. Her experience and education have led her to successfully garner more than $40 million in funding for nonprofits, cities, counties, and transit agencies. Jennifer Braun has recently joined the RAP Foundation’s Center for Nonprofit Advancement as the Services Manager, finding the job of her dreams working alongside highly talented and successful men and women in the Inland Empire.

Josiah Bruny

Executive Director, Music Changes Lives

Josiah Bruny, is the CEO and Founder of Music Changing Lives, (MCL), a non-profit organization focused on reducing our communities’ dropout rates through innovative music, and art after-school enrichment programs. Josiah’s vision is to build new-age community centers around the nation for disadvantaged youth who are aspiring to learn what it takes to compete in the entertainment industry and to teach them how to market themselves to become successful entrepreneurs. Prior to establishing MCL, Josiah created and led the independent record label, Higher Ground Records, LLC to become one of the leading underground labels in Southern California.

Danny Burke

Executive Director, San Bernardino LBGTQ Center

Danny Burke is the founder and Executive Director of San Bernardino LGBTQ Center, as well as managing partner of Luminary Business Solutions, both of which focus on community development and social impact. Danny is a disabled Army veteran and a published empowerment author who has giving his time, effort, resources, and leadership to provides services, advocate, and brings awareness to issues and concerns that impact the LGBTQ community in San Bernardino and throughout the Inland Region. Danny has not only brought the Center from founding to funding but has volunteered his time and energy, focusing on alcohol and other drugs and HIV in the community by establishing community prevention initiatives, as well as being a transformational speaker at conferences in and around the Inland Region.

Beth Burt

Executive Director, Inland Empire Autism Society

Inspired by her children, both of whom have special needs, Beth Burt is an author, an international speaker and conference coordinator in autism information, research and resources, and the Executive Director of the Autism Society Inland Empire. She serves on numerous board, has participated in many state and local taskforces, and has testified in the California Senate.  She lives in Southern California with her sons, her husband of 28 years, a cat and a dog.

Tranda Drumwright

Assistant Director of the Youth and Family Wellness, Reach Out

Tranda Drumwright was born in Fort Myers, Florida and has been a resident of California for 35(+) years. She received a B.A. Degree in Urban Affairs from St. Augustine’s College (class of 1981, Magna Cum Laude) and two Master’s Degrees; one in Urban Planning (1983) from UCLA and a second one in Counseling and Guidance (2013) from Cal State San Bernardino. She is proud to be a member of the Reach Out team and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Youth and Family Wellness Department.

Bill Edwards

Director, Victor Valley Rescue Mission

Bill Edwards has been in ministry for 11 years in the high desert region of the Inland Empire. As the director for the Victor Valley Rescue Mission Bill has a unique lens as to what our community has been like and what it can be; Bill was homeless the first time when he was 16 years old living in a junkyard down off of D street in Victorville. It was the kindness of friends that provided a sense of security and basic needs for him to survive. His choices to be homeless were his own as he was already using drugs on a daily basis from the age of 12 years old and wanted freedom for himself. Bill now gets to work in recovery ministry and uses all of his past experiences to reach out to the lost, hurting, and broken, to offer Refuge Recovery and Restoration.

Angel Fajardo

Director, Inland Empire Immigrant Youth Collective

Angel Fajardo was born in Mexico D.F. and grew up in the Inland Empire; she graduated from University of California Riverside in 2016 with a degree in Global Studies. As the new Director of the Inland Empire Immigrant Youth Collective (IE-IYC), Angel believes that empowering youth and building leaders is essential to create a community in which all people, regardless of status, ethnicity, or class, can live with dignity, grace, and power. Angel is honored to lead the IE-IYC through a strong, positive, and fresh new pathway to triumph for the immigrant community in the inland empire.

Oscar Fonseca

Student Success Coordinator, OneFuture Coachella Valley

Oscar Fonseca is the Student Success Coordinator for One Future Coachella Valley (OFCV) and works directly with the more than 350 scholarship students each year who receive funds from OFCV. Mr. Fonseca is an expert in financial literacy, scholarship research, college access, internship opportunities, and networking. He gained valuable educational implementation experience while working for private, public and non –profit organizations across the Central & Coachella Valleys.

Josie Gaytan

Assistant Director of Policy and Prevention, Reach Out

Josie believes in working where you live. She has raised her family in the Jurupa Valley region and has been a strong grassroots community leader for over a decade, having worked with the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ), AmeriCorps and the local PTA. Gaytan has developed substantial community contracts and resources throughout Jurupa Valley including the Jurupa Unified School District and the Jurupa Area Recreation & Parks District. Gaytan understands the needs of Southern California Latino Community and has worked closely with groups such as SALTA (Salud Ambental Latinas Tomando Accion /Environmental Justice Latinas taking Action) and LVLV (Local Voices Local Votes).

Amy Herr

Executive Director, The Boys & Girls Clubs of the San Gorgonio Pass

Amy Herr is the founder and Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the San Gorgonio Pass.  She has been serving in this role for over ten years and is dedicated to providing opportunities and experiences for the youth of her community. Through building healthy relationships with caring adult staff and utilizing world class programs, the Boys & Girls Club is in the business of saving lives.

Lyzzeth Mendoza

Community Engagement and Policy Associate, Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice

Lyzzeth Mendoza was born and raised in the Inland Empire. Her immigrant parents and faith community have been major influencers in her life which has driven to work tirelessly for social justice. She has gathered community organizing and community engagement experience in the last eight years through various community based organizations. She currently works with Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ICIJ) as Community Engagement and Policy Associate. Lyzzeth believes that community engagement, community organizing, and advocacy are essential part of our civic duty to help create a world where we are not merely surviving, but instead thriving/living.

Sharon Morris

Recruitment and Training Manager, Voices for Children

Sharon Morris is the Recruitment and Training Manager of Voices for Children, the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program in Riverside County. Morris has been in this position for three years, where previously she was the Director of Customer Service for Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) for thirteen years. During her last five years at SOE, she was a volunteer CASA for Voices for Children in San Diego County.  Morris served on the Board of Directors, with two years as President, for the Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue.   She is a naturalized American citizen, hailing originally from England where she worked as a Regional Sales Manager over several years for Unilever and Coty UK in London.

Marisol Pilotin

Community Representative, Inland Empire Health Plan

Before her move to the Inland Empire (IE), Marisol Pilotin was born and raised in Los Angeles County where she actively engaged in local community initiatives led by Public Health Advocates. After graduating from UC Riverside with a B.A. in Sociology/Administrative Studies, Marisol began working for the City of Fontana’s Healthy Fontana program where she oversaw the Communities of Excellence in Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Prevention (CX3) project. Currently, Marisol is a Community Outreach Representative at the Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) where she dedicates her outreach efforts to improving the lives of IEHP’s 1.26 million members through partnerships with Community Based Organizations, events, educational presentations, and company-wide community service projects.

Julie Reay

Executive Director, HomeAid Inland Empire

Julie Reay is the Executive Director of HomeAid Inland Empire (HAIE) which works with various homeless service providers to renovate or build quality temporary housing for individuals and families throughout Riverside and San Bernardino counties. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration-Accounting and has successfully managed her own bookkeeping services company since 2007, of which HAIE was a client. Most notable is her background with the building industry, having spent most of her early career in the accounting departments of large and small housing developers; culminating with 17 years as Director of Finance for the Building Industry Association’s Baldy View Chapter in Rancho Cucamonga.

Ernie Rios

Vice President of College Success, OneFuture Coachella Valley

Ernie Rios is a founder and Vice President of College Success at OneFuture Coachella Valley, a collective impact non-profit that aligns stakeholders and resources to help students graduate prepared for college, career, and life; have a clear economic and academic path to and through college; successfully complete post-secondary degrees, credentials and certificates; land a job with a promising financial path and contribute to a thriving economy.

Nancy Stingley

Board Member, Inland Empire Community Collaborative

Nancy Stingley came to the Inland Empire Community Collaborative in 2017, bringing with her over 40 years of experience working in the public/nonprofit service sector serving as an elementary school teacher, principal, university adjunct professor, administrator, board member, and community volunteer. At Lifeway Church she has served as a member of the Board of Directors, ordained Minister, and Director of Grants for the Foster Care and Recidivism grant initiatives. She earned a Master of Science School Management and Administration degree, Administrative Services Credential, with high honors, from Pepperdine University; Life Teaching Credential from the University of Southern California (USC), and a Bachelor of Arts, Sociology degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Kevin Wong

Director, Desert Institute, Joshua Tree National Park Association

As the Director of the Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park, Kevin Wong creates, markets, and implements adult educational programs in the national park on topics of natural science, cultural history, “how-to” classes, women’s programs and creative arts classes.  Program participants come from all over the country. Prior to working in the Southern California deserts, he lived on the ocean designing scuba equipment, teaching scuba diving at the Ecuadorian Oceanographic Institute and treasure hunting for Spanish galleons in the Bahamas and in South America.