Staff

Jim Wambach

Executive Director

As Executive Director, Jim is responsible for guiding the overall growth and strategic development of Faith Network’s contributions to closing the achievement gap in urban public schools. He draws on his 25 years of corporate and nonprofit executive leadership experience, and a passion for helping to change the trajectory of young lives through improved education and enhanced community support.

Jim, like everyone at Faith Network, begins every day knowing there are so many of our children and youth at a personal crossroad of promise and risk – trying desperately to escape the cycle of poverty and violence surrounding them.  He is grateful for the opportunity to combine his passion for helping underserved children and youth with his years of successful business experience so Faith Network might empower as many of these children as possible.

Jim is from Ohio and remains a big fan of Ohio State football. He moved to the Bay Area from the Midwest in 2001 and is married with 4 children and 5 grandchildren he can’t believe he is old enough to have…

Chelsea Boniak

Director of Development and Finance

As Director of Development and Finance, Chelsea works to ensure the Faith Network programs are fully funded to provide as many children as possible with life changing support from the community.

Chelsea has been with Faith Network since its early years and has truly been part of the fabric of the organization. In 2003 she contributed as an administrative assistant, which evolved over time to include event planning, fundraising, grant writing, donor cultivation, finance and human resources.

Chelsea earned her sociology degree from UCLA, and is passionate about supporting the community by providing opportunities to invest in children and youth. She was raised, educated and still lives in Oakland with her husband and two young children.

Gleoria Bradley-Sapp

Succeeding by Reading

Associate Program Coordinator

Gleoria retired from the University of California in July 2009 where she had worked in the public service, education, and research activities of the University for more than thirty years. Since her retirement she has volunteered as a story time reader and literacy coach. She took classes in Early Childhood Education and worked part time as  a substitute associate preschool teacher. She is a Sunday School teacher and loves Vacation Bible School.

Rebecca Buckley

Succeeding by Reading

Program Director

Recently completing her Masters of Divinity from Fuller Seminary, Rebecca previously taught ESL with the Summer Institute of Linguistics, Halimotok, Philippines; American Language Academy, Berkeley; Pacific English Language Institute, San Luis Obispo; Cal Poly Extended Education; Cuesta Community College; American Language Program, CSU Hayward; Intensive English Program, St. Mary's College. Most recently she served as Interim Director of Mission Outreach, First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley. Rebecca loves spending time with her two daughters, Melissa and Christina.

Krista Easton

Succeeding by Reading

Program Coordinator

Krista has been an educator for 20 years and has taught in Oakland Unified, Berkeley Unified and West Contra Costa Unified school districts. She has spent the majority of her career as a curriculum developer, working with educational organizations to conceptualize and write K–5 literacy curriculum. Krista is particularly passionate about supporting the literacy and language needs of English Language Learners. She received her teaching credential and M.A. in Education from UC Berkeley, and loves living in the East Bay with her husband and two teenage children.

Kim Farnham-Flom

Library Services

Director

Kim has served with Faith Network since 2011 after 30 years as a Human Resources Director with several Bay Area corporations and non-profit organization.  As an instructor and former bookstore manager, she recognizes the impact of literacy on a community.  She is passionate that every student should have access to quality books to foster their curiosity and love of reading.  In addition to providing leadership for serving school libraries, Kim is an advisor for a UC Berkeley Graduate Student Fellowship.

Michelle Hutcherson

CareerBridge and Path2Math

Assistant Director

Michelle Hutcherson has over 20 years of experience with public/private industry support services, public and small business outreach project coordination and administration, numerous years as a business compliance monitoring and business certification analyst.  Michelle previously worked with the San Diego School Unified School District as well as on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Project as a consultant to Caltrans.  Currently, she works with the CareerBridge and Path2Math programs to deliver high quality, student centered programing.

Charlotte Martinez

Health4kids

Director

Charlotte retired in 2006 from Chicago Title Company where she had served as their Vice President and Branch Manager of the Montclair branch for many years, and then in Operations Management in the final years of her service there. Following her desire to work in the non-profit sector, she has spent the last year volunteering in various places, working as a writer coach at Longfellow Middle School in Berkeley; continuing as a Selection Committee Member for the Incentive Awards Scholarship Program at U.C. Berkeley; serving as Volunteer Coordinator and as a Deacon at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley; and with Faith Network in their outreach to urban public schools. Her favorite role, however, is mother to three daughters and sons-in-law, and grandmother to her many grandchildren.

Jessie Palmatier

Finance and Administrative

Assistant

Jessie is a Bay Area transplant who fell in love with the East Bay while serving in urban missions in college. She has a degree in Youth Ministry and has spent the last several years working with teenagers in the foster care system in Upstate New York. Here in the Bay Area, in addition to her role at Faith Network, she is working in kids ministry and administration at Solano Community Church. When she’s not working, Jessie loves to laugh, travel, read, and pet dogs.

Brenda Paulin

Succeeding by Reading

Associate Program Coordinator

Brenda is a retired federal service Human Resources Director. During her over 40 years of service, she managed and directed a large staff of professionals who performed the full range of human resources duties including training and development. Her involvement with Faith Network began at least five years ago as a Succeeding by Reading tutor.  She is the grandmother of 5, including Frank, a law student at New York’s Columbia University and Nia who is graduating soon from UC Davis.

Eric Steckel

Communications Manager

As Communications Manager, Eric is passionate about helping to increase community awareness for the children who are at the crossroad of promise and risk, and inspiring action to close the academic achievement gap in our urban public schools. With a wealth of experience in both traditional and digital communications, he was appointed communications manager after a long period of volunteering and mentoring youth at Faith Network of the East Bay.

Keenly aware of the power of one-on-one relationships, Eric enjoys serving in an organization where relationships make profound differences in the lives of struggling children and families. By getting off of the sideline and taking part, he is able to share stories of progress and hope.

Eric is a graduate of Bucknell University and holds a Master’s Degree in Communication from the American University in Washington, DC. He is married with two children and when he’s not handling communications duties, you will likely find Eric running his favorite East Bay trails or coaching youth soccer.

Gwen Stephens

Succeeding by Reading

Associate Program Coordinator

Gwen is a retired educator and has 42 years of service as a teacher for the Alameda Unified School District.  During that time she also served as a literacy coach, volunteer coordinator, and acting Vice Principal.  She was named Teacher of the Year, City of Alameda, in 2005.

David Sundman

CareerBridge

Program Manager

Dave has been living in Oakland since 2015 where he discovered his passion for missions ministries and education. For the Cityteam Oakland Program he has served as a Partner Relations and Development Officer, Case Manager, Spiritual Mentor and class facilitator in the fields of drug and alcohol recovery and spiritual wellness. He is also a leader of a God-centered Hip Hop organization called DIVIN3KINGDOM which uses creativity and mentorship to inspire youth to serve within their community. He is currently studying to become an English Professor and is excited to work in Oakland’s high schools with the Career Bridge Program. In his free time Dave loves to play basketball and run around beautiful Lake Merritt.

Margena Wade-Green

CareerBridge and Path2Math

Director

As the CareerBridge and Path2Math director, Margena spends much of her time in program and curriculum development, as well as supporting her students and volunteers. With a passion for serving children and youth in her community, Margena started with Faith Network as a volunteer, and brings over 25 years of community outreach and service to students in various capacities.

Margena’s ability to make connections and solve problems with compassion has served her well during her 14-years as community and educational outreach manager at CalTrans. Looking for ways to help kids excel and gain meaningful academic and career opportunities, she coordinated early CareerBridge internship opportunities at CalTrans and BART that continue to this day.

Margena is an Oakland native, and is married to Donovan Green, has 3 children, 8 grandchildren and 2 granddogs.

Pearl Wang

Office Manager

Pearl is a transplant from the East Coast who is happy to find herself in the East Bay. She grew up in Maryland and graduated from the University of Virginia with a double major in Psychology and Studies in Women and Gender. Besides working, Pearl takes acting classes and is working towards a certificate in copyediting from UC Berkeley Extension. In her free time, she enjoys watching crime dramas, reading science fiction, and doing crossword puzzles.

Rebekah Wilson

Succeeding by Reading

Associate Program Coordinator

As a Succeeding by Reading program coordinator, Rebekah has a vital role of ensuring that Faith Network reading clinics help struggling students reach grade level. In addition to working alongside dedicated volunteers and students in several different schools, she provides administrative support so that clinics are staffed and teaching resources are available.

Rebekah brings a wealth of experience and passion for addressing educational inequity and providing support to students in need. She graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz where she majored in Language Studies with a concentration in Spanish and a minor in Education. During her time at UCSC, she also volunteered with first and second grade students in the Santa Cruz City Schools and worked as an Evaluation Analyst within the Social Sciences Department.

In her free time, Rebekah loves to spend time outdoors, read novels, or practice yoga at her favorite local studio.

Board

Angela Aquino

Vice Chair

Angela is a principal with the Oakland Unified School District. She also supports and coaches site administrators in Oakland through the Alameda County Office of Education. Angela is passionate about addressing social injustices and promoting ethnic and socio-economic reconciliation.

James Branch

Treasurer

James is founder of Yila Properties, currently focusing on workforce housing. The Branch family, long-time Oakland residents, and have a son at MLK Jr. in West Oakland. James has a passion for outreach to low-income youth with whom he strongly identifies. He’s the first in his family to graduate college, having earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

Jeff Chou

Secretary

Jeff is the Head of Facilities at UserTesting, a software company based in Mountain View.  He is an elder at Convergence Covenant Church and previously served on the board of Oakland Youth Aspire, a resource center for West Oakland Youth.  He previously connected with Faith Network as an Excel Reading Clinic tutor at MLK Jr. Elementary and has also hosted two interns through the CareerBridge program.

Aliza Gallo

Member

Aliza is Economic Development Manager for the City of Oakland and leads a team responsible for city-wide business attraction, retention and expansion efforts. A member of St. Elizabeth’s Parish in the Fruitvale District, Alisa and her husband, Oakland City Council Member Noel Gallo, are have raised four children, all graduates of Oakland Public Schools. Aliza is active in mentoring and volunteers in Latino community development efforts.

Kerry Gough

Member

Kerry received his Juris Doctorate degree from Boalt Hall School of Law, U.C. Berkeley, in 1966. After retiring as a civil rights attorney in 2008, he joined forces with Global Strategies for HIV Prevention to establish legal clinics staffed by third year Congolese law students supervised by Congolese attorneys.  His community service background includes Global Strategies Board of Directors; President of the Legal Aid Society of Alameda County; President of Allied Fellowship Service, a half-way house for ex-offenders; and as Advisory Board Member, Project Sentinel, a non-profit that investigates, mediates and litigates housing discrimination cases.

Daniel Livsey

Member

Daniel joined the Board in 2017 after volunteering as a reading tutor several years ago.  He currently works at AmTrust Financial in Construction Surety.  He and his wife Mary are raising two young sons who attend Oakland Public Schools and they have also opened their home to several young foster children.  Daniel is committed to serving youth by helping to improve the East Bay’s public schools.

Jonathan Mayes

Chair

Currently Jonathan serves as Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Government Relations, Philanthropy & Corporate Social Responsibility for Albertsons Companies, Inc. Jonathan received his Juris Doctorate degree from Willamette University College of Law, where he received the Martin Luther King Jr. Service Award. Jonathan has been honored by the Bay Area Minority Bar Coalition and the Charles Houston Bar Association for his exemplary service to the legal community. He also has been honored as Warner Pacific College.

Marti Pozzi

Member

Marti received a double BA in Communication Studies and Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and brings to Faith Network her many years of executive leadership and experience in sales, strategic alliances and partnerships. She is a highly motivated leader with a long history of success in organizational and market growth/expansion for both early stage and multi-billion dollar companies. Marti is passionate about now leveraging her years of experience, business skill set and extensive network in order to make the most impact on helping people and communities improve lives.  

Jim Wambach

Member

As Executive Director, Jim is responsible for guiding the overall growth and strategic development of Faith Network’s contributions to closing the achievement gap in urban public schools. He draws on his 25 years of corporate and nonprofit executive leadership experience, and a passion for helping to change the trajectory of young lives through improved education and enhanced community support.   Jim, like everyone at Faith Network, begins every day knowing there are so many of our children and youth at a personal crossroad of promise and risk – trying desperately to escape the cycle of poverty and violence surrounding them.  He is grateful for the opportunity to combine his passion for helping underserved children and youth with his years of successful business experience so Faith Network might empower as many of these children as possible.   Jim is from Ohio and remains a big fan of Ohio State football. He moved to the Bay Area from the Midwest in 2001 and is married with 4 children and 5 grandchildren he can’t believe he is old enough to have…