Our Staff

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Jenny Ocón – Executive Director
jocon@upvalleyfamilycenters.org
 Jenny Ocón is the first Executive Director for UpValley Family Centers, and has been with the agency since January 2014. Prior to joining UpValley Family Centers, she was the Executive Director of Parent Services Project in Marin County. Jenny also brings experience coordinating a network of family resource centers at the Children’s Network of Solano County. Jenny currently serves on the steering committee of the Napa Child Abuse Prevention Council, and the Leadership Council of Live Healthy Napa County. She has 20 years of experience working with nonprofits, family resource centers and schools in the areas of family engagement, parent leadership, collaborative social service models, community organizing and immigrant rights. Jenny holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Studies and Latin American Studies from the University of California Santa Cruz, and Master’s Degree in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis.

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Danny Almanza – Youth Program Specialist
dalmanza@upvalleyfamilycenters.org
Danny Almanza works is Youth Program Specialist, joining the team in the summer of 2015. Danny coordinates CLARO mentoring program groups in St. Helena and Calistoga for middle school and high school boys. Prior to joining UpValley Family Centers, Danny served at the Calistoga Junior/ Senior High School starting in 2014 as an AmeriCorps member through the CalPREP Program, completing 1,700 hours of service work. Danny set up a brand new college mentoring program for the high school students in Calistoga. He is a first-generation college graduate and received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sports Management from Saint Mary’s College of California. Danny was born and raised in St. Helena and is excited about giving back to the youth in the same community where he grew up in. Danny is also very passionate about the sport of soccer and is the head coach for the boy’s varsity soccer team at Calistoga High School.

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Cristina Aviña – Family Services Coordinator
cavina@upvalleyfamilycenters.org
 Cristina Aviña is Family Services Coordinator for UpValley Family Centers, working directly with families to provided guided referrals, emergency assistance and domestic violence counseling. Cristina began working with the St. Helena Family Center in April 2009 as a receptionist and brings additional experience in customer service. Cristina is currently working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. She has a certificate as a Domestic Violence Counselor, a certificate on Suicide Prevention and is an accredited provider of Triple P (Positive Parenting Program). She has always had a passion for helping others and gets a great feeling of satisfaction working with residents of the UpValley communities.

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Terry Byrnes – Development Director
tbyrnes@upvalleyfamilycenters.org
Terry Byrnes is the UpValley Family Centers’ Development Director. She brings over 20 years of corporate marketing as well as fundraising and strategic planning experience with social services, arts, education and health care nonprofits. Prior to joining UVFC, she was a Consultant for nonprofits in Napa County, Marin County and Arizona providing staff and Boards with the tools necessary to create sustainable organizations. Her passion is to create opportunity for all community residents by helping agencies meet their goals. Terry holds a Bachelors Degree from Stanford University and a Masters Degree in International Management from The Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona. Raised in Menlo Park, she has lived and worked on both coasts and abroad.

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Rosa CachúOutreach Specialist
rcachu@upvalleyfamilycenters.org 
Rosa Cachú is Outreach Specialist for the UpValley Family Centers.  She began working at the Calistoga Family Center in 2001 as a volunteer and was then hired on as staff.  Rosa’s role is to provide information to the community about the programs and services available at the family centers.  Rosa also assists with coordinating different activities including, parent education classes, nutrition classes and a parent/child playgroup called Niños Activos/Active Kids.  Rosa is grateful for the opportunity to know and work deeply in the UpValley communities and to gain the trust and respect of individuals and families.

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Blanca Dixon – Immigration Program Coordinator
bdixon@upvalleyfamilycenters.org
Blanca Dixon is the Immigration Program Coordinator for UpValley Family Centers. Blanca provides outreach, education and application assistance on citizenship and immigration-related matters to local community members. She is a partially-accredited representative by the Board of Immigration Appeals to assist individuals with immigration proceedings before the Department of Homeland Security. Blanca also coordinates our volunteer Promotora Program, comprised of local community residents taking leadership on grassroots projects that support residents’ health and wellness. Blanca started with UpValley Family Centers as a Receptionist/Data Intake Coordinator with the St. Helena Family Center in September, 2010. Blanca was born and raised in Peru. She graduated from the Instituto Carlos Medrano Vasquez in San Clemente and was a primary school teacher for six years in Peru before moving to the United States. Blanca speaks Spanish and English fluently.

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Carolyn Dunn – Development Associate
cdunn@upvalleyfamilycenters.org
Carolyn Dunn is UpValley Family Centers’ Development Associate, joining the team in September 2017. She brings over 20 years of administrative support including coordination for fundraising and development teams. Prior to joining UVFC, Carolyn worked for nonprofits in California, Texas and Nebraska, and most recently working for the Boy Scouts of America and Community Foundation Sonoma County. Born and raised in St. Helena, Carolyn received a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from Dominican University and has two minors in Art and Political Science. Carolyn is excited to be working in her hometown for an organization that makes a difference in the lives of those in the community.

Rocío Escobedo – Youth and Family Program Specialist
rescobedo@upvalleyfamilycenters.org
Rocío Escobedo is a Youth and Family Program Specialist for UpValley Family Centers. She runs our weekly CLARA youth mentoring groups for girls at the local middle and high schools in Calistoga and St. Helena. Rocío also supports our volunteer Promotoras Program and parent education efforts. Prior to joining UpValley Family Centers, Rocío worked as a Program Assistant and Bilingual Instructional Assistant for the Napa Valley Unified School District. Rocío is a first generation college graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Latin American Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. She was born and raised in Mexico and moved to the United States at age 15. Rocío is bicultural and bilingual, and passionate about empowering people.

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Norma Ferriz – Operations Director
nferriz@upvalleyfamilycenters.org
Norma Ferriz is Operations Director for UpValley Family Centers.  She began working with the St. Helena Family Center in January 2008. Norma ensures our sites operate smoothly, and provides administrative and budget oversight for the UpValley Family Centers.  Norma has over 25 years of experience working for nonprofits in Mexico and the United States.  She is an active volunteer in the St. Helena community, serving on the St. Helena Star Editorial Board, serving as a Trustee of the St. Helena Library and is also a member of the Napa Valley Community Foundation grants committee.  Norma has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with emphasis on Nonprofit Management from University of Washington.

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Susana Garcia-Sanchez – Community Liaison
sgarcia@upvalleyfamilycenters.org
Susana is Community Liaison for UpValley Family Centers at our St. Helena site, joining the staff in August 2017. Susana recently graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, after having taken time off to raise her children. She brings experience as an intern serving vulnerable populations in the community, including with Queen of the Valley CARE Network and Collabria Care. Susana has a passion for giving back to her community and serving those in need. She is a first generation college graduate and grew up in the Napa Valley.

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Norma Godinez – Community Liaison
ngodinez@upvalleyfamilycenters.org
Norma Godinez is Community Liaison for UpValley Family Centers at our Calistoga site.  She has been with the organization since 2008. She serves families by enrolling their children in health insurance and coordinating the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Clinics each year. Norma served for eight years on the Hispanic Council of St. Helena Catholic Church, during which time she was a member of the Multicultural Committee in St. Helena.  Norma was born in Mexicali, México, but was raised in the beautiful state of Michoacán.

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Indira López – Program Director
ilopez@upvalleyfamilycenters.org
 Indira López is the Program Director for UpValley Family Centers, providing program oversight and program development for the agency. She was the Program Director for Calistoga Family Center prior to the merger, and has been in her role for over ten years. Indira is partially accredited by the US Department of Justice to provide assistance to individuals applying for immigration benefits with the Department of Homeland Security. She is also accredited in Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) in Level 3 Primary Care. Indira has over 20 years’ experience in social services and early childhood programs. She is active in the community and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Calistoga Joint Unified School District, and is a member of the Calistoga Soroptimists. Indira has completed coursework in Early Childhood Education at Pacific Union College and is bilingual in English/Spanish.

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Lupe MaldonadoFamily Services Manager
gcachu@upvalleyfamilycenters.org
 Lupe Maldonado is Family Services Manager for the UpValley Family Centers. She provides support with case management, including guided referrals, emergency assistance, Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) parenting services, and domestic violence counseling. She is an accredited provider of Triple P Level 3. Lupe completed a 40 hours training and is a certified domestic violence counselor. She started at the Calistoga Family Center in 2009 as an AmeriCorps member through the Child Abuse Prevention Alliance, committing 1,700 hours of service work, after which she was hired full-time. Lupe was a first-generation college student who received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from California State University, Sonoma. She was born in Mexico but migrated with her family to the United States when she was 2 years old. Lupe believes that all individuals have the potential to strive for their well-being and enjoys assisting them in finding their own treasure.

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Elena Mendez – Senior and Family Services Manager
emendez@upvalleyfamilycenters.org
Elena Mendez is the Senior and Family Services Manager, providing guided referrals and case management services to local residents, with a special focus on the Calistoga senior population.  Elena began working for Calistoga Family Center in October, 2008. Elena has over 30 years of experience working with children, families and individuals. Prior to her work with us, Elena worked for Child Start Inc., as a health advocate and in family services.  She has also served as a Mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters.  Elena has an Associate’s Degree in Administration of Justice, a Certificate in Early Childhood and Family Studies, and studied Medical Administration at MTI Business College.

Andy Mughannam – Community Schools Manager
amughannam@upvalleyfamilycenters.org
Andy Mughannam is the Community Schools Manager for UpValley Family Centers, beginning in the summer of 2015. Andy brings 20 years of experience working in education to the collective impact approach, having served as a teacher, dean of students, and assistant principal, in addition to work in the non-profit and private sectors. Much of his work over the last 10 years has been focused on aligning the needs in the classroom with the needs of the greater community by engaging students in a critical analysis of their environment, empowering families, supporting teachers and engaging community partners. Prior to joining UpValley, Andy was a program director with New Leaders, a national non-profit supporting equity in education by providing leadership development to school staff. Andy holds a teaching credential from National University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Geology from UC Davis and a Master’s Degree in Geochemistry from the University of Michigan.

Katya Orozco – Operations Associate
korozco@upvalleyfamilycenters.org
Katya Orozco is Operations Associate for UpValley Family Centers, joining the staff in August 2017. Katya provides support for operations and administrative functions of the agency. Katya brings experience in office administration and retail management, including previous work with Vineyard Dental, Ulta Beauty and Target. She has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Entrepreneurship from California State University, Sacramento and is a first generation college graduate. Katya was born in Mexico and migrated to the United States at age 5. Having first-hand experience of understanding a new culture and language, she is grateful to be able to give back to the community and lend a hand to those who need it through her work at UpValley Family Centers.

Stephany Ortiz – Youth Diversion Coordinator
sortiz@upvalleyfamilycenters.org
Stephany Ortiz is the Youth Diversion Coordinator for UpValley Family Centers, joining the team in September 2017. Working alongside Calistoga and St. Helena law enforcement and school officials, Stephany will oversee and coordinate each case in the Juvenile Diversion Program as an alternative to youth being processed through the juvenile court system. The alternatives that may be incorporated are counseling, education, community service and other activities that will benefit the positive development of each participant. Stephany’s previous experience includes working as a Registered Behavior Technician for Gateway Learning Group, as an interpreter for RotaCare, and volunteering with youth programs at Huckleberry and Canal Alliance. Stephany received a Bachelor’s of Art Degree in Psychology from Dominican University of California and has a minor in Spanish and Latin American Studies.

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Annette Smith – Tutoring Volunteer Coordinator
asmith@upvalleyfamilycenters.org
Annette Smith is the Tutoring Volunteer Coordinator for the UpValley Family Centers. She conducts community outreach, provides support and ensures coordination of local volunteers who tutor students in St. Helena Primary and Elementary Schools. Prior to joining us, Annette was a teacher for 40 years, serving the last 19 years as the Reading Specialist for the St. Helena Unified School District. Annette is a third generation St. Helena resident and since her retirement from the school district has dedicated herself to becoming more involved in the community. She is actively involved in the St. Helena Historical Society, the Catholic Church and the St. Helena Federated Women’s Club. She received her Elementary Teaching Credential from Chico State University and her Reading Specialist Certificate from UC Davis. Teaching children to read is her passion.

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Carina Vasquez – Family Engagement Facilitator
cvasquez@upvalleyfamilycenters.org
Carina Vasquez is the Family Engagement Facilitator, joining UpValley Family Centers in August 2017. Carina provides parent outreach, education and leadership development for families with young children, as part of the Napa Valley Early Learning Initiative. She supports school readiness for English language learners ages 3-5 and their parents through the Latino Family Literacy Project, ESL classes and Plaza Comunitaria Spanish literacy for adults. Prior to joining UpValley Family Centers, Carina served one term as a First 5 Service Corps Americorps member, working with multiple family resource centers in Napa County, including the UpValley Family Centers, where she assisted with our parent/child playgroups. Carina is bilingual English/Spanish and is a student in Napa Valley College pursuing her degree in Child/Family Studies.