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Biographies and Experience of our Esteemed Board

CRC Board of Directors

Jennifer Anderson – Ochoa

Jennifer Anderson-Ochoa currently works at Applied Survey Research (ASR) in Watsonville as a Senior Research Analyst.. Jennifer’s work at ASR focuses on transforming ‘data to action’, and has worked on assessments in the areas of community health, adult and youth homelessness, and child health. Some of her recent projects include Dignity Health Dominican Hospital’s and Sutter Maternity and Surgical Center’s Community Health Needs Assessments, the San Luis Obispo Community Assessment Project, the Alaska Family Homelessness Assessment, and facilitating dialogues between youth, community members and law enforcement. Jennifer served on the steering committee of the Youth Violence Prevention Task Force and is on the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay.

Jennifer received her Master’s degree in International Administration, with a concentration in Cross Cultural Communication and Training, from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, VT. She received her BA in Sociology from George Washington University. Prior to working at ASR, Jennifer directed two family resource centers in Santa Cruz County, where core programs focused on strengthening the safety net, and included early childhood education/parenting support, medical home education, nutrition education, restorative justice with youth on probation, ESL and Spanish literacy classes, rapid re-housing and homelessness prevention, and public assistance enrollment support.

Prior to that, Jennifer worked for 23 years in HIV/AIDS prevention, both in the United States and while living in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the job that brought her to Santa Cruz, she worked to grow a private foundation focused on making grants to community groups in Africa that support children affected by HIV. She managed a portfolio of more than 100 grantees in six African countries, and helped to develop a groundbreaking Monitoring and Evaluation and Technical Assistance program.

Jennifer’s focus has always been on social justice, racial equity and making sure the voices of the most vulnerable are heard by change-makers. When not working, Jennifer loves to salsa dance, cook, and watch her daughter play basketball.

Judy Allen

Leadership and Organizational Training and Development Consultant

Judy Allen retired from Agilent Technologies (previously part of Hewlett Packard) in 2007 to spend more of her time traveling and increasing her involvement in community service activities. Her interest in CRC stems from a belief in providing both children and adults with the tools needed to manage conflict and promote peaceful coexistence. She is eager to build her own mediation skills and hopes to see conflict management training extend more broadly into the community. Judy received her MBA from Eastern Michigan University. She moved from Michigan to California in 1988 with her partner, Susan, and their daughter, Elizabeth.

Myles F. Corcoran

Owner, Myles F. Corcoran Construction Consulting Inc.

Myles F. Corcoran is a Construction Consultant, General Contractor, Certified Arbitrator and Mediator with Myles F. Corcoran Construction Consulting, Inc. in Santa Cruz. He is originally from New York and moved to California with his wife Pat in 1973. He worked in construction for 11 years before starting his own Construction Consulting firm 19 years ago which specializes in helping people build, designing specialized details and finding ways through difficult disputes about buildings. Myles is drawn to helping people resolve conflict and feels the CRC organization serves an important need in our community. He is currently serving as the Board’s President.

MariaElena De La Garza

Executive Director of the Community Action Board of Santa Cruz CountyMaria Elena has over 22 years of experience in nonprofit work and is currently the Executive Director of the Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County. She holds a dual Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Chicano Studies from Scripps College in Claremont California and also has had extensive leadership development and training experience. Most recently, MariaElena completed the Leadership in Community Transformation offered through the United Way where she expanded her knowledge in building community networks, leadership in action, and solution based strategies. MariaElena has experience serving on various boards for local nonprofits and brings her expertise in community outreach, cultural competent services, program development and inclusiveness to support and increase equity. MariaElena is born and raised in Watsonville and is completely committed to increasing access and services that will support community success. She still lives in the neighborhood where she grew up with her partner, Marc and her pooch.

Dave Dodson

Retired faculty member/university administrator

Dave spent forty years in higher education in a variety of positions. His career began in 1964 as a campus chaplain at New York’s Colgate University where he was an active supporter of the civil rights movement and served as advisor to the campus chapter of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. From 1966 to 1970 he served as a campus minister at UC Berkeley while completing his Ph.D. in philosophy of religion. He was involved in counseling students about conscientious objection to the Vietnam War and sought a nonviolent resolution to the crises which roiled the Berkeley community. Thereafter he served two different West Coast universities as professor of philosophy and as dean of students. He completed his career at UCSC where he served as the college administrative officer for Oakes College, the most ethnically diverse of the ten colleges, and as a lecturer in the required core course, Values and Change in a Diverse Society. In his retirement he continues to pursue nonviolent solutions to individual, societal and global problems. Dave and his wife, Stephanie, will celebrate their forty first wedding anniversary in 2012 and are the proud parents of three sons and grandparents of two granddaughters.

Jenny Sarmiento

Jenny T. Sarmiento immigrated to Los Angeles, California from Bolivia at the age of twelve. She was fortunate to attend diverse middle and secondary schools where her friends exposed her to various countries and cultures from all parts of the world. These friendships and the experience of being a sister and guardian to a special needs person has inspired, motivated and helped shape her commitment to serve under-represented communities.

Jenny attended Los Angeles and East Los Angeles Community Colleges and transferred to California State University of Fullerton where she earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology and Psychology. She completed a Non-Profit Management Certificate from the University California of Santa Cruz. She also attended San Jose State University where she completed numerous courses towards a Masters in Academic Counseling.

Jenny has spent most of her professional career working to improve outcomes for children, youth and families. She’s worked in public health, education, employment and training, mental health and substance use prevention in private and public institutions.

During her tenure as the Chief Executive Officer of a non-profit organization servicing a large school district, the agency was recognized by the first Watsonville Youth City Council for the outstanding services provided to students and families.

Santa Cruz County has been Jenny’s home for the last twenty-two years, where she has been planting permanent roots in the city of Watsonville. During the last few years, she’s become more active in public and civic issues.

  • She serves on several non-profits boards and commissions.
  • She was appointed to the Watsonville Planning Commission, District 5, for two years, and subsequently appointed to District 1 by the Mayor of Watsonville.
  • In June 2016, she was elected as a Democratic Central Committee Member to represent the Fourth District. She currently coordinates the activities of the Watsonville Democratic Headquarters. Jenny joined the CRC Board of Directors in 2016.
Jorge Zamora

Captain Watsonville Police Department

Jorge was born and raised in Watsonville and graduated from local schools. His parents, originally from Michoacàn, Mexico, were local field workers when he was growing up. Jorge has a Master of Arts in Leadership Studies from Saint Mary’s College of California. He also possesses a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Management from Union Institute & University. Jorge is a life long learner and a 21st century leadership practitioner. Jorge also serves on the P.V.P.S.A. board, is a member of Freedom Rotary and the current chair of the Youth Violence Prevention Task Force. Jorge joined the CRC Board in 2016

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