Senior Program Officer,
Community Partnership Fund
Currently serving as Senior Program Officer for the St. Joseph Community Partnership Fund, Jason Lacsamana designs, implements, and supervises innovative initiatives that will positively impact the health of the region. This work requires the creation of meaningful partnerships with community organizations and institutions and re-envisions the role of a Funder as a collaborator.
Over the past 20 years in both the nonprofit and philanthropic fields, Jason has been dedicated to efforts that build community capacity, allowing organizations, neighborhoods, and diverse partnerships to become more stable, self-sustaining, and better advocates for regional needs. Additionally, he values the importance of collaboration across all sectors in achieving programmatic and policy-making success.
Jason has been recognized as Health Educator of the Year by the Society of Public Health Educators and was a recipient of the Civil Rights Leadership Award from the California Association of Human Relations Associations. Jason graduated from UCLA with a Master’s in Public Health.
As the CBI lead, Kelly Elder directly supports and supervises the Coaching Team and provides oversight of the Statewide Initiative. She is passionate about the power of the collective community voice and has spent 20 years in the public health field exploring how the intersections of relationships, environments, and socio-economic trends impact opportunities for people to achieve their full potential. Her areas of expertise include strategic planning, program design, health policy, and facilitation of upstream approaches to promoting health. Her professional interests lie in the areas of local power building, social justice, asset-based community development, and health policy. Her favorite things outside of work include dogs, good books, exploring the great cities of the world, and dining and dishing with friends.
Information Development Lead
Dennis Rose leads the Information Development (ID) effort for the Community Building Initiative, providing direct support to both Coaches and residents in their efforts to tell their stories and document change in their communities. He comes to the Initiative with a full range of information development work, but his primary commitment is to collaborative/participatory evaluation and building of clients’ capacities to develop and share their information in ways that advance their community goals.
After completing his doctoral work in philosophy at Marquette University, Dennis designed professional ethics and evaluation curricula and taught for the University of California, Davis, the University of San Francisco and California State University, Sacramento and worked within California State government, holding positions ranging from Staff Services Analyst to Deputy Director. In 1986 he formed Dennis Rose & Associates (DRA) to deliver information development, program evaluation, professional ethics, technical assistance and needs assessment/resource mapping services to government, philanthropic and community-based efforts.
Michael Sparks M.A. is an Alcohol Policy Specialist, community organizer and President of SparksInitiatives. His primary interest is assisting communities to implement evidence-based, upstream, equity focused strategies to address the factors that impact community health.
Currently he serves as Senior Advisor to the Saint Joseph’s Community Health Partnership, Community Building Initiative. Michael provides support and technical assistance to CBI sites in California and to sites in Baltimore in partnership with The United Way of Central Maryland, Neighbors United Initiative. He has expertise in the alcohol policy field as well as in the areas of community building, using local control strategies to manage problematic alcohol and drug environments, the legislative process, and neighborhood revitalization. He has provided training in the areas of community organizing, alcohol policy, using the legislative process to reduce alcohol and other drug problems, neighborhood revitalization and leadership development.
Natalie Arroyo is a CBI coach supporting the work of Bridgeville United in rural Bridgeville California, and a lead organizer helping the Peninsula Community Collaborative on the Samoa Peninsula, comprising the very small neighboring towns of Samoa, Manila and Fairhaven. Formerly, Natalie was a CBI lead organizer in support of the Loleta Local Organizing Committee in Loleta, CA. Natalie is a Senior Planner at Redwood Community Action Agency within the Natural Resources Services division, where she has worked since 2007. She also proudly serves in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, has served multiple terms as an elected official, has taught conflict resolution in the California State University system, and currently serves on the board of the Klamath River Renewal Corporation. Natalie is passionate about community service, trails for transportation and recreation, environmental justice, and including more voices in the community on issues that matter. She loves rural communities and living in the heart of redwood country in Humboldt County.
Christian Ponce is currently one of the Community Building Initiative (CBI) Coaches for St. Joseph Health Community Partnership (SJHCPF). As a CBI Coach, Christian works directly with lead organization staff to develop organizing capacity, identify upstream issues and solutions, develop and launch resident-led policy actions and organizational development to embed CBI’s model and values for community-level work. Christian joined the CBI team in 2013 and has worked with neighborhoods across Orange County, CA and San Bernardino County, CA (specifically the High-Desert). Currently Christian is coaching four active CBI sites from the beginning Incubation Phase to the end of Implementation Phase.
Prior to CBI, Christian worked with various community-based projects in Los Angeles and Orange County with California Community Foundation, The California Endowment, California State University, Long Beach and Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. Christian’s passion for community development and capacity building work comes from his experiences growing up in Lynwood, CA, a predominately low-income city with little community engagement and advocacy in local decision-making processes. Growing up in a Mexican immigrant household, Christian has recognized the impacts the social determinates of health has had on his family and many around him. Christian attained bachelor’s degrees from Cal State Long Beach in Criminal Justice and Chican@ and Latin@ Studies where he began exploring community development projects that led him to University of California, Irvine to graduate with a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning.
Emily Sinkhorn serves as the CBI coach for the Peninsula Community Collaborative (PCC) on the Samoa Peninsula in Humboldt County, California, and is the Director of the Natural Resources Services Division of Redwood Community Action Agency. Emily has much expertise and passion for creating effective partnerships to promote vibrant and active communities. She is a trained facilitator who enjoys helping to guide community processes that are engaging and welcoming. Prior to becoming CBI Coach Emily was the staff coordinator for the Loleta CBI Site. Since then, has worked with several CBI communities in Humboldt County to bring together diverse groups of people to find common themes, collaborate, and resolve issues to improve the health and wellbeing of residents.
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