Meet Our Board
Kathy Esfahani, PresidentSenior Research Attorney: California Court of Appeal, 4th District, Div III
Kathy Esfahani is a local attorney who helped found the Public Law Center of Orange County, a public interest law firm that provides pro bono legal services to low income clients and challenges systemic injustices through impact litigation. Kathy loves Concern America because its model creates real, sustainable improvement in living conditions within remote, impoverished communities.
Debbie Salas, Vice PresidentDirector of Business Operations, CareMore Health Plan
Debbie Salas currently serves as the Director in Business Operations at CareMore Health Plan. Debbie has over 20 years of healthcare management experience leading successful teams in the areas of operations, process improvement and training for both provider and health plan organizations. As the former Chair for St Joseph Health’s Mission and Values Committee, Debbie was introduced to Concern America through craft sales SJH sponsored and became inspired by the work they do. “It’s truly amazing to know there are people and an organization like Concern America who care enough to teach local people on ways to alleviate poverty and improve their lives in a very dignified manner.”
Beth McPherson, TreasurerManaging Partner, Leadership Formation Partners
Beth has served for over thirty years in Catholic healthcare in three systems, Holy Cross, Providence and St. Joseph Health and has executive experience in mission integration, leadership development and formation, strategic planning and finance. Beth was inspired by the work of Concern America while accompanying the St. Joseph Health Mission and Mentoring Trips to Guatemala.
Doreen Chesebro, SecretaryRetired Director of Mission Services, St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare
Doreen is a retired Director of Mission Services initiating Mission Integration cultural development within St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare. She is deeply committed to social justice issues, and finds that Concern America provides a path to support people living on the margins of society by giving them the tools and education needed to promote their self-sufficiency. She explains that while visiting the people living in Peten, Guatemala, she met smart people, striving to provide for themselves and to help their neighbors. Doreen supports Concern America because it is a values driven organization with integrity and insight that make a difference in the world today.
John BennettChief Executive, Orange County/High Desert, St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare
John Bennett serves as the Chief Executive for the Orange County/High Desert region of St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare. In this role, Mr. Bennett oversees the strategic, clinical and business operations for four medical groups with more than 700 primary and specialty care providers throughout the region, while continuing to grow and strengthen the Orange County and High Desert networks as the choice provider for patients. A proven servant leader, Mr. Bennett has provided exceptional leadership in different roles at Providence St. Joseph Health over the past 19 years, including Chief Administrative Officer and Strategy and Integration Officer. John received his Master’s in Public Administration from West Virginia University and his Bachelor’s in Art History from Brigham Young University.
Mary Beth FlurryRegistered Nurse
Mary Beth is a former Concern America volunteer who worked with Guatemalan refugees in camps in Quintana Roo, Mexico from 1991-1993. As a community health nurse in the U.S. she has been engaged with the Latino community for over 20 years in Chicago, Illinois and rural Wisconsin, and currently works in the Community Health Department of Providence Hospital the South Bay area of Los Angeles. In addition to her work life, she has volunteered with various Central American solidarity organizations since the 1980’s. Mary Beth says, “Commitment to social justice is what led me to work with Concern America and to my work here in the states in community health. I am very excited for the opportunity to contribute again to the work of Concern America!”
Michael W Gilbert, MDFamily Physician, Regional Medical Director for Quality, St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare
Since January 1989, Dr. Gilbert has practiced Family Medicine with St Joseph Heritage Medical Group. He has had leadership roles within Providence St. Joseph Health and currently serves as the Regional Medical Director for Quality for St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare, a non-profit entity that represents over 500 physicians in Orange and San Bernardino Counties. He has traveled to Guatemala on numerous occasions and has helped coordinate advanced Health Promoter Practitioner courses, brought information technology to the volunteers, and has coordinated ongoing relationships between the Health Promoter Practitioners and the medical specialists of St Joseph. His support and interest in Concern derives directly from the values of Providence St. Joseph Health and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange – Compassion, Dignity, Justice, Excellence and Integrity.
Herlinda Ramirez Machado, CSJSister of St. Joseph of Orange
Herlinda Ramirez-Machado is a Sister of St. Joseph of Orange. Most of her work experience has been assisting young families to acquire new skills and connecting patients with resources in the community. Sr. Herlinda ministered as a Pastoral Assistant at St. Jude Neighborhood Clinic in Fullerton, California. She was also involved with the Comprehensive Prenatal Service Program and the Every Woman Counts Program/Cancer Detection Program at St. Jude’s Medical Center. Sr. Herlinda was also involved in the mother and baby First Five Program at Healthy Beginning Programs at St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley, California. Sr. Herlinda has a degree from the Universidad de Sonora, Mexico in Psychology.
Ben De Los ReyesEducator, Mater Dei High School
Ben teaches Catholic Theology, Ethics, and Peace and Justice classes at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana. Since 2009, he has been a member of Concern America’s Walk Out of Poverty Planning Committee. He is passionate about Concern America’s work because it emphasizes empowerment through education. He values that Concern America’s work is based on relationships of solidarity and respect where the lines of service provider and service recipient are consciously erased.
Diane RezendesEditorial Director, Green Bear Group
As a writer and editor, Diane’s work focuses on organizations committed to environmental sustainability and fair treatment for all. Her involvement with Concern America began with a year of service through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in 1983-84. “There’s a clear feeling of presence, relationship, and connection that’s just woven throughout whatever Concern does, whether in the field or at a donor event,” she says. “It is deep; it is profound. It is truly remarkable.”
Marty TrujilloCommunications Specialist, AACN - American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
Marty Trujillo currently serves as Communications Messaging Specialist with the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) in Aliso Viejo, California. Associated with Concern America for more than a decade, his dedication has come from his “absolute belief in our mission, total faith in our staff, complete admiration for our volunteers, and undying love for the people we serve.”
Paul Williams President and Founder of MediaLine Communications
Paul Williams designs and implements global, national and regional communications programs for health, non-profit, government and entertainment industry businesses, organizations and individuals. With over 20 years of experience, Paul’s campaigns have reached millions worldwide and won multiple awards. During his career, Paul has represented the Olympic Games, the State of California (including the successful “Click It or Ticket” campaign), the Red Cross, ECO, Global Green, Rock the Vote, Recycle Across America, the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the National MS Society, the Visiting Nurse Association of America, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, the REACH Program for Native American Alcoholism Education, and many others. Paul is honored and humbled to serve on the board of Concern America.
Sandra WilliamsMember of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet
As a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Sandra has worked primarily as an educator in Catholic elementary schools and in offices for religious education at the diocesan and parish levels. From 2006-2011 she served on the staff of Concern America. She is currently a member of the leadership team for the Los Angeles Province of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Sandra finds that the mission of Concern America resonates so consistently with the mission and spirit of the Sisters of St. Joseph that her commitment to Concern America is a seamless fit for her.
Winfred Van WingerdenBusiness Owner
Winfred has been in the flower business for over 30 years, working in all aspects of the industry. Winfred first began with Concern America as a Field Volunteer with the agricultural project in Tijuana in 1982 and has been on the Board for over a decade. Winfred continues his work with Concern and other nonprofits and looks forward to “retiring” with that work in the future.