Concern America's Board of Directors
Kathy Esfahani President
Senior Research Attorney: California Court of Appeal, 4th District, Div III
Kathy Esfahani is an attorney who helped found the Public Law Center of Orange County, a public interest law firm with a dual mission: to provide pro bono legal services to low income clients and to challenge systemic injustices through impact litigation and policy advocacy on indigent health care, affordable housing, and immigrants' rights issues, among others. Kathy says she is inspired by Concern America being a “no frills, high impact nonprofit that empowers the poor with access to health care, life changing skills, and economic opportunity.”
Director 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 Treasurer
Managing 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 Secretary
Director of Mission Services, St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare
Doreen is a Licensed Vocational Nurse, currently serving as Director of Mission Services initiating Mission Integration cultural development within SJHH and keeping a community focus through various volunteer activities. She says “there are multiple reasons I am attracted to Concern America, more than I could ever explain in a few short statements. Briefly, I am deeply committed to social justice issues, and Concern America provides a rich path for me to gain insights and act positively to both local and global concerns. Concern America’s Mission, Vision, and Values resonate with my heart’s desires.”
Chief Administrative Officer, St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare
John Bennett serves as the Chief Administrative Officer for St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare (SJHH). In this role, Mr. Bennett is the key executive for strategic planning including the evaluation of growth opportunities in adjacent markets and leads in business development efforts across SJHH. Mr. Bennett holds a black belt certification in the LEAN improvement method and was responsible for leading the Performance Improvement experience for the St. Jude Heritage physicians and staff. Mr. Bennett holds a Master in Public Administration from West Virginia University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Humanities from Brigham Young University.
Mary Beth Flurry
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!”
Medical Director, Clinical Integration and Emerging Technologies,
St. Joseph Heritage Medical Group
For the past 25 years Dr. Gilbert has practiced Family Medicine for St Joseph Heritage Medical Group. He has had leadership roles within St Joseph Health and serves as one of the Medical Directors for his medical group. He also serves as a Physician Champion for Information Technology for St Joseph Heritage, a non-profit entity that represents over 500 physicians affiliated with St Joseph Health. He has traveled to Guatemala on numerous occasions and has helped coordinate advanced Health Promoter Practitioner courses, brought information technology to the volunteers, as well as 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 the Sisters of St Joseph - Dignity, Service, Excellence and Justice.
Herlinda Ramirez Machado, CSJ
Sister 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 Reyes
Educator, 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.
Editorial Director, Green Bear Group
Diane is a freelance writer and editor as well as a partner at Green Bear Group, a marketing agency specializing in helping organizations committed to environmental sustainability. Her association with Concern America began during a year of service in 1983-84, when she helped organize and promote what later became the Walk Out of Poverty. Asked about her involvement with Concern, she says, “It’s quite simple: I love what Concern’s mission is about, but more than that – 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. It is deep; it is profound. It is truly remarkable.”
Communications 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.”
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.
Leadership Team Member, Los Angeles Province: 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 Wingerden
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.