Kathy Harwell is the Director of the Stanislaus County Community Services Agency. Kathy is a native Californian and a graduate of Saint Mary's University. She has spent the majority of her career, over 30 years, in the field of Social Services. Throughout her career, she has worked on projects focused on improving the wellbeing of children, adults, and families. Kathy also serves on numerous boards throughout the community and is an active member of the County Welfare Directors Association of California.
Nelly Paredes-Walsborn, PhD
Manuela (Nelly) Paredes-Walsborn serves as a community representative on the Stanislaus County Children and Families Commission. Paredes-Walsborn is an Oakdale resident and a co-founder of a production company. She has a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Communications and a Masters degree in Human Behavior from Honolulu University in Hawaii.
She is a volunteer teacher for Citizenship and Basic English classes at the Family Support Network in Oakdale and at St. Frances of Rome Catholic Church in Riverbank. She also provides free Citizenship Educational conferences throughout Stanislaus County. Her community involvement activities include director and co- founder of the 605 Citizen Project, an immigration and citizenship preparation program. She also served as a member of the Naturalization Advisory Council for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, Department of Homeland Security and as a volunteer for the U.S. Department of State, Passport Agency in Los Angeles.
Paredes-Walsborn, a former Telemundo Network television producer, noted author and speaker, is excited about serving on the nine member Commission dedicated to improving the lives of children and families countywide. “I like to be involved in projects that impact the community,” stated Paredes-Walsborn. “I also like to dedicate my life, knowledge and education to increase the opportunity of success and prosperity of others.”
Vicki graduated Magna Cum Laude from California State University, Stanislaus, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Communication. Her current title is Director III of the Stanislaus County Office of Education Prevention Programs Department. She has direction over an organizational unit involving numerous professionals and employees. She is responsible for a diversified, multiple county-wide technical areas with a budget of over $23 million.
She is Regional Coordinator for TUPE (Tobacco Use Prevention Education), Student Mental Health, Safe Schools, and Healthy Start. She oversees After School Education and Safety Programs, 21st Century Community Learning Centers and ASES, After School Programs, Leadership Academy and the grant writing process for future programs to serve the region.
Vicki also serves on several committees; she represents the county on the Prop 10 Commission, Children's Council, Child Abuse Prevention Committee, Domestic Violence Council, Hospice Board Member, Prop 63 Committee Member, Courts and Community, Go Red for Women, Binge Drinking Committee Member, Police Activities League Board President, Gang task force and her favorite - being member of the Modesto Rotary.
She has been married for 36 years, has three grown children, and 2 grandsons; Parker and Logun.
Ignacio Cantu, Jr.
Ignacio Cantu Jr. is currently a principal for Modesto City Schools. He graduated from Patterson High School, Modesto Junior College, and Stanislaus State University with a degree in Liberal Studies. He worked 4 years as an elementary teacher in Newman and then became a high school teacher at Patterson High where he worked 1 year before becoming an administrator. He has worked as an administrator for Modesto City Schools for 13 years.
Ignacio has always been passionate about providing services to underserved children and makes it a priority at each school he works. He understands the struggles, as he himself was raised by migrant farmworkers.
Ignacio lives in Modesto with his wife Katie – a vice principal for Manteca Unified School District and life-long Modesto resident, and their son Carter. Ignacio volunteers his time coaching children’s sports.
Vito Chiesa is a lifelong resident of Hughson. He graduated from Hughson High School, attended Modesto Junior College then went on to graduate from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture.
Vito works in a family farming operation with his parents, Mary and Aroldo and brother, Andrew. In addition to growing walnuts, almonds and peaches, the family operates a commercial walnut hulling and drying business.
Prior to being elected to the Board of Supervisors, Vito served the community as the President of the Stanislaus County Fair Board as well as the President of the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau. He also served as a Director for the Modesto Chamber of Commerce and State Director for California Farm Bureau. He is currently in his second term as Stanislaus County Supervisor for District 2. Some of his other many responsibilities include serving as the President of CSAC, Commissioner of the Children and Families Commission, Member of the Stanislaus Council of Government (StanCOG), Executive Committee and Policy Board, Member of the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley, Member of the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority, Alternate Member of the Emergency Medical Services Board of Directors, Member of the City of Hughson Oversight Board and Member of the City of Turlock Oversight Board.
Dave Cooper retired in June, 2006, from 34 years as a teacher and administrator in Modesto City Schools. He received his B.A. from San Francisco State University and an M.A. in education and school administration from California State University - Stanislaus. Dave began his career as a science teacher at Mark Twain Junior High School in 1971. He became an Assistant Principal at Mark Twain, then an Assistant Principal at Beyer High School. He then spent 9 years as the Principal of Modesto High School, followed by 8 years as the district's Director of Secondary Education. Dave also served as an adjunct professor at Chapman University for 13 years.
Dave has been active in community theater, serving as the board vice-president for Modesto Performing Arts and as a cast member in 7 productions. He served as an instructor and instructor trainer in C.P.R. with the American Heart Association. He has also been involved with numerous district/community education committees.
Dave lives in Modesto with his wife Suzanne. They have two children - Amy, an English teacher at Laguna Beach High School, and Stefan, a professional trumpet player in Malmo, Sweden. They also have two grandchildren, Ryan and Catarina.
Mary Ann Lee
Mary Ann Lee is the Managing Director of the Health Services Agency. As the Managing Director she is leading the organization through the challenges of the strategic and facility reorganization plan, financial and quality improvement efforts, emergency preparedness and the development of strategic partnerships.
Mary Ann has executive leadership responsibility for the HSA organization including programs such as: Public Health services; 6 outpatient primary medical care offices; all specialty and ancillary services; a Medi-Cal managed care health plan partnership with Blue Cross of California; the Indigent Health Care Program; the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program; and the Stanislaus Family Medicine Residency Program. She leads an organization with an annual operating budget of approximately $100 million serving over 500,000 patients and clients each year.
Before coming to HSA in 1999, Mary Ann served as Vice President of Contract Management for the Cleveland Health Network and as Sr. Director of Provider Network Management for National Health Plans. Mary Ann serves on the Children and Families Commission, the Children’s Coordinating Council, and the Emergency Medical Services Committee. Mary Ann enjoys working to achieve efficient operations, while at the same time serving residents of the community including those who need it most. Mary Ann received her BS from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and her MBA from Regis University.
George Skol was first appointed to the Children and Families Commission in June of 2002. He has been reappointed in 2005, 2008, 2011, and 2014. George was Chair of the Commission during the 2004-2005 year, the 2011-2012 year and the 2016-2017 year.
George is a lawyer in Modesto, CA. In September of 2007, he retired as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of the E.& J. Gallo Winery. His areas of responsibility included Employment/Labor and International Trade law as well as legal department management duties. Prior to joining Gallo in 1986, George worked in the legal departments of Crown Zellerbach Corporation and General Electric Company. His first job as a lawyer was in the Foreign Commerce Section, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice. George graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in 1967. He is a member of the bars of California and the District of Columbia.
Since l995, George has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Children's Crisis Center of Stanislaus County. From 2000 to 2002, George was Chairman of the Board. During that time period, the Children's Crisis Center went from one to three facilities, tripling its ability to protect abused and neglected children.
George's other civic and professional activities have included service as Chair of the State Bar of California's Antitrust and Trade Regulation Section, member of the City of Modesto's Community Quality Forum, member of the board of the California International Relations Foundation and as a member of the Group of Experts on Regulation and Law of the O.I.V. which is an International Organization of wine producing and consuming nations. He has been a speaker at conferences sponsored by the U.S. Government, the European Union and the World Intellectual Property Organization.
George and Gloria have four children.
Julie Vaishampayn, MD
Dr. Vaishampayan currently serves as the Health Officer for Stanislaus County. She has previously served as the Assistant Health Officer for San Joaquin County, as Chief of the Communicable Disease Emergency Response Branch at the California Department of Public Health, and in local public health in Michigan. Dr. Vaishampayan is currently president of the California Tuberculosis Controllers Association.
Dr. Vaishampayan received her medical degree and completed her residency in internal medicine and fellowship in infectious diseases at Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI. She received her Master of Public Health degree and completed her Preventive Medicine residency at the University of Michigan and is board certified in Infectious Diseases and in Public Health and General Preventive Medicine.