About Us

Our Team

The Orangewood team of staff, board members and volunteers is second to none. The longevity of our staff is a testament to our culture and our mission. More than half of our employees have been with us for five or more years and a quarter for 10 or more years. Our Board of Directors is comprised of leaders in all segments of the community. Not to be forgotten are our volunteers who give over 5,500 hours of their time to our youth.

Orangewood Foundation Leadership Team

Helen Acevez, MPH

Director of Drop In Services

Helen has worked in the non-profit sector for nearly 30 years supporting services for children and families. She started her career working for the YMCA after schools programs and since then she’s been supporting youth and families throughout Southern California managing large departments of up to 24 employees. Helen spent most of her tenure overseeing the programs and operations of the La Habra Family Resource Center. Today, Helen’s heart and passion lies in serving the youth as Orangewood’s Director of Drop-in Services since 2021. “What I love most about my job, is helping the community we serve. I love knowing that each day I arrive to work we are changing lives.” Helen has a Bachelor’s of Psychology, and a Master’s of Public Health. Outside of work, Helen is a mom of three amazing kids. She loves the outdoors, read books and listen to music that makes her dance!

Annie Bach

Director of Compliance and Quality Assurance

Annie has been with Orangewood Foundation since 2019. She has worked with various nonprofits such as Olive Crest and Boys Town, prior to coming to Orangewood. “I’m glad to be a part of an organization that provides high-quality care and makes a difference in the community,” she says. As a part of the Foundation, Annie helps build and maintain the quality of programs and services Orangewood Foundation offers. She has a Bachelor’s in Public Management and a Master’s in Public Administration. Outside of work, Annie enjoys playing contact sports and hanging out at home with her Great Dane. She is also a diehard Pittsburgh Steeler fan.

Joy Corpora

Chief People & Culture Officer

Joy joined the Orangewood team in March of 2020. Her HR career started at a local Orange County non-profit and continued in the private sector at organizations such as Fidelity National Financial, CoreLogic, Blizzard, and Ambry Genetics. She is happy to return to where her heart is, supporting at-risk youth, saying, “I believe that everyone deserves an opportunity to succeed and we should do what we can to support them.” Joy has a Master’s degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in Human Resources from CSUF and a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Brandman University. She holds two senior level HR certifications: SHRM-SCP (Senior Certified Professional) and an SPHR (Senior Professional HR) from HRCI. Joy is an adjunct professor at Brandman University. She and her husband are “fur parents” to two rescue pups.

Jami DeChaney Sheridan, MS

Director of Youth Connected Program

Jami joined Orangewood in 2020 to lead the Youth Connected Program. She has worked for over 20 years with children and families, primarily with teens in foster care, and in various positions including therapist, case manager and a director at three different agencies in Illinois. What Jami loves most about her job is that she gets the opportunity to create something brand new and build it to prepare youth to be supported in all areas of their lives when they exit foster care. When she isn’t working, Jami loves to listen to live music and watch sports with her husband, four kids, three dogs and one cat. Jami and her family also enjoy cruising the Caribbean for vacation (of course not during a pandemic!).

Tami Di Paolo, M.Ed

Director of Support Services

Tami has been with Orangewood Foundation since 2021. Before Orangewood, she’s worked at Boys Town and Bellflower Unified School District helping youth in our community. Tami is excited to be part of a team where staff are walking alongside youth offering support when needed. “I love working with a team that is passionate about helping youth. Nothing beats seeing a youth achieving a goal they set for themselves.” Outside of work, Tami enjoys reading, traveling and visiting the beach with her husband, daughters and dogs.

Tyler Kunnel

Director of Facilities and Construction

Tyler started in 2020 as Orangewood’s Director of Facilities and Construction, but he has been a consultant for Orangewood Foundation since 2018. He has worked in the construction and real estate development industry for about 10 years. He started out as a subcontractor and now he owns a business in the field.  When asked what he liked about his job at Orangewood, Tyler replied, “I love helping to make sure our youth have a nice and healthy facility for them to reach their goals.” On Tyler’s free time, he enjoys surfing and relaxing on the beach.

Lee Fleming

Head of School, Samueli Academy

Lee Fleming is thrilled to serve as Samueli Academy Head of School. After teaching high social studies in the classroom for seven years, Lee worked for the New Tech Network for nearly a decade, traveling to support school leaders in over 150 different schools across the country and internationally. Lee then became a principal at Bonsall High School in North County San Diego where she helped build and lead the school through the first graduating class that launched in June of 2018. Lee came to Samueli Academy in July 2018. She said, “I was moved by the mission to provide a quality education and personalized care to students who are thr

Jonathan Forbes, Ph.D.

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Jonathan joined Orangewood in 2020. Prior to the Foundation, he was a grant writer at UC Santa Barbara where he wrote proposals for scholarships and basic needs resources for low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented minority students. Jonathan earned his PhD while teaching university-level courses in writing, rhetoric and composition and more. He also conducted research on public writing and engagement and how people work with organizations to improve individual and community care practices. What he loves most about his job with Orangewood is the authentic and impactful relationships he builds with people in our community.  In his free time, Jonathan enjoys talking and reading about politics. But most of all, he loves to spend time with his wife, Kristy, their two dogs and two cats.

Linda Giel


Linda has been Orangewood’s Controller since 2016. Prior to the Foundation, she worked for two other non-profits in Orange County, serving the homeless. Linda loves to work for an organization that help youths reach their fullest potential, some youths have no idea how great they can be. She is inspired by the youth’s success and is proud to work with staff who does whatever it takes to make a difference. When she is not working, Linda spends time with her family and friends. Her favorite food is sushi.

Linda Levshin

Senior Director

Linda has been working in the nonprofit industry since 1987. Before joining Orangewood in 2004, she ran a foster family agency and other community based program at the David and Margaret Home. Linda is glad the Foundation is flexible in developing services that are needed by the youth. She is honored to be part of their journey from adolescence to adulthood. When she isn’t working she enjoy traveling with her husband, Peter. As a stress reliever, Linda likes to do some sort of physical activity daily; she has a black belt in Shotokan Karate.

John Luker

Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer

John joined Orangewood in 2014. In his own small way, he helps the organization save money and run efficiently in order for front line staff to do their jobs to help youths in our community. His passions lies in the mission of Orangewood, to help youth reach their greatest potential. John was recognized by CALCPA and the Orange County Business Journal as the 2018 Not for Profit CFO of the Year. When he is not working, John loves to ride his bicycle around Orange County and do various outdoor activities with his wife and kids.

Kendra Puryear

Chief Development Officer

Kendra joined Orangewood Foundation in April, 2019. Prior to working at the Foundation, she started her development career at Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Orange County. Since then, Kendra worked in various nonprofits such as Orange County United Way and The Raise Foundation. She was drawn to Orangewood because of the consistent caring relationships staff develop with youth. Kendra enjoys connecting people to causes that matter to them. “I love to watch people find meaning and personal fulfillment through giving back to their community,” she says. When Kendra’s not working, she enjoys reading inspirational books, paddle boarding and seeing musicals and operas with her sisters and mom.

Anthony Saba

Executive Director

Anthony started his career in education in the classroom, teaching business and math. He was named “Rookie of the Year” his first year of teaching. His success in the classroom propelled him into administration. Prior to joining Orangewood Foundation as Head of School of Samueli Academy in 2012, he was the principal of Frazier Mountain High School in Lebec, California where he created an environment where teachers can collaborate and form a common standard and curriculum for students. About working at Samueli Academy, Anthony says, “It’s truly an honor and a privilege to serve the students and families of Orange County, and together we’re building something very special. Samueli Academy is a school that has produced graduates who are knowledgeable and confident.” Originally from Bakersfield, Anthony now resides in Newport Beach with his wife and two children.

Pam Shambra

Capital Campaign Director

Pam has been with Orangewood since 2011. Prior to the Foundation, Pam was the CEO of Pretend City and the Director of Marketing and Development of the Discovery Science Center. As the Capital Campaign Director, Pam shows prospective investors Samueli Academy. She is proud to showcase the caring teachers, project-based learning and wonderful students’ environment. Pam loves to hike and take an active adventure. Pam grew up in New Orleans and she has deep southern roots imbedded in her. “…wherever you go for the rest of your life, [New Orleans] stays with you..”

Chris Simonsen

Chief Executive Officer

Chris started his professional career in various finance roles, from an accountant in a large accounting firm to CFO of Auto Club. Chris joined Orangewood in 2007 as the CFO and was promoted to CEO in 2014. He loves that the Foundation has a wide variety of programs that support youth in making improvements in their life. “Seeing a smile on a youth’s face after one of their success, no matter how large or small, it is always rewarding.” Chris loves music. He has seen his favorite band, Metallica, over 20 times.

Dr. Shauntina Sorrells, MSW DSW

Chief Program Officer

Dr. Shauntina Sorrells joined Orangewood Foundation in 2019. She holds a Master’s and Doctorate in Social Work. Dr. Sorrells is certified in Trauma Informed Training and has been a Trainer of Trauma Informed Practices for various Orange County establishments such as the OC Probation Department and the OC Juvenile and Family Court Judges. She loves to see youth accomplish something they set out to do. “I believe that every youth can reach their greatest potential and I believe that is what Orangewood has always done.” When Dr. Sorrells is not advocating for OC youth, she loves to craft and go camping with her family.

Matthew Wadlinger, MA

Director of Marketing & Communications

Matthew joined the Orangewood Foundation team in June of 2021. He had previously worked at CASA of Orange County (CASA-OC) from November 2010 to May 2021, serving in many roles over 10.5 years including Program Associate, Family Connections Coordinator, Director of Outreach, Marketing & Family Connections, Advancement Manager and Chief Communications Officer. Additionally Matthew served on the Performance Measurement and Data Governance Committee for National CASA. Prior to that, Matthew worked at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Seacoast, located in Portsmouth, NH. He also worked at the Sununu Youth Services Center in Manchester, NH as a Clinical Intern for two years. Matthew obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Justice Studies with a minor in Political Science from The University of New Hampshire in 2008 and also obtained his Masters degree in Justice Studies with a special focus on juvenile delinquency from The University of New Hampshire in 2009.

Rick Wiepking

Director of Information Technology

Rick joined Orangewood Foundation in 2018 after four years at a nonprofit tech company in Silicon Valley. He has worked in IT for over 10 years, primarily in the nonprofit sector. Rick was drawn to his current position because of his interest in working with underserved and vulnerable communities. “I love getting to work with an amazing group of people and finding ways to improve the technology we provide to better serve our mission and the needs of our youth.” When Rick is not working, he loves traveling with his wife, Lauren, and their dog, Tiberius.

Orangewood Foundation Brown Act Board Meeting Agenda and Minutes

Tuesday, June 8, 2021 – 3:30 p.m. – Agenda
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 – 3:30 p.m – Agenda
Tuesday, June 9, 2020 – 3:00 p.m. – Minutes

Board of Directors

The late General William Lyon

Founding Chairman

Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board, William Lyon Homes, Inc

Greg Dunlap


Partner, Deloitte LLP

Paul Tobin

Vice Chairman

Of Counsel, Buchalter

Cindy Dillion


Mediator and Ombuds, ProblemResolved.org

Steve Keefer


Business Executive

Marissa Barth

Vice President, Fidelity National Title Company

Bob Bartholomew

Managing Principal, Windjammer Capital Investors

Dennis Berlien

President, Glumac

Alan Clifton

COO, Passco Companies, LLC

Keith Duggan

President/CEO, First National Capital Corporation

David Dunn

CEO, Athletes First

Richard Dutch

Corporate Business Manager, 3M Health Care and Founding PALS Board Member

Bruce Fetter

Business Executive

Fermin Glasper

Vice President, Mapping, McCarthy Building Companies

Adam S. Horowitz

President, Horowitz Group

Daniel M. Houck II

CEO/President, Universal Asphalt Co., Inc.

Bob Istwan

President & CEO, Motive Energy, Inc.

Sandi Jackson

Community Philanthropist

Chris Jones

President & CEO, Stanley Hanson Foundation

Mitch Junkins

President & CEO, The CDM Company and Founding PALS Board Member

Kimberly Kirksey

CEO & President, Kirksey & Co.

Harry Langenberg

Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Optima Tax Relief

Renee Pepys Lowe

President, RPL and Associates, LLC

Joe Lozowski

President, Tangram Interiors

Neena N. Master

Director, SoCalGas

Vic Merjanian

Founder & CEO of Titan HST, and Founder & Managing Partner, Kalfayan Merjanian, LLP

Mohit Mittal

Managing Director, PIMCO

Vikki Murphy

Vice President, Wilson Automotive

Ken Parker

Partner, Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher

Lauren Peterson

Vice President & Client Advisor, Whittier Trust

Andy Phillips

CEO, Cliq

Jeff Roos

Western Regional President, Lennar

Timothy Ryan

President, Anaheim Arena Management and COO of the Anaheim Ducks

Susan Samueli

Co-Chair of the Board and Vice President of the Samueli Foundation and Founding Chair of 44 Women for Orangewood

Sona Shah

Chief Education Officer, My Private Professor Tutoring

Rick Sherburne

Executive Vice President, HRS Commercial Advisory & Brokerage

John E. Stratman

Senior Director, Public Affairs & Brand Communications, Kaiser Permanente – Orange County

John Stumpf

Business Executive, Core Logic

Kasey Suryan

President, Pacific Drive-Ins, and Senior Vice President, Lyon Living

Shannon Tarnutzer

Community Philanthropist

Kris Theiler

Vice President, Disneyland Park

Piero Wemyss

Chief Financial Officer, Nature’s Growers

Casandra Williams

CEO and CFO, A-Tech Consulting, Inc.

Steve Bender

Ex Officio

Orangewood PALS Chair

Emeritus Board

Elizabeth Amendt

Director, Citi Private Bank

Stephanie Argyros

Community Philanthropist

Bob Barth

President, Black Equities Group

Christianne D'Ambrosio

Community Philanthropist

Ron Davis

Founder, Davis Capital LLC

Doug DeCinces

President/CEO, DeCinces Properties

Tom Dobyns

CEO, Mission Community Bank

Patti Edwards

Community Philanthropist

Joel Goldhirsh

Retired business executive

John Hagestad

Managing Director, SARES-REGIS Group

William Healey

Community Philanthropist

Lisa Hughes, CPA

Attorney-at-Law, Hughes & Hughes

Casey Journigan

President, Arcadia Chair Company

Shirley Pepys

Community Philanthropist

Patricia L. Poss

Community Philanthropist

Thomas L. Powell

Attorney-at-Law, Law Offices of Thomas L. Powell

David Ritchie

American River Bank

Greg Scott

President, Winfield Management, LLC

Frank T. Suryan, Jr

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Lyon Living

Joe Ueberroth

CEO, Bellwether Financial Group

Vikki Vargas

Orange County Bureau Chief, NBC4 Southern California

David Wilson

President and Owner, Wilson Automotive