With over 60 years of combined experience working with homeless individuals and youth, the Collaborative’s leadership has the skills and knowledge to create a system of care and manage it for the betterment of transition age youth in South Los Angeles.
Board President, Pastor Kelvin Sauls, Holman United Methodist Church. Reverend Kelvin Sauls was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. He brings to Holman United Methodist Church years of experience in, and passion for, congregational vitalization for community transformation. Currently, he is serving as a Commissioner to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, in which he plays a key role as City of Los Angeles’s Mayoral Appointee in addressing homelessness.
A bridge-builder for cross-cultural and multi-ethnic congregational development in racially diverse communities, Reverend Sauls is excited about God’s plans and promises that come with his appointment to Holman. In his 16 years of ordained ministry, he has served both local churches and general agencies in the UMC. Prior to his appointment to Holman, he served as Executive Director for New Ministries in the Cal Pac Conference, Assistant General Secretary for Congregational Development & Racial Ethnic Ministries at the General Board of Global Ministries in New York, NY, and Director for Congregational Transformation at the General Board of Discipleship in Nashville, TN. He provided pastoral leadership with small, medium and large congregations in Oakland, CA (Downs UMC), San Francisco, CA (Jones UMC), and Abingdon, VA (Charles Wesley UMC). While doing his graduate studies, he served as Associate Director of the Wesley Community Center in Dayton, OH, and on the Campus Ministry Staff at The University of Dayton.
Board Treasurer, Janet Denise Kelly, the Executive Director of Sanctuary of Hope, has over 20 years of nonprofit management experience in the areas of fair housing, affordable housing development, and homelessness. She holds a B.A. from the University of California Los Angeles and Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. Sanctuary of Hope provides housing and education stabilization services to TAY primarily in South Los Angeles and bordering cities of Inglewood and Hawthorne.
Board Secretary, Kandee Lewis, the Executive Director of The Positive Results Corporation, has more than 30 years Senior Level Management experience in the area of hiring, training, customer service and sales marketing, and six years of experience in nonprofit management. She is a Certified Advocate on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Advocate, specializing in Bullying, Family and Teen Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, Healthy Relationships and Leadership. PRC’s mission is to increase awareness and reduce violence and abuse in youth, young adults and their families, educate them on the impact violence has on them and their community, promote healthy relationships and build good community citizens. Kandee is a Founding Board Member for South Los Angeles Homeless Transitional Aged Youth and Foster Care Collaborative. She serves on Compton’s Policing & Education Task Force, and the L.A. City Attorney’s Domestic Violence Round Table. She created Stop The Pain Teen Summit on Dating Violence, Sex Trafficking, and Bully Prevention. She has worked with Carson, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Los Angeles and Santa Monica advocating and establishing February as Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month, and collaborated with L.A. County Sheriff, L.A.P.D. and the Housing Authority for the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) conducting youth leadership academies.
Reverend Deborah Manns, the Founder/CEO of The Virtuous Woman, Inc, has more than 10 years of nonprofit experience in the areas of community leadership, outreach, prison systems, homelessness and victims as well as survivors of sex trafficking and prostitution. She works with the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Special Task Force Unit for Human and Sex Trafficking’s Downtown Bureau Office as well as the FBI Bureau for the City of Los Angeles. She also sits on the clergy council for the Alameda Division of the L.A. County Sheriff and LAPD’s Southeast Division. Additionally, she works with local and national organizations including Crittenton Services for Children and Families, LYAN, Childrenʼs Hospital and CAST (Coalition Against Sex Trafficking). Reverend Manns has a Bachelor of Arts and Science Degree in Nursing. She has been trained, licensed and ordained in Ministry and Leadership. She currently attends the Southwestern School of Ministry and Azusa Bridge Program where she is working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Religion with plans of obtaining her doctorate in Theology. Additionally, she is a real estate broker who owns Manns & Associates Real Estate Firm in the City of Los Angeles.
Franco Vega, The Right Way Foundation. Mr. Vega served three years in the United States Army and credits his strong work ethic to this experience. After serving honorably for his country, Mr. Vega returned home to Los Angeles and enrolled at California State University of Dominguez Hills, where he pursued his B.S. in Human Services. While attending school, Mr. Vega landed a job working with foster care youth, assisting them with employment as they emancipated from the foster care system. Finding this work rewarding, Mr. Vega continued his work in the employment field, placing dislocated Boeing Aerospace workers back into the workforce. Later, the City of Los Angeles Community Development Department recruited Mr. Vega to create a Business Development Component, establishing paid corporate internships for residents of East Los Angeles and Watts. In this endeavor, Mr. Vega was successful in building partnerships with Coca-Cola, White Memorial Hospital, 105.9FM radio station and the Magic Johnson Foundation, to name a few. Mr. Vega enjoys serving communities that are suffering from poverty, drugs, and gangs, and continues to make a difference in peoples’ lives.
Deborah Cromer brings more than nine years of legal advocacy and leadership experience working with foster and probation youth in Los Angeles County. As Program Director for NextStep, Deborah focuses on supporting independence and self-advocacy skills for transition age foster and probation youth. Previously, she was an attorney at The Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles (CLCLA) where she represented foster youth in Los Angeles County. She also served as CLCLA’s Education Coordinator, advocating for the education needs and rights of foster youth through direct advocacy, consultation, training, and policy reform. Ms. Cromer has been published in the ABA Family Law journal on the topic of Family Finding and has spoken at statewide and national conferences on issues related to child welfare. She is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno and Whittier Law School.
Gregory C. Scott, Entrepreneur, and Nonprofit Executive, recently served as President & CEO of New Directions for Veterans (NDVets) since 2011.The organization experienced significant growth during Mr. Scott’s tenure, specifically expanding well beyond its initial transitional housing program to now encompass both housing stability for veteran families (through both homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing) and the development and operation of permanent supportive housing (PSH) for veterans. Prior to his appointment at NDVets, Mr. Scott led several other nonprofit organizations including but not limited to the Weingart Center Association in downtown Los Angeles, Sylvan Learning Systems, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation of Orange County, and AmeriCorps for YouthBuild USA. A passionate visionary and change agent, Mr. Scott has demonstrated successful experience as an executive in both the private and nonprofit sector. He focuses on producing solutions to the challenging social issues affecting disenfranchised individuals and their families in the areas of diversity, leadership development, strategic planning, poverty, education, workforce development, healthcare, mental health, low-income housing, and youth empowerment. He is also a professional network marketer and entrepreneur building and mentoring teams of entrepreneurs across the country. Mr. Scott has garnered both corporate and individual philanthropic support to invest in causes that impact the community from a wide range of entities. He serves on several nonprofit boards. Mr. Scott was born and raised in Paterson, NJ, graduating from Eastside High School. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from William Paterson University and received his Masters of Science degree in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University. A public speaker, Mr. Scott has appeared on The Today Show and is often interviewed by both local and national media. He is also has been a contributor to the Huffington Post.
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