Our People

Board of Directors

Made up of 21 community leaders and professionals from Glendale, Burbank, West Hollywood and Los Angeles, our boards has a passion for working with the homeless, the ability to work collaboratively, and offer race, gender, geographic, age, and/or professional diversity.

Officers

Kim Guard

Board President

President/Owner

Express Employment Professionals

Paulette Ramsey Wood

Board Vice President
Retired, Legal Department, Contracts

Schindler Elevator Corporation

Kristine Nam

Secretary

Communications Director

Glendale Unified School District

Sue Son

Treasurer/Finance Committee Chair

Hutchinson and Bloodgood LLP

Committee Chairs

Bryan Longpre

Development Committee Chair

 

Assoc. VP – Financial Advisor

Morgan Stanley

David Bolstad

Governance Committee Chair

Partner

Safarian, Choi & Bolstad, LLP

John Sadd

Audit Committee Chair

 

Founder and Managing Partner

The Accountancy

Deacon Ron Baker

Nominations Committee Chair

 

Director of Operations and Ministries

Holy Family Catholic Church

Members

Marvel Ford

Senior V.P. and Risk Management Officer

California Credit Union

Arbella Azizian

Attorney of Counsel

Baker, Olson, LeCroy & Daielian

Bruce Gordon

Executive Mentor and Partner

Merryck & Co.

Grace Kang

Asst. Real Estate Manager

Panda Restaurant Group

Isabel Reyes

Revelation Insurance Services

Anthony Rubio

Construction Coordinator

Forest Lawn Memorial Park

Daniel Valdez

Housing Acquisitions Manager

Brilliant Corners

Terry Walker

Director of Neurosciences and Community Engagement

Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center

Barbara Perrier

Vice Chairman, Industrial

Coldwell Banker Richaard Ellis (CBRE)

Nicholas Lam

Emeritus

Vice President

Pacific BMW

 

It’s fantastic to see and be a part of a growing organization like Ascencia.

Richard WhiteDirector of Operations

Our Leadership Staff

Supported by our Case Management and Outreach teams, our Directorial staff leads the charge in accomplishing our mission to lift people out of homelessness, one person, one family at a time.

Laura E. Duncan, Ph.D.

Executive Director
LDuncan@AscenciaCA.org

Executive Director Dr. Laura Duncan has worked in the non-profit and education sectors in a leadership capacity since 1989. She has been with Ascencia since 2014 and became the Executive Director in 2018 where she has grown the agency by more than 25% via services enhancements and programs expansion. She earned her Ph.D. in Psychology from Alliant University and obtained her B.A. in Psychology and M.S. in Counseling from California State University, Fullerton while working FT in senior or children’s services. In addition to her role at Ascencia, she is a state of California certified curriculum writer/Instructor with expertise in Title 22 Laws and Regulations and the CEO and a co-owner of a real estate and rentals business in Orange County where she resides. Being of service to others is something that was modeled by her parents and was further fueled by growing up with a special needs child in her neighborhood. Laura is a member of Glendale Rotary and Glendale Kiwanis Service Clubs and understands the importance of investing in children, having helped to raise six special needs foster children. Laura is passionate about education, diversity, equity, & inclusion, music & the arts, baseball, environmental protection, children’s causes and animal welfare. She credits her foster children for teaching her the most about human behavior.

Richard White

Director of Operations
RWhite@AscenciaCA.org

Rick White comes to us with more than 20 years of nonprofit experience.  Most recently he worked as the Director of Operations at The Salvation Army in Glendale.  He has experience leading and training staff; program improvement and financial management and administration.  Rick and his wife Cindy live in La Verne and have 2 adult daughters.  When he’s not working, Rick enjoys mountain biking, reading and spending time with his family.

Camille Guerrero

Director of Development
cguerrero@ascenciaca.org

With over 30 years of experience and service, with major non-profits including The Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries of Southern California, Camille is a passionate professional who brings a dedication to mission along with a rich and successful history of building meaningful and enduring relationships with individual and corporate donors, vendors, volunteers, and colleagues. 

Over the years, Camille has been able to translate her passion into initiating, implementing, and managing numerous fundraising projects and events ranging from an annual golf tournament that achieved yearly growth doubling in net proceeds over a 10 year period, a vehicle donation program that tripled in net proceeds over a 5 year period, a retail register giving program that increased from $200K to over $600K in 3 years, and even a historical museum exhibit for Goodwill Southern California which was on display at the Museum of Social Justice in Olvera Street, and is now obtained a permanent venue with Goodwill.

Camille wholeheartedly embraces Ascencia’s mission and is excited to apply her skills, experiences, and insights toward successful fundraising outcomes.

Marcell Mitchell

Director of Programs
mmitchell@ascenciaca.org

Marcell Mitchell joined Ascencia in 2014 as the Coordinated Entry System (CES) Supervisor overseeing a case management and employment navigation team dedicated to permanent housing, job placement and benefits advocacy. He is also the HMIS Administrator (Homeless Management Information System) for Ascencia and served as Ascencia’s lead for the employment collaborative in Glendale. In July 2021, Marcell Mitchell was promoted to Director of Programs.

Marcell’s experience in human services dates back to 1999, serving first as a Shelter PlusCare Coordinator, Clinical Therapist and Community Support Team Supervisor in Chicago, then as a Gang Interventionist and Assistant Program Director, which included working with homeless U.S. military veterans, in Los Angeles. Mr. Mitchell holds a B.A. in History and a M.S. in Higher Education both from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He is trained in trauma-informed care and motivational interviewing practices. He has also served as a consultant on multiple projects for the United Way and the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority.

Meredith Fleisher

Director of Grants and Contracts
mfleisher@ascenciaca.org

Meredith Fleisher joined Ascencia in November of 2020 as the Grants Manager and promoted to her current position in January 2022. Prior to joining Ascencia, Meredith worked as the VP of Business Administration at Auritec Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company located in Pasadena, CA. Throughout her 9-year tenure at Auritec, she oversaw the operations, human resources and accounting teams. Her primary responsibility was handling all administrative tasks associated with grant applications and post-award management, which included managing annual audits and budgets. She graduated with a B.A. degree in History from Kenyon College in 2001and a M.A degree in History from the University of New Hampshire in 2004.