Dr. Vincenzo A. Sainato, Board Chair, is a forensic criminologist currently chair of the Criminal Justice program at City University of Seattle, a nonprofit open-access university. Dr. Sainato spent the first half of his career developing internet technologies and designing websites for Fortune 500s. During 9/11 he worked for a firm in the WTC and afterwards returned to school. He holds graduate degrees in both economic development (Fordham) and criminal justice (John Jay College of Criminal Justice). In 2005, Dr. Sainato began teaching in an urban associates degree program, and in 2009 successfully defended his dissertation on civil rights and police surveillance through technology. That same year he was appointed Director of the Masters Program in Criminal Justice Administration at Loyola University in New Orleans; nights he attended the police academy. After graduation, he worked by day as a college professor and by night as a sheriff’s deputy. Dr. Sainato’s current research is focused on the victimization by robbery of Latin migrants in post-Katrina New Orleans and other policing and social justice matters. He is completing field interviews for a book, Justice in the Eye of the Storm, which takes a critical look at post Katrina New Orleans in the context of communities and the police.
Carol F. Burton, Vice Chair, L.M.S.W., BS and M.S.W., Board Vice Chair, Co-Chair and Coordinator of Alameda County’s Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership, advisor for NRCCFI at Rutgers University at Camden and CEO and Principal Consultant for Jeweld Legacy Group. In 2013 Burton received The White House Champion of Change Award for her outstanding work on behalf of Children of Incarcerated Parents. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Dennis Danziger, Co-Founder and Secretary, has taught English and Sports Literature in the Los Angeles Unified School District for over twenty years. In collaboration with his wife, Amy Friedman and PEN USA’s Pen in the Classroom program, he has shepherded hundreds of students to publish their first essay in books, magazines and online journals. Since 2013, he has served as instigator, prompter, and editor of POPS the Club’s anthologies and other student writing and as sponsor of the inaugural POPS Club at Venice High. He retired from teaching in 2017 and now volunteers at POPS Venice. Mr. Danziger’s essays have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers. He is a novelist and playwright who currently works closely with Hollywood’s Stephanie Feury Theater.
Paul Hosch’s passion, behind spending time with family and friends, is working at Verbum Dei High School and serving the youth in underserved communities. As the Senior Vice President of Mission Advancement, Mr. Hosch, along with the Mission Advancement Team, is tasked to raise a little over $2.7 million annually. The Team does this through individual, foundation, and corporate giving. In addition to his fundraising duties, he also participates in many other departments and committees which include the Finance Committee, the Marketing Committee, as well as serving in other capacities on campus. Mr. Hosch is active in the community and has volunteered his time and resources at The University of Southern California’s Civic Engagement Board of Directors, where he is a graduate of the Business School. Also, he has served as the Chairman of Board at Santa Monica College Foundation for four years, and sat on the board for a total of seven, until he stepped down recently. Mr. Hosch has several recent graduates he actively mentors—a responsibility he takes very serious. He also served three years as a scholarship advisor at A Place Called Home. In addition, Mr. Hosch teaches resume, interview preparation, and personal branding workshops in the community and at Glendale Community College, as he has been a career coach for almost 11 years.
Anastasia Stanecki, activist and essayist, Anastasia works in the entertainment industry as a producer. She grew up in the suburbs of Detroit and in small town Georgia, graduating with a degree in journalism from Oakland University. Anastasia was the first guest speaker at one of the earliest Pops the club meetings–and it was there, she says, that she found her Soul Purpose.
Jen Turk is an attorney who has spent the last twenty years working in the criminal justice system as both a public defender and a deputy district attorney. After graduating Penn State University, Dickinson School of Law, Jen worked at the Centre County Public Defender’s Office on a grant designed to provide vertical representation to juvenile offenders. In this capacity, she was able to work one-on-one with at-risk youth in order to help the minors successfully complete probation and not cross-over into adult court. Jen also worked for the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office advocating on behalf of children in the foster care system. Since 2006 Jen has worked as a deputy district attorney and has spent the last five years working in the Hardcore Gang unit where she works directly with victims of gang violence. Jen’s work in the criminal justice system has fueled her passion for early intervention and restorative justice.
Rodney Williams is an entrepreneur and writer. For eleven years he was owner, innkeeper and chef for a 26-room lodging brand with two locations. Prior to his entrepreneurial career, Mr. Williams had a successful fifteen-year corporate career in the healthcare financing/actuarial field, working with the largest health insurer in the country and a respected employee benefits consulting firm. His most recent, forthcoming memoir details his brush with the criminal justice system and his search for identity and justice. As an avid genealogist, Mr. Williams believes the exploration of family history fosters self-confidence, groundedness, and a strong sense of self. His educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics/Economics from Emory University and culinary training at the Los Angeles Culinary Institute.
Farrah Washington, Treasurer, has a penchant for numbers but a heart for social work. She is an accountant by profession and social rights advocate by passion. Farrah graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and holds a Master’s Degree of Accountancy from Kaplan University. Farrah also is the creator of This I Share, a website and community dedicated to sharing positive content.
Lydia Flora Barlow, previously a POPS the Club Board Member and Board Chair, has long balanced her professional life with community work in support of social justice. Her impassioned work related to mass incarceration includes serving as board chair of POPS, The Club Inc. She also founded Fabian’s Fund, which provides financial resources for higher education to those currently or recently incarcerated. After noting a chronic shortage of housing for recently released men and women, Lydia is also working to create livable transitional housing. Lydia’s passion for dismantling the structures underlying mass incarceration and restoring the lives of those impacted by it emanates from her experience in the Beloved Community with families of incarcerated men and women, and from personal experience: the incarceration and eventual suicide (while incarcerated) of a twenty-one year old, Fabian, who had been raised as her brother. In her professional career, Lydia was most recently a Senior Vice President at Symmetry Financial, a Bellevue, Washington-based financial services company. Lydia’s non-profit work expands outside issues related to the criminal justice system. She serves as trustee of the American Baptist Seminary of the West and as President and Board Chair of the Seattle Central College Foundation.
Rachel Davenport has over 30 years of experience in the securities/financial industry. She played a significant role in the creation of Iaccocca Capital Group, a boutique investment firm. Rachel was their Chief Compliance Officer, responsible for SEC compliance as well as corporate and investment bank administration. Rachel also has experience in small and large sized firms, having worked with Klein Investment Group, Bear Stearns and Gruntal & Co. Some of her responsibilities with these companies included recruitment and hiring of operations staff, administration policy, regulatory issues and human resources policy. She also has experience in securities trading. In the nonprofit world, Rachel was a Board member and Board Chair of New Directions, a residential rehabilitation organization that serves veterans. During her time there, New Directions built and opened the first permanent supported housing development for veterans in California. She was also a member of their strategic planning, nominating and finance committees. Rachel’s other nonprofit involvement includes serving as a past Board member, finance committee member and Chair of Airport Marina Counseling Services Inc. She currently is a volunteer at K9 Companions, an organization that matches shelter dogs and at risk youth for training and counseling.
Angel de Mey, grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin the daughter of an incarcerated parent. At eighteen she headed out to Los Angeles to attend the American College of Applied Arts. As the cost of education became a financial burden she joined the United States Army where she served six years as a Civil Affairs Specialist. She returned to college at Santa Monica College where she majored in Dance and went on to continue her studies at UCLA. For the last 25 years Angel has worked as a Personal Trainer and raising her family. She is currently President of the Parents’ Association at Shattuck St. Mary’s and loves working with POPS, both in the classroom and at special events.
Kelly Slattery, a native Canadian and songwriter, made a progression from writing music for such companies as Lionsgate, CBS and Disney to writing screenplays and producing for film. Her first project, Down for Life, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, and subsequent projects like House of the Rising Sun and Cougars Inc. were Lionsgate releases. As a founding partner of Therapy Content, the production company for Dave Grohl’s Sound City and Sonic Highways, Kelly has developed and sold such TV projects as her biographical TV comedy co-created with Lee Aronsohn. Kelly works as a consultant in the Film and TV space, developing, packaging and setting up projects at various studios and has worked closely with several nonprofits and is a longtime volunteer at POPS the Club Venice High.
Heidi Tuffias, member of our Founding Board, is a family lawyer and mediator whose practice focuses on dispute resolution. Ms. Tuffias graduated from the University of California Davis with a Bachelor’s in contemporary history and received her law degree from the University of Southern California Law Center where she received the National Association of Women Lawyers’ Outstanding Woman Law Student Award. Ms. Tuffias continues to practice law and is also pursuing a Master’s in psychology at Antioch University in Los Angeles. Long an advocate for the rights of the incarcerated, Ms. Tuffias served on and was chair of the Women Lawyers Association Jail Project in the 1990s and was a mentor with the Los Angeles Barristers Juvenile Justice program, working with juveniles incarcerated at the Dorothy Kirby Center. Ms. Tuffias has served on the Board of the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists and is a member of the Family Law Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law.
Elsa Mendoza, Ed.D., Founding Principal of POPS the Club at Venice High (2013) is currently Principal at Belmont High School in Los Angeles.