Our program participants have entrusted Rubicon to partner with them to reach their long-term goals for economic stability, mobility and inclusion. We make decisions at every level of the organization with the wellbeing of participants, and the communities in which they live, at the forefront.
Rubicon actively recruits staff members who are not only highly skilled, but who consistently demonstrate a commitment to Rubicon’s vision of an East Bay without poverty, and are passionate about their work.
Chief Executive Officer
Jane has been with Rubicon Programs since 1997 in a number of leadership roles. Most immediately prior to Rubicon, Jane was at the City/County of San Francisco Department of Human Services, where she managed contracted supportive housing programs, developed agency collaboratives in that field, and established that County’s Shelter Plus Care program. Prior to serving at SFDHS, Jane had 12 years management experience at San Francisco based nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping people move out of poverty.
Jane received her BA degree from Williams College in Massachusetts, her MPA degree from San Francisco State University, and has received additional training at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, and at Harvard Business School. Jane has been named a Woman of Distinction by the Business Times, and has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus by the SFSU MPA Department. She serves on the City of Richmond Workforce Investment Board, and is the Chair of the Contra Costa County Human Services Alliance.
Chief Financial Officer
Roger joined Rubicon in 2014. He manages Accounting, Facilities, Information Technology and Landscape. He brings diversified financial management, financial strategic planning, forecasting and reporting and budget development backgrounds in the non-profit, public, and private sectors. He has prepared operational and capital budgets in excess of $1.3 Billion, and has issued over $2.0 Billion in financing through diverse and innovative financing mechanisms. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the Autonomous University of Coahuila, Mexico. He is a graduate of the Disney Institute of Leadership and Business Excellence and also of the United Way’s Project Blueprint leadership academy.
Director of Human Resources
Phyllis is responsible for Rubicon’s human resource programs and systems including recruiting, compensation and benefits, employee relations, performance management, personnel policies, risk mitigation and labor law compliance. Prior to joining Rubicon in December 2005, Phyllis held human resource management positions with Andersen Consulting, Sybase, two San Francisco Bay Area dot-coms, and managed a Peet’s Coffee store in Marin County. Phyllis received her Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California at Davis, has received extensive training and experience in the areas of recruiting, performance management and employment law and is a long-standing member of the Society for Human Resources Management.
General Counsel and Director of Legal Services
Kelly has been the Director of Rubicon's legal services division, previously known as the Hawkins Center of Rubicon Programs, since July 2003. Kelly was the Executive Director of the Hawkins Center from 1991 until its merger with Rubicon in the summer of 2003. In addition to serving as Director of Legal Services, Kelly is General Counsel for Rubicon. Kelly has been a practicing attorney since 1982, specializing since 1985 in the field of Social Security disability law. He has been a Co-Chair of the Contra Costa HIV/AIDS Consortium, and has served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Family Care Network in Alameda County.
Kelly received his J.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall) School of Law. He received his B.S. degree in Physics from U.C. Irvine. In 2007 he was honored with the Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award presented by California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George on behalf of the Contra Costa Bar Association and The Bar Fund.
Chief Development Officer
Lisa joined Rubicon Programs in October 2015 and provides vision and strategy for Rubicon’s development activities. Prior to Rubicon, Lisa was the Director of Development at Alameda Point Collaborative where she managed the fundraising and volunteer programs to benefit the agency’s supportive housing community of East Bay families transitioning out of homelessness. Prior to APC, Lisa worked at Compass Family Services in San Francisco, a nonprofit organization that provides a continuum of services to homeless and low-income families. At Compass, she served in a variety of leadership positions in both direct client services and fund development. Her earlier career included corporate retail operations, and photography for news outlets and private clients. Lisa received her BA degree from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, and MBA from St. Mary’s College of California. She has also completed extensive post-baccalaureate coursework in journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism, at San Francisco State University.
Chief Program Officer
Rob manages Rubicon’s services, as well as agency-wide outcome measurement and social impact evaluation. Prior to joining Rubicon in 2009, Rob designed and managed re-entry and workforce development programs for formerly incarcerated people at Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota. Rob’s experience also includes criminal justice program evaluation and policy analysis at the Vera Institute of Justice in New York, and community-building around prisoner re-entry issues at Urban Strategies Council in Oakland, CA. Rob has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Vassar College and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at University of California-Berkeley.
Adrienne Kimball was promoted to Culture Manager in 2014, after serving as the Executive Assistant to Rubicon’s Chief Executive and Chief Program Officers for seven years. Adrienne has been instrumental in building engagement and capacity building initiatives at Rubicon, including the facilitation of several agency-wide committees, quarterly all-staff meetings, and the annual employee wellness fair. Prior to Rubicon Adrienne worked as a Human Resource Manager in the Biotechnology sector. Adrienne received her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development from California State University, East Bay.
Board of Directors
Paul Leonard, Chair
Paul opened the Center for Responsible Lending's (CRL) California office in spring 2006 and directed its state policy and outreach efforts for 10 years. Prior to joining CRL, Paul was a public policy consultant focused on housing and community development, welfare reform, and other anti-poverty issues. Prior to 1999, Paul was a political appointee at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, serving as Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research, as well as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Development from 1994 to 1998.
Claire Levay-Young, Vice-chair
Principal Product Manager, Workday, Inc.
Claire Levay-Young graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Social Welfare in 1981 and earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration from University of San Francisco in 1983. Claire currently works as a Principal Product Manager at Workday, a provider of software solutions for human resource and financial management. At Workday, Claire has led the design and development of many features in the human resources product area over the past five years. Prior to joining Workday, Claire held a number of managerial roles at Chevron, Cargill, and University of California, including Implementation Lead, Business Relationship Manager, HR Call Center Manager, HR Systems Strategy Advisor and Project Manager.
Claire and her husband have lived in El Cerrito since 2007 and have two adult sons. Their older son lives in New York City and their younger son lives nearby in San Pablo. Claire and her husband enjoy bicycling, and attending plays, concerts and baseball games.
Dana DuFrane, Secretary
Vice President, Legal Affairs, The RealReal, Inc.
Dana is a legal executive advising established and start-up companies on all aspects of business, including board relations and governance, Mergers & Acquisitions including public and private companies, and multiple rounds of venture financing and debt. The common theme of her work is a passionate belief that innovation, an underlying social mission, good people and a sense of humor and perspective can help build companies people love to work for, as well as products and services that can actually change the way we think and engage with the world. She is focused now on applying her experience gained working in the for-profit business world to Rubicon, and in the wonderful East Bay where she has worked and lived with her family for the last 15 years.
Amit Kurlekar, Treasurer
Deputy Attorney General, State of CA
Amit Kurlekar joined the Rubicon Board in 2011 after moving to Oakland, with the hope of helping to make a difference in his new community. Prior to becoming a Deputy Attorney General, Amit was a commercial litigation attorney in San Francisco at Kaufhold Gaskin LLP, a boutique litigation firm, and previously worked at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. It was at Akin Gump where Amit first heard of Rubicon, a pro bono client of the firm, in his capacity as the San Francisco office’s representative on the firm-wide Pro Bono Committee. Amit has always made pro bono work a priority in his legal practice in order to help the underserved protect their rights, and was struck by Rubicon’s mission of helping the underserved protect their livelihoods by equipping them with the tools to break the cycle of poverty.
Amit has been gratified by the amazing progress that Rubicon’s staff and its clients have made in pursuit of that mission, and looks forward to the organization’s continued success in the East Bay.
Owner, Virginia’s Live a Little
Virginia Davis joined the Board of Rubicon in 2008. As a trained chef, Virginia has been in the Bay Area gourmet food business for over 25 years and became familiar with Rubicon when her food products were vying for the same grocery store shelf space as the cakes produced by the bakery formerly operated by Rubicon. She was encouraged to get involved with Rubicon by a longtime friend who was already a major supporter. Virginia is a natural connector and a consummate event planner. She has been an active Rubicon ambassador to her community, and provides production expertise to Rubicon’s special events, helping them have extra panache! Passionate about Rubicon’s dedication to offering employment services to those reaching out, she feels her expertise in small business and love of the East Bay contribute to Rubicon’s success.
Equity & Inclusion Manager, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
David Gray has spent his professional career at the nexus of public policy, social innovation, and community service. He is currently the Equity and Inclusion Manager for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. In this capacity, David is responsible for coordinating the SFPUC involvement in the San Francisco My Brother and Sister’s Keeper Initiative, a project focused on identifying and advancing strategies and investments that develop and offer educational, workforce, and economic opportunities for African American residents of San Francisco. David is also responsible for ensuring the SFPUC’s multi-billion dollar Sewer System Improvement Program maximizes community benefit opportunities for Bayview-Hunters Point residents, specifically in the areas of education, jobs, workforce development, and contracting. David previously held positions as Chief of Staff and Director of Projects and Programs in the Office of Richmond, California Mayor Tom Butt; and Poverty to Opportunity Project Coordinator at the Louisiana Budget Project. He also mentored the next generation of leaders through the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation. David holds his Master of Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Bachelor’s degrees in social policy, urban studies, and sociology from Tulane University.
Director, Family Office Department, Frank, Rimmerman + Co.LLP
Sophia started her career at Frank, Rimmerman, then served as a Controller for a real estate firm, and developed and implemented commercial accounting software packages. Sophia rejoined the firm in June 2012, and she has served as director of finance for several early-stage venture backed companies and closely held business. Her responsibilities have included managing start-up operations, accounting and business process, system implementation and conversion, financial reporting, audit preparation and budgeting. Sophia graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, earning a Bachelor of Science with a major in Accounting. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Sophia serves as the Treasurer on the Board of Sustainable Contra Costa, a non-profit organization which helps people and businesses create and maintain sustainable communities.
Career Development Manager, Alameda County
Workforce Development Professional and Clinician, Candra Muhammad has dedicated almost two decades of her life to empowering, impacting and transforming lives through program coordination and the delivery of direct services in the fields of: Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Behavior Modification, Health Education, Reentry and Career Development. Candra gained her experience working in non-profit organizations, counties, hospitals, jails, charter schools and government. Candra is most famous for her direct yet gentle approach when someone's life is at stake. Candra is native to the San Francisco Bay Area and grew up in Richmond, California. She holds undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Criminal Justice from San Francisco State University and a Master's degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in Organizational Change from California State East Bay.
Facilities Services Manager, Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health Sciences
Karen Norwood serves as the Facilities Services Manager for Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health Sciences in Richmond, CA. She is responsible for overseeing the operations of Kaiser Permanente’s internal and external operating protocols. She is responsible for providing daily operational leadership in overall maintenance for Kaiser Permanente’s School of Allied Health Sciences Richmond Campus. Karen is a graduate of The University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in Health Education. Karen also has a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) from Aspen University in Denver, Colorado.
She is a board member of Hercules Academic Athletic League, and a member of Kaiser Permanente African American Professional Association, Kaiser Permanente Care Volunteer Organization, and serves on Chevron’s Richmond Economic Revitalization Committee. Karen has received three National Awards from the State of California for her work in Eliminating Health Disparities.
Freelance writer & translator
Mary Purcell is a freelance writer and Spanish-English translator in the East Bay. She previously worked for over 20 years for non-profit organizations in the field of international development. As a program and grants manager, she supported grassroots economic development organizations in Latin America. She also coordinated international advocacy campaigns designed to influence policymakers, and conducted policy analysis for NGOs in Washington, DC and Mexico City. In the Bay Area, she has been involved with immigrant rights and employment programs. She is fluent in Spanish and has a Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University. Mary grew up on the East Coast, and after working in Washington, DC and Mexico City for ten years, relocated to the Bay Area, where she lives with her husband and son.
Director of Strategic Initiatives, East Bay Community Foundation
Sachi Yoshii has worked with leaders of foundations, non-profit organizations, academia and the public sector, focused on the development of community infrastructure in the Bay Area through public/private partnerships. Prior, Sachi covered a range of executive, program, and operations teams at a multi-billion dollar endowed foundation, providing oversight of global grant making activities, including the development of program strategies, financial and budget planning, and execution of technology initiatives and data trend analyses. Sachi serves on the board of an Oakland-based organization that provides culturally competent services and support for the Asian/Pacific Islander incarcerated and formerly incarcerated population, primarily at San Quentin and Solano state prisons, and also with re-entry populations in Alameda County. She resides in Oakland and received a dual-degree MBA from Columbia Business School and London Business School and a Bachelors degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz.