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Staff
Leadership

Executive Leadership

Fred Ali

Chief Executive Officer

FAli@covca.org

For over 40 years, Fred Ali held senior leadership positions with nonprofit, philanthropic, and educational organizations, and in government. In 2021, he retired as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Weingart Foundation, where he served for 21 years. Prior to his work at the Foundation, Fred was the founding Executive Director of Covenant House California, as well as Covenant House Alaska.

Fred is currently serving as a consultant and strategic advisor on projects and initiatives focused on advancing racial equity and justice, as well as organizational effectiveness. He also maintains an executive coaching and mentoring practice, and has written and spoken extensively on issues pertaining to the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, and executive leadership and management.

Fred also chairs the Board of Catalyst California.

Ami Rowland

Chief Program Officer

ARowland@covca.org

Ami’s lives her life and leads her team with the conviction that “there is no such thing as someone else’s child.” With more than 20 years of experience working in residential treatment programs for children and youth touched by the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, Ami now oversees all programmatic operations for CHC since 2014. Ami and her family relocated to the Bay Area to provide increasing leadership and support for our expansion of programs and services in Northern California. Prior to joining the team at CHC, she was the Southern California Regional Director of Residential services for children and transitional-age youth at Olive Crest. It was there that she handled all program guidelines, development, strategic planning, budgeting, supervision of management employees, and was an advocate for transitional housing programs and the extension of ‘Foster Care Until 21’ across the state. Ami is a passionate voice for all youth experiencing homelessness, and currently serves as a member of the board of directors for California Coalition for Youth. When she’s not providing love, hugs and encouragement to our youth and staff at the Cov, you’ll find her soaking up time with her two sons and cheering them on in life!
Lailanie Jones

Senior Vice President, Southern California

ljones@covca.org

Lailanie has dedicated her life to improving the education and well-being of children in need. From her summers as a young girl, serving in orphanages all over the world, to her previous role in working with children and families experiencing homelessness, Lailanie is passionate about helping and empowering others. She comes to Covenant House CA with over twenty years of experience in early childhood education, most notably serving for fourteen years as Executive Director of Precious Lamb Preschool in Long Beach, California. The school served children of parents who were experiencing homelessness, and provided support for the families. Through her visionary leadership, Lailanie brought about a dramatic expansion in all areas of the organization. Most importantly to her, she created and nurtured a diverse and inclusive culture centered around compassion, integrity, and dignity, for both her staff and for the families she served. Lailanie has received numerous awards and recognition for her leadership in the community of Long Beach, CA and LA County. When not at work, you can find Lailanie cooking for and hosting friends and family, and most of all enjoying time with her husband Scott and their two beautiful girls, Juliana and Evelyn.
Paida Ndemera

Senior Vice President, Northern California

pndemera@covca.org

Having started off her career as a Psychiatry Nurse Practitioner 20 years ago, Paida`s career trajectory shifted into healthcare administration where she has an impressive record of setting up and establishing health care facilities in London, Melbourne and the Bay Area. Over the last few years her focus has been working with marginalized communities and being an active advocate for the communities she serves. Paida is passionate about the concept of whole person care which is premised on the recognition that the best way to care for individuals with multifaceted needs is to consider their full spectrum of needs and Paida believes housing tops this list of needs .

Paida is a biological mother of 2 and also supports 18 children at an orphanage founded by her and husband, Simba.

Neeta Patel

Chief Operating Officer

NPatel@covca.org

For over 25 years, Neeta enjoyed a successful career as a leader in large Fortune 500 companies, most notably at Duke Energy (the largest utility in the nation) and later at Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a major space propulsion company. With a focus on clean energy technology development, Neeta has been at the forefront of innovation. At Duke Energy, she led Strategic Planning and later championed a new focus on in-house clean energy technology development to help address the challenges of climate change. She came to California in 2009 by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne where she led a team of rocket scientists to identify ways in which to repurpose space propulsion technologies for terrestrial clean energy applications. In parallel to this career, Neeta and her husband have built a real estate business which has grown since 2010 to hold both residential and commercial assets across multiple states. A firm believer in giving back, Neeta has held various non-profit board positions and was the Board Chair for Junior Achievement of Southern California (2014-2016). She is the recipient of the Cincinnati Business Courier Top 40 under 40 Awards (2006) and the Women of Color in Technology Award (2002). Of Indian descent, born and raised in Zimbabwe, educated in United Kingdom, and now more than 20 years in USA, she considers herself a true citizen of the World.
Heather Flynn

Senior Vice President, Development & Administration

HFlynn@covca.org

Heather has dedicated her career to uplifting programs serving young people who deserve, but have not always experienced, unconditional love, respect, and a sense of family. With this passion for youth, Heather leads the agency’s fund development and administration efforts with a commitment to excellence and ethical practices. With more than 20 years of experience leading high-performing fund development teams, Heather joined Covenant House California in 2014, and has served as a logistical anchor for the agency as it tripled its operational budget. Prior to her time at Cov, Heather spent six years as Director of Development Operations for Olive Crest, a high-volume adoption and foster care agency. Heather is a proud mom of two children who fill her with joy.

Covenant House California Directors

Daniel Ballin

LCSW, Clinical Director
DBallin@covca.org
Los Angeles

Erika Benitez

Bay Area Operations Manager
EBenitez@covca.org
Oakland

Stephanie Blair-Daniel

Director of Human Resources
sblair-daniel@covca.org
All Sites

Shelby Booker

Director of Santa Clara Programs
SBooker@covca.org
Santa Clara

David Brumlage

Controller
DMrumlage@covca.org
All CA Sites

Ashley Burns

Director of DreamCatcher
ABurns@covca.org
Northern California

Stacey Christenson

Director of Operations
SChristenson@covca.org
All CA Sites

Anthony Conley

Director of Support Services
AConley@covca.org
Los Angeles

Amba Johnson

Director of Learning and Prevention
AJohnson@covca.org
Oakland

Tia Magee

Director of Safe Haven Programs
TMagee@covca.org
Los Angeles

Beverly Meza

Director of Transitional Living Programs
BMeza@covca.org
Los Angeles

Andrew Ramaglia

Director of Grant Management and Compliance
ARamaglia@covca.org
All CA Sites

Wally Rodiguez

Director of Residential Services
WRodiguez@covca.org
Oakland

Dr. Bill Singleton

Clinical Director
BSingleton@covca.org
All CA Sites

Jesus Siordia

Director of Youth Engagement
JSiordia@covca.org
Oakland

Polly Williams

Director of Orange County Programs
PWilliams@covca.org
Anaheim

Mary Dolan

Director of Development
MDolan@covca.org
All Sites