Board

sam dennis

President

 

Ron Soto

vice president

Ron earned both both a Master’s in Social Work and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. Ron has had a 35 year career in the public and nonprofit sectors.  He now consults with city and county municipalities and public agencies, large and small nonprofit service agencies, and funders such as foundations, United Way, and public grant making programs.  Ron previously served on the Board of Directors of Regional Center of the East Bay and also led agency that focused on outreach to low-income Hispanic families with children with developmental disabilities, One of Ron’s grandchildren was diagnosed with autism in childhood, which adds to his passion for the mission of Housing Choices.  Ron currently chairs Housing Choices’ Personnel Committee where he oversees the policies, salary structure and benefits programs of the organization’s employees.

 

Kathy Weitsman

board secretary

Kathy is a parent of a 34-year-old son with disabilities. She also spent 8 years working as a Parent Liaison at Parents Helping Parents. Kathy currently chairs Housing Choices’ Program Committee and is working hard on helping the organization evaluate customer satisfaction and also measure the impact of its services on outcomes for people with developmental disabilities. In explaining why she volunteers for Housing Choices, Kathy notes: “Eight years ago Housing Choices came along with a housing option that fit my son's needs perfectly.  When I was given the opportunity to join the board of Housing Choices, I saw it as a chance for me to share what I had learned from our family’s experiences with our son’s journey to independent living and to help Housing Choices grow and improve.”

 

David Pope

board treasurer

David joined Housing Choice’s Board of Directors in 2013 and is an Assistant Controller at an international multi-line insurance company. He holds a BA in Business Economics with an Accounting Emphasis from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Housing Choices met all of David’s criteria for joining a nonprofit Board of Directors. He was impressed by Housing Choice’s mission to enhance the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by creating quality, affordable housing options. In addition, Housing Choices is active in David’s home community and he sees the organization making excellent use of its capital and resources. David enjoys traveling abroad and is interested in exploring new cultures and the perspective it affords. David chairs Housing Choices’ Finance Committee and has been active in the development of a financial dashboard to support the Board in its oversight role.  

 

rick dill

board member

A former President of the Board of Directors, Rick has been a Housing Choices Board leader for more than twelve years.  During his tenure as President, Rick oversaw the transition of the organization’s funding systems from fixed contracts to individual Purchase of Service organizations and the growth of the organization from ten employees to more than forty.  Rick has a PhD in engineering from Carnegie Mellon and an extensive career with IBM.  He decided to get involved with Housing Choices after his daughter Janet was able to move into her own apartment with help from the organization when the family re-located to the Bay Area from the East Coast.  In explaining his many years of commitment to Housing Choices, Rick comments: “Others are working on the housing needs of people with developmental disabilities, but there’s no organization in California with an impact comparable to that of Housing Choices.”

 

Michael Ojeda

board member

Michael is a recent San Jose State University graduate with a BA in History and an Art History minor. Michael currently works as a para-educator while pursue a special education teaching credential. He hopes to pursue on a career as an instructor in special education or secondary education. For eight years, Housing Choices’ Briarwood co-op  has been Michael’s home, along with four other roommates.  In explaining his volunteer commitment to Housing Choices, Michael comments: “Housing Choices provided me the opportunity to live and learn on my own.  The services provided by the Housing Choices staff were more than I could ever ask for as I developed my independent living skills! I am proud to announce that my long-term involvement with Housing Choices has encouraged me to seek a career in teaching individuals with special needs.”

 
 
 

LINDA SIINO

board member

Linda Siino is a long-time Director of Community Living Services for Hope Services, where she oversees all of Hope's Independent Living Services and Supported Living Services in a five-county area.  Before joining Hope Services, Linda worked for San Andreas Regional Center and helped the Regional Center start its Supported Living vendorization.  In her free time, Linda enjoys travelling around the country implementing CARF evaluation surveys and helping other organizations achieve CARF accreditation for excellence in serving people with developmental disabilities.  Linda joined the Housing Choices' Board of Directors in 2017 because of an appreciation that Housing Choices' services are key to the ability to live in community housing.  Linda brings her extensive background in program evaluation and improvement to the Board's Program Committee, where she strives to make a difference in helping Housing Choices grow and improve.

 

Victor Lecha III

Board member

“Social Justice is still not actualized,” Victor's personal motto, is the motivation and framework for his choice of social work as a profession. A passionate and driven Associate Clinical Social Worker, Victor has made it his life’s work to advocate for the marginalized and provide real and tangible solutions to the obstacles they face. Victor received a Master’s degree in Social Work from San Jose State University in May of 2015, graduating in the top 10% of his class with the prestigious “The Community to Enhance Equity and Diversity Award.”  As a former grassroots housing advocate, Victor has witnessed those with developmental disabilities often forgotten in housing discussions; if not for organizations like Housing Choices, they would be completely left behind. As a social worker, he has seen the challenges, and at times, the discrimination, that those with developmental disabilities encounter when attempting to secure and maintain housing. As a Housing Choices Board member, Victor uses his expertise, education and passion to further our mission, vision and values.  Victor serves on the Board's Finance Committee and also uses his social media experience to enhance Housing Choices' ability to engage the larger community in supporting our mission.