Board of Directors
Sam Dennis earned an AS degree from Mesa College, San Diego, a BS degree from Humboldt State, and has completed MBA coursework in Natural Resources Public Administration at Lewis and Clark University in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Sam has three children, including a daughter with developmental disabilities who currently lives at Gish, one of Housing Choices’ partner properties. Sam currently works as a driving instructor for Economic Driving School and is retired from the Department of Defense, where he worked primarily with the National Environmental Policy Act in support of military construction and training facilities.
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 the Regional Center of the East Bay and also led an 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 is a parent of a 34-year-old son with disabilities. She 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 joined Housing Choices' 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.
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 says, “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 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 he pursues a special education teaching credential. He hopes to end up in 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 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
“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 that those with developmental disabilities are 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 its 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 its mission.
Todd Marans is a journeyman real estate professional with 35 years of multi-faceted experience in commercial real estate and finance. Most of his career has involved financing multi-family and healthcare-related construction and refinance loans with HUD/FHA. He has also been the Director of Asset Management for a prominent affordable housing organization. Through these experiences, Todd has developed a passion for the development and preservation of affordable housing. Additionally, he has a developmentally challenged son and is well aware of the special needs of children and adults with similar or greater disabilities. Serving on the Board of Directors affords Todd the opportunity to utilize his professional skills, life experiences, and passion to contribute to the mission of Housing Choices.
Andrea Boock is passionate about the mission of Housing Choices, especially in light of so many valuable and diverse, yet underserved communities in the Bay Area. She holds a BS in Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and a MSc. in Engineering from the Robert Gordon University in Scotland, UK. She has traveled extensively, has worked on almost every continent, and has been influenced by observing both disparity and opportunity in many communities. She brings a global perspective and extensive technical, operations, and strategic program management experience to the board in order to positively impact the local community. She currently works for Google, after previously working in the energy industry. In her spare time, Andrea enjoys volunteering with a local girls' robotics team and researching the origins of antique silver with her family.