P 916.482.2370 | 3555 Auburn Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95821

Board of Directors

Our Board members are vital to helping the Children’s Receiving Home navigate shifting federal and state regulations and funding while ensuring the best care for abused, neglected, and traumatized children and teens in our region. If you are interested in joining the CRH board, please contact CEO@CRHkids.org. 

Group of people posing at a special Thank You Donor event
Professional Headshot of Board member Michele Linton

Michele Linton

Board President

 

 

As a mother of two adult children and the family member of a human trafficking victim, Michele was drawn to the Children’s Receiving Home’s emphasis on mental health services, particularly trauma-informed therapy, and crisis intervention.  Now that her own children are grown, Michele looks forward to devoting her newfound time and energy to supporting CRH’s efforts to help traumatized youth heal and live productive lives.  Michele is an attorney and the Chief of the Legislation and Research Bureau at the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.

Becky Lavally

Vice President; Community Relations Committee Chair

Becky has volunteer experience as an advocate for families at risk of child abuse, and teaches communication courses, including persuasion and group dynamics, at Sacramento State University. She holds a doctorate in communication and has many years of experience in journalism and media relations as a former political news reporter and as editor of the state Senate Office of Research (SOR).

At SOR, Becky edited reports on foster care and other state social services programs. Her leadership skills include several years as bureau chief for United Press International and for Gannett News Service in Sacramento and membership on the Professional Enhancement Committee of her Communication Studies Department at Sacramento State. She brings governing board experience as a former Board member and Publications Chair for the nonprofit American River Natural History Association in Sacramento.

Becky feels privileged to have joined the CRH Board in 2016, given its 75-year history of aiding the county’s abused, neglected and traumatized youth. She previously counseled families at risk of child abuse as a volunteer with Family Support Services in Sacramento County.

Rebekah Cearley

Program Review and Development Committee

 

 

Rebekah was drawn to the Children’s Receiving Home by her desire to serve children in crisis in the Sacramento community. Inspired by the joy she receives from raising her own young son, Rebekah hopes to make a difference in the lives of youth, from toddlers to teenagers. Rebekah works as a legislative advocate for education organizations.

Josh Edlow

Finance Committee Chair

 

 

 

Josh Edlow, a lifelong Sacramentan with strong community ties, built his relationship with the Children’s Receiving Home by organizing community groups to play basketball with its teenage residents. He joined the Board in 2016 and chairs the Finance Committee, which oversees the home’s budget—balanced from various public and private sources, including donor contributions. Josh is happily married and has four children. An attorney with Dreyer, Babich, Buccola, Wood & Campora, he represents individuals and families for personal injury, wrongful death,and product liability claims.

Professional Headshot of Board member Henry Gonzalez

Henry Gonzalez

Program Review and Development Committee

 

 

 

Dr. Gonzalez is committed to supporting children, youth, and families in Sacramento. His body of research focuses on identifying strategies to strengthen children’s development from birth to adulthood. His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the Administration for Children and Families. Dr. Gonzalez is an assistant professor at California State University, Sacramento, where he teaches courses on families and child and adolescent development.  

Kathleen Hamilton

Fund Development Committee and Program Development and Review Committee

Kathleen Hamilton is honored to join the Children’s Receiving Home Board of Directors, following a decades-long career in government and public service.

A former foster parent, Kathleen brings over thirty years of executive-level government experience to CRH. Her public service career was rooted in consumer protection, where she worked in the state Attorney General’s consumer fraud unit, served as a senior consultant to state legislative Committees, and as the Director of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. Additionally, Kathleen was appointed a Deputy State Treasurer where she oversaw programs providing funding for health facilities. Prior to her appointment as the Department of Consumer Affairs Director, Kathleen served as then Lieutenant Governor Gray Davis’s Deputy Chief of Staff.

Kathleen retired from state government in 2010 and joined the nationally recognized non-profit The Children’s Partnership as the Director of Sacramento Government Affairs.

With an ongoing commitment to addressing the needs of under-served populations, especially children and foster youth, Kathleen is honored to have the opportunity to partner with the impressive and dedicated teams at CRH.

Jennifer Jacobsen

Audit Committee Chair and Finance Committee

 

Jennifer is grateful for the opportunity to help serve the Sacramento community and honored to help CRH carry out its mission of meeting the needs of local children and families. Jennifer served as Chief Financial Officer at Sierra Forever Families for seven years, where she found it fulfilling to use her skills in finance to support the agency’s commitment to permanency for youth in foster care and its mission to empower and nurture families.

Jennifer holds an MBA in Finance from CSUS, Sacramento and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of the Pacific. She is a Sacramento native.

Emelyn Rodriguez

Community Relations Committee


Emelyn C. Rodriguez founded Rodriguez Political Law in 2018. She practices political law, specializing in governmental ethics, lobbying, campaign finance, and administrative law. She currently serves as the Chair of the Sacramento Ethics Commission. She was a former Senior Commission Counsel with the Fair Political Practices Commission, where she served for nearly 13 years. She has represented clients in federal civil rights litigation and worked on consumer protection, First Amendment, and environmental cases for various nonprofits. 

Prior to her legal career, she was Capitol Bureau Chief at the Oakland Tribune, reported for the Los Angeles Times, The Seattle Times, and the San Francisco Examiner, and was a senior editor at the California Journal, the state’s political magazine.  Ms. Rodriguez is a U.C. Berkeley graduate with B.A. degree in Mass Communications and Political Science.  She earned her J.D. degree from U.C. Davis’ King Hall School of Law.

David Ruff

Governance Committee Chair

 

 

David joined the Board in 2009 and has served as vice president of the Membership and Fundraising committees. He was drawn to the Board by CRH’s comprehensive approach to helping abused and neglected children and youths, from providing shelter, food, clothing and counseling to social work intervention and life-skills training.  David analyzes tax legislation as Chief Consultant for the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation, and previously worked as a Sacramento attorney and in the District Attorney’s Office in Marin County. He earned his law degree from UC Berkeley School of Law.

Professional Headshot of Board Member Heidi Sanborn

Heidi Sanborn

Fund Development Committee

Heidi Sanborn is the Founder and Executive Director of the National Stewardship Action Council and was the founding Director of the California Product Stewardship Council for 12 years – nonprofits dedicated to reducing waste, increasing recycling and advocating for a circular economy. Heidi represents the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)’s Ward 7, which includes North Highlands, Carmichael, Antelope, portions of Arden-Arcade, and Foothill Farms.

Heidi served as the President of the Sacramento Chapter of the National Alliance for Mental Illness, spearheading the efforts to start a walk for mental health, conducting police trainings and teaching family-to-family classes. She also served as a “Big Sister” with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. A native of Pennsylvania, Heidi is a graduate of UC Davis where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and of USC with a Master’s In Public Administration. Heidi and her husband have lived in Sacramento for 30 years. 

Michelle Toppin

Fund Development Committee Chair

 

Drawn by her passion for children, Michelle joined the Children’s Receiving Home Board in 2016 after first becoming a volunteer during the holiday season. She has been honored to serve as past chair of the Board’s Fund Development Committee. In that capacity, Michelle and her committee work closely with CRH staff to sustain the Home’s around-the-clock support for children in crisis by raising thousands of dollars from donations, in-kind contributions, grants and a host of other sources. A career public servant, Michelle spent more than 25 years as a member of staff for both houses of the California Legislature.