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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.

smiling woman close-up head shot

Dina Garcia

Finance Committee

Dina is a seasoned leader with an impressive career spanning over 25 years in the financial industry. Her passion for people and building meaningful relationships extends far beyond the corporate workplace. She is also a single mother of three adult children. This personal aspect of her life has given her a profound understanding of the unique challenges faced by women who are balancing demanding professional careers with the responsibilities of raising children on their own.

Dina’s experiences as a single mother have inspired her to become an advocate for the well-being and development of children in need. She believes that all children deserve to grow up in a safe nurturing environment and is committed to making a positive impact on the lives of children in crisis in the Sacramento region.

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.

James Lungi

Community Relations Committee

James Lungi is a technology expert specializing in the fields of marketing, events, nonprofit management, and Mortgage / Real Estate technology tools.  James is currently a mortgage loan originator, which means he has the honor and privilege of being able to help people buy their first homes, investment properties, and homesteads.    

 

James has always felt called to help youth going through the child welfare system.  He feels that by preparing those youth with business experience and coaching, they will have an exponentially higher chance of becoming successful once they age out.  James is currently using his technology and financial expertise to provide support to CRH as a member of the board.   

 

Prior to his current career as a mortgage advisor, James owned and operated a successful corporate events and concierge service in Las Vegas. During that time he was blessed to be able to work with college internship programs, charitable organizations, and youth mentoring programs.  James is happy to be able to use his skills as a seasoned corporate event planner to help CRH curate successful and memorable events. 

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.