Chief Executive Officer
As Chief Executive Officer it is my pleasure to lead a team of inspired professionals in the pursuit of reaching “Functional Zero” for individuals experiencing homelessness by December 31st, 2020, at 5:00pm. Joining us in this effort is a far reaching network of public and private partners that I facilitate in conversation and strategy. It is my job to keep us on task and consider all ideas and options for meeting our goal. I choose to work with SSF because I believe in our mission and I believe individuals should not live without housing and the support of community. Homelessness is a destructive agent for those that tonight will sleep without shelter and for the community that is not equipped to host large numbers of homeless living on their streets, parkways and sidewalks. This is one of the most difficult and necessary missions facing America today and I am proud to help lead us toward a sustainable solution.
Executive Director, Housing California
Sacramento Steps Forward Board Chair
Shamus Roller is the Executive Director of Housing California, an organization committed to preventing homelessness and working to increase the supply of stable, safe, affordable homes. Mr. Roller previously served as Executive Director for the Sacramento Housing Alliance where he organized policy initiatives centering transit-oriented development and campaigns for mixed-income housing. Shamus also served on the boards of the Interagency Council of the Ending Chronic Homelessness Initiative and the Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee. Mr. Roller is well known for his leadership and his ability to build relationships at the local and state level.
Mr. Roller studied as an undergraduate at Reed College where he received a Bachelor’s in History. Shamus also attended the University of California, Hastings, where he received his J.D.
Senior Pastor, Capital Christian Center
Sacramento Steps Forward Vice Chair
Rick Cole is the Senior Pastor of Capital Christian Center in Sacramento, California. Rick earned a Master of Arts in Ministerial Leadership from Southeastern University in 2006. Rick is married to Cathy and they have three children and three grandchildren. The responsibilities as Pastor of Capital Christian Center include overseeing a pastoral staff of 17, a private school of approximately 1,100 students, 300 church and school employees. Rick also serves on the “Are You The Difference” committee of CARES (treating and preventing HIV/AIDS) and Sacramento Steps Forward Board since its inception in 2011.
Rick has been involved in philanthropic endeavors in Mexico, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, Italy, Russia, and Peru as well as developing programs to assist his local community through Equal Start (providing assistance to inner-city school children), Character Combine (providing training for high school coaches and community sports leaders to place character above winning), and Champions (assisting special needs families through endeavors such as “A Night of Dreams” prom for special needs kids).
Vice President, CFY Development, Inc.
Sacramento Steps Forward Board Treasurer
Ali Youssefi is Vice President of CFY Development, a Sacramento-based firm that develops, builds and manages affordable and mixed-income housing. The family-owned company has a portfolio that includes over 3,000 apartment units in 25 cities. Mr. Youssefi oversees all phases of the development process, including project design, financial analysis, entitlements, permit processing, construction and property management. While CFY operates throughout the state of California, Mr. Youssefi’s primary focus has been on mixed-use, infill development in his hometown of Sacramento.
Mr. Youssefi currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Iranian American Council, Downtown Sacramento Partnership, VERGE Center for the Arts, B Street Theatre, E. Claire Raley Studios for the Performing Arts and the R Street Sacramento Partnership. Prior to joining CFY Development, Mr. Youssefi was an investment banking analyst at WR Hambrecht + Co in San Francisco. Mr. Youssefi graduated from DartmouthCollege in New Hampshire with a B.A. in Economics and Cognitive Science.
Senior Advisor to Mayor Kevin Johnson
Sacramento Steps Forward Board Secretary
Cassandra Jennings serves as the Senior Advisor to Mayor Kevin Johnson. As Senior Advisor, Jennings focuses on key issues including homelessness, education, and the arts. Prior to becoming Senior Advisor to the Mayor, Jennings served the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency for 20 years. Jennings later served for six years as the Assistant City Manager for the City of Sacramento where she developed important partnerships with various city departments and served as the City’s liaison with SETA, SHRA, the Library, and County.
Jennings received her B.A. in Urban Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of San Francisco.
Chet P. Hewitt
President / CEO of Sierra Health Foundation
Sacramento Steps Forward Board Member-at-Large
Chet P. Hewitt is the President and CEO of Sierra Health Foundation and its independent operating unit, the Center for Health Program Management. Since beginning his tenure in
2007, Chet has focused foundation investments on health disparities, health equity, and the healthy development and well-being of vulnerable youth. His leadership, thoughtful risk taking and innovative approach to management have increased the foundation’s impact, reach and influence.
Prior to joining the foundation, Chet spent five years as the Agency Director of Alameda County’s Social Services Agency, where he is credited with transforming its failing child welfare system into a national model and using technology to improve the delivery of human services. Previously, he served as Associate Director for the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, established and managed its West Coast regional office in San Francisco and led its national employment and community building initiatives. Chet has received several national awards, including the Annie E. Casey Foundation Child and Family Leaders Fellowship and Child Welfare Administrator of the Year.
Chet is a frequent lecturer on philanthropy and public sector leadership, and advises localities around the country on issues related to the transformation of public systems. Chet serves on several boards, including Grantmakers in Health, Sacramento Steps Forward, Roberts Enterprise Development Fund and St. John’s Shelter for Women and Children. Born and raised in New York City, Chet credits life experience as the primary source of his commitment to serve those less fortunate than himself. He is also driven by his desire to ensure that his two young sons, and all children, have every opportunity to grow up healthy, safe and prepared for their roles as vital members of our communities.
Director, Government and Community Relations, Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region
Sacramento Steps Forward Board Member at Large
Keri serves as the Director, Community and Government Relations for Sutter Health, Sacramento-Sierra Region. She is responsible for working with elected and community leaders and not-for-profit agencies on sustainable programs that enhance community health in Amador, Nevada, Sacramento, Solano, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba counties in California. Keri earned her Master’s in Public Policy and Administration from California State University, Sacramento and her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise and Sports Science from Oregon State University. She currently serves on the Golden 1 Credit Union Board of Directors, is past Chair of the Sacramento Metro Chamber’s Leadership Sacramento program (2009), and was honored by the Sacramento Business Journal as one of the top up and coming leaders of the region – 40 Under 40 (2010) and the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce as Volunteer of the Year (2010). Keri lives in Sacramento with her husband Chris and their two children.
Executive Director, Teichert Foundation
Sacramento Steps Forward Board Member, Emeritus
Fred Teichert is the Executive Director of the Teichert Foundation in Sacramento, California. Mr. Teichert serves on the boards of the City of Sacramento’s Policy Board to End Homelessness, People Reaching Out, Sacramento State University Foundation, and Sacramento Regional Community Foundation. Mr. Teichert is actively engaged with the Sacramento’s business, arts, and social service communities. Teichert’s construction company is known for building California’s infrastructure and Fred Teichert continues this tradition, building his Sacramento community.
Mr. Teichert holds an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from California State University, Sacramento.