Our Staff and Board

Board Members

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Matthew Keasling

Board Chair

Attorney - Taylor & Wiley

Matthew Keasling is an attorney at the law firm of Taylor & Wiley. His practice focuses on land use, environmental and regulatory matters, he specializes in securing and defending discretionary entitlements for development projects located throughout the Sacramento Region and Northern California. In his professional capacity, Mr. Keasling successfully represented, pro bono, the Sacramento Area Emergency Housing Center and River City Food Bank in the expansion and relocation of their family shelter and food distribution facilities, respectively.

Mr. Keasling currently serves on the City of West Sacramento’s Economic Development and Housing Commission and on the Board of Directors at Sacramento Steps Forward. He formerly served on the Board of Directors of Next Move, including two terms as board president, served on the YLG executive committee of the Urban Land Institute, Sacramento Chapter, and participated in the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce’s leadership program.

Matt earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara. A Sacramento native, Matt now lives in Southport with his wife, Leslie, and their young son.

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Ali Youssefi

Treasurer

Vice President, CFY Development, Inc.

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.

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Cassandra H.B. Jennings

Secretary

President & CEO, Greater Sacramento Urban League

Cassandra H. B. Jennings is the newly appointed President & CEO of the Greater Sacramento Urban League to promote economic empowerment through education, job readiness, training and placement programs and advocacy for underserved individuals and families. She most recently served as Senior Advisor to Mayor Kevin Johnson, City of Sacramento on key policy initiatives such as arts, homelessness, housing, volunteerism, public safety, health and community issues. Cassandra spent six years as the Assistant City Manager for the City of Sacramento and over 20 years with Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, including six years as Deputy Executive Director. She has provided great leadership in housing, community and economic development throughout the Sacramento Region.

Cassandra currently serves on the boards of Sacramento Region Community Foundation, Golden 1 Credit Union, Norwood Avenue Housing Corporation, Shasta Housing Corporation, The Sacramento Judicial Library and Learning Center Foundation, and Sacramento Steps Forward. She is also an active member of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church and President of the Sacramento Chapter of The Links, Inc.

Cassandra has been recognized as: 2005 Women Who Mean Business, 2008 Mother of the Year by the Saint John’s Shelter Program, 2009 Black Expo Women of Inspiration, 2010 Zeta Phi Beta Woman of the Year, The Repairer of Breach Award, 2015 Asian Resources Community Service Award and 2016 California Legislative Black Caucus Black History Month Honoree.

Cassandra received a Masters in Public Administration from the University of San Francisco and Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. She and her husband, Rick, have been married thirty eight years and enjoy spending time with their adult children and their spouses and three beautiful granddaughters.

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Chet P. Hewitt

Member-at-Large

President / CEO of Sierra Health Foundation

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.

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Michelle Odell

Member-at-Large

Director, Public Affairs, Kaiser Permanente

Michelle Odell is the Director of Public Affairs for Kaiser Permanente. Her responsibilities include overseeing all aspects of Public Affairs including community relations, government relations; community health and community benefit planning; and internal and external communications, including media relations

Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente in 2008, Odell spent nine years at The Sacramento Bee, serving as Public Affairs Manager where she oversaw public affairs and corporate communications initiatives, including branding, community outreach, media relations, and charitable contributions. Prior to The Sacramento Bee, she spent eight years as Associate Vice President of Investments at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.

Odell currently serves as Chair for Sacramento Covered, and as Director on the boards of the local PBS affiliate KVIE, and the Los Rios Foundation. She is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum and a member of the City of Sacramento Gang Prevention/Intervention Task Force.

She previously served on the Board of Directors of WEAVE, Elk Grove Economic Development Corporation, The Sacramento Ballet, The Sacramento Public Library Foundation, Sacramento Children’s Receiving Home, The Sacramento Theatre Company and Stanford Home for Children.

Odell holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Oregon. She live in Sacramento with her husband Kevin and their three daughters.

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Pamela Maxwell

Member-at-Large

Community Development Manager for Government Relations & Community Development, U.S. Bank

Pamela Maxwell joined U.S. Bank in July of 2010 and currently works as the Community Development Manager for Government Relations & Community Development at U.S. Bank. Ms. Maxwell is responsible for the development, coordination and management of community relations and development activities within the Sacramento area, Northern California and Utah. She collaborates with community groups focusing on affordable housing, small business development, capacity building and financial education. The primary focus of her work is serving community needs within low-to-moderate income neighborhoods and meeting corporate CRA objectives. In addition, she manages the corporate giving budget for Sacramento and Northern California.

Pam has been working in the banking industry for over 25 years. She previously worked for Wells Fargo in Retail Banking for 19 years. She is a board member of Junior Achievement of Sacramento, Hands4Hope, Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, Sacramento Steps Forward, committee member of Sacramento Self Help Housing, and is on the Lighthouse committee for the Women’s Fund El Dorado. She resides in Shingle Springs with her husband and has two daughters.

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Rabbi Mona Alfi

Member-at-Large

Senior Rabbi, Congregation B’nai Israel

Rabbi Mona Alfi has served as the Senior Rabbi for Congregation B’nai Israel in Sacramento since 2006. Concurrent to her time at B’nai Israel she has served as the Chaplain for the California State Assembly and the California State Senate as well as on the Bioethics Committee of the Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento. She is on the Commission on Social Action (CSA) as a representative of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and is on the leadership team for Reform California, a coalition of Reform Jewish congregations in California working to improve the lives of Californians.

Rabbi Alfi has received recognition for her work on behalf of Marriage Equality in 2011 from the Sacramento Stonewall Democratic Club with their “4 Freedoms: Freedom of Worship Award.” In 2017, Rabbi Alfi was honored by her peers for her work in social justice with T’ruah’s “Rabbinic Human Rights Hero Award.” She was also recognized by the SALAM Center of Sacramento with the “SALAM Distinguished Award for Exceptional Interfaith & Community Service.”

She was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in 1998, and received her MAHL at the Los Angeles campus of HUC-JIR in 1996.

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Brian Augusta

Member-at-Large

Director, Rural Housing Project, California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation

Brian Augusta is an attorney and legislative advocate for the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, focusing on housing and land use policy in the California Legislature. Brian began working on affordable housing issues in 1991, as the director of the Sacramento Housing Alliance, a position he held for four years. In 1999, after graduating from Santa Clara University School of Law, Brian joined the staff of Legal Services of Northern California, where he worked for six years as a staff attorney. During his time with LSNC he has been credited with helping to expand affordable housing opportunities throughout the region, providing leadership on a number of policy initiatives and successful litigation.

In his current position, Brian has played a key role in legislation on affordable housing, land use, tenants’ rights and other housing-related measures over the past 15 years. Most recently, he was part of a team of advocates who helped negotiate and win passage of key parts of a 15-bill affordable housing package that expands funding and opportunities for new affordable housing.

He is a past President of the Board of Directors of the Sacramento Housing Alliance and a past member of the board of the East Sacramento Improvement Association. He lives in Sacramento with his wife Katy and their two teenage children.

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Reverend Brian Baker

Member-at-Large

Dean of the Cathedral, Trinity Episcopal Church

Brian became Dean of Trinity Cathedral in 2006. Before coming to Sacramento, Brian was the Rector of St. Thomas Church in Sun Valley, Idaho, Canon Pastor of St. Michael’s Cathedral in Boise and Curate & Chaplain of Holy Nativity Church and School in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Brian was raised in an Air Force family and while his family moved a great deal, he lived mostly in the Eastern U.S. When in high school, Brian met his wife Andrea. Brian and Andrea both graduated from West Point and served as officers in the Army. Brian left the Army in 1988. He graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary and was ordained as a deacon and then priest in 1991. He received his Doctorate in Preaching from Seabury Western Theological Seminary in 1999.

In addition to leading congregations, Brian has been involved in interfaith conversations, primarily with Tibetan Buddhists. In 2005 he organized and facilitated a conversation with the Dalai Lama and religious leaders in Idaho. In 2012 he was included in a documentary on the Buddhist Heart Sutra and invited to participate in the International Buddhist Conclave in India. In Sacramento, Brian practices yoga at Zuda Yoga Studio(link is external) and helps lead sessions that combine yoga, meditation, teaching, Christian scripture and prayer.

Brian has also been an advocate for marriage equality both in the church and state. In 2009 he was awarded the “Four Freedoms” award from Sacramento’s Stonewall Democrats for his work on Marriage Equality in California. He is one of the co-conveners of the Consultation which works on LGBT inclusion in the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion.

Brian’s wife, Andrea, is an Episcopal priest and a chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserve. They have two children.

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Fred Teichert

Emeritus

Executive Director, Teichert Foundation

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.

Staff Members

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Ryan Loofbourrow

Chief Executive Officer

A 20-year veteran of community development and urban renewal, Ryan Loofbourrow is the Chief Executive Officer of Sacramento Steps Forward, an agency committed to ending homelessness in our region through collaboration, innovation, and connecting people to services.

Prior to taking the helm of Sacramento Steps Forward in 2014, Loofbourrow led the Clean and Safe programs for the Downtown Partnerships in both Sacramento and San Diego. In these roles, he designed innovative programs that improved the public experience of working, living, and visiting downtown. To achieve this, he partnered with business, local government, law enforcement, and homeless service agencies.

In both Sacramento and San Diego, Loofbourrow created a first-of-its-kind Homeless Navigator program to help people experiencing homelessness find stability and move off of downtown streets. In recognition of this game changing initiative, he was awarded the Special Achievement Award from the International Downtown Association. He is also credited with creating Sacramento’s Serial Inebriate Program.

At Sacramento Steps Forward Loofbourrow has brought his operational and leadership skills to bear on one of the most challenging issues facing local communities – the rising tide of homelessness in local neighborhoods.

Since 2014, in collaboration with the Sacramento Homeless Continuum of Care, Sacramento Steps Forward has increased Sacramento’s allocation of federal funding for homeless services, developed the Homeless Crisis Resolution System to ensure that limited government funding is used to house the most vulnerable members of the community, and launched a highly successful Navigator program that has housed thousands of people who were experiencing homelessness.

Loofbourrow is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento and lives in the City of Sacramento with his two children. In his free time, he enjoys running, cycling, and is a singer/songwriter.

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