Village Community Resource Center, a 501(c)(3) corporation, is governed by its Board of Directors-a group of individuals whose varied expertise and collective experiences enrich our organization. Learn a little about the folks who help fulfill our mission to empower and improve the quality of life of disadvantaged children and their families.
Mr. Belette has extensive non-profit experience based on many leadership positions he held throughout his professional career. From 2005-13, he directed the work of Catholic Charities East Bay as the Chief Executive Officer. During the seventeen years that he worked at CCEB, he expanded the services of the agency and established new satellite offices in Concord and Brentwood, and in 2013 led the effort in acquiring a brand new facility for an operation in Richmond, California. The agency’s annual revenue grew from $4 to $7 million by diversifying the agency’s funding sources, and the Endowment rose from $300,000 to over $4 million. As a community leader, he has worked hard championing and supporting community engagement initiatives, engaging the corporate and philanthropic sectors, and promoting collective impact strategies to strengthen the safety net for those who are most vulnerable.
After leaving his post at CCEB in August 2013, Mr. Belette continued to assist non-profit organizations of varying size and complexity as President and CEO of SISAR Management and Consulting Services. In March 2015, Mr. Belette joined John F. Kennedy University as Director of Corporate and Community Relations. Mr. Belette earned his academic credentials from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota and did his graduate studies in Sociology at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. He is a major contributor on topics related to Strategic Planning for Non-Profits, Change Management and Transformation Strategy, Collective Impact, and Non-Profit Leadership.
Samy has lived in Brentwood for the past 15 years. I have been blessed to have lived in many different cities and along the way able to learn about the cultures and people of those places. I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina where my dad was a pastor of a small church. At the age of four, our family moved to Lima, Peru where we stayed until I was eight years old. We then moved to the United States and settled in southern California. When I arrived to the US, I didn’t know a word of English and had to learn quickly how to navigate through school. At the end of 9th grade, we moved back to Argentina but came back to the US after two short years. I have a BA degree from Azusa Pacific University and a MA degree in administration from St. Mary’s College. I have been in the education field since 1985. I was a Kindergarten, 1st and 4th grade teacher. For the last 21 years I have been a school Principal. In June of this year I will be retiring after 31 years of service.
My wife Kelley and I have five children, three of them married and two that are still in high school. My wife is a nurse with Kaiser. In October we will be celebrating our 34th wedding anniversary.
From my early years, my parents modeled for me a life of giving and serving. I believe the saying that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” and I try to live my life in accordance to those words. I have had the privilege of working with various outreach organizations in Guatemala and Mexico. As I approach retirement, I want to dedicate my days to serving others in my community and around the world. I look forward to being a part of Village Community Resource Center.
Dr. Wendy Herman was born and raised in Southern California. She received her AA degree at Santa Monica College and a BS with honors in Zoology from CSU, Long Beach. She then attended UCSF Dental School and received both her BS and DDS degrees in 1984. She met and married fellow dental student, Doug Herman and practiced general dentistry in Brentwood for 29 years. Their children attended Brentwood schools. Son Derek is in his final year of his PhD work in Horticulture from Washington State University and daughter Kelly just graduated with a BS in Environmental Science from Auburn University. Dr. Herman retired in 2012. She began volunteering at VCRC in September, 2013. Wendy has a long history of serving her community. She was a member of Soroptimist International of the Delta, Chamber of Commerce Director, provided dental screenings with Head Start, and received the UCSSO Honorary Maya Award in 1991. Dr. Herman was President of the Brentwood Unified School District Education Foundation for over 10 years and currently is an active Foundation board member.
Deborah Willis is the Branch Manager of Fremont Bank in Brentwood, Ca. She has been working in the financial industry for well over 25 years; 15 years of her career with Fremont Bank. She is the wife of a professional musician and a proud mother of 5 children ranging from elementary to high school and everything in between. Fremont Bank has allowed her flexibility in her position so she can get out and be a part of this wonderful community that she also calls home. She supports a number of non-profits and has been fortunate to be on the board and finance committee of Village Community Resource Center.
Board Vice President
Tamara Osivwemu began working in education in 2002 as an instructional aide for elementary-aged foster youth. Since that time her passion for education and social justice turned into a career focused on diversity and equity for all students. After earning her B.A. in Psychology and African-American studies, she began working for and with educational non-profits, out-of-school time organizations and youth-centered agencies to train faculty and staff. To complement her professional experience, Tamara returned to school in 2013 to earn her M.S. in Educational Leader-ship. Tamara currently spends her time as an independent consultant, the Director of Diversity and Inclusion with Citizen Schools, a California School-Aged Consortium endorsed trainer, community volunteer, mother and wife.
Born and raised in Brentwood, Kirsten Rigsby developed a love for community service at a young age. While studying at U.C. Davis, she participated in service trips to Mexico and El Salvador where her eyes were opened to the inequalities in our world. She graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor’s Degree. Kirsten studied Spanish in Guatemala for three months, and then volunteered as a social worker and women’s outreach coordinator at an orphanage in Honduras for one year. Upon her return to the US she did her Master’s work at Holy Names University in Oakland and was Director of the Family Faith Formation Program at St. Anne Church in Byron. She became Executive Director at Village Community Resource Center in July of 2012.
Laurie has taught for 39 years in higher education, middle and elementary school and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish with two Masters Degrees in Education and Spanish. Laurie also received certificates for Teaching of English as a Second Language and Community College Instruction from UC Berkeley. Laurie recently completed her Ph.D. in Education/Teaching and Learning Online, and has taught extensively in Japan and Latin America. Laurie communicates with her students in English, Spanish and Japanese. Currently, she teaches university level education at the State College of Florida in Jacksonville and the California Community College system.. Laurie recently received two awards, Woman of the Year for Contra Costa County and Teacher of the Year for the California Community Colleges. Along with years of social activism and community service work for the Latino community in her county, Laurie has participated in accreditation visits for the Monterey Language Institute, Hawaii College, Napa College and in America Samoa. She is a team member of The Western Accreditation Commission. In her spare time she owns and operates an organic rain forest ranch on the Caribbean in Costa Rica and lives near the Yosemite Valley in California.
Kiran Taunk is a certified Human Resources Leader with over 25 years of solid experience in both HR Specialist and HR Generalist roles in several internationally renowned organizations. He is recognized for his strong work ethic, approachable management style and focus on the big picture. He is a conscientious, results-oriented business advisor with a reputation for strong business acumen, sound judgment and achieving win-win solutions. He has a substantial list of accomplishments as a creative problem solver and an articulate communicator. He is well respected by his peers in his field of expertise.
Most recently, Kiran was employed with Right Mgmt, Inc. in Berwyn, PA where he helped over 250 displaced professionals of Wyeth Pharm, Inc. with their job outplacement services. Prior to this, he was the Director of Human Resources and Risk Management at Washington College in Chestertown, MD, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania and The College of New Jersey.
Kiran holds a Master’s Degree in Labor Relations from Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA, and an MBA from Xavier Institute, a Jesuit University, in India. He’s been an engaged member of several professional organizations including Delaware County Human Resource Assoc (Board member and Treasurer), Greater Valley Forge Human Resource Association (Board Member and Treasurer), Delaware SHRM Chapter (Vice President and Board Member), and a few others.
Prior to his relocation to California in 2016, Kiran was a volunteer at Kennett Area Community Services (board member), The ARC of Chester County (board member), Emergency Medical Services of Southern Chester County (board member), Chester County Hospital, Pennsylvania Career Link and Winterthur Museum.
Kiran currently serves on the Board of Village Community Resources Center, Brentwood Chamber of Commerce and Brentwood Library Foundation, and volunteers his time at Opportunity Junction in Antioch, CA.
Vic believes that memorable and meaningful careers are not planned; they are developed as you prepare for opportunities by finding your strengths, weaknesses, becoming educated, learning from failure, taking risks, and applying your personal values. His life has been about finding the right balance of doing what he is passionate about, serving his community, living an adventurous life, and being the best husband and father he can be. Vic joined the Army after high school, earned a bachelor degree in accounting from the University of Texas at San Antonio, traveled in and out of the country, became a Financial Aid Director, and worked for NASA. Currently Vic works for the Air Force, holds multiple leadership roles, and is working on his MBA with a concentration in Business Analytics from Golden Gate University. He is thrilled to be part of VCRC and hopes to become a role model for many of our students.