Board of Directors
Brandy Thurman is currently the Director of The Discovery ChalleNGe Academy (DCA), a partnership between the California National Guard and The San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE). Brandy has worked at The San Joaquin County Office of Education since 2005 and has served as a teacher, coach, and administrator over the past seventeen years. Brandy is a 2014 graduate of Leadership Stockton, a member of The University of the Pacific Athletic Hall of Fame, and The Stockton Mexican Sports Hall of Fame. Brandy attended University of the Pacific on a softball scholarship and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree and teaching credential in 2003; she earned her Master of Arts degree in Education Administration and her Administrative Services Credential in 2012 also from The University of the Pacific.
Brandy is a long-time resident of Stockton and enjoys spending time with family and friends, most recreational activities, and serving her community.
Tammie is retired from a 30 year career in policing. She worked for both the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office and the Stockton Police Department, where she retired as a Deputy Chief of Police. She is currently the Director of the Police Academy at Delta College. She holds an Associate’s Degree from Delta College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from California State University, Sacramento and a Master’s Degree in Leadership from St. Mary’s College, Moraga, CA. She is a graduate of the Leadership Stockton Program, the California Peace Officers Training Supervisory Leadership Institute, Command College, and the FBI National Academy.
Tammie was born and raised in Stockton. She is active in the community and an avid baseball fan. She attends many San Francisco Giants games per season and is on a quest to visit every Major League Baseball park.
Kat Gonzales is the Community Well-Being Manager at Adventist Health Lodi Memorial. Kat’s past work experience includes work in human resources and education. Her passion to serve God and others is what led her to earn an MPH at Loma Linda University. In her current role, Kat is able to align both her professional and personal passions by focusing on efforts around homelessness, mental health, and economic security (with a focus on education and workforce development). Kat loves spending time with her family, and if she could be anywhere in the world it would be with all of her family members on a beach in her native country, the Dominican Republic.
Eric joined Collins Electrical Co., Inc. in April 2018 as a Research & Development associate, specializing in Prefabrication. While he maintains that role, Eric as taken on the Business Development role for the Central Valley.
Prior to this, Eric was self-employed for 15 years. He focused his efforts in bulk materials management, materials recycling and regulatory compliance & government affairs.
Eric has spent nearly 30 years working in the Central Valley and East Bay area. A number of those were spent with a large family owned company in Stockton. Then 10 years working from Fresno to the East Bay for a large international materials management company. During those 10 years Eric routinely managed construction projects, field operations for multiple operating locations, regulatory compliance and governmental affairs and back office support.
I grew up in Stockton and currently live in the San Joaquin County. I am the VP Manager for Oak Valley Community Bank in Manteca, and I have been in banking for 38 years now.
In recent years, I was the past President at the Manteca Chamber of Commerce for 2-years, and I am currently a board member. I have been on the United Way SJC Board for 8-years now, and the Co-Chair for the United Way Manteca Community Council, DBA Manteca, and involved in other local charity events as needed.
Carol J. Ornelas is a visionary and advocate for providing quality affordable housing for families within the Central Valley – Fresno, San Andreas, San Joaquin, Sacramento, and Stanislaus. For over 30 years, she has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Visionary Home Builders of California, Inc. (VHB), formerly ACLC, Inc.; a non-profit residential development company headquartered in Stockton, California.
Carol is highly recognized as a leader within the community. Her strength is in building and creating partnerships with citizens of the community and collaborating with local city, state officials, and other agencies to provide quality affordable housing for the communities she serves. Under Carol’s direct leadership, VHB has built and rehabilitated more than 1,400 units of rental housing and more than 900 residential homes for first time homebuyers within San Joaquin, Sacramento, Stanislaus and Merced Counties. Presently, there are over 300 additional units in construction or scheduled to begin construction, as well as additional projects in the planning/preconstruction phase.
Through the VHB Homeownership and Rental Center, educational opportunities are available to members of the community seeking guidance on purchasing a home, with special emphasis on financial responsibility, understanding mortgage and lending, as well as general education for sustaining a healthy home and lifestyle.
The VHB Homeownership and Rental Center has also assisted thousands of families through the foreclosure or loan modification process with HUD certified counselors. VHB received funding to implement the Neighborhood Stabilization Program for the City of Stockton and the County of San Joaquin.
Carol is one of 49 leaders nationwide selected for the NeighborWorks® Achieving Excellence in Community Development program in collaboration with Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. She completed this course in the fall of 2012.
Carol is passionate about her work and the work that her staff accomplishes on a daily basis. She takes pride in knowing that her organization has the resources to provide quality housing for the underserved. This allows her to continue VHB’s mission, which is to focus on a clear vision of providing balanced communities that incorporate housing and child development services for its residents. A perfect example of VHB is its work with the County of San Joaquin in the development of a community of 76 units of housing for farmworker families who live in the area year round. The community includes childcare with an emphasis on early development, social services and a medical clinic. The project was awarded ‘Best Affordable Housing Project’ in its category in the nation by Affordable Housing Finance magazine. Through her leadership, Carol has been able to bring over $700 million dollars in grants and private dollars to develop affordable housing in the San Joaquin Valley.
Carol Ornelas is one of the original founding members of the Reinvent South Stockton Coalition and current member of the Steering Committee. Carol has worked in the Reinvent South Stockton service area since the inception of the organization.
Dr. Pamela A. Eibeck retired in 2019 after serving as President of University of the Pacific for ten years. As President, Eibeck was deeply committed to the San Joaquin community, including establishing Beyond our Gates to enhance early literacy in San Joaquin County. Her service to the community was recognized by the 2015 ATHENA Leadership Award. She was also a leader in American higher education, chairing the Association for Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) for two years, serving as a board member of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and serving as vice chair of the NCAA’s D1 Committee on Academics. Eibeck received her bachelor's through doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, taught and earned tenure at the University of California at Berkeley, served as a professor and administrator at Northern Arizona University, and served as dean of the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering at Texas Tech.
Upon retirement, Eibeck and her husband Bill Jeffery chose to stay in the Stockton region where they live on a few acres in an 80 year old farmhouse and enjoy cultivating their gardens, an orchard, and chickens. They have four children, two of whom live in the Bay Area, one in Atlanta GA and one in Ecuador.
William H. Paris Jr. is better known as “Bubba” Paris. He hails from Louisville, Kentucky, where he attended DeSales High School and was team captain and MVP. He went to the University of Michigan where he played for Bo Schembechler. While playing for Michigan, they won two Big Ten Titles, a Rose Bowl and Blue Bonnet Bowl Championship. He was a four-year letterman, an All-American, two time All-Big Ten, second team Academic All-American, Academic All-Big Ten, and Academic All-District. He also played in two college All-Star games: the Japan and Hula Bowls.
In 1982, he was the San Francisco Forty-Niner’s first draft choice. He played with them for nine years; eight of which he started at left tackle. In those nine years, they won three Super Bowl Championships, eight Western Division Titles and played in five NFC Championship games. They were known as the team of the decade! He was also the players’ union representative for five years.
He's now the Executive Director/CEO of Tracy Community Connection Center.
Rhodesia Ransom believes that community-focused leadership must be principled, collaborative, and results-oriented. That’s why she’s all in for United Way of San Joaquin County.
Shaped by the values of public service, she spent much of her childhood working alongside her grandmother on volunteer projects to connect vulnerable families with food, housing, and other critical services.
After earning her bachelor's degree from San Francisco State University and a Master’s in Public Administration, Rhodesia worked in private sector management for fifteen years. She went on to teach graduate-level courses in public finance and business management.
As co-founder and executive director of Sow A Seed Community Foundation, she has championed mentoring and mental health programs for San Joaquin County youth since 2005. Her efforts have helped thousands of youth access stigma-free counseling and support services in public schools.
As a former city council member for the City of Tracy Ms. Ransom earned a reputation for challenging the status quo and tackling important policies like investing in our youth, reducing homelessness, diversifying housing, and improving accountability and transparency.
Ransom’s service to the community includes 7 years on the Tracy Planning Commission where she performed a critical oversight role on new residential and commercial development projects. She has also served on the San Joaquin County Civil Grand Jury providing oversight to public agencies across our county to improve efficiency and service delivery.
Rhodesia Ransom is a proud member of the City of Tracy where she and her husband raised their three children.