Executive Leadership Team
Dr. Laura Heintz is the Chief Executive Officer of Stanford Sierra Youth & Families. For nearly 30 years, Dr. Heintz has worked tirelessly to help nonprofit health and human service organizations grow and expand their ability to serve children and families.
With more than 25 years of nonprofit experience to her credit, Jovina Neves has played a crucial role at Stanford Sierra Youth & Families since joining the staff in 1997. In addition to serving as CFO, she also manages and directs several departments including Accounting, Facilities, and Information Technology. She earned her bachelor’s degree from UC Davis.
Ontson joins Stanford Sierra Youth & Families as the Chief Program Officer (CPO). He brings over 30 years of experience in Mental Health and Social Services, including program development, administrative systems development, and financial and quality assurance development. Ontson has been at the forefront of the creation of many innovative youth and family programs. Ontson served as the Administrator for one of the country’s largest Wraparound programs.
As the Director of Development for Stanford Sierra Youth & Families, Christie brings over a decade of experience in fund development. Christie’s history of exceeding fundraising goals as well as effective development of fundraising initiatives and recruitment of board members are among some of the many strengths she brings to the organization. In addition to her experience working in the nonprofit sector, Christie developed and owned a successful national telecom company, is a National Training & Leadership Director for entrepreneurs, and served on the ACRE Board of Directors as the Chair of the annual Broker of the Year (BOYA) event.
Christina brings many years of experience to Stanford Sierra Youth & Families’ Executive Leadership team. As Director of Family and Youth Partnership, Christina oversees the organization’s Family and Youth Partnership program. Her major accomplishments include establishing a behavioral intervention group for direct care staff across all programs to support and share ideas, as well as a vicarious trauma group for those in the family and youth partnership team to process their work and use self care to prevent burn out. Additionally, Christina is an accomplished trainer for the organization, providing training to staff under multiple topic areas.
Danielle Vanaman joined Stanford Sierra Youth & Families in 2022 as director of the Nevada County Family Preservation program. Prior to joining SSYAF, Danielle served as Program and Clinical Director of a school-based Counseling Enriched Classroom program that works to ensure special-education students receive the mental health support needed for them to succeed on mainstream public school campuses.
Deborah has been leading social service programs in Northern California for more than 10 years. Deborah received her master’s degree in social work from CSU Long Beach, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and received an award for outstanding community service to children, youth and families in 2001. She received a bachelor’s degree in social work from CSU Humboldt in 1989. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Practitioner of the Healing Arts as well as a Certified Group Home Administrator and Authorized 5150 Site Coordinator and Designee.
Gibrán joined Stanford Sierra Youth & Families in 2013 as a FIT Clinician, immediately following graduation from graduate school. He brings many strengths to the agency including being a Certified Agency Trainer in Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). Gibrán is also an Adjunct Professor at University of San Francisco’s Sacramento campus in their Counseling Marriage and Family Therapy program.
Jacquenette Michael was originally hired in 2010 as a Therapist in Stanford Sierra Youth & Families’ FIT program. During her tenure at the organization, she has worked in a variety of programs and leadership roles. Jacquenette is trained in multiple Evidenced Based Practices including being a trainer for Parent-Child Interaction Therapy.
Kimberly Woods-Burch has more than 20 years of experience helping businesses and their employees grow and develop. As the Director of Employee Relations, she sees her department’s role as the “caregiver for the caregiver” and is working hard to develop a well-trained workforce. Making sure the staff at Stanford Sierra Youth & Families is secure and well taken care of is critical, and the first step toward effectively serving the children and families in the Sacramento community.
Richelle became the Director of Administrative Services at Stanford Sierra Youth & Families in 2020. She has worked in social services since 1998 and brings over 30 years of expertise and career accomplishments in administrative and facility management, finance, and fundraising to the organization. Richelle oversees a team of 14 individuals and is responsible for the oversight of the organization’s Information Technology, Facilities, and Administrative Support departments.
Program Director: El Dorado County Programs, School Based Services, Therapeutic Behavioral Services, Enhanced Care Management
Sara DeCoursey joined Stanford Sierra Youth & Families in 2016 as a Therapist in the FIT program. After becoming a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), Sara was promoted to Clinical Program Manager of the Therapeutic Behavioral Services (TBS) and School Based Services (SBS) programs. In 2020, Sara became the Associate Director of the TBS, SBS, and El Dorado County programs, and in 2023, she was promoted to Director of these programs, as well as the newly developed Enhanced Care Management (ECM) program.
Terrell Thomas is the Strategic Initiative Officer at Stanford Sierra Youth & Families and is responsible for identifying business and grant funding opportunities to support areas of program growth and innovation designed to improve health and well-being outcomes for vulnerable children and families.
Tonya joined Stanford Sierra Youth & Families in 2016 to develop the School Based Services Program and has since moved into leading the Juvenile Justice Intervention Services, Kaiser Managed care, and Wraparound programs. Her background includes extensive mental health treatment for children with severe emotional disturbance and she has been a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist since 2004.
Beatriz began her journey with Stanford Sierra Youth & Families in 2019. Her current position as a Family & Youth Partnership Program Manager enables her to utilize her lived experience to empower, advocate for, and support youth and families. Beatriz is passionate about building partnerships and believes that collaborating with others to elevate the voices of underserved and underrepresented communities is critical to overall success.