Thank you to our board for their constant support and dedication

to the OCCTAC dream!

Our Board of Directors

Sam Chari

Board President

Senior Vice President, Experian

Sam Chari is currently SVP, Global Head of Risk and Compliance at Experian. Based in Southern California, Mr. Chari provides oversight of enterprise risks across the firm. Previously, Mr. Chari has been in several risk management related roles, including serving as the Head of Enterprise Risk at PIMCO and Head of Operational Risk at AllianceBernstein. He holds a MBA from the Stern Business School (NYU) and a MS from Clemson University.

Melody Winter Head

Board Vice President

Regional Manager, So. Cal.

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Since joining the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank in 2003, Melody has engaged private and nonprofit financial institutions, community development leaders and government agencies in developing solutions to pressing neighborhood issues in low-wealth communities of Southern California. Through community preservation and capacity building strategies she has contributed to the fields of affordable housing finance, small and micro business development, workforce development, asset building health, wealth and diversity, and K-12 education reform. Melody is active with several community-based nonprofit organizations and serves in various capacities at the Clearinghouse CDFI, the Orange County Community Housing Corporation, OCCTAC, the Housing Opportunities Collaborative of the Inland Empire, and the Los Angeles Education Partnership.

Susan Echarte

Board Member

Owner and Founder,

Postal Center International Brands

For the past 30 years, Susan Echarte has served as the owner and founder of Postal Center International Brands, a mailing and marketing firm based in South Florida. Her experience extends to real estate development, small business investments and event planning for many non-profit agencies.  Susan has worked with organizations to help improve their fundraising programs and help maximize their returns.

Rossina Gallegos

Board Member

Director & CSR Officer

Corporate Social Responsibility, Union Bank

Rossina Gallegos joined Union Bank in 1981. She facilitates and manages the charitable contribution and foundation requests for Orange County, San Diego, and the Inland Empire.  She also implements strategies, tactics and programs to maximize the talent and availability of Union Bank employees with the needs of low-and moderate-income communities.  Rossina’s community outreach work heightens Union Bank’s presence to address the Bank’s Community Reinvestment Act commitment, public image opportunities, and employees’ desire for engagement.   Rossina has served in various positions in small business lending, Special Assets management and multicultural markets. Rossina is active with numerous civic and community organizations.  Rossina is the President of the Santa Ana College Foundation.  She serves on the Boards of OCCTAC as well as Orange County Human Relations.  She is also on the Advisory Board of the National Hispanic Business Women Association (NHBW), the Orange County Community Housing Corporation, and the Affordable Housing Clearing House.

Claude Goldenberg

Board Member

Nomellini & Olivier Professor of Education,

Stanford University

As a native of Argentina, his areas of research center on promoting academic achievement among language minority students. He received his A.B. in history from Princeton University and M.A. and Ph.D. from Graduate School of Education, UCLA. He has taught junior high school in San Antonio, TX, and first grade in a bilingual elementary school in Los Angeles. Goldenberg received the 1993 Albert J. Harris Award from the International Reading Association (now International Literacy Association) for an article describing improvements in early Spanish reading achievement at an elementary school where he taught first grade. His 2004 book Successful School Change: Creating Settings to Improve Teaching a Learning was the basis for the 2010 Best Research Award from Learning Forward. Goldenberg is also co-author of Promoting Academic Achievement among English Learners: A Guide to the Research (Corwin) and co-editor of Language and Literacy Development in Bilingual Settings (Guilford). He has directed studies of literacy development among English learners, school reform in largely language-minority schools, identifying elements of effective classroom instruction for English learners, and evaluation of an early literacy intervention in Rwanda. Goldenberg was on the National Research Council's Committee for the Prevention of Early Reading Difficulties in Young Children and on the National Literacy Panel, which synthesized research on literacy development among language-minority children and youth. More recently he chaired two international committees advising the Council for Higher Education in Israel on improvements in English education, and he currently chairs a national research advisory panel on early childhood education for Arizona’s First Things First. He is an expert witness for the US Department of Justice on English Learner issues and serves on several boards related to children and education in Africa and the U.S.

Nilo E. Lipiz

Board Member

Dean, Santa Ana College (Retired)

Nilo E. Lipiz' current administrative work experience includes Dean of Instruction and Student Services from August 1999 to present, and Academic Director from November 1996 to August 1999 for Santa Ana College School of Continuing Education at Centennial Education Center. In his previous position as Dean of Instruction and Student Services, he had the opportunity to lead and supervise all aspects of the planning, staffing, scheduling, developing of catalog descriptions, delivery and development of all noncredit programs and services, including all personnel functions of assigned staff in the Santa Ana College School of Continuing Education at major education centers and offsite locations. 

Stuart M. Nichols

Board Member

Vice President,

Sun Apparel 

Stuart Nichols currently serves as Vice President of Sun Apparel/Screen Printers Resource in Fullerton, CA. With over 30 years of Business Management experience, Stuart has extensive Domestic and International Executive Management experience with responsibility for Profit and Loss Statements and Balance Sheets for multiple subsidiaries in Public, Private, and Nonprofit sectors. His passion is serving others, and he is especially driven to serve at-promise populations such as the unhoused in Orange County and those with substance abuse issues. In addition to serving on OCCTAC’s board, Stuart also serves on the board of Infinite Arches Recovery and as volunteer CFO for Journey Church.

Terri Villa-McDowell

Board Member

Senior Human Relations Cunsultant,

Los Angeles County Workforce Development

Terri Villa-McDowell is Senior Human Relations Consultant with the Los Angeles County Workforce Development, Aging & Community Services/Commission on Human Relations. She is currently working on a L.A. County Anti-Hate Campaign, “L.A. vs Hate” to protect vulnerable communities targeted for hate crimes, hate acts, and bullying that is based on bias motivated behavior in schools.  For over 14 years, Ms. Villa-McDowell worked to disrupt the “school to prison pipeline” by providing racial equity/impact of poverty trainings for school district staff and at the L.A. County Office of Education.  She has developed award-winning social emotional learning and systems to access mental health services for children and families at various high-need school districts.  Her work is based on the premise that social emotional supports for many children growing up in poverty-impacted homes is an educational equity issue.  Her work in education garnered over $10 million in grants to develop federal programs such as the inaugural School Climate Transformation Grant and Project Cal-Well Grant, as well as state and local grants, such as the Early Mental Health Initiative, at ABCUSD where she worked for over a decade. Ms. Villa-McDowell has over 25 years experience as a public interest attorney and has worked at Legal Aid Foundation of L.A.; Public Counsel and the National Immigration Law Center.  Her work addresses issues of low-income families, juvenile justice, immigrants/refugees, domestic violence and access to needed government services, including special education, nutrition, health care and mental health services.  She has also litigated cases involving these issues in federal and state courts.  Her professional and personal associations demonstrate her strong commitment to the issues surrounding children, youth and their families

Dr. Ana Jimenez-Hami

Board Member

Founder and Executive Director,

Orange County Children's Therapeutic Arts Center (OCCTAC)

Dr. Ana Jimenez-Hami is the Founder and Executive Director of the Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center (OCCTAC).  During the past 35 years, Dr. Jimenez-Hami has dedicated her life to helping underserved communities and families with special needs students in California and Puerto Rico. Prior to founding OCCTAC, Dr. Jimenez taught at various universities in Southern California and Puerto Rico, such as: Chapman University (2015-1999), California State University, Northridge (1998-1995), Loyola Marymount University (1995-1993), University of Southern California (1993-1989) and the University of Puerto Rico (1988-1986).  Dr. Jimenez-Hami’s passion is to bring artistic access, educational and therapeutic programs for families with special needs children of limited resources; and inspire youth and parents from underrepresented communities through educational empowerment, advocacy, and social justice to fulfill their highest potential in life! Dr. Ana Jimenez-Hami has been recognized continuously in the community for her contributions in the fields of Arts and Culture, Education and Social Services. Some of her awards include: a (2020) OC LULAC Award, (2017) Women who Make a Difference in OC Award; a (2013) OC Register Hero of the Year award; a (2012) OC Department of Education, Outstanding Contributions to Education Award;  a (2007)  National Hispanic Business Women Association Award for Organizational Entrepreneurship; a (2007)  Faculty Award from Chapman University; a (2006) City of Santa Ana Community Building award; a (2006) Human Relations Award from the Orange County Human Relations Commission for promoting equality, human rights and social justice; a (2003)  Arts & Culture Award by the National Organization of MANA, and others.

If you would like to speak to our Board of Directors with questions or concerns, please contact:

Board of Directors