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About Us

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The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is one of the oldest and most successful charitable organizations in the world. Following in the tradition of Frederic Ozanam, founder of the international Society of St. Vincent de Paul in 1833, we provide assistance to all people in need, regardless of creed, race, status or origin.

 

For more than 60 years, The Society of St. Vincent de Paul District Council of Sonoma County has been providing emergency and basic needs services to everyone that comes through our doors. 

 

We are self-supporting and do not receive funding from the local Catholic Diocese.

Our Team

Meet the people who keep things running smoothly
at  SVdP-Sonoma

Jack Tibbetts, Executive Director, Saint Vincent de Paul Sonoma County

Jack Tibbetts
Executive Director
jtibbetts@svdp-sonoma.org

Jack has long held a passion for serving others, and homelessness in particular is near and dear to his heart. While in college, he set up a nonprofit, Warm for the Holidays, which partnered with local businesses to provide thousands of coats and jackets to Sonoma County's homeless every year. This experience further motivated Jack to serve this population. Jack loves the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul because he appreciates the anonymity and humility with which the Society serves the poor in our community.

Uriel Brena, Director of Housing, Saint Vincent de Paul Sonoma County

Uriel Brena
Director of Housing
ubrena@svdp-sonoma.org

Uriel came to the United States in 1999 from Oaxaca, Mexico. His determination to achieve success in the United States gives him a unique perspective in finding solutions for people in need. He is the first to say that his life experience – growing up very poor in Mexico, and then living in a garage in Roseland with his family, without any stable housing for many years – is the reason he is dedicated to helping those who are struggling to find stable housing. Uriel, who holds a certification in property management, now oversees the St. Vincent de Paul Commons permanent supportive housing development.

Lonnie Rivas, Operations Director, Saint Vincent de Paul Sonoma County

Lonnie Rivas
Operations Director

Lonnie has been with SVdP-Sonoma for more than a decade. He manages the warehouse, the Thrift Store, and staff operations. He also oversees partnerships with other local organizations that help keep the warehouse and Thrift Shop running.

Allison Ott, Los Guilicos Shelter Director, Saint Vincent de Paul Sonoma County

Allison Ott
Los Guilicos Shelter Director

Allison has been with St. Vincent de Paul for more than two years, first as a shelter supervisor and now as Manager at Los Guilicos. With a degree in Computer Business Administration and Human Services Advocacy, Allison previously worked as a Teacher's Assistant at Santa Rosa Junior College. She was also a teacher and counselor for students in Addiction Counseling classes, and is experienced working with troubled youth in a group home setting. 

Dan Sullivan, Home for Success Mentor in Residence, Saint Vincent de Paul Sonoma County

Dan Sullivan
Mentor in Residence, Home for Success
home@svdp-sonoma.org

Dan Sullivan has a B.A. from the University of Santa Clara and a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University. He is also a professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota, where he held the Cowles Chair in Media Management and Economics. For more than 30 years, he also served as an expert witness for the government and private plaintiffs in civil rights litigation against the public higher education systems in several southern states. Before returning to the Bay Area, Dan volunteered at Cookie Cart, a nonprofit urban bakery that provides job readiness, leadership, customer service, and financial literacy skills to low-income youth aged 15-17 from Minneapolis and Saint Paul. 

 

Patty Lugo, Office Manager, Saint Vincent de Paul Sonoma County

Patty Lugo
Office Manager

Patty is a diligent, detail-oriented, organized and highly accurate bilingual office manager who keeps everyone in line. From answering the telephones and distributing information to callers to managing billing for 10 different agencies, in collaboration with the Human Services Department of Sonoma County, along with Catholic Conferences of Marin and Sonoma County. She assists with daily deposits and sales data, and tracks a variety of databases for volunteer hours, daily food calls, donation calls, and monetary assistance given through clothing vouchers. She also keeps track of monthly number of people attending the Community Kitchen for lunch, collection and submission of quarterly reports, and donations and thanks to donors.

Helen Volhontseff, Grant Writer/Fundraiser, Saint Vincent de Paul Sonoma County

Helen Volhontseff
Grant Writer/Fundraiser

Helen has written grants for Saint Vincent de Paul since 2018 and raised millions of dollars for our programs and services. Previously, Helen has written grants for agencies focused on homeless services, foster youth, and health. These have included Community Action Partnership, Community Support Network, and Pediatric Dental Initiative in Santa Rosa and Good Samaritan Family Resource Center in San Francisco. She especially enjoys the research that leads to finding creative ways to best position the work of the non-profit agencies, building relationships with foundations, and telling good stories.

Our Officers' Committee

Executive Director: Jack Tibbetts
Pr
esident, Board of Directors: James Nantell

Vice-President: Ron Plasse

Treasurer: Melissa Fanning

Our Board of Directors

 

President: James Nantell, Retired Burlingame City Manager

Vice-President: Ron Plasse, Retired Senior Manager, Clinical Imaging Technology

Treasurer: Melissa Fanning, CPA

Associate Treasurer: David Armstrong, Purchasing Agent

Secretary: Cheryl Ciociolo, Community Volunteer

Francine Korn, Catholic Parish Secretary

Laurie Smith, Registered Dental Assistant

Karalee Solak, Central Baking Operations Manager, Santa Rosa Schools

Mike Cusack, Architectural Construction Project Manager

John Norris, VP, Data Processing, National Farmers Union Insurance

Alan Karbousky, Chartered Financial Analyst and U.S. Navy Reserve Executive Officer

Jim O'Hara, Computer Analyst/Programmer

James Dougherty, Teacher, High School English, Driver Education, and Physical Education

Michael Velasquez, Retired Deputy Daly City Fire Chief and Current Instructor

Emmet O'Connell, Nursing Administrator, Adventist Coastal Hospital, Fort Bragg

Robert Bone, Attorney

Michael Dortch, Technology Industry Analyst and Marketing Consultant

SVdP-Sonoma-Vincentians

Who Are the Vincentians?

The Society of St. Vincent DePaul is one of the oldest and most successful charitable organizations in the world. Founded in 1833, the Society is made up of men and women who volunteer to seek out and provide person-to-person aid to the poor and needy in 165 countries on five continents. The essential elements of the Society are Spirituality, Friendship, and Service.

In the United States, the organization provides 11.6 million hours of volunteer services to 14 million people in need. Our services include food programs, home visits, and outreach at prisons, hospitals, and churches — wherever there is a need. 

Through local Parish Conferences, the St. Vincent de Paul Sonoma County Vincentian Volunteers reach out directly to those in need in their own communities. In addition, many particularly needy families receive assistance based on a referral from case managers at partner agencies and SVdP Parish Conferences. “Conferences” are volunteer groups of 5-50 people responding to needs in their local communities. In Sonoma County, these include Clearlake, Cloverdale, Cotati, Guerneville, Healdsburg, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Sonoma, and Windsor.

 

Vincentian volunteers provide assistance through home visits in outlying areas throughout the county, which enable them to learn about a person’s specific situation and offer specific and personalized help. This is in the form of rental assistance, food, vouchers for clothing and/or furniture, and compassionate care. Vincentians may then link clients to the Community Kitchen or theThrift Store, job training, government assistance, or other resources.

 

Every year, our district volunteers contribute more than 20,000 hours, with conference volunteers contributing an additional 30,000 hours. Together, they serve more than 80,000 people in the community. Volunteers strive to help get people on the road to self-reliance by understanding and finding resources and support for their individual situation.

An essential precept of the Society’s work is to provide help while conscientiously maintaining the confidentiality and dignity of those who are served. Our volunteers strive to help get people on the road to independence and self-reliance by understanding their individual situation. The Society recognizes that it must assume a role of advocacy for those who are defenseless or without a voice.

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