Deb Johnson, MPA

Founder & Executive Director:

  • Deb earned her undergraduate degree in Business from California State University, Fullerton and her Masters Degree in Public Administration- Non-Profit Management from Columbia University in New York City.
  • She gained recognition on a national level as #2 salesperson at a Fortune 100 company, Automatic Data Processing (ADP). She sold more business in California than anyone had in the history of the company (over 200 new clients in one year).
  • At ADP she was promoted to Sales Director and led her team to Presidents clubs, in addition to being the most sought out coach and sales trainer in California.
  • Deb owned and ran a successful bank consulting firm for over 15 years. Over 100 financial service firms hired her to improve their balance sheets. Banks from 50 million to 13 billion in asset size hired Deborah and her firm. Deborah has been teaching sales, customer service, sales management, for over two decades.
  • As a sought after conference speaker,  Deborah spoke at many bank conferences: Western Independent Bankers Association, California Bankers Association, New York Bankers Association, Ohio Bankers Association, etc.
  • Deb was a Tustin City Council Member (2008-2012)
  • She teaches improvisation classes once a month at Heritage Pointe and volunteers for the Back Bay Conservancy.
  • Deborah is fluent in Spanish and speaks German

Our Interns and Development Manager:

(From left to right)

Deb Johnson- Founder & Executive Director

Gayle Wayne- Experienced grant writer and development manager

Kathryn Luher – Marketing and Business Management Major at the University of Arizona

Andrea Ross – Sociology Major at University of California, Santa Barbara

Melissa Rhinehart– California State University, Long Beach graduate

Supportive Staff:

Rochelle Weiser, LCSW/MSW and Life Coach

Therapist/Case Manager Assistant

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) focused in Communication and Media Studies from University of California, Los Angeles. And a Master Degree in Social Work from USC

Rochelle has 25 years working in the field of mental health. She has worked with multiple kinds of addictions, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorders, medical conditions, work related concerns, and PTSD. She works in cognitive/behavioral and solution base therapy. She is an integral part of Second Chance Orange County’s program, and reviews client cases to ensure we our taking on clients that are sincerely interested in sobriety and are not self medicating.

Mindy Lauerlevin, LCSW


Undergraduate degree in Finance from California State University Fullerton and Masters Degree in Social Work from USC.

Board of Directors:

Kat Thomas


Civilian Commander Katarina “Kat” Thomas joined the Tustin Police Department in July 2016.  Before coming to Tustin PD Commander Thomas had an illustrious career with the Los Angeles Police Department.  While at LAPD Commander Thomas worked a variety of assignments before retiring as a Lieutenant after 21 years of service.  Commander Thomas possesses a bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly Pomona, a master’s degree from Cal State Fullerton and earned her doctorate at San Diego State University.

Commander Thomas is responsible for all civilian operations at the Tustin Police Department, and manages over 50 individuals.

Courtney Williams


Courtney Williams is VP, Deputy CRA Officer for Pacific Premier Bank, in Irvine California. She leads the Bank’s community reinvestment strategy across four western states with a primary focus of directing funds for investment in support of affordable housing and economic development initiatives. She has over 20 years of financial services experience, ranging from bank operations, sales, broker-dealer compliance, and community reinvestment.

Prior to joining Pacific Premier Bank, Courtney was VP, CRA and Fair Lending Officer for Sunwest Bank. During her time at Sunwest Bank, she grew the Bank’s down payment assistance program for low-income, first-time homebuyers by 600%. She was also a member of the Sunwest’s Hiring Committee and supported their Human Resources team, primarily in the areas of talent acquisition and employee engagement.

Courtney is on the Board of Trustees of Hands Together, Santa Ana and serves as an Advisory Board Member for Affordable Housing Clearinghouse and Orange County Community Housing Corporation.

Jeffrey Katz

Jeffrey Katz

Board Member

Jeff attended University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Wendy Brennan Zimmerman

Wendy Brennan Zimmerman

Board Member

Wendy is the Senior Vice President Area Manager at HSBC Bank USA. She obtained her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from California State University, Fullerton.

Ila Gomez

Board Member

Ila is currently working at Banc of California as Vice President, Business Relationship Manager. She is a former Wells Fargo Banker and received her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Applied Economics.

Dr. Fred M. Johnson

Board Member

Dr. Johnson was hired as Chairman of the Physics Department at California State University, Fullerton, where he taught physics for 21 years to undergraduate students. In 1974, he was named “Outstanding Professor.” He was one of the most popular Astronomy 101 teachers due to his entertaining classes, involving jokes, and sometimes a song or two.

Dr. Johnson is the author of a college textbook and over 60 scientific publications, in refereed journals. He is on the Instructional review board and a committee for the College of Optometry and a consultant for ANSI. He is also a member of a large number of technical societies.

He currently runs Johnson Forensic Labs where he sells slip and fall devices, that he invented to both the government and to businesses.

Advisory Committee Members:

Howard Mirowitz

Board Member Illumination Foundation, Board Member Jewish Federation of Orange County, Partner Tech Coast Angels.

Pamela Keller

Former Mayor Pro-Tem of Fullerton, Executive Director Fullerton Collaborative, and served 20 Years as an Elementary School Teacher

Gersh Zylberman

Senior Rabbi, Temple Bat Yahm, Newport Beach

Heather Cieslak

Operations Director, Newport Bay Conservancy, prior CFO at Amigos de Los Rios