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

Heather Burdine, LCSW

Case Manager:

  • Heather is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with six plus years experience working with people struggling with addiction and two years working with people experiencing homelessness and mental illness.
  • She also has many years of grief and bereavement and hospice experience. She is experienced in working with individuals experiencing substance use, disorders, mental illness, homelessness, loss and crisis intervention. 
  • She is experienced in program development for homeless, addicted, grieving individuals and the mental health issues surrounding these problems.

Development Manager and Interns:

Gayle Wayne – Development Manager and experienced grant writer

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


Supportive Staff:

Nhi Pham, Accounting

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.


Board of Directors:

Courtney Williams

Treasurer

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

Board Member

Jeff is currently an attorney for KESHER Law in Costa Mesa. He works as General Counsel, Litigation Counsel, and in Government Affairs in Orange County. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Previously, Jess has worked for MDRX Services, Inc., SmileCare, and Community Dental Services, where has served as General Council.


Wendy Brennan Zimmerman

Board Member

Wendy is the Senior Vice President, Area Manager- Southern California South Area at HSBC Bank USA where she is responsible for leading Retail Banking and Wealth Management in Orange County. She has over 35 years of banking experience in the financial industry. In addition, Wendy has served as a board member for Council on Aging, and she volunteers with Mary Erickson Community Housing, Affordable Housing Clearinghouse, and more. Wendy is a graduate of California State University Fullerton with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management and is a longtime resident of Orange County.


Ila Gomez

Board Member

Ila is currently working at Axos Bank as Vice President Commercial Banking and Deposit Group. She has experience in commercial & consumer banking sales, entrepreneurial team leadership, and client relationship management best practices. Ila’s expertise is in Commercial Real Estate, Commercial & Industrial Financing, Legal and Private Equity. She is a former Wells Fargo Banker and received her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Applied Economics from De La Salle University.


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


Heather Cieslak

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