Meet the Team

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

Emily English

Case Manager

B.A. in Pre-Medical Biology.
Concordia University Irvine

In addition to working part-time at Second Chance Orange County, she does research at the Chemical Physics Laboratory Concordia University Irvine.

R. Steinmetz, CPA

Volunteer Coordinator

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) focused in Communication and Media Studies from University of California, Los Angeles. Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) focused in Communication and Media Studies from University of California, Los Angeles.

Experienced Career Coach with a demonstrated history of working in the civic & social organization industry. Skilled in Payroll, Working with Financial Analysis, and Accounts Receivable. Robin helps in many areas of Second Chance Orange County including accounting, finance and grant writing and grant management and reporting.


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.

Plus over 40 professional volunteers, that coach, mentor and help in all areas of operations and program services.



Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Kat Thomas

Board Member

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.


Heidi Cohen

Board Secretary

Heidi Cohen has served as a Rabbi at Temple Beth Sholom since 1998. Heidi is a graduate of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Colorado at Denver. She was Past-President of the Orange County Board of Rabbis and serves on numerous community associations, including: the Executive Committee of Clergy for Choice through Planned Parenthood of Orange County, the Interfaith Council of Central Orange County, the Fish Interfaith Center Advisory Council, and the Advisory Committee for Spiritual Development at Children’s Hosptial of Orange County. Rabbi Cohen also serves on the Pacific Southwest Regional Boards for PARR, (Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis), ARZA (Association of Reform Zionists of America) and ADL (Anti-Defamation League).

Photo coming shortly

Shirley Bloom
Board Member

Shirley has a Masters of Arts  Degree and Teaching credential from California State University Fullerton.  She taught elementary school for the Bellflower School District.

She worked and retired from the Department of Public Social Services, Los Angeles County   Shirley was on the Board of League of Women Voters, North Orange County, past president and Voter Service Chair. She was on the Board for many years at YWCA, North Orange County. Through Cal State Fullerton she started The Late Bloomers scholarship fund in 2014, because  Shirley believes that education is a powerful tool which breaks down barriers and opens doors of opportunity. She has lived in Fullerton since 1978, has  5 children and 4 adult grandchildren.

Dr. Fred M. Johnson


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.

Cherall Weiss

Newport Beach Library Literacy Project  Executive Director for the past 12 years

 Pamela Keller

Former Mayor Pro-Tem of Fullerton, Executive Director Fullerton Collaborative, 20 Years 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