Board of Directors Members
Valerie Luekens – Board President
Val began her career working in a non-profit organization, right after her graduate education in Public Administration. She ended her professional association with non-profits after seven years, but ever since then has been a volunteer and Board member/officer for several organizations, including churches, youth agencies, and schools. Professionally, Val is a performance analyst, organizational consultant, and management trainer. Her primary work right now is with the United States Coast Guard. Personal statement: For years I have been involved in organizations that were related to my or my kids’ interests. I am drawn to OVC because it is something that I am truly doing for others. The most important thing we can do as a society is to take care of our most vulnerable kids, and Our Village Closet is completely dedicated to that purpose. If a bit of the dedication and love that OVC’s founders and staff show rubs off on me, then I am a happy person!
Genie Del Secco– Board Vice President
As the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Summit State Bank, Genie bring to the OVC Board extensive administration experience. With previous board experience in the non-profit sector, she has interfaced with the foster care system here in Sonoma County. Genie is a long time Sonoma County resident and proud mother of three amazing, beautiful young women. We extend a warm welcome to Genie!
Jess Headington – Board Secretary, HR Whiz
Jess Headington has served as Secretary on the OVC Board since 2001. She and her husband Billy live in Santa Rosa where they are active resource parents and adoptive parents. Jess is the Accounting & Human Resources Director at Child Parent Institute, a nonprofit family resource center serving families throughout Sonoma County. She is also active in the local theater community as an actor, director, and youth educator.
Shelby- Board Member, Visionary, Connector
Shelby comes to us with an abundance of experience and history as a fierce advocate for those who are vulnerable. Shelby is currently the Program Director for TLC Child and Family Services Transitional Housing Programs. She is known for her creative, no-barrier approach in meeting the needs of foster youth and transitional age youth experiencing homelessness. She has been described as a risk taker (and overall badass) who blends her personal and professional experience to empower others to envision that anything is possible. If there is a need, she will make it happen. Many have also shared that she will open doors or explore opportunities to help others that many won’t take on or say yes to… she is a ‘yes’ type of gal.
Shelby has been a champion for those in need for as long as she can remember. This passion drove her to seek an education that ultimately focused on service. Shelby has earned three Associate of Arts degrees in Social, Biological and Physical Science, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Women and Gender Studies and a minor in Women’s Health. After a break to develop her career and expand her family, Shelby earned her master’s degree in Social Work from the California State University of Long Beach. Her educational and career development has led her to internships at The Living Room, Sonoma County Behavioral Health, COTS Shelter, and TLC Child and Family Services. Shelby has been employed with the Valley of the Moon Children’s Home, Napa County Child Welfare, TLC Child and Family Services, Santa Rosa Junior College with programs serving foster youth, and with the Community Child Care Council.
Shelby’s personal life is in sync with her professional aspirations as she and her partner Chad have created a beautiful family of three forever children, while also embracing the beautifully messy, “brave love” of foster care. As foster parents Shelby and Chad have welcomed 22 children into their hearts and home, and are the proud recipients of the 2019 Angels in Adoption Award, representing the fifth congressional district and nominated by Congressman Mike Thompson.
Catherine McCracken Jones – Board Member
Catherine wears many hats as a Certified Positive Discipline Parent & Classroom Educator and Trainer through the Positive Discipline Association AND the Director at Franklin Park Co-Op Preschool. She lives in Santa Rosa, California with her family, dog and two cats.
Catherine has 25 years of experience Early Childhood Education as both a Teacher and Director. While working for the Santa Rosa Education Cooperative, umbrella for the Santa Rosa Co-op Preschool & K-8 Independent Charter school, she learned about this wonderful thing called Positive Discipline. Catherine obtained her initial training and started teaching Positive Discipline to families in 2003. She can’t imagine doing anything more rewarding!
Heather – Advisory Board Member, Social Worker, Advocate
I was asked to be on the board of this amazing community resource and gladly accepted. Since becoming a resource parent, my partner and I have been embraced by such an amazing community of caregivers that give their love, time and home to help families reunite. Our Village Closet is an amazing resource to our community and I am grateful to be a part of it. Becoming a foster parent has also opened up my eyes wider to what all the families go through that come into contact with the child welfare system, and I am grateful every day for the extra knowledge and perspective. I look forward to using this knowledge and perspective within this growing village!