Vanessa Lopez-Littleton, Ph. D, RN
Dr. Vanessa Lopez-Littleton is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health, Human Services, and Public Policy at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) where she teaches public administration, research methods, and capstone courses. Dr. Lopez-Littleton’s teaching and research interests include health inequities, the social determinants of health, and social equity. Dr. Lopez-Littleton graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Ph. D in Public Affairs with an emphasis in health services management. She is a U.S. Army veteran and registered nurse who enjoys dancing, comedy, and traveling.
Dennis J. Alexander
Board Vice President
Dennis Alexander grew up in Milwaukee, WI and received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He moved to the Monterey area in 1990 to study at the Middlebury Institute of International Relations at Monterey, where he received his MBA. A resident of Seaside since 1996, he was elected to the Seaside City Council for two terms, ending in 2018. Dennis is a retired teacher and reserve police officer. He served in the U.S. Peace Corps in the Philippines, and his local community volunteer experience includes Rebuilding Together Monterey-Salinas, the American Red Cross, Monterey County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team, Monterey County AIDS Project, and Monterey County Rape Crisis Center.
Kevin Cahill is the Director of the Communication Design program in the School of Computing and Design at California State University Monterey Bay. Kevin has a MFA degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art and has taught Graphic Design, Communication Criticism, Multimedia, Ethics and Current Issues in Communications Technology and Web Design. Most recently, he was the Art Director for CalStateTEACH, the California State University system's first statewide, online teacher credential program. Kevin was also a key instructor in the Imagine College Summer Institute where he taught multimedia and web design to at-risk high school students. Kevin lives in Salinas with his husband and Pacific Grove native, Chip Lenno.
Elizabeth L. Ramírez is a Spanish bilingual, bicultural family psychotherapist with a Marriage and Family Therapy license. She currently has a private practice offering counseling services to individuals, children and families. She has been providing counseling services in the Monterey County community for 16 years with various community agencies, and the most recent 9 years in private practice. She also focused on academic counseling at the Community College level, holding a position with the Educational Opportunity Programs & Services (EOPS) at Hartnell College. She has enjoyed creating a home in the Monterey Bay through professional activities and exploring the surrounding natural beauty. She has experienced the natural beauty while participating in a favorite pastime – running and training for races.
Caroline Diaz is a Customer Alliance Specialist in the medical device manufacturing industry where she specializes in collaboration and advocacy support for health challenged patients. Caroline is a lifelong resident of Seaside, CA and has a true passion for advocacy, restorative justice and healing within the community. Caroline began her career in community service work volunteering for the YWCA, supporting domestic violence prevention education focusing on resiliency with the safe house program. Caroline is an advocate for the Monterey County Rape Crisis Center (MCRCC) and provides victim support on the helpline. Caroline is also a Victim-Offender Restorative Justice Mediator who provides support and education to those affected by conflict, to encourage accountability, reparation and empathy. In 2018, Caroline earned her Associates Degree in Human Services from Monterey Peninsula College. She is currently attending California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) majoring in Psychology. Outside of work, school and volunteering, in her free time Caroline enjoys spending time with family, watching movies, working out and meditating.
Yoka van Woerden
Yoka van Woerden has worked internationally in business in the fashion industry, coordinating and supervising the work of many workers in getting products from factory to market. While in Italy she acted as a Business Developer, traveling and working abroad in France, China, Canada, and the United States. She has launched start-ups and managed the logistics and financial side of various businesses. Her experience in budgeting and capital allocation optimized the functionality for each business at which she worked. As an advocate for MCRCC, Yoka provides support to survivors via the helpline and forensic exams. Currently serving as one of the advocate representatives to the Board, she is also the business manager for her husband's law firm.
As a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones, Karen's professional mission is to uplift women and their families to own their financial future. Karen is a passionate advocate for community-centered movements and their power to change the world. Karen's passion for improving her community began at her first job at the YWCA Monterey County. Before joining the Monterey County Rape Crisis Center, she served on the boards of IMPOWER, Hartnell College's Women's Education & Leadership Institute, and the Alzheimer's Association. When Karen is not busy helping others plan for retirement, she enjoys hiking with her two dogs and husband on California's central coast.
Ana Ibarra-Castro is Executive Director and Co-Founder of Xinampa, a local non-profit focused on developing an equitable bioeconomy for the Central Coast. Ana graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Public Health and throughout her career, she has worked as a researcher in the fields of plant pathology, cognitive neuroscience, public health, and most recently, social capital. She is passionate about leveraging her interdisciplinary experience and passion for social justice to foster community health & wellness with a focus on prevention.
Lana Nassoura was born in Beirut, Lebanon and immigrated to the United States with her family during the Lebanese Civil War. She speaks Arabic, English, and French. Lana moved to Monterey County and has worked as a Deputy District Attorney at the Monterey County DA’s Office since February 2015. She is assigned to the Felony Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit and works with survivors of adult sexual assault, child molestation, and physical child abuse. Lana has found that the most fulfilling part of her day is working directly with survivors of abuse. In her free time, Lana enjoys indoor cycling classes, game nights, and attending stand-up comedy shows.
Audrey Pierson is Vice President of Sales with First Alarm in Monterey, having been involved in electronic security for almost 30 years. She brings her expertise and love of sales, marketing, training and sales management to the MCRCC board. A previous MCRCC board member and president, she is our Together With Love Run/Walk emcee. Audrey and her husband, Hugh, built an electronic security company, Pierson Security, (donating the Monterey office’s alarm to MCRCC), which they sold to First Alarm 15 years ago. Audrey served 12 years on the board of the Professional Women’s Network of Monterey, including two terms as president, and was named a Woman of the Year. Audrey lives on the Carmel River in Carmel Valley with her husband, Hugh, and their three Australian Shepherds, whose favorite pastime is herding their two grandsons during their weekly sleepovers.