Board of Directors

Union Rescue Mission’s Board of Directors is a diverse governing board of highly qualified Christian professionals representing a wide range of experience and backgrounds. They offer governance, guidance, accountability, and support to help URM achieve our mission. The URM Board members selflessly volunteer their time, talent, and treasure to help fight homelessness in LA.

Caryn S. Ryan

Managing Member
Missionwell LLC
Board Member since 2008

caryn-ryanCaryn Ryan joined the Board of Directors of Union Rescue Mission in November 2008. She also serves as a member of the Mission’s Finance and Audit Committee. Currently, Caryn is working as founder and a managing member of Missionwell LLC, which provides finance, accounting and treasury and other support services to non-profits. Past employment includes working as a senior financial executive at Amoco Corporation where she was involved in finance, accounting, treasury, strategic planning, reengineering, shared service and other activities. Caryn also worked at BP, as CFO of BP’s global oil trading operations. While at BP, she initiated and formalized global shared services while improving critical aspects of management information, and initiated external benchmarking as a means of taking Oil Trading to world class standards.

After leaving BP, she felt called to the Christian non-profit world, and joined World Vision International as CFO. While at World Vision, she established a global change initiative spanning financial accountability systems and governance, shared services, and strategic planning. After leaving World Vision, she founded Missionwell LLC, Caryn has an undergraduate degree in Economics from Albion College (Albion, MI) and a MBA in Finance from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL). Caryn is the mother of two wonderful children. She is a member of the board of directors of two other Christian charities and is an elder at La Canada Presbyterian Church.

David Dow

Chairman of the Board
CBS News Correspondent, Retired
Board Member since 1997

daviddow2Named Chairman of the Board in January 2004, David Dow has been a member of the URM Board of Directors since 1997. Originally introduced to Union Rescue Mission as a reporter on assignment, Dow brings a unique perspective to the board as a 38-year veteran of print and broadcast journalism. Witness to many landmark events, Dow has developed a deep sensitivity for human distress.

He joined CBS News as a correspondent in1972, covering stories in more than two dozen countries on three continents, including the early stages of revolutions in Nicaragua and El Salvador and the battle for human rights in Latin America as well as the exodus of refugees from Cambodia in 1979. Dow shared in a network “Emmy” award in 1988 for a “48 Hours” program on Los Angeles street gangs and was named “Broadcast Journalist of the Year” for 1994 by the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

He is co-author of the book, “Cameras in the Courtroom: Television and the Pursuit of Justice.” Currently an adjunct lecturer at USC’s Annenberg School of Journalism, Dow shares his well-developed expertise since his retirement from CBS News in 2001. The third-generation California native is a graduate of Stanford University, an elder of Bel Air Presbyterian Church, father, and husband of Dr. Nancy Edwards, a pediatrician at the L.A. County-USC Medical Center. He is a former Trustee of Fuller Theological Seminary and is a U. S. Navy veteran who served on the carrier USS Enterprise during the Cuban missile crisis.

J. Scott Watt

President/CEO
Watt Group
Board Member since 2000

scott-watt-lgJ. Scott Watt became a member of the Union Rescue Mission Board of Directors on February 28, 2000. He is currently President/CEO of the Watt Group of companies, which, with its subsidiaries, is developing five master-planned communities and building over 1,000 houses per year. This diversified real estate development and building company has overseen the development of new homes for over 1,000,000 families, eight million square feet of industrial and professional office space including Watt Plaza, a two-story, twin office complex in Century City, 50 shopping centers, three major first-class hotels and many master-planned communities in testament to a commitment to our nation’s growth.

Scott is, or has served as a Board Member for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, Chairman for Christian Associates, Los Angeles, and the Board of Brentwood School. He is a Founder of the Museum of Contemporary Art and a member of Pepperdine Associates, Malibu. He is an Elder of his church and a member of its Counseling Center’s Board of Advisors.

He earned his Bachelors degree at USC and Masters in Education, emphasis in Counseling, at the University of Miami.

Karen Preston

Board Member since 2017

Our Team

Karen Preston is the Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Lizzie Driver LLC, a designer, manufacturer and international distributor of women’s golf apparel.

Karen has served, and continues to serve, children locally and abroad including two terms on the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education as a member and as its President, President of Two Hearts Foundation, K.L. Carver School PTA President, Spiritual Care Guild of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles President, Spiritual Care Advisory Committee (CHLA), American Women’s Auxiliary of the Royal Children’s Hospital of Melbourne, Australia, Junior League of Pasadena, Kidspace, San Marino National Little League Board, San Marino Junior Alliance Board, Young Life in the Foothills Board, Co-Director of Vacation Bible School at Lake Avenue Church, and Student Ministries Board at Lake Avenue Church.

Karen received her B.S. from UCLA, where she met her husband, Michael.  They married in 1988 and have two boys.  They reside in San Marino, California.

Jeff Hudson

Board Member since 2008

jeff-hudson-lgJeff Hudson, Chief Executive Officer of George Elkins Mortgage Banking Company, began his professional career in real estate finance with a Southern California based Mortgage Banking firm in 1978 and became President in 1985. During his 14 years there, and since joining George Elkins, Hudson arranged more than $10 billion in financing of property types including office, industrial, retail, apartment, hotel, mobile home park, and mini-warehouse. He structured loans throughout the country that ranged from $1 million to nearly $350 million dollars in size.

With extensive experience in his field, he joined the George Elkins Company in 1992 as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Mortgage Banking. In 1993, he was made President and in 1995 C.E.O. of the company. In 1996, he and investors purchased the mortgage banking division retaining all correspondent relationships, servicing and division employees.

Hudson graduated from University of California at Santa Barbara where he received his B.A. in 1974. He subsequently attended Woodland School of Law, where he received his Doctorate of Jurisprudence in 1978. The State of California admitted him to practice in 1978, and the following year he was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court. Also in 1979, Hudson received his certification to teach the subjects of Law, Banking, and Finance at the Community College Level.

His memberships in professional associations include the California State Bar, the California Mortgage Bankers Association, The Mortgage Bankers Association of America, Commercial Real Estate Secondary Market and Securitization Association, and the Apartment Owners Association. He is a member of the faculty the Practising Law Institute in San Francisco. He is on the Board of Directors of Kennedy Wilson International. As a member of National Real Estate Forum (NREF) Hudson has been awarded the professional designation of certified real estate financier (CRF). Hudson also holds a California Real Estate Broker’s license.

Kevin Dretzka

Private Equity Investor
Board Member since 2010

Kevin Drestzka
Kevin Dretzka is a private equity investor active in real estate, oil and gas, renewable energy, and service company investments.  Prior to becoming a private equity investor in 2004, he was a Managing Director of Eastdil Realty (now EastdilSecured), a real estate investment banking firm which became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wells Fargo in 1999.  Between 1987 and 2004 while at Eastdil, his resume totals $6 billion in debt and equity transactions completed throughout the United States.  Prior to joining Eastdil, he was a vice president of Heron Properties, a private London-based real estate firm.

In addition to the Union Rescue Mission board, his community positions include the UCLA Health System board, trustee of the Catholic Education Foundation, chairman of the American Youth Symphony board of directors, and chairman of the St. Mark church finance committee.

He received his B.B.A. and M.S. degrees from the University of Wisconsin.

Kevin and his wife, Silvia, have two children and reside in Los Angeles.

Pastor Edward Smith

Senior Pastor
Zoe Christian Fellowship of Whittier
Board Member since 2004

edward-smith-lgEdward A. Smith was born in Los Angeles, California. He received Jesus Christ as his personal Savior in February 1973. He spent the first eleven years of his Christian life sitting under the teaching ministry of Dr. Frederick K.C. Price, Founder/Pastor of Crenshaw Christian Center, Los Angeles, California.

Edward Smith spent seven years as an instructor of Zoe Christian Leadership Training Center and served as an Elder and Executive Board member of Zoe Christian Fellowship of Los Angeles. He started Zoe Christian Fellowship of Cerritos in 1989. In 1995, Pastor Ed and the members of Zoe moved to their present church complex in Whittier, thereby becoming Zoe Christian Fellowship of Whittier.

Pastor Ed earned a B.A. in Applied Mathematics and a M.B.A. in Marketing/Finance from UCLA. He is sought after as a speaker for conferences and seminars in the U.S., as well as abroad. He was invited to Russia in 1995 to participate in training the staff of the fourth largest bank in Russia. His speaking/ministry engagements have taken him to Japan, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, and South Africa.

Before Pastor Ed entered full-time ministry, he worked in several marketing executive positions with companies such as General Mills, Ford Motor Company, Carnation Company, and Avco Financial Services. His final corporate position was that as Vice President of Marketing for Family Savings Bank in Los Angeles, California

Pastor Ed is the founder of the Zoe School of Economic Development, an entrepreneurial course for those seeking to be successful in business, which was featured on Warner Brother’s Making It, a program devoted to highlighting the accomplishments of minority entrepreneurs.

Pastor Ed led the first South African government-sponsored trip of Black entrepreneurs to South Africa. CNN Headline News spotlighted him for his ministry involvement in South Africa.

All Nations Academy of Excellence was founded for infant care and preschool to provide a strong Christian and academic foundation for success.

Pastor Ed is the former Chairman and current Board Member of the Evangelical Christian Credit Union, the largest financier of church and ministry loans in the United States, with over $1 billion under asset management. He serves as the Board Chairman of Window International Network. Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Window International Network is focused on bringing the Gospel to the nations within the 10/40 window. In 2004, he was elected to boards of the Christian Management Association and the Union Rescue Mission.

Pastor Ed and his wife Vanessa Smith have been married since 1975 and are blessed with four wonderful children, three sons: Joshua and wife Marsee; Eddie, Aaron, and one daughter: Naomi.

Rev. Tim Yee

rev-tim-yee-lgRev. Tim Yee is Pastor of Union Church of Los Angeles, a 96-year-old church in downtown L.A.’s Little Tokyo District. Tim’s dad was born and raised in downtown L.A. in his grandfather’s Chinese laundry business and also met his mother at a nearby downtown church. It seems “meant-to-be” that Tim is now the pastor of a church in downtown L.A. that is multi-ethnic, multi-generational and multi-socioeconomic. On a Sunday morning you will find young adults in their 20′s worshiping with Japanese-Americans in their 80′s. Downtown professionals mingle with the homeless from Skid Row. People of various ethnicities form a worshiping community that reflects the diversity of LA. Part of Tim’s inspiration to come back to Los Angeles was a conversation with Pastor Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church who convinced Tim that Los Angeles is one of the most important cities to begin a movement of churches bringing social, cultural and spiritual renewal.

Born and raised in Santa Barbara, it was during his high school years that Tim gave his life to the Lord at Hume Lake Christian Camps and sensed a call into full-time ministry.

Tim previously pastored at Bel Air Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles where he first started attending as a student at UCLA. Through his worship leadership, bible teaching and discipling of students he saw the fellowship eventually grow into a thriving ministry of 400 university students from UCLA, USC and other surrounding colleges. He then began a new worship service in 1998 with less than 100 in attendance and within four years had over 1500. He most recently pastored at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian in Newport Beach leading the missions department where he oversaw over 100 partners in local and global missions. He has traveled to Egypt, Armenia, South Africa, Mexico City, Thailand, Malawi and the Middle East on ministry projects while also focusing on local outreaches serving the homeless, orphans and those in bondage to modern-day slavery.

Tim is a published songwriter and accomplished musician who has led worship for Brennan Manning, Joni Eareckson Tada, Tony Campolo, John Ortberg, Jack Hayford and various speakers at church services and Christian conferences.

Tim received his Masters of Divinity at Fuller Seminary where he is currently enrolled in a Doctor of Ministry program studying missional leadership and spiritual formation. Prior to this Tim received his Masters of Education at UCLA and taught mathematics in a public high school.

Tim has been married to his wife, Kati, for 14 years and they have two beautiful young girls. Kati serves in the church’s children’s ministry, building committee and mentors women.

You can keep up with Tim at his blog, www.LApastor.com

W. Cedric Johnson

Founder/CEO
Quantum Digital Solutions
Board Member since 1994

cedric-johnson-lgW. Cedric Johnson joined the Union Rescue Mission Board of Directors on April 25, 1994. He was elected as Chairman of the Board in January 2002 and served until January 2004. Mr. Johnson is Founder and President/CEO of Quantum Digital Solutions, a high technology applied science firm specializing in the design of communications computer architectures.

He is a graduate of the Claremont Colleges where he majored in Applied Mathematics and Management Engineering, and was twice elected a student body officer. His professional employment experiences have included terms with the Los Angeles County Engineer and Rockwell International, where he worked in an Operations Research and Systems Integration Think Tank.

Mr. Johnson is active in his local and national church and has also served on numerous corporate and community related boards: The African American Center for Educational Excellence, California Consortium for Transportation Research, Claremont College Alumni Association and the National Association of Minority Businesses, to name only a few.

John Campa

Board Member since 2005

john-campa-lgJohn Campa became a member of the Union Rescue Mission Board of Directors in 2005. He is currently working at Revel8tion Media. He was formerly the General Sales Manager for Radio Nueva Vida (New Life), representing a network of 23 stations from Salinas to Tijuana, Mexico and the first 24 hour Spanish Christian radio station in Los Angeles. Having felt thirst and lack of water himself, Campa takes to heart the Lord’s call to take care of the poor, the widow and the orphan, and to give water to those who cry out. He earned his Bachelors in Organizational Leadership from BIOLA University. Campa’s heart for the poor extends beyond the Board room as he enjoys working with the poor in Tijuana, Mexico in his spare time, in addition to playing sports with his children.

Richard D. Newcomb

Senior Vice President of Sales
Byer California
Board Member since July 2013

Newcomb_RichardRichard Newcomb recently joined the Union Rescue Mission Board in July 2013, because of his strong commitment to social justice, homelessness and poverty.

Richard is a Senior Vice President of Sales for Byer California, a major manufacturer of Women’s and Girl’s fashion apparel. A 30+ year veteran in the industry, Richard works with many of the leading major department stores across America.

Using his expertise in sales, marketing and trend analysis, Richard has helped several non-profits to build their fundraising and marketing programs. Serving on the Board of Lutheran Social Services of Southern California, Richard helped rebrand the organization as LSS Community Care Centers of Southern California. Richard also helped reinvent their annual walk-a-thon event, which was rebranded “LSS Walk to End Poverty,” which resulted in participation and funds increasing fivefold.

Richard also served as Co-Chairman of the Board for the San Damiano Foundation, a Franciscan ministry, with a history of making social justice films, primarily on poverty. The SDF mission statement is “Putting the power of film at the service of the poor.”

In addition, Richard has served in multiple leadership roles at several Los Angeles area churches. Richard helped to resurrect Bethel Lutheran Church in Encino. This struggling church was ready to close its doors and sell the property for a condo project. Richard, along with a handful of others, helped to build a thriving, mission-driven community in the San Fernando Valley. Much of Bethel’s mission is to help end poverty in the Valley and around the world. To that end, Richard helped to raise funds to drill fresh water wells in developing countries by creating the annual event “Wine into Water.”

Born in New Orleans, LA, Richard attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where he received a BS degree in Marketing and Fashion Merchandising.

Lisa Meeske Sloan

Board Member since April 2015

Scan 1Lisa Meeske Sloan was born the youngest of four children in Detroit, Michigan. She’s received a BFA from the University of Michigan and married Tim Sloan in 1982. She worked at Valassis Printing Company in the design department for two years.

The Sloan’s moved to Chicago in 1984, where Lisa worked as a graphic designer for Handelan – Pedersen. In 1987 they moved to the San Gabriel Valley. Lisa worked for the next 25 years as a stay at home Mom to their three children.

During those years she volunteered for the San Marino public schools, San Marino Community Church and Nursery School, San  Marino National Little League, National Charity League, and the local Girl Scout and Boy Scout programs. After becoming an empty-nester, Lisa started a small home renovation business called Silk Purse Renovations, LLC. She is presently an elder and chair of the Worship Committee at San Marino Community Church and a board member of Villa Esperanza Services in Pasadena.

Cary Mitchell

Board Member since 2014

DSC_7526Cary Mitchell joined the Union Rescue Mission Board of Directors in 2014. He is a Professor of Psychology in the Graduate School of Education and Psychology at Pepperdine University. During his three decades at Pepperdine, he has served as an Associate Dean in the graduate school and also as the Director of Clinical Training for the university’s Doctor of Psychology program. Currently he teaches courses in psychological assessment and chairs dissertation research.

Dr. Mitchell is the founding co-director of the Jerry Butler/URM-Pepperdine University Community Counseling Center at URM. Since 2001 he has been actively involved in co-directing and supporting URM’s mental health clinic. He has authored multiple grants that have provided funding for the center. From 2001 to 2015, over 90 clinical psychology doctoral students from Pepperdine completed traineeships at the URM-Pepperdine counseling center. Dr. Mitchell is committed to supporting URM’s efforts to provide needed services to homeless and poor persons in the inner city.

A 1976 graduate of Pepperdine University, Dr. Mitchell holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Kentucky. He is a licensed psychologist and does consulting in the area of pre-employment psychological evaluation.  He is married to Sharon Scott Mitchell. Cary and Sharon are the proud parents of three daughters, all of whom are Pepperdine graduates.

Rob Eitel

Board Member since 2015

RobEitelRobert (Rob) Eitel started a Home entertainment company that specializes in Home Theater and Whole house control in 1981. His company “Roberts Home Audio and Video” has been recognized as one of the top custom installation companies in the U.S.

His work has been featured in over 15 magazines including three consecutive Robb Reports “Ultimate Home” front cover issues. He has been awarded “Home Theater of the Year” from the CEDIA group as well as from IIDA the 1999 Calibre Award for Technical Achievement.

Robert is currently serving on the Elder Board at Calvary Church of Pacific Palisades, and enjoys yearly mission trips in the mid west and building homes in Mexico.

Robert and his wife Jaynee of 34 years are proud parents of their two sons Jay and Derek who work and manage the family business and are taking it to new heights.
Roberts favorite pastimes are hiking with Jaynee and Surfing with his two sons.