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Senior Leadership

Senior Leadership

Union Rescue Mission’s Senior Leadership consists of a dedicated team of professionals who are led by CEO Rev. Andy Bales and responsible for the oversight of URM’s five core divisions.  Our senior leadership team inspires excellence, professionalism, and fellowship while fully embracing people who are experiencing homelessness with the love of Christ.


Rev. Andrew (Andy) J. Bales, M.A.T.

CEO

Andy brings over 25 years of experience in community outreach and service to “his homeless friends”, as Andy puts it, as he leads Union Rescue Mission into a new era of unique and innovative services for Los Angeles’ Skid Row community.

Andy’s vision for the future of the Mission is most definitely in keeping with the Union Rescue Mission’s long and distinguished history of service in the City of Los Angeles. Established in 1891, the Mission has always served the most desperate men, women and children of the community.

One of Andy’s earliest challenges as Mission leader was to assist in the developing of transitional housing for mothers and their children living in the Mission’s downtown facility and in neighboring SRO hotels in and around Skid Row. He is also committed to providing permanent supportive housing for senior women away from the mean streets of Los Angeles. Hope Gardens Family Center, in the foothills of the Angeles National Forest near Sylmar, was developed to serve this growing population of abandoned and desperately poor women with children and elderly women. The Senior Women’s Permanent Supportive Housing facility at Hope Gardens was opened in August 2006. The Women’s and Children’s Transitional Living Facility opened in July 2007.

As CEO of Union Rescue Mission, Andy has had a pivotal role in reshaping hospital and governmental policies related to “dumping” of homeless patients from hospitals on to the streets of Skid Row.

Andy’s present focus is organizing and working with community partners to make a commitment to ending homelessness in Los Angeles by a significant number within the next 7 years.

Andy has many awards and honors for his community service, including: being named as the 930th Point of Light by President George Bush in 1992, receiving the 1999 Des Moines NAACP Community Service Award, and receiving the 2004 Martin Luther King, Jr. Award from the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Pasadena. He has been featured in Leadership Journal’s article “Great to Good Churches”, CBS’s 60 Minutes, NBC’s Dateline, CNN and Social Media, and is a frequent guest speaker at conferences, schools, and clubs. Rev. Andy’s Blog was awarded 1st place for media success by the Association of Gospel Rescue Mission’s at their Annual Convention of 350 participating missions world-wide in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

In June 2009, Cone, Inc. published the Cone Nonprofit Power Brand 100 Report. Union Rescue Mission was listed in the top 100 brands at #94, ahead of national charities such as: YWCA, United Cerebral Palsy Association and Camp Fire USA. When you consider that there are 1.1 million registered non-profits in the U.S., the fact that URM was listed at #94 is incredible. Andy’s personal participation in embracing social media opportunities has been credited for the Mission’s success in receiving this distinction.

Andy is currently working on the final phase of his Doctor of Ministry degree at Bakke Graduate School in Seattle, Washington. He will add this degree to several other academic credentials: a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T) from Drake University (1983), a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Bethel College (1980) and awarded an honorary doctoral degree from Pacific Theological Seminary. Andy has also completed 50 hours towards a Ph.D. in sociology from Iowa State University.

Andy and wife Bonnie (a nurse) have six grown children, and delight in their grandchildren, Elijah and Ava Marie. Also, Andy and Bonnie often open their home to foster children.


Steve Borja

Vice President of Programs

Before coming to the mission in 2003 as a chaplain in the Christian Life Discipleship Program, Steve graduated from Biola University in 1977 with a B.A. in Psychology. After graduation, he worked at Biola in the Physical Plant and Facilities departments while he attended Talbot School of Theology and earned a Master’s Degree in Marriage in Family Ministries.He went on to become a pastoral counselor with Ministry Associates, later directing one of their centers in Southern California. In 1995, Steve founded his own pastoral counseling center. He was also privileged to teach as an adjunct instructor in the Christian Ministry and Leadership Department at Talbot from 1999-2001.In October 2007, Steve became the Director of Men’s Ministries where he provided grace without enablement and was recently appointed to the new challenge of overseeing all programs at the mission. Steve is up to the task using the model found in Micah 6:8 that has brought him much success. As CPO Steve will continue to walk in righteousness and justice applied with grace and humility. “The Union Rescue Mission is a place where Christ’s redemptive power is observed daily in the lives of the people.” Steve thoroughly enjoys the daily challenges of discipleship and the strategic opportunities of urban ministry.Steve and his wife Diane, also a Biola graduate, have been married for 33 years. They have three children, Mark 26, Julie 24, and Kevin 18. Kevin will continue the family tradition, having been accepted to Biola film school this fall.


Scott Johnson

Vice President of Operations/COO

Since 2003, Scott Johnson has offered effective leadership of health and safety, food, and program services. In a recent promotion to Vice President of Operations/Chief Operations Officer position, Scott now oversees all of these functions at Union Rescue Mission. He is responsible for the development and implementation of the entire Safety, Security, Transportation, Dietary, Gift in Kinds, Custodial and Local and International Outreach Programs of Union Rescue Mission.

In addition to these essential functions, Scott works as a liaison for Union Rescue Mission with local community groups and city government, developing wonderful relationships in the community. Scott is currently a board member on the Los Angeles Community Police Advisory Board, member of the Los Angeles Police Department Homeless Task Force Committee, board member on Police Activities League, chairman of the Safety Committee, as well as chairman and founder of Los Angeles Central Security Managers Collaborative.

Prior to his work at Union Rescue Mission, Scott served for three years as Guest Service Manager for Resort Security Operations at the Anaheim Disneyland Resort. In this position, he provided complete supervision of entire resort operations. His previous career history also includes: site manager at Healthcare Security Services in Brea, California; security specialist for Inmrammicro in Fullerton, California; and safety/security/disaster coordinator for Martin Luther Hospital/La Palma Intercommunity Hospital in Anaheim, California.


Linda Wood, CPA

Vice President Finance / CFO

20140930_0605Linda came to Union Rescue Mission through our sister company, Eimago, with a solid financial background, utilizing her skills as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to create and effectively maintain audit programs to ensure compliance with a myriad of grant programs currently under contract between Eimago and local and federal governments.

Linda’s involvement with Eimago began in November of 2005 as a volunteer with the Union Rescue Mission (Mission). She utilized her accounting and software skills helping the finance department streamline their reporting needs.

Within the month, she was approached and asked to become the Program Coordinator for the 2005-2006 Winter Shelter Program (WSP), a grant program put on by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). She effectively coordinated the communications between LAHSA and Eimago and also within the Eimago WSP staff while utilizing her accounting skills compiling the monthly statistical reports and monthly invoices, working with the finance department to ensure expense compliance.

At the end of this temporary tenure, Linda returned to her volunteering with the Mission while operating her own consulting business in the Inland Empire, an area east of Los Angeles. In July of 2006, Linda was approached and asked to take a full-time position as the Contract Compliance Officer (CCO) which she gladly accepted and began in August of 2006. During her time as CCO a succession plan was put in place to have her work side-by-side with the Chief Financial Officer with the intention of taking over his position upon his retirement.

In January 2009 Linda transitioned to the Union Rescue Mission as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). In this position, Linda also serves as the CFO of Eimago. Linda oversees the Corporate Services division which includes the Finance, Information Technology, Purchasing and Gift Processing departments. Linda is responsible for the Fiscal Reporting which includes monthly financial reporting, quarterly meetings with the Audit & Finance Committee and ad hoc reporting to the Board of Directors of the Mission and Board of Trustees of Eimago.

As a native Californian, Linda attended California State University Northridge where she received her Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She received her CPA accreditation while working with Deloitte and Touche.

Linda has served as the Government Relations Chair for the California Society of CPAs Inland Empire Chapter and she has also utilized her organizational and servant-heart skills to manage the coffee house at Life Bible Fellowship Church in Upland where she has attended since 1996.


Jacqui Groseth

VP of Marketing & Communications

Jacqui has been helping rescue missions and other non-profit organizations gain brand awareness and raise money for over 15 years. In August of 2008 she joined the staff of Union Rescue Mission in downtown Los Angeles as the Associate Development Director – a move that brought her full circle on a journey she began 32 years ago as a high school student volunteering her time each month to help people experiencing homelessness on Skid Row right here in the City of Angels.

In January of 2011, Jacqui was promoted to the position of Vice President of Marketing and Development. She provides leadership for Union Rescue Mission’s Volunteer, Gift-in-Kind, Communication, Gift Processing, Donor Relations and Direct Marketing departments which includes the direct supervision of 9 people and overall management of 23 employees—roughly 20% of our entire staff. She is also a respected member of URM’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and works diligently within this team to further the overall goals of the Mission.

Jacqui’s primary responsibility is to ensure that Mission’s fundraising and communication messaging adheres to URM’s brand guide, mission statement and established marketing and fundraising goals. Her day-to-day activities include:

  • Review analyses of activities, costs, operations, and forecast data to determine the progress toward stated goals and objectives of each department she oversees.
  • Collaborates with Chief Financial Officer in the appropriate use and designation of the financial gifts received, setting and achieving increasingly stringent Returns on Investment.
  • Communicating the financial needs and funding opportunities of the organization.
  • Refines and manages URM’s moves management strategies as needed and donor-driven calendar to annually involve key members of the board and staff in identifying, cultivating, acquiring and recognizing donors.
  • Assesses current technology and other products in the marketplace and provides recommendations to leadership regarding system consolidation to gain efficiencies in costs, staff time, and greater visibility regarding constituent relationships.
  • Participates in and leads development team meetings to coordinate activities across departments, train and mentor managers and staff and maintain high departmental morale and cooperation.
  • Responsible for building, leading and growing the staff of the division and providing income and accountability measurements for each of the division’s staff.

Jacqui is regularly asked to share her expertise via speaking engagements and training seminars and her career accomplishments include several industry awards including Echo, Telly and the USPS Gold Mailbox Award.

She and her husband Jeff are active in their community and earlier this year she earned the “Paul Harris Fellow” award for her support of Rotary International. Jacqui has served in a variety of volunteer leadership roles including: San Marino Library Foundation Committee Member, Young Life Foothills Committee Member and San Gabriel Christian School Board Moderator.


Kitty Davis-Walker

Public Relations Director

EDUCATION

Attended the College of St. Paul’s & St. Mary’s in Cheltenham England, graduated from the University of La Verne in La Verne California. Received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Relations with an emphasis in Broadcast Journalism. Also studied Drama for two years at Cross Roads Arts Academy in Los Angeles.

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND

Public Relations Director/Union Rescue Mission: 8/2006 to present.

Duties include: Coordinating Media/Public Relations opportunities to help generate URM name recognition and to bring positive media attention to URM’s activities & services through all forms of media: print, radio, TV, Social media, News letters and spokesperson opportunities. Also coordinates all media relations, information and logistics for events/special stories. Also produced CEO’s weekly Video Blog.

West Angeles Church of God in Christ Video Announcements & Voice-Overs: Bi-weekly voice-overs for Bishop Blake’s message on KJLH Radio Free 102.3 FM

KTYM Radio Co-Host: 9/1995 to 10/2007.

Co-Host of a weekly radio talk show “On The Positive Side”. Duties included: Producing commercials, Public Service announcements & voice-overs. Attended major community and corporate events, interviewed celebrities and special guests. Also interviewed Public Officials and gave special recognition to organizations & businesses that support the community.

Public Relations/Resource Manager/Kedren Head Start/State Preschool & Family Service Center: 10/1991 to 8/2006.

Duties include: Proposal writing, attending major social events. Setting up Press Conferences, producing newsletters, press releases & public service announcements. Also responsible for cultivating partnerships with community leaders & corporate representatives to raise funds.

KACE Radio Air Personality/News/Sports & Entertainment Editor: 7/1982 to 12/1992.

Duties included: writing & editing news stories, interviewing celebrity guest, attending press conferences, attending & reviewing concerts, plays and major motion pictures. Also produced commercials and voice-overs.

Personal:

Hobbies & Other Interest: Skiing, golfing reading and traveling. I have lived in Germany, Turkey and England. I am a member of West Angeles Church of God In Christ, a board member of RBD Communications and a Executive committee member of The Hollenbeck Youth Centers Los Angeles Inner City Games.


Jeri Little

Business Development

Jeri began his career in financial services in 1977. Over the next decade his company became specialized in working primarily with owners and executives of small, closely held companies. Jeri’s main focus was on a range of corporate benefits and providing advanced planning for both qualified and non-qualified investment strategies.

From 1989 to 1993, Jeri served as V.P. of Development for CRM, an international mission organization, on a volunteer basis. In the wake of the fall of Communism and the revolution in Romania that swept the dictator, Nicolae Ceaucescu, from power, Jeri moved his family to Romania and started several “Business As Missions” enterprises. These include a chain of clothing stores, The Little Texas hotel, restaurant and business conference complexes, Bethel Real Estate Development and agro-business in the neighboring Republic of Moldova. These Christian endeavors have generated nearly four million dollars in profits for indigenous ministries over the past eighteen years. In February of 2009 his book, “Merchant To Romania” was published.

Jeri and his wife Gloria returned to the states in late 2009. He now wears several hats, one of which is Director of Special Projects. In this role he is currently launching CRM’s first business as missions foray into the Middle East through a real estate venture in Beirut, Lebanon. Additionally Jeri is working in ministry to donors, along with SPM, functioning as liaison for Director of Special Projects. In this role Jeri helps to facilitate helping key ministry partners in the area of biblical stewardship through the talented wealth management team at SPM.

Jeri and Gloria now live in Orange, California. When not traveling extensively for ministry, they enjoy being with family, including Calvin, their two year old grandson.


Lucy Rivas, SPHR

Vice President, Human Resources

Lucy Rivas Enriquez is a California native and has worked in the field of human resources for more than 20 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) through the Human Resources Certification Institute.

Before joining URM, Lucy spent the last 8 years in Illinois serving as the human resources director at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center where she was responsible for all the human resources provisions for more than 2,200 employees. Lucy has worked in a variety of environments to include multi-site, multi-state, food service, manufacturing, service, healthcare, non-profit and faith-based organizations.

Lucy is a strong supporter of programs aimed at helping children and furthering education. She has served as a board member for United Way and Junior Achievement. She has served or volunteered on community task forces and committees such as the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Golden Apple Foundation, High School College and Career Readiness Council, and Pathways. Lucy is currently the treasurer of In Print, a professional writers group that strives to provide resources for writers and foster the love of reading in children and adults.

When not working, Lucy spends her time with her husband and three adopted children. She is excited to be back in California and to share all her “favorite spots” with her children. Lucy also enjoys writing and is a published children’s book author. Her book, DJ’s Lullaby is a bedtime story that blossomed from the lullaby she created for her adopted son when he was just 10 days old. An avid supporter of children in foster care, she donates all of her proceeds from DJ’s Lullaby to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption helps to find permanent families for the longest waiting children in foster care.

In 2013, Lucy was a finalist for the YWCA Women of Achievement Award for her dedication to mentoring other women. In 2014, Lucy was selected by the Rockford Register Star as one of “14 People to Watch in 2014” for her dedication to raising awareness about the children in foster care who are waiting to be adopted.