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


Andy brings over 35 years of experience in community outreach and service to his “friends experiencing homelesssness”, 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 Union Rescue Mission is to keep with the Mission’s long and distinguished history of service in the City of Los Angeles. Established in 1891, URM 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 development 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. By working to establish the thriving Hope Gardens Family Center, he also worked to provide 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 late June of 2007.

As CEO of Union Rescue Mission, Andy has had a pivotal role in reshaping hospital and governmental policies related to the “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 address the epidemic of homelessness in Los Angeles.

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 was declared a Treasure of LA by the Central City Association in 2017. 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, 2010 and 2011. Andy was named the “2011 Fundraising Professional of the Year” by Fundraising Success Magazine for fundraising achievement in 2010. Andy received the Los Angeles Business Journal’s award for Nonprofit Leadership Excellence in June 2012.

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 success in receiving this distinction.

Andy and his wife Bonnie (a nurse) have six grown children, and delight in their grandchildren, Elijah, Ava Marie, Ezra, & Asher, twin grandsons Jack and Benjamin, & newest granddaughter, Isla. Andy and Bonnie have also welcomed over 25 children in Foster care alongside their children.

Richard Baker

COO (Chief Operating Officer)

Richard is joining us as our new COO (Chief Operating Officer) and will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of maintenance, custodial services, security, food service, transportation, distribution, Gift In Kind, real estate, and more. With over 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including 22 years in senior management, chief executive roles, and board positions, Richard has worked with three of the top luxury hospitality groups worldwide – Four Seasons Hotels, Rosewood Hotel and Resorts, and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.

Throughout his career, Richard has developed an exceptional understanding of service standards, operations, and guest experiences. He has managed boutique city hotels, and unique destination resorts, and has overseen the development and training of service standards in kitchens, restaurants, housekeeping, concierge, and private residences. He has a passion for leading and mentoring teams, collaborating cross-functionally to ensure the delivery of all measured metrics.
Richard has a proven track record in understanding the key objectives of all stakeholders and has developed key initiatives and strategies for growth to optimize outcomes. He has excellent interpersonal skills and clear communication, simplifying complex ideas into easy-to-understand concepts to identify and solve issues.

In addition to his professional career, Richard is passionate about mentoring and serving others. He has mentored students at SMU Cox School of Business, Cornell University’s graduate school of hospitality, and The Hong Kong of Polytechnic University, as well as leading Bible and Sunday school classes. He has also held board positions on the Dallas Advocacy Center, Care for Children in Bangkok and Beijing, and Branches of Hope in Hong Kong. Richard has spent ten years as a special needs foster parent, adopting two of his foster children.

Richard is excited about his new role of serving the homeless community in Los Angeles. He began his career in LA as a student at Biola University, where he led the culinary team that served the athletes of the 1984 LA Olympics. Richard is thrilled to be back in the US with his wife Stephanie, four children, and two grandchildren.

Christopher E. Sue

VP Finance, CFO

Senior Leadership 12Christopher has served the Lord for 15+ years as a financial executive for Gospel Focused non-profits.  For over 35 years he has worked as a public and private accounting professional in various industries including non-profit, retail, wholesale, manufacturing, financial institutions, healthcare, providing experience in operational, financial, technology and logistics oversight, as well as mergers, acquisitions, IPOs, and divestitures.  He earned Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees in Accounting and Information Systems from Biola University and CPA issued in the State of California.  Christopher and his wife Stephanie have raised their two sons Chris and Kendall in the San Fernando Valley, while he has served as an Elder and worship team member at New Life Church in Woodland Hills.  Chris and his wife Stacey have blessed their family with the recent arrival of their first grandchild Oliver John.

Dan Roleder

VP of Men’s Ministries

DanRolederDan has always had a heart for using his administrative skills in Christian organizations.  He earned a  BS in Accounting and later an MBA from California State University, Northridge.  He started his career in public accounting and then entered the aerospace industry as an accountant, auditor, financial analyst working his way into management.  He was delighted to take the role as Controller at Grace Community Church, a ministry of over 10,000 members/attendees.  He promoted to Business Administrator/CFO before transitioning to The Master’s University where he taught business classes and managed the Marketing Department of the Adult Degree Completion Program.  In 2012, Dan joined Union Rescue Mission as Controller and is currently serving as VP of Men’s Ministries .  Dan has been married to Carol for 32 years.  They have 4 children, Amanda 30, Rachel 29, Kimberlee 27 and Lydia 16.

Richard D. Newcomb

Vice President, Philanthropy

Richard had a successful 30+ year career in the fashion industry as Senior VP of Sales for a major U.S. women’s and girls’ apparel company. He was recruited onto the URM Board of Directors in 2013, by CEO Andy Bales, where he served as Board Development Chair for a five-year term. During his time on the Board, Richard helped create the very successful URM Walk to Fight Homelessness at LA Live in 2018. Richard’s positive board impact led to Andy’s recruitment of Richard onto the URM Senior Leadership Team in July of 2018 as VP of Philanthropy and Social Enterprise.

Richard has a decades-long record of supporting social justice, fighting homelessness, and working to reducing poverty in Los Angeles, and around the world. Using his expertise in sales, marketing and trend analysis, Richard helped multiple non-profits and churches build their fundraising and marketing programs. Serving on the Board of Lutheran Social Services of Southern California, Richard helped reinvent their annual walk-a-thon event by rebranding it as the “LSS Walk to End Poverty,” which resulted in participation and fundraising increasing fivefold. Richard also served as Co-Chairman of the Board for the San Damiano Foundation in Burbank, CA. SDF was a Franciscan ministry, whose mission statement was “Putting the Power of Film at the Service of the Poor.

Since joining Senior Leadership at URM in 2018, Richard has collaborated with CEO, Andy Bales, and the URM Board, to help the organization nearly double in size in less than five years. He has helped recruit, expand, and transform the organization’s Philanthropy Department, with energized and inspired leadership. His actions have helped cultivate a highly motivated team of directors and philanthropy officers at URM. In addition, due to the pandemic, Richard and team reinvented the URM annual gala and turned it into an Emmy nominated TV Special on CBS Television. The celebrity ladened event is now called Angels of Hope and raises $3 million annually. Furthermore, Richard added URM Over the Edge to their annual events in 2019. It now attracts hundreds of brave souls who are willing to rappel off the roof of the 25-story Universal Hilton Hotel, which helps raise over $1 million each year.

Born in New Orleans, LA, Richard attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where he received a BS degree in Marketing and Fashion Merchandising. He’s married to his college sweetheart, Patti, and they have one daughter, Taylor.

Kitty Davis-Walker

Vice President Public Relations


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.


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.


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.

Latonja Lindsey

Vice President, Emergency Services

LaTonja  Lindsey has a passion to serve the unforgotten ones. her passion in life is to empower others through the love of Christ.

LaTonja has worked in non-profit Christian organizations for over 18 years. She has a background in administration, volunteer services, working with people who have disabilities, and community outreach. LaTonja has a BA in journalism.

LaTonja joined URM in 2007. She has worked in various position at the mission, which has allowed her to understand the needs of the people. She now oversees all aspects of men, women, and family emergency services.

LaTonja is a strong advocate for helping women achieve their full potential. She believes in sisterhood and strives to bring peace amongst all women she meets.

LaTonja loves to travel and meet new people from all walks of life.

LaTonja considers herself a foodie at heart and is always open to help broaden a person’s pallet.

LaTonja loves Jesus, her family, friends, and the unknown.

Yeilen Willis

Vice President, Human Resources

Yeilen Willis

Yeilen Willis is a turnaround leader who helps bring out the best in others. She is passionate about life-long learning and tapping into the potential of her teammates. Her life mission statement is: To help people relate responsibly to God’s grace. Yeilen began her career in real estate and the mortgage industry, forged her way through a decade of doing sales and customer service, and ended up as an expert in human resources. Along the way, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management with a concentration in Human Resources from the University of La Verne and a master’s degree in Leadership and Organizational Studies from Azusa Pacific University. For eight years she served at Reasons to Believe, successfully overseeing and implementing programs that transformed their workplace culture. Yeilen left that wonderful job because she sees so much good being done at URM that resonates with her heart for social justice. In her personal life, Yeilen attends New Song Church in San Dimas and actively serves as an Advisory Board Member for Right On Mission. Her greatest joy is her son, Joseph, and watching him grow in Christ. Yeilen enjoys dancing, laughing, and spending meaningful time with family and friends.