The Ventura County Community Foundation Board of Directors understands that participating at the leadership level of a community foundation affords a special and unique opportunity to address the most serious challenges facing our community today, as well as shape the future for a better tomorrow.

Our Board members think strategically, looking at the interconnectedness of pressing societal issues. They serve as fiduciaries and focus on upholding donor intent. They advocate for the advancement of philanthropy in our community and leverage their personal and professional relationships to further the efforts of the foundation.

VCCF is happy to announce that ALL of our board members are certified in Fiduciary Essentials for Foundations and Endowments (FEFE)!

Sean Leonard

Chair

BIO

Sean Leonard is President and CEO of S.L. Leonard & Associates, Inc. which he founded in 2004. S.L. Leonard is a certified Minority Business Enterprise that provides Owner’s Representation, Project and Construction management for nonprofits, public agencies, developers, businesses and investors. Some of Sean’s more notable projects are Disney Concert Hall, the Camarillo Library and over 5,500 units of affordable housing throughout Central and Southern California. He has also taught Construction Management at UCLA Extension & USC’s Graduate School of Civil & Environmental Engineering. Sean is a first-generation immigrant born and raised in Hong Kong, and has lived in Ventura County for over 30 years. Sean & his wife Gwen currently reside in Oxnard. He serves on the Boards of A Community of Friends (which develops and operates affordable housing for people with mental illness), Casa Pacifica Centers for Children & Families, and volunteers for numerous other nonprofit organizations. Sean has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from UCLA and an MBA from USC.

Veronica Quintana

Treasurer

BIO

Veronica Quintana is a Senior Manager at CBIZ and Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C., and specializes in providing services to companies in the agricultural, construction, manufacturing, restaurant, and professional service industries, as well as government contractors.

Veronica has been with CBIZ MHM, LLC for the last 17 years, where she has been the manager in charge of bookkeeping and tax clients for the Oxnard office, with overall responsibility for tax and accounting services to commercial entities.

CBIZ MHM, LLC is one of the nation’s leading providers of professional advisory services, focused on accounting, benefits and insurance, HR and payroll solutions.
Quintana earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 1995. She serves on the Board of the Oxnard and Port of Hueneme Boys and Girls Club and is an active community volunteer.

Leah Lacayo

Secretary

 

BIO

Lacayo is a 35 year resident of Ventura County, a native Southern Californian.

Lacayo is a community activist and is currently serving her community through a number of organizations, including the Ventura County Fair Board, (31st District Agricultural Association), Vice Chair, CSU Channel Islands Alumni & Friends Association, immediate past Co-President, Ventura County Women’s Political Council, Congress of California Seniors Education & Research Fund, Chair, and the Congress of California Seniors.

Lacayo serves on the Ventura County Community Foundation Scholarship Committee, reading applications for the Destino Scholarship Fund. The Lacayo Family is one of the founding members of the Destino Fund.  Lacayo became a Certified Mediator in 2010, and is a member of the Jewish Labor Committee Advisory Board.

Lacayo is passionate about mentoring young women, giving them a voice, leading by example, and a “yes I can” attitude!

Lacayo is a mother, grandmother, attending grandkids soccer, baseball games, piano and dance recitals.  Lacayo was married to Henry L. “Hank” Lacayo (deceased) a former VCCF board member.

Scott P. Hansen

Immediate Past Chair

BIO

Scott Hansen is a Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director for the Coastal Gateway region of Wells Fargo Private Bank which includes the Tri-Counties and San Fernando Valley. He has been in the banking and financial services industry for 30 years. Mr. Hansen earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from University of California, Santa Barbara.

Scott resides in Ventura with his wife of 20 years and their 3 children. He volunteers in the community with various organizations including Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, Ventura County CPA Law Society, California State University Channel Islands, as well as coaching with Ventura Foothill Little League Baseball.

Meryl Chase

BIO

Meryl Chase is co-owner of Clearmont, LLC, a family-owned real estate investment company, but considers serving the community her primary vocation. Recently awarded Emeritus status by the board of directors of kidSTREAM, Meryl served a three-year term as founding VP of Finance on the board of the emerging children’s museum.  She is also involved with WEV, Women United and other local organizations, and especially enjoys her involvement with her son’s school. Meryl considers this opportunity to serve philanthropists and charitable organizations throughout Ventura County with VCCF to be an extraordinary honor.

Having married into a wonderful, third-generation Ventura County farming family, Meryl moved to Camarillo in 2007, leaving behind a career in advertising, film and TV production. Her company, LA-based Zystar Films, Inc., worked with giants including Ford, Acura, Intel, Toyota, Fox, and Imagine Entertainment. Meryl credits UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management with giving her the financial acumen to build a successful business in a highly competitive industry and has found that she thrives in environments that combine financial stewardship with serving others.

Geoff Dean

BIO

Geoff Dean is the recently retired 19th Sheriff of Ventura County and a 35-year veteran of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. As Sheriff, Geoff oversees a department of 1200 people with a budget of $225 million. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office provides policing for over 500,000 people and patrols over 80 percent of the County’s geography. The Office serves as the police department for five contract cities; Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, Moorpark, Fillmore and Ojai. VCSO also operates three jails, the only regional crime laboratory, air unit, bomb squad, and operates the Regional Criminal Justice Training Center.

Geoff is a lifetime resident of California, born in Los Angeles and raised in Simi Valley. He has lived in Camarillo for the past 21 years. Prior to being elected Sheriff, he worked various assignments throughout the Department including commanding the SWAT Team, as Chief of Police for the City of Moorpark and oversaw three of the Sheriff’s four divisions.

Geoff is involved in various community activities including Camarillo Noon Time Rotary, American Red Cross Presidents Council, the Board of Directors for Casa Pacifica and the American Cancer Society’s Community Council to mention a few. He has been married to his wife Marlene for the past twenty-five years. Marlene is a lifetime Ventura County resident and a mathematics professor. He has two children; Lindsey 24, who is in law school, and Andy 21, who is a college junior. Geoff holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from California State University Northridge and a second Masters Degree in Management from Cal Poly Pomona. He is a graduate of the California State Peace Officers Command College.

Jack Edelstein

BIO

Jack Edelstein’s passion in life is to help people who spend their time helping others. Jack provides his business experience, contacts and personal resources to non-profit executives who are seeking help. As a sales outreach trainer and executive coach, he works with local CEOs in creating more efficient non-profit organizations; providing advice in fundraising, internal and external processes, public relations and employee satisfaction. 

Experience:

President/CEO of ExpressLink Inc from 1985-2015, growing the company from a start-up to the largest U.S. provider in their category of auto dealer services.

Served as a Board Member for: 

  • Boys and Girls Club of Conejo Valley, 
  • Fit4The Cause, 
  • Engage Treatment Programs, 
  • Express Systems, Inc

And as a consultant for Caring Hand for Children in Los Angeles and Temple Ner Simcha in Westlake Village.  

Jack attended University of California Northridge and University of California Los Angeles for his education in business and mental health treatment.

John Kearney

BIO

John joined Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in 2005 from the homebuilding industry.  Born and raised in Ventura, John attended Bucknell University in Pennsylvania and Pepperdine University where he graduated with a degree in Business Administration.  John is a Past President of the Rotary Club of Oxnard and Past President of the Young Professionals Network for the Boys and Girls Club of Oxnard. John is the current Senior Resident Director for the Oxnard office.  John is the son of Bill Kearney and resides in Ventura.

Gustavo Zarate

BIO

Gustavo Zarate’s desire to help facilitate positive change in people’s lives led him to pursue a career path in financial planning. First of his extended family to graduate college, Zarate has a degree in business administration with an emphasis on finance from California Lutheran University and is a Wealth Advisor with Powell Financial Group. He a member of the Financial Planning Association of Ventura County, holds a Chartered Financial Analyst® designation, and has also earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification.

Son of Mexican immigrants, Zarate believes that anything is possible. He is a proud husband and father of two girls that he enjoys coaching soccer to on Saturdays.

Catherine Sepulveda

BIO

Catherine has spent her adult life as a resident of Ventura County. She was born in Georgia and traveled extensively as a child growing up in the military. As an adult, Catherine has traveled through Europe, Asia, Central and South America. She is active in her community currently serving on the Ventura County Community Foundation Scholarship Committee and co-chair of the Donor Peer Network. Catherine is a co-founder of the scholarship fund SGLTH.

She served on the Santa Paula High School Board as a trustee and was a Delegate on the California School Boards Association. She is passionate about helping youth achieve through scholarships and education.

Work and Committee Experience:

  • Santa Paula High School Academy – Scholarship Program Coordinator
  • Committee Chair for Whole – Child Development, Santa Paula
  • Ventura County Women’s Political Council

Catherine currently owns and operates an avocado ranch in Santa Paula where she raised her daughter.

Catherine’s education includes a Juris Doctor degree.

Venkat Yepuri

BIO

Venkat Yepuri is most recently the Vice President, Global Business Solutions and Chief Procurement Officer of Amgen. He has broad experience in the healthcare industry spanning key elements of the value chain from healthcare provider to drug manufacturer. His expertise is in building strategic partnerships, operationalizing global solutions, delivering experience at scale, enabling digital transformation, and building diverse and inclusive teams.

Over the last 20 years with Amgen, Venkat held multiple roles with increasing responsibility in functions such as Business Development, Corporate Transformation, Information Systems, and Strategic Sourcing / Sustainability. His responsibilities ranged from establishing to scaling up of Alliance Management, Strategic Sourcing, Real Estate and Space Planning, External Workforce Center, and the Employee Services at Amgen.

Prior to Amgen, Venkat co-founded a physician group purchasing company in the U.S. Earlier, with the Healthcare Association of Southern California spin-off, he ran the technology consulting program for clients such as Kaiser Permanente. In addition, he established subsidiaries in India and Malaysia focused on medical equipment sales & services.

He has a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and a bachelor’s degree in Electronics & Communication Engineering from Delhi University.

Venkat has been on the Board of VCCF since October, 2020. A resident of Ventura County for 25 years, he has actively volunteered locally along with his family and has previously served on the Dean’s Leadership Council at California State University, Channel Islands.

Venkat resides in Thousand Oaks, California, with his wife. He enjoys hiking and following wide range of sports, including Basketball, Cricket, and Football.

Start typing and press Enter to search