Chris has over 25 years of leadership in business strategy, brand development, fundraising and communications in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. He joined VRC in July 2019 after serving as Interim Executive Director of Evergreen Treatment Services (“ETS”), a nonprofit based in Seattle that provides medication-assisted treatment and wraparound services for opioid dependence, as well as street-based outreach services to vulnerable, chronically homeless adults struggling with addiction.
From 2017 to 2019, Chris was the Interim CEO of Mending Kids International, a global nonprofit that provides critical life-saving and life-changing surgeries to children throughout the world. During his tenure, he led the development of a strategic plan for four of the agency’s core programs across 64 countries and made a series of strategic and operational improvements that resulted in positive growth.
From 2011 to 2017, Chris was the CEO of Woodcraft Rangers, a 95-year-old youth services agency based in Los Angeles that provides expanded learning programs to public and private schools. During his tenure as CEO, he led Woodcraft Rangers through a strategic planning process that increased the brand visibility of the organization, added half a million dollars in new revenue streams and thirteen new schools in one year, achieved 20 percent greater improvement on academic measurements compared to peer organizations, and led a government relations and advocacy effort that resulted in an additional $50 million in the annual state budget for after-school programs.
Other positions Chris has held include Interim Division President for the National Kidney Foundation of Southern California and Southern Nevada, Regional CEO (from Los Angeles to San Francisco) and other roles focused on communications and government relations for the American Red Cross, Vice President at Pollack Norman Advertising, and Founding Executive Director for the California Agriculture History Center.
Chris is a native Californian and the son of a World War Two and Korean War veteran who was stationed at the former Mather Air Force Base near the eventual home of VRC’s Mather Veterans Village. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from California State University, Sacramento, and currently lives in Santa Rosa, California, with his wife of 35 years.
David Williams, Chief Financial Officer
As VRC’s Chief Financial Officer, Dave maintains financial compliance, provides financial insight to our team leaders, and manages cash flow to help serve the needs of our clients.
Dave has a long history of serving public, private, and nonprofit companies as CFO in a wide variety of industries. He has served as CFO for the Association of California School Administrators, National Promotions and Advertising, and Fluid Media Networks. Dave gravitates to complex organizations and enjoys helping them obtain financial clarity and streamline fiscal operations. He is also a successful college instructor who enjoys giving back to the profession as an adjunct instructor.
Dave holds CPA licenses in California and Illinois, a national Certified Management Accountant certificate, and a JD from Southwestern School of Law in Los Angeles. Despite this business focus, he got his Bachelor's in Music from Northern Illinois University where he studied classical guitar. Dave lives with his wife of twenty-four years, Ana, and his college-bound son, Greg, who is also a musician. Dave plays music every week and goofs around with his two dogs every chance he gets.
Chris Cabral, Chief Administrative Officer
Chris is responsible for performing advanced, specialized duties within the human resources, legal, operational, and development functions. She leads the personnel department and is responsible for contractual administration and compliance, and is a member of the strategic planning and budgeting team. Chris came to VRC with over ten years of experience in Human Resources in the public and non-profit sectors. An Ohio native, Chris ventured to California while serving as an active-duty member of the United States Coast Guard.
Chris is currently attending law school as an evening student to enhance her knowledge of local, state, national, and international labor law to best support VRC’s organizational growth for many years to come. Chris resides in beautiful Sonoma County with her horse and three dogs.
Jason Henry, Program Development and Implementation Director
Jason Henry is VRC’s Program Development and Implementation Director and is based out of Sacramento. Jason began his career at VRC in 2011 as an Employment Training Specialist and quickly worked his way up the ranks from Housing Coordinator to Site Director, to his current position, charged with leading the assessment and identification of VRC's training and staff development needs and analyzing new operational program needs during periods of growth to ensure long-term program success. A staunch advocate for veterans, Jason has worked diligently to build awareness on veteran issues and develop strong collaborations with community partners. Jason holds Bachelor’s Degrees in both Business Administration and Economics.
Jason served in the United States Navy from 1993 to 1997 as a Damage Controlman and received numerous decorations during his service including: the National Defense Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon, Coast Guard Unit Commendation Ribbon, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Armed Forces Service Medal, NATO Medal, and Good Conduct Medal.
Kendra Barter, Residential Programs Director
Kendra Barter, VRC’s Residential Programs Director, is responsible for the oversight of all residential programs, including supervising the agency's residential Site Directors to ensure operational efficiency within the residential programs and that the highest quality of services are provided to VRC's residential clients. Kendra began working for VRC in 2009 as Special Needs Assistant. In that role, she handled the case management for women veterans staying in VRC’s residential program. Since then, Kendra has served in a variety of roles at the agency. Kendra is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and she obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology from UC-Davis and her Master’s in Counseling from The University of Phoenix.
Joe Millsap, Communications Director
As VRC’s Communications Director, Joe oversees the agency’s external communications efforts to increase awareness, participation, and overall knowledge of VRC and veterans' issues within the 14 communities we serve across three states.
Joe joined VRC in 2018 after spending several years at established public relations firms FTI Consulting, H+K Strategies, and Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher. He left the Marine Corps in 2007 at the rank of Captain after two deployments to Iraq and a humanitarian relief operation following the 2004 Indonesian tsunami. Joe’s op-ed, Veterans Need More Than Your Thanks, was the USA Today opinion section feature over the 2016 Memorial Day weekend, and his column, Close to Home: Connecting Isolated Vets in Rural Areas, was featured in The Press Democrat on Veterans Day in 2019.
Joe has a B.A. in History and Government and a joint JD/MBA with a concentration in Public and Governmental Affairs from The University of Texas at Austin, and he currently lives in Sonoma County where he enjoys reading, writing, listening to music, and going on hikes with his Staffordshire Terrier, Karla.
Tom Isakson, Managing Director of Programs
Tom Isakson is VRC's Managing Director of Programs, responsible for daily operational oversight of all VRC programs and program supervisors, establishing agency-wide operational goals, and ensuring that program expenditures fall within annually allotted budgets. He’s been with VRC since 2013.
Tom holds a BA in Math Education and a Master’s in Ministry. He is currently an Arizona State University online student, expecting to complete a Master’s in Nonprofit Leadership and Management in December 2019. He started volunteering with homeless persons in 1980 and made this work his full-time career since 1992. Prior to VRC, he served as Case Manager, Programs Director and Executive Director for family shelters, men’s shelters and emergency assistance programs in Nevada, Indiana, and Arizona. Tom is an avid hiker and cook.
Jim Luper, Clinical Director
Jim Luper is VRC's Clinical Director, responsible for the oversight of all clinical operations throughout the agency. This includes providing clinical supervision to staff and leading emergency clinical interventions.
Jim has worked with underserved, traumatized populations for the last 25 years, the last 18 of those focusing on co-occurring substance use and mental health issues. Jim has worked with survivors of war and political torture and homeless forensic populations, in addition to his current veteran clients. His passion is working with people who have been marginalized by society at large. Jim joined VRC in 2013 after spending 10 years at the East Bay Community Recovery Project in Hayward, CA. He holds a BA in Psychology from Michigan State University and an MA in Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA.
Board of Directors
Jim Larson is the retired CEO of Cal State Central Credit Union. He held this position for 35 years and is a recognized business leader in Sonoma County. Jim served with the U.S. Army in Vietnam in 1970 in Tay Ninh Province, near the Cambodian Border, and received the Bronze Star in recognition of his service. Jim’s fiscal expertise contributes greatly to VRC. He is able to review and oversee the organization’s fiscal policies, as well as provide leadership in program development and planning.
Jim joined the Board of VRC more than 20 years ago because he wanted to become active with a non-profit organization serving veterans in his community, and he was impressed with what VRC was doing and attempting to do.
Jim and his wife, Anh, a Vietnamese native and a U.S. citizen-led VRC in sponsoring and funding medical outreach clinics in Vietnam’s impoverished Luong Son area. Jim and Anh visit Vietnam yearly as liaisons for VRC’s humanitarian projects, which in addition to the clinic include three primary schools, two of which were built by VRC in partnership with East Meets West. VRC also maintains a surgery fund for individuals with more serious medical conditions.
Chuck has represented Republic Services and their various predecessor companies for more than 20 years. Over that period of time, he has been actively engaged in waste sector public policy development and implementation at a local and state level.
In January 1991, Chuck formed Sector Strategies, a government affairs firm. As the firm’s President, he has developed extensive experience, in California and other western states, organizing government affairs strategies for public organizations and private corporations—representing their interests before legislative bodies, state agencies, and local governments. Through these experiences, he has built a strong network of public officials and community leaders throughout California, the Western U.S., and Washington, DC.
Chuck and his wife Mercy reside in Sacramento, California.
Erin Archuleta (@erinarchuleta) collaborates on and speaks to global civic initiatives and policies that make our communities vibrant and equitable. Erin is the Director of Community Affairs and Seller Advocacy at Square, collaborating with community, small business, and educational partners across the United States.
With her husband, Erin co-owns Michelin-recommended, Zagat-rated ICHI Sushi, and is a recipient of a San Francisco Small Business Week Award (2014). Erin’s business has been featured in Bloomberg, The New York Times, Vogue, USA Today, AAA, and The San Francisco Chronicle. Prior to joining Square, Erin worked for 826 National, a literacy project and blended retail model changing the face of nonprofit engagement. She is a graduate of Western Michigan University and a recipient of their Alumni Achievement Award.
Burt McChesney is a retired policy consultant and advocate. He previously served as Special Assistant to the Speaker of the California Assembly, as Chief Consultant to the Chair of the Assembly Democratic Caucus, advisor to the Budget Conference Committee, chief consultant to the Assembly Elections, Reapportionment and Constitutional Amendments Committee, and as chief consultant to the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee. After leaving the legislature, Burt worked for the California Association of Realtors and other business clients. The son of an Air Force officer, Burt served in the United States Army in Vietnam and Europe as a helicopter gunner and the NCOIC of flight operations.
Interspersed with his legislative career, Burt worked on numerous political and issue campaigns for clients as diverse as Corazon Aquino, former President of the Philippines, and a Bay Area waste management firm. Most recently, Burt led the campaign for Proposition 41, a $600 Million housing bond for homeless and at-risk veterans.
Burt and his wife, Jo-Ellen reside in Southern California.
Lawrence S. Connolly
Larry, a Marine Corps veteran who served in Vietnam, brings extensive experience working with Pacific Gas and Electric as an Employee Assistance Counselor, as a high school counselor, and in his own business in the vocational rehabilitation field. For several years Larry owned and operated his own gem mining business in Sri Lanka and Pakistan and traveled to over one hundred countries during the course of buying and selling gemstones. He also previously served on the boards of directors of several nonprofit organizations.
Larry served in Vietnam from 1967 to 1969 and was assigned to the 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division; and also with the Combined Action Program with 3rd Combined Action Platoon near Hue and Dong Ha.
Larry previously served on the boards of directors of the East Meets West Foundation, as Treasurer; Consultants for Global Programs, as Chairman; Arcata Rotary Club, as President; Private Industry Council for Humboldt County; and the Mental Health Board of Directors for Trinity County. He currently serves as Board Chairman for Humboldt County Northcoast Standown Committee and is also the Vice-Director for the Veterans of Foreign Wars Legislative Committee for the State of California.
Larry is very involved in his community, and he was recognized by Rotary International with its highest honor, The Service Above Self Medal. This recognition was given to Larry for his work in Vietnam by bringing clean water to thousands of families as well as building homes and other humanitarian work.
Larry and his wife Ruth enjoy international travel, gardening around their home in McKinleyville, fishing, and visiting friends. They have two daughters, each from previous marriages, and three grandchildren.
Philip Williams grew up in Saudi Arabia and later served for over eight years as an Officer and Army Ranger, including two combat tours in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division. His military awards and medals include the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star with oak leaf cluster denoting a second award, and an Army Achievement Medal recommended by one of his squad leaders. Now a California water, environmental, and public agency attorney, he holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Utah and a J.D. and an LL.M from McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.
Phil is a recipient of the U.C. Davis Police Department Citizen Appreciation Award and the Tim Naccarato Leadership Award. Prior to joining VRC, he organized and participated in numerous fundraisers for local non-profit organizations that treat the homeless veteran community. He has spoken at a variety of conferences and seminars on issues of water and resources law and policy, and guest-lectured on aspects of public agency and water law and on the philosophical and moral implications of modern warfare. Phil is also the author of birdmen, a novel based loosely on his experiences serving in, and returning home from, the war in Iraq.
His greatest joy and privilege lies in being a husband to his wife, Emily, and father to their two children.