Current Board Members
Former Board MembersJune Loo
Nona George Cohen
Judith Tutt-Starr an educator of over 30 years in the private and public schools is also an advocate for foster children as they seek to transition out of foster care. Before retiring in 2010 she was the principal of South Bay Lutheran High School in Inglewood, St. Timothy Lutheran elementary School in Lakewood and Ascension Lutheran School in Los Angeles. During a year of sabbatical from administration, she taught History at First Church of God School in Inglewood. She is also very involved in social ministry through the numerous boards she is on or has served on in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The Lutheran Schools of Southern California and Hawaii, WASC Accreditation teams, The Los Angeles Children’s Law Center, United Friends for Children, Center for Educational Opportunities and helping to bring to fruition a non-profit organization called My Friends House, an agency for those who face food insecurities in any given month.
She currently sits on the school board for The Academy of Science and Engineering Charter School, Los Angeles and is the board chair person for My Friends House, Inc., an outreach ministry of Ascension Lutheran Church in Los Angeles. Her board work is augmented by the numerous workshops and seminars she attends each year. She is now an alumni of the Annenberg Alchemy+ Program. Judith also participates as a mentor in the Youth Mentoring Advocacy Project through the Lincoln Family Life Center of Lincoln Memorial Congregational Church, UCC in Los Angeles. She is invested in the relationship with her mentee, hoping to see her through to college and she keeps track of the hundreds of young adults she has been privileged to work with over the years.
June Loo was employed by The Salvation Army for 42 years and 7 months and served in the Emergency & Disaster Services Department for the past 30 years of employment. In the Fall of 2004, she was appointed as the Emergency and Disaster Services Coordinator for the Southern California Division – encompassing Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. June retired from this position in the Fall of 2012.
June attended Azusa Pacific University and has completed a number of FEMA Certification, Red Cross and Salvation Army training programs. June served on the Board of Directors for Emergency Network Los Angeles.
June has been involved in the Army’s response efforts to many disasters, including the Whittier Narrows Earthquake; the Civil Unrest of 1992; the devastating 1993 Fires; the 1994 Northridge Earthquake; the mudslides in La Conchita; and the Army’s local response to Katrina, and other major events that have effected the Southern California area.
June has lived in the Foothill area of Los Angeles County for over 38 years, where she raised her family. June has remained involved in The Salvation Army for 50 years as her place of worship.
Carol began her career as a clerk typist with the Los Angeles Unified School District while pursuing an undergraduate degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. During her 15-year tenure as a Business Administrator with TRW (now Northrop Grumman), in Redondo Beach, CA, the opportunity to become a volunteer, and serve the African American community of South Central Los Angeles became a passion.
Through TRW’s SEA Bootstrap, a company sponsored African American employee’s organization, dedicated to supporting management’s desire for involvement with and support of its surrounding ethnic communities, Carol served in various capacities, including President, coordinating employee fund raising programs to support the Los Angeles chapter of the United Negro College Fund and the company’s annual “Thanksgiving Food Drive.”
Following her career with TRW, Carol worked as a Loan Administrator with Fleet Capital in Sherman Oaks, CA, as a Pricing Analyst with Daylight Transport in Long Beach, CA and as Parish Administrator with Ascension Lutheran Church where her volunteer efforts continued to focus on the stewardship and outreach ministries of Ascension. Carol is currently semi-retired, working part time providing support to the Federal Government in Los Angeles as a Contracted Registrar and as a volunteer board member and treasurer with My Friends House.
Carol’s commitment and dedication to serving her community is deeply rooted in her Christian faith and a belief that “as servants of the Lord we are also called to serve our communities.”
A native of Los Angeles, Phyllis has been a member of Ascension Lutheran Church, a ministry partner of My Friends House, Inc. for 40+ years.
Phyllis has been a Nurse with the Veterans Administration for 26 years and is currently assigned to the Physical Medicine and Rehab Unit. Having been diagnosed with MS, has now given her an opportunity to work as the Charts Administrator Clerk. She has received many awards for her outstanding performance and is considered one of the most efficient and friendliest people on the floor.
Volunteering has been something Phyllis has done most of her adult life. She is extremely dedicated as a volunteer with My Friends House since 1999. Her dedication does not allow for any other appointments on Wednesday’s distribution day! She greets and registers consumers for the Wednesday food distribution and provides administrative support as needed.
Nona George Cohen
Upon graduating from UCLA Nona George Cohen worked for several community based and non profit organizations for about ten years. However, she longed to experience the corporate environment and joined a major pharmaceutical corporation and quickly moved up the ranks. Realizing and admitting her disappointment and disillusionment with the corporate world, she chose to pursue a difficult journey whose winding road ended with an entrepreneurial pursuit. This pursuit led her to investigate the field of esthetics and blend her entrepreneurial spirit and marketing flair to create The Body Clinic. The Body Clinics existed for 23 years, ultimately establishing it as the leading African-American owned full service skin and body care spa on the West Coast.
In 1988 Nona discovered she had breast cancer. She received a radical mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. She became an active participant at many community based cancer affiliated organizations. As a 26 year cancer survivor, she has maintained her commitment to providing assistance in meaningful ways to cancer patients. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and acclamations including: Loyola Marymount-Hilton Chair & Westchester/LAX Chamber of Commerce for “Entrepreneur of the Year” and The Los Angeles County Commission of Woman, “Woman of the Year”.
When she became aware that My Friend’s House was seeking concerned citizens to serve on its board she volunteered without hesitation. Previous board participation includes First African Methodist Episcopal Church loan committee member for four years
Nona presently utilizes her professional and life skills as a Case Manager for the homeless in Los Angeles’ skid row.
Paula graduated from Fisk University and started her career working for the Los Angeles Urban League as a Job Counselor. In this position she matched clients with available jobs that were placed in the Urban League’s job bank. She eventually left the Urban League to pursue employment in a family business as a law office administrator. She soon realized that she wanted to serve her community and sought out volunteer opportunities. She became a board member with the San Fernando Valley Fair Housing Council where she participated in identifying discrimination that plagued valley residents at the time by volunteering as a housing checker.
Paula has volunteered with the NAACP, Artists’ Salute to Black History Month, City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs public arts projects, Los Angeles Bench and Bar and the Center for the Arts of the African Diaspora (CAAD). She is now retired and continues to volunteer with My Friends House, Inc. as a board member and staff.
Texas Born and California raised.
Gwen Jackson graduated from Los Angeles High School with a Humanities major. She attended Los Angeles Southwest College and earned an Associates Degree in Psychology and California State University with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology.
After 26 years retired from the Department of Water and Power as a Commercial Service Representative and retired after 10 years with Los Angeles Unified School District as a Library Aide.
Gwen is blessed to have three children. Michael a CPA in Salinas California, Michelle a Parole Agent for the State of California and Melanie an Admissions Counselor for a Baptist University in Springfield MO. She has four beautiful grandchildren.
Ms. Jackson is a member of Olivet Lutheran Church in Hawthorne California where she has been a member for more than 30 years. She serves in the capacity of President of the Congregation, Usher, Worship Assistant and is on the Altar Guild. Ms. Jackson says, “I love being in service to God at my Church.”
She enjoys line dancing as a way of relaxing. She likes to sing but says she can’t so she doesn’t sing in the choir. Gardening is her second passion and doing volunteer work is her greatest passion. She has volunteered for the Revlon Run Walk since its’ inception in Los Angeles, the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Raymond (Ray) McKenzie is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Red Beach Advisors. With more than 15 years of experience as a senior business executive and consultant leading global organizations ranging from start-ups to large enterprises, Mr. McKenzie has significant experience with business and departmental strategy, process development, project management, and operational excellence. Ray has held various senior executive positions with companies such as Verisign, Neustar, State Farm Insurance, TeleSign, UltraDNS and has served in an advisory role for several start-up companies in Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC. Ray McKenzie completed his studies in Management Information Systems from San Diego State University in 2001 and currently sits on the board of directors for non-profit organizations such as My Friend’s House, Inc. based in Los Angeles, CA and Students With Aspiring Goals based in Merced, CA.
Temesghen Starr is the Principal Consultant with Sands Mutual Group. With more than ten years of fundraising and development experience at a host of different levels, Mr. Starr brings a level of professionalism, support, and comfort for Sands Mutual Group’s clients and affiliates. Mr. Starr is well connected to the interworking of the educational community through his work with South Bay Lutheran High School, Taft High School, Blue Chips Association, Los Angeles Prospects, Marshalltown Community College, and at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. Temesghen Starr most recently has served as a Director of Development at the Montana State University Alumni Foundation and was their liaison to the Department of Athletics. Starr completed his undergraduate studies at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio graduating with a degree in English Literature. Mr. Starr has also studied at Pepperdine University in their Graduate School of Education and Psychology, and is currently completing a Masters in Coaching Education at Ohio University.
Dale comes to WellCare ECHP with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the healthcare industry with over 25 years of experience as a clinician in patient care as a licensed Vocational nurse. She has licensing and is a certification specialist for Federally Qualified Health Clinics, CMS and Joint Commission certified Home Health Agencies and Hospice Agencies. She is Community Advocate for the Department of Mental Health , DHSS, and NAMI. (National Alliance on Mental Illness). As a Licensed Broker in the state of California, Dale has driven sales and marketing for several MAPD plans, with an emphasis on Duel Eligible and Behavioral Health DSNP’s. Dale holds an office as Regional Representative for the Southwestern region of the United States representing Medicare Consumers in over 10 states. Dale has studied at Cal. State University, Dominguez Hills. A petition for matriculation with an advanced degree in HealthCare Administration from South University, Savannah is in process.
Dr. Ingrid Wilson, PhD is a licensed Clinical Psychologist who specializes in working with multi-cultural populations focusing her psychological practices on providing mental health services to those that are involved in the criminal justice system, the Department of Child and Family Services, and the California State Regional Centers.
Dr. Wilson has 18 years of administrative, management, and clinical experience in the human services and mental health industries. She has been employed with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health where her role as a Senior Mental Health Psychologist included supervising a multi-disciplinary staff. Dr. Wilson developed a comprehensive mental health program for incarcerated mentally ill patients ranging in severity from chronic mental illness that requires intensive services to those that were mildly mentally ill and exhibited higher levels of functioning in the community. Dr. Wilson operates a private practice providing comprehensive mental health services that includes: individual therapy; group therapy; and psychological assessments.
Dr. Wilson is also the Executive Director of Integrated Treatment Services Residential Program which provides residential services for adults with chronic developmental disabilities placed in the program by California State Regional Centers. She is responsible for daily operations and managing a multi-disciplinary staff. She implements a highly specialized program for the adults that includes supportive employment services for those with disabilities.
Dr. Wilson was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She obtained a Bachelors of Science degree from Xavier University of Louisiana. She continued at Xavier University of Louisiana and obtained a Masters of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology. She then relocated to Los Angeles, California and attended the California School of Professional Psychology where she obtained a Doctorate of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology. Her post-doctorate education included obtaining a Certificate of Completion in Neuropsychological Assessment from Fielding Institute.
Originally from Los Angeles, and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, she moved back west to attend college in Tucson, Arizona. She majored in Communications with a business minor, at the University of Arizona. She went on to play volleyball professionally, living in 8 different countries, including Italy, Puerto Rico, Russia, Czech Republic, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Brasil, & China. In 2008, she lead the U.S. Women’s national team, to a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics.
Currently, Kim is a personal trainer at Equinox. She earned her certification for personal training by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and is in school for corrective exercise. With her studies, she hopes to aid My Friends House in healthy living interests. She is a fitness model, and commercial actor, and she has modeled for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, & The ESPN Body Magazine. She plans to utilize her network to promote and help with marketing for My Friends House.
Kim gives motivational speeches, & has donated her time to After-School All-Stars. Volunteered with Hashtag Lunchbag, Coupla Guys & Gals Give Back, and has sponsored Thanksgiving dinners to low income families at the Crispus Attucks Community Center in Lancaster, Pa.