Eric Ares, President
Ares serves as manager, homeless systems change for the Home for Good Team with the United Way of Greater Los Angeles. In this role, he works to improve policies and performance in key systems to end homelessness in Los Angeles County. Before the United Way, Ares spent seven years as a community organizer and deputy director with the Los Angeles Community Action Network, where he worked alongside low-income and homeless leaders in downtown and South Central Los Angeles to promote social and racial justice through community organizing, civic participation, and public policy development. He has degrees in history and theology from Boston College and has over 15 years of experience in grassroots policy advocacy, organizing, and direct service in the areas of affordable housing, homelessness, and community food security. Ares was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles and currently resides in the same home his family has lived in for over 75 years.
Nona Randois, Vice President
As the Southern California director for the Alliance for Justice’s Bolder Advocacy Program, Randois manages the alliance’s Southern California office, builds partnerships with nonprofits and foundations in the region that are engaged in policy advocacy, and builds the capacity of these groups to advocate for policy and systems change by providing legal and practical training, technical assistance, and publications to ensure groups have the knowledge they need to become confident advocates and tools to help them navigate complex advocacy rules. She previously worked as an attorney at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, where her practice focused primarily on representing nonprofits in community economic development, land use, community benefits agreements, nonprofit tax, real estate, and corporate legal assistance. She has often engaged in policy advocacy, with an emphasis in workforce development, targeted and local hiring policies. Randois earned her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and undergraduate degrees in international relations and French from the University of Southern California.
Francisco Cendejas, Secretary
A coordinator with the National Union of Healthcare Workers, Cendejas has worked to organize teachers, logistics workers, and hospital workers over more than a decade in the labor movement. He graduated with honors from Stanford University with a BS in science, technology, and society and a minor in urban studies.
Mike Neely, Treasurer
Neely founded the Homeless Outreach Program/Integrated Care System in 1988 . The as a pilot program with $50,000 and four employees. As director, he grew the program into a multi-million-dollar project with more than 60 employees. He served on the State Commission on Homeless Veterans, the State Commission on African American Males and Substance Abuse, and was a Los Angeles County Commissioner on the Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Commission. He is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Brain Trust. Neely currently serves as a Los Angeles Commissioner on the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
Avery-Browder is a community innovator focused on improving jobs and social infrastructure in California. She is currently with SEIU 1021 in Northern California. Avery-Browder has also worked for SEIU 721 and for California State Senator Sydney Kamlager, and she was the lead organizer for Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy’s Grocery and Retail Campaign, a coalition calling for a fair scheduling policy and higher workplace standards and protections. Prior to that, Avery-Browder served as the civic and community relations coordinator for SEIU-United Long Term Care workers, liaising between the union and local agencies and helping to develop courses of action to address problems and issues affecting members in their communities. She attended California State University Northridge, where she received a BA in political science with a minor in international relations.
Rev. John Cager
Senior pastor of the Ward African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Central Los Angeles, Rev. Cager began his ministry at First African Methodist Episcopal Church, where he was director of youth ministry for five years. He later served as a visiting pastor at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Baldwin Hills, as a supply pastor at First African Methodist Episcopal Church, Santa Monica, and as pastor of St. Stephens African Methodist Episcopal Church and Second African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles and Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Fontana. He was formerly the director of the Center for the Study of Black on Black Crime and spent eight years as director of client services and outreach at Streetlights, Hollywood’s premier diversity program. As senior project manager for FAME Renaissance, Rev. Cager developed a taxi voucher program for seniors and disabled persons. He also worked for Tom Hayden’s Campaign California, and he was elected as a delegate to the 1984 Democratic National Convention.
Throughout her career, Galvez has worked in community colleges in New York City and Los Angeles supporting students in their personal, professional, emotional and academic success. She is a director/consulting instructor at the Dolores Huerta Labor Institute at Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), helping LACCD students understand labor history, the current labor movement, the impact of unions, and workers’ issues to promote critical thinking, enhance career prospects, and encourage civic participation. Galvez holds a BA in history and Chicana/o studies, with a minor in political science from UCLA. She earned her MA in higher and postsecondary education from Teachers College–Columbia University, and she is currently earning her doctorate in education at UCLA. Galvez’s academic and professional work focuses on the academic development and success of first-generation, undocumented, low-income, and historically underrepresented students, with a focus on student activism and empowerment.
Mangia is the president and CEO of St. John’s Well Child and Family Centers, a network of a dozen nonprofits, federally qualified health centers, and school-based clinics providing free medical, dental, and mental health services to more than 200,000 patients in South Los Angeles. He also serves as a state commissioner on the State of California Workforce Investment Board, as chair of the Public Health & Prevention Task Force for the California Primary Care Organization, and as an expert advisor to the Let’s Get Healthy California Task Force. He is the founder of the South Los Angeles Health & Human Rights Conference and has built myriad innovative partnerships with school districts, government agencies, and community-based organizations and schools to increase access to health care services and strengthen the healthcare safety net for impoverished and economically disadvantaged children and their families.
Born in Los Angeles, Opinaldo attended St. Agnes Elementary and High School, where he is still an active member, helping oversee finances as well as shape social justice programs and liturgy. He has been with the Los Angeles Unified School District for more than 44 years, teaching all elementary grades and serving as a resource teacher in art, drama, math, writing, and reading. Opinaldo was chosen as an outstanding teacher from the Mayor’s Office when he taught at Fifty-Second Street Elementary (1964–1989), was nominated for the Disney Teacher Award when he taught at Forty-Ninth Street Elementary (1989–2004), and was selected as the 2008 Hero for Harmony Elementary School by LAUSD Board of Education (2005–2008).
Reinart serves as COO and America’s Leader for GoDigital Media Group, a Los Angeles–based media and technology company that owns businesses in the recorded music, digital publishing, electronic commerce, and personal fitness industries. He has over 35 years of experience in management consulting and executive management spanning the media and entertainment, consumer products, software, automotive, life sciences, and aerospace industries. He was an instrumental part of the GoDigital team at ContentBridge Systems that received the Entertainment Merchants Association “Digi” Award for digital innovation and the Business Intelligence Group “Stratus” Award for hybrid cloud solutions to entertainment content distribution. Prior to joining GoDigital Media Group, Reinart established Porsche Consulting’s Silicon Valley office and led the automotive concern’s Innovation and Digital Transformation Practice. As vice president global accounts for Technicolor, he managed sales and service delivery for the Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal, and Relativity Media. At Paramount Pictures, he was executive vice president worldwide operations for Home Entertainment, where he led a global team that developed, manufactured, and distributed $1.5 billion in media products annually.