Senior Management Staff

Jenny Niklaus, Chief Executive Officer

CEO photo

Ms. Niklaus has been a strong advocate for children, youth, families, and seniors for nearly two decades. As Chief Executive Officer, she is responsible for leadership and strategic direction for the agency, including managing organizational activities, programs, fundraising, and infrastructure. Previously, she served as Director of Senior Community Services at Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, and later as Interim Executive Director and Director of Self-Sufficiency Programs at Sacred Heart Community Service in San Jose. Ms. Niklaus also worked for the Support Network For Battered Women, YWCA of Santa Clara Valley, and Community Solutions. She has served as Chair of the Santa Clara County Child Abuse Council and Vice Chair of the Santa Clara County Social Services Commission. She is also on the Leadership Team of the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits. In 2004, Ms. Niklaus was named one of the “Top 40 under 40” by the San Jose Business Journal and in 2013 was named one of Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Women of Influence. She is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist and holds a MA in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University and a BA in Psychology from the University of California at Davis.

Cindy Zbin, Chief Development Officer

Cindy Zbin 061014

Cindy Zbin joined the HomeFirst team in August 2012 after eleven years of managing nonprofit development programs throughout the Bay Area. Her specialties include event management, major donor cultivation, corporate and foundation giving, solicitation, and fund development strategic planning. During her tenure at HomeFirst, she has overseen expansion of the Fund Development department and transformation of the board’s fundraising capacity, along with a 20% increase in donors, a nearly 30% increase in contributions, and the largest proceeds ever recorded for the agency’s longest-running fundraiser. In her previous role as Director of Development at the Alum Rock Counseling Center in San Jose, Ms. Zbin successfully initiated the Major Gifts Program and increased sponsorship and attendance at the annual fundraising event. Ms. Zbin has also held development and management positions at Samaritan House, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, and InnVision. She holds a BA in Communications from Santa Clara University, a Non-Profit Management Certificate from San Jose State University, and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). She currently serves the Association of Fundraising Professionals Silicon Valley Chapter in their mentorship program and CFRE Review Course.

Sherry Snow, Interim Chief Financial Officer

Sherry Snow

Sherry Witt Snow of Snow Consulting has more than 30 years’ experience in financial management for Fortune 500 companies and a MBA in Finance and Marketing from Willamette University. Her ongoing CFO services are conducted in accordance with GAAP and Sarbanes-Oxley. She has special training in fraud detection and prevention through the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.  As an author and speaker, Sherry takes an accessible approach to a variety of financial topics. Her speaking topics include: 4 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make, Left Brain Accounting for Right Brain People, and Do I Really Have to Have a 40-Page Business Plan? Sherry is a past president of the San Jose Toastmasters.

Teri Provence, Director of Property Management

photo of Teri Provence

Ms. Provence joined HomeFirst in March 2007 with 18 years of experience in property management. She has extensive experience with affordable housing utilizing federal and state grant funding, and is certified as a Compliance Specialist and as a Tax Credit Specialist. As Director of Property Management, she is responsible for supervising eight HomeFirst sites in Santa Clara County, managing the day-to-day operations of the Property Management division, and oversight of capital projects throughout the agency. A graduate of Humboldt State University, she holds degrees in Recreation Administration, Business Administration, and Psychology.

Claire Wagner, Director of Communications

Claire Wagner crop

Ms. Wagner is a seasoned marketing communications manager, strategist, copywriter, and social media manager. She joined HomeFirst in July 2013, having previously served as a marketing consultant to the agency. As Director of Communications, she is responsible for direct mail and email fundraising, media relations, newsletters, the website, social media, videos, advertising, event promotion, and literature. She also managed the recent rebranding of EHC LifeBuilders to HomeFirst.  Ms. Wagner previously consulted with many other local organizations including Applied Materials Foundation, Santa Clara County Public Health Department, Stanford Hospital & Clinics, Second Harvest Food Bank, and United Way Silicon Valley. She also served as the Director of Communications for Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County. Prior to starting her own business, Ms. Wagner worked in technology marketing as an agency Operations Director, Public Relations Director, and Copywriting Manager. She began her career in Business Development and holds a BA in Economics from the University of California at Davis.