Senior Management Staff

Andrea K. Urton, Chief Executive Officer

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Andrea joined HomeFirst in March 2015 after serving as the agency’s Interim CEO. She received her MS in Clinical Counseling Psychology from San Jose State University in 2001 and her license as a Marriage Family Therapist in 2005.  She has spent her career in mental health striving to provide the highest quality, innovative and culturally competent services for youth and families in Santa Clara County’s highest risk communities.  Andrea has focused her energies on operationalizing practices and systems that allow agencies programs to grow and sustain.  She has a strong passion for diversity and inclusion and has brought this passion at the agencies she has supported, as the Program Coordinator for Gardner Family Care Corporation Prevention & Early Intervention Services and as the Clinical Director responsible for EMQ FamiliesFirst Diversity and Inclusion practices in Santa Clara County and the Chief Operating Officer for Alum Rock Counseling Center as well an Adjunct Lecturer for Santa Clara University, where she works to increase awareness around issues of diversity and inclusion and organizational implementation and sustainability of these best practices.  Her personal and professional goals are to ensure that everyone has the cultural and linguistically competent resources and supportive services that allow them to thrive. Andrea holds an MS in Clinical Psychology from San Jose State University.

Cindy Zbin, Chief Development Officer

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Cindy 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, Cindy successfully initiated the Major Gifts Program and increased sponsorship and attendance at the annual fundraising event. Cindy 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.

Jess Gutierrez, Consulting Chief Financial Officer

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Jess is a Partner and leads the NPO Practice Group for CFOs2GO, which sources seasoned financial professionals on an interim and consulting basis in the U.S. and internationally. He works with management teams and boards on the development of financial reporting systems, policies and procedures, strategic planning, forecasts and budgets, and recruiting and training accounting personnel. For the past twenty-five years, Jess has supported non-profit organizations as a senior executive, Chairman of the Board, and non-board member advisor, working with foundations, research institutions, land trusts, and children’s support agencies. Jess was previously the CFO for a San Jose-based credit union and a development-stage technology company. He holds a BS from Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business and received his MBA from Pepperdine University.

Claire Wagner, Director of Communications

Claire 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  rebranding of EHC LifeBuilders to HomeFirst in 2014. Claire previously consulted with 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, Claire 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.

Sarah Swanson, Director of Human Resources

Sarah joined HomeFirst in February 2015, having previously served as the Human Resources Manager for Alum Rock Counseling Center in San Jose. She specializes in the development, implementation, and execution of Human Resource operations including employment law, record management and retention, building and leading teams, creating policies and procedures, communication and negotiation, and talent management. Prior to joining ARCC, Sarah worked for ZEDventures, Inc., a Silicon Valley IT start-up, where she was responsible for building and managing both the Human Resources and Finance/Accounting departments. Sarah previously worked in property management, teaching, and as a training specialist in the insurance industry. She holds a BA in Anthropology from California State University, Chico, and an MA in Anthropology from California State University, East Bay.