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Executive Leadership

Andrea K. Urton, Chief Executive Officer

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.  Andrea has spent her career 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 building multifaceted systems allowing for maximum agency impact. She has a strong passion for diversity and inclusion and has brought this passion to the agencies she has supported. Andrea is keenly grounded in service to those persons experiencing homelessness or marginalized by lack of housing. Prior to HomeFirst, Andrea was the Program Coordinator for Gardner Family Care Corporation Prevention & Early Intervention Services, a Clinical Director for FamiliesFirst, the Chief Operating Officer for Alum Rock Counseling Center as well an Adjunct Lecturer for Santa Clara University, where she worked to increase awareness around issues of diversity and inclusion, organizational sustainability and implementation of industry best practices.  Her personal and professional goals are to ensure that everyone has the cultural and linguistically capable resources and supportive services that allow them to thrive.

James Ptak, Chief Financial Officer

Jim joined the HomeFirst’s management team as its Chief Financial Officer in July 2017. His recent experience includes 10 years in a similar role with Hospice of the Valley in San Jose. Jim relocated to Santa Clara County in 2007 after an extensive career with various organizations in New York State, where he earned a license as a Certified Public Accountant. He holds a BBA degree in Accounting from Niagara University. During his career, Jim has provided senior financial management to both for profit and not for profit entities, including those involved in healthcare, real estate development, and manufacturing operations. His past 20+ years have been devoted to the non-profit segment, and welcomes the opportunity to assist HomeFirst fulfill its important mission.   

Stephanie Demos, Chief Development Officer

Stephanie “rejoined” HomeFirst in August 2016 having formerly served twice as a development/events consultant.  She has two decades of NPO experience Silicon Valley, first as Director of Healing Heart Programs at the Centre for Living with Dying.  At the Centre Stephanie stepped into the role of Director of Development.  She attributes much of her success in this area to her involvement in the Association of Fundraising Professions Silicon Valley Chapter (AFP SVC).  Through this invaluable professional association, Stephanie has gained a broad range of experience, training and skills to executive management positions at Diabetes Society of Santa Clara Valley, Kara, Alum Rock Counseling Center and Parents Helping Parents.  She also served as Executive Director and Ex Officio Board Member for the Pacific Art League in Palo Alto.  The first half of her career was in the commercial sector where she worked for technology firms such as ROLM, DataCard and MCI, Citicorp.  Senior positions in National Accounts sales management provided a strong foundation for the unique needs of the public benefit sector.

Rene D. Ramirez, Chief Operating Officer

Rene joined HomeFirst in May 2015 and oversees HomeFirst's client programs and IT services. He has spent nearly 20 years supporting youth, families, and communities in Santa Clara County. Rene began his career with the City of San Jose's Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services division. He spent 11 years with the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, where he helped SVEF grow from serving one school district with a $100K budget to serving all of Silicon Valley with an $8M budget at its peak. In his final position as Vice President, he was responsible for building and launching programs, as well as directing the agency's IT, HR, finance, and operations departments. Most recently, Rene served as the Director of Programs for the Alum Rock Counseling Center, where he led the development and implementation of the agency's 12 programs at two office sites and more than 50 schools. Rene holds a BA in Psychology from San Jose State University and is bilingual/bicultural (Spanish).

Board of Directors 2018-2019

Scott Lefaver, Board Chair, Affiliation: Cabouchon Properties

Nicholas Dinh, Board Vice Chair and Fund Development Chair, Affiliation: NetApp

Melanie Harrell, Restaurant Consultant & Certified Sommelier

Kirk Heinrichs, Governance Chair, Affiliation: City of Campbell, Retired

Jonathan Joannides, Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair, Affiliation: Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Paul Fong, Governance Committee, Affiliation: Evergreen Valley College

Leonard “Len” Shen, Audit Committee, Affiliation: Visa International

Brian Piller, Fund Development Committee, Affiliation: Pivot Interiors

Oliver Roll, Finance Committee, Affiliation: Community Volunteer

Vidya Raman, Fund Development Committee, Affiliation: Cloudera Inc.

Courtney Behm, Governance Committee, Affiliation: Ingram Micro

Hafiza Stratton, Governance Committee, Affiliation: Vonage

Advisory Council 2018-2019

Rosalyn Behzadi

Janice Berthold

Heinz Binder

Linda Y. Chin

Judy Chirco

Suzanne St. John-Crane

Leslie Daniels

Mark Donnelly

Philip Gregory

California State Assemblymember Ash Kalra

Mayor Sam Liccardo, City of San Jose

Rabbi Dana Magat

Mike Pope

Mary Beth Riley

Mike Rogers

Larry Stone

Jon Talbert

Edgar M. Thrift

Santa Clara County Supervisor Mike Wasserman

HomeFirst is currently recruiting people in leadership to serve on its Board of Directors. Help us lead the largest provider of homeless services in Santa Clara County and accomplish our mission to end homelessness in our community. Please contact, for more information.