Willow Aray, Chief Operating Officer
Willow Aray grew up in North Carolina and in the rugged mountains of Colorado. She moved to Monterey in 2009 to pursue her MPA from the Monterey Institute of International Studies where she studied International Development, Global Policy, Non-profit Management and French. Passionate about social justice, she has been serving Monterey County’s most vulnerable populations for the past twelve years, always utilizing a healing-informed approach when addressing systemic inequities that cause individual and societal trauma. She spends her free time creating art, training her dog, dancing, playing her Ukulele, raising her son and exploring all the vast and beautiful landscapes that California has to offer.
Judith Vargas, Chief Financial Officer
Judith Vargas is the Director of Finance since July 2017. She graduated from California State University, Monterey Bay in December 2010, and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a dual concentration in Management/International Business and Entrepreneurship. During her educational trajectory, she got the opportunity to do study abroad in Queretaro, Mexico at the Tecnologico de Monterrey Campus Queretaro. She has a background in working in the non-profit sector in a finance setting and is a true asset to our staff. Among her many talents is a strong skillset for communication including a strong listening ear. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.
Lily Flores, Accounting Specialist
Lily Flores, went to school at both Santa Barbara City College and UCSB where she obtained a degree in Law and Society and obtained her AA at Heald College for legal studies. She has worked and interned in several family law firms in the Silicone Valley for over 6 years. Obtaining experience working with the court system and filing legal paperwork. She to returned to Salinas (born and raised) and worked at the Monterey County District Attorneys, where she gained knowledge regarding criminal matters, victims of crime, and was also able to collaborate with the local police agencies. Lily also has worked for the Monterey County Family and Children Services. There she was able to experience working with kids in need, supervise parent-child visits, and observe the adoption process. In her spare time, she enjoys working out and hanging out with family.
Socorro Ruiz, Front Desk Coordinator
Socorro is the Front Desk Coordinator for the Salinas office. She began working for the YWCA as an on-call office assistant and was quickly promoted to a Legal Advocate. Socorro holds her AA degree in Criminal Justice from Heald College. Similarly, she also graduated from the Salinas Community Police Academy. She is a rock and consistent team player on our staff. On weekends she loves spending time with her family.
Marisol Vasquez, Transitional Housing Case Manager
Marisol Vasquez has a passion to help others. She has worked in the nonprofit sector for 11 years for the community of Monterey County. Born in Michoacan, Mexico, she moved to the U.S.A at the age of 3. She has two children a 17-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter. She enjoys spending time with family.
Gayle Todd, HR Specialist
Gayle Todd is thrilled to join the YWCAMC team. She retired after a 25-year career with AT&T. Her positions, within the corporation, included Training, Management, HR Generalist and CFO/Controller of the Pacific Rim Markets. She was also awarded the prestigious AT&T Council of Leader’s Award. She holds a BS and an MBA in Management. She is a Past Board Member & Treasurer of Las Palmas Ranch, Founder of the Monterey Peninsula Underwater Photographers, Director or EPIC – the first underwater environmental image competition., volunteer and Foster mom for AFRP (Animal Friends Rescue Project), and AT&T Champion of the Environment Recipient. Her hobbies include underwater and topside photography, world travel and caring for her bulldog Miss Pearl Rose and Perseus the cat.
Outreach, Prevention, Policy, and Advocacy
Emanuel Santillan, OPPA Supervisor
Emanuel first became part of the YWCA family as a Youth Education and Advocacy (YEA) intern in 2012. He is an alumni of California State University, Monterey Bay in Collaborative Health and Human Services. Emanuel has always had the passion to help others help themselves. As a native of Salinas, California, he has seen the high rates of violence among youth and is aiming to help educate and empower the community to help reduce violence.
Naudia Velarde, Policy & Prevention Specialist
Naudia is the Policy & Prevention Specialist for the YWCA. She is a recent graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies & Political Science. She has had a long time passion of advocating with and supporting people, specifically marginalized communities. She is a firm believer that knowledge is power and hopes to help decrease oppression & violence through providing prevention and intervention services to our community and getting at the root causes of these injustices. She has a fierce desire to see all people realize their true potential, become independent thinkers, and create their own legacy. She is a dog mom to a mixed breed dog named Czar.
Mental Health Counseling Services
Ana Vazquez, Clinical Supervisor, LMFT
I am a Licensed Marriage and family therapist. As the Director of Clinical Services, I oversee the counseling department. I work with clients who are victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, and other crimes. I work with children, adults, couples, and families. I provide the class that is required for people to modify a criminal protective order. I facilitate domestic violence psychoeducation groups to victims and perpetrators. I also mentor Masters level graduates inspiring to be in the field of psychotherapy.
Enrique Morales, Psychotherapist, LMFT
Enrique is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. He counsels children, adults, couples, and families that are struggling with domestic violence issues. In addition, he provides Psychotherapy to victims of crime, and human trafficking. Also, he facilitates domestic violence Psycho-educational groups for victims and perpetrators who have an open case with the department of social services. Furthermore, he provides the class of psychoeducation on domestic violence for people that need to remove a criminal protective orders.
Legal Advocacy Staff
Leonela Jara, Lead Legal Advocate
Leonela has been with the YWCA since 2008. As an Office Assistant, she played an important role in the functioning of the Monterey Administrative Office and Counseling Center. In 2010, Leonela moved to the Salinas Office, where she was in charge of managing the daily activities for the office and Counseling Center. In 2013 Leonela was promoted to Legal Advocate. She proved to be an asset and showed leadership qualities while in this role. As a result, she was promoted to Lead Legal Advocate in November of 2017 and is now in charge of the program and staff in Legal Advocacy. Leonela’s bilingual language skills enable her to do outreach and connect with the Salinas community. Leonela holds an AA degree in business administration with an emphasis in criminal justice. She enjoys spending her free time with her three children and husband.
Laura Galvan, Legal Case Manager
Laura Galvan is the Legal Case Manager for the YWCA Monterey County. She is a proud Salinas resident and first generation college graduate from the University of California, Davis. She majored in Political Science with an emphasis in Legal Studies. Before joining the YWCA, Laura has been driven by her interest in Law and its application which, lead her to intern for a local Salinas immigration attorney and go on to intern for the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office. She has a passion for serving her community and hopes to one day run for public office. She hopes to make Salinas a community based in the power of knowledge and empower it to its fullest potential. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, spontaneous adventure and hopes to keep fulfilling her academic career.
Domestic Violence Shelter Services Staff
Diana Elizondo, Shelter Services Manager
Diana Elizondo is our Shelter Services Manager. Diana is originally from San Jose, Costa Rica and has been working for the YWCA Safe House for the last 12 years. Diana has a strong sense of devotion for the nonprofit sector. Diana is passionate about the needs and goals of her clients. In her spare time, Diana enjoys spending time with her family and seeking adventure in the outdoors.
Vielka Enriquez, Lead Domestic Violence Advocate
Vielka has been a Domestic Violence Advocate for three years and has over twenty years work experience in a a variety of helping professions throughout the Monterey County. Vielka is a natural caregiver who has a heart for serving others in particular women and children who have experienced trauma caused by domestic violence. Vielka lives by the principle of treating others with dignity and respect no matter what state of life that person is in. Vielka enjoys spending time with family, maintains a healthy lifestyle and is crazy about dancing.
Adriana Samson, Domestic Violence Advocate
Adriana Samson is an advocate at our confidential domestic violence safe house who is passionate about empowering those who have been under-represented in our communities. She believes that if a person who has been a victim of injustice is given the right tools and empowerment, they will be the ones to change their situation to become a survivor. Adriana will be furthering her education to continue to grow in the social work field, and be able to continue fighting towards creating social change. Adriana is also a U.S. Army veteran, and a mother who is raising two boys to be kind, strong men.
Marquise Davis, Childcare Coordinator
Marquise Davis is originally from Birmingham, AL but most recently from Houston, TX. She began her career in early childhood in 2008 as a substitute teacher in classrooms ranging from infancy to 5 year-olds in a NAEYC accredited center in Birmingham, AL while earning her undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education at the University of Alabama. She then became a young toddler teacher at the same center in the Fall of 2011. During her 5 year tenure as a toddler teacher, she also earned a Master of Psychology with a concentration in Child and Adolescent Development from Capella University. She then relocated to Houston, TX in 2016 where she worked for a Jewish-based Early Childhood School as a General Educator in inclusion classrooms serving both typically developing and special needs 3, 4, and 5 year-old from August to May. She also planned and operated a summer camp for kindergarteners in the Community Center where the school was housed. Throughout her professional career, she has also given presentations and trainings about different aspects of child development to various audiences including early childhood professionals, parents, and summer camp staff. She has a driving passion to positively affect the lives of children and families with whom she comes in contact and is so looking forward to positively impacting the families this organization serves.
Human Trafficking Services Staff
Betsaida Garcia, Human Trafficking Services Manager
Even more, she is an asset to our clients. Betsi is a certified Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Overcomers Instructor. She strongly believes in the importance of challenging and overcoming the effects of stressful and traumatic events in our lives, in order to empower ourselves and others. “Supporting another’s success won’t ever dampen yours.”