YWCA Monterey County Staff
In an effort to provide the most effective team to implement our mission, we have chosen these YWCA Monterey County staff members.
Christine Duncan, Chief Executive Officer
Christine has been involved with the YWCA movement for most of her life. Growing up in Scotland, she attended classes at her local YWCA. For some five years she was CEO of the YWCA Elmira in upstate New York. After this she worked in drug and alcohol services in Scotland and wrote the national policy Family Inclusive Practice for supporting families impacted by substance abuse. Christine draws heavily on her clinical skills gained during her MSW studies in Syracuse, New York. For the past eleven years, Christine has been a member of YWCA World Services Council and represented the YWCA on an overseas visit. She is delighted to be back in California near her daughter and friends. She is particularly keen to get to know more about both Salinas and Monterey County. She is accepting invitations from anyone interested in hearing about the amazing work of YWCA Monterey County staff.
Judith Vargas, Chief Financial Officer
Judith Vargas is the Chief Financial Officer since July 2017. She graduated from California State University, Monterey Bay in December 2010. Judith 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. With a background in working in the non-profit sector in a finance setting, she is a true asset to our staff. Among her many talents is a strong skill set for communication including a strong listening ear. Judith enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.
Erika Trejo, Director of Community Programing
Erika Trejo recently joined YWCA as the Director of Community Programs. For the last decade, she has focused her professional growth surrounding community outreach and prevention work throughout Monterey County and Santa Cruz County. Erika is a first-generation college graduate from the California State University of Bakersfield, where she earned a B.A. in History and a Minor in Criminal Justice. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, learning, traveling, and taking long walks with her rescue dog – Douglas/”Dougie.”
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. He aims to help educate and empower the community to help reduce violence.
Zusett Godinez, Intake Specialist
Zusett recently joined YWCA of Monterey County in February 2021 as our Intake Specialist. She is a first-generation college graduate from California State University, Monterey Bay. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Human Development and Family studies. Zusett comes from an immigrant family and upon her move to Salinas, she knew that she wanted to give back to the community. She enjoys working with families and children. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, being outside in nature, and likes to travel.
Evelyn Tapia, YEA Facilitator
Evelyn Tapia is a first-generation alumna from UC Santa Cruz. She recently graduated with a BA in Sociology. Evelyn now serves as the YEA facilitator at the YWCA of Monterey County. Before joining the YWCA, she spent time in the education sector tutoring and mentoring low-income and at-risk youth. She has taken part in research focusing on the effects of living in a mixed-status household. Most recently she has researched the negative health and financial consequences of COVID-19 amongst the agricultural population in Salinas, CA. During her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors, dipping into a new set of radical books.
Legal Advocacy Staff
Leonela Jara, Legal Services Supervisor
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. Loenela enjoys spending her free time with her three children and husband.
Laura Galvan, Legal Services Advocate
Laura Galvan is the Legal Case Manager for the YWCA Monterey County. As a proud Salinas resident, she is the first generation college graduate from the University of California, Davis. Laura 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. With a passion for serving her community, she hopes to one day run for public office. Her hopes are 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.
Socorro Ruiz, Legal Advocacy Case Manager
Socorro has worked in various roles at the YWCA-MC, including the legal services department and most recently was responsible for all front desk operations including referrals and intakes. Having transitioned to our Housing First program, she is able to use her people skills to further the program to serve as many clients as possible. On weekends, she enjoys connecting with family and friends at a family ranch.
Domestic Violence Shelter Services Staff
Michele Dunn, Shelter Services Manager
Michele is an alumna of the University of California, Santa Cruz with a dual degree in Psychology and Philosophy. Michele completed her graduate education at CSUMB earning her Master of Social Work degree. Michele has previous experience managing a level twelve 8-bed group home as well as a 20-bed co-ed crisis residential shelter program for runaway and homeless youth. Most recently, Michele was working as a counselor at a Short-Term Residential Therapeutic Program before accepting her current position as Shelter Services Manager with YWCA Monterey County. Michele had previously been an intern with YWCA MC’s counseling department providing therapy services for clients impacted by domestic violence before taking on her role overseeing the DV Shelter and Housing programs as an Associate Social Worker.
Lupe Birruete, Domestic Violence Advocate
Lifelong resident of Monterey County with a BA in Criminology with a Minor in Social Welfare. Lupe has worked as an advocate for children and adults with the challenge of domestic violence for 17 years. Lupe is also a Transdisciplinary Infant Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Practitioner, endorsed by the California Center for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health.
Veronica Ramirez, Lead DV Advocate (Housing Department)
Veronica is a first-generation alumna from Cal State University, Monterey Bay with a degree in Collaborative Health and Human Services with a concentration in Social Work and is a current Master of Social Work student at CSUMB. Veronica joined our team as an intern with the YWCA MC’s counseling department providing therapy services to victims of domestic violence before taking on her role as the Lead Domestic Violence Advocate at the confidential Domestic Violence Shelter Program. She enjoys working with families and children in her community. On her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Beatriz Martinez, PT DV Advocate (Housing Department)
Hello, my name is Beatriz Martinez. I graduated from UC Merced in 2020 with a bachelor’s in Psychology. I began working for the YWCA immediately after my graduation. I was born and raised in Salinas, CA. I attended North Salinas High School, where I completed over 200 hours of community service. Giving back made me realize this is something I wanted to keep doing as a career. I feel passionate about empowering and helping others. Working at the YWCA allows me to use my interpersonal skills to answer crisis calls and meet the needs of clients at the shelter. In my free time, I like to hike, bake and spend time with my family.
Alejandra Rodriguez, PT DV Advocate (Housing Department)
Alejandra is an alumna from California State University Monterey Bay where she minored in Psychology and earned her B.A. in Human Development and Family Studies. She is a current Master of Social Work student at CSUMB. Alejandra has always had a passion for helping others and hopes to be able to make a positive impact in people’s lives as a future social worker. Alejandra had previously been an intern with YWCA MC’s counseling department providing therapy services for clients impacted by domestic violence. Towards the conclusion of her internship at the YWCA, Alejandra took on the role of Domestic Violence Advocate at the confidential Domestic Violence Shelter Program. During her spare time, Alejandra likes to drive down to her childhood home in Big Sur, California with her husband to visit her family, go hiking, and relax on the beach.
Marie Gallegos, PT DV Advocate (Housing Department)
Marie is a lifelong resident of Monterey county. She has previous experience in the medical field as a medical assistant and has a passion for helping others in need. She is currently pursuing her degree in nursing and has enjoyed growing and learning with the YWCA.
Jayme Luna, DVRT/Therapist (DVRT, Therapy Departments)
Jayme Luna is an Alumna of California State University, Monterey Bay with a Master’s of Social Work and a bachelor’s in psychology, and a minor in social work. She has previous experience providing case management to individuals who have been displaced and assisting children needing learning assistance as a program manager at a learning center. Jayme was an MSW intern who provided therapeutic services to children, teens, and adults in the counseling department before being hired. She provides therapy in the clinical department as an Associate Social Worker and is part of the Domestic Violence Response Team.
Elaine McCleaf, Multi-Agency Coordinator
Elaine was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work, from Millersville University, Millersville, Pa. She started her social work career as a juvenile counselor at Children’s Home of York, and then as a CPS worker for York County Children and Youth Services. Subsequently moved to San Diego and worked as a caseworker for San Diego Regional Center and moved on to Oceanside Police Department as an investigative assistant and performed child abuse forensic interviews. Elaine obtained her Juris Doctorate degree from the University evening division while working at Oceanside PD. Her first attorney position was with the Imperial County District Attorney’s and she came to the Monterey District Attorney’s Office in 1994 where she was in the Domestic Violence Unit October 1995 – January 2016, Child & Adult Sexual Assault Unit 2016-2021, Animal Cruelty Prosecutor 2029-2-21. Throughout her career, she has worked closely with the DA’s Victim of Crime Unit, community advocacy agencies, the probation department, and local law enforcement. Regularly trained police officers, probation officers, 911 dispatchers, victim advocates, social workers, medical and educational personnel on the topic of domestic violence. Elaine lives in PG with her two dogs Ella & Annie, her daughter lives in San Diego and her two stepsons live in Monterey. After 30 years as a prosecutor, she looks forward to becoming a member of the YWCA’s staff and once again trying to improve the lives of DV survivors in the Monterey County community.
Mental Health Counseling Services
Ana Vazquez, Clinical Supervisor, LMFT
Ana is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. As the Direct Services Manager Ana oversees the programs that deal directly with clients, supporting victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, and other crimes. She works with children, adults, couples, and families. Ana received her Masters in counselling psychology with a focus on mental health and counseling skills to work with the Latino/Hispanic community from John F. Kennedy University. Having been with the YWCA Monterey County for over 10 years, she has become recognized as a key figure in local human service delivery.
Enrique Morales, Clinical Supervisor, LMFT
Enrique is a bilingual/ bicultural Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Enrique successfully mentors Masters level graduates from regional graduate programs by providing experience and expertise gained in 8+ years offering psychotherapy services to children, adults, couples, and families that are struggling with domestic violence issues. In addition, he provides psychotherapy to victims of crime, and victims of human trafficking. Also, Enrique facilitates domestic violence Psycho-educational groups for victims and perpetrators who have an open case with the department of social services and he delivers a psycho-educational class on domestic violence for clients wishing to remove a criminal protective order.
Angelica Zamora, AFT, Therapist, King City
Angelica is a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. In collaboration with the Monterey County District Attorney’s Victims’ Services Unit, she works with residents of South Monterey County who are victims of human trafficking, sexual assault and domestic violence. She offers therapeutic support, positive regard and compassion to families, couples, children and individuals. Using an integrative approach to address the immediate needs of clients, including coping skills, self-esteem development, goal setting, and the development of concrete treatment plans, Angelica is appreciative of the ability to co-locate with peer professionals.