Board of Directors
I was raised in Brawley, California. After graduating from high school, I moved to Los Angeles County and received a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college in La Puente, CA. After 13 years in corrections, I retired and started a social work job with Imperial County. After “coming out” as a lesbian, I found a lack of LGBT resources in the Imperial County. I founded the Imperial Valley LGBT Resource Center in 2015.
Born and raised in Calexico, CA. My educational journey began at Imperial Valley College, and soon thereafter, I enrolled at the University of Phoenix and majored in Business Management. I have over 10 years of experience working for labor contractors and payroll. I started volunteering for the IV LGBT Resource Center in 2015 and became a board member shortly after.
Born in San Diego, my family decided to make a move to the city of Calexico. I have worked for two fortune-500 companies living here, Wells Fargo and Apple. I have attended San Diego State University through its Imperial Valley campus in Calexico since 2018. I am majoring in public administration with a minor in linguistics, and serve as President of the Associated Students and participate in shared governance. I also serve as the secretary of the Youth Mentorship Program Committee and the co-chair of the Community Relations Committee (CRC)
Board Member I was born in Mexicali, Baja, California, México. I attended college and successfully graduated with a B.A. in Women’s Studies and a minor in Theatre Arts. I learned an M.A. in Sociology, both degrees from Cal State San Marcos. Currently. I am currently a third-year doctoral candidate in the Ed.D. program with a Concentration in Community College Leadership (CCLEAD) at San Diego State University. I serve as the Chairperson of the Community Relations Committee (CRC) and remain active to advocate for a more equitable Imperial County.
Sandra grew up in Imperial Valley, attending Holtville schools, IVC and CSUSB earning a Bachelors in Business Administration. She is the District Manager for the Starbucks locations in Imperial Valley and East San Diego. Sandra is married to her wife Maritza, an El Centro native. “Growing up in Imperial Valley in the 80’s and 90’s, LGBTQ+ resources or support was non existent. This made it difficult for me to accept who I was. Although, my family has always been loving and supportive, I struggled to find acceptance at times, with coworkers and even a few friends. It wasn’t until I moved to a bigger city where I felt more ‘normal’. It is a shame that someone would need to leave the I.V. in order to feel safe being their authentic self. Being a Board Member of the IVLGBT Resource Center is an honor and I am committed to expanding awareness, acceptance and support to my LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters”
A family nurse practitioner born in Japan as a first son of a family of five who ran a liquor shop. Graduated school at age 23 and worked at a hospital, Tokyo Medical University Hospital, in Shinjuku, Tokyo, as a registered nurse for 10 years while mainly taking care of acute HIV/AIDS patients. I came to America in 2007 to study advanced nursing in family nurse practitioner role and opened a newly expanded life chapter here in Calexico in 2018. As a family nurse practitioner, I have been seeing patients at De Anza Clinic for 3 years. My next goal is to contribute to LGBT primary health care.”
Alissa “Ali” Crook (she/her/hers) is originally from El Dorado County, but has lived primarily in Imperial County since 2001. She is a devoted wife, as well as a mother of two young adults. As a non-traditional student, Ali is currently completing her BA in Sociology at California State San Marcos through an accelerated program that will finish in December of 2021. Prior to that, she completed her AA in Communication Studies at Imperial Valley College, where she was on the President’s Honor List, and graduated “with distinction.” Previously, she attended an online college, only to find out the accreditation was questionable and would not transfer. Without skipping a beat, she started over again at the community college level, more determined than ever. Ali received lifetime membership in Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society for her academic performance at Imperial Valley College. She went on to receive membership in Tau Sigma Honor Society, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars at California State University San Marcos. She plans to go on to receive her Master’s degree in Social Work. Her prior work experience includes office administration and real estate brokerage. Although a licensed Real Estate Broker in California, she decided this competitive field was just not for her. Ali chose to study the field of sociology due to her desire to understand the structural power mechanisms and influences that operate in society, and to learn how to affect positive changes for those oppressed by structural inequalities. Ali understands the experience of coming from poverty, domestic violence, poor education, and a strictly religious family. Kicked out at a young age and later religiously shunned, Ali was housing insecure and started out working at three or more food service jobs while crashing on couches or renting a room. She remembers walking miles to go take her GED test. Bettering her life and the lives of her children was her main goal in life, and it remains so to this day. Ali wants to help others who struggle as well, and to assist the community to be much more accepting of individuals who identify as LGBTQA+.
Dr. Kathleen Lang
Gabriel Lam, LCSW
Vincent Pollizzi, M.Ed
Daniel H. Sohn, CEO El Centro Chamber of Commerce