Irene joined Operation Jump Start in 2009. She received a dual Bachelors of Arts degree in Sociology and International Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. As a Latina born and raised in an underserved community, she is indelibly passionate about the work done at Operation Jump Start. With over a decade of experience in the non-profit sector focused on serving families and children, her passion for the students OJS serves and the organization’s mission is second to none. She works closely with the agency’s Board of Directors to oversee all office operations including human resources management, technology, marketing, enrichment and academic programming, fundraising efforts as well as financial management systems. Irene has the proven skills as a manager and the vision as a leader to take OJS to new heights in achieving its mission.
Chief of Staff
Jane joined the team in June of 2017 when the Office of the Executive Director was created to include the Executive Director and the Chief of Staff. OJS is happy to have Jane Bemis join our team, bringing her skills in developing programs and projects, technology and process integration, and leading effective teams. Jane cares deeply about the organization and is very excited to step into her new role as this opportunity allows her to partner with our Executive Director and support the staff.
Director of Philanthropy
As Director of Philanthropy, Anthony oversees Operation Jump Start’s fundraising efforts including events and individual giving. Anthony has 18 years of non-profit experience, the majority of that time being spent in a managerial role. He has extensive experience in program design and strategic planning. Anthony previously worked with youth education and recreation programs in Long Beach and Bellflower. He worked to promote college preparedness and acclimation with the SummerBridge program at California State University, Long Beach, where he studied English Literature. Anthony would later branch out into the disability rights movement. He has worked extensively with the California State Department of Mental Health and California State Department of Rehabilitation to help spread mental health awareness and advance vocational opportunities for individuals with disabilities. In addition, Anthony has spent over a decade coordinating youth and adult recreation programs with supervisors and constituents from local cities including Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, Long Beach, Compton and Carson. Anthony is also a contributor to the Long Beach Gang Reduction Intervention and Prevention Program. A passionate youth advocate and a proud resident of Long Beach for over 20 years, Anthony is thrilled to play a role in the success of Long Beach youth through Operation Jump Start.
Program Manager (Lead Case Manager)
Maria joined the team February of 2015. She is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach where she received her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and a minor in Criminal Justice. She believes education is the foundation to build a better community. Maria herself is a first-generation college graduate who attributes her success to mentoring. As Operation Jump Start’s dedicated College Access Program Manager Maria oversees the academic progress of students 8th through 10th grade. Her roles include academic advising, records keeping, managing effective mentor-mentee matches and workshop facilitation. She is passionate about working with youth and believes a successful college experience exposes deserving students to high-quality opportunities. In 2016, Maria became the agency’s lead case manager overseeing event quality assurance and evaluation of ongoing academic success across all agency programs.
KeVonna Scott joined Operation Jump Start in 2017 as a Program Manager. Also a first-generation college graduate, KeVonna is a key contributor to the expansion of our programs, coordinate and support with upcoming events, workshops and projects to ensure that our students receive the necessary tools to access their full potential. KeVonna received her undergraduate degree in Communications from Alabama State University and has a Masters in Educational Counseling from National University. She comes with over seven years of experience in the non-profit sector providing academic advisement to high school and college students in regards to the college admission process, financial aid inquiries, scholarships, internships, and goal setting. Also, KeVonna has mentored students and has worked closely with guidance counselors, teachers, parents and community leaders to cohesively mentor and monitor students for academic success. Not only is she particularly interested in providing efficient and sufficient resources and opportunities for students but for parents as well.
Learning Resource Center Coordinator
Lawrence oversees all aspects of Operation Jump Start’s successful on-site tutoring program known as the Learning Resource Center. He works closely with dedicated tutors, volunteers, OJS’ program managers and the executive team to ensure students receive extensive academic support. Under Lawrence’s guidance as event lead, students have participated in many firsts including the first-ever traveling college tour to Stanford University in Northern California and first-time snowboarding excursion to Snow Summit in Big Bear Lake. Additionally, Lawrence oversees the agency’s web-design and information technology systems. He is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach as well as a long-time OJS volunteer mentor.
Communications and Development Manager
Yanira first joined Operation Jump Start in February of 2011 as a Program Assistant. Throughout the years, Yanira’s taken on roles of increasing responsibility and professionally blossomed. She is currently the agency’s Development and Communications Manager responsible for coordinating and executing fundraising events and leads all agency communication and marketing efforts. Yanira received her undergraduate degree from California State University, Long Beach. A proud alumna of OJS, she profoundly believes all youth deserve equal access to a college education.
Sandra started her tenure as a BSW intern in 2016. An internship that was supposed to last a period of 10 weeks ended up turning into a summer internship and eventually becoming an official position at OJS. She received her BA in Social Work and minor in Sociology at California State University, Long Beach. Sandra provides administrative and secretarial support to both Communications and Development Manager and Lead Case Manager. She coordinates effective tracking systems and maintains proper data entry. In addition, she is in charge of maintaining office supply budgets, tracking accounts payable, and assisting in daily operations.
2017 Board Members
Board Vice President
Recruiting Manager, MaxLinear, Inc.,
Mary Lou LaLonde
Retired CEO, LaLonde Equipment Company
Alexis “Al” Regnier
Retired, CEO Manufacturing
President & Founder, Hear and Play Music Group
Retired, City of Long Beach Administration/Finances
Retired, Disney Executive
Deputy District Director, CA State Legislature, AD 59
Diann and Walt Zenda
Retired CA Assemblymember
LA District Attorney
Pacific Life Insurance
Long Beach Police Department
Interested in board membership?
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