2013 GCH Gala PhotoBooth 6 21 StaffSean Lawrence

Executive Director slawrence@gchope.org

Sean grew up a missionary kid in SE Asia and would later work with his church in Southern California to develop a missions program that extended to Japan and Rwanda. In addition, Sean spent several years reporting on missions work and humanitarian crises events around the world for a mission’s magazine. He looks forward to using his experience in relief and missions work to the benefit of our partners.

Sean arrives at GCHope from a most recent background in marketing writing for both non-profits and the private sector. Sean joined Giving Children Hope in June 2010 and rather enjoys his grueling 5 minute commute from his home Fullerton which he shares with his wife Crystal and their three young sons.

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Joe Bergfalk

Director of Budgets and Finance

He is recently retired after a 32-year career with the YMCA. He held positions that include CEO of the San Gabriel Valley YMCA and the YMCA of Riverside City and County, Senior Vice President of the YMCA of Greater Long Beach as well as numerous Executive Director assignments in that association.

Mr. Bergfalk has a Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Long Beach and a national status as a YMCA Senior Director and master trainer.

Joe lives in Buena Park with his wife, Nancy.


IMG 57661 StaffBarbara Berg

Bookkeeper bberg@gchope.org

 Her job moved her to California 10 years ago from Omaha, Nebraska.  Go Huskers!!!  She has been working here at GCHope for a year and a half and has enjoyed every moment of that time.  Barb first learned of GCHope through her church youth group and would come over and pack backpacks.  She thought it felt right to be able in some way give back and help others, no matter how small the part.  Barb is blessed with a son and daughter and a wonderful son-in-law.  Times haven’t always been easy in California, but God has continued to show her that this is where she is supposed to be.

IMG 5836 StaffAngie Brock

Volunteer Coordinator/Receptionist abrock@gchope.org

 Angie’s superpower is her ability to run the Reception desk while also coordinating our volunteer program, all with a smile and a contagious laugh. After a season of studying the secret art of underwater basket-weaving from a grand master in the Himalayas, Angie came to GCHope as a volunteer–and we never let her go! When she’s not wrangling the phones or overseeing our fabulous volunteers, Angie loves spending time outdoors with her two kids, especially if Mexican food is involved. We would pretty much die without her.

drew bryson StaffDrew Bryson

Development Director dbryson@gchope.org

Drew works to unite energy and passion of LA and OC volunteers to the mission and vision of GCHope Projects.

Drew has worked for several years as a Youth Pastor in Orange County, during which time he earned his Master’s of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. In his current position, Drew sees his ministry as inspiring into GCHope donors and volunteers the same deep care that God has for the underprivileged in our world. His passions include literature, really good television and Lakers Basketball. Drew is definitely the second best Frisbee handler on staff.

Drew has the unwarranted privilege of living with the most beautiful woman in the world, his wife Jennifer, along with their daughter and son.

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Gina Centanni

Logistics Coordinator gcentanni@gchope.org

Gina is the coordinator extraordinaire. She fields calls and blasts through daily tasks with a smile, witty joke, and nostalgic stories of her missionary times overseas. She is the second-most organized person on the planet and makes the rest of the staff look like slackers. Basically, she’s fantastic. Please don’t recruit her away from us; we need her.

paul webpic StaffPaul Geisert

Warehouse Assistant pgeisert@gchope.org

Paul began at GCHope as an Intern for the We’ve Got Your Back Toy Drive in 2011. He has proven himself extremely valuable to the team which is why he has worked for several of our programs from the Giving For Living program, We’ve Got Your Back Coordinator, and is now the Assistant Warehouse Manager. Paul attended the Laguna College of Art and Design with a major in Illustration which lead him to believe he would never become a farmer, but life is full of surprises! Paul leads our veggie picking teams and manages the Learning Garden. Paul’s willing attitude is his greatest strength but it usually lands him with the strangest sometimes funniest of jobs here at GCHope. He is also the resident Batman/Pacman fanatic and draws many of the decorations on the food drive barrels and some of the WGYB flyers


IMG 57822 StaffShannon Jones

Warehouse Assistant sjones@gchope.org

Shannon started working at GCHope two years ago as a volunteer, but we loved her so much we made her stay! Officially a member of our intrepid warehouse team, she doubles as the GCHope safety monitor ninja, making sure our volunteers stay safe and keeping track of all of us during earthquake drills. She brings to GCHope three years of experience in medical terminology and physical therapy, as well as her experience as a medical assistant and a fleet and safety coordinator (code for: safety monitor ninja skills!). On the side, Shannon enjoys motorcycles, Thai food, and loving on her ten (soon to be eleven!) grandkids. Weekends usually find her out in the fields picking fresh veggies with our GCHope volunteers to support our We’ve Got Your Back Program.

marius marza Staff

Marius Marza

Warehouse Manager mmarza@gchope.org

Looking back on his ten years managing the GCHope warehouse, Marius comments on his favorite part of the job: Packing boxes of supplies to ship to those in need overseas, “because every time I do, it feels like sending a present to someone.” Marius came to the States from Romania, and he brought with him an understanding of what it’s like to grow up in a poorer country, and he’s glad to be able now to help those who are without resources. When he’s not sailing through the warehouse on his razor or filling a container with medical equipment, Marius loves spending time with his beautiful wife and adorable baby boy (who is one of our newest bean-pickers for the WGYB program on the weekends). If you run into Marius, ask him to pick up a coin with his forklift. He’ll blow your mind.  

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Albert Ramirez


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Jessica Rickerts

Director of Administration jrickerts@gchope.org

Jessica keeps the place from spiraling into chaos. She maintains order with multi-tasking abilities that make us question her humanity. She maintains balance by streaming Pandora Radio, watching John Cusack films, and kicking back large amounts of caffeine.

Born and raised in Orange County, Ca, Jessica graduated summa cum laude from California State University, Fullerton, with a B.A. in Communications, emphasizing Public Relations, and a minor in English. Her previous experience includes six years working in the auto appraisal industry and a position at a public relations/event planning firm. She is now the reigning grammar tyrant, but only by default. She joined Giving Children Hope in May of 2008.

Rosa webpic StaffRosa Rueda

Giving for Living Coordinator rrueda@gchope.org

 Rosa (a.k.a. Wonder Woman) has been at GCHope for four years, and her love for her job grows with each year that passes. Her position in our Giving For Living program gives her many opportunities to work with needy families from the community, and few things make her happier than seeing the surprise and joy on their faces when they come looking for a little assistance and leave with far more than they’d been expecting. When she’s not at GCHope, you can usually find her on a good long walk with her kids.

Saldana Elizabeth2 206x300 StaffElizabeth Saldana

Community Development Director esaldana@gchope.org

Elizabeth joined the Giving Children Hope in 2007, as the We’ve Got Your Back Coordinator. Her position has developed into Director of Community Relations working to create and develop relationships in the local community. She believes that collaborating is the key to success. She was born in Quito, Ecuador and migrated here with her parents at the age of two. She was raised in Cypress, California and graduated from Cypress College with her A.A.. Her Bachelor of Science in Business/Project Management from the University of Phoenix will be completed in 2014. She is happily married to Eugenio and together have three beautiful children Jonathan, Victoria, and Leo. She feels blessed to have a loving family that supports her and puts up with her hectic schedule.

IMG 5886 StaffChristine Sanchez

Director of Community Programs csanchez@gchope.org

Christine’s passion for the nonprofit arena began with her work with at-risk youth in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles. She started her career in corporate America before her calling to the nonprofit and teaching sectors. She graduated with honors earning her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Mount Saint Mary’s College. She is driven by the inspiration and passion of our partners here at GCHope. Overseeing our domestic programs, she gets awfully excited about connecting GCHope’s resources with partners in our local communities. Christine is a hockey mom, and when not at work you can bet she’s at a local hockey rink cheering on her two sons.

IMG 5787 StaffAmerica Tapia

We’ve Got Your Back Warehouse Manager atapia@gchope.org

America started volunteering for Giving Children Hope in 2000 and joined our family in 2003. She grew up in Mexico City but currently lives in Cypress. America loves munching on all kinds of candy, and has many talents, including computer programming and database entry and dancing! If you ever need a dancing partner or need help finding something in the warehouse, she’s the person to ask!

Carly3 214x300 StaffCarly Visbal

Communications Coordinator cvisbal@gchope.org

Carly is one of the newest members of the GCHope team, hailing from Orange County originally but recently moved back from San Francisco. She has a degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from University of San Francisco and a passion for social justice. Her fire for human rights began in her high school youth group and has flourished with her experiences working for organizations like Not For Sale and World Vision. She is so thankful to be working at GCHope and soak up all the knowledge she can!

IMG 5806 StaffElia Perez

We’ve Got Your Back Coordinator eperez@gchope.org

 Eli is ecstatic to be at GCHope with such a wonderful group of individuals and grateful to be able to work for such an amazing organization. She grew up in Stanton and currently lives in Anaheim with her beautiful son and daughter. In her free time she is either playing “hair stylist” with her daughter or cheering on her son at his baseball games.