Pati Navalta is a longtime Bay Area journalist, serving as the Community Editor for the Vallejo Times-Herald, News Editor at the Alameda News Group, and Editorial Writer and Columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle, where she was nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize for her editorial series on the need for foster care reform in California. She later worked as the Asia Regional Director for an international organization that works with national governments and intergovernmental agencies on shaping sustainability policies. She is the author of “The Oracles: My Filipino Grandparents of America” (2006, Heyday Books), and the author of the upcoming book, “A Better Place” (Nothing But the Truth Publishing), to be released in 2018. She is married to Cicero A. Estrella, and is the proud mother of two children, Robby and Julie. She is committed to honoring them every day through The Robby Poblete Foundatio
Leila G. Devine has served for 26 years with the federal government, 17 years as a Budget Analyst with the USDA Forest Service, and nine years as a Budget Analyst with the Social Security Administration. She is an active member of the community, volunteering as a parent club member of the North Bay Athletic Gymnastic Association and the local high school athletic boosters. As a native Vallejo resident, she brings a wealth of networking and community knowledge. She's married to Robert J. Devine and is a mother of three children who are all products of Vallejo schools. She is committed to working with the foundation to ensure the foundation stays on track by monitoring the gun buyback program’s outputs and performance measures. Leila looks forward to making positive changes in the community and is honored to serve and help with The Robby Poblete Foundation. “Together, we can make the change!”
Levi Sumagaysay, an immigrant who was raised in Vallejo, is a journalist. She has worked at the Vallejo Times-Herald, Alameda News Group and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. She is now the editor of SiliconBeat, the award-winning technology news blog of the Mercury News, where she has worked in various writing and editing roles for the past two decades. She loves hiking, food, wine, books, husband Vernon Farley and daughter Eva, though not necessarily in that order.
Mike Jory has been a resident of Solano County for almost 50 years, and has been observing life here as photojournalist, first in Fairfield and then for more than 30 years in Vallejo. He became involved with the Poblete family first as Pati Poblete’s co-worker at the Vallejo Times-Herald, and then as a family friend when everyone was growing up. Mike contributed the majority of photos on this website and is documenting the foundation's journey through his lens. People-watching is still one of his favorite pastimes.
In 2000, Sandy Navalta began working at Northern California Grantmakers---a membership organization of grantmakers, foundations, and other corporate giving programs. She supported three collaborative funds: the Arts Loan Fund, the Emergency Fund Committee, and the Summer Youth Project. While managing the Summer Youth Project, she worked closely with over 60 funders and nearly 350 grantees. This gave her a unique perspective into the grant-making process, by applying for grants and approving grants. In 2004, she went on to work at the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation as the executive assistant to the president, where she stayed until 2010. She currently lives and works in San Francisco with her husband, Chris and their cat, Pepper.
Roberto Rodriguez III proudly served in the U.S Navy as an Engineer from June 2006 to June 2012. Eager to assume his role as a father and husband, he moved to Vallejo, California from Virginia Beach, Virginia to begin his life as a civilian. Grateful for veteran benefits that provided a college education, Roberto completed a Paralegal program at Cal State University, East Bay in 2015. Currently, Roberto works as a Paralegal at Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young law firm in Napa, California. In his free time, Roberto enjoys spending quality time with his wife, Jamelyn and two children, Jameson and Emma. Roberto also enjoys mentoring kids. He has participated in teaching kids the martial art of Judo and he loves to coach his son's basketball team as Roberto is an avid basketball player himself.
Cicero A. Estrella is a journalist who has covered news, sports and entertainment for the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner, and is currently an online producer for the Bay Area News Group. Cicero was raised in San Francisco and graduated from San Francisco State University. He was born in Manila, and has also lived in Vancouver and Honolulu. He is an avid music fan and rabid follower of the Warriors and Giants. His goal is to visit every continent and soak in as many cultures possible with his wife, Pati.
Rae Ann Catilo was raised in Vallejo after her family immigrated from the Philippines when she was only a year old. In December 2017, she received a B.A. in Communication Studies from San Jose State University, becoming the first college graduate in her family. Rae Ann has volunteered as a Peer Health Educator at SJSU, a LEO club member, and a tutor where she gained experience in Community Outreach and Volunteer Management. She loves to hike, visit beaches or lakes, volunteer, and spend time with family and friends.
Alyssa Natividad is a Vallejo native with a passion for people. She recently moved back to the Bay Area from Southern California to pursue a career in Social Work. Alyssa spends time volunteering at church and with the San Diego Food Bank. She is currently in school to pursue her dream career and is excited to be a part of the team with such a meaningful and deeply rooted foundation. In her free time you can catch her with her dog, enjoying the outdoors or loving all types of food (sweet or savory)!
Vicel was born in the Philippines and raised in Vallejo. A graduate of San Francisco State University, she has experience in human resources, recruiting, teaching and direct sales. She is a Zumba and wine enthusiast and has helped organize Zumbathons for Vallejo Together and for other fundraising efforts in the community. She resides in Vallejo with her husband, three kids and an adorable dog named Petey.
John Lowell Burton was Chairman of the California Democratic Party from April 2009 until May 2017. A professor of California Politics at San Francisco State University, he served in the California State Assembly (1965–74), in the U.S. House of Representatives (1974–83), in the State Assembly again (1988–96), and in the California State Senate (1996-2004) (representing the 3rd district). Burton is a graduate of the University of San Francisco School of Law. He is the founder of the John Burton Advocates for Youth and is serving as an advisor to RPF on its vocational program as it relates to foster youth.
Sgt. Brenton Garrick has been a member the Vallejo community for 44 years. He began studies in Criminal Justice at Solano Community College where he earned his AA/AS degree College before entering the Napa Valley Police Academy in 1989. He attained B.S. Degree in the Administration of Justice, University of Phoenix, and joined the Vallejo Police Department in 1990. Sgt. Garrick is currently assigned to the Support Services Division as the department’s Community Engagement Officer where he networks daily with city, county and community leaders and manages department’s social media and facilitates training and outreach programs administered by the department throughout the community and abroad.
Danny Bernardini began his career as a journalist. In 2006 he was hired at the Vacaville Reporter where he covered county government and had his own column. As the industry began to face challenges, Danny was presented with a chance to jump to a new profession as the government affairs director for the Northern Solano Association of Realtors (NSCAR). In 2012 he returned to the newsroom working at the Fairfield Daily Republic, and later went on to work as the field representative for Sen. Lois Wolk. Because the world of union construction continues to become more political, the Napa Solano Building and Construction Trades Council came calling and it was an easy decision for him join as Business Manager, a position he holds today.
Melissa Fondakowski's entire career has been dedicated to nonprofit work. For the past 10 years, she has been a consultant to a number of environmental and social service nonprofits working in media, the arts, and philanthropy. She’s been a part of The Redford Center's team since early 2014 focused on fundraising, development and program strategy, and Redford Center Grants. Melissa received a degree in Psychiatry and Religion from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York in 2013, and an MFA from Mills College in 1997. Melissa draws on these experiences to contribute thoughtful and critical cross-disciplinary thinking to all Redford Center endeavors. Melissa is also a writer: her chapbook of poetry entitled Impatiens was chosen as the winner of the 2001 Sow’s Ear Review poetry chapbook competition and was published in 2002, and her novel, Out, was published in August 2017.
Rina Malonzo is the creative director and co-founder of Tink Tank Studio, a branding agency with offices in New York and Manila, covering both hemispheres of the world. For nearly 30 years, she has specialized in developing and executing complex communication systems and brands for organizations of all sizes and types, across all stakeholder touch points. After graduating from UC Berkeley, Rina moved to New York, where she served as the New York co-chair of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) for 4 years, lobbying the United Nations. She simultaneously grew her branding career working on Al Gore’s RePower America campaign, World Wildlife Fund, Global Footprint Network and the Roxas Kalaw Foundation for the eradication of poverty. In Asia, she spearheaded the Design Thinking for Climate Change and Sustainability conference series, brokered multi-sector partnerships with government, educational institutions and corporations. She won a national competition to gain seed funding and investors to fund a revolutionary job creation platform for creative professionals – the first of its kind in Asia. An in-demand speaker and consultant on branding, design for change, and the future of the creative economy, Rina toggles between New York and Manila to stir waves of innovation.