The COTS Board of Directors and Leadership Team share a common goal of ending homelessness in Sonoma County. We provide leadership to assist our community’s families and individuals to resolve their experience of homelessness with the support of COTS’ housing programs and services.

Our team members have diverse educational, career, and life experience. Several of our team members, including members of the executive team, are formerly homeless. We work together to fulfill COTS’ mission by performing the roles listed below.

Board of Directors, 2017 - 2018

Judy Tuhtan, President

Retired, Sonoma County Wine Grape Commission

Judy has served on the COTS Board since 2005 and has held the positions of President, Vice President, and Secretary. She has been a team member for the Family Connection, and has organized large education and training events as well as major fundraisers. When her children were younger, Judy was a team parent for the Cardinal Newman High School Cross Country and Track Team for eight years, earning the distinction of Parent of the Year from Cardinal Newman High School. She is also a long-time member of the Windsor Women’s Golf Club. Judy holds a B.A. in Children & Families from Iowa State University with additional training in accounting, payroll, and bookkeeping from Santa Rosa Junior College.

Pat Williams, Vice President

Retired, Petaluma Police Department

In addition to his long career in police work, Chief Williams holds a Master’s degree in Leadership, which we know he will put to good use in his new leadership role on the COTS Board of Directors. Chief Williams has worked in law enforcement for over 30 years. Prior to coming to the City of Petaluma, Chief Williams served as Police Chief for the City of Desert Hot Springs for many years. Read more.

John Baxter, Treasurer

President, Baxter Financial Services

John joined the COTS Board this year, but he has been a fan of the organization since reviewing its impressive performance as Chair of the Strengthening Families Impact Committee for the local United Way. Since 2002, he has helped individuals and couples plan their financial futures, including their satisfying and secure retirement. Earlier he held increasingly responsible roles with health care organizations in Northern California and New England, including eleven years as head of Health Plan of the Redwoods. He has served on the boards of local hospitals, the Northern California Center of Well-Being, United Way, and a homeowners association and been treasurer for three local political campaigns. John earned BA and MBA degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.

Karen Nelson, Secretary

Retired, University of California -- San Francisco

Karen has over thirty years of higher education administration experience at three UC campuses and is currently an academic planning consultant to the UC Institute of Global Health. She previously served as the UCSF Education Manager for Global Health Sciences and Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies. She has extensive experience in the areas of student services, program operations, educational policy, grants management, and the development of new training and degree programs. Karen’s volunteer work includes participating as a mentor for the COTS Rent Right Program, serving as a high school student mentor for the 10,000 Degrees Program, and previously working as an elementary school volunteer. Karen received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Kent State University in Ohio.

Tom Chambers

Retired, Healdsburg City Council

Profile coming soon.

Chris Ranney

Ranney Coaching & Consulting

Chris has been a long-time volunteer and supporter of COTS. He began his career in financial services in 1986, working primarily in the retirement plan market. Chris co-founded an investment planning firm and served as President/CEO from 2007 to 2010. He recently sold the financial planning business he jointly owned with his wife, Shari. Today, Chris is the Principal of Ranney Coaching & Consulting. He specializes in working with C-Level Executives, Executive Directors, Senior Management Teams and Financial Advisors. Chris’ early career as a school psychologist and MFCC, coupled with his extensive business background, gives him a solid foundation for his volunteer and board work at COTS. He is a member of The Rotary Club of Petaluma, the Petaluma Chamber of Commerce and the National Ski Patrol. Chris graduated with a B.A. and a M.A. in Psychology from California State University, Chico.

Bill Gabbert

Century 21 Bundesen

Bill is currently a Realtor with Century 21 Bundesen. He has volunteered as a mentor for the COTS Rent Right program and volunteers as a Table Captain for the COTS annual breakfast every year. He is also a very active board member and Community Service Chairperson with the Petaluma Sunrise Rotary Club. He was the owner of The Bicycle Factory with 4 stores in Sonoma and Marin counties before he sold them in 2001.  He is a past board member of the Petaluma Downtown Association and was a founding board member for the Polly Klaas Foundation. He has served as president of various merchant groups in Petaluma and Novato. He is a graduate of Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma State.

Erin Hawkins

Petaluma Health Care District

A Bay Area resident for nearly a decade, Erin Hawkins is thrilled to now call the North Bay her home. Although Erin and her family reside in Santa Rosa, most of her waking hours are spent in Petaluma. As the Community Outreach Program Manager for the Petaluma Health Care District, Erin has the opportunity to bring together residents, businesses, and nonprofits to address the most pressing health needs of our community and take action to improve the health of all District residents. Erin received a B.A. in International Development from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.S. in Community Development from the University of California, Davis. A passionate and dedicated community health advocate, Erin also sits on the board the Petaluma Valley Hospital NextGen and is a member of Petaluma Valley Rotary.

Matthew Ingram

CEO, Driving Force

Matthew Ingram, MPP, MPH, is the founder and CEO of Driving Force, a for-purpose consulting firm that helps companies, individuals, and foundations give strategically. Matthew has spent his career helping organizations to leverage best practices and use evidence to drive improvements. He served as Community Partnership Officer for St. Joseph Health-Sonoma County, Program Officer for the private foundation Metta Fund, and has worked in academic research spanning the methodological spectrum. Matthew holds Masters degrees in Public Health and Public Policy from UC Berkeley and a BA in Anthropology from UC Santa Cruz. While at Berkeley, he was co-Editor in Chief of PolicyMatters Journal, an academic journal that publishes original research. He was also a Center for Health Leadership Fellow, a Eustace Kwan Foundation Research Fellow, and a Researcher at the Center for Health and Public Policy Studies. Fundamentally a curious person above all else, Mr. Ingram is an avid reader, podcast fan, father to two young (and also very curious!) children, and water sports enthusiast.

Ben Leroi

Deputy Director, Ritter Center

Ben joined the COTS Board in 2017 and has worked for Bay Area nonprofit organizations in the health and human services field for nearly 20 years. He currently serves as the Deputy Director for Ritter Center, a Health Care for the Homeless and permanent supportive housing organization in San Rafael. He has experience in nonprofit program operations, fund development, database administration, grants management and program evaluation. He holds a Master’s Degree in Public and Nonprofit Administration from San Francisco State University and is an advocate for further integration of healthcare and housing systems and services. Ben lives in Petaluma with his wife and young son and looks forward to helping further COTS’ mission.

Curt Peters

Finance Director, Enphase Energy

As a Sonoma County local, he understands the incredible service COTS provides to the community and was a supporter prior to joining the board.  Curt’s connection to Enphase Energy provided him the opportunity to assist in the Mary Isaak Center solar installation donated by many, including Enphase.  As a graduate of Marquette University, a Jesuit institution, service and faith are important to Curt.  Marquette’s credo of “Be the Difference” aligns perfectly with the mission of COTS.

Andrea Pfeiffer

Chocolate Horse Farms

Andrea joined the COTS Board in 2012 and is a longstanding Sunday morning volunteer at the Petaluma Kitchen. Andrea creates delicious food that gives diners at COTS the comaraderie of family and friends that she had growing up. In her professional life, Andrea has over 30 years of experience training horses and riders. She and her husband own Chocolate Horse Farm, devoted to performance horses and equestrians. Andrea is a graduate of the British Horse Society, and has made a significant contribution in the eventing and dressage world as both rider and trainer. Chocolate Horse Farm represented the USA at a world cup competition in Strezegom, Poland in 2010. Andrea has served on the Board of Enrich and Educate and was president of her children’s elementary school PTA for several years.

Ken Savano

Chief of Police, Petaluma Police Department

Profile coming soon.

Leadership Team

Jenna Garcia

Program Director

Jenna joined COTS in April 2013, and has over seven years of management experience in both non-profit and private business sectors. Starting as an Employment Specialist, she created and implemented a comprehensive employment program called “Work: Ready.” In addition to Work: Ready, she now manages the COTS Children’s Program, the Family Emergency Shelter, the Family Transitional Housing in Healdsburg and Rapid Re-Housing, a permanent housing program.

Mike Johnson

Chief Executive Officer

Mike began his career with COTS in 1999 as a Winter Shelter Coordinator and assumed the CEO role in July 2013. In 2014, he was a recipient of a North Bay Nonprofit Leadership Award, recognized by the State of California Senate and the California Legislature Assembly. His vision is that “the nonprofits, philanthropists and public agencies that now serve homeless people in a largely piecemeal, uncoordinated way … genuinely work together to share best practices and streamline efforts.” Read more about Mike’s story.

Ariana Bricker

Chief Financial Officer

Biography coming soon.

Brian Bricker

Chief Operating Officer

Brian joined the COTS team in 2016, following a successful career in air and ground medical transport operations. He specializes in organizational process improvement, risk management, and effective team development. A lifelong Sonoma County resident with a passion for helping others in need, Brian was drawn to COTS by both the mission and the people.

Sarah Quinto

Chief Development Officer

Sarah joined COTS in January 2014 having spent 10 years in the nonprofit sector. Her work has ranged from an international voluntary health organization to small community-based cooperatives to mentoring programs for at-risk urban teens. She has an B.A. in Religious Studies from University of California, Santa Barbara and an Advanced Certificate in Disability Studies from City University of New York. She lives with her husband and two kids in Petaluma, California.