Board of Directors

Chief Joe Allio, Board President Interim Police Chief, City of Vacaville Chief Joe Allio is a 34-year veteran of law enforcement. He began his law enforcement career in South San Francisco and four years later joined the Fairfield Police Department where he rose through the ranks to become Chief of Police.

Joe has also served in pastoral positions at local churches, was a member of the Host Lions Club and the President of the Northern California Batten Disease Association. As a member of the Fairfield Police Department, he served on the SWAT team, was a founding member of the Peer Support Team, participated in the development of “active shooter” response training and developed and implemented the Police Probation Team. He has earned two Exceptional Performance Citations and completed Senior Management Law Enforcement Institute hosted by Boston University.

After retiring from the Fairfield Police Department, Joe served as the interim Chief and Deputy Chief for the Vallejo Police Department. He is now currently the interim Chief for the Vacaville Police Department. Joe and his wife Kathy reside in Vacaville.
Monica Ready, Vice President Principal, Napa Unified School District Monica Ready began her educational career at Napa High School as an English teacher, and then served as an Assistant Principal at that school. Monica, who has an English degree from Pepperdine University and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Touro University, was named Principal at Harvest Middle School in 2016.

I am proud that the Napa Community recognized the need for after-school tutoring and mentoring in a safe environment,” Monica says. “It was a dream come true for me when The Leaven opened a center across the street from Harvest Middle School. My desire is that the children served through The Leaven will be equipped with hope and goals for their future, and a faith that sustains in all circumstances.”

Monica attends First Christian Church in Napa.
Sue Ovitt, Treasurer Chaffey Joint Union High School Board of Trustees Sue Ovitt is a lifelong resident of the Inland Empire in Southern California and a former elementary school teacher.

When The Leaven expanded to San Bernardino County, California, Sue and her husband, Gary, became deeply involved in helping establish roots and connections. “I know the importance of education,” Sue says, “and that means I greatly value tutoring, mentoring and providing positive role models in our children’s lives.”

In addition to serving on The Leaven’s board, Sue is on the board of Chaffey College Foundation, OPARC (training, employing and transforming the lives of adults with disabilities), and The Community Foundation and West End Family Counseling Services. Sue and Gary attend Community Christian Fellowship in Ontario.
Ruth Meyer, Secretary Pilot, United States Air Force Ruth Meyer is an airline pilot and member of the United States Air Force. When working at Travis Air Force Base, she learned about The Leaven, and wanted be part of our mission.

With an educational background in math and financial planning in addition to aviation, she brings her considerable skills and experience to our board. She said “I wanted to get involved because the children of this area need and deserve to be provided a safe and engaging environment after school that allows them to dream beyond their streets, obtain support to excel in academics and be their best for not only their benefit but their family and community.”
Judge Mike Nail Superior Court Judge (ret) Judge Mike Nail is a retired Judge of the Superior Court for the State of California, holding that position for more than two decades. Prior to assuming the bench, he was District Attorney for Solano County for 11 years and Assistant District Attorney for 14 years.

Upon his retirement in 2007, Judge Mike Nail wanted to invest his time into helping at-risk children. He was a former member of the Lion's Club and a member and past president of Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife have three children and five grandchildren.
Mayor Len Augustine Mayor, City of Vacaville (ret) Mayor Leonard “Len” Augustine is a retired USAF Colonel and former Mayor of the City of Vacaville. Len gives back to his community not only through his involvement with The Leaven, but also by serving on the board for Travis Credit Union and as Chairman of the Travis Community Consortium where he is an advocate for Travis Air Force Base.

When Len first learned of our center in Fairfield, he became interested in starting a center in his city. He says “I saw the need for the City of Vacaville to participate in providing ‘safe havens’ for children in our neighborhoods where working parents were spending long hours to make life better for their families. It seemed to me that after school hours spent with adult supervision would be beneficial for kids needing some direction. And I was aware that crime could be cut in half.” Len has been married to his wife, Susan, for 56 years.
Mayor Osby Davis Mayor, City of Vallejo (ret) Mayor Osby Davis is the former mayor of Vallejo, CA, where he served in that role for 9 years, in addition to maintaining his law practice in Vallejo.

An advocate of early childhood reading, Osby raised funds for The Leaven to pioneer a preschool reading program in Vallejo. "Being on the board of The Leaven allows me do what I like to do," Osby says, "and that is supporting positive activities for at-risk youth in our communities who would otherwise have little or no hope of success."

Osby and his wife, Terrye (a Contra Costa County Court Judge) have 4 children and 13 grandchildren. They attend Lighthouse Covenant Fellowship Church in Benicia where Osby has taught adult Sunday School for the past 20 years.
Chief Randy Fenn Police Chief, City of Fairfield (ret) Chief Randy Fenn, a police officer since 1991, joined the Fairfield Police Department in January 2012 as a police lieutenant. In this role, Randy served as both a patrol and traffic commander, and facilitated the creation of the department’s Homeless Intervention Team. This initiative helps people access services that can lead to permanent housing and reunification with their families. Randy, who has a bachelor’s degree in Human Relations and a Masters of Science in Criminal Justice, was promoted to Captain in 2014 and appointed chief in March 2017.

Randy and his family attend Parkway Community Church. His hope for The Leaven children is that they will see the Gospel in action and that they will be placed on a trajectory for success that ultimately leads them back to Fairfield to serve the community.
Staci Pauly Senior Finance Manager, Genentech (ret) Staci Pauly was the Senior Finance Manager at Genentech in Vacaville. She was born and raised in the City of Vacaville and has volunteered with several local organizations over the years.

Staci was introduced to The Leaven through Crossroads Christian Church which she has attended since 1998. She has a lot of hands-on volunteering experience and is excited to be on The Leaven's board to help steer the organization to be "the best it can be for our children and our entire community."
Captain Ian Schmutzler Captain, Vacaville Police Department Captain Ian Schmutzler started with the Vacaville Police Department in 2000 and quickly rose through the ranks to oversee the Field Support Bureau. He began working with The Leaven as a volunteer in 2015 and is now a proud board member.

“I’ve been able to see the incredible work that they do and the tangible results of having The Leaven involved in a neighborhood and everything that comes with it: a dramatic drop in crime, a sense of community, and in some of the high-density housing areas that they’ve established after school programs, the tenancy has gone up. I've seen all kinds of wonderful outcomes that are due to The Leaven and those that support The Leaven.”

As a police captain who has seen first-hand the kinds of challenges under-privileged children face, Ian is thrilled to be joining our team and to be making a difference.
Frank Lizarraga, Esq. Attorney, Lizarraga Law Firm Frank Lizarraga obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of La Verne in 1980, as well as a Juris Doctorate degree from Western State College of Law.

Frank is a practicing attorney with offices in the Inland Empire region of Southern California. He is an accomplished civil litigator with over 30 years of legal and courtroom experience and has been honored to be a member of the National American Board of Trial Advocates, an invitation only, peer review organization, recognizing extensive litigation experience, as well as civility, integrity and professionalism.

He is currently serving as legal counsel to the Inland Valley Association of Realtors, The Greater Ontario Convention and Visitors Bureau and former general counsel to the Southern California Association of Governments, the largest metropolitan planning organization in the United States. Frank was also a Planning Commissioner for the City of Ontario for 17 years and chaired that commission for over 10 years.

Frank currently sits on several private and public boards, including chairing the Board of Advisors to the University’s College of Law and is a member of the Board of Trustees to the University of La Verne.
David Zellner, Emeritus In-Park Services Director, Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor David Zellner is the past President of The Leaven's board, serving as a board member from 2015-2021. He served as our Board President for three of those years. He is the Director of In-Park Services for Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, CA.

David was first introduced to The Leaven through a friend and was impressed by the success of our model. "Day-to-day, I see the result of kids dropping out of education," David says. "What our young people need most is to find Christ and to succeed academically so they have opportunities for the future."

David is a former Executive Sous Chef and worked for the corporate offices of Six Flags before relocating to Northern California and assuming his current role at the Valencia theme park. He and his wife live in Southern California.
General Maryanne Miller, Honorary Commander, Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois (ret) General Maryanne Miller is a retired 4-star U.S. Air Force General with over 39 years of military service. In her career, she has led two Major Commands and is the only Reserve Officer in the history of the United States to achieve the rank of General to-date.

General Miller has extensive experience in rapid, global mobility and sustainment as the Commander of Air Mobility Command and the Commander of the Air Force Reserve. As the Air Component for U.S. Transportation Command, General Miller was responsible for directing global air mobility operations in support of national security objectives. Her commands played a pivotal role in providing global airlift, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation, humanitarian relief and Presidential airlift support as directed.

General Miller serves on the Board of Directors of Bristow, an advisor to New Vista Acquisition Corp., and a member of the Board of Trustees for Manhattan College in the Bronx, New York. She is also a co-worker for St. Teresa of Calcutta’s Missionaries of Charity serving some of the poorest communities around the world.

General Miller was drawn to The Leaven because it is a powerful agent for good through faith, hope and love. The Leaven transforms lives, families, and communities to realize the power of good within us so that we can transform the environment around us.
Dr. Rick Rigsby, Honorary President and CEO, Rick Rigsby Communications As President and CEO of Rick Rigsby Communications, the internationally acclaimed speaker presents to the top companies worldwide. Dr. Rick Rigsby is also a favorite among professional and collegiate sports organizations. Rick—a former award-winning professor—spent over two decades teaching at various colleges, most of those years serving at Texas A&M University. In addition to academic duties, Rick was hired by legendary football icon R. C. Slocum as Chaplain and Life Skills Coach for the Aggies football team.

A former award-winning journalist, Rick is a regular contributor on numerous national television and radio programs.

Inspired by a genuine conviction to help people realize their full potential, Rick brings a combined four decades of experience and expertise to the set of How Ya' Livin’? This transformative podcast encourages, inspires and challenges people at every level to dream bigger, stretch beyond comfort zones and achieve the impossible!
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