Meet The Team

Board of Directors

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Rachel Manning, Board of Directors

Rachel’s most important role is mom to her son Jakob, now a college sophomore. When she is not working as a Food Resources Manager at the Redwood Empire Food Bank, she is a passionate volunteer for Una Vida. She traveled to the Dominican Republic with Una Vida in March of 2017. She was awarded the Be What's Possible grant from Gap, Inc. to return to the Dominican Republic in July 2017, to implement a women's leadership program, providing mentorship and skills-training to the women of The Madres Collective. She hosted the annual Lagunitas fundraiser supporting Una Vida in 2017 - 2019, and became a board member for the organization at the end of 2017. She has a BA in Humanities from Dominican University and also played Basketball and Volleyball. When she is not volunteering, she can be found hiking with her dog, Dusty. (or doing yoga, going to concerts, just being a cool chick!)

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Kara Klinge, Board of Directors

Kara can be found dancing bachata in a Dominican disco, exploring SF Bay Area backroads, or exploring the world's Coffeelands. Committed to social entrepreneurship, Kara has worked as a Tour Manager at Invisible Children, and helped launch a groundbreaking farmer-owned coffee company in Tanzania. She is the founder of The Madres Collective, a mission driven business that champions women artisans and makers from around the globe, and Bello Blooms, a sustainable floral business in Petaluma, CA. Kara has an MA in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University.

 

 

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Pedro Rodriguez & Candy Rodriguez, Country Directors & Board of Directors

Candy studied ophthalmology in Ecuador before returning to La Descubierta to start a family. She is a certified Ophathalmic Technician. She loves that her work includes helping the poorest of her community, and appreciates that Dominicans “siempre estamos feliz” in spite of day to day struggles; she is happiest spending time with her family, including her husband, a constant source of inspiration in her life.  Candy hails from Los Pinos del Eden, the mountain community that is home of our Madres program.

Pedro Rodriguez has worked for the Dominican Ministry of the Environment for the past nine years as a Biosphere Reserve management specialist.  As part of his duties he works with local communities on environmental education and sustainable development (ecotourism). Pedro was born in the eastern Dominican Republic, but moved to the southwest (La Descubierta) where he lived for four years before he settled in Barahona.  He arrived in La Descubierta as part of a program to develop ecotourism activities with local people in the Enriquillo National Park. While living in La Descubierta he met his lovely wife Candy, and they have two children: Isaac and Jahdiel. Pedro also met Lynne Moquete in La Descubierta, and he became an integral supporter of Una Vida. Pedro is passionate about changing people’s lives.

Petaluma Team

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Lynne Moquete, Executive Director

Lynne Moquete is an award-winning educator, mentor and community leader known for teaching compassion, empathy and civic responsibility in her classroom and in the community at large. She is committed to empowering students and adults to reach their fullest potential and live a life of service to others. Lynne is a creative problem solver who mobilizes resources & inspires generosity. 

 

With a master’s degree in public health from the University of Texas, Lynne has taught Human Interaction at Casa Grande High School for 25 years. The job is as fulfilling as it gets, as she encourages her students to become involved in the local and global community.

In conjunction with teaching, Lynne reaches out to marginalized communities in Petaluma and Sonoma County: feeding the hungry and being present for those in need. A skilled networker, Lynne connects community members to ways in which they can be of service to others in a dignified and loving way.

For more than 20 years, Lynne has also led transformational community-development and service-learning experiences in the Dominican Republic, continuing the work she started there as a Peace Corps volunteer in the early nineties. 

Lynne doesn’t believe in "volunteering" in so much as she believes in a lifestyle of service- seeing the needs of others and working to meet those needs while encouraging others to join her along the way. 

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Audrey Whitbeck, Co-Director

Now retired, Audrey previously worked as Office Manager and all around “whatever needed to get done” for Kresky Signs, Inc. for 38 years. Audrey became immersed in Una Vida Petaluma operations during the summer of 2020, at the height of the pandemic. She really is a Jane of all trades so to speak!  Audrey is Lynne’s other 10 hands. 

 

Audrey tracks donations, purchases supplies, manages budgets, coordinates matching people in need of specific items with people who have those items to give. She also coordinates donations from local vendors and so much more!  Her house is an Una Vida donation drop off location and she can often be found driving all over town to pick up or deliver items as needed. Audrey is a true blessing to all!

 

When not volunteering her time, Audrey loves to garden, travel in her fifth wheel and hangout with her husband Steve, her greatest fan. Audrey prides herself on her 3 grown children, 6 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.

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Shelbi Stoudt, Volunteer Coordinator

Known to be small but mighty, Shelbi is quite a force! She has a long history of volunteer management. She is a well-known name nationally in the marine mammal community and locally with the Girl Scouts, Boosters and, of course, Una Vida. 

 

Next to her love for animals, she loves working with people. She first met Lynne when her daughter, Carissa, took Human Interaction at Casa Grande High School. Shelbi chaperoned field trips and helped out wherever needed. As a Girl Scout Troop Leader, her troop donated food gift cards and toys to Una Vida when the COVID-19 pandemic started. Shelbi and Carissa soon became weekly food delivery drivers, spearheaded a toiletry drive, organized a Christmas Give Away…. and so much more!

 

With almost 500 Una Vida volunteers, Shelbi has implemented tools to track all volunteer hours and is proud to have implemented a program that allows minors to volunteer. 

 

When she has down time (what’s that?!?!?) Shelbi is a homebody and loves to curl up under her pets watching movies, doing puzzles, playing cards or board games.


In addition to Carissa, Shelbi also has 4 furry kids and an incredibly patient husband, Jeff.

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Jennifer King and Jim Mattos, Clothing Distribution Coordinators and Traffic Safety Coordinator

This dynamic duo is a force to be reckoned with and has made volunteering for Una Vida truly a family affair. Their daughter Savannah often helps sort food and clothing, Jennifer’s mom, Sandra, hosts a food pantry in Shelter Cove, Jim’s dad Ken transports food and his mom, Yvonne, helps out with all things Savannah so that they are free to help out. 

 

By trade, Jennifer is an Account Manager and Jim is a Pest Technician. They have been long-time friends and neighbors of Lynne’s. Both volunteer for bagging for food distribution and directing traffic, not an easy feat when serving an average of 160 families a week. These 2 are the backbone of our Clothing Give-Aways.  For the past 2 years, Jim and Jen have opened their house for shoes and clothing donations, operating virtually solo the first year! Now Jennifer coordinates with 10+ volunteers to sort and transport donated clothing. These clothing events are LARGE and time consuming. In addition to this, Jen coordinates our bulk donations which are an integral part of our programs.

 

Jennifer and Jim enjoy hanging out with their family and their two dogs. They are also the proud parents of Savannah, a fifth grader, who has earned a first degree black belt in Taekwondo.

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Kerry Louden, Client Advocate 

Kerry and daughter Lily started as delivery drivers in Spring 2020 to help out “some lady named Lynne”.  Kerry and Lily love helping people and driving around listening to music, so doing deliveries was perfect for them to do together. Kerry loves the truly amazing people she’s met during her time with Una Vida. So much so that Kerry soon became involved in all aspects of food distribution and programs. 

 

Kerry fills any need or ask at a moment's notice.  She became food certified so she could do food shopping and regularly works with any client that has special needs, and she has taken the wheel (pun intended) with delivery driver coordination. Her position as Una Vida Client Advocate fits her perfectly!

 

Kerry loves to spend time with her husband, 2 children and 2 cats. Her hobbies include hiking, yoga, music and cooking.

Dominican Republic Team

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Anita J. Tarzian, Medical Consultant

Anita believes in hospitality, mindfulness meditation, and lifelong learning. She has a Doctorate in Nursing Research with an emphasis in medical ethics, as well as a Masters in Intercultural Nursing, from the University of Maryland. A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer assigned to La Descubierta during her service, Anita is particularly well-acquainted with the people and culture of our community. Currently she enjoys teaching nursing research, ethics and end-of-life care.

 

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Lesly Joseph, Dental Lead

Lesly joined Una Vida in 2012 to lead the first mobile dental clinic in Los Pinos del Eden, providing dental care to community members and to the children living in the Hogar de Niños Jeremie in the neighboring town of Neyba. Lesly is a US Department of States alumni, and studied Leadership and Civic Engagement at University of Delaware during the Summer 2010. He has just been granted a Fulbright Scholarship to begin to study for his MPH in Health Policy and Management in the US. 

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Alexis Halstenson, Nurse

Alexis joined Una Vida in 2009 as a high school participant. She then couldn’t stay away and came back as a group leader, university liaison three more times while she was a nursing student at UC Irivine. After getting her nursing degree she spent the next 2 years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru brewing her passion for rural health. She now works as an RN for the underserved community at Marin Community Clinics in San Rafael. 

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Tricia Sweeney, Trip Leader & Health Coordinator

Tricia could happily eat Dominican arroz y habichuelas, rice and beans, for the rest of her life. Like many other UV staff, she took her first trip to the DR as an Una Vida volunteer at the age of 16 and has been in love with the island ever since. Motivated by her travels to the DR, she studied International Relations and Migration Studies at UC San Diego, and practiced her language skills working in Argentina and Bolivia. She has been leading trips with Una Vida since 2010, with a specific focus on health and community. Tricia also works for UCSF as a research associate and is working to pursue nursing studies to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. She hopes to practice in the DR once her studies are completed.