Richard Parks, MBA
Richard Parks is the president and founder of Redeemer Community Partnership. He moved to the neighborhood in 1986 to study at the University of Southern California and never left. Today, he and his wife Anna, are raising their three children in the neighborhood. Prior to taking his current position with the organization in 2019, he played a catalytic role in launching and leading a series of urban research centers at USC including: the Southern California Studies Center, the Urban Initiative, the Provost Initiative on Immigrant Integration, the Center for Social Innovation, the Preservation of Life Initiative, and the Center for Sustainability Solutions. He founded Redeemer Community Partnership to help create a safe, nurturing community for children and their families through leadership development, community transformation and resident partnerships.
Research & Organizing Manager
Brittney grew up in Bakersfield, California and graduated from UC San Diego with a B.S. in Public Health and Urban Studies minor. In 2018, she moved to South Los Angeles and worked at an education nonprofit while interning with RCP. In 2020, she returned to school to pursue a Master's in Public Health and Urban Planning, concentrating in Community Health Sciences, and is hoping to learn more about health disparities and equitable, design-based solutions. In addition to working with RCP, she enjoys exploring Los Angeles (especially by trying new foods), reading, and swimming.
Adventures Ahead Program Director
Lauren hails from Port O’Conner, Texas; she graduated from the University of Texas, Austin in 2004 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. After graduating, she moved to Los Angeles to join the Servant Partners internship. One week after returning from the Servant Partners training in Manila, Philippines, she began serving as the director of the Adventures Ahead after-school program, where she has been working ever since. In addition to the kids, Lauren loves basketball, especially watching the San Antonio Spurs, ultimate frisbee, and hiking.
Gabriela (Gaby) Ruano
Gabriela (Gaby) Ruano was born and raised in South Los Angeles. During her last year of high school, she was invited to her homeland in El Salvador, Central America to conclude her studies. After graduation, she returned to South Los Angeles to raise her family in the same neighborhood that she loves and care for. Gaby is well known for her dedication to people and her enthusiasm to connect with the community. She loves to go hiking, ride bicycles, and movies.
Wendy Salvador-Galbraith, a proud South Los Angeles native, is dedicated to giving back to the community that shaped her. Raising her three teenagers in her own childhood neighborhood, she's committed to creating a brighter future for the next generation. Beyond her deep connection to South LA, Wendy's heart belongs to Oaxaca, Mexico, her parents' homeland. Her passion for empowering the youth and women of South Los Angeles is unwavering, driven by a desire to see her community thrive. Wendy is an advocate for renewable energy, recognizing its vital role in shaping a sustainable future. She and her family embark on incredible journeys across the country in their electric vehicle. Together with her family, she's driving change and creating unforgettable adventures on the road to a brighter tomorrow.
Adventures Ahead Teachers
Karina Del Cid
Board of Directors
Rev. Bob Gay
Rev. Gay serves as the Pastor of men’s discipleship at Faithful Central Bible Church. Prior to taking this position he worked in the fundraising field for many years, including time with the Covenant Church's Pacific Southwest Conference and as Promise Keepers' West Coast Development Director. For almost 20 years, he served as senior deputy for Gil Lindsey, Los Angeles' first African-American City Council member in a community just east of RCP's neighborhood.
Brent Baiotto works as the Technology & Operations Division Executive at Union Bank. He has consulted portfolios of Fortune 100 companies and held several executive leadership roles for major financial services organizations including Union Bank, Bank of America, and Countrywide Bank. He has demonstrated a unique ability to formulate strategic vision for growth, as well as the ability to identify and address the challenges in developing, communicating, and implementing change across an enterprise. He earned an MBA from California State University, Pomona.
Michael A. Mata has designed and administered community and faith-based programs for over 30 years, particularly in the areas of community development, congregational redevelopment, intercultural programs, organizational and leadership development, ministry/nonprofit management and community youth development. Recently appointed to direct the Los Angeles Program in Masters in Transformational Urban Leadership at Azusa Pacific Seminary he is also the Community Transformation Specialist with Compassion Creates Change, Inc. and an affiliated faculty at Fuller Theological Seminary. Prior to his current assignments he was the Urban Development Director for World Vision U.S. Program where he was responsible for guiding the department’s implementation of its Signature Programs Model (community transformation focused on community youth development). Mata was the Mildred M. Hutchinson Assistant Professor of Urban Ministry (the first endowed chair in urban ministry) and Director of the Urban Leadership Institute at the Claremont School of Theology (1993-2003). As an ordained minister, he served fifteen years as part of the pastoral team at Los Angeles First Church of the Nazarene (a multi-ethnic/multi-congregation church with a highly regarded community program and prominent youth program) and two years as Pastor of Urban Mission at Pasadena First Church of the Nazarene. He is also the former Director of the Bresee Institute (a key resource for faith-based community and leadership development efforts, which gained distinction among the academic, business and political leaders of Los Angeles under his leadership).
Richard Olivarez works as a Fire Captain for the Arcadia Fire Department. He first partnered with Redeemer Community Partnership in 2011 during a short term mission trip with his former church Christian Assembly Eagle Rock. He quickly recognized his desire to serve this community was very strong. In 2014 Richard made the decision to relocate from his home in Monrovia to South Los Angeles. Richard and his wife Chelsea support RCP in creating a safe, opportunity rich environment through partnership with neighbors and programs that empower our youth.
Ms. Parks moved into the community in 1998 and led the Adventures Ahead steering committee during the program’s first three years. Most recently, she developed Redeemer's School Choices brochure and conducted extensive trainings with parents across South LA. When not juggling the needs of her three children, she serves part-time as Redeemer's administrator and part-time as the Student Services Coordinator for the USC Professional Doctorate Program in Policy, Planning and Development. She has a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California (USC) and a B.A. degree in Philosophy from Pomona College.
Richard Parks is the president and founder of Redeemer Community Partnership. He moved to the neighborhood in 1986 to study at the University of Southern California and never left.
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In 1996, Mr. Strand founded Nova Composites, a Seattle-based company that designs and fabricates high-tech parts for the aerospace industry. He came to know RCP through a week-long church mission trip, during which time he refurbished our tutoring center and coached basketball clinics for our grade-school students. Mr. Strand recently sold his company to Park Aerospace Structures Corp. and now serves as president. He and his wife Kathy have three daughters, the youngest of whom has traveled to Los Angeles twice to teach dance clinics for our summer program. Mr. Strand has an engineering degree from Seattle Pacific University and an MBA from the University of Washington.