Ms. Bowman holds an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Finance and Commerce. Following a successful corporate career spanning over twenty-five years, Kathi joined the YWCA South Orange County as Executive Director in 1996 and saw the facility through its transition to WISEPlace in 2000. For more than twenty years prior to joining the YWCA, Ms. Bowman contributed her time and talents to numerous non-profit and church organizations in advocacy of women and children. She brings her considerable corporate expertise and business acumen to the position of Executive Director of this community based social service agency. Kathi has worked with the Board to bring fiscal accountability to the agency and establish WISEPlace as the premier resource for homeless women in Orange County.
Director of Marketing and Development
Cindy Jacobs is a fundraising professional with over 10 years of marketing and media experience. A Detroit native, Cindy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Michigan State University and is also a certified yoga instructor. She worked for the Detroit newspapers, as a journalist and brand manager, before moving to California and joining Jewish Federation & Family Services of Orange County as a fundraiser. Cindy was introduced to the WISEPlace family over three years ago, when she began instructing yoga classes for the residents at the Hotel for Women and the Positive Step House. Cindy volunteers throughout the community and is an active outdoors woman. She has personally benefited from the support and empowerment of strong women throughout her life, and is dedicated to providing the same to those in need.
As office manager at WISEPlace since 2011, Geo directs the organization to operate smoothly. She assists staff and oversees the WISE Beginnings, Student internship & Volunteer Program at WISEPlace. She is also the facilities rental coordinator who assists clients with event needs.
Geo is involved in the planning and execution of key fundraising events at WISEPlace: For the Love of WISEPlace and A Home for the Holidays. She is responsible for designing and creating promotional material, and assists in answering questions about partnerships, sponsorships and donations.
Geo graduated from California State University, Long Beach earning a B.A. in Sociology. Geo’s life is blessed with many strong women – some family, some friends, and many from WISEPlace. She strives to be a strong role model for her younger sister.
Demona Barlow is a seasoned program management professional with over 16 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She has been an integral part of WISEPlace since 2009. As Program Manager, she ensures that the organization’s activities reflect WISEPlace’s mission to serve the community by providing programs that inspire, support and empower women to become positive contributors to the community. Before joining WISEPlace, Demona assisted ACCORD Community First in improving the employment outcomes for at-risk and adjudicated youths in Los Angeles as the Workforce Case Manager.
Demona is a lifelong Southern Californian who is an active community member. She believes that a healthy community depends on healthy members to thrive and works hard to help people reach their potential. She is passionate about empowering her community and supports many causes related to abuse such as domestic, child, and substance. Her family has spent many holidays under WISEPlace’s roof rather than in their own. This active choice demonstrates their support of Demona and shared commitment to ensure that the women in the program feel at home during the transition toward independence.
Demona received her education from Golden West College with emphasis in Criminal Justice and has also completed professional enrichment in Human Services at Cypress College.
Tiffany Tabares has worked at WISEPlace for over 11 years and comes to us with over 20 years of experience in the Human Services field. Her passion in life is to help women in crisis and WISEPlace is the perfect place to fulfill this purpose. She has worked as a Domestic Violence Advocate, Drug and Alcohol Counselor and Program Manager here at WISEPlace. Tiffany was a double major at CSUF and completed her Bachelor’s Degrees in Human Services and Psychology. When not at work she loves to spend time with family and friends. She plans to gratefully celebrate 22 years of sobriety this September.
Financial Empowerment Manager
Ana joined the WISEPlace staff in late 2006. Ana is a CalState University Fullerton graduate with a B.A in Sociology. Her objective is to service the woman and adolescent population. Her emphasis is on helping those who are physically or mentally different in the community by making a positive impact by working with them and helping them overcome challenges. As Financial Empowerment Manager, Ana provides the primary support for the homeless women in obtaining employment, providing financially focused counseling, and coordinates next-stage housing.
Since 2002, Amy has served the nonprofit community of Southern California. She was Director of Development for Laguna Playhouse and The Wooden Floor and founded Poppyfield Consulting Services in 2012, to help bring profit to nonprofits. In addition to WISEPlace, her clients include Laguna College of Art & Design, FRIENDS of Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, the Guilds of Segerstrom Center for the Arts and Idyllwild Community Center.
Larson has served on the Board of Leadership Tomorrow, on the Executive Board as Special Event Co-Chair for the Guilds of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, as Membership Co-Chair for American Association of University Women, Laguna Beach Chapter, was a Board President for Women in Management, Orange County Chapter and is a Partner with Impact Giving.
Amy was born and raised in Ohio. After graduation, she taught high school speech and English and served as drama coach. After a trip to the West Coast, she moved to San Francisco and subsequently, to Oahu and Seattle. She received an AA from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena and has been a Southern California girl for more than 30 years. Amy is married to Jake Smith (a stage romance that worked out!) and enjoys travel, music, theatre and dance.
Gloria was promoted to the full-time position of Facilities Manager in November 1996 after having worked part-time for the YWCA since January of the same year. She worked for Marriott Corporation for a number of years and has had her own catering business. Her experience includes Banquet Captain, Certified Server, ROP Trainer-Restaurant Training, and she has worked at the Center Club for over three years as a Server/Bartender, training bartenders for the Club. Her gift for catering is evident everywhere at WISEPlace, from festive buffet tables at events to floral arrangements in every room. Gloria handles the challenges posed by a 60+-year-old building well.