Board and Senior Staff

Senior Staff

Marguerite Bachand, Executive Director: mbachand@operationdignity.org
Marguerite is a non-profit executive with over 20 years of experience creating new programs and leading organizations through periods of change and growth.  She developed a program for economically disadvantaged students at the University of California Office of the President that she implemented at multiple campuses, and has more recently worked in global development for an organization that removes land mines and works with farmers on sustainable farming practices in Afghanistan and Vietnam.  She has dedicated her career to promoting equity and empowerment by working to broaden access to education, healthy environments, and economic opportunity for all individuals. Marguerite joined Operation Dignity in January 2017.

Tomika Perkins, Mobile Outreach and Operations Director: tperkins@operationdignity.org 
Tomika has more than 23 years of experience (including 13 years at Operation Dignity) working directly to help individuals who are homeless secure housing through outreach, housing, and supportive services programs. At Operation Dignity, she successfully manages outreach programs serving between 60 and 125 individuals each day, as well as overseeing assessment and intake for more than 100 units of shelter and housing for veterans experiencing homelessness.

Barbara Edmondson, Housing Program Directorbedmondson@operationdignity.org
Barbara has been with Operation Dignity since 1998 and currently oversees the operations at House of Dignity and Ashby House. Barbara has worked as an advocate for the voiceless for over 20 years. She is committed to ensuring each veteran feels a sense of self-worth and dignity, gains stable housing, and arrives at their full potential. Barbara graduated from Merritt College with a degree in Human Community Social Services. When not serving the community, Barbara loves to go walking and watch nature unfold, spend time with close friends and family, and indulge in good books, suspense movies, and seafood.

Mabel Brown, Program Supervisor: mabelbrown@operationdignity.org
Ms. Mabel A. D. Brown, MSW, M.A., joined Operation Dignity in February 2018 after working as the Program Manager at Biotech Partners in Berkeley, California. Prior to this she was a Medical Social Worker with San Francisco General Hospital, Children’s Hospital Oakland and Kaiser Permanente. Additionally, she worked as a Clinical Case Manager at Family Service Agency of San Francisco, where she provided wrap around services for mental health clients and served on a multidisciplinary team. Her previous professional experience includes being an Education Counselor-Adviser in San Diego and Recruitment Counselor with San Diego Job Corps. She was also a board member on the El Centro Youth Council. She completed her first Master’s in Education/Counseling with an emphasis on Multicultural Counseling at San Diego State University; her second Master’s is in Social Work with concentration on School Social Work.

Katie Derrig, Development Manager: kderrig@operationdignity.org 
Katie works to build Operation Dignity’s financial strength and sustainability through fundraising, grantwriting, and fostering community relationships. She has worked in marketing and communications for almost 10 years, and is committed to helping our community end homelessness. Katie is originally from Chicago and holds an M.A. in Classics from the University of California Berkeley.

Board of Directors

Operation Dignity’s Board of Directors

Alex McElree, Founder and Originating Executive Director
Alex has dedicated his life to ensuring that no veteran suffers the indignity of homelessness and isolation upon their return home. After three tours of duty in Vietnam, Alex lost everything: he became homeless and battled alcoholism and PTSD. Alex founded Operation Dignity in 1993, renting a house in Oakland and buying a few beds, then inviting his fellow homeless veterans to move in. Alex worked tirelessly as the Executive Director until his retirement in 2015. He remains in service as a board member and the agency’s Ambassador, continuing to share his story, passion, and vision with our community. In 2009, the California Legislature Assembly selected Alex as the 16th District Veteran of the Year and in 2016, he was named Oakland’s Humanitarian Citizen of the Year for his contributions to the veteran community. In retirement, he’s hoping to spend more time with his other passions: motorcycles and camping.

Judy Hui Pasquini, President
Judy is a graduate of Mills College with over twelve years of experience with direct services and management in the homeless programs sector. Most recently, Judy worked as a consultant in Alameda County, assisting a variety of non-profits to assess, prioritize, and maximize their homeless programs. While coordinating a homeless veterans program, she developed a passion for helping veterans obtain permanent housing. At Operation Dignity, she has continued her work in serving veterans by making an impact on their lives. She is also committed to serving the community by volunteering her time on several Bay Area Boards. When she is not busy working, she enjoys cooking, baking, creative arts, and traveling.

Rosa Maria Zanolli, CFO
Rosa Maria became the organization’s CPA in 2002, and in 2009 she accepted the Board of Directors’ invitation to serve on the Board and to act as the CFO of the organization. Rosa Maria graduated with a degree in Business and Administration at the University of Rome, Italy, eventually moving to San Francisco for a job as an audit manager. She soon became a CPA and has had a private practice, providing consulting, accounting, auditing, and tax services, for many years. During the 5 years she took off to raise her children, she volunteered in various school activities and was PTA treasurer. When not working, she enjoys traveling to foreign countries, hiking, and scuba diving.

Alicia Anderson, Vice President
Alicia joined Operation Dignity’s Board in early 2016. She currently works for Santa Clara County’s Behavioral Health Department as a manager of substance abuse treatment programs. Prior to that, Alicia worked for ten years with homeless and at-risk individuals in Alameda County, both on the ground and as an administrator of street outreach and housing programs. She believes that everyone deserves compassion, grace, and affordable housing and works tirelessly towards these ideals. Alicia has her Master’s in Social Work from San Jose State University, and earned her BA in Global Studies from Azusa Pacific University, during which she lived abroad in Russia, working with homeless youth.

James De los Reyes, Secretary
James is an attorney at Boornazian, Jensen & Gerthe and concentrates in construction defect and general civil litigation.  While not a veteran himself, he is indebted to the men and women who have served our country, including the many members of his family who helped raise and inspire him, and is passionate about serving his local community and the larger veteran community.  He is a Legal Clinics Co-Director for the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California (FBANC) and recently served as pro bono counsel for Bay Area Legal Aid’s family law clinic.  James received his J.D. from UC Hastings and his B.A. from Stanford University. He enjoys time with family and friends, and occasionally going lindy-hopping in San Francisco.

Morgan Clyde
Morgan joined Operation Dignity’s board in July of 2016. After graduating high school, Morgan joined the Air Force as a member of the USAF Security Forces, where he worked in law enforcement, force protection, and corrections. He was stationed for four years in New Mexico, and served one tour in Mosul, Iraq, after which he transitioned to the Air Force Reserves and served five more years at Travis AFB in Fairfield, until 2013. While in the reserves, Morgan completed a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy at Sonoma State University. In 2017, he completed a graduate degree in Public Management and Policy Analysis at California State University, East Bay, working with one of his professors to do research on behalf of a local police department. He enjoys traveling with his wife, reading, and visiting the Bay Area’s museums and craft breweries. Morgan believes strongly in public service, in a civic duty to facilitate the reintegration of veterans, and in protecting the inherent dignity of all – regardless of their present circumstances.

Bob Jako
Bob grew up in Berkeley and now lives in Oakland. He spent the first part of his career in academia and psychology, focusing on helping people, companies, and jobs all fit with each other better, and the rest of his career doing the same thing within Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. He is now a university administrator. He has published studies and essays on these topics, and has recently begun working with Operation Dignity with a focus on internal communication, human resources, and Board effectiveness. He earned his doctoral degree in Industrial/Organizational psychology at Colorado State University and completed his undergraduate studies in political science and economics at the University of California, Berkeley.

John Marquez
John is a professional with over 25 years of Human Resources Management and Talent Acquisition experience.  He joined the Navy after high school and was stationed at the Naval Air Station in Alameda, where he served in the Personnel Support Detachment. After almost 5 years of service, John left the Navy and attended California State University, East Bay where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Political Science.  After graduation, his first job was with the Department of Veterans Affairs in San Francisco.  He worked for service industries, IT and non-profit companies before joining Kaiser Permanente 12 years ago.  John is also the Chairman of the Kaiser Permanente Veterans Association San Francisco Chapter.