We are here to start something

Leading us in the right directionBig Brothers Big Sisters has a compassionate and dedicated group of individuals on our side that are willing to do whatever it takes to help change children’s lives for the better.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area Leadership

Executive Team

Dawn Kruger
Chief Executive Officer

Dawn came to the CEO position at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area in 2015 with over 11 years of experience in increasingly senior roles within the agency.

Prior to her appointment as CEO, Dawn served as the Vice President of Operations, overseeing all program functions throughout the five-county service region as well as providing operations leadership for facilities, finance, and human resources. She holds the BBBSBA mission very dear as she has also previously served as a Big Sister, and 15 years later remains connected to her Little Sister.

While she has over two decades of professional experience, Dawn’s passion for social justice began as an American expatriate growing up in Asia, where she witnessed the results of corruption and extreme poverty.

Dawn holds a Masters in International Relations from Stanford University and a BA in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego.

Devoted to serving her community, Dawn volunteers for the various activities that her children participate in. She lives with her husband and four children in Walnut Creek.

Cristina Barron
Vice President of Programs

Raised in the Central Valley, Cristina is the daughter of migrant farm workers, granddaughter of Bracero’s, and first generation born in California. Her family currently owns and operates almond and walnut ranches in the Central Valley. She holds a BA in Political Science from California State University, Stanislaus, and an MA in Political Science, Domestic Policy/Systems from San Francisco State University. With a deep commitment to public service, Cristina has spent her career working for local and federal elected officials as well as managing local, state and federal government programs.

Cristina moved to the Bay Area to work for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area in 2009 as a way to learn more about public health, education and social services in a metropolitan area. She served with the agency for two years as a Match Support Specialist in Milpitas, Oakland and San Francisco, then Lead Match Support Specialist before transitioning into a full time graduate school program.

Cristina completed the 2016 CORO Youth Leadership fellowship where working with young professionals across the Bay Area, she focused on leadership skills while serving system involved youth. She is a UC Davis King Hall Outreach Program and CSU Monterey Leon and Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy alumna.Most recently Cristina served as the Senior Program Manager for three San Francisco County contracts focused around the San Francisco Independent Living Skills Program including the Youth Employed for Success contract through the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF).

Cristina is also actively involved in her local community. She’s been an adult literacy tutor for Oakland Public Libraries since 2010, is a member of the Oakland Museum of California and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and most recently became a part of the San Francisco Symphony’s All San Francisco Community Concert volunteer council and Ellen Magnin Newman Award committee. Cristina was one of the chartering members of the Latino Young Democrats of the East Bay in 2015 and re engaged in 2016 becoming their Political Director and most recently serving as Secretary, participating in local elections, organizing and campaigning in the East Bay.

Jen Jayme
Vice President of Development

Jen joined Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area as Vice President of Development in November 2016 and has volunteered as a Big Sister for nine years.She brings 18 years of extensive experience in fund development and youth-serving organizations.

Jen has previously served in development leadership roles at the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Santa Clara University Center for Science, Technology & Society, Techbridge (a national nonprofit devoted to STEM education for underrepresented girls), and university, high school and elementary educational institutions (UC Berkeley, and independent Montessori, Waldorf and Catholic schools).

Jen gained invaluable experience over seven years as a fundraising consultant to nonprofits, where she worked with and learned from high net worth donors, veteran fundraisers, and extraordinary boards and leaders at a broad range of philanthropic organizations. At San Francisco-based Laura Talmus Associates, and at the international firm Community Counselling Service (CCS), Jen worked with leading nonprofits on development audits and capital campaigns, including the National Partnership for Women and Families, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the Oregon Province of Jesus (Jesuits), the Nature Conservancy of Washington, and Sacred Heart Medical Center.

Jen was raised in the projects of East Boston by a single mother who went from welfare to being a homeowner/landlord and first in her family to earn a college degree.Jen’s career in philanthropy was shaped by childhood years in an inner-city neighborhood of concentrated poverty followed by high school years in affluent Marin County, California, and the stark contrast in opportunities and culture she experienced between those communities. She has a passion for racial and gender equity, and deep interest in youth development and trauma-informed care rising from personal experience, avid reading, parenting a young child, and growing up in a family of social workers and therapists.

Jen earned a B.A. in English with Honors from U.C. Berkeley. She lives in Novato with her husband and 8-year-old son, and enjoys snowboarding, reading, tinkering, and leading arts and crafts activities at her son’s elementary school.

Carissa Tonner
Vice President of Finance and Administration

Carissa joined Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area in 2014 as Director of Administration, and was named Vice President of Finance and Administration in 2016. Her areas of expertise include operations management, process improvement and financial oversight. Before relocating to California, Carissa worked as Administrative Director for The Conservation Center in Chicago, the nation’s largest privately-held art conservation laboratory, and for the corporate division of renowned jewelry retailer Lester Lampert, where she managed client services and fulfillment. After 10 years in arts administration and a lifelong history of volunteering, Carissa is grateful for the opportunity to serve her community through her work in the nonprofit sector.

Carissa’s educational background includes a Master of Business Administration degree and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Roosevelt University.

Rick Ohren
Vice President of Operations

Rick has been with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area since 2008, starting as Data Communications Specialist before becoming Director of Operations in 2013. He was named Vice President of Operations in 2014. His areas of focus include operations, finance and budgeting, website management, database management and data analysis, as well as development, marketing and program support. Prior to his arrival at BBBSBA, Rick worked for over 17 years in retail management, where he developed his penchant for problem solving and system management, as well has his desire to help others and serve the public.

Rick’s educational background includes a bachelor of science degree in Technical Journalism from Oregon State University. He and his wife live in Berkeley.

 

Stacie Schlenker
Program Manager

Anthony Spivey
Program Manager

© 2017 Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area
Serving Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo & Santa Clara Counties
649 Mission Street, Fifth Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105, 415-503-4050
825 Washington Street, Suite #202, Oakland, CA 94607, 510-836-8713
600A Valley Way, Milpitas, CA 95035, 408-586-0150

BBBSBA Tax ID #23-7108045

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Big Sisters of America, Inc. (BBBSA) and are used under a license from BBBSA. All rights reserved.