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About Us

Our Mission

Create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.

Our Vision

All youth achieve their full potential.

Our People

In addition to maintaining the dedicated services of more than a thousand matches, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area employs over two dozen staff members who support matches in all nine counties.

Lillian Samuel, MNA

Lillian Samuel, MNA

Chief Executive Officer

Lillian Samuel is a trailblazer in her role as CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area (which serves all nine counties of the region), as the first African American to hold the position in the agency’s history. Under her leadership, the agency was recognized by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America with the Quality Award for the first time in 2022 and again in 2023. With a passion for making a difference in her community, Lillian has spent over 15 years working in leadership roles within the nonprofit philanthropic sector. She has a proven track record of success, having led teams to raise tens of millions in revenue for large institutions including the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Girl Scouts of Northern California, and community health centers throughout the Bay Area.

Lillian’s career began as a buyer for renowned retailers such as Bloomingdales in New York City, The Gap in San Francisco, Cost Plus World Market, and Duty Free Shoppers. However, after years of volunteering on boards and fundraising, she transitioned to the nonprofit sector. Her vision is to support creating a more just and equitable community through mentorship, ensuring young people have every opportunity to reach their full potential. In 2023, Lillian was recognized by the Marcus Foster Education Institute as a Visionary for Diversity – an individual who “embodies the belief that we are stronger together, we achieve nothing alone and bridges are the linchpins to our collective victory.” 

Lillian serves on the board of VolunteerMatch, is an advisory board member for iHeart Radio, and serves as a member of the Los Altos Kiwanis Club. Lillian is a devoted member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Links Inc., and Jack and Jill of America and a proud alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned her BA, and the University of San Francisco, where she earned her MA in Nonprofit Management.

Joanna Reilly

Joanna Reilly

Chief Development Officer

(415) 712-0611

Allison Rhodes-Baker

Allison Rhodes-Baker

VP, Program Impact and Innovation

(510) 770-6596

Rick Ohren

Rick Ohren

VP, Data & Systems Administration

415-503-4047

Brad Heikes

Brad Heikes

Director, Programs

(510) 439-2283

Adrianna Larson

Adrianna Larson

Development Director

(415) 854-7365

Karlynn Lee

Karlynn Lee

Partnerships & Recruitment Manager

510-575-0173

Sharmaine Sun

Sharmaine Sun

Manager, Marketing and Communications

510-405-8350

Marynoelyn Jacob-Oviatt

Marynoelyn Jacob-Oviatt

Manager, Match Support Specialists

408-318-2333

Vanessa Dominguez

Vanessa Dominguez

Manager, Match Support Specialists

415-503-4053

Sami Rios

Sami Rios

Manager, Enrollment & Match Specialists

415-323-4074

Ally Rosales

Ally Rosales

Development Associate

510-519-5213

Anna Carrizales

Anna Carrizales

Senior Enrollment & Match Specialist

408-206-6085

Arthelle Porter Burns

Arthelle Porter Burns

Match Support Specialist

707-215-5015

Camila Nunez

Camila Nunez

Match Support Specialist

(408) 655-0228

Eleanor Maoz

Eleanor Maoz

Enrollment & Match Specialist

510-414-9645

Estefany Ortega

Estefany Ortega

Customer Relations Specialist

415-503-4034

Gabriella Choe

Gabriella Choe

Match Support Specialist

510-479-0360

Martina Williams

Martina Williams

Enrollment & Match Specialist

510-255-2344

Sasha Braginsky

Sasha Braginsky

Match Support Specialist

510-731-6729

Sydney Mendez

Sydney Mendez

Match Support Specialist

510-480-1678

Our History

For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. As the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes and monitors meaningful matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 6 – 18, in communities across the country to develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect.

Bay Area Wide

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area has been providing Bay Area kids with professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships since 1958, gradually growing to represent all of the Bay Area regions, at large.

With the first major Bay Area merger in 2006, three separate Big Brother Big Sister organizations — San Francisco & Peninsula, East Bay, and Santa Clara County — integrated into Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area to more efficiently serve the community and meet the increasing demand for services.

In 2017, we merged with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Bay, which had been serving children in Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Solano Counties since 1970, to further streamline resources. Effectively reaching the entire Greater Bay Area as a unified organization, we now serve children from nine counties in the Greater Bay Area: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano, and Sonoma.

Financial Statements

Your financial support helps kids to realize their potential, one relationship at a time.

The documents below provide detail of our carefully managed financial status. Every local Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliate is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with its own IRS Form 990 and audited financial statements.

Careers

Be a Part of the Bigger Picture

At Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area, we are always looking for passionate, talented and driven professionals to join our team in our mission to empower all kids across the Bay Area and unlock their true potential. We are committed to building an inclusive team where everyone belongs, so if you see an opening that excites you, we encourage you to apply.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area celebrates and honors diversity and are dedicated to equal employment opportunities regardless of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, gender, gender identity, or veteran status.

Current Open Positions