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First 5 Solano Commission, October 2019
Jennifer Barton, Chair
(Term: December 12, 2017 - December 10, 2021)
Jennifer Barton is the Chief of Staff for Assemblymember Jim Frazier, managing two district offices and one Capitol office. Jennifer is an experienced policy and campaign manager, having worked for Assemblywoman Helen Thomson, Assemblywoman Lois Wolk, and Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher and served as campaign manager for several Assembly races and several bond measures in Solano County. She also spent three years at BART as the Executive Manager for External Affairs, managing 50 employees and 4 departments.
Jennifer is an active community volunteer, having served three years on the Solano County Planning Commission, past President of Soroptimists International of Central Solano County, past President of the Solano County Library Foundation, past President of the Girl Scout Council of Napa Solano and she is a Lifetime member of the Girl Scouts of the USA. She is also active in the Fairfield/Japan Sister City Program and spent three weeks in Japan as the chaperon for six Fairfield high school students who participated in the exchange program. Jennifer is the founder of the Solano County Woman’s History Month Luncheon and managed that event for the 10 years of its existence.
Jennifer graduated from Cupertino High School, received her A.A. from Santa Rosa Junior College, and her B.A. from San Francisco State University. Jennifer has one daughter who was raised in Solano County, graduated from public school, Solano Community College, and San Francisco State University, ultimately receiving her Master’s degree in Psychology from Palo Alto University. Jennifer also has a 7 year old grandson, whom she thinks is the most handsome, smartest second grader in California.
Erin Hannigan, Vice Chair
(Term: January 1, 2021- December 31, 2021)
Erin is a life-long resident of Solano County. She was raised in Fairfield where her passion for volunteer work was fostered. As newlyweds, Erin and her husband Randall made Vallejo their home and soon became an active member of the community, joining the Vallejo Architectural Heritage Neighborhood Association and fundraising for the St. Basil School Parents Club while her children Connor and Hannah attended the school. As a mother, Erin understands the importance of the health and well-being of families. She is seeking solutions to ensure those in need in our community are connected to essential services.
As a businesswoman, Erin understands the value of having good paying jobs in her community, and she is focused on growing the opportunities of local employment for residents. In 2004, Erin facilitated relocating the call center of a national insurance company and 220 jobs to the Vallejo Waterfront. She has served on the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Board. Through her involvement in the Vallejo Education and Business Alliance, Erin is focused on improving the graduation rates from Vallejo’s high schools. As a County Supervisor, Erin is continuing her work to retain our existing employers, attract new businesses and industry, and connect employers with job seekers who have the right skills for a vibrant economy.
Erin’s public service career began when she served on the Vallejo Community Development Commission, distributing Community Development Block Grant funds to neighborhoods and organizations in Vallejo. In 2007, Erin was elected to the Vallejo City Council and led Vallejo through extremely tough economic times. She supported a balanced approach to the budget deficit, striving to provide necessary services. She was influential in creating a citywide communication strategy, which gave the employees and the community transparency on the important information facing Vallejo’s leaders. Erin also worked to develop SolTrans, the consolidated bus system for Vallejo and Benicia, which has been a reliable and convenient mode of transportation since its inception.
Lisette Estrella-Henderson, Chair
(Term: February 26, 2019 - March 2, 2023)
Lisette was raised in Solano County having come here as a child in a military family stationed at Travis Air Force Base. She now lives in Vacaville with her husband of nearly 30 years and her daughter who is a senior in college. Lisette has served as an Educator in Solano County for over 31 years. Her career began in the Dixon Unified School District where she worked for over 20 years in a variety of capacities including bilingual classroom teacher, English Learner Program Coordinator, Reading Specialist, Mentor Teacher, site Principal, and Director of Interventions.
Lisette has taken on the role of Superintendent of Schools with the Solano County Office of Education (SCOE), her previous position being Associate Superintendent of Student Programs and Educational Services. Lisette led the Special Education Programs for students with moderate to severe disabilities and directed a diverse array of educational services such as professional development, district and school support, school readiness, youth development, programs serving foster and homeless youth, and Juvenile Court and Community School Programs at SCOE’s Fairfield campus and the Solano County Juvenile Detention Facility.
Lisette’s broad knowledge, experience, and leadership abilities have gained statewide respect, and she proudly represents Solano County public education as an active member of several leading educational and community organizations.
Lisette earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Davis, and a Master’s degree in Education from the California State University, Sacramento. In addition to her California Teaching Credential, she also holds her Bilingual Specialist and Administrative Services Credentials and is a certified leadership coach.
(Term: June 4, 2019- June 30, 2023)
Gerald Huber has been involved with health and human service programs at county, state, and federal levels of government for more than 30 years in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and New York.
Before joining Solano County in November 2014, Mr. Huber worked to help transform the Medicaid program in New York as Deputy Commissioner for the Office of the People with Developmental Disabilities. He has been honored by the Commissioner of Health and Human Services for outstanding contributions in the prevention of child abuse and neglect, received lifetime achievement awards for accomplishments in the non-profit sector and crafted welfare reform programs that have shaped national policy.
Mr. Huber holds a master’s degrees in public administration, social work and human services administration, and public health administration; and a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science. He has been married to his wife Debbie for 34 years and has two children, Dianna and Dan.
(Term: December 15, 2020 - December 15, 2024)
Marla has dedicated 35 years in public service to promoting social justice and ensuring individual and community wellbeing. She started her career in Rockford, IL where she served as a probation officer at a youth detention center and a case manager at an outpatient mental health services clinic. These experiences motivated her to earn a Masters Degree in Social Work with an emphasis on community organizing and planned social change. .
In 1993, Marla moved to the Diné Nation where she worked for the Indian Health Services, taught at Diné College, served on the local school board, and led Girl Scout troops. In 2007, she moved to California and served at the Sonoma County Human Services Department leading planning, research, and evaluation activities. This work included launching a community-wide initiate (Upstream Investments) to create a public-private shared priority to fund prevention and early intervention services, including early childhood supports. During this time she also volunteered as the editor of a monthly high school newsletter which she ensured was distributed, for the first time, in Spanish and English.
In 2013, Marla joined the School of Social Welfare at University of California Berkeley to earn a PhD and learn more about community wellbeing, public-private partnerships in the delivery of health and social services, complex systems, and data science. During this time, she participated in a project in Guiyang, China supporting local officials in their efforts to improve supports for left-behind-children – children who remain with grandparents or other caregivers when their parents move to large cities for work.
In 2019, Marla joined the Solano County Health & Social Services Department as the Deputy Director for Employment & Eligibility Services Division where 365 dedicated employees administer public assistance programs (CalFresh, CalWORKs, Medi-Cal, and General Assistance) designed to help community members alleviate trauma, counteract oppression, and mitigate poverty. Each month the Division serves over 125,000 Solano community members including 45% of all children. In 2020, the county distributed $120 million in public assistance benefits which help individuals and families achieve healthy, safe, and stable lives.
Marla and her spouse of 35 years, who also works in public service at the VA, are proud parents of two grown daughters who are now adding their public service contributions to the wellbeing of children as a primary school teacher and a pediatric nurse.
(Term: April 25, 2017 - April 25, 2021)
Nicole’s family originated from Philadelphia until her first year of high school, when relocating to Vacaville. Upon graduating from Will C. Wood High School, she attended Solano Community College completing an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts and later earned a dual BA in Communication Studies and Multicultural & Gender studies from Chico State University. Nicole then began a successful career in the mortgage industry. Over the next seven years, she excelled as an Account Executive and promoted to Branch Manager.
In 2005 Nicole married her husband and in 2007 they welcomed their first child. Nicole’s world quickly changed when they learned Rayna was born with special needs. Her daughter required emergency surgery at two months of age and was classified as “failure to thrive” during her first year of life. After Rayna was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability, and Smith Lemli Optiz Syndrome, Nicole made the hard decision to change her role to be a stay-at-home mother to be Rayna’s full-time caregiver. Nicole became a Care Giver with IHSS, where she currently cares for Rayna and is a member of the Care Givers Union, SEIU Local 2015.
Nicole enjoys helping parents of children with special needs by facilitating a Solano County support group, Parents Empowering Parents, which hosts volunteer guest speakers who present information on various topics related to children with special needs. Currently, Nicole works part-time at Vacaville Christian Schools as the Donor Relations Coordinator. Nicole’s role is to collaborate with the community to facilitate sponsorship and fundraising opportunities for the school to enhance their educational programs. In her leisure time, Nicole loves to run with Fleet Feet’s Half Marathon and Trail Running groups, volunteering for Team Dixon, where her daughter is a member, and advocating for families and children faced with special needs.
(Term: October 2, 2018 - June 11, 2021)
Mina Diaz was born in Aguascalientes Mexico and immigrated to the United States with her family when she was 5 years old. Knowing firsthand the struggles and barriers immigrants face, she started being an activist for immigrant and human rights at a very young age. Mina has lived in Vallejo for over 34 years. She is the mother of two sons Damian and Javier, Jr and a daughter Marlene. She is the proud grandmother of Abel (AJ) who is three years old.
Mina, recognizing the limited services available for the Latino community in Solano County, founded Diaz & Loera Centro Latino, a Non-Profit organization serving the Latino community and others in areas of advocacy, community responsibility and social awareness. She also co-founded and is Co-Director of SER Latino Program at Vallejo City Unified School District, a program that assists Latino students in achieving a higher education while also working with their parents to empower them to learn how to navigate through the educational system in the United States.
Mina retired in February 2017 from Contra Costa County Employment & Human Services Department, where she was an Employment Case Manager. Prior to that she worked in Solano County Social Services Department, Napa County Child Support and Napa County Health Department, a total of 27 years in the three counties. After retiring she began her new career in August 2017 as a Realtor at RE/MAX GOLD in Vallejo/Benicia.
Mina is currently a Board Member for the Solano County Children’s Network and Vallejo Chief of Police Advisory Board. She was the recipient of the United Way of the Bay Area Achieve Award in 2015, for her efforts in fighting poverty in the Bay Area. She was also the recipient of Contra Costa Board of Supervisors Resolution honoring her for her volunteer efforts to fight poverty. Mina was also presented with the Solano County Hispanic Chamber 2015 Latina Community Leader Award and the 2018 Eric Reyes Foundation Leadership Award.
Mina’s goal is to be a positive contributor to First 5 Solano Children and Families Commission. The many programs and organizations in which she has collaborated clearly show her caring, contributions and support in promoting early childhood education, parent involvement, outreach and partnership with all communities in Solano County. The many years of knowledge in all these fields and can make a positive contribution to the agency.
(Term: September 24, 2019 - September 22, 2023)
Tyffany was raised throughout California as a child of a US Navy veteran. Tyffany’s family has deep ties to Solano County through their decades of work at Travis Air Force Base, Mare Island and California Medical Facility. Tyffany graduated from Will C. Wood High School in Vacaville and went on to receive an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts from Solano Community College, a Bachelors Degree from Brigham Young University in Sociology and a Masters in Psychology from Chapman University.
Tyffany has worked in Social Services for almost 20 years throughout Solano County. Tyffany and her husband of 15 years are the parents of 3 boys, all of who are adopted. She is a Resource (foster/adoptive) parent and a caregiver for her special needs child. Tyffany currently uses her education and experience to provide trainings for the Foster Kinship Care Education Program-Solano & Los Medanos Community Colleges and as a Triple P Parent Education Coach.
(Term: September 11, 2018 - June 13, 2021)