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Dan (Daniel) Ayala
(Term: June 9, 2015 - June 8, 2019)
Dan Ayala is a longtime Solano County resident who recently retired with 37 years of service from Travis Air Force Base as a Quality Control Inspector and Air Force Reserve Technical Sergeant. He has served for 8 years on the Dixon Planning Planning Commission and before that, for 7 years on the Dixon Parks and Recreation Commission. He has a long standing interest in children and family services, having served for 15 years as a soccer coach (and 6 years as the soccer board president) in Dixon. Dan was also recently named Dixon Citizen of the Year. Dan and his wife Kathy have 3 children. His 4 grandchildren ages 8, 2, 6 months and 1 month all reside in Dixon.
Marisela Barbosa, Chair
(Term: June 4, 2013 - June 3, 2017)
Growing up, Marisela visited the beaches nearby her small hometown in Mexico. On her drives to and from the ocean over the years, Marisela noticed environmental changes like the mountainsides going from green to brown and fewer seas shells on the beaches. Marisela felt both guilt about what she saw happening to the environment and also a personal responsibility to do something about it.
Early in her life, Marisela developed a deep connection to the environment and a life-long commitment to protecting it. She believes that transforming the way business is typically done and ensuring that organizations achieve triple bottom line results is the key to ensuring that future generations have natural resources to use and protect.
Marisela’s professional background is focused on business development and operations management with an emphasis on streamlining operations and sustainability of for profit and not for profit organizations. She provides her expertise to large multinational corporations including Franklin Templeton and to private ventures like Monarch Engineers where she is currently Vice President. She fosters entrepreneurship and furthers business development by teaching business planning to low income women at Women’s Initiatives and by providing a range of business consulting services to clients including wineries, construction companies, and restaurants. She is particularly successful in training businesses to obtain the certifications necessary to compete for government contracts and is a masterful relationship-builder. Marisela has a successful track record of empowering organizations to turn their inefficiencies into opportunities and achieve sustainable growth.
Marisela holds a BS in Business Administration from San Francisco State University and is pursuing an MBA in Sustainable Enterprise from the school of Business and Leadership at Dominican University of California. Marisela is also bilingual (English/Spanish). Marisela is uniquely qualified to use sustainable business principles and practices to ensure that organizations meet economic, environmental and social objectives.
Marisela lives in Vallejo with her husband and two daughters ages 13 and 3 years old.
(Term: October 2, 2012 - October 2, 2016)
Aaron Crutison is the Deputy Director, Solano County Health and Social Services (H&SS) /Children and Adult Resource Services (CARES). His 26 years of public service in three California counties spans 4 decades and includes previous appointments in Solano as Manager, Administrator and interim Deputy Director in the Employment and Eligibility and Child Welfare Services (CWS) Divisions. His accomplishments include assisting in a major restructuring and strengthening of the CWS Division, fully implementing the merger of two H&SS Divisions, and leading the successful development and implementation of three state-mandated CWS System Improvement Plans. As a result, CWS monthly contacts compliance exceeds the state average and more children have been safely reunified with their parents or adopted in a timely manner.
Mr. Crutison earned his BA in Social Science/Health Administration from UC Berkeley and his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of San Francisco. A graduate of the Solano County Future Leaders program, his community service includes Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity (Past General President/Western Region Vice-President, Berkeley Alumni Chapter President), UCB Black Alumni Association (Past President), AME Zion Church/Vallejo (Local Minister) and the Fatherhood Collaborative of San Mateo County (Member).
(Term: June 23, 2013 - June 22, 2017)
Since opening her law firm in Benicia, California in 2003, Dana Dean has practiced real estate and land use law, focusing on litigation and land use development. With matters in Contra Costa, Napa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Stanislaus, and Yolo counties, Ms. Dean has concluded dozens of cases involving disputed developments and related land use entitlements, as well as transactional, boundary, easement, and other traditional real estate claims.
Ms. Dean has successfully represented neighborhood groups, and project developers alike, at the city and county levels during all stages of CEQA process, and before various state agencies considering applications related to other entitlements. Ms. Dean has also successfully represented plaintiffs, defendants, buyers, sellers, agents and brokers, in real estate litigation matters related breach of contract, fraud, non- disclosure, and the like.
In 2007, having completed training through the Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University, Ms. Dean began taking mediation assignments from the Solano County Superior Court, with a focus on mediating real estate and other contract disputes. Since then, Ms. Dean has obtained advanced training in Local Government and community group ADR. Thus, given her substantial experience in representing all types of parties in real estate and land use disputes, Ms. Dean is now in a unique position to resolve real estate and community disputes empathetically and efficiently.
Ms. Dean also has a long history of community involvement with particular focus on health issues and a current focus on children’s health and well-being. Among other responsibilities, Ms. Dean now serves on the Benicia Unified School District Board of Trustees having previously served on the Joe Henderson School PTG as liaison to the site council. Ms. Dean served for several years on the Affordable Housing Affiliation Board and has been a Benicia Rotarian for the past 5 years.
(Term: January 1, 2016- December 31, 2016)
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.
Liz Niedziela, Vice Chair
Term: June 3, 2013 - June 2, 2017)
Liz Niedziela has served as the Transit Program Manager for Solano Transportation Authority for the last six years, providing support to the Executive Director and assisting in the management and implementation of transit programs, projects and studies. She also serves as Chair, SolTrans Technical Advisory Committee, staffs the Paratransit Coordinating Council and Solano Seniors and People with Disabilities Transportation Advisory Committee, and is a member of the SolanoExpress Intercity Transit Consortium.
Born in San Francisco, Ms. Niedziela has resided in Solano County for over 30 years and raised her two sons in Dixon. Matt is serving in the United States Air Force and Jason is a student at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. Ms. Niedziela earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology - Law; Society from University of California, Davis in 1985. She is an avid amateur photographer who loves taking pictures and creating picture books. She also enjoys hiking, reading and creating memories with family and friends.
(Term: July 2, 2015- July 1, 2019)
GeraldHuber 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: January 10, 2017 - March 3, 2019)
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: 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.