Our Staff
Christina Arrostuto
Executive Director

Christina is a Vallejo native and lifelong Solano County resident who attended local schools and earned her AA Degree from Solano College in 1973, her BA Degree in Liberal Studies (Psychology focus) in 1991 and her Master of Public Administration Degree from CSU Hayward in 1996.  Her public service career (launched as an Eligibility Worker I in Solano County in 1977) spans 35 years and four Counties, including Welfare Reform Planner in Contra Costa County, Social Service Department Director in Nevada County and Deputy County Administrator for Children and Families in Contra Costa before her appointment as Executive Director of First 5 Solano in 2003.

Christina’s love of and dedication to children and family services includes work on programs to reduce young children’s exposure to violence, empower family self-sufficiency and increase fathers’ involvement in their children’s lives.  At First 5 Solano she has helped the Commission successfully evolve from its start-up phase to its current status as a high-functioning, high-quality organization which, through its over 30 grantee organizations, serves about 20,000 children 0-5, their families and providers annually.  Her devotion to the principles of interdisciplinary collaboration, fiscal integrity and program accountability through measurable results has resulted in First 5 Solano’s state and national recognition for its model programs and outcomes.  Her deep appreciation for the synergy that develops when communities come together for children keeps her excited and optimistic about going to work every day.  Christina loves her husband, Guy as well as films, theater and books, her large family (she’s one of six siblings and a devoted aunt), exploring the greater Bay Area and coast and spending time with friends.  You may reach Mrs. Arrostuto at (707) 784-1340 or clarrostuto@solanocounty.com.


M RichardsMegan Richards
Deputy Director

Megan has been with Solano County since 2006 and joined First 5 Solano as Deputy Director in 2013. Prior to coming to First 5 Solano, Megan served with Health &Social Services for 7 years in both the Public Health (BabyFirst Solano) and Mental Health (Mental Health Services Act Prevention & Early Intervention and Innovation) Divisions. Most recently, Megan managed the Family Health Services primary care and mental health clinics in Vallejo which averaged over 2000 patients visits a month. Megan’s focus on quality improvement, data collection and evaluation, and fiscal accountability make her an ideal fit for First 5 Solano.
Megan is also a doula (labor assistant), childbirth educator, and lactation consultant. She has a BA in Biology and Dance from Wesleyan University and just earned her Executive Master of Public Administration from Golden Gate University. A Benicia resident, she is mother to two young children, ages 1 and 5, who entertain and challenge her every day. She is passionate about educating and supporting women and families of all ages from preconception through parenting. You may reach Megan at (707) 784-1335 or at merichards@solanocounty.com.


Chris Shipman
Health Programs Manager

Chris Shipman has extensive experience in the health arena. She has provided effective leadership in managing rehab programs and hospital departments, working with medical chairs/directors of clinical laboratories, radiology, pediatrics, emergency care and clinics.

Over the years, Chris has worked closely with the entire spectrum of pediatrics and adult health care programs, preventive care, professional medical service, ancillary and support hospital departments.

Chris is not new to the First 5 community. Prior to joining First 5 Solano, Chris worked with an evaluation and data management company that included First 5 California and other counties.

As a community leader, Chris is a graduate of the Sacramento’s City Management Academy, a comprehensive hands-on learning experience that gives residents an opportunity to interact with City management staff and learn about the challenges facing municipal government today.  The program is offered by the City Manager's Office, and has been recognized by the Ford Foundation and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University as being one of the "top 100 innovative ideas in the USA."  Chris also hails as a graduate of the Sacramento County’s District Attorney’s Citizen’s Academy.  This program helps to foster improved communication and relations between communities and the criminal justice system and enhance multicultural and multi-ethnic sensitivity in the criminal justice community.

Chris is past chair of the Sacramento County Children’s Coalition and serves on several Community Boards.  She regularly volunteers at Loaves and Fishes, a program to feed the homeless and provides shelter to homeless moms and kids.  Chris was very instrumental in gathering community support to have a charter engineering and science high school built in the community.  She has spoken before local School Boards and is more than an occasional speaker at city council meetings.  Chris also serves as a speech judge for local and State Academic Decathlon, a competition of a nine high school member teams from about 500 high schools in 42 counties and districts competing in academic events.

Chris holds a Master’s Degree in health administration from Columbia University, New York. You may reach Ms. Shipman at (707) 784-1339 or cshipman@solanocounty.com.


Venis Jones Boyd
Family Support Programs Manager

A resident of Solano County for over 40 years and graduate of Vanden High School, Saint Mary's College Paralegal Certificate Program and Saint Mary's College Management Degree Program (BA).  She has been with the Commission seven years and looks forward to her new role of assisting programs for children prenatal to five years of age in the family support arena.  She spent 16 years with Tosco Refining Company as the Environmental Department office manager.  Venis and husband Jerry reside in Vacaville.  You may reach Mrs. Boyd at (707) 784-1337 or vjboyd@solanocounty.com.




CherelynCherelyn Ellington Hunt
Community Programs  and Early Childhood Education Manager

Cherelyn was born in Fairfield and although she has lived in Alaska and Europe, she has always considered Solano County “home”.  She attended local schools, and has a BS in Business with a focus in Technology. Cherelyn worked many years with a local government agency in the fields of Human Resources, Technology, Public Information and Community Engagement.

Her experiences living and travelling in other countries and a short stint teaching in the local school district emphasized the importance of ensuring that all children get a healthy physical, mental and emotional start in their developing years. She believes that among the most important things we can give children are the abilities to read and communicate well.  She serves on the Solano County Library Board and is completing her Master's in Library and Information Science. 

Outside of work Cherelyn, her husband Mike and son James (7) spend as much time as possible outdoors, usually with their labradoodle, Lucy in tow.  Contact Mrs. Hunt at (707) 784-1334 or
ccellington@solanocounty.com 



Ciara Gonsalves
Policy and Fund Development Manager


Ciara Gonsalves is Solano born and raised with 5 generations of family rooted throughout. She attended Solano schools until transplanted to Contra Costa County to Antioch where she completed high school. From the tender age of 4 years old, Ciara began her love for softball which began on local Solano County bobby sox and travelling teams, ultimately leading to college scholarships. Her undergraduate education was completed at California State University, Chico with a Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration. She completed a Master of Science in Health Care Administration from Grand Canyon University as well. She was recognized for academic excellence and won various awards for academics and athletics over the course of her education.

Over the years, Ciara’s work experiences range from multiple counties and industries with past responsibilities: managing marketing campaigns, leading a large research project, developing and reporting a county health needs assessment, participating in a grant review board, preparing for internal and external health services audits, and engaging with community and local business leaders for First 5 Futures, just to highlight a few.

Ciara’s love for community and children began with volunteer work instructing 4 and 5 year old girls in basic beginning softball skills, instructing after-school education and recreation at an elementary school, volunteering at a homeless shelter and food kitchen, fundraising for food banks, and preparing bagged meals for needy families around the holidays. It was these experiences in particular that sparked her love and dedication to community building and public service. 

Ciara and Brett share 2 young boys- Chase and Beau (“BO”). The boys keep them extra busy, but are the center of their world.  

You may contact Ms. Gonsalves at (707) 784-1338 or CCGonsalves@solanocounty.com