Our Staff
Michele Harris
Executive Director

Michele Harris is the Executive Director of First 5 Solano Children and Families Commission. Michele’s extensive experience in local government and non-profit leadership, organizational management and long-range planning will assist First 5 Solano to navigate the changing landscape of funding and advocacy for children’s issues.

Michele most currently served as Vice President for the Children’s Nurturing Project (CNP), a local non-profit focusing on early interventions in the areas of children’s mental and behavioral health issues, prenatal services and safety for children. Michele successfully helped CNP refine its vision and strategic plan and was responsible for streamlining agency operations and increasing fund development activities. Prior to her CNP experience, Michele spent 10 years at First 5 Solano as the Deputy Director.  In addition to managing the agency’s multi-million dollar portfolio she developed the Commission’s Long-Term Financial Plan and established many of the policies and procedures that comprise First 5 Solano’s current healthy infrastructure.  Michele also implemented many of the innovative funding strategies and programs that have fostered an environment of collaboration across service providers to maximize connecting at-risk children and families to resources they need.

These programs have contributed to healthier babies and families, children better prepared for school, and enhancing the community’s ability to work together and maximize the use of available resources.

Michele’s passion and dedication to improving the quality of services and care for young children and their families is a natural match with the mission and vision of First 5 Solano. Born and raised in Vallejo, Michele and her husband Tom are proudly raising their family in Solano County. The mother of twin 5-year old boys, their antics and wonder of the world regularly remind her of how important positive interactions during the first 5 years allow children to thrive and be happy.

Michele holds a Masters of Public Administration from Golden Gate University and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Administration/Economics from Sonoma State University. You may reach Ms. Harris at 707-784-1332 or
mdharris@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 patient 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 2 and 6, 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.



Ciara Gonsalves
Program Manager


Ciara Gonsalves represents First 5 Solano in the Health and Policy arenas. Ms. Gonsalves brings a diverse skillset to the First 5 Solano team having worked in the nonprofit sector and government. Her past work involves managing healthcare marketing campaigns, managing multiple Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNA), project management, grant-making, internal auditing and preparing for external Federal healthcare audits. In addition, Ms. Gonsalves has conducted many quality improvement projects using LEAN methodology, resulting in improved operations and cost-benefit improvements.

In her current role, Ms. Gonsalves manages the Commission’s Health Portfolio and works to influence legislative policy changes that benefit children and families. Ms. Gonsalves holds both a Bachelors and a Master’s Degree in Health Care Administration. You may contact Ms. Gonsalves at (707) 784-1338 or CCGonsalves@solanocounty.com



Juanita Morales
Program Manager


Juanita Morales comes to First Five Solano County with a diverse background in education. Her work began as a bilingual instructional aide, migrant community aide and soon advanced to a classroom teacher serving the K-8th population in central California. After working with the public school system and supporting children over age five she realized she wanted to impact children at a much younger age. Soon after coming to the Bay Area, Ms. Morales immersed herself in the work of Early Care and Education functioning in a variety of positions including health, nutrition and early education for Head Start/Early Head Start programs. Juanita was also a Head Start graduate so the importance of serving children 0-5 is close to her heart. In her current role, Ms. Morales is a Program Manager and works to promote the early learning and development of children in Solano County.

Ms. Morales holds a BA in Liberal Studies and is currently working towards completing her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Leadership. Together with her boyfriend, they have 8 grown children and 4 grandchildren. In her free time Juanita enjoys the outdoors, relaxing with a good book and spending time with family.

You may contact Ms. Morales at (707) 784-1339 or jsmorales@solanocounty.com. 


Gene Ibe
Program Manager

Gene Ibe joined First 5 Solano as a Program Manager in the area of Family Support/Parent Education in July 2016. Over the last 2 ½ years she was a member of the executive team with Children’s Nurturing Project, a local agency promoting healthy parent-child relationships through support services and education. For 12 years prior, Gene held a dual assignment in Human Resources and Contracts & Grants administration with the Workforce Investment Board (WIB) of Solano County, a non-profit offering programs and services to equip job seekers competing in today’s job market, and providing local employers access to qualified workers.

Gene was raised in Vallejo and graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in Applied Behavioral Sciences. She and her husband started their family through international adoption in December 2007, meeting their son Brandon for the very first time in Beijing, China when he was 18 months old. In their free time, you’re likely to find the Ibe family at one of the many events supporting Bay Area professional sports teams, or jumping on a plane to their next travel destination (the island of Oahu is a favorite).

You may reach Gene at (707) 784-1334 or gmibe@solanocounty.com.