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Board of Directors

2023-2024 Board of Directors
2023-2024 Board of Directors

Sierra Service Project is guided by a qualified and active board of directors. All board members have past experience working with youth and a close association with Sierra Service Project, often as a youth participant, staff member, or adult leader. Board members possess a very diverse range of professional qualifications and bring expertise to the board from the areas of youth ministry, education, accounting and finance, business management, and engineering. All board members contribute financially to SSP, and all give generously of their time.

Meet SSP’s Board

4010_Cin_in_yard_small_verison - Cindy Chow-Snavely

Cindy Chow-Snavely
West Covina, CA

Cindy’s journey with SSP started as a family vacation. She and her husband have continued to volunteer as SSP counselors through Church of the Good Shepherd in Arcadia, CA. Cindy loves the can-do, open and loving spirit of SSP, and the collaboration, skills-building and learning explorations that the organization supports for so many. Cindy works in human resources for Tokio Marine HCC.

IMG_2088 - Bri Dennison

Bri Dennison
Running Springs, CA

Bri is a former SSP youth participant and former staff member of several years. She has a background in politics and non-profit work. She enjoys snuggling her cats, attempting to snuggle her puppy, and enjoying the outdoors!

Rob Taylor
Poway, CA

Rob retired from Science Applications International Corp. in 2018 where he managed research projects in solar, wind and hydrogen energy. He is a graduate of Cal Poly Pomona and is a licensed Mechanical Engineer. His father and grandfather were carpenters instilling in him a love for building. He was a youth recreation leader during college. He and his wife Shirley have a son and three daughters. Rob is currently serving Hope UMC in San Diego, as a high school Sunday school teacher and SSP Counselor since 2004.

Chris Parker
Vice Chair
Camarillo, CA

Chris is a long time adult counselor with Camarillo United Methodist Church and parent to two staff alumni.

“Getting to share SSP with my wife and our daughters has enriched our family. We have enjoyed serving together and my wife and I loved watching our daughters gain confidence when they served as volunteers and then as Construction Coordinators for SSP. Also, we own a Los Angeles-based construction services company that obtains permits and entitlements for our clients. I have been able to hire SSP staffers as employees of our company and they have been excellent, adding a positive energy and professionalism that’s made our company better.”

Debbie Oshman
Scottsdale, AZ

Debbie worked for over 30 years in Information Technology at Chevron before retiring in 2020. She has been volunteering with SSP since 2004, when she first attended as a very reluctant,camping-averse adult counselor, expecting to attend the summer program only once with Lynnewood UMC in Pleasanton, CA. After seeing the amazing work SSP does and learning that she can indeed sleep on the floor and “kind-of” do construction, she attended nearly every year as an adult volunteer and SSP liaison until 2017 when she temporarily relocated to Manila, Philippines. Originally from San Jose, CA, she is a graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and now lives happily in the Phoenix, AZ area where she is becoming active in her new church, Desert Mission United Methodist.

Russ King
Thornton, CA

Russ is a licensed Mechanical Engineer specializing in residential HVAC design and energy code compliance. He graduated from Humboldt State University, where he met his wife Patty. He has been an SSP adult leader for 11 years. Both of his sons, Connor and Mitch were SSP youth volunteers. He and Patty are the lead SSP coordinators for Point Pleasant United Methodist Church in Elk Grove, CA.

Brenda Scalzi

Brenda Scalzi
Davis, CA

Brenda has been a long-time participant (both a teenager and an adult) and group liaison. Brenda began her SSP journey with San Ramon Valley United Methodist Church, continuing as an adult participant with Montclair UMC. Brenda is passionate about the work of SSP as a positive, life changing opportunity for participants to selflessly serve. Brenda is the Director of Administrative Services at UC Davis’s Student Health Center.


Jessie Fossenkemper
Cincinnati, OH

Jessie is an SSP staff alumni who currently manages the Programs and Partnerships Team at Freestore Foodbank in Cincinnati, OH. She was on staff for 4 years as a Supply Coordinator, Construction Coordinator and Site Director. She also participated as a youth volunteer with Gilbert UMC in Phoenix, AZ.

Sean Murphy
Carmichael, CA

Sean was a youth volunteer with Temecula United Methodist Church and staff member for many years.

“In 1999, I was a shy middle schooler whose family had just moved from Montana to California. That summer, my parents told me I was going on a week-long trip with other high school kids to do service work. That week was the first time I really bonded with other youth my age since moving. I was hooked after that. After five consecutive years as a youth, I spent five summers on staff where I learned a lot of skills that I still use in my personal and professional relationships today. Working for SSP gave me the foundation and confidence I needed to apply for the Peace Corps and to work as a community organizer in different capacities here in the US.”

Greg Van Kirk
Santa Monica, CA

Greg is an Audit Senior Associate at KPMG in Los Angeles. He previously served as a youth volunteer with SSP in 2013 through 2015 with Church of the Good Shepherd UMC in Arcadia, CA.

image002 - Mike Cordova

Mike Cordova
West Sacramento, CA

Mike is an Associate Distribution Engineer with the Engineers and Scientists of California. He is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz holding a Bachelors degree in Legal Studies and Economics Combined. His father, grandfather and great-grandfather all worked in the building trades. He was a youth recreation leader for Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. He and his wife Amy have two sons. Mike is currently serving as the Second Vice-Chair of the Yolo County Workforce Innovation Board, a Delegate to the Sacramento Central Labor Council and the Green Party of the United States.

IMG_2044 - Sterling Kedelty

Sterling Kedelty
Tsaile, AZ

Community liaison for the Navajo Nation.


Tony Gnecco
Livermore, CA

Tony is a 20-year veteran of SSP participation as an Adult Leader and Group Liaison for Asbury UMC in Livermore, CA. Though the amazing youth and adult volunteers he’s been blessed to serve with, he’s learned that a week at SSP is, “the one week a year that makes the other fifty-one better”. Being able to share a week of service with his two children multiple times has truly been a highlight. A graduate of Harvey Mudd College, Tony works as an Operations Supervisor at ScannX in Pleasanton, CA.

Youth Board Members

Sierra Service Project has 3-5 youth board members each year who are active participants in our programs. These outstanding youth make an important contribution to our organization. They also serve on SSP’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC).

Every year, 3-5 YAC members are invited to join the SSP Board of Directors as a youth member for a 1-year term, acting as a liaison between YAC and SSP’s Board. Youth board members have the same voting privileges and responsibilities as adult board members.

All high school aged youth are invited to sign-up to serve on YAC for the 2024-25 school year. We are accepting sign-ups on a rolling basis.

Emma Factora
Burbank, CA

Emma Factora is a current senior at Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, California. She has volunteered with Sierra Service Project for more than 4 years! She is so excited for her second year on the board with Pravin and looking forward to welcoming Ian and Maggie <3

Ian Town
Valencia, CA

Ian Town goes to West Ranch High School as a senior in the Santa Clarita Valley. Over two years as a youth in SSP’s summer program, and one year with on the Youth Advisory Council, he is exited to further his experience on this year’s board team.

Maggie Gerlach
Torrance, CA

Maggie Gerlach is a junior in high school and has participated in SSP these last four summers with Rolling Hills UMC. This is her first year on board but second year with SSP’s Youth Advisory Council. In addition to her passion for SSP, she enjoys reading, swimming, and baking. 🙂

Pravin Rajah
Stockton, CA

Pravin is a current student at Lincoln High School in Stockton CA. I’ve previously attended SSP by working at the Tool Library and attended the Summer program in San Diego. I’m excited for the upcoming year as a Board Member and a part of the youth advisory council.

Board Meetings & Committees

Sierra Service Project’s Board of Directors meets four times annually for one or two-day sessions. Between meetings, board business is conducted via Zoom. Standing board committees include: Outreach; Resource Development; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging; Personnel; Nominations & Governance; Long Range Planning; and Finance.

We also invite individuals to join committees as non-board members to aid in progressing the work and mission of SSP! The committee interest form is reviewed on a rolling basis.

Interested in Board Service?

SSP is always looking for individuals to serve on our board of directors. Candidates must be passionate about SSP’s mission and purpose.

The SSP Board focuses on fundraising, strategy, and governance. Our organization needs diversity in its board – diversity of life experience, background, skills, religious affiliation, age, gender, and ethnicity. If you live in the western United States and are passionate about SSP’s work, this could be a great volunteer opportunity for you. Terms are three years generally beginning October 1.

If you would like more information about Board service, responsibilities, and time commitments, please contact Megan Taylor, SSP’s Executive Director, at 916-488-6441.