First 5 San Joaquin Commissioners

The Act requires each county in California to establish a Commission to oversee the implementation of the Act. The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance creating the San Joaquin County Children and Families Commission. The Board then appointed the Commissioners to serve on the Commission. In August 2003, the Children and Families Commission officially adopted First 5 as the Overarching Program Identity.

Commission Meetings


The Children and Families Commissioners:

Joseph E. Chelli, Commissioner
Director, Human Services Agency

Susan de Polo, Commissioner
Executive Director, A+

Gary F. Dei Rossi, Ed.D, Commissioner
Retired Deputy Superintendent, San Joaquin County Office of Education

William Mitchell, MPH, Commissioner
Director, Public Health Services

Linda Patrick, Commissioner
Benefits Counselor, San Joaquin County Office of Education

Kay Ruhstaller, BS, RD, Chair
Executive Director, Family Resource and Referral Center

Carl Toliver, Commissioner
Superintendent, Stockton Unified School District

Carlos Villapudua, Commissioner
District 1 Supervisor, San Joaquin County


Joseph E. Chelli, Commissioner
Director, Human Services Agency

Joseph "Joe" E. Chelli is the Director of the Human Services Agency of San Joaquin County. He was born in Stockton and grew up in the Linden area, a rural agricultural community in our County. After graduation from Linden High School, he attended the University of Pacific and California State University at Stanislaus. He graduated from CSU Stanislaus in 1974 with a degree in Business Administration. Joe enjoyed sports in high school and played baseball in college. In 1975, Joe married his wife Denise and has two children, Matthew 25 and Gina 23.

Joe has worked his entire career administering social service programs. Prior to being appointed Director of the Human Services Agency, he managed and coordinated four major service divisions: Aging Services, Adult Services, Community Services, and General Relief. These divisions provide services to the elderly and low-income residents of the County. Also under his direction were eight community centers providing a variety of services including meals, youth recreation and employment services. During his tenure as Deputy Director, Joe was responsible for developing and implementing a Public Authority for the In-Home Supportive Services program, a general relief SSI advocacy and relocation program, and a centralized intake for all adult service programs. He served as the Director of the Area Agency on Aging and the Community Action Agency.

Joe's involvement in the community includes currently serving as the president of Consumer Credit Counselors of Mid-Counties and volunteering as a coach for youth sports. He has served on the advisory committee for the San Joaquin County Affirmative Action Committee and active in several community-based organizations.

Joe's wife, Denise has worked in Lincoln Unified School District for the past fifteen years and both children have graduated from college. He is an avid golfer and enjoys spending time with his family.


Susan de Polo, Commissioner
Executive Director, A+

Susan was born, raised, educated and lives in San Joaquin County. During the years she raised her three children she was a "stay at home" mom and community activist/ volunteer. She was extremely active in education and the non-profit worlds serving on multiple boards of directors, and founding new organizations. Her criteria for choosing a group to support was that its outcomes helped children.

Since 1986 she has been the director of an educational foundation. The mission of the foundation was the enhancement of public education in San Joaquin County. A ten day tobacco education and prevention curriculum, "Keys to Success and Good Health" was their first school based program for the county.

San Joaquin A+, founded in 1996, is a collaborative organization that supports and enhances the education of youth in order to create responsible, employable and productive citizens by identifying and engaging in methods of cooperation and collaboration among education, business and community based resources of our county.

When organizing an action group to make sure that all children in San Joaquin County will start school "ready to learn" it became evident that healthy families must be a part of the equation. The goals of this group are the same as the goals of proposition 10. When a seat on the newly established commission opened she felt her skills, knowledge and links to business, non-profits, schools and the community would be an asset. She feels it is an honor to serve on this commission and that her skills as a facilitator and consensus builder will help the progress of this group. She continues to serve on multiple boards of directors and advisory boards both on the state and local levels. The Act requires each county in California to establish a Commission to oversee the implementation of the Act. The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance creating the San Joaquin County Children and Families Commission. The Board then appointed the Commissioners to serve on the Commission. In August 2003, the Children and Families Commission officially adopted First 5 as the Overarching Program Identity.


Gary F. Dei Rossi, Ed.D, Commissioner
Retired Deputy Superintendent, San Joaquin County Office of Education

Dr. Gary F. Dei Rossi was the Assistant Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent of curriculum at the San Joaquin County Office of Education for over twenty years. Dr. Dei Rossi has been a classroom teacher, principal, district office administrator, and a college adjunct professor. During his educational career he was an advocate for early child education, literacy, and civic education. He earned his BA in History from UCLA, an MA in School Management from the University of La Verne and a Doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of the Pacific.

He is the President of Teachers College of San Joaquin and continues to serve on the San Joaquin A+ Executive Board, the Executive Board of Pacific's Beyond Our Gates initiative, and the Central Valley Bookfest committee. Gary's wife was an elementary teacher for over thirty years and both of their children are teachers.


William Mitchell, MPH, Commissioner
Director, Public Health Services

Mr. William Mitchell is currently Director of Public Health for San Joaquin County. He has worked in local California health departments for over 25 years. Bill grew up in Sacramento where he attended high school and received a Bachelors Degree in Health and Safety from California State University, Sacramento. He went directly to the University of Michigan for a Masters degree in Public Health and returned to work with Sacramento County Public Health as a Health Educator. After three years in that department, Mr. Mitchell spent 12 years with Ventura County before moving back to the valley in 1989. Bill is committed to working with local communities and their health needs. Mr. Mitchell is married to a medical social worker and has three children ages 9, 11, and 13. He believes that it is important to be directly involved in his children's education and their extracurricular activities.


Linda Patrick, Commissioner
Benefits Counselor, San Joaquin County Office of Education

Linda is currently a regional counselor for the California Teachers’ Retirement System predominately serving San Joaquin, Tuolumne, and Calaveras counties. She is a retired Contracting Officer for the U.S. Navy for over 15 years where is also held the collateral position of Federal Women’s Program Coordinator and Equal Employment Opportunity Counselor for the civilian workforce. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Livingstone College in Salisbury, NC. She completed an Advanced Level II Certification in Federal Contracting from the Fort Lee Army Training and Doctrine Command; and, Certification, Regional Counselor/Presenter/ Workshop Facilitator- California State Teachers’ Retirement System. In addition, she has served as a Program Coordinator for the Adult Literacy Program at the public library where her work included recruiting and training tutors and conducting intake interviews with adult students. It was thru the work with adults with low literacy skills and their families that Linda gained an in-depth understanding of the urgent need for “school readiness” training for our parents of preschool age children. Linda took the opportunity to coordinate the Families for Literacy program and to serve as the library’s representative to 1ST Five San Joaquin’s faith based initiative, Leading Ladies for School Readiness Project. She has delivered many presentations on early childhood literacy and school readiness to churches, tutors, parents, homeless shelters, and community organizations. Linda has spent over 20 years as an advocate to organize and support programs, projects, and events that contribute to the well-being of children as well as inform and empower parents in our community to address the academic and social needs of their children. Some of these programs include: Cofounder of the Academic Review Committee of Lodi Unified School District, whose mission is to close the achievement gap; past member of several school site councils; member of the LUSD School Naming Committee; Program Coordinator for The Links, Inc. Stockton (CA) Chapter’s Girls Mentoring/ Enrichment Program; Coordinator of The Links’ partnership with the San Joaquin AIDS foundation to promote AID/HIV prevention and awareness and to sponsor the local World AIDS Day Observance ; past member of the St. Joseph’s Medical Center’s Breast Health Summit Planning Committee; member of the University of the Pacific’s STEPS Program ( Students Emerging as Pacificans) which is designed to improve the college experience and retention rates of first year African American Students by partnering students with community member mentors; and, member of the African American Students Dropout Intervention and Prevention Committee. She has received several awards including the Susan B. Anthony Women of Achievement Award from the San Joaquin County Commission on the Status of Women. Linda was raised in North Carolina and has been married to Lester Patrick since 1974. They have lived in Stockton since 1978 and have two adult children, Nigel and Kenitra.


Kay Ruhstaller, BS, RD, Chair
Executive Director, Family Resource and Referral Center

Kay Ruhstaller has been the Executive Director for Family Resource and Referral Center (FRRC) since 2003. FRRC’s Mission is: To enhance and promote child development and family well-being in San Joaquin County. FRRC serves over 10,000 children and families annually and is uniquely linked to the child care professionals and early educators that serve them. Kay is committed to representing the needs of children and families. As a First 5 San Joaquin Children and Families Commissioner, she will work to establish policy that seeks the greatest return on investment of Proposition 10 (tobacco tax) funds for the children of San Joaquin County.

As a Registered Dietitian, Kay was the Director of Delta Health Care’s Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Program for 10 years and served as the Deputy Director of the same organization. While at Delta Health Care WIC, she co-founded the Breastfeeding Coalition of San Joaquin County which has continued to positively impact breastfeeding rates through community mobilization.

As a Sierra Health Foundation, Health Leadership Program Fellow (Class VI-2007), she is dedicated to improving the lives of the people she serves through non-profit leadership. She currently serves on the California Resource and Referral Network Public Policy Committee and the San Joaquin Delta College Early Studies Advisory Committee. Previous service includes: Local Child Care Planning Council; Children Services Coordinating Commission and the Fetal Infant Mortality Review-Community Action Team.

Kay was raised in the Midwest and holds a B.S. Degree with a Major in Dietetics from the University of Nebraska (Kearney). She completed a Dietetic Internship at the University of Minnesota Hospitals (Minneapolis, Minnesota). After working for Omaha Public Schools for seven years, Kay relocated to Stockton in 1990, for a career opportunity as a corporate dietitian. She is married to Donald Ruhstaller, who is a businessman, former teacher and native of Stockton and together they have two daughters, Katie and Rebecca.


Carl Toliver, Commissioner
Superintendent, Stockton Unified School District

Carl Toliver, was appointed Superintendent of SUSD on July 27, 2010. Mr. Toliver previously served in 2006 as Interim Superintendent of Stockton Unified School District. Prior to this position, he was Deputy Superintendent, Associate Superintendent and high school Principal. He has 34 years experience in all aspects of school operations, management, curriculum development, instructional leadership, district administration, and implementation of board of education goals.

Carl had a myriad of accomplishments while in the district, with student achievement centered goals at the apex. Under Carl’s leadership, numerous successful programs were implemented and are still in place. Some of his accomplishments include establishing the International Baccalaureate Program at Franklin High School; spearheading the Restructuring program, implementing a site-based management council and developing comprehensive plan resulting in Stagg High School receiving the California Distinguished School designation. He led the successful reconfiguration of K-8 schools. Carl provided the leadership that resulted in the passing of the $120,000,000 bond, Measure Q.

Carl received both his B.S in Social Science and M.A. – Educational Administration from UOP. He holds a California Administrative Clear Credential, California Standard Secondary Credential, and California Standard Teaching Credential. In addition, Carl has received numerous awards and recognition, including the 2004 State of California Central Office Administrator by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA).

Carl has served as a United Way Board member; served on the Stockton Mid-Town Revitalization Strategy Advisory Group; and the 2005 Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Crime Task Force Committee. He is on the Retired Administrators Committee for the Association of California School Administrators.

Carl was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and is married to his wife, Marguerite, whom he has known since the first grade. They will celebrate 25 years of marriage next year. He is an avid golfer but loves the freedom to travel and spend time with his wife and family, especially his grandson.


Carlos Villapudua, Commissioner
District 1 Supervisor, San Joaquin County

Carlos Villapudua was elected to the First Supervisorial District on November 4, 2008 and sworn into office on January 5, 2009. Supervisor Villapudua is a native Californian and was born in Stockton, California. He graduated from Franklin High School and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work from California State University Sacramento. He has a daughter, Loreal. Prior to Supervisor Villapudua's election, he served as the Legislative Assistant to former Supervisor Steve Gutierrez. One of his duties in this capacity included organizing residents from the Kennedy, Northeast, Boggs Tract, Taft, French Camp and the Country Club areas. Supervisor Villapudua's experience includes 5-1/2 years as the Community Social Service Director for San Joaquin County's Human Services Agency at the Northeast Community Center, Director for the Welfare-to-Work CalWORKs Program and Pre-trial Service Officer for the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Department. Additionally, he was the First Coordinator to help start the Statewide Healthy Families Program for low cost insurance in the State of California. Supervisor Villapudua has been most active in the community. He served as Chairman of the Coalition of the Mexican-American organizations' Cinco de Mayo Parade and is founder of the "Child's Smile" Celebrity Golf Tournament that raises funds to purchase toys for needy children throughout San Joaquin County during the holiday season. In 2006, Supervisor Villapudua received the Diamond Award from the South Stockton Lions club for "Lion Member of the Year." He is a member of HEPPA and the Rod & Gun Club. Supervisor Villapudua is a firm believer in volunteerism and continues to volunteer for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Commerciantes Unidos and the Asparagus Festival.