Get to know us before we get to know you! We love what we do and it really shows. Come see for yourself – you will see why we are so passionate about what we do!
Lani Schiff-Ross, L.C.S.W. Executive Director
(209) 468-0250 PHONE
Lani started working in the social services world in Stockton in the mid 80s as a volunteer with a sexual assault crisis line. Over the years she has worked with adults molested as children, sex offenders, domestic violence perpetrators, abused children and gang members. She has worked as a social worker in the Southeast Asian community, a teacher in an elementary school, a therapist at a mental health outpatient clinic and a case manager with teen parents. Her previous job was as a manager with a teen parent program overseeing approximately 20 staff, which led to her current job as the Executive Director of First 5 San Joaquin (aka Prop 10 and the Children and Families Commission). The program has provided funds to 225 agencies serving children 0-5 and their families. This is her favorite job as she loves the community of San Joaquin and greatly appreciates the amazing work the programs do with children and families. While at First 5, she was also the Interim Delegate Director of the local Head Start program, the single delegate agency with a budget of $24 million.
Although Lani skipped most of kindergarten to go ice skating (while living in New York), she was able to get through the rest of the years of school, graduating from University of the Pacific and Sac State, where she received her Masters of Social Work. Lani is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, which, she understands to mean “Lani Can Surely Work”. She enjoys traveling (especially when she is able to use her moms mileage and travel overseas first class!), reading (not Danielle Steel, but nothing too deep), watching TV (not always popular to admit), gardening (okay, she has a gardener, but she likes to look at pretty gardens), cooking (but not really) and spending time with friends and family. Her latest hobby is going on cruises, with a goal of joining the Travelers’ Century Club (she is over halfway there). Lani is an active member of Stockton Covenant Church, in fact, she’s been around so long, the children she had in nursery are getting married! She is also the proudest auntie of five amazing, smart and kind nieces and nephews. When she wins the lottery, she will buy houses for them so they can live near (but not with) her. She remains grateful for her life.
Tanimu Dasin Accountant II
(209) 468-1537 PHONE
Tanimu joined First 5 in 2018. He has worked as an accountant and as an auditor-appraiser. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Accounting and in Finance from California State University, San Bernardino. His Master’s Degree is in Accounting. In his free time, Tanimu enjoys traveling and spending time with his family.
Andrea Handelman, M.P.A. Contracts Analyst
(209) 953-7155 PHONE
Andrea joined First 5 San Joaquin in July of 2019. Andrea holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies along with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. She began her career in public service in January 2012 as an Eligibility Worker with San Joaquin County holding a multi-program caseload. As an Eligibility Worker she worked many special projects including holding a confidential caseload for 3 years, working in a CalHEERs Linking unit for 1 year and working on the C-IV Handbook Committee. In 2016 she was promoted to a Staff Analyst, a position in which she was able to work with Staff Development for 18 months training new Eligibility Workers and Fair Hearings for another 18 months working with the Northern California Appeals Committee before becoming a Contract’s Analyst.
Dorene Jow Contracts Analyst
(209) 468-8141 PHONE
Dorene joined First 5 San Joaquin in June of 2012. Dorene holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services Management. She entered public service in 2001 as an Administrative Assistant at Mary Graham Children’s Shelter, the County’s emergency shelter for abused and/or neglected children. She has been involved with a local non-profit foundation that serves foster youth within our community, and volunteered with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the United Way, the Mary Graham Children’s Foundation and the Stockton Asparagus Festival.
Kimerli (Kim) Sawyer, M.A. Contracts Analyst
(209) 953-7807 PHONE
Kimerli joined First 5 San Joaquin in 2020. She was born and raised in the Los Angeles area, and holds a B.S. in Business Management, a M.A. in Organizational Leadership, Graduate Certification in Public and Non-Profit Leadership, and is pursuing a Doctorate in Education in Organizational Leadership and Change at the University of the Pacific. Prior to joining First 5 San Joaquin, Kimerli managed the Positive Youth Justice Initiative working with youth to change their experience within the juvenile justice system. She has also worked as an Eligibility Worker, helping families in crisis to establish basic necessities such as food and shelter. In her spare time, Kimerli loves to mentor youth, volunteer with Girl Scouts, travel, bowl, hang out with nieces, nephews and grandkids, and participate in most water activities from swimming to white water rafting, but her favorite water activity is cruising to just about anywhere.
Dawn Narayan Contracts Analyst
(209) 953-7696 PHONE
Dawn joined First 5 San Joaquin in April of 2014. She began working in Health and Human Services in early 2000. Her background in public service includes multi-program eligibility, case management, help desk technician, job coaching, and supervision. She has trained other counties in change management implementation and on web-based applications. She was the lead for the Stage 3 childcare migration project and assisted in the development of EWORKs the job search/job readiness program in San Joaquin County. In addition, Dawn has volunteered on the Commission on Aging, was the Vice-Chair of the Community Action Board, and is currently a member of the United Way Keel Club and United Way Community Council.
Gloria Nunez Contracts Analyst
(209) 468-1672 PHONE
Gloria Nunez began work with First 5 San Joaquin in April 2014. Gloria received her Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration/Human Resources from California State University - Stanislaus. Gloria has worked for San Joaquin County and local non-profits as a CalWORKs case manager, job search instructor, health educator, and pretrial specialist. Previously, she worked with Imperial County Behavioral Health in both mental health and substance abuse services as a case manager and conservator, and with Caesars Palace as an International Casino Executive in the areas of marketing and financial credit. She is bilingual (English and Spanish) and has experience working with multicultural populations. She lives in Stockton with her husband and children.
Daniel Platt Accountant III
(209) 953-7244 PHONE
Dan Platt joined First 5 in July of 2010. Dan is a lifelong Stockton resident with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Accounting from CSU Stanislaus. Prior to joining First 5, Dan was a Deputy Auditor Controller with San Joaquin County, and also spent several years as a Controller for a local retail company and for a major manufacturer of lumber products. Dan and his wife have a son and Dan enjoys gardening, Bonsai and spending time with his family
Cathy Sprints Contracts Analyst
(209) 953-7223 PHONE
Cathy Sprints joined First 5 San Joaquin in May 2015. Cathy has a Bachelor's degree in Business with an emphasis on Management and Leadership. She also holds an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. Her background includes over twenty years of experience in leadership and supervision of early care and education programs and working with families and children ages 0-12. She is familiar a variety of funding types including state funding and Head Start. Cathy has three grown children and five grandchildren.
Jovanna Vialdores Contracts Analyst
(209) 953-7694 PHONE
Jovanna Vialdores joined First 5 San Joaquin in November of 2004, where she serves as a Contracts Analyst. In that role, she has developed and provided oversight and support to several initiatives and special projects in areas such as, home visitation services, faith-based outreach, strategic communications, early literacy and health education. Previously, she worked with the California Department of Health Services and Public Health Institute in the areas of contract management, social marketing, and community engagement. Jovanna received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from the University of California, Irvine.
Billi Jo Zopfi Contracts Analyst
(209) 953-7695 PHONE
Billi Jo Zopfi joined First 5 San Joaquin in July of 2003. Previously, she worked for more than four years as a CalWORKs Case Manager for the San Joaquin County Employment and Economic Development Department. Billi Jo received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Development from the University of California, Davis. While attending college, she volunteered at UC Davis Medical Center as a student apprentice in the Pediatric ER unit, the Pediatric floor, and the Child Life Program.