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.
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
MaryEllen Chavez Office Tech Coordinator
(209) 953-5437 PHONE
MaryEllen Chavez joined First 5 San Joaquin in March 2017. She has over 25 years of experience working in Silicon Valley as a Project Manager. MaryEllen’s background includes supporting teams, customer service, and project planning and execution. She lives with her husband in Banta (Tracy), raising various animals; sheep, goats, chickens, dogs and cats.
Dawn Arlt Contracts Analyst
(209) 953-7695 PHONE
Dawn began working at First 5 San Joaquin in 2014. She has worked for over 14 years in Health and Human Services at the San Joaquin County Human Services Agency. 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 web-based applications. She worked on the childcare Stage 3 migration and assisted in the development of EWORKs (job search/job readiness program) curriculum. Dawn has volunteered on the Commission on Aging as a board appointed 4th district representative, the executive vice-chair on the Community Action Board (CAB), and also as a volunteer girl's 10U fast-pitch softball coach.
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.
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.
Kelly Mraz, MPA Contracts Analyst
(209) 953-7807 PHONE
Kelly Mraz began work with First 5 San Joaquin in December of 2004. Kelly holds a Master's degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Correctional Case Management. Previously Kelly has worked with another county and several non-profit organizations as a case manager and program manager serving at-risk children and families… specifically, in positions aimed at reducing risk and harm to children and adults experiencing homelessness, mental illness, exposure to violence and substance abuse, as well as young adults and children returning to the community from institutions and out-of-home placements.
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.
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 has an Associate's degree in Early Childhood Education. Cathy has previously worked as a Preschool Teacher, Childcare Center Director and has over fifteen years experience working with families and children ages 0-12. Cathy's favorite pastime is visiting Disneyland with her two granddaughters. She also enjoys sewing, watching movies and rooting on her favorite sports teams.
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.