Staff

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.

Lani Schiff-Ross, L.C.S.W.
Executive Director

First 5'er since 2000
(209) 468-0250 PHONE
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Lani holds a bachelor’s degree from University of the Pacific, and a master’s degree in Social Work from Sacramento State University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Lani enjoys playing a role in seeing positive changes happen in the San Joaquin community with children and families. She is thankful that she has the opportunity to work alongside an incredible Commission, staff, and the community.

Her hobbies include watching television, reading, cruising, and planning future home improvement projects. A fun fact about Lani is that she missed most of kindergarten because she was out enjoying her time ice skating. Some famous individuals that she has met are Neil Sedaka and Norm Crosby’s son and housekeeper.


Tanimu Dasin

Tanimu Dasin
Accountant II

First 5’er since December 2018
(209) 468-1537 PHONE
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Tanimu previously has worked as an Auditor/Appraiser Accountant with San Joaquin County before coming to First 5 San Joaquin. Tanimu has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance. He also holds master’s degree in Accounting.

He enjoys spending time with his children and doing activities they enjoy. A fun fact about Tanimu is that he animates his drawings of individuals by using stick figures.


Louella Li

Louella Li
Accountant III

First 5’er since October 2020
(209) 468-1537 PHONE
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Louella previously worked for the Human Services Agency as an Accountant before joining the First 5 San Joaquin team. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce Accounting.

Louella finds the most exciting thing about working at First 5 San Joaquin is that there is never a dull moment. From new funding, new programs, and new processes, a day at First 5 San Joaquin is always full of new and rewarding experiences. She enjoys traveling and seeking out new adventures.


Jose Morales

Jose Morales
Contracts Analyst

First 5’er since April 2021
(209) 953-7155 PHONE
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Jose began his career with the Human Service Agency in 2016. He previously worked in sales/marketing for ASM Global, an entertainment management company. At one time, Jose wanted to be a lawyer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of the Pacific.

Jose enjoys collecting sport cards, traveling, and attending concerts. He’s met several famous musical artists including J Balvin, YG, Tori Kelly, G-Eazy, and DJ Khaled. He finds that the most exciting aspects about working at First 5 San Joaquin are that every day is unique and that he’s able to utilize his previous experience to learn new things.


Dawn Narayan

Dawn Narayan
Contracts Analyst

First 5’er since April 2014
(209) 953-7696 PHONE
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Dawn began working for the San Joaquin County Human Services Agency in April 2001. Currently, Dawn is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis.

What she finds exciting about working at First 5 San Joaquin is that she has the opportunity to be a part of positive changes in the lives of parents, caregivers, and children resulting from programs and services First 5 San Joaquin provides to the local community. She is San Joaquin Delta College Police Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T) certified and is passionate about the Administration of Justice System. She enjoys playing recreational and competitive softball. A fun fact about Dawn is that in high school she won an award for "Miss Congeniality."


Dezarae Quilantang

Dezarae Quilantang
Contracts Analyst

First 5’er since April 2021
(209) 468-1672 PHONE
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Dezarae has been working for San Joaquin County since 2004. She began county service as an Office Clerk through the Summer Youth Program with the Human Services Agency. She became an Eligibility Worker and later a Management Analyst with Public Works. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Behavior/Leadership from the University of the Pacific.

She loves cold, delicious desserts… ice cream, popsicles, sherbets, frozen yogurt, and Italian ice. Some of her favorite hobbies include cooking, eating, traveling, and Polynesian dancing. Dezarae also enjoys spending quality time with her husband and their two daughters. The most exciting thing about working at First 5 San Joaquin is constantly learning something new each day. She finds it rewarding to work with agencies who strive to support families with young children.


Kimerli (Kim) Sawyer, M.A.

Kimerli (Kim) Sawyer, M.A.
Contracts Analyst

First 5’er since March 2020
(209) 953-7807 PHONE
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Kim has been working for San Joaquin County since 2011. She has also held positions with the County as an Eligibility Worker and Management Analyst. She holds a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and a bachelor’s degree in Business Management.

Some of her hobbies include bowling, cooking, baking, and any water activities. A fun fact about Kim is that she and her mom once went white water rafting in the Alaskan glacier waters. Kim grew up in the Los Angeles area where it is not uncommon to see celebrities. In fact, one of the most famous individuals she met was Michael Jackson at Disneyland, where he was performing.


Kathy Smith

Kathy Smith
Administrative Assistant

First 5’er since October 2020
(209) 468-8141 PHONE
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Kathy has worked with San Joaquin County as a multi-program Eligibility Worker and an Office Assistant. She has a background in Early Childhood Education and has always wanted to do work that benefits children. Kathy enjoys working at First 5 San Joaquin because it does so much for the community. She believes that First 5 San Joaquin fills a void for many families by providing much needed services. Her position has allowed her to help families connect to services in the San Joaquin community.

A fun fact about Kathy is that her grandmother’s cousin is Walter Cronkite. Her hobbies include traveling and spending quality time with her family. One day she would like to release a series of children’s books she has been working on.


Cathy Sprints

Cathy Sprints
Contracts Analyst

First 5’er since May 2015
(209) 953-7223 PHONE
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Cathy has a range of professional experience that includes summer fair flower barn worker and restaurant management, but most of her experience has been in early care and education programs serving children and families prenatally through elementary school. She even spent a few years as a cheerleading coach.

The most fulfilling part of her work at First 5 San Joaquin is the impact that it has on the community, especially young children and their families. She has three grown children and five grandchildren. She has a bachelor’s degree in Business with an emphasis on Management and Leadership.


Veronica Verduzco

Veronica Verduzco
Administrative Assistant

First 5’er since October 2020
(209) 953-5437 PHONE
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Veronica holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Before joining the First 5 San Joaquin team, she worked for the State of California for 10 years.

What she finds most exciting things about working at First 5 San Joaquin is being a part of a team environment where colleagues support one another, which helps to build a strong bond among staff. Her hobbies include spending time with her son, dancing, and camping. She’s always up for new adventures.


Jovanna Vialdores

Jovanna Vialdores
Contracts Analyst

First 5’er since November 2004
(209) 953-7694 PHONE
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Jovanna holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from UC Irvine. It brings her joy to know that some of the county’s most vulnerable children and families are being helped every day by the work done at First 5 San Joaquin.

She enjoys hiking, that first cup of coffee in the morning, treasure hunting at garage sales on Saturdays, church on Sundays, trying to keep her plants alive, and that second cup of coffee.


Billi Jo Zopfi

Billi Jo Zopfi
Contracts Analyst

First 5’er since July 2003
(209) 953-7695 PHONE
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Billi Jo received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis. Prior to working at First 5 San Joaquin, she worked as a CalWORKs Case Manager. While attending college, she volunteered at UC Davis Medical Center as a student apprentice in the Pediatric ER and floor units and the Child Life Program.

The most exciting part of her work at First 5 San Joaquin is being a part of a local and statewide community devoted to giving a voice to children ages 0 to 5 and recognizing the importance of early childhood development for all children. Billi Jo enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and taking trips with her husband and four children.