Staff

Get to know us! 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!

Marisela Pineda

Marisela Pineda, M.P.H.
Executive Director

First 5'er since November 2021
(209) 468-0250 PHONE
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Marisela comes to First 5 San Joaquin with a rich history in public health, community outreach, public affairs, contract management, and strategic communications. In her previous role as Health Education Program Coordinator for San Joaquin County Public Health Services for nearly 10 years, she oversaw the Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Unit. Her efforts focused on injury prevention, obesity prevention, oral health, tobacco prevention, opioid safety, and public information. She has a Master of Public Health in Community Health Sciences, a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development, and broad array of related consulting, volunteer, and research experience. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family - enjoying game nights, sports events, baking, and traveling to new places.


Cheryl Fowler

Cheryl Fowler
Contracts Analyst

First 5’er since April 2022
(209) 468-1130 PHONE
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Cheryl has been working with San Joaquin County programs since 2000. Prior to joining the First 5 San Joaquin team, she served as an Eligibility Training Supervisor with CalWORKs Employment Center, where she supported CalWORKs participants with improve job skills and acquire employment.

The most exciting part of her work at First 5 San Joaquin is seeing how the funded programs benefit young families with young children. Cheryl enjoys attending country concerts, NASCAR, reading, community involvement, and spending time with family. A fun fact about Cheryl is that she has met Kathy Griffin, Nelson Mandela’s daughter, and Vicky Lawrence through her involvement with the Tracy Chamber of Commerce and the Tracy Women’s Forum Association.


Jose Morales

Jose Morales
Contracts Analyst

First 5’er since April 2021
(209) 953-7155 PHONE
Email

Jose began his career with the San Joaquin Human Services Agency in 2014. 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.


Courtney Nagy

Courtney Nagy 
Contracts Analyst

First 5’er since April 2022
(209) 953-7244 PHONE
Email

Courtney has been working for San Joaquin County since 2007. She previously held a position with the County as an Employment Training Specialist. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. She has experience in processing payroll, mortgage loans, and accounts payable and receivable.

 The most exciting part of her work at First 5 San Joaquin is learning new aspects of the public programs and how they work together. Courtney enjoys working in her yard, listening to podcasts, reading, watching sports, and baking. Some fun facts about Courtney are, that she has met Adam Carolla and Duane Kuiper and that she loves the San Francisco Giants.


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.


Jose Morales

Chris Raney
Accountant I

First 5’er since May 2022
(209) 953-7696 PHONE
Email

Chris Raney is an Accountant I and joined First 5 San Joaquin in May of 2022. He previously worked as an Accounting Technician for Aging and Community Services where he facilitated grant reporting for programs that provide nutrition and care for the elderly and disabled population as well as respite services for care providers.

When not at work, Chris is either enjoying music via his vinyl record collection or as a musician. He also enjoys playing video games with his daughter and caring for his houseplants. 


Kimerli (Kim) Sawyer, M.A.

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

First 5’er since March 2020
(209) 953-7807 PHONE
Email

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
Senior Office 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
Email

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 Supervisor

First 5’er since July 2003
(209) 953-7695 PHONE
Email

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.