“I know we are supposed to think big and mainstream. On the occasions I’ve tried to do that, I’ve realized I’m just about one-on-one, one person, one life, one relationship at a time to make it a better world.”
– Mollie Lowery
Board of Directors
Neil Navin-Board President
Neil Navin is vice president, clean energy innovations for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), a Sempra regulated California utility. He oversees SoCalGas’ comprehensive portfolio of clean energy strategies, innovations and projects to support the utility’s role as a long-term leader enabling California’s clean energy future. Navin’s focus is on delivering tangible innovations and projects in new and growing markets, including renewable natural gas, hydrogen and fuel cells, all of which are aligned to SoCalGas’ mission, strategy and sustainability plan.
Previously, Navin was vice president of construction for SoCalGas and SDG&E.
Since joining SoCalGas in 2014, Navin has served in a number of increasingly responsible management positions, including director of major projects and director of storage risk management. Prior to this, Navin held project management positions with the Fluor and Parsons companies. His previous experience included work on sulfur recovery, gas compression processing, oil and gas production, refining, pipeline engineering, chemical weapons destruction, biogas treatment, fuel cell power generation, and petrochemical plant projects throughout the United States, Middle East and Europe.
Navin sits on the boards of Housing Works and Friends of Ballona Wetlands. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from McGill University in Montréal, Québec, Canada.
Gary Blasi-Board Vice President
Grace Dyrness-Board Member
Grace Roberts Dyrness is a community development consultant and professor. She has taught at the University of Southern California, Azusa Pacific University, and Fuller Theological Seminary, as well as institutions in Philippines, Indonesia and Kenya, with a focus on public service in an urban setting, social context of planning, community and transformational development, and sustainable tourism. Her approach has been to use advocacy planning and participatory approaches to engage people in communities in order to envision their own future and chart a path towards it.
She has a graduate degree in urban anthropology from the Ateneo de Manila University and a doctorate in urban planning and development studies from the University of Southern California. Her doctoral work focused on the growth of the informal sector of the Los Angeles economy, particularly on a project with the city’s street vendors.
Grace has had many years of experience working in the nonprofit sector in developing nations and inner cities within the United States. For eight years she lived in Manila, Philippines where she lived among urban squatter women in order to better understand how they cope with life at the margins. For the past 20 years she has been engaged in participatory action research and development in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Djibouti, Argentina, Mexico and Philippines. It has been through these international and local experiences that she has gained a deeper understanding of what conditions are needed in order for communities to thrive and forge a sustainable future for the next generation.
Agi Orsi-Board Member
Linda Peacore-Board Member
Saba Mwine-Board Member
James Thing-Board Member
Rod Stephens-Board Member
Rod Stephens was born in Los Angeles and was ordained a priest for Los Angeles in 1974, with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, a Masters of Divinity in Theology. Rod became a member of the Immaculate Heart Community in 2005 and is member of the Catholic Worker community in Orange County. Early after its establishment Rod has been an active supporter of Housing Works and has been a Board Member for several years. Rod currently lives in Orange County with his spouse, Howard Seller, Professor Emeritus of California State University at Fullerton.
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