Who We Are
Launched in the mid-1960’s, DOVIA-LA is a professional membership organization for individuals who provide leadership to volunteers. Members represent a diverse range of nonprofit organizations who meet bi-monthly to discuss current issues and share information relating to public, private, and philanthropic organizations serving the Greater Los Angeles area.
The mission of Directors of Volunteers in Agencies – Los Angeles (DOVIA-LA) is to provide education, networking and support opportunities that promote excellence in the field of volunteer management.
The vision of DOVIA-LA is to create a Path to Professionalism that will enable members to ensure effective and rewarding involvement of volunteers in achieving the goals of our members’ agencies.
Connect with Us
Board of Directors
Meet the leadership of DOVIA-LA, and connect. DOVIA-LA board members are always interested in assisting Los Angeles area volunteer engagement professionals and are also happy to discuss their roles within the organization as well as opportunities for members to gain leadership skills in a committee.
President: Kate A. Ekman, CVA, (she/they) Purpose and Engagement Coordinator at Beach Cities Health District
Passionate about leading volunteers in projects for positive social and environmental impacts, Kate is proudly helping volunteer engagement professionals connect, learn and develop professionally. She joined DOVIA-LA in 2015 and first served as the Vice President of Publicity before being elected President. Her primary role is engaging the Beach Cities Health District community in volunteerism. Kate also supports the National Wildlife Federation’s efforts to #SaveLACougars as a consultant organizing event volunteers. Kate began nurturing her career while seeking an Environmental Studies degree at Northeastern Illinois University, where she successfully organized the planting of seventy native species trees on campus. In her free time, Kate continues to volunteer and serves as a Legislative Liaison and on the Advocacy Committee for the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. Kate won the AL!VE Impact Award for Emerging Leaders in 2020. She and her family are proud members of the LGBTQI+ community.
Meghan is the Volunteer and Programs Manager at Executive Service Corps of Southern California (ESC), an organization that provides affordable coaching and consulting services for nonprofits through executive-level volunteers. ESC’s volunteer corps consists mostly of retirees who have decades of experience working in executive roles across all sectors. She is responsible for managing ESC’s client training institutes, customized cohort leadership programs, volunteer recruitment and onboarding process, and volunteer consultant trainings. She also is spearheading ESC’s diversity and inclusion initiative.
She is an alumna of UCLA, graduating with a B.A. double major in American Literature and History with a minor in LGBT Studies. She is a proud Angeleno. Behind the scenes, Meghan enjoys spending time with her geriatric cat, reading memoirs, and exploring LA’s food scene.
Vice President of Membership: Tess Simgen, Arts and Events Supervisor, Volunteer Engagement Program, City of Santa Clarita
Tess is the City of Santa Clarita’s Arts and Events Supervisor for Volunteer Engagement where she leads an amazing team that oversees and coordinates over 5,000 volunteers every year for City events, programs and projects. She also works closely with local schools and colleges, businesses, faith-based organizations, clubs and community groups to organize and coordinate community service projects. Prior to this, Tess was an Administrative Analyst, responsible for writing and managing grants for law enforcement, budgets, and administering programs that addressed teen issues. Tess serves as the Board Treasurer and Immediate Past President of the Santa Clarita Sister Cities Program, and is a past Board member of the Santa Clarita Valley Filipino-American (Fil-Am) Association.
Tess graduated from the University of the Philippines with a bachelor’s degree in Agri-Business Management. She enjoys engaging residents with the City of Santa Clarita and partnering with them to make a difference and contribute to the quality of life in the community. Tess shares her love for volunteering, Disneyland, and Broadway musicals with her daughter, whom she exposed to volunteering and giving back to the community at an early age.
Treasurer: Brianna Beyrooty, Director of Programs and Development at A Sense of Home
Brianna is the Chapter Director at A Sense of Home. A Sense of Home creates a sense of home for youth who have aged out of foster care. At A Sense of Home her position intersects what she loves, environmentalism and building community through volunteerism. Brianna has managed a mobile food pantry in Portland, OR, managed volunteers and interns at a farm in Nevada City and previously managed volunteers at a homeless shelter and services agency at Ascencia in Glendale. She has also volunteered herself as a trail docent with Habitat Authority and volunteered with School on Wheels as a tutor. When she isn’t managing volunteers or volunteering she enjoys being outdoors, gardening, and reading books that have been turned into movies. Briana served two years as DOVIA-LA’s VP of Membership and significantly contributed to updating the systems we use to manage membership.
Vice President of Publicity: Sokha Ny, Long Beach Forward, Organizing Fellow
Sokha was born and raised in Long Beach, CA. She is a proud Cal State University of Long Beach Alumni class of 2016. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and a minor in Environmental Science and Policy. After graduation she started a local grassroots organization: Long Beach Environmental Alliance to help her community become more resilient and sustainable by invoking passion in others, advocacy, education and outreach. She is involved in many non-profit environmental and health organizations to help create a healthier and sustainable planet. She has over 5 years of experience managing volunteers and community organizing in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties.
She practices social responsibility and philanthropy every way that she can. Most of her work life involves either environmental activism, volunteer management, restoration, sustainability and community organizing. She enjoys being outdoors, climbing, playing guitar, picking up litter, and going on adventures.
Secretary: Oriana John, Volunteer Manager at Healing California
Oriana John is a recognized community leader with over 20 years of experience in project and event management. She has worked tirelessly to help organizations achieve fundraising and service goals. As the Volunteer Manager at Healing California, Oriana recruit and oversees the general and professional volunteers who provide free, quality dental and vision care to those in need in California. The organization embodies Oriana’s passion and skills from a lifetime commitment to helping others through her leadership positions and community work.
In addition to her new role as a DOVIA-LA board member, Oriana has been a board member for the Santa Clarita Domestic Violence Center, Henry Mayo Home Tour, and Child & Family Center Young Leadership Corps. Oriana participates in numerous 5K Walks for charity and loves returning home to Antigua to visit family, swim in the ocean, and enjoy Antiguan cuisine.
Treasurer (Starting July 1st, 2021): Gabby Vera, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator in the Recreation & Community Services Department for the City of Santa Clarita
Before being hired on for this position in 2018, she worked part-time in various divisions in the City and earned a BS in Management from Cal State University, Northridge. Gabby values teamwork, community, service, and respect which strongly align with her career and membership in DOVIA-LA. Gabby joined DOVIA-LA in 2019 and in 2020 joined the Education & Programs Committee
Tara R. Miller, MS RD CDN is a Registered Dietitian specializing in the creation, implementation and management of successful wellness programs. In her current role, she provides health consultative services, event planning/execution and volunteer management for over 17,000 retirees. An accomplished public speaker, she is a seasoned keynote presenter, has multiple guest appearances on NY1’s “Healthy Living” and CBS Newspath, appears in on-line and print articles including WebMD, and was a featured dietitian in “Lose Weight New York,” a New York Daily News call-in program.
A Graduate from California State University, Long Beach with a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics, she spent two years in Morocco as a Peace Corps volunteer, specializing in community health disease management and nutrition.
Shade Mokuolu, MPA is a nonprofit administrator with Cross-functional experience. At the Arthritis Foundation, Los Angeles, a volunteer-driven organization, she collaborates with the constituents to fundraise for 50 million Americans and about 300,000 children fighting to overcome the debilitating effects of arthritis. Prior to now, she spent about 7 years in various roles as a Development staff with New Horizons SFV; a Los Angeles based charitable organization.
She holds a Masters in Public Administration from California State University, Northridge, a professional certification in Fundraising from UCLA, and she earned her degree in Sociology from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, West Africa. With a solid track record in marketing sales at ThisDay Newspapers; a leading national tabloid in Nigeria, Shade brings a hybrid approach to management. She has served on the board of DOVIA-LA for the last five years in various capacities.
Leadership Development [Nominating] Committee: Chair Cristina Castillo Fariaz, Esther Clark, Mackenzie Cummins, Kate Ekman, Karina Aguilar Guerrero, Michael Willis
Membership Committee: Halina Do-Linh & OPEN POSITIONS
Publicity Committee: Sokha Ny, Ernie Yoshikawa, Danelle Garrison & OPEN POSITIONS
Education & Programs Committee: Kai Tramel, Heather Turkes, Gabby Vera, Jennifer Haake & OPEN POSITIONS
Looking to expand your career opportunities and support fellow volunteer engagement professionals? DOVIA-LA is currently committee and board members.
DOVIA-LA Leaders are always interested in assisting Los Angeles area volunteer engagement professionals and are happy to discuss their roles within the organization.
“Being a member of DOVIA-LA has been incredibly impactful to me professionally and personally. Being a member of the DOVIA-LA Board of Directors has only increased that feeling of effective empowerment! Not only was I able to spend more time learning alongside other leaders, but was given the opportunity to be a resource to others who were in my same shoes when I first began my volunteer journey! Serving on the Board of Directors helped me feel more connected to my community and encouraged me to continue growing professionally.” – DOVIA-LA Board Member
Complete our Leadership Interest Form to Learn More
Interested in serving on the DOVIA-LA Board or joining a committee? After filling out our Leadership Interest Form, someone from our leadership team will contact you to set up a no obligation meeting to discuss potential leadership roles and your skillset and volunteer interests!
2020 Bylaws Committee: Mackenzie Cummins, Chair; Kate Ekman, Brianna Beyrooty, Sokha Ny, Oriana John, Esther Clark, Halina Do-Linh, Natalie Hammond, J. Anna Nereim
Past Board Members
Tara Miller First VP 2019-2020
Betsy Ann Mudd
Contact us if you can name a past board member!
2018 DOVIA-LA Board