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, 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 professional connect and Los Angeles non-profit organizations expand their capacities via DOVIA-LA, first serving as the Vice President of Publicity and now as President. Her primary role is engaging the Beach Cities Health District community in volunteerism, and also supporting the National Wildlife Federation’s conservation efforts 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. Those trees are now more than ten years old and much taller than any of the volunteers who nestled the saplings into the land. In her free time, Kate continues to volunteer wherever her heart feels called to help including planting trees in the Los Angeles area and as a Legislative Liaison for the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. A native of the Midwest, she moved to Los Angeles in 2015 with her cat, Boomer, to be warmer and near the mountains where she loves to hike.
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.
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.
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 is the current Board 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.
Vice President of Publicity: Sokha Ny, Long Beach Environmental Alliance
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 advocacy, education, and outreach. She is involved in many non-profit environmental and health groups which lead her to Food Finders, a multi-regional non-profit that rescues food and to the food insecure people.
She practices social responsibility and philanthropy every way that she can. Most of her work life involves either environmental activism, restoration, sustainability and community organizing. She enjoys being outdoors, climbing, playing guitar, picking up litter, and going on adventures.
Brianna is the Director of Programs and Development 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. Brianna served two years as DOVIA-LA’s VP of Membership and significantly contributed to updating the systems we use to manage membership.
Mackenzie is currently the Volunteer Manager and Executive Administrator at Free Wheelchair Mission, a humanitarian, faith-based, nonprofit organization that provides the transforming gift of mobility to people with a disability living in developing nations. During her first year, she was responsible for revitalizing and strengthening the volunteer program, in an effort to strategically build a program with an emphasis on engaged and active volunteers. She works closely across all departments in order to improve operational efficiency, while recruiting and building skills-based volunteers for the team’s unique needs.
A native Ohioan, Mackenzie grew up volunteering with and serving a variety of nonprofits, in which she developed a deep passion for helping others and connecting them with resources and creative passions of their own. Mackenzie received her BA in Organizational Communications and Public Relations from Marietta College. She has spent her career in the nonprofit field working with youth, education, homelessness, and volunteers in different capacities. In her spare time, you can find Mackenzie taking on a new DIY craft project or having game and trivia nights with her friends.
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.
We are currently seeking DOVIA-LA members to assist with various functions of the association. Please reach out if you’re interested in more information.
Bylaws Committee: Mackenzie Cummins, Chair; Kate Ekman, Brianna Beyrooty, Sokha Ny, Oriana John,
Esther Clark, Halina Do-Linh, Natalie Hammond, J. Anna Nereim
Nominating Committee & Chair: OPEN POSITIONS
Membership Committee: Halina Do-Linh & OPEN POSITIONS
Publicity Committee: OPEN POSITIONS
Education & Programs Committee: OPEN POSITIONS
Please contact us if you are interested in helping to shape DOVIA-LA as well as gain experience for your career.
Betsy Ann Mudd
Contact us if you can name a past board member!
2018 DOVIA-LA Board