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) AL!VE Impact Award for Emerging Leaders Recipient in 2020
Passionate about leading volunteers in projects for positive social and environmental impacts, Kate is proudly helping volunteer engagement professionals connect, learn and develop professionally. Kate won the AL!VE Impact Award for Emerging Leaders in 2020. She joined DOVIA-LA in 2015 and first served as the Vice President of Publicity before being elected President. Kate spent six years engaging the Beach Cities Health District community in volunteer management and 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. She and her family are proud members of the LGBTQ+ community.
First Vice President: Meghan Maloney, CVA, Volunteer and Programs Manager, Executive Service Corps of Southern California
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.
Meghan served three years as DOVIA-LA’s Vice President of Education and Programs (2019 – 2022). Meghan has a decade of volunteer management experience and has passion for the intergenerational connections made during volunteering. 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 Education and Programs: Michael Willis, Assistant Director, Volunteer Services & Community Outreach, Orthopaedic Institute for Children
Michael is the Assistant Director of Volunteer Services and Community Outreach at Orthopaedic Institute for Children (OIC), a nonprofit that provides world-class care to patients and their families, regardless of their ability to pay. Michael understands the meaning of community and applies this understanding to action! Michael oversees OIC’s community partners and their volunteer, internship, scholarship, mentorship, and corporate engagement programs. He is also the lead on several community events such as OIC’s Toys & Joy Holiday Party that provides toys, books, and more to over 1,000 underserved children every year.
Michael graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a B.A. in Business Administration and a Minor in Psychology. He enjoys mentoring youth, and witnessing their growth in confidence and aspirations. Above all, Michael enjoys his time with his son whether they are working on homework, hiking, completing educational projects, visiting theme parks, watching the latest Marvel movie, singing their favorite songs together, or playing sports.
Vice President of Publicity: Danelle Garrison, Volunteer and Education Program Manager at Heritage Square Museum
Danelle is the Volunteer and Education Program Manager at Heritage Square Museum in Los Angeles. Heritage Square Museum is a collection of nine Victorian structures that were moved in order to save them from demolition and help modern Angelenos learn about life in the 19th century. Danelle is responsible for recruiting, training, and retaining volunteers and working with schools and other institutions to develop educational programming that supplements their curriculum. She has several years of previous board experience with Costumer’s Guild West, an educational nonprofit for amateur and professional costumers.
She has a B.A. in Religious Studies from CSULB and lives in North Orange County with her partner, their two cats, and too many books. In her non-existent spare time, Danelle can be found sewing, traveling, hiking, cooking, or napping!
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 recruits 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 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: Gabby Vera, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator in the Recreation & Community Services Department for the City of Santa Clarita
Gabby resides in and works for the City of Santa Clarita as the Volunteer Engagement Coordinator in the Recreation and Community Services Department. She is supported by a passionate team that oversees and manages residents interested in investing their time and efforts to their shared community. The city has over 5,000 volunteers who help annually in the city’s departments, special events, beautification and maintenance projects, and enrichment and sports programs. She works closely with city staff, local junior high and high schools, business and faith leaders, and service and community groups.
Her passion for local government programs developed while she worked to help at-risk and low-income teens find employment and develop necessary life and work skills. Gabby takes pride in being a vessel of information and a connection to community members and local programs. Gabby is a proud Cal State Northridge graduate where she earned a Bachelors in Business Administration. In her spare time, she enjoys being active through hiking, yoga, camping with family and friends, and volunteering in causes benefiting young adults and seniors.
Leadership Development [Nominating] Committee: Chair Cristina Fariaz, Kate Ekman, Michael Willis & OPEN POSITIONS
Membership Committee: OPEN POSITIONS
Publicity Committee: Ernie Yoshikawa & OPEN POSITIONS
Education & Programs Committee: OPEN POSITIONS
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!
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!
Past President: Shade Mokuolu, MPA, Major Gifts Officer, Providence Tarzana Foundation
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 since 2015
Thanking Past Committee
2020 Bylaws Committee: Chair Mackenzie Cummins; Kate Ekman, Brianna Beyrooty, Sokha Ny, Oriana John, Esther Clark, Halina Do-Linh, Natalie Hammond, J. Anna Nereim
Halina Do-Linh, Membership
Kai Traimel, Ed & Programs
Thanking Past Board Members
Tess Simgen, VP of Membership 2021
Sokha NY, VP of Publicity 2021
Brianna Beyrooty, Treasurer 2019-2021, Membership 2017-2018
Tara Miller First VP 2019-2020
Betsy Ann Mudd
Carol Ross Thomas
Susana Campbell (retired from City of Santa Clarita)
Contact us if you can name a past board member!