Zena arrived at CORA as the Children’s Program Coordinator after graduating from Santa Clara University with a B.A. in English Literature and Religious Studies. In 2016 she transitioned to a new team after receiving a promotion to Emergency Shelter Coordinator. Zena is passionate about working with youth and spends her free time practicing her clinical skills with court-mandated youth and their families at the Margaret J Kemp Camp for Girls and Camp Glenwood. With humor and coffee as her constant allies, Zena worked diligently to balance her academic and professional growth and has proven successful in both arenas. She was promoted to Emergency Shelter Manager in February of 2018 and is on track to graduate with her masters in May from the University of San Francisco.
Emergency Shelter Manager
Director of Development and Communications
Lynn is a graduate of the University of Arizona and cheers loudly for her Arizona Wildcats and the San Francisco Giants. Lynn is passionate about being a domestic violence advocate because – while no one wants to or feels comfortable talking about it – domestic violence touches everyone’s lives in one way or another. She is glad to be part of a team that is starting the conversation through its education and services.
Manager of Legal Services
Melissa received her J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law and holds a B.A. in Psychology and Criminal Justice from San Diego State University. Melissa is passionate about helping survivors navigate the complexities of the civil and criminal legal systems and empowering them to make informed decisions for themselves. In her free time Melissa enjoys rooting for the San Jose Sharks, spending quality time with family, and dancing.
Interim Director of Finance and Operations
Nancy Gonchar is the principal of Nancy Gonchar & Associates. Her practice offers the following services: arts project management; small business development and analysis; interim executive director; executive coaching; organizational change and transition coaching; strategic planning; non-profit finance, budget and operations; fundraising including foundation and government grants; facility planning and design; web and database development; retreat facilitation; and board development.
Gonchar served as the Interim Director and Deputy Director for the Arts Commission for the city of San Francisco for fourteen years where she managed a staff of 35 and a budget of $10,000,000. Among her many duties, she was responsible for the civic design review committee of architects and designers who reviewed all of the city of San Francisco’s building projects. Earlier in her career, she was the director of New Langton Arts and prior to moving to the Bay Area, she was the Associate Director and Curator at the University Art Museum of Binghamton University. A trained artist, Nancy holds degrees from the Visual Studies Workshop and the University of Buffalo and Ohio University. She has served on several boards including GroudSpark, Mobilization Against Aids and Light Work. She currently serves on the Pro Arts board and is the Vice Chair for the San Leandro Arts Commission.
Director of Programs
Tanisha received her Master’s in Public Administration from Golden Gate University and holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley. A San Francisco-Bay Area native with over ten years of nonprofit management experience, Tanisha dedicated herself to a career in social services as a proponent of social justice and public advocacy. In a volunteer capacity, she currently serves as the President on the Commission on the Status of Women in San Mateo County and is an active member of the DV Council’s Coordinated Response Committee and the Pacific Islander Taskforce of the Bay Area. In her spare time, Tanisha enjoys spending time with family and traveling the world – soaking in the sun and exploring the vastness of culture outside of the U.S.
Manager of Crisis Support Services
Celeste is from a small town in San Diego County named Fallbrook, also known as the avocado capital of the world and the friendly village. She relocated to the Bay Area in 2003 to attend college at San Francisco State University. She received her B.A. in Psychology and La Raza Studies. In 2008, Celeste joined the CORA team as a Crisis Counselor and in 2015 was promoted to the position of Crisis Support Services Coordinator.
Michelle Oberes Padre
Manager of Human Resources
Bio coming soon.
Manager of Clinical Services
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and raised in Mexico, Laura Siniego migrated to the United States in 2004. Her interests in psychology emerged from the challenges that the process of migration posed to her family. Laura obtained a BA in Psychology from the Intercontinental University, Mexico City in 1994. She pursued a Masters Degree in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy from the Mexican Association of Psychoanalysis, Mexico City (APM) in 1999, and a second Masters Degree in Family Therapy, awarded by the Universidad de las Americas (UDLA), Mexico City in 2002. For the past two decades, Laura Siniego has worked in Mexico as a research psychologist, university professor, licensed psychologist and in California as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Her current interest is in intimate partner violence among Latino communities. Her passion reflects her life’s work of bridging clinical psychology and the foregrounds of gender, ethnicity and sexuality in her clinical practice. Laura is an EMDR certified therapist and a California domestic violence counselor.
Interim Executive Director
Mary supports organizations and individuals in transition, both planned and unexpected. In addition to her work as an Interim E.D., she is a skilled facilitator and trainer, and provides management coaching for individuals, Executive Directors, and Boards. She draws on her extensive experience as an Executive Director and Board Member of several Bay Area nonprofits.The core of Mary’s work with individuals and organizations is her commitment to effective management, reflective leadership, and positive interpersonal communication. She works closely with clients to identify their strengths and areas of development to help them overcome their challenges and meet their goals. Through these partnerships she is able to bring new resources and ideas to help them develop their capacity.