Interfaith Community Services enjoys an outstanding level of commitment from our volunteer Board of Directors. Board members provide overall governance of Interfaith, collaborate through task forces and committees, and organize special events and fundraisers. Together they contribute invaluable expertise and insight to further the mission of Interfaith Community Services.
The Rev. Meg Decker has served at Trinity Episcopal Church in Escondido for over 20 years. In that time she has led the congregation in creatively engaging the outside world in service and Christian witness. Leading one of the founding congregations of Interfaith Community Services, the Rev. Decker highly values cooperation between faiths and has been instrumental in organizing interfaith events, demonstrating how religion can be a force for unity and service in the community. She currently leads the Escondido Faith Leaders’ Council and is organizing a multi-faith chaplaincy program at Interfaith Community Services.
The Reverend Webb is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and currently serves as the Senior Pastor/Teacher of the St. John Missionary Baptist Church of Oceanside, CA. He has served in this capacity since October 2014. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a Masters of Divinity Degree from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at the Virginia Union University. Prior to being called to St. John Church, he served on the ministerial staff of the Morning Star Baptist Church in Catonsville, Maryland, where he was licensed and ordained. Since arrived, Reverend Webb has opened the doors to the entire community, served special meals, completed a major renovation of the church, and invited local clergy to join together the help veterans received household goods for their new homes. Most recently, he was awarded the NAACP Religious Service and Activism Award. Reverend Kadri Webb is a man of action who lives and believes “Actions speak louder than words.”
Silas I. Harrington is licensed to practice law in California and Washington State and maintains a law office in Escondido focused on tax controversy, estate planning and business formation and planning. Mr. Harrington is an active member of Community Lutheran Church in Escondido, California and appreciates the opportunity to apply his skills to maintain and build his local community.
An attorney with Higgs Fletcher& Mack, Mitch joined the Board in December 2016. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Mitch and his wife Julie came to San Diego in 1981 after working in the Criminal and Tax Divisions of the Justice Department. Mitch specializes in tax controversy cases as well as business matters. He has been listed as a Southern California SuperLawyer for several years. In addition to professional commitments, Mitch has served on several charitable boards and organizations, including serving as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Seacrest Village, Second Chance, the Anti-Defamation League, and Serving Seniors.
Born and raised in Chicago and has lived in San Diego for 2.5 years. Saima attended Northwestern University for undergrad and then later obtained an M.S in Analytics from North Carolina State University. She currently works at Intuit as a Senior Manager of Data Analytics. Saima has led the Feeding-the-Hungry program for the past 2.5 years at her local mosque and as the IMAN (Intuit Muslim Awareness Network) chair at work. She is co-chair of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom’s San Diego chapter. She has managed to feed 150 neighbors in need every month and this past year co-organized an event as part of Pious Projects of America. She is an active volunteer with Helping Hand for Relief and Development to fundraise events for less fortunate countries and those experiencing calamities. Saima recently joined the board at the MCC, where she is the Community Director. Her goals are to involve the Muslim Community in the larger San Diego community in areas of community service, interfaith friendships, and social justice.
Lisa Brinig is a senior wealth advisor at Mariner Wealth Advisors, located in San Diego. Lisa’s primary role is to help clients achieve their goals by creating and implementing financial strategies as part of an overall wealth management program. She counsels high-net-worth individuals and business owners in all aspects of their personal financial management. Lisa has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in finance and tax planning from San Diego State University. She also holds the designation of Certified Financial Planner (CFP).
Minister Brooks currently serves as an Associate Minister at Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church. She graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education and from san Jose State University with a Master of Arts Degree in Administration/Supervision. The wife of Alphonso Brooks, Carol is also the mother of two sons and a grandmother of three. Currently, she is a member of the North County African American Women’s Association and the Women’s Community Club. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Vista Community Clinic and KOCT Community Television. She also served on the Community Healthcare Alliance Committee for the Tri-City Healthcare District.
Laurie Burt earned her degree in English from the University of Utah and went on to become a high school teacher. An avid community activist, she serves as the Humanitarian Specialist for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and regularly volunteers with Interfaith Community Services.
John is the Chief Information Officer of Nordson Corporation and holds a BSME from Purdue University, as well as an MBA from Indiana University Kelley School of Business. John has lived in San Diego County since 2005 after moving from Ohio. During his career, John has held various engineering positions, managed the supply chain, run the Nordson ASYMTEK division in Carlsbad, and most recently is responsible for the global Information Systems team for Nordson Corporation. John, and his wife Sharon, are proud parents of two boys currently attending college and are members of North Coast Church.
Christine is co-owner of Youngdale Mfg. Corp., founded by her father. She is a former educator with a Masters Degree in Education (Curriculum and Instructional Development). Christine has been a member of the Interfaith Board since 2004, and served as Board President for two terms (2011 – 2015). She is a former President of the Palomar College Foundation and served on said board for 14 years. She is also a former Chairman of the Palomar College President’s Associates and is a former officer and Member of the Board for the San Marcos Boys and Girls Club.
Rabbi David Castiglione received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and his Masters of Hebrew Letters from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. He was ordained in 1992. Following ordination, he served Temple B’nai Israel of Elmira, New York. His service continued with Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and after twelve years of service, he took up his post with Temple Adat Shalom in Poway in the summer of 2008. In 2017, he was awarded a Doctor of Divinity by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles. This year, he was recognized by the Mayors of Poway and San Diego, as well as the President of the Union of Reform Judaism and the President of Hebrew Union College for his ten years of service to Temple Adat Shalom. The themes of God’s oneness, social justice and covenant – both personal and communal – inform and drive all of Rabbi Castiglione’s interests and initiatives. He has long been a vocal proponent of outreach, an active advocate of civil and religious rights for all individuals.
Robert Costantino is currently the successful business owner of Balloon Guru LLC in San Diego. He first started practicing his craft up in Los Angeles in the early 1980’s, back when the Balloon Decor business was in its infancy. His philosophy which is crucial to his own recovery is “Do The Right Thing. Always” and he has implemented this philosophy into every aspect of his business. Robert definitely believes that if you strive to take the high road in life, you will always get through somehow. And if you have a spirit of gratitude along the way, all the better! Robert Costantino is also a graduate of Interfaith’s Escondido Community Sobering Services (precursor to Recovery & Wellness Center).
Originally from Turkey, Zeynep Ilgaz and her husband immigrated to the United States with nothing but two suitcases, a love for each other, and a desire for entrepreneurship. They co-founded Confirm BioSciences, where Ilgaz serves as president. As the global leader in the field of lab and instant testing for drugs of abuse and health, Confirm BioSciences is committed to being on the cutting edge of offering new, service-oriented drug testing technologies.
Ilgaz is an advisor to the National Institutes of Health Commercialization Assistance Program. She is a dedicated participant in the educational and entrepreneurial programs at San Diego State University and the Rady School at the University of California, San Diego; she serves as an advisory board member for the Entrepreneur Society at SDSU
Carol Lazier is a highly accomplished San Diego philanthropist and community volunteer. She is an active member of Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church and presently serves as Board Chair of San Diego Opera where she successfully led the effort to prevent the Opera’s closure. “The Arts connect us as human beings. Art nourishes our souls, increases empathy and tolerance.” She has served on the boards of the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Symphony and the Palomar Family YMCA. Carol was co-founder, lead underwriter and is President of Solutions: Exploring Success Post-High School, a non-profit that provides college and career information to San Diego students. Carol has also given her time and resources to such non-profits as Palomar Health Foundation, CSUSM, UCSD Rady School and UCSD Jacobs Hospital.
Paul has lived in Escondido since 1977. He has been married for over 38 years to his wife, Debra, raised two children, and has one grandchild. Paul has a Bachelor of Science degree from UC Berkeley, a Real Estate Development Certificate from UC San Diego, and an MBA in Finance from the University of San Diego. Paul Marx has been a local businessman since the late 1970’s. Paul owns his own commercial real estate company and has extensive development experience throughout the San Diego area. His expertise is the financial, management and new venture side of the business. He has supported Interfaith Community Services for over 30 years. He has served on, and chaired, Church Councils and Church Finance Boards. He has also organized Outdoor Youth Groups, coached Little League, served on the Palomar YMCA Board, chaired the Y Indian Guide program, served as a Boy Scout Scoutmaster, chaired the Escondido Rotary RYLA Scholarship Committee, and served as a Board Member of the San Diego Building Industry Association.
Kate is a Professor of Technology and Operations Management and the Faculty Director of the Schlesinger Fund for Global Healthcare Entrepreneurship at Babson College. She is also the author of over 30 articles and her book “The New Entrepreneurial Leader: Developing Leaders Who Shape Social and Economic Opportunity” (2011), co-authored with Danna Greenberg, Jim Wilson, details a new model for innovative leadership development. Kate has been engaged with her local communities through a variety of non-profits including the Greater Boston Feed Bank, Cradles to Crayons, Family Promise, SpeakEasy Stage Company, the Bethany House of Prayer and the Episcopal Church. She currently co-chairs the outreach committee at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church. Kate is a mother of two children, Maya and Marcos, and the spouse of Rev. Mark McKone-Sweet.
Dr. Vanessa Peters
Dr. Vanessa Peters is a Family Physician and Chief Physician Officer for Graybill Medical Group, a primary care owned medical group in North San Diego County with 12 locations and 80+ providers. She graduated from the University of Calgary School of Medicine in 2000 and moved to the US in 2002 to start her practice with Graybill. She has 19 years of experience and is board certified by the American Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Peters has also been involved with the Holiday Adopt a Family Program at Interfaith.
Dr. Peters derives great satisfaction from the enduring relationships she is able to form with her patients and helping them to achieve good health and well-being. She believes that “to promote optimal well-being there must be trust, open communication and mutual respect between patient and doctor.” She also works with the administrative team to ensure that patients, staff and physicians have an exceptional experience at Graybill Medical Group. She is also the founder of VMD Investing and is passionate about helping busy professionals build wealth through passive, income-producing real estate by investing in apartment communities, self-storage and manufactured home parks.
Paul is the managing partner of Polito Eppich Associates LLP, CPAs. Born and raised in L.A., Paul graduated from Loyola University. A former member of the Palomar College Foundation, Paul serves on the Finance Council of St. Stephen’s Catholic Community, is the current Treasurer of the North County Trade Tech High School, and serves as a Board Member for both the New Haven Youth and Family Services and John Paul the Great Catholic University. Paul and his wife Helen reside in Vista and have five children and ten grandchildren.
Faye Rencher is a workforce development professional with more than fifteen years of experience in strategic planning, policy development, grants management, and board governance. Faye currently works as the Director of College and Career Readiness for United Way San Diego, and has previously served in a Governor-appointed position as Senior Program Manager and Policy Analyst for the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, as well as Senior Policy Analyst and Project Manager for a legislative oversight agency, the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission. Faye is involved in the community as a member of a National Public Service Organization (Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.), proudly serves her alma mater through the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College, and volunteers with the Poway Unified School District.
Pastor Frederico Salas
Pastor Frederico Salas is a current resident of Escondido, he has a Diploma in Theology from Golden Gate Seminary, earned his BA, MA in Theology and Doctorate in Bible Expository from the California Christian University. He has been the Pastor for the Iglesia Latina Emanuel Church (a Hispanic congregation) since 1997. He was the Chaplain for the 24-hour crisis unit at Palomar Medical Center from 1995-2007 where he assisted Hispanic families in dealing with illness, trauma and stress and provided crisis intervention as necessary. Pastor Salas currently serves on the Board of Directors for Neighborhood Healthcare, he is a member of the San Diego Pastors Group, and a Crisis Responder with the Escondido Police Department. Pastor Salas is also actively involved with cross-border assistance. He shares an empathy for the problems experienced by patients and families with a commitment to help the distressed.
Mr. Smith is an attorney and a partner with Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith in San Diego, in addition to teaching as an adjunct professor of law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. He specializes in health care law and devotes most of his practice to defending hospitals, physicians and nursing homes in professional liability cases. Stephen is married and has two children, enjoys traveling, coaching soccer and his work with Interfaith Community Services.
Diana earned her Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Emeritus, MSW and BS in Psychology and is a member of the Village Community Presbyterian USA Church, serving in the choir and the Missions Commission and is a Deacon. She served as Executive Director of Northwest Assistance Ministries, a coalition of Houston area congregations that created an organization with food pantry services, job bank, clothing and counseling for low income folks in the community. An avid community supporter of social issues, Diana volunteers for a variety of philanthropic groups throughout North County. Diana lives in Rancho Santa Fe with her husband.