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.
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).
Gloria is an Air Force Veteran and the Founder of Veterans Preference Inc., a nonprofit organization with the focus of working with female veterans to prevent factors contributing to homelessness. Gloria is Vice Commander for the San Diego Chapter of the National Association for Black Veterans, and a member of American Legion Post 310. She is also a member of the California Women Veterans Leadership Council. Her home is Richmond, Virginia, but she has lived in San Diego for more than 30 years. Gloria is a graduate of San Diego State University, with a BA in Liberal Arts & Sciences, Journalism, Public Relations Emphasis.
Andy Ballester is a co-founder of GoFundMe, the world’s largest online fundraising platform, and a technology mentor and advisor. Prior to GoFundMe, Andy served in senior management and founder positions at several companies, including Create a Fund and California Product Shop. He also volunteers as a Mentor with the EvoNexus incubator, Techstars Anywhere Accelerator, and Ad Astra incubator where he helps multiple startups and their founders navigate product development. Andy holds a B.A. in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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.
John retired from Nordson Corporation in 2021 with 27 years of service. During his career, he held various engineering positions, managed the supply chain, ran the Nordson ASYMTEK division in Carlsbad, and was responsible for the global Information Systems team for Nordson Corporation. John earned a BSME from Purdue University, as well as an MBA from Indiana University Kelley School of Business. John, and his wife Sharon, have lived in San Diego County since 2005 after moving from Ohio. They are proud parents of two adult young men.
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.
Sue Carter has a B.S. from USD with a double major in Accounting and Business Administration. Sue started her career as an Auditor with the accounting firm of Ernst & Young and worked there for 5 1/2 years, obtaining her CPA. Over the years, she worked for several companies in San Diego in capacities including Controller, Vice President of Finance, and Chief Financial Officer. Sue currently works part-time for various companies and serves in many different volunteer capacities. Current organizations she is involved with include The Diocese of San Diego, The Catholic Community Foundation of San Diego, St. Gregory the Great Catholic Parish, Whispering Winds Catholic Camp and Conference Center, and Cathedral Catholic High School. Sue is married with three grown daughters and became a first-time grandmother in February.
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).
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.
Gagandeep, has been fortunate to have had many diverse experiences in her Interfaith and faith-based work. In college, Gagandeep was the founder and editor-in-chief of an international Sikh youth magazine called Sikh Generations, a quarterly magazine that was the zeitgeist of the multi-generational Sikh milieu and its’ issues. One of her greatest honors has been to serve as the first Sikh woman to chair a national non-profit, the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF), based out of Washington D.C. from 2003 to 2005. She is also active in the civic and interfaith communities in San Diego. Her current community activities include: President of the Interreligious Council of San Diego – An interfaith group serving the greater San Diego area’s faith needs, Vice President of The Sikh Foundation San Diego Board of Directors, Board Member of the San Diego District Attorney’s Interfaith Advisory Board, and Advisory Board of A Path Forward National Conflict Resolution Center.
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.
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.
Yusef Miller is The founder of Mosques Against Trafficking, Co-Founder of The North County Equity & Justice Coalition, Member of the Racial Justice Coalition of San Diego, Member of East County Justice Coalition, Board Member of Activist San Diego, and Board Member of the Islamic Society of North County (Escondido Musullah). Upon retirement from the Armed Service, Yusef filled his time with Social Justice activities, first though Interfaith teams, Escondido Together, Poway Interfaith Team (POINT), San Diego Regional Interfaith Collaborative (SDRIC), as well as the District Attorney’s Interfaith Advisory Council and the San Diego Anti-Hate Crimes Coalition, fighting disparities on all fronts, Race, Religion, Gender, Immigration Status. Currently, Yusef is a Community Health Worker (CHW) for The Multicultural Health Foundation, and it the North County COVID-19 Awareness Rep for the African American Community.
Hector Morales was born and raised in Escondido, CA, and grew up attending Emmanuel Faith and Iglesia Latina Emanuel, a Spanish-language church plant of EFCC. Hector served in our Junior High Ministry while in college at Cal State San Marcos and joined the Emmanuel Faith staff in 1997. During that year he started The Bridge, an after-school tutoring program in a mostly Latino neighborhood in Escondido. In 2004 Hector graduated from Bethel Seminary San Diego with a Masters of Divinity, and was asked to continue and expand the church’s Community Outreach efforts. Since 2017 Hector has enjoyed connecting newcomers to our church family through our Welcome & Membership ministries, whether they are new to church altogether or have been walking with Jesus for many years. He and Brenda have been married since 2005 and have been blessed with two kids, Cecilia and Sammy. He enjoys the outdoors, cooking and playing most sports. You can usually find Hector on a field somewhere coaching baseball, softball or soccer.
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 is able to form relationships with her patients that help them 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.
Janette Pritchard joined Polito Eppich in the summer of 2019 as an Audit Manager. Specializing in attestation services. Her real passion is to serve our clients, develop relationships, and be a part of their business growth. Her primary focus is in construction, manufacturing, and nonprofit. Prior to joining Polito Eppich, Janette spent 15 years working for a mid-size public accounting firm in the Inland Empire, practicing audit, tax and consulting. She started her career working in the accounting services department and went back to college to pursue her CPA license. Janette and her husband have a beautiful daughter, Samantha, who is grown and continues to be a big part of their lives, along with their grandson Haakon. Janette enjoys CrossFit, paddle boarding, and hiking.
Darrell received a Bachelor of science degree in biology from USC in 1975 and an MD degree from University of Texas, Southwestern University in Dallas in 1980 with a Family Practice residency at UCSD 1980-1983. From 1983 to 2012, Darell was full-time board-certified Family Practice MD working as a partner in the Southern California Permanente Medical Group, exclusively contracted with Kaiser Permanente. He managed a patient panel of over 2000 patients and was the administrative physician leader of the Carlsbad Kaiser facility for the last several years of his career. He retired January 2012 after 29 ½ years of service. He is also a member of the Board of Directors with Plant with Purpose, an international faith-based non-profit committed to sustainably alleviating poverty in the rural population of 8 countries using a three-pronged approach emphasizing environmental restoration, economic empowerment, and spiritual renewal.
Monica Cruz Thornton graduated with honors from the UC Irvine in 1982 with a B.A. in Social Ecology, Phi Beta Kappa. She worked her way through college and the two years following graduation in order to fund her law school education. Ultimately, she was awarded a Fellowship. Monica attended UC Davis from 1984-1987. After spending a couple of months traveling in Australia and New Zealand, Monica began her law practice in December of 1987. In 2015, she retired from litigation law. Monica currently volunteers at Interfaith Community Center (Interfaith). She conducts the Interfaith Legal Clinic in conjunction with the Legal Aid Society of San Diego. Monica also works with Interfaith’s VITA tax services program. Ongoing personal growth and a passion for life-long learning, as well as gratitude, motivate Monica to serve others.