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2019-2020 Board of Directors 

Edward C. Rusnak, Board President: Ed is the co-founder and a Managing Partner of Private Wealth Financial Partners, a comprehensive planning firm affiliated with Lincoln Financial Advisors. Ed lives in Danville with his wife and daughter.  He graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with an MBA in Finance and BS in Industrial Engineering. Ed has over 20 years of experience as a corporate executive. He is a member of Tri-County Apartment Association and volunteers in the local community and St. Isadore’s Church.

“No one in this world should be exposed to or be a victim of domestic violence (DV) or human trafficking (HT).  Would you? One of my beliefs and a guiding principle in my life is to love ourselves and our neighbors. Ruby’s Place (RP)  is there to provide prevention and supportive services to the community and people impacted by DV and HT; with the goal of creating healthier adults and healthier relationships.  I am proud to be a volunteer and supporter of RP’s purpose driven mission to support our neighbors impacted by DV and HT!”

Dr. Olivia Herriford, Vice President and Chair of the Governance Committee

Olivia is Program Manager for City College of San Francisco’s tech apprenticeships, getting more women, African American, and Latin students into high-demand tech jobs. She is also contributing faculty at Walden University where she mentors students developing doctoral dissertations. Olivia is Founder/Executive Director of Women Sharing Wisdom Institute, a nonprofit that provides business-planning workshops for women microbusiness owners and leadership development for NGO and student leaders in East Africa. A fourth generation Californian, Olivia lives in Walnut Creek. 

“I choose to be a Ruby’s Place board member because it allows me to play a role in serving and supporting women and families who, too often, find themselves with only one choice. Ruby’s must be that choice for as many as we can possibly serve”

Mia Zinni, Board Secretary, Treasurer and Chair of the Business Development Committee. 

Mia is an award-winning Architect licensed in New York, Principal at Zinni Design. Additionally, Mia is a faculty member in Architecture at UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design, where she teaches advanced studies in design and research of Domestic Violence Shelters. She was awarded the McKim Prize for excellence in design from Columbia University where she received her Masters in Architecture.  Prior to Columbia, Mia attended UC Berkeley where she received her Bachelors of Art in Architecture with high honors. Mia worked with Sanitation Health Right in India on the design and organization of a Women’s Community Facility in-conjunction with public toilet block facilities for the women of Nimua, Bhiar India.  “I was drawn to joining the board at Ruby’s Place by its progressive leadership and staff which is at the forefront of redeveloping methods for sheltering women, children and men in Alameda County. Supporting marginalized communities is often strained by overarching political, economical and societal factors, seemingly disconnecting opportunities from the realms of the individual. Ruby’s Place however, due to it’s unique dedication to providing emergency shelters, supportive housing, and advocacy to domestic violence and human trafficking victims of all demographics, is directly supporting and empowering our community. I am honored to be the Business Development Committee Chair at Ruby’s place to help spearhead the redevelopment of Ruby’s Place shelters and transitional housing facilities”

Giselle Teixeira, Marketing Committee Chair:

Giselle is the Program Manager for Go-to-Market Strategy at Google Cloud where she focuses on new product launches and building the sales strategy for new markets. Giselle was a previous Consultant for Deloitte for Technology Strategy and Analytics. She holds a Bachelor’s in Finance from Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame. In her spare time Giselle travels to visit family in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  “Being on Ruby’s Board has given me the opportunity to meet and work with wonderful people, and learn about a reality that is often overlooked yet unfortunately very pervasive. As the Head of the Marketing Committee, my mission is to help spread the word – so that more victims can benefit from Ruby’s services when.”

Daniel  Abud

Daniel is a Business Analyst with a multidisciplinary background and experience in operations, sales, and finance. Daniel has worked in the tech industry for the past 10 years, working for Booking.com, OpenTable and Google. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, and his son is a freshman at San Francisco State. Daniel loves traveling and going to Brazil to visit his family.

“I am a strong believer in the power of charitable work and the impact that shelters can make in the lives of those in need, I feel that Ruby’s Place makes a difference in the lives of hundreds of people and I appreciate the opportunity of giving back to the community”.

Maria Cruz

I’m originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and I moved to the Bay Area in September 2015. I have 11 years of experience in marketing communications, 8 of which are in the nonprofit sector. I want to support Ruby’s Place because I believe that when communities work together to create safe spaces, everyone can thrive and grow. My commitment is to oversee a communication strategy that can help the organization achieve its goals.






Sophora Acheson, Executive Director:

Sophora became the ED in May of 2018 after 9 years of direct service at Ruby’s Place, she has a Master’s in Counseling Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Her background includes working with incarcerated adults, affordable housing, trauma and more extensively domestic violence and human trafficking. She helped develop the standardized curriculum for the State of California’s Domestic Violence Counselor training and opened the United States first adult male human trafficking shelter.

“I’ve grown up professionally in this organization, I’ve seen trauma be molded into resiliency and love and it leaves me in amazement each time. The clients we serve and the staff that do this work honestly inspire me and teach me the definition of strength. We are in the business of human connection and Ruby’s Place values quality service, I am excited to go to work every day with the question of how do we make a change for the good today? I am truly bonded to this work and Ruby’s Place has a tether to my heart. I see big things for this agencies future!”

Management Staff

  • Sophora Acheson, Executive Director
  • Maureen Tiongco, Chief Financial Officer
  • Maria Pittier, Director of Finance
  • Katie Burrill, Director of Clinical Services
  • Cindy J. Ortega, Director of Programs
  • Helen Ayala, Shelter Coordinator
  • Tania Garcia, Human Trafficking Outreach Specialist