Honorable Patrick E. Tondreau (Ret.) – Board Chairperson
Patrick E. Tondreau was appointed to the Superior Court of Santa Clara County in 2002. He was a judge in Juvenile Court from 2006 until 2019, serving in both the Dependency and the Juvenile Justice Court. He was the Presiding Judge of Juvenile Court from 2008 until 2018 and supervised the Juvenile Justice Division from 2008 until 2017. Judge Tondreau served as a member and Chair of the Juvenile Court Judges of California and was a member of the Family and Juvenile Advisory Committee of the Judicial Council. He chaired a statewide Task Force on Juvenile Competency and a Task Force on Dually Involved Youth. Judge Tondreau served as the Dually Involved Youth Judge in Santa Clara County and chaired its Executive Committee from 2008 until 2019. He was a former President of both the Santa Clara Bar Association and the Silicon Valley Law Foundation. Throughout his legal career, he participated on numerous committees, projects and task forces, including the County’s Human Trafficking Commission and the Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force.
Nikolas Arnold, J.D. – Board Treasurer
Nikolas Arnold began his legal career in Child Welfare Law in 2005. Nik has been a part of the DAC family since the organization’s inception, either as a staff attorney or board member. Nik is currently serving as the Deputy Title IX Coordinator and Title IX Counsel for the University of Washington—a role that includes monitoring and managing Title IX incidents, identifying and addressing systemic issues related to Title IX compliance, and assisting with the development and implementation of Title IX communication and education efforts for the university community. Nik credits his experience at DAC with informing him of the daily systemic disadvantages people in under-represented communities endure.
Dana Bunnett has more than 25 years’ experience innovating and collaborating in the non-profit sector. She is the current Executive Director of Kids in Common, managing their programs and activities to advocate for children, and assure the achievement of agency goals and vision. She has previously been the program manager for the American Red Cross in Palo Alto, a member of the Santa Clara County Juvenile Justice Commission, a volunteer education rights holder, a facilitator of the Santa Clara County Children’s Agenda, and a member of the Dually Involved Youth Initiative. She has a passion for and proven leadership of improving outcomes for children and families.
Laura Champion, LMFT
Laura Champion is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with certification in chemical dependency treatment and over forty years of experience in the fields of behavioral health, social services, juvenile justice and organizational development. She has an extensive background in wraparound, crisis stabilization, as well as Integrated and blended funding models of care. She enjoys the facilitation of strategic planning, providing comprehensive training/coaching/technical assistance and motivational speaking. She is the sole proprietor of Champion Consulting Services, LLC.
Jaime E. Lopez, M.S.W., LCSW – Board Vice Chair
Jaime Lopez was the Assistant Director of the Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) for the Santa Clara County Social Services Agency from August 2006 through December 2015, when he retired. He was responsible for the management of multiple departments and over 500 social work and support staff. Services that the Department provided included the Child Abuse Referral Hot Line, Receiving and Assessment Intake Center, Emergency Response, Differential Response, Dependency Investigation, Family Reunification, Family Maintenance, Placement and After Care services. Jaime graduated with a Masters of Social Work from the University of California Berkeley, School of Social Welfare, in 1978 with a concentration in Gerontology. He worked for San Francisco City and County Mental Health as a psychiatric social worker at a clinic serving the geriatric community. In 1984, he began work for Santa Clara County Mental Health first as a line clinician in an adult mental health clinic after which he was promoted to clinic manager over multiple sites and programs for children and families. He was elevated to the position of Family and Children’s Division Director in the Santa Clara County Mental Health Department where he served for eight years before moving to Social Services as the Assistant Director for DFCS. During his career, Jaime was involved in numerous county, State and Federal system collaborations and projects with Juvenile Probation, First 5 Santa Clara County, County Office of Education, School Linked Services, Santa Clara County school districts, Santa Clara County Mental Health, Dependency and Delinquency Courts, Alcohol and Drug Services, Public Health, and many Community Based Organizations. He has been a licensed clinical social worker in California since 1980.
Preeti Mishra, J.D., C.W.L.S.
Preeti Mishra is a founding member of DAC and serves as the Interim Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Her current work at DAC includes overseeing all of the finance/operations/human resources side of the organization, providing administrative supervision to several staff attorneys, and guiding the organization’s growth strategies as part of the executive team. She has previously been the Supervising Attorney of one of the main law offices, Family Legal Advocates. Preeti has been dedicated to the Juvenile Dependency field since 2001 and is certified as a Child Welfare Law Specialist through the National Association of Counsel for Children. She has also been a voting member of Santa Clara County’s Child Abuse Prevention Council, and during her commission, held roles as the Treasurer and the Allocations Committee Chair. Her past nonprofit experience includes being the Deputy Director at Exhale, and her previous legal work consists of varied positions in the Family Law field. Preeti received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in Rhetoric with a minor in German in 1994. In 1998, she was awarded a J.D. from the University of San Francisco.
Darlene Montero – Board Secretary
Darlene Montero is a Mental Health Peer Support Worker with Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Department/Assisted Outreach Treatment program. Previously, she worked with San Jose State’s Record Clearance Project/Mentoring Program providing mentorship to current and formerly incarcerated individuals who have co-occurring disorders and who experience homelessness. Darlene has also been a case manager at Community Solutions FACT program, serving individuals with serious mental illness who are involved with the criminal justice system. She has personal experience being involved in the child welfare system and was provided representation by DAC which led to her reunifying with her child and being a Mentor Parent with DAC from 2013 until 2020. Darlene has also participated on the Foster Youth Task Force, is a Certified Parent Leader/Facilitator and was a former member of the California State Parent Leadership Team.
Héctor Sánchez-Flores is the Executive Director of the National Network of Compadres (NCN). NCN is an organization that supports organizations and systems whose mission is to serve youth, parents, families, and communities with healing-focused and culturally rooted strategies. NCN’s Ways of Healing help communities develop asset-based services that address historical trauma, racial equity, and dismantling unexamined policies rooted in white supremacy and the oppression of marginalized communities. Hector serves on boards and committees seeking to embrace change that is inclusive and responsive to communities negatively affected by racism, oppression and marginalization. Hector grew up in a family whose parents are from Jalisco, Mexico, specifically from the land of the Wixárika (Huichole) and Naayerite (Cora). He resides in San José, California with his wife, Lucila Ramos-Sánchez, they have two children, Diego and Sophia. He identifies as Mexican, Chicano, and indigenous.
Kathryn Schlepphorst, J.D.
Kathryn Schlepphorst has been practicing Family Law since opening her own practice in 1994 in San Jose. In 2000 the firm became Schlepphorst & Emede, P.C. Julie Emede was appointed to the bench in December 2009. In April 2010, Kathy joined Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel. In March 2011, Kathy reopened her office and is still practicing in the areas of Family Law, Guardianship and Juvenile Dependency. Kathy is an active member in the Santa Clara County Bar. She was a member the State Bar Family Law Executive Committee for three years and served as an advisor. Kathy has been honored with the Henry B. Collada Award for her contribution to the Santa Clara Family Court in 2010. She has also been recognized as the 2008 Salsman Award for her long and dedicated service to the Santa Clara County Bar Association. In 1994, she received the SCCBA Barrister of the Year award for her dedication in providing Pro Bono services. In 1994, she also received the California State Bar Wiley Manual Award for providing and enabling legal services for the poor. Kathy has been named Northern California Super Lawyers since 2008. She has taught many classes in both the family and juvenile law though out her career. Her service to the Community includes past membership on the Board of Directors of the Institute of Contemporary Art and the Board of Directors for the American Musical Theater.
Ann Whyte, J.D.
Ann Whyte retired from Child Advocates after being involved as a volunteer or staff member since 1987. She currently volunteers for them. She also spent five years as a conflicts attorney representing parents involved in juvenile dependency proceedings. Ann has extensive board experience and has helped to launch various programs. She has served on both large and small boards and has held a variety of positions on those boards. She currently is an active member of the Santa Clara County Child Abuse Prevention Council, two other smaller boards, and is an Honorary Life Member of the American Cancer Society Board. Ann received her B.A. from Smith College and her J.D. from Loyola University, Los Angeles. Ann is also always willing to share pictures of her four grandchildren, who are the light of her life.
If you are interested in serving on the DAC Board of Directors, please email Preeti Mishra at firstname.lastname@example.org.