STAFF & BOARD
The staff at CALICO work hard and deal with horrific stories, but they still remain generous, warm, and welcoming people.
—Calvin C. James, Assistant County Counsel (retired)
Office of the County Counsel, Alameda County
CALICO is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.
CALICO CENTER & CHILDREN'S ADVOCACY CENTERS OF CALIFORNIA STAFF
Erin is committed to helping every abused child in California receive justice and healing. She has worked in the children’s advocacy center field for over 14 years. Erin has held roles at CALICO including Forensic Interview Specialist, Outreach Coordinator and Multi-Disciplinary Team Director. She has also traveled to Zambia with the Global Alliance for Health, helping to conduct a training on child sexual abuse investigations for the Zambian National Police Force. Most recently, Erin was the State Director for Children’s Advocacy Centers of California, promoting the growth of children’s advocacy centers, providing assistance to centers throughout the state, and developing legislative policies promoting issues related to child abuse. Since March 2017, she has served as CALICO’s and CACC’s Executive Director where she directs the overall agency operation, policies, and services.
Favorite Childhood Book: The Velveteen Rabbit - Margery Williams
Favorite Childhood Activity: Playing soccer or ice skating, depending on the season
Current Hobbies: Reading, playing with her daughters, creative writing
Nadia Bueno joined CALICO in August 2018 as a Child Interview Specialist. As a native Spanish speaker, she was able to conduct interviews in Spanish when needed. She added to her duties in 2021 by becoming CALICO's Victim Services Coordinator. In October 2022, Nadia became CALICO's first Deputy Director. Prior to joining CALICO, Nadia worked at the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office as a Victim/Witness Advocate. Nadia has a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services and a Master’s degree in Public Administration.
Favorite Childhood Book: The Secret of Nimh - Robert C. O’Brien
Favorite Childhood Game or Activity: Playing Operation
Current Hobby: Landscape photography
Kristy Brodeur Dermody
Senior Forensic Interviewer/Training Director
Kristy joined CALICO in 1997 and works as a Forensic Interviewer and CALICO’s Training Coordinator. Since 2015, Kristy has also been the statewide training coordinator for the Children’s Advocacy Center of California (CACC) program. Kristy has conducted trainings throughout California and the US. Before CALICO, she was part of an MDT that went to Zambia to train their national police force and Zambian prosecutors on child forensic interviewing. Kristy is a tenured faculty member at John F Kennedy University. In 2012, Kristy received the National Children’s Advocacy Center’s award for Outstanding Service Award.
Favorite Childhood Book: The Little Mermaid - Hans Christian Andersen
Favorite Childhood Game or Activity: Horseback riding on my giant, Billy.
Current Hobby: Avid bike rider, but hates hills!
Senior Forensic Interviewer/Program Manager
Bertha started working at CALICO in January 1999. Since her start, Bertha has conducted almost 5,000 forensic interviews! Bertha works closely with all of our partner agencies and answers all of CALICO’s after-hours and weekend pages. In addition, Bertha facilitates Spanish peer reviews for Spanish-speaking forensic interviewers throughout the state. Before CALICO, Bertha worked for Alameda Alliance providing psycho-social case management to HIV+ clients. She also was the HIV Testing Coordinator for two hospitals and five clinics and an HIV Outreach Coordinator.
Favorite Childhood Book: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
Favorite Childhood Game or Activity: Riding my bike around the neighborhood for hours.
Current hobby: Traveling around the world and her current favorite place is anywhere!
Before joining CALICO as a Bilingual Forensic Interviewer Martina worked as a Bilingual Crisis Interventionist at BAWAR. She studied Sociology and Public Health at UC Berkeley and has done direct service with more than 400 survivors of gender-based violence in Alameda County.
Favorite Childhood Activity: Arts & Crafts
Current Hobbies: Spending time with her dog Candy, going on hikes, and doing Pilates.
Andrea joined CALICO in 2023 as a Forensic Interviewer. Andrea previously worked as a Police Cadet for Alameda County Sheriff's Office. She has a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and a Master's degree in Forensic Psychology.
Favorite Childhood Book: Winnie the Pooh - A. A. Milne and E. H. Shepard
Favorite Childhood Activity: Coloring and reading
Current Hobbies: Eating lots of food while working it off at the gym and on hikes!
Francisca joined CALICO in September 2021. Before becoming Family Advocate, Francisca was a Senior Case Manager for a nonprofit, working with formerly homeless adults with mental health needs.
Favorite Childhood Book: Always Running - Luis. J. Rodriguez
Favorite Childhood Activity: Hide and Seek
Current Hobby: Crafting
Alexis joined CALICO in January 2022. Before becoming Family Advocate, Alexis was an ABA therapist in an autism program for NHUSD for 15 years and worked as a Registered Behavior Technician for Kadiant LLC for 7 years. She has a B.S. in Psychology.
Favorite Childhood Book: Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters - John Steptoe
Favorite Childhood Activity: Reading and playing
Current Hobbies: Reading and cooking
CACC Program Director
Holly Fleming is the Program Director for CALICO’s Children’s Advocacy Centers of California (CACC) program. She joined CALICO in 2014 as a Forensic Interviewer. Before that, Holly worked in a community clinic as an MFT trainee providing counseling to adults, children, and families. Holly holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology. Some of her recent accomplishments include completing a Trauma Justice Fellowship with the Women’s Policy Institute and sitting on the Equity Advisory Group for the All Children Thrive – California Initiative.
Favorite Childhood Book: Stellaluna - Janell Cannon
Favorite Childhood Activity: Playing with Barbies
Current Hobbies: Cooking, reading, pub trivia, and live music
Cory has been a member of CALICO’s staff since 2008. Her role at CALICO is to coordinate and oversee administrative duties and ensure that the office operates efficiently and smoothly creating a welcoming environment for our clients, partners, and staff. Prior to CALICO, she worked in marketing for several major financial institutions.
Favorite Childhood Book: Charlotte's Web - E. B. White
Favorite Childhood Activity: Playing board games
Current Hobbies: Reading, gardening and volunteering at the Oakland Zoo
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Francesco Polizzi, Group Product Manager, Discord Inc.
Francesco currently serves as Vice President of the CALICO Board of Directors and has served as a member of the board since 2018. In his professional life outside of CALICO, he serves as a Group Product Manager at Discord, a software company based in San Francisco. In his free time, Francesco likes to spend time with his friends, fiancée, and cat.
Favorite Childhood Game or Activity: I loved playing RuneScape :)
Jamshed Rahman, Lead Software Engineer, Apple Cloud Servies, Apple Inc
Jamshed is passionate about helping children live amazing lives that are full of potential. He joined CALICO in 2019, inspired by its mission to bring justice and healing to the children of Alameda county. As a father himself, Jamshed understands the need for every child to grow up in a safe and just community. And that is why he has made it his mission to support CALICO’s awesome staff to excel at their roles, and foster a supportive environment for our communities’ children. He works in fundraising, event organization, financials, marketing, and technical sections of the CALICO board. When he’s not volunteering at CALICO, Jamshed works as a Software Lead at Apple, and enjoys the beautiful outdoors of the San Francisco Bay Area with his children.
Favorite Childhood Book: The Hardy Boys
Favorite Childhood Game or Activity: Playing basketball
Current Hobbies: Bicycling, hiking, traveling, wine tasting, and enjoying life :-)
Kelsi Perttula, Assistant Professor at California State University East Bay
Kelsi Perttula grew up in Sacramento, came to Berkeley for college, and has lived in the Bay Area ever since. Kelsi worked for ten years as a forensic scientist, primarily for San Mateo County Sheriff's Office. In 2012, she left that career and went to earn her doctorate at UC Berkeley's School of Public Health. Recently she began work as an assistant professor at nearby CSU East Bay in the Department of Public Health. With her spouse Drew, they have four young children. She loves supporting CALICO and believes its mission is critical to getting children through some of the most difficult times in their young lives.
Favorite Childhood Book: Can't pick one. The Babysitter's Club series and Harriet the Spy.
Favorite Childhood Game or Activity: Playing Super Mario Brothers and Legend of Zelda
Current Hobbies: Yoga and tricking my kids into eating vegetables
Nicholas Homer, Alameda County District Attorney's Office
I grew up in Oakland and attended Bishop O'Dowd High School. I graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Criminal Justice and I graduated from the University of California Hastings Law School. I have been a licensed and practicing attorney for over 10 years.
Favorite Childhood Book: Harry Potter Series
Favorite Childhood Game or Activity: Hide-and-go-seek
Current Hobbies: Cooking, working in the garden, reading and riding my bicycle
Jana Hiraga, Vice President of Health Career Connections
Jana Hiraga has dedicated her life to the well-being and advancement of children, women, and families who face significant adversity. She is currently the Vice President of Health Career Connections, a nonprofit that connects and empowers students in all health sectors with talented and diverse future health professionals and leaders. She was the former Chief Executive Officer at One Circle Foundation, a nonprofit specializing in creating safe and supported spaces for youth and communities across the globe through evidence-based circle programs and curricula. Jana was previously the founder of a youth drop-in center called Oakland Youth Aspire in West Oakland. She has directed special projects for unhoused families and human trafficking initiatives, advocated for at-risk girls and women, and serves as a university lecturer specializing in the social determinants of health through the lens of community-engaged health promotion. She was also a 2021 fellowship graduate of Women Leaders Around the World. Jana graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and then received a Master’s degree in Public Health with a focus on community health education.
Favorite Childhood Book: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Favorite Childhood Game or Activity: Ballet, I danced from the age of 5 to 17.
Current Hobbies: Spending time with my dog Peanut, exploring new restaurants, and supporting the
Yasmeen Laura Jewel, Contract Analyst at UCSF-Real Estate
With over ten years of experience, I am committed to utilizing my skills to contribute to the success of CALICO Center and help make a lasting difference in the lives of vulnerable children. My educational background includes a Bachelor's degree with a concentration in Communication from Holy Names University in Oakland—Master's in Legal Studies from Pepperdine University in Malibu.
Favorite Childhood Book: Sweet Valley High Series
Favorite Childhood Game or Activity: Street flag football was my favorite childhood game. Playing with friends in the neighborhood brought endless joy and camaraderie, fostering unforgettable memories of laughter and friendly competition.
Current Hobbies: Golf, swimming, and hosting delightful sleepovers for my daughter. Golf challenges my skills while providing relaxation, swimming keeps me active and refreshed, and hosting sleepovers allows me to create cherished moments with my family.
Teresa Ortega, Alameda County District Attorney's Office
Alameda County Deputy District Attorney since 1993.
Favorite Childhood Book: Nancy Drew Series
Favorite Childhood Game or Activity: Playing softball
Current Hobby: Watching college sports