Staff and Board
A note from our Executive Director, Susanna Willeford
I am excited to announce that I have joined Santa Clara Valley Hospice, The Home Support Group, Inc. as the new Executive Director. I’m humbled and excited to lead this important organization into its next chapter. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself.
I was first introduced to The Santa Clara Valley Hospice by Gary Nasalroad. Immediately, I could see the love and respect that everyone at the Santa Clara Valley Hospice had for each other and for those served. It was the epitome of the word community and I wanted to be a part of it.
I bring experience in healthcare administration, leadership, fundraising, community relations, marketing, and quality assurance to The Santa Clara Valley Hospice. I also bring a deep understanding of the mission and vision of The Santa Clara Valley Hospice along with the purpose our founding Board Members intended for the community — to be a place where every day the Santa Clara Valley Hospice team makes a difference to the lives of those we support. As I look to the future of The Santa Clara Valley Hospice and how we can grow to meet the needs of our neighbors, friends and partners, I do so through this lens.
I also come to you as an academic and educator while completing my PhD. I look to foster healthy community partnerships while educating and enriching our community organizations with a lens in supporting student success. My experiences and academic career has allowed me to understand the discrepancies of the socio-economic implications that some communities face. This is why partnerships are vital in supporting community outcomes to improve the quality of our programs.
While I was not raised in Santa Paula, Santa Paula is my home and I am passionate about making a difference in my community. I am confident that there is no better way to achieve this than through the Santa Clara Valley Hospice alongside our dedicated staff and volunteers.
I hope to have the opportunity to get to know you, — our donors, volunteers, partners, and neighbors. I appreciate your continued support of The Santa Clara Valley Hospice, the Home Support Group Inc. and look forward to working on projects, sharing our stories, and news with you. Feel free to stop by my office, send me an email, or meet me for coffee!
Alice Romero, RN
Since 2009 Alice Romero R.N. has served on the board of Santa Clara Valley Hospice. She joined after working with hospice while employed at the American Cancer Society. She was taken, with that medical supplies could be loaned to those in need at Santa Clara Valley Hospice.
She chaired various Home tours and Casino Nights always bringing fresh ideas and sponsors. Teamwork is important to her and always has a vision of what comes next.
She brings forty one years of nursing experience. While at the American Cancer Society in 1996 she negotiated with UCLA, for the first time the under served in Ventura County had access to mammography and cancer support.
Passionate about when illness comes, all get access. She was instrumental in starting support groups and collaborating with St John’s Hospital to open a Saturday for appointments to mammograms. Prior to that she worked at VCMC and county clinics with the same organized and focused skill set.
Senior Clinics for Catholic Charities was started in 2009 until 2018 was another idea she started with good volunteers and was very glad when another clinic followed in their steps.
Previously she was past president of Ventura County Hispanic Nursing Association and on the board of Latino Advisory Board for the County.
She and her husband Paul have four children and 3 grand children they enjoy spending time with.
Kathy Kemp has been a member of the Santa Clara Valley Hospice (SCVH) Board since 2008. She has served in several capacities including the Chairman of the Light Up a Life fundraiser since 2009, coordinator of the Casino Night Silent Auction and currently serving as the Board of Director’s Secretary. She has been called upon to participate in the Financial Committee, prepared payroll checks and coordinated the transition to a payroll service and is a designated check signer for SCVH. Understanding the importance of the mission of SCVH to support caregivers and the families of those experiencing a serious illness was part of what attracted her to the organization. The SCVH mission became very personal during the last four years of her parents’ life when she became a full time caregiver for her parents in her home. Santa Clara Valley Hospice was a consistent source of support and needed equipment during the course of her journey to keep her parents at home during their final years.
Kathy spent most of her working career years in law enforcement. She worked in Administrative support for the FBI and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department from 1968 to 1979. In 1979, she began her career as a Deputy Sheriff with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department. She retired from theSheriff’sDepartment with 29 years of service in 2008 at the rank of Chief Deputy. As part of the Executive Staff, she was responsible for the Detention Services Division, the largest Division in the Department. As Kathy rose through the Sheriff’s Department’s rank structure, she served in many capacities. Acting as the Police Chief for the Sheriff’s Department’s largest contract city, the City of Thousand Oaks, from 1993 to 2000 was one of the most challenging and rewarding. It gave her an opportunity to develop programs that supported the mission of public safety through accessibility and outreach, resource development, citizen participation, and development of specialized units to support patrol operations. The Thousand Oaks “Volunteers in Policing” program gained national recognition for the level of training and contributions community citizens were able to make through their participation in this community policing program.
Kathy is a resident of Santa Paula and graduated from Santa Paula High School. She received her AA Degree from Ventura College in Business, her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of LaVerne in Public Administration and her Masters of Business Administration from the University of LaVerne.
Gary L. Nasalroad
Gary L. Nasalroad
Gary has served on the Santa Clara Valley Board of Directors for the past 14 years and is currently serving as the Board President.
After 33 years of service, Gary retired from Southern Calif. Edison as a Major Accounts Manager. Since retiring from Edison, Gary has been involved in numerous civic endeavors and community service activities. In addition to Hospice, Gary currently serves on 5 other non-profit boards. He is currently Board President for America in Bloom Santa Paula Chapter which is involved in community beautification projects, Board President of the University Club of Ventura County, past President and board member of the Santa Paula Theater Center, past President and board member of the Santa Paula Police and K9 Foundation (formerly Santa Paula Police and Fire Foundation), and a 45 year active board member of the Ventura, and Santa Clara Valley Boys and Girls Clubs. As a Boys and Girls Club Director he has received numerous awards including a Presidential unit citation from President George W. Bush for Service and Civic Participation.
Gary has been a member of the Santa Paula Rotary Club for the past 19 years and has received a Paul Harris Fellow award and was named the Rotarian of the Year for 2005 and 2006.
While living in Ventura, Gary served on the Ventura Planning Commission for 9 years and served three terms as Commission Chairman. He also chaired the 18 month long planning development guide for the City. After moving to Santa Paula, Gary served 12 years on the Santa Paula Planning Commission and was twice named Chairman.
In 2010, Gary was named the Citizen of the Year by the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce. Gary is married to his wife Nancy, and has two daughters and five grandsons.
We welcome Angel Frutos who has been with Santa Clara Valley Hospice since October 2019. He is a full-time college student studying sociology who assists director Susanna Willeford as her personal assistant. He manages all social media accounts and helps us with his knowledge of fundraising and computer skills. His mission is to help SCVH “become the best it can be”. He is a great team player and thrives under pressure. His organizational skills are next level.His passion is encouraging his fellow coworkers and clients of SCVH to succeed and helping his community thrive. He has over five years of customer service skills and his mission is to “change lives for the better”.
Carmen Gonzales came as a volunteer for Santa Clara Valley Hospice in 2013. What brought her to become a volunteer, was when her father became ill, her mother relied on SCVH when she needed supplies or medical equipment to care for her loved one. She believed in the mission of SCVH so much and eventually was offered employment with the organization as our front desk receptionist. Her new renowned goal as an employee is to help everyone with compassion and empathy to those who are in need.
Jo Ann Hobson
Jo Ann Hobson
A Santa Paula native, Jo Ann Hobson became a volunteer for Santa Clara Valley Hospice in 2011. She took 6 training sessions and then became a caregiver with several clients in Santa Paula and Fillmore. She was then asked to be a Board Member and also came on as a Volunteer Coordinator. Jo Ann has meetings on the first Wednesday of each month.
Board of Directors