Les has over 30 years professional experience in social marketing and has created and implemented hundreds of public education campaigns. Many of these campaigns have focused on foster care and adoption, with the aims of raising awareness, reducing stigma and recruiting parents.
He received a BA from Clark University and an MPA from the University of San Francisco, and founded Better World Advertising in 1996, where he continues to serve as president and creative director.
As a former foster child and adoptee, Les brings both personal and professional perspectives to his volunteer work with Family Builders.
Jindra Vackar joined the board in 2015 and has served as the treasurer since 2016. He works as a Director of Financial Planning for a large multinational corporation. His expertise is financial modeling using various financial planning and consolidation tools. In 2006, together with his husband, he adopted twin boys through Family Builders. He strongly believes that every child deserves and should find a home. Jindra is an Alumni of University of New Orleans where he received BA degrees in Finance, in Management Information Systems and in Political Science. In his precious free time, he enjoys skiing, biking and gardening.
Marina is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and Certified Salesforce Administrator with extensive accounting and system implementation experience at start-up and mature corporate and non-profit organizations. She moved from Canada to San Francisco after completing her undergraduate degree and continues her education in finance and IT, ethics, and organization change management with emphasis on technology and user experience. Marina herself is an adopted child and believes that families come in all shapes, colors and sizes and that every child deserves a loving and stable home.
Isaac Jacobson is a real estate attorney representing property owners in and around the San Francisco Bay Area where he founded his law firm, Jacobson Law PC, in 2018. Isaac is an accomplished trial attorney and a former public defender, where he fought for the rights of the indigent and the accused before transitioning to real estate law. Through his involvement with Family Builders, Isaac enjoys the opportunity to continue to be an asset to his community and to support an organization doing amazing work for children and families.
Adam Brausa joined the Board in 2021 and is a partner at the Durie Tangri law firm in San Francisco. He specializes in patent litigation, with an emphasis in biotechnology matters. Adam received both a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemical Engineering and a Juris Doctor degree from Northwestern University. Originally from Topeka, Kansas, Adam has lived in San Francisco since 2014 with his wife and three children. He and his wife adopted their youngest son in 2016 through Family Builders and are passionate about ensuring that every child has a safe and nurturing environment to call home. In his free time, Adam enjoys swimming in the ocean, opera, and just horsing around with his family.
Deborah Clarett has enjoyed nearly four decades as a professional banker, specializing in commercial and construction real estate transactions for non-profit and for-profit clients. Additionally, Deborah has been in management for over 35 years. Deborah genuinely cares about the welfare of children. She feels that her service as a board member with Family Builders has provided her with a platform to support our most vulnerable in an impactful way.
Alexa Johnson has worked in education for over 20 years, both in Bay Area charter schools, as well as in the independent school world. She began her career in education as an elementary classroom teacher and is now Lower School Dean at Stuart Hall for Boys, working with students in kindergarten through 4th grade. Alexa received her Masters in Teaching from the University of San Francisco, and her Masters in Educational Leadership from the University of the Pacific. She is also a recipient of the Herbst Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence. Alexa has two adopted brothers who have shown her the many ways that a family can grow to enrich the lives of one another.
Nikki is a sociologist who teaches, researches and writes on the experiences of Black women, men and youth with the criminal justice system, policing and with various forms of violence. She received her PhD in Sociology and Criminology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004 and was on faculty in the Department of Sociology at UC Santa Barbara for nine years before joining the Department of African American Studies at UC Berkeley in 2014. She is the author of two books: Between Good and Ghetto: African American Girls and Inner-City Violence (2009) and The Chosen Ones: Black Men and the Politics of Redemption (2018). Thanks to Family Builders, Nikki is also a proud Momma.
Talbot brings the perspective of an educator to the board. As a Middle School Dean and previously a Middle School History teacher, Talbot provides insight into a critical stage in a child’s development. A native of San Francisco, Talbot believes that strengthening families strengthens a city’s make-up. It is with that belief that he sees the family as a crucial building block of the future.
Trang Nguyen is a full time MSW graduate student at San Jose State University and currently works with incarcerated, foster and homeless youth in the San Francisco Bay Area. Trang has worked with this population since her undergraduate career at San Francisco State University as a Sociology student. Trang is deeply passionate about Social Justice, LGBTQ+ Issues, Mental Health, Mass Incarceration, Community Healing, Decolonizing and Trauma-Informed Practices. She looks forward to contributing to an agency who deeply cares about the community.
With almost 30 years of experience in marketing, Jorge provides creative design and production expertise to the board and its committees. He possesses bachelor’s and master’s degrees in advertising and public relations, specializing in creative design with the goal of pursuing his Ph.D. once his kids are off to university themselves. He has worked in different functions for domestic and international advertising agencies, as well as in the marketing divisions of major Bay Area apparel retailers.
Serving for a second time with the board, Jorge brings his passion and dedication to support Family Builders’ mission of providing a loving home and family to every child in foster care. With the support of Family Builders, Jorge has gone through the adoption process twice: first for his two boys a decade ago, and recently for his little girl. He is quite a busy dad but proud of his kids together with his husband.
Carlos Reed has over 20 years of experience as an educator and is currently the Athletic Director at Bishop O’Dowd High School. Carlos serves in many leadership positions including the North Coast Section Athletic Director Association (President Elect), NIAAA Endowment Committee (Secretary), North Coast Section Sports Advisory Committee, and other committees that help serve thousands of high school student-athletes. He is also the current President on the Board of Directors for the Booker T. Washington Community Service Center in San Francisco. A graduate of UC Santa Barbara and a lifelong Bay Area resident, he is committed to serving the needs of children and feels strongly connected to our organization’s mission.
Casey is a Network and Systems Specialist at Head-Royce School. She previously worked at Convent and Stuart Hall. Born and raised in San Francisco, Casey is a passionate advocate for education and families in the Bay Area. While she attended St. Mary’s College in California, Casey served on several event planning committees while regularly volunteering to mentor children with learning disabilities.
Jill brings over 35 years of experience in multi-cultural community based health and social services organizations. She has a Masters degree in Health Services Administration, as well as extensive experience in fiscal management, program development, strategic planning and public policy advocacy. She has been the Executive Director of Family Builders since 1996, and has developed a program model that is responsive to the needs of children and youth needing permanent families. Her many professional affiliations include: the California Alliance of Child and Family Services, California Association of Adoption Agencies, California Permanency for Youth Project, Family Builders Adoption Network, California Department of Social Services SOGIE Advisory Group, and the getREAL National Initiative. Jill is a national leader and advocate on issues affecting LGBT adoptive families and LGBTQ youth in foster care. Jill has created innovative programs to meet the needs of underserved and disenfranchised children and youth; including services for older youth and children of color, believing no child should leave the foster care system without a permanent family. Jill is the mother of two children, via adoption.