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Meet Our Team


David Peck

Chair, Board of Directors

David is Professor Emeritus at California State University, Long Beach. A co-founder of the South County Crosscultural Council and Friendship Shelter, he has been dedicated to community service in Laguna Beach since 1978, advocating for members of underserved and disempowered populations.


Tim Hartshorn

Executive Director

Tim earned his Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. As Executive Director of SCCC, he leads efforts to provide critical workforce and educational support to community members in need—particularly immigrants—through education, dialogue, and cultural exchange. Prior to joining SCCC, Tim worked as a community-based researcher, educator,  and advocate for local immigrant populations 

Joanna Kibler-McNerney

Director, ESL Programming

Joanna is a faculty member at Irvine Valley College where she teaches in the noncredit ESL department. She is also a faculty member at Santiago Canyon College, where she teaches and coordinates ESL in the Division of Continuing Education. She strives to create ESL programs in our surrounding communities.

Teresa Dominguez

Jobs Coordinator,

Laguna Day Worker Center

Teresa was a childcare assistant at La Playa Center for some years before becoming the Jobs Coordinator at the LDWC.

Margarita Hierro

Operations Assistant,

La Playa Center

Paula Rodriguez

Jobs Coordinator,

Laguna Day Worker Center

Sarah E. Stanley

Development Director 

Sarah has worked in Development and Media Relations at Paul Taylor Dance Company and Spoleto Festival USA. She holds an MFA in Dance from California State University, Long Beach and is currently an Anthropology PhD student at the University of California, Irvine.

Irma Ronses

Former Jobs Coordinator, Laguna Day Worker

Irma became involved with La Playa Center as an advanced ESL student before going on to become a childcare assistant, and, later, in 1999, the lead staff member of the LDWC. Irma has been an active member of the community for over 29 years. In 2002, she was honored by the Laguna Beach Woman’s Club for her outstanding work.


Board Members

Bob Borthwick

A landscape architect and planner, Bob is on the Board of Hortense Miller Public Garden, Laguna Greenbelt, Inc., and other environ- mental organizations. He taught landscape design at UC Irvine and Saddleback College for 16 years, and has lived in Laguna Beach since 1974. Bob has been a volunteer teacher at La Playa Center for 6 years.

Jerry Curtin

Jerry is a 22-year resident of Laguna Beach. A lifelong student of Spanish and English, Jerry’s B.A. was in Spanish and American History. After several years of working and teaching high school English, Jerry went back to law school, and slogged through the field of corporate law for 26 years until semi-retiring in 2018. Jerry supports the Board as a problem solver with passion for maximizing use of technology to improve outcomes and efficiency.

Krisztina Fulep

Krisztina, a current La Playa Center student, is from Hungary. In her native country she worked at the Budapest School for the Deaf as a special education teacher, and has studied Russian and German as well as being proficient in Hungarian sign language. Krisztina recently became a US citizen, can be seen working at the Sawdust Festival each summer, and is interested in leading a healthy lifestyle.

Juan Carlos Gallego

Professor of TESOL and Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at California State University, Fullerton.

Thirty-seven years of teaching experience at various Universities and in different countries.

Academic interests include language education, discourse analysis, bilingualism, and dialectology.

Meslissa Hexter

Former middle and high school English teacher

Teaching credential from San Francisco State University. 

BA in Theatre from Whitman College

MA in Set Design and Scenic Painting from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.


Volunteer ESL teacher at La Playa Center.

Kolleen Lawson

Recording Secretary,

Crosscultural Council.


Currently an ESL instructor at La Playa Center and has taught English as a Second Language in Spain, Argentina, and Mexico.

Married with 2 children, this Laguna Beach native has a passion to give her skills to our community.

Joana McFarland Social Ecology from U.C. Irvine with special emphasis on planning and public policy.

Marketing communications manager for 12 years in the computer industry.

Peace Corps volunteer for 2 years in the Dominican Republic working in community education.

1 year in Guatemala with an NGO working with weaving cooperatives.

ESL teacher at La Playa for over 20 years.

Fritzi Werner

For 26 of the 44 years that Fritzi has lived in Laguna Beach, she was a Registered Nurse in Public Health and Aids Services Foundation.

Laguna Beach Art Museum docent, and continues to volunteer as an ESL instructor at La Playa Center.


In Memoriam


Elinor Freeman

Alice and John Graves

Bob Meyerhof

Evelyn Munro

Judy Sinisgalli

Carl Schwarz

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