Governor Newsom Announces Appointments 1.11.23

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the following appointments:

Jenn Eckerle, 49, of Sacramento, has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Oceans and Coastal Policy at the California Natural Resources Agency. Eckerle has been Deputy Director at the California Ocean Protection Council since 2016. She was an Ocean Policy Analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council from 2008 to 2016, Coastal Program Analyst at the California Coastal Commission from 2007 to 2008 and Coastal Program Analyst at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission from 2000 to 2007. She is a member of the 30X30 partnership Coordinating Committee, California State Co-Lead for the West Coast Ocean Alliance and Program Advisor of the UC Davis Graduate Program of Environmental Policy and Management. She is a member of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council, California Sea Grant and the California Ocean Science Trust. Eckerle earned a Master of Science degree in Marine Biology from the Florida Institute of Technology. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $180,696. Eckerle is a Democrat.

Katherine Butler, 38, of Redondo Beach, has been appointed Deputy Director of the Hazardous Waste Management Program at the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. Butler has served as Senior Health Deputy for Supervisor Janice Hahn, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors since 2021. She was a Program Supervisor at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health from 2015 to 2020 and a Senior Health Scientist at McDaniel Lambert Inc. from 2008 to 2014. Butler is a board-certified toxicologist. She earned a Master of Public Health degree in Environmental Epidemiology from the University of Michigan. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $189,636. Butler is registered without party preference.

Jessica Koppes, 40, of Redding, has been appointed Administrator of the Veterans Home of California, Redding, where she has served as a Skilled Nursing Facility Administrator since 2019 and has held several positions since 2014, including Standards Compliance Coordinator, Chief of Domiciliary Services and Coordinator of Volunteer Services. Koppes was a Project Coordinator of Family Outreach at the Shasta County Office of Education from 2011 to 2014. She was an Adjunct Human Resources and Organizational Leadership Instructor at National University from 2005 to 2014. Koppes held several potions at Shasta Regional Medical between 2007 and 2008, including Manager of Physician Services and Executive Assistant. She was an Adjunct Business Instructor at Shasta College from 2008 to 2000. Koppes earned a Master of Arts degree in Human Resources and Organizational Leadership from National University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $139,164. Koppes is a Republican.

Isaiah Mall, 45, of Fairfield, has been appointed Deputy Secretary of Administrative Services at the California Department of Veterans Affairs. Mall has been Agency Chief Information Officer at the California Department of Veterans Affairs since 2018. He was Chief Technology Officer at the California Department of Veterans Affairs from 2017 to 2018, where he was Project Director for Electronic Health Record from 2013 to 2017. Mall was Portfolio Oversight Manager at the California Department of Technology from 2012 to 2013. He held multiple positions at the California State Personnel Board from 2003 to 2012, including Systems Software Specialist II, Staff Information Systems Analyst, Associate Information Systems Analyst, Staff Services Analyst and Student Assistant. Mall was a Computer Technician at Computronix from 1997 to 2003. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $166,656. Mall is registered without party preference.

Rebecca Curtis, 37, of Santa Barbara, has been appointed to the California Volunteers Commission. Curtis has been Senior Portfolio Manager at AmeriCorps – West Region since 2022, where she was Portfolio Manager from 2021 to 2022. She was Assistant Director of Development and Communications at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden from 2019 to 2021. Curtis was Director of Programs and Partnerships at C&O Canal Trust from 2010 to 2019. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Curtis is a Democrat.

Araceli “Cheli” Mohamed, 55, of San Diego, has been reappointed to the California Volunteers Commission, where she has served since 2021. Mohamed has been Account Manager at National University since 2019 and has been Founder of Volunteer with Cheli since 2014. She was Director of Volunteer Services and Community Leadership Development at the San Diego LGBT Community Center from 2017 to 2019. Mohamed was Chief of Operations Officer at the United States Police and Fire Championship from 2013 to 2017. She was Leadership and Community Resources Director at San Diego LGBT Pride from 2009 to 2013. Mohamed was Council Representative and Executive Assistant at the City of San Diego from 2001 to 2008. She was Program Director at Family Equality Council from 2000 to 2001. Mohamed earned a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from National University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Mohamed is a Democrat.

Dan Newman, 54, of San Francisco, has been reappointed to the California Volunteers Commission, where he has served since 2020. Newman is a California public affairs and political campaign strategist. His volunteer experience includes serving as an acompañante at the Chiapas-Guatemala border, assisting migrants in Tijuana seeking asylum and serving as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Newman is a Democrat.

Rashima Sonson, 44, of Oakland, has been appointed to the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians. Sonson has been Founder of SONSON since 2014 and a Senior Compliance, Governance and Risk Consultant at Pacific Gas and Electric Company since 2021. Sonson was Director of Quality, Safety and Sanitation at Canna Craft in 2021. She was Senior Quality and Compliance Manager at the DionyMed Brands from 2018 to 2019. Sonson was an Industrial Fabric Production Supervisor at the California Prison Industry Authority from 2017 to 2018. She was a Quality Sourcing Strategist and Product Manager at Gap Inc. from 2010 to 2016. Sonson is a member of the American Society for Testing Material and is Chair-Elect Board Member of the American Society for Quality. She earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Sonson is a Democrat.

David J. Paris, 52, of Redding, has been reappointed to the Board of Chiropractic Examiners, where he has served since 2018. Paris has been a Chiropractor at Dignity Health, Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta since 2022 and a Chiropractor at the Veterans Health Administration in Redding since 2005. He has been Adjunct Clinical Faculty at Palmer College of Chiropractic since 2009, at the University of Western States since 2014 and at Parker University since 2019. He was Owner at Active Care Chiropractic from 2002 to 2009. He was a Chiropractic Consultant for the State Compensation Insurance Fund from 2004 to 2006 and a Qualified Medical Evaluator at the California Division of Workers’ Compensation from 2002 to 2009 and from 2011 to 2013. He was a Staff Chiropractor for Sutter Health at Work Medical Associates from 2003 to 2005. Paris was a Chiropractor at Anderson Walk-in Medical Clinic from 2014 to 2018 and at Redding Industrial Occupational Health from 2003 to 2004. He was Associate Doctor at Redding Chiropractic Clinic from 2001 to 2003 and an Emergency Medical Technician at Goodhew Ambulance from 1989 to 1990. He is a member of the American Chiropractic Association, California Chiropractic Association and the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. Paris earned a Master of Science degree in Neuroscience from Parker University and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic West. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Paris is registered without party preference.

Karen R. Brandon, 50, of Redlands, has been appointed to the Physical Therapy Board of California. Brandon has been Regional Clinical Lead in Pelvic Physical Therapy at Kaiser Permanente since 2009 and Clinical Faculty at Loma Linda University since 2000. She was Assistant Director of Physical Rehabilitation at Beaver Medical Group from 1998 to 2007. Dr. Brandon was in private practice in the Inland Empire from 2007 to 2009. She is a member of the board of the International Pelvic Pain Society, a regional representative for the Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy, a committee chair for the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health, a steering committee member for the Pelvic Floor Sexual Medicine Group and a member of California Physical Therapy Association. She earned a Master of Science degree in Physical Therapy and a Doctor of Science degree in Physical Therapy from Loma Linda University. She is a board-certified clinical specialist in women’s health physical therapy. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Brandon is a Democrat.

Dan Calamuci, 43, of San Francisco, has been appointed to the Fraud Assessment Commission. Calamuci has been a Senior Representative at Nor Cal Carpenters Union since 2022. He was a Research Analyst at Nor Cal Carpenters Union from 2007 to 2022. He was a Researcher and Teaching Assistant at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 2005 to 2007. He was a U.S. Campaign Coordinator at the National Labor Committee for Worker and Human Rights from 2002 to 2005. Calamuci was a Strategic Campaigns Assistant at AFL-CIO from 2001 to 2002. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Calamuci is a Democrat.

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