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Our Staff

ANGIE IBARRA

FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Founder Angie Ibarra is a San Francisco native, born to immigrant parents but raised, along with several siblings, by a single mom. With intimate understanding of the struggles of life on welfare, she has always held deep compassion for families in her community. While working professionally in the corporate sector for over 25 years, Angie volunteered her time reaching out to mothers and their children. This grew her passion to equip others to do the same, with the goal of transforming the lives of families who live in poverty. Angie has a reputation for “getting the job done,” a strength she brings to her work in Redwood City. Since launching Generations United, her work has reached over 1,000 children a year, mobilizing 500 volunteers annually. Angie's ability to engage with leaders, school administrators, community partners, churches, city officials and businesspeople has been vital in serving families increasingly under duress from threat of displacement.

KEITH MILLER

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Keith joins us from Vancouver, WA with a broad background in business development, leadership, and entrepreneurism. He has had a vision for over 25 years to support small businesses. We are grateful that he has brought his gift to Generations United and will lead our efforts in 2021 as we empower small businesses past the challenges of 2020.
Keith joined to partner and provide small businesses and families support in the challenging times of the pandemic.
Keith is Dad to two adult daughters and recently married our Executive Director, Angie Ibarra Miller. In his free time, Keith spends time getting to know his bride and the beautiful community we serve, plays tennis and loves to sail when he can.
candice bun

CANDICE BÚN

COMMUNICATIONS AND ADMINISTRATION MANAGER

Candice is a native of the Bay Area, growing up in Millbrae and San Bruno, and finally making her way to Redwood City where she and her husband lived with their son until the fall of 2017. Living part of her life as a high schooler in her ancestral Mexico, she developed a deep love for her heritage and language, bringing these to the Latino community she served faithfully in the Bay Area. She has volunteered and worked in various non-profit settings related to youth and families, including working on the ground with GU as well as the Mission Preparatory Charter School in San Francisco where she served as the communications director.
She loves spending time with her husband and family, traveling and exploring places she has never seen before. In fact, in September of 2017, Candice and Norman packed up and moved across the country to the Charlotte area and in 2018, they bought a home in Rock Hill, just across the border in South Carolina. In 2019, they welcomed a baby girl to their family.
After serving for many years on the board, Candice rejoined the GU team as Communications and Administration Manager in a remote capacity in 2020. She travels to CA several times a year (and use technology outside of those visits) to stay connected with the work that still needs to be done.

CINDY SANTANA

FAMILY ENGAGEMENT COORDINATOR AND ACADEMIC ENRICHMENT CENTER LEAD

Cindy is excited to be part of Generations United and looks forward to serving the community as the Family Engagement Engagement Coordinator. She will also serve as the leader of our Academic Enrichment Center (AEC).
Cindy was born and raised in Mexico. She grew up in an entrepreneurial home as her parents successfully ran multiple businesses. She was taught the importance of working hard, responsibility, and perseverance from a young age.
Early on in her upbringing, she made her way to start working in childcare which came naturally to her as she grew up being involved in child development, whether it was at home taking care of her younger siblings or at church helping out with children and young adults.
Cindy is a compassionate person with a heart for helping others and the community surrounding her. She recently went on a mission trip to do social service volunteer work in June of 2023. On this trip, she helped an organization in Jerez, Spain, helping refugees from many countries forced to leave their homes: fleeing war, poverty, and hardship. She holds a special place in her heart for these people, as she can understand what it is like to build a new life in a different country and everything that comes with it.

CRYSTAL IBARRA TAPELU

PROGRAM ASSOCIATE

Crystal's Bio is on the way

Our Faculty

MARTA CELIS

ARTS & EDUCATION DIRECTOR

Martha Celis is the founder, enthusiastic and creative Director of “Danza Colibrí”. Martha started dancing at a very early age in her city of birth, Guadalajara, she dance in Grupo Folklórico de la Secretaría de Turismo and later was a founder member of “Grupo Folklórico Ciudad de Guadalajara''. She graduated from the School of Arts of the University of Guadalajara as a professional dancer and started her career as a teacher. She has had the opportunity to travel around North America, Central America and Europe taking her art to all kinds of different audiences. Martha migrated to the USA in 1998 and dreamed of being able to share all the love she feels for her culture and willing to keep learning and teaching all the amazing dances and traditions among the Mexican culture. A few years later she obtained a Bachelors of Art degree in Human Development from CSU East Bay. Martha has worked with different organizations and schools around the bay area as a Mexican Folk Dance teacher and Choreographer. In 2013 Martha founded, “Viva el Folklor Mexicano” an after school educational enrichment program. Later in 2016, her love for community propelled her to found her dream project, “Danza Colibrí” a Mexican traditional music and dance community group for children, youth and adults in Redwood City. Martha Celis also teaches traditional, mestizo dances and zapateado de tarima.

Our Board of Directors

RICA RUIZ

CHAIRWOMAN OF THE BOARD

Our chairwoman of the board, Rica Ruiz, as a real estate professional, is privy to the inflated housing market that has been the San Francisco Bay Area, and the peninsula in particular. While she serves a broad clientele with their dreams of homeownership, she grieves the lack of access for so many, particularly among immigrant, working families. Her long-term vision is for affordable housing for this community, a reality that is integral to her understanding of economic justice. Her heart for the poor comes from an intimate place. Born in the Philippines, and raised by a single mom in Contra Costa County, Rica has firsthand experience not only with financial hardship but the emotional duress of marginalization, an existence that remains largely true even to this day. Working hard her whole life, Rica paid her way through college, graduating with a degree in media at San Francisco State. Her greatest joy is being with her husband and watching her son play baseball. She also has been a volunteer with Generations United, Inc weekly for several years. This has changed her life in ways she never imagined and her heart has been moved to action.

STANLEY JOHNSON

BOARD MEMBER

Stanley Johnson is the father of three young adult children and married to his wife and friend of 30 years Karen Johnson. Stanley is a native of the Redwood City. He graduated from San Diego State in 1981, with a degree in business administration and an emphasis in marketing. Stanley has worked with Pepsico, and its Frito Lay brand of products, in a sales and marketing capacity and for three decades. He has also served in regional sales in a managerial capacity for ERICO International Corporation, a company that provides electrical solutions for construction projects all around the globe. Stanley has a passion for outdoor adventures, but more importantly, a heart for the vulnerable and marginalized. Over the past two decades he has served on the boards of community-based organizations, including the American Youth Soccer Organization of San Carlos, and Peninsula Covenant Community Center in Redwood City.

BENITA HOPKINS

BOARD MEMBER

Benita Hopkins is known by all as an “agent of change,” a reputation she earned while serving as the director of community engagement for Love Never Fails, a nonprofit committed to aiding the trafficked population. She seeks to bring hope to children around the world who have suffered from shame and abandonment, for example, Ghana, where she has advanced efforts in violence prevention and aftercare programs for trauma victims. She was awarded “2015 Abolitionist of the Year” by the San Francisco Collaborative Against Human Trafficking, and the “Working Women’s Award” by the Dr. MLK Jr. Association of Santa Clara Valley. These distinctions reflect her competence as a cross-cultural educator and a champion for social justice in communities like the ones she serves through GU. Prior to joining the Board, Benita served faithfully as our Director of Education and led our AEC at Schaberg Library. In the Summer of 2021, she will join us in a support role to continue to put her expertise to work for our families.

PETER MORRIS

BOARD MEMBER

Peter Morris was born and raised on the San Francisco Peninsula. He grew up as a young boy in Redwood City, and received his public education in the Redwood City’s classrooms. Fond of this experience growing up, Peter has a special heart for local schools, and the families that attend them. As he always has enjoyed, he has great love for physical fitness and outdoor activities of every kind. He also has a love of music, and now performs the trumpet with the San Jose Wind Symphony as one of its principal brass players. Peter serves as a investment advisor with Lincoln Financial, where he helps clients achieve their financial goals and plan for their retirement. Married for over 40 years, Peter and Fredda have four adult children and five grandchildren. They are active members of Peninsula Covenant Church and the Peninsula Community Center. Peter’s wife Fredda has been instrumental in developing relationships with children and families through tutoring weekly with Generations United.

KYLIE BILLINGSLEY

BOARD MEMBER

Dr Kylie Billingsley specializes in psycho-diagnostic testing and therapy for children and adolescents with complex developmental and diagnostic presentations through Sequoia Counseling Services in Redwood City. She works with children, teens and families with neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD and ASD, as well as trauma, attachment disorders and rare medical conditions. Prior to private practice she was the developmental specialist at Kaiser RWC for 8 years. She uses CBT, play therapy and family systems approaches.

ELVIA COWAN

BOARD MEMBER

Elvia Cowan is a long-time Redwood City resident. She was born and raised in Los Angeles in a family who immigrated to the US from Zacatecas, Mexico, searching for a better life. Her story is not too different from the many families of the North Fair Oaks community. With the help of many and the grace of God, Elvia put herself through school at Mount St. Mary’s University, and more recently at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in their executive education program. Elvia is a C.P.A and has been a leader in the finance organizations of notable public companies like Vaxcyte, 23andMe, Gilead Sciences, and Levi Strauss. Much of her time is spent balancing work and raising her teenage sons with her retired firefighter husband Dave. Elvia’s heart has always been in the hopes of improving the lives and hearts of people in the Silicon Valley community. Her family has been active members of the Peninsula Covenant Church and Community Center, and Dave and their boys have volunteered with Generations United.
latino man with sunglasses at the beach with golden gate bridge in the background

HENRY VILLAR

BOARD MEMBER

Henry Villar was born and raised in Mexico. After graduating from the Naval Academy of Mexico as Valedictorian, he served for seven years in the Mexican Navy as an Engineer and Navy Officer. Henry moved to USA in 2000 and returned to academia earning a second B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science. For more than 15 years, he has been working in the High-Tech industry in Silicon Valley. Henry has been married to his wife Holly for more than 24 years and they have an adult daughter. His family has been members of the Peninsula Covenant Church for the last decade. Henry has been an active volunteer of Generations United for the last six years, participating in the Summer Reads program and providing Taekwondo classes. Henry has a big passion for the Latino Community and believes that change starts by serving.

STEVE JOH

BOARD MEMBER

Steve is a community builder, pastor, justice advocate and mobilizer. He brings two decades of pastoral experience in a wide variety of roles at two churches and is currently building a network of innovative, small, missional spiritual communities. A resident of East Palo Alto, along with his wife Amy and two girls, Steve shares a passion for bringing thriving to under-resourced communities and bringing people together for the common good. Steve loves spending time with his family, baking bread, making bacon, creating music, and is obsessed with all things soccer (God's greatest gift).