Board of Directors

Eric Ornelas

Eric Ornelas

President

 

Since 2012, Eric has served as a volunteer for Safe Schools Desert Cities, providing DJ services at annual events such as the Rainbow Youth Summit, Palm Springs Pride Parade & Youth Zone, and the Pride Prom. In 2018, Eric joined the Safe Schools Desert Cities Board of Directors, and in December 2020, he was appointed president.

Professionally, Eric is a full-time communications & public affairs coordinator at The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, California. Eric is also an experienced radio producer. He currently hosts the Tuesday and Thursday editions of the KGAY Retro Lunch at KGAY 106.5 FM, Palm Springs.

Eric and his husband, Cathedral City Mayor Raymond Gregory, have lived in Cathedral City for more than twenty years. They have two adult children and one grandson. Eric and Raymond were honored in 2015 with the Safe Schools Desert Cities Champion for Youth Award for providing outstanding support, safety, and entertainment to LBGTQIA youth in the desert.

Eric holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in communications from California State University, San Bernardino, and an Associate of Arts Degree in mass communications from College of the Desert.

 

Gloria Kapp

Gloria Kapp

Vice President & Scholarship Committee Chairperson

 

Gloria Kapp serves as chair of the awards committee for Safe Schools Desert Cities and joined the Board in 2016. During her forty year career in higher education, she worked in housing, student activities, financial aid, and admissions. After retiring from Cal State Long Beach in 2004, Gloria and her long-time partner (now wife of eight years) Joan Elliott moved to Palm Springs. As friends of Doug and Woody, they followed the work of Safe Schools Desert Cities and are strong supporters of the awards program. Gloria continued her professional involvement by working as a financial aid consultant for Cal State San Bernardino through 2015. Gloria enjoys participating in political campaigns and activities. Joan and Gloria also enjoy traveling and when at home, read, work on jigsaw puzzles, and socialize with friends.

 

 

Ron deHarte

Ron deHarte

Secretary

 

Ron is a recognized human rights and diversity champion and currently serves as chairman of the City of Palm Springs Human Rights Commission. Ron’s long history of involvement in the LGBTQ+ community includes a primary focus on supporting LGBTQ+ youth and youth-related programs. In addition to running Pride, he also serves as co-president of the United States Association of Pride, and is a member of the board of the Consolidated Association of Pride and InterPride, the international association of Pride organizers.

In 2011, he teamed up with Safe Schools to secure the Palm Springs Art Museum as the venue for the annual LGBT Prom, which now hosts over 400 students. As founding chairman of the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast, Ron led the way to adopt youth programs as its beneficiary. Over the last seven years, $124,000 has been raised to directly support area GSA and LGBTQ+ youth-driven activities.

Active in the community, Ron also serves on the City of Palm Springs Police Chief’s LGBT outreach committee, Palm Springs Transgender Day of Remembrance committee, and the Palm Springs Transgender Day of Visibility committee. Ron can also be seen helping to organize the City of Palm Springs Veterans Day Parade, Cathedral City LGBT Days, City of Palm Springs Cesar Chavez Day, and the new Palm Springs Community Leadership Council.

 

Jeremy Proctor

Jeremy Proctor

Treasurer

 

Jeremy serves as the Treasurer (formerly Vice President) for Safe Schools Desert Cities. In his youth, he also participated with Gay Associated Youth. He also owns and operates a family insurance agency that serves the Coachella Valley and beyond. Jeremy is committed to providing opportunities in the community that will help local youth growth and expand their horizons by providing resources and activities that allow self-expression. Jeremy and his husband, Noe lives in Cathedral City with their son, Aiden and fur babies, Lily, Sammy and Viktor.

 

Tori St Johns

Tori St Johns

Board Member - GSA Liaison (DSUSD)

 

Tori has worked for the Student Assistance Program at Desert Sands Unified School District for twenty-seven years, helping students be their best authentic selves. Tori is the secretary of the Riverside University Health Systems Behavioral Health Commission, representing Supervisor V. Manuel Perez and the 4th District. She also serves as the chair of the RUHS Children’s Mental Health Committee and is on the Regional Board, as well. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Regional Access Project Foundation (RAP) and chairs the Health/Mental Health Initiative Committee. Tori is most proud of her work with LGBTQ+ students dating back to the 1980s.

 

Jennifer Jungwirth

Jennifer Jungwirth

Board Member - GSA Liaison (MBUSD)

Mike Scebbi

Mike Scebbi

Board Member

 

Mike Scebbi has been an active member of the Coachella Valley community since 2005, along with his partner of 25+ years Fernando Moralez. He joined the Information Technology Team of the County of Riverside in 1999, but his passion for public service led him to a new career with the county in Children Services. Mike is currently a senior administrative analyst for the Youth and Community Resource Department.

 

Lisa Todd

Lisa Todd

Board Member - GSA Liaison (PSUSD)

 

Lisa Todd first became involved with Safe Schools in 2014 while serving as the GSA Advisor for Desert Hot Springs High School in the Palm Springs Unified School District (PSUSD). Lisa currently works as a coordinator in the Student Support Services Department for PSUSD and is completing her twentieth year in education. Throughout her career and in her current role in the school district, Lisa strives to be a strong ally for LGBTQ+ students and advocates for programs and policies that allow all students to thrive. Lisa likes music, hiking, and traveling, and lives in Palm Springs with her dog, Tipsy.

 

Jesus "Spike" Pedregon

Jesus "Spike" Pedregon

Board Member

PO Box 1662
Palm Springs, CA 92263
Tel. (760) 459-2700

Safe Schools Desert Cities Corp is a registered non‐profit 501(c)(3) public charity organization and contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.

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