Board of Directors
Made up of 21 community leaders and professionals from Glendale, Burbank, West Hollywood and Los Angeles, our boards has a passion for working with the homeless, the ability to work collaboratively, and offer race, gender, geographic, age, and/or professional diversity.
Express Employment Professionals
Board Vice President
Retired Elementary Teacher
Glendale Unified School District
Glendale Unified School District
Treasurer/Finance Committee Chair
Hutchinson and Bloodgood LLP
Development Committee Chair
Assoc. VP – Financial Advisor
Governance Committee Chair
Safarian, Choi & Bolstad, LLP
Audit Committee Chair
Deacon Ron Baker
Nominations Committee Chair
Director of Operations and Ministries
Holy Family Catholic Church
Attorney of Counsel
Baker, Olson, LeCroy & Daielian
Executive Mentor and Partner
Merryck & Co.
Real Estate Analyst
Panda Restaurant Group
Revelation Insurance Services
Glendale Fire Department
Forest Lawn Memorial Park
Housing Acquisitions Manager
Director of Neurosciences and Community Engagement
Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center
Paulette Ramsay Wood
Retired, Legal Department, Contracts
Schindler Elevator Corporation
“It’s fantastic to see and be a part of a growing organization like Ascencia.”
Our Leadership Staff
Supported by our Case Management and Outreach teams, our Directorial staff leads the charge in accomplishing our mission to lift people out of homelessness, one person, one family at a time.
Laura E. Duncan, Ph.D.
For the past four years, Laura Duncan, as Director of Programs has been overseeing all of Ascencia’s program operations, building a cohesive team that has earned high reviews from clients and consistently meet or exceed contract standards. Experience realms include clinical services, residential treatment, adjunct faculty, vocational rehabilitation, workforce investment, non-public education, Veteran services and homeless services. Under her leadership at Goodwill Industries, programs grew from $9 million to $21 million within three years. Laura holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from Alliant University; her B.A. in Psychology and M.S. in Counseling degrees are from California State University, Fullerton.
Director of Operations
Rick White comes to us with more than 20 years of nonprofit experience. Most recently he worked as the Director of Operations at The Salvation Army in Glendale. He has experience leading and training staff; program improvement and financial management and administration. Rick and his wife Cindy live in La Verne and have 2 adult daughters. When he’s not working, Rick enjoys mountain biking, reading and spending time with his family.
Anjalika Mathur Nigam
Director of Development
Anjalika Nigam joined Ascencia in October 2016. With a background in both nonprofit and entertainment, Ms. Nigam brings an eclectic mix of fundraising and administrative skills to the team. As an entertainment professional since 1996, Anjalika has raised over $2 million for movies and produced films in the range of $2 million – $200 million. In the nonprofit sector, Anjalika has raised near $1,000,000 for schools. Since joining Ascencia, Anjalika has successfully executed numerous large fundraising events and campaigns exceeding the organization’s anticipated annual raise, developed new volunteer programs and expanded the current one, and developed a marketing and communications plan to expand its presence on digital platforms. Anjalika sits on the Board of Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and is a member of Rotary Noon of Glendale and Kiwanis Club of Glendale.
Director of Programs
Marcell Mitchell joined Ascencia in 2014 as the Coordinated Entry System (CES) Supervisor overseeing a case management and employment navigation team dedicated to permanent housing, job placement and benefits advocacy. He is also the HMIS Administrator (Homeless Management Information System) for Ascencia and served as Ascencia’s lead for the employment collaborative in Glendale. In July 2021, Marcell Mitchell was promoted to Director of Programs.
Marcell’s experience in human services dates back to 1999, serving first as a Shelter PlusCare Coordinator, Clinical Therapist and Community Support Team Supervisor in Chicago, then as a Gang Interventionist and Assistant Program Director, which included working with homeless U.S. military veterans, in Los Angeles. Mr. Mitchell holds a B.A. in History and a M.S. in Higher Education both from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He is trained in trauma-informed care and motivational interviewing practices. He has also served as a consultant on multiple projects for the United Way and the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority.