Erik Schoen – Executive Director
Erik Schoen has been a professional counselor since receiving his Masters Degree from Arizona State University in 1993. He received his first state license in Oregon as a Licensed Professional Counselor in 1996, his second in Nevada as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor in 1998. He is also a state-certified supervisor for interns practicing to be Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors. Since 1993, Erik has worked in drug and alcohol treatment facilities (both inpatient and out), domestic violence treatment centers for both women and men, agencies for the treatment of chronic mental illness, private practice, and more. Eric has helped many individuals to successfully address their substance abuse issues – ranging from alcohol, marijuana, inhalants, hallucinogens, cocaine, and methamphetamine . He has also helped high schools in developing a comprehensive and coordinated approach to prevention and treatment by focusing on resiliency factors, utilizing peer leaders, and implementing school assistance programs. Erik is currently the Executive Director at Community Chest where he has been for over 20 years. In his current capacity, Erik works within communities to help develop positive, strengths-based, and collaborative approaches to addressing myriad issues that face communities.
Michael-Ann Lazzarino – Deputy Director
Michael-Ann Lazzarino has served Nevada youth for over 12 years. She has worked in treatment facilities, youth programs, and taught prevention classes. Michael-Ann attended the University of Nevada Reno for Elementary education, and is continuing her higher education path in the field of Human Development and Family Studies. She has been married for seven wonderful years and has two beautiful children. Michael-Ann loves camping, hiking and spending time with her family.
Amber Hadley – Accountant and Business Manager
I was born and raised in Northern California with my huge Italian family. In 2003, I attended Heald Business College where I received my degree in Business Management with emphasis on accounting. In 2006, after I graduated, I moved to Reno Nevada. I have worked in accounting in some capacity for over 15 years, but took a hiatus to stay at home with my triplets until they were school aged. In 2015 we moved to Virginia City, where we currently reside. I enjoy all that Northern Nevada has to offer. My passions include hiking and camping, rock and arrowhead hounding, and exploring the back country. In 2016 I was given the opportunity to work with Community Chest. This amazing organization has given me the balance in my life that I’ve always craved. While I work behind the scenes, I am still exposed to the wonderful workings of our team, and do what I can to make sure I support them.
Hi, I’m Kallie! I am a native Nevadan, born in Carson City and raised in Silver & Virginia City. With a large and boisterous family, I pride myself on those that I surround myself with. I have been lucky to attend some great educational institutions. I graduated from Dayton High School, went to Western Nevada College and eventually gained my Bachelors Degree with an emphasis in psychology from Sierra Nevada College. I have always worked with and around youth. In the future I plan to attain my Masters Degree. I would also like to spend more of my leisure time traveling.
Mental Health & Advocacy
Amy earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree, and Masters of Counseling Psychology degree at Texas Woman’s University, in Denton, Texas. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor Intern who works with individuals from a “healing through connection” perspective, integrating multiple theories including multicultural, relational, and existential interventions.After spending 20 years in Texas, she is grateful to be back home serving the Northern Nevada rural community. She is available for individual, couples, or family counseling in both the Virginia City and Fernley locations and is currently working remotely.
Britany is a native Nevadan who enjoys spending her spare time reading, running, and spending time with her family. Some of her favorite family activities include hiking, camping, and fishing. She started her career in the medical field and has worked as a Medical Assistant and a Nurse’s Assistant for 13 years. She started at Community Chest after completing her counseling practicum in rural Lyon County and has experience in working with clients experiencing severe mental health issues. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor Intern and Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor Intern and is passionate about working with rural communities.
Sarah is a Reno born native and grew up in the Reno-Sparks area. She has a Bachelor’s of Psychology with a minor in substance abuse treatment and prevention. Sarah has her Master’s in Social Work and is a Licensed Social Worker, Clinical Social Work Intern, and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. More recently, Sarah was trained and certified in Multidimensional Family Therapy as a clinician and supervisor for this modality. Sarah has experience in working with foster youth families, individuals and groups. She also had internships placements with the Washoe County Public Defender’s office and Hospice, giving her a range of experience with various populations. Sarah enjoys spending time with her significant other and his daughter as well as with close friends and family. Additional hobbies include camping, reading, and exploring new places.
Lauren McCarthy grew up in Red Bluff California and moved to Reno, Nevada in June 2016. Lauren received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill California. She recently graduated in May 2019 with her Master’s degree in Counseling and Psychology Education from the University of Nevada Reno, and is licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern. With a concentration in trauma informed practices, Lauren has a passion for animal-assisted therapy and has taken a special interest in Equine assisted therapy practices. Lauren will continue to expand her knowledge and understanding in these areas and looks forward to serving her community and being an agent of change.
Christina grew up in North Texas but eventually moved to Nevada to be closer to the mountains. She has experience in the education field as an elementary teacher for 7 years and 3 years of experience working for various non-profits. Christina earned her bachelor of arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies – Nonprofit Management from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2005. After two years working for an aid organization in South Sudan, Christina returned to the United States to earn her elementary teacher certification. She earned a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Union Institute and University. She has lived in the Northern Nevada region since 2010. Christina moved to the Reno area to enjoy many of the outdoor activities she loves: skiing, rock climbing, kayaking, camping, hiking, and snowshoeing. She has two lazy cats and two hyperactive dogs that take a lot of her attention outside of work.
Ana is a Reno born Native Nevadan. She has a Bachelor’s of Psychology with an emphasis on criminal justice studies. Ana has a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Nevada Reno. She is a LIcensed Social Worker in the State of Nevada and is currently working on her Clinical Social Work Internship. Ana primarily works providing school based mental health services for adolescents, but enjoys working with all ages. Ana has committed her career to providing services for rural communities. Ana enjoys spending time with her family and their two dogs. She loves working on outdoor projects,
camping, hiking and reading.
Kelly has over 30 years of experience in the field of human services and has worked with a diverse range of individuals including those experiencing physical and mental disabilities, elders, domestic violence, and Alzheimer’s. In addition to her work as an advocate she also provides employment case management at Community Chest. Kelly was nominated for the “Visionary award” through NNADV. She enjoys dancing, the outdoors, family, and friends. She is also bilingual in Spanish. Kelly has a passion for helping others and is always looking for ways to overcome barriers.
Lynn is a Nevada native who loves spending time at the beach and in the mountains. She has been married for the past 28 years and has three children and three grandchildren. She has a background in the medical field and is looking forward to further developing as a professional in the field of advocacy.
Shaunte was born in Southern California but moved to Dayton, Nevada in 1990 and has lived here ever since. Shaunte and her husband decided that they wanted to stay in Dayton to raise their child and give her small town roots.
Shaunte has a little over six years of experience in case management, specifically with victims of domestic violence, and is excited to bring that knowledge to Community Chest Inc. in a different capacity. She has been a community volunteer since a young age and has volunteered at Advocates to End Domestic Violence, The Alzheimer’s Association, Carson City Health and Human Services, Northern Nevada Food Bank, and the Dayton Food Pantry. In her down time she enjoys spending time with her family, friends and just enjoying the simplicity of small town life.
Sam is a Native Nevadan and grew up in the Wadsworth/Fernley area . She graduated from Haskell Indian Nations University earning her degree in Elementary Education, and currently is continuing her higher education in Business Management. Sam has 4 years of experience as a Case Manager specializing in Workforce Development. She has two daughters and 5 younger siblings. Additional hobbies include participating in softball and basketball tournaments, spending time with loved ones, volunteering in youth events, and nature walks. Sam believes that change happens when people are given the guidance they need to draw on their own strengths and realize their potential to live fulfilling, happy lives. Sam provides an environment of compassion and support to help individuals overcome obstacles to move forward and thrive.
Brooke is a Nevada native who was raised in the rural community of Hawthorne. She graduated from Mineral County High School in 2017 and is working toward furthering her education in Human Services. Brooke spends her spare time with her family, fiance and three dogs camping, fishing, and just being outdoors, she also enjoys reading, road trips to anywhere and aspires to have a farm one day.
Shannon Parsons is a Nevada native, born and raised in Virginia City. She grew up attending the youth programs in Community Chest. She has been working for Community Chest since 2010. Shannon started as a youth member of the Board of Directors her freshman year of high school and followed on to join the summer staff coordinators for the Comstock Kids Summer Program. She was a youth member of Global Voice in 2014. After Graduating High school she moved on to become a full time staff for the summer program and before/after school program for the Comstock Kids and SOARS as well as an adult supervisor for Global Voice. She runs the In-School Youth programs for Hugh Gallagher Elementary school and Virginia City Middle and High schools. She is currently attending The University of Nevada, Reno for Anthropology. She has since been promoted to Assistant Youth Development Director and now Youth Development Director for Community Chest. She loves being able to encourage the youth in her community to be the best person they can be.
Bobbi Pickles – Youth Programs Assistant / Food Pantry Coordinator
Bobbi has lived in Nevada for 26 years. She has been married for 22 years and has four lovely grandchildren. She was born in California and raised in Iowa. Bobbi has had many jobs in her lifetime – a real jack of all trades. After working many years in retail, she took some time off to discover her passion. Bobbi realized that her purpose in life is to help the community. Bobbi volunteers at Advocates to End Domestic Violence serving Carson City and Story County residents. She has many hours of training in domestic violence and she volunteers one evening a week to answer the crisis line. Bobbi is a trained sexual assault response advocate, and is on call for one week every month. She started to work in the Comstock Kids Program in early 2012, and has taken on the additional responsibility of managing our in-house food pantry.
Child Development Center
Peach Coons – Child Development Center
A native Nevadan and a lifelong resident of rural Nevada, Peach is familiar with the struggles to provide communities with access to quality services. A particular interest to Peach is the enrichment of opportunities provided to youth. In order to become instrumental in providing much needed youth services, Peach earned her Bachelors of Science in Human Development and Family Studies in December of 2019 at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her internship through Community Chest allowed her to focus on providing services to community children.
Breana Johnston – Child Development Center
Breana has lived in the Virginia City area her whole life. She has worked in preschools for 3 years and has a passion for helping little minds grow. Breana would like to expand her education in Early Childhood by going back to school to earn her degree. In her free time, Breana coaches cheer for Sparks High school and also enjoys crafting and puzzles.
Jaid Roberts – Child Development Center
Jaid is aspiring to become a Deputy Sheriff with the Storey County Sheriff’s Office and is currently participating in her fourth year as a Storey County Sheriff’s Explorer. She has a passion for helping others and keeping them safe. Jaid has been employed with youth programs at Community Chest for the past year. Furthermore, she has several years of experience working with children, including a year of training and certification. She graduated from Silver Stage High School in Silver Springs, Nevada, class of 2019.
Jordyn Ballard – Child Development Center
A native Nevadan and a resident of Virginia City, Nevada for the past 6 years, Jordyn has a passion for working with children and families. Jordyn is currently attending the University of Nevada, Reno studying Human Development and Family Studies and is scheduled to graduate with a Bachelors of Science degree in December of 2020. Along with attending UNR, Jordyn has worked in the pre-school setting for the past three years.
Early Childhood and Family Education
Cindy Boyd has worked for Community Chest as the Director of Classroom on Wheels since 1997. Her persistence to work for an organization that changes peoples lives but her in a position to work with Pre-K children and their families. Her bus serves students in Storey County. Before joining our family, Cindy worked for Big Sisters of America and was a foster care mother. Currently, she lives in the Virginia City Highlands and volunteers with the Red Cross in her spare time.
Sarah Dillard – Home Visiting Outreach Supervisor
Sarah was born and raised in Reno/Sparks, and spent 15 years in EMS where she worked as a paramedic and emergency medical dispatcher. Sarah keeps very busy with her three kids, husband, and family dog. As a family they enjoy the outdoors and a love for their Nevada home and history. Sarah and her family spend their time camping, fishing, and hunting. Sarah is a new home visitor to Hawthorne and is eager to share resources from community chest to Mineral County.
Becca Singleton — Parent Educator/Home Visitor
I am a native Northern Nevadan, born and raised in Carson City. I married my high school sweetheart in 2012. I graduated from Carson High School in 2010 and received my Associates Degree from Western Nevada College in 2013. I am a Comprehensive Intervention Specialist through the National Advocate Credentialing Program. I have been a victim advocate since 2013. My passion is helping others find their strength to overcome life’s challenges. I am excited to be a part of such a wonderful community here in Virginia City and provide home visiting services through Community Chest.
I was born and raised in rural Western Colorado and graduated in a class with only 54 students. I attended College at Mesa State College, now known as Colorado Mesa University, graduating with a BA in sociology. I used my degree to work as a Case Manager at a residential facility for teen boys for over 8 years. I enjoy hiking, playing volleyball, and playing with my dog, Kavu. I recently got married and my husband and I moved to NV the beginning of October. I come from a ranching family and still own horses and cattle back in Colorado.
Janet was born and raised in Hawthorne, and has lived in Nevada for most of her life. With a passion for traveling, she lived in Japan for a year. She has previously worked in various careers in the medical field, and has been a child care provider for the last 5 years participating in the social and cognitive development of children 6 weeks to 12 years of age. Janet studied Human Services Management at the University of Phoenix. She has been married for 13 years, and has two daughters and one son. Janet loves fishing, camping, hiking, and is passionate about cooking and has her own cooking blog. As a new Home Visitor for Nevada Families First in Mineral County, Janet is excited to help the community with their future endeavors.
Sandy Delaski – Library Director
Sandy Delaski is very happy to be the Library Director for Storey Country. She has lived in Northern Nevada since 1978. With the help from Community Chest and Storey County Residents her goal is to put the library as the “place to be” in Virginia City. Sandy was privileged to be the Librarian at Dayton Elementary for six years prior to returning to college at Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village, Nevada. While pursing her degree in Education and working towards her Masters Degree, Sandy said she worked at the Primm Library on campus even before the windows were installed. She enjoyed watching the growth and development of the students for six years as their Library Tech. Her favorite part was working with the students and seeing the community enjoy the programs, events and art shows held in the Prim Library. Sandy saw students come in as freshman (With the deer in the headlight expression on their faces) and walk out 4 years later as confident, well educated, and informed contributing members of society. That being said, is why she believes every town benefits from having a Library with the latest resources and technology available. Sandy believes learning is a life long endeavor and informed communities enrich society. Presently, Sandy is especially excited to create a Community Library in Storey County that proudly represents Virginia City’s rich history and at the same time brings 21st century technology to all rural residents. Sandy said, “We also have a Library Hub in Mark Twain with a wonderful volunteer in the Mark Twain Community Center. Sandy spends her free time with family, friends and her 3 precious Shetland Sheepdogs. “Shelties”.
Shaun Griffin – Co-Founder and Development Director
Shaun Griffin is the co-founder of Community Chest, and served as executive director for 26 years. Shaun has spent a lifetime trying to build bridges where there were none for all members of the human community. During the mid-80s he worked in Stanford University’s foremost community outreach program, starting several disability initiatives on that campus. He later founded a minority youth outreach program for four universities in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Shaun is also a published author. His last book of poems was Bathing in the River of Ashes, published by the University of Nevada Press in 1999. Death to Silence (translations from the Chilean poet, Emma Sepúlveda) was released by Arte Público Press in 1997. In 1995, he received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. For many years he has taught a poetry workshop at Northern Nevada Correctional Center and published an annual journal of their work, Razor Wire. Shaun Griffin is the co-founder and director of Community Chest. Shaun has spent a lifetime trying to build bridges where there were none for all members of the human commogram for four universities in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2004, he received the Mike O’Callaghan Humanitarian Award, named after the former Nevada Governor.
He has lived in Nevada since 1978— except for the four years when his wife was in graduate school in the Bay Area. He and his family live in Virginia City, at the western-most edge of the Great Basin.
Deborah Loesch-Griffin – Co-Founder and Consultant
Deborah Loesch-Griffin earned her Education Specialist degree in Evaluation (1986) and doctorate degree in Educational Psychology and Child Development from Stanford University in 1987. She owns and operates a small business, Turning Point, Inc., and provides evaluation coaching, capacity-building, facilitation, mentoring for non-profits in youth development, and community-building training. From 1998-2008, TPI engaged in a partnership with the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) to co-sponsor the Center for Program Evaluation (CPE). As it’s Co-Director, Deborah developed a program for training individuals as professional evaluators.
Deborah is also the co-founder of Community Chest, Inc., in Virginia City, Nevada. She continues to work with Community Chest, Inc. as a Community Youth Development Specialist. In this role she organizes the annual Global Voice Program, mentors CCI’s youth development staff, facilitates the community-building initiative in Lockwood, and coordinates the Comstock Growers and Gardeners group who sponsored Storey County’s first farmers market in the Summer 2009. She is most interested in sustainable living and engaging youth as stewards of our environment as well as keeping all our citizenry healthy and providing local, affordable healthy alternatives.