Meet The Team

Allison Willits

Executive Director

Allison is passionate about protecting human rights and dignity for all people. She has been advocating for our neighbors without homes and those who face food insecurity for over a decade through her work at CMOH and is excited to be leading the new CMOH- Rancho Damacitas organization. As an advisor for the Women in Leadership program at University of California, Riverside she is especially excited to be working with the women at our Empowerment Village program. Her joy is parenting two rowdy teenagers and spending time in the great outdoors with her husband of 20 years.

Lisa Owens

Program Director

Lisa provides general oversight to ensure that all components of who we are and what we do support our mission. She brings to our Empowerment Team a background in pastoral ministry and leadership, as well as a seminary education in international development and urban studies. Having lived in the valley for over 20 years, raising three almost-grown children of her own here, she is passionate about advocating for other moms and forming partnerships within this incredible community to see all of our neighbors thrive.

Susan Smallen

Director of Operations

Susan oversees the day-to-day operations that allow us to serve over 800 individuals per month. Susan began her journey as a volunteer but was quickly brought on staff to help manage our warehouse and front office. Her organizational knowledge and administrative skills create an environment where staff and clients feel supported and loved. She also assists with property management for our Empowerment Village and Hope Family Housing programs.  In her spare time, she teaches Aqua aerobics in and around the Temecula area.

Kelcey Parker

Occupational Therapist

Kelcey is our Wellness advocate providing 1:1 sessions to our clients and teaching classes for our program. She has a background in working with mental health through occupational therapy, and completed her residency with CMOH to finish her doctorate. She currently teaches at Biola University and provides early intervention for Sunny Days. A native of Temecula, she loves pouring back into the community that poured so much into her. Her favorite things are spending time with dogs and her family, visiting the zoo or mountains, and kayaking.

Wendy Buckley

Senior Care Advocate

Wendy provides in-home case management for our seniors who are at-risk of homelessness. As a former hospice trained volunteer she is well equipped to assist seniors with financial, medical, or community-based resources. She enjoys building community amongst the seniors, always showing them consistent care and kindness.Wendy is a mom of three, and loves dogs, the outdoors, Panera, chai lattes, and making those around her feel heard and seen.

Lisa Claypool

Empowerment Advocate

Lisa is the lead empowerment advocate at our Empowerment Village campus where she partners with single mothers and their families to develop skills that support them to obtain stability and independence on their life journeys. With many years of experience she believes deeply in our vision for single mothers and their children.  Lisa is committed to her faith and passionate about social service work.  She has lived in the area with her family for over 12 years and as a mother of 5, is dedicated to empowering mothers and supporting them on their journeys.

Kelly Merlo

Program Navigator

Kelly is our program navigator and assists in promoting the management of programming and operations of village life, focusing on resident support and mentoring, community life, teaching, and campus administrative operations. An original east coast girl, she has been here for over 20 years and is empty nesting and enjoying eleven grandchildren. Her goal here is to encourage women to walk in all of the power and gifts they’ve been given by God, enabling them to be well equipped as parents and uniquely strong and beautiful humans.

Nicki McGeE

Office Manager

Nicki manages all aspects of front office operations,oversees the volunteer reception program, coordinates community food drives and assists with help as needed with other projects. She comes with many years of managerial experience, both in a corporate setting as well as opening and managing her own business.  She’s always had a passion for helping people and hopes to use her skills along with that passion to continue the growth of our organization.

Michael Watson

Food Pantry Manager

Michael manages receiving and distribution of over 10,000 pounds of food each week working with grocery partners and managing 50+ volunteers. Originally from Florida, he has been in California since 1981 where he was stationed at Camp Pendleton in the Marines.  A father of 5, his wife Yvette volunteers at our Housing Resource Center.  Michale says he was literally given this position by God to feed His people, and is so happy to do just that, to be a part of this wonderful organization.

Brandon Lundberg

Driver

Brandon Lundberg is the driver for our food pantry and farm. He volunteered with our Outreach Farm Project for over a year before coming on staff. Brandon is responsible for delivering thousands of pounds of food each week to our pantry and to our partner pantries in the valley as well as training our new volunteers. He is from Murrieta and graduated from Calvary Chapel Christian High school. His goal in life is to serve God by helping others. He loves to garden and be outdoors.