Leadership and Team

Leadership And Team

Denise Kadara

President​

Since moving to Allensworth in 2010, Denise and husband Kayode have devoted their efforts to improving the quality of life for the residents of Allensworth and other disadvantaged communities. Armed with 25+ years of public service in City Planning for cities in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Marin and San Mateo counties, Denise has focused on issues including water quality, distressed housing, infrastructure, youth/leadership development and environmental justice. She serves as Vice Chair of the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, Board member of the Tulare Basin Watershed Partnership and proud President of the Allensworth Progressive Association.

Emmett Harden​

Vice-President​

Emmett is a Founding Member of the Allensworth Buffalo Soldiers and currently serves as a Docent at Allensworth State Historic Park. Former Treasurer and Sergeant at Arms for the Friends of Allensworth, Emmett’s love of community stems from his close-knit upbringing in Louisiana, leading to servant leadership in multiple capacities from Girl Scout leader to Baseball Coach for his three children. Emmet also served as Treasurer and Sergeant of Arms for the Friends of Allensworth and has continually advocated for community well-being. After a 40-year career as a Welder, Emmet is now retired in Tulare, Ca. with his wife.

Ann Williams

Secretary

Ann initiated the Friends of Allensworth, Visalia Chapter, at the behest of Allensworth descendant AliceRoyal and with the approval of Nettie Morrison, the unofficial Mayor of Allensworth. With a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Huston-Tillotson College (HBCU), Ann started her career as a Medical Transcriber/Administrator in Houston, TX. Relocating to California in 1987, Ann worked for the CA Dept of Corrections for twenty years before retiring. Not surprisingly, Ann earned several law enforcement accolades and recognition along the way. Today, she is a valuable member of the APA Team.

Misael Hernandez

Member

Misael has been a Professional Welder for 10+ years servicing pipelines throughout California for Pacific Petroleum California. A resident of Allensworth for 14+ years, Misael appreciate the opportunity to raise his four boys in a community where they can thrive and become better citizens. As a role model, Misael actively participates in Allensworth Community Improvement projects with his sons.

Matt Hurley

Member

As CEO of Water Management Professionals Inc. and as a licensed attorney, Matt is fully versed in State of California water law, especially groundwater, along with broad experience in water resource and special district management. In addition to holding the General Manager role of Angiola Water District, Deer Creek Storm Water District, and Green Valley Water District for the last ten years, Matt has organized/managed the Tri-County Water Authority GSA in the Tulare Lake Subbasin since 2016. He also served as Board Chair for several local water agencies including the Fresno Slough Water District, Atwell Island Water District, and the Tri-County Water Authority GSA.

Paul Boyer

Member

As Mayor of Farmersville, Ca., Paul draws upon the many community development skills picked up throughout his years at Self-Help Enterprises, where he retired as Community Development Program Director. Paul’s work at Self-Help Enterprises included assisting scores of disadvantaged rural communities in developing funding for water, sewer, and energy projects by assessing water system needs, applying and administering government loans and grants for project financing. Paul grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and received a Bachelor’s in Earth Sciences and Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz.

Valerie Gorospe

Member

Valerie currently serves as Senior Program Manager for ACT for Women & Girls,Tulare County. Valerie has over 10+ years environmental justice community experience with focus on cleaner air, education, youth outreach and engagement. Valerie’s love for community stems from watching her mother, Teresa DeAnda, take charge and advocate for a healthier community – through witnessing her Mon’s passion, Valerie fueled her own drive to promote justice and equitable decision making within San Joaquin Valley communities. In recognition of her commitment to advocacy and social justice, particularly with the youth, Valerie received the Inaugural Latino Inspire Award for the State of California.

Matt Hurley

Member

As CEO of Water Management Professionals Inc. and as a licensed attorney, Matt is fully versed in State of California water law, especially groundwater, along with broad experience in water resource and special district management. In addition to holding the General Manager role of Angiola Water District, Deer Creek Storm Water District, and Green Valley Water District for the last ten years, Matt has organized/managed the Tri-County Water Authority GSA in the Tulare Lake Subbasin since 2016. He also served as Board Chair for several local water agencies including the Fresno Slough Water District, Atwell Island Water District, and the Tri-County Water Authority GSA.

Paul Boyer

Member

As Mayor of Farmersville, Ca., Paul draws upon the many community development skills picked up throughout his years at Self-Help Enterprises, where he retired as Community Development Program Director. Paul’s work at Self-Help Enterprises included assisting scores of disadvantaged rural communities in developing funding for water, sewer, and energy projects by assessing water system needs, applying and administering government loans and grants for project financing. Paul grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and received a Bachelor’s in Earth Sciences and Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz.

Valerie Gorospe

Member

Valerie currently serves as Senior Program Manager for ACT for Women & Girls,Tulare County. Valerie has over 10+ years environmental justice community experience with focus on cleaner air, education, youth outreach and engagement. Valerie’s love for community stems from watching her mother, Teresa DeAnda, take charge and advocate for a healthier community – through witnessing her Mon’s passion, Valerie fueled her own drive to promote justice and equitable decision making within San Joaquin Valley communities. In recognition of her commitment to advocacy and social justice, particularly with the youth, Valerie received the Inaugural Latino Inspire Award for the State of California.

Valeria Contreras

Advisor

Valeria currently serves as the General Manager of the Allensworth Community Services District and is the owner of Cake Fairy. Valeria has lived in Allensworth for 15+ years and has previously served as Board President for the Allensworth Community Services District, Allensworth Community Council member and has worked for the Allensworth Elementary School. A longtime Allensworth Community advocate, Valeria continues and loves to work with the community through various events.

Larry Saslaw

Advisor

Larry currently serves as the Tulare Basin Wildlife Partners President and has been affiliated with both TBWP and the Tulare Basin Working Group since their formation. Additionally, Larry worked as a Wildlife Biologist for the US Bureau of Land Management in multiple locations with various duties including developing land use plans, habitat management plans, developing assessments and monitoring protocols, and developing individual and programmatic consultation under the Federal Endangered Species Act. Currently, Larry works part-time as a Research Technician for Cal State University, Stanislaus Endangered Species Recovery Program participating on a variety of small mammal and San Joaquin kit fox habitat and distribution studies.

Dennis Hutson

Advisor

Reverend Hutson brings with him 45 + years of ministerial experience in various leadership roles such as Senior Pastor, Nominating Committee Chairperson, and Senior Protestant Chaplain in the United States Air Force, where Rev. Hutson served on active duty for 21 years. Rev. Hutson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Studies, as well as a Master of Divinity and Master of Business Administration. His combined experience, military service, education, family ties and faith led him to purchase the TAC Teaching & Innovation Farm in Allensworth. Rev. Hutson’s focus and drive is to revitalize and bring to life the vision of Col. Allensworth to the Community. Prior to Allensworth, Rev. Hutson also served as President for Nevadans for the Common Good, Coalition for Public Life. He is married to his college sweetheart Pat and has three adult children.

Lee Ayres

Advisor

Lee has been dedicated to community and service leadership for his entire career, with positions dotted throughout the United States, such as City Manager in Titusville, FL, and Budget Analyst in Wichita, KS, prior to moving to California. In California, Lee had 25 years experience in Real Estate Investments prior to managing various projects and serving as Chairperson of the San Joaquin Valley Urban Forest Council, Board of Directors for the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust, and CEO of Tree Fresno from 2011 to 2019. Through the Sequoia Community Builders, a non-profit organization, Lee has focused his energy and efforts on sustainable rural communities and sponsoring various scholarships. Lee holds a BA and MPA from the University of Kansas and has called Fresno home since 1993 with wife Shelley and three cats.

Kayode Kadara

Advisor

Kayode along with his wife Denise Kadara, have coordinated and participated in efforts aimed at improving the quality of life in Allensworth and other disadvantaged/underserved communities. Their advocacy has been in water quality & sustainability, infrastructure development, health, youth & leadership development, environmental stewardship and justice, and economic development. Kayode serves as President of the Board of Trustees of the Allensworth Elementary School District and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Self-Help Enterprises. Kayode’s previous experience includes 16+ years at the US Postal Service in various capacities including Regional Manager, with focus on property acquisition and building design. He also has varied experience in air quality enforcement/compliance through the Air Quality Management District. Kayode holds multiple undergraduate degrees and a Graduate Degree from the Claremont Graduate School.

Gil Aguilar

Advisor

Gil Aguilar is a principal of Pine, Pedroncelli & Aguilar, Inc. He is a graduate of Fresno State University where he obtained his B.S. degree in Accounting. Mr. Aguilar specializes in tax accounting, tax research, and audit representations. He has 13 years of experience with the Internal Revenue Service in Auditing and Collection.