Inclusion, Integrity, Intentionality, Holistic, & Effective Communication

The above values define the intentions and actions that YES staff employs daily to make the workplace and program environments inviting, supportive spaces for all who step through our doors. Collectively, YES staff and board have decades of experience working and living in Richmond and represent the diverse community we serve. Over half of our staff is bilingual in Spanish and English. Please contact us for more information about opportunities to join our growing YES team.

YES Staff

Eric Aaholm, Executive Director since 2007, has a Masters in Social Welfare, Management and Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. He is fluent in Spanish and started with YES Family Camps as a volunteer in 2004. Eric has experience working as a Project Manager at Health Research for Action, at the School of Public Health at Berkeley; as a Diversity Coordinator for a youth mentoring program; and a Spanish and ESL teacher. Eric was honored as a Man of Merit for Contra Costa County in 2011 and is a graduate of LeaderSpring’s 2014 cohort for East Bay executive directors. eric@yesfamilies.org

Blanca Hernández, Program Director, joined YES in May 2008. She leads the YES program team using a strengths-based approach, and develops & facilitates outdoor programming that grows leadership for underrepresented Richmond youth and adults. Blanca has a B.A. from the University of San Diego in Literature and graduated from CompassPoint’s Next Generation Leaders of Color in 2012. She has served for six years on the Healthy Richmond steering committee and participates in various community action groups. She is fluent in Spanish, enjoys painting, writing, and jogging with her dog, Bo. blanca@yesfamilies.org

Claire McMurtry, Development & Communications Manager, joined YES in August 2015. Formatively affected by her own early experiences in nature, she is dedicated to providing these essential opportunities for others. Claire has 16 years of experience - from naturalist and program director to grants and events manager - in the Bay Area's rich environmental education and youth development fields. She holds a B.S. in Botany. claire@yesfamilies.org

Vencel Alfred, Camp-to-Community Coordinator, joined YES in January 2017. After earning his B.S. in Recreation Administration, Vencel began his career in recreation coordinating youth and adult sports in Sacramento. Since returning home to the East Bay, he has served as a counselor, mentor, tutor, and coach with the City of Emeryville and the City of Richmond, and worked alongside YES as Camp Director for East Bay Regional Park District’s Community Outreach Outdoor Program. Vencel is passionate about sharing his love of outdoor recreation, academics, and mentorship with YES youthvencel@yesfamilies.org

Zaira Sierra, Camps Coordinator, joined YES in the summer of 2014. She is the lead coordinator of the Summer Camp and Camp Days program. Zaira, a Richmond resident, has volunteered and worked with several local Richmond organizations including CCISCO, Building Blocks for Kids, and West Contra Costa County Unified School District. She is committed to building leaders and strengthening the voices in her community. zaira@yesfamilies.org


Peter Walker-Flom, Youth Leaders Coordinator, joined YES in October of 2015. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Youth Studies and a minor in Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Deviance. He has worked and volunteered in a variety of youth programs doing foster care respite, tutoring, juvenile probation services, mentoring, and more. As a resident of Richmond's Belding Woods neighborhood, Peter enjoys tending his vegetable garden, taking his dogs to Wildcat Canyon, and eating at Taqueria La Bamba. His passions include food security, equitable access to the outdoors, and dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline. peter@yesfamilies.org

Enrique Valencia, Office Manager and Culture Keeper, joined YES Nature to Neighborhoods in September 2017. Enrique’s love for the outdoors has been cultivated through his journey to become healthy. He wants everyone to experience the positive benefits of spending time outdoors and it is this desire that drew him to join YES. Prior to his current role, Enrique organized with communities throughout the Bay Area around issues of worker rights, access to healthcare systems, immigrant rights, and the right to a quality public education. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from UC Berkeley. enrique@yesfamilies.org

Cianna Carrillo Walker-Flom, Youth Engagement & Health Specialist, joined YES as a volunteer in 2011 and became a member of the staff in 2016. With a B.A. in Sociology from San Francisco State University, she traveled to Madrid, Spain in 2012 to achieve her Masters in Sustainable Development and Corporate Responsibility with the intention of exploring her desires to make sustainable change at a grassroots level. As a Richmond community member, she enjoys working with youth, exploring near by nature spaces, growing food, and working on issues of food justice and social welfare. cianna@yesfamilies.org

YES is also supported by regular youth interns and nearly 50 volunteers.


YES Board of Directors

April Suwalsky, Board Chair
 Philanthropic Advisor, Tides Foundation

Mike McLively, Vice Chair
 Lawyer, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Alex Hooker, Secretary
 Program Officer, S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation

Matthew Gatt, Treasurer
 Financial Advisor, North Berkeley Investment Partners

Shahad Wright, Member
 Youth & Family Program Director, E.M. Downer Family YMCA

Christy Rocca, Member
 Vice President of Youth Programs and Services at the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

Zak Klein, Member
 Outdoor Entrepreneur

Ann Higgins, Member
 Graphic Designer

Jean Hyams, Member
 Trial Attorney and Mediator, Levy Vinick Burrell Hyams LLP

Richard Boyd, Member
 Community Organizer, Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organization

Karina Guadalupe, Member
 Tobacco Policy Program Coordinator, Bay Area Community Resources

AnnaLise Hoopes, Member
 Founder & CEO, Green and Go

Sonya Watson, Member
 Philanthropic Advisor, Tides Foundation