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Collaboration is the best way to work. It’s only way to work, really.
Everyone’s there because they have a set of skills to offer across the board.

– Antony Starr

Board of Directors

Michael McCormick – Chair

Superintendent, Val Verde Unifield

Michael McCormick has been the Superintendent of Val Verde Unified School Distircit since 2016. Assistant Superintendent for Education Services in the Val Verde Unified School District since 2009. He has been an administrator for 18 years and an educator for 24 years. He is active with March of Dimes and United Way. Mike “is a dedicated educator who truly cares about children…he is always working on ways to improve the community and motivate students.” Mr. McCormick was named Administrator of the Year by the Riverside County Office of Education in 2012.

Under his leadership, the Val Verde Unified School District has been recognized by Education Trust West as, “tops among California districts Closing the Achievement Gap.” VVUSD was named College Board AP District of the Year in 2012 and the National Center on Educational Outcomes featured Val Verde Unified School District in their publication Moving your Numbers for success with Special Education students.

Mr. McCormick recently returned from Washington DC, where he participated as a member of the Riverside County contingent of educators summoned by the White House to a meeting at the U.S. Department of Education. A group of seventy amazing educators were brought together to discuss shared commitments between K-12 school districts, colleges, and universities in preparing all students to obtain living wage jobs.

Mike is a well-respected and sought after speaker, giving presentations both statewide and nationally. He has presented original research the last three years at the California Educational Research Association (CERA) conference. He also presented for the College Board in Los Angeles, California. Most recently Mr. McCormick delivered a presentation at Google focusing on the successful implementation of instructional technology in a K-12 school district. As a result of the popularity of that presentation, Mr. McCormick was invited to participate in three internationally broadcast webinars with the Google Education Team.


Kareem Gongora  –  Vice Chair

Sr. Communications Specialist, Riverside County Human Resources Dept.

Kareem is a lifelong Fontana resident.  Following high school, Kareem spent several years working within education in the Inland Empire, providing supplemental instruction and coordinating after-school programs for at-risk youth.  He went on to spend two (2) years as the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Program Manager at Community Action Partnership of Riverside County, focusing on asset-building strategies to uplift families out of poverty.  He would go on to become an analyst at the County of Riverside Department of Public Social Services providing oversight to county nutrition education programs and launching a $1.4 million countywide collaborative focusing on Medi-Cal outreach as well as enrollment services targeting hard to reach populations.  He has recently become the Senior Communications Specialist for County of Riverside Human Resources Department, managing internal communications for the county’s 22,000 employees.

Kareem received his B.A. degree in English from University of California, Riverside, in 2009 and M.A. in Management from University of Redlands in 2014.  In 2014, Kareem was honored as “Young Leader of the Year” by the Inland Empire Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  In 2015, he was appointed to the San Bernardino County Committee on School District Organization and appointed to the Fontana Planning Commission in 2016. He also sits on the Board of Directors for Operation New Hope, and serves as Vice President for a local civic organization.

Emy Shibukawa – Board Secretary

Human Resource Primerica – Parent of Alumni

Emy is the proud parent of an Operation New Hope alumnus from the Class of 2015 and has been on the ONH Board for almost two years. Mrs. Shibukawa uses her networking and sales experience, which have accumulated over 26 years of working as an Independent Representative with Primerica, to advance ONH’s partnerships with individuals and organizations throughout the community. Mrs. Shibukawa hopes to encourage students’ active involvement in both academic and extracurricular programs to better themselves and their communities alike.

            Dr. James Martinez – Treasurer             

Health Services Research & Evaluation IEHP

Dr. James Martinez teaches part-time at Loma Linda University – School of Public Health. He assists with courses in database design, cartography and GIS applications in public health practice. He is also a Health Services Evaluator at the Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP). There, under the Clinical Research and Analytics manager, he helps support the development, implementation and evaluation of intermediate to moderate levels of complex technical and analytical research and quality improvement projects and efforts at IEHP.James earned a master’s in epidemiology from San Diego State University and a doctoral degree in health education from Columbia University, NY. His life experience and cultural heritage has motivated the challenges to studying disparities in educational attainment and population health-related issues, particularly involving early interventions and the development of preventive programs for youth and underserved populations. In addition to teaching courses at the school of public health, he helps health and educational organizations to integrate data platforms, population health analysis and data infrastructures to support healthcare systems and community health initiatives. He also works on a community lead partnership with local government and community advocacy groups on developing countywide health improvement frameworks, and asset mapping applications to promote networks of healthy communities and real-time community health management platforms for hospital emergency department visits and solutions for preventing readmissions.Prior to joining Loma Linda University Health, James was an epidemiologist with the County of Los Angeles. There, he helped build on the geographical dimensions of health and disease, emphasizing public health issues and spatial analysis to identify the relationships among demographic change, economic development, and population health. He also assisted with the enhancement of the emergency response system by formulating and implementing automated reporting processes, analyzing policy and applications for emergency preparedness and performance based matters. He embraces new technological integration and intervention services, including best practices for handling big data, the Internet and developing effective media materials that are designed to develop awareness, and promote prevention.James has also contributed to his community by mentoring first generation college students, local high schools and troubled children. He has combined these personal qualities with building skills in assessment, analysis, and human services. He is committed to serve his community and has utilized his knowledge and experiences to help educate and lead people toward healthier lives.