Big Brothers Big Sisters staff is a compassionate and dedicated group of individuals, willing to do whatever it takes to help change children’s lives for the better.
Leading us in the right direction
Lorie Zapf – President & CEO
Lorie brings more than 30 years of leadership experience from the private, non-profit and public sectors. Her diverse career began as a broadcast journalist in radio and television and includes management and executive level positions in public relations and media, non-profit work, founding and operating a successful natural food company that she helped grow to national distribution, and most recently as a two-term city councilmember. As a former foster youth whose mother suffered from mental illness and alcoholism, Lorie has spent her adult life volunteering for organizations that help vulnerable youth. As a councilmember, she increased awareness and resources for mental health, foster youth, juvenile sex trafficking, and early childhood literacy. Lorie earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism from Cal State Northridge and her Master’s Degree in Applied Communications from the University of Denver. Lorie and her husband Eric live in Clairemont, where they raised their two daughters, now 18 and 20 years old.
(858) 746-9151 LorieZ@sdbigs.org
Tina Rose – Chief Operating Officer
A San Diego native, Tina has more than two decades of experience in the non-profit sector, with a focus on youth serving organizations. Tina independently opened a Foster and Adoption branch office in San Diego, and then conducted all facets of the marketing, certification/training and office management as the office grew. In 2004, she began her career with Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County. Tina started working in the Program Department, then in 2005 became the Marketing Director, in 2015 the Director of Marketing & Events and in 2017 the Vice President of Operations. Tina works diligently with the BBBS Board and the greater community to build awareness of the need for more mentors and funding to support the life-changing programs offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters. Tina graduated summa cum laude from Vanguard University and was a scholar athlete, playing four years of collegiate volleyball. Tina is an active mentor and community volunteer. She supports various causes, such as the Sharp Mary Birch Hospital NICU, Voices for Children CASA program, Miracle Babies, The American Cancer Society and Flood Church.
(858) 746-9117 TinaR@SDBigs.org
Claudia Aldana Robles – Director of Community Mentoring Programs
Claudia Aldana Robles is Director of Community Mentoring (CM) Programs at Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County and joined the team in 2006. She has served in a variety of roles, including working directly with families and volunteers, cultivating partnerships within the community and developing special programs. She helped create and launch the Hermandad initiative and spearheaded several grant-funded projects. Prior to joining the team, Claudia began her career working with child victims of abuse, neglect and abandonment. In her current role, she provides support, guidance, and leadership to the CM Program department. She ensures that all CM programs and initiatives comply with local and national standards. Claudia holds a B.A. in Sociology and Education from the University of California, Berkeley.
Mae Briseno – Program Manager of Match Support & Special Initiatives
Mae began her career with Big Brothers Big Sisters in June of 2007 as the Amachi Match Support Specialist, where she served children of incarcerated parents. She has had varying roles since then as an Enrollment and Matching Specialist, Lead Match Support Specialist and currently as the Program Manager of Match Support and Special Initiatives. Mae has studied abroad in France and has experience working with youth around the globe in countries such as Japan, Ecuador and Mexico. She’s conducted field research in Oaxaca, Tijuana and La Paz. She has an extensive background of over a decade practicing her education and training with the children of vulnerable populations. Mae holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Boston University and a Master’s Degree in Latin American studies with concentrations in both Cultural Anthropology and Religion from San Diego State University.
Talia Hazard – Director of Donor Engagement
Talia came to Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County in May of 2015 and brought with her a decade of non-profit experience. Joining us from Los Angeles, Talia worked for an international educational organization for several years, and previous to that, worked in marketing and recruitment for Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of LA. Talia holds an MBA with a focus on Social Enterprise from Pepperdine University in Malibu and attended UCLA for her Bachelors degree.
(858) 746-9116 TaliaH@sdbigs.org
Kelly Jensen – Director of Site-Based Mentoring
Kelly has an extensive background in youth services and education. She started her career working with youth in foster care and the juvenile justice system in Washington State, and has since served as a care coordinator at a nonprofit children’s hospital, as an outreach counselor with public schools in Sacramento, and as an employment specialist for refugees in San Diego. Kelly started with Big Brothers Big Sisters in 2015 as a Match Support Specialist for the Beyond School Walls Program, and she now oversees all site-based mentoring programs. Kelly holds two Associate Degrees from Tacoma Community College, a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Washington, and a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of San Diego. She also has several certifications in physical education, teaching, and Spanish. Kelly is passionate about advocating for youth and underserved populations, health and wellbeing, and participating in cross-cultural and international learning opportunities.
Mariela Nuza Cohen – Senior Program Manager
Mariela started her career with Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County in July of 2007 as part of the Marketing Department. In 2012, she became a Program Manager and shortly after a Senior Program Manager, overseeing the enrollment and matching of all volunteers and children across the Community Mentoring programs. Mariela holds a B.A in International Business with an emphasis in Management and Spanish from San Diego State University and has studied abroad in countries like Mexico, Chile and Spain. She also served on the Board of a local non-profit, Amigos de las Americas from 2011-2015.
Edith Sanchez-Cruz – Community Outreach Senior Manager
Edith learned about BBBS when she was a Little Sister, during middle school, and experienced first-hand the positive impact a Big Sister can have. Edith began her career at BBBS in 2008 and in February 2019 ascended to the role of Community Outreach Senior Manager, having had the benefit of prior experience serving in several key programmatic roles within the agency. She was crucial in the development and launch of our Community Mentoring initiatives, such as Bigs in Blue, AYANA, and Hand in Hand and provided support to the program enhancements: Healthy Futures and Big Futures. In her current role, Edith oversees the recruitment efforts for our Community Mentoring program and the growing of our recently expanded Bigs with Badges program. Edith holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies from California State University San Marcos. She is committed to creating opportunities for youth through her volunteerism throughout San Diego and serves as a volunteer for College Area Pregnancy Services (CAPS).
Mary Tucci – Facilities & Administration Manager
Mary joined Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County in November of 2007 with over 25 years of experience in administrative management. As Facilities and Administration Manager, Mary is responsible for board of directors administration, human resource administration and recordkeeping, IT and facilities management. Prior experience includes working as data control manager for a government funded research program at USC School of Medicine and over 10 years in the environmental management industry in Long Beach and San Diego. Prior to joining BBBS, she worked as sales administrator and price program manager for Karl Strauss Brewing Company. Mary attended Long Beach City College, lives in Point Loma, enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family in San Diego and Colorado.
(858) 746-9154 MaryT@SDBigs.org