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The CFILC Staff

Our staff is a richly diverse group of individuals from various backgrounds and experiences. We invite you to learn more about us.

Dan Okenfuss Public Policy Manager

Dan Okenfuss is CFILC's Public Policy Manager. Based in Sacramento, Dan's role is to ensure CFILC’s voice is heard in the halls of the State Capitol.

Dan has an exciting career in public service and was honored to have worked for many distinguished legislators, including current Assembly Member Tim Grayson and former Assembly Members Susan Bonilla, Jared Huffman, Ted Lieu, and Dario Frommer. Dan has also worked for former State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones and served on the department’s Disability Advisory Council.

Before moving to California, Dan worked in Washington, D.C. for U.S. Congressman David Mann, and later for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and State Net. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Dan attended college nearby at the University of Dayton (“Go Flyers!”).

Outside of CFILC, Dan is a board member for Little People of America - a nonprofit organization for people with dwarfism. In his spare time, Dan also loves to play golf, swim, ride bicycles, and even brew beer. Dan lives in Sacramento with his wife, two sons, and two dogs.

Contact Dan through our contact form
Karla Leon Program Coordinator

Karla Leon is a CFILC Program Coordinator. Karla joined the CFILC team in July 2022. Karla's role is to provide cross-programmatic support of Disability Disaster Access and Resources (DDAR) Digital Access Project (DAP), Ability Tools (AT), and any other areas in need.

Karla has worked for a variety of different companies, closely working with our community. Her Latin roots have taught her the importance of hard work and compassion. She is super excited to work for the community and bring her knowledge of marketing and administration to CFILC.

Contact Karla through our contact form
Megan Cowdell Deputy Director

Megan is the Deputy Director at CFILC. She joined the team in February 2015, and has held several positions in her time here. Megan loves working in the Disability rights movement and is grateful to see the real impacts of the work we do at CFILC in our community. She loves the popular Disability rights slogan “Nothing about us without us” and does her best to ensure everyone is included when making decisions.

At CFILC, Megan works to support our team behind the scenes to help ensure all our statewide programs run efficiently and make an impact in our community. She is honored to be able to work closely with CFILC’s talented team to help advance independence for the Disability community. Megan has several mental health disabilities, including borderline personality disorder, major depression, and anxiety. She is grateful to work in a community where our Disabilities are embraced and is passionate about dispelling the social stigmas associated with mental health Disabilities.

In her free time, Megan volunteers with Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue – helping parrots in Northern California find their forever homes. She happily shares her San Francisco home with an ever-growing flock of adopted and foster birds (currently at 5!), 4 cats, and three koi fish. Megan is also an avid reader, traveler, cross-stitcher, and is currently on the search for the best pizza in SF.

Contact Megan through our contact form
Victor Mendoza Program Coordinator

Victor joined CFILC in July 2021. As Program Coordinator, Victor's role is to provide information and referrals to individuals who contact the Digital Access Project (DAP) and Ability Tools (AT) programs.

Victor was born in San Clemente, CA, and moved to Sacramento in 2017 to pursue his education. Victor attended CSU Sacramento and received his bachelor’s degree in Sociology. "Sociology made me aware of social issues that affect minority groups which made me step out of my comfort zone and become an advocate for people who are disproportionately affected by social, and political issues," said Victor.

In his free time, Victor enjoys reading about history, writing poetry, and cooking.

Contact Victor through our contact form
Robert Hand Interim Executive Director

Robert "Bob" Hand is CFILC's Interim Executive Director.

Robert has a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. He is the President of Robert Hand Consulting, providing consulting and training to nonprofits and government agencies across the United States and internationally.

Robert has worked in the community services and advocacy field for over fifty years. He was the Executive Director of RICV in Fresno for 12 years, and acted as the interim executive director at CIL Berkeley and at ILCKC in Bakersfield. Bob has consulted with and provided training for 16 ILCs in California, as well as ILCs, SILCs and state associations across the U.S. Bob has also done training and consulting in Korea and Dubai.

He lives in Coarsegold with his wife Jean, and has a daughter and grandkids in Iowa, and a son in Oakland.

Contact Robert through our contact form
Jessica Riestra Statewide Youth Organizer

Jessica Riestra joins CFILC as the Statewide Youth Organizer. Her role is to support disabled youth (16-28) to be educated, connect with one another, and to organize for their rights to be heard. Jessica has history in organizing. Prior to CFILC, Jessica was a Regional Organizing Director for March for Our Lives in which she oversaw the West Coast Region. She additionally has history with campaigning having worked for the California Democratic Party.

Jessica was born and raised in Santa Ana, California, and attended Sacramento State University in Sacramento, California, where she earned two degrees in Political Science and Ethnic Studies with a concentration in Chicanx Studies. Jessica loves working in the nonprofit realm and contributing back to her community. Moreover, she is stoked to make a positive impact within the CFILC community.

In her spare time, Jessica enjoys dancing, hiking, traveling, and learning new languages.

Contact Jessica through our contact form
Alyson Feldmeir Disability Disaster Access and Resources Manager

Alyson "Aly" Feldmeir joined the CFILC team as the Disability Disaster Access & Resources Manager in May of 2022. Her role is to support the DDAR programs.

Aly was raised in Encinitas, CA and attended California State University, Chico (CSUC). She obtained a bachelors in Political Science: Legal Studies and her paralegal certification. She spent time as an undergraduate providing free legal services in both family and disability law. She later went on to earn her certification as a Domestic Violence Crisis Counselor and volunteer at her local shelter. When her community of Butte County became impacted by the Campfire in 2018, Aly joined United Way as their Disaster Program Specialist to provide direct services and to manage disaster programs rooted in mental health and long term recovery. As her surrounding communities experienced more devastating wildfires, Aly’s role regionalized within the Northern California footprint. She has assisted thousands of households by providing disaster services from the preparation and relief phase, all the way to long term recovery, while leaning in to addressing barriers that impact minority groups and their experience of disaster resiliency.

Aly considers herself, first and foremost, to be a public servant; and she is an advocate for providing equitable services for marginalized communities. She is thrilled to continue her work with CFILC and is excited for new opportunities to provide impactful supportive services.

In Aly’s free time, she enjoys gardening and collecting houseplants. As well as hiking and exploring California’s national forests with her partner and two dogs.

Contact Alyson through our contact form
Chania Brodie Operations Manager

Chania Brodie, Operations Manager, is the newest addition to the CFILC team.

Chania has served the board and committees of the California Association of Area Agencies on Aging (C4A) since May of 2013, starting as Executive Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director and is currently an Executive Associate to the board and committee(s). Prior to C4A, Chania worked in the Bishop's Office of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California supporting the program managers for five separate diocesan programs. Chania has been in the Capitol over a number of years and has worked for and within large corporations to small family-owned businesses.

In May 2020, Chania received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology, and has plans to obtain her Master's soon.

Chania loves to travel, learn the history of other cultures, and is fascinated with high-tech.

Contact Chania through our contact form
Lisa Austin Disability Disaster Access and Resources Assistant Manager

Lisa Austin is the Disability Disaster Access and Resources Assistant Manager for CFILC.

Lisa was born in Pittsburgh, PA and moved to Walnut Creek, CA in 1974 where she spent the remainder of her childhood and early adulthood. Lisa attended college at California State University Hayward studying Human Development, specializing in Early Childhood Education. Her passion to have a positive influence and be an advocate for young children, Lisa's professional career started in the childcare industry. She was introduced to the meeting planning profession in 1999. She enjoys the excitement of meeting new people, traveling around the country and using her skills to create and support many successful events. She has previously worked in the non-profit industry with California Peace Officers Association and The California Pharmacists Association.

Growing up, most of Lisa's time was spent competing in sports such as tennis, swimming, soccer and softball. At the collegiate level, she competed in soccer and softball. As a team captain and starting goalkeeper she finished her competitive career by winning the Division II, NCAA Soccer Championship. She enjoys the outdoors, photography, spending time with friends, and traveling. Her biggest joy is spending with her family most importantly her 4 nieces and 3 nephews.

Contact Lisa through our contact form
Phil Thompson Administrative & Accounting Director

Phil Thompson, Administrative and Accounting Director first worked at CFILC in 2005 and officially joined the CFILC staff in 2006.

Phil has over 20 years of experience in both accounting and business management. Phil's prior experience includes Real Estate / Hotel Property Management, Restaurant Management and State & Federal Tax preparation.

Contact Phil through our contact form
Kathrine Crowley Program Manager

Kathrine is the Program Manager for CFILC. Her role is to raise public awareness about access to AT and provide technical assistance and training to Independent Living Centers and community members to improve programs and ultimately outcomes for our consumers who use AT.

Kathrine attended University of California, Davis (UCD) and obtained bachelor's degrees in anthropology and English with a minor in psychology. Before attending UCD, her early life and career was spent participating and advocating with the Disability community. At UCD, she was able to continue her passion by participating in various activities impacting marginalized communities. She studied and interviewed a wide scope of groups, ultimately studying abroad in Ecuador. She lived with indigenous communities and learned about their struggle for autonomy in the wake of government and corporate attempts to strip and mine their lands. This experience taught her much about the strength of community organizing and what a collection of determined individuals can accomplish together.

Kathrine enjoys traveling, with the goal of visiting all seven continents in order to beat her father's record of having visited six. She enjoys hiking, white water rafting, swimming, reading, solving puzzles and playing board games with her husband, sisters and nephew. She and her husband have adapted many of their board games in order to make family game night a seamlessly accessible event for her sister Becka, who has Down syndrome.

Learn more about the Ability Tools program.

Contact Kathrine through our contact form