Christian Wallis, DHA, MBA, FACHE
Christian is a Navy Veteran with over 27 years of leadership experience in the healthcare field in the private sector, the federal government and international healthcare settings. He holds a doctorate in healthcare administration from Central Michigan University, an MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Arizona. He is also a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. While Christian grew up in Northern California, he started his Navy career in San Diego. He’s excited to return to his home state and give back to the local community.
Amy Abrams, MSW/MPH
Amy holds a joint Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health from San Diego State University, and began her career in aging life care management, supporting people with chronic conditions and their caregivers. For seven years, she directed the education and community outreach programs for Alzheimer’s San Diego, serving as a key member of the nonprofit organization’s leadership team. Recognizing a lifelong passion for connecting people with health information, and the role that public libraries can play in promoting community health, she enrolled in a part-time Master of Library and Information Science program, and is enjoying the continued learning. Amy is a native and lifelong Californian, and spends her free time on long runs, reading, and rooting for the San Diego Padres.
Tom Scaglione, MBA, CPA
Tom has a 32-year career in accounting, finance, executive management, consulting, and education. For the last three years, Tom has offered services, including interim executive and financial management, to special districts through his firm ATS Financial Services. Before that he was an adjunct professor at Palomar College and California State University, San Marcos (CSUSM), and the Assistant General Manager and CFO for the Vallecitos Water District in San Marcos, California. Tom’s professional career started with accounting, tax, and consulting work for public accounting firms in San Diego’s North County. Tom is a CPA, earned a Master of Business Administration degree with an emphasis on government leadership from CSUSM, and his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis on accounting from San Diego State University. In his leisure, Tom enjoys accounting and finance.
Ari Rojas, MPH, CHES
Ari has over 10 years of experience working with non-profit social services agencies in the San Diego County like Chicano Federation, Episcopal Community Services and Neighborhood House Association. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from CSU, Sacramento. In the Fall of 2021, she completed a Master’s degree in Public Health focused in Health Education and Promotion from CSU, San Marcos. Ari is also a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC). She places a huge emphasis on practicing healthy activities such as hiking, running and weight training. One of Ari’s favorite hikes is Kaway Pay located in the Mission Trails Regional Park and her favorite National Park is Yosemite. She is passionate about traveling, seeing new places and eating delicious new food.
Carolyn “Carol” is a student at San Diego State University’s (SDSU) Masters in Accountancy program. She is active in Beta Alpha Psi (BAP), where she serves as President-Elect and VP of Planning and Engagement for Spring 2022 and as President in Fall 2022. Carol earned her B.S. in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution from University of California – San Diego in 2018. She worked as a field biologist and an environmental analyst, but her experience running her own art shop inspired her to switch careers into accounting. She’s honored to be working at GHD as an Accounting Intern. At the District, she assists the CAO with accounting and financial matters. In her free time, Carol enjoys trying new coffee shops, drawing, visiting museums, and playing guitar.
Harman is a Kurdish-American who entered the United States in 1997 at the age of 17 as a refugee. His path throughout his career has been very diverse when it comes to the experiences he brings, from working and providing the US Military combat and cultural training to working in the non-profit sector for an organization that helps and supports youth and families struggling with mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. With a career that spans over 20 years, regardless of role and organization, Harman has always found that he naturally falls in a supporting role. Helping people and organizations implement successful processes, overcome obstacles, and achieve operational success is his main motivator. Harman is an SDSU alum, with a B.S. in Criminal Justice. During his free time, he spends time with his family which consists of his wife and two sons, and lots of soccer games and activities.
Holland Kessinger, MLIS
Holland holds a Masters of Library and Information Science degree and has over 15 years of experience as a professional librarian. Being a solo librarian at MOPA introduced her to all aspects of running a library, and her time at the San Diego Public Library saw her providing a wide variety of library services and programs to a large, diverse community. Her job prior to Herrick Library was as Supervising Librarian at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego Library where she managed daily operations of the Depot Library, supervised staff, and implemented many exciting library programs. Holland enjoys attending the track meets and school theater productions of her two teenagers, and taking care of two fluffy white cats, Gilligan and Skipper. She is an avid reader, loves the ocean and live music, and just recently took up archery.
Justine McQuade, MBA
Justine is an accounting professional with more than 25 years of experience in both the private and public sector. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and her Master’s degree in Business Administration. She began her career at The UPS Store Global Headquarters, where she spent 18 years in accounting and management, including Director of Finance and Revenue Accounting. Justine also served as Controller for a private management company, where she was responsible for the financial operation of 13 golf courses. During the last 11 years, Justine owned and operated an accounting business offering services from bookkeeping to controller needs. Justine enjoys spending quality time with her husband and two daughters and has a passion for travel. She feels honored to be working for GHD and is excited to be part of an organization that focuses on the well-being of the local community.
Kara earned her B.S. in Marketing and minor in Chinese from San Diego State University in 2019. She is originally from Fresno, CA and has lived in the San Diego area for the past 7 years. She began connecting with the local community during university by serving youth campers at the YMCA Mission Valley and tutoring students at the SDSU Writing Center. For the past 3 years, Kara has served older adults in a communications role at nonprofit Alzheimer’s San Diego. Kara is passionate about the arts, animals (especially cats), and trashy reality TV. She strives to leave a positive impact on those around her and enjoys finding new ways to prioritize self-care.
Randi is a San Diego native and was raised in East County. Randi has over 20 years of executive support experience in legal and nonprofit settings. She joined the District in Fall 2021 after several years serving as Executive Assistant for The Salvation Army San Diego Regional Office. At the District, she supports the daily operations within the office, as well as public business on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer, Board of Directors, and the Leadership Team. Randi is passionate about spending time with her family and serving the community through volunteerism, with a focus on making a difference in mental health services.