Moving Forward Together

Our Team

Michael Hopkins, MSW

Chief Executive Officer

Building on the agency’s nearly 100-year history, Michael has led JFS through a wide-reaching, collaborative strategic planning process, Repairing the World: Guiding the Heart & Soul of Jewish Family Service, and a capital campaign resulting in the development of a client-centric JFS campus. Under Michael’s leadership, JFS earned Charity Navigator’s highest four-star rating for the eleventh year in a row, an achievement just 1% of reviewed nonprofits nationwide can claim.

Michael became CEO in January 2012, continuing his 35+ years building and strengthening the Jewish community across the country. Prior to joining JFS, Michael served as Executive Director of Nehirim, a national Jewish LGBT organization, and CEO of Jewish Community Center (JCC) Metrowest, one of the largest JCCs in the country.

Michael holds a Master’s in Social Work from the Yeshiva University Wurzweiler School of Social Work. Locally, he is a member of the new Regional Continuum of Care Council Governance Board, which addresses homelessness in our community.

Dana Toppel, LCSW, MBA

Chief Operating Officer

As Chief Operating Officer, Dana Toppel provides overall leadership for the impact-driven, multi-service organization with the bold vision of building a stronger, healthier, more resilient San Diego. Dana joined JFS in 2009 as director of older adult services, served as the divisional director of clinical services in addition to the chief program officer prior to assuming the role of chief operating officer in 2015.

With almost two decades of experience working with a variety of populations in both direct service and management capacities, Dana has a proven track record of program development, revenue generation, change management and leading strategic, innovative, high-impact organizations. Prior to joining the JFS team, Dana worked as a director, consultant, and therapist for the San Diego LGBT Community Center, University of California at San Diego, and San Diego Youth & Community Services.

Dana is dedicated to advancing equity and participates in local, regional, and national conversations to advance efforts related to inclusive leadership, professional training, and ensuring access to opportunity for all.

In 2016, Dana was recognized as one of San Diego’s “100 Most Influential Leaders”, as an “SD Metro Mover and Shaker”, and by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber as a “79th Assembly District Woman of the Year”. In March of 2019, she was recognized by Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins as a Women’s History Month Honoree.

A native of Madison, Wisconsin, Toppel holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in business administration from San Diego State University. She is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of California.

Bernadette Griggs

Chief Financial Officer

As Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Bernadette oversees the fiscal integrity of JFS and Charitable Adult Rides & Services (CARS). With more than 30 years of experience in finance, primarily in the education sector, Bernadette brings the expertise and a passion for serving the community. She has worked for Grossmont/Cuyamaca Community College District, Southwest Community College District, and the LA County Office of Education. Formerly she was with the Pasadena Unified School District, where she was the Chief Business Officer and was integral in developing the strategic direction and managing the finances of the school district.

Kea Spurrier

Chief Development Officer

Kea sets strategy for and oversees the work of JFS’s Development, Institutional Giving, and Public Affairs teams, which secure nearly $50 Million to support annual operations. Kea has worked in philanthropy for more than 25 years raising funds for education, conservation and the environment. Prior to joining JFS Kea led San Diego Zoo Global’s first comprehensive campaign, raising a total of $532M for conservation projects in 45 countries and two facilities. Kea expanded undergraduate scholarship programs and built a nationwide network of regional chapters for alumni of University of California, San Diego. Kea holds a master’s degree in leadership and nonprofit management from University of San Diego and is a board member for Association of Fundraising Professionals, San Diego.

Staff Directory

If you are a client in need of assistance, please click here to fill out our online contact form or call our JFS Access Line at (858) 637-3210.

To contact JFS Headquarters, call (858) 637-3000. Our fax number is (858) 637-3001.

Click on the staff name to send an email.

Etleva Bejko Director, Refugee & Immigration Services (858) 637-3093
Lisa Bruner Director, Controller (858) 637-3209
Leah L. Chavarria, Esq. Director, Immigration Services (858) 637-3239
Kate Clark, Esq. Senior Director, Immigration Services (858) 637-3359
Paul Corigliano Vice President, Information Technology (858) 637-3398
Ben Coyle Senior Director, Institutional Giving (858) 637-3370
Hedy Dalin Director, Care Management (858) 637-3049
Christine Edwards
Senior Director, Community Impacts (858) 637-3019
Sasha Escue Director, Nutrition Services (858) 637-3060
Ashley Frez Director, SDRRN Supportive Services
Christiana Gauger Senior Director, Nutrition and Aging Care Services (858) 637-7365
Marilyn Greenblatt Director, Transportation (858) 637-7333
Vanessa Hardy Vice President, People & Culture (858) 637-3005
Heather Hocking Director, Community Services (858) 637-3320
Sol Kempinski Director, Philanthropy (858) 637-3207
Kim Lesnau Director, Learning & Development (858) 637-3391
Josh Lipsky Senior Director, Philanthropy (858) 637-3034
John Lowther Director, Safe Parking Program (858) 637-3383
Chris Maeoka Director, Aging Care Services (858) 637-3260
Alyssa Miceli Director, Human Resources (858) 637-3336
Gina Mittal Director, Integrated Services (858) 637-3371
Chris Olsen Chief of Staff, Public Policy & External Affairs (415) 680-5187
Mike Phillips, Esq. Senior Director, Patient Advocacy and Housing Services (858) 637-7302
Becky Ruiz Director, Supportive Housing (760) 656-2220
Shreya Shah Sasaki, M.P.H. Senior Director of Family and Community Services (858) 336-8964
Michael Stern Senior Director, Marketing (858) 637-3048
Autumn Weidman Director, Positive Parenting & Youth Services (858) 637-3021
Carole Yellen Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships (858) 637-3395