Our team has diverse skills and backgrounds but the same passion – helping Saranam families succeed.
Saranam has benefitted from Tracy’s leadership and vision since its inception in 2004. She oversees all program activities, our strategy, fundraising, and our west side expansion project. Tracy has decades of experience working with homeless populations and is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a master’s degree in counseling psychology. Tracy enjoys the outdoors, traveling, and laughing with her three daughters.
Darren’s experience as a Peace Corps volunteer, award-winning grant maker, and as a successful leader of several national foundations serves him well as he ensures everything runs smoothly at Saranam. He has a master’s degree in nonprofit management from the New School for Social Research in New York City. Darren enjoys taco night with his family, campouts with his daughter, talking politics, and learning woodworking.
Dianne is responsible for fundraising at Saranam. She’s dedicated her career to fundraising for organizations whose missions align with her commitment to educational empowerment, children, and families. Dianne values the diversity and culture in New Mexico and has never met a stranger. She enjoys walks in the bosque with her husband, son, and two Airedales.
Jennifer helps Saranam families meet their goals and learn new strategies to manage daily challenges. She also ensures they have what they need for their households and education. During her career Jennifer has worked with adoptive families and counseled emotionally disturbed adolescents. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s in counseling from Webster University.
Ian supports our team of instructors and designs and manages quality educational pathways for Saranam families. As an educator for more than 15 years, Ian has a wide range of experience including tutoring, supplemental instruction, math and science curriculum development and teaching, and working with ESL students. Ian has a bachelor’s in fine arts from UNM.
Ellen tracks client data and Saranam’s measures of success to demonstrate the effectiveness of our program. She has a bachelor’s in computer science, an MBA in information systems, and more than twenty years of experience in software development, software testing, and project management.
Judy Paz Espinoza
Jupa works closely with families as our case manager, helping them set and achieve goals that will enable them to achieve self-sufficiency. She was born and raised in Valparaiso, Chile, where she earned her bachelors degree from UPLA University and worked as an English teacher before moving to the United States. She is trained in trauma informed care and has many years of experience as a bilingual case manager for survivors of sexual violence and human trafficking. Outside of work, she loves to travel and spend quality time with her loved ones.
Danette coordinates Saranam’s family and community activities. Working closely with volunteers, she designs fun and engaging lessons to help families develop supportive relationships and learn crucial life skills. She has 25 years of experience in education and community building and holds a bachelor’s degree in human services specializing in Native American community counseling. She is a proud member of the Oglala Lakota Sioux tribe and she enjoys passing on her heritage and love of learning to her children and grandchildren.
Rachel has a master’s degree in social work from New Mexico Highlands University and a financial coaching certification from Ramsey Solutions. She has worked in a variety of human service roles, most recently helping newly-arrived refugee families navigate complex educational systems and adjust to life in Albuquerque. Rachel loves using her experience to help Saranam alumni stay connected and continue their progress after exiting the program.
Jen started at Saranam as a volunteer. Her passion for the work led her role as our Housing Coordinator. She ensures each family has a safe, furnished, decorated home. She oversees our donation warehouse and manages supply distribution to our families. Jen worked for 20 years as a corporate trainer, instructional designer, and manager of learning and development before retiring in 2014 to start a family.
Before moving to the United States from Ukraine, Olga was a professor of metallography at the State Metallurgical Academy of the Ukraine. She was a senior process engineer at Intel for 15 years and worked at the New Mexico Material Laboratory for one year before retiring in 2016. Olga joined Saranam as an Intel Encore Fellow to develop systems for building organizational infrastructure. Today, she manages tasks that help our organization run efficiently.
Julie has been Saranam’s bookkeeper since 2005. In that time, she has seen many success stories unfold and is so excited to see these families thriving in the community she’s called home for 20 years. Julie holds a bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Arizona and enjoys knitting, the outdoors, and spending time with her family.
Sunny coordinates marketing and volunteer activities at Saranam. She has a master’s degree in political science from UNM and has spent over a decade in the New Mexico nonprofit sector working in fundraising, community outreach and more to help the people of her home state. She loves to use her skills to tell the Saranam story and engage the community in support of our families.
Saranam 2021 Board of Directors
We’re proud to have a group of accomplished community leaders guiding our work.
Tom Frock – Chair
Sandia National Laboratories
William Keleher – Vice-Chair
Smidt, Reist & Keleher
Pat Renken – Secretary
Retired, Albuquerque Public Schools
DaVita Medical Group
Mary Ellen Coon
ADC LTD NM
Rev. Ross Whiteaker
Senior Pastor, Central United Methodist Church
Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of New Mexico
Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation
Sandia National Laboratories
Yudima Valdes-Mesa, RN