About Us

We Are Waymakers

Board Officers

Ann Stawicki
Ann Stawicki
President, Burnham Benefits Insurance Services
Joe McCarthy
Vice President, McCarthy Consulting Services
Abril Turner
Secretary, Experian
Tim Sandel
Treasurer, City National Bank

Board Members

Brenda Balsiger
Orange County Business Journal
Isabel Becerra
Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers
Rich Brakke
Brakke-Schafnitz Insurance Brokers
Donny Delfin
Pacific Western Bank
Paul S. Fleck
Board Member
Roxane Fuller
Roxane Fuller
Evans Manufacturing, Inc.
Maria Ghobadi
Deputy District Attorney, LADA
Mike Hamel
Handy Headshot 030216
Robert Handy
Community Volunteer
Drew Harbur
Acuity Eye Group
GK Waymakers
Gutha "GK" Kannan
Mark Larsen
Purus Wealth Management
Dr. Jay Lee
Share Our Selves
Eileen McCoy
Eileen McCoy
Pink Bra Project
James Pike
Lutheran Church of the Resurrection
Barbara Steensland
MAG-TROL Electrical Distributors
Jason Smallwood
Signature Bank
Kris Thordarson
K2 General Contractors
Greg Tippin

Management Team

Ronnetta Johnson
Ronnetta Johnson
Chief Executive Officer
Hether Benjamin
Chief Program Officer, Youth Development Programs
Tiare Escobedo
Chief Operating Officer
Lita Mercado
Chief Program Officer, Victim Assistance Programs
Melinda Ramos
Chief Financial Officer
Carol Carlson
Program Director, Children's Crisis Residential Program
Mariel Cisterino
Kristen Dimeo
Program Director, Juvenile Diversion & GRIP
Nancy Galeana
Program Director, Huntington Beach Youth Shelter
Dan Gleason
Program Director, Project PATH
Jamie Harmon
Program Director, Families First
Michelle Heater
Program Director, Victim Assistance Programs
Isabel Kluwe
Program Director, Huntington Beach Youth Shelter
Richanne Marshall
Program Director, Collaborative Courts Full Service Partnership
Jennifer Reed
Program Director, Victim Assistance Programs
Vanessa Reyna
Vanessa Reyna
Program Director, Victim Assistance Programs
Lisa Samaan
Program Director, Transitional Age Youth Crisis Residential Program
Heather Stoerck Edit
Heather Stoerck
Executive Assistant
Kristin Sur
Program Director, Victim Assistance Programs
Adela Wright, program director
Adela Wright
Program Director, Youthful Offender Wraparound

What We Stand For


We build safer communities by helping individuals make their way through conflict and crisis to a place of strength and stability.


Our vision is a safe community where individuals of all ages reach their highest potential, fostering lasting change and positive impact throughout Orange County.


Waymakers offers individuals, families and communities the steadiest, surest, safest pathways to promising outcomes. To clients, Waymakers is the stable home they never had. Their voice when they’re too fragile to speak. Their alternative to the juvenile justice system. Their path away from gang life, substance abuse and other destructive behavior. And their counseling support at a time of greatest need. Waymakers is their advocate, ally, voice of reason and mentor – the one who walks with them on the razor’s edge. The people of Waymakers are committed to supporting clients on their journeys and fostering lasting change and positive impact throughout Orange County.

Our History


January 1, 1972

Founded (1972)


A University of California, Irvine professor, a few of his students and a Costa Mesa Police Department captain recognized the need to provide diversion counseling for delinquent youth and their families. As pioneers working within local law enforcement agencies, their efforts led to the creation of a new non-profit serving at-risk youth in Orange County.

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January 1, 1978

Making Our Way (1978)


Victim Assistance Programs began as a collaborative project of criminal justice and community professionals. Opening first at the West Justice Center, volunteers and interns provided basic services to alleviate the impact of crime. Currently over 100 victim service professionals provide assistance at locations throughout the County.

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January 1, 1979

Making Our Way (1979)


The Youth Shelter program began in Laguna Beach providing a safe haven for youth at-risk for homelessness or running away from home, those who suffered abuse, and those struggling with mental health issues. Over time, the program expanded services through additional homes in Huntington Beach and Tustin. Each shelter provides comprehensive services in a setting conducive to healing and growth.

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January 1, 1980

Making Our Way (1980's)


The 1980’s saw development of programs such as PATH, Sexual Assault Prevention, and Legal Awareness workshops which demonstrated commitment to creating safe and healthy communities through education, training, and technical assistance.

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January 1, 1990

Making Our Way (1990's)


New projects in the 1990’s focused on providing support to families who were struggling due to violence, crime victimization, drug abuse, and conflict. Dispute Resolution Services and specialized services for victims of homicide and family violence were established during this period.

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January 1, 2000

Making Our Way (2000's)


The turn of the century brought with it mass violence events, realization that human trafficking was a community issue, and needs of youth in trouble with law enforcement who were suffering from mental health issues. Faced with the increasing complexity of needs within Orange County, we worked with long term partners to establish a Community Crisis Response Team, the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force, and wraparound counseling services.  

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January 1, 2017

Making Our Way (2017)


Over our 45-year growth, we have evolved to serve youth, adults and families living in Orange County involved or at-risk of involvement with the justice system by designing and implementing some of the most respected prevention and intervention programs in Southern California. Our vision always focused on helping people make their way, and in 2017, we adopted a name fitting our purpose, promise and potential: Waymakers.

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Our Waymaking Partners

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Now that you have found your WAY, join us and MAKE things happen in Orange County.

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