Our staff is comprised of diverse professionals who are committed to ending hunger and homelessness for families and individuals in North Orange County. Each staff member brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and compassion to our agency’s mission to provide access to shelter, food, and permanent housing for our community’s most vulnerable residents.
David Gillanders, Jr is the Executive Director of Pathways of Hope. As a North Orange County native and a ten-year veteran in the work of ending homelessness, and most recently working in central county on the intersection between Domestic Violence and homelessness, he returned to his roots in 2017 to lead Pathways of Hope’s efforts to provide food and housing services to our friends, neighbors, and community members experiencing hunger and homelessness. David is a board member of the Fullerton Collaborative, a group of Non-Profits and community members concerned with the well-being of our community, and is also on the Executive Committee of the Family Solutions Collaborative, a group of agencies that focus their work on ending the experience of homelessness for families across Orange County. David is a graduate of Fullerton College, California State University Fullerton (where, along with University of California Irvine, he continues to give back through teaching), and holds a Master of Science from DePaul University. Previous work includes various program and agency leadership roles, including working at Orange County United Way managing investments into anti-poverty programs. David enjoys nothing more than ending homelessness, except spending time with his wife and partner and their two children at their home in Orange. He likes cycling, music, tattoos, and coffee too!
Nishtha holds a Masters in Social Work (MSW) and a Bachelors in Psychology, Honors. She brings with her years of rich experience spanning three countries: India, Canada, and the USA. Nishtha started her career in India with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) where she was part of the National AIDS Control Organization at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. In Canada and in America before joining Pathways of Hope, Nishtha was involved with the domestic violence and homeless shelter work. Nishtha is most fulfilled by helping people grow professionally. Her vision and ability to nurture relationships helps our organization move towards collective impact, long-term solutions and success.
In Nishtha’s words, the best thing about being a part of the leadership team at Pathways of Hope is, “Not only do I get a chance to work with a great group of individuals who are passionate about the cause, but I am working for a dynamic and socially conscious organization that understands needs of the clients, and appreciates and acknowledges employee contributions. I thoroughly enjoy leading a team of subject experts and investing in their professional growth and this organization lets me do just that.”
Mychael received her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. Before joining the team at Pathways in 2015, Mychael served as the Community Business Development Manager at Barnes & Noble in Fullerton. Mychael believes that every single member of our community deserves a roof over their head and food on their table and she is proud to lead the Development Team at Pathways. Mychael enjoys working hard to find the funding and resources necessary to make a tangible, lasting impact on the lives of our neighbors in need. She says, “It is a great pleasure to spend every day working with individuals, businesses, organizations, and faith communities who share Pathways of Hope’s belief that we are always stronger when we work together, and if we work together, we can end hunger and homelessness in North Orange County.”
Mary has over 10 years of experience in the field of social sciences and has worked with people experiencing homelessness, housing instability, substance use disorders, mental health challenges, and disabilities. She has a robust work history in cultivating programs for homeless individuals and families. Mary spent two years working at an access center for single individuals and families in South Central Los Angeles, where she implemented programs involving rapid re-housing, diversion, prevention, and building landlord relationships. Her most recent work was at the winter shelter in San Gabriel Valley region. Mary loves working with people and strives to provide a genuine human connection with every interaction. She believes that the most satisfying aspect of working with vulnerable populations is teaching people preventative measures to sustain their livelihood and dignity through knowledge and community engagement.
Sarah received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from USC in 2016, and prior to that she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from California State University, Long Beach in 2011. After obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree, she began working at Crittenton Services for Children and Families, a group home for at-risk, teenage girls located in Fullerton. Sarah worked as both a Residential Counselor and a Client Liaison during her time there, and quickly fell in love with the helping profession. Three years later, she began her Master’s program at USC and gained a wealth of knowledge and experience that has strengthened her passion for helping others.
All of this lead her to Pathways of Hope, and she is honored to be part of this organization and to have the opportunity to come to work and do what she loves. Being able to see the journey clients take while they are in our programs and watching them strive to achieve self-sufficiency and obtain a permanent home for themselves and their family is what she loves most about her job – seeing the successes, no matter the size, each and every day.
Gary grew up in Fullerton and received his Associate’s Degree from Fullerton College. After working at various jobs through high school, college and beyond, he started a career at the Marriott hotel in Fullerton, where he worked as a Senior Mechanic for 10 years. Eight years ago, Gary brought all of the experience he acquired over the years to Pathways of Hope as the Facilities Manager. His favorite part of being a member of the Pathways leadership team is having the opportunity to help cross-train new employees and to share his knowledge of the organization with them, helping to ensure a smooth-running operation.
Kim grew up in Whittier and attended California High School. After a brief time at Fullerton College, she went to work full-time as an Account Coordinator in the trade-show decorating industry. About 10 years later, Kim chose to be a “stay at home” mom to her 3 children, volunteering in classrooms and holding every PTA position. When her kids were older, she re-joined the work force, first as an Executive Assistant at the Fullerton YMCA, then as a Human Resources Coordinator at the YMCA of Orange County. In 2016, Kim came to Pathways of Hope, and she couldn’t be happier. The thing she likes the best about being a part of the staff leadership at Pathways of Hope is being able to have a hand in all aspects of the operations of the organization and being able to work with every employee in the organization in some capacity.