Our Mission | Who We Are | What We Do | Staff | Board of Directors


Our Mission

To promote social and economic success in our community by providing education, mobilizing resources and advocating for change.

Who We Are

The Family Resource Center of Truckee (FRCoT) was conceived in August 2001 by a group of public and private agencies, community parents and advocates for the underserved populations in the Truckee area. Our mission is to promote social and economic success by providing education, mobilizing resources and advocating for change. We are a one-stop resource center for underserved families and individuals in our community — providing concrete support and safety-net services in times of need. All programs build on family strengths and are delivered through strategies of prevention, education, support and networking in collaboration with other resources and partner agencies. By working with a large range of community partners, the FRCoT is able to leverage in-kind and direct services without duplicating valuable resources.

What We Do

Our Family Resource Center serves more than 1,000 families each year through four core program areas:

Family Advocacy:
This program provides case management and referrals related to housing, employment, health, wellness, youth support and family-oriented events.

Tahoe-Truckee Mediation & Legal Assistance:
This program provides mediation and limited scope legal services in the following areas:

  • Family Law
  • Landlord-Tenant Law
  • Employment Law
  • Small Claims
  • Immigration referrals & DACA application assistance

Early Learning & Parent Support:
This program offers classes, workshops and free weekly programming to support and educate parents and caregivers, with particular emphasis on facilitating the development of peer networks within our rural, geographically isolated community.

Promotora Health Outreach:
Our team of contract Promotoras offer workshops, one-on-one consultations and referrals to Spanish-speaking community members on mental health, exercise, nutrition, patient responsibility, health care, breast health, health literacy and Chronic Disease Self-Management (Tomando Control de su Salud).

Vehicles for Change Volumes I & II describe the field of Family Strengthening and the role of Family Resource Centers in healthy communities.

Staff

Elizabeth Balmin – Program Director, Mediation & Legal Assistance
Elizabeth was born in Odessa, Ukraine. She moved to San Diego, California with her family when she was 6 years old. Her family’s experience has instilled in her a lifelong interest in social justice, including helping new immigrants succeed in the United States. Also, she loves practicing her Russian! Elizabeth has been part of the Family Resource Center of Truckee since 2006. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley and her law degree from the University of California Hastings in San Francisco. She also completed intensive mediation trainings with the Center for Mediation in Law at Green Gulch, Marin County and the East Bay Mediation Center. Before law school, Elizabeth instructed skiing, led backpacking trips for teens, and taught gardening to kids. She loves living in the Tahoe area for the skiing, exploring and community. Contact Elizabeth – elizabeth@truckeefrc.org

Teresa Crimmens – Executive Director
Teresa brings more than a decade of experience in working with non-profit organizations. Born and raised in Chicago, Teresa earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology & Environmental Studies from Fordham University in 2002 and a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University in 2003. She has worked for and with dozens of non-profit organizations in The Bronx and Tahoe/Truckee and now resides on Lake Tahoe’s North Shore with her husband and daughter. Teresa says, “I am so grateful for the opportunity to work for the FRC, which makes positive change in our community every day.” Contact Teresa – teresa@truckeefrc.org

Elvia Esparza – Office Manager
Elvia was born here in Truckee, along with her twin sister Estela Iniguez. She also has four brothers, two of whom are twins — yes, two sets of twins in her family! Elvia says her poor mother is such an incredible lady and her daddy, whom she misses very much, is now in heaven free from pain and suffering. Elvia is married to her wonderful husband, Jose, and they have an incredible son named Ivan, who was born in April 2009, and beautiful baby girl, Vanessa Sofia, who was born in April 2012. Elvia worked for Nevada County from 1998-2003 and although she loved her job and working with people, left to move with her husband in 2003. Elvia came back to Truckee and worked at Plumas Bank until she had her son, Ivan. Elvia started working at the FRCoT in February 2010. Elvia really loves working here and says being able to help our clients is awesome. Elvia hopes to be able to serve the Truckee community in many ways so that she can make a difference like her brother, Officer Arnie, has done and hopes to be here as long as she can! Contact Elvia – elvia@truckeefrc.org

Brian Gonsalves – Managing Attorney, Mediation & Legal Assistance
Brian is an attorney in Kings Beach practicing primarily in the areas of real estate, civil litigation, and business services. He received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1995 and his law degree from the University of Hawaii School of Law in 2005. While in law school, he volunteered with the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii and earned a CALI Award in Real Estate Development and Finance, the Ruddy F. Tong Memorial Award, and a grant from the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. Brian is a member of the Tahoe Truckee Bar Association, is admitted to practice in Nevada and California, and is a former board member of the Young Lawyers Section of the Nevada State Bar. Brian also currently serves on the Board of Directors of Tahoe SAFE Alliance. Contact Brian – brian@truckeefrc.org

Ana Guerrero – Administrative Assistant
Photo & Bio Coming Soon
Contact Ana – Ana@truckeefrc.org

Maggie Hargrave – Program Coordinator,   Family Advocacy & Promotoras
Maggie is from Syracuse, NY. Her college years were spent at Fordham University in New York City, where she studied Anthropology and Comparative Literature. After college, Maggie moved to El Salvador to work for La Casa de la Solidaridad. Working and living in El Salvador was a wonderful and formative experience. Maggie then moved to explore the more southern reaches of Sucre, Bolivia. In Sucre, she worked on a grant studying Quechua culture, migration, and ritual healing. After a couple of years of life in the Andes Mountains, Maggie moved home to Syracuse, NY. In time, she settled into a job working in Refugee Resettlement. The world was opened wide for her in Upstate, NY as she experienced Iraqi, Afghani, Congolese, Burmese, Bhutanese, and Cuban
cultures. It was a wonderful experience to help welcome newly arriving families to the United States. Unfortunate cuts to the Refugee Program sent Maggie to a new job working in homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing for an HPRP and Housing Program. The opportunity to move to Truckee presented itself and Maggie heeded the call of the mountains, wanting to learn more about another part of the world. Truckee is a beautiful place and a beautiful community; Maggie says she is grateful to be here! Contact Maggie – maggie@truckeefrc.org

Nayeli Iniguez – Family Advocate

Nayeli was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco and moved to Truckee at the age of five. She attended school in the Tahoe area and graduated with her high school diploma from Forest Charter School in 2011. Nayeli is the mother of three boys, named Peter, Alex and Jayden, who all love the outdoors and being active – keeping her very busy. Nayeli has grown to love the mountains and life in a small town, so she is not expecting to move away from Tahoe! Nayeli previously worked at a local Truckee hardware store, Mountain Hardware and Sports, from 2009 to 2011. She began working for the Family resource Center of Truckee in June 2014. Nayeli says growing up in Truckee has motivated her to make a positive impact and difference in the community. Therefore, she strives to support the needs of the community and each individual community member. Nayeli believes she is very fortunate to be a part of the Family Resource Center of Truckee and do what she loves the most – to help others. Contact Nayeli – Nayeli@truckeefrc.org

Melina Sanchez – Family Advocate
Born in Los Angeles, Melina grew up all across the United States. She lived in Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Arizona, and Mexico, before settling in Truckee in 2001. She’s not a fan of the snow, but the beautiful summers and tight-knit community are what keep her here. Melina is a very busy woman – she is a full-time student at Sierra College and mother of four boys Devin, Dante, Damian, and Dezmen. Her passion is to strive for a better future and community. She is elated to join the FRCoT as a Family Advocate!

 

Andrew Tarca – Family Advocate
Andrew is originally from Massachusetts. He studied Sociology at the University of Connecticut where he graduated in 2010. Andrew spent his summers during college exploring the outdoors of Mt Hood in Oregon. After graduating from UConn, Andrew followed his passion for the mountains to Truckee and stayed because of the community. Local community is very important to Andrew and he enjoys being able to contribute to the Truckee/North Lake Tahoe community as a Family Advocate at the FRCoT and as a resident. When he is not at the FRCoT he can be found outside riding his skis or mountain bike throughout the Sierras. Andrew says “It is a privilege to wake up every day in a place that has such a unique culture and has a lifetime of terrain to explore and play in.” Contact Andrew –Andrew@truckeefrc.org

 

Chelcee Thomas – Program Director,    Family Advocacy & Education
Originally from South Lake Tahoe, Chelcee is an area native. Her passion for social justice began at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where she completed a degree in Social Sciences. From there, Chelcee combined her love for travel and learning while interning for a non-profit agency in a rural Indian village, supporting grassroots community development. She went on to dedicate a year of national service through an AmeriCorps program, City Year, in Seattle, WA. Chelcee worked with middle school-aged youth in an alternative suspension program that provided integrated support for at-risk youth. Chelcee then received her Master of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Colorado, Denver, with an emphasis in criminology, education, and program development. Chelcee recently found her roots back in the Tahoe area and now calls Truckee home. As FRCoT Program Director, she hopes to provide integrated solutions to complex community issues. Chelcee is grateful for the opportunity to both live and work in Truckee, while supporting the positive growth of the community. Contact Chelcee –Chelcee@truckeefrc.org

Board of Directors

Board of Directors Resource Page (Private)

Carmen Carr – Chair
Carmen, originally from Germany, has enjoyed the seasons of our beautiful mountain community since 1986. Carmen sells real estate in Truckee, the North & West shore of Lake Tahoe as well as Donner Summit.  As a local resident, she is grateful for the abundance of opportunity this stunning area has to offer.  She enjoys her involvement in our wonderful local community, from being the president at Jibboomstreet Toastmasters to the founder of Mountain High BNI and sitting on the board at the FRCoT.  To her giving back to the community is rewarding and contributes to the success of our town. Affiliations: Tahoe Sierra Board of Realtors, President of Mountain HIGH BNI Networking Group, and Area 25 Governor of Division B of Toastmasters International.

Regina Wise – Treasurer

Photo & bio coming soon!

Kurt Althof

Kurt received his undergraduate degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing from Cal State Humboldt and immediately moved to Tahoe to pursue a career in the resort and tourism industry.  After more than a decade working in tourism he went back to school and received a MBA from the University of Nevada at Reno.  Most of his professional career has been focused in marketing, public relations and sales for various industries and is currently a management analyst at the Tahoe City Public Utility District.  He loves the Truckee Community and all the outdoor recreation and beauty the Truckee/Tahoe area offers.  Kurt spends his free time skiing, boating, biking and generally playing with his family (wife and two sons) as much as possible.

Emily Battaglia

Emily Hogan Battaglia was born in Reno and grew up in Woodland, California. In 1995, she graduated with honors from Boston College with a B.A. in Philosophy. For several years, she lived in Boston and New York working in the finance industry before re-locating back to Northern California. Since 2005, Emily has worked in the non-profit social services sector. Since 2009, Emily has been the State-level Programs Director for Catholic Charities of California. She has extensive experience with social services programs, including grant and proposal writing, contract management, and program design, oversight, and evaluation. Emily moved with her family to Truckee in the summer of 2016, fulfilling a lifelong dream of returning to living in the Sierras. Emily is active in Truckee’s UMC Church of the Mountains, and her favorite local activities are hiking, swimming, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Patti Conk
Patti graduated from The College of St. Elizabeth with a BA in Religious Studies and MA in Theology. She worked for 25 years for the Montclair Board of Education, and served as Assistant to the Athletic Director. Patti has lived in Truckee for the past 3 1/2 years.

 

Lauren Schaake – Hudson

Photo & bio coming soon!

Georgia Smith 
Photo & bio coming soon!

Nicole Todd Bailey
Nicole brings a wide range of leadership and intercultural experience spanning from her time as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa to her role managing the Worldwide Employee Development team at Apple, Inc.  She currently serves as a Board Director for Child Family Health International in San Francisco, and the Martis Camp Community Foundation.  Prior to moving to Tahoe in late 2013, she provided organizational consulting services to corporate and non-profit clients in the Bay Area.  She received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University in Chicago and her MBA from The American Graduate School of International Management in Geneva.  Nicole and her husband Eric have two adopted children – their daughter Amara from Ethiopia and their son Kai from the Marshall Islands.

 

Grant Sacks
Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Grant graduated from the University of South Africa in Cape Town with a BA in Business Economics in 1999 and went on to obtain an Associate’s degree in Design from Cape Town College in 2001.  After receiving his education, Grant travelled the world for 4 years, setting up base in Australia, Spain, United Kingdom and the Netherlands.  Grant went on to spend a year in Lake Tahoe and then settle in San Francisco.  He began work as a Program Manager for AmerisourceBergen, leading four key accounts for their oncology and HIV markets.  He went on to New Hampshire for 9 months to introduce his children to their grandparents and then on to Denver, Colorado.  After 3 years in Denver, Grant and his family could no longer avoid the pull of Tahoe and all it has to offer.  They settled back into Truckee and have lived happily ever since.  Grant enjoys trail running and mountain biking in summer and skiing in winter.

Honorary Board
Richard Anderson
Rosa Davis
Reini Jensen
John Mon Pere
Ted Owens
Helen Cavanaugh

As per the FRCoT by-laws, the Board of Director’s shall have a minimum of five (5) directors, with the ability to seat up to fifteen (15) directors. The BOD may also designate honorary “non-voting” directors.  Each director shall hold office for a period of two or three years and until his or her successor is elected and qualifies.  Each director may extend his or her term for another two-year period with the vote of the Board of Directors.  The BOD meets monthly (12) with additional fundraising meetings and a yearly retreat.