Pomona Hope


In addition to a growing community of volunteers and financial supporters, Pomona Hope is led by an Governing Board of Directors and Executive Director. Our staff members give of their time, energy and expertise completing important organizational responsibilities.


Jeff Johannsen

Executive Director

Jeff Johannsen joined the Pomona Hope staff as Youth Coordinator in 2012. Before joining the team at Pomona Hope, he spent six years on staff at KidWorks, an After-School Program located in central Santa Ana. In addition, he served on the Pomona Hope board from 2010-2012. He lives with his wife and two children in the city of Pomona. Jeff holds a B.A. in Management Engineering from Claremont McKenna College, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Irvine.

Liz Hawisher

Program Director

Liz Hawisher received her BA in Social Science and Political Science in 2007 from Azusa Pacific University. While in college, between 2003 and 2006, Liz worked for Disneyland until she left to go on her first mission trip to Providence Children’s Home, an AIDS orphanage in Ngong, Kenya. Since then, she has returned to Providence Children’s home three times. Her experience in Kenya motivated Liz to pursue multiple opportunities to engage in ministry. Starting in 2006, Liz began volunteering in Pomona Hope’s one-on-one tutoring/mentoring program. After college, Liz became a substitute teacher and in-home tutor under the No Child Left Behind Act. During this time, Liz also received additional training in community organizing from OneLA in Los Angeles, CA. After a year of working as a tutor/teacher, Liz went Claremont Graduate University to earn her MA in Public Policy, with emphases in Local Economic Development and Nonprofit Leadership & Management. She has written, received and managed grants worth over $100,000 during her internship with the Public Works Department in the City of Sierra Madre. Her involvement with Pomona Hope has increased and evolved over the years; after beginning to volunteer once weekly, Liz joined the LaVerne Heights Presbyterian Church’s ministry group, responsible for volunteer appreciation and the annual fundraiser dinner. Soon thereafter, she became the volunteer coordinator for Pomona Hope to her church. This position has given her continued experience in volunteer coordination and training, intensive mentoring of at-risk youth, leadership development, event coordination and fundraising. Liz joined the Pomona Hope staff as the Kids Coordinator in 2012.

Nora Codina

Outreach Director

Nora Codina is a long time Pomona resident and a past Pomona Hope parent.  Prior to joining Pomona Hope staff, Nora dedicated herself to her family.  Throughout the years, Nora has held various professional positions which include paralegal, realtor, opticianry and child talent management.  As a talent manager, Nora led her young daughter’s professional career in singing, acting and modeling.  She successfully managed her daughter’s career until her daughter was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of fifteen (15) years old and both their lives took an unexpected detour.  Her daughter is now twenty-two (22) years old and living a healthy life.  Upon the changes that led to a different path and considering her children are now young adults, Nora decided it was time to focus on herself and on her own professional and educational goals.  After 23 years, she decided to return to college to culminate her studies.  She is currently working towards a Degree in Sociology at Arizona State University – Online Campus and looks forward to graduating in 2020.  She hopes to inspire others to continue higher education as she feels it is never too late to do so.  Nora’s experience and knowledge bring to Pomona Hope a broad understanding of the issues that affect our community and the families we serve. Her passion to help others, her faith and her positive outlook on life are just a few things that make Nora a special part of the Pomona Hope team.

Shantee McKellar


A native Pomonian, Shantee is passionate about Pomona and its youth.  She has been a volunteer for Pomona Hope and was the office manager of First Presbyterian Church for over ten years.  Shantee works alongside her husband, John, for Just Us 4 Youth; a mentoring program for at risk youth on school sites throughout Pomona and in Apple Valley.  Shantee and John have three daughters, Cambria, Grace and Hadassah (plus many more “daughters” and “sons” with the youth ministry in which they served, where she is known as “Big Momma”). Shantee loves to scrapbook and papercraft.   She became our bookkeeper in February of 2016 and continues to be a vital part of our work.  Shantee’s gifts of hospitality and laughter are known by all who come in contact with her.  

Brianne Imada

Fund Development Coordinator

Originally from Mililani, Hawai’i, Brianne got involved with Pomona Hope in 2012, when she participated in the life-changing Summer Internship Program. She spent three years on staff as the Arts, Internships, and Volunteer Coordinator and is excited to rejoin the team as the Fund Development Coordinator. She graduated in 2014 from Scripps College with a Bachelor of Arts in Asian American Studies and is currently pursuing a Master of Social Welfare (MSW) from University of California, Berkeley. As a direct result of her work at Pomona Hope, Brianne is passionate about building strong and healthy communities through individual relationships, collective action, and creative use of place.