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 in 2019, Nora dedicated herself to her family.  Throughout the years, Nora has held various professional positions which include paralegal, realtor, optician, and even child talent management.  As a talent manager, Nora led her daughter’s professional career in singing, acting, and modeling for eight years.  She successfully managed her daughter’s artistic career until her daughter was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of fifteen and both their lives took an unexpected detour.  She is grateful that her daughter is now a young adult and living a healthy life.  Upon the changes that led to a different path, Nora decided it was time to focus on her own professional and educational goals.  After 23 years, she made the decision to return to college to culminate in her studies.   In May of 2020, Nora proudly graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and a minor in Anthropology.  She hopes to inspire others to continue higher education as she feels that no matter your age or where you are in life, it is never too late.  Nora’s experience and knowledge bring to Pomona Hope a broad understanding of the issues that affect our community and a close relationship with 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.  

Madeleine Edwards

Fund Development Coordinator

Originally from Corvallis, Oregon, Madeleine first came to Pomona Hope in 2016 when she participated in the Summer Internship Program. Since then, Madeleine has served as a weekly volunteer with After School with Pomona Hope and on staff as the former Outreach Director. She graduated in 2018 from Scripps College with a B.A. in Latin American & Caribbean Studies and Sociology. After leaving the staff in 2019 to teach English in Argentina, she has returned as the Fund Development Coordinator. Madeleine works remotely from Austin, Texas as she pursues a career in international education and exchange, but still thinks of Pomona as a second home and looks forward to many visits in the future to see the kids.