Inclusion, Integrity, Intentionality, Holistic, & Effective Communication

The above values define the intentions and actions that YES staff employs daily to make the workplace and program environments inviting, supportive spaces for all who step through our doors. Collectively, YES staff and board have decades of experience working and living in Richmond and represent the diverse community we serve. Over half of our staff is bilingual in Spanish and English. Please contact us for more information about opportunities to join our growing YES team.

YES is Hiring

YES Staff

Eric Aaholm, Executive Director since 2007, has a Masters in Social Welfare, Management and Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. He is fluent in Spanish and started with YES Family Camps as a volunteer in 2004. Eric has experience working as a Project Manager at Health Research for Action, at the School of Public Health at Berkeley; as a Diversity Coordinator for a youth mentoring program; and a Spanish and ESL teacher. Eric was honored as a Man of Merit for Contra Costa County in 2011 and is a graduate of LeaderSpring’s 2014 cohort for East Bay executive directors.

Blanca Hernández, Program Director, joined YES in May 2008 as the lead coordinator for summer camp and co-facilitator for YES Family Camps. Blanca has a B.A. from the University of San Diego in Literature. She speaks fluent Spanish and worked in school-based services in the City of Richmond for seven years prior to joining YES. Blanca graduated from CompassPoint’s Next Generation Leaders of Color in 2012 and has served for nearly three years on the Health Richmond steering committee.

Claire McMurtry, Development & Communications Manager, joined YES in August 2015. Formatively affected by her own early experiences in nature, she is dedicated to providing these essential opportunities for others. Claire has 16 years of experience - from naturalist and program director to grants and events manager - in the Bay Area's rich environmental education and youth development fields. She holds a B.S. in Botany.

Vencel Alfred, Camp-to-Community Coordinator, joined YES in January 2017. After earning his B.S. in Recreation Administration, Vencel began his career in recreation coordinating youth and adult sports in Sacramento.  Since returning home to the East Bay, he has served a counselor, mentor, tutor, and coach with the City of Emeryville and the City of Richmond and worked alongside YES as Camp Director for East Bay Regional Park District’s Community Outreach Outdoor Program. Vencel is passionate about sharing his love of outdoor recreation, academics and mentorship with YES

Zaira Sierra, Camps Coordinator, joined YES in the summer of 2014. She supports YES staff with Summer and Family Camp programming to provide youth and families the opportunity to restore and strengthen themselves in nature. Zaira, a Richmond resident, has volunteered and worked with several local Richmond organizations including CCISCO, Building Blocks for Kids, and West Contra Costa County Unified School District. She is committed building leaders and strengthening the voices in her community.

Peter Flom, Youth Engagement Specialist, joined YES in October of 2015.  Peter graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2014 with a degree in Youth Studies and a minor in Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Deviance.  He has worked and volunteered in a variety of youth programs doing foster care respite, tutoring, juvenile probation services, and mentoring.  After college he traveled to Ghana to teach a class of sixth graders and help out at a local orphanage.  Peter cherishes time spent in nature and loves introducing young people to all of the valuable life lessons that can be learned in the outdoors.

Cianna Carrillo Walker, Office Manager and Volunteer Coordinator, joined YES as a volunteer in 2011 and became a member of the staff in 2016. With a B.A. in Sociology from San Francisco State University, she traveled to Madrid, Spain in 2012 to achieve her Masters in Sustainable Development and Corporate Responsibility with the intention of exploring her desires to make sustainable change at a grassroots level. As a Richmond community member, she enjoys exploring near by nature spaces, growing food, working on issues of food justice and social welfare.


YES is also supported by regular youth interns and nearly 50 volunteers.

YES Board of Directors

April Suwalsky, Board Chair
 Philanthropic Advisor, Tides Foundation

Mike McLively, Vice Chair
 Lawyer, The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Alex Hooker, Secretary
 Program Officer, S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation

Gretchen Grani, Treasurer
 Director of Corporate Giving and Sustainability, Nutiva

Shahad Wright, Member
 Youth & Family Program Director, E.M. Downer Family YMCA

Christy Rocca, Member
 Vice President of Youth Programs and Services at the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

Zak Klein, Member
 Outdoor Entrepreneur

Ann Higgins, Member
 Graphic Designer

Jean Hyams, Member
 Trial Attorney and Mediator, Levy Vinick Burrell Hyams LLP

Richard Boyd, Member
 Community Organizer, Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organization

Karina Guadalupe, Member
 Tobacco Policy Program Coordinator, Bay Area Community Resources

AnnaLise Hoopes, Member
 Founder & CEO, Green and Go