Staff

Jimmie Soto

Executive Director


Jimmie Soto has been the Executive Director of the Independent Living Center of Kern County since 2011. He earned a Master’s Degree in Education Administration and Supervision and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, both from California State University, Fresno. While in college, Jimmie was an active member of the Advocates for Students with Disabilities.

Jimmie is an active member of the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers Board and their Executive Committee. He has been appointed to the State Independent Living Council (SILC) since 2013, and is on the State Plan for Independent Living committee with the SILC. He is a proud member of the local VOICED coalition, comprised of other non-profit Directors throughout Kern County. He is also a proud member of the Bakersfield East Rotary Club.

Before moving to Bakersfield, Jimmie held the position of Director of Program Services at Fresno County’s Independent Living Center, a position he held since 2001.

Jimmie is passionate about the independence of all people with disabilities. Disability has affected his own family with his own visual impairment and having a brother that is deaf. Therefore, Jimmie knows some American Sign Language. In his spare time, Jimmie likes to spend time with his wife and three brothers, exercise, and watch football.

Claudia Villalobos

Executive Assistant


Claudia Villalobos joined Independent Living Center of Kern County (ILCKC) as the Executive Assistant in 2016. Previously serving in this capacity, she brings with her a wealth of knowledge gained over 15 years in the field. Claudia’s experience comes from employment with City of Delano, City of Delano Manager’s office and Community Correctional Facility, Wardens office. She is now delighted to be a part of an impressionable group of staff at ILCKC.
Claudia graduated from Ivy High School in Fallbrook, California and acquired her education in Business Organization from Delano Adult School, is Certified Bilingual by Bakersfield College and has held her California Notary license for over 12 years.
Claudia has dedicated herself to raising her three children while finding balance to her life. Embracing changes as they come and staying positive has been key for Claudia which has gained her to be a positive role model to her family.

Tammy Hartsch

Finance Manager


Tammy Hartsch is the ILCKC Finance Manager. Tammy attended Phoenix University and majored in Accounting and Finance with plans to continue her education as an ongoing goal to be a life-long learner. Before joining ILCKC, Tammy worked in the accounting field for many years gaining a vast knowledge in the public and private accounting sectors. Combining expertise in Accounting, Finance and Human Resources Tammy brings a broad experience range to the ILCKC.

Santeri Salomaki

Accounting Clerk


Santeri Salomaki came to Independent Living Center of Kern County with over two years of finance and accounting experience and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Administration and concentration in Marketing from California State University of Bakersfield. At California State University of Bakersfield, Santeri made the Dean’s list in the school of business six times and graduated with over a 3.5 GPA while being a finance tutor to help his fellow colleagues in finance and accounting. Santeri was born in Finland, speaks fluent Finnish, and has a diverse background from living around the US and parts of Finland.
Since becoming a member of the ILCKC team, Santeri has brought his knowledge of business to improve finance-related issues and procedures.

Jan Lemucchi

Resource Development Manager


Jan Lemucchi is the Resource Development Manager for Independent Living Center of Kern County. As Resource Development Manager, Jan coordinates fund development, social media formats & posting, website, marketing, communications and agency events. Jan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Plant Science from CSU, Fresno; grant writing certificates from The Grantsmanship Center, Los Angeles; California state certification for Court Reporting, Watterson College, Bakersfield; and a graduate of Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Leadership Bakersfield. Jan’s 35+ year career in working with non-profits has an emphasis on marketing, public relations, event planning and fundraising for people with disabilities.

Laura Rodriguez

Program Manager


Laura Rodriguez is the Program Manager for program staff here at Independent Living Center of Kern County (ILCKC). Laura joined the ILCKC family in 2011. Laura’s background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling Services from California State University, Fresno. Laura’s previous field experience includes: 3 years’ experience working with individuals with disabilities in an educational and community setting providing both recreational opportunities and teaching independent living skills. Laura was involved in the recruitment and personal development of students in a Transition Program for Students with Disabilities by providing personal, academic, vocational, behavioral guidance and counseling services to students with disabilities. Laura also served as a student teacher for 1 year in the Fresno United School District. In the short time of being with ILCKC, Laura believes she continues to learn from fellow co-workers and consumers. Laura is proud to be a part of a great team here at ILCKC and looks forward to making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities she encounters.

Rennee Hernandez

IL Specialist


Renee began with Independent Living Center of Kern County as a receptionist volunteer for one year. She has since worked for ILCKC for the last 8 years as an Independent Specialist assisting consumers with Housing and Independent Living services as well as helping consumers with other programs and services offered by ILCKC. Prior to ILCKC, Renee had 27 years in customer service. Renee holds an Associate Degree in Administration of Justice as well as graduating in 1999 from the Kern County Sheriff’s Department Academy and holds a PC 832 and Firearms degree.

Jessica Carrillo

IL Specialist


My name is Jessica Carrillo. I started volunteering with ILCKC after graduating from East High School. Before being hired as the Administrative Assistant/Volunteer coordinator in 2010, I volunteered for one year. I moved up to Office manager after serving five years at the front desk, I then was transitioned to being an Independent Living (IL) Specialist. I currently am happy to assist people with disabilities with all ILCKC core services such as SSI, Housing, Information & Referral (I&R), Advocacy, Peer Support and Transitions Services as an IL Specialist. I am also certified as a Covered California Insurance counselor for ILCKC.

Harvey Clowers

IL Specialist / Special Projects


Harvey Clowers came to Independent Living Center of Kern County in July 2004. With thirteen years experience with ILCKC, Harvey has worked in the area of Financial Benefits while assisting people with applying for, and assisting in, appeals processes with US Social Security benefits program. He also works in the field of Assistive Technology (AT), Independent Living Skills training, and disability-related issues. Harvey is a California State Certified F.A.S.T. (Funcitonal Assessment Service Team) member relating to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) law for disaster planning. He is a member of the In-home Supportive Services Advisory Committee appointed by the City of Bakersfield Council members and the Kern Senior Network Board Treasurer. Harvey enjoys national bowling level competitions with the American Wheelchair Bowling Association (AWBA) and fishing in his spare time.

Ruth Cain

IL Rural Specialist


Ruth Cain comes to Independent Living Center of Kern County with five years of clerical experience gained through working with the military, the Pentagon, Environmental Protection Agency, the Social Security Administration, and in the field of education. She earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and received departmental honors from the University of La Verne. At Northern Virginia Community College, she graduated with summa cum laude standing and obtained an associate’s degree. As a military wife, she had the opportunity to travel throughout Europe. Ruth’s strengths are working with people and having compassion for understanding their personal needs. She has a great desire to see other people succeed. Ruth has three years of experience working with people who have disabilities which includes a personal goal to assist people with disabilities to lead a productive life following their ambitions while living independently in their homes.

Patty Grubbs

CCT / Transitions Coordinator


Patty Grubbs comes with an Associate Degree in Science to ILCKC as its CCT / Transitions Coordinator. Patty previously worked as a Licensed Realtor for over 10 years helping people buy and sell homes in the Bakersfield area. Patty is married to and her husband Fred for 25 years; they have been local business owners of a feed & hardware store and lumber store. Patty brings her background, experience and skills to ILCKC with a love for the senior population and feels working in Transitions is a good fit for her. Her knowledge in business and working with people of all ages and avenues of life allows an advantage to help transition seniors needing a help to make their lives as independent as possible back into our community. Patty has the interpersonal skills and compassion along with understanding and listening abilities to work alongside our seniors and young people with all types of disabilities.

Carol Henry

CCT / Transitions Assistant


Patty Grubbs comes with an Associate Degree in Science to ILCKC as its CCT / Transitions Coordinator. Patty previously worked as a Licensed Realtor for over 10 years helping people buy and sell homes in the Bakersfield area. Patty is married to and her husband Fred for 25 years; they have been local business owners of a feed & hardware store and lumber store. Patty brings her background, experience and skills to ILCKC with a love for the senior population and feels working in Transitions is a good fit for her. Her knowledge in business and working with people of all ages and avenues of life allows an advantage to help transition seniors needing a help to make their lives as independent as possible back into our community. Patty has the interpersonal skills and compassion along with understanding and listening abilities to work alongside our seniors and young people with all types of disabilities.

Luis Ortega

Assistive Technology (AT) Coordinator


Luis Ortega came to Independent Living Center of Kern County in April of 2013. Before coming to the Independent Living Center, Luis worked with autistic individuals in enhancing and improving their independence. Luis works in the programs of Assistive Technology (AT) and Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB). As an AT Coordinating Staff member, Luis has learned how AT devices and equipment enhances the lives of individuals.
At the moment, Luis continues to work with individuals with disabilities towards improving their independence.

Susan Privett

Assistive Technology (AT) Specialist


Susan Privett comes to ILCKC with over 18 years of experience working in the medical field of patient advocacy, medical billing, and medical equipment and supplies. Susan’s life experiences include working with her husband, John, who started All Medical Supply in 1990 and served the community for over 24 years, working in the private, public and non-profit sectors, and community volunteering with many different organizations. Susan has a deep understanding in negotiating the web of life through the many paths journeyed upon in teaching and advocating for the needs of others, as well as her own family members who have “diversified abilities”.

Susan believes the OIB program (Older Individuals who are Blind and Visually Impaired program) is a good fit and will give her opportunities to serve consumers with knowledge and compassion. The ability to learn and teach different methods, tailoring OIB instruction to consumer-specific needs, and using the many types of assistive technology devices available are essential tools which enable others to preserve and enhance the visual acuity still possessed by our ILCKC seniors. “Where there is a will, there is a way”, is a motto Susan believes in to empower others to live fuller lives as independently as possible.

Haley J. Malone

OIB Specialist


Haley J. Malone is the Older Individuals who are Blind and Visually Impaired (OIB) program specialist. She assists individuals who are 55 years and older with specialized services assisting them with living independently. Haley developed a visual impairment as a young teen allowing her to relate to the individuals on a personal scale which benefits to them as an ILCKC consumer.
Haley recently graduated from Liberty High School and is studying General Education courses online through Bakersfield College. She loves working with individuals who have overcome visual impairments as she has.
Haley passionately believes in ILCKC’s goal of independent living while she continues to learn all she can to better assist each individual entering ILCKC.

Daniel Gandarilla

ASL Coordinator/Interpreter


Daniel Gandarilla came to Independent Living Center of Kern County with six years’ experience as an ASL interpreter. Daniel was born and raised in Bakersfield and has a Business Degree from Bakersfield College. His desire to learn sign language was through association with friends who are deaf. Since becoming a member of the ILCKC team, Daniel has enjoyed meeting with the individuals he signs for, as well as the businesses, medical practices, and corporations in need of his interpreting skills.

Catie Nordstrom

ASL Interpreter


Catie Nordstrom works as an ASL Interpreter at the Independent Living Center of Kern County. Holding National Interpreter Certification (NIC), Catie has been working as an interpreter for eight years. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Deaf Studies from California State University, Northridge. For two years, Catie attended and worked at Gallaudet University, where she majored in English. Interpreting is her passion, and she is a self-proclaimed workaholic. Equal access is her top priority. She is compassionate and cares about others. Since becoming a member of the ILCKC team, Catie has been applying her wide range of experience and is enjoying learning about the office-side of interpreting while being involved in the deaf community.

Ron Ferguson

Systems Change Advocate


Ron Ferguson is the Systems Change Advocate at ILCKC bringing inclusion and positive change and advocacy to the community for people with disabilities in Kern County. Being born with a visually impairment, Ron understands when ILCKC consumers come to him with issues such as discrimination, transportation, accessibility, housing, etc. He’s experienced these issues himself. A goal Ron is working towards is to end discrimination in the workforce and to see more businesses hire people with disabilities. Passion comes out when Ron reflects on his job. He states “it’s not about my getting a paycheck…it’s helping my consumers learn to live independently each day and teaching them to advocate for themselves. Ron is also a pastry chef and enjoys baking cakes, cookies, pies, and Artisan breads.

Stephany Cisneros

Receptionist


Stephany began as a volunteer nearly four years ago, then became an employee of ILCKC in October of 2016. She works well as an ILCKC team member by bringing professional, office skills to the front desk while being the first person a client sees at ILCKC.
Stephany grew up in and graduated from Delano High School with an interest in working in the medical field. Stephany recently graduated from High Desert Medical School as an ultrasound technition.