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.

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.

Stephany Cisneros

Administrative Assistant


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 and organizational skills to the ILCKC staff team.
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.

Rennee Hernandez

Independent Living (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

Independent Living (IL) Rural 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

Independent Living (IL) Specialist


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.

Heidi Frye

Independent Living (IL) Specialist


Heidi Frye joined the Independent Living Center of Kern County team July 2019 as an IL Specialist. Heidi has over 10 years’ experience as a nutrition counselor for the Bakersfield WIC program. She grew up in Bakersfield, went to Stockdale High School, Bakersfield College, and received her BS degree in Food Science and Nutrition from CSU Fresno. Heidi enjoys gardening with a special interest propagating succulents. At a young age, Heidi enjoyed gymnastics but began noticing a dizziness while performing. Symptoms caused concern leading to an eventual diagnosis of juvenile-onset medulloblastoma. Heidi’s experience with brain cancer, along with post-surgery challenges, will help empower people with disabilities do what others tell them what they can’t do.

Patty Grubbs

Receptionist


Patty Grubbs came to ILCKC with an Associate Degree in Science. 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 has experience as a Licensed Realtor for over 10 years helping people buy and sell homes in the Bakersfield area. Patty brings her background, experience, and skills to ILCKC with a love for aging adults and people with disabilities. As ILCKC’s receptionist, enables Patty to assist with helping those in need, and at the same time, assuring they get to the right person for help. Her knowledge in business and working with people of all ages and avenues of life gives an advantage to help in understanding those in need of all walks of life. Patty has interpersonal skills and compassion, along with understanding and listening abilities, to assist people with disabilities.

Carol Henry

Program Evaluator


Carol Henry first came to ILCKC as Transition Assistant in 2016 bringing approximately 40 years of career skills. In the Program, Carol assists with In Home Support Services (IHSS), affordable housing, and housing set-up, transitioning individuals to live independently while managing their own lives, monitors transition enrollment, billing, and program activities.
As Program Evaluator, Carol oversees ILCKC quality improvement, program evaluation, agency compliance and quality control for grant-funded programs. She ensures that reported data meets or exceeds grant requirements and finds solutions to systemic data collection problems, proposes new and / or revised processes for internal purposes related to grants and contracts.

Susan Privett

Assistive Technology (AT) Coordinator


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.

Jacky Wood

Assistive Technology (AT) Specialist


Jacky Wood became an ILCKC Assitive Technology (AT) Specialist in September of 2019. Jacky previously worked at ILCKC from 2005 through 2006. He has over 17 years of experience working in the medical field of customer service, medical billing, and medical equipment and supplies. Wood grew up in Bakersfield and Shafter, went to South High School and graduated from Shafter High School. He has fostered several children with disabilities and now has six, wonderful adopted children. Jacky enjoys spending as much time with his children enjoying camping, outdoor adventures, stock car racing and his children are involved in several kids’ sports. There is never a dull moment in the Wood household where they are always going to either a sports or family event.
Jacky has been a paraplegic and in a wheelchair since he was 11 years old due to an ATV accident. He doesn’t let it stop him from what he wants to do and enjoys doing. Jacky believes, “If you set your mind to it and want it, it can be accomplished.”
He enjoys working with people with all types of disabilities and believes he and ILCKC are a good fit and he strongly believes in the AT program and the overall ILCKC organization and philosophy.
Jacky is excited for the opportunity to serve consumers and looks forward to working with consumers, teaching them about the many types of assistive technology devices available, and empowering them to “set their minds to focus on what it is they want to accomplish.”

David Hendrickson

AT Advocate


David Hendrickson was hired by Independent Living Center of Kern County as an Assisted Technology Associate in May of 2017. David grew up in the greater Los Angeles area and was diagnosed with the sight robbing disease called retinitis pigmentosa. In the early nineties, David began using and self-teaching adaptive technologies in order to have information more accessible via a computer. He used magnification and screen reader programs to assist his visual disability. David is associated with the Braille institute of Los Angeles and the Junior Blind of America.
As owner/operator of Cyber Works Computers, Hendrickson specializes in small office networking. He found himself reaching out to the Blind and visually impaired community and individuals with cross-disabilities due to emerging technologies offering opportunities for education and employment. Today’s technologies are more attainable now than any time in history. David is currently a Bakersfield delegate for the California Council of the Blind and tech consultant for the Blind institute of Technology.
These experiences bring a wealth of experience for ILCKC’s Assistive Technology department. ILCKC welcomes David to our team of staff.

Diana Gonzalez

Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB) Specialist


Diana, our OIB (Older Individuals who are Blind) Program Specialist, assists individuals 55 years of age and older with specialized services that allows them to live more independently. She provides device & application instruction, low vision training & education, and public transportation instruction.
Diana is a Bakersfield native, graduated from Ridgeview High School, has an AA degree in Psychology from Bakersfield College with plans to continue her education at CSU Bakersfield to become a school psychologist.

Stephanie Smart

Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Services Provider


Stephanie graduated from Bakersfield High School in 2006 and continued her education at Bakersfield College where she earned her Associate of Arts degree in American Sign Language. While attending BC she had the opportunity to experience Gallaudet University with her professors on a week-long educational “tour”. Stephanie then attended California State University, Northridge (CSUN) where she entered the Interpreting Education Program . While an undergraduate there, she joined the Deaf sorority, Alpha Sigma Theta, where she served on the Executive Board for one year and Alumna Advisor for one year. Stephane was involved in the Deaf Studies Association (DSA), Real Women, Real Beauty (fundraising event for DeafHope), Sign ‘N Run and many other Deaf events. Stephanie graduated from the program and earned her Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Deaf Studies with an emphasis in ASL/English interpreting. After earning her degree Stephanie continued her education in the Accelerated Collaborative Teaching program at CSUN where she taught American Sign Language for one year at the secondary level. She stayed in the Los Angeles area as a freelance interpreter until her move back to Bakersfield in 2015. Stephanie has been involved with the Deaf community for over 10 years and is excited to bring more awareness to Deaf Culture, as well as, work with the Deaf community of Bakersfield.

Alexandra Leyva

Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Services Provider


Alexandra is a trilingual, Bakersfield native with an eclectic educational background. She attended Bakersfield College where she completed the ASL Program. She transferred to CSUB to study Art History and Criminal Justice and began interpreting at the collegiate level. Alexandra is a firm believer in life-long learning and completed the Dental Assisting program at SJVC “just for fun.”
Alex has been involved in the Deaf Community for over 15 years. She has interpreting experience predominantly in the educational setting but also has festival, concert, freelance, and religious interpreting experience as well. She is eager to collaborate with other professionals, consumers, and advocates to help improve and raise the bar for interpreting services provided here in Kern County.

Jasmine Rubio

Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Services Provider


Jasmine has been in Kern County her whole life. She grew up in Delano where she graduated from Robert F. Kennedy High School and attended Bakersfield College completing the ASL Program and the Interpreting Training Program as part of the first cohort. She recently graduated from Bakersfield College with two Associate’s Degrees in Liberal Arts and American Sign Language. Jasmine worked alongside interpreters in the community, interning with Independent Living Center of Kern County before becoming an employee in November of 2019. Jasmine’s hope is for her ASL services help the community get more access to their resources.

Savanah Adams

Public Policy Coordinator


Savanah Adams comes to ILCKC with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Psychology from California State University, Bakersfield, and an Associate’s of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies from Bakersfield College. Interpersonal skills gained from Savanah’s education, and many years in customer service, have prepared her to serve ILCKC’s consumers with a sensitivity and kindness allowing consumers to feel welcome and ready to receive services.