The Arc of California is administered by a passionate and exceptionally qualified team:
Jordan Lindsey, Executive Director
Jordan Lindsey was named executive director of The Arc of California in March 2017. Prior to joining The Arc of CA he held a number of leadership positions in advocacy organizations, including executive director of the California Association for Behavior Analysts, and director of policy, advocacy, and public affairs for the California Association for Health Services at Home. He first joined California’s Arc community in 2007 as director of public policy and grassroots advocacy, as well as director of the popular advocacy training program, Partners In Policymaking. From 2005-2007 he worked in the State Capitol as a legislative aide to Assemblymember Carol Liu, allowing him to serve the interests of his hometown Los Angeles area. He holds an MBA from Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree with a major in psychology from UC Davis. From 1999-2001 Jordan worked as a direct support professional in respite care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Jordan lives and plays in Sacramento, CA with his wife, Misha, and their three young children.
Teresa Anderson, Public Policy Director
Teresa Anderson is the Public Policy Director for The Arc and United Cerebral Palsy California Collaboration. Over the last 15 years and prior to becoming the Public Policy Director, Teresa worked on a variety of special projects for The Arc of California including; staffing the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Statewide Taskforce and Prevention Committee for the Board of Directors, research on poverty issues among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), increasing advocacy and awareness of sexual assault and abuse of people with IDD, health advocacy and criminal justice issues. In the earlier years of her career, Teresa worked as a direct support professional providing services in day programs, supported employment, residential, education and behavioral crisis settings. In addition to her work for The Arc of California, Teresa provided legislative and regulatory advocacy in the health care arena with much of her efforts focused on increasing access to care, vulnerable populations and the need to expand the health workforce. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development from Sacramento State University and a Masters Degree in Public Health from Drexel University. Her graduate work, research and thesis centered on Health Advocacy for People with IDD. Teresa has a J.D. from Lincoln Law School with an interest in criminal justice issues within the IDD community.
Patricia Albeño, Director Of Projects & Outreach
Patricia Albeño has been part of the developmental disabilities community working for organizations that support families who have a family member with disabilities. Her passion and mission is to provide support, information and education to parents who need help navigating the complex system of services. Her experience as a mother of a child with a disability allows her to understand firsthand the challenges and needs of the community with which she works. She has dedicated the past five years to coordinating and organizing Congreso Familiar, a conference for Spanish-speaking families who have family members with IDD. She is a strong advocate for the Latino community because she understands how complicated the disability world can be and cannot imagine learning new systems without speaking the language. Professionally, she has actively participated as a Community Advisory Committee member and chair for Special Education in the West Contra Costa Unified School District, is a former Board Member of the Regional Center of the East Bay, has been a member of the committee for the Autism Star conference, has facilitated numerous Spanish-speaking support groups and conducted IEP trainings and workshops throughout Contra Costa county. She has learned that balancing the needs of her child, successful navigation of various service systems and working full time has been a unique challenge, one that has required her to learn special skills to adapt and continue to be the best parent she possibly can.
Greg deGiere, Civil Rights Advocate
Greg deGiere volunteers for The Arc of California as the civil rights advocate and a member of the Public Policy Committee. Greg is a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at CSU San Bernardino, an advisory member of the Santa Clara County Hate Prevention and Inclusion Task Force, and a member of the Legislative Committee of the California Alliance for Retired Americans. He has coordinated a working group of California civil rights organizations advocating legislative and Department of Justice action to combat hate crimes. His twin focuses in that role are hate crimes in general and anti-disability crimes in particular, known as the “the invisible hate crimes.” A former long-time staff member to Democratic leaders of the California Legislature and consultant to the Senate Office of Research, Greg is also the retired public policy director of the Arc and United Cerebral Palsy California Collaboration. He has developed and drafted major, bipartisan civil rights legislation. He holds a B.A. in political science from San Francisco State University and an M.A. in government from California State University, Sacramento, where he also taught California state and local government. Greg has a nephew with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Tim Hornbecker, Grassroots Advocate
Tim Hornbecker volunteers for The Arc of California, coordinating Grassroots Advocacy. He represents The Arc on the Board of Directors for Gamaliel of California community organizing, while serving as their treasurer. Tim has organized local and statewide trainings with Gamaliel and The Arc families and participants with disabilities to become leaders and advocates. They learn how to tell their stories, decide on their most important issues, become leaders, and organize ACTIONS and Rallies locally, statewide, and nationally. Tim is a former Executive Director of local chapters of The Arc in Washington and California, Past President for The Arc’s National Conference of Executives, as well as Past President for The Arc of Washington State and elected to The Arc United States Board of Directors. He is a former Special Ed teacher with B.A. and M.A. Degrees, but most importantly grew up with his cousin Patti with Down syndrome and stepdad of Joseph with Angelman syndrome.
Elizabeth Grigsby, Consultant, Advocacy And Accessibility
Elizabeth Grigsby has been advocating for people with disabilities for many years. Her philosophy has always been to see everyone as people first and foremost focus on their abilities so we can be able to deal with our disability. She believes that people are much more than their disabilities, which drives her to fight for the rights of all people to ensure that they have the best opportunity to thrive and live a full and productive life. As someone with a disability, she will tell people to not let their disability control them — “we should control our disabilities.” She wants to see everyone reach their full potential. She hopes that one day people with disabilities will live in a world where there is no more special needs. Everyone will be going through their lives based on our abilities, and disabilities won’t be the issue.
Julia Ballantyne, Media Advocacy Consultant
Julia is a public relations, communications and marketing professional who develops and implements strategic public awareness, education and advocacy campaigns to increase visibility and inspire change for the developmental disabilities community. Julia has worked with a variety of national and statewide disability organizations for more than 15 years to protect the rights of people with disabilities. Using multifaceted traditional and digital media strategies, Julia ignites online issue-based dialogues, creates strategic partnerships and fosters information exchanges around campaigns, causes and brands in the nonprofit sector. Before the pandemic, Julia spent two years working with professors at Santa Clara University to design curriculum for the Marketing and Communications Department capstone class and was a regular guest lecturer. Julia holds a BS in Journalism and is in the process of completing a graduate degree in integrated marketing and communications at Purdue University.
Selene Gonzalez-Contreras, Project Coordinator
Selene Gonzalez-Contreras is a close family member to someone who is part of the developmental disabilities community. As a youth immigrant, Selene experienced the hardships of learning a language while also helping her family member navigate the various services available. Due to this, Selene has always volunteered at Congreso Familiar, a family resource center in the East Bay, and has advocated for the disability community, especially within the Spanish speaking community. Before joining The Arc of California, Selene was employed as a medical assistant, where she met many great people who are part of the disability community. She was able to relate to the ongoing struggles of her patients and their families. She is a recent graduate from Arizona State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Spanish.
Samantha Thalken, Project Coordinator
Samantha Thalken provides support and coordination services for many of the projects that The Arc of California is involved in. Before joining The Arc of California, Samantha worked alongside self-advocates within a local direct support agency that focused on equitable employment and community-integration services. Throughout her many years of providing direct support, Samantha was given the opportunity to connect with self-advocates, their families, employers, and community members in many capacities. After observing the continuous obstacles that people with disabilities face on a daily basis, Samantha was inspired to grow in the fields of advocacy and public policy to assist in creating a more just world for all. Utilizing her person-centered thinking skills and her passion for equality, Samantha is committed to breaking barriers.
Julia Silver, Administrative Coordinator
Julia Silver is a Administrative Coordinator who joined The Arc of California in 2022. She is focused on growth, and utilizes customer service skills to connect to the public, all while making the world a better place. Before coming to The Arc of California, she worked as an Administrative Assistant at Genius Kids Childcare. She holds a B.A. in Communication Arts from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. She really enjoys interacting with others and teamwork. Her dream has always been to work in the nonprofit sector, making a difference in the lives of others. When not engaged in work, she spends time with friends, family, and enjoying the outdoors.