Charles began working in financial services in 1991. He brings 19 years of experience in a variety of inside and outside sales positions, primarily related to mortgage banking and multi-line Insurance, but also including high-tech sales. Prior to this stage of his career, he worked as Milieu Therapist at a Pittsburgh psychiatric hospital and as the New Future Program Coordinator in the Pittsburgh (PA) public schools. There he managed a budget of 25 million dollars granted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, established to oversee special projects for at-risk youth in this urban school district. Charles has a great affinity for working with youth of all ages and has inspired many youth AHO serves. In his free time he volunteers at his local church, assists with local political events, and is a member of the non-profit Society for Financial Awareness. Charles lives with his wife and two daughters.
Zara Babitzke, MA
Founding and Executive Director
Zara Babitzke is a Marin County visionary leader and entrepreneur of social change. She has led the way in spearheading awareness to end youth homelessness in Marin and statewide. Her work has played an instrumental role in the county and statewide movement to transform society by bringing awareness, education and key resources to teens and young adults ages 18 to 25 that are homeless without parents or resources.
Zara has received the Jefferson Award for Humanitarian Service, Hero of Marin Award and is a two-time nominee for the Heart of Marin Award. Currently, she has been nominated for the 2015 Marin Women’s Hall of Fame for her work with homeless youth.
The name, Ambassadors of Hope and Opportunity informs the vision Zara had in founding AHO. She envisioned the entire community of Marin, individuals, (young and old), businesses, faith communities and organizations, as Ambassadors of Hope advocating for a healthy future for Marin’s homeless youth.
Heather Gordon is a co-owner of Tamalpais Financial Services (TFS) with her partner Jane Schopplein. TFS is located in Mill Valley and has accounting experience in many fields including construction, landscaping, property management, legal, restaurant, interior design, internet sales, importing/exporting, retail, non-profit and household employees/personal bookkeeping. Heather has been in the business for over 12 years and is experienced with Quickbooks and Excel. AHO is fortunate to have Heather’s professional support.
Karen’s wealth of experience in the nonprofit sector as an organizational development and management consultant was a gift to the Board of AHO as the organization grew. Throughout her 40+ year career, she has worked in social service, program management, and as an executive director and in volunteer service roles with many human service agencies in the Bay Area. Her longest tenure was 20 years with the Jewish Community Centers, where she served for 7 years as the Executive Director of the JCC of San Francisco, an agency with over 200 employees and a budget of $7 million. Over the years she has served on many Boards and committees, including a term as Board Chair of the Women’s Foundation of San Francisco. Karen has a M.A. in Organizational Development and a B.S in Social Work from Simmons College. She resides in Mill Valley CA.