About Us


Mark Diel

Chief Executive Officer

Mark comes to CCHI after 9 years as Executive Director and CEO of Children’s Health Initiative Napa County, where he developed the first nonprofit insurance brokerage firm in California serving individuals and families. He built a county-wide collaborative of 42 agencies and guided Napa County into a leadership role at the state level, working to provide affordable health insurance to everyone in California, regardless of race, ethnicity, or family income. Prior to his work in Napa County, he managed public health programs in Yolo County, including the Women Infants and Children Program, he developed mobile medical, dental, and optometric clinics based in schools and community centers, and a Health Promotora program in Los Angeles. Mark holds a Master of Public Health degree.


Elba Gonzalez-Mares

Executive Director
Community Health Initiative

Ms. Gonzalez-Mares was employed by the Children’s Health Initiative as one of the first certified application assistants in Napa County ten years ago. As management staff, she developed many of the operational procedures that the Community Health Initiative staff function under to this day. She was appointed to the position of Executive Director by CHI’s Board of Directors in May 2015.  Her current role requires an array of management skills, including fundraising, finance administration, supervision of staff productivity, program evaluation, and external relationship management. Ms. Gonzalez-Mares is bi-cultural and bi-lingual in Spanish and English.  Her collaborative style of working has forged relationships between CHI and other community providers and government departments, advancing our mutual goal of making health coverage affordable and accessible to Napa County’s children, adults, and families. In 2014, Ms. Gonzalez-Mares was awarded the Soroptimist International Ruby Award for Women helping Women and recognized by California’s State Assembly and Senate, Congressman Thompson and Napa County’s Board of Supervisors.


Georgina Maldonado

Executive Director
Community Health Initiative of Orange County

With over 15 years of experience in managing patient and community engagement for health care organizations throughout Southern California, Georgina Maldonado brings her extensive knowledge of the field to the Community Health Initiative of Orange County (CHI OC), serving as the organization's Executive Director since 2015. In her previous position as the Director of Patient Engagement at Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties (PPOSBC), Ms. Maldonado developed, operationalized, and implemented enrollment strategies and goals for the roll-out of PPOSBC's primary care practice, Melody Women's Health. Her experience also includes business and strategic planning, managing program development and implementation, and directing outreach and community engagement while with Genesis Consultants and Health Net of California. Ms. Maldonado holds a Bachelor's degree in Sociology. She currently serves as an advisory board member for the Orange County Women's Health Project, which helps facilitate and sustain improvements in women's health in Orange County.


MaryEllen Rehse

Executive Director
Children and Family Resource Services (CFRS) In partnership with the Santa Barbara County Education Office

In January 2021, MaryEllen Rehse was selected to be Executive Director of CFRS, a young non-profit organization formed under the umbrella of the Santa Barbara County Education Office (SBCEO) where she previously managed programs with Health Linkages since 2007.  CFRS houses several programs, including the Community Health Initiative (CHI) of Santa Barbara County, a close collaboration with the Santa Barbara County Promotores Network, and Health Linkages, which connects students and community members with health and behavioral wellness needs to helpful resources.  Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, she has made Solvang, California her home for the last 18 years.  She has her Master's degree in Social Work and has served children and families in that professional capacity for over 30 years.

Cynthia Peshek

Outreach Program Manager
Ampla Health

Cynthia Peshek serves as the Outreach Program Manager for Ampla Health, a Federally Qualified Health Center that serves six counties in Northern California. Ms. Peshek is responsible for implementation and oversight of Ampla Health’s healthcare coverage programs including Covered California, MediCal, Medicare, Path To Health and Connect to Care. As a member of Ampla Health’s Planning and Development Department, she is also responsible for writing grant proposals and compiling reports. She holds a BS in Dietetic/Nutrition Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a MA in Nutrition Education from Immaculata University, Pennsylvania. Managing programs that serve the underserved related to enrollment into coverage and other enabling programs has become her passion. She enjoys providing support to organizations with the same mission.

Brad Onorato

Deputy Chief of Staff
Congressman Mike Thompson

Brad Onorato has spent the past 28 years working within Congressman Mike Thompson’s office, spending eight years in California State Senate and twenty years in the House of Representatives. He is the former board chair and a current Emeritus board member for the Napa Community Health Initiative. He is currently on the Pacific Union College Social Services Advisory Committee, as well as being on the board for the Toys for Kids in Lake County, where he has helped serve over 37,800 children in need over eighteen years. Aside from this work, Brad also is the owner of seven apartment complexes throughout San Francisco with PBO Properties.

V. Manuel Perez

Riverside County Board of Supervisors

Victor Manuel Perez was appointed by Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. on May 9, 2017 to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, representing the County’s Fourth District, and was subsequently elected to a four-year term in June 2018. A champion for eastern Riverside County, Manuel had more than 60 pieces of legislation signed into law to help create jobs, jump start the local renewable energy industry and make neighborhoods safer. His legislation focused on jobs, economic development, small business, education, health care access, infrastructure, renewable energy, transportation, air quality, environment, public safety, parks, technology, agriculture, water and the Salton Sea.

Maria Lemus

Executive Director
Visión y Compromiso

Maria Lemus is founding Executive Director of Vision Y Compromiso a 501 C (3) non profit organization since 2000. Visión y Compromiso and its Promotora and Community Health Worker Network is committed to supporting Promotoras and Community Health Workers (P/CHW) towards achieving healthy and dignified lives for Latinos who endure disproportionate rates of health disparities by providing leadership, capacity building and advocacy for over 4000 Promotores and Community Health Workers associated with clinics, hospitals, community based organizations in rural and urban communities. Prior to Visión y Compromiso, Ms. Lemus was active as a community consultant to local community organizations. Ms. Lemus 21 years management experience in Rural Health Division of the California Department of Health Services and the AIDS Office, City and County of San Francisco and the California Department of Corrections. Ms. Lemus received a California State Assembly Recognition Resolution, is an alum of the National Hispana Leadership Institute and the California Women’s Policy Institute of the Womens Foundation, received the Community Latina Award by the California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, the Champions of Health Award from the California Center for Public Health, and the Siempre Award by Tiburcio Vasquez Community Clinic, served as a Board member of the Koshland Committee at the San Francisco Foundation, a Fellow of the Purpose Prize, Fellow of the Mexican American Solidarity Foundation, recipient of the Contra Costa Women's Hall of Fame "Women Improving Healthcare", Faculty Advisor for the Women's Health Leadership and mentor for emerging women leaders, Outstanding PTA President Award, Past President California Chicano Correctional Workers Association.

Marmi Bermudez

Senior Manager for Health Coverage, Eligibility and Authorizations
San Mateo County Health

Marmi Bermudez serves as the Senior Manager of Health Coverage, Eligibility and Authorizations for the San Mateo County Health Coverage Unit. She started her county employment in 2001 and served as the outreach coordinator for the Children’s Health Initiative overseeing the outreach, enrollment, and retention activities for the various public health coverage programs. Mrs. Bermudez also served as a Human Services Manager for the County’s Human Services Agency from August 2016 through May 2018. Mrs. Bermudez is passionate about public service, especially in assisting with the streamlining of the health coverage enrollment and retention policies and processes.