Meet Home Start's executive team dedicated to Home Start's success!

Laura A. Tancredi-Baese, LCSW
Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Tancredi-Baese has been an asset to the San Diego nonprofit community for more than 30 years. After earning a Masters Degree in Social Work at San Diego State University, she became a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). Her extensive experience also includes managing child and youth development and transitional living programs for underserved youth, plus executive leadership.

As a recognized leader in her field, Laura is the founder of several transitional living programs in San Diego for transition-age homeless youth (aged 18-24). Since May of 2007, Laura continues to be a passionate force to promote our mission and vision that every child in San Diego live in a safe and nurturing home. Through her efforts, Home Start has opened the doors to our Maternity Shelter Program providing support to pregnant or parenting young women and their children facing homelessness and founded our Thrift Boutique/ social enterprise to support these families.

Additionally, Laura serves as a director on three boards - California Coalition for Youth (CCY), the Regional Task Force on the Homeless, and El Cajon Collaborative/LH Avocado. She has mentored several formerly homeless young women to become full-time paid staff as well as board members for both Home Start and CCY.

Mark Lagace
Director of Philanthropy

Mr. Lagace enjoys using his 16+ years of experience in Philanthropy to further strengthen families and protect children from abuse. Mark considers himself an ambassador and advocates for the more than 17,000 families and children served by Home Start annually.  His goal is that every San Diegan will be aware of our life-changing services and know how to get involved.

Mark is also an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, San Diego Chapter.  He has served on their Board for 8 years, including the 2019 President. Hobbies include hiking, going to the beach, participating in community events, and seeing movies.  Contact Mark today to see how you can become a Home Start partner!

Dr. Crystal Pugh, PsyD
Director of Programs

Dr. Pugh is an accomplished leader with over 15 years of experience in the public and private sectors, excelling in development and oversight of military, government, and non-profit contracts. Holding graduate degrees in Education and Marketing, she earned a Doctorate in Psychology, specializing in Social Justice from the University of the Rockies in Denver, CO.

Passionate about supporting underserved communities affected by trauma and housing instability, Crystal advocates for fairness and equity in all spheres of life. As an Auxiliary Member of the VFW, she remains committed to the well-being of veterans. Beyond her professional pursuits, Crystal cherishes quality time with her family and enjoys exploring new destinations, baking, and fostering connections to achieve shared objectives.

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