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.
Director of Philanthropy
Mr. Lagace enjoys using his 15+ 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 15,000 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 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!
Director of Programs
Mr. Shilling has broad experience and expertise in strategic planning, organizational development, and systems modeling. During his prior employment, Chris specialized in the development of a Homelessness Crisis Response System, while leading the implementation of the county-wide Coordinated Entry System (CES). This involved strategic planning/partnerships, policy analysis/development, and knowledge of best practices, funding resource requirements, and state/federal regulations.
Chris held leadership positions at the Arc of San Diego and the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD). In addition to being a former Chairman of the Chula Vista Board of Ethics, Chris was previously a faculty member at the University of Phoenix for six years. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University. Chris defines his success as a life and work that brings personal fulfillment and lasting relationships, while making a difference in the world.
Interim Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Chen has more than 15 years of experience in the financial services industry with a variety of non-profit and public companies. She has a Master of Science in Accounting from San Diego State University as well as a Bachelor of International Trade from Anhui University in Hefei, China.
Kevin Stafford, LMFT
Chief Operations Officer
Mr. Stafford’s professional vision encompasses growth, fiscal strategy, and organizational leadership, which has been cultivated over his 13 years of high-level management experience and 23 years in the behavioral health sector. Strategies that he has developed and implemented have improved change management processes, budgetary oversight, employee retention, and overall operations.
Born and raised in Torrance, CA, Kevin moved to San Diego to attend SDSU to pursue his degree in Psychology. Kevin received his Master’s Degree in Marital and Family Therapy at the University of San Diego in 2002 and became a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in 2006. Since then, he has provided management and oversight for services that focused on adults with severe mental illness, substance use disorders, and homelessness, along with mental health treatment for children. Kevin enjoys developing managers while focusing on the importance of balancing high-caliber client services with solid business practices, fiscal oversight, and data and outcome management. In his free time, Kevin enjoys trying new restaurants, traveling, playing guitar, and fishing with his son.
Director of Housing
Mr. Lippert has worked in supportive housing for over 15 years serving a wide variety of populations. He has experience working with formerly homeless families, single adults, seniors, veterans, men & women living with HIV/AIDS, and transitional aged youth. Geof was a runaway youth from Chicago and overcome many obstacles to get where he is today, so he is committed to empowering and improving the lives of Home Start families.
Geof recently moved back to San Diego after living in San Francisco for 12 years and regularly practices yoga and meditation. He lives with his partner of 11 years, and they have a sweet Pomeranian named Blondie who loves chasing anything with wings at the beach.