Erikson Albrecht joined Bet Tzedek in 2006. He became directing attorney for the Kinship Care, Caregiver, and the Self-Help Conservatorship Clinic teams in June, 2017.
Erikson received his A.B. in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and his J.D. from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. His career began on the Southside of Chicago, working with disadvantaged youth and helping create an innovative small public school in one of the most underserved communities of the city. Upon relocating to California, he served as a defense attorney and Deputy Public Defender at Biggam, Christensen & Minsloff in Santa Cruz County. He began working at Bet Tzedek as the Kinship Attorney, focusing on the legal issues of children in Southern California who live with nonparent caregivers. He also led Bet Tzedek’s Immigrant Child Advocacy Project, representing undocumented youth, training and mentoring attorneys throughout California regarding SIJS matters and probate legal guardianships, and providing educational outreach to the community regarding immigration enforcement and its impact on families.
Johanna joined Bet Tzedek in the fall of 2015 and became directing attorney for Community Outreach and Advocacy in June, 2018. Prior to joining Bet Tzedek, Johanna worked in Los Angeles for a mission-driven, San Francisco-based tech start-up addressing systemic injustices in communities that have historically been denied access to affordable, nutritious food. Johanna began her legal career as a staff attorney with the Criminal Defense Division of the Legal Aid Society of New York, representing indigent clients in criminal court. During law school, she interned with the Hon. Charles P. Sifton, at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and represented clients on Louisiana’s death row in appeals to the United States Supreme Court.
Director, Institutional Giving
April Caires has over ten years of experience securing and managing grants for Los Angeles area nonprofit organizations. She joined Bet Tzedek as a Grants Officer in 2016 and was promoted to Director of Institutional Giving in May 2018. April has a MA in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California and was an instructor in the undergraduate writing program. She also has a MA in Communications, with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Public Affairs, from Texas A & M University.
Cynthia Chagolla joins Bet Tzedek as a directing attorney for the Homeless Prevention Project. Previously, she worked at Bay Area Legal Aid in San Francisco and Oakland focusing on public benefits. At California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. she worked on a wide range of poverty and racial justice issues ranging from education to landlord tenant issues. In 2012, she completed a fellowship at Georgia Legal Services, Farmworker Division in Atlanta. While in law school Cynthia interned at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She is admitted to practice law in California and New York.
Cynthia is a board member of the Coalition of California Welfare Rights Organizations, Inc. She is also a dedicated runner and training for her next big race.
Dana Hadl joins Bet Tzedek as the directing attorney for the Employment Rights Project team. Most recently, Dana was counsel with Seyfarth Shaw LLP, where her practice focused on employment discrimination, retaliation and sexual harassment litigation.
Dana received her J.D. from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles in 2001. While in law school, Dana held an externship with Judge Joan Dempsey Klein, Presiding Justice of Division Three of California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal.
A native Los Angeleno, Dana is the grand-daughter of Holocaust survivors. Dana is an active member of Valley Beth Shalom, where she serves on the Homelessness Task Force Advocacy Team, which worked closely with community organizers to pass both Measure HHH and Measure H.
She resides in Sherman Oaks, with her husband, Dan, and their two spirited daughters, Lilah and Ari.
Bertha S. Hayden joined Bet Tzedek Legal Services in 2006 and specializes in elder law. In 2009, she launched an innovative pilot program, Family Matters, in Los Angeles County to educate and provide direct legal services to families with special education students on limited conservatorships (adult guardianship) and supported decision making options. Bertha has received the Award of Merit from Legal Aid Association of California and the Jack H. Skirball award for the Family Matters Project. Prior to joining Bet Tzedek, Ms.Hayden clerked with Legal Aid of Los Angeles, The Federal Public Defender’s Office of San Jose, and the City Attorney’s Office of Santa Monica.
Directing Attorney, Eviction Defense Project
Gigi Lam is a directing attorney for Bet Tzedek’s Eviction Defense Project. After a stint with the Appeals Chamber of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Gigi joined the Shriver Housing Project at Public Counsel in 2012. Since then, she has represented thousands of indigent tenants throughout Los Angeles County, with a focus on homelessness prevention. Gigi lives in Koreatown with her family.
Lisa Liberatore joins Bet Tzedek as Directing Attorney, Elder Justice program. After practicing law for over 30 years, first as a litigator followed by 21 years at the Walt Disney Company in a combined in-house/executive position, Lisa recently earned her MSW degree to enable her to more powerfully engage in transformative social justice work, with a particular focus on empowerment of vulnerable individuals and communities. Lisa currently serves on the Policy Action Team of the Los Angeles Aging and Advocacy Coalition, an advocacy body that addresses the needs of vulnerable older adults.
VP of Finance
Karen McAulay has been a CPA for over thirty years. Earlier in her career, she worked in public account at Grant Thornton, LLP. Karen’s background is primarily in banking and she was the CFO and Controller of various banks in the Los Angeles area.
Karen is a native to Los Angeles and graduated from Cal State Los Angeles. Karen resides in Pasadena with her husband Peter and has two grown children: Scott and Laura.
Mentru Nagbe joins Bet Tzedek as the database manager. Mentru has served with several nonprofit organizations domestically and abroad with a focus on international development, education, and social justice. Most recently, Mentru was the manager of data and analytics at Philadelphia VIP, where he helped manager VIP’s case management system and several online and offline core function cloud platforms.
Mentru is a former AmeriCorps City Year and Augustinian Volunteer, and he remains passionate about educational equality, policy, and bridging the achievement gap in under-resourced communities.
Mentru received his B.S in Civil Engineering from Villanova University and M.P.A with a focus on program evaluation and data analysis from Middlebury College.
Daphne comes to the role of Controller with 20 plus years of experience in accounting. Daphne came to Bet Tzedek as a temp and was hired as a Senior Accountant. She was then promoted to Assistant Controller and now the Controller. She began her career at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she also earned her Bachelor’s degree in finance. After almost a decade at UIC her family relocated to Biloxi, MS. In Biloxi she continued to work in the university system with Mississippi State University. Upon moving to Memphis, TN Daphne began working in non-profit at MIFA (Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association) and has been working in non-profit for the last 11 years.
Daphne loves to travel and spend time with friends and family. She has 2 wonderful kids and a beautiful granddaughter.
Director, Small Business Development Program
Nadia Segura Narvaez joins Bet Tzedek as Director of the Small Business Development Program. Nadia comes to Bet Tzedek with a wealth of experience. Most recently, Nadia served as a Legal Officer at TrustLaw, the legal pro bono program of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. In this role, she connected high-impact NGOs and social enterprises working to create social and environmental change with law firms and corporate legal teams to provide them with free legal assistance. She also led strategic legal research projects on regional and cross-border issues, with a focus on human trafficking and digital rights. Prior to that role, Nadia served as a Supervising Attorney of the Survivors of Violence Unit at the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), a leading immigrant rights organization in the United States. Nadia represented survivors of human trafficking and violent crimes before law enforcement agencies and in immigration court. Nadia also worked in private practice as an international lawyer with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP in New York and as an in-house counsel in a leading consumer company in Mexico.
Nadia received a Master of Laws from Columbia Law School, where she earned the Parker School Recognition of Achievement in International and Comparative Law. Nadia also holds a Law Degree from Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León. She is admitted to practice in New York, California, and Mexico.