The Guibord Center Board of Directors
Dr. Lois M. Sprague, President, has worked closely with Dr. Guibord from The Guibord Center’s inception and been involved in every facet of planning and growth. “Lo” is a deeply spiritual and passionate leader who has dedicated her life to enabling others to find and follow the best within themselves. She is a talented writer, educator, public speaker and Jungian-oriented psychotherapist who recently retired from her successful private practice. She has also served on the faculty of several academic institutions and on various nonprofit boards.
Lurelean Gaines, Vice President, currently is the Director and Chair of the Department of Nursing, East Los Angeles College (ELAC). Since her college days, Lurelean has been a passionate activist who “fights for the deserving and the underserved.” As a student and later a public health nurse for Los Angeles County, she assisted patients needing comprehensive health care. Lurelean has continued her advocacy as a local and national board member and previous President of Health and Education for the American Diabetes Association. She also has advocated for others as Assistant Chief Nurse and EEO at the 349th General Hospital Army Reserve, and currently at ELAC.
Dr. Rini Ghosh, Secretary, has been a key part of The Guibord Center since it began. She first served on the Advisory Council before moving onto the Board of Directors.
Rini was born and educated in India, where her Ph.D. dissertation focused on “T.B. Macaulay’s Minute: Formalization of English Education in India.” She has lived in California for over 35 years, running her own business.
From a young age, Rini has been a peace activist and steadfast follower of Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi. A passionate advocate of interfaith cooperation, she has promoted peace, nonviolence and interfaith activities around the world. Rini serves on the board of the Vedanta Society of Southern California; as President of Vedanta International Cultural Center (VICC); and as Director and Parliamentarian of the United Nations Association, Pacific-Los Angeles Chapter.
A Universal Peace Federation Ambassador for Peace, Rini has been honored with the South Coast Interfaith Council’s Interfaith Unity Award. The Urban Community Outreach Center, Long Beach has recognized her and VICC for inspirational service/seva to the homeless.
Mary Kirchen is Chief Financial Officer and a founding board member of TGC. She founded and formerly served as Executive Director of Housing Works, a leading nonprofit providing services in the model of permanent supportive housing. Previously, Mary served for six years as President of Immaculate Heart Community. An ecumenical organization rooted in Jesus and united with the people of God, Immaculate Heart Community seeks to build bridges that enable all persons to find truth, dignity and full human development.
Mercedes Márquez is an experienced practitioner, strategist, and innovator with more than 30 years of leadership and public service in housing and economic development, community advocacy, city management, and executive coaching.
She is adept at both crafting a vision and executing it to create effective social change. With these skills Mercedes has served from multiple perspectives in a range of sectors. She has worked in local government as a Deputy Mayor Los Angeles, in federal government as an Assistant Secretary at HUD, as a civil rights advocate, and in real estate development. At times, she has overseen more than 800 employees and managed more than $50 billion in funds.
Chaplain Brenda (B.J.) Threatt is an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Mentored and employed by the Rev. Dr. Cecil L. “Chip” Murray at First AME Church, Los Angeles, she now serves at Bryant Temple AME Church and as a chaplain at Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base. Chaplain Threatt previously worked for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as the South Los Angeles Director and Veterans Outreach Coordinator and is known for her community organizing skills and public speaking. She earned a BA degree from California State University and an MDiv from San Francisco Theological Seminary.