Grace Williams, Founder, Board President, & Executive Director
Grace was born and raised in northern California and received her BA in Applied Linguistics in 2006 from Trinity Western University in British Columbia, Canada. During her time there, she was involved in a ministry to people suffering in commercial sexual exploitation in Vancouver. After spending several years in religious communities, she discerned a call to work with survivors of human trafficking. Grace began volunteering with Mary’s Guest House for adult trafficked survivors (San Diego, CA) and the Missionaries of Charity’s Homeless Women’s Shelter (Memphis, TN).
As she became more involved in the anti-trafficking movement and attended training with Treasures International (Los Angeles, CA) and educational meetings with the Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition, she saw the pressing need for more rehabilitative programs in San Diego that have a therapeutic/holistic approach, and most importantly which present the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In December of 2015, Grace was elected co-chair of the San Diego Board of Supervisors’ Human Trafficking Victim Service Committee. In this role, she helps lead the committee in representing the needs of trafficking victims and working to further best aftercare practices.
Edward Kariithi, Board Treasurer & Chief Financial Officer
Edward was born and raised in Kenya and moved to San Diego to attend college. After he met his lovely wife, he decided to stay in the United States. Edward has held Controller and CFO positions at Liberty Street financial group, Nightingale Health Services, Inc., and United Financial Group. He has provided Support to various companies, including audit support and financial processes consultation for the Diocese of San Diego, amongst other firms.
Edward has also worked as an accountant at various levels in companies including CBIZ (CBZ) and Infosonics (IFON). He is currently a partner in two businesses, Global Coffee Trading and Njoga Coffee, Inc., which he founded. The companies import trade in coffee and coffee futures as well as regular coffee products with the finest pure Arabica coffee from his family’s farms in Kenya. He serves on the finance council of St. Anne’s parish in San Diego and is a former board member of the Goretti Group, a San Diego-based Catholic movement focused on youth spirituality.
Edward and his wife are blessed with four children and live in San Marcos, California.
Amy Vance, Board Secretary
Amy M. Vance is a founding Partner of AV & Associates, LLP, an Estate Planning firm. She has practiced law for eight years in San Diego after graduating from California Western School of Law in 2005 with a concentration in Child, Family, and Elder Law. Amy has been a public interest attorney representing parents in the San Diego Juvenile Dependency Court, operating landlord/tenant, guardianship, and juvenile immigration law clinics for the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program.
Amy is Corporate Secretary of the Board for Catholics for the Common Good, a lay apostolate advocating for marriage. She is also Treasurer of the Thomas More Society of San Diego. She teaches Theology of the Body for Teens to the 8th graders of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, Rancho Peñasquitos.
Amy and her husband Jon have one adult son.
Rob Moscato, Board Member
Rob lives in San Diego and works as a Chaplain for Ardent Hospice & Palliative Care. He has also served as a Catholic detention minister for over twenty years. Currently, Rob volunteers at Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility through the San Diego Diocese Office for Social Ministry and ministers to trafficked victims at Girls Rehabilitation Facility as a Chaplain for the Department of Probation.
Rob earned an M.S. degree in Counseling Psychology at Mt. St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles and has practiced therapy as an M.F.T. He also holds an M. Div. from St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, CA.
Lance Larson, Board Member
Lance was born and raised in San Diego, CA. After completing college and pursuing a teaching credential in English, Lance began his career in the U.S. Peace Corps as an education consultant for the Paraguayan Ministry of Education in the early 1990’s. Lance eventually left the Peace Corps and worked as a technology teacher in a private school in Asunción, Paraguay. While in Paraguay, he entered the Catholic Church.
Returning to his home town of San Diego with his wife, Lance began teaching at Hoover High School, an inner city school. Lance developed and taught in an alternative education program targeting at-risk students. Lance began taking on leadership roles at Hoover High writing grants and implementing programs for the school and community. Lance now works for the San Diego Unified School District as a Program Specialist developing, supporting, and supervising career technical education programs for all district schools.
Lance is married to Yenny, a native Paraguayan, and they are blessed with three children.
Sophie Piconi, Case Manager
Originally from Northern California where she received her degree from UC Berkeley in Nonprofit Management, Sophie has dedicated her professional life to working in various Social Service Agencies.
She served as program consultant for Governor Pete Wilson, then in 1997 she moved to San Diego to rebuild and direct a private foundation which served probationary and foster teens who were “aging out of the system.” Sophie was the COO of Big Brothers Big Sisters when she had her first child.
For 11 years she has enjoyed being a stay home mom, raising and homeschooling her two children. In the spring of 2016 Sophie met Grace Williams, and began working for CIH as case manager for St. Bakhita’s program for trafficked women and their children.
“The work that we (CIH) do is truly apostolic – we love the meek and wounded – the way Christ loves us.”
Vanessa Jimenez, Office Manager
Vanessa was raised in a military family traveling throughout southern California. After community college, she earned her Minor in Radio TV & Film and B.A. in Theatre Arts at California State University, Fullerton in 2014. Two years later she worked as the Chapter Development Coordinator with The Goretti Group Inc. while earning her M.B.A. in Film Producing at John Paul the Great Catholic University. One of her final thesis projects was an 8-minute documentary about Children of the Immaculate Heart. Throughout her college years she still remains a freelance photographer and producer in young adult ministry prompting Catholic events and community outreach programs. She currently holds an internship in Hollywood as a script editor. Her long term goals are to direct stories of true life experiences in the film industry producing authentic masculinity and femininity in Romantic Comedies.
Christina Vasquez, House Manager
Christina was born and raised in San Diego and grew up in a Catholic family of all girls. After receiving her BA in Psychology, she worked as the assistant manager for an Extended School Services program for ten years.
Inspired by her work with the Extended School Services, in 2015 she created her own film organization with the La Mesa Spring Valley School District in which she created short films with children in the after school programs. In addition to the work she did for her own organization, she made promotional videos for the company and schools within the district. Currently, Christina continues to work with students helping them create films, in particular a sketch comedy show with students from a local arts academy.
Jenna Christakis, Marketing Intern
Jenna is a California native who was born and raised Catholic. She attended college at John Paul the Great Catholic University in Escondido, California where she received a Bachelors of Science in Business with an emphasis in Sales & Marketing and a Bachelors of Art in Communications Media with an emphasis in Producing.
Jenna has worked for CIH for a year and looks forward to continuing to do the Lord’s work.