Danny's Farm / About / Board Members
Cathy Gott, President
Cathy is President of Education Spectrum, Inc., a center-based educational and social skills training center founded in 1996 for children with autism serving nearly 400 families. She holds her Master’s Degree in Public Administration, specializing in Non-profit Organization Management from the University of San Francisco. Recognizing the growing need for employment opportunities for adults with disabilities, she created Danny’s Farm. Opened in November 2007, Danny’s Farm employs and serves persons with special needs, and has proudly been recognized as Employer of the Year by Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard and Senator Carol Liu’s Autism Regional Taskforce Excellence in Employment Awards. Named for her sixteen-year-old son, Danny, who has autism, the Farm is a labor of love. She serves on California’s Blue Ribbon Commission for Autism, is a Board member of Autism Speaks Los Angeles, and appointed to the Board of Directors of Los Angeles Universal Preschool to represent the 5th District of Los Angeles County. She has been recognized as “Woman of the Year” by Senator Jack Scott and Supervisor Michael Antonovich. Cathy currently consults for Los Angeles based autism organizations developing quality programs.
Jim Gott, Vice President
Jim sustained a professional baseball career for 19 years. He pitched in the Major Leagues from 1982 through 1995 for the Toronto Blue Jays, San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers. His post baseball career included hosting KABC’s “Sports Talk”, announcing at Dodger Stadium, and Pitching Instructor for Dennis Quaid in preparation for “The Rookie.” Jim is now the Pitching Coach for the Los Angeles Angels organization and spends his time developing young pitchers. He attends community appearances throughout the year. Jim’s 28-year-old son, CJ, is affected with autism, along with Danny (23). Jim enjoys a variety of martial arts training and holds his 3rd Degree Black Belt in Hapkido.
James Barger, Secretary
James Barger is a General Engineering Contractor specializing in pools, spas, and water features. His business operates in Arizona, California, Hawaii, and especially Nevada, where he has designed and built for several Las Vegas hotels, including Mandalay Bay, Caesars, the Luxor, Hardrock Hotel, and the Sahara. Mr. Barger has extensive knowledge of private industry as well as firsthand experience establishing and sustaining profitable businesses. Fifth District Supervisor Michael Antonovich appointed him to serve on the Business Commission where he has served for over 7 years. In addition, he serves as a Scout Master, Eagle Scout Coordinator and serves on the Board of Directors of the Boy Scouts of America. Mr. Barger holds a B.S from Ohio Wesleyan University, and is father of a son, James, donated his time to oversee the construction of Danny’s Farm and continues to coordinate ongoing Eagle Scout projects at the Farm.
Mamie Fernandes, Treasurer
Mamie Funahashi is the Chief Financial Officer for Community Partners overseeing and directing all aspects of the organization's finance and administrative operations. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she has always had a big heart for children and those with disabilities. Mamie fell in love with Danny's Farm after meeting the Gotts and has since been actively involved in supporting its mission and cause. She brings to Danny's Farm over 20 years of experience leading the financial functions of both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Prior to joining Community Partners, Mamie spent 8 years at Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) where she played an integral role in the design, development and oversight of the finance and accounting department. A graduate of USC’s Leventhal School of Accounting, Mamie began her accounting career at Arthur Andersen LLP and worked in the entertainment field for companies such as Fox Filmed Entertainment and Ticketmaster. She has extensive management experience in accounting, finance, auditing, technology and nonprofit taxation. Mamie also serves on the board of directors for Center for Pacific Asian Families. She lives in South Pasadena with her 2 children, Kaile and Andrew.
Orel has been involved with numerous charitable causes throughout his MLB career. He engages with the community on a regular basis, including speaking engagements, baseball clinics, Dodger golf tournaments and other related events. He has been particularly involved in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Harambee,
Many charitable causes throughout his career Speaking, Clinics...
Work with CF for whole Dodger career Golf tournaments, Fashion shows
Spent time and helped Harambee, Christian Family Center, and supports Clayton Kershaw and Justin Turner's charitable foundations. He has joined the Danny's Farm Board with an open heart.
Vince joined the Board of Directors in 2014. He is the Co-Founder and Co-President of THE NBC Agency, which services all of NBC divisions. Vince established broadcasting's most robust and successful marketing department. Notably, Vince's marketing team created the blue puzzle piece, which as become the world-wide identifier for autism awareness.
llison Alanis has served Danny's Farm since its inception in 2007. Her philanthropic endeavors have raised thousands of dollars for Danny's Farm. Allison has seen the Gott's two children with autism grow and develop, and she has been instrumental in their lives. Allison travels the world with her exquisite interior design skills, and finds time to host numerous charitable events.
Meike has been volunteering for Danny's Farm for more than 8 years. Her past profession, a professional photographer, Mieke has donated countless hours to Danny's Farm. Her passion for serving children with special needs drove her to a career change. She is currently a teacher for special needs children. The size of her heart is immeasurable.
Stacey Harrison was raised in the Pasadena area of Southern California. She was a member of National Charity League where she volunteered hundreds of hours at The Pasadena Girls Club and The Pasadena Crippled Children’s Society while attending San Marino High School. Stacey then attended The University of Arizona where she earned her Economics degree. While attending The University of Arizona Stacey was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority where she held the office of Philanthropy Chairman and enjoyed organizing and being a part of many philanthropic events. She also took American Sign Language in college and volunteered at The Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind.
Stacey’s career has been in the insurance industry where she was a Claims Examiner with various companies handling property and casualty claim investigations before moving to the marketing side of insurance. She is currently the National Account Manager for Schneider & Associates Claim Services in Burbank. Stacey has always had a love for animals, especially horses, and began riding and competing when she was 8 years old. Stacey lives in horse friendly Shadow Hills with her husband and young son, and is an active member of the community volunteering her time at her church as well as her son’s elementary school.
Jillian is currently a postdoctoral psychology fellow at Boston Children's Hospital/ Harvard Medical School specializing in the assessment and treatment of children with developmental delays. Jillian is passionate about helping support individuals with disabilities and their families through behavioral, therapeutic and educational services. Although her specialization began when she was pursuing her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology at UCLA, Jillian has been personally driven to work with this community from a young age. Serving as a Board Member for Danny's Farm is a new endeavor, and she is looking forward to being a part of the team.