Administration

Jaynette Underhill, M.A.Executive Director

Jaynette Underhill, M.A, RCFE, ARF, has been in the human services field for more than 25 years, focusing on organizational regulatory compliance, risk and quality management, operations, management training, and national accreditation. She holds a BA in Management and MA in Organizational Leadership from Saint Mary’s College. She holds a certification in Residential Care for the Elderly (RCFE) and is a certified Adult Residential Facility Administrator (ARF).  Jaynette has held leadership positions in for- and nonprofit healthcare, behavioral health, mental health and long term care settings. She is dedicated to efforts that positively impact under served populations and enjoys working collaboratively with talented professionals who are committed to clients and families.

Jerry Metzker, M.F.A.Development Director

Jerry Metzker has been fundraising and driving communications for Oakland area organizations since 1997. Prior to coming to Clausen House, he has worked as a contractor and consultant as well as managed the development offices of several community benefits organizations. Jerry’s focus is in creating an engaging atmosphere in and around the organization to build support and revenue and therefore achieve the goals. He has a B.A. from Wittenberg University and an M.F.A. from Columbia University. He is a former co-chair of the Oakland Chamber of Commerce NonProfit Roundtable.

Debbie GallanoBusiness Office Specialist

Debbie Gallano is CPA certified. Debbie served as the finance officer in the Philippines Consulate General in San Francisco for 8 years and was Deputy Director to the Philippines Department of Tourism for 10 years. Debbie was born in the Philippines and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce and a major in accounting.

Anissa LeCounteHuman Resources Specialist

Anissa LeCounte is a native San Franciscan, graduated from San Francisco State University with a BSW, and has more than 15 years of Human Resource Experience.  She has worked in many nonprofit organizations including Bayview Hunters Point Family Resource Center as the Deputy Director, and Urgent Action Fund for Woman’s Human Rights as Operations Coordinator and Development Coordinator.  Anissa is excited about joining and supporting the team at Clausen House.

Program Directors

Shawn EdwardsDirector of Adult Education

Shawn Edwards has 16 years of experience in providing services to children and adults in the mental health field. He is a team leader that values ethical standards, a strong work ethic, and positive team environment. Shawn earned a degree in Communication with an emphasis in Child Development from Sonoma State University. He enjoys getting to know the individuals, staff, and family members at Clausen House. Shawn’s office is located at our Adult Education Program at 650 Grand Avenue Shawn pledge the highest quality of care to the individuals at Clausen House. He is always available to answer any questions or and encourages anyone to stop by his office to say “hello.”

Bridgette YoungHarryDirector of Supported Living and Independent Living Services

Bridgette YoungHarry comes from a long line of missionaries, educators, and care providers. Beginning in 1964, her family owned and operated care facilities for people with developmental disabilities. Her family members opened their homes to individuals with special needs, providing foster care for children and safe environments for youth and elderly or disabled adults. These early experiences inspired Bridgette’s passion for helping others and led her to pursue a fulfilling career in social services. For the past 35 years she has worked with, lived with, and cared for children and adults with developmental disabilities, as well as aging adults in convalescent, community, and other specialized settings. Bridgette obtained her bachelor’s degrees from San Francisco State University in Behavioral and Social Science/Ethnic Studies, with a minor in dance and a discipline in geriatrics. After college, she became a Qualified Mental Retardation Professional (QMRP) and spent the next five years writing and designing program and behavior support plans for three level II facilities. She spent the following five years as a Residential Administrator at Good Shepherd Lutheran Home and transitioned into the position of ILS Program Coordinator there. She joined Clausen House in 2000 and currently serves as our Program Director of Independent and Supported Living Services. Bridgette is married and is the mother of two sons. As a humanitarian, she is driven by a philosophy to serve people with developmental disabilities “body, mind, and soul,” in line with the mission, values, and vision of Clausen House.

Veronica SantanaDirector of Supported Employment Program

Veronica Santana earned a Teaching Credential from Cal State Hayward’s with a focus on adults with disabilities. Her career spans 19 year of service to people with autism and developmental disabilities that began as a work activity supervisor at the California Autism Foundation, then a prompt promotion to Program Assistant Coordinator, then to Supported Employment Coordinator.  Veronica has taught Career Development, Health & Safety and Self-Maintenance Skills as a credentialed teacher for the West Contra Costa Unified School District’s classes for adults with disabilities. She has advanced to her current position through promotions from the following previous leadership positions at Clausen House: Employment Specialist, Manager of Curriculum & Training for both Supported Employment and Work Activity Programs.

Barbara LangResidential Administrator for Perkins Residence

Barbara Lang is a 1972 graduate of Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Texas, where she majored in behavioral psychology and sociology. Her goal in life was to work with people with disabilities. To that end, she joined Clausen House as a direct care, live-in weekend staff member on December 8, 1972. Within six months of hire, she became the Residential Supervisor of the four houses then in existence. A year later, she became the Director of Education and Activities for Clausen House. Barbara was the Director of the Behavior Modification Program, a six-bed home on Adams Street, from 1975 until it closed in 1989. She is currently the Residential Administrator at Perkins residence. Barbara enjoys her work at Clausen House, and with almost 39 years of service to our organization, we proudly acknowledge her many contributions. In 2013, Barbara Lang received the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Alameda County Developmental Disabilities Planning and Advisory Council.

Danielle RichardsonResidential Administrator for Vernon Residence

Danielle Richardson is the Residential Administrator for Clausen House’s Vernon Street residence. She has a Family Development Credential from the College of San Mateo and over 17 years of experience working with persons with developmental disabilities. Her journey started with RECARE (now Community Gatepath) on the Peninsula, where she realized this field is truly is her passion and niche. Danielle has worked with persons with severe developmental and physical disabilities and administrated over two homes designed for individuals with various extreme behaviors. She respects the importance of being fit inside and out and finds much opportunity for wellness working so close to Lake Merritt. Danielle believes that all things are possible through faith, trust in a power greater than the self and doing the footwork.

Denise L. RossResidential Administrator for Belmont Residence

Denise Ross has been a human resource advocate for more than 15 years in the Greater East Bay. Her mission is to develop the capacities of families and individuals to become self-sufficient. As residential administrator of the Belmont House, she will continue to empower clients, enrich lives and explore community events, and provide care management. Denise hobbies are sports, jazz concerts, movies and meeting new people. She has an A.A. from Contra Costa College in Sociology and a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Liberal Studies from Holy Names University.