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The former executive director of the Parent Services Project in San Rafael, Jenny Ocón, has been hired to be the new executive director of the St. Helena and Calistoga Family Centers.

Ocón, who has more than 15 years of nonprofit experience, will begin her new job on Jan. 27, according to Kristen Georges, president-elect of the Up Valley Family Centers. Earlier this year, the boards of directors of the St. Helena and Calistoga Family Centers voted to merge the two centers and rename the new entity the Up Valley Family Centers. Georges said the merger will become effective early in 2014. Its 12-person board of directors will include five former directors from each of the two centers and one person from Calistoga and one from St. Helena.

Georges said Ocón will split her time between both of the offices “as it will be important for her to learn about both communities as soon as possible. “We are thrilled we have found someone with Jenny’s qualifications and extensive experience and the board feels it really is a bonus to have the opportunity to bring in a fresh set of eyes. The staff at both centers have met her and are very excited to have her on board,” Georges said.

She added Ocón has been executive director of PSP since 2007 and prior to that, she served as Director of Programs and Training. PSP, which is more than 30 years old, works to educate and empower families and youth in the Canal District of San Rafael and throughout Marin County.

Previously, Ocón worked as the Community Programs Director for The Children’s Network in Fairfield, where she was responsible for planning and managing family support programs for a countywide network of nine independent Family Resource Centers.

Ocón is bilingual and has a bachelor’s degree with honors from UC Santa Cruz in Latin American Studies and an master’s degree from Washington University with an emphasis in Social and Economic Development.

Georges said, “Jenny’s experience and her enthusiasm for our diverse community is just what we need to ensure the success of our merged organizations — we are thrilled to have her to join us in this critical first step, and look forward to introducing her to our partner agencies.”

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