Director of Community Services and Parks and Recreation, City of Carson
Bio: Idris, is an internationally and nationally recognized Recreation and Parks professional and public speaker. A Highly motivating, energetic, passionate leader with proactive vision and an innovative pragmatic approach to recreation issues and needs, has been working in the field of Recreation for the Past 35 years. He is currently the Director of Community Services and Parks and Recreation for the City of Carson California. Idris is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards garnering him State, National and International notoriety and acclaim
Athletic Director, CSUDH
Bio: A Gardena native and West Torrance HS alum, Jeff Falkner will begin his second year as the Director of Athletics for the Cal State Dominguez Hills Athletics Department after joining the Toros in August 2015.
Falkner begins his tenure at CSUDH after serving one year as Athletics Director at New Mexico Highlands, which followed a four-year stint at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa, where he served in a similar capacity.
At Highlands University, Falkner was responsible for an annual budget of approximately $3.5 million and nearly tripled the school's corporate sponsor partnerships. He also served on the Board of Governors for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, created the Highlands Sports Network, developed and implemented year-end student evaluations to collect program feedback, implemented a golf fundraiser and served as a member of the Hall of Fame selection committee.
Additionally, his student-athletes boasted an overall GPA above 3.0.
At Graceland, its student-athletes enjoyed an outstanding record of success in the classroom, garnering 97 Academic All-America honors as well as maintaining an athletic department GPA of 3.0 or better. Besides the academic success in Falkner's tenure, Graceland boasted 144 All-Conference selections as well as 17 All-Americans, with 24 programs having been represented at NAIA National Championships in his four years.
Prior to his arrival to Lamoni, Falkner served as Athletics Director and baseball head coach at Brescia University in Owensboro, Kentucky, where he led the baseball squad to a Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference record of 46-17 in four seasons, a .730 winning percentage. Brescia also boasted three-consecutive KIAC Players of the Year and a Conference Pitcher of the Year, with the Bearcats qualifying for the 2009 NAIA National Tournament and finishing the season with a 33-24 record.
Falkner earned a BA in Communications from Grand View College in Des Moines, Iowa, and his MA in Intercollegiate Athletics Administration from California University of Pennsylvania. He and wife Hannah have two children, son Casey and daughter Cali.
Retired NFL Player, 49ers Alumni Coordinator
Bio: Manase “Jesse” Sapolu is a former NFL player with the San Francisco 49ers and is a 4x Super Bowl Champion. Sapolu played both center and offensive guard, and spent his entire 15 year career in a San Francisco 49ers uniform.
Born in Samoa - raised in Hawaii, Manase "Jesse" Sapolu, one of the most celebrated Polynesian NFL football players, was the rock for the San Francisco 49ers' offensive line during the 49ers' 80s & 90s dynasty.
Jesse stared in football, both at Farrington High School and the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.
Jesse was all-state as a lineman in high school; selected all Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and was an All- American at the University of Hawaii.
March 1983 he was selected by the Oakland Invaders in the USFL. In April, of the same year he was selected by San Francisco 49ers in the 11th round of the NFL draft.
Sapolu is one of six 49ers to own four Super Bowl Championship Rings (1984, 1988, 1989, and 1994). He earned Pro Bowl honors in 1993 and 1994 at two different positions and was selected to numerous All Pro-Teams.
Jesse was inducted to the Farrington High School Hall of Fame, the University Of Hawaii Hall Of Honor, and the State of Hawaii Hall of Fame; recently inducted as a member of The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Class of 2015.
In 1997, Jesse Sapolu was a recipient of the NFL Ed Block Courage Award by being the first and only player to return and play in the NFL following Open Heart Surgery. Sapolu contracted rheumatic fever as a young boy in Samoa, which tore the aortic valve in his heart.
In 2012, he wrote his biography “I Gave My Heart to San Francisco”
In the last few years, Sapolu has been a spokesman for the American Heart Association spearheading ground breaking research and echocardiogram exams as part of pre-physical examinations for football players and athletes in general.
Since retiring in 1997, Sapolu and his wife Lisa lives in Orange County. Jesse is busy with his duties as the 49ers alumni coordinator, motivational speaker and is very active in the community and various charities. Jesse has a linemen academy called Men in the Trenches; which in the last eight years has helped over 90 high school offensive and defensive linemen use the game of football to earn a scholarship and continue their education. Jesse considers athletes earning scholarships thru his academy and his four children all becoming college graduates as his two biggest accomplishments.
Judge, LA County Superior Judge
Bio: • Occupation: Criminal Gang Prosecutor
• Senior Deputy District Attorney
• Prosecutor for 25 years
• Tried ~ 200 jury trials
• Death Penalty, special circumstances, gang cases
• Prosecuted notorious media cases--"The Sleepwalk Murder"
• Tried high profile GHB rape as was featured on "The New Detectives"
Assitant Aquatics Program Supervisor, City of Carson
Bio: I am Moises Cisneros, Assistant Aquatic Supervisor for the City of Carson, California.
At age 17, I started as a Summer Youth Worker at Scott Pool. Soon I was interested in becoming a swim instructor/lifeguard, so I learned the skills needed to fulfill the lifeguard prerequisites. The following year, I became a certified lifeguard/swim instructor. At 19 I became a senior lifeguard, and worked for 11 years in the Aquatics program as a seasonal employee.
Two years ago, I successfully applied for Assistant Aquatic Supervisor and I have held the position since that time. I am certified to teach lifeguard training, First Aid and CPR. I also am in charge of scheduling, teaching and recertifying city employees in both First Aid and CPR.
Anything is possible–just set your mind to it and never give up.
Bio: Mr. Gillespie was a part of the Design Team for RDPS, and he has been one of the Co-Leads of the ALGPS from the opening of Rancho Dominguez. He teaches AP United States History, AP Government, and AP Economics. He has been the Senior Class sponsor, Academic Decathalon coach, and has been a key part of the School Site Council, School Leadership Council, and United Teachers Of Los Angeles.
CSUF Athelete, City of Carson
Bio: • Three-time all-league and all-area player in High School
• Was a two-time team captain
• Named team’s best defensive player in 2012
• Named team’s best offensive player in 2009 and 2011
• Was named the top defensive player in 2010
• Played travel ball for Lakewood Firecrackers Gold.
• Got a full ride softball scholarship to the University of North Texas
• Transferred to Cal State Fullerton, also receiving scholarship, after freshman year
• Conference champion in 2016 at Cal State Fullerton with an overall record of 45-16 and Regional runner-up against UCLA
Pastor Bryon Smith Sr.
Professional Clinical Counselor Intern, Lifting the Veil
Bio: Byron Smith Sr. is a Professional Clinical Counselor Intern with 25 years of experience helping
individuals; couples and families strengthen their ability to handle stressful challenges in life. Byron
possesses two Masters Degrees, one in divinity and the other in psychology. He fuses these together in his
therapeutic approach to healing.
Byron has extensive clinical training in treatment modalities that are evidenced based with proven
results. These include trauma focused therapy, seeking safety (substance abuse and post-traumatic stress
disorder), and solution-focused therapy. For the last two years he has worked at Junior Blind collaborating
with the department of mental health to provide clinical care for foster youth and their families.
In addition to his clinical training Byron has invested the past two decades mastering the use of his spiritual
training to inspire people to operate with a better consciousness for a greater humanity. This work has
included teaching for Azusa Pacific University and the California School of Ministry.
Byron's professional purpose includes advocating for marginalized communities and assisting those
receiving community mental health. He makes it a priority to work with people that have been pushed off
to the side and struggle with trying to gain access to help. He has served on community boards for the city
of Compton, Carson, San Pedro, and Pasadena to create programs and services giving hope to those in need
of support. Specific populations he serves include individuals and families who have been affected by the
criminal justice system, economic struggles, gender identification abuse, the foster care system, chemical
dependency, educational deficiencies, ethnic and religious discrimination. His concern for these vulnerable
populations has encouraged projects with the Los Angeles Voice, American Federation of Suicide
Prevention, Chabad Residential Treatment Center, and One Church One School.
Memberships & Associations
• became a member of Pan-African Seminarian Association at Claremont School of Theology for three
• Alumni Association at Claremont School of Theology.
• Served as the One-Church One-School West Coast Director for the Ninth
Episcopal District with mentoring and counseling youth and young adult to enhance their educational
• Worked with LA Voice with the Obama Health/Mortgage Reform Movement in Pasadena and the city of
Teacher, Compton High School
Bio: Philip May
Compton High School
Instructor: Project Lead The Way
Introduction To Engineering Design
Principles Of Engineering
First Tech Challenge robotic competition coach
Started teaching in 1996
Instructor for Project Based learning
Presenter for the Project Lead The Way State Conference
2017 in Riverside
2015 in Sacramento
BA degree in Psychology from U.C. Santa Cruz
Mastered degree in Business from University of Phoenix
Youth Facilitator, CSM
Bio: RICHARD PABLO BIS (BIO)
Richard Bis immigrated to the US from the Philippines when he was just 10 years old. As a teenager in Richmond, CA., he participated in park events and sports helping him to find a place of safety. He also found mentors that thought him the importance of education, social support, and the positive things in life.
As a University of California in Los Angeles freshman in 1993, he began to work for a difference in the City of Carson through the UCLA Samahang Pilipino by volunteering in cultural performances, senior food distributions, and the Filipino WWII Veterans fight for equity. In his current job as a public health prevention organizer for the Asian American Drug Abuse Program, Inc. (AADAP, Inc.), he coordinates a club called Carson Student Movement (CSM) in the Carson High Complex. Mr. Bis also helped establish the City of Carson’s annual Red Ribbon Week Celebration in partnership with the Carson Initiative for Substance Abuse Awareness and Prevention (CISAAP) Coalition. He currently serves as a Carson Citywide Advisory Commissioner.
He believes that Civic Engagement is important in developing skills, knowledge, values, and motivation in life. In the past, he has volunteered in various events in the City of Carson such as Miss Teen Carson Pageant, the Boys and Girls Club of Carson Youth of the Year; Relay for Life; City of Carson 45th Anniversary; Sheriff Community Night Out; Harbor Care Center Bingo Night; KABOOM Park Building; Parent Conference; Jazz Festival, Teen Conference; Larry Itliong Day Parade, and the Carson Philippine Independence Day Celebration.
He credits his professional success to the “youth-first” frame of mind embraced by many Carson leaders, city staff, parents, teachers, and youth volunteers. He believes that any challenges can be resolved through empowerment, creativity, commitment, and relationship building with others.
Bio: Paul Cawood grew up in Sacramento, California. He moved to Southern California in 1999 and graduated from Cal State University Long Beach in the year 2000 with a degree in History. Mr. Cawood has been teaching the Social Sciences for sixteen years, and he currently teaches World History, Government, Economics, Law, and Philosophy at Rancho Dominguez Preparatory School. This year, Mr. Cawood and many of his students have started a Teen Court where students deliberate on real cases, and he is also the coordinator for a new Mock Trial Team. The team competed for the first time this year, and they look forward to the Constitutional Rights Foundation Mock Trial competition in November.
City of Carson
Bio: My name is Kelsie Mitchell. I am a young, working college student. I graduated from King Drew Medical Magnet High School in 2015. I currently attend Long Beach City College, where I am majoring in Nursing. I work for the City of Carson at Del Amo Park as a Rec. II Assistant. I love my job. I love the people that I get to work with. I enjoy working with the kids as well. They are full of energy.
Recreation Program Manager, City of Carson
City of Carson