Leadership Team

Cliff Curry
Cliff is a homegrown resident of Tehama County, currently employed as the principal of Los Molinos High School.  He spent 12 years living outside the county – living and working in Alaska before returning to work in education.  In his various vocations prior to education he worked in the commercial fishing, lumber, oil and gold mining industries before returning to live in California. He worked for over a decade as a secondary teacher of English, business, social studies, math and computer technology before becoming a secondary administrator.

Amy Gonczeruk
Amy Gonczeruk is the Marketing Manager at St. Elizabeth’s Community Hospital. She was raised in Red Bluff and is the adoring mother of her son Aiden and her daughter Paige. Before accepting her prestigious position at the hospital, Amy managed both the Rolling Hills Clinic as well as a deli and a golf course in her earlier days. Playing Super Woman, she has balanced her family, career, and academics to achieve a Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies from Simpson College and a Masters in Health Administration from the University of Phoenix. When she has a moment to herself, Amy is an avid Cheer Mom, kid-taxi and bookworm. She excels at balancing numerous extracurricular activities – all in a pair of fashionable heels!

Scott Chandler
Scott calls himself a Swiss Army knife because he always seems to tackle a wide range of projects. He credits a large portion of his success to his Rolling Hills Casino Marketing team. Together they volunteer their time on good causes,

like Expect More Tehama and the Tehama Branding Project — both which aim to raise the quality of life in Tehama County.

These two causes and his job frequently puts him in contact with local professionals and this commonly leads to other projects. For example, he works with Christine Lee at Corning High and Tony Cardenas at the Corning Rotary to help Corning High Design Students create posters for the Corning Wine, Food & Art Festival. That project led to helping fill the poster showcases at the renovated Rodgers Theater — a visual anchor to Downtown Corning.

His favorite project however, is the Tehama Wilderness Team. He takes a group of students backpacking into the Lassen Volcanic National Park Wilderness (not coincidentally, Lassen also happens to be the focal point of the Branding Project.) They learn how to be safe and comfortable, minimize their impact on the wilderness and to value our National Parks. Oh, and to have fun.

Scott was recently inducted to the Lassen Park Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Lastly, a word of warning, he’s an avid backpacker and cross country skier — don’t get him started…

Kathy Garcia
Kathy is the Business Services and Marketing Manager at the Job Training Center. She was raised in Red Bluff and Dairyville. She didn’t know how special that was until she spent 10 years in Sacramento, Portland and Long Beach attending college and working in government, trade associations and the private sector. She rediscovered Tehama County and hasn’t looked back. She excels at shopping, running kids around and striving to become a decent Do It Yourselfer. If you want her to come to a meeting, make it early and serve breakfast with giant mugs of hot coffee.

Amanda Wigno Harter

Amanda Wigno Harter grew up in Red Bluff and graduated from Red Bluff High School. After completing her degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Political Science at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Amanda returned to Red Bluff to be close to family and for her love of the small, close-knit community.

Amanda returned to school to pursue a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management from Simpson University, and currently works for Dignity Health as their North State Service Area Communications Manager.

Beyond the Expect More Tehama Leadership Team, Amanda serves on a number of other boards and committees within the community. Amanda is a Trustee for the Tehama County Board of Education; serves on the State Theatre for the Arts Board of Directors as the Social Media Chair; serves as the Scholarship Coordinator for the Redding Emblem Club; serves on the McConnell Foundation Scholars Committee and served as a Commissioner for the Red Bluff Parks and Recreation Commission and is serving on the California County Boards of Education Annual Conference Planning Committee for 2017.

Amanda and her husband Austin are actively involved in adult recreational soccer leagues in the area as well as Shasta Roller Derby, which Amanda participates in as a skater, and the League Board President.

Michelle Carlson

Michelle, a social entrepreneur at heart, lives to inspire others and is passionately devoted to being a positive force in everything she does.  Her interests are diverse and numerous and include things like hiking, writing, knitting and old cars, but the main focus of her attention lies in her work with technology, education and the community.

Michelle tends to dream on the lofty side, but is confident in the fact that there is no limit to what can be accomplished with a dedicated team of like-minded dreamers and doers. Her role at the Tehama County Department of Education and with Expect More Tehama affords her the opportunity to work with an amazing group of leaders who are dedicated to effecting positive and lasting change. Her latest and greatest creation is the Maker Space at the Dept. of Ed building in Red Bluff. Less than a year in operation and it is already receiving warranted attention from other Maker Space’s throughout the country.

A long time resident of Tehama county, Michelle enjoys the natural beauty and friendly atmosphere of the North State.  She has had a myriad of experiences that have had a profound influence on her, including service in the National Guard, earning a degree in Internet and Information Technology from Chico State, and running a successful marketing business.

Those who know her well would tell you that Michelle is “naturally caffeinated” and operates at warp speed in everything she does!

Cynthia Cook

Cynthia Cook is the daughter of a steelworker and has grown up through the school of hard knocks. Aspiring to work in retirement in Disneyland as a Fairy God Mother, she focuses her current career on making a better life for children. As the director of Early Childhood Education and Student Support Services, she is passionate about those who need an extra hand to fulfill their dreams.

Kate Grissom

When Kate Grissom digs into a project, she does so with a great team, a boat load of initiative and a stylish notebook. She believes in the power of conversation and storytelling to connect people and frequently creates opportunities for people to gather in support of each other and the community at large.

Kate is passionate about Tehama County and knows that together we can create a place where people thrive. To this end, she holds leadership roles within The Tehama Country Movement, Tehama Trail and Tehama Reads. Kate and her husband Brandon opened Enjoy the Store in Red Bluff in 2013 and have been showcasing the efforts of regional artisans, farmers and entrepreneurs ever since.

She received her degree in Organizational Development from Simpson University and her love of family and community from the school of friendship and blessings. Kate is the Director of Marketing for Dignity Health in the Northern California Region, where she engages an inspired and dedicated team to raise expectations and opportunities for all.

Heidi Mendenhall

Melissa Mendonca

Melissa Mendonca was shocked the first time she caught herself singing a pop song at her desk. That happened around the time she started sharing the radio dial with the young people she shuttles to college visits. Melissa coordinates the Tehama County Mentoring Program, teaches teen pregnancy prevention at the Juvenile Justice Center, and helps Probation youth determine a positive path.  Most days she pinches herself at how lucky she’s gotten to do the work she loves. Even if it does lead to pop song earworms.

Melissa is a passionate advocate for Tehama County and loves telling stories of its people and places through her second job as a freelance writer.  And while she will enthusiastically offer up great ideas to spend a day, a weekend, or a week in her beloved community, she’s also always conjuring plans to make sure young people experience more of the great state of California. Travel is a remarkable form of education, and Melissa is often hauling young people around to discover that for themselves.

You’ll also find Melissa hanging around the Green Room Studio in downtown Red Bluff. She doesn’t think it’s an exxageration to say that Art Saves Lives. As chair of the Tehama County Arts Council, she works with a dynamic group of volunteers to ensure that our community, especially our children, are enriched by the arts.

Karla Stroman

Karla Stroman has served as an educator in Tehama County for 25+ years. She is the current administrator for the SERRF After School Program, directed through the Tehama County Department of Education. In this role, Expect More Tehama’s values and mission of college and career readiness for all Tehama County students are prevalent; promoting their importance through curriculum, activities, professional development and daily programming for the 2000+ students, families and staff participating in the SERRF After School Program. In addition, she is the long-standing president of the local Tehama County Reading Association, now joined with EMT’s “Tehama Reads” project.  As a rule of life, Karla loves devoting her time to being a great leader, wife, grandmother, mother, daughter, sister, spin class instructor & friend- while trying hard not to miss a good sale!