Kathleen brings more than two decades of non-profit social service leadership experience to Operation HOPE-Vista. She is a trained Art Historian, and began her career at the at the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles. After making the switch to social service work, she began a long career in fundraising raising $23+ million dollars over 15 years for agencies serving the homeless, special needs populations, and domestic violence survivors. As Executive Director of a Domestic Violence agency in Illinois, Kathleen served as a board member of the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, was a governor-appointed member of the Illinois Domestic Violence Advisory Council, and led the campaign to introduce accountability standards for judges hearing domestic violence cases in the state of Illinois. Her passion for advocacy and serving as a voice for those without is an important addition to the team at Operation HOPE-Vista.
CATHERINE FISHER, MA, LCSW
Director of Programs
Catherine is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked in foster care, residential treatment, mental health and medical settings for over fifteen years. She co-founded Reach Our Community Kids, a nonprofit after-school program in 2000 where she served as Executive Director and later as a board member from 2000 to 2008. Most recently Catherine served as clinical faculty with the Azusa Pacific University Social Work Department. Through her grant writing course, Catherine has directed student service learning teams to partner with over 40 local non-profit agencies to write effective grant proposals, resulting in 1.5 million in grant awards. While at the university she developed internship placements for graduate social work students in partnership with over 75 social service agencies. In 2007 and in 2015 she helped organize “Churches Assisting Neighbors” an interfaith collaborative of churches serving homeless. Catherine and her husband and daughter moved to Oceanside, CA one year ago.
Director of Shelter Operations
Anita Gunther is a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor. She began her career in medical billing and coding for doctors offices. In 2009 she began working with the homeless as a intern case manager for Alpha Project OutPatient Program. In 2011 she went to work for Interfaith Community Services as a Resident Attendant in their Sober Services Program she was promoted to case manager for the Addiction Recovery in 2014 and then promoted to program manager from 2011-2016. Anita began contracting part-time as a seasonal case manager for Operation HOPE Vista winter shelter in 2014. In 2016 Anita was hired fulltime as a Shelter Manager with Operation HOPE-Vista’s new year round program. She assumed the position of Director of Shelter Operations in 2017 and has contributed significantly to establishing policies and protocols that maintain a positive and safe environment for our shelter children and families. Anita is passionate about helping men and women overcome addiction and is a community leader and active NA sponsor here in North County San Diego. She also has certifications in mental health first aide and crisis counseling. Anita and her husband are long time North County residents.
Resource Development Manager
Nicole comes to us with a strong background in nonprofit management & youth development. Nicole grew up in the community of Vista and has been active in community involvement throughout her life. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from the University of California Riverside and is certified in Crisis Intervention in Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. Her passion for working with families and children in the community is a great asset to the team as we continue to raise awareness and work together to end local homelessness.