Maria Marinos, Board Chair
Maria holds a Master’s Degree in Divinity (MDiv) from King’s University in Los Angeles, California and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California in Santa Cruz in Sociology and Community Studies. She has also completed graduate courses at San Jose State University in the field of Public Administration.
While completing her MDiv, Maria served as Executive Assistant to the Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer and Secretary to the Board of Trustees of The King’s University.
During her career, Maria served as the District Administrative Coordinator for the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transportation District, and later she was promoted to the District’s Grants and Legislative Analyst during significant years of growth for that organization. In that capacity, she administered the agency’s operating and capital grants program and legislative program. She left that position to pursue her master’s degree.
Later Maria served as a Senior Transportation Planner for Programming and Grants at Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). In that capacity, she executed the grant programming and administrative activities for VTA projects including developing funding proposals for capital improvement programs. She also coordinated with VTA’s fiscal division staff on project accounting and assisted with State and Federal audits in the areas of procurement, financial management and organizational performance.
Maria became Board Secretary of Santa Clara VTA at in 2005, where she directed and managed the Office of Board Secretary with a $4 million budget and 28 full-time employees. Her responsibilities also included administrative support to the Board of Directors, their three standing committees, five advisory committees and five policy-advisory boards.
Maria left her position with VTA to become the Chief Deputy Clerk of the Board of Supervisors of Santa Clara County. She was promoted to the position of Clerk of the Board of Supervisors of Santa Clara County. As Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, Maria managed and directed the Office of the Clerk and was responsible for a $7 million budget and 40 employees. Under her direction, the Office of the Clerk provided administrative support to the Board of Supervisors, its five standing committees, 40 advisory committees, Assessment Appeals Boards, and the official records of the Board.
Maria is currently retired from her career in public administration and resides in Santa Cruz County, where she serves on the Board of New Life Community Services, and in other volunteer positions with non-profit organizations.
George Palau, MA
Gary Quan, MFT
Gary Quan is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who received his Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and Addiction Studies Certificate from Western Seminary in 2008.
He has over 10 years of experience working to support a variety of couples, families, and groups across cultural and socioeconomic spectrums in private practice, community mental health agency, acute psychiatric hospitals, and varied correctional settings.
In addition to being at Christian Counseling Center for the last 10 years, Gary is also a Behavioral Health Clinician at the Elmwood Correctional Facility (Milpitas). Gary works with over 200 low-to-medium risk female inmates on various issues and incorporates dosages of empathy, compassion, and humor with his clients in order to help preserve their self-respect and dignity, while making the changes necessary to move on and advance in their lives.
Gary speaks regularly at several regional churches and supports congregations on complex issues ranging from Pastoral/leadership absences and departures, depression and severe mental illness in their respective members, as well as encouragement and education on suffering and mental health.
Gary has also served as Adjunct Faculty at William Jessup University (Bay Area campus) and Samuel Merritt University teaching a variety of courses to classes ranging in size from 5 to 50 at the Bachelor’s and Master’s levels.
Gary and his wife have been married for 4 years and dote on their 15 nieces, nephews, and godchildren.
Laura Davis, MBA
In 2018 Laura retired after 38 years of service in Corporate America. She holds an MBA in finance from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, CA, and has spent the last 10 years as a Senior Finance Manager for large technology companies. Laura enjoyed managing and mentoring employees.
However in 2017, Laura made a decision to change her career focus and completed the Addiction Studies program at William Jessup University. Laura now works as a full-time Program Manager at New Life. Eventually, Laura would like to do full-time counseling at New Life. Laura has 35 years of continuous sobriety and has a passion for working with those struggling with addiction.
Laura and Tim have been married for 7 years. Together, they have 5 children and 2 grandchildren. Her favorite hobbies are live theater, travel, and spending time with her grandchildren. Laura feels blessed to be at New Life and doing something she loves.
Wolfgang Rietz, BA
In 1983, Wolfgang received his B.A. in Psychology, which included three majors, Psychology, Bible and Theology, and Ministerial studies in hopes of someday filling the position of Associate Pastor in a church setting taking on a variety of responsibilities with a focus on providing counseling services.
Wolfgang’s interest in psychology and helping people started when he was in his journey high school years. Upon graduating from high school, Wolfgang joined the Army where he serviced in Okinawa and Japan as a Drug and Alcohol Counselor. To continue his interest in counseling, he enrolled at Bethany Bible College to pursue his degree in Psychology. One of his professors was Dr. Steve Stiles.
During Wolfgang’s last semester in college, his daughter was born. He soon realized he could not support a family with just a B.A. degree in Psychology. Wolfgang took on a couple of different jobs to support his family while still looking at the possibility of furthering his education in counseling. One of his first jobs was an Accountant Assistant in the Business Office of his Alma Mater, Bethany Bible College, where he was promoted to Accounts Receivable Supervisor. Wolfgang found a new niche. He completed many classes in Business and Accounting. He now works for a small company which manufactures radio broadcast equipment where he has been servicing as the company’s CFO for the last 20 years.
Wolfgang still has a heart for those in need of help with life skills and overcoming chemical dependency. For this reason, he serves on the board at NLCS. Although not being directly involved in the day to day treatment process, he hopes by bringing his business management experience to NLCS to support and facilitate fiscal stewardship.
Dr. Steve Stiles, Secretary
Dr. Steve Stiles is a faculty member at William Jessup University in San Jose, California, where he teaches addiction studies, and served for ten years as an adjunct faculty member at the Western Seminary San Jose campus. He has lectured internationally on substance abuse issues and has served as a resource for local governments, as well as California Tribal programs. Dr. Stiles has lectured throughout Asia and Europe on addiction topics.
He served for 40 years at New Life Community Services in Santa Cruz, California where emergency shelter and drug and alcohol treatment are provided in residential and outpatient services. He is a graduate of the American Baptist Seminary of the West (D.Min.) and maintains counselor certification through the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (CADCII).
Steve Stiles is the author of two books through Gospel Publishing House, Thorns in the Heart and Recovery for Co-Dependency. He has also authored Gotchyaa and Journey On The Hard Side of Miracles