Commissioners Respond to COVID19

Commissioner Erica Courtney

Veteran & Entrepreneur

Commissioner Erica G. Courtney has 18 years of combined active and Reserve Army duty having served in various positions to include military police, flight operations, scout helicopter pilot, NATO certified Gender Advisor, senior staff officer and paratrooper. As a trailblazer, she graduated number one in her cadet class, was part of the first group of women to go Cavalry and the first to graduate the Advanced Armor Cavalry Course. In addition to a distinguished military career, she has been a successful small business owner for 12-years having won several awards and recognition.  Erica is a fierce advocate for veterans and women having served on national, state and local Boards, Committees and Commissions. She has two teenage boys, married, and resides in Half Moon Bay, CA. 



In Her Own Words…

“I am COVID-19 recovered having contracted it while in Washington, D.C. as an activated Army Reservist.  Earlier on, there were no mandates nor any masks available to perform duties.  When I returned home to California,  I was prompted to collaborate with other women business owners to create COVID Safety Kits that include the basics: standardized washable antimicrobial masks, gloves and hand sanitizer with customized branding.  Simple, but effective in helping to reduce the risk of exposure. 

Additionally, I am volunteering for a UCSF study where my specimens are being used to validate antibody tests across the country and examine multiple questions involving the long-term individual responses to virologic, immunologic, and host factors involved.

It is no fun being repeatedly poked and prodded, but we need to learn more about this disease just as we need to protect ourselves to the best of our abilities. I am in a unique position to help with both.”

To learn more about Commissioner Courtney’s work, please visit the links below.

“Fighting an unseen enemy: How the military is protecting itself from the coronavirus pandemic”

Learn more about UCSF COVID-19 Trials:

Learn more about


See below for Commissioners whose work has been previously highlighted.

Commissioner Joelle Gomez


Commissioner Joelle Gomez

CEO, Children’s Home of Stockton


Commissioner Gomez has focused her efforts on the children that she serves in her role as CEO of the Children’s Home of Stockton. The Children’s Home of Stockton was established in 1882, originally created by a small group of ladies who formed the Ladies Aide Society of Stockton for the purpose of rendering charitable services to the City of Stockton. Today, CHS is one of the largest social services organizations in Stockton that has been serving at-risk youth in San Joaquin County and throughout California for over 138 years. CHS also offers an on-campus alternative education program which is operated through the San Joaquin County Office of Education. Each year, the Children’s Home of Stockton provides approximately 150 children and adolescents with comprehensive educational and therapeutic services.

In Her Own Words…

“In this time of uncertainty, I couldn’t be more proud of the work of Children’s Home of Stockton.  Today I spent the day visiting our seven cottages and talking with our youth about our changed world and how they are feeling and coping.  The day was filled with expressions of fear, anxiety as well as calm and hopefulness.  I was struck by the selfless remarks from one of our girls who said, “I know we are going to be okay, but I’m worried about staff who come here every day and have to return to their homes and are risking their health to care for us.”  I reminded all our students that they are our first priority.  We will remain here to care for them and ensure that we all get through this together. 

While our whole world is impacted by COVID-19, it was clear to me that our foster youth are impacted even more than most of us. They don’t have the comfort of sheltering in place with their families and they miss them deeply.  All sense of normalcy or routine has been paused.  But our courageous and compassionate staff are finding creative ways to keep our kids safe, engaged and calm.  Our staff are essential to the success of our youth.  They show up, they rise to the occasion despite the adversity around us.  Most importantly, they restore hope during this dark time.

I reminded our kids that this crisis will not last forever.  They will be reunited with their families and loved ones but until then we all have to do our part to keep ourselves and others safe and well.  I ended our conversation where everyone shared one word that represented how they felt in the moment…… the word echoed repeatedly was hopeful.  I too am hopeful.”