The Justin’s House team is group of passionate people dedicated to the vision of empowering kids to choose a better way to live.
Kelly VillarrealFounder & President
Kelly is particularly passionate about her work with at-risk youth and brings to the team leadership and a clear vision for this nonprofit.
Kelly was inspired to create Justin’s House to honor the life of her late husband. Understanding his personal struggle with alcoholism at a very young age, combined with a belief that kids can be empowered to choose to live beyond alcohol abuse and addiction has been the catalyst for this project. With a teaching credential and Masters in Counseling from San Jose State University, Kelly has been working with kids both as an educator and guidance counselor since 1994. She is particularly passionate about her work with at-risk youth and brings to the team leadership and a clear vision for this nonprofit. Originally from Northern California, Kelly grew up in Colorado and Mexico, returning to California in her early 20’s. She has 2 sons, 2 cats and is expecting her first grandchild in November. Apart from working with kids, Kelly enjoys river rafting, hiking, camping, traveling and spending time with her goddaughter.
Julie discovered her passion for the underserved, at risk populations, while teaching in the small, rural farming community of Orosi.
Julie started her career in education as a Business teacher, class advisor and basketball, volleyball and softball coach in the small, rural farming community of Orosi, in the heart of California’s Central Valley. This is where she discovered her passion for the underserved, at risk populations. She then took her desire to serve youth to the Silicon Valley in 2000 and quickly found her home in Santa Clara where she began as a teacher and basketball coach. Her talents led her to school administration and she spent 8 years as a Vice Principal at Wilcox High School. Julie continued to sharpen her skills in the areas of personnel management and for the last 3 years has been the Human Resource Manager at the San Mateo County Office of Education.
As a Director for Justin’s House, Tabitha provides communication and partnership-building support as this new non-profit continues to grow and develop.
As a Director for Justin’s House, Tabitha Kappeler-Hurley provides communication and partnership-building support as this new non-profit continues to grow and develop. Tabitha has worked in the public education field for nearly twenty years as a teacher, Vice Principal and Director of Career Technical Education classes and supplemental STEM and career-boosting programs for females. Additionally, during her last 10 years she has led her respective districts’ internal and external communication teams as the Public Information Officer. This unique combination of roles brings together her passions of empowering students to envision and prepare for their future while inspiring communities to deeply understand the importance of investing in all youth and public education in tangible and creative ways.
Kappeler-Hurley grew up in the Imperial Valley of southern California in the town of Brawley, some thirty miles from the border with Mexico. She earned her teaching and administrative credentials from San Jose State University. In addition to her efforts in education, Kappeler-Hurley enthusiastically provides leadership and support in multiple community organizations such as Santa Clara Host Lions, Relay for Life, and the Mission City Community Fund. She is happily married and has an awesome niece and cat. She never skips a chance to cook, garden, and spend time with friends.
Jennifer is one of the founding directors and holds the activities advisor position at the organization, providing event, communication, and partnership-building support.
About Jennifer ('Jenn')
Jenn is a champion for the success of every child, no matter their obstacles. She lives this passion daily through her work and volunteerism. Jenn has worked in education for 13 years, serving the the majority of that time connecting the community to student learning through public relations and communication. For the past two years, Jenn has served the students and community of Santa Clara Unified School District as the Public Information Officer, overseeing the district’s communication, media and community relations, and educational partnerships programs. In addition to her work with Justin’s House, Jenn also serves on the Board of Directors for the City of Santa Clara Library Foundation and is the Bay Area Regional Chair for the California School Public Relations Association.
Dhairya guides in solving the technological needs and implementing industry best practices and business process to achieve optimum results.
As an Advisor of Information Systems and Technology for Justin’s House, Dhairya Mistry guides in solving technological needs ranging from email, communications, collaboration, and website to setting up CRM, social media marketing, and donor and donation management systems. He advises on technological implementations to meet industry best practices and business process to achieve optimum results.
Dhairya has nine years of Information Technology industry experience, which includes implementing CRM & ERP systems, development of websites & eCommerce portals, implementing communication & collaboration platforms, performing business & systems analysis, and performing product and project management to name a few. His diverse experience across the IT field in different industries has allowed him to see the bigger picture that improves efficiency and scalability of business.
Dhairya grew up in India and came to the U.S. in 2001. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from San Jose State University. He always looks for an opportunity to help and engage with passionate groups that are trying to bring a positive change in the community. In his free time he is in his kitchen trying new recipes, spending time with his family and friends or meditating.
Dhaval keeps everyone and our finances in check and implements finance best practices to achieve required compliance.
Dhaval joined the Justin’s House Board as Treasurer so that he could help give back to the community which he’s lived in for almost 30 years. Dhaval especially believes in Kelly’s vision that kids can be empowered to make the right decisions when given the opportunity.
Previously, Dhaval was a Finance Co-Lead for the American India Foundation Young Professionals (AIFYP) – Bay Area Chapter from 9/2010 to 9/2011. For that year, the AIFYP supported the Market-Aligned Skills Training (MAST) initiative in India. Through the MAST program, AIF helps train unemployed youth with a 10th-grade education for employment in high-growth sectors, matching the demands of local area economies.
Dhaval moved to Santa Clara with his parents in 1988 and hasn’t left for more than a year since. He was a student at Wilcox High School (a former student of Tabitha Kappeler-Hurley’s), got his Finance degree from San Jose State University, and received his MBA and met his then-future wife at Santa Clara University. Professionally, Dhaval was a regulator for the California Department of Financial Institutions (now the Department of Business Oversight) for 9 years. His core focus was on the safety and soundness of non-traditional money service businesses such as PayPal, Western Union, Moneygram and more. While there, he also became one of the earliest Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (CAMS) in the country. In 2004, Dhaval made a huge career change and joined the private sector as a Senior Compliance Analyst for Google, Inc. with his core focus being Payments. Dhaval married his better half, Vanessa, in December 2014 and the two are expecting their first child, currently known as Dhaval Jr., in August 2016! In his spare time, he enjoys traveling… a lot and spending time with his friends and family.