Board Members

HEIDI MAYERChairman of the Board

Ms. Mayer’s passion was realized after years of street outreach throughout the west coast.  Ms. Mayer first experienced homeless outreach programs in 2003 while chaperoning a mission trip in the west coast cities of San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle.  Ms. Mayer found her heart changed by the homeless youth she met and served.  Through these experiences, Ms. Mayer visited dozens of shelters, drop-in-centers, and outreach providers in dozens of various cities and settings.  Upon returning to her hometown, Ms. Mayer began organizing service outings to Venice Beach, Fairmont Park, and other local areas hoping to encounter and bring hope to the homeless youth in each of these locations.  By 2009, Ms. Mayer had spent a total of six years organizing volunteers, facilitating outreach programs, and serving the needy and homeless youth within the community and surrounding areas.

In 2009 Ms. Mayer began taking the initial steps in establishing YouthHope Foundation in hopes of addressing the service gap for homeless and runaway youth aged 14-24 in Redlands and the surrounding areas.  Today, YouthHope Foundation serves homeless, run-away, and underserved youth ages 14 to 24 from San Bernardino and Riverside Counties and believes that no youth is a lost cause.


Mr. Breon graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing.  He is currently working for Inland Temporary Homes in Loma Linda as a Case Manager.  Mr. Breon has had extensive time and experience working with homeless outreach services.  He served as the Community Coordinator for the Cold Weather Shelter of Redlands for five years and as the Trinity Church Homeless Outreach Director for five years.  His passion is to help the homeless in the community break the chain of homelessness.


Donna Ferracone retired in 2009 from Crafton Hills College after 20 years of service as a faculty member, department chair, and Dean of Career and Technical Education. Prior to this, she served as the Director of the Emergency Department at Redlands Community Hospital. Ms. Ferracone is active in the Kiwanis Club of Redlands (Noon), Redlands Youth Accountability Board, Young Visionaries Board of Directors and has been working with YouthHope for the past 3 years, primarily in the areas of community awareness and fundraising. A Redlands resident since 1980, she has focused on helping the youth of our community become productive citizens. She hopes to continue the work through her community involvement in various youth focused organizations. Ms. Ferracone received her Nursing Diploma from Queen of Angels School of Nursing in Los Angeles, Bachelor of Vocational Education from CSU San Bernardino and a Masters in Arts in Educational Administration from the University of Redlands.

Dr. Chris Martin (D.D.S.)

Dr. Chris Martin, D.D.S., is a native Californian, raised in Redlands. Dr. Martin attended local public schools and graduated from Redlands High School. He then attended UC Davis studying biology before entering dental school in San Francisco. In the summer of 1969, Dr. Martin married his high school sweetheart Pam, just prior to entering dental school. Dr. Martin graduated with honors and was class valedictorian of the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry. Following graduation he served in the United States Air Force as a dental officer at the Strategic Air Command Headquarters in Bellevue, Nebraska. Subsequently, the Martin family moved back to California with their two small children. Dr. Martin practiced general dentistry for thirty years in Cerritos. He and his wife raised their family in Cypress, California and ultimately retired in 2005. Upon retiring, Dr. Martin and his wife relocated back to the Redlands area. Dr. Martin and his wife are now the proud grandparents of four grandchildren.

Dr. Martin’s passions include spending time with family, volunteer work with First Congregational Church in Redlands, YouthHope Foundation, Redlands Sunrise Rotary, Redlands Service Club Council and attempting to play golf. Dr. Martin continues to volunteer at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry as an assistant professor and works with the third and fourth year dental students in the main clinic. Helping Heidi Mayer and the YouthHope Foundation procure and refurbish a building to serve the homeless, runaway, and underserved youth population remains the focus of most of Dr. Martin’s energies.

Rick Ferguson

Rick has a 40 year career with the San Bernardino County Public Works starting in 1973 at the department Yucaipa Yard as a worker and continually promoted to Blue Jay Equipment Operator I to Equipment Operator II at Yucaipa, Equipment Operator III at Green Valley to Blue Jay Yard Supervisor III and then to District Operations Supervisor in Blue Jay and served there from 1981 to 1989. In 1989 he was promoted to Equipment Superintendent and managed heavy equipment, maintenance yard facilities, special projects and programs and was instrumental in standardizing, modernizing and increasing the safety of the Public Works felt. From 2011 to 2013, Rick was the Field Ops Supervisor for Public Works Flood Control and named Public Works Employee of the Year in 2008 and retired in 2013.

Additionally, he was a member of the Mountain Mutual Aid for 8 years, serving as vice president and president, served 18 years on the County Risk Management Safety and Accident Review Board, 20 years as a DMV Commerical Drivers License examiner for San Bernardino County, served 18 years as Public Works Safety as Committee Chair or Co-Chair, spent 25 years on various Disaster Planning committees for Public Works obtaining a HAM operating license and worked on numerous CAO committees like County’s Green Policy, Fleet Consolidation study, Fuel Tank Consolidation and the County Employee Picnic.

Rick continues as a 20 year member of Rocky Mountains Fleet Manager Association, Maintenance Superintendents Association, California  Fleet Managers Association that included terms as Secretary, Vice-President and President, 2 years representing the County BOS on the South Coast Air Quality Management Board, Mobile Source Reduction Committee and Technical Advisory Committee. Currently on the Executive Board of Crime Prevention Program of Southern California and over 8 years served as Secretary, Vice President and 2 terms as President.

As a community volunteer, Rick has helped serve the hungry at the Catholic Church, served 15 years on the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation where he held a Board position for 5 years, for 7 years served on the Friends of Regional Parks Board as Vice-President, Treasurer and currently Gold Committee Chair, and helped for 6 years teaching the Children Fishing Workshop. For almost 2 years, Rick has supported YouthHope Foundation and making a connection to our youth by serving food ever week, volunteering with our Drop-In Center construction and joining our ‘Day in the Park’ Fundraising/Giving back to the community event committee.

Cheryl Evans

Founder and President of Evans & Co. Salon, Cheryl Evans recently celebrated 25 years as a community business woman in Redlands. She produced and coordinate the anniversary celebration called (Re)Generations in 2014 and raised $13,000 for YouthHope Foundation. In 2012 Mrs. Evans received the Redlands Woman of Distinction Award for volunteerism and has also served on the Redlands Chamber of Commerce and Beloved Foundation Boards during her career. Cheryl’s involvement in the Redlands Sunrise Rotary is outstanding, as she received the President’s Award in 2004, Rotarian of the Year for 2007 and 2013, and as Chairman of the Redlands Sunrise Rotary ‘Crab n Jazz’ for 2013 and 2014 raised $90,000 for the 2 events. Additional talents include participating as one of the dancers for the Symphony even ‘Dancing with the Stars’ fundraiser in 2012. Cheryl is married for 40 years with 2 children and 5 grandchildren.

Deb Austin-Brecher

Deb was raised and educated in New York City. In 1978 after completing her BA in Art History at the State University of New York at Binghamton, she worked in administration for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. She moved to California in 1979 and received her teaching credential from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1981. Deb worked as a legal secretary and received further education in paralegal studies from the University of California, Riverside.

Deb taught elementary school for 32 years at Valley Preparatory in Redlands and at Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District. She served as a mentor to new teachers through the state mentoring program. Deb retired from teaching in 2015.

Deb is also the owner of a small art business, ArtBurn, which offers art workshops. She believes art helps us express ourselves when words are too difficult and develop stronger problem solving skills.

Deb has been helping with YouthHope for the past three years and is currently the Volunteer Coordinator.