top of page

Meet the Team

Betty Sandford

Betty has devoted much of her 90 years to her community and child, youth, integration and foreign policy issues. While she has held several jobs, most of her efforts have been through volunteer  work in non-profit organizations.


Favorite responsibilities were chairing the Monrovia Centennial and directing Bob Bartlett's several successful campaigns for Mayor of Monrovia. She ,also, served as President of the Monrovia Unified School District, trained delegates to the UN Conference on Environment and  Development  & visited several countries for UNICEF.


Betty is the widow of attorney and community  activist, Jules Sandford. She has  three children, seven grandchildren and step-grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Betty is studying the jazz drum.

lois gaston_edited.jpg

Lois Gaston is blessed to chair Monrovia's ChangeMakers team. She moved to Monrovia 1949 and has been an active member of the historic Second Baptist Church ever since. After graduating from MAD High School (Class of 1953) she attended Mt. San Antonio College before being hired as a Telephone Operator by Pacific Telephone in 1955. Lois retired from AT&T as a District Manager of Human Relations with 37 years of service in 1989. She continues to spend her time giving back to her community and church. Her proactive involvement on non-profit boards and foundations, such as NAACP ACTSO, Foothill Unity Center and Duarte Kiwanis, has helped her to grow personally while also affording her opportunities to help others. She is a Past President of California Contract Cities, a former Duarte council member and the 1st African American female mayor of that city.

Lois Gaston

Ulises Gutierrez

Ulises Gutierrez

Following his early years as a gang member and drug addict, Ulises was called to faith.  In a remarkable life transformation, he now leads a ministry that dedicates its efforts to empowering youth and families to leadership and hope through a community partnership with the Santa Anita Family YMCA, LifeChurch UPC, and other community groups.  Ulises Gutierrez received the Iris Award (Monrovia Citizen of the Year) for 2010.Ulises takes his passion to help, insights, experience and innate speaking abilities with him to all his professional endeavors and volunteer activities.  Ulises volunteers his time as a Board Member at the Executive level for community organizations such as:

  • Suicide Prevention Task Force in Monrovia: Healing Connections

  • Foothill Unity Center Inc.

  • Social Model Recovery Systems Inc.  

  • Monrovia Area Partnership

Ulises has many roles in the community; Advocate, advisor, life-coach and bridge builder, making him an outstanding role model for our community. 

Sandy Burud

Sandy Burud's earlier career involved working on behalf of women and children, encouraging employers  to offer benefits for working parents.  Her firm designed and/or managed child care centers at the work place for Apple, PG&E, LA DWP, Universal Studios and others, so employees' children would have an educational environment in their early years.  She led research projects and co-authored two books. 1) Employer-Supported Child Care: Investing in Human Resources showing employers how to offer child care support to employees, and 2) Leveraging the New Human Capital, which showed the financial return employers achieve when they manage their employees with respect and recognize their needs as individuals. It was named "2004 Outstanding Book of the Year' by the Academy of Human Resources scholars.  She was Chief Strategy Officer for a firm that helped large employers create flexible work policies so employees could work flexible hours or from home to balance work and family responsibilities.


More recently she has focused on her other passion -- family and local history.  She is the Co-Director of the Monrovia Legacy Project, part of the Monrovia Historical Society, to preserve and share Monrovia's City Historians' historical photo and papers collections online through the Monrovia Public Library. She has Master's degree in Human Development and a PhD. from the Claremont Graduate University in Education. 

larry spencer_edited_edited.jpg

I’m a lifelong Monrovian and have called it home all of my life. I attended Huntington Elementary School, Clifton Middle School and graduated from Monrovia High School. After High School, I joined the U.S Army and served for 21 years. As a young child growing up, I always saw my parents helping others, in various forms. This was instilled in me and gave me a continued desire to serve my community. I'm currently serving a second term on the Monrovia City Council.

Larry Spicer

Steve Baker

Steve Baker is a fifth-generation Monrovian who has served Monrovia in several official capacities. He was appointed the Official Historian for the City of Monrovia in 1991, was elected Monrovia City Treasurer in 2005 and was re-elected in 2009, 2013, and 2017. Steve became keenly aware of segregation and bigotry in Monrovia at the age of seven, when he attempted to swim at the Monrovia Municipal Plunge on a wrong day. He also attended an elementary school with only one student of color in the student body. His service on numerous boards reveals his contributions most visibly. He has been the Treasurer for the Duarte Historical Society and Museum for more than thirty years, He currently serves as President of the Citrus College Foundation Board of Directors, President of the Monrovia Historical Society, Treasurer of the Friends of the Monrovia Public Library, and board member of the Monrovia Historic Preservation Group and the Santa Anita Family YMCA. In the past he has served as Chair of the Santa Anita YMCA Board of Managers, President of the Monrovia Historical Museum, Treasurer of the Friends of the Duarte Library, member of the Historic Preservation Commission, and Treasurer of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. He was also the Executive Secretary of the Rotary Club of Monrovia for seventeen years. But it is as Monrovia’s City Historian that he has been most involved in documenting the institutions that worked to reduce bigotry and researching the lives of individual ChangeMakers such as Lt. Col. Allen Allensworth, Aunt Kate Wright, Pinky and Willie Watkins and others. As part of the Monrovia’s Legacy Project, his narrated historic driving tours have shared with Monrovians the dividing line between ethnic communities and the evolution of the City as it dealt with issues of prejudice.


Charlotte was a longtime Monrovia businesswoman and volunteer. As a deaf woman, she worked with ChangeMakers to represent all disabled people in an effort to eradicate ignorance and eliminate bullying. She is a past international president of Quota, founder of Monrovia Leadership Academy, newspaper columnist, and a writer/editor of many books and city and school publications.



Jonnie Bell Gholar was born in Los Angeles, California on Friday the 13th of March 1953. Bad luck? Her parents John and Annie Bell Gholar felt it was the luckiest day of their lives. Her parents had five children — Jonnie, Barbara, Larry, Janet, and Steven. Jonnie is only 11 months older than her sister, Barbara Ann. They were raised as twins and lived in Monrovia on Sherman Avenue family (Marvin “Oka” Inouye). It was an integrated neighborhood. Her parents were members of Second Baptist Church at the time of Jonnie’s birth.

Joannie Yuille


Barbara is a native of Monrovia she went to Monrovia schools and graduated from MHS in 1972.

She is a former Preschool/Kindergarten Teacher; she retired from teaching in 2014. She started a financial services business to educate the middle-class community specializing in people of color.

She has been active with Monrovia Duarte Black Alumni Association, producing shows during Black History Month for the past 4 years on Kgem.  Now she has a show on Kgem called “Excellence in All Things”. Barbara served as chairperson for Black History Month taking over the work of her sister Joannie after her passing in 2017.  She is a recent graduate of the MAP Leadership Program and was voted as Interfaith Council of Monrovia chairperson in 2018.

Barbara Gholar

Francie Santellen Cash was born in Monrovia, attended Monrovia schools and devoted much of her adult life to those schools and their students. Francie served as a parent- volunteer for the Monrovia Unified School District for 14 years. She served on Parent Teachers Association, Parent Teacher Students Association, and Booster Club Boards at every grade level. She was the founding president of the Clifton PTSA and helped organize the Monrovia Schools Foundation. She served on the founding board of the Boys and Girls Club of the Foothills, and was a part of the team that earned the “All America City” title for Monrovia. Francie was elected to the Board of Education in 1989 and served for 14 years. She ran for Monrovia School Board to add a parent’s perspective, but without intending to do so, she became the representative and the voice of the Latino community.

Francie Cash

unnamed (1).jpg

Under Construction

Mohna Manihar

Ralph R. Walker was born Chicago, Illinois, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Loyola University. It was there he learned the role the media plays in the community and came to believe that the media always has the last word. The 1978-79 blizzard led Ralph and his family to migrate to Pasadena, California where he eventually hosted a local TV show called “The Book Beat” that aired on Channel 56, a public access station.

Ralph Walker


Richard Singer is the author of Renaissance Years: A History of Modern Monrovia. He spent thirty years in community journalism and was editor and associate publisher of the Foothill Intercity Newspapers, including the Monrovia News-Post, from 1986 to 1989. From 1990 through 1999 he managed the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce. In 2000, he was appointed the City of Monrovia ’s Public Information Officer and was a Deputy City Manager when he retired in 2010.

Richard Singer

bottom of page