Our Team

Ruby Guillen’s captivating personal history of technical education in the US Air Force, and as a client and a professional within government systems of care, has given her the vision to unite the two typically disparate fields of Computer Information Systems and Social Work. After moving from military active duty to reserve status, in 1990 Ruby launched her social worker career based on a fierce dedication to being an advocate for the underrepresented. Through two decades as a technically-driven social worker partnering with emergency agencies to investigate severe injury/ child fatality cases, Ruby honed her deep knowledge of the social service system culture and complex data processing protocols, and its strengths and flaws. Ruby now expertly leads development of software-based solutions to address complex social service problems faced by government, nonprofit and private organizations. Ruby is now a highly respected Hacktivist who has partnered to share her expertise and genius at hackathons that were sponsored by Facebook, Google, The White House, the US Department of Health & Human Services, county, municipals and other prestigious groups. Ruby earned her BA and MA in Social Work from California State University of Long Beach as well as an additional degree in Computer Information Systems from Devry Technical College.

Council Co-Chair

Council Co-Chair

Christa Tipton is passionate about the intersection of social work and technology, particularly in the fields of aging and mental health. She is a Senior Social Worker at Adult Protective Services and committed to reducing elder abuse through technology. Christa has a Masters in Social Work from California State University Long Beach and a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Social Behavior from University of California Irvine. Since 2013, she has served as a member of the Executive Committee on the Orange County Task Force on Hoarding and has also served the community through training and non-profit work for most of her life. Prior to entering the field of social work, Christa specialized in training older adults to utilize technology as well as worked in the software industry.

Alix is a graduate student at the USC School of Social Work’s Social Change and Innovation Department and will be earning her Master of Social Work (MSW) degree in May, 2018. She is currently a full-time intern with The Hetty Group. Throughout Alix’s MSW experience, she has researched and worked in the field of social innovation and technology, maximizing opportunities that drive social change and social impact. Alix interned at Live Happy, an organization that is leading the happiness movement worldwide, inspired to create social change and bettering the lives of others, from experts in education, Positive Psychology and social initiatives. Alix acts as a board member of the NASW-USC Unit, research assistant at the Cohen Institute of Research and was awarded a COBI Fellowship in Social and Business Innovation. As a natural leader, Alix is committed to gathering educators, corporations and policymakers to be the driving force in positive change on the macro level.

Joseph Powers is a credentialed Administrator, trained and experienced in working with at-greatest-risk youth and families. Working in education to empower youth and provide opportunities to create success through adversity. He has worked in both comprehensive schools and alternative education programs for more than 18 years, in roles including Assistant Principal, Crisis Response, and Counseling. As a Crisis Response Specialist, he was the key project manager in the development of the crisis response network for the Orange County Department of Education’s ACCESS continuing education program. Mr. Powers has worked with the Orange County Social Service Agency as a Senior Social Worker, providing guidance and supervision to children that required the highest level of behavioral and emotional support. Joseph graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services from California State University, Fullerton, and a Masters of Social Work from California State, Long Beach. He has been working with technology to provide support to those in need for the past 15 years.

Lisa Guillen-Powers has experience in working with youth developing social skills and self-management. She has designed and developed an application that supports service providers working with behaviors in schools. She has a medical social work background and has supported individuals and families through Hospices programs. She has worked in careers with Social Services for more than 20 years. Lisa has honed her skills and discernment through work with nonprofits and public agencies where she supported the vast, varied needs of adults and children in professional roles across special education, social work, home care and hospice. Lisa holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services and Social Work from California State University, Fullerton and a Masters in Social Work from California State University, Long Beach.

Neva Wallach is a USC graduate student and Hetty Group Intern focused on technology for social good and criminal justice reform. Her passion lies in sustaining community-based solutions to public safety concerns. Neva interned for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office of Public Safety where she assisted with developing a web-mapping platform to coordinate crime prevention efforts Citywide. Through the San Fernando Valley’s Coalition on Gangs, Neva led a research project on police perceptions in one of LA’s most violent neighborhoods. Simultaneously, she interned with Communities in Schools Greater Los Angeles San Fernando Valley, a gang prevention and intervention agency. Neva’s leadership experience includes being a USC Dean’s Leadership Scholar and Co-Chair of the National Association of Social Workers-USC Unit. Before graduate school, Neva taught high school history in South Los Angeles following graduation from Boston University.