Christopher Brown,  Board Member

Christopher-BrownChristopher Brown is a real estate development industry veteran with more than 22 years’ experience. He currently is partner in 3 three real estate related companies and one apparel company all based in the Sacramento region. NEXT Real Estate Group is a boutique resale real estate company, NEXT New Homes Group is an innovative sales operation and ad agency for the home building industry, NEXT Crafted is a niche home building company and Premier Graph-X is a custom apparel company.

Christopher speaks on a variety of topics related to home building, sales, marketing and business practices at the local and national level. He has been selected to speak at the International Builders Show in Las Vegas for the past 3 shows to a packed house, at the past two Pacific Coast Builder’s conferences and many local events.

He is a husband to his wife of 18-years, Julie and a father to their adopted son Marcus, who is 12 going on 25. Marcus loves playing the guitar and is an active lacrosse and soccer player. Christopher has coached Marcus’ soccer team for the past 6 years. As a family they love to travel, most recently taking a 26-day adventure through the South Pacific.

Roger Dickinson,  Board Member

an image of Roger DickensonFormer Assemblymember Roger Dickinson was elected to the Sacramento Board of Supervisors in 1994 and also served in the 7th Assembly District from 2010 to 2014. Dickinson received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley where he lettered in varsity basketball and afterward earned a law degree at UCLA in 1976. Roger has been a dedicated public servant for over four decades, representing California as a consumer protection advocate, educator and Supervisor.

Roger Dickinson spent eight years as a member of the Regional Transit Board of Directors and was chairman of the board twice. He also served on the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Commission, the Sacramento County Air Pollution Control Advisory Board, and the North Sacramento Community Plan Citizens Advisory Committee. In addition, Dickinson served on the board and as President of the American Lung Association of Sacramento, and chaired the Sacramento Transportation Coalition. He is the former President of the Friends of Light Rail and board member of the Sacramento Tree Foundation.

Roger lives with his wife, Marj, in the Woodlake neighborhood where they have owned a home for more than 30 years.

Kathleen Hamilton,  Board Member

Kathleen Hamilton brings decades of public interest and government service to Families Now. The former Director of the California State Department of Consumer Affairs has also served at the helm of the California Health Facilities Financing Authority, the Commission on the Status of Women, and the CA Senate Democratic Caucus staff. Hamilton began her government career as a consumer advocate and senior committee consultant to the CA legislature, and later went on to join the non-profit The Children’s Partnership as its Government Affairs Director. She has proudly served on a Food and Drug Administration’s advisory panel, as the CA chair of the 1984 Gender Gap project, and on the Board of Directors of the Sacramento Theatre Company. In 2004 Hamilton became a foster parent to two young teenaged boys. The experience of foster-parenting and exposure to the foster youth system shaped Hamilton’s commitment to help address the needs of foster youth.

Jim Keddy,  Board Member

an image of Roger DickensonJim Keddy is the executive director of Youth Forward ( and a consultant to social change organizations ( For thirty years Jim has served as a leader in social change efforts in California. He is the former director of PICO California, a statewide association of community organizing efforts, and served as a vice president at The California Endowment, one of the state’s largest charitable foundations. He began his work in promoting racial and social justice as a high school and college activist and entered the community organizing field in his early 20’s.  He has been a member of several non-profit boards including the boards of The California Endowment, Public Health Advocates and the California Budget and Policy Center. He currently serves on the board of Families Now, a child welfare advocacy organization.


Laurie Chavez Powers, Board Member

an image of Roger Dickenson
Laurie Chavez Powers is a committed community leader, has a belief in servant leadership and giving back to the community she takes pride in.  She has been an active member of the Junior League of Sacramento, in which she has served in numerous leadership roles for the past 12 years. In 2010, Laurie was awarded the President’s Award – Volunteer Excellence for her outstanding and committed service to the League. She was honored to be named the 2014-2015 President of the Junior League of Sacramento. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Sacramento Children’s Chorus and Families Now.

Laurie has worked in Talent Acquisition for over twenty years providing a high level of talent to her current company, CGI. She lives in Carmichael, CA with her husband and daughter.  In her spare time Laurie enjoys watching her daughter play soccer and sing. She takes time out of her busy schedule to catch up on TV, spend time with friends and travel.

Barbara Webster-Hawkins, Board Member

an image of Barbara Webster-HawkinsBarbara is the adoptive mother of two former foster children, a role that delights and challenges her every day. Currently, she is the Director of Grants Development and Fiscal Sponsorships for the Foundation for California Community Colleges. Barbara secures grants for the official nonprofit auxiliary to the California Community College Chancellor’s Office and Board of Governors, plus steward’s fiscal sponsorship services for mission-aligned public benefit projects and initiatives. Previously, for the California Health Facilities Financing Authority, Barbara managed three grant programs, the Children’s Hospital Program, a $1.73 billion grant program for capital projects for children’s hospitals, and two new grant programs, the $142.5 million Investment in Mental Health Wellness Grant Program for capital projects and personnel to expand crisis care, and the California Health Access Model Program (CHAMP), a $6.5 million healthcare innovation program. As a Senior Program Officer at The California Endowment, Barbara served as regional manager for 28 Northern California counties for the state’s largest private health philanthropy, overseeing community-based grant making in the region to improve access to quality, affordable, culturally and linguistically accessible health care and to improve the health of California’s under-served communities. Barbara is a past Chair of the Community Advisory Board for the U.C. Davis Health System and a Senior Fellow in the Mountain Valley Chapter of the American Leadership Program. She was previously the founding executive director of the Sacramento Court Appointed Special Advocate Program that matches trained volunteers to advocate for children who are dependents of the juvenile court.

Amy T. Wister,  Board Member

an image of Amy T. WisterAmy Wister is currently the Founder and CEO of The Stylist Online, LLC as well as a Foster-to-Adopt mom. Amy, her husband, Jason, their daughter and son finalized their Forever Family commitment in December of 2015. She is all too familiar with the untapped opportunities that exist for children at risk and is passionate about influencing dynamic sustainable change in this underserved population. Wister strongly believes in investing in her community, having held leadership positions in many philanthropic organizations including Past President of the Junior League of Sacramento, Metro Chamber Inspired Giving Board, Active 20/30, Tri Delta Alumni and the Junior League’s Endowment Advisory Board. Following a career as Intel Corporation’s IT Strategic Procurement Relationship Manager, IT Risk Manager and Sarbanes Oxley Technical Writing Team Manager, Wister became a Territory Sales Manager for the nation’s third largest window manufacturer overseeing a large component of retailers. Having earned her MBA from University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business, Wister’s career experiences and leadership training became foundational components of the success that led her to launch The Stylist Online. “My goal was to build a unique methodology to turn shopping and style into a science.” Her trademarked system, The Style Dial®, has since become the guiding principal for helping individuals of any shape select clothes off the rack. Her team of certified stylists across the country is dedicated to combining style and science to provide lasting knowledge and what Wister refers to as “heroic” service levels to its clients. Wister is a nominated member of the Founders Network, a group of serial entrepreneurs who have collectively raised over $250M in capital.

Volunteer Leadership Opportunities

Families NOW is currently interviewing candidates for future Board of Directors and Committee Members. Please contact us if you would like more information

Families Now prospective board & committee members overview