Kyla Aquino Irving is the Communications & Marketing Manager of the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) and was first introduced to the disability rights community since her involvement in the California Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities in 1997.
Previously, Kyla worked in health-related nonprofit organizations where she took great joy in developing and leading public relations campaigns for local, regional, and national public health outreach efforts, events, and conferences. She has been a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) since 2012 and was the youngest and first person of color to serve as President of the PRSA California Capital Chapter in 2015.
As a two-time kidney transplant recipient, Kyla has 20 years of experience as a spokesperson for ethnic minority health, disability rights and organ donation awareness. She's passionate about diversity, inclusion and health equity. No stranger to CFILC, Kyla has emceed Disability Capitol Action Day twice.
Born in the Philippines and raised in California, Kyla graduated cum laude from California State University, Sacramento in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies, with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Marketing.
Sacramento Business Journal named Kyla one of the "40 Under 40" in 2015 and Sac Cultural Hub named her one of the "Exceptional Women of Color" in 2016.
Kyla enjoys cooking, dining, traveling, and rooting for the Sacramento Kings with her husband Steve.
Lisa Austin is the Meeting & Logistics Coordinator and newest member of the CFILC family. In this role she manages logistics for many CFILC events including site selection, contracts with venues and vendors, preparing event orders, managing audio-visual requirements, access compliance for members and onsite management.
Lisa was born in Pittsburgh, PA and moved to Walnut Creek, CA in 1974 where she spent the remainder of her childhood and early adulthood. Lisa attended college at California State University Hayward studying Human Development, specializing in Early Childhood Education. Her passion to have a positive influence and be an advocate for young children, Lisa's professional career started in the childcare industry. She was introduced to the meeting planning profession in 1999. She enjoys the excitement of meeting new people, traveling around the country and using her skills to create and support many successful events. She has previously worked in the non-profit industry with California Peace officers' Association and The California Pharmacists Association.
Growing up, most of Lisa's time was spent competing in sports such as tennis, swimming, soccer and softball. At the collegiate level, she competed in soccer and softball. As a team captain and starting goalkeeper she finished her competitive career by winning the Division II, NCAA Soccer Championship. She enjoys the outdoors, photography, spending time with friends, and traveling. Her biggest joy is spending with her family most importantly her 4 nieces and 3 nephews.
Emily was born and raised in Solano County. After struggling through school because of her own disabilities, she is now committed to helping students be successful in school. She has worked with children with a wide range of disabilities for many years. She has volunteered for many organizations such as: Coats for Kids, Boys and Girls Club of America, and the Solano Stand Down for Veterans.
Prior to working at CFILC, Emily worked for an Independent Living Center as an Independent Living Youth Specialist. For the past two years Emily has attended the National Conference on Independent Living in Washington DC. At the conference she spoke with legislators on issues that affect youth with disabilities on a local and national scale.
While attending school Emily worked as a student athletic trainer in the rehab facility located on her college campus. Emily became well-versed in rehabilitation equipment and programs for injured athletes. She also has completed her emergency medical responder certification through Solano Community College. She enjoys learning all aspects of disability, from the physiological understanding to advocacy and organizing.
Emily continues to further her education and would like to finish her degree in Counseling Services. In her spare time Emily loves spending time with her family and puppy; she enjoys being outdoors and also loves to paint.
Kevin Hansen is currently working as a Device Lending & Reuse Manager with CFILC. Kevin has worked for CFILC since 2011.
Kevin attended Sacramento State University, Sacramento. After receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from CSUS he worked in retail as a supervisor for 5 years. Kevin enjoys spending time with his wife and family, golfing, camping, hiking and outdoor fun.
As the Financial Lending Specialist for the FreedomTech loan program, Stephen brings his extensive background in Finance to CFILC. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration with emphasis in Finance from California State University, Sacramento and over 10 years of experience in the mortgage lending industry. For 6 years, Stephen specialized in a government insured loan program designed to help low income seniors stay in their homes and age in place. His passion lies in finding creative solutions that will empower people to live full lives.
Stephen's excited to utilize his experience and education in finance to help people with disabilities purchase assistive technology.
He is currently returning to school to pursue a Masters degree in Social Work. In his free time, Stephen enjoys songwriting, movies, hiking, and spending time with friends, family and his dog Chandler.
Christina Mills is the Deputy Director of the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers and has been an active member of the disability rights community since her involvement in the California Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities in 1995.
Born in San Diego, California, Christina began her post-secondary education while simultaneously pursing her career in Independent Living. In 1999 she began working for the Independent Living Center of Orange County, the Dayle McIntosh Center. She went on to work for Access 2 Independence in San Diego and served in a number of various positions over the five years she was there.
In 2001 she was appointed by the California Governor to serve on the State Independent Living Council. As a young professional she also served as chair of the National Council on Disability, Youth Advisory Committee and was a Project Consultant for the National Family Voices, Kids as Self Advocates (KASA) program.
In 2006 Christina left San Diego to work for the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers as the Statewide Community Organizer of the Systems Change Network. She has lead the organizing and planning of Disability Capitol Action Day for seven years and is a co-founder CFILC's youth organizing program, Youth Organizing (YO!) Disabled & Proud.
In 2008, she was awarded Regional IX "Advocate of the Year" by the National Council on Independent Living and awarded the California Coalition for Youth Sue Matheson Mentoring Award in 2011.
Christina is a board member of the Disability Rights Education Defense Fund (DREDF) and the ADA Legacy Project.
She is an advocate, an activist, a wife, a mother of two young children, a part-time blogger, novice photographer, a serious scrapbooker and proudly identifies as disabled.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Yolanda has spent much of her youth devoted to educating people on human rights and issues faced by the LGBTQQAAIAP community, of which is she is a proud member. In 2012, Yolanda relocated to Sacramento to focus on her education and make her mark in the non-profit world. Despite being disabled since birth, Yolanda, like many did not know that the disability community existed and only became active through her work as a YO! Volunteer Corps member. She has since embraced her disabilities with much pride and has become an active youth leader both statewide and nationally. Earlier this year, Yolanda was awarded a youth scholarship to participate in the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) Conference. That opportunity led her to becoming a member of both the NCIL Youth and Queer & Women's Caucuses. In addition, Yolanda was also selected to attend and be trained at the ADAPT Youth Community Organizing Summit.
Yolanda is a passionate young woman of color, who looks forward to engaging other youth with disabilities across California to find their disability pride while also building her own leadership skills and increasing her involvement in the intersectional and complex issues that the disability community faces.