Board of Directors
Founder and Board Chair
George Horan is the founder and Board Chair of Healing Hearts Restoring Hope. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles on May 27, 1972. After one assignment as an Associate Pastor, he went into full-time ministry with the Catholic deaf and hard of hearing community. In 1986, he was asked to visit the deaf men at Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles and has been a volunteer there ever since. In 1995, he became the Associate Director of the Office of Detention Ministry. He had the privilege of working with Suzanne Jabro, CSJ, who was the Director of the office. Together they led the transition to the Office of Restorative Justice (ORJ). When Suzanne left the office, he became one of the Co-Directors of ORJ. Since 2008, he has been part of the Middle East Capacitar team, doing trauma and grief healing workshops and trainings in Palestine, Israel and Afghanistan. In January, 2013, he left the Co-Directorship of ORJ to spend more time in direct ministry, to expand the Victim Offender Education Group in Southern California, and to bring Healing Hearts Restoring Hope into reality.
Suzanne Neuhaus is the board vice-chair of Healing Hearts Restoring Hope. Suzanne worked for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) from 1988 to 2015 as a Parole Agent and is now retired. Her years of service as a peace officer inspired her to take a stand in support of a more responsible and balanced approach to justice. She has dedicated much of her professional life and volunteer efforts to promoting restorative practices to her work with people, including crime victims, offenders and the community. Suzanne is a graduate of both Loyola Marymount University (Bachelor of Arts in Psychology) and the College of Notre Dame (Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology); she has provided training and technical assistance on numerous topics including; Social Justice, Grief and Loss, Morality and the Formation of Conscience, Forgiveness, the Impact of Crime on Victims, Family Violence, The Relationship Between Early Childhood Trauma and Delinquent Behavior, Victim Offender Dialogue (VOD) in Crimes of Severe Violence, Restorative Justice, and Death Notification. Suzanne presently serves on the Restorative Justice Committee for the California Catholic Conference. In addition, she continues her work as a VOD Facilitator for CDCR in a volunteer capacity. Suzanne lives in Orange County, California, together with her spouse and teenage daughter. Says Suzanne, “True justice requires opportunities for healing; it is only possible when the needs of all people are included in the process of confronting and responding to the impact of crime and violence.”
Bob Rovzar is the treasurer of Healing Hearts Restoring Hope. Bob a Southern California native received his BA in Political Science from UCLA. Upon graduating, he began a career within the paper and packaging business, focusing on creating win-win solutions that value the customer. After spending over 24 years in the paper business, he followed his passion of giving back to the community and is now CEO and Partner of Perricone Juices, the premiere manufacturer of fresh and natural juices in the USA.
With extensive knowledge in strategic planning, sales and marketing, operations, finance, and change management, Bob looks forward to sitting on the Board of Directors and bringing his practical business background and passion for giving back to Healing Hearts Restoring Hope.
In his spare time, he exercises his passion for athletics and giving back to the community- having actively served as the President of Corona Del Mar High School Girls’ Lacrosse Booster and Boys’ Basketball Booster for three years each, Newport Beach Little League Board Member for seven years, President of the Harbor View swim team, Harbor View Community Association Board Member for three years, and has coached over 30 youth teams ranging from soccer to basketball to baseball.
He is married to Betsy, who teaches kindergarten, and they have three children: Andy, Brittany and Molly.
Eileen McDermott is the secretary of Healing Hearts Restoring Hope. After spending many exciting years in the travel industry, Eileen started volunteering at two juvenile detention facilities under the auspices of what is today the Office of Restorative Justice for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. That first visit, changed Eileen’s life forever. From her first visit to now, 25 years later, she continues volunteering twice a week. For many years, in addition to volunteering with the juveniles, she also volunteered at Twin Towers Correctional Facility when it was the primary place for incarcerated women in Los Angeles. Her involvement in this ministry created a big change in Eileen’s life. She left her exciting job and took a much smaller position in the non-profit world. She wanted free time so she could involve herself in her volunteer work. After volunteering for a while, Eileen became President of the Advisory Board of the Office of Restorative Justice. Currently she is the Operations Manager for Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, a program of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California, providing year-round, cost-free residential camp programs for children with cancer and their families.
Patricia Barajas Tavera
Patty was born and raised in East Los Angeles where she attended local Catholic schools before studying economics and political science at Yale. Patty has a business and marketing background and currently works as the English editor of a bilingual media company which produces conferences, trade shows and magazines in English and Chinese.
Patty’s first priority is her family and she enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband, daughter, and extended family members. Second to her family, Patty is committed to volunteering and making a difference, firmly believing that we each have a responsibility to give back. Whether it is delivering Meals on Wheels or tutoring foster kids at a residential facility, she believes in rolling up her sleeves and getting to work, In addition to logging countless of hands-on volunteer hours, she has served in leadership positions on several non-profit boards such as the East Los Angeles YMCA and Proyecto Pastoral at Dolores Mission as well as parent advisory boards at Polytechnic School in Pasadena and UCLA.
Robert Carranza was born and raised in East Los Angeles CA. He is currently a 4-time Grammy award winning producer, engineer, and mixer. He is a father to three young adults, a husband, and lives in Southern California with his family. “We often overlook the bigger picture of violence trauma. We look at the surface but not the root and the stem, its causes and, rarely, its second and third-hand impact. Trauma can linger for generations for both victims and survivors. The sooner we get in front of the issue of violence, the faster we divert it from having control of our communities and that way break the cycle of generational trauma more effectively. Coming from the streets of Los Angeles I’ve seen the effects of these traumas. Feeling helpless, having trust issues and simply not having someone to communicate with can lead to a rough existence. One can feel very alone in a room full of people. In my opinion, compassion is very powerful and just a little goes a long way. That is why I am here. To give back some compassion to a community that has given me so much.
Ruett S. Foster
Ruett S. Foster was born and raised in South Los Angeles. He is a Christian minister who was ordained Pastor of Community Bible Church (CBC) of Culver City on June 3, 2007. He is a survivor of violent crime, his innocent 7 year old son was fatally wounded and 10 month old son critically injured as a result of a gang retaliation incident which occurred in the local park. As a result of this tragedy, Ruett has embarked upon the quest to eradicate violence in communities. Ruett has 30+ years serving children, youth, adults and families. He has fully embraced the practices and ideals of Restorative Justice in his work. Ruett was on the Advisory Board for the Office of Restorative Justice for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He provides workshops and presentations on violence prevention at conferences. Ruett also provides keynote addresses, speeches, groups and workshops at California Correctional Facilities. He was a founding member of Healing Dialog and Action Group (HDA); survivor families and offender families working together toward healing. Ruett was named the 2015 Distinguished Alumni for Pitzer College where he received his B.A. degree in Liberal Arts with a minor in Psychology. He received his M.A. degree at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in Movement Therapy in 1984. In 2014, he presented a TED Talk at Ironwood State Prison as a part of the “Infinite Possibilities” event. In 2011, Ruett received the “Local Hero” Award from KCET and Union Bank. His most valued award received is the “Changing Lives” Award that was voted on by the wards facility-wide at Heman G. Stark Correctional Facility.
Bob Harper graduated from Loyola University, Los Angeles with a BBA degree in 1972. After college he joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and spent one year teaching native Eskimos in a remote village in Alaska. He returned to San Francisco and spent four years teaching at St. Ignatius College Preparatory. He completed an MBA at University of California at Berkeley in 1978 and spent the next 28 years with Pricewaterhouse Coopers in the human resources area and retired as a partner in 2006. Since retiring, Bob has devoted himself to a variety of volunteer activities and serving on boards of non-profit organizations. He served as Board Chair at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy from 2012–2015. Other board roles include: Carrie Estelle Doheny Foundation and the National Board of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps. Along with his wife, Joan, Bob was a founding member of the Los Angeles Regional Council of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps. Bob also serves on the Global Solidarity Action Team of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Born in Los Angeles, Tom Henning has been practicing tax and business law for 40 years, and teaching tax law at Loyola Law School since 2000. He is a partner in the downtown office of Allen Matkins, a law firm with offices throughout California. Married for 42 years to Claire, his sweetheart from Immaculate Heart College, they have raised four wonderful children who are now all grown. Tom is an active member of St. Paul the Apostle parish in Westwood, and a Volunteer Chaplain at Men’s Central Jail. He served in various capacities in his 20 years on the Advisory Board of the Office of Restorative Justice for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Tom help organize a Victim’s Right Conference sponsored by the Office of Restorative Justice and held at Loyola Law School. He enjoys bicycling and surfing.
Lance Wright is a certified Addictions Counselor with over 22 years of experience in 12-step recovery, addiction treatment, and related programming. He currently works as an Addiction Counselor and Case Manager at a residential treatment center in Los Angeles. While he works with a diverse population his specialty is working with men coming out of incarceration, guiding them through their re-entry back into society. He also sees clients and their families as an Addictions Counselor/Life Coach under his business Third Cross Advocacy/Beyond Addiction.
In the past, Lance has spoken for several Restorative Justice Engagements and events on the power of forgiveness, amends, and reconciliation. His personal life journey is one of grace, which began with the power of forgiveness from those he had hurt in his own past lifestyle addiction. His journey has continued through a path of recovery that is continual, and a life of living amends defined by accountability, responsibility, character, and integrity.