Ben Montoya Chairmen & President
Ben co-founded Downtown Fellowship in 2013 when he felt led to collaborate with other churches and ministries to serve Downtown San Diego. He is an elder at First Presbyterian Church San Diego and has served as a youth group leader, Sunday school teacher, youth band director, worship team bass player, and missions and outreach elder. He has co-led 30+ house building trips with Amor in Mexico over the last 20+ years. Ben is also board chairman of the Institute of Reproductive Grief Care, providing education, research, and healing grief after reproductive loss, and accelerating the widespread adoption of a standard care for this impacted by reproductive loss. Ben is retired Engineer for San Diego Gas & Electric where he had employed since 1986. He is a mechanical engineer, US Naval Academy, and an MBA, University of San Diego.
Hugh Gerfin Treasurer
Hugh joined the board of the Downtown Fellowship in 2019 as Treasurer and bookkeeper. He is also bookkeeper for a partner organization called New Gateway. Hugh experienced homelessness and found Downtown Fellowship through participation in our Life As It Should Be group at PATH Connections Housing. Hugh has a BS in Accounting, University of California Los Angeles.
Lara Lee Board Member
Lara joined the board of Downtown Fellowship in 2022. She is on the Board of WD-40 Company and The Sill, Inc., and served as the president of Orchard Supply Hardware, a subsidiary of Lowe's Companies, Inc., from 2016 to 2018 and as senior vice president of Lowe's from 2013 to 2018. From 2011 to 2013 she served as chief innovation and operating officer for Continuum, a global consultancy. Ms. Lee's prior experience included fifteen years at Harley-Davidson Motor Company as vice president, business unit leader, and in various European and Asian strategy and business development roles, and three years as a financial analyst as Otis Elevator Company based in Singapore. She began her career with Ernst & Whinney (now EY) in Washington D.C. and Singapore. sHe has a BA in Chinese Language from Brown University; MA in International Studies from the University of PA; and MBA in Multinational Management from The Wharton School. She also serves on the board of BizStarts Milwaukee, a non-profit entrepreneurship accelerator aimed at addressing urban poverty.
Jexsi Gray Board Member
Jexsi joined the board of Downtown Fellowship in 2022. With lived homeless experience, a degree in Nuclear Munitions Systems Technology received during active-duty Air Force service, Jexsi is a first-generation Jamaican American veteran and Real Estate Licensee that brings a very different and needed perspective to the table. As one of the newer advocates and consultants with Lived Experiences Advisors, he is making waves through his passionate and methodical approach to systemic issues in San Diego County. He has lobbied for bills as a member of the Residents United Network through HousingCA and guides clients through the process of getting housed as a member of the Home Team with UPLIGHT San Diego. Jexsi has also been featured on a KPBS Panel Discussion and worked with San Diego Taxpayers Education Outcomes Standard Board on streamlining funding allocation. He's sat down with the Mayor and BOS Chair to discuss solutions for homeless veterans. All with the goal of Humanizing those experiencing homelessness to inspire solutions.
Mike Munson Board Member
Mike joined the board of Downtown Fellowship in 2022. He is on the Homeless Ministry team at La Jolla Christian Fellowship and participates in house building trips in Mexico with Project Mercy. He co-founded MYeCFO in 2013, where he is responsible for tax strategy and wealth management projects. Mike has an MBA, University of California at Los Angeles and B.S. in Mathematics, Harvey Mudd College.