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Del Norte County Fellows

Photo of Valerie Starkey
Valerie Starkey
Del Norte County Supervisor, California
County of Del Norte

Valerie Starkey is the Supervisor of Del Norte County, California, District 2. Elected in 2020, she proudly advocates for enhanced services in a rural region. Ms. Starkey was formerly employed with the Sonoma County, California, Probation Department and retired as a Deputy Probation Officer 3 in 2014. Upon her retirement, she returned to her hometown of Del Norte County. In a desire to contribute to the community in which she grew up, Ms. Starkey ran for the seat of supervisor.

Photo of Darren McElfresh
Darren McElfresh
Presiding Judge, California
Superior Court State of California, County of Del Norte

Darren McElfresh is Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of the State of California, Del Norte County. He grew up in California and has spent more than 25 years in the legal profession, from private counsel and counsel to local governmental agencies to deputy district attorney, public defender, and civil litigator. He graduated from the University of Southern California and the University of San Diego School of Law.

Photo of Elly Hoopes
Elly Hoopes
Attorney, California
Helen M. Hoopes, Attorney at Law

After leading trips to Mongolia and Tibet, Elly Hoopes studied law to help protect outdoor spaces and the under-represented. She believes a healthy community comes from access to care, whether for health, legal representation, or the environment. She is the primary juvenile delinquency public defender, county dependency panel attorney, and appointed minor's counsel in family law matters in Del Norte County, California. Ms. Hoopes is committed to ensuring that children's voices are heard in Del Norte County's effort to solve substance-affected generational trauma with local, county, and tribal stakeholders.

Photo of Jermaine Brubaker
Jermaine Brubaker
Coalition Facilitator, California
Rx Safe Del Norte Opioid Coalition

Jermaine Brubaker (she/her) is involved in systems change work to address social issues such as the opioid epidemic, economic development, indigenous rights, and social determinants of health. She believes in working together to tackle big issues, using tools from collective impact and human-centered design. Creating a community where everyone can thrive and be healthy is her passion.

Photo of Ranell Brown
Ranell Brown
Director, California
Del Norte County Department of Health and Human Services

Ranell Brown is the Director of Del Norte County, California, Department of Health and Human Services (DNCO DHHS). She brings more than 12 years of experience working at multiple California county health and human services departments. During her time as the assistant director at DNCO DHHS, Ms. Brown led the teams that applied for and implemented the Department of State Hospital Diversion Grant Program and the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) Project Homekey to purchase and renovate a local motel for transitional and permanent housing, serving multiple populations, including those experiencing substance use disorders. She looks forward to working with her Reaching Rural team to provide services to the community.

Photo of Shiann Hogan
Shiann Hogan
Program Manager, California
Del Norte County DHHS - Behavioral Health Branch

Shiann Hogan is the Program Manager at County of Del Norte, California, Department of Health and Human Services Behavioral Health Branch, where she works to ensure that those in need of behavioral health services are connected to programs. She has developed partnerships with local hospitals, law enforcement, and other community partners designed to improve the quality of behavioral health care. Ms. Hogan grew up in Del Norte County and has a long family history in the community that drives her desire to improve the lives of those who live there.

Photo of William Bowers
William Bowers
Judge, California
Yurok Tribal Court

William Bowers is a member of the Yurok Tribe in Northern California and has worked with the tribe for 5 years as the associate judge. Prior to working for the Yurok Tribe, he was employed by the state of Oregon as a parole and probation officer for the Oregon Youth Authority for 33 years. His passion is giving back to the community and doing family work with participants in the wellness court system.