Board of Directors

A 19-member Board of Directors, elected by OCEA members, is responsible for setting the policies and vision for the organization. Board members serve a two-year term with elections held on an annual basis.

Executive Committee

Lezlee Neebe

OCEA President | Chair of the OCEA Health & Welfare Trust | OCEA PAC Secretary

Lezlee, a Court Clerk III at Orange County Superior Court, was hired in 1992. She joined OCEA on her hiring date, becoming a steward in 1994 and a Board member in 1995. She currently serves as OCEA President; Chair of the OCEA Health & Welfare Trust; Secretary of the OCEA Political Action Committee; and as a Vice President on the Orange County Labor Federation Executive Committee. As union President, Lezlee serves as an ad-hoc member on all OCEA committees, including OCEA’s budget & finance, legislative, and scholarship committees. She previously served as OCEA First Vice President. She has been a member of many OCEA bargaining teams. Lezlee also serves as Treasurer and Board member at OC Heroes Hall Foundation.

Judy Bowling

OCEA First Vice President

Judy, a Senior Investigator at the Orange County Public Defender’s office, was hired in 1996. She joined OCEA the same year, becoming a steward in 2011 and a Board member in 2012. She currently serves as OCEA First Vice President, a member of the OCEA’s budget & finance and legislative committees, and has been on many OCEA bargaining teams. She is also an Orange County Labor Federation delegate. She was named Orange County Public Defender Investigator of the Year in 2000 and is the recipient of OCEA’s Perfect Attendance and Civic Engagement awards. At her agency, Judy serves on the Public Defender Labor Management Committee.

Butch Garcia

OCEA Second Vice President

Butch, a Social Worker II at Orange County Social Services Agency, was hired in 1992. He joined OCEA in 2000, becoming a steward in 2005 and a Board member in 2007. He currently serves as OCEA Second Vice President, a member of the OCEA’s budget & finance and scholarship committees, and has been on many OCEA bargaining teams. He is a recipient of OCEA’s President’s, Excellence, Rising Star and Perfect Attendance awards. At his agency, Butch is co-chair of the SSA Labor Management Committee and has been involved in the Family Self Sufficiency Service Model Committee, Case Management Forum, and several other work groups.

Chris Prevatt

OCEA Secretary | OCEA PAC Treasurer

Chris, a Program Supervisor I at Orange County Health Care Agency, was hired in 1997. He joined OCEA in 2000, becoming a steward in 2006 and a Board member from 2007 to 2009. He was reappointed in 2011. Chris serves as OCEA Secretary, Chair of OCEA’s legislative committee, Treasurer of OCEA’s political action committee, serves on the budget & finance committee, is an Orange County Labor Federation delegate, and is a general elected member of the Orange County Employees Retirement System Board. He has twice received OCEA’s President’s Award. At his agency, Chris is a co-team leader of the HCA Labor Management Committee and chair of the LMC’s subcommittee on workplace enhancements and cost savings. He has been a member of many OCEA bargaining teams.

Anjali Essoe

OCEA Treasurer

Anjali, an Education Services Coordinator with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, was hired in 2000. She joined OCEA in 2001, becoming a steward in 2009 and a Board member in 2012. She serves as OCEA Treasurer, Chair of OCEA’s budget & finance committee, and has been on many OCEA bargaining teams. Anjali is a recipient of OCEA’s Perfect Attendance Award, and has twice received each the Outstanding Steward and President’s awards. At her agency, she has participated in Sheriff’s Department arbitrations.

Maria Corona

Maria Corona

OCEA Insurance Officer | Secretary of the OCEA Health & Welfare Trust

Maria, a Staff Assistant at Orange County Health Care Agency—Office of Health Policy Research and Communication, was hired in July 2000. She joined OCEA the same year, becoming a steward in 2003 and a Board member in 2008. She currently serves as OCEA Insurance Officer and as Secretary of the OCEA Health & Welfare Trust, and was previously OCEA Treasurer. Maria is also a member of OCEA’s budget & finance committee and a member of many OCEA bargaining teams. She is a recipient of OCEA’s President’s, Perfect Attendance, and Civic Engagement awards. At her agency, she is a member of the HCA Labor Management Committee.

Board of Directors

Maria Acosta

OCEA Board Member

Maria, a Lead Custodian at Orange County Public Works, was hired in 2007. She joined OCEA in 2017 and immediately became a Steward, and was appointed to the OCEA Board in 2019. She currently serves on the OCEA budget & finance committee. Maria brings years of experience in Labor to the OCEA Board of Directors. She is a former Teamsters union member, Steward and Bargaining Team member. She also served on the Board of Directors for the Alliance of Orange County Workers (AOCW). She has always been willing to stand together with her co-workers and is dedicated to working families. Maria is ready to fight for the livelihood of every OCEA member and their families.

Russell Baldwin

OCEA Board Member | OCEA PAC Member

Russell, a Senior Forensic Scientist at the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, was hired in 1990. He joined OCEA the same year, becoming a steward from 1998 to 2007, and again in 2013. He was a Board member from 1997 to 2007, and again in 2013. He is a member of OCEA’s legislative and political action committees. He has been a member of many OCEA bargaining teams, and is a recipient of OCEA’s President’s and Perfect Attendance awards. At his agency, Russell was a member of the OCSD Labor Management Committee and organized successful inequity adjustments for forensic scientists. Russell currently serves as a general elected member of the Orange County Employees Retirement System Board where he completed previous terms of service from 2006 to 2012.

Rick Burns

OCEA Board Member

Rick, a Court Clerk III at Orange County Superior Court, was hired in 1996. He joined OCEA in 1999, becoming a steward in 2008 and a Board member in 2013. He is a member of OCEA’s budget & finance committees, and is a Superior Court bargaining team member.

Liza Cooper-Butler

OCEA Board Member | Trustee of the OCEA Health & Welfare Trust

Liza, an HR Records Supervisor/Staff Assistant for the CEO’s Office, was hired in 1997. She joined OCEA in 1998, becoming a Steward in 2015 and a Board member in 2016. She serves as a Trustee on the OCEA Health & Welfare Trust, as a member of the OCEA legislative and scholarship committees, and an Orange County Labor Federation delegate. She has stood with her fellow OCEA members and been active for every one of them. Liza wants to be a strong voice for her co-workers and take part in continuing to empower OCEA. She truly cares for the well-being of her colleagues and brings a strong work ethic to the Board of Directors.

Dea Evans

OCEA Board Member

Dea, an Information Processing Technician at the Orange County Probation Department, was hired in 1998. She joined OCEA the same year, becoming a steward in 2012. She serves on the OCEA Steward advisory committee, budget & finance committee, and is an annual volunteer for the Health Fair. At her agency, she is a member of the Probation Labor Management Committee. Dea is a recipient of OCEA’s Perfect Attendance, New Leader and President’s awards. She joined the Board to dedicate her skills to strengthening OCEA.

Jose Gomez

OCEA Board Member | Trustee of the OCEA Health & Welfare Trust

Jose, an Office Technician in the Social Services Agency, was hired by the County in 1993. He has been a member since 2000, when he was promoted into an OCEA-represented bargaining unit. He currently serves as a trustee of the OCEA Health and Welfare Trust, is a member of the OCEA budget & finance and legislative committees, an Orange County Labor Federation delegate, and has served on many OCEA bargaining teams. Jose has always been a workplace leader but made it official in 2014 when he became a Steward. He has earned the President’s and the Perfect Attendance awards two-years in a row. Jose also supports his co-workers at Orangewood Children’s Home where he puts in plenty of overtime. He is always lending a helping hand at events including Veterans Day and the annual Health Fair.

Robert Hendricks

OCEA Board Member

Robert works as a User Support Technician II at the Superior Court and has been a member of OCEA since 2000. He is an OCEA Bargaining Team veteran with three contracts under his belt. Robert is also a Steward at the Superior Court where he helps to lead the Court General Unit. He currently serves on the OCEA legislative committee. His community involvement includes membership in the Freemasons and is a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member in Santa Ana. Robert wants to share his experience and knowledge with his fellow Board members to continue effectively fighting for the wages, rights and benefits of all OCEA working families as well as his co-workers at the Courts.

Patty Hernandez

OCEA Board Member | OCEA PAC Member

Patty works as a Data Entry Technician for the Orange County Probation Department and has been an OCEA member since 2001. When she became a Steward in 2010, she took on the role of activist. She supports her labor brothers and sisters marching in the annual OC Labor Federation May Day event and demonstrates on behalf of unions fighting for the rights of working families. Patty phone banked for worker friendly candidates helping California secure a super majority in the Capitol. She helped to defeat union busting efforts in the City of Costa Mesa. In recognition of her activism, Patty was named Orange County Labor Federation Delegate of the Year in 2017. She serves as Vice Chair on OCEA’s legislative committee, and is a member of the OCEA budget & finance, political action and scholarship committees.

Henry Leber

OCEA Board Member | OCEA PAC Vice Chair

Henry, a Sheriff’s Special Officer II at the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, was hired in 1990. He has been an active OCEA member since 1996 and became a Steward in 2008. He currently serves as Chair of OCEA’s Peace Officer Protective League, Secretary of the SSO bargaining unit, Vice Chair of the OCEA political action committee, and a member of the OCEA legislative committee. He is active in the Peace Officers Research Association of California, ensuring OCEA’s law enforcement professionals have a voice at the statewide level. He has served on the Board since 2017 and spends countless hours along with his fellow board members advocating for OCEA members and fighting for the fair wages and benefits we deserve.

Angelo Lugo

OCEA Board Member

Angelo, an IT Network Engineer II at Orange County Health Care Agency, was hired in 2000. He joined OCEA in 2001, becoming a Steward in 2014 and was appointed to the OCEA Board of Directors in Sept. 2018. Angelo has been on multiple bargaining teams, serves as Chair of the OCEA scholarship committee, as a member of the OCEA budget & finance and legislative committees, an OC Labor Federation Delegate, and is a Health Fair volunteer. Angelo has also been a leader on the County IT Committee where he has solved tough issues caused by outsourcing. He says that outsourcing of any County job is unacceptable, and he is ready to dedicate his IT negotiation experience to protecting the jobs of his fellow OCEA co-workers. One of his interests is in mentoring younger County workers who will one day lead both the County and the union in making our community a better place.

John Sincock

OCEA Board Member | OCEA PAC Member

John is a Safety and Training Officer at CEO/Risk Management. He was hired by the County in 2002 and became an OCEA member in 2003. He serves on the OCEA political action, budget & finance, and legislative committees, as well as an Orange County Labor Federation delegate. Previously, he helped fight the illegal layoffs of OCEA members in Costa Mesa and against Prop. 32—an anti-union initiative on the statewide ballot in 2012. John was very active during the 2016 campaign as well. He understands the role and the contributions of the Labor Movement in our country to advancing social justice and equality. He especially appreciates the positive impacts unions have had on the wages of all workers. John says that working families—now more than ever—have to defend their right to bargain collectively for the fair wages and benefits that protect working families.

Samantha Soto

OCEA Board Member

Sami is a Fire Communications Supervisor at the Orange County Fire Authority. She joined the OCFA in 2007 and became an OCEA member at the same time. Always a workplace leader, Sami made it official in 2014 when she became a Steward. She is also a member of the budget & finance committee, serves on the Bargaining Team and is a member of the OCFA’s Joint Labor-Management Committee. Sami enjoys working hard to ensure that union members are represented to the fullest. She has a good working relationship with the staff and management at OCFA. Sami is “not shy” when it comes to work and will dive-in headfirst. She looks forward to the opportunity to serve her co-workers.

Adele Tagaloa

OCEA Board Member

Adele began her career with the County in 2008 as an Extra Help trainer in the Registrar of Voters Office during the 2008 General Election. She was hired full time in 2009 and currently serves at the Registrar as a Vote Center Lead. She oversees all aspects of Vote Center recruitment and works directly with public agencies to secure Vote Centers needed for Election Day. She joined OCEA upon hiring and became a Steward in 2012. Adele was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2018. She currently serves on the scholarship and legislative committees. Along with helping to maintain the democratic process in the County, she is serving as a Steward, volunteers to phone bank for union-backed candidates and helps out at OCEA events whenever needed. Adele is committed to building power for workers by fighting alongside her Board colleagues for the fair wages and benefits working families depend on.