Who We Are

Who We Are

Harbor Community Benefit Foundation (HCBF) is a unique non-profit organization that was established in 2011 to respond to community concern about the cumulative environmental exposures in the harbor area – including increased air emissions, water pollution, traffic safety issues, noise impacts, land-use challenges, and general quality-of-life concerns. As an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, HCBF manages and exclusively administers the Port Community Mitigation Trust Fund (PCMTF) in the original amount of $9.8 million.

HCBF also exclusively administers the Air Quality Mitigation Fund, which originally had $5 million for the demonstration and implementation of emission reduction technologies to reduce air emissions in the San Pedro Bay area. 

Harbor Community Benefit Foundation(HCBF) supports the communities adjacent to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach through research, education, and grant funding. HCBF Staff and its seven-member volunteer Board work with local partners and expert consultants to address critical needs of the community, as well as assess land use and noise impacts from goods movement in the area to inform our work in grantmaking and ensuring community benefits.

The most important aspects of HCBF’s work include:

  • Administering funds to community organizations to address port-related impacts.
  • Making a positive difference in quality of life through research, grant making, and service to community organizations and other partners.
  • Being a trusted steward of community funds to address the cumulative impacts faced by
    port-adjacent communities.
  • Reflecting community knowledge of disparities and supporting their initiatives and
    solutions to the problem.

Harbor Community Benefit Foundation invests in the quality of life for communities impacted by port-serving industries.

Meet Our Staff!

Meghan Reese

Executive Director

Meghan believes strongly in HCBF’s mission to mitigate the impacts of the Port of Los Angeles on the communities of San Pedro and Wilmington. Her six years of work with HCBF has allowed grantees to receive more one-on-one technical assistance, and she has in depth knowledge and a passion for the issues facing both communities. Meghan works directly with HCBF’s Board of Directors to ensure that the foundation remains mission driven and helps to enhance the quality of life for the under-served harbor communities through grantmaking and research.

Meghan has a knack for anything hands-on or creative and brings this experience and perspective to HCBF’s operations and grants management. Her professional background includes technical recruiting, program management, and marketing. Meghan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Resource Management.

Meghan is mother to two young boys.

Tamanna Rahman

Program Director

As Program Director, Tamanna is committed to advancing HCBF’s mission and approach to grantmaking to mitigate Port-related impacts and serving the communities of San Pedro and Wilmington. Tamanna works closely with the Executive Director to oversee and administer all programs and to enhance HCBF’s presence in the community. Tamanna looks forward to using her background in environmental health and health-in-all-policies approach to support HCBF’s unique role in the community.

Tamanna has completed her Ph.D. in Environmental Health Sciences from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health for which she examined the public health sector’s role in local climate change mitigation and adaptation activities (e.g. urban greening) to advance health equity among California’s disadvantaged communities and low-income populations. She also holds a M.P.H in Environmental Health Sciences from the UCLA, and a B.A. in Public Health from UC Berkeley.

Meet Current HCBF Interns!​

Chandler Yee

Intern

Chandler is a graduate student in The George Washington University Master of Public Health program with a focus in environmental health. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Irvine in biological sciences and worked for four years in veterinary medicine before pursuing a master’s degree.  

Current HCBF Project: Focused on creating a landscape analysis of San Pedro and Wilmington with an end goal of submitting a Supplemental Environmental Project proposal to CalEPA in collaboration with IQAir. She hopes to combine her educational background, experiences, and passion for environmental health to support HCBF’s dedication to the health and wellbeing of the communities of San Pedro and Wilmington.

Meet Our Board of Directors!

Ed Avol, Ph.D.

Chair

Ed Avol is Professor of Clinical Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, with expertise in exposure assessment and health effects research.

He was recruited to USC in 1992 by the late Dr. John Peters to help develop and perform the USC Children’s Health Study and has been involved in air pollution research for 45 years.

Ed studied mathematics and chemistry as an undergraduate at the University of California San Diego and Environmental Engineering Sciences in graduate school at Caltech. His research has focused on understanding the short and long-term effects of air pollution on humans, and on documenting human exposure. He was the Deputy Director of the Children’s Health Study, is a key investigator in multiple studies on the long-term effects of air pollution, and has co-authored over 150 peer-reviewed research publications. He has served on USEPA’s Clean Air Science Advisory Committee (CASAC) expert panel reviews for PM, NOx, SOx, and ozone. He is active in community outreach and education, particularly with regard to children’s health, to the health and air quality impacts of the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaports-related cargo movement industry, and to the proposed expansion of the I-710 Freeway. He leads and teaches in the undergraduate environmental health program through the USC Health Promotion Program, mentors new Environmental Health faculty, and continues to research the impacts of respiratory irritants on human health.

Gabriela Medina

Vice Chair

Gabriela Medina joined the HCBF Board of Directors in June 2019. Gabriela currently serves as the District Director under the leadership of Councilman Joe Buscaino and also served as a Field Deputy for the Wilmington community for five and a half years. She brings extensive knowledge of the adverse impacts of the goods movement on the quality of air, the condition of our streets, and the industrial blight in our neighborhoods. Gabriela has a proven record of developing policy contributing to the prosperity of local residents and the regional economy. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a B.A. in Sociology.

 

Richard Havenick

CFO/Treasure

Richard’s 33 years in engineering technology and decades of public service focused on environmental and public health issues expand the Board’s broad expertise. From open-ocean construction operations through 31 years at Boeing Commercial Aircraft in a variety of management and staff positions, Richard brings practical engineering and business experience to the Board. Richard previously served as a member on the Port of Los Angeles Community Advisory Committee (PCAC), City of Los Angeles No Net Increase Task Force, Caltrans I-710 Environmental Impact Review Air Quality Committee, and on the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council. He chaired the Air Quality Committee of the PCAC, helping to identify top contributing sources of damaging air pollutants, evaluating the most effective reduction strategies, and helping to achieve public health benefits. Richard continues his environmental issues analysis as a Board member on the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council, encouraging effective regulatory and industry responsiveness to benefit public health in the harbor area.

Charlene Contreras

Secretary

Charlene Contreras joined the HCBF Board of Directors in June 2021. Charlene currently serves as the Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Toxicology and Environmental Assessment Branch. Since first being hired with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Charlene has been working to protect and improve health and well-being in the largest county in the United States. Her strong commitment to health equity and health protection guides current efforts to reduce health disparities and serve County residents most in need. In her current role, she directs Public Health’s efforts which aims to reduce toxic risk and foster healthy, sustainable communities disproportionality burdened with environmental pollution. Charlene leads work focused on policy reform and changing systems that have created the unfair distribution of environmental health threats across communities. One of her top priorities is to support policies, practices, and programs that lead to healthier environments. 

Jayme Wilson

Director

Jayme Wilson serves as LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn’s economic development deputy, working to create economic opportunities which benefit people from all walks of life within the Fourth District.  Beyond his vital role with LA County, Jayme continues to actively encourage positive change in the region’s communities in numerous roles, serving as an Adjunct Professor of Business at Fullerton College, and he is a partner in the historic Ports O’ Call Restaurant and Spirit Cruises.  He has served in various executive roles at organizations such as Los Angeles Harbor Boys & Girls Club, San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, Community Redevelopment Agency Pacific Corridor and more, and remains a longtime community leader in San Pedro.  Jayme holds various degrees from CSU-Long Beach, USC, and Pacific Coast University in the fields of Law and Public Administration.

Magali Sanchez-Hall

Director

Magali Sanchez-Hall is a resident of Wilmington California. Currently works as UCLA IRLE Project Manager for Green Jobs. Magali is a Community Scholar at the UCLA North American Development and Integration (NAID) Center. Sanchez-Hall earned her bachelor’s degree from UCLA in Chicano Studies and three minor degrees: Public Policy, Political Science, and Labor & Work Studies. She has a Master of Public Policy degree from UCLA. She serves on the AB-617 Community Steering Committee legislation of the state of California to mitigate environmental air pollution. Magali is the current Chicano Latino Caucus California Democratic Party Membership Chair and West Los Angeles region Vice Chair. Recently she joined the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation Board of Directors. Magali is an activist on environmental and social justice.

Hannah Bentley

Director

Hannah Bentley is an environmental attorney who has years of experience representing environmental and neighborhood groups in cases under the California Environmental Quality Act. Her first big environmental case resulted in designation of critical habitat for the Desert Tortoise in the Mojave Desert and stopped the location of a radioactive waste facility in that habitat. She has since focused on the impacts of diesel particulate matter on disadvantaged neighborhoods. She got her J.D. from Columbia Law School.

Meet Our Legal Counsel!

Michael Jenkins

General Counsel

Mr. Jenkins currently serves as City Attorney for the cities of Diamond Bar, Hermosa Beach, Rolling Hills and West Hollywood, as General Counsel to the Los Angeles County West Vector Control District and the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District, as General Counsel to the South Bay Cities Council of Governments, and as special counsel for numerous municipalities around the State, including Torrance, Oceanside, Fresno and Palo Alto. Mr. Jenkins has previously served as city attorney for the cities of Avalon, Hidden Hills, La Habra Heights, Malibu, Solvang and Westlake Village.Prior to establishing the firm with Ms. Hogin, Mr. Jenkins was a senior shareholder at Richards, Watson & Gershon, where he specialized in the practice of municipal law since joining the firm in 1978. During his tenure at the firm, he served for many years on its Management Committee and as Chair of its Public Law Department.In the course of his career, Mr. Jenkins has developed expertise in many facets of public law, including municipal incorporation, constitutional law, land use regulation, public works construction, open meetings law, elections law and municipal litigation. Mr. Jenkins has been responsible for the legal affairs of a diverse array of Southern California municipalities.

Mr. Jenkins’ statewide stature in the field of municipal law is evidenced by his service as President of the City Attorneys Department of the League of California Cities (1993), his leadership in co-authoring the original version of the League’s Municipal Law Handbook and chairing the League’s Brown Act Committee, in which capacity he negotiated on behalf of California cities major changes to the State’s open meeting laws, which took effect in 1994. Most recently, he served as Editor for Open & Public III, the League’s manual on the Brown Act. Mr. Jenkins also served as President of the City Attorneys Association of Los Angeles County and Member of the Executive Committee of the Public Law Section of the State Bar (and Editor of the Section Newsletter).

Mr. Jenkins is also a devoted educator in his field. For the past sixteen years he has taught local government law at the University of Southern California Law Center. He is a frequent lecturer on municipal law subjects and has authored numerous published articles in the field. During 1994-1996, he advised the California Constitutional Revision Commission on behalf of the League of Cities with respect to home rule issues affecting both charter and general law cities. Mr. Jenkins is the author of numerous training programs and exercises for lawyers in his field.