Board of Directors
Board President / Ashley Emerzian
Ashley joined the Board of Directors for FBU in 2013, and currently served as the Board President. A native of Fresno, Ashley attended Bullard High School. In 2007, Ashley graduated cum laude from UCLA with a degree in Psychology, and subsequently earned her law degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law in 2011. Ashley graduated in the top 5% of her law school class, and is an elected member of the prestigious Order of the Coif. As a law student, Ashley received the UC Davis Public Interest Law Certificate and was honored with Witkin Awards for academic excellence in the areas of Juvenile Law and Reproductive Health Law.
Ashley is now a practicing attorney specializing in education and employment law matters. She is currently practicing law in-house with California Health Sciences University, a private college providing graduate programs in the health sciences with a mission of addressing the deficit in adequate numbers of healthcare professionals in California’s Central Valley, particularly those serving the most vulnerable of our communities.
Prior to CHSU, Ashley served as Senior Counsel with a local education law firm where her practice focused on providing general counsel, student and employment law services to California school districts and community colleges.
Ashley is committed to serving her local community, and has served on boards of directors for several non-profit and attorney association groups since law school. Ashley is married, and has two large dogs - Bubbas & Grizzly.
Board Vice President / Sherie Lewis
Sherie joined FBU as a board member in February 2014 and now serves as Vice President of the board of directors. Sherie was born and raised in the Central Valley where she attended Hoover High School, graduating in 1997. Subsequently, she attended CSU Fresno - Majoring in Health Administration - and graduated in 2001.
After working various licensed positions in banking and finance, she returned to her passion in Healthcare and in 2009 earned a masters in Leadership and Organizational Studies from Fresno Pacific University.
Sherie is now the Associate Vice President of Employee Health Systems (EHS) an Independent Medical Association where she manages the relationships of over 1500 physicians and the healthcare of over 280,000 Medicaid and Medicare members in Sacramento, Fresno, Kings, Madera, and Tulare Counties.
Board Treasurer / Marc Young
Mr. Marc Velez Young is a California Certified Public Accountant Candidate with a Master's degree in Accounting and Financial Management. He holds designation as a Certified Fixed Income Practitioner, California Tax Education Counsel (CTEC) Registered Tax Preparer, and is a prior member of the Government Finance Officer's Association. Mr. Young previously served as the Accounting and Financial Division Chief/Treasury Manager for the County of Fresno Auditor-Controller/Treasurer-Tax Collector and is now President and Chief Consultant for Industry Standard, Inc, providing accounting and advisory services to businesses and non-profit organizations across the country.
Mr. Young was a 2012 recipient of the SGI-USA Liberty Award for his “dedication to peace, liberty and the happiness of humanity” and the 2015 recipient of the National Rising Star Award from the DeVry University Alumni Association. Mr. Young sits on the executive board and board of directors for the United Way of Fresno and Madera Counties, is Treasurer of the board for Fresno Barrios Unidos, chairs the Accounting Committee for FBU, and contributes industry-specific articles and tutorials to a variety of publications.
Board Member / Felicia Espinosa
Felicia was born and raised in Southeast Fresno surrounded by her abuela, a teen mom, and her twin sister. Being raised by Latinas, she saw firsthand the struggles teen parenting can have on families and the importance of mentorship, education, and family support. Professionally, she is an Assistant City Attorney overseeing the Fresno City Attorney's Office's Anti-Slum Enforcement Team. At the City, she has litigated tort, employment, labor, and code enforcement matters. Prior to joining the City, she was a legal aid attorney at California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc., exclusively representing agricultural workers throughout the Central Valley. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a double major in Women’s Studies and Comparative Literature. She then attended University of San Francisco School of Law and began her legal experience with internships at Public Defender’s Offices, a Nonprofit representing prisoners on Texas’ death row in their post-conviction proceedings, and a Nonprofit assisting people with HIV/AIDS resolve their legal issues. After law school, she returned to Fresno and has been in her hometown ever since.
Board Secretary / Jenny Baquera
Jenny Baquera is the oldest of seven children, all born and raised in Fresno, California. Her professional field is in Human Resources for a California statewide law firm. She graduated from California State University, Fresno with a master’s in Social Work.
Jenny was a teen mom and has shared the experiences teen parents face today. She was a participant in some of the programs for teen parents in Fresno County. Jenny participated in the Adolescent Family and Life Program (AFLP), a program that provides support and guidance for teen parents, to enhance their parenting skills and obtain social and economic independence. She was also a participant in Early Head Start, where she learned about nutrition during pregnancy, child development, and received case management support services.
Jenny is inspired by the work of Fresno Barrios Unidos and hopes to contribute to their mission of empowering youth and families.
Board Member/ Mariah Thompson
Mariah Thompson is a staff attorney at California Rural Legal Assistance, where she works with rural farmworker communities advocating for access to basic municipal services like clean water, sidewalks, and street lights. She also is the co-director of the Fresno chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, which provides legal support and training to grassroots movements. Mariah is an Oregonian and moved to Fresno in 2016; she joined the board of Fresno Barrios Unidos the same year. She has a long-standing interest in reproductive justice, women's rights, and youth empowerment.
Board Member / Aron Flores
Aron was born and raised in Reedley, CA, attended Reedley High School and Reedley Community College prior to graduating from University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in Economics and Accounting. Aron began his career as a CPA in 2007 with KPMG, LLP, one of the Big 4 accounting firms located in Los Angeles. Aron moved back to the Fresno area in 2010 to be closer to family and continue his career as a CPA in public accounting.
Aron is excited to be a member of the Board and appreciates the opportunity to contribute to the Fresno community through the work of Fresno Barrios Unidos.
Community Board Member / Marinarde Soto