Our Staff



Larry Olmstead
President & CEO

Larry Olmstead joined United Way of Northern California as President & CEO in February 2016. Previously, Larry was an executive at United Way Silicon Valley in San Jose, CA, responsible for operations, human resources and the 2-1-1 helpline.

Over the years, Larry has worked as a journalist, media executive and human resources executive. He held significant newsroom management posts at the Detroit Free Press, New York Times and Miami Herald, where he was managing editor. Larry was part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team at the Times and was a Pulitzer finalist at the Free Press for reporting from South Africa. Larry studied journalism and political science at George Washington University.

Larry has served on and chaired numerous non-profit and industry boards. He is active in tennis, currently serving as a Board member for the United States Tennis Association’s Northern California Section, and as a national USTA committee member. Larry and his wife Michele have two grown children.

AbbyAnn LoCascio  
Executive Assistant & Communications Specialist 

AbbyAnn LoCascio provides administrative support to the CEO, Larry Olmstead, and others on the Senior Leadership Team. She also manages media relations, such as press releases and e-newsletters to external stakeholders.

AbbyAnn is from the Chicago area, where she went to school at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She holds two bachelor’s degrees, one in Communication and the other in Global Studies, with a focus on Poverty Intervention.

AbbyAnn’s hobbies include exploring nature, CrossFit, and coffee.


Melody Proebstel 
Senior Director of Community Engagement  

Melody has worked in health and human services in Butte County for 20 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in multicultural and gender studies and a Master of Social Work from California State University, Chico. Prior to joining United Way of Northern California, she coordinated community education for Catalyst Domestic Violence Services and taught courses at Chico State, including multicultural health and social work research methods. With a strong passion for volunteering and community activism, Melody has been involved with planning and volunteering for Stonewall Chico Pride for many years, and coordinated volunteers for the Chico Women’s March in 2018.


Kalie Brisbon
Senior Director of Programs

Kalie Brisbon is a community and social services professional who specializes in nonprofit organizations, youth development, early childhood education, and leadership. Before joining United Way of Northern California in January 2019, she worked with Planned Parenthood Northern California as a health educator and reproductive health specialist. She also served as a program specialist for the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, a youth activities counselor for Disney Cruise Line, and facility manager for Open Line Group Home.

Kalie holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership from Simpson University. In her free time, she is a dedicated volunteer and skater with Shasta Roller Derby, enjoys exploring the outdoors, and spending time with her 10 nieces and nephews. She is committed to increasing the awareness of support resources and building a community of collaboration through all of her projects.

Deb Baur

Deb started at UWNC in May 2023. She has years of experience in finance, investments, and volunteer work from working in San Francisco and the Portland area. Before coming to United Way, she worked in corporate accounting and investment management, assisting the CFO at a nonprofit clinic. At UWNC, Deb is responsible for reviewing financial statements, upgrading, improving, and managing financial systems and processes in finance, and invoicing grants.
Deb is from various parts of Northern California. She holds a bachelor's degree in Accounting from Chico State and a Master's in Financial Analysis from Saint Mary’s College. In her free time, Deb likes to golf, hike, and walk her sweet Golden Retriever, Ruby. Deb enjoys working for United Way because of the passionate and committed staff and the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.

Rebecca Baer 
Chief Development Officer 

As Chief Development Officer, Rebecca is tasked with sharing United Way’s story in a way that inspires collective action toward the common goals of social justice and equity, homelessness support, and disaster relief in the nine counties United Way serves, and she is up to the challenge!
A native of Indiana, Rebecca holds both a BA in Accounting and an MBA from Ball State University. She has worked in various fields, including Education, Law Enforcement, and Social Services, working to bring solutions to homelessness in San Jose after her move there in 2016. In 2021, her family relocated to the Redding area.
Before coming to United Way, Rebecca was the Director of Empowerment at One Safe Place, where she undertook a variety of fund development and engagement activities. Rebecca is excited to continue making a difference in her community through UWNC. 



Bridget Rose 
Human Resources Manager

Bridget Rose serves as the Human Resources Manager of UWNC.

Bridget is the go-to person for employee-related issues including recruitment, hiring and onboarding, performance management, and training and development. She assists the agency’s leadership team in addressing employee relations issues and creating a positive workplace culture and environment consistent with UWNC’s values of equity and inclusion, high-performance standards, and effective collaboration and communications.

Bridget came on board with United Way in March 2021. Her previous work experience includes working for CIS Group, where she managed and trained inspectors in the Western Region of the US, and working in claims at CSAA as a field liability adjuster for 20 years.

Bridget is a life-long resident of Redding, where her family has resided for several generations. Bridget is married to her husband of 33 years, and they have two beautiful children: Rachel & Keith. Bridget is passionate about her family, friends, and community. In her free time,  she likes to cook with her husband, have BBQs with friends and family, and discover new places while traveling.


Matt Plotkin
Senior Program Manager: Disaster & 2-1-1

Matt Plotkin joined United Way of Northern California in December 2020 as the Disaster Services Manager. He is excited to bring to the organization two decades of extensive director and managerial experience in the nonprofit sector, as well as disaster recovery knowledge. Previously, Matt served as the Executive Director of the Camp Fire Collaborative, the Long Term Recovery Group for the 2018 Camp Fire.

Matt grew up in a Southern California beach town, then spent ten years in the East Bay area before relocating to Northern California in 2015 to be the Director of Youth Ministry at Chico, California's Bidwell Presbyterian Church. Matt and his family enjoy exploring the many creeks, rivers, and trails this region provides, as well as tending to their small flock of Nigerian Dwarf Goats, two barn cats, and their beloved dog Samson!


Kary Carbone
Senior Program Manager - Community Impact

Kary joined United Way of Northern California as Outreach Manager in September of 2021 where she focuses on health programs and financial stability within the region. Previously, Kary was a Public Health Education Specialist in Umatilla County, Oregon where she implemented drug, alcohol, and problem gambling prevention education and led Umatilla County’s COVID-19 response from 2020 to 2021. Kary holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health from Oregon State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She is a native Oregonian and moved to Shasta County in September 2021. In her free time, Kary enjoys riding her horses, spending time with her family and pets, and exploring beautiful Northern California.

Tim Danielson  
Senior Program Manager - Outreach 

Many may know Tim from his work as co-leader on the Carr Fire Recovery Team or from his time as an officer at the Salvation Army in Redding from 2015 to 2021. After a brief hiatus from Redding, Tim is bringing his expertise back to NorCal.
Tim has accepted the position of Senior Program Manager - Outreach and now oversees the Micro Shelter Community on Mark Street, as well as other outreach events and initiatives in the broader NorCal community. 
Tim has lived all over the state, from the coast in Southern California to Central California and  Northern California. Tim and his wife Diana have been married for 23 years and have nine children. Tim is passionate about his faith in God, his family, and community collaboration and improvement.


Shelly Nelson 
Financial Operations Manager

Shelly Nelson has worked with United Way of Northern California since 2011. She has resided in Shasta County for over 25 years, working for the county in various legal positions and departments for 15 years. She also owned and operated a restaurant in Redding for the same time period.

Melissa Jamison 
Grants Manager 

Melissa joined the United Way of Northern California as a temporary employee for a 1-month project in March 2020. After successfully completing the project, she was offered continued employment to work on additional projects. In September 2020, she was promoted to a full-time Disaster Services Coordinator. Melissa’s dedication to the mission of "filling the gaps" led to her to being promoted to Senior Program Specialist, and she currently holds the position of Grants Manager.

Since her teenage years, Melissa has been passionate about working with marginalized communities, and she has volunteered and worked with numerous non-profit humanitarian organizations, both domestically and internationally. Growing up in Butte County, Melissa married her husband Josh in 1990, and they have two adult sons, Joshua and Caleb, who also work in the non-profit sector. After years of living in the Midwest and traveling, the family returned to Paradise, California after the 2018 Camp Fire to aid in rebuilding efforts. Melissa cherishes her faith, family, and adventurous travel experiences as some of her favorite things.

Kao Xiong
Program Manager

Kao Xiong is the Program Manager specializing in the VITA program for United Way of Northern California.  Kao joined United Way back in 2019. She left during covid and recently came back in July 2022 to coordinate the VITA program.  She enjoys helping people and was a VITA program volunteer back in 2007. Kao holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, MN. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and cooking.