OCCares

Growing Social Entrepreneurs

“Impacting the world through compassion”

OCCares is a non-profit organization comprised of community and business leaders dedicated to raising up socially conscious youth through Project Y, a social Entrepreneurship Program designed for our youth.

Video highlights from previous events:

OCCares Walk Vision Video

OCCares Entertainer's Invitation to Join Video

Dr. Katherine Ahn & Mike Learakos on KCAL9

Katherine Ahn (Wallace), DDS   Founder

Katherine Ahn (Wallace), DDS

Founder

Dr. Katherine Ahn (Wallace) has a special interest in helping people and being involved in the community. Dr. Ahn served on the OCKCC (Orange County Korean Cultural Center) Board, Orangewood Academy Administrative Board, GGSDA Church Advisory Council and Festival Ballet Theater Advisory Board.  Dr. Ahn was appointed to the Orange County Children and Families Commission in early 2012 and served on the Commission for 4 years. While serving on the Commission, she got acquainted with wonderful non-profit organizations in Orange County and was inspired to start OCCares, a non profit that helps other non profits by raising awareness and funds for their causes. She launched OCCares in February 2013 with the support of OCCares’ Founding Members, Ken August, Esq, Karen Thomas, Anita Gibson, Angella Voskanian and MaryAnn Pedersen. OCCares’ first project was a benefit concert designed to enhance Unity, Charity and Compassion in OC by giving the residents of OC, including the youth, a platform to contribute their time and talents towards bringing hope and relief to those in need in OC. The non profits that OCCares worked with in the first year were: The Joyful Child Foundation, Giving Children Hope and Serving Kids Hope (aka Dr. Riba’s Health Club). In 2014, OCCares chose to support “Waste Not OC”, a collaborative that was focused on ending hunger in OC. In the fall of 2014, OCCares hosted a Walk to End Hunger in OC for the benefit of Waste Not OC. In 2015, OCCares developed the Youth Social Entrepreneurship Program to more effectively fulfill its mission of helping the community and inspiring the youth. In 2016, the first 3 Project Y Clubs (aka YSEP) were established by students at Sage Hill High School, Fairmont High School and OCSA. With the need for service learning hours and experience at the high school level, Dr. Ahn is excited about inviting Corporations to partner with OCCares in expanding the high school Youth Social Entrepreneurship Club program in 2019.

Dr. Ahn is a dentist dedicated to improving the smile and health of her patients and is particularly passionate about developing the jaw, face and the airway to improve her patients overall health. She is committed to bringing awareness about the recent advances in dentistry and medicine and recently founded the Breathe Well Center, a center dedicated to providing TMJ, Sleep, Oro-facial Development & Orthodontic therapies. In addition, she founded Life Cornerstone, a company dedicated to developing products that can provide both temporary and permanent solutions for issues related to airwary compromise such as snoring, sleep apnea, fatigue, TMJ/craniofacial pain, collapsed faces, underdeveloped jaw and crooked teeth.

Dr. Ahn is also excited about collaborating with the Be Well medical collaborative centers that understand the root cause of medical and dental problems and offer healing solutions in lieu of just covering up the symptoms.

Dr. Ahn is member of the ADA, CDA, OCDS, AACD, AACP, ADSM and IAOMT.  She is passionate about learning and actively pursues advanced dental training throughout the year. Her key educational and training highlights are as follows:

  • Undergraduate education from La Sierra University

  • Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from UCLA School of Dentistry

  • Pediatric Dental Residency training from UCLA School of Dentistry

  • Cosmetic, Reconstructive & Neuromuscular Dentistry training from LVI, center for advanced dental education

  • Non-extraction Orthodontics training with Full Face Global with Dr. Derek Mahony

  • TMD and Sleep Apnea Therapy training with Dr. Steve Olmos

  • TMD & Sleep Mini Residency with AACP (American Academy of Craniofacial Pain)

  • Airway Mini Residency with Dr. Mark Cruz & Dr. Barry Raphael

Dr. Ahn is married to Dr. John Wallace who is also a dentist and has an 18 year old daughter Elise Newen who attends UCI as a dance major on a premed track.


Kenneth S. August, Esq   Founding Member

Kenneth S. August, Esq

Founding Member

Ken August is the Founder and President of August Law Group, P.C., a transactional law firm specializing in domestic and international corporate and financial transactions, securities and private equity investments, mergers and acquisitions, technology transfer, licensing and strategic alliances. He began his legal career in Washington, D.C., as part of the legal team representing former U.S. Treasury Secretary William Simon's investment banking firm, Wesray Corporation, in a variety of public and private financial transactions, management buyouts and related corporate activity. Prior to establishing his own Firm, Mr. August worked at Graham & James, Los Angeles, CA, specializing in mergers & acquisitions, corporate finance, franchise and securities, and joint venture transactions for the firm's international clientele. During his career, Mr. August has participated as legal counsel in transactions having an aggregate value of more than $2.5 Billion dollars. ALG received (together with Winthrop Couchot Golubow Hollander, LLP and Bryan Cave LLP) the 2016 Professional Services (B-to-B) Deal of the Year Award from M&A Advisor Magazine.

Mr. August has served as an Adjunct Professor at Whittier Law School and for the University of California at Irvine Graduate School of Management, teaching in the area of corporations, contracts and securities law. He has lectured extensively in the areas of international business and financial transactional law, including for the US Department of Commerce, the Riverside County College of Foreign Trade, Harvard Business School Association of Orange County, and a variety of academic and private sector organizations. He was a contributing author on international mergers and acquisitions in the book The Art of M&A, published by Dow Jones-Irwin in 1987.

Mr. August was a Founding Member of the College of Fellows of the Centre for International Legal Studies, headquartered in Austria, and served as a Director for the SoCal chapter of the Singapore American Business Association, as well as a Director and Past President of the Orange County International Business and Protocol Foundation, and Chairman of the California International Business Advisory Board, Rancho Santiago Community College District. Currently Mr. August serves as a Trustee of the World Affairs Council of Orange County. He is fluent in English, French and Spanish, and has a working knowledge of German, Italian, Portuguese and Russian.


Karen Thomas   Founding Member

Karen Thomas

Founding Member

Karen, Children Ministry Director with South Orange County Church, has served her community in civic, voluntary and professional capacities for approximately 20 years. She has vast experiences in the development and implementation of children’s curriculum for faith-based Programs. Karen taught 15 years at Artesian Well Faith Center Children Church Department and served as Director of the Nursery Program. She assisted the Artesian Well Christian Preparatory Academy staff (ACE Program). Four Square Pre-School and Laurie’s Day Care benefited from Karen’s skills and generosity as a volunteer. Prior to her current appointment position with South Orange County Church, Karen taught for 5 years at Heritage Family Fellowship. As Director of Children ministry, Karen is training a staff of volunteers to mentor and teach God’s love to children. Karen has taught youth groups and facilitated children’s retreats. Her future plan is to open camps for children to learn and study the Arts in a Christian environment. Karen’s interest in the Arts started during her high school years. She performed with the band and dance recitals winning several honors. In 1982 she competed in the Long Beach chapter N.A.A.C.P. Act-So. She won first place and traveled to Boston, Massachusetts to represents in the nationals.

Karen contributes her passion and success with children to her mother, Glorious Lawrence, who dedicated over 35 years working with children and families. Glorious has several academic degrees.( BS MSW DCL). She held positions with the State of Tennessee Department of Social Services, Memphis City Schools and from 1976 to 2004 with Orange County Social Services Agency. Glorious served the County of Orange in a variety of professional social work, supervisory and high-level management assignments. 

Professionally, Karen is employed as a Contract Specialist II for Health Care Partners. She worked for 6 years for a local law firm as Accounts Manager. She was employed for Sea Air Credit Union for 15 years as Collections Manager.

Karen is married to Charles, a Mortgage Banker and Realtor. Charles has Bachelors in Biblical Studies and a minor in Theology. They have 2 adult daughters, Alexandria and Andrea. Alexandria and Andrea model their parents’ leadership and outstanding character. Alexandria earned a scholarship and is presently a junior at CSUF. She is studying Pre-Med/Health Science and is captain of the CSUF women basketball team. Andrea attends Fullerton College studying both Theater Arts and Business. Andrea received the Heritage Award, the highest honor at Irvine High School, Herb Alfred Scholarship Award while attending California Summer School for the Arts. (CSSA) and the MACYS Award for her performance in the production “The Boyfriend”.


Anita L. Gibson, MBA, PA

Founding Member

Anita L. Gibson is not just a professional but a passionate, compassionate, and driven professional. For the result-driven Business Coach, it’s all about inspiring tremendous change in businesses and individual lives. Anita is a resource to business leaders everywhere in their pursuit of organizational health as a coach, consultant, and speaker. She has been in the field of Business Development for over eight years, 20 years in Healthcare, and five years in Medicare. She holds a Master’s degrees in Business Administration/Public Administration. She also holds a Professional Life Coach Certification, a Health, Life and Accident License and has attained numerous certifications in Business Management, Training, Administration, Customer Service, Quality Management and has recently obtained her Notary Republic Commission.

Anita has a portfolio of experience at entrepreneurial and creative companies building teams and systems that accelerate growth. Moreover, Anita brings a diverse background of product management, sales, marketing and organizational development.

Anita has a passion for people. She is devoted to helping others’ reach their full potential. For this reason, she is active in her local church as well as volunteering her time participating in Jail Ministry in North Orange County under the Gleaner’s Christian organization, where she is able to minister to men and women in the local jails. Anita also enjoys going to women’s shelters and ministering the word and counseling the mothers and has since joined the Youth Mentoring Task Force (YTMF) in Orange County, where she has the privilege to speak into the lives of high school students within North Orange County School Districts. She has the privilege of volunteering as a judge for Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL) National Leadership Conference (NLC) in Anaheim, California, where young individuals have the opportunity to share their talents, gifts and abilities. As an active Committee Member of the Compton Disaster Preparedness Coalition, she has the opportunity not only to volunteer her time; but to learn how to be prepared for various types of emergencies and share with her city and community.

Helping others is Anita driving force. For her, it’s all about inspiring tremendous change in businesses and individual lives by identifying deficiencies, work through complicated problems and arrive at clear, actionable outcomes that will promote growth, sustainability, and retain a competitive edge.

With over 20 years of experience in customer service, leadership training and business development, Anita’s background and trainings provide important principles, strategies, a high level of energy and team support enabling her to reach others in an effort to create synergy in a diverse cultural society.

Anita is the CEO/Business Developer of Right Stand Consulting (RSC). Right Stand Consulting is a consulting firm that gives professional advice to individuals and organizations. Their primary purpose is to provide industry specific information, research, current trends and shortages. By doing this, RSC is able to identify their deficiencies within the team structure and company’s strategies and offer solutions and ways of improvement in order to enhance the company’s culture, increase productivity, promote a healthy work environment, improve morale, create synergy foster the growth of customer service excellence and retain key talents. 

Anita is also a Facilitator for Pre-License Courses for California State Exams. Where she is able to share not only class material but business strategies with future entrepreneur.

Anita has recently started her own Insurance Agency. Cultivé Insurance Agency (CIA) is a Medicare / Healthcare Insurance Agency. Its purpose is to help clients navigate through the Medicare and Health Care Systems and choose the appropriate plan for their health care needs and financial affordability. By helping them understand their options and benefits using various tool including a performing needs analysis, CIA is able to determine the client's needs and the level of care required. CIA’s goal is to help the clients maintain and improve their health.

Anita’s education background:

  • Master of Business Administration/Public Administration ∙ University of Phoenix

  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration ∙ University of Phoenix

  • Associate of Arts in Administration of Justice ∙ Cerritos College

  • Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies ∙ Cerritos College

  • Accident, Health and Life Insurance, California State License  

Anita resides in Orange County, California and she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, outdoors activities, traveling, reading and helping others. Her attraction to OCCARES is the compassion Dr. Katherine Ahn has for people, and the drive to help others one person at a time. It is a great honor to be a part of OCCARES.

Angella Voskanian

Founding Member


MaryAnn Pedersen

Founding Member

Mary Ann Pedersen is dedicated to community involvement and the connections our varied backgrounds contribute to society. Growing up in Washington D.C. and being exposed to the various cultural  and political influences at the time was a platform for her reaching diverse groups and the challenge of seeing our neighbor as part of our own life experience.

Currently, Mary Ann is an instructor at West Coast University, Dental Hygiene Department, and enjoys the Dental Health Education and Community Projects the Students create in understanding how private and public health care are connected, and also addressing the concerns of the high cost of healthcare and how to meet the oral health care needs in patient care. The gift of today's young professional and what they bring into the marketplace is the hope for our community, and a fulfilling part of supporting their future.

Mary Ann has two sons, one that just graduated Cal State Long Beach, and one in High School. Brad, her husband, works for Cal Vet and enjoys being a support to our Veterans in their home loan options. Having a large extended family brings a blessing spread across the United States and the globe, giving a personal truth to the "It's a small world" belief.

 A graduate of Loma Linda University, where the motto is "to make man whole", Mary Ann has learned that although this motto seems like a simple statement, it can be a lifelong challenge.

The delight in this season of experiencing community service is seeing how we often get what we give, and so often Mary Ann is experiencing a double blessing.






OCCares is a 501c3 organization (46-2864414)