Board Members (alphabetical by last name):
Emeritus Board Members
Carlos J. Martinez, MBBS
One of HARP's founding members, Carlos Martinez, MD is CEO and Chief Medical officer of Palmtree Clinical Research. Carlos earned a Bachelor of Science in biotechnology from CalState Polytechnic in Pomona, and his medical degree from the University of Guadalajara. At Palmtree he oversees their research in HIV and multiple other disease areas.
A long-time AIDS thriver, Jeff Jenest brings to HARP-PS over 40 years of experience as a packaged-goods marketer, strategic planner, and finance and operations executive, plus over 30 years as an AIDS activist. After earning his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Stanford University, Jeff attended the Harvard Business School, receiving his MBA in 1978. Jeff’s marketing skills were honed through product management positions at General Foods and Frito-Lay.
Bridgette Picou is a nurse with several years of HIV and infectious disease experience, having worked at a combination AIDS service organization and federally qualified health center. She contributed to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Treatment Works campaign in 2018 and is an avid blogger with The Well Project as well as a community advisory board member for that organization. She also writes a guest column for Positively Aware magazine called "Being Bridgette," and has written the advocate comments for their Annual HIV Drug Guide for the past two years. She finds that in advocating for others she advocates for herself and affirms her own journey.
Jill Gover, Ph.D.
Jill Gover, Ph.D., is the Director of Behavioral Health at DAP Health (formerly Desert AIDS Project). She is a clinical psychologist, specializing in addiction, anxiety, depression, aging, HIV and LGBTQ+ issues. For 15 years, she was the Coordinator of Student Assistance Programs for the Vallejo USD and responsible for developing a large internship program and bringing mental health services into the schools. For 13 years, she was the Director of Mental Health Services for an FQHC community health center in northern California where she was responsible for integrating behavioral health into a primary care setting. In 2011 she joined the staff at The LGBT Center in Palm Springs, where she created a clinical internship program for mental health professionals and established The Scott Hines Mental Health Clinic to provide low-cost counseling services to the LGBT+ community. At DAP, Dr. Gover oversees the behavioral health clinic and several treatment programs for the community, including a long-term survivors therapy group for gay men aging with HIV. She has also been a member of the HARP-PS Stakeholders Committee for the past five years. Dr. Gover presents and writes frequently on a variety of mental health topics.
Jack is currently the executive director of the Joslyn Center in Palm Desert and has served in that capacity since 2017. At the Joslyn Center, Jack has fostered the development of new and innovative programming including the establishment of the Joslyn Wellness Center, which utilizes a holistic approach to senior wellness. With more than 26 years of experience in the non-profit field, Jack has held senior management positions at a variety of organizations as well as served on non-profit boards. He chaired the City of Signal Hill Planning Commission as well as the Palm Springs Human Rights Commission. While at Desert AIDS Project, Jack was the first director of public policy and developed close working relationships with both California senators and congressional representatives throughout Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. Jack is proud to have been involved in the production and presentation of several of the regional HIV and aging forums.
For over 25 years Ron Sylvester has been producing/directing a wide range of video projects. In 2004, Ron started his own publicity and production company, RS/tv Inc. and has been servicing his client base with broadcast publicity campaigns as well as corporate video, commercials, and online content. After graduating in 1985 from Clarion University with a BS in Communications, Ron began his career in New York City where he produced segments and special reports for a video trade publishing company. From there, Ron entered the public relations field heading Edelman PR's broadcast division in New York City for seven years as senior vice president of production. Ron then moved to Los Angeles to continue his career in PR broadcast video. During a ten-year period, he has held various senior level positions with production companies and PR firms producing and directing additional live and taped productions.
Ron has a long history of nonprofit work in the community, most notably as the president and chairman of the board of the LGBTQ Center of Long Beach from 2009–2016. During this time, he also served as executive producer for QFILMS; The Long Beach LGBTQ Film Festival and is one of the founders of the Long Beach AIDS Ride
Gaetano Vaccaro, Ph.D.
Gaetano Vaccaro, Ph.D., is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and an expert in Institutional and Organizational Psychology, and Optimal Performance. Dr. Vaccaro has over twenty-five years of experience as a clinical program director, management consultant for program design and implementation, workshop facilitator, life coach and psychotherapist. Dr. Vaccaro has created cutting-edge multi-modal treatment programs for treatment of substance abuse, sexual compulsivity, process addictions, and eating disorders, as well as innovative programs in professional development and personal growth.