Board of Directors
Jim Willis, President
Jim was the police detective who investigated Kathy’s case. After the conclusion of the investigation, he developed a bond with the Scharbarth family. He is happy to serve on the board and be involved in the positive that grew from a tragedy. Jim has been a peace officer in California for over 20 years, working in Santa Barbara before moving to the San Diego area.
Jim is a police sergeant, past president of the Police Officers Association, member of the SWAT team and a field training officer. He has been a detective in the Crimes of Violence Unit and a crime scene investigator. Jim enjoys spending time with his family, traveling and camping.
Ginny Scharbarth, Co-Founder/Executive Director
Ginny is Kathy Scharbarth's mother. Shortly after Kathy's murder, she testified in the California State Assembly on behalf of Bill AB2467 – Victim Safety through GPS Monitoring, a.k.a. Kathy's Law. She now publicly speaks about Kathy's story and the fight against domestic violence — and is dedicated to reviving hope and inspiring dreams in the lives of children affected by it.
Ginny graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in sociology and an elementary teaching credential. She taught all levels, kindergarten through eighth grade. She enjoys raising her granddaughter Madison, watching baseball and going to the gym.
Michael Peterson, Vice President
Michael’s daughter, Whitney, is a friend and classmate of Madison Scharbarth, Kathy's daughter. Madison’s amazing resiliency, and that of the entire Scharbarth family, has given him the motivation to help Kathy’s Legacy become a leading advocate for women and children who suffer from domestic violence — using his experience to help lead its mission of providing tangible protection for victims of domestic violence and support for surviving children.
Michael is the president and CEO of The Pet Group, Inc., a San Diego-based sales, marketing and consulting corporation. He also serves as secretary of The Petco Foundation Board and is a Board member of The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.
Michael Scharbarth, Co-Founder/Secretary
Michael is the younger brother of Kathy Scharbarth. He honors his sister’s memory by working to revive hope in the lives of victims and children affected by domestic violence. Michael is the vice president of Operations at Global Strategic Management Institute, a conference company in San Diego, where he oversees event management, including scheduling, logistics, travel, and correspondence for national and international events.
Michael attended the University of California, San Diego, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in communications in 2009. In his free time, he enjoys playing baseball, golfing and fishing.
Ryan Puplava, Treasurer
Ryan was introduced to the foundation through Kathy’s Legacy President, Jim Willis. He have a passion to serve the community and feels strongly that the children of domestic violence have suffered silently. Ryan believes that Kathy's Legacy is the champion to be their voice and support.
Ryan is the CEO of Financial Sense Wealth Management and has worked in the financial services industry since 1995. He is a Chartered Market Technician having graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration/Finance from SDSU.
Howard Ernest, Past President
Howard has known the Scharbarth family since 1972 and is honored to serve as the past president of the Board of Directors for Kathy's Legacy Foundation. He has a strong desire to see the foundation's work help achieve the goal of no family or individual enduring the loss of a loved one as a result of domestic violence.
Howard has been a part of the business community since 1971, working in his family's construction business. Since 1991, he's been a business consultant specializing in medical office management, working with physicians and office staff. He is a graduate of UCLA and lives in San Diego.
David is an experienced business executive and leader with more than 20 years of successfully managing sales, marketing and operations teams. He became interested in assisting victims and children of domestic violence after seeing Kathy’s story in the media and learning more about the increasing problem of domestic violence in the community. His desire is to help eliminate acts of domestic violence while supporting the survivors of abuse.
David earned his B.S. in business management from Northern Illinois University and his MBA from Roosevelt University in Chicago. He currently works as a regional sales director, specializing in the military and federal government sectors.
Gretchen has been in the interior design and architectural industry for more than 20 years and has a BFA in interior design from Louisiana Tech University. She has worked for and served non-profits throughout her career and became interested in the special mission of Kathy’s Legacy through a professional friend. She hopes her non-profit experience can be used for a higher purpose in serving Kathy’s Legacy.
Gretchen works as a sales representative, responsible for managing a diverse set of vertical markets in the local region including GSA, higher education, healthcare, legal and finance. She resides in San Diego with her husband and four children.
Dr. Lori A. Love, Ph.D.
Dr. Love is a clinical psychologist who works with families in the areas of marriage, divorce, and child custody, specializing in child custody evaluations, mediation, and parent coordination. She frequently interfaces with domestic violence in her work with families of divorce and is dedicated to raising awareness and increasing the resources available for the children who are affected.
Dr. Love is a former adjunct faculty member of the Child and Family Development Department at San Diego State University, a current member of the Collaborative Family Law Group of San Diego, The San Diego Family Law Bar, and the Association of Family and Conciliatory Courts. She has been in practice for more than 23 years and has offices in Mission Valley and Encinitas.
Julie is an Event Manager in north San Diego county. She has over 20 years of experience working in both corporate and private environments. Julie has worked in various industries including hospitality, construction, technology and medical devices. In her tenure, she has worked closely with executive team members and been the point person for all meetings and events ranging from holiday parties to Board of Directors meetings.
Julie is passionate about helping individuals impacted by domestic violence homicide and hopes her experience with events will be of great value to Kathy’s Legacy for years to follow. She has her Bachelor of Arts degree from Cal State San Marcos and resides in Vista with her loving husband, three daughters and one feisty husky.
Jesse Gonzalez, MA.Ed. PPSC
Jesse Gonzalez is a School Counselor in San Diego. Over the course of his career, Jesse has worked as a teacher, administrator, and coach. Before becoming a school counselor, Jesse worked in the non-profit sector as the Social Services Coordinator for both First 5 of San Bernardino County and the North County Community Resource Center.
Jesse earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from California State University San Bernardino, where he also participated in NCAA athletics all four years. Jesse then matriculated to the University of Redlands, where he earned his Master’s Degree in Education and a credential in educational counseling. Jesse is a father of two children and lives with his family in Temecula, California.
Ms. Warren became a licensed attorney in 2006 and a Certified Specialist in Family Law in 2012. Ms. Warren handles complex, high-conflict cases, often involving domestic violence. She also represents minor children in divorce, custody, and paternity cases. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the San Diego Family Law Bar Association; in 2020, she is the President of the Board.
Ms. Warren obtained her B.A. from USD in 2000 and her J.D. from McGeorge School of Law in 2005. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends and traveling.