Simon Salas joined Good Sam in 2017 after serving as a chief executive for more than 30 years in the education, government, nonprofit and business sectors. His passion is the education of youth, sparked by the journey that he began many years ago upon his graduation from John F. Kennedy High School in San Antonio, which then led him to New York City to attend college.
From his first job with the New York City Board of Education to successive jobs as a corporate lawyer with elite law firms, Simon developed strong relationships with outstanding public servants who became lifelong mentors and friends. His New York adventure culminated with a stint as a Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel for the Department of Finance. In this position he oversaw a number of high profile matters that helped the City avert financial distress. After five years serving under two different Mayoral administrations, Simon worked as staff to the New York City Council and began teaching as Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Simon, his wife and two children returned home in the early 2000’s. He started a law practice and later co-founded a charter school network with the goal of increasing access to high quality programs for children and youth. That network grew to five schools and Simon left to pursue other opportunities, one being his current role at Good Sam.
We often say at Good Samaritan that relationships are the work. Whether it's in working with each other, those that we serve or our partners in the community, the intentionality of our actions gives voice to the needs, dreams and desires aspired to by the members of our community.
Simon received his BA from Columbia College, his JD from Columbia Law School, and an MPA from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Dr. Lisa Eversole serves as the Chief Development Officer. She is responsible for leading the Department of Development by creating an dimplementing marketing and communication strategies that provide individual and philanthropic support. Dr. Eversole previously served as the Director of Community Collaborations at Northwest Vista College. Shewas responsible for the NVC Wildcats Alumni, The President’s Office Business Council (POBC) 501(c)3, Friends of the Arts (FANs) 501(c)3, scholarships, commencement, employee professional development, financial literacy, United Way Employee Giving Back Campaign, faculty and staff convocation, fundraising, resource development, college-wide events, and was the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Beta Lambda Upsilon Honor Society Administrator.
She is a results-driven professional with more than 22 years of experience in education. She is a passionate, lifelong learner who is dedicated to innovative program development, decreasing poverty, and fostering community partnerships to provide resources to the Westside of San Antonio.
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Dr. Eversole is a servant leader, and holds a BA in Education from Miami University, a MaEd in Curriculum & Instruction from University of Phoenix, and a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership and Management from Capella University. While at Miami University, she was the Captain of the Dance Team, and the Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) Sorority Social Chair. Lisa takes great pride in being a mother to her three amazing children. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling to new places, ballroom dancing, and cooking.
Steve Veling joined the Air Force after graduating from the University of Greenbay with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Steve served for 7 ½ years as a Captain in the Air Force while earning a master’s degree in Operations Management from the University of Arkansas. Steve brings with him 30+ years of experience in Finance working for several housing authorities. Steve has significantly improved the financial condition of the organizations he has worked for by regularly communicating and cooperating with staff throughout the agencies. When he is not working, he enjoys spending time with his grandchildren, reading, exercising and working in his family's yard.
Elva Castañeda first joined Good Samaritan Community Services in 2019 and now serves as the Senior Director of Human Resources. Mrs. Castañeda holds a BBA in Human Resource Management from Texas A&M University—San Antonio. She also earned and maintains her HR professional certification from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). Mrs. Castañeda has ample professional experience in various roles but especially in the human resources field and the non-profit sector. She is responsible for managing the HR department. Her passions are helping others and family. She has been married for over 26 years and is a proud mom and grandmother. In her free time, Mrs. Castañeda loves to travel, go to the movies, attend social events, and relax by the beach.
Ale N. Arquisola received her B.A. in Psychology from St. Mary’s University and is responsible for overseeing the Youth & Teen Services Department and Staff. “Ale” manages special projects on policy, providing staff support to the Board of Directors, leads the agency’s volunteer program and all data management. She served as the Chairwoman of the West Side Barrio Network, a network of over 40 agencies serving the 78207 zip code for nearly 6 years. She successfully helped cultivate and provide Good Sam Services in Brownsville. She continues to lead Youth & Teen Services in elevating instruction to meet 21st-century needs, including enhancing STEM and Reading programming, Ale also loves to travel, listen to music, and creates art in her spare time, especially painting and printmaking.
Cynthia C. Cardenas successfully manages and leads the Department of Family Services. She supervised the Senior Center Accreditation efforts, receiving official recognition from the National Institute of Senior Centers as the only accredited Senior Center in Texas. Mrs. Cardenas also guided her team to receive the Early Childhood Program’s Texas Rising Star 4-Star certification receiving official recognition from Workforce Solutions Alamo aa a high-quality early childhood program. Not only does she manage department budgets, monitor program performance, professional development, grant writing projects and program deliverables, she also leads the Trauma Informed Care Committee working towards a Trauma Informed Certification for the agency.
Mrs. Cardenas participates in various community collaborations and committees which include Ready Children Impact Council, ReadyKidSA, Safety Net Impact Council (Food Insecurity), South Texas Trauma Informed Care Consortium, Bexar County Domestic Violence Task Force, and Parents as Teachers Advisory Committee. Her passions are to continue learning through education and professional development. She is an active advocate for the prevention and awareness of child abuse and neglect. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, yoga, listening to music and spending time with her family and friends.
Charisma U. Soriano is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Radio-Television-Film. Her experience includes content creation and coordination in the higher education industry. She has successfully connected communities with resources and has organized other student outreach projects promoting equal opportunity. Raised in the West Side of San Antonio, she has strong ties with the surrounding community and strives to empower others through unity, creation and education. Charisma is responsible for assisting the CEO with administrative and operational tasks in conjunction with offering organizational support to the agency. Her free time includes spending time with her cats and playing music with her family and friends.