Meet the Staff

Jackie Cruz

Jackie Cruz is the Vice President of Advancement and Development and Hartnell College Foundation at Hartnell College and a proud Hartnell alumna. Jackie worked for the United Way Monterey County as the Director of Workplace Campaigns. She then came to the Hartnell College Foundation and served as the Development Director before being promoted to Executive Director.  Her passion is connecting with people and resources to create pathways leading individuals to self sufficiency and healthy lives. In her 14 years career, Jackie has been an integral part of resource development efforts which have produced over $32 million dollars for local organizations and Hartnell College.  Jackie resides in Gonzales with her talented son Luis and new daughter Kylie. She can be reached at

Terri Ugale

Terri Ugale is the Executive Assistant and brings to us years of experience in private sector financial services where she worked with high-level executives. She manages multiple team members, provides excellent support and facilitates organization in our fast paced environment.  She and her husband Ted enjoy spending time coaching and cheering on their two children, Aaron (13) and Aubrey (9) in their various sports activities. She can be reached at

Esmeralda Montenegro

Esmeralda Montenegro-Owen, the Director of Communications, Marketing and Public Relations,is in charge of public, media, and government relations for the College.  She comes from the National Steinbeck Center where she was Curator of Marketing & Community Engagement, plus she is adjunct professor of Broadcast Journalism at Gavilan College.   Previously, she worked with Univisión 67 in Monterey as Lead News Anchor and Producer, where she earned various community recognitions, including an Emmy nomination for investigative reporting.  She has worked with the Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast and the GEAR UP Program at UC Santa Cruz. Esmeralda  graduated with a dual degree in Broadcast Journalism and Spanish from the University of Southern California (USC), and a Master of Public Administration from Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU).  She lives in Gilroy with her husband Bill, son Matthew (2), and Golden Retriever, Rex. She can be reached at

Kira Bona

Kira Bona is the Foundation Accounting Manager. Her background is in accounting and finance in the Agriculture industry.  Kira and her husband Michael enjoy hiking and riding their Harley along the coast. She can be reached at

Cristina Westfall

Cristina Westfall is the Administrative Assistant and Database Manager and has a wealth of history with the organization and works closely with the campus community, especially agriculture business & technology and athletics. Cristina has a degree in Business Administration with emphasis in Accounting and previously to join Hartnell, Cristina worked at Monterey County Free Libraries as Senior Accounting Clerk, and she is trilingual in Spanish and Portuguese. She can be reached at

Ashton Clarke

Ashton Clarke is one of our Philanthropy Officers and works closely with the arts and athletics. He brings years of non-profit and fundraising experience to the foundation. He has a passion for securing funds from many different constituencies to create meaningful outcomes for individuals, organizations, donors, and the community. He received his bachelors of arts in economics from Claremont McKenna College where he also played football and lacrosse. He enjoys taking advantage of all that Monterey County has to offer such as great local productions, wonderful food and wine, fantastic golfing and scenic views. He can be reached at

Priscilla Amao

Priscilla is one of our Philanthropy Officers and works closely with the Women’s Education Leadership Institute (WELI) and STEM programs. Priscilla was previously an Advocate Supervisor for the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program where she worked closely with members of the community who, as sworn officers of the courts, advocate for children in foster care. Priscilla is currently a Hartnell student as well as a Foundation staff member. Priscilla is a former WELI Scholar and also served as Co-Chair of the Women’s Empowerment Conference Committee. She is majoring in Psychology and plans to transfer to CSUMB to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Psychology and eventually achieve a Master’s Degree. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, going to the movie theater and exploring new foods. Priscilla looks forward to contributing to Hartnell’s mission and vision and to advancing programs that support student success. She can be reached at

Rosie I. Armstrong

Rosie I. Armstrong, is our new Director of Workforce Development: Agriculture and Healthcare Sector Partnerships, like Jackie Cruz, is a proud Hartnell alumna. She has worked in the Community College system in fee-based Community and Contract Education departments for over 10 years, most recently with Gavilan College. She also serves as a Board member for ACCE: Association of Community and Continuing Education as the Northern Council leader for Community Education programming. She holds an AA from Hartnell, a BA from UC Santa Barbara in Law and Society and an MA in Sociology of Law from the International Institute for the Sociology of Law in Oñati, Spain.  Besides traveling, Rosie enjoys participating in community wellness events and you might even see her at the Hartnell tennis court from time to time. She is excited to create and enhance existing partnerships in the Agriculture and Healthcare sectors while meeting the local workforce demands of industry and our students, our future workforce. Rosie lives in Salinas and can be reached at