Able Works equips individuals with financial education, life skills and assets that enable them to live free from oppression and poverty.
We seek to live in a society where every individual has the ability to fulfill their greatest human potential.
Our Key Points
Able Works targets highly motivated, but under-resourced young adults
Provide knowledge, skills, and assets needed to break free of poverty and oppression
Foster knowledge, skills, and will to help individuals navigate their path to economic mobility
In 2005, Rev. John Liotti co-founded Able Works with a passion to focus on the economic issues underlying the communities in Northern California. John, who has extensive community development experience, recognized a deep need in under-resourced communities for financial education, life skills, assets, and connections to the larger community and economy of the region. John is passionate about connecting and harnessing the abundant resources of the Bay Area to shatter generational cycles of poverty and systematic oppression.
Under John’s leadership, Able Works has piloted several innovative programs, including FutureProfits, a curriculum for financial education and decision-making skills for high school students; AchieveAble, a life skills and college and career success program for college-age youth pursuing a non-traditional path; free foreclosure and credit counseling services; and a low-income housing program.
At an early age, John dedicated his life to serving under-resourced youth and families in communities locally in California’s Central Valley, Bay Area and Los Angeles, nationally in Central Florida and New York City, as well as abroad in Northern Mexico. He has lived and worked in the Bay Area for over 23 years.
John has a Master’s Degree in Intercultural Studies with an emphasis in Ethics from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA, and formerly served as a Chaplain for the East Palo Alto Police Department. He’s been married to his partner Melissa for over 35 years. They have one son, Samuel, and two rescue dogs. He currently resides in Santa Cruz, CA.
Irene has over 29 years of experience working with and leading youth, young adults, leaders, and families. She speaks nationally and internationally, has written numerous curricula, consults for churches and organizations on engaging youth, youth culture, community development, and racial justice issues, and is an advisor for many organizational boards.
Ana M. Andrade holds a B.A in Criminal Justice from Stanislaus State University and a M.A. in Leadership Studies from Saint Mary’s College of California. Her thesis work focused on unemployment, morale and people with limited English-speaking proficiency. Ana earned a PhD in Transformative Studies from California Institute of Integral Studies in 2020. She is a native Spanish Speaker, born in El Salvador and raised in Patterson, California. Before joining Able Works, Ana dedicated her professional time advocating for renter’s rights and counseling housing providers. She spent over a decade working as a Deputy Probation Officer in San Joaquin County. While there, she served on the Department’s Equal Employment Opportunity Committee and was the Department’s United Way Campaign leader. She also participated in the Stanislaus County Probation Department’s Reducing racial and ethnic disparities (R.E.D.) committee. She is a senior fellow graduate of Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley’s Latino Board Leadership Academy. She is currently a Board Member with the Latino Community Roundtable, a member of the Stanislaus County Giving Circle, and an advisor for Invest in Me, a young women’s leadership program based in Patterson. Most recently, Ana was named Outstanding Women of Stanislaus County by Stanislaus County Commission for Women.
Sue worked in the high tech industry for over 10 years, first as a management consultant with Accenture, then in Latin America business development for Apple. After becoming a mother, Sue devoted her time to raising her two children and volunteering in their schools and church. With a deep desire to make a positive impact in her local community, Sue relaunched her career in 2010 with a focus on social justice. She is passionate about helping others reach their full potential. Sue holds a B.A. and an M.B.A. from Baylor University and an M.I.M. from Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Philip began his career in corporate finance with Ernst & Young and Deutsche Bank, then spent 12 years in private equity primarily with Lexington Partners. Since 2010, Philip has actively invested in real estate opportunities, including single-family, multi-family residential, and hotel properties. Philip served as board chairperson for 10Thousand Windows, an organization offering economic empowerment services for survivors of violence and exploitation, and he has volunteered in various roles with several Bay Area non-profit organizations. He loves seeing people gain control of their lives and begin to achieve their own life goals. Philip received his bachelor's degree in Economics at UC Santa Barbara and later received his MBA from UCLA Anderson. He lives in Menlo Park, CA with his wife and three children.
Board of Directors
Michelle L. Goudeaux, Board Chairperson
Adriana Michel, Vice Chair
Karl Welch, Board Treasurer
Jay Chung, Board Secretary
Advisory Committee Central Valley