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MEET Our Board


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President/Executive Director

Nadia Niazi

Nadia Niazi is the founder and President of FITRAH. She is a Canadian-American, an optimist, humanitarian, and entrepreneur. 

Nadia has over 20 years of business management experience and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from UC Davis.  She founded several businesses including a Biotech startup in 2001 called Proto-Vite Inc. After over a decade managing a successful online eCommerce store called eStyleo, she was driven to do something with the knowledge she had acquired.  She founded FITRAH by donating her store and co-developed a social enterprise created for vulnerable youth to take charge of. Nadia is a strong advocate for equality and has made it her life-long mission to ensure that regardless of race, religion, or gender, every youth be given the opportunity to thrive. 

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Mariam El-Menshawi

Mariam El-menshawi is the Director of McGeorge School of Law, Victims of Crime Resource Center. She is also the Managing Attorney at the VCRC- Legal Center, which provides holistic legal services to victims of crime. Mariam received her joint JD - MBA degree from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. She was drawn to victims’ rights as a law student, where she worked directly with victims and conducted research on victims’ rights. Mariam has dedicated her career to helping victims of crime understand their rights and assisting them in navigating and enforcing their rights in the criminal justice system. She serves on the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) VOCA Steering Committee, CalOES VAWA Steering Committee, U.S. Attorney’s Hate Crime Task Force, Financial Abuse Specialist Team, Older Adults Coalition Multidisciplinary Team, and is the Co-Chair of the Victims of Crime Legal Forum. Mariam was honored with the “2016 Legal Advocacy Award” by the National Crime Victim Law Institute and the 2019 “Local Hero Award” by SafeQuest Solano.



Brandon Brooke

Brandon Brooke is a financial consultant in Roseville, CA.  He has been helping individuals and families with financial planning for over 20 years.  He received his Bachelors Science and degree in Business management from Menlo college. Brandon is Married with 3 children and lives in Auburn, CA. where he enjoys golf and wine tasting.  Now he is looking at ways to give back to the community, especially youth. 

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Phyllis Needleman

Phyllis began to work as a community worker for various high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools in the San Juan school district for close to 28 years and has a strong passion to help youth in the foster system.  Prior to her work for the district, she was an Activity Director at the Einstein Center.  In 2017, in remembrance of her mother, she founded her first non-profit called Freda Fund which provides opportunities and support to youth in the foster system throughout the Sacramento region working in collaboration with the Sacramento Child Abuse Prevention Council. 


Board member

Ingrid Rosten

Ingrid Rosten has many years of experience as a professional providing support to new businesses through mentoring, guidance, and business development. She finds reward in seeing ventures succeed and grow as a result of this education and networking. Having lived abroad for many years, Ingrid has good proficiency in both French and Spanish. Her key strengths include the ability to create strategic relationships, and her appreciation of business innovation, education, and world cultures.  Ingrid is extremely passionate about supporting women and children and values working with local organizations to help the underprivileged in our immediate communities.

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