Esther C. Chow, M.S.W., Founder & Executive Director/President
Esther C. Chow is a graduate of Cornell University and Columbia University Graduate School of Social Work. She has over 25 years of experience in serving low-income, under-served Asian communities in New York City, Los Angeles, San Diego and Oakland/Alameda County, California. Her various professional capacities included hospital social worker, developmental disabilities case manager, community outreach and parent education coordinator, grant writer and project director of prevention mental health services programs. Having successfully raised a son with developmental disabilities to adulthood, Esther feels it is time for her to give back and empower other Asian immigrant families living with developmental disabilities. This is the reason for her starting Helping Hands East Bay in August 2015. Esther was honored by Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services in 2016 for her dedicated services to the API communities. She was the recipient of Alameda County Developmental Disabilities Planning Council's Bernie Graf Excellence in Service Award in 2020. Contact Esther Chow at firstname.lastname@example.org
Khiet Long, M.A., Chairperson
Khiet Long has experience in providing case management services to families experiencing complicated situations such as domestic violence, substance abuse, mental health issues and intellectual disability. All of these situations are challenging and it seems that there are never enough resources to completely resolve these issues. Not being discouraged, Long continues to work in this field and provides services to assist families in crisis.
Tommy Yin Lam Cheuk, M.S., Vice Chairperson
Tommy Cheuk is a System Engineer, graduated from UC Davis with a master degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2009. Tommy and his family first immigrated from Hong Kong in 2002. Through first hand experience, Tommy understands the powerlessness of new immigrants to seek help for family members with developmental disabilities. Tommy would like to apply his experience to inform more families of the resources available to them, so they can be proactive and support family members with special needs to reach their full potential.
Emily Lo, CPA, Treasurer
Emily Lo is a Certified Public Accountant. She has an extensive background in non-profit finance including managing budgets, analyzing financial reports, leading finance team through financial and contract audits, and strategic business planning. Emily enjoys working in diverse settings. She has volunteered many hours in local community organizations. In addition, she enjoys traveling with family and appreciating great food.
Tara Geer-Leiker, Ph.D., Secretary
Tara Geer-Leiker, MA, EdS, PhD is a long-standing professional in the mental health and educational fields. She has worked in a variety of settings including schools, centers, and homes with people of all ages and abilities. Tara’s specialties have included working with those with disabilities, adoption, program development and management, and medical fragility. Some of the roles Tara has had as a professional include being an educational Learning Support Professional, a Program Director for an ABA company, an Adoption Counselor, a Mental Health Professional, a Consultant, and most recently an Academic Coach for students obtaining a master’s degree in counseling. Additionally, Tara is a mother to six children ranging in age from 5 to 28, five of whom are adopted. One of Tara’s sons is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and an intellectual disability and one is medically fragile with an undiagnosed medical condition with developmental and cognitive delays. Three of her other older children each have a different type of disability as well. Each of her children are a huge blessing in her life.
Bernice Chee, M.Ed., M.A., Board Member
Bernice Chee is a graduate of Queen’s University, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She worked with the Chinese immigrant communities in Boston and Oakland, as the Director of Children’s Ministries in a Chinatown-based church, and also as a volunteer at various churches, schools, and non-profits. She also studied the use of technology for children with special needs at a non-profit research organization. She currently enjoys taking care of her family, her cats, and volunteering at school and in the community.