Urban Corps of San Diego County

Leadership Team​

Kyle Kennedy

Chief Executive Officer

Kyle Kennedy joined Urban Corps as Chief Financial Officer in 2013, added the roles of Director of Operations in 2016, Chief Operating Officer in 2018 and then Chief Executive Officer in 2019. He is responsible for the management of the day-to-day business operations essential to the organization including overseeing a $14 million annual operating budget and a multitude of environmental, conservation and construction projects which offer a vast array of services to the San Diego region while providing job training and education to over 400 at-risk youth per year.

Kennedy is a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner) with nearly 20 years of experience developing and implementing financial systems, strategies, processes and controls that have helped companies and non-profits succeed in their mission. He has managed the accounting departments of multiple clients ranging from manufacturers to non-profits. Kennedy is a proven leader with a record of success in communications and in building strong unified teams. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from San Diego State University. His volunteer activities include financial counseling for the Rock Church, Mountain Bike Ministry leader, Do Something Events leader and Foster Youth mentor.

Kyle is a marathon and ironman triathlon competitor and car enthusiast. He is married with two children.

Dan Thomas

Executive Director, Urban Corps Charter School

Dan began his career in teaching and educational leadership more than 30 years ago after obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Science and Technology from Mississippi State University. Dan joined Urban Corps of San Diego County as a teacher in 2001. His classroom experience includes a variety of subjects and instructional methods geared to meet the diverse learning needs of students of different ethnic, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds ranging from pre-teens to young adults.

As Urban Corps’ onsite charter school grew in student population, Dan transitioned into educational leadership. He obtained his Administrative Services Credential in 2010. In 2011, he helped transition the school into a stand-alone non-profit under its current charter through the Mono County Office of Education, simultaneously obtaining Public Charter School Grant Program funding. Under his leadership Urban Corps Charter School obtained e-Rate funding eligibility in 2011, became WASC Accredited in 2012, began the National School Lunch Program in 2013 and added campuses in National City and Vista serving the youth of the California Conservation Corps in 2014.

In this time, the school also adopted an intensive wrap-around student support services department known as Corpsmember Development which aids students in career planning, job placement and life skills through counseling and case management accessing additional resources from a plethora of community partnerships. When Dan started at Urban Corps in 2001, he was the single teacher serving 70 total students and teaching a class of 10-15 each day per week. Today, Urban Corps Charter School attendance has grown by 250% and the school now boasts 15 credentialed teachers (including administrators), 17 classified and support staff and five permanent volunteer aides serving a student body of between 150-200 Corpsmembers attending school one day per week.

Marissa Cassani

Director of Human Resources

Marissa Cassani has more than 15 years of experience working with San Diego’s youth and young adults.

Marissa began her career at Urban Corps in 2014. Her duel-role as District Manager for the Barrio Logan Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) (a multi-year contract awarded to Urban Corps by the City of San Diego) and Executive Associate to the Chief Executive Officer showcased her leadership, administrative and management skills along with her passion for youth, program development and community service.

In her role as Director of Human Resources, Marissa works as a member of the Executive Team overseeing the day-to-day operations at Urban Corps. In addition to managing the Human Resource Department, Marissa works closely with state and local legislators to improve the lives of the youth at Urban Corps and has been honored multiple times for her efforts.

Before joining Urban Corps, Marissa worked at the state-run California Conservation Corps assisting with the education and career development of Corpsmembers enrolled in the program. Her dedication, tenacity and passion for youth also propelled her to Access, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides access to education and workforce training for youth and young adults.

Marissa is the first person in her family to graduate high school and attend college and her passion for helping others was influenced by her grandmother at a very young age.

When she was honored by Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber for her outstanding community service Marissa said, “Urban Corps is a program I believe in, a program filled with a team of passionate people who truly care about the lives of these young adults and I am proud to be part of it.”

Reach out to our team today.