Shanti Welcomes New Program Directors
Shanti is excited to welcome LaLisha Norton as the new Director of the Peer Advocate Care Team (PACT) Program. In addition, we are thrilled to announce the promotion of Ai May Tan to Director of the Margot Murphy Women’s Cancer Program. Both LaLisha and Ai May are drawn to Shanti because of its mission and purpose. Read more about their journeys to Shanti and plans for their programs in the coming year.
LaLisha Norton, Making an Impact
LaLisha Norton has a strong background in helping people and finding ways to change the trajectory of their lives for the better. Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, LaLisha was most recently Program Manager for the CalFresh Program at the Contra Costa–Solano County Food Bank. While there, she helped clients become aware of programs and services and helped them navigate benefits. Previous to her work with the food bank, LaLisha worked with juvenile and foster youth where the seed of making a difference in someone’s life was planted.
“Holistically, I like to be a part of rebuilding and reconstruction” stated LaLisha, “I like being a part of the foundation and fabric. I’m interested in organizations that make an impact, advancing a mission or cause.”
She is excited about building on the vision for the staff and being an advocate for the community, which includes developing new partnerships, revisiting operational objectives, and streamlining processes. LaLisha said, “I’m here to understand how we can best work together and learn how we can have the most positive impact on our community.
Ai May Tan, Fostering a Personal Connection
Ai May Tan has been a fixture within Shanti’s Margot Murphy Women’s Cancer Program (WCP) for the past nine years. She has grown in the program from being a Care Navigator in 2013, to Program Manager in 2015, to Director in 2021. Ai May continues to be inspired by the agency and remains committed to providing clients with compassionate care, community, and connection.
Ai May began her nonprofit career volunteering at the National Stroke Association of Malaysia. While in Malaysia, she worked with clients one on one and in group sessions where she communicated in four languages: Cantonese, Malay, Mandarin, and English. Her experiences with direct service impacted her interpersonal relationships with clients and showed her the importance of listening and getting to know someone and their life experiences. Ai May said about working with stroke clients, “nonverbal communications and eye contact becomes so important. I was driven to help people by listening and connecting to their stories and experiences.”
Ai May is now focused on building community partnerships, supporting her staff, and making certain that clients continue to receive top-quality service. Of her approach to disparate communities, Ai May said, “Having been in Malaysia, I’ve had a diverse exposure to culture and languages. In my work at Shanti, I’m trying to reach different communities and bring a safety net to meet the different needs.”