Resilience Among Generations

Young Families to Seniors... We'll All Get Through This Together!

David Lugo

CEO, MOMS Orange County

David Lugo is a dedicated husband, father and nonprofit professional. The 13-year Laguna Niguel resident is husband to Christina and father of three, Lauren 21, Amanda 18 and Paul 11.

Lugo joined MOMS Orange County in 2017 as COO bringing an abundance of experience in all aspects of financial and general operations. Santa Ana-based MOMS Orange County’s is the region’s largest nonprofit dedicated solely to newborn and pregnancy health for low-income women and families throughout the county.

In February, MOMS’ longtime CEO Pamela Pimentel, RN retired and Lugo stepped in as the nonprofit’s interim CEO.

At about this same time, the COVID-19 pandemic was slowly spreading throughout the world. So in addition to developing a new vision for the organization, Lugo had to manage the nonprofit during a state-wide shutdown.

Lugo said, “My first priority was the safety of our vulnerable clients and MOMS’ team members. I immediately ceased all face-to-face interactions and we quickly moved to coordinating remote client visits and virtual education classes.”

He cites the dedication and resiliency of all 35 team members as “extraordinary.” He went on, “Through swift action and timely communications with staff, health partners and clients, our transition process was seamless and in the long term, I believe truly solidified our services and the bond with our clients.”

Also under Dave’s guidance was the decision to cancel their sole fundraiser on May 9. Ultimately, the organization created several virtual activities aimed to draw support and visibility in new ways.

Dave’s passion for MOMS Orange County is equally matched for his love of family. For almost five years, Lugo has relished the role of coaching his son’s local soccer team. Before the pandemic, he cites this important time together with his 11-year-old - two nights a week and Saturday games - as invaluable.

Lugo grew up on the Monterrey Peninsula and says that Laguna Niguel reminds him of that area. “Everything is right here, the ocean isn’t too far away and this is a close-knit community filled with family and friends.”

Although sports have been at a standstill, Dave still loves everything baseball (from little league to the majors) and Formula 1 racing. To learn more about MOMS Orange County, visit

Mercedes Kerr 

President, Belmont Village Senior Living

Life as we know it changed at the start of the year.  What was to become a global pandemic has affected every segment of the population, none greater than that of its seniors.  During these unprecedented times, healthcare heroes have emerged, and new standards of care have been implemented in medical and assisted living facilities across the country.  Under the thoughtful leadership of Orange County resident and Belmont Village President Mercedes Kerr, Belmont Village Aliso Viejo has found imaginative, compassionate ways to keep its senior residents and staff connected and happy, while at the same time, ensuring that the highest possible level of safety protocols are enforced. 

With more than 20 years in the senior housing sector, Mercedes has dedicated her career to improving the lives of seniors.  She has served on boards of leading national and state organizations dedicated to setting policy and standards for seniors housing and care and was recently named to California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Master Plan for Aging Stakeholder Advisory Committee.  Her wealth of experience in innovative, wellness-focused care delivery has been an integral part in sustaining the excellence that has been synonymous with the Belmont brand for 23 years.

Among the many examples of carefully orchestrated, yet engaging activities organized for its residents, are Zoom workouts and virtual tours of National Parks and Museums.  The community’s movie screening room is open and limited to six residents to ensure proper “social distancing.”  Outdoor dining and cocktail hour by the pool for small, properly distanced groups are also community favorites. And in keeping with the familial spirit at the community, Belmont Village staff takes an active role in the fun with a one member – a highly talented kitchen staffer – who sings and plays guitar to the delight of residents.

The affection that staff has for its residents is reflected back from families who know that their loved ones are in the best possible hands.  As an extension of its community letter-writing program launched in March where residents and their families are encouraged to actively communicate through email and FaceTime, Belmont Village Aliso Viejo was asked to create a unique email address to receive letters from family members expressing gratitude to staff.  The Letters of Gratitude are printed and posted within the community and shared with team, providing a source of inspiration and continued motivation.

In addition to ensuring the well-being of its residents, Belmont Village is equally committed to the health and happiness of its employees.  Named one of Fortune’s Best Workplaces in 2018 and 2019, Belmont Village has been providing care packages to its staff at communities across the country.  The care packages include items ranging from hard-to-come-by toiletries to food, lifting the spirits of the people charged with taking care of some of Orange County’s most cherished residents, its seniors.

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