the new life team

The team at New Life Forward is at the heart of our organization. We’re real people who care about doing great work to help others. From our Executive Team to Advisory Board Members, our Partner organizations and all the volunteers who carry out our mission, we are grateful for the talent and diligence our team brings to the benefit and success of our constituents.


team spirit at heart

our team

Susan Hayer, PhD


Susan launched New Life Forward to help low-income families at imminent risk of homelessness. Before launching the nonprofit, Dr. Hayer worked with large corporations as a project leader, facilitator, planner, and researcher. She led initiatives to obtain corporate agility by adeptly leveraging organizational change management tools and techniques to maximize organizational effectiveness, team performance, and address cultural challenges. One of her missions in life is to make positive generational changes by lifting up from poverty one family at a time, one city at a time, one state at a time.

Sheena Takher

Director of Communications & Events

Sheena brings 13 years of experience in the events industry, ranging from private events to conferences, fundraising galas, and concerts. Sheena skillfully worked concurrently with the production team of each event, working behind the scenes to ensure a successful outcome. Born and raised in northern California, she has always lived by the motto, “work hard, be humble,” in her activities and client relationships. She is excited to bring her expertise and giving nature to New Life Forward where she will be able to make a difference for people in need. She looks forward to engaging with the community and building relationships with those who have the mindset to change the world, uplifting the voices of those on the margins.


Gail Gust

Board Member

Uncharted Marketing founder and chief marketing strategist Gail Gust is a dynamic and accomplished marketing professional with over 25 years experience leveraging entrepreneurial vision, branding, and integrated marketing strategies to deliver measureable results for rapid-growth corporations. Ms. Gust possesses integrity, authenticity and a strong sense of initiative to get things done. She is passionate about helping business owners discover and achieve their goals. As a Board Member, Ms. Gust will help drive the mission to prevent homelessness and overcome hardship by not just creating a stop-gap, but giving constituents the tools and solutions to move their lives forward.