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The Builders
Leslie West Executive Director and President

Prior to high school graduation from Berkeley High School, Ms. West was the Junior aide for City of Berkeley's Mayor Tom Bates, achieved certifications from UC Berkeley's Pre Engineering Certificate Course and San Francisco's University's Civil Law Program while homeless. While in a homeless shelter, Ms. West was the Executive Administration for Stanford University's Cancer Institute-Population Sciences and achieved 10 Certificates in the fields of Finance and Regulatory Environments in less than 60 days. Her accolades  while under duress are countless and have since grown to include becoming a California Real Estate Salesperson to help better facilitate the operations of The Ark of Refuge, Inc and our independent living sector.

Doris Davis Financial Analyst and Treasurer


The Ark of Refuge has been lucky to retain a retired Berkeley Unified School District, Director of Purchasing as our Treasurer and Financial Analyst. Born and raised in the greater Bay Area , Ms. Doris Davis worked as the Director of purchasing for BUSD for over 30 years. She is a graduate of Berkeley High School and Laney College where she received an associate's degree in finance. She is the twelfth child out of a military family of 21. A family this large was a blessing as it taught her financial responsibility at a very young age.On the other hand she was But one of many  mouths to feed. Forced out of the nest at a young age , Ms. Davis experienced life’ traumas the same as anyone else. Because of this experience she was the best candidate to monitor our budget’s necessities. 

Edward Levingston Operations Manager and Vice President

Levingston Has been with the Ark of Refuge since 1992. He serves as the overall program manager for the Ark of Refuge probation programs, Outreach programs in all services at the ark. He will be the division director over the new Emergency shelter program as his background of 10 years and security provides better Insight on our vulnerability and risk assessments. Mr Levingston received a GED from Dewey High School. Raised in the City of Berkeley California, he was exposed to both sides of the law. Mr. Levingston's work experience includes carpentry for five years before entering into the security industry.  He is not only The Ark of Refuge’s vice president but has served as a Captain for SPOA for over a decade. As a carpenter he was able to make an honest day's pay, but in security he learned not to wait until something happens to intervene.His security experience makes him an invaluable asset to our team as well as his life's triumphs  which helped build the structure and moral compass of the Ark of Refuge. 

Rose West Quality Assurance Manager/Secretary

Also a graduate of Berkeley High School and Laney College, Rose was raised in a single-parent home, in Oakland, California, during the 90s. She witnessed and experienced all effects of the War on Drugs. Rose worked for the Berkeley Unified School District as a custodial manager. She then attended Cypress Mandela as an apprentice in Plumbing. As a journey woman she gained the nickname of the “Copper Queen” becoming the second African-American , Woman of Local 342 with a specialization in Hazmat. For the Ark of Refuge it is her job to make sure that staff and clients adhere to the rules and regulations of facilities and measures in place. 

John D West Program Administrator

Born in Oakland, California and raised in Berkeley, Mr. West has been a member of the Ark of Refuge since inception. It was his initiation of recycling cans that became our primary source of funding. Mr. West has experience as a firefighter for five years as well as Demolition Construction and carpentry alongside Vice President, Edward Levingston. Since 2004, Mr. West has been serving the elderly community in the capacity of a private caregiver. He has seen the good and the ugly of what it is like for elders living in senior housing. It is his experience that prompted us to  incorporate Senior Hunger Prevention Services within our Food Distribution Program.