Executive Board

Cara Milgate, President
Intero Real Estate Services

Jim Navarro, Vice President
Wings of Angels Transport Services

Vipan Bajwa, Treasurer
Vipan Bajwa Accounting Consulting


Michelle Powell
 Union Sanitary District

Ann Ruth Yap-Jequinto
Rodney’s Home

Aaron Golondrina
Bird Haus Beer Garden

Jeanne Serpa
Republic Services

CAra Milgate – President
CARA MILGATE is Vice President/Sales Manager of Intero Real Estate Services East Bay. Cara
was born in San Jose and grew up in a small town in the Sierra Foothills and has over 35 years’
experience in residential real estate and managing branch operations. Her passion for success
and helping others to succeed and accomplish their goals is one of her top characteristics.
Cara’s purpose at Intero is to empower, educate, and provide leadership to staff and agents to
obtain or surpass their goals. Cara believes in the importance of relationships and team.
Whether you are a real estate agent, staff member or client, Cara is determined to find out
what your goals are, what motivates you and why. Cara will assist in creating a short- and
long-term plan to give you the upmost probability to achieve the goals.
Cara’s extraordinary well-rounded background in real estate. Cara has an extensive lending
background, secondary market experience, loan servicing experience, and mortgage banking
experience in addition to her 35+ years of real estate sales experience. Cara also has two years
of law study, with 6 years’ experience working for a real estate law group consulting with the
most critical distressed homeowner situations.
Cara’s positive belief that no problem is too difficult and that there is a solution to all issues, is
evident in her successful past at accomplishing whatever she sets out to accomplish.


Jim Navarro – Vice President

JIM NAVARRO was a member of the City Council of Union City for the past twelve years. Prior to this position, Jim was on the School Board for New Haven Unified School District for eight years as a Trustee. Throughout his career as a public servant, Jim maintains strong personal and professional ethics. A tenacious advocate of economic and social justice, he has maintained a powerful partnership with businesses, civic entities, and regional agencies to achieve maximum benefits for the city residents. He believes that sound economic development programs will bring jobs and generate tax revenues. He has been a passionate advocate for safe neighborhoods and public transportation during his term as City Council Member and Vice Mayor of Union City. He is committed to community safety, social justice and to the health and welfare of the city residents.

Jim has a Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science and a minor in Computer Science at the National University in McClain Virginia. Jim retired in 2005 in the aeronautic industry as a senior Principal Engineer for Computer Sciences Corporation and returned to work and was working for NorthStar Memorial Group for ten years. Jim held several positions while working for NorthStar Memorial. These are: Family Service Counselor, Apprentice Embalmer, Autopsy Assistant, Funeral Arranger, Project Management, and Human Remain Transport. Jim currently owns a mortuary transportation company and serves as the president and CEO of his company. Jim is also the Program Chair for building a 10M permanent church for St. James the Apostle Catholic Church in Fremont. He is also on the Board of Directors for the Union City Chamber of Commerce. He served the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Shangri-la CVA-38 during the Vietnam conflict. In Jim’s spare time, he is a recreational pilot and flies a Cessna single engine airplane.


VIPAN BAJWA is a lifelong resident of Union City. He went to local schools in the New Haven School District and continued his education at Chabot Community College and California State University, East Bay, where he studied accounting and finance.

After college, Vipan worked as an auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and as a consultant at Ernst & Young LLP. His work in finance has been a significant part of his career.

In addition to his professional work, Vipan is active in the community. He serves as a board member of the Union City Chamber of Commerce, New Haven Schools Foundation, and the Tiburcio Vasquez Health Centers. 

Michelle Powell – DIRECTOR

MICHELLE POWELL is the Communications and Intergovernmental Relations Coordinator for Union Sanitary District (USD), a California Independent Special District operating a 33-acre wastewater treatment facility in Union City and providing wastewater services to the Tri-City area. Her responsibilities include development of communications to raise public awareness of the District’s programs and services, management of USD’s public website and social media, monitoring federal, state, and local legislation, and media and government relations.

Michelle joined the Union City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in 2013 and has continued active Board membership throughout the following years. She served as Chairperson of the Board in 2015.

Michelle studied Journalism, Public Relations, and Graphic Design at San Jose State University. She completed Crisis Communication training at the California Specialized Training Institute (CSTI) and Message Mapping for Emergency Communication training presented by Dr. Vincent Covello, Founder and Director of The Center for Risk Communication.


ANN RUTH YAP-JEQUINTO Founder of Rodney’s Hope, Inc.

Ann is actively involved with the community as a Union City Human Relations Commissioner, Union City Chamber of Commerce Director, President of FUN Sunset Rotary Club, co-founder of Team Union City Food Drive, and member of St Anne Catholic Church ministries such as Pastoral Council, Faith Formation Catechism, Eucharist Minister, Festival, Simbang Gabi, Recycling Team and St Vincent de Paul.

Ann is passionate about helping the unhoused and needy families. She spends her time organizing food distributions, feeding the unhoused and visiting homeless encampment sites to deliver food and basic necessities. She volunteers her time with Hayward’s Adopt-A-Block program to keep streets free of litter and debris.

Rodney’s Hope, Inc. is a non-profit 501 (C)(3) organization. It was established in 2021 during the pandemic crisis to provide benevolent services to the unhoused and needy families. Its mission is to promote fellowship and stewardship through the caring hearts and hands of the volunteers who help those in need and the unhoused.


JEANNE SERPA have 21 years of continuous service managing Bay Area community and government relations functions. 

The company I work for, Republic Services, is one of the largest providers of non-hazardous solid waste collection, transfer, disposal, recycling, and energy services in the US. The name of the company has changed several times, but my role has been focused on building effective partnerships, drafting effective communication, cultivating civic/political influence, and identifying opportunities for philanthropic and community support. I have completed my master’s degree in strategic communications and leadership which serves to further enhance my management skills and deep understanding of government processes, city agencies, and economic development issues.


AARON GOLONDRINA Born in San Francisco, California, Aaron learned the art of cooking by watching his parents and maternal grandmother serve up traditional Filipino food to family and friends.  During his childhood, he learned about entrepreneurship as he went along with his parents to sell goods at flea markets, as well as managed their own Asian Market Convenient Store in the early 1990s.

It was only a matter of time before Aaron aspired to open a business in his hometown of Union City.  In 2019, Aaron purchased the restaurant that was previously occupied by Pine Garden Restaurant on Smith Street.  In 2020, Birdhaus Beer Garden opened and began operations.  Birdhaus is a warm and inviting beer garden where singles or families with children and pets can come and gather.  After almost 4 years in business, Birdhaus continues to thrive and continuously brings in new customers into the Historic Alvarado District.