Our Team

Our New Hope staff is a dynamic group of talented professionals who are dedicated, committed, compassionate, and who genuinely care about those who are living with grief.


David Leonard, Executive Director

David has a decade of experience working in the non-profit sector serving children & families, Iraq/Afghanistan War Veterans, fighting hunger and now caring for those who grieve. David attended Cal State University Long Beach earning a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Marketing.

David is no stranger to grief. David has experienced the loss of many loved ones, including the death of his mother in 2007. After the loss of his mother David learned about New Hope, joined a grief support group and discovered his new-normal along the way. He connected with the mission of New Hope and started volunteering as a camp counselor working with school age children who had lost a loved one. Those volunteer hours became the stepping stone for David to become the Director of Marketing and Development in 2012.

In November of 2014 David became New Hopes second Executive Director. His own experiences with grief and compassion for the grieving give him great insight to best meet the needs of our grieving community. David enjoys spending time with his son Isaiah his wife Gerty.


 Jen Leong, LMFT, CT, Clinical Director

Jen is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a grief specialist who is Certified in Thanatology: Death, Dying and Bereavement by the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC).

Before becoming our Clinical Director in 2017, Jen began supporting New Hope in 2015 by overseeing our family and youth programs. Her personal journey with grief began in childhood when her mother died. Jen began supporting others in their grief in 2003 as a volunteer support group facilitator. She earned her master’s degree in clinical psychology with a focus on marriage and family therapy at Antioch University, Los Angeles, and trained at the Center for Grief Care and Education at San Diego Hospice. Jen maintains a private therapy practice in downtown Long Beach and serves on the Board of Directors for Mental Health America Los Angeles.

Lauren Plummer, Program Coordinator

Lauren attended Point Loma Nazarene University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is now pursuing her Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy at Cal State University Dominguez Hills, in hopes to become a License Therapist.

Lauren has many years of experience empathizing and showing compassion for others through serving the homeless, working with children and families, interning at the local hospital to provide comfort, connection and integrative care to patients, supporting those who struggle with addiction as a drug treatment counselor, and now caring for those who grieve.

In October of 2017 Lauren became The Program Coordinator for New Hope and continues to use her psychology background to best support those who are grieving.