Branden Butler, Deputy Director
Branden joins the County following his state service as the first
Assistant Deputy Director of Outreach and Education for the California
Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). During his time at
DFEH, Branden was involved in developing education, outreach, and
enforcement programs. At DFEH, Branden implemented the first civil
rights education and outreach program in the sixty-two-year history of
DFEH. Branden co-created the Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for
DFEH which has been taken by over 1 million employees and supervisors
Branden also led the state campaign to educate employers, community organizations, and law enforcement about the rights of the formerly incarcerated under the Fair Chance Act, a pioneering state law that seeks to reduce barriers to employment for individuals with criminal histories. Branden worked with community-based reentry organizations and employers to develop the Fair Chance Act Toolkit to assist both employees and employers follow the law. Additionally, Branden worked with the California Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections to develop an informational video on the Fair Chance Act that airs in all state prisons on Inmate TV, providing education to inmates on job protections as they re-enter society. Branden’s Fair Chance Act work included leading an enforcement initiative to identify and correct violations of the Fair Chance Act. Branden utilized pioneering technology to conduct mass searches of online job advertisements for violations of the Act.
Branden created innovative educational material related to worker leave laws including, the New Parents Rights App, which used app-based technology to communicate tailored information about civil rights laws on the right to job protected leave for Child Bonding and Pregnancy Disability Leave. Branden launched the first civil rights marketing campaign at DFEH (Keep California Fair) designed to reach impacted communities of color, immigrants, LGBTQ+, and other impacted communities throughout California. Branden managed the multilingual media campaign project that included developing television commercials, radio advertisements, outdoor marketing on lunch trucks targeting farm workers, and developed social media content that drew millions of impressions.
Branden was also a member of the COVID-19 Task Force for the Business Consumer Services and Housing Agency (BCSH), where he helped lead the State response to the COVID-19 eviction and homelessness crisis by creating solutions to preventing evictions and developing the emergency rental assistance framework for the Governor’s Office. And, Branden just published an article in the California Bar Real Property Journal entitled, “40 Acres and a Mule. Broken Promises, Black Wealth Inequality, Persistence of Housing Segregation and Exclusion, and How to Right (Some of) These Wrongs.”
Prior to joining DFEH, Branden was the Senior Attorney of the Fair Housing Center of the Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Inc. (LASSD), where for nine years he was instrumental in creating the first fair housing services program at LASSD that provides education, outreach, testing, and enforcement of fair housing laws. Branden was also the President of the San Diego Regional Alliance for Fair Housing from 2016-2019, where he successfully led the effort to create an annual regional fair housing education conference.
Branden began his career as a Housing Advocate at Communities Actively Living Independent and Free, a disability rights organization in downtown Los Angeles where he advocated for the civil rights for persons with disabilities. Branden is a native Californian and graduated cum laude from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and received the Charles T. Bumer Civil Libertarian Award. Branden earned his B.A. graduating magna cum laude from California State University, Chico.
In his free time, Branden plays the trombone. He is an accomplished musician who has toured the United States with Fonavisa Recording artist Carmen Jarra and played with various jazz groups over the years. Branden lives in San Diego with his wife Robyn, his seven year old daughter Ellington, four year old son Rollins, and his one and half year old daughter Stevie June.
Branden has a proven track record of advancing peoples’ rights, developing innovative education, outreach, and enforcement program, and working with community stakeholders.
Rachael Ikeler, Community Engagement and Education Outreach Manager
In 2022, Rachael Ikeler was promoted to serve as the Community Engagement and Education Outreach Group Program Manager for the Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement. In this role, Rachael will bridge the gap between stakeholders and communities relating to wage theft and labor laws.
Rachael began her career with the County of San Diego in 2019 where she served as a Chief Administrative Office (CAO) Staff Officer for the Public Safety Group Executive office in which she handled numerous board letters, PSG related projects, and worked in partnership with the Board Staff.
Prior to joining the County, Rachael worked for the Washington State Patrol Office of Professional Standards in which she handled litigation, administrative investigations, settlement agreements, and community engagement in conjunction with the Governor’s Office. She spearheaded and facilitated townhall discussions across the state of Washington surrounding controversial topics such as Use of Force, Biased Based Policing, and bridged the gap between Troopers and the public. In addition, Rachael acted as the accreditation manager for the State Patrol and made sure they were in compliance with standards from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies and maintained that accreditation. She had the opportunity to travel across the nation to numerous other Police agencies and training others in the Office of Professional Standards policies and procedures, arbitration processes, and help enforcement standards for their accreditation.
Rachael holds her Master’s Degree in Administrative Management and Global Leadership as well as her Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Teaching English as a Second Language from Central Washington University. Rachael also holds a California Credentialed County Senior Executive Certification from the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) Institute for Excellence in County Government.
In her free time, she loves spending time with her husband, their two kids, and German Shepherd. She also enjoys going to the beach, celebrating her hawaiian and italian cultures, and going to sporting events to cheer on her favorite teams.
Brian Sperber, Enforcement Manager
In 2022, Brian Sperber joined OLSE as its Group Program Manager for Enforcement. In this role, Brian directs OLSE’s enforcement program and develops County policies and procedures relating to labor standards.
Prior to OLSE, Brian worked in the island nation of Palau primarily on foreign investment issues and was the Senior Legislative and Regulatory Counsel for the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. In that capacity, he researched, wrote, and guided employment regulations through the approval process and drafted, analyzed and provided technical assistance on bills pending before the state legislature.
Before that, Brian worked on President Obama’s reelection campaign and a California State Assembly campaign and also litigated employment and consumer class actions. In law school, Brian began his legal career as a law clerk with California Rural Legal Assistance and U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. He graduated from UCSB with highest honors on his twentieth birthday and UCLA School of Law. In his free time, he likes to take late night walks while listening to audiobooks, write his perpetually almost done script, and watch his favorite baseball team … that does not play in San Diego.
Juliet Weeks, Administrative Secretary III
Juliet is currently an Administrative Secretary III and supports the Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement, in her role she assists with a variety of administrative tasks and enjoys her administration role for the department she serves.
A little bit about Juliet: she is invested in her administration role and loves to be a team player and is always up for a challenge, Juliet loves to have fun while getting her job done.
Juliet is a San Diego Native and was raised in Golden Hill and Chula Vista, she loves being a part of a team that serves the neighborhood and communities she grew up in.
Juliet’s strengths are Includer, Woo, Empathy, Strategic and Positivity.
Cynthia Centeno, Investigative Manager
In 2022, Cynthia Centeno joined OLSE as its Group Program Manager for Investigations. In this role, Cynthia conducts labor standards investigations and works with various state and local department of labor to develop and implement labor standards practices.
Cynthia has 14 years in nonprofit frontline direct service, compliance, and workforce development. She began her career as an AmeriCorps with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and was stationed at MAAC Project where she served as Income Support Specialist, providing bilingual information and supporting San Diegan’s in accessing social service programs such as CalFresh, Medi-Cal, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Programs (LIHEAP), CalWORKS, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), and many other programs. Throughout her career she has gained experience ranging from developing and implementing workforce development programs, procuring and managing grants, developing & implementing policies, providing training to partners and staff, and launching projects that involve multiple stakeholders at a local, state, and national level.
Cynthia enjoys exploring the San Diego County food scene, she’ll pick a community & sets up meet ups with friends to check out any new food spots that have opened. She loves watching all sports including golf, NASCAR, baseball, football and soccer, just to name a few and has won a football pick em pool twice!