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Friends of Mercy Foundation Staff
Contact the Friends of Mercy Foundation at 661.663.6700

Toni Harper, LCSW, DBH
Vice President of Philanthropy

Toni Harper joined the Friends of Mercy Foundation staff as the Director of Philanthropy/Major Gifts and Campaigns. In this role, she served as a liaison between patients, community members, physicians, hospital staff and donors. Her responsibility was to raise awareness about the mission and outcomes of Friends of Mercy and to cultivate major gifts and connectedness to the Hospital. In November, 2017 she was honored to step into the role of Vice President, Philanthropy. Toni has been associated with Mercy Hospital for more than 25 years, as a volunteer, contract social worker, donor and former Foundation board member.

Toni is a licensed Clinical Social Worker by trade having worked in healthcare administration for more than a decade, including managed care, IPAs, TPAs, and ACOs in the commercial, Medicare and Medi-Cal markets.  Her focus is patient centered care through medical homes, care management and behavioral health integration. She is honored to support excellence in patient care through the efforts of the Friends of Mercy Foundation. 

Toni received her Bachelor of Science in Non-Profit Management from Arizona State University (ASU). She then studied at the Institute of Economic and Political Studies at Cambridge University in England; received her Master’s in Social Work from Columbia University in New York City and then returned to ASU for her Doctorate in Behavioral Health.
Toni is a Bakersfield native who loves spending time with her family and her two teenage daughters, especially outdoors.  Her passion is continuing education, traveling, running and yoga.  

Misty De La Torre
Director of Operations

Misty De La Torre has worked for Friends of Mercy Foundation for more than 12 years. In her role she is responsible for maintaining and ensuring the integrity of all development systems, including but not limited to CRM, Blackbaud Analytics and BBMS. She is responsible for the Foundation’s gift processing and acknowledgement system as well as all financial reporting. Her position is responsible for administration of the database and managing production of all mailings. She is responsible for overseeing and managing all prospect research and integrating appropriate research findings into the database, following all HIPAA regulations. 

Misty graduated from Heald College in 1999, earning a Associates in Applied Science degree in Computer Business Administration. She is married to Francisco, and they are the parents of two gorgeous boys, Christian and Andru. 

K. Samantha Cardenas
Annual Giving Manager

Samantha Cardenas has served as the Friends of Mercy Foundation’s Annual Giving Manager since August 2015. In her role she is responsible for the management of the Foundation’s Annual Giving programs including its Catherine McAuley Society, Legacy Circle at Mercy, Spirit of Giving Club and William Howell Century Club.  She is also responsible for the Foundation’s Grateful Hearts Program, Special Delivery Footprint Wall Program, Easter and Christmas Appeals, annual Mercy Charity Golf Classic and foundation communications including its annual newsletter Friends for Life.
Samantha graduated from Long Beach State University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. She is a member of Alpha Phi International Fraternity and Junior League of Bakersfield. She enjoys traveling and is an avid fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Jessica Turrubiates
Executive Coordinator

Jessica Newton has served as the Friends of Mercy Foundation’s Executive Coordinator since October 2016. In her role, she is responsible for receiving, depositing, and acknowledging all gifts made to the Foundation. She is also responsible for coordinating the Dignity Health Community Grants Program and the Sister Phyllis Hughes Endowment for Special Needs Grants Program which distribute funding to local nonprofit agencies.

Jessica graduated from Bakersfield College with an AA degree and continued to California State University, Bakersfield and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 2013. She enjoys spending time with her family and hiking out doors with her dogs.