A retail business owner in Old Town Monrovia who owns and operates two small businesses in the historic downtown district, Pamela also chairs the Monrovia Old Town Merchant Co-op. In addition, Pamela is past president of the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce and past president and founding member of the Boys & Girls Club of the Foothills. In 2014, Pamela was the recipient of the Iris Award, the equivalent of Citizen of the Year in Monrovia, and also was awarded Small Business Person of the Year for the 41st Assembly District. Pamela is active on several local City of Monrovia committees, including the Committee on Homeless and Park Conduct and the Oversight Committee for the Monrovia Street Fair. In 2015, Pamela was appointed to serve on Assembly member Chris Holden’s 41st District Advisory Council.
Formerly employed in the banking and finance field for 51 years serving primarily in the field of Human Resources, Michael worked for Security Pacific National Bank for 29 years, The Capital Group for two years and Citizens Business Bank for ten years as Senior Vice President and Director of Human Resources. Michael retired in 2014 after serving 14 years as the Executive Vice President and Director of Human Resources of Pacific Western Bank where he was an executive officer of the Bank and PacWest Bancorp Holding Company. Michael resides in Redondo Beach with this wife. He has three adult children and five grandchildren. He has been on the board of Santa Anita Family Service since 2011.
Mary Saenz, CPA, CFE, CIA
A member of the board of directors since May 2015, Mary is the director of finance for the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority, a position she has held since 2006. Previously she worked in public accounting for several years, eventually becoming partner in an accounting firm before leaving for private practice. She has expertise in non-profit and government organizations, including federal grant regulations. She has performed both financial statement audits and single audits, has prepared cost allocation plans and assisted non-profit organizations in responding to various regulatory agencies. Mary has a BS in Accounting, and is a member of CalCPA, AICPA, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Institute of Internal Auditors, California Society of Municipal Finance Officers, and Government Finance Officers Association.
Retired with more than 17 years in municipal government, 17 years as an adjunct professor of business with Antelope Valley Community College, two years as the Antelope Valley Regional Manager for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), and more than 15 years of private sector experience in aerospace, marketing/advertising, and hospital administration. She served over five years on the board of directors for the Antelope Valley Domestic Violence Council before moving to Monrovia and immediately joined the board of directors for Santa Anita Family Service. Cheryl holds a B.S. in Organizational Systems Management and a master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University Northridge.
Barbara Cavalier, Ph.D.
Immediate Past President
A consultant, research and speaker, Barbara was Director of Sales Development for Avery Dennison Corporation and worked for them for 18 years before starting her own consulting company. She consults with Fortune 500 companies both nationally and internationally. Her work has taken her to India and China to research and write papers on call centers. Recently, in Mexico, Singapore and the Philippines, she shared her latest research on the workforce of the future and how it relates to facility design. Barbara often speaks and offer training in leadership development. She co-founded the women’s leadership program, “Passion for Leadership: Voice for Change” and conducted workshops for 12 years in Taos, NM. Concurrently, she was the program lead facilitator for seven years for the organization, Leadership Pasadena. Most recently, she has been a repeat guest-lecturer at Cal State Los Angeles. Barbara received the Working Women’s Association of Los Angeles “Medal of Excellence” on two occasions and was named one of 50 Fabulous Women of Influence in Pasadena, CA.
Formerly an executive vice president with Citizens Business Bank, Jay retired after 45 years of service in Southern California. Jay worked in the sales division and after his retirement in 2009, he was retained for an additional two years as a consultant to expand and update the sales training and sales support systems. Jay is very active in the San Gabriel Valley community and has served or currently serves on the following Boards: Methodist Hospital of Southern California Foundation, San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership, Arcadia Educational Foundation, Howard’s Appliance, Inc., Question, Inc., Arcadia Rotary Club, Arcadia Red Cross, Arcadia Tournament of Roses, Challengers Boys and Girls Club, San Gabriel Country Club and, of course, Santa Anita Family Service since 2009. Jay served his country in the United States Marine Corps Reserves, 1965 – 1971.
Mario De La Torre
Mario has been a Real Estate Broker for the last 20 years representing principals in acquisitions and dispositions of assets in both the commercial and residential markets. Mario is very active in his local community and has served as both a Council Member and a Vice Mayor of the City of San Gabriel. In addition to his service to Santa Anita Family Service, Mario serves as Vice Chairman of the San Gabriel Hospital Community Board. He is also on the boards of San Gabriel Valley YMCA, Alhambra University, and the Pepperdine University Hispanic Alumni. Mario is a supporter of various local charities, including La Casa De San Gabriel and Friends of La Laguna-Community Park.
Kathleen is the chairman of the board and majority owner of B & K Electrical Wholesale – Power to Solve with 4 locations. She supplies electrical and automation products and solutions to OEM’s, MRO’s middle to small contractors. Kathleen has been a member of the Methodist Hospital Board of Directors and just completed a three year term as Chairman of the Board. Previous to that she was on the Methodist Hospital Foundation Board where she also served as chairman. At Azusa Pacific University, Kathleen served as chairman of the advisory board for the School of Business and Management. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Oakhurst Camp which is a Christian camp located in Coarsegold in Northern California. Locally Kathleen is on the Board of Trustees and on the Foundation Board for the Church of the Good Shepherd in Arcadia. Kathleen has two daughters who reside in Pomona and San Dimas and one grandson who also resides in Pomona. Kathleen has resided in the San Gabriel Valley all her life and has lived in Monrovia since 1987.
A passionate foster youth advocate, public speaker, published author, an artist and a dedicated full-time student, Athena was chosen in 2013, as one of sixteen, from a nationwide pool of applicants to be a part of the Congressional Coalition of Adoption Institute’s Congressional Foster Youth Internship Program where she interned in Washington, DC with Congress member Karen Bass, and worked solely on foster care policy and structure. While in DC, Athena compiled a policy recommendation titled “The Right to a Forever Family” to seek alternative foster-adoptive placements for youth to find forever families, which was later presented in a Congressional briefing. Being that Athena was only nineteen years old and still a freshman in college, she returned home to continue her degree at Pasadena City College and has focused primarily on school to finish her Political Science and English degree. A foster youth herself, Athena proactively works to improve the foster care system in the San Gabriel Valley area. She is a newly appointed board member of Santa Anita Family Service and has been a resident of the SG Valley for 8 years.
Cierina R. Marks
A human resources professional, Cierina serves as the Professorial Faculty Administrator at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) where she has worked for more than 20 years. She holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration and her previous positions at the Institute include serving as a department and building administrator, minority undergraduate program administrator, senior financial analyst, and grants manager. Prior to Caltech, she worked for ten years for the Department of Defense in support of military families in the United States and in Europe. Cierina has lived in the San Gabriel Valley for more than 30 years and in her younger days had received assistance from organizations such as Santa Anita Family Service. Through her experiences, she has developed a strong commitment in giving back to the community by helping to improve the lives of others.
An attorney local to Monrovia, with an office on Foothill, Richard has been in practice for 36 years, specializing in real estate and business, general civil litigation, Family Law and Probate, and he is a former Board member of SAFS. He served originally from 1982 until 1990, and remembers when SAFS made the transition from our original offices on Foothill to our current location here on Myrtle.
Gabriel Monares has a 24 year career in public policy. The Monares Group, which he formed in 2009, provides strategic counsel on public policy issues and government relation strategies. Gabriel started in career as an aide to the late U. S. Senator Alan Cranston. He has worked for U. S. Senator Barbara Boxer, State Controller John Chiang, and former Los Angeles Unified School Board President Victoria Castro. Gabriel was a driving force in the campaign to designate the San Gabriel Mountains as a National Monument. He is a graduate of the University of San Francisco and currently serves on the Board of various civic organizations, including the San Gabriel Valley Public Affairs network, San Gabriel Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Rivers and Mountains Discovery Center Foundation Board.
Joann Sanderson, CPA
A partner with Montgomery Niemeyer & Co. LLP, a Certified Public Accounting and Consulting firm in Covina, Joann has more than 35 years of public accounting experience, and consults with business owners in evaluating their service needs and planning for the future. Joann provides tax compliance and traditional financial statement reporting services to a wide range of business types, and tax preparation services for individuals, trusts and estates. She holds the title of CPA/Personal Financial Specialist, a designation from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Joann has a BS in Accounting from Azusa Pacific University. She has served the professional CPA community as a member of various California Society of CPA’s (CalCPA) committees; and serves on the board of nonprofit organizations.
Timothy K. Scanlan
A retired human resources professional, Tim served for more than 50 years as senior vice president of human resources for four major banks and had an extensive human resources consulting practice with some emphasis in law enforcement and the criminal justice system. His clients included the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and the California District Attorneys Association, the California District Attorney Investigators Association and the California Public Defenders Association. He joined the board of Santa Anita Family Service in 1986 and currently is the longest serving member of the Board. He has been a member of the executive committee during his entire tenure and has held most of the executive positions on the board. He is an alumnus of Marquette University, Long Beach City College and Occidental College. He has been a resident of the San Gabriel Valley for more than 50 years and Duarte for more than 20 years.
A former health policy coordinator for Day One, a local public health organization that provides services for the San Gabriel Valley, Bryan has been actively involved in the advocacy of a number of health-related policies since 2008 when he first began as a youth advocate for Day One. He is a former foster youth who had a positive experience in the foster care system, and as such has a passion to help fellow foster youth however possible. Just recently graduated from California State University of Northridge with a B.S. in Public Health, Bryan is a newly appointed board member of Santa Anita Family Service. He has been a resident of the San Gabriel Valley for 18 years.
Emeritus Board Members
George Nalbach, Ph.D., LMFT
Dr. Nalbach is a psychologist and licensed Marriage Family Therapist who has been with Santa Anita Family Service since 1982. Dr. Nalbach received his BA. Degree in Psychology from California State University, Fullerton and his Masters and doctoral degrees in clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Nalbach has served Santa Anita in the capacities of Program Director of the Pathways substance abuse program, Clinical Director and Director of Training, Associate Executive Director, and Executive Director. Dr. Nalbach oversaw the expansion of the agency with the addition of many programs serving residents of the San Gabriel Valley.
Dr. Nalbach also operates a private practice in Monrovia, California, was an adjunct associate professor with the California School of Professional Psychology from 1990-2001 and continues to teach at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology as an adjunct associate professor for the last 28 years.
Danae Powers, M.S., LMFT
Director of Clinical Services / Director of Clinical Training
With a strong business background in addition to her degrees, Danae is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been with Santa Anita Family Service since 2009 and is committed to helping the agency thrive. She currently oversees Santa Anita Family Service’s Covina site. Danae has a solid track record of exemplary program management and acts as Program Director for our Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention Program, Drug Prevention and Intervention Program, and most of our Children and Families programs. She is also a Clinical Supervisor in the fields of psychology, social work, and human services and a Supervisor in the fields of sociology and business. Danae has provided a variety of supervision and training to doctoral, masters, and bachelor degree students and post-graduates at multiple agencies and in private practice. She currently oversees the Clinical and Business Training Programs at Santa Anita Family Service.
In addition to her work at Santa Anita Family Service, Danae maintains a private practice in Arcadia, California where she specializes in working with couples experiencing infidelity, separation, parenting, and infertility concerns. She also provides professional consultation to doctoral and masters level clinicians who are navigating the process to obtain a California license or who are working to start or grow their private practice. An active duty veteran of the United States Army, Danae is passionate about working with current military personnel, veterans, and their families from all eras. Danae is also an active Lifetime Member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.
Jennifer George, M.P.A.
Senior Services Program Director
Jennifer George has been with Santa Anita Family Service for over 8 years, starting first as a student intern then advancing on to a geriatric case manager. During this time she went to back to school and received her Master of Public Administration degree from the University of La Verne. She is now the Senior Services Program Director and has dedicated most of her adult life to advocating for older adult rights, to ensure they live out their lives with dignity and respect.
Karla Perez-Pussman, Ph.D.
Family Preservation Program Director
Having recently attained her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy from Azusa Pacific University, Dr. Karla Perez-Pussman began her career with Santa Anita Family Service in 2006 as a Staff In-home Outreach Counselor in our Family Preservation Program. She is dedicated to serving families faced with adversity and helping underserved populations. Within the Family Preservation Program, Dr. Perez-Pussman provided families with a wide range of services to improve family functioning. In 2008, she began her doctoral degree program at Alliant International University while she continued to work in our Family Preservation Program. In 2015, she was awarded her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and was promoted to Up-front Assessor for Family Preservation. Dr. Perez-Pussman has also provided outstanding services and treatment to the agency’s CalWORKS Program clients as a Staff Therapist. With demonstrated clinical and leadership skills, Dr. Perez-Pussman was promoted to Family Preservation Program Director in June 2016.
For the past ten years, Dr. Perez-Pussman has provided bi-lingual therapy to clients diagnosed with co-occurring disorders, at-risk adolescents, victims of crime, dual diagnosis adults, victims of trauma, and individuals experiencing a variety of complex mental health problems. She has conducted comprehensive clinical assessments for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and has facilitated empowerment groups and parenting classes. Dr. Perez-Pussman has also taught Clinical Spanish as an Adjunct Professor for Azusa Pacific University.
Teresa Johnson, M.A., LMFT
Clinical Supervisor / Director of BSW Training
Teresa Johnson, M.A., LMFT is a respected therapist, supervisor, mentor, and speaker with over 30 years of experience in private practice, community mental health (23 of those years at Santa Anita Family Service), providing supervision of trainees and interns, and as a presenter for a variety of trainings, workshops, and retreats. She received her Bachelor of Science in Human Services from Cal State Fullerton, her Masters in Counseling from National University in San Diego in 1983, and her 40-hour Domestic Violence Victim training certificate in 1999. Teresa has worked extensively with survivors of sexual and domestic violence trauma, individuals struggling with debilitating depression and anxiety, and couples in conflicted relationships. She also has experience in pre- and post-adoption dynamics. Teresa has created and facilitated groups for empowerment, domestic violence perpetrators, anger management, and women’s issues. Most recently, arising out of her own personal journey, Teresa has developed a group designed to support those coping with the physical and emotional complexities of a crisis in health.
Teresa has received multiple certificates of appreciation and training as a supervisor and field instructor for bachelor and masters level students in social work and marriage and family therapy from Cal State Los Angeles, Azusa Pacific University, and Cal State Long Beach. With her wealth of experience and having fulfilled many staff and management roles at Santa Anita Family Service, including over 17 years spent growing the agency’s Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention Program as Program Director, Teresa currently provides excellent clinical supervision to many of our masters and bachelor level students in practicum. Additionally, Teresa created, and currently oversees, Santa Anita Family Service’s BSW Training Program.