Board of Directors
CCRC's talented and diverse Board of Directors provides guidance, oversight and support to the organization. Each Director brings a unique set of skills and collectively ensures fiduciary responsibility, builds a strong public standing, creates a strategic agency vision and provides oversight of programs and services.
Civil & Geotechnical Engineer
Ed Hill has been involved with CCRC since 2003 and is currently CCRC’s Chair Emeritus. He is the president of Geotechnologies, Inc. which has consulted on more than 21,000 projects. Mr Hill oversees marketing, client development, coordination and performance of field exploration, laboratory testing and preparation of formal geotechnical reports. He is a geotechnical engineer, engineering geologist, and practicing attorney. Ed has more than 35 years of experience serving the Greater Los Angeles area in seismic, soils and foundation engineering projects. Ed is an Eagle Scout, a former president of the California Geotechnical Engineers Association (CalGeo) and is Chair of the Board of Ume Credit Union. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a BS degree in geology, and earned his law degree at Glendale University College of Law. He is married and has two daughters.
IT Director, Systems Engineering
Peter Wang is the Vice Chair of the CCRC Board and works professionally as a systems engineer at Integrated Media Technologies Inc., where he is responsible for annual departmental budgets of up to $30 million. He manages overseas staff as the director of systems engineering. His more than 20 years of senior level management experience includes dynamic tech startups, such as MySpace, as well as large Fortune 500 corporations. Peter received his Bachelors of Science in Computer Science at USC.
Anthony Peña has worked at Wells Fargo Bank since 2005 and is currently Vice President and Relationship Manager of Commercial Banking. He manages one of the largest relationships in the office, a construction rental company, with commitments of $70 million and annual bank profitability of $1.5 million. He has originated and structured $15 million in new real estate loans for the company. Anthony participates in the Board Leadership Institute at the Ventura County Charitable Foundation and volunteers at both UCLA Anderson Riordan Program and El Concilio del Condado de Ventura. He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a B.S. degree in Latin American Studies with a concentration in Economics. He also spent time in Salvador, Brazil studying Intensive Portuguese and International Economics.
Griselda De Mel
Griselda De Mel is a Vice President and Relationship Manager for the Citizens Business Bank at the Pasadena Center. She has over 10 years of experience in the financial industry. Her experience includes credit, commercial real estate, commercial lending, retail banking, and portfolio management. Ms. De Mel strives to provide her clients customized banking solutions to meet their unique needs.
Ms. De Mel earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from California State University at Los Angeles and a Master of Business Administration in Finance from Pepperdine University. She also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Child Care Resource Center and Ascencia.
Community Advocate & Executive, Retired
Romalis Taylor, a community advocate involved in processes to strengthen and support families, has over 30 years’ experience working with government agencies, communities, children, youth, and families to improve services in schools, foster care, and clinical service programs. He has served as a Director of a Mental Health Center and a Director of Government & Community Relations for a nonprofit organization in Los Angeles County. Mr. Taylor implemented innovative services such as: Point of Engagement, Family Preservation, and Up Front Assessment. He has presented program development, prevention, field based and family support services at conferences and forums. Romalis chairs Compton/East Compton Best Start Leadership Group, which advocates, develops, and implements community activities to strengthen families with children 0-5 based on the First 5 Strengthening Families model. He is a representative for the advisory group for Under Representative Ethnic Populations Groups on the Department of Mental Health System Leadership Team and is a member of the Services Area Advisory Council 6 in South Los Angeles. Mr. Taylor received his BA degree from California State, University, Los Angeles.
Certified Public Accountant
Rita García is a Manager at Meloni Hribal Tratner LLP. She oversees annual financial statement audits and reviews. She also handles tax planning and preparation for clients in various industries such as manufacturing, wholesale/distribution and high net worth individuals. Rita has been in public accounting for over seven years. Before that, she was with Accenture Consulting, where she worked on SAP implementation projects for Exxon Mobil and Colgate-Palmolive. Rita is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of California and a member of the AICPA. She holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of the Phillipines and an MBA from CSUN. She lives in the San Fernando Valley with her husband and two sons.
Early Childhood Education (ECE) Expert
Joannie Busillo-Aguayo is an expert in designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating new community-based programs serving young children and families in low-income communities. Her research interests include identifying ways to strengthen and support families of young children, promoting campus-community collaboration, and enhancing service-learning partnerships between students and early childhood programs in the community. For 12 years, she was the assistant coordinator of the CSUN's Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences' Transdisciplinary Early Intervention Program, serving infants and toddlers with development challenges and their families. Joannie has been a member of the CSUN community since 1991, earning her bachelor's degree in Child Development and a master's degree from the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences/Family Relations-Child Development. She earned her doctorate in 2010 from Pepperdine University's Graduate School of Education and Psychology/Organizational Leadership.
Venbrook Insurance Services, LLC
Dale is responsible for sales, account management, and marketing to Venbrook Insurance Services' national client-base for retail insurance brokerage, risk analysis, program design, risk solutions, and alternative risk financing.
Dale has spent the majority of his career (34 years) developing and servicing commercial and multifamily real estate / REO clientele within the Western and Gulf Coast regions of the U.S. The majority of his career has been spent at J & H, Marsh & McLennan Cos, and the Willis Group within the large risk management and commercial lines divisions. Dale has substantial knowledge in complex insurance program structures, 831b micro-captives, risk retention groups, and alternative risk concepts to help clients deal with operational and organizational risk.
Dale earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. He also sits on a number of non-profit boards in Los Angeles.
Lifecycle service leader, teacher, Speaker, Mussar facilitator
Rabbi Lisa Bock brings to the CCRC Board more than 15 years of experience as a faith-based professional and an extensive education in mentorship and management. She interned for four years in various temples across southern California before becoming a Rabbi in 2014. Rabbi Lisa has served on the board of the Academy for Jewish Religion since 2014 and is presently a spiritual counselor at a Thousand Oaks hospice facility. Her interests include reading, writing, hiking, birdwatching and travel.
Child Development Department
Alma Cortes is a full time faculty member in the Child Development Department at Pierce College, an adjunct faculty member at Los Angeles Valley College, a part-time faculty member at CSUN, and a lecturer at UCLA. Alma has worked in the field of early childhood as a classroom teacher, administrator and university professor for the last 16 years. Her education includes a B.A. in English and Spanish, a P-3 Teaching Certificate, a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education, and the Educational Leadership Program at UCLA.
P/C Head Start Representative
Starnell Taylor is the Policy Council Chair and was elected in May 2020 to the CCRC Board as Parent Council (PC) Representative of the Zine Head Start Center. Her background is in Early Childhood Education and she has 17 years of experience working with children from birth to age 18. Starnell is highly involved in her own children’s educations and decided to join the committee to show her children how committed their mother is to their education and early childhood experience. She believes that when a child sees his or her parent involved, it benefits the child’s self-esteem, promotes independence and encourages achievement. In addition to her role on CCRC’s Board, Starnell serves in her church nursery and volunteers in her community.
Jeffrey S. Goodfried
Freeman Freeman & Smiley LLP
Jeffrey Goodfried has more than ten years’ experience in commercial litigation, focusing on cases involving creditor’s rights, breach of contract, real estate disputes, landlord/tenant law, and business torts.
His clients benefit from the expertise he gained while practicing for more than ten years at a large national law firm with over 1,000 attorneys and 15 offices throughout the United States. He is admitted to practice in all courts in California.
Real Estate/Investment Advisor
Aaron Rafelle is a private client real estate & construction advisor specializing in commercial brokerage, asset management and real estate development. He is dually licensed as a broker and general building contractor. Aaron graduated CSUN with BA in Psychology and received a MSW (Masters in Social Work) from Loma Linda University. Aaron also privately offers consulting to grassroots nonprofit organizations in the areas of policy, program development, strategic planning, technology integration, and outcome evaluation. As a former parent of two children in Head Start he has witnessed the value and importance of early child education.
Dean A. Rocco
Employment Litigation Attorney
Dean Rocco is a Chair of Wilson Elser’s national Employment & Labor practice group. He represents employers of all types and sizes across the country as well as executives and members of management. He advises clients on issues such as managing employees with disabilities and medical leave rights, building sound personnel policies and complying with workplace regulations. Dean maintains a significant practice defending employers from lawsuits alleging workplace harassment, denials of disability or medical leave rights, unlawful termination of employment, and wage and hour violations.
A distinguished labor and employment law attorney, Dean lends his knowledge and perspective to proactive counseling and training measures as well as the efficient and effective litigation of employment law disputes. As a recognized authority in his field, Dean is often asked to lecture on evolving employment law topics. In 2015, Dean was appointed Chair of the Employment Practices Liability Committee for The Claims & Litigation Management Alliance, a national organization for claims and litigation professionals comprised of more than 30,000 members.
Adrian Stern is a founding member of Clumeck Stern Schenkelberg & Getzoff and has been engaged in public accounting since 1979, specializing in management consulting and the installation and evaluation of data processing systems. He is experienced in expert witness testimony regarding computer systems, damage calculations, loss of earnings and professional malpractice cases. Adrian provides consultation to CPA firms regarding valuations, mergers and acquisitions. Adrian is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. He is an active wine collector and is always looking for the next great find. Adrian is married with four daughters.
Michelle Torres currently works as a Supervisor for the Sales Planning & Product Inventory department of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. She has a strong background in communication, resource building, research and child advocacy, and television syndication and distribution. Michelle has worked in mediation and arbitration, collaborated on the production of a curriculum entitled "Power in Me" to be used with foster youth, and worked in business and legal affairs in production and domestic distribution in the entertainment industry. Michelle has more than ten years social services experience working with foster youth in Los Angeles County and has worked in the entertainment industry for over sixteen years. She studied Sociology at Cal State Los Angeles.