Cesar Biggeri is the Global Director of Sales, Americas for Jumeirah Group, a hotel company with headquarters in Dubai and has been in the hospitality industry for over 12 years. Mr. Biggeri has been traveling the globe for over 25 years and has been on five continents and over 20 countries. Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Mr. Biggeri moved to the United States in 1985 and resides in Burbank, CA. As President of the board, he has infused his passion for Hispanic heritage and has forged the organization’s commitment to customer service and quality of care. He joined the board of The Village Family Services at the very beginning becoming President six years ago.
Diego Edber is a Deputy City Attorney in the Criminal Division of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. Mr. Edber prosecutes criminal cases in the Superior Court of California and works closely with local law enforcement agencies including the Los Angeles Police Department, the California Highway Patrol and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, along with numerous city, county, and state agencies to effectively prosecute crime occurring in the City of Los Angeles. Prior to Deputy City Attorney, Mr. Edber was employed as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of California, Department of Justice in the Tort and Condemnation Section. As a Deputy Attorney General, he defended the State in tort suits in federal and state courts. Mr. Edber also handled high profile litigation cases involving serious injury and death and often provided advice to clients on how to minimize liability.
Leticia C. Lara, LCSW, is Regional Manager for Outreach and Professional Development for ZERO TO THREE, a national non-profit organization that informs, trains, and supports professionals, policymakers, and parents in efforts to improve the lives of infants and toddlers. She is a resource to English and Spanish media outlets such as American Baby Magazine, Hispanic Information and Telecommunication Network, Inc., and member of Circle of Advisors to KCET for “A Place of Our Own/Los Ninos en Su Casa”. Prior to joining ZERO TO THREE, Ms. Lara worked as Associate Director of Early Intervention at the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic. She advocates for social justice policies through her involvement as Commissioner to the Office of Human Relations, Diversity and Equity at Los Angeles Unified School District.; and also as member of Transformative Collaborations International, a parent coalition that promotes leadership with parents to address educational issues. Ms. Lara earned her Master Degree in Social Work and Bachelor Degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a National Hispana Institute Fellow, class of 2010. As a Fellow she’s completed the Executive Leadership Program through the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Center for Creative Leadership in San Diego, California.
Mary Lou Perelmutter, PsyD, LMFT, is the Clinical Director at Of One Mind, an innovative behavioral health agency in Southern California and has been in that role since 2009. She has years of specialized training and experience in working with adolescents, young adults, and their families on all levels of the continuum of care. Prior to her position at Of One Mind, for over a decade she worked at Northridge Medical Center managing behavioral health services including the crisis team, outpatient services and the 40-bed inpatient facility. She has extensive outreach experience working on domestic violence, head-start programs, teenager sexual health, and is a certified mediator. Originally from New York, Ms. Perelmutter received her undergraduate degree from Finch College. She earned her master’s degree at Phillips Graduate Institute and her doctorate at Chicago School of Psychology. A mother of four, she has lived in Southern California since the 70’s and loves nothing more than helping others.
Lisa Lawrence has over 25 years of consulting and solution development experience with industries including high technology and electronics, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, health care, telecommunications, aerospace, and consumer products. Currently, Ms. Lawrence is operating an independent consultancy, serving clients in the areas of strategic business and market planning, leadership and organization optimization, and program management. She has held senior management positions in the Consulting, Interactive Television, and Manufacturing Industries. Her areas of specialization include accelerating results achievement through activities such as strategic business planning and implementation, integrated performance measurements, organization strategy and development, post-merger and acquisition integration and alignment, supply chain management, and leadership coaching for improved performance. Prior to creating Lawrence Consulting Solutions, Ms. Lawrence was Executive Vice President of Strategic Services at RANDOM/ORDER. Previously, she was a Senior Manager with Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting). Ms. Lawrence holds an MBA degree, with an emphasis on productivity and international business, and a BA degree in Human Resource Development/ Organizational Communication.
Bill Cook joined the board in 2011. Recently retired, Bill was Vice President of Sourcing and Supplier Performance for WellPoint, Inc. In this position, Mr. Cook was responsible for the overall strategy, direction, and acquisition of all administrative expense commodities for the enterprise. Before joining WellPoint in July of 1997, Mr. Cook spent eight years at Disney, with strategic sourcing positions for Disney World in Orlando, Florida and Paris, France. Prior positions included Regional Director of Purchasing for Marriott Corporation in Hong Kong and from 1977 to 1986 Mr. Cook worked for Westin Hotels, with positions in Singapore, Seattle, and San Francisco. Mr. Cook is a graduate of Michigan State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in hotel, restaurant, and institutional management. He has volunteered his time as a court appointed advocate for teens and has a long-standing commitment to the well-being of youth.
Susana Ziarati is the Glendale Branch Vice-President at the Wells Fargo and has been with the bank for 33 years. Born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, she came to California in 1970. Ms. Ziarati attended Valley College in Valley Glen and received her BA at CSUN. She previously served on a board of a children’s agency and for the last ten years, through Wells Fargo, has provided toys to six of her favorite children’s agencies, with The Village Family Services as being one of them. Ms. Ziarati is an avid swimmer, tennis player and enjoys yoga. She has two grown daughters – her 19 year old is at CSUN and her 21 year old is at USC. Ms. Ziarati is also deeply committed to helping battered women and is involved in a local shelter for women.
Denis Cagna is an Executive Director at Ernst & Young in their Consulting practice. He has 20 years of experience in process transformation, large-scale project management, and financial management. Mr. Cagna has extensive experience in working with CFO’s and Controllers in the private and public sectors on the development and implementation of large Enterprise Resource Planning systems, budgeting applications, shared services organizations, and financial process re-engineering efforts. He has lived in Japan and China, as well as Egypt where for four years he managed the development of computer applications for private and public organizations. Mr. Cagna has a BA in Accounting from Indiana University and an MS in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He and his partner Carlos Medina live in Los Feliz. Mr. Cagna is an avid bicyclist and amateur Southern Californian historian.
Linda Fisk currently serves as Chief Marketing Officer for the nation’s premier disability advocacy group, bringing over 20 years of experience in marketing, public relations and research, including more than fifteen years leading online marketing efforts for Fortune 100 companies. In her current role, Ms. Fisk is responsible for expanding and strengthening the products and services that Disability Group offers to their clients, ensuring that all services are built on the principles of treating clients with dignity and respect, and aggressively securing the benefits that each client deserves. Ms. Fisk has served in several senior marketing roles where she has been an integral member of the executive team including Senior Vice President of Internet Marketing for CRC Health Group, the nation’s largest behavioral health care provider with over 145 facilities nationwide, and Vice President of Marketing for Freedom Interactive leading all consumer and trade marketing, research and analytics initiatives, sales support activities and public relations projects. Prior to this, she served as Vice President, Online Marketing and Analytics, for Scripps Networks where she managed the growth and development of the online audiences of Scripps Networks brands, including HGTV.com, Food Network and DIY Network. Ms. Fisk also served as Vice President of Audience Development and Management for Belo Interactive in Dallas, Texas, as well as Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications for Gaylord Entertainment in Nashville, Tenn. Ms. Fisk holds a Master of Arts degree in Psychology from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas and a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Pamela Lifford is a fashion and lifestyle executive with 27 years of experience in the industry and expertise in brand management, marketing strategy and strategic partnerships. She was formerly Executive Vice President of Global Fashion, Home and Infant at the Walt Disney Company. Her innovation and business strategy transformed the company into one of the world’s largest apparel brands. During her tenure, she developed and executed new business models in order to offer retailers customizable solutions for providing unique products to consumers—turning Mickey and Minnie Mouse into global fashion icons in the process. Ms. Lifford’s experience in the apparel industry also includes roles at Road Runner Sports and Nike. In 2011, Ms. Lifford was an honoree at Fashion Delivers Charitable Foundation’s annual gala for her philanthropic work. Prior to her board service at the Village, she lent her time and resources to support the Village Family Services by volunteering at fundraising events and the agency’s annual client holiday party. Ms. Lifford makes her home in the San Fernando Valley.
Hugo Villa has more than 20 years of experience working in social services and specializes in child abuse and neglect. He started his career as a clinical psychologist in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he worked with low-income children and families. Mr. Villa is a licensed child and family therapist in the state of California and has been in the field of child psychology since 1984. His primary interest is in developing safe and supportive systems to combat child abuse and neglect due to a variety of factors including poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, and domestic violence. He participates in several public policy advisory committees in Los Angeles County where his expertise in nationally recognized, evidence-based practices for developing and supporting foster parents is highly recognized. He lives with his partner of 21 years and their 13-year-old son, Bobby.
Irma Seilicovich has been assisting troubled children and families since the late 1980s. Born and raised in Argentina, Ms. Seilicovich made a commitment early on to devote her life to helping others. Over the past 20 years, Ms. Seilicovich has touched the lives of literally thousands of children and families: She helped to treat and heal young victims of abuse and neglect; responded with police to provide on-the-scene support for victims of violence; empowered mothers and fathers to become effective, nurturing parents; guided youth away from the lure of drugs and gang involvement; navigated children and families through the complex foster-care and adoption systems; and developed training programs that have benefited thousands more. A staunch advocate for trauma-informed care, she is a member of the International Society Trauma Stress Studies (ISTSS) and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). Fluent in Spanish, Ms. Seilicovich enjoys reading and taking in the beauty of the coastline along Southern California in her free time.