William Cook, President
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.
Diego Edber, Esq., Secretary
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.
Yvonne Green, CPA,Treasurer
Yvonne Green is a native to California and has had her own private practice providing tax preparation and planning services for more than 20 years. She began her career with KPMG in 1984 and worked as senior tax manager for American Express Tax and Business Services where she learned financial planning and skills for advising individuals and small business. Ms. Green graduated from USC with a BS, emphasis in accounting, and later earned a Masters in Business Taxation also from USC. She’s a long time volunteer for the San Gabriel Habitat for Humanity and a Fellow and active volunteer at The Huntington Library and Gardens. Ms. Green also sits on the finance committee of The Theodore Payne Foundation, is actively involved in her synagogue, serves on the Executive Board of the President’s Associates at CSUN, and a supporter of many charities whose mission is to provide services to the local community. Ms. Green is passionate about education and the needs of assisting the homeless. Her other passion has been raising her daughter and son (19 & 21) both who graduated from Harvard-Westlake and are currently attending Boston University and USC.
Sal LaViña, Esq.
Sal LaViña is a partner at Enenstein, Ribakoff, LaViña & Pham and heads the Real Estate and Corporate Departments. He has over 26 years of experience in complex transactions and strategic advising. Mr. LaViña started his career at O’Melveny & Myers, and since then he has served as a managing partner of a business law firm, and general counsel and a partner in a development company. Mr. LaViña received his Bachelor’s Degree from University of California, Los Angeles and his J.D. from Columbia University Law School. Mr. LaViña previously served on the Board of Directors, Para los Ninos and brings a wealth of experience to The Village Family Services.
Charles Robbins, MBA, CFRE
Charles Robbins is the Chief Advancement Officer at APLA Health. He previously served as the Vice President of Communications and Development at The Village Family Services from July 2011 to May 2016. His professional experience also includes serving as CEO of The Trevor Project, development director for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, various senior fundraising roles at GLAAD and the founding of Project Angel Heart, a Denver-based HIV/AIDS nonprofit organization. Mr. Robbins holds a MBA in Healthcare Management from Western Governors University, a certificate in nonprofit administration from the University of Colorado, Denver, and he is a longtime member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) where he achieved accreditation as a Certified Fund Raising Professional (CFRE). Mr. Robbins is very active in the community. In May 2015, he was appointed by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl to serve as a Commissioner on the Inter-agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect. Mr. Robbins also serves on the board of directors of the LGBT Community Center of the Desert in Palm Springs, CA and serves as President of the Greater San Fernando Valley Chapter of AFP.
Elizabeth Sassano, MSN, JD
M. Elizabeth Sassano, MSN, JD is a nurse attorney with over 30 years legal experience. She is currently the Vice President of Corporate Legal Services at Keenan & Associates, the largest privately held insurance brokerage and consulting firm in California. She began her career as a health lawyer in Chicago where she advised hospitals and physicians on non-profit, corporate, regulatory, and medico-legal issues in both firm and in-house settings. She has worked extensively with insurance and risk management issues, having spent 12 years as Assistant General Counsel for MMI Companies, Inc., a multi-national organization with healthcare risk management and medical malpractice insurance subsidiaries. Ms. Sassano has also served as Director of Risk Management and Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer for Retirement Housing Foundation, a non-profit organization that operates elder housing and skilled nursing facilities throughout the United States. Ms. Sassano has previously served on the Board of Directors of The Night Ministry, a Chicago-based organization providing housing, health care, and human connection to members of the community struggling with poverty or homelessness. She has been honored as an “Outstanding Volunteer” by the Bar Association of San Francisco for her pro bono legal work with a Bay Area not-for-profit start-up.
Irma Seilicovich, LMFT (co-founder)
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.
Hugo C. Villa, LMFT (co-founder)
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 23 years and their 15-year-old son, Bobby.
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.
Erika Endrijonas, Ph.D.
Dr. Erika Endrijonas is President of Los Angeles Valley College, one of the largest of the nine campuses in the L.A. Community College District, with an enrollment of more than 18,000 students from communities throughout the San Fernando Valley. Her extensive career in higher education began at the University of Southern California as an academic advisor, followed by positions at colleges and universities throughout the United States. Prior to joining LAVC, she served for nine years as Dean of Educational Programs at Santa Barbara City College, and as Executive Vice President Accreditation Liaison Officer at Oxnard College. She is a staunch advocate for anyone—especially foster and homeless youth—who seek to expand their opportunities and insights through education. Dr. Endrijonas currently serves on the Valley Industry and Commerce Association Board, where her duties include chairing the VICA Education Committee. She is also chair of the Intelecom Board of Directors and board member of the Valley Economic Alliance. Dr. Endrijonas has a bachelor’s degree in History from California State University, Northridge and a Ph.D. in History from USC.
Richard Strulson, JD, MBA
Richard Strulson’s career includes executive leadership in a broad range of legal and business environments, including entertainment, sports, retail, and health and wellness industries. He is currently Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of Nature’s Sunshine Products, a publicly traded company with global distribution. In these various roles, he oversees legal and compliance work worldwide, government outreach and lobbying, and trade organization involvement. Prior to NSP, Richard held senior positions with the Walt Disney Company and Fox/Liberty Networks. Richard is also a staunch advocate for underserved communities. As the former board member of a national LGBT organization, he understands the challenges facing high risk children, youth and families affected by abuse and neglect, and the critical need for services that can help them recover, and lead healthy and productive lives.
Richard received advanced degrees in law and finance from Duke University.