Five Acres Presents Community Awards and Welcomes New Board Members

Photo of Five Acres Board Members Dennis Duran, Bisi Ezeolu, and Lance Polverini

Five Acres announced its new board members and recognized its community award recipients at its 133rd Annual Meeting and Board Celebration on March 10. Hosting the virtual celebration, Five Acres honored community members and volunteers who were unable to be recognized last year due to the pivot to socially distanced and working remotely because of the coronavirus.

These individuals have supported the charity’s mission in serving more than 9,000 children and families annually across six counties. The charity offers a full continuum of care for children and families in crisis, including foster care, adoption, deaf services, therapeutic residential care for foster youth and community-based mental/behavioral health programs.

The individuals and organizations recognized were:

  • Christianne Kerns, Dorothy Cook Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Five Acres Leadership and Staff, The Five Acres Heart Award
  • Rustin Mork, Volunteer of the Year Award
  • Susan McGuirl, Person of the Year Award
  • Rotary Club of Pasadena, Special Service to Children
  • Kathryne Beynon Foundation, The Five Acres Award
  • Los Angeles County Board Supervisor Kathryn Barger, The Children’s Thanks
  • Rita and Armen Baranian, Special Awards

Five Acres also bid farewell to Kelley Bannon Lashley and Scott Street, who departed in 2020, and Sam Greenberg, who also served his tenure and departed this year. Board members who departed made a mark on the agency’s mission. A Legacy Society Member, Lashley chaired the Advancement and Planned Giving committees while galvanizing additional support for Five Acres. Street chaired the annual golf tournament three times while helping raise critical awareness. Greenberg provided his tax expertise as a presenter during his tenure.

The charity also welcomed three new board members: Dennis Duran, Bisi Ezeolu, and Lance Polverini who join the class of 2021. In addition, four board members who began their tenure in 2020 were recognized: Chantal Bennett, Mimi Carter, Jason Melillo, and John Reitnouer.

“While we are unable to celebrate in person, we honor, recognize, and appreciate all of our wonderful awardees, departing board members, new board members, and new executive committee, who have been an asset to the impact and growth of Five Acres,” said Chanel Boutakidis, Five Acres chief executive officer. “This past year has been a challenging one yet the loyalty and commitment of those we recognize this evening have enabled us to continue focusing on the children and staff’s safety and well-being, while bringing loving, permanent forever families to children and youth in foster care.”

To learn more about Five Acres, visit

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About Five Acres

Since 1888, Five Acres has protected the most vulnerable members of our community: children. Serving more than 9,000 children and family members annually across six counties, Five Acres now strives for permanency—a permanent, loving home—for all children in their care. The three pillars of safety, well-being and permanencyprovide the framework for its programs and guide the steps as the agency develops even more effective means of caring for children and families in crisis.