Five Acres Presents Community Awards and Welcomes New Board Members

ALTADENA, Calif., March 14, 2024— Celebrating a legacy of compassion and commitment, Five Acres proudly acknowledged the outstanding contributions of distinguished individuals and organizations for their unwavering dedication to improving children’s lives at its 136th Annual Meeting and Board Celebration yesterday. Hosting the celebration at the Altadena Town and Country Club, the charity also announced its new board members and executive committee members.

“Looking back on the last four years, I am immensely proud of the work we’ve done here at Five Acres with the mission of serving the children and families in Southern California being our constant divining rod and regardless of the world we live in, our mission has always been at the forefront,” said Five Acres Board Chair Susan McGuirl, who welcomed guests. McGuirl reminisced on the impact the charity has made in her tenure as board chair, from pivoting to providing telehealth services quickly in 2020, to navigating many significant and impactful legislative reforms over the past many years. Most recently in this past year, Five Acres embarked on new contracts and services with healthcare companies as part of the CalAIM reform for a more and diverse revenue stream that aligns with its mission.

Besides the charity’s dedicated donors and advocates, the individuals honored have supported the charity’s mission in serving more than 6,100 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, and deaf services, short-term therapeutic residential care for youth in foster care, and community-based mental/behavioral health programs.

The individuals and organizations recognized were:

  • Lawrence Nikolai, artist and creative director at Walt Disney Imagineering who has been involved with Five Acres for 30 years, for The Children’s Thanks Award
  • Sally Olson, longtime volunteer and Children’s Guild member, for the Special Service to Children Award
  • Matthew Lillard, actor and champion of Five Acres children, for the Person of the Year Award
  • Danny and Joey Reaume, longtime volunteers and former co-chairs of the Five Acres Golf Classic and Dinner, for the Volunteers of the Year Award
  • The Patron Saints Foundation, a foundation committed to caring for the health needs of the surrounding community by providing grants to nonprofits serving the West San Gabriel Valley, for the Special Recognition Award
  • Susan McGuirl, who has volunteered for 15 years and served as Five Acres’ board chair for four years, for the Dorothy Cook Lifetime Achievement Award

Five Acres also bids farewell to Christianne Kerns, Nicole Rodger, Grace Russak, and Erica Tejeda, who served their tenure this year. Board members who departed made a mark on the agency’s mission.

The charity also welcomed three new board members: Leo Bolanos, Kirk Moon, III, and Chad Richardson, who join the class of 2024. Bolanos has 17 years of experience in wealth management, having worked as a private banker, fiduciary advisor, licensed investment advisor, and relationship manager at various global Private Banks before joining Northern Trust.

A partner at Hahn & Hahn, Moon is in its business practice, including acquisitions, and also has a background in healthcare in both transactional and regulatory matters. Moon is a member of the Finance Investment Committee and has also recently joined the charity’s Audit Committee. 

With more than 20 years of experience in the corporate sector and a passion for helping individuals, families, and businesses achieve their financial goals, Richardson has served diligently on the Finance Investment Committee for the past five years. Richardson is the owner of CalTex Financial Group LLC, providing fee-based financial planning, wealth management, and risk mitigation strategies to individuals and families while also administering qualified retirement accounts and various group benefits to businesses nationwide through Cetera Investment Services.

The charity’s new executive committee are Chris Selak, chair; Bisi Ezeolu, secretary; Andrew Crowell, vice chair, finance/investment; Shoshana Puccia, vice chair, advancement; Susan McGuirl, vice chair, nominating, and past board chair; Dennis Duran, vice chair, audit; Kirsten Hansen, vice chair, administration; and Carol Chen, at large member.

“The annual meeting is a special event and what makes this annual celebration unique is that everyone here today has made such a difference to our Five Acres community and a big impact to children in real need,” said Selak, Five Acres’ incoming board chair. “Over the past 136 years, you and those before you have helped transform the lives of some of the most vulnerable children and families.”

To learn more about Five Acres and how to become involved, 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 6,100 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 permanency provide 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