Senior Leadership Team
Board of Directors
Chanel Boutakidis, MA, MFT | Chief Executive Officer
Chanel Boutakidis, LMFT, assumed her role as Chief Executive Officer of Five Acres in 2011. Prior to being appointed CEO, Ms. Boutakidis was the Executive Director of Pasadena Mental Health Center. Collectively, Ms. Boutakidis has over 20 years of experience in child welfare, health care, advocacy, and policymaking. She is a dynamic leader with verifiable year-after-year success achieving innovative client impact targets, revenue, and business growth objectives within turnaround, and rapid-change environments. Highly successful in assessing and managing enterprise risk, seizing control of critical problem areas, and delivering on strategic mission/value-driven commitments. Ms. Boutakidis has led and motivated diverse teams comprised of more than 400 employees and managed organizations exceeding $30 million in revenue. She earned a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from California State University, Northridge. Her notable awards include 2016 Los Angeles Business Journal, Awardee – Asian Business Woman of the Year, 2015 Los Angeles magazine, Awardee – Woman of the Year, 2014 Pasadena Magazine “Woman of Influence,” 2014 Congressional Recognition from Michael Antonovich, and 2014 Congressional Recognition from Judy Chu. She also sits on the California Alliance Board of Directors, Association of Community Human Service Association Board of Directors, and Board of Director of the San Gabriel Valley Young Presidents Organization. Back to top.
Jennifer Berger, MPA | Chief Advancement Officer
Jennifer Berger is the Chief Advancement Officer at Five Acres and oversees all fundraising, marketing/communications, volunteer efforts, and the Facilities Department. Five Acres promotes safety, well-being, and permanency for thousands of children and family members annually by building on their strengths and empowering them within communities.
Passion for the non-profit sector and serving the community has led Jennifer to her over 20 years of professional experience with fundraising, events, program management, board development, and organizational leadership. Previously, Jennifer was Director of Development and Outreach & Education at The Pasadena Playhouse, charged with overseeing, strategizing, and implementing all Playhouse fundraising activities during which time fundraising goals were exceeded. Her professional background also includes Verdugo Hills Hospital Foundation where she was responsible for overseeing all operational fundraising activities, as well as the University of Southern California as a director of development of the Marshall School of Business and with University Advancement’s Central Office of Annual Giving. Jennifer also worked with Morris & Berger as a non-profit executive search consultant.
She spent her formative years in Pasadena, California, graduating from Duke University with a BA in English, followed by a Master’s degree in Public Administration, with an emphasis in non-profit management, at the University of Southern California. Jennifer has been a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals since 2007 and is past President of the AFP Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Board. Other professional affiliations currently include the San Gabriel Valley Estate Planning Council and Pasadena Rotary Club and she is an active volunteer with Chandler School, Pasadena Humane Society, Polytechnic School, the Pasadena chapter of National Charity League, Junior League of Pasadena’s Community Advisory Council, and the Duke Alumni Admissions Advisory Committee. Jennifer and her husband, John, President and Founding Principal of Lee & Associates, live in Altadena with their daughters Madeleine, who attends Duke University, and Grace who attends Polytechnic School. Back to top.
Chinling Chen, LCSW | Chief Program Officer, Prevention
Chinling Chen, LCSW, has over 17 years of professional experience in the child welfare and substance abuse treatment industry. Ms. Chen has served in various positions, with an increasing scope of responsibility, ranging from a therapist offering direct services, Program Supervisor, Director, and as a Regional Vice President overseeing residential and outpatient programs in CA and Texas regions. She is skilled in leading and directing the overall management, strategy, advocacy, and operations of multi-million dollar programs. Ms. Chen holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego. Back to top.
David L. Graft | Chief Financial Officer
David has 30 years of professional experience, primarily as a C-level executive, including responsibilities as Board Chair, CEO, COO, and CFO. Prior to joining Five Acres, David was the CFO of the nation’s largest human organ, eye, and tissue recovery agency and foundation. David’s experience includes challenging C-level executive and board positions with for-profit and non-profit operating companies in healthcare (including hospitals), financial services, and technology. As chairman & CEO of a financial services and technology company, David’s firm earned ranking in Inc. 500’s list of fastest-growing privately held companies in its first year of eligibility, achieving this distinction for three consecutive years. David was selected as a financial service sector finalist for Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Greater Los Angeles in 2002. He was also selected as a Summerall Success Story and recognized in Forbes Magazine and featured in a national telecast on Fox News Network. David has also successfully founded and sold an institutional pharmacy management company.
David’s competencies include operations, strategic planning, budgeting, forecasts and financial modeling; financial, operational, GAAP, regulatory and statutory accounting and reporting; audit and regulatory compliance; internal control systems; metrics, measurements and KPIs; analytics and predictive modeling; decision support; cash management and credit risk concentration; business services including revenue cycle and claims management; complex reimbursement systems and cost accounting; treasury function including financings (debt and equity) and investments; risk and litigation management and insurance programs; administrative, human resources and financial policies; legal matters including employment practices; contract management and compliance; intellectual property and software licenses; information technology and systems; payroll; human resources including recruiting, employee relations, compensation, and benefit programs.
Prior to starting his career with operating companies, David worked as a manager in public accounting with two of the Big 4 public accounting firms, with industry experience concentrated in healthcare and financial services. He is a certified public accountant and holds a BS degree in business administration, accounting from Indiana University. Back to top.
Elizabeth Gonzalez, MA, LMFT | Chief Program Officer, Residential
Elizabeth Gonzalez, LMFT, has worked at Five Acres since 2001 and has more than 19 years of professional experience in the child welfare field. Throughout the course of her work at Five Acres, she has had various positions from Residential Treatment Program Case Manager, Community Based Clinician, Intensive Treatment Foster Care Program Supervisor, Evidence-Based Practice Clinical Coordinator, Division Director of Residential Services to her present position as Chief Program Officer.
While at Five Acres, Ms. Gonzalez has overseen all essential division functions to include Client Care and Services, Financial Performance, and Program Development for multiple programs to include Intensive Treatment Foster Care, Residentially Based Services, Transitional Shelter Care, and Short Term Residential Therapeutic Programs. As Chief Program Officer at Five Acres, Ms. Gonzalez provides leadership to the Residential and Permanency Divisions. Back to top.
Rachel McClements, Psy.D. | Chief Operating Officer
Dr. Rachel McClements serves as Chief Operating Officer at Five Acres and is responsible and accountable for the administration, coordination, development, and implementation of all agency operational activities. As a result-oriented executive, she provides the leadership, management, and vision necessary to ensure each department is working towards achieving the agency’s strategic targets and objectives. Her constructive and energetic style provides effective, inspiring leadership that promotes a culture of high-performing teams who value learning and a commitment to quality. Rachel also serves as the Chief Clinical Officer and is responsible for the direction and management of the agency’s overall clinical and mental health service delivery, steering the organization in the development and maintenance of effective therapeutic practices. As a licensed clinical psychologist, she is an invited speaker to conferences and workshops throughout the United States. Dr. McClements received her B.Sc. in England and her M.A. and doctorate from Alliant University (formerly California School of Professional Psychology). Back to top.
Susan McGuirl | Board Chair
Sue became Board Chair for Five Acres in 2020. She began volunteering at various Five Acres charity events over a decade ago and became a member of the Program Committee. Sue joined the Board in 2014 and has served as Sponsorship Chair for the 2014 and 2015 Five Acres Annual Galas. Most recently Sue serves on the Nominating Committee. She is very passionate about Five Acres and the services they provide to promote permanency, safety, and wellbeing for children and families.
Sue is the Chief Marketing Officer for Hub International, California. She joined HUB in September of 2019, having spent over 30 years working for insurance carriers, including Travelers and Allianz serving in various claims and underwriting leadership roles.
She is recognized as an expert in the entertainment and specialty insurance industry with a track record of growing the business and solving complex business problems. She has the skills and ability to build and maintain strong relationships with both internal and external business partners. She is passionate about recruiting, training, and developing high-performing employees and teams.
She is also an accomplished figure skating coach, leading championship synchronized teams at national and international levels.
Sue serves on the board of the Event Safety Alliance, a non-profit, membership-driven organization dedicated to promoting “life safety first” throughout all phases of event production and execution.
Sue is also a member of Pasadena Angel, a non-profit committed to helping forward-thinking innovators, creators, and entrepreneurs with the mentorship and funding to foster success.
Sue lives in Altadena, California with her husband Bob Musselman. Back to top.
Christianne Kerns | Former Board Chair and Vice Chair, Audit
Christianne Kerns is a partner in the firm of Hahn & Hahn LLP in Pasadena, California. Her legal practice focuses primarily in the areas of real estate, finance and general business matters. Her experience includes significant work with non-profit boards and a governmental agency, including Five Acres, Villa Esperanza and Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. Her legal expertise extends to a wide variety of real estate and commercial transactions; commercial and asset-based financing and restructures; partnerships and limited liability companies including disputes and buy-outs among equity holders; myriad commercial contracts; board governance matters; and property tax change in ownership and change in control rules. Among other clients, she is counsel to the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, and in that capacity has negotiated contracts with the College Football Playoff and its predecessor, the Bowl Championship Series, and ESPN. Chris is a graduate of the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. She lives in Pasadena with her husband Charlie; they have two adult children. Back to top.
Shoshana Puccia | Board Secretary
Shoshana Puccia is a seasoned executive with over two decades of marketing and tourism experience. Her extensive background includes marketing positions at the renowned Santa Monica Place, Glendale Galleria, Beverly Center, Universal Studios Hollywood and the J. Paul Getty Museum. Puccia’s diverse background also includes overseeing the marketing for Child S.H.A.R.E., a non-profit agency that finds homes for abused and at-risk children.
She is a principle at Roseworks Marketing and Le Bridge LLC where they work with High Profile tourism-driven business and cultural institutions. As Senior Marketing Director for Santa Monica Place, Puccia was trendsetter who led the on-site marketing team to develop innovative marketing and tourism strategies. Puccia was instrumental in Santa Monica Place, a one-of-a-kind, luxury beach-side center, receiving the China-Ready Designation from the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. She was recognized for her tourism expertise and initiatives by the California Travel Association who selected Santa Monica Place as the winner of the 2016 Retailer of the Year award. Puccia has won numerous marketing awards including the MAXI – the International Council of Shopping Center’s top marketing award as well as nine Macerich WOW awards. Los Angeles Magazine appointed Puccia to sit on the 2016 L.A. Woman Selection Committee.
Puccia is involved in the Pasadena community and has served on the executive Santa Monica Travel and Tourism planning committee for the international One Travel Conference and on the Corporate Partnership Committee for the Santa Monica, Malibu Education Foundation. Puccia’s past community memberships include a Board of Directors position for Los Angeles’ Latino Heritage Month, chairperson of the City of Covina Arts Commission and a Board of Director role for BookEnds, a non-profit literacy program. Back to top.
Chris Selak | Vice Chair, Advancement
As Executive Vice President and Head of Worldwide Scripted Television, Chris Selak oversees creative development and programming for all Lionsgate scripted television projects and is part of the Lionsgate Television Group leadership team. Ms. Selak has built on Lionsgate’s legacy series like Mad Men (AMC), Nurse Jackie (Showtime) and Weeds (Showtime) with ground-breaking shows like Orange is the New Black (Netflix), Nashville (CMT/Hulu), The Royals (E!), Step Up: High Water (YouTube Red) and Dear White People (Netflix). She continues to expand scripted programming with upcoming shows like The Rook (Starz) and Kingkiller Chronicle (Showtime).
Ms. Selak spearheads the Lionsgate Television Group’s collaboration with the Lionsgate UK television business, led by UK CEO Zygi Kamasa and UK Television Creative Director Steve November. Before joining Lionsgate in 2011, Ms. Selak served as SVP at John Wells Productions, where she worked on shows including ER, The West Wing, Shameless, and Southland. Prior to that, Ms. Selak was VP at Mandalay Television, a Peter Guber Company, serving as a producer on the Showtime series Rude Awakening. She also oversaw the development and production of the ABC series Cupid and The WB’s Young Americans. Back to top.
Grace Russak | Vice Chair, Nominating
Grace Russak is a Senior Director who works with a clientele of very high net worth individuals, families, foundations and not-for profits.Over more than 25 years, she has built a practice focused on bringing carefully tailored solutions to her clients’ investment, trusts and estates and strategic philanthropy concerns and needs. Prior to joining the firm in 2012, Grace spent over 15 years in senior management and client relationship roles at a private trust company. She also has extensive experience in the international art auction industry, including serving as the Regional Manager for the Western US for Sotheby’s, as well as their Global Head of Latin American business and operations. Grace received an A.B. in History from Smith College and an M.B.A in Strategy from the Claremont Graduate University.She is a graduate of the Cannon Trust School and holds the CTFA and TEP designations. Grace is a member of the Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and San Gabriel Valley Estate Planning Councils of STEP and is on the board of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Council of Gift Planning as well as the Pasadena Literary Alliance. She frequently speaks on topics related to wealth management and philanthropy and topics relating to women. Grace was born and raised abroad and is fluent in both Spanish and French. Back to top.
Jason Melillo | Vice Chair, Finance/Investment
Jason Melillo, CPA is a Principal of KROST. Jason is involved in all aspects of the firm’s Assurance & Advisory practice, as well as accounting and tax. His areas of expertise range from the grocery and foodservice industries to technology and business consulting. Jason is a frequent lecturer to large organizations such as the California Society of CPAs, American Institute of CPAs, and the California Restaurant Association. He has given many seminars on cost segregation and restaurant matters to CPAs, attorneys, and industry professionals.
Prior to joining KROST, Jason served the grocery industry in various capacities for over 10 years. As both an advisor and a member of the industry, Jason provided valuable expertise in accounting matters specific to the grocery industry as well as general accounting concerns. In addition to his professional dedication, Jason is also passionate about serving his community. As an active member of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association for over 25 years and through his commitment to promoting the success of local businesses, Jason is constantly working to better serve the greater Pasadena area. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Economics with an Emphasis in Finance from the University of Southern California. Back to top.
Kirsten Hansen | Vice Chair, Administration
Kirsten Hansen received her undergraduate degree in English at Loma Linda University and received her J.D. from Glendale University College of Law. She was the Director of Legal Affairs at EarthLink Network, Inc. and was Practice Development Manager at O’Melveny & Myers LLP where her focus was on labor & employment and healthcare in the Los Angeles office. Kirsten is a co-founder of Dot Luxury (.Luxury), an Internet generic top-level domain which was launched in 2014. She is actively involved with the Angeleno Gold Chapter of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and serves on the Huntington Library Overseers Marketing and Education Committees and the Geffen Theatre Advisory Board. She is a lifetime member of the Guild Board of the larger Foundation Board of Glendale Adventist Medical Center. Committee. Back to top.
Chantal Bennett was born and raised in Pasadena. She attended UC Berkeley and obtained a bachelors degree in Economics with a minor in Education. After college Chantal worked as a project manager for a large commercial sub contractor, Berger Bros. Inc. Chantal’s husband Stephen was transferred to England in 1998 where they started their family. Chantal spend about four years in England before they moved back to Pasadena and continued to grow their family. She has five children, Charlie, Gabriela, Lauren, Katie, and John. Chantal is very active in a number of local philanthropies, including but not limited to Five Acres, Children’s hospital, and Art Center. She is also very involved in her children’s school, serving on the board at Mayfield Jr School, room parent, running benefit for Flintridge Prep, and other odd volunteer positions. In her spare time she loves spending time with her family, most sports, and taking care of the chickens, dogs, and garden. Back to top.
Mimi Carter is an entrepreneur and investor in early-stage companies. She is a partner at Carterus Strategies and director of the Pasadena Angels, named one of the top 10 angel investing groups in the US by Forbes Magazine. Mimi serves on the advisory board for Mayor Eric Garcetti’s WiSTEM program, an initiative to lead the nation in developing and sustaining a robust pipeline of women in STEM. She is a strategic advisor for Women Founder’s Foundation, an organization providing access to capital, visibility, and mentorship for female founders. Mimi is also a board member of Innovate Pasadena, a collaborative partnership between Caltech, business and community leaders to advance greater Pasadena as a center for technology and design innovation.
In the last 10 years, Mimi has been an active community volunteer and leader, a committee member for LA County Science Fair, a former Science Olympiad coach, and a supporter and funder of STEM education for kids in underserved communities. Mimi has also volunteered extensively with local families and children’s services organizations, finding a perfect home with Five Acres, where she is co-president of Five Acres Children’s Guild as well as a member of the Nash Scholarship Committee and the 2020 Gala Co-Chair. She lives in Altadena with her physicist husband and two daughters. Back to top.
Carol Alexis Chen
Carol Alexis Chen, an award-winning former career federal prosecutor in the United States Department of Justice, is a partner and trial lawyer in Winston & Strawn LLP’s Los Angeles office. She represents public and private companies, corporate officers, entrepreneurs, and other individuals in high-stakes white collar criminal and complex civil litigation. In addition, Carol responds to government inquiries and conducts internal investigations for her clients and counsels them on the development, implementation, and enhancement of compliance and remediation programs. She has particular expertise with respect to anti-money laundering, trade and export control, and health care laws and regulations, the False Claims Act and related qui tam provisions, and matters involving business torts, fraud, and RICO as well as Fintech, blockchain technology, and cryptocurrency.
Prior to joining Winston & Strawn in 2021, Carol served as an Assistant United States Attorney with the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles for over 15 years in both the Civil and Criminal Divisions and in various supervisory roles, most recently as the first female Chief in office history of the International Narcotics, Money Laundering, and Racketeering Section and the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Section. She also created and chaired various high-profile initiatives, task forces, and working groups, led community and law enforcement outreach efforts, and trained law enforcement and prosecutors including on building complex investigations and courtroom and trial advocacy.
Carol is heavily involved in community, pro bono, and non-profit board service and various professional associations, and serves as a mentor for Yale Law Women, Asian Pacific Asian Women Lawyers Alliance, Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association, and The Mentorship Boardroom, the latter for which she mentors young lawyers in South Africa through virtual meetings. Carol previously served as a mentor to underrepresented young adults through Just the Beginning – A Pipeline Organization and also taught fifth-graders about the criminal justice system and conflict resolution for several years as an instructor for Project Lead. She currently teaches Pretrial Advocacy at USC Gould Law School.
Carol earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science, summa cum laude, from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School. Upon graduation, she clerked for the (Late) Honorable Pamela Ann Rymer on the Ninth Circuit in Pasadena, California, and for the (Retired) Honorable Lourdes G. Baird, then a District Judge for the Central District of California. Back to top.
Andrew Crowell serves as Vice Chairman of Wealth Management, D.A. Davidson & Co. He has been a director of D.A. Davidson Companies since the 2013 merger of D.A. Davidson and Crowell Weedon. Prior to his financial services career, which began in 1995 with Crowell Weedon, Mr. Crowell was associated with Russ Reid Company, an advertising agency serving nonprofit organizations. He serves on the North American Advisory Board of the London School of Economics and Political Science and the board of the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles. He is also a board member of Five Acres Children’s Aid Society in Altadena, California. In addition, he is a member of the Sunset Club, California Club, Valley Hunt Club, California Vintage Wine Society, San Gabriel Valley Chapter of Y.P.O., and serves on several investment committees in his community. A native Californian, Mr. Crowell graduated from Stanford University and earned a postgraduate degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has a son, Thomas, and daughter, Christine, and resides in Arcadia, California. Back to top.
Dennis M. Duran
Dennis Duran is the Vice President of IT Infrastructure and Information Security for SCAN Health Plan. He has worked in the Information Technology field for over 25 years throughout the U.S. and internationally across varying industries and sectors. Along with multiple technical certifications, he earned his MBA from Pennsylvania State University and BS in Management from Pepperdine University.
He is a member of the CSULB Computer Engineering and Science Advisory Board; Committee Member of RAMPS Cybersecurity Grant Proposal Team assembled by the Long Beach Mayor’s Office; Contributor to developing cybersecurity educational programs; and Volunteer spending time educating Senior Citizens on technology, cybersecurity, and how to avoid identity theft.
In 2018, Dennis and his wife Lori became foster parents through Five Acres to their two children whose adoption is in the process of being finalized. They live in Pasadena with their Siberian Husky, Drago. Back to top.
Bisi Ezeolu is a partner in the law firm of Tucker Ellis LLP. His legal practice focuses on representing and advising companies and their executives on a broad range of employment law issues involving alleged discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, wage-and-hour violations, and protection of trade secrets. He is also experienced in complex commercial litigation and regulatory matters.
Bisi earned his undergraduate degree from Tufts University and his law degree from Case Western Reserve University. He devotes a significant amount of time to serving the community. He has provided pro bono services for the California Association of Food Banks, homeowners in financial trouble, and formerly served on the board of directors for Kids Included Together, a non-profit organization committed to including children with disabilities into recreational, child development, and youth development programs. He is a board member of Pasadena Fire Foundation, and, most recently, joined Five Acres board of directors after having served on its Human Resources Committee.
Bisi and his wife, Marisa, live in Altadena with their three children. Back to top.
Kelley Bannon Lashley
Kelley Bannon Lashley is the founder of Deka Law Group. She is certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law. Her practice areas include estate and business succession planning, trust administration, probate, conservatorship and guardianship law, as well as nonprofit advising and mediation. Kelley worked alongside her grandfather, Robert D. Bannon, and eventually took over his successful estate planning practice that served Pasadena and the greater Los Angeles area for more than 50 years. Over the past 10 years, Kelley has expanded the firm’s practice into Ventura County where Deka now serves clients in its Westlake Village office. Having started her career in San Luis Obispo County, Kelley serves clients all over California. In 2019, she received the Five Acres Person of the Year Award. Back to top.
Attorney Celeste Liversidge has been practicing exclusively in the field of adoption law since 2001. She is a fellow of both the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and the Academy of California Adoption Lawyers and a member of the National Association of Counsel for Children, Christian Adoption Legal Services, National Council For Adoption and the North American Council on Adoptable Children. Celeste earned her law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law and her undergraduate degree from Westmont College. She has served on numerous boards and as an adjunct professor at Pepperdine School of Law. Celeste is a frequent guest lecturer and speaker on a variety of adoption-related issues. Back to top.
Lance Polverini, CFA®
Lance Polverini, a chartered financial analyst, is a senior vice president, private wealth relationship manager with Merrill Private Wealth Management with a demonstrated history of working in the financial services industry. Skilled in equity and fixed income research, portfolio management, hedge funds, private equity, and asset allocation, Lance brings a wealth of knowledge to his position and clients. He is currently a partner on the Gray Team at Merrill Private Wealth Management/Bank of America, formerly the Private Banking and Investment Group.
Having known Five Acres for much of his life, Lance has always considered the agency to be one of the most important features of the city. Lance brings empathy, an understanding of well-being, and a strengths-based approach to his volunteerism. He serves on the finance committee at Mayfield Senior School and on the finance council at St. Andrews Catholic Church. Lance is a board advisor of the Pasadena Police Activities League and, most recently, joined the Five Acres board of directors.
Lance has a master’s degree focused on Global Politics from London School of Economics and Political Science and a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from the University of California, Berkeley. Born and raised in Pasadena, Lance is married to Amy Polverini and have two children, CJ and Matthew. They are members of the Annandale Golf Club and the Valley Hunt Club in Pasadena. Back to top.
John Reitnouer is a Senior Vice President, Financial Advisor and Portfolio Manager with D.A. Davidson & Company in Los Angeles, where he is a member of the Chairman’s Council. He has 31-years of experience in the investment industry assisting individuals, fiduciaries and families. He has been a branch manager in Los Angeles for Crowell, Weedon & Co. and D.A. Davidson, and has held product management positions in his career. John has a MBA from the University of Southern California, and a BS from the University of Colorado.
He has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations including Monte Vista Grove Homes, Scripps Home, and the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association where he currently is a member of the Asset Guidance Committee. John is a past-president of the USC Commerce Associates and Business Alumni Association. John and his wife Susan live in Pasadena, and have two grown children. Back to top.
Nicole Rodger is an attorney at White & Case LLP, a premiere international law firm, where she represents major commercial banks, investment banks, and private equity funds in connection with a variety of complex and often cross-border lending transactions; she is also experienced in mergers and acquisitions and general corporate advisory. Her global pro bono practice has included representation of organizations serving marginalized children and women around the world. Locally she has represented families finalizing their adoptions of children out of foster care to create “forever families.” She has also served in leadership with the All Saints Foster Care Project for several years. Nicole received her law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law where she was the Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. When she isn’t working, Nicole loves to travel and spend time with her husband Bob and their two-year old daughter, Maisie. The Rodgers live in Pasadena. Nicole serves on the Five Acres Finance Committee and the Gala Committee. Back to top.
Erica is a 15-year Wells Fargo veteran, and as the Pasadena district manager, she manages more than 200 team members at 12 banking stores in the communities of Pasadena, La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta, Montrose and San Gabriel. Prior to this role, Erica served as vice president and Wells Fargo at Work director for Southern California with a territory spanning from the Calexico board to Palm Springs, and 14 regional representatives directly reporting to her. She assumed the Wells Fargo at Work role in 2012 and served as a liaison between retail and key business partners, identifying market trends and opportunities. Erica has also worked in banking locations, where she specialized in managing the complex financial service needs of Premier Business Banking customers.
Holding a Bachelors of Science from California State University Fullerton, Erica is a sought-after public speaker and has conducted countless financial education classes across Southern California. She also served on the board of directors for the Whole Child, one of the oldest private nonprofit mental health contractors in Los Angeles County, with a mission to restore at-risk children’s emotional health. She resides in Los Angeles with her three children, including daughter Mya and sons Brayden and Cruz and is an active board member for the Pasadena Education Foundation and Five Acres. Back to top.
Zoe Walrond comes to the Five Acres board with a long background in broadcast journalism. She was a television reporter and anchor for NBC affiliates in Denver and Kansas City, Missouri, and the CBS affiliate in Colorado Springs. She also served as news director of National Public Radio affiliate KCUR-FM in Kansas City, as Morning Edition anchor on NPR affiliate KPCC-FM in Pasadena, and as a contributing reporter for NPR. In addition, Zoe was a news anchor on all-news radio station KFWB in Los Angeles.
As an adjunct professor at Cal Poly Humboldt, formerly known as Humboldt State, she taught journalism and radio production and was faculty advisor to the university’s award-winning student radio station.
Zoe has two adult children, two grandchildren and lives with her husband who is also a long-time journalist, in Pasadena. She is an avid reader whose interests also include interior design and painting abstract canvases, talent be damned. Back to top.