INTRODUCING OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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Robert Pullen-Miles

President/Chair

 

Mr. Pullen-Miles joined the CYS Board of Directors in March 2019. He serves as the Board Chair and as a member of the Executive Committee.

   As current Mayor of the City of Lawndale, and a former Lawndale city councilmember, Mr. Pullen-Miles has strenuously advocated to improve the quality of life for residents and to support legislation and policy that protect the interests of families. Mr. Pullen-Miles’ interests in education, vocational and green-job training, and preservation of student aid programs align closely with the CYS mission and his service on the Board of Directors.

   Prior to being elected to the Lawndale City Council, Mr. Pullen-Miles held a variety of positions as district representative and aide to four members of the California Legislature. He is currently the district director for Assemblywoman Autumn Burke. He is also a former Chairperson of the Lawndale Planning Commission, and a former L.A. County Reserve Probation Deputy.

   As a one-time emergency medical technician, Mr. Pullen-Miles has a deep and abiding concern for public safety and for evidence-based programs that provide youth with powerful and positive influences and opportunities.

To contact Robert, please click here.

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Olivia Valentine

Vice President

 

Ms. Valentine became a member of the CYS Board of Directors in January 2013, and as part of her Board duties serves on the Executive Committee and is the Board Vice Chair. She is Mayor Pro Tempore and City Council Member for the City of Hawthorne and an adjunct professor at California State University, Dominguez Hills, teaching Administrative Law.

   A retired attorney, Ms. Valentine brings decades of legal experience to the table having worked in contract law, arbitration and mediation, as well as extensive knowledge of legislative and policy issues as an elected official.

   Tireless and creative in her efforts to bring economic prosperity as well as safety issues to the forefront for the City of Hawthorne, she has served on the Planning Commission, founded the Economic Development Council, initiated the Taste of Hawthorne food and jazz festival, and as a member of the Holly Park Homeowners Association founded the Juneteenth Pancake Breakfast to benefit scholarships for high school seniors.

   A recipient of the 25th Senate District’s Woman of Distinction Award, Ms. Valentine devotes her vast experience and leadership to serving her community.

To contact Olivia, please click here.

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Bernadette Suarez

Secretary/Treasurer

 

Ms. Suarez has served on the CYS Board of Directors since May of 2016. She currently serves as Board Treasurer and Secretary and serves on both the CYS Finance Committee and the CYS Executive Committee.

   Mayor Pro Tempore and City Council Woman for the City of Lawndale, Ms. Suarez is a public official who is dedicated to her community and invested in ensuring the prosperity of current and future generations. Ms. Suarez won her first election for City Clerk of Lawndale at the age of 23, joining the ranks of some of the youngest elected official in the state of California; she went on to become the first Chicana/Latina and the youngest member to ever serve on the Lawndale City Council when appointed to her first council seat.

   She currently serves as Board of Director for the South Bay Cities Council of Government and has previously served on the El Agua Es Asuntos de Todos Advisory Board, and as a delegate for the League of California Cities LA Division.

   She believes in creating change to support youth in achieving their goals and brings a passion to serve with her to CYS.

To contact Bernadette, please click here.

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Winona Dorris

 

Ms. Dorris joined the CYS Board of Directors in October 2019 and chairs the CYS Finance Committee.

   Ms. Dorris brings an abundance of experience in financial management, including building and managing finance teams and the management of philanthropic funds. She currently serves as Chief Financial Officer at Liberty Hill Foundation, a national leader in social justice advancing change through grants, leadership training and alliance building.

   Past work includes VP of Finance at XPRIZE Foundation managing philanthropic funds globally, and taxation and budgeting at Aptium Oncology, a division of AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals.

   Raised in Los Angeles and experiencing racial inequities firsthand, Ms. Dorris is passionate in her advocacy for fair and just treatment for disenfranchised communities.

To contact Winona, please click here.

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Michael Douglass

 

Mr. Douglass joined the CYS Board of Directors in May 2019, bringing with him extensive legal experience and strategic organizational thinking as well as a commitment to community service and involvement.

   As part of his CYS Board duties, Mr. Douglass supports CYS with review of legal documents and contracts. A partner specializing in the area of general liability as well as professional, employment and municipal liability matters at the national law firm Lydecker Diaz, Mr. Douglass is also involved with the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, the California Lawyers Association, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

   Growing up in Brooklyn, Mr. Douglass faced many of the roadblocks and hurdles that, even today, are still plaguing youths in Los Angeles communities. Having had those experiences, Mr. Douglass is proud to assist CYS in its mission of providing alternative paths for young people before they are irretrievably lost to the criminal justice system.

To contact Michael, please click here.

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Dr. Mark Henderson

 

Dr. Henderson has served on the CYS Board of Directors since May 2015. As part of his CYS Board duties, Dr. Henderson serves as the organization’s liaison to the cities that partner with CYS to provide youth services.

   He currently serves as Mayor Pro Tempore and Council Member of the City of Gardena, and was previously appointed to and chaired the city’s Planning and Environmental Quality Commission, served as a member of the Rent Mediation Board, and was a community leader within the Gardena Environmental Justice Committee. In each of these efforts Dr. Henderson worked to build alliances, collaborating with a variety of stakeholders to produce fair and equitable solutions and to improve the environment within the communities he’s served.

   In his first term as Council Member of the City of Gardena, Dr. Henderson served as the city’s delegate to Centinela Youth Services, and continues in his role as Board Member to develop and support program opportunities for our community youth through his staunch advocacy for youth and families.

To contact Mark, please click here.

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Danielle Sevilla

 

Ms. Sevilla became a CYS Board member in 2021 and is a member of the CYS Communications & Fundraising Committee.

   An experienced communicator dedicated to working on projects

that improve quality of life in her community, Ms. Sevilla is Vice President of Murakawa Communications, a strategic communications and public affairs firm specializing in public infrastructure projects. She has worked in HIV prevention and needle exchange/harm reduction, is on the boards of Raices y Semillas: Opciones Educativas and the SGV 4-H Fair, volunteers with the Palos Verdes Peninsula 4-H, and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America.

   A South Bay native, Ms. Sevilla was raised in the communities served by CYS and was a system-impacted youth, and as such she is dedicated to working towards human dignity and equitable treatment for system-impacted youth and families.

To contact Danielle, please click here.