With a M.S. in Education, Marty Giffin, Ph.D., taught school from 1972 thought 1977. He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 1982 and holds an active license in the State of California as a clinical psychologist. Dr. Giffin has worked in the mental health field for over thirty-five years. Over these years, he has served in the role of clinician, supervisor, administrator, and executive administrator. Marty is the board president for both the California Mental Health Advocates for Children and Youth (CMHACY), and for the Family and Youth Round Table (FYRT). For five years Marty worked for the Federal Government (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - SAMHSA) as the Principal Investigator over a large five year grant that advanced the Children’s System of Care in Five Different California counties. Since the mid-eighties, Marty has been a leader at the county, state, and federal levels in the development of the Children’s System of Care. Currently, Marty serves as the Senior Vice President of Southern California Operations for Anka Behavioral Health. Marty is also the parent of a special needs young adult.
Dr. Steven Elson has been the chief executive officer of Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families since 1994. Prior to coming to Casa Pacifica, Dr. Elson served as executive director of The Sycamores in Pasadena, California. Under his leadership, Casa Pacifica has grown dramatically and now serves more than 4,500 children and their families each year through 17 programs in Ventura and Santa Barbra counties. Steve has encouraged innovation and excellence in all programs and Casa Pacifica has received state and national recognition. Steve received his doctorate in counseling psychology from Michigan State University. He has been active in public policy efforts benefiting children in foster care and other public service systems. He has served on the CMHACY Board for over two decades including President of the Board and is the current treasurer. Steve has also served as President of the following national and state organizations: California Coalition for Mental Health, California Council of Community Behavioral Heath Agencies, California Alliance of Child & Family Services, and the American Association of Children's Residential Centers.
Michael Schertell has been a CMHACY Board member for four years. He is one of three representatives of the county behavioral health departments and has virtually no sense of humor. He is old and will likely be replaced in the near future by a newer model.
Paul Sorbo, LCSW is currently the Deputy Director, Child/Youth Services, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, San Mateo County. He has worked in children’s mental health services in San Mateo County for 24 years and previously in a nonprofit children’s mental health agency for 13 years. He is a founding member of the T2 - Trauma Transformed Bay Area Regional Center dedicated to promoting a trauma-informed system of care. He has been attending the CMHACY Conference for over 25 years and most recently presented a workshop on Trauma-Informed Leadership in the 2016 Conference. He has been a CMHACY Board Member since 2008. He is married with two sons and has enjoyed the recent birth of his first grandson.
Michael Lombardo is the Executive Director of Prevention Services and Supports for the Placer County Office of Education. In this position he provides leadership in early prevention, student wellness, social emotional support for students, breaking down barriers to education, collaborative strategy development and family/youth involvement, locally and throughout California. In this capacity he is also the Director for Placer County Foster Youth Services as well as being a member of the State Student Attendance Review Board. He has worked extensively in the development of family and youth involvement in his region. Michael has a diverse professional background having been a Managing Deputy Probation Officer, Assistant Director of a Juvenile Detention Facility, Assistant Director of Placer County Children Systems of Care and currently a Director at Placer County Office of Education, Educational Services Division. A large part of his current role is to coordinate and collaborate with agency and local partners the integration of Multi-Tier Systems of Support for social and emotional wellness. He is currently working to integrate the Positive Behavior and Support (PBIS) Program into the Placer County Juvenile Detention Facility as well as training PBIS throughout Northern California. Michael is a Regional Coordinator and Trainer for Positive Behavior Supports and Intervention as well as a trained instructor for the associated School-Wide Information System (SWIS). Michael is currently directing the implementation of PBIS in over 100 school sites throughout Northern California. In his area of expertise, he has presented nationally and throughout California for the Juvenile Justice, Mental Health and Child Welfare Systems. He obtained an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice and holds a Masters Degree in Organizational Management.
Dr. Peter Zucker is the co-founder and recent President & CEO of Stars Behavioral Health Group, which provides mental health, education, child welfare and professional training services across the state of California, serving over 20,000 children and adults each year. He has a special interest in developing, opening, and guiding clinical programs across the continuum of care. His other professional interests are in team and staff development, organization culture, positive youth development, transition aged youth, and technology implementation in behavioral health. He has been attending CMHACY Conferences for over 20 years, presenting on clinical and program themes at several. He is new to the CMHACY Board, and is excited to serve as an officer of the Board as well as secretary. He is married with two sons in university and high school, with one son having special needs. He has a keen interest in fitness and wellness activities, including bicycling, skiing, travel, and cooking with his wife and friends.
Calla Peltier-Olson, is a community organizer, national trainer, and peer support leader. Growing up in McKinleyville California, her experiences of poverty, mental health struggles, sexualized violence, and homophobia/transphobia inform her lived experience. A former Youth Advisory Board Member for the Humboldt County Transition Age Youth Collaboration (HCTAYC) she currently serves the program as a Youth Organizer, working tirelessly to support other youth with lived experience to transform systems, guide initiatives, and train at local, state, and national levels.
Dr. Laura Heintz brings over 25 years of residential and community based children’s mental health and social work service experience along with a passion for serving her community to her role as CEO of Stanford Youth Solutions, formerly known as Stanford Home for Children. The organization was founded as an orphanage in 1900. Stanford has a rich legacy that has transformed over the years into a completely community based organization serving youth referred through schools, child welfare, probation and mental health. Family and youth voice drive the work of the organization. It is so important that there is a Family and Youth Partnership Department and an Empowerment Training program. Dr. Heintz holds a Doctorate in Psychology from the Professional School of Psychology; a Master’s degree in Holistic Studies from John F. Kennedy University and a double BA in Human Development and Psychology from the University of the Pacific.
Jonathan Byers has spent the last 20 years in the field of public child welfare. Much of that time has been spent in partnership with wonderful people from other child and family serving systems working to better meet the mental health and permanency needs of foster children. He is currently the Assistant Director for Children and Family Services in San Bernardino County. And he still has much to learn from the children and families who experience these systems.