LOS ANGELES, Aug. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- First 5 LA today announced new department directors and a management structure designed to strengthen its ability to effectively execute its 2015-2020 Strategic Plan. This alignment of organizational structure to First 5 LA's work will enable the childhood advocacy and public grantmaking organization to become a higher performing, higher impact organization for children prenatal to age 5, their parents and caregivers.
"First 5 LA's new structure and staffing are aligned with our new Strategic Plan and the impact we seek for young children," said First 5 LA Executive Director Kim Belshé. "These newly defined departments and directors will better enable us to advance our goals and focus on those policies and resources that will yield the greatest benefits for kids in L.A. County."
First 5 LA's new strategic direction prioritizes those activities with the potential to impact the broadest range of children prenatal to age 5 across four interlinked focus areas – families, communities, early care and education, and health care delivery systems.
The new department and directors will report to the previously announced executive team that includes Kim Belshé as Executive Director, John Wagner as Executive Vice President, Christina Altmayer as Vice President of Programs, Kim Pattillo Brownson as Vice President of Policy and Strategy and Daniela Pineda as Vice President of Integration and Learning.
The new leadership structure is intended to increase First 5 LA's effectiveness as a public grantmaker and advocate on behalf of children prenatal to age 5 in L.A. County by establishing clear lines of authority, providing more effective support to directors, and enabling decisions to be made quickly.
Reporting directly to Executive Director Belshé, Rafael Gonzalez will now serve as Director of Community Relations. Gonzalez, previously Director of Best Start Communities, will be responsible for strengthening and supporting Best Start community relations; building local government and community partnerships; and supporting community leadership development by engaging parent and community members in program, systems and policy planning to benefit kids.
Policy & Strategy Division
The following department directors will serve in First 5 LA's Policy & Strategy Division, under the leadership of Vice President Kim Pattillo Brownson:
Jennifer Pippard, previously Director of Community Investments, will now serve as Director of the Strategic Partnerships Department. Pippard will be responsible for developing organization-wide partnerships that contribute to the advancement of First 5 LA's strategic plan outcomes. She will further develop First 5 LA's relationships with philanthropy, business, and educational institutions to advance First 5 LA's policy and systems change agenda.
Peter Barth will continue to serve as Director of the Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs. Barth will lead a team to inform public policy at the state and federal levels on behalf of children prenatal to 5 and their families. Barth will be responsible for building and maintaining strong relationships with elected officials, administrators, and opinion leaders at all levels of government, as well as organizations and institutions partnering with First 5 LA's ongoing policy work.
Gabriel Sanchez will continue to serve as Director of the Communications and Marketing. As the principal communications and marketing strategist for the organization, Sanchez will spearhead communications, media, social marketing, public education, advertising, digital and social media, sponsorships and related activities for First 5 LA's ongoing work to support young children and their parents across L.A. County.
The following department directors will serve in First 5 LA's Programs Division, under the leadership of Vice President Christina Altmayer:
Antoinette Andrews-Bush, previously Assistant Director of Best Start Communities, will now serve as Director of the Best Start Communities Department. Andrews will lead the organization's programs portfolio for the Communities Outcome area, and will be responsible for driving First 5 LA's communities policy and systems change agenda through the design, execution, management and monitoring of the Communities program and grants portfolio.
Katie Fallin, previously Assistant Director of Research & Evaluation, will now serve as Director of Early Care and Education. Fallin will drive First 5 LA's efforts on early childhood education (ECE) policy and systems change through the design, execution, management and monitoring of the ECE grants portfolio, including a focus on the Quality Rating & Improvement System, workforce development and access to quality ECE.
Barbara Andrade Dubransky, previously Director of Program Development, will now serve as Director of Families. Dubransky and her team will manage the Families grants and programs portfolio, and will serve as a critical thought leader on evidence-based practices and models of home visitation, parent engagement, and related strategies that increase family protective factors.
Tara Ficek, who previously served as Director of Grants Management, will now serve as Director of Health. She will be the organization's leader for the Health Outcome area of the Strategic Plan, and will manage the health grants and programs portfolio. Ficek also will serve as First 5 LA's thought leader on trauma-informed care and developmental screening, assessments and early intervention, and strategies that improve the service delivery system for children and their families.
Integration & Learning Division
The following directors will serve in First 5 LA's Integration & Learning Division, under the leadership of Vice President Daniela Pineda, Ph.D.:
Manuel Fierro, previously a Senior Program Officer in the Best Start Communities Department, will serve as the Director of the Integration and Learning Department. Fierro will be responsible for developing processes and tools to support the creation of First 5 LA's learning culture. He also will be responsible for the creation of continuous improvement processes, formal and informal knowledge-building practices and the learning framework for all programs and grants.
Armando Jimenez, previously the Director of the Research & Evaluation Department, will now serve as the Director of the Evaluation Center of Excellence Department. Jimenez will be the organization's leader for promoting and providing evaluation best practices, performance measurement methodologies, and robust data analysis to improve organizational effectiveness, program performance and impact.
The following department directors will serve in First 5 LA's Administration Division, under the leadership of Executive Vice President John Wagner:
Carl Gayden will continue to serve as Senior Director of Administration, overseeing First 5 LA's administrative functions, including contract compliance, finance, information technology, facilities and records management.
Jennifer Eckhart will continue to serve as the Director of Contract Compliance. Eckhart is responsible for procurement, compliance, project risk management and contracting for First 5 LA.
Raoul Ortega will continue to serve as the Director of Finance, where he is responsible for First 5 LA's financial accounting and reporting in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), payroll preparation and administration. Ortega also prepares the annual budget in consultation with the Senior Director of Administration and the Executive leadership team.
Daniel Su will serve as Interim Director of Information Technology pending the planned retirement of Roozbeh Hamouni, who currently serves as Director of Information Technology. The role is responsible for First 5 LA's IT infrastructure, data center, network, security and IT service desk.
Gala Collins will continue to serve as the Director of Human Resources, under the supervision of Executive Vice President Wagner. Collins is responsible for guiding and managing Human Resources services, policies, and programs for First 5 LA, including recruiting and staffing, performance management and improvement systems and employee services and counseling.
These appointments are effective immediately. Transition plans are currently being developed by the executive leadership team and the newly named department directors.
ABOUT FIRST 5 LA
First 5 LA is a leading early childhood advocacy and public grantmaking organization created by California voters to invest Proposition 10 tobacco tax revenues in Los Angeles County. In partnership with others, First 5 LA strengthens families, communities, and systems of services and supports so that all children in L.A. County enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and life. Please visit www.first5la.org for more information.
SOURCE First 5 LA