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Board of Directors

Executive Officers

  • Michael Federico- Board President
    Michael Federico- Board President

    Michael Federico has over 25 years of law enforcement experience in Southern California. He is currently a Police Lieutenant. He holds a bachelor's degree in Vocational Education from Cal State Long Beach with an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice from Ventura College. Mike has a beautiful 21-year-old daughter, Cameo, who has Down syndrome. He has been very active in the special needs community for over 20 years. Cameo and Mike also owned and operated a family Italian Restaurant in Southern California; they created a very fun place for families, which included a work program for the special needs community.

  • Tammy Porter- Vice President
    Tammy Porter- Vice President

    Tammy Porter is a digital marketing professional living in Los Angeles, California. She has over 15 years of experience elevating brands and ensuring their success online. With extensive experience in business development, strategic planning, brand management, and experiential marketing, Tammy also spent over a decade as a celebrity and entertainment event planner in Hollywood. When not busy fulfilling her role as Digital Marketing Director for GoDaddy, Tammy enjoys travel, scuba diving, writing, public speaking, and advocating for two of her philanthropic passions: male breast cancer awareness and the disability community. Tammy’s profound experience growing up with an uncle who had Down syndrome ignited her passion for promoting inclusion and awareness for individuals with Down syndrome and their families. She is proud to partner with DSALA and serves on the Board.

  • Wayne Geffen- Chief Financial Officer
    Wayne Geffen- Chief Financial Officer

    Wayne Geffen began his career in accounting for corporate entities as an Accounting Manager and Senior Accountant. In 1984 he became Vice President and Controller for a multi-unit retailer. Wayne has held Vice President and Controller positions since 1984. In 2010 Wayne started his Consulting Firm, assisting existing and start-up businesses by providing strategic financial and operation guidance. In 2012, Wayne was hired as Vice President of Finance for a large international grocery company chain with several high-volume stores in Los Angeles.

Board Members

  • Andrea Friedman
    Andrea Friedman

    Actress/Self Advocate
    Andrea Fay Friedman portrayed Amanda, the girlfriend of the character Charles "Corky" Thacher, on the TV show Life Goes On for two seasons. Friedman also had main roles in various shows such as Law and Order, SVU, and Family Guy. Andrea has been working at a law firm, in the accounting department, for 25 years. She also occasionally works as an assistant teacher for the Pathway program at UCLA, where she helps teach students how to live independently.

  • Yesenia Holwager
    Yesenia Holwager

    Yesenia is a native of Los Angeles County and has been involved in law enforcement for over 30 years. She’s currently a Deputy Sheriff. She takes pride in serving the community, and she loves being an advocate for her older brother, Buddy, who has Down Syndrome. They spend a lot of time together creating Down Syndrome awareness by sharing his smile and laughter on social media. She’s honored to be selected as a Board Member. She looks forward to advocating with the DSALA and making a difference in the Down Syndrome community.

  • Eden Rapp
    Eden Rapp

    Self Advocate
    Eden Rapp is an active 21-year-old with many passions. She loves the stage and has performed with the Junior Born to Act Players, in school productions, and with the local children’s theater. Eden expresses her love for music by playing the piano and performing with Musical Connection through Inclusion.

  • Heather Sanford
    Heather Sanford

    Heather Sanford is an Operations Manager in the healthcare industry, specifically in Medical Benefits Administration. Heather’s career focuses on effective team building, training, process improvement, staff development, and drafting manuals, policies & procedures. She has over 20 years of experience in her field but considers her most important job to be the mom and advocate of a toddler with Down Syndrome.

Past Presidents

Jimi Vaughn
Colleen Bellitti
Gina Vivona
Lynne Shulim
Tom Von Der Ahe, Jr.
Michael Muchin
Darryl Mikuni
Stephanny Freeman, Ph.D.
Theodore Feit, M.D.
Sandra Finch
Joseph Hart
Susan Rackerby
Kathryn Heukrodt
Michelle Shaw
Nancy Hall
Marlyse de Laat
Deborah Bogen
Sandra Thlick

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