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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 serve 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 own 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 store in Los Angeles.

  • Claudia Hernandez, Secretary
    Claudia Hernandez, Secretary

    Claudia Hernandez is an Early Start Service Coordinator at Westside Regional Center. She holds a B.S. Degree in Child Development from California State University, Dominguez Hills and a M.A. Degree in Child Development from California State University, Los Angeles. Claudia has a special connection with DSALA and is involved in many ways as she has a sister with Down syndrome. Claudia is currently serving as Vice President of the board of directors of DSALA. She is Programs Committee Chair and helps run the Teen/Young Adult Social Club. Claudia has helped lead parent support groups in the past and is a point of contact for volunteers. You may find Claudia at many of our events sharing her experiences with families or assisting with outreach and in-service presentations for different organizations.

Board Members

  • Jim Bright
    Jim Bright

    Jim has over 20 years of experience in business management, program management and loss control. As a Senior Consultant with a commercial insurance provider, Jim is involved with global customers in his capacity as Portfolio Executive. He is active in risk analysis for multiple industries and as a contributing member of the Strategic Risk Management Services team. Jim’s prior experience in includes Program Management for an aircraft controls company, Marketing Management for electronic systems and Systems Engineering for high speed data acquisition systems.

  • 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 in UCLA, where she helps teach students how to live independently.

Honorary Board Members

  • Robert Cruz
    Robert Cruz

    Registered Nurse
    Robert Cruz joined the board of directors in 2015. Robert has an eleven-year-old sister with Down syndrome, DSALA has been a part of his life since she was born. DSALA has played a crucial role in Robert’s family, having provided support, information and amazing programs that have helped with his sister’s development. Having grown close with the DS community and DSALA throughout the years, it was a natural progression for Robert to join the board and bring fresh perspective to the organization. Robert is currently serving as a Sibling Advocate and is Chairman for World Down Syndrome Day and the 21+ event. When not volunteering his time as a board member, Robert is busy as a Registered Nurse, providing home health care to various families throughout the San Fernando Valley.

  • Yolanda Fuentes Miranda
    Yolanda Fuentes Miranda

    Charter High School Executive Administrator
    Yolanda Fuentes Miranda has been a Cardenas family friend for over 15 years and is an alumnus of San Fernando High School, one of our current eligible high schools. She holds a B.A in Spanish from California State University, Northridge. She has worked with numerous non-profits from the same community such as San Fernando Valley Youth Foundation and Hispana Organized for Political Equality. Yolanda has a daughter with Down syndrome and resides with her family in the San Fernando Valley area.

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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