Board of Directors
Jimi Vaughn, President
Jimi Vaughn is an entertainment executive with a passion for diversity, access, and inclusion for all people. With TV credits that include The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, and Mike & Molly along with an M.A. in Human Resource Development; our current Board President spends much of his time ensuring that media programming represents all people, both on camera and behind the scenes. Jimi attributes his strong connection with the DSALA to the lasting impact that families and individuals with Down syndrome had on him while first volunteering at an event almost 5 years ago. Jimi says, “Serving this community was the most natural next step for me. When you let someone with Ds into your heart, you just know there’s no other option.”
Marisol Santiago, Vice President
Lynne Shulim, Chief Financial Officer
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Honorary Board Members
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
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.
Tom Von Der Ahe, Jr.
Stephanny Freeman, Ph.D.
Theodore Feit, M.D.
Marlyse de Laat