Contact Us

Finance and Operations

Home > About Us > Finance and Operations

Finance and Operations

The Finance and Operations Department supports the Foundation’s mission to improve the health of the people of California through the stewardship of all Foundation resources and services to staff, grantees, and philanthropic and nonprofit partners.


 

Margaret W. Minnich,
Chief Financial Officer

Margaret W. Minnich is chief operating and financial officer for The California Wellness Foundation, where she oversees all finance, information technology, grants management and administrative activities. She is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Foundation, and, working closely with the CEO, helps develop and implement the Foundation’s vision and strategies.

Full Biography

Margaret W. Minnich is chief operating and financial officer for The California Wellness Foundation, where she oversees all finance, information technology, grants management and administrative activities. She is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Foundation, and, working closely with the CEO, helps develop and implement the Foundation’s vision and strategies.

Minnich joined Cal Wellness in 1992 and has held the positions of director of finance and vice president of finance and administration. She was appointed chief operating officer in 2015. Before joining the Foundation, she worked as a manager at Micom, where she was responsible for manufacturing accounting, and later, financial reporting and budgeting. After leaving Micom, she was a self-employed accountant for nearly two years. She has also worked as a senior accountant with the public accounting firm of Ernst and Young in Los Angeles.

Minnich is a certified public accountant. She holds a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Southern California.

Contact

 
Follow Margaret on Twitter: @coo_calwellness


 

Arun Baheti,
Vice President of Operations

Baheti joined Cal Wellness in 2018 with high-level executive experience with nonprofit, for-profit and public organizations. Most recently he was director of operations and finance for The Writers Guild Foundation in Los Angeles, and simultaneously served as a consultant for The Bluebook International, where he served as Senior Vice President and Corporate Counsel. He previously oversaw government services and operations for Marshall & Swift/Boeckh and provided consultation services to nonprofits and foreign governments. Prior experience also includes working with the State of California’s Governor’s Office, San Diego Data Processing Corporation and the California Democratic Party. He was consultant for Covered California, where he led a successful effort to increase enrollment of minority communities in the state during the initial Affordable Care Act enrollment period.

Full Biography

Baheti joined Cal Wellness in 2018 with high-level executive experience with nonprofit, for-profit and public organizations. Most recently he was director of operations and finance for The Writers Guild Foundation in Los Angeles, and simultaneously served as a consultant for The Bluebook International, where he served as Senior Vice President and Corporate Counsel. He previously oversaw government services and operations for Marshall & Swift/Boeckh and provided consultation services to nonprofits and foreign governments. Prior experience also includes working with the State of California’s Governor’s Office, San Diego Data Processing Corporation and the California Democratic Party. He was consultant for Covered California, where he led a successful effort to increase enrollment of minority communities in the state during the initial Affordable Care Act enrollment period.

Baheti is currently board chair of the Program for Torture Victims Los Angeles. Among his numerous awards are the eWeek/Technology Manager Forum’s Technology Innovation Best Practice Award, Wharton School’s Business Transformation Award and the Council of State Governments’ Award of Excellence.

Baheti earned his bachelor’s degree in Science, Technology and Politics and in Political Science from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and received his Juris Doctor from UCLA. He is a member of the California bar.

Contact

 


 

Erica Alsenat,
Executive Assistant to the Chief Financial Officer

Erica Alsenat is executive assistant to the chief operating and financial officer at The California Wellness Foundation. In this role, she coordinates administrative activities for the COO/CFO and for the Finance and Operations Department, which includes monitoring communications, reports and timelines related to various projects.

Full Biography

Erica Alsenat is executive assistant to the chief operating and financial officer at The California Wellness Foundation. In this role, she coordinates administrative activities for the COO/CFO and for the Finance and Operations Department, which includes monitoring communications, reports and timelines related to various projects.

Alsenat joined Cal Wellness in February 2017. Previously, she worked as a host and supervisor at Superba Food and Bread in El Segundo. She moved to California in 2016 from St. Louis, Missouri, where she held a volunteer position as assistant diversity coordinator at Mary Institute Country Day School. In her role, she coordinated diversity-centered activities for middle and high school students. She also received a stipend for her work as programming assistant for Youth Learning Center, and volunteered as a community organizer for Lewis Place Historical Preservation, Inc. Prior to that, she worked as an assistant strategist with Horizon Media Inc. in New York.

Alsenat holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Saint Louis University and a master’s degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis.

Contact

 


 

Rochelle Witharana,
Controller/Director of Finance

Rochelle Witharana is controller/director of finance for The California Wellness Foundation. She is responsible for managing the Foundation’s accounting and finance functions, including management of internal control systems, development of the annual operating budget, preparation of all financial and management reports, and preparation of tax and regulatory filings. She also oversees cash management, investment portfolio performance, investment operations, and implementation of, and compliance with, the Foundation’s investment policy.

Full Biography

Rochelle Witharana is controller/director of finance for The California Wellness Foundation. She is responsible for managing the Foundation’s accounting and finance functions, including management of internal control systems, development of the annual operating budget, preparation of all financial and management reports, and preparation of tax and regulatory filings. She also oversees cash management, investment portfolio performance, investment operations, and implementation of, and compliance with, the Foundation’s investment policy.

She has held senior financial management roles in nonprofit organizations, government agencies and private businesses, acquiring experience in investment accounting, financial reporting, process re-engineering and systems implementation. Before joining Cal Wellness in May 2015, she served as accounting manager for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and previously was controller for the Arizona State Retirement System. She began her career with Deloitte and Touche and has served as a controller, a CFO and a consultant for businesses in California and Arizona.

Witharana serves on the board of Asian Pacific Women’s Center, an organization that provides services to survivors of domestic violence. She also serves on the advisory board for the Clarendon Foundation, an organization that supports orphanages and disadvantaged individuals in Sri Lanka and is a member of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy.

She is a certified public accountant and holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration and accounting from Cal State, Northridge.

Contact

 


 

Brandi Brethour,
Senior Financial Analyst

Brandi Brethour is the senior financial analyst for The California Wellness Foundation. In her role, she is responsible for investment operations and accounting, financial reporting and tax schedules. She also assists with budgeting, forecasting and financial analysis.

Full Biography

Brandi Brethour is the senior financial analyst for The California Wellness Foundation. In her role, she is responsible for investment operations and accounting, financial reporting and tax schedules. She also assists with budgeting, forecasting and financial analysis.

Before joining Cal Wellness in August of 2016, Brethour worked as controller for Santa Clarita Valley Committee on Aging. Previously she worked for nearly 13 years at Gursey Schneider LLP, a public accounting firm, as a staff member and then managing accountant in the litigation and tax departments. Her experience also includes serving as chief financial officer and human resources manager for a law firm, and as a finance manager for a real estate brokerage. She began her career as an auditor for the large financial services group KPMG LLP.

Brethour serves on the board of the Brenda Mehling Cancer Fund and is a former board member of Junior Chamber International, Santa Clarita Chapter. She has authored or co-authored several publications, including training materials for accountants and attorney study groups, materials for the American Bar Association’s continuing education presentations, and a handbook related to marital dissolutions and tax considerations.

She is a certified public accountant and holds a bachelor’s degree in business economics from UC Santa Barbara and a master’s degree in public administration from Cal State, Northridge.

Contact

 


 

Sue Hsiung,
Senior Accountant

As senior accountant, Sue Hsiung monitors and reports on investments and grant expenses. She also reviews financial documents of prospective grantees, and prepares tax statements, budget forecasts and regulatory filings.

Full Biography

As senior accountant, Sue Hsiung monitors and reports on investments and grant expenses. She also reviews financial documents of prospective grantees, and prepares tax statements, budget forecasts and regulatory filings.

Before joining Cal Wellness in April 2018, Hsiung was assistant controller for Alfred Music in Van Nuys, California. Prior to that she worked in the accounting department for United Friends of the Children, a program helping current and former foster youth in Los Angeles. She also previously served in accounting roles with Apogee Inc. in Brea, ERI in Newport Beach, and Embassy Suites in El Segundo.

Hsiung holds a bachelor’s degree in finance, real estate and law from Cal Poly, Pomona.

Contact

 


 

Erum Farooque,
Accountant

Erum Farooque is accountant for The California Wellness Foundation. In this role, Farooque is the steward of accounts payable, grants payable and expense reporting processes. She also supports the finance team with monthly accounting processes.

Full Biography

Erum Farooque is accountant for The California Wellness Foundation. In this role, Farooque is the steward of accounts payable, grants payable and expense reporting processes. She also supports the finance team with monthly accounting processes.

Before joining Cal Wellness in August 2018, Farooque was bookkeeper for American Industrial Control and Zianna Wellness. Prior to that she served as an accounting consultant at lighting and solar retail company Baltoro, as an accounts payable specialist at Marinello Schools of Beauty’s corporate office, and as an accountant with Green Solutions, Inc.

Farooque holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from UCLA, with a specialization in computing and extended coursework in accounting.

Contact

 


Our Work

  • We use our resources to advance our mission through grantmaking, investments, sharing our learning and lifting our voice.
  • We fund direct services that address the urgent needs people are facing in their communities, particularly the needs of low-income individuals, people of color, youth and residents of rural areas.
  • We recognize, encourage and strengthen leaders to be powerful agents of change.
  • We support advocacy and civic engagement so that communities can build power and create public policies that reflect their vision, will and needs.
  • We trust and invest in nonprofit organizations so that they can operate at full capacity.
  • We partner with community-led organizations, philanthropic organizations, businesses, government and individuals who want to improve health and wellness for Californians.

Our Mission

To protect and improve the health and wellness of the people of California by increasing access to health care, quality education, good jobs, healthy environments and safe neighborhoods.


The California Wellness Foundation • City National Plaza, 515 S. Flower Street, Suite 1100 • Los Angeles, CA, 90071 • Tel: (818)­ 702–1900

© 2018 The California Wellness Foundation. All Rights Reserved. Credits