Contact Us


April 12, 2013

Adriana Godoy Leiss, TCWF
(818) 702-1900

The California Wellness Foundation Appoints Staff In Executive, Grants Program And Grants Management Departments

Woodland Hills (CA) – The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF) is pleased to announce the appointments of the following five staff members: Frank A. Lalle as director of programs; Rocele S. Estanislao, Amber López Gamble and Nawz Z. Talai as project managers; and Jill E. Kahanek as executive assistant to the vice president of programs.

Diana M. Bontá, TCWF president and CEO, notes that these appointments come at an important crossroads in the Foundation’s history.

“The creation of two new positions, director of programs and project manager, will help as we support the Board during the current strategic planning process,” Bontá said. “I am confident that their skills and expertise, and those of our entire staff, will carry us forward during the subsequent launch and implementation of a new grantmaking program in late 2014.”

Previously a TCWF program director for special projects, Lalle assumes the expanded role of director of programs. In this position, he assists Cristina M. Regalado, vice president of programs, with the development and execution of grantmaking strategies and with staff supervision. In addition, he continues to manage the Foundation’s special projects grant portfolio and helps lead Foundation-wide projects such as the management of strategic planning. Prior to joining TCWF in March 2008, Lalle worked as a grantmaking director at Silicon Valley Community Foundation in Mountain View. Before entering the foundation world, he served as a supervising attorney with the Legal Aid Society, where he focused on legal services for low-income families, older adults and children with disabilities.

“It is a great honor to assist The California Wellness Foundation with the development of our grantmaking strategies,” Lalle said. “I am deeply grateful for this wonderful opportunity.”

Also stepping into newly created positions are project managers Estanislao, López Gamble and Talai to oversee various efforts in the Grants Management, Executive and Grants Program departments, respectively.

Estanislao joined TCWF in September 2008 as grants management administrator. In her expanded role of project manager in the Grants Management Department, she oversees projects particularly related to the Foundation’s grants data. In addition, she continues to ensure the data integrity and maintenance of the grants management database. Before joining the Foundation, Estanislao was an evaluation specialist at Los Angeles Universal Preschool, a nonprofit that works to provide young children with access to an affordable, high-quality preschool education. Estanislao has over ten years of experience with data management and analysis in a nonprofit setting.

As project manager in the Executive Department, López Gamble works closely with the president and CEO and executive leadership to help facilitate the strategic planning process and interdepartmental projects. She joined TCWF in September 2007 as a program assistant and within four months was appointed executive assistant to the vice president of programs. Previously, she developed and taught a course in entrepreneurship at Four Bands Community Fund on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation in South Dakota and worked as a public policy coordinator and later program manager at California Institute for Rural Studies.

As project manager in the Grants Program Department, Talai works closely with the vice president of programs to coordinate projects that help fulfill the Foundation’s grantmaking goals. Before joining TCWF in November 2012, she was a public health fellow at the Department on the Status of Women in San Francisco and a research assistant at UC San Francisco. Talai, who recently earned her master’s degree in public health from Columbia University, brings a substantial academic background in service-based research, as well as practical, hands-on experience in public health practice and policy.

In November 2012, Jill E. Kahanek filled the executive assistant to the vice president of programs position vacated by López Gamble, serving as the department hub to ensure smooth workflow and efficient coordination of activities and communications among team members and other departments. Previously, Kahanek was director of development of Henry Mancini Enterprises, and director of the emerging artist programs at the Henry Mancini Institute. She is a classically trained musician who has performed in an array symphony and orchestral groups.

The California Wellness Foundation is a private independent foundation created in 1992 with a mission to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention. The Foundation prioritizes eight issues for funding: diversity in the health professions, environmental health, healthy aging, mental health, teenage pregnancy prevention, violence prevention, women’s health, and work and health. It also responds to timely issues and special projects outside the funding priorities. Since its founding in 1992, TCWF has awarded 6,919 grants totaling more than $852 million.

# # #

Note to reporters & editors: “The” in The California Wellness Foundation name is part of the Foundation’s legal name. Please do not drop or lowercase the “T.”






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