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February 23, 2007

En Español

David Littlefield, TCWF
(818) 702-1900

The California Wellness Foundation Announces New Board Appointments

Woodland Hills, CA – The board of directors of The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF) announced two new appointments today: Peggy Saika, chair, and Elizabeth M. Gomez, vice chair.

“Peggy and Elizabeth will provide strong, creative leadership for the Foundation,” said Gary L. Yates, TCWF president and CEO. “I have worked closely with both of them since they joined the board, and I look forward to continuing our partnership in their new leadership positions.”

Saika joined TCWF’s board in 1997. She is the executive director of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP), a national membership association dedicated to building bridges between the philanthropic and Asian Pacific American communities. Previously, Saika was the founding executive director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network and the executive director of the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco. Prior to that she helped develop and direct nonprofit organizations in Sacramento and New York City. She has served on numerous boards of nonprofit organizations and is a former board chair of the New World Foundation.

“I am honored and deeply appreciative of this leadership opportunity,” Saika said. “It is a privilege to serve an institution whose mission is to improve the health of the people of California.”

Gomez has served on TCWF’s board since 2005. She is executive director of the Los Angeles Youth Network (LAYN) and serves on its board. LAYN serves homeless, runaway and high-risk youth by providing shelter, food and counseling services. Immediately prior to her association with LAYN, she was assistant director of youth services for the Traveler’s Aid Society of Los Angeles’ Teen Canteen. Gomez received her undergraduate degree in social work from Syracuse University in New York and her master’s degree in social work from California State University, Long Beach. She is actively involved in the leadership of numerous youth-serving, philanthropic, civic and community organizations and serves on the boards of the California Coalition for Youth and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

“I am looking forward to working under the leadership of Peggy Saika and our continued work on behalf of the health and well-being of Californians,” Gomez said.

The California Wellness Foundation is a private, independent foundation created in 1992, with the mission of improving 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 other timely health issues or special projects outside the funding priorities.

Since its first founding in 1992, TCWF has awarded 4,633 grants totaling more than $559 million. It is one of the state’s largest private foundations, providing an average of $50 million in grants each year in pursuit of its mission.

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