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January 10, 2017

Cecilia Laiché
The California Wellness Foundation
(818) 702-1911

Cal Wellness’ Board Elects New Leadership

Woodland Hills (CA) – The Board of Directors of The California Wellness Foundation has elected Debra Nakatomi as chair and Joe Lumarda as vice chair. They assumed their new roles on January 1. Elisabeth Hallman continues to serve as Board secretary.  

Nakatomi is president of Nakatomi & Associates, a communications firm dedicated to advancing social change. Lumarda is senior vice president and investment counselor for Capital Group Private Client Services and a vice president of Capital Guardian Trust Company. Hallman is a former Health System Director at Cedars-Sinai Health Systems in Los Angeles.

“The new social and political landscape we face presents challenges and opportunities in areas where the Foundation invests its resources,” said Cal Wellness President and CEO Judy Belk. “More than ever, our sector needs courageous leadership if we are to continue making progress toward a more equitable future for all Californians. Cal Wellness is fortunate to have Debra, Joe and Beth at the helm.”

Nakatomi has been a member of Cal Wellness’ Board since January 2015. She has more than 30 years of experience in community education, public affairs and communications. In addition to her work with Nakatomi & Associates, she is president of the Little Tokyo Service Center Community Development Corporation, She co-produced a documentary about survivors of the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami and is co-producing a film profiling the life of Secretary Norman Mineta. Her full biography can be found here.

As she assumes her role as Board chair, Nakatomi sees challenging times ahead for those most vulnerable in California. “Now, more than ever, we stand ready to continue our work to protect and advocate for the health and future of all communities given the challenges of the present moment,” she said. “I’m encouraged by the resilience of partners and grantees, doing the work day-in and day-out, year to year. We will be tested, but we will draw strength from one another and create a path toward health equity for all.”

Lumarda also joined Cal Wellness’ Board in January 2015. Prior to joining Capital Group Private Client Services, he spent 16 years at the California Community Foundation in the roles of program officer, vice president for development, executive vice president and chief operating officer. During that time, he also served as an independent director for Capital Research and Management Company’s Endowment funds, a series of investment portfolios designed exclusively for nonprofit organizations. Before that, he spent three years on active duty and five years in the reserves with the U.S. Navy. He serves on the boards of Southern California Grantmakers, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Give2Asia, Drucker Institute and Pasadena Child Health Foundation. His full biography can be found here.

“It is a great honor for me to serve The California Wellness Foundation, which has a rich history of tackling tough issues from different angles — from policy advocacy to bolstering all of the good work that is happening at the community level,” Lumarda said. “I believe Cal Wellness’ leadership and experience are going to be especially important going forward.”

Hallman joined Cal Wellness’ Board in 2009. With over 40 years in healthcare, she has in-depth experience in nursing, information technology, human resources, clinical operations leadership and service-line development. For 20 years, she has served as a Health System Director at Cedars-Sinai Health System. Previously, Hallman was an administrator for the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. Her full biography can be found here.

For more information about The California Wellness Foundation’s Board of Directors, please visit here.

The California Wellness Foundation is celebrating 25 years as a private independent foundation with a mission to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention. Since its founding in 1992, Cal Wellness has awarded 8,531 grants totaling more than $960 million.

Cal Wellness’ Advancing Wellness grants program is designed to promote equity through advocacy and access. The grantmaking focuses on three interconnected portfolios: Bridging the Gaps in Access and Quality Care; Promoting Healthy and Safe Neighborhoods; and Expanding Education and Employment Pathways. The program also includes the Opportunity Fund to support innovation in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors.

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

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