Tania L. Whiteleather has been a member of the Su Casa Board of Directors for over a decade. Tania is a civil rights attorney who has practiced largely in the field of disability rights, representing students in administrative hearings and federal and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals cases since 1989. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Lakewood and serves on the boards of the Weingart-Lakewood YMCA and the Lakewood Regional Medical Center.
Susan Held co-owns Manor Insurance Agency, an independent insurance agency in Downey, CA. She has served as President of the Mid-Cities Insurance Association and is a member of the local Chamber of Commerce. Susan is very active in improving the lives of women and girls through social and economic empowerment programs with Soroptimist, a global women's organization dedicated to that cause. Ms. Held has held many positions within the organization including Governor of the Camino Real Region and Secretary/Treasurer of Soroptimist International of the Americas (SIA), which encompasses North and South America and several Pan Pacific and Asian countries. She has traveled internationally representing the SIA board and presenting workshops at Conferences and Conventions. Susan currently serves as President of the Bellflower Soroptimists. Through Bellflower Soroptimists, Ms. Held became aware of Su Casa and has worked to increase her club’s and her personal involvement with Su Casa.
Susan D. Stel is Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC). As CFO, Ms. Stel has oversight for financial reporting, cash management, legal and corporate matters, and is liaison with the LAEDC Executive Committee, the LAEDC Audit Committee, the World Trade Center Board, all LAEDC subsidiaries, and the investment portfolio manager under the direction of the Finance Committee. Ms. Stel was named CFO of the Year in 2012 by the Los Angeles Business Journal for outstanding performance in the role of corporate financial steward and exceptional financial leadership in a Non-Profit Organization. A native of California, Ms. Stel was born in Alhambra, and currently resides in Covina. She holds a B.S. in Accounting, summa cum laude from the University of La Verne, and has an active CPA license, is a member of the AICPA, and currently serves as a director on eight nonprofit Boards and an investment committee for a hospital.
Anne Rodriguez has been a Su Casa Board Member since 2014 and is a member of the Finance Committee. She is the Finance Manager for the City of Lakewood and has been working in government finance since 2007. She also worked at Su Casa as a Grants Accountant for two years before transferring to local government. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Master’s degree in Business Administration. She finds both the non-profit and public sectors to be very rewarding industries to work in. Anne is proud to serve as the Board President of the Soroptimist International of Lakewood/Long Beach and has also served as Board Treasurer and Board Secretary for the organization. Soroptimist’s mission aligns with that of Su Casa, which is to empower women and girls in the community. She’s excited to be given the opportunity to serve families who have been victimized by domestic violence and help them stand on their own feet.
Cybill Aros-Pearson has been working in the Long Beach community for the past ten years. She is currently a Senior Recruiter at St. Mary Medical Center which affords her a number of opportunities to fulfilling her passion of serving the underserved, with a number of affiliated not for profit organizations. Cybill has always been one to offer her volunteer services where she felt they could do the most good. She is on the chair of many committees that range from helping youth obtain scholarships, education in healthcare, and women and children services. Cybill is an active member of her church of Light and Life Fellowship West. She holds a Sociology degree from UCLA, and an Master’s of Science in Law from Cal Southern University.
Captain Allen Castellano
Captain Allen Castellano is a 22-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. In October 2015, Allen assumed operational command as the unit commander for Lakewood Sheriff’s Station. He is responsible for providing comprehensive law enforcement services to more than 250,000 residents living in the cities of Artesia, Bellflower, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood and Paramount. Throughout his tenure with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Allen has witnessed the negative impacts domestic abuse has on families. In an effort to eliminate domestic violence in the communities he serves, Allen became involved with Su Casa – Ending Domestic Violence in 2016. Allen holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. Additionally, Allen served as a city councilman in his hometown from 2000 to 2008, holding the position of mayor twice during his two terms in office.
Karen became part of the Su Casa family in 2016. Her position with the Board of Directors allows her to continue her own personal journey to make a difference in the lives of those affected by domestic violence. She has an established career in Early Childhood Education and possesses a Bachelor's degree in Business Management. Being a survivor of domestic violence herself, Karen has been trained as a certified domestic violence advocate and a certified Biblical counselor. She has a passion for educating the public about domestic violence and has written and published a book on the subject. "Stronghold" is a book about domestic violence: the frightening statistics, society's tolerance and her story of faith and survival, which was published in 2015. Karen loves to share her story of hope and survival to inspire others to believe there is life beyond domestic violence. Karen feels honored to be a part of the Su Casa family.
Laura Lee has been a part of the Su Casa Board of Directors since 2011. She was elected for the Cerritos City Council in 2003, and served as Mayor in 2007-2008. Ms. Lee holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the National Chung-Shing University in Taiwan and a master’s degree in biology from the State College of Virginia. She has been a Cerritos resident since 1979 and has served various organizations including, American Red Cross Long Beach Chapter as Board Director, Cerritos College Real Estate Department as an Advisor and the Southern California Chinese Woman’s League as Director General. She has also been a volunteer at the Cerritos Senior Center since 1994 and is a longtime supporter of the Los Angeles Mission for the Homeless.
Dorothy Owen has been a part of the Su Casa Board for 3 years. Dorothy attended Vanderbilt University and received her Bachelor of Arts from California State University Fullerton with a Latin American Studies Major and a Business Administration Minor. Dorothy retired after 17 years in the insurance field and became a community volunteer. She is in her sixth year as President of 1st CEB Adoption Committee; which was formed to administer the City of Cerritos’ adoption of the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion stationed in Camp Pendleton. Dorothy is a long time member of the Woman’s Club Artesia-Cerritos, a civic Member of the Cerritos Chamber of Commerce, Artesia Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Artesia Historical Society. She is also a member of The American Association of University Women and she now serves on the ABC School District First Business & Education Round Table, and Adult School Institutional Advisory Council.
Marcie Raphael is a retired licensed real estate broker representing the Mid-Cities area. She is very active in the community and is a member of Soroptimist International of Bellflower, a nonprofit service organization that works to improve the lives of women and girls. Marcie is passionate about Su Casa, having served on the Board of Directors since 2006. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the Resource & Development Committee. In her free time Marcie enjoys working with computer graphics and has been instrumental in creating Su Casa’s programs for many of their events.
Jesse has several years of Human Resources experience in the Credit Union industry and studied Human Resources at Loyola Marymount University. He has earned a stellar reputation for his passion, dedication and proven ability to build life time partnerships in the community. He believes in the simple philosophy of people helping people and his life goal is to help spread love and peace into the world. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, reading and visiting art museums.
Deborah Vince joined the Su Casa Board of Directors in 2016. She is a Director of Sales for New York Life. Debbie joined New York Life in 2009, and has more than 20 years of experience in financial services, including 17 years in the retirement plan industry. Prior to joining New York Life, she was a Senior Vice President with National Retirement Partners (NRP) and worked as a Retirement Plan Consultant at 401k Advisors and helped launch RPAG. Debbie received a BS in Business Management from the University of Redlands. She maintains FINRA Series 6, 7, and 63 registrations and holds life and health licenses in all states.