Management  
     
 

St. Joseph Center's operations are overseen by a dedicated Senior Management Team that consists of Executive Director Va Lecia Adams Kellum; Deputy Director for Programs Nick Maiorino; Controller Linda Sarabia-Villanueva; Development Director Paul Rubenstein; Director of Operations Tifara Monroe; and Director of Intervention and Prevention Services Julie DeRose.

Executive Director Va Lecia Adams Kellum has extensive experience in counseling as well as non-profit program design and management. Before joining St. Joseph Center, Va Lecia spent six years as Director of Transitional Living for United Friends of the Children. While there she helped create and oversee Pathways, an 18-month transitional housing program that assists former foster youth with housing, college readiness, career development, financial assistance, mentoring, and individual counseling. While working on her Ph.D., Va Lecia served as Executive Director of The Stanford Medical Youth Science Program (SMYSP), housed in the Stanford University School of Medicine. SMYSP reaches out to low-income youth who are interested in becoming physicians. Va Lecia has also held the position of Vice President of Counseling Services for College Bound, a Cerritos-based non-profit organization that provides college counseling and guidance to minority youth.

Born and raised in Southern California, Va Lecia graduated with a B.A. from the University of Southern California and earned an M.A. from Ball State University before completing her Ph.D. at Stanford University. Throughout her doctoral program, she researched the factors that create stress (such as poverty, academic under-achievement, and family problems) in ethnic minority youth. This work resulted in a chapter (co-authored with Dr. Teresa LaFromboise) entitled, “Relational Group Therapy with African American Female Adolescents and Their Mothers,” published in the book The Intersection of Race, Class, and Gender: Implications for Multicultural Counseling (D. Pope Davis & H. L. K. Coleman, Eds.).

Associate Director Nick Maiorino joined the Center in 1999 as the Program Coordinator for the Monetary Advisory Program (MAP). In 2001, he became the Continuum Director over all money management services and assumed his current role in 2010. Before joining St. Joseph Center, Nick worked for over 13 years in community agencies with the severely mentally ill and substance abuse populations. His experience encompasses inpatient and outpatient therapy and crisis counseling. He received an M.A. in Clinical Psychology / Behavioral Medicine from Connecticut College in 1989 and completed his Marriage and Family Therapy requirements in 2008. His research in graduate school focused on "Shyness and Sociability: Their Relationship to Depression, Anxiety, Neuroticism and Introversion."

Director of Finance Linda Sarabia has a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Polytechnic University of the Philippines. She has 18 years of accounting/finance experience, and has spent half of that time with non-profit organizations. Before coming to St. Joseph Center, she worked with Vista del Mar Child and Family Services, Optimist Youth Homes, and Chinatown Service Center. In the private sector Linda has worked with companies in the construction industry, property management, and wholesale/retail distribution. She has been with St. Joseph Center since August 2009.

Development Director Paul Rubenstein has worked in nonprofit fundraising for more than a decade. He manages St. Joseph Center’s private fundraising efforts and oversees in-kind donations and volunteer services. Before joining St. Joseph Center's development staff in 2004 he worked with City Garage Theatre in Santa Monica, an acclaimed alternative ensemble that the LA Weekly called the “Best Theatre Company in Los Angeles.” At City Garage he obtained the company’s first public arts funding from Los Angeles County and implemented fundamental development strategies, including audience surveys and an annual campaign, for an organization that had little existing fundraising infrastructure.

Director of Operations Tifara Monroe earned her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara and has worked in the nonprofit sector for the past nine years. Prior to joining St. Joseph Center, she served as the Program Manager for United Friends of the Children’s Transitional Living Program. She is responsible for the daily upkeep of multiple St. Joseph Center program facilities, addressing neighborhood concerns, coordinating with the onsite users of the Center’s Hampton Drive facility, and ensuring agency compliance with the terms of its facility’s conditions of approval. Tifara is a member of several social service organizations and is committed to serving the poor and disenfranchised.

Director of Programs Julie DeRose is a licensed Marriage and Family therapist and a Registered Art Therapist. She has experience working in outpatient, psychiatric hospital and residential treatment settings. While on staff at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, she initiated the Parent-Child interaction program for children who displayed impulsive/aggressive behavior. She has had over 18 years of experience working with high-risk youth, and most recently served as Clinical Supervisor at Covenant House California, a shelter for homeless youth. A graduate of Loyola Marymount University, Julie earned a Masters in Clinical Art Psychotherapy/Marriage Child and Family Therapy in 1983.