Fred Finch has provided and expanded upon innovative, effective services to youth and families in California for 129 years. We are proud of our internal and external leadership, comprised of our staff, who make things happen on a daily basis, as well as our amazing Board of Directors who have given countless hours of their time, talent and commitment to our cause.
Thomas N. Alexander, LCSW
PRESIDENT & CEO
The Fred Finch Board of Directors appointed Tom as President and CEO in October 2012 after his service as the Interim Chief Operating Officer in Fred Finch’s Southern California region where he initiated the development of the Fred Finch Youth Center’s residential dual-diagnosis program and spearheaded the growth of additional programs. Today, our Southern California Division houses seven programs, over 140 staff, and serves over 400 children, youth, and families daily.
Tom’s education includes a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Southern California, a Master’s of Social Work from San Diego State University and a certificate in non-profit management from Chapman University. Tom has over 30 years of experience in clinical and leadership roles serving youth and families at various mental health and social service agencies. Before joining Fred Finch, Tom held esteemed leadership positions at a number of child and family service agencies.
CHIEF PROGRAM OFFICER
Adeyi has enjoyed a 20+ year career as an outstanding and effective administrator for several social service programs. Most recently, she has been the Chief Operating Officer for Family Support Services of Oakland, a not-for-profit family-focused agency serving at risk families with a variety of services including case management, respite, and behavioral health services. Prior to her time with Family Support Services, she spent 5 years as the Executive Director for Montgomery County, Pennsylvania subsidized childcare program, overseeing 30 plus full time staff and over 500 licensed providers. Elizabeth was promoted to Executive Director after working as the Deputy Director for 12 years.
Teresa Chapa. PhD, MPA
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT
Dr. Teresa Chapa is a lifelong advocate for mental health and wellness, health equity, integrated behavioral health, cultural and linguistic competence, and workforce development. She comes to Fred Finch after a distinguished career in government and higher education, most recently as senior clinical consultant with the National Hispanic and Latino Mental Health Technology Transfer Center; executive dean for the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP), Alliant International University, and more than 16 years in senior positions across the US Department of Health and Human Services. Teresa has a BA in psychology from San Francisco State University, a PhD in Clinical Psychology from CSPP-Berkeley, and an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School.
Ed Hsu, MBA
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Ed has over 24 years of healthcare senior executive experience in hospital, physician group, managed care organizations, and federally qualified health centers. He’s member of HFMA, MGMA, CalCPA and CICA. He earned his EMBA from Golden Gate University.
SENIOR DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES
Lois grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, earning a BA in history and an MA in education. She later graduated from Golden Gate University, School of Law. She has a background working in human resources for both the public and non-profit sectors, with over 20 years serving in leadership roles. Two activities she enjoys most are spending time with family and friends, and volunteering to help improve her community.
SENIOR DIRECTOR – ADMINISTRATION
Joining Fred Finch Youth Center in 2009, Tim has more than 20 years’ experience in business management, development, training, and systems implementation. Leading the agency’s Administrative and Information Technology efforts, Tim is responsible for the quality, accuracy, integrity, and privacy of the agency’s client record systems, both physical and electronic. With this agency-wide perspective, he also chairs the Fred Finch’s Continuous Quality Improvement Committee, where his bachelor’s degree in psychology and passion for quality mental health provision combine to ensure consistent quality improvement for all participants.
Desiree Kane, LCSW
SENIOR DIRECTOR – CONTINUOUS QUALITY IMPROVEMENT
Desiree joined Fred Finch Youth & Family Services in 2011. She came to the agency with extensive experience as a clinician working with children, youth and families in a variety of settings in San Diego. Despite her passion for direct service, her attention to detail lead her the administrative route and into Quality Assurance. She started as QA Manager in San Diego and is now the Senior Director of Continuous Quality Improvement overseeing our Accreditation with The Joint Commission, Quality Assurance, and Training Departments. Desiree received her BA and MSW at San Diego State University. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
Julie has years of experience in fundraising and business development specializing in corporate sponsorships, events, and donor cultivation. An advocate and caregiver by nature, she began her professional life at the age of 19 by providing wound care for pediatric and adult burn patients at the University of Kansas hospital while working on her bachelor’s degree. Upon moving to the San Francisco Bay Area she studied wine which led her to several entrepreneurial endeavors focusing on event marketing, corporate communications, and project management. She has worked for both non-profits and companies on strategic giving and has collaborated with notable organizations such as the Smithsonian National Zoo, Google, Make-A-Wish Foundation, The Humane Society, and Brain Injury Network.
Roger W. Daniels is a Bay Area native who grew up in Berkeley, California. He attended Florida A&M University where he received a BA in Business Administration. After undergraduate school Roger worked in the private sector for 8 years before deciding to attend the School of Social Welfare at the University of California Berkeley where he received his M.S.W. in 1995. In 2000 Roger received his L.C.S.W. After graduate school Roger worked for a Foster Family Agency, Alternative Family Services, for approximately 11 years before taking a position at Fred Finch Youth Center in 2007 as a Program Director for two programs that serve Transition Age Youth in Alameda County.
In the fall of 2012 Fred Finch received a grant from Alameda County Vocational Services to pilot an evidenced based employment program that emphasized supporting clients with obtaining competitive employment within the county. Under Roger’s guidance the employment program received 2 awards: one from the Alameda County Mental Health Advisory Board, and a second, national one from Dartmouth’s IPS Learning Community. In addition to supervisory responsibility for IPS; Roger received a promotion in 2015 and is currently the new Senior Director of TAY Community Based Clinical Programs with responsibility for oversight of 3 outpatient mental health programs for TAY as well as the Rising Harte Wellness Center which services middle school students and TAY. In addition to being a Social Worker Roger has been married for over 20 years and together with his partner Greg Merrill is raising 2 boys ages 12 and 16 who are truly an inspiration to him.
Joslin Herberich, LCSW joined Fred Finch in 1997 as a Residential Social Worker and was then a Clinical Supervisor and Program Director for wraparound services. She was promoted to her current position as Senior Director of community based services for youth and families in 2006. Prior to Fred Finch, Joslin gained clinical experience in Kaiser’s psychiatry departments (Oakland and San Francisco) and on the child/adolescent psychiatric unit at First Hospital Vallejo. She has her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Georgetown University and her MSW from the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Cristobal Hernandez, Psy.D., has joined Fred Finch CARES as the new Senior Director for Enhanced Care Management (ECM), where he will oversee programming across regions.
With over 20 years of dedication to the behavioral health sector, his most recent role was serving as the Director of Behavioral Health and Social Services at a Federally Qualified Health Center. Throughout his career, Cristobal has demonstrated leadership in a diverse range of behavioral health and social services programs, including children's behavioral health clinics, adult programs, substance use disorder (SUD) programs, crisis services, FSP programs, and ECM programs. His experience extends to program oversight in both non-profit and county behavioral health sectors. Fluent in both English and Spanish, Cristobal enjoys working with a wide variety of populations.
Cristobal holds a Master’s and Doctorate in Organizational Development from Alliant International University, along with a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.
Maria G. Luna, LMFT, BCBA is the Senior Director for the Fred Finch Specialized Wrap and CARES Initiative. She aims to integrate programs into a comprehensive continuum of care model providing mental health, behavioral health, psychology, psychiatry and ABA services to children, youth and their families with developmental disabilities and mental health concerns. This new model promotes enhanced coordination of care and broadening of services for improved outcomes for our participants, while the Initiative builds and sustains new partnerships and diverse revenue streams. Maria graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from UC Riverside, an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Azusa Pacific University and holds an LMFT and a BCBA Certification. She is a bilingual-bicultural Latinx therapist who’s worked at CARES for more than 12 years-- most recently as Program Manager serving Orange County and Temecula.
Laura McClarin is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has over twelve years of experience providing services in community settings while utilizing a solution focused and strength based philosophy. Before joining Fred Finch, Laura was the Program Director of Cabrillo Assessment Center: an outpatient community therapy center for New Alternatives for five years. After joining the Fred Finch team, she became Clinical Manager of the Wraparound program for the South and East regions and served as the Quality Assurance (QA) Liaison for the program. She earned her Bachelors Degree from the University of California Davis and her Masters in Psychology from Cal State San Luis Obispo. Her previous work experience includes group home settings, community colleges, and outpatient clinics. Laura is currently the Senior Director overseeing a new pilot program, the Child and Family Team Meeting Facilitation program.
Nydia Mershani, Psy.D., LMFT
Dr. Nydia Mershani, Psy.D., LMFT, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who joined Fred Finch in 2015 as a Program Director for Alameda County School Based Programs. She was promoted to her current position as Senior Director of Alameda County School Based Services in 2022. She possesses more than 17 years of progressive experience in the psychology field, and she has extensive experience working with diverse populations, while utilizing different therapeutic modalities. Prior to Fred Finch, Nydia gained clinical and managerial experience as the Director of Clinical Services at the YMCA in South San Francisco, Mental Health Specialist in Contra Costa County, Clinical Supervisor and Evidence Based practice supervisor in Los Angeles at an outpatient non-profit agency. In her previous roles she provided outpatient individual and family therapy to adolescents, families, severely mentally ill clients, children, teens, families, youth on probation, Domestic Violence survivors, adults in both outpatient and shelter programs, college students, and homeless populations. Dr. Nydia Mershani, LMFT, Psy.D., earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies from the University of Redlands in 2002, her master’s degree in Counseling/Psychology from Argosy University in 2005 and her Doctorate Degree in Psychology from the Chicago school of Professional psychology in 2015.
Mar Smith, LCSW
Mar Smith is Senior Director over Residential and Non-Public School Services at Fred Finch. She has been with the agency for more than 29 years and has extensive knowledge of milieu, teamwork, trauma informed care, clinical supervision mental health developmental disabilities and autism. She believes in the resiliency of youth and families and uses this belief to inspire hope for change. She has a BA in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley and a Masters in Social Work from San Francisco State University.
Bruce Wexler, MS, MFT
Bruce Wexler, MS, MFT has been with Fred Finch Youth & Family Services for more than 12 years. He currently serves in the role of Senior Director where he leads agency programming for at-risk, special needs youth and families throughout San Diego County. Services include intensive mental health treatment, a residential treatment center, special education services and aftercare supports designed specifically for dually diagnosed adolescents.
Throughout his career, Bruce has played a key role in the development of behavioral health treatment programs, from outpatient counseling and parent education programs, to evidence-based therapeutic foster homes, residential centers, and hospital-based psychiatric care. He is a trained mediator and consultant who has worked with a variety of corporate teams to improve their management processes. Bruce has served on several community boards and remains active in County Child Welfare and Behavioral Health Services committees, focused on improving the system of care for San Diego’s most vulnerable youth and families.