Shawna Morris, Chief Executive Officer
Shawna earned her MPA at the University of Kansas. She was senior vice president and chief operating officer at the Menninger Clinic for 18 years before taking over as president and CEO of the Phoenix House California and Texas. During her time at Phoenix House, Morris was overseeing a chain of six in-patient facilities along with a number of outpatient addiction and mental health treatment programs. She improved financial performance, reduced staff turnover and developed a positive corporate culture.
She also led an effort to separate the Texas and California “branches” of Phoenix House from the national Phoenix House Foundation in New York City. Phoenix House California and Texas is now established as an independent corporation. Over 17 years at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas, she worked her way up to become senior vice president and chief operating officer. She managed a successful merger with Baylor University College of Medicine, relocating the Menniger Clinic to Houston in 2003. Amid the economic downturn in 2008, she led a team to complete a $ 50- million capital campaign to build the Menninger Clinic’s current 50-acre campus.
Richard Gutierrez, Chief Financial Officer
Richard earned his MBA in Finance and International Business at the University of Chicago, afterward also completing the Latino Non-profit Leadership Program at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. He previously completed his Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Master of Science in Engineering Management at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.
Prior to joining Casa Pacifica’s executive leadership team in 2020, Richard was the CFO at Options For All, a San Diego-based nonprofit providing programs that gives individuals with intellectual and developmental disability more options for living their lives to the fullest, including job support and independent living. Under his financial guidance, Options For All more than doubled their revenues to $20 million, grew their company reserves to $3 million, and streamlined their financial policies and procedures.
Carrie L. Hughes, Chief Development Officer
Carrie graduated UCSB with a degree in Communications, and was hired in 1999, five years after Casa Pacifica opened its doors to foster and at-risk children. Over her 20 year career in fundraising she and the development team has collaboratively raised over $60 million dollars.
Recently, Carrie and the development team’s fundraising efforts resulted in a successful $16.6 million-dollar capital campaign for a new training institute and vocational education center and co-occurring treatment cottages serving youth with mental health and substance dependence issues. Carrie has also proven herself to be a skilled event planner as she has grown the Casa Pacifica Angels Wine, Food & Brew Festival into the premiere wine and food event on the central coast raising millions during her tenure overseeing the Festival.
Carrie also served on the Board of Directors for the Association of Fundraising Professionals Santa Barbara/Ventura Counties chapter for ten years and as President in 2015. During her presidency the board achieved its first Ten Star Gold Award and Friends of Diversity Designation. Most recently Carrie was awarded AFP’s distinguished Professional Fundraiser of the Year award for Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties and named Top 50 Woman in Business by the Pacific Coast Business Times. She is also a member of the Camarillo Rotary, the Nonprofit Leadership Council, and a graduate of the Ventura County Leadership Academy. Carrie resides in Thousand Oaks with her family.
Joshua Lepore, Psy.D., Senior Director of Campus Services
Dr. Joshua Lepore started his career in the mental health field as a direct care staff at a level-12 residential treatment facility. He earned his Psy.D. at the California School of Professional Psychology and has been a licensed clinical psychologist since 2012. He completed his pre-doctoral internship at Allendale Association, a residential mental health treatment facility in Illinois, and his post-doctoral training in Transitional Youth Services (TYS) at Casa Pacifica. He continued to work at TYS as a clinician, clinical supervisor, assistant director, and now as Director of Clinical Services overseeing TYS and Short-Term Adolescent Residential Treatment (START).
Dr. Lepore also completed certificates in Infant Mental Health in Napa, California, and in Animal Assisted Therapy at University of Denver School of Social Work. He is also the proud parent of Otis, one of Casa Pacifica’s Newfoundland dogs.
Monetta Williams, Senior Director of Human Resources
Prior to joining Casa Pacifica, Monetta spent over 25 years of experience in startup and high growth environments. Throughout her career, she has been successful at partnering with executives and managers to produce programs that align talent with goals and drive people towards a sense of well-being and purpose in their work life.
Monetta previously held the position of VP of Human Resources with lynda.com, a global organization with 600 employees’ worldwide, a technology company producing online video training for professionals, lynda.com was acquired by LinkedIn in 2015. Prior to lynda.com, she held the position of VP of Human Resources for Helix Medical, Inc., a medical device company producing medical devices and consumer products.
Monetta has been an effective change agent with a history of helping organizations grow, change and become more efficient, proactively and fiscally. Her strategy is to help every employee connect and understand how they contribute to an organizations mission and become better leaders.
Monetta is a proud grandparent of two beautiful foster-adopted granddaughters, and has been a supporter of Project Linus (Ventura Chapter) by making handmade blankets, providing a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized or otherwise in need.
Kim Bennett, Ph.D., Director of Community Services, Ventura County
Dr. Kim Bennett has been in a leadership role at Casa Pacifica for more than seven years helping oversee community services in Ventura County. She holds a doctorate in clinical psychology with an emphasis in health psychology. She has over 15 years’ experience working in a variety of community mental health settings with children, youth and families.
Among her other duties, Dr. Bennett handles the recruitment, supervision and practicum training program of doctoral and social work students from graduate schools throughout Southern California. She has been instrumental in developing our in-school mental health services program with Las Virgenes Unified School District. In addition, she has expertise and speaks internationally on the topic of coping with rare disease in children and sibling relationships in families dealing with rare disease.
Kim completed her undergraduate work at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and obtained both her Masters and Doctorate at California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles.
Kimberly Valenzuela, Psy.D., Director of Community Services, Santa Barbara County
Dr. Kimberly Valenzuela has worked for Casa Pacifica in Santa Barbara County since October of 2004, and oversees Santa Barbara’s community programs including: Camino a Casa IOP and PHP, Wraparound, In Home Therapeutic Programs, SAFTY Crisis Response Services, and School Based Services. Dr. Valenzuela has worked with youth for over 20 years in various settings, including Day Treatment Intensive, psychiatric hospitals, as an in-school therapist, and in outpatient mental health services in Los Angeles County. Dr. Valenzuela completed her undergraduate work at the University of California, San Diego, and then obtained both her Master’s degree and Doctorate of Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles. Dr. Valenzuela later received her Doctoral Board Certification in Behavior Analysis from National University.
Mark Capritto, Ed.D., Director of Education
Dr. Mark Capritto has over 35 years in the field of education – throughout his tenure, he has been responsible for every aspect in the field including educational administration, curriculum, and instruction, athletics, student services, and special education. Dr. Capritto holds three Master degrees in Vocational Education, Educational Psychology, and Counseling Psychology. He also has a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Management. In addition to his educational experiences, Dr. Capritto served as an MFT intern for 20 years dealing with marriage and family issues, student psychological issues in education, and adolescent therapy. His work with Casa Pacifica includes restructuring the educational program, implementation of a thematic interdisciplinary project-based curriculum, and revitalizing the educational culture/climate of the nonpublic school.
Jessica Zetley, General Counsel
Jessica serves as General Counsel at Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families. Prior to joining Casa Pacifica, Jessica spent four years working as an Assistant District Attorney in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While there, Jessica was assigned to the General Crimes Unit where she prosecuted a variety of offenses ranging from petty misdemeanors to violent felonies. After getting married, she left the District Attorney’s Office and moved to California. Shortly thereafter, Jessica joined Casa Pacifica.
Jessica has a B.S. in Accounting and a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She is a licensed attorney in California and Wisconsin and is a member of the Bar Association in both states.
Marika Collins, M.S.W., Special Projects & Public Policy Officer
Marika first joined Casa Pacifica in 2003 as the agency’s Special Projects Officer, overseeing various agency initiatives before taking several years off to raise her young twin daughters. She returned in 2011 in an expanded role that focuses, in large part, on identifying program opportunities to enhance the continuum of services available to the children and families Casa Pacifica serves in both the public and private sectors.
Marika is also actively engaged in local, state, and federal public policy efforts that seek to identify solutions to systems challenges and barriers for foster youth and children with histories of complex trauma. She is currently participating in state-wide efforts to develop a full continuum of crisis care services for children and youth in California. She is also responsible for articulating and advancing the agency’s public policy platform with local elected officials and members of the state Legislature.
Marika began her career over 20 years ago with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, working in a community mental health center serving adults with severe mental illness and subsequently in the Department of Mental Health’s Central Office, where she participated in the development of the department’s first annual report on the impact of legislation that reduced the length of involuntary psychiatric hospitalizations and related policy activities.
Marika received her Masters in Social Work degree with a concentration in Community Organizing, Policy, Planning and Administration from Boston College.