In Their Own Words
Silvio Orlando
Chief Executive Officer /
Sil has worked in the field of child welfare since 1970. He worked as a child care worker, social worker, social work supervisor, residential director, and assistant executive director in Montreal, New York, and Los Angeles before becoming our executive director in 1999. Sil received his Masters in Social Work (MSW) degree from Boston College. He is also a past president of the California Alliance of Child and Family Services and past president of the Association of Community Human Service Agencies here in Los Angeles.
Maria Bhattachan
Chief Compliance and Quality Improvement Officer /
Maria has worked in the health care field for over 20 years prior to joining Optimist. She worked as a pediatric nurse in surgical, ambulatory and intensive care units in Nuerremberg, Karlsruhe and Fuerth, Germany. Maria furthered her education by attaining her Masters degree in Nursing Administration in Nuerremberg, Germany in 2000. While interning in California at UCLA, CAL OSHA and a child welfare agency, she decided to relocate to Los Angeles where she began working for us - first as a Quality Improvement Specialist and later as our Director of Quality Improvement.
Doug Buttrick
Chief Financial Officer /
Doug is a financial executive with over 32 years of experience. He has worked in both the private and non-profit sectors for a variety of companies in Boston, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles before becoming our Chief Financial Officer in 2003. Doug graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Optimist Youth Homes
& Family Services

6957 N. Figueroa St. Box 41-1076 Los Angeles, CA 90041-1076
Telephone: (323) 443-3175

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Euna Ra-Smith, LCSW
Chief Clinical Officer /
Euna has been employed with Optimist Youth Homes & Family Services since December 2004. During that time, Euna held the position of Assistant Clinical Director of Community Based Group Homes, ultimately becoming the Director, and was responsible for the operation and clinical program of four 6-bed group homes located in Eagle Rock, Carson, Van Nuys, and Mission Hills. Euna is the agency’s official trainer for the CSEC program (Commercially Sexually Exploited Children) in the two female group homes. In addition to overseeing the group homes and developing Optimist’s CSEC program, Euna developed and provided oversight to Optimist’s TBS program (Therapeutic Behavioral Services) and was ultimately promoted to Division Director, overseeing special projects. Euna obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, San Diego and her Master of Social Work Degree from Boston College.
Tonia Tse, LCSW
Clinical Director-STRTP /
Tonia became a part of Optimist in 2002 as a residential social worker. Over the years, she has worked in many different capacities (Social Worker in many of the dorms, Lead Social Worker, Clinical Supervisor, and Lead Clinical Supervisor). Currently as Clinical Director, Tonia is responsible for overseeing the programs and clinical services of the agency’s Residentially Based Services which includes the main campus and the four community based group homes. Tonia has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Southern California.
Denise McClain, MA
Chief Human Resources Officer /

Denise has worked in the child welfare field since the early 90’s. Before joining our team Denise worked as a clinician, clinical supervisor and a manager for many years before moving into Human Resources as the Director of Human Resources several years ago at one of our sister agencies. Her knowledge of both HR combined with her understanding of what staff face on a day to day basis is a perfect combination that led to her success as an HR professional. Denise holds a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from Loyola Marymount University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Missouri.
Rima has worked to support the development and growth of children and their families for more than 20 years. Rima started out her professional career as a credentialed Los Angeles Unified teacher, working in low income areas providing access to educational curriculum to families experiencing financial and housing challenges. In an effort to more deeply support these families, Rima returned to graduate school to receive her Masters in Science at California State University Fullerton in Marriage and Family Therapy Counseling. Although Rima has worked with multiple populations during her counseling career, she has always returned to providing high quality of care to children and their families. Rima is currently serving as Optimist’s Director of Outpatient Services and manages treatment and client care for all of Optimist’s outpatient site locations.
Rima Salem, LMFT
Director of Outpatient Services /
Annie Nuttall
Chief Advancement and Communications Officer /
Annie joined our team in January 2020. She brings significant experience from her previous roles in healthcare, community and arts organizations, special events, and communications. Holding a bachelor’s degree in Speech from Louisiana Tech University, she also brings over a decade of experience leading both volunteers and staff in achieving philanthropic goals. Annie looks forward to working closely with the Optimist family of supporters!
Ninette Gharibian, LMFT
Director of STRTP /
Ninette has nearly two decades of industry experience and first joined the Optimist team in 2007. During her tenure with our organization she has served as a Residential Therapist, Clinical Supervisor, and most recently was promoted to Director of STRTP Residential Programs. She has extensive experience and training in residential treatments and holds a Bachelors in Psychology and Social Behavior from the University of California, Irvine and Masters of Arts in Psychology,  Marriage & Family Therapy from Phillips Graduate Institute.