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In Their Own Words
ABOUT US
ABOUT US
EXECUTIVE TEAM
Silvio Orlando,
Chief Executive Officer  / Email: silorlando@oyhfs.org
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 / Email: mbhattachan@oyhfs.org
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.
Crystal Brackin,
Chief of Resource Families and Special Projects / Email: cbrackin@oyhfs.org
Prior to joining Optimist’s Executive Team in 2006, Crystal worked for Vista Del Mar
Child and Family Services for twenty years. She began as a Youth Development
Counselor in 1982 and was promoted to Youth Development Counselor Supervisor in
1986. In 1994 she became the Director of Therapeutic Programming where she was
responsible for 88 residents and 200 staff. In 2000, she became the Coordinator of
Direct Care Services at Vista where she remained until 2006. Crystal has a Bachelor of
Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Detroit.
Doug Buttrick,
Chief Financial Officer / Email: dbuttrick@oyhfs.org
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.
Jennifer D'Alvarez, MBA, CFRE
Chief Advancement and Communications Officer / Email: jdalvarez@oyhfs.org
Jennifer has been working in the non-profit sector, and specifically in the area of
fundraising, since 1996. Prior to joining Optimist in 2006, Jennifer worked for a variety
of organizations where she honed her fundraising skills and developed a passion for
working towards meaningful causes. Jennifer is a native Angelino who obtained her
Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the California State University, Northridge
and her Masters in Business Administration from Pepperdine University. In 2014, she
received her Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) credential which demonstrates an
individual's mastery of the standards set for core knowledge and skills required of
fundraising executives.
Alan Eskot,
Superintendent Optimist Charter School / Email: aeskot@oyhfs.org
Alan has been working in the nonprofit sector for 35 years. His first 6 years in the field
were spent as a teacher and for the past 29 years he has been the Director of
Education for three residential non-public school programs, all of which he established.
Additionally, he has consulted with many agencies and has assisted in opening up 18
non-public schools. Alan has been very involved with special education policy and has
served on several local and state committees regarding these issues. He graduated
with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from UCLA and a Master of Arts degree in
Clinical Psychology from the California State University, Los Angeles.
Mary G. Russell, DTM
Chief Human Resources Officer / Email: mrussell@oyhfs.org
Mary brings over seven years of human resources consulting experience, and 20+
years of hands-on, Human Resources expertise working for premier organizations such
as Portals Mental Health & Rehabilitation Services, Fox Entertainment Group, Baxter
Healthcare, Aratex, Washington Inventory Service, and Church’s Fried Chicken. Mary is
an avid member of Toastmasters International and is currently serving on the Board of
Directors as an International Director for a two year term (2008 - 2010). Mary is a
graduate of Grambling State University.
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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
www.OYHFS.org

Website management:
Email:rmartinez@oyhfs.org
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Euna Ra-Smith, LCSW
Chief Division Director- Pacific Lodge / Email: euna.ra-smith@plys.org
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. 

Alan Eskot,
Director of Educational / Email: aeskot@oyhfs.org
Alan has been working in the nonprofit sector for 35 years. His first 6 years in the field
were spent as a teacher and for the past 29 years he has been the Director of
Education for three residential non-public school programs, all of which he established.
Additionally, he has consulted with many agencies and has assisted in opening up 18
non-public schools. Alan has been very involved with special education policy and has
served on several local and state committees regarding these issues. He graduated
with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from UCLA and a Master of Arts degree in
Clinical Psychology from the California State University, Los Angeles.
James Gibson III, LCSW
Chief Operating Officer / Email: jgibson@oyhfs.org

James W. Gibson III is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has over twenty years
of experience as a therapist primarily working with children and adolescents.  James
graduated from Tulane University in 1993 with a Masters Degree in Social Work and
has worked with many diverse and ethnic populations over the course of his
professional career.  Since his arrival at Optimist in 1994, he has worked in our
residential, group home and mental health programs and is currently our Chief
Operating Officer.  He is also a Certified Trainer for the “Parent Project” which is a
nationally recognized parenting class that assists parents in improving their parenting
techniques with their child(ren).
Tonia Tse, LCSW
Clinical Director-STRTP / Email: ttse@oyhfs.org
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.