Board Members and Committees

  • Anthony, Crystal

    Appointed By: Governor

    Term Expires: June 1, 2022

    Position: LCSW

    Board member Crystal Anthony

    Crystal Anthony was appointed by Governor Newsom as a LCSW member in October 2019. Ms. Anthony is a therapist at the Program for Torture Victims and co-executive director for Underground GRIT. She was a clinical social worker for the Orange County Health Care Agency from 2014 to 2019 and a bilingual project LIFE program coordinator at North County Lifeline from 2012 to 2015, where she was also a community assessment team therapist in 2014. Ms. Anthony was an educationally-related mental health services behavioral health clinician in 2013. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing International Association. Ms. Anthony earned a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Southern California.

  • Brown, Deborah

    Appointed By: Governor

    Term Expires: June 1, 2021

    Position: Public

    Board Member Deborah Brown

    Deborah Brown was appointed by Governor Brown as a public member in August 2012. Currently, she works as an Adjunct Faculty member and University Supervisor for the Department of Instruction and Curriculum at California State University, Fresno. Ms. Brown was a secondary school educator for the Yosemite Unified School District in psychology from 1994-2015 and served as Social Science Department Chair for 17 years. In addition, she served as the school's WASC chair for 14 years as well as serving as a chair for WASC Visitation Teams for California secondary schools. She holds both a California Clear and Professional Teaching and Administrative Credential. From 1991-1993 she held a part-time position at California Polytechnic University, Pomona in the Administrative office. In addition, prior to entering the teaching profession, she served as Mayor Pro Tem and Councilmember for the City of Rancho Cucamonga from 1986-1991. During this tenure, she also served on both the San Bernardino Associated Governments and the San Bernardino County Local Agency Formation Commission. Ms. Brown was a loan officer for the Crocker Bank from 1982-1985. She earned a Master of Public Administration degree from California State University, Northridge.

  • Disposti, Massimiliano "Max" (Chair)

    Appointed By: Senate

    Term Expires: June 1, 2023

    Position: Public

    Picture of Board Member Massimiliano “Max” Disposti

    Mr. Disposti was appointed by the California State Senate as a public member in June 2019. He was born in Italy in 1968 and moved in the US in 1998. Upon arriving in the United States in 1998, and after moving to Southern California in 2001, he soon began volunteering his time with local agencies where he noticed the need for a stronger representation for the LGBTQI community. In January 2008, he founded the North County LGBTQ Resource Center, a non-profit organization that almost immediately increased the LGBTQI visibility in the North San Diego community. In 2011 a physical location for the same was opened, where Max operates now as Executive Director. Mr. Disposti was appointed as public member for his role of advocacy against the mental health disparities in the LGBTQI community and the negative outcomes that years of discriminatory policies have caused to the same. Today, he has founded a free mental health behavioral experience within the LGBT Center where he operates and where hundreds of patients are served each year. Max Disposti is a seasoned non-profit executive in organizational oversight, marketing/communications, development/fundraising, event planning, outreach, membership building and campaigns. Max provides ongoing coaching, board governance, training on LGBTQI competency and support for others on the team through the continue sharing of his knowledge, and experience.

  • Erlich, Ross

    Appointed By: Assembly

    Term Expires: June 1, 2023

    Position: Public

    Picture of Board Member Ross Erlich

    Ross Erlich practices criminal law in southern California with an emphasizes in complicated criminal matters including bail, probation violations and other complex white collar matters. Ross was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley and is a founding member of the Jobs Vision Success' Emerging Leaders Board (formerly known as Jewish Vocational Services) and serves on the Steering Committee for the Rautenberg's New Leaders Project through the Jewish Federation. Ross was a former Executive Board member, and current member, of Bet Tzedek's New Leadership Council and a Co-Chair of Govern for California's San Fernando Valley Courage Committee. Ross has been selected to the Super Lawyers Rising Stars list for both 2019 and 2020.

  • Friedman, Susan

    Appointed By: Governor

    Term Expires: 6/1/2022

    Position: Public

    Picture of Board Member Susan Friedman

    Susan Friedman was appointed by the Governor Newsom in March 2020. Ms. Friedman was an Emmy-award winning network news producer for NBC News from 1982 to 2008 and from 1968 to 1977. She was a reporter and producer for the local Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) from 1977 to 1982. She is a founding member of the Alliance for Children’s Rights Board of Directors and vice chair and commissioner of the Los Angeles County Mental Health Commission.

  • Herweck, Diana

    Appointed By: Governor

    Term Expires: June 1, 2024

    Position: LPCC

    Board member Dr. Herweck, Diana

    Diana Herweck has been Core Faculty, Lead Faculty and Clinical Director at the University of Phoenix since 2001; Adjunct Faculty at Palo Alto University since 2018; Part-Time Faculty at Capella University since 2017; and Practicum and Internship Evaluator and Adjunct Faculty at Grand Canyon University since 2015. She was Adjunct Faculty and Core Faculty at Capella University from 2008 to 2013. Herweck was a Marriage and Family Therapist and Custody Evaluator in Private Practice from 2006 to 2008. She was a Senior Social Worker and Social Services Supervisor at Orange County Social Services from 1997 to 2006. Herweck was Part-Time Faculty at the University of Redlands in 2005 and at California State University, Fullerton in 2001. She was a Psychology Intern at Orange County Health Care Agency from 1996 to 1998 and at the California School for the Deaf, Riverside from 1995 to 1996. Herweck is a Member of the American Counseling Association, Association for Counselor Education, Western Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, California Association for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors and California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. She earned a Doctor of Psychology degree in clinical psychology from the United States International University and a Master of Arts degree in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University.

  • Jones, Christopher C.

    Appointed By: Governor

    Term Expires: June 1, 2024

    Position: LEP

    Picture of Board Member Jones, Christopher C.

    Christopher C. Jones is a Licensed Educational Psychologist (LEP #2819) and Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP). He is the President and CEO of Dynamic Interventions, the first incorporation of Licensed Educational Psychologists in the history of California. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development from California State University, Northridge, and his Master of Arts degree and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) in School Psychology from Tufts University. He worked as a school psychologist in Massachusetts and California, then left public education to open Dynamic Interventions in 2006.
    Chris was awarded the Suzanne Fisher Leadership Award by the California Association of School Psychologists (CASP) in 2019. He has been recognized by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the William S. Hart Union High School District for his innovative work as a school psychologist, showing dedication to students and their families. He was the recipient of the CASP Outstanding School Psychologist Award, and currently sits on the CASP Board of Directors as the LEP Committee Chair.

  • Maddox, Jonathan

    Appointed By: Governor

    Term Expires: June 1, 2021

    Position: LMFT

    Picture of Board Member Jonathan Maddox

    Mr. Maddox has been a marriage and family therapist in private practice since 2004 and training and internship coordinator at San Francisco County Behavioral Health Services since 2014, where he has served in several positions since 2006, including program director and clinical supervisor. He was a mental health consultant for Contra Costa County Mental Health Services from 2005 to 2006, a therapist at the East Bay Agency for Children from 1998 to 2000 and a military police officer in the U.S. Army from 1989 to 1992. Maddox earned a Master of Arts degree in marriage and family therapy from Oral Roberts University.

  • Ranasinghe, Kelly

    Appointed By: Governor

    Term Expires: June 1, 2021

    Position: Public

    Picture of Board Member Ranasinghe, Kelly

    Kelly X. Ranasinghe was appointed by Governor Newsom in July of 2020. He currently is a Deputy County Counsel in Imperial County, California practicing child welfare law in juvenile court. Previously, Mr. Ranasinghe was a partner at the law firm of Henderson and Ranasinghe LLP and a senior program attorney at National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, where he focused on domestic violence and child sex trafficking. He is a member of the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) and a certified peer mental health facilitator through the NAMI Connections program. Mr. Ranasinghe is also a member of the National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) and a board certified child welfare law specialist. Mr. Ranasinghe earned a Juris Doctor from California Western School of Law in 2005.

  • Sovec, John

    Appointed By: Governor

    Term Expires: June 1, 2022

    Position: LMFT

    Picture of Board Member John Sovec

    John Sovec is a therapist in private practice in Pasadena California who specializes in supporting the needs of the LGBTQ community. He is the clinical consultant for The Life Group LA , adjunct faculty at Phillips Graduate Institute, and guest lecturer at Alliant University and USC School of Social Work. Mr. Sovec is a nationally recognized expert on creating affirmative LGBTQ support, and is the author of multiple publications and speaks at conferences nationwide. He provides training for community agencies, schools, non-profits, and provides professional consultation on LGBTQ competencies.

  • Strack, Wendy

    Appointed By: Governor

    Term Expires: June 1, 2022

    Position: Public

    Picture of Board Member Strack, Wendy

    Wendy was appointed by the Governor in February 2020. She is currently the CEO of Wendy J Strack Consulting LLC, with more than 20 years of experience in creating and delivering award winning advocacy, communications, and outreach programs in Southern California. Wendy is a member of California Women Lead, Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS), and the California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO). She also holds certifications in Basic and Advanced Public Information Officer/Joint Information Center/Joint Information Systems from the California Office of Emergency Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Wendy has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Riverside and an M.P.A. from the University of Southern California. She has also served on the City of Riverside Human Resources Board since 2018.

  • Willis, Yvette Casares

    Appointed By: Governor

    Term Expires: June 1, 2021

    Public Member

    Willis, Yvette Casares Board member

    Yvette Casares Willis, of Palo Alto, was appointed as a public member to the Board of Behavioral Sciences by Governor Newsom January 2021. After a 15 year career in professional sports, focusing on communications, public and private partnerships and community outreach, she worked with major corporations to support early-stage startups from all backgrounds, industries and regions around the world. Casares Willis left her position as Director of Partnerships for MassChallenge to relocate from Texas to California. She was Senior Sales Executive of Corporate Partnerships for the Houston Dynamo, Major League Soccer Club from 2015 to 2018. Casares WIllis was Senior Sales Executive at Buffalo Specialties from 2013 to 2015. She was Director of Premium Seat Sales and Director of Corporate Sponsorships at Live Nation Entertainment from 2008 to 2011. Casares Willis was Director of Premium Club Sales for the Boston Bruins / Boston Celtics from 2007 to 2008. She was Advertising Sales Manager for the Houston Astros Baseball Club from 2000 to 2007. Casares Willis brings bi-lengual stakeholder engagement and consensus building skills to her new position and looks forward to helping solve the challenges put before the BBS Board. Wanting to become a contributing member of her new community, Casares Willis actively sought this opportunity believing nothing is currently more important to individual Californians and their communities than mental health. Casares Willis is the Vice President of Membership of the Texas Lyceum and is President of the San Francisco Bay Area Texas Exes Alumni Association. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The University of Texas at Austin. 

  • Wong, Christina (Vice Chair)

    Appointed By: Governor

    Term Expires: June 1, 2021

    Position: LCSW

    Christine Wong Board member

    Ms. Wong was appointed by Governor Brown as a LCSW member in May 2011. Since 2002, Ms. Wong has been employed by Glenn County Health Services and currently serves as Health Services Program Coordinator. She was formerly the Senior Mental Health Counselor for the Children’s System of Care Program. Ms. Wong is also a Mental Health Clinician for Butte County Probation Department’s Minor Adjustment Program, providing family counseling to the incarcerated minors in juvenile hall and upon release in the community since 2008. Ms. Wong is the Field Instructor for California State University, Chico, School of Social Work and previously served as the Dean of Student Affairs for Hong Kong Shue Yan College from 1993-1997. Ms. Wong received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Hull, United Kingdom. She volunteers as Region D Director of the National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter.

  • Policy and Advocacy Committee
    Members
    • Christina Wong, Chair
    • Deborah Brown
    • Max Disposti
    • Wendy Strack
    • Staff: Rosanne Helms; Christy Berger
  • Telehealth Committee
    Members
    • Christina Wong, Chair
    • Susan Friedman
    • Christopher Jones
    • Staff: Rosanne Helms
  • Licensing Committee
    Members
    • Susan Friedman
    • Wendy Strack
    • Christina Wong
    • Rosanne Helms – BBS Staff