Mary Emmons: A Lasting Legacy

Mary Emmons

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”
–Jonathan Swift

For nearly 35 years, Mary Emmons dedicated her life and passion to the children and families of Children’s Institute. Her visionary leadership took CII from a small neighborhood agency operating on $1 million a year to a large, multi-service organization with an operating budget of $66 million serving 28,000 children and families annually.

Under Mary’s leadership, CII expanded programs and services across Los Angeles, identifying high need Neighborhoods of Focus and supporting emerging issues of importance such as father engagement. She focused on partnerships with the understanding that no one agency can do this work alone. Mary also oversaw the construction of several CII facilities across the county, including its world-class headquarters—The Otis Booth Campus—which has become the gold standard among organizations that serve children. And she underscored the importance of CII’s leadership in the implementation of cutting-edge treatment models and training for the next generation of professionals.

Mary inspired us all to push farther, to go beyond what was right in front of us, and to seek what was yet to be seen.

The trustees, staff, volunteers and clients of Children’s Institute thank Mary Emmons for 35 years of service, dedication and commitment, and wish her well in the next step of her journey.

Passing the Torch: New President & CEO Martine Singer

Martine Singer

In November 2016, we introduced our new President and CEO Martine Singer.

Martine is a veteran of the Los Angeles nonprofit sector, bringing extensive non-profit management experience and a passionate commitment to improving the lives of underserved children. Prior to joining CII, she served as President and CEO of Para Los Ninos, one of Los Angeles’s highly regarded family service organizations.

A native New Yorker, Martine holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. She serves on the boards of Eisner Health, Wise Readers to Leaders, Making Poverty History, and served as a Senior Fellow at the USC Marshall School of Business Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab.

In her role as President and CEO, Martine is working to ensure that CII’s comprehensive, trauma-informed services are accessible to children and families in need. She oversees CII’s three main campuses, four community service sites and 28 Early Childhood Centers across Los Angeles.

“I’m honored to join CII, a beacon of hope and recovery for families, and a leader in trauma-sensitive care,” said Martine. “I’m so excited to work alongside the staff, board and families of CII to build a brighter future for children who have experienced violence, poverty and scarcity.”


  • Charles P. Diamond – Chairman of the Board
  • Paul R. Kanin – Vice Chair
  • Kathleen M. Vanderziel – Vice Chair
  • Bradley N. Myslinski – Treasurer
  • Cara Leonetti Esposito – Secretary
  • Susan C. Adamson
  • Samaan Bakar
  • Catherine Beyer
  • Loren Booth
  • Adam Checchi
  • Hugh Evans, III
  • Rochelle Gores Fredston
  • Tracey Gluck
  • Ahmad Gramian
  • Marcia Wilson Hobbs
  • Nina Holland
  • Bridget Gless Keller
  • Tracey Kennedy
  • Suzanne Marx
  • Mari McAlister
  • Candace Bond McKeever
  • Christine H. Newman
  • Barry Patmore
  • Gelila Assefa Puck
  • David Rognlien
  • Todd J. Rosen
  • Daneia Sanadiki
  • Stephanie Booth Shafran
  • Lt. Emada E. Tingirides
Charles P. Diamond

Charles P. Diamond
Chairman of the Board

Leading the Way

Our Board of Trustees leads with incredible generosity. Their dedication and broad range of experience propel us to new heights in advancing our mission through diverse and meaningful ways. Thanks to their passion, CII is able to continue to expand services and bring attention to our work.

Ex Officio Members

  • Barbera H. Thornhill – President, The Colleagues
  • Anne Marie Scibelli – President, The C.H.I.P.S.
  • Phoebe Vaccaro – President, Les Amies
  • Rochelle Gores Fredston – Founder, Philanthropic Society Los Angeles

Auxiliary Group Liaisons

  • Allison Roeder – The Colleagues
  • Sue Ellen Douglas – Les Amies

Executive Staff

  • Martine Singer – President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Gene Straub – Executive Vice President and Chief Finance and Operating Officer
  • Manuel Castellanos, EdD – Senior Vice President of Early Childhood Services
  • Catherine Atack – Senior Vice President of Development/Chief Development Officer
  • Manuel Rivera, PhD – Senior Vice President of Programs/Chief Clinical Officer
  • James Colón – Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Chief People Officer

Welcoming CII’s New President and CEO

This fall, in the spirit of family so often felt at CII, Board Members commemorated Martine Singer’s new journey at CII with a very warm welcome. The celebratory gathering at Shutters on the Beach Hotel brought together CII supporters and staff to meet and show support for the agency’s new President and CEO. Guests were entertained by Trustee Kathleen Vanderziel, who gave a moving introduction to Martine, who also shared thoughtful words about her transition to CII. The jovial atmosphere was a perfect way for Martine to kick off her new position. Thank you to our board for the heartfelt reception.

  • CII’s New President and CEO
  • CII’s New President and CEO
  • CII’s New President and CEO
  • CII’s New President and CEO