Board of Directors

David WilburDavid Wilbur has been on the board of directors of Options for Learning since 2010, serving as the chair since 2017. With multiple degrees in engineering and training in management, he worked as an engineer, manager and director for a small aerospace firm for more than 35 years. In 2013, his wife and he founded a nonprofit company providing education and mentoring services to children and families in East Los Angeles.
Margarite Buitrago
Margarita Buitrago has served on the board of directors since October 2019. She is the current audit chair and is also a member of the Strategic Planning Committee. Margarita was Options for Learning’s interim CEO from June 2018 to June 2019. She started her professional career in public accounting in Los Angeles and has worked in various organizations, leading change and innovation in accounting departments. Margarita is an executive business consultant. Margarita earned an MBA from UCLA's Anderson School and a bachelor's degree in accounting from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She is a California-certified public accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Peter Casciani
Peter Casciani is the CFO of Ticketmaster and is responsible for leading all aspects of the financial functions. Peter joined Live Nation in a finance leadership role in 2007. In 2010, Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged, creating the world’s largest producer of live events and the largest and most scalable ticketing platform. 
Over the past 15 years, Peter has collaborated on and driven strategic initiatives, partnership investments, financial management, and operational modeling while navigating a fast-paced environment in a rapidly changing and evolving industry. He is a trusted business partner, leading the continuous evaluation of short- and long-term financial objectives while offering sound advice on the financial implications of business activities.
Prior to joining Ticketmaster, Peter spent 10 years with The Walt Disney Company in the Consumer Products Division, progressing through various finance leadership roles across the Video Game and Licensing groups. Peter is an engaging, collaborative, and influential leader who strives to be a mentor that cultivates a strong team culture.
Marlen Gomez is a principal with CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, a professional services network. She specializes in planning, directing, and supervising audits of charter schools, foundations, and nonprofits. She has more than a decade of experience and consults with nonprofits on a variety of accounting and tax-related matters. Marlen earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of La Verne and is a CPA licensed in California. 
Andrew Levey is a California licensed attorney with extensive experience in employment law and human resources management. He is the vice president of human resources and organizational development for Community Partners, a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor. Andrew provides leadership and guidance in all personnel matters, including employment/labor relations, training and development, talent management, and employment law.
Prior to joining Community Partners, Andrew was the chief human resources officer at Nigro, Karlin, Segal, Feldstein & Bolno, LLC, where he oversaw all human resource functions. He has also worked at Paramount Pictures, serving as the vice president of human resources (legal). He received a J.D. from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from UC Berkeley.
Evan Pan
Evan Pan has been a board member since 2016. He is the chief investment officer and managing partner for Pan Global Advisers, LLC, and is also the chief investment officer and partner of Tax Efficient Asset Management Solutions, Inc., a multi-family office RIA. Evan has more than 20 years of world-class investment experience, including his previous positions as chief investment officer for The Fuller Foundation and director of investments at Caltech Endowment. Before that, he was a portfolio manager at Dimensional Fund Advisors and vice president at Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO). He is a chartered financial analyst and a member of the CFA Society of Los Angeles. Evan holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from UC Irvine and a master’s degree in business UCLA’s Anderson School of Business.
Joyce Robinson
For more than 40 years Joyce has been a passionate advocate for children, families, and the professionalism of the early childhood education field. After working many years as an elementary school teacher and then as a coordinator in Pasadena Unified School District’s Early Childhood Program, she moved to the private nonprofits ECE sector and Head Start. She is a senior program officer with the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), a community development financial institution whose mission is to build opportunities to help move people out of poverty in low-income communities through a focus on equity and racial justice. As a senior program officer in the early care and education department of LIIF, she assists ECE directors and family child care owners in implementing state funding for facility improvement. She has also worked with Opportunities Exchange, Inc. in partnership with First 5 LA, to establish ECE Shared Services collaborations throughout LA County.
Joyce has a master’s in human development from Pacific Oaks College and a master’s degree in business administration from Azusa Pacific University. She holds a California Teaching Credential, an Administrative Services Credential, and a Community College Instructor’s Credential. She continues spreading her ECE messages as an adjunct instructor at community colleges and Pacific Oaks College, sharing her passion for quality early learning programs and advocacy engagement with her students.
She lives in Altadena and has two adult daughters and one grandson. In her personal time, she enjoys tending her outdoor yard, especially the vegetable garden and fruit trees. As time permits, she carves out moments for reading, expanding her computer skills, visiting with friends, shopping for her grandson, and singing in two gospel choirs.
Inga RodriguezInga Rodriquez has been a board member since 2015. She works at Cal State San Bernardino's Office of the President. Inga has worked at St. Jude Medical Center as a liaison between the hospital and governmental and health care agencies. She has extensive experience doing community outreach, parental education and case management. Inga is proud of her past work experience in the diverse fields of automotive and higher education. Her children have attended Options for Learning programs, including Head Start.
José has been a board member since 2019 and currently serves as secretary. He recently retired after serving 20 years as a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge. He served his entire career as a criminal court judge, primarily assigned to felony trial court. José remains active in alumni affairs for his college and is married.
Randy joined Options for Learning's board of directors in 2020, where he has served on the Personnel Committee and Strategic Planning Committee. Randy is currently the chairman of the Personnel Committee, a position in which he brings 20-plus years of experience. He is a collaborative leader with extensive multi-unit experience, ensuring the customers’ needs are met internally and externally.
Randy pursues work activities to achieve the mission and business priorities of the organization. He has served on the diversity board of the San Diego Urban League, the Covina Chamber of Commerce, and the Covina Lions Club board. Additionally, Randy has worked with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for more than 20 years and was awarded Humanitarian of the Year.
Pat Huffman
Pat Huffman has been an integral part of Options for Learning since the formative years of the agency. Pat was hired as a nutrition outreach specialist for Options Family Day Care Food Program in 1981. Later, she became the first manager of the food program. After her resignation, she served on Head Start’s health council. Pat soon transitioned onto the Board of Directors.
Trained as a registered nurse, she has professionally worked in programs devoted to children and families. While working at other agencies, Pat collaborated with programs of Options for Learning. Pat has been an active volunteer in her community, serving on various committees and boards, working on education, advocacy, and health issues such as early childhood education, family issues, and mental health, including language development, medically vulnerable infants, substance abuse treatment, and family preservation.

Senior Leadership team

Paul Pulver, CEO
Paul Pulver has been the chief executive officer for Options for Learning since 2019. As CEO, he oversees all programs and operations related to the child care and support services provided to nearly 9,000 children annually in 90 sites and 300 classrooms across the greater San Gabriel Valley area within Los Angeles County. He has worked in the nonprofit arena for more than 35 years and has a reputation for facilitating organizational growth.

Prior to joining Options for Learning, Paul served as the executive director for Pathways LA, as vice president of development and communications for Maryvale, and as executive director for United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Orange County. Paul has actively participated on numerous boards and committees at the county, state, and national levels. Currently, he is the vice president of the board of the Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles (CCALA), a unique partnership of 10 member agencies that deliver services to thousands of families and child care providers across Los Angeles County. Additionally, he is a board member of Su Misericordia, a faith-based organization serving the indigenous people in Maneadero, Mexico. His prior affiliations include the UCP National Affiliate Services Committee; chair of the UCP National Affiliate Charter Task Force; chair of the Orange County United Way Council of Organizations; and board member for the National Catholic Development Conference and Orange County United Way.

Paul holds a bachelor of arts degree in Christian ministries, as well as a ministry credential from Azusa 
Pacific University. He volunteers his time at Su Misericordia and an organization that provides camp experiences to individuals with disabilities. Paul is involved at his church, enjoys sports and gardening, and cherishes spending time with his wife, three children, daughters-in-law, and three granddaughters.
Dominic Alpuche
Dominic Alpuche joined Options for Learning in 2020. As chief financial and administrative officer, he manages the organization’s finances and fiscal activities, including risk management, planning, reporting, recordkeeping, and data analysis, with a budget of more than $100 million. In conjunction with the CEO, he is also responsible for driving the direction, strategy, and success of the agency’s finances. With more than 20 years in grant management and financial administration, Dominic has extensive experience in administering federal, state, and local agency grants, as well as foundation grants with organizational budgets in excess of $90 million. He combines his financial skills with a collaborative and forward-thinking management style.

Prior to his position with Options for Learning, Dominic served as the director of finance and senior fiscal officer at the University of California at San Diego Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS), as chief business officer for the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California, assistant director of business and technology for the Center for Urban Education, and assistant director of budgets and compliance for the TRiO Programs and School for Early Childhood Education.
Dominic enjoys traveling and hosting family get-togethers and is most proud of his two children, Nathaniel and Lilia. He has volunteered for his kids’ activities throughout their early childhood, as board treasurer for their preschool, vice president and coach for Little League, and cub scout chief and den leader for Boy Scouts of America. Dominic is passionate about providing an environment for all children to thrive.

Dominic earned a bachelor’s degree in public policy management from USC and a master’s degree in business administration, accounting, and finance from the Florida Institute of Technology.
Johanna Atienza
Johanna Atienza became the agency's first chief growth and innovation officer in 2022. She has worked in higher education for more than 15 years and has served diverse roles in advancement, admissions, marketing, external relations, and community-based curriculum and programming. Prior to her position with Options for Learning, Johanna served as the associate vice president of advancement and external relations at Pacific Oaks College and Children’s School, where she was a member of the executive cabinet and directed aspects of development, grants, community partnerships, public relations, and alumni relations.  
She is passionate about educational equity and fostering communities that nurture children and families to reach their full potential. Her social impact areas of interest include early childhood education and care, mental health and wellness, foster youth, anti-bias education, diversity, inclusion, and belonging. Johanna is involved in local initiatives, including Growing Together PASadena and All Children Thrive Pasadena.  
Johanna holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, with minors in film and sociology, from USC, as well as a Juris Doctor from Golden Gate University School of Law. She currently resides in Pasadena with her husband and son.
Mildred Balderrama joined Options for Learning as a site director with the Surround Care
Mildred Balerrama
division in 1989. Throughout her years of service, she also has had the opportunity to provide leadership to staff within the Enrichment Program and Head Start South El Monte division, where she has served as the division director. She is currently the vice president of early learning programs.

As a leader within the agency, Mildred's goal is to continually equip her staff with the tools to become the leaders of tomorrow. For the last 20 years, she has actively participated in church and community activities, raising funds for at-risk youth and women. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking for her family and friends.
Leslie Carmell joined Options for Learning as the director of communications in 2020, and became the agency’s vice president of communications, marketing, and outreach in 2022. Having worked in the nonprofit arena for more than 30 years, she has experience with a range of organizations, including K-12 independent and religious schools, a cancer support organization, and Catholic and Episcopal churches. Before joining the Options for Learning team, Leslie was the director of communications for almost 12 years at a nationally top-ranked school, Polytechnic School in Pasadena. She has also worked on a freelance basis, writing and editing for a number of San Gabriel Valley newspapers, book publishers, and other organizations.

Leslie earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in the study of women and men in society at the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in management with an emphasis in information systems from the University of Redlands.
Thessia Carpenter joined Options for Learning as the controller in June 2021, and was named vice president of finance a year later. She is most fulfilled in helping organizations achieve their optimal financial goals. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from DeVry University, an MBA with a specialization in accounting, and a master’s degree in human resources management, both from Keller Graduate School. She is passionate about sharing her talents in this field because of her personal connection to the work.

Previously, Thessia proudly flourished as a Head Start parent, where she and her children benefited immensely. She believes her passion translates into the work that she produces and the insight she provides in ensuring that all grants are in compliance and no child is left behind. She believes every family deserves an equitable start in life and the same opportunity she did to succeed.
Kimberly Dobson Garcia joined Options for Learning as the subsidized division coordinator in 1997, and proceeded to work for the CEO on special projects, such as quality initiatives, capacity building, grant expansion, and starting the agency’s communication department. She then managed projects for the CFO before her promotion to vice president of strategic initiatives.  
Before joining Options for Learning, she administered the Resource and Referral Program, Child Care Initiative Project, and respite child care contract in Santa Barbara.  
She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from UC Santa Barbara and has a certificate in personal financial planning from UCLA.  
Tracy Lynch
Tracy has worked with school-age children in the after-school sector for more than 30 years and has served on several child development committees within her community. After earning her degree, she worked for several years as the student services director at a private school in Orange County. Tracy was later hired as an education coordinator with the Surround Care division at Options for Learning, where she worked for seven years before leaving to stay home with her newborn daughter. Tracy was fortunate to stay home with her daughter for the first five years of her life and then had the opportunity to return to what she loved, working as an education coordinator with the Surround Care division. She later became the administrator coordinator and eventually the director of the Enrichment Program in 2014. Tracy was tapped to become the agency’s first chief program officer in 2022.

Tracy holds a bachelor’s degree in business marketing with a minor in child development from Cal State Fullerton.
Denise McCullough
Denise McCullough began her career with Options for Learning in 2002 as an education coordinator with Full-day Preschool. Before coming to Options for Learning, she was the director of a small Christian center with infant/toddler, preschool, and school-age programs. She was promoted to director of Full-day Preschool at Options for Learning in 2007.

Denise holds a bachelor’s degree in child development from the University of La Verne.
She advocates for mental health awareness and is passionate about ending the stigma surrounding mental health treatment. As a stage-three rectal cancer survivor, Denise is also an advocate for colorectal cancer screening. She wants others to know that there is no shame in having cancer, regardless of where the cancer is located. In her spare time, Denise enjoys swimming and spending time with her family.
Rosemary Olachea-Heaslip has been with Options for Learning for 32 cumulative years and has dedicated her professional career to working with school-age youth. She has experienced many changes in the child care field as it has evolved throughout the decades to improve the quality of services to the communities served. She started her career as a site director in Alhambra in the late 1980s, then returned to Options for Learning as an education coordinator. She was later promoted to program director and later the division director in 1996.

She is committed to being an advocate for the Surround Care program and the services the agency provides to the community. She values the integral interpersonal relationships with parents, school district personnel, and especially all of the staff that make Surround Care a valuable division within the agency. “I am proud of all that we have accomplished together with a common goal to be the best we can be through the delivery of an educational supporting and nurturing program for years to come," Rosemary shares.
Terry Talavera has served as the division director of Options for Learning's Child Care Services and Food Program since April 2020 and is currently the vice president of Child Care Services. With more than 38 years of experience working at Options for Learning, she began her tenure as a Head Start teacher in 1985, and later transitioned to the Child Care Services division as a resource and referral counselor. Before assuming her current role, she served as the Family Child Care Food Program coordinator for 33 years. In her role, Terry oversees and maintains the operations of Options for Learning’s Child Care Services program, which includes 115 employees. She also manages the family daycare Food Program, which sponsors nearly 600 licensed daycare providers to ensure they serve nutritious meals to more than 4,800 children in various communities in and around Los Angeles County and San Bernardino County. She also manages the center-based Food Program, which serves more than 42,000 meals monthly to 1,300 enrolled children.