Board of Directors

Since its founding in 2006, A Thousand Joys has been guided, supported and championed by a committed board.
Raúl Alvarado (Co-Founder & Chair, 2006-present)After 33 years of leadership service at Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, Raúl chose to dedicate his time and resources to helping people empower themselves and grow through the use of complementary and alternative healing methods. He has a longstanding history of commitment and a passion for supporting children and education. For over 20 years, he served on the board of Children’s Institute, Inc., an organization that assists at-risk children and families in Los Angeles. He was the chairman of the board from 1998-1999 and 2002-2010. Raúl has also served on the board of the Fulfillment Fund, a college-access organization that offers mentoring and counseling to disadvantaged students. Raúl grew up in Panama, came to the U.S. to go to college, and has lived and worked around the world. He holds a bachelors in chemical and petroleum refining engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and a master of business administration from Purdue University.
Samaan Bakar (2009-2015, 2018-present)Born and raised in Syria, Samaan Bakar immigrated to the U.S. in 1970. In 1982, Samaan joined the management team of Western Data Systems, a startup software company in Los Angeles. During his tenure with the company, he was instrumental in driving its growth to become one of the leading aerospace and defense materials requirements planning (MRP) software companies at the time. Samaan later joined Accenture, where he worked on building a new mid-market business for the aerospace and defense practice. In 1997, he co-founded BBSC, an enterprise software sales and consulting company. The following year, he sold BBSC and founded a new startup, Ten Dots, a business intelligence and competitive analysis company based on the internet subscription model. Samaan has served on a number of nonprofit boards serving at-risk children and families in Southern California. He enjoys studying the culture and history of other countries and their impact on how we live today. He travels throughout the world with his family, encouraging them to embrace diversity and experience other cultures.
Rosa Bravo (2021-present)Rosa Bravo is a senior technology executive with over 20 years of experience delivering innovative solutions for Government, Aerospace, Education and Fortune 500 companies in the Health, Life Sciences and Consumer Goods sectors. An expert in business strategy and market development, Rosa has collaborated on numerous large transformation projects by applying emerging technologies to business challenges. Passionate about STEM, education and advancement for all, Rosa is a thoughtful Diversity, Equity and Inclusion leader and advocate. She is a frequent guest speaker at conferences for the technical professional Latino community. Rosa has also served on the board of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers informing the strategic directions of the organizations with operational and public affairs advisory. Rosa holds a Master of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California (USC). In 2019, she was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Great Minds in STEM. A native of Los Angeles, Rosa enjoys many interests including cycling, hiking, travel, film, music, and, of course, Trojan football.
Dr. Linda Marie Mirdamadi (2022-present)Dr. Mirdamadi is an internist with clinical expertise in Lifestyle and Bariatric Medicine. She is a retired partner with the Southern California Permanente Medical Group and is the former Chief Wellness Officer, Medical Director for the Center for Healthy Living and Weight Management, and co-founder of the Bariatric Medicine Program at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Centers. Currently, Dr. Mirdamadi is an adjunct clinical instructor at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and enjoys teaching and mentoring students. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Keck School of Medicine Salerni Collegium and has recently been appointed Council for the international organization, True Health Initiative. Dr. Mirdamadi earned her medical degree from the Keck School of Medicine of USC and currently lives in Los Angeles. Her passion is health and she enjoys spending quality time with family and friends, traveling and inspiring others to become their very best by embracing a healthier lifestyle.
Derek Powell (2014-present)Derek is currently a Director at Altman Solon, the world’s largest strategy consulting firm focused exclusively on the Technology, Media and Telecom sectors. With over 20 years of experience in the global Media & Entertainment industry, he helps film, television, music, and gaming clients design and develop new operating models, improve operational performance, and implement strategic growth and innovation plans. Prior, Derek was a Senior Manager/Associate Partner at Deloitte’s Telco, Media & Entertainment practice specializing in designing and developing new operating models, implementing and sustaining operational excellence, and enabling strategic planning and development functions. While at Sony, Derek was an SVP for Sony’s DADC New Media Solutions leading strategic planning and development. At Warner Bros., Derek served as Senior Vice President and General Manager, Global Digital Media Exchange, where he was responsible for day-to day digital supply chain operations of a large production facility and vault operating units for broadcast media, DVD and video-on-demand. Derek is an alumnus of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. He holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of California, Irvine’s Paul Merage Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Science degree in astronautical engineering with military distinction from the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Gratitude & Recognition

We are grateful to our former board members and leaders for their commitment, generosity, and invaluable contributions to A Thousand Joys.


Gerdi Alvarado, Board Member (2006-2021)


Liza Auciello, Founding Chief Executive Officer (2006-2019)


Andrea Cockrum, Board Member (2010-2019)


Ahmad Gramian, Board Member (2009-2016)


Russ Nash, Board Member (2012-2016)


Eva Williams, Board Member (2013-2016)