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)As principal and co-founder of Alvarado Grant, Raúl advises companies and senior executives on strategy, operations, and technology. Previously, he held senior global leadership roles at Accenture, and his passion for supporting children and education led to decades of service as board chair of Children’s Institute and as a Fulfillment Fund board member. In 2006, with a goal of empowering at-risk children through complementary and alternative healing methods, he co-founded A Thousand Joys. Raúl holds a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from the Colorado School of Mines and an MSIA (MBA) from Purdue University.
Samaan Bakar (2009-2015, 2018-present)Samaan is co-founder and president of Ten Dots, a strategy, sales, and software development services company. Originally from Syria, he immigrated to the U.S. in 1970 and eventually joined the management team of Western Data Systems before joining Accenture, where he helped build its aerospace and defense practice. Later, Samaan led enterprise software company Baan Business Systems California as its CEO. He has served on several organization boards focused on helping at-risk children and families in Southern California. A graduate of Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo, he holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering.
Rosa Bravo (2021-present)A senior technology executive with more than 20 years’ experience delivering innovative solutions for Government, Aerospace, Education, and Fortune 500 companies, Rosa is passionate about education, STEM, and advancement for all. She is a frequent guest speaker for the technical-professional Latino community and is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion leader and advocate. Rosa serves on the boards of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall, the USC Latino Alumni Association, and XR Marin. In 2019, Great Minds in STEM honored Rosa with its Lifetime Achievement Award. She holds a M.S. in Industrial & Systems Engineering and a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, both from USC.
Lawrence Carlos (2022-present)A senior executive with Gainwell Technologies, Larry has more than 30 years’ experience delivering innovative solutions in the healthcare industry. Now focused on government programs, such as Medi-Cal, he helps enhance access to care for society’s most vulnerable. Larry has served on the Northern California March of Dimes board and the Sutter Medical Foundation’s fundraising committee and has presented at more than 25 forums, including the California State Board of Education, Healthcare Information & Management Systems Society, and the American College of Healthcare Executives. He holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Public Administration, both from California State University, Sacramento.
Dr. Linda Marie Mirdamadi (2022-present)Linda is an internist with clinical expertise in lifestyle and bariatric medicine. She is a retired partner with the Southern California Permanente Medical Group, former chief wellness officer and medical director for the Center for Healthy Living & Weight Management and is the co-founder of Kaiser Permanente’s Bariatric Medicine Program in West Los Angeles. Currently, she is adjunct clinical faculty and serves on the executive board of directors for the Keck School of Medicine of USC and was recently appointed to the USC board of governors. Linda obtained her undergraduate degree from UC Irvine and earned her MD from the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
Derek Powell (2014-present)A director at Altman Solon, Derek has more than 20 years’ experience in the global media & entertainment industry, helping film, television, music, and gaming clients design and develop new operating models, improve performance, and implement growth and innovation strategies. Previously, he held senior leadership roles at Warner Bros., Sony, and Deloitte. An alum of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program, Derek holds a bachelor’s degree in astronautical engineering, with military distinction, from the U.S. Air Force Academy and an MBA from the Paul Merage Graduate School of Management at UC Irvine.

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)