Board of Directors
Dwight Alexander, JD, President
Dwight Alexander, JD, President
Dwight Alexander,, JD, President
Dwight Alexander,
JD, President

Dwight Alexander is Vice President and Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs for the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (FHLBSF). The FHLBSF is a wholesale banking institution with over $250 billion in assets, providing liquidity for its over 400 member financial institutions in California, Arizona and Nevada. There, Mr. Alexander is responsible for representing the Bank before Congress and its regulators. Prior to joining the FHLBSF, Mr. Alexander spent 10 years as an investment banker and financial advisor to states and local governments. In addition to his work responsibilities, Mr. Alexander is very active in the San Francisco community having served as President of the City and County of San Francisco Planning Commission (2004-2008) and currently sits on the boards of several Bay Area companies and non-profit organizations. Mr. Alexander is married to his wife of 16 years, and together they have two children.

Mr. Alexander holds J.D. degree from the Syracuse University College of Law, a Masters of Public Administration (M.P.A.) from the Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and is a graduate of Carleton College where he received a B.A. degree in Political Science. Mr. Alexander has served on the AFS Board for many years. He is currently the President of the Board of Directors and Chairs the Board’s Executive Committee.

“One of the hallmarks of a great society is how it cares for its children and its elderly. I believe with all of my heart that our communities are made more vibrant and humane by the work done by AFS. I feel privileged to be able to work along side the men and women that comprise AFS and perform such a vital role in our communities.”

Jo L. Biel
Jo L. Biel
Jo L. Biel,
Jo L. Biel

Ms. Biel is a self employed paralegal in a practice she established over 25 years ago that offers legal services and assistance to San Francisco landlords. Married, she is the mother of five children. In the mid 1970s Ms. Biel was one of the first foster children placed with AFS. Her current involvement with AFS stems from her desire to give back to the organization, and be proactive in spreading awareness of the organization.

“I was a foster child, in the system many years ago and understand the full scope of being in foster care and being a foster child that succeeded and then emerged as a successful adult. I want AFS to continue to be the frontrunner agency to be available at that first critical moment when a child needs us to be there for them.”

Kevin Blackburn
Kevin Blackburn
Kevin Blackburn,
Kevin Blackburn

Kevin Blackburn is the Assistant Vice President Legislative and Regulatory Affairs for the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco an $87 billion wholesale bank serving the liquidity needs of member financial institutions in California, Nevada and Arizona. In this capacity Mr. Blackburn works with Members of Congress and their staffs, state and national trade organizations in banking, residential construction, affordable housing, and consumer groups to educate them on the role the FHLBanks play in mortgage finance, community economic development, and affordable housing development.

Prior to joining the Bank, Kevin was the Northern California Director of Sales for Mpower Communications, a technology company that lead the nation in deploying VOIP communications to small and mid sized companies. Before joining Mpower, he was a small business owner for 12 years. Mr. Blackburn serves as President of Mendocino Woodlands Camp Association a 501(c)3 organization that operates Mendocino Woodlands State Park, a National Historic Landmark. The Woodlands provides outdoor environmental and science education to urban and suburban schools and group camping facilities. He also serves on the Board of Tabernacle Community Development Corporation an affordable developer based in San Francisco and is on the Advisory Board of Studio One Art Center in Oakland.

I became aware of the challenges facing Foster Care children through a program that works with Foster teens and emaciated youth. I realized the positive impact healthy, holistic Foster Care can have on the lives of children in crisis. AFS is doing great wok in our communities and I am honored to support that effort.

Mr. Blackburn holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems Management from the University of San Francisco.

Naja Boyd, Ph.D., Chair Program Committee
Naja Boyd, Ph.D., Chair Program Committee
Naja Boyd, Ph.D.,, Chair Program Committee
Naja Boyd, Ph.D.,
Chair Program Committee

Dr. Naja W. Boyd is the Chief Operating Officer for Anka Behavioral Health, Inc. She oversees Program Operations for the company which is comprised of 80 diverse behavioral and mental health programs throughout the states of California and Michigan. Dr. Boyd, a trained clinical psychologist, has been with Anka since September 2009. Prior to her doctoral pursuits her previous career was in the field of Affordable Housing in the City and County of San Francisco. She spent 20+ years building a career and working in leadership positions for the Mayor’s Office of Housing and the San Francisco Housing Authority.

Anka represents a convergence of careers for Dr. Boyd, where housing and clinical care come together to better the lives for the Mentally Ill population served. Dr. Boyd is an active member of the American Psychological Association and the California Psychological Association. Dr. Boyd is also a Rotarian through her home club of the Concord Rotary.

Dr. Boyd earned a BA in Economics from Howard University, a MA in Organizational Management from The University of Phoenix, a MA in Clinical Psychology and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. She enjoys many leisure activities such as traveling, shopping, reading, spa dates, movies, family gatherings, skiing, and boating. Dr. Boyd is married and resides in Oakland, California with her husband.

Dr. Boyd’s interest in Alternative Family Services stems from her desire to help children and adolescents find secure family attachments within stable communities and safe environments.

Patrick Ciccarelli, Secretary, Chair Development Committee
Patrick Ciccarelli, Secretary, Chair Development Committee
Patrick Ciccarelli,, Secretary, Chair Development Committee
Patrick Ciccarelli,
Secretary, Chair Development Committee
Patrick Ciccarelli is the founder and CEO of Varsity Technologies, an IT consulting firm in San Francisco serving non-profits, schools, and social enterprises. Patrick holds an M.A. in Education with an emphasis in Instructional Technology. He has been a member of the Ingram Micro (Services Advisory Council since 2007 and is the President of the West Coast chapter of Ingram Micro’s VentureTech Network. He is also co-author of four technical books: Networking Foundations, CCNA Jumpstart, CCDP Exam Notes, and MCSE Jumpstart from Wiley, Inc.

As a former classroom teacher in San Francisco, Mr. Ciccarelli is excited to once again help youth by volunteering for the AFS board of directors. Mr. Ciccarelli has a long history of supporting family and youth services through advisory roles for non-profit organizations and volunteer events. He brings energy and ideas to the area of fundraising and marketing for AFS and looks forward to making a significant impact to funding programs and services. Mr. Ciccarelli joined the AFS Board of Directors in 2009 and currently serves as Chair of the Development Committee.

Sandra Collier, Audit Committee
Sandra Collier, Audit Committee
Sandra Collier,, Audit Committee
Sandra Collier,
Audit Committee

Sandra Collier is a Certified Public Accountant with more than twenty five years of experience, primarily in the financial services industry. Ms. Collier held several senior executive positions including Vice President and Controller of Irwin Home Equity Corporation, Controller of Paymap, Inc., Vice President of Secondary Marketing Finance and Operations at North American Mortgage Company and Revenue Manager at E-Loan, Inc. She has a BS from Sonoma State University in Business Management/Accounting and holds a California CPA license.

In 2009 Ms. Collier decided to step-back from the for-profit business world in favor of non-profit work. She is currently working on a Masters Degree in Applied Anthropology from California State University and plans to continue working in the nonprofit sector after completing her degree program. Ms. Collier joined the AFS Board in 2010. Ms. Collier currently serves as the Chair of the Board’s Audit Committee.

“Serving as a Board Member to Alternative Family Services is personally gratifying to me. I recognize the need in Northern California for the kind of high quality programs and services AFS delivers to children in the foster care system.”

Jay A. Berlin, Ph.D.,  CEO, Board Member ex officio
Jay A. Berlin, Ph.D., CEO, Board Member ex officio
Jay A. Berlin, Ph.D.,,  CEO, Board Member ex officio
Jay A. Berlin, Ph.D.,
CEO, Board Member ex officio

Dr. Berlin is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of AFS. In 1973 he was hired by Huckleberry House in San Francisco to create a foster care program for teenage runaways. That program was reincorporated as Alternative Family Services, which began independent operations on July 1, 1978. Dr. Berlin graduated from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in 1969, earned his Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Counseling from Goddard College in 1974 and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Professional School of Psychology in 1989. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on alienation and self esteem in Vietnamese refugee foster children. He has continuously guided the growth and development of AFS for almost 38 years.

“People need people, it is just that simple. Researchers have looked at why one child from challenging circumstances may have succeeded, while another from near identical circumstances did not. Invariably, the researchers found that the successful child was one who had key support from someone at a critical time of need. It may have been a parent, a grandparent, a clergyman, a neighbor. Having that critical support makes all the difference. AFS seeks to offer tangible, physical, moral, logistical, and financial support to the clients entrusted to our care, but also to our foster parents, staff and volunteers. This is the true meaning of our “extended family” concept.


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