Leadership

Strong leadership and visionary thinking have helped to build Five Acres into a 128 year old organization focused on leading in child welfare services and supporting the more than 8, 500 children and families served each year. The Senior Leadership Team sets the strategic direction of the organization and supports Five Acres’ mission of promoting safety well-being and permanency.

Chanel Boutakidis, MA, MFT
Chief Executive Officer

Chanel Boutakidis, LMFT, assumed her role as Chief Executive Officer of Five Acres in 2011. Prior to being appointed CEO, Ms. Boutakidis was the Executive Director of Pasadena Mental Health Center. Collectively, Ms. Boutakidis has over 20 years of experience in child welfare, health care, advocacy and policy making. She is a dynamic leader with a verifiable year-after-year record of success, achieving innovative, client-impact targets, revenue, and business growth objectives within turnaround, and rapid-change environments. She is highly successful in assessing and managing enterprise risk, seizing control of critical problem areas, and delivering on strategic mission and value-driven commitments.

Ms. Boutakidis has led and motivated diverse teams comprised of more than 400 employees and has managed organizations exceeding $30 million revenue. She earned her master's degree in Clinical Psychology from California State University, Northridge. Her notable awards include 2016 Los Angeles Business Journal, Awardee - Asian Business Woman of the Year, 2015 Los Angeles magazine, Awardee - Woman of the Year, 2014 Pasadena Magazine “Woman of Influence,” the 2014 Congressional Recognition from Michael Antonivich and 2014 Congressional Recognition from Judy Chu.

Ms. Boutakidis sits on the California Alliance Board of Directors, Association of Community Human Services Board of Directors and is a member of the San Gabriel Valley Young Presidents Organization. She lives with her family including her husband and two sons, in Altadena, California.


Carmen Benitez, MBA
Chief Administrative Officer

As Chief Administrative Officer at Five Acres, Carmen Benitez manages the operations, human resources, and training departments for the agency. She joined Five Acres in 2000 and has more than 30 years of human service leadership, executive management, and human resources administration experience. Carmen actively participates in professional networks such as ACHSA (Association of Child Health Services Association), SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), PIHRA (Professionals in Human Resources Association), and the National Alliance for Strong Families and Communities; a non- profit agency whose mission is to strengthen community capacities and influence high-impact nonprofit human-serving organizations to pursue a healthy society and strong communities for all children, adults, and families. Carmen holds a Master's in Business Administration and has lived in the Pasadena area for over 30 years.

Jennifer Berger, MPA
Chief Advancement Officer

Jennifer Berger is the Chief Advancement Officer at Five Acres responsible for all fundraising and volunteer efforts. Passion for the nonprofit sector and serving the community has led Jennifer to her 20 years of professional experience with fundraising, events, program management, board development and organizational leadership. She spent her formative years in Pasadena, California, graduating from Duke University with a BA in English, followed by a Master of Public Administration degree, with an emphasis in nonprofit management, at the University of Southern California. Jennifer is an active volunteer serving on the Executive Committee as President for 2016 of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Board and has been an AFP member since 2007. Other professional affiliations currently include the San Gabriel Valley Estate Planning Council and she is an active parent volunteer with Chandler School, the Pasadena chapter of National Charity League and Girl Scouts.

David L. Graft, CPA
Chief Financial Officer

David has 30 years of professional experience, primarily as a C level executive, including responsibilities as Board Chair, CEO, COO and CFO. Prior to joining Five Acres, David was the CFO of the nation's largest human organ, eye and tissue recovery agency and foundation. David's experience includes challenging C level executive and board positions with for profit and non-profit operating companies in healthcare (including hospitals), financial services and technology. As Chairman & CEO of a financial services and technology company, David's firm earned ranking in Inc. 500's list of fastest growing privately held companies in its first year of eligibility, achieving this distinction for three consecutive years. David was selected as a financial service sector finalist for Ernst and Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Greater Los Angeles in 2002. He was also selected as a Summerall Success Story and recognized in Forbes Magazine and featured in a national telecast on Fox News Network. David has also successfully founded and sold an institutional pharmacy management company.

David's competencies include operations, strategic planning, budgeting, forecasts and financial modeling; financial, operational, GAAP, regulatory and statutory accounting and reporting; audit and regulatory compliance; internal control systems; metrics, measurements and KPIs; analytics and predictive modeling; decision support; cash management and credit risk concentration; business services including revenue cycle and claims management; complex reimbursement systems and cost accounting; treasury function including financings (debt and equity) and investments; risk and litigation management and insurance programs; administrative, human resources and financial policies; legal matters including employment practices; contract management and compliance; intellectual property and software licenses; information technology and systems; payroll; human resources including recruiting, employee relations, compensation and benefit programs.

Prior to starting his career with operating companies, David worked as a manager in public accounting with two of the Big 4 public accounting firms, with industry experience concentrated in healthcare and financial services.

David is a certified public accountant and holds a BS degree in business administration, accounting major, from Indiana University.



Elizabeth Gonzalez, MA, LMFT
Chief Program Officer

Elizabeth Gonzalez, LMFT, has worked at Five Acres since 2001 and has over 17 years of professional experience in the child welfare field.  Throughout the course of her work at Five Acres she has had a variety of positions from Residential Treatment Program Case Manager, Community Based Clinician, Intensive Treatment Foster Care Program Supervisor, Evidence-Based Practice Clinical Coordinator, Division Director of Residential Services to her present position as Chief Program Officer. 

During her career at Five Acres, Ms. Gonzalez has overseen all essential division functions to include Client Care and Services, Financial Performance,  and Program Development for multiple programs to include Intensive Treatment Foster Care, Residential Treatment, Residentially Based Services and Transitional Shelter Care. 

As Chief Program Officer at Five Acres, Ms. Gonzalez provides leadership to three program divisions: Residential Treatment, Permanency Programs, and the Therapeutic School.



Rachel McClements, Psy.D.
Chief Clinical Officer

Dr. McClements is responsible for the direction and management of the agency's overall clinical and mental health service delivery; and steering the organization in the development and maintenance of effective therapeutic practices. As a licensed clinical psychologist, she is an invited speaker to conferences and workshops throughout the United States. Dr. McClements received her B.Sc. in England and her M.A. and doctorate from Alliant University (formerly California School of Professional Psychology).