Executive Leadership

Joseph M. Costa, MSW, President and CEO

Joseph M. Costa, Hillsides’ president and chief executive officer, has served in this position since 2011, with the title of president added in 2017. During his tenure at Hillsides, Joe has used his expertise and experience to significantly expand Hillsides programs and services and to further cement Hillsides as a leader in the child welfare field. In 2016, he oversaw Hillsides’ affiliation with  another respected child welfare agency, Bienvenidos.  With this affiliation, Hillsides increases our presence in East Los Angeles and adds a foster care and adoption program to increase permanency for children, thus extending our reach to serve now 17,000 children, youth, and families in Southern California.

Joe is also successfully shepherding Hillsides through a $17 million dollar capital improvement project to significantly enhance the main campus in Pasadena that houses our short-term therapeutic residential program and our school, Hillsides Education Center. Under Joe’s direction, Hillsides has also expanded its Youth Moving On program for transition-aged youth with a drop-in center, the Peer Resource Center, and expanded our Family Resource Centers.  Joe has also led Hillsides through the creation of a new Behavioral Health Division to streamline billing and intake and a new substance prevention and intervention program.  In 2013, Hillsides achieved national accreditation through the New York-based Council on Accreditation (COA).  The same year, Hillsides became recognized as a trauma informed organization by the National Council for Behavioral Health (National Council.

In his role, Joe oversees the overall operation of Hillsides and its affiliate, Bienvenidos, which encompasses planning, directing and coordinating the activities of both agencies. Joe administers the policies of both agencies as designated by the board of directors, including training programs and the administration of over 600 employees. As the chief executive officer, Joe is also accountable for the overall management of the Short-Term Residential Treatment Program on a 17-acre campus, its 14 buildings and the operation of two group homes in the nearby community in addition to its Foster Care and Adoptions Program that serves children and youth in resource homes, the management of a 49-unit apartment building that provides low cost housing for youth who have emancipated from foster care, the Family Resource Centers that provide mental health services to families in crisis, and Hillsides Education Center that offers individualized education plans to students with learning and behavioral challenges. Including Bienvenidos, he oversees 40 sites across four counties: Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange.

Acknowledged as a leader in the child welfare community, Joe was selected by his peers to serve on the governing body of Child Welfare League of America, and has served as its Chairman. Previously Joe was on the governing body of the California Alliance for Child and Family Services. He is also a member of the National Association of Social Workers. 

Previous to Hillsides, Joe was the chief executive officer of Sunny Hills Services, a multi-service children's charity in Northern California.

Joe earned his bachelor's degree in philosophy and social services from St. John's Seminary College in Boston. Thereafter, he earned his master's degree in divinity from St. John's Seminary, School of Theology before earning another master's degree in social work from Boston College Graduate School of Social Work. He also served as an ordained Roman Catholic Priest of the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts.

Stacey R. Roth, LCSW, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

In her position as executive vice president and chief operating officer, Stacey Roth, a licensed clinical social worker, oversees Hillsides behavioral health division; campus-based services, including Hillsides Education Center; community-based outpatient services, which includes all Family Resource Center programs; foster care and adoptions; new funding and program opportunities; Trauma-Informed Care; and transition-aged youth services.

Stacey has been a part of Hillsides since 1996. Stacey was a therapist in Tradewinds cottage for seven years before moving to the Family Resource Centers. As coordinator at of the school-based mental health program at San Rafael Elementary, Stacey oversaw the counseling and support services for students and their families.

She quickly became the clinical director and in less than a year was asked to be the director of Family Resource Centers. Overseeing all aspects of Family Resource Centers programs, Stacey was responsible for managing the school-based mental health programs and numerous Los Angeles County contracts for programs such as Family Support, Family Preservation, and Mental Health Services Act. In addition, Stacey oversaw the three Family Resource Centers located at Pasadena, Baldwin Park, and downtown Los Angeles.  Stacey oversaw the relocation of the Family Resource Center from the Cathedral Center location in Echo Park to its current site in Los Angeles. In addition, she has encouraged the expansion of mental health programs to serve many more families in Greater Los Angeles, East Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley.

Previous to her most current position, Stacey served as Hillsides chief program officer.  In this position, Stacey was responsible for the growth and maintenance of all Hillsides programs.  During this time period she helped to create a Behavioral Health Division, which included a centralized intake system, a professional development department, and a research and evaluation department.  In 2016, she helped to facilitate an affiliation between Hillsides and Bienvenidos, another leading child welfare agency.  Due to this affiliation, Stacey oversaw an expansion of several mental health programs resulting in acquiring four more sites within Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties. In addition, Stacey helped to integrate a brand new Foster Care and Adoptions Program within Hillsides’ array of services.

One of the priorities dear to Stacey’s heart is Hillsides commitment to Trauma-Informed Care (TIC), part of a movement in the mental health field to recognize the profound cognitive, social, and emotional impacts of trauma, especially among public mental health clients. TIC has been shown to reduce the length of treatment and improve outcomes for clients. Stacey has been leading the effort to train all Hillsides employees in trauma-informed practices that are endorsed by the National Council on Behavioral Health and for the last six years, she has overseen a TIC committee of Hillsides employees.

Dan Braun, MBA, Chief Financial Officer

Dan Braun is Hillsides chief financial officer. In this position Dan oversees all agency business matters including banking, legal affairs, registrations and filings, tax returns, investments, compensation and benefits.  He is also in charge of developing and maintaining the fiscal and business management of Youth Moving On and Hillsides Education Center. He supervises three staffs at Hillsides:  financial operations, informational technology and operations.  In addition, among his many duties, he is shepherding the financial rollout of Hillsides recent affiliation with Bienvenidos and is playing a significant role in the agency’s $17 million capital improvement project of the Pasadena campus.

Before coming to Hillsides, Dan served for eight years as the chief financial officer for Five Acres, a residential children’s mental health agency located in Altadena.  There he negotiated and managed $30 million in government mental health and residential treatment contracts, among many other accomplishments.    Previously, he was the controller for the Autry National Center of the American West in Los Angeles, and the assistant vice president for finance and accounting for Hathaway-Sycamores Child & Family Services, a child welfare organization in Pasadena.   

During a long and distinguished 29-year career in finance, Dan also worked as the economic vice president of a leading forensic economics firm, IBAR Settlement Company, Inc. in San Marino, and as the controller for All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena. Dan considers his experience with children’s agencies to have begun when during college, he worked as a recreational supervisor and crisis support counselor at LeRoy Boy’s Home in La Verne.

Dan received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Azusa Pacific University and a master’s degree in business administration from the Peter F. Drucker School of Management at The Claremont Graduate University.

Carrie Espinoza, Chief Advancement Officer

Well-respected among her peers and donor community, Carrie Espinoza serves as  the agency’s chief advancement officer. In her role, Carrie is responsible for raising more than $2 million a year to augment public funding for Hillsides programs. In addition, she is charged with fundraising for special initiatives, such as the agency’s recent $17 million capital campaign to enhance its aging Pasadena campus.

Carrie began her career at Hillsides in 1997 in the community resources department, cultivating relationships with volunteers and in-kind donors along with organizing special events, outings, and activities for the children living at Hillsides. In 2004, she was named assistant director of development and in 2013, director of development. Carrie brings knowledge of the various components of our advancement services department, an effective working relationship with her team, the confidence of our donors, and a demonstrated commitment to our mission. She oversees major gifts and planned giving, annual support, grant management, corporate sponsorships, communications, direct mail, and marketing, special events, and the fundraising component of support groups. In addition, Carrie participates in the board of directors meetings including attending executive, finance, capital campaign, membership, and building and grounds committees.  Carrie is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

As a former board member and Ways & Means committee member at Holy Angels Catholic elementary school in Arcadia, she honed her special event skills by developing and overseeing all fundraising events for several years.

Previous to Hillsides, Carrie owned and operated adult residential care facilities for thirty years. She received her associate’s degree and certificate of achievement in nursing home administration from Pasadena City College. Carrie also earned her nursing home administrator license from the California Department of Public Health. 

Diana Buehler, JD, Chief Administrative Officer

Diana Buehler is the chief administrative officer, bringing some  20 years experience working in nonprofits.   In this role, she is responsible for overseeing risk management, the human resources department, contracts, and our accreditation process.  

Diana comes to Hillsides from Bienvenidos, where she served as the chief operating officer for 11 years, from 2005 to July, 2016. There, she oversaw 170 staff and 15 satellite offices, acted as a liaison with the Department of Children and Family Services and Community Care licensing, managed human resources and partnered with the division directors to plan and direct all aspects of the agency’s operational policies, objectives, and initiatives.

Diana also worked for Bienvenidos from 1990 to 2000 as the human resources director.  She created the human resources department and instituted all necessary state and federal labor laws.  She also assisted the agency in creating the employee policies and procedures handbook.


In between jobs at Bienvenidos, Diana earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of La Verne and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of La Verne Law School.  During these years, she also worked as the human resources director for the Urban Education Partnership, an education nonprofit in Los Angeles.   She also earned a masters of science in leadership and management with a concentration in nonprofit management from the University of La Verne in May 2015.  

Amy Ley-Sanchez, LCSW, Chief Clinical Officer

Amy Ley-Sanchez, LCSW, is Hillsides chief clinical officer.  In this position, she oversees intake referrals, the centralization of and funding sources of mental health allocations, and s quality assurance standards.  She evaluates data and outcomes to better deliver services to clients and   assures ongoing communication and collaboration with county representatives, external funders and county leadership.  Amy also ensures proper preparation of program and division plans as well as oversight for all new program initiatives with respect to contractual compliance.

Formerly, Amy served as the division director of the Behavioral Health Division and division director of community-based outpatient services. She joined Hillsides in 1999 as a Family Resource Centers case manager, collaborating across departments in the coordination of services and resources for our clients. Her initiative, perseverance, and leadership were demonstrated through the many achievements as the program manager/contracts manager, a position she formerly held. She served as the principle grant writer for government grants, initiated subcontracting and capacity building partnership with community organizations, led the first Peer and parent Partner program in 2006, and helped cultivate intermediate leadership roles for emerging leaders. In her position today, Amy coordinates the agency’s response to all contracts and solicitations as offered by county and private sources, including evaluating the decision to bid, leading out program design, and coordinating the contract writing team.

Amy was instrumental in launching the Trauma Informed Care initiative at Hillsides, establishing our agency as the premier provider of parenting education within two service areas, and developed efficient modes of communication among FRC staff and supervisors. In efforts to anticipate new initiatives and changing trends in community behavioral health, Amy continues to participate in county associations, local area planning groups, and integrated care networks.

She currently serves as adjunct faculty at University of Southern California, providing mentorship and guidance to new social workers. Amy received the Master Field Instructor Award from USC in 2011 and earned her licensing credentials in 2010. She received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and anthropology from the California State University Fullerton and a master’s degree in social work from USC in 2003.

Amy Cousineau, Ph.D., Division Chief, Campus-Based Services

Amy Cousineau, Ph.D., is the division chief of campus-based services.  In this position she oversees the Residential Treatment Services program, the Hillsides Education Center, nursing, Residentially-based Services and Therapeutic Behavioral Services. She is also in charge of steering the residential program through foster care reform as mandated by the recent state law AB 403, the Continuum of Care Reform.  Most previously to this position, she served as Hillsides director of programs and strategic initiatives.

Amy began her career at Hillsides in 2008, starting out as a psychologist and assessment program manager.  She was then promoted to Hillsides training program manager and then to the director of Hillsides Family Resource Center in Echo Park, Calif., which offers the community a wide range of programs and services such as mental health support and parenting classes.  While supervising the Echo Park location, she also served for eight months as the interim director of Youth Moving On, Hillsides program for transition-aged youth 16 – 25.

While working at Hillsides, Amy concurrently worked as a psychologist in private practice in Glendale, Calif., for about five years. She also worked as a therapist at the VIP Community Health Center in Los Angeles, as a psychological assistant at the Learning Disabilities Testing Center in Redondo Beach, Calif., and as a staff therapist at the Biola Counseling Center in La Mirada, Calif., among other jobs.

Amy received a bachelor’s degree from Biola University with a double major in psychology and music and a master’s and doctorate degree in clinical psychology from the Rosemead School of Psychology at Biola University.

Cindy Macias, LMFT, Division Chief, Bienvenidos Foster Care and Adoption Services 

Cindy Macias, a licensed marriage and family therapist, is the division chief of Bienvenidos Foster Care and Adoption Services.  In this position, she works closely with the Chief Clinical Officer to develop and implement a strategic plan for the direction, growth and diversity of services of the program.  She also assists in the development and management of the annual budget and goals for the foster family division and all activities associated with program operations.  Further, she directs the development and implementation of program infrastructure, policies and procedures to assure consistency across sites and within the department and ensure adherence to the state and county standards for out-of-home care, among other duties.

 Previously Cindy served as the director for Hillsides Family Resource Centers, South Pasadena for four years, where she managed all programs and services and worked with other Family Resource Centers directors in the overall planning and development of the many resource centers Hillsides maintains throughout Southern California.  Prior to that, Cindy headed up both the Family Resource Centers, Pasadena (which moved to South Pasadena) and the Family Resource Centers, Echo Park.

Cindy started her career at Hillsides in 2001 as a therapeutic behavioral specialist.  She then became a marriage and family therapist intern before moving into the position of Hillsides Family Resource Centers, Echo Park program manager, where she supervised mental health staff and Hillsides contractors, among other duties. 

Cindy received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from California State University, Los Angeles and a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles.

Correnda Perkins, LCSW, Division Chief, Transition-Aged Youth Services 

Correnda Perkins joined Hillsides in December 2017 as the new division chief of transition-aged youth services, supervising both the transitional housing program, Youth Moving On, and the Peer Resource Center. Correnda comes to YMO from St. Anne’s where she was the vice president of Community-Based Programs. She is very familiar with workforce development services as she managed the Los Angeles TAY Collaborative and was responsible for budgeting, reporting, conducting presentations, and strategic planning. Correnda worked at St. Anne’s for eight years and began as a therapist for individuals and families/caregivers. In her most recent position, she oversaw the programs in the Family-Based and Mental Health Services departments. She also managed and complied with public and private grant requirements for workforce development services and other areas.

Correnda has a master’s in social work from San Jose State University, and holds a bachelor’s in sociology with a minor in Spanish from University of Redlands. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and certified in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and Managing and Adapting Practices.

Family Resource Centers offer numerous community-based programs and services that provide parenting classes, mental health support, and additional crucial resources for vulnerable children and families throughout Los Angeles County, including the San Gabriel Valley and Pasadena. >
Education Center, a therapeutic residential and day school, offers individualized education for students with social-emotional, learning and/or behavior challenges for children in kindergarten through 12th grade. >
Youth Moving On, with support from The Everychild Foundation, provides former foster youth affordable quality housing and numerous support services to help them become responsible, self-sufficient adults. >