Charlene Dimas-Peinado joined Wellnest in 2016 as its new President and CEO, to lead the nationally recognized trauma informed behavioral health organization in Los Angeles into its next phase. Throughout her career, Charlene has been inspired by the communities and people she serves. “Every child and family have a story and their stories have meaning and, like a ripple of water, they affect our community,” she has said. “Our objective is to make a positive impact on those we serve — one that improves a life, improves our community.”
Charlene combines the big-picture perspective of a visionary, hands-on executive, and the insights of an experienced licensed psychotherapist in her quest to help children, young adults and families lead emotionally healthy lives. She calls upon 30 years of experience in behavioral health and non-profit organizations. She is the first Latina President & CEO of Wellnest since its founding in 1924 and provides overall leadership and strategic direction as it approaches 100 years of community service.
She has broadened the organization’s financial health – current annual budget of $32M – with her expertise in public and private contracts to expand best-in-class, compassionate, trauma informed care to children, youth, and families. Under her leadership, the organization created a new brand identity – Wellnest; completed construction for the State-of-the-Art Avis & Mark Ridley-Thomas Life Learning Center; expanded core services to include transitional and permanent supportive housing for young men and women; and, is completing Wellnest’s first Permanent Supportive Housing Development projects – The Nest on Florence (June, 2022) and The Nest on Jefferson (Spring 2024).
As Wellnest’s fiduciary leader, and translator of its mission and vision, she ensures the organization is financially, politically, and operationally strong, as it provides best-in-class behavioral health and housing services while addressing the changing needs of its communities. She has experience in obtaining and providing direct oversight to multi-million dollar contracts (county, state & federal) targeting mental health and housing services with expertise in non-profit governance, audit and compliance, and regulatory matters. Additionally, she has spearheaded multiple fundraising and capital campaigns, which have raised millions of dollars, forged new partnerships, and leveraged the impact of donations from donors to provide critically needed services in underserved communities.
Charlene holds a Master of Leadership from University of Southern California, and a Master of Social Work from California State University, Long Beach. She serves on multiple boards including the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Rotary LA5, Quality Comp Inc., Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, and City Club LA.
Charlene and her husband, Epifanio of 32 years are proud parents of their two adult children.