Charlene Dimas-Peinado

Charlene Dimas-Peinado, L.C.S.W., E.M.L.


President and CEO

Charlene Dimas-Peinado, President and CEO of Wellnest, leads one of the oldest nationally recognized trauma informed behavioral health and housing organization in the Greater Los Angeles Area. 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 celebrates one hundred years of community service.

She has broadened the organization’s financial health to $33M annual operating budget and $63M in assets with her expertise in public and private contracts to expand best-in-class, compassionate, trauma informed care. Under her leadership, the organization created a new brand identity – Wellnest Emotional Health & Wellness; achieved CARF Accreditation and Healthy Families America (HFA) Accreditation; completed construction for the Life Learning Center, 2019; expanded core services to include transitional and permanent supportive housing; completed Wellnest’s first Permanent Supportive Housing Development project – The Nest on Florence, 2022; and is completing two additional housing developments The Nest on Exposition, 2025 and The Nest on Jefferson, 2027; and, a Community Wellness Center, 2026. 

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) 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. In 2023 and 2024, she was selected by Women We Admire as The Top 50 Women Leaders in Los Angeles; and, by the Los Angeles Business Journal as a Leader of Influence: Nonprofit and Philanthropy. In 2024, she was honored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis (1st Supervisorial District) on International Women’s Day.   In 2015, she was the recipient of the Community Advocate Award by the National Latina Business Women Association (NLBWA-LA).  In 2022, she was appointed to the California Interagency Council on Homelessness Advisory Committee by the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary and California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary. In 2015, she was appointed to the Board of Governors for the Natural History Museum by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and in 2017, she was elected as the Vice President of the Board of Governors and serves as the Chair of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access (IDEA) Ad Hoc Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee. Additionally, she serves on multiple boards including the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce where she serves as Co-Chair of the Health Care Policy Council; Co-Chair of the Health Care & Life Sciences Council, Rotary LA5; and Chairwoman for City Club LA Board of Governors. She formerly served on the Los Angeles County Commission for the Department of Public Social Services representing the First Supervisorial District.