Charlene Dimas-Peinado

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


President and CEO

Charlene Dimas-Peinado joined Wellnest in 2016 as its new President and CEO, to lead the nationally recognized trauma informed behavioral health organizations 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 leading 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 one hundred years of community service.

She has broadened the organization’s financial health to $32M annually with her expertise in public and private contracts to expand best-in-class, compassionate, trauma informed care and housing services. Under her leadership, the organization created a new brand identity, mission and core values – Wellnest Emotional Health & Wellness; achieved CARF Accreditation; completed new construction for the State-of-the Art Life Learning Center; expanded core services to include transitional and permanent supportive housing for transition age youth (TAY); completed Wellnest’s first Permanent Supportive Housing Development project – The Nest on Florence (July, 2022); and, is completing its second Permanent Supportive Housing Development project, The Nest on Jefferson (Fall 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 extensive 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. She was selected by Women We Admire as The Top 50 Women Leaders in 2023 of Los Angeles. 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. Additionally, she serves on multiple boards including Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Rotary LA5 and City Club LA.