Michael Riley, Ph.D., Commission Chair
Dr. Riley joined the County of Orange in 1997 and has held several management positions in the Social Services Agency. He served as Director of Children and Family Services before being appointed as the Agency’s Chief Deputy Director. On July 30, 2010, the Orange County Board of Supervisors appointed Dr. Riley as Director of the County’s Social Services Agency.
Dr. Riley received his Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Nebraska.
He is a recognized leader in children’s welfare and has received numerous professional appointments and awards.
Kimberly Chavalas Cripe: Commission Vice Chair
An expert in children's health, Kimberly Chavalas Cripe is president and chief executive officer of Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). Ms. Cripe joined the CHOC staff in 1991 and was named to head the hospital in 1997. Under her leadership, CHOC offers a number of healthcare programs that provide more than 60,000 well-child and urgent care visits each year to underserved children who might otherwise go without critical care.
Ms. Cripe has long been an advocate for children, focusing her efforts on expanding health care access to underserved children and adolescents in the community. Those efforts earned her the 1999 Mentor in Medicine Award from the March of Dimes.
Ms. Cripe did her undergraduate studies at the University of Southern California and the University of South Florida. She went on to receive a master's degree in public administration with an emphasis in health services management from Golden Gate University.
She is the mother of three sons and lives with her family in Newport Beach.
Katherine Ahn, DDS – Health Category
Dr. Katherine Ahn received her bachelor’s degree from Loma Linda University, majoring in Biology. She went on to attend the UCLA School of Dentistry where she acquired her D.D.S. Dr. Ahn completed a two -year postgraduate residency in Pediatric Dentistry, inspired by her belief that a truly healthy smile should begin at the earliest possible age. This further education in the growth & development of the oral cavity and the face gives Dr. Ahn a solid foundation on which to base the optimal restoration of dental form & function for children, adolescents and adults.
Dr. Ahn continued on to additional postgraduate education at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, a world-renowned center for education in cosmetic dentistry. Her commitment to excellence and extensive ongoing continuing education keeps her on the cutting edge of cosmetic dentistry.
Hugh Hewitt’s professional and volunteer credentials cover a wide spectrum. He has served as a member of the Irvine Public Schools Foundation, is a partner in the law firm of Hewitt Wolenski, LLP, and is an associate professor of law at Chapman Law School in the City of Orange.
Mr. Hewitt is also a highly-respected television personality winning three Emmys for his well-known television news and public affairs program, Life and Times Tonight. He is also the host of a nationally syndicated radio talk show heard throughout the United States, The Hugh Hewitt Show. Mr. Hewitt also devotes time to writing and is a member of the California Arts Council.
After serving for six years in the Reagan Administration, Mr. Hewitt was chosen as the founding director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Birthplace where he continues to serve on the library’s board of directors.
Hugh Hewitt has an undergraduate degree from Harvard College and a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School.
Maria E. Minon, MD.: Commission Chair Pro-tem
Dr. Maria Minon is a veteran of more than 20 years of private practice in general pediatrics and adolescent medicine. She serves as the Vice President of Medical Affairs for Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), a post she has held since 1998.
Active in many community-based organizations, Dr. Minon sits on the CalOptima Provider Advisory Board and the National Committee on Child Health Finances for the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Minon has served as president of the Orange County Medical Association. She was also selected to serve in the California Medical Association House of Delegates and as chair of the advisory board for the Ronald McDonald House.
Dr. Minon received her medical degree at the University of California, Irvine.
The Honorable Janet Nguyen was elected to the Orange County Board of Supervisors in February 2007 and re-elected in 2008 and 2012. She is the first woman Supervisor to represent the First District, the first Asian-American and the first Vietnamese-American to serve on the Board of Supervisors, as well as the youngest Supervisor elected in Orange County history. Supervisor Nguyen represents more than 600,000 residents in the First District, which covers the Cities of Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Westminster, portions of Fountain Valley and the unincorporated community of Midway City.
Supervisor Janet Nguyen currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), Chair of the OCTA Transit Committee, Vice Chair of the OCTA Legislative Committee, CalOptima, Orange County Fire Authority, National Association of Counties (NACO), Orange County Children’s Partnership, Orange County Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, Orange County Local Remote Access Network Board (RAN), Santa Ana River Flood Protection Agency, and Orange County Council of Governments. She has received recognition from the Asian Pacific American Legislative Staff Association. She has also received the We Give Thanks 2004 Women of Vision Award and the 2008 St. Anselm’s Cultural Diversity Award. Supervisor Nguyen was named to the Class of 2008 Latino OC 100 for her work with the Latino community, the Orange County Register has listed her as one of the "30 Vietnamese Americans to Watch” and she was named one of OC Metro Magazine 2006 “25 Hottest People” in Orange County.
Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Supervisor Janet Nguyen and her family escaped their homeland and arrived in California in 1981. She is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. Supervisor Janet Nguyen resides in Garden Grove with her husband and two sons.
Sandra Pierce - Education Category
Sandra Pierce has been involved in the Early Childhood Development field for more than 20 years and is currently the Director of Little Friends Preschool in Yorba Linda. She has been active with Friends Christian School for more than two decades and has been associated with Rose Drive Friends Church, concurrently volunteering as a Children’s Minister and is also a member of the Pastoral Staff. She has served as Area Chair for the ACSI accreditation body in North Orange County. Sandra has also created and implemented curriculum for a national franchise of early educational institutions and received a commendation for creating a library and weekly scheduled visits for children to promote early literacy.
Ms. Pierce acquired her Early Childhood Education Certificate in 1981, and received an advanced degree in Early Childhood Administration from Vanguard University in 2003.
Mark Refowitz – Director of the Health Care Agency
Mark Refowitz is currently the Interim Director of the Health Care Agency. Mark joined the County of Orange in 2004 as the Health Care Agency’s Deputy Agency Director for Behavioral Health Sciences. In that capacity he has been responsible for implementation for the local Mental Health Services Act program, as well as the overall operation of the County’s Behavioral Health Services. Prior to joining the County of Orange, Refowitz served as Director of Mental Health Services for the County of San Diego from 2001 to 2003.
Mr. Refowitz has extensive leadership experience that includes an appointment as Assistant Commissioner for Mental Health for the State of Massachusetts, and as a senior staff member of the Federal Receiver appointed to transform the Community Mental Health system in Washington, DC.
Mr. Refowitz is a member of the Board of the National Association of County Behavioral Health Directors. He is also the Co-Chair of the California Mental Health Directors Association’s Information Technology Committee and a board member for the California Institute for Mental Health. Mark has also been the past President of the California Mental Directors Association.
Ms. Barry retired from Anaheim City School District (ACSD) in 2009 where she served as superintendent. She began her educational career in Orange County as a junior high English and French teacher and was quickly promoted to director of educational services, assistant superintendent, and then deputy superintendent. She served ACSD as a deputy superintendent before becoming superintendent.
Ms. Barry is active in the Anaheim community, serving on the Board of Directors of the Tiger Woods Learning Center, Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, Women's Division of the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, Anaheim Family YMCA, Leadership Anaheim, Salvation Army, and Police Chief Community Advisory Board. Her work in the Anaheim and Buena Park communities has earned her the Woman of Vision Award (We Give Thanks, Inc., of Anaheim) and the Woman of Achievement Award from the City of Buena Park. The International Dare Officers' Association honored her with a Distinguished Educator of the Year Award. Mrs. Barry has served as Vice President for Programs for Region 17 of her professional organization, the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), and was a three-year member of the ACSA State Elementary Curriculum Committee.
Ms. Barry hails from Nebraska where she earned her undergraduate degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University. She received her Master's from California State University, Fullerton. She and her husband, Ron, have one son, Jeffrey, a graduate of Loyola Law School.