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Executive Profiles

Our Great Team

Doing our best to serve the youth of today.

Joy BiddleExecutive Director

Joy Biddle has been with Creative Alternatives since 1989. She began her tenure working with the clients in the Residential Care Program as a Child Care Worker. With hard work, loyalty and determination she quickly moved up the ranks to House Manager. In 2000 she became Program Director of the Merced County Residential Care Program and expanded it from three to eight facilities. In April 2009 the Board of Directors selected Joy as the Assistant Executive Director, and in 2011 took the reigns as Executive Director. Joy is a graduate of California State University, Stanislaus and received her Masters in Public Administration in 2015. She is determined to continue building a strong foundation for the children placed with Creative Alternatives and takes great pride in the agencies success.”I am blessed by all the youth at Creative Alternatives and strive to make their experience with us a positive, nurturing, and loving one. It is my goal to make this the best placement the youth have ever experienced.

Jeff NicholsAssistant Executive Director

Jeff Nichols began his career with Creative Alternatives in 1991. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology, a Master’s degree in Psychology, and is a graduate of Command and General Staff College. He continues to serve as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Reserve as an Infantry Officer. Through his deployments, service, and training, Jeff has accumulated twenty-nine years of military experience. He is currently the Deputy Division Simulations and Exercise Plans Officer for the Pacific Division, 75th Training Command. Jeff cultivated his ingenuity and get-it-done drive from his military service. His skills in program development, revitalization, game-changing turnarounds, stem from his diverse background. As an ardent supporter of corporate culture and workplace environmental change, one of his core beliefs is bringing dignity and strength to each individual worker through mentoring and guiding them to progress in their careers toward greater responsibility and leadership roles.

Brandi BoehmeSTRTP Director (Merced County)

Brandi began working with Creative Alternatives in 1997 as a Child Care Worker. Brandi advanced to a House Manager position by 1999, which she held for four years. In 2003, she was promoted to Assistant Program Director of the Merced County Residential Care Program. After six years of honing her administrative skills, Brandi took over as Program Director of the Merced County Program in April 2009. Brandi has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from California State University, Stanislaus.“I feel very fortunate to be a part of this organization, which has given me the opportunity to advance as a professional and grow as a person. It has been a great pleasure working with both our youth and a very dedicated team of staff. I look forward to many more years with Creative Alternatives.”

Lisa Jacobs
Lisa JacobsSTRTP Director (Stanislaus County)

Lisa Jacobs has been with Creative Alternatives since 1997. Lisa has her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Master’s Degree in Public Administration. Lisa worked in the group home program from 1997-2001. In 2001, she transferred to the foster family agency program as a social worker and eventually became the Assistant Program Director. In 2014, Lisa opened and became the Program Director of Creative Alternatives Transitional Housing Placement plus Foster Care program for young adults 18-21 years of age. Lisa is now transferring back to the group home/STRTP program.

Monica BarlettaDirector of Special Education Services

Monica has been with the corporation since 2004. During her career, she has held the positions of Instructional Aide, Special Education Teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, and now Director of Schools. Monica has a Master’s Degree in Special Education, and currently completing her dissertation for her PhD in Educational Administration and Leadership. Monica holds a dual special education credential in mild/moderate and moderate/severe. She also has a Administrative credential and currently teaches Special Education classes for the Teachers College of San Joaquin and sits on the University of the Pacific (UOP) Advisory Board for the California Administrative Services Credential.

Angela PottsRFA Program Director

Angie has been with Creative Alternatives since 2004. She has held positions as a Foster Family and Group Home Social Worker, Support Counselor Supervisor, Supervising Social Worker, Foster Family Agency and Transitional Housing Assistant Program Director and FFA Director. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Northern Iowa and a Master’s Degree in Applied Psychology and Quantitative Methods, Specializing in Counseling from the University of Baltimore. Angie has been a member of the Grace Bishop Scholarship Committee, a scholarship program offered to Creative Alternatives graduating seniors since her employment in 2004 and has held the position of committee chair since 2014. She is an energetic and determined individual who has a passion for helping create success in the lives of children and families. Creative Alternatives has given her the opportunity to continue making an impact on the lives of children, young adults, and families, while doing so, in an environment with many others who are committed to going above and beyond to the children whom they serve.

Bruce CresswellDirector of Transitional Housing

Bruce has been with Creative Alternatives since 1988. He started as a Child Care Worker and soon advanced to the position of Assistant House Manager. After receiving his Master’s Degree in Education in 1992, he worked as a Social Worker for the agency for four years. In 1996 he was promoted to Assistant Program Director of the Residential Care Program until taking over as Program Director in 2000. In May of 2017, Bruce took over the Transitional Housing Placement + Foster Care Program as the Director. “I feel fortunate to make such a direct impact on the lives of foster youth.”

Jorge F. SousaDirector of Clinical Services

Jorge began his employment with Creative Alternatives in 1997 as a Social Worker in the Group Home Program. He was promoted to Foster Family Agency Supervising Social Worker in 2000 and continued in that position until he transferred to the Residential Care Program in 2006, this also as a Supervising Social Worker. He now oversees Creative Alternatives’ Counseling Center. Jorge graduated from San Jose State University with a Master’s in Marriage & Family Counseling and he is currently a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist.

Darren BorrelliCompliance and Quality Assurance

Darren began his employment with the company in 1985 working with foster youth in the residential homes while attending Modesto Junior College. He completed his studies in 1997, with a Master of Social Work degree from California State University, Stanislaus. Darren worked in the Foster Care Program from 1991 through 2001. In late 2001, Darren served a short stint as the Grace Bishop School administrator. That same year, Darren became the HR Director and for the next 15 years helped the company double its size and partner the Human Resources Department with the programs it operates, incorporating best practices. In May of 2017, Darren became the Corporate Compliance, Ethics, and Quality Assurance Officer for the company. Darren states he’s been blessed with the 10 positions he’s occupied while being employed with the company. He feels it has given him a good balance of how the whole company works, the goal being to serve the clients in our care with dignity and respect and provide a positive work environment for its employees. Darren is active in his community serving in the Lions Club and several boards involving youth and community organizations. Darren also stays busy with his wife and sons on the family ranch, his sons being the 5th generation to live on the property.

Rene SalazarHuman Resources Director

Rene has been with Creative Alternatives since 1992. He began as a Child Care Worker providing care for children in our residential homes. He later received promotions to Assistant House Manager, and then to House Manager. Typical of many college students, Rene’s educational journey took many years of taking classes part time, while having to work full time. Rene’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and an Masters of Science in Educational Counseling. As Foster Family Director, Rene has had the opportunity to assist youth and parents from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds, in a variety of academic, personal and vocational settings. Rene continues to work hard to build a great rapport with colleagues, parents and children.

Michael RamaleyDirector of Communications and Information Services

Michael has been employed with Creative Alternatives since 1996. He holds degrees in Graphic Design, Fine Arts and Information Technology. Michael is an Apple Certified Technical Coordinator and a member of FileMaker TechNet. Michael’s goal is find ways to make technology easy, accessible and fun to use. When not at work, Michael enjoys spending time in the outdoors, and spending time with his wife and 4 children.

Janice TovarDirector of Finance and Accounting

Janice Tovar has been working for Creative Alternatives since 2000. Janice provides both operational and programmatic support to the organization. She supervises the finance department and is the chief financial spokesperson for the organization. Janice reports directly to the Executive Director and directly assists the Assistant Executive Director on all strategic and financial matters as they relate to: budget management, cost benefit analysis, accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, retirement, investments, benefits, assets, fiscal reporting, audits, and GAAP schedules and information. Janice takes great pride in knowing that Creative Alternatives provides excellent care of its clients.

Mary SerpaFood Services Department manager

Mary first started with Creative Alternatives in 1984 as a temporary part time child care worker in the group homes. She and her husband Tony were also foster parents for the company for approximately 10 years. Mary is now the Food Service Director for Creative Alternatives in charge of the child nutrition program. Her goal as Food Service Director is to provide the clients with nutrition education and healthy eating habits that they will use for the rest of their lives. Mary also handles special functions for the company, including holiday parties for the clients and the company’s annual carnival. She also supervises the housekeeping and meal preparation personnel of the Residential Care Facilities and maintains the company’s food warehouse.

Brian CallahanMaintenance Supervisor

Brian started out at Creative Alternatives as a client in the Residential Care Program. He has dedicated himself to hard work and quality that has earned him the respect of his peers, coworkers and community. Brian is now a licensed B1 General Contractor with over 20 years of maintenance experience with the company.

Jean ScottAdministrative Services

Jean has been with Creative Alternatives since 1999 as an executive assistant. She performs administrative duties for executive management. She manages executive calendars, screens calls, making travel, meeting and event arrangements; preparing reports and financial data; training and supervising other support staff; and customer relations. She produces information by transcribing, formatting, inputting, editing, retrieving, researching, and routing correspondence; drafting letters, and maintaining executive's appointment schedule by planning and scheduling meetings, conferences, teleconferences, and travel.

Tony SerpaManager of Organizational Development

Tony started his career with Creative Alternatives as a Child Care Worker in 1982 after a 3year commitment in the U.S Army as a Military Police Officer. He was awarded CCW worker of the year honors in his first year of employment. Tony went back to school and earned his B.A degree in Criminal Justice. In the 34 years Tony, has worked for Creative Alternatives he has been a Facility manager, an instructor in 1st aid and CPR, Certified Crisis Prevention Instructor earning a Master’s level certificate. From 2008 – 2016 Tony was the Assistant Program Director for the Merced program. Currently Tony holds the position of Manager of Organizational Development. Tony feels he has been very blessed over the years to work with our youth and staff.

Rob FrazierTraining and Certification

Rob has been with Creative Alternatives since 1987. In his 30-year career with us he has spent much of that time in direct service to our clients serving in a Supervisory role in our STRTP program. During that time, Rob has witnessed first-hand the transformation that is possible when children are provided with a stable, caring environment that allows them to realize their full potential. Rob recently accepted the position of Training and Certification Coordinator and is now working to enhance the training curriculum for our staff and Resource families. Rob is currently completing his degree in Human Services with a concentration in Child and Family Services.

Travis LakeIntake Placement Coordinator

Travis (T.J.) came to Creative Alternatives in 2014 after working in group homes since 1999. Since coming to Creative Alternatives, T.J. has held the positions of Asst. HR Director, Manager of Organizational Development, School Site Administrator, and is currently the Intake Placement Coordinator for GH, FFA and THP. TJ has 8 adopted brothers and sisters, and has been around the foster care system since a very young age, determining his career path and passion for working with at-risk youth. TJ is on the Grace Bishop Scholarship Committee, and sits as a board member for several community programs. TJ received his MPA at Fresno Pacific University, and his B.A. in Sociology from CSUS.

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