Walden Family Services (WFS) has elected former Chula Vista mayor and city councilman Stephen Padilla to its board of directors. Mr. Padilla joins the 15-member board and will serve a 3-year term.
“We are pleased to welcome Stephen Padilla to the Walden governing board,” said Hal Dunning, chairman of the Walden Family Services board of directors. “Steve provides our board with excellent policy-making expertise as a result of over 16 years of public service in regulatory and public policy in a variety of arenas, including the top elected position of San Diego County’s second largest city.”
Padilla was elected the 38th mayor of Chula Vista, a city with a population of 250,000, 1,300 employees and a budget in excess of $300 million. As mayor, Padilla served as a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Board of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG-Council of Governments) and as Chairman of SANDAG’s Public Safety Committee. He was also a member of the United States Conference of Mayors (2002-2006), serving on its Education and Social & Criminal Justice national committees.
A South Bay native, Mr. Padilla became the youngest cadet ever accepted into the Southwestern Police Academy after graduating from Bonita Vista High School. Following a 13-year stint as a police officer, he was promoted to detective and specialized in domestic violence and child-abuse; which is where he developed his commitment to community service.
“When I first learned of Walden, I was impressed by their commitment to provide loving home environments and support to foster families and their children with special needs. I am the single parent of a wonderful 12-year old daughter and understand the value Walden brings to children, families and the community,” said Mr. Padilla.
“Mr. Padilla brings a wealth of organizational and leadership skills to our board,” said Walden Family Services’ chief executive officer Karny Stefan. “He joins a talented and dedicated group of individuals that will help us to become more effective in addressing the foster care needs of children with physical and medical disabilities from throughout the Southern California region,” she added.
About Walden Family Services
Founded in 1976, Walden Family Services is a licensed, private foster family agency providing safe homes, compassionate caregivers, and loving family environments for foster children. With a $10 million annual budget, WFS is the only agency in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties and one of the few in San Diego County certified to handle clients with autism, cerebral palsy, physical disabilities, medically-fragile and other special needs. Walden also had a dedicated program to work with youth emancipating from the foster care system called Independent Futures.
For over 30 years, through a variety of comprehensive programs and specialized services, Walden has enabled Southern California’s most vulnerable children to lead healthy, happy, and productive lives, supporting their pursuit of the promising futures they deserve. For more information, please go to: http://www.waldenfamily.org/