LEADERSHIP & ADMINISTRATION
Chair, Board of Directors
Peter Perkowski is the founder of Perkowski Legal, PC. With nearly 20 years of experience advising clients and litigating high-profile cases, he has appeared in state and federal trial-level and appellate courts across the United States in intellectual property and business litigation.
Perkowski’s patent practice has focused on litigation under the Hatch-Waxman Act, which established a regulatory framework for development, approval, and sale of generic drugs. Under this statute, he has litigated cases involving drugs for the treatment of a wide variety of medical conditions. He has also counseled generic pharmaceutical companies on regulatory and pre-litigation issues related to drug approval. His litigation and regulatory work has been critical in helping his clients bring low-cost drugs to market sooner than otherwise, benefiting more than just the clients he represents. For his work, Managing Intellectual Property has named him an “IP Star” (2013-15), and Intellectual Asset Management has given him a Bronze rating in its “IAM Patent 1000” (2012-15). In 2010, the National LGBT Bar Association included Peter on its inaugural “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40” list.
Perkowski has also assisted clients in immigration matters before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly the INS), immigration courts at all levels, and federal appeals courts. His work has focused on helping people fleeing their home countries because of persecution based on real or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or HIV status. In addition to serving as chair of the board of directors for APLA Health, Perkowski serves on the board for the Global Forum on MSM & HIV.
Craig E. Thompson
Chief Executive Officer
Craig E. Thompson joined APLA as chief operating officer in 1997 and became the chief executive officer in July 1998. In his current role, he oversees all operations for APLA Health, including clinical operations, client and community services, health education and HIV prevention, government affairs, fund development, finance, and communications.
Prior to joining APLA, Craig was vice president and chief financial officer of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) from 1992 to 1997. While at AHF, he played a lead role in establishing and operating Positive Healthcare, the first Medicaid-managed care program in the U.S. for persons with AIDS. From 1988 to 1992, Craig was employed by Security Pacific Burns Fry, an investment banking firm, working as part of the advisory team in mergers and acquisitions.
Craig received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Washington State University and graduate degrees from the University of Washington School of Law and New York University School of Law. He also earned a master’s degree in business administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Chief Financial Officer
Robyn Goldman joined APLA in 2010 as chief financial officer. She is responsible for the financial operations, as well as information technology resources for the organization.
Prior to joining APLA, Robyn spent five years at nonprofits, including most recently as chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania and as executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Montgomery County in Pennsylvania. From 1997 to 2002, she was the executive director of Ventures at WHYY, Philadelphia’s public broadcaster. From 1991 to 1996, she was the co-founder, COO, and CFO of NYT Video News International, which was sold to The New York Times in 1996. Robyn began her career at the CPA firm of Goldfarb, Whitman and Cohen in West Los Angeles.
Robyn received a bachelor’s degree in business economics at University of California, Santa Barbara, and a master’s degree in business administration at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a certified public accountant in the state of California, inactive.
Director of HIV Access and Community-Based Services
As director of client services, Jeff oversees the coordination of APLA Health’s Client Services division.
Prior to joining the agency, Jeff served as the director of Health Education & Prevention at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, overseeing a variety of evidence-based HIV health education and risk reduction services focused on men who have sex with men, transgender women, and people living with HIV, as well as tobacco control and substance use prevention programs.
Recognized for his leadership in community planning, Jeff served as one of the community co-chairs of the Los Angeles County HIV Planning Committee from 2001 to 2005 and presently participates as a member of the Urban Coalition of HIV/AIDS Prevention Services. He is also a part-time professor at Cal State University Los Angeles in the Health Sciences department.
Jeff received a master’s degree in public health from California State University, Northridge, and an undergraduate degree in history from UCLA. He also has a degree in physical education and a secondary teaching credential in social sciences.
Vallerie D. Wagner
Director of Health Center Operations, Los Angeles
Vallerie joined APLA in 2006 as the director of health and wellness programs and became director of education in July 2007.
Prior to joining APLA Health, Vallerie served as the COO at the Black AIDS Institute, the first black HIV/AIDS policy center dedicated to reducing HIV/AIDS health disparities by mobilizing black institutions and individuals in efforts to confront the epidemic in their communities. Prior to joining the Institute, she was the director of education and social services at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
Before entering the world of nonprofit management, Vallerie worked as an engineer at Jet Propulsion Laboratory for 15 years on the Voyager and Galileo projects. She received her B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA. She received her M.S. in electrical engineering from Tuskegee Institute in 1983 and was the first woman to receive a master’s degree in engineering from that institution. A tireless advocate for the human rights of the LGBT community and people living with HIV/AIDS, Vallerie has worked with culturally and linguistically diverse populations locally, nationally, and internationally for more than 30 years.
Chief Advancement Officer
In his current role, Charles oversees all fund development for APLA Health and advances the mission of the organization. Before joining the agency he served as vice president of communications and development at The Village Family Services from July 2011 to May 2016. His professional experience also includes serving as CEO of The Trevor Project, development director for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, various senior fundraising roles at GLAAD, and the founding of Project Angel Heart, a Denver-based HIV/AIDS nonprofit organization. Charles holds a MBA in healthcare management from Western Governors University, a certificate in nonprofit administration from the University of Colorado, Denver, and he is a longtime member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, where he achieved accreditation as a Certified Fund Raising Professional. Charles is very active in the community. He was appointed by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl to serve as a commissioner of ICAN. He serves on the board of directors of the LGBT Community Center of the Desert in Palm Springs, CA, is a board member of The Village Family Services, and serves as president of the Greater San Fernando Valley Chapter of AFP.
Director of Health Center Operations, Long Beach and South Los Angeles County
Prior to joining APLA Health, Miguel formed a consulting company that helps community-based and heath care organizations expand wellness services to their communities. He has been involved in various levels of health care management for over 20 years in organizations throughout Long Beach and the South Bay, including working as senior administrator of clinic operations for St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach.
In his administrative roles, Miguel has overseen HIV medical, dental, and case management programs, multiple specialty clinics, hospital operations, retail pharmacies, and community education programs.
Director of Government Affairs
Phil Curtis oversees the policy and advocacy activities of APLA Health’s Government Affairs division.
Phil joined the agency as a case manager in 1989 and later worked as APLA’s benefits coordinator, managing the agency’s first return-to-work program. He joined the Government Affairs division in 2000.
Previously, Phil worked as a journalist, writing for a variety of newspapers, magazines, and wire services. For several years, he worked for PBS flagship station WNET-TV in New York City, where he was an on-air producer/reporter for the station’s first nightly newsmagazine, The 51st State. He later served as executive producer of PBS’s national weekly media review Behind the Lines.
Phil is a graduate of the University of Virginia.
Director of HIV Prevention Services
Terry Smith has over 20 years of progressive responsibility with a variety of nonprofit organizations focusing on policy, runaway and homeless youth, HIV education/prevention, and employment services for persons with disabilities, among other issues. As director of HIV prevention services, Smith is responsible for overseeing and guiding program development, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating all HIV prevention services APLA Health provides.
Among the diverse programs Smith oversees are those that focus on men who have sex with men from a variety of populations, including crystal meth users, young adults, Native Americans, African-Americans, and Latinos. He is currently a member of Los Angeles County’s Commission on HIV. Additionally, he was a member of the legacy HIV Prevention Planning Committee, where he served as co-chair from 2007-11, and was a founding member of the Black Los Angeles HIV/AIDS Coalition, where he served as president from 2009-13.
He has a long history of collaboration and community work in the HIV prevention field, serving as a member or providing leadership to various task forces addressing issues as they relate to populations most impacted by HIV. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in public administration.
Director of Human Resources
Madria Marshall joined APLA in 2005 as director of human resources. A seasoned executive with 25 years of experience in the field, she has worked in the health care, transportation, finance, and consumer products industries.
For nearly 20 years, Madria worked at UHP Healthcare/Watts Health Foundation in Inglewood, most recently as director, human resources/vice president, personnel services. She has broad experience with union negotiations, recruitment and referral programs, compliance audits, and management training. She began her career at Mattel, Inc. in El Segundo, CA.
Madrial holds a B.S. from California State University, Long Beach, and a master’s degree in organizational management from the University of Phoenix. She is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management and Human Resources Executive Networking.
Director of Communications
As director of communications, Mikel Wadewitz ensures that the mission and purpose of APLA Health is clearly articulated through all external and internal communications—from newsletters and press releases to website and advertisements.
Before joining APLA Health, Wadewitz worked as creative services director for Wagstaff Worldwide, a marketing company that specializes in the hospitality industry. Prior, he was an editor for Frontiers magazine, the largest publication for the LGBT community in California and had previously worked as an acquisitions editor for St. Martin’s Press in New York City. He has written for The Advocate, Out, Frontiers, and numerous other publications about current events, travel, and the arts. He is also presently a volunteer with the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives.
A native of Portland, OR, Mikel attended Bennington College, from which he received a B.A. in American literature and creative writing.
George Ayala, Psy.D.
Executive Director, MSMGF
George Ayala, PsyD, is the executive officer of the Global Forum on MSM and HIV (for which APLA provides administrative and fiscal support). He also holds a part-time appointment as a research psychologist/public health analyst at RTI International’s Urban Health Program in San Francisco.
A clinical psychologist by training, George has conducted social science and community-based intervention research since 1996. His research has mainly focused on understanding the mechanisms through which social discrimination impacts health among gay and bisexual men of color.
George is the former director of education at APLA, where he managed HIV prevention; capacity building assistance; community-based research; and print, video and web-based media programs for six years. In this role, Ayala helped bolster the agency’s HIV prevention portfolio, launch a series of provocative, community-based, award-winning publications and establish its nationally renowned capacity-building assistance program. He has worked in the nonprofit HIV/AIDS sector for more than 20 years.
MEET OUR PROVIDERS
Jerome de Vente, MD
As medical director, Dr. Jerome de Vente provides administrative oversight of medical services and directs all medical policies and programs, ensuring that the organization meets the highest standards of medical practice. He has had a long-standing interest in HIV care, dating back to the 1980s when he volunteered for a Nashville-based AIDS service organization while in medical school.
Prior to joining APLA Health, he served as a physician at the CARE program at St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach, where he also currently directs the hepatitis C program, as well as several hospitals throughout Southern California and the greater Seattle area. De Vente is board-certified in internal medicine and infectious disease, and holds professional memberships in the American College of Physicians, the Infectious Disease Society, and the American Academy of HIV Medicine. As an academic and educator, he has participated as an investigator in HIV treatment clinical trials, served on several peer review committees, and currently sits on the faculty as an assistant clinical professor at the UCLA School of Medicine.
Dr. de Vente specializes in internal medicine. He received his medical degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College.
Steven Vitero, DDS
Medical Director, Dental Clinic
Dr. Steven Vitero joined what was then known as APLA Dental Services in July 2004. As the medical director of dental services for APLA Health he is responsible for the management of staff and all day-to-day operations of the organization’s four dental clinics and mobile dental van in Los Angeles.
In 1988, Steven established his own private dental practice in Carson, CA. From 1995 to 1999, he also treated underserved members of the community in Bell, CA, as a staff dentist for Community Health Foundation of East Los Angeles, a nonprofit health program. In 1998, he opened and established a small elementary school campus based dental clinic at San Miguel School in South Gate, CA, as he worked alongside a general physician to provide a convenient and reliable health evaluation alternative for the neighborhood.
Steven received his bachelor of science degree in zoology from the University of California, Davis, before going on to receive his doctor of dental surgery degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Dentistry.
Scott Singer, MA, LMFT
Behavioral Health Services Director
Scott Singer has been a licensed psychotherapist for over 15 years and in addition to his work at APLA Health, maintains a private practice focusing on the needs of the LGBTQ community. He originally joined APLA in 1994 as the program manager of Home Health. In addition to running that program, Scott has managed a number of client service program areas over the years including behavioral health, benefits counseling, food and nutrition, transportation, and oral health.
Scott has consulted extensively on local and statewide policy areas on matters involving care and prevention for people living with HIV/AIDS in California. Beyond his clinical and administrative work he teaches classes for health professionals on issues impacting the LGBTQ community and those living with HIV/AIDS.
Scott holds a business degree from the University of Redlands and a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy with an emphasis in organizational psychology from Phillip’s Graduate Institute. He is a certified clinical hypnotherapist and has extensive training in post-modern brief therapy. He is a clinical member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and is a fellow of the American Psychotherapy Association.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Yucaipa Companies
Peter Perkowski – Chair
Perkowski Legal, PC
James Patton III – Vice Chair
CEO and President
Integrated Construction Associates
Janice Littlejohn – Secretary
Senior Editor – Women, Media, and Culture
Los Angeles Review of Books
George Padilla – Treasurer
AFAO International Programs
Animation Co-Producer, The Simpsons
Twentieth Century Fox
Attorney of Counsel
Employment Law Department
Jay E. Gladstein, M.D.
Physician – Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases
Jay Gladstein, M.D., Inc.
Sales Excellence Coach
Senior Associate Director
UCLA Nathanson Family Resilience Center
Jessie L. McGrath
Deputy District Attorney
Los Angeles County
Partner – Environment, Land and Resources Department
Latham & Watkins LLP
Alan R. Walden
Vice President, Strategy and Business Development
Jim Murphy, Co-Chair
Christian Dowell, Co-Chair
Matt Redman, Board Chair Emeritus Ambassador Council Liaison to the APLA Board of Directors
James L. Arnone
Eric G. Bing, M.D., Ph.D.
Eric Daar, M.D.
Dan De Léon
Roberta Eidman, M.P.H.
Brenda R. Freiberg
Alan L. Friel
Jeffrey S. Haber
W.David Hardy, M.D.
Tom Hogg III
Harold I. Huttas
Leslie A. Margolin
Dona R. Miller
John A. Pérez
Luis Miguel Rodriguez-Villa
Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus, Ph.D.
Peter Ruane, M.D.
Kathy Sanders-Phillips, Ph.D
Troy L. Sattler
Steven Shoptaw, M.D.
Les Zendle, M.D.