These Commission Summaries are intended to provide highlights of the First 5 LA Board of Commissioners’ actions to advance the outcome areas of First 5 LA’s 2015-2020 Strategic Plan.
At the September 8 Commission meeting, highlights include a thank you to former First 5 LA Programs and Planning Chief Teresa Nuno, updates on Legacy Investments and First 5 LA/LA County Homelessness Coordination and a Strategic Plan Implementation Follow Up from the July Commission Meeting.
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Mentor. Connector. Caring. Passionate.
“There are few people in L.A. who can claim to have done more for young children in our County.” – Sheila Kuehl
These were merely a handful of words Commissioners used to describe the legacy and character of Teresa Nuno, whom they recognized at the Board meeting for her 16 years of service to First 5 LA. Nuno, who left in August to pursue other opportunities, was most recently the Chief of Programs and Planning. Over the years, she has also served as Director of Community Investments, the Director of Planning, Development and Policy, and – her first role – the Director of Programs and Planning. Among the comments by Commissioners to Nuno:
“There are few people in L.A. who can claim to have done more for young children in our County.” – Los Angeles County Supervisor and Commission Chair Sheila Kuehl
“On behalf of the thousands and thousands of social workers, just with DCFS . . . I want to say ‘thank you.’ We owe you a debt of gratitude for what you’ve done. You’ve put forth a lot of the concepts that people take for granted, but so seldom demonstrate or articulate.” - Commissioner Philip L. Browning, who also serves as Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS)
“It’s just so wonderful and refreshing that you always put kids and families first and taught others how to do that.” – Commissioner Patricia Curry
“What I have noted in the short time I have been here, is that you played a role as a connector in this organization that is and has been a very important role.” – Commission Chair Judy Abdo
“(Teresa) cares about those she engages with, she cares about our families and she’s sincere about the concern she has for those in our community.” - Commissioner Duane Dennis
“Teresa, I think you and I have been here from the very beginning, so I especially know and understand all the work you’ve put forth for this organization. I love you dearly and will miss you tremendously.” – Commissioner Jane Boeckmann
“I think of you like a weaver. Somebody who sits at the loom and brings the beautiful yarns together to make incredible cloth. And that cloth you built in this organization is a very strong cloth. You’ve brought in the partnerships to strengthen that cloth. You made it a beautiful cloth because of the incredible staff that you have taught to weave at your side. And so as you go on to your next adventure, I hope you call on some of us to sit at that loom with you in your next endeavor so we can weave, as well.” - Commissioner Cynthia A. Harding
“You’ve always led by example so I hope you set the example of what good retirement looks like for someone who has worked really hard.” – Commissioner Karla Pleitéz Howell
Praise and thanks also came from Commissioners Dayton Gilliard and Christopher Thomas, as well as Commissioners Deanne Tilton Durfee and Nancy Au, who were featured in this article about Nuno.
Nuno responded with her characteristic modesty: “I am just touched if not overwhelmed with the response internally and externally,” she said, expressing “such a deep sense of gratitude.”
“You’ve always led by example so I hope you set the example of what good retirement looks like for someone who has worked really hard.” – Karla Pleitéz Howell
Following this recognition, staff presented an update on collaborative efforts to combat homelessness between First 5 LA and the county. Through discussions with the LA County CEO’s office, Supervisor Kuehl’s staff and others, five First 5 LA investments have been identified for deeper exploration of the potential connections to the County’s Homeless Initiative plan. These investments include Oral Health, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Welcome Baby, Trauma-Informed Care and Research & Evaluation. More details can be found here. Further updates on these developments will be presented to the Board at future meetings.
Staff also presented an update on First 5 LA’s Legacy Investments, which represent ongoing work of the Commission that were approved through prior strategic plans. These three updates include Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Oral Health and Nutrition – Dental Home, and LA Care – Healthy Kids Coverage. Over the next month, staff will present the status and future considerations for the Board to discuss, concluding with Board action in October. Details can be found here.
Finally, a follow up was provided to the Board from the Strategic Plan Implementation presentation and breakout sessions from the July Commission Meeting. Board feedback from that meeting included several suggestions to staff for future Strategic Plan updates. Additionally, the Board recognized the value of a dedicated learning session and the need for further Commission discussion on the following two issues: assessing progress on First 5 LA’s policy and legislative work and defining the integration of First 5 LA’s work across the four outcome areas and through our partners.
Read more from the Commission Meeting agenda here.