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Meet Executive Director Chanel Boutakidis

After a nationwide search Five Acres announced that Chanel Boutakidis to succeed Robert A. Ketch as executive director of Five Acres effective Dec. 1, 2011. Boutakidis was the executive director of Pasadena Mental Health Center and previously served as director of permanency programs at Five Acres. The child and family services agency has been led by Robert A. Ketch who has served as Five Acres' executive director for the last 27 years and is now retiring after 34 years of service at Five Acres.

"Over the past 34 years Bob Ketch has positively impacted the lives of thousands of children and families through his service at Five Acres, " said Boutakidis. "Bob has long been described as the "heart" of Five Acres, combining his leadership with a steadfast focus on the welfare of the children and families we serve.  It is in this spirit that I hope to continue as I take on the role of CEO for Five Acres. I am honored to further this mission and excited to build on our strengths through innovation and successful programming. With the help of our dedicated staff and the community at large, I am confident that we can move forward even during aChanel Boutakidis Five Acres CEO time when nonprofits face many challenges.

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Boutakidis brings to her new role 17 years of experience in child welfare, health care and policy making. She has over 10 years of direct clinical service experience, and five years of management and administrative experience in nonprofit human services which includes inpatient, outpatient and community-based settings. At Pasadena Mental Health Center she oversaw the financial stability of the organization from a negative net budget to a positive net budget in three years. During this time Boutakidis expanded the organization and developed partnerships with the local community. Prior to that position, Boutakidis served as permanency program director and director of group homes at Five Acres.

Board Chair Tom Haralambos said, "After a national search, we at Five Acres found a rare treasure right under our noses. Chanel Boutakidis met all of the requirements for this position. She is well respected by her peers inside and outside of Five Acres, and I am confident in her ability to seamlessly step into her new role and lead Five Acres into a very successful future. We are very lucky to have her as our leader."

In this new role, Boutakidis will continue the momentum of Ketch's legacy in strengthening Five Acres' programs and services to keep at-risk families together. When Ketch began at Five Acres in 1977, the agency served approximately 60 children in three programs. Under his leadership Five Acres now serves nearly 5,000 children and their family members in 11 programs.

Boutakidis is a licensed marriage and family therapist and has a master's in clinical psychology from California State University, Northridge and a master's in marriage, family and child therapy from Phillips Graduate Institute in Los Angeles. Boutakidis also holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology from California State University, Northridge.