WHO WE ARE
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jean Okuye, President became aware of this advocacy organization many years ago in 1965 when her father, who was a member, died. Jean became a member soon after thinking, "We never know when our time comes."
After caregiving for three loved ones who died within 5 months, Jean realized how important it is to know where to go for information. Jean has been involved with this organization since 2002 as a volunteer. Jean is a retired teacher, a farmer, and an advocate for sustainable living.
Jean is a past President of both the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Stanislaus and Merced Counties and the Funeral Consumers Alliance of California.
Chris Paul, Vice President served with Jean on the Board of Directors of the Funeral
Consumers Alliance of Stanislaus and Merced Counties and continues to serve as an active board member. Chris has been serving individual and business clients in multiple states with Planning in the areas of Income Replacement, Pre and Post Retirement (emphasis on health care, including extended care (home, assisted living, and nursing care funding), Guaranteed Income, Estate, and Charitable Giving since 1988.
Chris has also participated as a public speaker and Chartered Lifetime Assistance Planner for the California Center for Life Planning for Persons with Disabilities, a non-profit organization now operating as the National Center on Life Planning that provides special needs life planning in a team approach with families and professionals to plan for the future care, supervision, security, and quality of life of a loved one with special needs.
Rev. Miguel A. DeGuzman, Treasurer, a retired United Methodist clergy with 48 years of pastoral ministry in the Philippines, Seattle and Everett, Washington, and Southern California. Miguel's served as one of the community chaplains at Temple City Sheriff’s Department and the Methodist Hospital in Arcadia, CA. Miguel remains active in the life of the church, in the retired group of United Methodist Ministers, and at Baker Home for Retired Ministers, editing and publishing their newsletter.
Allan Wicker, Corresponding Secretary has been an FCA-LA member since 2005. A retired university professor, he has held sabbatical and post-retirement teaching appointments at universities in Southeast Asia, Africa, and Central Asia. His volunteer experience includes homeowner association board member, AARP safe driving instructor, hospice volunteer, and officer in a 4-wheel driving group.
F. Allison Boyle, Director, became a member of the Funeral Society of Los Angeles in the ’80s. Allison has had two family members pass and has used FCALA services. Allison has two children who live in Pasadena.
Allison has a BA from Michigan State University and a Juris Doctorate from San Fernando Valley College of Law.
Allison was Vice President, Operations Manager for a small company for 22 years that represented employers in Unemployment Insurance and Tax matters. Allison also consulted in Human Resources and Labor Law. Allison retired in 2017. Allison has been a member of several small charitable organizations and President of a small political group. Allison is also presently working with California Election Integrity Project and California School Choice Organization.
Arlene Bernholtz, Director, has been a member of the Funeral Society since 1990. This is
an organization she believes is beneficial to many people. When she learned
of a board opening, she expressed interest to become an active member,
and share her background in emergency medicine, gerontology, and her
skills as a nonfiction writer.
Jolena Grande, CFSP, A.S., B.S., M.F.S., M.S., Director
Cypress College, Cypress, CA Mortuary Science | Health Science
In addition to being a Cypress College Professor, Jolena is a certified funeral service practitioner and California-licensed funeral director, embalmer, cemetery manager, and crematory manager, who began her funeral service career in 1989 working for a large mortuary/cemetery combination operation in Southern California. With more than 25 years of professional practice, she shares her insights and experiences in an enjoyable and often humorous way with students seeking a career path as a funeral service practitioner.
Jolena believes that the Mortuary Science Program at Cypress College is a life-changing experience for those students who are interested in making a difference in their own lives as well as in the lives of others. Although an intensive and rigorous academic endeavor, the program thoroughly prepares men and women for employment in the funeral service industry as embalmers, funeral directors, cemeterians, cremationists, and preneed salespeople.
Note: All Board of Directors were elected to serve from November 2021 to November 2023 and serve FCALA on a 100% volunteer basis.
Kyle Mukai, Support Specialist, joined us as an IT Technician with over two years of experience. He is currently continuing his studies to become an expert in the in the field of information technology as a cyber security specialist. Kyle will graduate from Fresno City College after the Fall Semester in 2024.
As a cyber security specialist, Kyle's daily activities can include diagnosing threats and defending systems from viruses and cyberattacks, repairing security breaches damages and recommend improvements, all the while staying current with cyber trends and advancements.
At FCALA, Kyle is utilizing his experience and knowhow to help update our digital presence on the internet along with its content as well as providing customer service support to our members and anyone who calls us for help.
Kyle, the youngest of four children, experienced the passing of his dad in 2007 and his mother ten years later in 2017. Kyle knows first hand how difficult it is to help make funeral arrangements for loved ones while experiencing their passing.