Casa Serena Inc., a state-licensed residential women’s treatment program in operation since 1959, has announced the selection of Imelda Loza, J.D., as its new executive director. Since May 1, Loza has filled the vacancy created by Craig Belknap’s retirement in March.
“We are very pleased to announce this appointment,” reported Dr. Douglas Jackson, Casa Serena’s board president. “We are so excited to have Ms. Loza as Casa’s next executive director because she has the skills, experience, knowledge and commitment to lead Casa into the future.”
Loza graduated summa cum laude from UC Santa Barbara with a double major in communication and Chicano studies, is a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and was the recipient of the prestigious Thomas Moore Storke Award. She continued her education, garnering her law degree from the UC Davis School of Law and was a founding member of the Santa Barbara Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
“Casa Serena has a long tradition and successful record in women’s recovery based upon high principles, ideals and noble aspirations: giving hope, promoting women’s dignity, self awareness, fellowship and female agency,” Loza said. “Casa Serena is a safe haven for women and we are keenly aware of the challenges of alcoholism and addiction unique to women and the impact to their families.
“I am honored to have been selected to lead this prestigious organization forward. ‘Women helping women’ has been a deep (almost innate) passion of mine, and I embrace the opportunity — along with assistance from the Board of Directors and my colleagues — to move Casa Serena from ‘great’ to ‘greater,’ a model organization for women to maintain sobriety, regain control of their lives, stand tall, and rediscover their inner beauty and power.”
Meanwhile, Casa Serena announced the election of Sandy Stahl to the nonprofit organization’s board. Stahl, a Realtor with Sotheby’s International Realty, has an educational background in counseling psychology, having earned an MS in counseling from USC in 1973.