Kim A. Bunnell
Calabasas resident Kim A. Bunnell dedicated his entire professional career to modernizing healthcare; only much later would he become a passionate mental health advocate. Trained in biophysics and radiation technology, he founded his own business in 1986, Medical Design & Equipment Company, which set up centers for surgery, urgent care, and outpatient women’s treatment. Sixteen years later, he remained in the vanguard by becoming one of the first representatives for Dominator Radiology System, the brainchild of a radiologist who had developed innovative digital imaging software to replace x-ray film. But it wasn’t until he watched his best friend’s son—the boy he had coached through Little League—struggle with serious mental illness that he turned his attention to mental health care. Recently retired, Mr. Bunnell began to volunteer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which had helped him, and his friends cope through its Family-to-Family Program. In 2015, he was named President and Executive Director of NAMI San Fernando Valley. With his drive and business savvy, he quickly established protocols for every aspect of its operations, expanded the range of programs, implemented effective outreach techniques, and more than doubled the fundraising revenues. Mr. Bunnell is now intimately involved in the potential merger of most of the 12 Los Angeles County affiliates, which had been previously attempted without success. In January 2019, he plans to head the new and robust NAMI Greater LA County.
Dr. William A. Covino
Since becoming president of Cal State LA in September 2013, President William A. Covino has emphasized the importance of a curriculum that prepares students to transform the future and improve the quality of life in Los Angeles and beyond. He has cultivated new alliances and partnerships that are enriching opportunities for students and the community.
As part of President Covino’s philosophy of putting students first, enrollment at Cal State LA is at an all-time high and the University has opened a new campus in downtown Los Angeles. An unprecedented nationwide study published in the New York Times has ranked the university number one in the U.S. for the upward mobility of its students. Through the Mind Matters initiative, President Covino and the first lady, Dr. Debbie Covino, are aiding student success by providing resources for physical and mental well-being.
President Covino is leading initiatives to strengthen ties with alumni and supporters of the University. As a result of these efforts, Cal State LA has experienced historic levels of philanthropic support.
As part of President Covino’s efforts to build strategic partnerships, the Los Angeles Football Club is constructing a state-of-the-art training facility and soccer operations headquarters at the university. The franchise is also assisting in the development of a new master’s degree program in sports management.
President Covino holds a Ph.D. in English and has published important scholarship on the power and uses of rhetoric, persuasion, and imagination. He is also a nationally celebrated proponent of civic learning.
Dr. Debbie Covino
Dr. Debbie Covino is the First Lady of Cal State LA, and the co-founder (with President Bill Covino) of the Cal State LA Mind Matters initiative, which focuses on the inner well-being of the campus community.
Since the program’s inception in 2014, the Mind Matters team has been instrumental in providing more immediate access to psychological counseling on campus; certifying nearly 500 staff, students, and faculty in Mental Health First Aid; presenting a speakers series that offers engaging expert presentations on topics that range from suicide prevention to maintaining vitality and a positive attitude in the face of challenge; and developing a series of videos and podcasts for handling stress, anxiety, sleeplessness, and allied conditions.
Debbie is a Master Clinical Hypnotherapist, Integrative Life Coach, Blogger/Author, and Speaker on the importance of self-care, inner well-being, and mindfulness in the workplace. She holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology, and a PhD in Language and Literature.
Metta World Peace
Metta World Peace is one of the premier NBA defenders of his era and a pop culture personality off the court. The NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award winner in 2004, he was a member of the 2010 NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers and raffled off his championship ring to raise money for mental health nonprofits. His NBA career also includes stops with the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, and New York Knicks. He also played in China and Italy in 2014 and 2015. World Peace, who was known as Ron Artest before legally changing his name in 2011, was part of the 13th season of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars and most recently was on CBS’s first edition of Celebrity Big Brother. He lives in Los Angeles and is the proud father of four children.
Dr. Peyman Raoofi
Dr. Peyman Raoofi holds a doctorate and Master’s degree in clinical psychology from Alliant International University and graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in psychology from California State University, Northridge. He has many years of experience in working with children with autism spectrum disorders and mental retardation. He applies his training in Applied Behavioral Analysis methodologies and Discrete Trial Training program to the intense psychosocial interventions he uses to treat children with these behaviors. In addition, Dr. Raoofi has worked as a social worker for older adults at an adult day health care center. Dr. Raoofi has been actively involved in UNICEF, Relief International, and the Human Rights Council to help disadvantaged children globally. He is a lifetime member of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology as well as the Golden Key International Honour Society and is a two-time recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award. He holds a UNICEF Honorary Ambassadorship. Dr. Raoofi serves on the Boards of the Iranian Psychological Association of America, Los Angeles County Psychological Association, Profamily Group, and is the founder of Global Children Health. Dr. Raoofi chairs the United Nations Association of Beverly Hills’ UNA-USA Young Professionals Committee.