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Cynthia New Bio Pic

Cynthia Sewell (Kawa)

Cynthia Sewell is Chief Executive Officer of New Horizons, a leading Southern California nonprofit organization providing a wide range of residential, employment, and social opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities. She oversees a staff of over 300 professionals and administers an annual budget of approximately $13 million.  She has become a leading spokesperson for society’s responsibility to provide opportunities for those with developmental disabilities to achieve their dreams, contribute to the community, and thrive as part of the general population. 

Under her leadership, New Horizons has become one of the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive programs in Los Angeles for adults with such special needs such as intellectual challenges, autism, cerebral palsy, and seizure disorders.  The organization is also the largest provider of supported employment services in Los Angeles County, a program where people with developmental disabilities work in the community at jobs in a variety of retail and business environments.

Prior to being named CEO in 2009, Cynthia served as New Horizons’ Executive Director since 1992, and had been the organization’s Residential Director since 1988.  During her extensive tenure at New Horizons, the agency has more than quadrupled the number of developmentally disabled clients served to more than 800 adults.  Her entire career in the field spans more than thirty five years.

Cynthia vigorously advocates on behalf of those with special needs.  She serves on the Board of Directors of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA) and on its Government Affairs Committee.  She also co-founded the 17-member Coalition of Service Providers, composed of nonprofit organizations serving the special needs population, which advocates on behalf of that population.

Cynthia has been recognized numerous times for her leadership and professional abilities.  Recent examples include being honored in 2010 by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal, as part of its annual Women in Business program; Cynthia was named Woman of the Year in the Non Profit Business category.  That same year, she also received the North Los Angeles County Regional Center Legislator’s Award for Service to People with Developmental Disabilities. In 2011 Business Life Magazine, honored her with its 2011 Women Achievers award.

In 2012, she was honored by her alma mater, California State University at Los Angeles (CSULA), which conferred its Distinguished Alumna Award from the College of Arts and Letters.  In 2013, the Annenberg Foundation declared her as one of 25 visionary leaders among more than 3,000 of their grant recipients.

Cynthia is a native of Los Angeles and holds dual bachelor’s degrees in French and psychology, and a master’s degree in psychology, all from CSULA.

She also is a licensed marriage and family therapist.

An avowed cat fancier, Cynthia is a newlywed having just married in the September 2012 to her childhood sweetheart, Jeffery Sewell. 


Diane Thorsell

 Royce Siggard

Roschell Ashley
Vice President of Program Operations
Holly Rasey
Vice President of Development & Marketing

Cameron Lee
Program Development Manager, Travel Training

Brent Stutzman

Doug Pascover

Esteban Estrada

Anna Eskandarian

Tetyana Samoylenko

Gay Wane

Leilani Downer

Aida Velascoavelasco@newhorizons-sfv.org

Judi Pennella


Board of Directors


Board Photo Bunzel


John D. Bunzel

Sue Weitkamp 

Sue Weitkamp





Cynthia New Bio Pic

Cynthia Sewell



Board Photo Aboody


Fred Aboody

Fred Aboody Bio

 David Adelman

David Adelman

David Adelman Bio

 Glenn Baker

Glenn Baker

Glenn Baker Bio


 Mary Ann Cummins-Prager

 Mary Ann Cummins-Prager Bio



Colin Donahue

Colin Donahue Bio


Board Photo Englander

Mitchell Englander

Mitchell Englander Bio

Mary Fischer


Mary K. Fischer

Mary K. Fischer Bio


Judy Fisher

Judy Fisher Bio

Board Photo Margulis

Burt Margulis

Burt Margulis Bio

David Lillington 

David Lillington

David Lillington Bio


Dana K. Martin

Dana K. Martin Bio

Erica Nord

  Erica Nord

  Erica Nord Bio

 Kurt Peter

Kurt Peter

Kurt Peter Bio

Colleen Settles

Sister Colleen Settles

Sister Colleen Settles Bio


Board Photo Siciliano

  Gene Siciliano

  Gene Siciliano Bio


Joel Simon 

Joel Simon

Joel Simon Bio



 Mark D. Studner

 Mark D. Studner Bio

C ward

 Christine Ward

 Christine Ward Bio


 Board Photo Washburn

  Gary Washburn

  Gary Washburn Bio








Honorary Directors


Paula Boland

Peggy Carr

Buddy Collette

Julie Kavner

John Lithgow



Jonathan Murray

Julie Newmar

Charlotte Rae

William Schallert

Michael Tilson Thomas


Emeritus Council  


Dick Bartus

Dr. Robert Behringer

Spero Bowman

Stan Bryant

Roc Caldarone

Sally Cook

Larry Daniels 

Larry Diamond



Paul Elkins

Joyce Feucht-Haviar

Muriel Goldojarb

Janet Latto

Susan Stearns

Stuart Steinberg

© 2010 New Horizons, Inc, 15725 Parthenia Street, North Hills, CA 91343    |    P: 818.894.9301    |    F: 818.830.4662

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