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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. 


Greg P. Santilli, CPA, CIA

Roschell Ashley
Chief Operating Officer

  Judi Pennella
Interim Vice President of Development

Cameron Lee
Program Development Manager, Travel Training

Diane Thorsell
Director of Human Resources

Nancy Soo Hoo

Esteban Estrada

Anna Eskandarian

Tetyana Samoylenko

Tony Casasola
Administrator, Day Program Services, Campus Based tcasasola@newhorizons-sfv.org

Leilani Downer

Aida Velascoavelasco@newhorizons-sfv.org



Board of Directors


Board Photo Bunzel


John D. Bunzel

Sue Weitkamp 

Sue Weitkamp





Cynthia Sewell 2014-2015

Cynthia Sewell



David Adelman Picture

David Adelman

David Adelman Bio


F. Shawn Azizollahi

F. Shawn Azizollahi 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


Alan Goodstein

Alan Goodstein

Alan Goodstein Bio


Eddie Keyes

Eddie Keyes

Eddie Keyes Bio

Heidi Lennartz

Heidi Lennartz

Heidi Lennartz Bio

David Lillington

David Lillington

David Lillington Bio

Board Photo Margulis 

Burt Margulis

Burt Margulis Bio


Dana K. Martin

Dana K. Martin Bio

Hank Miller

  Hank Miller

  Hank Miller Bio

 Patrick Murray Patrick Murray

Patrick Murray Bio
 Jeff Noblett Jeffrey Noblitt

Jeffrey Noblitt Bio

  Kurt Peter Kurt Peter

Kurt Peter Bio
Angela Reese

Angela Reese

Angela Reese Bio


 Joel Simon

  Joel Simon

  Joel Simon Bio



Mark Studner

Mark Studner Bio


Christine Ward 

 Christine Ward

Christine Ward Bio


 Scott Zimmerman

 Scott Zimmerman 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

Judy Fisher

Muriel Goldojarb

Janet Latto

Gene Siciliano

Ernie Smith

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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