Dear Friend,

On behalf of Side by Side’s Board of Directors, I am delighted to announce Dr. Christine Isana Garcia as Side by Side’s new Chief Executive Officer, effective October 1, 2021. Christine will succeed Mary Denton, who is retiring on September 1 after over 20 years with the agency.
Dr. Garcia brings over 20 years of experience as a nonprofit leader, including extensive experience in deep familiarity with youth mental health and school/community-based services, demonstrated success in nonprofit leadership, and a focus on empathy. Most recently, Dr. Garcia was the San Francisco Regional Director at Edgewood Center for Children and Families, whose services include outpatient behavioral health, inpatient residential services, transitional housing for foster youth, a crisis stabilization unit, and a non-public school that serves a population similar to Side by Side’s Irene M. Hunt School. Her appointment is the result of a six-month national values-based search process led by a board-appointed search committee.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity to make an impact in our community. Side by Side is a stellar agency that offers so much to the youth and families of today. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead and help develop programs and services that are responsive to the ever-changing landscape of the needs of young people. I believe Side by Side is poised to come out of the pandemic a stronger agency and continue to be a leader in this area. I look forward to working together with Side by Side’s board and staff in this endeavor.” – Dr. Garcia
Dr. Garcia’s deep and diverse experience in program development, leadership, and strategy will help take Side by Side to the next level as we strive to address the critical mental health challenges of underserved communities and housing needs of foster youth. A product of a bilingual, multiracial, immigrant family, she brings a unique perspective to her work and the issues facing young people today.
To learn more about Dr. Garcia’s background, read the full announcement on our website.
We are confident that Dr. Garcia is the right leader for Side by Side and look forward to continuing our vital work under her leadership. Please join me in extending a warm welcome to Dr. Garcia! 
Howard Schomer
Side by Side Board President

Photo credit: Hugo Ahlberg