John Matlock has served on the New Hope Board of Directors since (whatever year Keith convinced me to join). John is a partner at the internet software development firm of AeonTG and brings over twenty years of business and technical experience to New Hope. John resides with his wife and two children in Long Beach where he was born and raised. He is a graduate of Long Beach State with a degree in Computer Science and Engineering. John is currently President of the Board–a post he has held since 2010.
Dr. Keith M. Douds, Vice President
Dr. Keith M. Douds, the Director of Alliance Psychology Group, is a licensed Psychologist, holding M.A. and Psy.D. degrees from Biola University, and a B.A. from Harvard University in Psychology & Social Relations. He interned at the University Counseling Center at California State University, Long Beach, and remains active in the Long Beach Community. Dr. Douds specializes in treating a range of compulsive-addictive behaviors, and works primarily with adults in individual, couples and group modalities. He also consults with family owned and operated business enterprises with a long standing interest in Grief & Bereavement Counseling, Dr. Douds met J. William Worden, Ph.D. at Harvard Medical School in 1983. Dr. Worden, one of the foremost researchers in the study of Death & Dying, was a major influence in directing post-graduate studies towards The Rosemead School of Psychology at Biola University. Subsequently, it was Keith’s pleasure and privilege to have met Susan Beeney, whom he took a shine to immediately. Undoubtedly, Sue Beeney’s heart full of compassion remains a major draw towards ongoing involvement with the New Hope Grief Support Community.
My wife, Sherry, and I came to New Hope more than 12 years ago as volunteers. Sue assessed my skills and put me to work behind the scenes in the kitchen washing dishes for volunteer and fundraising banquets. When it became obvious to Sue that she had over-estimated my skills and talents, she decided to move me to a position where I would no longer be in the way and could do the least harm and asked me to serve on the board of directors. Our family loves New Hope and we are proud and happy to help the organization fulfill its mission of helping grieving people find their way in difficult times.
I lost my mother to breast cancer when I was seven years old. And if we think people do not know how to deal with grief now, their knowledge in the early 60’s was caveman – like. Not only did I not visit my mother in the hospital or attend her funeral, but also my father decided to tear me away from all my support systems (family – including my sisters, friends, home, school, etc.) by moving me from New York to Los Angeles. Looking back now, I realize that my stealing, lying, skipping school during the subsequent three years was my way of dealing with the anger of my grief. If not for one fateful day when I was caught stealing, I can see I was headed for a life of crime, a life as a school dropout, a lost cause. Fortunately, I was able to pull myself out of that destructive cycle. When I reached a place in my life to give back to the world I knew I wanted to do something to help children that had suffered a loss and were at risk. I realized how profoundly my mother’s loss had twisted my life, and when I found that New Hope helped people deal with grief in a healthy, productive way, I knew I needed to be part of the organization.
I am currently the National Director of Real Estate for LA Boxing Franchise Corporation. My involvement with New Hope dates back over 10 years when I joined the board. After practicing law and owning my own business, I took over the responsibility for the day-to day running of a nonprofit and teaching at a local Community College. My wide variety of skills were recruited for the board and applied to the writing of the Bylaws and Board Development, two areas where I continue to focus. After various Board positions, I served 2 years as President of the Board and currently serve on the Board as immediate Past President. My commitment to New Hope stems from a personal loss 20 years ago and the fact that an organization like New Hope did not exist when it was needed.
I have worked in the wealth management and financial services industry since 1992, and I am currently a partner of The Schulten Group of Wells Fargo Advisors. I earned my bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University in 1988. Originally from Connecticut, I relocated to Long Beach in the early 90’s to escape the harsh winters. In addition to helping my clients pursue and maintain their financial independence, I enjoy a passion for the arts, traveling, and kayaking. I met Sue Beeney at a fundraiser for New Hope in 2012. The last thing I remember I had a hook in my mouth and she was reeling me in to the New Hope family.
Elia Juarez has over fifteen years of progressive managerial experience in the private sector and has launched three successful business enterprises. Elia received her BA from California State University of Long Beach, where she majored in Public Relations and minored in Marketing. She learned of New Hope quite by accident, and after a subsequent meeting with Sue Beeney was asked to join the Board of Directors beginning in January of 2010. Elia is involved in charity work through her church and resides in Huntington Beach, California, with her husband.
I am an attorney whose practice emphasizes estate planning and estate administration. I was born and raised in Long Beach where I continue to reside. I graduated from the University of Southern California and Loyola University School of Law, and have practiced in Long Beach since 1975. I became involved with New Hope when my wife and I lost a child and I witnessed firsthand the magic that New Hope can work.
Jonathon Blitzer, M.D.
I was born in New York City and educated at Brown University. I received my Medical Degree at SUNY Upstate Medical Center. I moved to Long Beach in 1986 where I have worked as an Oncologist for 25 years. I met Susan Beeney, the Executive Director of New Hope at the Long Beach Veterans Hospital many years ago when she was still a Hospice Nurse and New Hope was still in the developmental stages. I reconnected with Sue a number of years later through Hope for Long Beach, a ministry at our church. I am happily married to Carole Warde, MD and we have two children, Rachel and Jacob and we live in Long Beach.