LACCOD: Fifth District

Cathy Gott, Commissioner

Cathy_Gott

Commissioner Cathy Gott was appointed to the Commission by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas in March 2017. Most recently, on July 9, 2019, Commissioner Gott was reappointed by Supervisor Kathryn Barger to represent the Fifth Supervisorial District on the Commission.

Commissioner Gott is President of Education Spectrum, Inc., a center-based educational and social skills training center for children and adults with autism spectrum disorders. Education Spectrum opened its doors in 1996 and serves more than 400 families per year in and around the San Gabriel Valley.

She holds her Master’s Degree in Public Administration, specializing in Non-profit Organization Management from the University of San Francisco. Recognizing the growing need for employment opportunities for adults with disabilities, she created Danny’s Farm. Opening its doors in 2007, Danny’s Farm employs and serves persons with special needs. Named for her twenty-three-year-old son, Danny, who has autism, the Farm is a labor of love. Commissioner Gott is currently the senior consultant for government relations for ETTA, and serves on Assemblymember Chris Holden’s Special Needs Advisory Committee, and is Founder of the newly formed Major League Baseball Players Association Alumni Wives Autism Alliance.

Commissioner Gott enjoys many civic and community activities and was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles Universal Preschool by Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich. She has served on the California Legislative Blue-Ribbon Commission on Autism’s Task Force on Early Identification and Intervention, and is an

Honorary Board member of the Los Angeles Chapter of Autism Speaks. She received the Most Inspirational Award in 2001 by the California State Assembly, and Woman of the Year Award in 2008 by the Los Angeles County Commission for Woman.

Commissioner Gott was selected by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Commission on Disabilities to receive the Annual Access Award for her outstanding work in the community and commitment to serve those with disabilities in October 2016. Commissioner Gott and her husband, Jim, raised their children in San Marino and currently reside in the Marina del Rey. Her husband, Jim, is a former Major League Pitcher & is currently the Pitching Coordinator for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Their younger son, Nicholas (22), is a senior at Harvey Mudd College, majoring in Computer Science. Jim’s son CJ (28) lived with them as a child. Both CJ and Danny have autism.

Jack Darakjian, Commissioner

Jack Darakjian

Commissioner Jack Darakjian was appointed by Supervisor Kathryn Barger in February 2018. He brings expertise and a wealth of knowledge to the Commission on Disabilities in the areas of mental illness, developmental disability, and advocacy for those with developmental disabilities.

Commissioner Darakjian serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Modern Support Services, LLC, a Glendale based agency that provides individualized community and home-based services, such as Supported Living Services and Independent Living Skills to individuals with significant psychological, emotional and physical challenges. In this setting, Commissioner Darakjian’s goal is to enhance the health and quality of life for individuals diagnosed with Autism, Down Syndrome, Intellectual Disabilities, Seizure Disorders,

Cerebral Palsy, Schizophrenia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, Bipolar Disorders, etcetera.

Commissioner Darakjian’s passion for empowering people and helping them to stand proud has included helping runaway teenagers at the non-profit 1736 Family Crisis Center, providing support, supervision, and education. He has also served as a Mental Health Worker at UCLA/NPI and at the Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center as Service Coordinator. Currently, Commissioner Darakjian also serves as an Advisory Council Member on the Disability Organizing Network, a statewide advocacy organization; and is also a Board Member of the Campbell Center as well as a Provider Review Committee Member at the Regional Center of Orange County.

Commissioner Darakjian has co-authored three research papers on addiction and was the recipient of “Character and Ethics” Award from the City of Glendale in 2014.

Andrea Edoria, Commissioner

Andrea_Edoria

Commissioner Andrea Edoria was appointed by Supervisor Kathryn Barger of the Fifth District on July 3, 2018.

She was born and raised in Pasadena, is a graduate of the University of Southern California and is an Angeleno through and through. At the age of three, Commissioner Edoria suffered a brain aneurysm which resulted in a stroke. After twice being misdiagnosed, a mass was found at the base of her brainstem that doctors concluded was causing the stroke. At the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, a team of the nation’s best neurosurgeons, under chief surgeon Dr. Gordon McComb, performed an eleven-hour surgery to remedy the aneurysm and save Commissioner Edoria’s life.

Hence, Commissioner Edoria’s advocacy for people with disabilities began. She was the spokesperson for the Children’s Miracle Network, the non-profit partner foundation for all Children’s Hospitals nationwide. Commissioner Edoria has participated at various fundraising events sharing her life experiences and recovery.

Today, Commissioner Edoria continues to act as a proud ambassador for the Children’s Hospital for local and national events. Growing up lending her voice to children in hospitals or on the road to recovery has strengthened her passion to advocate for children and adolescents with disabilities. Through Commissioner Edoria’s advocacy, she hopes to improve the current landscape of disability services to accommodate those newly released from rehab, as well as children and adolescents coping with disabilities as they grow up.

In addition to public speaking, Commissioner Edoria is currently studying for the Law School Admission Test and is taking paralegal courses at the Pasadena City College in preparation for a career in law. Commissioner Edoria aspires to continue her advocacy for disabilities through her work as an attorney in the near future.

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