State's Largest Children's Social Services Agency Announces Board Changes; 30-Year Member Don McNeil to Chair EMQ FamiliesFirst Board, Don Russell Joins as New Member

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California's largest childrens organization announces new chairman and member to board of directors. Don McNeil, Silicon Valley executive, becomes chair and Don Russell of Sacramento joins board.

The Board of Directors of EMQ FamiliesFirst has elected R. Donald McNeil, Esq. as the board’s new chair. Don Russell, a Sacramento-based business leader, continues his work on behalf of children in need and has joined the Board for the first time. EMQ FamiliesFirst is California’s largest children’s behavioral health nonprofit agency.

Don McNeil has been on the agency’s Board for 30 years, helping to guide the agency through the mergers and growth to what is now the state’s largest provider of services for abused and neglected youth. “It has been a privilege to be a part of this agency as it has become the most effective children and families non-profit in California,” said McNeil. McNeil is an attorney with the firm of Ferrari, Ottoboni, Caputo and Wunderling in San Jose, California, where he is a certified specialist in Estate, Trust and Probate Law. He also previously served as Board President for EMQ, and represents and serves on the Boards of other non-profit corporations.

“Just the fact that McNeil has been on our Board for 30 years speaks volumes about his passion for helping kids in crisis,” said Darrell Evora, president and CEO of EMQ FamiliesFirst. “He’s an outstanding choice to lead our Board.”

“The addition of Don Russell to the Board this year brings a new voice to this team that has a single goal: help as many children as possible,” continued Darrell. “He too has a long history of working on behalf of children.”

New to the Board this year is Don Russell, a Sacramento resident with more than 40 years of experience in the construction management, real estate and energy industries. He has been active with other children’s nonprofits in the past.

About EMQ FamiliesFirst
EMQ FamiliesFirst does whatever it takes to help children and families in crisis. The agency is recognized for innovative mental health treatment, foster care and social services that help families recover from trauma, abuse and addiction, and rebuild their lives. EMQ FamiliesFirst fights for sustainable change and advocates for improvements in the local, state and federal systems that serve children in need. For more information, please visit


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