Alan Smyth

Executive Director

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Alan Smyth currently serves as our executive director with over 30 years of nonprofit management and experience. Alan is responsible for all business operations, direct services, our Foster Family agency and all development efforts including donor acquisition, budget creation and management. Prior to his time with Saving Innocence, he spent 25 years with Young Life, a globally known nonprofit focused on kids around the world. His time with Young Life was primarily focused in Greater Los Angeles. Alan got his Bachelor of Communication Studies from San Jose State University.

*We are unable to share the names and biographies of our Director of Clinical Programs or our Crisis Case Managers to protect their identities.

Board Of Directors

Leah Albright-Byrd (Chair)

Executive Director, Health Movement, Inc.

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Leah Joney Albright-Byrd is a nationally recognized public speaker and human rights educator. She is the Executive Director of Health Movement, Inc., an organization that provides leadership advisory services to nonprofit leaders. Ms. Albright-Byrd has been featured on Oprah Winfrey, BET News, Being Mary Jane, and was the subject of an Emmy-award winning investigative interview in 2013. She also served as a spokeswoman for record-breaking Proposition 35 in the state of California while leading an organization that provided intervention services to human trafficking survivors. Ms. Albright-Byrd has a Bachelor of Science in Counseling Psychology & Theology and uses her lived experience with sex trafficking to inform the agency on policy and procedure.

Melanie Howard

Partner & Chair, Brand Protection Group, Loeb & Loeb

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Melanie Howard is a Partner and Chair of Brand Protection at the law firm of Loeb & Loeb, LLP. Ms. Howard’s practice focuses the acquisition, protection, licensing, exploitation and sale of intangible assets for major brands and individual talent.  Known for her business-minded approach, she represents clients across a variety of industries, including fashion and luxury retail, esports, automotive, technology, entertainment and media, and financial.  Ms. Howard was an assistant professor at Pepperdine Law School for three years and directed both the Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship and the Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion & Ethics, she was instrumental in obtaining endowments for both programs.  A graduate of Williams College, Ms. Howard obtained her law degree from Harvard Law School, where she was an articles editor for the Harvard Negotiation Law Review and President of the Harvard Mediation Program.
Darin Shea

Managing partner of Group of Eight LLC

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Darin is Managing partner of Group of Eight LLC, an early stage venture capital firm. Formerly a Vice President at Morgan Stanley, he also recently campaigned to become Treasurer for the city of Burbank. Darin leads the Lord’s Kitchen Ministry at his church and is a certified family home provider for adults with disabilities. He recently served as board chair for The USC chapter of Younglife.

Dr. Danielle Clair

Play Therapist, Modern Parenting Solutions 

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Dr. Clair is a graduate of Loma Linda University’s Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy program. She is a Play Therapist at Modern Parenting Solutions and specializes in helping young children overcome their emotional and behavioral challenges using Play Therapy modalities that promotes emotional resilience in children and attunement in the parent-child relationship. Dr. Clair is an adjunct Professor at Loma Linda University, and facilitates courses for programs including LLU’s Play Therapy certificate program, Child Life Specialist Program, and MFT and Counseling programs. . Dr. Clair is a current Pre-Clinical Fellow member for the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and a Professional Member of the Association for Play Therapy and with great honor, previously fulfilled the role of President Elect in 2018, for the Association for Play Therapy’s California Branch-San Bernardino Chapter.

Allison Burkett, MSW

Executive Director, Calvary Church of Pacific Palisades 

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Ms. Burkett brings to the Saving Innocence Board her strategic planning and administrative strengths, combined with her background in ministry and clinical social work and experience building healthy organizational cultures. She has worked both on staff and as a volunteer at Calvary Church of the Pacific Palisades and Calvary Christian School since 2007. Her most recent role was the Executive Director of Calvary Church, where she oversaw various ministries, was responsible for all communications, directed strategic planning, and led an overhaul of the organizational culture. Prior to this she also served as the Director of Women’s Ministries, led women’s and mother’s groups, and served on the Calvary Christian School Parent Board. Ms. Burkett is currently a member of the Calvary Christian School Foundation. Previous work experience includes The Help Group of Los Angeles, Cambridge Family and Children Services, and Cambridge Public Schools. Ms. Burkett earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work from The University of Southern California and her BA in Sociology and Psychology from The University of Michigan.

Mike L. Boone

President & CEO, Boone Aerospace, Inc.

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Mr. Boone started his commercial aircraft parts company in 1990, growing it into a multinational enterprise before selling it in 2009. Mr. Boone then started Boone Aerospace in 2014. Mr. Boone has served as a local board chair for Young Life for the past 17 years

Christa Crane

Chief Client Development & Marketing Officer, Loeb & Loeb

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As Chief Client Development & Marketing Officer for Loeb & Loeb, an international, multi-disciplinary law firm, Christa oversees the organization’s business development initiatives, manages branding and marketing strategies, and leads internal and external communications. Prior to working at Loeb, Christa held similar roles at other large law firms, after starting her career as a management consultant. A Midwest native, Christa relocated to Los Angeles a few years ago with her husband, after spending 15 years in New York City.

David Danwing

Senior Director of Child Welfare and Case Management, Cherokee Federal

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David serves as Cherokee Federal’s Senior Director of Child Welfare and Case Management. In this role, David oversees case management, behavioral and child welfare services for the organization's Humanitarian Services division. During his 20+ year career, David has helped tens of thousands of children in foster care and shelter environments reunify with families, heal from trauma, build trusting relationships with peers and adults and remain hopeful during extraordinary circumstances. In 2021, he led a team of 350 case managers at the Pomona Emergency Influx Care Facility. Over the course of six months, he and his staff helped unify more than 8,000 unaccompanied children with family members or sponsors in the U.S.


Migrating to the U.S. at an early age, David has dedicated his entire professional career to serve minority groups. David cares deeply about the safety and wellbeing of children and has been a leading active advocate of their humane treatment. David has served as a board member and has led various child welfare committees, including the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, Family Focused Treatment Association, California Alliance and the Foster Together Network. David also volunteers as a peer reviewer for the Council on Accreditation. David holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in psychology. When he is not at work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two young adult children in Southern California.