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Darla Cozzarelli, B.S.

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Darla is a Master of Social Work student at the University of Southern California. Her diverse experience in both law enforcement and social work provides a unique perspective and expertise to the organization. As an adoptee, Darla understands the complexities of adoption and is strongly committed to advocating for the rights of individuals impacted by the foster care system. She created Refining Purpose as a vehicle to inspire purpose and to support those who experienced the foster care system.

Michael Gallagher, J.D.

Attorney at Law

Chief Financial Officer

Michael is an Attorney at Law and has extensive experience in corporate and non-profit law. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Cardozo University in New York City. Michael is an adoptee and very motivated in sharing the mission of Refining Purpose on a large scale.


Robert Eibach, B.A.

Latin Grammy Nominee 

Chief Operating Officer

Robert is a record producer in Los Angeles. He has worked on multiple Grammy-winning and Billboard Number One records, as well as, with various non-profits including the Grammy® Advocacy Committee and We Are One Concerts. Robert brings award-winning production and industry experience to the team. His work with lawmakers also provides a unique policy advocacy component.

Dr. Elizabeth Velazquez, Psy.D.

Board Member

Elizabeth is a professor at Cal State LA and has 11+ years of experience in community policing and mental health treatment. Her experience with community policing includes the promotion, organization, and development of events and programs to support community partnerships with law enforcement. She is also well-versed in working with troubled youth and young adults.

Allison Cherry, MSW, LCSW

Board Member

Allison is a University of Southern California Alumna, adoption’s social worker for the Department of Children and Family Services and operates a private therapy practice. She is a former foster youth, whose practice specializes in trauma and post traumatic stress disorder amongst foster youth, adoptees and domestic situations. Her experiences and insights are a tremendous asset to Refining Purpose.

Dr. Debra Waters-Roman, PhD

Board Member

Debra is a Clinical Psychologist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and an Associate Professor. She has more than 30 years of experience in social work. She’s worked with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, and provides risk assessment training to graduate students at the University of Southern California. Dr. Waters-Roman is an asset to our organization and provides expert advice to our Team Members.

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