Our Executive Staff
Meet Our Executive Staff
Arne Croce, Executive Director
Arne Croce has more than 35 years of experience in local government management in six communities. He was city manager of San Mateo California for 18 years, and was city manager of Los Altos California. Since leaving San Mateo in 2008, Arne has worked with the local government consulting firm Management Partners, performed international assignments in Iraq and Kosovo, and served as interim city manager for the city of Bell, CA, following that city’s corruption scandal.
Arne has been a trainer, facilitator and speaker for public agencies, associations and universities on topics including leadership, increasing management capability, managing change, communication skills, reinventing government, and developing public private partnerships. He received a Distinguished Service Award from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) in 2012 and was recognized as City Manager of the Year in 2006 by the California City Management Foundation.
Arne has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley and a master’s degree in public administration from California State University Sacramento.
Heather Cleary, Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer
A San Mateo resident, Heather comes to the organization from the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, where she served as controller and director of donor services.
In her role, Heather is responsible for financial operations and management, as well as the organization’s infrastructure, including fiscal planning, accounting and payroll operations, financial reporting and control, and risk management. Heather supervises building operations and office management staff, and the organization’s information technology maintenance and development.
Heather received her degree in Business Administration from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California. Even in her downtime Heather uses her analytical and organizational skills to teach financial literacy for different community programs and volunteers as a part of the CERT (Community Emergency Rescue Team) for San Mateo.
Deborah Miller, Vice President of Programs and Chief Program Officer
Deborah L. Miller joined Peninsula Family Service in 2006. As the Vice President of Programs, Chief Program Officer, she has the overall responsibility for all of the programs and client services within the organization. Her program responsibilities include the acquisition and development of new programs as well as the transition of programs. Deb is also responsible for new business development and grant writing.
A Bay Area professional with for-profit and not-for-profit experience and expertise, she brings the best of for-profit strategies and management to ensure the financial feasibility and sustainability of our programs and as well as the organization. Deb has cultivated a broad perspective on operational efficiency and a strong commitment to creating an environment of continuous improvement. She brings a wealth of business-savvy and leadership skills to her role as Vice President of Programs, Chief Program Officer. A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, Deb’s educational background includes a B.A. in Business from San Francisco State University and an M.B.A. in International Economics from the University of Washington.
Susan Houston, Director, Older Adult Services
As Director of Older Adult Services, Susan oversees the operation of six programs at Family Service and at the Fair Oaks Intergenerational Senior Center. She is a founding member and former president of Northern California’s Forum on Older Workers. She is involved in California’s Coalition for Older Working Women, San Mateo County’s Fall Prevention Program, the Steering Committee of the New Beginnings Coalition, and is a participating partner in Peninsula Works. A native of Denver, Colorado, Susan joined Family Service’s team in 1984. She holds bachelor’s degrees in both Social Work and Spanish from Chico State and has spent extensive time working with people with disabilities. Susan authored a weekly syndicated newspaper column called “Senior Savvy”, and was the 2006 recipient of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and Commission on Disabilities “People Who Care Award”.
Rob Lajoie, Director of Financial Empowerment
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Rob joined Peninsula Family Service at the beginning of 2012 after spending over 30 years in the financial services sector. During his financial services career at four local credit unions, Rob’s responsibilities included operations, lending and the delivery of affordable and high quality services to their members. In his current role, Rob oversees the Financial Empowerment Program, which offers job training and a variety of financial services to help hard-working families and individuals achieve and maintain financial self-sufficiency. Outside of work, he continues his community involvement by serving as co-chair of the Luminaria sub-committee for the American Cancer Society’s Pleasanton Relay for Life, and he has been a Kainos sponsor for the past 13 years. Rob received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from San Jose State University.
Ann Torres, Director, Child Development and Education
A resident of Brisbane and native San Franciscan, Ann studied Elementary Education and Liberal Studies at San Francisco State University. She taught in the San Francisco Unified School District before taking a position at the Leo J. Ryan Child Development Center in 1981. Currently, Ann manages budgeting and contracts, oversees the child development leadership team’s six child care sites and the Neighborhood Child Care Program’s network of 12 homes. Ann received the San Mateo Association for the Education of Young Children’s (AEYC) 2000 award, and is a past President and a current member of the organization. She is actively involved in the San Mateo Consortium for Quality Program, the Cañada College-based Mentor Selection Committee that matches students with mentors in San Mateo County, and sits on several committees for the national arm of the AEYC.