Honoree: Lucia Kung

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(Mark Dunham)

Chief Financial Officer
Mental Health America of Los Angeles

Lucia Kung immigrated from Taiwan, first living in Toronto before moving to Los Angeles in 2002. Prior to her move to Canada, Kung spoke no English but went to ESL class every day. Ultimately, she got her first job at a coffee shop as a cashier and was excited to be making money, and with that she could learn English. She later found a job working as a receptionist at a hand tool distribution company. There, she also served as a translator between her Mandarin speaking boss and their largest customer in Quebec, negotiating business deals for more than six years. After her move to Los Angeles, she found the nonprofit world and determined it was the direction she wanted to go. The people who are positively impacted by the nonprofits she’s worked for are what keeps her motivated, inspired, and working hard.

As Chief Financial Officer for Mental Health America of Los Angeles (MHALA), Kung has revitalized the agency’s financial growth. With many companies having to lay off staff during the pandemic, she secured a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan for $4.6 million for the agency. She has fully restructured the agency’s budget and financial strategies. In addition, Kung has been able to reorganize and speed up accounts receivable to ensure the adequate cash flow for employee payroll and on-time payments for vendors. Since she arrived at MHALA in 2016, her sound advice on endowment investments, financial planning and projections, and robust relationships with key financial partners have elevated MHALA’s ability to better serve people in the community with mental health needs. A true financial thought leader, not only does Kung excel in her position as CFO but also is a cherished, respected, and wellloved member of the MHALA organization. There is not a colleague or staff member at MHALA who does not appreciate Lucia’s impeccable work ethic and strong financial leadership.