DCA Leadership

Dean R. Grafilo DEAN R. GRAFILO, Director
Dean R. Grafilo was appointed director at the Department of Consumer Affairs in February 2017. With DCA’s executive team, he leads the regulatory entities and other divisions within DCA. Prior to his appointment, Grafilo was chief of staff in the office of state Assembly Member Rob Bonta since 2012. He was associate director of government relations at the California Medical Association from 2009 to 2012, chief of staff in the office of Assembly Member Warren T. Furutani from 2008 to 2009, and a senior legislative assistant in the office of Assembly Member Alberto Torrico from 2004 to 2008. Grafilo was an organizer representative at Service Employees International Union Local 925 from 2003 to 2004, and a political intern at the M.L. King County Labor Council in Seattle in 2002. Starting in 1996 through 2001, he was a field representative and organizer at International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 142 in Hawai’i. Grafilo earned a master of public administration degree from the University of Washington.

Christopher Shultz CHRISTOPHER SHULTZ, Chief Deputy Director
Christopher Shultz was appointed in October 2017. Shultz was deputy commissioner of community programs and policy initiatives at the California Department of Insurance from 2011 to 2017. He was legislative director in the Office of California State Assembly Member Dave Jones from 2009 to 2010, where he served as chief of staff from 2004 to 2006. Shultz was public affairs director at the Ulum Group from 2006 to 2009, director of California State Senator Dede Alpert’s Capitol Office from 2002 to 2004, and legislative aide in the Office of California State Assembly Member Ted Lempert from 1996 to 1999. He was a technology policy coordinator in the Office of the Secretary for Education from 2001 to 2002 and manager of state government affairs at the American Electronics Association from 1999 to 2000. Shultz completed the Leadership for Government Executive Certificate Program at California State University, Sacramento, in 2013, and earned his bachelor of arts degree from the University of the Pacific in 1995.

Ryan Marcroft RYAN MARCROFT, Deputy Director, Legal Affairs Division
Ryan Marcroft was appointed in July 2017 as deputy director of the Legal Affairs Division. He previously served as DCA’s assistant chief counsel since 2016. Prior to his appointment, Marcroft was a deputy attorney general at the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, since 2010. He was a deputy legal affairs secretary in the Governor’s Office from 2006 to 2010, and a staff attorney at the Institute for Administrative Justice, California Parole Advocacy Program, from 2004 to 2006. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

Grace Arupo RodriguezGRACE ARUPO RODRIGUEZ, Assistant Deputy Director, Legal Affairs Division
Grace Arupo Rodriguez was appointed in July 2017. Prior to her appointment at DCA, Arupo Rodriguez served as deputy director of legal affairs in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development from 2013 to 2017, and as senior deputy city attorney in the Sacramento City Attorney’s Office from 2012 to 2013. She was corporate counsel at the California Independent System Operator Corporation from 2007 to 2012, a business associate at Downey Brand LLP from 2002 to 2006, and a summer associate at Wilke Fleury Hoffelt Gould and Birney LLP in 2000. Arupo Rodriguez was president of the Asian Pacific Bar Association of Sacramento from 2011 to 2012. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Davis, School of Law.

Christopher Castrillo CHRISTOPHER CASTRILLO, Deputy Director, Office of Board and Bureau Services
Christopher Castrillo was appointed in October 2017. Castrillo was a legislative advocate at Shaw/Yoder/Antwih Inc. from 2014 to 2017, where he was a legislative aide from 2013 to 2014. He was a field director for Dr. Richard Pan for Senate in 2014, a lead organizer at Groundworks Campaigns in 2012, and a legislative assistant at Lehman, Levi, Pappas and Sadler in 2010. Castrillo earned bachelor of arts degrees in planning, public policy and management as well as political science, from the University of Oregon in 2009.

Karen Nelson KAREN NELSON, Assistant Deputy Director, Office of Board and Bureau Services
Karen Nelson was appointed in October 2017. Prior to her appointment, Nelson has been chief operations officer at the American Leadership Forum Mountain Valley Chapter since 2014, where she served as director of programs and business administration from 2011 to 2013. She was director of youth and community engagement at PRO Youth and Families in 2014. Nelson held several positions at the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce from 2005 to 2011, including director of events, director of events and sponsorship and director of events, sponsorship and foundation. Nelson was event manager for business programs at the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce from 2004 to 2005 and a special project assistant for the Sacramento Bee’s Women’s Day from 2003 to 2004. Nelson is vice chair for the Young Men’s Christian Association of Superior California and a senior fellow of the American Leadership Forum-Mountain Valley Chapter. Nelson served as a commissioner of California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls from 2014-2017. She earned a master of business administration degree from Drexel University.

Patrick Le PATRICK LE, Assistant Deputy Director, Office of Board and Bureau Services
Patrick Le was appointed in October of 2017. Prior to his appointment, Le has been assistant chief of external affairs at Covered California since 2015. He was a legislative aide for the California State Assembly Rules Committee from 2013 to 2014 and a capital fellow for the California State Assembly from 2012 to 2013. Le is a board member for the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association of Greater Sacramento and a board member for the Asian Pacific State Employees Association Foundation. Le earned bachelor of arts degrees in political science and international studies from the University of California, Irvine.

Dennis Cuevas-Romero DENNIS CUEVAS-ROMERO, Deputy Director, Division of Legislative Affairs
Dennis Cuevas-Romero was appointed in February 2018. Prior to his appointment, Cuevas-Romero was the government relations director at the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association in Sacramento since 2016. He was a legislative associate at the Hernandez Strategy Group from 2013 to 2016 and a postgraduate law clerk at the Sacramento Regional Fair Housing Commission in 2012. Cuevas-Romero was a legal intern at Refugees International Japan in 2012, and at Opening Doors Inc., California Rural Legal Assistance, and the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law Immigration Law Clinic, in 2011. Cuevas-Romero earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

Veronica Harms VERONICA HARMS, Deputy Director, Communications
Veronica Harms was appointed in February 2016. As deputy director of communications, Harms oversees the offices of Public Affairs, Publications, Design and Editing, and Digital Print Services. Prior to her appointment, she worked at the State Senate Democratic Caucus, where she served as a consultant and media specialist since 2012. Harms held multiple positions at Ogilvy Public Relations from 2007 to 2012, including senior account executive and account supervisor. She held multiple positions at KCRA-TV from 2004 to 2007, including national sales assistant, local sales assistant, and account executive, and was a local sales assistant at KOVR-TV in 2003. Harms earned a bachelor of arts degree in communications from the University of California, Davis, and master of business administration degree from California State University, Sacramento.

Natalie Daniel NATALIE DANIEL, Deputy Director, Administrative Services
Natalie Daniel was appointed in October 2017. As deputy director of administrative services, Daniel oversees the Office of Human Resources, the Fiscal Operations office, and the Business Services Office. Prior to her appointment, Daniel was a fiscal supervisor at the Judicial Council of California from 2015 to 2017 where she managed judicial branch cash and revenue issues, operations budgeting, and capital construction financing. She also served at the California Department of Finance from 2009 to 2015 as a staff finance budget analyst in both state operations and capital outlay capacities. In addition, Daniel held various positions at the California State Water Resources Control Board, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, and the California Department of Justice from 2000 to 2009. Daniel earned a bachelor of sciences degree in business administration, as well as a master of public administration degree, from the University of Southern California.

Jason Piccione JASON PICCIONE, Deputy Director, Office of Information Services
Jason Piccione was appointed in November 2015. As chief information officer, he oversees DCA’s Office of Information Services as well as sets direction for information technology and coordinates infrastructure and service delivery across DCA. Prior to his appointment, Piccione served as DCA’s chief technology officer. He has held various positions at the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education and the Contractors State License Board. Piccione has worked more than 15 years in public service. He obtained a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California, Davis.

Tracy Montez TRACY MONTEZ, Chief, Division of Programs and Policy Review
Tracy Montez was appointed in February 2016. As chief of division of programs and policy review, Montez oversees a number of units within DCA, including the Office of Professional Examination Services (OPES) and the Consumer Information Center. Prior to her appointment, Montez served as the branch administrator for the District, School, and Innovation Branch in the Deputy Superintendent’s Office within the California Department of Education. She has more than 20 years of experience providing assessment and regulatory expertise to city, state, and national organizations. Previously, she held the position of chief at OPES and served as an independent consultant, contracting with several boards under DCA. Montez holds a doctorate of philosophy in industrial and organizational psychology from Kansas State University.

David Chriss DAVID M. CHRISS, Chief, Division of Investigation
David M. Chriss was appointed in January 2016. From 2012 to 2016, he had served as deputy chief for the Division of Investigation. With more than 27 years of investigative and managerial law enforcement experience, Chriss has held various law enforcement positions throughout his career, including deputy inspector general, senior for the Office of the Inspector General, supervising investigator, senior special investigator, and investigator. He also served as a police officer, police corporal, and police sergeant for the Lincoln Police Department. Chriss obtained a bachelor of arts degree in government and international relations from California State University, Sacramento, and an associate of arts degree from Sierra College in administration of justice.

Brian Clifford BRIAN CLIFFORD, Senior Planning and Implementation Manager
Brian Clifford began serving as Senior Planning and Implementation Manager at DCA in February 2015. Clifford manages the department’s Executive Office and the department’s Organizational Change Management (OCM) team providing business documentation and improvement services to the department’s boards and bureaus. Prior to this, Clifford served as a manager and an analyst in the department’s Legislative Affairs Division from 2007 to 2015. Clifford earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and international relations from the University of Southern California in 2004.

DCA Board Member Roster