More information on MBEF Board Members

2017-2018 Executive Board Officers

President Remco Waller MBMS, MCHS
Vice President Dan Rogoff Pacific, MBMS
Secretary Joni Ramallo MCHS
Treasurer Michelle McDonald MCHS


2017-2018 Board of Directors

David G. Adishian MBMS Alice Kuo Meadows
Andrea Barker Robinson Erin Levin Pacific
Kate Bergin MCHS Emily Macias MBMS, MCHS
Dolly Boden MCHS Stacy Myrose Robinson, MBMS
Michelle Cormack MBMS, MCHS Robert Nickell Pacific
Bonnie Darrow MBMS, MCHS Mitchell Ozawa MCHS
Heather de Roos Grand View Kathleen Paralusz Meadows
Alison Suffet Diaz Hermosa Carolyn Robb MCHS
Mike Duckworth MCHS Scott Rosenthal Pacific
Jennifer Fenton Robinson Jim Schlager Grand View, MBMS
Adam Goldston MCHS Jeff Serota Grand View
Katie Gunther Pennekamp, MBMS Roger Spencer Meadows
Michael Husson Grand View Jeri Vick Pacific, MBMS
Ted Iantuono MBMS, MCHS Rich Weiss MCHS
Marija Kosanovich Alumni Parent Ann Marie Whitney MCHS

Executive Director

Farnaz G Flechner

 

David Adishian David is a Financial Advisor and the practice leader of the Adishian Group within Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. For nearly 20 years, he has advised affluent executives, families and charitable organizations on strategies to protect and grow their wealth. Their mission is to simplify their client’s financial lives and make them more secure by delivering a transparent asset management experience. David has been a featured financial commentator on radio and television as well as numerous legal and news publications. Philanthropically, David and his family are active leaders in the arts, education, foreign affairs, domestic policy and his childhood passion of automobiles. David graduated with Omicron Delta Epsilon honors from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a degree in Business Economics and received his Juris Doctor from Pepperdine University School of Law where he was a Margaret Brock Scholar. David holds the Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM (CRPC®) designation and is a member of the State Bar of California. Originally from Palos Verdes Estates, David and his wife, Lena, live in Manhattan Beach with their two daughters who attend MBUSD schools.

Kate Bergin is passionate about creativity in education and has worked alongside district and school site leadership to create meaningful programs that integrate creativity and performing arts into core curriculum subjects. Kate graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BS in Finance and from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management with a Masters of Management. Her professional background includes 20 years in advertising and marketing, including 5 years as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University, and 2 years as VP of Marketing for a start up. She served on the Robinson Elementary School Board for 7 years and for the past 3 years, has been a lead curator/organizer for TEDxManhattanBeach. Kate and her husband Tim have 3 children, Leah (University of Notre Dame), Connor (MCHS), and Hannah (MCHS).

Michelle Cormack has over 14 years of experience as a financial and accounting professional in the public and private sector including financial and SEC reporting, consolidations, external audits, initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, company reorganizations and system implementations. Michelle began her career at Arthur Andersen, LLP and subsequently served as Senior Manager of Corporate Accounting and Reporting at Tenet Healthcare, Assistant Corporate Controller of Dole Food Company, Vice President and Corporate Controller of LTC Properties, Inc. and Corporate Controller and Senior Director of Finance at ExcrypTix, Inc. A member of the MBEF board since 2009, Michelle served as Treasurer for two years. Michelle and her husband, Dave, have four children: Andrew (MCHS), Catherine (MCHS), Peter (MBMS) and Michael (MBMS)

Bonnie Darrow

Heather de Roos is a resident of Manhattan Beach for over ten years after having moved from the East Coast. She is married to Dirk de Roos and mother of son, Tate de Roos, a 5th Grader at Grand View Elementary. She has been actively engaged in supporting Manhattan Beach schools for the past five years. Heather first served as a room parent, then VP, Communications for the Grand View PTA (2013-2015) and finally as the MBEF Wine Auction’s Silent Auction Chair 2014 and 2015. In addition to her time commitment, Heather has also contributed her financial support to both the Grand View PTA and MBEF, since her son started at Grand View in 2012. In addition to her support of Manhattan Beach schools, Heather also is a Board Trustee of the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum (NHM). During her tenure she has co-chaired the Advancement (Fundraising & Events) Committee and is an active participant on the Board Affairs Committee, which recruits new board members and fosters board engagement. Heather also has a background in Human Resources strategy & planning, consulting and retail. She held management and consulting positions at Fortune 500 companies such as Northrop Grumman, Home Depot and Amazon.com as well as best in class consulting firms Mercer Management Consulting and Towers Perrin. Heather received her MBA from The Mason School of Business at the College of William & Mary and her BS in Mathematics with a minor in English from Roanoke College.

Alison Suffet Diaz is the Founder and Executive Director of Environmental Charter Schools (ECS), a growing network of schools that provides a meaningful education for youth in the underserved communities of South Los Angeles. A teacher and lawyer by training, and mother at heart, Alison set out to create a different kind of educational experience for students, which has evolved into a model for schools across the country. Steps from Los Angeles’ major freeways, Environmental Charter Schools campuses are oases in an urban landscape and incorporate sustainable green features in their designs. Alison’s favorite spots are the bubbling stream that trickles out to a dry river bed, the student-designed playgrounds, the classroom garage doors that open up to patios, and of course, the chickens. With a dynamic team and under Alison’s leadership, ECS has flourished into award-winning schools. Environmental Charter High School is ranked in the top 3% of U.S. public high schools by U.S. News & World Report, and was chosen as one of three national finalists in President Obama’s Race to the Top Commencement Challenge. ECS was in the first round of schools to be given the Department of Education’s inaugural Green Ribbon Award in environmental and sustainability education and Environmental Charter Middle School – Gardena received the 2015 California Gold Ribbon Schools Award for academic excellence. All ECS schools are WASC accredited. Alison is most proud of ECS’ graduates who have gone on to complete their college education. 96% of ECS graduates are accepted into four year colleges and universities. Alison holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from the State University of New York, Albany, and Juris Doctorate from Temple University Law School. At Temple, she participated in the LEAP program, teaching inner-city youth about their constitutional rights. After earning her teaching credential from California State University, Dominguez Hills, Diaz taught for eight years as she developed the blueprint for what would become Environmental Charter Schools. Alison also served as a faculty member at California State University, Dominguez Hills and worked as the Education Specialist for TreePeople. Diaz was named 2011 Woman of the Year by the State of California Assembly. She serves on the Board of Directors for The Green Schools National Network, is an Advisory Board Member for the Antioch Teacher Education Program and is a Senior Fellow for the City Scholars Foundation. She was also invited to keynote the National Green Schools Network Conference and has spoken at functions hosted by Rotary International, Women’s Environmental Council and the Women in Green Forum.

Jennifer Fenton is the 2015-2017 Robinson Elementary School Co-President. Previously she worked at the Disability Rights Legal Center for over 10 years, where she was the Associate Director of Development and Communications. In that role, Jennifer was responsible for planning, developing and attaining the organization’s long range goals through grant submissions, donor procurement, and the solicitation of sponsorships or other financial partnerships. She also helped to oversee marketing and communications, special fundraising campaigns, and a variety of social medial platforms utilized by the organization. Jennifer graduated Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Communications and received her Juris Doctorate at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. Jennifer is on the Community Task Force for Right Action for Women – The Christina Applegate Foundation, and previously served on the Board of Directors of Susan G. Komen, Los Angeles County Affiliate. Currently she is a consultant, specializing in non-profit development and management, for other organizations in Southern California. Jennifer and her husband Chris have twins, Dylan and Kaylie, who attend Robinson Elementary.

Farnaz Golshani Flechner comes to MBEF with more than 18 years experience and leadership in the nonprofit sector. Farnaz began her career as an Art and English Teacher in the LAUSD and Inner City Arts. Aiming to tackle greater organizational challenges in our education system, she pursued a degree in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. She returned to LA in 2002 and served as VP of Programs at Chrysalis, a workforce development nonprofit serving LA’s homeless. While there she learned what it takes to lead an efficient and effective organization- 93% of homeless clients secured jobs, and 90% of funds raised went directly to programming.

In 2006, Farnaz moved to San Francisco and joined FSG Social Impact Advisors, where she worked as a consultant to assess the impact and strategy of the Hewlett Foundation’s CA K-12 Education Policy Program. Then, as the Director of Programs and Services at Tides, she oversaw the management of 230 fiscally sponsored social justice projects with more than 600 employees nationwide. In this role, she managed relationships with funders and oversaw risk management, governance, and HR services. In 2012 Farnaz returned to Los Angeles and served as the Executive Director of Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts, an innovative arts-integrated charter elementary school serving socio-economically, ethnically, and linguistically diverse students in Northeast Los Angeles.

Farnaz holds a BA in Fine Arts and English from UCLA and a Master of Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School, where she was awarded the Parker Gilbert Montgomery full-tuition scholarship. She has served on several nonprofit boards, including CollegeWorks, the Pathway Home for Returning Veterans, and she currently serves on the Environmental Charter Schools Board.

Farnaz lives in Manhattan Beach with her husband, daughter, and son. Both of her children attend Manhattan Beach public schools.

Adam Goldston is proud of the many roles he has been privileged to fill in his 10- years as an MBEF Board Member. After serving as Chairman of the Manhattan Wine Auction, which raised a cumulative $4.2 million during his 5-year tenure, Adam was honored to move onto the Chairmanship of the MBEF Board’s Audit and Compensation Committee. Adam is also delighted to have been a member of the 2014 Executive Director Search Committee.

Adam is Vice President of Corporate Development for the Heritage Family of Companies, one of the largest integrated healthcare systems in the U.S., responsible for the care of more than 1 million people, representing over $3 billion in annual clinical spending. Previously, Adam spent over 12 years as an investment banker, primarily serving health care companies. During his tenure on Wall Street, Adam has executed virtually all types of debt and equity financings and completed numerous mergers and acquisitions and performed other advisory services. Adam enjoys California Cabernets almost as much as he enjoys healthcare.

Adam and his wife Rita have two children, Joshua and Lauren, both of whom attend Mira Costa High School (Go Mustangs!). Adam has a BA from Claremont McKenna College, an MBA from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. Adam is active with the American Medical Group Association, The Healthcare Transformation Task Force and is frequently consulted by Members of Congress with respect to healthcare legislative and regulatory issues.

Michael Husson has worked in Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) division since 2010, and is responsible for developing and managing strategic relationships with investment consultants located in the western U.S. Prior to joining GSAM, Michael worked at Dorchester Capital Advisors, a fund-of-hedge-fund firm based in Los Angeles, in a client portfolio management role. Prior to joining Dorchester in 2006, Michael worked at Putnam Investments for thirteen years most recently as a senior analyst on their Strategic Research Team. Michael earned a B.A. in Economics from Michigan State University, a MS in International Economics from Suffolk University, and an M.B.A. from Cornell University. He is a CFA charter holder. He is married to Trisha Husson, and has two children, a third grader and a fifth grader at Grand View.

Ted Iantuono is a Managing Director and Head of Los Angeles Investment Banking at Barclays Capital.  Ted provides advice and capital resources to a broad array of private equity firms and corporate clients.  During his 25 years on Wall Street, Ted has led a broad range of high yield debt and equity offerings, bank and bridge financings, mergers and acquisitions transactions, and corporate restructurings for companies in a wide range of industries.  Prior to joining Barclays Capital in 2007, Ted was a Managing Director and Co-Head of Los Angeles Investment Banking at Credit Suisse.  Prior to that, he was a Senior Vice President in the Investment Banking Division at Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette.  Ted received an MBA with honors from the University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business and a BA from the University of California at Santa Barbara.  Ted and his wife, Karen, live in Manhattan Beach with their two children who attend the Manhattan Beach schools.

Marija Kosanovich

Emily Macias Meadows PTA for 4 years as President, Historian and Legislative Rep. She has served on the MBMS board for 1 year as Legislative Rep. Emily has also taken on responsibilities of room parent, docent, chaired events on both campuses, PTA council and advocated for our district in Sacramento. She served on the MBEF board in the 2013/14 school year and has supported Girls Scouts as a troop leader for 6 years. Emily is originally from Long Island, New York. She and her husband, George, have two daughters, Rebecca (9th Gr/MCHS) and Nicole (7th Gr/MBMS). Emily has over 18 years of experience in account management, including sales and marketing strategy development, managing major accounts for The Xerox Corporation.

Michelle McDonald, Treasurer Michelle is the Director of Finance and Accounting at the Annenberg Foundation. For over twenty years she has directed financial operations for nonprofit organizations, working closely with Presidents, Boards, and Senior Management to plan and achieve organizational growth. Her duties include overseeing financial reporting, analysis and presentation for Boards of Directors; management of annual budgeting, audits, tax reporting and grants/contracts compliance; and direction of HR, payroll, benefits administration, and operations. She has a consistent record of team-building and has supervised groups of 25+ employees. Michelle earned an MBA in Nonprofit Management/Finance from UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management and has guest lectured on nonprofit management and accounting at CSU Long Beach and at USC. She and her husband Daniel Blakey have been living in Manhattan Beach since 1995 and are the proud parents of Russell Blakey, who attended Pacific Elementary, MBMS, and currently attends Mira Costa (Class of 2019).

Robert Nickell is the founder and CEO of Asclemed USA Inc., dba Enovachem Pharmaceuticals, a national pharmaceutical manufacturer. Throughout Robert’s career, he has been involved in numerous companies in the medical and pharmaceutical industries. He also holds numerous pending patents consisting of various composition and methodologies for compounded drug formulations as well as software and business model development. For the 2004 Athens Summer Games, Robert was selected as the first ever official pharmacist to the USA Olympic Medical Team. This selection was based upon his experience as the founder of Sportpharm™, consulting over 85% of all professional sports teams in the US on the proper utilization of prescription drugs, including, NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB as well many major colleges and universities. From 1995 to 2004, Robert was the lead course instructor for pharmaceutical compounding at the USC School of Pharmacy. At the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy, he was instrumental in launching the first ever Entrepreneur Pharmaceutical Dual Degree Program in the US. Robert has lectured, and authored many articles in various medical journals and academic books with regards to pharmacy regulations, science, and drug management. He is a Past President of the California Pharmacists Association, and has received many awards and recognitions including Pharmacist of the Year. In addition to Robert’s career in medicine, he is the CEO and Founder of Daddy & Co, which offers a complete line of apparel and accessories for dads. He also serves as Executive Producer and Host of “My Life as a Dad”, a show about celebrities, athletes, musicians, and authors that are expectant, new, active, and experienced Dads. Robert graduated with a degree in pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy. He lives in Manhattan Beach with his wife, Katy, and their children, Lincoln, Carter and Tessa. Robert also enjoys a wonderful relationship with his four older children Austin, Paige, Hayden and Kennady.

Mitch Ozawa is a Senior Vice President and Senior Client Manager for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. In this role, he serves as the bank’s primary relationship manager for for-profit and not-for-profit healthcare entities located in Southern California. Mitch has served on the MBEF Board since 2009. Mitch and his wife Ann have three children, Hayden (MCHS grad), Camryn (RHP grad) and Chasen (MCHS). Mitch has a BS in Business Administration (Finance) from Cal. State University Long Beach and an MBA from USC. Mitch also serves on the Board of Trustees for Rolling Hills Prep, served on the Meadows PTA for 7 years, served on School Site Council for Meadows from 2007-2009, and served on the Advisory Board for the Skechers Pier-to-Pier Friendship Walk from 2010-2012.

Joni Ramallo, Secretary: Joni moved to California from Oahu to attend USC where she graduated with a degree in Accounting.  She has over 12 years of experience in financial accounting, with several years as a CPA at Deloitte & Touche and as a Financial Accountant with William Morris Agency.

As a parent of two students in our district, Joni has developed a passion for strengthening our local public schools.  At Grand View, she led the Student Directory and Student Store, and served as the PTA Financial Secretary.  She currently serves as the MBMS PTA Financial Secretary and has been on the MBEF Board of Directors since 2013 as Treasurer.  In her spare time she enjoys Traveling with her family, sewing, cooking, reading, running, yoga and dance.

Carolyn Robb

Dan Rogoff is the Vice President of MBEF and serves on the Grant Committee and the Nominating Committee. Dan is the Associate General Counsel of March Vision Care. He is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara and received his J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). Dan and his wife, Robyn, have two children: Cate (MBMS) and Charlie (Pacific).

Jeff Serota is originally from Long Island, New York, Jeff moved to Manhattan Beach in the early 1990s. Jeff recently retired from Senior Partner at the Ares Private Equity Group, where he specialized in providing investment banking services to financial sponsor clients of the firm. Prior to his work with Ares Private Equity Group, Jeff worked at Dabney/Resnick Inc., a boutique investment bank, and specialized in merchant banking and capital raising activities for middle-market companies. Jeff graduated magna cum laude with a BS in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and received an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. He and his wife, Peir, have two children at Grand View elementary, where both are active volunteers. He joined the board of the MBEF and the MBEF Endowment Fund in June 2013, and is looking forward to giving back to the city that has provided so many happy memories. He will lend his considerable expertise and knowledge to the further development of the highly successful “public/private partnership” that supports education excellence in our community.

Jeri Vick currently stays home with her two children, who both attend Pacific Elementary School. She spends much of her time volunteering in a variety of roles within the school district, including serving as Pacific Elementary PTA Co-President and previously as an MBEF site representative at Pacific. Prior to working at home with her children, she worked at PIMCO, a large fixed-income asset management company based in Newport Beach, CA. As an investment professional at PIMCO, she was responsible for client relationships totaling $10 billion in assets under management. She also worked with a small team of professionals to develop PIMCO’s emerging market and diversified income businesses. Prior to joining PIMCO, she was employed by Kidder, Peabody & Co. in Fixed Income Research and by Citigroup in risk management with a focus on equity and commodity derivatives. Jeri graduated cum laude from Boston University with a dual major in International Relations and Economics and holds an MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business.

Remco Waller, President Remco is currently is a partner with Tatum, a consulting firm in the Finance & IT area. He is a seasoned global executive with more than 20 years’ experience in industry leading retail, consumer goods and commercial real estate companies including senior roles in Europe, USA and Asia (China and Korea). He relocated with his family in 2006 to Manhattan Beach to take on the role as the CFO for Fresh & Easy Neighborhood markets, at that time a subsidiary of Tesco; US friends in Korea highly recommended Manhattan Beach for the quality of its public schools. During his international assignments he has been active as director in several Chambers of Commerce, the LA County Economic Development Cooperation, CFO forums and International School boards. He holds a master in business economics from the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, the Netherlands and a Post-Graduate Controller degree of the Vrije University of Amsterdam. He joined MBEF Board in 2013, became secretary late 2013 and holds currently the VP position. Remco and his wife Mariel have three children in the Manhattan Beach schools: Tommy is a senior in Costa, Kim a sophomore in Costa and Jesse a 8th grader at MBMS after they all attended Pennekamp Elementary.

Rich Weiss, in addition to serving as the Chief Investment Officer of the Endowment, Rich has been an active member of MBEF and its Manhattan Wine Auction committee for over ten years. He is a senior portfolio manager and manager of asset allocation for American Century Investments, a $150 billion investment management organization. Rich has been in the investment field for over 30 years, holding senior positions at City National Bank, Sanwa Bank California, PaineWebber and Mellon Bank. He is a magna cum laude graduate of the Wharton Business School and the University of Chicago. Rich and his wife, Virginia, have three girls: Chloe, a senior at Syracuse University, Caroline who attends Fusion Academy, and Carmen (MCHS).

Anne Marie Whitney, MBEF Board Member and PTA President MBMS: Ann Marie graduated from Boston College and her professional background includes seven years experience with Deloitte and Touche LLP (in Stamford, CT, Boston, MA, and Los Angeles, CA) and ten years experience with Kilroy Realty Corporation where she was Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer. Ann Marie has served as a member of the MBEF board since 2010, when she was PTA president at Robinson Elementary School. Ann Marie and her husband Rich have three children, Mia, Jack (MBMS) and Sam (MBMS).

Marla Zaslansky has served in many leadership roles in our schools. She is a former MBEF president and PTA president at Pacific Elementary. Previously, she worked as a General Manager in the Direct Marketing and Television industries. She has a blended family with five children and several grand children. Her youngest graduated MCHS in 2017. She has a BA from the University of Northridge, a Professional Designation in Certified Financial Planning from UCLA and an Executive Education Degree in Management from UCLA. Marla and her husband are passionate advocates for education.