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.
Hava Manasse As Director of Development at the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation (MBEF), Hava is responsible for the organization’s fund development and donor stewardship. Hava comes to MBEF with more than 15 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector, principally in fundraising, advocacy and event management.
Hava works in collaboration with the MBEF Board, volunteers, local businesses and community stakeholders to raise funds to support the financial health and growth of MBEF and the MBEF Endowment. She manages MBEF’s fundraising and stewardship events, as well as community outreach and education-focused programs. Hava is also the staff lead and principal fundraiser for the Manhattan Wine Auction, MBEF’s signature event that raises over $1.1M annually.
Prior to joining MBEF, Hava worked as the Associate Director for Human Rights Watch, an international human rights advocacy organization. In this role, she was responsible for fund development, event management, outreach and advocacy. During her tenure with Human Rights Watch, Hava and the Southern California team raised over $30 million. Early in her career, Hava served as Director of Public Relations and Events, and Associate Director of Development, at Union Station Homeless Services in Pasadena. Union Station is an innovative and effective organization that helps homeless individuals and families identify the causes that have led to their homelessness, and provide long-lasting tools, resources and support to rebuild their lives. In this role, Hava was responsible for managing the daily operations of the development and public relations office.
Hava is passionate about giving back and volunteerism. She currently serves on the Board of Grades of Green, is a founding member of the Los Angeles Global Circle, and was Vice President and Enrichment Chair of the PTO Board of the Montessori School of Manhattan Beach. Over the years, Hava’s volunteer activities have included the AIDS Name Project, Lane Shelter Care, and the Institute for Economic Justice and Indigenous Technology. She has also helped coordinate fundraising walks, beach and trail clean-ups, and food, clothing and holiday gift drives.
Hava lives in Manhattan Beach with her husband, son, and daughter. Both of her children attend Manhattan Beach public schools.
Carolyn Leserman is the Director of the Annual Appeal and Operations at the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation (MBEF), where she is responsible for coordinating the Annual Appeal Campaign as well as the MBEF office activities. Carolyn has a twenty history with MBEF, for many of those year she sat on the Board of Directors. Several of her past positions include MBEF President (3 year term); Vice President – Grants Chairperson; Roundhouse Ball Chairperson; MWA silent auction chair among others. She lives in Manhattan Beach with her husband Rick where they raised their children Eric, Scott and Ellen who are proud Mira Costa alumni.
Hilary Mahan is a native of California who grew up with a deep appreciation for education and the public school system. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts in both Communications and English from UC Santa Barbara, Hilary began her career directing the training and events department for a large non-profit association. To further her expertise, Hilary completed the Public Relations and Event Planning certificate program at UCLA. She later transitioned to fundraising, coordinating large-scale events such as the Revlon Run/Walk for Women and Champions for a Cure here in Los Angeles. Most recently Hilary has become an active participant in the Manhattan Beach school community. For the past eight years she has been a member of the PTSA Executive Board at Robinson Elementary, serving as President and a variety of other capacities. She has also served on the MBEF Board for several years and has been an integral part of the annual appeal and communications efforts. Hilary and her husband Rob have three children in the district; Trey, a freshman at Mira Costa; Ella, a 6th grader at MBMS; and Alana, a kindergartner at Robinson.