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MBEF Board Officers

Dr. Alice Kuo, President
Alice is a Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and of Health Policy and Management in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. She is Chief of Medicine-Pediatrics and Director of the Medicine- Pediatrics Comprehensive Care Centers at UCLA. Dr. Kuo has published over 45 peer-reviewed articles and edited two books in the areas of early childhood health, developmental services, health disparities, and medical education. Dr. Kuo served on the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Community Pediatrics Training Initiative from 2005-2008 and the Council on Community Pediatrics from 2009-2015 and was the Policy Chair for those last three years. Dr. Kuo received a B.A. in biology from Harvard University, her M.D. and Ph.D. in educational psychology from UCLA, and M.B.A. from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She completed her combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency training at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and a NRSA Primary Care Health Services Research fellowship at UCLA. Alice Kuo is the mother of Matthew and Noah, both of whom attend MBUSD schools.

Mike Brunick, Vice President
Mike is the Managing Partner at UNBOUND, providing strategic consulting and advisory services to marketers, media owners and technology companies to develop data strategies that better connect brands to their customers. He was previously a founder of Cadreon – creating a new category of marketing services – and has been a pioneer in the evolution of data-driven marketing and automated media trading. Mike went to the University of Southern California and graduated from the Marshall School of Business. A native to Manhattan Beach, Mike recently relocated back to his hometown where he lives with his wife Emily and his three children, Jake, Olivia and Lucie, who will be third-generation graduates of Mira Costa. Mike joined the Board of Directors in 2018 after serving on the executive committee for Measure MB.

Stacey Fundingsland, Secretary
Stacey graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004 and began working in marketing with Jack Morton Worldwide, a leading global experiential marketing agency. As an Account Lead, Stacey worked across Fortune 500 brands such as Intel, Gap, NBC, Mattel, Johnson and Johnson, etc. with a focus and expertise working within the technology sector. In 2015, she formed her own Marketing Consulting company where she has created global events for clients such as Intel, Hulu, Illumina, Cisco and VMware. Stacey excels at driving strategy, achieving business results, growing revenue and managing large teams of people. In addition to MBEF, Stacey has volunteered for the Hermosa Beach Education Foundation and MBUSD PTA. She currently lives with her husband and three boys in Manhattan Beach.

Lorelei Chao, Treasurer
Lorelei served as PTA Co-President at Pennekamp Elementary and held various roles with the MBMS PTA and the MB Council of PTAs. Lorelei earned a BA in Finance from Loyola University Chicago and an MBA in Finance from DePaul University. She spent over 15 years in investment consulting for institutional clients with Verus Investments (formerly Wurts & Associates), The Northern Trust Company and William M. Mercer Investment Consulting. Lorelei was part of the investment team at the Orange County Employees Retirement System for five years, focused on the alternative assets and real estate programs in the latter part of her tenure. She is a CFA charterholder. Lorelei and her husband Jason have two children in MBUSD.


Terence Balagia is a Vice President in Asset & Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs, where he serves as an investment advisor to a select group of nonprofit organizations and ultra-high net worth families. Prior to his current role, Terence was a Vice President in Corporate Treasury located in New York, where he was responsible for managing the firm’s capital and overseeing its capital stress testing process. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs in 2011, he worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York advising institutions on strategies to manage foreign exchange, commodity and interest rate risk. Terence earned his Master’s in Professional Accounting from the University of Texas and holds a Bachelor of Science from Boston College. He is a CFA® charter holder and a Certified Public Accountant (inactive). Additionally, Terence is a founding member of Wall Street for McCombs, serves on the Board and Finance Committee of Shoes That Fit and is a member of the Wealth Management Advisory Board for the CFA® Society of Los Angeles. Terence, his wife, Kailee, and two daughters live in Manhattan Beach where his oldest attends Pennekamp Elementary.

Jen Cram graduated from Syracuse University in 1997 where she played Division I Tennis. Prior to having her first child, she worked 10+ years as an investment consultant for two firms in Chicago (Mercer Investment Consulting and Callan Associates) followed by Bel Air Investments and Angeles Consultants in Los Angeles. Her professional experience includes working with pensions, foundations, and endowments to set investment goals and needs and find appropriate asset allocation. Jen has also volunteered in some capacity since she was very young as a member of a greater community and believes that her experiences have shaped her perspective for the better. Her own children take notice of their parents involvement and commitment to their education to make it the best experience and opportunity given our financial limits.

Heather de Roos has been a resident of Manhattan Beach for more than a decade and has been actively engaged in supporting Manhattan Beach schools. Heather has held many leadership positions including PTA VP of Communications and PTA President of Grand View, PTSA President at Mira Costa High School, President of the Manhattan Beach PTA Council and the MBEF Wine Auction’s Silent Auction Chair. In addition to her support of Manhattan Beach schools, Heather is also a Board Trustee for the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum (NHM). Heather has a background in human resources, strategy & planning, consulting, and retail and has held management and consulting positions at Northrop Grumman, Home Depot and, 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. Heather and her husband Dirk have one son, Tate, who attends Mira Costa.

Rachel Disser left the Chicago cold for the sunny shores of Manhattan Beach in 2003. She spent over a decade in pharmaceutical sales and training for Merck & Co and Novartis before joining the family business as President of DisCom International in 2012.  Rachel has held numerous volunteer positions in MBUSD including Grand View PTA President, Manhattan Beach District Council President, Co-Chair for Grades of Green Verte Auction, and Co-Chair of the Manhattan Wine Auction.  Rachel has a BS in Environmental Science from University of Lynchburg. Over the past decade Rachel has served on numerous PTA boards including Grand View, MBMS and now Mira Costa. Rachel and her husband Brian have two sons, Michael and Henry, enrolled in MBUSD schools.

Dave Gendron has over 25 years of structured product, derivative and specialty finance experience. He is currently the President and Co-Founder of Three Point Capital. Three Point is the premier financier and service provider in the film, television and commercial industry.  Three Point has financed or serviced over 425 film and television projects over the past eleven years of which David has earned 55 Executive Producer credits on. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Elite Commercial Incentive Services, Three Point has worked on over 500 commercials for over 75 national brands. Prior to founding Three Point David was an Executive Director at CIBC World Markets in New York, where he headed up U.S. Fixed Income Derivative Marketing. He also worked with the Asset Securitization Group in modeling derivative solutions for Asset Management Backed Securitizations and Collateralized Debt Obligations, and marketed Credit Derivative products to hedge fund clients; specializing in Total Return Swaps.  Prior to CIBC David worked in derivative operations and financial controls at Credit Lyonnais (now Calyon). David has a bachelor’s in both Mathematics and Economics from Providence College and an M.B.A. from New York University Stern School of Business. David lives in Manhattan Beach, CA with his wife Theresa and his four daughters. He is an active board member for the Sand & Surf Soccer Club as well as for Manhattan Beach Rotary, where he recently served as President.

Garret Giglia is a Partner at IEQ Capital, a Registered Investment Advisory firm serving high-net-worth families across the country. Mr. Giglia began his career in Public Accounting working in the Audit and Advisory practice at Windes & McClaughry. After earning his Certified Public Accountant designation (currently inactive) and spending 3 years at Windes & McClaughry, he joined the institutional asset management team at Pacific Life where he was responsible for making buy/sell recommendations on the underlying credit investments of the broader investment portfolio. In 2012, he joined the Private Banking and Investment Group (“PBIG”) at Merrill Lynch, shifting his focus from institutional investment management to high-net-worth wealth management. In 2016, Mr. Giglia joined the Luminous team at First Republic Bank, serving as Senior Vice President and Wealth Manager. In 2019, Mr. Giglia and his partners left First Republic to launch IEQ Capital. Mr. Giglia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Southern California. Mr. Giglia holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Mr. Giglia lives in Manhattan Beach with his wife and two sons.

Katie Gunther has served as a Manhattan Beach Middle School PTA President and was Co-President at Pennekamp Elementary PTA. She also held the VP of Fundraising position at both Pennekamp and Mira Costa. She has served on the MBEF board representing the MBMS PTA before being nominated as a Class II Director. Before dedicating her time to volunteering, Katie worked in investment technology training, specializing in software to make investment decisions. Katie recently returned to Capital Group Companies where she is a leader in the investment technology training group. Focused on investment software, mobile technology, and off-the-shelf applications, she is responsible for technology training across all of Capital Group’s investment offices and mentoring junior associates. A resident of the South Bay for over ten years, Katie lives in Manhattan Beach with her husband, Alistair and her two children who attend MBMS and Mira Costa.

Brett Johnson is an investment manager in the Los Angeles office of Goldman Sachs.  Prior to joining Goldman in 2006, Brett worked for The Private Bank at Bank of America.  He advises families and foundations on investment and risk management.  He graduated from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science in Business, concentration in Finance. Brett is a CFA charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute, Pacific Council on International Policy and the Los Angeles Society of Financial Analysts.  Brett and his wife, Katie live in Manhattan Beach and have two daughters in MBUSD schools.

Ryan Kaplan received a degree in Economics, with a concentration in Finance from Bucknell University, and has concentrated his professional career in finance. He has worked at UBS as an Investment Banking associate, Health Care Partners (HCP) in LA and Nashville as a healthcare real estate acquisitions professional, and currently at Goldman Sachs, leading their Real Estate Private Equity business on the West Coast. In 2016, Ryan and his wife relocated to Manhattan Beach primarily because of the public school system. Ryan has since come to better understand the challenges we face and has become an active participant in creating solutions to the funding issues.

Erin Levin has been involved in youth education for over 20 years. She mentored at risk youth while getting her undergraduate degree in History and Art History at the University of Southern California, where she graduated magna cum laude. Erin then obtained her teaching credential and taught American History at Mira Costa High School. Erin then studied early childhood development and worked at The Learning Center in Palo Alto, CA, before having her two children. Erin served on the Board of Directors at the Knowing Garden, a constructivist school in Redondo Beach, where her children attended for over 6 years. She has served as PTA Co-President at Pacific and her children Hayden and Delaney attend MBUSD schools.

Keith Lupton is a Partner in Ernst & Young’s Financial Statement Assurance Practice and has over 25 years of experience providing audit, accounting, and other business advisory services to multinational and domestic clients in the financial services, real estate industries. In addition to serving several of the largest financial services and real estate clients in EY’s West Region, he also serves several family offices and private foundation clients. Additionally, Keith has served as a resource on technical accounting and auditing with a focus on derivatives, financial instruments, fair value, and stock-based compensation. Keith graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara and is a CPA in California & Colorado. He is a member of both the California Society of CPA’s and the AICPA. Keith serves on the Board of Managers for Ketchum Downtown YMCA and the Economics Advisory Board Chairman for the University of California at Santa Barbara. Keith and his wife Dana are longtime residents of Manhattan Beach with two daughters, Paige and Lauren, who attend MBUSD schools.

Michelle McDonald 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. 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 have one son, Russell, an alumnus of MBUSD.

Raj Mehrotra was born and raised in Delhi, India and attended University of Delhi, Lancaster (UK) and in UC Riverside with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Business and Accounting. Raj has 22+ years of professional experience serving fortune 100 clients with 10 years as Partner in Deloitte’s Mergers & Acquisition (M&A) group. His professional accreditations include certified public accountant, chartered financial analyst charterholder, and has held various practice and tech/media industry leadership roles over the years including responsibility for regional and national P&Ls for various market offerings/service lines within Deloitte M&A. Raj has been a resident of Manhattan Beach since 2016, is married and father of two boys that are part of MBUSD. He has been deeply involved in the various parent programs and relocated here from another neighborhood for the education.

Ellen Padnos has a passion for helping others find happiness through giving.  In 2013, she co-founded Joyful Giving, a giving circle that brings speakers, fundraising events and family service activities to the South Bay. Joyful Giving raises $300,000 a year to support School on Wheels, an organization that tutors homeless children. Prior to starting Joyful Giving, Ellen co-founded and was Editor-in-Chief of, which provided original content and aggregated articles from around the web. Much of the content focused on creating a mindful and meaningful life, encouraging awareness, compassion and service. Ellen and her husband sold in 2013. Ellen also spent eight years in Sales and Operations at Yahoo and Ellen is a graduate of Boston College. She currently serves on the Boards of School on Wheels and Changeist (formerly Big Citizen Hub). She resides in Manhattan Beach with her husband, Ben, her son Anthony and daughter, Annie, both in MBUSD schools, and two dogs. She is passionate about knowledge and thinks that every child will live a better life when a curious mind is cultivated.

Sally Peel grew up in Boise, Idaho, enjoying what she describes as “kind of a perfect childhood” in a community that cherished the arts, education, and the great outdoors. She decided at a young age that she wanted to serve as a member of a school board after hearing from a family friend what being on the school board was all about. Peel obtained her MBA at Brigham Young University. She began her business career in San Francisco as a project manager for one of the first internet advertising agencies, Organic. She has served as a science lab volunteer, a Meadows PTA board member, a Measure C/EE volunteer, a Measure MB turf captain, an MBMS volunteer, and a Mira Costa athletics and music booster supporter before being elected as an MBUSD Trustee. She served on the MBUSD School Board for four years and initiating or overseeing several new programs, including the MBUSD Music Coalition and the South Bay Coalition Against Hate. Sally lives in Manhattan Beach with her husband, Jason, where they raised three children in MBUSD schools.

Lisa Quarello began her professional career working in wealth management at UBS and obtained her Certification in Accounting from UCLA. This, along with her series 7, 63, 65 licenses, allowed her to better help clients in their philanthropic pursuits and she saw firsthand the tax advantages of gifting cash, non-cash assets, appreciated securities. While Lisa was attending Scripps College, Claremont to receive her Bachelor of Arts in Political Economics, she worked evenings for the college’s annual and capital gifting campaigns, where conversations with parents and alumnae taught her the power of building rapport, uncovering concerns (overcoming objections), and securing donations. Lisa is actively involved in the community through MBEF Wine Auction, Sandpipers and fundraising for several non-profit organizations where she applies her experience in grant writing and marketing for non-profits. Lisa actively supports the PTA fundraising efforts through her experience with hosting client appreciation events fundraising savvy to raise thousands of dollars for the schools. She and her husband Adam live in Manhattan Beach and their two children attend Robinson.

Scott Rosenthal is a portfolio manager with Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management, a Los Angeles-based investment firm. At HWCM, Scott is responsible for the investment activities of the Global Value and International Value portfolios. Scott received his BA in Economics from Boston College and MBA with honors from Columbia Business School. He lives in Manhattan Beach with his wife, Alison, and their three daughters attend MBUSD schools. Scott joined the MBEF Board in 2017 and currently serves on the Sustainable Funding Committee and is a past President.

Tarek Shaer is the founding principal of Urbanest Group Inc., a real estate advisory, land-use solutions, and financial services corporation. He holds professional licenses in real estate brokerage, mortgage origination, construction, and architecture. His clients include national and community lenders, equity investors, as well as local and international developers. An active Expert Witness, he is responsible for the entitlement and development of more than 10,000 residential units and a wide range of commercial spaces with a total value well over $1.5 billion. Tarek helped secure debt and equity funding for various key mixed-use projects throughout the West Coast. A former Chairman of the Redondo Beach Harbor Commission, a current board member of a State Credit Union, and a chair of several real estate boards and forums, Tarek was a frequent guest speaker and lecturer at the University of Southern California real estate LUSK program. Tarek received both his Master’s in Real Estate Development & Bachelor’s in Architecture degrees from the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles. Tarek and his wife Corinne live in Manhattan Beach and have two children, Luca & Lili, who attend MBUSD schools.

Kate Sinclair is a special events producer and creative consultant specializing in high-end corporate events, non-profit fundraisers, signature galas and private celebrations. For the past fifteen years, Kate has worked closely with clients to create meaningful events that are memorable, effective and fun. Representative clients include The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation/The Giving Pledge, Google, Qualcomm, YPO, Panera, UC San Diego Health, Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation, Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center, Padres Pedal the Cause, Yoga Six and Ripley Rader. Previously a senior producer for one of the country’s top creative agencies, Kate now operates her own consulting business. Known for her signature sophisticated design style, meticulous attention to detail and collaborative approach, Kate works with a hand-picked production team of designers, creatives and technicians to bring her clients’ vision to life. As part of her event work, Kate often consults on brand messaging and communications, program content, scriptwriting, video production, speaker coaching and presentation collateral. Kate is a cum laude graduate of Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts from the School of Communication. She is a lifelong advocate of the arts and education. Kate lives in Manhattan Beach, CA with her husband and two children.

Roger Spencer received his Bachelor of Arts in Finance from Santa Clara University. Roger is currently a stay-at-home-dad and was previously project manager for build out of several wireless telecom networks in Southern Nevada and Southern California. Roger has been an active volunteer including serving as Meadows PTA treasurer, MBEF Wine Auction chair and previous MBEF Board member. Roger now serves as a Director of the MBEF Endowment and strongly believes in MBEF’s mission to support our local public schools. The community’s support of our schools is an important part of life in Manhattan Beach and Roger would like to ensure that it is easy for our residents to continue their support over the long-term.

Remco Waller served as MBEF President, Vice President and Secretary since he joined the board in 2013. 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) and is currently a partner with Tatum, a consulting firm in the Finance & IT area. He relocated with his family to Manhattan Beach in 2006 to take on the role as the CFO for Fresh & Easy Neighborhood markets, at that time a subsidiary of Tesco. 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’s in business economics from the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, the Netherlands and a Post-Graduate Controller degree of the Vrije University of Amsterdam. Remco and his wife Mariel have three children, Jesse, Tommy and Kim, who are all MBUSD alumni.