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.
Erin Levin, Secretary
Erin 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 husband Steve and have two children Hayden and Delaney, who attend MBUSD schools.
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.
Dr. Anna Bargagliotti is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics at LMU. Dr. Bargagliotti has extensive experience with education-related grants, working with pre-service and in-service teachers, and working on undergraduate STEM recruitment and retention. Her research interests are focused on the fields of mathematical statistics and statistics and mathematics educationher scholarly work has appeared in top-tier journals such as Journal for Statistics Education, Mathematical Teaching in Middle School, Journal of Nonparametric Statistics, Journal for Research Effectiveness, and Teachers College Record. To date she has published 25 journal articles, three book chapters, two national reports, five conference proceedings, seven columns/OpEds and has received over six million dollars in external funding for her research. Anna directs the Master of Arts in Teaching Mathematics program at LMU, is an editor of the Journal for Statistics Education, and is an author of the American Statistical Association’s (ASA) Statistics Education of Teachers report. She is also an author on the upcoming ASA Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education PreK-12 report and is writing a book entitled the Statistics and Data Analysis for Teachers set to be published by the ASA and NCTM in early 2020. Anna has been instrumental in MBEF’s efforts for over the years, serving as the Site Rep and coordinator of the Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk. Anna lives in Manhattan Beach with her husband, Joseph, and two children, Sienna and Luca, who attend MBUSD schools.
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 14 years old 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 parent’s 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, 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 Amazon.com, 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.
Stacey Fundingsland graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Communications in 2004 and began working in advertising 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 focused on raising her toddler boys and formed her own Marketing Consulting company where she has created global events for clients such as Intel, Hulu, Illumina, Cisco and Docker, driving strategy, growing revenue and managing teams of 50+ people. Stacey appreciates the autonomy and challenge of working for myself and has been involved in volunteering with the Hermosa Beach Education Foundation while raising three boys before moving to Manhattan Beach.
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 of 18 years 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.
Katie Gunther has served as PTA President for the past three years at MBMS. Prior to that she was PTA Co-President at Pennekamp Elementary. She also held the VP of Fundraising position at both Pennekamp and Mira Costa prior the President role. For the past five years, she has served on the MBEF board representing the school where she was President. Next year she will serve as VP Fundraising at Mira Costa. 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 14 years, Katie lives in Manhattan Beach with her husband, Alistair and her two children who attend Mira Costa.
Joy Higa is the Senior Vice President, National Regulatory Affairs for UnitedHealthcare, where she leads federal and state regulatory issues management, advocacy, and shared services functions to support the company’s commercial and government business. She has held several leadership roles at UnitedHealthcare since joining in 2006, including leading the healthcare reform (ACA) implementation team. Since her appointment by Governor Jerry Brown in 2014, Joy has also served as a Board Member of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), the country’s largest teacher retirement fund. Prior to 2006, Joy spent seven years in California State government leadership roles serving as Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy to State Controller Steve Westly, Chief Deputy Cabinet Secretary to Governor Gray Davis, and Deputy Director of the California Department of Managed Health Care. Joy graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Arts degree concentrating in health and public policy. She serves on the Cornell University Council Administrative Board and as a Sustaining Member of the President’s Council of Cornell Women. Joy has enjoyed volunteering in the classroom, supporting/serving as Chair of various school programs and events. Originally from Hawaii, Joy lives in Manhattan Beach with her husband Chris Tuffli, and two children, Olivia & Ben, who attended MBUSD schools.
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 charter holder 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, Avery and Abigail, who attend 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.
Keith Lupton is a Partner in Ernst & Young’s Financial Statement Assurance Practice and has 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.
Emily Macias is a dedicated volunteer with a passion for education. She has served as PTA President, Historian and Legislative Rep at Meadows, as well as the Legislative Rep at MBMS. 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 over 6 years. Emily is originally from Long Island, New York and has over 18 years of experience in account management, including sales and marketing strategy development, and managing major accounts for The Xerox Corporation. She and her husband George have two daughters, Rebecca and Nicole, 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, a Manhattan Beach resident since 2001, 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 Women.com, 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 Women.com 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 and her husband, Ben have two children, Anthony and Annie 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.
Dan Rogoff has served as MBEF President, Vice President and Secretary since he joined the board in 2014. Dan is currently a Senior Associate General Counsel at UnitedHealth Group and serves as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for a UnitedHealth Group subsidiary. Dan began his career at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP where he practiced corporate and securities law. 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 and Charlie, who attend MBUSD schools.
Scott Rosenthal has served as Treasurer and MBEF President since joining the MBEF Board in 2017. Scott is a portfolio manager with Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management, a Los Angeles-based investment firm where he is responsible for the investment activities of the Global Value and International Value portfolios. Scott received his BA in Economics from Boston College and an MBA with honors from Columbia Business School. He lives in Manhattan Beach with his wife Alison and three daughters, Eva, Emma, and Abigail, two of whom 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. 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 believe 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, their son Jesse who attends MBUSD schools and Tommy and Kim, MBUSD alumni.
Kristen (Wysh) Weinstein graduated from Towson University in 2002 with a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education and a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Dance Performance. She taught Elementary School for two years in Pennsylvania at the Council Rock School District and seven years in California at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). During her time, she taught first, fifth, and sixth grades. While she was teaching at Roscomare Road in Bel-Air, she chaired the Professional Development Committee at her school site and served on the School Site Council as well as helping to lead the charge for her school to become a California Distinguished School. As a parent, she has served on various committees at Pacific Elementary School, including as Parent Party Co-Chair. For the past two years, she has served as PTA President of Pacific Elementary School. She has held several key roles for the district, including the volunteers chair for the Measure MB campaign which passed legislation is 2018. As part of her role, she served as a Class I MBEF board member. For the next school year, she will serve as the District Advisory Council President for the District. She and her husband Dan have two children, Jace and Kyla who attend MBUSD schools.