More information on MBEF Staff

Farnaz Golshani Flechner, Executive Director 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, Director of Events and Partnerships 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.

Hilary Mahan, Director of Annual Appeal Hilary leads the efforts for MBEF’s primary fundraising campaign, managing the campaign strategy, supervising and training school site representatives, and tracking outcomes towards the annual goal. Hilary brings a deep appreciation for education and the public-school system, as well as extensive experience in program development, fundraising and event planning in the nonprofit sector, to the team at MBEF.

Early in her career, Hilary served as Director of Educational Programs for the National Notary Association, a nonprofit organization focused on the training and education of Notaries Public. In this role, she was responsible for program development, event management and community relations with state officials. Hilary implemented over one thousand educational programs and was responsible for the training of over 150,000 Notary professionals nationwide. She then transitioned to producing large-scale fundraising events, including the Revlon Run/Walk for Women here in Los Angeles, which engaged more than 60,000 participants and raised more than $4M for breast cancer research each year.

Hilary has served in several capacities on the Robinson Elementary PTSA Executive Board, including PTSA President and Vice President of Community Outreach. Prior to joining the MBEF team, Hilary served as Communications Chair on the MBEF Board of Directors for several years. While on the Board, she was also a member of the Strategic Planning Committee and Grants Committee.

Hilary holds a Bachelor of Arts in both Communications and English from UC Santa Barbara and is certificated in Public Relations and Event Planning from UCLA Extension. She is currently completing the Emerging Leaders program through the Leadership Institute of the Non-Profit Partnership. Hilary is actively involved in many local philanthropies, including the National Charity League, Amigos Unidos, the Mother’s Outreach Ministry and the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation.

Hilary and her husband live in Manhattan Beach with their son and two daughters. All three children attend Manhattan Beach public schools.