TDI Grant Committee

Adam Goldston- Adam is proud of the many roles he has been privileged to fill in his 8- 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.

Alison Diaz- Alison Suffet Diaz is the Founder and Executive Director of Environmental Charter Schools (ECS), a growing network of schools that has provided meaningful education to youth in underserved communities of South Los Angeles for more than twelve years. A lawyer by training and mother at heart, Alison founded Environmental Charter High School after her career as a public school teacher left something to be desired. With the goal of creating real and meaningful life learning experiences with the help of a strong and dynamic team, Alison created a successful, rigorous curriculum and environmental approach that lead to a 96% college-acceptance rate for graduates. The school has earned a ranking in the top 10% of California Schools and is one of three nation-wide finalists in Obama’s Race to the Top Challenge. Environmental Charter High school was also in the first round of schools to be given Green Ribbon recognition. Since then, the network has grown to include two middle schools and serves more than 1,000 students each year. Alison holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from State University of New York, Albany, and Juris Doctorate from Temple University Law School, where she participated in a program called LEAP, teaching inner city youth about their constitutional rights. She earned her teaching credential from Cal State Dominguez Hills and after eight years of teaching, she developed the blueprint for what would be become Environmental Charter High School while working as a part time faculty member in the teaching credential program at Cal State Dominguez Hills as well as the Education Specialist at Tree People. Alison serves on the Board of Directors for The Green Schools National Network and UCLA Extension Education Advisory Board.

Elizabeth Kunkee– Elizabeth Kunkee moved to Manhattan Beach after graduating from Georgia Tech with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. She has worked for 19 years at TRW/Northrop Grumman and is married to David Kunkee, an engineer at The Aerospace Corporation. Her community service focuses on volunteering with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts at the troop and council level; and serving on the Manhattan Beach Library Commission.  Her hobbies include sailing with the Fairwind Yacht Club, travel with her family, and reading. She has two children, John (11th grade at Mira Costa), and Leah (8th grade at MBMS).

  • Northrop Grumman Innovation IR&D award, 2011, and Distinguished Innovator Award, 2006
  • TRW Women of Achievement Award, 1999
  • Doctoral Dissertation Award, Georgia Tech Sigma Xi, 1996
  • 17 U.S. Patents

Jeff Serota-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.

Kevin Post– Kevin is a retired MBUSD English teacher. He grew up in the South Bay and graduated from Aviation High School in 1963, before getting his BA and Teaching Credential in English From Cal State Long Beach.  He taught in  Redondo Beach from 1969-1989. He joined the MBMS team in 1989 as an English teacher. He was the MBUSD Teacher of the Year in 1992-1993, was the president of the Manhattan Beach United Teachers Association (MBUT) from 2003-2005, and he retired in 2005 after 36 years of teaching English. He currently spends his time mentoring teachers and students, playing music, riding his bike and dreaming about his “dream school”.

Marla Zaslansky– Marla 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 attends MCHS. She has a BA from 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.