Board Biographies

Michele Renee Arthur was born and raised in San Diego, but has also lived in Adak, Alaska, The Netherlands and England. She is a first generation American, with her mother coming from The Netherlands and her father from Indonesia.

She has been happily married to her husband Jules Arthur for over 30 years. They have two sons: Austin, who is a professional musician and resides in Los Angeles, and Alex, who works in the family Real Estate business. She was very fortunate to be able to have the opportunity to become a full-time stay at home mother. While raising their children, she became more involved with philanthropy and realized that she has a talent for fundraising, particularly in hosting large galas. In addition, her husband and she are very active in supporting many local charities and causes at various levels and degrees of involvement. (Jules Arthur is on the Board of The Old Globe Theatre.)

As a former singer and the mother of an artist, Mrs. Arthur particularly enjoys music and musical performances. Her husband and she have seen over 1,000 bands live. She also enjoys theatre, art, fashion design and costuming. She has travelled extensively, and trips tend to be centered around experiencing wildlife and F1 racing.

Michele Renee Arthur has chaired numerous galas for various institutions, including: The New Children’s Museum (two-time Co-Chair); March of Dimes (Co-Chair); Francis Parker School (two-time Co-Chair).

Other boards and causes she is involved with include: San Diego Symphony/The Rady Shell (Board Member and Donor); The Old Globe (Donor/Producer); Rady’s Children’s Hospital – Max & Jakes Big Race (Donor/Organizer); Bella’s House of Hope (Sponsor/Organizer); Graham Downes Annual Golf Tournament (Organizer/Sponsor); This Is About Humanity (Donor); It Takes A Village (Board Member); Autism Tree (Donor); Emilio Nares Foundation (Donor). In addition, the Arthurs have also hosted private events and dinners at their homes to help raise money for numerous charities over the years.

Mrs. Arthur’s professional work experience includes positions with The Institution of Mechanical Engineers publication London, The San Diego Union-Tribune Real Estate Advertising Department, and ownership of the Trouble & Strife Clothing Company.

Timothy Barelli is an award winning, high energy national security leader and senior-level executive with extensive experience and skills in high-stakes, complex, and high-profile operations, organizational and crisis leadership, government and international relations, and strategy development immediately transferrable to the private sector.

He recently transferred command as Sector Commander and Captain of the Port of San Diego, where he led an award-winning unit with the responsibility for maritime safety, security, and environmental protection in Southern California, including the largest U.S. Naval port in the Pacific. Timothy directed all homeland security maritime missions and inter-agency maritime border operations in San Diego along the Nation's busiest international border.

As a maritime and aviation practitioner, engineer, and military helicopter pilot with more than 3400 flight hours, Timothy has performed thousands of security, training, and humanitarian missions throughout the Nation and Caribbean, including flying in three historic hurricanes and responding to hundreds of search and rescue cases.

Timothy is skilled at bringing order to chaos, assessing organizational needs and risk, inspiring and building hi-performing teams, problem solving, leading complex large-scale projects, defining objectives, and driving innovative solutions.

Lisa Behun is a Senior Vice President and Private Client Advisor at U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. Lisa is responsible for identifying customer needs, providing guidance and coordinating with the appropriate professionals within U.S. Trust and Bank of America and its affiliates to support customers’ overall wealth management strategy. Lisa joined U.S. Trust in 2007 with 10 years of experience in private finance. After owning and operating an E & S brokerage firm in Minneapolis, developing a captive insurance company and serving with the Minnesota Bankers Association, Lisa came to San Diego to join the marine industry in yacht sales and financing. In 2007 U.S. Trust was acquired by Bank of America and Lisa accepted the position of Private Client Manager working directly with high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals in San Diego. Lisa Behun graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

David Bialis was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He attended the University of Southern California, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and post-graduation worked at Price Waterhouse & Co. Bialis then held financial management roles with American Cinema in Los Angeles and Oak Industries in San Diego.

In 1984 Bialis began his career with Cox Communications where he would serve in various roles and locations spanning 32 years. Roles included Chief Financial Officer of the Cox-owned Atlanta Journal-Constitution in Atlanta and Senior Vice President & General Manager of Cox’s Oklahoma telecommunications operation. He subsequently served as Senior VP of Operations of the company’s Western Division in the Atlanta corporate office where he oversaw operations of 5 million customers in California, Arizona, Nevada and Louisiana.

In 2011 Bialis returned home to Southern California to lead Cox’s operations in San Diego, Orange County and Santa Barbara. In 2016 he retired from the company.

Currently Bialis serves on the boards of Voices for Children where he was chair for two years and interim CEO for six months in 2017; Ocean Discovery Institute; La Jolla Playhouse; Make-A-Wish and the Midway Foundation. He is a resident of Solana Beach and is father to two girls who live in San Diego and San Francisco.

CAPT Anthony C. Boganey MD FACS MBA Medical Corps, United States Navy is the Staff Endocrine Surgeon at Naval Medical Center San Diego. He received a B.A. from Oakland University, completed pre-medical education at The University of Michigan, and received his M.D. from the Medical College of Pennsylvania. He completed General Surgery training at The Cleveland Clinic and Akron City Hospitals, and an Endocrine Surgery Fellowship at The University of California San Francisco.

CAPT Boganey entered the Navy in 1999 and was assigned to U.S.S. John C. Stennis in 2003. From 2004–2005 he served as General Surgeon on U.S.S. Nimitz. During this period he implemented a streamlined the emergency medical response resulting in decreased response time to personnel casualties with decreased disruption of shipboard actives.

CAPT Boganey was then assigned to Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, (NHCP) as a staff General Surgeon. From 2006–2008 he served as Department Head of General Surgery where he modified clinic templates resulting in improved beneficiary access. He also obtained an MBA from the Naval Postgraduate School, where his capstone project was “Navy Trauma Management Network in the Mature Ground Combat Environment.”

From 2008-10 he served as Director of Surgical Services at NHCP. He directed 11 departments and actively perused a culture of safety and continuous process improvement, leading implementation of the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist and revision of the Prevention of Wrong Site Surgery Protocol. He was assigned command’s project manager for the NHCP/Johns Hopkins Obstetrics Efficiency Project.

CAPT Boganey subsequent operational activity included deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) 2008–2009; deployed to Afghanistan 2011-2012 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) where he served as Officer in Charge of Forward Surgical Team, Spin Boldak. And most recently completed his third carrier deployment aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt. During this deployment CAPT Boganey initiated weekly Morbidity and Mortality to improve the quality of care delivered.

In 2014 CAPT Boganey returned to Naval Medical Center San Diego where he was tasked with developing a comprehensive Endocrine Surgery Program and expanding the endocrine surgical experience for general surgery residents. He was appointed NMCSD Surgical Champion for the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program.

Julia R. Brown is a member of the Board of Directors of Targacept, Inc., Labopharm, Inc., and MediQuest Therapeutics, Inc. She was a member of the founding Board of Directors of Trius Therapeutics, Inc. and continued to serve until its recent Series B financing. She remains on the Trius business advisory board. She was a member of the Board of Directors of Tanox, Inc. from 2005 until its acquisition by Genentech in 2007. She served on the business advisory board of CovX Pharmaceuticals from 2004 until its acquisition by Pfizer in 2008. Julia is a member of the board of CONNECT, an organization that fosters innovation, entrepreneurship and the formation of new companies. She serves on its public policy committee. Julia is Chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of California, San Diego Foundation. She is a member of Corporate Director’s Forum and the National Association of Corporate Directors and the Directors Cabinet at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She is also a member of the board of the San Diego Symphony.

From 2000-2003, Julia was Executive Vice President of Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Advisor to the CEO until 2008. Prior to joining Amylin, Julia was Executive Vice President of Dura Pharmaceuticals, Inc. She was with Dura from 1995-1999. Julia spent over 25 years with Eli Lilly and Company in progressively more senior roles. From 1992-1994, Julia was Vice President of IVAC Corporation and General Manager of its Vital Signs Division (a Lilly subsidiary). She was Vice President of Worldwide Marketing for Hybritech (another Lilly subsidiary), and led global marketing from1986-1992. She held a variety of positions in the pharmaceutical division, including eight years in the Company’s international division. She did basic research in antimicrobials from 1969-1973. Julia is a graduate of Louisiana Tech University where she studied microbiology and biochemistry. CLICK HERE for a recent San Diego Union-Tribune profile on Julia R. Brown.

Born and raised in Chula Vista, Mary Casillas Salas' South Bay roots run five generations deep. She has dedicated her career and life's work to family and to the community she loves. Ms. Casillas Salas has two daughters Michele and Sara and is the proud grandmother to Michael, Adriana, and Marissa. Ms. Casillas Salas is a product of local schools, graduating with honors from San Diego State University.

She began her public service on the Chula Vista Civil Service Commission in 1991, and she was then appointed to the City’s Planning Commission in 1993, where she served until elected to the Chula Vista City Council in 1996. In 2000 she was reelected with 66 percent of the vote. After leaving the Council in 2004, she served as a Director of the Sweetwater Authority/South Bay Irrigation District. In 2006 she was elected to the California State Assembly where she chaired the Committee on Veteran's Affairs. She also served on the Jobs, Economic Development and Economy Committee, the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee and the Health Committee. Her love of community spurred her to once again seek election to the City Council. She was elected to the City Council in 2012, and in 2014 she made history as the first elected Latina mayor in Chula Vista and the County of San Diego.

Serving her hometown has always been Ms. Casillas Salas' passion. Her effective leadership and consensus-building skills are her strength. Her work to move Chula Vista forward is evident throughout the city. She led efforts to secure funding for new urban parks, formed strategic partnerships with various government agencies to ensure completion of Olympic Parkway and other major traffic thoroughfares and played a key role in the planning of the award-winning communities of Eastlake, Otay Ranch and San Miguel.

During her tenure as Mayor, Chula Vista received national and international recognition for its efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and prevent climate change, its smart cities initiatives, and its actions to ensure sustainable development. In this same period, The City obtained ownership of the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center from the U.S. Olympic Committee. Mayor Casillas Salas led the campaign to adopt Measure P to rebuild Chula Vista’s aging infrastructure, and she advanced the development of the Bayfront in partnership with the Port of San Diego with a signed "Letter of Intent" with RIDA Development. She continued to guide major projects, including the development of a four-year university and the revitalization of western Chula Vista.

Ben G. Clay has retired as a principal with Carpi & Clay, a government relations firm with offices in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. He has more than 35 years experience working with public agencies, private-sector companies and organizations. He specialized in legislative and administrative advocacy at the State of California.

Prior to establishing The Clay Company and later Carpi & Clay, Ben provided legislative representation for the City of San Diego and County of San Diego. At the County, he served as the director of the Intergovernmental Affairs Office where he was responsible for supervising legislative advocacy activities in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. He also was vice president of a development company where he was responsible for managing development and government relations activities at the City and County of San Diego, Port of San Diego, California Coastal Commission and State Lands Commission. Ben has also served as a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps.

Ben serves on the boards of the, San Diego Symphony Association, the California State Railroad Museum, the City of San Diego Qualcomm Stadium advisory board and the San Diego River Conservancy. He is a past president and current member of the Rotary Club of San Diego and a former past president of the San Diego Symphony and a former board member of the San Diego Natural History Museum. He is currently the Chair of the San Diego Rotary Club Centennial Celebration. He has taught graduate courses at National University, undergraduate courses at San Diego State University and at San Diego Community College.

A graduate of San Diego State University, Ben holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in public administration. He has remained active in the University and is a past board member of the University’s Alumni Association and College of Business Advisory Council. Ben and his wife, Nikki, co-chaired the University’s Centennial Celebration in 1997, and they were honored as SDSU’s “Alumni of the Year” in 1998.

Ben and Nikki reside in the Mission Hills area of San Diego.

Kathleen Seely Davis has in her career been a financial planner, real estate sales and property manager, general building contractor and a programmer (with IBM). She has served on the Board of Directors for Orchestra Nova San Diego (formerly the San Diego Chamber Orchestra) and has been chairman for several major fundraisers. She has also been Vice President of the San Diego Tech Coast Angels, and has been a board member of the Rancho Farms Estates Homeowner Association in Rancho Santa Fe, serving on various committees at Fairbanks Ranch Country Club. Her international experience includes serving as a board member of the Irish American Partnership (Boston), Vice-President of various chapters of the Alliance Franchise (Minneapolis, Boston, Providence) and board member of French American Chamber of Commerce (Boston). Ms. David maintains active chairmanships in various organizations specifically aimed at fund-raising: Catholic schools, churches and the Diocese of Providence.

Ms. Davis has won various sales recognition awards in financial planning, and also won a French Government Assistantship with a Fulbright Grant to teach in France. She has twice won the President’s Award for Service to the San DiegoTech Coast Angels, and has been recognized with a STAR Award from the San Diego Performing Arts League.

Ms. Davis has a B. A. Degree in Mathematics from St. Joseph College in Maryland. She was married to the late Stephen J. Davis and enjoys the company of two grown children and six grandchildren.

Una Davis was born in Boston and received a B.A. in history from the University of Florida. She played competitive tennis her whole life; was Captain of the University of Florida tennis team, played World Team tennis and was Senior National Doubles Champion.

Una lives with her husband, Jack McGrory, in La Jolla. She has two children and together they have seven.

She has been active in various community organizations such as Generate Hope, the National Society of the Colonial Dames, the Davis Cup Host Committee of San Diego and the National Girls Junior Tennis Championships.


Dr. Martha G. Dennis, Ph. D., is Principal at Gordian Knot, an advisory firm to emerging technology businesses in San Diego. Formerly she was a Venture Partner with Windward Ventures, a firm that invested in early-stage Southern California technology companies. Previously, Dennis was Co-founder and President and CEO of WaveWare Communications, Inc., which sold software for wireless handheld connectivity. Prior to that Dennis co-founded Pacific Communications Sciences, Inc., a San Diego wireless communications equipment company that was acquired by Cirrus Logic (NASDAQ: CRUS). Earlier Dennis led software development at Linkabit Corp. as Assistant Vice President. Until recently she served as Chairman of the Board of Netsapiens, Inc. which was acquired by Crexendo (NASDAQ: CXDO) in June 2021. In addition, she served as Director of SpaceMicro which was acquired by Voyager Space Holdings in December 2021. She currently serves as a Director of Mundoval (NASDAQ: MUNDX).

In the volunteer sector Dennis serves on the Dean’s Council of Advisors of the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering and was a former Chair. She also is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council of the UCSD Rady School of Management, the Advisory Board of CALIT2 and the Chairmen’s Roundtable. She is an Emerita of the board of Harvey Mudd College and recently became an Emerita of the Board of inewsource. She also has held chairmanship roles on several boards including La Jolla Music Society, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, the Bishop’s School, The Charter One Hundred and Athena and she was past Chair of the City of San Diego Science & Technology Commission and past President of San Diego’s telecom industry association. She has also been a trustee of the Tech Coast Angels, San Diego Museum of Art, Harvey Mudd College, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, the San Diego Foundation, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, inewsource and the YMCA of San Diego County.

Dennis holds a doctorate from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from Smith College. She was the recipient of an Athena “Pinnacle Award” for Technology and a “Cool Woman” award from the Girl Scouts. She is also a member of Sigma Xi, the San Diego Rotary Club 33, the Wednesday Club and the Chairmen’s Roundtable.

Phyllis Epstein is a California native. After graduating from UCLA, she became a teacher. Later, after raising her two children, she was involved as a community volunteer. She served on the board of the Museum of Photographic Arts, has been President of the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture, and was a member the California Arts Council. She is a co-founder of the California Music Project, which seeks to bring music education back into California schools. Phyllis is on the Board of Councilors of the Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education at USC, the USC School of Fine Arts, and a board member at the UCSD School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS), serving as the community cultural liaison.

Phyllis is the mother of 2 adult children, and grandmother of three. Her husband, Dan, previously served on the Symphony Board.

Lisette Farrell holds a Masters in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona, an MBA from INCAE in Costa Rica, and a BA in Marketing from Universidad Santa Maria La Antigua in her native Panama. She has work experience in strategic planning, marketing, product and project management, consulting and business development. Lisette’s last job, before getting busy with her family, was at Visa International where she was a Manager for the Consumer Credit Products for the Latin America and Caribbean Region. She was in charge of launching Visa Platinum throughout the region and responsible for the management of Visa Gold. Before Visa, Lisette worked at several banks and financial institutions.

Lisette has been volunteering her spare time since college, where she was the Secretary of the Student Government Board of Directors. While getting her MBA, she was the Events Coordinator for the school’s biggest multi-cultural event. She also was elected the Latin America Representative for the Thunderbird Student Government.

Currently, Lisette is a member of the Contemporary Collectors at MCASD, a Director’s Circle member of the Museum of Photographic Arts, and serves on the New Children’s Museum gala committee. Lisette lives in La Jolla with her husband Michael and her two children Camille and James.

Harold W. “Hal” Fuson is a media leader, lawyer, teacher and writer. He retired in 2009 after negotiating the sale of The San Diego Union-Tribune, concluding 26 years as an employee of the newspaper’s former owner, The Copley Press. Hal was Copley's chief legal advisor for more than two decades. In 2007, he became the company’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. He continued on Copley's board until the family-held, San Diego company dissolved in 2016. Previously, he was senior staff counsel at The Los Angeles Times.

Hal served on the boards of the Newspaper Association of America, California Newspaper Publishers Association (where he was vice president and chair of the government affairs committee) and Media Law Resource Center (where he served as chair).

His book, Telling It All: A Legal Guide to the Exercise of Free Speech, was described by Publishers Weekly as “an admirable easy-to-read handbook on how to avoid the legal pitfalls that can accompany free expression.” Hal's work in protecting First Amendment rights has been recognized nationally by the Media Law Resource Center and by state associations in California and Illinois.

Hal is a director and former chair of The Old Globe Theatre. He also serves on the non-profit boards of Grinnell College, the First Amendment Coalition and California Press Foundation. He lives in Encinitas, CA with his spouse of 50 years, Pam. Together they support The Old Globe and many other San Diego institutions.

Janet Gorrie is San Diego-born and grew up in the Point Loma area. When her grandparents downsized, her parents acquired a 1929 Steinway & Sons piano. At age 7, she began taking piano lessons. Today that piano resides in her Carmel Valley home where she continues to play.

Janet graduated from UCLA in 1973 with a B.S. and became a Registered Nurse. For over 30 years, she has worked in many different healthcare settings. She and her husband, Roland, also known as Wil, live in Carmel Valley. Their son, Seth, attends USD and is majoring in finance and accounting. They have a 14 year old German Shepherd named Sappho. She is very dear to them.

Wil was in the Supply Corps of the US Navy for many years. He retired as a Captain in 1996. He worked a business consultant following his retirement. Since fitness and health are important to Janet and Wil, they became certified personal trainers in 2004. Their garage has been transformed into a state of the art Fitness Center. He trains about 22 people per week. On Wednesday nights, they host an adult yoga group which has been going on since 2008.

This year Janet has taken on the challenge of learning duplicate bridge and plays about two times a week. She also takes conversational Chinese classes. Wil and Janet enjoy traveling and plan to go to China soon. Last summer, Janet planted an organic garden and loves dabbling around in it. It is such a pleasure to walk outside and pick fresh lettuce and tomatoes from your own garden. Janet is also a member of the Board of Directors at Seacrest Retirement Villages and is really looking forward to becoming a part of the San Diego Symphony.

Dr. Nancy Hong is a managing director at the life science venture capital firm RiverVest Venture Partners. There she focuses on investing in early-stage biopharmaceutical and medical device companies addressing serious unmet medical needs. Currently, Nancy is a member of the Board of Directors at Scout Bio and Xilio Therapeutics.

Previously, Nancy was an investment professional at BioMed Ventures and Forward Ventures. Nancy started her career as a bioinformatics scientist at Phenomix, a startup biotech company in San Diego.

Trained in the areas of immunology and oncology, Nancy earned a B.S. with honors in Biology from the California Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. She conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco, as a fellow of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Nancy thanks her parents for sharing their love of classical music. She lives in Del Mar with her husband and son.

The Inch family acquired TransPak in 1969. Since then, Arlene Inch has fulfilled any and all roles necessary to further TransPak's mission. Arlene's innate ability for risk management and identifying strategic growth options have been critical factors in TransPak's international progress.

Arlene's everlasting optimism is infectious beyond the TransPak family and pours into our communities: she currently holds a position on the Board of the Bay Area Tumor Institute (BATI), as well as the Northern California Arthritis Foundation (NCAF). Additionally, Arlene heads the executive leadership team as she currently is a member of the Astra Women's Business Alliance and Women's Business Enterprise National Council.

Arlene is delighted to be back in Coronado, CA after being gone for many years. She is a Coronado High School and San Diego State University graduate. Due to the pandemic, she decided to return and moved to “The Landing” in November 2020. Her father, Art Giesser, was a 1935 Graduate from Annapolis and met his wife in Pensacola during flight training. Arlene has three grown children and seven grandchildren. She spent most of her adult life in San Francisco, CA.

Arlene and the Inch family acquired TransPak, Inc. in 1969. At that time, TransPak was a small crating company that serviced major companies in Silicon Valley. For many years, Arlene has held senior positions in the company, and is now Chairwoman of TransPak, Inc., which is recognized as a Woman-Owned Business. The single location has now grown to over 50 facilities world-wide. Arlene Inch plays a key role in the company’s vision and strategy for future growth.

Jerri-Ann Jacobs has always had a passion for music. She has played the violin since 3rd grade, eventually joining the All-Boroughs Orchestra for New York City. Mrs. Jacobs graduated in 1983 from San Diego State University with a B.A. in Business Administration. The same year, she married her husband, Gary Jacobs. She was fortunate to raise her four wonderful children as a stay-at-home mom. While doing so, she found her passion in community building and serving others through philanthropy, including education, music, the arts, youth leadership, and volunteering with various organizations.

In 1996, Jerri-Ann was a founding board member of FAME, the Foundation for the Advancement of Music Education. This small non-profit successfully advocated for the return of instrumental and choral music programs to public schools within the San Dieguito Unified School District. In 2000, she and her husband created the Gary and Jerri- Ann Jacobs High Tech High school with other local business leaders and brought project-based learning to life in the classroom. High Tech High now has four campuses and sixteen schools educating over 6,000 K-12 students.

Jerri-Ann spent many years tutoring math and music within the Del Mar School District as well as at High Tech High schools. She served as Chairperson for several High Tech High Parent Associations and for eight years chaired their pre-eminent fundraiser “Catwalk”, successfully raising hundreds of thousands of dollars. At the University of California San Diego, she and Gary endowed the Jerri-Ann and Gary Jacobs Graduate Fellowship in Social Sciences, the Jerri-Ann and Gary E. Jacobs Chair in Social Sciences and two scholarships for UC San Diego Baseball.

Within the Jewish Community, Jerri-Ann has served on the Board of Congregation Beth El; as a volunteer for the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center’s J*Company youth theatre and is a current Board Member of the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture (CJC). Also in 2000, she and Gary created and funded the annual Jacobs International Teen Leadership Institute (JITLI), bringing together 40 teenagers from San Diego, Israel and Gaza to study Arab/Jewish relations for two weeks via historical vs. modern perspectives. Past San Diego participants said it was a life-changing experience.

Jerri-Ann plays for the North Coast Strings; hosts twice-weekly pickleball matches at her home in Del Mar; enjoys spending time with her grandchildren; swimming and volunteers her time harvesting vegetables at the JFS Garden.

Warren O. Kessler, M.D. received his B.S. from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. and his M.D. from St. Louis University School of Medicine. After his General Surgery training at the Cornell University Surgical Division of Bellevue Hospital in New York, he completed his residency in Urology at the UCSD School of Medicine. Dr. Kessler served in the US Navy from 1968-1970. From 1974 until 2011 he practiced Urology and was Chief of Urology at Scripps Mercy Hospital as well as being on the teaching staff at UCSD School of Medicine.

Dr. Kessler joined the Board of the San Diego Symphony in 1981 and was Chairman of the Board from 1989-1993. He has been a member of the San Diego Symphony Foundation Board since its inception. He has chaired the search committees for the last 3 Musical Directors and the last 3 CEO’s of the San Diego Symphony. He has also served as the Vice-Chairman of the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture. On July 1st, Dr. Kessler once again assumed the Chairmanship of the Board of the San Diego Symphony.

Kris Kopensky, CPM®, is Vice President, West Coast Property Management at BioMed Realty. As Vice President, Kris serves, aligns and supports the team and over 8M square feet of Life Science Space BioMed owns and manages in San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle. BioMed develops and manages premier class Life Science projects. Kris has worked in Real Estate for over 17 years, twelve of those in the San Diego market. Kris has earned a Bachelor's Degree in Biology and an MBA with a focus in Organizational Leadership. Prior to working with BioMed Realty and in Real Estate, Kris spent time as an Operations Manager at Disneyland.

Kris enjoys travel and free time with his family, is a self-proclaimed Disney historian, and is passionate about mentorship and coaching both inside and outside of work.


Deborah Pate, D.C., D.A.C.B.R. grew up in Panama and came to the United States for education. After receiving her degree in chiropractic and radiology from National University of Health Sciences in Chicago, Deborah moved to San Diego in 1984 to study as a research fellow in musculoskeletal radiology at the University of California, San Diego, where the climate suited her much better that Chicago. After completing her fellowship, she started a private practice and taught post-graduate courses for institutions in the US and Europe. Deborah continues to maintain a radiology consulting practice and occasionally presents workshops on the topic of musculoskeletal radiology.

For the past 26 years she and her husband, Jack (John Forrest, M.D.), have been involved with community projects in San Diego. They started an after-school program at Roosevelt Middle School that included music and the arts. Roosevelt now has beginning and intermediate music programs for students, including band and guitar ensemble. These music programs are now offered in the regular school curriculum, not only in the after-school program.

Both Deb and Jack are very concerned about the welfare and education of children. They have helped create a lifestyle learning program for Big Picture Learning which teaches middle and high school students about how to live a healthy lifestyle. (See for details.)

Another passion is support for homeless San Diegans through Father Joe’s Village and Duware Consciousness Foundation.

Deb is also a long-term supporter of Planned Parenthood where she served on the Board of the local affiliate, and she has continued as co-chair of their speakers' series for over 15 years.

In addition to being on the San Diego Symphony Board, Deb was a member of the founding Board of Art of Élan, a chamber music group started by San Diego Symphony players.

Linda Platt attended the University of California and University of California, Los Angeles. She is the former Director of Marketing of Golden West Properties in San Diego, California. Her numerous volunteer activities include:

  • Past Campaign Chairman and President, Women’s Division, United Jewish Federation (UJF) of San Diego County
  • Docent for ten years – San Diego Museum of Art
  • Past member of Executive Committee – Kids Included Together (KIT) of San Diego County
  • Past Chairman of Grants Committee – Community Foundation of UJF, San Diego County
  • Executive Committee and Vice President – Hebrew Immigrant Society (National Organization)
  • Past Chairman – National Foundation of Jewish Culture (National Organization)
  • Chaired Task Force in Jewish education in San Diego
  • Chaired Task Force on Refugee Resettlement in San Diego
  • Board Member – Otis College of Art and Design

Alan Prohaska is PNC Bank Regional President. Mr. Prohaska’s Regional President’s Office is responsible for coordinating PNC’s efforts throughout San Diego and implementing all local sponsorships and philanthropic investments that align with PNC’s community-based goals and initiatives, like Grow Up Great. He is also responsible for leading the overall growth of PNC in San Diego County, with a specific focus on Corporate Banking. He leads a team of bankers that serve both investment and non-investment grade clients and prospects across all industries.

Mr. Prohaska started his career in Los Angeles with Citibank as a Financial Associate. Over the next seven years, he worked in C&I and CRE lending to middle market companies in Los Angeles and also built a specialty skill set in entertainment lending (film, TV, sports and music). In 2010 he joined Wells Fargo after the Wachovia acquisition to help found and grow an Entertainment Industries lending practice. In 2014 he was promoted to be the Loan Team Manager of the San Diego Middle Market Bank, where he was responsible for managing the credit approval, compliance and regulatory process for all new and existing customers. In 2018 he was promoted to be the Business Risk Manager for the Western U.S. Responsibilities, included implementing risk programs for credit, BSA/AML, financial crimes, compliance and reputation. And in 2019, Mr. Prohaska was promoted to run Wells Fargo’s San Diego Middle Market Bank.

Mr. Prohaska has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California at Santa Barbara, an award in accounting from the University of California at Los Angeles, and an M.B.A. in finance and organizational behavior from the Anderson School of Business at UCLA. He also sits on the boards of the Regional Economic Development Corporation and the YMCA.

Alan Prohaska is married with 3 children: 2 girls and 1 boy. He lives in Encinitas and enjoys cooking, scotch, philosophy, golf, boxing and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Colette Carson Royston’s professional career for the past 30 years has been divided between healthcare, community activities and the arts. In these arenas, Colette has assumed leadership positions on both a national and local level. Her health profession began as an oncology nurse specialist/consultant focused on research, education and patient advocacy. She has authored numerous publications in the field of oncology and has consulted for a number of bio-technology, pharmaceutical and health care related institutions. At the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in San Diego, she managed clinical trials for over ten years. She was elected by the membership to the National Board of the Oncology Nursing Society and also served as the President of the National Oncology Nursing Foundation. She also served as the Chair of the Tenth Annual Congress of the Oncology Nursing Society held in Los Angeles. Currently, Colette is serving on the Advisory Board of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing.

During the same period, Colette has been actively involved in a variety of San Diego non-profit organizations. She served for nine years on the board of the San Diego Foundation, including Chairing the Board for three years. Her focus at the Foundation was community outreach in science and the arts and improving quality of life. She has been a strong advocate for growth of the arts in San Diego and was appointed by the Mayor to the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, where she served for eight years, including three years as Chair of the Commission. Colette has also served on the Boards of the San Diego Opera and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, where she was past President of the Board.

As a partner with Ivor Royston in the Carson Royston Group, Colette continues to provide services to organizations in healthcare and the arts, as well as manage The Pelican Group, a theatrical production group that has invested in a number of Broadway productions, including Jersey Boys, Memphis, Jesus Christ Superstar and Doctor Zhivago.

Colette received her Master’s degree from the UCLA School of Nursing, where she was an American Cancer Society Scholar.

In her free time she enjoys skiing, cycling, hiking and playing piano.

Sherron Schuster graduated from Indiana University with a B.S. degree. Living in Indiana, she served on the boards of the Center for Hospice Care, WNIT Public Television, the Association for Disabled in Elkhart County and the Elkhart Symphony Orchestra.

Upon moving to San Diego, she served on the Boards of Hillel of San Diego, Jewish Family Service of San Diego, Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego, Congregation Beth Israel and the Women’s Division of United Jewish Federation. She was also a patient volunteer for Lightbridge Hospice.

Currently, she serves on the board of the Jewish Family Service Foundation of San Diego.

As a Wealth Management Managing Director for The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank, Marivi Shivers helps clients work toward their financial goals. Marivi connects clients with the comprehensive wealth management services available in The Private Client Reserve, including Investment Management, Private Banking, Trust and Estate Services and Wealth Planning. She takes the time to understand her clients’ unique needs, and she supports their goals by bringing together a team of specialists to provide customized strategies.

Marivi has more than 30 years of experience in banking, trust & investments and financial planning. She is a consistent recipient of the annual Elite Awards.

Marivi earned a degree from St. Paul’s College in Manila, Philippines, and has completed business courses at the University of San Diego.

Marivi served on the Advisory Boards for the Business Roundtable for Education, The New American’s Immigration Museum, Learning Center, Downtown Partnership Board, San Diego Museum of Man as well as the Asian Business Association of San Diego. She is a committee member of the Advisory Council for the Philippine/American Chamber, UPAC and the San Diego Honorary Deputy Sheriff’s Association. She also served over 20 years on the Chamber of Commerce.

Marivi and her husband live in San Diego with their two children and three grandchildren.

Over the past five decades, Christopher D. Sickels has developed office and industrial parks, mobile home parks, medical centers and single and multi-family residences. A native San Diegan, Mr. Sickels has been active in numerous civic, charitable and community organizations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in education from San Diego State University and was a teacher in San Diego city schools for gifted and emotionally disturbed boys before entering the real estate development industry. He has two grown daughters and a lovely wife, Karen, of 42 years.

Karen Foster Silberman serves on the board of Carleton Management, Inc. Ms. Silberman was previously involved in theater management and production, management information services and employee training, and medical practice management. Ms. Silberman attended the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama. In the community, Ms. Silberman is the past-Chair of the board of directors of Words Alive and past-Chair of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego. She is also on the board of directors of the La Jolla Playhouse, the Rady School of Management Dean's Advisory Counsel, UC San Diego Health board of advisors, and the board of directors of Hope Village San Diego. Previously, Ms. Silberman served on the board of directors of Congregation Beth Israel, the National Conference of Christians and Jews (now NCRC), San Diego Center for Children, United Jewish Federation Women's Division, Hillel of San Diego, the Francis Parker School Diversity Committee, Vista Hill Council on Mental Health and Jewish Family Services Behavioral Health Committee.

Karen Foster Silberman was born and raised in San Diego. She and her husband, Jeff Silberman, have four children and a grandchild.

Karen and Jeff Silberman have made major gifts to the following organizations: Congregation Beth Israel of San Diego, Jewish Federation of San Diego, Jewish Family Services of San Diego, Hillel of San Diego, Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego, San Diego Symphony, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla Playhouse, National Conflict Resolution Center, Words Alive, Planned Parenthood, Francis Parker School, University of California San Diego, University of California Los Angeles, Boston University and Yale University.

Donald M. Slate
Graduated Beverly Hills High School, 1949
Graduated Unversity of Southern California, 1954

CEO of Bardon Inc., engaged in designing, importing and distributing men's apparel, 1954-1986
Retired, 1986 to present

United Jewish Federation, San Diego Symphony, Jewish
Community Foundation, Anti Defamation League, AIPC,
San Diego Chamber Orchestra, and co-founder of Kids Included Together

David R. Snyder, Esq. has been a practicing attorney since 1974, specializing in general corporate matters. Principal outside general counsel to numerous public companies and substantial private entities. Lead counsel in over 50 public offerings of equity and debt securities; represented NASDAQ and New York Stock Exchange public companies in their ongoing SEC reporting obligations and handled private placement and public and private merger and acquisition transactions. Have counseled boards of directors in contested takeovers and in stockholder litigation in California, Delaware and federal courts. Broad industry sector experience including utilities, high-tech, biotech, financial services, healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Profiled in The Best Lawyers in America since 1993 and in Chambers & Partners: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Married to Phyllis Alford Snyder; two children, son Jason Richard and daughter Carrie Snyder Vilaplana.

1993 – present - PILLSBURY WINTHROP SHAW PITTMAN LLP, San Diego, California. Partner; Chair of Firm-wide Business Department (2005-present); Member of Firm Board (1998-present); London Office Managing Partner (2001-2003) and Executive Vice chair (2004-2006)

Doctor of Law, with Distinction, June 1974
B.A. in Humanities, with High Honors, June 1971

American Bar Association Committee on Federal Regulation of Securities (1987-present); Chair, Subcommittee on Annual Review of Federal Securities Regulation (1999-present).

Director, Corporate Directors Forum (2001-2007); Director, Rady Children’s Physician Management Services Corporation (2004-present); Director,San Diego Regional Disaster Fund of the San Diego Foundation (2005-present)

Gloria Stone was born and raised in Southern California. She graduated from UC Berkeley and has been a resident of San Diego for 40 years. A former secondary school teacher, she has served as President of the San Diego United Jewish Federation and AIPAC. Ms. Stone has served on the boards of Congregation Beth El and Words Alive. She is currently a member of The Board of Visitors of the Moores Cancer Center.

Frank Vizcarra and his extended family emigrated from Tijuana, Mexico in November 1973. He attended and graduated from The Ohio State University in 1979. While at OSU he played college soccer and captained the team for his last two years. He then played professional soccer until 1983 when he retired to begin his business career with Pizza Hut, where he worked for two years as a restaurant manager and as a Multi-unit Supervisor. He joined McDonald's Corporation in 1985 and worked there for over 20 years. At McDonald’s he held a number of positions in the field from Restaurant Manager to Assistant VP in charge of Franchise Relations, Franchising, Communications, Community Relations, Ombudsman and VP of Operations. In addition, Mr. Vizcarra held several posts at McDonald’s Corporate Headquarters, including: National Director of Training, National Ombudsman, Corporate VP of Franchise Relations, Strategy and Innovation for the U.S. and Corporate VP of Strategy in the Restaurant Solutions Group, which oversees operations around the world. He worked closely with senior management for 14 years.

After retiring from McDonald’s Corporation in April of 2006, he founded The Vizcarra Consulting Group (VCG). As the president of VCG he focuses his time to help CEOs to define their strategies and leadership platform to drive their business.

Mr. Vizcarra has served on the Board of Directors of Ensequence, Oovoo Communications, Del Taco, Lead Like Jesus, The New Canaan Society, The Opportunity Foundation, Father Joe Villages, Legacy Memory Bank, The Salvation Army National Advisory Board, The Mathile Institute Board of Trustees, Piper Technologies and the Tender Greens Advisory Board.

In 2015 Mr. Vizcarra and his children founded Vizcarra Enterprises LLC, DBA LOLA 55: a new restaurant concept that intends to build a chain of Mexican-themed restaurants offering a Chef-driven menu with tacos at its core. Their first restaurant opened in downtown San Diego in August 2018.

In 2007 Mr. Vizcarra and his family co-founded the “College Success Program” in partnership with the Barrio Logan College Institute (BLCI) to provide four-year college scholarships and a comprehensive support system to underprivileged students, helping them break the cycle of poverty through a college education. In 2015 he founded the Opportunity Foundation to fund multiple scholarship programs.

Frank Vizcarra is single and has two children, Gabriella and Nathaniel, and three grandchildren, Kingsley, Arryel and Oraelia.

Mitchell Woodbury has been a member of the State Bar of California since 1971, now on inactive status, and was Associate in the San Diego law firm of McDonald & Allen from 1971-1980. From 1980-1992, he was Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Intermark, Inc., a La Jolla-based, publicly traded operating-holding company. From 1992-1994 he was Vice President and General Counsel of Advanced Tissue Sciences, Inc., a La Jolla-based, publicly traded biotechnology company. From 1994-2001, Woodbury was Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Dura Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a San Diego-based, publicly traded pharmaceutical company. His corporate legal career concentrated on general business transactions, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory work (SEC, FDA, etc.), and, in the case of Dura, a wide range of senior management responsibilities associated with the growth and maturation of the enterprise. Woodbuy received his B.A. in business administration from San Diego State University in 1960 and received his J.D. degree from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1971. Woodbury currently serves on the Boards of Directors of NTC Foundation, United Way of San Diego County, and The Monarch School.