MEET THE TEAM
Tom and his beautiful wife, Deann, have six children between them! Four of the six have graduated from Los Alamitos High School (and subsequently earned college degrees), while the youngest two are students in the Los Alamitos Unified School District. Nicholas is a senior at Los Al High School and will graduate in 2017, while Zachary, the youngest, is a seventh grader at McAuliffe Middle School.
Tom and his wife were married and bought their Seal Beach home in 1996, drawn to the area primarily because of the strong school district. Tom is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach and is a CPA. (His wife is also a CPA and they refer to themselves as “boring accountants!”)
He is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Southland Credit Union, a $600 million financial institution headquartered in Los Alamitos. Tom loves the fact that he lives and works in the local area and that the credit union is such a big contributor to the local community. He previously was a partner with the CPA firm of McGladrey & Pullen for nearly 20 years and has over 30 years experience in the financial services industry.
Tom is thrilled to give back to our schools that have helped equip his children to thrive and succeed in school and in life. He was crowned the King of Hearts for LAEF in the 2014-2015 campaign and is now happy to serve on the LAEF Board, to which he was appointed in August 2016.
Ruth Anne Salau Kurkjian
As graduates from Los Alamitos High School themselves, Jon and his wife Kirsten live in Seal Beach with their three children, Nick, Rebecca and Kate, each of which currently attend different LAUSD schools.
Jon is a co-owner and senior financial advisor with RS Crum, Inc. (www.rscrum.com), a fee only wealth management firm based in Newport Beach that was actually founded in Los Alamitos back in 1976. Jon serves as the lead advisor to many of the firm’s clients and is also RS Crum’s Chief Financial Officer.
Jon is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA®), and is an active member the Financial Planning Association (FPA), the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), and a Charter Board Member for The Center for Investment and Wealth Management at UC Irvine.
Jon has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Arizona and an MBA with emphasis in Finance from Pepperdine University. Jon is passionate about kids, and enjoys volunteering his time as a coach for local youth sports teams as well as teaching financial management classes at local schools and churches in our community.
Kevin Guetig has 20 years of financial services experience. The last 14 years have been spent with Wells Fargo and he is now a Senior Vice President in Commercial Banking. In this role, he works with middle market companies to serve all their financial needs.
Over the course of his career, he has served a wide range of companies and non-profits in terms of both size and industry. Currently Kevin is active with the education reform non-profit, Unite-LA and also serves as the President of the Board for Camp Fire USA Long Beach.
Kevin lives in Seal Beach with his wife and two daughters who both attend school in Los Al USD. Kevin earned a BA in Accounting from the University of Louisville. He is also an Eagle Scout and enjoys the sports of golf and triathlon.
Kim’s first experience with LAUSD began when twelve years ago, she became “bonus mom” to a Oak Lion and a Los Alamitos Griffin. She became involved with LAEF, first as a founding member of the Los Alamitos Leadership Circle, and now as a Board member after her youngest son began taking LAEF classes as a Rossmoor Knight. She was immediately impressed with the varied educational experiences that are available to all District students year-around. Kim also serves on the Rossmoor PTA Board as both the Castle Rossmoor (reading) Chair and the Permission Slip/Waiver Chair (a natural position given her professional life). In addition, she helps out as a weekly volunteer in her son’s class and in the STEM lab.
For almost a quarter of a century, Kim has been a litigator. Currently, she represents people catastrophically injured as a result of medical negligence and elder abuse. In the past, she handled business, employment, real estate, general liability and professional negligence cases. Kim enjoys public speaking and has been a featured speaker for several organizations, including the Association of Corporate Counsel and the American Society of Women Accountants. She has been recognized as one of the Top Women Attorneys in Southern California for more than six years. In 2005, the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (“HOBY”) organization elected Kim to a two-year term as a Board of Trustee and appointed her as its General Counsel. She then served as a HOBY Board of Governor until 2015. Kim graduated from California Western School of Law and the University of California- San Diego where she received her B.A. in Political Science, with Programs of Concentration in Scientific Perspectives and Japanese Studies.
Kim and her husband, Doug, also an attorney, live in Seal Beach with their son. When not on the Rossmoor campus or in the courtroom, you can find Kim on the sidelines cheering on her son at his soccer/basketball games or any of his other activities. She looks forward to actively promoting LAEF and its fantastic programs district-wide and helping all LAUSD students prepare to be successful in college and in life!
Felicia Gonzalez is the proud parent of two boys in the Los Al Unified School District. Felicia joined the LAEF Board of Directors because she has been a strong advocate and supporter of LAEF for many years, since her eldest son started taking after-school classes in kindergarten. She has always believed that the quality of the LAEF classes and variety of subjects, combined with the high caliber of the teachers, have helped her children to develop more of a love for science, STEAM and other fun and enriching subjects such as Jiu Jitsu and Spanish.
Felicia is a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones. Prior to becoming a Financial Advisor, Felicia spent over 15 years in retail marketing, brand management, and franchise marketing in the restaurant and consumer packaged goods industries. She feels strongly about education and learning as evidenced by her undergraduate degree in marketing from Whittier College and her Masters degree in Communication Management from San Jose State.
Felicia has served on the board of the Okizu Foundation’s Art Inspiring Hope and has held multiple chair positions at Hopkinson Elementary including Carnival Chair, Box Tops, and as Communications Secretary on the PTA Board.
Felicia is happily married to her college sweetheart, Robert Gonzalez, and lives in Seal Beach with their two sons. She hopes to be able to help promote LAEF and all of the outstanding things LAEF does for the LAUSD students, families and schools.
Janelle has spent the last 20 years as a Senior Mortgage Advisor, with the last 6 of those years working locally with Finance of America. Janelle works in all aspects of residential lending and takes pride in educating her clients on the potential of wealth through home ownership.
Though not originally from California, Janelle moved to Los Alamitos in early 2000 where she met and married her husband Jason, who is Los Alamitos High School alum. They have two children currently in the Los Alamitos Unified School District.
Since moving to Los Alamitos, Janelle has had the opportunity to become active in the community between the business committee of Friends of Hopkinson, to National Charity League Juniors, to assisting her daughter in running JJ’s Lemonade Stand for We Care of Los Alamitos for the past 7 years.
As the proud parent of three Los Alamitos Unified School District students, Leanne is happy to join the LAEF Board and looks forward to serving her local community. She always loved the after-school programs and science fairs her kids participated in over the years, but her real appreciation and passion for LAEF came during her years as Project SEEK President at McGaugh when collaborating to hire an art teacher there.
Leanne’s professional background is in the field of Organizational Development and Human Resources. She has worked for such companies as Toyota Motor Sales, St. Joseph Health System, and Sempra Energy. She is a certified facilitator of several leadership and management programs. Since starting her family, Leanne has focused her energy on volunteer work dedicated to children and families and has been heavily involved in PTA and Project SEEK, as well as organizations such as National Charity League Juniors and the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.
A graduate of UCSB with a BA in Psychology and an MA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from CSULB, Leanne understands the power of education, but knows teachers and administrators can’t do it alone. She believes it takes the partnership of programs like LAEF to help supplement the curriculum offered during the school day to provide the richest learning opportunities.
Leanne grew up in Long Beach and now lives in Seal Beach with her husband and children. She enjoys traveling, cooking, reading and spending time with her family.
Emeritus Board Member
As a parent of a LAUSD student, Kim has always been deeply committed to making a difference in the lives of children in our community. She is active at a school volunteer level, but even more directly in her multiple impactful roles within the LAUSD over the years. Kim is the current Vice Chair of LAUSD’s Personnel Commission, and has been part of the Commission since 2014. As an active volunteer at the school level, Kim served on Hopkinson’s PTA Board from 2017 – 2019 as both corresponding and co-corresponding secretary, as well serving on several school-wide PTA committees. For her volunteer efforts over the years, the Hopkinson PTA honored Kim in 2019 with its Very Special Person Award. In addition, Kim was a founding Board Member and Secretary of The Friends of the CDC group that raised significant funding to enhance the LAUSD’s District-wide preschool program.
Kim proudly served as Secretary and Board Member of LAEF from 2014-2019, initiating necessary amendments to portions of the LAEF bylaws, participating in every District-Wide STEAM showcase, and volunteering on various committees over the years. She is passionately committed to enriching the lives of students throughout our District and is an outspoken advocate for LAEF’s after-school and SEI programs.
When she is not volunteering for the District, Kim is a litigation paralegal for the global law firm of Seyfarth Shaw LLP, where she has worked for the past 16 years, assisting various teams of attorneys with incredibly complex legal cases and presenting these cases at trial. This experience allows her to look at situations from a process-oriented, fact-based perspective. Kim’s skills in her career have been called upon by numerous Boards and groups within the District, and she is always more than happy to offer her insights.
Kim was raised in Rossmoor and is a proud Alumni of Rossmoor Elementary, Oak Middle School and Los Alamitos High School, and is incredibly committed to maintaining a legacy of Griffin Pride. Her father, Ted Horn, served the LAUSD as a Personnel Commissioner for 29 years, until his death in 2009.
Kim is incredibly active in our community, volunteering wherever she is needed. She strongly believes that our community’s children are our future, and she is committed to creating the pathways and systems to enable that to happen, well into the next decade.
Kim and her husband Stephen have one son Zachary, a proud Oak Lion!
Emeritus Board Member
Randy has been a resident of Los Alamitos for over 20 years, and he and his wife Diana raised their two sons in the community; both went to Rossmoor, on to Oak and then graduated from Los Al High. While raising his family in Los Al, Randy supported the community in many different ways including as President of LAYB, Los Al Football Booster President, Griffin Football Foundation, Board Member of CSMP, and he was also a two-time “Heroes of the Heart Award” Recipient. Randy and his wife Diana were also recently recognized as “Honored Citizens” by the Los Alamitos Museum.
While President of LAEF, Randy was dedicated to ensuring every student has enriching educational opportunities, and he continues to be very committed to growing LAEF into a sustainable nonprofit organization that continues to support the ongoing needs of the Los Alamitos Unified School District and its students. His belief is that all children deserve to have the educational opportunities they need in order to succeed in our District…and in life.
Randy is a Professional Real Estate Broker, with expertise in residential and multi-family homes. One of his favorite things to do is introduce new families into our wonderful community and school district. He is a wonderful “Ambassador” for the Los Alamitos area!
“We moved to Los Alamitos in search of the best schools available for our two sons. During our time here and my involvement as a result of being in the schools, coaching every sport and various other activities, it became apparent to me that our children truly have limitless potential. Given the time, attention and resources, there is nothing they can’t achieve. My sons have graduated and moved on, exceptionally well equipped for the world out there. It is an honor to be a part of LAEF and to share the mission of building and improving what has meant so much to us and our children.”
Emeritus Board Member
David and his wife, Diane reside in Cypress, California. They lived in Los Alamitos from 1969 to 2002. David and his wife have owned and operated a family run Insurance Agency, Appling Insurance Services, Inc. located in Los Alamitos since 1976. Their 3 sons all attended Los Al Elementary, Pine Middle School and graduated from Los Alamitos High School. Two of their five grandchildren went to Lee Elementary, Oak Middle School and graduated from Los Alamitos High School.
David has been very active in the Los Alamitos community. He served as President of the Los Alamitos Education Foundation (LAEF) from 1996 to 2008. He was the President/Founder of the LAHS Football Foundation, raising over $180,000 to date in scholarship funds. He served on the Los Alamitos Youth Center Board from 1987-2011 and was President twice in 1992 and 1997/98. He was Director of the Rotary Interact Club at LAHS from 1983 to 1987 and was a member of both the LAHS Vocational Advisory Committee and LAUSD Advisory Council.
David was awarded Los Alamitos Chamber “Man of the Year” in 1994, Cypress College Americana “Citizen of the Year Los Alamitos 1999″ and Los Alamitos Museum “Citizen of the Year 2013.” David’s past affiliations include Coach/Board Member at St. Hedwig Little League/Pony/Colt/Thoroughbred League and LAYAA Football and Basketball Leagues.
For fun, David is the President/Founder of the “Finest Annual Trout Invitational Tournament” at Lake Crowley which started in 1984 and continues to the present. While 150-200 grandfathers, fathers and sons fish for 2 days, they also have raised money for various charities including Ronald McDonald House, Cancer Support Foundation, American Heart Association and the Los Alamitos Museum.
Emeritus Board Member
Theresa is a proud LAUSD parent with two students in the district. Education and volunteering are very important to her, and she has served on the board of both her school PTA and the district PTA.
Theresa is a local family law attorney. Before moving to Rossmoor in 2003 with her family, she spent more than a decade working in legislation and government affairs in Michigan and Arizona. She has a B.A. in Elementary Education from Michigan State University, a J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and is a member of the State Bars of California, Arizona, and Michigan.
“I am so enthusiastic about our LAUSD district because parents, educators, administrators, and volunteers all work together with LAEF to provide amazing educational opportunities for our students.”
Emeritus Board Member
As a local Edward Jones financial advisor in Seal Beach, Sean believes it’s important to invest his time to truly understand what people are working toward before they invest their time and their money. A big part of his job is to provide the most appropriate financial strategy for his clients and their families. In his work with LAEF, Sean utilizes the same thinking in his passion for expanding student enrichment here in the Los Alamitos school district. As an Emeritus Board Member, Sean helps LAEF strategically think through ideas and processes to ensure LAEF is making the optimal decisions for the students within our district.
During his career, Sean has served as field trainer, mentor, coach and consultant and has been honored with Edward Jones’ Client Service Excellence award for the past three years. He also received the AAMS professional designation in 2005 and the CFP® professional designation in 2008. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1998.
Sean is extremely active in our community, not only serving on the LAEF Board, but also on the Precious Life Shelter board, and he is Past President of the Rotary Club of Los Alamitos/ Seal Beach. He believes that building relationships is key, and you can often find him greeting folks with a smile at LAEF events.
Sean and his awesome wife Amy have two daughters, both of which are proud LAUSD students! And all of the Paynes were born and raised in Orange County.
“One of the reasons we moved into this community was to provide our two girls with the outstanding education provided by the Los Alamitos school district. I am honored to be a part of LAEF and support our schools directly.”
Carrie lives in Seal Beach and joined the LAEF team as Executive Director in December of 2013. She began her professional career at Opportunities for Learning Public Charter Schools in 2004 as an Experiential Learning Instructor, then quickly rose through the ranks, holding positions of Teacher, Assistant Principal, and Principal in the San Gabriel Valley and Long Beach/Capo regions. Carrie’s time as a charter school administrator in this alternative education program, which focused on credit recovery for at-risk youth, led to improved academic results in API scores, increased math completion rates, increased graduation rates, and increased enrollment.
As an educational leader, her staff, students and parents are always the primary focus. Carrie brings project management, implementation, personnel, and people skills to LAEF and has continued its momentum and growth. The STEM subjects are especially important to her, as her husband is a Vice President of Software Development and she sees firsthand the need for more education in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
Carrie has a BA in Public Administration from Cal State Fullerton, a History/Social Science teaching credential from Cal State Long Beach and an Administrative Services credential. She holds a grant writing and administration certificate from CSU Dominguez Hills, has completed the Executive Directors Leadership Institute through Executive Service Corps and participated in the Mentorship Program through the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Orange County. Carrie is on the board of the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce and volunteers on WASC visiting committees annually. She enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her husband and daughter (who is an elementary student in Los Al).
Michael Kahn is the Program Manager for the Los Alamitos Education Foundation. He was raised in Rossmoor and attended Hopkinson, McAuliffe and Los Alamitos High School. He is a Griffin through and through! Mike attended Sonoma State University for one year before the football program folded. As a freshman inside linebacker, he was named freshman defensive player of the year and earned all-NCAC honors. As a sophomore, he transferred to Humboldt State University and started another two years at middle linebacker. After finishing his collegiate football career in Northern California, he transferred to Cal State Fullerton and began coaching linebackers at Orange High School in 2000 under the tutelage of his former linebacker coach at SSU.
Upon graduation from CSU, Fullerton in 2003, Michael taught and coached at Warren High School in Downey for three years. He then coached football for two seasons at Lakewood High School while substitute teaching in Long Beach Unified and concurrently completed his teaching credential. Upon completing his teaching credential, Michael was invited to work for the family business in Tucson, Arizona which he did for the next 6 years. He became an expert at property management as he managed three apartment complexes, two retail strip centers, an industrial building and several houses.
As much knowledge as he gained in Tucson, Michael is ecstatic to be back home in Los Alamitos where he is only minutes from the surf. He is honored to serve the district and community that did so much for him! Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Cal State Fullerton and a Business teaching credential from National University. He is married and has two children.
Michele joined the LAEF team in 2014 when she returned to work after raising her three children in the Los Alamitos Unified School District. While her kids were enrolled in Los Alamitos schools, Michele spent most of her time volunteering at the various schools they attended, Weaver Elementary, McAuliffe Middle School and Los Alamitos High School.
Michele received her B.S. in Business Finance from California State University, Long Beach. She began her career in the Construction Loan Department of a large commercial bank before transitioning into the Accounting Department of a major aerospace company.
As LAEF’s Programs Coordinator Michele works on all aspects of LAEF’s programs from development and registration to coordinating and communication with school staff. Michele also works closely with LAEF teachers, vendors and families to help bring enrichment programs to the students of the Los Alamitos Unified School District.
Lauren joined the LAEF team in 2016. Lauren has a passion for fundraising and non-profit work and LAEF was the perfect fit for her to return to work after spending time raising her kids! Lauren has 2 children in the Los Alamitos School District (currently McAuliffe and LAHS) and has been dedicated to volunteer work through PTA and Friends of groups ever since her children started at McGaugh Elementary School in 2010. Lauren served as President of Project SEEK for 3 years and served on the Project SEEK board for 7 years as well as chairing countless events. Lauren is also involved in National Charity League, South Coast Chapter with her daughter and has been part of the NCL organization since 1998 where she was part of the NCL Juniors group for 17 years.
Lauren grew up in Seal Beach and is a proud alumni of Los Alamitos High School. She has a B.A. in History from Pepperdine University and a J.D. from California Western School of Law. Lauren enjoys spending time at the beach, snowboarding with her family, going to Angels baseball games and watching her kids on a field!
Community Outreach Specialist
Deb Machen is a Seal Beach resident and small business owner. Her company, MarketSnag specializes in getting businesses found on the Internet. Her clientele spans from large South Asia and European companies to mid-size Orange County and Los Angeles Corporations and small businesses and Non-Profit organizations in and around Seal Beach.
An avid community supporter, she currently sits on the Boards of Save Our Beach, Friends of the Library and LOTE. Fun fact: she was a LAEF Queen of Hearts Candidate in 2016!
Deb was a Planning Commissioner for Seal Beach for nearly 4 years, serving as Commission Chair for 3 years. She has served as Vice President and President of the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the Seal Beach Community Thanksgiving Dinner for eight years and Co-Chair of the Seal Beach Centennial Marketing Committee. A member of the Seal Beach Lion’s Club, she served as an announcer for the SB Christmas Parade and Fish Fry for 7 years and chaired the parade judging for 6 years. Deb was on the Board of Run Seal Beach for 5 years. She also served on the Americana Awards Committee for 4 years.
In 2011, Deb served as a Trustee for the Seal Beach Victim’s Fund. In 2012 she was named Small Business-Woman of the Year by the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce and in 2016, she was named Seal Beach Woman of the Year by the Tri-City Women’s Conference.
Deb lives with her husband, Bob Machen, of 26 years in Seal Beach and is the proud mother of their two beautiful daughters, Rene and Jenny, and two adorable grandsons, Jordan and Apollo.
Deb is primarily interested in community and business concerns in and around Seal Beach and enjoys the arts, painting, running, cooking and family.