Board of Directors

The all-volunteer California Jump$tart Coalition Board of Directors has formal authority for creating the organization's vision and accomplishing its mission and objectives. It is charged with the organization's governance, policy and strategy.

Laurie Mitchell

Laurie_Mitchell_finalLaurie Mitchell is Chair of the California Jump$tart Coalition and an accounting professor at University of Redlands, where she developed a financial literacy/community service course such that liberal arts students learn about personal financial management, then share that knowledge with high school students. Until recently, she served as Director of the Redlands Accounting Program for 10 years. Laurie also serves on the Board of Trustees of a number of the mutual funds in the American Funds group. Earlier in her career, Laurie worked as an auditor for KPMG, then served on the staff of the Enforcement Division and Office of Chief Accountant at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Her Ph.D. is from Columbia University, and she has taught at three other Southern California colleges as well as at Redlands.

Tena Lozano

Tena_Lozano_finalTena Lozano is Vice Chair of the California Jump$tart Coalition. In addition, she is responsible for the California & Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ consumer advocacy, media relations, community outreach, international relations, and financial efforts.

In her role as executive director of the RMJ Foundation, she is responsible for administering and coordinating activities to support the goals and objectives of the Richard Myles Johnson (RMJ) Foundation, which supports youth financial education and continuing education for credit union leaders. The Foundation serves credit unions in California and Nevada, and recently launched its signature program, "Bit of Reality," which is a fin, two-and-a-half-hour, hand-on simulation that appeals to teens while giving them a taste of real-world financial realities.

In the area of financial education, Tena serves on the California Department of Education's Business Education Resources Group (BERG), helping to draft standards and curriculum for Career Technical Education. She also serves as a liaison to the California & Nevada Youth Involvement Network, a group of credit union people whose focus is on delivering financial education to youth in California and Nevada.

Other affiliations include the FDIC's Alliance for Economic Inclusion, Bank on California, State Credit Union Foundation Network Executive Committee (vice chairman), and the California Jump$tart Coalition.

She has more than 20 years' experience in the credit union movement, including work in public relations at WesCorp and the League. She received a bachelor's degree in communication arts from California Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Karen L. Anderson

Karen AndersonKaren L. Anderson has been involved with youth financial education for over a decade. Prior to retirement, she spent over 30 years in marketing and management for organizations including General Mills, Knudsen, Union Bank, Great Western Bank and the Employers Group. During her 15+ years in credit, investment and retail branch banking Karen came to recognize the need for consumer education in money management and developed her interest in youth financial literacy. She is a past Chair of the California Jump$tart Coalition and a member of the Board of the California Council on Economic Education. She holds a B.A. from Mills College and an M.B.A. from the Broad School at Michigan State University.

John Angelo

John Angelo Board of Directors at California Jump$tartJohn Angelo is the Executive Director of CalCPA Institute and Division Director Strategic Relations for CalCPA. He is a member of the executive management team and has been with CalCPA for 27 years. His work in association management spans 39 years. He worked with the American Red Cross for ten years, Muscular Dystrophy Association for two years prior to coming to CalCPA. His scope of work at CalCPA includes working with accounting educators throughout the state, student outreach, leadership identification and development, nominations, member affinity programs and building strategic alliances with other professional organizations.

Kathie Blanchette

kathie-blanchette-150Kathie Blanchette, Vice President of Education Junior Achievement of Northern California: Ms. Blanchette has been with Junior Achievement for over a decade, and has held the roles of Education manager and Sr. Education Manager at Junior Achievement of the Chisholm Trail (Fort Worth, TX), and a District Director of the East Bay, Sr. Director of District Operations, and currently, VP of Education with JA of Northern California. This experience has provided her with extensive knowledge of JA programs and best practices. In addition to her local contributions, she currently serves on the Field Program Advisory Committee and Education Officers Advisory Council for Junior Achievement USA®. Ms. Blanchette received her B.A. in History at Texas A&M University.

Stanley H. Breitbard

stanley_breitbard_finalStanley H. Breitbard haspracticed as a CPA for 32 years with Price Waterhouse, primarily as a tax partner.  For 12 years until his retirement in 1995, he was the National Director of the firm’s personal financial planning department. During his professional career, Stanley was the co-author of the Price Waterhouse Personal Financial Advisor. He was also the first Chairman of the American Institute of CPAs Personal Financial Planning Division and was named one of the top 60 financial planners by Worth Magazine. Since retiring from Price Waterhouse, Stanley has been teaching and volunteering in financial education.

Jim Charkins

Jim_Charkins_finalJim Charkins, Ph.D. is the Economics Professor Emeritus and Director for Economics Education, California State University, San Bernardino. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1970. Dr. Charkins has developed economics teaching materials and conducted workshops nationally and internationally for teachers and students from the Kindergarten through doctoral level. He is the author of the MoneyWiseTeen (winner of two international awards for creative marketing), Living the American Dream, the Teacher Guide to the California Economics Standards, and It’s Your Choice. He serves on many boards including CCEE, the California Association of School Economics Teachers, and the Los Angeles chapter of the National Association of Business Economists.

Rebecca Ivanovich Gallagher

Rebecca Ivanovich GallagherRebecca Ivanovich Gallagher is an educator influencing student outcomes as a specialist in workforce development for the Sonoma County Office of Education. She brings experience as an award winning teacher with knowledge from a first career in small business, to connect youth to educational and workplace preparation. Her focus and passion has been to provide opportunities for at-risk teens.

Rebecca has been at the forefront of expanding law related and personal finance education, facilitating public school and private sector business relationships. She has established annual events with the legal community and is a founding member of a regional financial literacy organization. A graduate of Sonoma State University, she continues to develop her educational leadership skills in order to play an expanded role in the challenge of creating innovative educational programs.

Bruce Kajiwara

Bruce Kajiwara Board of Directors at California Jump$tartBruce Kajiwara has been in the financial services industry since 1979, when he began work as a public accountant for one of the Big Eight CPA Firms, Price Waterhouse, in their Los Angeles office. Following that, he worked for various independent financial advisory firms. In 2003, Bruce joined the Sacramento office of Financial Network Investment Corporation (now Cetera Advisor Networks, LLC) as a financial advisor.  Bruce is a Certified Financial Planner, a Certified Public Accountant (non-practicing), a Personal Financial Specialist, and a Registered Representative of Cetera Advisor Networks, LLC.
Even though he no longer practices as a CPA, Bruce remains active with his CPA profession. Bruce served as a director in the Sacramento Chapter of the California Society of CPAs, and is currently chairperson of the chapter’s Estate and Financial Planning Committee, a position he has held for over 13 years. He is also a former co-vice-chair of the State Personal Financial Planning Committee for CalCPA. Bruce strives to educate all of his clients about their personal finances as much as possible. He exhibits this commitment beyond work by volunteering to teach others about financial topics, whether they be high school students or adults. He has been a member of CalCPA’s Financial Literacy Committee since 2003, and is a past chair of that committee.
Bruce and his wife, Brenda, live in Sacramento, California.

Lisa Ledeboer

Lisa LedeboerLisa Ledeboer, CPFFE is Professor of Consumer Studies at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California. In addition to teaching Life Management, Consumer Skills and Personal Financial Planning, she is the Perkins Faculty Funding Coordinator for Career and Technical Education Programs at Mt. San Antonio. Lisa is active with the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, the California Consumer Affairs Association and the Family and Consumer Sciences Statewide Advisory Committee.

Lisa has her MS in Family and Consumer Sciences from Cal State Northridge. She came to California from Iowa and lives, with her family in Arcadia. We look forward to Lisa's expertise in helping us connect High School and Community College efforts in financial education.

Stephanie Lee

StephanieLeeStephanie Lee is the founder of East Rock Financial Services, a financial planning firm in San Francisco.  Prior to this, Stephanie spent ten years as a Director with a major financial analytics company, developing and managing the world's leading credit portfolio management solution. In this capacity, Stephanie met with bankers and insurers in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa to discuss the latest innovations in portfolio management. Stephanie previously spent several years in public service advancing the operational efficiency of city government using technology. Stephanie studied Personal Financial Planning at UC Berkeley. She has a BS in Applied Mathematics from Yale and an MPA from USC. She is also a musician who performs regularly in Northern California.

JoEllen Nevans

JoEllen NevansJoEllen Nevans comes to the California Jump$tart Board of Directors after serving in the financial services industry her entire adult life. JoEllen is retired from her 15-year career as a Certified Financial Planner in her own financial planning practice: Nevans, Britt and Associates. Prior to running her practice, JoEllen worked for Ameriprise Financial Services and Firstar Bank. JoEllen is originally from the Midwest but has enjoyed living in Southern California since 1990. She is married with three stepchildren. Since retiring, JoEllen has served on numerous non-profit boards willingly giving her time to the community. She is grateful for the opportunity to focus on bringing Personal Finance to California schools. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics and Secondary Education from Carroll University.

Cathy Nichols-Washer, Ed.D

Cathy Nichols-WasherCathy Nichols-Washer has been superintendent of The Lodi School District since 2008. The district covers 350 miles and includes 52 school sites and over 30,000 students. She has successfully worked with many challenges, among them a $30 million district reduction during the recent recession. Prior to this position in Lodi, she was the Superintendent of the Manteca USD from 2004-08, and had worked previously as Assistant, then Interim, Superintendent of Manteca for four years. Her earlier career included positions as Director of Curriculum and Education Services at Patterson USD (K-Adult curriculum), Principal at Stockton's Victory Elementary and Teacher in the Scaramento USD.

Cathy also currently teaches at Cal State Stanislaus in the Doctoral Program, and has taught at San Joaquin Teachers College and University of the Pacific in Stockton. She is, and has been, Board Member of a number of youth organizations in the Lodi area, including the Lodi Boys & Girls Club, Give Every Child a Chance, the Manteca Unified Student Trust and initiated GOT (Giving Opportunities To Kids), a Lodi District related Foundation. Cathy has a PhD and MA in Educational Administration, a BS in Human Development from UC Davis and multiple certificates/credentials in language Development and Multiple Subjects Teaching. She lives in Stockton with her family.

Brad Pagano

Brad Pagano

Brad Pagano is the Managing Director of the San Diego Financial Literacy Center. He is responsible for the development of the strategic partners, the administration of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) platform, as well as the oversight of fundraising, events, public relations, and marketing of the program. He has worked tirelessly with SDFLC staff and volunteers along with myriad community advocates in the development of programming that impacts the under-served and at-risk communities of San Diego including our military. His expertise in personal finance and finance education has had an impact on thousands individuals and families.

Brad is also currently on the advisory board of Vets Community Connection in San Diego and is a member of the San Diego Bowl Game Association, the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club, the North County Philanthropy Council, the Association of Fundraising Professionals and is a lifetime member of both the Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity and Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society in Business. He is also a serial entrepreneur who volunteers time to assist and mentor upcoming military entrepreneurs.

With over 17 years of experience across the United States for both large and small organizations, Brad is uniquely positioned as a subject matter expert on the topic of development, strategic management, personal finance and entrepreneurship. He holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Delaware, an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University and a Certified Personal Finance Counselor Certificate from Fincert.

Melissa Pederson

Melissa PedersonMelissa Pederson has worked at Wescom Credit Union since 1990 and serves currently as the Vice-President of Branch Operations - Region I, a role she has held since 2006. She is a graduate of Western CUNA Management School (2006) and completed the Advanced Leadership Program through the USC Marshall School of Business (2005). Melissa leads a network of 11 branches to success by identifying methods to best serve the membership, and those who live and work in southern California, through the vast product and service line available.

During her tenure at Wescom, Melissa has been an active participant on the Board of the Wescom Credit Union WeCare Foundation since 2000. The WeCare Foundation was founded by Wescom employees in 1999 as a charitable, not-for-profit organization designed to help people in need through charitable giving and volunteerism. In that time, they have raised and distributed nearly $2 million dollars through employee contributions and participated in hundreds of events. Melissa currently serves WeCare as their Secretary and has served as Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer.

Ann M. Stahl

Ann_Stahl_finalAnn M. Stahl
Ann Stahl is an Investigator with the Federal Trade Commission’s Western Regional Office, based in Los Angeles. She works on consumer protection cases, and is also responsible for media relations and outreach for the regional office.  She has been with the FTC for 36 years. She is also an adjunct professor in the Family and Consumer Sciences Department of California State University-Northridge, where she teaches a course in Consumer Advocacy and Education. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and an A.B. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley.

Susan Stone

susan stone-california jumpstart-board-memberSusan is a highly motivated, experienced Management Professional with close to 30 years experience in operations, marketing, strategic planning, business development, financial planning and management, conference planning and human resources.  Susan has spent the past 4 years as the Geographic Marketing and Corporate Responsibility Leader for the Pacific Southwest at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Susan is responsible for advising market leadership on how best to reach clients in the market in order to build penetration in top priority accounts. She works extensively with the Global Line of Service and sector marketers to develop integrated marketing plans and programs at the market level that are designed to build/deepen client/target/influencer relationships, enhance the firm's brand and visibility, strengthen alumni relations, promote and sell PwC capabilities and services.

Prior to joining PwC Susan spent 8 years at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP where she was the Director of Marketing and Public Relations. At Manatt Susan was responsible for the development and implementation of strategic marketing, public relations and business development programs and activities designed to support Firm’s National growth goals.   Susan also spent 14 years in the investment banking industry working for both Oppenheimer and Sutro & Co.

Susan has received several awards for excellence in marketing from American Lawyer Media, the Legal Marketing Association and Public Relations Society of America.  Additionally, Susan was a contributing author to a book “Meeting Client Needs: Effective Marketing Strategies”published by  Aspatore Books, Best Practices for Marketing Lawyers, September 2008.

Melissa Webb

Melissa WebbMelissa is the Home Economics Careers and Technology (HECT) Education Programs Consultant at the California Department of Education (CDE). She also serves as the Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation (HTR) industry sector lead and State Advisor to the Career Technical Student Organization (CTSO) FHA-HERO: The California Affiliate of FCCLA. The HTR sector includes: Food Science, Dietetics, and Nutrition; Food Service and Hospitality; and Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation at the middle school and secondary level. She provides technical assistance and support to HECT teachers statewide which include curriculum and instruction, standards implementation, professional development opportunities, developing business and industry partners and advisory committees, program promotion, and leadership development through FHA-HERO. Melissa has fourteen years of HECT teaching experience at the secondary level and has been a consultant at the CDE for the past five years. Melissa can be reached by telephone at 916-319-0773 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Allysunn Williams

Allysunn WilliamsAllysunn Walker-Williams, MBA, MPH, is President & CEO of the California Council on Economic Education, a statewide consortium of partners that promote economic education and financial literacy and capability. CCEE invests in CA students by training teachers in economic and financial education, and extending financial literacy services to the community. Prior to CCEE, Allysunn was CEO and Founder of the Walker-Williams Group, Inc., a management consulting firm specializing in community economic development and market-driven strategies for community restoration, and consulted with Union Bank and Wells Fargo Bank. Prior to the WW Group, she served as the Chief Real Estate Officer of the Fresno Housing Authority, directing the development of more than 500 units of service-oriented, affordable housing for low and moderate income families. Allysunn also served as Associate Executive Director of the Fresno EOC, the nation’s third largest community action agency with a budget of $150MM, dedicated to creating pathways out of poverty through economic opportunity. She firmly believes that financial education is essential to reducing income inequality and is needed to create opportunity and restore optimism. Allysunn has extensive experience in strategic planning, program and business development, and evaluation and she serves her community via participation on the Union Bank Community Advisory Board, Fresno Regional Foundation Board, the FDIC Alliance for Economic Inclusion, the Federal Reserve’s “Women Health and Money @ Work” Task Force,and the Los Angeles Education Partnership Resource Council. Allysunn earned a BA from Harvard University, an MPH from UCLA, and an MBA from CSU Fresno's School of Business. She is the proud mother of 2 middle schoolers.