Board of Directors
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Michelle Bennett: Ms. Bennett is a leadership and change management professional who currently instructs Educational Leadership and Policy Study at Cal State Northridge and National Universities. Prior to teaching, Ms. Bennett served as Director of Operations for the Los Angeles Unified School District overseeing ten divisions. Other LAUSD positions held include Intervention Administrator and Instructional Coordinator. Ms. Bennett is a pioneer in the charter movement holding the position of Principal at Westwood Charter School -- one of the original ten Los Angeles charters -- for two decades. Before joining Westwood, she worked throughout the LAUSD as a teacher, advisor and assistant Principal. Ms. Bennett is an author, presenter, consultant and mentor principal serving the educational community.
Daniel Chang (Co-Chair): Recently appointed to Chief Operating Officer for MLA Partner Schools, a nonprofit organization working to improve schools and empower neighborhoods in Los Angeles’ most disenfranchised communities. Mr. Chang previously served as Vice President of New School Development for Green Dot Public Schools, a nonprofit charter management organization that operates 19 high schools in Los Angeles. Prior to joining Green Dot, he held business development and product marketing positions at enterprise software companies Model N and Desktop.com. Before Model N and Desktop.com, Mr. Chang served as a Financial Analyst at Broadview International, a division of the investment bank Jefferies & Company focused on the IT, communications, healthcare technology and digital media industries.
Jane Karathanasis: Ms. Karathanasis is an attorney with extensive experience in the employment law field, having represented management in litigation and counseled clients regarding compliance with all manner of labor and employment laws. She received her BA in political science and Japanese Studies from Colby College, and her JD from NYU School of Law. She currently raises her two young children, and engages in legal work for Ground Break LLC and Dry Bar.
Natalie Kiwi (Co-Chair): First Founding Parent and Owner/President of Sapient Consultants, a human resources consulting firm specializing in entertainment and new media industries. Ms. Kiwi possesses over a decade of recruitment and human resources experience in the biotech, pharmaceutical and entertainment industries. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Washington University.
Tess Ramin (Parent Representative Elementary School): Ms. Ramin has worked as a freelance e-commerce marketing executive for the last decade. Prior to that, she was a freelance segment producer on various television productions. Other professional experience includes real estate development and property management. Ms. Ramin graduated from Pepperdine University with a BA in Communications and Business Administration. She has two children attending Valley Charter Elementary School.
Bill Roberts (Treasurer): A First Founding Parent of Valley Charter Elementary School, Mr. Roberts is a senior finance and operations executive currently serving as the Global CFO of Panavision Inc. Previously he served as COO/CFO of Laser Pacific LLC, a major post-production company in Hollywood. His background also includes leadership roles in various music industry companies over the past 20 years. Mr. Roberts started his career as an associate in investment banking after earning his BA from the University of Pennsylvania.
Eleonore Rojas (Co-Secretary): Ms. Rojas is a Principal PM and Vice President of Partnerships and Product Integration at Move, Inc., the operator of REALTOR.com®. Eleonore was instrumental in the creation of the Realtor.com/International site from concept and currently leads all aspects of development, audience growth and content and feature evolution. During her time at Move, Inc., Eleonore has lead product development activities in Move’s new homes, residential real estate, and real estate professional software divisions. She has ideated, built and launched REALTOR.com® revenue-generating product lines as well as consumer life cycle engagement programs. Formerly, Eleonore was an independent web consultant for clients in the entertainment, e-commerce and real estate categories. Eleonore grew up in Germany, has lived in Europe and Mexico and now resides in Los Angeles. She is fluent in German, English and Spanish.
Jennifer Simpson: First Founding Parent and Board Member of VCS. Ms. Simpson is an independent film and television producer. She formerly served as President of Type A Films, and Vice President at Barry Mendel Productions and is a current Philadelphia–based business owner. Ms. Simpson received her BA from Syracuse University.
Carol Lynn Smith (Parent Representative Middle School and Co-Secretary): Mrs. Smith is the Finance Manager at CauseForce LLP. CauseForce works with non-profit organizations to help them raise money for their mission. Since its inception in 2002, CauseForce programs have raised over $650 million dollars. Her oldest son currently attends Valley Charter Middle School.
Dvora Inwood, Founding Educator of Larchmont Charter School, Larchmont Charter School West Hollywood and Los Feliz School for the Arts; curriculum author for teacher education at Insight Education Group and The New Teacher Project; former teacher at Los Angeles schools (Harvard-Westlake, Archer School, Aviva Center); educational consultant to start-up charter schools. BA, Harvard University; M.A. in Education, Stanford University.