BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Carol Latham, Community Volunteer, Small Business Owner – Board Chair – In the Nonprofit sector, Carol Latham has been the Community Outreach Coordinator at the Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center since 2013. Countless hours are devoted to community service, as a volunteer, within the Anaheim community and she serves on the boards of a variety of non-profit organizations, such as Altrusa International Foundation of Anaheim, Inc. Through Altrusa she has spearheaded the very successful Creative Writing Project, offered to all Grade 4 scholars in the 24 elementary schools in the Anaheim Elementary School District; the NEA Big Read in partnership with the Anaheim Public Library and the formation of the Poet Laureate for the City of Anaheim.
Norma E. Martinez, Superintendent, Centralia Elementary School District (CESD) – Vice Chair – Norma has been with CESD since 2010 and is honored to be in her eighth year of service as its Superintendent. She takes pride in leading an award-winning district with schools in the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park and La Palma. An educator for more than 30 years, she is known as a transformative and service-oriented leader, who believes that great schools help to foster strong communities, improving the quality of life for students and families alike. She is an advocate for meeting the needs of students, particularly those who are historically disadvantaged and is intentional in bridging school-community partnerships. Her district is known for its strong community support through the award-winning Centralia Collaborative & Neighborhood Resource Center. Additionally, she serves as the Chairperson for the Centralia Education Foundation and the SchoolsFirst Education Foundation as well as becoming a member of the ACF
Bharat Patel, Castle Inn & Suites – Secretary – Bharat is owner/operator of Anaheim’s Castle Inn & Suites. He has an MBA from Cal State Fullerton and serves on numerous boards, including Whittier College, California Lodging Industry Association, Visit Anaheim, Anaheim Transportation Network, and Chapman University. He is dedicated to the community through is service with the Anaheim Family YMCA and Anaheim Police Association. “I believe in helping and supporting the community. ACF’s commitment to DEI is an important factor in my wanting to join the ACF board.”
Jeff Hunter, Kaiser Permanente – Chief Financial Officer
Jeff is the Surgical Services Administrator for Kaiser Permanente Orange County. A resident of Anaheim from birth, he is a graduate of Katella High School, Occidental College and the Schools of Business Administration and Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a member of The Living Tradition, Inc., which supports folk and traditional music, and the Anaheim Historical Society. He has volunteered with the Boy and Girl Scouts, Little League, Pony League, Future Scientists and Engineers of America, and other programs benefiting young people.
Kim Chips, Disneyland Resort – Immediate Past Board Chair
Kim has worked for The Walt Disney Company for more than two decades and currently serves as Manager – Corporate Citizenship at the Disneyland Resort. In this role, Kim oversees various charitable and community-focused programs that benefit students, residents, and job-seekers in Anaheim and Orange County. Kim grew up in north Orange County and graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She enjoys volunteering, traveling, and spending time with her daughter, Maia
AB Abdulrahman, P.E., State of California – A licensed Professional Engineer, AB is a Senior Oil and Gas Engineer with the State of California. He is currently the Vice Chair of the Anaheim Public Utilities Board where he has been serving since 2015. Mr. Abdulrahman has been on the City of Anaheim’s Budget, Investment & Technology Commission (2013-2015) and the Ad Hoc Housing Element Committee (2013-2014). In addition, AB has volunteered on the AccessCal Board of Directors and for the Sudanese American Community of Southern California.
M.J. Cooke, AIME Director, Anaheim Unified High School District – is a dedicated educator who has spent her entire career serving students at the Anaheim Unified High School District (AUHSD). Following a decade as a teacher, athletic director, and coach, MJ accepted a leadership position at the District Office as the Director of AIME, a career and mentoring program. Her passion for education and her commitment to student success continue to drive her work, making her an inspiration to all who know her.
Dr. Christopher Downing, Superintendent, Anaheim Elementary School District (AESD) – is currently in his 35th year in education and in his sixth year as the proud superintendent of the Anaheim Elementary School District (AESD), the largest Elementary only District in the state of California. He has worked in partnership with Anaheim stakeholders and the AESD Board toward the adoption of a districtwide focus on STEAM and the implementation of Dual Language Immersion (DLI) programs in all 24 schools (including the first Korean DLI program in Orange County) and the launching of a new Mandarin DLI program in 2023-24. He is known as a collaborative leader, with a focus on ensuring equity and access for all students.
Stephen Faessel, Community Volunteer and Anaheim City Council Member – Stephen is an Anaheim native attended local schools, graduating from CSUF in 1972. A Continuing Education Instructor for the North OC Community College District, Faessel has served Anaheim as a member of the Anaheim Public Utility Board, General Plan Advisory Committee, Anaheim Planning Commission, Budget, Investment and Technology Commission and now as Director for the Metropolitan Water District (MWD). He has served on the boards of Anaheim Museum, Anaheim Historical Society, Mother Colony Household, MUZEO, Orange County Historical Commission and the Charitable Foundation of the Native Sons of the Golden West and has written four local history books. Stephen was elected to Anaheim City Council in 2016.
Sjany Larson-Cash, City of Anaheim –Sjany has been with the City of Anaheim for over 25 years and serves as Director of Community Services. In this role, she leads a team of 600 employees who share in the goal of serving Anaheim’s residents through the delivery of services and programs within Parks, Golf, Recreation, Libraries, Human Services and Neighborhood Services. She has a degree in Business Administration from California State University Fullerton and recently was recognized for her work as an outstanding Woman of the Year in the 46th Congressional district from U.S. Representative Lou Correa.
Andrea Manes, Community Volunteer – Andrea is the owner of The Fun Starts Here!, where she provides public relations, marketing, fundraising, and event planning for a variety of organizations and companies throughout Orange County. She is also a columnist with the Orange County Register, writing a weekly column in the Anaheim Bulletin. She is very involved in the community, including working with Anaheim MUZEO, Orange County Youth Sports Foundation (OCYSF), and numerous other community service organizations.
Ed Munson, Munson & Associates
Ed is President of Munson & Associates, specializing in administration, communications, event planning, fundraising, marketing, public speaking and special projects. He is a 20-year member of the ACF Board and the Immediate Past Chairman. He has served as President/CEO of the Cypress Chamber of Commerce and Vice President of Communications and Special Events/Projects for the Anaheim Chamber. He is in his 43rd year with Major League Baseball as an Official Scorer for the Angels and Dodgers. His entertainment and literary exploits include a published book (The Letter) and screenplay (Breach). He has written treatments to 30 books as well as a number of business directories, event programs, essays, scripts and the like. He is the President of the Anaheim Community Center Authority and the Orange County Sports Hall of Fame.
Michael Rubin, The Law Firm of Rutan & Tucker – A partner in the law firm of Rutan & Tucker, Michael’s practice emphasis includes Real Estate, Eminent Domain, Land Use and Property Tax matters. He has been peer review listed in the Best Lawyers in America. He has served on the National Commission for the Anti-Defamation League and as the Orange County/Long Beach Regional Chairperson. Honors include the Marcus Kaufman Jurisprudence Award from the Anti-Defamation League, Orange County/Long Beach Region, American Jewish Committee’s Judge Learned Hand Lifetime Achievement Award and Opera Pacific’s Niles Gates Leadership Award.
Stephen Sain, Community Volunteer – Steve spent 27 years with the Anaheim Police Department, where he retired in 2007 as Deputy Chief. He is actively involved in the community, serving as past President/Chair of the Anaheim Community Foundation, Anaheim Rotary Club, and Anaheim Family YMCA. He also spent 10 years on the board of Youth Leadership America. Steve currently works in Investigations and Consulting.
Cathy Steele, Community Volunteer – Cathy retired from the City of Anaheim in 2010 after 32 years of service. She is now owner / operator of Steele Travel Services. She is very active in the Anaheim community and is a member of the Orange County Transit Authority’s Diverse Community Leaders Group, she is on the Advisory Board of the O.C. Heritage Council and a member of the O.C. Black Chamber of Commerce. Cathy is a past president and an active member of the O.C. Section of the National Council of Negro Women. She is the founder of the Sections outreach program Saving Our Sisters (S.O.S.). Cathy enjoys traveling and spending time with her daughters and grandchildren.
Bruce Solari, Solari Enterprises – Bruce is a nationally recognized authority in the field of affordable multifamily housing. He is the Executive Vice President of Solari Enterprises, Inc., a family owned business specializing in the development and management of affordable housing. Bruce has served as president of the Affordable Housing Management Association (AHMA) and was awarded the Clive Graham Memorial Award for his contributions to the affordable housing industry. Bruce also serves on the Board of Directors of the Anaheim Family YMCA and is active in the Anaheim Rotary Club. He has also served on the Anaheim Community Services Board, including two terms as Chairman.
Lisa C. Zaradich, Attorney at Law – Lisa is a North Orange County native and a graduate of Esperanza High School. She earned her law degree from Western State University College of Law (when it was in Fullerton). She and her husband have lived in the Anaheim Colony Historic District for almost 20 years and have one child, a student at Zion Lutheran School in Anaheim. Lisa’s practice is based in downtown Anaheim and focuses on business formations and transactions (especially providing advice and counsel to nonprofit organizations), disadvantaged business enterprise certifications, trademarks, and estate planning. She is an active member of her neighborhood and church communities and the Zion PTSL.
William Taormina – Board Chairman Emeritus
Ms. Heckel has been an enthusiastic administrator with over 35 years of management experience in community programming, recreational activities and funding initiatives. Her professional resume includes 10 years with the city as its Community Services Superintendent, in which she served as a liaison to the ACF. She has served on a variety of community boards as well as volunteered with the Girl Scouts of Orange County, the Boy Scouts of America, Relay for Life and several PTA’s. A graduate of Cal Poly Pomona, she has been a resident of Orange County for over 25 years.