BOOST CONFERENCE LEADERSHIP TEAM
The BOOST Leadership Team is critically important to the success and impact of the BOOST Conference. This amazing team is guided by the National BOOST Conference Advisory Board and provides big ideas, new connections, practical strategies while adding credibility to the planning and execution process. This comprehensive Leadership Team represents the diversity of after school, expanded learning, and out-of-school time programs and includes representatives serving at all levels of the field. We are a quality conference truly planned by dedicated (and fun) after school, expanded learning, and out-of-school time professionals, adding voice and value to the needs of the field.
Karen Cantrell, Independent Consultant
Karen Cantrell, MA, has more than 25 years of professional experience in designing, directing and supporting district-led, community-based and faith-based afterschool programs and is a recognized leader in the field. As a consultant for the Los Angeles County Office of Education, the Center for Collaborative Solutions and several school districts, she has closely worked with leadership teams, staff members and district administrators at all levels and has made a difference in the lives of thousands of children and their families and communities. She has 10 years of experience conducting formative evaluations that have had a positive impact on program quality. Karen graduated from National University with a Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science, earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Concordia University and holds a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University.
Top 5 Strengths: Positivity | Woo | Includer | Developer | Belief
Top 5 Character Strengths: Kindness | Love |Fairness | Honesty | Gratitude
Ashley Davis, Director, Afterschool Programs
YMCA of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Ashley Davis has over 10 years of experience working as a Youth Development Professional, ensuring the highest quality for initiatives and educational programs. Ashley is currently the Senior Director–Child Development Specialist for the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles. In this role she oversees overall program quality and implementation of youth sports, licensed child care, HEPA, and Character Counts. She has also worked with various program types using the Environmental Rating Scales and national accreditation tools to assess program quality and curriculum. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and is working towards completing her MED, with a focus on educational psychology.
Top 5 Strengths: Strengths: Restorative | Relator | Analytical | Intellection | Input
Top 5 Character Strengths: Hope | Gratitude | Judgment | Kindness | Creativity
Eddie Gardiner, Associate Program & Training Coordinator
YMCA of Greater Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
Eddie currently holds the title of Associate Program Director where he oversees two after school programs. In addition to supervising the two after school programs, he is also the training director for the ASES Department and is part of After School University a national training team who trains after school professionals in best practices in the field. Eddie holds a Bachelors Degree in Liberal Studies from California State University, Long Beach and a Master Degree in Public Organization specializing in Organizational Leadership. Eddie lives in Whittier California with his Wife Dana and their son Lucas. In his free time he like to go hiking, cycling and go exploring with his family.
Top 5 Strengths: Communication | Ideation | Strategic | Self-Assurance | Command
Top 5 Character Strengths: Creativity | Love | Hope | Perspective | Social Intelligence
Mary Jo Ginty, Region 11 Lead
Los Angeles County Office of Education, Downey, CA
Mary Jo Ginty is the Regional Lead/Program Coordinator overseeing the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) After School Technical Assistance Unit. This Unit provides staff training and development, consultation and technical assistance services to the 1300+ school sites providing after school programs funded through the After School Education and Safety Program (ASES) and/or 21st Century Community Learning Center grants. Over 130,000 students participate in these programs which also provide over 10,000 employment opportunities in the county. Ms. Ginty directed and oversaw after school programs at the elementary, middle and high school level; she has experienced the power of change these programs bring to students and their families. Her professional experiences over the past years include: Owner of a successful consulting firm, high school teacher, high school principal, college professor, lobbyist and community organizer. She holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from UCLA and a Bachelors Degree in Business and Social Welfare Administration from Ursuline College. Her spare time is spent enjoying her family, leading a Junior Girl Scout troop, music, and cooking in all forms and sitting on the Board of Directors of her 10-year-old daughter’s school.
Mary Jo Ginty believes that after school programs have the potential to assist youth to gain the skill sets, tools, and knowledge and have the experiences necessary to Make A Life for themselves and their families.
Top 5 Strengths: Strategic | Achiever | Futuristic | Arranger | Connectedness
Suzanne Hill, Program Manager
OC STEM Initiative, Corona Del Mar, CA
Suzanne Hill has been working in out-of-school time programs for the last 14 years. She started working in the field as a front line staff. After college she continued working in the expanded learning field as a Site Coordinator. She later accepted a promotion to the Program Manager position overseeing 10 ASES funded program sites. She is currently the Program Manager for OC STEM Initiative, supporting expanded learning staff in implementing STEM with their students and integrating programs with the regular school day.
Suzanne received her Bachelor’s degree in Global Studies with a minor in Sociology. During her time as an undergraduate, she interned with two community-based, out-of-school time programs based in Los Angeles, CA and Philadelphia, PA. She also spent three months interning with two group homes and a local elementary school in Northern Thailand. She has continued to find her passion for others by working with communities through building educational possibilities through out-of-school time programs.
When Suzanne is not a work; she enjoys photography, traveling, the beach, and spending lots of time with family and friends.
Top 5 Strengths: Developer | Realtor
| Connectedness | Positivity | Learner
Top 5 Character Strengths: Love | Kindness | Prudence | Teamwork | Curiosity
Bobby Klein, CEO
A La Kart Marketing, Asambago, USA
After spending over 10 years working for various non-profits, the latest being the Regional Marketing Director at the YMCA of San Diego County, Bobby is now the CEO/Founder of A La Kart Marketing. His new business focuses on digital marketing and is run remotely while he travels the USA in an RV. You can follow the journey on Instagram with the handle @asambago. He has formed several partnerships on this new venture, including one very special one with Every Monday Matters. If you happen to see him out there, you will see his RV wrapped in positive messages telling people they matter. Bobby has been on the BOOST Conference leadership team for the past three years, running the conference film festival. He enjoys riding his bike, fishing. Sushi, and mattering.
Top 5 Strengths: Woo | Ideation | Strategic | Communication | Includer
Top 5 Character Strengths: Humor | Spirituality | Social Intelligence | Leadership | Forgiveness
Marisol Moreno-Villegas, Education Coordinator
Options for Learning, Covina, CA
Marisol Moreno is an Education Coordinator for the Options for Learning Enrichment Program, she loves working with the youth and inspiring her students and teachers. She has worked in the after school field for over 10 years now and has loved every minute of it. Her passion for this field came from her experience growing up in East L.A, where she was lucky to have both encouraging and empowering educators as well as educators on the other end of the spectrum; uninspired and indifferent, an experience she has taken to heart and learned from. She graduated from CSUN in 2009 with a degree in Chicana/o Studies, a major she chose because of her roots as well as for her passion and love for her community and the history of its people. She has been described as quirky and energetic, which are two things that come in handy when working in the after school field.
Top 5 Strengths: Restorative | Achiever | Developer | Responsibility | Input
Top 5 Character Strengths: Fairness | Love | Perspective | Leadership | Perseverance
Michelle R. Perrenoud, Project Coordinator
Los Angeles County Office of Education, Downey, CA
Michelle R. Perrenoud has worked in the fields of youth development, organizational leadership, and after school for the past twenty years. She currently works with the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) in the Curriculum and Instructional Services (CIS) Division. She is the Region 11 Project Coordinator for the After School Technical Assistance Unit. Michelle serves as the Regional Facilitator for the 21st CCLC ASSETs Learning Community and provides technical assistance and capacity building for more than 120 21st CCLC ASSETs funded programs throughout Los Angeles County. She is a member of the California Department of Education statewide high school ASSETs Planning Group. Michelle is also the founder and principle of Mindset Solutions: A Leadership Training, Development, and Coaching Firm.
Michelle’s wide-ranging experience and her ability to bring together individuals from different communities to create common solutions together make her a powerful, effective voice. She leads by example, by inspiring a shared vision and demonstrating a commitment to civic engagement and to the goal of making a positive impact in community. Her experience in developing youth and leading after school programs began while working with the YMCA. One of her areas of specialization includes teaching youth leadership and working with older youth to become leaders in their community. Additionally, she is passionate about teaching youth development and building the leadership capacity of after school program leaders. Michelle is recognized for her ability as a leader to empower others around her to cultivate their best self and lead from their current position.
Top 5 Strengths: Strategic | Achiever | Learner | Relator | Analytical
ElizaBeth Parker Phillips, Sr. Program Development Director
Child Development, Inc., Sacramento, CA
Top 5 Character Strengths: Creativity | Humor | Perseverance | Love | Curiosity
For more than 23 years, Tia Quinn has worked at all levels of programming in the field of after school and expanded learning, supporting out-of-school time programs throughout the nation via training, technical assistance, quality assurance, and program development.
Tia fell in love with after school programs in 1992 while working in Hartford, CT as an art teacher and later the Program Director in the Asylum Hill community. Tia spent the first part of her west coast experience working at an after school program and later as a Program Director, overseeing programming at 65 before and after school programs through Harmonium Children's Services, one of the largest after school providers in California. Tia also served for 5 years as the Co-Lead for Region 9 Technical Assistance Center, After School Programs at the San Diego County Office of Education. In this capacity, she supported over 600 after school program sites in San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties, serving over 100,000 students annually. While in this role, Tia managed numerous regional and statewide committees and after school initiatives.
In the regional lead capacity, Tia and her team were the 2005 recipients of the California School Board Association's Golden Bell Award for Partnerships and Collaboratives as well as the Cities, Counties, and Schools (CCS) Partnership Award 2005. Additionally, Tia is the recipient of the 2001 Director of the Year, awarded by Mentor San Diego; the California School-Age Consortium's 2006 Award of Excellence, Program Administrator of the Year; the 2013 STEVIE® Bronze Award for Women In Business, Female Executive of the Year – Business Services; the 2014 STEVIE® Bronze Award for Women In Business, Maverick of the Year; the 2014 STEVIE® Bronze Award for Women In Business, Most Innovative Company under 10 Employees; Finalist for Gamechanger at the 2015 Women of Influence Awards; winner of Eternal Flame Award, San Diego County Office of Education’s Women in Prevention; winner in the Small Education Category, San Diego Business Journal’s 2015 Most Admired CEO Award. BOOST Collaborative recently won 2015 Best in Biz’s Company of the Year, International award.
She serves on the Board of Directors for ASAPconnect, Santa Clara, CA and Think Red Project in San Diego, CA. Tia is also a member of Entrepreneur's Organizations' Accelerator program and is eagerly pursuing her mission and creativity to take her ideas and company to the next level.
As an Out-of-School Time Consultant, Tia presents customized workshops and staff development seminars at numerous local, state and national conferences. Tia works closely with school district administrators, CEO's, non-profit agencies, program directors, supervisors, and line staff to increase student retention, promote academic achievement, and overall student success through quality, engaging staff development opportunities.
Tia is currently the Founder and CEO of the BOOST (Best of Out-of-School Time) Collaborative, a purpose-driven organization supporting global out-of-school time professionals through state-of-the-art professional development opportunities, program and resource development, and community partnership advancement. BOOST advocates for quality out-of-school time programming, offers opportunities to share promising practices, and provides a variety of training and consulting services.
Tia is also the founder of the annual BOOST Conference in Palm Springs, California, the largest global convening for after school, expanded learning, and out-of-school time educators, supporting all levels of key stakeholders to initiate change and inspire quality programming. The BOOST conference includes over 150 workshops, 100 Exhibitors, Film Festival, 5-mile Tour de BOOST charity walk/run, Town Hall meetings, Master Classes, networking opportunities and special events.
Most recently, Tia founded MARS (Music, Arts, Rhythm, Social Change) Experience bringing together socially responsible organizations, artists, musicians, crafters, filmmakers, authors, and poets to inspire and create action locally and globally.
Tia is passionate about creating positive change for today's youth as well as the people, communities, and partners supporting them in the out-of-school time hours. She mentors several young women, loves driving her electric golf cart around San Diego and is always seeking new travel and food adventures with friends.
Top 5 Strengths: Responsibility | Relator | Achiever | Belief | Connectedness
Top 5 Character Strengths: Creativity | Honesty | Fairness | Kindness | Leadership
Carola Secada, Director of Educational Partnerships
Every Monday Matters, Los Angeles, CA
Carola Secada has over 15 years of experience in the non-profit sector. She is currently the Director of Educational Partnerships at Every Monday Matters (EMM), where she helps individuals and organizations understand how much and why they matter to themselves, the community and the world. Previously, she served as the Vice President of Programs of the charter management organization, Camino Nuevo Charter Academy. There she lead the strategy and execution of the Camino Nuevo Way to expand impact and work towards enhancing the Continuum of Care, a comprehensive model that begins at pre-k and continues to college completion and career. The major buckets of the Continuum of Care are: early childhood, experiential learning, integrated support services, parents as partners, and an alumni program. Prior to Camino Nuevo, she served as the Executive Director of the YMCA of Greater Long Beach-Community Development Branch, where she was responsible for a $3 million operating budget and the strategic execution of all initiatives and programs including: ASES and 21CCLC after school programs, college readiness, family involvement and a social enterprise, Afterschool University. Afterschool University was a comprehensive training program that served thousands of youth workers across the nation.
Carola lives in Los Angeles with her partner, Malka and their 5-year old daughter, Harper Rose. They enjoy traveling, live music and laughing out loud.
Top 5 Strengths: Ideation | Woo | Input | Communication | Activator
Top 5 Character Strengths: Love | Humor | Creativity | Hope | Kindness
Marissa Serna, Child Care Coordinator
Alta Loma School District, Alta Loma, CA
Throughout Marissa's life, she has been committed to working in the areas of recreation and education. She has 20 years of experience as a public servant. She started her career working part-time and eventually full-time for the City of Fontana, Recreation Department. She then transitioned to the Alta Loma School District. Her passion working in the education field has kept her in Alta Loma as a Child Care Coordinator. Marissa coordinates a Child Care program at one of the Junior High along with one of the elementary schools.
Marissa also served on a variety of community boards. Her most recent has been as third VP for the Fontana Council PTA. Marissa also has a passion for volunteering throughout her community and staying busy volunteering with her son's elementary school where she has held several different positions on the PTA board.
Top 5 Strengths: Developer | Input | Strategic | Achiever | Arranger
Top 5 Character Strengths: Appreciation of Beauty & Excellence | Kindness | Gratitude | Perseverance | Teamwork
Becky Shultz, Director of Expanded Learning
Whittier City School District, Whittier, CA
Becky Shultz holds a Masters Degree and Pupil Personnel Services Credential from California State University Long Beach. She began her counseling career at Orangewood Children's Home (then called Albert Sitton Home) in 1976 and later changed her focus to Elementary School Counseling when she graduated in 1984. This continued until 1999, when approached about writing a grant to support and after school program in Whittier City School District. She has been the Director of After School Programs for Whittier City School District for 10 years. In addition, Becky is a member of the Workplan Advisory Group (WAG), a Co-Facilitator for LLC#2, BOOST Leadership Team, a Peer Reviewer, a Mentor and a board member for Helpline Youth Counseling Inc. She is married to Terry Shultz and has two wonderful daughters, Nicole and Kristen.
Top 5 Strengths: Input | Ideation | Connectedness | Learner | Belief
Top 5 Character Strengths: Gratitude | Kindness | Honesty | Perseverance | Spirituality
James "Jim" Stephens, Realtor
JDS California Homes LLC / Nationwide Real Estate Executives, Orange County CA
Jim Stephens has worked in the out-of-school time field since 1978. From 1990 to 2015, Jim served as the director of the Child Development Services department in Orange Unified School District. After over 34 years working in the field of education, he has “retired” and is working full-time as a Realtor in Orange County California. In addition to undergraduate degrees in Child Development and Business, Jim has a Masters in Education, which allowed him the opportunity to teach human development courses at Cal State Fullerton and several of the local community colleges in Orange County. He has been involved with the BOOST Conference for many years and loves serving on the Leadership Team. Jim has been married to Barbara since1993 and they are the extremely proud parents of their daughter Waverly, who was born in 1996, and son Spencer, born in 1999.
Top 5 Strengths: Positivity | Maximizer | Futuristic | Developer | Strategic
Top 5 Character Strengths: Humor | Fairness | Gratitude | Creativity | Forgiveness
San Diego, CA
Lissa, a native Californian has worked in the education field for nine years in Boston, Columbus and Chicago before returning to San Diego in 2011. Lissa holds a B.A. in Communications from Boston College where she volunteered with Peace Games, now Peace First, teaching young people the skills of peacemaking in the Boston Public Schools. After graduating from Boston College, Lissa took a position as an Americorps member for two years in Columbus, Ohio where she taught conflict resolution through the arts in two under-served recreation centers. Fueled by her desire to continue working in education, Lissa became a resident with the Academy for Urban School Leadership in Chicago earning her Master of Arts in Teaching from National-Louis University. Upon graduation, she taught for nearly three years in the Chicago Public Schools where she realized her first love was out-of-school time. Lissa went on to manage twelve after-school programs with Rocket Learning before moving to San Diego to raise her daughter.
Currently, she is home with her almost four-year-old daughter, Margot and organizes the local Boston College alumni chapter.
Top 5 Strengths: Communication | Connectedness | Activator | Belief | Harmony
Top 5 Character Strengths: Fairness | Forgiveness | Gratitude | Kindness | Honesty
Heather Williams, Strategic Initiatives Coordinator
After School Division, California Department of Education, Sacramento, CA
Heather currently serves as the Strategic Initiatives Coordinator for ASD. Since August 2012, she has managed the strategic planning process that will help reshape the division to include a strong emphasis on providing high quality expanded learning opportunities to students throughout the state. As a key component of this work, she has helped ensure strong, ongoing engagement of external stakeholders and advisors throughout this process. Prior to her work in this position, she worked at the State Treasurer's Office (STO) in several capacities. She served as a Treasury Analyst focusing on Environmental Finance at the California Alternative Energy & Advanced Transportation Financing Authority. In that role, she worked on program development and implementation for new green financial incentives within California. Before that, she served as an analyst in the Public Finance Division developing a solid foundation in the area of public bond financing. Prior to that work, Heather was selected for the Executive Fellowship Program where she was subsequently placed in the STO Executive Office (www.csus.edu/calst/executive_fellowship_program.html).
Heather received her BA in Political Science from CSU Fullerton. During that time, she was heavily involved with student advocacy work primarily with the Associated Students, Inc. including serving as President and CEO between 2006 and 2008 and as a member of the California State Student Association's Executive Committee and Board of Directors from 2006 to 2008.
Top 5 Strengths: Achiever | Self-Assurance | Ideation | Strategic | Learner
Top 5 Character Strengths: Love of Learning | Appreciation of Beauty & Excellence | Kindness | Curiosity | Creativity
Nicole Baitx-Kennedy, Child Care Supervisor
Ocean View School District, Huntington Beach, CA
I am celebrating my 30th year working with children. I was blessed to work for OUSD in the afterschool CARES program, taught preschool, and am now the supervisor of the Ocean View School District Child Care Program. I hold Associate degrees in liberal arts and in Early Learning, Child Care Center Director's Permit, and a BA in Child Development. I am so lucky to be able to work with children and making a difference in the lives of children is my passion. I see an amazing opportunity to support the development of the total child in out of school time programming. BOOST has energized me in my work, I meet so many fabulous people doing amazing work on the behalf of youth. BOOST Leadership has given me a wonderful opportunity to support an organization that I believe in wholeheartedly. My personal goal in life is to never stop learning and to continually grow. It is a gift to spend time with my family and being outdoors centers me. I believe strongly in the work we do! Two quotes that summarize the importance of the work we do:
"Children are not a distraction from more important work, they are the MOST important work"- CS Lewis
"It is easier to build strong children, than to mend broken men"- Frederick Douglass
Top 5 Strengths: Connectedness | Developer | Individualization | Belief | Responsibility
Top 5 Character Strengths: Love | Spirituality | Gratitude | Honesty | Fairness
Financial Fitness Group, San Diego, CA
All of her work and life experiences over the years as a business woman, events coordinator, teacher and mom and her passion for childhood education/development have led her to BOOST. She has been the Volunteer Coordinator for the Annual BOOST Conference in Palm Springs for the last two years and now joins the BOOST Leadership Team as its newest member.
Top 5 Strengths: Developer | Positivity | Harmony | Individualization | Empathy
Top 5 Character Strengths: Honesty | Kindness | Social Intelligence | Gratitude | Perseverance
Fabiola Martin, After School Program Coordinator
Lennox School District, Lennox, CA
Fabiola has been working for the Lennox After School Program for more than 11 years. She received a Bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University in Spanish Language & Literature and Education. Go Lions! Currently, she coordinates the middle school site for the Lennox School District where she oversees a quality after school program. Her experience, background education, and passion for working with students has allowed her to provide a quality and exceptional after school program. She strongly believes in academic success through youth development guiding students to reach their full potential through the arts, athletics, and academics. Fabiola wants to inspire the next generation to become leaders and encourage them to return to their own community and make a difference.
Top 5 Strengths: Achiever | Activator | Adaptability | Analytical | Arranger
Top 5 Character Strengths: Forgiveness | Humor | Leadership | Teamwork | Fairness
Amira Resnick, Healthy Out-of-School Time Manager, California
Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Los Angeles, CA
Amira brings 15 years of experience in community engagement and program development within the nonprofit sector in the US and abroad. Some favorite experiences include enhancing family services programming and parent leadership among 17 bilingual Head Start Centers, and creating new community-based arts programming in partnership with 15+ social service organizations throughout LA County.
Amira earned her MPA in Nonprofit Management and International Development from the University of Southern California and her BA in Cultural Anthropology and Spanish from the University of Michigan. She currently serves as Healthy Out-of-School Time Manager in California with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation where she coaches and trains out-of-school time professionals on best practices and policies for increasing healthy eating and physical activity for youth, staff, families, and community. She is based in Los Angeles.
Top 5 Strengths: Restorative | Adaptability | Empathy | Arranger | Input
Top 5 Character Strengths: Curiosity | Appreciation of Beauty & Excellence | Fairness | Gratitude | Forgiveness
Sherlyn Beatty, Community Services Supervisor
City of Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
Sherlyn Beatty is currently a Community Services Supervisor for the City of long Beach where she is responsible for overseeing 4 ASES Funded After School Programs, and a Teen Center which provides after school and summer programming exclusively for teens. Prior to her current position, Sherlyn has held various youth and volunteer development positions for over 10 years throughout the Long Beach community including Long Beach Unified School District, Long beach City College, and the Girl scout Council of Greater Long Beach. She holds a Bachelors Degree in recreation and Leisure Studies and a Certificate of Nonprofit Management from California State University Long Beach. Sherlyn is passionate about working with middle school youth and encouraging them to believe in the power of their dreams. In her spare time, Sherlyn enjoys running, listening to music, and spending time being creative with her daughter Jaiden.
Top 5 Strengths: Developer | Futuristic | Individualization | Ideation | Strategic
Top 5 Character Strengths: Judgment | Fairness | Creativity | Kindness | Teamwork
Ezekiel "Zeke" Oliwa, Rec Leader and Substitute Teacher
City of Lemon Grove, Lemon Grove, CA
Zeke, a San Diego native, has been working in out of school programs since he was nineteen. He started at a local Recreation Center during his summer breaks home from college, learning pretty quickly that he has a passion for working with kids and that his high energy and his fun-loving demeanor meshed well with them. He built on this at Boston College, where he graduated in 2014 with a B.A. in History, by participating in an education service trip to the Dominican Republic and picking up a minor in General Education from the Lynch School of Education. Moving back to San Diego, he continued to work part-time at the same local Rec Center. Recently Zeke has decided on a teaching career and has begun substitute teaching at various schools across the county as an experience builder and a launching pad. He plans to continue with out of school programs either as a coach or with summer programs as he believes that the learning and growth done outside of the classroom can be just as important those done inside it.
Zeke is glad to be back in San Diego to enjoy the beach, the food, the local beer scene, hiking, comic book movies and being able to wear shorts year round.
Top 5 Strengths: Context | Restorative | Adaptability | Input | Learner
Top 5 Character Strengths: Love of Learning | Fairness | Humor | Kindness | Zest