Board meetings are conducted monthly and are governed by the Ralph M. Brown Act. For information about the Larchmont Schools Board of Directors and its governance, including a calendar of meetings and archived meeting materials, please visit the Board of Directors website.
Board of Directors Profiles
Alicia Lara is currently the Senior Vice President for Impact at United Way Worldwide where she develops strategy and program design for the national and international network of United Ways.
Alicia has spent over twenty years in the non-profit sector working on education, community development, homelessness and healthcare policy. She also serves on the board of directors for Ms. Foundation for Women, and the National Health Foundation. In 2011, she was appointed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to the Commission on Community and Family Services for the City of Los Angeles. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from San Diego State University and a Masters Degree in Public Health from the University of California at Los Angeles.
Board Vice Chair
Danny Corwin serves as Chief Financial Officer for the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA), the advocacy and membership organization serving California’s charter schools. Danny has been with CCSA for more than 10 years and is responsible for oversight of the organization’s core financial systems and fundraising. Prior to joining CCSA, Danny was the Director of Career Academies for the Los Angeles Educational Partnership, where he was responsible for the programmatic operation of 10 career academies designed to increase the college and career opportunities for low-income, minority high school students. He has served on the non-profit boards of the New Visions Foundation, currently serves as a Trustee for Temple Israel of Hollywood and has served as a board member for Larchmont Charter School for more than eight years. Danny holds a Bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara and a Masters in Higher Education and Organizational Change from UCLA.Danny’s wife, Zoe, is an Assistant Research Professor at USC’s Pullias Center for Higher Education and his two children have attended Larchmont since Kindergarten.
Gabi Loeb is currently Executive Vice President, Finance & Operations at ZEFR, a Los Angeles-base startup specializing in video software enterprise solutions. Previously, he was Vice President of Finance at The Audience, where he managed finances and accounting. Gabi also served as Vice President of Finance at Fox Interactive Media and MySpace, where he led a global team in all aspects of financial and strategic planning and budgeting, eventually helping to sell the company to Specific Media in 2011.
From 2007 to 2009, he worked in the Corporate Finance group at Gemstar-TV Guide, held several finance and business planning roles at Walt Disney Animation Studios, and spent the early part of his career as a Research Assistant at The Brookings Institution in Washington, DC and a management consultant at LEK Consulting in Los Angeles. Gabi holds a Bachelor’s degree with honors in Economics from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Frances has over 20 years experience as a Brand manager, combining strong marketing and management skills to create profitable and compelling consumer brands. Her senior executive roles include Communications, Business Development, Creative Content, and Corporate Strategy, and span Fortune 500, mid-range and entrepreneurial settings. Most recently, Frances led the marketing team for Quickoffice, the highest-grossing worldwide app on the iPad®, which was subsequently acquired by Google. She continues to run an Independent Marketing firm, partnering with clients who want to seize market opportunity and achieve results in a rapidly evolving environment. Her non-profit work includes serving on the Board of multiple youth sports organizations, focusing on increasing access and opportunity for urban youth. Frances graduated from UCLA with Honors with degrees in Communication and Psychology, and received her MBA from Wharton.
A passionate advocate for education and Larchmont Charter School, Ali Baird is a founding parent who has taught multiple grades in both public and private schools including, 1st grade and middle school English, and Social Studies. She left teaching to work for the non-profit Educators for Social Responsibility, now called Engaging Schools, which helps schools develop improved discipline practices, better engage students and implement advisory programs, and supports schools with programs on bullying, peer mediation, conflict resolution and diversity.
Ali is currently a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern with a Master’s in Applied Psychology from Antioch University where she sees adults, children, couples and families at The Southern California Counseling Center. Ali graduated from Groton School in Massachusetts, she and received her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Trinity College in Hartford, CT, where she focused on the effects of social justice and diversity on education. She is the mother of two children, one of whom is a second grader at LCS Fairfax.
Drew Furedi is the Executive Director of Human Capital Initiatives for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and leads the district’s work on key Human Capital strategies for the more than 30,000 instructional staff in the District. and has He previously served as Executive Director of the Loyola Marymount University Family of Schools, and was a partner with The New Teacher Project, implementing programs to recruit, select, train, place, and support teachers in hard‐to‐staff public schools. He also worked on national service program development and review with AmeriCorps programs.
Drew’s commitment to public education was solidified by his involvement with Teach For America, through which he taught elementary school in Baltimore, Maryland. Drew earned his Bachelor’s in Political Science from UC Santa Barbara, his Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Southern California, and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He serves on the board of several public charter schools and teaches at the doctoral level. He and his wife live in Los Angeles with their son.
Nick Grouf is the Founder and Managing Director of Firefly Holdings, a Los Angeles based investment firm focused on incubating, capitalizing and launching high-tech businesses in both the consumer and business-to-business sectors. His ventures include Pluto.TV, where he is currently co-founder and chairman, Firefly Network Inc. (acquired by Microsoft), PeoplePC Inc. (acquired by Earthlink), and Spot Runner Inc. whose Malibu Platform was purchased by Harris. Mr. Grouf’s accomplishments also include serving as a co-founder and Director of the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), co-founder of TrustE, an organization dedicated to protecting the Internet privacy, venture partner at Softbank Technology Ventures, and a year overseeing the technology and online fund-raising efforts for John Kerry’s 2004 Presidential campaign. In 2007, he was named in the Top 24 Innovators list by Fortune Magazine.
Nick spent his early career with McKinsey & Co. in New York, where he focused on media and technology, as well as at Goldman Sachs, where he worked in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group. Nick is active in the non-profit organizations where he helped to found PeopleGive and The Walther School Foundation and also serves on the boards of several organizations in the fields of Education and the Arts. A native New Yorker, he holds a Bachelor’s with honor from Yale, where he was awarded the Norman Holmes Pearson Prize for Best Thesis, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
Bea Hsu is Senior Vice President of Development and Forward Planning for Related California, a full service real estate firm specializing in urban infill development including affordable housing, mixed income housing and commercial mixed use development. She is responsible for developments throughout the Los Angeles area, with particular focus on forward planning, acquisitions, and public/private partnerships. Since joining Related in 2006, her major projects have included The Grand Avenue Project and Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles. She was responsible for acquisition, entitlements, and development agreements for over 630 units of multifamily housing throughout Southern California.
Bea previously served as a policy advisor to Los Angeles City Councilmember Eric Garcetti with a focus on housing, economic development and budget issues. She also served as a policy advisor to then-California State Controller Kathleen Connell. She is a past board member of the Los Angeles Community College Foundation, past Vice-Chair of the City of Los Angeles Industrial Development Authority, recently served as a member of Mayor Eric Garcetti's transition team, and currently serves as a Mayoral appointee to the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners and the Planning Program Advisory Board of the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. She holds a Bachelor’s from Yale University in History and Political Science, and is a graduate of the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs and the Ross Minority Program in Real Estate at USC.
David is currently working at Harvard-Westlake School as the Director of Advancement. He oversees Annual Giving, Alumni Relations, and Advancement Communications. Prior to his current position, he was the Director of Admission for the Secondary School and Director of Financial Aid for grades K-12 at Oakwood School. He has worked in admission offices at various educational institutions for 15 years, including Harvard-Westlake’s admission office. Before returning to his hometown, he worked at boarding schools in Michigan (Cranbrook Schools) and Pennsylvania (George School), and at Georgetown University. David holds a Bachelor degree from Brown University and Master of Education from Harvard University.
Melissa Schrift is a veteran TV producer of nearly 25 years who helped to create The Ellen DeGeneres Show. She most recently served as co-executive producer until leaving the show this past June to spend more time with her family. During her eleven years at The Ellen DeGeneres show, Melissa earned eight Daytime Emmy Awards, a Genesis Award, and two PGA nominations.In addition to her day to day production responsibilities and creative input, she also generated and oversaw fundraising efforts including the show’s annual breast cancer awareness campaign, “Ellen for the Cure,” which has raised nearly $3.5 million to date, as well as Brad Pitt’s “Make it Right,” campaign which raised over $1.6 million to help rebuild New Orleans’ lower 9th ward in the wake ofthe destruction left by Hurricane Katrina. Prior to Ellen, she spent three years as a senior associate producer at The Oprah Winfrey Show, where she was nominated for an NAACP Award for a special episode about Martin Luther King Jr.
Melissa is currently serving on the board of the LA based non-profit organization, Big Sunday, and this past October she was the top fundraiser for Southern California’s Special Olympics, “We Run the City” campaign. She resides in the Hollywood Hills with her husband, three children, and two dogs.
In 2004, Lindsay Sturman worked with a group of 100 families to start Larchmont Charter School, which has become one of the most diverse, beloved and high-performing schools in Los Angeles. In the following decade, Lindsay worked with grass-roots parent groups and educators to open more diverse, high-performing, community-oriented schools, including Larchmont Charter-West Hollywood, Valley Charter, The City School, and City Language Immersion Charter. She is a television writer/producer and was the 2009 Hart Vision Award recipient for her volunteer work in the California charter school movement.
We are profoundly grateful to our former Board Chairs for their exemplary leadership and unwavering commitment to our community:
- Ben Paul
- Danny Corwin
- Eugene D. Straub
- Kriste Dragon
- Lindsay Sturman
- Octavio Pescador, PhD
- Paulette Light
- Susan Lee