LIFT's capacity to achieve its goals rests on its close collaboration with county and community resources, its research-based, proven operational model, and the extensive experience of its Directors and Advisors, many of whom are recognized leaders in the fields of pediatric nutrition, health and prevention; strategic planning and finance; and program development, delivery and evaluation.
Joelle Appenrodt is currently a Senior at San Rafael High School. As Student Body President for the second year, she is a very proud Bulldog. Aside from school, she enjoys volunteering with Special Olympics and improving her county as the chair of the Marin County Youth Commission. Currently, she is applying to universities on the east coast under a political science major.
Kara Connors, MPH, is a consultant in children's health promotion and health professions education. Over the past decade, Kara has established her expertise in a variety of areas including: training and education for consumers and health professionals in both distance and in-person formats, program development/management, and evaluation and research. With a strong communication background, Kara has an excellent ability to conceptualize an idea into a well resourced project, lend strategic thinking and “hands on” leadership toward project completion, and develop relevant tools to evaluate its impact.
Kara graduated from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY with a degree in political science. Her thesis, "Women and the Politics of AIDS," was one of the first academic analyses of those factors impacting women in the early years of the AIDS epidemic. Kara completed her master's in public health from the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Public Health. Her master's thesis was titled: "Faculty Development and Service-Learning: Critical Issues and Emerging Innovations in Community-Based Health Professions Education." The evaluation component presented in her thesis is reported in Academic Medicine.
Kara enjoys working with community, academic and health enterprise sectors. She is available for short or long term consultation in the areas of: in person training and distance education, program development/management, and evaluation and research.
Currently the San Geronimo Valley Community Center Executive Director, Dave is also the Coordinator of the San Geronimo Valley Healthy Community Collaborative.
Dedicated to ensuring the continued vitality of Marin County, Dave serves on the Sir Francis Drake High School Leadership Council, is a San Geronimo School Open Classroom Parent Board Member, on the Board of Directors for the Coastal Health Alliance in Point Reyes Station and the Lagunitas School Foundation, Board of Directors.
Dave has served two terms as Commission Chair for the Marin County Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Commission. He was a counselor, supervisor, and family worker at Full Circle School in Bolinas, a residential group home for emotionally disturbed boys and a Marin County Juvenile Probation and California Youth Authority Counselor.
Mr. Cort graduated from Northwestern University with a B.S. degree in Human Development and Social Policy.
Maureen Feldman is currently Vice President of Marketing & Development for Worldwise Education where she is the liaison between the company and State and National educational organizations. Maureen is a Marketing and Business Development professional who enjoys providing creative marketing and strategic guidance through the development and implementation of marketing initiatives and the coordinating of ongoing partnerships across multiple business and non-profit sectors.
Maureen’s interests and experience in business development spans across the Health/Wellness and Creative industries. She has been an Executive Producer for a successful Los Angeles based music company where she oversaw the coordination and execution of music production for commercials, TV shows, industrials and film trailers, as well as a marketing consultant with the Los Angeles Dept of Public Health, “Get Active, Get Healthy, LA!” Summit, Co-Chair of the Los Angeles Collaborative for Healthy Active Children, Advisory Board member for the LAUSD Physical Education Dept. Active member of the National Charity League, and an Adjunct Professor for Los Angeles Pierce College.
Maureen graduated from California State University, Northridge with a BA in Kinesiology. She also completed Wellness Trainings at both UCLA Center for Health Enhancement & Research and US Corporate Health Management.
Nina Gardner is an employee benefits broker/consultant with Filice Insurance
Agency. Her focus is on business development, strategic benefit planning,
benefits implementation, and open enrollment meetings, as well as coordination
of health and wellness fairs. Prior to joining Filice, Nina was an employment law
attorney with Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold and Littler, Mendelson, both
large, national law firms. Prior to law school, Nina worked as a manager of a
broadcast union, N.A.B.E.T and as a paralegal for Wild, Carey & Fife. Nina holds a
B.A. in Comparative Literature with highest honors from U.C. Berkeley and a J.D.
from Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall School of Law) at U.C. Berkeley.
Nina Gardner has also served on the board of the Kentfield Schools Foundation
Colleen Kemp is a registered nurse and a clinical nurse specialist in Integrative Health. Colleen began her nursing career in 1980 in hospital-based critical
care units where she developed her expertise as an acute care provider. In
1990 Colleen founded TLC Works, a continuing education company, where she
developed a series of Integrative Health continuing education courses for nurses,
including Keeping Your Cup Full. She has studied and practiced the use of
intuition and other energetic healing modalities. She has counseled individuals
and groups who want to integrate lifestyle modification, and other alternative
and complementary therapies, into their health care plans. In 2002 she began
working with Dr. Dean Ornish at the Preventive Medicine Research Institute
where she has served in a variety of roles including Project Director of the Gene
Expression Modulation in Nutrition and Lifestyle research study. From 2007-
2010 she taught professional role development at the Dominican University of
California's graduate nursing program. She currently serves as Vice President
of Operations and Outreach at the Preventive Medicine Research Institute
(www.pmri.org) in Sausalito, California.
Kryijztoff (Kryz) Novotnaj is the Vice President of Health Informatics at Filice Insurance Agency. Kryz provides clinical oversight to medical claims data aimed at educating employers and employees alike of health risk, wellness program development and strategic initiatives to mitigate the exposures related to insurance programs.
Kryz also provides health data analytics services to his clients that enable employer groups to understand their program's "health" and affords the opportunity to make better informed decisions related to their health and welfare plans.
Prior to joining Filice, Kryz was a healthcare consultant for companies like Google, Safeway, CISCO, Hanes Brands and Discovery Channel. He is also the leader in the on-site health clinic industry where he implemented the nation's first primary care centers for Reiter Affiliated Companies (Driscoll's) for agriculture employees and families.
Kryz is a Vocational Nurse and is currently concluding his LVN to MSN studies in Registered Nursing at Indiana State University. He holds a Bachelor's in Healthcare Administration as well as a Master's in Public Health with an emphasis in Epidemiology.
Randy Levine is Chief Executive Officer of Mariposa Management & Investments, Inc., a firm that is focused on providing advisory and expert witness services to private equity, hedge funds, attorneys and other market participants in the areas of real estate financing. Prior to forming his own practice in 2009, Randy served as Managing Director of Consumer Production at Countrywide Home Loans, the largest independent lender in North America. In 1990, Randy founded United Pacific Mortgage, one of the largest independently owned mortgage banking firms in the United States.
Randy holds a Bachelors degree in business and finance from Arizona State University and is a licensed California Real Estate Broker and Certified Public Accountant. He is a past Board Member and Secretary/Treasurer of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), a prior Advisory Board Member of Mortgage Bankers of America (MBA) Peer Group and a prior Board Member and Treasurer of Southern California Mortgage Bankers Association (SCMBA). Throughout his career Randy has successfully identified and developed top talent in the industry. He enjoys mentoring and coaching and has been an instructor in real estate fundamentals at California State University, Northridge.
Dr. Alan L. Nager is Head of the Division of Emergency and Transport Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The Emergency Department treats 63,000 patients annually and is the only Level I Pediatric Trauma Center in southern California. In addition, he is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and has a Master of Health Administration degree from the University of Southern California.
Dr. Nager has lectured extensively on a variety of emergency medicine topics. His interests are in acute gastroenteritis and dehydration in children, urinary tract infections and injury prevention. He is frequently quoted in the media and has appeared on numerous television and radio segments, talking about injuries such as near drowning, motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, and falls. He is a member of several organizations dealing with health and injury prevention and was a consultant for the Los Angeles Poison Control Center for four years.
Maria Reyes is Youth Leadership Institute's Senior Director of Programs, Marin.
Mr. Searcy has a Master's degree in Management from the University of Redlands and a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University in Los Angeles. Prior to working at the Hope through Housing Foundation, Mr. Searcy served as the Manager of Human and Social Services for the City of Irvine, California. He has served on the Board of Directors of several organizations including serving as President of the Board of Directors of INFOLink Orange County and Board Vice President of Development for Women Helping Women in Costa Mesa. In his position at Hope Through Housing, Mr. Searcy has responsibility for program operations at over forty affordable housing developments throughout Southern California.
Richard has a commitment to personal growth, fitness and nutrition as he understands how important each of these components is to achieving a life of health and vitality. This commitment led to his founding LIFT for Teens/Levantate in 2008 when he recognized a lack of programs addressing these issues in local low-income communities. His mission is to utilize community resources to educate and motivate children and families to engage in healthy activities, specifically focusing on proper nutrition, gardening, physical activity, diabetes prevention and positive life choices. Richard is currently representing Marin County on the Bay Area Nutrition and Physical Activity Collaborative (BANPAC.org) Leadership Council to insure people of the Bay Area are physically active, eat healthy foods and live in communities where policies and environments promote life-long health.