Board of Trustees
Independent school boards are "trustees" of the organization, which differs from the more familiar board of "directors" that's common in the corporate world. Focused on governance instead of operations, independent school trustees are the stewards of the school’s mission and are fiduciaries charged with long-range strategic planning. They hold the school "in trust" for future generations. To read more about the role of school boards in independent schools, click here.
Wildwood School Board of Trustees 2016-2017
Amy Ardell has extensive experience in education as a teacher in K-12 and higher education. After receiving her BA degree in Latin American history at UCLA, she began her teaching career as a high school Spanish teacher in Japan. A master's degree in education from UCLA followed, after which she transitioned to work as a bilingual elementary school teacher in Salinas, Saratoga, and Santa Monica, California public schools. In 2006 Amy earned her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education in Language, Literacy, and Learning. Amy joined the faculty at Chapman University in the Teacher Education department in 2010, and is a clinical faculty member. Her scholarly work has been published in Teaching Education, Urban Education, The Reading Teacher, and the Journal of Literacy Research. Amy and her husband Jim have two children enrolled at Wildwood.
Joel Brand is an investor, communications consultant, and a former journalist. He brings a broad range of experience in communications, public policy, political advocacy, and organizational development. He has consulted for organizations in the U.S. and overseas. As a journalist specializing in conflicts, Joel worked for leading national and international news organizations, including Newsweek, The Washington Post, and as an on-camera reporter for CNN, among others. Locally, Joel has served on the boards of a number of nonprofit organizations and currently serves on an advisory board for the Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, Joel and his wife Kristina Deutsch have two children enrolled at Wildwood.
Lisa Eisenpresser is an entrepreneur and producer currently overseeing programming of L/Studio, a premium storytelling platform created by Lexus. Most recently, Lisa was President of Relativity Digital Studios which produced episodic series and feature films. Lisa was also a founder of three companies: The Story Lab, a division of global agency, Dentsu Aegis, which produced award winning content to help brands engage their consumers; SaysMe, backed by Intel Capital and partnered with Comcast Cable, which was an advertising platform enabling individuals to create and run their own political ads on TV; and Sunshine Direct, a full–service direct response TV venture. Lisa grew up in New York and graduated from Brown University where she received a Ford Foundation Grant in Modern Culture and Media. Lisa and her wife Angela Courtin have two children enrolled at Wildwood.
Lisa Flashner is the chair of the Board of Trustees. Lisa is the Chief Operating Officer of the Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine at USC, the USC Center for Applied Molecular Medicine (CAMM), and the USC Westside Cancer Center (WCC). First joining USC in 2009, she has put her leadership skills to work to pursue her passion for making a difference in healthcare. Lisa oversees the financial and business operations of the group as well as personnel related matters, donor relations, and strategic planning. She received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Illinois, a law degree magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center, and is a certified public accountant. Prior to joining USC, she was a partner at New World Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on investments in early stage technology companies. She joined New World from the investment banking group at Robert W. Baird & Co., where she was a lead banker in the information technology and telecommunications industry. Prior to her work in investment banking, Lisa practiced corporate law and was a tax accountant at Arthur Anderson & Co.
Peter Frankfurt serves as creative director and managing partner of Imaginary Forces, the communications, entertainment, and design firm he co-founded in 1996. As a filmmaker, Peter has produced several movies. His work is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art and has been honored by numerous organizations, including The British Design and Art Directors Club, The New York Art Directors Club, The Clios, The Association of Graphic Artists, and The Association of Independent Commercial Producers. Peter and his wife Liseanne have one daughter at Wildwood, and a son, Sacha, a graduate of the Wildwood class of '16.
John D. Friedman, MD is the Chief of Outpatient Cardiac Imaging at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. John is board certified in nuclear medicine and in internal medicine with a subspecialty in cardiovascular disease. He has written or co-written numerous papers for peer-reviewed publications and has presented lectures, both locally and nationally. A native of Los Angeles, John received his medical degree from USC and completed his internship, residencies, and fellowships at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. John served on the board of the Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles. He and his wife Jeannie Gold are parents of three Wildwood alumni, Sam '96, Julie '05, and Charlotte '07.
Nina Jacobson is a senior film executive and producer whose career includes stints at DreamWorks, Universal, and Disney, where she served as President of Walt Disney Motion Picture Group. As an executive, she shepherded The Sixth Sense, Remember the Titans, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and Pirates of the Caribbean. In 2007, Jacobson formed her own production company, Color Force. Under the new Color Force banner, Jacobson produced Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and The Hunger Games films, among others. Nina is active with Teen Line, Feminist Majority Foundation, and Inner City Filmmakers. Nina is a graduate of Brown University. She and her partner, Jen Bleakley, have two children at Wildwood.
Ashley Kramer spent 14+ years in the film industry as a studio executive at 20th Century Fox, a producer at Pandemonium Films, and most recently as head of production and development for Illumination Entertainment, the company behind Despicable Me and The Lorax. Ashley grew up in Houston, TX and earned B.A. and B.F.A. degrees from Southern Methodist University. She attended USC’s Peter Stark Motion Picture Producing Program where she earned an MFA degree. Ashley and her husband David have two children enrolled at Wildwood.
Shawn Levy developed a love of both literature and theater as a teenager, pursuits he further explored while an undergraduate at Yale University. Shawn graduated from Yale at the age of 20 and went on to study film at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He is a prolific director and producer whose film and television credits include the Night at the Museum franchise, Arrival, and Stranger Things. Shawn and his wife Serena have three daughters at Wildwood.
Grant Mitchell and his wife Tiziana, own and operate Aesthesia Studios, a commercial photography and video production facility located in West Los Angeles. As president of a closely held family corporation, Grant also oversees a portfolio of hotels, commercial real estate, and real estate development among other assets. In his life before children, Grant enjoyed a career in film and TV production that spanned feature, documentary, and commercial production. He serves on the Board of Managers of Bald Head Island Limited, a North Carolina real estate development company and as board chair of the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation. Grant graduated from the University of Texas, Austin, and later completed a directing fellowship at the American Film Institute. Grant and Tiziana have two children at Wildwood.
David (Doc) O'Connor is president and chief executive officer of The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG). In this role, he is responsible for the company's overall strategic vision, and for the advancement of its sports, media, and entertainment businesses. Prior to joining MSG, Doc was a partner and managing director of Creative Artists Agency (CAA). He is on the Board of Trustees for The Environmental Defense Fund, a member of the Advisory Council of The Climate Group, a founder and board member of Californians for Stem Cell Research, and a board member of the California Research and Cures Coalition. David and his wife, Lona Williams, have two children at Wildwood.
Sanford Panitch is currently President of Columbia Pictures. Sanford has served as a visiting adjunct professor at Tulane University in New Orleans teaching creative writing and is a member of the Tulane’s Dean’s Advisory Council. Sanford and his wife Kristen have one child at Wildwood, and a daughter, Georgia at Oberlin College, who is an alumna of the Wildwood Class of '16.
Cynthia M. Patton serves as senior vice president and chief compliance officer at Amgen where she is responsible for Amgen’s Worldwide Compliance & Business Ethics Program. Cynthia joined Amgen in 2005, and has held responsibilities for commercial legal activities in the U.S., and served as the lead commercial lawyer for the oncology and inflammation business units. Prior to Amgen, Cynthia spent seven years as general counsel of SCAN Health Plan. She began her legal career in 1986, and has worked at law firms specializing in health-care corporate and securities law. Cynthia is a Board member of the Eisner Pediatric & Family Medical Center. She received her juris doctor from George Washington University and her bachelor’s degree from Vassar College. Cynthia and her husband Patrick Robison have two children; their daughter Sarah is an alumna of the Wildwood Class of '14.
Lee Rosenbaum, serving his 11th year as a Trustee, was a Wildwood parent for 18 school years and 37 parent-years. Lee has served as Board president and before that as co-chair of the Board’s Development Committee. He has served on almost every committee of the Board. Prior to his Board service, he co-chaired the Annual Giving campaign and was an Annual Fund volunteer for several years. Lee is a co-founder of Equitable Stewardship for Artists, LLC, representing writers and directors in the television and motion picture industry. Lee received an A.B. with Distinction from Stanford University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He and his wife, Corinna Cotsen, are parents of Chiara '11, Emmett '13, and Anthea '16.
Andrew Solmssen is managing director of POSSIBLE, WPP’s largest digital agency. In 1999, he co-founded Schematic where his work won three Emmys, among other awards. He grew the company from three people to one of the world’s top digital agencies. Andrew also served on the Men’s Advisory Council of the Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center and is an advisor and board member for several companies. He received his bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College. Andrew and his wife Bonnie have two children enrolled at Wildwood.
Diana (Kaufman) Stephenson is the Wildwood Parent Organization (WWPO) Board of Trustees Liaison. She spent 15 years in the ﬁlm industry, including several years as a postproduction supervisor at New Line Cinema working on ﬁlms such as Austin Powers, American History X, and Rush Hour. She has served each year as a room parent and is an active volunteer. Diana has co-chaired Dinner for 12 Strangers, and in 2014-15 helped introduce WWPO’s Apps for 50 community event. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in radio, television, and ﬁlm from the University of Texas-Austin. Diana and her husband Jim Stephenson have two children enrolled at Wildwood.
Art Streiber is a Los Angeles-based freelance photographer specializing in portrait, reportage, entertainment, and advertising photography. Editorial clients include Vanity Fair, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, Wired, Fortune, Time, ESPN, and The New York Times Magazine. In 2005, Art was included in American Photo magazine’s list of The 100 Most Important People in Photography and in 2008 he was presented with the Pacific Design Center’s Stars of Design Award for Photography. Art served as co-bureau chief for Fairchild Publications in Milan, where he contributed to Women’s Wear Daily, W magazine, and M magazine. He currently serves on the Board of the Los Angeles Center of Photography and the PhotoPlus Expo Advisory Board. Art is a Stanford Associate, a recognition for alumni volunteers who go “above and beyond” in service to Stanford. Art and his wife Glynis Costin have a senior enrolled at Wildwood. Their daughter Siena is an alumna of Wildwood’s Class of '14 and is currently a Junior at Stanford.
Paige Tolmach is knowledgeable about environmental toxins and their effects on children. When their son developed a severe case of eczema soon after he was born and they were unable to ﬁnd relief or answers in traditional treatments, Paige began looking for environmental causes. After making dramatic lifestyle changes by ridding their home and medicine cabinet of environmental toxins, their son recovered. Determined to help other parents and children avoid what her family had gone through, Paige founded The Little Seed in 2007, a one-stop eco-conscious store in Los Angeles that helps raise awareness about the dangers of toxic chemicals in our homes. In 2009, The Little Seed helped Seventh Generation launch its Million Baby Crawl, which demanded that Congress change federal laws to keep toxic chemicals out of our homes. In 2010, Paige and her business partner collaborated with Target to bring The Little Seed’s eco-sensibility and eco-awareness to the public. Paige and her husband Matt have a child enrolled at Wildwood.