(L to R): Trustees Ashley Kramer, Lisa Flashner, Cynthia Patton, and Kira Powell-Verica
Board of Trustees
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.
(L to R): Trustees Nina Jacobson and Joel Brand
(L to R): Trustees Christine Cho, Lisa Eisenpresser, and Grant Mitchell
(L to R): Trustees Lyle Poncher and John Friedman
(L to R): Trustees Glenda Martinez and Susan Olsen
(L to R): Trustees Marc Frankel and Chelsea Hadley
(L to R): Trustees Clare Bronowski and Lee Rosenbaum
Wildwood School’s Board of Trustees includes no fewer than 15 and no more than 25 individuals, serving for a term of three years. While most trustees serve for two terms, Wildwood School benefits from the multi-decade service of several trustees, including past Board chairs.
- Amy Ardell
- Joel Brand
- Clare Bronowski
- Christine Cho, MD, MPH, MEd
- Lisa Eisenpresser
- Lisa Flashner
- Marc Frankel
- John D. Friedman, MD
- Landis Green, Head of School
- Chelsea Hadley
- Andrew Horn
- Nina Jacobson
- Michael Kaplan
- Ashley Kramer
- Glenda Martinez
- Grant Mitchell
- Susan Olsen
- Elizabeth Parry
- Cynthia M. Patton
- Lyle Poncher
- Kira Arné Powell-Verica
- Lee Rosenbaum
- Andrew Solmssen
- Jim Stephenson
- Art Streiber
- Azizi Williams
Amy Ardell brings extensive experience in both K-12 and higher education to her role as trustee. After receiving her bachelor's degree in 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 an elementary school teacher in several California public schools. In 2006, Amy earned a 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 Attallah College of Educational Studies in 2010. Her scholarly work has been published in Literacy Research: Theory, Methods, Practice, Journal of Language and Literacy Education, Frontiers: Teacher Education, and the Journal of Literacy Research. Amy and her husband Jim are the parents of one current Wildwood student and one Class of 2021 graduate, now attending UCLA.
Joel Brand is the most recent past chair of the Board of Trustees. He is an investor and former communications consultant and journalist, bringing a broad range of experience in communications, public policy, political advocacy, and organizational development to the Board. As a journalist specializing in conflicts, Joel worked for leading national and international news organizations, including Newsweek, The Washington Post, and CNN, among others. Locally, Joel has served on the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations and is currently on the Men’s Leadership Council at for the Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center. Joel and Kristina Deutsch are the parents of two recent Wildwood School graduates of the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021.
Clare Bronowski is a land use attorney with Rand Paster & Nelson LLP. Her practice covers a wide range of real estate development areas, including environmental law, zoning, planning, and permitting for commercial, institutional, residential, and nonprofit clients. Clare has served on the Los Angeles County Beach Commission, the Baldwin Hills Conservancy, the City of Los Angeles Convention Center Commission, and the City of Los Angeles Civil Service Commission. She is a former governor of the Century City Bar Association, and a former board member for Alternative Living for the Aging, a senior affordable housing provider. Clare has served on the Wildwood School Building and Grounds Committee for many years and has assisted the school with land-use matters for both the elementary and middle and upper campus. Clare received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and law degree from UCLA. Clare and her husband, Jeff Lee, are the parents of two Wildwood “lifers” who graduated from Wildwood in 2012 and 2015.
Christine Cho is a pediatric emergency medicine physician at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Keck School of Medicine of USC. She is a director of the pediatric emergency medicine fellowship and the director of education for the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine. Her academic interests include mentorship, self-reflection/self-directed learning and how professionalism is taught and learned (also her research when she completed her Masters in Education). She received a B.S. in Biology from Yale University where she later also trained in pediatrics. She completed medical school and a masters in public health at Rutgers University-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and her pediatric emergency medicine fellowship at Children's Hospital Philadelphia. She and her husband Sean have two children enrolled at Wildwood (Class of '28 and ‘31).
Lisa Eisenpresser is a producer and entrepreneur. She recently produced the feature documentary, Chasing Childhood, about the unintended consequences of over-parenting, over-protecting and over-pressuring kids. She was President of Relativity Digital Studios and founded three companies: The Story Lab, a branded content division of global agency, Dentsu Aegis, SaysMe, a platform enabling individuals to run political ads on TV; and Sunshine Direct, a direct response TV venture for celebrity lifestyle brands. Lisa grew up in New York City and graduated from Brown University where she received a Ford Foundation Grant in Modern Culture and Media and now serves on the Brown Arts Advisory Council. She has two children enrolled at Wildwood.
Lisa Flashner is the president and chief operating officer of the Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine where she oversees financial and business operations, as well as personnel related matters, donor relations, and strategic planning. She received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Illinois and graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to her position at the Ellison Institute, 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. Lisa has two children who are recent Wildwood School graduates from the Class of 2017, now attending Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Los Angeles, and Class of 2020, now attending USC.
Marc Frankel is a senior consultant and partner in Triangle Associates, a governance and leadership consultancy focusing on independent and higher education worldwide. Marc holds a doctorate in psychology from Emory University, and his early career was in health care administration and clinical practice. The consulting side of Marc’s practice grew over time and, for the past 25 years, has been his exclusive area of work, focusing on strategy, governance, and leadership for independent and international schools. A non-Wildwood parent, Marc was drawn to Wildwood 15 years ago by its “proudly progressive” nature and its focus on creating graduates that make a difference. Marc is based in St. Louis, Mo., which has been his family’s home for more than 30 years.
John D. Friedman, MD is in the Imaging department at Cedars-Sinai Imaging Medical and performs Nuclear Medicine including PET, Cardiac CT and Cardiac MRI. An author of numerous papers in peer-reviewed publications, John is board certified in nuclear medicine and in internal medicine with a subspecialty in cardiovascular disease. A native of Los Angeles, John received his medical degree from USC and completed his internship, residencies, and fellowships at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. In addition to his service to Wildwood, John has 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.
Landis Green began his work in schools in 1991. Having previously led a public-private partnership school for 500 9-12 graders in Maine, Landis has served as Wildwood School’s head since 2007. Beginning in public schools as a middle school teacher in rural Pennsylvania, Landis then continued his career at Wilmington Friends School in Delaware, where he served in a succession of administrative roles. A first-generation college graduate, Landis earned his undergraduate degree at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and his graduate degree in education at the University of Pennsylvania. Landis has been a visiting head at the Klingenstein Center for Independent School Leadership at Columbia University, and has served on multiple independent school, regional, and national association boards. Most recently he served on the boards of The Heads Network, an association promoting women in leadership, and the California Association of Independent schools (CAIS), where he also served as chair of the board of directors.
Chelsea Hadley is director of The Shifting Foundation, a nonprofit grant-making organization that primarily supports artists who have distinguished themselves in the fields of visual art, music, and literature. Previously, she worked in nonprofit fundraising as director of major gifts at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) during the museum’s expansion and construction of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM) and the Resnick Pavilion. She was also West Coast director of development for People for the American Way, a progressive advocacy organization founded by Norman Lear. Chelsea began her career in the arts as the Los Angeles director of New York City-based Pace/MacGill Gallery, and she has worked with LA- and London-based fine art companies to produce specially commissioned editions with numerous artists, including Ed Ruscha, Chris Burden, and William Eggleston. She is active with LACMA’s Art Here and Now (AHAN), the Hammer Circle, and Reboot. Chelsea grew up in Washington, D.C., and received her bachelor’s degree from Vassar College. Chelsea and her husband, Justin Reinhardt, are the parents of one current Wildwood student in 11th grade and one recent Wildwood graduate from the Class of 2021 now attending Pitzer College.
Andrew Horn is the chief financial officer of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, where he has been the primary financial executive since 2001. Before joining the Academy, he was an auditor for PricewaterhouseCoopers and an officer in the U.S. Navy. Andy earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California. Andy and his wife, Heather, are the parents of one current Wildwood student and one recent Wildwood graduate from the Class of 2020 now attending the College of William and Mary.
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 founded her own production company, Color Force. Under the Color Force banner, Jacobson’s feature credits include The Hunger Games franchise, Crazy Rich Asians, and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Color Force has also produced television shows ranging from the groundbreaking Pose to The People V OJ Simpson: American Crime Story and The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, which received two Emmys and two Golden Globes. Color Force recently premiered Impeachment: American Crime Story and Y: The Last Man. Nina is active with The Jewish Federation, ReFrame (a joint venture between Women and Film and Sundance) and KCRW. Nina is a graduate of Brown University. She and her partner, Jen Bleakley, have three children, including one Wildwood graduate from the Class of 2019 who now also attends Brown University.
Michael Kaplan is a partner of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, focusing on advising private equity firms and their portfolio companies in mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings and general corporate matters. He is dedicated to serving his community, having provided pro bono legal services to Bright Star Schools, a nonprofit operator of charter schools serving underprivileged communities in Los Angeles, the Etta Israel Center, a charity for youth and adults with special needs, and veterans and local small businesses in partnership with Levitt Quinn and Public Counsel Law Center. Mike received a B.A., cum laude, from Yale University and a J.D., cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Mike and his wife, Dena, have two children, including one current Wildwood student.
Ashley Kramer spent more than 14 years in the film industry as a studio executive at 20th Century Fox, a producer at Pandemonium Films, and as head of production and development for Illumination Entertainment. Ashley grew up in Houston, TX and earned both a bachelor’s degree and BFA from Southern Methodist University. She attended the Peter Stark Motion Picture Producing Program at the University of Southern California, where she earned a Master of Fine Arts. Ashley and her husband, David, are parents to one current Wildwood student and one recent Wildwood graduate from the Class of 2019 now attending Washington University in St. Louis.
Glenda Martinez is assistant general counsel of Fox Rothschild LLP. Previously, she was senior vice president and associate general counsel of Univision Communications Inc. Before joining Univision in 1995, Glenda was an associate at the law firm of Morrison and Foerster. Glenda served as a commissioner in the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission from 2006 to 2013 and held the positions of president and vice president. She has also served on several nonprofit boards, including Upward Bound House, where she holds the position of vice president, and the National Hispanic Media Coalition, where she serves as secretary. Glenda graduated cum laude from Yale University, and earned her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. Glenda and her husband, Rubencio Quintana, have two children, including one recent Wildwood graduate of the Class of 2021 now attending Wellesley College.
Grant Mitchell oversees a portfolio of hotels, commercial real estate, and real estate development, among other assets, as president of a closely held family corporation. Grant and his wife, Tiziana, are active investors in Los Angeles commercial real estate. Previously, Grant enjoyed a career in film and television that spanned feature, documentary, and commercial production. He currently serves on the Board of Managers of Bald Head Island Limited, a North Carolina real estate development company, and as a board member 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.
Susan Olsen is an educator with extensive and diverse classroom experience. She graduated with honors in English from Kenyon College, and earned dual master’s degrees from Harvard University in theology and in education administration, planning, and social policy. At Harvard Divinity School, she also completed the program in Religion and Secondary Education. Susan taught English at the Newtown Friends School in Pennsylvania and Baltimore City College High School before joining the faculty at Brentwood School in Los Angeles in 1999. There, she served as the chair of the English department and founded a free, after-school English as a Second Language program for adult kitchen and custodial staff. Since 2019, Susan has been an adjunct member of the English department at Santa Monica College, where she regularly teaches a course in college-level reading. Susan and her husband, Keith, have three sons at Wildwood.
Elizabeth Parry is a native of Boston, Massachusetts, and holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Architecture from Rice University. Simultaneous to finishing school, she co-founded an architecture consulting firm based in New York City growing it to seventeen employees before selling her stake. Upon moving to Los Angeles, Elizabeth used her organizational and leadership skills volunteering full time for Habitat for Humanity working on houses from design to dedication including project managing a residence in Maxine Water’s district to qualify for the Houses That Congress Built program. Elizabeth’s volunteer work also includes serving on the board of her homeowners’ association and secretary for a grass roots community group dedicated to preserving the Santa Monica Mountains’ environmental habitats, zoning structure and preservation in the City’s General Plan. Elizabeth has served on the Board of Trustees for Westland School, was the first chair of its Development Committee, served on the board’s Finance Committee as well as its Campus Improvement Committee. In addition, she served on and chaired Westland parent committees such as Outreach, Parent Education, and Buildings and Grounds. Recently, Elizabeth served on Wildwood’s Capital Campaign Committee and currently serves on the Advancement Committee. She is a parent of two Wildwood students.
Cynthia M. Patton currently serves as general counsel at Verily Life Sciences. Prior to Verily, she spent 15 years at Amgen where she held numerous positions, including senior vice president and chief compliance officer for Amgen’s global privacy, trade and healthcare compliance organizations. Before joining Amgen, she spent seven years as general counsel of SCAN Health Plan. Cynthia began her legal career working for healthcare law firms in Atlanta and Los Angeles specializing in healthcare, corporate and securities law. Cynthia also serves on the boards of The Music Center, Vassar College, Organon and Martin Luther King Hospital. Cynthia is a graduate of Vassar College and George Washington University Law School. Cynthia and her husband, Patrick Robison, have two children; their daughter Sarah, an alumna of the Wildwood Class of 2014, is a graduate of Barnard College.
Lyle Poncher is the co-founder of Voyager Management, a financial services company that invests in hedge funds for its clients. Lyle joined the Wildwood School Board of Trustees in 1991, and served as Board Chair from 1995 until 2001. During Lyle's tenure, the Board founded Wildwood's middle and upper school. Lyle received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley. His two children Zach ‘11 and Amy ‘97 are Wildwood alumni.
Kira A. Powell-Verica is a writer, Child Defender fellow and founder of The Wonder Syndicate, a digital hub with a focus on purposed content in television and interactive media for young people.
She consults with community-based organizations and entertainment and media professionals, expanding their business interests to include constructive programming to enrich and empower youth through arts, equity, and social innovation. She is the former Artistic Director of Talking Drum, a theater company focused on emerging and diverse playwrights with site-specific theater and grassroots arts youth programs in New York City. Kira began her career as a playwright in New York and continued as a television writer in Los Angeles. She is a former child model, with Ford and IMG Models, and an actress in TV, film and stage for over twenty years.
Her longstanding community involvement includes her current role as Chapter Vice President for the San Fernando Valley Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., and a longtime leader in Girl Scouts of America. Additionally, she serves as a member of the Executive Council of Children’s Defense Fund-CA. Kira and her husband, Tom Verica, have two children enrolled at Wildwood.
Lee Rosenbaum joined the Wildwood School Board of Trustees in 2004. During his long tenure, he has served as Board Chair (2007-2010), and on nearly every board committee over the past 17 years. Prior to his Board service, Lee co-chaired the Annual Giving campaign and was a Wildwood School Annual Fund volunteer. Lee has had a varied career in the entertainment business, working in film studio business affairs departments, in private legal practice, and as a co-founder and co-owner of a succession of talent representation companies. Lee graduated with distinction from Stanford University and earned a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. He and his wife, Corinna Cotsen, are parents of three Wildwood School alumni: Chiara '11, Emmett '13, and Anthea '16.
Andrew Solmssen, currently serving as Board Chair, is the President of California for Wunderman Thompson, WPP’s largest advertising agency. In 1999, he co-founded Schematic, where he grew the company from three people to one of the world’s top digital agencies, winning several Emmys and industry awards. Andrew’s community involvement includes serving as an advisor and board member for several companies and he has also served on the Men’s Advisory Council of the Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center. He received his bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College. Andrew and his wife, Bonnie, have twin sons in Wildwood’s Class of 2024.
Jim Stephenson is a managing director and portfolio manager at Nuveen Investments. He has worked in investment management for 30 years and now manages global and international equity strategies. Jim also volunteers and coaches for the Little League District 25 Girls Softball program. He grew up outside of Milwaukee, Wisc., and received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Jim and his wife, Diana Kaufman, are the parents of one current Wildwood student and one Wildwood Class of 2020 graduate.
Art Streiber is an award-winning, Los Angeles-based photographer specializing in portrait, reportage, entertainment, and advertising photography. His clients include major national magazines, television broadcast and cable networks, and motion picture studios. In 2008 he was presented with the Pacific Design Center’s Stars of Design Award and in 2019 he was the first recipient of the Joseph Stieglitz Award from the Los Angele Center of Photography. Art is a Stanford Associate, a recognition for alumni volunteers who go “above and beyond” in service to Stanford University. Art and his wife, Glynis Costin, have two daughters who attended Wildwood, Siena ’14, Stanford University ‘18, and Kayla ’17, Barnard College ‘21.
Azizi Williams attended the University of California, Berkeley for undergrad as a California Youth Leadership Scholar. At Berkeley, Azizi earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology while working as a teacher at the Harold E. Jones Child Study Center.
In 2004, Azizi returned to Southern California where she taught elementary school for two years before becoming assistant head of school at Sequoyah School in Pasadena, California in 2006. As assistant head of school, Azizi oversaw admissions, curriculum development, student support, and diversity equity and inclusion. She helped the school transition from a K-8 to a K-12 institution. Azizi received a Master of Arts in educational leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University in May 2017 and in 2020 was hired to be the Head of School at Children’s Community School- only the second person to lead the school in its 40 year history. Azizi actively participates in the community beyond her own campus: she’s a trustee for The Alliance for Minority Affairs and for Southern California People of Color in Independent Schools and was a co-founder of Women in Leadership Circle in Independent Schools.