Trinity St Elem CJC Emerald's Class of 2014 with Soroptimist volunteers

Board Members

Board of Directors

Jane Phillips-Founder and Chair
Tom Cajka-Treasurer
Cheryl Abel-Secretary
Karen Block
Kim Evans – COMING SOON

Marketing and Communications Director

Janine Robinson

Advisory Board

Fritz Coleman, Media
Sally Lieberman
Miriam Paige
MaryGene Slaven
Captain Ann Young
Mai Lee

Board Member Biographies

Jane Phillips, Founder & President


Jane Phillips is an Emmy Award winning Television News Editor and Engineer. She has worked at NBC4 in Los Angeles for 26 years and has worked in television for 34 years. Although Television News is a lifelong devotion for Jane, her real passion is charitable work, especially the Crown Jewel Club which she founded in 2005. Dedicated to her goal of introducing manners, civility and social skills to underprivileged girls, (in a fun, playful and enjoyable atmosphere,) Jane considers the Crown Jewel Club to be a major success in the non-profit world.

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Thomas Cajka, Treasurer

Thomas Cajka has a Bachelor of Science Degree with a major in Accounting from San Diego State University. He became a Certified Public Accountant-California in 1980. He is a partner with the business management firm of Ogulnick Levanthal & Cajka LLP. The firm represents and works with individuals and companies in the entertainment fields. In addition, he is the treasurer and is a board member of Tools for Intervention and Purposeful Strategies Foundation, a non-profit organization working with learning impaired children. Previously, Cajka has worked as a consult and has sat on the board of Kelsey-Jenney Business College, a non-profit college in San Diego, CA. He was also on the board of directors of La Jolla Diagnostics, Inc., a publicly traded neutraceutical company and DiagnosTech, Inc., a privately held diagnostic company for a period of seven years.

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Cheryl Abel, Secretary

Cheryl Abel has a Bachelor of Arts in French from the University of California, Berkeley. She has extensive experience in volunteering during her 18 years of service to the Manhattan Beach Unified School District. She was President of the Parent Teacher Association at the elementary level for 3 years and President at the high school level for 2 years, overseeing 25 committees, hundreds of volunteers and a budget of over $250,000.00. She has been the chairman of numerous committees and programs from the arts to academic decathlons and has spent countless hours working with students from the elementary level to the high school level. She was an area coordinator for the school district in its passage of back-to-back school bond measures. She lobbied for educational reform on numerous trips to Sacramento, meeting with many people including the Secretary of Education, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, as well as Gov. Gray Davis. She has been a member of Soroptimist International Manhattan Beach since 2003 and is actively involved with the organization’s strong commitment to improving the lives of women and girls locally and around the world. Cheryl has been married for 27 years and has a daughter and a son, 24 and 19 years old, respectively.

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Karen Block, Board Member

Karen Block has a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a double major in Spanish and Latin American Studies from Union College, Schenectady, NY.  While in college Karen was President of her sorority, Gamme Phi Beta, as well as a member of the Spanish Honor Society, and graduated with Honors and Cum Laude.  She was President of Soroptimist International of Manhattan Beach from 2009-2011, as well as chair for one of Soroptimist’s major fundraisers for the past 4 years.  She currently serves in an advisory capacity for Soroptimist as Immediate-Past President.  Karen also holds the position of Volunteer Coordinator for the Crown Jewel Club and recently became a board member.

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Mai Lee, Advisory Board Member

Mai Lee is currently working as a Volunteer Program Manager at The Midnight Mission in Skid Row downtown Los Angeles. The Midnight Mission is one of the oldest organizations and offers a myriad of services. The objective is to work with homeless individuals and families to help remove obstacles to self-sufficiency, while ensuring that immediate needs like food, shelter, and clothing are met. The Midnight Mission operates a drug and alcohol recovery program that offers a bridge to self-sufficiency through counseling, education, job training and placement.

Before the Midnight Mission, Mai spent ten years working as a software consultant and is now in the non-profit sector.

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Fritz Coleman, Media, Advisory Board

Fritz Coleman is NBC4’s weathercaster on the weekday editions of “Channel 4 News,” airing at 5, 6 and 11 p.m. A Southern California broadcasting icon, Coleman is well known for his sense of humor and extensive knowledge of weather. He joined NBC4 in February 1982, as the weekend weathercaster, and moved up to Coleman has been named “Best Weathercaster” in nearly every major paper in Southern California, Coleman devotes much of his free time to charitable activities and frequently organizes evenings of entertainment for local service and civic organizations, as well as serving as master of ceremonies for dozens of Southern California community events. He has won a number of awards and honors for his dedication to community service. The City of Los Angeles named Coleman a “Treasure of Los Angeles” in 1999, and the United States House of Representatives gave him the Humanitarian of the Year Award for his fundraising efforts on behalf of the American Red Cross.

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Sally Lieberman, Advisory Board

Ms Lieberman has twelve years experience with Los Angeles Unified School District as the School Counselor at Trinity Street Elementary School in South Central Los Angeles. She works in a multicultural environment supporting students.
parents, staff, and community agencies in a successful effort to create a better world for children.  Sally is the 2006 recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award for Central Los Angeles and the 2005 Coordinator of the Year In Education from Junior Achievement Worldwide. In 2005, she received an Honorary Commission as the Educational Leader and Mentor from the Congressional Youth Leadership Council and she also received the Best Team Leader Award from Los Angeles Pacesetters Leadership Dynamics.

Sally is a Board member of the School Counseling Department at the University of Southern California and a Board member of the Crown Jewel Club.

Sally has a Masters Degree in School Counseling. She has a California Pupil Personal Services Credential and a California Child Welfare and Attendance Credential.

Sally has been married for ten years and has 2 daughters.

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Miriam Paige, Advisory Board

Miriam Paige began as a banker, working as a coordinator between clients, which were the various arms of the banking business and the support groups inside and outside of the business (Information Technology groups and Technical Software/Hardware vendors). After moving to California, she returned to graduate school to become an interior designer. Not so different when you think of it….still coordinating needs and the people necessary to fulfill those needs.

In working with the Crown Jewel Club, Miriam hopes not only to help the young ladies visualize some of the more beautiful things in their future, she also hopes to impart some of the skills required to work with others. She believes that learning how to coordinate and even negotiate with others, in a pleasant manner, will be of value to the young ladies in school and throughout their life.

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Mary-Gene Slaven, Advisory Board

Mary-Gene Slaven has worked in the securities and investment management industry for over 38 years. In 1982 she co-founded NWQ Investment Management Company, an institutional investment management firm whose clients are predominantly large corporate pension and profit sharing plans. The firm was purchased and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Nuveen Investments, Inc. in 2002 and Mary-Gene retired from full-time participation in the firm in 2007.

Mary-Gene has been involved in the financial side of multiple real estate development projects in the South Bay since 1997. She was born and raised in Southern California and has lived in Manhattan and Hermosa Beach for over 35 years. Mary-Gene has two children and a granddaughter all living in Manhattan Beach.

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Captain Ann Young, Advisory Board

Captain Ann E Young is in her 28th year of service with the Los Angeles Police Department. Captain Young was appointed to the Department in June of 1981, She was promoted to the rank of Detective in July 1988. As a detective. she worked 77th Area. Juvenile Division (Abused Child Unit), Robbery Homicide Division (Rape Special Section). and Internal Affairs. Captain Young was promoted to the rank of’ Sergeant in 1991. During that assignment, she was assigned as a field supervisor in Central Area. She transferred to South Traffic Division. She was promoted to Sergeant II in 1994. She was assigned to Tactical Planning Division in charge of Special Events. Captain Young promoted to Lieutenant in July of 1995; her assignments included Hollywood Area, Pacific Area, and Transit Group. She was promoted 10 Lieutenant in March of 1999 and was assigned to Van Nuys Operations Support Division. In April 2000. she was promoted to the rank of Captain I within the Los Angeles Police Department. In February 2002, Captain Young was promoted to Captain lL and was assigned South Traffic Division. Since October 2004, she has been assigned to Central Traffic Division.

Captain Young earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology at the University of Calinforia, Los Angeles (UCLA). She earned a teaching credential form teh University of California, Irvine. Captain Young has earned a Master’s degree in education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).

Captain Young is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigrations National Academy of Law Enforcement in Quantico, Virginia, in 1998, Class 1995. Captain Young is also a graduate of West Point Leadership and Supervisory Leadership Institutes.

Outside the Police Department, Captain Young plays an active rol in a number of civic, business, and professional organizations some of which include, National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives, Los Angeles Women Police Officers Association, Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy Associates, Oscar Joel Bryant Assocation, Women in Business.

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Janine Robinson, Marketing and Communications Director

Janine has recently located to Los Angeles from Cambridge, MA with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Wesleyan University. Having spent nine years at IBM as a communications professional in Analyst Relations, she has shifted her marcom experience to a passion for non-profits. Janine has specialized expertise in new media marketing with a focus on social media and web content management. Her dedication includes increasing online presence  for Children Uniting Nations and the Los Angeles Urban League, and she is a Board Member for Women Empowered. Additionally, Janine uses her creative talents as Owner and Designer of Kai Expressions, a handcrafted jewelry entrepreneurship.

As Marketing and Communications Director for Crown Jewel Club, Janine oversees e-newsletters and other aspects of the web & social media for the organization.

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