Learn More About Our Team

CCEF Board of Directors

Elaine Behnken, President

Elaine Strom Behnken has been a member of CCEF since 2016, and currently serves as its President. She is deeply committed to CCUSD as a former President of Culver City High School’s AVPA Foundation and founding member of Friends of the Frost, a grassroots group of parents who helped to spearhead the renovation of the Robert Frost Auditorium. Elaine and her husband Howard’s commitment culminated in their serving as Masters of Ceremony for the Robert Frost Grand Reopening Gala.

Elaine has been working in the entertainment industry for over 30 years. She started as a casting associate and producer’s assistant at Aaron Spelling Productions working on such iconic shows as The Love Boat, Hotel, Dynasty, and the Danielle Steel Novels for Television. This led to the world of film production and eventually commercials where she is an Executive Producer, producing for National Brands.

In her spare time, Elaine volunteers as special advisory to Shared Harvest Fund and COVIDMD.org where she is loving known as Mama. Elaine is a Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Southern California with a double major in Theatre and English. Most important, she is a proud parent of a CCUSD alumus.

Guillermina Molina, Vice-President

Guillermina Molina currently serves as Sr. Associate Dean of External Relations at the UCLA Anderson School of Management where she oversees development and alumni relations (42,000 alums).  Previous to her role at Anderson, Guille worked at the USC Marshall School of Business where she served in roles of increasing responsibility over a career that spanned nearly 20 years.  She has experience working in all areas of advancement from major gifts to annual fund, parent giving, donor services and stewardship and corporate relations.  She also oversaw the Marshall Alumni Association and its 90,000 alumni.  She spent 11 years serving as director of the school’s undergraduate program which supported 4,000 business students.

Before joining the staff at USC Marshall, she was a change management consultant at Accenture and also worked as a consultant and project manager at Sony Pictures Entertainment and The Game Show Network. Guillermina earned a bachelor's degree with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master's degree from USC. An avid traveler, she has visited six continents and 60 countries.

She and her husband, John, have been donors to CCEF since 2015 and have a daughter in seventh grade at Culver City Middle School.

Joanne Nazarian, Treasurer

Joanne Nazarian graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a Masters in Business Administration and worked for 25-years as a professional fundraiser and certified specialist in planned giving, building relationships with major donors all over the western United States for various colleges and universities.  She has many years of Board experience in various capacities: treasurer, auditor, financial secretary, recording secretary and VP. Joanne was previously the Chair of the School Site Councils at both La Ballona Elementary School and Culver City Middle School. She is currently working as the Strong Workforce Program Coordinator for the Santa Monica Community College District and helps with administrative duties for the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts at Culver City High School.  In her spare time, Joanne enjoys fostering neonatal kittens for the local animal shelter, reading, singing and outdoor activities.

Beth Stewart, Secretary

Beth is a management consultant who has previously held executive roles within the entertainment industry, including Sony Pictures Entertainment and Technicolor.  As a business and strategic solutions executive, Beth has years of experience in enterprise system design, global distribution and sales and operations planning.  Her focus is helping organizations integrate commercial, financial, operational, and technical disciplines to develop market growth results.  Beth holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater, Television and Film from UCLA and a Masters in Business Administration from Pepperdine University.  She and her husband Dave have two sons who are CCUSD alumni.  Beth joined the CCEF board in 2014.

James Harris, Parliamentarian

James Harris is the parent of two sons who both attended Culver City schools K-12 (CCHS ’09 and ’14). He currently serves as Parliamentarian of the CCEF Board. He also serves as an alternate member of the CCUSD Citizens Budget Advisory Committee (CBAC). He served on the board of directors of the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (AVPA) Foundation for six years, including two years as President. He has also served as vice chair of the Proposition EE (Parcel Tax) Oversight Committee. He served on the board of directors of the Culver City National Little League for three years and coached youth baseball teams for eight years. Jim worked as a daily newspaper reporter for eight years before  starting a career in corporate public relations. He later served as Director of Public Relations for CIGNA Healthcare of California. He retired from the corporate world in 2018. He currently serves as a contributing editor for the History News Network. He holds a B.A. from the University of San Francisco and a M.S. in Mass Communications from San Jose State University.

Allison Faris

Allison Faris has been a Culver City resident for the last 17 years. Her two kids are now in 8th and 11th grade and are both La Ballona Alums. She is a dedicated PTA volunteer, serving as recording secretary, corresponding secretary and auditor in several PTAs. She is an engineer by training (BS, MS, PhD from UC Berkeley, MBA from UCLA) and currently works at a cancer immunotherapy company managing business operations at a commercial manufacturing facility. In her spare time, he enjoys traveling, watching funny movies and trying new restaurants.

Sanjay Gaur

Sanjay Gaur has more than 25 years of financial and rate consulting experience with water and wastewater utilities and has served as a consultant to more than 100 agencies in Arizona, California, Nevada and the Caribbean. Sanjay was a Peace Corps volunteer in Bulgaria. He holds a master’s degree in Applied Economics from UC Santa Cruz and a Masters in Public Administration - International Development from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.  He and his wife, Tatiana, have lived in Culver City for over 14 years and have two children, a Junior at the High School and 8th grader at the middle school. Both have attended Culver City Schools since kindergarten and have benefited from the activities associated with CCEF. Sanjay grew up in Santa Monica. 

Angela Gray

Angela Gray has been part of the Culver City Unified School District family since August 1998 in various positions with the district's Office Of Child Development Program, and currently as a preschool teacher at La Ballona Elementary.

Angela earned a  Masters of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences from the California State University at Northridge, and holds a Program Director Permit issued by the California Department of Education.

She is a mother of three gentlemen, all graduates of CCUSD schools. Angela is deeply involved in the community as an active member of Culver City Unified School District’s Equity Advisory Council (EAC), which helps inform action steps across our schools to ensure the safety of all, in an equitable manner. I am also a member of the Los Angeles County Child Care Planning Committee.  She has been a Professional Growth Advisor since 2014, assisting early childhood educators in renewing their permits, issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, by developing a plan of action. In her spare time, Angela enjoys spending time with my family and friends, reading, gardening, cooking, traveling, and taking brisk walks.

Dr. James M. Limbaugh

Dr. James Limbaugh currently serves as the ninth President of West Los Angeles College, a position he has held since October 2016.  During his tenure, the College’s academic program has grown to include a bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene—the most successful community college bachelor’s degree in the State—and the only climate change studies program in a California community college.  Since Dr. Limbaugh’s arrival, WLAC has added two buildings (the Technology Learning Center and the Watson Center for film/tv production) and is currently in the planning stages for a new library and student union, an edifice which will transform the campus.  Of note is the College’s securing of a $5 million, multi-year appropriation to establish the California Center for Climate Change Education, designed specifically to provide curriculum development, community outreach, and programmatic opportunities related to climate change education.  In addition, the Center will host a workforce development Center.  Dr. Limbaugh holds a Ph. D. in educational leadership from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Felicity Vabulas

Dr. Felicity Vabulas is an Associate Professor of International Studies at Pepperdine University where she teaches and researches international organizations and foreign policy. She brings a wealth of relevant knowledge from her experiences in higher education including innovative practices through hands-on learning. As a parent of two elementary-aged students at La Ballona, Felicity is a passionate advocate for both arts and STEM-related programming. She serves on the La Ballona PTA’s auction committee, after-school enrichment committee, and School Site Council. She is energetic about bringing ideas to our district that create enrichment opportunities for every student at every school in an equitable fashion. Her educational experiences in Australia, Chicago, Japan, and England have exposed Felicity to out-of-the-box thinking that she wants to apply in CCUSD. In her free time, Felicity enjoys all things outdoors—running, camping, hiking, and taking photos during all of her travel adventures.  

Kelley Wilcox

Kelley Wilcox has been a teacher at Culver City Middle School for over 35 years. A proud product of CCUSD herself, she has lived in Culver City since 1968. Kelley’s children attended CCUSD. Her daughter is a teacher and her son is a graduate student at LSU. In addition to teaching in the classroom, she is the District Induction Co-coordinator and  also a mentor and support provider for new teachers. She earned a B. A. in Business Education and California credentials in Business Education and Mathematics from CSU Northridge and a M.A. in Technology in Education from CSU Dominguez Hills. She joined the CCEF board in 2017.

CCEF Staff

Wendy Hamill, Executive Director

Wendy Hamill is honored and proud to serve as Executive Director of the Culver City Education Foundation, helping to create exceptional learning opportunities for Culver City students. Before taking the role of Executive Director, she served on the CCEF board of directors for nine years. Wendy is passionate about raising funding to support school programs in music, art, and theater education, STEM learning, student wellness and academic success.

Wendy brings a background in communications, financial analysis and non-profit management,  having worked in senior management positions in the non-profit sector for many years. She holds a BA in Finance from Miami University, and an MBA in Non- profit Management from Northwestern University. She loves using her business training to foster success in mission driven organizations. A parent of two CCUSD alumni and a high schooler, Wendy has provided many years of volunteer service to the Culver City school community for the past 18 years. Her happiest times usually involve either a good book, wine with friends around a fire, or singing show tunes with her daughter.

Lindsay Angrisani, Development and Communications Manager

Lindsay Angrisani has spent a more than a decade championing nonprofits that serve children and families, with a passion for making the arts accessible to all. She studied Drama and Educational Studies at the University of California, Irvine, and has experienced firsthand the healing power of art. Through her work with various local organizations, Lindsay has produced events and fundraising campaigns that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. As a Los Angeles native, and new CCUSD parent, Lindsay is proud to give voice to CCEF and raise vital funding for the school district where her two children will attend.

Eleanor Lipat-Chesler, Program Assistant

Eleanor Lipat-Chesler is an educational administrator with prior experience including Columbia University and USC Rossier School of Education. She loves to draw upon her broad background in corporate and academic research to facilitate collaboration among diverse stakeholders toward shared understandings. She is currently the PTA Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at El Rincon Elementary School. In June 2022, Eleanor traveled to Maryland to accept a National PTA Diversity and Inclusion Award on behalf of El Rincon, inspiring her to invest even more of her energy into the students, staff, and families of CCUSD. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to provide direct administrative support for CCEF programs, the impact of which she has witnessed firsthand through her own two children in the district. Eleanor received her B.A. in Music and Anthropology from Barnard College and her M.A. in Ethnomusicology from UCLA. As a Fulbright Fellow, she conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Thailand and Laos among itinerant folk theater troupes. She also performs Southern Philippine kulintang music and dance for public audiences and generates cultural arts education content through her organization, Ube Arte. She has lived in Culver City since 2011 with her screenwriter husband, Josh.