State funds alone cannot provide for all the costs associated with providing the finest education possible to our students. The CSU Channel Islands Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3), was established for the purpose of encouraging and accepting private gifts to the University. The Foundation is the catalyst and conduit through which gifts and endowment income flow to provide immediate and long-term support of the University.

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Board of Directors

  • Mark Lisagor

    Mark Lisagor, Chair

    Ventura County Office of Education Board Member

    Dr. Mark Lisagor received both his Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health and his degree in Dentistry, at UCLA. Following service in the United States Public Health Service (Indian Health Branch), he completed his residency training in Pediatric Dentistry at UCLA-Harbor General Hospital. Now retired, Dr. Lisagor, a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, was the founding partner of a large pediatric dental group practice serving Ventura County since 1977. A frequent volunteer in third world countries, including Vietnam, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Bhutan, Jordan, India, and Nepal, Dr. Lisagor leads four volunteer teams each year. To date he has led more than sixty teams and been a volunteer on many more.

  • Lois Rice

    Lois Rice, Vice Chair

    Retired, Bank Executive

    Lois Rice is retired after 32 years with Wells Fargo Bank. She served as Executive Vice President (EVP) and Division Manager for the Retail Group where she was responsible for 233 branches covering ten states. Ms. Rice was one of two women to hold the position of EVP and was the first to be made a Division Manager. She has served on many boards in Southern California. After retirement, Ms. Rice became a real estate developer, successfully completing three major projects, in Ojai Valley where she has resided for over 50 years. She raised three sons and has 11 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

  • Chris Meissner

    Chris Meissner, Secretary

    President, Meissner Filtration Products, Inc.

    Mr. Meissner was born and raised in Southern California. He attended Santa Clara University in Northern California, and graduated with his Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering. In 1989 he established Meissner Filtration Products, Inc., which develops, manufactures, supplies and services advanced microfiltration products and single-use systems worldwide. Mr. Meissner has been a part of numerous local organization’s boards and committees. The Meissner family resides in Camarillo where Mr. Meissner enjoys giving back to his community.

  • Cheryl Broome

    Cheryl Broome

    Mrs. Broome is a long-time friend and neighbor to CSU Channel Islands. The John Spoor Broome Library is named in her father-in-law’s namesake. She has served on the planning committee for the President’s Dinner for several years. Cheryl is a steadfast supporter of higher education. She has learned about and supported the community’s goals to provide local students with an accessible four-year college experience.

  • Armando Casillas

    Armando Casillas

    Vice President, Branch Manager Montecito Bank & Trust

    Armando Casillas is the Vice President and Branch Manager at Montecito Bank & Trust in Oxnard. He has over 23 years of leadership experience in the financial sector. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management from The University of La Verne. In addition, he has been Vice President of Kids 2 Kids since 2015 and is an Executive Board Member and Vice President for the Boys and Girls Club of Ventura.

  • Charles Cohen

    Charles Cohen, Esq.

    Cohen, Begun and Deck, LLP

    Mr. Cohen is an attorney with specialty in land use and real estate since 1972. Arbitration of real estate matters through the American Arbitration Association. Land development and land use law representing public and private entities in the development of commercial, residential, industrial and institutional projects in numerous southern California cities and counties. Served as city Planning Commissioner, Councilman, and Mayor Thousand Oaks CA. Served on the Water Bond Committee, which brought Metropolitan Water to the Conejo Valley leading to incorporation of the City of Thousand Oaks. Highly involved citizen on several boards and non-profits in Ventura County and is known for counsel and facilitation.

  • Kevin Cruz

    Kevin Cruz

    General Counsel CheckAlt

    Kevin Cruz graduated from CSUCI in 2008 and has two decades of experience working in large financial institutions including Bank of America, PennyMac, MUFG Union Bank, and Logix Federal Credit Union. He currently works as General Counsel at CheckAlt, a small FinTech Payments vendor, and supports hundreds of banks, credit unions, insurance companies, and property managers. He oversees the CheckAlt legal team and provides legal guidance to all areas of the business.

  • Linda Dullam

    Linda Dullam

    Former Owner of Mandalay Berry Farms

    Ms. Dullam is a longtime member of the Ventura County agriculture community. She is an active volunteer in the community. She serves on the Camarillo Hospice board and is a former board member of the California Strawberry Festival and FOODShare of Ventura County.

  • Christine Garvey

    Christine Garvey

    Retired Banker and Lawyer

    Ms. Garvey is currently serving as a director on four public company boards: Healthcare Properties, Prologis, Toll Bros., and Union Bank. Additionally, she is a director on the not-for-profit boards on iCivics, Habitat for Humanity Southern Santa Barbara County, La Casa de Maria, and Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles. While in banking, Christine has managed over 200 million square feet of space at Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Deutsche Bank in London, as well as managing real estate lending at Bank of America.

  • Betsy Grether

    Betsy Grether

    Joint Owner, Grether Farming Company

    Betsy Grether is a business woman in agriculture and a trained landscape architect. She holds bachelor’s degrees from USC in Art History and Cal Poly in Landscape Architecture. She has served in various capacities with non-profit organizations such as St. Johns Healthcare Foundation and The Thacher School in Ojai, among others. Betsy is the daughter of John Spoor Broome, the benefactor for the University’s Library.

  • William Kearney

    William Kearney

    Sr. Vice President, Merrill Lynch

    Mr. Kearney is a retired banking executive. He joined Merrill Lynch in 1975. During his career with Merrill Lynch, Bill has coordinated private placements for the West Coast, served as the Sales Director for offices from Encino to San Luis Obispo and served on the National Advisory to Merrill Lynch Management. In 2004, Bill was honored with the Merrill Lynch Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • Martin McDermut

    Marty McDermut

    Retired CFO Resonant Inc.

    Martin “Marty” McDermut, with more than 30 years of broad financial leadership, has a strong track record in strategic and financial planning, business development, mergers and acquisitions, and public equity markets for technology companies. Most recently Marty was the Chief Financial Officer of Resonant Inc., an industry leader in RF Front End design, from 2018-March 2022. McDermut holds a BA in economics from the University of Southern California and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He is a Certified Public Accountant.

  • Irene Pinkard

    Irene Pinkard

    Pinkard Youth Institute

    Dr. Irene Pinkard has lived in Ventura County for over thirty years. She served on the Oxnard City Council from 2008 to 2012, including a term as Mayor Pro Tempore, before running for Mayor in the 2012 election. She is the first African American woman to serve on the Oxnard City Council. Prior to her service on the city council, Dr. Pinkard served for ten years as a Trustee on the Oxnard Union High School District board and was an administrator in the Ventura County Community College District, retiring in 2003 as Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources.

    Dr. Pinkard is truly passionate about bettering the lives of those in her community. She, along with her late husband Bedford, founded the Pinkard Youth Institute in 2014 to provide young African American students the opportunity to attend college. The institute offers college tours and partners with local colleges and universities to provide programs for students that allow them to immerse themselves in a higher education setting while still in high school. Dr. Pinkard is deeply committed to seeing the Ventura County community thrive and is an active participant in its betterment.

  • Richard B. Rogers

    Richard B. Rogers

    Private Investor, Pacific Earth Resources

    Since 1984, Richard has served as Chairman of the Board at Pacific Earth Resources, a diversified horticulture service company. As well as, serviced as General Partner at Pacific Ranch Company, a real estate investment company with operations in the western United States. Prior to his tenure at the above mentioned companies, he served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and completed three tours of duty. After which, he obtained his MBA in Finance from the University of Southern California. He is a third generation Californian and married with five children and eight grandchildren.

  • Ruston

    Philip Ruston

    Charles Schwab Corporation

    Mr. Ruston has born and raised in Santa Barbara and received his education at Colby College in Maine, Pune University in India, King's College in London, and China People's University in Beijing. He served as US Foreign Service officer in Africa, East Asia, and the United Nations, and as a Bureau Chief for Voice of America radio, before joining the Charles Schwab Corporation where he has worked for more than 20 years in emerging technologies, security, and privacy, much of that time as the corporation's Chief Privacy Officer. Mr. Ruston has two children in their 20s. He has served on school boards in San Francisco and recently moved back to Santa Barbara.

  • Cari Shore

    Cari Shore

    Former Senior Vice President and Director of Community Banking, Montecito Bank & Trust

    Cari Shore was recently the Senior Vice President and Director of Community Banking at Montecito Bank & Trust. In her role, she oversaw the branch network, business banking, treasury services, MB&T Advisors and the Service Center.

    Cari began her banking career nearly 25 years ago as a teller. She has enjoyed a number of roles that allow her to do what she loves: building relationships, problem solving, innovating and continuous learning. She is a graduate of Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington.

    Shore is a lifelong resident of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, and currently lives is Ojai where she enjoys camping, cycling, hiking, reading and music.

  • Michael Soltys

    Michael Soltys

    Faculty Representative

    Michael joined California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) in 2014 as Professor, and served as chair of Computer Science, Information Technology and Mechatronics Engineering until 2023. His vision is to build a world-class department where cutting edge applied research is put at the service of students and community. His Ph.D. is from the University of Toronto (under the supervision of the Turing Awardee Professor Stephen Cook). Michael was chair of Computer Science at McMaster University (2001-2014), an Ulam professor at the University of Colorado Boulder (2007-2008), a visiting scholar at UC San Diego (2013), authored two books (including “An Introduction to the Analysis of Algorithms” 3rd ed), and published over 60 research papers. He specializes in Algorithms, Machine Learning and Cloud Computing.

    Michael has over two decades of consulting experience in the industry, where he was the director of IT security at Executek International, and since 2021 he is a principal scientist and director of the Cloud sector at GBL Systems Corp., a Ventura CA based defense contractor. He also works with the SoCal High Technology Task Force (HTTF), and the Navy, through a fellowship with the Office of Naval Research. In Cloud Computing he established a partnership between AWS (Amazon Web Services) and the CSU and GBL Sys Corp. Michael is a certified instructor in AWS technology, and a frequent public speaker.

  • Itzel tena Ortiz

    Itzel Tena-Ortiz

    Student Representative

    Itzel Tena-Ortiz, a third year student at CSUCI, is pursuing a double major in Business with a specialization in Management and Spanish, accompanied by a certificate in Spanish Translation. She harbors ambitions in the field of international business, logistics, or operations management, with a long term goal of a career in higher education, possibly in roles associated with foreign exchange programs. Itzel's passion for gaining a deeper understanding of the world drives her love for travel, allowing her to explore diverse cultures and perspectives.

  • Peter Wollons

    Peter Wollons

    Retired Business Owner

    Mr. Wollons founded Airborne Technologies in 1973 after graduating from college with a degree in accounting. His career in Aerospace grew over the years to become a major manufacturer of airframe structural components for the United States Air force and Navy as well as governments throughout the world flying US manufactured aircraft.

  • Zohar Ziv

    Zohar Ziv

    Retired, C.O.O.
    Deckers Outdoor Corporation

    Mr. Ziv has over 25 years of executive management experience and an excellent track record across a diverse set of business environments, including large to small size and public and private companies. Prior to Deckers, he held the CFO position for eight years at various diversified companies and industries. Mr. Ziv received his B.S. in Accounting from CSU Northridge and his M.B.A. in International Management from the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird). He was born and raised in Israel for 22 years and worked and lived in Asia for two years. Subsequently he moved to the U.S.A.

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