Board of Directors
MIND’s Chairman of the Board, John Phelan, was with the Capital Group Companies, Inc. from 1992 – 2016, during which time he held several key positions, including Executive Vice President of Capital Research and Management. Previously, he was an associate partner with Andersen Consulting, where he specialized in investment management, investment banking for the banking industry.
Phelan holds a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Management from Northwestern University. He has served on the MIND Board of Directors since 2008.
Brett Woudenberg, Chief Executive Officer, oversees core operations of the organization, including education partnerships, social impact development, outreach and engagement, program implementation, talent development and finance. He first joined MIND Research Institute in 2016 as Chief Operating Officer (COO). Previously, Woudenberg served as COO of Sapling Learning and later the STEM Group at Macmillan Learning, a top publisher with products serving secondary and postsecondary education markets. He was also COO at national online learning platform provider Gaggle, and President and CEO at Trailblazer Learning, an online professional development solution for K-12 schools. In addition to a track record of reaching and exceeding revenue and expansion goals throughout his career, Woudenberg has extensive experience building and executing growth strategies for cloud-based learning environments and digital content products in the education marketplace.
Woudenberg holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from Grand Valley State University’s Seidman School of Business, and an MBA from University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management.
Dr. Mark Bodner is Co-founder of MIND Research Institute. He is an adjunct professor of mathematics at the University of Pittsburgh and visiting professor at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at the East China Normal University. He formerly held faculty appointments at the Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Neurosurgery and joint faculty appointments at UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute and at UC Irvine’s Department of Physics.
Bodner received his Ph.D. and Master’s degrees in theoretical high-energy and mathematical physics from UCLA, and his Bachelor of Science in both physics and chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh. He also received a fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health for postdoctoral work in neuroscience at UCLA. He has served on the MIND Board of Directors since 1998.
Andrew Coulson, Chief Data Science Officer, oversees the development of expansion strategies, product-to-market operations and leads a team of data analysts to conduct evaluation of MIND’s activities. Prior to this position, he led MIND’s Education Division for 12 years, helping to devise and execute strategies and programs to scale the organization’s reach to now support student learning in 45 states across the country. Before joining MIND, Coulson was a program officer for a major Orange County foundation, specializing in education. He also worked for 17 years in upper management as a STEM professional in high-tech manufacturing engineering, acquiring experience in operations, process engineering, reliability and technology transfer.
Coulson earned a Bachelor of Science and holds a master’s degree in physics from UCLA. He has served on the MIND Board of Directors since 2000.
Mary De Wysocki is Senior Director of Corporate Affairs for Cisco Systems, Inc., where she leads the Corporate Affairs Strategy and Global Problem Solving Initiative team, developing programs and partnerships that create opportunities for people to innovate and succeed in the digital economy. Previous to joining Corporate Affairs, De Wysocki led the development of Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group’s (IBSG) Innovations Practice. She has been integral to a variety of corporate social responsibility and education initiatives for Cisco for over ten years, combining her legal education and business background to develop transformational initiatives that enable social change.
De Wysocki holds a Bachelor of Arts in government from Wheaton College and a Juris Doctor degree from Pace University School of Law. She joined the MIND Board of Directors in 2017.
Dr. James Doti currently serves as President Emeritus of Chapman University, after serving as president of the university for 25 years until his retirement in September 2016. He holds the Donald Bren Distinguished Chair in Business and Economics, and has since returned to academia as a member of the Chapman faculty. A published author of several scholarly texts, Doti is also a regular columnist for the Orange County Business Journal and has had articles appear in both academic journals and a number of periodicals.
Doti earned his Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago and completed his graduate work and doctorate at the University of Chicago. He joined the MIND Board of Directors in 2017.
Ed Fuller is President and Founding Partner of Laguna Strategic Advisors, an Irvine, California-based global consortium that provides business consulting services and advice across a variety of industries. He is also the current President and CEO of the Orange County Visitors Association, and a commissioner for Travel & Tourism for the State of California.
Previously, Fuller was President and Managing Director of Marriott International for 20 years. His experience at Marriott included chief sales and marketing officer, global leadership, crisis management, future business assessment, top-level customer relationship management, sales and marketing leadership as well as long-term strategy development.
Fuller obtained a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Boston University and is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. He has served on the MIND Board of Directors since 2013.
Don Garcia is founder, owner and president of Pinnacle Consulting Group, a financial planning firm located in southern California. Previously, he was among the top investment advisors for John Hancock. He has been recognized by the Million Dollar Roundtable, a trade organization for financial professionals, and has served as president of the National Association of Professional Insurance and Financial Advisors of Orange County.
Garcia earned his Bachelor of Arts in speech communication at California State University, Long Beach. He has served on the MIND Board of Directors since 2014.
Larry Higby held a variety of positions with Apria Healthcare Group, Inc. including President and Chief Operating Officer and eventually serving as Chief Executive Officer until 2008, at which time he stepped down to serve as the company’s vice-chair and advisor until his retirement. Prior to joining Apria, Higby served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Unocal’s 76 Product Company and group Vice President of Unocal Corporation. Previously, he held various positions at Times Mirror Company, Americas Pharmacy Inc. and PepsiCo.
Higby holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from University of California, Los Angeles, where he also attended the graduate school of business. He has served on the MIND Board of Directors since 2009.
David Horowitz is the Chairman of Horowitz Group. The Horowitz Family owned and operated Standard Concrete from 1949 until 1990. David Horowitz was its CEO and controlling member for 17 of those years. Today, Horowitz Group is a single family investment office based in Orange County, California. The family office invests opportunistically in private equity and real estate, and was an early capital provider to multi-unit brands, such as Lemonade Restaurant Group, Sprouts Farmers Market, and MiniLuxe, Inc.
Horowitz earned a Bachelor of Arts from Pomona College in Claremont, California. He has served on the MIND Board of Directors since 2004.
Roberta Jenkins spent her early career working in hospitals as a nutritionist and a consultant to numerous nursing homes. In 1980, she and her husband jointly created SDD Enterprises, a highly successful real estate investment and property management firm with businesses in eight states. In 1985 the couple formed a family foundation based on their desire to give back to the community. With a focus upon education, the Matthew and Roberta Jenkins Family Foundation provides a number of scholarships to deserving students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Jenkins attended Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama, where she received a Bachelor of Science in nutrition. She completed her graduate studies at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Jenkins has served on the MIND Board of Directors since 2006.
Claudia Kreisle is the Director of Philanthropy and Community Engagement for Phillips 66. Based in Houston, Texas, Kreisle is responsible for the organization’s community-focused outreach-managing initiatives, content, partnerships and the budgeting required to make a substantial philanthropic impact on the communities being served. Previously, she worked at Baylor College of Medicine as Director of Development after starting her career in both the communications and political arenas.
Kreisle earned a Bachelor of Arts in human and organizational development from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Business Administration at Southern Methodist University, where she focused on marketing and strategic leadership. She joined the MIND Board of Directors in 2017.
Mike Lefkowitz is President of the SEMEL Group, providing consulting services to corporations, foundations and social benefit organizations. Previously, he was the Executive Director of the Samueli Foundation with a charter to create societal value by making high leverage investments in programs that are innovative, entrepreneurial and sustainable in a number of focused fields. Before joining the Samueli Foundation, Lefkowitz gathered over 30 years of engineering, research, marketing, and management experience in the telecommunications industry.
Lefkowitz holds both a Bachelor of Science in electrical and electronics engineering from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and a Master of Science in electrical and electronics engineering from New York University. In addition, he is a graduate of the Stanford University Executive Institute Management Program. Lefkowitz has served on the MIND Board of Directors since 2003.
Steve Litchfield is an Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Microsemi Corporation, and has since 2009 been responsible for all corporate strategy, development and acquisitions within the company. Previous to this position, Litchfield was responsible for Microsemi’s high performance analog mixed signal business. Prior to joining Microsemi, Litchfield worked at Banc of America Securities and as a research analyst. He spent his early career at Toyota Motor Corporation, both in Japan and the United States.
Litchfield holds a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering from Purdue University, and a Master of Business Administration from University of Southern California. He has served on the MIND Board of Directors since 2016.
Jim McCluney joined Emulex in November, 2003, as President and COO and then in 2006 as CEO and Executive Chairman of the Board until 2013. During his tenure at Emulex, McCluney was instrumental in formulating Emulex's strategy for growth and diversification, executing on several acquisitions which positioned Emulex for entry into new market segments.
McCluney holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. He has served on the MIND Board of Directors since 2008.
Daryl Pelc is Boeing’s Vice President of Engineering and Product Support where he oversees the development, deployment and program oversight of engineering and product support resources. Prior to his current position, Pelc was the Chief Engineer for Boeing Global Mobility Systems. He is currently a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) providing advice on matters of science and technology relating to the Air Force mission.
Pelc has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA from Pepperdine University. He has served on the MIND Board of Directors since 2011.
Dr. Matthew Peterson is Co-founder and Chief Research & Development Officer at MIND Research Institute. He created ST Math®, a conceptually driven PreK-8 instructional program that guides every student through a unique path of rigorous learning and problem solving to deeply engage, motivate and challenge students toward higher achievement. ST Math® serves more than one million students in 45 states, creating learning environments that can yield the next generation of STEM leaders. Peterson is a regular speaker at national and international math and education conferences.
After completing his undergraduate degrees in biology, electrical engineering and Chinese language and literature from University of California, Irvine, Peterson completed a doctorate in visual neuroscience from the University of California, Berkeley.
Bill Podlich is the retired Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), headquartered in Newport Beach, California. Podlich was a co-founder of the company which today is one of the preeminent fixed income managers in the world. Prior to the founding of PIMCO, Podlich was an executive with Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company, first in Los Angeles and then in Newport Beach.
Podlich earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Claremont McKenna College, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California with a concentration in finance. He has served on the MIND Board of Directors since 2005.
Jeff Reeves is a litigation partner with the Orange County law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where his practice focuses primarily on business disputes, securities law, sports law and class actions. An experienced trial lawyer, Reeves has represented companies from a number of industries including sports, nutrition, apparel, life sciences, entertainment, and has been nominated by the southern California legal community for inclusion on the Best Lawyers in America list since 2013.
Reeves earned his Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M and his Juris Doctor from the University of Houston. He joined the MIND Board of Directors in 2017.
A leader in the computer industry since 1960, Ted Smith founded FileNet in 1982, leading the company as chairman and CEO until 1998, and then as chairman through 2000. He remained a member of the board of directors and major stockholder until the company’s sale to IBM in August of 2006.
Smith earned a Bachelor of Science in engineering from the University of Maryland, after which time he served his country as an Air Force officer in charge of a radar site on an island in the China Sea. The former CEO and Chairman of the Board Emeritus, he has served on the MIND Board of Directors since 2001.