Board of Directors

Sue Grant

Founder/Board Chair

Sue Grant is a visionary whose passion for giving the gift of literacy to struggling readers has fueled the formation and success of The Literacy Project. Grant's focus on her college education in psychology forged a desire to help troubled youth and thus began a lifelong journey to help those who needed it most.

Penny M. Fox


Penny M. Fox, CPA specializes in tax and accounting services, including tax planning and return preparation, bookkeeping, business consulting, retirement, divorce, estate, trust and bankruptcy planning. An expert in her field, Penny has been serving Orange County for more than 30 years.

Doug Frederick

Doug Frederick has had a diverse and seasoned career as a founder, sales executive, investor and advisor to many organizations. Currently, he is an executive advisor to HealthCues, a health and disease prevention company. Recognizing most individuals with the greatest health needs have the least amount of access to disease prevention programs, Doug set out to deliver solutions to employers to help solve this problem. He started HealthCues and amassed a talented team of individuals to create a fully funded insurance indemnity product designed to be affordable, personalized, and effective in engaging employees to take health and disease prevention actions. He is currently also an angel investor and advisor in several other ventures.

Fiona Grandi

Fiona Grandi is a leader in consulting services, with almost 30 years in public accounting. She currently serves as the head of US Risk Assurance Services for KPMG. She has balanced her client and market-facing endeavors with her philanthropic and not-for-profit activities.

Sinan Kanatsiz


Sinan Kanatsiz has effectively made his mark as an outstanding entrepreneur. In 1998, while studying for a master’s degree at Chapman University, he followed his entrepreneurial spirit and formed his first company, KCOMM, a Public Relations and Internet marketing agency. The company quickly evolved into a full-service marketing, government affairs and event marketing firm known for its Internet expertise and results-oriented approach.

Paula Karcher


Paula Karcher is a philanthropist and public speaker with a strong connection to the Coachella Valley, as well as her roots growing up in Orange County. Along with her husband, Carl Leo Karcher, she has been involved in dozens of events, causes, and foundations, which have definitely benefitted her community.

Dennis Kuhl

Chairman, Angels Baseball

Dennis Kuhl enters his 16th year with the Angels in 2019 after joining the club on Nov. 10, 2003. He was initially appointed as the Angels’ seventh president before being promoted to club Chairman on Nov. 14, 2009. Kuhl continues to oversee the administration, along with a renewed effort in the area of civic affairs and community outreach. He also played a key role in working with Major League Baseball in the Angels hosting the 2010 All-Star Game.

Scott Lopez

Managing Director of Capital Markets at Octane OC

Drawing on more than 25 years of leadership experience in the financial and life sciences industries, Scott Lopez has uncommon insight into investment banking, investor relations, and the public and private markets. He is an Investment Banker with FNEX Capital ( and Managing Director of Capital Markets at Octane OC in Orange County, CA (

Bill Passo

Founder And CEO, Passco Companies

William O. Passo is a true professional in the real estate investment industry. He completed his first purchase of a multifamily investment project in Anaheim, California in 1976.

Arnie Rubin

Former Chairman & CEO, Funrise, Inc.

Arnie Rubin, a 50+ year toy industry veteran, co-founded Imperial Toy in 1969 and founded Funrise Toy Corporation in 1987. Funrise was best known for manufacturing and marketing of the Tonka brand of vehicles under license from Hasbro since 1999.

Joe Stapleton

President, Spinnaker Investment Group

Joe Stapleton is a Co-Founder for Spinnaker Investment Group. In this role, he assists businesses and individuals achieve what is most important to them by bringing in line their goals and desires with their financial resources. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Finance and Entrepreneurship from the University of Arizona.

Jim Steele

President of Global Strategic Customers

Jim Steele has more than 40 years of business experience with some of the Information Technology sector’s biggest players including Salesforce, Ariba (SAP), Yext and IBM. Steele is an accomplished executive with a strong track record of success in building and leading global sales organizations.

Christopher Trela

Christopher Trela is Artistic Assistant Professor of Public Relations and Advertising at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film & Media Arts. He began teaching at Chapman University as an Adjunct Professor in 2011, and joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor in 2019.

Michael T. Travis

Partner, Parker & Covert LLP

Michael T. Travis has served as legal counsel for schools and colleges throughout the state of California for more than 16 years. In working directly with educators, students, and the community, he has witnessed first-hand the life-changing impact that literacy can bring to the lives of those who need it most.

Vishal Tummala

Vishal Tummala is a senior product strategy associate at PIMCO, focusing on alternative investment strategies. He has four years of investment experience, including two years on PIMCO Canada's institutional client management team in Toronto.