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Board of Directors

James Brescia, Ed.D.

James Brescia is the San Luis Obispo County Superintendent of Schools and a clinical faculty member in the Educational Leadership and Administration Program at Cal Poly. James has served as a teacher, principal, and district superintendent in North County since 1989. Dr. Brescia’s writing and research interests include school leadership, instructional leadership, and organizational problem-solving-based-leadership. Dr. Brescia has peer-reviewed articles published in both national and international journals.

Amy Kardel

Experienced international entrepreneur providing IT industry leadership and practical solutions to business challenges. Board Builder. Attorney. Independent Thinker. Connector. Facilitator. National Association of Corporate Directors Board Leadership Fellow.

Valerie Kraskey

Valerie Kraskey has worked at the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education for over 35-years.  She has served in positions in the Special Education Department, and for the last 20 years, in the Administration Department, serving the County Superintendent of Schools and the County Board of Education.  Her knowledge and understanding of county office functions, open meeting laws and requirements, and adherence to the operational aspects of boards and commissions, brings a rich experience to the Foundation.  Valerie is a board member, providing communications and media support, to the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation.  The Foundation serves the Atascadero community in providing substance use awareness, prevention, intervention and education resources.

Cory Karpin

Cory Karpin has served as a senior leader and CEO of education, arts and animal welfare organizations for nearly 20 years, taking a short break to lead business development for an early-stage technology company. Since 2015 Cory has been the director of development for Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, one of the top undergraduate entrepreneurship programs in the country. 

Sheldon K. Smith, Ed.D.

Sheldon K. Smith, Ed.D. brings 30 years of education and school administration experience.  Sheldon is the Assistant Superintendent of the Business Services department at the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education.  Before entering the school business realm.  Sheldon holds a Doctorate in Education in Education Policy, Planning, and Governance and a School Business Manager’s Certificate from the University of Southern California.  Additionally, Sheldon holds a Master of Arts with Distinction in Education Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in English from California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo.  Sheldon is certified by the California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO) as an experienced Chief Business Officer.

Michael Specchierla

With over two decades in education leadership and experience, Michael Specchierla is an Executive Director for the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education and the founder of the SLO Partners program. An entrepreneur at heart, Michael promotes the importance of innovation and hands-on learning, which is reflected in the programs he oversees. A recent winner of the California Industry and Education Award, SLO Partners is leading the way in modern apprenticeship programs and upskilling opportunities benefiting businesses and residents of the San Luis Obispo County community.

Dan Weeks

Dan is a serial entrepreneur for software products.  After a 25 year career with HP in Engineering Management, he started his first software company, BrightScope, which sold with 70 employees to a private equity firm.  Dan has been 100% focused since February 2017 on social entrepreneurship efforts in tech education. He works for a company providing tech bootcamps across the US, is the Entrepreneur-In-Residence for Cal Poly’s New Business Incubator, the SLO HotHouse, and teaches Entrepreneurship at Cal Poly.

Brian Asher Alhadeff

Artistic Director Brian Asher Alhadeff is an internationally acclaimed opera, ballet, and symphonic, conductor. In the Czech Republic, he was Artistic Director and founder of the Hradec Kralove International Summer Opera Festival that partnered with the Eastern Bohemian Philharmonic and the Czech State Opera and Ballet. In 2010, Alhadeff guest conducted the Albanian National Radio and Television Orchestra in a nation-wide broadcast that included the Albanian premiere of American composer Howard Hanson’s Symphony No. 2 The Romantic. In addition to his work with Opera San Luis Obispo, Alhadeff is also Artistic Director & Conductor of the Lompoc Pops Orchestra, and Principal Conductor for Civic Ballet San Luis Obispo, and State Street Ballet, Santa Barbara.

 

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