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Board & Staff

Board of Directors and Staff

META Foundation's Board represents a cross-section of the community and is an advocate for Latinx students in pursuit of higher education. The Board works hard to ensure long-term sustainability of the organization so that the funds raised have a direct impact in the community and increase the opportunities for Latinos to become successful business and community leaders.

  • Lisa Arellanes
    Lisa Arellanes

    Co-Chair, META Board of Director and Senior Manager of e-Mobility Business Development and Partnerships, Southern California Edison (SCE)

    Lisa Arellanes is a Senior Manager of e-Mobility Business Development and Partnerships at Southern California Edison (SCE), one of the nation’s largest electric utilities. Lisa is responsible for business development activities supporting SCE’s vehicle electrification programs and services. For over 10 years, Lisa has focused on helping utility customers achieve their energy management and sustainability goals.

    Lisa holds a Master’s of Business Administration from Claremont Graduate University and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

  • Leo Estevez

    Co-Chair, META Board of Directors

    Leo Estevez is a partner and founder of small green door, a full-service interactive web design and product photography studio in Los Angeles, California.

    Leo was born in Bellflower, California to Latino immigrant parents.

    He earned his Bachelor's degree in Fine Art/New Media. He received his Masters in Fine Art / New Media from UC Berkeley .

    Leo started his post-college career as a fine artist by showcasing interactive large-scale installations and sculptures at the Berkeley Art Museum , PS1 , LA Design Center , Munich National Opera House and others.

    After several years in the art world, the family decided to move back to Leo’s hometown of Los Angeles to open small green door , a full-service interactive web design and product photography studio.

  • Steves A. Rodriguez
    Steves A. Rodriguez

    Treasurer, META Board of Directors and Partner/CPA, Freemark Financial LLP

    Steves is a partner with the accounting firm Freemark Financial LLP in Beverly Hills. He provides business management consultancy and tax services to a wide range of clientele. He has worked with many of the largest production companies in the United States, a variety of musical artists, television actors, and directors.

    Rodriguez states, “I believe education is critical to the success of our society as a whole. Being of Latino origin, I want to be sure that our ethnic group is part of that success and if I can help in any way to be a part of that, I want to participate.”

  • Aizita Magana

    Secretary, META Board of Directors and Project Director, Community Health Service Administration - Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

    Aizita is a Project Director, Community Health Service Administration - Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

    Public health senior project manager with over 15 years of experience improving the health and well being of low-income and ethnically diverse women, children and families.

    Expertise in project management, health care services, grant administration, program research and evaluation, strategic planning, and community engagement. Currently lead large-scale projects to integrate and co-locate Department of Public Health clinic services with those of the Department of Health Services under a new Health Agency.

    Specialties and interests: managed care, health care, health disparities, affordable care act, community health, preventive health, community resilience, communicable disease, immunization, women's health, philanthropy, public speaking, community engagement.

    Holds a Masters in Public Health from the University of Michigan.
    Holds a B.A in Women's Studies from University of California at Berkeley.

  • Cisco Pinedo
    Cisco Pinedo

    Past Chair, META Board of Directors and Business Owner, CISCO Home

    In 1985, Francisco and Alba Pinedo started making custom upholstery in the garage of their home. In a highly competitive, design-driven industry, Cisco Home quickly distinguished itself with its superior craftsmanship, cutting-edge style, and unparalleled value.

    The Pinedo’s are committed to revitalizing and investing in the inner cities which was their motivation for establishing the L.A. Design Center in South Central Los Angeles. They are also committed to support underprivileged kids from the inner city by encouraging them to succeed through higher education.

  • Helen Brewer

    Regional Sales Manager at Home Depot Pro Institutional

    Helen earned a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Marketing from the University of Oklahoma and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Pepperdine University. As an active volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, Helen has participated with builds in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Thailand, India and South Africa. She is also Co- Chair for the Chrysalis Women’s Empowerment Program, a nine-week educational program for homeless and low-income women re-entering the workforce.

  • James M. Casso

    Principal at Casso & Sparks, LLP.

    James (Jamie) Casso’s practice focuses on providing counsel to cities and other public agencies throughout Southern California. Jamie serves as City Attorney for the City of La Puente and as Special Counsel to the successor agency to the former South El Monte Community Development Commission, the former La Puente Community Development Commission and the former Community Development Agency of King City. He also serves as General Counsel to the Oversight Boards for the Successor Agencies to the cities of Buellton, Goleta, Lompoc and Riverside County. In August 2010, Jamie was hired by the City of Bell to serve as its Interim City Attorney.

    Jamie also served as long-time Chief of Staff for former U.S. Congressman Esteban E. Torees, gaining more than 30 years of public policy experience and knowledge. Jamie has represented several public and private entities before federal, state and local elected officials and agencies.

    Jamie is a Member of the City Attorneys Association of Los Angeles County, Board Member for New Bedford Panoramex and Member of the Board of Directors, California Polytechnic University, Pomona, Partners in Education. Jamie has a JD from Georgetown University and a Bachelor's of Administration from University of California, San Diego.

  • Lee Polster

    Lee is a Commercial Real Estate professional as agent, owner and shareholder in Coldwell Banker Westmac.

    He graduated magna cum laude with degrees in Comparative Literary Studies and Economic from Occidental College in 2002.

    Lee has many years of active volunteer work as an assistant football coach at Compton Centennial High School, as an Oar Member of the Navy Seal Foundation and as a part of the Occidental Mentoring Program.

  • Luis Vega

    Luis is a Franchise Regional Developer at Realty ONE Group South Central Region; Managing Partner at Realty ONE Group Diamond.

    Luis has 20 years experience in sales, marketing and real estate franchise development experience. He leads the national and international franchise development of Realty ONE Group. "As Vice President of Franchise Development I am honored to be part of a select team of real estate & franchise executives delivering the RealtyONEGroup Franchise opportunity to real estate entrepreneurs worldwide."

  • Laura Lull
    Laura Lull

    Executive Director

    Laura Lull has more than 25 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector in a variety of roles including Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer, Communications Officer and Director of Development. In 2014-15, Laura served as the President for Sandpipers, an all volunteer, member-driven nonprofit that addresses the needs of the South Bay community through funding and programming for children and families in need.

    Laura’s philanthropic passions revolve around education and philanthropy. From teaching diverse middle school students just outside of Washington D.C, to starting an intergenerational program connecting youth with senior citizens in Oakland, to launching strategic communications for a large grantmaker, Laura’s work and philanthropic interests have always intersected.

    Laura Lull has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and a Bachelor’s Degree (BS) from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.