In the early 1990s in a tough neighborhood in westside Costa Mesa, a group of incredible mothers decided they’d had enough. Gangs and drugs and prostitution had created an unsafe environment for their kids so they reached out for help.

 

Community leaders came together to open the doors of Shalimar Learning Center, a space for the neighborhood kids to come after school, get help with homework, and stay safe. Over 100 kids showed up on the first day.

What started as a single neighborhood center has grown to programs in over 400 California schools serving over 100,000 students annually. THINK Together was founded in 1997 to expand educational support services for kids like the ones at Shalimar who didn’t have the same support systems as their peers. Along the way, THINK Together’s leaders have spent a lot of time listening, adapting, and expanding the mission to help change the odds for kids.

Together we are building a community where all kids have the chance to succeed.

 

Senior Leadership

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    Randy Barth

    Founder and CEO, THINK Together and Executive Chairman, Principal’s Exchange

    Before embarking on a career as an education entrepreneur, Barth had a successful business career for more than twenty years, first as an investment advisor with various major Wall Street firms and later as a corporate CEO. Barth holds a Bachelors in Economics from UCLA and studied under Peter Drucker at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. Along with former LA Times reporter Jennifer Delson, he is the co-author of the best- selling book "Think Together: How YOU can play a role in improving education in America." Randy serves on several boards and as a Senior Fellow at UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs.

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    Tia Dwyer

    Chief Operating Officer

    Dwyer works closely with CEO Randy Barth and the Executive Team to implement and maintain high quality programs. She oversees all regional and program leaders and helps design and guide strategic planning. She joined THINK Together in 2009 as Director of Learning Programs where she built a nationally recognized summer learning program before being promoted to Orange County’s General Manager. Prior to joining THINK Together, she oversaw expanded learning programs in the Lawndale School District. Dwyer is a credential teacher and holds a Bachelors in Music from UC Irvine and a Masters in Education from National University.

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    Mike Frobenius

    Chief Financial Officer

    Frobenius oversees finance, accounting and information technology, and manages detailed reporting to THINK Together’s school district partners, the CA Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to joining THINK Together, he served as director of finance for LA Chemical, a $175 million leading regional distribution company. He has served as a board member for a local credit union and is an active volunteer for a number of local community youth sports programs. Frobenius holds a Bachelors in Accounting from CSU Fullerton and is a California Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

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    Tracy Carmichael, PhD

    Chief Engagement Officer

    Carmichael connects people, businesses, and organizations to the mission of THINK Together. She leads all fundraising and networking efforts, as well as board and committee engagement. She began her journey with THINK Together in 2008 as Manager of Program Evaluation and then as Director of Action Research. As the inaugural THINK/UCI doctoral fellow, Carmichael spent four years researching the impact of academic alignment of THINK Together’s after school programs. Her doctoral research has been recognized nationally as a model of collaboration for extended learning providers. She holds a Bachelors in Criminology from UC Irvine, a Masters in Educational Research from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in Education from UC Irvine.

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    Marty Holtzman

    Chief People Officer

    Holtzmann oversees recruitment, staffing, human resources, and volunteers. He has more than 25 years of experience in the Human Resources field. He is an innovative leader who has developed HR teams and created human capital programs aligned with business objectives for global medical devices, bio-pharmaceutical, renewable energy, and telecommunications manufacturing and services companies. Holtzmann began his career as a mathematics instructor for Tustin Unified School District. He holds his Bachelors in Psychology and CA State Teaching Credential from UC Irvine.

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    Steve Amick

    Director of Policy & Partnerships

    Amick is responsible for managing the organization’s expansion across California. He has more than 25 years of experience at every level of afterschool direct service and administration. He previously served as the Executive Director of the League of California Afterschool Providers and the Region 9 Lead for Before- and After-School Programs, offering training and technical assistance to providers. Amick is the former Vice-Chair of the National Afterschool Association, past Co-Chair of the California Afterschool Network Executive Committee, and was designated by the Secretary of Education to serve on the California Advisory Committee on Before- and After-School Programs. He holds a Bachelors in Political Science from San Diego State University.

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    Maria Reichel

    Chief of Staff

    Reichel oversees the alignment of projects and initiatives, including the planning and implementation of the organizations’ strategic plan and marketing efforts. She leads cross-functional teams across the organization to ensure large projects are successful. Prior to joining THINK Together, Reichel was as an AmeriCorps VISTA member with the Children and Families Commission of Orange County, acting as Project Manager for Santa Ana Building a Health Community, a place-based initiative of The California Endowment. She has also served as a management consultant with Mercer in Los Angeles and London, and as a Financial Analyst with Goldman Sachs in New York. She holds a Bachelors in Industrial Engineering from Columbia University and a Bachelors in International Political Economy from Colorado College.

 

Board of Directors

  • Darrel Anderson

    Secretary/President (Ret.) Knott Anderson Enterprises
  • Doug Antone

    President & CEO (Ret.) Networks in Motion
  • Leona Aronoff-Sadacca

    Founder Aronoff Capital
  • Randy Barth

    Founder & CEO THINK Together
  • Steve Bilt

    President & CEO Smile Brands, Inc.
  • Eric Boden, chair

    Chairman & CEO (Ret.) HireRight
  • Celeste Cantú

    General Manager Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority
  • Mary Lynn Coffee

    Attorney at Law Nossaman LLP
  • Kendra Doyel

    Group VP, Public Relations and Governmental Affairs Ralphs Grocery Company
  • Glenn Howard

    Treasurer/Attorney & CPA Law Offices of Glenn A. Howard
  • Fran Inman

    Senior VP Majestic Realty Co.
  • John Lee

    Executive VP PIMCO
  • Paolo Leon

    Associate MVE + Partners, Inc.
  • Juan Lopez

    Superintendent (Ret.) Val Verde Unified School District
  • Sangeeth Peruri

    CEO VoterCircle
  • Marti Remmell

    Community Leader
  • Steven Robertson

    VP of Finance Ellie Mae
  • Ken Salgado

    Assurance Partner PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP
  • Earl Slee

    Executive VP Medtronic Neurovascular
  • Bill Tamblyn

    CFO Space-Time Insights
  • Dawn Trautman

    Executive VP, Life Insurance Division Pacific Life Insurance Co.
  • Julie Vennewitz-Pierce

    Global Philanthropy & Employee Engagement PayPal
  • Jeffrey Wahba

    Co-CEO (Ret.) Farmer Brothers
  • Dan Young

    President Camino Enterprises