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Board of Directors

HOPE's policies and major financial decisions are made by a volunteer Board of Directors whose members are people from the community and include individuals with developmental disabilities, family members of those we serve, business owners and local leaders. Board meetings are held on the 4th Thursday in January, April, July and October; committee meetings are held monthly. If you are interested in volunteering as a HOPE board member please review the Board Members Expectations and Commitment and complete our Board Application.

  • Bob Irlen, President 
  • Barbara Robinson, Vice-President
  • Rob Babek, Treasurer 
  • Nori Dempsey, Secretary
  • Rhiannon Acree
  • Mead Duley
  • Kelly Sutton 
  • Sandra Teodoro 
  • Robert Wasserman


HOPE's Board Members come with an amazing range of experience and expertise.  Each of them gives generously of their time and financial resources in the support of our programs.  Learn more about this wonderful group of individuals below.    

Bob Irlen, Esq.
Board President

Bob has been with HOPE for more than 10 years and currently serves the Board as its President.  He is a member of the Executive Committee and also participates in the Tournament Committees. Bob has also worked extensively with the Harbor Regional Center (HRC) Board, also having served as its President, and currently serves as a HRC Board Advisor. Bob lives in Long Beach with his family, including his wife Helen and son David, and he works as the CFO and corporate counsel for the Irlen Institute which treats a visual perceptual dysfunction for people with learning disabilities, light sensitivity, and migraines among other conditions. More information about the Irlen institute can be found at www.irlen.com.   

Barbara Robinson
Board Vice President

Barbara has a long history with HOPE and the developmental disabilities services system, and she currentlyserves as HOPE's Board Vice President. Barbara has been with the Board for over 10 years, during which time she has served in a variety of executive and committee capacities.  Barbara is very familiar with our resident population, having worked in a developmental center, various regional centers, and as a consultant to regional centers in a variety of capacities--from client fiscal management to the creation of various training modules. She has also provided consulting services to other housing organizations. Barbara lives with her husband in Huntington Beach and enjoys retirement by volunteering for a variety of community and international nonprofit organizations. 

Rob Babek, CPA
Board Treasurer

Rob has been with HOPE more than 2 years and currently serves the Board as its Treasurer.  He is a member of the Executive Committee and also participates in the Finance Committee. He lives in Rancho Palos Verdes with his wife of over 30 years and his 4 children. As the Partner-In-Charge at Marcum LLP's Los Angeles office, he brings invaluable finance guidance to HOPE. Rob has been with Marcum for nearly 30 years where he provides tax consulting, compliance, assurance, and accounting services for individuals and corporations. He is also a member of the Marcum Family Office, High-Net-Worth Individuals and Trusts and Estates practice groups. In addition to working with clients, Rob manages the office’s personnel matters, which include directing recruitment in the Southern California region. More information about Marcum's services can be found at www.marcumllp.com. Rob has his Masters in Business Taxation from Golden Gate University and in his free time enjoys coaching youth basketball.  

Nori Dempsey
Board Secretary

Nori has been with the HOPE Board for more than 3 years and currently serves the Board as its Secretary. She is an active participant and volunteer for the HOPE Tournament. A graduate of Cornell University, Nori lives with husband and three children in Rolling Hills Estates. Nori is very active with the South Bay Down Syndrome Association and hosts fundraising events on a regular basis at their business: Pelican Parts. Nori enjoys playing tennis and spending time with her busy family.  To learn more about the South Bay Down Syndrome Association visit www.SBDSA.org and to learn more about Pelican Parts visit www.PelicanParts.com.  

Rhiannon Acree
Board Member

As a long time donor and committee member at HOPE, we are proud to welcome Rhiannon as the newest member of our Board of Directors. She is an individual with an unparalleled passion for service, a unique understanding of our industry, and an ardent dedication to the betterment of her community. A registered nurse by trade, she parleyed an entrepreneurial spirit into creating Cambrian Homecare, an agency with more than 1,000 employees who provide assistance to people who have developmental disabilities, HIV/AIDS, or are seniors or veterans who chose to have help at home. The Long Beach Chamber of Commerce recently recognized her as the 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year.

Mead Duley
Board Member

Mead has been with the HOPE Board for more than 3 years and is a resident of Torrance.  Currently Mead is employed at American Honda Motor Company where he has worked as a shipping and receiving clerk for several years. Mead has a love for sports, including bowling, basketball, baseball, and track among others, and he participates as an athlete in Special Olympics events on a regular basis.

Kelly Sutton
Board Member

Kelly has been with the HOPE Board for more than 3 years and has participated at a variety of HOPE events over the past several years. Currently she works at the Harbor Regional Center (HRC) as the Client Advocate where she assists both clients and families in finding appropriate resources and information at the HRC Resource and Assistive Technology Center. Kelly participates in regular meetings of the Client Advisory Committee and notes that she truly enjoys her role at HRC and appreciates the opportunities she has to assist HRC clients and families. Prior to working at HRC Kelly worked as a teacher's assistant at a local preschool.  Kelly lives with her husband, Chris, in San Pedro. She enjoys spending time with family, and also enjoys outdoor activities such as biking and swimming.       

Sandra "Rita" Teodoro
Board Member

Rita is a long time Board Member, and HOPE resident, who lives with her housemate in HOPE's Bellflower triplex.  Rita has been living in her current HOPE residence for 6 years.  Rita is self-described as a very social person. She has been working with the same Life Steps SLS (supportive living service) provider for nearly 20 years now, and she is very proud of her independence. Rita has two adult daughters and one grandson with whom she enjoys spending time. Rita also enjoys time with her long-time boyfriend engaged in activities like eating out, shopping, and sightseeing. 

Robert E. Wasserman
Board Member

Robert has been with the HOPE Board for more than 3 years and is active in both the Finance and Tournament Committees. Robert brings incredible real estate expertise to HOPE as the President and CEO of Wasserman Commercial Real Estate which specializes in commercial real estate services, office, and industrial consulting services, investment sales, and investment sales consulting services. More information about Wasserman Commercial Real Estate can be found at http://www.wassermancre.com/

 

ADVISORY BOARD
 

Kristine Engels
Advisory Board Member

Kristine has been assisting people with developmental disabilities for more than 40 years. She is the executive director of Life Steps Foundations So Cal Adult Services with her main office in Long Beach. Kristine has been active with HOPE since the beginning by having clients in HOPE homes, sitting on the Board of Directors and several committees. She is the mother of two sons and grandmother to two boys and one girl. Her outside of work activities include being with grandchildren on adventures, school activities, and supporting the sporting events in which they participate. She also loves to read and spend time in her garden. Working with people who have developmental disabilities has been her passion for many years.  

James Frawley
Advisory Board Member

James has been with HOPE for more than 8 years and has served as a key member in our Planned Giving and Major Gifts Committees. He also regularly participates in the Tournament Committee. James brings a range of experience including having served as an HOA Board Member, a member of his children's school finance committee, and he is also a devoted Rotarian. James was instrumental in shaping HOPE's investment policy, helping to ensure the long term success of HOPE and its mission. James lives in Westchester with his wife and three children. His pastimes include spending time with family, fishing, and golf. James is a Partner and Co-founder of Westside Investment Management, LLC and heads the Santa Monica office. They deliver customized services that address their clients' unique, comprehensive financial needs, incorporating a total wealth management approach that features everything from financial and retirement planning to legacy planning and charitable giving. More information about Westside Investment Management can be found at www.westsideim.com

Janie Honeycutt
Advisory Board Member

Janie has been with HOPE for more than 10 years and currently serves as an advisory board member. She participates in the Executive Committee and is a faithful and dedicated volunteer at HOPE's events and Tournament. Janie previously served as Principal at Honeycutt Training and Consulting, where she specialized in developing programs for organizations, with an emphasis on effective communication, and she has played an integral role in the bottom-line success for organizations that she served. Janie has over 18 years experience in the training and communication field and specializes in facilitating training and development programs using multiple adult learning principles and instructional methods. Currently she works with American Honda Finance Corp. in Business Transition Management where she focuses on developing internal communication and change implementation plans that include development of company videos and other curriculum for processes, procedures, and system changes. Janie lives in Torrance with her husband and two children and when she is not in the office or volunteering she enjoys relaxing and spending quality time with her family. More information about Janie can be found on LinkedIn.   

Richard Schwartz, Esq.
Advisory Board Member

Richard has worked with HOPE in a variety of capacities through the years, and as an advisory board member serves on the Planned Giving and Major Gifts Committees as well as the Tournament Committee. The Law Office of Richard O. Schwartz, in Huntington Beach, works with families affiliated with Regional Centers on a variety of conservatorship and special needs trust matters, and Richard provides regular consultation through Harbor Regional Center to families in the areas of conservatorship and estate planning. Richard also works on behalf of regional centers and their clients living in State Developmental Centers in the efforts to help transition people with developmental disabilities into a less restrictive community setting, like the homes provided by HOPE. Richard lives in Huntington Beach with his wife.

Jim Artiano, Esq.
Advisory Board Member

Jim has been with HOPE for over 4 years and has served the Board as its Vice President for several years. Currently he is the Chair of the Tournament Committee which spearheads HOPE's increasingly successful annual Golf and Tennis Charity Classic. HOPE's Tournaments have grossed close to a million dollars for our housing programs over the past eight years, in large part thanks to Jim. He lives in the South Bay and enjoys spending time with his family. Jim is Principal at Artiano and Associates in Torrance where he works alongside his wife Linda. Artiano and Associates is one of the South Bay's largest firms and since 1984 they have provided a range of law services including business, real estate, general litigation, estate planning, and family law. More information about Artiano and Associates can be found at www.artianolaw.com.