Board of Directors and Staff

2016-17 Board of Directors

Jim Grady, Chairman of the Board
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Renee Cavanaugh, Vice Chair
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Kellen Gill, Treasurer
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Pam Sauter, Secretary
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Lorena Baca
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Bridget Carlson
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Liz Casanova
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Tammy Farrier

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Russ Haley
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Tori Heintzelman

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Karin Mellina, CUSD Liaison
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Randy Morgan
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Jim O'Connor
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Tom Rudowicz
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Chris Searles, MD
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Jamie Tuckey
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Miriam Valadès
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Olivia Zaller, Student Representative

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2016-17 Board of Directors

Back row  (L to R): Russ Haley; Jim Grady, Chairman; Chris Searles, Immediate Past Chair; Kellen Gill, Treasurer.

Middle Row: Karin Mellina, CUSD Liaison; Jamie Tuckey; Tom Rudowicz; Randy Morgan; Miriam Valadès: Lorena Baca; & Tori Heintzelman.  

Front row: Patty Cowan, CEO; Bridget Carlson; Olivia Zaller, Student Rep; Pam Sauter, Secretary; Tammy Farrier; and Renee Cavanaugh, Vice Chair.
Not pictured: Jim O’Connor and Liz Casanova

Past Chairmen and Presidents List ›

Board Advisory Committees

CSF has five active committees comprised of a board or staff member who acts as the chair, other board members, a CSF staff liaison, and interested community members. As needed, the Board may also appoint Ad Hoc committees for specific projects. Click the links below for more information on each committee. 

Financial Stewardship Committee ›
Fundraising Committee ›
Governance Committee ›
Program Committee ›
Marketing Committee 

Interested in becoming a Foundation Board Member?

The Board of Directors is a working volunteer board comprised of up to 17 parents and community leaders representing all schools, as well as a CUSD Administrator who acts as a liaison with the District. Directors can serve three consecutive 2-year terms. Click here to view the 2017-18 CSF Board Member Job Description.

If you have additional questions or for more information, please contact CEO Patty Cowan (

Foundation Staff

CSF has a small but mighty professional staff that works with and for the Board of Directors to manage the Foundation. The CEO and Director of Development are the only full-time positions; all other staff are part-time employees to keep costs to a minimum and the work targeted on the Foundation's mission.

Patty Cowan, CEO

Patty was hired in 2004 as Executive Director of CSF, bringing with her over a decade of management experience in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.  She first arrived in Coronado in 1986 as a USN spouse and returned in 1998 with her sons, now Coronado High grads (2007 and 2009).  Patty completed her MA in nonprofit leadership and management at the University of San Diego in 2007 with this “MBA for the nonprofits” providing the tools and expertise to lead the organization to an increased return to Coronado’s public schools of 340%. She earned her BS in Business Administration from the University of Maryland and in July of 2013, completed the coursework for the Certified Specialist in Planned Giving at CSULB, Cal State Long Beach. 

Prior to working in Coronado, Patty worked in the international education arena for World Study Group based in San Francisco, managed the California International Business School, and the San Diego Diplomacy Council.  She was also a contracting officer for MWR at NASNI and spent three amazing years living on the economy in Japan; as a result she is a passionate supporter of international exchange and education.  She serves as Youth Protection Officer for the Rotary Club of Coronado, is a member of the Woman’s Club of Coronado and San Diego Diplomacy Council.  She enjoys biking, swimming, Pilates, reading, cooking and travel.

Michelle Gilmore, Director of Development

Michelle Gilmore comes to CSF as a CUSD Parent and involved community member. She and her family moved to Coronado in 2013 to enroll her three boys in the award-winning Coronado Schools. Prior to living in Coronado, she lived in the Del Cerro community of San Diego and was active in the schools as a volunteer and guest Art teacher. Michelle was President for the Hearst Elementary School Foundation for 6 years and managed their fundraising efforts in addition to designing programs to benefit students including music education, a staffed computer lab, and an extensive art education program. She holds a  teaching credential and a Masters in Education from San Diego State University. In her pre-family days, she was a certificated teacher and taught grades K-6.   In Coronado, she has volunteered with Islander Sports Foundation and has supported events promoting the terrific athletic programs at the Middle School and High School level. 

Through teaching, volunteering, and being a consummate fan, Michelle has developed a commitment to public education and student development that she brings to Coronado Schools Foundation.  As Director of Development for CSF she hopes to connect with Coronado businesses, alumni, and community members to support the efforts made by our amazing CUSD teachers and administrators to enhance the STEAM focused programs at our schools.  In Michelle’s spare time she likes to play tennis, enjoy Concerts in the Park and local music events, and playing tourist in Coronado with her family- husband Ted and boys Tyler, Travis, and Tucker.

Melissa Lindley, Project Coordinator

Melissa and her family moved from Maine to Coronado in August 2016. She has worked with several nonprofit organizations throughout her career. In her previous role as program coordinator for the economic development organization Gardiner Main Street, Melissa organized major community events, managed volunteers and provided sole administrative support. As an active member in her former community, Melissa was one of the leading forces that led to the creation of a now-successful cooperatively owned downtown grocery store, the Gardiner Food Co-op. With a degree in photography from Rochester Institute of Technology, Melissa applies her creative background into her work through her skills in graphic design.

With children in both Village Elementary and Coronado Middle Schools, Melissa is looking forward to becoming an active member of the Coronado community and being an advocate for public education in her new home town. Melissa, her husband Max and daughters Ella and Adaline are excited for warmer temperatures and abundant sunshine and are enjoying exploring all the many great places and things to do in southern California.  

Kelley Geiss, Development Coordinator

Kelley first came to Coronado with her family as a child, attending both Village Elementary and Coronado Middle School. With children and family always a passion for her, she studied biology and early childhood education at the University of San Diego and St. Edwards University in Austin, TX.  With an original dream of becoming a doctor, she has worked in the administrative and marketing fields for the past several years, giving her an opportunity to focus on parenting her son, now at Coronado Middle School.  Kelley recently got married to a member of the US Navy, a Coronado High alumnus. Prior to joining the Coronado Schools Foundation team, she worked at Marine Group in San Diego’s South Bay, where she managed the office, planned events, and kept all gears running smoothly.  Kelley is a huge reader, loves to cook, enjoys the outdoors with her dog and family, and enjoys everything Coronado has to offer.  

Anita Lorr, Staff Accountant (Part time)

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