Meet our Board of Directors
Len Lanzi: 2018 Chair, Finance/Investment Committee, Strategic Planning Committee
Leonard M. Lanzi has 30 years of non-profit organization management and fund development experience. Currently he serves as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Venture Association. In his capacity at LAVA, Len works with the LAVA board of directors to direct the strategic plan and organize educational and informational programs within the venture funded business ecosystem in the greater Los Angeles region. Len also is the Chief Operating Officer for Rotarians for Family Health in AIDS Prevention. RFHA’s purpose is to provide assistance and support to Rotary clubs, districts and multi districts in planning and implementing large scale, community development and humanitarian service projects. RFHA is considered Rotary International’s resource group for HIV/AIDS. Rotary Clubs and Districts throughout the world look to RFHA for guidance regarding their particular HIV/AIDS project plans. Leonard brings a well-rounded knowledge from such diverse human service organizations as the Community Kitchen of Santa Barbara, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Junior Achievement of Southern California and the Boy Scouts of America. Leonard graduated from the University of Rochester with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He is an active member of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica where he serves on its Board of Directors. Leonard also serves on the board of directors as treasurer for Meals on Wheels West and the Board of Governors for StartOut, a nationwide entrepreneurial organization
Anastasia Foster-Rourke: 2018 Secretary, Board Development Committee, Governmental Relations Committee
Anastasia Foster is an elected member of the Santa Monica Rent Control Board. She credits her 6 years of driving Meals on Wheels in Santa Monica with helping her to build, develop and operate her very own Assisted Living Community, both of which give her a unique perspective into the daily living needs of seniors. The community focuses on superior, cutting edge quality of life enhancements for the residents and a living wage for the staff. Anastasia is also a volunteer for Santa Monicans’ for Renters’ Rights, Brookdale Santa Monica Seniors and the VA. She’s been an actress and broadcaster for over 20 years, a wife to Chris and a mother to her young son, Ford.
Carson Bond: Keeping People and Pets Together Program Director, July 4th Events Committee
Carson Bond has been delivering for Meals On Wheels West since 1999 and was the first volunteer to be selected to serve on the Board. Carson founded and leads MOW West’s pet and emergency vet care programs.
She has been a US Air Force and commercial airline pilot for over 35 years. Carson has a MS in Human Resource Management and recently completed the Nonprofit Development Certificate program at Loyola Marymount University.
Chris Gordon Clark: Vice Chair, Board Development Committee
Chris Gordon Clark has delivered roughly 10,000 meals as a MOW volunteer since 2010, and he first became a board member the following year. He is a Green Bay, Wisconsin native, educated “back East” at George Mason and Columbia, as well as experiencing a Junior Year Abroad program in England. As an Army veteran (Presidential Honor Guard, Arlington, VA), veterans’ causes are a paramount facet of his understanding of the overall Meals on Wheels mission. A former Inglewood and Santa Monica public school teacher, his real estate career began in 2003. The father of two boys who have helped him deliver meals (and occasionally sell houses), Chris encourages all of the people in his life to volunteer in some capacity, as the rewards invariably outweigh the contribution. “It’s impactful beyond anything I’ve ever done in my life.”
David joined the board of Meals on Wheels West in 2018. Originally from Kansas City, Kansas, David has lived in Los Angeles since 2007, editing and directing through Rock Paper Scissors in Santa Monica. His work includes music videos, trailers, documentaries, and commercials, including the Subaru “Share the Love” campaign he directed in 2017, featuring clients and volunteers from Meals on Wheels West. In 2009 David received an Emmy Award for his editing on Errol Morris’s “Survivors”. His films as editor include the Academy Award-nominated documentary “The Witness” and most recently, the Netflix film, “Struggle: The Life and Lost Work of Szukalski.”
Currently serving as Associate Dean of Student Life at Santa Monica College, Dr. Nancy Grass has been helping to lead the efforts to create a comprehensive food security program for students at Santa Monica College. She serves on the Basic Needs work group and has been working with the State’s Chancellor’s office in their efforts to address statewide student housing and food insecurity. Dr. Grass began her career as a professor and author teaching Communication Studies for over 20 years and authoring the internationally sold book, Public Speaking in American English. Dr. Grass received her Master’s degree in Communication Studies from California State University, Northridge and her PhD in higher education from Capella University where she researched methods for improving institutional communication climates in large public institutions.
Mark Humphreys: Monster Bash Committee Co-Chair, Human Resources Committee
Mark Humphreys is responsible for overall risk management, as well as acquisition and maintenance of all insurance for the Watt Companies’ widespread real estate-related ventures. Mark also manages the handling of all claims and litigation involving Watt’s various business operations. He first joined Watt Companies in 1984.
Beginning his career as a paralegal specializing in liability insurance claims and assisting outside defense counsel, Mark eventually took on all aspects of mastering risk, particularly in the area of construction operations liability and the various risk issues facing owners of commercial property. In his career at Watt, Mark has dealt with the wide range of coverage and underwriting issues necessary to obtain quality insurance protection for Watt and its various enterprises.
He has gained the trust of brokers, consultants, contractors and insurance professionals by understanding the importance of carefully maintaining a balance between the need to manage risk and the entrepreneurial imperative of real estate developers, managers and investors to create and grow. At the same time, Mark’s vast experience working with outside counsel, combined with his institutional and operational knowledge of Watt’s business, has provided him with a keen eye for evaluating and strategizing claims and litigation, both operationally and in terms of insurance defense.
Mark is a longtime member of the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) and is Vice Chair of the RIMS External Affairs Committee, which focuses on legislative issues affecting risk management. Mark continues to maintain his status as a paralegal through continuing legal education.
Rob Sherman: Treasurer, Marketing Committee Chair, Strategic Planning Committee, Musical Event Chair
Rob Sherman is the founder and chief strategist at Sherman Marketing, specializing in web and social media optimization and advertising. With 20+ years of brand building experience and an extensive background in emerging technology and interactive marketing, Rob is expert at helping clients exceed their online goals. He has led new digital product and web initiatives for Disney, BBC and Apple. Prior to founding Sherman Marketing, he was Vice President Business Development at Getty Images where he launched a series of digital products into the global marketplace. He also opened several Getty international offices and was content director of the first Getty film website. When he’s not in the office, Rob enjoys composing music and performing with The Beatles Yoga group, The Shills and others.
Melissa Sweeney: Chair July 4th Event Committee Chair, Marketing Committee, Volunteer Breakfast Chair, Governmental Relations Committee
Melissa Sweeney is the President of Eumenides Consulting, a Santa Monica-based public relations/community relations firm. A third generation Angeleno, she has provided communications and community organizing services to a wide variety of for-profit, political and non-profit clients in the Southern California region, including Saint John’s Hospital, Procter & Gamble and Expo Light Rail. In addition, she has written for screen, theatre and multimedia, and has lent her composition skills to numerous recording projects. She received dual Bachelor’s Degrees in anthropology and religious studies, and holds a Master’s Degree in religious studies from UC. Melissa brings her energy and expertise in service of the mission of Meals on Wheels West
Peter Taffae: Board Development Committee Chair, Chair Strategic Planning Committee
Mr. Taffae is the Founder and Owner of Executive Perils Inc, an insurance firm specializing in Directors and Officers Liability, Cyber, Intellectual Property, Crime, Fiduciary Liability, Professional Errors & Omissions, Legal Malpractice and Employment Practices Liability insurance for financial institutions and corporate clients. He serves on several boards, is a member of a number of organizations, publishes numerous articles, is frequently quoted in industry publications and speaks at educational events. Peter’s primary objective is to enhance the operation and secure Meals On Wheels’ longevity. I felt compelled to give back to my community and with my parents being seniors, the more I learned about Meals on Wheels the more I was attracted to its mission. Peter is a resident of Santa Monica.