Denise McCain-Tharnstrom, PhD, JD, MPP
Founder, President and Board Chair
Dr. McCain-Tharnstrom is a committed leader in the area of children’s policy and philanthropy with strong interests in leveraging philanthropy ‘beyond the grant’, leading efforts that improve connections between homeless youth and needed services, training women to become effective children’s policy advocates, raising awareness about environmental policy impacts on children’s health, and promoting investments that support the unique needs of infants and toddlers. As the founder, Board Chair and President of Our Children LA, (OCLA), she oversaw the 2012 creation of a Directory of Services for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth for the use of Los Angeles City Library. Since January 2014, she has led OCLA’s expansion of the Directory countywide, guided the creation of an accompanying mobile application (WIN: What I Need) and its website, a community web-center supporting policy changes to benefit homeless youth.
She has been active in a variety of community initiatives benefiting children. In 2001, she joined the Everychild Foundation, (ECF) a LA-based private foundation which funds non-profits providing services alleviating the suffering of local children. She was chair of ECF’s Grant Screening Board (2003-2006), and Treasurer of the Board from 2004-2007. In 2007 she co-founded the foundation’s Public Policy Committee. As founding chair, she worked to train her committee members in children’s policy and advocacy issues from 2007-2014. In 2010, she rejoined the ECF Board of Directors serving through March 2014 and conceived of and oversaw the ECF State of Our Children Conference held at Rand in 2013. She was a member of the steering committee for the Los Angeles Partnership for Early Childhood Investment (LAPECI) (2007-2013) founded its’ public policy committee and served as LAPECI chair from 2011-2013. She was a member of the board of Healthy Child Health World (2011-2014) and the Children’s Nature Institute. (2011-2014), and is a member of the Children NOW Leadership Council. She has been a featured policy speaker at area conferences including the 2008 Baby Futures Conference.
A former litigator, she received her undergraduate degree from Duke University and her law degree from the University of Florida. Early in her career, she acted as an assistant state prosecutor, then a commercial litigator and appellate attorney. In 1990 she took a career leave to provide home care for her young children while serving on her town’s Environmental Review Board. Following her family’s transfer to Los Angeles, she entered the University of Southern California’s School of Public Administration’s Masters in Public Policy program. Recipient of the Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Graduate, she graduated with honors in 1999.
In 2007, she melded her interests in environmental policymaking and children’s policy, and returned to USC to research her dissertation. In December of 2008 Dr. McCain-Tharnstrom received her doctorate with honors for her work examining the adequacy of political representation of children’s health interests in federal environmental policy implementation. She has taught as an adjunct instructor in the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and the Political Science Department, co-authored Bureaucracy, Politics and Environmental Policy in the America West in Environmental Politics and Policy in the West ed. by Zachary Smith and John C. Freemuth. (University Press of Colorado, 2007). She has a new a co-authored chapter pending in the Smith and Freemuth’s book due for publication in 2015: her contribution focuses on coal and other energy extraction policy impacts on the health of children and vulnerable populations.
Founding Board Member
A software and application expert, Tuan Le is passionate about the effective application of technology to real-world problems. From his first program written on an Apple IIe, to his participation in the founding of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Internet Society, Mr. Le has focused on the effective usage of technology and is interested in web-based and other technological tools which improve accessibility of data to the public.
A graduate of the PACE program at Long Beach Polytechnic High School, Mr. Le received his B.A. in Mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1987 and his M.A. in Economics from UCLA.in 1989.
In 1995 he co-founded XactImage Inc., an Internet consultancy based in Los Angeles, CA. with AT&T as its main partner & client. As an AT&T Creative Alliance Partner, XactImage provided consulting, management, & programming services for nearly 500 web sites owned by AT&T or its customers. In 1999, as one of AT&T's three largest partner on the West Coast, he was offered a position on AT&T's board of advisors for business services.
In 2002 Mr. Le started his work in the online affiliate marketing industry, specializing in eBay's trading services platform. Since his first eBay certified application in 2003, his web sites and applications have generated over 5 million dollars in sales on the eBay Marketplace. One of his innovative sites integrated eBay to Google, and was a 2007 Techcrunch top 10 mash-up. He also launched his first Facebook application that integrated with eBay that same year.
Since 2010, he has worked for Southwestern Medical Services, a medical diagnostic imaging company located in Ontario, CA. Mr. Le is responsible for the creation & maintenance of the Company's CRM/MRP software applications. He has continued to maintain his own Internet hosting operations at One Wilshire with redundant fiber Internet connectivity.
Mr.Le cares deeply about children and has offered probono services to children’s nonprofits. Since 1999, he has contributed his infrastructure & technical services to the Everychild Foundation. He provided the maintenance, extensions, & hosting of the Everychild web site as well as hosted and maintained their website accounting server for 12 years. He currently is a member of The Everychild's Board of Advisors and an active parent to an elementary school aged son.
Founding Board Member
Barbara Moore has dedicated her adult life to the care and wellbeing of many of the ignored, neglected and incarcerated children throughout Los Angeles County. Serving on the Los Angeles County Probation Commission Inspection Committee and the Library Committee, Ms. Moore has routinely visited the three juvenile halls and the probation camps to help ensure that children receive the care and services they are eligible to have. She works with both Probation and LACOE in an effort to improve the libraries, and schools, throughout the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles County. She was chosen as a member of the seven-person Challenger Reform Task Force, which was charged with overseeing the implementation of sweeping educational reforms at the County's largest juvenile detention facility.
Because of her dedication to youth in custody, Ms. Moore was chosen to take part in a delegation of involved stakeholders from Los Angeles County who traveled to Missouri to help evaluate the “Missouri Model” of care and treatment of the children in their juvenile justice system; and she is part of the ongoing strategic follow up sessions that are held periodically.
Ms. Moore is the Advisory Board Co-Chair at Optimist Youth Homes and Family Services. Her fourteen years of support there have brought an enhanced experience to the youth. She helped start several ongoing programs benefiting children including monthly birthday parties, art experiences, nature adventures and athletic events. She helped institute the yearly Stocking Project; making handmade stockings stuffed with gifts for all the youth on the main campus and group homes at Christmas. Also in an effort to help strengthen the bonds between the youth, their homes and community, she is responsible for organizing household baskets for neighborhood families in need at Thanksgiving.
She was a founding member of the Everychild Foundation Public Policy Committee. Her interests in advocacy and education are focused on issues affecting juvenile justice, foster care, and homeless youth.
Her PVHS board leadership including several years as President, evidence her passion for public education. She has worked as vice president, legislative analyst, parliamentarian, and in children’s advocacy with legislative representatives traveling to Sacramento on behalf of the school district with administrators, teachers and students to meet our senators and other representatives to discuss issues and policies affecting the district. Her legacies to the high school include the design and implementation of Online Registration and Operation Happy Holidays, the school wide annual charitable giving project that culminates in a trip to Mexico. Student donations are collected from all grades and brought to an orphanage and the desperately poor; this sixteen year long tradition continues as an Associated Student Body philanthropic endeavor.
In her professional life after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree from Cedar Crest College, Ms. Moore worked for an international computer company; programming, installing and troubleshooting mainframe computer systems in hospitals, prisons, universities, private and government offices all over North America. She served as vice president of one of the largest independent real estate firms in the south bay that she owned with her husband from 1981 until its merger with a national firm in 2008. She now dedicates her life collaborating with others in service to the children of Los Angeles and San Bernandino Counties.
Lisa Cleri Reale
Lisa Cleri Reale
Founding Board Member
Lisa Cleri Reale is principal of Lisa Cleri Reale & Associates, a public affairs consulting firm for both non-profits and foundations. Her current and former client list includes the City of Los Angeles, the California Science Center, the Los Angeles Public Library and Library Foundation of LA, Constitutional Rights Foundation, LA36, Families in Schools, California Community Foundation, Providence St. Joseph Hospital, Roy W. Roberts II - Watts/Willowbrook Boys and Girls Club, LA 2000, West Coast Jewish Theater, Lula Washington Dance Theater Foundation, Workplace Hollywood, Starlight Foundation, LA Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, Zocalo, the California African American Museum and the Everychild Foundation. Her work with these clients involves a variety of services including resource development, board development, marketing, organizational capacity, strategic planning and grant making.
Lisa spent 11 years with The Times Mirror Corporation and the Los Angeles Times directing their community affairs efforts. She served in a number of capacities, including Vice President of The Times Mirror Foundation and Director of Community Affairs for the Los Angeles Times. In the latter capacity, she was directed by the publisher at the time to create a separate stand-alone department at The Times that would serve all the community affairs needs of the organization. During her tenure as head of that department, she led the launch of several initiatives, including the Times in Education Partners in Education program, 1-800-877-READ, a literacy referral hotline and the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.
As co-founder of the Festival, Lisa also co-chaired the Festival Planning Committee for the first 4 years, providing oversight and guidance on all aspects of the event including logistics, sponsorships, programming and exhibitors.
Lisa is active in a number of community organizations. She currently serves as board chair of Community Partners. She is a member of the corporate board of United Way of Greater Los Angeles and co-chairs its Community Impact Cabinet, which oversees the Pathways out of Poverty Plan. She also serves on the board of the Children’s Council Foundation of Los Angeles County and LA36.
Over the years, she has been involved in a number of events and community initiatives, including the Bicentennial of the Bill of Rights Celebration, the Olympic Torch Relay Events in LA prior to the Atlanta Olympics, Literacy@Work, the 2005 LA County City Leaders Summit: Building Blocks for Cities’ Economic Success and the Asian Pacific Book Festival. Past board affiliations include Shakespeare Festival LA, Para los Niño’s, Chrysalis and the Center for Non-Profit Management. Recently, she was one of 30 nonprofit leaders in LA to be honored by the Center of Nonprofit Management with its Nonprofit Excellence Award on the occasion of the Center’s 30th Anniversary.
Lisa was the founding president of the Carthay Center Elementary School PTA and served as president of the Hamilton High School PTSA.