Mark DedererExecutive Director
Roxanne AlvarezDirector, Programs & Administration
Geri AuriemmaFoundation Coordinator
Lené CopelandFoundation Associate
Sherry CromettPresident, CareerWork$
Anna CunninghamDirector of Operations, CareerWork$
Ranko FukudaRegional Director, CareerWork$
Alissa WeddingtonOperations Officer, CareerWork$
Ruby SloanProgram Coordinator, CareerWork$
Mark Dederer joined the Biller Family Foundation as Executive Director in 2016. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President and Community Affairs Manager for the Wells Fargo Foundation, overseeing the charitable giving program and team member involvement throughout the Washington Region. He also managed Community Affairs in Oregon and Alaska. Before rejoining Wells Fargo in 2010, he was Vice President & Director of the Safeco Insurance Foundation and developed its national contributions program.
A Seattle native, Mr. Dederer continues a family legacy of civic duty established by his grandfather, an early Seattle business leader and passionate community advocate who was one of the chairmen on the committee that brought the 1962 World’s Fair to the city.
Mr. Dederer serves on the board of Philanthropy Northwest, Virginia Mason Hospital board of governors, is a commissioner for the Seattle Center, a member of the Central Washington University Business School advisory board, and is Past Board Chair of Seafair, Seattle’s premier summer festival.
Roxanne Alvarez joined the Biller Family Foundation in June 2017 as a Senior Program Officer based in Seattle and now serves as the Director of Foundation Programs and Administration. Ms. Alvarez brings close to twenty years of diverse experience in the nonprofit sector. Her career background includes direct social service provision, grant making and fiscal management, program development, social research, and teaching and training in different settings such as community grassroots organizations, charitable foundations, and universities.
Prior to arriving in Seattle from Washington, D.C., Ms. Alvarez worked at Accion International, a global nonprofit focused on microfinance and impact investing and at the United Nations Foundation, where she managed grant making, contracting, and operational budgets for programs specializing in gender empowerment. Ms. Alvarez holds an M.A. in economics from George Mason University, an M.S.W. from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in psychology from American University.
Geri Auriemma joined the Biller Family Foundation in September 2019 as the Foundation Coordinator, bringing with her several years of experience in the nonprofit and public sectors. Previously, Geri served as a legislative aide to Seattle City Councilmembers Abel Pacheco and Rob Johnson, managing communications and constituent relations and tracking policy related to arts, education, and human services. Prior to her work at City Hall, Geri was a nonprofit arts fundraiser, managing the Annual Fund at Pacific Northwest Ballet.
Geri holds an MFA in Arts Leadership from Seattle University and a BA in Vocal Performance from Colby College. Outside of work, Geri enjoys singing with the Seattle Symphony Chorale, reviewing performing arts experiences throughout King County for 4Culture, and volunteering with Northwest Girlchoir. Born and raised in Seattle, Geri feels a strong pull towards aligning her work with advancing the public good and is excited to join the Biller Family Foundation team to help support the work of changing people’s lives in meaningful and lasting ways.
Lené Copeland joined the Biller Family Foundation in 2013 and supports all aspects of the Foundation’s grantmaking. Ms. Copeland brings a rich, diverse background to her program administration position. With formal education in architecture, much of her career has involved teaching including a 20-year role bringing architecture to K-12 school students through the built environment education program called, “Architecture in Education.”
Ms. Copeland formerly taught and helped develop curriculum in environmental technology for the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center in Philadelphia. This program focused on varied groups of inner-city schools, and engaged them daily in an interactive, hands-on teaching environment. Ms. Copeland has worked in architectural practices in Seattle and Philadelphia designing residential homes and educational facilities. She received her Master’s Degree in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and studied in Rome, Italy and Tokyo, Japan.
Sherry Cromett joined the Biller Family Foundation in December 2018 as President of CareerWork$. Based in Seattle, she oversees the operation and expansion of the two CareerWork$ training programs, BankWork$® and CareerWork$ Medical®.
Most of Ms. Cromett’s career has been spent with Starbucks, where over the course of twenty years she defined and spearheaded the U.S. and global business strategies as well as highly complex, critical initiatives for over 12,000 stores. She also previously served as Regional Vice President of KinderCare Education.
Ms. Cromett earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Economics from Smith College. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family, cheering for her kids on the soccer field, baking, and traveling.
Anna Cunningham is the Director of Operations for CareerWork$®, a focus area of the Biller Family Foundation. In her role, Anna is responsible for creating and implementing systems and processes to accelerate the growth of CareerWork$’s two programs: BankWork$® and CareerWork$ Medical®.
Prior to beginning her current role, Anna spent the majority of her career building community programs as part of Starbucks’ Social Impact team. She built and led collaborations with external nonprofit organizations and internal business teams to achieve meaningful impact.
Anna earned Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Washington in Zoology and Norwegian. Outside of work, Anna enjoys traveling with her family, discovering new music, and attempting to expand her cooking horizons.
Ranko Fukuda is the CareerWork$® Regional Director. She is responsible for working with vocational training partners, employer partners, and community stakeholders to ensure the BankWork$® and CareerWork$ Medical® programs are maximizing their impact in markets across the country. After graduating from University of Michigan, Ranko spent 12 years with Capital One Financial, honing in on her Project and Program Management skills, as well as having the privilege of working in the CEO, President and Bank Presidents’ offices and managing the Bank charitable giving program. Her tenure at Capital One ended unexpectedly when the Great Northeast Earthquake and Tsunami affected her home country of Japan, and she moved to Japan temporarily to help aid in disaster recovery with All Hands Volunteers. Upon her return to the US, Ranko moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the non profit sector to leverage her professional skills in making a difference in underserved communities. She enjoys salsa dancing, hot yoga, organic farming, and spending time with her dog and cat.
Alissa Weddington joined CareerWork$® in 2017 as Operations Officer. She performs operations and administrative functions for the career training programs, as well as providing support to the CareerWork$ President. Alissa graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara and spent several years in print media before transitioning into the financial services industry. She led operations and development for a number of financial advisory firms prior to joining CareerWork$. Alissa currently lives in Santa Barbara and enjoys hiking and beachcombing along the scenic coast.
Ruby Sloan’s journey with CareerWork$® started in 2012 when she graduated from the Seattle BankWork$® program, which allowed her to start her career in banking as a teller. With the training she received while in the program, she was able to stand out as a top performer and work her way up to a Sr. Relationship Banker position in commercial banking. Wanting to give back to the program that changed her life, she became a Career Navigator with Seattle BankWork$ expansion into Pierce county.
Ruby serves as a key support liaison to new and existing CareerWork$ training partners, providing curriculum and instructional support, as well as representing the program across the country to constituents while supporting the team in achieving its national expansion. In her spare time, Ruby enjoys taking road trips with her husband and three children, exploring natural attractions, and tasting new food from different cultures.
Lindsey C. KozbergDirector
Pedro J. MartíDirector
John R. OhanesianDirector
Richard M. PowellDirector
Mr. Howard Behar’s career in business spans over 50 years, all in consumer oriented businesses covering several industries. He retired from Starbucks Coffee after 21 years where he led both the domestic business, as President of North America, and was the founding President of Starbucks International. During his tenure, he participated in the growth of the company from 28 stores to over 15,000 stores spanning five continents. He served on the Starbucks Board of Directors for 12 years before retiring.
Mr. Behar now serves on several boards, including iD Tech, Education Elements and the advisory boards of Anthos Capital and Roadtrip Nation. His non-profit commitments are to the University of Washington Foundation, UW Business School mentoring program and as a Trustee for The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation. Mr. Behar is committed to the development and education of our future leaders and has been a longtime advocate of the Servant Leadership Model. He has also authored a book on leadership titled “It’s Not About the Coffee.”
Ms. Yvonne Bell has been working in the non-profit sector for thirty years and has led successful fundraising campaigns for The Museum of Contemporary Art, the California Science Center and Center Theatre Group. She currently serves as the Director of Advancement for Center Theatre Group, and as a member of the senior executive team, she plays an instrumental role in the organization’s fundraising, strategic planning, programming and board development efforts.
Ms. Bell serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Ojai Playwrights Conference and frequently speaks in Los Angeles and nationally on fundraising in the arts.
Mr. Alexander Cappello has led several companies over the past 42 years, including Cappello Group, Inc. a global merchant bank, whose principals have conducted over $155 billion in transactions in 50+ countries. He is or has been a Director of: The Cheesecake Factory, Inc. (NASDAQ); USC Board of Trustees; California Republic Bank (OTC); Chairman – Inter-Tel (NASDAQ); Koo Koo Roo (NASDAQ); Genius Products, Inc. (NASDAQ); Cytrx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ); RAND Center for Global Risk and Security (CGRS); RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy (CMEPP) board and RAND Russia Forum; Caldera Medical Corp.; California Ethanol & Power; NCT Ventures; Patriot Defense Group; USC – Marshall School of Business Board of Leaders and a Trustee of the USC Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute.
He is a Board Member of the Pacific Council on International Policy (PCIP); Lifetime Member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR); Trustee/Chairman of the Investment Committee – City of Hope; Trustee – Jordan River Foundation (Amman, Jordan); Board Member – ALS TDI (Therapy Development Institute); Trustee – Marymount College in Palos Verdes; Board Member – California Council on Economic Education (CCEE).
Mr. Cappello was the only two-term International Chairman of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) (2003-2005). He is an active member of the World Presidents Organization (WPO) and Chief Executive Officers Organization (CEO).
Lindsey C. Kozberg
With more than two decades of public affairs experience spanning government, nonprofits, law firms, and universities, Ms.Lindsey Kozberg currently serves as a Principal at Park & Velayos LLP, where her practice focuses on land use, real estate and government regulatory matters.
Ms. Kozberg was most recently chief communications officer for Truth Initiative, the largest public health organization in the U.S. dedicated to ending tobacco-related death and disease. Prior to that Ms. Kozberg was vice president for external affairs at the nonpartisan RAND Corporation, where she was charged with connecting the work of more than 1,000 researchers to the challenges facing policy and decision makers around the world. She is a former director of public affairs for the U.S. Department of Education and served as a spokesperson for signature White House domestic policy initiatives as a special assistant to President George W. Bush.
A passionate supporter of Los Angeles-area cultural and educational institutions, Ms. Kozberg currently serves on the boards of ExED, the Los Angeles Parks Foundation, the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools and the USC Center on Public Diplomacy.
Ms. Kozberg received her J.D. from Stanford University, and her undergraduate degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.
Pedro J. Martí
Pedro J. Martí is a Senior Financial Advisor – Wealth Management and Managing Director – Investments with Wells Fargo Advisors. Part of the Wells Fargo family for many years, Mr. Martí previously served as an Analyst in Wells Fargo’s Corporate Development Division, as Chief of Staff to the company’s COO, and helped to develop and implement a professional training program for a new generation of securities and insurance licensed employees in the LA Metro Region of Wells Fargo.
Mr. Martí holds a BBA from Emory Goizueta Business School, concentrating in Finance, Entrepreneurship, Human Resource Management, and Financial Services, and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business. Mr. Martí currently serves as a board member of Para Los Niños.
John R. Ohanesian
Mr. John R. Ohanesian is the President and CEO of Lear Capital. Founded in 1997, Lear is the largest direct response marketing and sales enterprise in the U.S. focused on precious metals with over $2 billion in transactions. Previously, he was President and CEO of Bosley from 1990 to 2010 as well as co-Founder, President and CEO of Aderans Research Institute, a biotech company, from 2002 to 2010. Since 2013 he has been an Advisor/Chief Strategic Officer of Theradome, Inc., which is an aesthetic medical device company based in San Jose, California.
In 2004, The Concern Foundation named Mr. Ohanesian as their honoree for his philanthropic and humanitarian efforts in the Greater Los Angeles area. He served on the Board of Directors of Center Theatre Group from 2001 to 2008. From 2005 to 2008, he was a member of the Board of Directors of City of Hope’s National Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute. From 2007 to 2014 Mr. Ohanesian served on the Board of Trustees of The Archer School for Girls in Brentwood, California.
Richard M. Powell
Mr. Richard Powell was born in Los Angeles and now resides in Santa Monica. He graduated from Woodbury University, a private Los Angeles college. While attending college, he started a business with his father, furniture veteran Larry Powell, creating the L. Powell Company. After leading this highly successful family business for 30+ years, Rick was instrumental in selling the Powell Company to a private investment group in 1999.
Rick is currently President of Ashjer, LLC, where he devotes his time to helping non-profit organizations raise money, serving on numerous boards and committees as well as a consultant to private companies.
In 1982 he co-founded Concern II for Cancer Research. Concern II pioneered fundraising among young people 18-40 in the area of cancer immunology, specializing in pediatric cancer.
Rick has been an avid community leader for his entire adult life. He served in many leadership roles for various non-profit organizations over the years. He currently serves on the Community Benefits Committee at Cedars-Sinai Hospital, the Furniture Industry Executive Committee at City of Hope, and as the immediate past Chair of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple. Rick has also been the recipient of numerous honors recognizing his deep commitment to community service.