Jeff joined Thacher in 2015 and serves as the School's director of advancement. He started his career at Middlesex School where he held roles in the annual fund and their record-setting capital campaign. In 2001, he joined the Noble and Greenough School in Dedham, MA, as their director of development. Then, he became managing director of New Profit—one of the leading “venture-philanthropy” firms. Immediately preceding Thacher, Jeff was a managing director and the head of philanthropic services at Roundtable Investment Partners, which is a shared family office headquartered in NYC. Jeff and his wife Kristin live on campus with their three children, Tyler '20, Erik '21, and Kendall.
Emma Balina became the director of annual giving in 2018. Emma came to Thacher with nine years of development experience, including six years of Annual Fund and Parent Relations experience in independent schools. Emma firmly believes that fundraising can be a great community-building tool, and looks forward to further strengthening the Thacher community through the Annual Fund.
She began her career at Pacific Ridge School, a start-up independent school for grades 7-12 in Carlsbad, CA. Most recently, Emma was the director of development at Center for Wildlife in York, ME, a community-based environmental nonprofit. She loves strategic planning, design thinking, and using education and stewardship to build a culture of philanthropy. Emma holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Maine, and a MBA with an added concentration in Finance from the University of Massachusetts.
Although she is a Maine native, Emma was excited to return to sunny California. She lives Ojai with her husband, Roque, and two young sons, Bodhi and Leo.
Kevin has been involved with Thacher since 2004 serving in multiple roles including: parent to three Toads; volunteer for multiple auctions and reunions; student advisor; tennis and basketball coach; camping leader; and the occasional Santa Claus for the annual holiday staff party. He officially joined Thacher's development staff in December of 2013, as director of major gifts, in which he manages consituent communications.
A seasoned brand strategist and marketer, Kevin spent the majority of his professional career at the renowned advertising firm, Fallon Worldwide, where he served as managing director. As director of major gifts, Kevin enjoys connecting the passions of alumni and friends with the pressing needs of the School.
Aaron helps manage the alumni relations activities of the Alumni & Development Office. Aaron came to Thacher in 2011, bringing with him a background in technical services, management, and customer support.
He is an Ojai native and religious leader in the valley,
Elizabeth joined Thacher in 2019 as the director of stewardship and donor relations. In her role, Elizabeth strives to maintain a culture committed to the values of gratitude, trust, authenticity, and inclusiveness among every constituent who has made an investment in the School. Elizabeth has an extensive background in development work in both profit and non-profit organizations and most recently worked in PreK-8 independent schools in Princeton, New Jersey. She holds a BA in Art History from St. Lawrence University.
Hanna Day joined the Thacher Alumni and Development office in 2017 She attended Westmont College and graduated with a BA in English literature and a minor in history. She has a wide range of experience in the non-profit sector, including administrative work with the Ojai Music Festival, the Ojai Education Foundation, and the Ojai Youth Opera. Hanna also writes epic fantasy and horror fiction. Two of her short stories are currently published in anthologies.
Stella is the Alumni and Development team's events planner. Before joining the Thacher staff in 2016, Stella worked as a full-time community volunteer for various non-profit organizations and local schools. Prior to moving to California, she worked as an operations analyst in the trust investment area for Michigan National Bank/National Australia Bank. She also spent a few years working for the UNHCR's resettlement agency teaching Asian refugees. Stella has three children and Indie the dog. She earned her BA from University of the Phillipines.
Hilary brings a long career in publishing, design, and involvement in independent schools to her position as Thacher’s director of major gifts. Prior to joining Thacher, she held positions at Marymount of Santa Barbara, a PreK-8th independent school, Cate School and Anacapa School in Santa Barbara. In 2008 Hilary published her first children’s book, The Mouse in the Museum.
Hilary is the parent of a Thacher Toad, Isabella CdeP 2017, who has joined her sister at college on the east coast. She lives with her husband in Santa Barbara.
Laurel Edson joined the Thacher Alumni and Development team as the director of the Alumni Fund in 2018. Previously, she worked in development at her boarding school alma mater, Northfield Mount Hermon in Gill, Massachusetts. While a New Hampshire native, Laurel is not unfamiliar to the joys of California living, as she graduated from and later worked at Scripps College in Claremont, CA.
She resides in Ventura and loves music, running, and traveling.
Carolyn CdeP 1986 joined Thacher as director of alumni relations in 2018. She enjoys connecting with fellow Toads and seeks to build strong relationships between Thacher and its more than 3,800 alumni by developing meaningful opportunities for engagement. In a career change, Carolyn transitioned from engineering to education.
She holds masters degrees in environmental engineering from University of Houston and education from Stanford University. With both parents as faculty members, Carolyn grew up on campus. She is married to her Thacher classmate, Doug. Carolyn and Doug live in Ojai, and are proud parents of two more Toads: Liam CdeP 2017 and Colin ‘19.
A 1983 Thacher graduate, Derick earned his BA from Dartmouth College and worked in retail management before joining the Thacher faculty as an English teacher in 1995. During his tenure as a teacher, he was also the dorm head for Middle School and Lower School at various points. In addition, he coached track and field and girls' varsity basketball. After 16 years in the classroom and on the sidelines, Derick joined the Alumni & Development team as Director of Annual Giving and Special Gifts in July 2011. He enjoys working with all the members of the Thacher family to “do the best work in the world that we can do.” Derick lives on campus with his wife, Molly Twichell Perry CdeP 1985, and their two daughters, Jordan CdeP 2017 and Evan ’19.
As director of major gifts and planned giving, Karleanne helps individuals identify meaningful giving opportunities and assists them in leaving a legacy to the School through Thacher’s Boot Hill Legacy Society. In addition to her work in the Alumni & Development Office, Karleanne advises freshmen girls and leads EDTs. Prior to returning to Thacher (she taught Spanish and riding and serving as a dorm head at Thacher in the mid-80s), Karleanne was the executive director of the Dental Foundation of Oregon in Portland.
Karleanne is the proud mom of three Toads: Trevor Currie CdeP 2009, Lucas Currie CdeP 2012, and Nate Currie CdeP 2015. She enjoys hiking the Ojai hills and riding her beloved horse Santiago
Theresa supports the Next Peak Campaign as the campaign manager. The Vynhal family moved to Thacher in 2004 when Doc V, joined the science department. Theresa worked in the Thacher library from 2006-2009 then she joined the development team. From 2009-2014 she devoted part of her time as the assistant secretary to the board.
She has a BA from Boston College and lives on campus with Doc V, their four kids, Nolan CdeP 2017, Meg, Katie '21, Jack, and their labradoodle Eddie.
As director of development operations, Jillian is responsible for the reporting of constituent activity, database management, and development office operations for the Alumni and Development office. Prior to coming to Thacher in 2016, Jillian worked at Casa Pacifica, the Ojai Music Festival, and recently at FOOD Share, Ventura County's food bank as the donor relations director. Jillian lives in Santa Paula with her husband, Josh, daughter, Emelia and their two dogs, Captain Crunch and Pearl.
Sandi works as the campaign director for the Thacher development team. She has been involved with development for over 20 years in both the profit and non-profit worlds. Most recently, Sandi worked at Westmont College in Montecito, California, as the assistant vice president for college advancement and prior to Westmont was the director for court appointed special advocates (CAA) for all of Ventura County. Both of these positions provided opportunities for Sandi to raise funds for the betterment of the organization, which in turn benefitted the students, a core component of her work.
Sandi has lived in Ojai for over 27 years with her husband, Scott, and their daughter, Lexi, who now lives and works in Los Angeles as an architect.
A college preparatory, coed boarding school for grades 9-12