Our foundation was created to tackle one of the most pervasive problems facing our country today. Financial incompetence. Case in point: Two-thirds of Americans are unable to pass a basic financial literacy test (FINRA, 2016). Tens of millions of Americans are in serious debt, and the issue looms as an ominous threat to our nation’s financial future.
Our work won’t be finished until financial competence is as commonplace as reading.
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About the Foundation
We believe financial competence empowers individuals to do great things for themselves, their communities and the world. Our mission is to make financial competence a reality for everyone and to promote entrepreneurship to inspire individual achievement. We believe these goals are complementary and essential to the dream of financial freedom for all.
But how to begin to solve such a challenging problem?
Over the years, the Foundation’s founders, Cary and Will, had seen the power of entertainment to move hearts and minds, and to capture a busy, distracted audience who might otherwise never pay attention. So when they set out to attack the problem, they decided to do it in a way that sparks the imagination and connects with the individual. Through the power of entertainment and storytelling.
We believe financial confidence is attainable by all, and its attainment is rooted in financial competence. Our goal is to motivate people to attain the financial skills they need to better manage their lives and their businesses.
The Foundation and our many generous partner organizations hope to raise awareness, inspire engagement, and motivate action in a number of ways.
Think Like an Entrepreneur:
From Crisis to Opportunity
We believe that through the power of storytelling, entertainment and play, we’ll be able to capture attention, get people engaged and motivate them to learn, take action and make positive changes in their lives. To do so, we’ve assembled a team from some of the most-respected entertainment and technology companies in the world, including Disney, Dreamworks, Apple, MGM/UA, Electronic Arts and the BBC.
Shelley Miles, CEO
Shelley has spent over 30 years leading the growth and development of entertainment and technology businesses including at the Walt Disney Company, where she started the interactive game business and managed the Recorded Music and Music Publishing businesses. Shelley was one of the founders of the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House, and has served on the boards of non-profits including the National Children’s Chorus and the Ronald McDonald House Southern California. Shelley is a USC alumna and California CPA.
Will Thorndike, Director
Gary Krisel, Director
Jean M. Gadea, Treasurer/Secretary
Geoff has held numerous finance, operations, and administrative leadership roles for start-up, early-stage, and private equity-backed companies in the advertising and technology space and has served on various non-profit boards as a financial advisor. Geoff holds an accounting degree from Indiana University, an MBA from the University of Southern California, and is a private pilot. In addition to flying, Geoff is also a runner and loves surfing, snowboarding, and, most recently, dirt biking.
Geoff Howard, CFO/COO
Michael Albright, Head of Creative, Programs and Digital
Jan Ross, Head of Content Production and Acquisition
Previously, Linda led the DreamWorks Animation National Promotions team and oversaw the studio’s global corporate alliance partnerships over her nine-year tenure at the studio. As Vice President of National Promotions, Linda was responsible for the strategic development and implementation of promotions and partnerships for DreamWorks Animation’s Theatrical and Home Entertainment releases and Live Productions which also included securing Food Licensing and Branded Integration partners.
Linda Kehn, Head of Strategic Alliances
Roger Hector, Exec Producer
Tim Carr, Marketing Director
Erik Bass, Technology Director
Noa Hoffman, Director of Editorial & Community Engagement
Diane Fornasier, Head of Game Marketing
Ryan Groves, Head of Entrepreneurship
Landon’s passion for innovation and invention emerged during his decade long stint in higher education. His advocacy for innovation in the classroom culminated in him founding and leading the Innovation Lab at Pepperdine University. Overseeing what quickly became the de facto hub for entrepreneurship on campus, Landon mentored and taught students as they iterated, prototyped, and improved their designs, assisted by the technologies present in the lab. He is a graduate of Pepperdine University (Advertising) and earned his Master’s in Learning Technology.
Landon Phillips, Head of Innovation, Entrepreneurship
Jeff Hare, Public Relations
Because everyone deserves financial freedom.
The high percentage of US citizens with significant student debt, the lack of economic and financial literacy education available in schools, and the alarming statistics about the number of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck coupled with the need to prepare our citizens for the careers and opportunities presented by rapid technological advancements motivated them to take action.
Will and Cary believe that each of us can become the CEO of our own lives with access to education and resources, and have dedicated themselves to focusing on programs which they hope will have a positive long-term impact on the health of the nation.