The Problem

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 Goal

Our work won’t be finished until financial competence is as commonplace as reading.

Join The Solution

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.

Our Goals

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.

Ignite a Movement

Ignite a national movement amongst millennials to make financial competency a vital part of their lives, thus empowering them to be able to make decisions which will allow them to lead a life of maximum choice, security and freedom.

Inspire Entrepreneurship

Inspire entrepreneurship and help provide the information and tools entrepreneurs need to build confidence and succeed.

Make Learning Fun, Trustworthy and Available to All

Make it easy for people to find great, digestible, understandable, relevant and trustworthy information, and fast.

Think Like an Entrepreneur:

From Crisis to Opportunity

Cary Singleton

TEDxPepperdineUniversity

In January, 2020, Cary was a featured speaker at TEDxPepperdineU 2020 where she spoke about why the Singleton Foundation came to be and ​how we plan to help empower​ a generation to gain the skills they need to manage their financial futures with confidence—and think like entrepreneurs.

Our Team

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 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.

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.

Heading up the Singleton CEO Prize jury, Will is the founder and a Managing Director of Housatonic Partners, a private equity firm launched in 1994. He is a graduate of Harvard College and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Will is a director of eight companies, and two not-for-profit organizations. His book, “The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success” is considered one of the most influential business books of our time.

Will Thorndike, Director

Heading up the Singleton CEO Prize jury, Will is the founder and a Managing Director of Housatonic Partners, a private equity firm launched in 1994. He is a graduate of Harvard College and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Will is a director of eight companies, and two not-for-profit organizations. His book, “The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success” is considered one of the most influential business books of our time.
The Walt Disney Television Animation department began in November 1984 with Gary at the helm, and he grew it into a powerhouse. During nearly 23 years with Disney, Gary developed some of its most iconic properties, including the Ducktales TV show and “DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp.” In music, his hits included “Mickey Mouse Disco” (2x Platinum) and “The Making of ‘A Goofy Movie’”. Post Disney, Gary joined Dreamworks SKG where he was the backbone of the studio’s plan to enter Saturday morning cartoons.

Gary Krisel, Director

The Walt Disney Television Animation department began in November 1984 with Gary at the helm, and he grew it into a powerhouse. During nearly 23 years with Disney, Gary developed some of its most iconic properties, including the Ducktales TV show and “DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp.” In music, his hits included “Mickey Mouse Disco” (2x Platinum) and “The Making of ‘A Goofy Movie’”. Post Disney, Gary joined Dreamworks SKG where he was the backbone of the studio’s plan to enter Saturday morning cartoons.
A Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner, Jean has her own practice and over 32-years experience with a wide range of clients and industries. She has expertise in all aspects of taxation and accounting, from compliance to planning. Jean has served on a variety of committees and boards for different community organizations. She’s a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Jean M. Gadea, Treasurer/Secretary

A Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner, Jean has her own practice and over 32-years experience with a wide range of clients and industries. She has expertise in all aspects of taxation and accounting, from compliance to planning. Jean has served on a variety of committees and boards for different community organizations. She’s a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants.

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

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.
Michael has won over 300 awards for copywriting and design, including Clios, One Shows and numerous appearances in Communication Arts. His work has been featured in Adweek, Advertising Age, Creativity, The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times. Michael has been named to Adweek’s All-Star Creative Team and recognized by Adweek as Television Copywriter of the Year. His career includes stints at Apple, NeXT, and most recently, Michael served as Head of Digital for BBC Worldwide.

Michael Albright, Head of Creative, Programs and Digital

Michael has won over 300 awards for copywriting and design, including Clios, One Shows and numerous appearances in Communication Arts. His work has been featured in Adweek, Advertising Age, Creativity, The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times. Michael has been named to Adweek’s All-Star Creative Team and recognized by Adweek as Television Copywriter of the Year. His career includes stints at Apple, NeXT, and most recently, Michael served as Head of Digital for BBC Worldwide.
Jan is credited by many with pioneering the contemporary stock footage industry by founding Energy Film Library, a global company which was acquired by Getty Images. Upon the acquisition, Jan joined the Getty Film Division as President. Jan later joined BBC Worldwide where she served first as the Senior VP heading its media licensing business division, then Worldwide Learning. Among her many accomplishments for the BBC, Jan launched the BBC’s highly-acclaimed Worldwide Learning division and grew it to scale.

Jan Ross, Head of Content Production and Acquisition

Jan is credited by many with pioneering the contemporary stock footage industry by founding Energy Film Library, a global company which was acquired by Getty Images. Upon the acquisition, Jan joined the Getty Film Division as President. Jan later joined BBC Worldwide where she served first as the Senior VP heading its media licensing business division, then Worldwide Learning. Among her many accomplishments for the BBC, Jan launched the BBC’s highly-acclaimed Worldwide Learning division and grew it to scale.
Linda Kehn is a seasoned marketing executive with a track record of successfully developing and managing world class marketing campaigns for global partners.

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

Linda Kehn is a seasoned marketing executive with a track record of successfully developing and managing world class marketing campaigns for global partners. 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.
Roger has produced and launched over 100 consumer video games and highly successful game franchises producing over $5 billion in revenue for major corporations including Walt Disney, Sega, Electronic Arts, Universal Studios, and Atari. He has also been a principal founder of several Silicon Valley start-ups ranging from technology R&D, to new mobile / social media applications, music apps, networked digital e-commerce theaters, carbon fiber sports car design & manufacturing, new VR applications, and produced many design & utility patents including the first mass-produced, animated 3D holographic displays.

Roger Hector, Exec Producer

Roger has produced and launched over 100 consumer video games and highly successful game franchises producing over $5 billion in revenue for major corporations including Walt Disney, Sega, Electronic Arts, Universal Studios, and Atari. He has also been a principal founder of several Silicon Valley start-ups ranging from technology R&D, to new mobile / social media applications, music apps, networked digital e-commerce theaters, carbon fiber sports car design & manufacturing, new VR applications, and produced many design & utility patents including the first mass-produced, animated 3D holographic displays.
Tim is a seasoned marketing executive with proven experience leading award winning marketing teams for global brands such as Live Nation/Ticketmaster, Jerry Bruckheimer Films and TV, Fortune 500 companies, tech startups and celebrity clients. As VP of Marketing at Live Nation, Tim's marketing team drove millions in ticket sales and grew a social audience to 16M+ followers. Tim’s non-profit experience includes LA-based Coupla Guys & Gals and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Tim is a graduate of Boston University and an Adjunct Professor of Marketing and PR at SDUIS.

Tim Carr, Marketing Director

Tim is a seasoned marketing executive with proven experience leading award winning marketing teams for global brands such as Live Nation/Ticketmaster, Jerry Bruckheimer Films and TV, Fortune 500 companies, tech startups and celebrity clients. As VP of Marketing at Live Nation, Tim’s marketing team drove millions in ticket sales and grew a social audience to 16M+ followers. Tim’s non-profit experience includes LA-based Coupla Guys & Gals and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Tim is a graduate of Boston University and an Adjunct Professor of Marketing and PR at SDUIS.
Erik Bass comes to the Singleton Foundation with a BS in Engineering and an MBA. He’s spent the better part of the last two decades deep in development of business systems and IT management. He’s worked for big companies like GE and Zynga, and has been on the ground floor at startups in FinTech. Erik’s most effectual skill is being a generalist: he knows more than a little about quite a lot, including finance, data science, sales, and personal development. His current fascination is with complex systems science, one of the most useful tools for navigating our complex world.

Erik Bass, Technology Director

Erik Bass comes to the Singleton Foundation with a BS in Engineering and an MBA. He’s spent the better part of the last two decades deep in development of business systems and IT management. He’s worked for big companies like GE and Zynga, and has been on the ground floor at startups in FinTech. Erik’s most effectual skill is being a generalist: he knows more than a little about quite a lot, including finance, data science, sales, and personal development. His current fascination is with complex systems science, one of the most useful tools for navigating our complex world.
Noa began her financial services career as a financial advisor for Ameriprise (formerly a division of American Express) and has since dedicated herself to finding innovative ways of making financial education more accessible through technology, serving as a subject matter expert at Nerdwallet & most recently the fintech company, Albert. Noa, a Certified Financial Planner™, is no stranger to the nonprofit world, previously volunteering for Operation Hope teaching money basics -- budgeting, checking and savings; the power of credit, and investments to local students in grades 4-12.

Noa Hoffman, Director of Editorial & Community Engagement

Noa began her financial services career as a financial advisor for Ameriprise (formerly a division of American Express) and has since dedicated herself to finding innovative ways of making financial education more accessible through technology, serving as a subject matter expert at Nerdwallet & most recently the fintech company, Albert. Noa, a Certified Financial Planner™, is no stranger to the nonprofit world, previously volunteering for Operation Hope teaching money basics — budgeting, checking and savings; the power of credit, and investments to local students in grades 4-12.
Diane has been a product and marketing executive within the digital entertainment industry for over 25 years, working with companies including SONY PlayStation, SEGA of America, LeapFrog, and Universal Studios. She has launched/managed over 100 new mobile, PC, and console products, with numerous brands growing to over $1B in revenues, and achieving 'top franchise' status within their product categories. Diane graduated from Miami University of Ohio, and is active in mentoring girls and women interested in STEM careers or management positions within technology-oriented businesses.

Diane Fornasier, Head of Game Marketing

Diane has been a product and marketing executive within the digital entertainment industry for over 25 years, working with companies including SONY PlayStation, SEGA of America, LeapFrog, and Universal Studios. She has launched/managed over 100 new mobile, PC, and console products, with numerous brands growing to over $1B in revenues, and achieving ‘top franchise’ status within their product categories. Diane graduated from Miami University of Ohio, and is active in mentoring girls and women interested in STEM careers or management positions within technology-oriented businesses.
An "incurable optimist," Ryan Groves leads the foundation's Entrepreneurship strategy. Ryan is a serial entrepreneur and educator with a deep background in start-ups, tech, and social enterprise. He is a graduate of Oklahoma Christian (Business, Communications) and holds a masters in Social Entrepreneurship from Pepperdine University. There is nothing he loves more than helping good people do great things.

Ryan Groves, Head of Entrepreneurship

An “incurable optimist,” Ryan Groves leads the foundation’s Entrepreneurship strategy. Ryan is a serial entrepreneur and educator with a deep background in start-ups, tech, and social enterprise. He is a graduate of Oklahoma Christian (Business, Communications) and holds a masters in Social Entrepreneurship from Pepperdine University. There is nothing he loves more than helping good people do great things.

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

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.
Jeff Hare began his PR career at the Walt Disney Company in feature publicity and went on to Warner Bros as Sr. Publicist. He is a three time nominee for the Les Mason award (Publicist of the Year.) In 2008, Hare took the role of Head of Publicity at DreamWorks Animation working on all aspects of the company’s business including films, television, theatrical, technology, corporate communications and personal publicity for CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg. He currently owns his own PR consulting firm.

Jeff Hare, Public Relations

Jeff Hare began his PR career at the Walt Disney Company in feature publicity and went on to Warner Bros as Sr. Publicist. He is a three time nominee for the Les Mason award (Publicist of the Year.) In 2008, Hare took the role of Head of Publicity at DreamWorks Animation working on all aspects of the company’s business including films, television, theatrical, technology, corporate communications and personal publicity for CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg. He currently owns his own PR consulting firm.
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

— Benjamin Franklin

Because everyone deserves financial freedom.

Will and Cary Singleton founded the Singleton Foundation for Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship for two reasons: to create a viable means to combat the dire problem of financial illiteracy in our society; and to promote entrepreneurship as a way to inspire individual achievement. These goals are complementary and essential to our dream of financial freedom for all Americans.

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.

Meet Will and Cary

Will Singleton manages Singleton Properties LLC (aka Singleton Ranches), which is engaged in the land and cattle business. He was involved in the computer industry for many years, primarily as a software engineer. In addition to the Singleton Foundation for Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship, he is active in the support of various educational and health-related organizations.
Cary Singleton has had careers in designing and building homes, marketing, manufacturing, and business leadership. She was previously active on boards of local and state organizations in Arizona, Oregon and California relating to housing (Habitat for Humanity & National Homebuilders Association), mentoring (Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Tucson Children’s Museum, Paxis/Peacebuilders Violence Prevention) and various arts organizations.
The Singleton Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) family operating foundation.