Our Board

The Garner Holt Foundation’s board of directors is working hard to improve the lives of young people in the community by increasing levels of hope and harnessing the power and potential of access to high quality, innovative, career-focused programs to drive personal motivation and community change.

The Garner Holt Foundation board understands what matters most for student success: Hope, Engagement, Entrepreneurial Aspirations and Career & Financial Literacy. The Garner Holt Foundation board members support students in these areas by providing high quality, hands-on, STEAM learning experiences that expose students to a variety of careers while igniting imagination, inspiring creativity, and developing curiosity and critical thinking through problem solving and teamwork. The board invests in the education of our community’s youth because education gives people the tools they need to lead fulfilling lives, thrive personally, and contribute to their communities. In addition, education makes it more likely a person can, find employment that pays a living wage, access quality healthcare and live in a safe environment.

Garner Holt

Garner Holt

Founder

Garner L. Holt is the founder and president of Garner Holt Productions, Inc. (GHP). Garner started GHP at age 16 in his parents’ garage, while still in high school. GHP is now the world’s largest designer and builder of animatronics and other elements for theme parks, attractions, museums, and more—all from its 120,000 square-foot Redlands, California headquarters. In 34 countries on six continents, GHP’s work is in nearly 5,000 animatronic figures created for Disney, Universal Studios, Mattel, Warner Bros., Lockheed-Martin, Salesforce, Nike, Coca-Cola, and dozens more. Garner is the world’s leading authority on animatronics and won the 2015 Harrison “Buzz” Price Thea Award for a Lifetime of Achievements from the Themed Entertainment Association, among more than two dozen other Theas.

Ryan Rainbolt, Board Chairman

Ryan Rainbolt

Board Chairman

Ryan brings extensive experience in the education field to the Foundation. He began a career in education in 1997 in the San Bernardino City Unified School District.  Ryan later became a teacher and received a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. He was promoted to principal in 2010 and was assigned to Bing Wong Elementary School in San Bernardino where he remained for over seven years. Under Ryan’s leadership, Bing Wong Elementary School became a nationally recognized school for its focus on STEAM Education, and more specifically, its efforts to expose students to a variety of careers in the STEAM fields. This work caught the attention of Garner Holt of Garner Holt Productions. In an effort to support innovation in education and entrepreneurship, Garner adopted the school in 2016. In January of 2018, Ryan joined the Garner Holt Productions team to create a brand new educational program inspired by the work of Garner Holt Productions. In February of 2018 a new company, Garner Holt Education through Imagination was born. Ryan continues to lead this company along with the Garner Holt Foundation with a mission to bring experiences in the STEAM fields to students nationwide.

Michelle Berg

Board Treasurer

Michelle Berg serves as the Chief Financial Officer of Garner Holt Productions, Inc. In such role she has served as such from the time the company was a small niche manufacturer to present. Her leadership and services have been critical to the growth of the company which is now the world’s largest manufacturer of animatronics. Prior to joining Garner Holt Productions, Ms. Berg served as the Chief Financial Officer of Whitehurst Aluminum. Ms. Berg served as a member of the board of directors of the San Bernardino Area Chamber of Commerce, and was a 2010 nominee as the Inland Empire’s Woman of Distinction.

Mark Edwards

Board Secretary

Mark Edwards is an attorney, a partner with the Law Firm of Mirau, Edwards, Cannon, Lewin & Tooke, LLP, and has practiced business and employment law for 37 years in California. Throughout his career he has participated in charitable and community activities. Among other non-profit organizations he has served on the Board of Directors of The Central City Lutheran Mission, the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra, The San Bernardino Area Chamber of Commerce, Leadership San Bernardino, The More Attractive Community Foundation, The San Bernardino Visitors and Convention Bureau, Arrowhead United Way, The San Bernardino Downtown Business Association, Arrowhead Health Care (San Bernardino Community Hospital), The Business Development Association of the Inland Empire, and The Highland Senior Center. In the educational sphere, Mr. Edwards is a member of the Board of Directors, and Vice Chairman of the Board of the California State University, San Bernardino Philanthropic Board. At California State University San Bernardino, Mark and his wife have been long time supporters of the Renaissance Scholars Program, a program of support for children entering college out of foster care. In addition to their own support of the Program, a scholarship in their names, for foster youth, was established at CSUSB. In 2014, in large part because of their support of higher education for foster youth, Mark and his wife Lori honored as Philanthropists of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. In 2016, Mr. Edwards was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters by the California State University.

Joseph Richardson

Joseph Richardson

Board Member

Joe Richardson, Esq. is a partner at the law firm of McCune Wright Arevalo LLP, heading the Racial and Economic Justice Practice Group, which combines litigation, community contact and advocacy. He graduated from the University of Redlands and Northwestern Law School. Joe speaks to college students and other constituencies nationwide on leadership, legal and ethical responsibility. He is an adjunct professor at LaVerne College of Law, teaching California Civil Procedure. Joe also hosts the Joespeak! Podcast, which features diverse guests discussing local, state, and national issues. Joe can be regularly seen on the Law and Crime TV Network with legal commentary on current national trials and justice issues. He is also the Vice-Chair of the Redlands Planning Commission.

Char Burgess

Charlotte Burgess

Board Member

Char came to Redlands to go to college and graduated with a Bachelor’s in psychology and Master’s degree in Higher Education and Counseling from the University of Redlands. She has served the University for the 50 years, in the general area of Student Life for 10 years, and then as Dean of Student Life and ultimately Vice President and Dean for 37 years. She retired from the position of Vice President for External Affairs in 2017. Char has always been active in the community, currently serving on five boards: Museum of Redlands, Redlands Community Foundation, YMCA, Redlands Family Service and The Redlands Bowl Performing Arts. On two of those boards she has served as President and generally works in the area of fund raising. She is also honored to serve on the board of the Garner Holt Foundation and a family foundation, the Will J. Reid Foundation, based in Long Beach.

Carlos Ayala

Board Member

Dr. Carlos Ayala, a longtime educator, administrator and former dean of California State University, Sonoma’s College of Education, is the new Chief Executive Officer of Growing Inland Achievement (GIA) an education collaborative focused on improving the economic outlook of the Inland Empire by raising the region’s educational attainment rates.  Dr. Ayala began his academic work as a chemist, science and math teacher, small business owner, and school principal in Calexico, California. At Stanford University, he was an educational researcher, at Sonoma State taught science methods and educational research courses, and helped create a joint doctoral program in educational leadership, chaired the Faculty Standards and Affairs Committee, and served as the school’s director of Assessment and Accreditation.  Dr. Ayala brings deep knowledge of the education landscape, strong leadership and a passion to positively impact student lives.

Ted Alejandre

Board Member

Ted Alejandre was first elected as county superintendent in June 2014. He ran for the county’s lead educational seat unopposed in 2018 and began his second four-year term in January 2019. With over three decades of experience in public education, Mr. Alejandre has served in several positions at school site and district levels. He then joined County Schools in 2008 as the assistant superintendent of Business Services, and later was appointed deputy superintendent, overseeing all operations of the organization. As county superintendent, Mr. Alejandre works collaboratively with all stakeholders to serve more than 406,000 K-12 students attending public schools in San Bernardino County. Mr. Alejandre is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel serving since 1984. He received his associate degree in Administrative Management from the Community College of the Air Force, his bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and master’s in Educational Administration from Cal State University, San Bernardino.

Stan Weisser

Stan Weisser

Board Member

Stan received a BS of Pharmacy degree from the University of Connecticut in 1963. He has served as CEO and Treasurer Weisser Group of Pharmacies and as CEO of Network Pharmaceuticals. He is a past member and President California State Board of Pharmacy and past Trustee of University of Redlands.  He us a current Board member and past Chairman of the Redlands Community Hospital. Stan is also President of the Redlands Police Community Foundation, founder and past Board Chair The Grove School and past Chairman on the Committee for Measure R school bonds for the Redlands Unified School District. He is a past Board Member and Chair of the Redlands Theatre Festival, and current Board Chair of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program. Stan was named Redlands Man of the Year 2009. He is a member and past President of the Rotary Club of Redlands and holds an honorary Doctorate of Humanitarian Service from Loma Linda University. He is married to Ellen, 56 years, and has two sons, Seth and Peter.

Dennis Sonney

Board Member

Co-Founder, Inland Empire Women In Manufacturing

Dennis brings over 25 years experience leading successful business transformations. His portfolio includes over 1,500 companies throughout California. Dennis began his career in the US Marine Corps. His devotion to innovation and growth activities has carried him into many avionics and aerospace companies including; The Boeing Company, Rockwell Collins and Northwest Airlines. He is a Master Certified Lean / Six Sigma specialist adept at understanding how to transform organizations. Dennis is a published author of several articles and presentation guides. With an interest in automation technology, Dennis co-founded Improving Tomorrow, Inc. (2001) a company dedicated to controlling daily processes while reducing the need of human intervention. Since 2006, Dennis has worked for a non-profit organization funded largely by the US Department of Commerce to strengthen manufacturing in America.

Dr. Mike Stull

Dr. Mike Stull

Board Member

Dr. Mike Stull is a Professor of Entrepreneurship, Director of the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE) and the School of Entrepreneurship in the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration at California State University, San Bernardino. Under his leadership, the program has grown in stature and recognition, achieving multiple national and global awards. With nearly 40 years’ experience in business and education, Mike describes himself as the “living example” that entrepreneurship is a process that can be applied in any setting and he truly “thinks like an owner.” At CSUSB, he has raised over $38 million in grants, contracts and sponsorship and spearheaded the establishment of the School of Entrepreneurship, the first and only school of its kind in California.

Todd Regan

Todd Regan

Board Member

Todd Regan, known as Dusty Sage to the readers of his many columns, is a marketing expert and non-profit specialist. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Dick Van Dyke Foundation, providing opportunities for young people to get involved in the arts. This position follows up on his work to save and transform Walt Disney’s Birthplace into a center for early childhood creativity and innovation. In both roles, Todd was responsible for not only setting the goals of the organization but growing a donor-base as well in order to raise the funds necessary to implement services and achieve goals. Todd’s own company, Sage Omnimedia, runs several large entertainment websites focused on the theme park industry; provides social media with hundreds of thousands of followers and millions of readers, marketing, and public relations support for entertainment and hospitality companies; consults and produces events for non-profits; and manages Walt Disney’s historic mansion in the Hollywood Hills.

Gary Miller

Board Member

Gary Miller was born in Blackfoot, Idaho, and at age 4 the family relocated to Colton, CA. Gary attended Valley College’s Architecture Program, then transferred to Cal Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo where he graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. Gary worked for local architects, soon thereafter he started his firm in San Bernardino, in 1986. MILLER Architectural Corporation has grown to include offices in Redlands, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City and Phoenix. In addition to the academic training, he has garnered additional certifications and awards. Mr. Miller has been an active member within the community, volunteering and serving on various professional and municipal committees and organizations.

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