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

Founder

Garner Holt is Founder, President and sole shareholder of Garner Holt Productions, Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of animatronics. Garner Holt Productions’ animatronic figures and features are located in theme parts throughout the world, including Disney parks, Universal Studios theme parks, and Knotts Berry Farm, as well as in numerous attractions at other recreational venues, businesses and private establishments. Mr. Holt is a self-taught engineer and began his business in his garage, growing it into an enterprise with tens of millions of dollars annual revenues, and known throughout the world.

Mr. Holt has been active in philanthropic / educational endeavors for years. He is a member of the California State University, San Bernardino Philanthropic Board, and annually sponsors and hosts California State University, San Bernardino’s “Garner Holt Fast Pitch Competition” a Competitive event for student entrepreneurs to pitch, to the business community, their proposals and plans for innovative products and lines of business.

Ryan Rainbolt

Board Chairman

Mr. Rainbolt brings extensive experience in the education field to the Foundation. Mr. Rainbolt began a career in education in 1997 in the San Bernardino City Unified School District. He later became a teacher then received a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. Mr. Rainbolt 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 Mr. Rainbolt’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, Mr. Rainbolt 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. Mr. Rainbolt continues to lead this new company with a mission to bringing 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

Board Member

Mr. Richardson is an attorney with Borton Petrini, LLP in Redlands, California. Mr. Richardson’s practice focuses on employment law. Mr. Richardson is also an adjunct professor of law at LaVerne College of law, and is a planning commissioner for the City of Redlands. Mr. Richardson is a frequent speaker on issues of employment law to community and legal groups.

Charlotte Burgess

Board Member

Ms. Burgess is the Vice President for External Relations and Dean Emeritus of the University of Redlands. Ms. Burgess previously served, with the University of Redlands, as the Vice President & Dean of Student Life from 2003-2017; as Dean of Student Life from 1980-2003, as Acting Dean of Admissions from 1979-1980 and as Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Student Activities from 1971-1979. She has been a member of numerous educational organizations including the American College Personnel, the National Association of Women Deans, the College Board and the American Association of University Women. She has also served, throughout her career, on numerous community Boards in the Inland Empire.

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

San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools’ <b>Ted Alejandre </b>began his four-year term as the county’s 34th superintendent after being elected to office 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 more than three decades of experience in public education, Mr. Alejandre has served in several positions at the school site and district levels including assistant superintendent of Business Services in the Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District. He 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 educators, families, other agencies and stakeholders to provide advocacy, leadership and services for and on behalf of 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

Stan Weisser

Board Member

Mr. Weisser is a retired pharmacist, who opened a single pharmacy in 1969 and grew it to 30 pharmacies before selling the enterprise and retiring in 1999. Mr. Weisser has served as a member of the California Board of Pharmacy since his appointment by the California Governor in 2007. Throughout his career, Mr. Weisser has participated in numerous community and non-profit organizations including the Redlands Community Hospital Board (on which he has served as Board Chair) and the Redlands Police Community Foundation.

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

Board Member

Dr. Stull is a professor of entrepreneurship at California State University, San Bernardino, is the Director of the University’s Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship, and is chair of the Management Department at the University’s College of Business and Public Administration. At the University, Dr. Stull focuses his research on entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial leadership and social entrepreneurship. Dr. Stull has servs on a number of boards of directors of nonprofit organizations, and is currently an advisory board member of the Tech Coast Angels, the largest investor group in the United States.

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, 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.

Due to Todd’s work in the entertainment design industry for nearly two decades, he has come to know dozens of celebrities and influential people in the entertainment world and has become a well-known personality in his own right, with hundreds of thousands of followers and millions of readers on the columns he pens.

Gary Miller

Board Member

Gary Miller is an architect, with over 30 year experience in architecture and construction. Mr. Miller serves as President and CEO of Miller Architecture, with offices in Redlands, California, Murray, Utah and Las Vegas, Nevada. Mr. Miller served, for twelve years, on the City of Redlands Planning Commission. Mr. Miller continues to serve in a variety of community and non-profit capacities.

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