Maria Middaugh Assaraf is Co-Founder of NeuroGym, a brain research and development company that develops scientifically proven technologies for helping people expand their mental and emotional power to reach their fullest potential. An ardent supporter of Just Like My Child Foundation, she is passionate about children’s issues and is also the Chair for the of Board of Trustees, Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation. In 2011, she received the Spirit of Leadership Award through the Jenna Druck Center. Maria brings her experience of serving on the boards of several other philanthropic organizations in San Diego to JLMC where she continues to propel the organization to diversify fundraising streams for maximum impact. As an early supporter of the organization since 2009, her clear understanding of JLMC’s values and guiding principles provide a strong foundation of support and accountability as the organization moves forward in its focus on vulnerable adolescent girls. In 2016, Maria traveled with JLMC to central Uganda to witness the organization’s impact firsthand.
Dr. Stephen Commins works in areas of regional and international development, with an emphasis on service delivery and governance in fragile states. He was Director of the Development Institute at the UCLA African Studies Center in the 1980s, and then worked as Director of Policy and Planning at World Vision International in the 1990s, as well as Senior Human Development Specialist at the World Bank from 1999-2005. Steve’s work at the World Bank included “Managing Dimensions of Economic Crisis: Good Practices for Policies and Institutions,” the establishment of the Bank’s children and youth cluster, and a survey of service delivery programs implemented by civil society organizations. He was one of the co-authors of the World Bank’s World Development Report 2004, “Making Services Work for Poor People.” Following the Report’s publication in 2003, Steve managed several initiatives on service delivery in post-conflict countries and the relationships between political reform and improved services. Since leaving the World Bank in 2005, he has continued to work on service delivery programs, including the major study “Service Delivery in Fragile States: Good Practice for Donors,” for the Fragile States Group of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2006. Currently, Steve is Strategy Manager, Fragile States, International Medical Corps, and coordinator for the Health and Fragile States Network. His recent work has included “testing the DFID state building” framework in Lao PDR and Cambodia, managing studies on disasters and safety nets for the World Bank in Bangladesh, a co-authored paper on participation, accountability and decentralization in Africa, and producing studies on health systems strengthening in fragile states for World Vision Canada and on sub-national fragility in India and Pakistan for the HLSP Institute. He is currently working on a long term study of livelihoods and post-conflict reconstruction in Pakistan, and the ‘new deal’ on aid for fragile and conflict affected states.
Arielle Ford is a leading personality in the personal growth and contemporary spirituality movement. For the past 30 years she has been living, teaching, and promoting consciousness through all forms of media. Arielle is a gifted writer and the author of eleven books including the international bestseller, The Soulmate Secret: Manifest The Love of Your Life With The Law of Attraction and Turn Your Mate Into Your Soulmate. Arielle’s experience and extensive network in the publishing and media industry has opened the doors of opportunity for JLMC since she first began supporting the organization as a donor in 2006. She has been instrumental in guiding JLMC to reach new heights as an organization through increased exposure, long-term relationship building, and her unwavering belief in the possibility of the unreasonable.
With 12 years of experience working in the developing world, Vivian Glyck is a recognized thought leader in global issues facing the health, education, and economic leadership of vulnerable adolescent girls and women in East Africa. She is the founder of Just Like My Child Foundation which has documented success in increasing the acceptance of human rights in developing communities and shifting harmful cultural practices that impede girls from continuing their education. Vivian is also an accomplished entrepreneur, strategic marketing consultant, and author. With great enthusiasm and insight, she has experienced success helping health-based organizations, authors, speakers, and publishers develop and reach their marketing goals. Her clients have included Deepak Chopra and Tony Robbins, among others. Vivian called upon the relationships she built during her career to co-create Just Like My Child Foundation and cultivate a family of supporters who have allowed the organization’s services to grow and empower communities to thrive.
Karina is a Registered Nurse and Lactation Consultant at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Children in San Diego, CA. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree from SDSU School of Nursing and is an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant through the University of California, San Diego. Karina began her nursing career working in a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, then took time off to raise four children while living abroad. She joined the ConnectMed board in 2015, and is currently serving as Secretary of the Board. She also volunteers as a patient/family liaison and provides translation for the Spanish-speaking clients.