subpage_history Leadership

THINK Together has assembled a unique blend of executive leaders who hail from business and education backgrounds. Our highly qualified team is made up of some of the most experienced and brightest leaders in the field of extended learning. These leaders are committed to fulfilling our mission and exemplifying the values that unite our organization toward the common purpose Teaching, Helping, Inspiring, and Nurturing Kids to reach their full potential and become productive adults and responsible, contributing members of the community.

Randy Barth, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), is recognized as one of the nation’s leading social entrepreneurs. A successful investment advisor for various Wall Street firms and private company CEO, he founded THINK Together as a volunteer in 1997 and served as the organization’s Board Chair. Upon the sale of his company in 2003, Barth became THINK’s full-time CEO. Since then he led the development of a successful plan to scale the organization growing from an organization serving 2,000 students on $1.5 million in revenue to serving more than 100,000 students currently on more than $60 million in annual revenue. Along the way he has built a deep management team and a strong results-oriented culture. In addition, THINK Together has created 2,600 jobs over the last five years. Barth has earned numerous awards for civic and business leadership including Concordia University Irvine’s Servant Leadership Award in 2011. He currently Chair’s the Board of Directors of the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce and serves on the leadership of the California Afterschool Network. Barth holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from UCLA and studied under Peter Drucker at the Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University.

Beccie Dawson, Chief People Officer, oversees recruitment/staffing, human resources and volunteers. A 20-plus year human resources professional, she served as the executive vice president of human resources for a division of Sage Software, a leading Orange County employer. She also spent nearly 10 years with Wonderware, where she served as the Manager of Finance and Administration, and later as the Human Resources Director. Dawson serves on the board of directors for the Irvine Valley College Foundation, is a past chair and board member of the Irvine Chamber of Commerce and has been actively involved with local charities including Working Wardrobes and the Orange County United Way. Dawson holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Redlands and a master’s degree in human resources and organizational development from the University of San Francisco.

Mike Frobenius, Chief Financial Officer, oversees finance and accounting and information technology, and is responsible for overseeing the detailed reporting to THINK Together’s school district partners, the California Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to joining THINK Together, he served as director of finance for LA Chemical, a $175 million leading regional distribution company. Frobenius has served as a board member for a local credit union and is an active volunteer for a number of local community youth sports programs. Frobenius holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from California State University, Fullerton and is a California Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.


Ken Geisick, Ed.D., Chief Educational Services Officer, supervises and leads Field Operations, oversees High School ASSETS Programs, Supplemental Education Services, Early Literacy in addition to collaborating with leadership within the organization and external partners to design and build an educational consulting division. Currently, Ken also serves as interim general manger for the LA – West Covina Region and Sacramento. Prior to joining THINK Together, Dr. Geisick spent 20 years in K-12 education, where he served as a high school teacher in San Jose, CA, a middle school principal in Stockton, CA, and a high school principal in Riverbank, CA. Most recently, he served as superintendent of Riverbank Unified School District. He also presents nationally to teams of school and district administrators on system-wide initiatives to address adolescent literacy and develop instructional leadership. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Humboldt State University, a master’s in education from San Jose State University and a doctorate degree in educational leadership from the University of the Pacific.

TiaDwyer1Tia Dwyer, Chief of Field Operations, directly supports regional General Managers and Leaders as well as High School and Early Literacy & Math programs. She joined THINK Together in 2009 as Director of Learning Programs where she led the building of THINK Together’s nationally recognized summer learning program in Santa Ana. It wasn’t long before she was promoted to Orange County’s Regional General Manager, overseeing THINK Together’s largest region in both students served and revenue. Prior to joining THINK Together, Tia oversaw the expanded learning programs in the Lawndale School District. Tia is a credentialed teacher who holds a Bachelor’s degree from UC Irvine and a Master’s degree in Education.  Tia is originally from the Sacramento area.

picReichelMariathumbMaria Reichel, Chief of Staff, oversees the alignment of various projects and initiatives, including the planning and implementation of the organization’s strategic plan. Reichel joined THINK Together’s Home Office in September 2010 as Strategic Project Manager and has been instrumental as part of THINK’s leadership team in aligning key initiatives with long-term strategic objectives. She leads cross-functional teams across the organization to ensure large-scale projects are implemented successfully. Previously, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member with the Children and Families Commission of Orange County, acting as project manager for Santa Ana Building a Healthy Community, a place-based initiative of The California Endowment. Prior to pursuing her interest in the non-profit field, Reichel was a management consultant with Mercer in Los Angeles and London, and a Financial Analyst with Goldman Sachs in New York. Reichel graduated cum laude from Columbia University and Colorado College with dual degrees in Industrial Engineering and International Political Economy.

TimShawThumbnailTim Shaw, Chief Development Officer (CDO), Prior to working with THINK Together Tim was the Manager of External Affairs for the Orange County Great Park, overseeing marketing, public information, fundraising, government affairs, community partnerships, audience development, visitor experience and educational programming. Before working at the Great Park, Tim owned the Empower/Excel, Inc. consulting firm. His diverse client list included the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, OneOC, the Children & Families Commission of Orange County, the Orange County Food Access Coalition and the Stanislaus County Office of Education, among many others. He was also the Chief Executive Officer of the Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF). He has also held titles as the Executive Director of the Irvine Valley College Foundation, Vice President of Community Relations for Orange County’s United Way, Executive Director of the Orange County Homeless Issues Task Force and Director of SPIN. Tim serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Arts Orange County. Tim graduated from Vanguard University of Southern California with a degree in History and Political Science.

CynDee Zandes, Ed.D., Chief Program Officer, oversees the development of the program and curriculum in the Early Childhood Education (0-5 years old) and all K-12 Extended Learning programs. In addition, she is responsible for training and staff development of more than 1,800 program staff. Prior to joining THINK Together, Dr. Zandes spent 39 years in the Greenfield School District in Bakersfield, where she served as a teacher, principal and district administrator. She also provided consulting to the Los Angeles Region of the California Department of Education during the implementation of the After-School Education & Safety Programs (ASES) mandated by California’s Proposition 49, and has consulted with programs throughout California. She earned a bachelor’s from California State University, Fresno, and master’s in education and doctorate degree in organizational leadership from the University of La Verne.

Steven Amick, Director of Policy & Partnerships, is responsible for managing the organization’s expansion across California. Amick has more than 20 years experience at every level of after-school direct service and administration. He previously served as the executive director of the League of California After-school Providers and the Region 9 Lead for Before- and After-School Programs, offering training and technical assistance to providers in San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties. Amick is vice chair of the National After-school Association, is past co-chair of the California After-school Network Executive Committee, and was designated by the state Office of the Secretary of Education to serve on the California Advisory Committee on Before- and After-School Programs. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from San Diego State University.

picFloresNadiathumbNadia Flores, Director of Community Engagement, works on strategic outreach to and engagement of important stakeholder communities through projects like the Alumni group, Young Professionals group, Latino community outreach, and Faith-based community outreach. She also supports THINK Together’s affinity committees and councils related to STEM, Early Learning, and others. Prior to this role, Flores helped launch and run THINK’s Early Learning initiatives, and before joining THINK Together, she held management positions in integrated marketing and online marketing with private sector firms notably Univision KMEX channel 34 in Los Angeles. Flores, is an original THINK Together alumni who attended our first site at the Shalimar Learning Center in Costa Mesa. She now holds a bachelor’s degree in global studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a certificate in project management certificate from the University of California, Irvine.

Jenel Lao, Ed.D., Executive Director of Research & Evaluation, is responsible for developing and implementing an organization-wide evaluation strategy. Her work supports both program improvement processes and reporting needs through the collection, examination and guided use of academic achievement data and survey feedback. Prior to joining THINK Together, she taught at both middle school and high school, and later managed a large, district-wide implementation of some of the state’s first after-school programs. Dr. Prenovost graduated with honors from the University of California, Davis, and earned a doctorate of education from the University of California, Irvine. Her research examined outcomes from some of the first after-school programs in California.

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© 2011 THINK Together | 2101-A East Fourth St., Santa Ana, CA 92705-3835 | P: 714.543.3807 | F: 714.543.3852
THINK Together is a non-profit 501 (c)3 organization, IRS identification number 33-0781751.
Donations made to the THINK Together are tax deductible in the U.S.

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