Our Board of Directors

Ben F. Polando
Chairman and CEO

Ben Polando, an entrepreneur, has spent more than 35 years serving clients in the hi-tech, medical, laser optics and semi-conductor industries. He has patented technologies and pioneered management methodologies, including award-winning quality and continuous improvement programs. He has recently expanded these approaches to agriculture at Trabia Farms, Inc., a biodynamic organic farm producing award-winning olive oils. He is a Cal Poly-SLO alumni with a master's degree in Recreation Therapy and  a PhD in Metaphysics. He has been active for over 40 years in many charitable and community organizations, including Orin Allen Byron Boys Ranch, California Committee for Youth Activities, IPC Assembly Work Center with Association for Retarded Citizens of Alameda County, Catholic Charities of the East Bay, Special Olympics-SLO, and Tri-counties Youth Football-SLO. 

Elizabeth Burton
Corporate Secretary

Elizabeth Burton is a scientist and program manager at the University of California and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, with more than 25 years of experience in grant acquisition, management and administration. She has served as a director of a multi-million dollar program on development of sustainable and clean energy technologies. She has extensive experience in working with state and federal agencies that fund or regulate research and nonprofit projects. She has worked on projects with major nonprofit organizations, including the Global CCS Institute, Clinton Foundation, Joyce Foundation and Ford Foundation. She holds degrees in geological sciences from Bryn Mawr College, the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Miami and a PhD form Washington University in St. Louis. She has a nephew with Asperger's syndrome.

Fred Leonard
Chief Financial Officer

Fred Leonard is a licensed CPA in the State of California. He holds FINRA Series 7 and 66 securities licenses and a California insurance license (Lic. #0D52949). Fred is a managing partner of  Johanson & Yau. He has extensive experience helping start-up companies with accounting system implementation and tax planning issues. His client base includes many other non-profit organizations. He serves on the audit committees of the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County and San Jose Rotary Foundation. Fred is a graduate of Santa Clara University with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce. 

Cliff Garrison
Board Member

Cliff Garrison is recently retired. He served as the Ranch Operations Manager of Hearst Ranch in San Simeon CA for nearly 30 years. He oversaw both the San Simeon Ranch as well as Jack Ranch located in Cholame, California.  He has pioneered sustainable ranching and farming practices for Hearst and is involved in many agricultural and ag-educational organizations, including the programs at California Polytechnic State University. He is a graduate of Cal Poly-SLO.

Joseph Pangelinan
Board Member

Joseph Pangelinan is the owner of Cornerstone Mortgage Co. located in San Diego,CA. He has been helping families purchase and refinance real property  for over 20 years.  His commitment to helping his clients make sound financial decisions regarding their real estate investments has helped him build a loyal base of satisfied clients throughout California.  Joseph is a graduate of Cal Poly-SLO.