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Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Michael J. DeFries

Michael DeFries, MBA – Chairman of the Board

Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis, Revenue, Masimo, Irvine, CA

Michael received his BS from the University of Kansas in 2000 and his MBA with a focus in finance from Cal State Fullerton in 2006. He has been with Masimo Medical Device Corporation since 2013 as a financial manager. Michael became involved with Kids Konnected through his wife, board member Erin DeFries, and because his mother was diagnosed with cancer when he was 15 years old.


Bruce Lipian

Bruce Lipian – Vice Chairman of the Board

Managing Director & Co-Founder, StoneCreek Capital LLC, Newport Beach, CA

Mr. Lipian is a founding member of the Orange County Private Equity Connection, is an Adjunct Professor at California State University Fullerton and serves as Vice Chairman of the board of Kids Konnected.  Mr. Lipian received his BA (economics) from the University of Washington and his MBA (finance) from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.


D.J. Oliver

Donald P. Oliver, Jr., MBA – Treasurer

Director of Financial Planning & Analysis, HireRight Inc., Irvine, CA 

The mission of Kids Konnected touches home with D.J. due to his experience of losing his mother to cancer when he was 13 years old. D.J. has been with HireRight since 2007. D.J. received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance and a Minor in Economics from California State University, Fullerton in 2002.  He received his MBA with an emphasis in Finance from Pepperdine University in 2008.


Nicole Healy – SecretaryNicole Healy

VP, Operations, VMA Media, Dana Point, CA

Nicole got involved with Kids Konnected in 2013 to put her professional skills to work for a non-profit in need. Nicole has worked in digital media event and conference planning since 2005 when she began work at iMedia Communication as Client Services Manager. She is currently VP of Operations and Co-Founder at VMA Media where she produces executive level conferences for TV and digital marketing executives.  Nicole graduated from the UC Irvine with a bachelor’s degree in Criminology, Law and Society.



Board Members


Erin DeFries

Erin DeFries

Counselor, Fullerton Union High School, Fullerton, CA

Erin DeFries has been a part of Kids Konnected since 2001.  She came on board as an intern from UC Irvine and soon began working in the office.  Erin was drawn to the mission of Kids Konnected as her father battled pancreatic cancer when she was 19. Upon completing her MA in Counseling she worked as a support group therapist for Kids Konnected and served as the interim Executive Director from June 2010 through April 2012.  Currently, Erin works as a Counselor at Fullerton Union High School and has been serving Kids Konnected as a Board Member since June 2014.



Caryn Siebert

VP and Head of Claims, Knight Insurance Group, Anaheim, CA

Caryn is focused on delivering claims and customer service excellence as the VP for Knight Insurance Group. She began her career in 1986 as an associate attorney with LeBoeuf, Lamb in New York after graduating from New York Law School.  Caryn has also has authored numerous industry publications and is a frequent public speaker.  She is currently Chair of the Combined Claims Conference and sits on the Board of Kids Konnected.


Shirley RitchieShirley Ritchie, PMP

Quality and Compliance, Pacific World Corporation, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Shirley is a Quality and Engineering professional with over 20 years of experience in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry and the Health Services industry.  She holds two masters degrees and is certified as a Six Sigma Master Black Belt and PMP. She enjoys working with charities that provide needed help to children like Kids Konnected.


Scott RobinsonScott Robinson

Business Development Director at BDO USA, LLP, CA

Scott joined BDO USA, LLP in early 2016 and currently serves as the Business Development Director for the southern California market. He holds a MBA in Marketing & Finance from Pepperdine University, with a BS in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. He is an active member with the Orange County, CA and Los Angeles chapters of the Association for Corporate Growth.


Michael Sung-Min Hu, MDunnamed

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA

Michael was a close friend to our founder, Jon Wagner-Holtz, when they attended high school together in Mission Viejo. Still friends today, Michael is excited to give back to an organization that helped spark his interest in medicine and helping people. He is a post-doctoral fellow in the Hagey Laboratory for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University and a general surgery resident at the University of Hawaii. Michael is currently researching novel cell-based therapeutics to improve healing of recalcitrant wounds with emphasis on stem cells. He is training to become a pediatric craniofacial plastic surgeon.


FullSizeRenderAndrea D. Ells, BSN 

Clinical Liaison, CareCHOICES Network, Inc., Irvine, CA

Andrea is a Registered Nurse, Certified Public Health Nurse and Certified Case Manager. She currently works as a clinical liaison for CareCHOICES Network, Inc. a local provider of home health, palliative and hospice services. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Cal State Dominguez Hills in 1999. Andrea has participated over the last two decades in the Susan G. Koman, Race for the Cure, as well as other disease awareness focused fundraisers. Having been touched by the needs of the children and families of cancer patients she joined the board of directors with Kids Konnected 2016.


Jeremy Walker 

Sr Manager Brand and Agency Relations, VMA Media, Dana Point, CA

Jeremy currently works with VMA Media produce senior level conferences for advertising executives that help to shape the future of the marketing landscape. Jeremy graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in Sociology and snowboarding (the latter he’s most proud of). GO Buffs! Jeremy feels privileged to sit on the board of directors for Kids Konnected, a non-profit whose support helps children and teens that have a parent battling or who have lost the battle to cancer.

Omid Aslani

Head of Global Corporate Strategy & OPEX, HireRight, Irvine, CA

Omid is a performance-driven Senior Executive offering 20 years of experience defining strategy and aligning people, processes and technology to drive innovation and transformation for both start-up and Fortune 100 organizations. Omid holds an MBA, as well as Six Sigma Black Belt certificate from General Electric (GE). He is a Lean Six Sigma instructor at the University of Irvine (UCI) Division of Continuing Education. He is passionate about Kids Konnected as his loved ones have gone through Breast Cancer multiple times and  experienced the power of community support.

Gino Aielli
Product Lead, Ytel, Orange County, CA
Gino is the Product Lead for a cloud communications software provider called Ytel and he also spearheads Enterprise Partnerships for a tech start-up called Gino graduated with honors from the University of California, Los Angeles, and was also a member of the NCAA Division I Baseball Team. He has been an avid Kids Konnected supporter for the last few years and decided to take his commitment to the next level and join the board of directors. Kids Konnected gives Gino the opportunity to devote his time and energy into making a difference for children, while also supporting the local community. 


Ambassador Committee

Alumni board members who continue to offer their outreach and support for Kids Konnected, but no longer have a schedule that permits regular board meetings, are invited to join the Ambassador Committee. These trusted partners are consulted for strategic, organizational, and financial decisions and continue to drive fundraising and programming efforts for Kids Konnected.


Lisa Curcio

Lisa D. Curcio, MD 

Breast Surgical Oncologist, BreastLink, Laguna Hills, CA

Lisa Curcio, MD, is a board-certified general surgeon and a fellowship-trained surgical oncologist. Her personal experience as a breast cancer patient offers her patients a unique clinical perspective. Dr. Curcio attended George Washington University Medical School in Washington, D.C., where she also completed a residency in general surgery. She was the recipient of the competitive U.S. Air Force Health Professions Scholarship Program. She was invited to fellowship training in cancer surgery at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California. She is passionate about educating patients and advancing breast cancer awareness and prevention outside the clinic, as a board member for Kids Konnected, and at national meetings.


Kyle Mason, JD Kyle Mason, JD, CLMP

VP of Class Action and Mass Tort Services, Angeion Group, Greater Los Angeles, CA

Kyle provides consultative advice for all aspects of class action and mass tort settlement administration. . Kyle has a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School (’02) and a bachelor’s from The Catholic University of America (’99) and holds a Certified Litigation Management Professional (CLMP) designation from the Claims and Litigation Management (CLM) Alliance’s Litigation Management Institute. When he is not traveling for work, Kyle enjoys spending his free time with his wife of seven years, Julie, and their three daughters, Josephine (5), Valentina (3) and Genevieve (1).


Rohn Crabtree

Rohn Crabtree

Energy Advisor – President Newport Energy Holdings, LLC.

Rohn is an experienced senior energy industry executive with a background in finance and operations. As President of Newport Energy Holdings LLC, a specialized consulting and advisory firm, Mr. Crabtree advises clients on contracting, financing, acquisition, and development of power generation projects. Previously he was President and CEO of Calpine Canada Power Ltd., which managed the Calpine Power Income Fund. Rohn also served as the Senior Vice President, Corporate Finance for Calpine Corporation. Earlier in his career, Rohn served as Director of Finance for LUZ Development and Finance Corporation, raising project financing for the SEGS solar thermal generating plants in the Mojave Desert of California. He earned his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania – Wharton.


Stuart Nagasawa, MDunnamed-4

Oncologist, Mission Viejo, CA, (949) 347-0600

Dr. Nagasawa practices as an Oncologist in Mission Viejo, CA. Stuart Nagasawa, MD graduated from University Of Hawaii John A Burns School Of Medicine in Honolulu. Dr. Nagasawa has supported Kids Konnected with support group referrals, outreach, volunteering, and as a board member for 16 years. He was named the 2015 Ambassador to the Children for his service.


Kids Konnected is always looking for new members for our Board of Directors. If you are passionate about our cause and excited to share and promote our work with your network, we’d love to hear from you. Email for more information.  Kids Konnected helps:

At Kids Konnected, we know that cancer affects the entire family. Each of your children will experience your diagnosis in a different way and with different feelings. Cancer is not an easy subject to talk about and many parents try to avoid the topic in fear that they will scare their children. At Kids Konnected, our approach is to provide a supportive environment to the children so that they can share their feelings alongside other children going through the same thing. We provide free services such as support groups, summer camps, education, and fun events that allow the children to have a break from their parents cancer diagnosis. Learn More

At Kids Konnected, we are here to offer support, understanding, community, comfort and a safe haven while you go through your parent's cancer journey. At Kids Konnected you are not alone and can share with people your age who understand what it is like to experience cancer within the family.

Through our yearly summer camps, youth leadership, support groups and events, Kids Konnected is there for you during the difficult and happy times as you go through your unique cancer experience within your family. Learn More

At Kids Konnected, we provide friendship, understanding, education, and support to children who have a parent with cancer or have lost a parent to cancer. Know that you are not alone and can share with other teens who understand what it is like to experience cancer within the family.

Through our yearly summer camps, youth leadership, support groups and events, Kids Konnected is there for you during the difficult and happy times as you go through your unique cancer experience within your family. Learn More

When a cancer touches a parent you know, it can be challenging to know what you can do to help. At Kids Konnected, we provide support, education, community and understanding to children who have a parent with cancer or have a parent that has died from cancer. We provide custom care packages for the children, resources, support groups, bereavement workshops, summer camps and special events. The generous donations made by people like you help us provide these free services to families experiencing cancer.  Learn more about volunteering, upcoming events and how you can support Kids Konnected. Support Our Programs