Leadership & Trustees

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Leadership and Trustees

Cate is led and governed by people who know and love boarding schools, especially this one.

Our head of school was raised on a boarding school campus, and many of our administrators and trustees graduated from Cate or other boarding and independent schools. Still others have children who have been educated here so they’ve seen the impact of a Cate education. We search far and wide for leaders who can make our great school even better and who are devoted to keeping Cate’s enduring spirit fed with new ideas.


Head of School


In September 1997 Benjamin Williams IV was appointed as Cate’s eighth head of school. The selection turned out to be a perfect fit for the Cate community as well as for the Williams family.

Ben Williams’ life has centered around schools; he grew up at Lawrence Academy in Groton, Massachusetts, the son of the head of school. Ben received a B.A. in American Studies from Williams College, where he also served as captain of the men’s crew team. After a two-year stint in corporate finance with First Boston in New York, assisting in the oversight of investment portfolios worth over 28 billion dollars, Ben returned to education with a teaching position at St. Sebastian’s School in Massachusetts. There he taught English and U.S. history, coached several sports, and was the school’s director of development. During his six-year stay at St. Sebastian’s, Ben attended graduate school at Brown University and earned a Master’s in American Civilization.

In 1993, he and his family moved to Houston, Texas, when he took a job as the dean of the middle and upper schools at St. John’s School. He eventually became the head of the upper school, and during this time he stayed connected with the students in both the classroom and on the athletic fields by teaching English and coaching soccer. Ben and his wife Ginger live on the Mesa and are the parents of Ben, Grace ’10, and Carson ’19.

Assistant Head of School | Ex-Officio (Fac.)

Jay started his career in boarding schools in 1993 at Cheshire Academy in Cheshire, Connecticut. Teaching runs in his blood (both of his parents were educators), but what drew him to boarding school was the sense of community that he found—a community that reminded him of the small town in Maine where he grew up. After nine years at Cheshire Academy, Jay came to Cate in 2002 to pursue a teaching position that included classes in the history and English departments. Jay was the Dean of Students for four years, and he currently serves the School as the Assistant Head of School.

Beyond his duties at Cate, Jay enjoys baking bread, playing basketball, running, and reading. He lives on campus with his wife, Margot, and his three children, Molly, Olivia, and Charlie.

Assistant Head of School for External Affairs | Ex-Officio (Fac.)

A Cate alumna, Charlotte Brownlee was the Director of Admission and Enrollment at Cate from 2007 – 2017. She returned to her alma mater in 2004 to lead the School’s annual giving and alumni relations programs. She made the transition to boarding school after serving as the Executive Director for Alumni Relations and Annual Giving at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Her previous experience includes serving as a manager with Deloitte Consulting, where she focused on change management and reengineering projects for high-tech and consumer-products companies. Charlotte holds an AB from Harvard College and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Charlotte particularly enjoys heading up the Cate Student Historical Society. She serves on the boards of the National Partnership for Educational Access (NPEA) and of the Gateway to Prep Schools. She lives on the Mesa with her husband, Alex, and their two sons.

Assistant Head of School for Finance & Operations | Ex-Officio (Fac.)

Sandi is the School’s chief financial officer. After receiving her degree in economics and passing the CPA exam, she managed several contract foodservice operations; she now oversees all aspects of Cate’s fiscal operation.

Sandi has traveled extensively in Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific region.



After graduating from Cate in 1992, Lisa went on to Colgate University, where she majored in international relations and interned at numerous international-policy think tanks.

As community relations director and marketing manager at Montgomery Securities, she was part of a branding team that carried the firm through two mergers with NationsBank and Bank of America. Lisa served as President of the Alumni Council, before chairing the Education and Student Life Committee.

She and her husband Jason spend as much time as possible traveling and meeting up with Cate friends along the way.


During his years at Cate, Wyatt was a varsity water-polo player, a teaching assistant in the Human Development program, co-business manager of the yearbook, and treasurer for the Student-Faculty Senate. He graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in economics and completed an M.B.A. at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

He was a partner at Arience Capital Management in New York for five years before moving to San Francisco in 2009 to launch the hedge fund Ross Creek Capital Management, of which he currently serves as president. Wyatt lives with his wife and three children. He serves as chair of the leadership council of Tipping Point Community, a Bay Area-based non-profit focused on eradicating poverty in the Bay Area through education, housing, healthcare, and employment. His mother Linda Gruber was a member of the Cate Board of Trustees from 1996 to 2002.


David Tunnell grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Business School.

He and his wife live in San Francisco and are parents to three daughters, two of whom attend Cate School. David is a Partner and member of the Investment Committee at Hellman & Friedman LLC, a global private equity investment firm based in San Francisco.

He originally joined H&F in 1994 and leads the Firm’s efforts in the tech and insurance sectors.



Monique Parsons is an independent radio producer and freelance journalist based in Chicago. She specializes in writing about religious trends, issues, and diversity, with a special focus on Islam in America. Her stories have aired on NPR’s Morning Edition, Day to Day, and All Things Considered, as well as on WBEZ (Chicago Public Radio) and Interlochen (Michigan) Public Radio.

She’s written for Religion News Service, Beliefnet.com and various newspapers from coast to coast. A graduate of Cate School, Class of ’84, Monique earned a bachelor’s degree in religion from Princeton University and holds master’s degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. A native of Carpinteria, she now resides in the Chicago area with her family.

Alumni Council President (2020-2023)


Passionate about education, Lauren is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology at Pepperdine University. Her work focuses on helping parents and teachers improve relationships with children and teens so they can better navigate today’s high-pressured academic environment and adopt healthy life skills.

She was president of the MOMS Club of Studio City and launched Macaroni Kid Pasadena, an online newsletter for families. She helped premier the independent film, Race to Nowhere, to the San Gabriel Valley, bringing attention to the increasing stress and anxiety teens and young adults face. At Chandler School in Pasadena, CA she has volunteered in numerous positions including serving as the Alumni Council president, a committee member of the Board of Trustees and the school’s parent association.

After graduating from Cate, Lauren earned a Bachelor of Arts in French from Skidmore College. She returned to Los Angeles and received a Master of Science in Gerontology and a Master of Health Administration from USC. In Washington, DC, she worked as a health care policy analyst for several institutions, AARP and the American Heart Association. Lauren and her husband, Michael, live in Pasadena with their two children, Alexander, Cate Class of ’21 and Maggie.


During Calgary’s years at Cate she was a Varsity soccer player, Head Prefect, a Human Development Teaching Assistant, and recipient of the Biddle Cup. She graduated from Georgetown University ’98 with a major in English Literature and a minor in Women’s Studies.

Calgary moved to London in 2000 and worked her way through the ranks of British Vogue as the assistant to the editor-in-chief, beauty editor, wellbeing editor, and ultimately, executive fashion director and digital project director until 2013. Avansino left her full-time role at Vogue in 2013 to become a contributing editor. She then wrote a weekly column for The Sunday Times Style and wrote the nutrition book Keep It Real, which was published in February 2016.

Calgary now lives in San Francisco with her husband and three children.

Life Trustee

After graduating from Cate, Rick majored in history at Stanford and then served as a social worker in New York City. He joined the National Teacher Corps and taught middle school in upstate New York while earning a Master of Education. Later he earned a law degree from George Washington University, graduating magna cum laude.

Rick became a field attorney for the National Labor Relations Board, and, several years later, senior vice president of administration for Amfac, Inc., a Hawaii-based corporation with businesses ranging from agriculture to real estate. He returned to public service in 1991 when he was appointed chief deputy insurance commissioner for the state of California, a post in which he served as the Insurance Department’s chief operating officer.

He later served as CEO of Care West Insurance Company, until he was re-appointed chief deputy insurance commissioner in 2003. Currently he serves as chairman of the board of directors of Redwood Trust, Inc., a publicly-traded real estate investment trust. Rick has been Cate’s Alumni Council president, president of the Board (1999-2004), and chairman of the Board (2010-2012). In 2005, Cate honored him with its Distinguished Alumnus Award.


Ryan MacDonnell Bracher grew up on the peninsula of the San Francisco Bay Area. Today, she runs Round Pond Estate, her family’s Napa Valley winery, vineyard and farm. Round Pond specializes in fine wine, artisan foods and experiences at the estate. Ryan manages her family business with her brother Miles, also a Cate alumni.

Ryan spent ten years working and studying outside the winery at Goldman Sachs and the Hewlett Foundation before joining her family at Round Pond Estate in 2003. In addition to graduating from Cate in 1990, her educational background includes a JD from Stanford Law School and an undergraduate degree in Political Economics from University of California, Berkeley.

Ryan lives on the Round Pond property in Rutherford with her husband, Charles Bracher, and their children Ava ’23, Adeline ’25 and Genevieve.


Daniel is a proud Cate graduate, class of 1996. While at Cate, Daniel ran track and led the Cate Varsity Boys Basketball Team on a magical run deep in the CIF Playoffs. With the help of some amazing cate students and faculty (and a special guest appearance by the late great Mrs. Coretta Scott King and her daughter Yolanda King), Daniel spearheaded the annual Mesa celebration of diversity and inclusion, honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s federal holiday.

After graduation, Daniel received his B.A. from The University of Pennsylvania. While in college, Daniel helped build the cult classic basketball brand AND 1. Daniel is currently the General Manager and SVP of DC Comics – a division of WarnerMedia, owned by AT&T. He oversees the day-to-day business operations of the beloved global entertainment brand. Daniel is an award-winning marketing executive and brand innovator. With an extensive career in advertising, marketing, and business development, Daniel’s work has impacted popular culture for more than 20 years.

Prior to this role, Daniel served as the Chief Marketing Officer at Activision Blizzard Esports, where he led global marketing, strategy, & communications duties for Activision Blizzard’s portfolio of esports franchises. He was the Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer for the 3-time Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils. He also served as the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Diageo, where he managed the largest alcohol beverage portfolio in the industry. Daniel’s extensive creative and brand innovation tenure includes serving as CMO of the legendary soccer club The New York Cosmos.

His love of music led to his appointment to the GRAMMY Foundation Board for several years and eventual Founding Executive Developer of the GRAMMY Museum Experience Prudential Center, which opened in 2010. He also actively supports several social justice and educational causes in the local community and in his hometown of Alliance, Ohio. His work has been recognized with numerous awards and recognition, including a Grammy nomination, a Cannes Gold Lion, Sports Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40, and an ADWEEK Vanguard Award. Most importantly, Daniel is a lucky husband to Melanie Scherenzel-Cherry and father of two amazing daughters, Sidney and Sienna.


Life Trustee

Dan Emmett was born in Los Angeles, California and received his B.A. from Stanford and J.D. from Harvard. He served as a law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco from 1964-1965 before becoming a Local Courts Commissioner for the Republic of Malawi, Central Africa. Upon returning to the States he joined the law firm Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker and worked there until 1970, when he co-founded Mochtar, Karuwin and Komar, a law firm in Jakarta, Indonesia.

In 1971 he co-founded Douglas, Emmett and Company and currently is chairman of Douglas Emmett, Inc. (DEI/NYSE), a real estate company based in Santa Monica. Dan is active in a variety of environmental activities and has served on the board of numerous local environmental organizations including Los Angeles Waterkeeper, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, Environment Now Foundation, and Sustainable Conservation, and has been involved in environmental programs at Harvard Law School, UCLA Law School and Stanford University. Dan and his wife Rae have four children, all of whom attended Cate.


Rosalind (Roz) received her B.A. from Dartmouth and M.Ed. from Columbia University. She is currently a strategic advisor for Kid Basix, a manufacturer of eco-functional kids products.

Roz is a stalwart Cate School donor and volunteer and has attended dozens of Cate alumni events since graduating in 1989. She has volunteered for several years for the Cate Fund phonathon, was a panelist at the 2000 Entrepreneurship and Technology Event in Silicon Valley, served as a Class Agent from 2004-2009, participated as a member of the Technology committee, and chaired her reunion committee in 2009 and 2014.

Roz is a founding member of the Cate Alumnae Network (CAN) and hosted events for the group at her home. She participated in the naming of the Early Learning Center on the Mesa. Her involvement at Cate represents a broad and deep commitment to the School. Roz has three siblings who attended Cate: Dan ’87, Morgan ’99, and Tyler ’01. Her father, Dan Emmett, is a Life Trustee, and mother, Rae, is an involved alumni parent. Roz lives in Pacific Palisades with her husband and four children – Frankie, Wade, Mack, and Ruby.


Lynn Wood Harwell is an experienced leader and brings broad management experience having served in senior level roles in various sectors. Her well-honed operations and people management skills, along with her insightfulness and deep knowledge, drive effective performance and transformation for the better.

Lynn and her family (husband and two daughters, including a Cate 2024 student) live in San Francisco, California after spending several years in Boston, Massachusetts. Lynn continues to be bicoastal working in a senior leadership role at the Barr Foundation, a Boston-based foundation committed to advance human, natural, and creative potential. Lynn serves as a Trustee at the Dana Hall School (Wellesley, Massachusetts).

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Lynn received a B.S. in Business Administration from Boston University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.


After graduating from Cate in 1990, Sheila Marmon Heuer received a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Business. As founder and CEO of Mirror Digital, an interactive media, and advertising company, she helps Fortune 500 brands tap into the multicultural market, working with clients that include General Motors, Sony Pictures, Verizon, Marriott, and Macy’s.

She has assisted with the launch and operation of many new businesses in the digital media industry, and she has occupied leadership positions in operations, new ventures, and finance at Time Warner and Morgan Stanley. Sheila is a founding member of the National Advisory Council of A Better Chance and serves as an advisor for MOUSE, a group that empowers underserved youth to learn, lead, and create with technology. Sheila has lived abroad and traveled extensively, and she currently resides in Los Angeles, California.


Adam S. Horowitz ’99 is President of the Horowitz Group, a single-family office based in Newport Beach, California. The family’s roots are in the ready-mix concrete business, but today the family office invests opportunistically across a variety of industries and asset classes.

In the private equity arena, Adam has overseen several consumer retail and healthcare investments, including Sprouts Farmers Market (SFM) and Lemonade Restaurant Group, as well as Oceans Healthcare and Tarsus Pharmaceuticals. In the commercial real estate arena, Adam oversees a portfolio of stabilized commercial and multi-family assets, primarily in the Western U.S. The Horowitz Group also invests with a stable of alternative managers and actively looks to partner with emerging sponsors.

He serves on the Board of the Orangewood Foundation, which serves foster and community youth in Orange County. He earned his B.A. from Stanford University and his M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Adam and his wife Erin live in Newport Beach with their two boys, Henry and Freddy.


Athena Jones serves as a CNN national correspondent based in New York. She was formerly a CNN White House correspondent, covering President Trump and his administration for all of the network’s programs and platforms.

Jones started with the network as a general assignment correspondent in 2011. She has reported on politics and on a wide range of general news stories for programs across the network from breaking news to national stories. She has covered debates over immigration reform, the Affordable Care Act, the war against ISIS and debt and budget issues, in addition to protests against police brutality, Ebola, the COVID-19 pandemic, the #MeToo movement, Supreme Court decisions, weather events and the arts.

Previously, Jones was a White House producer with NBC, where she wrote packages, produced story segments and reported on air for MSNBC and NBC News. Jones covered the presidential campaigns of then-Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama during the 2008 election cycle for NBC and the National Journal. Prior to her work at NBC, Jones served as a freelance segment producer for CNN. In addition, from 2001 to 2003, she worked as a reporter for Reuters based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she covered the Argentine presidential elections, the farm industry, the collapse of the country’s economy and other general news stories. Prior to Reuters, Jones reported on politics and the economy in both Chile and Argentina for Bloomberg News.

Jones graduated cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in Government and earned her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. She studied Spanish language, literature and arts and European politics at the University of Madrid Complutense in Madrid, Spain; and Islamic studies at the American Research Center in Cairo, Egypt, with Duke University.


John Kearney was born and raised in Ventura, Calif. After graduating from Cate in 2000, John attended Bucknell University where he played water polo. After two winters in central Pennsylvania, John transferred to Pepperdine University where he graduated in 2004 with a bachelors in business administration. John moved to Palm Desert, Calif., and worked for Pulte Homes after Pepperdine. In 2005, John moved to Laguna Beach, and began working at Merrill Lynch as a financial advisor. He successfully completed the trainee program and graduated a year early and decided to move back to his hometown of Ventura and join his dad’s team. John continues to work at Merrill Lynch as a Managing Director.

John is active in the local community sitting on boards at Casa Pacifica, Ventura County Community Foundation, and Ventura County Fair Foundation. He is excited to serve as President of Cate’s Alumni Leadership Council and looks forward to reconnecting with fellow alumni and being an ambassador for Cate. John lives in Ventura with his wife Patty, and two wonderful daughters, Aida (4), and Lamia (2).


Kristen graduated from Yale with a degree in American Studies and from UCLA with an MBA.  She has spent her career in real estate finance, first at Salomon Brothers in New York and since 1990 with Klingbeil Capital Management.

She has a deep affiliation with Cate, having arrived on the Mesa as a faculty spouse in 1990 and has lived in both Long House and on the faculty shelf.   She and her husband, Karl, have four daughters, proud graduates of both the ELC and Cate – Julia ’08, Evelyn ’09, Annie ’12, and Charlotte ’22 (almost a graduate).

Kristen has served as a trustee of Crane School and is currently on the Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood California Central Coast.


Patrick Ko grew up in Taipei, Taiwan. After graduating from Cate in 1997, he earned dual degrees; a Bachelor of Applied Science in Systems Engineering and BA in Economics from The University of Pennsylvania. He later earned his MA in Education Leadership from The Klingenstein Center at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Patrick is the Founder of Paradigm Education, a social enterprise that focuses on collaborating with schools to provide better education in Taiwan. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Patrick was an educator for twelve years, most recently as the Director of the Center for Innovative Learning at the Junyi School in Taidong, Taiwan. Patrick has a wide range of teaching experiences – he has taught mathematics at the Fay School, and led the bilingual department at the Taipei Fuhsing Private School as Director of Curriculum and Teaching. With global experiences both as a student and a teacher, Patrick is passionate about enabling people’s greatness. He also serves on the board of several charitable and educational non-profit organizations in Taiwan.

Cate’s Servons motto and its outdoor program deeply helped form Patrick’s values and interests. He volunteered in rural Taiwan, Thailand and Nepal, where he fundraised and oversaw a new campus construction for a boarding school in the Himalayas that currently serves 700+ students, from grades K-11. He loves spending time outdoors, especially in the wilderness. Patrick lives in Taipei with his wife Lesley Hu Ko and their two daughters, Mira and Skylar.

Life Trustee

While at Cate, Greg Kubicek was student body president, prefect, and captain of the track and field team. He received the Biddle Cup and graduated as a member of the Cum Laude Society. Following his time at the School, he earned a B.A. in economics from Harvard College and made his mark in the manufacturing industry and in commercial and residential real estate, frequently partnering with other Cate alumni.

He became president of Santa Fe Partners, Inc., a private investment firm. He also served as chairman of the Cascade Corporation and as a director of Cadet Manufacturing Company. Currently, Greg serves as president and CEO of The Holt Group, a developer and manager of commercial and residential real estate properties. He is also a director of Redwood Trust, a New York stock exchange real estate investment trust. Greg joined the Cate Board of Trustees in 1985, and has since chaired numerous committees and played a critical role in many campaigns. He was honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2010.


Casey McCann worked in the financial services industry for ten years—first as an analyst for Beacon Hill Financial in Boston and then for the Private Bank at Wells Fargo in San Francisco—before becoming vice president of Hazelwood Allied Van Lines and McCann Mini Storage.

After graduating from Cate, he attended Middlebury College and later Dartmouth’s Tuck Business School Bridge Program. Casey lives in Santa Barbara.


After graduating from Cate in 1984, Jay went on to earn his B.A. from Brown University, his M.F.A. from Rhode Island School of Design, and his Ph.D. from Illinois Tech. In his professional career, he has worked to bridge the arts and engineering, lecturing in sociology, design, and product development in the U.S., Italy, and Denmark. He was a founding member on the board of directors at the Institute of Play and currently serves on the board of Maker Education Initiative.

Born outside Detroit, Jay lived for significant periods of time in California, New England, and the Midwest before settling in wine country outside Portland, Oregon. He currently manages a small company that produces educational technologies – including Makey Makey – and the associated R&D laboratory.


Elizabeth is a graduate of Boston University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in History, and later earned her MBA from Pepperdine University, and a Master of Arts from Pacific Graduate Institute.

Her professional background includes work in non-profit management (with an emphasis in fund development) and private foundation management. She currently serves as a trustee of the Thornton Foundation in Los Angeles. Additionally, she has served on the boards of Flintridge Preparatory School and St. Matthew’s Parish School and several other non-profit boards in Los Angeles.

Currently, Elizabeth works as a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. She and her husband, Tom, live in Santa Barbara. Together, they have four adult children.


After graduating from Cate in 2002, Leone received an A.B. from Harvard College. She then moved to New York where she spent several years working in investment banking at Citigroup before joining Brookfield Asset Management’s Private Funds Group, where she is currently a Vice President based in Los Angeles.

In addition to being a Cate supporter and member of the Cate Mesa Association, Leone has a long history of volunteering for numerous charitable organizations, including New York Cares (where she was a member of the fundraising committee), Streetwise Partners, A Better Chance, and the Junior League of Los Angeles.

In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, running 5Ks, and traveling around the world. Leone lives in Santa Monica, California.



Ted Simpson ’86 received his undergraduate degree in politics and economics from Princeton and his M.B.A. in marketing and strategy from the Kellogg School at Northwestern.

For the last 18 years, he has been working in institutional sales and client services for Dimensional Fund Advisors, a $500B investment management firm. Ted’s older brothers, Irv ’79 and Ken ’81, are also Cate alumni. His daughter, Kennedy, is Cate class of 2022 and his son, Palmer, is Andover ’23.

Ted has been a class agent for twenty years and has served as reunion chair a number of times. Ted lives in West Los Angeles with his wife Kandus and their youngest son Beckett.


Jiwon Choi Song ’00 is the Managing Director of Axle Companies. After graduating from Cate, Jiwon studied Hospitality Management at Cornell University and worked for Starwood hotels in New York City until she joined Axle Companies, which is her family office in Los Angeles. Jiwon leads acquisitions and asset management departments overseeing the company’s hospitality properties. In addition, she has been an active supporter of animal rights and investor of plant-based food companies.

Originally from South Korea, Jiwon and her husband Steven are living “abroad” there this year with their daughters Josie (11) and Elena (9); they call Los Angeles home. Steven and Jiwon are on the board of the Hammer Museum and SCI-Arc. Steven has an architectural practice based in the US, South Korea, and Japan.

Jiwon has served on Cate’s Alumni Leadership Council. Having attended multiple boarding schools since early age, Jiwon is well aware of the challenges incoming international students may face and wants to help foster inclusivity and diversity at the school.



Marianne Sprague received her B.A. in Sociology from UCLA in 1971 and a Master’s Degree in Special Education and Teaching Credential from California State University at Los Angeles in 1974. She and her late husband, Norm, have seen six children through Cate School. She served as CPO president in ’97-’98 and again in ’08 as well as serving concurrently on the board.

She takes her seat on the Cate Board of Trustees with experience serving on numerous school boards. She chaired the boards of Crane School in Santa Barbara and Park Century School in Los Angeles. Marianne currently serves on the board of The College of Wooster, Garden Club of Santa Barbara and volunteers as a vice-chair of the Garden History and Design national committee for the Garden Club of America. She has also served on the boards of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Lotusland, and St. Matthews School in Los Angeles.

Marianne continues to be one of the School’s most committed supporters and volunteers. She co-chaired the Centennial Committee of 100 Celebration Team; she has been a Mesa Association and Parent Fund volunteer as well as a Cate 2000 Capital Campaign volunteer. In 2009, she and her husband received The Servons Award for distinguished service.


Brian Tom grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from Colgate University with a B.A in Molecular Biology. After graduation, he moved to Hong Kong where he has lived for the past 25 years. He and his wife have three children, two of whom attend Cate.

As an early entrepreneur, he founded companies in the technology and consumer products sectors. Currently, Brian is Executive Director of Henyep Group, a diversified international conglomerate with business in financial services, property, education, and charity.

He is Co-Founder and part of the executive management of several of its group companies focusing on fintech. He is also a partner of Urban Land Capital, a Bay Area real estate investment firm.


Sylvia is a fearless and tenacious trial lawyer, deeply rooted in civil rights and social, racial, environmental, and economic justice. For decades, Sylvia has fought for the most oppressed and underserved, litigating against the toughest odds and winning.

Harvard University and UC Berkeley Law educated and a reputation as a force for justice, Sylvia has achieved exceptional results in federal, state, criminal, and civil cases and over forty federal trials. The scope of Sylvia’s current work at Parris Law Firm includes class actions, mass government torts, qui tam (whistleblowers), environment, employment, and personal injury.

In 2018, Sylvia received the California Lawyer Attorney of the year (“CLAY”) award by the California Daily Journal. She also received the Latina Lawyers Bar Association Luminarias Award in 2017. In 2015, Sylvia was named the State Bar of California’s Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year.

Sylvia was born and raised in Boyle Heights to Mexican immigrant parents. She earned the first college degree in her family, graduating from Harvard University with an A.B. in Government. After Harvard, she worked at the Center for Law in the Public Interest in Los Angeles. In 1992, she graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. While in law school, she worked at the Berkeley Community Law Center, the Contra Costa County Public Defender’s Office, and Morrison & Foerster, LLP.


After graduating from Cate in 1986, Jean (Jeannie) studied painting and printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design. She then taught Art in Bay Area public and private schools while earning a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Art at Notre Dame de Namur University.

Having traveled every summer, Jeannie moved to Prague in the mid ‘90’s and then returned to earn an MFA in Painting at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Jeannie is a fine art painter who has exhibited work at the de Young Museum and has been included in American and international exhibitions. Jeannie has worked at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and has installed work for Robert Gober and Sol LeWitt.

Faculty Advisory Trustees

Faculty Advisory Trustee

After graduating in 1995 with a degree in chemistry, Annalee Salcedo taught high school for fourteen years in Boston, first at an independent day school and then at an urban public charter school. In addition to teaching chemistry and math, she held a number of administrative positions including director of community service and dean of students. Annalee also gained outdoor education experience as an instructor for Outward Bound and international development experience helping City Year, a national nonprofit, launch programs in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Annalee joined the Cate faculty in 2009 as a member of the math department and was appointed its Paul M. Denison ’52 Teaching Chair in 2015. In 2011, she was the first recipient of Cate’s Centennial Award, recognizing excellence and innovation in classroom instruction. She works in the Outdoor Program and serves on the Curriculum Design Committee. She lives on campus with her spouse Chris Power and two children.

Faculty Advisory Trustee

Troy is a graduate of Brown University where he studied organizational sociology and economics. As an undergrad, Troy coached wrestling and lacrosse for the Moses Brown School where he recognized his passion for working with teenagers. He joined the faculty at the Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts upon graduation where he taught physics, chemistry, and engineering. Troy continued to coach wrestling and lacrosse, lived in the dorm, and came to love boarding school life.

Troy comes to Cate after three years at the Jay Pritzker Academy in Siem Reap Cambodia, a small independent school serving rural Cambodian families seeking a western style education. There Troy was the Science Curriculum Coordinator and continued to teach physics and chemistry.

An avid outdoorsman, Troy is eager to join the Outdoor Program at Cate and will be coaching rock climbing in the fall and winter seasons in addition to lacrosse in the spring. He lives in Parsonage house with his dog, Tabasco.


Director of College Counseling

Maude Y. Bond joins the Cate community as the director of college counseling. Born in rural West Tennessee, she studied African-American literature, theatre, and writing at Sarah Lawrence College and spent her junior year in Madrid gaining fluency in Spanish. Maude served in Ameri-Corps where she worked with refugee children from Latin America, Africa and the Middle East and continued her work with underserved students at New York University’s Gallatin School.

While in New York, Maude worked in admissions at Sarah Lawrence and The New School, where she earned an MFA in creative writing. Maude also led the multicultural recruitment team at Columbia University’s office of admission before joining the college counseling office at The United Nations International School. Maude brings international expertise to Cate and a love of helping students tell their stories and advocate for their values during the application process. Maude spent 14 years in international education and has visited countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe. Maude comes to Cate from Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles where she spent four years as an upper school dean. Maude is an avid reader; she also enjoys writing poetry, plays, and children’s fiction.

Maude lives on the Mesa with her husband Richard McDonald. She did not take her husband’s last name because she is a passionate feminist, and because she’d rather be a double agent than an old man with a farm. Maude and Richard enjoy dancing, listening to music, traveling and making each other laugh. In case you’re wondering, Maude’s the funny one.

Director of Technology

Mike started his career managing IT efforts for several leading financial institutions for over 15 years before moving on to spend 10 years heading research and development for a company that developed automation technologies for banks throughout the US and the Caribbean.

Mike relocated back to the Southern California area where he grew up and joined Cate to pursue a more rewarding career choice working with young people, while utilizing his extensive IT background. He has always had a soft spot for teaching and taught many technology classes throughout his career – including many interactive sessions at financial conferences dealing with automation technologies.

Mike also coaches the independent golf team at Cate and lives off-campus in Ventura.

Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving

Chris is a graduate of Denison University. For 16 years Chris was a teacher, coach, and administrator at his alma mater, The Episcopal Academy, near Philadelphia. During his tenure there, he earned his MEd from Rosemont College. In 2005 Chris and his family moved to Santa Barbara, where Chris was appointed English department head at Marymount of Santa Barbara.

Three years later, Chris joined a team of entrepreneurs to launch an internet startup that helps nonprofits raise money online. In 2012 Chris joined Cate’s Advancement team. Chris and his wife, Amy, who works in the College Counseling Office, live down the road on Shepard Mesa and are parents to Eliza ’13, Warren ’15, and Daniel Boateng ’22.

Dean of Campus Life

Erin Hansen is a graduate from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in Communication and Comparative Literature. After completing her degree she attended Westmont College and earned her secondary teaching credential in English. For the past eight years Erin worked in public education as a Freshmen Seminar, English and AVID teacher. She has served in a variety of leadership roles, but most recently she served as the English Department Chair.

Erin was adjunct faculty for Santa Barbara City College, where she implemented the first dual-enrollment freshmen transition course. She currently acts a curriculum consultant to the Get Focused…Stay Focused! Initiative. Erin teaches Freshmen Seminar, supports students with learning and organizational skills, and coordinates academic tutoring. Erin lives on the Mesa with her husband, Erik, and their two boys.

Dean of Faculty

Lisa Holmes arrived at Cate in 2001 after fifteen years of living and working in the Northeast. She brings to Cate a deep interest in the Humanities, teaching in both the history and English departments, and a love of the game of soccer, coaching the girls varsity team.

As an undergraduate at Colby College, Lisa majored in History and American Studies and was captain of the women’s soccer team in her senior year. After college, Lisa taught for ten years at Cheshire Academy, a small boarding and day school in Cheshire, Connecticut. In addition to teaching, Lisa chaired the history department for five years, coached girls soccer, basketball, and lacrosse, and served as a dorm parent. While at Cheshire, she worked part-time on a Master’s degree at nearby Wesleyan University. She left Cheshire in 1999 to pursue a second Master’s in educational administration at Columbia. She spent her time in New York City as a full-time student and part-time teacher at the Calhoun School.

Lisa has traveled in more than twenty foreign countries and has completed three marathons. Though all of her working life before Cate was spent in the Northeast, she grew up in Colorado and feels a strong connection to the West. She lives on the Mesa with her husband Will, and their sons, Scott and Matthew.

Director of Advancement

Lindsay joined the community in 2016 as director of advancement. She oversees development, alumni relations, and fundraising for Cate School, including capital and endowment campaigns, major, annual, and planned giving, stewardship, volunteerism, and special events. Her non-profit educational experience includes positions at The Buckley School, UCLA Anderson School of Management, UCLA Alumni Association, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance. A native of Los Angeles, Lindsay received her BA in Cultural Anthropology at UMass Amherst and MA in Social Science and Comparative Education at UCLA.

Lindsay is an active member of CASE and CAIS professional organizations and has served on an independent school accreditation committee. She enjoys travel, group exercise, and exploring new places. She, her husband Eric, and their son and daughter live on “the shelf” on the Mesa where they enjoy waking up in the morning to the sounds of birds chirping.

Dean of Students

Although Bryan’s background is in financial management, his first interest is in working with young people. While majoring in business during college, he served as a counselor at a camp for terminally ill children; moving to California in 2000, he became Coordinator for Students of Color at Cate.

A four-year member of Gettysburg’s basketball team, Bryan coaches boys’ varsity basketball at Cate. He lives in on the Mesa with his wife and family.

Director of Marketing and Communications

Avani Patel Shah is an award-winning communications and marketing professional who specializes in independent schools and currently serves as the Director of Marketing & Communications for Cate School in Carpinteria, CA. Prior to Cate, she served on communications teams at The Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles, CA, Columbus School for Girls in Columbus, OH, and Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, NC. A dedicated storyteller, Avani leverages technology and language to share the narratives of the people who make up the institutions she serves. A graduate of North Carolina State University, Avani considers Raleigh, NC home.

Avani lives on the Mesa with her husband, Hersh, and their dog, Echo.