BOARD of TRUSTEES

 

Donn Merriam
President
 
Mr. Merriam is a licensed architect with over 20 years experience in school building design and construction.  One of his most recent projects was the replacement and campus enhancement of West Contra Costa County's DeAnza High School.  He has recently been elected to the Emeryville School Board and is participating in the development of Emeryville's new Center of Community Life, a very innovative use of space for the housing of a K - 12 school, and community-based health and recreational faculties for all ages.

Elizabeth Isono
Board Secretary
 
Ms. Isono, MSOTR/L is an occupational therapist currently in private practice in the East Bay Area with an undergraduate degree in neuropsychology from Santa Clara University and a master’s degree from Stanford University. Currently, she provides service to children, adolescents, and young adults with varying diagnosis impacting their functional performance at school, home or in the workplace. She works privately and also contracts with multiple schools throughout the Bay Area. Ms. Isono has been practicing since 1980, and her experience has dealt with children and adults with varied diagnosis in acute care, rehabilitation, educational and outpatient services. Her philosophical approach is based on the understanding of the neurologic, physiologic, motoric, sensory, and social cognitive aspects of a client, collaborative work with the team is essential to the multidisciplinary approach that she feels best supports her clients’ development. Ms. Isono has spent time presenting at conferences, publishing papers and writing chapters in books specific to educating therapists. Her patient/client contact includes working at Stanford Hospital for over 10 years, as well as with individuals at multiple hospitals in Southern California.
Liz has taken this vast experience and applied its foundational knowledge to her current work, which primarily addresses students’ functional and educational needs. Liz has worked to educate teachers, staff and parents in surrounding communities about sensory processing and its impact on learning, execution and functional level of independence.
 

Allan Chatman
Principal and Board Staff Representative

 

Mr. Chatman has been working at The Phillips Academy for 27 years.  He began his career as a teaching assistant and became an active, contributing member to the high school program as a special education teacher shortly thereafter.  In addition to providing instruction in English and the Social Sciences, Allan coaches football, co-leads the Student Council, and serves as a mentor to many of The Phillips Academy students. 

​Alison Fingerut

Board Parent Representative

Alison Fingerut, MSOTR/L is an occupational therapist currently in practice with Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) specializing in pediatrics birth to three years old.  Prior to CCCOE, she worked for Contra Costa Children’s Services (CCS) and contracted with Golden Gate Regional Services.  She has an undergraduate degree in Human Development from UC Davis and a master’s degree in occupational therapy from Columbia University.  She has been practicing in the bay area in various capacities since 1994.  She previously sat on the board of directors for Behavioral Intervention for Autism (BIA) in Emeryville for 6 years.  She has 2 children, Amanda (18) at Acalanes High School and Steven (15) who currently attends The Phillips Academy. 

Taka Yokoyama

Treasurer

 

Taka is the operations leader at Safehub, a post-earthquake building-specific damage notification platform. His broad professional experience includes operations, B2B lead-to-revenue consulting, sales, structural engineering, and disaster response. He has been an advocate for diversity in the workplace, and specifically for neurodiversity while at Salesforce. He organized student visits to Salesforce for both The Phillips Academy and the CSU East Bay College Link Program for career mentoring and mock interviews. His work contributed to Salesforce receiving the UCSF Shriver Award in 2020, an award that is presented to an "organization that is making a difference in the disability community". He has a Master's and a Bachelor's degree in Architectural Engineering with a minor in Psychology from Cal Poly SLO, and an MBA from The Wharton School with majors in General Management and Finance. 

Courtney Groden
Trustee/Deputy Treasurer

 

Liana Grossman

Executive Recruiter

 

Liana Grossman has 10+ years of executive search and corporate advisory experience within both retained search firms and high growth technology companies. She is passionate about building diverse, talented teams and most recently ran the executive recruiting function within Hopin, a global events and collaboration platform.  Liana served as a member of Upwardly Global’s Leadership Council, which supports efforts to eliminate employment barriers for skilled immigrants and refugees.  Earlier in her career, Liana worked as an attorney in New York for Goodwin Procter LLP, and in Washington, DC for Keller & Heckman LLP.  Liana earned a B.A. in Biology from Colgate University and a JD from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.  She is passionate about supporting families and students through their academic journey.  

 

To contact the Board of Trustees directly, please email us at trustees@thephillipsacademy.org

 

For general school information and admissions inquiries, please go to Contact Us.

 

 

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