Junior Board of Directors

Mission of the Junior Board

The Junior Board is comprised of motivated and philanthropically-minded young professionals seeking to positively impact the lives of at-risk children and youth in the greater Los Angeles area. 

The Junior Board’s mission focuses specifically on raising funds for a subset of the organization’s activities, which is to help at-risk youth transition successfully to higher education and careers. This is particularly important during these unprecedented times: the pandemic has been challenging for all of us, and many of the organization’s clients are facing significant financial and personal obstacles that have only been exacerbated by recent events.

During the past few months, El Nido’s workforce development and higher education programs (such as the Culinary, Business, and Tech Academies) have gotten creative and transitioned to providing a range of virtual support to its youth clientele, such as the Virtual Career Exploration Program and virtual meet & greets for those pursuing higher education. In addition, the organization continues to provide critical scholarships and other assistance for youths either pursuing higher education or entering the workforce for the first time.

You can make a difference for youth struggling through this crisis.

Two recent, unique Junior Board fundraising events:

KickNic Kickball Tournament, January 25, 2020:  Social and BBQ catered by El Nido’s Culinary Academy students

Barrels and Bottles, August 21, 2020, A Virtual Wine Tasting Benefit


Officers of the Junior Board

annie dengAnnie Deng

Chief of Staff at Karlin Asset Management, Inc.
Junior Board President

Annie is Chief of Staff at Karlin Asset Management, Inc., a private investment firm that employs a flexible framework to invest opportunistically across a variety of asset classes and investment strategies.  Previously, she was an associate in the real estate department of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, where she represented institutional clients in range of transactions, including acquisition and sale, mortgage and mezzanine financing, and joint venture.  Annie has dedicated time to volunteering with various nonprofit organizations over the years, including performing pro bono legal work for BASTA!, Kids In Need of Defense (KIND), and the California Air Resources Board (CARB).  She began working with El Nido in April 2018. Annie graduated from McGill University in 2008 (Bachelor of Commerce in Finance) and from the University of Southern California in 2011 (Juris Doctor).  Over the years, she has lived, studied, and worked in Canada, Mainland China, Hong Kong, the United States, France, and Norway. She loves travel, film, literature, dogs, and spending time with friends and family. 

El Nido Family Centers Jr. Board of DirectorsSam Stewart

Business Insights & Analysis Manager, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Junior Board Vice President / Acting Treasurer

Sam is a Business Insights & Analysis Manager at Sony Pictures Entertainment. Prior to joining Sony, Sam worked as a consultant for entrepreneurial and small business ventures, where she advised leaders on market strategies, and began her career in corporate finance at Target. Sam has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance and Economics at the University of Georgia and earned her MBA at Harvard Business School. 

Jr Board Member TroyTroy Friedlander

Senior Product Manager at Honey
Junior Board Fundraising Committee Chair

Troy Friedlander is a Senior Product Manager at Honey, a technology company that helps people save money and make smarter choices when they shop online. As a member of the product team at Honey, Troy is responsible for developing the strategic vision for Honey products and for leading cross-functional teams to deliver on that vision to solve key customer and business problems. Prior to joining Honey, Troy served as a Product Manager at Capital One, helping launch mobile applications and payment solutions for Capital One customers. Troy began his career as a CPA with PwC, helping Fortune 500 corporations with their auditing and attestation needs before transitioning to a consulting and technology role with The Advisory Board Company, where he helped health care providers manage costs while improving patient outcomes. He has volunteered his time mentoring underprivileged youth through the Year Up program and was an Organizing Lead for DC Startup Week–a week-long, community-led conference that helps elevate entrepreneurs and connect the startup community. Troy moved to Los Angeles from Washington DC in 2018, and he enjoys being active, the outdoors, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

shelly lee jr boardShelly Suh

Junior Board Community Outreach Chair

Originally from South Korea, Shelly earned her bachelor’s degree in Canada from Simon Fraser University and returned to South Korea to earn an MBA from Seoul National University.  Upon graduation, she worked for GS Caltex, a Fortune 500 company specializing in petroleum refining that is jointly owned by Chevron and GS group, a South Korean conglomerate.  At GS Caltex, she served as a liaison for the joint venture partners and worked closely with the CEO and the board members on a broad range of matters including operations, reporting, public relations and compliance issues.  After she moved to the United States, she pursued her love of cooking and attended Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.  Eventually she became chef de tournant at Patina restaurant in Los Angeles.  Shelly still enjoys cooking for her family and has become an avid golfer and snow boarder.  She also plays piano and has earned a Performer’s Diploma from Trinity College in London..

Jordan Harper Weiss

Director of Operations, Plus Capital
Junior Board Member

Jordan is the Director of Operations at Plus Capital, a venture firm that connects Hollywood influencers, celebrities and pro athletes with investment opportunities at early and mid-stage startups.  Prior to joining Plus Capital Jordan worked at United Entertainment Group where she managed integrated global marketing campaigns of over $25 million for a portfolio of fortune 500 brands across various business categories (Fashion, Automotive, Beauty, Food and Beverage CPG, QSR/Casual Dining, and Consumer Electronics).  Jordan began her career at Creative Artist Agency, working in the music and comedy tour marketing department with clients across their roster – Lana Del Rey, Twenty One Pilots, Jackson Browne, Gabriel Iglesias, Jim Gaffigan, and Trevor Noah. Jordan attended Tulane University where she earned a bachelor’s degree of Science in Management from A.B. Freeman School of Business.  

xiomaraXiomara Peña

Founder, XIO Partners
Junior Board Member

Xiomara Peña works as California’s Deputy Director and National Hispanic Outreach Manager for Small Business Majority, a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization focused on promoting smart public policy that will positively impact small business owners and entrepreneurs. Small Business Majority also commissions opinion research on both national and state levels to determine small business owners’ views on a range of topics including: healthcare, access to capital, workforce, retirement and much more. Her most notable accolades include a Leading the Way award and the Champion for Families award for her leadership in the Latino community. In 2016, Xiomara was recognized by the L.A. Mayor’s Office of Economic Development for her extensive work highlighting responsible lending and education on access to capital options for small businesses. She currently sits on the Advisory Board for the Women’s Mentoring Collaborative Program and is the Chair for the El Nido Family Centers Alumni Association.​  

Arden Baker

Special Events Assistant, Creative Artists Agency (CAA)
Junior Board Member

Originally from Washington DC, Arden began her career as the concert chair and talent buyer as a student at Dickinson College, in Carlisle Pennsylvania where she graduated with a BA in Environmental Studies in 2014.  At Dickinson she worked with several different groups on campus to plan social and fundraising events for the alumni association and study abroad programs in addition to the concerts. Over the summer during her college years she worked with Kid Power, a Washington DC based nonprofit focused on helping youth in DC communities by promoting academic excellence and leadership skills. Post-graduation, her passion for music and event production led her out to Los Angeles to pursue a career in entertainment beginning with an internship at Creative Artists Agency in the electronic music department.  Arden has continued a path at CAA ever since, firstly in the entertainment contracts division and most recently as Special Events Assistant in the music department, where she manages bookings for all of CAA’s musical roster for brands, sports teams, tech companies and more. Her enthusiasm for event production goes beyond her role at CAA, she has helped produce events for LA Comic Con, Yuri’s Night, Goldenvoice and the Best Friends Animal Society. Eager to give back to the L.A. community and get involved with another nonprofit, Arden began working with El Nido in January 2018.  

Juliette Estrade

Business Affairs, Fox Searchlight Television
Junior Board Member

Juliette is a New York-barred attorney currently working in the Business Affairs department of Fox Searchlight Television in Los Angeles. While originally from Paris, France, Juliette attended UCLA School of Law, fell in love with Los Angeles and decided to stay and pursue a career here.  She naturally rolled her prior experience in the legal department of Canal Plus in Paris into a career with HBO and subsequently, with Fox Searchlight.  Although her legal background has been an undeniable benefit to her career, her passion lies elsewhere in the creation and production of purpose-driven television content. Through the entertainment industry, Juliette has been introduced to several compelling, local community-based organizations.  With a specific interest in encouraging the creative voices of school children, as well as empowering homeless youth in Los Angeles, Juliette is an active participant her community.  Her awareness of the disparity between the “Hollywood Fairytale” and reality of life in this City has driven her to dedicate her time to pushing fellow young professionals to obtain the skills and education necessary to succeed, through El Nido programs such as the Business Academy. 

Alex Sigoloff

Associate General Counsel, Post Investment Group
Junior Board Member

Alex is Associate General Counsel at Post Investment Group, a multifamily real estate investment company.  Alex received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics with a minor in Philosophy from Pomona College in 2011, and graduated cum laude in 2014 from Duke University School of Law. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Alex’s longstanding commitment to community service includes work with multiple local organizations. He actively participates in pro bono clinics with Bet Tzedek Legal Services, and represents unaccompanied minors in their quest to obtain legal immigration status in the United States with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND). He enjoys crossword puzzles, Lakers games, beach volleyball, and science fiction novels.  

Negin Nazemi El Nido Family Centers Jr. Board

Negin Nazemi

Attorney, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP
Junior Board Member

Negin is an attorney at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, a global law firm that was originally founded in Los Angeles, where she focuses on mergers and acquisitions and other corporate transactional and governance matters.  Negin also has a thriving pro bono practice, providing free legal advice to a wide range of non-profit organizations and in-need individuals who may otherwise be unable to afford legal representation.  Negin received both her bachelor’s degree and JD from the University of Chicago.  While in law school, Negin spent a summer working in New Delhi for a non-governmental organization promoting human rights in India.


Past Junior Board Members

Saori Bainum

Roger Chen

Ryan R. Flanagan, J.D.

Megan Lorenzen

Shanda McCune

Julie Soic