Board of Directors

Project Youth OC’s Board of Directors is responsible for the overall governance and fiscal management of the agency. This impressive 40-member board is comprised of Orange County’s top legal professionals and business leaders. The success of Project Youth OC is due much in part to the strength and commitment of the Board.

A Message from 2023 Project Youth OC President

Maria Z. Stearns, Esq.

We cannot always build a future for our youth, but we can always build our youth for the future.”  – Franklin D. Roosevelt

For over 50 years, Project Youth OC has lived by these words.  With a mission of keeping at-risk youth in school, healthy and drug-free through education, counseling, mentoring, and family strengthening, Project Youth has a long history of successfully building youth for the future.

What makes Project Youth so special is the holistic approach taken by our diversely talented staff to developing the youth we serve.  Our strategic plan recognizes the complexity of growing up in today’s world, particularly when faced with drugs, crime, violence and/or limited financial and educational resources, as is the case for many of the youth we serve.  Project Youth, located in Santa Ana, serves as a one-stop center for integrated prevention and intervention services that offer juvenile crime diversion, educational mentoring, health education, substance abuse treatment, and mental health services.

During my 15 plus years of service on the Board of Directors, I have seen Project Youth expand its programs, while always staying true to its mission.  With each new program (e.g., Project Self, Higher Education Mentoring Program), our youth step up and amaze us with their accomplishments – defeating the odds, embracing the challenges of being first generation college students and embarking on new career paths.

But there is more to be done.  Which is why we must….

Elevate Educate Empower – The words of our Comprehensive Campaign, our largest fundraising effort ever.  We have raised $1.4 million of our $5 million goal.  Now, more than ever, our kids need Project Youth.  This is why my primary goal as President is to make significant progress towards achieving our fundraising goals.  We must do this to ensure that Project Youth has the resources necessary to continue to thrive, grow and diversify to meet the ever increasing and complex needs of the youth we serve.

Achieving our campaign goals will facilitate the other major goal for my presidency — to fully implement and expand our newest program ICAN! (Independence, Competence, and Aptitudes, Now!).  Launched in 2021, ICAN! helps at-risk, transition-age youth (ages 16-21) identify their vocational interests and complete career training at a designated trade school, technical institute or community college vocational program.  ICAN! was developed in recognition of the reality that vocational training can lead to an extremely fulfilling, self-sufficient and financially stable future for today’s youth.

Your investment in Project Youth is an investment in a brighter future for all of us.  Let’s Do This!



Maria Z. Stearns


Maria Z. Stearns, Esq.

Kelly Galligan, Esq.

Wesley K. Polischuk, Esq.

Jonathan M. Skorheim, Esq.

Todd G. Friedland, Esq.
Immediate Past President


Christopher R. Aitken, Esq. Aitken Aitken Cohn

Alan BrutmanJudicate West

Steven T. CardSavills

Shane P. Criqui, Esq.Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth

Alan J. Crivaro, Esq.Law Offices of Alan J. Crivaro

Jessica L. Daley, Esq.Newmeyer & Dillion LLP

Erin R. Ezra, Esq.Berger Kahn

Mark A. Finkelstein, Esq.Umberg/Zipser LLP

Carrie E. Foglesong, Esq.Law Offices of Carrie Foglesong

Todd G. Friedland, Esq.Stephens Friedland LLP

Kelly Galligan, Esq.Rutan & Tucker LLP

Kristin L. Gomez, Esq.Hyundai

Alan A. Greenberg, Esq.Greenberg Gross LLP

William B. Grenner, Esq.

Kevin J. Grochow, Esq.Kutak Rock LLP

Michele D. Johnson, Esq.Latham & Watkins LLP

Nikole M. Kingston, Esq.O'Melveny & Myers LLP

Michael P. Maguire, EsqADR Services, Inc.

M. Alim Malik, Esq.Jackson Tidus

Hon. Jamoa A. Moberly (Ret.)ADR Services, Inc.

Anthony C. Modarelli III, Esq.DiMarco Araujo & Montevideo

Cheryl L. O'Connor, Esq.Jones Day

William S. O'Hare, Esq.Snell & Wilmer LLP

Andrea W.S. Paris, Esq.Andrea Paris Law, PC

Wesley K. Polischuk, Esq.Robinson Calcagnie, Inc.

Miguel P. Prietto, Jr., Esq.Prietto Law, Inc.

Eddie Quillares, Jr.State Farm Insurance Agency

Vikram M. Reddy, Esq.Wu & Reddy, a Prof. Corp.

Daniel S. Robinson, Esq.Robinson Calcagnie, Inc.

Daniel A. Sasse, Esq.Crowell & Morning LLP

Edward A. Schlatter, Esq.Knobbe Martens

Lewis R. Sifford, Esq.Sifford, Anderson & Company, P.C.

Jonathan M. Skorheim, JD, CPASkorheim & Associates, AAC

Maria Z. Stearns, Esq.Rutan & Tucker, LLP

William ToarminaCEO & Founder, Clean City Inc.

Eric V. Traut, Esq.Traut Firm

Christopher P. Wesierski, Esq.Wesierski & Zurek LLP

Michael R. Williams, Esq.Bienert | Katzman PC

Past Presidents
2023-2022 Maria Z. Stearns, Esq.
2021 Todd G. Friedland
2020 Mark D. Erickson
2019 Steven T. Card
2018 Brian M. Daucher
2017 Daniel S. Robinson
2016 Kyle S. Kawakami
2015 Christopher P. Wesierski
2014 Eric V. Traut
2013 Collie F. James, IV
2012 Mark E. Minyard
2011 John B. Hurlbut, Jr.
2010 Dennis W. Ghan
2009 Carolyn C. McKitterick
2008 Allan J. Crivaro
2007 James M. Skorheim
2006 Allan H. Stokke
2005 Kathleen O. Peterson
2004 Michael P. Maguire
2003 Wayne W. Smith
2002 William S. O'Hare
2001 Michael T. Hornak
2000 Marshall M. Schulman
1999 Cindy Stokke
1998 William B. Grenner
1997 Robert J. Whalen
1996 Rodger M. Carey
1995 Jess J. Araujo
1994 Hon. Judith M. Ryan (Ret.)
1993 Donald L. Morrow
1992-1989 Robert S. Barnes
1989-1987 Ann Avery Andres
1987-1985 Richard Schwartzberg
1985-1984 James Goff
1984-1980 James B. Bear
1979-1973 Arthur W. Gray
1972-1969 Stanford Shaw