Tara Church, Chair, is an attorney at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP in Los Angeles where she represents individuals and businesses in all aspects of litigation. She began her career in philanthropy at age eight when she co-founded the world’s first youth environmental nonprofit, TREE MUSKETEERS, which she led from a neighborhood project to a national initiative that empowered millions of kids to plant trees across America. In addition to chairing TREE MUSKETEERS’s Board of Directors, Tara contributes her time and talents to worthy legal causes pro bono and is a frequent volunteer for charities focusing on the needs of children and the environment.
Samantha Cano, President, enjoys managing events; in particular, her favorite event to manage is Big Sunday weekend. This is because Sam volunteered for the first time at the Big Sunday event in 2007. Four years later Sam not only leads the event, but encourages other youth to stand up and be counted in the fight against global warming. Sam’s advice to kids (and adults) is “you’re never too old to get involved helping the environment.” As a senior at Warren High School, Sam is involved in cross-country and other environmentally focused organizations in Los Angeles.
Gail Church, Executive Director, was present for the founding of TREE MUSKETEERS and left an airline management career to become its CEO. Years of volunteer service to youth and graduate studies in nonprofit organizational management allow her to skillfully mentor youth leaders. While Gail’s environmental work has been well recognized, she is most honored to have been awarded for professionalism as a nonprofit executive and excellence in leadership by her peers. Gail’s altruism has its roots in the labor movement, and she founded an organization to serve the mainstream homeless and needy. She was also one of the architects of California ReLeaf.
Chad Hummel, Treasurer, believes that the path to healing the planet and many of society’s ills is through mentoring youth to be leaders. His strong history of volunteerism and board service are tremendous assets to Tree Musketeer’s governing body. Professionally, Chad is a partner at Mannat, Phelps & Phillips, LLP and a nationally recognized trial lawyer who has served as lead counsel in some of the nation’s most high profile civil and criminal cases. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has been ranked among the Best Lawyers in America. Chad is frequent author and lecturer and serves as Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law.
Scott Houston, Secretary, is an active resident of El Segundo, engaged in all aspects of the community. He can be seen in the volunteer ranks of many causes and as Vice Chair of El Segundo’s Capital Improvement Program Advisory Committee. Scott is actively involved politically as a volunteer, delegate and candidate. He is a talented networker and a creative thinker when it comes to fundraising. Scott’s commitment to conservation and the community made for a smooth transition from volunteer to Adult Partner to Board member. When he is not doing great work in the community, Scott is a manager at Vision Envelope.
Marc Gerard, Director, is Controller for Lawry’s Restaurants, but the accounting career for this Manhattan Beach resident has spanned industries ranging from paper and foods to a cruise line and hotel. Avocationally, Marc has a rich history in nonprofit board service for multiple causes, though his core concern is for the environment. In this regard, he walks the talk from what he drives to how he remodels his house. Marc has imparted this deeply held value system on his three children, all of whom are involved on leadership levels at TREE MUSKETEERS.
George Funk, Director, has been a strong supporter of Tree Musketeers for many years, and is a mainstay on the Adult Partner Team. He and his entire family can be found in the trenches on Arbor Day and most other large scale events. When he’s not planting trees or mentoring youth leaders, George is Director of Sales for Klutz, a division of Scholastic, Inc. Marketing is among the many talents he brings to the board. George’s primary interest in Tree Musketeers is developing youth leadership with environmental sensitivity, qualities he believes are sorely needed in our country and world.
David Dickey, Director, is an engineer at Boeing El Segundo after a 35-year career as Master Chief in the US Navy. During the past 10 years, he has been engaged with youth programs and is an active member of the US Naval Sea Cadet Program, currently serving as a Regional Director. David also has an extensive presence with Tree Musketeers that spans many years. As a board member, he feels his experience in the Navy and as a Master Chief in addition to the nonprofit background gives him unique skills to help guide today’s youth who are the future for society. It is they who will turn things around for the environment.
Adam Gerard, Director, began his career in leadership at the age of 9 when he volunteered and then completed a course of study to become Certified Youth Manager. After years on the Youth Management Team and as a Youth Director and President on the Board, he has now moved on to become an Adult Partner and Director. A freshman at Yale University, Adam has interned for members of the State Assemblyman and Congress, and was appointed by City Council to the Manhattan Beach Green Team. As a trained Tree Planting Supervisor and certified Toastmaster, Adam’s skills and tenacious spirit as a leader make him a great example for young people around the world.
Talia Gerard, Youth Director, is our most recently elected Youth Director. She has been managing events and day-to-day operations as a member of the Youth Management Team for six years. Talia is in the 10th grade at Mira Costa High School and is an active participant in the Girl Scouts. When she is not in the office, at school, or scouting, Talia likes to play soccer and the bass. She enjoys being a leader of the environmental movement and likes seeing the community get involved and embrace youth leadership.
Julian Poyourow, Advisory Director – TREE MUSKETEERS Alumnus
Blake Parker, Advisory Director – TREE MUSKETEERS Alumnus
Stephen Ludwig, Advisory Director – President, Group 22
Eric Busch, Advisory Director – Director Environmental Affairs, Sony
Sandra Jacobs, Advisory Director – Former Mayor of El Segundo
Catherine Magruder, Advisory Director – Toastmasters International
Mike Rotolo, Advisory Director – TG Construction