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Mahan Named New MBEF Executive Director

May 03, 2018 09:27PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Photo credit: Siri Berting

The Manhattan Beach Education Foundation (MBEF) has named longtime community/education leader Hilary Mahan as its new executive director.

Mahan, who currently serves as the director of MBEF's annual appeal and partnerships, has an extensive background in community relations, non-profit management and fund development. She succeeds Farnaz Flechner, who announced in March that she was stepping down after four years as MBEF’s executive director.

"I feel truly honored to be selected as MBEF’s executive director," said Mahan. "Manhattan Beach schools are at the heart of what makes this community such a phenomenal place to live, and the commitment of our teachers and parents to our students is unparalleled. I feel fortunate to be part of an organization that supports that commitment, and my efforts to help strengthen our schools over the past decade have been incredibly rewarding."

Mahan's long-term involvement with the foundation began with first serving as a board member, later joining the team as a volunteer site rep, and then two years ago assuming her current position.

While working at MBEF, Mahan has been instrumental in consolidating support for the annual appeal and has led strategic communications and community engagement, said Flechner.

“Hilary has been a key partner from the start. She is one of the most thoughtful, strategic, communicative, graceful and genuine leaders with whom I’ve had the honor to work, and I am truly grateful that our children will continue to benefit from her as an advocate and thought leader for our schools," said Flechner. "MBEF, our district and our community could not be in better hands."

With strategic guidance and direction from MBEF’s volunteer board of directors, Mahan will oversee all MBEF activities, including fundraising, grantmaking, strategic partnerships, events, advocacy, communications, volunteer coordination and stakeholder relations. She will lead a small staff of four and a team of more than 100 volunteers to implement MBEF programs and outreach.

In her new role, Mahan said she will aim to bring MBEF, district administrators, teachers and the school board together in a shared vision of education in Manhattan Beach; and to ensure sustainable funding for the Manhattan Beach schools.

"To continue to provide the breadth of programs that we do for our students, we need funding," she said. "MBEF – our parents, our educators, our community – work tirelessly to strengthen our schools because funding for public education in California simply isn’t enough."

Mahan continued: "With additional funding for our schools, MBEF has more opportunities to meet teacher and parent priorities when it comes to educating our students. Without additional funding, it will be challenging to sustain the programs we have. That's why the first step is passing Measure MB – please don’t forget to vote on June 5."

The Manhattan Beach Education Foundation aims to fill the gap between what the state provides to the Manhattan Beach Unified School District, and what it costs to provide a well-rounded, high-quality education. The organization now supports the majority of enrichment programs, electives, and counseling services for the Manhattan Beach schools, raising over $6 million each year, or approximately 9% of the district’s budget.

The executive director search was conducted by a hiring committee that was comprised of the MBEF board of directors and members of the board: Mike Duckworth, Adam Goldston, Michelle McDonald, Joni Ramallo, Dan Rogoff, board president Remco Waller, and outgoing executive director Farnaz Flechner. More than 100 applications were reviewed, and the final candidates participated in a phone screening and in-depth panel interview by the committee.

Mahan and her husband Rob live in Manhattan Beach with their three children, Trey, Ella and Alana, all students in the Manhattan Beach public school system.

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