The day I stopped complaining about what I saw on the news was the day I created The Giving Express. This is my peaceful protest . . .
Melissa Toy Ozeas -Executive Director
Melissa Toy Ozeas is the Executive Director of The Giving Express. Melissa graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and has spent her career working as a union focus puller on television shows like “Last Man Standing” and “The Ranch”. She is the writer, creator and director of “The Treetown Tales” – an interactive puppet show teaching children about tolerance and conflict resolution. For her work with “The Treetown Tales”, Melissa was one of 10 national winners of the USA Weekend/Points of Light “Make a Difference Day” in 1995. Instead of traveling to the White House to receive her award, she flew to Oklahoma City to counsel traumatized children after the bombing. For four years, she was the Captain of the Big Sunday Lemonade Stand Project, overseeing hundreds of volunteers, mostly children, to raise money for youth-based nonprofit organizations. Melissa also enjoyed her work as a Girl Scout Leader for 12 years. She is now a mom of two teenagers, an urban beekeeper, and in her spare time, she shares her love of bees as a volunteer for the nonprofit “HoneyLove”.
Meet the Advisory Board of The Giving Express:
Katherine Toy is Executive Vice President of Partnerships and Programs at the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, providing leadership to the Conservancy’s Youth and Program Services, Volunteer Service, Civic and Community Engagement, and Communications and Marketing divisions. Throughout her career she has been a champion of civic engagement and volunteerism, having served as Associate Director of Alumni Volunteer Engagement at Stanford where she worked with University boards, committees and councils to build a pipeline of diverse alumni leaders to serve the University at the highest levels, and as program director of San Francisco School Volunteers (now part of the SF Ed Fund), where she oversaw all program development, recruitment and training for 2,100 volunteers who serve the San Francisco public schools. She has spent 20 years working on the restoration of the historic U.S. Immigration Station at Angel Island, where she served as the first executive director and is a past president of its board of directors. In addition to her board service for Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, Katherine is a member of the Board Development Committee of Girl Scouts of Northern California and of the National Advisory Board of the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University.
Tony Tam is a first generation Chinese American who immigrated to San Francisco at 10. He grew up in the San Francisco public school system benefiting from the ESL program, went to Lowell High School and eventually graduating from UC Berkeley in computer science. He worked as a software engineer for Yahoo for 16 years and now works on helping engineers be more productive and impactful at Splunk. Inc. He has mentored more than 20 engineers in his career and has found a passion outside of work to capture the stories of software engineers in order to help others on his website Impactful Engineer. He and his wife are raising his daughter Cate in the heart of San Francisco. Tony hopes to contribute to The Giving Express with his technical expertise as well as contributing in his own way to make the world a better place.
Paige Heaphy is Vice President for Performance Management and Business Development at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. Paige has 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry and brings expertise in strategic planning, operations and leadership development. Her passion for improving the lives of others led to a career in healthcare and beyond into other philanthropic activities. She previously served as President and Board Member for Fair Oaks Preschool (Pasadena, CA.), Board Member for PAC (Parents and Community for Fremont, Glendale, CA.) and Board Member and Executive Director for Night Basketball And Books (Pasadena. CA). Paige received her Masters of Science in Public Health from the University of North Carolina, Gillings School of Global Public Health; and her Bachelors of Science in Microbiology from the University of California, San Diego. She is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Paige and her eldest daughter, Kate, have collaborated with Missy and Samantha on previous lemonade stand adventures and is looking forward to going mobile with The Giving Express.
Carey Hendricks is the owner of CH by Design in Burbank, CA. Carey worked for over 2 decades in the film and television industry as a production coordinator and producer. Her creative and organizational foundation was built there until she found her place in the commercial still photography industry. Carey loved to strive for the perfect image, even after photoshopping became the norm. It was only natural for her to transition to her own design company that specializes in home decor, staging, “ReDecoration” and special events. While Carey has many creative talents, she is also a pro at event and production coordination. She has a keen eye for making a space or event special, for giving it a “little something, something” all while being smart about the budget and execution. Carey is excited to lend her skills and expertise to The Giving Express.
Meet our illustrator and animator:
Teal Ivy is currently a second year student at Santa Monica College. She is a self-taught artist who has been drawing both traditionally and digitally for many years and enjoys it endlessly. While she loves doing illustration work, she also dips her toes into other creative pursuits like writing and photography. She hopes to expand her artistic hobbies into a career one day and is always searching for more opportunities to be involved in artist community around LA. Teal is honored and excited to be a part of such a wonderful project like The Giving Express!