Paul Riordan, Founder


Paul graduated with an Economics degree from Yale and has been a pillar for education in the Santa Ana community. He taught at Santa Ana High School for 39 years, crafting several programs including SAUSD's Regional Occupation Program. He launched AISS in 2001.

Debbie Wells, Executive Director


Debbie is the Executive Director of AISS, Career Beginnings Mentor, and also serves on the Board of Directors. Other than working at AISS, she is also a member of the Santa Ana chapter of Kiwanis.

Board Members

Lisette Gutiérrez


Through AISS, I became fascinated with the concept of giving back to my community, as the program had done for me. I now work at Chapman University as a Student Affairs Case Manager through the Dean of Students office. It makes me happy to see students get a sense of relief, knowing that there are people who are willing to advocate for their needs. After years of staying involved with the, I am excited and privileged to now be part of the Board of Directors of AISS.

Luis Ortiz-Franco


A Professor at Orange Coast College and Champman University, Dr. Ortiz has been with AISS for nearly 10 years. He is also a member of TODOS- a group that works for education equality.

Marco Ortega


Professor Ortega; an Assistant Professor in Biochemistry, studies double-stranded DNA viruses utilizing the bacteriophages as a model system to understand viral replication and assembly in this family of viruses. The Ortega lab approaches the research from a biochemical and structural perspective using biochemical assays, biophysical approaches, and X-Ray crystallography. The work in the Ortega lab hopes to connect protein structure with protein function to try and understand how viral proteins utilize complex structures to initiate viral replication and virion assembly in an energy-intensive process.

Now is a valued member of the AISS Board.

Karla Perez-Ramirez


Karla and her husband are proud business owners of Tera Engineering Co. An alumna of AISS’ Class of 2009, Karla graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. She stayed deeply connected with AISS through these years as an instructor, and now is a valued member of The Board and Marketing Committee.

Alix Portillo


For the 2 years, Alix has volunteered as an instructor at AISS. She says hearing each scholar’s education and career goals has been an experience beyond words. She continues to help mentor AISS Scholars while serving on The Board and taking an active role in the Marketing Committee. Alix is a Compliance Specialist at Opus Banks

Danielle C. Lara


Danielle C. Lara, MSW is a Leadership Coach and Team Development Consultant helping individuals and organizations recognize and leverage their strengths, in order to be better leaders and build more cohesive,  collaborative work cultures. She also works with work groups to develop customized strategies in communication, collaboration, and feedback to better align with their business goals and objectives.


She was drawn to serve as an AISS Board Member due to her own experience in the Biological Sciences and her passion for the education and leadership development of youth.

Efi (Efraim) Roe Kozorovitsky 

Efi Roe is the VP of Clinical Affairs for the Transcatheter Mitral and Tricuspid Therapies At Edwards Lifesciences. In over 20 years of working in Clinical Research, he held several Leadership positions in companies in the USA and Europe. 

Efi has a long history of volunteering in the community from a young age:  Volunteer Paramedic and EMT for 15 years in Israel. Board member in Andover Youth Hockey program, Volunteer ice hockey coach and team manager for over a decade, and most recently a board member in AISS.

Jacqueline Rojas, PhD


Jackie is a STEM Consultant and Evaluator with a doctorate in Science Education. As a Board Member of the ARCS Foundation, she arranges for AISS Scholars to attend STEM research presentations by ARCS Scholars, PhD Candidates at UCI. This summer, she will serve as the Writing Instructor for the Class of 2021. A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Jackie speaks Spanish fluently and enjoys engaging the parents of AISS Scholars.



Judy Greenspon
For 20 years, Judy has served as President and founder of NPI Services- an electronics manufacturing services company in Costa Mesa. Judy serves as an AISS Ambassador.

Carlos Muniz


Carlos is the  Vice President for the Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Active in the community always willing to help out our youth. Carlos Muniz serves on AISS' Advisory Board.

Cynthia Ong


Cynthia is a Research Scientist at Edwards Lifesciences. She facilitates their HOLA Program.

Dr. Ron Raya

With years of experience in education and unified school districts across Orange County, Dr. Raya serves as an Ambassador for AISS.

Nino Polizzo


Nino is a AISS program facilitator and volunteer on the AISS Advisory Committee. He is a part of Rocket Science Tutors and teaches a Science and Engineering class during the scholars' summer program.

Gloria Strayer


Gloria Strayer is President at Design & Print Resources. Gloria serves as an AISS Ambassador.

Taylor Thompson


Taylor is the Financial Advisor at Thompson/Katzaroff Financial Group. Taylor Serves as Committee Chair.

© 2016 by AISS Foundation

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