Our Team

Meet the Team

Hoi Yung Poon  -
Executive Director

Hoi Yung Poon has over 20 years of experience in campaign strategy, community organizing, consulting, public relations, advertising, multicultural marketing, fundraising and teaching. She founded a consulting company serving clients in the non-profit sector and has extensive experience working with the private, non-profit and the public sectors during her career. Her passion and commitment include education, the environment, and advocating for low-income and immigrant communities.

Hoi led the Census 2000 project in which she provided strategic planning, technical training, community outreach and project management services to eight Bay Area community foundations to increase participation in hard-to-count populations covering ten Bay Area counties. Hoi was also involved with the New Chinatown/North Beach City College campus project in which she partnered with San Francisco community leaders to fight the status quo for a much needed new campus serving over 6,000 immigrant and low-income students. She was also one of the core volunteers for the Their Future Is Now (TFIN) campaign that saved over 100 teacher positions in CUSD after raising $2.5 million in eight weeks in Spring 2010. Hoi’s role included overall campaign strategy, marketing and PR. Other campaigns Hoi has worked on include the San Francisco General Hospital rebuild $887 million bond measure which required a two-thirds majority vote, and passed with an impressive 84% victory.  She holds a B.A. from Baruch College, CUNY.

Sarah Butler - Legislation Committee, Contras Costa County

Bio coming soon

Kimberley Betty - Policy Committee, San Diego

Kimberley is an education advocate and mother of four children, ages 9 to 16. She has worked on several campaigns, including the Local Control of Local Classrooms Funding Act, a statewide attempt to lower the passage threshold of an education parcel tax from 2/3 to 55%. She writes newsletter articles, guest OpEds and gives presentations on education policy. Kimberley has lived in San Diego for 10 years and currently serves on three PTA boards in the Poway Unified School District, which encompasses parts of the City of San Diego and San Diego County: Mt. Carmel High School PTSA 1st Vice President – Legislation; Black Mountain Middle School PTSA Legislation Chair; and Creekside Elementary Legislation Chair. Every year she participates in the California State PTA child and education advocacy efforts in Sacramento. Kimberley and her husband each volunteer in the classroom every year and participate in fieldtrips and other activities.

Kimberley received her BA from the University of Virginia and JD with honors from the University of Maryland Law School. She is a former federal drug agent, having worked as a special agent for DEA and ATF. She also served on the Sabre Springs Planning Board.

Dr. Cynthia Liu - Advocacy, Los Angeles

Cynthia is a blogger, founder of K12 News Network. Bio coming soon

Deanne Laquian - Outreach, East Bay

Deanna’s journey with education reform began when her own daughter’s teacher dyed her hair pink; to symbolize the pink slip she received from the New Haven Unified School District. Deanna contacted Linda Sell and Hoi Yung Poon of Their Future Is Now, and since then, brought the TFIN model to her own school district. She leads the charge for her district using TFIN’s model, first for the Membership Drive for the New Haven Schools Foundation (a fundraising in collaboration with the district, local foundation and the Boosters Association, to prevent teachers’ layoffs and cutting of co-curricular programs, which are all slated for the school year 2011), and the Vote for Our Future campaign. She is involved in strategy, partnership building, recruitment and workshops for the campaigns. Deanna brings her years of experience with one of the world’s largest manufacturing companies and as the founder and president of her own start-up to her work in support of great education. She wishes to continue her contribution on a broader scale by joining forces with other parent leaders through Parents for Great Education.

Susan Pimlott - Sponsorship, Cupertino

Susan is a first generation Bay Area native who grew up in the Cupertino Union School District and FUHSD and credits her great education to the foundation she received at those schools. Susan is an administrative professional with several years of experience in networking and volunteerism. Susan’s volunteer efforts in the community have focused on animal welfare, supporting education, and volunteering in the schools. This includes a family legacy of supporting animal welfare; serving as co-president of West Valley Educational Endowment Fund, a non-profit organization to support supplemental funding for her son’s school; and as one of the core volunteers for the Their Future Is Now (TFIN) campaign that saved over 100 teacher positions in CUSD after raising $2.2 million in eight weeks in Spring 2010. Susan’s role for that campaign was building community support and sponsorship.

Linda Sell  - Outreach, Sunnyvale

Linda has over 20 years of experience in engineering and product development in high technology. Linda received a BS in electrical engineering from the University of California, Davis. Linda’s volunteer efforts in the community have focused on supporting education and volunteering in the schools. This includes serving six years as a board member on a non-profit organization to support supplemental enrichment funding for a local school; ten years as a summer instructor for a high school science and engineering mentoring program; and as one of the core volunteers for the Their Future Is Now (TFIN) campaign that saved over 100 teacher positions in CUSD after raising $2.2 million in eight weeks in Spring 2010. Linda’s role for that campaign was founding parent volunteer organizer and committee recruiter, and steering committee member.

Norelle Tavrow  - Communications, Sunnyvale

We almost lost our sons’ and daughters’ teachers!  As a school outreach leader, Norelle helped bring the Their Future Is Now (TFIN) fundraising campaign to our neighborhood elementary school.  Together, we saved teacher jobs and preserved her children’s current quality of education.  Facing that crisis was a real “wake-up call” for her.  She has lived in the Cupertino Union School District for 17 years. These past three years, she volunteered weekly in her young sons’ classrooms and worked on PTA events.  She received her high-quality K-12 education in good California public schools. She wants that same wonderful experience for her two sons.  She is now drawing upon her communications education and 20 years of marketing work experience, to strive for public education funding reform with Parents for Great Education.

Nina Wong-Dobkin  - Outreach, Sunnyvale

Nina was born and raised in Hong Kong. She and her family immigrated to California just before the passage of Proposition 13, and Nina graduated from Oakland High School before earning a BA in Medical Physics from University of California, Berkeley and starting her career in biomedical/cancer research. As is true for many parents, the birth of her eldest child awakened her passion for great education for all children. From her start at a parent-participation preschool, to volunteering in her children’s classrooms and serving as a School Site Council member and District Advisory Council member, Nina has been an active parent volunteer at her children’s schools in the Sunnyvale School District and FUHSD for over 16 years, and can often be found at school. Her oldest child just graduated from her local public high school where she and her family were happy with the high quality of education her child received, and she is passionate to help bring high quality public education throughout the Silicon Valley and beyond.  She is the parent leader coordinating voter outreach and registration drives for Sunnyvale School District. Nina continues to enrich her life and the lives of others as she dedicates more and more of her time and energy to education. She holds an MS in Educational Psychology from California State University, East Bay, and a California Adult Education Teaching Credential, and currently teaches parent-participation preschool part-time.

Founding Members

Deanne Laquian

Mette Christensen

Soren Christensen

David Fung

Linda Sell

Stacie Ma'a

Susan Pimlott

Hoi Yung Poon

Mohan Srinivasan 

Norelle Tavrow

Nina Wong-Dobkin