Introducing Irvine’s New Commissioners

The recent election of two new Council members, Anthony Kuo and Farrah Khan, bring an additional twenty new members to Irvine City governance. How? Back in August, we covered the fact that each Council member gets to appoint ten commissioners. Here is a list of the newly appointed commissioners.

Farrah Khan’s Appointees

Planning Commission: Steve Huang
Steve Huang is a 37 year resident of Irvine and currently works as a Financial Advisor. Steve holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Cal State Polytechnic University, Pomona and worked in the industry for over 15 years including creating digital visual presentations for environmental impact reports (EIR) for building projects. He also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the UCI Paul Merage School of Business.

Finance Commission: Dale Cheema
Dale Cheema is a 33 year resident of Irvine and founder of Keller Williams Elite Realty in Irvine, specializing in the sale and rental of residential real estate. He currently serves on the Budget Committee for the Woodbridge Village Association and sponsors “Movies on the Lake” at North Lake. Dale holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Dartford College of Technology in Kent, UK and obtained his CA Real Estate License in 1985 and his CA Real Estate Broker License in 1998. He has served in many capacities such as HOA President and Treasurer for the Irvine Association of Realtors.

Community Services Commission: Branda Lin
Branda Lin is an Irvine native now raising her two young kids. Branda holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance and a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from UC Irvine. Branda grew up in Irvine and is a proud K-12 graduate of the Irvine public school system. She is familiar with our many villages and has been actively attending City Council and Commission meetings.

Children, Youth and Families Committee: Dr. Dina Eletreby
Dr. Dina Eletreby is a 14 year resident of Irvine and has been an educator for over 25 years – currently as the Head of School at New Horizons School in Irvine. Dr. Eletreby earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology and her teaching credential and master’s degree in Education from Cal Poly, Pomona. She earned her PhD in Education with an emphasis on cultural and curricular studies from Chapman University. Dr. Eletreby has contributed as an Adjunct Faculty Member at Chapman University and was a recipient of several awards and grants, including the prestigious Klingenstein Fellowship at Columbia University as well as a Research Grant and Writing Fellowship from Chapman University.

Childcare Committee: Dr. Seema Choudhary
Dr. Seema Choudhary is a 11 year resident of Irvine and founded the Montessori Preschool in 2008. Dr. Seema earned her master’s and PhD from the State University of New York and has worked as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the Miami Dade College in Florida and then as a Chemistry Professor at UC Irvine. She comes from a family of educators and decided to further her education and training in Early Childhood Education and in the Montessori methodology of teaching. Dr. Seema believes in the whole-child-development with family involvement being the guiding fundamental principle of the school. She is also very involved in the community and has volunteered extensively for social causes.

Green Ribbon Environmental Committee: Senait Forthal
Senait Forthal is a 29 year resident of Irvine and a renewable energy and efficiency consultant as well as the Co-Founder of OC Goes Solar – a community based initiative with a mission to help homeowners transition to clean energy through group discounts. Senait is a graduate of UC Irvine in Urban Planning and Environmental Studies and has been a life-long advocate for environmental issues and solutions. She is also a trained zero waste specialist driven to address the huge issue of waste and recycling.

Senior Citizen Council: Harish Murthy
Harish Murthy is a 36 year resident of Irvine and the Executive Director of the Ektaa Center, a not-for-profit organization that seeks to promote the awareness and understandings of the arts and culture of India. Since 1989, the Ektaa Center has presented over 50 performances of diverse genres to the Southern California community. Harish is committed to creating opportunities for better understanding of the diverse cultures of the community through education, performance and cultural experiences.

Investment Advisory Board: Dr. Lee Sun
Dr. Lee Sun is a 16 year resident of Irvine and is the Vice President of Research and Development at a bioscience company. Dr. Sun holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from USC and has worked with several global organizations including the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute, Bayer Material Science and Bayer Health Care. He has completed a Senior Business Management Program at the University of Notre Dame Business School and also earned his JD degree while working full time. Dr. Lee is a California licensed attorney.

Anthony Kuo’s Appointees

Transportation Commission: Chris Knowland
Mrs. Knowland was previously a Principal Planner for Community Development in the City of Irvine. She has volunteered in the community on the Irvine Junior Games Steering Committee, as well as being an active member of the National Charity League. She and her husband Rich have three children who attended Irvine public schools and have lived in Woodbridge for 27 years. 

Planning Commission: Michael Carroll 
A business owner and attorney, Commissioner Carroll previously served on the City’s Community Services Commission, including a term as its chairman. He earned his Juris Doctorate from St. John’s University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics from American University. He and his wife, Irvine Unified School District Board of Education Member Betty Carroll, and their children live in Turtle Rock.

Finance Commission: Tanja Fournier 
Tanja Fournier has experience in public finance, financial analysis, and governmental financial reporting, as Treasury Manager and Assistant Treasurer for the Irvine Ranch Water District. She is a Member of the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from the University of Phoenix. She and her husband Kevin have lived in Northwood and raised their children in Irvine.

Community Services Commission: Dick Owens 
Dick Owens has been re-appointed to the Community Services Commission, where he has served the past two years as the Mayor’s appointee. Mr. Owens has a long history in the Irvine sports community, most notably as the Executive Director of the Ryan Lemmon Foundation. He and his wife, Irvine Senior Citizens Councilmember Rachel Owens, have lived in Northwood for 33 years, where they also helped start their own Neighborhood Watch program.

Green Ribbon Environmental Committee: William Von Blasingame
William von Blasingame of Northwood has served since 2013 as Governor Jerry Brown’s appointee to the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board. Mr. Von Blasingame has served on the OneOC Board of Directors since 2011. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree in finance and real estate from the University of California, Berkeley.

Investment Advisory Committee : Carlos Carney, CPA 
Carlos Carney previously served in this capacity as Councilmember Lynn Schott’s representative. In addition to being active at the St. John Neumann Catholic Church and the Exchange Club of Irvine, Mr. Carney is an accounting professional with Big Four CPA, corporate, and business consulting experience. He and his wife Kathleen raised their children in Woodbridge where they continue to live.

Senior Citizens Council : Jerry Chang 
Jerry Chang is currently co-President of the Irvine Chinese Evergreen Senior Association.

Children, Youth & Families Advisory Committee : Brooke Cazier 
Brooke Cazier and her husband Nate live in Woodbridge with their four children. Mrs. Cazier has held various leadership positions with youth and children’s programs with the Irvine Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Childcare Committee: Michelle Ashby Yost
Michelle has been a resident of Irvine for 13 years.  She founded Irvine’s first girls’ high school Lacrosse club program.  Under Michelle’s leadership, the girls’ lacrosse program grew to include elementary and middle school teams, train coaches, and develop players to support girls’ high school Lacrosse varsity teams at each of Irvine’s four high schools, as approved by the IUSD Board of Education in 2006.  Michelle is married to Christopher J. Yost, Managing Director of Litigation for FedEx Express, located in Irvine.  Michelle and Christopher have raised four children in Irvine, and all have graduated from Woodbridge High School and gone on to Brigham Young University, their Alma Matter.  Michelle is still active in teaching and mentoring young women in her church, while staying active in civic activities in Irvine.

Let’s congratulate all the newly appointed commissioners as they work to make Irvine a great place for everyone.