BoARD OF DIRECTORS

The Orion Fund board governs the fund, reviews student proposals and awards grants. We also regularly meet to plan events that will benefit both the community and the fund. We hope the fund will continue in perpetuity with our success in coming years.

The Orion Fund Board of Directors:

Shelley Tarnoff, President, Co-Founder Read more...

Pam Hirtzer Read more...

Ginny Preston Read more...

Florence Mou Read more...

Molly Clark Read more...

Dr. Julia Walsh, M.D. Read more...

Kaylene Hirtzer. Read more...

Ron Horn Read more...

Cynthia Chin-Perez Read more...

Christian Charnaux Read more...

Lisa Min Read more...



Shelley Tarnoff, President, Co-Founder, 2004 - current



As co-founder and President of The Orion Fund, Shelley finds inspiration in the remarkable courage Orion Fund students show as they work hard to reach their educational goals while dealing with serious medical challenges. Shelley's professional life as an adoption/reproductive law attorney and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist has centered on children and families. Shelley had the opportunity to meet a young man who sustained a serious eye injury in an attack near campus and personally award him a grant to help pay for medical bills; it was an honor. The student recovered from surgery, completed his education to become a professor of engineering and now is a hole sponsor for The Orion Fund golf tournament. Aside from the financial support, we have been told what a difference it makes for students to know someone cares and understands what they are going through. Shelley is grateful to do meaningful work with such an amazing and dedicated Board for so many years.  In her free time Shelley enjoys spending time with family and friends, Bikram yoga, and hiking. [back to top]



Pam Hirtzer, Secretary, Co-Founder, 2004 - current



Pam co-founded The Orion Fund with Shelley in 2004. The Orion Fund is a legacy fund, inspired by the story of her son, Orion. Pam is a scientist, with undergraduate and graduate degrees in biochemistry and chemistry. She now consults for young biotechnology companies, helping to introduce new drugs into clinical trials. Not many experimental drugs successfully make it to market where they are of benefit to all. A highlight of Pam’s career was when an Orion Fund student mentioned that a new drug for multiple sclerosis had changed her life, and it was one of the drugs Pam had worked on. Pam is very involved with young adults dealing with medical crises, the impact on their lives and the intersection of young adults with the medical system. If The Orion Fund can do even just a little bit to help unimaginable events turn out better for a young adult and to reconnect them with the world, then we will have been successful. [back to top]



Ginny Preston, founding member 2004 – 2018 (retired from The Orion Fund)



Ginny, a Speech and Language Pathologist, is one of our founding members. After working in the public schools for forty years, she now works part time, supervising Speech Therapists. As a lifelong educator, Ginny provided much insight and dedication to The Orion Fund for many years, to help students with medical crises reach their academic goals. She recognizes how important it is to have good health to participate in life to the fullest extent possible. In her spare time, Ginny likes to travel, exercise, swim, hike and read. She recently traveled to South Africa where she volunteered in a small rural school – another way to help bring education to the needy. [back to top]



Florence Mou, Board of Directors, founding member, 2004 - current



Florence is a founding member of The Orion Fund. Florence is motivated to serve on the Board by her desire to help ease the financial burden for students afflicted by health challenges, and brings her expertise in event planning and desktop publishing to The Orion Fund. [back to top]



Molly Clark, Board of Directors, 2009 - current



Molly worked for many years as a respiratory therapist and has been an active volunteer with the Orinda schools. Every year she is reminded how grateful and honored she is to be a part of The Orion Fund. Molly serves on the Board to make a difference in the lives of our awe-inspiring students and is honored to be part of such an incredible team of caring and talented women and men. Molly brings much appreciated fundraising experience and energy to the Board. In her free time Molly enjoys traveling, walking, reading, friends, and family. [back to top]



Julie Walsh, M.D., Medical Advisor, Board of Directors, 2011 - current



Julia Walsh, M.D., is the Medical Advisor to The Orion Fund. She is Professor Emerita in Community Health Sciences at UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Julia was trained in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases as well as public health. Her teaching and research concentrated on public health interventions that improve the wellbeing of the poorest populations, especially infant and child health, and women's reproductive health. Julia gives her time to The Orion Fund "to help guide grants towards those students who have tremendous potential despite current health and financial problems that inhibit their progress".  [back to top]



Kaylene Hirtzer, Board of Directors, 2011 - current



Kaylene Hirtzer is a seasoned paralegal, with over 41 years of experience. Kaylene is currently employed with Rodman & Associates, PC and has worked in small to medium sized firms throughout the greater Bay Area and beyond, focusing on personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, business, real estate, construction defect, and class actions. Kaylene obtained a certificate in the ABA Accredited Legal Assistant Certificate Program at Sonoma State University. In addition to The Orion Fund, Kaylene has served as a board member and/or officer for various nonprofit organizations, including Soroptimist International of Healdsburg, Healdsburg Little League and Child Parent Institute. [back to top]



Ron Horn, The Orion Fund, 2015 – current



Ron Horn has a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from UC Berkeley. He worked for over 30 years with General Electric until his retirement. He was a Chief Consulting Engineer in the Nuclear Energy business with both technical, programmatic and review responsibilities. His work with young engineers led to his interest in supporting students in their educational endeavors. Having the occasion to first support The Orion Fund as an individual contributor, Ron was quick to then become actively involved in supporting the grant application reviews and the golf tournament. Currently he is helping develop strategies for sustainability of the fund with its wonderful mission. [back to top]



Cynthia Chin-Perez, Board of Directors, 2016 - current



Cynthia Chin-Perez is an Oakland native who attended the University of California Berkeley for her undergraduate degree in Political Science and Hastings College of the Law for her legal degree. As an attorney, she was in-house counsel for an insurance carrier for over thirty years. Cynthia supervised the Corporate Attorneys Division for twenty-four years, the Appellate Division for thirteen years, and the Internal Litigation Unit for nine years. Cynthia has retired from practicing law and currently volunteers in the Oakland public schools as a reading tutor and pursue various hobbies. Cynthia is thrilled to be on the Orion Fund Board of Directors. Over the last several years, she has witnessed how the Orion Fund grants have helped a multitude of young adults as they struggle with medical problems and yet find the courage and tenacity to continue with their college studies. Cynthia is continuously inspired and awed by the grant recipients' journeys. [back to top]



Christian Charnaux, Treasurer, 2016 - current



Christian worked with East Bay Center for the Performing Arts as a consultant and as Financial Controller (2005-2016). Mr.Charnaux has a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from U.C. Berkeley; his graduate studies in Taxation were at Golden Gate University. He has had over 20 years of supervisory and leadership experience in accounting and auditing for diverse private clients and industrial firms. At Home Federal Financial Corporation (San Francisco), he was Vice President, Director of Internal Audit from 1985 to 1996; from 1979 to 1985, he served at Bunn, Coberly, and Gane (San Francisco) as Audit Manager and Staff Auditor. He has also served as President of the Financial Managers Society, Golden Gate Chapter. As a consultant, he has provided accounting and financial services to a variety of small businesses in the Bay Area including several non-profit organizations, and professional corporations. [back to top]



Lisa Min, Board of Directors, 2019 - current



Lisa is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has spent a career providing college mental health services, and is well aware of the financial, emotional and social struggles that students can face. Recently retired from UC Berkeley, Lisa is currently an Adjunct Faculty member at University of San Francisco. [back to top]