Board of Directors

Sheila Thompson

Founder and President of Robert Lee Rush Foundation

Sheila Thompson’s dynamic career in entertainment has spanned two decades. Since 1993, this diverse diva has run the gamut throughout the industry, wearing a plethora of hats from director to producer to casting director. Sheila’s bubbly personality, eclectic style, resiliency, and unwavering tenacity led her to be honored with two Artist Achievement Awards—placing her alongside of some of the most prominent figures in film and theater.

Ms. Thompson has produced over 25 theatrical shows and live events, as well as directed over 16 plays throughout her worldwide travels, which include India, Amsterdam, Singapore, Canada, Malaysia, Japan, and West Africa. Her company, Sheila Thompson Casting, has recruited talent for television, music videos, commercials, and an array of films including the Winoko Productions remake of “Sideways” and the indie biopic, “Anna Nicole.”

In addition to all of this, she is the creator of the hit comedy compilations, Cougars and Kittens and Geezers, Lounge Lizards, and Studs. Sheila is a celebrated writer, performer, and poetess with a name that continues to ring bells across the four corners of the global entertainment industry. Miss Thompson’s diverse skills with handling numerous different cultures are an invaluable asset. Those skills were utilized more in 2012, when she served as an On-site Coordinator for two different events—K.E.Y.S (Kingdom Economic Yearly Summit, a four-day conference at the Airport Marriott Hotel) and at the F.C.C.I. (Fellowship of Companies for Christ International, a conference at the Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Rey). Ms. Thompson is a multi-faceted person with vast communication skills. Sheila simply gets the job done with the highest level of professionalism.

Philanthropic Work

Pan Pacific Film Festival
• 2010, Production event coordinator for Pan Pacific Film Festival (PPFF) Japan Cultural Center
• 2011, Director of the pitch session and event coordinator for the PPFF at the famed AT&T Center
• 2012, Ms. Thompson served as the General Manager for PPFF at the Santa Anita Westfield Mall

Robert Lee Rush Foundation
• 2009, Ms. Thompson created the Robert Lee Rush Foundation (RLRF), an accredited 501(c)3 foundation in honor of her late fiancé. The foundation aims to enhance, enrich, and empower young adults. RLRF initiated a sponsorship arrangement to support the Pan Pacific Film Festival
• 2011, He’s Only Thirteen: RLR Foundation funded a movie, He’s 13, a short film based on moral principles found in the Bible. It was shot under the 168 Film Project, a faith-based, worldwide incubator in which filmmakers produce a short film in 7 days
• 2011, Sheila, through RLRF, served as Fundraiser Coordinator for the Read Write Excite Program (Empowering 2nd and 3rd graders towards reading and writing). Notable sponsors included Panda Express
• 2012, Sheila received public recognition for her dedication and hard work: Ms. Thompson was awarded a Certificate of Recognition award by the State of California, presided by the Honorable Senator Curren D. Price, Jr. of the 26th District
• 2013, Sheila began coordinating and planning fundraisers on behalf of other foundations through RLRF. The first of these efforts are planning two separate fundraisers on behalf of F.A.C.E.S.S., a foundation that is seeking to expand their financial means to rescue and help young girls that have been subjected to exploitation and sexual slavery

 

Brian J. Hayes

With 22 years of experience in non-profit management, development and public relations, he is currently Associate Director, Foundation, Corporate and Government Relations at Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School. He earned a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Los Angeles and is pursuing license as a marriage and family therapist.

He is past president of the Rotary Club of Altadena. He is the author of the novel A Boy Scout in Hollywood and numerous short stories.

 

 

Ed Meyer

A graduate of Harvard University, Ed has been behind the scenes in Hollywood and New York, assisting Independent Film, Television and Commercial producers and directors for almost 30 years.

As the founder of FilmCompletion.com, Ed’s expertise in Production Supervision, has him acting as the eyes and ears of: Investors, Distributors, Banks, Insurance Companies and Producers, supervising Film, Television and Commercial productions worldwide.

Ed is also actively involved in the development,packaging and financing of Feature Films and Episodic Television.

 

Director of Multi-Media Larry SandsLarry Sands

Larry has been in the entertainment industry for 15 years. First as an actor and then transitioning into film maker. He helped run the Hollywood Film & Acting Academy that was located in the heart of Hollywood. While there he taught acting, film making and was head of student production. He over saw and was in charge of shooting material for demo reels and outside productions.
As head of the mulit-media division of the Robert Lee Rush Foundation (RLRF), Larry oversees production for all RLRF projects, including Father’s Day documentary and Fathers Day Project.  Larry will also head classes for acting and film making for youth, teens and young adults.

Jonathan S. Xu

A graduate of University of California Los Angeles in the field of Asian American Studies and Political Science, Jonathan is an individual with a tremendous sense of compassion and social justice.  Coming from a background of humble upbringing and diverse interests (fine art, journalism, boxing), he wants to apply the hard lessons learned along to way toward broadening and empowering the communities around him.

A prolific reader, writer, and thinker, Jonathan contributes his talent for putting words together in a succinct order for RLRF, among other things.

 

 

 Alonzo Mark

Alonzo Mark is an audio engineer veteran that specializes in production and the marketing of music. He has also recently been coaching businesses, organizations and individuals in social media and web marketing. Alonzo Mark is the Webmaster for the Foundation as well as the Event Coordinator. Alonzo can be reached here.

Alonzo has planned, promoted and marketed for the Robert Lee Rush Foundation by creating and implementing the program “Jammin’ For Change” at Panda Express, where Alonzo DJs for the day and evening to bring in customers and raise money. This regular event donates its earnings to organizations dedicated to educational change. While “Jammin’ For Change” is Alonzo’s favorite and most popular event, he has also collaborated with other Los Angeles-based groups to promote the Juneteenth Festival in Leimert Park and the Baby Boomers Health and Wellness Fair in Ladera Heights.. Alonzo is now putting his efforts into a program called “Sandwiches for Skid Row” in partnership with The Last Bookstore in Downtown Los Angeles.

Aside from being a full-time student, Alonzo also hosts a talk show on Hot Talk LA called “Somethin’ Fresh” that promotes the awareness of Hip-Hop life and culture. Alonzo plans to continue to bring new and exciting events to help raise funds for the Foundation while also furthering his education by studying Musical Composition and Education in the future.

 

Susan Shearer

A film producer and principal at 168 film project. Her 2009 short, The Last Laugh, starring Victoria Jackson, garnered 5 nominations. The 2010 short, Bountiful, garnered 6 nominations. Both shorts made the festival DVD as one of the top 20 films of the year.

Susan’s passion is acting. If she can’t be in front of the camera, she wants to be on set. “I find working in all facets of the entertainment industry exhilarating.”

A founding member of the Rude Guerrilla Theater Company in the Artist Village, Santa Ana, CA, she moved to Hollywood in 2003 to work in film and TV.

Hosted and produced, BREAKOUT: Talent On The Verge for Time-Warner.

One of five selected to participate in the 2008 PGA Workshop: TV Drama category based on her 1-hour drama pilot set in the Mathare slums of Kenya. She produced two seasons of the web series, The Family Crystal, and is in development on a second web series.

Susan fellowships at Eastside Christian in Fullerton and believes, “When I keep my eyes on Christ, He makes all things possible.”

 

James (Jim) F. Hundshamer

A certified public accountant with an extensive background and experience working for mid-size accounting firms. In 1985, he branched out on his own in order to increase personal contacts with his clients. Individual tax preparation and small business consulting has become his specialty, but do not limit him to provide other services to his diverse clients. In the last few years, Jim has concentrated much of his efforts into Estate Planning.

Graduated from San Jose State University in 1980 and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1986. He’s currently member of California Society of Public Accountants and Monrovia Chamber of Commerce. Amongst many other professional positions he holds, he’s also the board member of Pasadena’s Cal Phil Symphony.

 

Chuck Pugh

Chuck Pugh is a person with a caring concern for others that is fostered by his Christian viewpoint. The principal way he has demonstrated this in a continuous fashion is his prison ministry involvement for the last fifteen (15) years. It is this insight that will help him in his Robert Lee Rush Foundation board role.

Chuck’s professional career has been in the petrochemical and oil/gas quality discipline for over thirty (30) years. He has been married for twenty-seven (27) years and has two sons and one grand daughter.

 

 

Karen Kartika

A seasoned business, marketing and communications professional with 11+ years experiences working with clients from different industries: consumer good, financial, technology, fashion and non-profit.

A graduate from Emerson College, Boston, MA in mass communication and TV production, she first started her career in advertising while she was studying for her MBA at San Jose State University in San Jose, CA and at the same time started a restaurant venture with a group of Silicon Valley whiz kids. After enriching her career in Asia from 2005 to 2010, Karen has returned to the US and decided to establish herself as an independent consultant providing strategic and creative solutions for businesses/organizations in marketing, communications and development.

Born and raised in Indonesia, Karen was educated in Indonesia, Australia and America. An avid traveler and foodie, she plans to someday retire on a tropical island.

Currently a returning student at University of California, Los Angeles, and a writer, journalist, boxer, and pilot-in-training at one point, J is a rare individual with a tremendous sense of personal and social justice. Coming from a background of unique upbringing and diverse interests, he hopes to apply the lessons learned along to way toward broadening and empowering the communities around him

 

Our Staff

Jeanette Nicole Gonzalez

Currently a senior studying to receive her B.A. in Media Arts & Design with an emphasis in Film/Television production and editing. She hopes to become a film editor and aspires to create movie trailers. Presently she’s studying at Marymount College in Rancho Palos Verdes and plans on going to graduate school at University of Southern California. “It’s been a great experience and a pleasure to work with Sheila and the Robert Lee Foundation”

 

 

Cynthia Johansen

Currently a junior at Marymount College in Rancho Palos Verdes, she is studying Media Arts & Design with an emphasis in Film and Television, and aspires to become a director. Besides her interest in Film & TV, Cynthia enjoys giving back to her community through volunteer work in and around the Los Angeles area, and is part of the reason she is excited to work with Robert Lee Rush Foundation.