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Bunni and Rick Benaron, Founders

Bunni and Rick Benaron

Founders Bunni and Rick Benaron live by the motto “Learn, earn and return.”

For nearly 40 years, this husband and wife team built a successful home furnishing and products business. With over 150 employees operating heavy manufacturing machinery on a daily basis, safety and emergency preparedness was always a top priority for the Benarons. After selling their business, Bunni and Rick wanted to give back in a tangible way and felt inspired to honor the true heroes in our communities, the first responders. That’s when The Hero In You Foundation was born.

Both Bunni and Rick are native Californians. Having grown up in “earthquake country,” they know firsthand the importance of being prepared in the event of an emergency, natural or manmade. Bunni, whose energy lives up to her name, is a former school teacher in LAUSD and has always been dedicated to children’s wellbeing. It is the Benaron’s passionate commitment to promote safety and make the knowledge accessible to everyone, especially vulnerable children.

In addition to supporting their own foundation, Bunni and Rick serve, volunteer and contribute to causes and organizations like Eisenhower Hospital’s Residency Program, Loma Linda Hospital, UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Crohn’s & Colitus Organization and Inner City Arts.

When this busy couple isn’t busy trying to save lives, they like to play golf and spoil their adorable dog Iggy.

Barry Stockhamer, EdD, Program Director

Dr. Stockhamer completed his undergraduate studies at UC Irvine and received his Doctorate in Education from USC. Dr. Stockhamer was an Elementary School Principal in Indio; Assistant Principal at Burbank High School, overseeing Special Education and Counseling. He taught high school and elementary schools Special Education (LAUSD). Dr. Stockhamer served as Vice President of Marketing for the Los Angeles Dodgers in a distinguished 31 year career. During his tenure as Vice President, no NL team drew more fans. He oversaw Ticket Marketing, Merchandising, 50 Promotional Nights, and Community Relations bringing players into schools to support educational initiatives. In 1980, he was Producer of Dodger Diamond Vision, the first color video screen in the world. He created numerous programs for schools, providing thousands of free tickets annually to Straight A students, and year-long salutes to teachers as “Hometown Heroes”. His 1990 Dodgers 100th Anniversary season long celebration was honored by Major League Baseball as the Outstanding Marketing Program by a team, for the year.

James LEE Witt, Spokesperson & Advisor

From 1993-2001, James lee Witt served in the Clinton administration as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and worked directly with former President Bill Clinton. Under his leadership, FEMA helped the nation overcome more than 350 disasters, some of which were the most devastating in U.S. history. Later on, he continued his work with FEMA as a consultant to oversee reconstruction efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Witt recognizes the importance of teaching our youngest generations the importance of emergency preparedness and empowering them to become heroes. His experience in emergency management brings great value to the Rocket Rules program and helps grow its impact with youth and families everywhere.

Marcia Stein

Marcia Stein

Marcia has been an innovator throughout her life. In Marin County when she was teaching Kindergarten she formed a statewide campaign for Single Session Kindergarten and she and three other professional Educators went to the Governor and the state congress and got it passed! California Teacher Assn. asked her to speak at their Statewide Convention in 1969. She was an educator for Palm Springs Unified School District for 29 years. She was the Principal for a joint venture between PSUSD and Lyceum of the Desert summer school and was chair of Lyceum for three years. Marcia was on the board of Big Brothers and Sisters for 7 years and the only woman to ever serve as President. She served on the Jewish Federation Women’s Board as campaign chair for 3 years and President for 2 years. She has chaired the Rancho Mirage (CA) Emergency Preparedness Commission for 7 years. She is on the Coachella Valley Disaster Preparedness Network board. Marcia is now involved with Stand Wish Us as Co President. She has her own home based business and acts as a wellness specialist encouraging healthy habits and growing organic fruits and vegetables with Tower Gardens.

Dr. Jennifer MacLeamy

Since receiving her Doctor of Clinical Psychology and Master of Science in Clinical Psychology degrees from the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium, Jennifer has been an instructor and behavioral health consultant at the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency, a Federal Investigator with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission, and a clinician, community educator, and first-responder trainer at a domestic violence shelter in Chicago. She received her undergraduate degree in Sociology from Princeton University. Dr. MacLeamy is currently the Director of Behavioral Health at Petaluma Health Center in Sonoma County, CA, overseeing all Behavioral Health services within an integrated primary care team model. She has served as an advisor and facilitator for community agencies surrounding disaster preparedness and relief, and will be featured in an upcoming short documentary about childhood trauma, resilience, and mindfulness.

Janelle Vargo

Janelle is an artist, business owner and Education Consultant in Dayton, Ohio. Janelle has worked as an Intervention Specialist servicing students with disabilities for 12 years. She has taught kindergarteners through adults throughout those years working on everything from letter recognition to interviewing skills; building a complete understanding of educational development from birth through adulthood. Janelle is also a business owner of Two Birds LLC and co-owner of the Athletic Proving Grounds. Both companies work with local students in the arts and athletic development. Because of these experiences, Janelle is an advocate for multi-sensory learning activities that reach students of all learning styles.

Robert I. Jadd, Esq., Attorney at Law

Robert I. Jadd is a dedicated attorney representing clients in estate planning, drafting of wills and trusts, estate administration and probate proceedings and tax related matters. A native of Buffalo, New York, Robert graduated from Bennett High School in 1967; earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Buffalo, State University of New York in 1971; and received his law degree from New England School of Law| Boston, Massachusetts in 1974. Robert is admitted to the practice of law in the State of New York, State of Florida and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He is also admitted to the US Tax Court; the US District Court for the Western District of New York; the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida and the United States Supreme Court. Robert has been actively involved with the Bar Associated of Erie County and, since 2017, has had his own law practice under the firm name of Jadd and Jadd Attorneys.

Brener Zwikel & Associates, Public Relations Firm

Brener Zwikel & Associates (BZA PR) is one of the nation’s leading sports public relations and marketing agencies, providing strategic PR counsel and support for major local, regional and national special events and corporate clients for more than 25 years. Hard work, innovation and excellent media relationships are cornerstones to BZA’s philosophy. At BZA we say “We Don’t Wait For Things To Happen… We Make Them Happen.” This motto speaks to the core work ethic and the value of this agency.