Professional Alliance for Children
President – Jim Dell
Jim is both an attorney for the Alliance and the executive director of the Alliance. Previously Jim served as a Naval Flight Officer flying S-3 Viking jet aircraft from the USS Nimitz. He is a veteran of Gulf War I and Operation Southern Watch. After his service, Jim attended the Indiana University School of Law. As an attorney, Jim has practiced in the areas of elder, aviation, estate planning, business, and public interest law. After two years with a law firm, Jim opened the practice Dell & Dell, P.C. in Indianapolis with his wife, Amy, who is also an attorney. In addition to practicing law, Jim has been a flight instructor, vice president of an air charter company, and an airline pilot. He has served on several nonprofit boards, and he received the “Outstanding Guardianship Award” for his pro bono legal service to the poor.
After moving back to California and being inspired at a conference at Rady Children’s Hospital, Jim, Jon, Margot, and Tom founded the Professional Alliance for Children. Jim has a passion for using his experience as an attorney in helping families caring for an ill child. He also enjoys his volunteer work at the San Diego Humane Society where he is a “Dog Buddy.” Jim is a member of the state bars of Indiana, Georgia, and California (active). Jim was San Diego FPA’s pro bono “Volunteer of the Year” for 2011. Jim also volunteers as a pilot for Angel Flight and other humanitarian organizations.
Chairman of the Board – Jon Beyrer
Jon is a financial advisor and Certified Financial Planner™ Professional. Jon has been helping clients with their financial affairs since 2001. He is a partner and Vice President of Wealth Management with Blankinship & Foster, LLC, a fee only financial advisory firm. Previously, Jon worked with an accounting and consulting firm in San Diego. While there, he provided comprehensive financial planning and investment portfolio management advice to high net worth individuals and business owners.
Jon is a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and serves on the Board of Directors for FPA San Diego. He is active in community outreach and Pro Bono financial advice efforts, and has a passion for helping families succeed in managing their finances. Jon is also a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the La Jolla Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section. He earned his Master of Science Degree in Financial and Tax Planning in 2001 from San Diego State University and his Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance in 1995 from San Diego State University. He is licensed to use the Certified Financial Planner® and CFP® marks by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, and is enrolled to practice before the IRS. Jon is married and has a daughter, Summerlyn.
Treasurer – Margot Dorn
Margot has over twenty years of experience in the financial industry. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. She also has a Master’s Degree in Financial Planning from San Diego State University. Before focusing on personal financial planning, Margot was an audit manager at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, one of the largest international accounting and auditing firms. She subsequently spent a number of years in corporate international finance at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).
Margot is the principal and owner of Dorn Financial and has been a financial planner since 2004. Margot is a member of: • The Garrett Planning Network, Inc., an international network of hourly, as-needed financial advisers. • The Financial Planning Association (FPA), the largest organization of professionals dedicated to championing the financial planning process. and • NAPFA, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.
Secretary – Tom Young
Tom is a former senior Foreign Service Officer with extensive management and international experience. During his career with the Department of State, he served in Washington, D.C. and at ten U.S. embassies located in Latin America, Australia, the Middle East, and Europe. His varied experience includes assisting U.S. citizens in trouble in Peru, managing a crisis situation in Jordan following a serious terrorist incident there, negotiating international agreements on behalf of the U.S. government in Hungary, coordinating logistical support operations for visits by former-President George W. Bush to Aqaba, Jordan in 2003 and to Budapest, Hungary in 2004, and serving as treasurer on the board of the Fulbright Commission in Cyprus, helping to manage its five million dollar scholarship program there.
Tom holds a B.A. in journalism from the George Washington University and the Secretary of State’s Career Achievement award. He retired from the Foreign Service in 2007 after a career spanning nearly 35 years. He and his wife Cheryl now live in San Diego, California where they are happy to be near their son, Travis, again.
Director of Training — Ron Kuczenski, PhD.
Ron began volunteering with the Alliance in 2012 and was elected to the Board as Director of Training in 2013. He is an Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego. During his 43 year-long academic career, he functioned as teacher, mentor and director of a federally funded research laboratory. His research focused on establishing relationships between changes in brain chemistry promoted by psychotropic drugs and the behavioral effects of those drugs.
Ron received a B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Notre Dame, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Michigan State University. He lives in San Diego with his wife, Mona, who also volunteers with the Alliance as Director of Communications.
Director — Donald Kyle Sheppard
Donald is a 2000 graduate of New York Law School, where he earned his Juris Doctor degree. Prior to law school, Donald completed his undergraduate work in economics at Marshall University, graduating with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration. Donald is a partner with Higgs Fletcher & Mack LLP in San Diego. Prior to joining Higgs, Donald was a partner with Jacobs Schlesinger & Sheppard LLP. He has practiced immigration and nationality law in San Diego and New York City. Donald’s experience includes all aspect of immigration and nationality law, and he is certified as a Specialist in Immigration and Nationality law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization and currently serves as the Chair of the Immigration and Nationality law advisory commission.