Board of Directors
Cascades Science Center Foundation is governed by the community volunteers listed below. We thank them for donating their time and using their creativity, expertise and enthusiasm to help implement the mission of this organization.
Ellis Corets is the Founder and ex-President of the Board of Directors of the Cascades Science Center Foundation (CSCF). A retired Boeing engineering manager, his career paths also included civil engineering, and financial consulting. Among his many interests and areas of community service he founded and directed “Pedal for a Purpose” which integrates fundraising programs with major bicycle riding events. As a cancer survivor, he actively supports cancer research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. He is a founding member of the Eastside Astronomical Society. As a member of the Friends of the Planetarium he helped in the acquisition of equipment and putting on star shows on at the Bellevue Community College Planetarium. Ellis resides in Bellevue, Washington and has four daughters and five grandchildren.
Sonu Arora, President
Sonu is a Program Manager, designing software at Microsoft since 2007 in Redmond, WA. Prior to working for Microsoft, she worked in Information Technology field as Enterprise IT Strategy Consultant, IT Architect and IT Development Management for over 10 years. Prior to joining the board as President, Sonu was the acting Program Director of Cascades Science Squad from 2009 – 2012. She has always been curious about the role science plays in daily aspects of our life. She believes that fostering interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics provides a venue for kids to be curious and creative. Sonu has always enjoyed visiting Science Centers, but she got excited about technology only when one of her tutors encouraged her to take a hands-on computer programming course in high school. She felt a sense of accomplishment when she learnt that she could make computers do things. The computers and technology have changed our day to day lives and it feels great for her to be part of a phenomenon that’s making a difference in the world. She graduated from York University in Toronto with degree in Computer Science. She lives in Kirkland, WA with her husband and a dog. In her free times, Sonu enjoys walks in parks with her dog, hiking, biking, snowboarding, reading and traveling.
Monica Ibaretta, Secretary
Monica Ibarreta is a CPA and is employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Seattle, WA. She graduated from the University of Washington with degrees in Accounting, Finance, and Biology. Prior to entering the field of accounting, Monica spent five years in a Neurophysiology lab assisting in research at the University of Washington. Monica has volunteered for several organizations, most recently as a mentor for Streetwise Partners in New York City and currently with Summer Search in Seattle. Her interest in volunteering is to provide assistance to people from backgrounds of lower economic status and she is excited about the opportunity to participate in the mission of CSCF and strongly supports the goal of promoting interest and education in the sciences and technology.
Gerard V Keller II, Treasurer, Co-Founder & Board Member
Gary is treasurer of the Foundation and is responsible for the organization’s federal and state tax compliance issues. He is a tax partner at Smith, Bunday, Berman, Britton, PS a certified public accounting firm in Bellevue, WA. His focus in the firm is federal and state tax planning and compliance for closely held businesses. Gary was licensed as a certified public accountant (“CPA”) in the state of Missouri on August 1, 1989 and later in the state of Washington on May 10, 1991. He is a member in good standing of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA”) and the Washington Society for CPAs (“WSCPA”). He graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in business administration (accounting emphasis) in December 1986 and has worked as a CPA his entire career. Gary represents the 3rd generation of CPAs in his family.
Siren Hakimi, Co-Founder & Vice-President
Siren is the Principal of Sustainable Development & Planning LLC, committee member of USGBC LEED ND, founding member and Vice President of CSCF. She served in large scale urban planning projects in New York City and Puget Sound Region as an Urban Planner. Currently, she provides expertise in clean energy, climate change and land use for government agencies, engineering firms, NGOs and businesses. She received her Master’s degree in City & Regional Planning from Pratt Institute in 1993, USGBC LEED training in 2007 and Sustainable Transportation Certification from University of Washington in 2010. She is an enthusiastic advocate of STEM and innovative modes of interactive learning.
Rejean Idzerda, Board Member
Rejean Idzerda was formerly an Associate Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at the University of Washington, where she taught students and performed research on the molecular mechanisms of hormones. She is an experienced grant writer, having successfully obtained competitive grant funding from the National Institutes of Health and other entities to support her research projects. Prior to joining the faculty, Rejean began her research career as a postdoctoral fellow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and was subsequently a research scientist at Immunex Corporation (now part of Amgen, Inc). During her career, she co-authored many peer-reviewed research articles, review articles and book chapters, and she obtained ten patents for her research discoveries. In addition to her academic career, Rejean has been very active in her community. She provided after school tutoring in chemistry at Shorecrest High School from 2004-2010. She has held several PTA board and committee positions, led a local unit of the League of Women Voters, and volunteered in various capacities for several environmental organizations, including Northwest Environmental Defense Center, Seattle Audubon Society, and The Nature Conservancy. Rejean earned a B.A. in Clinical Science from San Francisco State University, graduating with sum cum laude honors and Phi Beta Kappa membership. She obtained her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Washington, where she won a competitive National Science Foundation fellowship. Rejean is married with two grown sons. She holds special interests in traveling with her family, studying French, gardening, and participating in sports.
Dan has always had a strong interest in math and science. He is an engineer in propulsion product development for the Boeing Company. His background is in project management and physics based modeling. As a graduate of Olin College of Engineering, he has experience with the development of hands-on education. Dan’s work experience prior to Boeing includes robotics, defense contracting, scientific equipment sales, machining and automotive design. As a beneficiary of several STEM programs throughout his life, Dan is excited to use his experience and knowledge to help educate the next generation of mathematicians, scientists and engineers. His other passions include wood working, cycling and ultimate Frisbee.
Matthew Zell, Board Member
Matt is Director of Marketing & Strategy at Mission Healthcare.
Larry Hurlbert, Board Member
Larry is CEO and principal architect at Integrus Architecture. He is principal-in-charge of Seattle institutional and education projects.
Mike Galvin, Co-Founder & Board Member