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Tariq Khamisa Foundation Board

Azim Khamisa
Board of Trustee

Azim Khamisa is an author, peace activist, thought leader, and inspirational speaker. He was born in Kenya, Africa and educated in England in mathematics, economics and international finance. He has over 45 years of experience as a successful international investment banker. nAzim provides an external business perspective to the governance and operations of TKF. He has committed his life to halting the continuing cycle of violence among youth.

Ples Felix
Board of Trustee

Ples Felix’s life is a living testament to the journey and struggles it takes to be a man committed to a life of nonviolence, peace, and cooperation. Currently Mr. Felix applies his knowledge and experience to serve as an educator and activist in teaching our youth the skills and values needed to be community peacemakers. As a social advocate and international trainer, Ples uses his story and the plight of his grandson Tony Hicks to teach the principles and merits of healthy decision-making and forgiveness. His inspirational and restorative work with the Tariq Khamisa Foundation (TKF) demonstrates his commitment to a vision of a world free of violence.

“I truly believe everything I’ve done in my life has prepared me for the mission I’m doing now.” Growing up in Louisiana then southeast Los Angeles, Ples learned from his parents the values of hard work, service, and independence. Out of high school at the peak of the Vietnam War, Ples’ proudly served with the Army Special Forces. He did two twelve-month tours before leaving the Army in 1970.

In 1972, Ples relocated to San Diego to attend San Diego State University, where in 1975 he earned a BA in Political Science, becoming the first member in his family to graduate from college. He headed to the New School for Social Research in New York. There he studied Urban Affairs and Policy Analysis earning his MA in 1977.

Ples began his professional endeavors applying what he learned in policy analysis to local grassroots nonprofits in New York and later Arizona. In 1981, Ples returned to California and in 1988 he began working for the City of San Diego Community and Economic Development Department. After a busy career as a public administrator, in 2009, Mr. Felix retired as a Project Manager for the City of San Diego.

Ples’ journey as an advocate for nonviolence truly began when his life was transformed by a tragic event in 1995. At the age of 14,Tony Hicks, Ples’ grandson shot and killed Tariq hamisa and became the youngest juvenile in California to be charged and convicted as an adult. He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Shortly afterwards, Ples received word through the District Attorney’s Office that Azim Khamisa, the father of Tariq, wanted to meet him. “It was a God-inspired meeting and with a handshake I committed to do anything to help his family.” As an unbelievable act, the Khamisa family chose to forgive Tony and saw there were victims on both ends of the gun. Ples joined Mr. Khamisa in launching TKF and together they have channeled their pain into real action that successfully addresses youth violence. Over the last twenty years Ples and Azim have developed a strong and genuine brotherly bond. Together they have delivered their messages on the realities and harm of violence, practicing forgiveness, and becoming peacemakers to more than one million children locally and internationally.

“Our world is in urgent need of TKF’s powerfully, sustainable messages of forgiveness, empathy, compassion, peace, and love for all children as a primary doctrine of learning in every school and in every village in our world.” Ples is a leader dedicated and passionate in his mission to ensure that our children, regardless of their backgrounds or struggles, have the strategies for a strong foundation, support in healing, and opportunities for achievement. Ples looks forward to the day when his grandson joins him in TKF’s transformational efforts.

Brent Arteaga-Biggs
Board of Trustee
(Chairman of the Board)

Brent Arteaga-Biggs is a Partner at Innovative Capital Corporation, a commercial finance brokerage.  He started his career in finance as a banker in 2004, earning top sales and analysis designations. As a self-motived and highly competitive person, Brent built the foundation of his career in sales before turning his individual production towards leading sales teams.  After many years processing and underwriting business loans, Brent found his next calling in bridging financial disciplines with institutional lenders and private capital to find innovative finance solutions for his clients and business partners.

Brent is a passionate team builder and deconstructionist. He is constantly looking to make connections and finding solutions to problems.

As a young adult, Brent unfortunately lost a close friend to a gang related murder.  He has a personal connection to TKF’s mission to teaching young people coping skills and providing them the tools to reconcile the complex pain associated with harm afflicted by others.

Brent is a father to a newborn baby girl and husband to an incredible wife.  You can find Brent in the ocean surfing when he is not with his family, work, or TKF.

Salim Janmohamed
Board of Trustee

Salim (Sal) Janmohamed is a Managing Partner and co-founder of CSJ Capital with more than 30 years of experience in financial services. Prior to co-founding CSJ, Sal was a Managing Director and Private Banker with Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management’s Orange County and Los Angeles offices.  Sal earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering & M.B.A. in Finance at San Diego State University.  He also did graduate work in engineering at UCLA.  Sal started his career in International Banking with Bank of America and has had leadership positions at Bank of America, Northern Trust and Deutsche Bank.  Prior to his tenor as MD at Deutsche Bank, Sal was the Region President for Northern Trust in San Diego.  Sal was also a CFO for a domestic and international company.

Sal’s primary areas of expertise include, but are not limited to finance, wealth protection and structured financing solutions.

Sal believes that everyone should have the social responsibility and ethics to benefit the whole of society, and especially in the current environment.  TKF’s mission and message of compassion, forgiveness, and restorative justice resonates strongly with Sal.

Sal served in the U.S. Army from 1975- 1977 and received an Army Commendation Medal.  Sal and his wife, Alice, live in Del Cerro, and now that their kids have grown up, love traveling together.  Sal loves nature and the outdoors and has hiked/backpacked extensively in Southern California and Arizona, and has also hiked and backpacked in Utah and New Zealand.  One summer Sal hitchhiked across the country from San Diego to New Hampshire.

John LeBrun
Board of Trustee
(Corporate Secretary)

John LeBrun is the Executive Account Director at NPS Media Group, the premier magazine circulation consulting firm in the U.S.  John also serves as a Circulation and Marketing Consultant, and is a veteran direct marketer, strategist, entrepreneur and creative thinker.  John holds a Masters of Science Degree in Advertising from Northwestern University.

John is a hands-on marketing leader, strategist, and creative thinker.  He specializes in mentoring and team leading, direct marketing, contract development, and creative oversight, including writing and editing, as well as design direction.

After hearing TKF founder, Azim Khamisa speak in 2018, John was immediately moved to donate and to become involved. ’TKF mission is more important today than ever before” he says. “Every child, and adult as well, could benefit by incorporating TKF’s restorative principles into their daily life.The result would be a better, more compassionate and loving world.”

John has called Southern California home since late 2014. It is the tenth state John has lived in, having slowly made his way diagonally cross country from his New Hampshire birthplace. Along the way, in early 2004, John purchased an old tool and dye building in downtown Milwaukee, WI which he renovated into a combination restaurant/gallery that he opened to rave reviews. John, an avid movie goer, is drawn to spiritual endeavors, discussion with like-minded friends and travel.

Dr. Ana Laura Arteaga-Biggs
Board of Trustee

Dr. Ana Arteaga-Biggs is a bilingual, licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in San Diego, California and is credentialed as a National Register Health Service Psychologist.  She completed a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium in Palo Alto, California, receiving training at both Stanford University School of Medicine and Palo Alto University, and obtained an M.A. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University’s GSEP.

Ana’s research, clinical interests, and areas of expertise include trauma and post traumatic growth, grief/ loss, destructive mind control, couples/marital functioning, and women’s health.

In her work as a psychologist, Dr. Arteaga-Biggs is given the immense privilege of witnessing people make extraordinary changes in their moods, thinking, behavior, and relationships.  Forgiveness of themselves, their past, and the traumas they have suffered through can be such a transformative intervention in healing and allow for metamorphoses to occur.  She believes there is not a more powerful tool to teach our youth as they navigate such a tumultuous time in their lives with peers, community, and family members who may not always deliver their best selves and, ultimately, cause harm.  Teaching adolescents to be empowered via coping skills and the ability to grow, learn, and forgive following a conflict has a profound effect on an individual and community level and as a result.  In light of today’s current sociopolitical climate, Dr. Arteaga-Biggs believes supporting TKF’s mission is paramount.

When Dr. Arteaga-Biggs is away from work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, their daughter, and two miniature dachshunds.  She is passionate about activism, traveling, photography, and enjoying the outdoors.

Marilyn Daniels
Board of Trustee

Marilyn Daniels is a real estate investor, and an active member and current President of the La Mesa/ El Cajon American Association of University Women (AAUW) Foundation Board. Marilyn has served as Fiduciary Trustee for several family members and is a retired classroom teachers of thirty-two years.  Marilyn earned an undergraduate degree from San Diego State and a Master of Arts in Education at United States International University.

Marilyn is a passionate philanthropist, supports countless organizations, in addition to TKF such as Alzheimer’s Association, ALS Association, KPBS Public Radio, the Boys and Girls Club, Al-Anon and AAUW.

I support TKF because by I truly feel that by encouraging our children to grow into compassionate and caring adults, we make our community a better place to live.

Marilyn is an Bridge enthusiast, and enjoys traveling, reading, political news media, sporting events and event planning.

Sean Elo, J.D.
Board of Trustee

Sean Elo serves as the Executive Director of Youth Will, a San Diego non-profit aiming to build youth power, improve youth development, and demand youth prioritization.  In 2018, Sean was elected to the San Diego Community College District Board of Trustees.  Sean earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) at the California Western School of Law and passed the bar examination in 2015.

Sean is currently running for San Diego City Council in the hopes of engaging community in creating a better future where everyone has a chance to reach their potential.

Sean supports TKF because he believes love is the most powerful force for positive change and TKF brings a loving approach to its work. Moreover, TKF is changing the narrative as it relates to how our community approaches justice.

Sean and his wife Angela live in City Heights and love traveling, good food, and spending time with friends and family.

Roxanne Kymaani, PH.D
Board of Trustee

Roxanne J. Kymaani, Ph.D. is a Life Coach, Speaker, Facilitator, and Leadership Development Consultant at Kymaani Catalyst Consulting, a self-owned coaching and consulting business, emphasizing in authenticity creativity, and discovery.  Roxanne serves as the Executive Director for National University’s Division of Extended Learning and a Faculty Coach and Leadership Development Consultant at RISE San Diego, a non-profit focused on elevating and advancing urban leadership.  Roxanne also teaches as an adjunct professor at National University and Goucher College.  Roxanne received a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Leadership Studies at the University of San Diego.

Roxanne’s specialties include leadership development, dialogue, liminality, identity construction, diversity and equity, group dynamics and cultural understanding.  Roxanne’s passion is to support others in constructing their best self and create understanding on who they are “being” as a way of developing a new relationship with themselves that offers a new dialogue for how to view and experience the world.

Roxanne supports TKF because it’s mission and programs focused on compassion and forgiveness are key factors for transforming social justice and building equitable relationships are in line with her mission for transforming the world.

In her down time, Roxanne enjoys working out, riding bikes, and stand up paddle-boarding.

Pete Morimoto
Board of Trustee

Peter Morimoto is a Managing Director and Wealth Manager at First Republic Investment Management.  Prior to joining First Republic, Pete was a Senior Vice President at Wells Fargo Advisors.  Pete earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of California San Diego.

Pete has over twenty years of experience in wealth management.

Vikas Srivastava
Board of Trustee

Vikas Srivastava, M.Ed. has been professional educator for over 20 years.  Vikas is currently serves as the Director of Mindfulness at Legacy Early College in Greenville, South Carolina.  Vikas also works as an independent educational consultant and Mindfulness coach to a variety of businesses and organizations.  Vikas completed a Master of Education (M.Ed.) with an emphasis Curriculum, Culture and Philosophy at Harvard University Graduation School of Education, and a B.A. in Sociology with an emphasis on Ethnic Identity, Urban Studies and Post-modernity at UCSD.

Vikas specializes in mindfulness, non-violence, creative confidence, entrepreneurial mindset and sustainability.  Vikas ’presentations and publications include Gandhian School Design, Deconstructing Diversity, The Mindful School Project and Nonviolent Social Change through Arts & Technology.  Vikas is currently piloting a framework that integrates Mindfulness, Restorative Justice and the Native American Medicine Wheel.

Vikas supports TKF because the work we do is based on a real story, addresses real struggles and produces real change.  TKF is about walking the talk, facing challenges and doing the work.  We do this in schools, within the organization and within our personal lives. Vikas has spent real time with Azim, Ples and Tasreen and know first-hand there’s nothing hypothetical about what they preach.

Vikas always wanted to be a teacher growing up.  He meditates as much as possible every day and plays at least one instrument every day.  Vikas began cooking in his family restaurant at the age of 11.  Jazz is his life and his life is jazz.  Improvisation is the path to enlightenment.  Vikas’ kids claim he is an introvert, but he assures them he is an extrovert and that he just doesn’t socialize with humans much.