After watching how much his young son was getting out of FPS, Erwin began serving on the California Board in 2012 and currently serves as Board President. He is also Treasurer, Finance Chair, and Board Member of Future Problem Solving Program International (FPSPI), our parent organization based in Melbourne, Florida.
He previously served as Treasurer for three non-profit organizations: Palo Alto Partners in Education (2009-2012); Palo Alto Little League (2005-2008); and Earthplace, a Connecticut pre-school and nature preserve, (2001-2004).
He is a private investor and previously worked as a Principal in private equity in New York City and before that at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC.
Lisa Mattioli Chand
Looking for an activity that would academically challenge her curious 4th grader, Lisa stumbled upon FPS and was recruited to help build out the program at Woodland School in Portola Valley. That was 7 years ago. Since then she has; introduced FPS as an Elective to 30 middle schoolers, overseen two consecutive teams advancing to State Bowl (one placing 3rd in 2017), and cheered on her son who's team also placed 3rd in Scenario Writing at this year's International Competition. Not wanting to see the program end at Woodland with the departure of their coach, she has joined the Board to help with marketing and fundraising activities.
Lisa began her career at Apple in 1984 and has consulted for several start-ups including; Facebook, DropBox, Ribbit/BT, Skype, Business 2.0, Washington Mutual and many others in various marketing roles.
Mackenzie has been involved with Future Problem Solving Program International since joining at age 12 — competing in both Global Issues Problem Solving (GIPS) and Community Problem Solving (CmPS); placing Internationally, including Grand Champion for CmPS in 2012. From 2014-2019 she coached several Woodland School teams/individuals with wins at both the State and Int’l level.
Graduating from Stanford in 2017 with a B.A. in Public Policy and Honors in Education, she joined the California FPS Board in 2019 to assist with fundraising and growth initiatives and also serves as a strategic advisor to FPSPI.
Mackenzie spent 4 years in management consulting at Boston Consulting Group where she worked across 4 continents in public, social impact, and digital sectors specializing in project management, large-scale transformations and complex stakeholder engagement. She recently joined Silicon Valley based startup Reforge as Strategy Lead where she will focus on expanding the scope of their programming.
Cyrus began coaching FPS at the Harker School in San Jose in the late 1990s. He has been a Board member for more than a decade and also served as State Board Chair.He is passionate about the value of the process in challenging students to develop problem solving skills and ultimately life skills— with numerous former students telling him that "FPS may or may not have helped them get into college, but it has absolutely helped them get a job after college."
Cyrus' program at Harker has grown to encompass 70-90 kids in a given year with teams and individuals qualifying for International competition numerous times and finishing 1st at both the middle and senior level. A unique component of the program at Harker is that it is almost entirely student-run — with high school students coaching and training the middle school students. These students frequently continue on with FPS in high school and eventually become mentors themselves. Always willing to meet with and mentor new coaches on the process, his practices take place on the weekend to allow observers to come and learn along with the students.
In addition to coordinating FPS, he teaches US History at the Harker School and has worked in various areas of education and curriculum design as well as with a tech start up.
Leanne Di Bella
Leanne teaches 4th and 5th grade at Katherine Finchy Elementary School in Palm Springs. During a professional development meeting thirteen years ago, a speaker presented the challenge of preparing students for careers that don't yet exist. No suggestion
of a solution was offered, leaving Leanne to exercise her own problem-solving skills.
At that point, Leanne decided to sharpen her focus on the critical thinking skills that would best serve her students in a future yet unimagined. She examined her own educational career from elementary school to earning a master's degree in Counseling Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, settling on her 4th through 12th grade experience in Future Problem Solving as the best means for "teaching kids how to think, not what to think."
Leanne introduced team Global Issues Problem-Solving to her school then, is now coaching Scenario Writing, and has also enjoyed competing with three Community Problem Solving teams. CmPS consumes the mind and opens the heart like no other academic process Leanne has seen in her 15 years of teaching. Her students in all branches of the program appreciate that F.P.S. prepares them for a future invested in collaboration, time management, and critical thinking. It prepares them for life.
Beginning her FPS journey as a participant in Michigan, Ariella competed for 3 years as a student. Her teams competed at the state level each year and advanced to the International competition twice, earning 4th place at the International level. After beginning her teaching career 15 years later, she introduced the program to the Del Mar Union School District and started coaching at two schools. She developed programs at 4 of the Del Mar Schools and is currently coaching at Ocean Air School where she also teaches as part of the school's STEAM+ teaching wheel.
Each year her program at Ocean Air enrolls around 100 students in Team/Individual GIPS and Scenario Writing. Her students have earned many awards over the years, including a 1st place Championship at the International Competition in Team GIPS and a 1st Place in On-Site Scenario Writing.
Ariella's passion is introducing new coaches and students to the FPS program and seeing the excitement in their eyes and they begin their FPS journey! She has been involved with the program as a Board Member, Evaluation Coordinator, Affiliate Director and currently works as a Co-Affiliate Director training new coaches and coordinating the annual California State Bowl.
When you review the list of roles Sandy has held in FPS, you'll know why she's an invaluable part of our team. She’s literally at the center of everything we do!
2014-Current California Affiliate Director / California Evaluator Trainer
1999-Current International Evaluator (GIPS & Scenario Writing)
1989-2008 Affiliate Evaluator (CA, WA, TX)
1989-2008 GIPS coach
1995-2008 Scenario Coach
1999-2008 Coach Trainer / Florida Scenario Coordinator / Evaluator Trainer
2000-2008 FPS Florida, Brevard District Representative
2000-2008 Brevard District Competition Coordinator
2003-2008 CmPS Coach