Board of Directors

Erik Rees – Chairman
On March 3, 2011 the tapestry of the Rees family changed forever when they were told their 12 year old daughter Jessie had an inoperable brain tumor. On January 5, 2012 when Jessie lost her fight with cancer Erik committed to doing everything he could to continue Jessie’s legacy. This heart wrenching journey challenged Erik like never before and led to him turning Jessie’s Wish into reality by simply continuing what Jessie did herself…encouraging, supporting and caring.

Erik leverages his years of non-profit senior leadership, consulting and strategic planning to help lead and grow the Jessie Rees Foundation.   Under Erik’s leadership, the Jessie Rees Foundation has raised over 1.5 million dollars for pediatric cancer and has become a national symbol of hope, joy and strength for kids and families.

Erik’s greatest joy in life is spending time with his wife, of 20 years, Stacey and their two other children Shaya and JT.

Kim Eilber – Member, Board of Directors
Kim Eilber is a Vice President at Northern Trust in Denver’s Wealth Strategies Group. She specializes in financial solutions and planning for high net worth individuals and their families as well as non-profit entities. Prior to joining Northern Trust in 2010, Eilber was a Planning Director with Citigroup’s Global Wealth Advisory Services. She was responsible for providing services to high net worth clients in a five state region. She focused on developing strategic financial and estate planning with clients. In addition, Eilber has had experience in a local financial planning and investment management firm, as well as in Deloitte & Touche, one of the largest public accounting firms.Eilber is a member of both the Denver and Rocky Mountain Estate Planning Councils. She is an active volunteer in the community. A graduate of UCLA, Eilber received her law degree and masters in tax from the University of Denver. She is a Certified Financial Planner and holds her Series 7 and 63 licenses.

Marilyn Skeie Henley – Officer, Board of Directors
Marilyn spent 20 years as CFO for a construction company in Los Angeles, where she was also a partner. Most recently as co-owner of a construction company and property management company for the last 16 years. Marilyn’s goal for the Jessie Rees Foundation is to lead effectively and maintain proper accounting practices, protect the Foundation’s non-profit status, closely follow the income/expenses, and to advise where needed. Marilyn and her husband Bob live in Newport Beach, California and enjoy boating with their dogs.

Rick Brotherton – Member, Board of Directors
Rick is currently President of Brotherton, a brand and marketing communications firm. As a business owner, since 1993, Rick has had the opportunity to apply his marketing imagination on many projects, for many companies, spanning many industries. He has helped build brands for companies ranging from start-ups with a great idea, to internationally recognized corporations. Rick serves as the Foundation’s Communications Director and is responsible for the branding and messaging for all JRF materials and campaigns. Rick is a founding member of the Foundation and has been with us since day one. His goal is to help JRF be the LIVESTRONG for kids fighting cancer. He and his wife Monica have 3 kids and live in Ladera Ranch, CA.

Jeff Gibson – Officer, Board of Directors
Jeff Gibson has been a leader in public policy in Orange County for two decades. His work in the areas of ballot initiatives, infrastructure development, and large media and non-profit events are hallmarks of his experience. His work has brought bi-partisan policy solutions to twelve states while helping employers of all sizes from Fortune 100 to start ups create quality jobs.  As co-founder and co-author of California’s Jessica’s Law, Mr. Gibson stepped forward and helped lead the formulation of this sweeping reform that will provide our families the protection they need to raise their children safely. Mr. Gibson and his wife Jill are raising their three boys in South Orange County. Mr. Gibson also serves on the Orange County Marathon Foundation Board where he has served a co-chair of the Kids Run the OC race.

Layne Lawson – Member, Board of Directors
Layne Lawson began his career in the Outdoor Advertising Industry in 1995 as a Public Affairs Representative for a Southern CA bus shelter company. In 1998 he came to work for Clear Channel Outdoor in Los Angeles, continuing his role as a Public Affairs Representative. In 2001 he was promoted to the position of Manager of the Los Angeles Transit Shelter Division, and in 2004 was promoted to Director of Public Affairs. His responsibilities include protecting all company assets by dealing with local and state governmental issues concerning the Outdoor Advertising industry, maintaining a daily working relationship with elected officials, representing Clear Channel Outdoor at civic and community events, maximizing local inventory by finding new opportunities, managing the division’s bus shelter and transit division, directing Public Affairs Rep’s and Assistant’s in day to day operations, handling media inquiries, and maintaining the company’s Code of Advertising Practices.

While not at work, Layne enjoys spending time with his family. He has been married to his loving wife, Alicia, for 10 years and has two girls, Ella, 9, and Reese, 7.

Lelani Bluner - Member, Board of Directors
Lelani was named vice president of marketing for the OC Register in October 2005. She oversees consumer and advertiser marketing, communications, community relations, creative, customer development and market research.

Kroeker has more than 20 years of marketing management experience in the newspaper and publishing industry. She has been with Orange County Register Communications and parent company Freedom Communications, Inc. for 11 years, serving in a variety of leadership roles, including new media manager, vice president of Marketing and Product Development, director of Multimedia Product Development and most recently director of Marketing and Promotions.

Earlier in her career at the Register, Kroeker was honored by trade journal Presstime in its annual “20 under 40″ profile as one of its young innovators and achievers in the newspaper industry.

Previously, she held senior level positions at WorldPages/Web YP, Inc. in San Francisco, Calif., and Advance Publications Internet/Oregon Live in Portland Oregon. Kroeker holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from University of Phoenix, and is a graduate of the Executive Program at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.