CEO, Irvine Public Schools Foundation
City of residence: Irvine
Family: A son and a daughter: 5-year-old Gavin and 3-year-old Krya
First job: Men’s volleyball coach at Biola University and boys’ volleyball coach at Brethren Christian High School in La Mirada
Who or what inspires you: Kids in general – their passion for life, tenacity and resilience. I have a background in social service working with underprivileged kids. I learned so much from that population of kids; they have faith and perseverance, given all of their circumstances.
Advice to other women in business: Have a vision for what you’re trying to accomplish. Have a business plan in mind. Make decisions in the best interest of your goals.
What you do to unwind: We’re an active family. I’m still involved in volleyball; we play three days a week. I also enjoy paddle boarding.
« Irvine public school students sit at the head of the class. Their SAT scores are in the top 10 in Orange County, and Irvine schools have been honored as California Distinguished Schools 40 times since 1986. But the Irvine Unified School District has taken a hit – $18.3 million in reductions and adjustments since April 2009.
This is where Neda Zaengle comes in. She is the CEO of the Irvine Public Schools Foundation, an organization that raises private funds for music, art and science, as well as health aides and counselors – programs and people that bear the brunt of California’s budget cuts.
Zaengle’s focus has always been on kids, having spent nine years operating multiple treatment centers and education programs for at-risk youth at Boys Town, as well as partnering with Orange County Social Services to develop a shelter for neglected babies and children.
And now Zaengle is helping the Irvine Public Schools Foundation bridge the gap between schools and the business community.
“It’s important to get corporations involved,” she says. “[The kids] are our future in business.”
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