ART . ENGAGE . EMPOWER . EDUCATE

Board of Directors

Dr. Julie Thompson-Dobkin

President | Co-founder

Heidi Meireles

Vice President | Director of Philanthropic Outreach

Diane Stalder

Secretary

Lance Dumas

Treasurer

Ashley Carlson

Board Member

Lisa Albert

Board Member | Art Educator

Adin Dobkin

Advisory Board

Linda Sudlesky

Advisory Board

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Dr. Julie Thompson-Dobkin

President | Co-founder

Dr. Julie Thompson-Dobkin is a Board-certified neurologist. She was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Pittsburgh and on the clinical teaching staff at Washington University in St. Louis. While in training, she had the opportunity to work in Haiti and Tanzania. She currently works at Share Our Selves Medical Clinic, providing neurology care for the indigent and uninsured population of Orange County, California.

Apart from Julie’s medical work, she has a keen interest in addressing quality of life issues for those living with chronic illness, poverty, and housing insecurity. She founded Hidden Truths Project in 2012, focusing on education through the arts to improve well-being for those impacted with epilepsy. Julie is a member of the Inclusion Council at Newport Harbor High School, working with the academic staff and students to address racial, gender identity, and socio-economic injustices in the school and local community. She serves on the Board of Someone Cares Soup Kitchen and Tutoring Program, which addresses the local community needs in response to confronting homelessness and food insecurity. In 2020, she was invited to become the Cover Editor for Epilepsy & Behavior and join the Elvsevier Reviews Platform team.

In her spare time she is a novice artist, runner, and distracts herself playing piano.

Heidi Meireles

Vice-President | Board Member

Heidi is the Director of the Care & Cure Institute with the Epilepsy Foundation, working to ensure that all children with epilepsy have access to a higher level or specialty care regardless of socio-economic or geographic boundaries and to give hope for a cure.

Heidi is an experienced Development Consultant with a demonstrated history of working in both the nonprofit organization and for-profit management industries. Her work has focused in nonprofit organizations, fundraising, budgeting, event management, and volunteer management. Ms. Meireles is a media and communication professional with a Bachelor of Science focused on Business Management from University of Phoenix.

Diane Stalder

Secretary

Diane is a practicing employment law attorney with the law firm Scott & Whitehead in Newport Beach, California. Diane has served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for endangered children and volunteered many hours in school-related activities, including the High School Mock Trial program, as both an attorney coach and judge.

Diane’s involvement with the Kant Institute stems from her concern for providing educational opportunities for all segments of society and her interest in supporting local causes, such as the Hidden Truths Project.

Lance Dumas

Treasurer

Lance is a Managing Partner at Cornerstone Financial Advisers, a Tax and Consulting Firm dedicated to helping individuals and companies establish specific goals and then create financial plans to reach them. Prior to founding Cornerstone Financial Advisers, Lance held the positions of Regional Planning Specialist; Director of National Accounts; Officer, Product Development, and Regional Vice President at large national financial services and investment companies. Lance holds his FINRA Series 6, 66, 7 and 24 securities registrations, and is also an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®). Lance and his wife Melanie moved from Boston, MA to Orange County in 2006 and quickly adjusted to the new lifestyle. When not working with clients, Lance enjoys surfing, cycling, traveling, and spending time with Melanie and their dog Smitty.

Lance became involved with the Kant Institute in 2012 through 1:26 The Art of Epilepsy event and he has a deep-rooted passion for demystifying epilepsy and increasing the general public’s knowledge of the condition, all while trying to help raise funds for continued research.

Ashley Carlson

Board Member

Ashley is a mother of two children with a background in Healthcare Public Relations, Cause Marketing, and Nonprofit Fundraising and Special Events. She currently spends her time supporting her children’s elementary school as an active member of the Parent Faculty Organization, as well as a volunteer room mom within her children’s classes. In addition, she is a member of the Newport Beach National Charity League Juniors Chapter.

Ashley is from California and attended Boston University where she studied Public relations. She and her husband moved back to California in 2008. In her free time she enjoys snow and water skiing, traveling, playing tennis, and reading.

Ashley and her husband first attended 1:26 The Art of Epilepsy event in 2014 and she has enjoyed being a part of the event committee. She hopes to continue to support the growth of a unique and powerful event that gives those who often go unheard a voice. She also hopes to continue to educate our community about the importance of inclusion and support for people from all backgrounds and experiences.

Lisa Albert

Board Member | Art Educator

Lisa Albert has over 32 years of experience bringing art to children, adults and special education students in Australia, Los Angeles and Orange County. She owns and operates her own art studio in Costa Mesa and is contracted through the cities of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa as an art educator. Lisa specializes in teaching Mindful Art to adults and adolescents suffering from substance abuse.

Lisa teaches art to children and young adults with special needs through the Friendship Circle of Newport Beach. She also started a big buddy program with at-risk teens and special education students through the Orange County Department of Education in Santa Ana, California.

Lisa was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, where she attended New South Wales University and studied Fine Art and Art Education. She earned her Applied Behavior Analysis certificate through the Newport Mesa Unified School District.

Lisa has had the privilege of enriching the lives of thousands of students through art and believes that art connects people, promotes creative thinking and is the universal language that everyone can appreciate.

Adin Dobkin

Advisory Board

Adin Dobkin is a writer and journalist in New York City. His reporting, essays, and criticism have been featured in New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among others. He is the author of the forthcoming Sprinting Through No Man’s Land.

Linda Sudlesky

Advisory Board

Linda Sudlesky is an Instructional Designer at the University of Massachusetts Boston where she works to support faculty in teaching online. This includes conducting faculty consultations, teaching webinars, and assisting faculty in designing accessible online learning environments. Aside of being an artist, she is a lifelong advocate and learner who has taken courses on user experience design, project management and other design and accessibility-related topics. She recently published a book along with Dr. Steven Schachter, which includes the stories and images of people with or impacted by epilepsy who have become advocates and empowered other people with epilepsy.