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Board of Trustees

William Walton

Board of Trustees President

A third generation educator, William has served as an administrator and teacher in Southern California independent schools since 1999. An alumnus of The McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, William is a parishioner at St. James' Episcopal Church and also sits on the Vestry. William researched key elements of the financial sustainability of independent schools in his dissertation, The Price of Independence: Tuition, Annual Giving, Endowments and Financial Aid in Independent Schools. An Eagle Scout, William holds degrees in mathematics and creative writing from Carnegie Mellon University and a doctorate in education from the University of California, Los Angeles. He and his wife, Kasinee, reside in Wilshire Center.


Hubert T. Smith Jr. 

Board of Trustees Vice President

Hubert Smith Jr. has been a proud member of the St. James' community for over 40 years. His parents, Hubert Sr. and Fannie Johnson Smith, were longtime parishioners and Vestry members of St. James' Episcopal Church. His mother also served two terms on the St. James' School Board. Hubert grew up in nearby Wilshire Park, attended elementary school at Pilgrim, and graduated with distinction as a Prefect from Harvard-Westlake School. He is an attorney with over 20 years of experience in film and television production and digital media. He began his career at 20th Century Fox and is currently Vice President, Business Affairs at AMC Networks. Hubert earned his bachelor's degree in government from Dartmouth College and his J.D. from Loyola Law School. Hubert and his wife Charmaine are proudly passing on the traditions and core values of the St. James' community to their family: Madison '22 and Nicolas '10, who graduated from Harvard-Westlake in 2016. 

Jeffrey Armour Esq.

Board of Trustees Secretary

Jeffrey Armour is a Los Angeles–based attorney with more than 15 years of experience in the area of civil litigation. He is currently lead counsel at the Law Offices of Armour & Associates, a law firm he established in Beverly Hills in 2007. Prior to Armour & Associates, he was an equity partner at the Law Offices of Butler & Dodge, where he specialized in catastrophic personal injury cases. He is a member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) and Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC). Jeffrey received his B.A. from Amherst College and his J.D. from the University of Akron School of Law. He and his wife, Michelle, have two daughters enrolled in St. James': Michaella, a 2nd grader, and Tiffany, a 4th grader. Their son Nicholas, a 6th grader, is enrolled at Notre Dame Academy Elementary School. 

Richard Chisholm

Board of Trustees Treasurer 

Rich Chisholm is a partner and general counsel at Evolution Capital Management, a boutique investment firm. Rich earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan, a General Course certificate from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a J.D. from the Univ. of Calif., Hastings College of Law. Rich and his wife, Lois Perrin, have two children enrolled in St. James': Nate '20 and Alex '22. In his spare time, Rich enjoys spending time with his family, reading, traveling, and following University of Michigan athletics. 

Emily Abbott

Emily Abbott is a lifelong member of St. James in the City, and passionate non-profit fundraiser. She is currently serving as the Junior Warden on the Vestry of St. James Church. Emily attended Immaculate Heart High School and received her Bachelor’s degree in History and Theater from Occidental College in 2014. In her short career, she worked as a Stage Manager at many theaters around Los Angeles including the Bootleg Theater, Theatre @ Boston Court, and the Kirk Douglas Theater before setting her sights on arts administration and fundraising. Now, Emily is the Development Associate for the Pasadena Playhouse.  In addition to her work on the Vestry, Emily manages the Lay Ministers at the church, scheduling and training volunteers for each Sunday service.

Brenda Bass-Roper, MD

Brenda Bass-Roper MD has called St. James' her church home for 34 years. She is a current member of the Vestry of the Church and is the Vestry representative to the Board of Trustees. She and her late husband, Edward Roper, are the proud parents of two St. James' School alums, Morgan 2000 and Grant 2004. Brenda's dedication and commitment to St. James' School has been reflected in her serving several terms as a member of the Board of Trustees. She has served as a former Secretary as well as Chairwoman of the Strategic Planning Committee. 
Brenda received her B.A. degree from Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee and her M.D. degree from Boston University  School of Medicine. She is a former Thomas J Watson Foundation Fellow.
 She has been a pediatrician in private practice for 30 years. She is a member of the medical staff of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the former Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee at  Cedars-Sinai. She is a proud member of the St. James' soup kitchen volunteer staff and can be found serving clients every Friday evening.

The Rev. Dr. Kate Cress

Bio coming soon!

Alex Choi

Alex Choi is a co-founder and managing partner of Safarian Choi & Bolstad LLP, a real estate oriented law firm.  Previously, he was an equity partner at Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis.  Alex graduated as valedictorian from Daniel Murphy High School  (sadly, no longer in existence) and then received his B.A. from Stanford (in English and Political Science and with honors from the Department of Education) and his J.D. from USC, where he was a member of the University of Southern California Law Review. He and his wife, Ellen Park, have two children enrolled in St. James': Ryan ('21), and Sophia ('19).

Theane Evangelis

Theane Evangelis is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.  Theane’s practice focuses on class actions and appellate and constitutional litigation, and she serves as Co-Chair of the firm's Class Actions Practice Group.  Theane is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and New York University School of Law.  After law school, Theane clerked for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Honorable Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit.  Theane is a Trustee of New York University School of Law and serves on the Board of the California Women’s Law Center and the advisory board of the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival.  Theane’s son, Aki, is a member of St. James’ Class of ’23.  In her spare time, Theane enjoys Greek cooking, traveling, reading, cycling and spending time with Aki, her two stepdaughters, Eleni and Georgia, and her husband, James Kousoulas.

Dorothy Kim

Hon. Dorothy C. Kim has been a justice on the California Court of Appeal, Second District, since August 2018.  From January 2014 to August 2018, she served as a judge on the Los Angeles County Superior Court.  Prior to that, she served as an Assistant United States Attorney for over 12 years, and worked as a litigation associate at Irell & Manella.  She earned her JD from Columbia University School of Law, her BA from Cornell University, and is a graduate of the Marlborough School.  She is the mother of two students at St. James'.

Steve McLean

Steve McLean, a lifelong Episcopalian, currently serves on the vestry at St James. He is retired after spending 40 years in the department and specialty store retail industry in operations, construction and maintenance. He is a graduate of California State University at Los Angeles. Steve is an eagle scout. He and his wife Heidi have two grown sons, Tom and Charley. He spends his leisure time working around the house, reading, traveling, and volunteering at such places as the Endeavour Pavilion at the California Science Center.

Tonikiaa Orange

Tonikiaa Orange is originally from Detroit, Mich., and has lived in Los Angeles since 2001. She and her husband Maverick have twin daughters. Tonikiaa has worked in education for over 15 years and is a former principal of a K–8 charter school in Los Angeles. She received an M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University; an M.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles; and an Ed.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, where she was a Lilly Endowment Fellow.

Tonikiaa currently teaches both Curriculum and Instruction and Social Foundations and Diversity at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. In addition to teaching, she provides professional development to educational leaders across the country on culturally and linguistically responsive teaching strategies that serve diverse student populations, and she works on various initiatives that support teacher training, S.T.E.A.M. education, and the development of college-going cultures in schools. In her spare time, she plays the conga drums in an Afro-Cuban band and salsa dances.

Ken Robbins

Ken leads the Robbins Roshay Advisors Group in our team’s effort to provide outstanding portfolio management and financial planning service for our diverse clientele. With over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, he is knowledgeable in comprehensive wealth and investment management strategies, and provides invaluable guidance for our team.

Before entering the financial services industry, Ken was instrumental in the development of Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Southern California, serving in a variety of management roles and completing his tenure as regional vice president for Los Angeles.

Ken graduated from Loyola Marymount University in 1978 with a degree in history. He is active in two community organizations: The Silver Lake Picture Show, founded by his sons, Nick and Vince, and The Los Angeles Food Policy Council of which his daughter, Clare, is executive director.

In his spare time, Ken is an avid tennis player and hiker. He is a native Southern Californian and lives near Griffith Park in Los Angeles.