Directors & Advisors
Whole Child International is guided by an all-volunteer Board of Directors along with an independent advisory body whose members provide expertise, connect the organization to resources, and ensure the highest level of diligence in the organization’s operation.
Board of Directors
Patricia Applegate is a successful entrepreneur focused on creative theater and film projects in Los Angeles. A former international tax accountant and CPA with KPMG and her own private practice, she holds a Masters in Accounting, with honors, from the NYU Stern School of Business. She also holds a B.A., magna cum laude, from Colgate University, where she served on the Board of Trustees for nine years. Ms. Applegate is an active philanthropist and has served on the Board of Directors for the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles for seven years, where she holds the office as secretary. Prior to this, she served on the Board and Executive Committee for the Bogart Pediatric Research Center before it was absorbed by Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Ms. Applegate has two beautiful grown daughters and has always been an advocate for children everywhere.
Brian Gott spent 12 years at Variety, the entertainment industry’s global entertainment news outlet, serving as Publisher for almost half a decade. During his tenure he conceived of and launched Variety’s philanthropic efforts, which generated more than $6M in charitable contributions, benefiting more than 50 nonprofit organizations. Brian leads the Burkle Global Impact Initiative at UCLA’s Burkle Center for International Relations. That program’s purpose is to work with the entertainment industry to engage more deeply with global social, humanitarian, and advocacy issues. He serves as the Chief Innovation Advisor for the Entertainment Industry Foundation, the most trusted and turned-to philanthropic institution for the entertainment industry for almost eight decades. He has a storied history of advocating for and involvement with the United Nations, in 2012 receiving the United Nations Foundation’s highest honor, the Global Leadership Award, for his role in mobilizing the entertainment industry to use its collective resources to support UN and UN Foundation-related campaigns. Brian is one of the founding members of the United Nations Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council, a select group of individuals from various industries convened by the UN Foundation to advise the United Nations and UN Foundation on how to accelerate their philanthropic efforts, and further the mission of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. He is also the recipient of a special award from the Center for Disease Control and the CDC Foundation, for his efforts to rally the creative community to support critical health issues. Brian was a member of the Obama White House’s entertainment advisory council, actively supporting several White House pro-social endeavors. He serves as a global ambassador for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, whose purpose is to educate, prevent and ultimately eradicate HIV/AIDS globally. In addition to serving on Whole Child’s Board of Directors, Brian is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, founded by Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg.
Over the past 20 years Victor Miramontes, a founding partner of CityView, Cisneros Miramontes, and SAT Automotive Technologies, has been responsible for each company’s initial conceptualization, formation, funding, and start of operations. Mr. Miramontes is a member of each entity’s governance board of directors, serves on the real estate company’s various investment committees, and is the chairman of the automotive company. He is currently charged with identifying projects, structuring new projects, and developing an investor base for each.
Immediately prior to his teaming up with Mr. Henry Cisneros in 2000 to form American CityVista and then CityView, Mr. Miramontes was the CEO of the North American Development Bank, an international development bank (“NADB”). NADB provides key infrastructure including water, wastewater treatment, transportation, and energy projects in the U.S. and Mexican border urban communities. He was the newly formed institution’s first employee in 1994 and was responsible for the bank’s initial operations, policy formation, capitalization, programs, and projects. Policies and programs initiated by Mr. Miramontes have provided billions in new investments and continue to provide project funding, critical system management assistance, and training for key border utility professionals.
Prior to his tenure at the NADB, Mr. Miramontes had worked with multiple institutions focusing primarily on the establishment of new projects, divisions and business ventures. Prior to Mr. Cisneros’ departure in the early 90s from San Antonio to become the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Miramontes and Mr. Cisneros had established Cisneros Asset Management Company, a successful institutional fixed income money management company. In addition, he has worked with La Quinta Motor Inns (real estate), Paine Webber (project finance), Laredo National Bank (private equity and automotive), and Wells Fargo Bank (corporate clients) in project development/finance, corporate money management, and municipal finance.
James H. (Jim) Schloemer
Jim Schloemer is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Continental Properties Company, Inc., a national real estate development company headquartered in Wisconsin. Continental has developed a diversified portfolio of retail, multifamily, and hospitality properties in 24 states and is one of the largest developers of apartment communities in the U.S. Jim received an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BS in Accounting from Valparaiso University where he pursued his undergraduate studies at the time he co-founded the company. He is an Officer of the National Multifamily Housing Council and serves on the boards of West Bend Mutual Insurance Company and Park Bank.
John P. Schuster
John Schuster is the founding partner of the Schuster Kane Alliance, Inc., a consulting firm he started more than 25 years ago. He is an author, coach, and consultant who has assisted the leaders of enterprises in business, government, and non-profit environments with a variety of services and tools. Prior to starting his business, John was the director of human resources for a region of the U.S. EPA. He was a chairman for the Executive Committee, a peer-learning group for CEOs, in both Kansas City and Cincinnati. He is a former board member of SIAS International University in Henan Province, China, and has taught extensively in a variety of subjects in executive MBA programs. He graduated summa cum laude at Xavier University where he received his BA and MA in English. His most recent book (2011) is The Power of Your Past: the Art of Recalling, Reclaiming and Recasting(Berrett Koehler). His previous books include The Power of Open-Book Management (Wiley & Sons) translated into four languages, and Hum-Drum to Hot-Diggity: On Leadership. Answering Your Call: A Guide to Living Your Deepest Purpose was also published by Berrett Koehler and translated into two other languages.
Charles Spencer is an author, broadcaster, and journalist, and is the ninth Earl Spencer. After gaining a degree in Modern History at Oxford University, he worked for NBC News as an on-air correspondent for a decade, primarily for the Today Show, but also for Sunday Today, NBC Nightly News, and NBC Super Channel, where he wrote and presented the documentary series Great Houses of the World (1994-1995). He was a reporter for Granada Television from 1991 to 1993, and has presented or contributed to documentaries for the History Channel, the BBC, PBS, and the Smithsonian Channel. As a print journalist, he has written book reviews for The Guardian, The Independent on Sunday, The Financial Times and other British newspapers. He has written feature stories for newspapers and magazines in the United Kingdom and the United States, including The Spectator and Vanity Fair. He is the author of five history books including two U.K. bestsellers: Blenheim, Battle for Europe (Phoenix, 2004), shortlisted for Historical Book of the Year at the National Book Awards; and Killers of the King, the second highest-selling history book in the United Kingdom in 2014. He helped establish Althorp Living History, a handmade fine furniture line faithfully reproducing pieces from the historic collection at Althorp. In 2003, he founded the Althorp Literary Festival, an annual celebration of books, authors, and reading held at Althorp, the 500-year-old Spencer family home, 75 miles north of London. While living for four years in South Africa he served as a Trustee of Nelson Mandela’s Children’s Fund and is currently patron of several British charities, including the Friends of Cynthia Spencer Hospice, the Brain Tumour Charity, and Thomas’ Fund.
Karen Spencer founded Whole Child International in 2004 when, as a single mother of two, she discovered an absence of services to address the social-emotional well-being of children living in orphanages. For the past 15 years, she has led an international team to improve systems of care, advocate and influence policy, and conduct related research. She has provided the vision and strategic direction for the organization’s growth, with a passion for systems change, sustainability, scalability, research, and third-party evaluation. The organization’s scope has expanded to reach an even broader group of vulnerable children, while retaining the original focus on emotional well-being. She is co-author of articles published in the peer-reviewed Infant Mental Health Journal and Perspectives in Infant Mental Health, contributing important insights and realistic solutions to the public debate. In 2010, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama came to Los Angeles, especially to lend his personal support to Whole Child. In 2015, she was elected an Ashoka Fellow for identifying and filling a gap in care for orphans and vulnerable children. In 2016, she was made a Fellow at the University of Northampton in the United Kingdom. In 2017, People Magazine named her one of “25 Women Changing the World.”
Edward W. (Ed) Scott, Jr.
Ed Scott is an experienced and successful business executive, former government official, and an active supporter of a number of philanthropic initiatives. In early 1995, Mr. Scott co-founded BEA Systems, which became the 12th largest software company in the world and was acquired by Oracle Corporation in 2008. Before his career in the high-technology industry, Mr. Scott was an executive in the U.S. government for 17 years. He served as an Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Transportation during the Carter Administration.
Since withdrawing from direct management at BEA, Mr. Scott has initiated a variety of philanthropic initiatives. In 2001, Mr. Scott founded and provided funding for the Center for Global Development (CGD), the world’s leading research center on global poverty and development issues. Mr. Scott is the founder and Chairman Emeritus of Friends of the Global Fight which, with the assistance of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, provides support in the U.S. for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. In his most recent philanthropic initiative, The Center for Interfaith Action on Global Poverty (CIFA), Mr. Scott seeks to improve the capacity and effectiveness of the faith community in its collective effort to reduce global poverty and disease. CIFA achieves this through increased interfaith coordination, best practices, and model sharing; innovative mobilization of resources; and influential advocacy to governments and the general public.
Mr. Scott earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in political science from Michigan State University. He also has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, politics, and economics from the University of Oxford.