Erik Anderson, Chairman/CEO
President, WestRiver Capital, LLC
Erik Anderson is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of AF4C. He is also President of WestRiver Capital, a private investment company; Chairman of Tachyon Networks, Inc., an advanced satellite-based internet solutions company; vice-Chairman of Montgomery & Co., LLC, an investment bank serving growth companies in technology, media and healthcare; Chairman of Zula, LLC, a science education company; and a Board member of GEI, a leisure business based on golf entertainment. From 1998 to 2002, Anderson was chief executive officer of Matthew G. Norton, Co., a private investment company. Prior to 1998, he was chief executive officer of Trillium Corporation. In addition, his experience includes tenures as both a partner at the private equity firm of Frazier & Company, LP and as a vice president of Goldman, Sachs & Co. Anderson serves on the board of Avista Corporation and the advisory boards for Northwest Venture Partners and Northwest Capital Partners II. He holds a master's and bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a bachelor's degree (Cum Laude) in Management Engineering from Claremont McKenna College.
Wendi Fischer, Executive Director
Wendi is the Executive Director of America’s Foundation for Chess, but to kids across the country she is “The Chess Lady.” As the teacher on the First Move™ DVD’s, Wendi appears weekly in First Move classrooms and has become rather famous among 8 and 9 year olds. Prior to joining AF4C, Wendi owned her own television production company focusing on family and educational programming. Wendi spent six years as a classroom teacher, was department head for four years, and served on the School Task Force Committee. While teaching, Wendi received a Teacher of the Year award from her school for her dedication to her students and passion for education. Wendi graduated from the University of Washington with a B. A. in Sociology, and a Teachers Certificate in Social Studies K-12. She received her Television Production Certificate from Bellevue Community College.
Ben Eggertsen, Chief Financial Officer
Ben serves as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for America’s Foundation for Chess. Ben has over 30 years of leadership and expertise in finance positions with a concentration in technology. Ben was the CFO for a prominent multi-office law firm before joining Microsoft. Ben served in financial roles for two technology startup companies including a successful initial public offering. Ben has served on the Board of Trustees for the Washington State University Foundation and on the Washington State Bar Association Credit Union Board. Ben holds a Bachelor of Science degree cum laude from the University of Washington in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting. Ben is a member of Phi Beta Kappa for academic honors and Beta Alpha Psi for accounting honors. Ben is a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Washington State Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Kathi Cirar, Director of Program Development
Kathi Cirar joined AF4C in the spring of 2010. She has a diverse professional background which includes five years as an executive/technical recruiter, two entrepreneurial endeavors (clothing retail and massage therapy) and over 20 years in the customer service side of the restaurant industry. Her background and strong skills in marketing, networking, and business development make her a great asset to the AF4C team. With her passion for fundraising and interest in giving back to the community, AF4C provides the perfect opportunity for Kathi to do what she loves. She is very excited about helping America’s children reach their intellectual potential by introducing every school district in the country to the First Move curriculum and helping them to implement the program.
Stacie Durbin, Program Manager
Stacie Durbin is the Program Manager for AF4C. Stacie honed her service skills over 20 years in the hospitality industry in a variety of management and consulting roles for Westin Hotels, Hilton Hotels and The Woodmark Hotel, Spa & Yacht Club. She was a General Manager then Corporate Director of Training at a Merrill Gardens Assisted Living Community. More recently she worked in the Development Office for Sacred Heart Elementary School where her two daughters attend. She has also served in numerous volunteer positions and led fund raisers in support of children’s education. She was introduced to America’s Foundation for Chess by the excitement the program generated in her 2nd grade daughter’s classroom. Stacie graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in Business Administration.
Shanelle Allen, Director of School Relations
Shanelle is the Director of School Relations. She has previously served as a manager, Marketing and Technical Operations Director, and trainer for various companies in Washington State. Her writing background includes drafting training manuals and policy and procedure manuals for Asset Realty Group, Pacific Monarch Resorts, and Skacel. She has also written and created marketing media and marketing vehicles, press releases and product announcements for various companies and private contractors. Shanelle has over 12 years of customer services and client relations experience and is a valued asset and addition to AF4C. Shanelle holds an AA from Axia College, and is currently pursuing her BA in Business with a concentration in Marketing.
Caitlyn Anderson, Administrative Assistant
Caitlyn is the Administrative Assistant for AF4C. She is so excited to be a part of this team! She has numerous years of volunteer experience working with children in the United States as well as other countries and really loves giving back to the community in any way she can. She has always loved working with people in the customer service industry.