Leadership Advisory Board

Russ and Charlotte Lesser

Russ Lesser received his Bachelor of Science Degree from California State University at Long Beach, after which he served in the US Army Reserve as First Lieutenant for the Finance Corps. He worked for 26 years for Winde’s & McClaughtry, CPA, becoming a managing partner, after which he was president of two companies, currently Dive N’ Surf, Inc.

Russ’s community involvement has been extensive, ranging from serving on the Board of Directors for Manhattan Beach’s Pony and Little League, as well as coaching, and serving on the Manhattan Beach Planning Commission. He was additionally a City Councilman in the City of Manhattan Beach for ten years, including two terms as mayor. Russ also co-founded the Manhattan Beach 10K Run, in which his involvement continues. He has also participated in a wide variety of community boards, from family crisis centers to church boards and environmental organizations.

For his many impactful contributions to his community, Russ has been selected to join the Alumni Hall of Fame for both El Camino College and his former high school, along with being named the Distinguished Alumni of the Year for the business school of California State University in 2013. He additionally received both the Rose and Scroll Award and South Bay Citizens of the Year jointly with his wife.

Charlotte Lesser received her BA in Biology from the University of California Santa Barbara and worked as a medical technologist until 1971. She then began volunteering for school PTAs along with investing in teen girls at risk for substance abuse, both supporting groups of girls and parents as well as educating in the area. She also became a Sunday School teacher at the St. Cross Episcopal Church, where she is still involved, and assumed roles there ranging from program chairman to confirmation mentor to leading a pilgrimage to Europe.

She worked for the Beach Cities Health District as the Director of Health Education and Promotion Services, overseeing the Health Resource Center creation, seminars and educational workshops for women, and producing several conferences. She additionally served on the American Heart Association Board.

Post employment, Charlotte continued to invest in supporting women, including putting on a summit determining the health needs of women for the Office of Women’s Health policy board. Charlotte has received a variety of awards, including the Switzer Center’s Woman of the Year Award, the MB Women in Business Woman of Service Award, and the Rose and Scroll Award for volunteer service, which she received jointly with her husband.