Jeff is a well-known socio-cultural anthropologist, university instructor and successful owner of three thriving businesses. He grew up in a family that arrived to America with the clothes on their back. His parents became living examples of the American dream through persistence, integrity and education. As a teenager, Jeff became an award-winning gymnast. This is where he began world travel. On an educational tour in France, Jeff’s heart, mind and soul opened up to the wonder of the world around us and he has never been the same. In fact, he devotes his life to recreating that magic moment for other young people.
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Jeff Katcherian’s passion for studying our world resulted in his receiving a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Anthropology/European Studies from UC-Irvine. While preparing his dissertation, Jeff helped facilitate the launch of the new EU-US Transatlantic Degree Program in Brussels. While working at the European Commission, he developed relationships with and gained the trust of civil society members, politicians, academics and industry experts all while navigating a complex political system.
As a Graduate Researcher at the Institute for Money, Technology, and Financial Inclusion Jeff conducted research on global regulations over mobile banking and payment practices among the world’s poorest people. He organized conferences for major academic, banking, and telecommunications stakeholders in the mobile banking field.
At UC – Irvine, Jeff Katcherian has served as a lecturer of undergraduate courses in cultural anthropology, international studies and European studies.
Jeff runs extensive family-owned businesses in the veterinarian and related fields.
Laura is a life-long traveler, environmentalist, and educator. She grew up in the Los Angeles area, but began her world travels at age two when her British father took her to London for three months. Her passion for the environment was sparked by summer-long camping trips all over the West, and she has parleyed that passion into community service with the City of Pasadena, the Audubon Society, and local land conservancies. She’s been an educator for thirty years, teaching literature, theatre, and rhetoric to students of all ages. One of her key passions is to wake her students to the environmental and cultural wonders and challenges that surround us.
Laura received her degree in Theatre Arts from UCLA and her English degree from Cal State LA, where she has been teaching for twenty years. She loves engaging and challenging her students, and has always made community engagement a key part of her curriculum.
She currently serves as the Chair of the Environmental Advisory Commission for the City of Pasadena, and is on the board of directors for the Pasadena Audubon Society and the Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy. Her goal with this service is nothing less than to save the planet.