Board of Directors
Secretary and Co-Director of Corporate Development
Matthew Bellino is the Chief of Staff for the Chief Information Officer at University of California, San Diego. Matthew earned his BSN from University of Northern Iowa. After graduating, Matthew moved to Southern California.
Matthew has been a longtime volunteer with the Rob Benzon Foundation.
Founding Board Member
John Cashman is the Senior Marketing Manager for Volcano Corporation. John has lived in San Diego since 1990 when he moved here to earn his Masters of International Business from the University of San Diego. Prior to that, John earned Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin.
John was a good friend and former roommate of Rob Benzon and they were on vacation together in Acapulco, Mexico when Rob drowned. Along with other board members who were on the trip, John wanted to find a way to keep Rob’s name alive so was one of the founding members for the Rob Benzon Foundation.
Gabby Caudillo is a buyer/planner for Johnson Outdoors Diving LLC – SCUBAPRO. Gabby has been with SCUBAPRO for 30 years, and has held many positions within the company. Due to her loyalty and experience, Gabby was offered to relocate with SCUBAPRO from her hometown Los Angeles to San Diego in 1998.
Gabby graduated with honors from University of Phoenix with a degree in business management. Gabby has been a member of Delta Mu Delta, an international business honor society in business, since 2014.
Gabby calls San Diego her home, and has been a volunteer with the Rob Benzon Foundation since 2012. She started as a volunteer and became an associate director in 2016. Nothing pleases Gabby more than helping those in need, and was honored when asked to join the board in 2018.
In her spare time, Gabby enjoys cardio classes, walking, traveling, and listening to podcasts. She also likes running 5K’s to support non-profit organizations, spending time with her nieces, nephew, and going wine tasting with friends.
Bio coming soon.
Philip Doles joined the Rob Benzon Foundation Board of Directors in 2017 after retiring from the American Red Cross in San Diego and Seattle. Philip spent the past 25+ years working in Disaster Services and eventually become the Disaster Program Manager for Southern California. Philip has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management, Accounting and Human Resources from San Diego State University. He owned and operated an international travel and tour company with its base office in San Diego and one in San Francisco. During that time, he was elected to the Board of Directors in the GSDBA and nominated for Businessperson of the Year in 1999. He later relocated with his military partner to Seattle, where they lived for ten years. While in Seattle, he returned to school and received an A.A. and A.S. in Interior Engineering and Space Planning. For the majority of his adult life, Philip has worked with numerous organizations in our community in fundraising and event planning ranging from Cystic Fibrosis, Alzheimer’s and HIV/AIDS charities. He has actively supported the Rob Benzon Foundation since 2013 and was asked to join the Board in early 2017.
President and Founding Board Member
Dan Ferbal is the Vice President of Human Resources for Evans Hotels, owner and operator of commercial properties and resorts, including The Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla as well as the Bahia and Catamaran Resort Hotels on Mission Bay Park in San Diego. Dan directs the company’s human resources policies, practices and procedures. Dan has over 21 years of broad-based experience in human resources, recruitment, compensation strategy, training and development and employee benefits. He develops employment policy and directs and oversees all human resources activities, including recruitment, employment, compensation strategy, training, employee relations, employee retention, and employee benefits programs. Additionally, Dan is responsible for the company’s strategic human resource planning to provide the company with the best people talent available.
Dan was the recipient of the 2005 Gina Cesena Gold Key Award presented by the San Diego County Hotel-Motel Association and the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) for his contributions to the betterment of the tourism industry.
Dan actively supports the Greater San Diego Business Association (GSDBA). He is an active member of the San Diego Hospitality Human Resources Association (SDHHRA) and sits on the Employer Advisory Council and the San Diego Corporate Wellness Council at Intercare Insurance Solutions.
Dan’s involvement in community and philanthropic activities has focused primarily on charitable organizations that support the LGBT community in San Diego and New York. Dan was a close friend of Rob Benzon and was with him when Rob tragically died in Acapulco. Dan is a founding board member of the Rob Benzon Foundation and has been actively involved as an officer on the Board of Directors of the organization since it was founded in 1999.
hon. michael groch
Founding Board Member
Michael Groch is a Superior Court Judge in San Diego. He was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2010. Prior to that, Michael was a Deputy District Attorney for San Diego County for 19 years. Michael received his JD Summa Cum Laude from California Western School of Law in 1989. He received his BA in Psychology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Michael has been on the Board since the Rob Benzon Foundation was founded and was with Rob the day he tragically died. Michael enjoys his participation on the Board as a way of giving back to the San Diego community he loves so much. Michael continues to be impressed with the greatness in the people who support the Foundation and is humbled and appreciative to be a part of such a wonderful group of people.
Director of Grants and Founding Board Member
Bio coming soon.
terry v. lehr
Director of Corporate Development
Terry V. Lehr is an active attorney with a solo practice specializing in real estate and business matters. During his legal career, Terry worked in practices ranging from a store front Legal Aid office, to a fortune 500 legal staff, to being the managing partner of two law firms.
Terry has an extensive background of civic involvement including serving as President of the Board of Directors of the Old Globe Theater, San Diego Crew Classic and House of Hospitality in Balboa Park. He is the recipient of numerous citations for his community service. Terry is a graduate of Indiana University for his undergraduate and Juris Doctor degrees.
Assistant Director of Events
Bio coming soon.
Stephen Nelson currently works in IT Product and Project Management for Alliant Insurance Services, Inc. He has worked in the Healthcare and Insurance Industry for over 25 years and has spent much of it focused on the Information Technology divisions of various organizations around San Diego County.
Stephen is a native of San Diego and a graduate of San Diego State University, majoring in English Literature. His interests and activities include tennis, fitness, travel, reading and cooking. He has also spent many years, prior to joining the Benzon Foundation, volunteering for various non-profit organizations around the San Diego County such as Mama’s Kitchen, Auntie Helen’s, and the San Diego Food Bank. He has been a been a volunteer and associate board member of the Rob Benzon Foundation since 2013 before officially joining as a Member of the Board in 2017.
Stephen knew Rob Benzon personally and has been friends with many of the RBF board members since 1993. He has witnessed the RBF and event grow from a few grant recipients and an intimate backyard gathering, in its early days, to the amazing organization and annual event that it has now become and he is proud to serve as a member of the board.
Director of Fundrasing
Richelle Pizl is the Inside Sales Manager for Johnson Outdoors Inc – SCUBAPRO. Richelle graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay with a business administration degree and a lifelong love for the Green Bay Packers. Richelle served her community as the Canyon Woods HOA Treasurer 2008-2011 and also volunteered as an Events Committee Board Member for the Charlie Joiner Celebrity Golf Tournament 2007-2010.
Richelle is proud to say that she was blessed to call Rob a friend as he was one of her first friends she met when she moved to San Diego from Wisconsin in 1998. Richelle describes Rob as her tour guide who helped her find her first apartment, moved her furniture, introduced her to the amazing Hillcrest community and changed her life for the better by just being her friend for the short time he was on this earth.
Director of Marketing
Andy Thomas is a long time supporter of the Rob Benzon Foundation and joined The Rob Benzon Board in 2010. Andy brings a strong background of marking to the organization. A native Californian with over 30 years in San Diego, Andy is a leader in the hospitality industry and a past recipient of the prestigious Gold Key Award. Andy attended Regis University and then continued to The University of Denver for the School of Hospitality. At almost 24 years with Evans Hotels, he has held many positions including General Manager of The Lodge at Torrey Pines and is currently the Vice President of Business Development overseeing the growth of all hotels including The Lodge at Torrey Pines, The Bahia Resort Hotel and The Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa.
Andy is a board member for San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation, a member of the Board of Trustees for the La Jolla Playhouse, a member of the Agilysys Customer Advisory Board, Board member and Director of Marketing for the Rob Benzon Foundation, a member of CA Travel, a member of The Greater San Diego Business Association and a Commission Advisory Panelist for the Commission for Arts and Culture for San Diego. In the past, he has held advisory rolls for Travelocity.com, Hotels.com, San Diego Tourism Authority Marketing Committee, and San Diego Business Association Tourism Development Group.
dr. alan zieg
Assistant Director of Events
Dr. Alan Zieg has 17 years of medical experience and practices in Obstetrics & Gynecology. Alan was board certified in Obstetrics/Gynecology in 1997. He received his medical degree from the University of Michigan in 1990. Alan served his internship specializing in Ob/Gyn at the University of Minnesota and served his residency specializing in Ob/Gyn at the University of Minnesota.
Alan Zieg and Rob Benzon were roommates and close friends