OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. - Squaw Valley Institute (SVI) announced Larry Lawrence, owner of Lawrence Realty in Squaw Valley, is returning to the Squaw Valley Institute Board of Directors. In addition, Dr. Robert Leri, Superintendent Chief Learning Officer of the Truckee Tahoe Unified School District joins.Lawrence, a founding member of the decade-old Institute will bring historical perspective, along with beneficial local connections as the organization continues to be revitalized. Dr. Leri, with an extensive background in education and organization, is expected to assist the Institute in moving forward with an integrated approach, partnering with education institutions to help identify engaging programming that informs and instructs, yet retains Tahoe ties."We're thrilled to have Larry Lawrence and Dr. Leri join our Board," said Eric Sather, president of Squaw Valley Institute. "We purposely downsized the Board a couple years ago, and have been working efficiently to focus on financial sustainability and vision for the future." The new Institute format offers events approximately once a month, down from more than 30 per year. These events have drawn larger crowds on average than lectures and activities in the past."Renee Koijane has done an excellent job as executive director, and we are excited to be expanding the Board with the organization on a more stable footing," Sather added.Sather noted the economic downturn had an impact, similar to other cultural organizations, which resulted in decreased donations. However, under Koijane's leadership, the Institute has been able to increase sponsorship and funding, as well as membership, offering a meaningful path to sustainability.Lawrence has been a Squaw Valley resident since 1969, and a licensed realtor since 1974. He is a longtime member of the Squaw Valley Property Owner's Association, past residential director for the Village at Squaw Valley Neighborhood Company and the Resort at Squaw Creek Homeowner's Association, and a current golf member of the Martis Camp Community Association.Lawrence was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. He has been married to Vikki Ruggiero Lawrence of Marin County since 1972. Together they raised two daughters, Chiara and Sabrina. Chiara and her husband Ron work at Lawrence Realty.Dr. Robert Leri was appointed the Superintendent Chief Learning Officer of the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District in January 2012 and assumed full-time leadership in April 2012. Prior to his appointment to TTUSD, Dr. Leri was the deputy superintendent of the Arcadia Unified School District in Los Angeles County for four years. He has also been a secondary school principal, a high school and elementary school teacher.Dr. Leri resides in Tahoe Donner and is active in many organizations including the Rotary Club of Truckee, the Board of the Tahoe Safe Alliance, and the Board of the Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe. Dr. Leri loves the mountains and is an avid outdoorsman including skiing, hiking, motorcycle riding, and boating. He considers his move to Tahoe Truckee a dream come true. He was raised in rural Northern California and resided in the Sierra Nevada in Mariposa County prior to his move to Arcadia in 1996.Upcoming SVI programming includes an appearance with "Soul Surfer" Bethany Hamilton on Dec. 22, Cheryl Strayed, author of "Wild," which chronicles discoveries on the Pacific Crest Trail, on Jan. 13 and Polyface farmer Joel Salatin on Feb. 13.Membership for individuals starts at $100. Members receive member-only discounted ticket pricing, priority notification to all Institute events, along with priority event seating. Business memberships start at $250 per year. For more information visit www.squawvalleyinstitute.org.About Squaw Valley InstituteSquaw Valley Institute is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting programs having artistic, cultural and educational values. The Institute presents lectures, performances, forums, exhibitions and classes in the unique mountain environment of Squaw Valley, North Lake Tahoe, Truckee and surrounding communities, bringing together visitors, residents and friends in the truest sense of community.
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