Kenyon Chan was a camp counselor in the 1960’s. He started as a dish washer and later became the camp life guard among other regular duties. CU and Alex Krem had a profound impact on his life and led him to getting a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology/Special Education at UCLA. He has been a university professor and senior administrator ending his career as Chancellor of the University of Washington, Bothell. Almost everything in his life is influenced by his camp experiences and lessons learned from other counselors, campers, and their families.
Don joined the camp’s Board as Treasurer in 2016 after more than a year as Advisor on various projects. He has advised on matters of finance and pricing, capital improvements (including solar thermal pool heating and photoelectric energy production). Don also serves as Board Treasurer for The Odyssey School, a private middle school in San Mateo.
Don retired in 2012 from a career as a pension actuary and human resources consultant with Towers Watson. As a Principal of the firm, Don led client teams supporting large clients with billion dollar pension plans and consulted on all aspects of employee benefits from pensions and savings plans to executive benefits and health plans. Don also led the pension risk management practice for the western region of the firm. A self-professed “numbers geek”, Don is an Associate in the Society of Actuaries, an Enrolled Actuary under ERISA and charter holder in the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute. He holds a BA in Economics from Yale University.
Don lives in San Mateo with his wife, Catherine and their twins, Michele and Greg, attending college on the east coast.
Mother of two sons who have participated in Camping Unlimited’s program for many years. Former senior executive with Kaiser Permanente, and Arthur Anderson. Immediate past Board President (and Board Member since 2004) of Family Support Services of the Bay Area (FSSBA), Oakland. BA (Harvard), MPH and MBA (UC Berkeley).
Alex J. Krem, Interim Chairman, has been actively involved with the special needs community since 1957 when his father (Alex A Krem, a pioneer in mainstreaming) began to organize camping and outdoor recreation programs for the developmentally disabled. The junior Alex was one of the first two counselors and later served as its Chairman of the Board before leaving the US for New Zealand in 1987. He has been back on the board since 2008 as Treasurer, member of the Finance Committee and the Personnel Committee. He is active at both board and program level.
Alex is also an investment banker, lawyer and serial entrepreneur. He is founder and managing director of Admiralty International, and is investment manager for First Global Venture Capital AG of Germany. He has more than 35 years’ legal, banking, investment and financial experience in over 70 countries. He holds BA (social psychology and small group dynamics with high honors), MBA (finance), and JD (finance and real estate) degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. He also studied industrial psychology at the Ph.D. level at the University of Minnesota and has taught law and business at the University of California (Berkeley), University of the Pacific (Stockton, California) and Auckland University, and philosophy at the International Academy of Interfaith Studies in Mexico. He has lectured worldwide and consults regularly for the National Science Foundation (where he has served on the Committee of Visitors), the National Academy of Sciences, the US Congress, the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, numerous national and local governments, public and private clients. Alex’s knowledge of finance and management contribute daily to the economic health of our organization.
Tom Krem, Board Member, has 40 plus years of involvement with Camping Unlimited as a board member, volunteer and with various fund raising activities. Tom is instrumental in organizing and carrying out building projects at Camp Krem, and serves on the Building and Grounds committee. He is also a member of Friends of Camp Krem, a fundraising organization committed to the economic well being and support of camp. Tom is passionate about supporting camps valuable programs to assist the special needs population and to keep alive founder Alex Krem Senior’s philosophy of inclusion and compassion for our deserving and underserved campers. Tom has worked in the electrical construction industry for 45 years as an electrician, estimator, and project manager. He has been an electrical contractor for 30 years and is currently the owner of Elmwood Electric Inc. Tom has been a member of the Board of Directors since 1988.
Mother of Eric, who has enjoyed Camp for many years. Psychotherapist at the Spectrum Practice of Berkeley. Formerly with Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Pacific Center for Human Growth and Piedmont High School Wellness Center. Family Advocate for families with special needs. M.S. Marriage Family Therapy and School Counseling. San Francisco State University
Steven Minchen has been involved with Camp Krem for many years as parent and donor. He was invited to join our board in 2016. He is a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Previews in San Francisco, with an interest in Bay Area residential property sales. His performance ranks him in the top 1% nationally.
Steven sits on several boards, is active in the community and in many professional and civic organizations. He is a fifth generation Texan, and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. He also attended Franklin College in Lugano Switzerland. He and his wife Kelli live in Danville with daughter Madelyn and son Mason (who is one of our campers).
Pete Wang is an intellectual property consultant and registered patent attorney, and has served as in-house counsel at several Silicon Valley high technology companies, and as a Director of R&D for one of the Johnson & Johnson companies. He is the father of two girls adopted from China, and has an extended family member with special needs. Pete first became involved with Camping Unlimited as an Advisor to the Board in 2014.
Dr. John Waterson
Dr. John Waterson
Father of Tommy, who has been enjoying camp for over four years. Retired Clinical Geneticist from UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland for 16 years and prior to that at Akron Children’s Hospital for 17 years). Obtained both BS and MD from University of Michigan and Ph.D. from Yale University. Currently on the board of Oak Hill School in San Anselmo.
Board Volunteers & Observers
Bryen grew up in Santa Cruz, and now lives in Denver, Colorado with his fiancée. He volunteers his time as a search and rescue professional, and was formerly a member of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit.
Jodi has a BA from Indiana State University and has completed Executive Leadership training at Harvard.
Miftah began her association with Camping Unlimited as a teenager volunteer counselor and was very active in the leadership of the Associated Counselors of Camping Unlimited, as well as the Year-Round and Summer Camp programs prior to the creation of Camp Krem. In the 1980’s she served on the Board of Directors working with Alex Senior on fundraising, outreach, staffing and publicity. As President of the Board of Directors, she helped usher the program to a new organizational model in the months following Alex’s passing. She has retired from a career in as an Educational Therapist. Training in brain-based learning, sensory integration, occupational therapy and the Autism Spectrum inform her continued work for Camping Unlimited.
Proud parent of William, who has been involved with Camp for over a decade. Chief Financial Officer, Pier 39, San Francisco. Nine years with KPMG, San Francisco and London. BS (Business Administration) from the University of California at Berkeley and is a Certified Public Accountant. CU Advisory Board since 2020.
She currently serves as volunteer Executive Director of the PCDH19 Alliance.
A Native Californian, she graduated from Alhambra High School in Martinez and received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from UC Davis. In order to better serve families like her own, she is currently enrolled in the MA (ABA) program at Arizona State.
Violet has been attending Camp Krem since 2017. This has been a life-changing experience for her, her brother and the entire family. As a result, Julie believes deeply in the power of Camp Krem’s mission.
Year Round Staff
Meet the folks that keep camp running all year long. Beyond Summer Sessions, throughout the off-season, this dedicated staff keep Camping Unlimited running smoothly, provide the respite weekends for the Year Round Program, prepare camp for rental groups, maintain camp, conduct fundraising efforts, and much more.
Christina Krem DiGirolamo
Christina Krem DiGirolamo - Camp Director
Christina began working at Camp in 2009 as a Counselor. She worked as Counselor Coordinator and Program Director before becoming Camp Director in 2016. As granddaughter of Camp Krem’s founder, she has taken over his vision and passion. Like her grandfather, she is a pioneer in developing and implementing new programs, including our wonderful animal care program, music program, gardening program and developed the use of our sensory tipi. Christina studied Psychology, and Primary Education at Canterbury University in Christchurch, New Zealand. She is also a certified Veterinary Technician, Certified Pool Operator (CPO) and a USA Archery Level 2 certified archery instructor. She holds American Red Cross Lifeguard, CPR, First Aid & AED qualifications and has a Commercial Driver’s license from the State of California.
Assistant Program Director
Emily Harris - Assistent Program Director
Emily has been working with this population since 2012 and holds American Red Cross CPR, First Aid and AED Certifications. Her experience running a preschool, combined with years at camp, have only helped to grow her heart and excitement for helping people of all ages and abilities.
Assistant Program Director
Kenneth Beebe - Assistant Program Director
Kenneth’s first year at Camp Krem was 2015 where he started as a counselor. He then served as the Travel Camp Director in 2016 and 2018. He also served as the Year-round Respite Coordinator in 2017 and 2018 before becoming the Assistant Camp Director in 2019. He has been working with our population going on 7 years, serving with three different programs in Indiana, Colorado, and California. He holds American Red Cross Lifeguard, CPR, First Aid & AED qualifications. Additionally, he is trained in Wilderness First Aid through the National Outdoor Leadership School. He also has a Commercial Driver’s license from the State of California and is working on becoming a Certifed Pool Operator.
Layla Sharief - Administrative Director
Layla’s passion is helping people with disabilities live productive, happy, independent and equal lives. Most recently, Layla spent 10 years with Disability Rights California, the non-profit legal agency for California’s Protection and Advocacy system. Initially with the legal services side of the agency, and in recent years on the Executive team. Layla is the mother of a young adult son with Autism, and has been working in the disability community for almost 25 years. Layla is a certified Special Education Advocate with the national Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, assisting families receive appropriate special education services in the school system for many years. She is also a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children in the Dependency court system. Layla attended San Jose State University, and in late 2015 she and her family moved back to the Santa Cruz area, after a decade in Sacramento, where she is actively rebuilding her roots; she most recently joined the Board of Directors at Parents Helping Parents. Joined Camping Unlimited in February 2016.
Gail - Registrar/Intake Coordinator
With Camping Unlimited since 1970 through a sister who had twins with developmental disabilities. Began as a volunteer in 1971. Formerly on the CU Board, she has been a paid staff member since 1994 serving previously as Personnel Director and is currently CU’s Registrar Intake / Coordinator. She enjoys welcoming and supporting new and returning families, assisting with the application process and program registrations for both summer camp and year-round programs. She also provides families with information regarding funding sources as well as information on working with Bay Area regional centers.
Head of Camper Services
Leon Wong - Head of Camper Services
Leon is our longest serving member of staff and has been with Camping Unlimited since 1986. He has served in many capacities since then and is singularly responsible for the smooth running of Camp’s facilities and supplies. Leon has a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Therapeutic Recreation from San Jose State University. He is Certified by the state and nationally as a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. Awarded the prestigious Bernadette Graf Service Award in 2002 for his work with individuals with disabilities.