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THINK Together

 2101 E Fourth St Suite 200B
 Santa Ana, CA 92705
[P] (714) 543-3807 x 8151
[F] (714) 543-3852
[email protected]
Lawrence Gustafson
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA Think Together
Former Names THINK Together (2016)
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Employer Identification Number 33-0781751 00000


Mission StatementMORE »

Think Together partners with schools to change the odds for kids.

Mission Statement

Think Together partners with schools to change the odds for kids.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2019
Projected Expenses $42,795,000.00
Projected Revenue $42,895,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Expanded Learning Program

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Think Together partners with schools to change the odds for kids.

Background Statement

Think Together officially incorporated as a 501(c)(3) public benefit organization in 1997 in order to replicate and scale a successful academic support program it had started in 1994 in the Shalimar neighborhood in Costa Mesa, Calif. Our founder, Randy Barth, a successful investment advisor organized a group of volunteers from St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, St. Joachim’s Catholic Church and Women of Vision to respond to the plea of the mothers in Shalimar for a safe, quiet place for their children to study and get help with their school work.

Think Together pursues its mission through three priority program areas: Expanded Learning, Early Learning and Core Learning. We provide Expanded Learning through after-school and summer programs and leverage our shared learning platform to provide academic and enrichment elements that are integrated with school day instruction. Integrated into the program is our healthy living curriculum that includes physical and mental fitness, character development, and nutrition education.
In partnership with the Children and Families Commission of Orange County, Think Together provides parent-involved Early Learning at health clinics and schools in Orange County. We utilize evidence-based tools which ensure that three and four year-old children have early literacy, vocabulary, and math skills to be kindergarten-ready. These programs and tools include activities to encourage curiosity and critical thinking. 
Our Core Learning model is based on a partnership with Principal's Exchange, an organization promoting student achievement for historically underperforming students by providing schools and districts with proven school-strengthening strategies. Based on a thorough systems assessment, we provide customized solutions for core instruction during the school day through professional development and restructuring of systems to provide resources to kids who need it the most, thereby fulfilling Think Together's vision of educational excellence and equity for all kids.  

Impact Statement

Through high-quality expanded learning programs and professional development for educators, Think Together equips students with the necessary academic knowledge and social emotional skills to reach critical college and career readiness benchmarks. We partner with schools and communities to achieve a shared mission: educational excellence and equity for all kids.

Think Together currently partners with  47 school districts, serves 187,004 students, and provides 552 programs. 

Highlights from 2018:

-Almost 9 out of 10 parents reported that Think Together has helped their child become a better reader
-69,090 students participated in Read for the Record, the nationwide campaign to build literacy through a shared reading experience
-89% of students in our afterschool program felt that Think Together helps them with critical relationship skills
-10,280 students participated in our summer program, engaging in opportunities to continue learning outside the school year 
-Students who attended program 90+ days were 5 times more likely to meet or exceed grade level expectation in Math
-16,402 students benefitted from additional academic support programs, including tutoring and STEM academies 
-91% of students reported they are more interested in college since coming to the Think Together program
-8 in 10 high school students reported working hard toward their goals because of being in the Think Together program
-3,700 seniors graduated high school 

Needs Statement

Think Together serves 7 districts in Orange County, providing 31 elementary, middle and high school programs. The public funding for each of our program sites requires matching funds. Think Together needs to raise roughly $350,000 annually to maintain services.

Thanks to a partnership with the Children and Families Commission of Orange County, Think Together is able to operate 82 early learning programs throughout the county. In 2016, we launched our first comprehensive licensed preschool program in Buena Park Elementary School District. Programs are supported by Americorps volunteers which keeps the cost of the programs low and allows us to offer them at no or low cost to families. Annual operating costs not covered by public funding are approximately $100,000.

Shalimar Learning and Teen Center is Think Together's only community-based site and is 100% philanthropically funded. Annual operating costs are approximately $320,000. Shalimar serves over 200 students every year and functions as a lab for testing new curriculum and programs.


CEO Statement


Board Chair Statement


Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

Think Together depends on the philanthropic support of the community in addition to the federal and state grants that support our programs. We accept cash gifts by cash, check, or debit/credit card and encourage both individual, foundation and corporate giving. Donors may make a gift directly on our website at Together also welcomes estate gifts and gifts of stock. Donors interested in making these gifts are invited to speak with Director of Development Services Sarah Jay at 714-543-3807 x8179 or [email protected] donations of new equipment, supplies, and books also benefit our programs. Our staff can help you identify our areas of need.We offer volunteer opportunities in all regional locations. If you are interested in volunteering your time, please visit for more information.  

Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
Central Orange County
West Orange County
South Orange County
North Orange County
Think Together serves over 150,000 students each year across 50 districts in the following California counties: Alameda, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo and Santa Clara.

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Educational Services
  2. Youth Development - Youth Development Programs
  3. Education - Elementary & Secondary Schools



Expanded Learning Program

Think Together provides expanded learning programs through after-school, Saturday, summer, and early learning programs to over 30,000 children and youth annually at school sites and community learning centers in Orange County.
Our after-school programs help these under-served students close the achievement gap by providing academic enrichment in STEM, English, social sciences, wellness and the arts, and help in understanding and completing homework in a safe, adult-supervised environment. We provide daily physical activity and nutrition education. Each program site is staffed by a full-time Site Coordinator and part-time Program Leaders sufficient to maintain a 20:1 student-to-adult ratio. Think Together brings innovative solutions that help build district capacity to prepare them for today's large scale change initiatives such as the Common Core State Standards. Our programs are data-driven and enriching, expanding our student's horizons and positively impacting student achievement.
Budget  $16,000,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Minorities At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success  Think Together partners with Dr. Deborah Vandell, the Chair of the Education Department at the University of California, Irvine to measure the effects of its programs. Dr. Vandell found that students who attended Think after-school programming had twice the gains in their Math on the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) test scores compared to students not in the program; students in Think Saturday programs had more than 2.5 times the growth of students not in the program; and those who attended both Think small group tutoring and Think after-school or Saturday programming had nearly four times the growth of students not in program.
Program Long-Term Success 

Our district partnerships have already helped close the achievement gap in several communities. In an Education Trust-West study, 140 large unified school districts in California were graded on their progress toward closing the achievement gap over five years. The highest performing district in closing the achievement gap is Baldwin Park, a Think Together partner. Students posted five-year gains of 102 API points, far exceeding the average gains of 64 points in other large unified districts across the state. Lake Elsinore, another Think partner, ranked first in improvement among low-income students with a five-year growth of 149 API points and first among students of color with 131 API points. Three of the top five districts in terms of performance of low-income students are Think partners (Val Verde, Baldwin Park, and Santa Ana) as well as three of the top five districts in closing the achievement gap the Latino-White achievement gap (Azusa, Baldwin Park and Rialto).

Program Success Monitored By 

Cimone Satele, Director of Action Research, manages data within a larger system-wide Continuous Program Improvement (CPI) model for program improvement. Think collects multiple types of data to assess the strength of programming including 1) student level district data such as gender, ethnicity, eligibility for Free or Reduced Meals, grade level, regular school day attendance rates, and English fluency, a 2) required operational program elements such as numbers of parent meetings/family nights, site visits by Quality Assurance Coaches, program observation data from principals and Quality Assurance Coaches; 3) student assessments and surveys as well as teacher and parent surveys and interviews assessing stakeholders’ perspectives on program quality, improvements in student achievement and behavior/attitudes toward school; and 4) staff satisfaction surveys assessing areas of need. Used together, these measures help assess overall program quality by triangulating data results, allowing staff to compare desired outcomes with actual results.


Examples of Program Success 

Jose Avonce began attending the Shalimar Learning Center in first grade and is now attending Harvard University. When Jose moved to the Teen Center in seventh grade, he took advantage of the college and career options including workshops and college tours. By further developing his decision to attend a top university, the Teen Center allowed Jose a chance to explore options and find resources that would ultimately help him get into his dream school. Jose continues to be an assertive go-getter, reaching out to as many resources as possible to help him achieve his goals.

When his schedule became hectic in high school years, Jose still committed to giving back at the Shalimar Learning Center. Over the summers, Jose volunteered his time to deliver activities and lessons to the students. He notes that this experience taught him a lot about public speaking and how to tailor himself to reach his audience. When he heard the news that he was accepted into Harvard, Jose humbly thanked everyone before quickly making his way to the computer lab to begin the next step in his journey to college. Jose has always been extremely grateful to the staff and the center for the opportunities they gave him.

"Shalimar is the street where no cars are allowed to park, and where barriers at each end block "drivebys;" a street where gangsters are still present. It's the street where I grew up, and where Shalimar Learning Center (SLC) is located. In first grade, I was fortunate enough to make the SLC roster cut. I was one of the lucky ones who, instead of going directly to an empty home after school, went to a place that protected me and taught me. SLC is where I took reading workshops, got help on math homework, learned to paint -decently- and learned about Monet's Water Lilies. Now, SLC is where I go to give back, where I empower other students by helping them achieve academically. SLC is where I hope to make a difference for at least one person each day." -- Jose Avonce


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Randy Barth
CEO Term Start Aug 2003
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience Before embarking on a career as an education entrepreneur, Barth had a successful business career for more than twenty years, first as an investment advisor with various major Wall Street firms and later as a corporate CEO. Barth holds a Bachelors in Economics from UCLA and studied under Peter Drucker at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. Along with former LA Times reporter Jennifer Delson, he is the co-author of the best- selling book "Think Together: How YOU can play a role in improving education in America." Randy serves on several boards and as a Senior Fellow at UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs.

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Steven Amick Director of Policy & Partnerships Amick is responsible for managing the organization’s expansion across California. He has more than 25 years of experience at every level of afterschool direct service and administration. He previously served as the Executive Director of the League of California Afterschool Providers and the Region 9 Lead for Before- and After-School Programs, offering training and technical assistance to providers. Amick is the former Vice-Chair of the National Afterschool Association, past Co-Chair of the California Afterschool Network Executive Committee, and was designated by the Secretary of Education to serve on the California Advisory Committee on Before- and After-School Programs. He holds a Bachelors in Political Science from San Diego State University.
Tracy Carmichael Ph.D. Chief Engagement Officer Carmichael connects people, businesses, and organizations to the mission of THINK Together. She leads all fundraising and networking efforts, as well as board and committee engagement. She began her journey with THINK Together in 2008 as Manager of Program Evaluation and then as Director of Action Research. As the inaugural THINK/UCI doctoral fellow, Carmichael spent four years researching the impact of academic alignment of THINK Together’s after school programs. Her doctoral research has been recognized nationally as a model of collaboration for extended learning providers. She holds a Bachelors in Criminology from UC Irvine, a Masters in Educational Research from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in Education from UC Irvine.
Tia Dwyer Chief Operating Officer Dwyer works closely with CEO Randy Barth and the Executive Team to implement and maintain high quality programs. She oversees all regional and program leaders and helps design and guide strategic planning. She joined THINK Together in 2009 as Director of Learning Programs where she built a nationally recognized summer learning program before being promoted to Orange County’s General Manager. Prior to joining THINK Together, she oversaw expanded learning programs in the Lawndale School District. Dwyer is a credential teacher and holds a Bachelors in Music from UC Irvine and a Masters in Education from National University.
Natalia Flores General Manager at-large Natalia Flores, General Manager at-large, Natalia joined THINK Together as Director of Learning Programs in 2010. She has worked in both the non-profit arena and in extended-learning programs for the past since 2002. Since joining THINK Together, she has spearheaded supplemental programs, which include the Summer Learning Program that serves more than 10,000 students daily in the Santa Ana Unified School District. Natalia earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Chicano Studies from UCLA and a Master’s degree in Education from Cal State Long Beach. Natalia was born and raised in Lynwood.
Mike Frobenius Chief Financial Officer Frobenius oversees finance, accounting and information technology, and manages detailed reporting to THINK Together’s school district partners, the CA Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to joining THINK Together, he served as director of finance for LA Chemical, a $175 million leading regional distribution company. He has served as a board member for a local credit union and is an active volunteer for a number of local community youth sports programs. Frobenius holds a Bachelors in Accounting from CSU Fullerton and is a California Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Marty Holtzman Chief People Officer Holtzman oversees recruitment, staffing, human resources, and volunteers. He has more than 25 years of experience in the Human Resources field. He is an innovative leader who has developed HR teams and created human capital programs aligned with business objectives for global medical devices, bio-pharmaceutical, renewable energy, and telecommunications manufacturing and services companies. Holtzmann began his career as a mathematics instructor for Tustin Unified School District. He holds his Bachelors in Psychology and CA State Teaching Credential from UC Irvine.
Maria Reichel Chief of Staff Reichel oversees the alignment of projects and initiatives, including the planning and implementation of the organizations’ strategic plan and marketing efforts. She leads cross-functional teams across the organization to ensure large projects are successful. Prior to joining THINK Together, Reichel was as an AmeriCorps VISTA member with the Children and Families Commission of Orange County, acting as Project Manager for Santa Ana Building a Health Community, a place-based initiative of The California Endowment. She has also served as a management consultant with Mercer in Los Angeles and London, and as a Financial Analyst with Goldman Sachs in New York. She holds a Bachelors in Industrial Engineering from Columbia University and a Bachelors in International Political Economy from Colorado College.


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 437
Number of Part Time Staff 1,885
Number of Volunteers 5,000
Number of Contract Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % 52%
Staff Professional Development Yes

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 275
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 102
Caucasian: 235
Hispanic/Latino: 1,568
Native American/American Indian: 11
Other: --
Other (if specified): 179
Gender Female: 1,830
Male: 487
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Government Licenses


CEO Comments


Foundation Comments



Board Chair Mr. Eric Boden
Board Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Chair Term Jan 2013 - July 2018
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Darrel Anderson President, (Ret.) Knott Anderson Enterprises Voting
Doug Antone CEO (Ret.), Networks in Motion Voting
Leona Aronoff-Sadacca Founder, LBJ Management, LLC Voting
Randy Barth THINK Together NonVoting
Steve Bilt President and CEO, Smile Brands Group, Inc. Voting
Eric Boden Chairman and CEO (Ret.), HireRight Voting
Mary Lynn Coffee Attorney at Law, Nossaman, LLP Voting
Glenn Howard Attorney & CPA Voting
Fran Inman Senior Vice President, Majestic Realty Co. Voting
John Lee PIMCO Voting
Paolo Leon Taylor Architects Voting
Sangeeth Peruri Community Volunteer Voting
Marti Remmell Community Leader Voting
Steven Robertson Silicon Image Voting
Ken Salgado Partner, Moss Adams LLP Voting
Bernie Salvatore Orora Packaging Solutions --
Earl Slee Medtronic Neurovascular Voting
Bill Tamblyn -- Voting
Dawn Trautman Pacific Life Insurance Co. Voting
Julie Vennewitz-Pierce eBay Foundation Voting
Jeffrey Wahba Farmers Brothers (Ret.) Voting
Dan Young Camino Enterprises Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 2
Caucasian: 19
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 6
Male: 16
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 70%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 20%
Board Orientation Yes

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments


Standing Committees

  • Audit
  • Board Development / Board Orientation
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance
  • Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2018 to June 30, 2019
Projected Revenue $42,895,000.00
Projected Expenses $42,795,000.00
Form 990s

2017 THINK 990

2016 THINK 990

2015 THINK 990

2014 THINK 990

2013 Form 990

2012 Form 990

Audit Documents

2017 THINK Audit

2016 THINK Audit

2015 THINK Audit

2014 THINK Audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $48,325,135 $44,537,107 $47,151,863
Total Expenses $47,504,522 $44,016,323 $46,499,121

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$2,569,622 $2,412,417 $2,820,009
Government Contributions $0 $0 $324,520
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- $324,520
Individual Contributions -- $310,037 --
Indirect Public Support -- -- $0
Earned Revenue $45,441,788 $39,995,472 $43,828,412
Investment Income, Net of Losses $43,910 -- $5,107
Membership Dues -- -- $0
Special Events $226,597 -- $0
Revenue In-Kind $39,363 $819,181 $58,443
Other $3,855 -- $173,815

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $42,158,760 $39,258,983 $42,001,490
Administration Expense $4,097,304 $3,940,010 $3,462,232
Fundraising Expense $1,248,458 $817,330 $1,035,399
Payments to Affiliates -- -- $0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.02 1.01 1.01
Program Expense/Total Expenses 89% 89% 90%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 45% 30% 33%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $13,239,472 $12,668,663 $11,507,126
Current Assets $5,281,460 $3,876,935 $2,474,779
Long-Term Liabilities $5,486,542 $4,990,928 $5,762,571
Current Liabilities $4,619,129 $5,374,547 $3,806,675
Total Net Assets $3,133,801 $2,313,188 $1,937,880

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 1.14 0.72 0.65

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 41% 39% 50%
Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments

Summary financial data is per the 990 and  audited financials as well as consultation with the organization.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.