H.E.L.P. is governed by its Board of Directors. H.E.L.P.’s officers are a Chair of the Board, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary. The officers are chosen and serve at the pleasure of the Board of Directors.
Scott J. Donnelly, CPA MBT, is a partner in the CPA firm, PDM CPAs, LLP , a full service CPA firm with six offices in Torrance and San Pedro. The firm specializes in estate planning, tax compliance and consultation, and financial statement auditing services. Scott is a Board Director of the California Society of CPAs, Los Angeles Chapter, and a member of the South Bay Estate Planning Council. A former member of H.E.L.P.s Professional Advisory Board, Scott is also currently a board member for the nonprofit, Harbor Interfaith Services
Pete is a principal member and founding partner of Pettler & Miller LLP, a Torrance law firm which restricts his practice to Estate Planning, Trust Administration, Trust and Probate Litigation, Conservatorships, Guardianships and Mediation in those areas. Pete graduated from the California Western University School of Law. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkley. Pete was an active duty Judge Advocate for the United States Army from 1968 to 1972, and served in the Reserves from 1972 to 1995. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Pete has been involved in many capacities with a number of different local legal and community organizations.
Thomas C. Paulsen, M.D., recently retired as the Executive Medical Director of HealthCare Partners Medical Group, California, where he had oversight of the company’s more than 3,000 clinicians and was responsible for ensuring clinical excellence in care delivery to HealthCare Partners’ patients. He began at HealthCare Partners in 1986 as an anesthesiologist. Dr. Paulsen served on the Medical Executive Committee and was a Regional Medical Director in the South Bay for nine years. He graduated magna cum laude in chemistry from the University of California, Irvine. He earned his doctor of medicine degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Paulsen is board certified in anesthesiology. He is also a seasoned traveler who enjoys tennis and snow skiing.
Michael A. Barth, Esq., Treasurer
Michael Barth, Esq. has practiced for over 46 years specializing in tax, business, and real estate law, litigation as well as estate planning. He heads a Professional Corporation located in Palos Verdes Estates. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California (USC) and Loyola Law School.
Debbie Richardson is the former Senior Vice President of Corporate Development for Premier Business Bank. She has worked in bank management for over thirty-five years, with responsibility for retail banking, back-office operations, corporate administration, and community relations. She also excels in corporate branding and retail marketing, industry relations, and regulatory compliance. She is a member of the Torrance, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, and Palos Verdes Peninsula Chambers of Commerce, and served as Board Chair of the latter. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Palos Verdes Concours d’ Elegance, as well the Palos Verdes Art Center for many years, and is a member of their Patron Circle. Debbie has received many awards for her community service, including Citizen of the Year for the PV Chamber of Commerce, Volunteer of the Year Award from the PV Art Center, and the Volunteer Center “Legend in Our Own Time” Award.
Britt Huff brings to the job years of government management experience in Washington, D.C., Boston, and Los Angeles, as well as small business marketing, public relations and nonprofit management and consulting. She is also active in the South Bay community, including local government and schools, as well as other non-profit organizations. Her service includes the L.A. BioMed Foundation Board, the Peninsula Education Foundation Board, South Bay Estate Planning Council, South Bay Village, and Palos Verdes Peninsula Village Board of Directors. She is a member of the Torrance and Palos Verdes Chambers of Commerce, and served on the Planning Commission of the City of Rolling Hills Estates for five years; and as Chair in 2012. In November 2013 she was elected to the City Council of Rolling Hills Estates on the Palos Verdes Peninsula; and elected Mayor in 2018. In 2019, she was elected by the Mayors of the 16 South Bay cities to be Chair of the South Bay Cities Council of Governments.
Kim Edwards is Vice President and branch Manager of the Torrance branch of Farmers & Merchants Bank. She has been in banking for 28 years and has served the Palos Verdes Peninsula communities for the past 11 years. She has served as a Co-Chair of the Palos Verdes Young Professionals and as an Ambassador with the Palos Verdes Chamber of Commerce. During her 3 year term with the Young Professionals, Kim volunteered annually at the Palos Verdes Street Fair to raise money for charity. She has participated with Operation Teddy Bear through the Volunteer Center and has been featured in the Pulse, Peninsula People, and the Daily Breeze. Kim currently serves on the Board for the Los Angeles Challenge and the Torrance Chamber of Commerce. She is a member of the Rolling Hills Estates Kiwanis, Torrance Young Professional Alliance, a Director of the Peninsula Friends of the Library, an Affiliate of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Association of Realtors and a participant in Leadership Torrance 2018.
Senior Vice President and Manager of the Farmers and Merchants Trust Company office in Torrance. A graduate of Claremont McKenna College, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of San Diego School of Law. He has 38 years of experience in the area of trust and probate administration, estate planning and tax related matters, and is also a member of the South Bay Estate Planning Council and the Santa Monica Bar Association Trusts and Estates Section.
Laura Kauls is a CPA and a former partner at McDowell, Dillon and Hunter Accountancy Corp, in Torrance. She works with high net-worth individuals and business owners, helping them with their tax, estate tax and business planning needs. She formerly served on the Board of Directors at The Cancer Support Community/Redondo Beach. She is an active member of the California Society of CPA’s, having served on the Board of Directors and several Ad Hoc committees, and has been on the Board of Trustees for the CalCPA Education Foundation.
Grant Niman is a Certified Public Accountant licensed to practice in California and is a member of the Tax and Personal Financial Planning Sections of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants holding their Personal Financial Specialist designation. He is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, and has over 25 years of public accounting experience. He formed Niman & Associates in September 2008, with the focus on providing value added services to high net worth individuals, families and closely held businesses.
Prior to joining the H.E.L.P. Board of Directors, for a number of years Nancy served on the H.E.L.P. Advisory Board and as the Chair of H.E.L.P.’s annual Celebrate Summer gala fundraiser. She has also held leadership positions with numerous other South Bay charitable organizations, including the Palos Verdes Peninsula School District PTAs, and the Peninsula Education Foundation, where she chaired the Main Event silent auction for many years. She received the PEF highest honor, the Sam Goldberg Award, in 2012.