Who We Are
Board of Directors
Chair - Curt Ringness
Curt has maintained a number of different businesses throughout his career, including Liberty Industries, Inc. in Youngstown, OH, a marketing corporation specializing in sales of industrial wood products and Liberty Technologies, LLP, an industrial stretch and shrink wrap machine manufacturing company. From nearly twenty years, Curt was the chief financial officer of Mullikin Medical Centers and Pioneer Hospital, overseeing its growth from two offices to the largest organization of its kind in the western United States with over 60 medical clinics.
Curt and his life partner Barry became annual donors to Desert AIDS Project as Partners for Life in 1998. Curt was invited to join the D.A.P. Board of Directors in 2000 and elected President of the Board in late 2007. In addition to D.A.P., the couple has contributed to several charitable organizations including the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation and the AIDS Assistance Program. They are also Friends of the Rancho Mirage Library.
Vice Chair - Hon. Steve Lachs
Steve Lachs is a retired Superior Court Judge, who currently works as a private judge, providing mediation, arbitration, and other services to clients. He was appointed by then-Governor Jerry Brown and was the first openly gay judge in the country.
While living in Los Angeles for much of his life, Steve was a board member of the Gay and Lesbian Center for nine years; a board member for five years of AIDS Project Los Angeles, including a stint as Chair of the Board; and was the treasurer and board member for Congregation Kol Ami. He was a founder of MECLA, the first gay and lesbian political action committee in the country. Steve has also taught and lectured on various areas of law at law schools, judicial colleges, and professional groups.
Now living in Rancho Mirage with his partner of over 25 years, Steve serves on the board of his homeowners association and is a Commissioner on the Rancho Mirage Library Commission.
Finance Committee Chair - Fred Drewette
Fred Drewette: Fred Drewette is currently Chief Financial Officer of Anaheim Regional Medical Center, one of the facilities operated by AHMC. He has previously served as Chief Financial Officer of San Dimas Community Hospital, John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, and Desert Regional Medical Center. Fred joined Desert AIDS Project in 1993 as a member of the finance committee and in 1996 was elected to the Board of Directors. In 1997 he was elected Treasurer of the Board of Directors, a position he has held continuously since that time. With Bachelors and Masters Degrees from California State University at Fullerton, Fred currently lives with his family in Corona, California.
Secretary - Tammy Fox
Tammy Fox has over 30 years of banking experience, including trust administration, investment management, estate settlement, and mutual fund sales with Bank of America and other major banks. She has spent 20 years in the Coachella Valley business community. In addition to sitting on D.A.P.'s Board of Directors, Tammy is Treasurer of the Desert Estate Planning Council. She is also a founding member and Secretary of The Coachella Valley Fund. Her advisory board memberships include the University of California, Riverside (UCR) Planned Gifts Committee, the Professional Advisors Council of The Community Foundation, and Eisenhower Medical Center Planned Giving. Tammy is also a member of the Women Leaders Forum.http://www.bankofamerica.com/ustrust
Kevin Bass owns and manages the largest Home Health Care Registry in the Palm Springs area, Coachella Valley Home Health. In addition to the Palm Springs office, Kevin owns home care registries in Newport Beach and North San Diego County. Though he enjoys his business very much, Kevin’s true passion is his volunteer work. In 2000, Kevin was elected to the board of Gay Associated Youth (501C3), a local LGBT youth “drop in” center. Within 9 months, he was elected President of the Board where he served for 6 years. In 2008 he joined the National Board of the Human Rights Campaign, where he continues to serve today. Kevin has been volunteering with DAP since he first moved to Palm Springs in 1992. He co chaired the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards in 2003, 2004 and 2006. He was honored with the Steve Chase Humanitarian Award for his community service in 2007.
Ted left the corporate world behind more than 20 years ago to begin life as a consultant, where he established himself as a nationally recognized leader in sales and marketing management and sales compensation. Ted has a long track record of success in providing strategic business solutions for major corporations, as well as building his own businesses as an entrepreneur. Ted has held leadership positions in three different large consulting firms, and has a client list spanning many industries and a wide range of company sizes including many of the Fortune 100.
Ted has been active in many non-profit organizations in and outside the Coachella Valley. As a Board member for Gay Associated Youth for seven years, Ted served as both Vice President and Treasurer, while also being a hands-on fundraiser and planner for the organization. He and his partner – also named Ted! – have been donors to and supporters of Desert AIDS Project for over ten years.
Joining Desert Regional Medical Center as CEO on October 1, 2012 Carolyn Caldwell oversees strategic, operational, and clinical activities for the 387-bed acute care hospital of the Tenet network. Prior to joining Tenet, Caldwell served as president and CEO of Centerpoint Medical Center in Independence, Missouri. Her successes there included the creation of both a multispecialty group of more than 60 employed physicians in 11 locations and a hospitalists group, as well as helping the hospital achieve Joint Commission accreditation for its stroke center. In addition to serving on D.A.P.’s board of directors, Caldwell is also serving a three-year term on the American Hospital Association (AHA) Board of Trustees, the policy-making body of the AHA, with ultimate authority for the governance and management of its direction and finances. She is one of only seven healthcare leaders nationwide elected to this prestigious position for the nonprofit association of health care provider organizations. Earning a bachelor’s degree in zoology and chemistry from Alabama A&M, Caldwell then completed a master’s degree in health care administration from Texas Woman’s University in Dallas. She is a registered medical technologist through the American Society for Clinical Pathologists, a fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives, and a member of the American Hospital Association’s Region 6 Policy Board.
Casey serves as President/CEO of Integrated Wealth Management, Inc, a highly regarded investment counseling organization. Since his involvement with Desert AIDS Project, he and his firm have donated over $1 million to support client services. Jim Casey has also served as co-chair of the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards galas since 2009.
Dr. Robert Karl Jr.
Serving in the field of dentistry for over 40 years, Dr. Robert Karl Jr. is a well-regarded local dentist with his own practice in Rancho Mirage, CA. His education and training includes a Doctorate of Dental and Masters of Public Health at the University of Michigan, as well as a fellowship at Harvard University and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in geriatrics. In his free time, Dr. Karl volunteers for community organizations and foundations, including Desert Samaritans for the Elderly and Change a Life Foundation.
Kaufer served as a D.A.P. Board member from 1987-1997, rejoining the Board in 2007. Kaufer has always been active in D.A.P. fundraising. In honor of their many years of involvement as volunteers and donors to D.A.P., Steve Kaufer received the Partners for Life Award at the 2010 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards. It was Kaufer and fellow long-time Board member Andrew Green who met with Steve Chase, already a D.A.P. volunteer, to convince him that he should join them on its Board. Kaufer is a nationally known security consultant and expert on workplace violence. He advises a wide range of government agencies and companies, including those in the Fortune 100. With over 30 years in the security industry, he designs multi-faceted solutions to complex security and violence issues. Kaufer has earned the designation of Certified Protection Professional (CPP) from ASIS International, the largest professional security association in the world. www.howtoprotect.com
Barbara has been a docent of the Palm Springs Art Museum for 18 years and is also a Trustee, serving on the Executive Committee. She is past president of the Museum Associates Council and has acted as chair for key Museum fundraising events. In addition, Barbara is a former member of the Board of Trustees of Jewish Family Service of the Desert, where she has served as Honorary Chair of their gala, One Night Only, for 5 years. Barbara zealously supports the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Federation, and the Human Rights Commission among other worthy charities, and has also served on the Board of Trustees of the McCallum Theatre. Barbara has co-chaired the 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards galas with her inimitable co-chair Jim Casey and team and Dinner At My Place with the fabulous Steve Kaufer. Barbara and her husband, Jerry, own Acqua Pazza and LULU, two California bistros in Rancho Mirage and Palm Springs.
With a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Miami, Terril's varied professional career has included a 9 year term as the Executive Director of the Coconut Grove Arts Festival, and a long association with the City of Miami as a Special Consultant to the Chief of Police and City Manager. She has been officially recognized by the Florida House of Representatives and the White House for founding the "Do the Right Thing" Program, a nonprofit organization with chapters in 53 cities throughout the United States as well as Germany and England. Terril was a member of the Miami Commission on the Status of Women and numerous boards, including the Parent Resource Center for Prevention of Child Abuse, Jewish Federation Women, and Jewish Family Service of the Desert. She currently serves on the Palm Springs Art Museum Annenberg Theater Council and the Museum Associates Council.
As president/CEO of STILETTO Entertainment, Garry’s firm manages a number of performers, including Palm Springs’ favorite celebrity, Barry Manilow. While Garry’s theatrical, TV, and music production credits are extensive, he draws equal satisfaction from giving back to causes devoted to making a positive change in people’s lives, including the National Board of Directors for Faith in America, the National Board of Trustees for the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, President of the Manilow Fund for Health and Hope, and numerous sponsorships of AIDS Walks in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. A graduate of the University of Southern California, Garry maintains homes in both Palm Springs and Malibu.
Bruce is an accomplished economist and urban planner with more than 35 years of experience developing policies in Emerging Market Countries. He also has extensive experience working with Mayors, City Councils, and other public officials to conduct legislative reform initiatives in more than 45 countries. He has served on numerous boards including Ohio Wesleyan University and that of 3 social service organization in the Boston Metropolitan area.
Dr. Lanny Seese was a founding partner and worked as a physician at Mullikin Medical Centers from for nearly two decades. With a practice that included care and treatment of persons with HIV and AIDS from the mid-1980s, Lanny has continued to have a special interest in their well-being. After Mullikin went public and Lanny retired, his ongoing commitment brought him to the board of directors of Desert AIDS Project in 2004.
Practicing lawyer, former law professor and judge, veteran of 11 New York City marathons, and devoted HIV/AIDS advocate.
Steve held both U.S. and international management positions of increasing scope throughout his career as a corporate attorney, eventually retiring as General Counsel for BP America. In addition to making significant financial contributions to and raising funds for the arts and LGBT causes, Steve is on the board of the national Board of Lamba Legal Defense and Education Fund and has served as a Board member of AIDS Pastoral Care Network, Metropolitan Family Services and Casa Central in Chicago.