About OTL

Meet the Board

Get to know the guiding members behind Outside the Lens.

Maite Agahnia graduated from San Diego State University with a BA in Graphic Design. She ran her own graphic design firm for 11 years. In addition to serving as Creative Director of Outside the Lens, Maite works as a fine arts painter and has exhibited in several solo and juried group shows in Mexico and the US.

Mell Gallahue holds a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering in addition to an MBA. She worked in the engineering field with General Motors and General Electric before becoming a consultant for San Diego corporations. She was recently the president of the parents’ association for the Bishops School, and is an active supporter for Conner’s Cause for Children and Project Concern International.

Ivy Gordon has a business career that spans four decades where, as an entrepreneur and business owner, she co-founded a computer company in 1976 which she sold in 1993. She currently chairs two private advisory boards through Vistage International, working with over 30 CEOs and senior executives each month through coaching and consulting. Ivy holds a Masters degree in Organization Development from Pepperdine University and is an ICF certified professional coach and certified integral coach. Ivy enjoys traveling to less developed parts of the world with her camera.

Christina Gustin is a Financial Advisor in the downtown San Diego branch of UBS, and a partner of TheRK2Wealth Management Group. She was previously with Goldman Sachs and has more than 11 years of experience in the financial services industry. Christina is a member of San Diego Rotary Club 33, and enjoys the arts, traveling, and volunteering for children’s organizations such as The Monarch School and Mission Trails Little League. Christina and her husband, Chris, live in San Diego with their two sons.

Haida M. Mojdehi is an aide to Congressman Scott Peters, working on special projects in the San Diego Office of the 52nd District. Prior to that, she was the Press and Policy Liaison at the Office of Mayor Jerry Sanders in San Diego for two and a half years. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of California, San Diego and her Law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law. An active philanthropist, Haida has served on various boards and a school board. She was a member of Las Patronas, president of the La Jolla Children’s Auxiliary and a founder of the Iranian-American Scholarship fund. She is presently a board member of International Society of Children with Cancer.

Leena Patidar brings over twenty years of strategy, finance, and accounting experience with Fortune 500/private companies ranging from banking services to venture capital. She has co-founded several successful business ventures in healthcare and retail services. She is currently providing Outsourced CFO services for various startups and small businesses, while also working on her own social impact startup. Leena earned her MBA from MIT's Sloan School of Management and is a CPA. She also supports and serves on special committees for Just Like My Child Foundation/Girl Power. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, reading, and immersing herself in anything artistic.

Shelley Pierce is a graduate of Northwestern University. She worked as a docent and an arts educator with the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, where she was a part of the collector's group, and is co-founder of Outside the Lens.

Kelly Thomson has been involved with Outside the Lens since its inception and joined as a board member in 2009. In 2002, he co-founded an investment advisory firm, Magee Thomson Investment Partners, whose clients include eight of the largest pension funds in the world. He received his CPA in 1986.

Elisa Thomson received her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara and continued her education at Art Center Pasadena and The Brooks Institute of Photography. She traveled extensively as a photojournalist and worked as a photo editor for ABC-Clio/Exegy. Her teaching is also informed by her many years as a commercial photographer for clients such as Quiksilver, Roxy, Tea & Scones and House. Before founding Outside the Lens, Elisa was the lead educator for Exposure at the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego.

Sue Wagener started her own consulting company in 1989 and has spent the last 25 years helping various businesses get the most out of their computer systems. As part of her civic duties, she has helped steer several organizations including Las Patronas (for whom she served as Chair for the 2011 Jewel Ball), The Children’s School, The Riford Library, La Jolla Foundation and Muirlands Middle to raise funds for various programs and charities around San Diego.

Founding Board Members:

Anne Chodorow

Sonia Rhodes

Lydia Thompson