Our Team

A Team Built With Strong Fiscal and Facility Backgrounds

Eric Hall established Eric Hall & Associates in 2006 after an accomplished career in California school districts. Our team of associates have strong fiscal and facility backgrounds in California school districts and county offices of education. We understand internal district dynamics and the challenges facing districts today. If you are seeking personalized service, insight, leadership, and a passion for excellence, look no further.


Leadership

Eric Hall, President

Eric worked in public schools for 32 years, initially starting his career in Human Resources for the San Diego USD and worked for 27 years for the San Dieguito UHSD as Directors of Personnel and Administrative Services and Chief Business Official and Associate Superintendent, Business Services.

In 2006, Eric established Eric Hall & Associates to help other Districts and provide personalized support services in school facility planning, funding and construction and budget, fiscal and human resources areas. As the Associate Superintendent, Eric led the efforts at the San Dieguito UHSD in planning, design and construction of over $500M in facilities necessary to accommodate over 400{310f4324ad65b0a2030a48dd153b38f905c81f5512720fdadc65be8f0797b958} increase in enrollment. Identified as a leader in promoting joint use facilities, Eric worked closely with C.A.S.H. in the development of the State’s initial joint use program and facilitated the design and construction of several joint use facilities in his district. Eric served as Chair and Vice Chair of C.A.S.H. and was actively involved in the State School Facility program including SB 50 and Propositions 47, 55 and 1A.

Eric served as founding facility in the CASH School Facilities Leadership Academy from 2006 to 2016. Eric has served on the SAB Implementation Committee and as Vice Chair for the Californians for Schools. With over 40 years of extensive background in school districts, Eric enjoys teaching, training and mentoring Facility Executives and Chief Business Officials. Eric and Laurie have been married for 37 years, reside in San Marcos and Truckee and are the proud parents of three grown daughters and two grandchildren.


Barry Dragon, Vice President

Formerly the Assistant Superintendent of Business Services for the Escondido Union High School District, Barry also has expertise in managing the Information Technology functions. He has demonstrated a strong background in managing financial operations and developing financial structures for large construction projects and facility rehabilitation.

In addition to his role as both a CBO and Financial Officer, Barry has extensive experience in the areas of leadership training. He was an adjunct professor at San Diego State University to administrative credential candidates in Educational Leadership. As a facilitator for Franklin Covey’s many programs in leadership, including the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Principle Centered Leadership, he has conducted workshops for over 1,500 school district leaders. Barry earned his B.S. from Northern Illinois University with a comprehensive major in accountancy.


Bob Nicholson, Vice President

Bob worked as the Director of K-12 Education for JCJ Architecture in San Diego and as the Senior Director of Facility Planning Services for the San Diego County Office of Education.

Bob brings added value to school districts with his knowledge and expertise in the following areas:

  • Developer fee reports
  • Community meeting facilitation
  • State Agency site and plan approvals
  • Environmental agency applications and approvals
  • Long Range Facility Master Plan development and coordination
  • State funding maximization in a variety of facility program areas
  • Redevelopment agency agreement negotiations and funding allocations
  • Taxpayer organization endorsements for capital improvement bond elections
  • Classroom capacity studies and demographic analysis review and application

Debi Deal, Senior Consultant

With more than 29 years in education, Debi has served in school districts for 18 years as a Chief Business Official, business coordinator, manager, supervisor, trainer and mentor, and was a Fiscal Intervention Specialist for FCMAT from 2007 to 2015, and again 2016 to retirement December 2018.

Debi’s areas of expertise include: Budget Development, Analysis and Management; Leadership and Personnel Management; Teaching and Training; Multiyear Projection Software Development; Organizational Restructuring; Analysis of Complex Financial Systems; Governmental Accounting and Auditing; Charter School Law; Facilities and Construction; and AB139 Extraordinary Audits.

A sampling of significant engagements and key assignments:

  • Developed multi year projection software that accomplishes multiple tasks including the adopted budget, interim budgets, board presentations, budget committee sessions and negotiations.
  • Worked as a consultant to review financial systems and make recommendations to streamline workflow, redesign the budget development process, prepare the books for closing, mentor finance staff and review staffing and organizational reviews.
  • Performed statewide training for Cash Flow and FCMAT’s Budget Explorer software. Instructor for the University of Southern California (USC) Chief Business Official Mentor program during the last six years teaching Cash Flow, Budget Development and Multi-year Financial Projections and Association of School Administrator’s (ACSA) in School Finance. Taught Excel and Access “Fast Track” classes at the community college level, and Business courses for Adult Education classes at a unified school district.
  • Served on the State Allocation Board audit subcommittee to restructure the State School Facilities Program requirements.
  • Part of the FCMAT team assigned to test and support the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) model statewide.

Administration

Laurie Brandes-Hall, Partner

Laurie has spent a career in Marketing, Research, Planning, and Forecasting with major companies e.g. Wickes Companies, McGraw Hill, and Taylor Made Adidas Golf.  As co-owner, she brings her significant business background to the company supporting her husband Eric Hall and the associate team with countless roles including strategic planning, financial reporting, and contracts and business planning.


Claire D. Cote, Associate

Claire brings with her many years of experience as an Administrative Associate and Office Manager in many settings, including financial, publishing and medical services. She also devoted a portion of her career in the educational sector with the MAAC child development program responsible for opening new day care centers in the San Diego area.

Claire’s primary responsibilities include contract administration and office management. Claire analyses contracts for legal accuracy as well as compiling and maintaining various internal reports for the organization. Claire is responsible for ensuring that the company complies with all the necessary insurance requirements and has responsibility for assisting in the management of various projects. She holds a degree in Anthropology/Art History from the University of New Hampshire at Durham.

Fiscal Practice Group

Malliga Tholandi, Associate

Known for her expertise and acumen in all areas of finance, budgeting, and accounting, Malliga has over 36 years in school business. Formerly as the Associate Superintendent of Business Services for the Poway Unified School District, Malliga managed over $500 million in budgets of various funds. She successfully built and managed a cohesive business cabinet team that was motivated, energetic, and passionate about their service and work for the students of the district. Malliga’s working style is collaborative and focuses on relationships and positive outcomes.

She has worked at the San Diego County Office of Education as well as several school districts throughout San Diego County. Most recently she has served as a consultant to the Vista Unified School District and San Ysidro School District to build capacity and streamline processes and procedures.

Malliga has served on state level finance committees at the California Department of Education and currently chairs the Supervisory Committee (Audit Committee) of  the Mission Federal Credit Union. She is also a member of the School Business Executives of Southern California.

Malliga is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others and she has taught School Finance 101 to the teachers’ union at Poway Unified.  She is an accomplished member of Toastmasters, a skilled presenter, and an Advanced Communicator at the gold level.

In her spare time, Malliga enjoys yoga, travel, line dancing, and spending time with her granddaughter and her family.


Randie Allen, Associate

Randie Allen has over 30 years of experience in school district finance, accounting and information systems. She previously served as the Associate Superintendent, Business Services for the Coronado Unified School District, CFO for the Poway Unified School District and Business Advisory Consultant for the San Diego County Office of Education.

She is passionate about technology, automating processes, and building internal decision support systems. She is known for her innovative approach to communicating technical information in a user friendly and easy to understand format and for leveraging technology to facilitate effective and efficient processes.

Randie holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration, a Master of Business Administration in technology management, and numerous certificates, including Frontline Certification Absence Management, and Frontline Certification Time & Attendance. A long-time member of CASBO, she has served on the CASBO legislative committee.


Loretta Courie, Associate

Loretta Courie has 28 years of service in K-12 public education. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from California State University of Fullerton as well as a certificate in School Business Management.

She retired from Little Lake City School District after providing 18 years of service holding multiple positions in the education, curriculum, and business departments. Her expertise and knowledge encompass purchasing, warehousing, maintenance and operations, and risk management. Prior to retirement she was the Director of Purchasing & Contracts and Warehouse Distribution for the district.

Loretta continues to enjoy membership with the California Association of School Business Officials and has held several positions in the professional association from Southern Section representative to leadership roles at the state level.


Bio photoRobyn Adams, Associate

Robyn Adams has served in education finance and administration for more than 32 years. She has served in the role of Business Manager, Director, and Chief Business Official. She previously served as the Director of Fiscal Services in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District where she managed over $140 million in various funds. She also served as the Chief Business Official for the Del Mar Union School District and Business Manager in the Jamul School District.

Robyn is known for her organizational skills, technical expertise, and experience in all areas of school district finance, budget, and accounting. She is skilled in developing business processes and rules which provide strong internal controls for efficient and effective financial management.

Developing strong relationships is the foundation of everything Robyn does both professionally and personally. She has been successful in building and managing district business and fiscal teams that work collaboratively toward a common goal.

Robyn’s areas of expertise include Budget analysis, development, and management, Interim reporting and multi-year analysis and projections, year-end close, risk management, state school building projects and reporting, and bond project oversight committee reporting.

Robyn is a long-time member of CASBO and served on the San-Diego Imperial County Board of Directors for several years where she earned her CBO certification.
In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her husband and spending time with her family and grandchildren.


Pam Fees, Associate

An active CASBO member with employment in K-12, CC and COE environments, Pamela Fees remains committed to mentoring others as a consultant. She shares her knowledge and experience based on close interactions with school districts, governmental agencies, and decision makers.

 


Facilities Practice Group

Bob Kiesling, Associate

As the Chief Facilities Officer of San Diego Unified School District, Bob oversaw the daily operations of Facilities Management for the second largest school district in California. Responsibilities included the implementation of Proposition MM, a $2.0 billion bond measure with State matching funds, which funded the modernization of 161 existing schools and construction of 12 new and three rebuilt schools. He was responsible for all facets of the district’s Bond Measure including Construction Management, Project Management, Contract Management and Real Estate Management programs.

As Executive Director of Facilities for Grossmont Union HSD, Bob was responsible for the same scope of work for their $960M in bond measures and State matching funds to renovate existing and build new school facilities.

Prior to working at the school districts, Bob spent 26 years in the Navy Civil Engineer Corps managing design and construction management efforts for military facilities at various bases throughout the U.S. and worldwide including facilities in Viet Nam and Kuwait.

Bob has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University, and a Master of Civil Engineering from the University of Florida.


Melinda Pure, Associate

Melinda has 24 years’ school district experience in Facilities, Capital/Operational Budgeting, and Contract Administration. She has served several large K-12 and elementary districts.

As the Facilities Director/Assistant Director, overseeing successful planning, development, design, and construction efforts for large capital programs.

Dr. Jeffrey Felix, Associate

Jeff has been an educator for over 30 years, serving 19 years as a superintendent in San Diego County. Dr. Felix was named Superintendent of the Year twice by the Association of California School Administrators. The Classroom of the Future Foundation named him the 2016 Innovative Superintendent.

He began his educational career as a teacher for Escondido Union School District. Eight years later he became the superintendent/principal of San Pasqual USD in 1997. He was selected as the superintendent of the Bonsall USD in 2006 and then chosen two years later to lead Coronado Unified as superintendent. He retired from the superintendent position in July 2016.

Dr. Felix earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of California San Diego. His research on social networking represents the first study on the use of blogging as an instructional practice and was widely published. He has also served as an advisor for Bill Gates’ company bgC3.


Tina Cullors, Associate

Tina Cullors has worked in K-12 Public Education for 24 years bringing to the team a broad background of knowledge in educational facilities planning, funding and construction, Facility Needs Analysis, District Master Plans, Performance Monitoring and Complete Project Management.

Also, bringing experience from the Telecom Industry as a Site Acquisition Specialist. Knowledgeable in CEQA, DTSC, CDE, OPSC and DSA processes and prerequisites.

Sandy Hannah, Associate

Sandy recently retired after 35 ½ years with the McFarland Unified School District where she was the Facilities/Purchasing Coordinator. Sandy worked closely with the architects, engineers, contractors, inspectors as well as the District Administration team to coordinate all new construction and modernization projects. In 2010 Sandy completed the Facilities Leadership Academy held by CASH. Just prior to retiring, she successfully completed a new K-5 elementary school, from site selection and plan design to furniture bidding and installation.

Sandy was also involved from start to finish with a Middle School completed in 1997. As Facilities Coordinator, she was involved in all construction projects as well as Deferred Maintenance projects. The District completed a Central Kitchen, a high-school gym remodel, a 2-Story (9 classrooms) building, a renovated high-school stadium, a new varsity baseball field, along with numerous portable classrooms over the years, and a variety of remodel projects.

Sandy managed the collection of all Developer Fees, the annual GASB34 report, all State expenditure reports, and maintaining vendor and project files for all activities. She was responsible for all advertising, bidding and contracts for each project. Sandy was also the Interim MOT Director for 6 months while the District did a search for a new director.


 

Karen Carlson, Associate

Karen brings more than 34 years of experience in K-12 public education maintenance and operations management. She served as the Director of Maintenance, Operations, and Transportation for the Coronado Unified School District, and as a manager for the Poway Unified School District.

In addition to public school management, Karen has extensive experience in collective bargaining supervision and administration. Karen is skilled in time studies and departmental analyses, contract management, has school construction and modernization experience, and budget management.

Over her career, Karen has served on numerous committees such as Labor Relations, K-12 Schools Sustainability Strategy Collaborative, SDCOE Facilities Storm-Water Group, SDCOE Energy Group, and was Chair of the Facilities Authority Committee JPA.

Karen is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys horseback riding. She is also an accomplished writer who has published numerous articles and short stories on outdoor multi-use trails and open space.


David Randolph, Associate

David has 30 years of experience in construction, producing award-winning residential projects, green buildings, affordable housing, and successful school capital programs. While serving as the Associate Bond Program Manager for the Eastside Union High School District, David helped with the planning and implementation of a capital program valued at over half a billion dollars. David’s services include:

  • Capital Program Launch and Project Prioritization
  • Campus Allocations-Equity & Buy-In and Program and Project Budgeting
  • Risk Management (Waste Avoidance-Claims Reduction) and Contractor Pre-Qualification Programs
  • Contract Development & Review and Architect Master Agreements
  • Contractor “Front Ends” and Work Authorizations (AR, CM, IOR)
  • Sustainable Design Review and Waterproofing Details
  • Durability and Ease of Maintenance
  • District Standards Dev. & Design Implementation and Field Work Forensics
  • Constructability Review and Project Delivery Options
  • Board & CBOC Support and Program Metrics Development
  • Proposition 39 Performance Audits and Regulatory Compliance (CEQA, SWPPP, Title IX, AB 300)
  • Legal Support (Waste Recovery) and Payment Application Audits

Human Resources Practice Group

Rick Labib-Wood, Associate

Rick Labib-Wood (M.P.H., Health Care Administration), brings 40 years of public sector HR experience at federal, state, county, and school district levels.

Rick served as Director of Classified Personnel in the San Dieguito UHSD from 1993-2014. Previously, he supervised the classification & compensation program for California’s Riverside County, and had worked for the State of Hawaii’s Department of Personnel Services in classification and compensation, administrative services, and legislative analysis from 1974-1986. He served 29 years on active and reserve duty in personnel administration for the U.S. Coast Guard.

Rick is also an adjunct faculty member at National University, San Diego, where he lectures regularly in the University’s M.A. – H.R.M. degree program. Rick’s consulting includes projects at Sonoma COE, Ukiah USD, Walnut Valley USD, and Birmingham Community Charter High School.


Jan Brannen, Associate

Jan Brannen, (M.A., Management), brings 30 years of HR experience in California Schools: at South Bay Union SD, at Sweetwater UHSD, and at Grossmont UHSD where she retired as Director of Human Resources.

Jan consults in classification and compensation studies, most recently with Alpine USD and Walnut Valley USD. She has extensive experience with mentoring, coaching, employee performance evaluation systems, grievance resolution, due-process compliant discipline, and classified contract negotiations.


Alicia Schlehuber, Associate

Alicia Schlehuber (M.Ed., Counseling) has over 16 years of human resources experience in public education, including ten years working in merit systems in California schools.

In her most recent position she served as Director of Classified Personnel at Escondido Union School District (16,000 ADA), where she was named Administrator of the Year. Prior to that she held supervisory and management roles at the San Diego County Office of Education, Ventura Community College District and the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Alicia is skilled at compensation and classification analysis, classified union negotiations, performance management, conflict resolution, reorganization and management coaching.

For many years, she served as the State HR Professional Council Chairperson for CASBO and is the force behind the creation of their new HR Director Certification Program.  She also served on the CODESP Board and chaired the program planning for several conferences for California School Personnel Commissioners Association and the HR sessions for CASBO Annual Conferences. She recently presented at the 2018 CSPCA Conference on Reorganization within a Merit System and Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace.