Ed Idell is an attorney admitted in California, New York and Florida. He works at a general practice law firm in LA, where he’s lived for 30 years after moving from the East Coast. He attended the State University of New York at Stony Brook and received his law degree from the University of Miami Law School. His law practice concentrates on commercial law, business litigation, creditors’ rights and appeals.Ed became involved with Project Cuddle about ten years ago when he was introduced to Debbe Magnusen and read her first book. until then, like many others, he was unaware of the magnitude of the problem of baby abandonment and what could be done to prevent it. He became a board member and currently serves as board president. He is deeply committed to Project Cuddle’s missions of providing counseling to pregnant women in crisis and educating teens about safe and legal alternatives to abandoning a baby. He currently focusing on expanding awareness and funding for Project Cuddle. Ed is active with other charities, including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, where he’s coached its West LA marathon training/ fundraising team. He’s completed at least ten marathons himself and hopes to finish at least ten more. Maybe a Project Cuddle marathon is in the future.
“I joined Project Cuddle because two lives are saved each time a baby abandonment is prevented.”Ed Idell
Board Vice President
Bill is a Certified Public Accountant and has practiced in Pasadena, California for 35 years. He owns May Consulting Groups, Inc., a C.P.A. firm specializing in small, closely-held companies, partnerships, non-profits, trusts and income taxes. He served in the U.S. Army and attended California State University at Los Angeles using the G.I. Bill. He graduated with a bachelors degree in business/accounting. Bill and his wife Pat have lived in Pasadena for 37 years. Son Scott May is the executive chef and part owner of Charcuterie Bistro in Sierra Madre, Daughter Lynn Harris is a pharmaceutical representative living in Arcadia with husband Michael and daughter Samantha Grace. Bill and Pat got involved with Project Cuddle with they met Debbe in 1997. They put on the annual Flip Flop Formal fundraiser in Pasadena area. Bill is also a member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board and the AAF Rose Aquatic Center Board of Directors. He is the past president of the Exchange Club of Pasadena and a 30-year member of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses.
It’s a good feeling to save a Twofer, an innocent baby and a frightened young girl.Bill May
Steven W. Lazarus
Steven Lazarus received his Bachelor of Arts from U.C.L.A. in 1984, and his Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law in 1988. He was admitted to the California Bar in 1988. Steven’s practice is limited solely to family formation law, which includes both adoption and assisted reproduction. Steven handles hundreds of family formation matters per year, while making sure that the legal processes are completed in a caring, proper and ethical manner. Steven has been named a “Southern California Super Lawyer” in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, and was featured by Forbes In-Flight Radio & Sky Radio as one of “America’s Premier Lawyers.” Steven Lazarus also has experience as an adjunct professor in adoption law at Whittier Law School, and has been a lead attorney responsible for the drafting and implementation of legislation in California involving family formation law. Steven also provides extensive pro-bono and community services. In addition to serving as a board member of Project Cuddle (and is a past president of the board), Steven is on the advisory boards of the Society for Ethics in Egg Donation & Surrogacy (“Seeds”) and Parents Via Egg Donation (“PVED”), and is a frequent speaker at conferences, seminars and in-services.
Gary is the co-founder of Karma Tequila, an ultra-premium 100% agave spirit, based in Malibu, CA. Gary is also involved with a new hair treatment product, called the Brazilian Blowout and a partner in the Argyle Salon and Spa in West Hollywood, CA. Previously, Gary was one of the co-founders/VP of Alternate Channel Sales for PAETEC Communications, a $1.6 billion dollar national telecommunication/data company. Gary attended the University of Bridgeport in CT and focused on ‘Business and Marketing’ as a major. Gary decided to not complete his Bachelors degree and focus on his entrepreneurial endeavors. Gary currently serves on the board of Kids Courage and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and wants to use his time and expertise to work with an organization such as Project Cuddle. The idea of assisting an organization whose ‘hearts and energy’ go into saving every babies life, is the most rewarding.
Carie Jernquist retired at the end of 2014 after spending over 25 years in the high tech industry. Her most recent position was as Vice President of Software Sales for CompuCom Systems, Inc., a leading provider of technology products and IT life cycle services. In this role she was responsible for the U.S. State and Local Government software sales organization as well as the commercial software sales organization for the West. Carie was a leader at CompuCom for almost 20 years and during that time she received a number of awards including Vice President of the year and the coveted Eagle award. Carie grew up in Seattle, Washington where she graduated from Central Washington University and began her career with Compaq Computer. She has been a supporter of a number of organizations including Cystic Fibrosis, Swedish Hospital, NORD and Friends for Fragile X, as well as serving in her local Junior League chapter prior to starting a family. Carie resides in Orange County with her husband, Anthony, and their six children. The family is also strong supporters of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Saddleback College. Carie hopes bring her business expertise and philanthropic experience to the table to help raise awareness about Project Cuddle and its mission. She is passionate about giving back to the community and excited to be part of the amazing Project Cuddle team!
Tracy is the Associate Publisher of Marketing at Los Angeles magazine where she leads all marketing, promotion, and event activities for the magazine and LAmag.com. She is a former Philadelphia-area native and a cum laude graduate of Rowan University in NJ. Prior to her west coast post, Tracy was the Marketing Director at Philadelphia magazine and spent 12 years in Advertising at national ad agencies. In addition to serving on the board of Project Cuddle, Tracy continues to support the Red Cross, has volunteered with Ronald McDonald House Charities, and also judged pageants for the Miss USA franchise. As a resident of Santa Monica, she enjoys practicing yoga, running, and eating her way through L.A.’s most remarkable restaurants. Tracy was drawn to Project Cuddle because of the organization’s commitment to preventing baby abandonment and finding homes for little ones who need families. Tracy is the proud aunt of 3 adopted children who currently live with one of her four brothers. Her hope is that Project Cuddle gains a louder national voice and continues to spread awareness about the national baby abandonment epidemic.
Mrs. Luhrs attended Arizona State University where she graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. She went on to Graduate School at Azusa Pacific University where she attained an MA in Curriculum and Instruction of Education and became an elementary school teacher in Southern California. After the birth of her two children, Mrs. Luhrs left teaching to create a pet product company with her husband, Bionic Pet Products, where she was the Chief Design Officer until they sold the company in 2015 to a private equity firm. Mrs. Luhrs works with many pet based charities and has received the Sundevil Select award from her alma matter, Arizona State University for Entrepreneur and Innovator of the Year for 2016. Mrs. Luhrs became involved with Project Cuddle after a high risk pregnancy she experienced. After learning the statistics of babies that are abandoned and how Project Cuddle works to save them she wanted to be involved and help in any way that she could. She is so proud to be serving on a board for an organization that helps so many babies and creates so many families. The work that Project Cuddle does is unlike any other organization and her hope for it is that it will become an organization that everyone knows about. Mrs. Luhrs is a resident of Southlake, Texas where she resides with her two children, husband, bulldog, and horse. She enjoys spending time with her family at the barn, baseball fields, golf course and traveling with her two young children and husband.
Melanie is a 1998 graduate of St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana where she received her B.A. in Communications, with a minor in marketing. Before moving to Los Angeles in 2001, she worked as a media buyer for DMB&B advertising agency in New York City. After making the move to the west coast, she spent four years working as a non-profit event planner for The Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Avon Foundation. Mrs. Neumann has lead several successful fundraising campaigns for 10th Street Preschool in Santa Monica and volunteers her time as a board member for Hero Theatre. She is also a supporter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Phase One. Mrs. Neumann is the founder of Present Now, a non-profit which supports children in domestic violence shelters. She resides in Pacific Palisades, CA with her husband, Michael, and their three children.