Children First Foundation Board Members and Staff

Learn more about our foundation’s Board Members and staff by reading the member biographies below.

Thomas L Crewse, President of the Board

Mr. Thomas L. Crewse, President of the Board. He is currently the President and Founder of Grupo Desarrollos Santo Tomas SA de CV and the Vice President of International Construction Consultants, two companies that together employ over 120 individuals in the resort real-estate development industry in Mexico. Mr. Crewse was raised in both the USA and Latin Cultures, and therefore he brings bi-cultural and intercultural problems solving skills to the Foundation. He holds a Master in Business Administration in Intercultural Business and a Bachelors of Arts in Spanish (graduating Summa Cum Laude) from Arizona State University.

Ruth Tam Lin, MD, Board Member

Ruth Tan Lim, MD is a Pediatrician and Complementary Alternative Medicine Physician and Medical Director of Dobson Integrative Medical Center where she provides Functional Medicine and Integrative strategies for Health and Wellness. She is Board certified in Pediatrics with AAP and Board certified in antiaging and regenerative medicine. She has a very impressive resume that includes a superb level of volunteerism and philanthropic activities throughout the valley and the world. She volunteers her time and expertise with multiple worthwhile organizations, including: The Mesa Arts Center, Chandler Center for the Arts, The Phoenix Symphony, Orpheum Theater, Heard Museum, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Chicanos Por la Causa and many more. She has been an active Rotarian since 1998; she is a published author. She served in active reserves for more than 20 years. She retired as Lieutenant Coronel in 2003. She served in Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and is a Veteran of Foreign Wars.

Gladis Molina, Board Member

Gladis Molina Alt, JD. She is currently the Deputy Case Director for the Young Center for Immigrant Children Rights where she oversees the operations of the Phoenix and Los Angeles offices; she hires and trains staff in each office; builds stakeholders relationships and identifies volunteers and oversee their training and supervision. She serves as child advocate in a few cases and develops best interest recommendations. Prior this job she was Senior Staff Attorney with Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Protect where she provided legal orientation and representation to immigrant children in Federal Custody. She was Legislative Assistant for U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra. She was admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court of California in 2007. She is a graduate of the University of California, in Los Angeles, (UCLA) School of Law.

Sharon Shaw Elrod, MSW, EdD, Board Member

Sharon Shaw Elrod, MSW, EdD Sharon is a retired social worker and educator, having worked in both fields over a span of 33 years. She taught high school English and French; provided management and group work experiences in a community center in Omaha; was on the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at the University Medical Center in Omaha and managed Central Admissions for Nebraska Psychiatric Institute; taught at the University of Omaha and Arizona State University in their Graduate Schools of Social Work; had a private practice in Omaha; and completed her professional career managing child welfare and behavioral health programs with Arizona Children’s Home Association (now Arizona’s Children Association).

Sharon authored and published two books. The first is an autobiography of her reunion experience with her daughter whom she placed for adoption in 1966, and who returned to find Sharon 35 years later. The second is her son-in-law’s story of drug and steroid abuse as an NFL player.

Sharon has a Bachelors degree from the University of Northern Iowa; Masters degree from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Doctor of Education degree from Nova Southeastern University.

Tony Banegas, Executive Director

Tony Banegas, Executive Director. Prior to this position, Mr. Banegas spent 8 and half years as Philanthropic Advisor with the Arizona Community Foundation. In that capacity he oversaw strategic initiatives of the Foundation such as the Funders’ Collaborative in partnership with Hispanics in Philanthropy, The Arizona Family Economic Success, Project SAM, a Collective Impact Project, Latinos Unidos, the Latina Giving Circle, African American Giving Circle, African American Male Giving Circle and the Arizona Asian Pacific Giving Circle. In addition, he was a Relationship Manager to multiple donors, including non-profit endowments. Prior to this job he was an Executive with Arizona’s Children Association for 10 years and oversaw multiple child welfare and child development programs in Central and West Phoenix. He was Honorary Consul of Honduras in Arizona from 2005 to 2010. He is currently Consul Emeritus of Honduras. He earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master degree from Arizona State University in Business Administration and Public Administration respectively. He is an avid soccer player!

Paul Kremer, Treasurer

Mr. Paul Kremer. Dr. Paul Kremer holds a B.A. in Psychology from Wisconsin Lutheran College. He also holds a M.A. in Educational Psychology as well as a Ph.D. in Lifespan Developmental Psychology both from Arizona State University.

Dr. Kremer became immersed in the field of education when he became the Founder and Executive Director of a highly performing charter school in South Phoenix called EAGLE College Prep. After several years, he founded an additional charter school (EAGLE) as well as a pre-school program. Prior to this venture, Dr. Kremer conducted research on bullying in schools and taught educational psychology classes as a graduate student at Arizona State University. From 2011-2015, Dr. Kremer served Arizona Christian University in a variety of administrative roles including Chair of the Education Department, Dean of Academic Affairs, Provost and Executive Vice President. Dr. Kremer returned to the charter school sector in 2016 when he became the Director of Finance and Operations at a network of charter schools called Phoenix Collegiate Academy. He now works at Edkey, Inc. overseeing the Finance Department as their Controller.

Married since 1995 to Leslie, Dr. Kremer has four children (Jack, Madelyn, Owen, and Harrison) and they keep him both busy and young.

Darlene Sharp, Donation Room Coordinator

Darlene Sharp, Donation Room Coordinator. Darlene Sharp has bought and sold real estate property for many years. At one point she owned and managed 5 rental properties while she designed and built her and her husband’s dream home in North Phoenix. Her real passion has always been children and seniors. She helped her parents take care of over 150 foster children while she was still at home as a teen. After marriage and being a stay-home mom she started and managed a social club for seniors until they moved to Arizona. Once in Arizona she gave up real estate and started volunteering at Children First Academy. She was hired as Donation Room Coordinator in 2013 to work in the Donation Room and take care of the one thing she loves best: the Children.