Anneliese Schools Announces Success of Urban Farms Program 

Anneliese Schools, an award-winning private institution dedicated to providing unique educational opportunities for nursery school through 6th grade, is spearheading out-of-the-box, hands-on learning through the creation of their Urban Farms Program.

Anneliese Schools’ urban farm named Rebel Mountain sprawls across an acre of land in Claremont, Calif. The farm’s proximity to the school has allowed Anneliese to expand their already established environmental studies program further, and the sheer amount of organic fruits and vegetables they produce on the land is astonishing. Rebel Mountain sustains 10 chicken coops and produces between 500-1000 pounds of tomatoes, 200 pounds of kale, 200 pounds of carrots, and  smaller crops of basil. Depending on the season, the farm also produces cucumbers, eggplant, peas, beans, potatoes, corn, strawberries, melons, nectarines, peaches, guavas, lemons, apples, mulberries, pomegranates, two kinds of persimmons, oranges, kumquats, plums, figs, onions, garlic, cauliflower, broccoli, collard greens, beets, as well as different types of flowers in order to attract pollinators.

Rebel Mountain is a true testament to Anneliese’s commitment to provide better nourishment for their community. The farm was purchased in the middle of the pandemic, and in a single year was turned from an acre of dirt and infertile soil into a thriving urban farm. Each harvest provides ingredients for the handmade lunches Anneliese prepares for its students, as well as fresh, local produce for purchase at their Pop-Up Shop. Moreover, the regenerative practices of the heirloom farm fuel the school’s lifelong commitment to land stewardship. By growing all of their plants directly from heirloom seed, composting, and having a lower carbon footprint, the school achieves a full-circle system of environmental benefits.

The Urban Farms Program serves as a way to educate children on the flexibility that farming can have, proving that farms do not have to be in the middle of nowhere and that one can grow food in smaller areas all over, even in densely populated cities. The farm enriches and expands the school’s agricultural studies program, an essential element of Anneliese’s Whole Child approach. The Anneliese 6th grade class takes an annual trip to Rebel Mountain to learn from start to finish what it takes to grow and take care of the different produce on the farm. Other age groups at Anneliese also utilize the Urban Farm for educational labs, science projects, and more. With the help of their farm, Anneliese is offering their students increased autonomy and agency in addition to nourishing them daily with organic nutrients.  More than feeding the students, this special farm offers children unique opportunities to learn, even while eating. Through daily mealtimes, children are able to expand their mind and their palate by trying new foods. 

Not only is Rebel Mountain farm continuing to aid Anneliese Schools with their mission of serving their local community, it is also offering them new opportunities to continue to increase their impact in Southern California. In addition to supplying fresh, local produce to their students and the community through their Pop-Up Shop, Anneliese has set a new goal for the farm. Anneliese Schoolswill continue to grow their Urban Farms Program and expand their reach to provide fresh groceries and produce to underserved communities who wouldn’t normally have access to organic foods. The farm is a perfectly imperfect work in progress aimed at fostering the crossroad of healthy living and continuous learning for their students. Future plans for the Rebel Mountain farm include a wildlife sanctuary, which will act as a home for butterflies, insects, bees, and other small animals.

“We here at Anneliese are so blessed to have been able to get this Urban Farms Program up and running this last year, especially during the pandemic,” said Liesa Schimmelpfennig,  Research and Development Director at Anneliese Schools. “This farm has already contributed so much to our local community and the children of Anneliese, and it will only become more impactful with time and new additions like the wildlife sanctuary.”

Anderee Berengian, CEO of Cie announced as Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 honoree in Pacific Southwest – Orange County

Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced that Anderee Berengian, Founder and CEO of Cie, was named an Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 Pacific Southwest – Orange County Award winner. The Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards program is one of the preeminent competitive awards for entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies. The award recognizes those who are unstoppable entrepreneurial leaders, excelling in talent management; degree of difficulty; financial performance; societal impact and building a values-based company; and originality, innovation and future plans. Berengian was selected by an independent panel of judges, and the award was announced during the program’s virtual awards gala on August 5.

“It’s an honor to be named a winner for Entrepreneur Of The Year,” said Berengian. “The businesses we’ve launched at Cie are transforming our world and the many companies we’re currently building have the potential for an even greater impact.”

Berengian’s vision for Cie was to match disruptive entrepreneurial ideas with seasoned business leadership and venture capital investment to accelerate results and success. With numerous exits, Berengian and his team at Cie have proven their acumen at identifying and scaling startups.

“Bringing together the right strategy, talent, ideas and investment has allowed Cie to quickly build impactful business models,” noted Berengian. “Our team consists of world-class thinkers and execution-oriented leaders without whom we could not achieve our goals. I look forward to leading us into the future.”

For 35 years, EY US has honored entrepreneurs whose ambition, courage and ingenuity have driven their companies’ success, transformed their industries and made a positive impact on their communities. Berengian will go on to become a lifetime member of the esteemed multi-industry community of award winners, with exclusive, ongoing access to the experience, insight and wisdom of fellow alumni and other ecosystem members in over 60 countries — all supported by vast EY resources.

As a Pacific Southwest – Orange County award winner, Berengian is now eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 National Awards. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced in November at the Strategic Growth Forum®, one of the nation’s most prestigious gatherings of high-growth, market-leading companies.

Seneca Family of Agencies: Families Forever 4th Annual Gala

Like most providers of child and family services, Seneca Family of Agencies has typically relied on in-person contact as the single most effective tool to provide responsive academic and therapeutic supports. As we all encountered the realities of 2020 and COVID-19, Seneca made massive changes to ensure our staff – and the children and families we support – stayed healthy and safe. Over the course of 2020, Seneca applied novel strategies to service delivery, providing distance treatment and leveraging our partnerships to get essential support to young people and families in need. To do so, Seneca worked quickly to train our staff to utilize telehealth technology and employ treatment modalities that are compatible with this medium, ensuring we continued providing high quality care to children and families with as few interruptions or disruptions as possible.

The vast majority of our services shifted to provide the bulk of services remotely, with the exception of crisis intervention and acute-needs programming. Virtual service delivery meant that staff had to get creative to make sure that kids and caregivers were receiving the academic, social-emotional, behavioral, and family functioning support they needed. It was critical that we showed clients and families that our care for them was truly Unconditional – we continue to show up for them no matter the challenges the pandemic presented. 

One treatment modality that was quickly transitioned to a virtual format by Seneca’s therapists was Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a psychotherapeutic tool to support healing from trauma. EMDR utilizes eye movements, tapping and other external stimuli. Staff mailed care packages with therapeutic tools, procured connective technology for families, and taught caregivers tapping techniques over Zoom. By consistently working to meet each kid’s needs even as these needs emerged and evolved over the course of the past year, our teams successfully adapted EMDR to be delivered virtually. 

Seneca is known for our commitment and ability to develop robust continuums of care for children that can respond flexibly to meet a family’s ever-changing needs by seamlessly scaling up and down in intensity and “following” a child and family wherever needs may arise: in the home, at school, or in the community. This past year, this commitment was put to the test. Thanks to the creativity and tireless efforts of Seneca’s team of service providers, and through the use of virtual treatment strategies like EMDR, clients continued making progress toward their individualized goals while remaining safe at home. In a year of unique needs and challenges, Seneca supported 79% of children receiving individualized mental health services to make significant progress towards their goals – and 40% to meet ALL of their mental health goals.

To support Seneca’s work in building and sustaining families in Orange County, join us on November 6th, 2021 at the Balboa Bay Resort for our 4th Annual Forever Families Gala. For more information and sponsorship opportunities, please visit or contact Carly Santos at To learn more about Seneca’s work, please visit

UCI’s Dr. Richard Arum To Chair CLA-OC Talent Leadership Advisory Board

UCI Dean of Education Dr. Richard Arum will serve as volunteer Chair of the CEO Leadership Alliance-Orange County’s (CLA-OC) Talent Leadership Advisory Board, announced CLA-OC President Mark Percy. Known as T-LAB, the Talent Leadership Advisory Board is a business-led coalition working collaboratively with leading education stakeholders on K-Career systems alignment.

Dr. Arum has served as Dean of UCI’s School of Education since 2016 His work analyzed student achievement gaps by race and class, school segregation and stratification, the effects of legal and institutional environments, and the evolution of discipline in American schools. 

His research on educational interventions is designed to identify policies and practices that could mitigate the relationship between social background, disadvantaged neighborhood context and educational outcomes. This focus is a strong complement to CLA-OC’s mission of creating a true talent pipeline, especially for under-resourced students, leading to high paying jobs in innovation sectors.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to partner with the CEO Leadership Alliance, local firms and K-16 schools in their work to provide career training and opportunities for Orange County youth,” said Dr. Arum. “Measurement of these programs’ impact and effectiveness is essential to ensuring that we collectively develop the capacity to promote the type of workforce training and regional economic development needed for all Orange County residents to lead productive and meaningful lives.”

T-LAB was created to support CLA-OC’s mission of “a thriving OC for all” by creating opportunities for under-resourced students and young working adults to attain high-wage, high-growth innovation jobs. For the first time in OC, T-LAB brings together major stakeholders needed to form an innovation talent pipeline.

CLA-OC’s CEO members have made commitments to grow and retain talent in OC, especially around needed high-growth innovation core skills, such as cybersecurity, data analytics, and virtual and augmented reality. Together with community partners, CLA-OC recently launched a series of Career Exploration Experiences geared to Community College and High School level students, involving a number of its member companies. Among T-LAB’s immediate priorities include development of a dashboard and scorecard to establish relevant metrics and an evaluation system for these programs.

Keenan Named 2021 “TPA Team of the Year” Finalist by Business Insurance  

Keenan, an industry-leading California insurance brokerage and consulting firm for health care organizations and public agencies, has been named a 2021 “TPA Team of the Year” finalist by Business Insurance, the leading source of news, information and data on risk management, workers compensation and commercial insurance. Keenan is one of five finalists in the TPA Team of the Year category from a pool of 180 nominations. 

Keenan’s recognition is based on its strong team culture, commitment to its staff, and excellence in consistent and well founded claims decisions, leading to significant achievements during the COVID-19 pandemic, including lower claims costs for clients.  

“I am proud of this team, whose exceptional efforts led to our selection as a finalist,” said Sean Smith, President of Keenan. “Throughout the past year and a half, our claims professionals worked swiftly to efficiently address COVID-19 claims and provide injured workers the care and resources they needed. The results of collaboration throughout our company were exceptional.”

Throughout 2020 and the first half of 2021, Keenan achieved low denial rates and estimated costs that consistently beat estimates from the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) while managing compensability decisions in accordance with several new sets of laws in California. Keenan experienced a very low denial rate of 8%, versus WCIRB’s estimate of 28% and attributes this to the firm’s ability to consistently interpret challenging laws designed to provide benefits due to injured workers, as well as a thorough investigative approach that results in fully supported and consistent compensability decisions. Keenan also saw a lower average estimated cost per COVID-19 claim of $10,700 versus the WCIRB’s estimate of $29,100 and attributes this to its medical management team’s expertise and collaboration with core team members. In addition, Keenan maintained a low litigation rate of 0.012% for clients due to its team’s ability to build rapport with injured workers and collaborate with employers. 

“We have achieved these results despite an extremely challenging health crisis, and we will continue to deliver timely benefits with empathy and compassion,” said Smith. “Our bedrock principle is to do the right thing while maintaining a personal and professional relationship with our clients, every injured worker, and business partners.”

As defined by Business Insurance, the TPA Team of the Year award recognizes teams of professionals working on specific projects in the commercial insurance and risk management sector. Finalists are selected by senior Business Insurance staff from nominations submitted to the publication and are further assessed by a panel of risk managers to arrive at a winner. A complete list of 2021 U.S. Insurance Award finalists in 11 different categories can be found on Business Insurance’s website. The 2021 U.S. Insurance Awards ceremony will take place via a virtual event on Thursday, September 30, 2021, from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. EST. 




About Keenan

Keenan has a 49-year track record of serving schools, community colleges, health care organizations, and public agencies. As part of the AssuredPartners group of independent brokers, currently ranked as the 11th largest in the U.S., Keenan provides innovative employee benefits, health benefits management, workers’ compensation, risk management, and property and liability programs throughout the country. For more information, call 800-654-8102 or 310-212-3344, email or visit

Anneliese Schools Announces Pop-up Shop Success with Plans to Expand

Anneliese Schools, an award-winning private institution dedicated to providing unique educational opportunities for nursery school through 6th grade, today announced the success of their curated pop-up shop with plans for more locations.

Anneliese schools pop-up shop located at 1816 Pacific Coast Highway, Laguna beach, Calif. is open to the public offering organic produce, textiles, apothecary, homemade meals, upscale pantry items, along with many other self care and wellness products. Glassware, pottery, books, art supplies, kitchenware and candles are a few of the items you will find inside. An added bonus is Anneliese owns urban farms in Claremont, Calif. that offers much of the organic, fresh, locally sourced produce within the store.

The school’s goal is to put the local economy back into daily habits and provide a one-stop shop atmosphere where one can rely on most items needed. Ready made meals are offered at the pop-up location along with their original store front at the Anneliese School campus. The ready made meal program comes with inspiration from the in-house meals made for students on a daily basis. Bottled curries, small batch cheeses, canned goods, baked goods, salad dressings, lentils, soups, salads, along with German fare and stews are all part of their offerings. Pre-cooked meals feeding 4 to 6 family members are anything from green chile enchiladas to homemade lasagna with freshly baked bread.

With the program and pop-up store seeing steady growth each year, Anneliese schools is planning on extending their pop-up duration in Laguna Beach as well as casting an even wider net in more of South Orange County. The growth plans will stay in alignment with the values of the school providing “quality over quantity.” The school receives great support from families who regularly volunteer in the shops and also provide homemade items to sell.

“Our passion and ultimate goal is to align our ideals from a humanitarian perspective and low carbon footprint along with sustainable practices,” said Samantha Breit, Store Manager of Anneliese school’s stores. “ We are bringing the hometown feel back into our economy. It is achievable to eat fresh while supporting local businesses without extra hassle. We will continue to carve this path and share our vision with community after community.”

Visit to preview merchandise or order online.

About Anneliese Schools (

Anneliese Schools is an award-winning private institution dedicated to providing rich educational opportunities to grow the intellect, humanity, curiosity, and creativity of children. Founded in 1968 with 3 locations in Laguna Beach, Anneliese Schools offer nursery school up to 6th grade, with various enriching programs offered across the unique campuses. The school teaches to the many facets of the intellect, while fostering independence and freedom to learn. Fundamental to the school’s mission is helping children develop a strong understanding of self and a passion for lifelong learning.  For more information, please visit

Intellimize raises $30M Series B to deliver high converting websites for results-focused marketers

Continuous Conversion™ platform marries marketer creativity and machine learning scale to transform website optimization

Intellimize, the leader in web conversion optimization, has raised $30M to help more marketers at medium and enterprise-scale companies create high converting websites that deliver more revenue, customers, and sales leads using its Continuous Conversion™ platform.

Cobalt Capital led the round with participation from previous investors Addition, Amplify Partners, Homebrew, and Precursor Ventures. Intellimize’s machine learning introduces a new era of website optimization being championed by conversion-obsessed B2B and ecommerce marketers.

“With Intellimize, CMOs can unleash the full scale of their creativity and deliver better and faster results through intelligent website optimization, which is truly transformational for marketers and the visitor experience,” said Dan Abrams of Cobalt Capital. “We are incredibly excited to partner with the entire team at Intellimize to help bring their product to more results focused marketers at any company.”

“Intellimize massively accelerated our website conversion optimization, enabling my team to optimize across 15M+ versions of our website in parallel,” said Udi Ledergor, CMO of B2B technology leader Gong. “Through a joint continuous testing approach, we drove 24% more marketing qualified leads across our site and 87% more pricing page leads in two months. It would’ve taken my team decades to run these tests using traditional methods. Intellimize enabled us to optimize our website experience for each unique prospect at the moment.”

“Intellimize married the best of marketing’s creative thinking with machine learning to deliver 1,500 more leads in the last 90 days, and the pace of improvement is accelerating,” said Ryan Carlson, former CMO at Okta now working on a new special project at Okta. “Their Continuous Conversion platform also delivered machine learned insights about user behavior, leading to more creative ideas to test. By turning a static website into a Learning Website, Intellimize has been a great partner and enabler to the marketing team.”

“I wish Intellimize had existed when I was CMO at Tableau. It took us 11 years to grow from $5 million in annual revenue to over $1 billion. With Intellimize, I have little doubt we would have done that faster,” said Elissa Fink, marketing advisor and Intellimize board member. “The Continuous Conversion platform would have helped us reach our goals sooner by massively accelerating our optimization and saving my team countless hours.”

“As a marketer, my peers and I spend a fortune getting prospects to our site only to abandon most of them to a one-size-fits-all experience,” said Guy Yalif, CEO of Intellimize. “Low conversion is the inevitable, dispiriting result. The age of the static homepage is dead. With these funds, we will invest in engineering and customer-facing teams to accelerate the era of websites that dynamically adjust to each unique visitor’s changing behavior over time.”

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