Our Board of Trustees

Perry H. Rod

Executive Chairman

Perry was the best man at his best friend’s wedding but was told he could not be a part of a wedding stage ceremony because he wasn’t baptized. And so with heavy heart Perry looked up unto the heavens and saw betwixt the clouds a divine revelation! That he could find many others looking for fellowship whose reverence is reserved for nature and our paradise here on Earth. And so The Paradise Project was born – and it was good. Perry is also Chief Investment Officer of Rod Capital Management, an investment fund; He holds a cum laude double major degree in Philosophy and Government from Georgetown University. He is writer and a (nervous) public speaker.

“The trouble with the world is the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” ― Bertrand Russell

Andrea Tan

Executive Director

Andrea is founder of the lifestyle brand and event company ATDesign Maven. She has a background in Science, Social Services, Public Health, Organizational Development, Design, and pretty much everything else. She has over 15 years of experience as an event producer and developed experiential marketing strategies for various household brands, branded environments, creation of custom elements, floral design, interior design, sponsorship activations and developed experiential marketing strategies (when does she sleep?). Andrea received her degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from UC Berkeley.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Veronica Avila


Nika is a licensed massage therapist whose clients include many Hollywood celebrities. In her previous life, she was a certified translator working with local and federal law enforcement. In between those dichotomies, Nika was also the Executive Director of The Paradise Project overseeing many projects including the “Luminaries of Pantheism” mural on Ocean Front Walk. She also does professional voiceover work and can sing to you if you’re lucky. She received her B.A. from California State University Fullerton in Linguistics.

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” ― Mae West

Shaudee Mehrdad


Shaudee is a Sales and Marketing professional with 15+ years experience in the pharmaceutical industry. She has travelled all around the world, been a public speaker, and reads a hundred books a year. Shaudee holds a degree in Business Marketing from Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. She is the Chair Woman for special events for the Paradise Project and loves to bring a sense of wonder and whimsy to the environments she creates. The events she has helped put together are so well thought out and intricate that people have been known to succumb to fits of ecstasy.

 “Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.” ― Rumi

Marty Rod


Born and raised in Los Angeles, Marty is a multiplatinum producer and songwriter signed to Rocnation and Ryan Tedder’s Patriot Games. He has worked with a wide array of artists including Selena Gomez, Lindsey Stirling, Jessie J, and Olivia O’Brien, to name a few. He can write a hit song in his sleep. Since 2010, he has also helped run and develop strategies for the Rod Capital Management fund alongside his brother, Perry. He holds a BA cum laude with honors from Yale University in Economics and currently lives in Los Angeles with his fiance Michaeline and puppy Disco.

“Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Folasade Olajide


Sade is an information technology expert with nearly two decades of field experience as a Quality Assurance Manager and consultant at various major companies, testing web, mobile and client based server applications. When Sade is involved in anything, quality standards rise to new heights. She provides invaluable insights to The Paradise Project’s initiatives and will certainly help clean up our mess. Sade received her Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems at DeVry University and a Masters in Information System Management & Quality Assurance from the Keller Graduate School of Management.

“A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.” ― Steve Martin

Sunita Bali


Sunita is Partner at Perkins Coie LLP, one of the largest and most recognized international law firms. She litigates cases and represents major publicly traded corporations. She was recently recognized as 2021 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch. When she’s not kicking legal butt she’s kicking little girl butt. Sunita is mother to three beautiful girls. She received her J.D. from the University of Southern California Law School and a B.A. in Psychology & Sociology from Occidental College.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

Hector Garcia


Hector is a math wiz and academic who teaches at various colleges and universities as an Adjunct Professor of Mathematics. In his free time he compiles every statistic known to man regarding the Los Angeles Dodgers and is husband to Cynthia and father to Buddy and Bender (although B+B seem to think they’re in charge). Hector has a Master’s degree in Pure Math from California State University, Long Beach; B.A. in psychology and sociology at The University of California, Los Angeles; B.A. in mathematics from The University of California, Irvine.

“The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose answers I accept.” ― George Carlin

Connie Cuellar

Senior Fellow, Paradise Project

Connie is a veteran journalist with published articles in The Heritage Newspapers, The Oakland Press, and The Huffington Post. She has served on several boards, including the World Pantheist Movement, a social media manager for nine online groups and pages, including her own local Michigan Scientific Pantheists, and has worked as a public relations director for a humanitarian organization through the University of Michigan. Later, she promoted her own Americana and science fiction conventions for several years, as well as managed two manufacturing facilities, raising bumble bees for distribution along with other beneficial insects for organic greenhouse growers throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. Her other activities include philosophy, bushcraft, crochet, conservation, and science advocacy. She is a loving wife, mother of two wonderful children and a social activist. Just try to keep up!

Peter M. Chema

Legal Advisor

Pete is former General Counsel at Euro Pacific Capital, an investment firm. Away from Wall Street, he writes and performs live music with his band. Pete received his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law and B.A. in Political Science from Yale University. We could make some jokes about him but he would probably advise against that.

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