Co-Founder, Director of Donor Relations, The Seany Foundation
In 1978, Amy received her B.S. in Dental Hygiene from the University of Michigan. She has been practicing her profession for the past 35 years.
Beginning in 1982, Amy began working part-time so that she could focus on raising her children. Over the years, she contently spent most of her days with Alex, Sean, and Emily.
It wasn’t until 2000—when Sean was suddenly diagnosed with cancer at age 16—that Amy would take on the hardest role of her life: mother to a sick child. She became Sean’s caregiver, nurse, psychologist, and advocate. She also worked to balance the care of her other children during this trying time.
Following Sean’s death on November 17, 2006, Amy and Mitch launched The Seany Foundation. Per Sean’s request in 2005, their foundation would shine a light on the horrific inadequacies of current medical research and treatments for childhood cancer.
Today, as Chief Administrative Officer of The Seany Foundation, Amy works to bring awareness about childhood cancer and its effects on the kids, teens, and young adults who have it. She also sees to it that The Seany Foundation backs vital research and life-enhancing programs that bring joy to kids battling cancer.
Amy continues to pull inspiration from Sean’s persistent, near-seven-year battle with cancer. Her goal is to make his dream of a cure a reality.
Mitchell J. Robins, CPA
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Seany Foundation CEO, Robins & Associates, CPAs
A graduate of the University of Michigan Graduate School of Business Administration, Mitchell J. Robins holds CPA licenses in both California and Michigan.
Mitch is the founding and managing partner of Robins & Associates CPAs, a position that allows him to do what he loves—consult national and international companies with his creative and inventive business strategies. He is also founder of Lumedics, Ltd., an international medical laser development and distribution company.
However, Mitch’s most impassioned role has always been as father and friend to his three children: Alex, Sean, and Emily. During Sean’s illness, Mitch was Sean’s official “Morale Officer,” keeping Sean optimistic and uplifted. Mitch loved to do fun things with Sean, such as take him on trips so that he could get the most out of life.
When Sean passed away in 2006 after a near-seven-year battle with cancer, Mitch and his wife, Amy, founded The Seany Foundation to carry on Sean’s beautiful memory. As CEO to The Seany Foundation, Mitch works tirelessly to support kids and families struggling with cancer.
Jonathan A. Berlin, ESQ
Director of Partnerships & Business Affairs/Legal Affairs, Farmer Insurance Open/Century Club of San Diego
In his professional life, Jonathan oversees all corporate partnerships for The Farmers Insurance Open Golf Tournament. He actively cultivates relationships in the business community for potential Tournament involvement and handles all partnership negotiations before, ultimately, drafting and executing Tournament contracts. On a broader level advises the organization on any and all legal matters.
When he learned about the work The Seany Foundation was doing out in the community, Jonathan knew he had to get involved. In particular, Jonathan wants to see to it that as many kids as possible have access to Seany’s Camp Reach for the Sky, a place where the physical limitations caused by cancer will never be a reason for a child to be excluded. Camp is a place for such inspiring kids to be just that…kids. As large a role as sports has played in both my professional and personal lives, I hope that our campers have the same opportunity to showcase their inner and physical strength, and apply the same lessons many of us have learned from sports toward the much bigger challenges they face with cancer.
In his spare time, Jonathan likes to do just about anything outdoors, such as playing sports, traveling, and attending live music events. He enjoys helping others however and wherever possible, and considers his friends and family to be the most important part of his life: “…everything else is secondary.”
Joseph E. Bernstein
Senior Vice President, Jones Lang LaSalle
For more than 15 years, Joe has been representing corporate tenants and occupiers of commercial real estate. He has been solely focused on the tenant’s side of the equation and has never represented a landlord during his career. Joe helps companies align their real estate needs with their business goals, helping them maximize their physical space so that they may operate with efficiency. In 2011, Joe was named one of Jones Lang LaSalle’s nationwide Top Achievers. In 2013, SD Metro was a winner of the magazine’s “40 Under 40” contest for the “best and brightest minds of San Diego County.”
According to Joe, he has a soft spot for organizations that serve children and want to make their lives better and their futures brighter. “I am proud to say that I served on the board of Walden Family Services for 8 years, helping to build the organization so that it was able to increase programming for children in the adoption and foster care systems. I am excited to support The Seany Foundation in a similar capacity, so that we may help as many kids and families struggling with cancer as possible.”
Joe and his wife, Amani, live in La Jolla with their young daughter, Mila. Joe most enjoys trying new restaurants, traveling, and spending time outside at the beach and the zoo with his family.
Vice President of Sales, Distinct Displays
Roy M. Elliott, Jr.
Financial Advisor Vice President – Investments Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC
Roy has been a loyal financial supporter of pediatric cancer research for many years. Yet recently he was looking for a way to put his passion for helping children struggling with cancer and their families to work locally. It was after learning about Sean’s story and the incredible projects TSF offers local kids that Roy joined The Seany Foundation.
In his spare time, Roy enjoys golfing, swimming, and most outdoor sports. He also likes to travel and spend time with his family and friends. In fact, he and his wife welcomed their first child into the world last April. Now that summer is here, they are excited to get him involved in swimming lessons.
Brian J. Franczak, CPA
Tax Manager, Gatto, Pope & Walwick, LLP
Brian provides income tax planning and compliance services for closely held business and individual taxpayers. He also serves as a trusted advisor, providing consulting and specialized planning services for his clients. He is also an active member of AICPA, CalCPA, and Imperial Beach Chamber of Commerce.
Brian chooses to volunteer his time and talents with The Seany Foundation to improve the lives of children affected by cancer, which is a cause that affects him personally. Just days before his son Triton’s third birthday, Triton was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). It was during that time that Triton began attending Camp Reach for the Sky, which the American Cancer Society ran at the time. Brian remembers that he and his family were overjoyed to have such a fun and rewarding Camp for Triton to attend, which, was staffed with such caring and aware staff and volunteers. Today, Triton is a healthy, active 8-year-old who still looks forward to and attends Camp each and every year. Brian wants to ensure that other kids and families going through cancer have a chance to experience Seany’s Camp Reach for the Sky and the joy and respite from cancer it brings.
When Brian is not helping people navigate the tax and business world or making sure children affected by cancer have a fun, safe place to go, he likes to…play! He enjoys cycling, running, surfing, hiking, and generally just being outdoors in nature. More than anything, Brian likes spending time with his wife and son, exploring our wonderful and amazing county, country, and – if they ever find the time – world!
Andrew K. Kwan
Area Manager for PurchaseLenders, Bay Equity Home Loans
As an elected committee member for San Diego Association of Realtors Global Real Estate/International council and Young Professionals Network he is focused on providing business partners and consumers the best financing programs, education, and technology available.
He has been quoted in the Union Tribune and 92130 and 92127 magazine. Most recently he was nominated as a Top Influential in 2015 by The San Diego Daily Transcript. If he is not watching his Buckeyes, Giants, or Knicks you can catch him at a local charity event for The Seany Foundation or Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego.
Seth P. O’Byrne
Realtor and President, O’Byrne Team at Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty
Seth is a passionate entrepreneur and San Diegan. In fact, he is the owner of O’Byrne Team, which oversees the largest real estate team under the Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty brand. Seth’s team consists of 5 support staff and 7 real estate agents whose focus is brokering and advising high-end real estate along the San Diego coastline.
Seth began his real estate business in 2004 and since the inception of his team in 2005, he has employed dozens of advisors and brokered over $250,000,000 in residential home sales. Seth is a regular contributor on the TV show “American Dream” on UTTV & Channel 4SD, co-host of two real estate and finance shows on 1170AM & ESPN1700, and a sought-after advisor within the USD & SDSU Real Estate societies.
An active participant in the San Diego community, Seth sits on the Young Executive Society Council (YES) Council of the University Club, the University of San Diego Alumni Board, and of course, the Board of Directors for The Seany Foundation, of which he is most passionate. “I chose to be an active part of The Seany Foundation because it is not only a cause I could really get behind, it was born out of a story I could never forget. The Robins family are truly wonderful people and great San Diego citizens. So when you see great people not only so effected but so mobilized by a modern day tragedy, it is hard not to do the same. Those we love are all we have and we will do all we can to protect them. In a small way, being part of The Seany Foundation is the recognition that we are all part of the same family.”
As a local coastal Encinitas resident, Seth spends much of his time in and around the ocean. He and his fiancé, Jessie, are both avid surfers so much of their free time is spent at the beach. However, their wonderful dog, Mochi “the Bandit”, is not as capable a surfer. Other hobbies Seth feels passionate about include going to the movies, writing, biking, and being a part of the growth and development of San Diego’s coastline. “I truly care what our great city looks like and feels like in the future and being in the real estate industry I believe I have a unique opportunity to play a role in that in my own small way.”
For the past 15 years, Jim has lead a team of specially trained engineers at Qualcomm–a world leader in 3G, 4G, and next-generation wireless technologies–to support and assist customers with technical questions or issues related to Qualcomm’s chips and sw products in the design of wireless communication devices. Jim has grown his team from a little over a dozen engineers to more than 1,000, located in over 20 cities around the globe. An alumni of Purdue University, Jim received his Bachelors in Computer and Electrical Engineering in 1986 and his Masters in Engineering in 1988.
Having experienced cancer through his son’s own battle, Jim is a natural champion of The Seany Foundation and its cause. “Our son, Vince, is a pediatric cancer survivor. Diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at age 11, he went through all the challenges of chemo and the surgeries to remove the tumors. When he attended Resident Oncology [Camp Reach for the Sky] (CR4TS), it was a tremendous experience that provided distraction from the treatment and gave him confidence he could still do the things kids do. In addition, our daughter, Carlee, is a regular attendee of Sibling CR4TS. Not only have the typical camp experiences been great for her, the opportunity to spend time with other siblings and share the frustrations and experiences of being a sibling of a child battling cancer have been invaluable. The counseling staff available at Camp have offered her the opportunity to better understand and deal with those frustrations. I was so excited to see that The Seany Foundation was picking up the responsibility to keep the camps running that I had to offer my assistance.”
Jim is an active member of North Coast Calvary Chapel and the Assistant Director for Men of SFC. He is also co-founder and a former board member and coach for the North County Longhorn Baseball Club, as well as a former member of the American Cancer Society San Diego Leadership Council.
Jim most enjoys being “Dad” to Vince and Carlee–both students of Santa Fe Christian Schools. He and Vicky, his wife of 19 years, run from baseball to basketball to church youth group activities, theater events, and any other activity their children are involved in. The Reilly’s are huge sports fans and love rooting on the Padres!
Ben C. Weinrib
Managing Partner, Alternative Ballistics, LP
Executive Vice President and Partner, Eddy Pump Corporation
Director of Business Development and Partner, Lava Gel, Inc.
Ben is actively involved in multiple technology development companies that incorporate cutting-edge devices to solve various military, law enforcement, oil, mining, commerical, and medical issues.
The companies are situated in El Cajon, CA and Poway, CA and are currently working all over the world providing solutions throughout many industries. Ben was raised in San Diego with his older brother and two younger sisters who are all very active in The Seany Foundation. In his free time, Ben is very active in all types of sports and outdoor activities including martial arts, soccer, rock climbing, and fishing.As a close friend to Sean Lewis Robins since the age of 13, Ben knows firsthand the amazing impact that Sean had on everyone around him. Ben insists, “Sean’s passion fuels me every day to carry on the fight to end pediatric cancer.”
2016 Medical Advisory Board
Randy W. Oppenheimer, MD
Chief, ENT/Head and Neck Surgery, Maricopa Medical Center
Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Arizona College of Medicine
Dr. Oppenheimer has been a trusted friend and confident to Mitch for the last 20 years, offering both medical and personal insight throughout Sean’s battle with cancer. Today, Dr. Oppenheimer is a highly sought after Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT) and Head and Neck Surgeon in Phoenix, AZ. Aside from heading up his department at Maricopa Medical Center, Dr. Oppenheimer also is teaching the next generation of surgeons in his field at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. He is licensed to practice medicine in both Arizona and California.
From 2010 to 2012, Dr. Oppenheimer treated patients a Cancer Treatment Center of America in Goodyear, AZ. He has also served as a lead surgeon in a number of AZ-based Veterans hospitals, including as Chief Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery at the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center from 1999 to 2004.
Prior to his work in AZ hospitals, Dr. Oppenheimer was in private practice for 10 years following his fellowship at UCSD Medical Center in San Diego from July 1991 to June 1992 and his Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery residency at SUNY-Downstate in Brooklyn, NY (1985-1989) and General Surgery residency at University of Illinois, Metro Chicago (1983-1985). Other education includes: M.D. from the
College of Medicine at University of Illinois (1979-1983) and B.A. Biology from Northwestern University (1976-1979).
Dr. Oppenheimer now serves as a medical advisor to The Seany Foundation.
William Roberts, MD
Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, UCSD School of Medicine
Director, Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, RCHSD & UCSD
Program Director, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program, RCHSD & UCSD
Dr. Roberts is one of the oncologists who cared for Sean Robins during his treatment for Ewing sarcoma.
Dr. Roberts is one of the oncologists who cared for Sean Robins during his treatment for Ewing sarcoma. He is a California native who has been working at Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego (RCHSD) and UCSD since 1992. His education includes: Bachelor of Science, Biology, Loyola Marymount University, 1980; Doctor of Medicine, Sackler School of Medicine, 1986; Pediatric Residency, Brown University, 1986–89; Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and USC, 1989–1992. Dr. Roberts also serves as Vice President and Medical Director for Children’s Specialists San Diego and as RCHSD’s and UCSD’s Principal Investigator for the Children’s Oncology Group, an international clinical trials cooperative group. In addition to his advisory role with The Seany Foundation, he is also a founding member of Neuroblastoma and Medulloblastoma Translational Research Consortium (a phase I and II clinical trial consortium) and Co-Director of RCHSD’s and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital International Outreach Program in pediatric oncology at the General Hospital of Tijuana in Mexico.