Our Board of Directors

Arpad Karoly Soo, Chairman

headshots-board-022Arpad Karoly Soo, is a founding member of the Alumni Awards Foundation, having served on the Board since 2000.

He is a builder and developer, and plumbing contractor, is president for Cal Coast Building & Plumbing Inc., as well as president for Cypress Gardens and Cypress Ridge Elder Care facilities. He belongs to various construction related organizations and boards, and is former co-chair of the Central California Conference Capital Campaign Board of Trustees. Soo is also co-author of In His Hands published by Pacific Press in 2002. He studied at the Bucharest Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary in Romania.

Soo says his highest triumph has been adjusting to a new life in America after leaving Romania, and keeping his faith through many adversities. He has served on the AAF Board for 13 years, and actively participates annually in presenting teachers with the Excellence in Teaching Award. Soo has been involved with school boards in many capacities for 18 years. He raised his three sons, with wife Adela, through the Adventist education system. He enjoys traveling, motorcycling, cars, and sports.

Ambassador Kathryn Proffitt, Chief Executive Officer

Kathryn Proffitt served as the U.S. Ambassador to Malta under the Clinton administration from November 1997-2001. Prior to serving as ambassador, Proffitt was president and chief executive officer of Call-America, a telecommunications enterprise, which she founded in 1982. She was actively involved with the legislative process that resulted in the enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Proffitt, a former Registered Dental Hygienist, worked for Farm Workers’ Family Health Center in Toppenish, Washington, and served as the Acting Director of Dental Hygiene at Yakima Valley College. She is co-founder and past president of the East Valley Dental Hygiene Society in Arizona.

Among Ambassador Proffitt’s many awards of recognition, the Association of Adventist Women selected her as Woman of the Year for Outstanding Achievement in 1998. In 2001, the president of the Republic of Malta, presented her with the Grant Thornton Award for Enterprise and Foreign Direct Investment. In 2002, Proffitt was inducted into the Competitive Telecommunication’s Association’s Champions of Competition Hall of Fame.

Proffitt has be active in the Alumni Awards Foundation since 2002. She has four adult children and is the proud grandmother of five grandchildren.

George T. Harding IV, M.D.

headshots-board-010Dr. George T. Harding IV is a psychiatrist and serves as chairman of the Harding Heritage Foundation in Worthington, Ohio. He is also currently a professor of psychiatry at Loma Linda University. Dr. Harding received his Doctor of Medicine in psychiatry from LLU School of Medicine, and spent two years in the United States Army Medical Corps.  He is a founding member of the Alumni Awards Foundation and has served on the Board of Directors since 2000.

Dr. Harding’s family history includes grandfather, George T. Harding II, who founded the Harding Hospital in 1916, and was the considered the first Seventh-day Adventist psychiatrist. His father, George T. Harding III, founded Worthington Foods in 1939 and also served as president of Loma Linda University.

Having served on the AAF Board since 2000, Dr. Harding says his training as a psychiatrist helps him to understand people and their motivations, and the obstacles that keep them from being able to do their best work. He feels that he has been able to be an encouragement to the AAF Board, and provide another linkage between church leadership and its members. Dr. Harding says his greatest contributions have been in bringing people together to accomplish good; but, his greatest accomplishment is a family that includes a wonderful wife, Joan, five daughters, and 12 grandchildren.

Carla Lidner Baum, D.D.S.

Dr. Carla Lidner Baum directs three very large (multi-million dollar) dental grants for low-income and disadvantaged children in the Riverside and San Bernardino Counties of southern California. She is an assistant professor of Dental Educational Services at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry, and an assistant professor in the University of California – Los Angeles Department of Public Health and Community Dentistry. Dr. Lidner received her Doctor of Dental Surgery from Loma Linda University. She co-authored Physicians Guide to Dental Emergencies, and has written many articles for dental publications. She has received numerous awards and honors including: the 2010 Soroptimist International – Gold Key Award, California Woman of the Year, Hometown Hero, Athena of the Inland Empire, and many others.

Dr. Lidner is currently a member of at least five community advisory boards, four boards of directors, is a member of the California State Dental Association, the American Dental Association, and is a Fellow of the American College of Dentists. Dr. Lidner joined the AAF Board in 2008.

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