Board Officers

John Dillon


John Dillon is the Director, Finance and Risk Management at the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. A native of San Diegan, John holds a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts, and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

In his free time, John enjoys traveling, photography, and spending time with friends & family. Since the early 2000s, he has been a volunteer with the Rob Benzon Foundation. John has served on the Board for seven years, initially as a board member on the Event Committee and then as the CFO/Treasurer. He is honored to support the RBDFF mission serving as the current board President and CEO.

Matthew Bellino

Secretary & Treasurer

Matthew Bellino is the Chief of Staff for the Chief Information Officer at UC San Diego. Originally from the Midwest, Matthew holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa. In the past Matthew has volunteered for the San Diego Literacy Foundation and currently is a Chair for Special Events at The San Diego Yacht Club.

In his free time, Matthew loves to garden, travel and spoil his dog Monty. Since the early 2000’s, he has been a volunteer with the Rob Benzon Foundation and believes in the mission of the foundation.

Richelle Pizl

Director of Corporate Development

Richelle Pizl is the Inside Sales Manager for Johnson Outdoors Inc – SCUBAPRO. Richelle graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay with a business administration degree and a lifelong love for the Green Bay Packers. Richelle served her community as the Canyon Woods HOA Treasurer 2008-2011 and also volunteered as an Events Committee Board Member for the Charlie Joiner Celebrity Golf Tournament 2007-2010.

Richelle is proud to say that she was blessed to call Rob a friend as he was one of her first friends she met when she moved to San Diego from Wisconsin in 1998. Richelle describes Rob as her tour guide who helped her find her first apartment, moved her furniture, introduced her to the amazing Hillcrest community and changed her life for the better by just being her friend for the short time he was on this earth.  She was also a dear friend of Dan Ferbal, working with him on the board of the Rob Benzon Foundation.

Kevin Reading

Director of Events

Kevin Reading is a longtime supporter of the Rob Benzon Foundation and joined the Board in 2018.  A native San Diegan, Kevin is a leader in the hospitality industry having spent time with Marriott International, American Golf, Evans Hotels, The University of San Diego and currently is the Director of Digital Catering for Luna Grill.

Kevin attended The Ohio State University and pursued a degree in Microbiology.  Kevin has served on multiple boards including the San Ramon Valley YMCA and San Ramon Community Theater.

Kevin is currently the Director of Events for the Rob Benzon Foundation.

Founding Board Members

John Cashman

Founding Board Member

John Cashman is the Senior Marketing Manager for Volcano Corporation. John has lived in San Diego since 1990 when he moved there to earn his Master of International Business from the University of San Diego. Prior to that, John earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin.

John was a good friend and former roommate of Rob Benzon and they were on vacation together in Acapulco, Mexico when Rob drowned.  It was important to John and the other founding board members to honor Rob’s memory with the formation of the Rob Benzon Foundation, and to continue the great work in honor of both Rob Benzon and Dan Ferbal.

Hon. Michael Groch

Founding Board Member

Michael Groch is a Superior Court Judge in San Diego. He was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2010. Prior to that, Michael was a Deputy District Attorney for San Diego County for 19 years. Michael received his JD Summa Cum Laude from California Western School of Law in 1989. He received his BA in Psychology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Michael has been on the Board since the Rob Benzon Foundation was founded and was with Rob the day he tragically died. He was also a very close friend of Dan Ferbal. Michael enjoys his participation on the Board as a way of giving back to the San Diego community he loves so much. Michael continues to be impressed with the greatness in the people who support the Foundation and is humbled and appreciative to be a part of such a wonderful group of people.

Steve Hawley

Director of Grants and Founding Board Member

A founding member and good friend of Rob Benzon, Steve, along with Dan Ferbal, was there from the very beginning, hosting the first launch parties in their 8th street backyard. Steve is honored to lead the foundation’s grant program and, with the support of the many loyal volunteers and patrons, has helped the foundation grow substantially since its formation.

Steve is a local business owner and San Diego Native. Along with his fellow board members, Steve looks forward to continuing his work in honor and  memory of both Rob Benzon and Dan Ferbal.

Board of Directors

Lee Runnels

Lee and Dan met in the 1990’s and were great friends until Dan’s passing in 2019. Lee spent her high school years in San Diego and has been involved with RBDFF from the beginning, attending many launch parties from the Hillcrest backyard parties to the amazing event it is today.  Lee has a BA from UC Santa Barbara and has worked in fashion, sales and marketing, event planning, human resources and operations. Lee worked for the Evans Hotels with Dan in the Human Resources Department for several years and later was the Director of Business Operations and Marketing at Coast Magazine in Newport Beach.  Lee owns Full Circle Consulting, where she puts her varied skill set to work for clients all over the country.

Lee is committed to volunteerism and has been on several boards. She is currently a member of the Foundation board of the Orange County School of The Arts and the Ironwood homeowner’s association in Palm Desert. She splits her time between Costa Mesa and Palm Desert with her family and two Boston terriers. Lee is honored to be part of the Rob Benzon Dan Ferbal Foundation Board team and is excited to help support their mission in Dan and Rob’s honor.

Andy Thomas

Andy Thomas is a longtime supporter of the Rob Benzon Foundation and joined the Board in 2010.  Andy brings a strong background of marking to the organization. A native Californian with over 30 years in San Diego, Andy is a leader in the hospitality industry and a past recipient of the prestigious Gold Key Award. Andy attended Regis University and then continued to The University of Denver for the School of Hospitality. With over 24 years with Evans Hotels, he has held many positions including General Manager of The Lodge at Torrey Pines and is currently the Vice President of Business Development overseeing the growth of all hotels including The Lodge at Torrey Pines, The Bahia Resort Hotel and The Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa.

Along with being a board member for the Rob Benzon Foundation, Andy is alson a board member for San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation, a member of the Board of Trustees for the La Jolla Playhouse, a member of the Agilysys Customer Advisory Board, a member of CA Travel, and a member of The Greater San Diego Business Association and a Commission Advisory Panelist for the Commission for Arts and Culture for San Diego.  In the past, he has held advisory roles for,, San Diego Tourism Authority Marketing Committee, and San Diego Business Association Tourism Development Group.

Dr. Alan Zieg

Dr. Alan Zieg is a doctor of Obstetrics & Gynecology with over 17 years of experience. Alan was board certified in Obstetrics/Gynecology in 1997. He received his medical degree from the University of Michigan in 1990. Alan served his internship specializing in Ob/Gyn at the University of Minnesota and served his residency specializing in Ob/Gyn at the University of Minnesota.

Alan and Rob Benzon were roommates and close friends. Dr. Alan was also a great friend of Dan Ferbal and is honored to serve RBDFF in their memory and in support of the San Diego community they all loved.