CCEE Staff

Denise Gutierrez
President and CEO


Denise Gutierrez began her educational journey at Chaffey Community College. She is the mother of four wonderful children. Denise went on to achieve a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a Master’s degree in Leadership and Management from the University of La Verne. She praises her four children for being her biggest inspiration. She previously served as the director of development for the College of Business and Economics at Cal State Los Angeles for 4 years. She has an extensive background in institutional advancement, fundraising, and corporate and foundation relations. As the youngest of five children from El Sereno, California and someone who is the first in her family to earn a college degree, she is deeply committed to being of service to her community.

Joshua Mitton
Chief Programs Officer


After reading his first economics textbook in a single weekend, Joshua went on to obtain a B.A. in Applied Economics from Idaho State University. He relocated with his family to Southern California to pursue graduate studies at Cal State Fullerton, which he is due to complete this fall. During his time there he worked as a graduate assistant for the Center for Economic Education and gained a taste for expanding others’ understanding of economic and personal finance principles and concepts as well as apply it in their lives to their own success.

Lexie Nguyen
Director of Marketing and Communications


Lexie is a vibrant communications and marketing specialist, with an emphasis on digital marketing. She is a Long Beach, California native who studied Political Science and International Relations at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. She has experience with international, state, and local nonprofit initiatives; political and labor campaigns; and expanded learning education and policy. She is a trained youth facilitator in human relations, and volunteers as a mentor to engage elementary, middle, and high school students in dialogue focused on transforming and challenging oppression and inequities.

Ariana Diaz
Program Coordinator


Ariana Diaz got her degree from Cal State University, Fullerton. During her undergrad, she had the privilege of interning with the National Coalition for the Homeless in Washington D.C., where she conducted outreach programs designed to educate others on gentrification, Section 8 housing, and breaking the negative stigma associated with the homeless population.  After college she set off to Austin, Texas where she spent time working with children and teenagers creating college prep and personal finance programs. She has made her way back home to her native roots in California as the program coordinator at CCEE.

Carmen Solorzano
Operations Coordinator


Carmen Solorzano was born and raised in South Los Angeles for her entire life before moving to Northern California for college. She is a first-generation college graduate with a B.A. in Liberal Arts from California State University, East Bay. Her family is originally from El Salvador. She is passionate about the economics and personal finance programs that CCEE provides to K-12 schools and communities due to a desire to share valuable resources to communities like the one that she’s a part of.

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Aitza Gutierrez Velazco
Social Media Intern


Aitza Gutierrez Velazco is a Mexican-American Communication Studies student currently enrolled in San Diego Mesa College and a formerly at San Francisco State University. She has recently joined the CCEE team in as a Social Media Marketing Intern, building her work experience in marketing and expanding her communication skills. As a young bilingual speaker, she has a strong interest in social media, traveling, exploring diverse cultures, as well as advocating for environmental and social issues. Aitza plans on utilizing social media in order to amplify young, diverse, and marginalized voices in order to create social change.

Academic Leadership Team

Radha Bhattacharya
Radha Bhattacharya, PhD


Department of Economics Director Center for Economic Education California State University, Fullerton

Director since 2011 has been very active in carrying out the mission of the Center for Economic Education. She has partnered with U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo on several large projects over the course of her leadership and is currently putting together the first-ever Economics and Personal Finance Olympiad.

Jim Charkins
Jim Charkins, PhD


Professor Emeritus Department of Economics Director Center for Economic Education California State University, San Bernardino

Dr. Charkins has been described as “caring more about economics and economics instruction than anyone else!” Throughout his career, he has lent his expertise to the campaign to pass of mandatory economics instruction at the high school level in the state of California, developed the MoneyWise Teen program, and has been a passionate advocate for K-12 economics instruction. He is a former executive director of CCEE and one of the instrumental founders of CASET, a partner of CCEE.

Jane Lopus
Jane Lopus, PhD


Department of Economics Director Center for Economic Education California State University, East Bay

Jane Lopus, PhD Director, is an accomplished researcher, curriculum writer, and international consultant. She has authored Economics in Action! as well as materials for the national CEE; She has been an integral part of bringing economics and personal finance education to many countries of the former soviet union and continues to work with them, currently Ukraine.

Tom Means
Tom Means, PhD


Department of Economics Director, Center for Economic Education, San Jose State University

Director of the Center for Economic Education at San Jose State University helped to re-establish the Center in 2000 and has been at the lead in training and collaborating with AP teachers to ensure high school students are successful in college.

Connie Moore-Kelly
Connie Moore-Kelly


Director of BITA since 2009, Ms. Moore-Kelly is a math teacher with a background in the corporate sector having worked on the B-2 bomber program and Space Shuttle program. She is a passionate advocate for ‘21st –century’ hands-on teaching, incorporating technology use and first-hand business experiences for her students.

Anthony Zambelli
Anthony Zambelli, J.D


Director, San Diego Center for Economic Education Congressional District Coordinator for We the People Department of Business and Professional Studies Cuyamaca College

Zambelli has been an instructor in the Business and Professional Studies Department at Cuyamaca College since 1979. He is a recipient of the Cuyamaca College President’s Award, the Award for Teaching Excellence and the Rainbow Award for service to the college community. He also received the Alfred Lord Whitehead Award for Teaching Excellence at the University of Redlands.

Cecil W Jackson
Cecil W Jackson, PhD


Professor of Clinical Accounting, Leventhal School of Accounting, University of Southern California

Dr. Cecil W. Jackson, Professor of Clinical Accounting in the Leventhal School of Accounting at the University of Southern California, teaches courses on fraudulent financial reporting and managerial accounting for the MBA program and the graduate and undergraduate accounting programs. Jackson recently published the textbook Detecting Accounting Fraud: Analysis and Ethics, (2015) and has been featured on national business news programs.

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