Board of Trustees

The 2017 Yo San University Board is comprised of 16 Trustees representing a broad cross-section of healthcare, business, and educational expertise. Duties and responsibilities of the Board of Trustees are defined in the YSU bylaws. The Board is charged with establishing broad institutional policy and direction, ensuring that the mission of the University is met through proper institutional governance, and stewarding the University’s fiscal resources. The Board also appoints the YSU president, who serves as liaison between the Board and the University community. Yo San University’s Board meets quarterly, in addition to an annual strategic planning retreat, and has an active working committee structure. Trustees receive no compensation for their role in institutional governance.

The Board also includes a faculty representative and student representative, both of whom serve for a one-year term. In addition, the University has named five individuals to its non-voting Honorary Board.


Mao Shing Ni, PhD, DOM L.Ac.   (Institutional Member / Co-founder) – Chair

Dr. Mao is a private practitioner and co-owner of Tao of Wellness, based in Santa Monica, CA. He is a founder of Yo San University, and has decades of experience as a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine with a specialty in Healthy Aging. Dr. Mao is the author of many books, including his popular Secrets of Longevity series, and has received numerous professional awards. Dr. Mao has lectured internationally and has been featured in print media, radio and television, notably The Dr. Oz Show.

Corie Tappin, MATCM, Dipl. OM, L.Ac.   (Institutional Member / Alumnus) – Vice Chair

An alumna of Yo San University, Ms. Tappin is the founder of SoulSpace in Malibu, where she has a private practice in acupuncture and wellness medicine. She is a former senior vice president of Marketing at MGM Home Entertainment and held marketing positions at 20thCentury Fox, among other roles in the business and entertainment fields. Ms. TGappin is a graduate of Brown University and is the generous donor of YSU student scholarships through the William H. Hazen Foundation.

Kesa Tsuda, BS   (Public Member) – Secretary

Ms. Tsuda is a business executive with extensive experience in human resources management and operations.  Her most recent corporate role was as the Chief People Officer with United Online. Previously, Ns. Tsuda served as the Chief People Officer for Exponential Interactive, helping the company establish people operations globally.  Prior to Exponential, she was Senior Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources for Sony Pictures Entertainment and Vice President of Human Resources with Idealab, Aspen Marketing, Launch Media and Universal Pictures. Ms. Tsuda has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from UCLA and holds certifications with SHRM and World at Work.

Neil Malley, CPA   (Public Member) Treasurer

Mr. Malley is a certified public account at CJ Malley Accountancy Corporation based in Anaheim, CA. Mr. Malley is an expert in financial planning and management, with special focus on financial management of not-for-profit organizations.

Diane Ahlstrom, BS   (Public Member)

Ms. Ahlstrom is the past Vice President of Executive Compensation for Nabisco, Inc.  She has since worked with the City of Palm Springs in neighborhood organization, and as a board member of Palm Springs Women in Film and Television, in addition to working in film production.  As a Board Member of Friends of the Palm Springs Animal Shelter, she helped further the progress of their “no kill” mission.  Ms. Ahlstrom received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Centenary University.

Phillip Christman, III., MA  (Public Member)

Mr. Christman is founder and president of Avaunt Performance, Inc. based in Atlanta, GA and International Partner, Harrison Assessments LTD. A business consultant committed to helping clients unlock performance potential, he works with executives to align business and talent strategies and helps leaders select, evaluate and coach their teams to achieve growth oriented goals. Mr. Christman’s expertise includes: executive coaching and assessment, team development and strategy execution. Phillip regularly conducts leadership development workshops, in addition to facilitating management team strategic planning retreats.

Margo P. DeLeaver, MD   (Institutional Member / Faculty)

Dr. DeLeaver is a pediatrician/adolescent medicine physician in private practice and a strong proponent of integrative medicine. She received her medical degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and is on the medical staffs of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Southern California Hospital at Culver City. Dr. DeLeaver, who has a particular interest in ADD/ADHD, is both a Yo San University graduate and faculty member in the Western Biomedical department.

Daphne Hsiao, MBA   (Public Member)

Ms. Hsiao has been an executive in both the real estate and fashion industries. She has a broad view of international markets from having worked with companies in China, Taiwan, Japan, Europe, and the US. Ms. Hsiao  currently lives in Los Angeles, and continues to work in the real estate field as the Managing Director of Commercial Real Estate at Gemdale USA. Her vision is to strengthen the connection between the US and Asia via foreign capital investments and through the expansion of business ideas across those borders. Ms. Hsiao received a MBA degree from Leicester University.

Lisa Knickmeyer, MATCM, Dipl. OM, DA, L.Ac.   (Institutional Member / Alumnus)

Ms. Knickmeyer is a board-certified acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine herbalist practicing in Malibu, CA. A graduate of Yo San University, she has been a clinical faculty at the University’s teaching clinic, and served as president of the YSU Alumni Association. Ms. Knickmeyer runs a successful acupuncture practice based on an integrative approach to Chinese Medicine, combining a variety of healing modules customized for optimal health and patient well-being.

Gladys Kong, MS   (Public Member)

Ms. Kong is the CEO of UberMedia Inc.  An experienced management executive with proven track  record of building highly efficient development teams for start-up companies and developing leading edge technologies, Ms. Kong’s high level of technical expertise has allowed her to work with several companies that develop social media applications and produce websites, and she was granted patents for many of her work.  She received her bachelor’s degree from California Institute of Technology, and her master’s degree in computer science from UCLA.

Lou Lazatin, MS   (Public Member)

Ms. Lazatin has an extensive background and wealth of experience as a healthcare executive with various healthcare organizations and most recently as the advisor and board director at Chan Soon-Shiong Institute for Advanced Health (CSSIAH)—a medical research organization. While at CSSIAH, Ms. Lazatin was instrumental in the development of the senior management team and significantly improved revenue.  Prior to CSSIAH, Ms. Lazatin was the president and chief executive officer for the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System’s, St. John’s Health Center/John Wayne Cancer Institute and St. John’s Health Center Foundation of Santa Monica. Ms. Lazatin holds a Bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from the University Of Texas Health Science Center and a Master of Science, Health Care Administration from Trinity University.

Daoshing Ni, PhD, DOM L.Ac.   (Institutional Member / Co-founder)

Dr. Dao is a private practitioner and co-owner of Tao of Wellness, based in Santa Monica, CA. He is a co-founder and faculty member of Yo San University and chairs the Women’s Health and Reproductive Medicine department in the DAOM doctoral program. Eminent and respected for his special interest in reproductive and gynecological conditions, Dr. Dao is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Pacific Coast Fertility Society, and American Association of Oriental Medicine. Dr. Dao is the author of Tao of Fertility and co-author of Sitting Moon: A Guide to Rejuvenation after Pregnancy and recipient of many professional awards.

Simone Rubin, JD   (Public Member)

Ms. Rubin is presently the Employment Counsel with Snap. Inc. She has previously worked as an attorney and as legal counsel for several commercial as well as non-profit organizations, including the non-profit Asian Pacific American Legal Center, where she worked on behalf of and negotiated for consumers.  She received both her bachelor’s and law degree at University of California, Berkeley.

Steven Song, M. Arch   (Public Member)

An architect, author and entrepreneur, Mr. Song is managing director of Axle Capital Group, a real estate investment firm, and Inno Hospitality, a think tank for the hospitality industry. Ms. Song is also a founding principal of the design firm Steven Song Design Lab, and is renowned for “transforming behavior and perception through space design.” Mr. Song holds undergraduate and graduate architectural degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pennsylvania, respectively, and is on the Board of Directors of the Hammer Museum and the Executive Council of the Clinton Foundation Health Access Initiative.

Sum-Yee Wang, MA   (Institutional Member / Co-founder)

Ms. Wang is a founding member of the Board of Trustees of Yo San University and served as the University’s CFO from its inception in 1989. Ms. Wang brings to the Board her strong business sense and strategic planning experience.  At Yo San University, Ms. Wang led the accounting, financial aid, cash flow management, payroll and budgeting systems.  She also served as CFO of the Tao of Wellness for ten years, overseeing financial operations as well as personnel, audits and compliance with governmental and professional agencies.  Currently, she is a practicing a Marriage & Family Therapist in Santa Monica. Ms. Wang holds a BS in business administration from the University of Southern California, and a MA in psychology from Antioch University.

Toshino Yuhaku, MBA   (Public Member)

An able leader and consensus-builder with extensive strategic management and technology experience, Ms. Yuhaku was with Sony for two decades, most recently as senior vice president for Corporate Alliances in its 3D technology center. Previous positions at Sony provided diverse industry exposure in motion pictures and television, home entertainment, online businesses, video-gaming, and customer and professional hardware and software businesses. Toshino is noted for managing cross-functional and multi-cultural projects, and leading technology innovation. She earned her bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from UCLA and received an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Non-voting Faculty and Student Representatives


Jennifer Shulman, DAOM, L.Ac   (Faculty Representative)

Dr. Shulman is a clinical faculty in both the Masters and Doctoral programs at YSU. An active participant in various faculty initiatives,  Dr. Shulman obtained her Master’s degree in Oriental Medicine from Emperor’s College and graduated from the YSU DAOM program (Women’s Health) in 2015

Sean Willard, BS   (Student Representative)

Mr. Willard is a second-year student in the MATCM program. He came to YSU with a degree in Kinesiology from San Diego State University, and is an active member on the YSU Students’ Association.


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