CITIZENS' OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
Dean Chow Gives Back By Serving Non-Profits
After working for years in finance in the for-profit world, Dean Chow felt that he could do more to contribute to his community. So he made a mid-career shift from the private sector to non-profits about six years ago, and he hasn’t looked back.
Today, Chow is the finance director of Mar Vista Family Center, an educational services non-profit serving low-income families in Culver City. He’s also giving back by volunteering on the Measure K Bond Citizens’ Oversight Committee.
The father of three represents the community-at-large on the seven-member advisory group appointed by the Board of Education to ensure that Measure K funds are used appropriately and administered efficiently.
"After serving for more than a year, I can see that the oversight committee works,” said Chow. “This is a group of diverse, smart, caring volunteers who know how to ask tough questions—and we are getting open, honest answers in a transparent format.”
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in finance from Cal State Long Beach, Chow went on to earn a master’s in public administration from Walden University while working full-time. “I wanted to be more conversant in areas that I care about,” he said.
This knowledge of public policy helped him transition to the Long Beach Community Foundation, where he served as a finance and grants manager prior to moving to his present position at Mar Vista. He also finds time to serve on the volunteer board of Families Uniting Families, a Long-Beach foster care agency.
Chow formerly served on the City of Long Beach Human Relations Commission and has been active in local politics for years.
“Even though I consider myself a fiscal conservative who is generally suspicious of big government, the more I learn about Measure K, the more convinced I am that this is a worthwhile school building and improvement program,” he said. “I’m proud to serve on the committee that ensures this will continue to be the case.”
Chow lives in the Ridgewood Heights area in Long Beach with his wife, Debbie, the director of nursing at Long Beach City College, and his three daughters: Emily, 21, a nursing student at Cerritos College; and Poly High School seniors Julie and Melanie, 17-year-old twins.
Chow was born and raised in the South Bay of Los Angeles, and has lived in Long Beach for 19 years. The youngest of four children born to immigrant Chinese parents, he said he will always be involved in his community and hopes to be able to “give back” in many ways for years to come.