Green Wish Board of Directors and Staff

Raphael Sbarge, Founder and Executive Director

Raphael Sbarge has been a working actor for more than five decades. Growing up in New York City’s lower East Side, he began working at age 4 on Sesame Street. He has appeared in dozens of movies, including Risky Business, My Science Project, Independence Day, Pearl Harbor and Vision Quest.

Raphael’s resume includes more than 100 guest appearances and series regular roles on network television shows including the long-running ABC hit Once Upon a Time, the TNT series Murder in the First, and The Guardian for CBS. He has recurred on series including Star Trek Voyager, Dexter and Prison Break. Raphael has also performed on stage in theaters around the country and appeared in five Broadway productions.

His first narrative short, The Bird Who Could Fly, an immigrant Korean story, set in K-town, Los Angeles with an all-Asian cast, has won numerous awards and garnered many laurels at film festivals around the country and internationally, including best narrative short at the Greenpoint Film Festival and DisOrient Film Festival, and winner of the best short, best drama, best ensemble and best director awards at the Asians on Film festival.

Raphael also produced and directed a short film, Is There Hope for Planet Earth, in conjunction with the California Institute of Technology. It was acquired and aired on KCET/PBS featured as part of the station’s Emmy- and Peabody-awarded news program SoCalConnected. Raphael next produced and directed A Concrete River, a film about the history of the Los Angeles River that was also acquired by KCET.

LA Foodways, a six-part digital series and one-hour feature that Raphael directed and produced, debuted in January 2019 and airs on KCET and online. The series, which was co-produced with KCET, highlights Los Angeles’ farming history, contrasted against the fact that there are 1.5 million people dealing with food scarcity or living in food deserts in Los Angeles County, the largest in the country.

Victoria Bogner, Secretary and Project Manager

Victoria is the CEO of McDaniel Knutson Financial Advisors and Affinity Financial Advisors based in Lawrence, Kansas. She and her husband, Luke Bogner, have always had a desire to make the community a better place, and Green Wish was the perfect opportunity to turn that desire into action. In June 2012, Victoria joined the board of Green Wish and has been part of the growing mission of the organization ever since.

Patti McClellan, Secretary

For the past 10 years, Patti has been a business analyst for Express Scripts, a company committed to sustainable business practices. She also served in the military for 13 years. While in high school, she started her “bucket list” with her desire to visit the Galapagos Islands. The attraction was to see a part of the world through Charles Darwin’s eyes and to protect the islands from destruction. These and other pivotal moments in her life occurred before the tender age of 16. Her connection to the planet is deep-rooted.

When she learned of Green Wish, she knew it was a perfect fit. It made the most sense. It appeals to her desire to educate people on environmental issues, work with organizations to develop and implement solutions to those issues and to leave a more sustainable environment for future generations. With a finite amount of time to devote to community involvement, focusing her efforts with Green Wish will benefit multiple organizations.

Saga Elmotaseb

Saga graduated from Chapman University in 2001 with a Masters in Filmmaking and brought her unique style to some brilliant projects from low budget features to studio box office successes. She began her career at Fox Studios, one of the largest studios in the world, as a Production Coordinator in the VFX department on box office hits such as “The Devil Wears Prada”, “A Good Year” and “Fantastic 4”. She moved across the studio system to Marvel’s “Iron Man 2”, Sony Pictures’ “Just Go With It” and Indie film festival award winners that have been distributed across the globe.

Saga has also been the Production Manager on high fashion photo shoots for world-class publications as Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar and ELLE magazine gracing the covers and spreads with high profile clientele like Taylor Swift and David Beckham. She is passionate about film making and various types of production and enjoys taking projects from concept to completion. She has a strong understanding of creatively delivering on time and on budget shows. Saga started her own film consulting business, Hollywood Consulting.
Saga is also a fabulous chef, a “total foodie” as she calls herself! Food brings people together and has been a big part of her life. You can find her Arabic cooking show, Spice It Up with Saga.

Saga wants to inspire people and make a difference in the world through action and empowerment. Next to filmmaking and cooking, keeping our planet at the forefront of our attention is another one of her passions. The food charities Green Wish Los Angeles sponsors attracted her to the organization. Saga also finds time to volunteer with Golden Retrievers.

Ed Begley, Jr., Environmentalist and Eco-Obsessed Actor

As environmental issues become more pressing, there are two possible responses: forget it and hope that government and corporations will figure it out, or take action yourself. In the “take action yourself” camp, a few individuals are leading the way. One such person in California is Ed Begley, Jr.

Turning up at Hollywood events on his bicycle, Ed has been considered an environmental leader in the Hollywood community for many years. He serves on Staff and Boards of The Coalition for Clean Air, The Thoreau Institute, and the advisory board of the Union of Concerned Scientists, among many others.

His work in the environmental community has earned him a number of awards from some of the most prestigious environmental groups in the nation, including the California League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, The Coalition for Clean Air, Heal the Bay, Santa Monica Baykeeper, and the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation. He currently lives near Los Angeles in a self-sufficient home powered by solar energy. He has his own website at www.edbegley.com.

Sharon Lawrence, Environmentalist and Emmy-Award Winning Actress

You may know her from her multiple EMMY nominated and SAG Award-winning portrayal of ADA Sylvia Costas Sipowitz in the groundbreaking NYPD Blue or as a stay-at-home prostitute in DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, as Issy’s tender, but ditzy Mom on GREY’S ANATOMY (for which she earned her 4th Emmy nod) or a murderous realtor on MONK or a sociopathic serial killer on LAW AND ORDER: SVU, coming to terms with her long lost daughter on RIZZOLI & ISLES, speaking out for protection of endangered polar bears for the World Wildlife Fund or beating up Larry David on CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM.

Film work includes the upcoming SOLACE with Sir Anthony Hopkins, the indie hit MIDDLE OF NOWHERE for Ava DuVernay (Best Director at Sundance Film Fest 2012; two GOTHAM AWARD and four SPIRIT nominations). Sharon commitment to social issue films is represented by three films GRACE about addiction recovery, UNA VIDA about Alzheimer’s and THINSPO about eating disorders.
An accomplished stage actress, Sharon stared last December in the acclaimed Noel Coward cabaret Love, Noel, also in his final play A Song at Twilight, in the premiere of Poor Behavior at the Mark Taper Forum. NY audiences have seen her in Zorba, Cabaret, Fiddler, Love, Loss And What I Wore and as Velma in CHICAGO.

Sharon previously chaired the Women In Film Foundation where she incubated and managed corporate partnerships with Netflix and the Scholl Foundation and is still active on the Advisory Board. She serves on Staff and Board of Directors of Heal the Bay and the Screen Actors Guilds’ Foundation. She lives in Los Angeles and Idyllwild, California is married to physician Dr. Thomas Apostle. She is a member of First Congregational Church.

Rachelle Carson-Begley

Rachelle Carson-Begley is one of the most recognized names and faces in the environmental world of Hollywood. As the wife of Uber- Environmentalist, Ed Begley, Jr., Carson-Begley opened her life to millions of people as Co-Star of the highly successful reality series Living with Ed, shown on HGTV and Discovery’s Planet Green. Now the Begley’s have embarked on a new and exciting project, the building of their new Platinum LEED-certified Dream home which has been chronicled on two web series, On Begley Street, directed by Raphael Sbarge for Evox Television and Our Green House on BiteSizeTV.

Carson-Begley started her career in New York City and Regional Theater. After spending two seasons at Williamstown Theater Festival under the direction of Nikos Psacharapoulos, she headed for Los Angeles to begin working in film and television. One of her first jobs was a recurring role on the nighttime soap, Falcon Crest. Carson-Begley has worked consistently for the last 27 years and most recently appeared with her husband, Ed Begley, Jr., in the movie, The Summerland Project, which is due out this year. Her other films include The Bling Ring directed by Sophia Coppola, The M Word, Pittsburgh and the cult classic But I’m a Cheerleader. Some of her work in television includes Boston Legal, NYPD Blue, The Handler, State of Grace, Happy Family and Eight Simple Rules.

Preston Brooks

Preston is an environmental lawyer who works primarily on brownfield redevelopment and revitalization projects, as well as renewable energy developments. Inspired by his grandfather’s dedication to the preservation of nature (including his leadership on the Conservation Foundation and the Audubon Society), Preston has volunteered his time to support many environmental projects. He is a frequent speaker on far-ranging environmental topics.

Preston is currently a member of the Green Advisory Committee of the California League of Conservation Voters, which has published the Environmental Scorecard for over four decades, rating the performance of the California Legislature and Governor on key environmental legislation.