Our Team

Our Board

David Hooser

Founder and CEO 

David Hooser has spent the bulk of his long entrepreneurial career as an electronics executive – primarily in the semiconductor business – with roles ranging from sales to executive management, most with such notable companies as Advanced Micro Devices, National Semiconductor and Motorola Semiconductor. As the co-founder of Educational Assistance Resources Network, David saw unemployed individuals seeking assistance as a challenge he was determined to meet. Having dedicated his life to solving problems through education and technology, David knew first-hand that all it takes is not a hand-out, but rather a hand up and thus, E.A.R.N. was born.

Nereyda Lopez

Board Member & Interim Executive Director

Ms. Lopez possesses twenty-five years of experience in the areas of international business development, marketing and public relations. Her professional experience includes the establishment of Impulso Advertising, an international advertising and public relations representing clients in Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. He client experience includes St. Luke’s Healthcare, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, University of Phoenix, Wells Fargo, MedVIP, Global Healthcare Education and Audi to name a few.

Her senior leadership public service experience includes working for Arizona Governors Jane Hull, Janet Napolitano and Doug Ducey and California Governor Jerry Brown. In addition, she served as President of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce.  She is a founding member of the Latina Giving Circle, a Virginia Piper Foundation; founding member and past chair of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Business Council; and served on the funding committee of the Valley of the Sun United Way. Furthermore, she was nominated by former U.S. Representative John Shadegg to be a founding member of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership

Ms. Lopez’s involvement with civic organizations, nonprofits and the Hispanic community is vast. She has served as a board member for the following notable organizations: Arizona Woman Magazine; YMCA Community Initiatives; Arizona Advertising Federation; Rosie’s House: A Music Academy for Children; Arizona Advertising Federation; the Grand Canyon Minority Supplier Development Council and the Arizona Town Hall.

Ms. Lopez has been the recipient of numerous awards over the course of her career including: the Emerging Leader Award from the Women in the Senate and the House; 40 under 40 from the Phoenix Business Journal; Small Business Administration Advocate of the Year from the SBA; and the Minority Business Advocate of the Year from AZMCA, Southern Arizona branch. She was an Athena Award Finalist from the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and was nominated for a Harvard Fellowship by the Arizona Women’s Leadership Forum.

Mike Choate


Mike Choate began his career with Viad Corporation (Greyhound-Dial) as a software developer and progressed up through the ranks to Executive Director. After more than twenty years there, Mike developed a unique perspective in IT management and executive leadership. Next, he purchased the data center business from Viad Corp in 1995 and spent the next ten years growing the business into a powerhouse operation before turning his attentions and considerable experience to co-found Educational Assistance Resources Network. Like David, Mike brings his considerable expertise from the IT world to E.A.R.N. knowing that a solution is just around the corner for so many young people, if only we will give them a chance.

Mark Schwartz



Mark has been an accountant and financial advisor for over thirty years. Over the years, he has served as an operations director for two fast-food restaurant chains and helped create a third that is still operating throughout the United States some twenty-five years later. He holds an accounting degree and an MBA from Suffolk University. He also attended The Suffolk University Law School. Further, he earned a music education degree from Berklee College of Music and attended Brandeis University as a pre-law student with concentrations in political science and economics.


Like most accountants, he has worked for a number of different CPA firms over the years both here in Arizona and in his native Boston, Massachusetts. In addition to his stints in public accounting, he served as the Underwriter for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of both Massachusetts and New Hampshire and later as the Retirement Program Administrator for the multibillion-dollar retirement program of the MITRE Corporation.  After moving to Arizona, Mark served as business advisor to a number of small companies as well as a short period with one of the large local CPA firms in Phoenix. He then began his own firm eventually merging with Foumberg, Juneja & Co., P.C., where he has served as one of its managers, overseeing tax research and representations before various governmental authorities.

Karl Pearson


Karl was born on an Air Force base in Mobile, Alabama.  His family eventually settled down in Tempe, Arizona in 1974.  Karl attended Marcos de Niza High School where he lettered in soccer all four years. He went on to Arizona State University where he earned a B.S. in Political Science and later a J.D. from the Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law. Karl has been practicing law since 1992.  He was a partner in law firms before striking out on his own in 2010. As a business owner, Karl understands the issues facing small and mid-size companies. He is also devoted to helping seriously injured individuals. Karl has litigated hundreds of cases in State and Federal courts.

When not working, Karl enjoys spending time with his wife and two children who now attend college at ASU and the U of A.  As a lifelong Sun Devil, Karl has forgiven his daughter for attending U of A and has vowed to root for the Wildcats (when they are not playing the Sun Devils). Karl has played soccer his entire life and met his wife playing on a co-ed team. He enjoys other outdoor activities, especially golf, hiking and camping. Over the years, Karl coached youth sports and was a Boy Scout Leader.

Karl is admitted to the State Bar of Arizona and the United States District Court, District of Arizona.  He is an active member of the Arizona Trial Lawyers Association and the Scottsdale Bar Association. He is currently the Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Arizona Spinal Cord Injury Association. He is also proud to be on the Board of Directors for the Educational Assistance Resources Network (“E.A.R.N.”).


Daily, we receive requests from life-challenged families and students seeking E.A.R.N. assistance to complete a high school level education.  This may seem strange, but with 3M students consistently dropping out of high school each year, there is a serious need for community assistance.  These teens do not realize how challenging their lives (or the lives of their families) will be until years later.  We strive to help these inquiries on an “as needed” basis but need the help of our community to be truly impactful.

With the recent adoption of an aggressive 3-year strategic plan designed to extensively grow our impact into the lives of both single parents and disadvantaged children aging out of the foster care system in Arizona, we are currently seeking influential thinkers to serve on our Board of Directors.  Ideally, candidates will be able to provide the skills and guidance needed for the implementation of our current initiatives through consistent follow through and passion for making a difference in the lives we serve.

Qualified Candidates will be:

  • Passionate about our mission
  • Unafraid of fundraising and community outreach
  • Willing to commit time for board meetings, planning sessions and special events
  • Someone who listens well, is thoughtful in considering issues
  • A results-oriented strategic thinker with excellent follow through

If you feel that you would be a positive addition to the E.A.R.N. Board of Directors and wish to find out more information about this unique opportunity to serve single parents and foster youth in your community, please fill out the Board of Director’s Application below and email your resume to dh@ed-assist.org.   Thank you in advance for your interest!