Board of Advisors

Our very distinguished and passionate advisory board members are committed and deeply involved in the field of education. They selflessly contribute their precious time, resources, and efforts in order to enable Smart Kidz Club to develop quality educational resources and ensure that these reach every child in this world. They all support and share our common goal and mission of promoting affordable education among our kids.

Julie Azuma
Entrepreneur, Social Activist, & Community Leader

Julie Azuma is the Founder and President of Different Roads to Learning Books, a publishing house specifically for books and curricula related to autism education. Julie has been featured as one of Inc. Magazine’s 26 Favorite Entrepreneurs in 2005 in addition to being CNBC, MSN Roadtrip Nation, Ladies Who Launch, Forbes Online, and the Marlo Thomas book “It Ain’t Over” on women who reinvent themselves. From 2009–2015 she served as president of the Eden II and Genesis Foundation Board, an agency that educates and serves individuals diagnosed with autism.In the autism community, she was presented the Robert Ambrey Award from Eden II and Genesis Foundation. The Elija Foundation honored her for her company’s work in autism with the prestigious "Chariot Award."

Starting in 1978, working towards Redress for Japanese Americans incarcerated during WWII, Julie also remains involved in the Asian-American community. She served as chairperson and board member at Asian Women in Business for 20 years. She is currently part of the US Japan Council, on the steering committee at Japanese Americans and Japanese in America (JAJA). She is vice president on the board of the Japanese American Association. She is appointed as Kenjin-Tatsujin for the Ashinaga Foundation. She was elected to the Board of Governors at the Japanese American National Museum in 2015.

She has been honored with the Martin Luther King Jr. “I Have a Dream Award” by New York State Governor George Pataki and received community service awards from the Office of the Public Advocate of New York City, the Comptroller’s Office and the Manhattan Borough President. In 2013, she was honored for community service by the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre. In 2015, she received the Clara Lemlich Award for lifelong social activism.

In addition, she is a past member of the boards of the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families, Asian Americans for Equality, Pan Asian Repertory Theatre.

David M. Muir
Assistant Professor, Marketing, University of Delaware

David M. Muir is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Delaware. He has a Ph.D. in Applied Economics with specialties in Empirical Industrial Organization and Quantitative Marketing, M.A. in Statistics, B.S. in Economics with concentrations in Finance and Statistics all from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He was a recipient of Wharton Doctoral Program Grant in 2011-2013, Jay H. Baker Retailing Center Grant in 2012, Zurich Initiative on Computational Economics Fellow in 2011, William and Phyllis Mack center for Technological Innovation Grrant in 2010-2011, and Amy Morse Public Policy Prize, awarded to the Most Promising 1st Year Student in 2009.

David has strong interests in digital marketing for digital startups, and specializes in research that investigates consumer search behavior on the Internet and on mobile devices. He teaches the exclusive course on digital marketing at UD. When David is not researching and teaching digital marketing, he is in the kitchen baking a recipe that reflects his strong Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. He also enjoys antiquing, collecting vinyl records, writing poetry, painting, and studying etymology.

Dr. Michal Herzenstein
Associate Professor, Lerner College, University of Delaware

Michal Herzenstein is an associate professor of marketing University of Delaware’s Lerner College of Business and Economics. She has been a member of the Lerner College since 2006, upon completion of her doctoral studies at the University of Rochester. Michal received the University of Delaware teaching award (2013), and the Department of Business Administration outstanding research award (2012) and outstanding faculty award (2014). Michal’s research focuses on consumer decision making and specifically on financial decision making, crowdfunding, and prosocial behaviors. Her papers were published at top journals such as the Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

Prior to her doctoral studies, Michal worked as a marketing consultant at a prominent consulting firm in Israel, and was a lieutenant in the Israeli Defense Forces. She holds a BS in economics, statistics, and operations research, and an MBA in marketing, both from Tel Aviv University.

Xan Hong

Xan Hong received his Bachelor’s in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania where he competed on the Varsity Men’s Track team for four years. He later also received his Master’s in Education from the University of Pennsylvania during which he served as a student teacher and volunteer track & field coach at a University High School in West Philadelphia. He has since served as an adjunct professor in Entrepreneurial Finance at Lincoln University.

Xan Hong began his career in marketing 13 years ago for Cardinal Health as an account manager overseeing over $5 million in business. In 2004, Xan started his first company, a marketing consulting company focused on health care which grossed over $6 million dollars in revenue. Since then, he has started several companies including a drive-thru coffee company which he later sold, a real estate development company, and an e-commerce site selling custom golf bags which grossed over $60,000 in revenue in its first year in business.

Currently, Xan owns a State Farm insurance agency located in North Wilmington, Delaware,which provides a full range of insurance and financial services products to Delaware and Pennsylvania. Xan lives in Middletown, Delaware with his wife, 3-year old daughter, and Golden Retriever. He currently serves as the President of the University Of Pennsylvania Alumni Society Of Delaware.