Christena Ferran and Marlene Holmquist to co-chair Kids Korps Super Star Gala

Kids Korps USA’s Super Star Gala “A Night at the Royal Ascot” takes place on Saturday, April 28, at the Del Mar Country Club. The co-chairs of this event, Christena Ferran and Marlene Holmquist, are both professionals in their respective fields of marketing and design. They also have something else in common: a background in horsemanship – a theme that is woven throughout this year’s Gala!

Ferran has a tremendous passion for horses and is an accomplished Multi-National U.S. Champion Equestrian competitor. Raised on her family’s lemon ranch, Marlene learned to ride horseback at an early age. She has been a member of the local, award-winning Rainbow Riders Mounted Drill Team for the last 16 years. Often referred to as “The Blue Angels on Horseback,” the team performs at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, the LA Equestrian Center, and at various rodeos and parades from San Diego to Santa Barbara.

When not engaged in equestrian sports, Ferran is president of Echelon Marketing Group which provides small businesses a full range of marketing and business development services, as well the coordination of exclusive, special events. Ferran currently serves on the board of directors of Kids Korps after having been an dynamic part of Kid Korps for over 10 years, founding both the Bishop’s School Chapter and the “Homes for Hope” program where Kids Korps members had the tremendous opportunity to build complete homes for impoverished families in Mexico. Ferran has been an active supporter and significant contributor of community organizations throughout San Diego for over 20 years.

She previously served on the board of directors for the San Diego Center for Children as well as the San Diego Children’s Initiative, a specially selected board created by Supervisor Diane Jacobs. She was the founder and director of HeartVision Enterprises, an organization dedicated to teaching adults effective ways to empower our youth. Through HeartVision, she also spearheaded the entire San Diego “Year of the Child” effort, a county wide, year long initiative with over 5,000 attendees, dedicated to raising the awareness of adults and educators for developing positive self-esteem in children. Additionally, she has been actively engaged in YPO (Young Presidents Organization) for over 15 years.

Ferran has two adult children, Ashleigh and Joe, who have both been exceptional members of Kids Korps and both served as the Bishop’s Chapter presidents. She is engaged to be married this June to Andreas Roell, who shares her tremendous passion for helping underprivileged children through chairing an international nonprofit organization called Love Futbol.

Outside of the horseback riding ring, Marlene Holmquist, ASID, is CEO and principal designer at Studio One, Inc. Interior Design, serving discerning clientele since 1985. Her projects have recently been published in San Diego Magazine, San Diego Home & Garden Lifestyles and Luxe Magazine, as well as being included on several ASID home tours.

Unusually broad and extensive education and experience in the arts is the key to Holmquist’s success in creating bold, spectacular, and unique design projects. An alumna of the world-renowned Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Holmquist is known for her comprehensive knowledge of color and attention to detail. She has been promoting education in her field by sharing her expertise as an Interior Designer with the students enrolled in the Interior Design program at Ramona High School over the last several years as a member of their Advisory Board, along with providing presentations in the classroom. In 2011, Holmquist invited the class to her studio for a real life look at the profession of Interior Design. At this year’s Super Star Gala, Holmquist is excited to be donating a week-long internship experience at Studio One, Inc.

Holmquist, her husband Tom and their children, Heidi and Dane, moved to San Diego County in 1995, relocating from Ventura County where she grew up as a third generation Californian. Kids Korps of San Diego entered Holmquist’s life in the summer of 2011. “It has been one of the most rewarding relationships I have experienced in my professional career. Giving my time to such a worthy cause is an honor, as is being named co-chair of this year’s Super Star Gala. With great anticipation I am looking forward to joining the efforts for the newly launched Kids Korps ‘Hugs for Kids’ youth empowerment program.”

For more information on this year’s Super Star Gala, please visit or call (619) 233-5008 for ticket reservations.