Accomplished entrepreneur Ty Humes brings passion for educational causes to Del Mar Schools Education Foundation

By Kathy Day

When Ty Humes learned his young daughter would not be able to attend Ocean Air Elementary School, which was a couple of blocks from their home, he didn’t settle for “no.”

Ty Humes with his daughter in New York pre-Christmas 2008

The Torrey Hills resident who grew up in the Bronx — a kid from the projects who was one of 10 black students among his Catholic school student body of 1,600 — isn’t one to shy away from a challenge. Today those challenges range from serving on the boards of the Del Mar Schools Education Foundation and several other nonprofits to developing new companies blending the entertainment and technology industries.

You can tell by talking with him that he’s truly dedicated to “being all about the kids,” as he puts it when asked about interests outside his business and civic life.

Life is a little different for their two children than it was for him. When he took Emily and Joshua to their first Padres game recently, they sat three rows behind home plate. His own first Major League game was watching the Yankees from the bleacher seats.

Although they had discussed private schooling, Humes and his wife, Alice — a former Pfizer sales executive who’s now a stay-at-home mom and class mom — decided to send Emily to public school. They made the choice because the Del Mar school district has such a strong reputation, he said, adding that their daughter was really excited about going to school close to their home.

But then they learned that children from outside the neighborhood had been given priority because their schools were overcrowded.

That prompted him — and other parents — to attend a school board meeting and plead for reconsideration. His speech must have made an impact, since he quickly received a call from Ryan Stanley, Ocean Air’s principal, asking him to represent his school on the district’s Enrollment Committee to address the problem. They figured out how to make the system work for the kids, and Hume’s daughter and all but one of the other children in the neighborhood made it in via Ocean Air’s lottery. Joshua is two years away from kindergarten.

That marked the beginning of his role as a parent volunteer. This year, when he attended back-to-school night for his now-first grader, someone announced that they needed a representative for the Del Mar Schools Education Foundation. He raised his hand and after a subsequent interview was named to the foundation board. Now Humes is one of three officers, holding the title of vice president for marketing.

Humes’ generation is the first of his family to grow up in the North. His family’s roots are in the South. Some were slaves and his maternal great grandmother was a Cherokee, he noted.

His mother taught in public schools, he said, so she knew it was better to send him to a private school; his father, who died last Christmas Eve, worked for Revlon Corp. from his high school graduation to retirement as a union foreman in the maintenance and corporate landscaping division.

He speaks proudly of his heritage and is a self-described “American history junkie.”

As a man whose daughter is at a school which officially has “zero percent” African Americans according to its school accountability report, he knows he stands out. That’s happened before.

He smiled broadly as he talked about his high school athletic endeavors.

“I played basketball and baseball — and (ice) hockey,” he said, adding that he was recruited by a neighbor who was from Toronto. At 6-foot-6, he stood out there, too, in the days before hockey players were built like NFL players, he said.

Humes graduated from Syracuse University, with dual majors in economics and political science and kept up his multi-sport career with basketball and hockey — and added crew to his schedule.

He went straight to Wall Street, where he worked on the private equity and deal flow side. He also spent time in Chicago, running e-commerce for Warren Buffett’s Dearborn Financial.

“I love learning about business models – learning how someone got from A to B,” he said. Reading autobiographies gives him insight into people like Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn.

Humes came to Los Angeles to work with a friend who was involved with Market Watch and then heard about an opportunity with Pacific Title Archives, respected in the entertainment industry for its role in preserving and protecting film, video, records and digital media assets.

That, he said, put him right in the heart of the entertainment world, with clients such as Miramax and Soul Train, where friends called him “Hollywood Humes.” As he worked and gained connections, he and the company’s executives decided to create PTA Capital Partners.  He is now the company’s vice president and chief operating officer and remains on the board of the media asset management company.

While he loves his work, he said he’s “not a Hollywood guy” so when Emily was a year old they chose to move to San Diego. That means his nearly daily commute to the Los Angeles area begins at 4 a.m. and he heads home after the stock markets close in the early afternoon. Recently, he opened a small office in Torrey Hills where he can work a couple of days and focus on his work with the schools’ foundation.

He’s very hands-on about that responsibility and focused on the goal of raising participation among Ocean Air parents to 78 percent from its existing 60 percent.

“We’re the largest school so it’s important to keep high parent participation,” Humes said. With the board shifting its focus from being top-down to bottom up, he said, he and fellow board member and Ocean Air parent Susan Polizzotto signed up to work at every event — and work them they are.

They are on hand for every event, from music department performances to meetings with parents of new kindergartners, he said. He also meets with parents before and after school and the foundation, which raises funds to support teachers, has started working more closely with the PTA, which raises funds for “things.”

“We are also approaching alumni,” he added. “They are still part of the neighborhood.”

His work for educational causes doesn’t stop in Del Mar. He said enjoys being involved in finding ways to help children in the inner cities and believes vouchers and charter schools may provide some answers.

His vantage point gives him perspective. From helping with raising $400 million for Volunteers of America Southwest to the smaller budget of the Del Mar Schools Education Foundation, the bottom line for Humes is still about making the world a better place.

Quick Facts
Name: Ty Humes
Distinctions: Syracuse University Alumni President 1988-1997; Syracuse University Society of Fellows 1996-1998; Founding board member/trustee of Concerned Black Men of Action for Youth 1994; Board of directors and trustee, PTA Capital 2010-present; Board of directors/trustee Volunteers of America 2006-present; Board of directors/trustee and vice chairman, Def Leppard (Raven’s Drum Foundation) 2004-present; Board of directors/trustee and vice president of marketing Del Mar Schools Education Foundation 2012-present; Member, National Association of Broadcasters; Member, Malibu Chamber of Commerce; Member, Association of Moving Images and Archives (Motion Picture Industry); Member, Motion Picture Industry; 1993: Black Enterprise Magazine nominated for top executive Young Black Males under 30 representing New York and New England Region; 1995: First minority to ever be appointed to the Executive Committee of Dearborn Financial, out of Chicago. He served as the Founding Director of E-Commerce. (Dearborn was owned at the time by Warren Buffett and the Washington Post.)
Family: Wife Alice Humes, daughter Emily, son Joshua
Interests: Family, U.S. history, weightlifting,
Reading: Autobiographies. Favorite books: “The Federalist Papers” and “Team of Rivals”
Favorite films: “Casablanca”
Favorite getaway: New York to show their children cultural diversity.
Philosophy: From Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: “Heights by great men reached and kept were not obtained by sudden flight but, while their companions slept, they were toiling upward in the night.”

Related posts:

  1. Del Mar Schools Education Foundation campaign fundraising deadline extended to May 7
  2. New Del Mar Schools Education Foundation President planning variety of fundraising efforts
  3. Del Mar Schools Education Foundation fundraising deadline is April 30
  4. Fundraiser to be held March 6 for Del Mar Schools Education Foundation
  5. Del Mar Schools Education Foundation presents check to Del Mar school board

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Posted by Staff on Jun 17, 2013. Filed under Carmel Valley, Del Mar, News, carmel valley. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

33 Comments for “Accomplished entrepreneur Ty Humes brings passion for educational causes to Del Mar Schools Education Foundation”

  1. Janet Rice

    I enjoyed this article very much. . We need more husbands like Mr. Humes who go out of there way to spend as much time as possible with their kids! His wife is a lucky woman.

  2. Mary Wasson

    Why are our schools so overcrowded? CA needs to make this a priority. Perhaps Mr. Humes can speak with Jerry Brown!

  3. Mark Wilson

    Good for Mr Humes for putting a stop to this nonsense. I have to wonder if the Board understood Mr Humes had a financial powerhouse behind him and factored this into their decision to allow his kids and others into the program. In other words, would a blue collar father have the same pull?

  4. Sara J

    A friend from California sent me this article link. We had a very similar situation in Ohio where a brand new elementary school opened three blocks from our house. We were told my son was not eligible for enrollment at this new school because overcrowded schools in neighborhoods miles away had first priority. My husband and I met with the school board and were not successful.

    My husband doesnt work on Wallstreet (he paints houses for a living) and never played sports in high school. I have to think we didnt offer much to the school district and therefore our voice wasnt heard. I do feel bad for the one student mentioned above who didnt get enrolled.

  5. Mary Ellen Marquez

    I have to say, its rare in this day and age to find parents that are this involved in their childrens academics (let alone fathers) Big hats off to Ty for getting as involved as he is, other fathers should take note and do the same. My daughter goes to school in the area and I’m planning on introducing myself to Ty if I ever have the opportunity.

  6. Mariah Fisher

    I’m trying myself to understand why a wealthy man would get his kids in the school and forgo private school and one poor kid in his neighborhood is out in the cold? Doesn’t seem right to me.

  7. Jill Rosenbaum

    Great story, but makes you wonder if his money does the talking for his kids.

  8. R.A. Patel MD

    I normally dont comment on web articles, however I feel some of the commentors here are missing the point. Yes it appears this man may have had special attention given to him since he is well connected and is financially successful. Yet people arent giving him enough credit for his personal time spent helping this school district

    Im a heart surgeon and live in the area and would have done the same thing if I had young kids. The problem in society today is we believe the folks in charge are always making the right decisions for the folks not in charge. This man wouldnt take no for an answer and despite private school b he chose to

  9. Concerned Dad

    I just don’t get some of the comments on this site. PEOPLE, WAKE UP!! The CA public school system needs all the help it can get. This is like saying we wouldn’t want Donald Trump helping out the Del Mar Union School District!

    If Mr. Humes can help get more attention to our district (either via fundraising or personal donations, THATS A GOOD THING!!). I totally agree with Mr. Patel that people are seriously missing the point! And…………the comment about what happened in Ohio……….its like comparing apples and oranges. As a former resident of Ohio, I never understood some of the practices in the communities and schools in that state.

  10. Kimberly C.

    I lived in New York for ten years and this was very common. We had some kids riding buses to schools when new ones were a quarter mile from their homes.

  11. DeWayne T.

    I’m impressed at what he has done for Del Mar and California in general. I wish more parents would take this much interest in their childrens lives and daily activities. I’m sure the district benefits greatly from his personal financial donations, but that is how public schools can thrive and survive in California. Great job sir, keep donating to help our children!

  12. Angela

    I was told to read this article from one of the teachers at my daughter’s school and wow it was worth the read! God Bless Ty Humes for all he has done for the community. It’s not what a school district can do for you, it’s what you can do for the school district! He’s not bad looking either ;)

  13. Single Mom

    Agreed!!! He is definitely easy on the eyes!!

  14. Pat

    I’ve known Ty for many years and am not at all surprised by his giving back and using resources to help children and families. His parents should be very proud. I didn’t know his father but I did his mother and a kinder more gentle person does not exist. Congrats Ty, you’ve made it to where you are through hard work and sensibility. Now show those California folk how us Bronx folk roll!

  15. eatingdogfood

    Hey; What’s A Guy From Da Bronx Doing West Of The Hudson River ???

  16. Silvia

    I agree with some early comments above, notably regarding Mr. Humes background and reputation as a financial powerhouse. He’s used his fame and celebrity to San Diego and with it he brought HOPE! Stand up and everyone say thank you Ty!

  17. James T. S.

    I personally know Ty and just how much buzz I hear around his name on a regular basis. While he has helped the community, his main focus is about himself and his family. I continue to think how sad it is that Ty took spots for entrance into a local public school and another kid was denied entry. The Humes should be worried more about others and not just themselves.

  18. Reese

    This story was posted on a moms board I follow so I couldn’t help comment here and there. While coming from humble beginnings it was great to read how Ty Humes and become so accomplished in the entertainment industry and how he’s managed to utilize his celebrity to help the community. Maybe he can start a program in the schools for kids looking to get into the Hollywood film business? Sounds like he’d make a great teacher.

  19. Michael Miller

    Mr. Patel, Concerned Dad, have gotten it right. Funny how people can read the same article and come to different conclusions.Tyrone way to go from Miller building 7!

  20. Camille Finley

    Having known Tyrone Humes for 30 plus years, I can assure you that selfishness is not part of his character. He is no different than any other parent though, he will fight for the best for his children. Wouldn’t you? Kudos for your accomplishments…From the Harlem projects to San Diego sunrises. He has always looked back to help others…

  21. Connie

    I’ve had a similar experience with the school district as Ty went through in the story above. Unfortunately it was at a time where I was financially handicapped and couldn’t use my wealth to provide entry for my children. I actually work for the city of SD and have been married to a bus driver in the city as well for 13 years. We have 4 children and although the public school system has given us issues, we’ve managed to prevail. I do with I’d have been given more attention, but I couldn’t donate millions of dollars personally, so god bless this man.

  22. Michelle T.

    I was turned onto this article from a PTA blog and advised to take some time to review it. Its well written and provides and excellent glimpse into one mans life and career dedicated to public education. I’m slightly perplexed at the fact that he apparently gained admission for his children but not for another child in the neighborhood? Did he offer to pay the private school tuition for that child so that he/she could be properly educated? Overall I think his heart is in the right place, but I’m wondering how much of his personal finances he has contributed to the school system on a yearly basis to gain this sort of success for everyone involved. Anyone know? But all in all, BRAVO Ty Humes!

  23. KB

    When the state enacted the “no child left behind” act, were they referring to the kid that Mr. Humes ignored by getting his children into the school? Because if they were, then Mr. Humes has some explaining to do!

  24. F.C.

    I really have to question the intelligence of some of the people commenting on this article. Did you read a different article? Do you not understand that if Mr. Humes didn’t speak up (and other parents), none of the kids in the neighborhood would have made it into Ocean Air Elementary? Why are there several comments about “the one student that didn’t make it via the lottery” and its somehow Mr. Humes’s fault?? I just don’t get it.

    Also, some of the comments about Mr. Humes “buying” a spot for his family or indicating he should have enrolled in private school to open up more public spaces in Ocean Air is absolutely ludicrous! Sure, he’s probably wealthy, but he pays taxes like all of us do and has every right to enroll his kids into public school.

    This is why the Internet breads ignorance and haters. People just love to judge others and complain when they are just highly ignorant.

    I’ve met Ty a few times and I think he is a great guy. He is total genuine and just trying to help people. Maybe the people making negative comments should get out of their computer chair and do some volunteering of their own.

    Mr. Humes, thank you for what you have done for Ocean Air Elementary and completely ignore the people who have completely misread the article and the situation.

  25. Will A.

    FC got it right in the comment above! Most people did get it right, but a few people are way off with their opinion of Ty in reading this article. He’s a modern day Rockefeller with a conscience of a Saint! Money changes people, but there isn’t a thing it’s changed about him. I’m behind him and his personal donations all the way to get San Diego back on track.

  26. Retired Teacher

    As a former educator for 28 years, this article brought a smile to my face. It’s this sort of involvement in education that more parents need to take. Some fathers don’t even make it to 1 school function during the year, but then you have individuals like Mr. Humes whom go out of their way and donate millions of their OWN finances to make the community a better place. We all appreciate your time, sacrafice, and financial gifts to the school system.

  27. Jenny W.

    I’m a recent transplant to the San Diego area from New Jersey. My daughter will be starting 3rd grade in the fall in the Del Mar School District. I had heard good things about the district but also heard that California’s public school system had some deep rooted trouble and funds to support school activities were being cut.

    My daughter’s last school in New Jersey benefited from the huge donation from the Facebook founder. The donation was $100 million. School’s in the Newark area received new computers, iPads, and even new classes.

    I was chatting with a fellow San Diego mom when she forwarded me this link about Mr. Humes. I must say I was absolutely thrilled to read that the San Diego school district and Del Mar would be benefiting from his donation of $400 million. I couldn’t tell if it was his own donation like the Facebook founder or if he led the fundraising but it doesn’t matter since this money will help a dire situation in San Diego.

    I will assume that most of the donation came from Mr. Humes and I want to say thank you for caring. Thank you for providing additional resources for our schools. I’m sure my daughters first year in the San Diego school system will be great!

  28. Ocean Air Parent

    Mr. Humes,
    On behalf of all the parents of Ocean Air Elementary, a big thank you!!!

  29. Pam

    After reading this article and some of the comments, I can’t help to think of the audicity of some of you people! Look at the sacrifice both personally and financially he’s making for San Diego! Ty Humes, you got the whole town of Cleveland, Ohio behind you!

  30. No name

    Some of the posts above showcase the fact that many of you didn’t read this article thoroughly. I have personally met Ty and while its likely he’s very wealthy, he doesn’t seem to have 400 million dollars to donate. He’s referring to his overall fundraising and not his personal donation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he donates 6 to low 7 figure levels, but probably not 400 million! Pay attention to the article people. And thank you Ty for all you have done for the schools, it’s nothing short of amazing.

  31. Set the Record Straight

    I feel people are making a lot of assumptions in this comment section. Some of the comments are just ridiculous. Ty, if you are monitoring these comments, would you be willing to place your own post and set the record straight? Perhaps you can comment and set the record straight on how Ocean Airs lottery system works, the status on the child who was not admitted “which Im sure they are completely fine” and how much was donated to the school district. Perhaps you can even clear up your individual donated amount. I just dont like all this speculation when there is no source of truth.

  32. Jen

    I’ve been told by 3 separate people to make sure I take the time to read this article, but also to thank this generous man for his time and money donated to the SD school system the next time I see him in person. Without this sort of hard work and determination, San Diego and its children would fail in the quest for proper education for its children. I hope educators in other districts in California are taking notice of Ty’s actions, as this is the sort of educational reform we’ve long needed in this state. Some people have previously commented about his fame and connections being responsible for the vast improvements he’s been able to make. SO WHAT? The only questionable action I can find is the child that was left behind and not allowed admittance into the public school in lieu of the Humes children. Was he/she able to enroll for the fall?

  33. Ty Humes

    Salutations to all! Thank you, on behalf of all the 3100 families in the Del Mar School District in San Diego. I did want to take the time to provide some clarifications on the article. First and foremost, all of the children did gain entry into the school district. Only one child attended a different school, a quarter of a mile away from our school. It is the same district and same great reputation. Matter of fact, it is the second largest school in the district behind ours. Secondly, my involvement as a Board Member is to serve the interest of all of the families in the district and their respective interest in collaboration with the resources and legal guidelines of the Del Mar School Union District. My entry into this initiative was spearheaded by supporting my family, as of which, is the sole cornerstone of my existence as a man, husband and father. My career and all also are vehicles to facilitate the former, take care of your loved ones, which is inclusive of the components of my children’s education. I am honored and privileged to be a member of the Del Mar community and enjoy working on behalf of the community to ensure a top notch education for our children. The underlying factor here is that my involvement and the involvement of other parents is not about money. Those who assume that this is about money are missing the boat. It is about parental involvement, which is why the inner city schools have a tremendous hill to climb. My parents taught me, with far less financial resources (as to which their involvement in my education is a direct correlation to my resources) to get involved and they were involved in everything that we were part of in NYC in the 1960′s and 1970′s. On a final note, I want to clear up the misconception by some that I have donated $400 million to the Del Mar Schools Education Foundation. The article was connoting the fact, that I also sit on the Board of Volunteers of America, as to which we have become a $400 million non-profit organization. Also, I did want to address a specific post, from James T (June 28th). I am not sure what your specific issue is with me. My family and I spend most of our time working with and on behalf of others. I do apologize if I carry myself to a style that is not to your liking. I have spent my entire teenage and adult life working with those in need from Harlem to the Bronx to LA with others and at times when I did not have a dime in my pocket; thus, I do take exception to your comment and would like to discuss in person, so that you can understand my journey and I can better understand yours.
    Thank you to all for being connected in your respective communities,
    Ty Humes

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