Maribel leads the Talent & Organization Development team at Universal Music Group – a global music organization & leader headquartered in Santa Monica, CA. Serving as an internal consultant, business partner, coach, and employee champion, her passion for helping high potential and emerging leaders learn, grow and develop keeps her engaged in her work.
Maribel’s experience in human resources and organization development spans across various industries: nutrition/health & wellness (Herbalife International); consumer products/beverages (Red Bull North America); filmed entertainment (Warner Bros Entertainment Group); and music entertainment (Universal Music Group).
She holds a B.S. from the University of Southern California and an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix. Maribel is in the process of earning her Ph.D. in Business Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and is also Adjunct Faculty at the University of Phoenix.
Maribel is married with three boys who love baseball.
Charlene Collier is a Human Resources professional and Career Strategist with over 10-plus years of experience in various areas of human resources management, including employee relations, recruiting, talent management, change management and organizational development.
A native of Washington, D.C., Charlene received her Bachelor’s degree in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations from the University of Maryland, College Park and obtained a dual Masters degree (HR Management and Business Administration) from the University of Maryland University College. After deciding she was not ready to pursue a career in the Entertainment industry as a PR exec, she landed a job as a Benefits Specialist for a small Consulting firm, which started her career as an HR professional. Since then, she has held various HR roles in several industries, such as non-profit, entertainment, healthcare, and government contracting.
After working in various HR management positions in Corporate America, Charlene realized that her passion is helping individuals learn the “tricks of the trade” in regards to how to navigate workplace culture and to be the entrepreneur of their own career. This desire to help others develop and attain their professional career goals is what led Charlene to become the Founder and President of Capitol Consulting Group (www.capitolconsultinggrp.com), a consulting practice providing HR Consulting services, Career Development, and Professional Brand Development. Charlene’s expert knowledge of HR best practices as well as her candid commentary is what has made her a dynamic Career Strategist, Writer and Speaker. In addition, she also serves as a Sr. HR Business Partner at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America and HR Instructor in the Business, Management, and Legal Programs Department at UCLA Extension.
Charlene currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
Stephanie Lomibao is a member of the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) team and serves as a program manager for the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. As part of the enterprise program and strategy team, Stephanie helps deliver the bank’s ESG philanthropic initiatives and integrate these programs across global enterprise platforms including volunteerism and thought leadership. In her role, Stephanie also helps develop and implement the philanthropic platform that focuses on the economic mobility needs of individuals and families that include hunger relief, services for the homeless, workforce development through social enterprises, as well as better money habits (financial education). The portfolio of global grantees she manages includes partners that provide programs and services for the formerly incarcerated, opportunity youth, disability, and other diverse communities.
Prior to joining Bank of America in 2009, Stephanie was fund development director for New Economics for Women (NEW) in Los Angeles, California where she was responsible for the fundraising and funder relationship cultivation to support NEW’s programs and services. Stephanie also previously served as vice president, regional manager of volunteerism and events for Washington Mutual where she provided regional oversight of community development service goals tied to the bank’s Community Reinvestment Act federal requirements and signature employee volunteer projects and initiatives through Washington Mutual’s Committed Active Neighbors (CAN) employee volunteer program from Central to Southern California.
Stephanie brings over 17 years of professional experience from the nonprofit, private, and public sectors, beginning her career at California State University Fullerton’s University Advancement Foundation where she managed accounts payable and the donor database system updates and staff training. Stephanie earned her dual bachelor’s degree in business marketing and public administration from California State University (CSU) Fullerton, where she participated in the CSU California State Capitol Internship Program, and her master’s degree in public policy with an emphasis in philanthropy from the University of Southern California where she co-authored The reality of race neutral admission for minority students at the University of California: Turning the tide or turning them away? (2004) as a research assistant at the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute.
In 2015 Stephanie was named one of the Global 100 most influential Filipinas by the Filipina Women’s Network. She is currently board chair for Central City Neighborhood Partners, serves on the steering committee for the Asian America Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy Los Angeles Chapter, and is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 472.
Erikk Aldridge is a Director in the AEG Community Affairs department and serves as the Director of STAPLES Center Foundation. AEG is one of the leading presenters of sports and entertainment in the World.
Prior to joining AEG, Erikk held executive level position with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Venice, The Walt Disney Company, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Los Angeles Lakers. In 2000, he was a member of the Lakers front office and received a championship ring.
Erikk has written professionally with feature stories appearing in multiple sports related publications including SLAM Magazine. He also serves as a professor at USC in the Annenberg School of Communication.
A graduate of the University of California, San Diego, Erikk earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. At UCSD, he was a three-year starter and team captain on the baseball team.
Erikk is a native of Inglewood, California, and is involved as a volunteer in several organizations, including Dodgers RBI, the Inglewood Baseball Fund, Inner City Arts, Kappa Alpha Psi, and the LA Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs.
Towalame Austin is a talented executive with over 17 years of experience in the non-profit sector. Ms. Austin has carved a niche in the charitable sector bridging the worlds of traditional philanthropy and entertainment philanthropy. In her current role as Executive of Philanthropy for Roc Nation, she is responsible for the development, implantation, and management of the philanthropic efforts of artists on Roc Nation’s roster. Ms. Austin set up and launched Rihanna’s charity venture, The Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF). During her three-year tenure with CLF, she was responsible for overseeing fundraising, organization management, program development, research, and brand synergy analysis. Ms. Austin has since assisted with transitioning a new Executive Director for the organization. Additionally, she supports the philanthropic efforts of several Roc Nation artists working in close collaboration with the executive directors of their organizations.
Ms. Austin began her career in the non-profit sector with the Magic Johnson Foundation Inc., where she served as Director of Corporate Relations and Special Events nationwide, Executive Vice President, and President of the Foundation, respectively. In her first position, she successfully managed the Foundation’s partnerships with donors and corporations and expanded fundraising capacity nationwide. She also produced the organization’s highly visible fundraising events, including “A Midsummer Night’s Magic,” “A Salute to African American Designers,” and the “Zo and Magic 8 Ball Challenge” during the NBA All Star Weekend across the country.
As president, Ms. Austin played a pivotal role in the strategic leadership of one of the nation’s leading charitable organizations. While in this position she managed the daily operations, continued growth and sustainability for the organization by expanding the research base, solidified new partnerships while maintaining long standing supporters, secured millions of dollars in corporate sponsorship, cultivated individual and major donor groups, and coordinated innovative fundraising initiatives. She also played a critical role in establishing and maintaining partnerships with Abbott Laboratories, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Best Buy, American Airlines, Microsoft, California Community Foundation, American Express and Verizon to name a few.
The strength of Ms. Austin’s leadership is evident in the programs and campaigns implemented under her direction that are still presently in operation: six (6) AHF Magic Johnson Healthcare Clinics, ensuring access to complete medical care; the highly successful World Aids Day campaign, “I Stand with Magic”, testing over 80,000 at-risk individuals for HIV/AIDS and educating over 622,000 nationwide; Taylor Michaels Scholarship Program supporting over 850 minority high school students with college scholarships; and the Magic Johnson Community Empowerment Centers with 18 facilities nationwide in underserved communities.
In addition to her work with the Magic Johnson Foundation, Ms. Austin also worked closely with Magic Johnson Enterprises as a key contributor to business development and expansion for the Magic Johnson brand. She also utilized her business expertise in consulting Cookie Johnson’s brand, which resulted in the launch of a new premium denim line, CJ by Cookie Johnson, now available in stores nationwide.
Following her tenure with the Magic Johnson companies, Ms. Austin went on to serve as President for the Mourning Family Foundation, founded by retired NBA player Alonzo Mourning and his wife Tracy. The Mourning Family Foundation has a rich history of providing a platform of programs that inspire through advocacy, education, and enrichment to disadvantaged youth in Miami. Towalame was directly responsible for the rebranding, re-launch and program revitalization during her year with the organization. Initiatives spearheaded by Ms. Austin – program outreach, website launch, donor base cultivation and marketing strategy are major components of the organizations present infrastructure.
During her time in Miami, Ms. Austin also worked as a consultant for Dwyane Wade’s charitable enterprise, Wade’s World Foundation. In this role, she advised and facilitated the organizational structuring for day-to-day operations, implemented policies and procedures, developed job descriptions and responsibilities, as well as assisted with executive talent recruitment.
For her outstanding achievements in her career and community, Ms. Austin has received numerous awards of recognition including keys to cities in California and South Carolina, a Certificate of Commendation from the County of Los Angeles for community service, the Public Education Foundation’s Lifetime Educational Achievement Award, and a proclamation from the City of Eastover, South Carolina for the launch of its Community Power Center. Ms. Austin has been honored and recognized by a number of organizations such as the Black Business Association and the Palos Verdes Links organization.
She currently sits on the board for the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) and serves as Chair of the Governance Committee. She also serves on the Philanthropic/Advisory Board for her Alma Mater, California State University, Dominguez Hills. She has previously served on the Board of Directors for Legacy Ladies Inc., and Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO)
Ms. Austin holds a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Marketing and a concentration in Women’s Studies from California State University Dominguez Hills.
QUEENIE, is the CEO/Owner of Queens Entertainment Group, Inc. (QEG). QEG is an all-inclusive global small business offering a wide spectrum of services such as: Celebrity Talent Booking, Event and TV Production and Entertainment Consulting Services.
QUEENIE quietly working behind the scenes for over a decade as one of the most sought after top Celebrity Talent Executive for various networks such as BET Network, TV-One, VH-1 Network, ShowTime Network,A+E (Fyi) Network. QUEENIE has also been the industry’s go-to woman for over 50 of Hollywood’s most elite events, national tours, celebrity private events, major movie premieres and premiere national broadcast events.
QUEENIE has successfully booked, produced and consulted for esteemed clients and noteworthy projects for industry heavyweights like Robert DeNiro,Alec Baldwin Cool J, Gabrielle Union, Snoop Dogg, Nick Cannon, Nick Lachey,Sofia Vergara, Jennifer Lopez, Sean “Puffy” Combs,Dwayne Johnson, Halle Berry, Michael Jackson,Beyonce,Prince, Taraji P. Henson, Brandy, Chaka Khan, Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Hart, Claire Daines, Mario Lopez, Jessica Biel and DeVon Franklin; brands like Chambord, Nike, Brand Jordan, Susan G. Komen,Essence,Black Enterprise; corporate clients like Allied Integrated Marketing, REACH Media, Codeblack Films/Lionsgate, Radio One, Inc.; events like Think Like A Man, A Haunted House II, Mandela, Michael Jackson’s This Is It Theatrical Premiere; More Than A Game Nike Tour with LeBron James; Barack The Vote Comedy Event; Shanghai Film Festival; birthday celebrations and appearances for A-list talent including Michael Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Monica, Timbaland, Drake, Usher, Lil Wayne; events, Black Enterprise Pre-Oscar Gala, Radio One’s-Women’s Empowerment Expo Series, Russell Simmons-All Def Digital Movie Awards and a host of additional red carpet movie premieres, award shows, music tours, product launches, destination events, NBA All-Star Weekends, charitable causes, galas, and more. Her reputable celebrity relationships, strong professional work ethic, resourcefulness and impeccable business acumen have proven to be the perfect ingredients for QUEENIE’s success.
For more information on QUEENIE and QUEENS ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, INC. please connect and follow on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/queeniedonaldson/ www.queensentertainmentgroup.com and company website:
Kristena D. Hatcher, PHR is an HR Executive, focusing on talent acquisition at Creative Artists Agency (“CAA”), the world’s leading full service entertainment, media, and sports agency. Kristena focuses on establishing and maintaining collaborative partnerships across the business, along with developing and implementing staffing plans and strategies, ensuring diverse, high-caliber, and cultural/organizational fit of applicant/candidate pools on behalf of the Motion Pictures, Television, and Foundation client groups.
Prior to beginning her employment at CAA, she was an Executive Recruiter for Morgan Samuels, a retained executive search firm, where she was responsible for placing senior executives and C-level talent across industries including digital media and entertainment, consumer packaged goods, and engineering and construction.
Kristena holds a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude in Criminal Justice from the University of Alabama. She has received her Professional in Human Resources (“PHR”) Certification through the HR Certification Institute, and has also completed coursework in Human Resources Management at UCLA.
Sharifa Austin, is a Senior Manager of Development and Engagement who partners with Executive leadership and HR Business partners to build and scale creative, innovative learning and development experiences for more than 3,000 employees at Universal Music Group. After spending nearly a decade working in the government/ nonprofit sector managing million dollar grants geared towards youth development, she learned her share about potential and what truly drives behavioral change. Sharifa believes firmly in the empowerment of potential at all levels and thrives on helping people develop, shine and scale in every aspect of their career. She believes the key to unleashing that potential is in the art of learning how to connect to something deeper that drives individuals to do what they do.
Since transitioning from the government/ non-profit industry to her current role in Music & Entertainment, Sharifa continues to make her mark by empowering potential at the highest levels. After developing an overwhelmingly well received blueprint and pilot script she is currently launching a 1st ever Global Music Business acumen series; “Inside the Music”. In addition to curriculum design, facilitation and individual coaching, Sharifa spearheads all the marketing and branding aspects for the department. Currently she is helping to shape the framework for a cutting edge Early Career and New Manager Training experience set to launch in early 2018. Sharifa is also sits on the board for the Universal Music Women’s Network (Santa Monica/ Woodland Hills/Hollywood/ & New York chapters).
Sharifa holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Marketing Emphasis from California State University- Los Angeles.
Social media platforms:
Instagram: aninspirationallight LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharifa-austin-93a92461
Tilley Fine has been in the music business for more than 14 years, working for Live Nation, the global leader for Live Entertainment. Throughout her career at Live Nation, she has worked in several different departments and positions, starting as an assistant, to her current position as Vice President of VIP Sales.
From her office in the Live Nation headquarters in Hollywood, CA, Tilley oversees a sales team at some of the Live Nation music venues across the United States. She drives her team to higher annual sales revenue goals by giving them the tools they need for success. Her focus is to deliver the highest level of VIP Service to enhance her client’s experiences through connecting them to music.
Tilley is originally from South Africa and has been living in Los Angeles for more than 20 years. Prior to working in the music industry, Tilley worked in the Nightlife/Restaurant business.
Reyna Harvey joined the KBAK team in March 2017 after working in the Midwest as a reporter. While in the Midwest, Reyna worked as the morning reporter covering breaking and current news events in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri.
Before that, she worked as an intern in the communications department at The White House. While working at The White House, she worked closely with the broadcast team, helping craft the message of the president to the American people. During her time working in the broadcast department, she met many seasoned reporters who offered mentorship and inspired her to continue pursuing her dream of broadcast journalism.
A California native born and raised in the Bay Area and relocating to Los Angeles, it’s safe to say she has lived all over California. She worked as a news assistant at KABC in Los Angeles where she fell in love with journalism and storytelling. During her time at KABC, she helped produce content for the hourly newscast, and worked on the assignment desk researching and fact checking information. She also worked for the Oprah Winfrey Network and KTLA Channel 5 News in Hollywood.
In her free time, she enjoys frequenting the gym, traveling, listening to music and spending time with friends and family. On her days off, she enjoys stopping by various businesses in the community and getting to know local residents.
As the Director, Events & Business Development for the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission (LASEC), Allison works to develop relationships with Los Angeles venues, major leagues, and local associations and colleges. She assists with proposals and bids to bring events to Los Angeles and manages all LASEC-hosted events including Lakers All-Access, Dodgers All-Access, Rams All-Access and the LASEC Golf Classic. Allison also manages the annual Professional Development Program.
Founded in 1995, the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission (LASEC) partners with the City of Los Angeles to bring major sporting and entertainment events to Los Angeles, like the NBA All-Star Weekend, the GRAMMY Awards, the Super Bowl and many more. These events have a significant economic impact on the local economy and continue to spotlight Los Angeles as the Entertainment Capital of the World.
Prior to joining the LASEC team, Allison spent three seasons with AEG, as the STAPLES Center & Microsoft Theater Event Suites Sales Coordinator. In her time with AEG, Allison helped manage premium seating sales and communications for regular season games and concerts, plus special events including the GRAMMY Awards®, the Primetime Emmy Awards, the People’s Choice Awards, the American Music Awards, NBA All-Star, the X Games and more.
Allison graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara and currently resides in Santa Monica.
Tamala Lewis is the LA Galaxy and StubHub Center Community Affairs Director. In this position she oversees the StubHub Foundation & Community Affairs, public service events and charity events for the StubHub Center and LA Galaxy. StubHub Center is southern California’s home of world-class competition and training facilities for amateur, Olympic, collegiate and professional athletes. Managed by AEG Facilities, the $150 million, privately financed facility was developed by AEG on a 125-acre site on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) in Carson, California. StubHub Center features an 8,000-seat tennis stadium, a 27,167-seat stadium for soccer, football and other athletic competitions and outdoor concerts; a 2,000-seat facility for track & field and a 2,450-seat indoor Velodrome – the VELO Sports Center – for track cycling. StubHub Center is home to Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy, the five-time MLS Cup Champions. StubHub Center is also home of the Los Angeles Chargers, United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) High Performance Training Center, the national team training headquarters for the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and EXOS, an international training center for elite and professional athletes.
Tamala has been with AEG ( The Anschutz Entertainment Group) for over 14 Years. In this position she presides on several community boards and has received countless awards and honors such as: Special Congressional Recognition Awards, City Proclamations, NABFEME “Rising Star Executives to Watch” Honoree, Fabulous Women of Los Angeles Honoree, Imani Corporation’s Maximize Your Potential Award Honoree, Boys and Girls Club of America National Service to Youth Award , Kiwanis Distinguished Member of Service Award, Gardena Valley Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Woman Award, Who’s Who in Black Los Angeles to name a few.
Current boards: City of Carson Community Foundation, City of Carson Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, South Bay Workforce Investment Board of Directors, Boys & Girls Club of Carson Board of Directors, YMCA Gardena-Carson Board of Directors, City of Carson Kiwanis Board of Directors, Cal State Dominguez Hills Loker Student Union Board of Directors, Cal State Dominguez Hills Women in Philanthropy Board of Directors, and USTA/ First Break Board of Directors.
Tamala is the wife of 4X Olympic Track and Field Medalist, Steve Lewis and a mother of two daughters Ashley and Sienna. She is also a former recording artist on Columbia-Sony Records, professional dancer for several top recording artists, and clothing designer.
Kiesha Nix is currently the Executive Director of the Lakers Youth Foundation. In her current role Kiesha oversees and directs programming and funding priorities for the charitable arm of the Los Angeles Lakers. She is responsible for implementing the mission of the Foundation which is to assist underserved youth in our communities to develop and recognize their full potential by providing positive experiences and resources in education, health & wellness and sports.
Formerly Kiesha served as a Vice President in Enterprise Business & Community Relations at Bank of America and as a Private Wealth Associate in the Private Banking & Investment Group Division of Merrill Lynch. Kiesha was employed by Bank of America – Merrill Lynch for over 21+ years.
On the Philanthropic side Kiesha currently sits on the following Boards: Advisory Board for the Los Angeles Dodgers and MLB’s RBI program (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities), USC Black Alumni Advisory Board and KHEIR (Korean Healthcare Education Information & Research Center). Kiesha currently serves as one of Procter & Gamble’s 2017 “My Black is Beautiful Ambassadors,” and recently received the YWCA – Greater Los Angeles Community Game Changer Award. Kiesha works with countless non-profit organizations and mentors Youth throughout her Community. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nevada. Kiesha is the proud Mom of one son; Kyler who is a recent graduate of Fisk University in Nashville, TN achieving a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and currently employed at a Fortune 500 Investment Firm.
Demetrius Harris serves as the Editorial Graphics Producer for ESPN Productions, Inc. In this role with ESPN, he collaborates with producers and researchers on assigned programming, leads editorial direction of on-air insert graphics appearing in live Sports Nation, NFL, NBA and Sports Center studio shows, and assist with content-development and show-rundown structure. In addition, Mr. Harris also communicates concepts for graphics to on-air talent and producers while managing execution, communicates concepts for graphics to on-air talent and producers while managing execution, and develops, writes and presents ideas to producers and coordinating producers.
Lights, Camera, Action! Danae Evans, MBA is a Carson, California native. She attended San Jose State University earning her B.S. degree in Business Management with a concentration in Public Relations, and after graduating in 2005; her longing to contribute behind the scenes in Hollywood became her passion. She has dedicated more than 8 years to the entertainment industry, and along her journey she has worked at NBC Universal, AEG (Anschutz Entertainment Group), and Twentieth Century Fox Television in various capacities mainly Production and Business & Legal Affairs. She has assisted with NBC’s The Voice Season 2 and the 2015 Architects of Sound: Honoring Frank Sinatra. Her most memorable project is Fast Five (Universal Pictures) starring Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. In April 2008, Danae was initiated into the illustrious organization Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, where she serves the youth ages 12-17 years old (Delta Academy and Gems) and is currently the Assistant Financial Secretary and the Physical & Mental Health Co-Chair. Striving to further her career aspirations, and with her dynamic personality being her forte, she is now working with the Los Angeles Rams Media Relations staff and it is one of her biggest accomplishments thus far.
Reena De Asis is a strategic community connector with MacGyver tactics. She has championed partnership building, community relations, corporate social responsibility and organized socially conscious campaigns and events for the past 15+ years.
She has most recently worked with ZipRecruiter and Farmers Insurance for their corporate social responsibility efforts. She also collaborated with the City of West Hollywood for their Women’s Leadership Conference in programming, event, and marketing strategies.
Prior to her present ventures, Reena held various leadership roles, including the director of Dress for Success Worldwide-West, the director of marketing for Causecast, and the director of marketing & corporate relations for L.A. Works. Additionally, Reena’s work has been published on CSRwire Talkback, Forbes, Huffington Post, Maria Shriver.com, and more.
Reena is also an honoree for L.A. Biz’s Women of Influence, Los Angeles Business Journal Women Making a Difference, YWCA Women of Achievement Silver Medallion and the President’s Volunteer Service awards.
She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications: Public Relations and a minor in Human Services from California State University, Fullerton.
Michelynn brings expertise in corporate citizenship, advocacy & messaging, entertainment strategy, employee engagement and digital marketing. Michelynn is a leader who utilizes an extensive network of relationships in entertainment, government, and the nonprofit sectors to develop creative campaigns for high-profile individuals and Fortune 500 corporations connecting them to the issues they support.
Michelynn specializes in delivering results that make an enduring impact. While managing corporate social responsibility for JCPenney, Michelynn instituted a mechanism for customers to have the ability to donate to a different non-profit partner every 30 days while completing purchases. Customers said “yes” to Round Up in over 25 million transactions in 2013 generating significant contributions for The USO, Boys & Girls Clubs, Girls Inc., Habitat for Humanity, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and many other noteworthy charitable organizations.
More recently, Michelynn led philanthropy for both the top-rated talk show host Dr. Phil, and his wife Robin McGraw successfully integrating cause into the popular broadcast. Michelynn also worked with hip-hop recording artist, fashion designer and entrepreneur, Kanye West creating and launching The Kanye West Foundation with Dr. Donda West. From 2001 to 2006, Michelynn was an Executive within the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) foundation division working as a philanthropic advisor to several prominent celebrity clients. During her tenure at CAA, Michelynn served on the front lines helping to manage client engagement, advocacy and communications stemming from the tragic occurrences on September 11th 2001, and two catastrophic natural disasters, the Indonesian Tsunami in 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
A graduate of Hampton University’s School of Liberal Arts and Education, Michelynn spent her childhood in Wisconsin, England, Puerto Rico and Atlanta, and as a result is an avid traveler who is passionate about creating diverse communities and promoting civic engagement.
R. Christine Hershey is the president and founder of Hershey Cause Communications, guiding its overall strategic and creative vision. Passionate about “Communications for Good,” she consults regularly with CEOs and senior executives throughout the country, advising on positioning, identity and strategy. Her 35 years of experience as a communications advisor to the corporate and philanthropic sectors includes such Fortune 500 companies as AT&T (Cingular), Disney, and Wells Fargo, as well as the Institute of Medicine, The Nature Conservancy and the World Health Organization. Hershey Cause Communications is the first of its kind social enterprise communications agency focused exclusively on communications for good.
Chris earned the title “evangelist for communications” within the social sector for being one of the first advocates for strategic communications across all aspects of a nonprofit, from the executive level down. Her notable work in communications has helped shift debate on issues including domestic abuse, GLBT rights, health care, immigration reform, foster care, racial equality and social justice. An early pioneer in cause marketing, she formed corporate partnerships with the Los Angeles Women’s Foundation. Her work with the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and Liberty Hill helped these foundations quadruple and triple their assets, respectively. She was a founding member of ANGLE (Access Now for Gay and Lesbian Equality), the California-based political action committee credited with spotlighting gay and lesbian issues and helping elect President Clinton.
Recent projects include the creation of communications strategies and campaigns for clients including Kaiser Permanente, First 5 LA, First 5 Riverside, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Chris also led groundbreaking work with The California Endowment as part of a landscape analysis of the vital and divisive issue of immigration, which led to further work with the California Immigrant Policy Center.
As an author and cause communications expert, Chris has appeared in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, The New York Times and The Chronicle of Philanthropy. As a publisher of Why Bad Ads Happen to Good Causes and Why Bad Presentations Happen to Good Causes, Chris has helped educate the philanthropic sector regarding best practices. Her first book, the Communications Toolkit, published in 2005, has been distributed in all 50 states, 24 countries and across six continents. Chris also co-authored the recently published “2-Minute Answer Guide for Nonprofits,” a joint project with The Center for Nonprofit Management, and its companion website, an exciting new resource providing fast answers to the most frequently asked questions in the nonprofit sector.
In 2015, Chris was named by PR News as one of the Top Women in PR. The U.S. Small Business Administration also honored her as 2010 Women in Business Champion of the Year. She is a 2016 appointee (and Chair) of the Los Angeles County Small Business Commission. She also serves on the board of PetSmart Charities and just completed her term on the board of Southern California Grantmakers. She is a Senior Fellow at the USC Marshall School of Business Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab. Chris is also a member of the Social Enterprise Alliance Executive Committee; former Board Chair of Para Los Niños and of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Los Angeles (NAWBO-LA) Foundation; and a founding member of the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers (NNCG).
Gwendolyn Young is President/CEO of Young Communications Group, Inc. a strategic communications agency specializing in providing social marketing and marketing communications for non-profits. YCG is known for its expertise in developing communications and public education programs that reach the emerging majoritysm populations, for which the firm received State of California service mark designation in recognition of developing campaigns that reach African Americans, Latinos and Asians, as well as lesbian, gay and transgender populations.
Gwendolyn has been in public relations and marketing for 27 years. As a hands-on CEO, Young has lead her agency’s growth and transitions from being a one-person consultancy to a full-service agency that has won national awards and represented international clients. In the non-profit arena, Young’s agency has earned a reputation as being communications turn around specialists, having worked with non-profits that are going through mergers, possible closure, leadership succession challenges and disaffiliations from their parent companies. She believes that her agency’s success comes from team effort and that leaders reach for the sun, no matter the obstacles.
Luis Gonzalez currently oversees Community Relations and Philanthropic initiatives for Wells Fargo Bank for the Los Angeles Region. In his role, Mr. Gonzalez helps support community development initiatives and oversees grant-funding efforts on behalf of Wells Fargo Bank and the Wells Fargo Foundation.
Mr. Gonzalez joined Wells Fargo in 2014 overseeing corporate communications and public relations efforts in the San Diego region. He brings over 17 years of experience working in strategic communications and community based initiatives. His efforts have aided in the implementation of various programs focused on education, health and human services, civic projects and community engagement throughout Southern California.
Prior to Wells Fargo, Mr. Gonzalez served as the Director of Community Affairs for the Neighborhood House Association (NHA), one of San Diego County’s largest multi-purpose human services agencies. His efforts included work through the national settlement house movement and collaboration with United Neighborhood Centers of America on developing critical services for underserved communities.
His current efforts have included support for International delegations through the US State Department and advocacy work with various local, regional and national organizations including, the San Diego Public Leadership Institute, the Congressional Black Caucus 21st Century Council, National Council of La Raza, Head Start the US Latino American Chamber of Commerce and many others on key community issues.
Mr. Gonzalez is a United States Marine Corps veteran who served in military operations in the Middle East and understands the needs of our diverse global community. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with an Emphasis in Media Management from San Diego State University and a Masters in Management from National University. He currently serves as Board Chair for The Media Arts Center San Diego and on the board for the Boy Scouts of America San Diego and Imperial Council of the Boy Scouts.
Ricardo Sanchez Jr. is a campus recruiter with the Disney Professional Internships Program where he supports The Walt Disney Studios and Disney Consumer Products Interactive. Ricardo graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication/Journalism and upon graduation worked as a Staff writer for the Bay Area News Group for several years. Exploring a passion for developing students early in their career, he left journalism and took on a role as the Career Program Manager for the Posse Foundation, a national non-profit that focuses on diversity and college access. Before joining Disney, Ricardo worked at NBCUniversal in the Campus Program where he continued his deep interest for providing access to talented students into the corporate space and entertainment. Ricardo was born and raised in Lynwood, Ca, and is a die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan.
Social Media: @ricktheadvocate (Twitter)
Lonnie McGowen Jr. has been fortunate to hold positions of influence within a Fortune 400 Company that has afforded him the unique perspective on topics such as Diversity/Inclusion and Leadership in today’s ever changing world. Lonnie McGowen Jr. attended San Francisco State University where he graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management. During his time in college, Lonnie served as a student-athlete where he played 4 years of Basketball for the San Francisco State University Men’s Basketball team and led them as team captain his Junior and Senior year.
Upon graduation, Lonnie begin his professional career at The Sherwin Williams Company as a Manager/Sales Trainee in March of 2002. Lonnie quickly started his ascension up the company ladder, first being promoted to Assistant Manager and then to Store Manager in the heart of Marin County in Northern California. After a 2 year stint as Manager, Lonnie was promoted to the position of Area Human Resources Recruiter followed by another move to Area Human Resources Manager in 2008 based out of Denver Colorado.
Lonnie served as Regional Human Resources Director for the Global Supply Chain Division in Dallas TX where he was successful in creating various hiring and diversity initiatives. He played a significant role in the acquisition and integration of a smaller company into The Sherwin Williams Company during his tenure as Director of Human Resources. Going through the experience of an acquisition uncovered the true meaning of what an HR Business Partner looked like for Lonnie and his department. Lonnie currently serves as the Vice President of Human Resources (The Americas Group) where he covers the Southwestern Retail Stores Group. Lonnie has been tasked to create, drive and maintain initiatives that are strategic in action and targeted by design to continue the strong tradition of a company that has been around since 1866. As a representative of the Sherwin Williams Company, Lonnie offers Sales and Human Resources experience that gives him a unique perspective in a business environment full of global significance and cultural complexities. Amongst many other board positions, Lonnie is dedicated to providing guidance to those leaders that desire to impact the business, community, and world in which they live in.
Since 2005, Jeff Thomas has been Regional Senior Vice President of Sales for the top revenue producing radio cluster in the US, with over $260 Million in revenue in 2016. iHeart Media has eight top-ranked radio stations reaching over 80% of the LA market as well as key sports play-by-play partnerships like the Los Angeles Dodgers and entertainment events like KIIS-FM’s Wango Tango. iHeartMedia excels at creating custom integrated marketing campaigns that generate ROI and build brand equity for its marketing partners.
Prior to his cluster leadership role, Thomas led the sales effort at KFI AM 640, KLAC AM 570 and the KEIB AM 1150. He moved to Los Angeles in 1998 after stints in radio in Baltimore and West Palm Beach. Thomas graduated from Central Michigan University, where his lifelong love for radio began. Jeff enjoys attending concerts, playing the guitar, running and spending time with his family, including his three grandchildren.
Libby Balsiger directs Strategic Marketing for Chipotle Mexican Grill. Over the course of her eleven-year tenure, she has pioneered bilingual training programs for aspiring managers and helped shape the marketing and training structure for new restaurants. Libby has worked alongside Jamie Oliver, Bobby Flay, Bill Niman and Chipotle’s Owner and Founder, Co-CEO and classically-trained chef, Steve Ells.
Tatiana Oueini is a Human Resources Manager for Nestlé USA, recently relocating to their Cleveland, OH headquarters from their LA based offices. For the past 4 years she has provided strategic HR leadership and support to the Nestlé Sales Division across the United States. In her new role, she provides HR leadership to Nestlé’s Technical and Production Division. Prior to that, Tatiana was a Human Resources Manager for Target Stores where she spent 3 years building her foundation in HR, in addition to gaining hands-on business experience running multi-million dollar store operations.
She has been proud to advocate for and actively engage in initiatives that promote employee engagement and development, diversity and inclusion, as well as improve the professional experience and landscape for women within her organizations. Outside of work, when she’s not finding her next adventure, Tatiana spends her time in the community and university campuses where she delivers resume and interview workshops, in addition to providing career counseling to students and young professionals. She is also a coach and trainer, sharing the philosophy of high performance and high energy to increase overall productivity and well-being. Tatiana holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from UCLA.
Jake is an organizational consultant and strategist and serves as Associate Professor of Management at Biola University in La Mirada, CA.
Jake has over 25 years in the banking and market research industries, holding leadership positions with two fortune 100 companies and one of the country’s top polling firms. He spent fifteen years with JPMorgan Chase as a leader in its retail bank division as the human resources manager in talent acquisition for the western United States, regional sales manager and market director, where he specialized in strategy, training and delivery, performance management and workforce planning.
Jake was actively involved and participated in the JPMorgan Chase and Washington Mutual Bank merger, the largest conversion in U.S. financial services history at the time. He has been recognized by the California State Assembly and the City of Los Angeles for his contributions in business and organizational leadership.
He holds a B.A. in economics from UCLA, an M.A. in organizational leadership from Biola University and a certification in market research from the University of Notre Dame. Jake is pursuing his doctorate degree in organizational leadership from Regent University in Virginia and his current area of interest includes the mega-trends impacting the global business environment, specifically in regards to a multi-generational and changing workforce.
Sharaud Moore often says that if there were a recipe for failure, he had all the right ingredients. He was born to a sixteen-year-old homeless single mother. At six years old he began to be placed in a series of foster homes. By the time he was 13 he had been to 14 different schools. Once he returned to his mother’s home, he continued to get into trouble because of his mother’s demanding work schedule and his need to care for his younger siblings. Sharaud was once living out of a car. He joined a gang in the eighth grade because he felt the need for protection.
In the tenth grade, Sharaud was expelled from school for carrying a gun to class, and sent to Wilson High School where he was enrolled in Erin Gruwell’s English class. Sharaud hated school, and only attended because he enjoyed playing football there. Sharaud continued to be a constant burden in the classroom, until he became the victim of a vicious prank in which a classmate drew a racist caricature of him. The experience sparked the Freedom Writers movement and changed Sharaud’s views on education and the world around him.
Sharaud has traveled across the country speaking to audiences about the power of education and his triumph overcoming obstacles. Sharaud earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa in 2000. In 2007 Sharaud’s story was highlighted in Paramount Studios’ film, Freedom Writers. Sharaud is currently a coach and educator working with students who are performing far below average. In recent years he worked as an algebra teacher at one of the schools he was expelled from in his youth.
Shefali Mistry is an artist, organizer, and administrator working in public higher education for the California State University system. As manager of constituent engagement, she works in collaboration with the CSU Alumni Council and the 23 campus alumni offices to engage the CSU alumni community – that’s 3.4 million alumni and 1 in 20 Americans with a college degree – through communications, events, and services. She also works with the CSU Foundation, and organizes professional development opportunities for advancement staff. Previously, she oversaw communications, outreach, and special events for the University Art Museum at Cal State Long Beach, her alma mater.
Shefali holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting from CSULB, where she served as president of Associated Students, Inc. and served with the California State Student Association. Ten years have brought her full circle back to systemwide leadership. She also has a Master of Fine Arts in Public Practice from Otis College of Art and Design.
Passionate about art, education, and social change, she has fused her educational background with her community organizing experience to activate art as a tool for consciousness raising and political action. A first generation college graduate of Indian immigrant parents, she is interested in challenging and dismantling the cultural norms that contribute to gender based violence. She is a member of Michelada Think Tank, a collective of artists of color addressing issues facing people of color in art, education, and beyond, and interested in creative ways of making change happen.
Tommy Richardson is a transformational speaker. He uses high energy, enthusiasm, humor and practical evidence-based strategies to convey his perspective on leadership, team building, personal development, education and dropout prevention.
Tommy was raised by his grandparents in the crime stricken, low economic area of Opa-Locka, FL. This unique paradigm has helped Tommy shape his in your face, zero excuse, faith infused style of motivating and inspiring others.
Tommy is also a transformational leader in education. He is a teacher, as well as a life coach. Tommy has a B.A. in African-American Studies from University of North Carolina and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Keiser University.
Get ready for an experience.
Stephanie Castellanos is a Talent Consultant, Diversity & Inclusion strategist, expert facilitator
and grassroots community organizer. Her passion for social innovation, civic engagement, and
youth empowerment stems from her upbringing in Inglewood, CA, experiences as the first in
her family to graduate from college, and as the daughter of Mexican immigrants.
Stephanie has innovated the recruitment strategies of national education and political
organizations, working across more than 30 states including California, New York, Texas, and in
Florida for President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign. Her expertise includes community
organizing strategy, recruiting top-talent for nonprofits and school districts, diversity& inclusion training design and facilitation, and leadership development for first-generation& students of color.4
She is the Co-Founder of The Coalition for Diverse Educators (C4DE), a national grassroots
movement to increase teacher diversity in urban public schools. Stephanie’s leadership and
equity-centered trainings, WOKEshops, has empowered over 20,000 diverse youth, college
students, young professionals and community leaders at over 70 campuses and conferences
She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Justice Now, a nonprofit organization
advocating for the rights of women in prisons, and is a member of the Young Professionals
Network (YPN) of Latinas Lead. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles
with a Major in Sociology and a Minor in Urban Planning & Regional Studies.
Connect: @StephanieCastellanos | @Official_C4DE | Twitter: @WokeGal
NETFLIX | Visual Communications Manager, Latin America
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY Mr. Wynn attended Edward R. Murrow high school in Coney
Island, Brooklyn, and went on to study Mass Communications with a concentration in
broadcasting at Buffalo State. While trying to get a job in the entertainment field, he started at
The Princeton Review while working various production jobs part time as a PA and freelancer
and pursuing his MFA in Film Production at Brooklyn College.
In 2011, he landed a job at NBCUniversal on the Cable Entertainment, Operations & Diversity
team and later joined the Syfy Production Marketing team. After two years as a Production
Coordinator, he was promoted to Project Manager of Production.
After 5 years of working at NBCUniversal, it was time for a new challenge, and he received a job
offer he couldn’t refuse. In 2016, he moved from New York to Los Angeles to work at Netflix as
a Visual Communications Manager on the publicity team and recently received a promotion to
oversee Visual Communications for all content coming out of Latin America.
Social Media Handles: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marvis-wynn-2406a517/
Cameron (Cam) Kashani is the “Godmother of Silicon Beach”, an Expert Speaker with US State Department, 3x founder, and single mom of twin boys. She’s worked with 4000+ Entrepreneurs and 700+ startups. She previously cofounded the first coworking space in Los Angeles for technology startups in 2010, Coloft. Coloft had over 1400 alumni, including Uber LA, Instacart, Ziprecruiter and others. She is currently on her third company, COACCEL: The Human Accelerator with a focus on female founders. Cam is on a mission is to humanize business, and her vision is a global economy that thrives on “WE” as opposed to “ME”. Cam was recently named by Inc. Magazine as one of thirty Inspirational Women in tech in 2017.
Along with a world class team of Social Media Community Moderators, Doc considers it an honor to speak on behalf of the Hulu brand, including internal and external communications. His team eagerly assists users through Twitter, Facebook and various other social media platforms.
A vital function of his daily interactions is to communicate real-time device and technology issues to developers and engineers help avoid further viewer pain points.
Doc embraces the responsibilities associated with relaying expert knowledge of the Hulu brand, while thinking outside of the box to find creative compromises and solutions in an easy to digest communication style.
Doc is passionate about forming a very genuine community interaction, even within the constraints of a social and technology based presence.
Negar came to the US to pursue her Master’s degree in Computer Science from University of California, Irvine. Previously, she had received her Bachelor’s degree in the same major in her home country.
Currently, she is a Software Engineer at Glidewell Laboratories. She is developing a social application with similar features as Facebook, like sharing, commenting, mentioning, liking and disliking, etc. The application consumes data collected from Twitter, Facebook, News, Indeed, etc., and provides business intelligence advantage to Glidewell Laboratories. Negar has also developed the script that extracts, cleans and formats the data for this application. What makes Negar’s job interesting is not only the cool software development she does, but also her engagement in the business side of the project. She is lucky to frequently meet with the CTO to discuss the requirements for the app. In these meetings, she also learns a lot about the business and future goals of the company.
As an extracurricular activity, Negar and her team organize educational events sponsored by Glidewell Laboratories. These include an Amazon Alexa hackathon, and Orange County’s first IoT Expo. Negar is passionate about community engagement and improvement, and sees these events as a good way to achieve those goals.
Before Glidewell Laboratories, Negar worked as a Software Test Engineer where she developed Software that would automate testing on both physical devices and other Software. She also worked as a Linux Application Administrator where she supported and maintained system servers alongside programming.
Melissa Guy is a Speaker, Entrepreneur, Business Strategist, Leading Content Creator, Crusader for “Women + Diversity + Youth” in Entrepreneurship & Innovation. She is President of Asset Media Group Inc., a Google engage video production and advertising media agency in Signal Hill, California. They have been locally branded as bringing Hollywood to the Hill. Winning the local business of the year award for three consecutive years, Asset Media Group is on the rise as one of Southern California’s most cutting edge digital media firms and production facilities in the region.
Melissa is an inspiring speaker and motivator to young professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs. She also works as an independent business strategist coaching small businesses and urban entrepreneurs to success. Giving to underserved and underrepresented entrepreneurs is a priority on her value list as she offers low to no cost monthly media and marketing education seminars in her production studio for local professionals who may not have the resources to gain the knowledge elsewhere.
Melissa also prioritizes personal and professional responsibility to the community through her involvement in various organizations. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Signal Hill Chamber of Commerce for 5 years and is the current President. Here she is a strong advocate for providing modern day resources for small business success. She is an active member of Southern California Edison’s Business Advisory Board and She also serves in various capacities as a volunteer at Antioch Church of Long Beach and board member Elevate your G.A.M.E. ,a peer and adult mentoring program whose mission is to lift urban students to higher levels in their Grades, Attendance and Maturity to Empower them to be leaders who bring about positive change in their schools, communities and the world. In 2015 Melissa was appointed Executive Director of the Urban Media Foundation, a LA and now Long Beach based non-profit committed to educating, advocating, inspiring, and empowering LA County’s most at risk youth with STEM + Arts education and entrepreneurship. This program has served hundred of students annually since 2007 and through newly formed community partnerships and collaboration with LAUSD, the Urban Media Foundation plans to serve over 1000 teens in 2018. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the Largest Global Conference serving Women and Diversity in Innovation, The Wonder Women Tech Conference.
Through her work and undeniable passion for giving back, Melissa Guy has been featured in the Signal Tribune newspaper, Long Beach Business Journal, and has received awards and recognitions from the City of Signal Hill – Mayor Ed Wilson, State of California Senate – Senator Ricardo Lara (Innovation Award), California Legislature Assembly – Assembly Member Patrick O’Donnell (Woman of Distinction), United States Representatives – Congressman Alan Lowenthal.
Councilmember Lindsey P. Horvath was elected to the West Hollywood City Council on March 3, 2015. She previously served as a Councilmember for two years from 2009-2011.
Councilmember Horvath has a long history of civic and social justice advocacy. She has spearheaded policies to make West Hollywood an “Age-Friendly Community” to better serve residents of all ages. She also led the City to become the first in the nation to impose financial sanctions on Arizona for its discriminatory, anti-immigration SB-1070 law. Councilmember Horvath created the first-ever West Hollywood Community Response Team to Domestic Violence.
She has worked on a broad range of transportation and mobility issues. She served as a Transportation Commissioner from 2011-2015 and has brought forward policies to reduce traffic and parking problems, and to make West Hollywood more bike and pedestrian friendly. She initiated the West Hollywood Bicycle Task Force, and through her leadership, West Hollywood was named “The Most Walkable” city in the entire state.
Councilmember Horvath is widely known for her leadership on women’s issues and serves as a Global Coordinator for One Billion Rising, a global campaign of the V-Day movement to end violence against women and girls. She is also an Advocate for A Window Between Worlds, UN Foundation, and CARE. She was first appointed to the West Hollywood Women’s Advisory Board in 2007, focusing on the issues facing women and families in West Hollywood, and has collaborated with community leaders and organizations in successfully advocating for the full funding of the backlog of untested rape kit evidence in the City and County of Los Angeles.
She is also a champion of LGBTQ rights. She has served as a Board member of the Victory Fund and a founding Board member of the NOH8 Campaign. In 2009, she represented the City of West Hollywood in the National Equality March in Washington DC. She has also advocated for LGBTQ older adults through her work on the Board of Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE).
Councilmember Horvath represented the City of West Hollywood on the Los Angeles County Library Commission and on the Executive Board of California Contract Cities. Councilmember Horvath also served on the Los Angeles Unified School District Redistricting Commission in 2011.
In addition to her service as an elected official, Councilmember Horvath works as an entertainment advertising executive, and has created award-winning campaigns for movies and television. Councilmember Horvath graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Political Science and Gender Studies from the University of Notre Dame.
You may contact West Hollywood City Council offices via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (323) 848-6460
For two decades, Todd Flora has worked to shape public opinion and policy working among some of this State’s most dynamic leaders in politics, philanthropy, and the environment. He is currently Director of Sales, Quality & Public Affairs for Nycote Laboratories Corporation. Previously, Todd served as Director of Business Development for EcoMotion, an environmental consulting firm, and was a Manager of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs for IBM. There, he implemented IBM’s grant programs and fostered the advancement of the company’s corporate responsibility practices and employee volunteer programs.
Todd also enjoyed several years in public affairs consulting and public relations, nonprofit advocacy, and government affairs. He has served the Boards of Heal the Bay and Downtown Santa Monica, Inc., and as an Advisory Board Member of LAANE. He currently is the Chair of the Advisory Board of Sustainable Works, an environmental education organization. In 2010 and then again in 2014, he was elected to the Santa Monica Rent Control Board.
Todd graduated from the University of Richmond and received a Masters in Political Management from George Washington University. He lives in Santa Monica, CA, with his wife, Erin, and Orchid, their beloved Boxer.
As an educator, executive, and serial entrepreneur, Rob started his first business when he was 9–he would pick people’s flowers from their yard and sell them back to them. Since then, he has co-founded other ventures in education, technology, and art, and has developed an obsession for helping to improve the world. Rob’s latest venture, Jemae, creates designer products that fund humanitarian projects throughout the world. Rob has worked with organizations like Google, Disney, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the White House, and his writings and ventures have appeared in the New York Times, People Magazine, CNN, Fox, and more. He is recognized as an authority on Leadership, Strategy, and Communications, and his dream is to help others realize their dreams.
After earning a degree in political science, Ahumada was accepted into the Panetta Institute for Public Policy. After completing the 5 month fellowship, James was hired on to work in Washington, D.C. for longtime Congressman Henry Waxman. There he served as legislative assistant and deputy press secretary, handling a portfolio consisting of education, labor and financial services policy. While in D.C., James volunteered periodically for the Obama campaign, canvasing throughout 2012 in the local DC-Maryland-Virginia area. James also volunteered for many CSU regional events and was a founding member of the Cal State – D.C. Alumni Network, now well over 250 members strong. With his boss’s retirement form Congress at the end of 2014, James returned to Southern California to work with CSULB, now overseeing marketing and communications for some of the campus’ most popular events and programs. James trains his student employees and campus student leaders on working with the media and in best practices for affecting lasting change.
Ahumada is a proud Long Beach Rotarian, member of the CSULB Alumni Association Board of Directors, alumni board chairman for the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity and president of the Long Beach Young Democrats.
Cynthia M. Ruiz is an Author, Professor, Inspirational Speaker, Leadership expert and Executive Coach. Receiving over 50 accolades and awards for her leadership and service to Los Angeles.
She currently serves as a Los Angeles City Commissioner overseeing a multibillion-dollar pension portfolio for City employees.
She has received the prestigious Hollywood Chamber “Women of Distinction Award, the HOPE “Ray of Hope” award and the Weingart, “Women Building LA Award. She has also received the “Presidents Award” from the University of West Los Angeles for her work as a Professor in the School of Business. Twice the California Apparel News has listed her on their renowned List of Influential People and LA Weekly showcased her in their people addition.
Cynthia has over twenty years of experience teaching and public speaking. She is the author of two books , “Cherokee Wisdom- 12 Lessons for Becoming a Powerful Leader” and “Finding Sane Relationships in a Crazy World”. She appeared in Discover the Gift (movie/book) with such notables, as is Holiness the Dala Lama, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Jack Canfield and many more.
Her career has placed her in many leadership roles including President of the Board of Public Works for the City of Los Angeles where she had oversight of 5,000 employees and a billion dollar per year budget. She has worked as an Executive at the number one container Port in the US and has successfully run her own business.
She has developed “7 Steps for Team Success” along with many other management tools for leaders.
Cynthia holds a Masters of Science Degree in Counseling and has completed a Leadership Course at Harvard University, John F Kennedy School of Government.
Coming from blended cultures (Latina and Native American), she enjoys a passion for life and an appreciation of the gifts of Mother Nature.
Cynthia knows the importance of giving back and always strives to stay humble. As a Latina she has a passion for women empowerment and started the Wise Latina Network. Her Cherokee values have inspired her to teach others with her lessons. She has does this through her books and workshops.
Wenonah Valentine, MBA specializes in community-defined practices and utilizes the emotional intelligence framework to build capacity for millennial and seasoned social change leaders. Through coaching and skill-building, she inspires experiential learning, leadership reflection, discovery and self-care. For more than two decades, she has led organizational growth, challenge and change. Founding Director of iDREAM for Racial Health Equity, a project of Community Partners®, she guides “head and heart” professionals toward empowered action and decision-making to eliminate health disparities and infant mortality. She is a celebrated alumna, service leader, diversity champion, and health equity collaborator throughout Southern California. SMA Blue Tie, Class of 1972 University of California, Santa Barbara B. A; double majors in Black Studies and Economics Azusa Pacific University M.B.A.; emphasis in Christian Business and Professional Leadership.
Lisa Daggett Cumming’s career has been spent almost entirely in the nonprofit arena. She has spent 32 years leading fundraising, marketing and fund development efforts for emerging nonprofit organizations in the areas of healthcare, education & social services, leveraging leadership and other key volunteers to achieve fundraising goals.
Lisa’s passion is fundraising for vital programs and services, empowering and stabilizing thousands of disenfranchised families. Lisa has raised money for a variety of causes including economic education, HIV/AIDS services, pregnant and parenting teens in foster care, public dental assistance, and youth and early childhood education services and currently is the Director of Development at South Bay Children’s Health Center.
Lisa is a California native who is married and has three children ages 19, 24 and 26. She earned her BS in Marketing from California State University Long Beach, and her MBA with a Marketing emphasis at Loyola Marymount University. She also recently became a Lecturer in the Department of Business Management, teaching Nonprofit Management at Loyola Marymount University. In her free time, Lisa likes to read, bake, hang out with her husband, listen to really good Blues music and volunteer for local charities when she is able to.
Dawn Wilcox is vice president of Corporate Partnerships at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. In this role, she oversees a team of 15 who manage the day-to-day activities of more than 150 corporate partners, Hollywood Cares for Kids and All Stars for Kids (uniting the entertainment and sports industry in support of CHLA). She creates and manages consumer engagement, cause marketing, corporate philanthropy and employee volunteer programs including Companies for Kids and the successful Make March Matter campaign which has raised millions of dollars for CHLA since it launched in 2016.
Dawn is an award-winning public relations and marketing professional with more than 22 years of cause marketing, client and corporate relations, social impact and leadership experience. She came to CHLA after eight and a half years at Allison+Partners, a global public relations agency where she ran the Los Angeles office and served as managing director of the Social Impact Practice. She has been working with corporations and not-for-profit organizations since 1995, creating and managing social impact programs for issues such as child abuse prevention, teen pregnancy, literacy, school reform, disability rights, reproductive health, traffic safety and family violence prevention. Dawn also previously served as a senior vice president at Ogilvy Public Relations and principal of her own firm, Penguin PR. Dawn received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and English from California State University, Chico.
LinkedIn: Dawn Wilcox
Guy McCloud is a board certified healthcare executive with years of combined civilian, military and federal healthcare experience. Born and raised in North Carolina – proud alum of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – undergrad and grad. His 9 ½ years as a US Navy Healthcare Officer exposed him to a wealth of diverse experiences and international cultures that transformed him into a more well-rounded person.
He moved to LA Sep 2011 for a position at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System (the world’s largest). He has grown to enjoy LA immensely – meeting great people, participating in a few community organizations and establishing himself as a Los Angeleno.
Membership Organizations include:
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc; National Association of Health Services Executives Southern Cal chapter (NAHSE SOCAL); American College of Healthcare Executives; Healthcare Executives Southern California (HCE); LA County Hospitals and Healthcare Commission; Crenshaw Family YMCA; City Club Los Angeles.
Noilyn Mendoza is the Founder and Certified Health and Wellness Coach of The Radiant U, a health coaching and consulting company based in LA and NYC. Her practice works with clients to transform their lives to more of what they want and less of what they don’t want. Noilyn focuses on bringing whole foods eating, mindfulness, and self-care to the forefront of their wellness journey.
Prior to her current role, she served as the Director of Policy for the Coalition for Asian American Children & Families for over 9 years. She was responsible for advocacy initiatives to improve language access, cultural competency, data improvements, and health care affordability. Among her major responsibilities was activating Project CHARGE, a health equity network of 16 social service agencies that increased health literacy and health insurance access for lowincome, limited English proficient Asian and Arab American communities. Their efforts helped over 19,000 individuals. Noilyn also spearheaded “Invisible No More”, a campaign that successfully advocated for the passage of legislation to improve the collection and reporting standards of demographic data by NYC city agencies. The data law passed unanimously in the NY City Council and was fully implemented in summer 2017. It mandates city agencies to collect data on the top 30 ethnicities (including mixed race), languages spoken, as well as sexual orientation and gender identity.
She received a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Analysis & Design from the University of California, Irvine, and a Master in Public Health, Sociomedical Sciences from the Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health.
Eddy Millis is the founder and President of Gamera, an entertainment company.
Eddy is a seasoned entrepreneur and has an extensive back round in creating, branding and marketing. He had produced over 26 live events. Some of his career highlights include creating and developing several brands and taking them to market. He also wrote the business plan to develop the sport of MMA for one of the largest media companies in India. Eddy was a business mentor for 3 1/2 years at CSUSB in the marketing program. Currently he is developing several immersive entertainment experiences. Be sure to ask him why they call him ” the Alien”.
Tiana Sanchez is in the business of developing people and believes there is no limit to your success. For over 17 years she has been in the trenches serving as Corporate Trainer and Business Consultant to top leaders in the financial, utility, and non-profit industries across the U.S. to foster a more confident and competent workforce in the new economy. In 2011, during the banking debacle, Tiana involuntarily departed from the corporate world as an employee and returned as a CEO. Through specialized keynote presentations, training seminars, and leadership programs Tiana helps companies develop the people they LEAD so that they can add value to the people they serve.
Tiana is a three-time published and bestselling author of F’d Up: The UPside of Failure, a non-fictional book of real-life stories and applicable tools for young adults and emerging leaders that she co-authored with her now 19-year-old son. Tiana has wowed crowds at Stanford University, UC Merced, Los Angeles Southwest College, University of La Verne, UC Riverside and Cal State LA. Recently, Tiana was nominated for the prestigious 2017 Inland Empire Spirit of the Entrepreneur Award.
Twitter handle: TianaS_coach
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TianaSanchezFanPage/
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/tianasanchez
YouTube – tianaempowers
Podcast on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/like-a-real-boss-podcast/id1127970616
Kimberly Kelly-Rolfe is founder and CEO of Kelly Rolfe Financial Services (www.kellyrolfe.com), a Los Angeles based accounting firm, established in 2005, that provides small businesses a one stop solution for financial services integrating accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation and payroll functions in a single space utilizing a team of experts. Kimberly has nearly 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, recently earned her Master of Science degree in Entrepreneurship & Innovation from USC’s Marshall School of Business and was awarded this year, USC’s prestigious Marcia Israel Award. She is best known for teaching workshops on business and finance throughout Southern California and in 2017, launched Accelerate Business Training designed to help entrepreneurs launch, run and grow in business. Her notable work includes a trip to the White House to advocate on behalf of small businesses and recognition by the SBA and City of Los Angeles as an Emerging Leader in business. Kimberly’s focus, as well as company mission is to improve the financial position of the people they serve. Through her work with Kelly Rolfe Financial Services and Accelerate, she works to fulfill a greater goal of developing small business owners into employers to create total employment in the US. Currently, Kimberly resides in Los Angeles, California with her husband of 23 years and two children.
AN INTEGRITY-DRIVEN LEADER WHO THINKS OUTSIDE THE BOX
With 16 years of insight and experience in the luxury Westside market, Gloria has represented numerous executives, celebrities, and VIPs as a buyer’s and seller’s agent. She has undergone the stringent verification process with multiple corporate clients moving in or out of West L.A. Gloria’s diverse background and ability to adapt to changing markets allow her to offer clients a well-rounded experience. She has a gentle, enthusiastic, no-nonsense approach to the negotiation process and commitment that extends well beyond the closing process.
FB: Gloria Castellanos I The Agency
Linked In: Gloria Castellanos – The Agency
AN INTEGRITY-DRIVEN LEADER WHO THINKS OUTSIDE THE BOX
Born and raised in the California Bay Area, Terrence McLaney attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Rhetoric with an emphasis in Public Discourse. Terrence recognized the importance of giving back to his community at an early age and has since been involved in several youth leadership and mentoring programs, including coaching basketball at all levels, serving as Executive Director of a youth camp, and as Dean of Students at a high school in Northern California.
In his current role as a Financial Services Professional with a Fortune 100 Company, Terrence furthers his community advocacy by educating and empowering his clients to take control of their financial future. Terrence has identified opportunities for closing the wealth gap that exists in America by exploring personal and historical relationships with money. He specializes in investments, retirement planning, insurance and legacy planning, wealth accumulation, and saving for college. Terrence is committed to increasing financial literacy and building generational wealth in underserved communities.