Advisory Councils

Dean's Executive Council

The Dean's Executive Council is a consultative body at California Lutheran University's School of Management. Members of the Dean's Executive Council are C-level executives in companies that are leaders in their industries. The members advise and support the Dean of the School of Management directly on matters related to the strategy and overall vision of the School. Through their engagement, these executives provide support to both maintain and raise the School's standing and profile in the national business community. Through its advice, the Dean's Executive Council influences advancements that will create global leaders of the future.

Sandy Brown, CPA, PFS, CGMA

Ret. Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, and President
Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc.

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Sandy Brown has served in key leadership positions at two Fortune 100 firms and one Fortune 200 firm -- most recently as Chairman of the Board, CEO, and President of Transamerica Financial Advisers, Inc. She is a Sarbanes-Oxley Financial Expert and a CPA.

Under the Transamerica umbrella, Sandy also served as Chairman of the Board, CEO, and President of Transamerica Securities Sales Corp.; and Director, Intersecurities Inc. She pioneered TFA Synergy®, the first completely paperless platform in the independent broker/dealer channel. For ten years, Sandy successfully directed 3,300 independent registered securities and insurance sales representatives with no regulatory sanctions during a period of intense compliance supervision. While at Transamerica, Sandy was hand-picked by AEGON, NV executive management to attend the firm's elite Executive Education program at the University of Nyenrode in The Hague, Netherlands.

Prior to her time at Transamerica, Sandy was Vice President, Mutual Fund Administration at Bank of America; Chairman of the Board, World Horizon Funds (an international proprietary mutual fund complex); and Chief Financial Officer of Bunker Hill Income Securities Fund (a closed-end fund). She was responsible for the management of all affairs related to the five independent boards of directors who were responsible for Bank of America's mutual fund universe ($28 billion in total assets), comprising some 40 funds of various types, registered both nationally and internationally.

Sandy orchestrated due-diligence teams for major acquisition targets and served as a principal adviser in executive-level acquisition negotiations, including those leading to the successful purchases of Continental Bank and Robertson Stevens. During this period of intense industry change, she merged approximately 36 mutual funds and 5 fund complexes, enhancing marketability and overall efficiency. Sandy also served on Bank of America's inaugural National Diversity Council.

In addition, Sandy also held executive positions in two non-profit organizations. She served on the Investment Committee of the American Heart Association, and as a Board Director for Los Angeles Youth Programs (LAYP), a non-profit organization that provided essential support for the families of children suffering from debilitating, long-term disabilities.

Currently, Sandy provides the financial services sector with strategic consulting related primarily to registered investment advisors, broker dealers, banks, insurance companies, and mutual fund organizations.


Hugh Cassar

Chief Executive Officer
Kretek International, Inc.

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Hugh Cassar is a life-long entrepreneur, a Chartered Accountant, and business graduate from The University of Toronto. He is the founder and Chairman of Kretek International, Inc. Corporate offices are located locally in Moorpark, California.  For the past 14 years Hugh has served as the Honorary Consul General of Malta.

Hugh and his wife, Keets, focus their philanthropic efforts in the Conejo Valley where they reside, as well as many other communities.  Local charities include Casa Pacifica, Cancer Support, New West Symphony, Cabrillo Music, and The Alliance for the Arts. Hugh is presently on the Dean's Executive Council for the School of Managment at California Lutheran University as well as the Executive Board of Directors of California State University Channel Islands.  He is a long-time resident of Westlake Village (since 1970), and has been fortunate to raise his 6 children here in the Conejo Valley. 

Kim Congdon

Chief People Officer
Fullscreen, Inc.

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Kim Congdon is the Chief People Officer at Fullscreen, Inc. She previously held the title of Managing Director/Chief Human Resources Officer for The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She is responsible for leading Human Resources as well as the Academy’s Foundation including, leadership of the Operations team, Strategic Planning, Programming, Education, the Margaret Herrick Library and the Academy’s Film Archives. Ms. Congdon was brought in to introduce best practices to a newly chartered organization with the ambitious goal of creating the world’s only major museum dedicated solely to motion pictures. In an organization that was tied to its traditions including typewriters and 3x5 index cards, change needed to be managed swiftly, but in a way that retained its excellence. Ms. Congdon implemented a wholesale change in health and welfare benefits as well as retirement benefits. She also developed and implemented a new organizational structure and is leading the initiative to create the organizations first ever vision, mission statement and strategic plan. She also put in place leadership development programs, performance management systems and incentive programs. None of which had previously existed.

Prior to assuming her current role, Ms. Congdon served as the Regional Vice President, Human Resources for Time Warner Cable with responsibility for over 9,000 employees. During her tenure, Ms. Congdon reorganized Human Resources from 5 separate divisions to a regionalized structure. As a member of the integration team for two mergers, she helped combine the cultures and workforces of Adelphia and Comcast with Time Warner, overseeing workforce reductions and employee transitions. She developed and implemented a plan to increase employee satisfaction that included new benefits programs, employee training and career path planning, leadership development and succession planning. In the area of process improvement, she was responsible for initiatives which resulted in reducing operating costs by 10%.

Ms. Congdon’s previous experience includes senior Human Resources positions in technology start-ups such as e-Policy and Ortel (which later became part of Lucent) as well as a global entertainment role with Sony Pictures.

She has a BS in Psychology and Communications from Emerson College in Boston and is a graduate of the Advanced Human Resources Management Program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.


Kevin Elms

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Dole Packaged Foods North America

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Kevin is Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Dole Packaged Foods North America headquartered in Westlake Village, California.  As finance and information technology leader for this billion dollar division of Dole International a wholly owned subsidiary of Itochu Corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.  He leads a direct staff of 62 with indirect links to finance staff in Canada and Europe.  Dole International is a leading producer, marketer and distributor of fresh fruit in Asia and is an industry leader in packaged and frozen fruit products worldwide.   Kevin was the Executive Sponsor of a division SAP implementation that went live in North America in 2011 and in Europe in 2014.  The division was acquired by Itochu in April 2013 from Dole Food Company.

 Before joining Dole, Kevin was Chief Accounting Officer at Decurion Corporation owner of Pacific Theatres and ArcLight Cinemas in Los Angeles and held various finance positions at Harland-Clarke in San Antonio, Texas, ending as Senior Vice President - Finance.

 Kevin holds a BBA in Accounting from Baylor University in Waco, Texas.  He started his career with Arthur Andersen and holds a CPA license in Texas. 

Gemma Godfrey

Board Director, Broadcaster, Quantum Physicist

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Voted the most popular business influencer on social media and named among the “savviest” on Wall Street by the Wall Street Journal, Gemma Godfrey shapes company strategy and public opinion alike.

With a strong track record managing investments for the world’s biggest companies, Godfrey takes businesses to the next level of growth. She advises ‘Game Changer’ firms to generate strong financial performance and is their Ambassador in the media.

Chief Investment Strategist at Brooks Macdonald, the publically listed wealth manager, Godfrey’s firm runs $10 billion across 11 offices. Setting the vision and direction of the firm, assets have trebled in the 3 years under her leadership.

With refreshing perspective, as a former quantum physicist, she is also an Advisor to the Board of Templars Communications Consultancy and JC Investments. Godfrey offers practical guidance, develops company strategy and determines risks to mitigate in order to achieve corporate objectives. She is an Advocate for the Alternative Investment Management Association.

Godfrey educates that in order to shape public opinion, you must empower people with knowledge. A true thought leader, she brings clarity to complex subjects and makes the alienating instead engaging and accessible. An Official Contributor and co-Host on CNBC, the channel reaches 390 million households around the world. She is also a trusted business expert on daytime television and was selected by the BBC as one of the world’s Top 100 Women “striving to make the world a better place”.

Previously, as Chairman of the Investment Committee at Credo Group, Godfrey built the firm to a scalable and profitable position. Moreover, as a Hedge Fund Manager at GAM and Julius Baer, she took her fund from laggard to top decile of performance, leveraging her success at UBS and Goldman Sachs.

Further Information:
Follow Gemma Godfrey @GCGodfrey

C. William Guy

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Cornerstone Leadership Solutions

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Bill Guy is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cornerstone Leadership Solutions, the Los Angeles member firm of Cornerstone International Group, which he founded in 1989 and for which he served as Chairman Emeritus. Mr. Guy has served as a consultant to Boards of Directors and senior management of many of the world's largest organizations in both the public and private sectors. This senior-level consulting has included numerous executive evaluations of Chairpersons, Presidents, Managing Directors, and other top management in virtually every industry.

Previously, Mr. Guy served as a Senior Partner and Director of Ward Howell International Group and earlier as Senior Associate of Korn/Ferry & Associates, both firms being leaders in the field of retained executive search. Prior to entering the executive search profession, Mr. Guy served as a Group Executive for six subsidiaries of an NYSE-listed conglomerate (International Industries Inc.) with worldwide responsibility.

An active philanthropist, Mr. Guy served three terms as President of Outreach Love, an international charity for children who are under-privileged, homeless, or mentally handicapped. He also has served seven terms on the National Council for the Boy Scouts of America, and received the coveted "International Who's Who in Community Service" award, granted by the International Biographical Centre of Cambridge, England.

Mr. Guy holds a degree in business administration and a degree in economics from California State University, Northridge, and has guest lectured to students from many colleges including Stanford, USC, UCLA, UCI, Drucker Graduate School of Management (Claremont Colleges), SFV College of Law, etc. Additionally, he has written many articles, books, and guest columns on the subjects of career planning and organizational leadership.

Brian Jemelian

Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration
Yamaha Corporation of America

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Brian Jemelian serves as the Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration for Yamaha Corporation of America. He is also Secretary for the corporation. Since manufacturing its first organ more than a century ago, Yamaha has grown into the world’s leading maker of musical instruments. Yamaha’s advanced technological base supports sound/music-related businesses in areas ranging from home theater systems, commercial audio systems, and LSI sound chips used in mobile phones.

Jemelian leads the finance, information technology, operations, human resources, logistics, legal, tax, and credit teams. Jemelian also serves as Project leader for Yamaha’s Business Continuity Project, Process Excellence Project, and risk management strategies. Jemelian joined Yamaha in 1996.

Prior to Yamaha, Jemelian was a Senior Manager in Audit and Business Advisory Services at Price Waterhouse in the Orange County, Los Angeles and London offices. His industry focus included financial services, retail and distribution. His clients included L.A. Gear, Reuters, First American, Bank of England, Lloyds Bank, Time Warner, and Yamaha.

Jemelian is a CPA. He graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and from the University of Southern California with a Master of Accounting degree. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and California Society of CPA’s. He currently serves as a Director on the Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute, Inc. and also serves as a Director for Line 6, Inc.

Jemelian is a past Task Force member of the Accounting Education Change Commission and is a recipient of the USC Leventhal School of Accounting Distinguished Service Award. He is also involved with various not-for-profit organizations. He is married and has three daughters. The Jemelians reside in Irvine and enjoy vacationing together.

Simone Lagomarsino

President and Chief Executive Officer
Heritage Oaks Bancorp & Heritage Oaks Bank

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Simone Lagomarsino is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Oaks Bancorp, parent company of Heritage Oaks Bank. She joined Heritage Oaks in September 2011, with more than 20 years of experience in executive positions at financial institutions in Southern California. During her tenure with Heritage Oaks, the Bank has achieved the best financial performance in its thirty year history. Heritage Oaks Bank has $1.6 billion in assets and is the largest community bank headquartered on California's central coast. The Bank operates 12 branches and 2 Loan Production Offices from Paso Robles to Oxnard.

She currently serves on the boards of directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, the Alzheimer's Association's California Central Coast Chapter, Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, and the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center of San Luis Obispo.

She earned an MBA with an emphasis in finance from Claremont Graduate School and a bachelor's degree in economics from Claremont McKenna College.

Dr. Harlan A. Levine, M.D.

Chief Executive
City of Hope Medical Foundation

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Harlan Levine, M.D., is chief executive of City of Hope Medical Foundation. In this role, he oversees the ambulatory and outpatient practices on City of Hope's main campus and community clinics and leads strategic growth. He is a member of City of Hope's organization-wide executive team.

Prior to City of Hope, he served as executive vice president of Wellpoint, Inc., leading the Comprehensive Health Solutions division, and overseeing health and specialty management, pharmacy, and healthcare, retail and HIT strategy.

Prior to WellPoint, Dr. Levine was the national practice leader for Tower Watson's health management consulting practice. Before that, he served in roles of increasing clinical management responsibility, including chief clinical officer of OptumHealth, a division of United Health Group, based in Minneapolis; and regional medical director of PacifiCare of California, based in Los Angeles.

Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and licensed by the Medical Board of California, Dr. Levine has held an appointment on IBM's Watson Healthcare Board of Advisors and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative, and the Strategic Advisory Board for Quantum Health. He earned his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco, and interned at Mount Zion Hospital and Medical Center in San Francisco. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Health System in Los Angeles.

Kevin Manion

Former Chief Financial Officer
Young's Market Company

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Kevin Manion is the former Chief Financial Officer for Young's Market Company and Young's Holdings, Inc.

Young's Market Company is a $2.9Billion, 125 year, family owned distributor of wine and liquor servicing the happiness needs of the Western United States. Young's Holdings is the family business office which includes liquor distributorships, minority private equity investments and real estate holdings.

Prior to Young's, Mr. Manion has been the interim CFO for Hostess Brands (Twinkies and Wonderbread); Bolthouse Farms, a produce and beverage company (sold to Campbell Soup); EBS Dealing Resources, a financial services company (sold to ICAP, Plc); Synapse, a direct marketing company (sold to Time, Inc.); Aimcor, a chemical distributor (sold to KKR); Nestle USA as Corporate Controller and CFO for the ice cream (Dreyer's), water (Arrowhead) and pet food (Alpo) businesses. He has also been with SilverPoint Capital, which is a $5B hedge fund, as a portfolio company advisor and Entenmann's/Oroweat as a Division Controller. He started his career at Arthur Andersen in the privately held business consulting group in Milwaukee, WI and San Francisco.

Mr. Manion is a CPA, Certified Treasury Professional, Certified Production and Inventory Control Manager, Certified in Investor Relations and Certified by the National Association of Corporate Directors.

His undergraduate degree is from the University of Notre Dame.

Mr. Manion is on the board of Greenhouse Marketing Agency; Wilson Daniels, Inc. a fine wine distributor and the Notre Dame Club of Ventura County. He is also co-host of the Southern California CFO Summit, an annual invitation-only conference of CFO's.


Bryan Palbaum

President and Chief Operations Officer
Trader Joe's Company

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Bryan is President and Chief Operations Officer at Trader Joe’s Company.   Trader Joe’s has over 450 neighborhood grocery stores located throughout the United States.  Bryan currently has direct responsibility for warehouse and distribution, finance, risk management, human resources and management information systems.  Bryan joined Trader Joe’s Company in 2002 as the company’s Chief Financial Officer, and has also had direct responsibility for real estate site selection and development. 

 Prior to joining Trader Joe’s, Bryan was a partner with the accounting firm KPMG LLP.  Bryan spent two years in KPMG’s national technical office and three years in KPMG’s Hong Kong office advising Asia Pacific clients on US SEC accounting and reporting matters. 

 Bryan is a certified public accountant (non-active) in the State of California and graduated from California State University, Long Beach.  Bryan is a board member of The Los Angeles Metropolitan YMCA and de Toledo High School.

 Bryan lives in Encino, California with his wife and two daughters.


Ravi K. Sawhney

President and Chief Executive Officer
RKS Design

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As the founder and CEO of RKS Design, Ravi Sawhney has spent more than thirty-five years at the forefront of product and technology innovation and has grown his industrial design consultancy into a global leader in the fields of strategy, innovation and design.

Mr. Sawhney, a Canadian born designer of Indian descent, was raised in Los Angeles, California where he attended CSU Northridge and Art Center College of Design. Today he leads RKS in Southern California, a firm he started in 1980 after leaving Xerox where he was the lead designer on the first generation of touch screen interfaces. He remarkably alternates between roles as CEO, entrepreneur, lecturer, author, designer and, most importantly, as an advocate of design's ability to help others and make the world a better place.

Mr. Sawhney is a regular columnist/blogger for Fast Company, as well as a popular corporate and academic lecturer. He is also founder and initial jury chair of IDSA's Catalyst Case Study™ program, imbued with showcasing design's power for positive change. While leading RKS, Mr. Sawhney invented the Psycho-Aesthetics® design methodology, which Harvard Business School adopted as a case study before it became the central focus of Predictable Magic—a book authored by Mr. Sawhney and co-authored by Deepa Prahalad, published by Wharton School Publishing in August 2010. Mr. Sawhney was inducted into the IDSA academy of fellows in 2009 and holds a Ph.D. (hon.) from the Academy of Art University.

Advisory Council

The Advisory Council is a group of business professionals who serve as advisors to the School of Management and provide valuable insights on developments in the business community. The members of the Advisory Council come from a variety of industries and functional backgrounds, and several members are alums of the School. Focusing on program improvements and program enhancements, they support the School of Management on a wide range of activities involving students, faculty and alumni.


Haider Alawami

Economic Development Manager, City of Thousand Oaks

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Haider Alawami graduated from the University of Southern California in 1985 with Bachelor of Science in Public Administration & Planning. He has worked for the City of Thousand Oaks for 27 years, 25 years as a planner in Community Development Department and 2 years as Economic Development Manager in the City Manager’s Office. As Economic Development Manager, he is the liaison between the business community and the City.

Mr. Alawami’s major planning accomplishments include: the adoption of the Thousand Oaks Boulevard Specific Plan, the Oaks mall expansion and renovation, The Lakes shopping center, Many Mansions and Area Housing Authority affordable housing projects, Gardens of the World, and he is also a graduate of the 2008/2009 Thousand Oaks Leadership Academy.

He has been married to his wife, Cathy for 31 years and raised two kids; Andrew age 27, and Nesreen age 24.

Mark Bashforth

Mark A. Bashforth

CEO & President, US Seismic Systems, Inc.

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A true global citizen, Mark Bashforth has lived and worked internationally for over 25 years.

Based in Houston Texas, Mark was recently employed as CEO & President at US Seismic Systems where under his leadership; the company’s successfully completed the commercialization of it’s optical downhole seismic systems for microseismic monitoring.

Mark previously served as the General Manager of CGG’s GeoSoftware Group. In that role he lead a team of over 220 geoscience, sales and marketing professionals including nine direct reports on a global basis in 17 countries with a P&L responsibility of $65MM.

He was also previously the Managing Director and later President for the Americas for Roxar Inc., a leading solution provider for reservoir management solutions prior to its sale to Emerson.

Mark’s career spans several industries including publishing, technology and energy where he has held various senior executive positions.

He has a reputation for excellence and a proven track record of creating growth and maximizing shareholder value.

During his career he has successfully:

  • Managed and grown worldwide operations for a $50 MM software division with 245 employees, 25 offices located in 17 countries
  • Facilitated various international merger and acquisition transactions under Private Equity and Public Listed environments
  • Established, expanded and developed offices and businesses in the Americas, Asia, CIS, Europe and the Middle East
  • Created start up operations and reorganized non-performing businesses

He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Computer Science from California Lutheran University.

Known as an innovative, passionate and charismatic leader who builds and motivates teams to achieve their potential and deliver results, Mark is also an accomplished speaker and experienced board member.

He is an avid sailor and has completed a transatlantic crossing on his sailboat with his two sons.

Jay Bradshaw

Senior Program Manager, Disney’s Technology Solutions and Services

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Jay Bradshaw is a Senior Program Manager with Disney’s Technology Solutions and Services. Jay is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO). Jay has led numerous technical and business projects with increasing complexity, strategic value and high visibility within multiple business segments, and across the enterprise. He frequently interacts with senior executive staff regarding project status, issues and risk and issue management.

As a Senior Project Manager with Disney's Technology Solutions & Services, he has led projects and portfolios of projects, including delivering a multi-year, multi-phase transition of banking relationships for TWDC globally, impacting areas such as disbursements, payroll, cash vault and lock box services.

Jay received his Master’s in Business Administration with an emphasis in International Business from California Lutheran University.

Bob Bushnell

Robert "Bob" Bushnell

 Vice Presdient, Strategy and Business Development, L-3 Communications

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Bob Bushnell is Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, for L-3 Communications, Integrated Sensor Systems (ISS) business.  L-3’s ISS sector is focused on making the world safer by producing the best sensing solutions in all domains—Space, Airborne, Ground, Maritime (surface and undersea), and Cyber.  ISS does business globally and has a footprint comprised of seven divisions, with 20 operating locations in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, and Italy.

Mr. Bushnell has over thirty years of domestic and international business experience in aerospace and defense, and telecommunications.  He spent 23 years with Hughes Aircraft Company and, later, Raytheon Company, after it acquired Hughes. While at Hughes/Raytheon, Bushnell received multiple awards for Business Development Excellence, the highest recognition for excellence in his field.  He also served on the executive leadership team at Northrop Grumman’s Navigation Systems business, formerly Litton Industries.

 Over the course of his career, Bob has sold highly complex military and commercial systems in some of the world’s most challenging markets such as the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, and Europe. He has negotiated a wide range of international business transactions including special mission aircraft for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance missions; telecommunications satellites, joint ventures, and strategic alliances, several in excess of $1 billion. While at Hughes, he helped launch the hugely successful direct-to-home satellite television service, DirecTV.

Prior to joining Hughes, Bob spent seven years with LTV Aerospace and Defense as a marketing executive.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Pepperdine University, an MBA degree from California Lutheran University and has completed graduate management programs at the University of Southern California and the University of Michigan. In 2012, Bushnell was honored by CLU as a Silver Anniversary Alumni, one the School of Management's top 25 distinguished MBA graduates.

Bob has been married for 35 years and has two adult children.

Jason Carignan

Chief Marketing Officer, Kretek International, Inc.

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In Jason's current role as Chief Marketing Officer at Kretek International Inc., he is working to unite Kretek's highly-differentiated business units and 30+ disparate marketing reports under one leader to maximize growth opportunities across the companies.

Jason began his career in marketing but his passion for design, innovation and trend-spotting quickly had him working seamlessly across many fronts as brand consultant, experience architect, product designer, entrepreneur and writer.

Early in his career, Jason worked as a marketing executive in the banking industry where he gained extensive client-side brand management experience and organizational fluency for getting things done in large firms. In 2003, he formed Tonic, a boutique brand and design consultancy located in Southern California, where he helped launch innovative products and experiences for leading healthcare, hospitality, financial services and technology brands including Anthem Blue Cross, The Four Seasons, Countrywide Bank, USAA and Sprint.

By 2009, Jason’s experience developing breakthrough products eventually led to the creation and co-founding of Vapur, the original foldable reusable water bottle. Vapur’s eco-friendly Anti-Bottles® have won a number awards from Outside Magazine, Backpacker, National Geographic and Men’s Journal and have been adopted by athletes, celebrities, activists and families alike. Vapur products are now sold in stores across the U.S. and more than 20 countries worldwide.

Tonic eventually merged with Red Marketing in 2010, where Jason continues to serve as Partner, leading key client engagements for retail software giants Aspect, JDA and RMG Networks among others.

Jason is a frequent guest speaker and serves on the Board of the American Red Cross Ventura and the Dean’s Advisory Council for California Lutheran University’s School of Management where he also holds a bachelor’s degree in Advertising. He currently resides in Thousand Oaks, Calif. with his wife and two sons.

Jim Cathcart


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Jim Cathcart, CSP, CPAE is a Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame member (2012) and the author of 16 books including the international best sellers: Relationship Selling and The Acorn Principle. He is an industry leader among professional speakers and holds virtually every award and credential in that field. His 2,800 presentations worldwide to over 2,000 separate clients has given him a broad perspective on the keys to business success in any field.

His decade of involvement with Cal Lutheran is evidence of his commitment to helping people succeed. In addition to his domestic business he is an active speaker and advisor to clients around the world. In his spare time Jim is a mountain trail runner and a professional entertainer.

Sue Chadwick

Retired Senior Vice President & Private Client Advisor, Santa Barbara Bank and Trust

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Suzanne M. Chadwick is Senior Vice President & Private Client Advisor serving clients and the community of Ventura County.

Ms. Chadwick joined SBB&T in 1993. She was selected to launch the Bank’s presence in Ventura County in 1995, and has subsequently been widely recognized for her successful cultivation of that market, and her deep involvement in community activities throughout the county.

Ms. Chadwick is a long-time resident and veteran Ventura County banker, with a 39-year financial services career in those communities. For the 21 years prior to joining SBB&T, she held a variety of positions with the former Bank of A. Levy.

Ms. Chadwick is a 1994 graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School affiliated with the University of Washington in Seattle.

Her commitment to local civic and charitable organizations in Ventura County continues to distinguish her among the community’s most dedicated residents. She has received Ventura County Leadership Academy’s first Distinguished Community Leader Award. She has received the “Carl F. Lowthrop – Golden Eagle Award” from the Ventura County Economic Development Association; the “Woman of Distinction Award” from the Girl Scouts of Tres Condados; the “Women Helping Women Award” from Soroptomist International of Oxnard; the “Woman of Achievement Award” from the Buena Center Business and Professional Woman’s Organization; 2006 Oxnard Woman of the Year, Top 50 Women in Business, 2007 Clara Barton Spirit of Community Volunteer of the Year Award, 2007 Woman of the Year for California State Senate District 19 and United Way Women’s Leadership Award in 2011.

Ms. Chadwick currently serves on the Community and Foundation boards of St. John’s Regional Medical Center, member of the California Lutheran University CERF Board, KCLU Advisory Board, Ventura County Economic Development Association, Carnegie Art Museum, Ventura County Fair Foundation, Ventura County Farm Bureau Foundation, Economic Development Corporation of Oxnard, American Cancer Society Community Council and the Board of Counselors for the California Lutheran University School of Business. She is also a member of the Oxnard Rotary Club.

Meghan Clark

Partner, Clark*Everson LLP

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Meghan Clark is a founding partner at the law firm Clark*Everson LLP in Westlake Village, California. After being a partner in Ventura County’s two biggest law firms, in 2013 Meghan decided to channel her entrepreneurial spirit and start her own firm. Currently, the five lawyer boutique firm focuses on representing business and management on every employment law issue possible, along with general business law, litigation and appellate work.

Meghan’s practice concentrates on employment law and appellate work. She also uses experience gained from years of handling civil litigation matters and intellectual property issues, to provide day-to-day advice to employers. Her background in litigation makes her uniquely positioned to advise and strategize with clients on how to avoid winding up in the courtroom. However, if litigation cannot be avoided, Meghan represents her clients before all possible agencies and courts.

Meghan was recognized as one of Super Lawyers' “Rising Stars” in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. In 2006, she received the Pacific Coast Business Times' "Top 40 under 40″ award. In 2013, she was one of six women selected by the Pacific Coast Business Times in the Professional Services category for the Top 50 Women in Business award. In 2014, she was selected as the “Editor’s Choice” in the same category.

A Ventura County native, Meghan is active in the local community and currently serves as a member of the Advisory Council for California Lutheran University’s School of Management and is the Vice Chair of the East Ventura County Employer’s Advisory Council. Meghan is a past board member of the Ventura County Bar Association, the California Young Lawyers Association, past president of the Ventura County Barristers’ Association and past coach for the Thousand Oaks High School Mock Trial Team.

Meghan is a frequent speaker and often presents seminars to various associations on employment matters.


Primo Custodio

Retired VP Human Resources, Operation & Technical Services, NBC Universal

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Primo Custodio retired in March 2016, after a career spanning 44 years.   He held the position of Vice President of Human Resources for NBC Universal since September 2001.   In this role, Custodio was responsible for overseeing the Human Resources function on the West Coast for the Operations & Technical Services consisting of Universal Studio Operations including production and post-production and West Coast Technical Operations consisting of engineering & technology, and Universal Technical Operations.  Custodio began his career with what is now NBC Universal in 1972, holding various management positions in Employee Benefits, Training & Development, Labor Relations, Staffing, and Employee Relations.  During his tenure with NBCUniversal, he has overseen the Human Resources team through 6 significant mergers and acquisitions.   

Custodio holds an M.B.A. in Management and Organizational Behavior and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from California Lutheran University. 

Steven D. Dorfman

Retired Vice Chairman of Hughes Electronics

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Steven D. Dorfman is the retired Vice Chairman of Hughes Electronics. During his time at Hughes he served as CEO of Hughes Space and Communications Company, the world’s leading builder of communication satellites and a provider of Space Systems for the NASA, NRO, Navy and Air Force; Hughes Communications, a leading owner and operator of communication satellites; and Hughes Telecommunications and Space, a unit responsible for the above businesses plus the international development of DirecTV.

While CEO of Hughes Communications, Dorfman was responsible for the development of the Galaxy System, the leading North American satellite service provider, subsequently merged with Intelsat; the JCSAT system for Japan, in partnership with Mitsui and Itochu; the initiation of the direct to home business at Hughes which ultimately became DirecTV; and several other satellite businesses. After retiring from Hughes, Mr. Dorfman was the Hunsaker Visiting Professor at MIT, the Chairman of ProtoStar Ltd and a member of the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee.

Mr. Dorfman has served on the Boards of Hughes, Raytheon, PanAmSat, American Mobile Satellite, Galaxy Latin America, JCSAT, DirecTV, Galaxy Institute, ProtoStar and HRL Laboratories. He has been a Trustee of the Boys and Girls Club and the Devereux Foundation. He is currently a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), the Tennenbaum Capital Advisory Board, the Thoroughbred Owners of California, and is a Senior Fellow of the California Council for Science and Technology. He has served on advisory committees for NASA, FCC, USIA, Department of Transportation, Air Force, USC School of Engineering, Hughes Network Systems, Boeing Satellite Systems, JPL, Ames Research Center and the National Research Council.

Among Mr. Dorfman’s awards are the Distinguished Public Service Award, NASA’s highest award, for his work on Pioneer Venus; the Society of Satellite Professionals Hall of Fame; and Via Satellite’s Satellite Executive of the Year for 1995.


Henry Dubroff

Owner and Chief Editor, Pacific Coast Business Times

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Henry Dubroff is founder and majority owner of Pacific Coast Business Times, the award-winning, weekly business journal for Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties in coastal California. The Business Times, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2010, also operates the web site and produces a number of successful awards events each year.

Dubroff co-authored "Battling Big Box: How Nimble Niche Companies Can Outmaneuver Giant Competitors", co-founded the Green Coast Innovation Zone, a three-county economic development group focused on clean technology, and is a commentator on KCLU, the NPR station for the Central Coast and a regular contributor to the Denver Post's Sunday opinion section.

Dubroff was the business editor of The Denver Post from 1988 to 1995 where he was part of a management team that rescued the newspaper from near-bankruptcy. From 1995-1999 he was the editor at The Denver Business Journal.

In addition to serving on the CLU School of Management Board of Counselors, Dubroff serves on the board of Ventura County Economic Development Association, United Way, and on the advisory board at the Martin V. Smith School of Management at California State University, Channel Islands. He was graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. and received his Master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York.

Ellie Gates

Ellie Gates

Vice President of People and Culture, Snowflake

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Ellie is the Vice Presiden of People and Culture at Snowflake. She recently servced as the Sr. Director for Talent Development for the hyper-growth, innovative secure electronic collaboration company Box, Inc. in Los Altos, CA.  She is responsible for leading the build of innovative and engaging initiatives across career, learning, performance, management/leadership, and accelerated rotational programs to enable Boxers and Leaders to perform at Epic heights.

Ellie’s biggest goal is to help people understand their unique contributions and to learn from each other in order to maximize their contributions and impact the business in an agile and powerful way.

Prior to coming to Box she held executive leadership roles across her 20+ year career in business partnering, OD & Learning, and talent management for hyper-growth start-ups to large Fortune 500 companies including other companies such as: Adobe, Omniture, Microsoft, T-Mobile, Pitney Bowes, and MCI Telecommunications.   Some of her biggest accomplishments include transforming the annual review process at Adobe, taking learning 100% digital, and building award winning management programs that have been featured by Bersin & Associates.

Ellie is a life long learner, and holds dual Masters Degrees in Business Administration (2000) and a Global Leadership (2010) in addition to her BA in Psychology. She also loves to write and is a published chapter author for ASTD on Leadership Development in The Talent Management Scorecard (2012).

Outside the office you'll find her greatly involved in her community and family. She has been married for over 20 years and is mother of three middle & high schoolers.


Steven Guzzo

Strategy Manager, Planning & Governance at Walmart

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Steven Guzzo, born in California, now resides in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Northridge and a Master in Business Administration from California Lutheran University. Steven’s background is in business management, information technology, education and entrepreneurship. He is employed by Walmart as an ISD Strategy Manager and is the co-founder of an entrepreneurial company with US patents pending. Prior to joining Walmart, he served as the Director of IT for a large newspaper company, and as Vice President for Bank of America. Steven is focused on equality for the LGBTQ community, and in addition to his involvement with the Center for Equality, serves as a Chair for Walmart’s PRIDE associate resource group.

Jean L. Helm

Business Development Principal with Jacobs Technology

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Jean is an accomplished executive with Jacobs Technology who is highly skilled in interpersonal relations, with an established performance record supporting a wide variety of government and international programs both in operations and business development. She has significant leadership experience in a wide range of operating environments and a consistent record of success in a variety of business cultures including cross-functional business teams and matrix organizations.

Currently a Business Development Principal with Jacobs Technology, a premier provider to NASA, the DoD and commercial clients, Jean supports corporate business development goals by providing expertise in understanding client request for proposal (RFP) requirements and translating those requirements into language that is easily understandable by non-technical personnel.

Jean is also assigned as the company’s new and renewing contracts Transition Manager. In this role, she manages contract transitions, working with the contract management team and clients to establish company processes and procedures specific to the client and contract, deliver initial documentation, and hire a qualified workforce to execute contract requirements. She also assists in establishing the required functional roles (i.e., Human Resources, Security, Information Technology).

Collateral duties include corporate-level instruction, regularly traveling to different Jacobs business units across the country to provide expertise in communications, conflict resolution, high performance team building, engaging employees in a high performance culture, managing employee performance, and organizational trust and integrity.

Previously, Jean spent 15 years as a Jacobs Program Management and Logistics Operations Director, supporting several Navy programs under an engineering services contract. During this time, Jean was also assigned as the group Community Relations Director. As such, she recommended non-profit partnerships, managed the business unit giving campaign, and conducted a yearly scholarship search.

Prior experience includes program support positions of increasing responsibility working for manufacturing and services firms Control Data, Science Applications International Corporation, Hughes Aircraft, Litton Industries and Lear/BAE.

Jean holds an MBA in Management and Organizational Behavior from CLU, a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Southwest Minnesota State University, and an Engineering Management Certification from the California Institute of Technology.

Tommie Joe

Chief Operating Officer of Education Management Systems (EMS), Inc. and Pathways Management Group (PMG)

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Mr. Joe is a business executive who has built a highly successful career in such diverse industries as telecommunications, manufacturing, education, healthcare, information technology, software development, and petroleum. Throughout his career he has demonstrated his ability to build and grow businesses by articulating vision, creating strategic plans, streamlining operations and removing silos. He is respected by his peers and colleagues for his insistence on adherence to corporate values that create cohesive teams that deliver better bottom line results.

Mr. Joe is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Education Management Systems (EMS), Inc. and Pathways Management Group (PMG) which manages independent study public Charter Schools. In this role, Mr. Joe is responsible for managing all operational aspects of the company which includes having the proper operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, and systems in place to ensure the successful growth of the company.

Prior to joining Education Management Systems, Mr. Joe served as the President of DEX Services worldwide Supply Chain Services, an industry leader of reverse logistics supply chain services, President and COO of ISD Corporation a leader in the Justice Software industry, President and COO of Public Communications Services, a telecommunications and software application enterprise for law enforcement.

Mr. Joe began his career as an engineer for Exxon Company, USA, where he progressed up the management ranks for 17 years and managed multi-million dollar offshore oil and gas exploration and development projects in the Gulf of Mexico and California. Mr. Joe then became Chief Operating Officer for CyberOptions, Inc., a consulting and product development firm specializing in the healthcare industry.

Mr. Joe received his MBA in Information Technology Management from California Lutheran University and his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. He is active and has served in several community and professional groups, including: Vistage International, Forum for Corporate Directors, UCLA Global Access Program Judge, and USC Maseeh Entrepreneurship Prize Competition Advisor. He is a Certified Director and was a Board Member for the Los Angeles Area Council of the Boy Scouts. He is also a member of Tech Coast Angels since 2011 and has invested in a number of local startups.

Andrew P. Kiefer

Manager, CBIZ

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Andrew Kiefer, CPA, Director at CBIZ and Shareholder at Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. specializes in providing tax, audit, attest, and consulting services to companies in the construction, manufacturing, retail, and software industries. CBIZ and Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. is the 7th largest accounting firm in the country and Andrew is based in their Ventura County office.

Jerry Knotts

President, California Coast Venture Forum, Inc.

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Jerry Knotts is an entrepreneur and has worked with entrepreneurs for over 20 years. He co-founded the California Lutheran University Thousand Oaks Venture Forum, was co-operator of numerous venture forums though-out Southern California, and helped create the Central Coast Venture Forum, now known as the California Coast Venture Forum. Over this period of time, he started four companies and mentored over 250 start-ups.

Currently, Jerry is President, California Coast Venture Forum, Inc., parent of the Clean Business Investment Summit (CBIS), held annually in Santa Barbara, and serves as mentor for the LARTA Institute, Maverick Angels, and the Southern California BioMedical Council (SoCALBIO).

Jerry serves as Chairman, Executive Committee for BioQuip Products, Inc., and as a member of the Blue Ocean Sciences.

In addition to his service on the Advisory Council, Knotts has been an advisor to the CLU Entrepreneur Roundtable and is President, South Coast Youth Leadership Conference, Inc, Thousand Oaks; Treasurer, Youth Enrichment Foundation, Inc., Alexandria, VA; and Executive Secretary, Society of Wild Weasels.

His previous executive positions included Commander, (USAF) Washington Area Contracting Center, Andrews AFB, MD; DCASPRO Detroit Diesel Allison, Indianapolis, IN; Vice-President/General Manager, Government Electronics Division, California Microwave Inc., Woodland Hills, CA; and Vice-President, American Nucleonics Corporation, Westlake Village, CA.

Jerry holds a BSEE (Electrical Engineering) from The Pennsylvania State University; and an MBA from Auburn University. In addition, he is a graduate of the Defense Acquisition University, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Air Command and Staff College, and Air War College.


Linda Catherine Le

Assistant Treasurer-Tax Collector

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Linda Catherine Le is the Assistant Treasurer-Tax Collector for Ventura County. She is the Chief Operations Officer for the overall administration and operation of the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office. Prior to joining the Honorable Judge Steven Hintz, Ms. Le served as a Program Management Analyst for the County of Ventura, County Executive Office/Budget and Finance Office for seven years.

Ms. Le holds a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology, graduating cum laude from Long Beach State University, and a Masters of Public Policy and Administration, graduating summa cum laude from California Lutheran University. She is an adjunct professor at California Lutheran University in the MPPA program since 2005.

Ms. Le is certified as Advanced Certified Public Finance Investment Manager (ACPFIM). She is a member of California Society of Municipal Finance Officers, the Association of Public Treasurers of the United States and Canada, and the California Municipal Treasurer’s Association.

Ms. Le serves as a board member in leadership roles to various organizations, including as a Chair to the inaugural Ventura County Women’s Economic Roundtable Advisory Commission; a steering committee member of the Ventura County Leadership Academy; a member of the Community Leaders Advisory Panel of the Camarillo Health Care District; a member the Ventura County Community Foundation Scholarship Committee; and appointed advisory member to the City of Camarillo Citizens Advisory Committee on Land Use.

Nancy Mayerson

Owner, Mayerson Marketing & Public Relations, Inc

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Nancy Mayerson launched Mayerson Marketing & Public Relations (MMPR) in 1993 after 10 years of challenging positions in marketing, public affairs, and community relations and outreach. With MMPR, she continues to build on her expertise of providing successful marketing and PR efforts for a wide range of public and private sector clients.

In her professional and volunteer activities, she is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the region. She is on many nonprofit organizations' boards of directors including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme, CLU's Center for Economic Research and Forecasting, the board of the Center for Oxnard Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County, and the newly formed Rio Schools Foundation. She recently served on the boards of Goodwill Industries of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, United Way of Ventura County and the Ventura County Civic Alliance.

Over the years, MMPR has helped many nonprofits get their message to the community. Clients have included the Wellness Community Valley/Ventura, New West Symphony, the Camarillo Library and California Lutheran University, among others.

Nancy was honored as Community Advocate of the Year (2009) by the National Association of Women Business Owners-Ventura County, and was recognized multiple years by the Pacific Coast Business Times' at one of the Top 50 Women in Business. MMPR is honored as a Family Friendly Employer annually, and received the Ventura County Work-Life Initiative's Organizational Leadership Award for Small Business, among other distinctions.


Kamalika Roy

Principal IS Business Systems Analyst, Amgen Inc.

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Kamalika Roy has been with Information Systems group at Amgen Inc., since 2013. She has worked in a variety of roles, engaging with core business areas such as IT Service Management, Medical Information Management, Clinical Development and Mergers & Acquisitions. Prior to joining Amgen, Kamalika held IT positions in internationally in London and India.

Kamalika is a PMI Certified Project Manager and an ITIL certified Service Level Management Practitioner, with extensive experience designing and optimizing technology to drive business performance.

Kamalika has B.A in Political Science from Banaras Hindu University in India, and a M.A and M.Phil in Political Science from the University of Delhi in India. She graduated from California Lutheran University’s School of Business in 2006, with a specialization in Information Systems Management.


Ian Sephton

Co-Founder & CEO, Hangar202, Syncromatics

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Ian brings 19 years of experience to The Branstetter
Group with a focus on concept ideation, strategy,
branding, marketing, and customer experience design.
Since 2008 Ian has helped create 10+ brands from the
ideation phase through to opening; All of which are in
operation today. He has also led turnarounds and rebranding
of concepts for regional and national brands.
Before those roles, Ian completed the turnaround of a
SaaS technology company doubling the company in less
than two years. On the corporate experience side, Ian was
previously AVP for the University of Southern California,
where he was responsible for $180M P&L, 1400+
employees for the divisions of hospitality (40 venues),
housing (54 assets), and transportation (2 campuses).
Before USC, Ian worked in senior leadership roles with
DHL and the United States Marine Corps. Ian was
awarded the Top 25 Alumni Award at CLU, Administrator
of the Year at USC, and led 2 companies to the Inc5000
award for fastest growing private companies. Ian has a
B.S. in Business Administration from California Lutheran
University and an MBA from the University of Southern

Ed Summers

President & CEO, Ventura Chamber of Commerce

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Ed Summers joined the Ventura Chamber of Commerce in November 2011 after serving in the financial services and banking industry for 28 years. His experience includes 12 years as Senior Vice President and Chief Credit Officer for Affinity Bank. At Affinity Bank, Ed also served as the Bank’s Community Investment Officer and chaired the Bank’s contribution committee. Prior to that, he was the Vice President and Regional Commercial Banking Manager for Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties at Bank of America. Prior to banking, Ed worked in academic development for the University of Southern California and Claremont University Center.

Summers has been active in the community, serving as a Councilmember for the City of Ventura from 2005 to 2009. During this time Ed served on numerous committees including Chairing the Council’s Economic Development Committee and Vice Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. While on City Council he worked with the Chamber of Commerce to present the first Economic Summit in 2009. Ed has a strong background in economic and community development. He is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the School of Business at California Lutheran University. Ed was recently appointed by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors to the County’s Workforce Investment Board. He was a director of Ventura County Economic Development Association (VCEDA) for 12 years, serving as chair of the organization for three years and served as President and a Board member of the Economic Development Collaborative – Ventura County (EDC-VC). He was Co-Chair of the Ventura County 2005 BRAC Task Force, is Immediate President of the Board for the Ventura Boys and Girls Club. Ed has served on numerous Boards including Casa Pacifica, the Ventura Visitors and Convention Bureau, CAPS, and the Ventura Music Festival.

Michael Teasdale

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Michael Teasdale retired from Baxter BioScience as Senior Director, Operational Excellence, a 6.2 billion dollar biotech division of Baxter International. He was in this role for 12 years, driving strategic planning and divisional dashboards, as well as leading a Lean and Six Sigma roll out and organization. The initiative Michael led yielded more than 550 million dollars in benefit as well as improving quality outcomes and cycle times.

Before joining Baxter, Michael worked 6 years with GE Medical Systems. His last role there was developing and leading a global initiative to bring Six Sigma to healthcare providers. His pioneering efforts brought more than $90m in benefits with over 2000 projects in healthcare providers across the world. Michael is a certified GE Master Black Belt.

Before GE, Michael started his own consulting company in Paris helping large multinational organizations manage change and coaching senior management. His clients included IBM, PepsiCo, EdF, Schneider, and many other Fortune 500 firms. Michael started his career as a journalist and theatre director in Paris. Plays under his direction won awards in several festivals in Europe including best foreign language play in the Edinburg festival.

Michael currently supports and works with several non-profits in Ventura county and gives speeches at international Biotech conferences on Change Management and Leadership. He has a BA in Philosophy form the University of Massachusetts. Michael now lives in Thousand Oaks, California with his wife.

Bart E. Thielen

Chief Financial Officer/ Chief Operating Officer, Blue Microphones

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Bart has been with the Blue Microphones since September, 2010. Bart has over 15 years of experience managing growth companies as a key senior executive. He has guided companies in securing various types of debt and investment capital to support accelerated growth. Prior to Blue, Bart has been CFO for various companies including Lexodus Financial, Pathway Diagnostics, and Frontier Dental Management. He also served as VP Finance / Treasurer and Managing Director for international operations at Specialty Laboratories. Bart received his BA of Accounting at Aurora University, Chicago and is a CPA.


John Tone

Executive Vice President, Loan Servicing, PennyMac Loan Services, LLC

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John Tone serves as Executive Vice President, Loan Servicing at PennyMac Loan Services. PennyMac began operations in January 2008 as a start up venture, and has grown into a top 20 mortgage loan servicer with a portfolio of over $50 billion in just five years. John's main areas of responsibility include compliance, governance, claims, vendor management, property preservation and accounts payable. John has served in a variety of senior and middle manager positions in both retail and mortgage banking operations at Countrywide Home Loans, Home Savings of America, and The Bank of New York Mortgage Company. He has managed a diverse group of departments and divisions including: sales, operations, compliance, customer service, communications and collections. He has built teams ranging from 4 to over 1,000 employees across as many as six sites. John graduated from Cal Lutheran with an MBA in 2003. He resides in Simi Valley with his wife of 22 years, Anne, and their twins, James and Jillian.

Greg Van Ness

CEO and a Member of Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services, LLC

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Greg Van Ness is CEO and a Member of Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services, LLC. After a 25-year insurance brokerage career in property & casualty insurance sales, risk consulting, and regional leadership with public and privately-held insurance brokerages, Van Ness became CEO at Tolman & Wiker in August, 2012. Tolman & Wiker is a United States top 100 privately-held, independent insurance brokerage, risk management and benefits consulting firm, and is one of the largest in California.

Van Ness has deep roots in the region. He grew up in Goleta and attended Dos Pueblos High School, where he was named Channel League football co-MVP and All-CIF in 1972, when he led the Chargers to a league championship as quarterback. In addition, Van Ness is a graduate of UCSB. Following graduation, he worked as Chief of Press Operations for the Olympic Village at UCSB during the 1984 Summer Olympic Games.

Van Ness began his business career by working for three years as Manager of Executive Development for The Interpublic Group in New York City, one of the world’s largest advertising and marketing companies. He then returned to California and began his insurance brokerage career.

From 1999-2012, Van Ness served as Regional Managing Director for Wells Fargo Insurance Services, and led a seven-office territory in Northern and Central California and Northern Nevada that generated over $60 million in annual revenue.

Van Ness has completed executive degree programs at New York University and The Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Ventura Chamber of Commerce, and on the Regional Advisory Council for the California Lutheran University School of Management. He resides in Ventura County with his wife and two children, and he enjoys travel and a wide variety of outdoor recreation.

Richard Williams

Retired Aerospace Engineer

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From mid-1997 until his retirement in 2004, Mr. Williams held executive positions includ-ing the senior Vice President of Sea Launch Company, LLC for Contracts and Procure-ment. He was responsible for all contractual commitments for this multinational general partnership venture, engaged in the launching of large commercial telecommunication satellites from a floating platform in the Pacific Ocean. Prior to this assignment, Mr. Wil-liams was the Director of Business Management for the Space Shuttle Main Engine program at the Rockwell International/ Boeing Company for 4 years during which he negotiated a $1.2 billion extension to the prior contract. His aerospace career in total spanned 42 years from Apollo to Sea Launch.

Mr. Williams holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Southern California (1965) and a Masters of Business Administration from Pepperdine University (1982). While at Sea Launch he served as member and president on the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners (4 years), as a member of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors (4 years), and as a member of the California Space and Technology Association Board of Directors (4 years).

In retirement Mr. Williams serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Alliance for the Arts( Executive Committee), served as member, vice chair and chair of the Board of Governors for the Civic Arts Plaza Theaters, has served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Conejo Valley Historical Society (President 2012) and is the co-chair with his wife Elaine of the annual Thousand Oaks Arts Festival. The festival has been recognized by the city as a major art event and enjoys the reputation as the best outdoor arts festival in the county.

He has been a Rotarian since joining the Long Beach Rotary in 2001 and as a member of the Thousand Oaks Rotary since April of 2004. He is an active member of Rotary and has served as Director of International Service and member of the Board. He served as President in 2011-2012 and served as an Assistant District Governor for the five clubs in the Conejo Valley in 2013-1014. He is a Paul Harris Fellow, member of the Paul Har-ris Society and the Bequest Society. He is also a Major Donor to Rotary International.

Mr. Williams brings a wealth of experience in corporate management, strategic plan-ning, negotiation, organizational structures, international business and program man-agement. His interest in management education is supported by his corporate back-ground and his personal interest in the development of qualified business managers and executives.