School of Management (SOM) 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.
Co-Founder and CEO, Vitu
Don Armstrong, co-founder and CEO of Motor Vehicle Software Corp. (MVSC), develops and commercializes cutting edge solutions that act as a bridge between connected car technologies and eGovernment by leveraging blockchain to securely record, track and transfer vehicle titles. Since establishing MVSC in 2005, Don has driven the company’s vision, strategy and growth to secure its place at the forefront of Vehicle-to-Government solutions. His extensive knowledge and experience in technological advancements currently in use by federal, state and local agencies throughout the United States and Canada have been a huge asset to MVSC’s continued growth, and establishes him as a valued member of TechNet, the bipartisan network of tech CEO’s and senior executives advancing public policies and private sector initiatives within all levels of government.
Prior to co-founding MVSC, Don, an alumnus of California Lutheran University, served as Chief Architect at NICUSA, Inc., playing a pivotal role within the top management team working to expand the company’s federal, state and local eGovernment service offerings.
Chief Executive Officer, Kretek International, Inc.
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.
Senior Vice President, Nissan U.S. Marketing and Sales, Nissan North America, Inc.
Michael Colleran is senior vice president, Nissan U.S. Marketing and Sales, Nissan North America, Inc. He was appointed to this position in June 2020. In this role, Colleran has responsibility for all sales and marketing activities for the Nissan Division in the U.S.
Previously, Colleran was corporate vice president and chairman of INFINITI Motor Company, based at their global headquarters in Yokohama, Japan. He was responsible for managing the brand, business operations and all marketing and sales for INFINITI globally.
Prior to that, Colleran was group vice president of INFINITI Americas, overseeing INFINITI’s overall performance in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and leading the brand's strategic direction, planning, retail and marketing efforts.
Colleran joined Nissan Motor Corporation in 2011 as vice president, Sales, for
Nissan Canada, and was responsible for Nissan's dealer network operations across Canada. He subsequently worked as regional vice president of the North East U.S. and was responsible for regional sales and marketing, incentive spending, distribution, dealer network development, financial controls, and dealer and customer satisfaction. Before Nissan, he also held other sales and operations leadership roles in Saab Automobile and Cadillac.
Colleran has a bachelor's degree from California Lutheran University and a MBA from Marymount University in Washington, D.C. He served in the United States Marine Corps for eight years, obtaining the rank of Captain.
Vice President Global Human Resources and Talent Management, Herbalife Nutrition
Kim Congdon is the Vice President of Global Human Resources and Talent Management at Herbalife Nutrition. She previously held the title Chief People Officer at Fullscreen Inc, and Managing Director/Chief Human Resources Officer for The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She was 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.
Retired Vice Chairman, Hughes Electronics
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.
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Dole Packaged Foods North America
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.
Chief Finance Officer, IFS (Individual Food Service)
Nigel Kershaw is currently, Chief Finance Officer at IFS (Individual Food Service). Prior to IFS, Nigel was the Chief Financial Officer of Lucky Brand Jeans. Lucky Brand was established in 1990 and is known for its Americana, rock and roll and motor heritage. In 2014, Lucky Brand was acquired by Leonard Green and Partners (a private equity fund) from Fifth and Pacific. The newly hired management team, with Nigel leading the Finance and Accounting functions, was tasked with establishing the corporate operations in Los Angeles previously consolidated with the former parent company on the East Coast. The new departments were hired and a cloud based ERP system was designed and implemented with completion in 2015. These successful efforts, earned Nigel the honor of LA Business Journal’s coveted CFO of the Year award in 2016.
Prior to Lucky, Nigel spent time as Chief Financial Officer at Cabi, LLC. and seven years at Guess, Inc. where he helped build a multi-billion dollar, global business with sales in over 90 countries. Before joining Guess, Nigel was Director at The Walt Disney Company overseeing the global reporting and consolidation and transaction support functions. He started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, first in the audit division and later in the Transaction Services M&A division. While at PricewaterhouseCoopers, he spent time working in the Los Angeles, London and South African offices.
Mr. Kershaw holds a bachelors degree in Accounting and is a Chartered Accountant and CFA.
Co-President, Chief Financial Officer, and Secretary, LTC Properties
Pam Kessler is the Co-President, Chief Financial Officer, and Secretary of LTC Properties (NYSE: LTC), a $2.3 billion publicly traded health care REIT (real estate investment trust) that invests in seniors housing and skilled nursing properties throughout the United States. With over 25 years of real estate experience, Pam, has demonstrated expertise in developing, leading and executing capital markets and financial planning and analysis activities. She joined LTC Properties in 2000 as the company’s Controller and has served as the CFO since 2007.
Prior to joining LTC Properties, Pam was the Corporate Controller for a privately held commercial and multifamily real estate developer. She was also the Director of Financial Reporting for Irvine Apartment Communities, a Southern California apartment REIT spun out from The Irvine Company. Pam also served as the Assistant Controller of the Inland Empire division of KB Home (NYSE: KBH), one of the nation’s largest publicly traded homebuilders. She began her career as a certified public accountant in the real estate group of Ernst and Young LLP. Pam graduated with honors from the University of California, Irvine with a bachelor’s degree in economics.
Currently, Pam serves as an independent director and member of the audit committee of Physician’s Realty Trust (NYSE: DOC) a $4.5 billion health care REIT that acquires, owns and manages medical office buildings and other healthcare properties that are leased to physicians, hospitals and other healthcare providers throughout the United States. Pam is also a member of the board of governors, serving on the real estate committee, of the Providence Tarzana Foundation. Providence Tarzana Medical Center is a 249-bed hospital serving the San Fernando Valley and is part of Providence St. Joseph Health, a national not-for-profit health system comprised of 50 hospitals and 829 clinics throughout the western part of the United States.
Chief People Officer, Atara Biotherapeutics
Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, The Cheesecake Factory
Chief Financial Officer, Calavo (ret.)
Until recently, Kevin Manion was Chief Financial Officer of Calavo Growers (CVGW) a $1billion fresh food company, with a focus on avocados. Before joining Calavo, Kevin was with the Center for Neuro Skills where he served as the Chief Financial Officer for this faily owned business which focused on providing in-patient and out patient rehabilitation services for patients that have incurred a brain injury. Prior to this, Kevinwas the co CFO for Green Dot (GDOT), and before that as the Chief Financial Officer for Young's Market Company, which is a $3Billion, 125 year, family owned distributor of wine and liquor servicing the happiness needs of the Western United States.Prior to Young's, Mr. Manion has been the CFO for Hostess (sold to Apollo); 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. He holds an undergraduate degree is from the University of Notre Dame, and serves on the board of several private equity backed businesses as well as the Petco Foundation. He is also co-host of the Southern California CFO Summit, an annual invitation-only conference of CFO's.
Chief Financial Officer, Moderna, Inc.
David Meline is currently Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Moderna, Inc. Meline joined Moderna in June, 2020, coming out of retirement from Amgen where he served as CFO and EVP from 2014 through 2019. At Amgen, Meline was responsible for Amgen’s finance, information systems, global business services and investor relations.
Prior to Amgen, Meline was senior vice president and chief financial officer at 3M.
Before joining 3M, Meline had been at General Motors, serving in various capacities
including vice president and chief financial officer for GM North America. He had
also held senior-level positions with GM Europe in Switzerland, GM Daewoo in South
Korea, GM Brasil, GM Kenya, and at GM’s New York office in the company’s treasurer’s
office. Meline began his career at AT&T Corporation as a product design engineer.
Meline is a member of the board of directors of ABB (ASEA Brown Boveri), a Swiss multinational firm, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University, a Master of Science in economics from the London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom, and an MBA in finance from the University of Chicago.
Corporate Vice President and Regional Head, Henkel Beauty Care Hair Professional, North America
Based in Culver City, California, Stefan steers well-known professional hair care brands such as Alterna, Joico, Zotos Professional, Kenra Professional, #mydentity, Schwarzkopf Professional, and Sexy Hair along with newly acquired Deva Curl. Henkel's Beauty Care Hair Professional growth trajectory in North America is a testament of Stefan's leadership and collaborative work style. With Stefan's extensive experience and vision, he led a major initiative to bring various teams from across the country under one roof to a new state of the art Beauty Care Hair North American headquarters and world class #AcademyofHair, multi-branded learning center.
Stefan has spent much of his career with Henkel and has held a succession of leadership positions in regional and global marketing along with business unit responsibilities for various Henkel brands in Switzerland, Japan, France, Benelux and Australia / New Zealand. His earlier experience includes BMW, Doctor Babor and Pelikan.
Stefan holds a Master's Degree in Economics from FH and RWTH University in Aachen, Germany. He is married and has three sons and is a big fan of German football (soccer).
Senior Managing Director and Chief Information Officer, PennyMac
Lior Ofir is the Senior Managing Director and Chief Information Officer of PennyMac, a publicly traded financial services firm and leading mortgage specialist, which he co-founded in 2008.
From PennyMac’s humble beginnings as a startup, the company grew to more than 3,000 employees and achieved a prominent position in the US mortgage industry as the 4th largest producer, the 2nd largest purchaser and the 7th largest servicer of home loans.
Prior to PennyMac, Lior was a Senior Vice President at Countrywide Financial Corporation (now Bank of America) and served as the head of the Technology Innovation Group.
Lior also co-founded a technology startup (acquired in 2002) and served in the Israeli Defense Forces’s Technology & Intelligence Unit 8200 (Israel’s version of the U.S. National Security Agency).
In addition, Lior helps entrepreneurs as a Mentor in Google's Launchpad Accelerator program.
Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Corporate Secretary, Limoneira Company
Mr. Palamountain was appointed as Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Corporate Secretary effective as of January 8, 2018. Previously, he served as the Company's Senior Director of Agricultural Operations since 2014 and has been with the Company since 2012. From 2012 to 2014, Mr. Palamountain served as Director of Business Development and Business Integration at the Company. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Palamountain was the CEO and founder of Perpetual Power LLC, a leading solar integration company specializing in finance and product technology. From 2003 to 2008, he served as a Managing Director, Head of NASDAQ Trading for Broadpoint Securities where he was responsible for all trading desk management functions for a team of 25 traders. Between 2001 and 2003, Mr. Palamountain was a Principal at Thomas Weisel Partners and from 1997 to 2001, he was a trader at JPMorgan Chase. Mr. Palamountain graduated from the University of Colorado, Leeds School of Business, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.
President and Chief Operations Officer, Trader Joe's Company
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.
Board Member and Chief Financial Officer, VideoAmp
President and Chief Executive Officer, RKS Design
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.
Vice President, Corporate Human Resource Management, AVL