School of Management (SOM) Advisory Council
The Advisory Council consists of leaders who serve as advisors to the School of Management as a whole and who function as important links to the regional business community. Focusing on program improvements and program enhancements, they support the School of Management on a wide range of activities involving students, faculty, staff, and alumni. As ambassadors for the School of Management, they lend us their expertise, provide access to their networks, assist with the identification of internship and job opportunities, guest speak in classes or extra-curricular programs, mentor our students, and much more. The members of the Advisory Council come from a variety of industries and functional backgrounds, and several members are alumni of the School of Management.
Economic Development Manager, City of Thousand Oaks
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.
Vice President, Operations and Strategy, Earbutter
JaQuay Bangs is Vice President of Operations and Strategy of tech company Earbutter. Before that, he was the Director of Operations for Music at the Venice location of San Francisco-based technology company TuneIn. He is a dedicated and results-oriented leader with a unique and diverse background that includes media, finance, and communications. He has extensive experience driving marketing initiatives, strategic partnerships, and promotional campaigns that improve brand awareness while increasing revenue. Prior to joining TuneIn in 2017, he was Program Director for KFYV/ Afternoon Show at Point Broadcasting, Assistant Program Director at Radio One, and Music Director at Gold Coast Broadcasting. JaQuay has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Media Studies from Wayne State University and an Executive MBA from California Lutheran University.
CEO & President, US Seismic Systems, Inc.
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.
President, Group One Limited
Bryan Bradley is a high-impact global senior executive with leadership strengths in Retail, Recording, Music Production, Music Publishing/Intellectual Property, Tour and Cinema Audio, and broader Professional Audio. Currently, he is President of Group One Ltd., a holding and distribution company of leading professional audio and lighting brands from around the world including BlueSky, Calrec, Digico, Klang, MC2, Avolites, Elektralite, and others.
Before joining Group One, Bryan served as Senior Vice President and General Manager for Harman International’s Entertainment Division, as General Manager of JBL Professional, and as COO of Alfred Music Publishing. Throughout his corporate career, he created and led high performing global teams in sales, marketing, R&D, distribution, QA, finance, business development and HR.
Bryan is a board member of NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants, and he holds an MBA from California Lutheran University.
Manager, Disney’s Enterprise Strategic Programs, Enterprise Technology
Jay Bradshaw is a Manager with Disney’s Enterprise Strategic Programs, Enterprise Technology. 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.
Wealth Advisor Associate and Management Trainee, Wilmington Trust
Business Development Executive, Raytheon
Bob Bushnell is a Business Development Executive, Secure Sensor Solutions, a multi-billion dollar business unit of Raytheon. Prior to this role, he served as Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, for L3 Techonologies, Integrated Sensor Systems (ISS) business.
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
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.
Senior Vice President, Hughes Marino
David Callahan is a Senior Vice President with Hughes Marino where he specializes in corporate tenant representation. David has been assisting companies with their real estate needs since 2003 and is passionate about working exclusively with the occupiers of space. He helps companies develop sound workplace strategies while ensuring that they take advantage of existing market conditions. Earlier in his career, David held management positions within the healthcare and technologies industries.
In addition to his responsibilities at Hughes Marino, David is an advisor to Southern California Chapter of CoreNet Global, where he previously served as the chapter’s president from 2014-2016. CoreNet Global is an international, non-profit association that represents over 10,000 corporate real estate professionals in 50 countries.
In his free time, David enjoys traveling, mountain biking, skiing and spending time with his wife and daughter.
— University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business, MBA
— Tufts University, School of Arts and Sciences, B.A. in political science
— U.S. Green Building Council - LEED Accredited Professional
— CoreNet Global — Past President and current Advisor to the Southern California Chapter
— California Lutheran University – School of Management Advisory Council Member
— Tufts University - Athletics Campaign Committee Member
Chief Marketing Officer, Kretek International, Inc.
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, CSP, CPAE is a Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame member (2012) and the author of 22 books including the international best sellers: Intelligent Curiosity, 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 3000+ presentations worldwide to over 2,000 separate clients has given him a broad perspective on the keys to business success in any field. His TEDx video has over 2.5 million views and he is CoHost of a long running PBS show “Perspectives Matter.” He has delivered presentations in all 50 US states and around the world, including 23 major cities in China.
His involvement with Cal Lutheran since 2002 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/guitarist.
Retired Senior Vice President & Private Client Advisor, Santa Barbara Bank and Trust
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.
Partner, Clark*Everson LLP
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.
Retired VP Human Resources, Operation & Technical Services, NBC Universal
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.
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.
Owner and Chief Editor, Pacific Coast Business Times
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 pacbiztimes.com 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.
Strategy Manager, Planning & Governance at Walmart
Project Manager Data Analytics, ALKU
Chief Operating Officer of Education Management Systems (EMS), Inc. and Pathways Management Group (PMG)
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 Kiefer, CPA, Managing Director at CBIZ and Shareholder at Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. a national public accounting firm. He began his career with the firm in 1998, and now oversees all of the attest, tax and accounting services to privately held commercial entities in the construction, manufacturing, software, and retail industries. His clients range in size from small start-up companies to those in excess of $100 million in revenue. Andrew also holds the designation of a Certified Construction Industry Financial Professional (CCIFP). He has also been a National Level auditing instructor and a training director for the Southern California offices. Andrew earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Accounting from California Lutheran University. He is based in CBIZ’s Ventura County office and serves the role of engagement shareholder or engagement quality review shareholder for most of the attest engagements in his office location. Andrew resides in Camarillo with his wife, also a Cal Lutheran alum, and their two boys.
Principal Consultant, Opus Regulatory
President, California Coast Venture Forum, Inc.
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.
Principal Senior Consultant, Mercer
Senior Vice-President, UBS
Financial Planning Analyst, Amgen
Sireen Moriarty is an accomplished finance professional who is currently at Amgen, specializing in aiding the Development department's forecasting, planning, and closing processes. Their journey to becoming a dynamic finance expert began during their college years at California Lutheran University’s School of Management. During their time at the university, Sireen actively contributed to the community by tutoring at-risk youth in the surrounding area. Additionally, they were an active member and officer of Delta Sigma Pi, a prominent business fraternity, where their leadership roles allowed them to shape the fraternity's direction, creating opportunities for personal and professional growth for its members. Sireen's journey toward becoming a finance professional also included being the first generation of students to participate in a new internship program involving a large biotech company. This groundbreaking experience provided valuable insights into the finance sector, laying the foundation for their expertise and ability to deliver outstanding results in their professional role at Amgen. Their proactive approach is further underscored by their impressive achievement in their current role of saving the company an additional $1 million in unforecast recoveries. They've also played a pivotal role in implementing new options for BARDA contracts within the company's invoicing procedures, collaborating closely with leadership to ensure efficient financial transactions. Furthermore, Sireen is committed to ensuring a seamless transition to new finance software, guaranteeing the continuity and efficiency of financial operations.is currently a doctoral candidate in Global Leadership and Change at Pepperdine University.
Human Resources Professional, PhD Student, Global Leadership Change
Jeannette Pugh is an accomplished Human Resources professional with extensive experience including unique HR generalist, specialist, and line management roles across diverse functions and a successful history of developing practical, sustainable solutions for organizations. Having worked for organizations such as Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Amgen, Technicolor, and Pharmavite / Nature Made, Jeannette has a proven track record in empowering employee networks, leading transformational retention initiatives, and serving as a strategic business partner within peak performance organizations. Jeannette holds a bachelor's degree in Engineering from Princeton University, a master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and is currently a doctoral candidate in Global Leadership and Change at Pepperdine University.is currently a doctoral candidate in Global Leadership and Change at Pepperdine University.
Branch Manager, Montecito Bank and Trust
With nearly two decades of experience in the Banking Industry, Ali Sadreameli currently serves as the Branch Manager for Montecito Bank and Trust's Regional Commercial Banking Office/Branch in Camarillo. His extensive background includes roles at notable financial institutions such as Wells Fargo Bank, Bank of America, and Citizens Business Bank, where he excelled in positions ranging from Business Banking Specialist to Business Relationship Manager.
Active in community service, Ali has contributed his time to various non-profits in the county, including the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce and the Boys and Girls Club of Camarillo. Ali holds a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership and an Executive Master in Business Administration from California Lutheran University (CLU).
In 2023, Ali graduated from the prestigious Ventura County Leadership Academy, showcasing his commitment to continuous learning alongside industry leaders. He maintains an active role in the community through volunteer work at the Commemorative Air Force Museum at Camarillo Airport and ongoing service on the Board of the Boys and Girls Club of Camarillo since 2018, where he contributes to the Finance Committee.
Beyond his professional endeavors, Ali is passionate about aviation, education, and community engagement. As the Branch Manager for the Regional Commercial Banking Office in Camarillo, he leverages over 17 years of Business Banking experience, emphasizing the importance of creating lasting relationships with both his team and clients.
More information is available from Ali’s LinkedIn profile at
Elaine Salewske is a Director within Takeda’s Sustainability Integration team where she focuses on corporate sustainability strategy, ESG reporting and disclosure.
Elaine joined Takeda as part of the company’s acquisition of Shire in January 2019 where she was part of the company’s Responsibility department. Prior to joining Shire, Elaine established and led the Sustainability program for Baxalta, a new company that was founded after Baxter International spun off its biopharmaceutical division. Elaine spent nearly 10 years leading sustainability-related communications at Baxter. Prior to joining Baxter, Elaine held various healthcare marketing and communications roles.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communication from Iowa State University and a Master of Business Administration from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management focused on international business. She resides outside of Los Angeles with her husband and two children.
Chief Marketing Officer and General Manager USA, JAFRA Cosmetics International
Managing Director – Investments & Sr. Financial Advisor, Sondgeroth Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo
Nick is a Managing Director – Investments and Sr. Financial Advisor for the Sondgeroth Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors. He and his team provide investment and wealth management services for affluent individuals and families. Nick has been recognized by Forbes/Shook Next-Gen Advisors Best-In-State in both 2021 and 2022, and he is also a part of the Wells Fargo Advisors Platinum Council, which is represented by a select group of Financial Advisors at the firm. He also holds the designation of Certified Financial Planner®, for which he completed educational, experience, and ethical requirements.
Nick graduated from Cal Lutheran in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He then entered the Wealth Management field, beginning his career at UBS Financial Services before joining Wells Fargo Advisors in 2018. He maintains an active role in the community, most recently taking part in the Ventura County Leadership Academy Cohort XXVIII, and being a volunteer football coach at Oak Park High School. He lives in Camarillo with his wife Tianna, who is also a Cal Lutheran alum, and their son Adam
Independent Financial Advisor at Eagleson Arndt Financial Advisors, LLC
Jennifer Strong has close to two decades of experience in the financial industry, most recently at Montecito Bank and Trust. From 2014-2016 she was a Financial Advisor at Merrill Lunch, and before that she was a Senior Personal Banker at the Bank of America, and a Financial Consultant at Santa Barbara Bank and Trust. Prior to her career in the financial industry, she has owned a variety of small businesses including a retail cigar store and lounge, a boutique clothing store, and a film production company. Jennifer received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and is an active member of the Thousand Oaks Rotary, where she was recently awarded Rotarian of the Year. She is also a member of Westlake Women’s Club, and the mother of two teenage children.
President & CEO, Ventura Chamber of Commerce
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.
Executive Vice President, Loan Servicing, PennyMac Loan Services, LLC
Director, Brand and Digital Marketing, L’ATTITUDE
Director, Global Marketing Development, Otsuka Pharmaceutical
Kristen Upton is a global business leader with experience in Marketing, Sales and Learning & Development and a passion for people development and organization effectiveness. She is currently the Director of Global Marketing Development at Otsuka Pharmaceutical in West Hills, CA, a Japanese conglomerate with more than 100 subsidiaries and many more brands globally, including Crystal Geyser water and Nature Made vitamins. Before joining Otsuka, she served in leadership positions at Pharmavite and SC Johnson in Canada and the United States. Kristen has an undergraduate degree from the Ivey School of Business in Canada, and is currently pursuing a graduate degree at Pennsylvania State University.
Founder and CEO of Susan Van Vleet Consultants Inc.
Susan Bash Van Vleet, Founder and CEO of Susan Van Vleet Consultants Inc.® has created and executed training programs with Fortune 500 companies worldwide in 19 countries spanning 4 continents.
For over 40 years Companies like Pepsi, McDonalds Corporation, P&G, J&J, SC Johnson, Coke, IBM and HP have hired her company to deal with key HR issues including; Change Management, Team Building , Diversity, Leadership Development, Communications, Customer Service and Coaching.
In 2000 Susan Founded her second company; V Squared Consulting Inc. V Squared has recruited and trained Distributors who are also licensed to market, sell and lead SVVCI® training programs worldwide.
Susan has authored numerous articles for blogs and newsletters on diversity and change management. She has also authored two books under the Women Moving Forward® Title and is currently writing a third on Managing Corporate Change®
Prior to founding her companies Susan worked as the Director of Parent Education for the Division or Youth and Family Services of the State of New Jersey where the programs she developed to train Social Workers, Foster Parents and Adoptive Parents are still being used and were published by the Child Welfare League of America.
She served as the Director of Government Relations for Effectiveness Training, Inc. an International Educational Corporation and was an adjunct professor at University of Phoenix. She developed Grant Writing Curriculum for the University of Redlands.
She holds a BA in Sociology with minors in Psychology and Anthropology from Fairleigh Dickinson University and an MSW in Social Work Administration from Rutgers University.
Susan is married to John Van Vleet who is a VP at SVVCI®. They have 2 grown sons who work in the entertainment industry.