School of Management

Forward Together

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.

JaQuay Bangs

 Director of Operations for Music, TuneIn

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JaQuay Bangs is 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.
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.

Bryan Bradley

 President, Group One Limited

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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.

Jay Bradshaw

 Manager, Disney’s Enterprise Strategic Programs, Enterprise Technology

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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.

Robert "Bob" Bushnell

 Business Development Executive, Raytheon

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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 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.

David Callahan

 Senior Vice President, Hughes Marino

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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

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 18 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 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 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.

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.

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.

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.

Jeannette Pugh

 Human Resources Professional, PhD Student, Global Leadership Change

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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 degree in Engineering from Princeton University, a master degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and is currently pursuing a doctorate at Pepperdine University.
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
Betsy Stivers

 Senior Consultant, Cincinnati Consulting Consortium

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Betsy Stivers has a long track-record in various corporate operations functions. After graduating Cum Laude with a BS in Engineering from the University of California Irvine, she began to work for the Procter & Gamble Company at the Long Beach, CA manufacturing plant. She moved rapidly from an entry level position through various roles and locations to become Plant Manager of an Ohio plant before progressing to Director of Product Supply, Global Beauty Care Strategic Planning and eventually to Vice President, Product Supply for P&G’s $4 billion Global Health Care business. In that capacity, she led the manufacturing, engineering, purchasing, quality assurance, and logistics efforts, having direct line responsibility for 3,000 employees and 12 manufacturing plants. She received the “Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award” as the first female engineer to reach the Vice President level at Procter & Gamble.

Since leaving Procter & Gamble, she has been a Senior Consultant with the Cincinnati Consulting Consortium in the areas of Strategic Planning, Leadership and Supply Chain Operations. She also has been serving in leading roles on numerous community and non-profit boards including the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, the Staten Island Urban league, Comprehensive Community Child Care, and World Dance for Humanity, a non-profit serving 15,000 people in Rwanda, among others.

Betsy has a passion for educating the next generation of leaders, and she lives in Santa Barbara, CA with her husband Gary. Their son Sean, a recently graduated Mechanical Engineer works at McMaster-Carr in LA.

Jennifer Strong

 Wealth Advisor at Montecito Bank and Trust Advisors

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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.
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

 Regional President, West Region, AssuredPartners, Inc.

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Greg Van Ness, is currently the Regional President of the Western Region for AssuredPartners, Inc. who recently acquired Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services. Previously, Greg was 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.

Kristen Upton

 Director, Global Marketing Development

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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.
Susan Van Vleet

 Founder and CEO of Susan Van Vleet Consultants Inc.

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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.

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