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City Year Los Angeles Board

Local community and business leaders work together to advance our mission to ensure public schools are places all students can thrive.

Giselle Fernandez City Year Los Angeles Board Co-Chair
Giselle Fernandez, Board Co-Chair
Co-Chair, Executive Editor, News and News Anchor, Spectrum TV

Giselle Fernandez is a six-time Emmy award winning journalist, Executive Editor and News Anchor for Spectrum TV. Named the Los Angeles Press Club Journalist of the year, the producer, filmmaker, and Latin media marketing entrepreneur is also the host and executive producer of the prime-time Emmy award winning LA Stories on Spectrum News 1.

Her exclusive interviews with titans of industry, changemakers and thought leaders not only delve into the economic landscape of America but impact the diversity and multi-cultural demographics have on our future. As president of her own production and consulting company, Giselle focuses on Latina content and themes around diversity and social justice. Giselle is best known over the past decade for her coverage of international news stories and major events. Born in Mexico and raised in Southern California, Giselle works with the San Fernando Refugee Children’s Center, enjoys time hiking in the hills with her dogs, tending her garden and lives with her 14-year-old daughter, Talei.

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McFadden Lawson Los Angeles Board
Mattie McFadden-Lawson, Board Co-Chair
Co-Chair, president, The MML Group

Mattie McFadden-Lawson strives to make a difference in the world. She is the President of The MML Group, specializing in creating strategic partnerships for nonprofits and corporations and providing philanthropic advisory services.

She graduated magna-cum-laude with a M.A. degree from Howard University and holds a M.P.A. degree with honors from Harvard University’s prestigious John Fitzgerald Kennedy School of Government. Her extensive work in the arts, women’s leadership, politics, and political fundraising has established her as a leader in these areas. She currently sits on many boards, including The Music Center—Performing Arts Center for Los Angeles County, Board of Los Angeles County Arts Commission and Ford Theatre (on leave), City Year Los Angeles, and the Grammy Museum. Recently, she was appointed to the Smithsonian Institution/National Museum of African American History and Culture—The Council’s Capital Campaign Steering Committee. She was appointed by former President Obama to serve on the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts—The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts—Washington, D.C. Her involvement in women’s leadership, politics, and political fundraising is an example of her leadership in the community and on a national level. She is a Vice Chair of the Women in Public Service Project of the Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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Rich Battista

A nearly 30-year veteran of the entertainment and media industry, Rich Battista is a proven Chief Executive Officer with significant experience operating, building and revitalizing large-scale multiplatform companies. Rich has reshaped, transformed and sold two multi-billion dollars publicly traded companies in Time Inc. and Gemstar-TV Guide. He has also founded startups, run early-stage Mandalay Sports Media and launched and built several highly valuable businesses during his long career inside Fox/News Corporation.

Most recently, Rich was President and Chief Executive Officer of Time Inc. from September 2016 to January 2018, before overseeing the $3 billion sale of the company to Meredith Corp. During his tenure, he oversaw the transformation of the company from a mostly print business into a leading multi-media enterprise and a top ten digital property in the U.S. During a period of more than 18 years, Rich held a variety of senior management roles at the Fox/ News Corp organization, where he was integral in conceiving, building and operating its significant portfolio of leading cable networks. He ultimately served as President of Fox’s National Cable Networks, running the multi-billion-dollar portfolio of entertainment and sports networks. Rich served as CEO of Gemstar-TV Guide International from 2004 to 2008. During that time, he revitalized TV Guide magazine, TV Guide Network, TV Guide Online and other businesses, turning the company around and successfully directing its $2.3 billion sale. Rich began his career as a financial analyst at Morgan Stanley. He earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University with cum laude honors and has served on the University’s Board of Regents and Board of Governors. He is also the Founder and Chairman of the Georgetown Entertainment & Media Alliance, an alumni network of more than 4,500 entertainment and media professionals. In 2015, he was awarded Georgetown’s John Carroll Award, the University’s highest alumni honor. Rich is based in Los Angeles and is married with twin sons.

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Michael Camuñez
President and CEO, Monarch Global Strategies

Michael C. Camuñez is President and CEO of Monarch Global Strategies LLC, which provides strategic advice and advocacy to help clients identify new opportunities, export to and invest in the international marketplace, with a particular emphasis on Mexico. From 2010 to 2013 he served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce, where he managed a global portfolio to help lead the U.S. government’s efforts to open new markets for U.S. goods and services.

He is widely recognized for playing a critical role in rebalancing U.S. economic policy toward Mexico and was the chief architect of the U.S.-Mexico High-Level Economic Dialogue, which he proposed, coordinated and later helped launch during President Obama’s visit to Mexico in May 2013. Michael served in the Obama White House for two years as Special Counsel and Special Assistant to the President. He was previously a partner at the international law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School. He currently serves on the boards of Edison International & Southern California Edison (NYSE: EIX) and of the Pacific Council on International Policy. He is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Michael is a member of the Board of Trustees at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and was named one of Hispanic Executive’s Top Ten Líderes for 2018. He is also an Independent Director of the Capital Group’s American Funds, a global leader in mutual funds.

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Marlene Canter
Former President, LAUSD school board; Chair, Green Dot Public Schools national board

Marlene began her career as a special education teacher. She taught children on the autism spectrum as well as children with learning disabilities. She went on to co-found and serve as co-CEO of Canter and Associates, now Laureate Education, Inc.

The company became one of the world’s leading teacher training organizations and trained more than 1 million K –12 teachers, worldwide. It developed an extensive catalog of professional development programs, distance learning graduate courseware and resource materials for teachers, administrators, and parents. After the company was sold to Sylvan Learning Systems, Marlene drew on her 30-year career in education, ran for the LAUSD School Board in 2001, and was overwhelmingly elected twice. She served two terms as a board member and during that time was elected President by her peers for two years. She recently completed her studies at the Academy for Jewish Religion and in 2015 graduated as a Chaplain. She is now working part-time at Beit T’shuvah. She also serves as National Board Chair of Green Dot Public Schools; is on the Board of City Year Los Angeles and recently became the Board Chair of the Academy for Jewish Religion. Marlene has two married children and three granddaughters. She resides in Los Angeles.

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Kevin Demoff
Chief Operating Officer, Los Angeles Rams

Kevin Demoff is in his 11th year as Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President of Football Operations with the Rams. In this capacity, Demoff serves as the team’s top front office executive and liaison to owner and chairman, Stan Kroenke, on all organizational matters

After serving on the working group that helped Kroenke return the Rams – Los Angeles’ original professional sports team – home to L.A., Demoff is now playing a significant role in delivering on Kroenke’s vision to design and construct the 298-acre sports and entertainment district in Inglewood that will serve as the future home of the Rams. The campus will include a 70,240 seat stadium, performance venue, retail district, and office complex and is currently the largest entitled real-estate project in Southern California. Demoff also continues to lead the club on all business operations and works closely with General Manager Les Snead and Head Coach Sean McVay to develop the club’s strategic plan for player signings and acquisitions. Immediately on the heels of the National Football League’s historic return to Los Angeles, Demoff and the Rams helped lead a regional effort to bring the Super Bowl to the new L.A. Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park. In addition to being the most-watched sporting event in the world, Super Bowl LVI, which will be played in 2022, will attract tens of thousands of people to the Los Angeles region and generate hundreds of millions of dollars for local hotels, restaurants, shops and other businesses. Demoff and the Rams have also joined forces with the LA24 Olympic Bid Committee, chaired by Casey Wasserman, to help deliver the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games to Los Angeles. In addition, L.A. Stadium will host the College Football Playoff final in 2023. Reinforcing the Rams’ commitment to the Los Angeles community, Demoff serves on the boards of the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission and Los Angeles Sports Council. Since June of 2017, Demoff has served as the chair of United Way of Greater Los Angeles’ annual campaign which helps United Way transform lives and communities by creating pathways out of poverty for the most vulnerable residents through education, housing, and financial stability. Demoff is also part of the American Cancer Society’s CEOs Against Cancer, which is a partnership of the world’s leading CEOs and the American Cancer Society dedicated to eliminating unnecessary deaths and suffering from cancer. Since joining the Rams in 2009, Demoff has been responsible for re-organizing the club’s business efforts with a focus on delivering a better overall experience for Rams’ fans and increasing the club’s presence in the community. As part of his vision, Demoff spearheaded the organization’s efforts to become one of the strongest philanthropic partners in professional sports. That focus has led the team to receive numerous awards for their charitable efforts including being named the “2010 St. Louis Philanthropic Organization of the Year.” His tireless dedication to community engagement will continue to set the tone for the organization as they continue to become part of the fabric of the greater Los Angeles region. One of the hallmarks of the Rams’ community outreach efforts is the team’s Staff Day of Service program. Introduced by Demoff in 2009, each month the team’s front office staff takes time out of the office to volunteer with local non-profits. Since the project’s inception, the Rams’ staff has provided more than 15,000 hours of community service. Since returning home to Los Angeles, the Rams have provided more than 5,500 hours of community service and impacted more than 35 non-profits and over 55 schools through this program alone. The cornerstone volunteer effort of the Staff Day of Service program is the team’s annual community improvement project that includes staff, players and cheerleaders uniting to assist a local non-profit, school or community in need. For the first two community improvement projects in Los Angeles, the Rams funded and built new playgrounds for Woodworth Elementary School in Inglewood (2016), Figueroa Street Elementary in Watts (2017) and Twentieth Street elementary school in Downtown LA (2018). Under Demoff’s watch, the Rams have made significant strides to reach more fans through media. In 2016, the Rams established partnerships with local English and Spanish TV networks and radio stations to broadcast preseason games and other exclusive content. Demoff oversaw the creation of the award-winning Rams Broadcasting Network, which has grown to include weekly Rams television programs and numerous features across the Rams media platforms. Demoff was recognized by the Sports Business Journal as one of its “Forty under 40” class members of 2016. In 2010, the St. Louis Business Journal named Demoff as one of its “40 under 40” award winners, which recognizes individuals for their career achievements and community work. In 2010, he also was named one of the “NFL’s 10 Future Power Brokers” by Sports Illustrated. Prior to joining the Rams, Demoff spent the previous four seasons (2005-08) with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he served as a consultant before being named Senior Assistant in 2006. In this capacity, Demoff assisted General Manager Bruce Allen in contract negotiations, salary cap management, strategic planning, and both college and pro scouting. During his tenure with the Buccaneers, the team captured NFC South titles in 2005 and 2007 while posting a winning record in three of his four seasons. From 2001-04, Demoff served as Director of Football Operations for the Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League. Demoff helped direct the team to its first-ever playoff berth and in his final three seasons with the club, the Avengers posted a record of 28-18, third-best in the Arena Football League, qualifying for the playoffs in each of those seasons. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Calif., Demoff received a bachelors’ degree in history from Dartmouth College in 1999 and a Masters in Business Administration from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth in 2006. Kevin and Jennifer have two children – a daughter, Claire and a son, Owen.

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Brad Drummond
COO, uniform and refreshment services, Aramark

Brad Drummond is Chief Operating Officer of Aramark’s Uniform and Refreshment Services Sector–leading providers for uniforms, facility supplies, and beverage services. He is responsible for over 30,000 employees and more than 400 facilities across North America and Japan. Serving over 500,000 business to business customers, the Sector generates revenues of nearly $4 billion.

Mr. Drummond joined Aramark in April 1999 as a Vice President of Business Development. In November 1999 he moved to Burbank, CA to become Senior Vice President of the Western Region for the Uniform business. He returned to Philadelphia, PA in 2005 where he served as Executive Vice President of Aramark’s Healthcare and Education business units and in 2006 he returned to Burbank as President of Aramark’s Uniform Division. In 2014, his role was expanded to Chief Operating Officer to manage both Aramark’s Uniform and Refreshments business units. Before joining Aramark, Mr. Drummond held positions of increasing responsibility with Deloitte Consulting and Black and Decker. He also served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Captain. Mr. Drummond earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the Naval Academy, an MS Degree from the Naval Post Graduate School and an MBA from Loyola.

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Erik Feig
Founder and President, PICTURESTART

Erik Feig is an American media executive and producer. He is the founder and president of PICTURESTART, a production, and co-financing company that creates, owns, and aggregates premium content for the youth market across all forms of distribution.

Erik served as co-president of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group until April 2018 and was president of Summit Entertainment prior to that. He has produced, supervised and originated the production of Academy Award-winning films including La La Land and The Hurt Locker, along with book adaptations and films geared toward the youth market, including The Twilight Saga, The Hunger Games series, Divergent series, Red series and Step Up series. According to The New York Times, “Feig has built a reputation among book authors for cinematic adaptations.” As of 2017, films he has supervised or produced have collectively grossed over $12 billion at the box office worldwide. In 2017, Erik was named to Variety’s 500 list of the most influential people in the entertainment industry. He is a founding board member of LA’s Promise, a nonprofit helping students and families in Los Angeles’ high-need neighborhoods; a founding board member of the Systemic Change Project, which promotes gender balance in the entertainment industry; a board member of the Columbia University School of the Arts; and ambassador for the ReFrame Project. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Columbia University in 1992 and lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.

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Laura Fox

During her career in the entertainment industry, Laura was responsible for overseeing business and legal affairs for the DreamWorks SKG movie division and was the VP of Legal Affairs for Walt Disney Pictures and Touchstone Pictures.

She currently teaches in the field of social enterprise at the USC Marshall School of Business. She has served on many nonprofit boards, and is currently the Board Chair of P.S. Arts and a member of the boards of City Year Los Angeles and Visionary Women. In addition, she serves on a number of advisory councils including Human Rights Watch Los Angeles Committee, University of Michigan LSA Dean’s Advisory Council and Common Sense Media Los Angeles Advisory Council. She received a B.A. in Political Science and Psychology from the University of Michigan, and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.

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Ben Goldhirsh
Co-Founder and Former CEO, GOOD Worldwide; co-founder, City Year LA Chairman of the Board,The Goldhirsh Foundation

Ben Goldhirsh is the co-founder and former CEO of GOOD Worldwide (GWW). Across its two consumer-facing platforms, Upworthy and GOOD Magazine, GWW is the world’s largest and most respected media company helping individuals and businesses do well by doing good.

With 15 million fans and followers across Facebook and Twitter, more than 40 million visitors each month to its sites, and hundreds of millions of millennials reached across its social channels, GWW helps affirm its audience’s belief in humanity and inspires and amplifies the role each can play to further progress in their homes, their offices, their communities, and their lives. The knowledge born from this work provides unique data, insights, and capabilities allowing GWW to serve its corporate clients with a range of services that help align profit objectives with maximum societal impact. This work, manifesting across program design, content production, and audience engagement, has made GWW the go-to partner in progress for not just the millions of individuals who count on GOOD Magazine and Upworthy for inspiration and information each month, but also for leading corporations and foundations across the globe ranging from Google to Starbucks to AirBnB to the Gates Foundation and many more. Outside of GWW, Ben sits on a variety of charitable boards including the Ad Council and Unite America and serves as Chairman of the Board of The Goldhirsh Foundation, an organization helping provide social innovators with the financial capital and networks to scale effective entrepreneurial efforts.

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Jennifer Gonring
CEO, Gonring, Spahn and Associates

Jennifer Gonring runs Gonring, Spahn & Associates’ operations and is lead strategist in positioning key philanthropic and policy objectives. She has distinct experience in nonprofit growth strategies; she also directs message development, formulates communication tactics, and manages the execution.

In partnership with major institutions, foundations, corporations, and individual efforts, she delivers a steady campaign mentality to her work, significantly increasing clients’ visibility, funding, and overall reach. She has served as an advisor to numerous federal, state, and local political candidates, committees, and issue campaigns, as well as some of the nation’s leading charitable organizations. Before co-founding Gonring, Spahn & Associates, Jennifer worked at DreamWorks SKG, where she oversaw the studio’s corporate-affairs operations and served as Director of Special Projects. She also managed studio public relations, the Spielberg Family Living Trust, the Katzenberg Family Trust, and all aspects of Dreamworks’ charitable-giving program. Additionally, she directed all community relations, the studio’s fundraising efforts, and special appearances for the principals: Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen. Jennifer is a member of the non-partisan Pacific Council on International Policy and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Charles Edison Fund, the Board of City Year Los Angeles, the Board of the California Film Commission, and the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles Urban League. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her husband is an ethnomusicologist and writer. They have two daughters.

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Glenn Gritzner
partner, Mercury Public Affairs

Glenn Gritzner is a partner of Mercury in the Los Angeles office. He brings to Mercury a specialization in political outreach, policy analysis, communication and media strategy, education, and urban planning and development issues, maintaining a specialty in the Southern California political environment.

Previously, Glenn was a Special Assistant to the Superintendent and Director of External Affairs for the Los Angeles Unified School District, with primary responsibility for political messaging, outreach, and communication strategy. As the closest aide to the Superintendent, he was responsible for the District’s relationships with state and local elected officials, and for shepherding complex, high-profile projects. Glenn was also the District’s point person for the four largest local school bond campaigns in U.S. history, raising over $16 billion to construct and repair schools. Glenn is also involved in many civic organizations. He serves on the Board of City Year Los Angeles, which was President Clinton’s inspiration to form the AmeriCorps program. He also serves on the Board of Heart of Los Angeles Youth, an after- school youth development and education program, and is past President of the Los Angeles County Young Democrats. He was also a City Council Appointee to the Citizens’ Unit for Participation in Housing and Community Development, providing citizen oversight for over $165 million in annual Community Development Block Grant money for the City of Los Angeles. Glenn completed his undergrad at UCLA where he graduated magma-cum-laude in Communication Studies and received his Master’s in Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard. Glenn is also a Senior Fellow at the USC Marshall School of Business Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab.

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Andrew Hauptman photo
Andrew Hauptman, Chair Emeritus
Andell Inc.; Co-founder, City Year Los Angeles; Trustee, City Year

Andrew Hauptman is the Chairman of Andell Inc., a private investment firm and family office he controls along with his wife, Ellen Bronfman Hauptman. Andell invests directly in private and public companies, acquiring controlling and minority stakes, and Andell’s real estate platform provides both debt and equity financing across property types. Andrew oversees the firm’s investment strategy and is actively involved in Andell’s operating businesses.

Andrew Hauptman is the Chairman of Andell Inc., a private investment firm and family office he controls along with his wife, Ellen Bronfman Hauptman. Andell invests directly in private and public companies, acquiring controlling and minority stakes, and Andell’s real estate platform provides both debt and equity financing across property types. Andrew oversees the firm’s investment strategy and is actively involved in Andell’s operating businesses. Andrew currently serves on the Advisory Board of Altas Partners and Pendulum Holdings and has been a director of numerous public and private companies, including BSN SPORTS, Dick Clark Productions, Koor Industries, Loews Cineplex Entertainment, Storage Mobility (PODS), and Canyon Ranch Holdings, amongst others. From 2007 – 2019, Andrew was owner and chairman of Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire Soccer Club. Under Andrew’s leadership, the Club experienced dramatic growth, with the franchise value increasing more than tenfold. The Club was also consistently recognized for its deep community engagement, having most recently won the 2019 ESPN Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year award. Additionally, Andrew led a complex and successful effort to move the team back to the city of Chicago and Soldier Field. Examples of additional past and current Andell portfolio companies include Allied Universal, AmWINS Group, Medforth Global Healthcare Education, MyEyeDr., NSC Minerals, Savage x Fenty, The Seagram Company, Universal Studios, University of St. Augustine, USI Insurance Services, and Watco Companies. Andrew co-founded and serves as Director of The Bronfman Hauptman Foundation, which is dedicated to social justice, advancements in education, and environmental protection, and supports many other philanthropic and civic causes. He is a board member of the Center for American Progress, the independent policy institute committed to improving the lives of Americans through bold progressive ideas and leadership. Andrew was elected Charter Trustee of City Year in 2020 after having served as Trustee for more than 12 years. He is the Co-Founder, former Chair of the board for nine years, and now Chair Emeritus of City Year Los Angeles. He serves on the Leadership Council of Service Year Alliance and is a Co-Chair of the organization’s “Serve America Together” campaign, calling on 2020 presidential candidates to make national service a priority – a topic about which he has authored many op-eds. He is Co-Founder and Trustee of The Charles Bronfman Prize, which recognizes young Jewish humanitarians whose innovative work serves to inspire the next generation. Andrew is a member of the Yale University Council, the Advisory Board of The Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy and Jobs, and the Leadership Council of International Medical Corps. Andrew served as President of the Chicago Fire Foundation for 12 years, and in 2017, he was inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame as Sports Advocate of the Year. Earlier in his career, Andrew was a senior executive with Universal Studios in London and played a key role in the oversight of its international operations, focusing primarily in the music and filmed entertainment groups. Andrew also previously produced feature films through Andell Entertainment, including “State of Play,” starring Russell Crowe and “Millions,” directed by Danny Boyle. Prior to his time in the media industry, Andrew worked in restructuring and mergers and acquisitions at Alex. Brown & Sons in New York. Andrew holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

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Ellen Bronfman Hauptman
co-chair, Andell Inc.; co-founder, City Year Los Angeles

Ellen Bronfman Hauptman is Co-Chairman of Andell Inc., a private investment firm and family office that she controls with her husband, Andrew Hauptman. Andell invests directly in private and public companies, acquiring controlling and minority stakes, and Andell’s real estate platform provides both debt and equity financing across property types.

In addition to this work, Ellen is involved in numerous philanthropic pursuits, having launched a number of programs and initiatives. She is Co-Founder of The Hauptman Family Foundation. She is also the Co-Founder and board member of City Year Los Angeles, an education-focused nonprofit that engages young people from diverse backgrounds for a year of full-time community service in our nation’s most challenged schools. She is Co-Founder of The Charles Bronfman Prize, an award that celebrates the vision and endeavor of a humanitarian under the age of 50 whose work has a global impact. Ellen also helped to create Andell Family Sundays, an initiative to engage low-income families and children in the arts at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She is a member of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Los Angeles Leadership Council, Conservation International’s Leadership Council, and Visionary Women’s Visionary Circle. She previously worked in the documentary and feature film world in a producing capacity and as a film buyer for Cineplex Odeon, a North American-based theatrical exhibitor. Ellen is a graduate of Yale University.

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JD Heyman

In June 2019, JD was named Editor-in-Chief of EW, the world’s leading media brand covering fandom and the business of popular culture. As EIC, he has repositioned EW as the voice of the new golden age of showbusiness across all platforms, with a deluxe monthly magazine, a news-driven website, and growing extensions in social media, audio, television, and events.

Prior to joining EW, JD was Deputy Editor of its sister brand, PEOPLE, where he led on integrating the brand’s entertainment content across print, digital and video platforms, creating franchises such as 25 Women Changing the World and building keystone partnerships between People, EW, and the entertainment industry. In his role at PEOPLE, JD restructured the magazine’s showbusiness team, making it a cutting-edge force in reporting, editorial-business collaboration, and on-site integrations at the Cannes and Toronto film festivals. He also performed both on-camera and development roles at PeopleTV OTT network. Working closely with advertisers and creators, he pioneered initiatives in V/R and A/R, has worked with senior leadership at Meredith Corporation, the parent company for People and EW on initiatives at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. He has led his creative team to numerous journalism and design awards. JD lives in Los Angeles with his wife Abby and their children Ned and Delia. As a member of the City Year LA board, he is committed to educational equity for at-risk students in his home city and beyond.

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April McDaniel
Founder, Crown + Conquer

April perfected her craft at Strategic Group, where she was instrumental in the opening of several iconic venues, including Las Vegas TAO, Marquee Nightclub & Day Club at The Cosmopolitan, LAVO at The Palazzo and Avenue in NYC. She also led event planning for Coca Cola, Moët, Nike, Sprite and Heineken.

After transitioning to Game Seven Marketing, April pioneered an innovative influencer program that fundamentally transformed the way Beats and Nike handle marketing. Her streamlined operations approach maximized the company’s growth and allowed G7 to open an office in LA– an expansion that she oversaw. April had a vision for an agency where passionate people could collaborate and create transformative brand experiences steeped in realness, a place that puts culture, inclusion and authentic connections above everything. Crown + Conquer is that dream realized. April designed C+C to be an agile, one of a kind collective with unrivaled experiential expertise and influencer relationships. Since launching in 2016, April and her team have created headline-grabbing activations for Spotify, Airbnb, Google, and other world-class companies. These experiences weren’t just relevant. They were resonant. This distinction helped these culture-defining brands create meaningful connections with their audience.

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Marc Merrill
co-founder, Riot Games

Marc Merrill is the co-founder of Riot Games and co-creator of League of Legends. Marc co-founded Riot—along with Brandon Beck—in 2006 with the vision and commitment to drastically change the way video games are developed, delivered, and supported for players.

Since then, he’s helped League of Legends become the most-played online game in the world and a key driver of the growth of esports. Riot continues to uphold its “player first” vision by devoting the entire company’s activity around prioritizing the player experience and has been acclaimed for its focus on balanced game design, community engagement, and pioneering work in establishing games as a service. Riot Games is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA and has ~3,000 employees across 23 offices around the world to support players globally. Marc is also active outside of Riot and serves on the board of several non- profit organizations, including Unite America, focused on addressing the polarized gridlock in Washington; City Year Los Angeles, focused on increasing the graduation rate in the nation’s highest-need schools; and the Seal Family Foundation. Marc has also been recognized with several awards such as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, several Game Developers Choice Awards, and a BAFTA.

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Susan Milken City Year Los Angeles Board
Sarah Milken

Sarah Milken graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.A. in Communications. After graduating, Sarah worked at the BBDO advertising agency in London.

Upon returning to Los Angeles, Sarah received her M.A. and Ph.D. in educational psychology at the University of Southern California. Upon finishing her Ph.D. at USC, Sarah taught in the graduate school of education. Sarah’s passion for education, children’s and women’s issues are demonstrated by her active role in many organizations. Sarah serves on the Board of Trustees of Brentwood School. Sarah is also integrally involved in The HELP Group, the largest non-profit in the country serving children with special needs. Sarah serves on the Leadership Circle for Visionary Women, a women’s international leadership organization. Additionally, Sarah serves as a member of Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA’s Today’s and Tomorrow’s Children Fund. Sarah also participates in the various initiatives of the Milken Family Foundation and is a member of The National Advisory Board of Stanford University’s Sean Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma.

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Hannah Minghella
Head of Motion Pictures, Bad Robot

Hannah Minghella was recently appointed to Head of Motion Pictures at Bad Robot for JJ Abrams and Katie McGrath. Prior to her appointment at Bad Robot, Minghella spent 14 years at Sony Pictures Entertainment.

She first joined Sony in 2005 from Miramax as a director of creative affairs under then Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chair Amy Pascal. In 2008, she was appointed president of the production at Sony Pictures Animation, overseeing the launch of franchises Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Hotel Transylvania and The Smurfs. In 2011, Minghella was named president of the production for Columbia Pictures, overseeing all aspects of development and production for the label working on numerous movies including the Jump Street movies, The Amazing Spider-Man movies, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Sausage Party, and Skyfall. In 2015, Minghella was appointed as president of TriStar Pictures and added TriStar TV to her purview in January of 2018. Under the TriStar label, Minghella oversaw the development and production of A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood directed by Marielle Heller starring Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers, Baby Driver directed by Edgar Wright, and T2: Trainspotting 2 directed by Danny Boyle. Born in England, Minghella sits on the board of Women In Film, City Year Los Angeles, and The Archer School For Girls and is a founding member of the Los Angeles Women’s Collective, a political action committee that empowers women to influence political and legislative progress. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three daughters.

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Jon Neuhaus ‘91
Managing Director, Morgan Stanley

Jon Neuhaus is a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley. He and his business partner of 18 years lead a Private Wealth Management team that manages $12 billion in assets.

Jon Neuhaus is a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley. He and his business partner of 18 years lead a Private Wealth Management team that manages $12 billion in assets. Jon earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He received his B.A. with high honors in Political Science and History and high distinction in general scholarship from U.C. Berkeley, where he also played Ice Hockey. He is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy. Jon served as Corps Member in City Year Boston in 1990-91, after graduating from Exeter/before Cal. He served on the Start-Up Team in City Year Chicago in the summer of 1994, helped the Start-Up Team in San Jose in 1994, and was a Founding Citizen for City Year L.A. Jon sponsors The Legacy Team at Edwin Markham Middle School in Watts. He currently Co-Chairs the L.A. Red Jacket Society. Jon has coached and served on multiple education and sports-related boards. He coached Little League Baseball in college and for a decade after business school. He lives (with his golden lab “Stan the Man”) in Hermosa Beach, CA.

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Pedro Noguera, Ph. D.
Dean, USC Rossier School of Education

A sociologist, Noguera's research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions, as well as by demographic trends in local, regional and global contexts.

He is the author, co-author, and editor of thirteen books. His most recent books are The Crisis of Connection with Niobe Way, Carol Gilligan and Aisha Ali (NYU Press) and Race, Equity and Education: The Pursuit of Equality in Education 60 Years After Brown (Springer Press), and he has published over 250 research articles, book chapters, research reports, and editorials. He serves on the boards of numerous national and local organizations, including the Economic Policy Institute, the National Equity Institute and The Nation Magazine. Noguera appears as a regular commentator on educational issues on several national media outlets, and his editorials on educational issues have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Dallas Morning News and Los Angeles Times. Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA, he served as a tenured professor and holder of endowed chairs at New York University (2003 – 2015) Harvard University (2000 – 2003) and the University of California, Berkeley (1990 – 2000). Noguera was recently appointed to serve as a special advisor to the Governor of New Mexico on education policy. He also advises the state departments of education in Washington, Oregon and Nevada, and from 2009 - 2012 he served as a Trustee for the State University of New York (SUNY) as an appointee of the Governor. In 2014 he was elected to the National Academy of Education and Phi Delta Kappa honor society. Noguera has received seven honorary doctorates from American universities, and he recently received awards from the Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, from the National Association of Secondary Principals, and from the McSilver Institute at NYU for his research and advocacy efforts aimed at fighting poverty.

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Eloy Oakley
Chancellor, California Community Colleges

Eloy Ortiz Oakley is an American educator and a leading voice on improving equity in higher education. Growing up in the Mexican American neighborhoods of South East Los Angeles, Oakley’s experiences would shape his belief that quality education opportunities are a critical ingredient in achieving social and economic mobility.

Oakley was appointed Chancellor of the California Community Colleges in December, 2016. He leads the nation’s largest and most diverse system of higher education consisting of 116 colleges which serve more than 2.1-million students. Under his leadership the California community colleges are positioned as a vital source for maintaining global competitiveness of the California workforce. Through the implementation of innovative practices and policies the California Community Colleges have begun to close education attainment gaps and have prepared more Californians for the 21st Century economy. Oakley’s work includes the establishment of the California College Promise, the design and implementation of the systems’ strategic vision, the Vision for Success, the elimination of standardized testing, the reform of remedial education, the adoption of a student-centered funding formula and the launch of California’s first public fully online competency-based education college.

Joe Sanberg
Progressive entrepreneur, co-founder: Aspiration, Inc.

Joe Sanberg is a progressive entrepreneur on a mission to end poverty. As a steward of the movement to pass the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income families in California, Joe founded CalEITC4Me, which helps millions of low-income California families claim the state and federal Earned Income Tax Credits, putting more than $4 billion back in their pockets. Most recently, he successfully advocated for the passage of new legislation that extends access to the credits to low-wage immigrant workers.

Joe is the co-founder of Aspiration, Inc., a socially conscious online financial company that enables customers to choose their own fee levels on checking and investment accounts, and offers managed funds that are 100% fossil-fuel-free. He also manages Working Hero PAC, a people-powered political organization dedicated to electing candidates who have a plan to end America’s outrageous levels of income inequality. Joe was raised by his mom in Southern California.

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Tracy Schwartz-Ward
managing principal, Schwartz Capital Group

Tracy Schwartz-Ward is Partner at Schwartz Capital Group. Previously, Tracy was Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of OppLoans. Tracy began her career as an investment banker with Goldman Sachs.

Her passion for social impact led her to Bangalore, India, where she worked with Unitus Labs and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop innovative capital market strategies and inclusive financial products and services. Tracy graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and Art History. She holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

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David Shaheen
Managing director & Group Head, Entertainment Industries & West Region, J.P. Morgan

David Shaheen joined J.P. Morgan in 1993 and is currently Managing Director and Group Head of the firms’ Entertainment Industries Group and West Region, based in Los Angeles.

David has been with J.P. Morgan’s Entertainment team since 1995 and specializes in highly structured financings and advisory assignments for intellectual property/ content production and distribution companies, globally. During his tenure with J.P. Morgan’s Entertainment team, David has been engaged in the structuring, negotiation, and arranging of capital for leading entertainment companies in film, television, music, and exhibition. Key financial services provided to clients include loan syndications, public and private debt placements, public equity, asset-backed securitizations, derivatives, foreign exchange, and other risk management products. David has been involved in many of the industry’s most important financing and advisory assignments for Lionsgate, MGM Studios, Legendary Pictures, BMG Rights Management, Village Roadshow and Entertainment One. Prior to joining the Entertainment team in Los Angeles, David was part of the firm’s Investment Banking team in New York, responsible for coverage of Diversified Industries and leveraged buyout portfolios. David holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Anderson School at UCLA and a BA in Economics from Boston College and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He serves on the Board of Directors for nonprofit organizations City Year Los Angeles and America SCORES LA.

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Stacey Snider

Over the course of her career, Stacey has overseen the production of a wide range of commercially successful and critically acclaimed films and is known as one of the most dynamic leading executives in Hollywood, having worked as both the chairwoman of a major studio and helped build a major company.

Prior to joining 20th Century Fox, Stacey served as Co-Chairman and CEO of DreamWorks Studios, where she oversaw the creative and financial aspects of all film development and production at the company with Steven Spielberg, in partnership with The Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group. In her capacity at DreamWorks, Stacey guided films from their inception through development and production to marketing and distribution. While at DreamWorks, Stacey worked on highly acclaimed features including the Academy Award-winning Lincoln, starring Daniel Day-Lewis and directed by Steven Spielberg, The Help, Real Steel, Flags of Our Fathers, Letters from Iwo Jima, Dreamgirls, The Kite Runner, Sweeney Todd, Blades of Glory, Disturbia, and Transformers. Before joining DreamWorks in 2006, Stacey served as Chairman of Universal Pictures where she oversaw all domestic and international business units of Universal Pictures, Focus Features, and Universal Home Video, including production, distribution, marketing, acquisitions, strategic planning, finance, and business development. Stacey served as President of TriStar Pictures before joining Universal. In addition to her many professional achievements, Stacey has generously contributed her time and resources to a variety of organizations. She serves on the board of City Year Los Angeles, the Special Olympics of Southern California, the American Film Institute, UCLA Law School, and Harvard Westlake School. Stacey also is on the Board of Overseers for the University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband, Gary Jones, and their two daughters.

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Michelle Sobrino-Stearns
group publisher and chief revenue officer, Variety/IndieWire

Michelle Sobrino-Stearns is the Group Publisher & Chief Revenue Officer of Variety & IndieWire. She is responsible for all revenue for the brands and manages the global sales and marketing teams.

As Group Publisher she collaborates with the editorial features department of both brands to develop more than 250 annual print and digital features and also oversees the development of all cross-platform initiatives, including the 50+ events and summits held annually. Among her numerous innovations, she created Variety’s successful and prestigious “Power of Women” series held twice a year in New York and Los Angeles. The invite-only luncheons honor influencers in entertainment and media that have contributed greatly to their chosen philanthropic organizations. Additionally, Sobrino-Stearns launched Variety’s multi- Emmy award-winning series “Actors on Actors” on PBS and serves as Executive in Charge of Production. Sobrino-Stearns joined Variety in 1997 and rose through the ranks from managing director of features to Associate Publisher to Publisher to her current role as Group Publisher/CRO. She is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles. She serves on the Executive Board of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

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Octavia Spencer
Producer & Academy Award-Winning Actress

One of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents, Octavia Spencer has become a familiar fixture in both television and the silver screen. Her performance as Minny in the DreamWorks feature film The Help won her a 2012 Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, SAG Award and Broadcast Film Critics’ Choice Award among numerous other accolades.

Octavia can currently be seen in A Kid Like Jake, a film about a couple navigating the rigorous New York City kindergarten admissions process for their son, who prefers princesses to action figures. Octavia recently wrapped production on several different projects including Luce, a drama about an African teenager and former child soldier now living in a suburban neighborhood who finds himself struggling with very strong views on political violence; the psychological thriller, Ma, in which Octavia plays the titular role and was reunited with The Help director Tate Taylor plus the Paramount Pictures comedy, Instant Family, alongside Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne. Octavia is currently filming Are You Sleeping, a dramatic thriller series developed by Apple, which follows America’s interest in true crime podcasts. In addition to starring in, she also serves as an executive producer via her Orit Entertainment banner alongside Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and Chernin Ent. / Endeavor Content. In 2016, Octavia received critical acclaim for her portrayal of Dorothy Vaughn in the Academy Award-nominated drama Hidden Figures. Her performance earned her second individual nominations for the Academy Awards, SAG Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and NAACP Image Awards. Among her many other professional achievements, Octavia has co-authored an interactive mystery series for children called Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective. Octavia is a native of Montgomery, Alabama and holds a B.S. in Liberal Arts from Auburn University. She currently resides in Los Angeles.

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Fernando Szew
CEO, MarVista Entertainment

Fernando Szew is Founding Partner and CEO of MarVista Entertainment (MVE), one of the world’s leading independent studios that creates, acquires and distributes content seen around the world.

Under Szew, MVE has become a fast-growing studio, producing over 2,500 hours of content and expanding its portfolio to a distribution footprint of over 125 global territories. MarVista is a preeminent supplier of content to the U.S., including Disney, Lifetime, Hallmark, NBC Universal, Nickelodeon, BET, and Hulu, and international platforms including Netflix. Recent productions include the Sundance feature, Bitch, and Tribeca Film Festival’s Seven Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss—the first two films in a multi-project deal with Elijah Wood’s Company X; the Lea Thompson-directed feature, The Year of Spectacular Men; the original Netflix series Best.Worst.Weekend.Ever; and the original Netflix movie Falling Inn Love. Prior to forming MarVista, Szew was Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Whamo Entertainment. As a native Argentinian, Szew brings a global perspective to MarVista, which transformed MVE from a distributor of third-party-produced programming to worldwide production and distribution. Szew serves on the Board of the Zimmer Children’s Museum by Sharewell, and is currently the Chairperson of the Nomination and Governance Committee for the Museum. He is on the Board of City Year LA and a member of the Advisory Board for the Bentonville Film Festival. He is also a member of The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and a committee member of the Lincoln Center Corporate Fund and Media Council. Szew is a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE). Szew is an alumnus of the Huntsman International Studies and Business Program at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated cum laude from the Wharton School of Business.

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Michael Walsh
Managing Director, Wealth Advisor, William Blair

Michael Walsh is a managing director and wealth advisor in William Blair’s Private Wealth Management group. He has been in the financial services industry since 1991.

Before joining William Blair, Michael was with Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan, where he held multiple leadership roles, including serving as the West region head for J.P. Morgan’s Private Bank responsible for the firm’s businesses in the western half of the United States. Before moving to California, Michael led and built J.P. Morgan’s businesses in the southeastern United States. Michael earned an M.B.A. from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University and a B.A. in English from Emory. He is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and serves on the board of City Year Los Angeles.

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Kevin Westcott
principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Kevin Westcott is the Vice-Chairman, US National Sector Lead for the Telecom, Media & Entertainment (TM&E) and the Global Consulting Leader for the Technology, Media, and Telecom (TMT) practices of Deloitte.

Kevin has over 30 years of experience in strategic and operational planning, as well as implementing global business change and technology projects for major telco and media organizations. His industry experience spans film, television, home entertainment, broadcasting, telecommunications, over-the-top video delivery, publishing, licensing, and games. During past client engagements, Kevin has worked on large scale M&A, transforming and implementing new business models, helping clients to monetize their assets, and assisting startups to effectively enter the marketplace. Kevin leads industry projects for his clients across the TMT industry, both domestically and globally, including digital product strategy, distribution, and supply chain for TMT companies. Kevin is the lead for the Deloitte Digital Media Trends, an annual look at media consumption and speaks regularly on media and entertainment trends at Industry conferences. Kevin is also the author of Deloitte’s Digital Media Maturity Model and Deloitte’s Future of Home Entertainment. Kevin places a high importance on community involvement and works to support many civic and philanthropic organizations. Kevin is on the Board of Directors for City Year Los Angeles, a national organization focused on increasing the graduation rate for at-risk students and he also supports The United Way, Court Appointed Special Advocates and Mending Children.

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Grace Wu
Executive Vice President, Casting, Entertainment Content NBCUniversal Television and Streaming

Grace Wu currently serves as Executive Vice President, Casting, Entertainment Content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, in a role which was created for her in early 2021. In this post, Wu is responsible for overseeing both scripted and unscripted casting and talent across the division’s Entertainment platforms, including broadcast network NBC, six cable networks: Bravo, E!, Oxygen, SYFY, Universal Kids, and USA, as well as streamer Peacock.

In her expansive role, Wu reports directly to Entertainment Content Chairman Susan Rovner. Most recently, Wu held the position of Executive Vice President, Casting, for NBC Entertainment. Elevated to this capacity in 2009, Wu was responsible for overseeing the day-to-day casting on current scripted series, as well as pilot productions, for the broadcast network. During her tenure at NBC, she supervised the casting of such network series as "Freaks & Geeks,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Parenthood,” “New Amsterdam,” and “This Is Us.” Wu joined NBC Casting in September 1999 as Manager of Casting, rising to Senior Vice President, Casting, in 2006. Wu began her career in entertainment casting as an assistant on the feature film "In & Out," starring Kevin Kline. She transitioned into television when she joined Liberman/Hirschfeld Casting, where she worked on casting for the critically acclaimed "Seinfeld," "MadTV" and "The Larry Sanders Show." A native of Los Angeles, Wu received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of California at Berkeley.

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