Don St. Clair, Chair

Don St. Clair

Don St. Clair, Ed.D., is vice president for enrollment management at Woodbury University, providing executive leadership for admissions, financial aid, registrar, and enrollment marketing. As vice president, he has expanded financial aid to improve access to private education for students of all economic backgrounds while maintaining fiscal integrity and budget control. St. Clair has promoted collaboration across administrative units during a period of significant growth and change, broadened the university’s profile with external stakeholders, and engaged in direct fundraising activities in collaboration with the Office of University Advancement. During Mr. St. Clair’s tenure, total enrollment has increased by 70 percent, the university tuition revenue has increased more than four-fold, and the university has enjoyed renewed public recognition.

In addition to his executive duties at Woodbury University, he is a founding faculty member of the undergraduate and graduate organizational leadership departments and facilitates graduate courses in leadership, innovation, organizational change, and communication. He serves as a facilitator for leadership academies for the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and Pasadena, and as a facilitator for the community leadership development program Leadership Burbank.  During more than 26 years in higher education, St. Clair has established a reputation for innovation in operations and in program delivery. He previously served as dean of enrollment services at Lewis University in suburban Chicago, consolidating university enrollment service functions to dramatically improve student satisfaction, engineering entry into international recruitment that doubled the number of foreign students over a two-year period, and collaborating with student development to significantly increase first-year student retention. During his tenure at the Indiana Institute of Technology, he conceived, designed, and implemented the Accelerated Degree Program (now known as the College of Professional Studies), an innovative modularized instructional program that is one of the largest external degree programs in the Midwest, and increased mean first-year SAT to the highest standardized scores in institutional history. His career in higher education has also included considerable work in Asia, Europe, South America, and the Middle East.

Mr. St. Clair is deeply involved in the Los Angeles community and is a frequent presenter and emcee at business and education-related events. He currently serves as board chairman of the Valley Economic Development Center, one of the nation’s leading non-profit community development financial institutions, and the Burbank Community YMCA. He is past chair of the Burbank Chamber of Commerce, serves on the boards of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association and the Los Angeles Business Federation.

He earned a doctorate of education in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University, a master of arts in executive development from Ball State University, and a bachelor of science in business administration and speech communication from Manchester College. His honors include being recognized as the Best Non-Profit Board Chair in 2010 by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. Mr. St. Clair is married to Janet McIntyre, a national communications strategist and Woodbury University leadership facilitator. St. Clair and McIntyre, who live in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Toluca Lake, have three elementary school-age children, Kendall, Payton, and Grant.

David W. Fleming, Founding Chair

David W. Fleming, Founding Chair

David W. Fleming, an attorney with Latham & Watkins, was the instigator of the successful charter reform movement in the City of Los Angeles. In 1997, he and then LA Mayor Richard Riordan co-chaired a voters' initiative to reform LA City government, culminating in creation of an elected citizens' Charter Reform Commission that drafted a new charter adopted by voters in 1999.
He currently serves on the board of the Southern California Metropolitan Water District, covering all of Southern California, representing the City of Los Angeles. In 2003 he was appointed by President George W. Bush as a trustee of the James Madison Foundation, which bestows scholarships on high school teachers to promote teaching the founding of our nation. In 2005, he was appointed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to represent the city of Los Angeles as a director of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (the “MTA”).

Fleming chaired the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce in 2007 and in 2008 and was the creator and founding chair of the Los Angeles County Business Federation. In 2009, he, along with former California Governor Pete Wilson, served as co-chairs of the Southern California Leadership Council. In 2005-07, he served as the Chairman of the California Regional Leadership Foundation, a statewide organization of civic entrepreneurs addressing regional problems. He is the current Chair of L.A. Project Grad, an intensive K-12 educational program helping minority public school students achieve excellence.

Fleming was Vice-Chairman of the California Transportation Commission (the “CTC”) on which he served from 1996 through 1999, and chaired the CTC’s Public Transit Committee, overseeing major public transit projects throughout California. He recently served as one of five commissioners of the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission. From 1993 to 2001 he served as President of the Los Angeles City Board of Fire Commissioners. He has served on the Los Angeles County Business Licensing Commission, the Los Angeles County Judicial Procedures Commission and the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission.

He is a past chairman and currently a member of the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC). He served as chair of Valley Industry & Commerce Association (VICA) from 1988 through 1990. Since 1996 he has chaired the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley. He is past Chairman of the Board of Valley Presbyterian Hospital, a 380-bed nonprofit, non-sectarian, community-owned heath center, a position he held for the past 21 years.

He serves on the national Board of Trustees of the Reason Foundation and is Vice-Chair of the Children’s Planning Council of Los Angeles County, an organization he was instrumental in creating and that coordinates over $5 billion in federal and state money annually to aid children and families in need throughout Los Angeles County. He is a member of the board of directors of the California Community Foundation, an 80-year-old philanthropic organization overseeing a fund of over $1 billion dedicated to charities. He is a board member of the Keston Institute at the University of Southern California.

In addition, Fleming is, or has been, a director of: The Los Angeles Police Foundation, the Children’s Bureau of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council Foundation, the Civic Alliance, California State University, Northridge (CSUN) Foundation, the New Majority, the Constitutional Rights Foundation, The California Assembly Speaker’s Commission on State Government; The LA Mayor’s Economy & Jobs Committee and the Fernando Award Foundation. He is Vice-Chair of the $125 million campaign to build the new Performing Arts Center at CSUN. He serves on the board of the Advisors to the Dean of UCLA Law School.

A member of the California State Bar since 1959, he is of counsel to Latham & Watkins, the third-largest law firm in the U.S. and fifth largest in the world. He is a past recipient of the prestigious Fernando Award, bestowed annually on a San Fernando Valley resident in honor of a lifetime of volunteer service. In 2000, he was given the Nellie Reagan Award for volunteerism, named after the late President Reagan’s mother. Over the past 40 years, he has devoted over 70,000 hours of service to civic, community, charitable and government organizations. He has been honored by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, the Jewish National Fund, the American Jewish Committee, the LA Family Housing Foundation, the Southern California Biotech Institute, the California Jaycees, the Los Angeles County League of Woman Voters, various bar associations, the United Chambers of Commerce, the Valley Interfaith Council and many other philanthropic and civic organizations. He is the recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from CSUN and Augustana College, his alma mater and was named alumni of the year by UCLA Law School.

Born and raised in Davenport, Iowa, he moved to the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles in 1956 and graduated from UCLA Law School in 1959. A member of the Southern California Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, he and his wife, Jean, have two adult sons residing in Southern California. Over the years they have personally donated over $5 million to a wide array of charities including Valley Presbyterian Hospital, CSUN and UCLA Law School.

Tracy Rafter, CEO

Tracy Rafter, CEO

Tracy Rafter was instrumental in BizFed’s organizational founding, early-warning, advocacy and outreach efforts, as well as boosted civic engagement among the elusive business-owner market segment. Since its launch in January 2008, BizFed has nearly doubled its number of members and is extremely proud of its dynamic Board of Directors comprised of 180 Los Angeles County market-leading executives.

Today, BizFed, a not-for-profit 501(c)6 organization, serves over 100 business organizations representing a diverse cross-section of well over 250,000 businesses across the county and works to advocate for positive public policy, legislation, and civic engagement across Los Angeles County's diverse business community. Recently BizFed formed a foundation arm, BizFed Institute, and a political action committee, BizFed PAC, to extend research, education, and campaign work to complement BizFed’s core advocacy efforts.
Ms. Rafter also is the owner of the business advisory firm IMPOWER, Inc., which leads the strategy and execution of "communications transformations" for clients such as national trade associations, municipal agencies, and healthcare industries that seek cutting-edge media and public relations in which content is king. Services include powerful coalition and alliance building and critical convenings; relevant market, organization asset, and brand focus; comprehensive website development; and social media integration in which relevant timely content creation and delivery makes a difference.
Formerly, Ms. Rafter served as the first female publisher of the Los Angeles Daily News in the paper's nearly 100-year history. As a 20-year veteran of the daily newspaper business, she has held chief executive positions in a variety of major markets across the country, including over a decade with the Journal Register Company (JRC) of Trenton, New Jersey, where she served as Publisher and CEO of four award-winning newspapers in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Ms. Rafter formerly owned and operated a group of newspapers and websites in Walla Walla, Washington.
During the past eight years in California, Ms. Rafter has given back to the Los Angeles community by contributing her time and talents to a broad range of local civic and charity organizations, hospitals, and businesses. Currently, she is a member of the Board of Directors of LA’s Best after school program, the Valley Economic Alliance, Valley Presbyterian Hospital, and Project Grad.
In 2005, she was named Business Woman of The Year by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal "in recognition of her entrepreneurial spirit, commitment to excellence and leadership within the community." In 2006, she was named the Woman of the Honor for Haven Hills, a battered women's and children's shelter.
A native of Twin Falls, Idaho, Ms. Rafter began her media career while still in high school at the Times News. She is a graduate of the College of Southern Idaho. Ms. Rafter resides in Sherman Oaks, CA, with her two young daughters, Hailey and Hannah.

M C Townsend, Chair-Elect

M C Townsend

Ms. Townsend is president and CEO of the Regional Black Chamber of Commerce San Fernando Valley-Southern California, the chamber represents business in the San Fernando Valley and surrounding cities, including North Hollywood, Burbank, Glendale, and Santa Clarita/Valencia, and the West Los Angeles Metro areas of Marina Del Rey & Inglewood. The primary goal includes providing regional services for small, minority and women-owned businesses, empowering community and business through educational forums, solidifying business relationships with Corporate America, providing training for members, and recognizing community volunteers and corporations with commitment to the community.

Ms. Townsend has left her mark throughout our Nation including Washington D.C.’s U.S. Government, with Special Recognition in the Hall of Records of the United States Congress, Board of Directorship - Wash. DC, 2013 nominee for National Mentor of the Year and National Woman of the Year for her community service commitments both in Southern and Northern California, Her solid business background includes expertise in crafting requirements into strategies and event marketing, cultivated by her years in communications and the financial industry. She has earned a reputation as “the leader who knows how to Turn Contacts into Contracts” with potential businesses members, by providing access and visibility.

She currently also is President, CA Black Chamber’s “Council of Chambers,” a group of 28+ strong influential Minority Chambers across the State. She serves on the Board Director for Fernando Awards, 2013-2015, on the Board Director of National African American Drug Policy Council in Washington DC.  In 2012, Ms. Townsend was appointed to serve as a National Western Region spokeswoman, jointly with Congresswoman Emeritus, Dr. Diane Watson, on the Women for America Business Issues and voter registration as a Los Angeles county representative, under the appointed post of So California Regional Coordinator, Ms. DJ Blaker, under the directions of Lena Kennedy, Southern California Director of “Women for President Obama” Campaign. She served as  BizFed 2013 Advocacy Co-Vice Chair, BizFed 2012 Nominating Committee Vice Chair, and BizFed 2011 Secretary/Treasurer. Ms. Townsend also served as Vice President for two concurrent terms on the local school site councils, served on the Build Workforce Small Business Advisory Council, the Los Angeles United School District Small Business Council, and as a committee member with the Los Angeles Task Force for Community Awareness, under the direction of (Ex-Chief of Police), Chief Bernard Parks,.

In 2006, she was one of founding members of the CBCC’s Council of Chambers in Sacramento. She was appointed as Chair of Programs for the Board of Library Commissioners (Woodland Hills Friends of Library Committee branch) , served as Board Member on the United Chambers of Commerce SFV, is a past member of VICA. (Valley Industry and Commerce Association), a current member of VITA. (Valley International Trade Association). Profoundly educated in the Financial industry, Ms. Townsend is a widower, with 4 children and an extraordinary gifted grandson.

Christine Aghassi, Co-Vice Chair, Advocacy Committee

Christine Aghassi, Co-Vice Chair Advocacy Committee

Christine Aghassi is a Senior Vice President with Dolphin Group Public Affairs in Los Angeles.  With nearly two decades of experience in public affairs and campaign management, she is a seasoned strategist who tackles complex public policy issues for the firm’s diverse clients – from Fortune 50 corporations to local community groups.  She has overseen strategic communications programs in a variety of policy areas including business regulation, health care, entitlements, land use, gaming, and small business advocacy. 

In addition to her role with BizFed, she is also a board member of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA).  Christine keeps active in her local community as a board member of the Clover Avenue Elementary School Booster Club and she previously served on the board of the South Robertson Neighborhoods Council (SORO NC).  A longtime cupcake connoisseur, she is quick with recommendations for local selections. Christine is a native of the Boston area and continues to be a dedicated Sox and Patriots fan.  She now lives in West Los Angeles with her husband Jeff and daughter Finley.

David Grannis, Co-Vice Chair, Advocacy Committee

David Grannis

David Grannis is “strategist in chief” at Point C, L.L.C., a Pasadena, California consulting firm dedicated to improving people’s lives by developing and implementing land use and transportation strategies designed for the benefit of people and the planet. Mr. Grannis last year co-Chaired BizFed's Transportation/Trade Committee, and was Chair of BizFed’s Ad Hoc Transportation Committee in 2011. A self-described “generalist,” David holistically evaluates problems and develops the strategies, the partners, and the gameplan needed to effect change.  He also oversees the funding and implementation of those strategies to ensure economic and ecological benefit.  His work includes:

Serves as a strategic consultant to Los Angeles Metro, Gruen Associates and Grimshaw Architects for the Los Angeles Union Station Master Plan; Serves as a strategic advisor/consultant to a number of private sector companies working to address the interrelationship between land use planning/development and transportation access sustainably. Among these clients are:  DMB Associates, Inc., JMB Real Estate, NBC Universal, Rancho Mission Viejo, The Ratkovich Company, and Tejon Ranch Company; Served as the developer, lead consultant and author/raconteur for Vision Los Angeles, a 25-year transportation/land-use and air quality plan designed to help Los Angeles County become the most accessible region in the Country; Served as a strategic advisor/consultant to The Hearst Corporation in its successful conservation agreement to protect the 80,000-acre Heart Ranch in perpetuity; Served as lead consultant to the City of Pasadena in the development and enactment of legislation to create the Pasadena Blue Line Construction Authority, which resulted in the design-build completion of the project on time and under budget.

Mr. Grannis also is Founder and President, Planning Company Associates, Inc. and co-Founder, Trimtab Foundation. He is a Board member of  AIA-LA, served on Los Angeles Children’s Council Foundation, Inc., Board of Directors (1999-2009), and on Ronald McDonald House, Los Angeles, Board of Trustees (1990-1992; 1996 -2000). He has a Master’s Degree from University of Southern California.

David Kissinger, Co-Vice Chair, Advocacy Committee

David Kissinger

Mr. Kissinger directs government affairs for the South Bay Association of Realtors and has been in this position since 2006. He is an active BizFed PAC voting member and served as BizFed 2012 Business Friendly Committee Co-Vice Chair. Mr. Kissinger is active in the California Association of Realtors and National Association of Realtors. He has a Master’s in Business Administration from University of Southern California and is involved in the community including serving on the Board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the South Bay.

Larry Kosmont, Co-Vice Chair, Advocacy Committee

Larry Kosmont, Co-Vice Chair, Advocacy Committee

Mr. Kosmont is President and CEO of Kosmont Companies, which he founded in 1986. He is Managing Partner of Renaissance Community Fund, which invests and develops mixed use, residential and commercial projects throughout California. In 2009, Mr. Kosmont created the Kosmont Muni Horizons Funds, a proprietary source of private financing for public projects, P3 initiatives, infrastructure funding and economic development. Last year, Mr. Kosmont was co-Vice Chair of BizFed’s Advocacy Committee.

Mr. Kosmont's 36-year career encompasses negotiations, development, and management of real estate transactions exceeding $10 billion. He has an extensive track record as a public/private real estate consultant and developer, with expertise in creating and managing real estate transactions, structured financings using public and private sources of equity and debt entitlement approvals, negotiation, and project implementation.Kosmont served as Interim City Administrator for the City of Montebello, CA from May 2011 to March 2012 as part of a financial turnaround assignment awarded to Kosmont Companies. Mr. Kosmont has assisted hundreds of local government agencies in land development policy decisions ranging from large-scale economic development to site-specific real estate strategies and projects. He has guided over 1,000 private sector projects in obtaining public approvals, structuring deal terms, and securing public/private financing. From 1975 to 1986, Mr. Kosmont served in the roles of City Manager, Director of Community Development, and Redevelopment Director in the cities of Santa Monica, Seal Beach, Bell Gardens, and Burbank.

He served as President of the City Managers Association in Southeast Los Angeles County for two consecutive years. In 1995, Mr. Kosmont conceived of and created the Kosmont-Rose Institute Cost of Doing Business Survey©, which is now recognized as the industry standard for comparing city taxes and economic incentives. The Survey covers 400 cities in all 50 states, and is published annually by California's Claremont-McKenna College. In 1996, Mr. Kosmont was named Service Professional of the Year in the Los Angeles Business Journal's "Who's Who of Commercial Real Estate." Mr. Kosmont has served as a State Commissioner on the California Economic Development Commission, and until December 2007, as a Los Angeles City Commissioner on the Industrial Development Authority. He is a registered Municipal Advisor with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and a licensed real estate broker in California.

Robb Korinke, Co-Vice Chair, Transportation Committee

Robb Korinke

Robb Korinke is a veteran of candidate and ballot measure campaigns across California and beyond.  He leads GrassrootsLab's client and campaign activites in Southern California.  In addition, he is the Publishing Editor of, and Last year, Korinke was co-Vice Chair of BizFed’s Advocacy Committee. Mr. Korinke began his political work on Capitol Hill with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Upon returning to California he worked legislative and local campaigns before signing on with the League of California Cities during their effort to pass Proposition 1A in 2004. In 2007, he joined the Orange County Business Council as Communications Director, overseeing all aspects of the organization's interaction with local and statewide media. He also crafted messaging for advocacy efforts on behalf of the business community in Orange County - the nation's fifth largest county.

Throughout his career, Korinke has honed his skills as a writer and an expert in political communications. He has published op-eds under his own name, as well as under those of clients, in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Orange County Register, the Los Angeles Times, the Orange County Business Journal as well as numerous trade and online industry publications. As a web designer, his work includes, and He has led online campaigns for state and local candidates and also completed web projects for clients including Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, PG&E and the California Chapter, American College of Emergency Physicians. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where he studied English Literature and Public Policy. He lives in Long Beach, California.

Hilary Norton, Co-Vice Chair, Transportation Committee

Hilary Norton, co-Vice Chair, Transportation Committee

Hilary Norton’s career spans more than 21years in the fields of public policy, community development, land use, and transportation planning. In 2008, Ms. Norton was appointed Executive Director of  FAST by founder Jim Thomas, Chairman and President of Thomas Properties Group (TPG). A community initiative fund of the non-profit California Community Foundation(CCF), FAST was created to advocate for and implement near-term solutions to address LosAngeles’ regional traffic crisis, based on the findings of the RAND Corporation report “Moving Los Angeles: Short Term Policy Options for Improving Transportation,” which was co-sponsored by Jim Thomas, Metro and the Music Center.  Since 2008, Ms. Norton has mobilized a diverse coalition of business, labor, civic groups, educational institutions and transit organizations to support FAST’s recommended improvements to regional mobility, livability and economic prosperity.

FAST is a partner with the innovative LosAngeles/LongBeach Mobility Hub Program funded by the federal JARC (Jobs Access Reverse Commute) grant awarded in 2010, a member of Metro’s “First Mile/Last Mile” Taskforce, and a member of the City of Los Angeles’ Mobility Element Task Force. Mobility Hubs will provide “firstmile/last mile” transportation accessibility including bikeshare, bikerental, carshare, shuttles, carpools and vanpools at 13full-service Hubs and19 bike-only Hubs. FAST is part of the outreach and Community Advisory Group teams for Metro’s ExpressLanes (high-occupancy toll lanes) program for the I-110 and I-10 Freeways, and co-created the innovative Metro ExpressLanes Business Roundtable.  Ms. Norton leads the FAST-initiated Comprehensive Corridor Improvement and Reinvestment Plan for Los Angeles County (CCIRPLAC), to improve multi-modal travel options and connectivity to transit and freeways for some of LA County’s most traveled thoroughfares.

Ms. Norton is Co-Chair of the BizFed / Metro Transportation Roundtable, Co-Chair of Central City Association (CCA)’s Transportation Committee, Co-Chair of LABC’s Legislative Committee, Co-Vice Chair of the LosAngeles Chamber’s Transportation and Goods Movement Committee.  Ms. Norton i samember of the City of Los Angeles’ Mobility Element Task Force, VisionLA’s Advisory Committee, Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) Livable Communities Advisory Committee, the Metro ExpressLanes Corridor Advisory Committee, SCAG/Metro’s First-Mile Last-Mile Working Group, and SCAG’s Express Travel Choices Steering Committee.  Ms. Norton holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science from Wellesley College, and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy, Housing and CommunityDevelopment Concentration, from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Ms. Norton is Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of Orthopaedic Institute for Children (OIC). Ms. Norton has two children, Xavier and Eva Orozco. 

Alex Pugh, Co-Vice Chair, Energy/Environment Committee

Alex Pugh

Alex Pugh is Senior Project Manager, Policy & Project Management Team, Southern California Edison.  Pugh joined Southern California Edison, Local Public Affairs in 2010, where he works on regional land-use planning policies and projects related to transportation and electric transmission.  He also serves as the primary interface with the Southern California Association of Governments, and working as a liaison Local Public Affairs between critical transportation agencies in Southern California like LA County MTA and the California High Speed Rail Authority.

Alex Pugh is also responsible for executing the Social Media strategy for SCE's Local Public Affairs. Mr. Pugh Joined SCE with experience from the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Senior Program Manager where he led advocacy efforts on environment and transportation programs. He has campaign experience from managing a Santa Monica City Council Campaign and a background in sustainable building standards and practices in affordable housing from working with Global Green USA. Mr. Pugh is currently completing his MBA at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, is a Graduate of the prestigious Coro Fellowship Program in Public Affairs and holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz. 

Patty Senecal, Co-Vice Chair, Energy/Environment Committee

Patty Senecal

Ms. Senecal was named manager of The Western States Petroleum Association’s Southern California region and Infrastructure issues in 2010. The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) is a non-profit trade association representing twenty-eight companies that explore for, produce, refine, transport and market petroleum, petroleum products, natural gas and other energy supplies in California and five other western states.

For the past two years, she has co-chaired BizFed’s Energy/Environment/Land Use Committee; previously she co-chaired BizFed's Advocacy Committee. She has 25 years of private sector business experience in goods movement and 15 years’ experience working on legislative and regulatory issues for the trucking and distribution industry. She is a leading advocate for the goods movement and transportation industry in California on environmental issues that impact competitiveness of trade sensitive businesses in California.

David Foley, Co-Vice Chair, Land Use Committee

David Foley

Mr. Foley is the General Manager for Brookfield Office Properties and oversees 2.3 million square feet of commercial office and retail space consisting of Ernst & Young Plaza, the 777 Tower and the newly redeveloped FIGat7th retail center in downtown Los Angeles. Ernst & Young Plaza has earned LEED Platinum certification, the highest level achievable, in the Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (EB: O&M) rating system.  With 90 points, the building is ranked second in the United States for points earned and eighth worldwide in the EB: O&M rating system. In 2013 Ernst & Young Plaza also achieved the BOMA Outstanding Building of the Year Award in the over 1 million square feet category. Prior to joining Brookfield, Dave was the Director of Global Real Estate Operations for Wellington Management and managed their global real estate, security and business continuity functions.

Sandy Sanchez, Co-Vice Chair, Land Use Committee

Sandy Sanchez

Ms. Sanchez recently joined Newhall Land after representing the Building Industry Association of Southern California - Los Angeles/Ventura Counties Chapter, an affiliate of the California Building Industry Association and the National Association of Home Builders, for nearly four years. The trade association represents approximately 1,000 companies involved in every aspect of building homes and creating communities for the growing and diverse population of southern California.

In that position, Sandy worked to advocate for pro-development policies throughout Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Her duties included monitoring and advocating on the governmental issues affecting the building industry, overseeing the Government Affairs Committee and chapter Political Action Committee.  Her efforts have resulted in saving builders thousands of dollars per unit in construction related fees and eliminated policies that would dramatically imped development. Sandy has over 15 years of extensive experience in real estate development. She has directly managed land-use planning, entitlements, and served as project manager for over 1,000 residential units in Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange Counties; as well acting as construction manager for various commercial buildings. Sandy also has additional expertise in residential lending and strategic positioning with stakeholder groups and public officials. Her specialties include forward planning of single family sub-divisions, and multi-family (podiums) development, as well as tilt-up buildings; community infrastructure financing and installation, and construction management of big-box retail projects.

Prior to joining the BIA, Ms. Sanchez was the Director of Pre-Development at O&S Holdings and also served as Project Manager for D.R. Horton for six years.  She began her career at Bank of America where she served as a lending officer and managed a substantial portfolio of high net-worth clients.  Shortly after, she joined Watson Land Company where she began her real estate development career.  Ms. Sanchez is very active in her community and has been a member of the Junior League of Los Angeles since 2001, a Volunteer in Policing with the Redondo Beach Police Department, Member of the College of Canyons Construction Advisory Board, and graduate of the LA Junior Chamber of Commerce Riordan Leadership Institute-Volunteer Leadership Development Program.

Stacy Miller, Co-Vice Chair, Health Care Committee

Stacy Miller

Ms. Miller’s professional experience in public, private and non-profit communications, public relations and government affairs extends over 20 years and provides a broad base of expertise that has led organizations and clients to surpass their strategic goals.  Most recently as the President of Stacy Miller Public Affairs (SMPA), her team has developed and led strategic communication, public relations and public affairs efforts on behalf of clients including: CBS Outdoor, Lamar Advertising, Clear Channel, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, Castaic Lake Water Agency, City of Glendale, Glendale Water and Power, Los Angeles Universal Preschool, County of Santa Barbara, California Community Foundation and First American Home Warranty.

Prior to launching her consulting firm in 2008, Ms. Miller developed and implemented a comprehensive External Relations Program for one of the largest early education non-profit organizations in the State of California — The Child Care Resource Center (CCRC).  The departments she launched during her seven-year tenure now serve as models at the local, state and national levels at CCRC and include Community & Public Relations, Fund Development, Marketing and Government Affairs.As the Intergovernmental Relations Director for the City of Santa Clarita, the third-largest city in Los Angeles County, she ran the City’s legislative, outreach and governmental affairs program.  In that capacity, she served as the City’s lead spokesperson on matters of local, regional, state and federal significance.  While serving in that role, Ms. Miller acted as the government affairs and community engagement lead during the city’s battle against the international Cemex mining company.  She also served as an analyst in the City’s Economic Development Division, implementing economic development strategies including business development and business retention programs.

Ms. Miller’s public affairs career began in the private sector at Sunkist Growers, serving as special assistant to the Vice President of Government Affairs, Public Relations, and Member Relations.  While at Sunkist, she assisted in the development and implementation of member engagement and media relation’s campaigns, analyzing and interpreting political trends, and administering Sunkist’s political action campaign. She holds a Masters in Public Administration.  She and her husband are the proud parents of Trent, a member of the US Army’s 82 Airborne Unit and Paige, a recent college graduate and account manager at a San Francisco based technology firm.

Michael Tou, Co-Vice Chair, Health Care Committee

Michael Tou

Michael Tou is Director of Government Relations for Providence Health & Services, Southern California – the second largest healthcare provider in Los Angeles County and one of the largest private employers in the region. Mr. Tou directs legislative and regulatory advocacy for Providence across the state. He works with regional leaders and experts in analyzing the impact of policy proposals, leading related advocacy, and furthering strategic partnerships.

Providence Southern California operates five award-winning acute-care medical centers in the Los Angeles area, providing a full continuum of healthcare services: Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, Providence Tarzana Medical Center, Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centers in Torrance and San Pedro. The region also has numerous ancillary facilities including Hospice care, long-term care, Providence Medical Institute (primary and specialty care clinics), Providence High School and an affiliation with Facey Medical Group.

Before joining Providence, Mr. Tou served for nearly twelve years as the chief policy advisor to a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, specializing in environmental, healthcare and transportation policy issues. Mr. Tou also served as an aide to a former speaker of the California State Assembly and in the White House under the Clinton administration. A native of Los Angeles, he earned his Master in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from California State University, Northridge.

Ken Duong, Co-Vice Chair, International Trade Committee

Ken Duong, Co-Vice Chair International Trade Committee

Ken D. Dương, Esq. is the founding partner of TDL International Law Firm, APLC in 2009 and is currently working in the Fountain Valley head office; however, he also works in the Vietnam office for a few weeks every year. His areas of practice include domestic and international business and corporate law, estate planning, taxation, and immigration. Through his knowledge, experience and educational background - Bachelor in Economics, M.B.A., and LL.M. in Taxation.

He travels to South East Asia, mostly Vietnam and Thailand, at least once a year for a month or two for business and finding new personal and professional business opportunities. Mr. Dương speaks, reads and writes in three languages – Spanish, Vietnamese, and English – from having lived, worked or traveled in Spain, Vietnam, Thailand, El Salvador, Argentina and a dozen other countries. After serving four years as a Board of Director of the Fountain Valley Chamber of Commerce, in 2012 Mr. Duong was appointed as the first Vietnamese American Chairperson of the FVCOC and will serve for a two-year term until the end of 2014. Moreover, Mr. Duong still serves as an executive board member and legal counsel for the Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce. Aside from chamber of commerce work, Mr. Duong also represents other non-profits, such as the Sen Hoa Foundation, Indo-Chinese Islamic Center, Young Generation Foundation, and many others; this is a way for him to give back to the community.

Mr. Duong has a Master’s of Law in Taxation Candidate 2014, Chapman University School of Law, a Doctor of Jurisprudence, Golden Gate University School of Law, Master’s in Business Administration, Golden Gate University Ageno School of Business , and Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Minor in Spanish and Specialization in Computing, University of California, Los Angeles. He is involved in the Vietnamese American Bar Associations, National Conference of Vietnamese American Attorneys, Fountain Valley Chamber of Commerce, Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce, Orange County Asian American Bar Association, and Inter-Pacific Bar Association

Scott Kurtz, Co-Vice Chair, International Trade Committee

Scott Kurtz, Co-Vice Chair International Trade Committee

As Director of Environmental Sciences at Ninyo Moore, Mr. Kurtz is responsible for leading the environmental business unit and planning and implementing corporate growth strategies.  As a Principal Environmental Scientist, Mr. Kurtz has been advising government agencies, real estate companies, lenders and developers on environmental compliance, due diligence and site remediation issues for the past 25 years.

Mr. Kurtz’ experience includes working for local government agencies including Port Districts throughout California, national banking institutions, insurance companies, attorneys, USEPA, industrial businesses, and commercial developers. He has been very active in Brownfields redevelopment working with private developers and within the USEPA Brownfield Grant program.

Mr. Kurtz has been an active member of the Harbor Association of Industry and Commerce for over 10 years.  In his current role as President, Mr. Kurtz has been involved in tracking State and local legislation affecting international trade and goods movement, and has been an active participant in outreach efforts to State and local legislators.

Fran Inman, Co-Vice Chair, Goods Movement Committee

Fran Inman, co-Vice Chair, Goods Movement Committee

Fran Inman directs all government relations and community affairs activities for Majestic Realty Co., one of the nation's largest privately-held, family-owned real estate development companies. With a real estate portfolio totaling approximately 70 million square feet of commercial properties, Majestic Realty has offices in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Bethlehem, Dallas, Denver and Las Vegas.

Inman is recognized as a leader in the push to improve the nation’s failing transportation infrastructure. With Majestic properties playing a critical role in the supply chain, Inman is an outspoken advocate for transportation infrastructure funding in Los Angeles and beyond. Widely recognized for her leadership and ability to develop solutions and build consensus, Inman possesses a unique portfolio of skills that combine a profound understanding of the balance required to build sustainable communities. Inman was recently appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to the California Transportation Commission.

As immediate past chair of the board of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Inman has served on numerous statewide and regional goods movement committees and serves on the board of governors for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), the executive committee for the Central City Association (CCA), the executive committee for the California Business Properties Association (CBPA) and is the former chair of the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership (SGVEP). She also is founding board member and executive committee member for FuturePorts.

Also recognized as a leader in the philanthropic community, Inman is the founding president of the Majestic Realty Foundation. Established in 2002, the Majestic Realty Foundation provides grants and other support to various charitable community partners that work the areas of youth, family, education, and health and violence prevention in the communities where Majestic Realty Co. does business.

Equally passionate about her role in the nonprofit sector, Inman focuses her leadership efforts to help expand capacity and build coalitions with the organizations that serve at-risk and under-served neighborhoods. Inman further demonstrates her commitment to active community engagement through her service as a board member for Three Square, the Center for Nonprofit Management. Additionally, she is the board chair for THINK Together, one of the nation’s largest non-profit after-school learning programs serving more than 70,000 at-risk and low-income students across Southern California.

Lupe Valdez, Co-Vice Chair, Goods Movement Committee

Lupe Valdez

Lupe Valdez joined the Union Pacific as the Director of Public Affairs in July of 2005.  She serves the Los Angeles Basin, which includes Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Imperial Counties. Her responsibilities include working with local elected officials and community groups in Southern California.

She grew up in Lincoln Heights, in Northeast Los Angeles and attended Sacred Heart High School.  She continued her education at the University of Southern California where she earned both a B.A. degree and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.  Prior to joining the Union Pacific, she worked for Southern California Regional Rail Authority- (Metrolink) in Los Angeles and served as a Deputy Executive Officer for the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) in Diamond Bar.  She began her professional career at the Southern California Rapid Transit District (RTD) and continued her transportation work with Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (LACTC) and MTA, now known as Metro.  While at these agencies, she had the opportunity to work on many projects and environmental impact reports for rail lines now fully operational in Los Angeles County.

Ms. Valdez currently serves as Co-Chair of the Transportation & Goods Movement Committee of the Los Angeles Chamber; she is Vice Chair of the City of Montebello Traffic & Safety Commission, and serves as a Member of SCAGs Goods Movement Committee,  the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership, Commerce Industrial Council, and a member of the Mayor of Riverside TAP (Transportation Accountability & Performance) Council.  She is also a Board Member of the YMCA Montebello/Commerce.  She resides in Montebello with her husband and 12 year old son and her 87 year old mother.

Claudia Bodan-Acuna, Co-Vice Chair, Business Diversity Committee

Claudia Bodan-Acuna

Ms. Bodan-Acuna is Senior Vice President, Market Manager with Bank of America Business Banking and has been in the banking industry for 16 years. One of her passions is to serve the business community. She was awarded the access to capital banker of the year award in 2011 by the Department of Commerce and is a recipient of the 2012 Dulcinea Award for her leadership endeavors throughout the Finance community. She has served as President to the National Latina Business Women Association- Los Angeles chapter, California State President for DECA/ DEX a marketing organization designed to help college students develop their business communication skills, sat on numerous committees and boards such as USC Alumni associations, Latino Business Association, National Association Women Business Owners, Los Angeles Minority Business Opportunity Center, member of the Latino Deal Makers  and many others.  She is an active member and volunteer of many community and business organizations throughout Los Angeles.

At Bank of America she is part of the Central LA Regional Council, served on the Pacific Southwest Regional Executive Council 2008-2009, Chairs the Greater LA Latino Leadership Council, Co-chaired Greater LA LEAD, Central LA Business Banking GWIM Champion, Member of the Business Banking West Diversity & Inclusion council  and is part of the California Women Leaders Network which is a selective group of women have the opportunity to meet and network with other talented women leaders across the GCB, GWIM, Business Banking, and GBAM businesses throughout California, while participating in a focused program comprised of Bank of America leaders, external speakers, and leadership development activities.

She is anative of Nicaragua who became an Angeleno at the age of 5 and has since lived in Los Angeles received her BA from the University of Southern California majoring in Corporate Finance.  Her professional career has been dedicated to helping business owners grow their business to the next level by being tenacious in providing flexible and creative solutions to meet their business needs. Personal interests include spending time with her two children Joseph, Kayla and husband, her passion for theatrical productions, and being involved with Faith Community Church and The Girl Scouts of America.

Mohammed Islam, Co-Vice Chair, Business Diversity Committee

Mohammed Islam

Mohammed Islam, MBA, MPA, is an entrepreneur and involved with community business chambers & associations. Currently, working as independent consultant for multiple corporate entities in Southern California, in the area of financial, accounting, and decision making process for companies since 1990.  His expertise involves with corporate financial reporting, banking, credit and lending, government & tax compliance, and organizational structures. Help decision making process to organize and reorganize the company structures with the top executives of corporation. Worked with small to large corporations with planning, organizing, financial, accounting, budgeting,  cost-analysis, and legal aspects. His experiences with corporations are Newport Pacific Realty and Investment, Inc.; Sears Saving Bank; Wyle Inc.; GM P Laboratories of America, Inc.; Nationwide Expos, Inc.

Mohammed Islam is involved with local and national pro-business, economic development, public policy, and advocacy groups. Currently, He is Executive Director of SABAN- South Asian Biz Alliance  Network, a South Asians in America’s pro-business group since 1998; founder of South Asian Biz Award Night - an annual gala event since 2007; Board Member of OC Presidents Council, a diversity & multicultural business alliance; Board Member of LA County Business Federation,  a business coalition of 100 plus  of business chambers & associations; Board Member of BizFed Institute;  Member of LA Mayor’s APIHM committee;  & Chair of  DBF- Diversity Biz Forum, a program of SABAN. He chaired & co-chaired many business & community events and activities like, DBX – Diversity Biz Expo since 2011, Co-Chaired Asian-US Business Summit & Expo in 2010 &2011, & Co-Chaired Diversity Holiday Mixer since 2006.  Also Chaired BizCon 2009 & 2007, the largest multicultural business conferences and expos in Southern California.  He organized and directed many local and national business conferences, expos, and events with more than 5000 business owners & entrepreneurs attended.  

To promote international business, in March 2008, he represented a trade mission to China in Beijing, Shanghai and other cities. Also, in March 2010, he visited Bangladesh to organize a business mission to USA. Currently, he is developing a Global   Leadership Training program with USC Business Expansion Network to train and establish business relations with world business executives & leaders. He appeared numerous community TV talk-show discussions of business issues and activities. Published and compiled press release, guide and program books for seminar and event purposes.  Awarded volunteer program by OC Human Relation Commission, Santa Ana, CA, and received numerous congressional and assembly recognitions and business awards.  He has MBA & MPA degrees from California State Universities and completed Finance courses from UCLA. 

Martha Cox-Nitikman, Co-Vice Chair, Polling & Research Committee

Martha Cox-Nitikman

As Vice President of Public Policy, Martha Cox-Nitikman is responsible for the policy direction of the 1500-member Building Owners and Managers Association of Greater Los Angeles, representing over 160 million square feet of commercial office space in L. A. County. BOMA/GLA is part of a national association, and thus Martha coordinates local efforts on city, state, regional and national issues affecting office building owners.

Ms. Cox-Nitikman joined BOMA in 1988, and has continued to build its reputation as the leading representative for commercial real estate owners in the County. She works closely with BOMA’s policy committees to both educate members on important topics such as emergency preparedness and green buildings, and to provide a balanced business perspective on key issues. Prior to her position with BOMA, she was a policy analyst for the City of Pasadena and held a number of internship and clerkship positions, including as White House Intern.

Ms. Cox-Nitikman has served on numerous city and state task forces relating to commercial real estate during her tenure. She is also a founding and continuing board member of the Building Skills Partnership, a joint effort with the SEIU, providing language and other skills training to janitorial workers in the L.A. area.  In June of 2013, Martha received a Special Recognition Award from the Chairman of BOMA International for her 25 years of dedicated service. She is a former co-chair of the BizFed Advocacy and Communications Committees, as well as an at-large Board member last year. She also serves on the BizFed PAC. A native of West Los Angeles, she holds an A.B. from Smith College, a Master’s Degree from USC in Intergovernmental Management, and a Juris Doctor degree from McGeorge Law School. She Martha resides with her husband and two children in Los Alamitos, California.

Brad Jensen, Co-Vice Chair, Polling & Research Committee

Brad Jensen

As director of public policy, Mr. Jensen oversees political advocacy for the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership, a business-oriented non-profit organization covering eastern Los Angeles County. He joined the Partnership earlier this year and serves as the Partnership liaison with local elected officials in the Assembly, State Senate, United States Congress, and the LA County Board of Supervisors. He also represents the Partnership with regional business organizations and political coalitions and conducts the Partnership’s Regulation Roundtable series with local businesses in the region. 

Prior to joining the Partnership, Mr. Jensen was Research Associate at Rose Institute of State and Local Government, Claremont McKenna College, where he managed a team of student researchers conducting the Kosmont-Rose Institute Cost of Doing Business Survey, an annual survey of municipal business taxes and fees in 400 cities nation-wide. Students contacted city governments and gathered sales, property, utility, business and other tax rates and fees. The data was used to make individual city profiles and assign a general rank of business-friendliness.

Mr. Jensen also has served as administrative analyst for the City of Norco, and Assistant to the Majority Staff, Arizona House of Representatives. He was a Ronald Reagan Research Fellow at the Goldwater Institute and holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Brigham Young University, and a Master’s in Political Science from Claremont Graduate University.

Ron Adams, Co-Treasurer/Operations Committee

Ron Adams

Ron Adams is president and CEO of the West LA Chamber of Commerce. He grew up in Altadena, and was educated in Altadena/Pasadena prior to attending University of California at Irvine. He returned to Altadena in 1990 and is a current member of the Altadena Council. Mr. Adams is an Independent Small Business Benefits Consultant (RLA Enterprises) licensed in Life, Health, Accident, and Disability Insurance with the California Department of Insurance, certified in Section 125, FSA, HSA. Ron is appointed with Aflac and a registered Agent, with Warner Pacific and the Covered California PPACA Insurance Exchange.

Mr. Adams has an extensive background and proven track record in executive level management in the financial and retail industries and is the currently serving his fifth term as President/CEO of the West Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. He also serves as the Vice President of the Westside Council of Chambers of Commerce. Ron enjoys and appreciates his community and is involved in several community/service organizations in Altadena, Pasadena, and Los Angeles.

Steve Bullock, Co-Treasurer, Operations Committee

Steve Bullock, co-Vice Chair, Operations Committee

As Chief Financial Officer for Cerrell Associates Inc. (CAI), Steve Bullock has been associated with the firm for more than 25 years. He rejoined CAI in 1987 after leaving the company to work in the cable television industry for six years.

Steve currently oversees the accounting, finance, legal, IT and government reporting activities of the company. He has worked on numerous projects within the company to build and refine its operations and systems for accounting and internal control.  Steve's previous position at CAI was as an account executive. In that capacity, he was responsible for providing advocacy services on behalf of clients and working on various political and business related projects.

Previously, Steve served as business manager to a major Los Angeles area cable television systems owned by Century Southwest Cable Television Inc. He was responsible for the management and coordination of all business operations for the 75,000 subscriber system, rated as one of the 100 largest cable television systems in the United States at that time.

In addition, Steve held several positions with Group W Cable Inc., a subsidiary of Westinghouse Electric. These positions included manager of rate and regulatory reporting, senior financial analyst, and assistant area manager for new markets development.

He also held the position of director of public affairs for Ecolo-Haul, Inc., at that time the largest independent provider of community-designated resource recovery (recycling) programs in the Los Angeles area. He was responsible for the creation and implementation of various publicity programs and events and targeting business development through news media exposure.

Joe Ahn, Co-Chair, Advisory Council

Joe Ahn, co-Vice Chair, Polling & ResearchCommittee

Joe Ahn serves as regional manager of government and public affairs for Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector, which has operations in California, Florida, New York and other states that employ more than 20,000 people. His responsibilities include advising the organization on state and local public policy issues related to business development, management operations and public affairs.  He has more than two decades of professional experience developing public policy in the areas of environmental management, land use, taxes, labor and regulatory compliance. Last year, Mr. Ahn was co-Vice Chair of BizFed’s Polling & Research Committee; Mr. Ahn also was co-Vice Chair of BizFed's Advocacy Committee in 2012.

Prior to joining Northrop Grumman, Mr. Ahnserved in positions of increasing responsibility in California state and local government.   He was appointed by then Governor Gray Davis as deputy director, then acting director, of the California Technology, Trade and Commerce Agency.  Prior to the gubernatorial appointment, he served as deputy chief of staff to Vice Chair John Chiang on the California Board of Equalization.  Joe began his public service career in the California Legislature as a legislative aide to the Vice Chair of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee.  He has also worked as a senior advisor to Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti and chief deputy to Los Angeles Board of Education Member George Kiriyama.

Mr. Ahn is currently pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at Claremont Graduate University’s Peter F. Drucker School of Management.  Previously, he completed the Mediation Program at Pepperdine University Law School, and received undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Ethnic Studies at California State University Fullerton. He also serves as a Leadership Fellow with the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work.

Dianne Harrison, Co-Chair, Advisory Council

Dianne Harrison

Dr. Dianne F. Harrison is the fifth president of California State University, Northridge and began her appointment in June 2012.  Before her appointment, she served as president of California State University, Monterey Bay, a position she had held since 2006. Prior to CSU Monterey Bay, she worked at Florida State University, where she served for nearly 30 years in various capacities starting as a faculty member, then as dean of social work, associate vice president for academic affairs, dean of graduate studies and vice president for academic quality and external programs.

She holds a Ph.D. in social work from Washington University in St. Louis and a master’s of social work and a bachelor’s in American Studies, both from the University of Alabama. A prolific researcher and writer, Dr. Harrison has published dozens of articles and two books.

She currently serves on the board of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the executive board for the California Campus Compact, the Steering Committee of the American College and University President's Climate Commitment, and the NCAA Division I Committee on Institutional Performance. She also serves on the educational leadership boards of the CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science and Technology, the CSU Technology Steering Committee, the CSUPERB Presidents' Commission, and the CSU Presidents’ Council on Underserved Communities. She was chair of the Professional Development Committee and convener for the Women Presidents/Chancellors Group of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. She was a presidential participant in the Fulbright-Hayes Seminars Abroad Program to Jordan and Oman. In 2011, Dr. Harrison was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to serve on the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, where she now serves as chair of the Commission. She was elected to serve as a member of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Accreditation in 2012.

As an active civic leader, she serves on the boards of directors for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA), and Valley Presbyterian Hospital. She is a member of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator Leadership Council and the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy and Jobs and serves on the Board of Governors of the Valley Economic Alliance and the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles Economic Development Council. In January 2012, she was invited by the U.S. Department of Education to a national convening of “For Democracy’s Future: Education Reclaims Our Civic Mission” at the White House. Among the university's achievements since Dr. Harrison's arrival, CSUN was inducted into the San Fernando Valley Business Hall of Fame by the Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA) in June 2013. Dr. Harrison and her husband, John Wujack, live in Northridge and have two adult children. She grew up in Mobile, Alabama and Short Hills, New Jersey.

Peter Villegas, Co-Chair, Advisory Council

Peter Villegas, Co-Chair, Advisory Council

Peter R. Villegas is Vice President and Director of Local Government Relations in the Office of Corporate Responsibility for JPMorgan Chase. In his position, Mr. Villegas manages local government relations and strategic alliances for the firm nationwide; in addition he is responsible for reinforcing the firm's external affairs leadership position in key geographic and multicultural markets across the western region.

Recognized as a regional and national industry leader, he has wide-range knowledge of numerous banking and community issues; he is responsible for key advocacy, civic, political and community relationships and public policy & corporate initiatives, including serving as Co-Chair of the Global Adelante Board, the JPMorgan Chase Latino Business Resource Group which has over 25 chapters globally and over 7,000 members. He has 23 years of experience in the financial industry. Peter began his banking career as a teller, working his way up through various roles in the financial industry, and has spent the last 15 years in key management positions.

Mr. Villegas is a board member of the following organizations: U.S. Conference of Mayors Business Council Steering Committee, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Advisory Council, Central City Association, MALDEF, USC Latino Alumni Association, American Israel Public Affairs Committee National Council, The Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs and the Friends of the National Museum of the American. He received the 2012 United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Corporate Advocate of the year award and is recognized by the Orange County Business Journal as one of the most influential Hispanics in Orange County, CA, and in 2005, the Orange County Register identified Peter as one of the top ten people who will help shape the next 100 years of Orange County. He also has been recognized as one of the top Latino Executives in corporate America by the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility.

Mike Lewis, Co-Chair, The Ambassadors

Mike Lewis, co-Vice Chair, Energy/Environment Committee

Mike Lewis is President of Lewis & Company, Inc., a Southern California government relations consulting firm and Senior Vice President of the Construction Industry Air Quality Coalition and the Construction Industry Coalition on Water Quality. In those capacities he has spearheaded the industry’s efforts statewide to achieve reasonable and affordable state and local regulations.   

Previously Mike served on Supervisor Pete Schabarum’s staff from 1973-1989 as a deputy specializing in transportation, air pollution, planning and zoning, economic development and privatization of government services.  In July 1980, he was appointed Chief Deputy responsible for all policy and organizational matters. He served as a member of the Southern California Rapid Transit District Board of Directors, completing an eight-and-one-half year term in February 1985; served as President of the Board of Directors in 1982 and 1983; and, authored a layman’s guide to improving public transportation called MOVING PEOPLE.  Mike served as a member of the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission until March of 1991.

In 1983, he was selected by Urban Mass Transportation Administrator Art Teele as one of 20 individuals nationwide to receive UMTA’s outstanding Public Service Award.  Another UMTA Administrator, Ralph Stanley, named him to serve on the Advisory Board of Rice University’s Joint Center for Urban Mobility Research.Mike Lewis spearheaded Supervisor Schabarum’s efforts to “privatize” nearly 1/3 of the bus service operated by RTD in the San Gabriel Valley and served on the Executive Board of the Foothill Transit Zone for five years.Mike is a past chairman of the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce Civic and Government Affairs Committee and past president of the San Gabriel Valley Eagle Scout Association.  He is currently Chairman of the Board of the Foothill AIDS Project serving the San Gabriel Valley and the Inland Empire and served as a member of the Los Angeles County Commission on HIV Health Services.  He is past president of the Los Angeles County East Chapter of the Building Industry Association of Southern California.

James W. Litz, Co-Chair, The Ambassadors

James W. Litz

James W. Litz is Government Affairs Director of the Beverly Hills/Greater Los Angeles Association of REALTORS ("BHGLAAR"), where he has service since 1996.  BHGLAAR serves the Greater Los Angeles Basin including the cities of Beverly Hills, Culver City, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood. 

Mr. Litz was Chair of the California Association of REALTORS Government Affairs Directors and President of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce in 2000.  From 1989 to 1997 he served on the Planning Commission for the City of West Hollywood.  Mr. Litz last year was Vice Chair of BizFed's Nominating Committee and also has served as BizFed's Advocacy co-Vice Chair. He is a graduate of San Francisco State University with a Degree in Real Estate Finance.

Mark Wilbur, Vice Chair, Nominating Committee

Mark Wilbur

Mr. Wilbur is a founding member of BizFed and has been CEO of Employers Group since 2007, when he joined the company as the youngest CEO in its 112-year history. With BizFed, Mark and his team were instrumental in developing and delivering a vital member survey that took the pulse of LA County business owners and helped to frame BizFed's action plan and top priorities in 2008. He was most recently Vice Chair of BizFed’s Operations Committee, and BizFed's 2011 Chair.

Before joining Employers Group, Mark was the Associate Dean of the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California (USC) for three years, leading many efforts from external affairs, development and executive education, which included customized solutions for companies to help meet the critical needs of their employees and executives. While at USC, he accepted the post of Associate Dean of the Office of Corporate Programs. Prior to USC, Mark was a Partner in Business Consulting at Arthur Andersen, developing solutions for clients across the U.S., Asia and Europe.

Mark’s professional experience and expertise are in strategic planning, business process design, customer relationship management, organizational change, customer service design and enhancement, as well as global operations and service integration. Mark served as an instructor for the Arthur Anderson Center of Professional Education, and was honored with the “Andersen Excellence in Education” for his exceptional teaching skills four times. Mark earned his BA and MBA from USC.

Gil Ivey, Secretary

Gil Ivey

Gilbert F. Ivey is the Assistant General Manager/ Chief Administrative Officer of The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, having served as interim Chief Executive Officer during the agency’s five-month search for a permanent replacement in 2005.  He is responsible for managing the administrative functions of the district, human resources, management of Metropolitan’s real property portfolio, information technology, an award-winning business outreach program and Metropolitan’s headquarters at Union Station.

Mr. Ivey joined Metropolitan more than 40 years ago as a summer trainee in the District's Engineering Division. He has held various positions in Finance, Right-of-Way and Land, Operations, Human Resources and Executive Offices. Additionally, he negotiated several major transactions such as the lease for the District's former headquarters at California Plaza for below-market rates, and favorable above-market sale transactions for the District's former Sunset Boulevard headquarters and its Bolsa Chica property. As part of managing Metropolitan’s 190,000 acres of property, he often works closely with Native American tribes. As interim CEO, he represented Metropolitan at the historic signing of the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation program. He was also involved with the Quantification Settlement Agreement, one of the largest water transfers from agriculture to urban use. He was the project director in charge of development and construction of Metropolitan's headquarters at Union Station. At 535,000 square feet above ground and another 317,000 square feet below ground, he delivered this $135 million facility two months ahead of schedule and under budget. Since the official opening December 11, 1998, his team and the project have won several awards and accolades. The Building Operators and Managers Association recently recognized Metropolitan's headquarters building as an outstanding government building in Los Angeles.

He is also dedicated to the community and serves in leadership positions on numerous boards and commissions. Ivey was honored in 2009 as the Southern California Leadership Network’s Visionary for Public Sector Leader of the Year and received the Patriots Award from the Department of Defense. He currently serves on the city of La Verne’s Planning Commission, on the executive boards of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Central City Association, California State University Dominguez Hills Foundation Board, American Association of Blacks in Energy, the Infrastructure Academy, Think Together Board and Los Angeles County Fairplex Advisory Board.

LaDonna DiCamillo, Immediate Past Chair

LaDonna DiCamillo

LaDonna DiCamillo is the Government Affairs Director for BNSF Railway Company in Los Angeles. Ms. DiCamillo works with California communities to address rail-related issues at both local and legislative levels in an effort to facilitate trade growth and improve freight mobility while sustaining livability in the communities through which BNSF operates. Ms. DiCamillo began her railroad career in 1989 in the Research and Development Department of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway (a predecessor to BNSF) where she conducted laboratory testing related to environmental and failure analysis projects. In 1991, she was promoted and moved to California where she worked for BNSF’s Environmental Department for ten years. As Manager Environmental Operations, Ms. DiCamillo implemented and managed numerous environmental compliance programs at BNSF facilities. In 1999, she joined BNSF’s Government Affairs Group. Ms. DiCamillo is a member of the Los Angeles Area Chamber Board of Directors, the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors, chair-elect of the Long Beach Area Chamber, and is a former editor and published writer for the University of La Verne, Journal of Juvenile Law. She is an active member of the State Bar of California. Ms. DiCamillo obtained her undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas in 1989. In 1999, Ms. DiCamillo completed her Juris Doctorate at the University of La Verne, College of Law.