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.
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 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.
Don St. Clair, Ed.D., is vice president for enrollment management and university marketing at Woodbury University, providing executive leadership for admissions, financial aid, registrar, and 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. During 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.
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, and is a member of the finance committee of the Board of Providence St. Joseph’s Healthcare System.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.
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 CaliforniaCityNews.org, CaliforniaCountyNews.org and CaliforniaPropositions.org.
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 CaliforniaCityNews.org, CaliforniaPropositions.org and SaveYourCity.net. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Ms. Townsend is president and CEO of the Regional Black Chamber of Commerce San Fernando Valley-Southern California. Her 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 Chamber’s 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.
M C served as BizFed’s Nominating Committee Vice Chair last year, and was previously BizFed's Secretary/Treasurer. She is President/CBCC-Council of Chambers (25) in Sacramento. She has 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. M C has broad education in the professional financial services sector ranging from a banking service officer all the way to a National Director of Sales and Mediation. She is a 10-year business owner/real estate MAI Appraiser/Financial Consultant. M C is a Director for the Fernando Awards, a Board Member of United Chambers San Fernando Valley and was her Chamber was honored as “Chamber of the Year 2004”, by the California Black Chamber of Commerce in Sacramento, California.
M C and the Chamber also have received recognition from the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office, California State Assembly, California State Senate, California State Board of Equalization, and the United States Congress. She is an active committee member with the Los Angeles Task Force for Community Awareness, under the direction of (Ex-Chief of Police), served in 2006 as one of Founding member/Director of the California Council of Chambers in Sacramento, and was appointed as Chair of Program for the Board of Library Commissioners (Woodland Hills Friends of Library Committee branch).
David Grannis co-founded PointC to bring a strategic private-public partnership approach to solving critical urban infrastructure and land-use problems. David specializes in developing and implementing public-private partnership resulting in approval, action and implementation of creative and effective solutions. David last year co-Chaired BizFed's Transportation/Trade Committee, and was Chair of BizFed’s Ad Hoc Transportation Committee in 2011.
David has over 20 years public and private sector experience specializing in developing and implementing public-private partnerships to solve urban infrastructure and land-use problems A self-described “generalist,” David evaluates problems and designs comprehensive operational, safety and mobility solutions. He also oversees the programming, funding and implementation of those solutions, thus providing “start-to-finish” services for his clientele. His work includes:
Served as Funding Project Manager for the Alameda Corridor project. Lead Government Affairs and Advocacy Program (GAAP), including work with federal, state, regional and local officials and agencies in identifying and securing $800 million in needed transportation funding for this nationally significant project, including a first-ever $400 million federal loan.
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.
Advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan on transportation recovery in the wake of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake (1994). Coordinated interim transportation solutions during re-construction of major highways and arterials with U.S. Secretary of Transportation, state officials, regional agencies and the City of Los Angeles.
Currently, David is acting as the lead consultant for Vision Los Angeles, a 25-year transportation/land-use and air quality plan for Los Angeles County that is being sponsored by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). David also is Founder and President, Planning Company Associates, Inc. and co-Founder, Trimtab Foundation.
Ms. Norton is Executive Director of Fixing Angelenos Stuck In Traffic (FAST) and has a career that spans over 19 years in the fields of public policy and community development, including land use and transportation planning. In 2012, Ms. Norton co-chaired BizFed's Transportation/Trade Committee; previously, she co-Chaired BizFed’s Business Friendly Committee. Her legislative experience includes an internship to Mayor Tom Bradley in 1991, work for Los Angeles City Councilmembers Mark Ridley-Thomas (now County Supervisor), Richard Alarcon, and Richard Alatorre, and State Senator Gil Cedillo. In 2001, Hilary began her work in the private sector for the Central City Association (CCA), Fleishman-Hillard, and then as Executive Vice President to Palmer Investments and Project Manager for Las Lomas, a mixed-use, sustainable, transit-oriented community.
In 2008, Jim Thomas, Chairman, President and CEO of Thomas Properties Group, created the non-profit Fixing Angelenos Stuck in Traffic (FAST) as a public-private partnership to advocate for traffic relief. FAST is a diverse, inclusive coalition of business associations, labor unions, civic groups, neighborhood councils, educational institutions, elected officials, transit organizations and residents of Los Angeles County which represent nearly 2 million individuals in our region. FAST also supports and highlights other innovative short term-transit solutions aimed at reducing Los Angeles County’s traffic, such as those proposed through MoveLA, Metro, CALTrans and the individual cities within Los Angeles County.
Ms. Norton graduated from Wellesley College in 1990, and, in 1992, earned her Master’s in Public Policy Degree, Housing and Community Development Concentration, from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Civic efforts include positions as Vice Chair of the Central City Association (CCA)’s Transportation Committee, Co-Chair of the Legislative Committee of the Los Angeles Business Council (LABC), and a member of the Board of Trustees for Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital. Hilary has two children, Xavier and Eva Orozco. Ms. Norton coaches and referees two soccer teams for AYSO, Region 88, and is a former elder of La Crescenta Presbyterian Church.
Mike Lewis is President of Lewis & Company Inc., which has been serving the government relations consulting needs of southern California businesses and organizations since 1989. His firm provides a wide range of problem-solving services for clients as diverse as the Renaissance Pleasure Faire to Westfield to Wal-Mart to Athens Services.
Mr. Lewis also is senior vice president of the Construction Industry Water Quality Coalition and the Construction Industry Air Quality Coalition. Previously, Mr. Lewis spent 16 years at the policy level in local government dealing with land use, air quality and transportation issues before founding Lewis & Company Inc.
His previous experience includes serving on LA County 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, was appointed Chief Deputy responsible for all policy and organizational matters.
He also 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; and served as President of the Board of Directors in 1982 and 1983.
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.
Last year, Patty 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.
Ms. Matchniff serves as Vice President of Entitlements for Centennial Founders LLC. Her primary responsibility is to manage the Environmental Impact Report, Specific Plan, sustainability and green program, affordable housing plan and school district agreements. Carlene also tracks county ordinances, general plan, and regional and state-wide issues including SCAG, CARB, and legislative mandates.
Carlene brings to the Centennial project over 25 years of experience in Real Estate Development, Construction, and Environmental & Urban Planning. Over the years her experience has focused on entitlements, governmental affairs, project management, urban planning, and environmental impact analysis. She has experience with CEQA, NEPA, Federal Permits, and State and Local Agencies. With the increasing importance of recent legislation including SB 375 and AB 32, she has fluency on issues of global climate change, sustainability and smart growth programs, including; LEED. Carlene is a certified Green Belt in Six Sigma as well as a LEED Green Associate.
Carlene is a graduate from the University of California, Irvine, with a Masters in Business Administration. She holds her Baccalaureate in Geography- Ecosystems from the University of California, Los Angeles. She also serves as vice-chair of the BIASC Governmental Affairs Committee and is an Advisory Board member of Homeaid San Diego, having been co-founder of the non-profit.
Her previous employment includes: ten years employment at Pardee Homes as Vice President of Community Development, ten years as owner and Principal at Urban Vision and five years as Project Manager with The Planning Center. Prior to that, early years in her career were spent in City Planning.
Mr. Wright is Director of Government and Public Affairs, American Institute of Architects – LA Chapter and a 2011 recipient of the Presidential Honor of Honorary AIA|LA. He has more than a decade of experience at AIA-LA, responsible for a variety of roles including his current role advocating on behalf of the architecture profession to help shape public policy.
Mr. Wright previously was BizFed's co-Vice Chair, Polling & Research Committee. He is a public board member of the BOMA-LA PAC, was a 2011 member of ClimatePlan Strategic Planning Steering Committee, and in 2007 won the AIGA 365 award as the Editor of the literary arts publication, FishWrap V. 5. Previously, Mr. Wright was a script doctor for a film production company.
Jane Pak is CEO of National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) – Los Angeles, one of the largest women’s business groups worldwide representing the interests of an estimated 543,000-plus privately held, 50% or more women-owned firms in the greater Los Angeles region, employing over 692,000 people and generating nearly $125 billion in sales.
Pak also serves as a Partner in Malibu Holdings, which advises leadership in public and private consumer product and service companies in growth strategies and finance. Pak previously served as Director of External Affairs for the Small Business Administration, a Presidential appointment, and as a liaison to the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, a Presidential Advisory Board. Pak also served as the first woman and ethnic-minority Chapter Chair of SCORE-LA, the largest volunteer-based business counseling organization in the country.
Active in the community, Pak serves on several non-profit boards of directors including Make-A-Wish, Los Angeles, The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Los Angeles Regional Economic Development Corporation. She is an ardent supporter of philanthropic causes including the LA Regional Foodbank, the American Red Cross, Step-Up Women's Network, Prototypes and the Greater Los Angeles YWCA.
Jaime Garcia is the Regional Vice President for the Hospital Association of Southern California (HASC), a regional trade organization for hospitals and health systems. As Regional Vice President, Jaime provides leadership in health care policy and advocacy on behalf of member hospitals with a goal to improve their operating environment, as well as the health status of the communities that hospitals serve in Los Angeles County. This includes coordinating government relations activity, and working with community and business organizations on developing local partnerships.
Before joining HASC, Jaime worked for Kaiser Permanente where he served as the Director of Public Affairs. He was instrumental in developing and maintaining external relationships with businesses and community based organizations, as well as coordinated internal communications to over 3,500 physicians and hospital employees. Further, he was responsible for coordinating government relations’ activity with local, state and federal representatives in Southeast Los Angeles County.
And, prior to working with Kaiser Permanente, Jaime worked for two members of the California State Assembly who specialized in public safety and health care policy respectively. A native of Southern California, Jaime earned his Masters in Public Administration from California State University at Long Beach and a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine.
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.
Steven Ly is Chief Executive Officer for the Regional Chamber of Commerce – San Gabriel Valley, representing the business community in the Southeast San Gabriel Valley. He is also the publisher of the San Gabriel Valley Business Journal.
Steven also was elected to the Rosemead City Council in March 2009. At the age of 24, he was the youngest council member to serve the City of Rosemead. He also served as the City’s youngest Mayor at the age of 27 from March 20111 to March 2012. Steven graduated from UCLA with bachelor’s degree in both Political Science and Public Policy. He is currently active in various non-profit organizations including his fraternity’s alumni association, Delta Kappa Epsilon, various UCLA alumni programs, Rosemead Relay for Life, and Rosemead Kiwanis. He is also active in helping to fundraise money for Rosemead and San Gabriel High Schools.
Steven currently represents the City of Rosemead in a variety of regional agencies. He is a Council Member for Metro’s San Gabriel Valley Service Sector. He also serves as a member of the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership board of directors and vice chair of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments’ Transportation Committee. He is also currently the Treasurer of the League of California Cities Los Angeles Division.
Mr. Merida currently is chairman of the board of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, vice-chair for the Southern Region of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, and president of Central America Relief Foundation. Mr. Merida was co-Vice Chair of BizFed's 2012 Transportation/Trade Committee and co-Chair of BizFed’s 2011 Polling & Research Committee. Previously, he was president and CEO of the LA Metro Hispanic Chambers and organization and has 20 years of experience in International Finance and Business Administration.
Mr. Merida played a key role in promoting foreign trade/investment programs between California and Latin America that helped pave ways for Mutual Cooperation Agreement between the Federation of Central American Chambers of Commerce (FECAMCO) and signed agreements of cooperation between the Central America Chambers of Commerce and The California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce. He has been an active participant and advocate of US Free Trade Agreements and trade promotions for 20 years long before the passing of agreements of US-DRCAFTA and other with Ecuador, Peru, Brazil and more recently Colombia and Panama.
Mr. Merida also is Director of Operation for LA ECUADOR, a L.A Hispanic Chamber of Commerce branch – since 2008; Chief Operating Officer and Latin American Director for International Development Partnership Alliance (IDPA ), a nonprofit corporation procuring federal and world funding to help developing countries - since 2007; Chair for Central American Relief Foundation, providing housing for low income families in Los Angeles – since 1991; Director of Guatemala Trade and Information Office – a nonprofit group dedicated to advance the social infrastructure of marginal communities in Guatemala; and a practicing tax accountant for more than 35 years.
Mr. Merida also has served as President and Founder –Guatemala California Chamber of Commerce. 1998-2002; CEO for USA-Central American Trade Expo and Conference, 1999- 2003; Vice Consul Ad Honorem of Guatemala in Los Angeles -2004—2008; Chair for the Southern Region of the CA Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, 2004—2005. Board Member 2006—2008; Executive Director for the Central American Chambers of Commerce in California, 1999—2002. He graduated from Guatemala Commercial Science School as a Public Accountant and graduated from California State University as a Tax Accountant.
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.
David Libatique joined the Port of Los Angeles in January 2011 as senior director of government affairs, a role that augments the Port’s intergovernmental advocacy at a critical time of increasing engagement with local, regional, state, federal, and even transnational and international levels of government.
Prior to joining the Port, Libatique served as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s director of energy policy, where he was responsible for advancing the Mayor’s environmental policies at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Before assuming that role, he served as the Mayor’s senior policy analyst, and acted as a liaison with the Port of Los Angeles, where he advanced the Mayor’s “Green Growth” policies, including the Clean Air Action Plan and Clean Truck Program.
Before joining the Villaraigosa Administration, Libatique served as senior deputy for Councilmember Martin Ludlow, where he led policy development and legislative strategies to reform City of Los Angeles anti-gang efforts.
Libatique has conducted extensive experience in economic research, including working as a research analyst at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. There, he was a part of Working Group VI of the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health that analyzed the economic impact of investment in improved health outcomes for poor and middle-income countries.
Libatique holds a bachelor of arts in economics from the University of California, Berkeley and a master of public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He lives in Alhambra, Calif.
Lisa Bailey is President/CEO of the Irwindale Chamber of Commerce. Since 2003, Lisa Bailey has been instrumental in growing and maintaining the chamber’s membership to the highest levels; ensuring a positive financial picture, organizing programs and events that show an increase in participation, and creating new programs to reflect the needs of the business community.
Lisa has 14 years of experience with Chambers of Commerce. She earned the IOM designation from the U.S. Chamber Institute for Organizational Management in 2006. In 2009, she was named Environmental Hero by Southern California Edison, and the under her the Irwindale Chamber was recognized by the California Air Resources Board as Organization of the Year. Lisa was a featured speaker at the “Walk of Gold Line” Press Conference with U.S Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, and was part of a delegation that went to Sacramento to lobby State legislators to support funding the Foothill Extension. She also assisted in forming the San Gabriel Valley Legislative Coalition of Chambers to better represent the needs of business in the region.
Lisa also serves on the Boards of Directors for: The Irwindale Educational Foundation (IEF), San Gabriel Valley Public Affairs Network (PAN) and the Southern California Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (SCACCE). Lisa and her husband own and operate Empire Mobile Home Service, a mobile home repair and remodeling company that has been in business since 1993.
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 Advocacy Committee.
Prior to joining Northrop Grumman, Joe served 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.
Joe 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. Joe also serves as a Leadership Fellow with the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work.
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.
Mr. Wullschleger is senior vice president and director responsible for City National Bank’s Business Banking and Small Business Administration departments. He oversees the marketing and directs the delivery of a full range of financial products and services to California businesses with annual sales of $1 million to $10 million. That includes the bank’s government-guaranteed and community-related lending programs, primarily Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, for small and mid-sized businesses and non-profit organizations. He also is responsible for the bank’s relationships with the SBA and other government lenders.
Mr. Wullschleger joined City National in 2008 as senior vice president and director of Business Banking. Before that, he served as a senior vice president with First Bank, where he oversaw corporate and small business banking. From 2001 until 2003, he was vice president and manager of Manufacturers Bank’s Business Banking Center. From 1985 until 2001, he held increasingly senior responsibilities encompassing business development, commercial and small business lending, loan center operations and portfolio management at both Sanwa Bank California and Coast Bank. Before that, he was an assistant vice president at Bank of America.
A resident of La Palma, Calif., Mr. Wullschleger earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from California State University, Long Beach and attended the University of Washington’s Pacific Coast Banking School.
Randal Hernandez is an external affairs executive at Union Bank, responsible for building relationships with civic and business leaders, community-based advocacy organizations, government officials and multi-cultural leaders throughout Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange and San Bernardino counties. Hernandez is based in Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Prior to joining Union Bank, Hernandez was senior vice president and senior public policy executive, California, for Bank of America, where he was responsible for developing partnerships with California state and local government officials and civic leaders to help drive the bank’s strategic public policy initiatives. Previously, Hernandez served as a member of the senior staff for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as appointments secretary, where he was responsible for recommending appointments to administration positions.
He began his career with Bank of America in 1999, first as vice president for government relations and then as senior market development manager, directing the bank’s community investment and engagement efforts in California. Hernandez also served as a chief-of-staff to former Long Beach Mayor Beverly O'Neill. He also was the regional affairs manager for Southern California Edison, where he served as a part-time loan executive to the Long Beach Economic Partnership. He previously served as president and CEO of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.
Hernandez currently serves as a member of the California Green Collar Jobs Council, and formerly served on the California Community Colleges Board of Governors. In 2005, Randal co-chaired a State Housing Task Force appointed by the Secretary of the State Business, Transportation & Housing Agency. In 1993 he was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson to the Military Base Reuse Task Force. He also served as lead staff to the Economic Incentives Task Force of the Governor's Council on California Competitiveness, which issued its report in 1992.
Ms Sifuentes-Trigueros serves as Regional Public Affairs Manager, Southern California Gas Company, a Sempra Energy Utility, responsible for strategic direction in the Greater LA area. She brings to her position nearly two decades’ experience in corporate governmental, community and media relations, specific expertise in ethnic and utility public relations.
Susan was co-Vice Chair of BizFed's Energy/Environment Committee last year. Susan joined Southern California Gas Company in 1982, where she has held several positions in the company’s accounting and HR departments, in addition to public affairs. She is active in community organizations including League of California Cities, USC Latino Alumni Association, VICA, and San Fernando Valley Economic Alliance. In 2002, she was honored by Women’s eNews as one of “21 leaders of the 21st century” for her work in civic participation and in 2007, she received a corporate award for Girls Today Women Tomorrow mentoring program. Susan earned a bachelor’s in business administration from University of Southern California.
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 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.
Mr. Kelsall has been president and CEO of the Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce since 2005. As a founding member of BizFed, Mr. Kelsall stepped up early on to Chair the Polling & Research Committee in BizFed’s first two years. Recently, John was co-Vice Chair of the Advocacy Committee, co-Vice Chair of the Communications Committee. Prior to leading the Greater Lakewood Chamber, John’s experience includes Vice President for Operations at Hank Player USA, Branch Manager and then Area Manager for AppleOne Employment Services, Qualifying and Managing Broker for Century 21 Real Estate Professionals, and operations of his own holding company for 18 years, Kelsall & Lillya, Inc.
John is a graduate of Rider University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce and a minor in Business Law. He is a graduate of Western Association of Chamber Executives Academy and a current Board Member of the South East Los Angeles County Workforce Investment Board, the Lakewood Weingart Family YMCA, the Lakewood Regional Medical Center, and the Long Beach Education and Business Advisory Council. Other board memberships and community involvement include: Long Beach Small Business Development Center Advisory Board Member, Rotary Club of Lakewood Rotarian of the Year 2008, Board Member and Past President of Rotary Club of Lakewood, Assistant Governor for Rotary District 5320, and currently on the Advisory Board for Rotary District 5320, five years as a Board Member for LA Association for the Blind, and two years as Board Member of the Society for Human Resource Management, Shreveport Chapter. John also was a Special Consultant to the U.S. Secretary of Education for Higher Education Regulations 1976.