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High Schools Provide Early Business Training Ground

Editors’ Note: Although the area’s high schools aren’t as direct of a link to the business community as colleges, they are important training grounds for success. Some notable high school alumni who are integral parts of today’s local business community are listed here. It’s an incomplete list, of course, due to space reasons. Viewpoint School Ramesh Nathan Medical Doctor, Infectious Disease Specialist in Thousand Oaks Ramesh Nathan was valedictorian for his graduating class. He is a physician specializing in infectious diseases and a member of a private physician group in Thousand Oaks. In 9th grade, Ramesh began to consider a career in medicine because of his interest in helping people and in doing clinical research. He attended George Washington University, where he enrolled in the combined bachelor’s and medical degree program, and received his undergraduate degree in chemistry. Ramesh completed his three-year residency in Internal Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and stayed for another two years as a Fellow in Infectious Diseases. Ross Porter Clinical Psychologist and Founder and Executive Director of Stillpoint Family Resources Porter heads a non-profit organization that provides healing and hope to individuals and families in crisis through counseling and educating. Stillpoint has seven offices in southern California, three located in Thousand Oaks, Woodland Hills, and San Marino. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology) and M.Div. (Master of Divinity) degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary, where he first became interested in the integration of psychology and spirituality. His background includes work at LAC/USC Psychiatric Hospital and the VA Medical Center, Sepulveda. He has taught at the high school, college, and graduate school levels, and has extensive experience working with individuals, couples, families, and groups. Laurel Baker Director of Admission at Viewpoint School Laurel Baker is a third generation Angelino and now lives in the same Sherman Oaks house that her maternal grandparents lived in for 70 years. Both her parents graduated from Van Nuys High School and USC. Laurel also attended USC for her undergraduate and graduate education (B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, M.A.with honors).Both her grandfathers (one a doctor, another a businessman) and her father, an engineer at Rocketdyne and TRW, worked in the Valley. Crespi Carmelite High School Jim Dunn Owner of Airtel Plaza Hotel in Van Nuys Jim Dunn opened the hotel in 1984, and shortly after followed through on his goal of becoming a pilot. The hotel is located at the Van Nuys Airport, one of the busiest general aviation airports in the world with an average of 1,200 take-offs and landings daily, and guests can enjoy watching private jets owned and flown by business executives, famous Hollywood celebrities and politicians taxi in and out right outside their window. Bill Borden Producer Bill Borden, has had a prolific and successful career as a film producer. For over 20 years Borden has used the educational foundation he received from Crespi Carmelite to be the producer of many films including the High School Musical series, for which he received two Emmy awards for Outstanding Children’s Program. Art Tresierras General Manager Tresierras Supermarkets Tresierras Market was originally opened by his father, the late Frank Tresierras, a native of Mexico, in the San Fernando Valley in 1944. The first Tresierras market opened on Kalisher Street during World War II with only five employees. In 1947, the store relocated to its present location in Pacoima and became the first of four stores that would open. Art Tresierras, along with his two brothers, took over the business and directed its growth, after their father passed away. Sierra Canyon School Joel Wolfe Sports Agent Joel Wolfe attended Sierra Canyon Elementary and Middle School. He is now a sports law attorney and agent working with Wasserman Media group, a leading global sports management company. Once a professional baseball player himself, Wolfe represents top baseball players at the agency. Birmingham, High School Ani Ghoukassian Secretary to the Van Nuys Airport Manager Ani Ghoukassian has spent 10 years working for the City of Los Angeles, first as Senior Clerk Typist at the Van Nuys Airport and then as Secretary at the Van Nuys Community Police Station. Most recently she accepted a Secretary position working for the manager of the Van Nuys Airport last November. She graduated from Birmingham High School in 1992. Granada Hills High School Victor Berrellez Vice President and Relationship Manager at City National Bank Victor Berrellez graduated from Granada Hills High School in 1975. He now works as a vice president and relationship manager at City National Bank in Sherman Oaks. Prior to that, he worked at Bank of America in commercial banking. Berrellez received his MBA in corporate finance at California State University, Northridge in 1991. He decided to pursue a Masters degree, after selling his company, an importing and wholesale distribution business in Tarzana.

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