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San Fernando
Saturday, Mar 2, 2024

Local Schools Provide Continuous Supply of Talent

California State University Northridge Established in 1954, California State University Northridge has become one of the largest Universities in California with nearly 36,000 students and more than 4,000 faculty and staff, sited on a 356-acre campus in the heart of the San Fernando Valley. The university generates a total impact of $903 million on the regional economy, sustaining more than 13,500 jobs in the region, and generating nearly $57 million per year in tax revenue. CSUN’s College of Business and Economics is one of the largest business schools in the nation, accredited by AACSB, the highest standard in business and management education. More than a dozen student organizations, including the Accounting Association, Latino Business Association, American Marketing Association, Student Finance Association and others, bring business leaders to campus, and provide networking events for students. Additionally the College of Business and Economics Internship Program has placed CSUN interns in companies like Polaris PR, EMI Latin, The Walt Disney Company, Washington Mutual and Fox Sports Network, to name a few. CSUN is also recognized for operating one of the largest teacher preparation programs in California. The University’s Brown Center for aquatic therapy, with its 19,000 square foot indoor aquatic facility, is the only comprehensive establishment of its kind in the Western United States. The university’s Center on Disabilities annually hosts an international conference in Los Angeles, one of the largest of its kind in the world, featuring the latest technological advancements for people with disabilities. The University also runs a federally supported National Center on Deafness and is home to the largest population of deaf students of any University in the West. Michael Klausman California State University, Northridge Bachelor of Science in biology 1974 Occupation: President for CBS Studios and Senior Vice President West Coast Operations and Engineering for CBS Affiliations: Former President of the Studio City Chamber of Commerce, Treasurer of the Studio City Neighborhood Council What I learned: “It is my belief that there is a direct correlation between hard work, ethical behavior and the successful attainment of lifetime goals. I think that CSUN teaches these principles.” Michael Klausman started his career with CBS Studios as an usher in 1971 and after years of hard work, climbed his way to the top, becoming president of CBS Studios and Senior Vice President of West Coast Operations and Engineering for CBS. At the Studio Center and CBS Television City facilities, Klausman is in charge of marketing and operations. The two sites encompass over 228,000 square feet of production, office, and support space on 65 acres of land, including 26 sound stages. He is also responsible for negotiating contracts with production companies for use of the facilities. Klausman has been instrumental in helping Cal State Northridge students in the Department of Cinema and Television Arts (CTVA) gain real-world experience in the entertainment industry. Since 1999, numerous CTVA classes have been taught at the CBS Studio Center. Through his professional contacts, he has provided a critical link between students and entertainment industry professionals. Robert Oberstein California State University, Northridge Bachelor of Science in Business Administration 1972 Occupation: Managing Partner Oberstein, Stock, & Freidenthal Affiliations: Member of the California Society of CPAs and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. What I learned: “Persevering and continually striving for a higher level of education will help you accomplish your professional goals.” Bob Oberstein has been involved in public accounting for over 30 years. His professional experience prior to the formation of OSF LLP includes 11 years as partner in charge of the small business department with Good Swartz Brown & Berns. At OSF LLP, Oberstein is responsible for the firm’s tax practice quality control and the personal financial planning department. He is designated a Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) awarded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, a designation which has been obtained by only 350 other California Certified Public Accountants. He is recognized by the California Department of Insurance. Bob Oberstein, Byron Stock, and Steve Friedenthal began their professional association 15 years ago while partners at Good Swartz Brown & Berns. In 2002, they formed Oberstein Stock & Friedenthal LLP providing service to small businesses. Michael Weinper California State University, Northridge Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with emphasis on Industrial Psychology 1969 Occupation: Founder and CEO of Progressive Physical Therapy and President of PTPN Affiliations: Los Angeles Valley College Foundation board, American Physical Therapy Association, Founding Member of the California State University Northridge Alumni Association Physical Therapy Chapter Michael Weinper founded Progressive Physical Therapy in 1977 in Tarzana. Progressive Physical Therapy has grown over the last twenty-seven years to five locations in the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys and employs a professional and support staff of over forty employees. In 1985, he started Physical Therapy Provider Network (PTPN), an independent practice association of physical therapists, now in twenty-three states, with his partner, Fred Rothenberg, a former executive at Blue Cross of California. PTPN is America’s first and largest network of independent rehabilitation providers. Today PTPN has more than 1,200 offices with over 4,000 therapists. As a Physical Therapist with more than 30 years of experience in clinical practice, Weinper specializes in hand rehabilitation including splinting, lower extremity rehabilitation and TMJ therapy. In 2000, the Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association nationally recognized Weinper with the prestigious Robert G. Dicus Award for outstanding private practitioner. Weinper received the California Physical Therapy Association’s highest honor; the Royce P. Noland Award of Merit for outstanding and unique contributions to the profession in 1987. Wendy R. Moskal California State University, Northridge B.A. in English 1972 Occupation: Executive Vice President Chief Operating & Financial Officer First Commerce Bank in Encino Affiliations: Board member of The Executives, a support group for the Los Angeles Jewish Home. What I learned: “Always value teamwork and promote an esprit de corps!” Wendy Moskal has been in the banking industry for thirty-five years, the last fifteen serving as an executive officer. Her experience includes financial regulatory reporting, budgeting and strategic planning, bank operations and human resources management. She has been the Executive Vice President, Chief Operating & Financial Officer for First Commerce Bank in Encino since 1998. Moskal received a B.A. in English from CSUN in 1972 and a degree from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University in 1983. Andrew Sokol Cal State University Northridge 1977-1979 Occupation: President Sokol Strategic Consulting, International Business Consultant/Branding Strategist Affiliations: Member of the Woodland Hills Chamber of Commerce, Instructor at Quattro University What I learned: “I learned about my strengths and weaknesses; my attitudes and beliefs; my passions and dreams; my skills and talents; and above all, how I could turn all of those lessons into a lifetime of service to fellow business people, and to the community as a whole.” Andrew Sokol has over 25 years of experience working as a business strategy expert advising companies in America, Europe and Asia. His international resume includes consulting for management and staff of Nike (Thailand); Yamaha (Italy); Oishii Foods (Japan); Siemens (Germany and Italy); Kinowelt Motion Pictures (Germany); Bristol/Myers (Thailand); The Crossroads School (Japan); The Thailand Department of Water and Power; and others. In America, Sokol has worked on campaigns for Nintendo, Bally’s Fitness Centers, Banana Boat Skin Care Products, and for companies in a diverse range of industries including: automotive; health and fitness; hotel; government; and others. He also dedicates himself to helping small to mid-size businesses succeed. Based in Valencia, his consulting company serves clients in the Greater San Fernando Valley and Santa Clarita Valley. He recently launched BusinessSuccessBuilder.com, with his partner Ike Krieger, which allows companies to subscribe to a weekly five minute video feed offering business consulting tips. Each video costs $5, so the initiative is called the 5 for 5 Video Subscription. Los Angeles Pierce College Pierce College is recognized as one of the top transfer schools in Southern California. It has alliances with UCLA, U.C. Berkeley, UC Davis, Cal State Northridge, CalTech and most other California universities. Enrollment has almost doubled in a decade from 12,500 in 1999 to upwards of 23,000 today, making Pierce College one of Southern California’s fastest growing colleges. In 1947 it was known as the Clarence W. Pierce School of Agriculture. And to this day the school maintains large sections of tillable land and rangeland for hands on training with a 226-acre farm on the west side of campus. The Pierce College Farm Center Market, open daily, sells locally grown Albion berries, and other produce. Pierce College has also distinguished itself through its Automotive Service Technology program. The College recently entered into a partnership with Snap-on Industrial Corporation- a $2.8 billion, S & P; 500 Company headquartered in Wisconsin, which manufactures high-tech products and services for the automotive industry- in order to advance educational and training opportunities in the automotive and green technology industries. Currently the campus is going through a renaissance of enrollment and construction with buildings and new parking lots springing up all over the premises. By 2010 two new “green” complexes now under construction,a 109,000 square feet Center for the Sciences and a 50,000 square feet Student Services Building,will add increased capacity and classrooms and laboratories with enhanced technologies. Funding from a recent voter-approved bond to LACCD, which allots $400 million to Pierce for new buildings, will also go towards an addition to the Automotive Service Technology program to expand training to cover alternative fuels. Pierce College is an environmentally forward institution. It has a 191-kilowatt solar generation system with 1,274 photovoltaic panels and a 360-kilowatt natural gas co-generation system. The project is the largest of its kind to be undertaken by a U.S. community college, yielding around 4.4 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1,500 tons over its operating lifetime. The college has a water retention pond beneath its soccer field, collecting run-off from the adjacent parking lot and Pierce College also uses a central chilling plant and a chilled water pipeline system to cool its buildings. Steve Miller Los Angeles Pierce College Associate in Arts degree 1970 Occupation: Executive Director of Tierra Del Sol Affiliations: Member of the Developmental Disabilities Area Board What I learned: “If you’re open to the things you learn from books and in class discussions, they can really help you to succeed in life and in business.” Steve Miller has worked for and with people with developmental disabilities since 1977 and has spent more than 25 years leading community based service provider organizations. Tierra Del Sol provides direct service to five hundred individuals with disabilities as well as many of their families and the wider community. Miller’s experience includes involvement in some of California’s earliest initiatives toward integrated community employment, supported and independent living services and development of community-based options for individuals leaving State Developmental centers. His role as a legislative advocate for consumers, families and the community-based service system has involved organizing hearings, rallies and sponsoring legislation to bring pay equity to direct support professionals. Steve served as a State Council representative on California’s multi-year System Reform project. Jan Sobel Los Angeles Pierce College Associate in Arts degree 1969 Occupation: President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley Affiliations: VICA Board Member and Chair of VICA Government Affairs Committee; Member of the Board of West Valley Police Boosters What I learned: “Hard work reaps benefits; if you work really hard, you will be successful.” Jan Sobel has been the head of the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley for three years. Under her leadership the Club has grown from 1,200 to 2,500 children; it has expanded from one to five sites; the board of directors has jumped from six to 23 members; and the operating budget has doubled from $600,000 to $1.3 million. Sobel wants to continue this trend. “We want to continue growing, adding more children and expanding to the North Valley,” she said. Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, Sobel has spent most of her professional life working with nonprofit organizations. She was CEO of the Encino Chamber of Commerce for nine years. Prior to that, she worked as CEO of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce for eight years. Sobel remembers her years at Pierce College, when she was part of the Pierce Rodeo Team, competing against universities in Arizona in barrel racing and goat tying. Sobel later received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Political Science at California State University, Northridge in 1971, back when it was called San Fernando Valley State College. Vivienne Cohen Pierce College Associate in Arts degree 2002 Occupation: Senior in Audit Department at Good Swartz Brown and Berns, a Division of J.H. Cohn LLP. in Woodland Hills Affiliations: Member of the California Society of CPAs, member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. What I learned: “When faced with a problem, don’t be afraid to ask questions and persevere.” Vivienne Cohen already had 23 years of financial work experience when she decided to go back to school. It was at Pierce College she discovered her love and aptitude for accounting, inched-on by Al Partington, an accounting professor whose words she remembers well. “He told me, ‘I think you would make a great accountant,'” she said. This instructor took the time to take her to a CSUN banquet and introduced her to the Chair of CSUN’s Department of Accounting and Information Systems. Cohen successfully transferred to CSUN where she became a member of the school’s Accounting Association and the president of Beta Alpha Psi, an honorary accounting association. Upon graduating she joined the accounting firm Good Swartz Brown & Berns. In June 2008, the company merged with J.H. Cohn LLP, the largest independent accounting and consulting firm in the Northeast. Cohen is now Senior in the Auditing Department, working with clients’ accounts, writing financial statements and playing a significant role in the training of other staff. Adam D. Compton Pierce College Occupation: Founder, operating CTO of Submarine Technologies Incorporation and Smart Compton Hydrogen Fuel Company Affiliations: Member of the Association of Diving Contractors, San Fernando Valley Economic Alliance, Marine Technology Society: Manned Underwater Vehicles Committee What I learned: “For the most part, it really does not matter what you get your college degree in as long as you get one. Regardless of the field of study, you will go through a learning process that helps you in all areas of your further development as a person, which you would not have attained otherwise.” Adam Compton’s passion for scuba diving led him to become a certified commercial diver for the oil field industry. He later started his own company, Submarine Technologies Incorporation, which uses mini-submarines for inspection on many of the Nation’s high priority dams and inland bridges. Compton is the Founder and operating CTO of a second company called Smart Compton Hydrogen Fuel Company, which makes hydrogen assist cells to boost vehicle MPG ratings. This company has since formed a coalition with businesses from the San Fernando Valley to compete in the Progressive Automotive X-Prize Competition, where teams from around the world compete for $10M to see who can develop a production vehicle that achieves 100 MPGe or greater. At Piece College Compton completed Chemistry requirements that allowed him to finish his BS degree in Environmental Science at Oregon State University. Los Angeles Valley College Officially chartered by the Los Angeles Board of Education in June of 1949, Los Angeles Valley College was started on the campus of Van Nuys High School with 439 students and 23 faculty members. Now the College has some 20,000 students, and continues to see a significant increase in enrollment. Expansion plans are underway, as Valley College is in the process of analyzing two communities Panorama City and Burbank with the aim of perhaps locating an educational site in either or both of these areas. The college is also going through a construction renaissance and within the next three to five years the college will be almost completely redone with new buildings. Under the direction of its new president, Sue Carleo, the university is in the process of updating its master plan to make sure that the college is addressing the needs of employers in the area, as well as transfer students. Valley College plays a significant role in the economic development of the greater San Fernando Valley, educating students and supplying businesses with skilled employees. The Job Training Program at Valley College, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, boasts an 87 percent placement rate. The program has trained and placed more than 12,000 job seekers in new positions while providing skills and training upgrades to over 10,000 incumbent workers in a variety of courses. It partners with businesses including Medtronic, The Boeing Company, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Target Stores, Superior Industries, Superior Super Warehouse, and Wal-mart Stores. It also partners with Metro (MTA) and has trained over 200 individuals for employment with the city. Valley College also houses the Advanced Manufacturing Training Institute, which recently started a six-week federally funded manufacturing program for displaced workers. Neil Sherman Los Angeles Valley College 1970 Occupation: Owner and CEO Industrial Metal Supply Affiliations: Board Advisor Woodbury Business School, Board Advisor UC School of Fine Arts, Member of Sun Valley Chamber of Commerce What I learned: “Accountability is very important, the excuses that you may have gotten away with before don’t cut it in the real world.” Neil Sherman’s Industrial Metal Supply started in Burbank in 1948. It now maintains four different locations and claims to offer the broadest line of metal products available in Southern California. The business, started by Sherman’s father Norman, had humble beginnings. Sherman says his father began as a scrap dealer, working out of the back end of their 1947 Pontiac station wagon that served as the first delivery vehicle by day and the family car by night. Now the company generates well over $100 million in annual revenues. Eight years ago, the company moved its headquarters from Burbank to Sun Valley. IMS now has branches in Sun Valley, San Diego, Irvine, Phoenix and Riverside. The company employs over 300 people. Rickey M. Gelb Los Angeles Valley College 1967 Occupation: Managing General Partner of Gelb Group, A Family of Companies, which includes Gelb Enterprises and RGM Properties. Affiliations: CFO of Encino Chamber of Commerce, President of West Valley Boosters, President of Winnetka Community Foundation, What I learned: “I’ve learned a number of things but most important are these three: 1. Teamwork 2. Be able to communicate at all levels of employment and 3. The ability to make effective presentations.” With 40 properties totaling about one million square feet of office, retail and industrial space, privately owned Gelb Enterprises is one of the Valley’s top real estate development and property management companies. Gelb grew up in the San Fernando Valley and was employed in his family retail appliance and television store that eventually grew to 18 stores in Southern California. He expanded Gelb Enterprises by developing and acquiring a variety of retail shopping centers, office buildings, industrial buildings, professional/medical buildings, government buildings and apartment buildings. Based on his service and contributions to the San Fernando Valley, Gelb has received more than 500 commendations, awards and recognitions from federal, state, county city levels and charitable foundations. Art Ginsburg Los Angeles Valley College 1953-1955, 1956-1957 Occupation: Founder and Owner of Art’s Deli Affiliations: Secretary of the Board of Los Angeles Valley College Foundation, Member of the Board of Ventura/Cahuenga Specific Plan, Member of the Board of the Business Improvement District in Studio City, Member of the Studio City Neighborhood Council, Member of Studio City Chamber of Commerce What I learned: “Know your product, whatever it is, inside and out so that when the consumer asks you questions, you can answer them intelligently.” Art Ginsburg’s 50-year-old deli has built a solid reputation and a loyal following throughout the years. Ginsburg opened the restaurant’s doors in 1957 with his wife, Sandy, also a Valley College student, and it quickly became an integral part of the Ventura Boulevard community. Back then the deli had 28 seats, just three and a half booths and 12 counter stools, and it was a place where Hollywood old-timers like Billy Wilder retreated to when they weren’t filming. Now the deli has 170 seats, and has been enlarged four times. Art’s Deli has endured over the years. When it burned down after the 1994 earthquake, it took Ginsburg only 9 months to re-build it, supported by community and friends. Today, two of Ginsburg’s three children run the business with him. Steve Brener Los Angeles Valley College 1970 Occupation: President Brener, Zwikel & Associates PR & Marketing Affiliations: LA Sports and Entertainment Advisory Board, California State University, Northridge Journalism Alumni Board, Jim Murray Foundation Board. What I learned: “Putting in the time, and making the effort, it all pays off in the end.” Brener Zwikel & Associates, Inc. president Steve Brener is recognized as one of the top sports publicists in the country. At the age of 24, he became the youngest publicity director in major league baseball after he joined the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he worked for 18 years. He also worked for the California Angels. Brener moved on to the sport of Thoroughbred racing when he was named vice-president of marketing and public relations for the famed Hollywood Park race track in 1987. In 1988, and at 37-years-old, he launched his own public relations firm and two years later merged his business with that of his partner, Toby Zwikel, forming Brener Zwikel & Associates, Inc. Brener, who as a student worked as the Sports Information director at Valley College, and also worked as the sports editor at the school paper, was inducted into the Valley College Athletic Hall of Fame. “I think the journalism department at L.A. Valley College certainly helped me learn the many facets of media, and the staff there were instrumental in my success,” he said. Brener later received his Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism, with a minor in business administration from California State University, Northridge. Michael Perrin Los Angeles Valley College Associate of Arts degree in business 1981 Occupation: Founder and Owner of Valley Photo Service Affiliations: Member of the Scholarship Selection Committee and the Arts Council at Valley College, Member of Photo Marketing Association What I learned: “Its all about character, responsibility – your word is worth a million dollars. Abide by that.” For the past 32 years, Michael Perrin has been the owner and operator of Valley Photo Service in Valley Village. He has grown what was once a black and white photo lab to a business enterprise equipped with the latest digital technology capable of scanning 200 prints in a matter of minutes, making DVDs, hard cover books, calendars, and greeting cards of all sizes. His business serves clients in the greater San Fernando Valley community. Perrin, who proposed to his wife on the steps of Valley College -where he enrolled after returning from Vietnam- has continued his involvement with the school throughout the years. He serves on the Scholarship Committee and also works with the journalism department providing film and photographic paper to students there. Moorpark College Moorpark College opened in 1967, with 2,500 students. Approximately 15,000 students ranging in age from about 11 to over 70 are now enrolled at the College. The 150-acre campus includes 15 buildings, a football stadium, track, other athletic facilities, an exotic animal compound, and an observatory. Moorpark’s Exotic Animal Training and Management Program is the only one of its kind in the United States, where students can have hands on training with animals such as lions, alligators and hyenas. Throughout the years, the College has partnered with businesses to offer students relevant and up to date education. The College’s Biotech program was developed with the help of consultants from Amgen and Baxter, two leading companies in the field. The nursing program at Moorpark College also partners with local hospitals, which function as teaching sites for the nursing students. In an example of how the College is expanding its community outreach and involvement, Moorpark College drafting technology and interior design students are working on a design project for a non-profit organization that hopes to build a hospice care facility in Thousand Oaks. About 20 drafting and interior design students are participating in the project for the organization Our Community House of Hope (OCHH), which plans to build a $5 million hospice care facility structure. Glen Becerra Moorpark College Associate in Arts degree 1990-1991 Occupation: Simi Valley Councilmember, Chief of Staff of Public Affairs Region Manager for the Southern California Edison Company. Affiliations: Board of Directors for the Simi Valley Boys and Girls Club, Member of the Simi Valley Education Foundation Board of Directors, Member of the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce, Board Member of the League of California Cities Channel Counties Division, Board of Regents of California Lutheran University What I learned: “It’s not about how much wealth you accumulate or the stuff you’re able to gather, it’s about the relationships you build in your life. That measures your success.” Glen Becerra has been a Simi Valley Councilmember for 9 years, helping lead the City’s efforts in economic development. Council Member Becerra is employed as a Chief of Staff Public Affairs Region Manager for the Southern California Edison Company, where he has served Ventura County, and the Santa Clarita and San Fernando Valleys since 1996. Prior to joining the Edison Company, Council Member Becerra worked for Assemblyman James L. Brulte as a Legislative Aide, where he worked on legislation dealing with California’s Utility Industry and the State Allocation Board, which is responsible for financing the renovation and construction of public schools. The first in his family to graduate from a university, Council Member Becerra attended Moorpark Community College and the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a B.A. in History in 1993. Becerra later joined the Wilson Administration as Deputy Director for the Office of External Affairs, which oversees the Governor’s local field offices and is the liaison for law enforcement, crime victims, and other constituent groups. Dan Peate Moorpark College 1996-1998 Occupation: Founder Peate LLC. Affiliations: Chair of the Moorpark College Foundation Board, Chair of the Catholic Charities of Ventura County Board, Member of the Los Angeles Catholic Charities, Member of Thomas Aquinas College Board of Regents What I learned: “Learning to defend your ideas clearly and concisely is a tremendous asset. I would recommend everyone in school get involved in speech and debate or at least take a speech class, because it really helps you think critically, which is invaluable for your future.” After working in private equity and private insurance for over a decade, Dan Peate recently started his own company Peate LLC., which will start out raising a $10 million venture capital fund to be invested in early stage and start-up businesses in Southern California, primarily Ventura County. Peate is counting on really strong returns for the company’s investors. Peate previously was Senior VP Western Region Sales for Gallagher Benefits Services, a division of Arthur J Gallagher & Company one of the industry’s largest firms. He was also the managing director of Gallagher Equity advisors, the firm’s private equity practice unit. At Moorpark College, Peate was active in the School’s speech and debate team, and received a scholarship to Notre Dame, largely on the merits of the debate skills he acquired at Moorpark. College of the Canyons In the 39 years since it first opened, College of the Canyons has become a fast growing institution, recognized for its leadership in correlating education with economic development, job retention and job creation. It has become a driving force in the local economy. College of the Canyons is the sixth largest employer in the Santa Clarita Valley with 1,454 employees. In 2008, the College infused $202 million in business volume into the local economy through salaries, purchasing of supplies and equipment, capital improvements and job creation. The College also provides workforce training, and support to small businesses. Through the Employee Training Institute and the Center for Applied Competitive Technologies, the college has provided workforce development and technical assistance to manufacturers in the region. The Small Business Development Center, opened in 2006, has helped over 100 new businesses get off the ground and secured $3.8 million in new capital to support local entrepreneurs. The College’s i3 Advanced Technology Incubator, hosts start-up technology companies, and provides them with support as they prepare to go out on their own. Last year the College secured a $1.3 million Department of Commerce grant to develop an Emerging Technologies Institute to train workers in the burgeoning fields of biotechnology, nanotechnology and autonomous technology. The College also offers programs to meet public demand including automotive technology, land surveying, construction technology, paralegal studies, culinary arts, and security technologies. In other fields needing skilled employees, such as nursing and teaching, the College launched a nursing collaborative that brings together area colleges and hospitals to increase the number of graduates in the field of nursing, and also offers a variety of teaching credentials at the University Center. Scheduled to open this fall, the new 110,000-square-foot high-technology Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, will be the place where 4-year universities will offer bachelor’s, masters’ and doctoral degrees on the COC campus. An interim University Center has operated on the college campus since 2002, serving thousands of students who otherwise would not have had the time to commute long distances to pursue their educational goals. College of the Canyons, has created an educational corridor that serves students from pre-school through graduate school. Its Early Childhood Education Center welcomes children 12 months of age and older. There are two high schools on campus, Academy of the Canyons, which serves 11th and 12th graders, and an Early College High School for students in grades 9 through 12. Jill Mellady College of the Canyons 1991 Occupation: Owner and CEO Mellady Direct Marketing in Santa Clarita Affiliations: Vice chair of the College of the Canyons Foundation What I learned: “Success is not handed to you. Working hard and using what College of the Canyons taught me enabled me to achieve my dream.” Jill Mellady, along with her husband Jim, established Mellady Direct Marketing in 1985 as a home-based business, working out of their garage. The Melladys quickly cultivated a roster of clients and expanded to become a full-service mailing and direct marketing services firm based in Santa Clarita that serves a nationwide roster of clients. Before starting the company, Mellady worked at Lockheed-Martin Skunk Works in contracts and administration. She left Lockheed to raise their children and began working at home as a hobby. Today, both Jim and Jill lead Mellady Direct Marketing. Jim oversees the firm’s daily operations and Jill guides its Sales and Marketing efforts. Greg Johanson College of the Canyons 1971 Occupation: President Solar Electrical Systems in Westlake Village and Founder Solar Electrical Vehicles Affiliations: Member of the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEA) What I learned: “You have to go after your dreams and find those people that will help you make them come true and prove to the world that they’ll work. At the community college I found the support to make my dreams come true.” Greg Johanson was 18 years old when he set out to prove that photovoltaic power could fuel a motorcar as a student at College of the Canyons. It was his physics professor Thomas Lawrence, who believed in him and gave him the support and the time to help him apply and understand the mathematical and physical principles that could verify his theory. Through this support, Johanson was allowed to use a $20 million computer program at JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) that could run a simulation program, which proved he was right. Ultimately Johanson was able to sell his idea to manufacturers for $50,000, which gave him the seed money to build a solar car, which led to the start of his company, which has sold $100 million dollars worth of solar electrical installation in Southern California. Greg is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for setting the first speed record for a solar car, piloting the Sunrunner, reaching a top speed of 41 mph. He co-designed and developed the vehicle, which was the first car exclusively powered by solar energy. He is also the inventor of a solar roof for the Toyota Prius. Kevin Holmes College of the Canyons 1992 Occupation: Partner Good, Swartz, Brown & Berns, A Division of J.H. Cohn LLP Affiliations: Member of the Board of Directors of College of the Canyons Foundation, Member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants What I learned: “If you find a way to obtain good tools you can achieve whatever goals you set for yourself. A community college education gave me the tools I needed.” As a Certified Public Accountant, Kevin Holmes has a broad range of experience in the field, working for more than 11 years in serving companies in the high technology, manufacturing, distribution, retail and service industries. He joined GSBB, one of the largest regional accounting firms in Southern California, in 2002, and has developed expertise with internal control, financial accounting, corporate acquisitions and divestitures, initial public offerings and private equity and debt financing transactions. Holmes, who began his career at Arthur Andersen in 1994, has worked with established and growing companies with core expertise serving middle-market businesses throughout Southern California. Glendale Community College Glendale Community College opened its doors in 1927 in a wing of Glendale High School. The first class was composed of 139 students with 10 faculty members. Now, Glendale Community College has a college-credit enrollment of about 25,000 day and evening students, and approximately 10,000 others are reached through the adult education program, specialized job training programs such as JTPA and GAIN, and contract instruction administered by the Professional Development Center. GCC has one of the highest transfer rates in the state to the UC system and other California four-year colleges. GCC also offers a broad range of vocational programs. Its Business Division offers transfer and vocational curriculum in six disciplines: Accounting, Business Administration, Computer Applications and Business Office Technologies, Computer Science-Information Systems, Cooperative Education and Real Estate. Recent construction projects have expanded the health sciences program. Ani Halabi Glendale Community College Associate of Arts degree 1999 Occupation: Optometrist at Valley Eye Center in Van Nuys. Affiliations: Member of Business Professionals Business Group, mentor at Glendale College and Hoover High School What I learned: “Learning how to study really helps you be able to absorb information in a way that you’ll remember it and be able to apply it later. Learning how to communicate socially and professionally is really important for your future.” Dr. Ani Halabi’s passion for Optometry began at a young age being involved in her family’s eyeglass frame business. She completed her undergraduate studies at Glendale Community College and California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. She received her Doctorate of Optometry from Southern California College of Optometry. She completed her clinical training in VA Greater Los Angeles Health Center, Optometric Center of Los Angeles and Las Vegas Low Vision Clinic. Dr. Halabi specializes in primary eye care including diagnosis and treatment of ocular diseases and specialty contact lens fitting for post corneal graft and keratoconic patients. Dr. Halabi was born in Tehran, Iran and moved to Glendale with her family when she was six years old. Dr. Halabi remains active in the Glendale community frequently volunteering to mentor on-campus clubs whose students are interested in her field of expertise, in an effort to give back to Glendale Community College. Los Angeles Mission College When Los Angeles Mission College opened in 1975, it was located in high schools, churches, office buildings, shopping centers, and other locations scattered throughout the cities of Sylmar and San Fernando. The college served approximately 1,200 students. In 1991, the school moved to its permanent campus in Sylmar. In addition to its academic degrees, Mission College provides vocational education and training in areas like Child Development, Family and Consumer Studies, Paralegal, and Computer Applications. Through the influx of bond and state money, Mission College will add a Child Development Center, Health, Physical Education and Fitness Center, a Media Arts Building, Student Services Center, Family and Consumer Studies Building, and two multi-level parking structures. Throughout its 30-year history, the college has sustained close ties to the neighboring communities of San Fernando, Pacoima, Mission Hills, North Hills, Panorama City and Granada Hills. In recent years, the enrollment base has expanded to include many communities throughout the greater San Fernando Valley, as well as Canyon Country and Santa Clarita. Maribel De La Torre Mission College 1993 Occupation: Member of the San Fernando City Council, Director of Development, Marketing and Communications for Padres Contra el Cancer Affiliations: Board member of the San Fernando Valley Economic Alliance, member of VICA, North Valley YMCA, the American Cancer Society, the Muniz Family Foundation, NALEO, Board Member of CCRC (Child Care Resource Center), Advisory Member to Wellness Community, Board Member of ILDE (Institute for Leadership Development and Education) What I learned: “It doesn’t really matter what your financial situation is, when you seek higher education and don’t let your financial situation get in the way, anyone can compete and be successful.” A 34-year resident of San Fernando, Maribel De La Torre credits her immigrant parents for giving her the guidance and strength to pursue a career in public service. “We were raised with a tremendous social conscience. Our family was poor but there was always somebody with greater needs than us,” she said. De La Torre has served on the San Fernando City Council for nine years, where she has been instrumental in securing funding for an Aquatics Center; federal appropriations for the redesign of San Fernando’s major corridors; a CNG Trolley System; and restoration of the Pacoima Wash Watershed. She spearheaded the development of Senior Housing, and the adoption of the City’s historic preservation ordinance. She also helped craft the City’s Downtown Corridor Specific Plan, which sets the groundwork for economic development in the area. The councilwoman was also responsible for negotiating with LAUSD for the development of four new academies and a new elementary school in San Fernando. De La Torre has also helped raise thousands of dollars to fight cancer by partnering with American Cancer Society to host the Relay for Life in San Fernando. Jose Oliva Los Angeles Mission College Associate in Arts Degree 2002 Occupation: Financial advisor AXA Equitable Affiliations: Board Member for the Los Angeles Mission College Foundation. What I learned: “Building relationships in school is one of the most important things; they are a bridge to your professional career.” While at Mission College, Jose Oliva participated in the Student Body, first as treasurer and then as president, building relationships that would benefit him later. Now at AXA Equitable, the15th largest financial planning company in the world, established in 1859, Oliva helps colleges, K-12 schools, and non-profits establish retirement and life insurance plans. Many of the staff and faculty he worked with at Mission College are now his clients. Karen Anable-Nichols Los Angeles Mission College Associate in Arts Degree 1983 Occupation: Owner and Gallery Director of La Galeria Gitana Affiliations: Organizer of an outreach summer art program at Mission College What I learned: “Since you never know where life will take you, don’t ever discount anything you learn. I can safely say that a college education provided me with more than knowledge; it gave me the confidence to become a professional artist, an educator and now an entrepreneur.” After 20 years with the Los Angeles Unified School District, teaching art classes at Reseda High School, Karen Anable- Nichols returned to her passion of producing and marketing artwork. She opened La Galeria Gitana in August 2008, the first and only art gallery in the city of San Fernando, with the mission of promoting the Valley’s artists and its culture. “This has become a continuation of my role as a teacher, educating the local community about art and culture,” she says. Since then, the gallery’s three exhibits have all gathered crowds of more than 350 people for their opening receptions. Anable- Nichols is also giving back to Mission College through an outreach summer program where, from the months of July through September, the gallery will only exhibit work created by Mission College students. The gallery will split the commission with Mission College on any work that is sold. Anable-Nichols received a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University Northridge. California Lutheran University California Lutheran University is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and has close to 3,500 students enrolled at the campus. The university continues to grow and expand. CLU will launch an economic forecast center this spring in its School of Business, staffed by economists Bill Watkins and Dan Hamilton, who are currently affiliated with the Economic Forecast Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara. They will help develop a proposed new Master of Science in Economics program, with an emphasis in modeling and forecasting, that will launch in the fall. Under their direction, the center will integrate graduate and undergraduate economics instruction, research, and outreach to the business community. The center will also develop intensive professional development programs to help senior business leaders and executives assess economic forecast results and apply them to their advantage. CLU’s business school, which has grown significantly over the past decade, offers a traditional MBA, an international MBA, an online MBA in financial planning through the California Institute of Finance at CLU, and a post-MBA certificate program. This year CLU also began offering a master’s in information systems and technology. The university is also seeing growth in other areas. In June, CLU will break ground on the Swenson Center for Academic Excellence for social and behavioral sciences. It will be CLU’s first LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building. In February of this year, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the new Community Pool at CLU. Trinity Hall, a new collection of suites that will house 220 students, will open this summer. This year the college will begin implementing its model program for using drama techniques to teach throughout all subject areas, called Project ACT Active, Collaborative Teaching. The four-year program is the result of a $999,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education and the collaboration between Moorpark Unified School District and CLU’s School of Education. Recently, CLU also revamped its International Studies program to provide students with opportunities to promote social change and address global issues by working directly with ethnic communities in Los Angeles County. Last September, CLU created a new Office for Undergraduate Research to coordinate, highlight and increase student investigations in all subject areas. Mary Kaiser California Lutheran University MBA 1984 Occupation: President and CEO, California Community Reinvestment Corp. in Glendale Affiliations: Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Economic Advisory, Secretary of the Board of Trustees of Community Reinvestment Fund, Ventura County Community Foundation Farmworker Housing Committee, Social Justice Fund Giving Circle, Pepperdine’s Seaver College Career Coach, and the Low Income Investment Fund Board of Directors and Loan Committee. What I learned: “It’s really important to have a good balance between hard business skills, and soft business skills. There’s the numbers and then there’s the people and you’ve got to be able to do both to be successful.” Working for CCRC, a non profit multi-bank lending consortia, has given Mary Kaiser of Agoura Hills the opportunity to be a banker with a mission. The company provides permanent mortgages on affordable rental housing for low income families and senior residents. Some 47 banks throughout the state support CCRC’s mission to help increase the availability of affordable housing in California. CCRC represents over $420 million in lines of credit from member bank and insurance company investors. Active loan sales in the secondary market are in excess of $300 million in multi-family affordable housing mortgages and bonds. Mary joined CCRC in 1995 as president and CEO and has since increased the net worth of the company by $16 million while evolving the product lines to meet the increasing needs of the low income communities served. Kaiser has over 30 years of experience as a financial services executive. Lisa A. Allison California Lutheran University Bachelor of Science and Accounting 1987 Occupation: Partner at Lippe, Hellie, Hoffer and Allison LLP. Affiliations: Board Member of the Wellness Community’s Valley/Ventura County, Member of American Institute of CPAs, member of California Society of CPAs, , American Women’s Society of CPAs, American Association of University Women and Provisors, Finance Committee member of United Way of Ventura County, adjunct instructor of accounting and auditing at California Lutheran University What I learned: “Strive for excellence, not only in business, but as a human being, and do it with humility” Lisa A. Allison began her career in accounting when she was 16-years-old. After taking an accounting class in high school that sparked her interest, she took a junior accounting position working for a CPA in Agoura Hills. After graduating from California Lutheran University, she went on to serve as an advisor for emerging and middle market businesses in the Valley and surrounding areas for the next 20 years, joining Deloitte & Touche in 1987. Her experience includes auditing for various industries, including manufacturing and distribution, technology, not-for-profit organizations and employee benefits. Lisa has provided litigation consulting services for partnership dissolution and high profile breach of contract cases. She is now a full partner in the firm Lippe, Hellie, Hoffer and Allison LLP. Brian Hemsworth California Lutheran University MBA 202 Occupation: President and co-owner of Newman Grace Inc. Affiliations: Collaborates with non-profits including: Shane’s Inspiration, Tierra Del Sol Foundation, and Shakespeare Festival Los Angeles. He is also a board member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. What I learned: “There’s a difference between knowledge and wisdom, and a good learning experience can help you with both.” Brian Hemsworth is president of Woodland Hills-based Newman Grace Inc., a leading advertising, marketing and brand consulting firm serving regional and national clients based in the San Fernando Valley area. He has more than 25 years experience helping build brands, specializing in marketing strategies for growing companies. He’s the author of more than 100 magazine articles on business, marketing, and adventure sports, and is a member of the adjunct faculty of Pepperdine University. Early on Hemsworth discovered his passion for helping companies grow through strategies in marketing and branding. It’s something that fit well with his competitive nature, he said. A few of his clients include Lewitt Hackman (law firm), Gish Seiden (accounting firm), Shane’s Inspiration (non-profit), Phillips Graduate Institute (education), Narvid Scott (law firm), Peter C. Foy & Associates (insurance), Accent On Seniors (senior living placement) Tierra Del Sol (non-profit), San Fernando Valley Bar Association . Woodbury University Woodbury University has more than 125 years of history, and serves about 1,500 students in small class settings- the average class size is 15 students – on a 22-acre residential campus nestled at the foot of the Verdugo Hills in Burbank. Woodbury University has educated more than 75,000 alumni. A $27 million building initiative has transformed the Burbank campus through construction of a new home for the School of Business, as well as facilities for the School of Architecture and other improvements. Founded in 1884 by entrepreneur F.C. Woodbury, the University strives to prepare graduates for a wide range of high-paying, high-demand fields such as architecture, animation, fashion design, graphic design, business, computer information systems and marketing. Among the recent accomplishments at the University, Dr. Ashley Burrowes, Woodbury accounting professor, was awarded an ACL Accounting Education Futures Program grant for $200,000 of software and support services. ACL is a provider of data analysis software to the accounting, auditing, and finance professions. In becoming an ACL Futures Site, Woodbury joins a select few universities in North America such as Brigham Young, USC, Nebraska, and UT. Woodbury students also recently worked with Mercedes-Benz on a research initiative focused on discovering elements of design, concept development, and marketing that could be considered for the next generation of Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Woodbury received two research vehicles, and the collaboration involved cross-functional student and faculty teams from the School of Business, School of Architecture, Institute of Transdisciplinary Studies, and School of Media, Culture & Design. Greg Lippe Woodbury University Bachelor of Science in Business Administration 1967 Occupation: Managing partner Lippe, Hellie, Hoffer & Allison LLP, Woodland Hills Affiliations: Member of the American Institute of CPAs and the California Society of CPAs What I learned: “The practical approach; many colleges and universities teach academic approaches, but Woodbury, because of its significant adjunct faculty, brings the practical approach to the students and I have found that to be very useful upon graduation and ever since” Greg Lippe has been engaged in the practice of public accounting since 1967. His experience includes performing auditing, accounting and tax planning services as well as negotiating and structuring mergers and acquisitions. Lippe serves industries including entertainment, real estate, mortgage lending, manufacturing, distribution, sports franchise, high-tech, wholesale, service and others. He began his public accounting career with Touche, Ross & Co., predecessor of Deloitte Touche. Lippe was honored as one of the Top 25 CPAs in the San Fernando Valley in both 2003 and 2007 and is a published writer. Arthur Zenian Woodbury University Bachelor of Science in Business and Management 2002 Occupation: CEO enBio, co-founder of Binovia Burbank Affiliations: Woodbury University Alumni Board Member, Member of the Board of Trustees for Woodbury University, member of California Medical Instrumentation Association AMMI, member of Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges What I learned: “Success waits for you just outside your comfort zone. You have to change your behavior and do positive things on a consistent basis. Thank you Woodbury!” Over the years Arthur Zenian has focused on one principle in building his companies: “We make a difference by being there for our customers when they need us, not when we need them.” As the CEO of enBio Corp., a Biomedical and IT Management Services firm based in Burbank, he has developed a business model that allows for the delivery of cost effective solutions for the management of biomedical and information technology to hospitals, surgical centers and healthcare clinics throughout California and the Southwest. His previous ventures include founder and president of Strategic Clinical Engineering, and most recently president and founder of Binovia LLC., a Biomedical Management Services organization. Zenian’s education also includes an AS degree in Electronics from Los Angeles Valley College, and a BS in Biomedical Engineering degree from California State University, Northridge. Von W. Johnson Woodbury University MBA 2005 Occupation: President/CEO Von Johnson and Associates, Inc. Affiliations: Member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), What I learned: “You can never stop learning, it helps keep you vital, relevant and on top of things.” Von Johnson, has over twenty-five years experience in the entertainment industry including electronic distribution, global post-production, technical services, project management, systems development and implementation, business and systems integration. His company, VJA Inc., is an independent consulting services company focused on the media and entertainment industries. Johnson has held senior management positions with the Walt Disney Company, Universal Television Distribution, Turner Broadcasting, ITC Entertainment and DIVA Systems (a video-on-demand technology pioneer in Menlo Park, CA). He is the co-founder of White Ash Broadcasting, Inc., licensee for central California’s NPR affiliate, KVPR-FM Valley Public Radio. Johnson is also co-inventor of “Method and apparatus for transmission of full frequency digital audio.” (U.S. patent 5,544,228). A native of Southern California, Johnson is adjunct professor in the MBA program at Woodbury University, and also lectures at UCLA Extension on the subject of change and disruption in the entertainment industry. J. Marc Rapisardi Woodbury University Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, 2005 Occupation: Founder S3 Builders Affiliations: Member of the San Fernando Valley American Institute of Architects, United States Green Building Council, and the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce What I learned: “First, find your passion. Second, realize the value of your surroundings and cultivate those relationships as if your success counts on it because it does!” Marc Rapisardi founded S3 Builders as a way of making some extra money while he was in school working towards a degree in architecture. Since S3’s inception in 2004, the commercial contracting firm has developed a portfolio that includes Macy’s, The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Cedars Sinai Medical Office Towers, Woodbury University, and Westfield Properties. S3 built the Enkenboll Courtyard at Woodbury in 2008. That same year the company merged with a commercial contracting firm out of Santa Clarita California, expanding its portfolio, bringing in new talent and ideas, and lowering its operating overhead. By 2010 the company’s goal is to reach $2.5m in revenues and be licensed in all five western states. “It’s true that you can chart your successes to single moments in your life. Mine was when I was accepted by Woodbury University to study Architecture,” he says. While in School, Rapisardi completed a 400 hour internship program that led to more than two years of employment with the Turner Construction Company, one of the country’s largest commercial builders. The experience allowed Rapisardi to discover his passion, and he made the leap from architecture to construction, and decided to make S3 Builders his career. Rapisardi, who has three contractors’ licenses, two in California and one in Colorado, is planning on returning to Woodbury in the fall of 2009 to start an MBA program. Antelope Valley College Antelope Valley College was started in 1929 as a department of Antelope Valley High School in Lancaster, providing the first two years of a college education for those living in what was then a remote, rural area. Antelope Valley College today has grown to a student population of approximately 16,000 students. It serves as the largest and primary source of higher education in the region. Its many academic programs, include a registered nursing program approved by the Board of Registered Nursing, an airframe and powerplant technician program certified by the Federal Aviation Administration, and a lower division engineering program that coordinates with an engineering degree program offered locally through California State University, Fresno. Other programs include aircraft fabrication and assembly, computer graphics, respiratory therapy, Firefighter I Academy and wild land fire technology. In conjunction with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Lancaster campus hosts the Sheriff’s Training Academy, which meets the requirements of the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) for training members of the sheriff’s department and other law enforcement agencies. Gary Rardon Antelope Valley College 1973-1975, Present Occupation: Owner, Founder of Gary Rardon & Associates Inc. What I learned: “Antelope Valley College has helped me organize and validate my knowledge after years of working, and also learn what I don’t know”. Gary Rardon began his career selling insurance and securities as a senior in high school. A Palmdale resident since 1958, Rardon and his wife Patty, after she retired from teaching, started the company Gary Rardon & Associates. The company is now an affiliate of Mezrah Consulting, providing services to public and privately held companies, financial institutions and high net worth individuals. Rardon’s consulting firm specializes in the design, funding, implementation, securitization and administration of non-qualified executive benefit programs. It also develops effective funding strategies for public agencies dealing with the GASB 43-45 accounting mandate. California State University Channel Islands CSUCI opened in 2002 as the twenty-third campus in the California State University system, and in just a short time, CSUCI has become known for its creative, interdisciplinary approach, which combines courses and programs such as art with science, and history with business. A distinguishing aspect of its Business and Economics Program is the requirement to take courses developed in conjunction with disciplines outside the traditional business curriculum. Examples include courses with Biology, Chemistry, Education, English, Fine Arts, History and Performing Arts. To foster an integrative and cross disciplinary experience in a relevant business area, students are required to select one of five emphases: Entrepreneurship, Finance, Global Business, Management, and Marketing. The Colleges academic programs are also created with multicultural and international views, providing an understanding and appreciation of cultural differences and preparing students for life and work in an increasingly diverse world. Channel Islands’ academic programs focus on liberal studies, sciences, business, teaching credentials and innovative master’s degrees such as the M.S. in Bioinformatics. Sean Worthington California State University Channel Islands Bachelor of Arts Degree 2006 Occupation: Regional Private Banker for the Wells Fargo Oxnard banking and the Port Hueneme banking store Affiliations: Member of the Wells Fargo Voice of Pacific Coast Leadership Committee What I learned: “Communicate effectively, think critically, and collaborate with team members.” Sean Worthington has worked with Wells Fargo since 2006 in a variety of capacities including senior banker within the premier banking division and as an investment consultant with Wells Fargo Investments, LLC. He is now the Assistant Vice President and Regional Private Banker for the Wells Fargo Oxnard Office. As part of Wells Fargo’s Regional Private Banking program, Worthington works with the area’s highest value clients to understand their financial condition and work to build a comprehensive wealth management strategy tailored to their specific needs. He provides access to a team of specialists in each of Wells Fargo’s more than 80 diversified business lines to address these issues. Worthington’s team includes a group of local experts specializing in wealth planning, estate planning and trust administration. Elisabeth Freeman California State University Channel Islands BA in Biology Occupation: Executive Director Legacy Direct Affiliations: Amgen Mentor for the Biotechnology Institute’s Minority Fellows Program, Senior Advisor for the Biotechnology Institute’s Minority Programs. What I learned: “The introductions that were made at Channel Islands and the education I received opened doors for my career development and were instrumental in my success.” Elisabeth Freeman is the co-founder and Executive Director of Legacy Direct, Inc., a non-profit working to build greater self-reliance and improve healthcare in African Communities, addressing the HIV/Aids crisis and other health factors in Africa. She has completed internships at St. John’s regional Medical Center in California and in 2005 was selected as an intern in the lab of Dr. Timothy Osslund, a founding Scientist at Amgen, Inc. She soon thereafter joined Amgen’s Pharmaceutics Department as a full time staff member and was also assigned to the company’s Analytical and Formulation Sciences Division. Freeman’s research at Amgen included the formulation and development of human protein therapeutics and crystallization for alternative formulations, resulting in multiple talks, posters and an invention disclosure. While at Amgen, she mentored and supported the professional development of numerous undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral researchers as an Amgen Mentor for the Biotechnology Institute’s Minority Fellows Program. She now also serves as the Senior Advisor for the Biotechnology Institute’s Minority Programs. Freeman has received numerous recognition awards including the 2005 Cal State Channel Islands “Maximus” Leadership Award presented annually to the university’s top student leader. In 2006, she received the Camarillo Healthcare District’s Apple of Excellence Award and in 2008 Elisabeth was honored with a Multicultural and Women’s Leadership Award from Cal State Channel Islands and multiple leadership awards from UCLA’s School of Public Health. California Institute of the Arts It’s the nation’s first art institute to offer BFAs and MFAs in both the visual and performing arts, dedicated to training and nurturing professional artists. At CalArts emphasis is placed on new and experimental work and students are admitted solely on the basis of artistic ability. To encourage innovation and experimentation, CalArts’ six schools–Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music and Theater–are all housed under one roof in a unique, five-story building with the equivalent of 11 acres of square footage in Valencia. The institute has launched special initiatives that pioneer new technologies and techniques and that strive to place the education of artists in a setting that links campus, community and the broader society. For example, CalArts’ Community Arts Partnership, links the Institute and the communities of Los Angeles County through free, after-school and school-based arts programs for youth, providing environments for artistic experimentation. CAP provides CalArts students the opportunity to teach in community and public school settings. The Cotsen Center for Puppetry and the Arts, established in 1998, allows CalArts students to explore contemporary puppetry and performing objects in a one-of-a-kind laboratory. The center strives to combine puppet theater with the use of new technologies and emerging forms and practices that cut across traditional boundaries. The Center for New Performance is the professional producing arm of CalArts, which provides students the opportunity of working with celebrated artists and encourages the development of innovative theater, music, dance and interdisciplinary projects. The Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, or REDCAT, part of the new Walt Disney Concert Hall complex in downtown Los Angeles was designed by Frank Gehry, and includes a state-of-the-art, flexible performance space, a 3,000-square-foot gallery and a caf & #233;. Interesting new experimental theater, dance, music, art, film and video, and literature from across Southern California, the nation and the world are presented at REDCAT, continuing CalArts’ tradition as a creative laboratory. Dave Bossert Bachelor of Fine Arts 1983 Occupation: Creative Director, Walt Disney Animation Studios Special Projects. Affiliations: President of the CalArts Alumni Association; Member of the CalArts Board of Trustees; Member of the Santa Clarita Ballet Company Board of Directors, Member of Los Angeles AQMD Advisory Council., Vice President of the West Ranch Town CouncilChair of Stevenson Ranch Civic Committee, What I learned: “Cal Arts gave me the basic animation principles and tools that I needed to go out into my career. You’re always inspired when you go to school but CalArts is a very inspirational and unique institution.” Dave Bossert’s career at Walt Disney Animation includes working as a specialty and effects animator on The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Nightmare Before Christmas and Fantasia 2000, to name a few popular movies. He was also the associate producer of the short Destino, a work begun by Walt Disney and Salvador Dal & #237; more than 50 years ago and completed only in 2003 by Dominique Monfery. Destino received an Academy Award nomination for best animated short in 2004. He’s helped restore many recent Platinum and Special Edition DVD releases including Bambi, Lady and the Tramp, Cinderella and The Little Mermaid. In the live-action arena, he also worked on restoring Disney’s True-Life Adventures for release on DVD. He directed Winnie the Pooh: Shapes & Sizes, a direct-to-DVD educational release for Disney Learning Adventures that’s been nominated for an Annie Award for Best Home Entertainment Production. The Annie Awards are considered the highest honor in the animation industry. Bossert first moved into the Santa Clarita Valley in 1980 and resides with his family in the West Ranch community of Stevenson Ranch since 1992. Jason Crawford Cal Arts Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film 1999 Occupation: Marketing and Economic Development Manager for the City of Santa Clarita Affiliations: Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce board of directors What I learned: “Learning that balance between the left side and the right side of the brain is something I’ve carried with me and that has helped me be successful- learning to use both strengths in creativity and strategic thinking.” Jason Crawford began working with the City of Santa Clarita in March 2001 managing the Film & Tourism Office, prior to being promoted to his current position. Crawford works to promote business development in Santa Clarita, the 4th largest City in Los Angeles County with a population of over 175,000 residents, and over 6,000 businesses. Under Jason’s leadership, the City of Santa Clarita has been recognized as the “Best Economic Development Program in the State of CA” by CALED for three straight years: in 2007 for the Film program, in 2008 for the Tourism program, and in 2009 for the Small Business Support program. Santa Clarita has also been named among the “Most Business Friendly Cities in Los Angeles County” by LAEDC. In 2008 Jason was named “the New Economic Developer of the Year” by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Pepperdine University Pepperdine University enrolls approximately 8,300 students in five colleges and schools. It’s Graziadio School of Business has built a reputation for emphasizing an entrepreneurial spirit over the past 35 years. Beginning in fall 2009, the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University will launch a re-tooled and expanded entrepreneurship emphasis for full-time and fully employed MBA students. This new direction is designed to help MBA students translate a creative vision into a real business that both produces wealth and allows them to express their personal values. The program will be comprised of six parts, beginning with a seminar called “Opportunities in Entrepreneurship” that explores cutting-edge fields, including clean technology, life sciences, entertainment and e-commerce. Shannah Compton Pepperdine University MBA 2006 Occupation: Partner SLC Insurance Services, Inc Affiliations: Board Member Society of Financial Services Professionals, Vice President San Fernando Valley Pepperdine Alumni Association, Member San Fernando Valley Jaycees, Member Step Up Women’s Network What I learned: ” The ability to think outside the box and look at things from a different perspective is vital for success.” Shannah Compton, at 31-year-old, is a financial strategy expert, entrepreneur and author. At age 19, she founded and ran her own film festival, Hometown Cinema, Inc., and at age 28 she earned her MBA from Pepperdine University. She is the author of the widely circulated and award winning “Financial Strategies for Women” e-zine geared to young professional women, and is currently penning her first non-fiction book that will offer Gen Xer’s and young professionals unique financial strategies aimed at helping them achieve the ultimate goal of a solid financial foundation. With the message, “you can have your iPod now and retire rich later,” she offers young people a financial plan that aims to provide them financial security without eliminating their lifestyle. Today, she is a partner in SLC Insurance Services, Inc., a Los Angeles-based financial services company alongside her father, Stanley L. Compton. She also has over 12 years of marketing and business consulting expertise in such diverse industries including real estate, financial services, and entertainment.

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