Cheryl Lott represents corporate clients, banks, mortgage companies and other financial institutions in both state and federal court. Her practice focuses on general business and commercial litigation, as well as construction defect litigation, toxic tort defense, class action defense, special assets related litigation, and labor and employment litigation. She has significant experience in preparing all aspects of a case for trial or arbitration. Cheryl also has extensive experience working on local, state, and federal regulatory matters and government procurement matters. In the regulatory realm, she has significant experience assisting financial institution clients with Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering detection procedures. Cheryl chairs the Firm’s Pro Bono Committee and a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Litigation Section Executive Committee.
While at UCLA Law, Cheryl was awarded scholarships for academic achievement all three years of her law school career. Additionally, she served as co-chair for the Black Law Students Association, inter-organizational chair for La Raza Law Students Association, managing editor for the Chicano Latino Law Review and convention coordinator for the National Black Law Students Association-Western Region. Cheryl is a member of the UCLA School of Law Alumni Board and is a founding member of the UCLA Law Women LEAD Board. Cheryl is the vice chair of the UCLA Alumni Association Board, chairs the Governance and Nominations committees and serves on the Executive Committee. She received her B.A. in political science and African American studies, with a minor in Chicano studies at UCLA.
Cheryl is a Gold member of the Alumni Association.
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D’Artagnan Scorza is the founder and executive director of the Social Justice Learning Institute in Inglewood and a member of the Board of Education for the Inglewood Unified School District. Obtaining his Ph.D. in education from UCLA, he developed curriculum culturally relevant for African-American male youth and worked to reduce recidivism, imprisonment and death rates in the community. In 2016, D’Artagnan was the recipient of the Alumni Association’s Recent Graduate Achievement Award. He was appointed as a representative on the Chancellor’s Enrollment Advisory Committee and was a member of the Alliance for Equal Opportunity in Education and the UCLA Task Force on African American Enrollment. He served as a UC Student Regent from 2007-2009 and was selected as an Education Pioneers Fellow in 2010 and a Business Alliance for Local Living Economies Fellow for 2013-2014.
D’Artagnan’s research and policy experience extends throughout the state, creating policies that established veteran’s service centers across UC campuses, prioritized $160 million for student services, improved sustainability in Inglewood schools and expanded programs for boys and men of color throughout Los Angeles County. He served as the chair on the Measure GG campaign securing $90 million in school construction bonds as well as matching funds, bringing the total construction program to $123 million. D’Artagnan is a decorated US Navy Iraq-War Veteran and serves on the honorary board of UCLA VetNet.
D’Artagnan is a Gold member of the Alumni Association.
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For nearly 20 years, Lynn O’Connell has been the creative director at One&All (formerly Grizzard Communications) where she leads a team of designers, writers and content developers providing marketing and fundraising strategies for the nonprofit sector. Her expertise is in integrated marketing, creative strategy, content development and brand alignment, as well as direct response advertising. Lynn feels fortunate to be able to turn her commitment to nonprofits into measurable action by developing customers’ stories into effective integrated campaigns and has helped raise more than $1 billion to date. Before joining One&All, she spent 10 years as the principle of Nomura Design.
Lynn has been a board director of the UCLA Alumni Association since 2013 and has served on the Finance and Nominations committees, as well as the Centennial Task Force. This will be her second term as secretary. She is also on the Board of Advisors for Grades of Green, which inspires and empowers kids and the broader school community to care for the environment.
Lynn has a degree in design from the School of the Arts and Architecture and is a Gold member of the Alumni Association.
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As a student, Todd was a leader in the Undergraduate Student Association Council (USAC), Office of Residential Life (ORL), Student Alumni Association (SAA), and a founding father of the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. Todd received the UCLA Chancellor’s Service Award at graduation. He remained involved as an Alumni Scholar Mentor, Alumni Representative for USAC, co-chair of Lambda Alumni Network, and Advocate (President) of the Order of the Golden Bruin (OGB). He regularly participates in a number of Alumni Association programs, including Dinner for 12 Strangers, Interview with a Bruin, and Entertainment Networking Night. This is his second term with the UCLA Alumni Association Board. In addition to his UCLA degree in political science, Todd holds an MBA from the George Washington School of Business.
Todd is a Gold Legacy member of the Alumni Association.
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Melvin N.A. Avanzado has 30 years of experience representing companies and individuals, plaintiffs and defendants in complex civil litigation. He began his career at Latham & Watkins and since 2008 has been serving clients from his own firm, The Avanzado Law Firm, APLC. An accomplished trial lawyer and litigator, Mel represents clients in entertainment, intellectual property, media, sports, employment, real estate and business disputes. Mel has also served certain clients as outside general counsel, providing advice on a wide range of legal issues and transactions. Recently, Mel joined the Legal Network for Gender Equity, a network of lawyers organized by the National Women’s Law Center, to combat sexual discrimination in furtherance of the “Time’s Up” movement.
Mel has an established history of commitment to community service and advocacy for diversity. Mel was a longtime member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) Committee on Diversity in the Profession. Mel is a founding member of the Executive Committee of the Apl.de.Ap Foundation International, an organization devoted to advancing the interests of Filipinos both in the Philippines and the United States. Mel’s community service also includes stints on the Board of Directors of the Asian Business Association, the Philippine American Bar Association (PABA) Board of Governors, as the founding CEO of the PABA Foundation and as president of the Asian / Pacific Bar of California.
As a leader in the Asian-American and Filipino-American communities in advocating for increased diversity in judicial appointments, Mel testified before the Commission on Judicial Appointments in support of the nomination of the Honorable Tani Cantil-Sakauye to become the 28th Chief Justice of California. In addition, Mel has led coalitions of Asian-American leaders in meetings with the Governor‘s office concerning his judicial appointments. Finally, Mel served on LACBA’s Judicial Appointments Committee, which reviews potential candidates for appointment to the bench and makes recommendations to the Governor.
Mel earned his bachelor of science degree in microbiology from UCLA and his juris doctor degree cum laude from the University of Notre Dame Law School.
Mel is a proud alumnus of the UCLA Bruin Marching Band (and the UCLA Drumline) and is a Life member of the Alumni Association.
John Arboleda has been based in Europe since 2004, and currently resides in Barcelona, Spain, where he serves as the Director of Special Projects & Innovation at one of Europe’s leading design schools, Istituto Europeo di Design (IED). He is also the owner of NOYO (NotOnYourOwn) a specialized consultancy that applies human-centered innovation using service design focused on helping a range of international public and private client-partners to develop a more user-centric approach and strategies to improve a range of customer engagement outcomes.
He served for two years as the Alumni Relations co-chair and planning committee member for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Europe Annual Conference, as a founding committee member for the ICARe alumni conference and was recently co-chair for the CASE International Schools Advancement Conference. John is regularly invited to present and lead workshops on a variety of trending topics related to the changing landscape of international higher education and advancement.
John is also an alumnus of the Coro Fellowship in Leadership & Public Affairs. A UCLA Alumni Association Board Director since 2015, he has also served on the Governance, Careers, Nominations and Strategic Planning committees and has represented UCLA and the board as the coordinator for alumni activities in Barcelona. John has also been an alumni guest lecturer for UCLA undergraduates who study in Barcelona, and represented UCLA as a presenter and panelist for alumni and student events, both online and during his campus visits. This will be his second term with the UCLA Alumni Association Board.
John is a first-gen and transfer student who majored in Latin American studies and is a Gold member of the Alumni Association.
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For more than 30 years, Carolyn A. Baker was an attorney, lobbyist and legislative advocate in both the public and private sectors specializing in energy, environmental and mental health care issues. This experience has endowed her with an intimate understanding of the inner workings of California’s legislative and budgetary processes.
Carolyn was an active participant in California’s energy industry restructuring and deregulation and chaired the Independent Energy Producers Association, California’s oldest and leading energy nonprofit trade association. She served as the legislative director for several state government agencies including the California Environmental Protection Agency and California Department of Conservation. In these positions, she managed legislative and budget programs in the state capitol, including representing the administration in testimony at legislative and budget hearings.
Both of Carolyn’s parents attended UCLA, and her deep, longstanding relationship with the school began as a child growing up near campus and living around UCLA faculty and administrators. A fond memory was when her parents bought UCLA men’s basketball season tickets the year that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ’69 joined the team under legendary Coach John Wooden. Her love for her alma mater remains contagious, as are her energy and enthusiasm. For two years, she served as president of the UCLA Alumni Association’s Sacramento network and oversaw the region’s largest and most successful New Bruin Send-off in more than a decade. A reconstituted board of directors—comprised of diverse age groups and interests—has embraced her ideas for fundraising and development events and activities to appeal to a broad, diverse spectrum of alumni.
Always welcoming, Carolyn rejuvenated holiday parties with opportunity drawings that raised several thousand dollars for the Sacramento network’s budget. With the assistance of her communications director, she established a UCLA Alumni Sacramento network Facebook group with several hundred members and created active Twitter and Instagram accounts as well as a website loaded with event photos. She participated often in UC Advocacy Day in the state capitol as a member of the UCLA delegation.
Carolyn is a Gold Legacy member of the Alumni Association.
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Mitra M. Best graduated from UCLA with a degree in Computer Science and Linguistics and is currently the U.S. Innovation Leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) where she leads the disciplined approach to inspire and advance innovative ideas around developing new business models, platforms, and market opportunities that extend the boundaries of professional services.
She leads teams that co-create solutions across the organization and through prototyping, leveraging emerging technologies and applying agile methodologies, aspire to shape the future of PwC and its clients.
A major part of Ms Best’s effort is focused on promoting an idea-driven culture — top-down and bottom-up — where actionable ideas and entrepreneurial thinking are not only supported, but rewarded. Through fostering this mindset, Best has helped reinvent the culture at PwC – making it clear that big ideas don’t only start in the boardroom, but instead can come from anywhere and from anyone.
As a thought leader in innovation, Ms Best takes an active role in contributing to and shaping conversation in this space. She is a frequent speaker and panelist at conferences, promoting innovation, collaboration, entrepreneurship, education, and public/private partnerships.
In addition to serving on the board of UCLA Alumni Association, Ms Best serves on the boards of Start-Up UCLA, Colorado Innovation Network, University of Pennsylvania Advisory Council, American Heart Association Go Red For Women, Los Angeles Mayor’s Council on Innovation & Industry, and Facing History & Ourselves.
Ms Best is a Gold Legacy member of the Alumni Association.
Cathy Choi is director of programs at The Eisner Foundation, overseeing the planning, strategic development and distribution of $7 million in annual grants. She develops grantee relationships during and after the grant-making process and works to build organizational sustainability among the foundation’s partners, promoting innovative practices and creative solutions to social justice challenges in Los Angeles and beyond.
Cathy has more than 20 years of diverse professional experience in philanthropy and the nonprofit and public sectors. Before joining The Eisner Foundation, she was a program officer at the California Community Foundation (CCF), managing a number of special grant programs covering issues such as access to health care, arts education, youth programs and historic preservation.
Prior to CCF, she was external affairs director at the Korean American Coalition national headquarters where she led advocacy activities on legislative issues affecting the Asian Pacific American communities, such as census outreach and the redistricting process and also served as a deputy to several local and federal elected officials, including former U.S. Representative Xavier Becerra and Los Angeles Unified School District Board Member George Kiriyama.
In addition to her professional experience, Cathy’s volunteer service includes leadership roles with Asian American/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, Southern California Public Radio, Korean American Coalition, the Democratic National Convention (2000) and The Advisory Council on Democratic and Peaceful Unification, Republic of Korea.
Cathy received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from UCLA and Master’s in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs at Syracuse University. During her days at UCLA, Cathy served as Vice President of Undergraduate Business Society (UBS) and an active leader for various campus ministry and community outreach efforts.
Cathy is a gold member of the UCLA Alumni Association.
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Carlos Collard is a former Los Angeles County foster youth and first generation college graduate. At UCLA, he worked and volunteered nearly full-time and earned degrees in communications and political science. Upon graduation, Carlos worked for TBWA\Chiat\Day and started a marketing business to help grow local small businesses.
Due to his desire to serve local communities, Carlos has spent most of his professional life in public service and is currently a senior administrative analyst for the City of Santa Monica’s Public Works Department. He oversees all financial and operations analytics, social media and web content, public outreach, technology advancements, and administrative support for a team of over 100 employees who maintain and enhance Santa Monica’s beach, downtown, 28 parks, and 34,000 public trees. He also serves on citywide committees for technology, homelessness, budget, and co-teaches a course on how to improve research, analysis and presentations.
Carlos has nearly 15 years of nonprofit board and volunteer leadership experience. He founded the City of Los Angeles’ South Robertson Neighborhoods Council to serve over 60,000 stakeholders and remains Los Angeles’ youngest-ever neighborhood council president out of a system of nearly 100 councils. He has also been appointed to commissions by a former Los Angeles mayor and Los Angeles city councilmember and served as board president of California Youth Connection, a statewide nonprofit that provides leadership and advocacy training for foster youth. Currently, he is an advisory board member for the International Foster Care Alliance (IFCA), which promotes collaboration between child welfare professionals and foster youth in the U.S. and Japan, and chairs the young professionals program for the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles (IVCLA), part of a national network that works with the U.S. State Department to host international leaders for professional exchange programs. For UCLA, Carlos serves on the Chancellor’s Society executive committee and chairs the group’s West L.A. volunteer committee. He is also a member of UCLA’s Order of the Blue Shield and Bruin Professionals.
Carlos loves travel and learning about cultures and food. Some of his most memorable fare include cobra’s blood, fermented shark, silkworm larvae, and duck embryo.
Carlos is a Life member of the Alumni Association.
Vito A. Costanzo is a partner in the litigation section of the Los Angeles office of Holland & Knight. He has experience in the litigation of software and technology licensing disputes, infringement and misappropriation of intellectual property rights, trade secrets, breach of contract claims, real property rights, partnership disputes, wrongful termination, and employment discrimination.Costanzo was formerly employed as a trial attorney by the Los Angeles County District Attorneys’ office. He has conducted both jury and non-jury trials and appeals, and has practiced before federal and state courts in California, federal courts in other states, the American Arbitration Association, and J.A.M.S./Endispute.
Costanzo has a B.A. in economics from UCLA and a law degree from Loyola Law School.
Costanzo is a Gold Legacy member of the Alumni Association.
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Max Espinoza joined the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in December 2015 as a senior program officer with the foundation’s U.S. policy, advocacy and communications team working on postsecondary education issues. His main focus is building the political and public will for postsecondary education reforms critical to achieving the foundation’s goals of advancing equity in postsecondary education attainment and ensuring 11 million more credentials of value by 2025.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Espinoza was senior vice president of education programs and policy at Scholarship America, a national non-profit that works directly with communities, businesses and foundations to shape impactful educational support programs for those in need. At Scholarship America, Espinoza served as the organization’s lead spokesperson on education issues and built the organization’s advocacy, public policy and research platforms and provided strategy and operational management of the organization’s education programs.
Espinoza spent 14 years in California state government in key policymaking roles, including more than a decade with the California State Assembly advising elected officials and legislative leadership in the shaping of policy and fiscal priorities. Max also served as an executive leader at the California Student Aid Commission and was responsible for managing over $1 billion in state and federal financial aid programs and overseeing the delivery of support services to students and schools, along with serving as the agency’s principal spokesperson and liaison to over 400 high schools and colleges. From 2004 to 2009, Max served as the President of the Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Project, an all-volunteer run, community based nonprofit whose mission is to enhance and build the leadership potential of California’s Chicano/Latino youth.
A first-generation college student from a working class immigrant family, Espinoza has been a passionate advocate for students throughout his career and has dedicated himself to ensuring postsecondary education equity and opportunity as a means of combatting socioeconomic inequity.
Debra A. Fong is executive advisor of the Asian Pacific Community Fund, the only community-based fund in Southern California focused on generating resources for the diverse and fast-growing Asian and Pacific Islander communities. From 2007-17, she served as the executive director and through her leadership, the organization grew seventeen-fold, increasing its grant making, donor services and support for the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) nonprofit sector.
Fong began her nonprofit career at the Little Tokyo Service Center Community Development Corporation and served as the director of administration and development, where she increased fundraising revenue by 500%. Prior to joining the nonprofit field, she spent eight years at Pacific Bell/SBC, where she held various leadership positions in network services allowing her to incorporate her strengths in organizational development, process improvement and service delivery.
Fong brings more than 25 years of leadership and management experience, combining her for-profit business skills and knowledge of the nonprofit sector in the last 15 years.
Her ability to assess organizational structures, develop solutions, create high performance teams and build alliances has allowed her to enhance organizations and advance the communities she serves. Fong’s demonstrated success and tireless work for the API community has garnered numerous awards for the Asian Pacific Community Fund.
Fong is active in her church and community and serves on the Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy – LA Chapter Steering Committee (co-chair 2011-17) and the California State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Previously, she served as president of the Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council (2013-17), board member and trustee of Evergreen Baptist Church-SGV and member of the White Memorial Medical Center Community Leadership Council. Fong also served on the board of directors for OCA-Greater Los Angeles for many years and was a founding director of Asians for Corporate and Community Action in Southern California – an affinity group of Pacific Bell/SBC. Fong has also served as an adjunct professor at the American Jewish University for its graduate school of nonprofit management.
Fong holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and business as well as a Master of Business Administration from UCLA. While a UCLA undergraduate, she proudly served as a Bruin Belle for all four years as an official representative of UCLA. Fong also produced two Mardi Gras events as business director and administrative director while enjoying her time as part of the Chi Alpha Delta Sorority, the oldest Asian sorority in the U.S.
Debra is a Gold member of the Alumni Association.
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Eve Glatt is a senior portfolio manager and co-head of US equities at UBP Asset Management. Eve has over 20 years of investment experience investing in growth stocks across all geographies and company sizes. She specializes in identifying undiscovered, undervalued, under-analyzed, or misunderstood emerging growth companies and has a track record of out-performance. Prior to UBP, Eve was a co-portfolio manager of global and international investment funds at Cornerstone Capital Management (a subsidiary of New York Life) and Morgan Stanley Investment Management. Prior to Morgan Stanley, Eve worked at GE Asset Management as an assistant portfolio manager and research analyst on a mid-cap US equity fund. Eve began her investment career working in equity research at Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs. In addition, she worked as a senior accountant at Ernst & Young.
Eve is currently serving in her second term as a board director for the UCLA Alumni Association and co-chairs the Career Advisory Committee. She created the Career Advisory Councils which link alumni with each other, with students and with faculty as they advance in their careers. She has served as a guest lecturer and judge with both the Sharpe Fellows and Simon Fellow programs and represented UCLA at the recent Fast Company Innovation Festival in New York City. She also serves on the Board’s Finance and Audit committees.
Eve graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in history from UCLA and received her MBA in Finance and Strategy from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) in the State of California.
Eve is a gold level member of the Alumni Association.
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Derek Hu is currently based in Shanghai, China as the managing partner of Eric Salmon & Partner’s Greater China business, a global executive search and leadership consulting firm. He is a trusted senior advisor to some of the highest quality and most innovative B2B and B2C companies in the US, Europe and China with keen interest in developing senior talent. He sees the rapid advancement in China creating new types of executives.
Derek is passionate about working with senior leaders to solve strategic talent and leadership issues, or when they face pivotal decisions and changes. His deep global expertise across multiple industries have made him a respected advisor to leaders around the world. Not only does he lead high level searches, he advises high-ranking executives on organization and leadership strategies in China.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Derek holds a bachelor of arts degree in English literature from UCLA. During his undergraduate years, he was very active in Student Government as a USAC General Representative as well as being involved with the American Chinese Association. Both Derek and his family have a strong connection with UCLA, as his mother, Myriam, had worked in at UCLA Medical Center.
His passion is in education and culture. In addition to serving on the board of the UCLA Alumni Association, He serves as the co-chair of the Career Advisory Committee. He also sits on the International Advisory Board of the New York Philharmonic. He previously served as a China board member for Teach for China, a nonprofit foundation which helps China’s young people to get access to a quality education.
Derek is a Gold member of the Alumni Association.
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After graduating, he met Judge Ernest Hiroshige ’67 through the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County, for which Lew had served as president. Their paths would cross many times over the years, and when Lew finished his term at APABA, Judge Hiroshige, UCLA alumnus and founder of the Asian Pacific Alumni (APA) of UCLA, encouraged him to get involved with APA. He joined the board of the APA UCLA in 2010 and became president in 2014. Since then, he has increased development efforts by organizing the inaugural gala, which provides essential funding to APA UCLA’s operations and scholarship programs. He also launched the organization’s first fundraising gala honoring Randall Park ’97, an event that brought together more than 250 UCLA staff, students, alumni and friends in support of APA UCLA’s programs and initiatives.
In 2009, Lew served as president of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association (APABA) of Los Angeles County, and he remains active as a member of its advisory board. In 2008 and from 2011-2013, Lew also served as president of OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates – Greater Los Angeles, the local chapter of a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans.
Lew received the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s Best Under 40 Award, the Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center’s Community Leadership Award, the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association’s Distinguished Service Award, and the UCLA School of Law’s Asian Pacific Islander Law Students Association’s Alumnus of the Year Award. He currently serves on the pro bono advisory council of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, on the advisory board of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County, and as national executive vice president of OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates.
Lew was the recipient of the 2016 UCLA Volunteer of the Year award and has helped to develop leaders in the UCLA community and strengthen alumni engagement.
Lew is a Gold member of the Alumni Association.
Jaime Nack is the president of Three Squares, Inc., a cutting-edge sustainability consulting firm specializing in developing comprehensive sustainability plans for corporate entities, government agencies and academic institutions. In 2013, she launched One Drop Interactive – a cloud-based employee engagement platform for maximizing sustainability management and cost savings. The program was designed to allow companies to improve environmental and economic performance from the inside out: equipping employees with the education and resources to implement sustainable business practices.
Jaime is a double Bruin, having earned her bachelor’s degree in international economics with a minor in urban planning as well as a master’s degree in public policy and international trade from UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She proudly serves as one of former Vice President Al Gore’s presenters for the Climate Reality Project and has served as a federal appointee to the National Women’s Business Council, an advisory council to the president of the United States, Congress and the Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women business owners. In 2011, Jaime was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and in 2013 she was honored as the Environmental Conservator of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
Jaime is a Gold Legacy member of the Alumni Association.
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Sahil Punamia recently moved to industry leader Netflix, after working as a senior manager at Discovery Communications where he helped lead the ~$15B integration of Scripps Networks (HGTV, Food Network), drove business planning efforts for direct-to-consumer products and provided strategic and analytical guidance to the company’s social media teams. Prior to Discovery, Sahil was a management consultant at L.E.K. Consulting where he served private equity and media clients.
During his time at UCLA as an undergraduate student, Sahil and his peers founded Sigma Eta Pi, the West Coast’s first professional fraternity focused on the development of entrepreneurs whose members have been featured in Forbes’ “30 Under 30” and have been backed by Y-Combinator and leading VC firms. The fraternity has since expanded from UCLA to USC, Cal, Stanford and now totals over 200 members. A cum laude graduate, Sahil also received the Chancellor’s Service Award for his leadership to the UCLA community.
As an active alumnus, Sahil served on the board of directors for UCLA Young Alumni Professionals, a 1,000+ member organization that engages UCLA’s recent graduate population. He has also participated in UCLA’s Entertainment Network Night and was a guest lecturer at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, speaking about trends in the Film and Television industry. As a frequent keynote speaker for the UCLA Career Center and as a member of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, Sahil has a deep passion for helping college students and recent graduates with their leadership and career development journeys.
Sahil received an economics degree and is a Life member of the Alumni Association.
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For nearly 30 years, Paco Retana has been serving the vulnerable youth and marginalized communities in Los Angeles. As a recognized mental health expert and vice president of programs at Los Angeles Child Guidance Center (LACGC), he is responsible for all clinical programs, including strategic planning, program evaluation and training in support of LACGC’s mission to provide quality mental health services, promoting early intervention and ensuring easy access for a community in great need by initiating and implementing program changes to meet new funding streams for innovative prevention programs. Additionally, Paco has served as a consultant for numerous community organizations and educational institutions including First 5 LA, Watts Gang Task Force, Green Dot Public Schools and the Santa Ana Unified School District, providing professional development training, psychological and facilitation services, counseling, education and crisis intervention.
Paco is a voting member of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH) System Leadership Team, he is the co-chair of the Latino Underserved Cultural Communities for DMH, and is the former co-chair of the Service Area Advisory Committee for South Los Angeles. Paco serves on the UCLA Alumni Association Board’s Diversity Advisory Committee. Previously, he was a member of the Board’s Nominations Committee and has been an invited expert panelist at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. He is a member of the Los Angeles Southeast Alumni Regional Network, and a former member of the UCLA Structural Racism/Sexism Steering Committee. Paco is the recipient of the Humanitarian Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice, and an honoree of the 2018 NAMI Urban Los Angeles Award.
Paco received a bachelor’s in psychology and a master in social work from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. He is a Gold member of the Alumni Association.
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Martha Saucedo, executive vice president of external affairs for AEG, has worked in both the public and private sectors developing and implementing large scale political, communications and community engagement strategies. She is responsible for leading AEG’s external affairs division, including corporate communications, public and community affairs, government affairs, and its charitable and philanthropic efforts which provide funding to nonprofit organizations expanding opportunities for children.
Prior AEG, Martha worked on behalf of Mattel, Inc. managing relationships with local, state and federal elected officials. She also has significant experience in the public sector, having worked for former U.S. House of Representatives member, Xavier Becerra. Martha is the immediate past chair of the Central City Association Board of Director where she was honored with the “Mover and Shaker” award. She also serves on the board of directors for Friends of the Expo Center, the California Hospital Medical Center Community Advisory Board, the board of trustees for the California Science Center and is a former elected representative on the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council. She was selected by the Sports Business Journal as a “40 Under 40” award recipient and received the Coro Southern California “Community Builder” award. Most recently, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) honored her with the Deborah Award, presented to women whose professional leadership and civic contributions exemplify the ideals of the ADL.
A native of Southern California, Martha received a B.A. in political science from UCLA and is a Gold Legacy member of the Alumni Association.
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Matthew Saucedo is the co-founder and CEO of Pupster, an online community where dog parents and experts come together around the best training, products, and care. Before co-founding Pupster, Matthew earned his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he also worked as a case writer at the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. In this role, he worked directly with company founders, executive teams, investors and Stanford faculty to develop graduate-level entrepreneurship curriculum, which involved analyzing critical strategic decisions and synthesizing complex data to create case studies and industry analyses. His research focuses included consumer products, enterprise technology, financial services, healthcare, and venture capital. He began his career in management consulting at Deloitte, where he specialized in enterprise resource planning and mobile technology.
While a student, Matthew was a peer athletic tutor, ASUCLA graphic designer, and member of the UCLA Fencing Team, which won the Southern California championship in his junior year. During his senior year, he developed Amazing Grocery List, an award-winning mobile app that was featured as a Staff Pick in Google Play. He was a recipient of a Ralph Bunche Alumni Scholarship, graduated magna cum laude, earned both departmental and college honors, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. As an alumnus, he has served on both the UCLA Alumni Association Audit and Diversity committees and is currently a member of Bruin Professionals. Matthew received a degree in communications studies and is a life member of the UCLA Alumni Association.
Matthew is a Gold Legacy member of the Alumni Association.
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Eric Shaw is the director of the Washington, D.C., Office of Planning. He is an urban planning professional with extensive experience in establishing and leading cross sector, cross discipline and cross jurisdictional partnerships in the areas of community and economic development. He has been recognized for his work establishing strategic initiatives that support inclusive development and resilience in communities throughout the nation.
In addition to serving on the UCLA Alumni Association Board of Directors, Eric currently serves as chair of the board of the online publication Next City, is a member of Harvard Graduate School of Design Alumni Council, and serves on the National Trust for Historic Preservation board of advisors. In 2017, he was recognized in the OUTstanding Leading LGBT+ Public Sector Executives List, presented by the Financial Times.
As a student, Eric was the Undergraduate Student Association Council (USAC) Facilities Commissioner, Campus Tour Guides coordinator and southern regional vice chair for the National Society of Black Engineers. He is a member of both the UCLA Lambda (LGBTQ) and UCLA Black Alumni Associations and an active supporter of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.
As a member of the UCLA Alumni Association Board of Directors, Eric has served on the Diversity, Finance and Career committees. In addition to his UCLA degree in international development studies, Eric holds a Master in Urban Planning degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He is the third member of his family to attend UCLA. His mother, Rochelle Rawls Shaw, graduated in 1978 and his younger brother, Daniel Shaw, graduated from the UCLA Anderson School of Management in 2008.
Eric is a Gold member of the Alumni Association.
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Ann Wang is the co-founder and CEO of Enrou, an online story-driven marketplace for the socially conscious consumer to discover one-of-a-kind products created in developing communities around the world. Enrou empowers consumers to reduce global poverty with every purchase and live intentionally every day.As the daughter of a first-generation immigrant and entrepreneur, Wang grew up viewing the world through a distinct lens. While her dad taught her how to negotiate, lead and the importance of being self-sufficient, she always felt a responsibility to make a difference in the lives of others around the world. After initially looking into medicine and traditional non-profit aid as outlets to make that difference, Wang realized her calling was to start her own business.
Set on the idea that social enterprise was the answer to addressing a global need and creating lasting impact, Wang approached her longtime friend and roommate, Jessica Willison ’13, to join her on this journey. Willison’s passion and experience within the consumer retail market coupled with her similar belief in a brighter world made her the perfect fit to establish their social enterprise, now known as Enrou.
In 2014, Enrou was awarded Forbes first-ever Pressure Cooker Award held during Forbes’ Under 30 Summit. Wang is a graduate of UCLA and currently resides in Los Angeles.
Connect with Ann on UCLA ONE.
Dr. Gene Block became chancellor of UCLA in August 2007. As chief executive officer, he oversees all aspects of the university’s three-part mission of education, research and service.A biologist, Block holds UCLA faculty appointments in the David Geffen School of Medicine and the College of Letters and Science. He also leads a research lab funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Block previously served as vice president and provost of the University of Virginia. There, he headed an NIH graduate training program designed to increase the number of scientists from underrepresented groups. He also received the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Outstanding Public Service Award for his work with Virginia’s business community.
A native of Monticello, N.Y., Block holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Stanford University and a master’s and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Oregon. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The inventor of a number of devices, Block holds a patent for a non-contact respiratory monitor to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Christine Simmons is President and COO of the Los Angeles Sparks, one of the founding WNBA teams and iconic franchise with three league titles and the most playoff appearances (15) in the WNBA’s 20 year history. Bringing more than a decade of leadership experience in creating strategic alliances, leading business development and driving corporate initiatives to the role, Christine most recently served as executive vice president of Magic Johnson Enterprises. She directs and coordinates all aspects of the team’s business operations including ticket sales, sponsorship sales, marketing, game operations, public relations, community relations and finance. Christine’s background includes working with most of the Fortune 500, including major brands such as NBCUniversal and Disney, to create synergistic partnerships between those corporations and the business community nationally. Christine also serves on the board of directors for the LA Sports Council and the Positive Coaching Alliance. She is an active member of the advisory committee of Better Futures for Thomazeau, NBA Global Inclusion Committee and the advisory committee for Next Play Capital. Christine has earned a number of honors, including the UCLA Black Alumni Association alumna of the year in 2012, the Top 25 Women of Power Impacting Diversity by DiversityPlus magazine and the Who’s Who in Black Los Angeles.
Christine served as board president of the UCLA Alumni Association and member of The UCLA Foundation Board of Directors. She previously served as a board member for the UCLA Black Alumni Association where she chaired the audit and strategic planning committees.
Christine got her B.A. in physiological science and is a Gold member of the Alumni Association.
Connect with Christine on UCLA ONE.
Rhea Turteltaub was appointed Vice Chancellor, External Affairs at UCLA in March 2008.As vice chancellor, Turtletaub oversees a diverse, yet integrated department comprising Development, Alumni Relations, University Communications & Public Affairs, Government & Community Relations and The UCLA Foundation.
Leading a team of nearly 500, Turtletaub is actively working with campus leadership on the preparations for the University’s 100th anniversary celebration which include plans for a Centennial Campaign.
Turtletaub previously served as associate vice chancellor for Development with management responsibility for one of the most successful development programs of its kind. The campus has averaged more than $400 million in annual private support during the past three years.
Campaign UCLA, completed in 2005, generated a record-setting $3.052 billion.
Turtletaub began her UCLA career in the Office of Planned and Major Gifts. During the last 28 years, she served in varying capacities in annual giving, major gifts, planned giving, research, alumni and donor relations, regional development and campaign planning.
Prior to arriving at UCLA, Turtletaub held leadership positions at Otis College of Art and Design and The University of Chicago, as well as campaign positions at the University of California, Berkeley, and Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where she also earned her bachelor’s degree in political science.
Turtletaub resides in Encino, California, with her husband, Adam, and their two young sons.
Gong has also held roles such as director of product development and creative services, Walt Disney Art Classics, and product manager and senior buyer, Disney Stores Worldwide. Through it all, he has brought a singular devotion and work ethic to his career that has garnered praise from his peers and direct reports alike.
Throughout his career, Gong has consistently focused on giving back to the community through volunteerism and leadership work with multiple nonprofits and community based organizations such as Burbank Cultural Arts Foundation, Los Angeles Team Mentoring, East West Players, Disney VoluntEARS and the UCLA Ralph Bunche Scholarship Committee. He currently sits on the board of Hillsides Home for Children.
Gong earned a bachelor of arts degree in fine art from UCLA. For more than 15 years, he has volunteered with the Alumni Scholarships Program, holding various roles within the program. Most recently, he was vice chair of the Alumni Scholarships Program steering committee and provided instrumental leadership and guidance during a time of transition. This included streamlining the application process, opening the opportunity up to students across the United States, and creating an electronic review of applications so that volunteers across the world could participate. Moving forward, he hopes to provide the leadership and direction necessary to continue advancing the program, focusing primarily on increasing scholarship award amounts.
Gong is a Gold Legacy member of the Alumni Association.
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