May 07, 2001
UCLA Anderson Welcomes Two New Board Members
Los Angeles — UCLA Anderson has appointed two new members to its Board of Visitors. James B. Freedman, managing director of Barrington Associates, has more than 20 years of investment banking and corporate finance experience. Robert A. Eckert is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Mattel, Inc., a worldwide leader in the design, manufacturing and marketing of family products with $5.5 billion in annual revenues.
"Mr. Freedman and Mr. Eckert will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the school, and we are extremely grateful they have agreed to join us," said Bruce Willison, dean of UCLA Anderson. "The Board plays a vital role in advancing the school's strategic mission and outreach efforts. We look to board members for guidance on policy, programs and other key issues to help the school anticipate new developments in business education, while ensuring that our programs continue to meet the needs of today's marketplace."
James B. Freedman, who earned his MBA degree in 1978 with a concentration in finance from UCLA Anderson, is an expert on the financial aspects of corporate strategy. Since 1994, he has been listed in "Who's Who in Banking and Finance" in the Los Angeles Business Journal's annual poll of the 100 most influential individuals in the Los Angeles business community.
Since founding Barrington Associates in 1982, he has advised over 500 middle-market companies in the areas of corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate valuation and strategic business decisions. Mr. Freedman has served as the principal financial advisor in numerous corporate finance and merger and acquisition transactions, ranging in value from $5 million to $400 million, including the acquisition of the Los Angeles Kings Hockey Team.
Prior to founding Barrington Associates, Mr. Freedman was vice president at The Foothill Group, Inc., where he headed corporate development as well as the commercial lending division for the California region. A frequent lecturer to industry and professional groups, Mr. Freedman is also active in community affairs and philanthropic endeavors. He is a member of the Board of Advisors of UCLA Anderson's Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, the Board of Directors of the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center, and the Board of Directors of the Yosemite Fund.
Robert A. Eckert came to Mattel in May 2000 from Kraft Foods, Inc., the largest U.S.-based packaged food company in the world. A 23-year veteran of Kraft, he climbed up the ranks, holding a variety of marketing positions, then serving as a vice president, executive vice president, and general manager for various Kraft divisions. He most recently served as its president and chief executive officer, a position he had held since October 1997. In that role, he was responsible for overseeing all of Kraft's business units and for leading the company's policy decision-making board, the Operating Committee.
Mr. Eckert currently sits on the board of directors and executive committee for Metropolitan Family Services. He also serves as a member of the board of directors of the Grocery Manufacturers of America and as chairman of its Government Affairs Council. In addition, he is a member of the boards of trustees of the Ravinia Festival Association and The Art Institute of Chicago, and is a national trustee on the board of trustees of Lake Forest College.
The Board of Visitors of UCLA Anderson serves as the school's primary advisory body, and assists the Dean in establishing and maintaining a favorable climate for private giving to the school. It provides oversight of select functions at the school, addresses relevant issues, and provides counsel on critical issues.