Alex Rosen ('11)
Alex lead strategic marketing partnerships for Cisco, focused on the cross-section of technology with music and entertainment. Most recently she has been finding new ways to leverage collaboration and networking solutions for artists and fan experiences, overseeing tour and festival partnerships, and telling meaningful brand stories with inclusion of social impact where possible. She has been connecting dots at Cisco for over 7 years, from developing a proprietary mobile app and leading a big data campaign to working with STEM, CSR and global innovation initiatives for the Rio 2016 Olympics and consulting on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Prior to Cisco, Alex was at Google for 3+ years in online marketing and sales. She has mentored startups for 10 years, starting with a Silicon Valley incubator and expanding to LA. Alex completed her MBA at UCLA Anderson, specializing in emerging technology and brand strategy, and her BA in Economics and Poetry at Stanford University.
Executive Coach, Gallup Certified Strengths
Alissa Finerman, Gallup Certified Strenghts
Alissa is an Executive Coach, Gallup Certified Strengths® Coach and author of the book, "Living in Your Top 1%." She works with teams, executives, managers and entrepreneurs to help them leverage their strengths, uncover blind spots, increase team engagement levels and build partnerships to achieve their goals. Alissa holds an MBA from the Wharton School and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley. She received her coach training from New York University, Results Coaching and Gallup Strengths Coaching Program.
Alissa's business background includes ten years in finance at Credit Suisse, a top-tier global investment bank; IPC, a former Goldman Sachs portfolio company serving the financial industry; Guggenheim Capital, a boutique investment management firm and five years in commercial real estate.
Andre Fonseca, FC+A
Andre Fonseca is an entertainment marketer turned entrepreneur with over 15 years in the film and music industries.
Andres Terech ('04)
Adjunct Associate Professor of Marketing, UCLA Anderson
Andres Terech, UCLA Anderson
Andres Terech is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Marketing at UCLA Anderson School of Management, where he has been voted teacher of the year by both Anderson’s Full-Time and Executive MBA
students. Before joining UCLA, Professor Terech was a member of the faculty at IAE Business School, Universidad Austral in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
He teaches courses in marketing strategy, sales force management, distribution strategy, retail management, price policies, and marketing management. He has also taught in numerous marketing executives programs, both in the U.S. and business schools in Spain, Mexico, Chile, Peru, and Ecuador. In addition to teaching marketing courses, professor Terech coaches teams on their Applied Management Research program and teaches Global Immersion programs to Latin America countries.
Professor Terech’s research interests include modeling consumer choice behavior and competitive market structure, franchising, retailing, and pricing strategy. Professor Terech’s work has been published in scholarly journals and specialized business publications such as Marketing Letters, Case Research Journal, and Harvard Business Review.
Professor Terech’s consulting experience covers several marketing challenges such as new product launches, marketing plans and growth strategies, promotion and communication programs, and feasibility analysis. He has advised clients in a variety of industries, including retailing, agribusiness, financial services, textile, and automobile. Professor Terech is on the Advisory board of startup companies. Before becoming an academic, he worked for Accenture.
Professor Terech received his Ph.D. in Marketing from UCLA, an MBA from Universidad Austral and holds a BA in Business Administration from Universidad de Buenos Aires.
Andy Solomon ('92)
Chief Executive Officer, Sole Society
Andy Solomon '92, Sole Society
Andy has over 25
Anita Schillhorn van Veen
Founder, Frame Strategy
Anita Schillhorn van Veen, Frame Strategy
Anita is a marketing strategy consultant with a focus on integrated brand and digital strategy. She runs Frame Strategy, a brand
She has over a decade of experience working closely with agency and company teams to find marketing solutions to business problems, build a compelling brand story, and bring it to life in the most effective channels.
In her work at TBWA, Grey, Havas
She has her Master’s in communications from Temple University and graduated Summa Cum Laude. While there, she conducted field research on the rise of women filmmakers in Indonesia, on the culture of Japanese street musicians, and on the use of
She teaches digital marketing at General Assembly, and also advised small businesses and nonprofits on marketing. She’s passionate about working with women founders and on
Director of Business Operations, Cartoon Network
Anna Lee, Cartoon Network
Anna Lee has over 20 years of experience working in technology and entertainment companies. She is currently the Director of Business Operations at Cartoon Network Studios, a division of Warner Media, where she manages enterprise level technology projects, works with studio executives on content strategy and organizing series pitches, and develops revenue generating and cost saving activities. Prior to Cartoon Network, Anna has held various management and marketing positions at DreamWorks Animation, Universal Music Group, Disney, Adobe Systems and multiple startups. She is a current angel investor. She received her MBA at San Jose State University and graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in Marketing.
Anthony Gabriel ('98)
COO, Radiology Partners
Anthony Gabriel '98, Radiology Partners
Anthony graduated with his medical degree from The Ohio State University College of Medicine and became a clinical instructor at UCLA Medical Center in 1993. While a practicing physician, Anthony earned his MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management and then joined DaVita Inc. During his time with DaVita, Anthony was promoted from vice president of commercial patients to COO, integration and managed the integration of Gambro Healthcare, which doubled the size of DaVita. In 2008, Anthony rose to the position of Chief Information Officer leading 1,000 teammates, 300 contractors and overseeing a $150 million budget developing several new systems for DaVita. Anthony cofounded Radiology Partners in 2012.
Radiology Partners is the largest, and fastest growing radiology practice in the US, backed by an equity commitment from New Enterprise Associates and Starr Investment Holdings. Radiology Partners' mission is to transform radiology, and we will achieve that by having the best physicians, best leaders, and superior clinical value and service. Our organization is physician led, enabled by technology, and continually innovating with our clinical initiatives and excellent service. Radiology Partners currently has over 1600 radiologists, serving over 1000 locations across 25 states, and in addition, owns or manages over 100 imaging centers.
Arthur Wang ('04)
Founder, Abax Interactive
Arthur Wang '04, Abax Interactive
Executive with a focus on general management, entrepreneurship, scaling business operations, audience development, brand partnerships, and business development.
Experience in building teams, owning P&L, product management, business development, corporate development, publisher development, and advertiser sales.
Specialties: Audience building, brand partnership, content marketing, mobile UA, and subscription-based products.
Arvind Rao ('12)
Senior Director, Symantec
Arvind Rao '12, Symantec
Arvind Rao is a product and strategy executive who has built 20+ products in cyber security, mobile technology and semiconductors. At Symantec, he leads Product for a portfolio of security technologies, threat intelligence and analytics, serving over 140M users worldwide. Prior to Symantec, Arvind co-founded and led 2 startups in marketing analytics and collaboration software. He was a management consulting leader at the Boston Consulting Group and started his career as a hardware engineer at Qualcomm. Arvind holds a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Madras, an M.S. from University of Maryland and an MBA from UCLA Anderson.
Arvind is passionate about Product development and launch, with a focus on 'easy to use' for customers. He loves teaching, sharing and learning about product launch, product scaling, go-to-market and channel strategies.
Benjamin Dusastre (’10)
Benjamin Dusastre ’10, ProducePay
Ben has more than 13 years of experience in finance and technology. He’s Co-Founder and President of ProducePay, a fintech company focused on perishable commodities that has raised over $300M and is Co-Founder of Bespoke Financial, the leading fintech company in the Cannabis Industry. He was the CFO of Radlink Inc, a medical software company where he oversaw the signing of a co-marketing agreement with Johnson & Johnson. Prior to that role he was the director of the family office for the owners of the largest farming company in America, The Wonderful Companies. His other professional experiences include working for the investment bank Credit Suisse, for the digital imaging division of Eastman Kodak and as Treasurer of the Kelly Shires Breast Cancer Foundation. He holds an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Business, a graduate certificate in marketing from McGill University and a Bachelors of Commerce from Concordia University.
Bernard Chen ('07)
CEO, Quantum Insights Inc.
Bernard Chen '07, Quantum Instights Inc.
Bernard is a product development executive with experience in ecommerce, gaming (online and mobile), and biotech diagnostics development. He has worked at Ubisoft, KIXEYE, Scopely, and now runs a start-up, Quantum Insights, which develops a biomarker discovery platform. Additional topics he likes to discuss include: data-driven product development, user experience design, behavioral economics, game development, and startup life.
Binu Varghese ('10)
Senior Director, HCL America
Binu Varghese '10, HCL America
Binu Varghese is the Sr. Director for Aerospace & Defense business at HCL America. He joined HCL America in 2008 and heads business development for the Aerospace Systems portfolio. Over the last 10+ years, he has been instrumental in acquiring and growing new customer relationships into larger strategic customers and has championed end to end product development engagements. Apart from being a Client Partner to key customers, he drives strategy, business development and has P&L responsibility for the Aerospace Systems portfolio.
Binu has extensive experience in business development and project management in the US, UK, EU, Japan and India in multiple industries like Aerospace, Hi-tech, product engineering services, Entertainment & Media and Real Estate. Before HCL, he spent 9+ years with Tata Elxsi in leadership roles for business development in the US, Japan and India. Prior to that, he co-founded Paprikaas Animation Studios which went on to be sold to Thompson Technicolor. He has a passion for real estate and is actively engaged in real estate investments.
He has a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and an MBA from UCLA Anderson. He was a GAP Fellow at UCLA Anderson.
A sportsman at heart, he has played professional badminton and continues to be involved in sports. In his free time he enjoys reading, terracotta sculpting and spending time with his family. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons.
Brian Stewart ('01)
Founder, Innovo Ventures LLC
Brian Stewart '01, Innovo Ventures LLC
Brian Stewart is the founder and managing member of Innovo Ventures, a healthcare focused investment firm. Previously, Brian was the General Manager of Patient Safety at Stryker, which he joined via Stryker’s acquisition of Patient Safety Technologies, a public medical device company of which he was the President and Chief Executive Officer. Brian was the founder and Chief Executive Officer of SurgiCount Medical which was previously acquired by Patient Safety Technologies. Additionally, Brian has over 10 years of investment and investment banking experience at Credit Suisse, CIBC World Markets and Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette. Brian received an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA and his BA in Economics from UCLA.
Carmen Moch ('16)
Vice President, Living Spaces Furniture
Carmen Moch, Living Spaces Furniture
Carmen Moch is an accomplished Senior Executive and Board Member with more than 25 years of success across the retail, non-profit, and big-box retail industries. Leveraging extensive experience, strategically designing retail store setups and breaking into new markets, she is a valuable asset for businesses in need of a new market strategy or a turnaround. Her broad areas of expertise include human resources, business development, profit and loss, growth strategy, and operations management.
Throughout her career, Carmen has spent a significant portion rising in rank at Target where she held several positions, most recently Senior Group Vice President. Carmen has served as a key contributor in numerous organizational achievements such as; revenue growth, new prototype strategies, executive development, and operational processes. Carmen received her Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of North Dakota and her Master of Business Administration from UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Board Member, Healing California
Carol Laumen, Healing California
A veteran senior executive with extensive with 20+ years of marketing and general management experience. Carol specializes in visionary leadership, strategy and execution for startups as well as established companies across various industries (packaged goods, financial services, entertainment, non-profits/hospitality and arts/culture)
Her experience is international with a stronghold in the US and Canada. She is highly respected for turnaround and change management driving businesses to sustainable profitable growth.
Carol is highly involved with Board memberships and is eager to add value and give back. Her experience has been with Tier 1 companies such as Nestle, M&M/Mars, Mattel, MGM, USAA and most recently as the General Manager for Annenberg PetSpace – a new high technology pet adoption and learning center for the public.
President, Carolyn Kamii Public Relations
Carolyn Kamii, Carolyn Kamii Public Relations
A veteran public relations executive with 20 years of experience, Carolyn specializes in publicity for startups as well as established companies across various industries (beauty/health/wellness, tech/mobile apps, food/hospitality, arts/culture), in addition to promoting a range of special events.
Her highly respected clients have received top awards from nationally known consumer and trade publications, in addition to receiving significant venture capital funding. Beyond providing traditional PR services, she is highly involved with influencer outreach and
Her clients have been featured in prestigious national outlets
Senior Vice President, Nativo, Inc.
Chris Rooke, Nativo, Inc.
Chris is an
Pioneering streaming media and Internet executive who has consistently gained organizational buy-in and driven businesses forward through
David Pokress ('98)
Executive Vice President of Global Publishing, AdColony
David Pokress '98, AdColony
David Pokress is a senior marketing executive with extensive experience in both Packaged Goods and Interactive Entertainment. His career includes some of the most iconic brands in the interactive entertainment industry including Call of Duty, Skylanders, DOOM, Tony Hawk, Marvel, James Bond
DC Palter ('95)
DC Palter '95, Appsurify
DC Palter is a long-term angel investor with Tech Coast Angels and Chemical Angel Network. He has invested in over twenty startups while acting as a mentor to the Silicon Beach community. In addition, he’s built two successful startups in computer networking and is now co-founder and CEO of Appsurify, a startup applying machine learning to software testing. He started his career with engineering and marketing roles at Hughes Electronics, Honeywell, and Kobe Steel.
Mr. Palter holds an MBA in technology marketing from UCLA and a BS in Mechanical & Energy Engineering from Northwestern University, along with a masters degree in Energy Law and an MFA in creative writing. He is a connoisseur of Japanese sake and the author of a textbook on the Kansai dialect of Japanese.
Debra Bar, BitGo
Debra Bar is a marketing executive specializing in financial services and technology who has developed award-winning websites and created powerful social media and content programs. Debra has successfully designed and implemented the marketing function at multiple institutions, including the front to back execution of infrastructure, brand and sales support. Debra was most recently Head of Marketing at Bank Leumi in the U.S., where she was responsible for a new visual identity, doubling website traffic and increasing LinkedIn followers by 125% in 15 months.
Debra has also held marketing roles at UBS, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley, along with running marketing at several technology software companies. Debra works across all marketing and communication channels, including brand, advertising, digital, social media, communications, PR, Employer Branding, sponsorships, and events. She has an MBA from UCLA Anderson and a BA from UC Berkeley.
Partner, Royse Law Firm
Dorothy Vinsky, Royse Law Firm
Dorothy Vinsky is a Corporate securities lawyer specializing in
Dorothy is a frequent speaker on corporate and securities law topics. She has taught venture capital financing/business law and securities law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. She is also a contributing author to Parts II and III of Venture Capital & Public Offering Negotiation, published by Aspen Law & Business.
Before joining Royse Law Firm PC, Dorothy practiced in San Francisco with Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC and in Los Angeles with prominent corporate and securities boutiques and in-house legal departments.
Frank Bryan ('16)
Frank Bryan '16,
Frank has been involved with early-stage companies since 2010 in a variety of full time, consulting, and advisory roles. Originally from Houston, Frank spent 10 years in the energy industry, focused on trading & commodity risk management. He was integral to the due diligence, data migration, and transition during the sale of Reliant Energy to NRG in 2009. In 2010, He helped launch MP2 Energy, achieving over $100 million in revenue in the first 12 months. In 2013, He was chief risk officer of Tri-Eagle Energy, managing a 120-million-dollar portfolio of commercial and residential customers in 10 states.
In 2014, Frank moved to Orange County. He received an executive MBA from UCLA Anderson and launched REELY, a video platform that automatically generates highlights in real-time for sports and esports using computer vision and AI. The company has a team of thirteen spread across Los Angeles, Boston, South Carolina, and Poland. In November of 2019, REELY processed 2,500 hours of sports content without human intervention. The company was named one of the top AI startups in sports by Sports Business Journal and featured at TechCrunch Disrupt. In 2020, Frank transitioned to an advisory role & board member and is now seeking new ventures in Energy and Technology.
Greg Berard ('19)
CEO, EMC2 Billing
Greg Berard '19, EMC2 Billing
Over the past 15 years, Greg has grown EMCPayments where we now process billions of dollars a year in credit card, ACH, and alternative payment transactions for our entrepreneurial-minded clients.
Greg consults for Startups with great potential but smaller initial volumes, to publicly traded Internet businesses that are processing hundreds of millions annually, offering significant resources and strategies for merchants of all sizes and in all categories.
As a payments expert, Greg works closely and in-person wherever our clients are located in the world, to help them manage their online payment acceptance and growth, maintain compliance, improve performance, provide best-in-class customer service practices, and much more.
Father, Husband, Futurist, Crypto Evangalist, Angel Investor, LA Kings Fan (Closet Vegas Golden Knights fan), Global Payments Expert.
Chief Data Privacy Officer, Prodoscore
Harprit Bhui, Prodoscore
Harprit is a recognized leader with 18 years of proven experience in the management of strategic business and IT initiatives. She started her career at KPMG, where she earned her CPA in the Audit & Tax practice, then quickly moved on to Technology consulting. Over the course of the years to follow, she used a results-focused approach with an outstanding track record of complex program delivery for large-scale, global projects including packaged ERP, CRM solutions, Data Warehousing and Analytical Reporting for fortune 500 companies. Through this evolution, Big Data solutions became her core expertise, ranging from custom built applications, Oracle Analytics and BI solutions leveraging Machine Learning & AI. Clients include Toyota, Riverbed, Polycom, Disney, CapGemini, etc.
She utilized her varied skill set in both technology and business strategy to co-found gUnify, a cloud based solution that integrates telephony with business applications to provide robust analytics that lead to actionable insights. gUnify was acquired by Vonage in 2015 and integrated into the core product set.
She is currently cofounder | Head of Product for Prodoscore, a cloud based big data application that integrates G Suite | CRM | Telephony to provide productivity analytics. She drives product delivery by aligning the executives vision with technical deployment.
Harprit has extensive expertise and passion in working with entrepreneurs enabling them to take their concepts from ideation to production. Further, she plays an Advisory role to various startups providing guidance in all facets ranging from operations, product development & sales strategy.
Holly Wilde ('18)
Head of Marketing, MATT Construction
Holly Wilde '18, MATT Construction
While at Anderson, Holly’s focus was on intelligent products and the commercial potential of emerging technology, specifically blockchain applications. With a background in startups, she has been a leader in five successful market-entry plays: new geographical markets, new products in emerging markets, new products in existing markets and pivoting to a new demographic. She also led product development from early beta to launch in the app store. In her early career, Holly’s role was to take an abstract vision and develop and execute a roadmap to revenue.
After being a founder or early employee at several startups, Holly had the opportunity to join a company in high growth mode and solve a new set of problems. She is currently part of an executive change-management team involved in meeting the challenges of scaling and focused on corporate strategy. In addition to marketing and analytics, she leads strategic landscape analysis examining consumer trends, competition and technological disruption.
Holly completed her undergraduate degree at Brown University with honors and earned her MBA at UCLA Anderson School of Business with certificates in Entrepreneurship and Technology Management and Leadership. She currently serves on the Board of Directors at Anderson.
Ian Atkinson ('01)
Vice President, Live Operations & Business Development, Capcom
Ian Atkinson '01, Capcom
Over the past 20+ years, Ian has built a unique and diverse background that includes management consulting with Deloitte, investment banking with RBC Capital and Roth Capital, business development with video game publisher THQ and AdColony, and start-ups, such as Playnomics and Sleepy Giant Entertainment. He has built strong expertise in successful business models and strategies, product development and feature prioritization, operational best practices, monetization strategy
General Manager, Techstars
Ivan Lopez, Techstars
Ivan Lopez lead strategic partnerships for Merch by Amazon. His team manages relationships across gaming, celebrities, film, TV, Sports with major brands such as Disney, John Lennon, Nintendo, Overwatch, Shane Dawson, and many more. His career spans 25 years of experience in global business development and marketing across technology, gaming, mobile and content creation. He has worked and lived in Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain The UK and is originally from Boulder Colorado, USA.
Jason McDowall ('03)
Founder and Managing Partner, Method Ventures
Jason McDowall '03, Method Ventures
Jason is the creator and host of the #1 podcast focused on augmented reality, The AR Show. He’s also the VP of Software and AR Evangelist at Ostendo, which is focused on solving a fundamental challenge of AR smartglasses: the underlying visual engine. Jason invests in early-stage companies at Method Ventures.
Previously Jason was a serial entrepreneur – first in mobile, later in AI-assisted CRM. He also spent several years at Salesforce.com and served as an officer in the US Air Force. He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson and an MS & BS in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon.
Jeff Kendig ('06)
Managing Partner, Bravos Capital
Jeff Kendig '06, Bravos Capital
Jeff has four years of management consulting experience and over 12 years of direct investment experience, utilizing both growth equity as well as buyout strategies. In his current role, he leads the evaluation of investment opportunities, structures transactions and works with management teams to develop and execute operational and growth strategies.
He has extensive responsibilities for day-to-day portfolio company management, including crafting long-term strategy, analyzing threats & opportunities, identifying operating improvements, cash flow management, and other general management roles. He is a current or former board member of seven different companies in a variety of industries but has particularly deep experience in business services, technology services
Prior to Caltius Equity Partners, Jeff worked at Kayne Anderson Private Investors and Millennium Capital Partners. He began his career in the Strategy Group at A.T. Kearney where he was responsible for executing strategic and operational improvement projects across a variety of industries. Jeff received his M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, where he was a Venture Fellow, and his B.A., cum laude, in Economics and Italian from Middlebury College. While at UCLA Anderson, Jeff won the Knapp Venture Competition as well as the Draper Fisher Jurvetson business plan competition
CFO, Otter Media
Jennifer Cho, Otter Media
Cho serves as EVP and CFO of Otter Media, navigating through
Before joining Otter Media, Cho served as CFO of AT&T Entertainment Group’s Technology & Operations, where her team was responsible for budgeting, forecasting, expense/capital management, variance analysis, analytics supporting product development and executing on cost structure initiatives. Cho was also the finance lead for Strategy and Business Development. Prior to AT&T’s acquisition of DIRECTV, Cho was senior vice president and treasurer of DIRECTV. Before joining DIRECTV, she spent 10 years with Gap Inc., holding various leadership positions including the CFO for Gap Brand and its international franchise business.
As an ex-banker, Cho covered telecom and tech sectors with BNP Paribas and KeyBanc Capital Markets.
Cho holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame and has served on the Notre Dame Alumni Diversity Board.
Jim Brandt, ResortPass
Jim attended Northwestern University and Columbia Law School. After practicing law for a couple of years, he joined his family’s business, which owned and operated a chain of movie theaters on the East coast, a live Broadway theatre, the largest nightclub in South Beach (capacity 3,000) and produced several low budget feature films. Currently, he is a partner in his family’s real estate business. In addition, Jim is an active angel investor (having invested in almost 100 startups over the last decade), and a member of Tech Coast Angels’ LA network and sits on its Executive Committee.
Jonathan Schreter ('00)
Executive Vice President, Bolton & Company
Jonathan Scheter '00, Bolton & Company
Risk is inherent in every business. As a property & casualty insurance broker, Jonathan’s primary goal is to proactively work with CEOs and CFOs to identify, analyze, control and monitor risk. His clients rest assured that the company can and will continue to move forward, even in the event of unexpected loss.
Prior to his career in insurance, Jonathan spent more than 10 years providing marketing and advertising consultation to middle market and Fortune 500 businesses. With his diverse background, Jonathan’s consultative approach combines creative thinking with rigid analysis to deliver effective risk management solutions for his clients. Jonathan specializes in commercial lines of coverage, including Property & Casualty, Workers Compensation, Directors & Officers and Professional Liability Insurance.
Jonathan holds his BA from UC San Diego. He earned his MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Business and his Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation from the National Alliance for Insurance. He is Past-President of Independent Brokers & Agents Association of the San Fernando Valley, is currently President of the UCLA Anderson Alumni Network and Chairman of the Board for Inner-City Arts, a non-profit art program for at-risk children in downtown Los Angeles.
Director of Product Development & Innovation, King's Hawaiin
Jordan Frank, King's Hawaiian
Jordan Frank is an innovation executive who has driven success at CPG companies for over a decade. He started his career in engineering at Kimberly-Clark focusing on new product development, machinery and equipment design, efficiency improvements, and capital expansion around the globe. He currently serves as the Director of Product Development & Innovation at King’s Hawaiian, where he leads new product initiatives from concept through to commercialization. His expertise resides in product development, data & analytics, eCommerce, rapid prototyping, consumer research, operations, manufacturing, and engineering.
Jordan is an angel investor with Tech Coast Angels, the largest early-stage angel network in the country. He holds a B.S. in General Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).
Josh Schachter (’14)
Product Director, BCG Digital Ventures
Josh Schachter '14, BCG Digital Ventures
Josh serves as a Product Director with BCG Digital Ventures where he has operated as the Product Lead or GM on over half a dozen ventures in multiple practice areas and regions since 2015. He is also the Director of the Energy Practice Area at Digital
While at BCGDV, Josh has launched a digital payments platform and app in Malaysia, a Canadian online financial advisory service with currently +1MM members, a portfolio of IoT based applications for international ship tankers, and is currently building an artificial intelligence platform that aims to disrupt the $350B customer call center industry.
Prior to BCGDV Josh led the launch and development of numerous digital products and ventures for both startups and large enterprises. In 2007 he founded Interactive Sports Network, LLC, a social networking community for avid sports athletes and fans. In 2014 he co-founded Liveguide, LLC, an online platform that enables university admissions offices
Kambiz Aghili ('11)
Startup Advisor, Techstars
Kambiz Aghili, Techstars
Mr. Kambiz Aghili, Ph.D. has been Chief Executive Officer at BlueSky Network since March 7, 2017. Mr. Aghili currently serves as the Co-Founder of Kerwood Capital Partners, Managing Director of AFH Holding & Advisory, LLC, and a Senior Fellow for the UCLA Anderson School of Management price Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation.
Prior to co-founding Kerwood Capital, he served as a Managing Partner at Eton & Stallion Capital, offering strategy consulting, capital formation, M&A and private to public structured products to family offices and lower/
Mr. Aghili earned executive training in Business Strategy from Harvard Business School, an M.B.A. from UCLA Anderson School of Management in Business Strategy and Finance, an M.S. and PhD in Computer Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara, on big data, pattern recognition and analytics as well as a BSE in Computer Engineering from Bilkent University.
Founder, KUDETA Marketing
Kimberly Small, KUDETA Marketing
Kimberly is an accomplished consumer marketing, digital and social media expert who has led marketing initiatives for the world’s leading entertainment, finance and media companies. She has over 15 years of experience leading marketing for top brands - developing strategic marketing and business plans to creating and executing acquisition and retention marketing strategies.
Kimberly's work ranges across a wide spectrum of brands including Nestle, Beachbody, Hearst, Viacom, Intuit and Publishers Clearing House. Early in her career, Kimberly worked at top advertising agencies driving direct marketing programs for clients including Chase Manhattan Bank and Columbia House.
Kimberly received her MBA from Thunderbird, her BA from Boston University and is a certified Executive and Organizational Coach focused on career growth and change. She currently runs her consulting company, KUDETA Marketing as well as teaches marketing and advertising classes at UCLA and Pepperdine.
Principal, Ulmer Ventures
Kwame Ulmer, Ulmer Ventures
Kwame Ulmer is a MedTech executive with nearly twenty years of experience in government and the private sector. He is currently an Angel Investor and regulatory strategy consultant with a focus on MedTech and Venture Capital firms. Mr. Ulmer previously served as Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at Implant Direct, a Danaher Corporation operating company. He led efforts to shorten global registration timelines, improved product quality by process optimization and achieve best-in-class department engagement scores. Kwame has served in progressive leadership roles at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and personally evaluated over 1,000 medical technologies.
Larry Leisure ('74)
Managing Director, Chicago Pacific Founders
Larry Leisure '74, Chicago Pacific Founders
Larry Leisure is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of Chicago Pacific Founders, a Chicago and San Francisco private equity fund focused on senior living and care delivery services. In addition, he serves as Chairman of Washington, D.C. based ADVI that provides advisory services to the digital health, life sciences and managed care services industries.
Larry has had a distinguished career in health care, serving in venture capital, private equity, management consulting and industry operating roles. Organizations
In 2009 Larry founded AccelusHealth Partners, LLC that merged with HillcoHealth to form ADVI in 2013. He also co-founded Healthspottr, a new media company focused on the acceleration of innovation in health care. He serves as a board member for several health-related companies, including iN2L, P3, and Recovery Ways.
Larry received his AB in Economics from Stanford University and his MBA in Finance from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Leon Zekaria ('97)
Chief Executive Officer, Windsor Fashions
Leon Zekaria '97, Windsor Fashions
Leon Zekaria was born and raised in Los Angeles, Ca. He attended Georgetown School of Foreign Service, majoring in International Economics and Finance. Zekaria received his Executive MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management in 1997 and is the CEO of Windsor Fashions, a 2nd generation business with 187 stores and
Luisa Romoff ('94)
Luisa Romoff '94
Luisa Romoff earned her B.S. in Finance from SDSU in 1988 and her M.B.A from the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management in 1994. She worked in bankruptcy consulting at PriceWaterhouseCoopers - her role involved restructuring, crisis and cash flow management and financing structures. She is currently involved in real estate investment - project evaluation, loan origination and property management for residential income investments. She has also mentored student teams from the Zahn Innovative Platform Launchpad at SDSU.
Mark Jaffe ('03)
Early Stage Advisor, Independent Consultant
Mark Jaffe '03, Independent Consultant
Mark Jaffe has served as head of operations and finance for VC-backed companies within the tech, media, and consumer services sectors. He was an early employee of three start-ups that exited, including Kizmeet.com, a consumer Internet company he co-founded. He began his career working in investment banking at Alex. Brown & Sons and later for the venture capital arm of Lexington Commercial Holdings. Mark graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University and received an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School, where his team won the Knapp business plan competition. Mark lives with his family in Los Angeles.
Managing Director, Supporting Strategies
Mark Wald, Supporting Strategies
Mark is an innovative problem solver who values simplicity, efficiency, and collaboration between people and organizations. Since earning a BA in Economics from UCLA he has developed an extensive background in accounting, reporting, complex financial modeling, data analytics, and computer programming. Mark has held senior leadership positions in both finance and operations management roles for a variety of businesses and industries, including Advertising, Apparel, Automotive, Banking, Entertainment, High Tech Manufacturing, Internet Technology, Market Research, New Media, and Software Development. He understands that every business has unique opportunities and challenges, and is passionate about helping others succeed through the application of the best fit tools, services, and processes.
Matt Joseph ('14)
Matt Joseph, SurgeryOS
Matt Joseph is a technology executive with a background of launching, advising, and investing in software businesses. Currently, he is the Co-Founder and CEO of SurgeryOS, a search engine for medical implants. Prior to
Matthew Marquez ('17)
Founder and Principal, Coefficient Consulting
Matthew Marquez '17, Coefficient Consulting
Matthew Marquez has 15 years of
Commander of Intergalactic Business Development, G-Technology
Michael Gitig, G-Technology
Michael Gitig is
CTO & Co-founder, StrongArm Ventures
Michael Kim, StrongArm Ventures
Michael is an engineer turned entrepreneur, currently serving as the CTO and Co-Founder at StrongArm Technologies where he oversees all product development and strategy to align with customers and business needs. StrongArm is the world’s leading safety science company creating wearable solutions that
His area of expertise is in product development roadmap, strategy and team execution, customer and product discovery (product-market fit), scaling teams and culture, B2B enterprise sales development, hardware development - manufacturing, and investor pitch decks/presentations.
Milan Karunaratne (’18)
Manager, GE Transportation
Milan Karunaratne ’18, GE Transportation
Milan has over a decade of experience in the transportation industry working for GE and Wabtec Corporation. A graduate of GE’s Edison Leadership Development Program, Milan has held various engineering roles with global exposure spanning diesel engine validation & reliability, control system diagnostics and systems innovation. He has extensive experience building and leading efforts on advanced analytics and machine learning predictive models for large scale assets, advancing the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
Currently, Milan heads the global Digital Applied Innovation team that he founded under the office of the CTO at Wabtec. Bringing an entrepreneurial spirit to a large enterprise, this dedicated team of AI specialists, solution engineers and product strategists is focused around driving disruptive innovation and new digital product development across Wabtec’s $9B portfolio of businesses. Milan has nearly 20 patents granted throughout his tenure at GE and has grown that culture of applied innovation within his team and throughout his organization. He has extensive experience in strategic product road maps and effective minimum viable products that enable new solutions to scale successfully.
He holds a B.E. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stony Brook University in New York and an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management, where he continues to serve as a GAP Fellow.
He is a passionate musician, having released his own original album. Milan lives in Orange County, California with his wife and two sons.
Miles Gibbons ('97)
President, Kennedy & Price Incorporated
Miles Gibson '97, Kennedy & Price Incorporated
Miles has over two decades of experience working with startups and small businesses, primarily focusing on the technology and real estate sectors. Whether it’s building a multi-million dollar luxury estate or an enterprise web application, he leverages substantial project management expertise to deliver a
Currently, Miles is working on his own startup, Duvara, a project management app for small to midsize contractors. Previously, Miles was VP of Operations & Product Development at EntertainmentCareers.Net, the #1 career site for the entertainment industry. He’s also worked with
Miles has been strongly involved in the Anderson community since graduating in 1997. He served on the Board of Directors for the Alumni Association from 2004-2006 as well as acted in various roles for the LA Chapter of the Association. He received his BA from Duke University in 1991.
Startup Advisor, SBDC Network
Mona Mirakhor, SBDC
Mona currently works as an adviser to innovative early stage startups at the SBDC, working hands on with teams to refine strategy, solidify product-market fit, set milestones, get their product to market, and fundraise. Mona is passionate about working to shape the future by propelling innovative technologies that aim to solve some of our most challenging problems in sustainability and natural resource efficiency, and was serving as the diligence lead at the LA Cleantech incubator.
Mona started her career in finance in equity research at Citigroup and went on to be a equity trader at Israel's largest investment firm. She later worked in expanding the international real estate portfolio of IRSA, Argentina's largest real estate developer.
Mona received her MBA from Tel Aviv University and did graduate work at Universidad Torcuato di Tella in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
She currently serves on the board of a nonprofit focused on funding innovative cancer research.
Neal Green ('79)
Executive Vice President/Partner, The Coding Network
Neal Green '79, The Coding Network
Neal Green has forty+ years of experience in healthcare management and sales. He started and operated his own medical billing and management company for seventeen years. The company grew to $9 million in revenues, a staff of 250, and offices in four states. Neal then joined a regional billing company and helped it expand into a national industry leader while tripling the company’s revenues from $8 to $25 million in five years with 500 employees operating in sixteen states. In 1995, Neal started a national coding company that currently operates in all fifty states serving hospitals, medical school faculty practice plans, integrated healthcare organizations, medical groups, and medical billing companies.
Investor Education Program Manager, 500 Startups
Patrick Driscoll, 500 Startups
Patrick serves as the Investment Education Program Manager for 500 Startups’ multiple Venture Capital Unlocked programs in partnership with universities, governments, corporations, and other institutions in the US and abroad. In this role, he manages relationships with VCs, corporates, governments, family offices, syndicates, and angels from more than 60 countries. Since moving to LA in November 2019, Patrick has also overseen startup recruitment and due diligence for 500 Startups' seed programs. Outside of his current role, Patrick is quite active in the LGBTQI+ advocacy space, specifically serving as the Chair of the LA Programming Board for StartOut, volunteering with at-risk youth groups, and speaking at engagements regarding LGBTQI+ issues in entrepreneurship and tech.
Prior to 500 Startups, Patrick served as a Lender Relations Specialist with the US Small Business Administration in LA, where he trained lenders including HSBC, JP Morgan Chase Bank, East West Bank, US Bank and more. He also served with the US Peace Corps in Senegal as a Community Economic Development Agent where he led programs in business management, microfinance, agriculture, and lending practices. He is passionate about empowering entrepreneurs and investors from emerging economies around the world and underserved communities in the US.
He has an MA in Global Finance, Trade, and Economic Integration from the University of Denver.
Patrick Gardner ('00)
SVP of Products, Symantec
Patrick Gardner '00, Symantec
Patrick Gardner is an accomplished cybersecurity general manager and engineering executive, having spent over 20 years at Symantec Corporation. He joined Symantec as an intern in 1999 and through the years, he has served in a number of roles as a developer, architect, and general manager innovating and creating core security engines and technologies that ran on hundreds of millions of consumer and enterprise endpoints, email gateways, network devices, and cloud services.
Patrick was the founder of Symantec’s Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) product line that enabled enterprise customers to discover, investigate, and respond to attacks across endpoint, network, and email threat vectors. Patrick created the ATP product line and was able to grow it from 0 to ~$90M in sales protecting over 3000 enterprises and > 10M units.
Patrick holds a B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from University of California, Los Angeles. He has over a dozen issued patents, regular speaks at industry conferences and events, and enjoys mentoring and advising cybersecurity and enterprise companies of all sizes.
Paul Pastor ('04)
Paul Pastor '04, ProjectUnite.TV
Paul Pastor is the former EVP Network Strategy, Revenue
Ray Davies ('77)
President, Priority Pak
Ray Davies '77, Priority Pak
Ray Davies first encountered Priority Pak back in 1982 when his company at the time became Priority Pak's largest client. During the 30+ years since, Priority Pak has done just about everything that is even remotely connected to "fulfillment". Ray has served as Priority Pak’s President for the past 20+ years.
Chief Marketing Officer, SmartyPants Vitamins
Renu Mevasse, SmartyPants Vitamins
As a seasoned marketing professional with over ten years of experience in the consumer-packaged goods industry, including food & beverage, household products and personal care, Mevasse has a proven track record of launching new brands into the marketplace and revitalizing mature brands to make them relevant again. Coupled with a keen sense of marketing and sales expertise, offering a unique understanding of consumer and retailer dynamics, Mevasse is known for developing high performing teams and building a culture of engagement in organizations both big and small.
Managing Director, Strong Force LLC.
Richard Spitz, Strong Force
A seasoned consultant and expert in technology markets with more than 25 years’ experience advising business leaders, private equity funds, venture capitalists, technology companies and entrepreneurs, Mr. Spitz spent 13 years at Korn/Ferry International (NYSE: KFY), the world’s leading Talent Management company, where he was Chairman of the Global Technology Market and a Member of the firm’s Global Operating Committee.
Mr. Spitz has assisted many clients in organizational transformations and leadership changes and performed many board/management assessments. At Korn/Ferry, he conducted hundreds of searches, especially for the position of president, chief executive officer, or board member, and grew and managed a global team of market and functionally focused senior consultants.
Mr. Spitz also is an experienced transactional advisor, having previously practiced law at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP, where he provided structuring and tax advice, as well as negotiated M&A transactions, venture capital investments, technology licenses, and strategic alliances. Mr. Spitz has served on various public and private boards of directors, and currently serves on the Board of Advisors of the Harold Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at UCLA's Anderson School of Business. He has spoken before numerous professional and educational organizations, including the Venture Capital Conference, the Harvard Alumni Association, the MIT/CalTech Enterprise Forum, and the Stanford GSB.
Entrepreneur in Residence, Venture Accelerator at UCLA Anderson
Rod Kurtz, Venture Accelerator at UCLA Anderson
For over a decade, Rod Kurtz worked as a journalist and advocate on behalf of entrepreneurs—until finally becoming one himself. Today, he oversees a New York- and Los Angeles-based media strategy firm, advising startups and Fortune 500 companies alike, on all things content, branding, and marketing.
Previously, he served as Executive Editor of HuffPost Small Business, which he launched in 2011, Executive Editor of AOL Small Business, Senior Editor at Inc. and Inc.com, and Small Business Editor at BusinessWeek Online.
As a longtime TV contributor, Rod has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Bloomberg, and the Today Show. He also speaks regularly at entrepreneurship and media events nationwide.
Senior Venture Build Architect, BCG Digital Ventures
Roman Reyhani, BCG
Roman Reyhani is a tech, media and startup attorney, strategist and entrepreneur. His clients include, startups, investors, content creators, production companies, and media and entertainment personalities.
Formerly, Roman worked for IAC where he provided legal advice for a number of highly trafficked sites. Prior to this he worked in the entertainment industry negotiating film, television and new media deals. Additionally, Roman consults on strategy with various technology and media companies, including in artificial intelligence, crypto-assets, and digital media. He also participates in startups as a core team member and advisor, one of which was focused on utilizing machine learning to quantify geopolitical risk and which was recently acquired.
Roman’s experience with tech, law and strategy gives him a deep insight into the complex issues his client’s face. Born in Germany and raised in New Zealand, Roman is fluent in German. He represents clients across the United States, Europe, China and Australia.
Sajid Mohamedy ('11)
Chief Strategy Officer, NoiseGrasp
Samir Mehta ('92)
Mergers and Acquisitions Manager, IBM
Samir Mehta '92, IBM
Samir is a Mergers & Acquisitions Executive in IBM Corporate Development responsible for over $5BN. in enterprise software acquisitions IBM has made across a variety of areas - AI, analytics, cloud, content mgmt., health tech, open source. He has expertise in B2B,ecommerce, GTM, marketing and product management. Prior to IBM, Samir worked at startups that went IPO including BroadVision and eHealth as well as major technology companies including HP and Sun Microsystems. He is a UCLA Anderson Alumni and have an MS in Computer Science and a BS in Math from Carnegie-Mellon University.
Sassan Masserat, MLG
Sassan Masserat has a broad range of business and legal experience. He practices in the areas of civil and business litigation, and general business law. He also focuses on international business matters. His fluency in Italian, French and Farsi expands his capacity to better service his clients in the international arena.
Sassan was brought up and educated in Italy. He earned a degree with honors in Business Administration, Finance at California State University, Northridge. He graduated with honors from Southwestern University School of Law. Prior to becoming a member of the California bar, he worked for a number of years in the financial services and investment banking industries, where he gained experience in compliance and regulatory matters. He also clerked for a Federal Judge.
Sassan is a member of the Board of Governors of the Italian American Lawyers Association, a Member of the Board of the Anti Defamation League, where he is also the Chair of the International Affairs Committee, and has been designated by the Italian Consul as a preferred lawyer ("Avvocato di Fiducia")
Sassan has been invited by foreign governments and organizations to speak and lecture about US business and US Law, and has traveled as far as South Korea, Turkey, Italy and a variety of European countries on behalf of his clients.
Scott Bushman ('95)
Vice President, Magid
Scott Bushman '95, Magid
Scott Bushman is a digital media executive with 20+ years of experience working at the intersection of technology, media/entertainment, and sports. Scott has held a number of senior roles at companies including Yahoo, Disney/ESPN, and Metacafe.
Scott is currently VP, Digital at Magid, a leading boutique strategy and market research firm. He is responsible for building the firm’s business with digital-first companies and has developed relationships with companies including Facebook, Google/YouTube, Amazon, Otter Media, and others. Scott joined Magid after running his own consulting practice where he supported start-ups and private companies, providing strategic advice, business modeling, operations, and business development support to companies including Immersv, LiveU, WiZR, and DDC. Scott started his career as an investment banker with Goldman, Sachs & Co. Scott earned his MBA from UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management and holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College.
Scott Goldblatt ('12)
Director of Marketing, Fernish
Scott Goldblatt '12, Fernish
Scott has 8+ years of marketing experience across digital marketing, brand strategy, product marketing, and eCommerce. He currently leads marketing at Fernish, a rising startup focused on subscription furniture, and described by Fast Company as "Rent-the-Runway, but for sofas." As Fernish grows into a nationally-recognized brand, Scott is working to build consumer awareness, digital acquisition, and strategic partnerships.
After getting his MBA from UCLA Anderson, he spent 5 years at Yahoo launching products, driving acquisition, and leading customer engagement. He then joined LA's startup community, and has more recently led marketing for brands like Wolf & Shepherd and Recess. He graduated from Anderson in 2012, and has B.S. in marketing from Lehigh University.
Management Consultant, Slalom
Sonny Bandyopadhyay, Slalom
Sonny is an experienced management consultant, having served clients such as Medtronic, Kaiser Permanente, and NBCUniversal on a variety of operations and strategy-focused engagements. He has also advised B2C tech startups in go-to-market and customer acquisition, including a Series A funded international sports tech startup on its US market entry strategy. Sonny loves watching NBA basketball (Lakers, of course) and is a lifelong soccer fan from his playing days as a youth. He graduated from Emory University and has worked at PwC and Slalom as a consultant.
Board Advisor, Acqubit
Steve Borochoff, Acqubit
Steve Borochoff is a strategic advisor to emerging stage software and hardware developers providing both guidance and execution in business development, go-to-market strategies, and building global sales organizations. Product breadth has included enterprise level software, software development and engineering services, and hardware spanning semiconductors, sensors, boards, and systems.
Prior to his advisor roles, Steve was an award winning, client facing sales and business development leader at the VP level who has built successful businesses from start-ups to new business units of mature organizations by building, mentoring, and leading teams focused on developing strategic, executive level, trusted relationships that address client issues and needs. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Steve Columbaro ('06)
Deputy Head of Team, Columbia Threadneedle Investments, US
Steve Columbaro, Columbia Threadneedle Investments
Steve Columbaro is a senior credit analyst and portfolio manager for the Leveraged Debt Group at Columbia Threadneedle Investments. He is responsible for analyzing and monitoring investments in the leveraged loan and high yield bond markets. Mr. Columbaro joined one of the Columbia Threadneedle Investments legacy firms in 2006. Previously, Mr. Columbaro was employed as a Senior Vice President at Four Corners Capital Management where he was responsible for analyzing and monitoring leveraged loan and high yield bond issuers in a variety of industries.
Prior to that, Mr. Columbaro was a vice president at Wachovia Capital Partners, the direct private equity investing arm of Wachovia, analyzing leveraged buyouts, growth equity investments, and mezzanine transactions. Mr. Columbaro began his finance career at Wachovia Securities in the fixed-income sales, trading, and research department. He has been in the financial services industry since 1997. Mr. Columbaro received a B.A. from Duke University and an MBA from the Anderson School at University of California, Los Angeles. In addition, he holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation.
Steven Huntley ('78)
Owner, The Huntley Company
Steve Huntley '78, The Huntley Company
Steve has nearly 30 years of experience in senior executive positions. In his capacity as an owner of Huntley, Mullaney, Spargo, & Sullivan, Inc. (HMS), a real estate and financial restructuring firm he co-founded in 1993 (and that was recently acquired by Jones Lang LaSalle, Inc.), he has overseen the restructuring of more than $10 billion in client assets through debt and lease restructuring and Chapter 11 planning, including more than $4 billion in lease and loan modifications, discounted loan payoffs, and deficiency settlements that he has negotiated with more than 50 lenders.
Prior to founding HMS, Steve was the president and CEO of the Cook Company, an office
Steve has also taught commercial real estate investment at the University of California, Berkeley, and authored several influential publications on the topic of commercial real estate debt restructuring.
Steve has an MBA from UCLA.
Todd Laurence ('92)
Vice President of Sales, Startup Advisor
Todd Laurence '92, Startup Advisor
As a sales leader in the technology industry, Todd Laurence has sold complex enterprise solutions and built sales teams globally for two decades. His industry expertise spans open source software, large scale analytics, robotics and artificial intelligence, supply chain/manufacturing, and even food/ag tech. Todd's sales leadership includes roles at both global technology giants and hardware/software startups, two of which achieved successful IPOs. In addition, he has closed sales deals and delivered keynotes at conferences throughout Latin America, and speaks fluent Spanish. Todd received his undergraduate degree in Economics from Princeton University, and earned an MBA from The Anderson School at UCLA, where he was awarded the Carter Fellowship for graduating in the top 2% of his class.
Partner, Sole Source Capital
Tom Shapiro, Sole Source Capital
Tom Shapiro has founded multiple companies in a variety of backgrounds. Companies he has founded are Academy Tent and Canvas, Inc., Academy Awning, Inc., Event Technical Services, Inc., and TAS Investments, Inc. Most recently, after selling Trade Supplies, Inc., Tom joined Sole Source Capital as Operating Partner. Tom holds a BS from USC.
Yelena Blank ('13)
Senior Distribution Officer Lead, Pluto TV
Yelena Blank '13, Pluto TV
Yelena Blank is a media and entertainment executive with extensive expertise across content distribution, streaming media services and brand management. In her most recent role as Director of Global Distribution at Sony Pictures, Yelena drove content strategy and maximized television distribution revenue through deal analysis, content acquisitions and innovative content packaging. Yelena joined Sony Pictures in June 2014 as Senior Manager of Emerging Platforms and Partnerships where she developed digital business strategies and distribution partnerships in emerging markets.
Prior to joining Sony, Yelena worked in strategic planning in Disney’s Media Networks division, which includes ABC Television, Disney Channel, ABC Family and ESPN. As part of her role, Yelena developed growth strategies and evaluated new business opportunities across Disney's portfolio of broadcast, cable, and digital media segments. During her tenure at Disney, Yelena also worked as Global Franchise Manager of Disney Channels Worldwide where she led product development for Disney’s flagship preschool TV network Disney Junior. In that role, Yelena’s key focus was driving brand success and maximizing company revenue across key Disney verticals, including Consumer Products, Digital Media, Theme Parks, Publishing, Disney Records, and Home Entertainment.
Yelena began her career in Finance in Disney's Theme Parks and Resorts division after completing her B.A. in Business Economics at UCLA in 2005. Yelena completed her MBA in 2013 at the Anderson School of Management Fully-Employed program. When not working, Yelena is training for her next marathon.
Yvonne Manganaro ('02)
Executive Director of Marketing, Gelson's Markets
Yvonne Manganaro '02, Gelson's Markets
The Southern California native has worked in the retail industry for 30 years, with 17 of those spent at upscale grocer Gelson’s Markets. While paying her way through her Bachelor of Arts-History degree at UCLA, Manganaro worked for six years at single-store operator Breadstiks market, learning the grocery industry through the roles of checking, stocking, order writing, bookkeeping, and managing. Following her undergraduate education, Manganaro worked full time at the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management, and then obtained her MBA degree in 2002, with an emphasis in Marketing and Strategy.
Following a year of consulting work for Gelson’s former holding company Arden Group, Inc., Manganaro transitioned into full time employment with Gelson’s, starting her tenure in the company as Marketing Manager. During her engagement with Gelson’s, she started eCommerce for the chain, spearheaded the social media efforts of the company, and created the company’s first loyalty program, during a period which saw the chain grow by 50%. Manganaro combines a drive to integrate data into marketing decisions, cultivate process improvements through the organization, and collaborate with the merchant and operational teams to achieve an engaging, satisfying experience for customers.