Carolynn Martin-Person is currently the president of the View Park Section of the National Council of Negro Women Inc. Southern California Area. She is and has always been a community advocate and activist and is dedicated to the mission of the National Council of Negro Women Inc. She currently works in the field of HIV/AIDS as a Program Director and brings this expertise to NCNW. NCNW has a worldwide interest in the effects of HIV/AIDS on communities of color and this focus is locally supported by View Park. Mrs. Martin-Person is also the Co-Chair for the National Black HIV AIDS Awareness Day Coalition Los Angeles. She is the mother of four adult children and grandmother of fifteen.
Michael Schlesinger, President of Cambra Realty, is a real estate entrepreneur and investment expert with more than fifteen years of experience focused on Southern California’s dynamic office market. He has provided strategic direction and leadership for Cambra Realty and all of its transactions and joint ventures since the firm’s inception in 2005. Michael has been recognized by Real Estate Southern California as one of the “Top 40 Rising Young Stars” in commercial real estate. Michael is a proud and devoted parent of three young children – two of whom attend elementary school within LAUSD – also sitting on the board of his children’s preschool and elementary school PTA.
Christie is a partner and innovation strategist at Cypress, LLP. She directs the firm’s strategic initiatives, client retention and development programs and oversees a client service program which provides business and marketing support to the firm’s growing incubator of entrepreneurial, start-up and emerging IP-focused clients. Christie practiced law for 13 years at big law firms in Los Angeles. She has extensive experience as a business development advisor to CEOs, general counsels and law firm management and has conducted numerous programs related to law firm innovation, leadership and communications.
Prior to joining Cypress, Christie was with Akina, an executive consulting and training firm. Prior to Akina, Christie served as counsel at the law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop where she managed large-scale corporate investigations in the firm’s securities regulatory and litigation practice group in Los Angeles. Prior to Pillsbury Winthrop, Christie was an associate at Morgan Lewis in Los Angeles where she was lead attorney on numerous complex litigation and environmental compliance matters. Before private practice, Christie was a law clerk to the Honorable Manual L. Real of the US District Court for the Central District of California.
Christie earned her law degree at City University of New York School of Law in 1996 and earned her BA in International Relations at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1990. She also serves as a board member of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Legal Marketing Association. Christie is a frequent speaker on topics related to law firm innovation, client experience, leadership, and business development. She is admitted to practice law in California and New York. Christie lives with her husband Patrick McEneany and their three children in Malibou Lake, California. They enjoy hiking, cooking and entertaining friends.
Maggie is a co-founder and partner at Global Philanthropy Group. She has addressed domestic and international social issues ranging from microfinance to childhood obesity and has provided strategy, communications and management services to multiple non-profit and private sector organizations including the United Nations, Amazon.com, Unitus, Rachael Ray's Yum-o! Organization, the Cobalt Group, the M.A.C. Global AIDS Fund, Synergos and the E&J Gallo Winery.
At GPG, Maggie leads efforts for clients including the Demi & Ashton Foundation, The Tory Burch Foundation, the Liya Kebede Foundation, Jim Carrey's Better U and John Legend's Show Me Campaign on issues including the economic empowerment of American women, child sex slavery, education reform, environmentally-friendly agriculture practices and maternal health, while managing the L.A. office.
Previously, as a strategy consultant, she launched new organizations, restructured existing efforts, forged partnerships across sectors and branded international efforts. Maggie helped design and launch Rachael Ray's Yum-O! organization which empowers kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking. For Sir Richard Branson and Nelson Mandela, she helped convene and advise the development of The Elders, an independent group of eminent global leaders who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. She also developed and implemented plans for the trailblazing and award-winning M.A.C. AIDS Fund and the United Nation's International Year of Microcredit. Maggie was an early employee at Unitus, where she drove the award-winning microfinance accelerator's advocacy, strategic partnership and communications efforts.
In addition to her philanthropic and socially-focused work, Maggie's private-sector experience in the technology and consumer product fields includes marketing, sales, business development, product and project management for Amazon.com, where she helped build the Gift department and managed the gift certificates division, The E&J Gallo Winery, where she managed corporate accounts and The Cobalt Group where she helped global automobile manufacturers design and implement online strategies.
Maggie is a founding board member of the Center for Women & Democracy, sits on the New Leadership Board for the International Women's Health Coalition, volunteers for the Trevor Group and has conducted international political training in Morocco and across Latin America for the National Democratic Institute. Maggie holds a BS from the University of Washington and an MBA from Columbia University, both with honors.
Peter Shakow joined the firm in December 2006. His practice focuses on white collar criminal defense, where his clients have included both individuals and organizations in matters ranging from health care and securities fraud to internal investigations and allegations of bribery in international athletics. He has represented doctors, lawyers, small business owners, corporate officers and directors, broker/dealers and public officials, among others. In these cases, he has actively negotiated with and litigated against United States Attorney's Offices, the Securities and Exchange Commission, state prosecutorial agencies and federal regulatory bodies. His civil practice includes False Claims Act defense, defense of municipalities, and general civil litigation. He was a litigator at O'Melveny & Myers LLP in Los Angeles from 1998-2003.
Peter also has extensive national, state, and local political experience. He was a staff member in the Office of Political Affairs at the White House during the Clinton Administration, and has worked on numerous political campaigns across the country. He remains involved in the community, both as an active participant in bar activities and as President of the Board of Directors of the Tierra del Sol Foundation, a non-profit that serves developmentally disabled adults. Immediately before joining the firm, he was Vice President of Communications for a $100 million/year nonprofit based in Los Angeles County.
Lydia Grant is a parent of three and longtime community activist from Sunland-Tujunga. She has been fighting for over 10 years to improve her local schools, and has volunteered full time at her children’s middle school for the past five years. She has been recognized with LAUSD’s “Beyond the Bell” award, as well as the President’s Volunteer Gold Level Service award. Additionally, she is currently the Education Representative for the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council, as well as the Education Chair for the Saving Los Angeles Project (S.L.A.P.).
Rica is the Executive Director of the Wasserman Foundation. She advises Casey Wasserman, the President and CEO, on strategic philanthropic initiatives in the areas of education, health, arts & culture, and global initiatives.
Rica has over 20 years of experience with media relations, strategic philanthropy, government relations, and event management. Rica started her career in The White House Press Office, serving for four years as President Clinton’s Radio Director. In this capacity, she produced the President’s Saturday morning radio addresses and coordinated press for the President, Vice President, First Lady and world leaders.
She then moved back home to Los Angeles to work at The Walt Disney Company as the Manager of Government Relations and Vice President of Disney’s political action committee. Following this, she served as the Director of Norman Lear’s Foundation and as Executive Director of the Wasserman Foundation.
Rica most recently owned a public relations and marketing firm. Her client roster included: the United Nations World Food Programme, the United Nations Foundation, CNN, the Sundance Channel, the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, the National World War II Memorial, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Global Campaign for Education, and the Washington, DC Convention and Tourism Corporation.
Rica is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative and serves on the Executive Committee of Human Rights Watch California Committee, the Board of the USC Annenberg Center for Communication Leadership and Policy, and the Board of the Getty House Foundation, which runs the official Mayoral Residence of Los Angeles. Rica graduated magna cum laude from UCLA in Communications Studies.
Rica enjoys adventure travel, has visited over 30 countries in the past few years, and is conversational in Mandarin.
Rick Miller has extensive experience in policy and communications on the federal and state level. A Principal at Capitol Impact, he is currently serving as a Senior Partner for California Education Partners, an education organization focused on improving student achievement by fostering school district collaboration, shared learning, and long term improvement, and as Executive Director of The Alliance for Regional Collaboration to Heighten Educational Success (ARCHES), a collaborative organization whose vision is to connect every public school in California with community colleges and baccalaureate-granting institutions, private sector representatives, community-based organizations, and family-centered associations. Rick has also served as a Deputy Superintendent for the California Department of Education, strategic communications advisor to the Chancellor of the CSU System, and Press Secretary for Secretary of Education Richard Riley in the Clinton Administration. He lives in Rocklin, California with his wife, Julie, an elementary school speech therapist and their two sons, Casey and Ryan.
Karen is a longtime parent activist from Inglewood and is one of the founding parents of the Los Angeles Parents Union.
Dr. Lisa Dyson is the Founding CEO of Kiverdi, a biofuel start-up that is working to recycle carbon to create fuel that is sustainable and scalable. Lisa has 17 years of experience in management, business consulting, technology development and research. As a management consultant at The Boston Consulting Group, Lisa worked with multi-national corporations to develop market expansion strategies, facilitate post-merger integrations, define governance models and identify operational cost inefficiencies. Lisa was on the founding team of a technology startup founded at MIT, which received funding from Microsoft. Lisa also built and led a team that developed a technology platform from the ground up for a recent Presidential campaign, which was adopted as a part of the campaign's national strategy. In addition, Lisa has a strong scientific background, which includes conducting research in physics and bioengineering at Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCSF, MIT, Princeton and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. Lisa has a PhD in Physics from MIT, where she conducted research in String Theory, was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of London, where she received a MS in Physics with an emphasis in Quantum Fields and Fundamental Forces, and has degrees in Mathematics and Physics from Brandeis University.
Marco Petruzzi is President and Chief Executive Officer of Green Dot Public Schools. During Marco’s tenure, Green Dot won Los Angeles School Board approval to rejuvenate Locke High School in Watts and began operating it in fall 2008, re-structuring it into smaller, college-prep schools. In just 3 short years Locke High School has more than tripled the number of students that are enrolling in 4-year universities. Green Dot has also established itself as a leading agent of reform, creating a world-class school and instructional leadership model as well as an efficient central office to support the schools in many areas including accounting, human resources, knowledge management, information technology, and real estate development. Green Dot Public Schools has now been engaged by LAUSD to address the turnaround of more chronically underperforming schools.