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2015 Annual Conference Speakers




Christina Altmayer

Executive Director, Children and Families Commission of Orange County (@CFCOC)

Christina Altmayer has served as the Executive Director of the Children and Families Commission since March 2013 after serving six months as the Interim Executive Director. Her leadership has focused on developing diversified funding to sustain the Commission’s impact on early childhood health and school, including exploring the feasibility of Pay for Success contracts through philanthropic and federal grants.  Altmayer had previously served as a consultant to the Commission since its inception in 1999 and served as Program Director for its pediatric health investments. She was also President of Altmayer Consulting, Inc. and has worked with government agencies at the state, county, and community level on strategic planning, performance management, evaluation, and program design. Altmayer holds a BA and MA in Public Administration from St. John’s University, New York.



Dennis Arriola

President and CEO, SoCalGas (@SoCalGas)

Dennis Arriola leads SoCalGas, the nation’s largest natural gas distribution company. SoCalGas has over 8,000 employees and is headquartered in Los Angeles. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President and CFO for SunPower Corp., a Silicon Valley-based solar panel manufacturer. He has held leadership positions with SDG&E and SoCalGas, as well as Sempra Energy and Sempra’s South American operations. Arriola serves on the boards of United Way of Greater Los Angeles, California Business Roundtable, Latino Donor Collaborative and Southern California Leadership Council. He is involved in United Way’s Linked Learning work with the LA Unified School District.



Kim Belshé

Executive Director, First 5 Los Angeles (@First5LA)

Kim Belshé was named Executive Director of First 5 Los Angeles in November 2012. Prior to joining First 5 LA, she served as senior policy advisor of Public Policy Institute of California and, from 2003-2011, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency in the Administration of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. She previously held a number of leadership positions in state government, including director of the Department of Health Services and deputy secretary of the Health and Welfare Agency under Governor Pete Wilson. Belshé also has served in leadership positions in California philanthropy, including the James Irvine Foundation. She was a founding member of the board of the state's Health Benefit Exchange, Covered California, in 2011, and of the State First 5 Commission in 1999. She currently serves on the board of the Blue Shield of California Foundation and is a member of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. Belshé holds a master's degree in public policy from Princeton University and a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard College. 


Kute Blackson (@KuteBlackson)

Kute Blackson is an utterly unique visionary in the world of human potential. Unlike those who promise to simply help people “get” what they want, Kute’s life work instead reveals to people what they have to give, by liberating who they are most truly and deeply.World renowned for creating revolutionary results and a world-shift in consciousness, Kute is widely known as a transformational facilitator, speaker, and leader. Today, the venue for his message may be one-on-one, a vast stadium setting, experiential seminars, and transformational travel intensives all of over the world. And his uniquely inspiring cutting edge videos have reached millions of people worldwide. Kute works with clients from all walks of life, ranging from billionaires, celebrities, entrepreneurs, circus performers, politicians, mothers and children in over 20 countries, and for the past 14 years has been a trusted advisor and coach to CEO’s and world leaders. Acclaimed worldwide for his life changing, one of a kind, transformational experiences, he is considered one of the leading voices in the fields of transformation and spirituality. Kute is an inspiring modern day spiritual teacher and a bold voice for a new generation.


Greg Bradbard

President and CEO, Inland Empire United Way

Gregory Bradbard serves as the President and CEO for Inland Empire United Way.  With eighteen years of leadership, management, fundraising, and programmatic experience, Bradbard brings growth-oriented passion to United Way’s focus on improving the lives and futures of low-income families and children in the Inland Empire. Under Bradbard’s leadership, IEUW has increased its community impact, created the Mentor Connection initiative, developed the successful Challenge for Children Winter Benefit, launched the Inland Empire’s Nonprofit Resource Directory -, and combined operations with Desert Communities United Way. He has appeared on many local radio and television programs focused on the topics of poverty and child abuse and he writes a regular column in the Foothills Reader section of the L.A. Times. He also serves as Vice Chair for the Funders Alliance of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties and participates on several other local collaborative initiatives.


Lauren Bradford, Moderator

Manager, Global Partnerships, Foundation Center

Lauren Bradford is Manager of Global Partnerships and also manages the SDG Philanthropy Platform including She joined Foundation Center to create a global strategy to develop and manage bilateral and multilateral partnerships instrumental in fulfilling Foundation Center’s vision to build the global data and knowledge base for philanthropy. Bradford has degrees in both urban planning and international development and understands the global development framework, including the creation and implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, the Sustainable Development Goals and the financing of the Post-2015 development agenda.


John Hope Bryant (@JohnHopeBryant)

Creator, Bryant Group Ventures and Founder/CEO, Operation HOPE, Inc. (@OperationHope)

John Hope Bryant is an entrepreneur, businessman, author, thought leader, and philanthropist, as well as the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Ventures. Through Operation HOPE and its partners, Bryant is responsible for more than $2 billion of private capital supporting low-wealth home ownership, small businesses, entrepreneurship and community development investments in under-served communities across the U.S. The organization operates on-the-ground partnerships in more than 300 U.S. cities, South Africa, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and has served more than 1.5 million clients. With his book, How The Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding The Path to the Middle Class, Bryant became the only best-selling author on economics in the world today who happens to also be African-American. In 2014, he was appointed by President Obama to serve on his new U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans. Bryant has co-founded a variety of other organizations and initiatives including Wikia-HOPE Global Money Initiative, Gallup-HOPE Index, Global Dignity, The New Leaders organization (Los Angeles) and Just Brothers (Atlanta).



Laphonza Butler (@LaphonzaB)

President, SEIU United Long Term Care Workers (@SEIU2015)

Laphonza Butler serves as President of SEIU United Long Term Care Workers. ULTCW represents 180,000 long term care workers throughout California (in-home caregivers and nursing home workers). Despite her young age, President Butler brings to these executive positions years of experience working to improve the lives of SEIU members. She has a consistent and extensive track record of successfully running strategic organizing campaigns, forming alliances with community and political allies, and partnering with other unions to build worker strength. Prior to her current executive roles, President Butler served as SEIU’s Property Services Division Director, responsible for the strategic direction of the more than 250,000 janitors, security officers, window cleaners, and food service workers across the country. She was also instrumental in reaching collective bargaining agreements on behalf of 20,000 security officers in nine major cities across the United States, and played a key role in organizing of 25,000 foodservice workers in a virtually non-union industry.


Edmund Cain

Vice President, Grant Programs, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

Edmund J. Cain oversees all domestic and international grant programming at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, including overall responsibility for the Foundation’s strategic planning. Prior to joining the Foundation, Cain was director of The Carter Center’s Global Development Initiative, which facilitated national development strategies in post-conflict countries. A senior member of The Carter Center’s Peace Program team, Cain advised former President Carter on global development issues and participated in election monitoring missions. Cain is also Vice Chair of the SCG Board of Directors. A Fellow at the Harvard Center for International Affairs and Senior Fellow at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, Cain holds a Master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Oregon and a bachelor’s degree in political science and international affairs from the University of Delaware.



Arnold L. Chandler (@ArnoldChandler)

Co-Founder, Forward Change Consulting

Arnold L. Chandler is an advocate, researcher, trainer and social change strategist who for more than 12 years has helped nonprofits and foundations to develop evidence-informed strategies to advance programs and policies focused on social and economic equity. He is the co-founder of Forward Change Consulting based in Oakland, California. Recently, he was a Senior Research Associate at the Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at the U.C. Berkeley School of Law. Before that he was a research Analyst working with a team to reform the Oakland Police Department as part of a federal lawsuit settled in 2001. Prior to that he was a researcher and policy strategist at PolicyLink for six years. Chandler has authored several important policy analyses and studies in the social justice field as well as advised several nonprofit organizations on the use of Internet tools for supporting advocacy and social change efforts. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a M.S. in Information Systems. He lives in Oakland, California with his wife Janet.


Christy Chin

Managing Partner, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation

Before joining DRK in 2009, Christy Chin was the Deputy Director of The Philanthropy Workshop West at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, an executive leadership program for high-net worth individuals committed to increasing the effectiveness their philanthropy. Prior to Hewlett, she was a Senior Program Officer at the Skoll Foundation where she selected and supported recipients of the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship and led efforts to develop the field of social entrepreneurship. Chin also has for-profit experience in venture capital with Bedrock Capital Partners and Norwest Venture Capital. Earlier in her career, she conducted research on entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship at the Harvard Business School with Professors J. Gregory Dees and Jeffry A. Timmons. Chin currently serves on the boards of DRK portfolio organizations including Accountability Counsel, Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, Avanti, CareMessage, Jacaranda Health, Students for Education Reform, and Watsi. She chairs the board of Benetech, serves on the National Venture Capital Association board and advisory board of Ashoka U. Chin previously served on the boards of Urban Teacher Center, Blue Engine and Green City Force. She received her Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School and holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Colgate University.


Celia Cudiamat

Executive Vice President, Programs, The Community Foundation Serving the Counties of Riverside and San Bernardino

Celia Cudiamat is Executive Vice President of Programs at The Community Foundation (TCF). Her main responsibility is to provide leadership and primary oversight for all grants and scholarship programs which includes competitive grantmaking, field of interest programs, donor-advised giving, initiatives, and special projects. One of Cudiamat’s major roles is to assist donors in developing strategies to fulfill their philanthropic goals, establish specialized grant and scholarship programs, promote collaborative funding strategies, and diversify donors’ grantmaking objectives. She also cultivates, secures, and stewards private/public sources of funding for TCF charitable giving to meet community needs. Cudiamat volunteers as a grant reviewer for various funding entities, local and statewide. She is a graduate of UCLA.

Kathleen de Chadenèdes

Director, Grant Programs, Orfalea Foundation School Food Initiative

Kathleen de Chadenèdes is a professional chef and sustainable agriculture advocate with an academic background in food science and human nutrition. After a varied career in the food service industry, she worked as Food Service Manager for a community action agency overseeing nutrition services for its child care programs. She was on the founding Board of Directors of the Central Coast Agriculture Network and served on the Advisory Board of the Cal Poly College of Agriculture Center for Sustainability. Currently, de Chadenèdes directs the School Food Initiative for the Orfalea Foundation and serves on the Steering Committee for Partners for Fit Youth and the Executive Team for the Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan.


Amy Dominguez-Arms

Vice President for Programs, The James Irvine Foundation

Amy Dominguez-Arms was appointed vice president for programs of The James Irvine Foundation in 2015. Dominguez-Arms provides oversight for all of the Foundation’s grantmaking programs. Dominguez-Arms is a member of the Steering Committee of the national Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation. A graduate of Stanford University with BA degrees in international relations and Spanish, she also holds a MPA from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


Jessica Ellis

Executive Director, Centinela Youth Services

Jessica Ellis serves as Executive Director of Centinela Youth Services (CYS) and the Everychild Restorative Justice Centers, which strives to end the school-to-prison pipeline and the over-incarceration of youth. Providing highly effective rehabilitative Restorative Justice services, CYS reduces youth delinquency and improves services to victims of youth crime. CYS’s Victim Offender Restitution Services (VORS) program has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as effective and listed on the National Registry of Evidence Based Programs and Practices. Ellis comes to CYS with 21 years of experience in youth development, education, non-profit management and restorative justice. Additionally, Ellis received recognition from the California State Senate for her “visionary leadership” in building the LA-county wide VORS program from its infancy to being the second largest program of its kind in the country, reducing recidivism of offenders served by over 70%. As an advisor to other non-profits, Ellis has helped organizations improve program effectiveness, board engagement and funding levels. While with the Josephson Institute of Ethics, Ellis consulted with schools and other community organizations on building ethical organizational culture as well as effective youth development strategies. Major clients included the US Army, State Departments of Education, LA County Probation Department, and Rotary International. A graduate of Scripps College in Claremont, CA, Ellis is a certified mediator, certified rape crisis counselor and an active volunteer in her community. Ellis volunteers with victims of human trafficking, and together, she and her husband serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates for abused and neglected foster youth.


Malissa Feruzzi Shriver

Executive Director, Turnaround Arts: California (@TurnarndArtsCA)

Malissa Feruzzi Shriver is the Executive Director of Turnaround Arts California, the state affiliate of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) program, chaired by First Lady Michelle Obama. Malissa also serves as the President of the board for Turnaround Arts CA, and was hired by Frank Gehry in 2013, to do arts education advocacy and political strategy. Malissa was appointed to the California Arts Council in 2005 and served as chairman for four years. She was co-chair of the California Task Force on Creative Education, appointed by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. Malissa is the co-founder of CREATE CA, a statewide coalition of partners working to restore arts education to public schools. She is the former 1st Vice President of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies board, chairing the Arts Learning Advisory Committee. Malissa is a former board member of WESTAF, the Western States Arts Federation, serving on their congressional advocacy committee as well as the executive committee. Malissa is also a former member of the California Alliance for Arts Education Policy board, the California Music Project and serves on the board of trustees for the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), the advisory board of GET LIT, and for CRoC, the Centers for Research on Creativity. She attended UCLA and the Harvard Kennedy School's State and Local Government Program and in 2014 won the national arts education award from Americans for the Arts. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Laguna College of Arts and Design.


Adrianna Foss

Director, Orfalea Foundation Early Childhood Education

Adrianna Foss’s experience includes more than 25 years with entrepreneurial organizations in the Santa Barbara area. In 2003, she joined the Orfalea Foundation and her first focus was on engaging directors and teachers at early education care centers. Foss also oversees all early childhood education granting and initiatives with the goal of increasing the quality and impact of early education.  Santa Barbara County has achieved a rate of high quality nationally accredited centers at a percentage that is eight times the statewide percentage. Two innovative ECE programs implemented with support by the Orfalea Foundation include the Outdoor Classroom Project – Santa Barbara County, and the Preschool Food Initiative.


Dr. Robert Garcia (@RobertGarciaLB)

Mayor of Long Beach (@LongBeachCity)

Dr. Robert Garcia, 37, is an educator and the 28th Mayor of Long Beach. Mayor Garcia has taken a leadership role in economic development, education, and investing in technology. Mayor Garcia has been a member of the public policy and communications faculty at the University of Southern California, and taught Communication Studies at both California State University, Long Beach and Long Beach City College. His passion for education led him to pursue a Doctorate in Higher Education. Mayor Garcia also holds a Masters Degree in Communication Management from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Studies from California State University, Long Beach. In 2007, Garcia co-founded and launched the Long Beach Post, a Long Beach based media website and newspaper. Garcia served as Vice Mayor from 2012 - 2014 and was elected to the City Council in 2009. He also served on the California Coastal Commission from January, 2013 until taking office as Mayor of Long Beach. Robert Garcia was born in Lima, Peru, and immigrated to the United States at age 5 with his family. He was the first person in his family to attend and graduate college, While at CSULB, he was elected student body president. 


Colette Hadley

Director of Consulting Services, National College Access Network

As NCAN’s director of consulting services, Colette Hadley helps foundations, corporations, nonprofits, and schools to deploy best practices in college access and financial aid advising services for underserved students, strategic need-based scholarship management, fundraising, and related organizational and board development. Services include program assessment and recommendations for improvement, strategic planning, and technical assistance to implement new approaches. Hadley has significant nonprofit volunteer board experience as the chair of the Santa Barbara Cal-SOAP (Student Opportunity and Access Program) Consortium and as a past board member for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Santa Barbara Rotary Foundation, Meals on Wheels, Planned Parenthood, and Special Olympics. Hadley studied biological sciences at UC Irvine.



Dr. Sandra R. Hernández

President and CEO, California HealthCare Foundation (@CHCFNews)

Dr. Sandra R. Hernández became President and CEO of the California HealthCare Foundation in January 2014. Prior to joining CHCF, Hernández was CEO of The San Francisco Foundation, which she led for 16 years. She previously served as director of public health for the City and County of San Francisco. Sandra is an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine and maintains a clinical practice at San Francisco General Hospital in the AIDS clinic. She is a graduate of Yale University, the Tufts School of Medicine, and the certificate program for senior executives in state and local government at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Originally from Tucson, Arizona, she spent much of her childhood in rural New Mexico with her grandparents. There she came to honor and appreciate her Mexican culture and the intrinsic values of community and public service. Sandra serves as a trustee of the Reno-based Asbestos Settlement Trusts and as an independent director of First Republic Bank. She is a member of the Public Policy Institute of California's Statewide Leadership Council, the Yale University President's Council, the UCSF Chancellor's Advisory Board, and the UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute Advisory Board. Her earlier affiliations include President Clinton's Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Healthcare Industry, and two Institute of Medicine committees — on the Consequences of Uninsurance and on the Implementation of Antiviral Medication Strategies for an Influenza Pandemic. Sandra is a former board member of Grantmakers In Health, the Council on Foundations, and the California Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board (MRMIB). She co-chaired San Francisco's Universal Healthcare Council, which designed Healthy San Francisco, an innovative health access program for the uninsured.



Alex M. Johnson (@AMJ_AlexJohnson)

Executive Director, Children’s Defense Fund – California (@CDFCA)

Alex Johnson is the Executive Director for the Children's Defense Fund-California. In this capacity he leads the organizations statewide advocacy, policy, program and organizing efforts to ensure access to quality affordable health coverage and care for children and low income families, reforming the juvenile justice system, promoting educational equity, and ending child poverty. Prior to assuming this position, Alex served as Assistant Senior Deputy for Education and Public Safety to Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. A native of Los Angeles, before returning to his hometown, Alex worked with school instructional leaders in the New York City Department of Education where he provided counsel to school leaders and departmental executives as well as managed complex civil litigation, policy matters and special disciplinary proceedings as part of a teacher quality initiative. He taught constitutional law and civics to high school students as a Fellow with the Marshall Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project. Additionally, Alex served as an adjunct lecturer at Lehman College, one of 23-colleges in the City University of New York (CUNY) system. Alex previously served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx, New York where he advocated for victims of domestic violence and prosecuted their offenders. Alex is a graduate of Morehouse College and earned his Juris Doctor from American University, Washington College of Law. He is a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Education and serves on the Board of the Wiley Center for Speech and Language Development, a clinic for children with autism and other related developmental disabilities. Alex is the author of Beyond Higher Education: The Need for African-Americans to be "Knowledge Producers."


Cinny Kennard (@Ckennard)

Executive Director, Annenberg Foundation (@Annenberg_Fdn)

Cinny Kennard serves as the Executive Director of the Annenberg Foundation, one of the largest family foundations in the United States. Since 1989, the Annenberg Foundation has awarded more than 10,000 grants totaling over $4.4 billion to more than 3,300 nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining the Annenberg Foundation in January 2015, Cinny was the Senior Vice President in charge of Programming at the Smithsonian Institution. In that role, she created partnerships with the Smithsonian involving national and international partners for special educational and media initiatives; managed the programming relationships in the joint venture between the Smithsonian and Showtime/CBS known as the Smithsonian Networks; and brought President Obama for a first-ever interview on Smithsonian Channel. Before Smithsonian, Kennard was the first Managing Director of National Public Radio's West Coast Production Center – NPR West – in Culver City, with executive responsibility for operational and editorial oversight. Kennard also played a key role in a variety of Annenberg initiatives for over a decade. As a senior advisor to the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, she organized outreach to Washington, DC stakeholders including the White House, Capitol Hill leadership and the State Department.Kennard co-founded the Carole Kneeland Project for Responsible Television Journalism, the Walter Cronkite Awards and the Reliable Resources for Broadcast Political Coverage. She serves on the editorial advisory board of Global Post, an online international newsgathering operation; the DuPont Columbia University Jury; and is a longtime member of the Trusteeship of the International Women’s Forum. Cinny is also a Senior Fellow at the Center on Communication Leadership and Policy at the USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism. She helped write Best of Both Worlds: Museums, Libraries, and Archives in a Digital Age by G. Wayne Clough, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution; co-authored a piece for The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation; co-authored “Characteristics of War Coverage by Female Correspondents” in Media and Conflict in the 21st Century; and authored numerous articles for The Huffington Post. Earlier in her career, Kennard was an award-winning television news correspondent for CBS News in Los Angeles, Moscow and London. S


Jessica LaBarbera (@jessmlab)

Director of the California Market, Nonprofit Finance Fund (@NFFSocialImpact)

Jessica LaBarbera currently works as Director of the California Market and in that role leads program growth and product delivery in California. She is responsible for identifying market needs and opportunities and meeting business development goals, as well as overseeing new regional initiatives and rolling out new products and services in the region. Having previously served as an Associate Director for the Northeast Region of NFF, LaBarbera plays an important role in integrating the organization’s national initiatives to those of the California market. Previously, she was a Vice President at Citi Community Capital, a division of Citigroup Global Markets Inc., where she provided structured financing and relationship management to national nonprofit and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) clients. Additionally, LaBarbera has served as a consultant to both municipal government social service agencies and nonprofit advocacy organizations and direct service providers. She holds an MPA in Nonprofit Management from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a BA in Sociology from the University of Virginia.


Margarita Luna

Program Manager, The California Endowment

Margarita Luna joined The California Endowment in June 2007. As Program Manager for communities in the Eastern Coachella Valley under The Endowment’s 10-year Building Healthy Communities initiative, Luna manages a grant portfolio focused on improving community health through community engagement in policy/advocacy and systems change. Prior to joining The Endowment, Luna served as a Keck-Vivian Weinstein Child Advocacy Fellow and Senior Social Worker for Public Counsel – the largest pro bono public interest law firm in the U.S. – where she managed the Special Needs Advocacy Project, a client advocacy program. She earned her B.A. in Sociology and Chicano/a Studies, M.P.H. in Community Health Sciences, and M.S.W. in Health Services from UCLA.


Julio Marcial (@jm_wellness)

Program Director, The California Wellness Foundation (@calwellness)

Julio Marcial is a program director at The California Wellness Foundation where he currently manages grantmaking related to violence prevention, leadership development, capacity building and innovation. His responsibilities include reviewing letters of interest, requesting and evaluating grant proposals, conducting site visits, making funding recommendations and monitoring active grants. In 1998, Marcial joined the Cal Wellness communications department, and was appointed program director in 2007. Previously, Marcial held a fellowship through the Committee on Institutional Cooperation at the Rackham School of Graduate Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where his thesis focused on the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to addressing child sexual abuse. Marcial is an appointed member of the Juvenile Justice Standing Committee of the California Board of State and Community Corrections, and a member of the World Health Organization’s Violence Prevention Alliance Advisory Committee, the Executives’ Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Urban Networks to Increase Thriving Youth. He is also a board member of T.R.U.S.T. South LA and a 2014 American Express NGen Fellow. Previously, he was on the board for the All For One Youth Mentoring Program, the Los Angeles Music and Art School, and Hispanics in Philanthropy. Marcial earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology of mass communications from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was awarded an American Sociological Association fellowship to study racial and ethnic disparities in the California juvenile justice system. 



Mercedes Márquez

Founder and President, Marquez Community Strategy and former Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, Office of Community Planning and Development

Mercedes Márquez is an experienced practitioner, strategist, and innovator with more than 30 years of leadership and public service in housing and economic development, community advocacy, city management, and executive coaching. She is adept at both crafting a vision and executing it to create effective social change, and has served from multiple perspectives throughout these sectors – in local government as a Deputy Mayor in Los Angeles and federal government as an Assistant Secretary at HUD, as a civil rights advocate, and in real estate development. At times, she has overseen more than 800 employees and managed more than $50 billion in funds.


Jessica Martinez

Member, The Anti-Recidivism Coalition and InsideOUT Writers (@AntiRecidivism)

Growing up in Los Angeles, Jessica Martinez spent her childhood in a mire of parental neglect, drug addiction, and abandonment. This unstable environment led her into the foster care system and, ultimately, into juvenile hall. However, while she was incarcerated, Martinez discovered the InsideOUT Writers (IOW) program and the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC). There she was introduced to mentors who were invested in her success, and showed her that she had her own voice. Today, Martinez works full time and is enrolling in college to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. She is an incredible writer and shares her work at weekly writing circles with IOW, as well as at awareness-building events hosted by ARC.


Kennedy Odede

Founder and CEO, Shining Hope for Communities

Kennedy Odede is one of Africa’s best-known community organizers and social entrepreneurs. He was raised in Kibera, the largest urban slum in Africa, experiencing the realities of life in extreme poverty. Odede co-founded Shining Hope for Communities in 2009. Odede was awarded the 2010 Echoing Green Fellowship, won the 2010 Dell Social Innovation Competition, wrote two Op-Eds that appeared in the New York Times, was named one of Forbes’ 2014 30 Under 30: Social Entrepreneurs, and is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative. His work has been featured in the PBS documentary Half the Sky, by Chelsea Clinton and Maria Menounos on NBC, by President Bill Clinton, and by Nicholas Kristof. Kennedy speaks six languages, is a senior fellow with Humanity in Action, and an Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow. Although he was informally educated, Kennedy received a full-scholarship to Wesleyan University, becoming one of Kibera’s first to receive an education from an American liberal arts institution. He graduated in 2012 as the Commencement Speaker and with honors in Sociology.


Jessica Posner Odede

Founder and CFO, Shining Hope for Communities

Jessica Posner Odede is the Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer of Shining Hope for Communities. She is a nationally recognized social entrepreneur and activist. After meeting Odede in 2007 when working with SHOFCO in Kibera as a study abroad student, she became deeply moved by the struggles facing the Kibera community. She won the 2010 Do Something Award and was named “America’s top-world changer 25 and under” live on VH1. She also received the prestigious Echoing Green Fellowship. Jessica speaks Swahili and Luo. Posner Odede graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors in African-American Studies from Wesleyan University.


Thomas C. Parker

Chairman, Hutton Companies and President, Hutton Parker Foundation

He is responsible for all fiscal and operational management of Hutton Parker Foundation and its holdings. The Foundation’s primary areas of interest include Education, Health & Human Services, Civic & Community Development, Youth and Family Services and Arts & Culture. The Foundation currently has assets of more than $100,000,000. Hutton Parker Foundation also owns and manages more than 250,000 square feet of office space in 17 buildings serving more than 90 local area nonprofit organizations. In addition, since 1999, the Foundation has awarded and managed more than 25 Program Related Investments (PRIs) or loans totaling $7.3 million to local area nonprofits allowing an organization to purchase property for their use, make tenant improvements or refinance an existing mortgage. Other unique funding opportunities include marketing and media grant programs developed in partnership with several local media outlets allowing nonprofits with better outreach and communication tools. The work of Hutton Parker Foundation and Tom’s individual efforts have been honored by the presentation of several awards including: Philanthropist of the Year for Santa Barbara County; Santa Barbara Newspress Lifetime Achievement Award; Independent Local Hero; Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce Albert Julius Boeseke Founders Award; Women’s Economic Ventures Man of Equality; Goleta Man of the Year; Dream Foundation’s Dream Maker Circle; Santa Barbara Education Foundation Hope Award and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Legacy Award. The $100 Million Secret, a book recently written and published by Tom chronicles the events of the Foundation into mission based investing. He received both his undergraduate education and MBA at California Lutheran University.


Anthony Pipa

Special Coordinator for the Post-2015 Development Agenda, U.S. Department of States

Anthony Pipa is the U.S Special Coordinator for the Post-2015 Development Agenda, leading U.S. engagement during the intergovernmental process at the U.N. He is the International Policy Adviser to the Administrator and Deputy Assistant to the Administrator in USAID's Bureau of Policy, Planning, and Learning, where he leads and elevates the Agency's international thought leadership as well as engagement with bilateral and multi-lateral donor partners on key policy priorities. He represents the Agency in the global dialogue to create a successor framework to the Millennium Development Goals post-2015 and serves on the Expert Reference Group on External Financing for Development at the OECD. He attended Stanford University, was graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. from Duke University, and earned her MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School.


David Rattray (@David_DRattray)

Senior Vice President, Education & Workforce Development, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and UNITE-LA (@LAAreaChamber)

David Rattray oversees the Education and Workforce Development department at the Chamber and UNITE-LA, the School-to-Career Partnership of Los Angeles. Rattray officially joined the Chamber in 2003 after being a strategic partner for several years. Since 1998, he has led UNITE-LA in building business and educational partnerships toward a goal of improving the academic achievement and enthusiasm for learning for all Los Angeles students. Previously Rattray spent more than 20 years in the foodservice distribution industry. Rattray served on the L.A. City Workforce Investment Board and Youth Council and was vice chair of the State Workforce Investment Board's Lifelong Learning Committee. Rattray earned his M.B.A. from the University of Southern California. When Rattray really wants to shine, he plays his tuba.


Philipe Sion

Director, FSG

As Director at FSG, a nonprofit consulting firm, Philippe Sion has led a variety of engagements on a range of issues including the evaluation of a major global health initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa, the identification of shared value opportunities for an oil and gas client in South Asia, taking a collective impact approach to climate change issues, and developing the strategic orientation of family foundations and large nonprofits. His expertise has also been sought after by governments in North America, Latin America, Western and Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. He is a Resource Board Member at wise philanthropy advisors (Geneva) and a Performance and Outcome Committee Member of Jewish Vocational Services. Sion received his M.Sc. in financial economics from University of London and received his License in International Relations from the Graduate Institute of International Studies (Geneva).


Michele Siqueiros (@MSCollegeOpp)

President, The Campaign for College Opportunity (@CollegeOpp)

Michele Siqueiros oversees the organization’s strategy, policy priorities, fundraising, and serves as the leading spokesperson for our work. Michele has been with the Campaign since 2004, serving first as the Associate Director and the past seven years as Executive Director and was named President in 2014. With her leadership in 2010, the Campaign led the effort for historic transfer reform that will make it easier for students to transfer from any California Community College to the California State University system and most recently led support for the passage of the Student Success Act of 2012. She currently serves on the Boards of the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) and the Alliance for a Better Community (ABC) and from 2011-2014, Michele served as a gubernatorial appointee to the California Student Aid Commission, the state agency responsible for distributing and awarding over $1.7 billion annually in Cal Grant aid to California college students. In 2015, the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation named her their Woman of the Year. Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) named Michele their HOPE Treasure in 2014. That same year, La Opinion Newspaper gave her the Hispanic Leader Award for her leadership in education. In 2008, La Opinion named her one of Los Angeles’ Mujeres Destacadas (Outstanding Woman). She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies and Chicano/a Studies from Pitzer College and her Master of Arts in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is based in our Los Angeles office.


Hedrick Smith (@HedrickSmith1)

New York Times reporter, correspondent and author

Hedrick Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times reporter and editor and Emmy award-winning producer/correspondent, has established himself over the past 50 years as one of America’s premier journalists. His current best-seller, “Who Stole the American Dream?” is a stunning account of how we have become Two Americas, hailed both for its compelling stories and ”brilliant analysis.” As a sequel, Mr. Smith has created an informational website on reform issues and strategies. In 26 years with The New York Times, Smith served in Saigon, Cairo, Paris, the American South and as bureau chief in Moscow and Washington. In 1971, he was a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team for the Pentagon Papers series and in 1974, he won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting from Russia and Eastern Europe. His subsequent book The Russians was a No.1 American best-seller translated into 16 languages. Smith’s next book, The Power Game: How Washington Works, was bedside reading for President Clinton. Many members of Congress used it as a political bible. He has written three other best-sellers. For PBS, Hedrick Smith has created 26 prime-time specials and mini-series since 1989 on such varied topics as “Inside the Terror Network,” “Is Wal-Mart Good for America?” “The Wall Street Fix,” “Inside Gorbachev’s USSR,” “Can You Afford to Retire?” and “Rediscovering Dave Brubeck.” He has won most of television’s top awards including two Emmys, two national public service awards, and two Dupont-Columbia Gold batons for the best public affairs programs on U.S. television in 1991 and in 2002.


Christopher J. Steinhauser (SuptSteinhauser)

Superintendent of Schools, Long Beach Unified School District (@LBSchools)

Christopher J. Steinhauser has served as superintendent of the Long Beach Unified School District since 2002. The school district is California’s third largest, with about 80,000 students. With more than 30 years of experience in Long Beach’s diverse school system, Steinhauser has earned a national reputation for improving student achievement and closing achievement gaps. His school district has earned the national Broad Prize for Urban Education and has qualified as a finalist for the award five times. In a 2010 report, McKinsey & Company, a trusted advisor and counselor to many of the most influential businesses and institutions in the world, named the Long Beach Unified School District one of the world's 20 leading school systems -- and one of the top three in the U.S. -- in terms of sustained and significant improvements. The school district was later listed among the world's top five school systems by the nonprofit Battelle for Kids organization. LBUSD's students, 70 percent of whom receive free and reduced-price lunches, recently earned a record $96 million in college scholarships. Seven of Long Beach’s high schools were named in 2015 among the top 10 percent in the United States by the Washington Post. Steinhauser has a strong track record of boosting achievement in all geographic areas of the school district. Beginning as a successful teacher at an inner-city elementary school in Long Beach, Steinhauser went on to attain high student achievement as a school principal. He became Deputy Superintendent in 1999 before his unanimous appointment as Superintendent in 2002. During his years as Deputy Superintendent, students in all major racial and ethnic groups throughout the district made unprecedented gains on state tests. Steinhauser is a product of the Long Beach Unified School District, where he attended continuously from kindergarten until his graduation from Wilson High School in 1977. He attended Long Beach City College and California State University Long Beach, earning a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and a master’s degree in educational administration. He earned multiple-subject and administrative services credentials at the university.



Benjamin Torres

President and Chief Executive Officer, Community Development Technologies Center (@CDTech)

Benjamin Torres is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Development Technologies Center (CDTech). CDTech is 501 (C3) non-profit focused on addressing issues of community and economic development in low-income areas of Los Angeles through a social justice lens that empowers residents and communities to rebuild them. Mr. Torres worked side-by-side with Dr. Denise Fairchild (previous President/CEO) over the past eight years to (1) build the Community Planning program at LA Trade-Tech College; (2) lead CDTech’s comprehensive community initiative in Vernon-Central; and (3) provide leadership to our Working Democracy Division as Vice President. He is recognized as a major social justice leader both locally and nationally through his extensive background and work in developing grassroots and youth leadership, school and community partnerships as well as shaping community benefits agreements. He was instrumental in bringing the Public Allies program to CDTech, to build out the leadership and nonprofit workforce development pipeline in our underserved communities. He is a faculty member and Director of the Community Planning Program at Los Angeles Trade Technical College. In this capacity he has been responsible for the strategic planning and day-to-day management of the certificate and associate degree programs in community planning. He has ten years of experience teaching, curriculum design, student and faculty development and support at LATTC and is responsible for overseeing community outreach and student community service activities. He has utilized creative solutions to bring non-traditional students into the college and developed bilingual programs to provide courses for groups like the promotoras de salud and other immigrant communities of South Los Angeles.


Lalitha Vaidyanathan

Managing Director, FSG

Lalitha Vaidyanathan has advised a variety of clients while at FSG including corporations, private foundations, multilaterals, government community foundations, and nonprofits. Her client work has cut across a range of issues including Shared Value, Catalytic Philanthropy, and Strategic Evaluation. Her clients in India include the Godrej Group, the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, UN Women, The World Bank, and Eli Lilly. Her clients in the U.S. include Medtronic, Mattel, UnitedHealth Group, McKesson, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Metrowest Community Health Care Foundation, and the Greater New Orleans Foundation. She is on the Board of Trustees at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and the advisory boards of CoreAlign and Ankur Capital. Vaidyanathan received her Bachelors in Engineering from Cambridge University and her MBA from Harvard Business School.



Jeffery T.D. Wallace

President, LeadersUp (@Leaders_up)

Jeffery T.D. Wallace is a keen and innovative strategist with proven success in organizational development, program design and evaluation, and social advocacy. As President of LeadersUp he is charged with being both a visionary and architect – establishing the strategic framework for LeadersUp to fulfill it’s mission to create employer-led solutions for addressing youth disconnection that yield successful outcomes for both businesses and communities. Previously, Jeffery served as a Senior Program Officer for the Los Angeles Urban League where he led the human capital, programmatic architecture and policy agenda of the League’s comprehensive community change initiative in South Los Angeles. His leadership resulted in increased delivery of vital education, public safety, public health and community development services to over 10,000 residents and stakeholders. Wallace’s acumen for designing and monitoring operational efficiencies and strategic planning resulted in him serving as the lead staff liaison to a diverse group of business and community leaders serving on the Board of Directors, cultivating essential local and national stakeholder partnerships and implementing studies specific to the economic vitality of communities throughout Los Angeles. As a dedicated community advocate Jeffery continues to lead effective initiatives that are not only process-driven, but people oriented. In 2009, Wallace became the Western Region Executive Director of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. where he serves a membership base of over 5,000 college educated and professional African American men, spearheads the distribution of over $150,000 in annual scholarships, and help empowers over 2,500 young men through effective leadership development programs. Wallace is a graduate of the University of California Los Angeles, where he received both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Masters of Science degree in Education. He is also a graduate of the University of California Berkeley where he received his masters of Science degree in Organizational Development.


Eric Weaver

Founder and CEO, Opportunity Fund

Eric Weaver founded Opportunity Fund in 1993, hoping to prove that small amounts of money and financial advice could help people make permanent and lasting change to improve their own lives. Opportunity Fund has grown to become one of the nation’s largest nonprofit microlenders to small businesses, as well as a leading provider of financial education and microsavings accounts. Opportunity Fund has also successfully deployed over $133 million in New Markets Tax Credit allocations. Weaver is a leading advocate for programs that help low-income Americans gain access to economic opportunity. Most recently, He led a successful expansion of Opportunity Fund’s microlending program from its home base in the Bay Area into the Los Angeles market. Since the onset of the Financial Crisis and credit crunch, Opportunity Fund has expanded its lending to small businesses by over 500%. As CEO, Weaver is responsible for forging partnerships, attracting new investments, and ensuring Opportunity Fund’s social and financial return on investments in low-income communities. With a background as a community organizer and a degree from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, he leads a successful social enterprise which has invested over $300 million into the community and helped thousands of people improve their economic well-being.


Dean Zatkowsky

Communications Manager, Orfalea Foundation

As Communications Manager at Orfalea Foundation, Dean Zatkowsky is responsible for external communications and brand development. He aunched and to advance the work of the organization and its partners. He also produces and publishes blogs, articles, and books for a variety of companies, individuals, and nonprofits. In addition to his ghostwriting projects, Zatkowsky authored or co-authored three books in three years: Two Billion Dollars in Nickels: Reflections on the Entrepreneurial Life (2009), The Entrepreneurial Investor (2007), and E Pluribus Kinko’s: A Story of Business, Democracy, and Freaky Smart People (2009).