Our Students

A Dynamic Classroom Environment

As a student in LMU’s Executive MBA Program, you will be working alongside upwardly mobile, highly-motivated, accomplished mid-career executives. Participants are drawn from a rich mix of industries and demographics. The program’s small class size and collaborative learning environment facilitates a dynamic classroom setting where expertise and knowledge is shared. 

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  • Class Profiles

     

     

     

     

  • Meet the Class of 2017

    Melissa Arvanitaki
    Recruiting Manager
    Outlook Amusements, Inc

    Melissa is the recruiting manager of Outlook Amusements, Inc., parent company of CaliforniaPsychics.com, located in Burbank, CA. She embarked on her human resources career as an HR assistant at OA working her way up to recruiting manager throughout her tenure at the company since 2005.

    Prior to joining OA, Melissa held several administrative roles at Naval Air War Center, Weapons Division in China Lake, Cerro Coso Community College, and Universal Studios Hollywood. She earned her B.A. in organizational leadership from Woodbury University with summa cum laude honors, is a member of the Society of Human Resources (SHRM) and holds PHR and SHRM-CP certification.

     

     

    Vinicius Bittencourt
    Manager, Localization Services
    Deluxe Entertainment Services Group

    Vinicius is currently managing subtitling services at Deluxe Media Entertainment, an iconic post production company in Hollywood offering a comprehensive suite of digital delivery and creative solutions for content creators. Vinicius joined the entertainment industry in 2007 as an account executive at Culver City-based SDI Media, the world’s leading localization services provider. In 2012, Vinicius joined Sony Pictures Entertainment, where for the next four years he designed and managed workflow solutions for new release TV content.

    Vinicius earned his B.S. degree in marketing from David Nazarian School of Business and Economics at California State University, Northridge. A native of Porto Alegre, Brazil, Vinicius also worked as a business analyst in the aviation industry for a few years before moving to Los Angeles in 2005. 

     

     
      Mila Bogdan
    Real Estate Sales Director
    Ben Leeds Properties


    Mila holds the title of real estate sales director at Ben Leeds Properties. She is responsible for acquiring and managing existing and new real estate assets. Working side by side with the CEO, CFO, and COO, this line of work requires close attention to detail, understanding market trends and drivers, time management, persuasive negotiations and efficiency.

    Mila has experience ranging from administrative duties to brainstorming concepts, client presentations, as well as executing promotional deals, high-end brands, celebrity and media events. She earned her B.A. in communication studies from LMU.

     
      Benjamin Bollenbacher
    Assistant Vice President, Strategic Partnerships Manager
    Chubb Personal Risk Services


    Ben is an assistant vice president, strategic partnerships manager at Chubb Personal Risk Services, responsible for relationship development with lead sources, vendors, centers of influence and high net-worth families throughout the Pacific Region. Prior to his current role, Ben’s 14 year career with Chubb included a variety of assignments in the Personal Lines Department in both marketing and appraisal job functions.

    Ben earned his B.A. in business administration with a concentration in finance from the University of Washington in Seattle in 2002. He holds the Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation from the National Alliance for Insurance Education and is currently pursuing his Certified Risk Manager (CRM) designation. In addition, he is an inaugural participant in the Certified Advisor of Personal Insurance (CAPI) program in partnership with the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School of Business. 

     

     

    Ashley Butler
    Clinical Social Worker
    Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

    Ashley is a clinical social worker in the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Department at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Ashley previously worked at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey, Calif. while attending graduate school full-time at the USC School of Social Work. In addition to her healthcare experience, Ms. Butler has worked for Toyota Motor Corporation in Torrance, Calif. as a lead credit analyst in the Department of Commercial Finance.

    Ashley has humanitarian work experience abroad as she developed health-related social services for disproportionate populations in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. She earned her master's degree from USC in 2014 and a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2010.

     

     

    Natasha Collins
    Employee Program Representative
    State of California Employee Development Department

    Natasha Collins is an employee program representative for the State of California Employee Development Department. She is responsible for gathering and disseminating labor market information to employers, while advising employers of potential applicants to meet labor needs of an organization. Prior to joining the State of California Employee Development Department, Mrs. Collins worked for Southern California Edison as a program/project analyst.

    Natasha is a 10-year veteran of the United States Army. She was hand-picked to work with and train international aviators such as Royal Netherlands Army and Air Force because of a demonstrated ability of diplomacy and tact. She earned her B.S. in business with an emphasis in supply chain and operation management from the University of Phoenix.

     
     

    Lena Gonzalez
    City Councilwoman
    First District – City of Long Beach

    Since July 2014, Lena has been the city councilwoman, First District in the City of Long Beach, representing 50,000 residents in downtown, central and the westside neighborhoods to include a portion of the Port of Long Beach. In addition to her work on the city council, she is employed with Microsoft as a business sales specialist.

    Lena has worked for the City of Long Beach for over seven years and has held many private sector positions for Bank of America, Uline, Inc. and more. She received her B.A. in political science from Cal State Long Beach and is a graduate of the HOPE class of 2013.

     
     ‌ Ethan Grunstein
    Marketing Engagement Manager
    UBM Advanstar


    Ethan is the marketing engagement manager for the powersports group of UBM Advanstar. Ethan leads a team that’s driven to make sure that the International Motorcycle Shows are year-round, active members of the powersports community. He previously served as a national account manager for the International Motorcycle Shows.

    Ethan was also the director of retail development for Currie Technologies, an electric bicycle manufacturer and was IMTBike’s marketing and expansion manager in Madrid, Spain. He earned his bachelor's degree in international business from the University of Denver.

     
      Mauricio Guardado
    Electrical Engineering Associate
    Los Angeles Department of Water and Power


    Mauricio is an electrical engineering associate for the Grid Operations Prescheduling Group of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), responsible for the scheduling and monitoring of electric energy interchange schedules between LADWP and other power companies. Prior this he was an assistant supervisor for the Regulatory Standards and Compliance Group.

    Mauricio holds a B.S. degree from California State Polytechnic University.

     

      Oscar Herrera
    Power System Operations Engineer
    Los Angeles Department of Water and Power


    Oscar is a power system operations engineer with the Grid Reliability Assessment Group for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Prior to his current position, Oscar started his career in the Department’s Standards and Compliance Group. Within three years, he was selected to serve as interim director of Regulatory Affairs for the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA), in conjunction with his existing position at the department. Subsequently, he worked for the Wholesale Energy Resource Management Department.

    Oscar earned his B.S. in electrical engineering from LMU and is registered as a professional engineer within the State of California.

     

     

    Matthew Johnston
    Facility Manager
    McGuff Company, Inc.

    Matt is a facility manager of McGuff Company, Inc., responsible for vendor contract negotiations and budget accountability for his departments. In his free time, Matthew serves as general partner and marketing advisor of Mission to Rebuild, LP. He is a company shareholder on the financial board and the advisory board.

    Matt earned his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University graduating summa cum laude. While studying business and technical communication, he was nominated for the School of Letters and Sciences Outstanding Graduate Award. Matt also received his associate's degree in business administration.

     

     

    Yolla Kairouz
    Vice President
    Wells Fargo Private Bank

    Yolla is a wealth advisor and vice president for the Beverly Hills market of Wells Fargo Private Bank. Prior to joining The Private Bank, Yolla was a regional bank private banker serving the communities of Brentwood and the westside. She has 10 plus years of progressive wealth management experience.

    Yolla earned her bachelor's degree in economics from California State University, Northridge. She currently holds her Accredited Wealth Management Advisor designation from the College of Financial Planning. She also carries her Series 7,63,65 investment licenses and is a registered life and health insurance agent for the State of California.

     

     

    Greg Lawrence
    Marine Operations Manager 
    Norton Lilly International

    Greg is a marine operations manager at Norton Lilly International, the oldest ship agency company in the United States. He is responsible for overseeing boarding operations in The Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach on a daily basis as well as supervising the financial and administrative concerns of all shipping partners. Previously, he spent 12 years serving in the United States Coast Guard as a federal maritime law enforcement officer.

    Greg graduated summa cum laude from California Maritime Academy with a bachelor’s degree in global studies and maritime affairs. He continues to advance his love for ocean preservation by involving himself in projects such as conducting his own research at the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) and the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) to restore the island to a balanced ecosystem.    

     

     

    Adam Mai
    Vice President of Worldwide Sales
    Ad Exchange Group

    Adam is vice president of worldwide sales for Ad Exchange Group, an online advertising and marketing agency that focuses on the health and beauty verticals particularly skin and diet products. Previously he led an Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Company Nationwide in Marketing and Advertising Agency for RateSpecial Interactive.

    Adam has also worked in other markets as the chief marketing officer of American International Medical Supply (AIMS), a privately-owned medical supply company. In telecommunications, he held a regional manager position with Sierra Wireless. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

     

      Yvett Merino
    Production Manager
    Walt Disney Animation Studios


    Yvett is a production manager for film at the Walt Disney Animation Studios and is responsible for managing the day-to-day production and crew. Working closely with the producer and associate producer, she oversees a team of supervisors who handle the department schedules and deliverables to ensure the efficient completion of the film.

    Yvett has been with the Walt Disney Company for over 15 years and was previously a production supervisor and administrative manager for the Technology Department. She earned her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. 

     

     

    Luis Millan
    SVP Fraud Risk Director
    Citigroup

    Luis is director of global internal fraud at Citigroup where he has worked since 1998. Prior to this role, he worked at Banamex USA (Member of Citigroup) for 12 years where he held several executive risk positions including CEO of Communico (a real estate legal entity of Citi) and also chief credit officer. Luis also worked in Mexico for American Express for five years as an IT supervisor. Later he worked for Bancomer (the largest bank in Mexico currently holding 23% of the market) as a VP in consumer risk management.

    Luis earned his graduate degree in operational research from La Salle University. He was studying for his post-graduate degree in risk management at the ITAM (Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico). He also earned his undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. 

     

      Washington Paredes
    Employment Manager
    Archdiocese of Los Angeles


    Washington currently serves as the employment manager for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Previously, he served as global human resources manager for Forever 21 Retail & Distribution, overseeing the employee relations, recruitment, and project management teams for Retail HR and Distribution Center HR. He has over eight years of experience in human resources, with a knack and passion for process improvement.

    Washington earned his B.S. from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and is a consultant on the board of two non-profits dedicated to helping the homeless and providing quality education to impoverished children.

     

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    Vernadette Ramos
    Child Life Specialist
    Children’s Hospital Orange County and St. Joseph Hospital

    Vern is a child life specialist by trade and enjoys spending her time educating little ones on their diagnoses in helping them to understand what is going on in their bodies. In her 10 years at Children’s Hospital Orange County and St. Joseph Hospital, she has helped thousands of patients cope with a various array of diseases.

    Vern has also been a program coordinator and a community advocate. She earned her B.S. in child development from California State University, Fullerton.

     

      Yvonne Rodriguez
    Director
    ADP LLC


    Yvonne has over 14 years of diversified financial industry experience. She is a director at ADP LLC, a leading provider of human capital management and supports the Payments & Compliance Organization in addition to serving on the Diversity Council. Prior to her current role, Yvonne managed a staff of nine associates responsible for financial statements and regulatory reporting, including client fund liability, money transmitter licensing and unclaimed property.

    Prior to joining ADP, Yvonne served as an auditor for First Federal Bank of California and earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics/applied science from UCLA.

     

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    Kent Rollins
    Program Manager
    Dynamic Systems, Inc.

    Kent is currently a program manager for Dynamic Systems, Inc. where he designs custom solutions to address the information technology infrastructure and data center challenges facing their customers. Prior to this position, Kent worked in online advertising and marketing.

    As a professional in the IT industry, Kent has over 11 years of experience in sales, marketing and management including both domestic and international sales positions. He also has experience in business development with industry partners within the Internet space. Kent earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Arizona with a focus on marketing.

     

      Nathan Russell
    Senior Manager
    Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems


    Nathan is senior manager, contracts for Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems in El Segundo, Calif. He has more than 25 years of experience in all aspects of government contracting. In his 20 years at Raytheon, Nathan has led various contract teams working with all branches of the U.S. Armed Services, supporting some of our country's most important military programs.

    Nathan also teaches government contracting courses for Raytheon’s training program and completed Raytheon’s Leadership Program for Senior Managers and Directors in 2014. He earned his B.A. in economics from California State University, Northridge.

     

      Douglas Ryan
    Vice President
    Stun Creative and Buster Design


    Doug is vice president of Stun Creative and Buster Design, a large TV marketing agency and broadcast graphic design firm. Prior to joining Stun Creative 11 years ago, he was a multiple Emmy award-winning editor for The Oprah Winfrey Show in Chicago. He brings over 30 years of television post-production experience working on commercials, broadcast promotions and broadcast television.

    Doug has been closely involved in the technical evolution of television over the last 10 years and has been integral in developing and maintaining a state-of-the-art post-production and graphic design facility. He earned his B.A. from Columbia College in Chicago.  

     

      Ana Valdivia
    Senior Financial Analyst
    Cedars-Sinai Health System


    Ana is a senior financial analyst at Cedars-Sinai Health System. She previously served as a senior accountant for Marina Del Rey Hospital and as associate internal auditor for Providence Health and Services Health System. Ana has worked extensively within the private industry since 2001 in property management, financial services, and for-profit and non-profit healthcare. Concurrently, for the past five years, Ana has been an adjunct accounting instructor for the Los Angeles Community College District where she has taught, both online and on campus, "Introduction to Accounting."

    Ana earned her B.S. in accounting from LMU; and became a licensed certified public accountant in 2009. She earned a two-year certificate from the UCLA Extension Program specializing in taxation. In December 2010, she founded IntelliChoice Accounting & Tax Services, an accounting firm located on the westside of Los Angeles.

     

    Roy Wolfe III
    Senior Financial Analyst
    Harman International


    Roy is a senior financial analyst for Harman International. He works closely with cross-functional teams including Project Management, R&D, Sales, Marketing and Operations to develop new product proposals, prepare financial models, and provide end-to-end business solutions. Prior to joining Harman International, Roy was a senior analyst, commercial planning and alignment for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment for North America. As a senior analyst, he provided senior leadership and internal insights to Profit & Loss (P&L), Budgeting/Forecasting and Trade Promotion Spend.

    Roy brings a diverse background including over nine years of strategic planning, finance, marketing and non-profit affiliations experience. He earned his B.S. in business administration from California State University, Long Beach.

     

  • Meet the Class of 2018

    Omid Aghazadeh
    Founder & CEO
    Speedlight, Inc.

    Omid is the founder & CEO of Speedlight, Inc., a CD/DVD manufacturing company specializing in media production, printing and packaging. He also founded Daftstar, Inc., a music-driven video streaming platform. Prior to this, he was a fashion buyer for Peek & Cloppenburg KG, where he held several management roles in sales, consulting and alliance development. His clients included Fortune 500 companies, high-net worth individuals, partnerships and developers.

    Omid earned a B.A. degree from University Suedwestfallen in Germany.

     

     

    Rea Badillo Alim
    Assistant Controller
    LeVecke Corporation

    Rea has more than 10 years of private and public accounting experience in the manufacturing, wholesale, healthcare and technology industries. She is the assistant controller for LeVecke Corporation, a wholesale distributor of beer and wine and rectifier of distilled spirits. She manages all finance and accounting activities supporting the company’s CFO. She also co-founded and manages Eastvale Senior Home Care, LLC, an assisted living facility.

    Rea earned a B.S. degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from California State University, Los Angeles.

     
     

    Chinita Brazil
    Project Accountant
    Gehry Partners, LLP

    Chinita is a project accountant at Gehry Partners, LLP, a full-service architectural design, development and management firm. She is responsible for the maintenance and management of architectural projects and employee administration. She previously served in the U.S. Army as a financial management technician. Prior to her military service, Chinita was a staff accountant for two manufacturing companies where she was responsible for financial statements, employee benefits, payroll, tax filings, and the accounts payable and receivable departments.

    Chinita earned two bachelor degrees in accounting and finance from Auburn University in Montgomery, Ala., and a master of accountancy from Kaplan University.

     
     

    Toby Cavallari
    Principle Systems Engineer
    Integrity Applications Inc.

    Toby has more than 20 years of experience in acquisition; program, engineering and risk management; strategy development; and mission assurance. Toby is a principle systems engineer at Integrity Applications Inc., an engineering and software services company. He is responsible for developing acquisition strategies, writing requests for proposals, and evaluating industry proposals for the U.S. Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program. Prior to this, he served in the U.S. Air Force.

    Toby earned a B.S. degree in aeronautical engineering and an M.S. degree in aeronautical science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He is also an Air Force Level III-certified acquisition professional.

     

     

    Aracely Cuadra
    Business Development Manager
    AT&T

    Aracely is an experienced sales and management professional. She is a business development manager for AT&T where she is responsible for the non-exclusive dealer channel. She provides management support for the Los Angeles market, and serves as department lead for identifying non-exclusive agents, executing contracts and measuring productivity. She also held management roles in authorized, company-owned and national retail.

    Aracely earned a B.A. degree from the University of Phoenix. She received several awards from AT&T including the “President’s Award for Volunteerism” two years in a row.

     

     

    Daniel Diamond
    Assistant Vice President/Network Manager
    Pacific Western Bank

    Daniel is the assistant vice president/network manager for Pacific Western Bank, where he oversees operation of the company’s network in more than 115 locations. He executes company directives and manages development of network engineers. Prior to this, he served in leadership roles including director of information at Technologies Clinica de Ojos Ñahui (Peru); director of operations/information technologies at Missionary Society of St. Columban (Peru), and chief information officer/vice president of merchandising at Sysco Asia Foods (St. Paul, Minn.).

    Daniel earned a B.A. degree from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.

     
     

    Tara Faber
    Strategic Account Manager
    Align Technology, Inc.

    Tara has more than 15 years of senior management consultative sales experience. She is a strategic account manager at Align Technology, Inc., a manufacturer of medical devices such as “Invisalign.” She oversees sales for the Los Angeles market, and develops and implements sales plans and strategies of key accounts. Prior to this, she was a senior territory business manager for Johnson & Johnson’s Vision Care (JJVC) division, where she strengthened relationships between JJVC and clinicians in the Los Angeles and Las Vegas markets; and managed such major accounts as MGM Resorts International, Costco and Target.

    Tara earned a B.A. degree in journalism from the University of Nevada.

     
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    Matthew Goldman
    Business Development Manager
    Sprint

    Matthew is a business development leader whose experience includes research institutions, Fortune 100 companies, universities and governments. He is currently a business development manager at Sprint, where he oversees growth, development and new business acquisition for the Los Angeles market. He leads new business programs and promotions, and serves as a mentor to new team members. Prior to this, he was a business development manager for FileMaker Inc. Matthew also served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Operation Enduring Freedom.

    Matthew earned a B.A. degree from Emory University. He speaks German, Spanish and Arabic, and volunteers at the LGBT Center in Los Angeles.

     
     

    Mike Gomez
    Apparel Design & Merchandising Consultant

    With more than 18 years of experience in energetic brands — from independent startups to global corporations — Mike is an apparel merchandising/design consultant specializing in men’s active, outdoor and surf wear. Before becoming a consultant, Mike was the men’s design director for RVCA Clothing, where he and his team enabled significant growth that garnered two “Men’s Apparel Brand of the Year” awards by the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association. Prior to this, he held production, design and management roles at Matrix Clothing.

    Mike earned a B.A. degree in environmental studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


     

     

    Cherillyn Gorens
    Director of Medicare Compliance
    U.S. HealthWorks

    Cherillyn is the director of Medicare compliance for U.S. HealthWorks, where she developed and manages the compliance program and revenue system. Prior to this, she served as a compliance program specialist at City of Hope Hospital and Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital. Before this, she was a quality assurance compliance auditor for Kaiser Permanente. Her extensive experience at these prominent institutions has made her an expert in identifying high risks for potential healthcare fraud and HIPAA privacy violations.

    Cherillyn earned a B.S. degree in international business with a minor in economics from California State University, Los Angeles.


     

     

    Daniel Hernandez
    Director of Sales & Operations
    PIRCH

    Daniel is an experienced sales and marketing leader, having managed high-value sales transactions for Fortune 100 companies. He is a director of sales & operations for PIRCH, a leading kitchen, bath and outdoor home products retailer. He leads the day-to-day sales and operations for the company’s showroom in Costa Mesa, Calif. In addition to the showroom, he also manages six departments and nearly 100 sales associates. Prior to this, he was branch manager for Enterprise in Torrance, Calif., where he enabled a 25 percent monthly growth rate of fleet assets.

    Daniel earned a B.A. degree from Loyola Marymount University.

     

     

    Meena Karnani
    HR Business Partner
    ADP

    Meena is an experienced human resources (HR) professional with more than 10 years in human capital strategy. She is an HR business partner at ADP, where she provides strategic counsel to leadership and clients, addresses business issues, and supports ADP’s TotalSource division. Prior to this, she worked at Roth Staffing Companies and spent time in the entertainment industry.

    Meena earned a B.A. degree from the University of California, Irvine. She is a Certified Senior Professional in Human Resources, a Certified Health Care Reform Specialist, and a Human Capital Strategist. She is also a member of the Professionals in Human Resources Association and the Society for Human Resource Management.

     

     

    Mona Kassem
    CEO
    Hollywoodnow.com

    Mona is the CEO of Hollywoodnow.com, a startup online entertainment news outlet. Before this, she served for the past 10 years as the editing manager of Shabab20 and Young Plus in Dubai, UAE, a monthly magazine consisting of two sections — an Arabic side (Shabab20) and an English side (YoungPlus). The magazines were sold throughout the Middle East, Australia, United States and Europe. Both publications contained the most current celebrity news, interviews of celebrities from Hollywood and the Middle East, investigative reporting, sports, fashion and more.

    Mona earned a B.A. degree from Cairo University.

     

     

    James Lee
    Manager
    Hydraflow

    James is an experienced sales and purchasing professional having managed more than $10 million in total transactions over his 12 year career. James is a manager at Hydraflow, an aerospace industry company, where he leads the procurement of vendors that provide supplies, machinery and equipment. He negotiates vendor contracts and establishes procedures between his company and each vendor. He also serves as department head of information technology. Prior to this, he served as a sales and account manager for JBT Motorsport.

    James earned a B.S. degree from the University of Redlands.

     

     

    Mark Peña
    Regional Manager
    Carr Workplaces

    Mark is a regional manager at Carr Workplaces, a national company that provides high-end executive suite solutions for business clients. Mark is the sales, marketing and operations leader where he oversees a team of 30 people and manages revenues of more than $15 million annually. Prior to this, he was a senior agent with CA Realty and a transaction coordinator with Redfin. Mark is a veteran in real estate having conducted numerous residential transactions and commercial leases over the past eight years. His former clients included attorneys, financial advisors, media associates and sports management firms.

    Mark earned a B.A. degree from San Jose State University.

     

     

    Nancy Rink
    Director of Operations
    Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

    Nancy Rink is the director of operations for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She is responsible for business administration, accounting and office operations of the California Southland Chapter of Los Angeles that raises $8 million annually. Prior to this, Nancy was the operations manager for the Moving Picture Company, a division of Technicolor. She previously served in management roles at The Bar Method, MAPP Alternative Asset Management Company, Robert Half, Capital IQ, Countrywide/Bank of America, and Deloitte and Touché.

    Nancy earned a B.S. degree in accounting and a B.A. degree in business administration from Loyola Marymount University.

     

     

     

    Gregory Root
    Information Systems Talent Coordinator
    Loma Linda University Medical Center

    Gregory is an information systems talent coordinator for Loma Linda University Medical Center. He manages human resources (HR) for an information services department of more than 200 employees. He also serves as department head for talent development, recruitment, compensation, onboarding, career advancement, and creating/streamlining HR processes. Prior to this, he served as director of HR for Premium Healthcare Construction, product flow lines leader for Meijer and executive team leader for Target.

    Gregory earned a B.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin, where he was a member of the Badgers football team.

     

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    Jenny Sanchez
    Customer Programs Advisor
    SoCalGas

    Jenny is a customer programs advisor for SoCalGas where she is responsible for managing software projects for the workforce, education and training groups of the Energy Resource Center. She negotiates contracts with vendors, manages multiple cross-functional teams and is accountable for project budgets. Prior to this, she served as assistant manager for the Commercial Truck Division of Enterprise. During her years in customer services and sales, Jenny offered clients new approaches to problem solving, negotiating complex contracts and how to increase revenue and decrease expenses.

    Jenny earned a B.S. degree in business administration from California State University, Long Beach.

     

     

    Alexander Solomon
    Associate
    BlackRock

    Alexander is an associate for BlackRock, a global investment management corporation, where he works with financial advisors to provide insights of financial markets. His work involves mutual funds, exchange traded funds, index funds and separately managed accounts. He works with firms such as Morgan Stanley, UBS Financial Services, RBC and Wells Fargo, and has achieved $360 million in sales. Alexander previously worked for Fisher Investments as a relationship manager. Before that, he worked with UBS Financial Services and Northwestern Mutual.

    Alexander earned a bachelor's degree from St. Olaf College, where he was a member of the football team.

     

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    Samantha Spiers
    Account Executive
    Dell, Inc.

    Samantha is an account executive for Dell Inc., where she is responsible for account strategy and management of commercial business for the Southern California region. She has been recognized for achieving the highest attainment of revenue in fiscal year 2016, and was named “Account Executive of the Quarter” for second quarter 2016. Prior to this, she was a sales account manager for K-12, state and local government and higher education customers in Southern California, and was responsible for $30 million in sales revenue.

    Samantha earned a B.A. degree in business administration from Loyola Marymount University.

     

     

    Scott Tiano
    Director
    Adapt Solutions Inc.

    Scott is the director of Adapt Solutions Inc., a family services company, where he is responsible for operations and administrating real estate, private collections and philanthropy services. Prior to this, he was director of executive protection for Vulcan, Inc., managing a multi-billion dollar estate for Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Before this, he worked in the Middle East at Triple Canopy, Inc., providing U.S. diplomatic protection. He served on the security detail for Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and also served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

    Scott is a graduate of American InterContinental University, and serves as executive director and board member of the Las Vegas Veterans Memorial Foundation.

     

     

    Sasha Vitez
    Director of North American Sales & Marketing 
    TIMWE

    Sasha is the director of North American sales and marketing for TIMWE, a global provider of mobile monetization solutions for mobile carriers, media groups and more. He develops business and go-to-market strategies for mobile operators, content and service providers in the mobile and entertainment industry. He was also a marketing and innovation manager for the company in Lisbon, where he served as market analyst and strategist, project and product manager, and led new initiatives. Before this, he held management roles with Heineken and L´Oréal.

    Sasha earned a B.A. degree from ISCTE Business School, Lisbon, and speaks Portuguese, Serbian and French.

     

     

    Andy Vu
    Senior Director of Quality Assurance
    MomentFeed, Inc.

    Andy has 15 years of experience delivering high quality software solutions to businesses and consumers. He is a senior director of quality assurance for MomentFeed, Inc., a convergence platform provider for social media, mobile and local marketers. He oversees software quality and works with product management and development teams in delivering updates and new features for web and mobile devices. His career has focused on software development beginning at AOL, and most recently building tech startups. Prior to joining MomentFeed, he served as vice president of product at CitizenGlobal, and has built teams in the US and India.

    Andy earned a B.S. degree from Virginia Tech.

     

  • Meet the Class of 2019

    Emil Adjamian
    Co-founder
    Grounded Productions

    Emil is an entrepreneur specializing in development and branding for startups. He is co-founder of Grounded Productions, an entertainment and event production company in Los Angeles, where he oversees production management, business development, branding and marketing.

    He previously served as a marketing consultant for Glendale Adventist Medical Center, and a performance improvement manager at A&P Home Health. Emil received his bachelor’s degree in management of organizations and financial management from Saint-Petersburg Institute of Foreign Economic Relations, Economics and Law in Armenia.

     

     

    Ruth Akumbu
    Founder & CEO
    Plant A Seed

    Ruth is the founder and CEO of Plant A Seed, a non-profit that supports women and children in Cameroon, Africa. She oversees the organization’s vision, strategy, policies, fundraising and partnerships. She also works with Engineers Without Borders to provide clean water to villages in Cameroon.

    Ruth is also a producer for features and short films with independent companies. She has acted on TV shows such as Grey's Anatomy, and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild. Ruth has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from California State University, East Bay.

     

     
      Omar Al-Maeena
    Executive Vice President
    Al-Siraj United Holding Company


    Omar is the executive vice president of Al-Siraj United Holding Company, a prominent investment firm providing the economic and social development of the people of the Sultanate of Oman. He manages the firm’s venture capital fund, and leads opportunity sourcing, due diligence and startup investment activities.

    Omar is also the COO and co-founder of Douroosi, a platform that pairs Middle Eastern children with tutors from the Middle East, United States and United Kingdom so they can receive a high-quality education. He has a bachelor’s degree in finance and marketing from Syracuse University.

     
      William Aroutounian
    Regional Operations Manager
    Confidential Bail Bonds Corporation


    William is the regional operations manager for Confidential Bail Bonds Corporation where he is responsible for day-to-day operations and management of client transactions, contracts and records. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics and management from Northern University and earned a certificate in finance from UCLA Extension.

     

     

    Hector Cabral
    Executive Director
    Inka Franchise Corporation

    Hector is the executive director of Inka Franchise Corporation, the parent company of El Pollo Inka, Pollo Inka Express and Inka Wasi, a national chain of family-owned Peruvian restaurants. He brings experience in operations, project management, employee development, human resources, website and social media management, finance and marketing. He also co-founded Inka Cares, the company’s charitable component, and is a member of the International Franchise Association.

    Hector has a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology from UCLA and a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University.

     

     

    Willie Chan
    Director of Product Management
    Symmetry Electronics

    Willie is the director of product management at Symmetry Electronics, a semiconductor distributor of wireless and video components. He oversees the product marketing and operations teams. His experience includes asset management, quality management, customer relations, purchasing and supplier negotiations. 

    Willie received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Loyola Marymount University.

     
     

    Gladys Garcia
    Administrative Manager
    Cathay Pacific Airways

    Gladys is an administrative manager for Cathay Pacific Airways where she is responsible for more than 100 service agents supporting worldwide customers. Her budget and recordkeeping innovations have been responsible for streamlining operations, improving crew morale and increasing profit margins.

    She is also the founder and CEO of Midnight Bite Pizzeria in Manila, Philippines. She oversees operations, human resources and distribution of financial and physical resources. She serves on the company’s board and supports the local community.

    Gladys received her bachelor’s degree in global studies from UCLA.

     
     ‌ Ricardo Hoyos
    Assistant Vice President
    City National Bank


    Ricardo is an assistant vice president at City National Bank in the Finance Metrics and Profitability division. Working with the finance IT team, he develops requirements for streamlining workflow, implements and maintains upgraded reporting software, and manages the month-end reporting process and database integrity.

    He previously worked with RBC Insurance as a senior financial analyst. Ricardo received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Penn State University.

     
      Kevin Jardim
    Global Vice President of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs
    Rapiscan Systems


    Kevin is the global vice president of quality assurance and regulatory affairs at Rapiscan Systems, maker of airport metal detector and x-ray screening machines. He is responsible for developing the strategic quality plan and overseeing the quality, configuration management and radiation safety organizations.

    Prior to Rapiscan Systems, he worked at Zodiac Aerospace where he managed the Los Angeles facility’s strategic quality plan and quality management system. Kevin has a master’s degree in quality assurance from California State University, Dominquez Hills, and a bachelor’s degree in engineering technology from California State University, Long Beach.

     

      Ignas Jurkonis
    General Manager
    Warhol and Consultants


    Ignas is the general manager of Warhol and Consultants, a management and consulting firm that helps companies mitigate risk. He oversees operations, budgeting, reporting and strategic planning.

    Previously, he was general manager for LUKOIL, an oil company in Eastern Europe where he optimized company processes and structures that improved performance, built international teams, created short-and long-run strategies, and developed road maps. 

    Ignas received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Vilnius University in Lithuania.

     

     

    Erika Ketz
    Accounting Manager
    Delta Galil Premium Brands

    Erika is an accounting manager for Delta Galil Premium Brands supporting fashion brands such as 7 for All Mankind, Splendid and Ella Moss. In this role, she is responsible for financial reports, audits, budget reviews and staff development.

    She previously held accounting and finance positions with 20th Century Fox, Burson-Marsteller, and in the manufacturing and commercial real estate industries.

    Erika has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an accounting emphasis from the University of Colorado where she was a member of the snowboard team. She also studied at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

     

     

    Edan Kurzweil
    General Manager
    EDN Aviation Inc.

    Edan is the general manager of EDN Aviation Inc., a Velocity Aerospace Group Company. He oversees production and operations, budget management, profit and loss, and an FAA-approved repair and manufacturing facility. Previously, he served as director of business development where he led the expansion of a rapid product line, cultivated new capital acquisition and established a federal contracts division.

    Edan has a bachelor’s degree in product development from The Art Institute in Orange County, Calif. He also taught STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in rural Uganda where he helped to establish a primary school.

     

     

    Daria Linvill
    Senior Account Executive 
    Los Angeles Times

    Daria is a senior account executive for the Los Angeles Times where she provides digital marketing and advertising solutions for clients. She was previously a senior manager of digital ideation for the Times and Tribune Publishing.

    Daria began her career at Los Angeles FM radio stations KOST 103.5 and KBIG 104.3, where she held positions in marketing and promotions. She later became the integrated marketing manager for Clear Channel Radio.

    Daria received her bachelor’s degree in communications from Chapman University. 

     

     

    Lucia Minaya
    Store Team Leader
    Target Corporation

    Lucia is a store team leader at Target Corporation where she manages operations, profitability, team satisfaction and guest loyalty. She also oversees six executive team leaders with 175 team members.

    Previously, Lucia served as a senior executive team leader and executive team leader. In both roles, she led the highest sales mix in apparel and accessories, and led operational excellence for her sales district. Lucia received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Riverside.

     

      Saba Richardson
    Product Manager
    Worldwide Produce


    Saba is a project manager and member of the leadership team at Worldwide Produce, a wholesale food distributor. She oversees a broad range of projects focused on process change management and technical implementations.

    She previously managed corporate operations for an artisanal gelato company in Irvine, Calif., where she oversaw franchising, manager training and administration.

    Saba received her bachelor’s degree in economics and administrative studies from the University of California, Riverside. She is a member of the Society of Human Resource Professionals and the Project Management Institute where she volunteers as a survey coordinator for the organization’s Los Angeles chapter.

     

     

    Melissa Schneider
    Executive Vice President and Head of Original Series Development
    New Form

    Melissa is EVP and head of original series development for New Form, an original content entertainment studio. She oversees strategic development and production of new comedy, drama pilots and series as well as New Form’s creative vision.

    Prior to New Form, she was SVP of creative development at Studio71 and executive in charge of production at Dreamworks Animation’s YouTube Nation. She began her career as a writer’s assistant for the award-winning television series The Sopranos.

    Melissa has a bachelor’s degree from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

     

      Mia Seleshi
    Associate Director of Student Services
    UCLA Anderson School of Management


    Mia is the associate director of student services for the MBA Student Affairs Office at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. She oversees case competitions, student associations, events, finance, marketing, operations and advising. Prior to this, she was program manager/interim director of the UCLA-UAI Global Executive MBA for the Americas, and customer relations manager for the Parker Career Management Center for UCLA’s full-time MBA program.

    Mia received her bachelor’s degree in communication studies from UCLA.

     

     ‌

    Kary Silvers
    Investment Consultant
    Cetera Financial Group

    Kary is an investment consultant with Cetera Financial Group where he provides customer service and analysis for retail banking customers, and leads client account management, retention and acquisition.

    Prior to Cetera, he worked in financial advising roles for Scottrade, Inc., Bank of America, Wells Fargo Advisors and JP Morgan Chase. Kary received his bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Houston.

     

      Sean Smith
    Director of Content Services
    Vubiquity


    Sean is the director of content services at Vubiquity, a technology provider in the global media and entertainment industry. He is responsible for financial analysis, forecasting, project management and North American sales. 

    Prior to Vubiquity, Sean worked at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in client operations working with retailers Target, CD Warehouse and wholesale suppliers. He also worked at ABC affiliate WWSB in Sarasota, Fla., and in the wine industry.

    Sean has a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications from the University of Florida.

     

     ‌‌

    Alyssa van Hinte
    Director of Customer Relations and Business Development
    SoftScript

    Alyssa is the director of customer relations and business development at SoftScript, a medical dictation and transcription company. In this role, she oversees customer service, system issues, workload updates, workflow, sourcing, marketing, sales and IT management.

    She previously worked for Indie Cosmetic Brands where she helped drive consumer awareness of the cosmetics market, and grew brand equity through traditional and social media placements.

    Alyssa received her bachelor’s degree in information systems with a business and communications concentration from Arizona State University.

     

      Jacki Yarboi
    Director of Human Resources 
    CoBird, Inc.


    Jacki is the director of human resources and corporate strategist for CoBird, Inc., a startup online retailer. She is responsible for the company’s vision and HR strategy to support its new campus and growing workforce, while overseeing internal finance and legal compliance.

    Prior to CoBird, Jacki was a TV advertising executive at Hallmark Channel, and then transitioned to digital advertising at Viacom Inc., where she managed clients such as Disney, Paramount Pictures, Apple and Nordstrom. She later left the corporate world for Silicon Beach where she discovered her entrepreneurial passion for startups.

    Jacki has a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Loyola Marymount University.

     

  • Word Cloud - Student Perceptions

    EMBA students were asked to identify three words that best described the program.