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Laura’s community philanthropy experience brings together strategy and impact. She has led fundraising teams at the Fulfillment Fund and United Way of Greater Los Angeles, realizing significant revenue growth at both organizations. Through her consulting firm, Impact Philanthropy, Laura has worked with over 40 local, national and international nonprofit organizations and foundations with an approach that is results-oriented: making clear the connection between mission and money, and the respective roles that staff and board members play in building resilient organizations. Impact Philanthropy helps to build more effective nonprofit organizations through: • strategic planning • fundraising advising • executive search services • as well as by providing grantmaking counsel to family foundations.
Heather Mason is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of A Caspian Production. Under Heather's leadership, her firm has become an industry leader for producing conferences internationally for the business space, such as the annual Skoll World Forum. Other clients include the Omidyar Network, Participant Media and Endeavor Global, along with many others in the social good space. Her firm also provides high quality events training based on the 'Caspian 10 Essentials,' which she has presented at Oxford, Swansea and the Claremont Lincoln universities.
JENNIFER FARR, CPA
Jennifer Farr is a Managing Director of CBIZ MHM and Shareholder of Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. She is responsible for the firm’s nonprofit and private foundation audit and tax practices in Los Angeles and Orange County. Combining her talents for business and tax issues with her desire to contribute and support causes in the community, she has worked with nonprofit organizations for 15 years to help them develop sound accounting practices and ensure compliance with laws and regulations. Jennifer is the Chair of the United Way of Orange County’s Financial Review Committee and is a Member of the United Way’s Community Investment Cabinet. Jennifer is also actively involved in the CBIZ Women’s Advantage initative, is on the editorial board for the CBIZ MHM national nonprofit newsletter, and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Allen-Attar is a Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley, LLC, where she
has spent almost 18 years of her career. Darya focuses on Strategic
Wealth Management for high net worth families, nonprofits, foundations
and endowments. Her investment process draws upon her knowledge of asset
allocation, investment management, and income and estate tax issues and
structures. As a Financial Advisor to family wealth and/or foundation
and endowment clients, Darya brings a wealth of knowledge of the
investment markets, 23 years of experience in financial services, and
draws on the significant institutional and consulting resources of
MICHAEL D. BERRY, CPA
Michael Berry has been in public accounting for over 35 years with 4 different CPA firms, the last 28 plus years with Rothstein Kass, a national firm. He just started his own CPA practice in Culver City focusing primarily in the area of tax exempt organizations and charitable giving matters. At his time with Rothstein Kass and the other firms he was with, Mike served a variety of clients in tax, accounting, and financial matters. He has extensive tax experience in the exempt organization (both private foundations and public charities) and charitable giving areas. In addition, he has substantial tax experience with trusts, financial services, and the real estate industries as well with individual taxation. Mr. Berry is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, the California Society of CPAs, Beverly Hills Estate Planning Council (in which he was a recent board member), and Partnership for Philanthropic Planning (Los Angeles Chapter).
Regina Birdsell has been a marketing and communications executive within the corporate, nonprofit and public sectors for over 20 years. After graduating from USC, she began her career at Eyewitness News in Los Angeles, served as press secretary for California’s Attorney General, worked to build the Public Affairs office at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, ran the New Los Angeles Marketing Partnership in collaboration with Mayor Riordan and corporate leaders throughout region and was later appointed by the Governor to be a consumer advocate. In 2006 she became the president of the Southern California Center for Nonprofit Management. The organization provides management and leadership education and coaching for thousands of nonprofit executives and volunteers every year.
David Friedman was born in Toronto, Canada, and raised in Columbus, Ohio. After completing high school in the midwest, David moved to Jerusalem for a year to study ancient Hebrew text and law before heading to the University of Michigan, where he received a B.A. in English and Political Science. While in college, David founded two magazines, both of which are still in running: 12th Street and Consider Magazine. Post-graduation, he moved to San Francisco to work for the 49ers in their Special Teams division, where he worked on finance and helped to secure a $1.2 billion loan for the new stadium development.
David currently lives in Venice, California, and serves as Executive Director of the John N. Calley Foundation, a private family foundation that strives to create opportunities for underserved youth in the LA area. Much of his time has been spent in high-end asset liquidation but is now in the thick of the strategic planning process.
After serving high net-worth individuals and families since 2001 as a lead advisor in the family office space, I am combining my passion and skill set in advising individuals, multi-generational families, and foundations in building strategic philanthropic and impact missions that tie their values and goals to both grants, investments and measuring the impact of both. Building 100% Impact portfolios across all asset classes.
BARUCH S. LITTMAN
With more than 30 years of development and marketing experience, Baruch Littman aims to increase the assets of The Foundation. Prior to joining The Foundation in 1999, he served as executive director of The California-Israel Chamber of Commerce.
His career includes senior positions at The Jewish Federation of Los Angeles and the American Nurses Association, as well as senior marketing and management positions at both Fortune 100 and 500 corporations. Littman earned his bachelor of science degree from Long Island University and his master of science degree from The City University of New York.
JULIE LYTLE NESBIT
Julie is a Vice President and the Director of the firm's Philanthropic Services Department. She oversees all foundation advisement, administration and grant-making activities for the trust, private foundation, endowment and not-for-profit clients of the Whittier Trust Company. Julie joins WTC with over 25 years of experience in the financial services and high tech worlds. For thirteen of the past fifteen years, she was a Partner with the Los Angeles office of Ernst & Young, LLP. While there, she held a number of operating and leadership positions working with numerous private and Fortune 250 clients.
For the last ten years Elizabeth has worked on environmental and social sustainability, with a particular emphasis on water, energy, and social enterprise models. Elizabeth is the founding director of Causemopolis, a collaborative firm focused on developing infrastructure that furthers the integration of environmental, social, and economic considerations to create vibrant urban places worldwide. Her most recent consulting work focused on using collaborative consumption models to generate living-wage jobs in the green economy. Specifically, she has spent the last two years developing a social enterprise that provides a market-based solution for scaling residential and commercial energy efficiency retrofits. She has also advised clean tech and community-oriented technology start-ups.
Domestically, she has also worked on sustainable economic development, analyzing the impact of recent green manufacturing and green building trends on jobs, small businesses, and urban sustainability in LA.
Catherine Suitor oversees development and communications for the Alliance and its family of schools. Prior to joining the Alliance, she was Vice President of Development for the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, where she was responsible for raising $55 million annually for community change initiatives in Los Angeles County. Previously, Ms. Suitor created an endowment and a ten-fold growth in annual income as Director of Development for the Liberty Hill Foundation, and raised unprecedented funds and awareness as Director of Development for the Central American Resource Center prior to that. She began her career in advocacy, having organized human rights awareness campaigns for the people of El Salvador. Ms. Suitor currently serves on the Board of Southern California Leadership Network. She has also served as a board and committee member for the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, the Center for the Study of Political Graphics and New Roads School.
Jeff Weston is a Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. He has a diverse background which provides him with the distinct perspective to serve individuals pursuing a range of financial goals. His experience includes international and real estate investment, social enterprise and nonprofit management.
David Wolf currently serves as Executive Director for Planned and Major Gifts at UCLA, leading both complex and progressive efforts to integrate and expand major gift opportunities through strategic gift planning and other major gift initiatives. Prior to UCLA, Wolf served as Vice President for Advancement at the University of Southern Mississippi where he reorganized the university’s advancement office and led the campus to all time highs in dollars raised, donor participation, and alumni participation.
Advisory Board Members
KAFI D. BLUMENFIELD
D. Blumenfield has two decades of experience as an advocate for social
change working to improve the well-being and civic engagement of
disenfranchised communities. Between 2007 and 2013, she served as
Liberty Hill Foundation's President and CEO during which time she
strengthened the foundation's investment in community leaders on the
frontlines of change by launching innovative programs including the
Brothers, Sons, Selves initiative to improve the wefare of low-income
young men of color in Los Angeles and the Wally Marks Leadership
Institute for Change, an intensive on-the-job training for community
organizers. She has also initiated special programs to increase donor
diversity in philanthropy and put together a strategic refocusing of
nearly $5 million in annual grant investments. Ms. Blumenfield was
appointed to the California Commission on the Status of Women by Speaker
John Perez. She serves on the boards of Tides, ARC, Southern California
Grantmakers, Association of Black Foundation Executives and Planned
Parenthood Advocacy Project in Los Angeles and is a member of the
advisory board of the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation. Ms.
Blumenfield is a member of the selection committee for the James Irvine
Foundation Leadership Awards.
Ofer Lion is a tax partner in the Corporate department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. He has represented nonprofits and tax-exempt organizations in a wide range of tax, transactional, corporate, governance and fiduciary matters, including formation, mergers and acquisitions, executive compensation, international activities and affiliations, unrelated business taxable income, joint ventures, program-related investments, political activities and lobbying, audits and tax controversies, tax return review, tax-exempt bonds and dissolutions. He has extensively represented companies in all aspects of transactional tax matters, including mergers and acquisitions (domestic and cross-border taxable transactions, tax-free spin-offs, Section 351 transactions and corporate reorganizations), equity and debt securities finance, partnerships and private equity funds, real estate investment trusts (REITs), bankruptcy reorganizations, debt restructurings and state and local tax issues.
Ofer has been quoted as a tax-exempt organizations authority in numerous news stories, including on NPR, by the Associated Press and in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Tax Analysts, The Huffington Post, Forbes.com and Politico.com. He has taught “Tax-Exempt Organizations: Law and Practice” as an adjunct professor at the UCLA School of Law.
JOSEPH M. LUMARDA
Joseph M. Lumarda is a senior vice president and investment counselor for Capital Group Private Client Services division and a vice president of Capital Guardian Trust Company, a Nevada Corporation. Capital Group Private Client Services provides investment management and financial planning services for individuals, families, trusts, foundations and nonprofit institutions.
Prior to joining Capital, Mr. Lumarda spent 16 years at the California Community Foundation as a program officer, vice president for development and executive vice president and chief operating officer. During that time, he also served as an independent director for Capital Research and Management Company’s Endowment funds, a series of investment portfolios designed exclusively for nonprofit organizations. Before that, he spent three years active duty and five years in the reserves with the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant and naval flight officer on the P3 Orion anti-submarine warfare aircraft.
Sylia Obagi serves as the Executive Director of the Roy & Patricia Disney Family Foundation, one of the newest family foundations in Los Angeles. Sylia is currently leading the 16-member board of directors through a strategic planning process to establish the organization's mission, vision, grantmaking priorities, next generation leadership, and to position the organization as a nimble, catalytic, and strategic sector-level partner with community stakeholders. Prior to this role, she served as the second most senior executive at the Annenberg Foundation as the Director of Programs & Operations. Previously, Sylia served as Vice President of the Community College Foundation (CCF) where she led the largest division, providing social service programs at 50 community colleges and serving over 15,000 individuals and families each year. Prior to CCF, Sylia worked as a CPA with Arthur Andersen for five years.
Sylia serves on the board of Southern California Grantmakers, and on the advisory boards of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, REDF, and the LA chapter of Advisors in Philanthropy. She is a certified governance trainer with BoardSource and volunteers her time as a coach and mentor for nonprofit organizations. She earned her MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and her undergraduate degree in Business Administration and Accounting from California State University, Northridge.
KENT E. SETON, Esq.
Kent E. Seton, Esq., an entrepreneur at heart, started his law career simultaneously with the launch of a separate online venture that quickly grew into one of the largest nationwide providers preparing the paperwork for creating 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. At its height, this online company was forming over 200 501(c)(3) organizations per month. At the same time, he also steadily grew his transactional law practice in the Beverly Hills and outlying areas, and has become one of the foremost attorneys representing charities.
He also lends his experience to social entrepreneurs by advising them as they form and structure new businesses. Kent rejects the idea of "one size fits all" and works with each client separately to develop legal solutions tailored to meet their specific legal and business needs. In addition to speaking regularly on a variety of topics, he also spearheaded a complimentary periodic event featuring some of the most advanced thinkers in the nonprofit sector for the benefit of sharing resources, information and networking in the Los Angeles Area. He also enjoys lecturing on subjects including "social entrepreneurism," collaborations, mergers and acquisitions in the nonprofit sector, strategies for donors and fundraisers, and "hybrid" entities.
Erin Tanenbaum is Director of Programs at the Southern California Leadership Network (SCLN), overseeing the development of creative and timely content and the identification and recruitment of speakers for SCLN Fellowhips. Prior to joining SCLN, she designed and managed projects and initiatives at the Milken Institute, working on issues ranging from aging to global healthy to food security to enhancing job growth in California. Tanenbaum began her career in the nonprofit sector running summer respite programs in Croatia for children who survived the Bosnian war. Since then, she has developed programs, raised support and overseen operations for both international and domestic nonprofit organizations, such as the California Community Foundation, International Medical Corps, Southern California Grantmakers and the Venice Family Clinic. For more than 15 years, Tanenbaum has dedicated her career to providing leaders from the public, private and community sectors with opportunities to best leverage their human and financial resources as stewards of change.
Founder & President (2010–2011)
Reg and his wife, Gina Ross, founded the International Trauma Institute a decade ago bringing solutions to societal trauma of nations and communities suffering from war, terror, displacement and natural disasters. He has served as financial advisor to domestic and international families for over three decades and speaks frequently on issues of legacy and philanthropy.