CMH BOARD OF ADVISORS
Since his explosion onto the Hollywood scene in 1998 with an Oscar for co-writing Good Will Hunting, Ben has continued to make waves both on and off screen, receiving Golden Globe, Primetime Emmy, BAFTA, and AFI awards and nominations. In 2013, his film Argo was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, for which it won the award.
In addition to his successful career as an actor, writer and director, Ben is also a passionate philanthropist and advocate. A longtime political activist and strong supporter of many charitable organizations including ONEXONE, A-T Children’s Project, Feeding America, the Jimmy Fund, and the ONE Campaign. In the last several years, he has made many trips to the African continent with the goal of gaining a deeper understanding of the complexity of issues facing Africa today. These trips have taken him to Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Sudan and Zanzibar, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
During a 2008 trip to the DRC, Ben directed the short film and public service announcement, “Gimme Shelter,” which focuses on the humanitarian crisis in the country. In March 2010, Ben launched the Eastern Congo Initiative, a grassroots program to assist Congolese people in war-ravaged communities in creating a sustainable and successful society in the region. ECI is the first and only U.S. based advocacy and grant-making initiative wholly focused on working with and for the people of Eastern Congo. Ben has testified before Congress to advocate for U.S. and international engagement in Congo, most recently before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Projects in March 2015.
Lisa Amster, Director, joined Barclays in 2011 from Goldman Sachs, where she spent almost a decade. Lisa focuses on customizing hedging and trading strategies for high net worth individuals, family offices and foundations. She was a Private Wealth Advisor in the Markets Coverage Group at Goldman Sachs for the past eight years, and before that, was in Goldman Sachs’ Equity Research department covering small cap stocks. She is currently Executive Director-Private Wealth Advisor at Morgan Stanley.
Lisa interned at The White House under the Clinton Administration and holds a B.S. from the University of California, Berkeley.
She resides in Marina Del Rey, CA, with her husband, Sam.
Derrick N. ASHONG (DNA)
An experienced musician, broadcaster and digital media influencer, DNA has carved out a unique niche as an expert in bridging the gap between old and new media. He has been invited to speak & perform at prestigious institutions including Harvard Business School, Wharton, MIT & Stanford, and has hosted and moderated events for influencers and heads of state including Nobel Laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, as well as Gilberto Gil, Ted Turner, Tommy Hilfiger, Bob Geldof, Queen Rania of Jordan, and former President Bill Clinton. His interviews have ranged from celebrities like John Legend, Jimmi Cliff and supermodel Alek Wek, to environmentalist Jane Goodall, senior advisor to President Obama David Axelrod, Governor Jeb Bush and former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Most recently DNA joined the team at Fusion, the new multiplatform ABC-Univision cable network, targeting English-speaking Latinos and the broader Millennial generation. Launching in the Fall of 2013, he will be anchoring a show covering entertainment, technology, politics and the big headlines of the day. Prior to Fusion, his career in media and entertainment included appearances on networks like CNN, BET, MTV Africa, NPR and BBC Worldservice, as well as print media including the NY Times, Boston Globe and Fast Company. He made his Hollywood debut as a supporting actor in Steven Spielberg's Amistad and has worked with multi-platinum record producers.
DNA was host of The Derrick Ashong Experience on SIRIUS XM's Oprah Radio and helmed the inaugural year of Al Jazeera English's cutting-edge, social media TV show The Stream, which was nominated for an Emmy. He is leader of the critically-acclaimed Afropolitan band Soulfège, which has charted on both sides of the Atlantic and won the 2008 Billboard Songwriting Contest for Best Hip Hop Song. He has lectured on five continents on the use of media and technology as tools for human development, including talks for the UN Foundation, London School of Economics, King’s College (Cambridge), the Reconciliation Forum in Washington, D.C., the UN Alliance of Civilizations and before UK Parliament. He has had fellowships with the Paul & Daisy Soros Foundation, TED and the Americas Business Council (*abc Foundation) and is a member of the African Leadership Network. Born in Accra, Ghana, the Harvard-educated talent was raised in Brooklyn, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and New Jersey.
Dr. Lisa Cassileth
Dr. Cassileth is one of the few female plastic surgeons currently practicing in Beverly Hills, California. She brings her patients impeccable surgical techniques, an artist's aesthetic vision, and an essential feminine perspective.
Dr. Cassileth offers a wide range of plastic surgery procedures to enhance and refine the face, breasts and body. She performs leading-edge techniques that achieve exceptional aesthetic results, including SlimLipo and breast implant revision surgery. She also pioneered the Cassileth One-Stage Implant Reconstruction technique, which eliminates the need for multiple surgeries in breast cancer patients undergoing mastectomy.
Dr. Cassileth is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and completed her training at the University of Pennsylvania's exceptional plastic surgery program. Dr. Cassileth works as an assistant clinical professor at UCLA Medical Center and an attending physician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she trains and mentors surgical residents. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their three children.
Dr. Brenda R. Combs
Dr. Brenda Combs is a symbol of inspiration and perseverance to all who meet her. Only fifteen years ago, she was a homeless crack addict, a petty criminal, a gaunt and hopeless wreck who had been shot, beaten and raped during the endless years when she lived under a bridge in the worst part of Phoenix. It took hitting rock bottom for Combs to find the strength to turn her life around, on a blistering summer day.
As a woman, who at one time could not help herself, Combs now spreads a message of hope wherever she goes. Her journey, which has been called “From Homeless to Hero” by local and national media, has received tremendous coverage, including acknowledgement by “theGrio 100” as one of the most influential African-Americans, an article in Reader’s Digest and interviews on The Today Show and on CNN. She has also appeared on radio talk shows across the country, and accepted invitations to sing and share her message on stages across the globe, including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
Combs continued to pursue her education at Grand Canyon University (GCU), where she earned a master’s degree in Special Education in 2007. And in May 2011, Brenda earned a doctorate degree in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in Education after receiving a full scholarship grant presented to her by GCU. Professor Combs is now a full-time member of GCU’s faculty.
Dr. Combs is the founder of Finding My Shoes, a charitable organization that serves the homeless and underserved communities. Additionally, she and her husband run Making Things Better Sober Living, a transitional program for women who have been incarcerated. Her success rate for this program is an astounding 99%. She also serves as an advocate for Domestic Violence Awareness and, in 2009, Combs was named a National Ambassador for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's "Power to End Stroke" campaign.
David H. Edington is the Founder, President, and Managing Director at Rimrock Capital Management, LLC. (previously known as Rimrock Enterprises, Inc.). Mr. Edington founded Rimrock Capital Management, LLC. in 1999. Prior to this, he was a Portfolio Manager at Pacific Investment Management Co LLC. Mr. Edington has been Independent Trustee of Metropolitan West Funds - Metropolitan West Low Duration Bond Fund, and Rimrock Capital Management, LLC. He has served as Trustee of Metropolitan West Total Return Bond Fund and Metropolitan West High Yield Bond Fund since 2001. He served as Trustee of Alphatrak 500 Fund since 2001.
Sara grew up in Australia and worked as a fashion editor for Studio Magazine. She moved to London and continued working in the fashion industry for GQ and Tatler magazines and freelancing on catalogues and various publications for three years.
She studied broadcast journalism at UCLA when she moved to Los Angeles and continued working in fashion and television entertainment for a London-based show broadcast in Europe called The Hollywood Report.
Other work has included production and styling for Fox FX and Turner Broadcasting, producing all the on- air promos for their movies and content. In her spare time, Sara does volunteer work with the pet therapy program at Cedars-Sinai and in the pediatric ward.
Carlota has held various leadership positions in Fashion and Media industries.
She is currently the CEO and Co-Founder of Styloot. She was also the co-founder of Hautelook (December 2007) and was its Vice President until it was sold to Nordstrom in 2011.
Before Hautelook, she was with Fox Television producing news, entertainment and fashion shows, including the daily fashion segment, Style File.
Carlota is a 3-time Emmy award winner.
Jeff Fleeher is a long-time financial executive of NBC Universal. He is currently serving as Worldwide Chief Financial Officer for Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, responsible for financial and operational strategy to support content sales and marketing efforts across UPHE’s 11 operating companies around the world.
Previously, Jeff held the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer & Strategy, Content Distribution where he managed financial matters, strategy and business operations for the distribution of NBCU’s cable networks, network-owned NBC and Telemundo stations, regional sports networks and Olympic Games across the cable, satellite and telecommunications industry. In addition, he oversaw financial matters for the Digital Distribution Team, focused on the roll-out of TV Everywhere and other Digital TV platforms.
Before joining NBCU, Jeff worked at GE Corporate and GE Energy, completing financial and operational assignments in the U.S., Europe and Latin America.
Prior his time with GE, Jeff was a Commissioned Officer in the United States Army, where he served 7 years active duty service as an AH-64 (Apache) helicopter pilot, completing both command and staff assignments in the U.S., Germany and Bosnia.
Jeff is a graduate of the Boston University School of Management and holds an MBA from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.
Raised in Malibu, California, Kym Gold was influenced by the endless golden sunsets and the natural beauty of her surroundings. Throughout the last 25 years, Kym’s unwavering drive and captivating style has helped to achieve multiple successes in the fashion industry.
Kym Gold incepted notable clothing labels including, True Religion Brand Jeans, Bella Dahl, Hippie Jeans, and recently Babakul. Her fashions over the years have been worn by a diverse range of individuals such as David Beckham, Tom Ford, Angelina Jolie, Donna Karan, Heidi Klum, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gwen Stefani, Holly Robinson Peete, and Justin Timberlake. Her designs have been featured in top fashion magazines, including Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, In Style, and Rolling Stone.
Currently, Kym has combined her 25 years of experience as a principal owner and designer of many prosperous ventures, along with her entrepreneurship to embark on new path of domestic and International consultation for new up- start fashion companies, and brand and marketing consultation for existing companies.
For many years, Kym has wanted to share her vast experience and insight in the Fashion Industry and finally in 2014, together with her co – author Sharon Soboil, they have written a telling memoir titled, “Gold Standard” Kym feels strongly about empowering a younger generation of women, and that sharing her tumultuous journey in the fashion industry, especially as a leading business woman in a man’s game; along with her personal life struggles of relationship mistakes, business failures and successes, will give some valued insight to the upcoming Fashionista’s. Maybe just the extra needed strength and useful tools to help even one woman, whether in fashion or not, onto becoming a stronger and better version of themselves.
Mr. Hellier has twenty years experience launching new consumer businesses, products and brands, and elevating them to positions of worldwide recognition and trust.
Mr. Hellier is a Partner at Bertram Capital, where he oversees Business Development. Bertram Capital is a San Mateo, CA based private equity firm with $850M in capital under management
Prior to joining Bertram Capital, Hellier was President, CEO and Board Member of The Gemesis Corporation, a technology company that developed the world’s first man-made diamonds for the gem and jewelry industry. The technology received extensive press coverage, including 60 Minutes II, The Discovery Channel, ABC World News Tonight, Today Show, Time Magazine and Wired Magazine.
Hellier was the founder and Executive Vice President of GlobalStreams, Inc., a leading provider of Internet-delivered video solutions. Prior to GlobalStreams, Hellier served as Vice President of Marketing for AskJeeves, a leading provider of search technologies and services on the Internet. Mr. Hellier’s strategic brand building grew the site into the 12th most visited destination and created one of the most recognizable brands on the Internet.
Prior to AskJeeves, Mr. Hellier served at Iomega, where he helped to launch one of the most successful computer products in the world – the Zip Drive. In his five years with Iomega, Mr. Hellier’s accomplishments included building Iomega’s Asia-Pacific Division and serving as Vice President of North America Sales and Marketing.
Mr. Hellier’s career began at Energizer Power Systems (formerly Gates Energy Products), a rechargeable battery company. Mr. Hellier graduated from the University of Florida, where he earned a both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts in Economics.
Charmaine Jefferson is a native Angelino with a varied arts and entertainment career that first included 8 years as a professional concert dancer before she turned to law and arts administration. As a grant maker she served 6 years as senior dance program specialist and site visit coordinator for the National Endowment for the Arts. In the corporate world she worked as a civil litigator for the law firm of Holland and Knight; as a corporate director for Just Toys, Inc.; as vice president of business affairs for de Passe Entertainment; and, as director of show development for Disney Entertainment Productions. However, Charmaine’s strongest passions have always been for the arts, culture and public service. She served 6 years as deputy and acting commissioner of New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs where she helped manage the agency through significant city budget cuts, an expanded capital construction program, a public relations initiative, and the installation of arts education programs for children living in temporary housing. She served 6 years as executive director of Dance Theatre of Harlem helming that institution’s $7.8m capital expansion, company national and international tours, school operations, fundraising, marketing and board relations.
Charmaine recently completed 11 years of dual service as the executive director of the state-agency California African American Museum (CAAM) in Los Angeles and vice president of its nonprofit partner Friends, the Foundation of the California African American Museum. Her tenure developed relationships for CAAM with numerous community based organizations to create shared programming opportunities, nationally shared exhibits, and completed plans for a $60M CAAM capital expansion through schematics. Despite significant state budget cuts caused by the recession, exhibit presentations rose from 6 to 13 annually. She conceived several exhibitions including The African Diaspora in the Work of Miguel Covarrubias, and the Getty’s “Pacific Standard Time” sponsored exhibition of more than 90 Los Angeles artists in Places of Validation, Art & Progression. She fostered exhibit collaborations with other museums including An Idea Called Tomorrow with the Skirball Cultural Center; Things That Cannot Be Seen Any Other Way: The Art Of Manuel Mendive in association with the City of Los Angeles and The Frost Museum; and A Memoir in Movement: Carmen de Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder with the DuSable Museum. During her tenure, CAAM’s annual attendance increased 68% to 100,000 and free public workshops and programs rose from 35 to 80 including the branding of the highly popular monthly “Target Sundays at CAAM” live performances. Charmaine is particularly proud of having implemented a strategic vision for “Mentoring Generations” that enhanced CAAM’s ability to give back to the community. She increased its “Buses & Docents” school field trip support, and expanded the “Young Docents” high school employment training from summer only to a year round program with student access through their first two years of college. In 2013, the Friends Foundation linked Young Docents to the City of Los Angeles’ youth employment program creating greater access for youth living in and transitioning out of foster care, encouraging the pursuit of a college education, and providing opportunities for access to paid employment and customer service experiences.
Charmaine remains a staunch community advocate and arts expert, serving nonprofits through Kélan Resources, her cause driven consulting firm dedicated to integrating art, history, culture, business and diversity into the DNA of education, community, philanthropy, and public and private collaborations. A partial list of recent clients include the Tom & Ethel Bradley Foundation, Lula Washington Contemporary Dance Theatre, Rain Art Productions, Pasadena Playhouse and Opera Noir. Charmaine is equally active as a volunteer having served on innumerable boards and commissions throughout her career. She recently completed 8 years of gubernatorial appointments on the California Arts Council. She continues to serve on the Board of Directors of Arts for LA, as a college trustee and academic committee chair for the California Institute of the Arts, as a mayoral appointee and vice chair of the City of Los Angeles’ Cultural Affairs Commission, on the African American Advisory Council for PBS SoCal, and on the Advisory Committee for the Los Angeles County Cultural Affairs Commission’s “Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative.”
Bio coming soon...
Suzanne Lerner boasts decades of experience in business, as well as a background in philanthropy with a primary focus on gender equality, economic empowerment and social justice.
In 1983, Lerner founded Lerner et Cie, a wholesale fashion showroom, currently with four locations nationwide. In 1986, Lerner co-founded retail clothing company Michael Stars of which she now serves as President.
Lerner’s second career is philanthropy and giving back to communities both domestically and abroad. She supports numerous causes personally, as well as through the Michael Stars Foundation.
Suzanne's true passion is advocating for gender equality and believes that a woman’s success shouldn’t be decided by where she is from. Her commitment to this belief started in her early twenties when she spent five years traveling the world, and saw firsthand the inequality that existed in countries like India and Pakistan. Realizing then that we’re all citizens of this world, Suzanne has made it her mission to support women’s rights both in business and her personal life.
Suzanne currently serves on the board of Women Thrive Alliance, Ms. Foundation, Prosperity Catalyst, and the ACLU Foundation of Southern California. She is an active member of Women Donors Network and Women Moving Millions, and funds a number of NGOs that focus on women’s empowerment, economic stability, and social justice.
Antonio Manning is Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager for JPMorgan Chase Global Philanthropy. In this position, Antonio manages philanthropic and corporate responsibility for Greater Los Angeles. Previously, Antonio served as First Vice President and Regional Grants Manager in Washington Mutual’s Community and External Affairs Division. In this capacity, he managed community relations and company corporate contributions in affordable housing, community development and K-12 education for California.
Manning joined Washington Mutual in 2000. Prior to this, he served as the Western Regional Director of the Fannie Mae Foundation for an 11-state region and spent four years on the program staff of the James Irvine Foundation.
Manning is an active member of the community. He is a founding member of Southern California Blacks in Philanthropy, a membership organization comprised of corporate and philanthropic executives. His other board affiliations include Affordable Living for the Aging, California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, Coalition for Responsible Community Development, Heritage Homeownership Partners, Los Angeles Business Council and Institute and the Los Angeles Conservation Corps. Additionally, Antonio serves on the Advisory Board for the USC Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy, LISC – Los Angeles, and Enterprise Community Partners and the Business Take Force on Homelessness. Antonio recently served as a mayoral appointment to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
Antonio is a Los Angeles native and attended the University of Southern California.
Bio coming soon...
Carson Meyer is a Junior at the Gallatin school of individualized study at NYU where she study's the use of art and self expression in a mental health field. Carson was the co-founder of the The “Lend A Hand” club at Malibu High School, which helped to organize students to support causes they believe in through volunteerism and fundraising.
She served as Teen BoardAdvisor for CMH while in high school, after volunteering with the foundation. Her interests include acting, photography, music and knitting.
Keleigh Thomas Morgan
Bio coming soon...
Bio coming soon...
Ryan received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 2001 and a Bachelor of Arts from The University of California at Berkeley in 1998. He began his legal career practicing corporate transactional law in San Francisco where he was primarily involved with private and public company securities offerings and mergers and acquisitions.
Prior to joining the firm of Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof + Fishman in 2006, Ryan negotiated a wide array of television and new media transact ions as counsel in the Legal Affairs Department for NBC Universal.
Ryan's current practice includes the representation of actors, directors, writers and producers in film, television and new media.
Suzanne Todd is an award-winning producer whose movies have grossed over two billion dollars worldwide. Suzanne’s next film is Alice Through the Looking Glass, which will be released on May 27, 2016 by The Walt Disney Company. It is the sequel to the Oscar winning Alice in Wonderland that was helmed by Tim Burton and starred Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter, and Anne Hathaway. James Bobin directed the sequel with all the cast returning along with new addition, Sacha Baron Cohen.
This year Suzanne also produced the STX comedy, Bad Moms, which will be released in August 2016. Written and directed by Jon Lucas & Scott Moore, the film stars Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Christina Applegate, Kathryn Hahn, Jada Pinkett Smith and Annie Mumolo. Next up for Suzanne is a new If These Walls Could Talk with Lena Dunham and HBO.
Suzanne’s other producing credits include Across The Universe, Memento, Celeste and Jesse Forever, Must Love Dogs, Prime, Boiler Room and the Austin Powers Trilogy. She also executive produced HBO’s Emmy nominated If These Walls Could Talk and If These Walls Could Talk 2.
Additionally, during the past five years, Suzanne has branched out into interactive entertainment, working as a creative and business consultant for Activision/Blizzard on their game development. She consulted on the multi-billion dollar Call of Duty franchise, including Black Ops, Black Ops 2, Modern Warfare 3, Ghosts, and Advanced Warfare. Similarly, Suzanne consulted on Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure and Skylanders: Giants, which together have grossed over $2 billion in game sales with more than 175 million toys sold.
Suzanne’s films have been honored by the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and Emmys. She has been presented with numerous awards including Women In Film’s celebrated Lucy Award, the Spirit Award for Best Picture, Cosmo’s Fun Fearless Female Award, the Glaad Media Award, three Saturn Awards, several MTV Movie Awards, and a People’s Choice Award. Suzanne regularly devotes her time and resources to several charitable causes including Tia’s Hope and St. Joseph Center. She also mentors aspiring filmmakers through the USC Stark Mentorship Program and the Producers Guild of America. Suzanne is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Directors Guild of America and Producers Guild of America.
Suzanne lives in Los Angeles with her three children, a rescue puggle and two chinchillas. She is an avid player of video games, poker and tennis.
Dawn Wilcox is vice president of Corporate Partnerships at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. In this role, she oversees Corporate Partnerships, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Hollywood Cares for Kids and The League (uniting sports team and athletes in support of CHLA). She provides oversight of 15 team members who manage the day-to-day activities of more than 100 corporate, Hollywood and sports partnerships, including the creation and management of consumer engagement, cause marketing, corporate philanthropy and employee volunteer programs.
Dawn is an award-winning public relations and marketing professional with more than 20 years of cause marketing, client and corporate relations, social impact and leadership experience. She comes to CHLA after eight and a half years at Allison+Partners, a global public relations agency where she ran the Los Angeles office. She then served as managing director of the Social Impact Practice, which provided her teams and clients expertise as a thought leader on issues of corporate philanthropy, cause marketing, community relations, issue campaigns and nonprofit PR and branding. She has been working with corporations and not-for-profit organizations since 1995, creating and managing social impact programs for issues such as child abuse prevention, teen pregnancy, literacy, school reform, disability rights, reproductive health, traffic safety and family violence prevention. Dawn previously served as a senior vice president at Ogilvy Public Relations and principal of her own firm, Penguin PR.
Dawn and her team created and trademarked “Corporate Socialanthropy” to encapsulate the tenets of the Social Impact practice. The result of that has been a more effective approach to working with corporations and their nonprofit partners to create and manage campaigns that build brand reputation while also having a positive impact on employees, consumers and the communities in which they do business. Dawn is also the co-founder of an annual one-day event called, “Quality Time with PR Minds,” now in its 11th year of providing nonprofits with free public relations advice. She currently serves on the advisory board of Children Mending Hearts, the Certified Corporate Partnership Professional Review Board and was a board member of the Public Relations Society of America Los Angeles for eight years.
Dawn is accredited in public relations (APR) and received her bachelor's degree in journalism and English from California State University, Chico.
Bio coming soon...
Erica Wertheim Zohar
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