Board of Directors
Stuart Berton, Esq.
Entertainment Industry Lawyer
Formerly a lawyer with Bank of America in San Francisco, began his career as an entertainment lawyer with Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp, then ran business affairs for Playboy’s film and television arm before joining Warner Bros. legal department. He returned to private practice and became head of the Entertainment Law Dept. at the boutique firm of Hayes & Hume, then opened his own firm in 1984 which he’s maintained since then except for a six year period when he was partnered in the firm of Berton & Donaldson.
Still involved in the private practice of entertainment law, he has also embarked on a new career as a film and television writer and producer. Charitable endeavors have included stints on the John Anson Ford Theater Foundation board, the Cornerstone Theater Company board, and as chairman of the boards of the Back Alley Theatre in Van Nuys and the Celebrity Outreach Foundation. He is currently on the board of Antaeus Theater Company in Los Angeles. He’s married to Susan Schwarz, a partner in SDB Partners, Inc., a talent agency, and they have one daughter, Kate, a psychotherapist.
Public Affairs/Communications Consultant
Bill worked as a print journalist in Los Angeles, press secretary for a Los Angeles city councilman, chief of staff for a county supervisor and as a senior executive for government relations at an international for-profit hospital firm, a national trade association and a major West Coast public affairs counseling firm. He has designed and managed professional lobbying campaigns and supportive public communications outreaches in 38 state capitals and Washington, D.C.
He served on and chaired a number of state and national corporate-government committees and task forces that worked on health care and public safety matters, receiving several awards and honors for leadership in fostering private-public sector partnerships to cooperatively address major public policy issues.
When his daughter, now a children’s social worker for the county, started her career as a case manager at El Nido, he learned that the agency had no political relationships despite its long history. He volunteered to create and help implement its first informational/educational outreach to targeted elected officials, leading to his term on El Nido’s advisory board before moving up to the board of directors. He also serves on the executive committee for the annual Bollens-Reis-Hoffenerg Lecture on Government and Politics at UCLA and was on the board of the L.A. chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. His son is an investment banker in Los Angeles.
JESSE i. sHAPIRO ESQ..
Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP
Jesse Shapiro is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. He is a member of the firm’s Real Estate Department. Mr. Shapiro was named as a 2014 Southern California Super Lawyer. In 2013, both SuperLawyers and Law360 named him a “Rising Star.” Law 360 designated him as one of its six “Rising Star” Real Estate attorneys under 40 to watch nationwide.
Jesse’s practice experience includes representation of real estate funds, lenders, and institutional and non-institutional investors in all areas of real estate. He received his law degree from the New York University School of Law in 2000 and his Bachelor of Arts degree in history with a minor in math, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996. Mr. Shapiro is admitted to practice law in the States of California, New York and New Jersey. Mr. Shapiro is married with two children and joined the board of El Nido in 2014.
Fred Samulon, PhD
Management Consultant Executive Service Corps
Chief Financial Officer, Past President
For more than a decade Fred Samulon has been a management consultant for non-profits. Prior to focusing on the non-profit sector, he was a Vice President of Citigroup with responsibilities including new technology development, worldwide support of Citibank’s ATMs, quality, and information security. Before going to Citi he was a section manager at TRW responsible for signal processing. Fred has served as president of the El Nido board of directors, as vice chair of the Los Angeles County Information Systems Commission, as an arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and as an advisor to the Information Systems Security Association of Los Angeles.
In the past he served as chair of the Los Angeles County Community Action Board, on the board of the Executive Service Corps, as a member of the board of Chamber Music Palisades, and as president of the board of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles. For two years he taught a UCLA Extension course on Multimedia Data Compression. Samulon is co-author of 4 patents. He holds a B.S. and Ph.D from UC Berkeley and a Masters from Stanford University, all in electrical engineering. He is married and has two daughters and three grandsons.
El Nido Family Centers Early Head Start Program Policy Council Parent
Retired Business Executive, Unocal Corporation
Retired Director of Investor Relations and former Assistant Corporate Secretary for Unocal Corporation, John has been among El Nido’s volunteer leaders since joining El Nido’s Board of Directors in 1986. Over the past two decades, John has played every major role on the Board, from President and Treasurer, to selecting and training new Board members, and setting an example as a major donor.
John has worked tirelessly in recruiting highly diverse new Board members, who represent El Nido’s varied constituencies and in whom clients can see themselves, encouraging youth and families to imagine how they too may benefit others. He has also been supportive of programs and clients directly, regularly attending Parent Education graduation ceremonies and scholarship luncheons, as well as guiding at-risk youth on hiking tours through the Santa Monica Mountains. John holds degrees in both Engineering and Business from Stanford University and served in the Korean War. In his spare time, John enjoys spending time with family, especially his daughter, son and two young grandchildren.
Luz Avila-Kyncl, MSW, CHC
Founder, Salud con Luz, saludconluz.com
Luz is a nutrition coach and wellness counselor with experience in family nutrition, weight management and stress relief. Luz offers educational workshops to improve health in schools and organizations. In her private practice she helps individuals and families with weight problems, self-esteem, eating disorders, inactivity and stress. In her spare time, she volunteers for Meals on Wheels.
Before becoming a health and wellness coach, Luz spent the last 15 years working as a family and child therapist helping adults, children, and families suffering from mental, emotional, and behavioral issues. After struggling with her own health for many years, she was completely healed through changes in her diet and lifestyle. That experience ignited a passion about nutrition and she realized that she wanted to help people heal, not just emotionally and mentally, but physically and spiritually. She is now devoted to empower women, parents and families to seek health awareness for themselves and their families to live happier lives. Luz received her health coaching degree from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from the State University of New York at New Paltz and a Master in Social Welfare from UCLA. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Nutrition and Integrated Health from Maryland University. She is married and has two children.
Management Consultant, Executive Service Corps.
Chris Y. Chen
Corporate and Securities Attorney
Chris is the General Counsel of Global-IP Cayman and its US subsidiary, Global IP USA, Inc. Prior to joining Global-IP as its General Counsel, Chris was engaged in private practice in the area of corporate and securities law representing clients in a variety of industries, including telecommunications, high technology, real estate, life sciences, manufacturing and marketing. Chris received his law degree from Cornell Law School, where he served as Editor of the Cornell Law Review and President of the Asian-American Law Students Association, and his Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Cornell University.
After graduating from Cornell Law School, Chris began his law career at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C. in Palo Alto before relocating to Southern California. Selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” for 2010-2011 and 2016, he has been recognized as an outstanding attorney in the area of corporate and securities law. Chris is a member of the State Bar of California. He lives in Los Angeles and enjoys golf, hiking and tennis.
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Kaiser Permanente Southern California Region
As senior vice president and chief financial officer for Kaiser Permanente’s Southern California Region, George Di Salvo manages and monitors financial performance, oversees the development of the region’s operating plans, and ensures that appropriate actions are taken to achieve the required financial results. He is a key participant in the rate-setting and capital planning decision making processes. He also manages and provides functional area leadership for the region’s finance organization and oversees Financial Planning and Analysis, Contracting and Revenue Cycle improvements and State Programs.
In addition to his functional area responsibilities, Di Salvo participates in a number of senior leadership activities associated with the overall management of the Southern California Region. He is a member of the Southern California Leadership Team. He serves on the Joint Management Group with the Southern California Permanente Medical Group, as well as on Program-wide leadership groups.
Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Di Salvo was chief financial officer and senior vice president of Health Net’s Western Region, where he served on the boards of Health Net Life Insurance, Foundation Health Systems Life and Health, Gem Life Insurance and Health Net of Oregon. He led the consolidation and standardization of the finance functions for Health Net’s western region, composed of Arizona, California, Oregon, and Life Insurance subsidiaries. He has worked in both the for profit and non profit sectors of health care, as well as consulted internationally.
Di Salvo holds a bachelor’s degree in corporate finance and a master of business administration in international finance, both from the University of Southern California.
Bianca L. GuzmÁn, PhD
Psychologist and Asst. Professor of Chicano Studies California State University Los Angeles
Dr. Bianca L. Guzmán is a psychologist and assistant professor of Chicano Studies. She received her doctoral degree from Michigan State University in Ecological Community Psychology. For over 20 years she has been working in the field of health promotion and is a leading authority in the study of teenage sexuality. Since 1987 she and her colleague have been running a non-profit organization called Choices that provides teenage pregnancy prevention and safer sex education to primarily Latino youth.
She has written numerous empirical articles that have been published in peer reviewed journals, and she has also co-written/edited a book entitled “Latina Girls: Voices of Adolescent Health in the U.S.” published by New York University Press in 2006. Dr. Guzmán has many more accolades that she is proud of, however what she is most proud of is being the mother of two young daughters.
Partner, Poretzky & Associates, Principal
Steve has been a corporate financial consultant for over 20 years. He advises clients in strategy, financing, business planning and development. His expertise includes capital raising, operational improvement, strategic transactions, turnarounds and growth planning for clients in such varied industries as telecommunications, entertainment, equipment rental, banking, healthcare, real estate and consumer products.
Prior to his consulting work, Steve was Regional Manager for Banque Indosuez, a French bank, and CFO of Eastbrook, a New York based import-export company. Before that, he was a Vice President at Citibank, N.A.
His board service includes Temple Judea and Snuggle Up America. He chairs the American Youth Soccer Organization’s VIP Task Force which supports players with disabilities.
Steve holds a degree in finance and international business from the Wharton School. He’s married to talent manager Patty Woo. His daughter, Kaylen, works in the music industry and his son, Benjamin, is an engineer in Silicon Valley.
Vice President – Community Banking District Manager, Wells Fargo Bank
Carlos Rosales has been a Wells Fargo team member for seven years and assumed his current role in May 2013. Carlos began his career at Wells Fargo as a Licensed Banker at the El Monte banking store and went on to work as Branch Manager for several Los Angeles area banking stores where he specialized in program development, strategy, goal setting, metric evaluation, team management and mentoring.
During his time at Wells Fargo, Rosales has been extremely active in the community, acting as co-chair of the Wells Fargo Los Angeles Metro Leadership Council and an engaged chamber of commerce liaison. Rosales has facilitated countless Hands on Banking financial literacy education workshops at local schools and community organizations, and home preservation workshops for individuals struggling to keep their homes. Rosales has received numerous Wells Fargo accolades during his tenure at the bank, including three wins of the respected “Leadership & Learning Conference Award.” Rosales also represents Wells Fargo at events, speaking in both English and Spanish.
In his current role, Rosales manages nearly 200 team members at 11 banking stores in the communities of Bellflower, Compton, Lakewood, Downey and Long Beach. Rosales is a graduate of the Latino Leaders program at the John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles. A Boyle Heights native, Rosales currently resides in Pomona with his wife and children.
Area Director, SFV, Citibank
In March of 2011, Kathy celebrated 20 years with Citibank. She began her career in Retail Banking as a part time Teller, while working towards a Liberal Studies Degree in College. In 2002, Kathy was promoted to an Area Director with responsibility for 12 branches during the Citi/ Cal Fed acquisition. In 2008, her territory was expanded to 20 branches which now totals over $2.6B in AUMs.
Kathy is a 4 time Annual Citistar’s winner and was recognized once as a Branch Manager, once as an Area Operations Director and twice as an Area Director. Kathy is very involved in the communities that she manages and she volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and Junior Achievement. Kathy is on the Board of Directors for El Nido Family Centers for over 3 years. El Nido is an important community partner of Citibank. Kathy is married and a mother of 3, who enjoys spending her remaining free time at the soccer fields, cheering on her children, Kylie, Justin and Taylor.
Nonprofit Researcher and Writer
Laurie Spivak has spent two decades working with nonprofits, and researching, writing, and studying nonprofit management, leadership, and philanthropy. As the founding Manager and a Research Associate for the UCLA Center for Civil Society, Laurie was responsible for the day-to-day management of the university research center, which serves as the intellectual hub for the study of nonprofit leadership, grassroots advocacy, and philanthropy within the Luskin School of Public Affairs.
Currently, as a freelance writer, Laurie develops, researches, and writes nonprofit management case studies that are used by UCLA graduate students. Previously, Laurie was the Account Manager on the Ford Foundation Corporate Involvement Initiative account where she provided strategic marketing, communications, and public relations consultation to national nonprofit organizations. Laurie received a Fulbright scholarship to study at the London School of Economics where she earned a Master of Science in the Management of Nongovernmental Organizations. She also holds a Master in Public Policy from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She is married and has two children.
Itelia Walker, BS
Owner, Printing Alternatives
Itelia Walker earned her B.S. in Education from the University of Maryland. Since moving to California she has worked with various organizations for the benefit of mothers and children, is a past president of the Carson Women’s Club and served on the Board of Directors of Peace and Joy, Shelter for Women and Children of Domestic Violence. She is a native of Virginia, wife and a mother of two daughters and grandmother to four children. She joined the El Nido Board of Directors in September of 2009.