Board of Directors
Officers and Executive Committee Members
Board Chair and Executive Committee Chair
Glenn Baker was most recently the interim Chief Financial Officer for the Los Angeles Philharmonic for nine months in 2017. Prior to that Mr. Baker had retired after nine years as the Chief Financial Officer of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation where he was responsible for all financial and investment functions of the Foundation as well as the organization’s information technology, retail, facility rentals and contracted food and photo services.
Mr. Baker arrived at the Foundation in 2007, with substantial previous experience in non-profit institutions having worked in the same role at The Art Center College of Design and at The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association where he helped to oversee that organization’s move into the new Disney Concert Hall, as well as the rebuilding of the Hollywood Bowl as the Philharmonic’s summer venue.
Prior to those assignments, Mr. Baker worked for eleven years in a variety of roles and business units for The Walt Disney Company, including two years at ESPN the Magazine during its launch phase. He began his career as a special operations pilot in the United States Air Force. Mr. Baker now serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations focusing on financial operations and strategic planning. He holds an undergraduate degree from the United States Air Force Academy and an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
A native of Southern California, he and his wife Diane reside in Valencia and have two grown sons and, so far, three adorable grandchildren.
Secretary and Governance Committee Chair
Greg Buesing has worked professionally in public service, non-profit management, fundraising, advocacy and law. In 1967 he began as an advocate for Native American communities primarily in the Northeastern United States, holding positions in tribal and community organizations in Maine, and at the Federal Regional Council in Boston. He practiced law in Boston for a decade, first clerking for the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in 1983-4, and then representing public, non-profit, commercial and individual clients at the firm of Foley Hoag & Eliot.
In 1994 Greg became Regional Vice President for United Way of Greater Los Angeles in the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel Valleys, with responsibilities ranging from fundraising to marketing and grant making. In 2000 he joined the University Advancement division of Cal State Northridge, retiring in 2013 as Senior Director for Strategic Projects and Gift Planning. Shortly thereafter, he joined New Horizon’s Program Committee as a volunteer member.
Greg holds a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, an MBA from the University of Maine at Orono, and a JD from Northeastern University School of Law, and is a former member of the Massachusetts and California bars.
John D. Eissele
Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair
John D. Eissele is a Managing Director at MUFG Union Bank, N.A. and has been the national senior credit manager covering the Commercial Finance portfolio since 2012.
John has over 25 years of experience in finance and banking, with his primary focus on corporate and commercial lending and asset-based financing, serving clients in various industries including retail, manufacturing, distribution, technology, automotive, oil & gas and other industrial segments. His client base ranges from privately held middle-market companies to large corporate clients.
John earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from San Diego State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Loyola Marymount University.
John has lived in the San Fernando Valley since 1995. He resides in Chatsworth with Lynn, his wife of twenty years, and their two teenage sons, Jake and Grant.
Kenneth A. Miles, Managing Principal at CLA , provides tax planning, estate planning, retirement planning, personal financial planning and business management services for wealthy and high profile individuals in the entertainment and other industries.
Professional and Civic Affiliations:
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Information Technology Section
- California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CalCPA)
- Member of various boards of directors, including charitable foundations
- Temple Ahavat Shalom, Past Treasurer, Executive Committee member andBoard of Trustees, currently serving on the Budget & Finance and Fund Development committees
- BS, Business Administration, Accounting Theory & Practice, California State University, Northridge
“My clients trust in me to provide solutions to their problems. Helping clients reach their goals gives me the greatest satisfaction.”
Brian James Anderson
Program Committee Chair
Brian Anderson has been in the field of special education for the past 23 years. Upon moving to Los Angeles from Seattle, Brian began working privately providing in-home respite care for young adults with exceptional needs. Brian went on to earn his B.A. in Urban Learning with his Mild/Moderate, Moderate/Severe credentials in Special Education, and his M.A in Special Education Transition from Cal State Los Angeles.
Brian began his teaching career with LAUSD at University High School in 2004. In 2011, he moved on to join the staff at Miller Career and Transition Center. Here he works alongside a team of teachers who lead Miller’s Senior Transition Program. Together they prepare students and their families for the transition out of LAUSD into their post secondary programs.
Brian currently lives in Lake Balboa, CA with his wife Leslie and his daughter Shay and their boxer Millie.
Lisa J. Westfield Avent
Strategic Planning Committee Chair
Lisa Westfield Avent is owner of WESTAVENT Consulting, a boutique agency specializing in licensing, brand/franchise management, and marketing solutions. Recent clients include ABC Networks, Disney Channel and MGA Entertainment (L.O.L. Surprise) as well as various product manufacturers.
Lisa’s professional career spans over 30 years. She is a results-oriented executive with a successful track record at Warner Bros., MGM Studios, Sony, 20th Century Fox, and Mattel Toys. Most recently and for 11 years, Lisa held various Vice President positions at The Walt Disney Company’s Consumer Products division. Her responsibilities included global brand/franchise management, licensing activation and development of marketing plans for Disney’s legacy and emerging properties.
Lisa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising from San Jose State University. She began her career in the ad agency industry. Shortly after, Lisa had the opportunity to serve as a member of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee — which introduced her to the world of licensing global intellectual properties.
Lisa is a native of Los Angeles, California and currently resides in Woodland Hills. She has two adult sons and a precious dog named Gingy.
Advancement Committee Chair
Ron Burkhardt joined Newmark in 1994 as a vice president of the Washington, DC, office. Now situated as a managing director in the firm’s West Los Angeles office, he continues to specialize in national tenant representation and corporate services, providing his clients with real estate-related professional and technical support. Mr. Burkhardt focuses on lease and purchase transactions including: facility acquisition, financial analyses, market research, lease negotiations and sublease representation.
Mr. Burkhardt is also a prominent member of Newmark’s national non-profit division. In this capacity, he works with such clients as Autism Speaks, Inc., the California Society of CPAs, Starlight Children’s Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation and National Immigration Law Center. He has also represented corporate tenants such as Amazon.com, Adtalem/Chamberlain University, Slalom Consulting, Net App Inc., Neutrogena and Woodside Natural Gas in their leasing requirements.
- Assistance League of Los Angeles
- Weinstock Manion
- Autism Speaks, Inc. (National Account)
- Chamberlain University
- John Tracy Clinic
- Exceptional Children’s Foundation
- Michelson Found Animals Foundation
- Lido Advisors, LLC
- Los Angeles Education Partnership, LLP
- Make-A-Wish Foundation
- National Immigration Law Center (LA/D.C.)
- Rocket Fuel, Inc.
- Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts
- Thompson Coburn LLP
- California Society of CPA’s
- UCP of Orange County
Mr. Burkhardt is the recipient of 2012 Social Sustainability® Champion Award and is the first corporate real estate director to receive this award, issued to those passionate about bettering the workplace and who lead with a social conscience. Individuals selected advocate a call to action in their fields of expertise regarding the importance of serving non-profit organizations locally and nationally and as stewards of the environment through efforts that mitigate climate change.
In addition, Mr. Burkhardt is a member of the Los Angeles Commercial Realty Association (LACRA). He also sits on the boards of Children Mending Hearts, New Horizons, The Nonprofit Advisory Council (NAC), Starlight Children’s Foundation (Global Finance Committee), ANEW Foundation (Advisory Board) and The Ed Asner Family Center.
Mr. Burkhardt earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business at Roger Williams University.
Gail C. Watts
Personnel Committee Chair
Gail Watts is a Human Resources executive and leader with 25 years of experience in the Health Care industry. She currently is the Director, Human Resources for Northridge Hospital Medical Center, a Dignity Health Facility. Previously, Gail worked in the healthcare insurance industry for Blue Cross of California/WellPoint and Health Net, Inc. She has also served with two Philanthropic Healthcare Foundations; The California Endowment and The California Wellness Foundation both formed from organizations moving from not-for-profit status to for-profit status in California.
Gail is a graduate of the University of Kansas with her undergraduate degree in Human Resources. She also has certifications In Leadership Development and Organization Development and has used these skills to coach top leaders and respond to critical incidents and manage change in organizations.
Gail is married to her husband, Bernard Crowley, and together they are raising their two granddaughters, Chyna and Cydney. They also have two adult sons.
Stuart L. Jaffe
Member at Large
Stuart L. Jaffe is a CPA and is the managing partner of Kirsch, Kohn and Bridge LLP (KKB). He joined KKB in October 1986.
Stuart has over 40 years of experience in public accounting, with his primary focus being tax compliance and planning for business and individuals in the technology, construction, entertainment, manufacturing, distribution and professional services industries. He practices in the area of complex tax matters and provides services for many closely-held corporations and high net worth individuals.
Stuart earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and a Master of Science Degree in Taxation from California State University, Northridge. He also holds a Certificate in Estate Planning issued by the California CPA Education Foundation.
Stuart is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the California Society of CPAs. He is also a former chairperson of the Los Angeles Chapter’s San Fernando Valley CPA Discussion Group.
A former runner and soccer referee, Stuart now enjoys hiking, bicycling riding and taking long walks with his wife, and spends a fair amount of time tending his vegetable garden. He also enjoys sitting on the beach in Carpinteria reading and solving crossword puzzles.
Stuart grew up in Brooklyn and has lived in the San Fernando Valley since 1976. He resides in Sherman Oaks with his wife Fran. They have three adult children who reside in Seattle, West Hollywood and Oakland.
F. Shawn Azizollahi
Real Estate Task Force Chair
F. Shawn Azizollahi, Managing Director at Marquee Law Group, APC, has devoted his career to serving his clients in various transactional matters. As a licensed and good standing member of the State Bar of California, Mr. Azizollahi received his Juris Doctorate from the prestigious UCLA School of Law. Mr. Azizollahi serves as Outside General Counsel for numerous businesses, spanning various industries throughout the western United States.
Mr. Azizollahi leads his firm’s transactional practice, whereby the firm represents clients in business deals within the following industries: real estate, construction, entertainment, manufacturing, technology, import/export, restaurant, retail, development and franchise related matters. His practice has been devoted to zealously and passionately advocating for his clients in numerous diverse corporate, entertainment and real estate transactions.
Mr. Azizollahi spearheaded his firm’s dedication to serving our community by creating the Marquee in the Community initiative. Through this program, Mr. Azizollahi advises and consults for many non-profits and community organizations within Southern California.
Rafael De La Rosa
Rafael De La Rosa has been named Assistant Vice President for Government and Community Relations at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). Formerly an Aide to Congressman Brad Sherman and Director of Government and Community Relations at CSUN, De La Rosa holds an Associate degree from Ventura Community College and a Bachelor’s degree in History as well as Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.
E. Mark Fishman
Enrolled Actuary MSPA, FCA, MAAA
Bachelor of Science in Mathematics –
Systems Science – 1980
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Member of the ZBT Fraternity
Master of Science in Mathematics –
Applied Science – 1983
Loyola Marymount University (LMU)
Enrolled Actuary – April 1989
Member, American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (MSPA)
Fellow, Conference of Consulting Actuaries (FCA)
Member, American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA)
Member, College of Pension Actuaries (ACOPA)
Actuaries Unlimited, Inc. 1993 – Present
Shareholder/Partner and Enrolled Actuary
Mark is a principal contributor to AUI’s professional relationships and has fostered the expansion of our client base through unmatched service to our clients and industry partners. With his Bachelor’s degree from UCLA and Master’s degree from Loyola Marymount University, both in Mathematics, Mark started with Actuaries Unlimited, Inc. in 1982 and has been a partner for more than 26 years. Mark prides himself on developing strong professional relationships, being a creative actuary and producing the most competitive results in the business. In addition to running a business, Mark teaches actuarial classes for ASPPA and lectures for CPA and CFP Continuing Education Seminars and Conferences. When he is not fostering an industry-wide reputation as a go to expert in retirement plans, he enjoys attending sporting events, drinking wine and listening to the Beatles. Mark has two grown sons and lives in Sherman Oaks with his partner, Carrie.
Jerry F. Hilecher
Jerry Hilecher is the founder and CEO of Gateway Telnet. A Technology company excelling in Managed IT, Surveillance, Cybersecurity, and Telephony. Mr. Hilecher is married to wife Marcy for 31 years and is the proud father of 4 children, Justin, Matthew, Sara and Jahmie.
Mr. Hilecher has recently served as President of Temple Ahavat Shalom, a reformed Jewish temple in Northridge. In addition to serving as President, he sat on the Board as Vice President for 8 years.
Mr. Hilecher loves most sports and his claim to fame came in Racquetball where he played on the World Professional Racquetball tour for 15 years. During that time, winning 5 National Championships and becoming the number one player in the world in 1981 along with a signature Nike shoe and signature racquet line.
Mr. Hilecher grew up in St. Louis Missouri, and graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Economics. Even though he has lived in Los Angeles for 32 years, he still roots for the St Louis Cardinals baseball team and the St. Louis Blues.
Charles W. Jenkins
Charles W. Jenkins is an experienced civil trial attorney who was admitted to the California Bar in 1988. Mr. Jenkins has practiced in state and federal courts. In addition to his state bar admissions, he is a member of the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Central and Southern Districts of California. Mr. Jenkins received his Juris Doctorate from the UCLA School of Law in 1987. He earned a Bachelor of Science, Business Administration from Boston University in 1984.
Mr. Jenkins has had a diverse legal career. During his 30 years as a trial attorney, Mr. Jenkins has gained considerable experience in general civil litigation matters involving exposure to toxic substances, such as benzene, asbestos, mold, silica and metal particulates. He has litigated matters involving construction defect, trade secret misappropriation, civil rights claims versus the LAPD, automobile collisions, wrongful termination, employment discrimination, assault and battery, products liability, and contract disputes. For the past 17 years, Mr. Jenkins has focused on the representation of a variety of corporate clients involved in asbestos litigation throughout California. These include premises owners, product suppliers, fiber suppliers, insulators and equipment manufacturers.
Mr. Jenkins enjoys representing clients, pro bono, in a variety of matters. He is currently the President of a non-profit organization assisting individuals with autism prepare for and find meaningful employment.
Kristen Mays is the Director of Business Development and Marketing for Environmental Contracting Corporation (ECC). With over 15 years marketing and business development experience, her professional background has expanded across multiple industries including non-profit organizations, financial institutions, consulting, commercial architecture and design, and commercial general contracting and construction.
Kristen holds an MBA in Marketing from the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and a Bachelor of Science in Management, Human Resources from Park University. She serves on the Board of Directors for New Horizons and previously served on the Board of Directors for Autism Speaks, Southern California. Kristen actively contributes her talents to IIDA Southern California, Inclusion Matters by Shane’s Inspiration, and University of Utah Alumni Association, Los Angeles Chapter.
A passionate autism awareness advocate, Kristen lives in Encino with her twin sons, Christopher and Zachary.
Angela Reese is an accomplished sales support manager offering an impressive background in the leadership, management and direction of major sales and portfolio management, with extensive experience in the banking industry. She currently is a VP Business Associate Manager at Wells Fargo managing Business Banking teams in the San Fernando and Greater LA Markets.
Angela was born and raised in Fresno California and moved to Los Angeles to work in the music industry where she successfully became a promotion/sales director for large record labels. She later joined the banking industry where she has overseen the account management, sales and service for companies who sales size reaches up to 3 billion in annual sales.
George G. Stevens
George Stevens has 40 years of experience working in the field of developmental disabilities. During that period, he served as the executive director of the North Los Angeles County Regional Center for 21 years. His career background offers the Board of New Horizons a unique perspective in the areas of public policy, service and support delivery trends, and collaboration with State and local public/private partners. But more importantly, he brings experience that will support the strategic direction New Horizons is moving in as outlined in its strategic plan. His expertise in leading change will help to facilitate and move New Horizons into its planned future which will ultimately improve the quality of life and full community participation for individuals with developmental disabilities.
- Paula Boland
- Julie Kavner
- John Lithgow
- Jonathan Murray
- Michael Tilson Thomas
- John D. Bunzel
- Roc Caldarone
- Larry Diamond
- Colin Donahue
- Joyce Feucht-Haviar
- Judy Fisher
- Janet Latto
- David Lillington
- Sister Colleen Settles
- Gene Siciliano
- Joel Simon
- Susan Stearns
- Stuart Steinberg
- Betty Sue Weitkamp