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Cal State L.A. holds first meeting of President’s Council

Cal State Los Angeles held its first meeting April 9 of the President’s Council, which is comprised of business and civic leaders who will help strengthen the university’s role as a premier public comprehensive university.

The 42 council members will work closely with university President William A. Covino, offering input and advice as the university solidifies community and corporate partnerships, launches academic and research initiatives and pushes forward with an ambitious branding campaign.

Many of the council members are Cal State L.A. alumni and include former elected officials, philanthropists and government and corporate executives.

“This is a pivotal time as we both celebrate our extraordinary achievements of the past and position ourselves for even greater accomplishments in the future,” Covino told the panel during the meeting at the university’s Luckman Fine Arts Complex. “You will play a vital role as we embark on this journey to build a legacy with a renewed mission and strong sense of purpose.”

The meeting featured a video highlighting Cal State L.A.’s role as a leading public university focused on becoming an engine of social mobility. The video was followed by a presentation on Cal State L.A.’s mission of engagement, service and the public good, as well as the university’s commitment to student success.

“I am looking forward to our partnership,” Covino said. “Together we will make an immeasurable difference in the lives of our students and everyone they touch.”

Members of the President’s Council include Lee Baca, retired L.A. County sheriff; Gilbert Barajas, founder and director of the Periodontal Health Group, Montebello; Andrew Bicos, chief engineer for aeromechanics technology and director of enterprise, technology strategy for flight sciences and systems engineering at the Boeing Company; Bill Bogaard, mayor of Pasadena; Scott Budnick, founder and president of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition; Elise Buik, president and chief executive officer of United Way of Greater Los Angeles; Elisa Crystal Callow, founding director of the Armory Center for the Arts; Steve Cooley, retired, Los Angeles County’s district attorney; and Richard D. Cordova, president and chief executive officer for the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Other council members include Charon D’Aiello, who retired from the Office of Affirmative Action at Cal State L.A., David Sandoval, retired director of the Educational Opportunity Program at Cal State L.A.; Frank J. De Santis, founding president of the Harbor UCLA Medical Research Institute; Arturo Delgado, Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools; Victor Dominguez, senior vice president of operation and community development for the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles; María Elena Durazo, general vice president for immigration, diversity and civil rights for UNITE HERE labor union; Sandra Figueroa-Villa, executive director of El Centro del Pueblo in Los Angeles and a member of the Los Angeles Police Commission; Marshal Geller, co-founder and managing partner of St. Cloud Capital, LLC; Erika J. Glazer, private investor and philanthropist; Mark Steven Greenfield, artist and former arts administrator with the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; and Ana Guerrero, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s chief of staff.

Also serving on the council are Helen Hernandez, president and founder of the Imagen Foundation and executive producer of the Imagen Awards; John Huerta, appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Advisory Committee for the Arts; Carlos Illingworth, director of public affairs and government relations for the Vons Division of Safeway; Jesse Juarros, chief information officer for the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works; Billie Jean King, legendary tennis player and founder of the Women’s Sports Foundation and the Women’s Tennis Association; Arthur T. Leahy, chief executive officer of Metrolink; Kate Lear, writer, theater producer and philanthropist; David C. Lizárraga, chairman and founder of the TELACU Education Foundation; Michael A. Lucki, certified public accountant and general partner for Lucki Advisors; Capri Maddox, special assistant city attorney and senior advisor to Los Angeles City Attorney Michael Feuer; and Gary J. Matus, managing director of RSR Partners.

Also serving on the council are: Omel Nieves, chief operating officer and partner of Hunt, Ortmann, Palffy, Nieves, Darling & Mah, Inc. law firm; Tam O’Shaughnessy, president and chief executive officer of Sally Ride Science; Terrence J. Roberts, chief executive officer of Terrence Roberts Consulting and member of the “Little Rock Nine” who desegregated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957; Eva Stern, clinical social worker and philanthropist; Ralph M. Terrazas, chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department; John J. Tracy, chief technology officer of the Boeing Company; Nat Trives, former mayor of Santa Monica and professor emeritus of criminal justice at Cal State L.A.; Gilbert R. Vasquez, managing partner of Vasquez & Company LLP certified public accounting firm: Linda Wah, elected trustee on the Board of Pasadena City College; Mark E. Whitlock, Jr., pastor of Christ Our Redeemer A.M.E. Church in Orange County; and Willie Zuñiga, president and chief executive officer of Grifols Biologicals Inc.