Jim Bickhart is currently Associate Director - Transportation in the office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and works on airport, animal and zoo issues. He is the former policy director for the Transportation and Land Use Collaborative of Southern California.
A long-time Venice resident, Bickhart previously served as district director for former State Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa and planning and legislative deputy for Los Angeles City Councilwoman Ruth Galanter. During Playa Vista's Phase 1 approval process, Bickhart worked with the Los Angeles Department Of Transportation staff to establish the hiring requirement that led to the development of PVJOBS.
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Kim Kovacs is the Executive Director of Federal Relations at UCLA. In this capacity, she oversees the university's interactions in Washington, D.C. with Congress, executive branch agencies, the White House, and higher education associations. Kovacs has worked in Government Relations at UCLA for nearly eight years.
Prior to returning to work at her alma mater, Kovacs worked in Washington, D.C. for the private publishing company, the Bureau of National Affairs. She also served as the Assistant Budget Director of the White House Conference on Small Business.
Kovacs holds a B.A. in History from UCLA. She is a graduate of the Southern California Leadership Network's professional development program - Leadership Southern California. She also serves on the Board of Managers of the North Valley Family and the board of directors for the World Alliance for Israel Political Action Committee.
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Charri Hearn Schairer, a Program Manager for Hill International, has 20 years of public and private sector Project and Program Management experience. Schairer has led teams in California, Arizona, and Nevada on large-scale projects, including complex urban redevelopment and master planned communities. She has also worked for both the City and County of Los Angeles.
The highlight of her career was her work as Chief of Staff to San Jose Councilmember Alice Woody, where she served on the City’s Domestic Violence Task Force, spearheading the first ‘Public & Elected Officials’ Walk to End Domestic Violence” for Santa Clara County.
Mrs. Schairer has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Welfare from the University of California at Berkeley; and a Masters in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. She is a native of Los Angeles where she currently resides with her husband Roy Schairer and son Malcolm.
David Roberts is a Los Angeles native and has been actively engaged in revitalizing large portions of South Los Angles since the 1992 Civil Unrest. He most recently served as the Associate Director for Local Government Relations at the University of Southern California’s Government Relations Division.
At USC, Roberts represented the university with City and County government, monitoring and analyzing policy proposals and projects, and carried out strategies that effectively represented the university’ interests and concerns. Roberts also helped to advance university priorities by establishing and maintaining effective relationships with business, non-profit and local community based organizations.
Prior to joining USC, Roberts served on the staff of former City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas as well as current City Councilmember Bernard C. Parks. As Deputy for Economic Development, he focused on policy, land use, finance and development and helped to oversee and entitle more than $2 billion worth of development highlighted by the Expo Line Light Rail Project, commercial office buildings, restaurants, parks, retail and housing projects.
Roberts currently works as a consultant providing Government and Strategic Relations services for his clients. He also serves on the Figueroa Corridor Partnership Business Improvement District, Friends of EXPO Center, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Recycled Water Advisory Group and the Los Angeles Trade Tech Citizen’s Advisory committee.
A Los Angeles County Deputy Probation Officer, Brad Carson is well acquainted with the problems facing the at-risk, and is committed to breaking the cycle of inter-generational gang violence. He received the employee of the year award from Chief Probation and Parole Officers of California Association for his involvement in establishing a gang truce between Venice 13 and the Venice Shoreline Crips (VSLC) in 1994. He also helped broker a gang cease-fire between VSLC and the Culver City Boys in 1997.
Carson is committed to improving the quality of life and the sustained rehabilitation of the ex-gang-affiliated through gainful employment. From the beginning, his guidance has been instrumental in developing PVJOBS’ program design.
Gary L. Cook is the Business Manager and Financial Secretary-Treasurer for Plumbers Local 78 in Los Angeles and has worked in the union since 2000.
Local 78 is the oldest continuously operating trade union in California. The union most recently supported both the LA City Council vote giving final approval to the University of Southern California’s USC Village Project; and the Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee’s approval of NBCUniversal’s Evolution Plan.
Prior to his union work, Cook spent nine years in various capacities at University Marelech Mechanical/ Marelich Mechanical., Inc. and supervised projects at Eisenhower Medical Center; the Department of Water and Power; Martin Luther King/Charles Drew Hospital; the Metro Rail Green Line; and others.
A graduate of Purdue University, Cook is a second generation plumber who also enjoys hunting, camping and computers.
Michael Dolphin is the Chief - Counties of Los Angeles and Ventura Workforce Services Division of the State of California’s Employment Development Department. He has more than 30 years of experience in workforce and job-career development programs.
As the State’s representative in workforce development policies and implementation, Dolphin serves on both the Los Angeles City and County Workforce Investment Boards. He is also an executive board member of UNITE-LA and the Los Angeles Workforce Funding Collaborative. He is also advisor to the Career-Technical Education Committees of both the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Los Angeles County Office of Education.
Dolphin is a National Board member of the United States Veterans Initiative, the Board Chair of the Dunbar Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and is co-chair of the Los Angeles Marriott Foundation’s “Bridges...from school to work” Business Advisory Committee. As a member of Dunbar EDC, he is also a co-producer of the Central Avenue Jazz Festival, a non-commercial event that celebrates the rich history and legacies of the African-American Renaissance era of Los Angeles.
Michael has received many awards and recognitions for his work, including the “Workforce Leader” Award from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the City of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board (the nation’s second largest) and the “Leadership Award” directly from Mr. Richard Marriott and the Marriott Bridges Foundation.
Richard S. Flores is a Senior Vice President and Regional Manager with the Real Estate Industries Division of Bank of the West. In this capacity, he directs and supervises business development and relationship management for the bank’s commercial real estate activity in Los Angeles County, Central California, Nevada, and Arizona.
Flores has been with Bank of the West for 25 years. He has also held positions in the bank’s former Corporate Banking unit and with Risk Management/Credit Administration Division. Prior to joining Bank of the West, he was a Business Banking Officer with Bank of America in Los Angeles.
Flores is a graduate of the University of Southern California where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations. He remains active as a volunteer with the University and presently serves as a member of the Board of Councilors for the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. He has also served as a Task Force member for the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC and on the Advisory Board for the USC Westside Center for Diabetes.
He grew up in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles and presently resides in Pasadena.
Dr. Mark E. Henderson is President of a community-based organization aptly named “The Brothers,” which reaches out to young African-American and Latino males on the topics of academic achievement, visioning, mentoring, and life mapping. (www.brothersinc.org)
As the Manager of College Information Systems at Pierce College, Henderson is the strategic lead regarding academic technology on campus. The Associate Vice Chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District recently appointed him Chair of the District’s community outreach initiative to promote higher education among African-Americans.
Additionally, Henderson was appointed to the City of Gardena Planning Commission in 2010 and proactively collaborates with community members, the city council and city staff to understand the needs of community residents and businesses. He is also active in promoting Veteran’s issues.
After service in the U.S. Navy, Henderson earned an undergraduate degree in Telecommunications Management from DeVry University, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from University of Redlands and a doctorate degree from University of La Verne in Organizational Leadership. He is an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Alfonso Morales is currently a Curriculum and Instruction Leader at the Southern California Regional Occupational Center (SoCal ROC), where he is responsible for sector planning, program implementation, communicating with sector instructors and coordinating with instructors and administrators in budget planning tied to program objectives.
SoCal ROC is a leader in providing current and relevant Career Technical Education programs that are meeting today’s job demands and careers of the future. Part of the California public school system, programs are offered to high school students as well as adults in the South Bay and surrounding Los Angeles communities.
Morales has career experience in electronic design engineering with responsibilities in manufacturing, program-project management and software development. He has held engineering positions with The Boeing Company, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Sierra Pacific Engineering and Xerox Corporation. He recently completed his MBA through the University of Phoenix.
Frank Quiambao is formerly the Special Advisor to the Secretary of the California Emergency Management Agency formerly called the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security. He works in the area of critical infrastructure protection and is the senior education advisor to the Secretary.
Prior to working for Gov. Schwarzenegger, Quiambao served 32 years in higher education as a teacher, counselor and administrator at both the California State University and California Community College systems.
During his educational career he served as President of Los Angeles Harbor College and West Los Angeles College.
Over the past decade, Dr. Relf has gained diverse urban planning and public affairs experience around consulting, community development, and census planning.
Currently, Relf is working closely with the City of Compton to create programs that enhance public health and promote economic development. He has managed several large-scale public and private projects that have improved conditions for various communities through advocacy and management.
Relf served a seven-year term as Commissioner for Parks and Recreation in the City of Compton. As a resident and native of Compton, he is dedicated to the vision of empowering at-risk populations to obtain their full potential and enhancing quality of life for residents in every community. In an effort to pursue this vision, he recently earned a Doctorate in Policy, Planning, and Development from USC.
Ernest Roberts has more than 23 years experience in the technical and construction fields. Personal experiences led him to dedicate his life to uplifting the at-risk. He was the owner and operator of The House Doctor, a construction and home improvement service business, for six years, where he hired the at-risk exclusively.
Roberts received his bachelor's degree in psychology from USC. Ernest is also President of the West Los Angeles College PACE Alumni Association. Ernest resides with his wife, Juliette, in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles. He is the proud parent of five children and grandparent to three others. Deeply empathetic and detail oriented, he runs the day-to-day operations of PVJOBS.