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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Cyndi Hench is the current president of the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa (NCWP). In addition to the local concerns that are addressed by the NCWP, her interests and volunteer efforts include working as the civilian Neighborhood Watch/Block Captain coordinator for the Pacific Division of the LAPD. She is also a member of the Pacific Community Police Advisory Board and the Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) coordinator in Westchester/Playa for Los Angeles Fire Department.
Hench is treasurer of the Westchester-del Rey division of the California Federation of Republican Women and has been honored as a Pioneer Woman of the Year by Los Angeles City Council District Eleven for her volunteer work throughout the district.
Prior to retirement, Hench earned her Accounting degree from Loyola Marymount University and worked in various financial management roles for a number of world-class companies, including KPMG, Nestle, Viking Office Products and Office Depot.
Sibyl Buchanan has worked for Playa Vista since 1991, serving as the project’s key contact for the local community. As Director of Community Affairs, Ms. Buchanan is responsible for implementing Playa Vista’s community relations programs, including dealing with residents, businesses and government representatives.
Ms. Buchanan previously served as a member of the construction project team for MaguireThomas Partners, where she worked on such projects as Crocker Center (now Wells Fargo Center) and Library Square (now US Bank).
Ms. Buchanan is actively involved with several community, service and business groups, as well as educational institutions, and is a past Honorary Mayor of Westchester. Currently, Sibyl serves as a Board Member of Positive Alternative Choices Today (PACT), Otis College of Art and Design, Venice Chamber of Commerce, Venice-Marina Lions Club, and is the current Chairperson of the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce.
Sibyl is an elected board member of the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa (NCWP) representing the Playa Vista Business Seat. She served two years as the Council's Election Committee Co-chair and is currently in her seventh year serving as Chair of the Council's Outreach Committee. Additionally, Sibyl serves on the NCWP Planning & Land Use Committee and Education Committee.
Sibyl serves on the Advisory Board for the LAPD Pacific Area Boosters Association and is a member of the Rotary Club of Playa Venice Sunrise, Ocean Park Order of the Eastern Star, Westchester Elks Lodge, and a Life Member of Hadassah.
Sibyl oversees the Playa Vista Educational Trust, a community-wide school adoption program that offers student scholarships and several funding opportunities for local schools surrounding Playa Vista. She is also an officer of PVPAL (Playa Vista Parks and Landscaping), the homeowners master association for the Playa Vista community.
Ms. Buchanan received her B.S. degree from Hofstra University in New York and resides in Playa del Rey with her husband, Mitchell Poris.
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.
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.
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.
John Musella, APR, is widely recognized as a trusted communications executive and media liaison with a proven track record in resolving complex business issues and effectively positioning companies and executives. Musella has an extensive communications background which includes public affairs, social media, strategic issues development, crisis communications and media relations experience.
Prior to forming his own company, Musella cut his teeth in the PR agency world as Vice President of the Los Angeles office of MWW Group, one of the nation’s top-ranked PR firms.
Musella’s corporate communications experience includes serving as Director of Public Relations for KB Home, a Fortune 500 Company. His public affairs background includes positions with high-profile real estate developments: serving as Director of Communications/Government & Environmental Affairs for Newhall Land’s Valencia and Newhall Ranch developments, as well as Corporate Affairs Manager for Playa Vista, one of the most significant urban infill developments in the nation.
Musella also worked as Press Deputy for LA County Supervisor Don Knabe, where he was instrumental in helping create LA County's first Civic Arts Policy and in developing the County’s Safe Surrender Baby Program.
A leader in his profession, Musella serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Public Relations Society of America LA Chapter and earned his Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in 2010. He is also a Board member of the Building Industry Association’s LA Chapter.
A graduate of Washington State University, Musella attended the nationally ranked Edward R. Murrow College of Communication where he received a bachelor's degree in public relations. You can follow him on Twitter @PRMadMan.
Frank Quiambao is currently 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.
Timothy Shannon is a nationally recognized professional, specializing in the design and implementation of Workforce Development and Social Service Programs. He is a senior partner of Shannon and Associates, a limited partnership that provides consultative services to for-profit corporate entities, community-based-organizations, and the legislative and executive branches of Local, State and Federal Government.
Among his many accomplishments was the design and implementation of the National Pilot Project for Centralized Service (One-Stop Centers) in Greater Metropolitan Areas. He has doctoral degrees in psychology and statistical analysis from the University of La Verne and Walden University. Shannon is also the author of Empowerment for Change and The System for Caring.
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.