Uday Ram

Uday is founding partner at CVL Economics: a Los Angeles-based economic consultancy practice specializing in inclusive economic development and growth with an emphasis on the role of the creative economy. Founded in 2021 in response to a rapidly shifting economic landscape, CVL recognizes that communities, institutions, and organizations are facing unprecedented challenges as they navigate uncertainty.

Adam Fowler

Adam is founding partner at CVL Economics: a Los Angeles-based economic consultancy practice specializing in inclusive economic development and growth with an emphasis on the role of the creative economy. Founded in 2021 in response to a rapidly shifting economic landscape, CVL recognizes that communities, institutions, and organizations are facing unprecedented challenges as they navigate uncertainty.

Dr. Katrina VanderWoude

Dr. Katrina VanderWoude brings well over 25 years of progressively qualifying leadership
experience (instructional and student services) serving community colleges and four-year
institutions. Formal education and experiences have provided a strong foundation,
knowledge, and understanding of the comprehensive community college and its role in
transforming lives through access to educational preparation, career training, and
essential life skills, as well as its role in the community with respect to economic and
workforce development and community engagement. Dr. VanderWoude possesses
expertise in the operational areas crucial to community college leaders: accreditation,
enrollment management, an understanding of state and federal laws related to students
and employees, facilities planning, accessible programs and services for all students, and
the ability to execute multiple initiatives in a culturally diverse environment. Professional
credentials include a doctorate in Educational Leadership, with emphasis in Higher
Education, Organizational Systems and Development, and Student Affairs.

Dr. VanderWoude currently serves as Vice Chancellor at the Los Angeles Community
College District, the largest community college district within the nation with nine accredited
colleges, and over 200,000 highly diverse student enrollments. Dr. VanderWoude has also
served as President of Los Angeles Trade-Technical College and Vice President of
Academic Affairs at Grossmont College, part of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community
College District (GCCCD) and an Achieving the Dream school. Dr. VanderWoude is
committed to equity-minded student success and brings that lens to all practices and
programs and additionally believes that fully collaborative partnerships are critical for
ensuring social, economic, and political mobility for our most underrepresented and
historically marginalized students and communities. Local community-based efforts have
included serving on the Los Angeles Mayor’s Commission for Reparations, the East San
Diego County Education Alliance Executive Committee (a formal K-12 partnership) with
emphasis on dual enrollment and transition to college for high school students, and initiating
the Pathways to Success Academy that brings community college courses and services to
incarcerated women. Dr. VanderWoude also served as Chief Instructional Officer for the
San Diego/Imperial Valley Community College Region for several years and the CCC Chief
Instructional Officer’s Executive Board, and the Basic Skills state-wide Advisory
Committee. Leadership roles have included: Vice Chancellor, President, Vice President,
Vice Provost, Dean, Accreditation Liaison Officer, Associate Dean, Corporate Training
Director/Grants Coordinator, Board President, and Foundation Board Trustee. Teaching
related assignments have included: Professor, Adjunct Faculty, Research Mentor,
Course Lead, and Lecturer in-person, hybrid, and online courses.

 

Tauheedah Shakur

Raised in South Central Los Angeles, Tauheedah has experienced the disproportionate impacts of foster care on communities of color from personal experiences and the effects of mass incarceration. Tauheedah uses her poetry to advocate for change and abolition on county and city levels. She is also the author of Hide and Seek, a poetry book that takes the reader through the complexities of being a black Muslim woman with anxiety in a world that teaches us every day that these identities are a crime. She has been organizing for 14 years and believes that every and any gift that you have can be used for the movement.

Kristin Sakoda

Kristin Sakoda is Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, a local arts agency which fulfills a mission to advance arts, culture, and creativity throughout the largest county in the U.S. The Department of Arts and Culture provides grants and technical assistance to hundreds of nonprofit organizations; runs the largest arts internship program in the nation; coordinates countywide public-private arts education initiatives; increases access to creative career pathways; commissions civic artwork; supports free community programs; leads the LA County Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative; and advances cross-sector cultural strategies to address civic issues. Appointed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Ms. Sakoda previously served as Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. Under her leadership, she led the organization during its historic transition into the County’s first Department of Arts and Culture.

Ms. Sakoda is an arts executive, attorney, and performing artist with more than 25 years in the field. She has appeared on national and international stages including with dance and social justice company Urban Bush Women and in musicals Rent and Mamma Mia! on Broadway. Prior to her work at the Department of Arts and Culture, she served in key leadership roles at the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs overseeing a portfolio of strategic, programmatic, policy, legislative, and funding programs with a $200 million annual budget, and was instrumental in advancing diversity and inclusion; public art; creative aging; cultural facilities; and affordable workspace for artists. She holds a J.D. from NYU School of Law with honors in Entertainment Law, and B.A. from Stanford University with a specialization in Race and Ethnicity and a secondary major in Feminist Studies. As of 2021, she is a Board member of Grantmakers in the Arts, the national association of public and private arts funders in the U.S.

Kelly LoBianco

Kelly LoBianco was appointed Executive Director of Economic and Workforce Development, a branch of the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging, and Community Services, in November 2021. In this capacity, she is establishing a Countywide economic and workforce development strategy that centers an equitable recovery and inclusive growth and will cultivate a vibrant, regional economy with opportunity and mobility for all workers, businesses, and communities.

An executive-level public servant and nonprofit professional with over 15 years of public and social sector experience at the federal, state, and local level, Kelly brings wide-ranging expertise to LA County. She is a service leader who uplifts community voices and demonstrates measurable, equitable, and sustainable impact. She is also a successful change agent for policy and programs in the social services, workforce development, and economic revitalization fields.

Most recently, Kelly served as Chief Program Officer for The HOPE Program and Sustainable South Bronx, a leading New York City-based nonprofit, where she oversaw the design, delivery, and scaling of workforce development and social enterprise programming in furtherance of the organization’s economic and environmental missions. While at HOPE, Kelly was elected as co-chair of YES! Bed-Stuy, a place-based, collaborative effort of community-based organizations and young adults to build stronger pathways to education and employment for opportunity youth. Prior to HOPE, Kelly was appointed by the Mayor of New York City as Assistant Commissioner for the NYC Department of Small Business Services, following several senior-level roles within the agency. With key industry partnerships in healthcare, tech, and media and entertainment, among others, Kelly administrated citywide bridge, training, and transitional work programs that met hiring and training needs and advanced system change goals, seeking to build diverse, qualified, and enduring talent pipelines and career pathways with family-sustaining wages in emerging and high-growth sectors. Kelly began her career working for U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell in Washington DC.

Kelly holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Studies from Northwestern University, and an executive education certificate from Columbia Business School’s Senior Leaders Program for Nonprofit Professionals.

Meia Johnson

Meia currently serves as Program Manager, Arts Education and Youth Development for the LA County Department of Arts and Culture. She guides LA County’s initiative to provide young people with pathways into the region’s creative economy. She has extensive experience designing, implementing, and administrating workforce development programs for youth. Meia’s experience also includes community planning, nonprofit management, and organizational development. Previously, she served as a program director and consultant for Antelope Valley YouthBuild where she led the organization’s workforce development programs. Meia is a senior faculty member and subject-matter expert within the School of Business at the University of Phoenix. She has a bachelor’s in journalism, a bachelor’s in Pan-African Studies, and a Master of Public Administration from California State University, Northridge. She is also a first-year doctoral student at the American College of Education, pursuing a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Leadership.

Stephania Ramirez

Stephania was appointed as Perenchio Foundation’s first Executive Director, pairing their mission and leadership needs with her background and interests. As Executive Director, she brings her knowledge, her lived experience, and her commitment to investing in and empowering communities to fulfill the Foundation’s mission of fostering the arts. As an immigrant and woman of color, Stephania recognizes the valuable contribution her heritage and relationships brings to her role. Prior to the Perenchio Foundation, Stephania was with the California Community Foundation where she served as director of strategic initiatives leading the development and management of a $30+ million We Count LA, a census outreach campaign that encompasses multi-sector partnerships, grantmaking, fundraising, communications, data collection and evaluation strategies. She also oversaw the LA Arts Relief & Recovery Fund, the largest-ever pooled private investment for arts nonprofits in Los Angeles County. She has more than fifteen years of experience working with foundations and nonprofits leading a variety of cross-sector outreach, communications, civic engagement, and fundraising campaigns.

Stephania has a Bachelor of Arts, Mass Communications, Development Economics degree for University of California, Berkeley and Advanced Project Management certification from Stanford University.

Nicole Hendrix

Nicole Hendrix is a four-time Emmy-winning Producer and has won five PromaxBDA GOLD awards as a Producer and Creative Director. With a multi-disciplinary background, Nicole has used storytelling as the main ingredient in her successful campaigns that span across television, games, live events, and film. She is currently working as a Producer and Marketing + PR Consultant with clients like Niantic, Baobab Studios, and 9B Collective. 

She is the Co-Founder/Executive Director of the BRIC Foundation, an organization that focuses on increasing representation for women and people from underrepresented groups in the entertainment industry, where she directs their yearly Talent + Innovation Summit. She is also the Co-Founder of the Concept Art Association, and organization focusing on elevating and raising the profile of concept artists within the entertainment industry, where she directs their yearly Concept Art Awards show. 

She is an international public speaker, where she talks about Storytelling for a Brand and Creativity & Gender. She has given lectures at the University of Connecticut, CG Futures in Melbourne & Sydney, Australia, ing Creatives in Dubai, and many more. In her spare time she works with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault as a volunteer crisis counselor advocate for Peace Over Violence.