Founders Council

Brian Belt

Brian Belt was born in El Centro, California and later moved to Oklahoma City where he attended High School before proceeding to the University of Oklahoma.  He studied business and marketing while attending OU. In 1987 Brian founded At The Beach, Inc. as a single tanning salon that later grew into a 70 store plus tanning chain in 5 states.  Brian also founded Just Ladies Fitness in 1995, a ladies-only fitness chain that operates in both Oklahoma and Kansas and that continues to serve those markets. Brian is widely recognized as an industry leader.

Brian served on the board at The Winds House from 1995 to 1997.  The Winds House is a HIV/AIDS transitional housing in Oklahoma City.  He is also actively involved in HIV/AIDS work in CO, OK, and CA as well as various other charitable causes. Brian received Denver’s Entrepreneurial Man of the Year award for 2011.  The award acknowledges his entrepreneurial efforts and successes, his community involvement and his charitable work.

Eric Berger

Eric Berger joined Credit Suisse Eric focuses on financial planning and wealth strategies for ultra-high-net-worth clients and leads his team’s efforts regarding innovative solutions for LGBT individuals and families. He also serves as point person for Credit Suisse’s LGBT private banking practice. Eric received a BS in finance and a BA in English, summa cum laude, from the University of Florida. Eric resides in New York joined Credit Suisse Private Banking USA after completing his dual-degree Masters program at New York University, where he received an MBA from Stern School of Business and an MA in politics (focus on international relations) from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. While at NYU, Eric served as a Stern Fellow and worked as an internal strategy associate for Ethicon, a Johnson & Johnson company. Prior to graduate school, Eric worked as a marketing consultant in the tourism and hospitality industries, focusing on European destinations, hotels, and airlines. A

Norman Blachford and Peter Cooper

Norman Blachford was born in Montreal, Canada where he attended local schools and Universities, obtaining a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry from Sir George University and a Business Degree from McGill University. After working for a family company, he moved to Michigan to start a firm manufacturing noise control materials for the transportation industry. His firm was sold about 15 years ago, and he retired to leisure travel and philanthropic activities.  He is a former board member of the Gamma Mu Foundation and the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, and he currently serves on the boards of  the AIDS Foundation San Diego, the Blachford-Cooper Foundation, and as the Treasurer of Mainly Mozart.

Peter Cooper was born in Los Angeles, California and was raised in San Diego California. He attended University of Redlands, majoring in Business Administration and Management.  Mr. Cooper worked as an HIV prevention educator for AIDS Foundation San Diego for seven years, under contract for the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta; he is the owner of a commercial/industrial lighting company in San Diego.  Currently he serves as the Secretary of the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory, as a board member of The Old Globe Theatre, and of the Blachford-Cooper Foundation.

Mr. Blachford and Mr. Cooper reside in La Jolla, California.

Brondi BorerBrondi Borer

After graduating from Cardozo Law School in Manhattan, Brondi Borer opened a family law and mediation practice. The focus of the practice was on gay family law issues such as donor insemination agreements, child support and co-parenting agreements, domestic partnership and dissolution agreements, and second parent adoptions. She represented many gay clients in litigated and mediated divorce actions. During this period in her professional life, Brondi came to understand some of the enormous challenges individuals and families face when a family member comes out and others are not financially and emotionally supportive. In 2001, Brondi shifted direction in her professional life and served as Vice President of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), the self-regulatory body for the interactive software industry, until 2006. Since 1997, Brondi has also taught Family Law and Public Speaking in the Critical Thinking Department of Marymount Manhattan College in New York City.

Brondi is married and is the mother of two college-age children.

Bill Candelaria

Bill Candelaria is a partner in the Corporate group at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP .  His practice focuses  on corporate transactions, private equity and capital markets.  He has extensive experience in global securities offerings and private placements, structured and leveraged financings, debt restructurings, mergers and acquisitions and cross-border joint ventures.  He has counseled corporate clients on U.S. securities law compliance and corporate governance matters.

Mr. Candelaria is ranked among the top Latin American investment lawyers in the United States and has represented foreign private issuers, underwriters and institutional investors.  He has particular experience in energy and infrastructure finance and concentrates his practice on national oil companies and the oil and gas services industry, particularly in Mexico and the Andean region.

Mr. Candelaria has spoken on a number of legal and financing issues, including issuance of securities in the United States by foreign sovereign and private issuers.  He has also spoken on the financing of refineries and other downstream infrastructure in Mexico, including public-private options, and has participated in the University of Miami’s roundtable discussions on Mexico’s energy sector.  Mr. Candelaria has also taught at The Practicing Law Institute on the negotiation of underwriting agreements and IPO liability considerations for underwriters, and has organized and moderated a PLI special webcast on tender offer regulations, PIPES and considerations for U.S. investors in Mexico.

Following law school, Mr. Candelaria was a law clerk to Judge Harry Pregerson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Mr. Candelaria currently serves on the board of directors and executive committee of the New York City Economic Development Corporation to which he was appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2005.  He is also a national board member of the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund and is a Trustee of The Public Theater of New York.

From 1995 to 1996, Mr. Candelaria served as a law clerk to Judge Harry Pregerson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Los Angeles. He is admitted to practice in New York and California. Mr. Candelaria received his Juris Doctor cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he served as Supervising Editor of the Harvard Law Review. His Law Review publication, “Liberalismo Contra Democracia: Recent Judicial Reform in Mexico,” examined Mexico’s 1994 judicial reform and its potential effects on Mexican democratic transformation. Mr. Candelaria earned his A.B. in International Relations and A.M. in Latin American Studies from Stanford University. His graduate thesis, “Development, Finance and Foreigners: The Early History of Mexico’s Banks (1821-1910),” examined the participation of U.S. and European capital in the formation of Mexico’s commercial banking system. Mr. Candelaria completed coursework at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and interned at the legal department of the Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público in Mexico City.

Mr. Candelaria was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is a native English speaker and is fluent in Spanish.

Roberta Conroy

Roberta Conroy was a Senior Vice President at The Capital Group Companies, Inc., where she focused on Capital’s global institutional investment management business. Among her responsibilities, she served as a trustee of the Capital Group Foundation. She retired after 23 years with capital and now dedicates significant time to community advocacy and philanthropy. Ms. Conroy has served as a National Leadership Council Member for Lambda Legal, a Board Member for Equality California and a Trustee for the California Science Center Foundation. She completed her undergraduate degree at UCLA and her juris doctorate at Loyola Law School.

Diane J. Fuchs

Diane Fuchs has over twenty-six years of legal experience in the areas of employee benefits and executive compensation, and is now at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC.  She represents business entities, employers, executives, non-profit organizations and trade associations.  Diane is a recent past President of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel and continues to serve on its Board of Governors.  Diane is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has been selected as one of the Best Lawyers in America and as a Super Lawyer in the Washington, DC region.   Her pro bono work has included: Pro Bono Counsel to American Youth Understanding Diabetes Abroad, Inc., 1996-present; Member, Board of Directors, CrossCurrents Foundation, Inc., 2006-present; Member, Board of Directors, Washington Chamber Symphony, 1995-1998.  Diane graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Rutgers University and attended the London School of Economics before receiving her J.D. from Rutgers School of Law.

Margarita Gandia

Born in Cuba, Margarita immigrated to the United States in 1966, settling in Santa Rosa, California. She studied mathematics at UC Berkeley, and began her career in information technology in San Francisco. Later, she worked in the oil and gas industry, in Houston, Texas until 1990, where she headed the Corporate Information Systems organization at Tenneco, Inc., a $13 billion multinational corporation. After returning to the Bay Area Margarita joined Wells Fargo Bank’s MasterWorks, offering trust and recordkeeping services for defined contribution retirement plans. She remained there as Chief Information Officer until 1997, after seeing the organization through two changes in ownership.  In terms of prior board and non-profit experience, Margarita has served as Board Treasurer and Co-Chair of the National AIDS Memorial Grove, Co-Chair of the Horizons Foundation, (description),  and has served on the board of the Bay Area Non-partisan Alliance, a gay and lesbian political action committee.

Nanette-GartrellNanette Gartrell, M.D.

Nanette Gartrell, M.D., is a Williams Institute Visiting Distinguished Scholar. Dr. Gartrell also has a Guest Appointment at the University of Amsterdam, and she was previously on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and UCSF. She is a psychiatrist and researcher whose ground-breaking investigations have been published in professional journals and cited in the media. Dr. Gartrell has appeared on network television (including PBS, Good Morning America, CNN, NBC, CBS, and Fox News), and on public, talk, and Sirius satellite radio. She is the author of the bestselling “MY ANSWER IS NO—if that’s okay with you: How women can say NO with confidence.” Her articles have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, the Ladies Home Journal, and the Christian Science Monitor.

Dr. Gartrell is the principal researcher of the US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS), which since the 1980s, has been following and reporting on a cohort of planned lesbian families with children conceived through donor insemination. The NLLFS examines the social, psychological, and emotional development of the children as well as the dynamics of planned lesbian families. This is the longest-running and largest prospective investigation of lesbian mothers and their children in the United States. For more than a quarter century, this study has been providing information to specialists in healthcare, family services, adoption, foster care, sociology, feminist studies, education, ethics, same-sex marriage, civil union, and public policy on matters pertaining to LGBT families. The NLLFS was named one of the top 100 science stories of 2010 by Discover Magazine. In 2012, Dr. Gartrell’s work on this study was featured in a UCLA Today story, “Researcher sorts out fact from fallacy in groundbreaking study of lesbian families.”

In 2013, Dr. Gartrell was the recipient of the Association of Women Psychiatrists Presidential Commendation Award for her “selfless and enduring vision, leadership, wisdom, and mentorship in the fields of Women’s Mental Health, Ethics, and Gender Research.”

Dr. Gartrell has a private psychiatry practice, and for 13 years she volunteered her psychiatric services to chronically mentally ill homeless people in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District. Her spouse of 37 years is Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Dee Mosbacher, M.D., Ph.D. Among other honors, Dr. Gartrell has been a recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues (Division 44, American Psychological Association), and named “Researcher of the Year” by the UCSF Lesbian Health Research Center.

Mike Gleason and David Kettel

Mike Gleason, CIMC, has been in private wealth management for over twenty years, launching his career with Prudential and A.G. Edwards before joining Wells Fargo thirteen years ago, where he currently serves as a Private Client Advisor in the Wealth Management Group and has consistently ranked as one of the group’s top twenty financial advisors. Together with his team, Mr. Gleason works with some of Los Angeles and New York’s most prominent clients, coordinating and collaborating with other professionals and specialists within Wells Fargo to provide comprehensive solutions for businesses and foundations as well as individuals, with a commitment to maximize returns and minimize risk while preserving legacy and value. In his prior experience as a senior executive for United Parcel Service, Mr. Gleason developed and structured the company’s expansion into Asia in the mid-1980s, and negotiated mergers and acquisitions for Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China, while also spending five of his twelve years with the company living abroad in Hong Kong and Beijing. Mr. Gleason is professionally affiliated with the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA) and has served as Vice-Chairman of the Hospice of Orange County.  He lives with his partner David Kettel in Los Angeles.

David A. Kettel, a partner at Venable, LLP, was educated at the University of California at Davis, from which he earned a B.A. degree in Economics in 1982, and Tulane University School of Law, where he was named a Maritime Scholar and from which he received his J.D. degree in 1985.  David practiced civil litigation in Los Angeles from 1985 until 2000, first as an associate and then as a partner at the Los Angeles office of Baker & Hostetler, a firm based in Cleveland, Ohio.  In private practice, David tried many cases to verdict and was the lead trial attorney for Long Beach Housing Development Company (“LBHDC”), wherein LBHDC prevailed at trial and on appeal, proving its tax exempt status, Long Beach Housing Development Company v. County of Los Angeles and State Board of Equalization, NC 019229. In 2000, David left private practice and became a Director at LRN, Inc., a leading provider of software solutions for corporate governance, ethics and compliance issues.  David subsequently returned to the practice of law and, in 2002, joined the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.  As a federal prosecutor, David works with various federal agencies, including the FBI, IRS, DEA, ATF, Secret Service, and the Department of Homeland Security, and has investigated, prosecuted and tried numerous criminal cases, including matters involving bank fraud, identity theft, narcotics smuggling, child pornography, illegal alien smuggling, and bank robbery.  In 2003, David assisted the Secret Service in shutting down one of the largest false identification document factories in Los Angeles and prosecuting its principals.  U.S. v. Gary Vazquez, et al., CR 03-1260-SJO.  David has also argued successfully before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. David was born in New York and resides in the Hollywood Hills with his husband, Mike Gleason.

Jeffrey S. Haber

Jeffrey Haber is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker. Mr. Haber focuses his practice in land use and real estate development.  He has significant experience in all areas of entitlement law, transactional real estate, administrative law and lobbying, construction and architectural law, and political law.  Mr. Haber has represented museums, hospitals and motion picture studios, as well as commercial developers of office, hotel, retail, residential and mixed-use projects.  Mr. Haber is lead land use and real estate counsel for several public and private companies and entities including Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, The J. Paul Getty Trust, DreamWorks Animation, IAC, and Regent Properties. Mr. Haber has hosted numerous political fund-raisers and is an active contributor to local charities.  He provides pro bono counsel to AIDS Project Los Angeles, and was Chair of the Board of Directors from 2001 through 2004.  He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Equality California.  He is a licensed California real estate broker and a registered lobbyist in the cities of Los Angeles and West Hollywood.  Mr. Haber received his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1987, and his B.A., magna cum laude, in English, from Yale University in 1984.

Laurie F. Hasencamp

Laurie Hasencamp spends most of her time on volunteer community service since she retired from the law in 2002. She is a co-chair of the Williams Institute Founders Council and member of the Williams Institute Legal Council, a member of the board of directors of Lambda Legal, and a member of the National Leadership Council of GLSEN.  She is on the Advisory Committee for the Alliance of Housing and Healing (AHH, formed on the merger of the Serra Project and Aid for AIDS), the Advisory Council for the newly formed LA HLPP (legal services for people living with HIV/AIDS), a member of and past chair of the USC Law School Board of Councilors, and a former member of the boards of directors of the Serra Project and the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation.  Laurie is a 1985 graduate of USC Law School, and a 1980 graduate of Pomona College. She clerked for the Honorable Warren J. Ferguson, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, following law school. She then practiced bankruptcy law with Latham & Watkins and Irell & Manella before becoming a Legal Research Director at LRN. She has come out of retirement from time to time, to be the Interim Executive Director of The Serra Project (9 months, in 2003), the Interim Managing Director of the Office of Development and Graduate Relations at USC Law School (3 months, in 2004), adjunct lecturer for a section of the USC Law School first year legal writing class, Interim Chief Operating Officer for a management consulting firm (6 months, in 2010), and Interim Executive Director of Equality California (10 months, in 2012). Before law school, she was an assistant operations officer at Lloyds Bank California. In 2008 she received a Women of Distinction award from USC as a community leader, in 2011 she received the Los Angeles Lesbian & Gay Lawyers Association Co-President’s Award and the City of West Hollywood Paul Starke Warrior Award for her community service work in the LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities, in 2012 she received the Allies for Justice Award from the National Gay and Lesbian Bar Association, and in 2013 she received the Visionary Award from AHH. She is married to Mike Lurey, a recently retired bankruptcy partner at Latham & Watkins and a member of the Williams Institute Legal Council, and currently President of the Board of Kehillat Israel. They live in Pacific Palisades, California.

Jim Hooker

Jim Hooker was born in Texas and has resided in Los Angeles since 1977. He received his BBA from Southern Methodist University and attended an Executive Program of The University of Texas. He was a founding partner with businesses in retail and later oil & gas exploration. His father, L. F. Hooker, began as independent oil operator prior to World War II and gave him valuable insight to the benefits and risks of that industry. In an estate planning endeavor he began researching educational institutions that were granting degrees and investing in programs promoting equal rights for GLBT individuals and communities. Through a Google search, he came upon the UCLA School of Law with its Williams Institute, a legal think tank, whose mission more than fulfilled what he was looking for. In 2004 Hooker became a major donor to The Williams Institute and later a member of its Founders Council and is actively involved in promoting a greater awareness of its work and raising funds for its operation.

Arnold D. Kassoy

Arnie Kassoy was born in New York City, grew up in Los Angeles and now makes his home in Santa Barbara and Palm Springs. He has multiple degrees from UCLA (BS, MBA and JD) and an L.L.M. from the London School of Economics & Political Science. He started his legal career as an entertainment and tax/estate planning attorney at Kaplan, Livingston, Berkowitz, Goodwin & Selvin, was a partner at Hardee Barovick Konecky & Braun, a principal/shareholder at Rosenfeld Kassoy & Kraus and more recently Counsel to Manatt Phelps & Phillips. He has written numerous legal articles, lectured extensively and founded and chaired the UCLA Entertainment Tax & Finance Institute. He has been named a Southern California Super Lawyer and has been involved with many non profits and charitable organizations.

For many years, Arnie provided free legal services to AIDS patients in Santa Barbara (through Pacific Pride Foundation) and in Los Angeles (through HALSA). He has served on the Boards of: the Beverly Hills Bar Association; Public Counsel; the Fund for Santa Barbara (which supports progressive, grass roots causes in the community); the Santa Barbara International Film Festival; and AIDS RESEARCH ALLIANCE (a cutting edge research organization). Arnie helped his client, Chuck Williams, create the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law where he serves as a member of the Founders Council. He served as President of the Board of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival for four years and as Chairman of the Board of AIDS RESEARCH ALLIANCE for three years. His dog loves him.

John McDonald and Rob Wright

John McDonald was born in Pennsylvania and raised in Los Angeles.  His education was entirely in California.  He received his BA in Geology from UCLA.  He was awarded a certificate from the Executive Program at the UCLA Graduate School of Business.  His J.D. was awarded by Western States University School of Law, and he is an inactive member of the California State Bar Association. In 1967, he joined Mullikin Medical Centers and became CEO of Mullikin Medical Enterprises (MME) during it’s expansion from Southern California to Northern California, Washington and Oregon.  In 1995, he negotiated the sale of MME to Caremark RX, an NYSE publicly traded company.

Rob Wright was born and raised in Denver.  He graduated from the School of Economics at the University of Colorado in Boulder during which time he worked as a ski patrolman in Vail, Colorado.  He joined the microfilm division of 3M Co in 1972 and was transferred to Los Angeles in 1973.  He was a partner at Irwin-Wright Advertising for many years until joining Fred Sands Realtors.

John and Rob met in 1982 through mutual friends and lived in the Los Feliz area until 1995.  Together, they soon became active in supporting the Gay & Lesbian Community Services Center of Los Angeles.  In 1996, they moved to Beaver Creek, Colorado where they continue to live a very social and active lifestyle of skiing, hiking and biking. They are involved in local and national charitable giving and support the Vail Valley performing arts community through various local foundations.  Their primary thrust in philanthropy is seeking full and equal rights for all minorities including the gay and lesbian community.  To this end, they support numerous charitable organizations, but are keenly interested and involved in the work done by the Williams Institute.


Tom Morgan ImageTom Morgan

Mr. Morgan is a senior technology, operations, and finance executive with over 30 years of experience in financial services and related industries.  Mr Morgan was the Chief Information Officer for Home Lending at both Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase and he served on the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Residential Technology Steering Committee.  During his tenure in Home Lending, Mr. Morgan oversaw the largest US servicing conversion and has developed and implemented strategies to simplify and streamline home lending originations, capital markets, and servicing platforms.   Prior to his work in home lending, Mr. Morgan was the Chief Information Officer for Corporate Technology at Washington Mutual and FleetBoston Financial.  His background also includes managing the acquisition, integration, and divestiture of over 30 financial institutions.

Mr. Morgan’s recently founded FitTech Enterprises, LLC, his new venture to improve the lives of others by building out Koko FitClubs in the greater Los Angeles area.  Koko FitClubs is the world’s first digital gym that combines technology with fitness to create “virtual” trainers for members.  He plans to start opening these facilities in 2014.

Mr. Morgan has also been very active with LGBT community and was the first executive sponsor and launched Washington Mutual’s LGBT employee action committee.  Mr. Morgan was interviewed by The Advocate for Washington Mutual’s award of being one of the best places to work for LGBT.  Most recently he served on Bank of America’s Global Diversity Council and was the executive sponsor for the Bank’s global LGBT employee action committee.  Early in his career, Mr. Morgan was a volunteer in Boston’s Aids Action Committee and served as a “Buddy” for Aids patients.  Mr Morgan has also been a major donor of the Human Rights Campaign and other LGBT causes.


Tom Mounteer

Tom Mounteer co-chairs Paul Hastings environmental practice and is resident in the firm’s Washington office. He helps businesses comply with state and federal environmental laws for controlling air and water pollution and for managing and cleaning up solid and hazardous waste. He helps buyers, sellers, and parties to financings identify, quantify, and allocate environmental liabilities associated with businesses and real estate. He also represents businesses before Congress and federal and state agencies in a wide range of environmental, health, and safety areas.
Tom is the author of many scholarly and professional articles and a frequent speaker on a variety of environmental law topics. In June 2009, the Environmental Law Institute published Tom’s Climate Change Deskbook, an in-depth analysis of the laws, regulations, and policies that shape our increasingly carbon constrained world. Since 1997, Tom has been an adjunct professor in the masters in environmental law program at George Washington University Law School, where he earned both his law degree and masters in environmental law. In May 2009, Tom received the law school’s Distinguished Adjunct Faculty Teaching Award. The sixth of seven children born in Albany, New York, Tom moved to Washington in 1982. Tom also serves on the board of directors of the Environmental Law Institute and the Federal City Performing Arts Association, the parent organization of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington.

Michael Nutt

Michael Nutt began his career in the financial services industry in 1989.  Dedicated to putting his clients and their financial goals first, he believes in long term relationships with his clients.  Michael listens carefully to their concerns and needs, and works attentively with them to help develop a financial plan that enhances their wealth and lives.  His focus revolves around asset allocation.  Michael is NASD Series 7, 24, 31, 63, and 65 certified and holds his insurance licenses in NY, NJ, CT, FL and CA.  California Insurance License # OG11637.  He maintains homes and offices in both New York and Los Angeles due to the team’s large entertainment clientele.

Michael grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Elon University.  He has a passion for houses and enjoys renovating them during his free time.  Maintaining physical health and well being are also very important to him.

Around the community, Michael has served on the National Board of Directors for GLAAD, the National Diversity Board and co-Chair of the Pride Network at a major wall Street firm.  He won the inaugural John J. Mack Leadership Award at Morgan Stanley for his work creating the LGBT Financial Planning Seminar series and taking it nationwide.  Presently he serves on the Board of Directors for the Williams Institute.  Michael consults with several Non-Profit Organizations in the LGBT space.

Sandra Richards REVSandra Richards

Sandra L. Richards, Executive Director, leads the Business Development efforts focused on the Diverse and Multicultural Markets for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. The key areas in which the programs Sandra manages focuses on connectivity to existing clients, establishing new business relationships while creating an impact in the community.   Sandra joined Morgan Stanley’s Global Wealth Management Group in 2007, as a Director – Diversity Specialist.  She worked closely with internal and external partners to support the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.  Previously she was the Development Officer, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for the Jackie Robinson Foundation, in which she was responsible for raising over $3 million annually for the Foundation’s programs.  At the age of 29, she was recognized by The Network Journal with the ‘40 Under Forty Award’ for her outstanding accomplishments.

Sandra holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree, both from Seton Hall University. She is also a graduate of the Rutgers University/United Way of Essex and West Hudson County Project Leadership and the National Forum for Black Public Administrator’s Young Leaders Programs.

In 2011, Sandra was named by the African American Chamber of Commerce for Rockland and Westchester Counties as a “Woman of Influence” and in 2008 for the list of “10 Influential Blacks”.  Sandra is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and serves on the Board of Directors for the Soledad O’Brien and Brad Raymond Foundation.  She resides in New York.

Todd Sears

Todd Sears is one of the foremost experts in next-generation diversity & inclusion. He is the founder and Principal of Coda Leadership Consulting LLC, which brings his ROI-focused approach to companies, helping move diversity beyond traditional programs and integrate it into business objectives. A former investment banker at Schroders and DeSilva & Phillips, as well as a first-quintile financial advisor at Merrill Lynch, he brings an in-depth understanding of both the challenges facing senior leadership in corporations today, as well as how to leverage diversity initiatives to increase and retain market share. After creating the first national team of financial advisors on Wall Street to focus on the LGBT community, which brought over $1.5 Billion of new assets to Merrill Lynch, Todd moved into diversity leadership. Since that time, he has led diversity initiatives both at Merrill Lynch, where he was Head of Strategic Initiatives for the Office of Diversity, as well as Credit Suisse, where he was Americas Head of Diversity & Inclusion. Both organizations continue to be ranked among the top companies in the Fortune 500 by diversity organizations like Working Mother, Black MBA, HRC, and others. The innovative initiatives Todd has created have included highly visible programs with recognized leaders in diverse communities including Martina Navratilova, General Colin Powell, Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Deion Sanders, General David Petraeus, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, widow of Arthur Ashe, Nate Berkus and Nancy Lieberman. His most recent project, Out on the Street, was the first-ever LGBT leadership summit on Wall Street, bringing executives together from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley. Todd current sits on the boards of: The Williams Institute of UCLA, The Palette Fund, The Asia Society Diversity Board, Lambda Legal National Leadership Council and is the founding chair of Jeffrey Fashion Cares which has raised over $6mm for charity (9 years).

Stu Walter

Stu Walter has enjoyed two very diverse careers, that of a Contractor and a Controller.  While living in Pennsylvania, he was a contractor involved in numerous distinguished projects.  After his return to California, Stu has served as the Controller of Aids Research Alliance of America. Stu also serves as Secretary/Treasurer of the Big Rock Mesas Property Owners Association. Stu is an avid sailor and traveler.


Charles R. Williams

Mr. Williams is the President of Williams & Associates and received his B.A. and M.B.A. from UCLA. Until 1985, Mr. Williams worked as a senior executive for Sperry Corporation, where he held several positions, including Vice President for Strategic and Business Planning and Vice President and General Manager for Worldwide Operations. Most recently, he has taught business courses in policy and strategy and consults in this area. Mr. Williams is currently a board member of the UCLA Foundation, as well as a member of the Gill Foundation’s OutGiving Advisory Committee. Mr. Williams has been recognized by various LGBT organizations and publications. In 2002, the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association honored him with their Co-President’s Award, and OUT magazine named him one of their “Out 100″ in the December issue. In October 2003, the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center presented Williams with its Board of Directors Award. Mr. Williams’ inaugural donation of $2.5 million to create the Williams Institute was the largest donation ever given to any academic institution in support of a gay and lesbian academic program in any discipline. As the institute has grown, Mr. Williams has given over $12 million to support the organization’s programs. Because of his generosity and support, the Institute has impacted policy throughout the country on important LGBT issues.

Barbara ZackyRabbi Barbara Zacky

Rabbi Barbara Zacky was born in Los Angeles, California.  She attended San Diego State University in San Diego, California where she earned her BA in Physical Education and Health while working she continued her education earning her MBA in general business at National University in San Diego, California.  After dedicating many years working for various manufacturing firms in California and Arizona she returned back to Los Angeles where she cared for her mother.  While caring for her mother she understood her purpose in life and pursued her studies at the Academy for Jewish Religion, California and received Rabbinic Ordination and earned her Masters in Rabbinic Studies emphasizing in pastoral care.  She continues to provide spiritual care to families and individuals as well as advocates for social justice.