LAEDC Officers

Bill Allen

Bill Allen

Chief Executive Officer and President

213.236.4814

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Bill Allen

Bill Allen is the President & Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation and its subsidiary, the World Trade Center Los Angeles. Mr. Allen is also a Vice Chair of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley and Film LA, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Weingart Foundation, California Stewardship Network, Regional Economic Association Leaders of California Coalition, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy and Jobs, Film LA, UNITE-LA, and Sister Cities of Los Angeles. He also serves on the Los Angeles Civic Alliance, and the LA Advisory Board for BIOCOM, the Advisory Board for the CSUN Center for Southern California Studies, and the steering committee for the annual California Economic Summit. 

As CEO of the LAEDC, Mr. Allen conceived, initiated and supervised the process of developing LA County’s first ever consensus built Strategic Plan for Economic Development and personally moderated the 26 public meetings which engaged more than 1,000 regional stakeholders from business, labor, government, education, philanthropy and the community to draft the elements of the plan. 

Active in regional economic development for more than twenty years, Mr. Allen was the first CEO of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley from 1996-2000, and in 2000 was named California’s Civic Entrepreneur of the Year by the California Center for Regional Leadership. In 2010 he was named one of LA’s most admired CEOs by The LA Business Journal which from 2016 through 2022 has also annually named him as one of the 500 most influential people in Los Angeles. In 2018 he was the recipient of the Fernando Award in recognition of his lifetime of leadership, volunteerism and civic engagement in the San Fernando Valley. 

As President and CEO of the non-profit Economic Alliance, Mr. Allen raised more than five million dollars and assembled an unprecedented public-private partnership involving all of the leading cities, colleges, and business organizations in the San Fernando Valley. Under his guidance, the Alliance launched programs to expand international trade, improve local education and workforce development, and develop viable solutions to regional transportation challenges (including three regional transit planning summits in 1997 and 1998 which led to the creation of the highly successful Orange Line in the valley). 

As a civic leader, Mr. Allen has served as a trustee of the University of Southern California, chair of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, co-chair of the National Council for Families and Television, and co-chair of the “Shaping Tomorrow” capital campaign for the Valley Presbyterian Hospital, on whose board he served for fifteen years. He has also served on the Los Angeles Economy and Jobs Committee for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the Leadership Council and Board of Directors of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, the Business Advisory Commission to the former Speaker of the California Assembly Robert Hertzberg, and the Boards of Directors of the International Economic Development Council and the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED). He has also served on the advisory boards of the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California, California Center for Regional Leadership, the Media Arts Academy at Los Angeles Valley College, and the San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center at California State University at Northridge. 

Mr. Allen was previously a television network and studio executive with nearly twenty years experience in entertainment production and management. He is also the owner of Meadowlane Enterprises, Inc., licensor of a library of classic television series, and Meadowlane Music, Inc., publisher of a popular music catalog. From 1991 through 1995, Mr. Allen was President of MTM Television, the highly regarded independent production company founded by Grant Tinker and Mary Tyler Moore. Mr. Allen originally joined MTM in 1986 as a Senior Vice President and oversaw the production of such television classics as Remington Steele, St. Elsewhere, and Newhart. During his nine years with the company, he supervised the development and production of nearly 600 episodes of network, syndicated and cable television, as well as several highly rated TV movies and specials. 

Mr. Allen came to MTM from the CBS Television Network where he served as an Associate Program Executive in the Comedy Series Programming Department (1979-82), and as Manager (1982-84) and later Director (1984-86) of the CBS Comedy Program Development Department. 

A cum laude graduate of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California in 1979, Mr. Allen also received his Masters Degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University in 1983. In 1999, he received a certificate in 21st Century Management from the Graziadio School of Business & Management at Pepperdine. 

Stephen Cheung

Stephen Cheung

President, LAEDC
President, WTCLA

213.236.4845

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Stephen Cheung

Stephen Cheung is the President of LAEDC and the World Trade Center Los Angeles (WTCLA).  In his role as President, he brings together the capabilities of LAEDC’s mission-delivery department areas, including: Business Assistance and Industry Cluster Development; LAEDC’s Institute for Applied Economics; Communications & Marketing; and Public Policy, into a single team that delivers the LAEDC’s critically important, public-benefit mission. 

Cheung also leads investment attraction to the LA County region on behalf of both LAEDC and WTCLA, and facilitates successful location of new businesses, projects, and deals from both international and U.S. investors into the region.  He also leads the team that supports international trade and international connections for organizations based in LA County. 

In 2022, Stephen Cheung was elevated to President after serving as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of LAEDC, and continues in his concurrent role as President of World Trade Center Los Angeles, a title he has held since coming to the organization in 2014.  Prior to that, Cheung was the Secretary General of International Trade and Foreign Affairs for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and was responsible for managing policies and programs related to the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports, International Affairs and Global Trade. In this role, he was the lead organizer for Mayor Garcetti’s previous international trade missions to Mexico, China, Korea and Japan.  Furthermore, Cheung implemented the city’s strategic plan to make Los Angeles a global capital of clean technology by building the infrastructure to support research, development and manufacturing with key partners. 

Concurrently, Cheung was the Director of International Trade for the Port of Los Angeles – the busiest container port in North America, and was responsible for developing programs to increase trade through the Port of Los Angeles, and facilitate goods movement through the Southern California region. 

Cheung currently sits on the Board of Advisors of UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, Coro Southern California and Sister Cities of Los Angeles, while also serving on LA Metro’s Sustainability Council and Biz-Fed’s International Trade Committee.  

Stephen was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Los Angeles where he received both his Bachelor of Arts in Psychobiology and Master of Arts in Social Welfare from UCLA.  

Kendal Turner

Kendal Turner

Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Strategic Relations

Melissa Kham

Melissa Kham

Vice President, Strategic Relations

213.236.4815

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Melissa Kham

In her role as Vice President of Strategic Relations, Melissa Kham oversees marketing and communications as well as vital relationships with LAEDC Board of Governors, Executive Committee, government, philanthropic organizations, members and the larger external business community to ensure ongoing revenue and community support. Melissa and her team are responsible for the recruitment and retention of valued LAEDC members, sponsors, and donors that represent the LAEDC the heart of our mission to collaboratively advance growth and prosperity for all. The strategic relations team curates and leads groundbreaking initiatives, programs, and events including the annual Eddy Awards, Select LA Summit, Economic Forecasts, Future Forums, and 88 Cities Summit. Melissa’s extensive experience of revenue generating activities and strategic planning will ensure LAEDC’s ongoing success and infrastructure. Melissa and her team create and implement long-term strategies for funding opportunities and ensure consistent corporate, and government growth.

Melissa has expertise in fundraising campaigns, donor cultivation, grant writing, event planning, marketing, external relations, public policy, and strategic planning. Throughout her career, Melissa has raised more than $45 million for grassroots and large nonprofit organizations that include PATH, Alzheimer’s Los Angeles, Youth Speak Collective, and Southern California Grantmakers.

Melissa enjoys being an ambassador, recruiter and connector for the organizations with which she works. She also has considerable experience working with media in both English and Spanish. Melissa received her Bachelors of Art from Loyola Marymount University and her Masters of Public Administration in Nonprofit Management from the California State University Northridge.

Reach Melissa at: [email protected]

Alex Medina

Alex Medina

Director, Marketing and Communications

213.236.4847

Shane Cullen

Shane Cullen

Senior Manager, Event Programs

213.236.4812

Mariah Adedeji

Mariah Adedeji

Senior Marketing Manager, Marketing and Communications

Riccardo Ruffolo

Riccardo Ruffolo

Program Manager, Strategic Relations

323.620.1781

Sulaiman Kenyatta

Sulaiman Kenyatta

Policy Manager

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Sulaiman Kenyatta

In his role as Policy Manager, Sulaiman focuses on advancing LAEDC policy priorities on specific key industries and legislation at the local, state, and federal levels. As a member of the Strategic Initiatives team, he also supports LAEDC industry cluster development to strengthen the region’s global competitive advantage. He brings experience in business incubation, issue development, policy research and formation, and stakeholder engagement strategy.

Sulaiman was most recently an Associate at the International Business Accelerator, an early-stage startup incubator in Los Angeles, CA, where he developed an online curriculum to teach companies how to scale into global markets. He also helped cultivate strategic relationships with industry associations, community partners, and business leaders to participate in cohort seminars.

Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Sulaiman spent two years living in Southeast Asia. After backpacking across the region for several months, he settled in Singapore to conduct an independent research project analyzing the business issues and trade dynamics of the Asia-Pacific region. In addition, upon finishing his undergraduate degree Sulaiman served as the Communications Manager at the US-China Business Council in Washington D.C.

Sulaiman sits on the Global Committee of the Los Angeles Venture Association to help create programming that highlights global opportunities and capital sources for companies based in or coming to the Southern California venture ecosystem.

An East Coast transplant, Sulaiman grew up in Richmond, VA and received his Bachelor of Arts in International Business from Morehouse College.

Business Assistance and Workforce Development

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Larry Holt

Larry Holt

Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development

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Larry Holt

Larry Holt serves as the Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development and is passionate about economic development as a driver for inclusive prosperity and equitable outcomes across LAEDC’s strategic priorities in the Business Assistance, Industry Cluster Development, and Workforce Development departments. Mr. Holt leads LAEDC’s effort to provide business technical assistance to the diverse business community in the Los Angeles region in partnership with key governmental, philanthropic and industry allies.
Mr. Holt was recognized by Consultant Connect as a National Top 50 Economic Development executive in 2019, and brings a proven ability to translate and integrate the needs of governments and businesses. His career reflects a passion and commitment to innovation-based inclusive economic development strategies that drive new investment through trade. In the last decade, he and his teams have attracted $583 million in capital investment and 7,261 jobs. With multisector executive leadership experience in the government, nonprofit, and community sectors, Larry‘s market experience includes Dallas, Texas; Portland, Oregon; Austin, Texas; and Birmingham, Alabama.
Most recently a resident of Oak Lawn, the historic center of the LGBTQ community in Dallas, Larry has family in Southern California and enjoys volunteering in the creative arts. Most recently he served as a board member for Music Portland, and the nonprofit Stomping Ground Comedy Theatre in Dallas, Texas.
Barbara Levine

Barbara Levine

District Director

310.466.5197

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Barbara Levine

As the LAEDC district director, Ms. Levine provides strategic consulting to many types of businesses in south LA County, to resolve challenges and problems and keep companies in business. Many of the projects involve retention, energy efficiency, cost of doing business, permitting, city and state incentives, and site selection. She also assists companies with management and workforce development issues. In her downtime, she is an instructor of marketing management courses at some LA area colleges.

Ms. Levine brings about 15 years marketing management experience in both the private and public sectors, as well as both corporate and client relationship experience in manufacturing, creative services, and healthcare organizations. She has a BA in Economics from UCLA and an MBA in Entrepreneurial Organizations from Loyola Marymount University.

Bob Machuca

Bob Machuca

District Director

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Bob Machuca

As District Director of Business Assistance, Bob has over 24 years of economic-development experience with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC).  Bob’s main mission is to meet with businesses, assess their challenges and leverage a variety of state, county, and local incentive programs to help businesses stay healthy and grow.  Bob has been instrumental in the development of the LAEDC’s business-assistance program and has been part of numerous regional economic development teams to assist businesses with the challenges of doing business in Los Angeles County.

Over the years, Bob has been involved in business attraction and retention proposals highlighting County strengths and helping C-level executives make a business case for relocating or retaining their operations in Los Angeles County. Prior to joining the LAEDC, Bob worked for IBM for 16 years gaining valuable experience in marketing and sales working with both large, medium, and small companies. After IBM, Bob worked for a small a high-tech company in the field of metrology (the science of measurements with applications in high-tech industry clusters). The experience working for a small high-tech company has given Bob first-hand insights and passion into what issues and challenges that small businesses have to deal with in the area of sustaining and growing their business.

At the LAEDC, Bob has been instrumental in the development of the business-assistance programs, procedures, tracking systems, Business-Assistance Incentive Guide and has been part of numerous Regional Economic Development (RED) teams to attract or retain businesses and the jobs they provide in Los Angeles County. He provides free assistance services to businesses in the San Gabriel Valley’s 30 cities and is often tapped for his extensive experience on high-level projects. Bob has also been involved in special projects with other organizations, such as AQMD, LA County Dept. of Public Works, LA County Public Health, working on regulations to be more “business-friendly” to the general business community. Due to Bob’s extensive experience and knowledge of the economy in the San Gabriel Valley, he is often sought after by the media and requested as speaker on economic and business-assistance for the San Gabriel Valley. Bob has assisted on the Layoff Aversion Program contracts and holds a BA in Business and Economics from Whittier College.

Leonard Barrales

Leonard Barrales

District Manager

213.725.4938

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Leonard Barrales

Leonard Barrales joined the LA City WIB Layoff Aversion project as a Regional Manager in January 2011. He is a results-oriented professional with more than 15 years experience in recruitment, marketing, job placement, program management, and employee and business retention service programs for both private and public companies.

Recently, Mr. Barrales served as the Regional Business Services Manager for the Canoga Park and Van Nuys WorkSource Centers under ARBOR RESCARE with the City of Los Angeles to promote the WorkSource Center services to the local San Fernando Valley business community. He holds a B.S. in Political Science and has completed several courses and certifications in Economic Development, Real Estate, International Trade, etc.

Linden Johnson

Linden Johnson

District Manager, Business Assistance & Development

213.509-4319

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Linden Johnson

Linden Johnson has been a part of the Business Assistance team at LAEDC since 2011, and has worked extensively in the administration of the program.  He provides field technical assistance and consulting to businesses in the City of Los Angeles, especially where he can help the business overcome challenges, as part of the pro-bono public-benefit mission of LAEDC.  Prior to joining LAEDC, he worked as an Executive Assistant/Project Manager for an entertainment company specializing in concert production.

Mr. Johnson graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

Cecil Flournoy

Cecil Flournoy

District Manager, Small Business Program

213.236.4824

Ricky Michel

Ricky Michel

Manager, Business Assistance Program

213.309.8849

Seta Zorabian

Seta Zorabian

Regional Manager, Small Business Program

213.236.4820

Norma Gomez

Norma Gomez

Regional Manager, Small Business Program

213.236.4898

Jermaine Hampton

Jermaine Hampton

Director, Workforce Development

213.236.4828

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Jermaine Hampton

Most recently, Jermaine served as the Program Manager of the D.C. Department of Employment Services where he advised the Deputy Director and Operations Manager on their federally and locally funded workforce initiatives while supervising and guiding over 30 workforce development specialists, case managers and administrative support staff. Prior to DC, Jermaine oversaw the Youth, Business and Adult programs at WorkSource DeKalb County Government in Georgia and was Director of Workforce Development at a forward-thinking non-profit, Frendship Place, in DC.

In 2015, the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals recognized Jermaine’s visionary leadership with their Leadership Award.

Jose Pelayo

Jose Pelayo

Program Manager, Workforce Development

213.236.4837

Mariana Hernandez

Mariana Hernandez

Assistant Program Manager, Workforce Development

213.236.4885

Institute for Applied Economics (IAE)

Shannon Sedgwick

Shannon Sedgwick

Director, Institute for Applied Economics

213.236.4831

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Shannon Sedgwick

Shannon Sedgwick is Director of the LAEDC Institute for Applied Economics. In this capacity, Ms. Sedgwick oversees and executes the planning and design of economic research projects and develops subject-specific information and data interpretation for economic impact, demographic, workforce development, transportation, and industry and issue studies. She performs research, data collection and organization, analysis and report preparation in addition to managing a team of economists. Her work focuses on demographics, industry clusters and contribution analysis, and occupational analysis. She is also proficient at conducting geospatial analysis and working with IMPLAN. Ms. Sedgwick is a principal contributor to the Center for a Competitive Workforce reports prepared for the California Community Colleges and local Workforce Development Boards (WDB). Other notable works include, Aerospace: The Changing Face of Aerospace in Southern CaliforniaThe Path Forward: Economic and Workforce Intelligence for Northeast Los Angeles, and Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980 which quantified the economic impact of the series of exhibitions held across Southern California.

Ms. Sedgwick joined the LAEDC in June of 2008, serving in both Economic Research and the Consulting Practice of the LAEDC with data collection and research, managing multiple data sets covering the State of California, Southern California, its counties and their sub-regions.

Before joining the LAEDC, Ms. Sedgwick managed an industrial and steel supply company located in the Inland Empire. There she identified and targeted a diverse customer base, and analyzed product and customer patterns in the local industrial market to successfully increase revenues.

A Southern California native, Ms. Sedgwick received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Southern California (USC) with a minor in Architecture. She is a member of the national chapter of National Association for Business Economics (NABE) and the American Economic Association (AEA). In her free time, she is actively involved with local animal rescue organizations as a foster and volunteers annually as a mentor to undergraduate students selected for the USC Dornsife Gateway Internship Program.

Justin Adams

Justin Adams

Senior Economist, Institute for Applied Economics

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Justin Adams

Dr. Justin L. Adams is Senior Economist at the LAEDC Institute for Applied Economics, having joined LAEDC in November 2022. He supports IAE’s work by conducting economic analysis on public polices, government programs and special initiatives, and by providing targeted research to inform and assist its internal and external clients. He specializes in combining quantitative data analysis with in-depth stakeholder interviews, and his research experience spans government operations, health care, higher education, taxation and transportation. 

Dr. Adams brings to LAEDC over two decades of experience consulting to federal, State and local governments as well as private-sector organizations. Most recently, he served as President and Chief Economist of Encina Advisors, an economics research and analysis firm based in the City of Davis. Prior, he worked at Sacramento-based management consulting firms and spent six years as an economist with the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica. He has held positions in California state government at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, the Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Department of Transportation (CalTrans).  

Dr. Adams received his Ph.D. in Business with a concentration in Political Economics from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He also received his A.B. in Economics and Political Science and his A.M. in Political Science from Stanford University. He is an avid cyclist and serves on the boards of the Sacramento Stanford Association and the Davis Arts Center. 

Max Dunsker

Max Dunsker

Research Analyst, Institute for Applied Economics

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Max Dunsker

Max Dunsker joined the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation’s Institute for Applied Economics as a Research Analyst in May 2021. He aids in the research, data collection and organization, and the production of economic research and consulting projects that focus on key issues and key industries in Los Angeles County and the Southern California region.

Before joining LAEDC, Max worked at the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles (StudyLA) as a Research Assistant. There, he played key roles in several projects, analyzing local survey data on COVID-19, police and community relations, and other topics, as well as leading geospatial (GIS) research projects.

Before his role with StudyLA, he worked as a Research Assistant for the California Center for Population Research, Santa Monica Farmers’ Market, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on projects related to food security and agriculture.

Max earned his Bachelor’s in Economics and International Development Studies, with a minor in Geospatial Information Systems (GIS), from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Accounting & IT

Sonia Estrada

Sonia Estrada

Director of Accounting

213.622.4300

Esmeraldo Ballada

Esmeraldo Ballada

Accounting Manager

213.622.4300

Rick Davila

Rick Davila

Manager, Information Systems & Office Administration

213.622.4300

World Trade Center Los Angeles

Stephen Cheung

Stephen Cheung

President, LAEDC
President, WTCLA

213.236.4845

Visit Website

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Stephen Cheung

Stephen Cheung is the President of LAEDC and the World Trade Center Los Angeles (WTCLA).  In his role as President, he brings together the capabilities of LAEDC’s mission-delivery department areas, including: Business Assistance and Industry Cluster Development; LAEDC’s Institute for Applied Economics; Communications & Marketing; and Public Policy, into a single team that delivers the LAEDC’s critically important, public-benefit mission. 

Cheung also leads investment attraction to the LA County region on behalf of both LAEDC and WTCLA, and facilitates successful location of new businesses, projects, and deals from both international and U.S. investors into the region.  He also leads the team that supports international trade and international connections for organizations based in LA County. 

In 2022, Stephen Cheung was elevated to President after serving as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of LAEDC, and continues in his concurrent role as President of World Trade Center Los Angeles, a title he has held since coming to the organization in 2014.  Prior to that, Cheung was the Secretary General of International Trade and Foreign Affairs for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and was responsible for managing policies and programs related to the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports, International Affairs and Global Trade. In this role, he was the lead organizer for Mayor Garcetti’s previous international trade missions to Mexico, China, Korea and Japan.  Furthermore, Cheung implemented the city’s strategic plan to make Los Angeles a global capital of clean technology by building the infrastructure to support research, development and manufacturing with key partners. 

Concurrently, Cheung was the Director of International Trade for the Port of Los Angeles – the busiest container port in North America, and was responsible for developing programs to increase trade through the Port of Los Angeles, and facilitate goods movement through the Southern California region. 

Cheung currently sits on the Board of Advisors of UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, Coro Southern California and Sister Cities of Los Angeles, while also serving on LA Metro’s Sustainability Council and Biz-Fed’s International Trade Committee.  

Stephen was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Los Angeles where he received both his Bachelor of Arts in Psychobiology and Master of Arts in Social Welfare from UCLA.  

Michael McClune

Michael McClune

Senior Director of International Trade, World Trade Center Los Angeles

213.236.4833

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Michael McClune

Michael McClune is the Senior Director of International Trade at the World Trade Center Los Angeles (WTCLA), which attracts foreign direct investment into LA County, providing educational services while serving as the link between the region and international businesses looking to expand. All of which drives innovation, job creation and prosperity for the region’s communities and residents. WTCLA’s foreign direct investment (FDI) strategy is to attract, educate and connect foreign investors to ensure a smooth process for capital deployment. By combining robust research with deep institutional knowledge, WTCLA enhances the decision-making for foreign companies that has benefited the region by attracting over $1 billion in FDI since 1988.

Michael most recently led the Los Angeles based International Business Accelerator, a non-profit economic development organization helping high-growth companies create new jobs, innovation, and economic growth via their cross-border expansion.

Michael serves on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA), the oldest and largest regional investor organization. He helps lead the dialogue between internationally focused founders and investors and co-chairs the Global LAVA Community which presents expert panels and events delivering tools and actionable insights into successful global expansion. Michael is a federally appointed member of the US District Export Council of Southern California which supports our regional companies in exporting their products, services, and technology.