Biographies

Officers of the Board of Trustees

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Luis Faura

Chair

First Joined Board 2002

Luis Faura is president and CEO of C&F Foods, Inc. He holds a bachelor of science degree from La Verne and an MBA from Pepperdine University. He also serves on the Board of Directors with Padres Contra El Cancer, is Capital Campaign Chair at Foothill Country Day School in Claremont and is an active member of the Executive Committee (Vistage 35). He is currently a President’s Associates member.



Mark Hicks

Vice Chair

First Joined Board 2009

Mark Hicks is president of NHC Medical Supply. He earned his bachelor’s degree from La Verne in 1990 and serves on the university’s College of Business & Public Management’s Business Advisory Board. He is also on the Board of Directors for the California Association of Medical Product Suppliers. He is currently a President’s Associates member.



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Susan M. Searing

Secretary
First Joined Board 2009

Sue Searing is a retired educator, having served 25 years in elementary school education in the Ontario-Montclair and Arcadia Unified school districts. She also owned and operated her own preschool/kindergarten from 1978-90 in Arcadia. She earned her bachelor’s degree (1971) and teaching credential (1972) from La Verne. She is currently a President’s Associates member.

 

Board Members

Michael A. Abraham

First Joined Board 1999

Mike Abraham is CEO of MKA Capital Group, Inc., which he founded in 1979. He is a past member of the University of California Santa Barbara Foundation and his company is a founding sponsor of the UCSB Technology Management Program. La Verne presented him with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree in May 2005, and he and his wife, Sara, received the University of La Verne President’s Award in 2007. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara.



Michael J. Bidart

First Joined Board 2013

Michael J. Bidart is managing partner with Shernoff Bidart Echeverria Bentley LLP. A prominent consumer attorney since 1974, he has earned the highest rating from Martindale-Hubbell (AV), the national legal rating publication. He holds a bachelor of science degree from California Polytechnic University and a juris doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law. He is also a member of several organizations such as the American Board of Trial Advocates, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles. Currently, he is Chair of the College of Law’s Board of Visitors.


Kim Burchiel, M.D.

First Joined Board 2012

Kim Burchiel is John Raaf Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at Oregon Health Sciences University. He is the President-elect of the Society of Neurological Surgeons. Kim completed his undergraduate education at the University of California, Davis, majoring in Biochemistry and Genetics. He then went to medical school at the University of California, San Diego, graduating in 1976. He completed his surgical internship at the UCLA/Harbor General Hospital in Torrance, California and entered neurosurgical residency at the University of Washington under the leadership of Dr. Arthur A. Ward.



Alvin Chang 3 copyAlvin Chang

First Joined Board 2014

Mr. Wen-Chi (Alvin) Chang is the co-founder, Chairman and CEO of the Cerpass Group, a product testing and certification service organization that has been serving the electrical and electronic industries since 2003. He earned a Master of Business Administration from La Verne and a Bachelor of Science from the Law School of Chinese Culture University in Taiwan. Under his leadership with the Cerpass Group, he expanded the company’s safety testing services and the number of employees from three when it was founded to 250 a decade later. The company has received accreditation and acceptance from regulatory agencies throughout Asia and the United States. Cerpass is considered one of the top-ranking laboratories in China and Taiwan. He gives back to the community through Rotary and environmental protection service organizations.




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Ann Quay Davis

First Joined Board 1996

Ann Quay Davis is co-managing partner and in charge of the tax practice at Vicenti, Lloyd & Stutzman LLP. She is a registered investment advisor and licensed life & health insurance agent. She holds a bachelor of science in accounting from Cal Poly Pomona and a master’s degree in business administration in taxation from Goldent Gate University. She serves as a director with the Pomona Valley Estate Planning Council, is a past president of the La Verne Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Glendora Chamber of Commerce. She is currently a President’s Associates member.


Peter Eckel

First Joined Board 2013

Peter Eckel is the Vice President for Governance and Leadership Programs at the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, (AGB). He has written and spoken extensively about academic leadership, institutional change and campus governance. In addition to writing and speaking, Eckel serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania in its Graduate School of Education and teaches in its executive doctorate program. He holds a Ph.D. in Education Policy, Planning and Administration from the University of Maryland, College Park.


Alex Espinoza

First Joined Board 2003

Alex Espinoza is president of California Capital. A past recipient of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award, he has been honored as one of the nation’s top 10 Hispanic entrepreneurs by Hispanic Business Magazine. He is involved in the Esperanza Scholarship Foundation and was presented the 2001 Community Service Award by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. He holds a degree in English from Cal Poly University and is currently a President’s Associates member.



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Joe Fengler

First Joined Board 2013

University of La Verne Alumnus Joe Fengler is the Director of Defense Logistics Policy at Honeywell International. Prior to joining Honeywell, Fengler served 15 years in the federal government, five years as a professional staff member on the House Armed Services Committee and 10 years as a department of the Army civilian handling budget, contracting and maintenance policy issues. He began his federal career when he was selected by the Office of Personnel Management to serve in the Presidential Management Internship program. He holds a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of La Verne, a master’s in national security studies from California State, San Bernardino, and a master’s in international studies from Claremont Graduate University.



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Benjamin C. Harris

First Joined Board 1979

Ben Harris is a retired entrepreneur. A two-time past Board of Trustees Chair, he has been extensively involved in projects involving building and educational programs at La Verne during the past 30 years. La Verne awarded him an honorary Doctorate Degree of Humane Letters in May 2006. He and his wife, Barbara, were presented the University of La Verne President’s Award in 2002. He is currently a President’s Associates member.


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William Hawkins

First Joined Board 2011

Bill Hawkins is managing director of Overton Partners in Pasadena, a financial consulting firm. In addition, he is currently Trustee of the Columbia Funds and a Trustee of the Bank of America Money Market Funds. Bill received his bachelor’s degree in business from West Coast University and his MBA from La Verne. He was previously a member of the University of La Verne Corporate Associates.




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Anthony LaFetra

First Joined Board 2012

Anthony (Tony) LaFetra is president and CEO of Rain Bird, a privately held company founded in 1933. Tony is a graduate of Stanford University. He has served on several not-for-profit boards including Harvey Mudd College and Foothill Presbyterian Hospital. In 2005, Tony established the permanent endowment for the LaFetra Family Endowed Chair for Excellence in Teaching and Service to fund a senior faculty position within the College of Education & Organizational Leadership.



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Wendy Lau, Esq.

First Joined Board 2011

Wendy Lau is senior counsel at Wood Smith Henning & Berman LLP, in Rancho Cucamonga, where she focuses on construction law including defense of developers, general contractors, construction managers and design professionals in complex multi-party litigation involving commercial and residential properties. She graduated magna cum laude from La Verne with a bachelor’s degree and she received her juris doctorate from Pepperdine University. She is a member of the university’s Alumni Advisory Board and serves on the Board of Directors for Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority. She is currently a President’s Associates member.



Alex LesterAlex Lester, Esq.

First Joined Board 2014

Alex Lester was born and raised in Milwaukie, Oregon, a suburb of Portland.  He attended the University of La Verne and was involved in Greek Life, student government, orientation week, the Landis Leadership Scholars Program, the honors department, and the Leadership Education and Development Program in the Office of Student Life.  Alex graduated with a B.S. in Political Philosophy, a self-created major, in 2008.  He immediately continued on to attend the University of La Verne College of Law and graduated with his J.D. in 2011.  Alex is currently an attorney licensed to practice in California and works at the Law Offices of Mark John Tundis in Upland, practicing general civil litigation.  He is a member and past President of the Alumni Advisory Board, and an advisor to his fraternity Phi Delta Theta.




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Richard A. Lewis

First Joined Board 2000

Richard Lewis is president and co-owner of Lewis Operating Corporation. He is former president of the Baldy View Chapter of the Building Industry Association and has served on numerous National Association of Homebuilders councils. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Claremont McKenna College (previously Claremont Men’s College. Previously honored as Builder of the Year by “Builder & Developer Magazine,” he is a member of the California Building Industry Association Hall of Fame and is currently a President’s Associates member.



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Kenneth D. Little

First Joined Board 2008

Ken Little is a partner in Brandes Investment Partners, L.P. A Chartered Financial Analyst and Certified Public Accountant, Ken graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from La Verne and also received his a master’s in business from Duke University. He is vice chair on the Board of Directors for the Barrio Logan College Institute and formerly served on the board of the Helix Community Conservancy. He is currently a President’s Associates member.



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James W. Long

First Joined Board 1983

Jim Long is general and managerial partner of Magnesium Alloy Products Company. He holds a degree in engineering from USC and is a member of the American Metals Society, the American Foundry Society and the American Helicopter Society. He has previously served two terms as chair of the university’s Board of Trustees.



JHILLPHOTO-7_ppMary Ann Melleby

First Joined Board 2000

Mary Ann Melleby is an elected member of the Board of Directors of the San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency. She retired in 2011 from her position as the Public Affairs Director of the Monte Vista Water District, following a 32-year career in public relations and marketing. She graduated cum laude from La Verne with a bachelor’s in journalism and a master’s in organizational management. She also holds a diploma in nursing from Thomas Jefferson University. She has served as a board member of Brethren Hillcrest Homes of La Verne, the Pomona Valley Council of Churches, the Pomona Valley Branch of the American Association of University Women. She was the first woman president of the West Covina Chamber of Commerce.


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Ivan Misner

First Joined Board 2009

Ivan Misner is founder and chair of BNI (Business Network International), the world’s largest business networking organization. Also a best-selling author, he has been called the “father of modern networking” by CNN. He holds a doctorate degree from USC. He has spoken to corporations and associations around the world and has taught business management and social capital courses throughout the country. Ivan is currently a President’s Associates member.


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Cecilia Martinez Morris

First Joined Board 2003

Cecilia Martinez Morris has been with State Farm Insurance Cos. for 25+ years as an agency owner, consultant and California agency recruiting manager. She attended the University of Texas El Paso, Cal State, Fullerton and UCLA for Human Resources Certification. Cecilia earned her bachelor’s in education from La Verne and began working as a high school guidance counselor after graduation. She later entered the human resources management field, becoming Assistant Vice President in Human Resources for the Bank of California (BankCal). While at BankCal she co-founded the Hispanic Bankers Association, was appointed as an adjudicator for the California State Bar, appointed to the California Superintendent of Schools Council for Hispanic Affairs, volunteered as USC and Whittier College Latin Business Student Associations Advisor and sat on the board of the UCLA Institute of Hispanic Media and Culture Community. Cecilia has served as advisor and president of the University of La Verne Latino Alumni Association, Founder and Advisor of the CAPA Alumni Association and is a President’s Associates member.



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Paul Moseley

First Joined Board 2005

Paul Moseley is co-owner of Ruby Springs Lodge in Alder, Montana. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business from La Verne. Along with being an active supporter of Montana charities and organizations, he has contributed to La Verne athletic and scholastic programs including establishment of a lectureship series in honor of Professor Ahmed Ispahani and Ispahani’s cousin, the late Benazir Bhutto. He is currently a President’s Associates member.


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Leslie Porras

First Joined Board 2011

Leslie Porras is the director of public relations for Wellpoint, Inc.’s State Sponsored Business division, one of the largest health benefits company in terms of commercial membership in the United States. Prior to Wellpoint, she worked at Cedars-Sinai Health System as Public Relations Director. She previously sat on the Board of the Safe Haven Project, a non-profit, domestic & international HIV/AIDS education & outreach organization. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of La Verne. She is currently a President’s Associates member.



Steven N. Reenders

First Joined Board 1989

Steve Reenders is president of The Reenders Company, a consulting and investment firm located in San Clemente. He is also chair of the Covina Irrigating Company and a director of American Security Bank. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics from La Verne. He is currently a President’s Associates member.



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Valerie C. Romero

First Joined Board 2006

Valerie Romero is executive vice president of Oremor Management & Investments. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Scripps College and a juris doctorate from the University of La Verne College of Law. She and her family have a history of committed involvement with the university and of supporting its programs and projects.



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Margaret Sedenquist

First Joined Board 2011

Margaret Sedenquist is a successful real estate manager at Sedenquist Fraser Enterprises in Pasadena. Additionally, she currently manages a property management company, a plastic factory, and she is the founder of the Commercial Pacific Bank.  She was named Pasadena’s Woman of the Year in 2011 and is a strong proponent of the values embodied in the mission of the University of La Verne. A graduate of the University of Wyoming, she has contributed to the University International Studies Institute to support lectures. She is currently a President’s Associates member.



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David D. Shively, DDS

First Joined Board 1985

Dr. David Shively has a dental practice in Bakersfield. His involvement in many facets of the dental profession include being an active member of the Flying Samaritans, serving as a community health volunteer and educator, and chairing a dental health committee. He earned his bachelor’s degree in science from La Verne and his D.D.S. from University of the Pacific. He has served on the board of the Bakersfield Church of the Brethren and is currently a President’s Associates member.


 

Alan SimonAlan Simon

First Joined Board 2014

Alan Simon is the President and CEO of Omaha Steaks. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from University of Pennsylvania and served on their Board of Overseers for the School of Social Policy and Practice. Alan and his wife, Anne, split their time between Omaha, Nebraska and Dana Point, California. Alan has a lifelong commitment to civic and community engagement, and has been involved on the boards of Boy Scouts of America, The Salvation Army, and Goodwill Industries, among others.

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Owen “Ray” Skelton

First Joined Board 2011

Ray Skelton retired from his senior sales management position as Regional Vice President at Black & Decker. He currently devotes his retirement to community and civic leadership. Ray and his wife, Katie, are parents of two sons who graduated from the University of La Verne in 2009. Last year, he and his wife established the Skelton Endowed Scholarship in order to provide financial aid to students in the College of Arts and Sciences. They have been donors at the President’s Associate level for the last three years. He is currently a President’s Associates member.


Emmett L. Terrell

First Joined Board 1996

Emmett Terrell is retired deputy superintendent with the Pomona Unified School District. He is a member of the Association of California School Administrators, the American Association of School Administrators and the National Association of Black School Educators. He earned a bachelor’s degree from La Verne and a master’s from Azusa Pacific University. He has served on the boards of the Camp Fire USA-Mt. San Antonio Council and the YMCA of Pomona.

 

Emeriti of the Board of Trustees


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Marvin Belcher

First Joined Board 1968

Marvin Belcher is a retired educator who earned his bachelor’s degree from La Verne in 1949. Marvin has been a life-long member of the Church of the Brethren, serving the local Bakersfield Church in many leadership capacities and also serving the Pacific Southwest Conference Church of the Brethren as moderator. He has been a long-time member of the Bakersfield Green Thumb Garden Club and is a past president of the Bakersfield Camelia Society.


Kenneth L. Calkins

First Joined Board 1980

Ken Calkins retired from Garden Grove Unified School District in 1995. In his career, he served as teacher, coach, counselor, dean of counseling and guidance, psychologist, high school principal and Assistant Superintendent in charge of Personnel. He also served in the U.S. Army for two years. He received his B.A. in Education from La Verne in 1956, his M.S. in Psychology from Cal State University Los Angeles in 1966, and his Ed.D. in Educational Administration from USC in 1979. Ken has served on the Board of Trustees at La Verne for 32 years. He began as the Alumni Representative to the Board, later became Trustee-at-Large, and has served in various capacities since: vice chairman, chair of the Human Resources Committee, member of the Executive Committee. He represented the Board on the Compensation Task Force for eight years and, most recently, as co-chairman of the recent, successful Presidential Search Committee. He is currently a President’s Associates member.



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Jerry A. Davis

First Joined Board 1975

Jerry Davis is a retired farmer who earned his bachelor’s degree from La Verne in 1952. He also holds a bachelor’s of science from UC Davis and a master’s from Claremont Graduate School of Education. He is currently a President’s Associates member.




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Richard G. Landis

First Joined Board 1948

Dick Landis is the retired CEO and chair of the Del Monte Corporation. He served as the university’s chancellor in 1984-85. La Verne presented him with the degree of Doctor of Laws in November 1981. He (1942) and his wife, Beth (1945), are La Verne graduates who have generously supported the university. They received the University of La Verne President’s Award in 2000, and the school’s Landis Academic Center is named in their honor.



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Jay Rodriguez

First Joined Board 1975

Jay Rodriguez is a retired foundation executive and a former vice president at NBC in Los Angeles. He is a past president of the Greater Los Angeles Press Club, former chair of the Greater Los Angeles American Red Cross and has served on the National Board of Governors for the American Red Cross.


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Donald G. Wilson

First Joined Board 1979

Don Wilson is a retired entrepreneur. He earned his bachelor’s degree from La Verne in 1963. His parents, Elvin and Betty Wilson, were generous benefactors of the university and the school’s library is named in their honor. Don Wilson was elected to the Board of Trustees the year his father concluded 12 years of distinguished board service.