The inauguration of Devorah Lieberman marks her formal investiture – a symbolic donning of the official robes of office – as the 18th President of the University of La Verne. The ceremony is marked by a procession of representatives of universities rich in colorful regalia and highlighted by the new president’s address focusing on her vision for La Verne’s future.
President & COO, C & F Foods, Inc.
Chairman, University of La Verne Board of Trustees
Luis Faura is President and Chief Operating Officer of C&F Foods, Inc, a major originator and packer of dried beans, peas, rice and popcorn for the retail, industrial, food service, canner and frozen food manufacturing industry throughout the United States and overseas.
A La Verne graduate, Faura has served on the board since 2002 and became Board Chair in March 2009. He currently sits on the Development, Executive, Finance, Investment, and Nominating & Trustee Affairs committees.
In addition to serving on the Board of Trustees, Faura is on the Board of Directors for Padres Contra El Cancer and is involved with Foothill Country Day School.
Vice President, Institutional Advancement, Wagner College
Myra Garcia joined Wagner College in 2008 to oversee its fundraising and alumni relations efforts and to lead the $75 million Putting Wagner First Campaign. Garcia has been in the field for more than 20 years having served most notably at Thunderbird Graduate School of Global Management (AZ) and at Seton Hall University (NJ), where she led the $150 million Ever Forward Campaign.
Before discovering the field of advancement, Garcia pursued a career as a classical musician. Her many professional roles include the leads in the Marriage of Figaro, Naughty Marietta, Doña Francisquita, and West Side Story with such organizations as the Opera Orchestra of NY, New England Lyric Operetta and the Repertorio Español of NY. Garcia holds a B.A. in Music Performance from Montclair State University (NJ) and an M.A. in Education from Seton Hall and sits on the boards of CASE (District II), the Unanue Latino Institute at Seton Hall, and the West Side Presbyterian Church (NJ). She and her husband, trumpeter Richard White, make their home in Northern NJ. They have two sons, Daniel, 31, and Nicolas, 20.
Dr. Richard Guarasci
President, Wagner College
Dr. Richard Guarasci has served as President of Wagner College since June 2002. Previously, he served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs which he held for the five years prior to his selection as Wagner College’s 18th President. He received his B.S. from Fordham University and his M.A. in Economics and Ph.D. in Political Science from Indiana University.
Dr. Guarasci authored a comprehensive four-year undergraduate program required of all Wagner students that links interdisciplinary course clusters with experiential learning and civic engagement. Wagner has become a practice centered liberal arts college. This became a reality with the creation in 1998 of The Wagner Plan for the Practical Liberal Arts.
Dr. Guarasci is a national leader on undergraduate education and civic engagement serving on a variety of national committees and boards. He is the author of three books and numerous articles on democracy and engaged citizenship.
Mayor Don Kendrick
Mayor, City of La Verne
Business Owner, Don Kendrick Real Estate
Don Kendrick became Mayor of the City of La Verne in March 2009 after serving as councilman for four years. A fourth-generation La Verne resident, he is founder of the Bonita Unified School District’s “Hands on History” program, which teaches third and fourth grade students about the last five eras of California history. He was involved in creating a technical education program called “C-TEC” at the Fairplex that has already taught over 700 high school students about agriculture, auto work, construction and other practical trade jobs.
He currently serves the La Verne community through the following activities: Bonita Unified School District Liaison, Fairplex Liaison Committee, Financial Committee, 4th of July Committee, LA County Selection Committee (alternate), La Verne Homeowners Association Liaison Committee, Legislative Committee, Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts 21 & 22, Mobilehome Park Liaison, Senior Advisory Committee, Sister Cities Representative: Armenia, ULV Liaison Committee, Youth & Family Action Committee, 210 Freeway Liaison (alternate).
Mayor Kendrick has operated Don Kendrick Real Estate for over 25 years, serving the foothill communities including La Verne, Claremont, San Dimas, Glendora, Pomona, Upland, and Rancho Cucamonga areas.
Dr. J. Michael Ortiz
President, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Dr. Michael Ortiz is President, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. His forty-year career in higher education includes positions as a faculty member and administrator at Appalachian State University, Colorado State University, Pueblo, and at California State University, Fresno, since 1996. He became President of Cal Poly Pomona in 2003. He has received numerous national and local awards. Dr. Ortiz was elected by Latino Leaders magazine as one of the ”Top 25 Latinos in Education” for 2008 and recognized as one of Hispanic Business magazine’s “100 Most Influential Hispanics” for 2005. His numerous publications and presentations span a range of fields including professional development, academic assessment, learning styles, the educational use of technology, and teaching handicapped children. He has served as a special advisor to the President’s Commission on Mental Retardation.
Presiding Justice Manuel A. Ramirez
California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division Two
Presiding Justice Manuel Ramirez is the Presiding Justice of the Fourth District, Division Two of the California Courts of Appeal. He was appointed to this position by Governor Deukmejian and took office on December 27, 1990. Manuel Ramirez began his legal career as a Deputy District Attorney in Orange County, a position he held from 1976 to 1983. He was then appointed to the Orange County Municipal Court, where he served for nearly three years. In 1986, he was elevated to the Orange County Superior Court. He served on this court until his appointment to the Court of Appeals.
Presiding Justice Ramirez has belonged to several professional organizations including California Judges Association, San Bernardino County Bar Association, Riverside County Bar Association, Orange County Bar Association, Orange County Deputy District Attorneys Association, and the Orange County Mexican-American Bar Association. Among his accomplishments are several awards including Constitutional Rights Trial Judge of the Year, 1989, Developmental Disabilities Center of Orange County Trial Judge of the Year, 1989, California State Senate Certificate of Recognition, John Seymour, 35th Senate District, 1990, Serafines De Orange County Trial Judge of the Year, 1990.
Reverend Susan Boyer
La Verne Church of the Brethren
Jonathan F. Kupetz
Temple Beth Israel, Pomona
Reverend Richard Danyluk, SS.CC.
Holy Name of Mary Parish
Dr. Rahmi Mowjood
Islamic Center of Inland Empire
Professor of Sociology
Professor of Biology and Chair, Natural Science Division