Advisory Board

Professor and Marion Bloch, Missouri Chair in Leadership

Lee Bolman is an author, scholar, consultant and speaker who is Professor of Leadership and holds the Marion Bloch/Missouri Chair in Leadership at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  Prior to coming to UMKC, he taught for four years at Carnegie-Mellon University and more than 20 years at Harvard.  His administrative roles at UMKC have included Interim Dean of the Bloch School of Management, and chair of the department of Organizations, Leadership and Marketing.  At Harvard, he served as director and principal investigator for the National Center for Educational Leadership and for the Harvard School Leadership Academy.  He was also educational chair for two Harvard executive programs — the Institute for Educational Management and the Management Development program. His most recent books include Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice and Leadership  (6th ed., 2017) and How Great Leaders Think: The Art of Reframing (2014), both with Terry Deal, and two books with Joan Gallos, Engagement: Transforming Difficult Relationships at Work (2016), and, Reframing Academic Leadership (2011).  Lee holds a B.A. in History and a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Yale University.

Principal of Organic Communication

Lee Broekman provides communication and management guidance to professionals and firms. An expert in persuasion, presentation, and interpersonal communication, Lee trains decision makers in top organizations to communicate, collaborate, and innovate naturally and effectively. Lee is a frequent speaker in legal and business gatherings. She coaches Am Law 100 law firm leaders and senior managers of Fortune 1000 companies. Lee shows executives and attorneys how to attract clients, increase productivity, innovate service, and adopt smart strategies. A communication lecturer for over 15 years, Lee has taught courses at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Marshall School of Business, guest teaches at UCLA, and is on the executive leadership faculty of the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village, California. Lee is the author of Successful (Happy) Lawyering and Stop Blocking, Start Connecting: 8 Key Skills of Successful Communicators.

Executive Director, California Collaborative for Educational Excellence

Carl A. Cohn is on leave from Claremont Graduate University to direct the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence, a new state agency established by Governor Brown and the State Legislature to advise and assist school districts on their academic performance. Before his tenure at Claremont, he served as superintendent of schools in the San Diego Unified School District. Prior to that, he worked as a professor at the University of Southern California, and a federal court monitor for the special education consent decree in the Los Angeles school system. From 1992 to 2002, he was superintendent of the Long Beach Unified School District. His tenure at Long Beach culminated with him winning the McGraw Prize in 2002, and the district winning the Broad Prize in 2003. Cohn has worked as a faculty advisor for both the Broad Superintendents Academy and the Harvard Urban Superintendents Program. He also serves on the boards of the Spencer Foundation, Teaching Works at the University of Michigan, and St. Mary’s Academy. He recently completed service on the California State Board of Education and ACT, Inc. Earlier this year, he completed the long‐term evaluation of the DC Public Schools for the National Research Council. Among his many publications, Cohn co‐edited the 2004 Teachers College Press publication, Partnering to Lead Educational Renewal: High Quality Teachers, High Quality Schools.

Professor of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara

Sharon Conley is professor of education at University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). She has previously taught at the University of Arizona, Tucson, and the University of Maryland, College Park. She has authored publications in the areas of organizational behavior and theory in schools, educational reform, and the managerial work environments of teachers. Among the aspects of school organization she has studied are organizational routines and systems of employee compensation. She has also been particularly interested in how schools might better support the work efforts of teachers as professionals. Her publications include the 2013 book, Moving from Teacher Isolation to Collaboration: Enhancing Professionalism and School Quality (with Bruce S. Cooper, Rowman & Littlefield) focusing on how collaboration and teamwork can help enhance professionalism and school quality by overcoming teachers’ isolation in the classroom, in the school, and in their work. She is also author of the 2017 journal article, “Key influences on special education teachers’ intention to leave: The effects of administrative support and teacher team efficacy in a mediational model” (with Sukkyung You, Educational Management Administration & Leadership) focusing on several school workplace predictors of teachers’ intentions to leave. She has been active in a variety of collaborative projects with regional and national education and policy organizations. Sharon received her MA, EdS, and PhD degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Board Member

David Flaten taught at Pomona College for a decade and at the University of La Verne for 35 years, where he is an Emeritus Professor of theatre. A theater designer and director with special interests in developing new projects and working in found spaces, Flaten received his BA (with architecture emphasis) from St. Olaf College, an MA from the University of Minnesota (Guthrie Theatre McKnight Fellow), and a PhD from UC Santa Barbara, with dissertation on American designer Ming Cho Lee. He performed with the Dartmouth Summer Repertory Theatre, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and as resident artist at St. Cloud State University. He was a designer for Shakespeare Video, consulted on California Plaza in Los Angeles and was a partner in The Design Trust, lighting and special effects design. In Europe he designed a number of productions for the Croatian National Theatres at Zagreb and at Varazdan, the Split Summer Festival, the National Theatre of Slovenia, and directed and designed “A Little Night Music” for the Guildford School of Acting near London. For 25 years he has studied and practiced healing modalities with shamans and teachers in America and Peru, including teaching certification in Pranic Healing™ and ThetaHealing™.

Board Member

As the former vice president for University Advancement at the University of La Verne, Myra worked closely with Dr. Terrence E. Deal, Dr. Sandra Deal and President Devorah Lieberman to establish the Deal Leadership Institute. Now, as a member of the Institute’s Advisory Board, she continues to work with the Dealses and Institute members in exploring the multiple facets of leadership.

A seasoned advancement professional, Myra has served in multiple front-line and leadership roles at educational entities such as universities and colleges, a community art school and an independent school, helping to raise nearly $500 million dollars over the course of her career.

Prior to her career in education, Myra was as a professional classical musician (opera, oratorio, and music theatre) and performed regularly in the New York / New Jersey region. A highlight was a set of performances of Dvorak’s “Rusalka” at both Carnegie Hall and the former Avery Fischer Hall.

Myra holds a B.A. In Music Performance from Montclair State University (NJ) and an M.A. in Education (higher education leadership) from Seton Hall University. She has been a member of numerous boards and active with the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, most notably as a member of the CASE Commission on Philanthropy, an international think tank focusing on national and international best practices in philanthropy. She is also a past board member of Women in Development-New York City Chapter.

Clinical professor emeritus USC; former superintendent of schools for Los Angeles County

Stu Gothold retired in 2018 as Clinical Professor Emeritus from the USC Rossier School of Education, culminating a career of 62 years as an educator.  He served as teacher, principal, and L.A. County Superintendent of Schools for 15 years, after which he was Professor of Education at USC.  He currently serves as Chair of the FEDCO Charitable Foundation, and is a consultant to a national organization of Charter Schools serving recovering high school dropouts. While at USC, he served as co-chair of the innovative Ed.D. Design Committee, producing a program that was recognized nationally by the Carnegie Foundation.  He served for nearly 30 years as co-chair of the L.A. Music Center Education Council, and was a member of the KCET Board of Directors. He received his AB and MED from Whittier College, and Ed.D. from USC.  He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Whittier College, and Alumni Merit Awards from USC and CSULA. He is married to Jane Soderberg and they have four grown children.  He lives in Whittier, California.

Managing Director, Overton Partners; Board of Trustees, University of La Verne

William “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. He joined the University of La Verne Board of Trustees in 2011. Bill received his bachelor’s degree in business from West Coast University and his MBA from the University of La Verne.

Risk Management Lead - West Region, AECOM; Board of Trustees, University of La Verne

Wendy Lau is a knowledgeable litigator with over 16 years of experience in business transactions, contracts, construction, labor and employment, and general liability. She has served as legal counsel to hundreds of companies ranging from local start-ups to multi-million dollar national corporations and is well-versed in defending clients in litigation and providing proactive guidance on organizational risk management and compliance. From her role as a partner at Wood Smith Henning & Berman, LLP, a national law firm with 24 offices across the country, to her new position as Risk Management Lead – West Region for AECOM, a global Fortune 500 company, Lau’s professional expertise includes strategic planning, team building, fiscal accountability, onboarding and professional development, and talent management and pipelining. Additionally, Lau’s volunteer responsibilities include serving on Phi Sigma Sigma’s Supreme Council (board of directors) for 10 years as a director and as Grand Vice Archon – Finance, a trustee for the University of La Verne, and a planning commissioner for the City of La Verne.

Frank Lizarraga Endowed Dean of the College of Law

In addition to serving as Dean of the University of La Verne College of Law, Kevin teaches contracts, sales, remedies, corporate finance, nonprofit law and governance, and law & economics. He also serves as a lecturer at the University of La Verne College of Business and Public Management, where he teaches courses in economics, finance, public policy, and quantitative and qualitative research techniques.

He received the degree of bachelor of arts, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with a major in economics from Knox College in May 1982, and was conferred the degree of Juris Doctorate from Emory University in May 1985. Marshall practiced law in Dallas, Texas for approximately 20 years in the areas of state/federal civil procedure and commercial litigation, as well as domestic and international competition law. In May 1991, he received the degree of Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Dallas. Upon completion of his doctoral dissertation titled Administered Protection: The Political Economy of U.S. Countervailing and Antidumping Laws, Marshall was awarded a PhD in political economy from the University of Texas, Dallas in December of 1993.

Kevin has published and presented numerous books and articles involving the interdisciplinary workings of law and economics. His published work has been cited by both state and federal appellate courts, as well as by numerous other published works and secondary sources.

Professor Emeritus of Public Administration

Jack W. Meek, Ph.D. is a University of La Verne Academy Professor and Professor Emeritus of Public Administration at the College of Business and Public Management at the University of La Verne. He serves as President of the 300- member National Association of Schools of Public Policy Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). This global network of graduate schools of public service seeks to ensure excellence in education and training for public service and promotes the ideal of public service.

His research focuses on metropolitan governance including the emergence of local and regional collaboration and partnerships, policy networks and citizen engagement. Professor Meek over sixty academic publications. Jack has co-authored and co-edited books on governance networks, business improvement districts, intergovernmental relations and complex governance systems. Jack serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Organizational Theory and Behavior, Complexity, Governance and Networks, Journal of Globalization Studies, and Forum for Social Economics and Social Agenda.

Jack has served as visiting lecturer/scholar at University of International Business and Economics (Beijing), Erasmus University in Rotterdam (Netherlands), Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense in Campos, Brazil, the University of Southern California (USA) and Claremont McKenna College (USA). Professor Meek also serves on the Executive Boards of the Section on Complexity, Governance and Networks of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and the Southern California Chapter of ASPA.

Founder and President, CHEER for Viet Nam

Dr. Doan Thi Nam-Hau has distinguished herself as a teacher and an inspirational leader advocating for peace, social justice and educational equity. Over thirty years, she has been working, through educational and cultural exchanges, to improve the understanding and mutual respect between cultures in the hope of building trust, tolerance and peace among peoples.

Nam-Hau’s early work focused on film as a form of historical and cultural documentation. She served as a media consultant in several film/television productions including the Oscar winning documentary Hearts and Minds. In 1985, she was the field producer and of the KCBS documentary Viet Nam: Ten Years Later which received the Emmy and Golden Mike Awards as Best Documentary in 1985. As a community coordinator and later an executive director of the Asian- American Voluntary Action Center, Nam-Hau initiated and conducted workshops and training that broadened the cultural awareness and understanding among the diverse communities in Los Angeles.

In 1993, Nam-Hau founded CHEER – Culture, Health, Education and Environmental Resources – for Viet Nam, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization devoting its efforts to improve the quality of life and education of underprivileged children in Viet Nam and to further the understanding between Vietnamese and American peoples through educational and cultural exchanges in the hope of building trust, tolerance, and peace among peoples.

La Verne Faculty

Associate Professor, Theatre, Acting Emphasis

Dr. Martinez teaches dramatic literature and criticism, acting and directs department productions.

Her acting career spans almost 40 years of work in film, television and theatre. She has appeared on Broadway, Off Broadway, in regional theaters across the country and on Mexican and European stages. She has studied with Lee Strasberg, Jerzi Grotowski, Ariane Mnouchkine, Augusto Boal, Anna Deveare Smith, Patsy Rodenberg and at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (London), Centro Universitario de Teatro (C.U.T.) at the Universidad Autónoma de México in Mexico City and at the Universidad de Guadalajara, Artes Plásticas, Jalisco, Mexico. An artistic associate of Luis Valdez and El Teatro Campesino, she has been Valdez’s lead actress in most of his significant work including Zoot Suit (stage & film) and Corridos: Tales of Passion and Revolution (Peabody Award). Her films include Cake, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Born in East LA, Barbarosa and Under Fire. On television, credits include Queen Sugar, Gray’s Anatomy, American Crime: People v OJ Simpson, Good Behavior and a recurring role in the premier season of F/X’s The Bridge (Peabody Award). She is a member of SAG-AFTRA, AEA, ANDA and SDC.

Her research and publications focus on Chicanx and Latin American popular-political theatre. Recent articles include “Pancho Villa’s Head: The Mexican Revolution in the Chicano Theatrical Imagination”, Open Borders to a Revolution: Culture, Politics, and Migration, published by Smithsonian Scholarly Press and “Both Feet on My Ground: Forging a Path Towards a New American Theatre” in (Re) Positioning the Latina/o Americas: Theatrical Histories and Cartographies of Power published by Southern Illinois University Press, due in 2016.

Dr. Martinez is a member of the Academies of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Television Arts and Sciences and sits on the board of LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Los Angeles.

Dr. Martinez’s creative work can be found at Academia.


Leadership Scholar; Founding Director of Leadership Institute, USC

Warren G. Bennis, friend and colleague of Dr. Terrence E. Deal, was a highly-awarded and accomplished author, professor, and leadership expert sought out by generations of business leaders including Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Gerald R. Ford, and Ronald Reagan.

Bennis’ research on leadership, change, and creative collaboration are widely studied around the world. He helped establish leadership as an academic field while teaching at MIT, Harvard University, and Boston University, and chairing the Organizational Studies department at MIT. He is known for advancing the idea that successful leaders demonstrate integrity, compassion, and a capacity for both collaboration and inspiration. Bennis’ work is based on the notion that truly inspiring and powerful leadership lies in promoting openness and discussion, and allowing room for others to shine.

He served as Provost and Executive Vice President at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo and President of the University of Cincinnati before arriving at USC where he was ultimately honored with the titles of Distinguished Professor and University Professor at USC.  Bennis was founding chairman of the USC Leadership Institute at the now Marshall School of Business at USC. The institute was the first of its kind at an American university and became a model for more than 15 other centers around the country, including one at Harvard.

Bennis earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and business at Antioch College, an honors certificate from the London School of Economics, and a doctorate in economics and social sciences from the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT).