By UCLA Alumni
Do you ever wonder how Bruins like you have gone on to achieve success after college? Now you have the chance to find out as UCLA alumni discuss their careers, what has helped them most in their journeys and their tips for personal and professional success.
Chelsea Moore '13 and Jenni Olivero '13 of BOXFOX
About Chelsea Moore: Born and raised in Los Angeles, Chelsea is the CEO and co-founder of BOXFOX. After graduating from UCLA, she and Jenni moved to Venice Beach where the idea for BOXFOX was born after spotting a gap in the lifestyle and service space for elevated and effortless gifting. She is the driving force behind BOXFOX’s creative and aesthetic vision, ensuring we stay true to our customers’ needs and our belief in well-presented and purposeful gifting. Chelsea graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and a Minor in English from UCLA in 2013. Prior to starting BOXFOX, she worked in marketing and business development for Brandy Melville, Ogilvy & Mather, and David & Goliath. She was selected as a member of the Forbes 30 Under 30 2019 class and helped secure BOXFOX's continued place on the Inc. 5000's Fastest Growing Companies. About Jenni Olivero: Hailing from Half Moon Bay, CA, Jenni co-founded BOXFOX in 2014 and runs operations as COO. Jenni works closely with data, inventory, buying, and finance, driving the development of simple consumer solutions through the lens of data trends. She also packs most of the boxes you see in BOXFOX photoshoots with her keen eye for details and overarching brand vision. Jenni graduated with a B.A. in International Development Studies and a Minor in Anthropology from UCLA in 2013. Prior to starting BOXFOX, she worked in sports marketing at Sports Studio, helping facilitate authentic sports scenes in movies, TV shows, and commercials. She was selected as a member of Forbes 30 under 30 class of 2019 at age 28.
August 04, 2022
Rod A. Ponce '06 of First Republic Bank
Rod A. Ponce ’06 is Senior Account Executive with First Republic Bank. After graduating in 2006 with a B.A. in History from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), he started his career in financial services as a financial advisor with John Hancock. In 2009, he left the financial advising business to become a Licensed Personal Financial Representative for Washington Mutual Bank, where he began to focus primarily on residential and small business lending. When Washington Mutual was acquired by Chase Bank, Rod moved into a supervisory role, and was involved opening a brand new office in West Los Angeles. In 2012, Rod accepted an offer as an Assistant Vice President with Bank of the West (BNP Paribas Group), where he developed a niche in stand-alone home equity lines of credit, and was a consistent Circle of Excellence qualifier for several years standing. Rod joined First Republic Bank in 2019 and currently focuses on financing for professional service firms and their individual partners. From 2011-2017, Rod was involved with Toastmasters International as an Area Director, where he acted as an advisor to several clubs throughout the Los Angeles area. With regard to UCLA involvement, he currently sits on the board for the Silicon Beach Bruins regional network as their Professional Development Chair, he founded a Bruin Professionals Chapter in Silicon Beach, and he is the current President for the overarching Bruin Professionals organization. For personal hobbies, Rod enjoys snowboarding, camping, and taking long walks with his wife and dog, Maverick.
July 21, 2022
Nikhil Gupta, J.D. '15 of the Golden State Warriors
Nikhil Gupta is Associate General Counsel for the Golden State Warriors. In this role, he advises the organization on a wide range of commercial, litigation, regulatory and compliance matters. He previously served as Associate Counsel for the San Francisco 49ers for two years. Prior to that, he practiced corporate and transactional law at Latham & Watkins LLP in Los Angeles. Nikhil received his JD from UCLA School of Law and his BBA from University of Michigan. Before law school, Nikhil did a year of service with City Year in Detroit public schools.
July 11, 2022
Emily Baxt '92 of Baxt Consulting
Emily Baxt, career coach and principal at Baxt Consulting, specializes in professional growth and development for teams and individuals in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. She has supported students and alumni at the University of San Diego (USD) Career Development Center for over 20 years. She particularly enjoys helping people find purpose and meaning in the workplace, and facilitating groups to promote increased self-awareness, team effectiveness, and workplace skills. An experienced presenter and facilitator, Emily enjoys working with groups of all sizes. As an adjunct faculty member in the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering at USD, she developed curriculum around NACE’s Career Readiness Competencies and teaches emerging engineers. She is a popular guest lecturer in departments across campus and organizations in the community. Emily received a Master of Arts in Counseling with an emphasis in Career Counseling from USD and a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies from UCLA. She is a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® Master Practitioner, a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, and a California Licensed Clinical Counselor (LPCC 314).
June 23, 2022
Ruben Garcia '08 of Creative Artists Agency (CAA)
Ruben Garcia is Co-Head of the Cultural Business Strategy Group at leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). In addition, Garcia works within the CAA Foundation to advise and consult clients on their prosocial and philanthropic initiatives. Garcia collaborates with company leadership to execute company-wide strategies and implement inclusive business practices that maximize creative and business growth opportunities for the agency’s diverse clients. In addition, he manages a custom slate of programs and initiatives, including CAA Amplify, a platform designed by the agency to leverage the collective influence of cross-industry thought leaders and cultural changemakers of color to create transformational change across business and society. Garcia also oversees CAA’s corporate partnerships and liaises with clients, businesses and organizations interested in promoting and building philanthropic activities connected to diversity in business and creative fields. His clients include Kendrick Sampson, Anthony Ramos, Becky G, Laurence Fishburne, Edwards James Olmos, Connor Franta, Ricky Martin, and Karla Souza, among others. He currently leads the Industry Advisory Board for the Latino Film Institute and serves on the regional advisory board for the Friends of the Museum of the American Latino. Prior to joining CAA in 2011, Garcia worked at Paramount Pictures and The Walt Disney Company. A native of San Diego, he is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in Sociology.
June 16, 2022
Jenn Wells '07 of the Marlborough School
Jenn received her B.A. from UCLA in 2007 in American Literature and Culture and a minor in Education studies. While at UCLA, Jenn was an Orientation Leader, Resident Assistant, and a student leader in the Student Alumni Association. Jenn went on to receive her M.A. degree in Higher Education Administration from New York University and her Doctorate of Education in Organizational Change & Leadership at the University of Southern California. Her dissertation focuses on understanding the organizational influences on college chief diversity officers’ ability to impact institutional change. Jenn’s career in education administration focuses on student leadership with an emphasis on identity development and social justice education. Jenn developed a deep passion for the empowerment of girls, women, non-binary, transgender, and BIPOC students after her work at Mills College, Barnard College, and Scripps College. Her experience in higher education included emergency response, new student orientation, student support services, student government and organizations advising, residential life, and honors programs. Jenn served as a national leader in the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) as a Communications Co-Chair for the Women in Student Affairs Knowledge Community and as a Co-Chair of the MultiRacial Knowledge Community. In the summer of 2020 Jenn transitioned away from higher education, and she currently works as the inaugural Director of Equity and Inclusion for the Marlborough School, a 7th-12th grade independent girls’ school in Los Angeles. In this position, Jenn serves as a chief diversity officer and member of the school’s senior leadership team directing campus-wide leadership, programming, and initiatives aimed at supporting the School’s commitment to inclusion, equity, and accountability. In addition to her formal role at Marlborough, Jenn is an independent consultant providing diversity, equity, and inclusion workshops for higher education and non-profit organizations. Her workshops focus on implicit bias, racial justice, multiraciality, and gender/sexuality inclusion. As a national presenter at conferences such as NASPA and the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity, Jenn’s presentations include topics such as surviving toxic workplace environments and multiracial identity in higher education. As an alum of UCLA, Jenn participated as a host for Dinner for 12 Strangers, attended events hosted by the Bay Area and NYC Alumni networks, and served as an Outreach Chair for the Lambda Alumni Association.
June 07, 2022
Matt Wiener '10 of Innovative Partnerships Group
Mr. Wiener is a Partner, Managing Director and Head of Consulting & Business Development at Innovative Partnerships Group (IPG360), joining the firm less than one year into the company formation. Mr. Wiener oversees growth for the company, serving as a member of the Advisory Board and Executive Team with leadership duties across overall revenue, operations, strategic growth as well as leading property, brand and project-based consulting work including the overall sponsorship and naming rights division across domestic & international clients. Mr. Wiener manages a dynamic, high-performing team across the country and oversees the recruiting and hiring efforts for the firm. Prior to Innovative Partnerships Group, Mr. Wiener was a senior executive at Wasserman, responsible for long-term partnerships for the Fortune 500 and global rights holders. His diverse experience and strategic approach provide a foundation to execute complex, non-traditional partnerships that are mutually beneficial for all parties, building a reputation for his creativity in deal making and delivering win-win-win agreements. Prior to Wasserman, Mr. Wiener worked for the San Diego Padres ownership group as a member of the Front Office holding multiple revenue positions, quickly working his way up through the organization holding the top sales position in the front office every year during his tenure in Major League Baseball. Mr. Wiener is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles Mr. Wiener is actively involved with his alma mater’s Alumni Association, Sports & Entertainment Network and serves as an executive member of the Milken Institute’s global Young Leaders Circle.
May 26, 2022
Rachel Salvo, M.B.A. '15 of Warner Bros. Consumer Products
Rachel Salvo, MBA ’15, is a Director of Strategy and Business Planning at Warner Bros. Consumer Products. She currently leads the planning and strategic initiatives across the North America Products team, which includes overseeing and supporting the licensed category business and the owned and operated eCommerce platform. She works collaboratively with the international teams to ensure goals are aligned and efficiencies are shared. She has been with WBCP since graduating in 2015 but prior to attending Anderson in 2013, Rachel worked at Ernst & Young in their Transfer Pricing practice as well as in Finance at Walt Disney Imagineering. Rachel was born and raised in a suburb of LA, in La Canada Flintridge, and graduated from Haverford College (Haverford, PA) in 2010 where she was a volleyball athlete, majored in Economics and was pre-med. In addition to her professional experience, Rachel is a Haverford Athletics Leader (part of an athletics alumni group which helps lead initiatives to help the athletics department and current student-athletes), an alumni volunteer at Haverford College, as well as on the alumni board of her high school (Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy).
May 19, 2022
Rafi Sands '18 of Pano AI
Rafi Sands '18 is an MBA candidate at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he's exploring innovative ways to help communities better adapt to the challenges of the 21st-century, including climate change and economic insecurity. While not in class, Rafi works in Business Development with Pano AI, a wildfire technology company using cameras and AI to help communities better prepare for and respond to catastrophic wildfire events. Prior to Pano, Rafi was a consultant with Bain & Company, with experience supporting C-suite strategy and operations across a range of sectors including utilities, tech and media, and automotive. Rafi graduated summa cum laude from UCLA in 2018.
May 09, 2022
Kelsey Balance '11 of Scripted Programming at NBCUniversal Media
Kelsey Balance, SVP, Scripted for NBCU International Studios, oversees the Studio’s Scripted division in LA. She has been with International Studios for two years and has been the key executive in packaging and selling a number of shows, including Clickbait for Netflix, Lady Parts for Peacock, The Capture for Peacock, and Stateless for Netflix, as well as major development deals and creative on premium projects at SVODs such as Apple and Amazon. Together with the wider creative teams across the UK, US, Australia and Canada, Balance is charged with building on the company’s track record of creating premium scripted content with global appeal and with developing series with emerging and diverse voices. Prior to joining International Studios, Balance was Head of Programming at NBCUniversal’s comedy streaming venture Seeso, where she had oversight of all originals, acquisitions and co-productions, including the critically acclaimed Flowers, Take My Wife and HarmonQuest. Prior to NBCUniversal, Balance was at Participant Media where she worked on multi-award winning comedy (or critically acclaimed series) Please Like Me, (Emmy Award winning) Hitrecord ON TV, and Sky Atlantic's Fortitude.
May 02, 2022
Lucy Tseng '12 of Resilientsee and UCLA Giving
Lucy Tseng is a Life & Resilience Coach working with folks who are experiencing major changes, particularly athletes of all levels who are transitioning to life after sports. Additionally, she is part of the development team that raised $5.49 billion during The UCLA Centennial Campaign and focuses on raising funds for scholarships and student support. With clients internationally, Lucy currently resides in Los Angeles, where she was born and raised. In 2012, she graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, Asian American Studies, and Education Studies. At UCLA as a student, she was involved with several campus organizations including UCLA UniCamp, Pediatric AIDS Coalition, and served as a Resident Assistant for the Office of Residential Life. In 2014, Lucy graduated from the University of San Francisco (Southern CA campus) with a Master’s Degree in Sport Management. Her master's thesis was focused on building a comprehensive life skills program that included development training for student-athletes. Shortly after grad school, Lucy was recruited to work for Environmental Charter Schools (ECS), where she learned in great depth about the world of business development. After two years of being hands-on with almost every project at this growing charter school network, Lucy returned to her alma mater to contribute through the development team. To this day, she is a very active Bruin alumna and staff member. In July 2020, she was appointed as a Staff Advisor to the UC Board of Regents by President Janet Napolitano. Lucy's breadth of experience has helped her discover her passion: being a resource to all people. More specifically, her purpose in life is to inspire and support others in finding, pursuing, and living their own passions and purpose. Outside of working at UCLA and pursuing her passion as a Coach, Lucy is involved with several global and local nonprofit organizations including Rotary International (fighting human trafficking), NextLA (formerly known as Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce), and Delta SigmaPi International Business Fraternity. Lucy is passionate about living a lifestyle of natural healthcare and serves as a Wellness Advocate fordōTERRA, an essentials oils company. Lucy also enjoys staying active and spending time with loved ones, including her furry children named @Tunechi_Kobe.
April 18, 2022
Hannah Gordon '03 of the San Francisco 49ers
Hannah Gordon is the Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of the San Francisco 49ers. Gordon is a Bay Area native who grew up in Oakland and attended Stanford for law school. She is a former board member of Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation, among other nonprofits. Named by NFL.com as one of the most influential women in football, Gordon advises on all legal issues involving both the football team and Levi’s® Stadium and leads the ESPN Humanitarian Team of the Year-winning community impact division which includes the 49ers Foundation’s co-ed youth football programs and STEAM education program which serve tens of thousands of Bay Area youth each year. Gordon is a Presidential Leadership Scholar, a Sports Business Journal Forty Under 40 and Game Changer, The Athletic NFL Forty Under 40, Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Forty Under 40, 100 Women of Influence, Corporate Counsel Diversity Champion, ICA Cristo Rey Leader in Mission, and PureWow’s 20 in ’20 list honoring 20 Up-and-Coming Leaders Working to Better Our World. She is the author of SZN of CHANGE: The Competitor’s Playbook for Joy on the Path to Victory that has been featured by Good Morning America.
April 11, 2022
Kristen Choi, M.S. '18 of UCLA and Kaiser Permanente
Dr. Kristen Choi is a psychiatric nurse and Assistant Professor of Nursing and Public Health at UCLA. Dr. Choi studies health services and policy approaches to promoting mental health among children and adolescents. Her current research projects include studies on adverse childhood experiences, developmental disabilities, and the intersection of homelessness and mental illness. As both a clinician and a scientist, Dr. Choi maintains a clinical practice as a registered nurse at a safety net psychiatric hospital in Downtown Los Angeles. In addition to her role at UCLA, Dr. Choi is an Investigator with Kaiser Permanente Southern California and an Associate Director for the UCLA National Clinician Scholars Program. She was the first and only nurse included on the US 'Forbes 30 Under 30 Healthcare' list in 2020 and was recently inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.
March 31, 2022
Kal Penn '00
Kal Penn is an actor, writer, producer, and former Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. He is known for his starring roles in Designated Survivor, House, Mira Nair’s The Namesake, the Harold & Kumar franchise, and the patriotic immigration sit-com Sunnyside which he co-created for NBC. From 2009 to 2011, Kal took a sabbatical from acting to serve in the Obama/Biden administration, where he served as the President’s Liaison to Young Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the Arts community. In these roles, he worked on a range of issues, including the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the Affordable Care Act, Pell Grants, arts and culture programs, the DREAM Act, and rapid response to the BP Oil Spill and earthquake in Haiti. He was a national co-chair for the Obama/Biden re-election campaign in 2012 and served on the President’s Committee for the Arts and Humanities, focusing on arts education and cultural diplomacy, including the first-ever US Government arts delegation to Cuba. Penn has taught courses at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Los Angeles. Originally from New Jersey, he received his undergraduate degree in sociology, theater, film, and television at the University of California, Los Angeles, and received a graduate certificate in international security from Stanford University. He has been a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations. Penn recently wrapped production on the CBS Drama, Clarice (based on Silence of the Lambs), and Freeform’s late night youth election format show Kal Penn Approves This Message. He currently stars in the animated Disney Junior series Mira, Royal Detective, is an Executive Producer on the Viacom/Paramount + comedy, Surina & Mel, and can be heard in Nickelodeon’s It’s Pony. His culinary competition series Money Hungry airs on Food Network. Kal’s first book You Can’t Be Serious released on November 2nd, 2021 from Simon and Schuster/Gallery Books. He also narrates the audiobook.
March 24, 2022
Matt Kaczmarek '04 of BlackRock
Matt Kaczmarek, Director, is head of sustainable investing and macro policy research for the global credit investment team at BlackRock. He also serves as a senior member of the firm's external affairs team and is co-chair of BlackRock's Los Angeles leadership team. He is a member of the firm's geopolitical risk and inclusion and diversity committees. Matt teaches public policy analysis as adjunct assistant professor of public service at NYU's Wagner School. He serves on the board of directors of the UCLA Alumni Association, the campaign board of the national LGBT Victory Fund, and is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and the Council on Foreign Relations. Prior to joining BlackRock, Matt held senior appointments in the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama, including as senior advisor to the Deputy National Security Advisor for international economic policy in the White House. He served in the international finance division of the U.S. Treasury Department during the global financial crisis and later as Secretary of State John Kerry's White House liaison. Matt has managed or advised eight federal, state, and local candidate and issue campaigns, including as chief economic policy advisor to a leading presidential campaign in the 2020 cycle. Matt received his BA from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he was president of the University of California Student Association, and MA from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where he was editor-in-chief of the SAIS Review of International Affairs.
March 17, 2022
Topology Planning @ Amazon with Izzah Khan '13
Izzah Khan is a UCLA alumna who is currently working as a Program Manager at Amazon's Last Mile business where she supports the expansion of Amazon's delivery network in the US and Canada. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and with the right experience, has been able to pivot into the data-heavy field of Supply Chain and Capacity/Topology Planning. Prior to joining Last Mile, she supported Amazon's retail/Appstore teams responsible for catalog quality and risk mitigation for several years, developing scalable solutions to protect customers and sellers from fraud and abuse. Having been working at a Big Tech giant for 4+ years, Izzah attributes her growth to self-discipline, hard (but smart) work, and a career-focused, purpose-driven support network. In today's podcast, we sat with her to learn about how her career trajectory took shape and her advice to students on pursuing a career in the world of tech. Bruin Success is hosted and produced by Christian Chavez '13.
June 08, 2021
Naturopathic Medicine with Dr. Jasmine Talei
Dr. Jasmine Talei is a California licensed Naturopathic Doctor. She completed her undergraduate degree in Political Science and Film Studies at UCLA and received her Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University, California. Dr. Talei focused her clinical training on the skin-gut connection, autoimmune conditions, and mold-related illness. She has furthered her training in homeopathy, IV nutrient therapy, and craniosacral therapy. She currently also works with women and men to optimize their hormonal health and provides post-surgical naturopathic care. In alignment with her philosophy of treating the root cause, Dr. Talei understands the need for a holistic approach when it comes to achieving optimal health. Bruin Success is hosted and produced by Christian Chavez '13.
June 01, 2021
Cybrarian @ Oracle with Tim Gallati '10, MLIS '13
Tim Gallati '10, MLIS '13 is a Cybrarian on the Virtual Library team at Oracle with responsibilities in data, user experience research, research services, and learning curation. Following his UCLA BA (’10) and MLIS (’13), Tim served in corporate, academic, and non-profit libraries. He also explored a career in Theological Librarianship and received a Master of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School (’18). He recently taught a course in “Community Data” at the UCLA iSchool and looks forward to connecting with the next generation of UCLA students. Bruin Success is hosted and produced by Christian Chavez '13.
May 25, 2021
Social Impact @ Participant with Nicole Starr '01
Nicole Starr '01 is Vice President of Social Impact for Participant, the leading media company dedicated to entertainment that inspires audiences to engage in positive social change. In her role, Nicole oversees the development and execution of impact campaigns that bring together art and activism to accelerate progress around the world’s most pressing issues. Her passion for leveraging the power of storytelling to inspire action drives her work at Participant, which includes the creation of social impact and culture change campaigns for numerous films, such as the critically acclaimed Judas and the Black Messiah, RBG, On the Basis of Sex, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power and Academy Award®-winning Roma. Most recently, the impact campaign around Roma helped shift the narrative around domestic workers and inspired the cultural conditions for policy change in the U.S. and Mexico. Nicole came to Participant with over a decade of experience in the entertainment industry, including a six-year stint at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment building corporate partnerships around film and TV properties such as Avatar, Life of Pi, X-men franchise, and Glee. In addition, Nicole is a founding member of Storyline Partners, an organization working in writers’ rooms to create authentic portrayals of underrepresented or misrepresented communities in pop culture. Follow Participant on Instagram and keep an eye on their job board here. Bruin Success is hosted and produced by Christian Chavez '13.
May 18, 2021
Artificial Intelligence and Human Connection @ Ingage with Jamal Madni, M.S. '08, '12
Jamal Madni, M.S. '08, '12 is Co-Founder & CEO of Ingage, a company intersecting artificial intelligence and human connection by developing a behavioral signal analytics videoconferencing platform to help individuals better read and react to the virtual boardroom, exam room and classroom. Before technology entrepreneurship, Jamal was Managing Director of Enterprise Technology Strategy for Boeing. In this capacity, he spearheaded the $100B company’s integrated research & development road mapping, internal boutique technology assessments and technical due diligence for corporate M&As. Prior roles at Boeing included program managing the RF integrated electronics payload suite for NISAR, which is the world’s most expensive Earth-imaging satellite. Furthermore, as a Boeing software engineer, Jamal architected and developed a machine learning system for “spacecraft disease diagnosis,” which was a variant of his thesis work in wireless health at UCLA. For these efforts, Jamal has been nationally and internationally recognized by organizations such as the Ellis Island Honor Society, IEEE, SAE, SSPI, IET, and The Engineers’ Council. Passionate about organizational culture, Jamal founded the da Vinci Summit, named North America’s Employee Engagement Project of the Year in 2017. Finally, as a social entrepreneur, Jamal created a college application preparatory program, which has sent over 50 first-generation, low-income, underrepresented minority students to pursue STEM-based higher education. In addition to his double masters at UCLA, Jamal graduated with his master’s degree in management from Stanford Graduate School of Business as a Robert Joss Scholar. Bruin Success is hosted and produced by Christian Chavez '13.
May 11, 2021
Sustainability Data Management @ Google with Liz Schneider '14
Liz Schneider '14 works on Google's real estate sustainability team, where she is currently the team's first-ever data manager. She helped create this role last year when it became clear that Google's ambitious new sustainability goals would require an unprecedented level of thoughtfulness around data management. In this new role, she's guiding the development of data systems that provide insight into all aspects of real estate sustainability, from renewable energy to water efficiency and waste tracking. Prior to Google, she spent five years as a sustainability consultant, working with federal agencies and Fortune 500 companies to develop and implement strategies for sustainability and climate resilience. When Liz isn't working, she can usually be found outside, climbing rocks and enjoying the Southern California sunshine. Bruin Success is hosted and produced by Christian Chavez '13.
May 04, 2021
Business Diversity & Inclusion @ Nike with Anthony Martore '16
Anthony Martore '16 is a Manager on the Business Diversity & Inclusion team at NIKE. In his current role, he leads an enterprise-wide initiative to expand NIKE's economic investment into diverse communities and diverse-owned businesses through the implementation of NIKE's first-ever global Supplier Diversity Program. Anthony hails from San Francisco, CA and is a first-generation American. He greatly enjoys international travel, and has visited over 40 countries to-date to continue his pursuit of learning from cultures, backgrounds and walks of life that vary from his own. Bruin Success is hosted and produced by Christian Chavez '13.
April 27, 2021
Asset Optimization @ Netflix with Kate Pflueger '11
Kate Pflueger ’11 is Manager of Asset Optimization Strategy at Netflix. After graduating in 2011 with a BA in Communications, Kate launched her career at Paramount Pictures in their Worldwide Marketing Partnerships group. In 2015, Kate began a new chapter of her career as a producer for Netflix where she worked with both international and domestic studios, as well as filmmakers to develop and optimize the imagery representing their content on the Netflix platform. She now leads a team focused on providing data-driven creative insights to producers, designers, and editors responsible for creating the rich visual promotional experience on the streaming platform. Bruin Success is hosted and produced by Christian Chavez '13.
April 20, 2021
User Acquisition @ Headspace with Brandon Dang '16
Brandon Dang '16 is responsible for user acquisition at Headspace - an app for meditation, mindfulness and mental health. He graduated UCLA in 2016 as an Economics major unsure of what career path he wanted to pursue. Digital marketing was a field that presented itself after he pursued an interest in tech and media. Brandon's young career has been a non-linear path that has always been inspired by a restlessness to continue exploring and learning. Bruin Success is hosted and produced by Christian Chavez '13.
April 13, 2021
Global Mobility @ WeWork with Sei Ishikawa '05
Sei Ishikawa '05 began his career in the global mobility industry over 15 years ago. After graduating from UCLA with double majors in Political Science and International Development Studies in 2005, he started his career as a US immigration specialist at an immigration law firm in Los Angeles, CA. While working at the firm, he developed a passion for HR, which led him to pursue an MBA in Strategic HR. He managed a full suite of People functions while working in wholesale in Los Angeles. Sei then relocated to New York in 2014 to join the mobility group at Fast Retailing, a public Japanese retail holding company for brands such as Uniqlo, Theory, and Hemut Lang. In 2016, he joined WeWork as Director of Global Mobility. During his first year, he created the global mobility policies and processes from scratch, aiding the company in its global expansion efforts. In 2020, he took on additional responsibilities to serve as a point of contact for all HR matters related to divestiture and franchise deals. Bruin Success is hosted and produced by Christian Chavez '13.
April 06, 2021
10 Careers You’ve Never Heard Of
When someone says “career,” you probably think of the classic ones like Doctor, Lawyer or Teacher, right? It makes sense yet so many career choices exist beyond the ones we may think of first. Over the next 10 episodes, Bruin Success will be featuring UCLA alumni who are paving their way in careers you probably haven’t heard of. If you are familiar with the careers, you’ll be getting an even closer look at the roles and experiences to help demystify each field and industry. We have a great lineup of alumni so subscribe to the podcast, connect with us on social media and help us get the word out as we explore 10 Careers You’ve Never Heard Of. Bruin Success is hosted by Christian Chavez ’13, Associate Director for UCLA Alumni Career Engagement. In his role, Christian leads programs and initiatives that support the career and professional development needs of UCLA alumni and current students. In addition to managing his portfolio of programs and resources offered by the UCLA Alumni Association, he works with multiple campus partners at UCLA to bring professional development opportunities to UCLA communities on and off-campus. The Alumni Career Engagement team provides resources, opportunities and events for Bruins at all stages of their careers through the help of faculty, staff, alumni, employers, and the UCLA community.
April 01, 2021
A Farewell Message from Katie Russo
Katie Russo shares a farewell message and her thoughts on success in her final episode of Bruin Success. Since May 2019, Katie has hosted over 35 interviews delivering incredible “life after UCLA” stories from Bruins who have graduated and gone on to conquer the world in diverse industries all around the globe. Through Katie's interviews, we've seen that each Bruin has unique passions, goals, and experiences that shape their life path and career trajectory and she will be missed. Stay tuned for exciting updates on Bruin Success in the coming weeks.
March 23, 2021
Ann Wang '13 of Enrou
Ann Wang is the co-founder and CEO of Enrou, an online story-driven marketplace for the socially conscious consumer to discover one-of-a-kind products created in developing communities around the world. Enrou empowers consumers to reduce global poverty with every purchase and live intentionally every day. As the daughter of a first-generation immigrant and entrepreneur, Wang grew up viewing the world through a distinct lens. While her dad taught her how to negotiate, lead and the importance of being self-sufficient, she always felt a responsibility to make a difference in the lives of others around the world. After initially looking into medicine and traditional nonprofit aid as outlets to make that difference, Wang realized her calling was to start her own business. Set on the idea that social enterprise was the answer to addressing a global need and creating lasting impact, Wang approached her longtime friend and roommate, Jessica Willison ’13, to join her on this journey. Willison’s passion and experience within the consumer retail market coupled with her similar belief in a brighter world made her the perfect fit to establish their social enterprise, now known as Enrou. In 2014, Enrou was awarded Forbes first-ever Pressure Cooker Award held during Forbes’ Under 30 Summit. Wang is a UCLA Alumni Association Sustaining Donor and currently resides in Los Angeles. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13, and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
March 09, 2021
Joshua Arce '97 of the City & County of San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development
Joshua Arce serves as the City of San Francisco's Director of Workforce Development following his appointment by Mayor London Breed in August 2018. In this role, Arce and his department support tens of thousands of unemployed residents and workers that have been displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic, working with community-based organizations, labor unions, and employers to prepare for San Francisco's economic recovery and advance employment equity for all community members. Arce previously served in the administration of the late Mayor Ed Lee as the Director of CityBuild, San Francisco's landmark construction training program that has trained nearly 1,600 disadvantaged job seekers to become union construction apprentices since 2006. Prior to joining the City government, he spent 15 years as a civil rights attorney and labor representative for Laborers' Union Local 261, working with community members to improve employment, housing, and environmental conditions in low-income communities of color. In 2005, Arce founded civil rights non-profit Brightline Defense Project which advances sustainable communities strategies that promote job opportunities, clean energy, and affordable housing. Arce's career in public service began in 2012 with his work as the President of the San Francisco Commission on the Environment, and he currently chairs the Board of Directors of Mission Housing Development Corporation, one of the city's largest affordable housing non-profits. Arce and his wife Lisa Weissman-Ward, an Immigration Defense Attorney at the Stanford Law School Immigrants Rights Legal Clinic, live in San Francisco's Mission District with their two sons. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13, and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
February 24, 2021
Sudheer Doss '01, Ph.D. '06 of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
Sudheer Doss, Ph.D., is responsible for creating the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s data and technology vision and strategy and for all patient data generated from PanCAN’s scientific and medical affairs initiatives. He oversees a team responsible for health data organization-wide at PanCAN. Doss previously worked as director of the precision medicine practice for Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC). For more than a decade, he led PwC consulting engagements to develop and execute precision medicine strategies for stakeholders across the healthcare ecosystem. Doss’ educational background in science – specifically genomics and bioinformatics – and his professional experience in strategic and operational initiatives in precision medicine, make him a natural fit with PanCAN’s multitude of innovative scientific and clinical programs. Doss is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, where he received a Ph.D. in human genetics and bioinformatics and a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and molecular genetics. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13, and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
February 10, 2021
Kevin Brazile '80, J.D. '83 of the Los Angeles Superior Court
Judge Kevin C. Brazile’s life reflects a series of firsts — he was the first in his family to graduate from college, first to graduate from law school, the first African American division chief of the General Litigation Division of the Los Angeles County Counsel, and the first African American presiding judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court. Judge Brazile entered UCLA as a transfer student, where he excelled graduating cum laude with a B.A. in political science. A double Bruin, he earned his Juris Doctor at the UCLA Law School. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Brazile was a civil trial attorney for the Los Angeles County Counsel’s Office from 1984-2002, where he handled personal injury, employment discrimination, dangerous condition of public property, and federal civil rights litigation. He has distinguished himself in government service and has argued cases before the Ninth Circuit and the California Courts of Appeal. He was the last member of the L.A. Office of the County Counsel to successfully argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court where he received a unanimous judgment in his favor. Judge Brazile was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court in December 2003. He holds the distinction of being elected by his peers to serve as the first African American presiding judge of the largest trial court system in the nation, where he has increased the diversity in the court’s leadership to reflect the city of Los Angeles. While a student at UCLA, he received support from other graduates, and now he serves as a mentor for other Bruins, repaying the kindness and guidance that was bestowed upon him. The Hon. Kevin C. Brazile is also the recipient of the 2020 UCLA Award for Public Service. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13, and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
February 02, 2021
Craig Ehrlich '78 of the UCLA Foundation
Craig is the former chairman of the GSMA, the world’s largest trade association for the mobile industry, a position that he held for seven years. He is also former chairman of Carmel Ventures Asia, a leading venture capital company. Craig currently serves as the lead independent director of Bharti Airtel, the world’s fourth-largest telecom company, and has sat on public boards in Hong Kong, Israel, India, the Philippines, and the United States. In the Philippines, Craig was vice-chairman of publicly listed ISM and formerly a board member of publicly listed PhilWeb, the country’s leading gaming company. He served as chairman of Taiwan’s largest cable television company, kbro. Craig is also chairman and co-founder of Novare Technologies Inc., an onshoring and outsourcing software development company, based in Hong Kong that serves clients around Asia. He is also chairman of GTI Beijing, a virtual open platform that advocates cooperation among global mobile operators. Craig currently serves on the board of Israel-based company Lumos Global which provides mobile electricity to customers in Africa. Craig has been involved in Hong Kong’s communications industry since he first settled in Hong Kong in 1987. He joined Hutchison Cablevision as managing director in October 1987 and was a founding member of the team that launched STAR TV, Asia’s first satellite-delivered multichannel television network. After four years with Hutchison Whampoa, he became the group operations director at Hutchison Telecommunications and was responsible for the company’s operations in 10 countries. In 1993, Craig left the Hutchison group and established companies involved in the introduction of cable television and paging services. He sold these companies in September 1996 and started Hong Kong mobile operator. SUNDAY Communications Ltd. in November 1996. Craig was formerly a board member of ECI (NASDAQ) Hutchison Telecom Group, Roamware, and ITU Telecom. He is also a member of UCLA/Peking University Joint Research Institute Advisory Committee and former board chair as well as a founding member of Center for Global Management at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. In 2015, Craig became a member of the UCLA Foundation Board and subsequently its Executive Committee. He established the Norma Ehrlich Scholarship Fund, which to date has helped 65 women attend UCLA, all from California public schools. He is also a former student body president at UCLA. Craig holds a B.A. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, a master’s degree from Occidental College, and a postgraduate fellowship with the Coro Foundation. He resided in Hong Kong for 29 years and now splits his time between Los Angeles and Hong Kong. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13, and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
January 28, 2021
Max Barnes '16 of the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development
Maximilian "Max" Barnes ’16 is the Communications Manager at the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) where he leads media + public relations, press around new housing developments, internal communications, and much more. He frequently writes speeches and prepares talking points for a number of local elected officials and Eric Shaw, director of the agency and a fellow Bruin. He was previously the agency's senior communications associate. Prior to the Mayor’s Office, he worked in communications for the San Francisco Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure, focusing on development efforts in a few of San Francisco's neighborhoods, including Bayview/Hunters Point and Mission Bay. In addition to serving the people of San Francisco, Max dabbles in recreational softball, enjoys sparkling americanos, and walking his rescue dog, Nico. Max graduated in 2016 with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in urban and regional planning from the Luskin School. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
January 21, 2021
Career Tips for a New Year
As we all start a new year and reflect on all the change 2020 brought us, Bruin Success is here to support you in exploring, clarifying, and achieving new career goals you have in mind for the year. In this episode, our host Katie will share some career tips on self-reflection, resume gaps due to 2020, resume recommendations, interviewing tips for success, and networking. Remember to celebrate any and all wins you’ve gained over the last year, and kick-off 2021 in the right way by taking control of your career direction. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
January 15, 2021
Leslie Gilbert-Lurie '81, J.D. '84 of Human Rights Watch
Leslie Gilbert-Lurie is a lawyer, human rights and children’s rights advocate, author, philanthropist, and former television executive. She is also an active member of the DNC National Finance Committee and the Biden for President Southwest Finance Committee. Leslie is a member of the International Board of Directors of Human Rights Watch (HRW), where she is Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee. She is also the Past Co-Chair of HRW’s Los Angeles Committee and a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy. As a Founding Board Member and past Board Chair of the Alliance for Children’s Rights, Leslie has been instrumental in guiding a leading legal rights organization for abused, at-risk, and foster youth. In further advance of child welfare reform, Gilbert-Lurie served as the Vice-Chair of the Los Angeles Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Welfare, which led to widespread policy change in Los Angeles County. Leslie has worked to improve public education in a variety of settings. She is a member of the UCLA Foundation Board of Directors, and Chair of its Nominating and Governance Committee. She is a member of the Board of Advisors to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and the UCLA School of Law. As a student at UCLA, she was the Student Regent on the Board of Regents of the University of California. She also served for over a decade on the Los Angeles County Board of Education, and she was President of the Board for three terms. Gilbert-Lurie’s memoir, Bending Toward the Sun, published by Harper Collins, chronicles her mother's experience in the Holocaust and the intergenerational transmission of trauma. She has spoken in a variety of countries and across the US about the book, the Holocaust, and its implications for the world. Leslie spent her earlier career as a television executive at NBC, where she oversaw NBC Productions and the comedy division, co-wrote television episodes for Alf and Saved by the Bell, and co-founded an in-house production company, Lurie-Horwits Productions. She later consulted for USA Network and Disney Television. As a lawyer, Gilbert-Lurie worked at the law firm of Manatt, Phelps, Rothenberg and Tunney, and she served as a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Law Clerk for Judge Harry Pregerson. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
December 08, 2020
Araceli Almazan '04 of Alvarez-Glassman & Colvin
Araceli Almazan ’04, Senior Associate at Alvarez-Glassman & Colvin (AGC), represents municipal entities and public entity clients in all areas of civil litigation, handling both litigation and transactional matters. She currently serves as Deputy City Attorney for the cities of Commerce, Pico Rivera, Montebello, Lynwood, Huntington Park, Norwalk and Buena Park, and as Special Counsel for the City of Santa Ana. Prior to joining AGC, Araceli represented employers in various areas of employment, including wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Araceli also worked for a healthcare litigation firm, where she represented major California healthcare providers. She has taken on leadership roles with the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the California State Bar, and the American Bar Association. Araceli earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Davis. She also earned a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in public policy from Columbia University and a second master’s degree in public affairs with a concentration in Management from The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Araceli is past president of the UCLA Alumni Southeast Network, active with the First Gen Alumni Network, a member of the Chancellor’s Society and currently serves on the UCLA Alumni Association Board of Directors. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
November 03, 2020
John Arboleda '96 of Adobe
John Arboleda ’96 has been based in Europe since 2004, and currently resides in Barcelona, Spain, where he serves as the Head of Primary & Secondary (K12) Education across EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) for Adobe. In his role John engages and collaborates with Adobe education teams, customers and partners to deliver growth in the education sector across EMEA. Before Adobe, John’s experience spans a 20+ year career in international education and most recently served as the Director of Special Projects & Innovation at one of Europe’s leading design schools, Istituto Europeo di Design (IED). And, for several years he owned and operated a consultancy that applied human-centered innovation using service design focused on helping clients to develop a more user-centric approach. John has also held leadership roles at ESADE Business School (Spain), the University of California Office of the President, and Goethe University (Germany). John has served for two years as the Alumni Relations co-chair and planning committee member for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Europe Annual Conference, as a founding committee member for the ICARe alumni conference and was also co-chaired for the CASE International K12 Schools Advancement Conference. John graduated from the Coro Fellowship in Leadership & Public Affairs, and is a UCLA first-gen, transfer and study abroad student that graduated cum laude with a degree in Latin American Studies. John serves on the UCLA Alumni Association Board of Directors. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
October 27, 2020
Paco Retana ’87, M.S.W. ’90 of Wellnest
Paco Retana ’87, M.S.W. ’90 has been serving the vulnerable youth and marginalized communities in Los Angeles for nearly 30 years. As a recognized mental health expert and vice president of programs at Wellnest (formerly Los Angeles Child Guidance Center), he is responsible for all clinical programs, including strategic planning, program evaluation and training in support of Wellnest’s mission to provide quality mental health services, promoting early intervention and ensuring easy access for a community in great need by initiating and implementing program changes to meet new funding streams for innovative prevention programs. Additionally, Paco has served as a consultant for numerous community organizations and educational institutions including First 5 LA, Watts Gang Task Force, Green Dot Public Schools and the Santa Ana Unified School District, providing professional development training, psychological and facilitation services, counseling, education and crisis intervention. Paco is the former co-chair of the Latino Underserved Cultural Communities for DMH, he is a former voting member of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH) System Leadership Team, and former co-chair of the Service Area Advisory Committee for South Los Angeles. Paco serves on the UCLA Order of the Blue Shield and as a Luskin Senior Fellow. He is also a Gold Member of the Alumni Association. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
October 20, 2020
Cathy Choi '96 of The Eisner Foundation
Cathy Choi is senior director of programs at The Eisner Foundation, overseeing the planning, strategic development and distribution of $7 million in annual grants. She develops grantee relationships during and after the grant-making process and works to build organizational sustainability among the foundation’s partners, promoting innovative practices and creative solutions to social justice challenges in Los Angeles and beyond. Cathy has more than 20 years of diverse professional experience in philanthropy and the nonprofit and public sectors. Before joining The Eisner Foundation, she was a program officer at the California Community Foundation (CCF), managing a number of special grant programs covering issues such as access to health care, arts education, youth programs and historic preservation. In addition to her professional experience, Cathy’s volunteer service includes leadership roles with Asian American/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, Southern California Public Radio, Korean American Coalition, the Democratic National Convention (2000) and The Advisory Council on Democratic and Peaceful Unification, Republic of Korea. Cathy received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from UCLA and Master’s in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs at Syracuse University. During her days at UCLA, Cathy served as Vice President of Undergraduate Business Society (UBS) and an active leader for various campus ministry and community outreach efforts. Cathy is member of the UCLA Alumni Association Board of Directors and a Gold Member. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
October 13, 2020
Vito Costanzo '84 of Holland & Knight
Vito A. Costanzo is a partner in the litigation section of the Los Angeles office of Holland & Knight, where he assists technology companies in protecting their intellectual property rights. Costanzo was formerly employed as a trial attorney by the Los Angeles County District Attorneys’ office. He is an active speaker and author and is the recipient of several client service awards, including the BTI Client Service All-Stars Award for the years 2014, 2016 and 2017. Costanzo has a B.A. in economics from UCLA and a law degree from Loyola Law School. Costanzo is a Gold Member of the Alumni Association. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
October 06, 2020
Cheryl Lott '01, J.D. '04, UCLA Alumni Association President
Cheryl Lott ’01, J.D. ’04 represents corporate clients, banks, mortgage companies and other financial institutions in both state and federal court. Her practice focuses on general business and commercial litigation, as well as construction defect litigation, toxic tort defense, class action defense, special assets related litigation, and labor and employment litigation. She has significant experience in preparing all aspects of a case for trial or arbitration. Cheryl also has extensive experience working on local, state, and federal regulatory matters and government procurement matters. In the regulatory realm, she has significant experience assisting financial institution clients with Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering detection procedures. Cheryl chairs the Firm’s Los Angeles litigation department and serves on the Firm's Pro Bono Committee and Diversity Committee. While at UCLA Law, Cheryl served as co-chair for the Black Law Students Association, inter-organizational chair for La Raza Law Students Association, managing editor for the Chicano Latino Law Review and convention coordinator for the National Black Law Students Association-Western Region. Cheryl is a member of the UCLA School of Law Alumni Board and is a founding member of the UCLA Law Women LEAD Board. Cheryl received her B.A. in political science and African American studies, with a minor in Chicano studies at UCLA, and her Juris Doctorate with a concentration in Critical Race Studies and Specialization in Corporate Law. ----- Between the pandemic and recent social injustices, our Bruin community has been deeply impacted by the challenges of managing and processing the day-to-day information and news we receive. We understand you may feel a wide range of emotions or experience frustrations that come and go without explanation or do not even make any sense. Please know there are resources available through UCLA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Counseling and Psychological Services and the RISE Center. You can read statements from UCLA Alumni Association President, Cheryl Lott, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, and the University of California Office of the President. For more information on the resources available to students and alumni through the UCLA Alumni Association, visit UCLA Alumni Career Engagement and UCLA Alumni Diversity Programs and Initiatives webpages. ----- Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
June 15, 2020
Steve O'Dell & Robbie Page '14 of Tenzo Tea
Steve O’Dell and Robbie Page '14 are the founders of Tenzo Tea, a lifestyle brand founded on the belief of better energy for the mind and body. Steve is the CEO and Robbie is CMO. Steve’s years as a D1 college athlete & entrepreneur taught him the importance of energy and nutrition for max performance, which ultimately led him to a drink called matcha green tea. Steve partnered with UCLA teammate and lifelong friend, Robbie Page, to start Tenzo Tea, share matcha with the world, and give back to those who need it most. As the head of operations, Steve has built the engine from ground zero to serving over 20 million cups of Tenzo across the world. Robbie’s years as a D1 college athlete & professional volleyball player taught him the importance of energy and nutrition for max performance, which ultimately led him to a drink called matcha green tea. Robbie joined forces with UCLA teammate and lifelong friend, Steve O’Dell, to start Tenzo Tea, share matcha with the world and give back to those who need it most. Since its founding in 2017, Tenzo Tea has sold over 20 million servings of its proprietary blend of matcha through two main channels: e-commerce subscription and wholesale partnerships. As head of e-commerce and content, Robbie has led the acquisition of thousands of “Tenzo Tribe” subscribers with a focus on sales funnels, brand development, product design, and customer experience. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
June 08, 2020
David Eisman '92 of Goldman Sachs
David Eisman '92 is head of the Northwest Region and co-head of the firm’s West Region Advisory Group in the Investment Banking Division. He has worked with many of the firm's most important clients in the Retail, Consumer and Food sectors. David has also been involved in the firm's coverage of financial sponsors. He joined Goldman Sachs in 1998 in the Mergers & Acquisitions Department in New York. In 2002, David joined Investment Banking Services, and in 2008, he relocated to Los Angeles. In 2017, David relocated to the Seattle office. He was named managing director in 2005 and partner in 2010. Prior to joining the firm, David worked at the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell. He serves on the Board of Directors of The UCLA Foundation. David earned a BA and MA in Philosophy from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1992, and a JD from Columbia Law School in 1995. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
May 25, 2020
Suzanne Seplow, Ed.D. '01 of UCLA Student Affairs
Suzanne Seplow Ed.D. '01 is the Assistant Vice Chancellor, Student Development. The areas within Student Development provide programs and services designed to support students reach their full potential and achieve their life goals. The departments within Student Development that Suzanne oversees are the Bruin Resource Center (BRC), Campus and Student Resilience, the Career Center, Center for Accessible Education (CAE), Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), First-Year Experience (FYE), Graduate Student Resource Center (GSRC) and Residential Life. Suzanne’s passion for developing inclusive communities that engage students in the fostering of their academic success, personal growth, leadership development, social responsibility and career aspirations is captured in each of the areas she has the privilege to work within Student Development. Originally from Newton, NJ, Suzanne received her Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Sciences/Biology with a concentration in Education from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. She went on to receive her Master’s from Teachers College, Columbia University in Student Personnel Administration. After 9 years as a practitioner working at the University of New Hampshire, Dickinson College and UCLA, Suzanne returned back to academia. In 2001, she earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from UCLA. Suzanne started at UCLA in 1995 and hasn’t left! She feels very fortunate to have grown her career here at UCLA. Seppy is a Bruin, through and through! Suzanne also enjoys being in the classroom and has taught in the Fiat Lux, Honors and the Masters in Student Affairs (MSA) programs. She continues to teach Identity Development Theory for the MSA program and serves as a Faculty in Residence. Family is everything to Suzanne. She is blessed with her partner Robin, for over 25 years, and their beautiful children, Tesfanesh and Elsae. Suzanne enjoys sports (now watching more than playing!), card games, and family adventures. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
May 18, 2020
Peter Taylor '80 of ECMC Foundation
Peter Taylor '80 has been the president of ECMC Foundation since May 2014. During his tenure, he has overseen more than $165 million of grants and PRI investments in initiatives affecting higher education outcomes, especially among underserved student populations. The major area of focus for the Foundation has been career technical education. He recently did a TedxTalk on this subject at UCLA in May 2019. Before joining ECMC Foundation, Mr. Taylor served as executive vice president and chief financial officer for the University of California system. During his time there, he oversaw aspects of financial management at the 10 campuses and the five academic medical centers. Most of Mr. Taylor's professional career was in investment banking, with nearly 16 years in municipal finance banking for Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital, where he was managing director for the Fixed Income Group. Before obtaining his master’s degree, he spent six years on the legislative staff of the California State Assembly Majority Leader working at the state capitol in Sacramento. Mr. Taylor is an appointee of Governor Jerry Brown to the Board of Trustees of the California State University system, where he chairs the Educational Policy Committee after two years as chair of the Finance Committee. He also serves on the boards of Edison International, Pacific Life, the Parsons Foundation and the Kaiser Family Foundation, where he chairs the Investment Committee. In his various volunteer roles, he previously served as president of the UCLA Alumni Association Board of Directors, the Chair of the James Irvine Foundation Board of Directors, the alumni representative on the UC Board of Regents, the Chair of the UCLA Foundation Board of Directors, a board member of the J. Paul Getty Trust where he chaired the Audit Committee, and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board. Mr. Taylor is an accomplished speaker and author, with a particular focus on the role of career and technical education (CTE) in closing the skills gap—a central challenge facing our nation's economy—and the need for a collective effort among stakeholders to break down the stigma that holds CTE and its students back. His perspective has been published by The Washington Post, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, The Hill, the Dallas Morning News, the Detroit News and InsideSources. Mr. Taylor received his undergraduate degree from UCLA, his Master’s Degree from Claremont Graduate University, and a certificate in public affairs from Coro Southern California. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
May 11, 2020
Elisabeth Michaels '09 of Facebook
Elisabeth Michaels graduated from UCLA in 2009 with a B.A. in Political Science. She currently leads Strategy & Operations for the AR/VR (Augmented and Virtual Reality) Global Sales organization at Facebook. In this role she runs strategy, business, executive communication and management initiatives for a team across 10+ offices globally. Prior to Facebook, Elisabeth held roles across Sales, Strategy and Marketing over the course of 8 years at Google. She completed her Master’s degree at the Oxford Internet Institute directly after graduating from UCLA, focused on technology and politics. Elisabeth is passionate about driving diversity and inclusion in technology. She is a Steering Committee Lead for the Women of AR/VR Education Committee at Facebook and volunteers with YearUp, where she empowers young adults from non-traditional backgrounds to build careers in technology. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
May 04, 2020
Monique Billings of the WNBA
Fashion-forward, athletic, cultured and full of personality. All of these traits describe WNBA player, Monique Billings. Born on May 2, 1996, Monique isn't a stranger to being an underdog. Many underestimated her talent and counted her out, but she proved them all wrong when she was drafted by the Atlanta Dream in the 2018 WNBA Draft. Most are not afforded the opportunity to do something they love, which is something Monique recognizes. This is why she took full of advantage of the opportunities presented to her during her student-athlete journey at UCLA. While attending the university, Monique discovered and explored her love for sports broadcasting, modeling and self-improvement. Always looking to inspire and empower others, Monique aims to be a voice and light for women and girls trying to figure out everyday life just like she is. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
April 27, 2020
D'Artagnan Scorza '07, Ph.D. '13 of the Social Justice Learning Institute
D'Artagnan Scorza '07, Ph.D. '13 and his work is grounded in efforts to create communities where all people can thrive. His expansive research, education, grassroots organizing, and policy experience has made a significant impact in high need communities throughout California. While at UCLA, he helped pass policies that established veteran’s service centers and prioritized $160 million for student services across UC campuses. He also improved sustainability in Inglewood schools, having served as chair of the Measure GG campaign, where he helped to secure $90 million to support school construction efforts. He is published in multiple academic journals and is a lecturer in the Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA. In his role as the Founder and Executive Director of the Social Justice Learning Institute, Dr. Scorza empowers individuals to become leaders who rise up, create change and help their communities flourish. His current service on the Inglewood Unified School District Board of Education and the UCLA Alumni Association Board further illustrates his desire to scale up solutions that improve educational outcomes for all students. Dr. Scorza is a US Navy Iraq War Veteran. He received a B.S. in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Business Management from National University, as well as a B.A. in the Study of Religion and a Ph.D. in Education from UCLA. He is a UC Regent Emeritus, was a 2010 Education Pioneers Fellow, and was a 2013 Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) Fellow. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
April 20, 2020
La'Tonya Rease Miles, Ph.D. '04 of UCLA
La'Tonya Rease Miles, Ph.D. '04 is the Executive Director of First-Year Experience at UCLA, where she works collaboratively with Residential Life, Student Affairs departments more generally and academic departments campus-wide to develop initiatives and to increase awareness of the first-year experience on campus. Dr. Miles has established two successful programs for first-generation college students—one at UCLA and the other at Loyola Marymount University—both recognized for national Best Practices. Prior to this position, La'Tonya was the Director of the Academic Resource Center at Loyola Marymount University where she also spearheaded campus-wide initiatives that address student food insecurity and worked closely with the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education to establish travel abroad pathways for students of color and first-generation college students. She earned a Ph.D. in American literature from UCLA; and her research interests include the hidden curriculum in higher education, narratives about the first-generation college experience, and the relationship of physical space and college student engagement. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
April 13, 2020
Todd Sargent '96 of Walt Disney Parks, Experiences & Products
Todd Sargent ’96 leads talent and organizational development solutions for The Walt Disney Company’s Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products segment, solving complex human capital challenges and implementing innovative change strategies. Prior to his role at Disney, he spent 16 years in the management consulting industry. He served for five years as president the City of Los Angeles Innovation and Performance Commission and is now a board member of the City of Los Angeles Civil Service Commission. As a student, Todd was a leader in the Undergraduate Student Association Council (USAC), Office of Residential Life (ORL), Student Alumni Association (SAA), and a founding father of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. Todd received the UCLA Chancellor’s Service Award at graduation. He remained involved as an Alumni Scholar Mentor, Alumni Representative for USAC, co-chair of Lambda Alumni Network, and Advocate (President) of the Order of the Golden Bruin (OGB). He regularly participates in a number of Alumni Association programs, including Dinner for 12 Strangers, Interview with a Bruin, and Entertainment Networking Night. He’s currently serving his second term with the UCLA Alumni Association Board. In addition to his UCLA degree in political science, Todd holds an MBA from the George Washington University School of Business. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
April 06, 2020
Jamika Martin '17 of ROSEN Skincare
Jamika Martin '17 is the founder of ROSEN Skincare, a clean beauty brand for people with acne-prone skin. After years of dealing with difficult skin and a lackluster selection of solutions, Jamika began formulating products while studying Business Economics at UCLA. Upon graduating in 2017, she pursued ROSEN full time in the Startup UCLA Summer Accelerator program. Since launching, Jamika has grown ROSEN Skincare on a bootstrapped budget to thousands of customers and secured partners such as Urban Outfitters, FabFitFun and the Target Takeoff Beauty Accelerator. Jamika is passionate about building thoughtful and meaningful brands while finding balance and taking time for yourself. Her goal is to continue to scale ROSEN as a profitable business heading toward an acquisition while allowing flexibility, peace, and mindfulness for herself and all those involved in the journey. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
March 29, 2020
Stephen Mendoza '18 of Wells Fargo
Stephen Mendoza '18 is a proud product of the Santa Ana public school system. His experience growing up in a poor, underprivileged community motivated him to learn more about finance in hopes of providing his family with the financial stability he never had growing up. This passion brought him to UCLA, a school he unquestionably believes is the best school in the country. While at UCLA, he worked with organizations aimed to help marginalized communities such as Furnish the Homeless and Career Closet. After graduating from UCLA in 2018, Stephen has been working as a Financial Analyst with Wells Fargo’s Restaurant Finance Team in San Diego. Outside of work, Stephen maintains his commitment to his hometown serving as an Ambassador for the Project Youth OCBF organization, an organization dedicated to matching at-risk youth with professional business internships. As a current UCLA Anderson Riordan Programs MBA Fellow, Stephen plans to earn an MBA in the future to pursue his passion for Social Entrepreneurship. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
February 07, 2020
Nurit Katz, MBA/MPP '08 of UCLA
As UCLA’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, Nurit Katz, MBA/MPP ’08 works to foster partnerships among academic, research, and operational departments to create a world-class living laboratory for sustainability. She also serves as Executive Officer for Facilities Management, which provides a wide range of services including the maintenance and renovation of buildings, grounds and utility infrastructure. Additionally, she is an Instructor for UCLA Extension and Lecturer for UCLA’s Institute of Environment and Sustainability. Nurit holds an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, a Masters in Public Policy from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, and a BA in Environmental Education from Humboldt State University. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
January 21, 2020
Paul Viviano, MPA '76 of Children's Hospital Los Angeles
In 2015, Paul Viviano, MPA ’76 accepted his current role as President and CEO of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). Prior to this position, he served as the CEO of UC San Diego Health System and Vice-Chancellor of UCSD Health Sciences. Before UCSD, he was board chairman and CEO of Alliance HealthCare Services, and President and CEO of USC University Hospital and USC/Norris Cancer Hospital. Viviano now serves in leadership capacities on various community boards and health care organizations. He is chairman of the Board of Directors for the California Children’s Hospital Association (CCHA) and a member of the Children’s Hospital Association, where he serves on the Public Policy Committee and as chair of CEO National Advisory Committee. Paul also serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees at Loyola Marymount University. He was named a 2016 Leader of Today Honoree by the Health Policy and Management Alumni Association of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health; and one of the LA500, LA's Most-Influential in 2018 and 2017 by the Los Angeles Business Journal. Additionally, he’s the incoming President of the UCLA Health Policy and Management Alumni Association Board of Directors. Paul holds a Bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara and a Master's degree in Public Administration and Public Health from UCLA. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
January 06, 2020
Anna Lee Fisher '71, M.D. '76, M.S. '87 of NASA
Anna Lee Fisher '71, M.D. '76, M.S. '87 is a famous chemist, physician and astronaut and an amazing Triple Bruin with 3 degrees from UCLA. Dr. Fisher was also the 2019 distinguished UCLA College Commencement speaker. She was selected by NASA in 1978 to be among the agency’s first female astronauts. In 1983, just two weeks before delivering her daughter, she was assigned to her flight on the space shuttle Discovery, and she embarked on mission STS-51A in 1984 when her daughter was just 14 months old – making her the first mother in space. After logging 192 spaceflight hours, she returned to UCLA to get her Master’s in chemistry in 1987. She served NASA in several capacities throughout her career. In addition to serving on space missions, Fisher was the Chief of the Astronaut Office’s Space Station branch, where she had a significant role in building the foundation for the International Space Station. She also worked in the mission control center as a lead communicator to the space station. Before retiring from NASA in 2017, Anna Lee was a management astronaut working on display development for NASA’s pioneering Orion spacecraft, which will take astronauts farther into the solar system than they have ever gone. Lastly, Dr. Fisher is one of UCLA’s iconic alumni featured in its Optimists campaign. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
December 06, 2019
Jake Rosen '16 of Hulu
Jake Rosen '16 is an Account Manager at Hulu working within the Advertising Sales organization. He was previously a Sales Planner within the Pricing and Planning team. Prior to Hulu, he joined Rubin Postaer & Associates as a Digital Marketing Coordinator, where he ran the digital efforts for clients such as Honda, Los Angeles Clippers, Intuit, and Apartments.com. A New Jersey transplant, he graduated from UCLA in 2016 with his B.A. in English. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
November 20, 2019
Vishaka Sriniwasan '16 of Amgen
Vishaka Sriniwasan '16 is a Sr. Associate Business Analyst at Amgen in their Information Systems group. She graduated from UCLA with a major in Computational and Systems Biology, and a minor in Global Studies in 2016. At UCLA, Vishaka cared passionately about creating a community of innovative thinkers in the Med-Tech space, and founded the on-campus organization, Bruin Medical Entrepreneurs. She was also involved with the UCLA Undergraduate Science Journal and was a computational research assistant at the California Nanosystems Institute. Vishaka interned with multiple start-ups, and then at Amgen, which led to her first job as Associate Information Systems Analyst in Amgen's Research Informatics group. In this role, she interacted closely with scientists to develop technical solutions to optimize their research process. In March 2019, Vishaka was promoted and has since worked with the global clinical trials and enterprise IT teams at Amgen. She was born and brought up in Mumbai, India, and moved to the US for her UCLA undergraduate education. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
November 06, 2019
J.J. Lee '13 of L'Oréal
J.J. Lee '13 studied Computational and Systems Biology and graduated in 2013. Currently, she is a program manager at L'Oréal’s technology incubator where they create programs and technology-driven devices and products to offer consumers more personalized products. She recently helped launch Color and Co, a personalized hair color service delivered to your door. Today, she is working on a new project for Clarisonic skincare devices. Before her time at L'Oréal, she worked in product development, specializing in formulation for Sephora, Kendo brands – Marc Jacobs Beauty, Kat Von D and Formula X nail. In hopes to understand more about cosmetic testing and FDA regulation, she went on to receive an M.S. in Biostatistics at Columbia University. As a true beauty, trend and science enthusiast, J.J. strives to innovate in both technology and cosmetics. You can usually find her on a plane in between Seattle, NYC, Paris, and San Francisco. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
July 29, 2019
Jared Richmond '11 of Wasserman
Jared Richmond '11 believes in the power of positive thinking. He is persuasive with a natural strength in relationship building. He is a student, both of business and popular culture. Originally from Northern California, his Bay Area origins have kept him grounded and have created a strong work ethic and fine-tuned moral compass. Los Angeles has allowed him to dream big. Jared tackles his goals with amazing precision and relentless effort. He is always looking to find a way to have his love for culture collide with his business skills to maximize the network he’s created. Right now he works as a Senior Account Manager for Wasserman's The Agency in Westwood. Jared graduated from UCLA in 2011 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, and later went on to earn an MBA from Loyola Marymount University in 2016. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
July 08, 2019
Johnathan Franklin '12 of Los Angeles Rams
Johnathan Franklin '12 is a Los Angeles native heading into his 4th season in Community Affairs and Engagement for the Los Angeles Rams. Franklin describes his role as using the power of football as a platform to develop youth into the future leaders of society and reassuring that all members of the community can rise to prosperity while providing hope where it doesn’t exist and maintaining it where it does. Prior to joining the Los Angeles Rams, Franklin worked at the University of Notre Dame in Student Welfare and Development. Franklin’s role consisted of working directly with all 26 athletic teams developing and sustaining relationships to create community service opportunities for individual student-athletes and entire athletic teams. Johnathan also had a short stint in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers and spent time serving in a rotational program after retirement. Franklin also had a standout athletic career at UCLA – he still leads the Bruins in all-purpose and career rushing yards, along with having the 7th most career rushing yards in PAC 12 history. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
June 24, 2019
Patrick Fontenette '16 of Game Seven Marketing
Patrick Fontenette '16 is a Production Coordinator at Game Seven Marketing. Channeling his creative and entrepreneurial spirit, Patrick has utilized his degree to launch a career in entertainment and event production. He started at Universal Cable Productions and has since worked on a variety of impressive shows such as Black-ish and Grown-ish with Disney ABC Television Group. He also supported the production of commercial shoots while working as a Freelance Production Assistant for Beats by Dre. His experiences have brought him to his current position as Production Coordinator at Game Seven Marketing here in Los Angeles. Patrick continues to utilize the skills he has developed in marketing, problem-solving, communication and understanding of social and cultural trends to excel in his career. Patrick graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in Film Production. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
June 17, 2019
Jasmine Yen '15 of Warner Bros. Entertainment
Jasmine Yen '15 is an Associate Recruiter for Warner Bros. Entertainment. In her role, Jasmine is responsible for various aspects of the recruitment process including sourcing and screening applicants, scheduling interviews with recruiters or hiring teams and conducting exploratory and position-specific interviews. In addition to talent acquisition, Jasmine manages the Warner Bros. Careers social media platforms, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Jasmine graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
June 12, 2019
Jordyn Wieber '17 of UCLA Gymnastics
Jordyn Wieber '17 is an Olympic Gold Medalist and former Assistant Coach for UCLA Gymnastics. A member of the “Fierce Five” United States squad that won team gold at the 2012 Olympics, Jordyn was a two-time U.S. all-around champion (2011 and 2012) and the 2011 World all-around champion. Jordyn graduated from UCLA in 2017 with a degree in Psychology and is taking over as head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks women’s gymnastics team next season. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
June 03, 2019
Greg Wolf '94 of CBS News
Greg Wolf '94 is a studio anchor & play-by-play announcer for Fox Sports 1 & PAC-12 Networks, having hosted the flagship shows on both networks. At FS1, he continues to work as a studio host for college football and basketball. He is also a play-by-play announcer for college football, basketball, tennis and more. Additionally, he works locally in the L.A. market covering sports for KCAL9/CBS2. Greg graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
May 20, 2019
Jennifer Ferro '91 of KCRW
Jennifer Ferro '91 is President of KCRW, a Los Angeles-based public radio station known around the world for its curation of music, public affairs and cultural programming. As President, Jennifer has worked to transform the institution from Southern California’s flagship public radio station to a worldwide digital content distributor that seeks to build community through the discovery of music, news and culture both in person, online and on the air. Jennifer graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Political Science. Bruin Success is hosted by Katie Russo, produced by Christian Chavez '13 and made possible by UCLA Alumni.
May 11, 2019
What is Bruin Success?
Welcome to Bruin Success, the newest podcast to hit the UCLA campus and Bruin community. We’re here to deliver “life after UCLA” stories from fellow Bruins who have graduated and gone on to conquer the world in diverse industries all around the globe. Every Bruin has unique passions, interests, and experiences that have shaped their life path and career trajectory. Our goal is to share those stories and career journeys from other Bruins just like you. Subscribe to the podcast, connect with us on social media and listen in for advice and wisdom from UCLA alumni as you find your own success.
May 11, 2019