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City Year Los Angeles Board

Local community and business leaders work together to advance our mission to ensure public schools are places all students can thrive.

Glenn Gritzner
City Year Los Angeles Board Chair Partner, Actum Public Affairs

Glenn Gritzner is a Partner at Actum, specializing in political outreach, policy analysis, communication and media strategy, education, and urban planning and development issues. Since founding the Los Angeles office in 2009, Gritzner has spearheaded its growth and plays an integral role in its operation and management. He has overseen external advocacy and outreach for billions of dollars in development projects, including the largest development in the history of Hollywood, and overseen crisis communications efforts and media training for a wide array of corporate and nonprofit clients.

Previously, Gritzner served as Special Assistant to the Superintendent and Director of External Affairs for the Los Angeles Unified School District, with primary responsibility for political messaging, outreach, and communication strategy. Gritzner was also the District’s point person for the four largest local school bond campaigns in U.S. history, raising over $16 billion to construct and repair schools. Gritzner co-founded the Southern California Transportation and Land Use Coalition and was also Editor of The Planning Report and Metro Investment Report, two of Southern California’s leading publications on local policy and political issues. Gritzner serves on the Board of Heart of Los Angeles Youth, an after school youth development and education program. He was an Appointee to the Citizens’ Unit for Participation in Housing and Community Development, providing citizen oversight for over $165 million in annual Community Development Block Grant money. Gritzner was a member of the Los Angeles Affordable Housing Crisis Task Force, which led to the creation of the City’s $100 million Housing Trust Fund. He is an alumnus of the American Council of Young Political Leaders and was named a member of “Generation Next: The Movers and Shakers Shaping Politics” by the Los Angeles Downtown News. Gritzner received his BA in Communication Studies from UCLA, where he graduated Magna cum laude, and earned his Masters in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

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Jim Burtson
President, Creative Artists Agency

Since January 2021, Jim Burtson is the President of Creative Artist’s Agency (“CAA”). Jim leads the company’s strategy for the growth and evolution of CAA’s representation business and the continued diversification of the company. Previously, from July 2015, Mr. Burtson served as Chief Financial Officer.

Prior to joining CAA, Mr. Burtson served as Time Warner, Inc.’s Senior Vice President, overseeing the company’s global mergers and acquisitions efforts. At Time Warner, Jim led the spin-offs of Time Warner Cable, AOL and Time Inc. that transformed the company into the focused content and networks media enterprise it is today. In addition, Jim oversaw multiple strategic networks, content, and new media acquisitions and investments. Previously, he led Time Warner’s Investor Relations initiatives, earning the company Institutional Investor magazine’s highest ranking in the sector. Prior to re-joining Time Warner in 2002, Jim spent four years at Clear Channel Communications (and its predecessor companies), where he served as vice president of strategic development and CFO of the company’s online business. He previously worked for J.P. Morgan as an investment banker and began his career at Time Warner working in corporate finance and M&A. Jim earned his M.B.A. and B.A. from Columbia University.

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Dwight Caines
President of Domestic Marketing, Universal Pictures

Dwight Caines serves as the President of Domestic Marketing for Universal
Pictures where he is responsible for all areas of the domestic marketing department at Universal, and directly oversees media, digital marketing, multicultural marketing, data analytics and publicity. Caines previously served as the President of marketing at Sony Pictures Entertainment. In his various roles as a marketer, Caines has worked on hundreds of movies including global franchises such as James Bond, Spider-man, Jurassic World and The Fast and the Furious Saga.

Caines is Co-Chair of the Universal Pictures Inclusion Committee which strives to enhance a commitment to diversity equity and inclusion among the workforce and its creative endeavors. Caines graduated from the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University with a Bachelors Degree in Television, Radio and Film production. As an alum, Caines gives back to the school as a mentor and instructor in Newhouse’s Los Angeles Program where he teaches marketing. Caines has been an active member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences Marketing and Public Relations Branch since 2010.

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Kevin Demoff
Chief Operating Officer of Football Operations, Los Angeles Rams

Kevin Demoff is in his 13th year as Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice Presidentof Football Operations with the Rams In this capacity, Demoff serves as the team’s top front office executive and liaison to owner and chairman, Stan Kroenke, on all organizational matters.

After serving on the working group that helped Kroenke return the Rams home to L.A., Demoff is now playing a significant role in deliveringon Kroenke’s vision to design and construct the 298-acre sports and entertainment district in Inglewood. As part of his vision, Demoff spearheaded the organization’s efforts to become one of the strongest philanthropic partners in professional sports. That focus has led the team to being named the “2010 St. Louis Philanthropic Organization of the Year.” One of the hallmarks of the Rams’ community outreach efforts is the team’s Staff Day of Service program. Introduced by Demoff in 2009, each month the team’s front office staff takes time out of the office to volunteer with local non-profits. The cornerstone volunteer effort of the Staff Day of Service program is the team’s annual community improvement project that includes staff, players and cheerleaders. The Rams have funded and built new playgrounds for Woodworth Elementary School in Inglewood (2016), Figueroa Street Elementary in Watts (2017) and Twentieth Street elementary school in Downtown LA (2018).

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Erik Feig
Founder and President, PICTURESTART

Erik Feig is the founder and CEO of PICTURESTART, a media company specializing in premium Discovery of Voice content for worldwide engagement across all platforms. An independent company, PICTURESTART is backed by a consortium of best-in-class media investors and strategic partners and is in business with almost every studio and streaming outlet.

Prior to founding PICTURESTART, Erik served as co-president of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group until April 2018 as well as president of Summit Entertainment. He produced, supervised and originated the production of Academy Award-winning films including La La Land and The Hurt Locker, along with book adaptations and films geared toward the youth market, including The Twilight Saga, The Hunger Games series, Divergent series, Red series and Step Up series. According to The New York Times, “Feig has built a reputation among book authors for cinematic adaptations.” As of 2017, films he has supervised or produced have collectively grossed over $13 billion at the box office worldwide. In 2017, Erik was named to Variety’s 500 list of the most influential people in the entertainment industry. He is a board member of the Columbia University School of the Arts, City Year Los Angeles, Represent Us, the MOCA Acquisition and Collection committee, and an ambassador for the ReFrame Project.

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Laura Fox

During her career in the entertainment industry, Laura was responsible for overseeing business and legal affairs for the DreamWorks SKG movie division, and was the VP of Legal Affairs for Walt Disney Pictures and Touchstone Pictures. She currently teaches in the field of social enterprise at the USC Marshall School of Business.

Laura has served on many nonprofit boards, and is currently the Board Chair of P.S. Arts and a member of the boards of City Year Los Angeles and Visionary Women. In addition, she serves on a number of advisory councils including Human Rights Watch Los Angeles Committee, University of Michigan LSA Dean’s Advisory Council and Common Sense Media Los Angeles Advisory Council. She received a B.A. in Political Science and Psychology from the University of Michigan, and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.

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Jennifer Gonring
CEO, Gonring Lin Spahn

Jennifer Gonring runs Gonring Lin Spahns’ operations and is lead strategist in positioning key philanthropic and policy objectives. She has distinct experience in nonprofit growth strategies; she also directs message development, formulates communication tactics, and manages execution.

In partnership with major institutions, foundations, corporations, and individual efforts, she delivers a steady campaign mentality to her work, significantly increasing clients’ visibility, funding, and overall reach. She has served as an advisor to numerous federal, state, and local political candidates, committees, and issue campaigns, as well as some of the nation’s leading charitable organizations. Before co-founding Gonring Lin Spahn, Jennifer worked at DreamWorks SKG, where she oversaw the studio’s corporate-affairs operations and served as Director of Special Projects. She also managed studio public relations, the Spielberg Family Living Trust, the Katzenberg Family Trust, and all aspects of Dreamworks’ charitable-giving program. Additionally, she directed all community relations, the studio’s fundraising efforts, and special appearances for the principals: Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen. Jennifer is a member of the non-partisan Pacific Council on International Policy and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Charles Edison Fund, the Board of City Year Los Angeles, the Board of the California Film Commission, and the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles Urban League. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her husband is an ethnomusicologist and writer. They have two daughters.

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April McDaniel
Founder, Crown & Conquer

April perfected her craft at Strategic Group, where she was instrumental in the opening of several iconic venues, including Las Vegas TAO, Marquee Nightclub & Day Club at The Cosmopolitan, LAVO at The Palazzo and Avenue in NYC. She also led event planning for Coca Cola, Moët, Nike, Sprite and Heineken. After transitioning to Game Seven Marketing, April pioneered an innovative influencer program that fundamentally transformed the way Beats and Nike handle marketing. Her streamlined operations approach maximized the company’s growth and allowed G7 to open an office in LA—an expansion that she oversaw.

April had a vision for an agency where passionate people could collaborate and create transformative brand experiences steeped in realness, a place that puts culture, inclusion and authentic connections above everything. Crown + Conquer is that dream realized. April designed C+C to be an agile, one of a kind collective with unrivaled experiential expertise and influencer relationships. Since launching in 2016, April and her team have created headline-grabbing activations for Spotify, Airbnb, Google, and other world-class companies. These experiences weren’t just relevant. They were resonant. This distinction helped these culture-defining brands create meaningful connections with their audience.

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Marc Merrill
Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, Riot Games

Marc Merrill is the co-founder of Riot Games and co-creator of League of Legends. Marc co-founded Riot—along with Brandon Beck—in 2006 with the vision and commitment to drastically change the way video games are developed, delivered, and supported for players. Since then, he’s helped League of Legends become the most-played online game in the world and a key driver of the growth of esports.

Riot continues to uphold their “player first” vision by devoting the entire company’s activity around prioritizing the player experience, and has been acclaimed for its focus on balanced game design, community engagement, and pioneering work in establishing games as a service. Riot Games is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA and has ~3,000 employees across 23 offices around the world to support players globally. Marc is also active outside of Riot and serves on the board of several non-profit organizations, including: Unite America, focused on addressing the polarized gridlock in Washington; City Year Los Angeles, focused on increasing the graduation rate in the nation’s highest-need schools. Marc has also been recognized with several awards such as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, several Game Developers Choice Awards and a BAFTA.

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Erik Moreno
Executive Vice President, Corporate Development & M&A, Sony Pictures Ent.

Erik Moreno is Executive Vice President, Corporate Development and M&A at Sony Pictures Entertainment (“SPE”). He is responsible for overseeing the strategic planning function, developing growth strategies for the studio, identifying potential partnership or acquisition prospects and managing other business opportunities alongside SPE’s senior executive team. Moreno is also responsible for overseeing the Integration Management Office (“IMO”) that handles the integrations of acquisitions into SPE.

Moreno is a seasoned M&A and strategy executive who served as EVP and President of Corporate Development, New Ventures and Investments at Time, Inc. Prior to Time Inc., he held a number of key M&A and leadership roles including: Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, for Fox Networks Group, co-General Manager of Mobile Content Venture (a 12-company JV), Director of Corporate Development for eBay Inc., and Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy for Level 3 Communications. Moreno began his career at Gleacher & Co., a boutique investment bank specializing in Mergers & Acquisitions. Moreno currently serves on the Board of Strada Education Network, an Indianapolis-based non-profit focusing on higher education completion and success and is a Board Overseer for The School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. He also recently joined the Board of City Year, Los Angeles. He is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Jon Neuhaus ‘91
Managing Director, Morgan Stanley

Jon Neuhaus is a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley. He and his business partner of 20 years lead a Private Wealth Management team that manages $68 billion in assets. Jon earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He received his B.A. with high honors in Political Science and History and high distinction in general scholarship from U.C. Berkeley, where he also played Ice Hockey. He is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy.

Jon served as Corps Member in City Year Boston in 1990-91, after graduating from Exeter/before Cal. He served on the Start-Up Team in City Year Chicago in the summer of 1994, helped the Start-Up Team in San Jose in 1994, and was a Founding Citizen for City Year L.A. Jon sponsored The Legacy Team at Edwin Markham Middle School in Watts. He served as the LA Red Jacket Society Chair. Jon has coached and served on multiple education and sports-related boards. He coached Little League Baseball in college and for a decade after business school.

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Pedro Noguera, Ph. D.
Dean, USC Rossier School of Education

Pedro Noguera is the Emery Stoops and Joyce King Stoops Dean of the Rossier School of Education and a Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Southern California.

Prior to joining USC, Noguera served as a Distinguished Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Before joining the faculty at UCLA, he served as a tenured professor and holder of endowed chairs at New York University, Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of 15 books. His most recent books are A Search for Common Ground: Conversations About the Toughest Questions in K-12 Education (Teachers College Press) with Rick Hess and City Schools and the American Dream: Still Pursuing the Dream (Teachers College Press) with Esa Syeed.

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Eloy Oakley
Chancellor, California Community Colleges

Eloy Ortiz Oakley is an American educator and a leading voice on improving equity in higher education. Growing up in the Mexican American neighborhoods of South East Los Angeles, Oakley’s experiences would shape his belief that quality education opportunities are a critical ingredient in achieving social and economic mobility.

Oakley was appointed Chancellor of the California Community Colleges in December, 2016. He leads the nation’s largest and most diverse system of higher education consisting of 116 colleges which serve more than 2.1-million students. Under his leadership the California community colleges are positioned as a vital source for maintaining global competitiveness of the California workforce. Through the implementation of innovative practices and policies the California Community Colleges have begun to close education attainment gaps and have prepared more Californians for the 21st Century economy. Oakley’s work includes the establishment of the California College Promise, the design and implementation of the systems’ strategic vision, the Vision for Success, the elimination of standardized testing, the reform of remedial education, the adoption of a student-centered funding formula and the launch of California’s first public fully online competency-based education college.

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Nkem Ogbechie
Head of Operations Strategic Planning, Risk, and Analytics, Amgen

Nkem Ogbechie is the Head of Operations Strategic Planning, Risk, and Analytics and is responsible for planning Amgen's internal network capacity and investments to enable the proper technology, platforms, and modalities for Amgen's commercial portfolio and pipeline of emerging products.

Nkem previously served as Global Product General Manager (GPGM) for the Bone Health franchise (comprised of Prolia® and EVENITY®), surpassing $3 billion in annual revenues. Nkem brings over 15 years of industry leadership as well as unique enterprise, portfolio, and product strategy experience. In addition, Nkem’s execution experience in biopharma spans therapeutic areas, drug development stages, and regions. Before his GPGM role, Nkem served as Amgen’s Head of Corporate Strategy where he led enterprise-wide strategic planning efforts and supported critically integrated actions across the portfolio, target disease areas, and key geographies. Nkem also served as Chief of Staff to the CEO and supported the CEO staff in the implementation of Amgen’s executive governance system, enabled resource allocation that connected strategy, transformation, and financial performance, and directed CEO regional operating reviews. Nkem joined Amgen in 2011 and led numerous mergers & acquisitions, licenses, collaborations, equity investments, and R&D agreements as a Transaction Lead in Business Development. Nkem joined Amgen following eight years in investment banking, starting with Goldman Sachs & Company in New York City as part of the healthcare finance group and then in mergers & acquisitions in Los Angeles. Nkem has a bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from Stanford University, an M.B.A. in Finance and Healthcare Management from Rice University, and a graduate certificate in Biotechnology Management from Harvard University. Nkem serves on the Board of Regents at California Lutheran University and is engaged in numerous mentoring and outreach opportunities in the greater Los Angeles area. Nkem and his wife, Angela, have three daughters and two sons and live in Santa Rosa Valley.

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Tracy Schwartz photo
Tracy Schwartz-Ward
Managing Principal, Schwartz Capital Group

Tracy Schwartz-Ward is a Partner of Schwartz Capital Group (SCG), a private investment firm and family office. Its platforms include Strand Equity, a growth-equity fund focused on emerging and dynamic consumer brands, direct real estate, minority investments in public and private businesses and OppLoans, a leading financial technology platform focused on financial inclusion.

Tracy serves on SCG’s Investment Committee and oversees the firm’s philanthropy. Previously, Tracy was Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of OppLoans. OppLoans has ranked as an Inc. 5000 company for five straight years and named the fourth fastest-growing Chicagoland company by Crain’s Chicago Business. Tracy began her career as an investment banker with Goldman Sachs. Her passion for social impact led her to Bangalore, India, where she worked with Unitus Labs to build the capacity of microfinance institutions. Tracy has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Tracy serves on the board of A Better Chicago and Northwestern’s Chemistry of Life Process Institute.

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David Shaheen III
Managing director & Group Head, J.P. Morgan Entertainment Industries & West Region

David Shaheen is a Managing Director and Head of J.P Morgan’s Entertainment Industries and West Region Corporate Client Banking Groups, which provides traditional banking services, investment banking solutions and international capabilities to private and public companies.

Based in J.P. Morgan’s Los Angeles office, Mr. Shaheen has been with the firm for over 25 years and has specialized in highly structured financings and advisory assignments for leading companies in film, television, digital media, music and exhibition globally. Key financial services provided to clients include loan syndications, public and private debt placements, public equity, asset-backed securitizations, derivatives, foreign exchange and other risk management products. Mr. Shaheen has led many of the industry’s most important financing and advisory assignments for Lionsgate, MGM Studios, Legendary Pictures, Amblin Partners, Concord Music Group, Skydance Media, and Entertainment One. Prior to moving to the Los Angeles office, he was part of the firm’s Investment Banking team in New York responsible for coverage of Diversified Industries and its leveraged buyout portfolio. Mr. Shaheen holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the Anderson School at UCLA and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Boston College with a BA in Economics. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for nonprofit organizations City Year and America SCORES LA.

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Octavia Spencer
Producer & Academy Award-Winning Actress

One of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents, Octavia Spencer has become a familiar fixture in both television and the silver screen. Her performance as Minny in the DreamWorks feature film The Help won her the Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, SAG Award and Broadcast Film Critics’ Choice Award among numerous other accolades. She has since received two additional individual Academy Award nominations and recently served as an executive producer on the critically acclaimed drama, Green Book.

Spencer will next reprise her role as Poppy Parnell in the second season of Apple’s thriller, “Truth Be Told.” She also serves as an executive producer via her Orit Entertainment banner. Last year, Octavia starred in “Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker.” Her performance earned her a nomination for “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie” at the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards as well as a nomination for the 52nd NAACP Image Awards in the category of “Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Limited–Series or Dramatic Special.” On the silver screen, Octavia will next be seen in Amazon Studios’ Encounter. She is currently filming Spirited, alongside Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell. Most recently, Spencer starred alongside Melissa McCarthy in the Netflix comedy Thunder Force. She also appeared in The Witches, Onward, and The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, Luce, and the psychological thriller Ma. In 2017, she starred in Guillermo del Toro’s Academy Award-winning fantasy drama, The Shape of Water. Among her many other professional achievements, Spencer has co-authored an interactive mystery series for children called Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective. Spencer is a native of Montgomery, Alabama and holds a BS in Liberal Arts from Auburn University. She currently resides in Los Angeles.

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Fernando Szew
CEO of FOX Entertainment Global and Marvista Entertainment

Fernando Szew is CEO of the recently launched FOX Entertainment Global, which oversees the international, multi-platform sales and distribution of intellectual property owned and produced by FOX Entertainment and its growing portfolio of in-house production studios, as well as premium content acquired from outside producers. He also is Founding Partner and CEO of MarVista Entertainment (MVE), one of the world’s leading independent studios that creates, acquires and distributes content seen around the world, which was acquired by FOX Entertainment in 2021.

Among the highlights of product that is being distributed by FOX Entertainment Global include FOX Entertainment’s wholly owned animated series Krapopolis, created by Emmy Award winner Dan Harmon, and Grimsburg, starring and executive produced by Jon Hamm; and single camera mid-season comedy Animal Control, starring Joel McHale. Krapopolis and Grimsburg are produced by FOX Entertainment’s Emmy-winning animation studio, Bento Box Entertainment, while Animal Control is produced by the company’s scripted production unit, FOX Entertainment Studios. Under Szew, MVE has become a fast-growing studio, producing over 2,500 hours of content and expanding its portfolio to a distribution footprint of over 125 global territories. MarVista is a preeminent supplier of content to U.S. platforms such as Disney, Lifetime, Hallmark, NBC Universal, Nickelodeon, BET, OWN and streamers Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Tubi and Pluto amongst others. Recent productions include romantic comedies, Daughter of the Bride, starring Marcia Gay Harden, Halston Sage, Andrew Richardson, and Aidan Quinn, Hulu’s Merry Kiss Cam, starring Katie Lowes, Jesse Bradford, Angela Ko, and Martha Millan, and the Hallmark Channel original drama series The Way Home, starring Andie MacDowell, Chyler Lee, and Evan Williams, premiering in 2023. Prior to forming MarVista, Szew was Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Whamo Entertainment. As a native Argentinian, Szew brings a global perspective to MarVista, which transformed MVE from a distributor of third-party-produced programming to worldwide production and distribution. Szew serves on the Board of City Year LA and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Bentonville Film Festival. He is also a member of The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, a member of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and a committee member of the Lincoln Center Corporate Fund and Media Council. Szew is a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE). Szew is an alumnus of the Huntsman International Studies and Business Program at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated cum laude from the Wharton School of Business.

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Kevin Westcott
Vice Chair, US Technology, Media, & Telecommunications Leader, Deloitte

Kevin is a vice chair and leads the US Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) practice of Deloitte; as well as serves as the global Telecommunications, Media and Entertainment (TME) practice leader. He has more than 30 years of experience in strategic and operational planning, as well as implementing global business change and technology projects for major TMT organizations. His industry experience spans film, television, home entertainment, broadcasting, telecommunications, over-the top video delivery, sports, publishing, licensing, and games.

During past client engagements, Kevin has worked on large scale M&A, transforming and implementing new business models, helping clients to monetize their assets, and assisting start ups to effectively enter the marketplace. Kevin leads industry projects for his clients across the TMT industry, both domestically and globally, including digital product strategy, distribution, and supply chain for TMT companies. Kevin is the lead for the Deloitte Digital Media Trends, an annual look at media consumption and speaks regularly on media and entertainment trends at Industry conferences. Kevin is also the author of Deloitte’s Digital Media Maturity Model and Deloitte’s Future of Home Entertainment. Kevin places a high importance on community involvement and works to support many civic and philanthropic organizations. Kevin is on the Board of Directors for City Year Los Angeles, a national organization focused on increasing the graduation rate for at-risk students and he also supports The United Way, Court Appointed Special Advocates, and Mending Children.

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National Strategic Partners
National Partners