Board Of Directors

Jake Winett – Board Chair, Head of Digital Platforms at Leia, Inc.

Jake Winett – Board Chair
Head of Digital Platforms at Leia, Inc.

Jake Winett – Board Chair

Head of Digital Platforms at Leia, Inc.

Jake Winett is an entertainment executive who has worked with Fortune 100 companies as well as A-list producers and directors over the last 20 years helping to transform how movies are made and distributed in the digital age. He’s the Head of Digital Platforms at Leia, Inc., a global company that’s developing a light field display technology platform for mobile devices.

Before that, Jake spent six years as the Vice President of Consumer Services and Platforms for Sony Pictures Entertainment. He grew up playing music and started performing live when he was 13 (his mom had to drive him to his first gig). He also recently spent two consecutive years as a community mentor with LA Team Works, working with middle school kids at Webster Middle School in West Los Angeles.

Jake holds a B.A. in Film from California State University Long Beach and received his MBA from the University of Southern California in 2010. He also was an oarsman on the Cal State Long Beach rowing team, leading his crew to several gold medals and regional and national championships. Since then, Jake is a competitive masters road cyclist and is a husband and father of two children.

Tracy Solomon Clark - Vice Chair, Development Executive

Tracy Solomon Clark – Vice Chair
Development Executive at Solomon Clark & Associates

Tracy Solomon Clark – Vice Chair

Development Executive at Solomon Clark & Associates

Tracy Solomon Clark is a Development Executive with over twenty years of experience in all areas of development in the Los Angeles, non-profit sector.  Ms. Clark has led countless Capital Campaigns, Signature Event/Planning, Marketing, Advertisement, Public Relations, and Internal/External Communications.

Tracy’s experience includes executive management skills. (i.e. developing/executing new fundraising programs for organizations with budgets ranging from $300,000 to 25 million dollars, developing several comprehensive campaigns to raise awareness and secure funds for more than 100,000 people throughout the Los Angeles area).

She has managed fundraising programs for more than seven core programs for five satellite offices annually. Tracy has completed a Capital Campaign for 100 million dollars, resulting in the completion of two construction projects.

Previously, Tracy worked with the YWCA of Greater Los Angeles, as the Director of Development. However, Tracy”s true passion is for children. She demonstrates that fervor by making sure that each child has what he/she needs to excel, and that Create Now is a continued step in the right direction for all children.

Lauren DeVillier - Secretary, Head of Product Development, Digital Ventures, Discovery Networks International

Lauren DeVillier – Secretary
Head of Product, Digital Ventures at
Discovery, Inc.

Lauren DeVillier – Secretary

Head of Product, Digital Ventures at Discovery, Inc.

Lauren DeVillier is an award-winning senior executive in the digital media, technology and entertainment industries, and has been a successful leader for some of the world’s largest brands including The Walt Disney Company, Microsoft and Yahoo!. Lauren’s background in both media/content and emerging technologies has enabled her to launch market leading products across mobile, online and OTT platforms, often being first or early to market with successful offerings and business models as new technology platforms emerged. Lauren has driven high-growth, innovative businesses from the ground up, as well as growing some of the biggest franchises in the industry.

Over the past eight years, in her role as Vice President of  Digital Media at The Walt Disney Company, she led the strategy, revenue and general management of the television-based digital products for the Disney ABC Cable Networks Group. Lauren also drove digital strategy, mobile and interactive applications for the Disney/ABC Television Group’s kids’ channels. Under her leadership, the Digital Media team delivered the highest grossing kids app in the Apple App Store for the past two years, and won multiple awards including the 2008 Emmy for Outstanding Interactive Media Programming, the 2012 Mobile Excellence Award, 2011 Kidscreen Award-Best Companion Website, and was a 2015 iKids Award winner for best streaming video platform.

Prior to joining Disney, Lauren was at Yahoo! where she led the Yahoo! Kids business, drove product initiatives and growth for the Yahoo! Health and Yahoo! Food businesses, and launched Yahoo! Green. Before Yahoo! Lauren was at Microsoft, where she helped pioneer creative online programming through  partnerships with leading media companies. While  at Microsoft Lauren helped launch one of the first MSN channels as part of the launch of the MSN network. Lauren began her career in content development with Disney Presents Bill Nye the Science Guy, a game changing STEAM focused educational series.

Ms. DeVillier is a member of  The Producers Guild of America, the Academy of  Television Arts & Sciences and is an advisory board member to the Alliance for Women in Media.

Brandon Dean Johnson

Brandon Dean Johnson
Graphic Designer, Production Coordinator at PI Studios

Brandon Dean Johnson

Graphic Designer, Production Coordinator at PI Studios

Brandon Dean Johnson, (“BigFoot”) is a native of North Carolina. He studied Graphic Design and Fine Arts at Elizabeth City State University where his involvement included joining the University’s football team and becoming a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

Soon after college, Brandon lived and traveled throughout Europe where he showcased his knowledge and skills in Art and Design while immersing himself in other cultures and languages, further expanding his appreciation for people and Fine Arts. He volunteered to teach and inspire kids through visual arts across the globe. After years of living abroad, Brandon moved to Los Angeles to delve even deeper into the world of Entertainment.

Brandon was offered a job with Zac Levi and David Coleman’s Nerd HQ where he was titled Art Director and Production Coordinator for the company. Because of his hard work and dedication, he was later recognized and picked up by Pure Imagination Studios, where he’s currently employed. During Brandon’s leisure time, he produces original content through his company BigFooters, along with the team that supports him. He landed some of his first projects with a notable studio in Los Angeles. With such an explosive start to his career, there’s no slowing down for this NC native.

In spite of his busy schedule, Brandon has been volunteering to teach visual arts to the children that Create Now serves since 2014. The kids adore him, and we’re incredibly grateful to have him on our team.

Stephanie Mazepa

Stephanie Mazepa
Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs at TechStyle Fashion Group

Stephanie Mazepa

Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs at TechStyle Fashion Group
Stephanie is a solutions-oriented strategic business partner, providing commercially focused, cost effective legal counsel to drive revenue and mitigate business risk for all functions and business teams. She’s a leader in providing efficient, decisive, collaborative and creative approaches to problem solving, plan implementation and litigation. An avid and strong negotiator in both conflict situations such as litigation and in collaborative commercial areas.
 
In her position at Techstyle Fashion Group, Stephanie works directly with General Counsel and the executive management team providing advice and legal analysis regarding all aspects of the corporation, including, but not limited to, labor and employment issues, supply chain management, advertising and marketing, commercial production and union issues, IP management, data security, executive immigration issues and compliance matters. She is responsible for managing all litigation and compliance matters as well as negotiating and drafting commercial agreements. 

 

Elizabeth McGee

Elizabeth McGee
Manager, Integration and Learning at First 5 LA

Elizabeth McGee

Manager, Integration and Learning at First 5 LA

Elizabeth McGee is an evaluator, applied researcher and systems change strategist with over 10 years’ experience in the field. Elizabeth currently works with the System exChange at Michigan State University helping to address complex social problems by transforming community systems. She also works at First 5 LA where she acts as the Integration and Learning Manager supporting staff in using research, evaluative, and experiential data to reflect, learn and improve.

Elizabeth comes from Canada where she was employed by the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. There she supported strategic decision-making by developing a performance management system consisting of real-time performance indicators and a visual management tool to communicate captured data. Elizabeth obtained a Masters in Community Psychology in 2009.

 

Daniel Ohgi Vice President, Endowments and Foundations Group JPMorgan Chase

Daniel Ohgi
Vice President, Endowments and Foundations Group at JPMorgan Chase

Daniel Ohgi

Vice President, Endowments and Foundations Group at JPMorgan Chase

Dan Ohgi is an Investment Specialist in J.P. Morgan’s Endowments and Foundations Group with over 15 years of experience in finance and capital markets. Dan is responsible for providing investment advice and portfolio management for not-for-profit organizations across the Western and Southern regions of the country. He originally joined J.P. Morgan in 2007, where he has been responsible for constructing client portfolios diversified across asset classes and investment vehicles.

Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, Dan spent seven years originating and syndicating equity and convertible securities offerings at Salomon Smith Barney and Citigroup Global Markets in New York, Sydney, and Hong Kong. Dan graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds his M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

 

Christopher Pitcher, CEO, V/A/MR Creator at Empact Labs

Christopher Pitcher
CEO, V/A/MR Creator at Empact Labs

Christopher Pitcher

CEO, V/A/MR Creator at Empact Labs

Christopher uses the cutting-edge of technology combined with immersive storytelling to create impact. He’s a Vision Realization Officer whose mission is to empower a world of freedom, abundance, and love through the blend of art, business, science, and personal development. Using emerging realities (V/A/MR) technology. He is a world traveler, designer, thinker, cinematographer, photographer, and complex problem solver.

After receiving a B.A. in Economics from Occidental College, Christopher knew that he wanted to integrate his ability to understand systems with his love for creativity. That’s when he found the dual Masters in Design at The Institute of Design (IIT) and an M.B.A. at the Stuart School of Business (IIT) and knew it was the perfect fit for what he wanted to learn and ultimately create in the world.

After completing his studies, Christopher traveled around the world for 15 months. He created a project (“The Priti Life”) to document how different cultures celebrated around the world as he traveled through 26 countries and 100+ cities. While in South Africa, he started “Footprints,” which is the first global VR show that tells powerful stories with beautiful visuals in a compelling and relatable way. Upon returning to the United States, Christopher established the Sights and Sounds Media House with some of his fellow creatives, and has since evolved into Empact Labs where he uses his expertise to empower a future we want to live into.

Gabriela Valverde-Rivera, Human Resources Business Partner at WeWork

Gabriela Valverde-Rivera
Human Resources Business Partner at WeWork

Gabriela Valverde-Rivera

Human Resources Business Partner at WeWork

Gabriela is a leadership coach, strategist, and business partner with over 10 years of experience in human capital planning and development. After working in Human Resources for companies such as Target, Chipotle, and WeWork, Gabriela knows that the most successful organizations invest in their people. Creating a work culture where people feel empowered will not only transform how they lead, but also how they live. At WeWork, Gabriela is focused on partnering with business leaders to support a hypergrowth environment through effective talent management strategies and organizational design.

Gabriela holds a B.A in Communications from Loyola Marymount University and received a M.S. in Management and Leadership from Pepperdine University. When not at work, she enjoys exploring her hometown of Los Angeles, practicing yoga, and traveling the world with her husband and family.