LMU Taps Leaders in Industry, Culture, and Service for Its Boards of Trustees and Regents

Loyola Marymount University has named six new members to its Board of Trustees and nine new members to its Board of Regents, drawing upon seasoned leaders from key industries to strengthen LMU’s commitment to academic excellence.

The 15 new members bring to LMU a broad range of skills and experience in finance, real estate, health care, tech, law, and entertainment. They include a Jesuit and women religious, executives and educators; they have worked in the nonprofit sector, and they have supported student scholarships.

“Our new trustees and regents are bold and thoughtful leaders who will inspire and guide us in these challenging times, and beyond,” said LMU President Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D. “Their fresh perspectives, wisdom, and keen expertise impel us to realize our ambitions as we chart our course for the future and seek to make the world a brighter place.”

Those joining the Board of Trustees are:

Gail K. Bernstein ’73, former executive vice president of PNC Bank. Before joining PNC, Bernstein was the national sales and marketing manager of Wells Fargo’s ABL unit. She headed the education committee and served on the executive committee of the National Commercial Finance Association, now called the Secured Finance Network. She is also past president and chair of the network’s local chapter. Bernstein has generously supported the students and faculty in the LMU College of Business Administration. She earned a B.A. in Spanish from Marymount College at Loyola University, where she minored in business administration, and an MBA from USC.

Mary Genino, R.S.H.M., a member of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, an international Institute of Catholic women religious. She is a former member of the Institute’s General Council and former provincial superior of the R.S.H.M. Western American Province. Sister Mary has also served as chair of the province’s Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Committee, as a delegate to R.S.H.M. General Chapter, and as coordinator of the Sacred Heart of Mary Extended Family Committee. She facilitated the development of the Pastoral Associate program for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and directed the Archdiocesan Office. She works with anti-human trafficking groups and serves on the board of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking. She earned a B.A. in history from Santa Clara University, and an M.A. in pastoral ministry from Boston College.

MaryAnne Huepper, C.S.J. ’75, associate director of LMU’s CSJ Center for Reconciliation and Justice and a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. She has taught elementary and high school; and served as a principal, college administrator, and adjunct instructor at Marymount College and the University of San Francisco. Sister MaryAnne is a former trustee of St. Jude Medical Center, Fullerton, and Mission Hospital Mission Viejo/Laguna Beach. She holds undergraduate degrees in art history and religious studies from LMU and a master’s degree in sacred theology and religious studies from Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven, Belgium.

Helen Lawrence ’91, a board director of the Lawrence Family Foundation, which primarily provides scholarships for students in need and supports various local children’s charities. Lawrence earned a B.B.A. from LMU. She has served as a senior financial analyst at Korn Ferry International, as well as operational manager at Telos Corp. She became the executive director of operations at DIRECTV, wherein she was given the Chairman’s Award for Innovation. With her husband, LMU alumnus and film director/producer Francis Lawrence ’91, she established a scholarship within the School of Film and Television along with supporting other efforts within the school.

Edward J. Siebert, S.J., M.F.A. ’01, founder and president of the nonprofit film, video, and multimedia company Loyola Productions. Siebert has worked in the television, film, and news industries and chronicled Pope Francis in Rome, Philadelphia, and Washington. His film “Blood of the Martyrs” tells the story of the Jesuits and women killed in El Salvador in 1989. Siebert entered the Society of Jesus in 1984, was ordained in 1997, and professed his final vows in 2009. He is the rector of LMU’s Jesuit Community and a part-time School of Film and Television faculty member. He earned an M.F.A. in film production from LMU; an M.A. in education administration from the University of San Francisco; an M.Div. from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley; and a B.A. from Loyola University Chicago.

James S. Whitehead ’65, the founder and former chair and president of Vector Laboratories, a bioscience company that develops and manufactures labeling and detection products for medical research. Previously, he was assistant director of the Gastrointestinal Research Lab at the VA Hospital in San Francisco, and an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at UC San Francisco. He earned a B.S. in chemistry from LMU and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from UC Riverside. With his wife Rosalia, he established an endowed fund to support student research in the LMU Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering.

LMU’s new regents are:

Aaron E. Banks ’95, M.D., a pediatric cardiologist and president of the Pediatric Heart Center, a community-oriented medical practice delivering subspecialty health care to Central and Southern California. Banks was a biology major at LMU and earned his medical degree from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He completed his pediatric residency at East Carolina University, and subspecialty fellowship training in pediatric cardiology at UCLA. A board director of LMU’s African American Alumni Association, Banks has established scholarships for the African American and Latino Alumni associations at LMU.

Melissa L. Blake ’95, a television writer-producer who has worked on a multitude of projects for every major network as well as streaming services. Most recently she served as co-executive producer on the Netflix genre series, “October Faction”, and Amazon’s young adult series, “The Wilds.” She earned a B.A. in communication arts from LMU, where she has taught screenwriting workshops, served as one of the first speakers for the LAB Incubator Program, generously supported SFTV scholarships, and helped launch a mentorship program for third-year students of the SFTV master’s degree program.

Eric E. Castelblanco ’86, the founder of Castelblanco Law Group, a California firm concentrating in housing law. Since founding the firm in 1995, Castelblanco has represented thousands of tenants living in substandard conditions in multi-family apartment complexes in Los Angeles, and obtained millions of dollars in total settlements for clients. Castelblanco works closely with nonprofit organizations fighting for better housing conditions. A native of Bogotá, Colombia, he grew up in Los Angeles and earned a B.S. in accounting from LMU, where he has established a scholarship with his wife, Cynthia. After working as a certified public accountant, Castelblanco earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Marta M. Fernandez ’82, a partner with the law firm Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Mitchell LLP, where she is the chair of the Labor and Employment Department. Her practice focuses on advising management clients in all aspects of labor and employment law, and she represents employers in health care, hospitality, transportation, retail, financial, and other service industries. Fernandez is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and Interlaw, an international association of law firms. In recent years, she has served as board chair of the Partners in Care Foundation and as a board director of the Jonathan Club. She has philanthropically supported various initiatives within the LMU Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts. Fernandez earned a B.A. in history and English from LMU and a J.D. from USC.

Darryll R. Harrison Jr. ’00, senior director of global communications and social media for ChargePoint, one of the largest electric vehicle charging networks and provider of charging hardware, software and services in the world, headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining ChargePoint, Harrison worked as a spokesperson and led lifestyle, design, and innovation communications and, earlier, served as manager of brand public relations, for Volkswagen of America. As an undergraduate at LMU, he received the Robert C. Graham, S.J. Award and a Presidential Citation. He has provided scholarship support for students in LMU’s Communication Studies department and the African American Alumni Association Scholarship program. He earned a B.A. in communication arts.

Lynn Kimmel Johnson ’80, executive vice president of Brown & Brown Program Insurance Services, serving professionals nationwide and across multiple industries, including some of the country’s largest financial firms and insurance companies. A certified public accountant (inactive), Johnson started her career as an auditor with Ernst & Young. She has served as a board director for the School of Risk Management and Insurance at California State University, Fullerton, and as a board director for the PLUS Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society. Johnson has established an endowed scholarship in LMU’s College of Business Administration, where she earned a B.S. in accounting.

Danny Q. Le ’91, MBA ’94, a principal of KPMG’s advisory practice with a specialization in cyber security. With more than 20 years of global experience in IT governance and transformation, Le is one of the founding partners of the firm’s information security protection and business resilience practice. He formerly led KPMG’s consulting practice in China. His current focus includes deploying cloud services and developing digital strategy across financial services, technology, and manufacturing sectors. He also serves on the Dean’s Executive Council in LMU’s College of Business of Administration, where he and his spouse, Ly Dieu Vu, established an endowed fund to support faculty initiatives. He earned a B.B.A. and an MBA from LMU.

Christopher M. Pearson ’06, vice president of development and planning for Los Angeles real estate investment company Hudson Pacific Properties, where he has played a key role in the firm’s rapid growth on the West Coast and secured high-profile anchor tenants such as Netflix, Google, Square, Uber and NFL Enterprises. Prior to this, Pearson led the Office of Economic and Business Policy for former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. He is also a board director of LMU’s African American Alumni Association and with his wife, LMU alumnus Maria Pearson, established a scholarship within the AAAA scholarship program. He earned a B.A. in urban studies from LMU and J.D. from UCLA School of Law.

Briana Curran Zelaya ’98, a partner and head of marketing and investor relations at San Francisco-based ValueAct Capital, which invests on behalf of some of the world’s largest institutional investors. Zelaya oversees all business development and investor relations activities for the firm globally. Previously, she worked in marketing at Blum Capital Partners. She earned a B.A. from LMU, where she has generously supported the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering, and an MBA from Northwestern University. She serves on the Bay Area Advisory Board for the Posse Foundation.

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