Who We Are
AltaSea is a unique public-private ocean institute that convenes and nurtures the best and brightest pioneers and organizations in science, business and education. it is from these intersections that innovation is born, and from innovation comes groundbreaking impact.
Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company, subleases wharf and water space at AltaSea to dock and demonstrate its largest unmanned undersea vehicle, the 51-foot Echo Voyager.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has selected the AltaSea campus as a Robotics Waterside Test Site to conduct research and technology development.
Blue Robotics develops technology to make exploration of the ocean more accessible for all. The company develops affordable underwater drones and other marine robotic products.
AltaSea is home to Catalina Sea Ranch (CSR), the first federally-permitted and operational aquaculture facility. The aqua-farm is located six miles offshore and contains the NOMAD, a 17,000-pound monitoring platform employing a combination of wind and solar power.
TransparentSea is a start-up company with the goal of sustainably producing shrimp and algae for commercial sale.
Braid Theory incubator at AltaSea brings together entrepreneurs, industry influencers and corporate partners to accelerate adoption of transformative technology, drive market grown and create profitable collaborations for maritime-related businesses.
Southern California Marine Institute (SCMI) is a strategic alliance of 23 major universities, colleges and foundations that provides marine expertise and hands-on experience to students, monitoring the marine environment and increasing public awareness. SCMI scientists conduct groundbreaking ocean-related research and discover solutions to environmental problems.
The National Geographic Sea Lion vessel has docked at AltaSea. The Sea Lion is an expedition ship that plies the open water from Alaska to Panama.
Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS) works interactively with local, state and federal agencies, resource managers, industry, policy-makers, educators, scientists and the public to provide data, models and products that advance understanding of the current and future state of the coastal and global environment.
Ocean Exploration Trust (OET), founded by Dr. Robert Ballard, engages in ocean scientific exploration of the seafloor with many expeditions launched from E/V Nautilus, a 64-meter research vessel docked at AltaSea. OET offers educators and students access to its ocean exploration and research projects.
AltaSea has designated a mobile building in Warehouse 58 as the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor’s classroom for blue technology and aquaculture workshops.
AltaSea and Cabrillo Marine Aquarium (CMA) partner on a number of projects, most recently, a workshop series emphasizing sustainable aquaculture. Lesson plans are created and taught by CMA educators.
Junior Achievement of Southern California (JA SoCal) reaches over 70,000 students annually, bringing programs that foster financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness skills. AltaSea has partnered with JA SoCal to bring an in-school curriculum, taught by educators and established mentors working in blue economy fields.
Los Angeles Maritime Institute (LAMI) is a nonprofit organization that uses hands-on experiences at sea to provide an array of social, educational and leadership development opportunities to middle school and high school students in San Pedro, Wilmington and the greater Los Angeles area.
PermaCity is a leading solar energy design and installation company that recently completed the world’s most powerful rooftop solar project with more than 50,000 solar panels covering 50 acres of roof space, and generating up to 16.4 megawatts. PermaCity has executed letters of intent to sublease 180,000 square feet of roof space at the AltaSea campus to install solar panels.
In March 2017, Doane Liu was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Department of Convention and Tourism Development (CTD), with the goal to further enhance and increase Los Angeles’ prominence and attraction as a world class tourist and convention destination.
Liu joined the CTD after serving as Deputy Executive Director and Chief of Staff at the Port of Los Angeles, where he was the second in command at the busiest container port in North America and head of the Port’s External Affairs Bureau.
Before the Port, Liu was Deputy Mayor for the City of Los Angeles. He managed the
Mayor’s Office of City Services and helped the Mayor oversee 15 City Departments, including the Los Angeles Department Water and Power, Public Works, Transportation, Recreation and Parks, Public Library, and LA Zoo. He also established the Great Streets Studio and LA RiverWorks in the Mayor’s Office. A first-generation Korean-American, Liu also was a liaison in the Mayor’s Office to the Korean-American community in Los Angeles.
Liu was previously Chief of Staff for Councilman Joe Buscaino and served as Chief of
Staff for Councilwoman Janice Hahn, Deputy Mayor for Mayor James K. Hahn and District Director for Congresswoman Jane Harman. He was also Senior Vice President of Government Banking at JP Morgan Chase and Vice President in the Real Estate Industries Group at Security Pacific National Bank.
Liu currently serves on the boards of the Los Angeles Fleet Week Foundation and Sister
Cities of Los Angeles. He has previously served on the boards of LA County Business
Federation, Harbor Interfaith Shelter, Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative, Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, Mary Star of the Sea High School, and Holy Trinity School.
Liu graduated from the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania and received an MBA from University of Southern California. He and his wife have four grown children and have lived in San Pedro for nearly 30 years.
Geraldine Knatz is Professor of the Practice of Policy and Engineering, a joint appointment between the University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy and the Viterbi School of Engineering. She previously served as the executive director of the Port of Los Angeles from 2006 to January 2014. She was the first woman to serve in this role and made a significant impact through the creation and implementation of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan, an aggressive plan that reduced air emissions by combined port operations of over 70% over five years. She was also the managing director of the Port of Long Beach where she led a number of environmental initiatives, including the Green Port Policy and Truck Trip Reduction Program.
She is corporate director at Bank of the West, past president of the American Association of Port Authorities and past president of the International Association of Ports and Harbors. She served for 10 years (2007-2017) on California’s Ocean Protection Council from 2007 to 2017, first appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and reappointed by Governor Brown. In 2014, she was named a member of the National Academy of Engineering in recognition of her international leadership in the engineering and development of environmentally clean urban seaports.
Monique Johnson, an executive banker in the industry for over 30 years, is Beneficial State Bank’s Senior Vice President, Director of Client and Treasury Management. Ms. Johnson was initially hired as the Head of Retail Banking in California in 2016.
Monique has been on executive management teams for the past 15 years. Before joining Beneficial State Bank, her previous position was Chief Operating Officer of SunPac, LLC, a banking investment vehicle with the strategy of starting up a new bank in Los Angeles. Prior to that role, Monique was Director of Relationship Management and Marketing in addition to serving as CRA Officer and Co-Chair of the enterprise-wide company giving program at Wedbush Bank in Los Angeles, California. Her extensive background includes working in every type of banking department from de novo banks to those with $15 billion in assets including the former Imperial Bank. Ms. Johnson has been an anchor in Southern California over the past 24 years with private, community and commercial banks overseeing regional banking offices while instrumental in managing the entire sales and client relationships in addition to all marketing and branding initiatives, operational processes and efficiencies, high touch service, technological advances within systems and products, positive compliance and training cultures, facility management and community, corporate and investor relations.
Ms. Johnson earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance with a specialization in commercial loan management from Iowa State University. She is a board trustee at AltaSea, an organization bringing together leaders in science, business and education to generate innovative solutions to global challenges of human and environmental sustainability. From feeding the earth’s growing population to providing long-term employment and ocean-related careers, AltaSea is a unique model at the Port of Los Angeles. She is also an advocate, board member and the current education committee chair of Junior Achievement of Southern California reaching from Bakersfield to Orange County. Junior Achievement’s mission is to empower young people to own their economic success and stay in school through financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness programs. She was a founding committee member and remains active in Community Resource Exchange (CREX) which develops introductions and new initiatives between CRA-qualified, community-based organizations and banks in the Greater Los Angeles area. In 2015, she was honored by the California “got milk” Foundation with the Better Future Moms – Los Angeles award for her role as a professional, community advocate and mother. She has been involved in other community organizations over the past few decades including Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation and Culver City Chamber of Commerce.
Monique lives in Hermosa Beach, California, with husband and two daughters. She works primarily out of the East Los Angeles branch.
About Beneficial State Bank:
Beneficial State Bank’s mission is to build prosperity in our communities through beneficial banking services delivered in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner. Beneficial State Bank grew from the vision of Tom Steyer and Kat Taylor and the team they formed to create a triple bottom-line bank and a supportive nonprofit foundation of the same name. In 2007, that vision was realized when OneCalifornia Bank and OneCalifornia Foundation opened in Oakland. Fashioned in the image of the great socially responsible banks and credit unions of national and international fame, the Bank is mandated to produce meaningful social justice and environmental benefits at the same time that it is financially sustainable. The Foundation owns all of the economic rights of the Bank — when profits of the Bank are distributed, they can only be distributed to the Foundation which is mandated to reinvest those proceeds back into the communities and the environment on which we all depend. In our theory and experience, this ownership model aligns our incentives with the triple bottom line and the values of our bank customers. Today, Beneficial is in 17 locations within California, Oregon and Washington.
Michael H. Kelly currently serves as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs, a non-profit organization comprised of leaders in the business, labor, academia and non-profit sectors dedicated to ensuring a path for economic growth and the creation and retention of quality jobs in the greater Los Angeles region.
Prior to working with the Los Angeles Coalition, Mr. Kelly has worked in a number of high-level positions, both in the private sector and with California State government.
He currently serves on the board of directors of the Center for Sustainable Energy, chair of the FUSE Corps L.A. Advisory Committee, the chair of the Philanthropic Foundation for California State University, Dominguez Hills, and a member of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator’s Diversity in Entrepreneurship Committee, the Pacific Council on International Relations, a partner at Saving The West, advisory board member for WorkingNation, as well as an adviser to Transmosis. He was also the recipient of the EnCorps Teachers Program 2010 “Torchbearer of the Year” Award.
Michael received an Economics Degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. He was a Dean’s Merit Scholar at USC.
Michael is married to Mia Kelly and is the proud father of three daughters.
Martin H. Blank, Jr. is an attorney specializing in all aspects of real estate law, including financing, leasing, purchasing, selling and the formation and management of corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and other entities. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and is a member of the Beverly Hills and Los Angeles County Bar Associations as well as the State Bar of California. Mr. Blank serves as a Co-Trustee and COO of The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation. Headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, the foundation which makes grants in the areas of education, health care, cultural programs, Jewish organizations and the support of a variety of causes in Israel. He is also a trustee of the Gilbert Collection Trust, which is responsible for ownership and management of an art collection now located at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England, and at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen has more than 40 years of construction and program management experience and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Construction Management from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He immigrated to San Diego in 1979 to work in construction and real estate development. In 1987, he and his wife founded Gafcon, Inc. with the purpose of assisting owners to deliver complex projects that power vibrant communities. Under his leadership as CEO, it has grown into a globally respected program and construction management consulting firm. It has been responsible for the success of hundreds of projects including high profile projects such as: The City of San Diego North Embarcadero Visionary Plan; the Port of Los Angeles Waterfront and Promenade; the recent redevelopment of the Los Angeles Forum; multiple large projects on the UCLA campus as well as over $45 billion in K-14 education bond programs throughout California.
In 2016, after an heavily competed international competition the Port of San Diego awarded Protea Waterfront Development an exclusive agreement for a $1.2B redevelopment of 70 acres of the San Diego Waterfront known as the Central Embacadero. As the active Managing Partner, Gaf will steward the project to its successful completion by providing leadership and direction for the strategy and execution with Gafcon, Inc. providing program management services. To be completed over the next decade, Seaport San Diego will be an interactive, diverse new downtown district offering recreational, commercial, cultural and educational attractions with vital, ongoing programs and activities while incorporating the rich aquatic heritage of the region.
Gaf currently serves on the boards of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges, Meridian Residential Association and Wende Museum Advisory Group. He has previously served on the boards of San Diego Taxpayers Association, San Diego Hebrew Homes, San Diego Jewish Federation, Explorer Charter School, New Americans Immigration Museum and Learning Center, and UCSD Cancer Center.
Cynthia Hirschhorn is an environmental designer with expertise in architecture, interiors, landscaping, programming and website production. Cynthia developed and implemented a successful fundraising and community building platform for parents at Harvard-Westlake School, created unycyn.com, a curated resource site for civic revitalization. She also created flowproject.la, a platform connecting civic arts and education partnerships, programs and projects supporting water resiliency. In addition, she founded Unycyn Civic Arts, supporting civic beautification through public art and urban gardens. She enjoys hosting salons on public health and art, civic environments and the LA River, leading garden tours and urban explorations, and organizing events celebrating community. Cynthia attended Yale College, has a BA in Cultural History and a Masters in Architecture from UCLA.
She is on the boards of River LA (championing a sustainable public space for the LA river), ProCon.org (promotes informed citizenry by presenting controversial issues in a nonpartisan format), and Actions Civics LA (aims to close civic engagement gap by promoting student engagement).
Eric Johnson is a principal of the Victory Group of Companies, headquartered in San Pedro California. Mr. Johnson’s current positions include president of Jerico Development, Inc. and Victex, Inc. real estate companies with operations in California, Colorado and North Carolina. The Victory Group’s real estate activities include the commercial development of office, industrial, institutional and retail dining and entertainment projects. Mr. Johnson is also president of Victory Oil Company, an independent oil and gas exploration and production company founded in 1934. In addition, Mr. Johnson is the CEO of Crail Capital LLC a venture capital investment, financial services and family office accounting firm.
Mr. Johnson is active in the Los Angeles philanthropic community as the founding board chairman of the Crail Johnson Foundation, a private family foundation serving the youth of urban Los Angeles since 1988 with special emphasis on programs supporting education, health care and family self-help. Mr. Johnson’s interests are focused on public school reform, math science education and urban community building. Mr. Johnson has served for over a decade as president of the Accelerated School board of trustees, a charter management organization comprised of three public charter schools serving 2,000 students in the South Central Los Angeles community. Mr. Johnson also serves as the chairman of the board of directors of The Los Angeles Maritime Institute. Founded in 1992, the mission of the Los Angeles Maritime Institute is to provide youth with real-life challenges that develop knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to live healthy, productive lives, through its Topsail Youth Program. The Institute is a public-private partnership with the Port of Los Angeles, the LA City Council, The Los Angeles Unified School District, and private funders.
Mr. Johnson’s educational and professional background is in the earth sciences and engineering, receiving degrees in geology and chemistry from the University of Colorado. Mr. Johnson’s personal interests are focused on experiencing the outdoors with family and friends, primarily in alpine, desert, and the ocean environments. Mr. Johnson has extensive hiking, climbing, and blue water sailing experience and holds a 100-ton Master Mariner license from the USCG.
Roberta Marinelli is Dean of the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University. As dean she leads one of the strongest Earth sciences programs in the nation, with nationally recognized teaching and research expertise in oceanography, atmospheric sciences, geology, geography, and coastal studies.
Previously, Marinelli served as executive director of the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Southern California, a post she held since 2011. There, she played a leadership role in planning and implementing an expansion of academic and research programs in environmental studies at USC’s University Park Campus, and directed the Philip K. Wrigley Marine Science Center on Santa Catalina Island. Marinelli also oversaw the George and Mary Lou Boone Center for Science and Environmental Leadership, a nexus where scientists and policy makers can meet to resolve environmental challenges.
Prior to her arrival at USC, Marinelli was the Director of the Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems Program in the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Sciences section, where she helped to lead the development of collaborative, interdisciplinary programs across the Foundation, including the International Polar Year, Climate Research Investments, and SEES (Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability). She was a tenured associate professor on the faculty at the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science, and an assistant professor at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography.
Marinelli received her master’s and doctoral degrees in marine science from the University of South Carolina, and her bachelor’s degree from Brown University. She is a member of the American Geophysical Union, the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, and The Oceanography Society.
Alex J. Rose serves as Senior Vice President for Continental Development Corporation in El Segundo, California. He is responsible for leading all development, acquisition, disposition and redevelopment activities for the suburban office/medical/R&D park developer, whose holdings cover nearly 5 million square feet in Southern California’s Los Angeles County South Bay and City of San Francisco markets.
Rose has overseen the development and acquisition of over 2 million square feet of Class A office, medical, recreation and retail space and the redevelopment of nearly 2 million square feet of single-tenant R&D facilities into multi-tenant office space, restaurants, retail, entertainment and education uses. Previous responsibilities have included planning and execution of all tenant improvement, core and shell renovation and new construction work; major facilities maintenance and upgrades; project budgeting and cost controls; internal project management; architect, engineer and contractor management; asset and property management. Rose also has extensive experience in title insurance and is a licensed California attorney, with experience in general civil and bankruptcy litigation practices.
He is an Urban Land Institute Trustee and Foundation Governor, has served as Chair of ULI’s Los Angeles District Council Executive Committee, Chair of ULI’s Commercial and Retail Development Council and numerous other national and local leadership positions. Rose has chaired and served on over 30 national ULI Advisory Service assignments focusing on downtown and transit corridor redevelopment, revitalization and strategies as well as office and mixed use development issues.
Rose serves on the Board of Directors of Cross-Campus, a Los Angeles-based co-working/shared office space provider, on the Board of Trustees of the California Science Center Foundation, on the Board of Business Advisors of Tideline Partners, a San Diego-based small scale, infill development firm, and in various leadership positions in numerous other non-profit, civic, community and academic organizations. Rose regularly mentors numerous students and young professionals through formal mentoring programs organized through ULI as well as UCLA and USC undergraduate/graduate programs in business and real estate.
Rose received his MBA from the University of Southern California, his JD from Southwestern University School of Law and BA, Political Science from UCLA.
Greg is Co-Chair of O’Melveny’s Project Development and Real Estate Practice. In the real estate field, Greg represents developers, tenants, and lenders in the acquisition, development and financing of office buildings, hotels, casinos, retail and entertainment centers, mixed use facilities, master-planned communities and other facilities. He also has assisted developers of real estate projects in creating the leasing, financing and operating structure for a variety of real estate developments.
He graduated: Loyola Marymount University, J.D., 1982: cum laude; Chief Articles Editor, Loyola Law Review (1981-82); Alpha Sigma Nu; University of California, Santa Barbara, B.A., 1977: cum laude.
Camilla Townsend is Emeritus, Founding Board Member, retired educator and foundation executive director. She has served the city of Los Angeles and the Harbor community in many other capacities as a professional educator and as a city and community volunteer leader. Ms. Townsend is a past Board Member of the San Pedro Historic Waterfront Business Improvement District (PBID) and the Board of Trustees to Marymount California University. She is the Founder and President Emeritus of the Port of Los Angeles Charter High School. She has also served as President of the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce from 2006 to 2011. Ms. Townsend has been appointed to numerous city and county commissions including the Harbor Area Planning Commission, the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners, the City of Los Angeles Commission for Children, Youth and their Families, and the Presidents’ Joint Commission on LAUSD Governance. She is a native Angelino and 35-year resident of San Pedro.
Mr. Anderson is the President of Westrec Marinas, one of the nation’s largest owner and operator of waterfront marinas that encompasses a $300M real estate portfolio with over 12,000 boat slips.
Mr. Anderson previously worked for the U.S. Department of the Interior developing urban waterfront areas throughout the United States, most notably The Golden Gate and The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Areas. He supervised the recreational development of the San Francisco Waterfront and managed the initial reconstruction of the historic ships at Fisherman’s Wharf Hyde Street Pier. He has an extensive background in governmental relations, having testified before the United States Congress as well as numerous state and governmental agencies. Mr. Anderson spent five years in the hospitality and tourism industry as Vice President of the Malibu Conference Center. Mr. Anderson served for five years as the President of the Association of Marine Industries and is a past board member of The Grand Canyon National Park Foundation.
Mr. Anderson served for six years on California’s Marine Life Protection Act Blue Ribbon Task Force. During this period the task force met with over 4,000 members of the public and received over 20,000 written comments regarding the preservation and use of California’s marine eco systems. He worked closely with California’s Marine Science Advisory Team and numerous conservation and stakeholder groups in developing 124 marine protected areas, (878 square miles), encompassing over 16% of California’s coastal waters. For his work in helping to create a network of marine protected areas, he received the annual Poseidon Award from the California Reef Check Foundation. Mr. Anderson is a nationally recognized speaker on recreation management and development issues and is a graduate of Penn State University.
Mac Bernstein focuses his practice on developing and directing government affairs strategies in complex policy matters, often incorporating lobbying, political, grassroots and public relations efforts and organizing industry coalitions at the federal and state level.
He regularly represents foreign government, corporate and nonprofit clients before Congress, the executive branch and state governments, and works closely with DLA Piper’s international attorneys and government affairs professionals on international public policy matters.
Mac has broad experience on foreign policy issues and works regularly with the members and staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, House International Relations Committee and other congressional committees with jurisdiction over international affairs, intelligence and policy matters. Other matters on which he has experience include foreign investment and trade, judiciary matters, banking and financial services, housing, alternative energy, tax, transportation, defense, homeland security and environmental matters.
He is active in Democratic Party politics.
Wayne Blank co-founded CRAFTED at the Port of Los Angeles, a marketplace where local artisans sell one-of-a-kind creations. The classically restored 1940’s-era Warehouse No 10 is home to more than 100 individual artists, crafters and food makers, each presenting their unique handcrafted goods in a vibrant patchwork of shop spaces. The marketplace hosts daily demonstrations and make-and-takes/DIYs, as well as live music, special events and food from food trucks. CRAFTED at the Port of Los Angeles recently welcomed craft brewer BROUWERIJ WEST to the marketplace in newly renovated Warehouse No 9; reinventing the western half of the old warehouse as a 15,000-barrel regional brewery complete with tours and tastings.
Blank also co-founded Bergamont Station with Shoshana Blank in September 1994. They had the vision to convert dilapidated industrial structures into a vibrant arts center—a concept that ultimately revived the art scene in Los Angeles following the 1994 LA Riots and earthquake—two historical events that deeply affected LA’s social culture. The success of the arts center was always driven by its inclusivity and its core mission of being a cultural stop free and open to all. It has been home to renowned art galleries, architects, and creative businesses.
Andy Cohen, FAIA is one of two Gensler Co-CEOs, whose collaborative leadership model sets itself apart in the marketplace as the #1 ranked global design firm, with $1.2 billion in revenue in 2016. For his innovative leadership, he and Co-CEO Diane Hoskins rank on Business Insider’s elite “Creators” list, a who’s who of the world’s 100 top creative visionaries. A hands-on leader, Andy oversees Gensler’s global platform and its day-to-day operations, some 5,500+ people networked across 47 offices, serving clients in 120+ countries.
A champion of design, resiliency and sustainability, Andy is Chair of Gensler’s Board of Directors, spearheading design excellence strategies across Gensler’s 31 diverse practice areas. Andy has been a speaker at many premier industry conferences, including the Urban Land Institute (ULI), Milken Institute Global Conference, Pension Real Estate Association (PREA) and TEDx. Andy is an active Board Member of the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics and the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. In his role as Co-CEO, Andy is one of the key contributors to what is acknowledged, by its peers, to be the most admired and largest architecture firm in the world, pioneering project types and design innovation strategies for the next century.
Portia Cohen has extensive senior leadership experience in law, public policy, public affairs, advocacy and negotiations in the corporate, government and nonprofit sectors.
A former Mayor, Councilmember, and Attorney-at-Law, Ms. Cohen is a seasoned and accomplished communicator, aggregator and strategist for a myriad of interests and stakeholders.
Since 2013, Portia has served as Senior Strategic Market Liaison to the Chief of Strategy for UCLA Health System. Her previous positions include Executive Director of Global Los Angeles at the Pacific Council on International Policy; Mayor and Councilmember of the City of Manhattan Beach, California; Director of the Energy Independence & Petroleum Project for Environment Now Foundation; Senior Counsel for Gensler Architecture Worldwide; Corporate Counsel and Government Compliance Officer for Burns and Roe Enterprises, Inc.; Litigation Associate for Cole Schotz Meisel Forman & Leonard; and Researcher/Writer/Editor for the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Portia serves on a myriad of advisory and working boards including Rutgers University Douglass College, the Cancer Support Community, Sustainable Conservation, Friendship Foundation, and was Founder of the Mayor’s Youth Council of Manhattan Beach.
Portia holds a B.A. in political science (Pi Sigma Alpha) from Douglass College, Rutgers University, and a J.D. from Widener University School of Law, where she was a member of the Delaware Law Review and is published on the issue of corporate governance. She received the American Jurisprudence Award in Contracts. Portia is licensed to practice law before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, U.S. District Court of New Jersey, State of New Jersey, and State of Pennsylvania. Her full bio can be found at www.Linkedin.com/pub/dir/Portia/Cohen
Vipe is the founder and CEO of HDX Mix, an environmentally friendly sports drink mix. In addition to being a serial entrepreneur and philanthropist, he has applied his more than 3 decades of experience in launching disruptive brands, brand building and cause-marketing strategies for both for-profit and non-profits. Currently Vipe is serving as a Board Member for Ocean Champions, Lonely Whale Foundation and RichUncles.com, an SEC reporting company managing more than $300 million in assets.
In the early 90’s, Vipe created the H2O Winter Classic, a two-day surf and snowboard competition with a concert which went on to inspire the Vans Warped Tour and the X Games. In the late 90’s, he helped launch Red Bull in the U.S. Vipe has been called upon by numerous brands, CEO’s and even political campaigns to advise on branding, marketing and turn-around strategies which also included creating a campaign for Partnership for a Healthier America chaired by First Lady Michelle Obama.
Today, Vipe’s focus is on ensuring that future generations are met with a healthy and thriving ocean. He’s involved with several ventures focused around innovations and solutions that will reduce plastic waste and minimize impact on the planet.
As a way to help entrepreneurs, he launched the Army of Gamechangers podcast where he interviews executives who share their best career and leadership advice.
Keep up with his projects and ventures at vipedesai.com
As CEO and founding partner of Redbird, Susan plays a key role guiding the company’s vision and values while overseeing the Strategic and Creative output of the agency. She works together with her business partner, Amy Rappeport, to the proper care and feeding of all Redbirds and their clients. She gets to know each client well, and works to ensure, ongoing, that our creative work fuels each brand’s business growth in the best possible ways.
Susan has deep cross-discipline expertise on the editorial, marketing and financial sides of the media business. After working in New York at New York magazine, Newsweek and Smithsonian, she moved to Los Angeles, where she was founding publisher of Buzz, the award-winning monthly magazine. She has played primary roles in launching and repositioning numerous media brands including Traveler, Spy and Yoga Journal, and has provided strategic expertise to Harvard Business School Publishing, National Geographic, The New York Times and American Media Inc. Susan is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Colorado and holds an MS in journalism from Columbia University in New York.
Peter Girguis is a Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. His lab research focuses on microbes that flourish in so-called “extreme environments”. His research is highly interdisciplinary, as he also builds novel instruments and samplers for use on HOVs, ROVs, and AUVs –such as underwater mass spectrometers and microbial samplers- for use in the deep sea.
Prof. Girguis received his B.Sc. from U.C.L.A. and his Ph.D. from the University of California Santa Barbara, where he worked with Dr. James Childress on the physiology of deep-sea hydrothermal vent tubeworms. He did postdoctoral research at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute before going to Harvard University.
Prof. Girguis’ honors include 5 consecutive commendations for distinguished teaching, the 2007 and 2011 Lindbergh Foundation Award for Science & Sustainability, and Discover Magazine’s “10 Everyday Technologies That Can Change the World”. He was a Distinguished Lecturer for the National Science Foundation, a Merck Co. Innovative Research Awardee, and a Department of Energy E.C.-U.S. Biotechnology Fellowship recipient. Girguis has authored or co-authored over 85 publications in journals such as Nature, Science, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Proceedings of the Royal Society. Girguis served as chair of the National Deep Submergence Science Committee (DeSSC) from 2010-2016, and is now on several notable ocean advisory boards.
Upon graduating from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Jeff joined the staff of then Los Angeles County Supervisor, Peter F. Schabarum. He later formed a successful public affairs firm representing a variety of clients in the transportation and environmental sectors.
In the late 1990’s he formed what is now American Campus Media, LLC, advertising firm specializing in media products and marketing services directed primarily at Millennials.
Jeff is an avid scuba diver and all around outdoorsman.
He currently lives in Long Beach with his wife, Laura Hartigan and their two children.
Growing up in Santa Monica, Greg Morena, was immersed in the boom of the California skate and surf culture, a culture that sparked his creativity and inspired his entrepreneurial spirit. While in college, Greg took this passion and drive to create his first business, Synergy Consulting, a company dedicated to managing entrepreneurial businesses and brands. He later added an accounting arm to his business, Synergy KMC, which offers accounting support for his diverse roster of clients. Both of these companies are still thriving today.
In addition to his work at Synergy, Greg has held positions at various successful companies including COO for Undefeated, a worldwide fashion brand and retail chain, CFO for The Hundreds, an international fashion brand and retail chain, and CRO for the Bleach Group, a holding of Breakwater Investments, LLP. These positions have lead Greg to cultivate invaluable experiences and relationships that benefit his growing restaurant group today.
Greg Morena and his team at The Albright have been trailblazers in their sustainability and greening efforts. Recognized as the first sustainable business on the Pier and awarded the 2017 SQA Grand Prize award and the 2016 SQA Stewardship of the Natural Environment Award, The Albright faithfully follows the triple bottom line framework and aims to help create a green movement across all businesses on the Pier. They believe that running sustainable businesses, that also support other local businesses and vendors, will engender a sense of respect from the Santa Monica community and also help to integrate the Pier as a member of the community, rather than a location where millions of tourists flock to each summer.
Greg is Southern California native, small business owner, husband and father of two, with a focus on establishing effective communication with residents, preserving the legacy of local communities, and contributing smart growth and economic development to build a better tomorrow.
Today Greg sits on the following Boards and Commissions:
● AltaSea Ambassador
Janice Pober, former Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Social Responsibility for Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), oversees the studio’s strategic philanthropic efforts, cultural participation and community outreach activities.
In her more than 30 years at SPE, Pober has played an integral role in the development and maturation of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) program. Under her leadership, SPE has concentrated its efforts on four key areas – arts, education, diversity and inclusion, and the environment.\
Pober has also focused on driving employee engagement, volunteerism and giving. She developed SPE’s employee-run volunteer program, instituted a corporate matching gift program, and created the company’s Celebrations of Arts and Culture employee outreach series.
Through her efforts within the studio and outside of the company, Pober has increased the company’s reputation for philanthropy and strengthened its role as a CSR leader in the entertainment industry.
Pober began her entertainment industry career as Executive Assistant to Steven Spielberg at Amblin Entertainment. In 1984, she joined Columbia Pictures Entertainment. After roles in marketing and talent relations, Pober was named Executive Director of Corporate Relations in 1991. She assumed her current role in July 2002.
Pober is a Trustee of the California State Summer School for the Arts. Additionally, she serves on the Boards of the Craft & Folk Art Museum and Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network, the Executive Committee for the Los Angeles County Regional Blueprint for Arts Education; the California Institute of the Arts, Community Arts Partnership Council; as well as the advisory boards for the Culver City High School’s Academy of Visual and Performing Arts and Culver City’s District Community Arts Team. She is also a member of Grantmakers in the Arts and Los Angeles Arts Funders.
Currently President and CEO of Harbor Real Estate Group, specializing in the acquisition, development and management of waterfront real estate investments including marinas, boat yards, and a fuel dock. Schem has had a successful career in the national real estate market as an investor, developer and manager, including the urban re-development of loft residential units, hotels, office buildings, shopping centers, and industrial facilities. He was co-founder and President of the Kor Group which went on to create the international Viceroy Hotel chain.
Schem has acquired numerous real estate assets on behalf of private and public pension funds, banking institutions, and private investment groups during his career. He was Acquisitions Director at TCW Realty Advisors and prior to that handled acquisitions for Cal Fed Bank, The Preferred Financial Real Estate Company, and the University Group. He has negotiated complex ground leases, achieved entitlements, and secured regulatory approvals from the California State Lands Commission, County of Los Angeles, City of Los Angeles, California Coastal Commission, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Catalina Island Conservancy and Island Company, among others. Schem is a licensed California Real Estate broker and a member of Marina Recreation Association (MRA), National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), Association of Marina Industries (AMI), and the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC).
An avid yachtsman and sports fisherman, Schem enjoys fishing, cruising, and SCUBA diving throughout the United States, Canada, Caribbean, Bahamas, and Mexico. He served for three years as a member of the Blue-Ribbon Task Force for the California Marine Life Protection Act Initiative, served on the Marina del Rey Design Guidelines Task Force in Los Angeles, is currently the Vice President of the Marina del Rey Lessees Association, President of the Channel Island Harbor Lessees Association, and completed the pro bono development of a new 350-foot pier on Catalina Island for the Boy Scouts of America in 2008. He holds a current U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master Captain license, and is an instrument rated Commercial Pilot. He is an Assistant Scoutmaster and member of the Executive Board for the West Los Angeles County Council-Boy Scouts of America.
Schem earned his Bachelor of Science degree (BS) in chemistry from the State University of New York and his Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Business. As an undergraduate student, Schem was an intern at the New York Ocean Science Laboratory at Montauk, where he co-published his work in analytical chemistry. Schem is a member of the Bel Air Bay Club in the Pacific Palisades and an equity member at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo. He is married for 29 years and has three adult children.
Peter Sellars has gained international renown for his groundbreaking and transformative interpretations of artistic masterpieces and for collaborative projects with an extraordinary range of creative artists. He has staged operas at the Dutch National Opera, the English National Opera, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Opéra national de Paris, among others. He made his Salzburg Festival debut in 1992 with Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise. Peter Sellars has collaborated on the creation of many works with composer John Adams, including Nixon in China, The Death of Klinghoffer, El Niño, Doctor Atomic, A Flowering Tree and The Gospel According to the Other Mary. Inspired by the compositions of Kaija Saariaho, he has guided the creation of productions of her work that have expanded the field of modern opera, including the world premiere of her first opera, L’Amour de loin, at the 2000 Salzburg Festival. Recent projects include the premiere of the latest Adams/Sellars collaboration, Girls of the Golden West, at the San Francisco Opera, a new production of Doctor Atomic at the Santa Fe Opera, and a revival this spring of his staging of Saint John Passion with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. He will return to the Salzburg Festival this summer to stage Mozart’s Idomeneo. Peter Sellars has led several major arts festivals, including the 1990 and 1993 Los Angeles Festivals and the 2002 Adelaide Festival of Arts. In 2006 he was artistic director of New Crowned Hope, a month-long festival in Vienna for which he invited artists from diverse cultural backgrounds to create new work in the fields of music, theatre, dance, film, the visual arts and architecture for the celebration of the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth. Sellars served as music director of the 2016 Ojai Music Festival in California.
Peter Sellars is a distinguished professor in the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a resident curator of the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado. He was a mentor for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, the Erasmus Prize for contributions to European culture and the Gish Prize. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been awarded the prestigious Polar Music Prize and been named Artist of the Year by Musical America.
I began my career as a music publisher and record producer. My initial involvement with film was as soundtrack producer for “Easy Rider”. In 1980 I became Vice President in charge of music for Paramount Pictures, I oversaw music for the films “Reds, 48 Hours, An Officer and a Gentleman” featuring “Up Where We Belong”, and “Flashdance” highlighting “Flashdance-What a Feeling”, both songs won Academy awards. In 1983 I moved to Warner Bros Inc., as Vice President of music for all filmed entertainment. At Warner’s, I worked on such films as “Blade Runner, The Killing Fields, Purple Rain, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, The Goonies, The Color Purple ” and introduced Madonna to film in “Vision Quest” with the # 1 recording of “Crazy for You”. I then partnered with director Taylor Hackford in the New Visions Music Group, where I supervised music for “Mannequin” which included the # 1 hit “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, next was “La Bamba” which produced the # 1 single and # 1 and 5x multiplatinum soundtrack album by Los Lobos. I then partnered with Chuck Kaye previously Chairman of Warner Chappell Music, to form Windswept Pacific, a Joint Venture with Fuji Sankei Communications. We acquired numerous music catalogues, including Tommy James and The Shondells, Rod Stewart, Willie Nelson, The Four Seasons, Count Basie, The Isley Bros, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Little Anthony and the Imperials, The Shirells, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Tito Puente, John Cougar Mellencamp and grew Windswept to the 4th largest independent music publisher. During that time I continued my film music production work with “Free Willy, The Fabulous Baker Boys, My Cousin Vinny, The Firm, Twister, Wag the Dog, Forrest Gump 8x multiplatinum, Terminator 3, Contact, Castaway, Bobby and Munich”. Currently I have a joint venture with BMG/Chrysalis publishing where my music ventures continue with Quincy Jones, Larry the Cable Guy-The Blue Collar Comedy Group, Bold Films (“Bobby, Whiplash”) and Summit Entertainment (The Twilight Film series). I have been a consultant for Sony PlayStation, Extreme Music and The Exclusive Media Film Group. With my wife Kim, we produced the Animal Awareness documentary “Saved in America”. Since 1972 I have been a scuba diver, underwater photographer and supporter for the preservation of Oceans. I studied Marine Biology at UCLA. As a published U/W photographer I was represented by Cousteau’s Living Sea Corp. I have assisted National Geographic’s The Pristine Seas team on projects with music for their vital productions. I continue to video, share images and advocate for the World’s Oceans which desperately need our care.
Timothy B. McOsker is a lifelong San Pedro resident and an attorney with over three decades of experience in government, regulatory and land development matters. Tim has had a long history of serving San Pedro, the city of Los Angeles and the State of California in numerous leadership roles, including as chief of staff for former Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn and as Hahn’s Chief Deputy City Attorney. Before serving in the City of Los Angeles, Tim served as City Attorney to various jurisdictions in Southern California.
Prior to being appointed CEO on Feb. 1, 2018, Tim represented AltaSea in critical legal matters including the 2017 lease renegotiations with the Port of Los Angeles. His deep experience in land development, environmental issues, permitting, municipal law, and contracts will be crucial as AltaSea embarks on an ambitious next stage of expansion and development of its 35 acre campus.
Tim is currently the chairman of the board of the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce and a board member of Harbor Interfaith Services. McOsker is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and UCLA School of Law.
Jenny Cornuelle Krusoe is the founding executive director of AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles. Krusoe, a California native based in San Pedro, has a national reputation as a nonprofit executive and senior advisor on organizational and program design and fund development. Krusoe has been a member of the leadership team since the innovative ocean sustainability and marine science campus was first conceived. She is also a former motion picture executive and a longtime leader in the Los Angeles arts community.
Over the course of her career, Jenny Krusoe has raised hundreds of millions in foundation, corporate and government grants. She is skilled at stabilizing and restoring financial viability to a wide array of clients across many sectors including arts organizations, charter schools, human-service agencies and environmental organizations.
Krusoe is the recipient of the Spirit of Los Angeles Award, one of the city’s highest mayoral honors. She is a graduate of Harvard University and completed a fellowship in nonprofit management at the Stanford University School of Business.
Dr. Sandra Whitehouse is a scientist and consultant who has served for over twenty years as an ocean policy advisor to multiple organizations and institutions, using her marine science expertise to advise clients on a variety of issues including how to advance ocean health and sustainably develop coastal and offshore projects. Her clients have included Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations and other Nonprofit Organizations, a state agency, legislative body and private companies. She has served on the boards of Save the Bay, the Nature Conservancy’s Rhode Island chapter, the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting, The Aquidneck Island Land Trust, Grow Smart Rhode Island and The Consortium for Ocean Leadership and presently sits on The Advisory Board for the Graduate School Of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, and The National Center for Science Education. Dr. Whitehouse holds a B.S. from Yale University and a Ph.D. in biological oceanography from the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island.
Robin Aube is the Manager of Advancement at AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles. She grew up in San Pedro and has been a member of the innovative ocean and marine science campus for two years managing the UrgentSEA annual campaign and educational programming. She is also responsible for planning and implementing special events at AltaSea, such as, Quarterly Open Houses. Robin has played a key role in the capital campaign and with donor prospects. She is a graduate of CSUDH holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Clinical Science with an emphasis in Nuclear Medicine and a Master’s degree in Business Administration.
Jack Baric is an Emmy Award winning filmmaker who has produced a wide range of documentary films and short form videos. In addition to filmmaking, Baric spent numerous years working in magazine publishing and marketing.
Born and raised in the seaside town of San Pedro, California, Baric has deep family roots in the Los Angeles Harbor, which inspired two of his documentary films. His inaugural film, Port Town weaves together seven inspiring stories from San Pedro and Bloody Thursday takes viewers back to the waterfront docks of the Great Depression. It is Bloody Thursday, a documentary chronicling an epic labor struggle that won West Coast longshoremen their union, which garnered Baric his Emmy.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, Baric also made A City Divided, a documentary about the history of the USC vs. UCLA football rivalry. Baric used the film to launch Rivals United for a Kure, an annual philanthropic campaign, which has netted over $2 million for the cancer research hospitals at both universities. Baric also helmed the documentary, Searching for a Storm, about the 1990’s war in Croatia and Bosnia. The film premiered at the Zagreb Dox Film Festival where it received widespread coverage in European media. This project later earned Baric the opportunity to helm a four-part primetime documentary series about the war for HRT.
In addition to feature length projects, Baric produces short form videos and marketing strategies for clients with his company, Gopher Crow Entertainment. Prior to filmmaking, Baric spent fifteen years in magazine publishing and was the founding publisher of San Pedro Magazine. In addition, Baric spent nearly ten years on the board of the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce where he served as the director of both the economic and marketing committees.
Natasha Berendzen is senior manager of communications at AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles. Prior to joining AltaSea, she was development manager at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, California and a prospect manager at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, playing an integral role in capital campaign efforts. She was also part of a mother-daughter team that created the nonprofit networking groups Women of Los Angeles, Women of Orange County and Women of Pasadena. Natasha received her M.B.A. from California State University, Long Beach and a B.A. with honors in anthropology from Boston University.
Daniel Brumer is a partner at Brumer Law Group where he represents public and private companies, real estate developers, equity investors and lenders in a variety of transactions involving acquisitions and dispositions, leasing, development, joint ventures, land title, and debt and equity financings. He regularly advises clients on local government and public affairs, providing strategic counsel on complex political, regulatory, land use, and other matters involving state and local government in California.
Daniel was previously a senior advisor to Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian, responsible for all land use and economic development matters, and a planning and land use deputy to former Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge. He started his legal career as an attorney at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, the oldest law firm in Los Angeles, where he represented public and private companies in mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, financings, and other corporate transactions.
Daniel received his Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School in 2007, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and a James Kent Scholar for high academic honors, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Maryland in 2002, where he was named to the Distinguished Dean’s List and a member of the University’s Burns Academy of Leadership. He is also a past founding Director and Corporate Secretary of Crown Preparatory Academy, a Los Angeles Unified School District public charter school, and a licensed California real estate broker.
South Bay native and San Pedro resident, Paul is a Northrop Grumman retiree. During his Northrop career, Paul was assigned to a variety of manufacturing, production, flight-line, and executive counsel support positions, predominantly on the B-2 Spirit Program as a Liaison in Northrop’s Standard Tooling Engineering department. Paul was involved with many “first-in-flight” milestones, not only as these milestones apply to flight, but also as they apply to customer, contractor, and subcontractor facilities readiness.
Paul brings experience with program integration and “teaming” that will serve to ensure that day-to-day maintenance and operational readiness of the AltaSea site is maintained. These assets will be of particular value, as our many partnerships and programs continue to come on-line at the AltaSea facility.
Karl I. Muller is the Manager of Strategic Partnership and Fund Development at AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles. Prior to joining AltaSea, Karl worked as the Senior Conference Planner for the Air National Guard in Washington, DC. He received his Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from The George Washington University and his Bachelor’s degree in English from University of California, Los Angeles.
Charuni Patibanda is an associate in the Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin’s Los Angeles office.
Charuni’s practice focuses on local municipal government contracts and concessions, regulatory law, and land use. She represents clients from a variety of industries to assist with legal and political strategy and regularly appears in front of the Los Angeles City Council and various committees and commissions. Charuni also represents developers seeking to entitle and construct projects in the City and County of Los Angeles. She serves as counsel to AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles. Charuni has experience in complex business litigation and previously worked for Senator Chris Coons (DE) focusing on the judiciary committee.
She holds a J.D. from Emory University School of Law, and a B.A./M.A. from University of Southern California.
Andrés “Andrew” Sanchez Perez is an Operations Coordinator at AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles. Prior to his role at AltaSea, he researched the social structure and contaminant load comparison of inshore and offshore bottlenose dolphins in the Southern California Bight. He also analyzed coastal pollution in the waters surrounding Los Angeles. Andrew is currently working towards a B.S. in biology with an emphasis in marine ecology from California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Lara Michelle Silber is administrative assistant at AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles. Prior to AltaSea, she spent two years volunteering for Sprout-Up, a Santa Barbara non-profit that educates second and third grade students on the importance of the environment.
She received her bachelor’s degree in environmental studies with a focus in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.