WHO WE ARE

The Board of Trustees at AltaSea

Co-Trustee and COO, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation

Martin H. Blank Jr

Chief Executive Officer at Gafcon, Inc.; Managing Partner of Protea Waterfront Development, LLC

Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen

Founder/Curator, Flowproject.la and Civicas.net

Cynthia Hirschhorn

General Manager for the Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD)

Carolyn M. Hull

Principal of the Victory Group of Companies

Eric Johnson

AltaSea Board Treasurer, Senior Vice President, Director of Client and Treasury Management, Beneficial State Bank

Monique Johnson

AltaSea Board Vice Chairman, Professor of the Practice of Policy and Engineering, University of Southern California

Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D.

AltaSea Board Chairman, Executive Director, Los Angeles Department of Convention and Tourism Development

Doane Liu

Chief Executive Officer and AltaSea Board Trustee

Timothy B. McOsker

Economic Development Director, New Castle County Delaware

Charuni P. Patibanda

Senior Vice President, Development Continental Development Corporation

Alex Rose

Co-Chair, O’Melveny’s Project Development and Real Estate Practice

Greg Thorpe

AltaSea Board Emeritus, Former Port of Los Angeles Harbor Commissioner

Camilla Townsend

Co-Trustee and COO, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation

Martin H. Blank Jr

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.

Chief Executive Officer at Gafcon, Inc.; Managing Partner of Protea Waterfront Development, LLC

Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen

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.

Founder/Curator, Flowproject.la and Civicas.net

Cynthia Hirschhorn

Cynthia is an environmental designer and advocate for healthy civic life who believes in aligning missions to amplify resources for more impact at the civic scale. Cynthia founded Unycyn Civic Arts to inspire more harmonious civic environments by connecting numerous individual visions, just as many voices in “unison” sync to make harmonious sounds. 

Cynthia is proud to serve on the boards of RiverLA and AltaSea and the advisory board of UCLA’s Luskin Center for Innovation, to which she brings her passions for water resiliency, public art, community gardens and economic opportunity. She founded flowproject.la, a resource site promoting civic arts and water resiliency, as well as civicas.net, a women’s civic leadership network. 

Cynthia developed and implemented a successful fundraising and community building platform for parents at Harvard-Westlake School, enjoys hosting salons on public health, civic art and the LA River, leading garden tours and urban explorations, and organizing events celebrating community. 

A native of Los Angeles, Cynthia attended Yale College, and has a BA in Cultural History and a Masters in Architecture from UCLA. She and her husband Charles have three adult children, live in Pacific Palisades and love to travel.
 

General Manager for the Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD)

Carolyn M. Hull

Carolyn M. Hull was confirmed as the new General Manager for the Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) by the City Council on January 29, 2020. Hull was nominated for the position by Mayor Eric Garcetti on December 30, 2019.

Hull was most recently the Vice President of Strategic initiatives and Industry Cluster Development at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), where she oversaw strategies and programs to promote job creation, business investment, and workforce development initiatives to strengthen the alignment of LA County’s workforce and education systems with industry needs.

Prior to joining LAEDC, Hull was the South Los Angeles Regional Administrator for the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA) where she managed all redevelopment programs, activities and staff for South Los Angeles. During her tenure at CRA/LA, Hull was the CRA/LA’s Manager of Capital Finance. In this capacity, she analyzed project-financing plans, and developed financing structures to optimize the utilization of public and private resources for all of CRA/LA’s priority projects. At the same time, Hull served as the co-founder and President of the Los Angeles Development Fund (LADF). Under her leadership, LADF received and managed a $75 million New Markets Tax Credit Allocation. In addition, she managed CRA/LA’s $700 million portfolio of conduit bonds.

Prior to joining CRA/LA, Hull served as a Director at CB Richard Ellis Consulting (CBRE Consulting), based in Los Angeles. At CBRE Consulting she provided consulting services for a wide range of real estate development projects for corporate, institutional, nonprofit, and governmental clients in key service areas all over the United States, including economic development and redevelopment, development feasibility analysis, highest and best use studies, fiscal and economic impact analysis, policy analysis, transit-oriented development, and corporate location strategy.

Hull holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management from Carnegie-Mellon University and a Master of Science degree in Economics and Urban Planning from the London School of Economics, in addition to a Certificate in Real Estate Finance from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Principal of the Victory Group of Companies

Eric Johnson

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.

AltaSea Board Treasurer, Senior Vice President, Director of Client and Treasury Management, Beneficial State Bank

Monique Johnson

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.

AltaSea Board Vice Chairman, Professor of the Practice of Policy and Engineering, University of Southern California

Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D.

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.

AltaSea Board Chairman, Executive Director, Los Angeles Department of Convention and Tourism Development

Doane Liu

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.

Chief Executive Officer and AltaSea Board Trustee

Timothy B. McOsker

Timothy B. McOsker is a lifelong San Pedro resident and an attorney with more than 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 and Chief Deputy City Attorney for former Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn. Before serving in the City of Los Angeles, Tim served as city attorney to various Southern California jurisdictions.

Tim now serves as CEO of AltaSea, a public-private institute at the Port of Los Angeles that accelerates scientific collaboration, facilitates job creation and inspires the next generation for a more sustainable ocean. Prior to this leadership appointment in February 2018, Tim represented AltaSea in critical legal matters, including the lease renegotiation with the Port of Los Angeles. His deep experience in land development, environmental issues, permitting, municipal law, and contracts are crucial as AltaSea embarks on an ambitious next stage of expansion and development of its 35-acre campus.

Tim is currently serving on the governing boards of Linc Housing, the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, the Historic Waterfront Business Improvement District, the Bridge Cities Alliance, and the Community Ministry Board of the Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centers (South Bay). He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and UCLA School of Law.

Economic Development Director, New Castle County Delaware

Charuni P. Patibanda

Charuni Patibanda is the Economic Development Director for New Castle County Delaware. Prior to that, she served as pro bono general counsel to AltaSea where she worked on the development and permitting of Project 1a in Phase 1.

Charuni was previously the President of the The McOsker Group, a government affairs consulting firm and served as an associate attorney at Glaser Weil LLP and the Sheppard Mullin law firm. She also served as a fellow for United States Senator Christopher A. Coons (Del.), focusing on issues for the Judiciary and Budget Committees.

She holds a J.D. from Emory University School of Law, and a B.A./M.A. in Economics from the University of Southern California.

Senior Vice President, Development Continental Development Corporation

Alex Rose

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.

Co-Chair, O’Melveny’s Project Development and Real Estate Practice

Greg Thorpe

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.

AltaSea Board Emeritus, Former Port of Los Angeles Harbor Commissioner

Camilla Townsend

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.

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