Mei-Lee Ney (Chair)
Mei-Lee joined the Board of Trustees in 2014. She is president of Richard Ney & Associates, Asset Management, Inc., an investment advisory firm in Pasadena which she joined in 1973. She also serves on the Boards of Councilors of the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology and the USC Pacific Asia Museum, and is a Governor on the Board of The Huntington Library, Art Museums, and Botanical Gardens. She is active in a wide range of community and non-profit organizations, including the Music Center, L.A. Opera, Caltech Associates, the Pasadena Educational Foundation and the Huntington Hospital and is a Director on the Board of the Valley Hunt Club and was past president of The Town Club. Mei-Lee is deeply committed to the well-being of Otis College and its students.
Winifred Neisser (2nd Vice Chair)
Winifred White Neisser’s extensive career in the development of television programming evolved from a passion for education and the arts. Her 34-year journey in Hollywood began in Children’s Programming at NBC where she worked for 14 years in various executive programming positions and continued at Sony Pictures Television where she left in 2014 as Senior Vice President of Television Movies and Mini-series. After leaving Sony, Neisser accepted a fellowship at Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative, a third stage higher education program specifically designed to help business leaders transition to social impact work. She particularly enjoyed working with her cohort who came from all over the world and represented a variety of backgrounds, passions and expertise. Passionate about music, she is the Executive Director of the Angel City Chorale, a large community choir that seeks to represent Los Angeles in membership and music. In addition to the Otis Board, Neisser is chair of the Board for the arts advocacy organization, Arts for LA. and serves on the Advisory Board of the Charles Drew Medical School. Previously she has served on the Harvard University Board of Overseers and Planned Parenthood, Los Angeles. She remains committed to the areas of community development, education, and the arts. Winifred returned the Otis Board of Trustees in December 2017.
Jennifer Bellah Maguire (Treasurer)
Jennifer Bellah Maguire joined the Board of Trustees in November 2010 and currently serves as the Chair of the Finance & Investment and Risk Management Committees. She is a partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Los Angeles office and is co-chair to the firm’s Investment Fund Group. She was a law clerk for the Honorable Mary M. Schroeder, currently Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. She holds a BA from Bryn Mawr College, magna cum laude, and studied at Sorbonne University. She graduated from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif and served as an Associate Editor for the California Law Review. She speaks and writes French fluently and practiced in the firm’s Paris office in the late ‘80s.
Judith Chambers Beck (Secretary)
Judy Beck attended Massachusetts College of Art, was a toy designer for Hasbro Toys, and went on to a career in advertising and design, first with Doyle Dane & Bernbach, and then was the principal partner of Chambers Design in Santa Monica, which specialized in tourism and travel clients. She also owned an interior design firm for many years. Judy is an accomplished painter, whose work is in the permanent collection of UCLA at the Eli Broad Bio-medical Research Center, and in many private collections, and who exhibits her work frequently in shows. Beck also volunteered for many years as an Art Angel at Santa Monica High School with the AP art students.
Judy has a long history of chairing many charitable fund raisers, serves on the Los Angeles Region Red Cross Board, is the Co-chair of the LA Centennial Circle, and has been a member of the Red Cross Tiffany Circle National Council since 2009. She has won the Spirit of the Red Cross Award and the Red Cross Star Award. Judy joined the Board of Trustees for Otis College in July of 2017 and is involved in many other nonprofits, serving on the board of the IDG Guild at Saint John’s Health Center where she also volunteers. Judy and her husband, Charles, live in Brentwood, love to travel, and have visited 44 countries so far.
Judy joined the Otis College Board of Trustees in 2017.
Leslie Belzberg is the Executive Vice President of Production at Imagine Entertainment. She oversees all elements of physical production in scripted television, unscripted documentaries and features. Prior to Imagine, she was the Senior Vice President of Production at Gaumont and supervised both domestic and international productions, including Narcos for Netflix. She also served as head of production for Miramax and Endemol Shine. In addition, Leslie has been an independent feature and documentary producer, as well as a frequent collaborator of director John Landis. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and the Producers Guild of America. Leslie joined the Otis College Board of Trustees in 2020.
Roger H. Brown is the president of Berklee. Since his appointment in 2004, he has led Berklee during a period of unparalleled expansion that has included the launch of several pioneering institutes, such as the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, Berklee India Exchange, the Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship, and the Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice; overseen the creation of the world’s largest online music education system; created an international campus in Valencia, Spain; the construction of the Boston campus’s first, custom-built building; and the acquisition of New York’s iconic Power Station studio to create BerkleeNYC, a state-of-the-art recording facility and a hub of education and creativity. He also completed a merger with the Boston Conservatory to establish the world’s most comprehensive training ground for global careers in music, dance, and theater.
Brown is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Davidson College and a graduate of the Yale School of Management. He cofounded Bright Horizons Family Solutions in 1986 with his wife, Linda Mason, and served as chief executive officer until January 2002.
A former codirector of the Save the Children relief and development effort in Sudan, he and Mason coauthored the book Rice, Rivalry, and Politics, which examines the management of emergency relief efforts. He has served as a management consultant for Bain and Company, was one of the founders of the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, and a cofounder of Horizons for Homeless Children, which serves the needs of homeless children throughout the Boston area.
Brown has been recognized for his humanitarian, educational, and entrepreneurial achievements by the government of Valencia, Spain with the Cruz de Honor; by the March of Dimes Franklin Delano Roosevelt Humanitarian Award; and by being named, along with his wife, as a Visionary Social Entrepreneur at the 2012 Social Venture Network’s Hall of Fame Celebration. In 2019, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Williams College and was honored at the Boston Arts Academy Foundation annual celebration to support BAA. He joined the Otis College Board of Trustees in June 2020.
Cliff Einstein has spent more than 50 years in the advertising business, having been a founding partner of Dailey and Associates, an international advertising agency headquartered in West Hollywood, California. Over the years his agency produced memorable campaigns for Honda Motorcycles, The Southern California Ford Dealers, Nestle Foods, Gallo Winery, Unilever, Countrywide Financial, Great Western Savings, Western Airlines, Hunt Wesson, Australian Tourism, Safeway Stores, Weyerhaeuser Forest Products, White Stag Skiwear and Callaway Golf. Currently Cliff is Director of Strategic Planning for wHY Architecture, an international architectural firm headquartered in Culver City, California.
Cliff has been celebrated as one of his industry’s more awarded advertising figures, winning several international Broadcasting Awards, Clios, and The AAF award for Best Advertising Campaign in America. Art and Antiques Magazine has listed The Einstein Collection as one of America’s top 100, and the collection has been profiled in HG, Australian Vogue, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Art News, Great Britain’s Art Review, and most recently, Vogue Korea. Cliff has also been featured in Time magazine in an essay on collecting contemporary art. He is joyfully married to Mandy. The Einstein’s are truly fortunate to have two married children and four grandchildren.
Cliff rejoined the Otis College Board of Trustees in 2016.
As Founding Partner of FF&P, Frederick Fisher, AIA, FAAR is a self-described “liberal arts guy.” He is an avid reader, traveler, and arts-lover, and his approach to architecture reflects his innate intellectual curiosity and broad cultural and social perspective. His list of projects includes MoMA/PS1 in New York, The Annenberg Community Beach House, The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, the renovation of Princeton’s Firestone Library, The Colby College Museum, and numerous galleries, studios and homes. FF&P is currently working on the City of Santa Monica Public Services Building, the Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Hall at USC, a new building for the Center Theatre Group, a conference center for Vassar College, a Master plan for Charles Drew University, and a major addition to the Los Angeles Natural History Museum.
Fred’s long-spanning accomplishments as a design leader were recognized in 2013 by his receipt of the American Institute of Architects, Los Angeles chapter Gold Medal. He received the 2008 Rome Prize in Design.
Fisher received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College in Art and Art History and a Master’s of Architecture from UCLA. He is Chair of the Otis College Board of Governors, and serves on the Board of Trustees. He has been involved with Otis College since 1987 and joined the Board in 2003. Fred also serves on the board of the USC School of Architecture, the UCLA School of the Arts and the Ojai Music Festival.
Fred brings to Otis a passion for working collaboratively with artists and art institutions in the creation of studio and exhibition space: “The relationship between art and architecture is fundamental to my practice.” Dedicated to helping young artists explore their own new territory, Fred teaches and lectures regularly. He is married to former Otis Board and current LAX ART board member Jennie Prebor. Fred’s architectural firm is located in a classic 1950s courtyard office building, built by post-war modernist A. Quincy Jones for use as his own office.
Bronya Pereira Galef (Chair Emerita)
Bronya Pereira Galef has been involved with Otis College since the early 1980s, both as Chair Emerita and Chair, Board of Governors. Bronya spearheaded a $4 million Capital Campaign fundraising effort. Otis' Center for Fine Arts is named for Bronya and her husband Andy, the chairman, CEO, and president of The Spectrum Group, Inc. They also founded the nonprofit Galef Institute to strengthen public school art education, especially in disadvantaged communities. Bronya’s past affiliations include the Board of the Rand Institute's Educational Policy group; Board of Reprise; and Co-Chair of the California Department of Education's Visual and Performing Arts Task Force. She is a Patron Board member of the Comite International pour les Musees d'Art, and member of the Board of Overseers of the Hammer Museum. An art collector, professional photographer, and journalist, Bronya believes that the arts are an essential dimension of human experience that must be promoted equally across all socioeconomic strata.
Elaine Goldsmith (Chair Emerita, Life Trustee)
Elaine Goldsmith is an accomplished sculptor who chaired the Board of Trustees from 1983 to 1998, and has helped guide every major development of the College during the past four decades. First appointed to the Board of Governors in 1973, Elaine has recruited many other leaders to the Board and volunteer committees. She has also solicited many of the gifts from donors whose names appear on Otis College studios and classrooms. She is a Chair Emerita, and serves the board as a Life Trustee. In appreciation of Elaine’s outstanding service, the College named its five-acre Westchester campus after her and her late husband, Bram, who was Chairman of the Board of City National Corporation. Mrs. Goldsmith remains active in a wide range of community and charitable organizations, including the United Jewish Fund, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and a long term member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, the Music Center’s Blue Ribbon.
Jennifer McCormick came to the United States in 1997 with only her suitcase. She was born in Tianjin in northern China and graduated with an International Business degree from Tianjin Hexi District University. In China she had worked for Sealand Service, Inc. (Maersk Line) as a Sales Representative in the ocean shipping industry. Upon her arrival to the US, she continued her work in the shipping Industry working for Evertop Freight, Inc. from 1997 to 1999 in Los Angeles. Her success led her to become Vice President of Sales of the busy West Coast region for the Hong Kong firm Jardine Logistics, Inc. of which she worked until 2003 when she became Vice President of Sales for Dart Express, Inc.
In 2005, Jennifer made the decision to start her own freight logistics company, American Freight Logistics, Inc., of which she is still the CEO and owner. American Freight handles shipping of ocean and air cargo from all corners of the world.
In 2019, Jennifer was chosen to attend the Women Entrepreneurs Program through BNP Paribas at Stanford University.
She serves as a Board Member of American Red Cross Los Angeles Regional and she is also a member of the Los Angeles Red Cross Tiffany Circle, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Asian Council, is a member of JAAG, and joined the Otis College Board of Trustees in 2020.
Jennifer enjoys charity work, painting, photography, playing her GuQin (an ancient Chinese zither), travelling, history, and spending time with her husband Mark and son Robert where they reside in Walnut, California.
Edward James Olmos
EDWARD JAMES OLMOS (Axford) has achieved extraordinary success as an actor, producer and humanitarian. The Tony, Emmy and Academy Award® Nominated actor, is probably best known to young audiences for his work on the SYFY television series “Battlestar Galatica” as Admiral William Adama. Although the series kept the actor busy during its run from 2003 through 2009, it didn’t stop him from directing the HBO movie “Walkout” in 2007, for which he earned a DGA Nomination in the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television category.
Olmos’ career in entertainment spans over 30 years. In that time he created a signature style and aesthetic that he applies to every artist endeavor, often grounding his characters in reality and gravitas. His dedication to his craft has brought him attention across the industry, and with audiences worldwide.
Originally a musician, Olmos branched out into acting, appearing in many small theatre productions until portraying the iconic El Pachuco in “Zoot Suit.” The play moved to Broadway and Olmos earned a Tony nomination for the role, which he revised in the 1981 film version.
Olmos went on to appear in the films Wolfen, Blade Runner, and the Ballad of Gregorio Cortez before starring in his biggest role to date, that of Lieutenant Martin Castillo in the iconic 80’s television series “Miami Vice” opposite Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas. During his time on the Michael Mann series, Olmos earned two Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominations, resulting in a win from each.
In 1988, the actor was nominated for an Academy Award® and won the Golden Globe for his portrayal of Jaime Escalante in Stand and Deliver. He directed and starred in his first motion picture, American Me, in 1992.
Olmos’ passion for the arts grows every year, but he never forgets to give back to the communities that support him with their dedication and support. He is an international advocate, spokesman, and humanitarian working with organizations such as Thank You Ocean, Project Hope Foundation, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, The Boy’s and Girl’s Club of America, The River Keepers, Dr. Andros’ Diabetic Foot Global Conference and he speaks up to 150 times a year in schools, universities, and corporations.
Other credits as an actor include the motion pictures My Family/Mi Familia; Selena, which was a breakout film for Jennifer Lopez; and In the Time of Butterflies, in which he played Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. In television, he enjoyed a recurring role as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Roberto Mendoza in the NBC drama “The West Wing,” portrayed a widowed father in the PBS drama American Family: Journey of Dreams, and recently Directed the YouTube phenomena “The Short Film BP Doesn’t Want You To See,” featured on Larry King/CNN.
Mr. Olmos joined the Otis College Board of Trustees in 2018 and looks forward to working to further the mission of the college.
Jeffrey Shames is an Executive in Residence at the MIT Sloan School of Management where he lectures in Finance, Leadership and Global Health Management.
He is the retired CEO and Chairman of MFS Investment Management® and the Board of Trustees of the MFS Funds.
He joined MFS in 1983 as an Industry Analyst and was named a Portfolio Manager in 1985, Chief Equity Officer in 1987, President in 1993 and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 1998. In September 2002 he retired as CEO and retained the Chairman title until his retirement in February 2004.
Presently, he is the Senior Strategy Advisor to Rockefeller Capital Management where he advises the CEO on Corporate Strategy, Organizational Structure and Acquisitions.
From 2010-2013 he was a Senior Advisor at Morgan Stanley where he advised the President of Morgan Stanley Investment Management and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Wealth Management.
He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the X Prize Foundation, City Year, Summer Search, Tufts Medical Center, the Berklee College of Music, and joined the Otis College Board of Trustees in June 2020. He serves as a member of the Advisory Boards of the MIT Sloan School of Management and the MIT Masters of Finance Program. He is, also, on the Board of several recent start-up companies.
He graduated from Wesleyan University in 1977 and Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management in 1983. In between college and graduate school he served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Fiji and with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.
Berry Stein has spent her career increasing access to art and helping diverse populations make space for creative practice. In 2019 she founded Art Life Practice, a platform for creative expression, founded in order to foster a more nourished and contented society.
She worked as an educator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and within public and private schools in Manhattan before taking on a role as a Teaching Artist at Inner-City Arts, an arts education non-profit in downtown Los Angeles.
Stein earned a Master of Arts degree from New York University and a Master of Science in Education degree from Bank Street College of Education. She currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the Education Committee of the Whitney Museum and joined the Otis College Board of Trustees in 2020.
Kent Twitchell (MFA ’77)
Kent thinks of himself as a folk artist, a regionalist naively painting “Monuments to American Cultural Heroes”. His art heroes include Gutzan Borglum, Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, Andrew Wyeth and Norman Rockwell. He started doing public art during the “hippie” ‘60s and world-wide attention came with his “Steve McQueen Monument” painted on a house in Downtown Los Angeles during 1971. Since then photographs and articles about each of his subsequent projects have appeared in hundreds of newspapers and magazines worldwide plus several movies and art textbooks.
Four of his 10’X4’ drawings are in the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Chicago Art Institute and Valparaiso University Art Museum purchased some of his large paintings, the Boise Art Museum and the Vincent Price Art Museum have his drawings and he is in many private collections. Recently the Long Beach Art Museum obtained 6 of his large pieces (2 paintings and 4 drawings) for their permanent collection.
Kent does not do many gallery exhibitions and has had less than 20 one-person shows during his 45+ year career. He has taught at LA City College, Otis College of Art & Design, Pasadena City College, California State LA, Biola University and the LA County High School for the Arts. He is currently an MFA Mentor/Advisor at Laguna College of Art & Design. Kent received an MFA from Otis College of Art & Design in 1977 and has subsequently received 3 Honorary Doctorates from Biola University, Otis College of Art & Design and California State University, LA. Kent joined the Board of Trustees in 2015.
Debra Wong Yang
Debra Wong Yang is a 4th generation Californian and native Angeleno. She is currently a partner at Gibson Dunn, serving on the Executive Committee and is the co-chair of the Crisis Management practice group. Previously, she was the first Asian-American woman appointed as a US Attorney in the Central District of California. She served as a state court Judge from 1997-2002, and during that time was a Supervising Judge in Hollywood. She has been recognized for numerous years by the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the 500 most influential people in Los Angeles, and has been similarly recognized by the Daily Journal as one of the 100 lawyers in California. On the national level, she has been identified as one of the top 500 attorneys by Law Dragon. In 2002, Mayor Villaraigosa appointed her to be a Police Commissioner for LAPD. Coming from one of founding families of Chinatown, she was instilled with a sense of community activism and support. She currently sits on the Board of the LA Phil, River LA, Civicas, Committee of 100 and joined the Otis College Board of Trustees in June 2020. She formerly sat on Boards for educational institutions from collegiate to elementary school. She has been active and a founding member of Asian and women’s law groups. She was previously the President of the Chinese American Museum.
Diane Delpit Ziering joined the Otis Board of Trustees in 2012. She earned a BA from UCLA in Political Science with a minor in Art History, and a JD from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. Although the legal field was an interesting profession, raising a family shifted her attention toward charitable causes that can better the standard of living for people of all ages and backgrounds.
Education, housing, and healthcare are at the forefront of Ziering’s volunteer and fundraising efforts. She supports several organizations, including Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), CARE, Saban Free Clinic, and L.A. Family Housing. Her interest in the arts remains strong, and she and husband Michael support the L.A. Opera and have hosted the Pacific Palisades Film Festival. She is currently a member of MOCA’s Drawings Committee and commits her time to the Otis College Board.
Education, housing, and healthcare are at the forefront of Ziering’s volunteer and fundraising efforts. She supports several organizations, including Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), CARE, Saban Free Clinic, L.A. Family Housing, and sits on the board of Xavier University Preparatory School in New Orleans, her parent’s hometown. Her interest in the arts remains strong, and she and husband Michael support the L.A. Opera and have hosted the Pacific Palisades Film Festival. She is currently a member of MOCA’s Drawings Committee and commits her time to the Otis Board. [less...]