Gail Buchalter (Chair)
Gail Buchalter joined the Board in 2004. She is the widow of the late Chair, Stuart Buchalter. The Buchalter family has played an integral role in Otis since the early 1980s. Originally from Cheyenne, Wyoming, Gail received a BA from the University of Arizona. She is an interior designer who attended the New York School of Interior Design. Passionate about philanthropy and the arts, Gail currently serves on the boards of Today and Tomorrow’s Children’s Fund of Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times’ Friends of Camp, and Junior Blind of America. She also serves on the MBA non-profit board of American Jewish University, and on the community grants board of the Jewish Community Foundation. “Design, talent, youth and creativity have always been part of my life and my life with Stuart. I am delighted to be a member of the Otis Board through which I am able to continue Stuart’s dream while making my own contributions to this remarkable College.”
Kirk Hyde (1st Vice Chair)
Kirk R. Hyde joined the Otis Board of Trustees in 2012 and is the proud parent of two Otis College alums. He graduated from USC with a BS in Business and a minor in Graphic design. Presently, he serves as General Partner for the Hyde Family Partnership and Hyde Properties, a timber management company based in Washington State. From 1975 to 1996, Kirk was President and CEO of Kirk Plastic Company, a manufacturer and distributor of high value plastic transaction cards. He also served as President and CEO of Oberthur Card Systems USA, headquartered in Paris, France from 1996 to 1999. Kirk is a board member of the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region since 1990, having served as Chairman in 2001 and 2002. Kirk also served as a Board member of Goodwill Southern California for over ten years.
Winifred Neisser (2nd Vice Chair)
Winifred White Neisser’s extensive career in 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. She continues to have a strong interest in the impact that television and film—especially on people’s lives and world views. In addition to her professional life, she has served on many non-profit boards focusing primarily on education and the arts, including the Otis College of Art and Design; the Harvard University Board of Overseers, and Arts for LA. Neisser is passionate about music and sings with the Angel City Chorale, in addition to serving on its board. In this chapter of her life, she is committed to the areas of community development, education, and the arts. Winifred returned the Otis Board of Trustees in December 2017.
Jennifer Bellah Maguire
Jennifer Bellah Maguire serves as the Chair of the Campus Life Committee. 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
Judith 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, and is a former board member of the WISE Center for Healthy Aging. Judy and her husband, Charles, live in Brentwood, love to travel, and have visited 44 countries so far.
Cliff Einstein has spent more than 50 years in the advertising business. He currently serves as the Chairman 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.
In 1994 Cliff was named Chairman and CEO of the company. He 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.
Frederick (Fred) Fisher is Chair of the Otis College Board of Governors, and serves on the Educational Planning Committee and the Facilities Development Task Force. He has been involved with Otis College since 1987 and joined the Board in 2003. His internationally acclaimed architecture firm, Frederick Fisher and Partners, designed the Galef Center for Fine Arts and Ben Maltz Gallery, and from 1988 through 1995, he served as Chairman of the Environmental Design Department. Fred won the 2008 Rome Prize in design from the American Academy in Rome and the 2013 Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects Los Angeles chapter. Frederick Fisher and Partners collaborated with Steven Ehrlich (Board of Governors) and Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects for the Otis College Campus Improvement Plan to add new facilities and landscape design, including a new residence hall, a new 300-seat forum, and additional academic and administrative space.
Fred brings to Otis College 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 College Board member Jennie Prebor, who also has a passion for art. 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.
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. [less...]
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. She serves on the Executive Committee and the Academic, Student Life and Campus Planning Committee. 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)
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, and consistently plays a major role in organizing the annual Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show. 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 on the Executive and Board Affairs Committees. 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.
Mei-Lee Ney joined the Board of Trustees in 2014 and serves as the Chair of Board Affairs. She is the president of Richard Ney & Associates, Asset Management, Inc., a registered investment advisory firm which she joined in 1973. She was the business partner and wife of Richard Ney, author of three books on the stock market: “The Wall Street Jungle,” “The Wall Street Gang” and Making It in the Market,” the last two of which she edited. She was co-writer and editor of “The Ney Report,” an investment newsletter, from 1976 to 1999. Mei-Lee also serves on the USC Davis School of Gerontology Board of Councilors and the USC Pacific Asia Museum Board of Councilors. She is active in education, community and arts organizations, including Caltech Associates, the Huntington Library, the Music Center, the L.A. Opera, and is the president of The Town Club and co-Chair of Notable Speakers at the Valley Hunt Club. Mei-Lee is deeply committed to the well-being of Otis College and its students.
Diana Norton is a Los Angeles native currently residing in Washington, D.C. There she led the DeVos Institute for Arts Management’s domestic and international capacity building programs for arts managers and their boards. Ms. Norton has worked as a research consultant for AEA Consulting in New York City and coordinated the USA Fellowship program for United States Artists in Los Angeles. She has provided special events and program coordinator support to New York City-based organizations such as Symphony Space, Opening Act, and Creative Time.
Ms. Norton received her Master’s in Public Administration in Nonprofit Management from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University and her bachelor's degree in American Studies from Smith College.
Ms. Norton joined the Otis College Board of Trustees in 2018.
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.
Olmos joined the Otis College Board of Trustees in 2018 and looks forward to working to further the mission of the college.
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.
Diane Delpit Ziering joined the Otis Board of Trustees in 2012, and serves on the Educational Planning and Institutional Advancement Committees. 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...]