Our Board of Directors

Stuart Berton, Esq.

Entertainment Industry Lawyer
Board President

Formerly a lawyer with Bank of America in San Francisco, began his career as an entertainment lawyer with Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp, then ran business affairs for Playboy’s film and television arm before joining Warner Bros. legal department. He returned to private practice and became head of the Entertainment Law Dept. at the boutique firm of Hayes & Hume, then opened his own firm in 1984 which he’s maintained since then except for a six year period when he was partnered in the firm of Berton & Donaldson.

Still involved in the private practice of entertainment law, he has also embarked on a new career as a film and television writer and producer. Charitable endeavors have included stints on the John Anson Ford Theater Foundation board, the Cornerstone Theater Company board, and as chairman of the boards of the Back Alley Theatre in Van Nuys and the Celebrity Outreach Foundation. He is currently on the board of Antaeus Theater Company in Los Angeles. He’s married to Susan Schwarz, a partner in SDB Partners, Inc., a talent agency, and they have one daughter, Kate, a psychotherapist.

Fred Samulon, PhD

Management Consultant Executive Service Corps
Vice President, Past President

For more than a decade Fred Samulon has been a management consultant for non-profits. Prior to focusing on the non-profit sector, he was a Vice President of Citigroup with responsibilities including new technology development, worldwide support of Citibank’s ATMs, quality, and information security. Before going to Citi he was a section manager at TRW responsible for signal processing. Fred has served as president of the El Nido board of directors, as vice chair of the Los Angeles County Information Systems Commission, as an arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and as an advisor to the Information Systems Security Association of Los Angeles.

In the past he served as chair of the Los Angeles County Community Action Board, on the board of the Executive Service Corps, as a member of the board of Chamber Music Palisades, and as president of the board of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles. For two years he taught a UCLA Extension course on Multimedia Data Compression. Samulon is co-author of 4 patents. He holds a B.S. and Ph.D from UC Berkeley and a Masters from Stanford University, all in electrical engineering. He is married and has two daughters and three grandsons.


Laurie Spivak

Nonprofit Researcher and Writer
Vice President

Laurie Spivak has spent two decades working with nonprofits, and researching, writing, and studying nonprofit management, leadership, and philanthropy. As the founding Manager and a Research Associate for the UCLA Center for Civil Society, Laurie was responsible for the day-to-day management of the university research center, which serves as the intellectual hub for the study of nonprofit leadership, grassroots advocacy, and philanthropy within the Luskin School of Public Affairs.

Currently, as a freelance writer, Laurie develops, researches, and writes nonprofit management case studies that are used by UCLA graduate students. Previously, Laurie was the Account Manager on the Ford Foundation Corporate Involvement Initiative account where she provided strategic marketing, communications, and public relations consultation to national nonprofit organizations. Laurie received a Fulbright scholarship to study at the London School of Economics where she earned a Master of Science in the Management of Nongovernmental Organizations. She also holds a Master in Public Policy from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She is married and has two children.

Steven Poretzky

Partner, Poretzky & Associates, Principal
Chief Financial Officer

Steve has been a corporate financial consultant for over 20 years. He advises clients in strategy, financing, business planning and development. His expertise includes capital raising, operational improvement, strategic transactions, turnarounds and growth planning for clients in such varied industries as telecommunications, entertainment, equipment rental, banking, healthcare, real estate and consumer products.

Prior to his consulting work, Steve was Regional Manager for Banque Indosuez, a French bank, and CFO of Eastbrook, a New York based import-export company. Before that, he was a Vice President at Citibank, N.A.

His board service includes Temple Judea and Snuggle Up America. He chairs the American Youth Soccer Organization’s VIP Task Force which supports players with disabilities.

Steve holds a degree in finance and international business from the Wharton School. He’s married to talent manager Patty Woo. His daughter, Kaylen, works in the music industry and his son, Benjamin, is an engineer in Silicon Valley.

Anderne Kinney

El Nido Family Centers Early Head Start Program Policy Council Parent




Luz Avila-Kyncl, MSW, CHC

Founder, Salud con Luz, saludconluz.com
Board Member

Luz is a nutrition coach and wellness counselor with experience in family nutrition, weight management and stress relief. Luz offers educational workshops to improve health in schools and organizations. In her private practice she helps individuals and families with weight problems, self-esteem, eating disorders, inactivity and stress. In her spare time, she volunteers for Meals on Wheels.

Before becoming a health and wellness coach, Luz spent the last 15 years working as a family and child therapist helping adults, children, and families suffering from mental, emotional, and behavioral issues. After struggling with her own health for many years, she was completely healed through changes in her diet and lifestyle. That experience ignited a passion about nutrition and she realized that she wanted to help people heal, not just emotionally and mentally, but physically and spiritually. She is now devoted to empower women, parents and families to seek health awareness for themselves and their families to live happier lives. Luz received her health coaching degree from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from the State University of New York at New Paltz and a Master in Social Welfare from UCLA. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Nutrition and Integrated Health from Maryland University. She is married and has two children.

Susan Barton

Management Consultant, Executive Service Corps.
Board Member

Susan has worked as a volunteer consultant with Executive Service Corps of Southern California from 2010 to the present.  Coached clients from the non-profit sector in the Executive Directors Leadership Institute and Developing Development institute of Executive Service Corps. Worked as a member of consultant teams on board development, strategic planning and fund development.  Worked with individual coaching clients.

Worked for 20 years at Center Theatre Group, with general management responsibility for the programs of the Mark Taper Forum and the Kirk Douglas Theaters, as well as management responsibility for the education program, Performing For Los Angeles Youth.  Interim Managing Director for the Geffen Playhouse for the 2008/2009 season, and assisted the Antaeus Company with financial and general business matters as Management Consultant.

In addition to volunteer work at Executive Service Corps, served on the Board of the Antaeus Company for two years, and volunteered at LA Kitchen, Centro Latino For Literacy and 826LA.  Graduate of UCLA with a Bachelor’s degree in Theater and a Masters degree in Business Administration.

Steven Canup

Executive Vice President, Chief Institutional Banking Officer, Bank of Hope
Board Member


Lisa Carloss

Real Estate Investor
Board Member




Ed-Dreyfus-phdEdward A. Dreyfus, PhD

Author and Clinical Psychologist
Board Member

After 50-plus years in private practice as a psychologist in Santa Monica, California, I retired to full-time writing. Thus far, I have written five nonfiction books and six novels. My mission, through my practice, and now through my writing and my volunteer efforts, has been to help people maximize their potential and achieve their goals. I believe each of us have a hidden potential that needs to be accessed. In my clinical practice, I have been privileged to journey with many people as they discover that dormant potential. Through my writing, I hope to reach a larger audience, sharing the stories of others as they struggle with the light and dark aspects of human existence. It is through bringing the dark elements into the light that the hidden potential can be achieved.

During my entire professional life, I have been a volunteer in various nonprofit agencies (i.e., Southern California Counseling Center, Chyrsalis, New Start, Faith Communities for Families and Children, etc.), serving both on their boards and as a clinical supervisor) working with the disenfranchised and underprivileged persons in our society, e.g., homelessness, inner-city school children, at risk youth, people recently discharged from prison, and foster care. It is with our children and youth that the potential for changing the world has the greatest probability of occurring.

I received a BBA from the CCNY’s Baruch School of Business in Industrial Psychology and then went to CCNY’s School of Education where I received my MS in Education degree in School Psychology. I then went to the University of Kansas where I earned my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. I reside in Pacific Palisades, California with my wife, Barbara. I have three grown children, five grandchildren, and two dogs. I have multiple hobbies: martial arts, woodworking, photography, cycling, exercise and plant-based cooking.

George DiSalvo

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Kaiser Permanente Southern California Region
Board Member

As senior vice president and chief financial officer for Kaiser Permanente’s Southern California Region, George Di Salvo manages and monitors financial performance, oversees the development of the region’s operating plans, and ensures that appropriate actions are taken to achieve the required financial results. He is a key participant in the rate-setting and capital planning decision making processes. He also manages and provides functional area leadership for the region’s finance organization and oversees Financial Planning and Analysis, Contracting and Revenue Cycle improvements and State Programs.

In addition to his functional area responsibilities, Di Salvo participates in a number of senior leadership activities associated with the overall management of the Southern California Region. He is a member of the Southern California Leadership Team. He serves on the Joint Management Group with the Southern California Permanente Medical Group, as well as on Program-wide leadership groups.

Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Di Salvo was chief financial officer and senior vice president of Health Net’s Western Region, where he served on the boards of Health Net Life Insurance, Foundation Health Systems Life and Health, Gem Life Insurance and Health Net of Oregon. He led the consolidation and standardization of the finance functions for Health Net’s western region, composed of Arizona, California, Oregon, and Life Insurance subsidiaries. He has worked in both the for profit and non profit sectors of health care, as well as consulted internationally.

Di Salvo holds a bachelor’s degree in corporate finance and a master of business administration in international finance, both from the University of Southern California.

Bianca L. GuzmÁn, PhD

Psychologist and Asst. Professor of Chicano Studies California State University Los Angeles
Board Member

Dr. Bianca L. Guzmán is a psychologist and assistant professor of Chicano Studies. She received her doctoral degree from Michigan State University in Ecological Community Psychology. For over 20 years she has been working in the field of health promotion and is a leading authority in the study of teenage sexuality. Since 1987 she and her colleague have been running a non-profit organization called Choices that provides teenage pregnancy prevention and safer sex education to primarily Latino youth.

She has written numerous empirical articles that have been published in peer reviewed journals, and she has also co-written/edited a book entitled “Latina Girls: Voices of Adolescent Health in the U.S.” published by New York University Press in 2006. Dr. Guzmán has many more accolades that she is proud of, however what she is most proud of is being the mother of two young daughters.

Meredith Messer Fried, MBA

Head of Operations and Administration, DME LAW LLP
Board Member


Carlos Rosales

Vice President – Community Banking District Manager, Wells Fargo Bank
Board Member

Carlos Rosales has been a Wells Fargo team member for seven years and assumed his current role in May 2013. Carlos began his career at Wells Fargo as a Licensed Banker at the El Monte banking store and went on to work as Branch Manager for several Los Angeles area banking stores where he specialized in program development, strategy, goal setting, metric evaluation, team management and mentoring.

During his time at Wells Fargo, Rosales has been extremely active in the community, acting as co-chair of the Wells Fargo Los Angeles Metro Leadership Council and an engaged chamber of commerce liaison. Rosales has facilitated countless Hands on Banking financial literacy education workshops at local schools and community organizations, and home preservation workshops for individuals struggling to keep their homes. Rosales has received numerous Wells Fargo accolades during his tenure at the bank, including three wins of the respected “Leadership & Learning Conference Award.” Rosales also represents Wells Fargo at events, speaking in both English and Spanish.

In his current role, Rosales manages nearly 200 team members at 11 banking stores in the communities of Bellflower, Compton, Lakewood, Downey and Long Beach. Rosales is a graduate of the Latino Leaders program at the John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles. A Boyle Heights native, Rosales currently resides in Pomona with his wife and children.

Brian Shafton

Music Publisher
Board Member

After graduating UCLA in 1989, Shafton started his music career in the finance division at CEMA where they dominated the charts with acts, such as MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, Garth Brooks, Wilson Phillips, and The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Subsequently, Shafton left the major label in favor of the cutting edge Priority Records who would ultimately be the home to Dr. Dre, N.W.A., Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, Master P, Westside Connection, Mos Def, Geto Boys, Jay-Z, and a host of who’s who in the rap game.  Priority would ultimately blossom at $300 million per year in revenue. 

During his tenure at Priority, Shafton attended night school to get his MBA and refine his business skills.  He used this knowledge to help propel him to VP of Sales and Distribution at the rap juggernaut, Priority Records.  The next move was entrepreneurial as Shafton opened shop as RBC Records in 2002. RBC has two components to it.  The first is a wholly owned label which has signed:  Gucci Mane, Chief Keef, Krayzie Bone, and many more.  The second facet to RBC’s business is offering General Management consultation to some of the top urban labels such as:  Strange Music (Tech N9ne), Sick Wid It (E-40), Mad Science (DJ Quik), Dangerous (Too Short), Infamous (Mobb Deep), RTJ (Run the Jewels), and more.  In 2017, RBC was responsible for over $15 million in retail sales.

Jesse I. Shapiro ESQ.

Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP
Board Member

Jesse Shapiro is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. He is a member of the firm’s Real Estate Department. Mr. Shapiro was named as a 2014 Southern California Super Lawyer. In 2013, both SuperLawyers and Law360 named him a “Rising Star.” Law 360 designated him as one of its six “Rising Star” Real Estate attorneys under 40 to watch nationwide.

Jesse’s practice experience includes representation of real estate funds, lenders, and institutional and non-institutional investors in all areas of real estate. He received his law degree from the New York University School of Law in 2000 and his Bachelor of Arts degree in history with a minor in math, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996. Mr. Shapiro is admitted to practice law in the States of California, New York and New Jersey. Mr. Shapiro is married with two children and joined the board of El Nido in 2014.

Itelia Walker, BS

Owner, Printing Alternatives
Board Member

Itelia Walker earned her B.S. in Education from the University of Maryland. Since moving to California she has worked with various organizations for the benefit of mothers and children, is a past president of the Carson Women’s Club and served on the Board of Directors of Peace and Joy, Shelter for Women and Children of Domestic Violence. She is a native of Virginia, wife and a mother of two daughters and grandmother to four children. She joined the El Nido Board of Directors in September of 2009.

Lucy T. Zepp

Vice President, C&R Communications
Board Member

Board of Advisors