Our Board of Directors

Fred Samulon, PhD

Management Consultant Executive Service Corps
Board 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.


Ed-Dreyfus-phdEdward A. Dreyfus, PhD

Author and Clinical Psychologist
Vice President

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.


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

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.


Board Member Jesse ShapiroJesse Shapiro

Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP

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.


Lizbeth Acobes

Early Head Start Parent
Board Member


Stuart Berton, Esq.

Entertainment Industry Lawyer
Past 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.


Steven Canup

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


Lisa Carloss

Real Estate Investor
Board Member

Lisa Gibbons Carloss lives in Studio City, CA with Alex, her husband of 24 years, her two children, her mom and two dogs. A native of Houston, Texas, she earned a BA in Spanish from the University of Dallas, and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. A job offer from Walt Disney’s International Home Entertainment group brought her to LA.  For the next seven years, she held senior positions in distribution and marketing, traveling the world extensively and helping to establish Disney as a market leader in home entertainment.  A VP role at Turner Pictures Worldwide Distribution followed, with responsibilities for marketing and distribution of theatrical and home entertainment products internationally.  She then founded her first company, which distributed independent feature films to international television markets. She named it Mambo Media in a nod to her love of Latin ballroom dancing.

After the birth of her two children, Lisa recognized that she was 1) a compulsive nurturer, and 2) a lover of all things orderly; and felt that two parents in the international entertainment business was a recipe for domestic chaos. She devised an alternate plan, and currently spends her days doing volunteer work, managing a real estate portfolio and two LLCs, and orchestrating the lives of her home and family.

She has a passion for family life, skiing, trees, great food and wine, and international travel. She is good with spreadsheets and Phillips head screwdrivers. She put herself through college and graduate school working as many as three jobs at a time; and believes that almost anybody can do almost anything, if they believe that they can.


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

Meredith Messer Fried is the Head of Operations and Administration at DME Law LLP, a boutique entertainment and corporate law firm.  She began her career in entertainment and social good by producing and directing an educational documentary used in college orientations nationwide. She continued in entertainment working as a development executive for a number of high profile film producers until leaving the field to obtain her MBA from Harvard Business School.  When not working at DME Law and looking after her family, Ms. Fried spends her time focused on entrepreneurship, social impact and charitable fundraising.  Ms. Fried is happily married with two wonderful boys. 


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 El Nido Family Centers Board DirectorBrian Shafton, MBA

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.


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