Board of Directors
Burt Kempner Community Engagement, Nominating Committee

Burt is an award-winning writer, producer and storyteller whose work has appeared on PBS, the Discovery Channel, ESPN, CNBC, the History Channel and European television, among other venues. He specializes in broadcast documentary, environmental, travel, educational and nonprofit programming, as well as features and shorts. Among his broadcast credits are: for PBS: KidHealth, a 13-part series on children's medicine with Peggy Fleming, The Fall and Rise of Germany, a two-hour exploration of the German nation since the end of the Second World War, and Chincoteague, a celebration of the wild ponies and human inhabitants of this island off the coast of Virginia; for The Discovery Channel: The New Detectives, a series about crime-fighting advances in forensic science, and The Spirit of Punxsutawney: Groundhog Day, a documentary about the western Pennsylvania town made world famous by a weather-predicting rodent; for CNBC: numerous episodes of Today's Environment, a survey of ecological success stories hosted by actor Ed Begley, Jr.; for European television: Weimar: A Modern-Day Renaissance City, an historic look at the one-time home of Goethe and Schiller and its latter-day efforts to become a cultural center once more.

Burt is the writer of two award-winning short feature films, Spanish Lesson and The Last Paperboy. Spurred by his love for young people, he started writing children's books in 2015. In that same year he founded Mild Wild Media, LLC, a flagship for his various film-TV-publishing-humanitarian ventures. Burt is a passionate believer in creating works of integrity and value to the viewing and reading public.

Nick Taber Finance Committee, Treasurer

Nick Taber has a background in public policy, emerging market economies, and East Asian affairs. He currently works on international strategy with a manufacturing firm in the semiconductor and high-tech spaces. Previously, Nick worked with a leading political figure in China's transition to a market economy, analyzing and rectifying public policy crises in China. He deepened his interest in developing countries while analyzing trade and investment policy for Fortune 500 clients at a premier government relations firm in Washington DC. Nick also has experience in the investment industry, including at a $47 billion growth fund manager.

Nick has published his research on foreign direct investment in China and the political economy of the global aerospace and defense trade in peer-reviewed journals. He received his Master's from the London School of Economics (LSE), where he wrote his dissertation on state owned enterprises and trade liberalization in Vietnam and China. He received his BA Summa Cum Laude from the American University, as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, where he focused on International Economic Relations and East Asia.

Ken Mandeville Strategy And Planning

Ken has personally consulted to country economic development advisors on the creation and set up of large manufacturing operations including aircraft manufacturing, ship yards, motorcycle manufacturing ventures, heavy equipment manufacturing, film studio city operations and many others. Among various ventures, he is COO and Chief Business Development Director at TXP - Trixter Productions - a world leading special effects and animation firm - currently expanding to produce film and television. Ken is Chairman of Strategic Global Partners Incorporated a Private Equity Fund company creation. Strategic Global started life as global distribution, sales, marketing firm who has helped take companies global in a number of industries and which has created distribution, sales partnerships and marketing programs.

Franz Villa Board Member

Franz Villa is an experienced talent and organizational development professional, business consultant, performance coach, and speaker. He is passionate about finding solutions and building partnerships that develop people strategies designed to drive organizational strategy. Franz is currently the Learning Program Manager for Big 5 Sporting Goods where he oversees training, organizational development and internal communication initiatives that inform, prepare and continually educate Big 5 team members all across the U.S.

Previously, Franz managed business systems and process training for Sony Electronics. In this role, he partnered with executive teams to develop corporate strategy and led projects that enhanced employee onboarding and performance, systems integration and training, and collaborated with leaders throughout Sony's worldwide divisions and subsidiaries to help share global learning resources. Prior to Sony, he oversaw the development, implementation, and maintenance of corporate training for Home Depot and HD Supply.

Having graduated from UCLA, Franz is an avid Bruin fan and supportive alumni where he volunteers to help raise funds, review scholarship candidates, and shares career stories with students and fellow alumni.

Cynthia La Grou President, Executive Director

Cynthia La Grou is a cross-disciplinary creative professional, media strategist, publisher, and award-winning media producer. She is Co-founder of Millennia Music & Media, Inc, a leader in recording, post, and live-sound technology with over 35 industry awards. Millennia products are used by leading musical artists, engineers, academic institutions and producers world-wide with the majority of Hollywood feature films scored with Millennia.

As Executive Director at Compathos, she combines her experience as a creative director, musician, artist, filmmaker, and author with design and systems thinking to explore innovative platforms for 21C storytelling that engages diverse audiences around collective action and collaborative problem solving. Cynthia directs the organizations mission to educate and inspire by producing award-winning films, media expeditions, digital storytelling projects, and online and offline events. She works at various levels with non-profits, social change artists, students, indie filmmakers, and entrepreneurial movement makers to affect positive world change through media impact and consults as an "Impact Producer" specializing in campaign development, content strategy, immersive media, cause marketing and stakeholder engagement.

Cynthia is producer and author of award-winning publishing projects, loves to travel (having been to over 16 countries), and write about media communications and the work of cultural creatives.

Hjalmer Danielson Marketing, PR

Hjalmer is currently Director, Marketing and Business Development at Ascendian Healthcare Consulting, a nationally recognized thought leader in Health IT, Healthcare Information Technology, and Healthcare Systems, which provides integrated solutions for physicians, hospitals, medical groups, and IDN (Independent Delivery Networks). Hjalmar specializes in Alliances, Marketing, Business Development, PR, SEO, designing and deploying business and marketing efforts responsible for growing the brand and business (Integration, Healthcare IT, Cloud Computing, Service Oriented Architecture, Software Development Services). He has targeted, Recruited and Managed partner activities - including HP, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, and MuleSource while co-developing go-to-market strategies with partners on joint offerings, campaigns, service infusion around solutions. Hjalmer produces multi-city roadshows, Analyst Events, Conferences Webinars, white papers, articles in major publications, manages outbound marketing campaigns and develops cover stories in industry specific magazines and e-zines.


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