The Advisory Board is Woodbury School of Business’ formal connectivity and guiding body for business involvement, providing insights, leadership assistance, and serving as business liaisons in the local community. The Advisory Board members provide valuable input in curricular, entrepreneurial, strategic, community engagement, and overall performance regards to the School of Business, with clear allegiance to the School’s mission. The board consists of individuals who have diverse experience in business involvement, from being founders and leaders of their own businesses, to fulfilling important roles in established business organizations.
Greg Lippe serves as the Chair of the School of Business Advisory Board. Mr. Lippe has a combined background in accounting, management and consulting. His experience spans industries such as entertainment, manufacturing and distribution, real estate, extractive (oil and gas), medical, nutraceutical, technology, space, building, printing, electronics and professional services.
Mr. Lippe’s experience in public accounting includes management of two public accounting firms for a combined period of 23 years. He is currently the president of the Gregory N. Lippe Accountancy Corporation, operating in Woodland Hills and Simi Valley, CA., and in that position, he provides outsourced CFO and consulting services. Prior to this position, he was a managing partner in Lippe, Hellie, Hoffer & Allison LLP (formerly Lever, Lippe, Hellie & Russel LLP) for 15 years., served as shareholder, senior account manager, and later, president of Solomon, Ross & Company, CFO of Riverside Lumber Yard, and as accountant at Touche, Ross & Company.
Mr. Lippe is a proud alumnus from Woodbury University (B.Sc. in Business Administration – Accounting (1967), and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1970. He holds memberships in the American Institute of CPA’s and the California Society of CPA’s. He is affiliated to numerous organizations, such as Valley Industry & Commerce Association (“VICA”), where he held a wide variety of positions; the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley, where he served as Board member and Executive Council member; the California State Board of Pharmacy, the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions Board, the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, and Woodbury University’s Board of Trustees.
Greg Lippe has earned many awards for his community service, such as the 2014 Community Service Award for being a trusted advisor from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal; the 2012 Harmon Ballin Community Service Award from VICA; the 2011 “Hammer of Hope” Award from Habitat for Humanity. In 2002 and 2007, he was honored by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal as one of the Top 25 CPAs of the Valley, and in 2007, he was honored by the California Chamber of Commerce as Small Business Advocate.
George Aba is the Chief Financial Officer of The Outdoor Recreation Group, a mid-sized sporting goods, camping and travel accessories design, development and distribution company, since late 2000.
After receiving his BA degree in Business Administration with a minor in Accounting & Finance at Bosphorus University in 1980, he came to United States for his graduate studies. He received his MBA degree at Woodbury University, Los Angeles, CA (now in Burbank) in 1983.
Following his graduation, George worked at Automation Printing Company in Los Angeles as full charge Accountant for three years. He then worked for a local CPA firm in Culver City specializing in garment industry, as well as BDO Seidman in City of Orange with a diverse client base in a variety of industries. After obtaining his CPA certification, George moved to private industry. Prior to joining The Outdoor Recreation Group, George worked at both public and private companies, such as Taren Holdings, Inc. (as Director of Accounting), Fortune Fashions, Inc. (as VP and Controller), and Signature Eyewear Corp. (as VP of Finance).
George Aba is a member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, California Society of Certified Public Accountants, and Woodbury University, School of Business Board of Advisors. His social affiliations include membership in the Organization of Istanbul Armenians, a cultural organization promoting the heritage of Armenians from Istanbul. George has been married for 31 years with two grown children. In his spare time, George likes fishing and watching movies.
Pouria Abbassi is the President and CEO of the Golbanoo Group, a specialty business management & consulting firm supporting large scale real estate developments, asset utilization practices through public private partnerships, conference and convention programming and digital health and wellness platforms and technologies.
Mr. Abbassi previously led Phoenix Houses of California, Inc. (PHC) as its President & CEO, overseeing the entire California operations through four companies, across 17 facilities, over 30 programs and a versatile array of mental and behavioral health services available to Californians.
Prior to Phoenix House, Pouria was the CEO of Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC), a major regional economic engine generating over $1B in annual net economic activity and supporting 12,000 jobs. Prior to joining the LACC, Pouria led teams in project engineering, debt financing, financial modeling, environmental analysis and information technology implementation.
A registered mechanical engineer in the State of California and a graduate of UCLA School of Engineering and Anderson School of Management/Executive Management Program, Pouria has published several scientific papers and is a recipient of over 30 business and performance awards. Mr. Abbassi sits on the boards of the Los Angeles Business Council, Providence Tarzana Hospital Foundation, Woodbury University, PAAIA, IA 100, Norooz Celebration Foundation, and works with various other community organizations including PARS Equality Center, Beyond Vision Music Foundation, and Farhang Foundation. Pouria is also an active member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and is engaged with various policy and think tank groups at the local and national levels. A firm believer in youth nourishment and education, Pouria frequently gives presentations on leadership and visioning to student groups ranging from elementary schools through graduate schools and mentors young professionals in their careers.
Michael Cusumano is the Managing Director of the Cusumano Real Estate Group, a Burbank, California based real estate development and investment firm. He is responsible for the current development of the $200,000,000 “Premier on First” mixed use development in Burbank California, as well as the $200,000,000 “Talaria at Burbank” mixed use development project, in addition to approximately $1,000,000,000 in other developments throughout southern California.
Cusumano is very active in philanthropic and civic endeavors. He is the Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of Providence St. Joseph’s Medical Center Foundation, Member of the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of the Verdugo’s, the Burbank Chamber of Commerce, Burbank Business Partners, Leadership Burbank, and several other civic organizations. Cusumano holds a California Real Estate License and California General Contractor’s License, and is a graduate of UCLA (BA-Economics-1984) and the Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business (MBA-1994).
Tracy Hernandez is the Founding CEO of the Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed), a nonprofit, massive grassroots alliance of 160 top business network with more than 325,000 business members, representing a diverse demographic, industry sector, and geographic array of small and large employers of nearly 3 million people in Southern California.
Tracy further oversees the BizFed Institute – A Project of Community Partners, and the BizFed Political Action Committee (PAC), which seeks to elect public officials with job creating focus and ability.
Ms. Hernandez is also President of IMPOWER Group, Inc., a business advisory company specializing in startups or strategic transition utilizing unlikely partnerships to achieve greater impact.
In 2003, Tracy served as the first female publisher of the Los Angeles Daily News in the paper’s nearly 100-year history. A 20-year veteran of the newspaper business, she held chief executive positions in a variety of major markets across the country, including the Journal Register Company of Trenton, New Jersey, as Publisher and CEO of four award-winning newspapers in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. She formerly owned/operated a group of newspapers and websites in Walla Walla, Washington.
Tracy has served on the Board of Directors of MEND (Meeting Each Need with Dignity), LA’s Best after school program, Valley Presbyterian Hospital, The American Institute of Architects, and Project Grad, and is currently active on the Board of Advisors at Woodbury University Business School, the Valley Economic Alliance, and the Long Beach Symphony.
Among her many honors: listed on the LA Business Journal’s 500 Most Influential Leaders list (2016), earning the USC Dornsife/Lee Cerrell “Trailblazing Women” award, and the South Bay Assoc. of Chambers of Commerce’ “Shaun Lumachi” award, Valley of the Stars award for Leadership by the Valley Economic Alliance (2014), and Woman of the Year by the Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (2012).
A native of Twin Falls, Idaho, Ms. Hernandez is a graduate of the College of Southern Idaho. She currently resides in Seal Beach, California, with her husband, two teenage daughters, and a step-son.
Mr. Humphrey is an experienced international executive in the Marketing Information Industry covering geographies across North and South America, Europe and Asia.
Currently Mr. Humphrey serves as a consultant to Global Automotive Executives in the area of product, brand and distribution strategies.
Previously Mr. Humphrey was Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Global Automotive Division of J.D. Power (JDP). Mr. Humphrey led the division for over eight years. At the time of Mr. Humphrey’s retirement from JDP he was overseeing $230M in revenue and 225 FTEs across 12 offices in North and South America, Europe and Asia.
Earlier in his career at JDP, Mr. Humphrey led the expansion of the firm’s Asia business by opening the China operations in 2005. Mr. Humphrey resided in Shanghai for two years and was responsible for building JDP’s Asia presence to become one of the largest sources of data, analytics and advisory services covering the auto sector in Asia.
Mr. Humphrey was also responsible for the development of the Automotive Advisory practice for JDP which assists automakers in the strategic and operational decisions that impact their business. This practice has become one of the largest for JDP.
Mr. Humphrey holds a BA in Political Science from Arizona State University and a MBA from Pepperdine University. Mr. Humphrey is frequently featured on cable news networks as well as often quoted in major publications such as the Wall Street Journal, NY Times and LA Times. He has spent over 17 years extensively working in International markets and over 27 years covering the auto industry.
Formerly a Venture Partner with OurCrowd, Mr. Noam Lotan is an investor and a mentor to several privately held technology companies. He has 25 years of public company CEO and board experience.
For 20 years, Noam served as CEO of MRV Communications, (Nasdaq: MRVC), a global telecom equipment manufacturer. He led the company from a startup to a public company with 4,000 employees worldwide and $500 million in revenue, with peak valuation exceeding $5 billion. Light Reading magazine listed him as one of the “top ten movers and shakers” in Optical Networking. Light Reading magazine listed him as one of the “top ten movers and shakers” in Optical Networking. Under his leadership, MRV was recognized for eight consecutive years as one of the fastest growing public companies in Southern California. Some of the more significant products developed by MRV were the first 100Mb Ethernet Switch (licensed to Intel) and the optical transceiver that enabled the deployment of Verizon FiOS® to more than 10 million homes in the USA.
After MRV, Noam was CEO of Resonate Industries, a startup company in the clean energy sector. He also held a variety of management positions at Hewlett-Packard and at Fibronics, working in the US, UK, France and Israel.
Mr. Lotan has been the Chairman of Source Photonics, Inc. (Also known as Luminent Inc.) since June 2007. He has been an Independent Director of Capstone Turbine Corp. Mr. Lotan has been a Director of Optical Access Inc. since its incorporation in December 1999. He served as a Director of US Seismic Systems, Inc., since May 2012 and MRV Communications Inc. from May 1990 to June 30, 2010. Mr. Lotan further served as a Director at Zaffire, Inc. He is also a Member of NACD (National Association of Corporate Directors).
Mr. Lotan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, and an MBA from INSEAD, the European Institute of Business Administration, Fontainebleau, France.,He has served five years as an officer at the IDF.
Gerard Mekhsian has an innate ability to find optimal financial solutions for clients and ensure tax savings. He has an IT background, and more than 30 years of experience in accounting, tax and consulting services. Gerard uses business understanding and financial acumen to help domestic and international clients with financial statements and tax compliance. Within his global practice, Gerard focuses on taking care of his client by listening, explaining the impact of tax, and collaborating to reach the identified financial goal.
In 2012, Gerard joined Hutchinson and Bloodgood LLP, where he serves as Director. He was previously with a public accounting firm in Woodland Hills, California.
Mr. Mekhsian’s areas of expertise include, but are not limited to, Financial Reporting and Assurance, Business Planning and Consulting, Estate Planning, Exit Planning for Business Owners, International Taxation, and Tax. He has experience in a wide variety of industries such as Construction, Entertainment, Family Business, Franchises, Healthcare, Manufacturing and Distribution, Real Estate, Sports Franchises, and Education.
Mr. Mekhsian holds a B.Sc, in Business and Accounting, and an MBA with a concentration in Computer Information Systems from California State University of Los Angeles. He is a member of numerous organizations and boards, such as the Advisory Board for Woodbury University Business School, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, California Society of CPAs, Finance Committee Member of Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) M.D. School, and Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Armenian Catholic Church in Glendale.
Shawn Morey is a Realtor and Principal Broker at Dwell Real Estate group. He has over 10 years of experience in real estate and development. His passion for this field has led him to experience all aspects of the industry including architecture, multi-family brokerage, property management, development and investing. Being a real estate investor and developer himself, he is confident in knowing what it takes to get a deal done.
An entrepreneur at heart, Shawn is involved in multiple business ventures. He is managing partner at NutriShop, Northridge, which is part of a national retail nutrition chain, and owner of the Paid to Play Media Group, a diverse nightlife and entertainment group, encompassing all aspects of the nightlife industry. In addition to specializing in nightlife and event production the Paid to Play Media Group offers a wide variety of services in its consulting division.
Prior to his current professional involvements, Shawn held a variety of positions, such as Event Coordinator at the California Fight Syndicate, a promotional company licensed by the California State Athletic Commission, and specializing in sports entertainment, in conjunction with community involvement; Project Manager at Better Shelter, an LA based boutique real estate development company; Associate at Marcus & Millichap, and Architectural Draftsman at Stitch Design Studios and Zimmerman Architects.
Shawn was born and raised in Santa Barbara, CA. He gained a passion for architecture, construction and development at a young age through his father and grandfather. After high school he attended Santa Barbara City College to study architecture and drafting. Shawn studied Business Finance and Real Estate at Woodbury University and holds a Master’s degree in Real Estate Development of the University of Southern California.
As a lifelong supporter of entrepreneurship, Shawn has been asked to speak at the Collegiate Entrepreneur Organization’s National Conference multiple times around the US. He enjoys giving back and mentoring undergraduate entrepreneurs on their way to creating their own business.
Dr. Walter W. Mosher, was born in Los Angeles and has resided in the San Fernando Valley most of his life. He was a co-founder of Precision Dynamics Corporation, a company manufacturing and distributing products in the health care field, and served as its President from 1957 to 2002. Since 2002 Dr. Mosher serves as a Director for Precision Dynamics Corporation.
From 1956 till 1971, Dr. Mosher was a student and faculty member at UCLA. He served as Director of the Urban Ecology and Transportation Group at the Institute of Transportation and Traffic Engineering. After serving on the committee that established the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at UCLA, he became a lecturer in this School.
Additionally, Dr. Mosher was a consultant to the Federal Government associated with setting up the National Highway Safety Bureau in the Department of Transportation, and to Systems Development Corporation on their traffic flow theory research program.
In 1971, Walt received his degree from UCLA’s School of Engineering, specializing in applied mathematics, computer technology and transportation flow theory. He subsequently assumed full-time management of Precision Dynamics Corporation. Dr. Mosher holds several patents in the patient identification field and has numerous publications in the field of highway safety and traffic flow theory.
Dr. Mosher serves on the Boards of various organizations including, Board of Directors and Past Chair of the Valley Industry Commerce Association (VICA), Board member of Valley Economic Development Center, Board Member Health Industry Business Communications Council (HIBCC), and Board member of the San Fernando Police Advisory Council. He was a founding member and Director for the Health Industry Manufacturers Association (HIMA), now AdvaMed, for 15 years and was a member of the Technical and Regulatory Committee from its inception until 2008. Dr. Mosher has been the recipient of many awards for distinguished community service and volunteerisms throughout his illustrious career including the Nelle Reagan Award from Olive View-UCLA Medical Center Foundation (1996), the prestigious Fernando Award (1998), and the Harmon Ballin Community Service Award from VICA (2001). In 1996 he was honored to be an Olympic Torch Runner.
Dr. Mosher holds an exemplary record of community involvement, and still actively supports MEND, Hathaway-Sycamore Child and Family Services, Tierra del Sol Foundation and the Valley Cultural Center.
Dr. Oliver retired from the Los Angeles Community College District in 2007 after serving 31 years in a variety of educational and administrative positions. Currently, Dr. Oliver is the President of the Board of Directors for Build Industries, a non-profit Corporation. The core business of Build Industries is to assist individuals with barriers to employment in achieving their highest potential by providing a variety of employment services that enable them to enhance their quality of life, independence, and vocational growth.
From January 2004 to January 2006, Dr. Thomas W. Oliver served as the President for Pierce College, providing continued leadership to the campus and implementing the vision and Master Plan for the College’s future. Under Dr. Oliver’s leadership, the College began a renaissance in increasing both the enrollment, and budgetary requirements.
Prior to returning to Pierce College in 2000, Tom served as Department Chairperson and Dean at Los Angeles Valley College, Vice President and President at Los Angeles Mission College. In 1980 he moved into the business community and became President of DCubed, Inc., a computer consulting company in Chatsworth. He later served as President and Owner of Edison Technical Institute.
Dr. Oliver has been involved in many statewide, community college committees which includes the Chair of the Resource Development Committee, Economic and Workforce Development Program Advisory Committee, CCC Board of Governors; the New Decisions Task Force, California Community College Foundation; Library and Learning Resources Advisory Committee; the Executive Board of the Chief Instructional Officers; and the Research and Accountability Technical Advisory Committee of the CCC Board of Governors.
Tom has received numerous awards, including, the Commitment to Education award from Ivy Academia (2013), the Los Angeles Community College District Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Service (2002 and 2006), the Executive Leadership Award by the League for Innovation (1998), Carl D. Perkins Vocational Fellow by the California Community Colleges (1992), the California Community College Association of Occupational Educators Outstanding Advisory Committee Award (1992), the Program Innovation Award by the LA Community College Board of Trustees (1991), California State University at Northridge, Volunteer Service Award, from the College of Education (2006), and the Justice Armand Arabian Award, granted to honor those who unselfishly donate their time to public service (2006).
Sunder Ramani is an active member of the surrounding communities for over thirty years. Sunder has had various careers including: commercial printing; construction; aviation; real estate; business consulting; and media. He is President of Westwind Properties.
He serves on several boards, including National Federation of Independent Business’ Leadership Council in California, Burbank Chamber of Commerce, Community Foundation of the Verdugos, Burbank Healthcare Foundation, and Woodbury University Business School Board, to name a few.
His previous service includes: Burbank Community YMCA; Burbank Rotary Clubs; Oakmont Country Club; and, Burbank Chamber of Commerce; He has held board positions for: American Red Cross; Verdugo Hills Boys Scouts; Salvation Army; Providence St. Joseph Medical Foundation; and, Glendale Adventist Medical Foundation;
He is married to Dr. Mandy Ramani, M.D. – and has two adult children. He is a graduate of California State University, Northridge, with a degree in Accounting.
Jane Skeeter is CEO and Founder of UltraGlas, Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of all facets of designed architectural and high performance glass and glass tile. An entrepreneur, designer, artist and engineer since childhood, Jane founded her stained glass and glazing company in her garage in the early ‘70’s. Since then it matured into the global leader in its industry, serving a variety of OEM, construction, and designed building material markets. The largest project to date is 125,000 square feet of UltraGlas to clad the exterior of a hospital in Kuwait.
Prior to UltraGlas, Ms. Skeeter owned a clothing design and dressmaking business, and a Porsche restoration business. She is Past President of NAWBO-LA (National Association of Women Business Owners); has been named San Fernando Valley Business Journal’s Women in Business CEO of the Year, and was one of ten to win their Business Woman of the Decade award. She was the LA SBA’s Women in Business Champion of the Year; was named Small Business of the Year from the 23rd State Senate District (2012), and was recipient of the Pioneer Woman Award from the Los Angeles City Commission on the Status of Women, as well as the NAWBO/Wells Fargo National Trailblazer Award, along with a variety of others.
Jane is a highly regarded consultant, popular lecturer and community activist, currently serving on the Advisory Board of Woodbury University School of Business, and on the boards of The Valley Economic Alliance, VICA, Val*Pac, The Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley, The Valley Group, NAWBO-LA Foundation, Promerica Bank Advisory Board and as a Trustee of West Hills Hospital.
Ms. Skeeter received her California Lifetime Teaching Credential, holds licenses as a General and Glazing Contractor, and is a Certified Interior Designer. She is a graduate of UCLA’s MDE program, the NAWBO-LA Peak Leadership Academy, and is a LEED AP, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional, by the USGBC. Jane has been a West Valley resident since 1959. She lives in West Hills with her husband of 39 years, Barron Postmus, who is an award-winning fine artist. They have four children and six grandchildren.
Dr. van Niekerk’s field of expertise lies in both Higher Education and the Corporate world. He is an expert at strategically positioning organizations through well-defined planning and marketing. During the past forty-six years his attention has been focused on Education (Schools of Business) and International Consulting, with major assignments in Advertising, Automotive Branding, Entertainment, Telecommunications, Health Care Technologies, Health Care Associations, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturing, and Foreign Governments.
Dr. van Niekerk’s services are often sought by major corporations before, during, and after mergers. He specializes in successfully molding often disparate cultures into cohesive and highly productive organizations. He has been a college Dean and Vice President and has held positions in business and industry as Associate Director of UCLA Medical Center as well as the UCLA Medical Group.
Dr. van Niekerk currently oversees International Recruitment at Woodbury University. Prior to this, he was the Dean of Woodbury’s School of Business (2005 – 2016), leading the School to initial AACSB accreditation; Associate Dean for Executive Programs and Executive Professor of Marketing at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School; and taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Andrews University, Michigan State University, and the University of Southern California, where he was also a lead faculty for the Center of Excellence in Health Care Management.
Dr. van Niekerk served as Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Planning for both National Medical Enterprises (Tenet) and UniHealth America, and as General Vice President for the Adventist Health System in their Sunbelt Division. He is considered to be one of the nation’s foremost Strategic Positioning specialists with numerous nationally and internationally recognized brands in his portfolio. His further expertise is focused on Luxury Brands – especially in the automotive industry where major clients include Mercedes-Benz, smart, BMW, and Volvo.
He holds a Ph.D. from Michigan State University, an M.A. from Andrews University, and a B.A from Pacific Union College. He has also done post-doctoral work in Marketing/Luxury Brands.
Dr. van Niekerk is very active in philanthropic endeavors and has a strong interest in corporate governance, particularly serving on corporate boards.