Board of Trustees
LCAD TRUSTEES ARE PASSIONATE COLLEGE AMBASSADORS.
Laguna College of Art + Design’s Board of Trustees guides our not-for-profit college in governance, policies, finances, and strategic planning. Each Trustee plays an important leadership role by inspiring others to join them in a commitment to accomplish or to exceed LCAD’s organizational goals. LCAD Trustees are passionate College ambassadors who apply their unique professional acumens to responsibly advance LCAD’s mission to empower creative leaders.
Carla Arzente was born in El Salvador and moved to the United States to pursue an education and career in advertising. After 10 years working in New York as a creative director, Carla moved to Southern California where she established saltfineart, a contemporary gallery dedicated to Latin American art and culture. Over the past 7 years she has formed relationships with both well-established as well as emerging Latin artists from over 21 countries, curating exhibitions that approach art from a regional and cultural perspective. She and her husband George Arzente moved to Orange County 10 years ago and are happily raising their three children Georgie, Henry and Charlotte there.
After living in Montana, Renae Ashwill moved to Los Angeles, California as a teenager. She and her husband moved to Laguna Beach in 1984. After the passing of her husband, Renae assumed management of her family’s personal portfolio of industrial and commercial properties and was a founding member of Women of Vision.
An avid world-wide traveler, she has climbed Kilimanjaro and cites India and Southeast Asia as her favorite places to visit. When she is not traveling, Renae plays tennis and golf and enjoys spending time with her two sons and four grandchildren at their vacation home in Montana.
Gerard, who grew up in Los Angeles, California is a self-taught artist who has acquired knowledge and experience from his travels and life experiences. He draws on all aspects of his life in order to create unique and meaningful pieces. His artistic beginnings started when he was young; drawing was part of his everyday recreation. From a very early age he knew that he wanted to be an artist. As an adult he worked in many creative, artistic fields such as set design, costume design and building functional art. This only partly satisfied his artistic desires, so he began to create fine art sculptures that became his full-time passion. In the last few years Gerard has specifically worked on creating fine art in bronze. It is in this medium that he has found the truest form of art that flows from his heart, head and soul. He draws on all aspects of his life in order to create unique and meaningful pieces. Gerard has exhibited his work at the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach, California, and has had great success in forming a clientele that recognizes the beauty and strength in his work. His sculptures are included in many significant collections both public and private. Gerard lives in Laguna Beach and works full time as an artist.
Nancy Beverage was born in Ontario, Canada and moved to the United States in her early years, becoming a U.S. citizen at age 17. She graduated from UCLA and was hired by IBM shortly thereafter. Spending her entire professional career at IBM, she worked in various marketing and technical management roles including managing the Orange County Executive Briefing Center. Since taking early retirement from IBM, Nancy has been active in many nonprofit organizations. She was a member of the Laguna Beach Arts Commission for nine years, serving two terms as Chair, served as Vice Chair of the a Laguna Beach Arts Alliance and is on the Executive Committee of the Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association. Nancy is married to Gary Beverage, another cheerful community volunteer. They enjoy boating and trying to train their pooch, Winston.
Hello, I'm Jonathan Burke, President of LCAD. I earned my BFA in painting from Kansas City Art Institute and MFA from Boston University. Additionally I studied at Skowhegan and the New York Studio School in New York and Paris. I've been full-time faculty at LCAD since 1985. Though I'm involved in the administration of the BFA and MFA I continue to paint, teach and occasionally exhibit. I am completely devoted to creating the best representational drawing, painting and sculpture program. It's an honor to be associated with faculty that care deeply about the tradition of representation and students that found this unique drawing and painting major.
Kathryn Burton Gray, Head of Health Care & Senior Managing Director
Ms. Burton Gray is Head of Health Care and Senior Managing Director for Hunt Mortgage Group. She joined Hunt Mortgage Group in January 2018. She is responsible for overseeing Hunt’s financing and private placement activities in the health care sector, including real estate proprietary bridge lending and FHA loans. Her areas of expertise include the long-term care sector of the health care industry with a focus on underwriting and portfolio responsibilities. Prior to joining Hunt, she was Head of Health Care and Senior Managing Director for RED Mortgage Capital, LLC.
Ms. Burton Gray has over 34 years of banking experience in both large commercial banking platforms, including Wells Fargo Bank, as well as smaller regional and community banks. Prior to joining Hunt, she worked for finance companies, including CIT Group, GE, Finova Capital, and most recently Red Capital Group/ORIX where she led the national Seniors and Healthcare real estate platform in the Commercial Finance Division and was responsible for originations in the seniors housing and skilled nursing spaces.
Ms. Burton Gray serves on the Foundation Board of Mission Hospital, a St. Joseph’s Hospital subsidiary, taught courses in SAT, LSAT, MCAT, GRE, and GMAT for the Princeton Review; and participated on many other industry specific boards including Executive Board positions with ASHA (American Senior Housing Association), and ULI’s Seniors Housing Council (Urban Land Institute). Her past board memberships have included HCap, LTC 100, CALA, ALFA-Argentum, and the NIC Advisory Committee.
Nancy Bushnell was born in Bogotá, Colombia. Her family lived in La Paz, Bolivia and Lima, Peru before moving to the United States in 1960. Nancy received her bachelor’s degree with a double major in Spanish and Humanities from Pitzer College in Claremont, California and a California Teaching Credential from the University of Southern California. She earned a Master’s Degree in International Management at The American Graduate School of Management in Glendale, Arizona. After completing her education, Nancy worked for Security Pacific National Bank in Los Angeles as a Latin American specialist in their International Banking Division. In 1976, Nancy married David P. Bushnell, founder of Bushnell Optical Corporation known for their sports optics and moved to Laguna that year. Nancy had been a member of the Board of Directors of Pitzer College for 20 years, serving as Co-Chair for Policies and Procedures. She also served on the boards of Human Options – a battered women’s shelter in Orange County, for 8 years, Sally’s Fund – a nonprofit transportation organization for Seniors of Laguna Beach for 4 years, and The Laguna Art Museum for 6 years, and serves on the Board of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna. The Bushnells have also been supporters of the Laguna Playhouse, The Friendship Shelter, and two Micro Credit NGOs: Opportunity International and FINCA.
Suzanne Chonette was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. After moving to the United States, she attended Simmons College and the Museum School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Marriage intervened and after an hiatus as wife and mother of five children, she returned to academic studies when her youngest began high school. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Art Institute of Southern California, renamed Laguna College of Art and Design, in 1990. Suzanneʼs representational works are primarily in pastel and oil. She has been an active participant in Orange County philanthropies for the past 40 years holding many offices and chairs. As a former oboe player, Suzanne has a great love of symphonic music. She has been a Pacific Symphony Board member for the past 12 years and is currently a Life Board member. Suzanneʼs current priorities include the support of performing and visual arts education for the youth of our community.
Barbara Clarence has thirty-five years of comprehensive experience in educational leadership positions at elementary, secondary, and college levels. She retired after serving seven years as the Riverside County Assistant Superintendent of Schools. In that position, Clarence was in charge of curriculum, instruction, and assessment for twenty-three school districts throughout the county coordinating the delivery and implementation of California State Department programs to ensure educational legal requirements. During her career, Barbara served on numerous secondary school accreditation teams for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. A native Californian, she attended the University of California in Santa Barbara. Barbara continues to serve on two California Department of Education Advisory Committees in Sacramento.
Nelson Coates is an award-winning American production designer for film, television, and theater. The fourth of five children of Abilene Christian University professors Drs. Ed and Jane Coates, Nelson graduated magna cum laude from ACU with a BA in Journalism/Mass Communications with an emphasis in design, and a minor in Biology. He was involved in more than 30 collegiate and professional theatre productions while in college, and went on to perform Off-Broadway, in regional theatre, and television, and began his career in theatrical and feature film design. He was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1994 for his production design of the miniseries STEPHEN KING’S THE STAND for which he designed 225 sets and locations. Nelson was named Abilene Christian University’s Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year in 1996, and was recipient of the ACU Department of Journalism/Mass Communications Gutenberg Award. His film design work includes such hits as MURDER AT 1600, KISS THE GIRLS, ANTWONE FISHER, RUNAWAY JURY, THE PROPOSAL, BIG MIRACLE, and THE GUILT TRIP. In 2013, Coates was nominated by the Art Directors Guild for Outstanding Contemporary Film Design for his work on FLIGHT. Coates is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He was named Film Professional of the Year (2008) by Cambridge Who’s Who in America.
Lisa Dallendorfer, a native of Southern California, is owner and principal of The Dall Group, a client solutions consultancy. Before starting her own company in 2004, she enjoyed nearly 20 years with The Walt Disney Company in entertainment attraction retail design, store planning, construction and installation. During her tenure at Disney, her focus was on developing cost effective retail programs from concept to installation. Prior to Lisa’s career with The Walt Disney Company, she enjoyed a career pursuing her true passion as an art educator and administrator with the Capistrano Unified School District. She taught secondary art education at San Clemente High School and then moved to Capistrano Valley High School to open the new art department. She also acted as Department head for the Fine Arts Cluster at Capistrano Valley High School, which included; Music, Art, Industrial Arts, Drama and Home Economics departments. In addition to teaching at the secondary level, she also taught at the community college level at El Camino College and Saddleback College. Lisa earned both her BA and MA in Art and Design from California State University, Long Beach,California. She holds a Standard Secondary Life Credential in Art Education as well as a Clear Administrative Credential from studies pursued at the University of California, Irvine campus.
Michael Ervin, a Laguna Beach resident, has been painting and sculpting art for more than 40 years. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Professional Arts from Woodbury University, a renowned business and art college. In 1981, Michael opened his own advertising and design firm that has served world-class clients in a variety of industries. While that firm, Ervin Ad, is still operating today, he devotes most of his time to the arts through painting and sculpture. Michael has won several critically acclaimed national and international awards for his art, design and advertising. He has served on the Boards of Directors of many organizations, including The Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, the American Red Cross, The Nicole Brown Foundation, and The Business Marketing Association. He is an active member of the Laguna Beach arts community, currently serving on the city’s Arts Commission. He is also a member of Laguna Outreach for Community Arts, Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, The Laguna Beach Art Museum, Pacific Marine Mammal Center, the Community Emergency Response Team for Laguna Beach, and the Sierra Club, among others. Michael and his wife, Sandra, a marketing professional, have lived in Laguna Beach for five years.
Joan Gladstone is president and CEO of Gladstone International, a strategic public relations firm founded in 1989. Joan has specialized in public relations planning and counseling for corporations, cities and nonprofits throughout California. Over the course of her career, Joan has achieved national recognition for public relations excellence. Her highest professional honor was election to the prestigious Public Relations Society of America College of Fellows, awarded for lifetime achievement and service to the profession. In addition to LCAD, she currently serves on the board of the Laguna Plein Air Artists Association (LPAPA). She has served on the boards of the Laguna Playhouse, Orange County Museum of Art, Orangewood Children's Foundation and the Urban Land Institute Orange County District Council. She and her husband Ed Gillow, live in Laguna Beach. Joan’s interests include oil painting, photography and travel.
CID, NCIDQ, LEED® AP Regional Managing Principal As Co-Managing Principal for the Southwest Region, Kim is responsible for Gensler offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, Newport Beach, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Denver, providing leadership that has been truly transformative. With a passion for design excellence and strong client partnerships, Kim has diversified and expanded Gensler’s Orange County practice, which was recognized as one of the “Best Places to Work” by the Orange County Register and recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. Over the course of her career, Kim has cultivated longstanding client relationships across a diverse body of work that includes interior design, project and portfolio management and design strategy. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from Northern Arizona University.
Veronica M. Gray is a prominent trial attorney in Orange County, California with over four decades of experience litigating and negotiating employment issues for her clients. She chairs Nossaman’s Employment Practice Group and represents employers throughout California, as well as meeting their out-of-state needs. Ms. Gray provides counseling, advice, and litigation services to private and public companies and public entities in a broad array of employment and labor related matters. What distinguishes Ms. Gray is her strategic creative approach in addressing her clients’ needs and resolutions that are smart and effective. Ms. Gray has not only mastered the nuances of employment law, but is skilled in bet the company cases. She thrives on tough cases and knows how to win.
Over the span of Ms. Gray’s career, she has taken on leadership roles in many professional and philanthropic organizations on a local and international level with a focus on micro-enterprise and children’s education. Ms. Gray is also a passionate photographer and her remote travel has allowed her to capture the striking close-up images of indigenous people world-wide (www.veronicagrayphotography.com)
She has donated her photography to many non-profits to support their fund raising efforts and her work has been on display at the Chapman University School of Law and the Peter Blake Gallery in Orange County, in Orange Coast Magazine, and at the FotoCare Gallery and the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York.
Sue Greenwood is the owner/director of Sue Greenwood Fine Art (SGFA). Established in 2002, SGFA is one of Southern California’s most respected fine art galleries, representing 35 emerging and mid-career artists from across the United States that exemplify aesthetic excellence with a focus on realism and figurative works of art. Sue manages, brands and sells the artists’ work through her gallery, the organization of outside solo and group exhibitions, and educational lectures. Sue’s extensive career began in in 1992 when she worked as Art Director for Daniel Fine Art, then as Gallery Director for Diane Nelson Fine Art.
John Gunnin teaches AP Art History and AP Studio Art at Corona del Mar High School in Newport Beach, California. He has served as a question leader for the AP Art History exam and currently serves on the Development Committee for AP Art History. He is a Director of the William Gillespie Foundation and a former Trustee of Sage Hill School. He has published numerous articles on contemporary art and travel in popular magazines such as Juxtapoz and The Surfer’s Journal. He was named the Orange County Arts Educator of the Year for 2007 and the Corona del Mar High School Teacher of the Year for 2009.
For the past 17 years Lisa Hale has been a Partner with Parallax Capital Partners, LLC, a private equity fund that focuses on the software industry. Lisa is primarily responsible for all Human Resource due diligence and day-to-day operations. In this role, she has established new benefit programs for all of Parallax’s acquisitions and successfully transitioned over 2,000 employees to these new programs. Lisa currently manages human resources for three portfolio companies with over 200 employees in 4 different countries. She is responsible for all employee benefit plans, policy and procedures, compensation plans and other matters related to employees. Lisa previously served as a director of Computron Software, MultiGen Paradigm, VistaSource, Inc. and Daptiv Solutions. Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Art from the University of California, Irvine. Lisa is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Laguna Playhouse.
Known for his direct involvement with projects around the globe. Ron Holecek has come to epitomize his firms commitment to a dynamic, personal approach by its leaders. Serving as President and CEO of WATG from 1993-2009, Ron led the firm through successive years of growth by focusing on implementing smart business practices to improve efficiency and profitability. At the same time he expanded the firm’s operations to be truly global. WATG is recognized as the world’s leading consulting firm specializing in hospitality, leisure and entertainment design. From WATG offices in Irvine, Honolulu, Seattle, Orlando, London and Singapore, a talented and multicultural staff of professionals provides strategy, planning, architecture, landscape architecture and interior design services. WATG is the number one hospitality design firm in the world, according to surveys by Hotel Design and Hotel & Motel Management magazines. Hospitality Design magazine’s recent survey of architecture and interior design firms ranked WATG’s corporate culture among the top in the country: best career advancement, best firm philosophy, best client list, best list of projects, and most innovative. Ron is a recipient of the 2001 North Dakota State University Alumni Achievement Award, an Advisory Board Member of the North Dakota State University College of Engineering and Architecture, a member of the Urban Land Institute since 1987, and a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
Felicia Jao is CEO of Guangyou Foods Holdings Limited, a company that owns restaurant chains of Southeast Asian fast-casual dining in Guangzhou, China. Since she joined the company in 2013 she developed 12 restaurant locations, established a corporate team and developed the company’s operating system. She is also Executive Director and founding member of Indochine Essence Group Limited, President and founder of US College Compass, LLC, and Vice President of Real Estate at Bridgecreek Realty Investment Corporation. Felicia is a Board member of The Jao Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes education and culture. A graduate of California State University, Fullerton, Felicia splits her time between the United States and Hong Kong.
Terry Jones joined The Smith Center for the Performing Arts as the VP for Development in December 2009 where he is responsible for managing the completion of the capital campaign and establishing an annual giving program. He plans, implements and evaluates all development strategies and initiatives. In addition, he is the senior staff person assigned to the Board of Directors’ Development and Governance/Nominating Committees. Previously, Terry spent ten years as vice president of development for the Orange County Performing Arts Center where his duties included directing the capital campaign for the Center’s new concert hall. In 2007, he started his consulting business with clients including Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, Chapman University, and Laguna College of Art and Design. Terry’s development career has included service as vice president of development at Pitzer College and director of the first capital campaign at the University of California, Irvine. Earlier, Terry served as vice chancellor for advancement at University of California, Santa Cruz, director of development at the University of Denver, and director of annual giving at Tulane University. Terry earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and a Master of Arts in Radio, Television and Film Production from the University of Michigan. He enjoys hiking, traveling and spending time with his family, including his two grandchildren.
Bonnie Livingston, PhD was an executive in the medical device industry for more than 25 years. She was formerly President/CEO of Salvatori Ophthalmics, a public eye care products company and Iovision, Inc. a surgical products firm that was acquired by Pharmacia-Upjohn. More recently Bonnie has served as management consultant and coach to CEO’s in a variety of service and products industries. She is associated with several charitable organizations and is active in ministry at Mariners Church in Irvine. She has had a lifetime interest in classical art and is an emerging visual artist. Bonnie resides in Newport Beach with her husband, John.
Ilona Martin was born in East Germany, studied at the University of Heidelberg, and traveled to safety from east to west on the Berlin Freedom train. She immigrated to America to continue her studies in journalism and law, living in several places ranging from the East Coast to California. Eventually settling in Carmel, she raised her family and began her design and manufacturing career, with a client list that included Lands End, Orvis, Eddie Bauer and LL Bean. After seventeen years, she relocated to Newport Beach. Ilona took her first art class at LCAD twenty-seven years ago, returning to join the Board of Trustees in 2010. She is presently serving on the Boards of The Laguna Playhouse and as President of Hoag Hospital 552 Board/Foundation. Ilona was given the Vin Jorgensen Award, and a member of the Art Council of Monterey, the Steinbeck Center, the Hemingway Society, and Slow Food International. She retired in 2005 from manufacturing for the surf wear industry. . Enjoying long relationships with QuickSilver, Billabong, Hurley, Stussy and more, Ilona enjoyed working with young talent and helping new start-ups with designing products. Ilona is now busy painting for her Carmel Gallery and Newport Studio and visiting her three sisters in Budapest. Most importantly she spends time with her family, teaching her grandchildren to paint, make chocolates and have a good time.
Jared Mathis, a native Californian, is the Chief Executive Officer of Orange County based MMB Management, LLC: an investment company involved in commercial, industrial and residential real estate. A twenty-year veteran of the real estate industry, Jared worked previously for the California Building Industry Association and National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Prior to joining MMB in March 2013 Jared served as Vice President of NAHB in Washington, DC. Jared received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Policy from Pomona College in Claremont, California followed by the distinction of being selected for the CORO Fellowship Program specializing in Public Affairs in Los Angeles, California. Most recently, Jared pursued his Masters of Professional Studies in Real Estate at Georgetown University. Jared is a Certified Association Executive and has extensive experience serving and working with non-profit boards all over the country. In fact, over the last fifteen years he has worked on-site with non-profit boards in every state in America including Hawaii and Alaska.
In his new role with MMB and as a husband and proud father of 3 little girls, Jared’s extensive travel is a thing of the past. In fact, he and his family have deep roots in Orange County. Jared is a life member of the Saddleback Area Historical Society, President of the Pomona College KD Alumni Association and board member of the 4-M Water District. Jared also loves to spend time on the golf course and has a deep appreciation for early California plein air art. 2016/18 LCAD CATALOG »
Jim was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but moved to Southern California, along with his parents and siblings, at the age of six. He attended the University of Southern California on a debate scholarship, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1975. After graduation, Jim worked for Hughes Aircraft and Xerox Corporation, the latter in marketing and sales. Then law school intervened.
Jim returned to the University of Southern California, graduating with a Juris Doctorate in 1984. After a year clerking for the Honorable Margaret Morris on the California Court of Appeals, he joined the Costa Mesa firm of Drummy Garrett King & Harrison LLP. Subsequently, Jim joined the San Francisco based Graham & James LLP, where he was a partner for eight years.
In 1999, Jim started his own law practice, McQueen & Ashman LLP, in Irvine, California. He practices business litigation, handling a wide variety of disputes in venues as diverse as the Hague in the Netherlands, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington D.C., and Orange County Superior Court in our own Santa Ana, California. Jim has lived in Laguna Beach for about a decade. He is presently the President of OC Human Relations Advisory Board, and has served many years on the Board of Trustees of the Laguna Art Museum and, before that, the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach. His favorite pursuits, besides practicing law, are reading, writing and seeing the world.
James Mellor is currently the Chairman of USEC Inc. (a global energy company) and previously served as their Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He retired as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of General Dynamics Corporation in 1997. Previously he was with Hughes Aircraft Company and Litton Industries. While at Hughes, and in his first years at Litton, he received numerous patents relating to digital computing technology. He has also authored more than 30 articles in national and international publications covering a wide range of management and technical subjects. Mr. Mellor graduated from the University of Michigan in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics. He was awarded a Master of Science degree from the same University in 1953. He presently serves on Boards of Directors of the Scripps Research Institute, the Max Plank Institute, Materia, Inc. and Greenzone, Inc. He is the Chairman of Reunify, Inc. He previously served on the boards of Pinkerton, Inc., Computer Sciences Corporation, Kerr Manufacturing, Inc., IDT, Inc., Net-2-Phone, Inc., Bergen Brunswick Corporation, Inc., Howmet, Inc., and as Chairman of AmerisourceBergen Corporation. He is presently on the Board of Trustees of the University of California- Irvine, the National Museum of American History, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Board of Trustees of Ford Theater in Washington, D.C. Mr. Mellor and his wife Suzanne have three married children, nine grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
Suzanne Mellor is an advisor to the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in Washington, DC and is a charter member of that organization. In 2006 she established the Suzanne and James Mellor prize at NMWA. Mellor is also a member of the Director’s Circle at the National Gallery of Arts in Washington, DC and the Board of Trustees of the Laguna Playhouse. She and her husband James have lived in Laguna Beach since 1981.
Nancy L. Milby is the owner and Executive Director of Laguna Culinary Arts, a hands-on cooking school for the home chef that opened in Laguna Beach in July 2001. Prior to opening Laguna Culinary Arts, Nancy was a senior financial executive, serving as Chief Financial Officer for several start-up and early stage companies. Her financial training comes from 16 years at KPMG, a worldwide accounting and consulting firm, where she was a partner in the health care venture-consulting group. While at KPMG, Nancy was actively involved in developing and teaching the firm’s in-house training programs, earning numerous awards for instructor excellence. She also served as partner-in-charge of the firm’s National Business School for her industry group.
After careers in mortgage finance management and international travel consultancy, Laura volunteers her time to philanthropic pursuits that further the arts, education and life recovery services globally. In addition to being a member of Laguna College of Art and Design’s Board of Trustees she sits on the Board of The Lacewing Foundation, on the Collections Committee at the Laguna Art Museum and on major fundraising event committees. Graduating Summa Cum Laude from Dominican University with a bachelor’s degree in Art History and Humanities, Laura has continued to enjoy her passion for her studies through her volunteer affiliations. She and her husband Louis make their home in Laguna Beach, California.
Richard Schwarzstein is an attorney who has lived in Laguna Beach with his family since 1974 and has law offices in Newport Beach. He was born in Yonkers, N.Y, received an AB from Columbia College and a JD from Harvard Law School. He practiced law as a partner in a large international NYC law firm before moving to California. His legal practice involves corporate and international law, and he has represented US and foreign sports associations and non-profit organizations. He is a Trustee of the Hutchins Consort, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Harvard Law School Association of Orange County, and was, for many years, an officer and director of the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, and a Trustee of the Laguna Art Museum. He also helped organize, and serves on the Board of Directors of, the Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association which has relationships with cities in France, Mexico and England. He also assisted LCAD in entering into an affiliation with the Florence Academy. He is married to Sande Adsley, an artist who was born in Denver. They met when Sande was an art student at the Museum School/University of Mass, in Boston. After art school, she worked at Terry Toons, a N. Y. animation studio. Sande has worked in many media, but now concentrates on silver and glass jewelry and art glass. Sande took art classes at LCAD before it was accredited. They have collected natïve art, including paintings and sculpture from Haiti, where they owned an art gallery with a partner, for many years. They live in a vintage Spanish style home in Laguna. They have three daughters: Cindy, Alisa and Amy. Cindy is an art consultant who lives in the Art District in LA. Alisa and her husband, Ian, who were named in 2014 as Athletes of the Year by the Laguna Beach Patriot’s Day Parade Committee, live in Laguna Beach. Ian and Alisa were world surfing champions and Alisa is a surf coach at the LB High School. Amy and her husband, Denis, live outside of Paris, France. Denis is a manufacturer of watches and they have three daughters, two of whom are in college, one in fashion and the other in filmmaking.
Christopher D. Tower, CPA, Audit Partner, Orange County, BDO Seidman, LLP. Christopher Tower has approximately 18 years of public accounting experience, providing services to both privately and publicly-held clients. He has broad experience in various professional disciplines including accounting and auditing, taxation and management consulting.
Mr. Tower’s responsibilities have included, among others, conducting audit and consulting engagements in a wide range of industries, including real estate, manufacturing and distribution, high tech, biomedical, healthcare, multi-family housing, financial services, professional services and hospitality companies. He has substantial experience in managing public offerings and private placements, with significant engagements encompassing initial and secondary stock offerings, high-yield debt offerings and the formation of REITs. He routinely conducts business acquisition and disposition due diligence analyses, profitability assessments, financial modeling (including financial projections and forecast), litigation consulting engagements, including varying subject matters described herein, compliance audits for government oversight bodies, evaluations of internal control structures, business unit efficiency studies, executive search and placements and specialized agreed-upon procedure engagements. These qualifications give him special insights into business, financial and tax concerns.
Professional Affiliations: Member, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, California Society of Certified Public Accountants and California Financial Services Association. Christopher is also Director of Real Estate Services, Western Region, BDO Seidman, LLP, and was a National Quality Control Director for KL & Co., Past Instructor, Building and Officer Managers Association and Internal peer review team leader and external peer review coordinator, KL & Co. Mr. Tower also serves on the Board of Directors of the Wellness Community.
Christopher holds a BS, Business Administration, from the University of California, Haas Business School, Berkeley. He has worked for KPMG Peat Marwick, Kenneth Leventhal & Co., Squar, Milher & Rheel and Corbin & Wertz.