Speaker Series

May 25th, 2021

Bill Rosenberger, CPA

A Conversion Story: Evangelicalism to Catholicism. A passion from ordinary water to the true, the good, and flavorful premium draft beer

Not all Certified Public Accountants are created equal.  Bill will prove you wrong.  Bill’s life is never stagnant and a main part of his life is insurance. After watching his father wholly engrossed in his career as a CPA to the insurance industry, Bill identifies this same drive within; he enjoys helping a client succeed or assisting a team member with a challenging business concept. He knows the statutory and regulatory matters that affect an insurance company and his clients appreciate that he will find answers to their questions to create distinct and legitimate resolutions.

Bill is the managing partner of JLK Rosenberger, CPAs.  He is a proud father to a handsome son and two beautiful daughters; a St. Monica Academy dad who found his passion in micro-brewery.  He will talk about his conversion story but most important of all how he found his passion in making premium draft beer.  He will share a taste of his expertise not in accounting but in what makes the true, the good and flavorful premium draft beer.

December 1st, 2020

Adam Joseph

Self-Defense, Hollywood Myths, and Effective Training

Adam Joseph lives in Southern California with his wife and five children, and has been working as a police officer for thirteen years. His assignments have included patrol, field training, property crimes detective, sex crimes detective, school resource officer, Special Response Team officer, use of force instructor, and department training coordinator.

Adam has extensive training in defensive tactics, arrest and control methods, force investigation, force science analysis, special weapons and tactics, instructional design and training safety.

He has designed and delivered training for police officers across a wide range of topics.

In addition to his work at the Police Department, Adam has worked as a defensive tactics and arrest and control instructor at a local police academy, and as a Krav Maga instructor.

The objective of the presentation is to help attendees develop a basic understanding of the principles of effective self-defense, the principles used to evaluate the reasonableness of the use of force or violence against another person, and the principles of effective self-defense training.

The principles will be discussed in comparison to common myths about violent encounters.

September 1st, 2020

Michael Harnish

Art & Creating Culture

Michael Harnish is a professional artist whose work ranges from California West Coast abstraction to classical traditional painting. His work explores a certain playfulness between serious painting and child like experimentation. The overall nature of his work moves between paper collaging on small scale to large scale floral paintings. He currently resides in Fullerton with his wife and two children.

August 4th, 2020

Charbel Simon

Design a Soulful Business, Career, and Life WIthout Burning Out

Charbel Simon, after a fruitful, yet bumpy design career at Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and Silicon Valley startups, Charbel Simon burned out. That’s why he launched Soulful – a venture studio creating businesses that help people support themselves with dignity and alleviate poverty in our communities. Charbel earned a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University and M.A. in Leadership from St. Mary’s College of Moraga. He enjoys designing a soulful life with his wife and five children.

July 7th, 2020

Skyler Reidy, Ph.D.

Junipero Serra

Skyler Reidy has a PhD in the History Department at the University of Southern California. His dissertation focuses on material religion in nineteenth-century California and argues American expansion shaped secular trends in culture and politics. Skyler was born and raised in Encinitas, California, but left to study history at the College of William & Mary. After earning a BA and MA, he traveled in the American West and worked on several farms.

June 24th, 2020

Michael Soltys, Ph.D.

Current trends in the IT Industry: Cybersecurity, Cloud and Blockchain

Michael joined California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) in 2014 as Professor and Chair of Computer Science, Information Technology and Mechatronics Engineering. His vision is to build a world-class department where cutting edge research is put at the service of students and community.  His Ph.D. is from the University of Toronto, and he was chair of Computer Science at McMaster University (2001-2014), an Ulam professor at the University of Colorado Boulder (2007-2008), a visiting scholar at UC San Diego (2013), authored two books, and published over 60 research papers. He specializes in Algorithms, Cybersecurity and Cloud Computing.

June 3rd, 2020

Aaron Kheriaty, MD

The Ethics of Pandemic Triage

Aaron Kheriaty is Director of the Medical Ethics Program at UCI Health.  He serves as chairman of the medical ethics committees at UCI Hospital and at the CA Department of State Hospitals.

Dr. Kheriaty graduated from the University of Notre Dame in philosophy and pre-medical sciences, earned his MD degree from Georgetown University, and completed residency training in psychiatry at UCI.

He has authored books and articles for professional and lay audiences on bioethics, social science, psychiatry, and religion.

His work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Public Discourse, and First Things; he has conducted print, radio, and television interviews on bioethics topics with The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, Fox, and NPR.  On matters of public policy and healthcare he has addressed the California Medical Association and has testified before the California Senate Health Committee.

Dr. Kheriaty is Senior Fellow and Director of the Program in Health and Human Flourishing at the Zephyr Institute in Palo Alto, CA, and Scholar at the Paul Ramsey Institute in San Francisco, CA.

April 23rd, 2020

Tim Reckart sr

How to Make a Career Shift in the Midst of a World Crisis
(from a guy who’s done it three times)

Tim Reckart is an attorney from Tucson, Arizona, with a practice focused on corporate law and financing and intellectual property transactions, predominantly with technology-based companies. His career has intersected with nuclear power, space exploration, color printers, cancer drugs, and flying cars. Tim holds degrees in nuclear engineering from MIT and UC Berkeley, as well as a JD and MBA from Stanford University. He is the father of six children and lives in Tucson with his wife Jane.

March 3rd, 2020

Ashton Ellis

5 Lessons from a Millennial Estate Planner

Ashton Ellis (JD, PhD) is the Western Regional Director of Gift & Estate Planning for Hillsdale College. In this role, he works primarily at the intersection of philanthropy and wealth management. Ashton helps families ensure their values endure for generations to come. He also serves as an informal counselor on maintaining a healthy family culture. In this talk, he will share five key lessons he’s learned about what success really means.

February 4th, 2020

Colin Brady

Animating characters, coworkers and original content for a digital marketplace.

Chief Creative Officer and Chief Technology Officer for AMGI Animation, is a celebrated animation talent who was the chief animator for Pixar’s original Toy StoryA Bugs Life, Toy Story 2, Amazing Spiderman, Game of Thrones, among many others. He has worked as a director, creative producer, story and animation supervisor for Steve Jobs, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Ang Lee and Martin Scorsese. He has pioneered many motion capture puppeteering techniques and continues to innovate new animation tools and software. AMGI animation studios is developing original TV shows and feature films for the US and global market.

January 7th, 2020

Jim Tierney, USMC

Ten Lessons from Business, Marriage, and Parenting.

Jim Tierney is the Chief Operating Officer of Exer Urgent Care, a growing Southern California healthcare company with 15 locations in greater LA.  He is married to the best-selling author and blogger Kendra Tierney.  They have 10 children. Jim attended Harvard University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in government and a commission as a U.S. Marine Officer through the ROTC program.  Jim served 5 years as a Marine artillery officer and was deployed around the world.  He and Kendra were married shortly before he left the Marines to attend Stanford Business School.  Thereafter, Jim and a classmate founded Pendleton Capital, a private equity fund which they used as a vehicle to purchase a manufacturing company in LA.  Jim served as the COO of that company for 4 years before selling it.  Then he worked for the Fortune 200 Company DaVita, where he became responsible for a $150 million portfolio of business lines throughout the Southwest US.  Jim was recruited away from DaVita to take on his current role.  He serves on the Board of Directors of St. Monica Academy.  He and his family live in Altadena.

December 3rd, 2019

Martin Boles

Are we Learning True History: Test Your True American History IQ?

America’s greatest civic danger is ignorance of her history. Our universities and schools neglect or distort the teaching of our past. Prominent political leaders propose programs contrary to our country’s founding principles that threaten our traditional strengths. We need voices and voters who know the true facts of American history in order to wisely judge the currents and crises of today. This talk will present examples of how uncovering the facts vaporizes the myths that are used to weaken our native wisdom and undermine our national confidence. Yes, Columbus is still a hero; the “Robber Barons” did great good; and the Vietnam War was worthwhile and winnable. Come see why.

Martin Boles has been a litigation attorney at Kirkland & Ellis for 30 years. Most recently, he was part of the BP defense team in trials involving the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  He attended Dartmouth College and Stanford Law and Business Schools.  He and his wife, Julia, have 9 children. Mr. Boles also teaches American History to Seniors at St. Monica Academy in Montrose, California.

November 5th, 2019

Trevor Merrill, PhD

What? Read Classical Literature? No way.

Trevor Merrill is Lecturer in French at Caltech and manages Imitatio, a program of the Thiel Foundation. He has a BA in Literature from Yale and a PhD in French literature from UCLA. He has published an academic book on René Girard and the Franco-Czech novelist Milan Kundera (The Book of Imitation and Desire (Bloomsbury, 2013)), collaborated on a book of conversations with psychiatrist Jean-Michel Oughourlian (Psychopolitics (Michigan State University Press, 2012)), and has translated books and articles from the French. His articles have appeared in both French and English.

October 1st, 2019

James Herrera, Colonel USMC, Retired

“Soldier, Sinner, Servant” A discussion on the Profession of Arms as it relates to the service of our Lord.

Colonel Herrera is the founder and president of INCEPTUM Consulting Group.  He is on the Board of Directors of Junipero Serra Catholic High School and the Illumination Foundation. He holds leadership positions in Troop 872 (BSA) and Post 281 (American Legion). He and his family are active parishioners of the Mission Basilica in San Juan Capistrano.

He has over thirty years of service in the Marine Corps, with multiple combat tours and deployments to a myriad of countries in Latin America, the Balkans, Africa, and the Middle East.  He has commanded at every level from Platoon through Group, he has worked at the Pentagon, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and taught at the Marine Command and Staff College.

His last duty station was Camp Pendleton CA, were he was the Inspector General and Force Preservation Director for I Marine Expeditionary Force.

He holds a Masters in International Affairs from The Catholic University of America and a Masters in Strategic Studies from the Army War College.  He is married to Heidi Herrera, MD; they have a twelve-year-old son Aragón.

September 3rd, 2019

Eric Tung

Working with Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Gorsuch: Lessons Learned

Eric currently practices law at Jones Day, a law firm in Los Angeles, where he focuses on commercial litigation and appeals.  He previously served as a law clerk to Justice Neil M. Gorsuch and to Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court of the United States.  He also served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Central District of California and held government positions in the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

August 6th, 2019

Larry O'Brien

Follow the Money, where do the Fraudsters, Drug Lords and Black Market King pins hide their money?

Prior to Risk Solutions & Investigations, Mr. O’Brien was a Managing Director of Citigate Global Intelligence, Los Angeles, California where he specialized in finance/regulatory and fraud investigations. Previously, he was a Director in the Western Region Investigations practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers. Before that, Mr. O’Brien spent nine years with Kroll Associates as an Assistant Managing Director conducting numerous due diligence, hostile takeover defense, asset search, and fraud investigations assignments.

July 2nd, 2019

Oscar Plascencia

4th Amendment, Police Use of Force and the Everyday Citizen

Oscar Plascencia is a deputy district attorney employed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

During his 21 years as a deputy district attorney, he has prosecuted a wide range of cases involving child and adult sex crimes, gang crimes, murders and other violent crimes.

Oscar was also assigned to the Major Narcotics Unit where he directed wiretap prosecutions of drug cartel cells in the Southern California area.

He is currently assigned to the Justice System Integrity Division (JSID) where his work involves prosecuting police officers, judges and lawyers involved in criminal activity and investigating police officer involved shootings.

June 4th, 2019

Dr. Pius Onobhayedo

Touching people's lives and culture - an experience from Africa

Dr. Pius Onobhayedo is currently a Visiting Research Scholar at the Marshal School of Business, University of Southern California. He is a member of faculty at the Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos where he is involved in teaching, research and development of new programs especially in the areas of information science, computer science, digital media including business and entertainment media. He holds a PhD in culture and audiovisual communication from the University of Navarra, Spain. Prior to joining the University, he was the founding technology team lead and CTO of a Software company named Socketworks which, besides employing people across a number of African countries, helped shape the software industry landscape in Nigeria.

June 4th, 2019

Lieutenant Ignacio M. Verduzco, Crime Analysis Czar

Criminal Activities in LA - Are they in your neighborhood?

Lieutenant Ignacio Verduzco is a 35-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department; Ignacio has worked various assignments including patrol, internal affairs, risk management, juvenile narcotics, accident investigation, prostitution enforcement, and internal audits.  In addition to his current assignment, Ignacio is the Terrorism Liaison Officer (TLO), a Peer Support member and senior delegate with the Los Angeles Police Protective League.

Additionally, Ignacio has held the position of instructor for Risk Management, Command Development; Supervisor’s School; Detective School; Juvenile Procedures School; and, Narcotics School; he has also provided training on Risk Management Strategies to police agencies from California, Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Australia, and Canada as a past Board member of the International Law Enforcement Auditor’s Association (ILEAA).

Ignacio earned his undergraduate degree in Vocational Education from California State, University of Long Beach, and his graduate studies at Woodbury University in Organizational Leadership.

Ignacio is also a graduate of the West Point Leadership Program (2007); the Sherman Block Supervisor’s Leadership Institute (2009), of the Robert Presley Institute of Criminal Investigation (ICI) Instructor (2007); the Basic Law Enforcement Performance Auditing Course (BLEPAC) Instructor; Internal Affairs Complaint Investigations (2001); and, of the Instructor Development Course (1999).


May 7th, 2019

Enrique Fuster

Introduction to Film Appreciation

Enrique Fuster was born in Valencia, Spain, and studied Communications at the University of Navarre. In 1997, he moved to Rome and did his PhD in Philosophy and in Communications at the Pontifical University of The Holy Cross, where he remained as professor of the School of Church Communications. He teaches Film History and Screenwriting. He is the associate editor of the journal Church, Communication and Culture. Since 2009, he has been involved in the organization of the Poetics and Christianity conferences, an international forum for studying the intersection of artistic culture and expressions of faith, with special emphasis on narrative and dramatic arts, including cinema and television. In 2004-05 came to UCLA Extension to do a certificate program in screenwriting. Now he has come back for a sabbatical semester as visiting scholar at UCLA Film Department. He likes writing spec scripts and hopes one day to sell one.

April 2nd, 2019

Andrea Favilli

Designing global entertainmnet experiences to climbing the Seven Summits: How do you develop the talent and harness the energy to do that?

Andrea received his formal education at Art Center College of Design where he graduated with honors in 1986.His formative education is rooted as a child growing up in Rome, Italy—drawing, painting, and sculpting—under the tutelage of his father Aldo Riccardo Favilli, a motion picture art director at Cinecittà Studios. He is an accomplished fine arts sculptor and has extensive background as a entertainment designer.

Andrea was recruited to work at Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) as a lead concept designer. While at WDI, he had the good fortune to work alongside various legendary Disney artists, including Ken Anderson and Claude Coats; and was mentored by the venerable Herb Ryman and master show producer Robert Jani, who helped shape his philosophy of creativity, storytelling, design and showmanship. During his time there, he contributed to projects around the world including Disneyland, The Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Typhoon Lagoon, the Walt Disney Studios, Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland.

After his tenure with WDI, Andrea established Favilli Studio, continuing to hone his multi-disciplinary approach for placemaking and media-oriented projects in North America, Europe and Asia. Select clients include Klaus Schwab—The World Economic Forum (Davos); Snowbird Resort; The Walt Disney Company; Walt Disney Imagineering; D23; the Sands Group; WATG; Warner Brothers; The Jack Morton Company; Universal Creative; Bass Pro Shops; Wanda and Zhonghong Holdings.

In addition to his commercial work, Andrea is an accomplished sculptor having created The Disney Legends Award; The American Teacher Award; The Frank G. Wells Award; The Cameraman, in front of the Warner Brothers Studio in Burbank, California, with a second edition installed in the hub of the Walt Disney Studios in Orlando, Florida; The Transpacific Yacht Race New Course Record Trophy, on permanent display at the Newport Beach Nautical Museum; the Tree of Life, Stough Canyon, Burbank, California; the monumental Disney Legends at the entry of Disneyland Paris, France and the Walt Disney Studios, Burbank, California; Roy O. & Edna Disney at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Burbank, California; and Five Points in Burbank, California.

The fuel for Andrea’s creativity is his love of aviation, ultra-running and adventure which have taken him all over the world, up many “hills” and spurred him on a quest to follow in his “dutch uncle” Dick Bass’s footsteps, to climb the Seven Summits—the tallest mountain on every continent. He has summited five to date in Africa, Russia, South America, North America, and Antarctica with his sights firmly set on the smallest of the seven (Mt. Kosciuszko) and the highest (Mt. Everest)

March 5th, 2019

Diego Prado

Inspiring Intelligence

Diego leads enterprise strategic-initiatives. As a key member of the Endeavor Analytics team, he is tasked with “inspiring intelligence” across the Endeavor portfolio. He is responsible for building infrastructure that helps measure, strategize, & drive towards a whole greater than the sum of its parts.

His background in Revenue Strategy & Optimization brought him into the Sport & Entertainment industry over 6 years ago. A big believer in efficiency and effectiveness, Diego’s relentless pursuit of continuous improvement has been a key driver in enterprise transformations throughout his career.

He works hard to work smart and isn’t shy about asking why.

He lives in Los Angeles, CA with his wife Adriana, son Joaquin, daughter Camila… all happily expecting baby #3 in late September.

February 5th, 2019

Bob Boldt

Tips for Success from 25 Years in Sales, Accounting, Big Law (and Catholic parenting!)

Since passing the Certified Public Accountant Examination and joining the Firm in 1995, Bob Boldt has handled a broad array of commercial litigation cases in many tribunals, including for example, disputes involving contracts, fraud, class actions, and federal securities laws. He has especially extensive experience handling disputes following mergers and acquisitions, including indemnification and insurance claims and disputes over earn-outs and working capital.

As described below, Mr. Boldt has served as trial counsel for, among others, United Technologies, The Boeing Company, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Raytheon, Morgan Stanley, and leading private equity firms. He currently represents Pershing Square in connection with securities class actions involving Rule 14e-3 that allegedly involve damages exceeding a billion dollars.

December 4th, 2018

Dr. Michael Kelleher

In Search of the Footsteps and Face of Christ

Michael Kelleher, Ph.D. in Chemistry and Instructor for UC Berkeley, had the extraordinary opportunity this past August of spending three weeks in Israel studying the history, geography, architecture and religious events of the Holy Land under an experienced British guide who had lived in the Holy Land since 1975. Being a Christian, his main focus was visiting, studying and contemplating numerous places hallowed by the birth, life, death,and resurrection of Christ. He is looking forward to sharing photos, reflections and insights from the trip that will hopefully bring alive your own reading of the Sacred Scriptures.

November 6th, 2018

Edward Feser

From Atheism to Theism....

Edward Feser is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Pasadena City College in Pasadena, California.  He has been a Visiting Assistant Professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and a Visiting Scholar at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.  He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of California at Santa Barbara, an M.A. in religion from the Claremont Graduate School, and a B.A. in philosophy and religious studies from the California State University at Fullerton.

Called by National Review “one of the best contemporary writers on philosophy,” Feser is the author of On NozickPhilosophy of MindLockeThe Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New AtheismAquinasScholastic Metaphysics: A Contemporary IntroductionNeo-Scholastic Essays, and Five Proofs of the Existence of God, the co-author of By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed: A Catholic Defense of Capital Punishment, and the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Hayek and Aristotle on Method and Metaphysics.  He is also the author of many academic articles.  His primary academic research interests are in metaphysics, natural theology, the philosophy of mind, and moral and political philosophy.

Feser also writes on politics and culture, from a conservative point of view; and on religion, from a traditional Roman Catholic perspective.  In this connection, his work has appeared in such publications as The AmericanThe American ConservativeCatholic World ReportCity JournalThe Claremont Review of Books, CrisisFirst ThingsLibertyNational ReviewNew Oxford ReviewPublic DiscourseReason, and TCS Daily.

He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and six children.

September 4th, 2018

Julia Boles & Lauren Ellis

What women want: What makes an ideal husband?

Julia Boles is the mother of 9 children, 5 boys and 4 girls, ranging in age from 29 to 14, so she has a good perspective from both points of view.  She and her husband Martin helped to start St Monica Academy, have served as Family Enrichment moderators, and have traveled the nation giving talks on marriage, parenting and character formation. Her favorite SoMe pastime is WhatsApp, which she uses to keep up with her children, who now span the globe, and also taking care of her two (soon to be three!) grandchildren.

Lauren Ellis is the mother of 6 and has been married to her husband Ashton for 10 years. Graduating from business school in 2006, she saw big bucks and large corporations in her future, but has opted for a much more prestigious, lucrative career as a homemaker. She loves to read, but her colleagues rarely allow it. Instead she finds herself outdoors, hiking, at the beach or hanging out with friends.  She and her husband have participated in talks and discussion groups helping to prepare young people for married life and assisting them during their early married years.

August 7th, 2018

Skyler Reidy

Studying in a Secular Age

Skyler Reidy is a PhD candidate in the History Department at the University of Southern California. His dissertation focuses on material religion in nineteenth-century California and argues American expansion shaped secular trends in culture and politics. Skyler was born and raised in Encinitas, California, but left to study history at the College of William & Mary. After earning a BA and MA, he traveled in the American West and worked on several farms. He is currently in his fifth year at USC.

July 3rd, 2018

Carlos L Bethencourt

My experience at Frank Gehry’s office

Carlos is currently working on the Grand Avenue project in DTLA, a $750 million mixed-used complex with a luxury hotel and condos filling two high-rise towers. The project that was once expected to break ground in 2007 has made his way back to replace the dated temporary parking garage (built in 1969) across the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Originally from Caracas, Venezuela. Moved to the US in 2006 and graduated from The Catholic University of America – Washington DC in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Planning. After working for a few years in Washington, DC, I moved to LA for a job offer that eventually lead me to work for the internationally acclaimed architecture firm, Gehry Partners, LLP.

June 5th, 2018

Dale Parker, Ph.D. in Latin and Greek

What has Athens to do with Los Angeles? Enrolling in the original Old School

Dale Parker is obtaining his Ph.D. in Classics (Latin and Greek) this summer from UCLA. His dissertation treats Plato’s and Aristotle’s strategies for debating. He earned an MA in Classics from UCLA in 2015 with a focus on historical linguistics, and a BA in Classics from Notre Dame in 2013. In the fall, Dale will be moving to Rome to study theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.

May 8th, 2018

Bryan Perez, CEO of AXS

Show Me the Money in Sports & Entertainment!

Bryan Perez is currently the President and CEO of AXS, a leading live event ticketing company with operations throughout the US, UK and EU with 2017 sales of over $2.6B. Prior to this, he was the President of Digital, Ticketing, and Media at Anchutz Entertainment Group (AEG), a global sports, concerts and facilities company. Bryan was formerly the Senior Vice President and General Manager for NBA Digital responsible for the day-to-day operations of the NBA Digital portfolio, including NBA.com, NBA TV and League Pass.

Mr. Perez’s professional background includes serving as CEO of Live Nation’s Global Digital division. In this position, he established and built the new division and was responsible for the company’s worldwide internet, wireless, ticketing, and IT strategy and operations. While at Live Nation, Mr. Perez also served as President of the Global Digital division for a year and president of the Digital Distribution division. From 2004-2005, Mr. Perez worked as Executive Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for Clear Channel Entertainment, and before joining Clear Channel, he was Executive Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the National Hockey League’s Dallas Stars and was previously a business development executive at Madison Square Garden. Bryan holds a JD/MBA from Stanford University and a BBA in Finance from the University of Texas at Austin – The Red McCombs School of Business.

April 3rd, 2018

Dr. Jorge J. Nieva, MD

Finding Ethical Dilemmas Where You Least Expect Them

Jorge Nieva MD is Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, member of the USC/Norris Cancer Center, and serves on the Board of Directors at St. Monica Academy.  He is an active research scientist who works in developing cancer biomarkers and other predictors of outcomes for cancer patients.  Prior to joining USC, Dr. Nieva was chairman of hematology/oncology at the Billings Clinic, and prior to that was on the faculty of the Scripps Clinic and Scripps Research Institute.  He completed his undergraduate and medical education at UC Irvine and trained in Internal Medicine at UC San Diego, and fellowship training in Hematology and Oncology at the Scripps Clinic.  He is the author of 50 peer reviewed scientific publications and serves as a consultant in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

March 6th, 2018

Lou Karlin

Thomas More, a Model Professional for Our Times

Lou Karlin has spoken and published widely on Thomas More, including numerous articles and a book, Thomas More’s Trial by Jury, coauthored by Professors Gerard Wegemer and H.A. Kelly. His next book will be published in February by Scepter: Inside the Mind of Thomas More: the Witness of His Writings, coauthored by David Oakley.

Lou is a Deputy Attorney General at the California Department of Justice. He received his B.A. in English Literature at Columbia University and his J.D. from UCLA. He successfully represented the State of California before the United States Supreme Court in the criminal appeal Fernandez v. California (2014). He has twice received the Attorney General’s award for excellence.

February 6th, 2018

Dr. Randall R. Friedl

Faith and Science from a Rocket Scientist Perspective

Dr. Friedl is the Manager of the Earth Science Research and Mission Formulation Office at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  He is also the Associate Director of a joint institute (JIFRESSE) between JPL and UCLA on regional Earth system science and engineering and serves as an Adjunct Professor within the UCLA Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

Dr. Friedl began his career at JPL after receiving a Ph.D. and A.M in Chemistry from Harvard University and a B.S. in Chemistry from UCLA.  He has authored or co-authored over 50 scientific publications on chemistry of the Earth’s atmosphere and participated in a number of international assessments.

As part of his deep commitment to education, Dr. Friedl has mentored a number of graduate and postdoctoral students, given numerous guest graduate class lectures, judged contestants at the Los Angeles County Science Fair, and served as a subject matter expert on the California Department of Education’s Content Review Panel on Science Framework for California Public Schools.

January 2nd , 2018

Kenneth Hensley

The Beauty of the Catholic Faith from a former Non-Catholic, Protestant, Pastor Perspective

Ken Hensley is a nationally known Catholic teacher and apologist who, since converting to the Catholic faith in 1997, has taught extensively in the field of Catholic apologetics and biblical studies. He has been interviewed numerous times on Catholic radio and television and for years was a regular speaker at the National Catholic Family Conference in Anaheim, CA. He has been invited to speak at Catholic conferences and parishes throughout the U.S.

Ken came to faith in Christ at the age of 22 in a non-denominational Protestant environment. He eventually earned a B.A. degree in Scripture and theology and an M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He was ordained in the American Baptist denomination where he served as associate pastor of the First Baptist Church of Riverside, California for three years and then another eight years as senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Montrose, California.

Ken now works with the Coming Home Network and teaches in the biblical studies department at St John’s Seminary for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Ken and Tina have been married for 38 years. They have two children and eight grandchildren. They live in Fillmore, California.

December 5th, 2017

Alejandro Monteverde

The Bella Vida; directing a feature film in Hollywood.

Alejandro is a Mexican writer/director. He studied film at the University of Texas at Austin, where he won over a dozen film festivals with his short films.

His first feature film, BELLA, took the People’s Choice Award, the top prize at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Alejandro’s next film, LITTLE BOY, was one of the highest grossing films in Mexico in 2016, and garnered him “Best Director” at the Cana-cine Awards.

Alejandro is currently working on a slate of films to go into production in 2018.

November 7th, 2017

Timothy Reckart

From Film Student to Feature Film Director: My Career in Animation
"The Star"
The Story of the First Christmas

Timothy Reckart is an Oscar-nominated director specializing in stop-motion animation. His debut animated short, Head Over Heels was nominated for the Academy Award and won over 30 other awards at festivals around the world. He is currently working at Sony Pictures Animation directing his debut feature film, THE STAR, an animated retelling of the story of the first Christmas, to be released in cinemas November 17th,  2017.

October 3rd, 2017

Kevin Evans

Creating Intellectual Property Through Talent & Creativity

Kevin is a Senior Design Manager at Hasbro Inc.  He has worked managing and developing IP Brands for the children’s toy and entertainment industry for the past twelve years.  Having transitioned from a career in animation to product development, Kevin now works as an in-house toy and consumer products consultant and visual development lead for Hasbro Studios.  Kevin, his wife and three children recently relocated to the Los Angeles area from New England.

September 5th, 2017

Roberto Girault

Searching for the Holy Grail… a passionate story of a film and the filmmaker

Roberto Girault is a Mexican film writer/director/producer who recently relocated to Los Angeles. Roberto studied production, film, screenwriting and law at Vancouver Film School, Canada, graduating in 2003. He’s directed several Spanish-language feature films and is currently expanding his profile in the United States. He is responsible for the following productions:

  1. iLusiones S. A. (2015) In March 2016, nominated for 13 Diosas de Plata (Silver Goddesses, or ‘Mexican Golden Globes’) including Best Movie and Best Director.
  2. El Estudiante (2009) It was the second highest grossing Mexican film at the Mexican box office in 2009 (following Otra Pelicula de Huevos y un Pollo). It grossed in excess of $3 million U.S., a huge sum for a Mexican film of its type, and remained in theaters for 24 consecutive weeks. It was released theatrically in Central America, Brasil, and Spain, and Televisa handled National TV rights in Mexico.

August 1st, 2017

James Holt

Working for the Mouse: Reflections on Work at Disney

For the past three years, James worked at the Walt Disney Company as a Senior Analyst for Corporate Strategy and Business Development. He advised the company’s executives on long term growth strategies and on investments in the digital media and technology space, including Disney’s minority investments in Vice Media.

James received his AB magna cum laude in Government from Harvard University. In September, he will return to his native San Francisco Bay Area to begin an MBA program at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

June 6th, 2017


The Intersection of Entertainment and Technology

Teo is a leader in the global entertainment industry and provides strategic and operational finance support for his company. He holds a master’s degree, is an inactive Certified Public Accountant and serves on the boards of two private schools. Tim lives in Los Angeles County with his wife of 26 years and has 4 children plus a rescue dog, who he enjoys camping with.

May 2nd, 2017

Colin Brady

The “World of Animation” and the Chinese Influence

Colin Brady is a director, creative producer, story and animation supervisor who has worked at Pixar, Industrial Light and Magic, Imagi Studios, Rhythm and Hues, Pixomondo and Light Chaser. Colin graduated from California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in Character Animation. He has directed animation for Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Ang Lee, John Lasseter and Martin Scorsese. With a keen understanding of both creative and technical production pipelines, Colin has successfully led creative teams, supervised all aspects of animation production and enjoys directing crews from all over the world. Colin directed on such films as Toy Story 2, Astro Boy, TMNT, and Everyone’s Hero. He supervised scenes for VFX films such as the Hunger Games, Hugo, Green Lantern, Game of Thrones and Spiderman. Colin pioneered many motion capture puppeteering techniques and holds a patent on the ClickStep input device. Bringing global studio experience to Pixomondo’s LA office, Colin’s passion is creating world class animation with heart, beauty and humor that have lasting appeal on audiences around the world.

April 4th, 2017

Dr. Michael Kellleher

Exploring the Unity of Science, Philosophy and Faith

Michael Kelleher is an “Amero-African” who, after 24 years in the United States spent 23 years in Nigeria teaching and doing research in various universities. In 1998 he returned to the U.S. where he now distributes his time between teaching chemistry for UC Berkeley; exploring medicinal herbs; studying the philosophers; giving intellectual and character formation to the youth; writing poetry; and playing basketball and soccer. His intellectual passion is the unification of the truths of science philosophy and faith.

March 7th, 2017

Pete Peterson

Dean of School of Public Policy

Pete Peterson is a leading national speaker and writer on issues related to civic participation, and the use of technology to make government more responsive and transparent. He was the first executive director of the bi-partisan organization, Common Sense California, which in 2010 joined with the Davenport Institute at the School of Public Policy to become the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership.

February 7th, 2017

Kraig St. Pierre

A Deputy District Attorney at Los Angeles District Attorney Perspective

What parents can learn from successes and failures of parents, from a DA’s perspective.

January 3rd, 2017

Christian McGuigan

Specialties: Motivating audience mobilization and social impact through creative storytelling and transmedia entertainment content, film/tv/web creative and production, mobile SMS/email marketing development & execution, unconventional online/offline marketing, branding, creative consulting, corporate/non-profit partnerships, sponsorships, grassroots marketing, social media.

December 6th, 2016

Laurice E. Elehwany

Making a Career in Hollywood

Will draw from her writing career to talk about:

  • How to connect with your audience to share a good story
  • Her path in entertainment and how to chart your own

She has authored or contributed to these notable works, among many more:

  • The Ether Series, (2014-present)
  • The Brady Bunch Movie (1995)
  • The Amazing Panda Adventure (1995)
  • Anastasia (1997)
  • My Girl (1991)

October 4th, 2016

Martin Boles

Balancing a Demanding Career with being the Father of a Large Family

The main themes of his talk will include:

  • Balancing a demanding career with being the father of a large family.
  • His role in defending BP in the trials following the 2010 oil spill.
  • His path toward becoming a partner at one of the world’s most respected law firms, Kirkland & Ellis

September 6th, 2016

Dr. Christopher Kaczor

Is Lifelong Marriage Possible?

Dr. Kaczor will lead a discussion on the challenges and opportunities of marriage in the modern era.

  • What are the essential characteristics of a happy marriage?
  • How can we navigate the inevitable challenges that arise over the years?
  • In what ways can courtship help prepare for a happy marriage?
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