LABJ Insider: GoGuardian Action

LABJ Insider: GoGuardian Action

El Segundo-based digital learning company GoGuardian has announced a new chief executive, Rich Preece, effective April 15. Preece formerly served as chief operating officer of Glendale-based LegalZoom. While there, he helped take the company public.

“Rich has a terrific background in scaling innovative software companies, and we deeply value his commitment to the GoGuardian mission of better and safer learning on behalf of the students and educators we serve,” Sanjeet Mitra and George Kadifa, GoGuardian’s board members, said in a statement.

Advait Shinde, a GoGuardian co-founder, is transitioning from chief executive to a new role focused on technology and will remain on the company’s board as its executive chair.

GoGuardian, which was founded 10 years ago, is now valued at more than $1 billion and used by more than 25 million public K-12 students. Under Shinde, the company acquired Pear Deck in 2020, Edulastic in 2021 and TutorMe in 2022.

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Two of the largest universities in Los Angeles recently announced some changes. 

First, Caltech announced a $100 million donation from the Brinson Foundation, which will be used to create the Brinson Exploration Hub.

The hub will bring together Caltech and JPL scientists “to develop and test novel scientific concepts and instrumentation on faster timescales and at lower costs than is possible through conventional means,” according to Caltech.

Projects may include robotic exploration, satellites and new programs to observe Earth.

“The Brinson Exploration Hub will enable a new paradigm that will bridge academia, industry and government, so projects can move expeditiously from ideation and maturation to implementation,” Gary Brinson, founder and chair of The Brinson Foundation, said. “There is nothing like the Brinson Exploration Hub because there is nowhere in the world where you could find something that resembles this kind of exceptional relationship between an esteemed scientific university and the world’s leading center for the robotic exploration of the universe.”

Further south, USC’s School of Dramatic Arts opened a new building last week inside a converted church on campus.

Its ribbon cutting, which took place Thursday, was attended by celebrities with USC ties including LeVar Burton, Troian Bellisario, Storm Reid and others.

USC leaders including President Carol Folt and USC School of Dramatic Arts Dean Emily Roxworthy also spoke at the event officially opening the 40,000-square-foot building.

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The California Endowment, based in downtown, has named Brenda Solórzano as its next president and chief executive. 

Solórzano is currently the chief executive of the Headwaters Foundation in Montana. She will replace Robert Ross, who has led the $4.7 billion foundation since 2000.

Solórzano, who previously worked with the California Endowment back in 2001, will assume her new role at the organization in early September.

“The California Endowment is where I learned the value of centering community in philanthropic work, and it is something I have carried throughout my career,” Solórzano said. 

The Insider is compiled by Interim Editor Hannah Welk. She can be reached at [email protected]

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