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Saturday, Feb 4, 2023



Ex-Naval Officer to Recruit at LAUSD

The Los Angeles Unified School District has looked to the military to fill a top post.

The district’s new chief human resources officer, Deborah D. Hirsh, will rely on her experience as a navy recruiter in implementing programs to attract teachers and counselors to the LAUSD.

“I am working on recruiting the very best teachers we can find,” said Hirsh.

A career naval officer who reached the rank of captain before resigning her commission, Hirsh will be at the helm of a 325-person human resources department. She reports to Thomas Boysen, the district’s chief operating officer.

“The end result is to help educate 735,000 students,” she said. “When you have an efficient organization with people that take pride in what they do, you have the opportunity to achieve excellence.”

A product of the ROTC, Hirsh began her career in the Navy as an unrestricted line officer. Half way through her 26-year career, she joined Navy recruiting, holding numerous top-level positions.

“I have had success in recruiting and always helped to lead successful mission attainment,” she said. “I tried to create a culture that recognized individual human worth and dignity and a team spirit.”

Most recently director of human resources at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, her move away from the Navy was precipitated when she moved to Los Angeles to assist her daughter in pursuit of an acting career.

“My expertise in bringing new talent is the principle reason I was hired. I thought that the job would be a perfect match for my experience. The idea is bringing my outside experience in Navy recruiting.”

Hirsch has a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Colorado, and an MBA form California State University, Stanislaus. She lives near Toluca Lake with her husband and daughter.

Laurie Kaye


Tyler Goldman has been named vice president of business development at Movielink. Goldman will be responsible for developing distribution and other strategic partnerships for the movies-on-demand service. He was the founder and president of Broadband Sports, a provider and distributor of sports content across cable, satellite and the Internet.

Julie Umphries has been named global partner leader for the entertainment and media practice of Marsh Inc., a risk and insurance services firm. She is responsible for the development of services to the entertainment industry worldwide. Umphries joined Marsh in 1999 as senior vice president to establish the entertainment practice for the Los Angeles office.

Peter Bylsma has been hired to lead Magnet Communications LLC’s entertainment business practice. Bylsma will coordinate with other teams throughout the public relations and marketing firm, including consumer, technology and business-to-business. He will also work with clients in the Los Angeles office, including Palomar Pictures, Screenvision and Technicolor. Bylsma joins Magnet from Concentric Communications, a marketing communications consulting firm he launched and managed.

Sonja Piper Dosti has been appointed senior vice president drama development at UPN. Dosti will oversee all drama development at the network. Previously, she served as vice president of drama programming at Universal Network Television.

Film director and editor Graeme Clifford has been appointed senior lecturer in the directing discipline at the master of arts degree program of AFI Conservatory. His past editing credits include “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “The Postman Always Rings Twice” and his professional directing credits include “Frances.”

Eric Kops has been promoted to senior vice president-publicity for MGM Distribution Co. Kops will oversee all publicity efforts on behalf of MGM and United Artists theatrical film releases. Most recently, Kops was vice president of publicity at MGM and has worked on “Legally Blonde,” “The World is Not Enough” and the “Thomas Crown Affair.”


David F. Feingold has been named executive vice president at Los Angeles-based Haverford Capital, an equity and mezzanine-finance company for real restate developers and investors. He will be responsible for asset and portfolio management. Feingold was managing director of Citicorp Real Estate Inc. in Los Angeles.


Ellen Pais has been appointed to the position of president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood of Pasadena. She will work to expand Planned Parenthood’s geographic and ethnic reach through fixed clinics, express clinics and mobile clinics. Prior to Joining Planned Parenthood, Pais was of counsel in the Public Finance Department of the Los Angeles office of the law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

Mark Rieck was named executive director of the American Heart Association, Los Angeles County. Rieck joined the American Heart Association in 1980 in Iowa and has held various positions, including the director of business and employee campaigns at the National Center in Dallas and the executive director of both the Houston/Gulf Coast Council and the Washington State affiliate.


Joel D. Voelzke has rejoined the Los Angeles office of the patent and trademark litigation office of Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly LLP. He will be a partner and service the patent prosecution and intellectual property litigation work of smaller, IP-focused firms. Voelzke previously had been an associate with Oppenheimer from 1995 to May of 2000 and before rejoining Oppenheimer was with the Irvine office of Howrey Simon Arnold & White.

Kelvin D. Filer, Steven P. Sanora, and Thomas R. White have been appointed judges of the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Filer has served as a Superior Court commissioner since January 2000 handling traffic and small claims cases to felony preliminary hearings. Sanora most recently presided over a domestic violence court and a DUI Court in the Rio Hondo judicial district. White has been a Superior Court commissioner since January 2000 and routinely presides over arraignments, pleas, sentencing, trials, motions, preliminary hearings and probation violations in criminal cases.

Evan Y. Chuck has joined Katten Muchin Zavis Rosenman as a partner in the firm’s Los Angeles and Palo Alto offices. He will specialize in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions and infrastructure development. Most recently, he worked with the Los Angeles office of White & Case LLP.

New Media

Rahel Tonz, Jennifer Lee and Clayton Anderson have been hired as in-house designers by mOcean, a Venice-based firm specializing in motion graphics for the theatrical, broadcast and commercial industries. The three new designers will work on company projects for motion pictures, television, multi-media and commercials. Before joining mOcean, Tonz had been a motion graphics designer with the marketing companies of Greenberg/Schluter Design. Lee most recently was a freelance designer with Kaleidoscope Films and worked on “Mission Impossible II, ” “Charlotte Gray” and HBO’s “Band of Brothers.” Anderson worked with Hollywood’s View Studio and worked on projects for The Disney Channel, History Cannel, the “X Files,” “Law & Order” and music videos for Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.


Alvin Portnoy has been elected chairman of the Los Angeles chapter of the Service Corps of Retired Executives. Portnoy has been a director of several private and publicly held companies and has worked as a volunteer in activities involving graduate business and law school students.

Professional Services

Jenni L. Thunborg will serve as assistant vice president and senior financial analyst of the Los Angeles office of the valuations firm Valuation Research Corp. Thunborg will conduct intangible-asset valuations, business enterprise valuations and solvency and fairness opinions. Prior to joining Valuations Research, Thunborg was an associate with the Valuation Services Group of SEG Companies in Long Beach.

April Constable, Ronald Genty, Brian Ladin, R. Davis Taylor III and Pieter Theron have been admitted to the partnership of the professional services firm Ernst & Young in Los Angeles.

Constable leads Ernst & Young’s Accounting Methods & Inventory practice in the Pacific Southwest. Prior to joining Ernst & Young, Constable was an auditor for General Mills Restaurants Inc.

Ronald Genty, a member of Ernst & Young’s Financial Services and Insurance practice, specializes in mergers and acquisitions, primary and secondary debt and equity offerings.

Ladin is a member of Ernst & Young’s National Tax Practice currently working in the firm’s Partnerships and Joint Ventures group.

Taylor provides litigation advisory services to clients in the technology, communications, entertainment and financial services industries. Based in Los Angeles, Taylor is a member of Ernst & Young’s Litigation Advisory Services practice and assists clients with securities litigation, accounting, and malpractice defense.

Theron assists with initial public offerings, debt offerings and is a leader on accounting for derivative instruments and hedging activities. He has worked for the firm since 1989.

Real Estate

Robert A. Turbin has been named vice president of residential land development for Playa Vista. Turbin will be responsible for the management of residential product planning and design, land sales and construction of mixed-use projects. Turbin has been with Playa Vista since 1998 and has served as director of residential land development.

Al Beaudette has been appointed senior vice president for Lowe Enterprises, a Los Angeles-based real estate investment, development and management firm. Beaudette will play a lead role in the firm’s corporate services group, expanding the firm’s real estate advisory services nationally. He most recently served as the president of Griffin Advisors, providing real estate consulting to corporate, government and institutional clients.


Charles J. Pilliter has been hired as senior vice president of operations at Trader Joe’s in Monrovia. Pilliter previously was Unified Western Grocers Inc.’s executive vice president and chief operating officer in Los Angeles.

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