JAY R. KAUFMAN
For the past 22 years, served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and is capping a career in leadership education by launching a new non-profit organization to provide leadership training for those in and aspiring to public life. In the House, he has experimented with and experienced leadership failures and successes as a member and as part of the leadership team since 1995. He currently chairs the Legislature’s Committee on Revenue and is leading the charge for a major reform of state and local taxes. He has also initiated major pension reforms, environmental protection legislation, and policies to promote social and economic justice. His “Open House” monthly public policy forum, now in its twenty-second season, was recognized in 1997 with the prestigious Beacon Award as the nation’s best televised government relations series. Kaufman’s new non-profit, Beacon Leadership Collaborative, offers workshops and consultation to individuals, groups and institutions working in the public square.
He brings to the Collaborative three decades of teaching and project design and management in the public and non-profit sectors. He helped launch the Initiative for Diversity in Civic Leadership to encourage and empower more minority candidacies, has served on the National Conference of State Legislature’s leadership development faculty, teaching courses in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa, served as founding director of Northeastern University’s Center for Leadership and Public Life and, before that, launched the Massachusetts Bay Consortium, an association of 18 colleges and universities. His education includes an undergraduate degree in philosophy and graduate degree in history from Brandeis, as well as an MA in history from NYU.
Jay’s wife Cathy is a recently-retired American Sign Language interpreter educator, their sons are lawyers, and their grandson is very cute and brilliant.
JESSE DIZARD, PHD.
Dr. Dizard (University of California at Berkeley, 2003) is a cultural anthropologist primarily interested in controlling processes. His research explores the impacts of prejudice and social inequality among ethnic minorities, particularly Native Americans, as well as children and women. He has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in W. Africa, N. Africa, Alaska, Asia and Europe.
DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS
Larry "Or your mattress is freeee!" Miller is the self-styled mattress impresario of Southern California. As chief executive of the Sit 'n Sleep mattress chain, Miller oversees a company with 240 employees, 28 stores and annual sales of $100 million.
He brings to the table over 30 years of successful business and leadership experience providing meaningful insight and valuable operational experience necessary to maintaining a positive working environment and maintaining financial stability.
WESLEY NASH, BA.
The founder of Systems Education: an organization that helps to bring science education to the youth in Los Angeles in a fun and interactive way. His passion is teaching and his goal is to influence, motivate and inspire students to become young scientists that will grow to solve the global concerns of today and tomorrow.
Upon graduating from Redondo Union High School in 2008, Wesley attended college at Cal State University Chico where he studied Anthropology. He also enjoyed many science courses including Chemistry and Biology. He completed an internship with a program called Neighborhood Connection where he helped communities stay connected and assist bringing democracy back to individual homeowners. While at Chico, Wesley received a volunteer recognition award from the city of Chico. He also made a film titled “Someone You Know” which won the Northern California Film Festival and aired on PBS Sacramento.
Wesley completed his Bachelor’s degree in 2012 and moved back to Los Angeles where he taught swim lessons and began working towards his teaching credential at Cal State University Long Beach. He also trained several days a week in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and coached classes regularly.
Prior to founding his company, Wesley worked for Mobile STEM Labs where he conducted exciting and engaging science lessons with elementary students throughout Los Angeles Unified School District. He also earned his Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Black Belt and continues to share his knowledge of the martial art with other students.