BOARD OF DIRECTORS
LA County Library Foundation Vice Chair John Donner; Library Director Skye Patrick; LA County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis; and LA County Library Foundation Honorary Board Member Evelyn Gutierrez and Chair Laura Bollinger at the MakMo dedication at La Puente Library
Laura Bollinger has worked as a community volunteer in many organizations in the Claremont area where she and her family live. She was very involved with the Friends of the Claremont library and served as president of that group. While there, she chaired the adult spelling bee for many years, oversaw the development of a new collection for Claremont Authors, created a telescope lending program, and worked with county officials to manage the Childrens' library renovation project which the Friends group funded. Her passion for library services has brought her to now serve on the Library Foundation board.
Bollinger also serves as a member of the LA County Fair Association where her involvement has focused on art education and educational programs during the fair and year-round. Currently she serves as a docent at the Millard Sheets Art Center for their year-round art programming. She continues to be engaged in many organizations in the Claremont area.
Senior Advisor, Vectis Strategies LLC
John Donner brings a wealth of knowledge and extensive experience in government affairs, communications strategy and media relations following a 30-year career with AT&T. As AT&T’s area vice president and external affairs executive director, he was responsible for relationships with federal, state, county and city government officials and corporate leaders, and for AT&T’s corporate giving to nonprofit agencies.
Donner was responsible for predecessor Pacific Telephone’s public relations, ticketing, lodging and hospitality programs for the 1984 Olympics. He oversaw the conception, design and construction of Pacific Telephone’s permanent communications exhibit at the California Science Center. Following the Olympics, Donner, then with the Pacific Telesis Group, served as a lobbyist to the City and County of Los Angeles.
In 1984, Pacific Telesis Group was acquired by SBC Communications which then purchased AT&T. Donner’s responsibilities were expanded to include leadership of the public affairs team and the monitoring,
analyzing and drafting of legislative and administrative activity for the city and county of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Unified School District. He also assisted in building coalitions to support AT&T issues before the California Public Utilities Commission, state legislature, Congress and the Federal Communications Commission.
Donner, a graduate of San Diego State University, remains active in community and civic affairs following his retirement. In addition to his position on the County Library Foundation board, he also serves as vice president of the nonprofit 211 LA County, the nation’s largest information and referral service in the nation, and as senior advisor to Vectis Strategies. He also is a member of the board of the Los Angeles Community College District Foundation and Los Angeles City Project Restore.
Principal Partner, Kumamoto Associates
Kumamoto Associates, a California-based, woman and minority-owned marketing, management and communications consulting firm, is led by Joanne Kumamoto, principal partner, and Alan Kumamoto, founding partner. Kumamoto Associates, in operation since 1989, provides consulting services to nearly 100 clients and has received numerous accolades for professionalism and their contributions to the betterment of their community. Among the honors awarded to Kumamoto Associates is the coveted National Public Relations Multi-Ethnic Award for creating a multimedia campaign, including a documentary, for the National Marrow Donor program for Asian-Pacific Americans and Native Americans.
Kumamoto has an extensive background in public administration and has managed contracts for non-profit organizations, government agencies, educational institutions and private industry. She began her professional career administering federal grant programs for the City of Los Angeles Mayor Bradley’s Office. Dedicated to community involvement, Kumamoto has experience developing public information programs on housing, transportation and ethnic communities. She is an expert in designing and implementing marketing programs and political campaigning. Kumamoto also has developed and coordinated organizational, management and diversity training workshops. She sits on the boards of directors of the County Library Foundation, the Coro Foundation and the Little Tokyo Business Association. She is a former chair of the American Women for International Understanding and was received its Bernice Behren Award. Kumamoto attended Ventura College and earned certification in adult learning from the University of Southern California.
Katherine Hennigan Ohanesian
Founder & Owner, Collaborate Public Affairs
Katherine Hennigan Ohanesian is an inspiring leader and resourceful entrepreneur who co-founded one of L.A’s premiere government affairs and public relations firm, Collaborate, back in 2017. Armed with an extensive background in public service in the City of Los Angeles, Kate is one of L.A’s most trusted leaders when it comes to advocacy, policy analysis, public speaking, economic development, land-use, and community outreach.
As a native Angeleno, Kate is passionate about giving back to the city she was born and raised in through being active in her local community. Kate is a literacy advocate who is devoted to the creation and support of programs that provide free access to books and reading programs to everyone despite their economic situation.
Kate earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in English from Loyola Marymount University and later received a Master’s Degree in International Public Policy and Management from the University of Southern California. Kate is an avid fan of classic literature and her drive can best be summarized by her favorite author Jane Austen herself, “It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do,” from Sense and Sensibility.
Principal, Robert E. Bush Corporation
Bob Bush is owner of the Robert E. Bush Corporation, a lobbying firm specializing in and registered with the County of Los Angeles. He and his affiliates work with cities and public agencies in the Los Angeles area. Experienced as a lobbyist, public relations director and governmental affairs consultant since 1979, Bush has represented a variety of real estate, financial, insurance, cable television, architectural, building contractors, public utilities, and health and welfare associations.
As a member of the Library Foundation’s board of directors, Bush is dedicated to promoting literacy and lifelong learning in Los Angeles County’s diverse communities because libraries are the source for knowledge, whether through books or the electronic world—the source for success in our society.
Bush is a founding director, past chair and senior board member of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC). He has received numerous commendations for his work with LAEDC and is one of four persons to receive its Lifetime Stewardship Award. From 1969-1979, Bush served as senior deputy to legendary County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn. Bush also served as President Carter’s California press secretary during the 1976 primary election. He previously was editor of Plane & Pilot Magazine and a journalist for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, United Press International, South Bay Daily Breeze and the Los Angeles Times.
Senior Government Relations Manager, Southern California Edison
David Ford is committed to the Library Foundation and its role in impacting literacy. He feels reading is a catalyst to competency in a range of life and work activities. His home library is Topanga Library, a community that like Dave, is committed to a vibrant natural environment. This is also fitting given Dave’s work at Edison to address and educate about wildfire mitigation and vegetation management.
David is a graduate of Ohio University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He has been employed with Southern California Edison since July 1997. David is a cancer survivor on a mission to encourage more men and women, especially in African American communities, to get screened and care for each other to overcome health risks.
He serves on many boards in addition to the Library Foundation Board of Directors. These include the Greater Los Angeles African-American Chamber of Commerce (GLAAACC), LA City College Foundation, American Association of Blacks in Energy, and the American Cancer Society in the Los Angeles Central Coast area.
Program Officer, The California Wellness Foundation
Monica Gomez is a program officer for the Economic Security and Dignity portfolio of The California Wellness Foundation. She is a nonprofit professional with more than 20 years of experience working in fund development and program development. Monica is principal and founder of MG Development Strategies, where she has offered expertise in fund development, grant writing, program development and implementation, capacity building, evaluation and research. She has served on non-profit boards, including the steering committee of LA Walks—a project of Community Partners, Northeast Community Clinic, Proyecto Pastoral, the Greenlining Academy Alumni Association (GAAA), and the Occidental College Latino Alumni Association (OCLAA). Monica is a Lecturer for the Program of Global Medicine at USC’s Keck School of Medicine, and annually teaches a grantwriting class.
Monica holds a Bachelor of Arts from Occidental College and a Masters in Public Policy from UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs. Her home library is the East Los Angeles Library, which was her heaven during her teenage years an an E.S.L. immigrant girl living in East LA. Monica is a huge believer in the power of public libraries as egalitarian community spaces, which are equipped with an incredible wealth of information, resources and access for ALL!
Mark Hagander, CPA, has two children who enjoy the library, exploring new subjects and the programs there. Mark is part of the LA County Library Foundation to support meaningful programs across the county in the libraries that bring the local communities together and make Los Angeles County a better place to live for all people.
Mark is an audit and accounting principal at Lucas│Horsfall, a regional public accounting firm. He has been in public accounting since 2001 and has worked with closely-held, middle-market companies in many industries and not-for-profits of all sizes.
He studied at the University of Redlands, where he majored in accounting and minored in business and economics. He also was a four-year letterman in baseball. Expanding his educational horizons, he studied at the University of Stirling in Scotland, and also coached baseball in Munich, Germany.
Program Officer, California Community Foundation
Ellah Ronen is a Program Officer at the California Community Foundation leading LA n Sync and Sustainability. In her role as Program Officer for LA n Sync, a public private partnership, she has helped generate more than $300 million for the L.A. region, along with four designations, including two Promise Zones. In addition, Ellah is a Managing Funder of the Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative, a funding collaborative of more than a dozen foundations that helps nonprofits achieve their mission by providing stability in a funding environment constantly influenced by changing policy and priorities.
Ellah’s love of libraries stems from childhood, ultimately leading her to pursue a degree in comparative literature. She believes that libraries are the ultimate democratization of access and knowledge and a safe space for learning, growth and reflection.
Previously, Ellah was a Program Officer at the Annenberg Foundation, and an English teacher in Ecuador and Israel. She has a M.B.A from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and a B.A. in comparative literature with a minor in women’s studies from University of California, Santa Barbara.
Dr. Laura Rosenthal
Laura Zahn Rosenthal, PhD., is a former Malibu City Councilmember and two term Mayor. She currently works for DDC Public Affairs, on the Client Relations team, concentrating on energy and environmental programs and issues/policies in California. Advocacy, outreach, government relations and policy development are all part of her background and interests. Rosenthal is a Clinical Psychologist with a long-time private practice, including consulting, clinical trial work and mentoring.
As an elected official, Rosenthal was an LA County Library Commissioner from 2012 – 2018, working closely with fellow commissioners and staff on funding and development of countywide projects and programs. She was instrumental in starting the popular Library Speaker Series at the Malibu Library, her home library.
A graduate of the University of Massachusetts (BA) and the University of Southern California (PhD), Rosenthal is dedicated to literacy, innovative Library programs, and sharing and growing the Library Foundation.
Honorary Board Member
Evelyn M. Gutierrez, marketing consultant, retired from L.A. County public service with
more than 30 years of administrative and public policy experience. As director of the Office of workplace Programs & Marketing, she directed countywide employee programs and marketing projects. Her administrative responsibilities included development of public policy, fiscal management, strategic planning and grant writing.
Appointed by Supervisor Gloria Molina, Gutierrez is also a Commissioner with the L.A. County Quality & Productivity Commission. As a County Commissioner, Gutierrez assists county departments in developing and funding pilot projects that promote innovation, creativity and enhance productivity.
Elected to the RELAC Board of Directors (Retired Employees of the Los Angeles County), Gutierrez is Chair for the Community Support and Special Events committees promoting connectivity and social activity for the elderly and home bound members. Gutierrez is also an officer with the Los Amigos of the ELA Library, a non-profit organization that manages the library’s bookstore and coordinates fundraising events.
Gutierrez is a graduate of East Los Angeles College with an Accounting major and majored in Human Resource Management and Marketing at Cal-State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
Partner, Zuber Lawler
Manny Medrano is an experienced trial attorney who focuses on white collar criminal defense, financial litigation and internal investigations. Prior to joining Zuber Lawler, Mr. Medrano served as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. He served as Chief of the Asset Forfeiture Section, and Deputy Chief of the Criminal Complaints Unit. During Mr. Medrano’s time as a federal prosecutor, he conducted lengthy grand jury investigations, and prosecuted cases involving complex financial crime and RICO, money laundering, narcotics, government fraud and violent crime.
Medrano is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Southern California Law School, Loyola Law School, Pepperdine University School of Law, and Southwestern University School of Law, where he has taught Evidence, Trial Advocacy, Ethics and Negotiation. He has also taught as a visiting faculty member at the Harvard Law School’s nationally-recognized Trial Advocacy Workshop.
A former member of the prestigious ranks of the U.S. Supreme Court press corps, Medrano served as a Supreme Court/Legal Affairs correspondent for ABC News in Washington, D.C. He has further distinguished himself as an Emmy award-winning reporter/anchor for KTLA News and KNBC News in Los Angeles.
LA County Library
LA County Library Director
Skye Patrick was appointed LA County Library Director on February 1, 2016. She has held leadership roles at Broward County, Queens Public Library, and San Francisco Public Library. Patrick manages the Library’s $201 million annual budget and is responsible for the operation of the Library’s 86 locations and a 12-vehicle mobile fleet, serving 3.4 million residents in a 3,000-mile area.
Patrick is committed to breaking down barriers and increasing access for all. She introduced the iCount equity initiative, which ensures that library services and programs address the needs of the diverse communities served throughout Los Angeles County. As the Library Director, Patrick continues to reinforce the Library’s role in the community as a civic and cultural center, a hub for public information and services, and an institution of literacy, innovation, and lifelong learning.
Patrick was appointed to the Executive Board of the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) in July 2017. In January 2019, Patrick was named Librarian of the Year by Library Journal, one of the most established industry publications. Under her leadership, the Library has also won the Library Journal 2018 Marketer of the Year award and 2019 Library of the Year award, in addition to being named a finalist for the Institute of Museum and Library Services National Medal in 2018 and 2019.