Jordana is a television writer and producer for NCIS: Los Angeles, who has also developed projects with CBS Studios, Warner Brothers, and Universal. Before segueing into entertainment, she was a journalist for The New York Times and Newsweek. Jordana earned her Bachelors degree from Harvard University, where she studied History and Literature and was Editorial Chair of The Harvard Crimson. She also holds a JD from UCLA School of Law. Originally from Orange County, California and a product of the public school system, Jordana has a keen interest in the educational landscape of Los Angeles. Jordana served on the DTS Board for three years before becoming Chair in 2020, and is also a member of UCLA’s Food Allergy Advisory Counsel. She and her husband Mark have two children.
An attorney by training, Jessica began her career as a clerk in the Federal Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago. Upon relocating to Los Angeles, she worked as an associate at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, then as Vice President of Business Affairs for a motion picture studio. She left the law to spend time with her young children and pursue volunteer work as an advocate for children’s health and education. She has served on multiple non-profit and hospital boards and committees, spearheaded health education and awareness programs, written articles and educational materials, and collaborated on development projects toward those ends. Jessica holds a law degree from DePaul University College of Law and earned her Bachelors degree in Journalism and History from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Jessica joined Determined to Succeed in January 2017 and became a board member in 2020.
Elijah is President and CEO of Faith Electric, a Southern California-based Electrical Construction Contractor providing high, medium, and low voltage construction services to utility, municipal, commercial, and industrial customers. Prior to Faith, Elijah was a Principal in the Industrial and Private Equity practices at Bain and Company and was Vice President in BNY Mellon’s corporate strategy group. Elijah also worked at the Chapman Company, the first publicly traded African American owned investment bank, and Comerica Bank. Elijah received a BS in Finance and a minor in communications from Santa Clara University. He has a joint Masters Degree from the School of Computer Science and the Tepper Graduate School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.
Peter is a seasoned legal and business affairs executive with significant experience in the entertainment, licensing, digital media, and technology sectors. Currently, Peter is General Counsel and Head of Business Affairs for Ithaca Holdings, LLC, a privately held entertainment company. Previously, Peter was General Counsel and Head of Business and Legal Affairs for Machinima, Inc., a 200-person digital media entertainment company, where he built a legal department from scratch. Peter was also Senior Counsel at Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc., and a corporate attorney at Latham & Watkins LLP. Peter served as a captain in the United States Marine Corps for seven years, where he commanded an elite special operations Force Reconnaissance platoon and was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for exemplary performance. He holds his BA from Brown University and JD from UCLA School of Law.
Joe is the CEO/President of Blackstone Consulting, Inc., established in 1991, where he is responsible for Operations, Marketing, Finance, Human Resource and Legal departments for a multi-million-dollar mid-sized service company. Blackstone Consulting provides security, food, janitorial, facilities maintenance, grounds maintenance and project management services. Prior to starting his own company, Joe worked as a management consultant for West Hudson in Los Angeles and Bain & Company in Paris, and as a Marketing Representative for IBM Corporation in San Francisco. Joe is a University of Southern California alumnus, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1983. He earned his MBA at Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1985.
A native Angeleno and a proud, low-income, first-generation-to-college graduate, Abdiel completed his Bachelors in Child Development at Tufts University and his Masters at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Most recently, Abdiel spent the past 5 years as an undergraduate admissions officer and as Assistant Director of the Undergraduate Minority Recruitment Program at Harvard University. He is thrilled to be back in Southern California as the new Associate Director of Academic Advising and College Guidance at the Geffen Academy at UCLA. In his spare time, Abdiel enjoys road biking, hiking, learning languages, and enjoying his mother’s homemade enchiladas de mole rojo.
Sarah G. Montoya
Jared is a native Angeleno from Westwood. After going east for his BA at Dartmouth College, Jared returned west for his MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA. Professionally, Jared started his career in New York in investment banking at Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank. After moving back to LA, Jared worked for two other global investment banks and now works for a private investment firm where he splits his time between venture capital and private equity investments. In his spare time, Jared likes to golf, work out, spend time with family and friends, try new restaurants, give back to the community and explore the world of midcentury modern décor.
Sarah is a Financial Advisor and Partner within The Beverly Hills Millennium Group at Morgan Stanley. She began her career as a Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch, holds the Series 7 and Series 66 Licenses, and is a California Insurance Broker. Sarah currently serves as Chapter Head of The W Source – Beverly Hills Chapter. She graduated UCSD with a Double-Degree in Economics and Political Science. She is a Pi Beta Phi Alumnus, as well as an active member of multiple non-profit organizations in the Southern California area. Sarah is a certified Yoga Instructor, frequents California based car shows, and enjoys hiking, traveling, and Football (Go Broncos!). Sarah and her husband, Carlos, live in the Los Feliz area with their dog, Baxter.
Heidi has more than 20 years of strategic human resources experience with a focus on organizational and leadership development and change. She served as a member of Spencer Stuart’s Human Resources Practice focused on executive search and leadership advisory services. Before that, Heidi was the top human resources executive for Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems division. She spent 15 years at Bank of America and began her career at Andersen Consulting. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Heidi earned a bachelor’s degree from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication with a double major in organizational and interpersonal communications. Heidi recently served as a member of the PS1 Pluralistic School Board of Directors, was President of the Board of Trustees for Palisades Preschool, and is an active member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Heidi frequents spinning and pilates classes – and enjoys hiking, biking, swimming and almost anything outdoors with her husband, Ken, and her children, Jonah and Lily!