Diana Monaco has served on the board of several arts and education based non-profit organizations in Los Angeles and is eager to bring her experience and enthusiasm to Determined to Succeed. She holds a BA and an MFA and is committed to the comprehensive, whole-child approach Determined to Succeed brings to the communities it serves. She joins the Board as an education advocate, teacher, artist and mother.
Peter Bartle 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 held the position of 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 also was 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 Blackstone is the CEO/President of Blackstone Consulting, Inc. established in 1991, with its corporate office in Los Angeles California, where he is responsible for Operations, Marketing, Finance, Human Resource and Legal departments for a multi-million-dollar mid-sized service company. Blackstone Consulting, Inc. provides security, food, janitorial, facilities maintenance, grounds maintenance and project management services. Clients have included Sodexo, Kaiser Permanente, Sempra, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Pacific Gas & Electric, the Dept. of the Army, Dept. of the Navy, Dept. of the Air Force and the Marine Corp., General Services Administration, the City of Los Angeles Marathon and RJB Properties, Inc. Prior to starting his own company, Joe worked as a management consultant for West Hudson in Los Angeles, California and Bain & Company in Paris, France as well as a Marketing Representative for IBM Corporation in San Francisco, California. Joe is a University of Southern California alumnus, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in May 1983 and subsequently earned his MBA at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas in August 1985.
Born and raised in Long Beach, California, Silvestre was the first in his family to go to college. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from USC with a B.A. in Cinema-Television Production, Silvestre briefly worked in the entertainment industry before finding his passion working with youth. Silvestre has an extensive history of promoting college access in underserved communities. He worked in East Los Angeles for Project GEAR UP, was Program Director for The Posse Foundation, and also worked for After-School All-Stars as the National Program Manager. Silvestre also worked for i.am College Track Boyle Heights as the founding College Affairs Director, and eventually became the Site Director. Currently, Silvestre works for the California College Guidance Initiative as an Implementation Manager, working with school districts in the San Gabriel Valley, North Orange County and the Los Angeles region. In his spare time, Silvestre enjoys hiking, photography, and, given that he is a new father…changing diapers.
Narda comes to Determined to Succeed as a veteran event designer and producer. She has spent nearly the last decade at the Director of Events at Book Bindery Events in Culver City, California, and co-created Determined to Succeed’s highly successful annual fundraiser, Wellness First. Previously, Narda was the owner of ModernPoverty.com and Director of Operations at Nooshin Inc. She began her career in the publicity department of Virgin Records, moving to the editorial department of Venice Magazine. Narda holds a BA in English/Creative Writing and an MBA in Strategy/Marketing from Loyola Marymount University.
Elijah Adams 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 acquiring Faith, Elijah was a Principal in the Industrial and Private Equity practices at Bain and Company, a global strategy firm. While at Bain, Elijah advised CEOs and other C-level executives of Fortune 500 companies on key strategic issues ranging from growth strategies and turnarounds to merger integrations. In addition, Elijah advised large private equity funds seeking to acquire industrial companies including industrial contractors providing services to utilities, electricity generation equipment manufacturers, and industrial equipment manufacturers and distributors.
Before joining Bain and Company, Elijah was a Vice President in BNY Mellon’s corporate strategy group. While at Mellon, Elijah worked closely with the CEO and business unit leaders to develop growth strategies, develop new business and products, and acquire/divest new businesses.
In addition to his experience at Bain and Mellon, Elijah also worked at the Chapman Company, the first publicly traded African American owned investment bank, where he was an Associate in their Public Finance Group, and Comerica Bank where he was a member of their Credit Analyst Training program.
Elijah earned an undergraduate degree from Santa Clara University where he received a BS in Finance and a minor in communications. He has a joint Masters Degree from the School of Computer Science and the Tepper Graduate School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.
Jordana is currently a television writer and producer for NCIS: Los Angeles. Previously, she was a freelance journalist for The New York Times and Newsweek. Jordana earned her bachleor’s degree from Harvard University, where she studied History and Literature and wrote for The Crimson. She 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.
Lauren is a seasoned event designer and producer, specializing in niche fundraising campaigns for schools and nonprofit organizations. She, along with Narda Malakzad, conceived of and executed Determined to Succeed’s annual tentpole fundraiser, Wellness first, tripling its size and exponentially increasing its income from year one to year two. Prior to her career in the event and fundraising sector, she was a litigation associate at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. She holds a BA in International Relations and Philosophy from the University of Southern California and a JD from USC’s Gould School of Law. She is the proud mom of two young children.