Honorary Board Members

Royce West: State Senator (District 23)

Royce West was first elected to the Texas Senate in November 1992.  Since taking office he has represented the 23rd Senatorial District on behalf of the citizens of Dallas County in the Texas Legislature.  During his tenure, Senator West has been named by Texas Monthly as one of the 25 most powerful people in Texas politics, been selected for the magazine’s biennial “Ten Best Legislators in Texas” list, and has twice been named as an “Honorable Mention.”  Senator West has also received mention on the Associated Press’ “Movers and Shakers” list, as well as the Texas Insider ‘s “Best Legislators” list (2009).

Senator West is Chairman of the Senate Jurisprudence Committee and is a member of Senate committees on Education, Finance, Health and Human Services and Higher Education. Last session, he served on the Select Committee on Public School Finance Weight, Allotment & Adjustment as well as the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting.  During the recent interim, he was appointed to the Medicaid Reform Waiver Legislative Oversight Committee as well as the Joint Interim Committee to Study the Public School Finance System. Senator West also serves on the following national and regional organizations:

• Education Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC);
• Standing committee on Communications, Financial Services and Interstate Commerce of the National Conference of State Legislature (NCSL);
• Education Commission of the States;
• Intergovernmental Affairs Committee of the Council of State Governments; and the Southern Regional Education Board Legislative Advisory Council.

Senator West’s key initiatives include the creation of college admission opportunities for all students, including the establishment of the University of North Texas at Dallas, Dallas’ first state support, four-year university and a new law school in downtown Dallas and a Pharmacy school. His legislation created the Texas Juvenile Crime Prevention Center at Prairie View A&M University; increased funding for at-risk youth programs, awarded greater compensation to victims of violent crime, established new standards for child care, enhanced enforcement of protective orders and instituted more efficient uses of criminal justice resources through legislation that created a system of progressive sanctions. He passed legislation that created a kinship care program whereby qualified relatives can receive state support to help raise children who could otherwise become part of the foster care system. The senator also successfully carried a package of bills that addressed the practices of homeowners’ associations.

To promote inclusiveness in the procurement practices of state agencies in working with Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs), Senator West created the “Doing Business Texas Style – Spot Bid Contract Fair” and regularly sponsors procurement workshops and seminars.

In addition to his senatorial duties, Senator West is the managing partner in the law firm of West & Associates, L.L.P.  He is also a caring father to his children and devoted husband to Carol R. West, CPA, as well as an active deacon of Good Street Baptist Church.

 

Don Wright, President | ISI CEO – Chairman of Board

Before taking over the leadership of ISI, Don Wright served as the Chairman & CEO of The Confluence Group a consulting business for the Aerospace, Defense and Security Industries. Mr. Wright established Confluence to perform due diligence, provide high level strategy and consulting services and acquire an operating platform company in the security and government services industry.

From 1990 to 2006, Mr. Wright was the Chairman /President & CEO of Pacific Aerospace & Electronics, Inc. (PA&E) which he founded and grew into a multi-national public corporation with manufacturing facilities in several companies. Under Mr. Wright’s leadership the PA&E developed a large patent portfolio and intellectual property platform to produce strategic components for the Defense, Aerospace and Security industries.

Prior to 1990, Mr. Wright was the founder, President and CEO of Component Concepts, a Washington-based high technology corporation. Founded in 1976, the company engaged in the testing of various electronic components for manufacturers and end users, primarily in the defense, aerospace and security industries. During his career, Mr. Wright has supervised, managed, and served on numerous OGA (Other Government Agencies) contracts, operating in the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa in the protection of U.S. national interests.

 

Luis Vega: ISI Vice President and Business Development & Operations

With an MBA in International Business, Luis Vega has successfully obtained and managed billions of dollars worth of government and corporate security contracts, domestically and abroad. Prior to joining ISI, Mr. Vega was Executive Vice President of Business Development for SOC, a private security company specializing in international force protection and low-profile, high-end security operations in high-threat environments. As an operator and executive for the company, he developed all of the procedures pertaining to risk/threat and vulnerability assessments.

Mr. Vega has served as the Senior Inspector for South Florida’s Criminal Justice Standards and Training’s Internal Affairs Division. Currently, he is a consultant for the U.S. Government on the Counter-Narcotics and Drug Interdiction Task Force, and has served as an agent for Legacy U.S. Customs Service, under the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program.

Mr. Vega has active duty military and Special Operation’s experience, and has served overseas as a team leader and operator in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Panama, and Haiti; performing various security assessments for multi-national corporations and sovereign governments in the regions.

Mr. Vega has served on many boards for non-profit and for profit corporations and R & D companies.

 

Annette Raveneau: Ramirez Group

Annette Raveneau is the self-running passionate associate of the company. As director for the Know You Care campaign, Raveneau handles a broad variety of tasks for this client. To promote the campaign, Annette organizes several healthcare related events and collaborates with other organizations and government agencies (Local, State and Federal) to inform Nevadans about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, the new health care reform law.

Prior to working at Ramirez Group, Raveneau served the community as a television reporter for the Univision Nevada station and prior to that as a producer and reporter for Univision Network in Miami Florida and Los Angeles California.

When not working on the Know You Care campaign, Raveneau provides company support in media relations in both mainstream and Spanish media and community outreach. Raveneau also provides a unique skill set in photography and event management.

Originally from Panama, she has a global understanding of communications having also done a fellowship in Berlin Germany. Raveneau has a marketing degree from Florida Internation University.

A true advocate for health, Annette also works on keeping herself healthy by working on her fitness and running around with her dog Yankee.

 

Sam Sarpong

Sam Sarpong is a modern-day Renaissance Man. Excelling as an Actor, Supermodel, Host, and Rapper—Sam is on the path to becoming one of Hollywood’s most sought-after entertainers.

Sam was lunched into the national spotlight as co-host of MTV’s Hit show “Yo Momma,” (currently in syndication) and has since gone on to serve as the host of the BET Awards pre-show “All Access,” for the last 5 years. This year, at the 2013 BET Awards, Sam was selected to present the first ever “Best International Artist”category. Continuing to grow within the Network, Sam recently wrapped the much buzzed about BET pilot “Underground Outlet” featuring Sarpong as the main host.

Sam, who has already appeared in over 60 movies and 40 television shows, gained international recognition and acclaim in 2011, starring as Paul Unanga in the award-winning independent film, “Anchor Baby.” An official selection screened at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, Anchor Baby is the winner of the “Best Film and Actress Award” at the 2010 Harlem International Film Festival and was nominated for two African Academy Awards at the 2011 African Movie Academy Awards ceremony.

In 2006 Sam Sarpong made fashion history when he became the first black male model to ever shoot a campaign with one of the worlds premiere luxury brands, Louis Vuitton. A recipient of the prestigious MAA Fashion Award for Male Model of the Year, and twice named “Today’s Black Woman,” magazine “Fifty Most Beautiful People,” Sam Sarpong was added to “Us Weekly’s,” “Hot 100 Young Hollywood with Style” list. Sam has walked the runway for designers such as Versace, Donna Karen, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Jean Phillppe, and Ed Hardy. Sam has also started his own clothing brand, “Future Stars Collection,” a line of high-end T-shirts, jeans, and hoodies.

Sarpong can next be seen this fall co-staring alongside Tiny Lister in the feature film “No Weapons.” Sam Sarpong will also co-star with 90210’s Matt Cohen in the film “Trigger,” and appear on the television series, “Average Dad,” with actors Jamie Presley and Brent Goldberg.

Additionally, Sam Sarpong will be featured campaigns for Boy London, and serve as the international face of the Nelson Mandela foundation 46664 clothing line this year. Sarpong will also be featured in Nike’s 2013 back to school commercials.

Sam Sarpong is also a member of the Hip-Hop/Pop group The League, which has been extremely popular in Asia. Over the last decade the group has released 6 albums that have all achieved certified platinum or double platinum status. Later this year Sarpong will release his solo EP, “Loose My Mind” which is featured on VH1’s hit show “Hit The Floor.” Sam is also featured on the “Scary Movie 5” soundtrack with his song “Thunder”.

Always evolving, Sam Sarpong continues to mold himself into a polymath for all things entertainment.

 

Eric “EZ” Zuley

Orange County, California is known for money, celebrities, and great weather. However, the hottest commodity to come out of The O.C. is social media mogul Eric “EZ” Zuley. For the last ten years, EZ has been branding himself as “The Hollywood It Guy” through his celebrity friends, Red Carpet events, and YouTube image and interview saturation while he has been teaching Hollywood, “how to do it the EZ way.”

After mixing it up with the A-listers in the Hollywood scene, “The Hardest Working Man in Hollywood” has returned to his roots in Orange County to focus on his social media empire which grows by the minute as he watches his 500,000 plus Twitter followers hang on his every tweet and his Facebook friends click the “like” button. In 2012, EZ’s sales and entrepreneurial skills extended beyond his You Tube channel “What You Need TV” with over 15,000,000 viewers and his WTV Networks to start EZ Way Entertainment for film, television, and music production. Under that company, he created EZ Way Broadcasting for radio production. His radio network on Blog Talk Radio blasts the airwaves with its seven-day-a-week schedule of celebrity hosts who interview their celebrity friends to find out what is happening in the world of entertainment. EZ also broadens his social media reach through ownership and affiliation with four editorial publications.

EZ has launched the careers of singers, dancers, actors, and hosts through his full-blitz social media marketing skills. Eric recognizes talent and manages to put those talented people in the forefront of the media to make them rise to the top. When dance, music, social media, and celebrities collide into one supernova of entertainment, Eric is somewhere in the mix bringing it all together. That scenario is the subject of his newest 2013 hosting gig Dance Express. Details of the show are soon to be released. In the second quarter of 2013, the world of reality television and Eric Zuley meet in It’s Not About Me, a show that brings EZ’s style, business savvy, and celebrity friends to homes across America. However, Eric’s fans are not limited to the United States. Hello, Hollywoood, created by Larry Namer owner the Metan Development Group in China and co-founder of E! Entertainment is the hottest source in Asia for all things Hollywood which include Eric Zuley. Larry and Eric, friends and business associates, feel China needs to know Eric and “The EZ Way.”

Even after receiving being Congressionally recognized; receiving an award in his name, The EZ Achievement Award, from the Multicultural Motion Picture Association signed by the mayor of Los Angeles and the council members; and receiving the Robert Novak Award, Eric still remains humble and refuses to boast about the hours he devotes to working with nine charities and helping to inspire students.

To find out more about Eric, follow him at www.HollywoodItGuy.com.
Contact Eric through his agent Tina Truman at 310-926-0976

 

Stephanie Spruill
Credited to hundreds of gold and platinum recordings, Stephanie Spruill’s talent, stellar reputation, and professional capacity, as a singer, to produce, write, arrange, develop, and motivate, with integrity, passion and commitment, is captured in her latest book and soon to be released DVD, “ 17 Points to Longevity In Show Business: Staying Focused On Your Vision.”

On the lecture circuit, Stephanie drives home the need for individuals to be CONFIDENT, VERSATILE and FOCUSED.  Her ability to capture an audience, nurture, empathize with, and motivate individuals to reach their full potential is unlike you’ve ever seen before.

Having written hits for Najee, Jon Lucien, and others, including writing the theme song for the movie, “The Velocity of Gary,” starring Salma Hayek, Stephanie’s exceptionally rare talent, and being considered one of the most versatile singers, songwriters, and musicians, in the entertainment business, has afforded her opportunities to record, perform, and tour with some of the industry’s biggest names, such as:

Michael Jackson, Elton John, Aretha Franklin, Ricky Martin, Whitney Houston, Julio Iglesias, (Whom she toured the world with for 5 years and as a result recorded her Spanish album “Memoirs”), Mariah Carey, Barbra Streisand, Enrique Iglesias, Juan Gabriel, Dolly Parton, Gino Vanelli,  Billy Idol, Donna Summer, Tom Petty, Glenn Campbell, Placido Domingo, Tina Turner, Olivia Newton-John, Quincy Jones…the list is endless.

Ranked one of the top and most sought after background vocal arrangers, for more than 40 years in this industry, Stephanie was requested, by Michael Jackson, and hired as the background contractor, choir director, and background vocalist for the hit song, “Can You Feel It.”

Multiple blockbuster movies, soundtracks, commercials, film scores, and T.V. appearances bear Ms. Spruill’s signature voice & acting style: Cop Out, 40-Year-Old Virgin, Happy Feet, Forrest Gump, The Breakfast Club, Dances With Wolves, What’s Love Got to Do With it, Amistad, Inglourious Basterds, the classic film American Hot Wax, Married With Children, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and more.

Having toured the 7 continents several times, Stephanie has performed before royalty around the globe: The Emperor of Japan, The King and Queen of Spain, The Queen of England at Royal Albert Hall, and performances at the White House, on several occasions, for three different U.S. Presidents.

Her dedication and proven results show her commitment to fostering and strengthening the valuable attributes essential for success and longevity; not only in the entertainment business but in any business.

 

Karlette Dixon

Current Position
• Executive Assistant to Gov Bob Miller at Robert J. Miller Consulting

Past
• Account Executive at Exceptional Executive Services
• Communications Assistant at Top Rank, Inc
• Executive Administrative Assistant at Harrah’s Corp/Bally’s-Paris Hotel
• Senior Executive Assistant at City of Las Vegas
• Business Owner at Adams & Associates

Executive Assistant to Gov Bob Miller
Robert J. Miller Consulting
June 2010 – Present (3 years 2 months)
Personal assistant to former Governor Bob Miller (Nevada 1989-1999). Executive level office management, schedule updates, coordinate travel, monthly AP/AR, compose correspondence, prioritize assignments, execute directives in Gov’s absence. Maintain office cash-flow, bank deposits, expense reports & reimbursement requests.

Account Executive
Exceptional Executive Services
Partnership; 1-10 employees; Executive Office industry
August 2008 – June 2010 (1 year 11 months)

As an independent consultant, provided long or short-term administrative support, executive-level experience, virtual or on-site support and new office set-up and training. Maintained files, generated correspondence, real estate transaction coordination, managed multiple schedules and travel arrangements, scheduled appointments and ensured client satisfaction.

Communications Assistant
Top Rank, Inc
July 2009 – October 2009 (4 months) Temporary/Contract position

Assistant to Vice President of Marketing/Special Events and PR Director; press tour coordinator for PACQUIAO v. COTTO, streamlined organization, coordinated travel for media events, scheduled ground transportation and secured contracts for accommodations for multiple individuals simultaneously; updated company calendar & contacts directory, organized press information and assisted management with developing, implementing and maintaining organizational systems.

Executive Administrative Assistant
Harrah’s Corp/Bally’s-Paris Hotel
Public Company; 10,001+ employees; Gambling & Casinos industry
November 2007 – July 2008 (9 months)

Administrative support to Vice President and Director of Food & Beverage of hotel casino properties. Office management, coordinated schedules, compiled monthly reports, maintained manager files, compiled correspondence and P-card reconciliation. Screened calls, set meeting agendas, deciphered and distributed meeting minutes.

Senior Executive Assistant
City of Las Vegas
Government Agency; 1001-5000 employees; Government Administration industry
December 1999 – July 2007 (7 years 8 months)

Responsible, confidential and complex administrative duties that supported local elected official. Represented city council member at various functions, liaison to city staff, outside agencies and the general public. Attended meetings and prepared reports, maintained calendar, coordinated travel, fundraisers and planned & executed special events to benefit needy children & senior citizens.

Business Owner
Adams & Associates
1997 – 1999 (2 years)
Event planning, destination management and marketing company; prepared budget projections, secured sponsors, promotions and database management for special events. Negotiated venue contracts, conducted market research, designed and produced promotional & collateral material, tracked progress and generated reports; coordinated convention /trade show set-up and breakdown.

 

Senator Lena Taylor

A life-long Milwaukee resident, Senator Lena Taylor is serving her second term in the Wisconsin State Senate, representing the 4th Senate District, including northern portions of the City of Milwaukee as well as parts of Wauwatosa and Glendale.

First elected to political office in 2003 in the Wisconsin Assembly, Lena Taylor fights unrelentingly for her constituents’ rights. Taylor won a special election for a seat in the State Assembly and soon after was elected to the State Senate. Senator Taylor is the thousandth senator in the state of Wisconsin, twentieth woman, fifth African American, and only the second African American woman to serve in the state senate.
As of her reelection in 2012, Senator Taylor currently serves on five different Senate Committees. She holds seats on two important economic committees: the Agriculture, Small Business, and Tourism Committee, and also the Economic Development and Local Government Committee. Senator Taylor also looks to promote voting equality and urban representation through her position on the Elections and Urban Affairs Committee. While she no longer serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Taylor is still actively involved with the judicial and corrections system by occupying a seat on the Senate Joint Review on Criminal Penalties, and her dedication to community outreach. Furthermore, Senator Taylor also serves on the Senate Special Committee on Symposia Series on State Income Tax Reform Information.

In past sessions, Senator Taylor served on the influential Joint Committee on Finance, and as the first African-American to chair the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, expanding the committee’s work on criminal justice reforms and implemented the first ever “State of Justice” tour with the committee across Wisconsin.

In the community, the Senator serves as a commissioner on the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District and chairs the Personnel, Finance, and Policy Committee of the commission.  She also holds seats on the Milwaukee Area Boy Scouts Board of Directors, the Milwaukee Community Justice Council, and the Community Advisory Council of the Blood Center of Wisconsin.

Having graduated from Rufus King High School and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Senator Taylor was shaped by the city of Milwaukee and has dedicated her life to contributing back to her community in kind. After attaining a law degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, she practiced as a Public Defender for the people of Milwaukee and eventually opened Taylor and Associates Law Office, a general practice firm on the north side.  Senator Taylor still holds free legal clinics in conjunction with Greater New Birth Church in Milwaukee for those in need.

Reaching out to children and young adults struggling with the same choices that she herself faced growing up in Milwaukee, Senator Taylor frequently visits schools, youth development programs, and churches, spreading her message of responsible decision making, commitment to education, and ambitious pursuit of dreams.

Senator Taylor’s dedicated efforts to serve her community and state have been recognized by both local and national organizations.   In 2010, Taylor was bestowed with the extremely prestigious National Legislator of the Year Award from the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies.  The Senator was the first legislator from Wisconsin, and the first Democrat nationally to be honored with this award in the history of the organization.  In addition, the Senator has received accolades for her work including The Becky Young Community Justice Award in 2009, an award for being committed to fighting for Criminal Justice Reform; the Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s Legislative Advocate Award in 2010; the Wisconsin Builder’s Association’s Friend of Housing Award for 2009, 2010, 2011; and the Friend of Agriculture Award from the Wisconsin Farm Bureau..

In early 2011, the Senator took a principled and dramatic stand against Governor Scott Walker’s goal of ending collective bargaining as part of the “Wisconsin 14”—the fourteen Democratic Senators that left the state in order to prevent the passing of the “Budget Repair Bill” that would strip away the right of workers and end democracy in the public sector work place.  Taylor and her colleagues were and are revered by many for their stand in support of worker’s rights in Wisconsin.  The National Education Association awarded Taylor and the rest of the Wisconsin 14 individually their 2011 Friend of Education Award, the first time ever the award was granted to a collective group’s action.

In addition to more than a decade of legal experience, as well as another eight years serving as a political representative for the people of Milwaukee, Senator Taylor is also a devoted mother to her son Isaiah and mentor to many.

Lena Taylor: Mother, Lawyer, Political Leader, and your Elected Advocate!

 

Kameron Persaud

Kameron is a public safety professional, speaker, and transformational trainer who specializes in personal development and character transformation.

With an educational background in Entrepreneur Leadership, Kameron currently serves as the President/COO for Like-Minded,Org. and is the Founder and CEO of both APEX Development, Inc. and Motivated Nation,Org. Kameron also proudly serves as an advisory board member for REDD ZONE CPR. Kameron strongly believes that life is meant to be extraordinary and that we were all created to serve a purpose. Kameron is passionate about seeing others experience freedom by finding their passions in life and achieving what was once thought to be impossible. Kameron strives to create spaces where communities become an intentional force for good, and where people value others above themselves.

 

Roney Hooks

From Pop to Rock to Hip Hop to Be Bop, Roney Hooks has done it all.  The multi-talented producer, writer and arranger, has scored hits with some of today’s chart topping artist.

Roney Hooks started honing his skills with the legendary production team known as the Bomb Squad. In the early 90 ‘s the Bomb Squad, considered the pioneer production camp for Rap music, created hit albums for major artist such as Ice Cube, Public Enemy, Slick Rick and The Beastie Boys. After attending The Julliard School, for a brief time, Roney knew early on that his knack for predicting market trends would soon propel him to a level of success one can only imagine.

In 1988 Roney got his first taste of personal success, when he signed onto become a recording artist with CBS Records. He later went on to write and arrange (3) songs for MCA Recording artist Bell,Biv,De Voe ‘s (“Poison “LP).  This album achieved multi-platinum status and Roney quickly became a hot commodity amongst his peers. In 1991, Roney went into heavy negotiations with Benny Medina and the legendary Quincy Jones for his services. He went on to sign with Sony Music, and immediately made his mark by producing, writing, remixing and arranging songs for Kathy Sledge, Mariah Carey, Babyface, Shalimar and Alexander O’Neal. In 1993 he co-penned the title song “Above The Rim” with BBD.Eager to break into television and film, he was offered the opportunity to work on the musical score for “The Plight of the Dakota Indians,” documentary backed by none other than, President Clinton.

With his feet firmly planted in the music industry, he went on to develop what is soon to be an entertainment powerhouse. Thus came the emergence of Ronestone Entertainment, a multi-faceted entertainment and music production company specializing in interactive and internet music, musical scores for television and films, artist development, publishing and music production.  With music production as its focal point, Roney went out and hand picked a team of talented veteran producers, writers and arrangers – thereby, enabling them to develop hit songs in both the Pop and R&B markets. As a company, Ronestone has gone onto diversify itself within the entertainment industry through sponsorships and affiliations. The company was one of the Internet sponsors for Miami Beaches “Urban Fashion Week”. As well as becoming an active sponsor with the NAACP. Roney’s first international contribution was to write and produce the first ever song honoring former NBA Houston Rockets star Yao Ming.”The Yao Song”was a huge success sung by Neko Zhang.

In 2009, RoneStone composed music for the soundtrack for PBS documentary, “Museum Detours,” and is the assistant director for Striving To Achieve Real Success – S.T.A.R.S., a not-for-profit organization that educates students from ages thirteen to nineteen years broadly in the arts and the various business and numerous employment opportunities associated with the arts, as well as, providing life skills designed to facilitate lifelong learning and bring about successful outcomes enabling their pursuits.

Roney is the founder and CEO of 26 MGMT.LLC”  a artist management company based out of North Carolina. 26 MGMT is a premiere boutique company and home to many of today’s talented new artist such as Bliss, Sodder & Miss Rachel.

 

Kellie Shanygne Williams

Kellie Shanygne Williams (now Kellie Shanygne Jackson is an American actress. Williams is best known for her role as Laura Winslow, the middle child of Carl and Harriette Winslow on the ABC/CBS television seriesFamily Matters which ran from 1989-1998.

After Family Matters, she began acting in the ABC television show What About Joan. Williams was also on the Style Network program Clean House for six episodes in 2009, as a substitute host for Niecy Nash.

 

Hon. Nate Holden

Hon. Nate Holden (Retired), is currently serving on the Transition Team for California Attorney General Kamala Harris on the Environmental Justice Committee. Holden served more than 30 years in the public sector, as a Los Angeles City Councilman, California State Senator and as Assistant Chief Deputy to the Los Angeles County Supervisor.

Holden served four consecutive terms on the Los Angeles City Council (1987 to 2003) representing the 10th District.

As a City Councilman, he served as Chairman of the Air Quality and Waste Management Committee and eight years as the Chairman of the Transportation Committee. Holden served as Chairman of the Inter-Government Relations Committee and Vice-Chairman of the Police, Fire and Public Safety Committee. Holden also served as a member of the LA County Transportation Commission (LACTC), and as a member of the LA Metropolitan Transit Authority (LAMTA).

As a Councilman, Holden introduced a publicly funded program that reduced illegal firearms in Los Angeles through a unique buyback effort in cooperation with the Los Angeles Police Department. Holden also introduced an initiative into Los Angeles law that required all children’s toy guns be brightly colored so as to not be confused with actual weapons. He was the driving force behind the rebuilding of the Crenshaw area following the Los Angeles riots in 1992.

Councilman Holden has always had a keen interest in building stronger trade relations with countries in the Far East. At the invitation of the Taiwanese government, Holden joined a conference on international trade. Holden was also invited to Japan on a goodwill mission, representing the City of Los Angeles. In addition, Holden was invited by the order of the President of Korea to join him at his inauguration. Holden established a relationship with the Korean Chamber of Commerce, visiting many of their industrial sites for manufacturing and trade industries such as automobile manufacturing, clothing and commodities.

Holden also visited and consulted with Canada, where he provided insight on modernizing their mass-transit system. Holdenfrequented Jamaica, and contributed to that country’s recovery, particularly its essential public services, during the aftermath of Hurricane Gilbert in 1988. Holden also represented the City of Los Angeles in Berlin, Germany as an invited dignitary of that city’s mayor, honoring the 25th anniversary of Los Angeles’ sister city program that it shares with Berlin.

Holden visited Israel’s west bank as a goodwill ambassador and met with Israeli citizens to better understand the struggles in that region. During that visit, Holden met with Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek, known as a founding father of the State of Israel, discussing the structure of Israel’s government. On the same trip, Holden journeyed to the U.K. with a delegation representing the Los Angeles Marathon, by running in the London Marathon.

Holden previously served four years as a California State Senate or (1974 to 1978) representing the 30th Senate District, where he authored and co-authored more than 70 bills that became law. While in the Senate, he served as Vice-Chairman of the very important Public Utilities Transit and Energy Committee, Chairman of the Select Committee Rapid Transit of Southern California and Chairman of the Elections and Reapportionment Committee.

Senator Holden authored the bill establishing Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday as a California State holiday.

In the State Senate, Holden established himself as a champion of consumer rights, health care for the needy, senior citizen services, full employment programs and quality education. His legislative accomplishments included measures that addressed the genetically handicapped, anti-redlining on home mortgages, the Credit Denial Disclosure Act of 1976, increased funding for inner city schools, the creation of Baldwin Hills Regional Park, proliferation and control of liquor stores and property tax relief for senior citizens.

Holden also supported the “Use a gun, Go to jail” law, as well as measures that dealt with mandatory jail sentences for anyone convicted of a crime against a senior citizen. In addition, Holden voted to reduce state income taxes by $1 billion. He authored a law ensuring fair treatment for citizens requiring paramedic attention.

Prior to his term as State Senator, Holden served as Assistant Chief Deputy to then Los Angeles County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn for 12 years. During his tenure, Holden served as a Vice-Chairman of the Rapid Transit District (RTD) and served as a Member of the Department of Transportation Advisory Committee for the State of California.

Holden was honored in 2003 when the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles was named after the Councilman.

Before entering politics, Holden spent 17 years as a design engineer in the aerospace industry where he was assigned to innovative projects, including the Surveyor Lunar Landing spacecraft mission. During that period, he worked for several aerospace companies, including Bell Laboratories, Hycon Corp., Litton Industries, Electro Optical Systems, GM Giannini and Hughes Aircraft.

Holden is a U.S. Army Veteran having served in the Military Police Corps during World War II, stationed in Germany and Italy. He earned a Bachelors of Science in Applied Physics and a Masters of Science in Systems Engineering from West Coast University in Los Angeles. Holden also received an Honorary Doctorate from the Southwestern University School of Law as well as an Honorary Doctorate from Pacific State University.

Nate Holden’s son Chris Holden is currently serving as a City Councilman in Pasadena, California, and his son Reginald Holdenis a Deputy Sheriff in Los Angeles County.

Holden was born in Macon, Georgia and spent most of his childhood in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Holden is retired from public office and is now a consultant based in Los Angeles, specializing in government affairs. He is a member of the National Contract Management Association, NAACP, Urban League, United States Commission on Government Procurement and Crenshaw Neighbors.

 

Bernadette Bascom

Bernadette Bascom, a talented R&B singer was born in 1962, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Bascom, the daughter of Civil Rights Activist Rev. Marion Bascom, began her career as a Disc Jockey in Baltimore. Bascom was the first artist signed to Stevie Wonder’s label Black Bull. She later forged a great recording career in the Pacific Northwest. For 15 years, Bascom sang on the Las Vegas strip. And was the Co/star in the award winning show Divine Divas, She was also one of the Motown Moments at the Motown Cafe. Bascom recorded for her own labels Penguin and Solidarity Records which was distributed by D-Town Records. Her standout performance of “Seattle Sunshine” still is her trademark song and she has worked with Elton John, Lenny Williams and others.

In 2004 Bascom returned to Seattle where she currently teaches vocal lessons, performance and production.She also is the creator of “PRAISE!, a Sunday Gospel Supper”, which has run at the Triple Door in downtown Seattle.

Learn More and See Photos of Bascom’s Life and Career!