2020 Board of Governors

Richard (J.) Ward, CFP®

Role: Chairman
Serving Since: 2010

Richard Ward holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional certification and has a passion for helping people find their purpose in life. With more than 35 years of industry experience, Richard believes in taking a holistic approach to creating a financial portfolio that offers fulfillment and possibilities. 

Richard is First Vice President/Investments at Stifel, committed to helping you build upon your success as you pursue significance. Many clients he works with are Baby Boomer business owners and executives who are considering a transition out of the business world, or financially secure pre-retirees who have little interest in traditional retirement and are looking for guidance for the second half of their life.

Richard received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from UCLA, and his CFP® education from the College for Financial Planning in Denver, Colorado. He holds a Series 7 (General Securities Representative), Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent), and Series 65 (Investment Advisor Representative) licenses, as well as a Life/Health/Disability Insurance licenses.  Richard is very active in his community and has supported countless non-profit organizations both locally and nationally. He has personally learned that some of the greatest rewards in life are earned while helping others grow, thrive, and prosper, and he continues to live his purpose on a daily basis by helping others. 

Richard has a published book entitled Redefining Retirement: Finding Purpose and Passion for Your Second Half.  Richard currently serves on the Board of Governors for Center Club Orange County, as well as the OC Chapter Board of Advisors in Philanthropy and the Advisory Board for the Institute for Community Impact.

He advises at the OC Community Foundation and One OC, and is a member of the Financial Planning Association, International Association of Advisors in Philanthropy, UCLA Alumni Association, UCLA Chancellor's Associates, and the UCLA Foundation. 

Richard is a lifelong resident of OC and has lived in Irvine since 1992. His father, James E. Ward, was mayor of Santa Ana from 1977 - 1979. Richard has three adult children and lives with his fiancé, Dita.

 His hobbies include golf, travelling, movies, and concerts.

Paul Evan Greenwald

Role: Chairman Emeritus
Serving Since: 1986

Paul Evan Greenwald is first and foremost a proactive lawyer. In the corporate setting, Mr. Greenwald has developed skills regarding board dynamics and knows how to create emotional connections that are very effective. Regarding litigation, Mr. Greenwald has been successful in obtaining millions of dollars in favorable judgments and settlements for his clients. Mr. Greenwald has represented clients as large as the General Partner of the California Mart, the largest apparel showroom in the world, as well as individuals, entrepreneurs, private and public companies. Mr. Greenwald is a member of ABOTA (American Board of Trial Advocates) has received the highest rating (AV) from Martindale-Hubbell and is recognized as a pioneer in the use of video to settle cases or if not, to use for mediation, arbitration and trial. He has been named a “Super Lawyer”. Mr. Greenwald has taught civil trial practice and continuing legal education courses. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California, earning a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Business, and a J.D. at Southwestern University, where he was a senior staff member of the Southwestern Law Review. Mr. Greenwald is the third Chairman of the Board of Governors of The Center Club Costa Mesa, following Henry T. Segerstrom and Victoria Collins. In fact, Mrs. Collins said: “I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone with more passion for living life to the fullest than Paul and Isabel!” In addition, Mr. Greenwald is an active member, and former Board member of The Roosters of Orange County, a men's social and charity organization, which supports kid’s at-risk charities, and feeds 30,000 people during the holidays. He served in the United States Coast Guard. The primary passions of Mr. Greenwald are his wonderful wife, family, the law, and traveling with his wife to tribal lands in remote parts of the clump of dirt we all cling to called Earth, so that he can create interesting documentaries.

Victoria Collins, Ph.D.

Role: Chairperson 2011-2013
Serving Since: 1985

Victoria Collins, Ph. D., is Founder and CEO of Your Legacy Project and Center Club’s past chairman of the Board of Governors. Known for her community leadership, Victoria serves on the Board of Orange County’s United Way and was named Outstanding Philanthropist at National Philanthropy Day and one of the Top Influencers in Newport Beach. Dr. Collins helped found First Foundation Inc., a comprehensive wealth management firm which today manages about $4 billion and offers banking and trust services.  Her most recent book, Best Intentions, Ensuring that Your Estate Plan Delivers Both Wealth and Wisdom addresses the question, “How do we pass along our values?” She has been a guest on major radio and TV shows including Good Morning America, Bloomberg, CNBC, MSNBC and CBS’s news affiliates. She has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Money, Business Week, Investor’s Business Daily, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and The Orange County Register. Dr. Collins also co-hosted a weekly PBS special, The Financial Advisors. Victoria and her husband David live in Corona del Mar, California. They have five children and eight grandchildren. The first booking the Center Club ever had was their wedding reception in November 1985.

Patti E. Larson

Role: Vice Chairperson
Serving Since: 2016

Patti Larson is the founder and CEO of SunUp Group, Inc., a business strategy, brand and marketing agency in Orange County, California, and the co-founder of Ignite Brandz, a partnership between SunUp Group and Convergent7. Her wealth of experience includes over 25 years in accelerating bottom line profits through strategic growth plans, brand development and innovative sales and marketing strategies.  Prior to founding SunUp Group, Inc., Patti was the Managing Partner at BoardRoom Performance Group and Spire Leadership where she supported Boards of Directors and Executives with organizational effectiveness and leadership development. Patti also spent over 12 years with Centex Corp. where she was a Senior Executive leading major turnaround and growth initiatives in Sales, Marketing and Operations by formulating strategic growth plans and executing high-performance sales initiatives.  Patti serves on the Board of Governors and is the Center Club Vice-Chairman Elect for 2018-2019 and the Center Club Cares Committee Chairman 2018.  She has served on the Community Affairs Committee as well as the Charity Classic Committee since 2015. Patti sits on the Board of Directors for Courageous Voice, the Advisory Committee for Encore, OneOC, and is a mentor at the Center for Creative Leadership. Patti Larson holds a B.S. Degree in Business Management and Marketing Communications from Saint Cloud State University, MN, and completed an International Business Study in Alnwick, England.  

Liza Krassner

Role: Secretary
Serving Since: 2012

Liza Krassner, Current Position: Chief Admin Officer, Public Health UC Irvine. Is a veteran UC Irvine administrator whose professional background and interests includes program planning and administration, education, and public service within local and global communities.  Her personal interests include travel, cooking, and the arts.  She loves jazz, film, theater, and dance, but specially the tango, which she dances socially whenever her time allows.  As an occasional writer/producer, Liza’s public service mission is in the workforce development of persons with autism and developmental disabilities which she likes to do through story-telling in film. She presently serves in the board of the Regional Center of Orange County where she chairs the Legislative and Community Awareness Committee, and is also board delegate of the California Association for Regional Center Agencies.  Liza currently lives in Irvine with her husband and two sons.

Kris de la Pena

Role: Governor
Serving Since: 2017

Kris currently serves as the President of the C39 Committee, and has also held a position on the BLC Committee. He is a franchise owner of a Platinum Financial Advisory Practice with Ameriprise Financial. Ameriprise is a financial planning firm focusing on retirement planning, innovative portfolio design, tax strategizing, college savings, and insurance. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Ecological and Evolutionary Biology from UCLA, he declined an offer from medical school in order to focus on his true passion: helping people with their finances. He sits on the Board of Directors at the Thomas House Family Shelter in Garden Grove, and has been a longtime supporter of Children’s International and the Best Day Foundation. After moving from Los Angeles to Kentucky and to Spain, he purchased a house in Costa Mesa in 2012. In his spare time, Kris enjoys fine dining, wine, golf, travel, cooking, music, art, reading, movies, snowboarding, scuba diving, self-development, mountain biking, and exercise.

Greg Dill

Role: Governor
Serving Since: 2018

Greg Dill has been an active member of the Center Club since 2015 and currently serves as chair of the Business Connections as well as a participant in the Membership Council.  Outside of the Center Club, he sits on the boards of the CCIM Southern California Chapter (a commercial real estate educational organization) and Pure Game (a local nonprofit organization that provides mentors to help children develop character through experiential learning facilitated through the game of soccer).  Mr. Dill “works at a bank, but is not a banker” and has held a real estate / mortgage broker license in the state of California since 2010.  He is a “Commercial Mortgage Strategist” whose practice focuses on helping entrepreneurs achieve the “American Business Dream” of acquiring own-occupied real estate for company operations, which is likely to be the largest and most impactful investment of their life.  In addition, Mr. Dill provides expertise in the financing of business acquisitions and partner buyouts. Mr. Dill graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and earned his master’s degree through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Though he is a local, growing up in Costa Mesa, Mr. Dill lived outside of the United States for six years in various parts of Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa.  He is fluent in Spanish, which is the primary language spoken at home with his family.

Mike Flores

Role: Governor
Serving Since: 2019
Phone Number: 310-990-8657
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Mike is owner and president of Championship Strategies, Inc, which is a full-service public affairs company with over 18 years of public affairs experience. His primary areas of focus are energy, public education, small business, and collegiate and professional sports.  He has provided consulting services in both government and community relations throughout the state of California. He has assisted in public sector captures, provided public awareness campaigns, US Census participation campaigns, made presentations to local and state elected officials and made community presentations on behalf of clients. 

He has worked with many high profile clients including Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), Raytheon Corporation, UCLA, Chevron Renewable Energies, the City of Baldwin Park, Coro Southern California, Santa Barbara City College and Southwest Voter Registration.

Mike also is owner and president of Inner Champion Consulting, an executive leadership company providing leadership coaching services to individuals, groups, and teams. He primary clients are, business owners, C –Level professionals, professional athletes, and former collegiate athletes. 

Prior to starting his companies, he worked for 15 years in a university setting, as an instructor and administrator, at UCLA, University of Arizona, San Jose State University, the University of Hawaii and Cal State Dominguez Hills. 

Mike has been involved at the highest levels of community service including serving as President and Chairman of the East Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club, Vice President of the UCLA Alumni Association, Chair of the UCLA Hall of Fame Committee, Board of Directors of the Inglewood and Westside YMCA, and Golf Tournament Chair of Project Access. He also currently sits on the Board of Governors for the Center Club in Costa Mesa. 

Mike is a graduate of UCLA (where he played football and was a starting QB). 

Lola Gershfeld, Psy.D.

Role: Governor
Serving Since: 2014
Phone Number: 714.936.4561
Email Lola Gershfeld, Psy.D.

Dr. Lola Gershfeld, PsyD, is a Board and Team Dynamics Specialist, a Founder of EmC Leaders, and a developer of the Emotional Connection Process or EmC. She empowers leaders, teams and boards to resolve conflict so that your team can work productively again. (www.emcleaders.com). Dr Lola has been instrumental at the Center Club working closely with the Chairman, GM, and VC improving board engagement and transforming the Club culture. Dr Lola authored two books, The Effective Board and Team Dynamics Guide and TRUSTMAKERS. She is an adjunct professor at Chapman University.  Dr Lola joined the Board of Governors in 2014. She has served on the Charity Classics Committee (Chair), Ben Franklin Forum Committee (Member), and currently serves on the Appreciation and Recognition Committee (Chair).

Gary Johnson

Role: Governor
Serving Since: 2016
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Gary Johnson, President of J2 Marketing Consultants, helps attorneys get more profitable clients. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience, Gary builds strategies and offers simple solutions to help attorneys grow their practice by bringing in ideal clients. His expertise takes the mystery out of developing new business and gives them the road map to increased profits.

Susannah Johnston

Role: Board Nomination Committee Chair
Serving Since: 2014

Susannah Benchetler Johnston has served as an executive in the field of Business Development, Sales and Marketing for over 20 years; working in industries such as Aviation, Professional Services, and Luxury Goods. From running global divisions of fortune 100 companies, to international start-ups; what has never wavered is her focus on providing a boutique level of personal service that’s designed to “delight and deliver” – beyond clients’ expectations. Susannah is committed to connecting with clients on different levels and building long-term relationships based on common interests and goals. As President of Cultural Table, her marketing strategy firm helps businesses and C-Level executives maximize their impact to drive significant results. A native to Orange County, she has enjoyed living all over the United States, Europe and the Middle East while assimilating into the local cultures. Susannah holds a B.S in International Business, B.S. in Marketing, and a B.A in German from Cal State Long Beach. Susannah’s passion for the arts and her community has her involved in a number of non-profit organizations that focus on empowering young women and children to succeed.

Isaiah Leslie

Role: Governor
Serving Since: 2019

Isaiah is an entrepreneur who has built two successful businesses in Southern California, a court reporting legal services and video media company.  His professional philosophy centers on the idea that "a rising tide lifts all boats." He lives this philosophy by serving on boards of non-profits and other organizations that are actively doing this. Isaiah currently serves on the board of directors and is a past chair of the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce. He also serves as a Trustee on the World Affairs Council of Orange County, as an advisory board member of WHW (a non-profit organization that provides the unemployed and underemployed the skills and resources they need to get and keep a good job) and a Trustee on a political action committee that is committed to the principles of individual choice and economic freedom.

Isaiah's current big project at Regal Court Reporting is the acquisition of industry-leading Court Reporting agency in West LA that will double the size of his current business and increase the level of services and infrastructure he can offer his clients across Southern California

Isaiah's current big project at Regality Media is a feature-length sports documentary called, Wild About '88, The Rise of Arizona Wildcats basketball. He is looking for a corporate or media partner to help finance post-production and distribution of this film.

Amy Miller

Role: Governor
Serving Since: 2016

Amy is the Owner and CEO of The Castle Press, a family-owned commercial printing company with facilities in West Los Angeles and Anaheim.  She currently sits on two Corporate Boards and helps facilitate a mentoring program for teen girls. While at Anderson, Amy earned the Global Management Certificate, became the Vice President of the Family Business Association, and served as the Social Rep for the FLEX Section. She also represented her section as an Anderson Affiliate Committee Member.  She and her husband Rob have 4 children, who live in all parts of the world.

Brandon Moody

Role: Governor
Serving Since: 2014

Beyond the bright suits and bold locks down his back, Brandon Moody is far from your usual executive…  After spending most of his hours elbow deep in Cyan, Magenta, Yellow + Black each week as the VP of Development at Smart Levels Media, he recently resigned after over 15 years of service to to be a full-time father to his first son.  He still manages to instruct indoor cycling as a Partner at the recently opened Full Psycle South County in Mission Viejo, Team Manager of Inspired Nutraceuticals, and recently founded his own CryptoCurrency Consultancy Firm, dubbed The Coin Connect, that allows him to work completely remotely while raising his son Jayden.  Moody began his sales and marketing career at the early age of 16 with one of the original automotive groups in Orange County, The Hardin Family. Moonlighting as a marketing assistant between a couple hours of homework, promoting Smart Levels in the wee hours of the morning, he developed a keen understanding of the hard work and passion that startup companies require. He also learned what it meant to prove his value in the professional arena while climbing the corporate ladder at an early age.  A dedicated and passionate philanthropist, Brandon has assisted with the Irvine Chamber Ambassadors Team and the Emerging Professionals Committee and was recently recognized as the organization’s “Emerging Professional of the Year” in 2014.  Committed to giving back and serving others, and when he is not competitively racing mountain bikes, instructing cycling classes or enjoying electronic music festivals around the globe, he serves as a Board Member for some of Orange County’s finest organizations…  Anaheim Family YMCA, Irvine Valley College Foundation and The Center Club Costa Mesa.  Thanks to a gorgeous and supportive wife who shares his passions, Brandon loves the outdoors and contributing to the development of Orange County’s youth. He proudly serves at one of the Anaheim Y’s Summer Camps as a Director at Camp Miehana (7-12 y/o) each year, overlapping his wedding anniversary.  Brandon, his Dimewife Kristen, son Jayden and their two dogs Rezin + Diezel have resided in Irvine’s Village of Woodbury for the past decade.

Diana Sabatino

Role: Governor
Serving Since: 2017

Diana Sabatino is originally from Pittsburgh Pa, but has lived throughout the US as well as 3 years in Ireland. She is married to husband & best friend Mike Sabatino since 2000.  They love going to Vegas on the weekends, seeing shows and playing poker. You can also find Diana singing and playing music, working out and enjoying new food experiences.

Her business career started in sales and training for large corporations. After 14 years in corporate Diana decided to use her business savvy in the entrepreneurial arena.  In 2004 she founded Diana & Company Jewelry Designs ;  a concierge jewelry company that  brokers loose diamonds and colored stones; and creates high end custom jewelry pieces. Diana caters to a clientele base that wants a more secure, private and exclusive buying experience.  Looking to continue her success, Diana has recently decided to initiate a new business venture. TRAIN International is a training and sales development company focused on serving corporate, small businesses and entrepreneurs to elevate their impact in sales & leadership. 

With an extensive business background both internationally and domestic, Diana plans on bringing her enthusiasm, high energy and years of sales & management expertise to her training, consulting and coaching projects.  Diana is a dynamic presenter, she leads roundtables, leadership masterminds and is the Managing Director of eWomenNetwork Orange County, leading, managing and mentoring over 140 women entrepreneurs. 

Ryan Seven

Role: Culinary Chair
Serving Since: 2017

Ryan Seven, Owner/CEO of 7G Technologies, has been actively involved in multiple facets of the electronic payments workflow for the last 10 years. His prior focus in the business consulting and customer loyalty industries provided him unique perspectives on what merchants need to be successful in the information age. Having engineered payments workflows for retail, online, mobile and government clients and by being an inventor on multiple pending patents, in both the loyalty and payments verticals, Ryan is becoming regarded as a thought leader in emerging payments. In 2000, Ryan graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Business Administration with emphases in Entrepreneurship and Marketing from The George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics at Chapman University. Ryan was born in Laguna Beach and raised in Newport Beach. Although he has always lived in Southern California, Ryan has traveled to over twenty countries on 5 continents.  He speaks semi fluent French, conversational Arabic and is learning Farsi.  He enjoys cooking, wine collecting, backpacking, skiing and playing piano and in 2009 completed the Los Angeles Marathon for the first time.

Dinia Takacs

Role: Governor
Serving Since: 2015

Dinia Takacs is a business professional whose entrepreneurial instincts, mentoring skills and clarity of vision have strengthened business leaders and carried multiple companies through successful, continuous growth.   Dinia started her corporate career with a Fortune 500 Company rising from an entry-level position to executive leadership roles including National Operations overseeing and directing over 3,500 employees throughout the US.  As the Vice President of The CEO University, Dinia mentors executives and professionals to strengthen their leadership skills, business acumen and deliver exceptional results. This includes one-to-one coaching and inclusion in their Peer Advisory Boards. She is distinguished by her passion for business, her focus on management issues, and her commitment to inspiring clients to maximize their personal and professional potential. She along with her husband Gary, are very active members of the Center Club and hold their CEO University meetings and events at the club. She is a member of the BLC and Center Club Cares Committees. Her philanthropic contribution extends to many worthy causes including Soka University Gala Committee, mentor for the National Association of Women Business Owners, WHW Advisory Council and community events.  Dinia and Gary are long-term residents of Seal Beach. 

Tony Vicari

Role: Governor
Serving Since: 2016

Tony currently serves as a member of the Ben Franklin Forum Committee and has been a Center Club member since 2013.  He currently serves as an Investment Consultant for Silicon Valley Bank Asset Management.  Prior to SVB, he founded Pentad Financial Services, LLC which provided financial advisory services to closely held companies.  During the same time, he provided investment advisory services on behalf of Tetrad Capital, LLC.  His experience in both investments and finance encompass over 25 years and he is a graduate of Babson College.  Memberships in financial organizations included the San Diego chapter of the Association of Financial Professionals (President Emeritus).  He also holds memberships in local organizations such as the Orange County Enrolled Agents Association and Orange County Sheriff’s Advisory Council.  Tony continually supports charities such as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation and currently volunteers for Habitat for Humanity.  He has been an Orange County resident for over 13 years with his wife Elva and two sons, Patricio and Alessandro.  In his spare time, Tony enjoys hiking, biking and genealogy research.

Tiffany Yelverton

Role: Governor
Serving Since: 2017
Phone Number: 714-386-9684
Email Tiffany Yelverton

Tiffany Yelverton, founder of Entice Me and Sexy Survivors, is a master of enticing others to experience soul-changing growth, personally and professionally, by embracing pleasure and connecting to their core sexual confidence.

Combining her experience in corporate management and training, with her entrepreneurial spirit, Tiffany manifests transformation in ways most never dream possible. As an expert in sexual health and wellness, she embraces unconventional concepts which have enabled thousands of individuals and couples to bring new, unexpected joys and connections to life.  

Bart Zandbergen

Role: Governor
Serving Since: 2014

With more than 25 years of dedication and service, Bart Zandbergen is an esteemed Certified Financial Planner and Wealth Strategist. Globally respected as an authority in financial planning and investment advising, he has devoted his career to guiding men and women with diverse portfolios through building, managing and carefully fostering overall financial health. His service first approach and methodical attention to detail has allowed him to play a pivotal role as a trusted advisor to his clientele, team and industry peers throughout nearly three decades of market ebbs and flows. Purpose driven strategies and a forward thinking philosophy have been integral components that Bart has relied on to guide those around him on their road to financial wellbeing and legacy development. An astute listener, Bart values understanding the wants and needs of his clientele so he can provide customized solutions that work progressively towards the overall goals. Proud to be Partner and Senior Wealth Advisor at Optivest Wealth Management, as well as a Registered Representative of Gramercy Securities, Inc., Bart also is an accomplished public speaker. Earning many accolades throughout the years for his work, his expert point of view has been published in the New York Times, NOBLEMAN Magazine, Agent Inc., and the Orange County Register. His relentless commitment to the evolution of his industry and the up and coming professionals around him is fueled by his discipline driven approach to success which has served as his “True North” over the years

Evelyn Zohlen

Role: Governor
Serving Since: 2017

Evelyn M. Zohlen is the founder of Inspired Financial, LLC.  Inspired Financial is a fee-only wealth management practice that specializes in serving affluent women in transition in southern California. Prior to founding Inspired Financial, Evelyn served on both the personal and the institutional sides of financial services for over ten years.  She was a Relationship Manager at The Vanguard Group where she was the trusted advisor for clients with retirement plan assets ranging from $175 million to $500 million.  She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas, her Master of Science from the Joint Military Intelligence College, and her Master of Business Administration from Villanova University.  Evelyn is a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) professional and is President of the Financial Planning Association.  She serves on the Advisory Board for the Center for Investments and Wealth Management at the University of California at Irvine. In addition, she is a community leader and recently has served on the Board of Governors for the Center Club and on the Board of Directors for WomanSage.  She has also served on the Board of Directors for the American Poetry Review, the President's Council at Immaculata University, and as the Finance Director for the Young Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Evelyn is a frequent contributor to periodicals such as The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, USA Today, Investment News, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Real Simple and Consumer Reports. Prior to entering the financial services profession, Evelyn served as an intelligence officer in the United States Air Force.  Evelyn is married to the amazing Mark Prendergast with three “bonus” children and their terrific spouses. 

Marcia Riner

Role: Member Relations Chair
Serving Since: 2019
Phone Number: 949.861.0121
Email Marcia Riner

Marcia Riner grew up in Northern California and after moving around the country she decided to settle is S. Orange County. She is the proud parent of 2 young adults and a very young grandma to a little boy. Marcia enjoys any outdoor activity, exercising, yoga, playing ice hockey, and riding her Harley. She is a foodie and loves a good glass of wine.  Marcia is the owner of Bella Financial Group and her entire career has revolved around money. She started in a bank, dealt blackjack in the big casinos, and ran a mortgage planning firm and a financial planning practice. Through it all her true passion has been helping successful business owners with strategic financial business planning designed to produce an ROI focusing on increasing profits now and in the future.  With more than 20 years of experience, Marcia brings entrepreneurial and small business financial expertise to the board. Her passion and enthusiasm is in consulting and coaching a business with short and long-term strategies. One of her mantras is you must know your money to grow your money. Almost every decision in today’s businesses involves money. Making sure those decisions produce a return is key to every businesses success.

Matt Mavani

Role: Business Connections
Serving Since: 2020
Phone Number: 714.923.1222
Email Matt Mavani

Matt received his M.S. degree in Physics from San Jose State University and started his career as an optical engineer. His first 19 years of professional career were in small and startup high-tech companies in the Silicon Valley. Matt quickly moved up to various executive roles. He co-founded a startup in uses of nano-technology in data storage.

He later on joined a Fortune 500 multi-national design and manufacturing company managing an international team of program managers. His team generated revenue between $5M to $50M per quarter as new products were delivered to the market. While there, Matt also received his MBA degree with concentration in Global Management.

For the last few years, Matt has owned and operated a full business brokerage and M&A agency. He has completed the only two certification paths available to the business brokerage community – Certified Business Broker (CBB) from CABB, and Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) from IBBA which carries a global accreditation.

Matt represents business owners in selling their business with a gross revenue of up to $50 million, and shows them how to maximize their profit. As a separate service, Matt provides a broker opinion of value for various businesses whether a business owner is getting ready to sell a business or just wants to know her/his business most probable selling price. Buying a business is a very important decision in one’s life. Matt represents buyers whether they are looking to buy a job, an investment, or a corporate M&A.

We remove the burden of selling or buying a business so you can focus on growing your business versus working in your business.

Dennis Backer

Role: Ben Franklin Forum
Serving Since: 2020
Phone Number: 949.264.1557
Email Dennis Backer

Dennis Backer is an internet marketing expert with over 35 years’ experience in marketing, both online and traditional, video production, and digital strategies.

Throughout my career, I have consulted and strategized with clients and prospects on traditional and internet marketing and advertising strategies and requirements. In addition, I was responsible for and/or supervised the administration of my businesses, including strategic business plans and financial projections, banking relationships for loans and lines of credit; payroll, human resources, insurance, management, email and direct mail campaigns, and sales and marketing.

Over the years, I have presented educational seminars (in-person and online) on various marketing topics including video production, internet marketing, social media, reputation management, and reviews acquisition.  Specific industry groups that I have presented to include Anthem health insurance agents and brokers, real estate professionals, and financial services.  I have also presented to many business and networking organizations, including BNI, LeTip, ProVisors, Business Marketing Association, American Marketing Association, International Media Communications Association, Houston and Irvine Chambers of Commerce, International Association of Business Communicators, American Society of Training and Development, Houston Executive Club,  the Orange County chapter of the Regional Marketing Group (RMGOC), and Concordia University.

Rewards and Recognition:

  • Greater Houston Partnership CEO Roundtable Entrepreneur of the Year (2000)
  • Best of Costa Mesa Award, 2014, Online Advertising category
  • Irvine Chamber of Commerce Member of the Month, August, 2002
  • Media Communications Association Award of Distinction, 1999
  • Media Communications Golden Star Award for Meritorious Service, 2009
  • Media Communications Award of Appreciation, 2008
  • Irvine Chamber of Commerce Volunteer Appreciation, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008


  • Member Center Club Cares committee, supporting various local charities
  • Member Center Club Business Connections committee
  • Incoming Chairman, Center Club Ben Franklin Forum committee, hosting educational events at the Center Club

Ken Kladouris

Role: Governor
Serving Since: 2020
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Ken Kladouris is an esteemed wealth advisor and published author who believes you should be living your life, by design. Charting his own course in the wealth management industry, Ken has earned the respect of his peers and the trust of his clientele. Developing his signature tailor-made approach, Ken has been able to successfully assist countless clients in charting their course to financial abundance. This has allowed the men and women Ken is proud to serve the ability to infuse more life into their years here and now – not just in retirement. Ken’s book, “Get There!”, was developed as a tool that helps individuals discover the clarity they need to design their financial future. Peeling back the layers, the book features no-nonsense, actionable steps that are proven to position individuals on their desired path. This thoughtful resource was compiled following Ken’s own awakening. Becoming aligned with his “why”, he recognized his true purpose was to assist men and women across the globe in their pursuit of achieving enhanced joy, freedom and fulfillment. Committed to guiding his clientele on their wealth building journey, Ken’s philosophy combines both lessons learned on land and at sea. Outside of the office, Ken’s love of the ocean led him to pursue sailing. It is there that he also found his passion to give back to the community. In his spare time he can be found with friends and loved ones aboard a powerboat, sail boat or at community events.

Professional Credentials + Accolades - Partner and President at Platinum Wealth Group - Bachelor’s degree, Business Administration, California State University at Long Beach - MBA, Concentration in Finance, Pepperdine University - Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Series 3, 7, 24, 31 and 66 Registrations - California Life and Health Insurance License - CDFA (Certified Divorce Financial Analyst) - Author, Get There! Chart Your Course to Financial Abundance and Live the Life You Desire - Contributing Writer, Forbes

Lifestyle + Community Affiliations - WSET Level 2 Certification (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) - Board of Governors, Center Club Orange County - Member, Balboa Yacht Club - Committee Member, CREW OC (Commercial Real Estate Women of Orange County) - Committee Member, Newport Beach Wooden Boat Festival - Sponsor, CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member)

Philanthropy - 100% of Book Sale Proceeds Benefit the Ocean Conservancy - Donor and Advocate, Make-A-Wish Orange County - Donor and Advocate, Patriotic Service Dog Foundation