Corporate Leaders Breakfast Series

2012-2013 Speakers

Scott Mitnick

Scott Mitnick is city manager of the City of Thousand Oaks. As chief executive officer, he is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of a complex full-service city with a budget of more than $225 million.

Mitnick’s local government career has spanned 25 years, involving four cities in different regions of California. He began his career at the City of Brea in north Orange County, then spent seven years with the City of Burbank and three years with the City of Yuba City in the Northern Sacramento Valley before coming to Thousand Oaks in 1999. He served as deputy city manager and assistant city manager before being named city manager in 2005.

His professional affiliations include International City/County Management Association (ICMA), California City Management Foundation, American Society for Public Administration, Government Finance Officers Association and California Society of Municipal Finance Officers. He is former chair of the Ventura County City Managers group and currently serves as president of the Cal-ICMA board.

Stephen Heaney

Stephen E. Heaney is a managing director and head of Public Finance for Stone & Youngberg, a division of Stifel Nicolaus. With more than 30 years of municipal finance experience, he has directed billions of dollars in public offerings for a wide variety of capital improvement projects throughout California and Nevada. He is a frequent speaker on infrastructure finance issues and disclosure. 

A member of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, Heaney will serve as vice chair of its Board of Directors for fiscal year 2013. He is a former chair of the California Public Securities Association and a former member of the Board of Trustees for the California City Management Foundation.


E. Kurt Yeager

E. Kurt Yeager has practiced public law with an emphasis on municipal finance for more than 30 years. His principal practice is as bond counsel to public agencies, but he also represents banks, private entities, underwriters and issuers in connection with public finance and other transactions. He has broad experience in the areas of general municipal financings, special district revenue-based financing, redevelopment tax allocation bonds, land-secured infrastructure finance, multifamily housing, 501(c)(3) financings and industrial development bonds.

Yeager received his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law in 1978 and is a member of the State Bar of California.

Jim Rondeau

Jim Rondeau anchors Morning Edition on KCLU and hosts the station’s award-winning public affairs program Crosstalk. A native of Seattle, Rondeau has held key positions at stations in the Northwest, San Diego and Los Angeles and produced nationally syndicated programming for Premiere Radio Networks.

Rondeau’s work has been honored by major journalistic organizations such as the Radio and Television News Association and the Associated Press Radio and Television Association. He has been recognized for outstanding coverage of major stories, including wildfires, immigration and same-sex marriage. At this year’s Los Angeles Press Club awards gala, Rondeau was honored as Best Radio Anchor in Southern California.

Under Rondeau’s guidance as director of programming, KCLU’s audience has increased substantially, and the station has emerged as the leader in news and public affairs programming in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

Woody Rollins

Woody Rollins is the chief talent officer and co-founder of Eucalyptus Systems Inc., the market leader in open source, on-premise, private and hybrid cloud infrastructure software. A serial entrepreneur and passionate about technology, Rollins is responsible for developing the team to capitalize on the growing demand for private cloud architectures.

Rollins brings a broad background to his role as CTO of Eucalyptus, having served in many executive and financial roles over the past 20 years. In 2004, he co-founded Old Firehouse Capital and successfully innovated a business model to leverage the developing turmoil in real estate capital markets. Prior to that, he was involved in industries as diverse as art to auto parts, leveraging technology and finance to change the status quo of mature markets.

Rollins is a graduate of The Carroll School of Management at Boston College.

Barry McComb

Barry McComb is the Cultural Affairs director for the City of Thousand Oaks where he is responsible for the operations of the Civic Arts Plaza’s 1,800-seat Fred Kavli Theatre and the 394-seat Janet and Ray Scherr Forum Theatre. The theatres host a combined total of 400 events each year and attract more than 300,000 patrons. He also oversees the city’s Arts Services including the operations of the Community Gallery in Newbury Park and the activities of the Cultural Affairs Commission.

McComb has more than 30 years of experience in booking talent and operating live entertainment venues ranging from 20,000 seat arenas to small theatres. Prior to coming to Thousand Oaks, he served as the chief operating officer of Glendale Arts, which operates the historic Alex Theatre and manages the Glendale Pops Orchestra and Glendale Youth Chorus.

He also served as director of Corporate Entertainment for Caesars World Entertainment where he was responsible for booking artists to perform at the company’s 13 casino and resort properties. McComb helped to redefine the company’s entertainment policy to include Broadway shows and contemporary rock and pop music artists. He has worked with Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, George Burns, Celine Dion, Reba McEntire, Bill Cosby and David Copperfield, to name a just few, and has been responsible for talent and operations budgets in excess of $35 million annually

Seth Merewitz

Seth Merewitz is a partner in the Municipal and Redevelopment Law practice group of Best Best & Krieger LLP and leads the firm’s Public-Private Partnership/Joint Venture Group.

Merewitz provides advisory and transactional services to developers, landowners, public agencies and private entities. His practice focuses on real estate development including zoning, land use and master-planned communities; municipal and redevelopment; military base reuse; and public-private partnerships.

He is involved with the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Los Angeles District Council and is an appointed member of the national ULI Residential Neighborhood Development Product Council. He is a senior fellow in the American Leadership Forum (Mountain Valley Region) and is an active speaker and author on matters related to local economic development post-redevelopment

Bud Ovrom

Robert R. “Bud” Ovrom joined Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa’s administration as deputy mayor for Commercial and Residential Development in July 2005. During the mayor’s first term, Ovrom oversaw $17.19 billion in new construction – the highest four years in the city’s history. Signature projects included LA Live in downtown and the “W” Hotel in Hollywood.

Set to retire at the end of the first term, Ovrom instead agreed to the mayor’s request to assist with comprehensive development reform as general manager of the Building and Safety Department. That work continues!

Prior to joining Villaraigosa’s administration, Ovrom was the chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Redevelopment Agency (CRA/LA) in the Hahn administration. During his two-year tenure, Ovrom totally restructured the CRA into seven regions and established a more community-based approach to redevelopment.

Ovrom has held city government leadership positions for more than 40 years, including 18 years as city manager for the City of Burbank, where he is credited with creating a business-friendly environment that attracted substantial new and expanded businesses, including Disney, Warner Brothers and NBC. He has also held city manager positions in Downey and Monrovia, and started his career in local government as an assistant to the city manager of Simi Valley in 1970.

Scott Sollers

Scott Sollers is a managing director in the Public Finance department of Stone & Youngberg and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He has been structuring municipal financings since 1976 and joined Stone & Youngberg in 1981.

During his career, he has been the principal banker on hundreds of transactions totaling several billion dollars including general fund, tax-based and enterprise fund financings. He has worked with cities, counties and special purpose districts and has served as lead banker for numerous State of California financings. In addition, he has structured many land-based financings for residential and mixed-use projects and has had responsibility for the firm's development of financial derivative products.

He is on the Board of Directors of S&Y Capital Group, a Stone & Youngberg affiliate principally engaged in real estate activities. He served on the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board from 1996-1999 and as chair in 1999.

Sollers holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1972-1975.

Capt. Lawrence R. Vasquez

Capt. Lawrence Vasquez became commanding officer at Naval Base Ventura County in February after completing a tour as the Navy Federal Executive Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

Prior to his selection as FEF, Vasquez served as commander of the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Farah, Afghanistan, a joint team of military and civilian personnel charged with extending the reach of the government of Afghanistan through reconstruction, development, governance and security.

A native of the Bronx, Vasquez worked as a financial analyst in New York City before being commissioned through Aviation Officer Candidate School and designated a Naval Aviator.
He served in various leadership billets at sea in the HSL (Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light) including as commander of the Wolfpack of HSL-45, a 12 aircraft helicopter squadron. Under his leadership, the Wolfpack earned three Battle E awards, two Type Wing Maintenance awards, the CNO Safety award and numerous Pacific Fleet Retention excellence awards.
Ashore, Vasquez held a number of staff and administrative assignments including as personal and administrative aide to the Secretary of the Navy.

Capt. Vasquez’ personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three gold stars), Navy Achievement Medal (two gold stars), Combat Action ribbon and various unit and campaign awards. Additionally, he was awarded the 2004 League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC) “Excellence in Military Service” award.