CLU Corporate Leaders Breakfast Series

2008-2009 Speakers

David Banks
David Banks

David Banks serves as Director of the Center for Asymmetric Warfare (CAW), located at Point Mugu within the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) Discipline of Research. NPS provides top-quality, relevant and unique advanced education and research programs to increase combat effectiveness of the Naval Service, other Armed Forces of the U.S. and our partners, to enhance our National Security.

Banks has 38 years of experience including 20 years working with Electronic Warfare Systems as a flight test engineer, systems engineer, Branch Head and Division Head.

Banks has a B.S. in electronic engineering, M.S. in management and a doctorate in public administration. He has received numerous awards recognizing his technical, management and leadership contributions.

R. Duke Blackwood
R. Duke Blackwood

R. Duke Blackwood was appointed Director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum effective June 19, 2000. In October 2003, he also assumed the position of Executive Director for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.

Under Blackwood's leadership, annual attendance has more than doubled, placing the Reagan Library at the top of the most visited presidential libraries in the country. Some of the exciting exhibits that visitors have experienced include Freedom's Journey featuring an original broadside of the Declaration of Independence, The Spy Exhibit, Lewis and Clark, World War II, Gifts to the President and Presidential Portraits from the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

Blackwood graduated from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona in 1980, earning a B.A. in business administration/marketing management.

Bob Brooks
Bob Brooks

Sheriff Bob Brooks is a 34-year veteran of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department. He was elected Sheriff and appointed by the Board of Supervisors to begin his term on June 27, 1998. The Sheriff's Department provides law enforcement services to a population of 800,000 through the efforts of 1,200 employees and 2,000 volunteers working within a budget of $132 million.

Brooks completed his bachelor's degree in public administration at the University of Redlands. He earned a master's degree in organizational management from Regent University and graduated from the National Sheriffs' Institute, the F.B.I. National Executive Institute, and with distinction from P.O.S.T. Command College. He recently received a second master's degree in homeland security from the Naval Post Graduate School.

Steven R. Chealander
Steven R. Chealander

Steven R. Chealander was sworn in as the 38th member of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on January 3, 2007.

Chealander brings a wealth of both civilian and military aviation experience to the NTSB. Prior to joining the board, he was with American Airlines, serving since 1991 as a pilot and captain qualified on the DC-10, B-737, MD-80 and F-100 aircraft, and as a chief pilot in Los Angeles. At American, he also was a flight safety manager, performing safety and compliance audits and participating in investigations, and was most recently Manager of Flight Operations Efficiency.

Chealander received a B.S. in business administration from the University of Southern California and did graduate studies at the University of Utah.

Gregory D. Totten
Gregory D. Totten

Greg Totten was elected District Attorney in March 2002 and assumed office on November 1, 2002. He was re-elected to a second term in June 2006.

Totten joined the Ventura County District Attorney's Office in 1982. After serving trial assignments and supervisory roles throughout the divisions of the office, he was appointed Chief Assistant District Attorney in 1999. Throughout his professional career, he has worked to protect public safety and to expand the rights of crime victims.

He also served as executive director of the California District Attorneys Association from 1993 to 1996, managing the association's training efforts and acting as its chief spokesperson for legislative changes designed to better protect the citizens of California. Totten was also founding Executive Director of the Institute for the Advancement of Criminal Justice.

Scott Foraker
Scott Foraker

Scott Foraker currently acts as the chief operating officer for Amgen’s R&D activities.  From November 1999 – November 2007, he was responsible for Amgen’s licensing of new products and technologies.  Additionally, he was the executive in charge of integrating Immunex into Amgen in 2002.  Prior to November 1999, he served as Associate General Counsel of Amgen, with responsibility for the International, Licensing and Corporate Development functions and also served in other roles in Amgen’s Law Department, including commencing Amgen’s legal function in Europe and acting as general counsel for European operations.  Prior to joining Amgen in 1994, he practiced law at McDonnell Douglas and Latham & Watkins, specializing in mergers and acquisitions, securities law and finance.  Mr. Foraker has a B.A. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley and a J.D. from the University of Southern California.

Michael Towbes
Michael Towbes

Michael Towbes is Chairman and owner of The Towbes Group, a construction, development and asset management company based in Santa Barbara. He holds a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Princeton University and attended graduate school at MIT. The Towbes Group manages more than 1.6 million square feet of commercial space and more than 1,850 apartment units. He has built some 6,000 housing units, a mobile home park, shopping centers, office buildings and business parks throughout Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties. He has been the general contractor for several low-income housing projects for nonprofit sponsors. He is a senior life director of the National Association of Home Builders and has chaired its Commercial/Industrial Council.

Towbes is also Chairman and owner of Montecito Bank & Trust, a Santa Barbara based bank with assets of over $700 million and seven branches in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. He was one of the founders of the bank, which opened in 1975.

As a resident of Santa Barbara for more than 48 years and a community leader, he has served and chaired innumerable local nonprofit boards. He has served on the Board of Cottage Hospital for 25 years, including five years as its chair. He is one of Santa Barbara's leading philanthropists, with multi-million dollar gifts to create the Granada performing arts center in Santa Barbara and to assure the continued presence of Santa Barbara's full-time classical music radio station KDB.

Towbes has been honored as Santa Barbara Man of the Year, and was a recipient of the News-Press Lifetime Achievement Award and the UCSB Chancellor's Medal. He has been chosen both as Santa Barbara Philanthropist of the Year and Santa Barbara Volunteer of the Year by the National Society of Fund-Raising Executives.

George Cogswell III
George Cogswell III

George H. Cogswell III is new to California, having moved to Ventura County to become President and Publisher of the Ventura County Star on September 12, 2007.

A native New Englander, Cogswell has spent more than 20 years in the newspaper industry. He comes to The Star from the Abilene Reporter-News, where he was president and publisher for four years. Both newspapers are part of E.W. Scripps Co., a diverse media corporation based in Cincinnati with newspapers in 17 markets, 10 broadcast stations, a news service, several online businesses and a network division, which includes HGTV, Food Network and Fine Living.

Cogswell began his newspaper career in 1984 and became a district circulation manager at the Middlesex News in Framingham, Mass. He has held various circulation management positions at papers in Rhode Island, Colorado, Florida and Texas. He was named president and publisher in Abilene in 2003 after leading the circulation and marketing efforts for the Scripps Treasure Coast newspapers in Florida.

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