Full-court press on AEG's stadium

Pardon my mixed sports metaphors. After this morning's pep rally for the Downtown NFL football stadium, Mayor Villaraigosa announced the members of a "blue ribbon commission" to evaluate the proposal — which he has already endorsed. The group's charge: to "analyze the downtown events center proposal, provide advice and counsel to the mayor and issue a report to the public with findings and recommendations." First Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner is co-chair with Michael Lynton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Members, which include former Gov. Gray Davis and San Fernando Valley business leader Bert Boeckmann, are listed with bio blurbs after the jump.

Also, with labor and City Hall's politicos signing on to promote the stadium project, even the Los Angeles Police Protective League is getting in on the action. "We’ve finally seen a plan that we can enthusiastically support and urge City leaders to make happen," the union's board of directors says in a statement, in case you were awaiting their blessing on the project.

Members of the task force with bios from the mayor's press release:

MARK ATTANASIO Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Crescent Capital Group LP 


Mr. Attanasio has been a leading investor in the alternative investment asset classes for more than 20 years. Currently, he is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Crescent Capital Group LP, a newly formed employee-owned alternative credit asset management firm that is a registered investment advisor with approximately $10 billion in assets under management, based in Los Angeles, CA.

Prior to founding Crescent Capital in 2011, he served as Group Managing Director of the Leveraged Finance Group at The TCW Group, Inc. as well as a member of the TCW Board of Directors. Before joining TCW in 1995, Mr. Attanasio was a Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Crescent Capital Corporation. From 1985 to 1990, he was a member of the High Yield Bond and Investment Banking Departments of Drexel Burnham Lambert. Prior to that, he was an attorney at Debevoise & Plimpton, specializing in corporate finance and securities law.

Additionally, Mr. Attanasio is the Chairman and Principal Owner of the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club and also holds positions with the boards of several non-profit organizations, including Heal the Bay (an environmental group aimed at preserving the Pacific coastline), The United Way of Milwaukee, The Greater Milwaukee Committee, and Harvard-Westlake School.

Mr. Attanasio received an A.B. from Brown University and a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.

BERT BOECKMANN
President, Owner, Galpin Motors

Bert Boeckmann is President and owner of Galpin Motors. A native Californian, Boeckmann began his career selling automobiles at Galpin Ford in 1953. His exceptional ability and astuteness were quickly evident and by 1957, at age 26, he was general manager of the company. In 1960, he began a buy-out of the corporation, purchasing stock with his own earnings, which were based on a percentage of the profit of the company. By 1968, the buy-out was complete, and today, Boeckmann is widely recognized as the most honored and successful automobile dealer in America.

ANDREW J.C. CHERNG
Founder and Chairman, Panda Restaurant Group, Inc.

Andrew J.C. Cherng is the founder and chairman of the board for Panda Restaurant Group (PRG). Cherng along with his father, Master Chef Ming Tsai Cherng, combined their talents in 1973 to create and open Panda Inn, one of the first Chinese Restaurants in Pasadena, California. The menu blended the styles of Mandarin and Szechwan, introducing a new flavor to Southern California Cuisine.

Cherng created Panda Express in 1983. Panda Express restaurants have expanded to more than 950 locations throughout 36 states and Puerto Rico. Cherng later took this concept forward to develop Hibachi-San, a chain of 27 quick service restaurants featuring Japanese hibachi grill cooking.

Cherng serves on the Board of Advisors for the Collins School of Hospitality Management at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

GRAY DAVIS
37th Governor of California

Joseph "Gray" Davis was overwhelmingly elected the 37th governor of California in 1998, winning 58 percent of the vote. As Governor, he made education a top priority, signing legislation to strengthen California's K-12 system by establishing the Academic Performance Index to increase accountability in schools, and expanding access to higher education with a record number of scholarships and college loans. These reforms improved student achievement scores for six consecutive years.

While presiding over California during an economic expansion, Davis made record investments in infrastructure, created four Centers of Science and Innovation on UC campuses, and expanded state health insurance for an additional one million children. He also was the first Governor in the nation to authorize stem cell research.

As Governor he demonstrated bold environmental leadership by signing the first law in the nation to reduce global warming and greenhouse gases. He also created the first Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Registry, and was the first to establish the nation's most ambitious commitment to renewable energy by creating the statewide Renewables Portfolio Standard.

Governor Davis was in office in 1999, when the National Football League gave serious consideration to installing an expansion team at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Despite a wave of Republican victories across the nation in 2002, Davis was re-elected to a second term.

Davis graduated from Stanford University (Cum Laude) and Columbia Law School, and was awarded the Bronze Star for his service during the Vietnam War. He served as lieutenant governor (1995-1998), state controller (1987-95), state assemblyman (1982-86).

Davis is Of Counsel in the Los Angeles office of Loeb & Loeb, where he provides strategic advice to clients on numerous matters. He is also a Senior Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Affairs and regularly speaks before various academic and civic groups. Davis was the Keynote speaker at the Columbia Law School Graduation Ceremony in May of 2009.

SHERRY LANSING
Producer, Philanthropist

Sherry Lansing is the CEO of The Sherry Lansing Foundation (SLF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to cancer research, health, and public education. Among the foundation’s initiatives is the EnCorps Teachers Program, founded by Lansing to retrain retirees from the technology sector to serve as California public middle and high school science and math teachers. PrimeTime LAUSD, also an SLF initiative, is a partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District, designed to engage retirees in improving the state of public education through targeted volunteerism. Lansing is a founder of Stand Up To Cancer, an initiative which funds multi-institutional cancer research “dream teams.” In addition, she sits on numerous boards, including The Carter Center, The American Association for Cancer Research, Civic Ventures, the Lasker Foundation, and STOP CANCER. Lansing is also Vice Chair of the University of California Board of Regents, and serves as Chair of the Health Services Committee. In 2004, she was appointed to the Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

During nearly 30 years in the motion picture business, Lansing was involved in the production, marketing, and distribution of more than 200 films, including Academy Award winners Forrest Gump (1994), Braveheart (1995), and Titanic (1997). In 1992, she was named Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures and began an unprecedented tenure that lasted more than 12 years, during which the studio enjoyed enormous creative and financial success. In 1984, she became the first woman to head a major film studio when she was appointed President of 20th Century Fox.

Lansing graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree from Northwestern University in 1966.

RICHARD NANULA
Principal, Colony Capital, LLC

Richard Nanula is a Principal at Colony Capital, LLC. He joined Colony in January 2008 and shares responsibility for the Firm's global operations, with a special focus on operating company transactions.

Prior to joining Colony, Mr. Nanula was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Amgen, Inc. During his six-year tenure as a member of the company's executive committee, he was responsible for finance, corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and internal and external relations. Prior to joining Amgen in 2001, Mr. Nanula was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Broadband Sports, Inc., an Internet media company. For nearly two years, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer for Starwood Hotels and Resorts in New York. From 1986 to 1998, Mr. Nanula held a variety of increasingly senior executive positions at the Walt Disney Company, culminating in the role of Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He also served as President of Disney Stores Worldwide and Corporate Treasurer, among many other roles.

Mr. Nanula was born in Southern California and received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and his B.A. in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


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Morning Buzz: Wednesday 4.25.12

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