Mayor Eric Garcetti's first appointments to the typically influential Board of Airport Commissioners, which oversees the mega-department known as Los Angeles World Airports, includes friend-of-Eric Sean Burton, former City Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg, a former Garcetti advisor (Bea Hsu), an entertainment lawyer-slash-Democratic National committee member (Matthew Johnson), a veteran of previous city commissions (Cynthia Telles) and one airport-area resident who also worked in City Hall and who was already on the panel (Valeria Velasco.) Plus Gabriel Eshaghian, a VP with a New York based real estate investment company.
A few things not mentioned in the official bio flackage are that Burton, a former Warner Bros. VP and Clinton Administration staffer, is a long-time friend of Garcetti's who actually was first to join the Naval Reserve intelligence unit that the mayor serves with. Burton also is an afforable-housing advocate who replaced Jane Usher on the planning commission when she resigned with a blast at Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa back in 2008. Telles is chair of the California Community Foundation board and was the wife of state Senate candidate and former mayoral hopeful Bob Hertzberg. The photo is of Goldberg.
Garcetti campaigned on a position that the northernmost LAX runaway not be moved closer to the airport's edge to accommodate the new bigger long-range airliners.
OK, here are the bios as put out by the mayor's office.
Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced his appointments to the Board of Airport Commissioners.
“LA’s airports are a critical economic engine and our city’s first impression for millions of visitors every year,” said Mayor Garcetti. “I’m pleased to appoint these talented Angelenos to the airport commission and know they will focus on ensuring LA has world class airports that are also first class neighbors.”
The Board of Airport Commissioners oversees Los Angeles World Airports, which owns and operates Los Angeles International Airport (LAX); LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT); Van Nuys Airport (VNY), a general aviation airport; and aviation-related property in Palmdale. Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor and approved by the City Council.
Sean has over 15 years of experience in real estate and equity investments and has been with CityView since 2003. Prior to CityView, Burton was Vice President of Corporate Business Development and Strategy at Warner Bros. His other professional experience includes working at O'Melveny & Myers, LLP as an attorney in the real estate and corporate groups and serving in the White House during the Clinton Administration. He is a graduate of University of California, Irvine and New York University School of Law.
Gabriel Eshaghian is currently a Principal and Vice-President of Acquisitions and Development with The Somerset Group, a New York based real estate investment company. Before joining Somerset, Eshaghian spent over 10 years in various executive positions within the travel and transportation industries including roles at Globaltravel Manager, Virgin Atlantic Airways, and Swissair.
Jackie Goldberg served as a California State Assemblymember from 2000 until 2006, Los Angeles City Councilmember representing Hollywood from 1993 until 2000, and on the Los Angeles Unified School Board from 1983 until 1991. Goldberg began her professional life as a classroom teacher at Centennial and then Dominguez High School in Compton and worked as a teacher, specializing in reading, for more than 18 years. Currently, Goldberg is working with Middle and High School teachers in Compton Unified School District in conjunction with UCLA.
Bea Hsu is Vice President of Development for Related California, responsible for development of affordable, market rate, and commercial mixed use developments throughout the Los Angeles area. Hsu previously served as a senior advisor to Los Angeles City Councilmember Eric Garcetti with a focus on affordable housing, development policy, and redevelopment. She also served as a policy advisor to California State Controller Kathleen Connell.
Matthew Johnson is the managing partner of Ziffren Brittenham LLP, a leading entertainment law firm. He is President of the Board of the Challenger’s Boys and Girls Club, a member of the board of the Los Angeles Urban League, the Foreign Policy Roundtable, and the Next Generation Council of The Motion Picture and Television Fund. Johnson is also an at-large member of the Democratic National Committee.
Cynthia Telles, PhD, has served on the boards of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. since April 2003. She is a founding board member of the Public Policy Institute of California and previously served on the boards of the California Endowment (as board chair from 2004 to 2006), Sanwa Bank, Americas United Bank, and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. Telles was appointed by President Obama to the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars. She has served as Vice President of the City of Los Angeles Ethics Commission and the Los Angeles Board of Library Commissioners, as President of the Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women, and as a member of the Los Angeles Commission on Children, Youth and Families.
Valeria Velasco is a sole practitioner estate planning attorney in Playa del Rey and an independent associate for Legal Shield. She is presently the Lieutenant Governor for Rotary International District 5280 and serves as a Fee Dispute Arbitrator for the State Bar of California. She is a member of the LAX/Coastal Chamber of Commerce. She has served as a City of Los Angeles Planning Commissioner, Staff Legal Counsel and Hispanic Liaison to former City Councilmember Michael Woo, Assembly Aide/Hispanic Liaison to former Assemblymember Mike Roos, and a bilingual elementary school teacher.
File photo of Jackie Goldberg in 2013