Our 2016-2017 Orange County Steering Committee is a group of renowned local professionals, dedicated to delivering top quality programs and networking opportunities. For further details on who's who, take a look at some of their bios listed below:
With more than 15 years of management and recruiting experience, Lauren is a skilled leader, currently serving as the Regional Managing Director for Randstad Professionals, a $22 billion global provider of HR services. Prior to joining Randstad, Lauren worked in executive leadership roles at other top recruiting firms.
Col. E. Dryden Pence III (Ret), Chief Investment Officer, Pence Wealth Management
Eldon Dryden Pence III serves as the Chief Investment Officer of Pence Wealth Management. He is a Registered Principal & Investment Advisory Representative with LPL Financial.
Under his leadership and investment direction the firm has grown to be one of the most respected wealth management firms in the nation with both the firm and its advisors frequently recognized by industry journals such as Forbes and Barron’s.
Dryden obtained his degree in Economics from Harvard University in 1982. In that same year he was commissioned in the US Army as a Military Intelligence Officer through the ROTC program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). After further Graduate Study in Law and Crisis Management, Dryden functioned as a Military Intelligence, and Special Operations Officer, specializing in Psychological Warfare. He was reactivated for Desert Storm and is the recipient of three Meritorious Service Medals, and both the Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medal with “V” for valor in combat. After commanding joint intelligence units in support of both US Central Command in the Middle East and US Africa Command, Colonel Pence retired from the Army Reserve in July 2015.
From 1985 – 2001, as a civilian, he served as principal owner and President of a regional investment banking firm, headquartered in Fort Smith, AR where he led and participated in over $1 billion in financial transactions. In 2001, Mr. Pence retired from Investment Banking, selling the firm to his junior partners and joined his wife Laila Pence in forming Pence Wealth Management in Newport Beach, California.
Formally trained as an economist, Dryden Pence received his Certified Portfolio Manager designation from Columbia University, he is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) and as CIO of Pence Wealth Management he oversees the management of over $900 million of advisory client assets.
Dryden Pence combines his leadership as a senior military commander, his formal training and knowledge as an economist with his years of experience in psychological warfare to bring a unique understanding of human behavior and how it affects the economy and the markets. Dryden Pence is a frequent speaker at regional and national events.Mike Emanuel, Account Executive, NetSuite
Combining his consultative software sales skills with his CFO/COO experience, Mike helps companies to quickly and practically achieve value by utilizing leverage cloud-based software applications to streamline business processes, reduce IT costs, and scale for growth. Prior, he served in CFO/COO roles in the fashion and soft goods industries.
Mike holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson and a Bachelor of Science degree from UC Davis.
Peter Hernandez, CPA, Director of Finance, Payne & Fears LLP
Peter's bio is available upon request.Michael Polenzani, Partner, KPMG
Michael's bio is availabe upon request.
Eric Roark, CEO and President, Roark Financial Solutions, Inc.
Currently the CEO and President of Roark Financial Solutions, Inc., Eric has served as a senior financial executive for middle market companies in the manufacturing, retail, distribution, biotech, and construction industries. He has experience working with publicly traded, family owned, venture capital, and private equity backed companies, focusing on the optimization of shareholder value. Eric has nurtured start-up organizations by executing their growth strategies, preparing them for IPOs, and driving turnaround operations.
An active California CPA, Eric holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Accounting, from California State University, San Bernardino.
Fernando Saucedo, CFO, Consultant
Fernando is an 18 year finance executive who has consulted and worked for a variety of companies including Gateway, Canon, Ricoh, Oakley, Carrier, Sunrun and Felt Bicycle. He is known for translating, disseminating, and communicating complex financial information to company departments and divisions worldwide. He is a goal-oriented board member for several non-profits with proven leadership, communication, interpersonal, and problem solving skills.
Guita Sharifi, Chief Financial Officer, AIDS Services Foundation Orange County,
The Chief Financial Officer of AIDS Services Foundation Orange County, Guita has more than 15 years of experience in the nonprofit healthcare sector. With extensive expertise in fiscal oversight and operations, she supports AIDS Services Foundation ’s CEO in meeting the organization's vision and strategic goals by providing cost-savings insight and improving efficiency through financial and operational oversight. Prior, Guita was the CFO at Alzheimer’s Family Services Center, where she was responsible for all financial and fiscal affairs, external and multi-project funds, procurement, contracts, grant administration, and operational systems and procedures. She has also served on numerous charitable boards including the 5th District Representative Tax Payer Oversight on Measure M and the California Association of Nonprofits - CFO Task Force. In addition, Guita has been nominated for three consecutive years for CFO of the Year awards by the Orange County Business Journal and the California Society of CPAs.
Guita holds an IRS EA (Enrolled Agent) license and a PKE (Presidential Key Executive) MBA from Pepperdine University. She is also in the process of completing her Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
Lisa Westhafer, Senior Vice President Global Commercial Banking, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Lisa is an 18 year+ banking and finance executive, currently serving as a Senior Vice President in Bank of America’s Global Commercial Banking group in Newport Beach. She focuses on providing finance, treasury and capital market solutions to middle market businesses in Southern California. Prior to joining Bank of America in 2016, Lisa served as the Orange County representative for PNC Bank. A California CPA (currently inactive), Lisa holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Accounting, from the University of Washington.
Robert K Wu, CFO and Partner, SGW Associates, LLC
Robert is the CFO and Partner of SGW Associates, LLC which is a financial consultant firm offering CFO services, corporate advisory, and Asia-US cross border transactions capability. Robert has extensive years of senior management finance experience that includes Chief Financial Officer positions, private equity, investment banking, and corporate advisory. Robert has been a contracted CFO for medium-sized and start-up companies in the manufacturing, distribution, and media industries. He also co-founded and managed a multi-million dollar Oppenheimer China Private Equity fund as well as worked at the Union Bank of Switzerland, Chase Investment Bank, and Prudential. Robert focuses on adding value to the growth of companies and arranging financing to support their expansion.
Robert has a B.A. Degree from Columbia University, a Master’s Degree in economics from the University of Massachusetts, and was an economics Ph.D. candidate at Cambridge University. He was a former Adjunct Professor of Finance at Pepperdine University’s MBA program.