Canada California Business Council Key Business Supporters
Leonard Brody, President, The Clarity Group (AEG Entertainment)
Leonard is a highly respected entrepreneur, venture capitalist, best-selling author and a 2 time Emmy nominated media visionary. He has helped in raising millions of dollars for startup companies, been through one of the largest internet IPOs in history and has been involved in the building, financing and/or sale of five companies to date. Leonard was recently awarded Canada’s Top 40 Under 40.
At Onvia (where he was part of the initial executive), the company was voted Canada’s number one startup in 2000 and subsequently closed a $240 Million IPO on NASDAQ.
In 2004, Brody co-founded, and was CEO of, NowPublic.com which is a pioneer in the field of citizen journalism. The company was named by Time Magazine as one of the top 50 websites in the world, was inducted into the Newseum in Washington and was recently acquired by the Anschutz Corporation. Currently he sits as the President of the Clarity Digital Group responsible for overseeing one of the largest online news conglomerates in the world including Examiner.com and NowPublic, which between them, share over 30 million unique visitors a month and over 300,000 contributors.
Peter Thomas, Founder and Former Chairman, Century 21 Real Estate Canada Inc.
Peter is recognized as one of the leading developers and lenders of his time in North America, has developed billions of dollars in real estate projects, from shopping centers, apartments and condominiums to golf courses. He is the past Chairman and Founder of Century 21 Real Estate Canada Ltd, founded Samoth Capital Corporation (now known as Sterling Centrecorp Inc.), and developed the Four Seasons Resort in Scottsdale, AZ.
It was in April 2000 after the suicide of his son Todd that Thomas decided to focus his time and energy on social entrepreneurship, and to share his experience and philosophy of values-based living and leadership. It was at this time he founded and remains Chairman of LifePilot, and developed the Todd Thomas Institute for Values-Based Leadership at Royal Roads University in BC, Canada, named in honor of his son.
It has been this commitment to giving back and support of community that he was honored and is the recipient of the 2010 International Caring Award. He joins such notables as Paul Newman, Jane Goodall, Patch Adams, MaryAnne Shreder, Dave Thomas, Collin Powell and Peggy Dolan whose photos and good works adorn the walls of the Caring Institute in Washington D.C.
Luc Robitaille, President of Business Operations, Los Angeles Kings
Luc Robitaille — who in 2009 was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame — is the highest scoring left wing in NHL history and the all-time Kings leader in goals scored. He is in his fifth season as Kings President, Business Operations, and in his role Robitaille oversees all day-to-day business operations of the Kings, including Ticket Sales and Service, Sponsorship Sales and Service, Marketing, Fan Development and Community Relations, Group Sales, Finance, Broadcasting, Communications and Content, Game Presentation and Human Resources.
Since assuming the position on May 25, 2007, Robitaille has had a tremendous impact on the Kings business operations department specifically and the Kings organization on the whole as his experience as a former player brings a unique perspective to the business side of the club. The Kings have increased their number of sellouts at STAPLES Center each season since Robitaille took over, including 38 total sellouts this past season as the Kings made the playoffs for the second straight year, and under Robitaille’s leadership the Kings’ sponsorship and sales division set a franchise mark in annual revenues last year while the Kings also set a franchise mark for revenue.
Mike Lutton, Former President, The Irvine Company
Michael Lutton is the co founder of Tieback Holdings, LLC which specializes in real estate work out and fund management. Mr. Lutton has developed in excess of 15 million square feet and managed assets exceeding 120 million square feet in 37 states. Lutton served as President of The Irvine Companies office and industrial divisions along with responsebility for Donald Brens “off ranch” portfolio. Lutton left the Irvine Company to acquire PM Realty Group (PMRG) with Jupiter Industries out of Chicago. Lutton served as Chairman and CEO and restructured the company for which he was named Real Estate Executive of The Year by Commercial Property News. Prior to forming Tieback, Lutton was the Managing Member of a partnership with Goldman Sachs that developed the 33 story Sapphire Tower in downtown San Diego, California.
Wolfgang Richter – Former President, Canada California Chamber of Commerce
Wolfgang is an educator, writer, visionary and entrepreneur with three decades of public service and business experience north and south of the Canada/U.S. border. Wolfgang was the founder of Film British Columbia and, serving as Province’s first Film Commissioner, created the foundation for what has since become the number three film production center in North America after Los Angeles and New York.
In 1996 he secured the exclusive Proponent rights for the development of GARIBLDI AT SQUAMISH, a proposed $5.5 billion all-season mountain resort located on Mount Garibaldi along the Olympic/Sea-to-Sky Highway halfway between Vancouver and Whistler. The master plan for the mountain resort has been approved for development of 22,500 bed units and is poised to become the first major new mountain resort to be developed in North America since Beaver Creek and Deer Valley in 1980 – public approvals for the resort are imminent.
Gray DeFevere – CEO, DeFevere Advisory Group
Founding and building his own companies has given Gray experience that can only be acquired by those who have “been there, done that”.
Gray has devoted much of his career to working with high growth clients favored by the leading venture capital and investment banking firms. He helps his clients remain agile in their facilities, which helps control reaction to momentary shifts in the market or to the very real strategic changes our national economy has experienced since 2008.
Gray is often able to cast the Landlord or Seller as an investor in your company by using his creative methods of negotiating. He is masterful at using critical concessions such as free rent, termination clauses, must take clauses and future expansion rights as a weapon for his clients which helps keep valuable investment or equity capital in the client’s bank to allow payment of future rents out of future revenue.
Gray is an angel investor, a featured speaker/mentor, and the founder of SoCal Tech Group. Gray is often instrumental in helping to raise investment/growth capital for his clients. SoCal Tech Group was founded in 1993 and is the largest venture and investment capital and service provider networking group in the greater Los Angeles area.
Gray is the founder and President of DeFevere Advisory Group – a very modern interpretation of the commercial real estate firm which offers a rare combination of real estate and business advisory services tailored to accelerate the development of high growth and middle market companies in Southern California.
ProCon.org is a public charity founded in 2004 that promotes critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship by presenting controversial issues in a nonpartisan, primarily pro-con format. ProCon.org creates worldwide thought-provoking conversation about current events, and important topics on a daily platform.
A-Mark Entertainment is a privately held Film Financing and Acquisitions company that along with the involvement of Nick Cassavetes and Robert Deringer has produced several box office successes including: “Alpha Dog”, “Night Train”, “No Good Deed” and “Asylum”.
Bruce is also a former Thoroughbred racehorse owner, and a sports executive who once owned the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL). In the 1980s McNall produced several Hollywood movies, including The Manhattan Project and Weekend at Bernie’s. McNall bought a 25 percent stake in the Kings from Jerry Buss in 1986, and bought an additional 24 percent in 1987 to become the team’s largest shareholder. He was named team president that September, and purchased Buss’ remaining shares in March 1988.
Bruce was educated at the University of Oxford and the University of California Los Angeles.