Juan joined CBS2 News as a general assignment reporter in January 1996. Nowadays, Juan reports for various editions of CBS 2 News, anchoring and even reported on weather when duty calls. Before coming to Los Angeles, Juan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Broadcast Journalism from Florida International University. He has served as a general assignment reporter at WSVN-TV, Miami, Florida. Prior to WSVN, he was a general assignment reporter for WLTV/Univision in Miami for January 1991-1994. He also spent some time with the Telemundo magazine/variety show "Contacto." Juan is a recipient of the Golden Mike award for best 30-minute newscast. He has also been honored by the Los Angeles County Office of Education for his participation in Hispanic Heritage events. Juan is fluent in Spanish and advocates the importance of learning more than one language and is a champion for literacy. He often mentors students who want to pursue a career in broadcasting.
Reed Hamzeh is a Lawyer, Mediator, Real Estate Broker, Investor Director, Producer and Makes Amazing Zatar Sandwiches. He's also a Super Dad to his 6 year old boy Tarek which means Arabs can also call him Abu Tarek - a super awesome name. He's 100% Lebanese and 100% sure to please! Reed has also served on non-profit boards for over 19 years - yes, since the age of 5. He's a proud Angelino, adores his birth city Beirut and naturally loves and supports this Sister City Partnership. Reed's time is extremely expensive and he's very important (indeed, one of the crown jewels of this community). However, he will be dancing at this event for free provided lots and lots of money is raised for this worthy organization and cause!!
Ken Maxey has over 15 years of experience in community relations, public affairs and policy. He is a leader in consensus building, community organizing, and professional development. Some of the cities he has worked in include, Washington DC, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Denver, Des Moines, Charlotte and Oakland. Mr. Maxey serves on numerous boards including the State Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians as the appointee of CA State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Boys & Girls Club of which he is Chair of Board of Directors, Los Angeles Community College District Foundation, East Los Angeles Community Foundation, the East Bay Leadership Council, Spanish Speaking Citizens Foundation, National Association of Multi-Ethnicity in Communications, and the Californians Dedicated for Education Foundation. Before joining Comcast NBCUniversal, Ken held positions at nationally recognized organizations. The most recent example was the Nationwide Digital Transition in partnership with the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights where he was the California State Director, Obama Administration and the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). Mr. Maxey has also held leadership positions at the Democratic National Committee, Obama For America, California Democratic Party, State Treasurer Phil Angelides for Governor and John Kerry for President. Throughout his career, Ken has been committed to justice, equality and providing opportunity for all and has been recognized by numerous organizations such as the Black Women for Political Action, Friends of South Asian American Communities, the California NAACP, and was the Top 25 Most Talented in the Bay Area by the Sun Reporter Newspaper. In addition, he received the Emerging Leader Award by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as Los Angeles. A native of California, Mr. Maxey graduated from Notre Dame De Namur University with a B.A. in Political Science/History, M.P.A. from Howard University, M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from the American University and has a certificate of leadership from University of Virginia Darden business School. Ken's international credits include a certificate in Arabic from American University in Beirut, Lebanon and a study abroad in English Literature at Oxford University, England.
Bita Milanian serves as the Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at GENBAND (genband.com) & its Kandy.io division; a global leader in real time communications software solutions for service providers, enterprises, independent software vendors, systems integrators and developers, operating in over 80 countries. With over 20 years of marketing, branding and communications experience, Bita has held senior-level marketing positions at various global and startup companies. Prior to joining GENBAND, she held the top post of Executive Director for Farhang Foundation (farhang.org) and is also the founder of the creative and consulting agency Butterfly Buzz (bflybuzz.com). A passionate community organizer, Bita actively volunteers her time and expertise in support of numerous causes and organizations, and is a popular speaker at various conferences and programs on the topics of technology, philanthropy, art, culture, social justice and gender equality. Bita has been a social media influencer and blogger since 2000, leveraging her expertise in online platforms for business to raise the profiles of global entrepreneurs, immigrants and artists alike. Although an Angeleno for nearly 30 years, Bita considers herself a global citizen and focuses her efforts on that scale. She is fluent in Persian and German, and proficient in conversational Spanish, French and Azeri Turkish. As a seasoned traveler, she has had the pleasure of experiencing cuisines from various corners of the world. "Food connects us," Bita writes, "and when we are connected, we have the power to bring cultures together for positive change."
Born in Texas and migrated to Torrance, California with her family, Ronnie has lived in Southern California since she was 8 years old and loves the Californian life. She received her BA in English Literature from California State University at Dominguez Hills (SCUD). Her career was in marketing and public relations from major architectural firms and general contractors in the Los Angeles business community. Ronnie's love for modern architecture and desire to preserve Los Angeles' history and culture led her to support conservation groups and was fortunate to serve as a docent at the Getty Villa. Ronnie is also an avid supporter of diverse arts in Los Angeles, serving on the board of the Aman Folk Dance Ensemble and as president of the Theatre Guild at her alma mater (CSUD). Most recently Ronnie has been interested in and supportive of choral music inspired by Dr. Joanna Medawar Nachef, whose international choral group Ronnie and her husband are patrons of. As the wife of a patent attorney, Ronnie has also been involved in law education groups such as the California Law Advocates. Ronnie enjoys travelling with her husband to England, Scotland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. They have one grown son and three dogs.
Rosanna Tavarez received her MFA from The Ohio State Department of Dance. She has a diverse background as a performer/entertainer and has had the honor of working with Marina Ambramovic, Ryan Heffington, Travis Payne and Rosanna Gamson/Worldwide. She has also toured with N'SYNC and Jessica Simpson as one fifth of the girl group, Eden's Crush, and covered the Emmys, Grammys and Oscars in addition to hosting her own shows as a television personality for FOX, E!, TVGuide Network, Telemundo/NBC and NowThis News. Rosanna is also a dance educator and is currently on faculty at Relativity School and Cal State University Los Angeles. She creates her own dance-theatre work in Los Angeles under the moniker LA DANSA DANSA and received support from ARC grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation, UCLA Hothouse Residency and Show Box LA. In addition to her passion for performing, creating and teaching dance, she is a certified yoga teacher actively teaching for eight years at numerous studios across Los Angeles. She recently received her 500-RYT under the tutelage of master teacher Noah Maze at Wanderlust Hollywood.
Born in Lebanon, Elissar feels right at home living the Los Angeles lifestyle. Fashion, food and wine, travel, and dancing are just a few of her interests. Elissar is a successful entrepreneur and is in the planning stages of another venture in catering and specialty tea parties. Yet, her real passion is being a loving mother to her three beautiful sons, Ali, Ryan, and Jayden. Never one to shy away from adventure, Elissar is excited to take part in this fundraising dance competition. She hopes her participation will allow students from Beirut to experience some of what she loves about her "City of Stars" - Los Angeles.
Osleide Walker is an Associate Director of Architectural Design at IBI group where she has devoted 80 percent of her practice to the design of schools for the last eighteen years. Her design talents are formed by her international background. She believes that well designed, sustainable buildings foster to create a comfortable environment. Therefore, all her design work is driven by the program and designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health. Her designs are executed with a genuine sense of style, flair, fun and functionality. The numerous prestigious architectural honors awarded to her projects attest to her unique design ability and effectiveness of her approach.