2015 Gala Committee


Linda Braden

President & CEO  |  Cornerstone Construction Group, Inc.

Linda studied Business Administration at Mt. San Antonio College in Los Angeles County, after which she worked with the President of Wells Fargo Realty Advisors, Property Management Division.   

In 1985, she co-founded Cornerstone Construction Group, Inc. where her business and project management skills were a perfect foil to the entrepreneurial skills of her husband. Her attention to and understanding of the needs of their clients are legendary, and she has developed over the past 30 years an innate ability to turn their clients’ dreams into firm reality. Linda is a conduit of energy; she often speaks of her faith. Her optimistic and visionary approach to both the business and her family life maintains an infectious support mechanism, which keeps the team spirit and momentum going. She is a most gracious and observant individual who is very sensitive to Client needs. 


Antionette Brown-Leon

Executive Director  |  The Asomugha Foundation

Antoinette Brown-Leon is the Executive Director of the Asomugha Foundation, Inc. a non-profit organization in Los Angeles, formally established in 2010 and chaired by NFL defensive back Nnamdi Asomugha. The Foundation serves disadvantaged youth in the U.S. and underprivileged orphans and widows in Africa through education and empowerment. She is a strong advocate of education and focuses on the foundation's mission to ensure that those with less means are given the opportunity to obtain a quality education, and thereby transform themselves, their families, and communities.


Michael DiVirgilio

Hermosa Beach Councilmember  |  Strategic Business Advisor  |  Public Affairs Specialist

As a business professional with 20+ years of diverse experience in a variety of leadership roles within the private & public sectors, Michael listens to the clients business needs and proceed with a precise and well thought out plan. Experience in government, community and media relations. He has been serving on the City Council of Hermosa Beach since 2007 and is passionate about his community & the people he serves. 


Rebekah Kim

Deputy  |  Office of LA County Supervisor Don Knabe, 4th District 

Rebekah Kim represents Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe in his Harbor Area, which includes the communities of San Pedro, Wilmington, Harbor City/Harbor Gateway, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, and Rolling Hills Estates. She is responsible for the local field office relations with city personnel, constituents and local businesses. In addition, Rebekah is responsible for API and women issues.

Prior to joining Supervisor Knabe’s staff in March 2011, she was a field representative for former Congresswoman Jane Harman, working on labor, aerospace/defense and transportation issues. Previously, she was the Manager of Public Affairs and Community Relations for LA INC. and worked as a Press Aide for Los Angeles City Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Rebekah is a Torrance native and graduated from West High School. She earned her B.A. from the University of California, Irvine. 


DON KNABE, SHAREFEST Honorary Gala CHAIR

Los Angeles County Supervisor, 4th District

Since 1996, Supervisor Knabe has served the citizens of Los Angeles County representing the fourth district. He has spent much of his political career working to protect the lives of innocent and vulnerable children in Los Angeles. He has successfully championed the Safe Surrender program and worked to raise awareness of child sex trafficking. Issues related to transportation, the environment, the arts, and education have all benefited greatly from his leadership. He is respected for his strength of support to grass root movements that better local communities. He and his wife Julie have been married for forty-seven years.


Chad Mayer

Executive Director, Co-Founder  |  Sharefest

Chad Mayer has years of leadership experience building community relationships, acting as a networking catalyst to mobilize citizens, the faith community, community-based organizations and businesses to get involved in community service and youth development. Chad is the founding director of Sharefest Community Development and is a selfless leader who does what it takes to make programs work. He forges ahead to solve community problems and delights in the successes of the youth who engage Sharefest programs. His love for youth and for improving their lives and their communities, one person-at a time, is inspiring. Chad’s achievements and awards are numerous. Recently, he was awarded The Daily Breeze’s People of Distinction Award in the Volunteer Category.


GABRIELA MEDINA

Field Deputy  |  Office of City Councilman Joe Buscaino, 15th District

As the Wilmington and Harbor City Field Deputy for Councilman Joe Buscaino, Gabriela Medina serves as the liaison between the City of Los Angeles and its constituency. She manages and coordinates the implementation of city services, community events, and works closely with other elected officials' representatives, local businesses, and not for profit partners in the community. In addition, Gabriela's previous experience in working with youth allows her to serve as the Councilman's youth liaison, ensuring that teens throughout the District are provided with opportunities that will strengthen their ability to become successful.


Jemie Sae Koo

Vice President, Marketing at Avasant  |  Avasant Foundation

Jemie is a top performing, results-oriented professional with over 15 years of business development, sales, marketing and production experience. She is known for her building of solid client relationships and ability to leverage key high-level political and C-Level business decision makers for the common good.


Frank Schulz, Sharefest Gala Committee Chair

Managing Principal  |  The Klabin Company

Frank is a born leader who spends his days serving his corporate clients at The Klabin Company and helping them solve their commercial real estate needs. Collaboration, hard work, and building relationships are what make Frank tick.  Frank was born and raised in Lodi, CA and he was a member of the National Championship USC Water Polo Team. Frank's hobbies include swimming, tennis, and chasing his young twins.


JAMAL SHOFANI

Vice President, District Manager, South Coast Community Bank
Wells Fargo & Company

Jamal Shofani is Vice President and District Manager for Wells Fargo’s South Bay market for the South Coast Community Bank. Shofani oversees more than 150 team members at 10 banking stores. His district includes the communities of El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Torrance.

Shofani, a 21-year financial services veteran, assumed his current role in 2007. He was previously a Wells Fargo banking store manager in Torrance. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, he was a branch manager at Washington Mutual Bank for branches in downtown Long Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach. He also worked as an assistant financial center manager at Washington Mutual and was a personal financial representative at Great Western Bank before Washington Mutual acquired the company.

Shofani is a graduate of California State University Long Beach, where he majored in Speech Communication with an emphasis in Interpersonal and Organizational development. He also served as a reserve for the U.S. Marine Corps for six years. 

Shofani resides in Redondo Beach with his wife and four young children and is active on the board for the South Bay Center for community counseling. He also was a Board Member for the San Fernando Award from 2007 - 2010.


DAN SIMON

Chief Financial Officer  |  Wedbush Capital

Dan’s deep experience spanning public accounting, the specific needs of managing an investment fund and financial due diligence are key attributes to his success in managing his multi-faceted role at Wedbush Capital. In addition to overseeing the fund’s overall administration, he also interacts with portfolio companies to supplement their management teams. He contributes to the financial due diligence process, both in advance of a new investment and when there are changes at portfolio companies. An avid ice hockey and University of Washington Huskies fan, Dan often can be found yelling at the television during football season. He spends the rest of his free time with his family, enjoying sports and traveling.


Janie Thompson

Marketing Consultant  |  Sharefest Board Member

Janie Thompson recently retired after 30 years of being president of a successful marketing consulting firm located in Torrance. As a savvy businesswoman with an engaging personality, who has developed professional relationships internationally, Janie serves the Sharefest organization through developing strategic partnerships to diversify funding streams and increase total funding. In addition to Sharefest, Janie serves several other local charities and non-profits. Janie lives in Torrance with her husband of almost 37 years, Rick.