Boards - Former

Claude D. Benchimol, Ph.D. is the President of Damol Innovation LLC, a consulting practice he founded in 2012, focused on technology-based innovation in healthcare (medical devices, pharma & biotech, healthcare IT). Engagements address, in a uniquely coordinated approach, a comprehensive array of innovation drivers: product planning, technology differentiation, processes, organization, competencies and culture. Clients span companies from small start-ups to large public Companies ($2B-$28B).

Passionate about innovation, he has a 35 year success history of building, leading and inspiring vibrant global organizations responsible for the introduction of high impact, complex technology products.

Previously, he held several senior executive roles at Invitrogen, which became Life Technologies, a $4B Life Sciences Company headquartered in Carlsbad, California, leading the development of biological reagents and instruments like DNA sequencing machines. Under his leadership, the rate of product introductions quadrupled and the top line grew 5x during his tenure.

Prior to joining Invitrogen in 2003 as the Senior Vice President of Research and Development, Dr. Benchimol served in a variety of executive positions at General Electric Healthcare. From 2001 to 2003 he was Vice-President of Global Technology at GE's Medical Information Technologies. Prior to this role, he assumed a number of leadership positions in the development of complex diagnostic imaging instruments and innovations including slip-ring and multi-slice CT Scanners, High Field and open MRI Scanners, Digital Mammography and Digital Cardiology.

In 1973 Dr. Benchimol received a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications in Paris, France. In 1974 he earned a Master's degree in Systems Science from the University of California, Los Angeles and in 1977 he received his Doctorate in Systems Science, also from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a member of the French Academy of Technology. Playing and listening to music have always been central to his life.

Claude and his wife Veronique currently reside in Solana Beach, California.

Douglas Bradley runs his Wealth Management practice from UBS Financial Services in La Jolla. He has been an avid investor since age twelve, and he and his team embrace professional knowledge, integrity, and personalized service as their core in delivering uncompromised quality, personal services, and wealth management services for their clients.

Family and friends, finance and investing, and music are his passions. He lives in La Jolla with his wife Neva and their two-year old daughter Sophia and one-year old son Mac. Before moving to La Jolla, Doug was Regional Director for BlackRock’s (formerly Merrill Lynch Asset Management / MLAM) interests in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Chile. Prior to his move to South America, he held a similar position with MLAM in New York City. Doug did post-graduate work in Madrid while working as a consultant for Cyanamid Ibérica, Lilly Pharmaceuticals, and Anderson Consulting.

Volunteer activities include chairmanship of the La Jolla Half Marathon since 2006 – raising nearly $1 million to benefit San Diego charities. Doug has served as Finance Chair and board member for Friends of the La Jolla Library, board member of the Gillispie School, and President of the Kiwanis Club of La Jolla and its Foundation. He currently serves as Finance Chair for the Congregational Church of La Jolla and the Foundation of the Kiwanis Club of La Jolla.

Tanya M. Brandes is the founder and co-owner of Amalfi Partners, a motion-picture production company. In her capacity as executive producer, Tanya is responsible for project and cast selection and approval, negotiating foreign and domestic contracts, overseeing budgets, and interfacing with studios, agencies, and talent.

Tanya graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Southern California, and received her MD from Stanford University. Tanya practiced clinical medicine until 2005, and continues to do medical charity work in developing nations. In Papua New Guinea and Southern Africa, she has worked in remote sites, with small teams of physicians, providing basic healthcare and performing minor surgical procedures, as well as teaching and serving as a mentor. Tanya returns to South Africa regularly, and continues to support HIV/AIDS research, education, and treatment.

Committed to philanthropy, Tanya serves as president of her family’s foundation, overseeing grants to individuals and organizations in the areas of arts, sciences, education, and community development. Tanya also serves on the Board of Directors of the Helen Woodward Animal Center. She lives, with her husband, Charles, in San Diego, California.

Sophie Bryan was raised in New York and Connecticut, and moved to California in 1996 to attend college and graduate school. In 2000, she graduated from the California College of the Arts in the Bay Area with a degree in illustration, and she later moved to Los Angeles to pursue graduate studies in psychology at Loyola Marymount University. She obtained her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2006, and became a registered art therapist in 2008.

After graduating, Sophie gained professional experience as a primary psychotherapist by working at residential facilities for eating disorders and chemical dependency programs, as well as several outpatient mental health agencies in the Los Angeles area. She is currently a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in La Jolla and Long Beach, and has extensive experience counseling patients who suffer from anxiety, depression, chemical dependency, eating disorders, infertility and women’s issues.

Sophie has previously served on the board of the Southern California Art Therapy Association, and currently serves on the board of the Dillon Foundation and the Clarence and Anne Dillon Foundation in New York. Sophie and her family have been strong supporters of the arts community for many years. She currently resides in La Jolla with her husband Matt Lueders.

Damon Francis moved to San Diego in 2003 from his hometown of Newton, MA. He majored in English and minored in Legal Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. Damon has spent the last decade working as a banker and is currently a Vice President in The Private Bank of Union Bank where he drives a team of wealth specialists to help clients with wealth planning, investments, risk management, trust and estate services and private banking. Damon lives in Pacific Beach with his wife Erin.




Clark Guy is a Senior Vice President and Market Executive at U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. In this role, Clark leads a team of financial professionals who deliver holistic planning based solutions for high net worth clientele in the San Diego area.

Clark has worked for Bank of America organization since 1998. His 24 years of experience in the wealth management industry have included positions as; Chief Investment Officer for The Chicago Trust Company of California, Head of the LaSalle Bank Wealth Management Group in California along with extensive experience in portfolio management, marketing, product development, trust administration and sales training. Prior to his current role with U.S. Trust, Clark was responsible for the effective development, implementation and management of clients’ unique investment strategies.

Clark earned his Bachelor of Arts from San Diego State University. He is a third generation San Diegan and currently resides in San Diego with his wife of 16 years and their three children.

Paul Hering was elected as Managing Principal / CEO of Barney & Barney in 2004. Paul has been with Barney & Barney since 1985 and has been a Principal since 1989. His expertise is in the areas of strategic planning, administration and operations. Barney & Barney is one of the largest privately owned insurance brokerage firms in the world. As Managing Principal / CEO, Paul chairs Barney & Barney’s Board of Directors, Executive Committee and Compensation Committee.

Prior to joining Barney & Barney, Paul was an Underwriter with the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies.

His civic and business activities include:

Big Brothers & Sisters of San Diego
>Board of Directors

Rady Childrens Hospital Foundation
>Board of Directors

University of California, Los Angeles
>Chancellor’s Associates Volunteer Committee
>Regional Chair, Parent Fund

San Diego Symphony
>Vice Chairman, Board of Directors
>Executive Committee

Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers
>Board of Directors

San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce
>Board of Directors

San Diego Foundation
>Audit Committee Chairman

Assurex Global (World’s 3rd Largest Insurance Brokerage Organization)
>Past Chairman of the Board
>Board of Directors

San Diego Private Bank
>Board of Directors


• 2001 Big Brothers Big Sisters “Man of the Year”
• 2008 “Excellence in Action” Award – Mental Health America
• 2008 Most Admired CEO Award – Vistage International / San Diego Business Journal
• 2009 Most Admired CEO “Exemplary” Award – Vistage International / San Diego Business Journal

Paul earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics from UCLA. He holds the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation which he earned through advanced study in the field of insurance.

Barbara Katz moved to Del Mar in 2003, having lived in the Washington, DC area since 1970. A graduate of the University of Maryland, Barbara and her late husband, Bob, were involved with the National Symphony Orchestra and Washington Opera for many years. Barbara served on the Board of Directors of the National Symphony Orchestra until her move to Del Mar. Currently, Barbara is a member of the NSO National Trustees.

Barbara also serves on the Board of the Pacific South Coast (San Diego) chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

K. Alan Lonbom has extensive experience serving clients in the energy & utilities industry and currently serves as Deloitte’s lead partner for Sempra Energy, based in San Diego.

Alan has served as Lead Client Service Partner (LCSP) for several of Deloitte’s largest energy clients. Alan has been in the energy & utilities’ practice for most of his 33 year career, and has experience with both regulated and non-regulated entities. Clients Alan has served include, FPL Group, Sempra Energy, Pinnacle West, Sierra Pacific Resources (NV Energy), Progress Energy and Cinergy Corp.

Alan formerly served as the Southeast regional managing partner of the Energy Resources Group. In this role, he coordinated with Deloitte’s national industry leaders and other LCSP’s in providing services to their extensive group of energy clients in the Southeast.

As a manager, Alan served in Deloitte’s National Auditing Services Department, providing research and decision-making assistance to practice offices on technical auditing issues, and helping in the design of new auditing polices and approaches. He was one of the principal authors in the development of audit technique that still today is one of the major components of the firm’s audit approach.

Alan was Partner in Charge of Assurance for the Raleigh/Winston-Salem D&T office for eight years. During this period he also led Growth Companies Services for North and South Carolina, as well as served as lead partner for several large public companies.

Alan left Deloitte briefly to become CFO for a technology start up. In this capacity, he worked with a major Wall Street investment bank positioning the company for financing. He returned to the Deloitte January of 2002 to lead the firm’s Southeast Energy practice.

K. Alan Lonbom has served as Chairman for two different Junior Achievement boards, an organization that he has been involved with for more than 15 years, and he also served briefly on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Symphony in Raleigh, NC.

Alan earned a BS and Masters of Accountancy degrees from the University of Illinois. He is a Certified Public Accountant. He has been active with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and he is Founder and Treasurer for Palm Beach Enterprise Forum.

Alan and his wife, Jennifer, have a 7 year old son. As a family they enjoy snow skiing, golf, music, and travel vacations. Jennifer is very active in the communities in which she has lived, and was formerly the CFO of a technology company.

Papa Doug Manchester is chairman of Manchester Financial Group. He is a true industrialist with accomplishments on a national and international scale in telecommunications, radio broadcast, medical instrumentation, publishing and real estate development. Papa Doug is considered father of the San Diego Convention Center after his generous contribution of the property for its development. The completion of the second largest Marriott and Hyatt hotels in the world anchored its success and gave birth to the vast downtown redevelopment still continuing today. In addition to the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina and the Manchester Grand Hyatt, his investment and development projects include The Grand Del Mar Resort & Spa, Manchester Executive Center, Manchester Financial Building, the Whitetail Lodge and Golf Club and soon a convention center hotel in Austin, Texas. Papa Doug was the catalyst for the now famous Biotech cluster at Torrey Pines. Currently, Papa Doug is Chairman and Publisher of U-T San Diego.

A graduate from San Diego State University, he is a former trustee of the University of San Diego and Wake Forest University, founder of the San Diego chapter of the Alexis de Toqueville Society and currently serves as a member of The Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute Board of Trustees. In 1973 he joined Young Presidents’ Organization and co-founded its San Diego chapter, as well as the Idaho chapter, the Rio Platte chapter and the Vietnam chapter. He has served as chairman of the San Diego chapter and was voted Man-of-the-Year. He joined CEO in 1992 and served as a member of the Board and chaired the Vatican College. Papa Doug has five children and 11 grandchildren. He enjoys golf, tennis, marathon running, heli-skiing, travel, and “making positive memories.”

Shearn Platt is a retired lawyer and real estate specialist and a founding partner of the law firm of Rudick, Platt, Glatt & Getz. He is president of Platt Management, Inc., which is the Managing General Partner of: Golden West Hotel, L.P.; New Plaza Hotel, Ltd.; G.W. Properties, LP; Platt & Wolff Investment Company, LP; and several other syndicated real estate based investments.

Shearn has been a community activist serving as Past President of numerous community organizations including San Diego Hebrew Home for the Aged; San Diego East Village Association; United Jewish Federation of San Diego; San Diego Jewish Community Foundation.

Shearn Platt first joined the Board of Directors of the San Diego Symphony Association in 1982 and served in many important roles before retiring from the Board in 1994. Most recently he rejoined the board and served as a member of the Music Director Search Committee which was instrumental in bringing Jahja Ling to San Diego.

Shearn and his wife Linda have two grown children, ten grandchildren and reside in the Banker’s Hill area of San Diego.

Craig A. Schloss, Esq. practices law with the firm Jackson Lewis LLP. He was previously a partner with the international law firm Morrison & Foerster LLP. Schloss specializes in trade secret litigation, and practices labor and employment law on behalf of management, including litigation involving wrongful termination, employee unfair competition, discrimination and sexual harassment. He also represents employers in union matters. He holds a joint degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and Graduate School of Labor and Industrial Relations and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Arizona. Schloss serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center.

Charles Simpson is the Senior Marketing Manager, Cold Drinks, for the Coca-Cola Bottling Company. Mr. Simpson grew up in San Diego, is married with two children, has been with Coca-Cola for 30 years, and is involved in many community organizations.

Business owner Sheryl M. Sutton is one of the founders and owners of a local contracting and building services firm. Her expertise in operations, business management, and marketing led the company to success. Under her direction and leadership, the company experienced record success and has now become one of leading companies of its kind. In the past year, Sheryl has chosen to retire from her company and looks forward to devoting time to local and international causes that she has worked on in the past. Throughout her career, Sheryl has received several awards for her leadership and contributions to her industry.

In 1989, Sheryl and her colleagues formed a non-profit organization that focuses on all aspects of business management training and education for the industry including economic forecasts, market trends and solving complex issues for her industry. This past year Sheryl was reunited with 5 of the past Board Presidents to celebrate their 20th year. Throughout her life, Sheryl has been involved in charitable and philanthropic work both locally and internationally. Her experiences living abroad introduced her to philanthropic/relief efforts and sustainable development which she has been involved in throughout her life and career. As a result, Sheryl has ably combined her cultural and business knowledge to help create self-sustaining opportunities for those in need. Sheryl has also worked on various local causes for many years and plans to continue her community work. This year Sheryl will be devoting time to local causes involving community awareness for domestic violence.

Sheryl has a strong appreciation for music and is committed to supporting the San Diego Symphony. She thanks the many wonderful and talented people who contribute their talents, time and energy to bring life to the Symphony and sustain its importance in our community.

Dr. Maneck Wadia has made a name for himself as a professor of higher education, a prolific author whose books have been used by over 150 universities worldwide and as a consultant to over 500 local and national organizations. Dr. Wadia’s clients include all major branches of the US Military, the FBI, United Technologies, General Dynamics, Westinghouse, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard, the San Diego Unified School District and numerous University of California campuses. He has been listed on the “Who’s Who list of Contemporary Authors” and the “Who’s Who list of the West.” He has served on the faculty at Indiana University’s School of Business and at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Dr. Wadia has also been awarded a Ford Foundation Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to Dr. Wadia’s many successful ownership interests, ranging from financial institutions, manufacturing organizations, to real estate companies and restaurants, he has been President and CEO of Wadia Associates in Del Mar since 1965.

William Theodore Walton, III (Bill) was born on November 5th, 1952, in San Diego, California.

He was introduced to the game of basketball while in the fourth grade at Blessed Sacrament Elementary School by coach Frank "Rocky" Graciano. Walton then attended Helix High School, where the basketball coach was Gordon Nash. At Helix, his team won the California Interscholastic Federation High School title two years in a row, while winning their final 49 consecutive games.

Walton enrolled at UCLA in 1970. He played center for John Wooden's Varsity team for three seasons (1972-1974), after a year with the freshman team in 1971. He was a member of two NCAA championship teams compiling an NCAA record 88 consecutive game winning streak.

Bill Walton is a three-time recipient of the NCAA Player of the Year Award, 1972, '73 and '74. Walton is a 3 time All-American College Player and winner of the Sullivan Award for the United States Best Amateur Athlete of 1973. He was named to the Pacific 8 All-Conference first team 3 times and was conference player of the year for three consecutive years. At UCLA Walton was a scholar-athlete who also earned Academic All-American honors three years in a row. He graduated with honors with a B.A. in history.

Walton's professional career began when he was the number one overall pick in the 1974 NBA Draft by the Portland Trailblazers. He was a member of their championship team in 1977. Nine years later he earned another championship title, this time with the Boston Celtics in 1986. He played with the Trailblazers 1974-1979, the San Diego Clippers 1979-1984, the relocated Los Angeles Clippers in 1985, and The Boston Celtics 1985-1988.

Bill Walton was the NBA's Most Valuable Player, 1978; all-NBA First Team, 1978; NBA All-Star Team, 1977 and 1978; NBA Playoff's MVP, 1977; all-NBA second team, 1977; winner of the NBA Sixth Man Award, 1986. Walton is also the second of only five players in the history of the NBA to lead the league in both blocked shots and rebounding in the same season.

He remains active in basketball through clinics, camps, coaching, and television commentary. He started his broadcasting career in 1990 as an analyst for the then Prime Ticket Network. Walton worked for CBS Sports in the early 90's during the NCAA Final Four and then for NBC for many years, including work on the 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Summer Olympic Games. Over the last 15 years he has worked for ABC, ESPN, NBC, CBS, Fox, MSNBC, Turner Sports, KCAL, and the NBA. Walton is also involved in numerous internet ventures providing content and business acumen.

Walton received the 1991 NBPA's Oscar Robertson Leadership Award. In 2002, he received the NBA Retired Player's Association Humanitarian Award. In 1992, 1993, 1995,1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000, the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Association honored Walton with the Best Television Analyst/Commentator award. In 2002, he was hired as the lead analyst for ESPN/ABC's coverage of the NBA. He is also a regular contributor to,, ESPN The Magazine, and ESPN Radio. During the 2002 NBA Playoffs, Walton exhilarated in the Love It Live Tour of America - a 30 game, 30 day extravaganza - covering over 40,000 miles. This life-changing experience was chronicled in a daily journal published on, and consists of over 56,000 words, hundreds of photos, and endless fun.

Walton has also been the lead subject of his own reality TV show: Bill Walton's Long Strange Trip, a dramatic saga that still plays continuously.

In 1993, Walton was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. Walton also became a member of the Academic All America Hall of Fame during the spring of 1994. For his television broadcasting work, Walton has been nominated for several Emmy awards and in 2001 won an Emmy for best live sports television broadcast. In 1997 Walton was selected as one of the NBA's fifty greatest players of all time. Also in 1997, Walton was inducted into the National High School Sports Hall of Fame, making him the first male basketball player to be so honored from the state of California. The NCAA honored Walton with their Silver Anniversary Award in 1999 for having made significant professional and civic contributions since he completed his intercollegiate eligibility 25 years ago.

In 1979 Walton received an Emmy for his work on an environmental documentary filmed on location in the Philippines. He has also had roles in feature films such as: Little Nicky, He's Got Game, Forget Paris, Celtic Pride and GhostBusters. And he is a regular contributor to television shows including The Wheel of Fortune, The Jeff Foxworthy Show, The Sentinel, Pacific Blue, Inside Schwarz, and The Weakest Link. His commercials include: Tostitios, Reebok, Anacin, and Best Western Hotels.

In 2007, Walton was named one of the top 10 pundits in America by Forbes. That same year he was also named one of the top 20 Business Athlete representatives by TSE Sports and Entertainment Group.

In 2009, Walton was named one of the top 50 broadcasters of all time by the American Sportscasters Association.

In June 21, 2001, Bill was named as the inaugural inductee into the Grateful Dead Hall of Honor, and signed memorabilia is available. All proceeds go to benefit the Rex Foundation, the non-profit charitable organization founded by members of the Grateful Dead and friends.

Walton currently resides in his hometown of San Diego with his wife Lori. They are the proud parents of four sons: Adam, Nathan, Luke and Chris.

Joseph Waters and his wife Leslie have been part of the San Diego Symphony family since 2005. Joe retired after 37 years in group travel and event marketing management in the telecommunications industry. Classical music and opera have been part of his entire life, starting with his family’s association with the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY where he grew up. Most recently, he has been actively involved in supporting classical music with the Dallas Symphony and the Aspen Music Festival and school. He has served as a voting member on the Aspen Festival Corporation Board. Joe and Leslie maintain homes in both the San Diego area and in Aspen, CO. They are principal owners of Waters Holdings, LLO for diversified real estate properties. Joe serves on the marketing committee of the San Diego Symphony Board.