CBAPP Advisory Board Members

Kim D. Defenderfer, Senior Vice President – Regional Manager - California United Bank

Phone: (310) 807-8606, Email:

Mr. Defenderfer has over 25+ years of commercial banking experience.  

He is active in the community as a Board Member of Upward Bound House, a nonprofit located in Santa Monica providing transitional housing services for families with minor children.  He is also currently the Chair of the Advisory Board for California State University Dominguez Hills College of Business and Public Policy.

He obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon and his MBA from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA.  

Kim is willing to speak to students on the following topics:

  • Career Development
  • Fundamentals of Business Finance
  • Commercial Lending – How Bank’s Underwrite Credit
  • The basics of sales

Dr. Iris Baxter, Professor Emeritus - California State University, Dominguez Hills


Ms. Sue Chen, Founder and CEO - NOVA


Mr. Phil D'Amato, CEO - AMP Restaurants


Mr. Phillip D’Amato is an entrepreneur and practicing Human Resources and Operations executive with over 40 years’ experience in both the public and private sectors in a wide range of industries including law enforcement, transportation, telecommunications, financial services, food services, retail, manufacturing and distribution.

Mr. D’Amato is currently CEO of A.M.P. Restaurant Management, Inc., and oversees the development and management of an expanding portfolio of franchise and non-franchise fast food restaurants. In his prior senior level corporate position as VP of HR and Chief Compliance Officer of a $300 M manufacturer/distributor, in addition to managing multiple administrative and support departments, Mr. D’Amato had operational responsibility for a full scope manufacturing facility in Shanghai and traveled extensively to China.

Driven by his passion and commitment to the academic community, Mr. D’Amato had the pleasure of being engaged as a Participating Adjunct Faculty Member at Woodbury University from 2005-2009 where he taught upper division undergraduate Human Resources Management courses. Additionally, he served as Woodbury’s contracted Director or International Program Development, principally responsible for establishing joint academic programs/workshops between Woodbury and various Chinese Universities.

In addition to his membership on the CSUDH CBAPP Advisory Board, Mr. D’Amato is the Chairman of the CSUDH Foundation Board.

Mr. D’Amato holds an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts from DeAnza College, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from the City University of New York, Queens College, a Master of Business Administration in Finance from St. John’s University and an Adult Education Teaching Credential from UCLA.

Phil would welcome the opportunity to confer with students on the following topics:

                -Career Development

                -“Mechanics” of establishing and operating a small business

                -Small business analysis/evaluation/valuation

                -Corporate Human Resources, Operations and Compliance

Mr. Wade M. Downey, State & Local Tax - Downey, Smith & Fier

Wade is a founding partner of Downey, Smith & Fier and has over 20 years of experience providing State & Local Tax consulting services. Wade graduated (Magna Cum Laude) from California State University, Dominguez Hills in 1992 with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting. He went on to obtain his Certified Public Accountant license in California and earned a Master’s Degree in Taxation from the University of Southern California.

Wade’s work experience includes service as an Auditor with the California State Board of Equalization and as a Senior Tax Manager in Deloitte’s Los Angeles Multistate Tax Services Group.

Wade has been married for 17 years with two children, Jacob (15) and Cora (12). His hobbies include wakeboarding and off-road motorcycle riding with family and friends. Wade also enjoys coaching and refereeing youth soccer. He currently also volunteers his time as the Treasurer for South High School’s Soccer Boosters.

Mr. Moises Figueroa, Regional General Manager - SA Recycling


Ms. Lisa M. Garrett, Director of Personnel - Los Angeles County

On March 30, 2010, Lisa M. Garrett was appointed Director of Personnel after serving as Acting Director of DHR for almost one year.  Ms. Garrett has more than 25 years of public service and has worked in both the City and the County of Los Angeles.  She began her career in public service with the City of Los Angeles as a Council Aide for Councilman Gilbert Lindsey and later served as an Investigator in the City’s Housing Department.

Ms. Garrett was hired into the County in 1994 as a Deputy District Attorney in the District Attorney's Bureau of Family Support Operations.  Seven years later, she moved to the Child Support Services Department (CSSD) upon its creation in 2001, where she served as Assistant Division Chief in two large divisions, the Executive Assistant to the Director, and as the Chief Deputy Director and Chief Attorney before being appointed as Acting Director of Personnel.  During her tenure in the Department of Human Resources (DHR), Ms. Garrett has directed DHR staff through several significant projects such as the development and implementation of a certified training course for Exam Analysts; the establishment of the PeopleStats metrics program to collect data to track and improve DHR performance, accountability and service delivery; and the development of a departmental strategic plan, which emphasizes customer service, HR transformation, succession planning and improved recruitment and selection practices to bring the best and the brightest talent into Los Angeles County.  Ms. Garrett has set a strategic direction within the County of Los Angeles to “automate all things HR.”  Through her vision the County has realized significant change with the implementation of enterprise HR solutions, setting the foundation for data-based decisions through HR analytics.  

Ms. Garrett is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles with a major in Psychology, and also holds a Juris Doctorate from the Southwestern University School of Law and an MBA from Pepperdine University.  She is an active member of the State Bar of California, the Los Angeles Bar Association Labor Employment Law Section, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA).  Ms. Garrett is designated as an IMPA-HR Certified Professional and holds a certificate in Advanced HR Management from the UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive Program.

Mr. Steven D. Johnson, Principal Director - The Aerospace Corporation

Steven Johnson is the Principal Director of Finance and Accounting at the Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo, CA.  He has been with Aerospace since 2004 when he joined the company as Director of Corporate Planning and Analysis.  Prior to joining Aerospace Steve was a Principal with a mid-sized accounting firm in Los Angeles after beginning his accounting career with Arthur Andersen & Co.

Steve is a graduate of CSUDH with a BS Degree in Business Administration/Accounting and an MBA. Steve lives with his wife, Sandra, in Redondo Beach where they enjoy spending time with both of their families.  They enjoy traveling, in particular love to visit Hawaii and spend time in the mountains, enjoying the outdoors

Mr. Kevin Kylis, Board of Directors President - Coachella Valley Boxing Club & Fitness Center

Phone: (760) 600-0799, Email:

Mr. Kylis has vast experience as a military veteran, entrepreneur, and volunteer.

He is very active in his community as the President of Board of Directors for the Lee Espinoza Coachella Valley Boxing Club and Fitness Center, a 501(C)3 located in Coachella, California, who provides free mentoring, training and facilities to over 200 at risk youth daily, free of charge.  He is also on the Advisory Board for California State University Dominquez Hills College of Business and Public Policy as well as supporting the Veteran’s Office.

Mr. Kylis obtained his undergraduate degrees from the University of Illinois and his MBA from California State University.

Kevin is willing to speak on the following topics:

  • Prospective and new Students
  • Military Veteran topics
  • Non-profit management
  • Additional upon request

Mr. Wayne Lee, President - National Ventures, Inc.

Wayne Lee is President of Powertec ( a vertically integrated global Sporting Goods distributor.  He oversees all aspects of the business from manufacturing in China to marketing in Europe.  He was previously a Senior Consultant for Deloitte's Financial Advisory Services ( providing transactional support to large multi-national Fortune 1,000 companies.

He is a founding member of the 1st Chinese speaking chapter based in Shanghai of the Entrepreneurs' Organization ( participating in its Quantum Leap Forum, Asia Bridge, & Pacific Bridge Forum programs.  He is also a Vistage International ( bi-coastal Shanghai & Los Angeles program member, & a 3-Chapter member of the Young Presidents' Organization ( in Beverly Hills, SEA Dragon, & its Global One Chapters.  He Chairs a Global Committee of the Entrepreneurs' Organization & Vice-Chairs the Board of the local MENSA ( chapter.  He sits on the Board of the College of Business Administration & Public Policy @ CSU Dominguez Hills ( where he taught as an Adjunct Professor in International Business.  He has a Masters in International Finance from Columbia University of New York ( & a MBA from the Drucker School of Management at the Claremont Colleges (

His undergraduate degree from the Department of Physics was at the University of California, Berkeley (  He holds a Black Belt in Karate & is a certified Open Water PADI ( SCUBA diver.  He is currently working on his Private Pilot License & lives in both Shanghai & Los Angeles with his daughter.

Mr. Stephen C. Liu, President & Licensed Customs Broker - Pacific Century Customs Service, Inc.

Phone: (310) 755-7618, Email:

Mr. Stephen C. Liu has:

  • 30 years of Customhouse Brokerage experience
  • 25 years of Aerospace/Mechanical Engineering Experience

He has Customs Broker License since 1987 and has professional mechanical engineer license in the State of California. He is active member of Los Angeles Customs Broker and Freight Forwarder Association. He is founder/owner of Pacific Century Customs Service, Inc. in Torrance.

He obtained his undergraduate degree as B.S. from National Taiwan Oceanic University and M. S. of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering from University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri. He is currently board director of the Advisory Board for CSUDH College of Business and Public Policy.

Stephen is willing to speak to students on the following topics:

  • Customer Broker role in imports
  • Customs Entry Overview
  • Career Development

Ms. Janet McCarthy, President & CEO - Goodwill


Ms. Bree Nguyen, Strategic Partner - Facebook


Mr. Robert K. Pittman Jr., Chief Information Security Officer - County of Los Angeles

Mr. Pittman is the County of Los Angeles (County) Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), appointed by the Board of Supervisors’ on September 2008. Previously, he was second-in-command serving as the Assistant CISO for 5 ½ years and has over thirty years of Information Technology experience with the majority being in information security.

He oversees all County departments comprised of thirty-four (34) major departments with a workforce that exceeds 101,000 employees. The County proposed fiscal year 2013-14 budget is $24.7 billion.

As the County’s CISO, he provides leadership and administration in managing a formalized Countywide Information Security Program (Program). The Program establishes policies, standards, and procedures to support the departments to provide their services securely to the County residents. These services are healthcare, social services, general government, law enforcement, and operations for the protection of information, data, and assets entrusted by the 11+ million residents.

On February 29, 2012, he was awarded CISO of the Year by the Info Security Products Guide 2012 Global Excellence Awards presented in San Francisco, CA.

Mr. Pittman is currently completing his Doctoral degree in Public Policy at the University of Southern California (USC) targeting March 2014, where his field of specialization is organizational behavior and culture. His Doctoral and Masters of Public Administration degrees earned academic honors.

Mr. Pittman is a frequent speaker and presenter at numerous information security and Chief Information Officer’s forums. In February 2013, he was the Keynote Speaker at the annual RSA Conference and Trusted Computing Group in San Francisco. Most recently, he presented the County’s Cyber Incident Response Plan at the High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA) International Conference 1st Annual CISO Summit in September 2013 in Nevada.

He has published many book chapters in the annual Information Security Management Handbook series by Auerbach Publications sixth edition – volume 7 (published September 2013), volume 6 (2012), volume 5 (2011), and volume 4 (2010).

Lastly, he serves on many advisory boards and committees: elected member to the Multi-State Information Sharing Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) Executive Committee (elected to a two-year term), California Counties Information Systems Director’s Association (CCISDA) Information Security Forum, Los Angeles Electronic Crimes Task Force, CISO Governing Body, Los Angeles Digital Government Advisory Board, ISSA active member, CSUDH College of Business Administration and Public Policy Advisory Board, and the CSUDH Public Administration Committee Chair, to name a few.

Mr. Shan Sundar, Founder & CEO - Edgesoft, Inc. 


As Founder and CEO of Edgesoft, Sundar is responsible for the overall operations of the company as well as establishing strategic partnerships and overseeing business development. His energy, vision and integrity make Edgesoft a world-class company.

Prior to making his vision a reality in founding Edgesoft, Sundar served as Chief Information Officer for Audio-Digest Foundation, a medical publication company and the largest medical education provider in the world. He has more than 17 years of experience in various industries including healthcare, manufacturing, publications, telecommunications and government, and has trained IT staff at several Fortune 1000 companies.

Mr. Sundar has been a  noted speaker for conferences for Apple Computer, Verizon Wireless, as well as Fire Chief conferences in the USA.

He holds a Master of Science Degree from Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Madras University.

Mr. Sundar is a member of the Millennium Momentum Foundation and a former recipient of the Champion of Diversity Award.

Shan is willing to speak to students on the following topics:

  • Career Development
  • Municipal maturity model thru technology
  • Life balance and meditation
  • Selling to the Government

Mr. John Tonsick, CPA CFE, Director, Forensic Auditing - Broadcom

John Tonsick is a forensic accountant and one of America’s leading experts on fraud. His unique perspective is shaped by more than 30 years of experience as a “Big 4” auditor, consultant and Fortune 50 executive. John is a popular speaker around the globe and has spoken to large corporations and professional organizations such as the California Society of CPAs, American Corporate Counsel Association, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Institute of Internal Auditors and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. He has published numerous articles on the subjects of fraud and corporate governance and is a contributing author to “Fraud Casebook: Lessons from the Bad Side of Business”. He has been interviewed by MSNBC, the Wall Street Journal, CFO Magazine and the Los Angeles Business Journal.

John holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is a past President of the Beach Cities Chapter of the Institute of Internal Auditors. He is also a magician member of the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood.

Mr. Armando Villavicencio, Chairman & CEO - Vilden Associates Inc.


Mr. Erwin D. Walker, Senior Territory Manager - IRS- Large Business & International Division - Communications, Technology and Media

Erwin Walker currently serves as Senior Territory Manager for the IRS' Large Business and International Division's (LB&I's) Western Compliance Practice Area. As Senior Program Manager, Erwin is responsible for overseeing tax compliance operations of large and mid-size business entities headquartered and operating in the Los Angeles and San Diego Metropolitan areas. Erwin previously served as Territory Manager for LB&I's Communications, Technology and Media Industry Group overseeing tax compliance of large business taxpayers within this industry group headquartered and operating in the LA Metropolitan area. Erwin also served as IRS Territory Manager for LB&I's Natural Resources and Construction Industry Group, and the Heavy Manufacturing and Transportation Industry Group wherein he was responsible for overseeing tax compliance operations impacting large and mid-size businesses along the United States' West Coast and in the State of Nevada. Erwin has served as Territory Manager since the inception of the IRS' Large and Mid Size Division in May 2000. Prior to serving as Territory Manager, Erwin was the Examination Branch Chief for the San Bernardino, Palm Springs and El Centro, CA offices in the IRS' former Southern California District.

Erwin also currently serves as the LB&l's National Program Champion for the Aspiring Team Managers' Program wherein he oversees the long-term leadership development of potential LB&I Frontline Managers. He recently served as President of the IRS' California CPA Certification Program where he oversaw the development and certification of IRS agents aspiring to become California licensed CPAs.

Erwin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with an Accounting concentration from Cal State Dominguez Hills, and holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Redlands in Redlands, California. Erwin serves as an Advisory Board Member of Cal State Dominguez Hills' College of Business Administration and Public Policy, and as an Adjunct Faculty Lecturer of Financial Accounting, Managerial Accounting, and Auditing.

Mr. Sanjeev Weerasuriya, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer - Systems Technology, Inc.


Sanjeev Weerasuriya is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Systems Technology, Inc. He is also a board director of the Company and has served as a Trustee for the Employee Stock Ownership Trust. Sanjeev has over 20 years of C-level multinational experience in the manufacturing and the service sectors. He is currently responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company.

In 2005, Sanjeev headed the team to take Systems Technology, Inc to a 100% Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) S Corporation that provides significant tax advantages to the Company. He has a wide range of experience in ESOP’s and has been an advocate for employee ownership speaking at many of the National Conferences.

Sanjeev obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) at California State University, Dominguez Hills. While reading for his degrees he was an active participant of student government and was elected Vice President of the student body.

Sanjeev is willing to speak to students on the following topics:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Business Finance
  • Leadership & Management
  • Marketing & Sales
  • Corporate Governance
  • Career Development

Ms. Patricia Williams, Owner - NKP Management

Patricia Williams was born in New Orleans, Louisiana where she completed high school and then moved to Los Angeles where she graduated from Los Angeles City College with in a degree in Recreational Therapy. She then attended California State University-Los Angeles and attained a Master's Degree in Recreational Therapy. She was employed as a Recreational Therapist at Los Angeles General Hospital and a supervisor of the Department of Rehabilitation's Compton office. When the opportunity became available, she became involved in the McDonald's system as an Owner/Operator of 1 restaurant and with her daughter they now operate 13 restaurants. Patricia's commitment has always been her customers, employees and being an active participant in the communities in which her restaurants are located. The majority of her management staff have been employed for over 15 years. She provides financial recognition to employees attaining academic achievement. Patricia is an active member of:

  • McDonald's Black Owner/Operators’ Association
  • All of the chamber of commerce's in which her restaurants are located
  • Numerous boards and committee's both local, statewide and nationally
  • Ronald McDonald House past board chairperson
  • Recognition of outstanding scholastic achievement for employees and local students
  • Commendations received by numerous Federal, State and local legislative organization