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Lynn Reaser Point Loma Nazarene University

Lynn Reaser, Ph.D., is chief economist for Point Loma Nazarene University at the Fermanian Business & Economic Institute. The institute engages in economic analysis, modeling and forecasting with practical and actionable recommendations for corporations, nonprofit organizations and government agencies.

Reaser has deep experience in the financial services sector, including work during the past 10 years as chief economist of the Investment Strategies Group at Bank of America (NYSE: BAC). In this role, she provided the global and U.S. economic framework for investment strategy for high net-worth, institutional and brokerage clients, encompassing more than $500 billion under management.

At Bank of America, she delivered approximately 100 client presentations per year and conducted 200-600 media interviews annually, including newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, wire services and the Internet.

Reaser is active in many professional organizations, including serving as current president of the National Association for Business Economics. She has been an adviser to many government policy officials and currently a member of the Council of Economic Advisors for California's State Controller. Reaser received her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Gary London The London Group Realty Advisors

Gary London is president of The London Group Realty Advisors, a diversified real estate strategic advisory, development management, investment, capital access and analysis firm whose clients include investors, developers, lenders and public agencies.

In practice as an analyst and strategic adviser for four decades, London is well known throughout the United States as a counsel to many of the nation’s largest investors, lenders and practitioners. He has a reputation as a prescient, forward thinker who translates opportunities (or problems) into profits.

London is an instructor at The Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, University of San Diego as well as an adjunct professor at Arizona State University’s graduate program in real estate development. He had taught at the University of California, San Diego Extension for 24 years. Previously, he was west region director of real estate consulting for Price Waterhouse and executive director of The Goodkin Group. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and received his master’s degree from San Diego State University.

A “Distinguished Toastmaster” in Toastmasters International, London speaks regularly to industry and business organizations, frequently writes and is often quoted in the media, and is a columnist for the San Diego Business Journal. He is also featured in The Union-Tribune’s weekly “EconoMeter,” sharing his views on the economic issues of our time.

He was featured on CBS Evening News “Eye On America” for his commentary on the real estate market, and has testified before the House of Representatives Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs.


Joye Blount U.S. Bank

As a wealth management adviser with the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank, Joye Blount helps successful individuals and their families meet their unique financial needs. She builds long-term relationships by offering insight and advice touching on all aspects of her client’s financial affairs. Blount coordinates a carefully selected team of specialists to ensure that her clients fully benefit from the comprehensive capabilities and solutions the Wealth Management Group has to offer.

Blount has more than 17 years of experience in banking, including philanthropic management, strategic communications, personnel management, private wealth management, trust and investments. She holds a FINRA Series 7, 66 certifications in addition to a Six Sigma Green Belt certification. She has earned numerous national business and community awards and nominations, including the YWCA Twin Award, Women Who Mean Business Award and Women Who Move the City Award. She has served as a United Nations Official Observer for the Mexican presidential election in 2001 and 2006. She is also a graduate of the FBI Citizen’s Academy and earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Winthrop University and a master’s degree in leadership from The University of North Carolina.

Active in the San Diego community, Blount serves on the boards of The Point Loma Nazarene University President’s Advisory Board, Point Loma Nazarene University School of Business Advisory Board, The Salk Institute Community Advisory Board, Voices for Children Advisory Board and The United Way Women’s Leadership Council. Most recently she was appointed by the mayor to serve on the Balboa Park Conservancy Task Force. She is also an active volunteer with The San Diego Symphony, The San Diego Futures Foundation and The Zoological Society of San Diego.

Blount Joye resides in San Diego with her husband, Jessie J. Knight Jr.


Chris Hess Lusardi Construction Co.

Chris Hess has been with Lusardi Construction Co. since 1989, and has served as vice president of operations since 1998. He is responsible for project management coordination and oversight.

Hess has also headed up Lusardi's Estimating Department, where he was responsible for coordination of all competitive-bid estimates, negotiated estimates, subcontractor contacts and evaluation and contract procurement after bid.

Among other duties, Hess is responsible for personnel relations matters for the company. For the past two years he has assisted the company with the preparation and implementation of anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies, as well as having participated in the presentation of training workshops and classes for employees.

He is a graduate of Kansas State University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in construction science in 1988. He also serves on the Construction Education and Construction Tech Academy Advisory committees of the Associated General Contractors, San Diego Chapter; the Point Loma Nazarene University Business Advisory Board; and is a member of the Kansas State University Foundation Presidents Club.

Hess resides in Carlsbad with his wife and daughter.


Rear Adm. William D. French U.S. Navy

A graduate of Vanderbilt University with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, Rear Adm. William French was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Program in May 1979. He earned an M.S. degree from Naval Postgraduate School in 1986 and an M.A. from the Naval War College in 1999.

A submarine officer and graduate of the Navy’s Nuclear Power Training, French has served at sea in USS Spadefish (SSN 668), as operations officer in USS Sea Devil (SSN 664), and engineer in USS Tecumseh (SSBN 628). He served as executive officer of USS Helena (SSN 725) and commanded USS Salt Lake City (SSN 716), homeported in San Diego.

Ashore, French served as submarine officer community manager at the Bureau of Naval Personnel; as deputy commander of Submarine Squadron 11; as chief of the Strategy and Policy Division at U.S. Strategic Command in Omaha, Neb.; as director, Submarine Officer Distribution and Nuclear Propulsion Program at the Bureau of Naval Personnel; and commanded Submarine Squadron 3 in Pearl Harbor. During his squadron command tour, all six of the squadron's submarines deployed, five of which conducted operations in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

French’s first flag officer assignment was serving as commander, Navy Region Northwest, followed by command of Navy Region Marianas while concurrently serving as U.S. Defense representative to Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and Republic of Palau. French currently serves as Commander, Navy Region Southwest.

His awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, four awards of the Legion of Merit, three Meritorious Service Medals, four Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.


Mike Mellace Mellace Family Brands Inc.

Mike Mellace is the CEO and co-founder of Mellace Family Brands Inc., a snack food innovator known for a diverse product line that includes tree nuts, peanuts, snack mixes and enrobed chocolate items. Mellace is an experienced entrepreneur with proven results and a leader in the snack industry.

Mellace was born to immigrant parents in Rome, N.Y., and began work in the family corner produce store at the age of 6. He attended SUNY Brockport, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He then went on to receive his CPA license, as well as an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix. In 2001, he co-founded Mama Mellace’s, a small almond-roasting side business, which grew into Mellace Family Brands, a nationally branded, specialty snack food manufacturer and marketer.

Mellace’s integrity and work ethic has propelled the company’s growth, placing it on the Inc. 5,000 list of the Fastest Growing Companies in America in 2007 and 2009. He also earned Entrepreneur of the Year award recognitions from both the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce and Ernst & Young as a finalist for San Diego in 2007.

Mellace is committed to make social responsibility a top priority. He is the executive director of The Mama Cares Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which has provided assistance to many individuals, families and organizations in need. This assistance has ranged from disaster relief due to hurricanes and volcano eruptions in Indonesia, to feeding more than 1,000 local families during the holiday season. Mama Cares Foundation has also recently focused efforts on eliminating severe acute malnutrition, the underlying cause of death of millions of children around the world every year. Mellace is passionate about nourishing hope on a global basis, and it is his hope that in a generation or less, this dreaded disease will be entirely wiped out.

He is also closely involved with organizations such as Growers First, Barnabas Group, Big Brothers and Sisters, Opportunity International and others.

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