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Monday, July 25, 2005

Delayed for Takeoff

After canning the commission members last week, today brings us the replacements to the Airport Commission.

Sylvia Patsaouras, an urban and environmental planner

Labor Leader Joe Aredas

Allen Rothenberg, a business leader

Fernando Torres-Gil, acting Dean at the UCLA school of Public Affairs

Michael Lawson, an attorney

Valeria Velasco, an attorney, small business owner and president of the Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion. Velasco is also a resident of the LAX-adjacent community of Playa del Rey.

Reappointed is Walter Zifkin, a current commission member and executive with the William Morris Agency.

Story in the Daily Breeze. Below is the full press release:

Mayor Villaraigosa Continues Fresh Start at City Hall With Appointments
to Airport CommissionLeadership Team Will Oversee LAX, Ontario
International, Van Nuys and Palmdale Airports

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 07/25/2005 -- Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa continued his efforts to create a more accountable and ethical government today by appointing candidates with outstanding qualifications to the City's Board of Airport Commissioners. The seven-member Board will get a fresh start with the addition of six new members.

The six new members named by the Mayor include: Sylvia Patsaouras, an experienced urban and environmental planner; labor leader Joe Aredas; Allen Rothenberg, a highly successful executive and business leader; Fernando Torres-Gil, acting Dean at the UCLA school of Public Affairs; Michael Lawson, a successful attorney; and, Valeria Velasco, an attorney, small business owner and president of the Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion. Velasco is also a resident of the LAX-adjacent community of Playa del Rey. Villaraigosa also reappointed Walter Zifkin, a current commission member, community leader and accomplished executive with the William Morris Agency.

"In selecting my team, I looked for people who brought with them a passion for public service, the highest ethical standards, a commitment to aviation security and safety and a shared view that we must expand our regional aviation system rather than relying on LAX alone," said Mayor Villaraigosa. "I am pleased that the best and the brightest have agreed to serve our city and captain one of our region's most important economic engines."

Villaraigosa also discussed his priorities for Los Angeles World Airports, which includes LAX, Ontario International, Van Nuys and Palmdale Regional, and which the Board of Airport Commissioners will oversee.

They include: Safety, specifically increasing the safety of air operations and strengthening efforts to protect our airports from potential terrorist attacks; Developing a regional approach to aviation so that one community alone does not have to shoulder the impact of the region's aviation needs; developing and operating the City's airports in an environmentally sensitive manner; and, maintaining the highest ethical standards possible.

Biographies of the appointees follow:
Joseph Aredas
A native of Los Angeles, Mr. Aredas began his career in the entertainment industry in 1967 at the MGM machine shop as a member of the former Cinetechnicians Union Local No. 789 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States and Canada (I.A.T.S.E.).

In 1980, Mr. Aredas was appointed Assistant Business Representative of I.A.T.S.E. Local No. 695, a position he held for seven years. Soon after, he accepted a position at Consolidated Film Industries (CFI), a Hollywood motion picture film processing laboratory, as Vice President
of Labor Relations. In December of 1997 he left CFI to assume the position of Chief Administrative Officer at the industry's Contract Services Administration Trust Fund which is jointly administered by Producers and the I.A.T.S.E.

In November 1998, Mr. Aredas was appointed by I.A.T.S.E. President Thomas C. Short to serve as the International Representative-in-Charge of the I.A.'s West Coast Office, located in the Los Angeles area.

Mr. Aredas is Vice President of the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, as well as a member of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union (H.E.R.E.); International Association of Machinists (I.A.M.); United Aerospace Workers (U.A.W.); and since 1967 the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes (I.A.T.S.E.). Mr. Aredas serves on the Board of Directors of the Entertainment Industry Development Corporation (EIDC); Motion Picture and Television Fund; Entertainment Industry Foundation; and the California Film

Michael Lawson
A graduate of Loyola University in Los Angeles and Harvard Law School, Mr. Lawson heads the Employee Benefits Group at the Los Angeles office of Skadden Arps LLP. Mr. Lawson works on all facets of executive compensation and employee benefits matters for firm clients, including
stock options and other equity-based compensation plans; tax-qualified and non-qualified pension plans; fiduciary responsibility/prohibited transactions; single and multi-employer plan liability matters; severance agreements and ERISA-related issues in structured finance transactions; bankruptcy proceedings; and proxy contests. Mr. Lawson regularly advises boards of trustees of pension and other employee benefits funds, and boards of directors of financial institutions and of companies sponsoring pension plans concerning their duty of care,
fiduciary responsibilities, conflicts of interest and other statutory duties under state and federal laws. He provides advice in the context of financings, private investment company matters, and merger and acquisition transactions. He also counsels investment advisors. His experience includes advising clients with respect to the structuring and offering of investment vehicles to pension plans and other institutional investors, and the fiduciary obligations of investment managers, trustees and other fiduciaries, including matters involving ERISA litigation, U.S. Department of Labor exemption requests and matters involving the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and other government agencies.

Sylvia Patsaouras
Sylvia Patsaouras is a regional planner at the Southern California Association of Governments. A graduate of the UCLA School of Architecture and Urban Planning with an M.A. degree in Urban Planning, Sylvia was honored by UCLA Latino Alumni Association as the 2002 Alumna of the Year. Sylvia received two Bachelor degrees, Cum Laude, from the California State University at Northridge (Urban Studies and Political Science).

Sylvia has worked with various civic and community groups and has been appointed to city, county, and state boards. She has served on the State of California Speaker's Commission on Regions and on the State of California World Trade Commission. Sylvia also served as a commissioner in the Quality and Productivity Commission for the City of Los Angeles
and was on the Founding Board of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative (LANI), a community-based effort which became a national prototype in neighborhood revitalization. Sylvia served as Commissioner in the Los Angeles Services Authority Commission for the Homeless, a joint city/county commission.

Since 1992, Sylvia has worked as a regional planner at the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), and she is presently the Manager of Environmental Planning at SCAG. Sylvia and her husband Nick have two children and are long-time residents of Tarzana.

Alan Rothenberg
In 1999, Mr. Rothenberg was Chairman, President and CEO of the most successful World Cup in history, the largest single sports event ever. In that capacity, Mr. Rothenberg built an organization from scratch that grew at its peak to 350 full time employees and almost 20,000
volunteers, operating out of 9 venues, plus a headquarters office and a marketing office.
As CEO of the 1994 World Cup, Mr. Rothenberg directed all activities including ticket sales, TV contract negotiations, sponsorship and licensing contract negotiations, stadium negotiations, government relations, international relations, and press relations. In addition, he oversaw major entertainment programs created by the 1994 World Cup including the 3 Tenors concert at Dodger Stadium, a week of separate performances at the Hollywood Bowl, Opening and Closing Ceremonies featuring, among others, Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Jon Secada, and
World Cups Legacy Tour and SoccerFest.

Mr. Rothenberg also served as President of the United States Soccer Federation from 1990-1998, leading the growth of that organization from an annual budget of less than $5 million and with less than 20 employees to an annual budget of over $30 million and over 75 employees. In the process, he negotiated major sponsorship agreements, national television agreements and collective bargaining agreements with mens and womens national teams.

Mr. Rothenberg served as Chairman of the Board of the 1999 FIFA Womens World Cup, which was the largest and most successful women's sports event ever. Other past business experience of Mr. Rothenberg has included work in an executive capacity, for sports teams, cable TV, live
theater and feature film. He has also served on Boards of Directors for many not-for-profit and for-profit companies.

Fernando Torres-Gil
Fernando Torres-Gil is currently serving as Acting Dean at the UCLA School of Public Affairs. He is also the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, serves as Professor of Social Welfare and Public Policy, and is the Director of the Center for Policy Research on Aging. Previously, he
was a Professor of Gerontology and Public Administration at the University of Southern California and continues as an Adjunct Professor of Gerontology at USC.

His academic accomplishments parallel his extensive government and public policy experience. He served as the first-ever Assistant Secretary for Aging in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). He also served as Staff Director of the House of Representatives
Select Committee on Aging (1985-1987), where he administered the legislative and oversight activities of the largest committee in the U.S. Congress; Special Assistant to then-Secretary of Health and Human Services Patricia Roberts Harris (1979-1980); and White House Fellow and
Special Assistant to Joseph Califano, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare (1978-1979). President Carter appointed Dr. Torres-Gil to the Federal Council on Aging (1978).

At the local level, Dr. Torres-Gil was the Vice President of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission (1989-1993) and served as a member of the Harbor Commission (1997-2001) and the Taxi Commission (1996-1997) for the city of Los Angeles.

Dr. Torres-Gil was born and raised in Salinas, California, and is the son of migrant farm workers. He earned his B.A. in Political Science (1970), graduating with honors from San Jose State University, an M.S.W. (1972) and a Ph.D. in Social Policy, Planning and Research (1976) from
the Heller Graduate School in Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

Valeria Velasco
Valeria is a native Californian, born at California Hospital in Los Angeles. She has lived with her husband Frank and their son Frank in Playa del Rey since 1988. Val is a sole practitioner estate planning attorney in Playa del Rey.

Valeria is presently the Vice President of the Westchester Rotary Club, President of the Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion (ARSAC), a member of the Westchester/MDR/LAX Chamber of Commerce and is currently serving on the Los Angeles Superior Court Probate Volunteer Panel. She has served as a Los Angeles Planning Commissioner, Staff Legal Counsel and Hispanic Liaison to former Los Angeles City Councilman
Michael Woo, Assembly Aid/Hispanic Liaison to former Assembly Speaker Mike Roos, a bilingual elementary school teacher, and a Fee Dispute Arbitrator for the State Bar of California.
Valeria earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of West Los Angeles School of Law and a Masters Degree in education from the Claremont Graduate School, and Bachelor of Arts from California State University of Long Beach.

Walter Zifkin
Walter Zifkin, a UCLA graduate, began his career as William Morris in 1963 after working in the CBS legal department. He shifted into management as the William Morris Agency in 1966. Mr. Zifkin was named corporate vice president in 1975, then executive vice president in 1980,
when he joined the board of directors. He was promoted to chief operating officer in 1989.
In 1992, Mr. Zifkin was the chief architect of William Morris' acquisition of Triad Artists, the largest merger of the two talent agencies in entertainment history. In April of 1997, he was named the firm's CEO; and in 2003, Mr. Zifkin was named CEO Emeritus upon his 40th
anniversary with the company.

Mr. Zifkin has additional perspective and experience from his community involvement, which includes service on the Executive Committee of the Board of Cedars-Sinai Health System, the Board of Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services and the Board of the Los Angeles Police Foundation.

He has been a member of the Mayor's Economic Advisory Council for the City of Beverly Hills, the Board of Overseers of The University of Pennsylvania's Center for the Advanced Judaic Studies and, more recently, he joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic Board of Overseers. In
May 2004, Mr. Zifkin was appointed by Mayor James Hahn to the Board of Airport Commissioners, which is the governing body for LAX, Ontario, Van Nuys and Palmdale airports.

Contact: Joe Ramallo(818) 415-3134
Janelle Erickson (310) 614-0289

SOURCE: Los Angeles World Airports


Blogger Phil Krakover said:

Pretty solid appointments, I should say.

Antonio is off to a great start, keeping the best Commissioner and adding a bunch of new, good ones.

Compliments to The Mayor and the Chief of Staff.

July 25, 2005 2:50 PM  

Anonymous noel park said:

Having had the honor of working with Val Velasco in the past, I am thrilled to see that she has been appointed to the Airport Commission.

She is a tireless warrior in defense of her community, and of all of us in the city, at the end of the day.

If anyone can effectively advocate for a true regional solution to airport issues, it must be Val.

Well done MAV and staff.

At the end of the Riordan Harbor Commission, Mr. Torres-Gil collaborated with then Commission President John Wentworth to produce a ground breaking document concerning the Port's responsibilities to the surrounding communities.

I have no doubt that he will bring these same ideas forward to the Airpot Commission, in which case the city will be well served.

I don't know anything about the rest of the Commissioners, but these two are very encouraging.

I only hope that MAV will do equally as well with his Harbor Commission.

July 25, 2005 2:52 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

LA Times article on Antonio's appt.s of commissioners buries Cynthia Ruiz and John Mack way at the end in the last 2 paragraphs. These paragraphs should have been leading the story

July 25, 2005 2:58 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I wonder, How much they donated to his Mayoral campaign? I know Nick Pastouras gave AV a nice fat check

July 25, 2005 3:24 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hmmm Sylvia and her husband were early campaign contributors - thought we wouldnt see that anymore!

July 25, 2005 3:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What do you expect of the Times? Nothing but softballs for MAV. Failed to even mention Ruiz is his kids Godmother as if they didn't know.

July 25, 2005 3:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Sylvia and Nick know transportation issues better than anyone in the region so i could care less if they gave plus they are very close friends of the Mayor and his family.

July 25, 2005 3:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

They know how to rape the taxpayers. More like it.

If they are such wonderful transportation experts wouldn't you think you would have seen more of them the last couple of years.

July 25, 2005 3:36 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

It is unrealistic to expect Antonio to shy away from appointing qualified citizens to commissions just because they supported him or contributed to his campaign. What is he supposed to do, appoint Hahn contributors? Gimme a break. What you should look for is a smart, credentialed and diverse group of people to lead these important city agencies. That is what he has done here. Congratulations to the Mayor and his chief of staff.

July 25, 2005 3:54 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I find it hilarious that you are all prasing MAV for appointing people in the exact same manner that Hahn did.

Speaking of Mayor Poopy, what ever happened to his pathetic staff?

July 25, 2005 4:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I know where Nick Patsouras has spent at least part of his time during the last couple of years. "consulting" for LAUSD on a new school construction project at Wilshire and Vermont (Huizar's district).

July 25, 2005 4:17 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Criticize Hahn for patronage in appointments to get yourself elected and then do the same or worse yourself and slap yourself on the back for picking qualified people. Uh, like Cynthia Ruiz???

And since when should union reps not be considered to be lobbying for anything? Amazing.

This administration is the same as the last and the one before that. Only the names have been changed. Well, not so much as half the people downtown as ex-Riordan. Even Hahn didn't require undated resignation letters like Riordan. Somehow, this policy is not a step toward the future, but is instead revisiting the past.

July 25, 2005 4:24 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Nick Pacheco, Esq. should have been appointed to the Airport Commission. Nobody knows aviation policy better, and nobody is more responsible with taxpayer dollars.

July 25, 2005 5:33 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Cindy Miscikowski should have been appointed to the airport commission.

July 25, 2005 5:49 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

James Acevedo should have been appointed. Nobody knows how to follow the letter of the law better. But perhaps he will be appointed to the Ethics Commission, where his services are needed most.

July 25, 2005 5:57 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Forget Miscikowski, David Voss should have been kept on the Commission. Voss read every page of the Master Plan and argued for the right things on the Commission. He was trying to make positive changes to LAWA... much needed changes. Removal of Voss was a huge mistake.

July 25, 2005 6:22 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Anon 5:57 - you're kidding, right? God help us if you're not!

July 25, 2005 6:25 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

hertzberg is pushing to put the mayor in control of LAUSD. This way he can get legal work from LAUSD and not break the rules about city contracting - mayor sam is learning.

July 25, 2005 7:09 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

James Acevedo should have been appointed...
July 25, 2005

Well maybe if Villaraigosa doesn't act on some of these commissions, Padilla will do the honors and hook his godfather up.

July 25, 2005 7:48 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

In today's LA Times Noam Levy states that Antonio's administration won't be like the last one. He points out how Antonio will be different in selecting. Well, Antonio has already failed to clean up city hall with friends and family like he promised. Levy shows he's another Jessica Villargarrison burying the most important part of his story of Cynthia Ruiz being a family member and appointed to the only PAID COMMISSIONER POST making $108, per year. Levy even states that Antonio won't appoint anyone who supported his campaign. That goes out the window as well with John Mack who not only endorsed him but got him a lot of black votes.

ANTONIO IS A HYPOCRITE. It's amazing he's doing the same thing he accused Hahn of and the dumb reporters we have in LA are too afraid to print the truth

July 25, 2005 9:04 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I'd like to see Hertzberg as a harbor commissioner.

July 25, 2005 9:16 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Anon 9:04
You sound like a sore loser. Give it up buddy.
The mayor has, so far, made good in his pledge to bring in the best and the brightest to city government. We are seeing some fresh faces. He gets kudos for persuading heavyweights like Alan Rothenberg on to a city commission. It is his winning prerogative to have chosen a Cynthia (payback is a bitch) Ruiz in the mix.

July 25, 2005 10:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


David Freeman would never want Hertzberg on the Harbor Commission.

What's more, Antonio has not said word one to let any of us believe that "The partnership is back", as articulated by Hertzberg. Takes two to tango...

No, Huggy is fading into the never-never land,as he did with Ahnold.

The man wears out his welcome wherever he goes. Wonder why?

July 25, 2005 10:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

i know why hertzbert falls out of welcome where ever he goes

He is a fat fuck, like his father (who he fucken sued) before him.

Now, if only more girls at the vu could say

"I am a jedi like brooklyn before me" the valley would be better for handies.

July 25, 2005 11:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hilarious about Acevedo. Hilarious about Hertzberg. I love the sense of humor.

Incidentally, Hahn's staff is all over the place. Look around you. AV hired lots of them. He's not stupid. Quite the opposite.

July 26, 2005 12:31 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

AV was begging for Hertzberg's support. He couldn't have won the valley without it.

Okay, Hertzberg is a little heavy on the hugs, but he has a brain and knows what "hard work" is. Not like these lazyasses that let everyone else work and think for them. Uhhhh, like Hahn, for instance.

Even a politician should expect to have to come to the table with at least half a brain.

And who's the airhead that put Acevedo and Ethics Commission in the same sentence. If Acevedo knew anything about ethics, he would have counseled Nick Tonsich, former President of the Harbor Commission, against all his conflicts of interest.

Ethics is a lost concept in LA. City of Angels, my ass!

July 26, 2005 8:22 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Would someone please tell the LAWA IT dept. to get those pictures down of the former Commisioners? Just leave a "vacant" spot until you get the new pictures.

It is misleading to have people go to the site and try to contact someone that no longer has any authority.

July 26, 2005 9:30 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

8:22 poster

Although I agree with you about ethics and the city of Angels being bullshit, I disagree about Hertzberg.

The valley Republicans would have voted for Antonio for no other reason than secession.

The Democrats voted for him because he was endorsed by the Democratic Party and bringing John Kerry here swayed all on-the-fence Democrats.

One of Jim Hahn's biggest mistakes was to fight secession as hard as he did. It didn't have a snowballs chance in hell of winning. He should have stayed neutral.

July 26, 2005 9:39 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

You are absolutely right, Hahn should have stayed neutral on secession.....yet he thinks of its failure as one of his biggest accomplishments. Poor boy.

July 26, 2005 3:49 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I hate to have to get back on topic, but looks like Cardenas is none too pleased with the selections and now Delgadillo is going to dig into the easy to spot conflict for the Arsac/Westchester appointee. When will MAV pull the plug rather than get raked over the coals? Check the Z piece in today's Daily Breeze!

July 26, 2005 6:54 PM  

Anonymous Curious said:

Any update on new changes at LAWA?

July 27, 2005 2:37 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


[b]Airport Panel Nominee Quits Group[/b]
By Jennifer Oldham
Times Staff Writer

August 2, 2005

A Playa del Rey resident whom Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa nominated to the Airport Commission last week has resigned as president of a community group that sued to challenge the city's $11-billion modernization plan for Los Angeles International Airport.

Valeria Velasco announced Monday that she had stepped down as head of the Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion.

Her nomination was questioned last week by the Chamber of Commerce and by City Councilman Tony Cardenas, who expressed concern that her role with the organization was a conflict of interest and would preclude her from fully carrying out her duties as a commissioner.

Cardenas has asked City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo for an opinion on whether Velasco's resignation was enough to remove any possible conflict of interest. The council, which must approve Villaraigosa's nominees, is expected to discuss them next month.

Velasco said that voters amended the City Charter several years ago to include two seats on the Airport Commission for community representatives who live near LAX and Van Nuys Airport, which is also operated by the Los Angeles airport agency.

August 03, 2005 10:02 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hi, It is Albin Parda

Pick me for city council district 14, I rule the Chamber of Commerce & LA32 Neighborhood Council, good friend of Huizar, and best pal with Villaraigosa.

My other friends,

The Greater El Sereno Chamber of Commerce


President - Alvin D. Parra (Milagro Strategies)

Vice President - Santos Rodriguez (United Commer. Bank)

Treasurer - Maria Franco (El Palmar Banquet Hall)

Secretary - Kristina Hooper (Cal State Federal Credit Union)

PR Director - George Medinilla (EastLosAngeles.Net)

Buisness Rep-at-Large - Enrique Aguilera (Michoacana Barber)

Community Re-at-Large - Yvonne Lopez

August 04, 2005 12:53 AM  

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