The Mentor Workshop Live

Friday, July 23rd, 2021

Meet the Mentors

Arts & Entertainment

Bradley Kaye

Principal Art Director

Disney Parks Live Entertainment

Brad has been with the Walt Disney Company for the last two decades. As the Principal Art Director, he leads a team of 22 art directors and graphic designers who are responsible for the live entertainment at the Disneyland Resort. In addition, his design work can be seen at the California resort, as well as Florida, Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and all four cruise ships.

Outside of Disney, Brad has also designed for various theatres around Los Angeles, New York , on tour and on the open seas. He is the recipient of many design acknowledgements including the Lifetime Design from Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle and the Legacy Award from Disney.

He received his Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University and his MFA from California State University – Long Beach.

Darion Lowenstein

Chief Marketing Officer

Secret Code LLC

Darion is a 25 year entertainment industry veteran, with over 80 launched video games across console and mobile, and revenues exceeding $6 Billion. He's produced, directed, and was an executive at companies like EA, Activision, Rockstar Games, and has helped create mobile publishers like Scopely and Gamblit Gaming. He's a gaming expert and speaker featured on every major US TV Network and publications like The New York Times, Wall St. Journal, IGN, Mashable, USA Today, and Game Informer. He's currently a full time consultant based in Los Angeles.

J.J. Michaels

Model, actor, holistic health entrepreneur, multicultural philanthropist and originator of The Heaven On Earth Movement

Secret Code LLC

J.J. Michaels is a professional model, actor, holistic health entrepreneur, multicultural philanthropist and originator of The Heaven On Earth Movement. Having grown up in rural South Georgia, in a home full of addiction and domestic violence, his living testament is that we are not confined to any circumstance, despite what our current surroundings may be. We have the power to overcome and to persevere! His mission is to be a living contribution to Heaven On Earth, and his vision is clean air, water, and soil for all humankind in his lifetime.

John Jamieson Michaels Jr.


Hiram H. Smith

Event Design & Management

President and Creative Director of HiramStyle INC

Hiram H. Smith, President and Creative Director of HiramStyle INC - one of the most respected event design and management companies in the Houston area- is a native of New Orleans, LA. The son of outstanding educators, SMith attended local public schools and studied Public Relations at Xavier University. After briefly pursuing entertainment ventures, he focused his innate creative gifts on award-winning decor, which he had successfully incorporated into an event production business, when Hurricane Katrina struck. In 2005, Smith and his family, whose homes had been destroyed, relocated to Houston. Having lost everything but his dream, Smith re-launched his company in Houston as HiramStyle LLC< a name he chose to connect him personally to the high-end standards of his brand. He credits faith, hard work, and tremendous support from the private and public sectors in his adopted city for his acceptance and growth. Over the past 12 years, HiramStyle- with offices in Houston and New Orleans- has become an authentic local, regional, national and international success story. It is a full-service professional event production, design and management company, specializing in top-tier presentations for a diverse group of individual, corporate, and organizational clients. His work translates a passion for excellence and attention to detail into customized event styling services with signature elegance, including distinctive floral treatments, designed to elevate any gathering. The current and past client roster includes Oprah Winery's OWN Network, Monami Entertainment, Mona Scott-Young, Shawn Young, BET, Black Enterprise, Live Nation, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, The Honorable Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston, WH1, Eastern TV, TVOne, INTEL, National Urban League, ExxonMobiil, 100 Black Men, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, and Zeta Phi Beta Sororities, the Links Organization, AARP, the Hall Law Firm, Bishop TD Jakes, The Fountain of Praise and the Prayer Institute. Also, the Office of the Mayor of New Orleans, National Shriners' Convention, United Airlines, Bayou Classic, National Association of Market Developers, Southern and Dillard Universities, Odyssey Media Network and many other celebrity, corporate, political and religious organizations.

Throughout his career, Smith has embraced giving back to the community, particularly young people. From the Fashion Lab, which harnessed the creativity of hundreds of at-risk youth in post-Katrina New Orleans, to his recent launch with other concerned entities of The Authorized Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to assisting disadvantaged multi-ethnic urban youth and young adults in Houston through mentorship, transformational leadership, STEM training and exposure, he continues to support coming generations. "I am committed to giving my best to the community that welcomed me, gave me the opportunity that welcomed me, gave me the opportunity to rebuild my career and dream even larger dreams," he says. In addition to the 2018 Top 50 Black Professionals and Entrepreneurs of Texas Award and was a 2016 recipient ofThe Pinnacle Award presented by the Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, The 100 Black Men Metropolitan Houston Chapter and Delta Sigma Pi Fraternity.

Avery Chernin

Head of New Product Development

Accelerated Intelligence

In charge of turning new product ideas into reality, Avery is head of product development at Accelerated Intelligence, a company that specializes in competing in e-commerce marketplaces.
Avery is a 2x LEAP student, 3x LEAP coach, and this will be his third time as a LEAP mentor.


Lamont Cole


Charter School Management

His passion for education led him to complete a Baccalaureate of Arts from Louisiana State University and later a Master of Education from Southern University in Administration and Supervision. He has served as the Assistant Principal at Westdale Middle and McKinley Middle Magnet, and principal at Park Forest Middle School and Capitol Middle school in East Baton Rouge Parish. His last assignment as principal was for The Community School for Apprenticeship Learning, known to most in the Baton Rouge areas as CSAL, which is a 6-8 grade charter middle school in Baton Rouge where he worked diligently to improve education for inner-city youth leading it to be one of the top performing charter schools in the state of Louisiana. He currently serves as the CAO of CSAL INC., which is a charter management group operating three charter schools in the state of Louisiana where he guides the instructional programming at each school.

His passion for education led him to complete a Baccalaureate of Arts from Louisiana State University and later a Master of Education from Southern University in Administration and Supervision. He has served as the Assistant Principal at Westdale Middle and McKinley Middle Magnet, and principal at Park Forest Middle School and Capitol Middle school in East Baton Rouge Parish. His last assignment as principal was for The Community School for Apprenticeship Learning, known to most in the Baton Rouge areas as CSAL, which is a 6-8 grade charter middle school in Baton Rouge where he worked diligently to improve education for inner-city youth leading it to be one of the top performing charter schools in the state of Louisiana. He currently serves as the CAO of CSAL INC., which is a charter management group operating three charter schools in the state of Louisiana where he guides the instructional programming at each school.


Gary Dorfman


Beacon Pointe

Gary is a founding partner of Pacific Pointe Advisors, bringing 25 years of investment management experience to the company. He has been an innovator in the financials service industry creating wealth management platforms for several large financial institutions. He helped build Sanford C. Bernstein west coast practice as well as holding senior management positions for Robertson Stephens and Lincoln Financial Advisors. He was also the CO-Founder/ CEO of ecopod, a green company that developed environmentally friendly products. Gary received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California Santa Barbara, with a dual emphasis in Business Economics and Political Science. He has also served on the Investment Committee for the Bower Foundation of Santa Barbara, and a member of the Advisory Board for the Dream Foundation of Santa Barbara. He is the proud father of Tyler, Ava, and Colby.

Ron Cloud

Retired Chief Executive Officer

Cirrus Enterprises, LLC

Raised in Kansas City, Missouri, I have a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Missouri - Columbia. My career spanned 15 years with Shell Oil Company and then 25 years, as owner and CEO of E.V. Roberts. EVR was a premier niche materials supplier to the aerospace, automotive, sporting goods and specialty industrial markets. I successfully led the transition of the 80-year-old company through contemporary business approaches and technologies and built a top leadership team. The company grew with record revenues and profits year-over-year until sold to a private equity-backed competitor, Graco Supply (Texas) in 2019. GracoRoberts is now North America’s largest specialty chemical distributor to the aerospace markets; commercial, defense and space. I retired from an operating role. I am now an active public and private investor, including early stage cutting edge and evolving technologies such as Genomics, Blockchain/Cryptocurrency, Artificial Intelligence, Space, Animal Health, Facial Recognition and Software Apps.

I am an active member of peer leadership organizations, YPO, CEO and Tiger 21, including Chapter and Regional leadership roles. I served on the Board of Palos Verdes Performing Arts leading the development of a new entertainment series called PV Live!! to attract a new generation of audiences and financial donors to the Norris Theater and Pavilion. I serve on the Board of Jack Kramer Club. I have supported local politics, including Rancho Palos Verdes City Council and California 66th District Assembly District. We are active parents in supporting, fundraising and overall volunteering to support our daughters’ schools and our Palos Verdes community since 2002.

For extra credit and fun, I might add I am also the World’s Most Interesting Man:
* Once, while sailing around the world, I discovered a shortcut!
* My business card simply says "I'll call you"!
* I received the Lifetime Achievement Award...Twice!
* I bowl overhand!
* I am fluent in all languages, including three that only I speak!
* I once had an awkward moment just to know how it feels!
* The police often question me just because they find me interesting!
* My passport requires no photograph!
* I live vicariously through myself!

Michael Savvides

Chapter Director

Startup Grind

Michael Savvides is a South African born Tech-Entrepreneur. With a background that includes co-founding a tech-startup in South Africa. Michael's work experience brought him to work for Maersk, a global fortune 500 organization. Michael has had opportunity to live and work in various countries with people from different cultures and backgrounds. Michael's academic background consists of 4 degrees and two of them being a Masters Degrees, one being a Masters in Engineering and another MBA from the University of Manchester Business School in the UK, making him a diverse individual with a unique academic and professional background. Michael's most recent work consisted of him designing COVID_19 laboratories and starting a Health-Tech company called Compound Health. Michael is also the Chapter Director for Startup Grind West LA. Home to one of the biggest chapters in the world, with over 7000 members a part of our community. As a Chapter Director, he forms part of a community of leaders that bring together all of our global communities into the largest network of entrepreneurs, technologists, investors, and students, connecting unique communities.

Patrick Netter


On The Muv

Jean-Patrick Netter  is an American inventor, entrepreneur, author, and founder of the tech branding company, Netter Marketing Group. The firm specializes in introducing breakthrough tech fitness, health and lifestyle products. Clients have included Nike, Panasonic, Seiko and American Express.

Netter is perhaps best known in the media as the fitness equipment expert, the Gear Guru. He is the inventor of the world's first seated mini treadmill. He has been granted two patents and over 15 trademarks including miniTREAD, MUV, Sitmill, iBoomer, and VIREXIT.

Netter is the author of the book, Patrick Netter's High-Tech Fitness (Workman Publishing). He has been a featured guest expert in media outlets including The Today Show, Inc. Magazine, The Washington Post, Daily Motion, GQ, Better Homes and Gardens, Bottom Line Personal, The NY times, LA times, Sports Illustrated, Market Watch, NewsWire, and others.

Cleve Dunn, Jr.

CEO & President of Dunn Enterprises

Real Estate, entertainment, hair care & the arts

Cleve Dunn, Jr. is a visionary entrepreneur, coalition builder, strategic thinker and community leader in the city of Baton Rouge, La. At home he is husband and father. He married his high school sweet heart; Stacy Posey Dunn. They have two daughters, Malaysia, 18 and Aniya, 16. Cleve Dunn, Jr. has the eye and ear of policy makers and business leaders who have come to respect him as a strategic manager and acute negotiator due to his contributions to economic development, state and local government, civic engagement and empowerment throughout Baton Rouge and Louisiana. He was born in Baton Rouge and raised in the North Baton Rouge community of Scotlandville and neighborhood of Banks. Cleve graduated from Capitol High School in 1995. He attended Southern University and A&M College and received his Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University.

. Cleve is the CEO/President of Dunn Enterprises, which manages a diverse project portfolio including real estate investments, logistics, entertainment, hair care and the arts. Mr. Dunn is a sought-after business and political consultant, providing expertise and analysis to nonprofit organizations, businesses, entrepreneurs, and political candidates. Cleve and Stacy under the umbrella of Dunn Enterprises have guided the development of a logistics company; Runners Courier Services, a hair salon; Sadenae’ Hair Studio, a promotions company; La Posh Promotions, and a dance studio; Danse Noir Studio. These endeavors have created numerous jobs and income opportunities for citizens of Baton Rouge. Cleve’s entrepreneurship path began in the late 90’s, while Stacy worked as a hair care product platform artist and cosmetologist; Cleve was a hair care product distributor for Dudley, Bonner Brothers, and Vision Hair Products. He later started promoting some of their regional and national events including the Bonner Brother’s International Trade Show. The Dunn’s would set up a product booth where Cleve—as consummate salesman—moved products and Stacy, along with other platform artists, showed buyers how to apply them and create new styles


Bernd Kroeber

Creative Director


Throughout his career, Bernd Kroeber's signature romanticism and infusion of sensual elements into clean modern designs have shaped the many brands in his portfolio and continues to transform women's fashion.
As a young man, Bernd began working for top international fashion houses, receiving numerous honors involving his work, including the Italian Oscar de la Mode, a Teen’s Choice Award and was part of the teams who created the official uniforms for Lufthansa Airlines and for the German national soccer team.

His distinguished career in fashion began at the University of Hanover and at Central Saint Martins in London, where he received traditional training in draping, sewing, pattern making and sketching. Bernd refined his skills under Tom Gilbey in made-to-measure Savile Row tailoring, before working as a Design Assistant at Hussein Chalayan and Donna Karan.
In his eight years at Strenesse, he rose from Junior Designer to eventually become Design Director. He later worked as Design Director for Elie Tahari. Bernd’s clear vision and leadership skills delivered notable successes at each of these brands, earning him quick promotion and widespread industry recognition.
In 2008, he brought his passion and extensive experience to his role as Design Director for the BCBGMAXAZRIA GROUP, garnering both industry and consumer acclaim for his designs. As Vice President of Design, Bernd established the romantic, eclectic aesthetic of BCBGeneration, BCBGMAXAZRIA GROUP’s youngest brand.
In 2017, Bernd was named Executive Vice President of Design and Creative Director for all brands. He oversaw all aspects of design for BCBGMAXAZRIA, Herve Leger and BCBGeneration.
His aspiration - to create captivating styles that appear effortless – unites these three unique brands, setting forth a distinct vision for their future.
In January 2021, Bernd Kroeber founded his own fashion house B2Klab (BORN 2 KREATE), a kreative laboratory. The men and women’s collections are luxury comfort wear, focusing on simplicity, flexibility, and comfort.
Bernd Kroeber is known as a brand leader with a unique combination of creative assents and business acumen. He has a keen sense of the global marketplace which has enabled him to build brands from concept to consumer by staying true to the brand DNA

Law & Government

Robert Freeman

Attorney/Judge Pro Tem

Robert A. Freeman, Esq. grew up in Southern California’s South Bay area. After graduating from Rolling Hills High School in Palos Verdes, he attended California State University, Long Beach where he was Law Society President, an Associate Justice for the Rules & Ethics Court, President of College Republicans, and a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society. He graduated with honors and earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Marketing.

He then attended California State University, Dominguez Hills. He graduated with honors and earned a Master’s Degree in Negotiations and Conflict Resolution.

Thereafter, he attended Loyola Law School and was a member of the Law Tenure Committee, Student Bar, and Committee on Student Discipline. He earned his Juris Doctor in May1997 and was admitted to the California Bar on December 12, 1997. He certified as General Counsel with the State Bar of Nevada on February 16, 2006.

Upon completion of his legal academic training, he began my career as a trial lawyer. However, since 2004 he has served as both in-house and outside General Counsel for several companies in both Southern California and Nevada.

In addition to the traditional practice of law, Mr. Freeman has been fortunate to enjoy a diverse and extensive background. Some of his more notable accomplishments include:

Temporary Judge for the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles

Certified Mediator for the Supreme Court of Nevada

Appointed by the Supreme Court of Nevada as a trainer for incoming mediators

Member - State Bar of Nevada Disciplinary Commission

Public Defender for the Shoshone Paiute tribes in Nevada, Idaho and Oregon;

1st Lieutenant California State Guard, JAG Corp

Instrumental in creating the military lounge at McCarran Airport

Board Member for several 501(c) (3) corporations

Merit Badge Counselor for the Boy Scouts of America

Student Mentor for the Entrepreneurial Program at CSUDH

General Counsel for a $5B casino project in North Las Vegas

Loss Prevention and Risk Management Consultant for the City of Newport Beach, CA

Host of “Can We Talk” - a streaming radio program with over 300,000 listeners

Dann Moss


Law offices of N. Dan Moss/Carpe Diem Group

Dann Moss is an experienced Producer, Entertainment Attorney, Personal Manager and Senior Executive. Dann recently produced Israel’s 70th Anniversary Gala Concert and Two-Hour TV Special in Jerusalem on May 13th which aired last fall on Trinity Broadcast Network (TBN).

This year Dann co-founded Audioshere with Nelle Nugent. AUDIOSPHERE will actively engage audiences in fully dramatized stories that are written, performed, and directed by multi-cultural, A-list talent, using state-of-the-art, binaural technology to capture imaginary universes.

Public Relations

Candis Melamed


Spotlight Communications Group

Spotlight Communications Group was founded by Candis Melamed. Candis graduated Magna Cum Laude, from California State University, Northridge. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, with a major in Public Relations and minor in Marketing. Candis’ immense drive and undying enthusiasm for the health and beauty industry led her to form a results-driven boutique Public Relations firm, named M.S. & Associates. Her firm was successful in achieving an extraordinary amount of quality media placement for various celebrity physicians, day spas and beauty products. Candis quickly gained a reputation for being the quintessential "Pitch Guru." Over the years, she has prided herself on conceptualizing exceptionally unique story ideas that get her clients noticed and remembered by key editors, producers and writers. Throughout her career, Candis has fostered an array of notable media relationships, resulting in long-term public relations successes for her clientele. Despite the success Candis achieved for her clients, she knew she could offer a more effective way to fulfill her clients overarching marketing needs. Over the years, Candis observed that in almost ever case, each client hired different professionals to serve individual marketing needs. Time after time, Candis noticed that these "team" members did not function as a team at all. It seemed almost impossible for communication between each consultant to be fluid and for everyone to be moving in the same direction. The result was that the collective marketing was often disjointed and the client did not benefit from the results that the group should have been able to achieve. Out of frustration from seeing how the client was always the one who ended up paying the price for this ineffective structure, along with her continued commitment to deliver exceptional results, Candis decided to expand her firm to a full service, PR, Marketing & Communications agency. The company was aptly renamed Spotlight Communications Group and today clients are now benefiting from kind of results they came to expect from Candis, in all aspects of their marketing.

Real Estate

Tony Azzi


The Azzi Group

As the founder of The Azzi Group and Executive Managing Director Investments at Marcus & Millichap, Tony is consistently ranked as one of the top investment agents in the country because of his dedication to his clients -- ranking #1 agent nationwide in multifamily and 4th overall. Tony’s veteran insight and skills ensure that all of his clients enjoy the best possible outcomes and experience. Tony is a specialist in commercial real estate property throughout Southern California with an emphasis on multifamily and retail investments. He is a Senior Director in Marcus & Millichap’s National Multi Housing Group and a Director of both the National Retail Group and Special Assets Services groups.

Experience & Achievements: Tony Azzi brings more than 30 years of experience navigating the complexities of commercial real estate investment and is known for getting results. He has closed approximately $4.7 billion in transactions and sells properties at an average of 99% of list price. Tony joined Marcus & Millichap in September 1986 as an agent in the Encino office. In July 1992, Tony was inducted as a Senior Investment Associate and in July 2003, he was promoted to Vice President of Investments. He was elected to the prestigious designation of Senior Vice President Investments in January 2008 and became an Executive Managing Director Investments in 2016. As part of the Marcus & Millichap family, Tony is consistently a top performing broker and has been a member of the Chairman’s Club nine times, most recently in 2017. He has been awarded the National Achievement Award for 21 consecutive years and has received recognition as a top ten Investment Professional in 2009, 2014, 2015 and 2016.