Board of Directors

Ari Lanin, Chair


Ari Lanin is a partner in Gibson Dunn’s Century City office and co-chair of the firm’s Private Equity Practice group. He advises companies, private equity firms, and investment banks across a wide range of industries, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, securities regulation and corporate governance.

“Our children are the most precious natural resource we have. Every day, cycles of poverty leave them stripped of the opportunity to improve their own lives. For every incredible story of a child who ‘beats the odds,’ there are innumerable stories of children who don’t. That statistical reality exists, regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum.”

What’s unique about YPI is the manner in which it works to break the cycle by embracing communities. It’s a wraparound approach, an everything approach. And the difference between having access to these services or not can mean the difference between breaking the cycle or reliving it. I’m pleased to serve on the board of this impactful organization and look forward to working with my colleagues to promote and advance YPI’s important work.”

Dixon Slingerland, Vice President


Dixon Slingerland is the president and CEO of Youth Policy Institute. Since 1996, Dixon has directed YPI as it has grown to an annual budget of $57 million. Dixon leads more than 1,600 staff serving over 100,000 youth and adults each year at 125 program sites in Los Angeles.

“I am passionate about the work we do at YPI and am honored to collaborate closely with this talented board of directors.”

Andrew E. Bogen


In addition to his role with YPI, Bogen is currently active in the development of New Village Girls Academy charter school located in Los Angeles’ Rampart neighborhood, serves as director of St. Anne’s Maternity Home, and is a trustee of the Weingart Foundation.

“For those of us who have enjoyed in full measure the benefits of a fine education and the business, cultural, and natural riches of our country, I believe it is appropriate to do what we can to make the same opportunities available for young people who have the least of family and community resources.”

Angelina Corona


Richard Foos


Richard Foos has been in the entertainment business for more than 45 years, starting with a small record store named Rhino Records, which he eventually grew into an audio label with well over $100 million in annual revenue. He and his partner Harold Bronson sold Rhino to Time Warner in 1998. In 2003, Richard and his partners started a new company, Shout! Factory. Shout! specializes in creating unique products comprised of classic, contemporary, and cult TV series and feature films, animation, live music, comedy specials, and documentaries. Richard serves as chairman emeritus for Little Kids Rock and is also on the boards of The Nation Institute, Government Accountability Project, and other nonprofits that make a strong commitment to social progress.

Brenda Freiberg


Brenda Freiberg is a community activist with extensive local, national and international experience in nonprofit, corporate and government sectors. Her work has encompassed satellite communications, healthcare, HIV, gay rights and anti-poverty work, and education.

In addition to her board of directors role at YPI, Brenda is chair of New Village Girls Academy, the only all-girl charter high school in California dedicated to educating and providing assistance to at-risk young women.

“YPI’s commitment, comprehensive and thoughtful approach to fighting poverty by building strong education systems, job development and helping to establish community leadership makes a good and productive life possible for countless in Los Angeles.”

Yasmine Delawari Johnson


Born in Los Angeles, Yasmine Delawari Johnson runs a busy household with four children ranging from preschool to college. Yasmine is co-president and co-founder of the Alliance of Moms, a membership-based auxiliary group that supports the work of the Alliance for Children’s Rights, for which she is also on the board. Yasmine was the Alliance’s 2015 National Champions for Children honoree, a St. Anne’s 2016 Angel Award recipient, and was named a game-changer in Los Angeles magazine’s L.A. Woman feature. Yasmine holds a degree in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles. She and her husband Matt Johnson are active philanthropists and political activists.

Shari Leinwand


Shari Leinwand is a retired partner of Gibson Dunn and was a member of the firm’s tax/personal planning department, specializing in estate, gift, and income tax planning; probate and trust administration; charitable giving; and tax-exempt organizations. She has been a frequent lecturer and author on topics involving estate and gift planning, probate and trust administration, and charitable giving and charitable organizations. Ms. Leinwand has served on the boards of various philanthropic organizations, both private foundations and public charities, currently including: ACLU Foundation of Southern California (chair); Human Rights Watch Los Angeles Committee (former co-chair; also member); Human Rights Watch’s audit committee and trustee of HRW Japan; Stone Soup Child Care Programs (chair, audit committee); the Kolb Foundation; Thelma Pearl Howard Foundation; and the Elizabeth Bixby Janeway Foundation. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and her law degree from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.

David Messinger


Messinger is co-head of CAA Marketing, a division of leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Messinger is based in the Los Angeles office where he helps lead a division that develops marketing strategies and original content to leverage the power of entertainment on behalf of such clients as The Coca-Cola Company, General Motors, Diageo, Chipotle, and Anheuser-Busch InBev, among others. Messinger has been recognized on Advertising Age’s “Creativity 50” list. He serves as the chair of the American Advertising Federation. He is also a member of the executive committee for both the Advertising Hall of Achievement and the Advertising Hall of Fame. He formerly served as the board chair of Communities in Schools–Los Angeles and currently serves on the Make-a-Wish Foundation Corporate Advisory Council and as a trustee of The Center for Early Education.

Steven Rindner


Steven Rindner is an attorney and corporate development executive. He has extensive experience creating and structuring partnerships and joint ventures and developing growth strategies across a number of industries, including media, marketing, technology, and healthcare. Currently, Steven is executive vice president of Main Street Advisors, a firm representing clients predominantly in media and entertainment, professional sports (owners and athletes), and CEOs and entrepreneurs. Working closely with its clients, Steven is responsible for providing strategic advice, developing business plans and negotiating transactions to start and further develop clients’ business interests.

Prior to joining Main Street Advisors, Steven worked with Bob Pittman (iHeart Media CEO) and his private equity firm (Pilot Group), and led corporate strategy and development for Scout Media, Inc., an online content and subscription-based company. Steven successfully expanded the company’s network of online sites and implemented the strategy to monetize the audience through commerce and the sale of advertising and subscriptions.

Before joining Pilot Group, Steven led a number of corporate development initiatives on behalf of Besins Healthcare International, a multi-billion dollar, Belgium-based pharmaceutical company, including the successful launch and execution of their online and retail strategies.

Previously, Steven served as a senior vice president at Citigroup, developing and negotiating partnerships to create new revenue streams and bring innovation to the payments space. He also served as a senior vice president at AOL, where he developed and executed on strategies for content, website functionality, advertising, marketing, and subscriber acquisition. Before joining AOL, Steven worked as an M&A attorney at Fried Frank and served for four years as an assistant attorney for the District of Columbia. He currently serves on the board of Charles E. Smith Life Communities, which provides housing and services to elderly people. Steven is married to Karen Rindner, Corporate Counsel to Neustar, Inc., and, together they have three teenage daughters.

Tom Unterman


“YPI is growing quickly and rapidly becoming such a leader in Los Angeles in boosting student performance that I wanted to try to be helpful.”

Tom founded Rustic Canyon in 1999 and continues to be actively involved in the firm.

Prior to forming Rustic Canyon Partners, Tom was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Times Mirror Company. At Times Mirror, he led the acquisition and divestiture activity and oversaw the investment program. Prior to joining Times Mirror, Tom was one of California’s leading corporate attorneys, practicing first with Orrick, Herrington from 1969 to 1986 and then with Morrison & Foerster from 1986 to 1992.

Tom serves on the Board of Directors of three of the Rustic Canyon portfolio companies and of Blackline Systems ( BL: NASDQ)

Tom serves actively on the boards of UCLA Technology Development Corp (Chair), The California Community Foundation, The Advancement Project, Demos and The Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles .

Education: Tom earned a BA from Princeton University and a JD from the University of Chicago.

Amit Verma


Amit is a partner in PriceWaterhouseCoopers Market & Acquisition practice. He advises companies on strategic and operational aspects of a transaction across the deal continuum—diligence, integration, and divestiture.

Amit is passionate about leveraging technology and STEM to help students stretch their thinking and imagination. Working with YPI, he will be able to deploy this for the benefit of YPI students and families.

Bradford Pollard


Bradford Pollard is a Director and Private Banker of Citi Private Bank. He is responsible for providing tailored financial strategies to ultra-high net worth clients, endowments and foundations in the Western US region and is located in the Beverly Hills office. Through Citi’s broad platform, Brad is able to deliver banking and lending, investment banking, investments, fiduciary and advisory services to clients and prospects. He holds FINRA licenses Series 7, 63 and 66.

Brad has over 25 years of experience in delivering financial strategies to clients. Brad joined Citi Private Bank in 2007 and prior to his role as Private Banker in 2010, he was a Director in the Investment Finance unit structuring tailored lending strategies to clients and prospects of Citi Private Bank and Smith Barney. Prior to Citigroup, Brad was a Director at ING Capital in Los Angeles for over twelve years focusing on originating, underwriting, and portfolio monitoring of credit facilities and equity investments. Transactions ranged from $15 to $150 million in the form of senior and subordinated debt with warrants and equity co-investments. Previous to ING Capital, Brad was with Heller Financial (acquired by GE Capital) focusing on portfolio management and underwriting of highly leveraged loan transactions.

Brad is a Southern California native and is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles with a BA in Economics.

Mary Adams O’Connell


Mary Adams O’Connell founded Adams O’Connell, Inc. in 2001 to serve the investment and management needs of her three-generation family. She serves as its President and CEO. She has over 35 years’ experience in family investments, real estate and asset management. Formerly Ms. Adams O’Connell served for ten years as President and CEO of Morgan Adams, Inc., where she initiated client financial reporting, strategic planning, and the first family four-generation business meetings.

Ms. Adams O’Connell serves on the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) Foundation Board of Trustees and chairs its Government Relations committee. For over 21 years she volunteered on the CHLA Operating Board of Trustees, chairing the Saban Research Institute Committee, the Investment Committee, and the Government Relations Committee, as well as serving on the Executive Committee. She was an initial supporter and advises the Latino & African American High School Internship Program (LA-HIP) at CHLA. In support of the hospital’s centennial, she founded, which employs innovative data analysis and GIS mapping to provide services for the underserved, and support policy, research, and state-wide planning efforts. She is a member of the Advancement Project Los Angeles Advisory Board, which now manages the Healthy City Project. Formerly she served as Treasurer on the Planned Parenthood Board of Directors.

Ms. Adams O’Connell graduated from Smith College, and received her MBA from the University of Missouri. She and husband Kevin O’Connell have four daughters and four grandchildren.