Jules Bagneris, III, Ph.D., 1st Vice Chairperson
LOS ANGELES CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT APPOINTEE
Dr. Bagneris has over 25 years of proven success in public relations, communications, government relations, and management. His commitment to public services began with his election as the first Black Associate Student President at the University of California San Diego where his efforts resulted in the construction of a new Student Center, Olympic size pool/aquatic center, and the establishment of student owned enterprises. While serving as a California State Senate Fellow, he was the first to establish a joint city/state Citizen Advisory Committee for the Pacoima Enterprise Zone leading to the selection of Pacoima as one of the first state Enterprise Zones in California creating an estimate 100 businesses and over 50,000 jobs. In an effort to support law enforcement by improving the physical and emotional health of sworn police officers, he served as the founding Secretary for the Foothill Advisory Boosters Association for the Los Angeles Police Department.
Reverend Bagneris was the past/CEO of four African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) churches in Southern California including Johnson Chapel, El Centro; Bethel Monrovia; Walker Temple, Los Angeles; and Henry McNeal Turner, Culver City; and was elected to represent the Southern California Conference of the A.M.E. church as it Ministerial Alliance President. He was the first son ever to follow his father into the office of President. While president, Rev. Bagneis developed a market strategy in partnership with L.A. Trade Tech College and other prominent non-profit organizations to conduct recruitment and community outreach for foster parent training programs.
Mr. Bagneris is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the state of California and has served on several boards and Commissions including the Monrovia Resources Development Corporation, the Fair Housing Council of the San Fernando Valley, the L.A. County Narcotics and Dangerous drugs Commission and the L.A. County Small Business Commission. Pastor Bagneis graduated with honors in Political Science/Economics minor form the University of California San Diego and was the Most Outstanding Senior of his class. He received his Masters in Public Administration with an emphasis in Human Resources Management from National University San Diego and his doctorate from the Eternal Word Graduate School in Carson, California.
Ana Ponce, 2nd Vice Chairperson
LOS ANGELES CITY MAYOR APPOINTEE
Ana Ponce is the Chief Executive Officer of Camino Nuevo Charter Academy (CNCA), a network of high performing charter schools serving more than 3300 Pre-K through 12th grade students in the greater MacArthur Park neighborhood near Downtown Los Angeles. CNCA schools are recognized as models for serving predominantly Latino English Language Learners and have won various awards and distinctions including the Title 1 Academic Achievement Award, the California Association of Bilingual Education Seal of Excellence, the California Distinguished Schools award, and the Effective Practice Incentive Community (EPIC) award. Born in Mexico, Ana is committed to providing high quality educational options for immigrant families in the neighborhood where she grew up.
An alumnus of Teach for America, she spent 3 years in the classroom before becoming one of the founding teachers and administrators at The Accelerated School, the first independent charter school in South Los Angeles. Under her instructional leadership, The Accelerated School was named elementary school of the year by Time Magazine in 2001. Ms. Ponce earned her undergraduate degree from Middlebury College and a master’s degree in Bilingual-Bicultural Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She earned her administrative Tier 1 credential and second master’s degree from UCLA through the Principal’s Leadership Institute (PLI) and earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Loyola Marymount University. A veteran of the charter schools movement in California, she serves on the Board of the California Charter Schools Association.
Anessa Karney, Commissioner
LOS ANGELES CITY MAYOR APPOINTEE
Anessa Karney is a Los Angeles native and was educated at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She was a litigator at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and also has a background in politics and campaign management. She is a former Campaign Manager and Chief of Staff to a New York City Councilmember and also served as a Capitol Hill aide to former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies.
More recently Anessa has devoted herself to supporting and volunteering for schools as well as other philanthropic and local civic causes. Anessa served for four years on the Grant Screening Board of the Everychild Foundation where she closely reviewed grant proposals from organizations dedicated to serving underprivileged children in the Los Angeles Area. She believes strongly in strengthening education and invests many volunteer hours supporting schools. She currently sits on the Board of Trustees of the Mirman School as well as on the Undergraduate Council for Financial Aid at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, Anessa recently joined the Board of the Center for Israel Studies at UCLA. She is also a member of the Women's Political Committee.
Anessa is married and is the mother to three children (Alexandra, age 17, Justin, age 14, Kyra, age 13).
Jorge Morales, Commissioner
CALIFORNIA CONTRACT CITIES ASSOCIATION
Mayor Jorge Morales was elected to the South Gate City Council in March 2011 and re-elected in March 2015.
Jorge has been a public servant for over 15 years having served key legislative leaders throughout California. Jorge began his career in the public service sector as a Legislative Aide under then Assembly Majority Leader Marco Antonio Firebaugh. Jorge also served as Chief of Staff to a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member, followed by five plus years as a Legislative Deputy for Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina. Jorge joined the private sector in 2012 as Vice President of Business Development for the Meruelo Group, a Downey based minority-owned and operated holding company. Jorge later served as a Senior Strategist for Ek, Sunkin, & Bai, a full-service public affairs, strategic communication and government advocacy firm. Jorge currently serves as Senior Vice President at Mercury Public Affairs, a global public strategy firm.
Jorge serves on the following committees and boards:
- Governor’s Appointee to the San Gabriel & Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy.
- Secretary of the Natural Resources’ Appointee to the AB 530 Lower Los Angeles River Working Group
- President, California Contract Cities Association (CCCA)
- State Director, League of California Cities Board of Directors
- Board Member, Watershed Conservation Authority
- Board Member, Los Angeles County Sanitation District
Jorge graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from California State University, Long Beach, and a Master’s Degree from the Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. Jorge lives in the City of South Gate with his wife Erika, and son Santiago.
Drake Dillard, Commissioner
LOS ANGELES CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT APPOINTEE
Drake Dillard AIA, NOMAC is a registered architect with more 30 years of experience in the management of design and construction of medical facilities, educational and commercial projects. Mr. Dillard has managed more than $2.2 Billion dollars in construction totaling more than 900,000 square feet of medical facilities. His expertise includes working on large programs involving multi-disciplinary project teams. Drake’s duties have encompassed program development, budget estimates, schedule development and overall program management. His success in managing projects is founded in assembling good teams that will work hard and with respect for each other. He has worked on projects in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Diego, New Orleans, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Africa.
Drake’s educational background includes attending University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree in architecture, while continuing his education at Howard University, Washington D.C. receiving his Master’s Degree in architecture.
Affiliations: National Organization of Minority Architects, past National President, Baldwin Hill Home Owner Association Board Member, Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (Lafayette Square Board Member, Zeta Rho Foundation Board Member, ISEE program for LAUSD, Co-Founder. NOMA Architectural Summer Camp Founder, Mentor, Big Brother.
John Sonego, Commissioner
LOS ANGELES CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT APPOINTEE
Commissioner John Sonego was appointed by President Herb Wesson, Los Angeles City Council on June 2, 2017.
Commissioner Sonego is the Associate Dean for External Affairs at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing the School’s ongoing engagement with alumni, donors, corporate, community, foundation and government partners. He also teaches in the School’s Masters in Nonprofit Leadership and Management program.
Prior to joining USC Price, Commissioner Sonego was the Assistant Dean of Development and Alumni Affairs for UCLA’s School of Public Health. He has also served as the Director of Programs and Communications at GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) and as Vice President at the Rogers Group.
Commissioner Sonego is an active community volunteer, currently serving as a member of the Advisory Board for the Geffen Playhouse and on the Board of Trustees for the Hollywood Schoolhouse.
Commissioner Sonego received a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a M.A. from the University of Santa Monica.
Sharon Springer, Commissioner
Sharon Springer has lived in Burbank for over 25 years. She grew up in an Air Force family with a father who had an amazing curiosity about the world. Her growing up years included time in Mississippi, Alaska, Libya, and Texas. As a college student she lived, worked and studied in Alabama, Spain and Ohio.
Sharon became actively involved in her neighborhood and the Burbank community over 11 years ago through a traffic calming project on her street. Her hillside street had a very dangerous speed problem with many accidents, two of them serious. She kept neighbors together for two years, through four City Council meetings, and four Traffic Commission meetings for the situation to improve. Sharon and 17 of her neighbors went to City Council on a Tuesday night and returned home Wednesday morning. They now have a safer residential street.
Beginning in 2009, Sharon was an original member of the Sustainable Burbank Commission. In 2015 she moved to the Burbank Water and Power Board and served as a liaison back to the Sustainable Burbank Commission until her election to city council. She’s on the Burbank Farmers Market Board and was recently appointed to the California Senior Legislator. She is a Certified Master Gardener with the University of California Cooperative Extension and is at the Burbank Farmers Market the first Saturday of every month with other Master Gardeners helping residents grow fruits and vegetables. She attends, supports and participates in other commissions, committees and councils in Burbank.
She worked her way through undergraduate school at the University of South Alabama and earned a B.S. in Geography. She was awarded an assistantship to Ohio State University wherein she received an MS Degree in City and Regional Planning. Instead of planning, she chose to work as a commercial real estate appraiser and earned the MAI designation. She later started her own business and developed and marketed 5 patents that she designed. She also worked in nonprofit administration helping set up programming in senior communities.
"You matter. I’ll encourage inclusiveness, and increased public engagement with an attitude of collaboration, creativity, cooperation and gratitude to move Burbank forward in a positive, and sustainable way."
Katrina Shoats, Ex-Officio Member
LOS ANGELES COUNTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICE
Nicole Nishida, Ex-Officio Member
LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT