Our Board

Dana Walden, Executive Director of The Dream Project
Prior to his current position he was co-owner of Laurel Canyon Animal Company(LCAC) and still is a principal Producer and founder of Enlightened Innertainment (EI). LCAC is a record label that specializes in fund raising for animal rescue organizations and student awareness programs in middle schools. EI creates media that educates and entertains. Mr. Walden has experience working within the non-profit model as well as hands on in the classroom. He has created media (visual and audio) products and projects that have reached millions of people worldwide. Mr. Walden specializes in managing the visionary and creating programs that can be sustainably actualized.

Curt Hessler, Board Member
Mr. Hessler is an attorney and former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy; Executive Director of President Carter’s Economic Policy Group; and Assocaite Director of the President’s Office of Management and Budget. In addition he has over two decades experience at the CEO/Board-level leadership in the media and IT industries and is a Professor at the UCLA School of Law with extensive experience in finance, strategic development, and law.

Julie Stern
Julie Stern joined OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network as Senior Vice President, Production, in 2010. Ms. Stern is responsible for the oversight of the network’s production in daytime and primetime series, specials and documentaries.

Ms. Stern, a highly seasoned Producer, brings an impressive range of experience to OWN, having worked with almost every major broadcast and cable network. Her record of successes in a wide variety of genres along with her reputation for production strategies and strength of character makes Ms. Stern a perfect fit for Oprah’s new Network. Most recently, Ms. Stern served as Vice President, Production for Lifetime Entertainment, where she was responsible for oversight of all unscripted programming, including the Emmy Award winning hit reality series, Project Runway. Other credits include: numerous nationally televised live events, such as the Primetime Emmy Awards, MTV Video Music Awards and the People’s Choice Awards; the Emmy Award winning series Win Ben Stein’s Money; and a successful six year tenure at Buena Vista Productions/The Walt Disney Company as the Executive in Charge of Productions. Ms. Stern’s involvement in the non-profit community includes producing and directing high-profile charity events for organizations such as Aids Project LA and the Lupus Foundation. Currently, Ms. Stern holds membership in the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Producer’s Guild of America, and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Celerity Educational Group Charter Schools.

Francisco Mares CPP, Director, Payroll ~ SAG-AFTRA, Board Member
Mr. Mares is Payroll Director of Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (aka SAG-AFTRA). He is responsible for the oversight of payroll administration, regulatory compliance, communication and development of team members. He is a member of the American Payroll Association and is serving a second 2-year term on the FPC Certification Committee. He was recently elected President of the Los Angeles Chapter of American Payroll Association in 2014 and served prior as Treasurer from 2010 to 2014 and Secretary in 2009. A Certified Payroll Professional since 2008, he has mentored others in their pursuit for certification, since.

R. Ben-Yehuda,
Ron Ben-Yehuda has more than twenty years’ experience helping his clients to commercialize their intellectual property and technology. He works with clients at all stages, from pre-investment startups to established mid-market companies to Fortune 100 companies. His experience includes:

  • Technology Licensing, Development and Marketing and Related Services: Hundreds of patent, software, content, trademark and other licenses; technology development deals; joint ventures; strategic marketing relationships; manufacturing and fabrication agreements; revenue sharing relationships; and sales and marketing agreements of all types.
  • IT acquisitions, licenses and services and BP Outsourcing: Outsourcing and other technology-related acquisition, license and service agreements and related SLAs.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions: Sales of intellectual property or of businesses that hold significant intellectual property and the associated intellectual property due diligence.
  • Online Sales and Marketing; SaaS: Agreements relating to e-commerce and other online activities, including agreements involving cloud-based applications and services and online marketing and advertising, as well as all related privacy policies and terms of use.
  •  Intellectual Property Planning and Strategy.

Ron also has practical business experience. He has served as general counsel of two software companies, one private and one public. At one of those companies, he was also the Chief Business Development Officer, overseeing the establishment and development of numerous strategic marketing and technology relationships that generated most of the company’s customer acquisition and growth during his tenure. He uses that business experience to help his clients structure successful strategic relationships.

Ron has been a frequent lecturer and author, speaking at numerous conferences and events, including conferences or events sponsored by UCLA Law School, the USC Computer Law Institute, the Copyright Office, the Practicing Law Institute, KPMG, Southern Methodist University, the Computer Law Association, Glasser LegalWorks, the City of Hope and the Korean Institute of Technology and the Law.

Ron earned a B.A. in economics, Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude, from Yale College, and a J.D., with distinction, from Stanford Law School