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UCLA History Department Board of Advisors


Barbara Berg
Co-Founder, UCLA Friends of History
BA ‘77 History; MA ’80 History

Barbara Berg together with Geraldine Alden founded the "Friends of History" and has served as Chair of its Steering Committee for the past 26 years.  She has also served on the Board of Governors of the AFI (American Film Institute) Associates for the last 24 years and was one of the founding members of the “Tripod Friends” (supporting pre-school and public school education for deaf children).

Barbara attended UCLA as an “adult student” having left Connecticut College in her sophomore year to get married.  She returned to school when her children grew up; earned her BA in History (elected to Phi Beta Kappa) and her MA in Modern European History.

Her late husband, Dick Berg, was a writer-producer for Television and Films and her four sons are in the entertainment business: Jeff is CEO of the ICM Agency, A. Scott is a Pulitzer Prize winning biographer, Tony is an independent music producer, and Rick is an attorney and manager of writers and directors with Code Entertainment.  Seven grandchildren complete her CV.

Laura Dawson
Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs
NBC Universal Entertainment

PlaceholderClare DeBriere 
Executive Vice President and
Chief Operating Officer
The Ratkovich Company

Clare De Briere is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of The Ratkovich Company. She joined the Company as a summer intern in 1991 after graduating from UCLA and worked her way through property management, leasing, construction, financing and development management while earning her graduate degree at USC’s prestigious Lusk Center for Real Estate. In her career with the company she has overseen the acquisition, entitlement, planning development and/or disposition of millions of square feet of development.

PlaceholderMichelle Ebersman 
Former History Teacher

PlaceholderDon Eversoll 
Timber Ridge Development

Don Eversoll has 40 years in the land development and home building business. In his career, Don has sold over 5,000 homes worth more than $600 million. In 2002, Don Eversoll sold his company, Klein & Eversoll, to Pulte Homes, Inc. Prior to the sale, Klein & Eversoll sold more than 2,200 homes in Long Island, Connecticut and Virginia. After the sale of his company, Don remained with Pulte Homes, Inc., Long Island Division in a consulting role managing their Land Acquisition team. Don started his career in homebuilding with McCarthy Company, a southern California company, in 1969.

Don has served as President of the Long Island Builders Institute and New York State Builders Association and is a Lifetime Board member of both associations as well as the National Association of Home Builders. Don also served as Chair of Suffolk County Planning Commission from 1993-2003 and was a member of the commission since 1990.

PlaceholderRoy Geiger 
King Parret & Droste LLP

Mr. Roy S. Geiger is counsel with the firm King Parret & Droste LLP. Mr. Geiger is a former partner of Irell & Manella LLP, where he was a member of the real estate and banking practice groups for over 25 years. He has been involved with major financings and workouts, representing both borrowers and lenders.

His practice Areas include bankruptcy, reorganization & creditors' rights, debt finance, and real estate.  He has written for and has been featured in many real estate and law publications.

Mr. Geiger received his Juris Doctorate degree in 1979 from the University of California, Berkeley.  He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1972 from the University of California, Los Angeles where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Thomas E. Lifka
Associate Vice Chancellor (Retired)
UCLA Student Academic Services

Tom Lifka came to UCLA as Assistant Vice Chancellor, Student Academic Services (SAS), in 1982. Over the next 29 years, he put his stamp on every area of student service provided by SAS. One project he directed to imporve upon was undergraduate recruitment, admission, and enrollment, which has seen UCLA rise to the position of one of the most highly competitive and most sought-after institutions in the country. He was also a key contributor to UCLA’s efforts to increase the numbers of enrolled African American students. Tom had been a leader in the steadily increasing use of computer technology in the processing of registration and enrollment. From the “olden days” when the waiting times at Registrar’s service windows rivaled those of popular rides at Disneyland, nearly all facets of the process can be completed remotely. Mainframe technology developed under Tom’s leadership and now serves as the foundation for student services including the financial aid system, the degree audit/counseling system, the undergraduate admissions system, and the Student Records System.

PlaceholderBenjamin E. Nickoll
Managing Partner
El Faro Partners

Mr. Ben Nickoll is the Managing Partner of El Faro Partners, a Holding Company with interests in Real Estate, Credit and Private Equity. Prior to founding El Faro Mr. Nickoll was the CIO of Ore Hill Partners, an event driven hedge fund firm he Co-Founded in 2002 with Frederick Wahl and later sold to the Man Group. He began his career on Wall Street in 1986 at Lehman Brothers where he ran their High Yield Trading operation. He subsequently was Managing Director and Head of Global High Yield Trading at Morgan Stanley.

He is a 1986 graduate of the Honors College at UCLA with distinction in History and currently sits on the boards of the Fink Center of Finance at the Anderson School of Business and the History Department. He serves of the board of the Steeprock Association, Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust and Agrovision Corporation. He is married with two children and lives in Connecticut.

Chester Pipkin
Founder and Chairman
Belkin International, Inc.

Belkin International is an award-winning technology and consumer electronics brand leader worldwide. Mr. Pipkin started Belkin in his parents’ garage while majoring in history at UCLA, and has been a three-time finalist in the Los Angeles Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. Chet has been an advisor and board member for many non-profit local and state organizations, and is board chair of the Da Vinci Charter Schools. A civic leader, he is active in public policy for education, resource management, and technology. He was appointed to the California Education Technology Task Force and the Transition Advisory Board for the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Kristin Rolla
Vice President
Multi-Platform Development & Marketing, TV Land at Viacom

Kristin Rolla oversees multi-platform development, digital strategy, content, media and social outreach for the TV Land cable network, home of "Younger", "The Jim Gaffigan Show", and "Hot In Cleveland".  Prior to joining TV Land, she managed editorial and programming for Myspace, overseeing Movies, Television, Comedy and Music programming, and previously managed business operations for Moviefone and AOL Television, two of AOL's largest entertainment destinations.

Ms. Rolla holds an MBA from The UCLA Anderson School of Management as well as a BA in History from UCLA.

Dean Rydquist
Senior Vice President
American Funds Distributors

Dean Rydquist is Senior Vice President Chief Compliance Officer and a member of the Board of Directors for American Funds Distributors (AFD), part of the Capital Group. Dean has been with American Funds since 1984 in marketing, wholesaling and compliance positions in Los Angeles and Atlanta, Georgia. Dean is currently responsible for the compliance efforts of AFD, having returned to Los Angeles in 2003 to take on that role. Dean and his wife Donna live in Southern California with their two daughters.

Dean graduated in 1981 with a bachelors degree in History from the University of California, Los Angeles and has FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) Series 6, 26, 51, 63, and 99 licenses. He is a member of the Financial Planning Association, UCLA Alumni Association and the National Society of Compliance Professionals.


Valerie Sugar

Valerie Sugar graduated magna cum laude in history in 1971 from UCLA and earned a master's degree in library science from USC in 1972. She held professional positions in library science and computer science at the RAND Corporation and Aerospace Corporation. She has focused her life on family, artistic and philanthropic endeavors.

Paul Turovsky
True North Management Group, LLC

Mr. Turovsky is a Founding Principal of True North Management Group. True North Management Group is a privately held real estate investment management firm founded in 2004 and headquartered in White Plains, New York. The firm currently manages over $500 million in assets for institutional investors.

Before founding True North, Mr. Turovsky was a Managing Director of Deutsche Bank Securities and Fund Manager for DB Real Estate’s Mezzanine Investment Funds. Prior to the Bankers Trust’s merger with Deutsche Bank, Mr. Turovsky was responsible for the overall management of origination, trading and distribution of the firm’s mezzanine debt, CMBS and whole loan products.  Mr. Turovsky also played a key role in the management of DB Real Estate, the $38 billion real estate investment management division of Deutsche Bank. He played an instrumental role in the growth of the business from its founding in 1984 with only 6 employees to a staff of over 500 employees with revenues of over $600 million by the time of his departure. Mr. Turovsky joined Bankers Trust’s Real Estate Investment Banking Group in 1984.

Mr. Turovsky received a B.A. degree from Binghamton University in 1973 and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Latin American History from the University of California at Los Angeles, in 1975 and 1980, respectively. As an undergraduate, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. As a graduate student, he was a recipient of both a four year University of California Regents Teaching and Research Fellowship and a Doherty Foundation Fellowship administered by Princeton University for doctoral research in Latin America for a period of one year.

Michael Tyler Thumbnail

Michael Tyler
Senior Vice President & General Counsel
Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc.

Michael R. Tyler is Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Sanmina-SCI, based in Silicon Valley.  Sanmina is a Fortune 500 electronics manufacturer.  Mr. Tyler has been responsible for law, human resources, and various other administrative functions.  Prior to joining Sanmina, Mr. Tyler was Chief Legal and Administrative Officer at Gateway, Inc., the personal computer manufacturer, where he also had responsibility for law, human resources and other corporate functions. He joined Gateway in 2000 as as lead counsel for the company's Europe, Middle East and Africa operations, based in London, returning to the US with Gateway in 2003.

Before joining Gateway, Tyler spent more than four years as Senior Corporate Counsel, International for Northrop Grumman Corp., where he managed legal aspects of the Los Angeles-based company's international operations. Previously, he was an associate with Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe, in Los Angeles, and served as a law clerk to the Hon. Arthur Alcaron, circuit judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco.  He is a past chair of the International Law Section of the State Bar of California, and of the European Law Committee of the ABA's Section of International Law & Practice.

Mr. Tyler received a Bachelor of Arts in History from UCLA in 1979, and a Master of Arts in Modern European History from UCLA in 1980.

Kenneth L. Wilton
Seyfarth Shaw, LLP

Ken Wilton is a partner in the Intellectual Property Group of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and Chair of the firm's Trademark Subgroup.  He specializes in trademark, copyright and patent litigation. Mr. Wilton regularly advises clients regarding domestic and international operational issues involving trademark and copyright law, including Internet and domain name related matters, and has filed over a dozen successful UDRP proceedings.  He has supervised international anti-counterfeiting activities, and currently is an Adjunct Professor at USC's Gould School of Law, teaching Internet Law.  He is A/V Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has been included in the biennial Guides to the World's Leading Trade Mark Law Practitioners  since 2006 .  

Mr. Wilton graduated from UCLA in 1983 with a History degree, and Hastings College of the Law, where he was the editor-in-chief of COMM/ENT.