Board of Directors

 

 

Shauna Nep

President

Shauna is the VP of Philanthropy and Community Outreach at SB Projects and the Executive Director of the Yael and Scooter Braun Family Foundation. A bioethicist with a passion for creating vibrant, connected cities, Shauna began her career in social impact at Occidental College. There, she focused on deploying tactics in behavioral economics to increase access to healthful and affordable foods for students in the Los Angeles Unified School District. As Director of Community and Innovation at the Goldhirsh Foundation, Shauna built and launched LA2050, an initiative to create a better future for Los Angeles, from the ground up. Shauna is the Board Chair of LA-Más, a regional board member of Opportunity Fund, and Outgoing Curator of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Los Angeles chapter. 

 
 

 

Renee Dake Wilson

Vice-President

Renee is an architect and thought-leader who has helped build homes, institutions, and communities throughout Southern California for the past twenty years. Renee is a Principal and co-founder of Frogtown-based Dake Wilson Architects, an architecture firm with an environmental focus and wide portfolio including single family residences, and commercial, civic, and institutional projects. An active member of numerous professional and civic organizations, Renee seeks the open collaboration and exchange of ideas that comes from working with diverse interest groups. Her organizing efforts focus on equality and the environment, and she is dedicated to making social change through great public spaces and community involvement. She previously served as the President of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission, and currently serves as the Vice President. Renee holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University, and is a LEED-accredited licensed architect.

 
 

 

Mott Smith

Treasurer

Mott is co-founder of Civic Enterprise, an L.A. firm that builds innovative, socially-conscious projects in emerging neighborhoods and provides innovative food manufacturing, parking and economic development solutions for cities and communities. CE’s most recent project is L.A. Prep, the first-of-its-kind wholesale food production complex for 54 small business tenants. He is very active in local, regional and state legislative issues. His built work has been honored by the Urban Land Institute, the L.A. Conservancy, and Architectural Record Magazine. He is a founding board member of the California Infill Builders Federation, teaches in USC’s Master of Real Estate Development Program and Planning Program in the USC Price School of Public Policy. Earlier, he was as Acting Director of Planning for the L.A. Unified School District after serving as founding Executive Director of New Schools-Better Neighborhoods. He also worked as editor/business manager of The Planning Report. Mott is past president of the Westside Urban Forum. He received a Master of Real Estate Development from USC and a bachelor’s in Linguistics from UCLA.

 
 

 

Mark Soto

Secretary

Mark is a public-interest minded attorney with a focus on housing equity, labor, and environmental justice. He currently serves as a Law Clerk in the Environmental Justice and Protection Unit of the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office, where we was brought on to work on the City’s litigation against the Southern California Gas Company arising from the 2015 Aliso Canyon natural gas leak. He previously worked as a Staff Attorney in the Housing Unit at The Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn, in addition to working at the United States Department of Transportation and United States Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. Mark received his J.D. from American University and his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Affairs from The George Washington University. 

 
 

 

Naomi Iwasaki

Naomi Iwasaki is the Deputy Director of Investing in Place. Most recently, Naomi served as Director of Neighborhood Services and Great Streets in the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, overseeing eight City departments and the Great Streets Initiative, which prioritizes public resources to develop our streets as safe and vibrant public spaces. She previously worked at Community Health Councils (CHC) analyzing transportation and transit-oriented development policies to advocate for improved health and mobility access for residents of South Los Angeles. Naomi holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from New York University and B.A.’s in Ethnic Studies and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley.

 
 

 

Mia Lehrer

Mia is the founder of Studio-MLA – known for its design and development of a wide spectrum of ambitious public and private projects that include urban revitalization developments, large urban parks, and commercial projects. She is especially proud of her firm’s work in the public realm in such venues as parks, green belts, schools, waterways, and vibrant neighborhoods and streets. In 2007, she was inducted as a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Mia is also Co-Founder of LA-Más, along with Elizabeth Timme.

 
 

 

Vinit Mukhija

Vinit is Professor and Vice Chair of Urban Planning in the Luskin School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research focuses on informal or unregulated housing. His work also examines how planners and urban designers in both the Global South and the Global North can learn from each other, and from the everyday city. Mukhija is the author of Squatters as Developers? Slum Redevelopment in Mumbai (Ashgate), and the coeditor of The Informal American City (MIT Press). He holds a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

 
 

 

Alex Sasayama

Alex is a relationship manager for NeighborWorks America and partners with community based organizations on affordable housing and community development efforts. As an Angeleno and community builder, Alex has also led and assisted in the planning of cultural and community events including World Cup LA, Taste of Mexico, and Día de los Muertos at Hollywood Forever. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Community Development from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA.

 
 
 
 

Adopted and Amended by the LA-Más Board of Directors

Updated on June 3, 2018