The Strategic Advisory Board comprises senior-level executives who have built successful businesses and/or are affiliated with major Hispanic, Latin American and multinational companies. These executives are aware of the trends and opportunities which are impacting their sectors of expertise.
These individuals are also available to help portfolio company executives with advice concerning their company’s strategic and operating issues. In certain circumstances, these advisors may sit on the boards of portfolio companies to further assist Nexos and senior management to guide the direction of the portfolio company.
Scroll down for individual profiles:
- Rudy Beserra – V.P. Latin America, The Coca-Cola Company
- Gil de Cárdenas – President, Don Gilberto Foods, Inc.
- Clarence B. Jones – Scholar Writer in Residence, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research & Education Institute, Stanford University
- Brett Mayer – Managing Director, Latitude Management Real Estate Investors, Inc.
- John Runyan – Director Western Association of Food Chains; Retailer Owned Food Distributors of America; BioLargo. Former President & CEO of Associated Grocers
- Richard Wirthlin – Managing Director, Entertainment Development Partners
- Michael Wortsman – Founder HollywoodLaundromat; Former CEO Impremedia LLC; former President Univision Television Group, Telefutura Station Group, and Univision of Puerto Rico
Rudy M. Beserra is vice president of Latin Affairs for The Coca Cola Company. He began his career at The Coca Cola Company in 1989 after having served as special assistant to President Ronald Reagan on Latino and Small Business Affairs.
A graduate of the University of New Mexico, Mr. Beserra has held a number of distinguished positions including special assistant to the Chairman of the National Republican Committee in charge of Hispanic and Business Affairs. Mr. Beserra is an active board member of a number of prominent Latino-focused organizations, including NALEO (National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials), LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens), and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. He is vice chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and past chairman of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.
In 1991, Mr. Beserra was awarded the Hispanic Community Commitment Award by the Latin American Management Association. In 1994, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce presented him with a Special Recognition Award and in 1995, he received the Hispanic Leadership Award from the National Puerto Rican Forum.
Mr. de Cárdenas was until recently the President of Cacique Foods, Inc, the national producer and distributor of Hispanic cheeses and other products. He is currently launching a new Hispanic food company, Don Gilberto Foods, Inc, that will focus on the packaged meat market targeted at Hispanic consumers. Mr. de Cardenas spent 20 years at Cacique, rising from operations supervisor to President of the company in 1995. As President, he developed and executed a five-year expansion plan which more than doubled revenues to over $120 million and established Cacique as the largest national brand in the Hispanic cheeses and creams categories.
Mr. de Cárdenas has an MBA from the University of Chicago.
Clarence B. Jones – Scholar Writer in Residence, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research & Education Institute, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA.
Dr. Jones is currently a Visiting Professor, University of San Francisco and a Scholar Writer in Residence, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research & Education Institute, Stanford University, and Palo Alto, CA.
In a distinguished and heralded career, Clarence B. Jones served as political advisor, counsel and draft speechwriter for the Reverend Dr, Martin Luther King, Jr., joined Sanford I. Weill and Arthur Levitt, Jr. in Carter, Berlind & Weill, Inc. as an Allied Member of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), becoming the “first African American ” partner in a Wall Street investment banking firm, has been twice recognized as Fortune Magazine’s “Business Man of the Month,” and founded successful financial, corporate and media-related ventures. He has also provided strategic legal and financial consulting services to several governments around the world including The Bahamas, The Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Zambia.
Dr. Jones has received numerous state and national awards recognizing his significant contributions to American society. Through his work in the civil rights movement, he has dramatically impacted the course of American history. He coordinated the legal defense of Dr. King and the other leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference against the libel suits filed against them and The New York Times by the police commissioner and other city officials of Birmingham, AL. The Supreme Court ruling in this case – Sullivan vs. The New York Times – resulted in the landmark decision on the current law of libel. In April 1963, he drafted the settlement agreement between the City of Birmingham and Martin Luther King, Jr. to bring about the end of demonstrations and the desegregation of department stores and public accommodations. He assisted Dr. King in the drafting of his celebrated “I Have A Dream” speech that he delivered at the March On Washington, August 28th 1963. In September 1971, he again found himself at the center of history-in-the-making when, at the request of Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller; he was requested to help negotiate an end to the historic Attica prison inmate rebellion.
Dr. Jones has been the subject of numerous television and radio interview programs, appearing in such notable media vehicles as CNN, The O’Reilly Factor, The Tavis Smiley Show, NY1′s One-on-One with Budd Mishkin, NPR radio, BBC UK (radio and TV), CBS local and National, Canadian Broadcasting, the Charlie Rose Show, Syrius XM”s the Bob Edwards Show, and featured in articles in the Washington Post, USA Today, Vanity Fair, Time, Ebony and Jet Magazines and several publications in Canada, the UK, France, Ukraine and Ireland. He has recently been a part of The March, a documentary on the March on Washington, jointly produced by Robert Redford Productions/BBC/Smoking Dogs/PBS. He has just finished being filmed for a program on The Letter from the Birmingham Jail for Al Jazeera America.
A much requested speaker, he has addressed corporate audiences at Citigroup and the U.S. headquarters of British Petroleum, GE, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, The Limited and Google headquarters and laws firms such as Sullivan &Cromwell and Andrews Kurth, Texas.
He was been the featured speaker at Rutgers University School of Law, The Sciences Po, Paris, and The American Institute at Oxford University, The British Library, the Bristol Book Fair, and the Aye Write Book Fair in Glasgow. He has spoken at Veterans Administrations Hospitals, The California African-American Association of School Superintendents, the New York Public Library, the NYC 92nd Street “Y”, the New Albany Community Foundation, Columbus, OH.
Dr. Jones has been recognized for his illustrious career with honors awarded by a wide variety of distinguished organizations, including:
- Selected by Time Magazine in 1972 as one of 100 Future Leaders of America
- Distinguished Public Service Award, African American Chamber of Commerce of Westchester and Rockland Counties
- Letter of Commendation from President William J. Clinton, for work in Birmingham, Alabama on behalf of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement
- Distinguished Honoree of New York’s Community Works Organization and subject of “The Long Walk To Freedom” performed by The Impact Theatre Repertory Company
- Isaiah Award for Lifetime Achievement, American Jewish Congress, New York, 2006
- Dream of Equality Honoree, Asian Americans For Equality, New York, 2006
- Silver Shingle Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession, Boston University Law School, 2006
- Lifetime Achievement Award, Black Sports Agent Association, New York, 2006
- Pioneer Award for Business Leadership by U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C., 2006
- Stanford University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Research & Education Institute’s Distinguished Public Service Award, 2007
- Guest of Honor, Office of the Mayor of Paris for the dedication of Public Park in Paris commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 2008
- Inductee, Walk of Fame, Martin Luther King Center, Atlanta, GA, 2008
- Featured Cover Story, January/February, Columbia College Today Alumni Magazine, 2008
- Keynote Speaker, Town Hall of Los Angeles, 2008.
- Museum of African American History, Detroit, 2009.
- Keynote Speaker, Michigan State University’s Celebration of Black History Month, 2009
- Keynote Speaker, San Francisco, May 19th, 2011, 35th Anniversary Dinner of the Harvey Milk Democratic Club.
- Georgetown University’s John Thompson “Legacy of the Dream” Award, Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts, Washington, DC, January, 2012.
- A keynote speaker and participant at The Twelfth Annual Herzliya Conference, Tel Aviv, Israel, 2012.
- Speaker, National Cathedral School For Boys and National Cathedral School For Boys, Washington, DC, May 2012.
- Keynote Speaker, July 2012, San Diego, CA, LGBT Pride Weekend.
- Akselrad Speaker at Congregation Beth Am, Los Altos, CA, October 2012. A keynote speaker and participant.
- Speaker, Septima Clark Public Charter School, Dec. 2012.
- January 2013 honoree of the African-American Museum of History, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC, moderated by Wil Haygood, Writer for the Washington Post.
- Keynote Speaker, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, February 2013.
- Speaker, Holocaust Museum, Detroit, Michigan, February 2013.
- Speaker, Wayne State University Law School’s Damon J. Keith Center For Civil Rights, February 2013.
- Detroit, MI 2013 Recipient of “The Architect of Peace Award”, Spilling The Honey Foundation’s Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s ” I Have A Dream” speech.
- Keynote Speaker Utah Valley University Annual Commemoration of “Black History Month”, Jan 2013.
- Keynote Speaker, Kansas State University’s Celebration of “Black History Month”, Jan 2013.
- Keynote Speaker, Thacher School, Ojai, CA, Feb. 2013.
- Keynote Speaker, Univ. of California Davis School of Law, Feb. 2013.
- Guest Lecturer, February 2013, US Embassy, Kiev, Ukraine; Ambassador’s Forum, on “The 21st Century Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.”
- Keynote speaker and recipient of the Journey for Freedom award from the Birmingham Bar Association and Magic City Bar Association.
Dr. Jones has served on the prestigious boards of The Impact Repertory Theater & Dance Co. and The Theatre Development Fund NYC, the Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute in Hyde Park, NY.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia College, Columbia University as well as a Juris Doctor degree from Boston University’s School of Law and a Certificate from The New York Institute of Finance and the NASD for his Allied Membership in the NYSE. Additionally, he has an Honorary Doctorate in Communications from Allegheny College in Allegheny, PA, Honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters, Drew University, Madison, NJ, Lincoln University, PA and the University of San Francisco.
He currently resides in Palo Alto, CA where he continues to write and lecture.
Mr. Mayer is a Managing Director of Latitude Management Real Estate Investors, Inc. (“LMREI”). Mr. Mayer is on the Investment Committee.
From 1990 to 2004 Mr. Mayer was at Heitman/JMB where he served several positions, culminating in partnership. He worked on over $1 billion in real estate workouts, acquisitions, developments restructurings and financings. During his tenure at the company Mr. Mayer was involved in various types of assets including multi-family and condominium projects. Also, while with the company, Mr. Mayer worked on joint venture fund programs including, a land venture with California’s largest home builder as its partner as well as the creation of a South American commercial real estate investment fund.
After departing from Heitman/JMB, Mr. Mayer created, ran, partially owned and raised the money for two separate strategic joint ventures with one of the country’s largest public pension funds as its lead investor and a large public developer as a co-owner. Collectively, those two ventures targeted $140 million to invest in inner city neighborhood retail throughout the country. Mr. Mayer holds a Bachelor of Science and Arts degree in Real Estate and Finance from the University of Denver and a Masters in Communications degree from Loyola University. Mr. Mayer sits on the board of the USC Ross Minority program and ANERA, a refugee aid program.
October 3, 2005, John Runyan joined Associated Grocers, Seattle, WA as President and CEO. January 2006 he was elected Vice Chairman of the Board. AG had 2005 sales over $1 billion from distribution centers totaling one million square feet serving 325 stores. After his arrival, 5 of 8 Officers and some mid level executives were replaced. After the first 90 days a “Go Forward” plan was developed that reduced expenses $9.6 Million annualized. Under John’s leadership multiple strategies were implemented and in less than two years AG was turned around. Two separate transactions were the 55 acres of land that includes a 4 year leaseback, was sold April 2007 for $91 million, after it had appraised twice before at 30% less. AG company sale came with the signing of a Letter of Understanding with Unified Western Grocers May 4, 2007 for $65 Million and assumption of certain liabilities. The sale was finalized with change of ownership September 30, 2007 and John became Executive Advisor to the President and CEO of Unified Grocers. In June 2010 the CEO promoted a EVP to President and asked John to also be the Executive Advisor to the new President.
Prior to AG John was and still is a owner in JSR&R Company with primary emphasis in the United States and International Food Business. Some of the clients are/were Bozzuto; Brookshire Grocery Co.; Coca Cola; Golden State Foods; Food 4 Less Price Impact Stores; Fleming; IGA, Inc.; 3 separate Foodstuffs Pak’n Save Companies-New Zealand; Foster’s Food Fair Supermarkets-Grand Cayman; Matahari Supermarkets-Indonesia; Metcash Trading Ltd.-Australia; Robinson Supermarkets & Big R Price Impact Stores-Philippines.
John serves on the Board of Directors of: Western Association of Food Chains; Retailer Owned Food Distributors of America; BioLargo, Inc. Santa Ana, CA; and serves as Executive Advisor to the President/CEO, PAQ, Inc. Stockton, CA. He also served as Senior Advisor to the Chairman/CEO, IGA, Inc., the world’s largest voluntary supermarket network, annual sales $21 billion, and as Chairman of S4R Company, Carlsbad, CA. provider of Network Security & Managed Services thru sale of company to OpSource, Inc. 2003.
His introduction into the supermarket business started at age 12 with a independent grocer as a stocker then with a multi-store IGA retailer working in the grocery and meat departments, then overall store management. Staying in the supermarket industry, John worked his way through college, and after graduation was hired by Fleming and worked in five different operating divisions in merchandising, procurement, Sales Manager, then President of the Fremont and Oakland CA. Divisions.This was followed by Corporate Senior Vice President Operations responsible for 8 Division Presidents of (7) full-line and (1) GM/HBC divisions in the Western Unified States and for Export/International business.
In his last 10 years with the $16 Billion Fleming Companies John was a Senior Executive Officer located at the Corporate Headquarter where he was Group President of Price Impact Retail Stores with annual sales over $3 billion.Before that he was the Corporate Senior Vice President responsible for Mega Market Retail Corporate Stores; Piggly Wiggly Retail Corporate Stores; Sav-U-Foods Limited Assortment Retail Stores; Retail Training and Support; Consumer Research; Franchising; Corporate IGA Administrator; and Corporate liaison with the 36 division sales managers. After 38 years with the company he retired December 31, 2000.
John’s business and community activities are extensive.He served 8 years as a Board of Director member and 2 terms as President of the City of Hope in Northern, CA, and received the “Spirit of Life” award, the highest recognition presented by the National Board for the City of Hope.
John was the first wholesale executive to be voted “Man of the Year” by Food People Publication. He is a graduate of Washburn University that recognized his business accomplishments as the honoree from the School of Business with the 2007 “Alumni Fellow Award”. John also is a veteran as he served in the US Army stationed in Korea and was honorable discharged as a Staff Sergeant.
John and Linda have a home in San Juan Capistrano, CA. They have three daughters, two live in Kansas City and one in Southern California. They also have 3 granddaughters.
Mr. Wirthlin is a Managing Director of Entertainment Development Partners. Most recently, he was Global Chair of Media and Entertainment at Latham & Watkins, one of the world’s most respected and largest international law firms. While at L&W, he was Managing Partner of the firm’s Moscow office and co-launched the firm’s international practice and Germany practice group. A recognized expert in mergers, acquisitions, and multi-national transactions, some of his clients include DIRECTV, Verizon Fios, Amazon.com, and major Hollywood studios. Mr. Wirthlin currently serves as Vice Chair to both the Los Angeles Sports Council (LASC) and the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games (SCCOG). LASC’s members include professional, collegiate and other sports teams and organizations, along with media and other sports-related properties in Southern California. SCCOG is the 90-year-old institution that has hosted the Olympic Games in 1936 and 1984 in Los Angeles and which acts as the bid committee for future Olympic Games. He is a graduate of Georgetown Law School and Brigham Young University.
- Founding Global Chair, Media and Entertainment Practice of Latham & Watkins, one of the world’s largest law firms with 2,000 attorneys throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia (http://www.lw.com/). Mr. Wirthlin retired as a senior partner in 2012, after a 26-year career.
- Mr. Wirthlin acted as DIRECTV’s primary counsel, from the beginning of concept, through to launch and thereafter. He negotiated the ground-breaking U.S. PPV sports deal for NFL Sunday Ticket. He further concluded partnering agreements, acquired media product (cable, pay-per-view, studio, sports, events) and secured the infrastructure necessary to launch the first direct broadcast satellite business in the United States. These deals included the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Wimbledon, Don King, AVP, ESPN, CNN, TNT, Disney, Paramount, Universal, Sony, MGM, DreamWorks and many others.
- Mr. Wirthlin’s deep and long-time deal experience involves a wide variety of international and domestic business transactions, with particular expertise on entertainment, media, internet, new media, sports, telecommunications, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, high tech, joint ventures, licensing, complex (particularly global) contracting and emerging technology deals. He is the Former Chair, International Law Section of the State Bar of California.
- He concluded deals with FIFA for content and distribution rights to World Cups 2002 and 2006 (and other soccer tournament and content) for all of Latin America, excluding Brazil, for DIRECTV Latin America; and, in addition, finalized the television, radio and other sublicensing deals in countries throughout the region.
- Mr. Wirthlin’s other entertainment and media clients included The Africa Channel, Amazon, AMC Theatres, Andrita Studios (now Encompass Media), Bandeirantes, Euronews, Eurosport, Frontier Cable, Hulu, InterTouch Media, Don Johnson, LodgeNet, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Major League Soccer, MGM, MGM International, MGM Latin America, MGM Networks, Movielink, MySpace, Paramount Studios, ProSiebenSat, STAR Asia, STAR India, Starbucks Entertainment, Telemundo, TVG, TVN, Univision, Verizon (joint venture creating Redbox Instant), Verizon FioS, World Championship Sports Network (now NBC Universal Sports), Yahoo and others. He has concluded numerous distribution deals with Comcast, Cox, Time Warner, Charter, DISH, DIRECTV, and other platforms.
In October 2007 Mr. Wortsman founded Hollywoodlaundromat.com, Inc., a company created to acquire and produce television, movies and online content. “<
Queen for a Day.com“, the original product integration, audience participation reality show, was recently purchased from the family of the original creator. Queen for a Day premiered on radio in 1945, eventually moving to NBC TV and then ABC TV, running nearly three decades. A recent successful TV run in Puerto Rico is now paving the way for a U.S. debut.
In 2008 Mr. Wortsman joined the board of Fisher Communications (NASDQ: FSCI), a 100+ year old Pacific Northwest broadcasting company. He served as Chairman of the Board thru May 2011. The company was subsequently sold to Sinclair Broadcasting Group Inc. (NASDAQ: SBGI) for $41 a share. In January, 2010 Mr. Wortsman agreed to serve as interim CEO of Impremedia, LLC (www.impremedia.com), the number one Hispanic news and information company in the U.S. in online and print. After assisting the board in finding a permanent CEO, Mr. Wortsman assumed the position of Chairman until March 2012 when the company was sold. He also previously served on the board of the National Association of Broadcasting (NAB) and the Board of Directors of Entravision Communications (NYSE: EVC).
Univision is the leading Spanish-language media company in the USA. It owns and operates broadcast and cable networks, television and radio stations, and the leading Spanish language website in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Mr. Wortsman joined Univision as Executive Vice President, Corporate Development in 1993. He helped build the company from eight originally-purchased stations to over 60 stations, and he was named President of the Univision Television Group in 1997. In 2001, Univision acquired a major English-language TV station group and used it to launch and create a new Spanish language Network—Telefutura. Mr. Wortsman added the title of President of the Telefutura Station Group. Shortly after launching Telefutura, Univision entered the Puerto Rico market and as President of Univision of Puerto Rico, Mr. Wortsman helped create a hybrid network on the island, rechristening Channel 11 and Channel 9 as “Univision Puerto Rico.” In 2004 Mr. Wortsman launched “Unicine,” and added additional responsibilities as President of Univision Home Video.
Mr. Wortsman left Univision in April 2007 upon its LBO sale to a group of five private equity firms. Prior to joining Univision, Mr. Wortsman (a Graduate of San Jose State University) served in the US Navy and held various executive positions at ABC, FOX and NBC owned television and radio stations.