City National’s Insight One20
ABOUT OUR SPEAKERS
Tom LaBonge serves at City of Los Angeles Councilmember. He has been serving the City of Los Angeles and the 4th District long before he was elected to the City Council in 2001. The Councilmember was re-elected in 2003, 2007 and, most recently in 2011. Declared “Mr. LA” by Los Angeles magazine, Tom LaBonge is known for his infectious civic spirit and encyclopedic knowledge of Los Angeles. Councilmember LaBonge has worked for the city for more than 35 years, starting as a volunteer with Mayor Tom Bradley’s Youth Council in 1974 and 1975 and Mayor Bradley’s Summer Youth Beautification Team. Councilmember LaBonge served on the staffs of Councilwoman Peggy Stevenson, the late great City Council President John Ferraro , the Honorable Mayor Richard Riordan, and the Department of Water and Power as its Director of Community Relations. He currently serves on the City Council as Chair of Trade, Commerce and Tourism Committee; Vice Chair of its Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee, Rules and Elections Committee and Ad-Hoc River Committee. Councilmember LaBonge is a member of the Council’s Transportation Committee, the Audits and Governmental Efficiency Committee and the Jobs and Business Development Committee.
Frank Mottek is the voice of business news in Los Angeles. You hear him every day anchoring business reports on KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO and he hosts the top-rated KNX Business Hour right after the stock market’s closing bell at 1pm on the West Coast. Frank is an award winning broadcaster with more than 30 years experience in radio and television news including KTLA Channel 5, CBS2 in Los Angeles, and The Nightly Business Report on PBS. For many years he was on radio and television in Miami where he started in the business in high school. While in Florida, his experience included broadcasting the live descriptions of more than 20 space shuttle launches on the CBS Radio Network. He was an eyewitness to the 1986 Challenger disaster at the Kennedy Space Center. On KNX, Frank closely follows the financial markets and economic news on a daily basis. He extensively covered the financial crisis as it unfolded in 2008. He was also on the air during the so-called “Flash Crash,” as it happened, in 2010.
Christopher Thornberg is Founding Partner of Beacon Economics, LLC and widely considered to be one of California’s leading economic forecasters. An expert in economic forecasting, regional economics, and real estate and labor economics, he was one of the earliest and most adamant predictors of the global economic recession that began in 2008. Dr. Thornberg serves on the advisory board of Paulson & Co. Inc., one of Wall Street’s most successful hedge funds. Between 2008 and 2012 he served as a chief economic advisor to the California State Controller’s Office and was Chair of Controller John Chiang’s Council of Economic Advisors. Dr. Thornberg holds a Ph.D in Business Economics from The Anderson School at UCLA, and a B.S. in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Tracy Rafter is the CEO of BizFed. She was instrumental in BizFed’s organizational founding, early-warning, advocacy and outreach efforts, as well as boosted civic engagement among the elusive business-owner market segment. Since its launch in January 2008, BizFed has nearly doubled its number of members and is extremely proud of its dynamic Board of Directors comprised of 180 Los Angeles County market-leading executives.Today, BizFed, a not-for-profit 501(c)6 organization, serves over 100 business organizations representing a diverse cross-section of well over 250,000 businesses across the county and works to advocate for positive public policy, legislation, and civic engagement across Los Angeles County’s diverse business community. Recently BizFed formed a foundation arm, BizFed Institute, and a political action committee, BizFed PAC, to extend research, education, and campaign work to complement BizFed’s core advocacy efforts.