BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Mark W. Bucher, President
Mark Bucher has been actively involved in public affairs since the 1993 Proposition 174 school choice campaign, when he acted as the volunteer coordinator for Orange County. His observations during that campaign of the power and influence of the unions in our state led him to found the Education Alliance, a group dedicated to assisting independent school board candidates as well as authoring, qualifying, and chairing the 1998 Proposition 226, which would have required unions to receive permission to use their members’ dues for political purposes.
Bucher obtained his undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Biola University, and his Juris Doctorate from Western State University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude, first in his class, and with the additional honor of Valedictorian.
Robert W. Loewen, Chairman
An attorney licensed in California since 1975, Mr. Loewen is a member of a prominent international law firm in its 85-lawyer Irvine, California office. He specializes in business litigation with an emphasis on environmental and appellate cases and is often consulted on constitutional issues concerning personal freedom. Robert Loewen is chairman emeritus of the Lincoln Club of Orange County, where he has been a member for 20 years. He has served on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Lincoln Club for more than ten years.
Loewen received his bachelor of arts degree from Pomona College in 1970. He graduated first in his class from the University of Southern California School of Law in 1975, where he served as Executive Editor of Lead Articles for the Southern California Law Review and was a member of the Order of the Coif. Following law school, Mr. Loewen served as a law clerk to Justice Byron R. White at the United States Supreme Court and for Judge Walter Ely at the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Loewen serves on the Board of Directors of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Orange County, the Board and Executive Committee of the Lincoln Club of Orange County, the Board of Visitors of Chapman Law School, and is a member of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society of the United Way of Orange County.
Ed Ring is the executive director for the California Policy Center where he oversees execution of the Center’s strategic plan. He is also the editor of ProsperityCalifornia.org and UnionWatch.org. Previously, as a consultant and full-time employee primarily for start-up companies in the Silicon Valley, Ring has done financial accounting for over 20 years, and brings this expertise to his analysis and commentary on issues of public sector finance. From 1995 to 2009 Ring was the editor of EcoWorld, a website covering environmental issues from a free-market perspective. Between 2007 and 2010 Ring launched in partnership with AlwaysOn Media the highly successful “GoingGreen” conferences, held annually in San Francisco and Boston. Ring has an MBA in Finance from the University of Southern California, and a BA in Political Science from UC Davis.
Clare Venegas is the Development Director for the California Policy Center. Most recently, she served as the Executive Director of the Lincoln Club of Orange County, an influential business group whose members have promoted free-market policies since 1962. Venegas has over 15 years of professional experience in organizational management, development, media/corporate communications in the public and private sectors. Prior to the Lincoln Club, she served as manager of public affairs and communications for Orange County’s largest toll-road system, and held communications and public relations positions for technology manufacturers in Silicon Valley and OC. She began her career as a journalist for the Orange County Register and holds a BA in Political Science degree from Loyola Marymount University.
DIRECTOR EDUCATION REFORM
Gloria Romero joins the California Policy Center from California Center for Parent Empowerment, an organization she founded where she is still executive director. Romero and has been a forceful advocate for education reform and civil rights. She was elected to the 24th Senate District in 2001, representing East Los Angeles and the greater San Gabriel Valley. She was elected by her peers to serve as Senate Democratic Caucus Chair and as Senate Majority Leader — the first woman to ever hold that leadership position in the history of the California State Senate. Romero served as Chair of both the Education Committee and the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee on Education. She believes that education is the civil rights issue of our time.
SENIOR FELLOW – FISCAL POLICY
Former San Diego city councilman and lifelong entrepreneur Carl DeMaio is now tackling state-wide fiscal reform policy. While on the City Council, DeMaio led the effort to cut red tape on small businesses, reform the city’s contracting processes to expedite infrastructure projects, and enact some of the toughest “Sunshine Law” open government requirements in the nation. In 2012, DeMaio crafted and led a citizens campaign to qualify and pass the “Comprehensive Pension Reform” Initiative – the first-of-its kind measure to switch San Diego from a Defined Benefit Pension Plan to a 401(k) retirement program. In 2003, DeMaio founded the American Strategic Management Institute (ASMI), which provides training and education in corporate financial and performance management. In late 2007, DeMaio sold both of his companies to Thompson Publishing Group. DeMaio holds a BA in International Politics and Business from Georgetown University.
DIRECTOR TRANSPARENCY RESEARCH
Robert Fellner directs research on the largest privately funded state and local government payroll and pensions records project in California history, TransparentCalifornia, a joint venture of the California Policy Center and NPRI. Robert has lived in Las Vegas since 2005 when he moved to Nevada to become a professional poker player. Robert has had a remarkably successfully poker career including two top 10 World Series of Poker finishes. Additionally, his economic analysis on the minimum wage law won first place in a 2011 essay contest hosted by Professor Peter Boettke of George Mason University. His research has been used by policymakers, elected officials, citizens, and journalists alike, and has been featured in hundreds of news reports statewide. Additionally, his commentaries have been published by the Los Angeles Times, Contra Costa Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal and more.
Kevin Dayton is the President & CEO of Labor Issues Solutions, LLC, and a policy analyst for the California Policy Center. Dayton is the author of frequent postings about generally unreported California state and local policy issues at on the California Policy Center’s Prosperity Forum and Union Watch, as well as well as on his own website LaborIssuesSolutions.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DaytonPubPolicy.
Marc Joffe is the founder of Public Sector Credit Solutions and a policy analyst with the California Policy Center. Joffe founded Public Sector Credit Solutions in 2011 to educate policymakers, investors and citizens about government credit risk. PSCS research has been published by the California State Treasurer’s Office, the Mercatus Center and the Macdonald-Laurier Institute among others. Prior to starting PSCS, Marc was a Senior Director at Moody’s Analytics. He has an MBA from New York University and an MPA from San Francisco State University.
Bob Sicher is a senior researcher with the California Policy Center. Sicher has over 30 years of executive business experience. During his career in the private sector, he has held sales, operational and executive level management positions with California based companies that specialized in creating and growing agile manufacturing operations designed to meet the changing needs of their customers who operated locally, nationally and globally. Sicher resides with his family in Southern California.
Chad Morgan is an attorney in private practice focusing primarily on public law and public interest litigation. He represents clients in matters related to civil rights, access to public information, election law, and similar public interest matters. Prior to his legal career, Chad had an extensive background in government affairs and public relations. He has served as Chief of Staff for a member of the California State Legislature and has more than a decade of experience advising political campaigns at all levels. Chad is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton and Western State University College of Law.
Craig Alexander is the principal of the Law Offices of Craig P. Alexander and has practiced law for over twenty five years. He represents clients in litigation and non-litigation matters regarding construction defects, insurance coverage, personal injury, property damages, business litigation and general civil litigation matters and professional liability cases. Craig’s experience includes working for ten years inside the insurance claims industry including for carriers that insured construction and design professionals for residential and commercial real estate projects. Craig is a graduate of Santa Clara University’s School of Law and he was admitted to the California State Bar in December of 1987.
CONTRIBUTORS AND ADVISORS
Since 2012, Ken Churchill has been executive director of New Sonoma, an organization of financial and business experts and concerned citizens dedicated to working together to solve Sonoma County’s serious financial problems. Churchill has over 40 years of business and financial management experience as founder, CEO and CFO of a solar energy company and environmental consulting firm. He sold both companies and now grows wine grapes and produces wines under his Churchill Cellars label. For the past several years, Churchill has been actively researching and studying the public sector pension crisis.
Since 2004, Jack Dean has edited the influential website PensionTsunami.org, formed to monitor developments in all three pension spheres nationwide – public employees, corporations and social security. He is a former newspaper editor and a past executive director of the Reason Foundation. He has been active in politics for more than three decades and currently serves as president of the Fullerton Association of Concerned Taxpayers.
Since 2008 Dickerson has been the publisher of the influential website and newsletter YourPublicMoney.com. He focuses on the impact of unfunded pension debt on the 21 California counties that operate their own independent Pension Funds. He is a financial and organizational planner and analyst with 30 years of experience. Dickerson earned his MBA in Strategic Planning from the University of Texas at Austin.
William (Bill) Fletcher retired as Senior Vice President at Rockwell International. During most of his time there he was responsible for international operations and business development for Rockwell Automation. Before joining Rockwell, he worked for Bechtel Corporation, McKinsey and Company, Inc., and Combustion Engineering’s Nuclear Power Division, and was an officer and engineer in the U.S. Navy’s nuclear program. His international experience includes expatriate assignments in Hong Kong, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Canada. In addition to his interest in California’s state and local government finances, he is involved in organizations dealing with national security and international relations.
R. Claire Friend, MD, is the Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, UC Irvine Medical Center, and the editor of the UC Irvine Quarterly Journal of Psychiatry. She is a retired psychiatrist and frequent commentator on the psychological dimensions of education and social welfare policies.
Marcia is President and founding board member of California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility, dedicated to research, education, and development of alternative solutions to handling California’s emerging public employee pension crisis. She is currently a member of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board Task Force – Pension Accounting and Reporting Standards, the GASB Advisory Committee – Pension Accounting Research Project, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Prior to selling her practice in December 2011, Marcia had over 30 years of public accounting experience, serving clients including the California Justice Dept., CalPERS, CA Dept. of Education, CA Dept. of Insurance, CA Dept. of Corrections, CA Bureau of State Audits, CA Dept. of Health Services, CA Dept. of Finance, and many others in government and the private sector. As a national expert in public sector retirement, she is frequently quoted by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee and other newspapers throughout California.
After a management career in the Silicon Valley, Bill Monnet currently serves as a board member of Citizens for Sustainable Pension Plans in Marin County. He has an MA in Political Science from UC Davis and an MBA in Finance from UC Berkeley. Monnet was briefly an adjunct Professor of Public Administration and then spent 24 years in Silicon Valley in various management positions at IBM, Siemens and Cisco Systems. His work experience includes positions in finance, service & manufacturing operations, demand forecasting and failure analysis. He says that his varied experiences have proved surprisingly effective in understanding the counterintuitive world of public finance.
Retired public school teacher Larry Sand began his teaching career in New York in 1971. Beginning in 1984, he taught Elementary school as well as English, math, history and ESL in the Los Angeles Unified School District, where he also served as a Title 1 Coordinator. Retired in 2009, he is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues – information teachers will often not get from their school districts or unions. CTEN was formed in 2006 to present objective information to teachers on education policy, education leadership, and education reform, professional liability insurance, options of relationships to teachers’ unions, and the effect of unionism on teacher pay. Sand has appeared on numerous broadcast news programs, panels and talk radio shows in Southern California and nationally to discuss education reform efforts and the impact of teachers’ unions on public education.
With over 15 years of experience as a political professional, TJ Zane has provided direct campaign management services for candidates for public office at every level, as well as consulting services on several local ballot initiatives, including successful campaigns for the preservation of the Mt. Soledad National War Memorial and the renewal of “TransNet,” the region’s transportation infrastructure bond. Zane received degrees in Political Science and Communication from the University of Pennsylvania. An Eagle Scout and native of Connecticut, Mr. Zane is a member or director of numerous professional, social, non-profit, and political organizations, including current affiliations with the Boy Scouts of America, San Diego County Taxpayers Association, Herb Klein Leadership Roundtable, Hugh O’Brien Youth Foundation, “No Excuses University” Foundation, American Association of Political Consultants, and the Penn Club of San Diego. Mr. Zane and his family live in San Diego, California.