A native New Yorker, Barbara began a very exciting advertising and marketing career on Madison Avenue. She founded Responsive Research, Inc. and spent over thirty years as a marketing consultant, conducting focus groups for Fortune 500 companies, including Bank of America, Coca-Cola, American Airlines, Johnson & Johnson, General Motors, General Mills, IBM and 3M to name a few. In 1975, she moved to Los Angeles where she continued to work and raise two children. In 1993, she founded Salon Forum, a non-business venture, to bring women together in her home for monthly events that support personal enrichment and connection. It has grown to include over 800 women.
In March of 2008, Barbara and other women of Salon Forum were inspired by one of its speakers, Gil Garcetti, to start "Wells Bring Hope." She saw it as an opportunity to "give back" and so decided to devote her full time to saving lives in West Africa. In January of 2009, she was one of six women who went to Niger, a life-changing experience. She began speaking to community groups and schools to inspire others to take up this cause.
Laurie S. Adami began her career in 1982 in the fixed income portfolio management group at the Bank of New England in Boston. In 1984, she relocated to Los Angeles to work for Capital Management Sciences (CMS) a provider of fixed income analytical software.
At CMS, she served in various roles, including manager of client services, sales and marketing. In 1996 Ms. Adami was promoted to Chief Operating Officer of the company. In 1999, when the founder, James Kaplan, retired from CMS, she assumed the role of President. In 2001, CMS merged with Interactive Data and Laurie continued to manage the division.
After twenty four years with the company, she stepped down from her role in September 2008. Since then, she has been involved in fundraising for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and her work with Wells Bring Hope. In addition, she is on the board of directors of Governance Metrics International. Ms. Adami received her undergraduate degree from Colgate University and presently lives in Santa Monica, CA with her husband and son.
Larry has over 30 years of senior level executive management and business advisory experience. He currently serves as Chief Operating Officer of Cook Pigs LLC, a heritage pig ranch operation based in Julian, CA. He is responsible for the growth and development of the Cook Pigs heritage pork brand. Additionally, Larry is the founder and CEO of LR Johnson Associates LLC, a specialty products marketing and distribution company. Larry also provides strategic marketing advice and counsel for middle market businesses in food and related industries.
Larry is an active Member of the Rotary Club of Manhattan Beach, and has served in a variety of leadership roles in Rotary International's District organization in the Los Angeles area. He is active in the local Episcopal Church, where he currently serves as a youth leader. A Louisiana native, he is a graduate of Boston College and also has an MBA from Columbia University.
Ed is a global business management and strategy consultant based in Los Angeles. In 1999, he founded DEA Enterprises, a boutique consultancy that has provided fix-term or a la carte contract services to businesses, governments, industry bodies, non-profits and NGOs. Areas of specialty have included: sustainability, triple-bottom-line economics, economic policy, trade promotion and policy, capital sourcing, marketing, market entry strategies, capability development, market arbitrage, multi-horizon scoping and planning. Sectors of focus have included: specialized manufacturing, ICT, food-fiber-agribusiness-aquaculture, bio-medical/bio-technology, nanotechnology, and clean-tech.
More recently, Keebler also opened the highly acclaimed Culver City restaurant, Bucato, as the Managing Partner. Simultaneously, in 2012, he founded a first of its kind hospitality PEO for Los Angeles, EFEK Management.
Some of his personal goals that, in part, explain his involvement with Wells Bring Hope include:
- To continuously demonstrate a deep commitment to learn, gain wisdom and improve as a "response-able" global citizen - regardless of achievement, age or pursuits.
- To have a positive, enduring impact on the lives of the under-served, under-represented, persecuted, and the economically challenged, regardless of culture, ethnicity, gender or religion.
- To leave a lasting legacy of significant contributions which will improve and protect the world for successive generations.
Maryann is a native Angeleno who returned after growing up in Minneapolis and attending the University of Minnesota, graduating in Occupational Therapy. She worked for California Children's Services for several years, becoming an Administrative Director before retiring to raise three sons. While mothering, she was active for over twenty years on the Alliance Board of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, serving as president and Dinosaur Ball chairman.
In the early 90's she started a therapy practice that continued for over 12 years, contracting occupational and physical therapy services to three school districts in Los Angeles. She later continued in private practice, working with children with autistic and Asperger's Syndrome. A lifelong dream led her to spend a good part of three years living in Paris and learning the language.
Her deep concern for the women and children of Niger began after viewing the Wells Bring Hope video at an event in Barbara's home. Her heart was captured, so she and friends funded one well and are working on a second one!
As Chief Operating Officer of American Solar Direct, Andrew oversees operational effectiveness and technology to deliver superior customer experiences. His 20-plus year tenure in IT leadership is instrumental in growing American Solar Direct's business processes and technology. Andrew is known for his fascination with German engineering - it is therefore no surprise that most of American Solar Direct's solar panels, and Andrew's car, are made in Germany.
Bruce enjoyed a highly successful career as one of the country's leading bankruptcy lawyers with nearly twenty years as a partner and non-legal deal leader in the private equity firm of Apollo Management, L.P., the predecessor to Apollo Global Management.
From 1967 to 1992, he was a member of the law firm of Stutman, Treister and Glatt, specializing in restructurings, insolvency reorganizations and related bankruptcy matters. He served as lead debtor's counsel in a number of the largest chapter 11 cases of that era, including Wickes Companies and Storage Technology, Inc.
After joining Apollo Management in 1992, Bruce lead or was a key member of deal teams in purchasing and managing a number of high profile companies, including Vail Resorts International and Telemundo, In 2007, he stepped down as a partner in the firm in order to devote more time to teaching, family and charitable and community endeavors.
Bruce graduated from University of Southern California, B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa and the University of California at Los Angeles, J.D., summa cum laude and was Senior Editor of UCLA Law Review.
He has been a strong supporter of Wells Bring Hope since 2010, and to encourage his family to support the organization too, he created a Water Circle where he multiplies the donations of his grandchildren four times!
Gil Garcetti spent 32 years in the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, including eight years until 2000 as Los Angeles County District Attorney. His involvement with bringing safe water to the people of West Africa began in January 2001, when he visited West Africa as the guest of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. The most startling fact he learned on this trip: roughly 70% of rural villages do not have access to safe water. He made four subsequent trips to West Africa and from the photographs he took, a book was born: "Water Is Key". Since 2006, he has worked tirelessly and successfully to raise awareness and funds to drill wells in West Africa. His life goal is to continue to fund wells to save lives with safe water.
Gil is an internationally acclaimed photographer, having published five photo books since 2002. In the Fall of 2007, the UCLA Fowler Museum had an exhibition of his photographs, "Women, Water and Wells." In 2009, many of these photos were on exhibition in the visitors lobby of the United Nations in New York. In February, 2008, these same photographs and his words inspired the founding of "Wells Bring Hope."