Ed Coghlan, Communications Executive
Ed is an accomplished senior corporate communications executive with vast health care and public policy experience: Corporate News Director for the highly successful four-station Montana Television Network; News Director at KCOP in Los Angeles garnering the highest news ratings in the station’s history and winning the LA Press Club’s Best Newscast award; Vice President of Communications for Maxicare Health Plans, where he lead the company out of bankruptcy protection and grew its membership profitably; Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications for an emerging wound care company, MedLogic Global Corporation in Colorado Spring, Co.; Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for Sunrise Technologies in Fremont, California, where his public relations efforts lead to stories on the NBC Nightly News, the Los Angeles Times and CNN. As a public relations consultant for Advanced Medical Optics, he attracted stories in the Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press, CNBC, Good Morning America and dozens of local markets throughout the country. He also has experience in the public policy area with experience in public transportation (Los Angeles County Transportation Commission), education (Los Angeles Unified School District), public health (Oldtimers Foundation and Mexican American Opportunity Federation), environment (Metropolitan Water District and Tree People) and children’s issues (First 5 Los Angeles). He has a broad understanding of the Latino market and has worked in successful placements in Spanish language media. Coghlan is a veteran public speaker and presenter, teaches presentation and media skills to professionals around the country and is a former broadcast journalism faculty member at UCLA Extension and California State University Northridge.
John D. Bunzel, Wealth Manager
John is a graduate of the Juilliard School and spent over twenty years working in the entertainment industry as a writer/producer and production executive, overseeing the production, sale and delivery of numerous multi-million dollar films around the world. At Morgan Stanley, his diverse background gives him a unique perspective on his clients and their needs, particularly those in the entertainment industry, whether it be helping them more effectively manage their assets and liabilities, plan for the education of their children, or develop comprehensive estate planning and retirement strategies. He is a former Trustee at The Wesley School, an independent K-8 school located in North Hollywood, CA, a board member for New Horizons, a non-profit organization in the San Fernando Valley that serves the mentally disabled and former board chair for The C5 Youth Foundation of Southern California (formerly the Camp Coca-Cola Foundation of L.A.).
Russ Cashdan, Attorney
Russ is a corporate and finance lawyer at Kaye Scholer, LLP with a broad practice in mergers and acquisitions, finance and general corporate matters. Mr. Cashdan represents buyers, sellers and investment bankers in mergers and acquisitions and public and private finance transactions, including initial public offerings, secondary public offerings and private placements. Mr. Cashdan also advises public and private companies of various sizes on matters ranging from day-to-day operations to restructuring transactions. Prior to attending University of Southern California law school, he worked as a certified public accountant for what was then a Big Eight public accounting.
Founder, Board Member Emeritus
Laura Leigh Hughes, Actress
An Actress for the past 18 years, acting in dozens of television and film productions, Laura Leigh founded the Unusual Suspects in response to the 1992 civil unrest. She served as Executive Director for 8 years, before moving to the board to focus on her acting career. She graduated from UCLA with a BA degree in Sociology.
Deborah Lintz, Attorney
Deborah Lintz became General Counsel for Slate Digital LLC, a music software and media company, in 2010. Previously, Deborah was an attorney at Paramount Pictures, handling entertainment contracts for Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, and DreamWorks. Prior to joining Paramount in January 2007, Deborah was an associate at the law firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP. She graduated from the UCLA School of Law in 2004. While at UCLA, Deborah was the chief articles editor of the UCLA Entertainment Law Review, a board member of the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) and co-chair of PILF’s annual auction, “Bid for a Better World,” which raised a then-record amount of funds to support public interest legal work. Also during law school, Deborah received a $12,000 grant from the UCLA Center for Community Partnerships to found Film Outreach LA, in collaboration with The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company. Film Outreach LA trains film professionals to mentor at-risk youth through the production of their own short films and also produces fundraising and educational DVDs for non-profit programs assisting at-risk youth. As a result of her efforts through Film Outreach LA, Deborah was named a Foster Care Hero by the LA County Board of Supervisors in 2005. Prior to law school, Deborah was Executive Assistant to Wendy Finerman at Wendy Finerman Productions, producer of films including “Forrest Gump,” “Stepmom,” and “The Devil Wears Prada.” Deborah attended college at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was an all-around “drama dork” and a member of Stimulus Children’s Theatre, a campus theater group that worked with inner city schools in West Philadelphia. Deborah is from Westfield, NJ.
Jennifer Lisle, Journalist
Jennifer has served on The Unusual Suspects Board since 2007. She worked as a magazine, newspaper and online journalist for 18 years in New York, London and Los Angeles. Her experience in social services includes working as the grants manager at Planned Parenthood NYC, which manages the three Manhattan Planned Parenthood clinics and serving on the Board of The Rockland Parent-Child Center in Nyack, NY. She holds a BA in English and Economics from Tufts University and an MA in Literature from Middlebury College. She first volunteered for The Unusual Suspects by editing and writing for the organization’s newsletter and contributing to press releases. “From the moment I saw my first US show, I knew I wanted to get involved with an organization that makes such a big difference in the lives of so many youth. I am privileged to continue serving US.”
Thomas Reed, Business Manager
Tom received his BFA from San Francisco Art Institute in Film Production and his Master’s degree from Long Island University in Accounting & Finance. He spent thirty three years as an accountant and business manager with a primary concentration in the entertainment industry. Currently he is running his own firm, Affiliated Financial Service Group, Inc. He also has a music publishing and administration company, Affiliated Music Publishing, LLC located in New York City.
Sara Scott, Entertainment Executive
Sara Scott is a Creative Executive at Universal Pictures where she has worked on projects such as Safe House, Five Year Engagement, and Ted. Prior to joining Universal, she was an executive at Harpo Films. Sara studied Theatre Arts and Urban Studies at The University of Pennsylvania, from where she received her B.A.
Michal Sela-Amit became a clinical assistant professor at the USC School of Social Work in 2007 after having served as an adjunct lecturer and the international student advisor. Sela-Amit's professional interests include child welfare; family violence and secondary victimization; immigration, acculturation and bi-culturalism; international social work and narrative therapy, and qualitative and triangulation research methodologies. In addition to an academic career, she has held a variety of social work positions including Women's League for Israel. She is also a theater and therapy project committee member for the Los Angeles-Tel-Aviv Partnership, as well as a current member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Council on Social Work Education.
Albert G. Chou
Albert joined Goldman Sachs in 1996 as a Financial Analyst in the Firm’s Chicago office and was part of a highly successful Private Wealth Management team. After receiving his MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA, Albert rejoined Goldman Sachs in the Los Angeles office and joined his current team in 1999. He earned his undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Chicago. Albert is involved with recruiting and mentoring of University of Chicago students through the University’s alumni organization. He also is part of the University of Chicago recruiting team at Goldman Sachs. Albert volunteers with Junior Achievement and Inner City Arts teaching and mentoring underprivileged children. He has participated in Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Business Program as a volunteer advisor. Albert is married with two children and lives in Hancock Park.