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Staff

LANI LUTAR - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Lani Lutar As the Equinox Center's Executive Director, Lani Lutar is responsible for directing policy research and advocacy, growing the organization’s Leaders 2020 civic engagement program, leading fundraising efforts and increasing the overall visibility of the organization. Prior to joining the Equinox Center, Lutar served for seven years as President & CEO of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA). In line with the strategic goals of Equinox Center, Lutar helped SDCTA develop a program around promoting smart water policies and drought-proof water supplies. Before joining SDCTA, Lutar was executive director of the Asian Business Association of San Diego (ABA). From 1999 to 2004, Lutar served in leadership roles on several non-partisan San Diego city council candidate campaigns. In 2005, she served as advisor to then-mayoral candidate, Jerry Sanders, as a member of his City Hall Reorganization Group. Lutar earned a Master of Pacific International Affairs degree from the University of California, San Diego and graduated magna cum laude from San Diego State University with a BA in Psychology. She was also a Next Generation Project Fellow of the American Assembly at Columbia University. Lutar resides in Point Loma with her husband Dan and son, Xander.

CHRIS KATO - POLICY ANALYST

Chris KatoChris Kato is the newest addition to Equinox Center. Chris conducts public policy research and analysis and serves as the staff liaison to Leaders 2020. Before joining Equinox Center, Chris worked as an analyst at the San Diego County Taxpayers Association for nearly two years. In this role, he conducted in-depth research and analysis of issues related to the region’s water districts and public pension systems, as well as local and state ballot measures. An avid golfer, Chris is a volunteer for the nonprofit organizations, Pro Kids Golf Academy in City Heights and The First Tee of San Jose. Chris earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego.

 

MICHAEL BIEDIGER - POLICY ANALYST

Michael Biediger

Michael Biediger joined Equinox Center in 2013 as a Research Fellow and continues to serve as a Policy Analyst. In addition to researching electric vehicles and other topical issues important to the San Diego region, Michael assists with Equinox Center's social media and provides research support on other projects. Prior to this, Michael interned for the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, where he conducted policy research and quantitative analysis on the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS). Michael enjoys traveling and lived abroad in China for three years, where he taught English and studied Mandarin. Michael has a Master’s degree in International Business Management from UC San Diego.

 


External Support Team

LEE FORRESTER - CPA

Lee ForresterMr. Forrester is a licensed CPA providing accounting, advisory and tax services to clients in San Diego County for the past 30 years.  The majority of his practice relates to non-profit organizations.  He frequently makes presentations at board of director and committee meetings regarding budgets, cash flows, fund raising and the financial health of his client organizations. He has a working understanding of FASB Statements 116 and 117 as well as GAAP for not for profit organizations to insure compliance with all relevant accounting standards for non-profit organizations. In addition to his CPA license, Mr. Forrester has a master’s degree in finance from Los Angeles State University.

 

ANTHONY GEORGE MANOLATOS - COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGIES

Tony ManolatosA communications expert with more than a dozen years of experience in news media and media relations, Anthony Manolatos provides public and government affairs consultation. He specializes in strategic communications and through his own By George Strategies, which he started in 2011, implements successful communications and public policy plans that promote businesses and non-profits in San Diego. Formerly, Tony served as a spokesman for City Councilmember Kevin Faulconer in his role as the Councilmember’s Communications Director and Deputy Chief. His previous professional experiences also include his time as an award-winning journalist at The Detroit News and The San Diego Union-Tribune.


JOHN C. O'NEILL - LEGAL COUNSEL

John C. O'NeillJohn C. O'Neill's practice emphasizes business transactions, commercial contracts, corporate/venture formations, mergers and acquisitions, private equity offerings, financing, equity compensation, corporate governance and commercial leasing. His clients include manufacturers, distributors, retailers, e-commerce business, non-profit corporations and service businesses. Mr. O'Neill provides pro bono legal services to a number of non-profit organizations including the San Diego Humane Society and S.P.C.A., the Alzheimer’s Foundation, the Poway Unified School District, the San Diego County Taxpayers Association and the National Conflict Resolution Center. He received his LLM and JD from the University of San Diego School of Law.

 

ROZANNA ZANE - EVENT PLANNING

Rozanna ZaneRozanna Zane is the lead Event planner of Affairz Event Consulting. Rozanna launched Affairz Event Consulting in 2003 in San Diego, under the parent company PAC Management and Consulting, inc., serving all of Southern California and has since expanded the business to include coast to coast service. Prior to starting Affairz Event Consulting, Rozanna was the Supply Chain Manager for Carttronics, LLC. (San Diego), Warehouse Manager for Pioneer Van and Storage (El Centro) and a dispatcher for Mayflower Moving Company (San Diego). Rozanna is a graduate of Cal State University San Marcos, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/ High Tech Management. Rozanna, a native Californian, lives in Rancho Penasquitos with her husband and two sons.


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