Kavita Amar is Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs at New Line Cinema, where she has managed all of the legal aspects of production on theatrical motion pictures such as “Sex and the City,” “Sex and the City 2,” “The Conjuring,” “The Conjuring 2,” “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island,” “Horrible Bosses 2” and Stephen King’s “IT.” Prior to going in-house, Kavita worked as an entertainment and business litigation attorney at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, as an employment attorney at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, and clerked for a federal judge in the Western District of Washington. She attended the University of California at Berkeley, where she double majored in English and Economics. She received her joint J.D./M.B.A. from the University of Southern California. Kavita’s passion for writing led her to publish her poetry in a local magazine when she was in high school, and later she published a novel entitled “L.A. Style”—a fun, glamorous chick-lit read with an insider’s view of the City of Angels. An avid reader, Kavita recalls her childhood imagination being sparked by A Wrinkle in Time, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and The Wizard of Oz. She also appreciated everything she learned from Judy Blume’s novels. When not reading, writing, or watching movies, Kavita enjoys international travel, trying out new restaurants, and working out.
Jill Casselman is an associate in the Los Angeles office of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP. She is a business litigator and trial attorney with experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in all stages of litigation up through, and including, trial. Her practice focuses on business and property litigation in state and federal courts. One of Jill’s favorite children’s books is Roald Dahl’s Matilda.
Lora Cohn is Vice President at Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products where she has spent the last 16 years working on entertainment brands like The Simpsons, Family Guy, Modern Family, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Alvin and the Chipmunks and Avatar.
She is an active member of the Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association (LIMA) and has ties to major retailers as well as Consumer Products giants Mattel, Hasbro, Lego, Saban Brands, Nickelodeon, Sanrio, etc. She has broad experience in all aspects of sales and marketing including retail development, brand strategy, sales plans and public relations.
Lora grew up in Western Pennsylvania where she spent most of her time in the Carnegie Free Library devouring every book she could get her hands on. Her favorite series of all time is the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries. She currently lives in Manhattan Beach with her two daughters, Jordan and Bari where they spend free time doing beach sports, seeing movies, trying new restaurants and volunteering for their favorite charities.
Born and raised in Cincinnati , OH, Gail moved to southern CA with her husband Mike in 1983. She attended California State University at Long Beach from 1987-1991 and earned a BS in Business Finance. She opened South Bay Sports Medicine Physical Therapy, an outpatient rehabilitation clinic, in Torrance, CA with her husband and two partners in 1988.
She continues to work as Manager/Administrator for SBSM, which employs 20 people. She’s been married for 30 years, and has two sons, Ryan, born in 1989, and Travis, born in 1993. Gail has been an Access Books board member since 2001. She became involved when she organized a book drive at her son’s elementary school. One of her favorite children’s books is Bob and Jack: A Boy and His Yak, by Jeff Moss.
Tikisha Harris has successfully taught a broad range of subjects for public schools and private companies in different areas of the United States and abroad. She earned a Bachelors of Arts degree from Clark Atlanta University in Spanish Education and a Masters of Arts in Multicultural Education from California State University, Dominguez Hills. Tikisha also has a Masters of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. Her goal is to empower students to be critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillful researchers, and ethical users of information for the 21st century. She currently works as a Teacher Librarian at Meyler Street Elementary School in Torrance, California. Tikisha feels like there is no better job than teaching. She finds children to be a constant source of amazement. She likes working with children of all ages and finds watching them learn and grow as people to be extremely rewarding. Her favorite children’s book is The Big Box by Toni Morrison.
September Hill is a nonprofit advocacy consultant currently working with 2020 Mom, a nonprofit organization focused on improving maternal mental health care. Previously, she conducted non-profit advocacy as a board member of the Junior League of Los Angeles (JLLA) and as co-chair of the Junior Leagues of California State Public Affairs Committee (SPAC). September was recognized for her community service and civic leadership by being awarded JLLA’s “Shining Star Award” and Association of Junior Leagues International’s “Rising Star Award.” She is also a graduate of JLLA’s Leadership Development Institute and Development Institute and CORO’s Executive Fellows Program.
September has over fifteen years experience working in television production and logistics for award shows, music specials, sitcoms and several Olympic games. She graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science. She earned her M.A. in Social Entrepreneurship and Change from Pepperdine University. September currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two daughters. Her all-time favorite children’s books are Bud Not Buddy, The Trumpet of the Swan and The Giving Tree.
Born and raised in Northern California, Lorri moved to Manhattan Beach with her husband Rob, son Roberto and daughter Isabel in 2007. She is a graduate of California State University where she earned a B.A. in journalism. Lorri worked for several years as a paralegal before becoming a stay-at-home mom. One of her favorite children’s book is Owl Moon, by Jane Yolen.
Eva Li is an experienced consultant with Accenture LLP, based out of her home office of San Francisco, and divides her time between the Bay Area and Los Angeles. She has worked with several clients managing programs and implementing large scale digital projects. Eva grew up in Orange County, CA and attended the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in Biomedical Engineering. A classically trained pianist, Eva is an avid lover of music and the arts. In her free time, she can usually be found buried in a book, or testing out a new dessert recipe in the kitchen. Eva’s favorite childhood books are too numerous to list but some of her all-time favorites are Anne of Green Gables, The BFG, and Little House on The Prairie.
Marcia Sidney-Reed is a proud product of the Los Angeles Unified School District with experience as a student, a playground supervisor, a teacher, a coordinator, and an administrator. She moved from the playground to the principalship. Mrs. Reed is currently the Principal of 186th Street Elementary School. She received her professional training at the University of Southern California where she received a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science Degrees in Education. She received her administrative credential from California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Under Mrs. Reed’s leadership, 186th Street was awarded the prestigious California Gold Ribbon School Award and the California Distinguished School Award by the California Department of Education, a Title I Academic Achievement School Award, an Arts Banner School Award, an Honor Roll Award from the California Business for Education Excellence, a Golden Bell Award for Collaborative Community Partnerships from the California School Boards Association, and a National Award for Peace Collaboratives from the Peace First Organization.
Mrs. Reed lives in Long Beach, California with her husband Marty, and she is the proud mother of three young adult children, Maree, Marques, and Marti. They are known as the “Mar” Reed family. She firmly believes “every child deserves a golden opportunity and every golden opportunity deserves a child; the opportunity is waiting for a courageous leader to just ask.” With the joy of reading, her students are soaring academically, artistically, and peacefully!!! She encourages her students to read to lead so they can go places in their wildest imagination. Her favorite book is Oh, The Place You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss.
Steve Sines is very mysterious.