Board of Directors

Wylie A. Aitken, Chairman

Aitken is a nationally recognized trial lawyer (Best Lawyers in America since 1979), rated Top 500 nationally and Top 100 in California. He is the founding partner of Aitken-Aitken-Cohn in Santa Ana, California, and at 35 was the youngest president in the history of The California Trial Lawyers Association.

Aitken is also one of Orange County’s most important philanthropists. He was recently appointed by the Governor to a four-year term on the California Arts Council, and his community activities include: Orange County Performing Arts Trustee; South Coast Repertory President and Board of Trustees;, Board Member and Cal State University Fullerton Philanthropic Foundation Board of Governors and President’s Circle.

Barbara Venezia

Venezia is a journalist, author, producer and podcast host. She started her media career  in Orange County as a “professional stirrer” on the comedy cooking show, “At Home on the Range” along with co-star John Crean. From 1992-1998 she produced 228 episodes which ran in syndication until 2006. In 1999 she authored a cookbook based on the show “At Home on the Range- the Cookbook for the Deranged”.

In 2007 she began writing social and political commentary for the Daily Pilot newspaper owned by the Los Angeles Times. In 2008, she switched to write for the Orange County Register and expanded to include food and lifestyle columns. She is co-creator of the ground breaking media-partnered political forum “Feet to the Fire” (2010- present). Between 2013 and 2016 she co-hosted LA Radio Studio’s popular talk show podcast “Living Out Loud.”

In 2017-Venezia was voted the 2nd best columnist in OC by the OC Press Club – 1st place went to her Feet to the Fire co-creator Norberto Santana, Jr., publisher of Voice of OC.

Most recently she helped create The Super Heroes Guild for Heroes Hall Veteran’s Museum at the OC Fairgrounds and chaired their successful Haunted Halloween fundraiser Costume Ball with 400 attending the inaugural event. Venezia has recently helped start the Friend of Newport Beach Animal Shelter non-profit organization building a website for the group and continuing to fundraise for it.

Venezia is married to OC Fair Board member Stanley Tkaczyk and shares her time between homes in Newport Beach and Las Vegas.

Erwin Chemerinsky

ChemerinskyHeadShotChemerinsky, inaugural dean of the new law school at the University of California, Irvine, is one of the nation’s most respected constitutional scholars.

Chemerinsky taught for years at the University of Southern California and has written extensively on the U.S. Supreme Court. He also has remained active in public policy debates, with a central role in the LAPD Rampart scandal investigation and the crafting of a new charter for the City of Los Angeles.

Colleen Clark

fullsizerenderClark is a respected finance professional with more than 25 years’ experience. A graduate of CSU Fullerton, she spent five years with the international public accounting firm of Deloitte and 20 years as the CFO and Finance Director for public agencies including the County of Orange, City of Irvine and Transportation Corridor Agencies.  She managed the issuance of over $5 Billion in tax exempt bonds, managed investments of over $1 Billion and developed and managed multimillion dollar annual budgets.

Henry Weinstein

WeinsteinHeadShotWeinstein, former prize-winning legal affairs reporter with the Los Angeles Times, is now a professor at UCI law school teaching legal writing and developing clinical programs.

As a journalist, Weinstein was known for his work on death penalty cases – freeing one man after 24 years in prison – as well as investigations into consumer fraud and white-collar crime.

Norberto Santana Jr., Publisher

Norberto Santana Jr., is an award-winning investigative reporter with nearly two decades reporting experience directly engaging with Orange County government institutions and decision makers.

As Publisher, Santana oversees all newsroom, engagement and fundraising operations and also writes a regular Opinion column about Orange County government.

Before founding Voice of OC in 2009, Santana was a lead investigative reporter for the Orange County Register from 2004-2009, focusing on county government. He’s spent nearly two decades just focusing on local governments across Southern California, previously as a staff writer with outlets such as the San Diego Union Tribune and the San Bernardino County Sun.

Santana began his journalistic career in the early 1990s as an apprentice reporter with Congressional Quarterly in Washington, D.C. covering daily floor action in the U.S. Congress and followed that up with a stint covering the territorial Senate for the U.S. Virgin Islands Daily News.

In addition to his experience as a journalist, the Southern California native has a master’s in Latin American Studies and has worked as an elections analyst on National Endowment for Democracy programs across Latin America. He also has direct experience on Internet start-ups as one of the founders of CubaNet.org, a website for dissident writers inside Cuba that has operated since 1995.

 

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