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Graduated UC Santa Barbara in 2000,

with a B.A. in Business Economics 

Susan graduated Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she majored in Economics and Art History. She began her finance career as an analyst for Migros Bank, in Lugano, Switzerland. She worked as an auditor, in both Los Angeles and Milan, Italy, for Deloitte, where she earned her CPA. She left Deloitte to be the Country Controller for JP Morgan, Italy. Susan returned to the U.S. to help High Net Worth Family Offices manage their investment portfolios. One of the Family Offices won Family Office of the year, granted by Institutional Investor. She also facilitated the sale of Mt. Eden Investment Advisors to Evercore Wealth Management. Her latest position was Director of Finance for SunFunder, an Impact Investment Fund, that financed Solar Projects in Africa and Asia.


Graduated UC Santa Barbara in 1994,

with a B.A. in Communication Studies.

Mr. Ackerman is Senior Financial Advisor of Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. For over 18 years, he has been advising company founders, entrepreneurs, executives, corporations, foundations, and multi-generational high net worth families. He is part of Wells Fargo Advisors Retirement Plan Advisor Program which is reserved specifically for advisors who have demonstrated extensive experience in helping businesses design, build, administer, and review corporate retirement plans. He is also a member of the Investments & Wealth Institute. Mr. Ackerman previously served as Senior Vice President and Senior Investment Management Consultant at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney for five years.

Mr. Ackerman is the Chairman of the Board of Hope Heals and he serves on the Board of Directors for both The Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation and Chrysalis. He volunteers as a mentor to foster youth and is a former executive board member of the mentoring organization, Impacting Hearts. Mr. Ackerman regularly speaks about financial planning and stewardship at churches, conferences, and the USC Cecil Murray Center Faith Leaders Institute.


Graduated UC Santa Barbara in 1995, with a B.A. in Business Economics

Mr. Trovato is the Director of the Western Region at Wellington Management. Prior to joining Wellington, Mr. Trovato was PIMCO’s executive vice president in the London office and the head of product management in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). Previously, he was the head of the EMEA sub-advisory and UK multinational bank business within the global wealth management group. He has also held roles as a credit product manager in EMEA and as an institutional account manager based in Newport Beach.

A graduate of UC Santa Barbara in 1995, Mr. Trovato holds a B.A. in Business Economics. He then went on to earn an M.B.A. from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California and has over 20 years of investment experience.


Graduated UC Santa Barbara in 1977,

with a B.A. in Business Economics and a B.S. in Political Science.

Mr. Kauffman graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 1977 with a dual Business Economics and Political Science. He went on to earn an MBA from the Drucker Center at Claremont University, followed by a Certification in Financial Planning (CFP), and Masters of Science in Wealth Management from the College of Financial Planning. After over 35 years building, managing, and then selling his own independent advisory firm, Kauffman Wealth Management Inc., Mr. Kauffman is thrilled over returning to UCSB to share his professional experience with students.

The undergraduate courses he created and offers include: Ethical Investing to Impact Social Change (RS 190EI), Wall St. Ethics (RS 190WE), and Have Ethics Gone Awry? (RS 190GA). In addition, Mr. Kauffman conducts several courses within the Strategic Investment Program: Exchange Traded Funds & Portfolio Construction (Econ x499.10), Impact Investing (Econ x499.12) and Financial Crises & Business Cycles (Econ x499.11).

Mr. Kauffman resides in Santa Barbara with his family and is an avid alpine skier.


Graduated UC Santa Barbara in 1979, 

with a B.A. in Business Economics.

Mr. Scherba retired from a 34 year career in Commercial Real Estate. Before retiring he was one of the top broker/advisors in Silicon Valley representing technology companies and landlords in the valley including Facebook, LinkedIn, Uber, and Stanford University amongst many other companies and landlords. Mr. Scherba currently spends his time with his wife and two adult children (when they’re not too busy), teaching and advising UCSB econ students, biking, skiing, surfing, paddle boarding, golfing, hiking, traveling (when not in COVID lockdown), and playing the guitar with his classic rock band.


Graduated UC Santa Barbara in 2007,

with a degree in History, and a minor in Sports Management.

Mr. Youngman later pursued a Master’s degree in Business Administration. Mr. Youngman is currently an Investment Officer with the University of California Office of the Chief Investment Officer, where he is a member of the public equity team responsible for managing over $70bn in assets on behalf of the Endowment and Pension for the University of California, a position he has held since 2018. His prior roles in the investment industry include being an Investment Officer at the Contra Costa County Employees’ Retirement Association where he oversaw public markets and risk, a member of the institutional exchange traded funds strategy group at BlackRock, and an investment consultant to large institutional investors with Milliman. He began his investment career in Santa Barbara with an internship at (what was then) Smith Barney.

Mr. Youngman is based in the Bay Area. In 2017 he was named one of the “40 Under Forty” by the Chief Investment Officer Magazine ai-CIO, and was presented the “Emerging Leader” award by the Institutional Investor Institute.


Graduated UC Santa Barbara in 1992,

with a B.A. in Business Economics

Mr. Valdez is the Managing Director and Head of Equity Sales and Trading at Penserra. ​ As one of the original forming members of Penserra Securities, Mr Valdez takes an active trading role in the Americas. He oversees trade operations and the execution of trades in New York, Chicago, and California via a team of experienced traders. Prior to joining Penserra, Mr. Valdez worked at Rosenblatt Securities, a boutique broker, as the head of Trading with a focus on program/quantitative trading and market structure. 

Nearly twenty-five years of experience as both a buy-side and sell-side trader has enabled Mr Valdez to deliver on one half of this challenging dual mandate, and much of his day is spent formulating, conceptualizing, and delivering impactful market knowledge and strategies.


Graduated UC Santa Barbara in 1990, 

with a B.A. in Business Economics and Political Science 

Mr. Warner is the Managing Director and Founder of Silicon Valley Partners, an investment banking boutique focused on technology, media and telecommunications sectors.  The firm seeks to advise clients on mergers and acquisitions, carve-outs, strategic sales, secondary private offerings, capital raising, strategic alliances and corporate joint ventures. Mr. Warner actively advises Board and C-level executives on strategic initiatives, including mergers & acquisitions transactions, long-term strategy, subsidiary divestitures and strategic placements.


In addition to his B.A. from UCSB, Mr. Warner also has an MBA from USC Marshall School of Business 1994'.  Prior to starting Silicon Valley Partners, Mr. Warner worked as the Vice President of Finance at Bank of America Securities from 1994 to 1999 and was a Managing Director at Thomas Weisel Partners from 1999- 2009. 


Graduated from UC Santa Barbara,

with a B.A.

Mr. Kahn is currently the CEO & Chief Investment Officer of Alpha Next, an Investment advisory, based out of Los Angeles. Prior to his current role, Robert was an investment advisor and portfolio manager at Alpha Analytics Investment Group, serving high net worth individuals, families, and institutions. He also served as senior vice president and senior investment manager at Wells Fargo Bank for high net worth clients, trusts, and institutions on the fiduciary Investment Management and Trust platform.


While at Wells Fargo, Robert created, implemented, and managed customized investment strategies using individual stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and alternative assets. Prior to Wells Fargo, he served as a senior director and team trader for Portfolio Management at BNY/Mellon Financial Corporation. Robert was also a principal, senior vice president, and equity portfolio manager at Financial Management Advisors, $1.9 billion multi asset management firm. At FMA, Robert managed equity portfolios while leading a team of sector-specific equity analysts. He began his career as an analyst at Schroder Investment Services.​ He has also received a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Cornell. 


Graduated UC Santa Barbara in 2018, 

with a B.A. in Political Science (International Relations) and Communication.

Erin Lubitz is a Senior Associate of Business and Program Development at the Milken Institute. Lubitz oversees fundraising strategies and fosters relationships with strategic partners and sponsors of all major Milken Institute convenings, including the Institute’s flagship event, Global Conference. In this role, she leads Institute initiatives such as the Global Capital Markets Advisory Council (GCMAC) and recently launched the Rising Allocators, a program that engages with the emerging pipeline of future investment leaders from pensions, SWFs, E&Fs, state treasurers, and corporate treasuries to discuss developments in macroeconomic trends and the future of capital markets. She began her career in public policy promoting international trade missions within the U.S. Department of Commerce and constituent management in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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