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Chris Garcia

      Chris Garcia recently served as the Mayor of the City of Cudahy. He grew up in a working class single parent household headed by his mother, Olivia Velasquez. He is a proud product of the Cudahy school system having attended Teresa Hughes, Elizabeth Learning Center, and Bell High School. Through the help of scholarships and grants, Chris went on to earn his degree in Political Science from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). While at UCLA, he became actively involved with the Latino Leadership Council and Hermanos Unidos; both organizations are dedicated to advancing the educational attainment of Latino students. He assumed leadership positions in both organizations and assisted with marketing, communications, and recruitment. As an undergrad, Chris secured an internship in the Office of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, within which he gained first-hand experience of how city government and public policy intersect. After graduating, Chris continued to be involved in local politics while at the same time securing a professional position. He is currently working on his MBA in Non-Profit Executive Management.

      Chris was compelled to action when, on June 22nd, 2012, three Cudahy city officials were arrested for bribes and solicitation surrounding medical marijuana dispensers. Shortly after, he founded United4 Cudahy, a website designed to inform, engage, and educate residents about the issues affecting their city. Chris was instrumental in rallying residents to attend city council meetings to have their voices heard, while at the same time pushing for special elections. His initiatives helped to change the city council meetings to a later evening time, thus allowing for more residents to attend meetings and become actively involved in the political process. Through his leadership and tireless efforts, Chris pushed for Spanish interpreting services to be included as part of the regular city council meetings, thereby allowing residents an opportunity to engage in city council discussions. 

      Chris believes in an open and transparent leadership and is committed to ensuring that city services and programs are fully restored. He is dedicated to making sure that local government is responsive to the day-to-day needs of its residents.

Jeremy Tisser

      Jeremy Nathan Tisser is a composer for film, television and multimedia projects. In only a few short years since finishing his studies first at California State University, Northridge, then at the USC Film Scoring Program, he has already earned six Global Music Awards and two Hollywood Music in Media (HMMA's), along with two additional HMMA nominations. If it wasn't for the keen observation of his mother, composer Jeremy Nathan Tisser might not have made the transition from piano to percussion.

      Like many parents, she initially put Jeremy into piano lessons. She noticed that he was a hyper kid who loved to tap on everything, so she arranged for Jeremy to switch to drumming. Jeremy found his passion as a drummer, first studying rock and then moving into jazz and funk. The switch in musical studies served Jeremy well. He continued his studies at Cal State Northridge as a music business major. Another switch, this time into the film score program, led Jeremy to where he found his calling.

      Tisser was hired for his first feature film while at USC; the horror film "Mischief Night" which featured Malcolm McDowell. Further connections from USC brought him into the mobile and virtual reality world, first working on a virtual reality attraction "Shayd" with Palmer Luckey (Oculus) and later with Project Holodeck (now called Survios). Tisser's credits also include the short film "Valiant" starring Gil Darnell (Bones, Reign) and Navid Negahban (Homeland), which earned him multiple awards at several international film festivals, the television series "Composers on Composing" and the mobile game "Epic Cat Runner". Jeremy was lucky to have many mentors throughout his career.

      While in Northridge, he interned with Assaf Rinde working on film and video game projects. It was there that he really cut his teeth learning about technology and the process of film scoring. At USC, he worked for a number of composers including Mark Watters, Frederik Wiedmann, and Inon Zur while simultaneously building his own studio. To mention a few of the projects he worked on would include "Power Rangers Samurai", "Actor For Hire" starring Jesse Boyd of "The Walking Dead", and even blockbuster superstars "Ted 2" and "Jurassic World".  

Kristen Demshki

      Kristin is a Los Angeles native who now resides in West Hills, CA. She has always been involved in sports and various other activities in the community. Not only was she learning how to play sports and gain new skills, but she really learned what being a “team player” was all about. There was no other better feeling than being able to accomplish a goal as a team by working together. Kristin also was a volunteer for O.N.E. Generation farmers market where the participating vendors were local farmers who gave back to the community. 

      Throughout high school, she played on the Calabasas High School softball team, but also became very involved in health and fitness. Using her knowledge of foods gained from working with farmers mixed with cardio and weight lifting, she began to learn and understand the body, and the effect each and every food and situation had on it. After years of stomach issues, she began trying new fruit and vegetable mixtures to remedy the situation. The body began to respond positively and she began to bounce back to almost normal. 

      Although her passion lies in health and fitness, Kristin has been building a career in marketing and advertising. She began working for multiple advertising agencies, learning the ins and outs of Direct Response advertising and the importance of brand and messaging. A product is not going to be successful on its own. Through brand and messaging, people must feel emotion that will drive them to purchase that product. 

      Kristin hopes to continue building her career in marketing, but with much more emphasis on health and wellness products. Being able to make a product successful is one thing, but helping others feel that emotional satisfaction with a product that they believe in is another. 

 

Greg Beery

      Greg was born and raised in the suburbs of Overland Park, Kansas. From a very young age, he knew that his biggest interest lied in music. At the age of 5, he began to take piano lessons. Four years later, he discovered other instruments such as the guitar and trumpet. In high school he began to explore other means of musicality and ran over the notion of audio engineering and DJing. He soon became fascinated by how music is made and recorded. Greg always strived to hone in on his craft and make his musical ideas come to life.

      At the age of 18, Greg was signed to his first indie label out of Tampa Bay Florida. He then formed a DJ duo with a high school friend, Loren. Greg decided to leave his DJ career at the age of 20 to attend an audio engineering school, the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences. Immediately post graduation, he moved to LA where his journey began. His first internship with film composer Klaus Badelt, whose biggest credits are Pirates Of The Caribbean and Gladiator, confirmed that his future career is destined to be in music.

      He then met music producer, Anthony Marinelli. Greg began to engineer and eventually arrange and help produce songs. In collaboration with Anthony, he has helped develop a live show, BollyDoll, which was originally started by Amrita Sen and Timbaland. Aside from BollyDoll, Greg has had the opportunity to work on various commercials for companies such as Jaguar and Google’s 23 and Me.

      Greg has also worked and collaborated with other various artists, musicians, and editors. He worked closely with music editor Clint Bennett and touched on the art of sound editing. With Clint, Greg has work on TV shows, such as New Girl, and movies such as The Mortal Instruments. Another notable project was working as an assistant to Mark Foster from “Foster the People” on a film called “Little Boy.”

      After delving into the film and TV world Greg also wanted to tryout working in radio and on air broadcast. He landed a job at Premier Networks which is a subsidiary of Clear Channel and worked as a network operations technician. Soon there after Greg moved to the online youtube channel The Young Turks as their Production Manager of Audio. There he helped develop implement and improve the audio for on air broadcast. One day Greg got a call from an old friend saying that there is an opening at Apple Music and he wanted to recommend him. So after Greg took a position with Apple Music | Beats1 as an Associate Producer. From there he has been able to work alongside people like Jaden Smith, Mary J Blige, Missy Elliot, Dimi Lovato, Gwyn Stefani, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Pharrell Williams to name a few. Greg has been producing radio shows called MSFT Frequency and Real Talk on the Beats 1 lineup

Josh Pratt

      Josh was raised in the San Fernando Valley and has been involved in helping the community since a very young age. At the age of 16, he started working for The City of Los Angeles Park and Recreation Department assisting with special community events as well as running multiple youth and adult sports leagues. He is still active with the Park and Recreation Department and believes that sports have the ability to help kids not only learn life lessons and teamwork, but also can put a smile on children’s faces when they need it most.

      During Josh’s senior year of high school, he was injured and unable to continue playing baseball at Granada Hills Charter High School. Instead of walking away from his love of the game, he spoke with the coaches and they allowed him to be an assistant coach at the junior varsity level and also allowed him to run the freshman team even though he was still in school there. The coaches knew Josh’s work ethic and knowledge could help the younger kids with their development on and off the field. He continued coaching there for three more years after he graduated and moved on to El Camino Real in Woodland Hills where he was in a similar role, but instead was working with all three teams. During some of this time, Josh was also working with an independent minor league baseball team and a professional winter baseball league.

      Towards the end of 2012, Josh was named as the Director of Baseball Operations at Cal State, Northridge where he would be responsible for running the daily operations of the team and setting up special events that got the players involved with the local community. During his time there, Josh created many relationships that will be vital to "Just for the Smiles". Josh also spent a year at Utah Valley University in Orem Utah in the same role.

      Josh has taken a break from the baseball world while he finished up his bachelor’s degree in communications and currently works at a law firm in Westwood, California that specializes in public entity defense. Josh has always been very interested in the law as well as politics so by working at the firm he has had the opportunity to be a sponge and absorb information that will be very helpful to "Just for the Smiles". Josh’s knowledge, enthusiasm, energy, and work ethic are just a few of the reasons why he is part of our organization.

Justin Haim

      Justin Haim graduated at California State University, Northridge with a Bachelors in Economics and Minor in Finance. Currently he is attending NYU studying finance and working in one of the leading providers of online foreign exchange and CFD trading known as Forex Capital Markets in NYC. 

      Haim has participated in both leadership and volunteer roles in many organizations and non-profits. During his attendance at California State University Northridge; he was an Executive Board member in his fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi.  While working at a Wall St Firm, Haim took the time in 2014 to volunteer as a tutor for low-income schoolchildren at the NYC Two Together Tutoring non-profit organization.

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