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Board Welcomes Two New Members


April 16, 2014


Los Angeles

Make-A-Wish® Greater Los Angeles
1875 Century Park East, Suite 950
Los Angeles, California 90067

Contact: Dimitri Czupylo
Office: 310-788-9474 ext. 115
Mobile: 310.413.7520



Two Join a Distinguished Group of Angelenos in Furthering the Mission to Grant a Wish for Every Eligible Child in Los Angeles County

LOS ANGELES (April 16, 2014) – The Board of Directors for Make-A-Wish® Greater Los Angeles welcomed two new board members this month: Sam Bakhshandehpour and Dr. Lauren Crosby. These distinguished Angelenos from the real estate, hospitality and medical fields bring the Board to 19 members, including representatives from Disney, CAA, E!, Colony Capital, Starbucks, J.P. Morgan and Deloitte.

"It is an honor to have top industry leaders join our passionate and philanthropic Board of Directors. They will impact the lives of more than 350 local wish families and 250 wish families visiting our city from around the world this year alone," said Breena Gold, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles.

"On behalf of the Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles Board of Directors, I’m thrilled to welcome Sam Bakhshandehpour and Dr. Lauren Crosby to our Board," said Richard J. Grad, chairman of the Make-A-Wish Board and partner with Sidley Austin LLP. "Both Sam and Lauren are active leaders of the community and will bring invaluable judgment, professionalism and strategic insights into the ongoing mission of the organization."

The complete list of the Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles Board of Directors is: Richard J. Grad, Chair, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP; Sam Bakhshandehpour, president, sbe; Lauren Crosby, M.D., Partner, La Peer Pediatrics; Cam Davis, Managing Director, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC; Lisa J. Demsky, Attorney, Litigation Partner, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP; Tom Ferguson, VP of Operations, Los Angeles & Central California, Starbucks Coffee; Paul Fuhrman, Principal, Colony Capital, LLC; Lisa Z. Greer, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist; Jason Keller, Managing Director, Oaktree Capital Management, L.P.; Cathi Killian Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, The Walt Disney Company; Suzanne Kolb, President, E! Entertainment; David J. Kummer, CPCU, AIC, President, Sullivan Curtis Monroe, LLC; Nnamdi Lowrie, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP; Michael Mand, Chief Communications Officer, Creative Artists Agency; Bo Pearl , Partner, O'Melveny & Myers LLP; Eric Remensperger, Partner, Proskauer Rose LLP; Crystal Ries, Operations & Development, The Whosoevers; John Round, Partner, Strasburger & Price, LLP; Troy Rudd, Senior VP, Corporate Finance and Treasurer, AECOM; Deborah Thompson , Vice President, Chapter Support, Make-A-Wish America; and Marcia Wieder, CEO/Founder, Dream University.

About Sam Bakhshandehpour
In his role as President of sbe since 2012, Mr. Bakhshandehpour is responsible for top-level management of all company business surrounding the Hotel, Restaurant and Nightlife Groups, as well as sbe’s International, Residential, Gaming, and Corporate initiatives. He works closely with sbe Founder and Chairman Sam Nazarian and all division presidents on managing all operations and driving sbe’s strategic growth.

Mr. Bakhshandehpour joined sbe with an extensive track record as a veteran of Wall Street, spending over 12 years with J.P. Morgan Securities most recently running the Real Estate, Lodging & Gaming Investment Banking practice on the West Coast. While at J.P. Morgan, Mr. Bakhshandehpour focused on mergers & acquisitions and capital raising for the Gaming & Lodging companies, as well as REITs, homebuilders and real estate private equity funds. Prior to J.P. Morgan, Sam was in the Real Estate, Lodging & Gaming Investment Banking Group at Deutsche Bank based out of New York and Baltimore.

Mr. Bakhshandehpour holds a degree in Finance & International Business with a minor in Psychology from Georgetown University and studied abroad at Trinity College at Oxford University focused on International Finance. Currently, Sam serves on the board of The New Home Company (NYSE: NWHM), Union Gaming Advisors LLC, and Brentwood Presbyterian Church Pre-School. He is also a member of the Urban Land Institute, Georgetown Wall Street Alliance, and Georgetown Alumni Admissions Program.

About Lauren Crosby, MD, FAAP Dr. Lauren Crosby, partner at La Peer Pediatrics, is a nationally-recognized parenting expert and pediatrician. After graduating from Smith College and the UCLA School of Medicine, she trained at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center during which time she served as Chief Resident. She is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and is a Clinical Instructor for the UCLA School of Medicine. Dr. Crosby serves as the Pediatric Expert for Fox News’ Studio 11 L.A. 

About Make-A-Wish
Make-A-Wish® grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true can have positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. The Greater Los Angeles Chapter celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2013, having granted more than 8,300 wishes to local wish children between the ages of 2 ½-18. With the help of generous donors and more than 25,000 volunteers, the network of Make-A-Wish chapters grants a wish every 38 minutes somewhere in the country. It has granted more than 226,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 14,000 in 2013 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles at to learn more.

About sbe
sbe is a creative hospitality company that develops, manages and operates award-winning hotels, restaurants and nightlife. Through exclusive partnerships with cultural visionaries, sbe is dedicated to delivering the best in design, culinary and entertainment. Already a proven leader in the hospitality and real estate industries, sbe has over 80 properties currently operating or in development, and has expanded several of its flagship brands including SLS Hotels, Katsuya by Starck, The Bazaar by José Andrés, Hyde Lounge and The Redbury, nationally and internationally. Founded in 2002 by Chairman and CEO Sam Nazarian, sbe is a privately held company. More information about sbe can be obtained at, or by downloading the sbe App.

About La Peer Pediatrics
La Peer Pediatrics is the practice of Drs. Ron Nagel, Judy Weiner, Kim Diamond, Lauren Crosby and Autumn Shurin. Located for over 20 years in Beverly Hills, the doctors provide comprehensive pediatric care to infants, children and adolescents from birth to 21 years of age. All of the doctors are board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and have at least ten years of experience. They provide inpatient care for newborns and sick children at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and are Clinical Instructors of Pediatrics for the UCLA School of Medicine. The physicians pride themselves on being accessible to their patients; one of the five physicians is always on-call after hours and they are open on Saturdays for urgent visits. To learn more, visit their website


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Make-A-Wish® Greater Los Angeles
11390 W. Olympic Blvd.
Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 788-9474
Toll Free Los Angeles Only (800) 322-9474