Break the Cycle | Ending Domestic Violence | Board of Directors

Our Board

Diann M. Ackard

Diann M. Ackard, PhD, LP, FAED is a licensed psychologist in private practice who specializes in the treatment and research of mood and anxiety disturbances, eating disorders and body image disturbances, and the sequelae of traumatic experiences. In addition to her private practice, Diann holds positions as Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN and as Research Scientist at the Eating Disorders Institute at Park Nicollet, St Louis Park, MN. Diann serves as co-founder and co-chairperson of the Trauma and Eating Disorders Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED). Additionally, she sits on the Advisory Board to the Aurora Center for Advocacy and Education at the University of Minnesota, a center focused on providing education, advocacy, and counseling to individuals who have experienced sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking.

Lisa Bonner

Lisa Bonner is the founder of Bonner Law, PC, a boutique entertainment law firm with offices in New York City and Los Angeles. Ms. Bonner advises large media companies, film distribution companies, music, television, film producers, artists, writers, magazine publications and authors. Prior to attending law school, Lisa enjoyed a successful career in the banking and finance industries, as an analyst for Lehman Brothers in New York and later as an associate at M.R. Beal and Company. Most recently, Lisa worked as a partner at the law firm of Dreier LLP. Lisa has been a live legal correspondent for Fox News and CNBC and is the Executive Director of Black Women in Entertainment Law Foundation. She received her BA from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her JD from New York University School of Law.

Catherine Bridge

Catherine Bridge is Executive Counsel at The Walt Disney Company. She has been at Disney since 2004, where she provides strategic legal advice to protect the company’s valuable intellectual property assets. Prior to joining Disney, Catherine was an associate with the law firm Latham & Watkins. Catherine received her undergraduate degree from University of California Berkeley, and her law degree from Boston University School of Law.

Joanne E. Caruso

Joanne Caruso is Managing Partner for the Southern California offices of Howrey LLP, a global law firm focused on high-stakes, complex antitrust, litigation and intellectual property matters. She is also a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and has held numerous leadership positions since joining the firm in 1986. In 2006 Joanne was named one of the top 100 attorneys in California by Daily Journal. She has a long-standing commitment to community service and pro bono work, and has served on numerous boards including that of Women Lawyer’s Association of Los Angeles, the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, and the Alumni Association of Boston College, where she received her B.A. and J.D. degrees.

Mike Catalano

Mike Catalano is Senior Vice President and Branch Manager of international commercial real estate firm Studley’s West Los Angeles office. Having represented some of Southern California’s largest organizations in their commercial real estate dealings, he has earned a reputation as a superior tenant representative. Mike is frequently quoted in the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Business Journal, and the Commercial Property News. He is also a requested speaker by industry groups to address commercial real estate trends and issues. Mike received his Bachelor of Science degree in psychology with an emphasis in business administration from the University of California at Los Angeles. Mike spends most of his free time with his wife and five children, including toddler-aged twins and an adopted child.

Jennifer A. Laforcarde

Jennifer Laforcarde is Senior Vice President and Director of Human Resources for Cathay Bank, the oldest Chinese American bank in the country. Cathay Bank, with over $10 Billion in assets and more than 1000 employees, is located in 10 US cities with the largest Asian- American populations. Jennifer has enjoyed a successful 20-year career in the banking and finance industries, working for the likes of Bank One, Wells Fargo Bank and Finova Capital Corporation before joining Cathay Bank. Jennifer is a member of the Senior HR Executive Forum which provides high-level networking and professional education opportunities to HR executives in greater Los Angeles. She is proud of a recent accomplishment–having completed her first half marathon in January 2008, raising money for Leukemia and Lymphoma research.

Suzanne M. Morris

Suzanne Morris is Vice President, West Coast Technology Operations, for Home Box Office. Prior to HBO, she worked at J.H. Whitney, a private equity firm which handles media and telecommunications investing, and at the prestigious firm of JP Morgan, where her focus was on corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. Suzanne has been a supporter of various professional and community organizations, including serving on the board for the New York City Chapter of Women in Cable and Telecommunications and on the junior board for A Better Chance, a non-profit organization that identifies high potential youth and places them in prestigious boarding schools. Ms. Morris is a Summa cum Laude graduate of Howard University School of Communications and holds a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

David Mount

David Mount has been a dedicated supporter since 1998, earning him Break the Cycle’s Empowerment Award in 2002. In 1993, after a prominent career in the music industry, David was appointed chair and CEO of Warner/Elektra/Atlantic, Inc. (WEA), a division of Time Warner with annual revenues of over $2 billion during his tenure. David is past chairman, and is currently on the executive committee, of the board of visitors of Pepperdine University’s School of Business as well as chairman of CF Services, a division of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Sam Pryor, Secretary

Sam Pryor is a partner at the law firm of Dreier Stein Kahan Browne Woods George, LLP. He has extensive experience as a trial lawyer in entertainment, business, and employment litigation in state and federal courts. Sam represents celebrities, motion picture production and distribution companies, producers, directors, writers and others associated with the entertainment industry. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Committee on Entertainment Law and Intellectual Property, and an Adjunct Professor of Law at USC law school. He received his B.A. from Hamilton College and J.D. from Yale Law School.

Mary-Christine (M.C.) Sungaila, President

M.C. Sungaila is a partner in the law firm of Horvitz & Levy, California’s oldest and largest civil appellate firm. In 2008, she was named one of the Top 50 Female Southern California Super Lawyers. Previously, she was named one of California’s top 75 women litigators by the Los Angeles Daily Journal and one of the top 25 lawyers in the Valley by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. Her appellate practice focuses on cases raising cutting-edge toxic tort issues. M.C. has also gained national prominence as a gender equality expert, serving as counsel of record in cases of interest to women before the U.S. Supreme Court and, most recently, before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. She writes and lectures extensively on appellate practice, women in the law, and gender equality issues. M.C. has served on the boards of Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Opera Pacific, and the Claremont Graduate University School of Arts and Humanities. She received her B.A. from Stanford University and J.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Paul W. Vindigni, Treasurer

Paul Vindigni is a partner in the Los Angeles practice of Tatum, LLC, the nation’s largest and fastest-growing executive services firm. Paul has been with Tatum since 2005, serving as a consultant and holding senior management positions at various companies, providing them with financial and operational leadership and mentoring. Prior to joining Tatum, Paul served in CEO, CFO and COO positions at companies including: Vindigni & Associates, Avesco Media Group, Cybeq Nano Technologies and Sony-Materials Research Corporation. In addition to Break the Cycle, Paul is involved with the Santa Clarita Human Relations Forum, the ad-hoc Business Sub-Committee on Diversity for the Hart School District, and the Business Technology Incubator at the College of the Canyons.

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