Civic-Minded Business and Sports Leaders Join Sports Youth Development Organization
LOS ANGELES – The LA84 Foundation is pleased to announce that Stephen Kaplan, Lisa M. Wehrly and Bart Williams have joined the nonprofit organization’s Board of Directors.
“The LA84 Foundation is honored to welcome Stephen Kaplan, Lisa M. Wehrly and Bart Williams as Board Members,” said Debra Kay Duncan, Chair of the Board. “We are inspired by their commitment to improving the quality of life in our communities and supporting positive youth development. They are dedicated to collaboration, helping others and building innovative opportunities to increase the impact of our work.”
The LA84 Foundation – a nationally recognized leader in support of youth sport programs and public education about the role of sports in positive youth development – levels the playing field so that sport is accessible to all children. For over three decades, the LA84 Foundation has supported thousands of youth sports organizations across Southern California through grant making, while also training coaches, commissioning research, renovating sports facilities and refurbishing fields of play.
Stephen Kaplan is the Co-Chairman of D.C. United, a Major League Soccer team. In addition, Kaplan serves as Co-Managing Partner of Swansea City Football Club. He is an owner of multiple other sports franchises and sports related investments, and is a founding owner of the esports organization, Immortals.
After graduating with a B.S. degree in political science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a J.D. from the New York University School of Law, Kaplan was a Co-Founder of Oaktree Capital Group LLC in 1995, a global alternative investment management firm. He retired from day to day activities at Oaktree in 2016 to focus on personal investments and philanthropy with a particular emphasis on sports and entertainment.
Kaplan is the Chairman of Nalpak Capital, LLC, the family office he created with his wife, Jean. He has served on numerous public and private boards and presently serves on the board of Townsquare Media, Inc., the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Foundation, the MLS Board of Governors and the New York University School of Law Foundation.
Lisa Wehrly is the Chief Operating Officer and one of the original partners at Wedgewood, a real estate investment company. She established Wedgewood’s acquisition hub while developing banking and investor relations. Beginning her career at Wedgewood in 1987, Lisa now heads Human Resources, Investor Relations, Information Technologies and guides the other shared services in the business. She helped create their mission statement: Revitalizing Communities, and their values: Wedgewood starts with “WE”, inspire excellence, give back, act with honor, create opportunities, and above all, be a good neighbor.
While taking a 10-year hiatus from Wedgewood to raise her three children, Lisa volunteered extensively. She founded the Margheritas Guild, a women’s group supporting St. John Bosco High School, where she served as President for five years.
She is also currently Chief Financial Officer of Bendita Corporation, a company founded in 2013 with her husband, David. Together they received the Legacy award at St John Bosco for their philanthropic contributions. Lisa studied Management Science at UC San Diego then graduated from UCLA in 1988.
Bart Williams, leader of the Proskauer Los Angeles office, is one of the nation’s most sought after trial lawyers and commercial litigators. He has served as a counselor and trial lawyer for many Fortune 500 corporations in a variety of industries, including: media and entertainment, financial services, consumer products, telecommunications and technology, pharmaceuticals, and private equity. He has represented multiple major law firms in legal malpractice cases, as well as celebrities, government officials and corporate executives individually.
A member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Williams has been featured in publications such as Law360, The American Lawyer, Black Enterprise, Chambers USA and the Daily Journal, including being repeatedly honored as one of the top 100 lawyers in California. In 2018, Williams was named a finalist for National Trial Lawyer of the Year by both Benchmark Litigation and Chambers and Partners.
Williams previously served as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Central District of California. He received several special commendations while concentrating on complex criminal prosecutions involving allegations of fraud or business crimes, including one from the Honorable Louis J. Freeh, then-director of the FBI.
Williams is a graduate of Yale and Yale Law School. He was a starting guard for four years on Yale’s basketball team, and as a senior he received the George McReynolds Award as the team’s Most Valuable Defensive Player.
The trio joins a distinguished group of continuing Board Members. These include Duncan, Vice Chair Robert V. Graziano, Yvonne B. Burke, John F. Chavez, Jonathan Glaser, Phyllis Easton, Mariann Harris, Stan Kasten, Maureen Kindel, William O’Brien, Frank Sanchez, LA84 Foundation President & CEO Renata Simril, Peter V. Ueberroth, Walter F. Ulloa and Gilbert R. Vasquez.