Festival Organizing Committee
Sara Bamossy is the Chief Marketing Officer and Associate Dean, Marketing and Communications at USC Marshall School of Business. She’s a career strategist and creative leader, having run an ad agency as both a CSO and CEO. Previously, Sara spent 10 years at Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, working as a strategist across four continents. She has 17+ years of experience driving growth for the world’s largest brands such as Toyota, P&G, PepsiCo, Roche, Microsoft, Netflix, Burger King, Konami, and Westfield. Her work has earned numerous industry honors including Cannes Lions, Effies, Chiat awards and she’s been named one of The Internationalist's Innovators of the Year. Recently she spoke at the Cannes’s Festival of Creativity about how creative design can unlock the power of modern data. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from UCLA and the distinguished EPWL program at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
Pete Cardon teaches a variety of business communication courses. He researches team communication, role of technology in leadership communication, and intercultural business communication. Professor Cardon previously served as President of the Association of Business Communication. Pete previously taught at the University of South Carolina for six years and Utah State University for three years. Before working in higher education, he held several marketing and management positions in the tourism and manufacturing industries. He is the author of Business Communication: Developing Leaders for a Networked World and co-author of Business and Professional Communication: Putting People First.
Amy Diamond, Co-Chair
Amy Diamond was named chief investment officer effective October 15, 2020. A recognized national leader in the institutional investment industry, Diamond joins USC after serving two decades as managing director of private investments and real assets with Northwestern University’s Investment Office. As USC’s chief investment officer, Diamond will head the university’s Investment Office and oversee USC’s endowment, which is supported by a balanced portfolio invested in diversified asset classes. The endowment provides enduring funding sources for the students, faculty, research, and programs that drive the university’s mission.
Ms. Flores currently serves as the Program Administrator for the University of Southern California, Office of Civic Engagement. She oversees all aspects of the Economic Development Program, among other outreach initiatives involving university partners and the local communities surrounding the University Park Campus and the Health Sciences Campus. Previously to joining the University, Rocio worked at Resurrection School in Boyle Heights, where she was responsible for all development, fundraising, and marketing efforts. Rocio has worked both with the non-profit sector and government agencies. She is currently the Vice President for the Boyle Heights Chamber of Commerce, a Foundation Board Member for NAWBO-LA and Steering Committee Member for CAMEO's Entrepreneurship Advantage. Rocio is currently an EdD student in the USC Organizational Change and Leadership Program. She received two bachelor degrees from the University of California Irvine in Psychology and Social Behavior and Criminology Law and Society, as well as her master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University Long Beach. She also holds an Executive Certificate in Transformational Leadership from the University of Notre Dame. Rocio resides in El Sereno with her husband and 3 young children, and is actively involved in her community.
Erica Keil, Co-Event Lead
Erica Keil provides assistance for the Center for Investment Studies co-curricular and academic support programs. Erica’s responsibilities include maintaining departmental databases and related records along with managing budgets, supplies and purchases. She works cooperatively with the Director, CIS Board, and Student Investment Fund managers to ensure smooth operation of the CIS’ initiatives. Erica Keil is an experienced project and program manager, who previously held marketing positions at Yamaha and Honda Motor Corp. She received her BA in Communications from Arizona State University.
Suh-Pyng Ku, Co-Chair
Suh-Pyng Ku is Vice Dean for Graduate Programs, Director of the USC Marshall Center for Investment Studies, and Professor of Clinical Finance and Business Economics. Her teaching and research specialties include corporate finance, portfolio management and security valuation. She is the co-instructor for the MBA and the Undergraduate Student Investment Fund classes. Previously, Ku served as USC’s Vice Provost and Executive Director of Continuing Education and Summer Programs, USC’s Chief Technology Officer for Enhanced Learning, Associate Dean for Marshall’s MBA Programs and Marshall’s Chief Information Officer. She received the 2014 Golden Apple Teaching Award (Full-Time MBA) and was a 2014 Steven B. Sample Teaching and Mentoring Award nominee. She earned her Ph.D. in finance from USC.
Rubin Miller, Marshall MBA ‘15
Rubin graduated from Kenyon College ('06), and played forward on the NCAA men's soccer team. He began his career at the Chicago Board of Trade as a fixed income trader. Rubin left the Midwest for an opportunity to attend USC Marshall (and warmer weather), and graduated with his MBA in 2015. He is a SIF alumnus and has been active in the USC investment community ever since.
Following USC Marshall, Rubin joined Dimensional Fund Advisors, where he spent six years consulting with financial advisors on implementing evidence-based investment solutions for clients. He left Dimensional in August, 2021, to join Perspective Wealth Partners.
He is passionate about removing hurdles and democratizing access to successful investment experiences. In 2021, he launched the Fortunes & Frictions blog to share investment and financial planning perspectives for people who work outside the industry, particularly those overwhelmed by financial jargon and unsure how to navigate their investment journey. A competitive chess player growing up, Rubin received the title of National Master at age 15. He is a CFA charterholder.
Jeanette Villanueva Padilla
Sarah Peyron-Murphy is responsible for major gifts fundraising across USC Marshall School of Business. Plan and execute comprehensive engagement and fundraising strategies in support of key USC priorities. Oversees team of major gifts and leadership gifts officers.
Liaison between USC Marshall School Dean's office and alumni and friends on the East Coast and in Europe.
Fred joined WCM in 2022; his primary responsibility is portfolio management for our private growth strategy. Since he began his investment career in 2005, Fred's experience includes Managing Director at University of Southern California, where he led the endowment's venture capital and private equity strategies. Prior to USC, he was a financial analyst at Goldman, Sachs & Co in the Investment Management Division. He earned his B.A. in Economics from Stanford University (California) and his M.B.A. from the University of Southern California.
Gohar Palanjian is the Senior Associate Director of Alumni Initiatives in the Office of Graduate Programs. In this role, Gohar supports all Marshall graduate programs to create new outreach and engagement opportunities for Marshall's graduate alumni. Gohar has worked for the USC Marshall School of Business for over 19 years in various capacities, including supporting Marshall's largest comprehensive fundraising campaign, managing the development of the School's strategic plan and working on its implementation. She has held marketing and management positions at Ticketmaster Media Group, A&E Television Networks and the History Channel. Gohar has earned a BS from Marshall’s Undergraduate Program, an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University and a certificate in public relations from the NYU School of Continuing Education.
Belin Robertson, Marshall MBA ‘00
Alex Smith, Co-Event Lead
USC Marshall Finance and Business Economics Department and the Center for Investment Studies