Taubman Advisory Board
Judith Bunnell is a proven education entrepreneur who co-founded Flex Academies (“Flex”) and rapidly expanded it from a local business, to a multi-state enterprise serving approximately 20,000 students in over 60 schools across six states. Flex is a consumer-facing K-12 company, focused on providing a rich array of afterschool enrichment programs to students through the management of a portfolio of third-party vendors. Judy recently sold her interest in the company to an investor group and is now active in the angel investor community.
Before launching Flex, Ms. Bunnell spent a decade in the non-profit sector focused on supporting K-12 and higher education at national and international organizations, such as the DC College Success Foundation, The Sallie Mae Fund, NPower, World Vision and Seattle’s “It’s About Time for Kids!”. She successfully managed complex national education projects, developed original classroom curriculum and managed the implementation and evaluation of youth development/ college preparation programs. She is an accomplished trainer with diverse communities, a creative problem solver and strategist, and a skilled fundraiser and board development specialist.
Prior to her work with the education sector, Ms. Bunnell served as Deputy Mayor and Budget & Planning Director for the City of Seattle, and Chief Financial Officer of its public utilities. She started her career as a public finance investment banker at Piper Jaffray. Ms. Bunnell holds a master’s degree in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and an undergraduate degree from Yale College.
Greg Dawley is a Managing Director in the Los Angeles office & California Regional Municipal Manager for RBC Capital Markets. Mr. Dawley has served over 23 years in the municipal finance and governmental industries. He focuses on a wide range of issuers throughout the Western Region, including those in the general government, utilities, public power, transportation, higher education and K-14 sectors. Previous firms include Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Banc One Capital Markets and J.P. Morgan Securities.
Before his career in public finance, Mr. Dawley served as Assistant Chief of Staff to Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan. Mr. Dawley graduated with an M.P.P. from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan.
Charles Isgar, Chair
Charles Isgar is a sports business advisor to public, private, and academic institutions including USA Volleyball, the University of Southern California, Mayor of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and others.
While representing the then-mayor Richard Riordan, Mr. Isgar had the inspirational idea and master plan for the development of the Staples Center project. This exciting sports venue project capitalized on the strong brands of the Lakers, Kings, and Clippers to lead the most significant private investment in decades for the City of Los Angeles redevelopment and enhanced the public investment in the adjacent convention center.
Mr. Isgar also has worked with stadium construction, finance, redevelopment, and public policy issues for the ongoing Los Angeles efforts to return NFL to the market place. He has provided support to Olympic and Super Bowl bids, PGA Championship, World Cup soccer, and collegiate championships as opportunities to showcase the city and promote the Los Angeles region.
Mr. Isgar has also served on the city's Productivity and Efficiency Commission, Private Industry Council, Police and Fire Pension Board, and currently the Sports and Entertainment Commission, and USA Volleyball Foundation Board of Directors. He received his MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School and his PhD from the Sol Price school of public Policy at the University of Southern California.
Carlos Migoya has served as President and CEO of Jackson Health System since May 2011, overseeing one of the nation’s largest and most respected public healthcare networks. Jackson has the distinction of bringing world-class medical care – including the medical school faculty and students from the University of Miami and Florida International University – to a taxpayer-owned system that guarantees a single high standard of care for all residents of Miami-Dade County. The system is anchored by Jackson Memorial Hospital, one of the most respected hospitals in Florida. The system also includes two neighborhood community hospitals, Holtz Children’s Hospital, Jackson Behavioral Health Hospital, Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital, two nursing homes and a network of urgent care centers, physician practices, and clinics.
In his first year at Jackson, Mr. Migoya led a transformation that reversed years of massive losses, including an $82 million loss in the prior year, and produced a surplus of more than $8 million. It was the first time Jackson produced a surplus since 2006, and the system has earned an annual surplus every year since. In November 2013, he led a successful campaign in which 65 percent of Miami-Dade voters approved the $830 million Jackson Miracle-Building Bond program, which is the cornerstone of a 10-year, $1.5 billion capital plan to renovate, modernize and expand Jackson’s facilities.
Prior to joining Jackson, Mr. Migoya served as City Manager in Miami, successfully tackling the city’s ailing budget issues. Most of Mr. Migoya’s professional life was spent in the banking industry, rising through the ranks over more than 40 years from part-time teller to regional president and CEO at Wachovia and its predecessors. He most recently served as the regional president of Wachovia in North Carolina and the CEO for the Atlantic region, responsible for banking in New Jersey, Connecticut and New York.
He is actively involved in several community organizations, including having served as the foundation chairman of Florida International University and as a member of the university’s Dean’s Council, the College of Business Administration’s principal advisory board. For nine years, Mr. Migoya served as a director of AutoNation, the largest auto retailer in the U.S, and he is a past chairman of the Safety Net Hospitals Alliance of Florida. He currently chairs the United Way of Miami-Dade, and he sits on the boards of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Charter School in Miami, and the Beacon Council. He is a member of the Florida Council of 100, an organization of business leaders that promotes the economic growth of Florida and the economic well-being of Floridians.
Mr. Migoya earned an undergraduate degree in finance and a Master of Business Administration in finance from Florida International University.
Mayor Michael Nutter
After serving almost 15 years in the Philadelphia City Council, Michael A. Nutter was elected the 98th Mayor of his hometown in November 2007 and took office in January 2008. At his inaugural address, Mayor Nutter pledged to lower crime, improve educational attainment rates, make Philadelphia the greenest city in America and attract new businesses and residents to the city. He also promised to lead an ethical and transparent government focused on providing high quality, efficient and effective customer service.
With the support of an experienced, professional staff, Mayor Nutter made significant progress on every pledge: homicides were at an almost 50 year low at the end of his tenure; high school graduation and college degree attainment rates increased significantly; Philadelphia added hundreds of miles in bike lanes and trails and launched the first low-income friendly bike share system in America, called Indego; and Philadelphia 's population grew every year since 2008, including the largest percentage of millennial population growth in the nation. He actively recruited businesses to set up shop in Philadelphia, both domestically and internationally with tax reforms, better business services and international trade missions.
Mayor Nutter made a commitment to strong financial stewardship, vigorously managing the City through the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. As a result, Philadelphia’s credit rating was upgraded to the "A" category by the three major credit rating agencies for the first time since the 1970s. In 2013, Philadelphia City Council passed his Actual Value Initiative, the City's first ever property assessment system overhaul, transforming a broken and corrupt system into a fair, accurate and understandable system.
In affiliation with the National League of Cities, Mayor Nutter and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu launched Cities United, an initiative aimed at creating partnerships between cities, non-profits, and other stakeholders to combat violence and crime among African-American men and boys. He also serves on President Obama's My Brother's Keeper Advisory Council.
In June 2013, Mayor Nutter concluded his tenure as President of the United States Conference of Mayors, which is the official non-partisan organization of almost 1,300 U.S. cities with populations of 30,000 or more. In June 2015, Mayor Nutter completed his year of service as President of the Pennsylvania Municipal League, which brings together municipal government officials from across the Commonwealth to advance policy initiatives state-wide.
Mayor Nutter is a life-long Philadelphian, born and raised in West Philadelphia and educated at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been dedicated to public service since his youth. Mayor Nutter is happily married to his wife Lisa, and a proud parent to Christian and Olivia.
Mayor Annise Parker
Mayor Annise Parker is the Victory Fund and Victory Institute President & CEO. Annise is the first former elected official to lead the organizations, having served six years as a Houston City Council member, six years as City Controller, and six years as Mayor of the city. She is one of only two women to have been elected mayor in Houston, and is the only person in Houston history to have held the offices of council member, controller and mayor. She was the first openly LGBTQ mayor of a major American city.
She currently serves on the Policy and Global Affairs Committee of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and the boards of Houston Botanic Garden, Houston BARC Foundation, Patient Care Intervention Council, and the Climate Disclosure Project (CDP).
Prior to joining Victory Fund and Victory Institute, she was Senior Vice-President and Chief Strategy Officer of BakerRipley, a community development nonprofit. She was also a Fellow at the Doerr Institute for New Leaders and Professor in the Practice at Rice University. She served on the boards of FirstNet – created by Congress to implement a nationwide broadband network for first–responders and the Airbnb Mayor’s Advisory Board.
In 2010 Time magazine named Mayor Parker one of the 100 most influential people in the world. She was named top US mayor and seventh ranked world mayor in 2014 by City Mayors Foundation. She has received numerous awards during her career, including Scenic Houston’s Scenic Visionary Award, Guardian of the Human Spirit Award from Holocaust Museum Houston, Guardian of the Bay Award from Galveston Bay Foundation, Rice University Distinguished Alumna for 2011, and Local Arts Leadership honoree by Americans For the Arts.
Mayor Parker has been involved in Victory Fund and Victory Institute since its founding. She was endorsed by Victory Fund in all her successful campaigns for elected office, served on the board of directors, is an alum of Victory Institute’s Candidate & Campaign Training, and is a former Victory Institute David Bohnett Leaders Fellow. Her first LGBTQ organizing event was the Texas Gay Conference in 1975, and she was a founding member of the Rice University Gay and Lesbian Support Group in 1979. She served as an officer or board member of dozens of organizations, including President of the Houston Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, Co-Chair of the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas, Co-Chair of the Lesbian and Gay Democrats of Texas and Treasurer of the Names Project Houston. She was a community liaison to the Houston Police department for many years, and created and taught an LGBTQ human relations module to cadets.
Mayor Parker graduated from Rice University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. In the private sector, she spent 20 years working in the oil and gas industry, including 18 years with Mosbacher Energy Company. She also co-owned Inklings, a lesbian/feminist bookstore for 10 years.
Michael Spies joined Tishman Speyer in 1989, and led the establishment and growth of Tishman Speyer's European business, before recently returning to New York. He leads new global innovation initiatives while supervising the Indian operations and early stage efforts in new markets. He chairs the Investment Committee and serves on the firm's Management and Compensation Committees.
Prior to joining Tishman Speyer, he was Executive Vice President of the Public Development Corporation, which was the City of New York's lead economic development agency. Mr. Spies is a Global Governing Trustee of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), and currently Chairs the Jury for awarding ULI's highest honor, the Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development. He serves on the Board of Directors for TechnoServe, a non-profit organization reducing poverty in the developing world through supporting economic development and entrepreneurship.
He is also member of the Dean's Council at the Harvard Kennedy School, and is past Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the American School in London, as well as past Chair of the ULI European Charitable Trust. Mr. Spies graduated cum laude from Princeton University and from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government with a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning.
Ajay Thomas, Executive Vice President & Head of Public Finance, joined FTN Financials Public Finance Department in August 2017 to serve as the firm’s national Head of Public Finance. Ajay joined the Firm from William Blair where he also served as Head of Public Finance Banking and Head of the Municipal Securities Group. Additionally, Mr. Thomas has worked with Morgan Stanley, Raymond James, and Robert W. Baird & Co., as a senior banker within their respective municipal departments managing investment-banking groups in the Southwest United States. Mr. Thomas has 15 years of experience in public finance and has significant Texas K-12 transaction experience having led transactions for a significant number of public independent schools across the State of Texas since 2007. Ajay is a leading expert on the application and execution of soft put bonds and other structuring products for K-12 schools. Under Ajay’s leadership and active participation, Texas public finance banking teams over the last six years have consistently achieved “Top 5” K-12 Municipal Underwriting firm rankings.
Mr. Thomas received his B.A. in Economics from Southwestern University, where he was selected as a representative from the United States and named a General Course Scholar to the London School of Economics. Ajay later earned his Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University, and his J.D. from the University of Texas. He has been appointed to serve as a member to the Texas Business Leadership Council (formerly the Governor’s Business Council) and is a member of the TBLC’s Legislative Task Force and active in their subcommittees on Texas Public Education and Infrastructure helping to advise state leaders on various public policy matters. Ajay was most recently appointed to serve as a member of the Board of Visitors at Southwestern University advising its leadership on matters of higher education policy. He holds his Series 7, Series 53, Series 79, Series 52, and Series 50 FINRA licenses.
Jay Walder is the Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Hyperloop One, a privately held company out to create fast, effortless journeys that expand possibilities and eliminate the barriers of distance and time. Mr. Walder previously served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Motivate, the largest bike-share company in the country. He was recruited to Motivate in October 2014 and led its successful financial turnaround, growth and sale to Lyft in 2018. He has enjoyed a distinguished international career in the public transportation sector, which includes 30 years working in the rail industry in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Asia.
Mr. Walder was the Chief Executive Officer of MTR Corporation in Hong Kong, one of the world’s largest rail and property companies. Prior to that, he was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the largest transit agency in the U.S.
From 2007 to 2009, Mr. Walder was a partner at McKinsey & Company London where he was the global leader of the firm’s Infrastructure Practice. Between 2001 and 2007, he was Managing Director, Finance and Planning at Transport for London, where he was credited with the introduction of the Oyster card and with drafting London's successful bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics. Prior to that, he was a Lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Mr. Walder holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics with Honors from Binghamton University, Harpur College, and a Master in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He also completed the Executive Programme in Strategic Leadership from Templeton College at the University of Oxford.
Tracey Zhen is president of Zipcar, the world’s leading car-sharing network, where she oversees all facets of the business. Ms. Zhen is focused on innovation and leveraging technology to grow Zipcar’s position as a category leader within the fast-growing mobility industry.
Ms. Zhen has 20 years of experience in leadership roles at consumer technology companies, including senior management roles at TripAdvisor and Expedia where she oversaw business strategy, finance, operations, product development, and marketing.
At TripAdvisor, Ms. Zhen oversaw the company’s vacation rental brands, scaling the business and growing revenue through strategic acquisitions and the restructuring of its business models. At Expedia, Ms. Zhen served as general manager for emerging markets and strategy, leading international business growth in Europe and Latin America. There she launched new markets, built a European strategy team, and scaled the business to multi-million-dollar growth. Ms. Zhen has a proven track record of scaling start-up businesses through product innovation, technology platform development, and consumer marketing.
Ms. Zhen started her career in investment banking at Bear, Stearns & Co., Inc., and she held senior roles at IAC where she built and oversaw a finance and analytics team, was responsible for new business development and subsequent wind-down and aided corporate restructurings and capital financings.
Ms. Zhen is a graduate of New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business holding dual B.S. degrees in Finance and Information Systems. She is a resident of Boston and a native of New York City.