Board of Directors

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ROBERT SHAPIRO (CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD):

Internationally renowned litigator Robert Shapiro is a senior partner at Los Angeles-based Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP. He has represented a number of high-profile corporations, including Rockstar Energy Drink, Diamond Resorts International, Steve Wynn and Wynn Resorts Ltd, Cadeau Express, as well as many celebrity clients.

Mr. Shapiro has a reputation for being a zealous advocate for his clients. His success in trying cases has allowed him to negotiate settlements and bring resolution without going to trial. His abstract imagination gives him the ability to analyze facts from all sides.

Mr. Shapiro has more than 30 years of criminal litigation practice, including the successful defenses of O.J. Simpson and Christian Brando. Shortly after the Simpson trial, Mr. Shapiro steered his practice away from criminal defense and toward the civil arena. The striking evolution of his career gives him a background that is unmatched by most attorneys. Many civil litigators have experience taking depositions, but cannot carry that experience into the courtroom or in front of a jury, which sets Mr. Shapiro apart.

He received a business degree in finance from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1965 and obtained his law degree from Loyola Law School in 1968. At the start of his career, Mr. Shapiro spent two years in the Los Angeles County District  Attorney’s Office before deciding to practice criminal defense as a sole practitioner, polishing his trial and litigation expertise.

Mr. Shapiro has received many honors for his legal prowess, including:

Selected as one of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America,” The National Law Journal

Named one of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers,” The National Trial Lawyers

Named one of the “Top 25 Trial Lawyers,” The National Trial Lawyers

Named by Lawyers of Distinction as top 10% in the USA

Recognized as “Pro-Bono Lawyer of the Year,” The State of Nevada

Selected by Best Attorneys of America, Lifetime Charter Member

Ranked as one of the “Nation’s Top 100 Attorneys,” National Association of Distinguished Counsel, Founding Member

Designated a “Top 100 Litigation Lawyer in the State of California,” The American Society of Legal Advocates, 2016

Awarded “Premier 100 Trial Attorney,” National Academy of Jurisprudence, formerly known as the American Academy of Trial Attorneys

Named one of “50 Inspirational Alumni” Loyola Law School

Civic Endeavors

Mr. Shapiro has been married for more than 40 years to his wife, Linell and has a son, Grant. His other son, Brent, died of chemical dependency disease in 2005, prompting Mr. Shapiro to found The Brent Shapiro Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to raise drug and alcohol awareness in the wake of this tragedy.

Entrepreneurial Activities

Mr. Shapiro considers himself to be an entrepreneur at heart and has founded three companies: LegalZoom.com, Shoedazzle.com and RightCounsel.com. His business background allows him to better understand corporate clients’ needs, as well as their interests.

Mr. Shapiro has authored two books, “The Search for Justice” and “Misconceptions.” He also wrote a children’s book on the negative effects of drug use, which is available free-of-charge to schools across the country. Additionally, he is a frequent contributor to Op-Ed pieces and legal articles. He has appeared on all cable and network news channels as a legal expert.

DR. JEFFERY WILKINS:

Jeffery N. Wilkins, M.D. is Vice Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at Cedars-Sinai Hospital. Dr. Wilkins is also Medical Director of Addiction Medicine and Director of Addiction Studies within the department’s Clinical Trials Unit. In addition, he is the Program Director for the ACGME-approved Fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry, and he serves as Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Dr. Wilkins’ research interests include pharmacotherapy of patients with substance abuse problems and/or mental illness, the pharmacokinetics of abused substances, and the identification of biological markers for psychiatric disorders. His investigations have received funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health and the Veterans Administration. Dr. Wilkins is also evaluating innovating techniques in substance abuse prevention in adolescents and children, including the use of health-oriented video games.

A board-certified psychiatrist, Dr. Wilkins is a diplomate of the American Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, from which he also received added qualifications in addiction psychiatry. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and is certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He has written articles for numerous peer-reviewed publications, including the American Journal of Psychiatry, Archives of General Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, California Pediatrician, and the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Dr. Wilkins received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and his medical degree from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine. After studying neurology at Queen Square and St. Pancras Hospitals in London, he completed a medical internship at UCSD School of Medicine and a psychiatry residency at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute.

 ARI AFSHAR:

Ari is a Beverly Hills native with the keen sense and network to find his clients the right deal at the right time. While his own experiences prior to Compass span a multitude of different industries: social media marketing, real estate and mobile app building—the fine thread that runs through each endeavor is always an entrepreneurial spirit, a candor that guides client dilemmas into creative solutions. He is a man obsessed with connecting people to what they want. 

With a masterful control of communication and savvy in flexing business acumen and social network at the optimal time, Ari is a real estate force here to serve the community he calls home. As a serial entrepreneur, Ari chased his passion for business when in 2009 he co-founded his first company and boutique real estate agency, Lexington Realty, which specialized in the luxury real estate market in Los Angeles. Through Lexington Realty, Housing Assist of America was originated to focus on the Short Sale and Distressed Property market. 

After negotiating thousands of notes with lenders, Ari was lauded for his proficiently unique insight into the world of real estate and ability to build systems and process for his own company, Ari was selected as one of 8 real estate agents nationwide on Bank of America’s Realtor Roundtable. After 2 years and hundreds of transactions later Lexington Realty successfully merged with Coldwell Banker in Beverly Hills in 2011. Since then Ari has been involved in hundreds of millions of dollars worth of real estate deals. His chief aim is to provide high quality service and attention to his clients and the markets he represents. Ari is also a husband and father.

 DENISE AVCHEN:

Denise Avchen is the co-founder and CEO of Environmental Research Advocates (ERAscience.org) established by Denise and Terry Avchen to support research and education in cutting edge science. Denise partners with CNSI UCLA (cnsi.ucla.edu) and Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (perimeterinstitute.ca) to bring inspiring science curriculum and programs to the Los Angeles inner city.

 

Ms. Avchen was founding chair of National Parkinson Foundation in Los Angeles. She was a founder and long-serving member of the Board of Directors of PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) where she continues to develop projects to assist homeless youth. She collaborated with School on Wheels to create a tutoring center at PATH which enables children who have been homeless to reenter the school system at grade level.  While serving as a Governor of American Film Institute Associates, Denise’s passion for education led to her work as chair of the Youth Outreach Program.  She has served on the Board of Westside Children’s Center and she has also worked with Colors United, a non-profit organization designed to rehabilitate high school aged ex-gang members through the arts.  

Most recently Denise has collaborated with The Jane Goodall Institute and GSI in celebration of Dr Goodall’s contributions to humanity.

Denise is very proud to sit on the Board of Directors of The Brent Shapiro Foundation and to assist in its great mission to save young lives.

DAVID HOCHMAN:

David is currently on the Board of Councilors of the Price School of Public Policy at USC, and is a member of the Board of Governors of Cedars Sinai Medical Center, and a board member of the Brent Shapiro Foundation.  He is a past chair of the Gooden Center, and, along with his wife Amy, is a current national chair of the Israel Sports Center for the Disabled.  David also served as special advisor to Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, and was a past board member of the American Jewish Committee. David has also previously served as Co-Chair (with his brother Nathan) of the Legal Services Division and has been a long time donor to the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.  David is a partner at the law firm Wolf, Rifkin, Shapiro, Schulman & Rabkin LLP, specializing in counseling and advising his clients in business and personal legal needs.

DR. ROBERT KOBLIN:

Dr. Robert Koblin, M. D. is an internist, specializing in cardiology. He is in private practice in Beverly Hills, California, where he is the Managing Partner of the Robertson Diagnostic Center. Dr. Koblin has been an attending physician and instructor at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles since 1965 where he is a member of the Bioethics and Coronary Care Committees. He is also an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Dr. Koblin received his Bachelor of Arts Degree with Special Honors from New York University in 1956. From NYU, he received the Founders Day Award, Honor Award for Biology, Beta Lambda Sigma, Chemistry Honor Award, and the Caducean Society Award, Pre-Medical Honor Society. He pursued his medical education at Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he received his M. D. in 1960. His internship conducted at the Womack Army Hospital, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, 82nd Airborne Division, where he attained the rank of Captain, U.S. Army. Dr. Koblin did his residency at Stanford University Hospital. In 1988, he received the Physicians Recognition Award from the American Medical Association.

As Founder of the Wolfgang Puck Food Company, Los Angeles, Dr. Koblin spent five years starting and growing the business. From 1994-1999, he was the CEO and Founder of both the National Physicians Network and the International Physicians Alliance.

RUBEN DUA:

Ruben is an expert in demand generation, marketing automation and digital advertising. Ruben attained his B.A. from the University of Southern California, and his M.B.A. from Loyola Marymount University. When out of the office, he enjoys playing on his drum kit, mountain biking, and spending time with his wife and son.

GARY RICHMAN:

Gary S. Richman is a certified chemical dependency counselor with ten years experience in the Los Angeles area. He has distinguished himself by developing a successful private practice working with clients and helping them to identify the problems and patterns that contribute to addiction. His focus is counseling and customizing an individual program that will maximize success in life and sobriety while minimizing the risk of relapse.

Mr. Richman is also affiliated with MAP (Musician Assistance Program) as a facilitator for group sessions for recovering musicians.