Select any name to learn more about each of our staff members:
Christopher Thornberg Ph.D. has been called many things throughout his career, but his favorite thing to be called is correct. A renowned economist with deep expertise in economic and revenue forecasting, regional economics, economic policy, and labor and real estate markets, Dr. Thornberg has consulted globally for private industry, cities, counties, and public agencies.
He became nationally known for forecasting the subprime mortgage market crash that began in 2007 and was one of the few economists on record to predict the global economic recession that followed. Amidst the 2020 Covid- 19 shock, Dr Thornberg correctly predicted the rapid “V” shaped economic recovery, the inflation that resulted from excessive government stimulus, as well as the sharp hikes in interest and mortgage rates currently impacting U.S. markets.
Well known for his ability to capture and hold audiences, Dr. Thornberg presents to hundreds of leading business, government, and nonprofit organizations every year. Audiences across the globe benefit from his singular insight, including NAIOP, CoreNet Global, Western Bankers Association, Association of Washington Business, Foreign Trade Association, Western Association of Chamber Executives, The Boeing Company, Kaiser Permanente, Zillow, Mountain America Credit Union, and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. In his data-rich economic outlooks, Dr. Thornberg illuminates national and local economic trends, and warns of danger when political narratives diverge from economic realities.
Dr. Thornberg’s trusted commentary and his evidence-based approach to economic policy analysis has built a legacy of correct calls and an ecosystem that includes some of the world’s most influential entities. Regardless of the audience, client, or project, Dr. Thornberg holds firmly to the principle of objective economic analysis, often saying that ‘you can pay for analysis, but you might not like the answers the data uncovers’.
Dr. Thornberg is a contributor to consensus economic forecasts published by the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, the National Association of Business Economists, and the Seidman Research Institute at Arizona State University. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, is an Executive Member of the Central City Association (Los Angeles), and is a member of the California Association for Local Economic Development.
Prior to launching Beacon Economics, Dr. Thornberg was a senior economist with UCLA’s Anderson Forecast. He previously taught in the MBA program at UCLA’s Anderson School, in the Rady School of Business at UC San Diego, and at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand. He has also held a faculty position in the economics department at Clemson University.
A well-known media commentator, Dr. Thornberg has appeared on all the major networks, CNN, NPR, and is regularly quoted in major national dailies including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Los Angeles Times.
Originally from upstate New York, Dr. Thornberg holds a Ph.D. in Business Economics from The Anderson School at UCLA, and a B.S. degree in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Sherif Hanna is Managing Partner at Beacon Economics, LLC. Mr. Hanna has over 30 years of operations management experience and guides the long-term direction of the firm, establishing short-term goals, objectives, and strategies to achieve that vision. He also oversees the Economic, Fiscal, and Social Impact Analysis practice area, one of the firm’s core competencies. He has helped build Beacon Economics’ name and client base through a focus on customer service and by creating strategic partnerships with key business and community institutions and organizations. He works extensively with senior executives in state and local government and at Fortune 500 companies that span industries such as manufacturing, banking and finance, insurance, real estate, and global trade.
Mr. Hanna is responsible for continually improving and expanding product lines and business development strategies, and for overseeing critical roles at the firm that affect client service, growth, administration, and the professional development of staff. He honed his managerial and strategic planning skills at both small and large companies and has particular expertise in workflow re-engineering, start-up management, and business development.
Prior to joining Beacon Economics, Mr. Hanna was Managing Director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast where he identified areas of underperformance and refined operations to ensure higher levels of productivity. Earlier in his career, Mr. Hanna was Senior Vice President of Consulting Sales and Strategic Alliances at The Advisory Company, and prior to that he was Vice President of Technology Sales and Business Development for AnnuityScout where he was responsible for national sales and account management of groundbreaking B2B and B2C technology. He also served in executive positions at American General Corp.
A long time Los Angeles resident, Mr. Hanna serves on the Executive Committee of the Central City Association (Los Angeles). He holds a B.A. in Political Science from California State University at Northridge.
Daniel Fowler is Business Development Manager at Beacon Economics, LLC. Mr. Fowler is responsible for managing the firm’s proposal processes, which includes playing a key role in creating and facilitating business development strategies for a variety of client segments and product offerings.
Prior to joining Beacon Economics, Mr. Fowler worked as a Structural Steel Specialist for the American Institute of Steel Construction, acting as the local representative for the domestic steel industry. He was responsible for communicating and promoting key industry updates and milestones, consulting with project teams on various steel-based construction solutions, and delivering AIA-accredited presentations to a wide variety of Architecture, Engineering, and Construction firms across the county. During is tenure he was a member of the Structural Engineering Association of Southern California and active on the Steel and the Diversity & Inclusion committees. He was also on the Resilience Committee of the National Council of Structural Engineers Association.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Fowler helped launch the Boston Branch of Fenagh Engineering and Testing, where he worked on numerous public and private construction projects, including Encore Boston Harbor, One Dalton Street, and Nantucket Intermediate School. As the first local employee, he helped grow the company to 35 employees within four years.
Mr. Fowler holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Colby College.
Kristen Lovell is Strategic Partnerships Manager at Beacon Economics, LLC. Ms. Lovell is responsible for establishing, guiding, and overseeing the firm’s partnerships and initiatives with private businesses, governments, and not-for-profit organizations. This includes identifying and pursuing opportunities for collaboration, commissioned work, and speaking roles by the firm’s experts.
A problem solver by nature, Ms. Lovell has been untangling complex puzzles in emerging markets for the past decade, including working extensively as a subject matter expert and consultant in the developing cannabis industry. She has held titles including Director of Product, Chief Communications Officer, and Head of Brand, and has been personally responsible for bringing 70+ SKUs to market — from ideation to consumption. She also manages her own private consultancy, Safe House LLC.
In the years prior to joining Beacon Economics, Ms. Lovell built a global brand and entertainment company with LGBTQIA+ television personality Laganja Estranja, pioneering a business where there was previously no industry. In this role she produced hundreds of events in dozens of countries — including Estranja headlining the first YouTube Beach PRIDE at Cannes Lions and hosting the first talk on cannabis decriminalization in Ireland with The Phil Society.
Formerly, Ms. Lovell was a manager at the German digital innovation agency responsible for IOT products such as Ford Pass and the P&G Smart Mirror. In 2018, she apprenticed in global CPG supply chain in China under Presidential Exporter of the Year award recipient Jean Seo, and later that year helped lead the #EquityFirstLA Campaign. She also co-founded The Social Impact Center, a Los Angeles based 501(c)3 focused on harm reduction, led a workshop at the Creating Change LGBT Task Force National Convention in 2020, and has been a speaker on diversity for The American Bar Association.
Ms. Lovell holds a B.A. in Communications and a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Trinity University. In 2022, she completed the Design Thinking and Innovation Certificate Program at Harvard Business School.
Stafford Nichols is a Research Manager at Beacon Economics. He oversees and guides projects and initiatives that cross a variety of the firm’s core practice areas including Regional and Sub-Regional Analysis, Sustainable Growth and Development, and Housing, Land Use, and Real Estate. Mr. Nichols has deep expertise in climate econometrics, geospatial analysis, public sentiment, and survey methodology. His work also focuses heavily on providing actionable insights and policy recommendations to clients based on data and other analysis.
Prior to joining Beacon Economics, Mr. Nichols was an Associate Principal at Gallup where he produced thought leadership studies for multinational corporations and NGOs in the areas of climate change, sustainable development, labor and workforce challenges, and global economic growth. In one instance, he led a study for an international finance institution to quantify climate change damages on subjective wellbeing in 160 countries. Before becoming a Principal, Mr. Nichols was a Regional Director at Gallup. In that role he directed survey research in 22 countries across Asia, measuring public sentiment regarding climate change, economic conditions, political leaders, trust in national institutions, standards of living, and foreign affairs. One of his key projects was leading the collection of the United Nations Food Insecurity Experience scale, which established metrics measuring world hunger for the first time.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Nichols was a Senior Methodologist at Gallup and a Research Consultant at the World Bank, where he conducted surveys and wrote about the drivers and behaviors in the European Union’s CO2 markets.
Mr. Nichols is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy at the University of Maastricht with an expected award date in 2023. He holds an M.B.A. in International Finance and an M.P.P. in Econometrics from the College of William and Mary. He holds a B.A. in Economics and History from Franklin & Marshal College.
Taner Osman is Manager of Regional and Sub-Regional Analysis at Beacon Economics. Dr. Osman plays a leading role in many of the firm’s principal research projects, which currently include examining the potential effect of minimum wage law changes on California’s restaurant industry, and developing labor market analyses and industy profiles for a variety of regional economies. He is also a postdoctoral researcher at the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies and an instructor in the Department of Urban Planning at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research focuses on how local economic development and land use policies affect the performance of industries and regional economies. He also specializes in the impact of high-technology industries on local economies.
Dr. Osman co-authored the book “The Rise and Fall of Urban Economies,” a comparative study of the Bay Area and Los Angeles economies published by Stanford University Press. He publishes scholarly work in the areas of economic development, regional economics, and land use planning.
Dr. Osman holds a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles with a specialization in regional and international development.
Victoria Pike Bond is Director of Marketing & Communications at Beacon Economics, LLC. She is responsible for all internal and external communications at the firm including public and media relations, product marketing, and website development and management.
Ms. Bond is a specialist in the fields of strategic communications and public affairs and has worked with members of the state, national, and international media managing crisis communications and conducting targeted outreach. She served as a press spokesperson for the California State Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and is an accomplished writer of communications pieces including press releases, newsletters, op-eds, marketing materials, proposals, and website content.
Before joining Beacon Economics, Ms. Bond managed media relations at the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) where she was responsible for all aspects of the institute’s media operation. Prior to that, she was a communications associate for environmental and communication management firm Circlepoint, working on the communication components of major public projects including the San Francisco Bay Bridge retrofit, the 680/24 Interchange reconstruction in Walnut Creek, and the merger of the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific Railroads.
Ms. Bond holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota.
Danielle Tremeear is Administrative Support Manager at Beacon Economics, LLC. Ms. Tremeear has extensive expertise creating efficient and functional work environments through the management of office operations and the administration of client service processes. In her role at Beacon Economics, she is responsible for overseeing administrative operations, human resources, and special projects. She also supports multiple executives, manages and streamlines accounting procedures, plans and executes events and conferences, and acts as a liaison between staff, vendors, and clients.
Ms. Tremeear was formerly Executive Assistant at Beacon Economics and prior to joining the firm was an executive assistant at a large law firm in Southern California. She has worked in a variety of office management capacities and in retail sales. Ms. Tremeear attended The Art Institute with a focus in Fashion Marketing and Management.
Sean Windle manages the Economic & Revenue Forecasting practice area at Beacon Economics, LLC. Mr. Windle plays a lead role in developing the firm’s national, state, and regional economic outlooks including building and revising the underlying forecast models. He is an economist with a deep knowledge of time series analysis, financial analysis, game theory, and utilizing existing and novel econometric techniques to establish causality. Through both his professional work and academic training, he has built a concerted expertise in statistical modeling, data analysis, and data visualization.
Mr. Windle began his career as a journalist, giving him the distinct and unique ability to clearly illuminate complex economic information. His skill as a communicator and writer allows him to break down multifaceted theories, concepts, and data for clients and stakeholders with varying levels of economic and financial knowledge.
Prior to joining Beacon Economics, Mr. Windle was a Senior Consultant at S&P Global Market Intelligence (formerly IHS Markit) where he performed stress tests for banking clients by conducting modeling analysis and quality control for the Federal Reserve Board’s CCAR scenarios and the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s CECL model. Before that, he was a Lead Analyst at IBISWorld where he delivered economic and policy insights through custom economic research, white papers, vendor sourcing, risk assessments and other consulting services that helped his clients solve business and supply chain problems.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Windle was a legal affairs journalist for the Daily Journal Corporation where he investigated and wrote about significant California news in real estate law; land-use; construction litigation, transactions, and finance; and public transportation.
Mr. Windle holds a M.A. in Applied Economics (STEM) from George Washington University and a B.A. in Journalism from Indiana University.
Samuel Maury-Holmes is a Senior Research Associate in the Regional and Sub-Regional practice area at Beacon Economics, LLC. An expert in a wide variety of data analysis software, including quantitative coding platforms and map-driven spatial analysis tools such as ArcGIS, Mr. Maury-Holmes also conducts research and analysis in support of the firm’s Sustainable Growth and Development work.
Among his recent projects, Mr. Maury-Holmes has identified and analyzed the demographic characteristics, employment preferences, and regional earnings of drivers working for app-based platforms in California; analyzed the City of Industry’s manufacturing sector, crafting strategies for its growth and development; leveraged a massive assortment of regional spending and demographic data to develop estimates of annual general welfare expenditures by major tribes in California; and analyzed union membership figures within Hollywood’s entertainment industry to identify subsector trends in the broader entertainment industry of Los Angeles. He also drafts Beacon Economics’ monthly analysis of the Texas labor market.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Maury-Holmes worked across a diverse range of industries. As an independent movie producer with production company Funegirl Films, he oversaw the production of four independent films, including the management of all aspects of budgeting, payroll, and team acquisitions. Prior to his time as a producer, he worked at Occidental College as a Conferences Assistant, where he helped organize the logistics for events and summer camps ranging from 10-600 people.
An entrepreneur, Mr. Maury-Holmes also co-founded ed-tech startup Thicket and founded a social media engagement organization that peaked at over 10,000,000 weekly engagements.
Mr. Maury-Holmes holds a B.A. in Economics from Occidental College with an emphasis in Econometrics.
Justin Niakamal is a Senior Research Associate at Beacon Economics, LLC. Mr. Niakamal helps lead research in the firm’s Regional and Sub-Regional Analysis and Housing and Land Use practice areas. This includes a specialized focus on public policy analysis as it relates to regional housing markets, land use, transportation, and industry. He also lends his analytic expertise to supporting the firm’s Economic and Revenue Forecasting work. Additionally, he manages the firm’s confidential data analysis and product line, which utilizes highly proprietary tax and employment data and allows for research that drills down to a neighborhood or even street level.
Mr. Niakamal’s past projects have included conducting population, housing, and employment projections through 2050 as part of two regional growth forecasts for San Luis Obispo County and the San Diego Association of Governments, analyzing the economic and employment characteristics of drivers working for app-based platforms in California, conducting an assessment of future workforce needs in Los Angeles for the County’s Health Agency departments, and developing a broad land use analysis for the City of Los Angeles.
In supporting a diverse cross section of the firm’s analytic products and services, Mr. Niakamal applies deep technical expertise in econometric modeling, and in cleaning, maintaining, and managing large and complex datasets. His academic interests and experience include Bayesian inference, causal inference as applied to policy analysis, regression analysis, econometrics, and the application of statistical and econometric software programs including EViews, Stata, and Python.
Prior to joining Beacon Economics, Mr. Niakamal completed a graduate level internship at Applied Medical, where he managed and leveraged large data sets to provide sales forecasts. Most recently, he was an economic analyst with the New York City Department of Education working within Environmental Health and Safety.
Mr. Niakamal holds an M.S. in Economics from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and a B.A. in Economics from California State University, Long Beach.
Bryan Castro is a Senior Research Associate at Beacon Economics. Mr. Castro works across multiple practice areas with a focus on public policy analysis and economic, fiscal, and social impact analysis. His professional experience and research interests include labor economics – particularly how active labor market policies impact jobseekers’ transition to employment, economic development, international trade, public sector economics, and markets with frictions.
Mr. Castro is broadly experienced in using econometric software such as STATA, EViews, MATLAB, and R to perform statistical analysis and forecasting. He is also highly proficient in working with confidential Employment Development Department (EDD) data including clear knowledge about how to process the data and use it properly in public and private reports. He has performed employment and demographic analysis for the City of Los Angeles and has used EDD data to contribute to reports for the City of Long Beach and San Bernardino County.
Prior to joining Beacon Economics, Mr. Castro taught courses in macro and microeconomics, international trade, and economic development at California State University, Los Angeles. Prior to that, he was a Teaching and Research Assistant at the University of California, Irvine where he led courses in macroeconomics, econometrics, urban economics, risk and uncertainty, international trade, and economic development. As a Research Assistant, he also mapped global value chains of medical goods, pharmaceuticals, and vaccines related to COVID-19.
Mr. Castro is currently a PhD candidate in Economics at the University of California, Irvine. He holds an M.A. degree in Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a B.A. degree in Economics and B.S. degree in Mathematics from California State University, Long Beach.
Brian Vanderplas is a Senior Research Associate at Beacon Economics, LLC. Mr. Vanderplas plays a leading role in many of the firm’s principal research projects with deep specialization in Economic, Fiscal, and Social Impact Analysis, Regional and Sub-Regional Analysis, EB-5 Economic Analysis, and Litigation Support and Expert Testimony. Within these practice areas, he focuses heavily on labor and employment, demographic, and real estate market analysis.
Mr. Vanderplas’s current and recent projects include assessing the economic impacts and contributions made by universities including the University of Southern California, UCLA, and California State University Long Beach. He has also played leading roles in high profile economic impact analyses for the Los Angeles 2024 Olympic Committee, Delta Air Lines, the Electric Daisy Carnival, and Otis College of Art and Design. Applying his expertise in regional economics, he has produced economic and demographic assessments of each city council district in Los Angeles for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and in Anaheim for the City of Anaheim. He leads Beacon’s monthly analysis of California’s employment numbers, a report widely used by statewide media, local governments, and private businesses.
Mr. Vanderplas is also responsible for building and maintaining a wide variety of complex databases that support the firm’s statewide and national economic forecasts, public policy studies, and other projects. In addition to preparing, cleaning, and seasonally adjusting data, he is deeply experienced in a wide array of economic and econometric software programs including STATA, EViews, and SPSS. Mr. Vanderplas’s academic focus includes transportation economics and international trade and development.
Prior to joining Beacon Economics, Mr. Vanderplas conducted graduate level research on the educational attainment level of migrant populations and on fuel consumption as it relates to population density. He holds M.A and B.A. degrees in Economics from California State University, Long Beach.
Johnathan Cahill is a Research Associate in the Economic, Fiscal, and Social Impact Analysis practice area at Beacon Economics, LLC. Mr. Cahill conducts data research and analysis in support of the practice area’s principal engagements. His current work portfolio includes analyzing the impacts of a wide variety of activities, projects, and institutions including universities and major entertainment events and venues.
Mr. Cahill’s educational and professional background have given him an exceptionally strong quantitative foundation and the ability to interpret data and data trends. This includes an emphasis on applied methods such as designing and conducting field experiments and econometrics for the purpose of economic consulting and advising. He is skilled in the use of leading data and econometric software including STATA, R, and RunGTAP, a trade modeling platform. Mr. Cahill is also the only IMPLAN Certified Economist on the West Coast and one of only 13 in the nation, trained in Input-Output theory and analysis specifically tailored to IMPLAN, a leading industry software for estimating economic impacts.
Mr. Cahill’s academic interests include examining the intersection between economics and policy as it relates to economic development, the global economic system, and international trade. He has conducted graduate level research on the Los Angeles County housing market, trade policy as it relates to beef tariffs, and the effectiveness and impact of peer-tutoring on educational attainment.
Prior to joining Beacon Economics, Mr. Cahill obtained a well-rounded work experience serving in a variety of demanding roles in the financial services and asset management industries. He was a Treasury Analyst with The Broe Group where he worked with numerous banks to reduce banking fees and created programming to prevent financial fraud and increase cyber security. Prior to that, he was a Portfolio Operations Associate at Bain Capital Credit and a Client Operations Associate with State Street Corporation.
Mr. Cahill holds an M.S. in Applied Economics and Econometrics from the University of Southern California, and a B.S. in Economics and Political Science from Suffolk University.
Kailei Lin is a Spatial Statistics Research Associate at Beacon Economics, LLC. Ms. Lin conducts data research and analysis that crosses multiple practice areas within the firm including Sustainable Growth and Development, Regional and Sub-Regional Analysis, and Housing, Land Use, and Real Estate Analysis. Her current work portfolio includes integrating and developing logistical and internal cloud-based data models and analyzing Geospatial and U.S. Census data for a variety of demographic and economic indicators.
Through her interdisciplinary study in Data Science and Spatial Analysis, Ms. Lin has developed strong expertise in quantitative geospatial analysis and modeling; analysis of programing algorithms; data mining and aggregation over large-scale datasets; ArcGIS; and data visualization. She works with classification methods, including K-means clustering, to understand the dynamics of transit ridership and transit user segmentation, and generates data features on platforms such as Apache Spark and Snowflake to decompose large-scale, location-based problems. As part of NASA Harvest, Ms. Lin applied her statistical programming skills in Python and R to develop a global crop yield forecasting system using satellite and weather data. These results fed into a public web forum, helping government and private agencies monitor food shortages.
Prior to joining Beacon Economics, Ms. Lin interned as a Map Software Engineer for technology startup TuSimple where she built high-definition maps from massive 3D LiDar data and captured and debugged over 300,000 errors in map products by performing root cause analysis. Her work helped the company expand its regional freight network coverage. Ms. Lin also interned as a Data Analyst with the Guangzhou City Planning Kance Design & Research Institute in Guangzhou, China where she conducted data cleaning of building footprints data using ArcGIS, SQL, and python.
Ms. Lin holds an M.S. in Spatial Data Science from the University of Southern California and a B.S. in Urban Planning with a certificate in Geographic Information Systems and Cartography from Miami University.
Benjamin Noon is a Research Associate at Beacon Economics, LLC. Mr. Noon conducts data research and policy analysis in support of a variety of the firm’s principal engagements. His topical areas of focus include housing, sustainable growth, and industry trends. His current work portfolio includes conducting an industry analysis for Los Angeles County that involves a deep dive into job and occupational changes.
Mr. Noon’s educational background in econometrics, health economics, and developmental economics have given him a strong quantitative foundation as well as the ability to collect and analyze data to better understand concepts, opinions, and public policies. He is skilled in the use of leading data and econometric software including R and STATA.
Prior to joining Beacon Economics, Mr. Noon was a research assistant at the Institute for Policy Research and Engagement at the University of Oregon where he conducted analysis on housing affordability in the state. He also previously interned at a private equity investment firm where he was broadly exposed to the world of high finance. In this position, he collected and applied data and information from dozens of investment deals to identify trends and patterns that indicate their likelihood of passing or failing.
Mr. Noon holds a M.S. in Economics from the University of Oregon and a B.A. in Economics from Lewis and Clark College.
Emil Alexander Sabán is a Research Associate in the Sustainable Growth and Development practice area at Beacon Economics, LLC. Mr. Sabán conducts data research and analysis in support of the practice area’s principal engagements. His current work portfolio includes contributing to research that identifies growth strategies for the logistics industry in the City of Ontario and developing a comprehensive economic development strategy for the City of Escondido.
Mr. Sabán’s educational and professional background have given him a strong foundation in both quantitative and qualitative analysis. His educational training includes a heavy emphasis on statistical methods such as regression analysis and on applied statistical modeling, allowing him to develop models based on econometric theories. He is skilled in the use of leading data and econometric software including STATA and R, as well as having strong proficiency in presentation software such as Tableau and LaTex.
Mr. Sabán’s academic interests include examining the intersection between economics and public policy as it relates to supply chains, sustainable practices, and international development. Mr. Sabán has a specific interest in urban-suburban dynamics within economic and housing policymaking. He has conducted graduate level research on the rare earths industry and its potential to develop a domestic supply chain, and undergraduate research on the connection between pollution concentration and industry employment using EPA and other Federal agency publications. He presented an undergraduate thesis on tourism economies and urban development in Mexico.
Prior to joining Beacon Economics, Mr. Sabán conducted economic analysis and data mining as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center for Business and Economics Research at the University of Kentucky. During his undergraduate studies, he was an Undergraduate Research Assistant in the Economics Department at the University of Texas at Austin and worked as a Researcher at Innovations for Peace and Development, a social science research lab at the School of Public Affairs. Additionally, he staffed a state legislative office during the 86th Legislative Session of the Texas Senate.
Mr. Sabán holds an M.S. in Economics from the University of Kentucky, and B.A.’s in Economics and Plan II Honors (an interdisciplinary honors major) from the University of Texas at Austin.
Rachel Amick is Project and Client Coordinator at Beacon Economics. Ms. Amick leads the administrative and client communication aspects of many of the firm’s principal projects. Supporting multiple managers, she works to inform, consult, and communicate with clients and stakeholders to ensure their engagement is prioritized and that a supportive and productive relationship is maintained. She has played an instrumental role in numerous high profile and complex projects including managing stakeholder engagement and administering a major online platform for Los Angeles County’s LA2021 Future of Creative Talent Summit and overseeing client communications and all support functions for the 2021 Otis College Report on the Creative Economy.
Ms. Amick also maintains many aspects of the firm’s administrative and human resources functions including producing a monthly media monitoring report and assisting with filing systems, billing and contracts, scheduling and calendar maintenance, events, and recruiting and staff benefits.
Ms. Amick has extensive experience working in administrative, client relations, and executive assistant capacities. Prior to joining Beacon Economics, she was an executive assistant and office manager at a large medical office and before that worked as a customer service representative at JNR, a company focused on improving human performance in the workplace.
Ms. Amick holds an Associate Degree in General Studies from Fullerton College.
Jessica Hernandez is Beacon Economics’ Production and Graphic Design Lead. Ms. Hernandez leads design and visual communication on many of the firm’s key projects as well as for marketing, promotional, and business development campaigns and resources. She has been instrumental in establishing branding and design guidelines and principals that ensure the firm’s products maintain brand integrity and continue to resonate with customers and partners.
She is skilled in communicating economic analysis through compelling visual text and imagery using a variety of design technologies including Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop. Ms. Hernandez was the principal designer on high-profile projects including Los Angeles County’s LA2021 Future of Creative Talent Summit, and economic impact analyses for the Virgin Trains USA high-speed rail line linking Southern California and Las Vegas, the iconic RMS Queen Mary ship and hotel, Live Nation’s Toyota Music Factory in Irving, Texas, and the 2020 World Ag Expo, among others.
In her role at Beacon Economics, she is also responsible for maintaining production schedules, interfacing with clients and vendors, streamlining technology, and assisting with events and conferences. She has a professional background in office management including administering customer service procedures, accounting and human resources processes, data entry, and overall office operations. Prior to joining the firm, she was a leasing agent and customer service representative for a large storage facility and before that oversaw administrative functions for a painting contractor and a construction company.
Ms. Hernandez is fluent in Spanish and is pursuing an Associate Degree in Graphic Design and Marketing at El Camino College. She has also earned certificates in intermediate and advanced Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop from Intelquest Computer Training.
Mark Schneider is a Data Visualization and Marketing Coordinator at Beacon Economics. Mr. Schneider applies design to the firm’s analytic products to create rich, illuminating visualizations that illustrate economic data and explain economic trends. He blends a deep skill set in graphic design, art, data visualization, and computing science to enhance client reports and publications, design internal products, and support Beacon’s marketing communication and business development functions. He has professional expertise in a wide array of design software, programming languages, and in design thinking.
In his recent work portfolio, Mr. Schneider has been the principal designer on high profile projects including the 2021 Otis College Report on the Creative Economy, an economic impact analysis of the 2020 California Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and an economic development analysis for the County of Mendocino, among others. He was also instrumental in developing collateral material for Los Angeles County’s LA2021 Future of Creative Talent Summit. He recently produced and enacted interactive graphics for Beacon Economics’ online publications and regularly creates engaging social media postings that promote the firm’s commissioned and internal publications.
Prior to joining Beacon Economics, Mr. Schneider was an Ideation Lab Assistant at Chapman University where he created a variety of client branded collateral including corporate identity and advertising. He was also a Freelance Designer for the nonprofit Dance 4 Joy, which included a complete rebranding and social media management. Prior to that he worked in a marketing position for Beyond Limits, an artificial intelligence vendor.
Mr. Schneider holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A) from Chapman University with a study focus in Computational Science.
AFFILIATED ECONOMISTS AND EXPERTS
Jock O’Connell is Beacon Economics’ International Trade Advisor and one of the nation’s foremost authorities on world trade, global economic trends, and the internationalization of the California economy.
Mr. O’Connell is a former staff advisor to the California Commission for Economic Development and member of the California Economic Strategy Panel’s Technical Advisory Group.
He is the author of numerous articles on economic, political, and trade issues that have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury-News, Sacramento Bee, California Journal, Salon.Com, and Pacific Standard Magazine. In conjunction with Beacon Economics, he edits the monthly California Trade Report, an analysis of the latest data on the Golden State’s export trade.
Mr. O’Connell has spoken before a diverse array of business organizations and other groups during his career. Among the more prominent audiences he has addressed have been: Russia’s Institute for USA and Canada Studies in Moscow; Japan’s Keidanren in Tokyo; the Confederation of British Industry in London; the Foreign Trade Association of Southern California in Los Angeles; and the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco.
Mr. O’Connell has been a lecturer at the University of California at Davis and at California State University, Sacramento. From 2005 to 2010, he held the position of International Trade and Economics Advisor at the University of California Center in Sacramento, where he lectured and organized workshops and seminars designed to keep California’s policymakers informed of the latest developments in world trade and their effect on California’s economy.
The primary emphasis of Mr. O’Connell’s consulting work involves the logistics of foreign trade and, more specifically, the condition of California’s international trade infrastructure. He has worked with several nationally recognized transportation planning consulting firms, including Cambridge Systematics, TranSystems, and the Tioga Group.
Mr. O’Connell is a member of the Transportation Research Board’s Committee on Intergovernmental Relations in Aviation. As a division of the National Research Council, the Transportation Research Board advises Congress, executive-branch federal agencies, the states, and other organizations on key transportation issues.
Mr. O’Connell grew up on the coast of Maine and received his B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross before pursuing graduate studies at the University of California at Davis. He has also studied at the Institute of European Studies (University of Vienna) and the London School of Economics, where he was a Fulbright Scholar.