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Board of Directors

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Rey R.jpg
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Jeffrey Markowitz

CEO/Creative Compound

Jeff is an award-winning photographer, philanthropist, and the founder and CEO of a successful LA-based creative agency. He began his career as a White House photojournalist, with his work appearing on the covers of Time and Newsweekmagazines.

“I noticed a pattern that concerned me: So many young creative people I meet today have incredible talent, but none of the business skills or resources to move them forward. It is a pain I remember all too well from early in my own career.


I wanted to provide a lifeline to those passionate people who just need support to keep them going. I started Marko: Business School for Creative People to help lift up the next generation, using the practical lessons my partners and I have learned throughout our professional lives. Because, more than anything, I want creative people not to give up on themselves.”

Rey M. Rodríguez
Assistant General Counsel

Rey is a twenty-six-year veteran of The Walt Disney Company. As an attorney, Rey serves the global theatrical distribution arm of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, covering the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, and Asia.

Rey feels an important obligation to give back to his community. He is a twenty-plus-year board member of Proyecto Pastoral at Dolores Mission, a non-profit organization in East Los Angeles serving the needs of Boyle Heights. He is a board member of the Western Center on Law and Poverty, dedicated to advocating in the courts and through legislation for California’s poor. He is a member of the board of Family Foothill Services.


Rey has achieved a bachelor of arts in economics from Cornell University, a master’s in public affairs from Princeton University and a JD from University of California at Berkeley.

Rick Smilow

Institute of Culinary Education
NYC and LA

Rick is the Chairman and CEO of the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in New York City and Los Angeles.

During Smilow's 27-year tenure, the institution has quadrupled its program offerings, gained accreditation. ICE is now the largest campus based, accredited, for-profit culinary education brand in America. And in 2022, ICE launched an accredited online Culinary Arts program, from their Los Angeles campus.

Rick earned a BA degree in history from Emory University and an MBA in marketing from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.


Rick is a longstanding board member of NYC's City Harvest, Streets International (Vietnam), and Join Israel, and an advisory board member of Wholesome Wave, and the Yale Sustainable Farm. He is also a member of YPO Gold (Young Presidents’ Organization), and a key shareholder / partner in Dinex, Chef Daniel Boulud’s NYC-based, 13-unit international restaurant group.

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