Los Angeles Breakfast Series

One of our signature programs is The Berkeley Network Breakfast Series in Los Angeles. These intimate gatherings provide Cal alumni the opportunity to network and hear industry insights from fellow graduates and other community leaders.


Upcoming Breakfast.

There are no upcoming LA Breakfasts currently. Please check back with The Berkeley Network for new and improved industry networking in your area.


Previous Speakers

Liza Bercovici ’72

Breakfast Topic: LA’s Rapidly Changing Public Education Landscape

Liza is the Executive Director of The Gabriella Foundation and The Gabriella Charter School, which she founded in 2000 and 2005, respectively. Prior to that, Liza served as a family law specialist at the Law Offices of Liza F. Bercovici, and Assistant Staff Counsel on the House Energy and Commerce Committee for the U.S. House of Representatives. Bercovici has also worked at The Washington Post and The New York Times.

Bercovici has served on the California State Board of Pharmacy and the Lafayette Park LVNOC, which was responsible for the $5 million Proposition K recreation center facility at Lafayette Park. Bercovici has received many awards, including the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, presented in November 2014 at the White House, and the Social Innovation Fast Pitch, Annenberg Audience Award for the most audience votes for best pitch of the night in 2013.

Bercovici received her B.A. in Southeast Asian Studies from UC Berkeley in 1972, and her J.D. from UC Hastings College of Law in 1978.

Felix Pfeifle ’92

Breakfast Topic: In Habsburgum: My Path to Center Court of the Austro-Hungarian Empire

Felix Pfeifle grew up in the Central Valley of California, where his family has lived for six generations. Pfeifle holds a Bachelor of Arts in the Humanities (focus: Austro-Hungarian Empire), cum laude, from the University of California, Berkeley, 1992. In 1992 he was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship for study at the University of Vienna, where his focus was fin-de-siecle aesthetics and, in particular, the written and built works of the early Modernist Austrian architect Adolf Loos. He also holds a Masters in Interior Architecture from Pratt Institute, 1998. He is co-founder and board vice president of Modern ARTillery, an organization promoting new works of opera. Pfeifle has also served on the Board of Directors of the Greater Los Angeles Fulbright Association, where he was Board President for several years. He founded his own interdisciplinary design firm for architecture, landscape and interior design in Los Angeles, the Office of Cultural Design, in 2005.

FELIX AUSTRIA! is his first foray into movie-making. Pfeifle is currently completing a book about his journey with the Archduke and Herbert Hinkel, exploring the cross currents of culture and time, in addition to Otto von Habsburg’s place in the long arc of history up through the present. He is also collaborating with Lynn Baik on a children’s fairytale book based on his dreams about Otto von Habsburg, which were recounted in analysis in the film for his psychologist, Dr. Michael Pariser.

John Emshwiller ’72

Breakfast Topic: New Ways of Breaking News

John Emshwiller is senior special writer for The Wall Street Journal. He is based in the Los Angeles bureau and covers a variety of issues from white-collar crime to nuclear energy.

Mr. Emshwiller joined the Journal in 1972 as a general assignment reporter in the San Francisco bureau and transferred to Detroit in 1974 to cover the auto industry and organized labor. In 1979, he moved to the New York bureau to cover nuclear energy, and in November 1982, he became an editor in charge of the paper’s commodities markets coverage. He was named assistant bureau chief in New York in September 1983 and supervised the oil, energy and nuclear coverage.

In 2002, Mr. Emshwiller shared the Gerald Loeb Award for beat reporting; the William Brewster Styles Award for business reporting; and the Deadline Club’s award for business news, series or investigative reporting, with Rebecca Smith for their coverage of the collapse of Enron. He also won various journalism awards, including one from the National Press Foundation, for a series of stories in 2011 that he did with colleague Gary Fields on the federal criminal justice system. Mr. Emshwiller was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for a series of stories examining the legacy of radioactive contamination from the nuclear-weapons program at scores of locations around the country.

He is the author of “Scam Dogs and Mo-Mo Mamas,” a look at the rise of the Internet stock-trading world, and is co-author with Ms. Smith of 24 Days, a book about the Enron scandal.

Mr. Emshwiller graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences. He is married and has two daughters.


Mandy Kahn ’00

Breakfast Topic: Poetry in The Digital Age - The Intersection of New Media and an Age-Old Art Form

Mandy Kahn is a poet who lives in Los Angeles. She’s the author of the poetry collection Math, Heaven, Time, and is coauthor of the nonfiction book Collage Culture: Examining the 21st Century’s Identity Crisis. She collaborates with composers to create works that feature poetry in tandem with classical music and has had readings and signings at Colette (Paris), Motto (Berlin), Shoreditch House (London), Davies Symphony Hall (San Francisco), Printed Matter (New York) and Art Center College of Design (Pasadena).


Robert Hurwitz ’71

Breakfast Topic: Does recorded music still matter?

Robert Hurwitz, President of Nonesuch Records, has headed the company since September 1984. Nonesuch Records, founded in 1964, pursues a broad mission, including classical music, contemporary music, jazz, traditional American and world music, music theater and dance. Hurwitz has produced recordings by Caetano Veloso, Stephen Sondheim, Astor Piazzolla and Teresa Stratas, and was the producer of the 1993 motion picture George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. Nonesuch releases have won 42 Grammy awards during his tenure. Three eminent new-music organizations in New York City, The Kitchen, the American Music Center, andBang on a Can, have all honored Hurwitz’ achievements.

In addition to his work at Nonesuch, Hurwitz ran the American operations of ECM Records, and also worked at Columba Records. He has served on the boards of the Paul Taylor Dance Foundation, the New Music Distribution Service, and the Charles Ives Foundation. Hurwitz has been a speaker at symposiums for National Public Radio, the New York City Ballet, the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Chamber Music America. He also has taught a course at The New School since 2006.


Kathryn Cicoletti ’99

Kathryn is the writer and founder of MakinSense Babe, “The Money Site for Non-Finance People. Finance People are Annoying.” Kathryn has 13 years of experience working on Wall Street. Prior to launching MakinSense Babe in 2013, Kathryn was Director of International Sales at a global asset management firm in Los Angeles for seven years. She started her career as a Senior Hedge Fund Research Analyst in New York for five years. Kathryn graduated from UC Berkeley in 1999 with a B.S. from the Haas School of Business.

Breakfast Topic: Career hacking tips. Why Kathryn walked away from earning $600,000 and how she parlayed her 13 years of finance experience to a career in media. She will give you specific examples that are applicable to any career.
Read more »


Matthew Belloni ’97

An editor and reporter at The Hollywood Reporter since 2006, Matt is the publication’s executive editor. Belloni, a graduate of UC Berkeley and USC Law School, practiced entertainment law in Los Angeles before starting his career in journalism. Among his favorite pieces with The Hollywood Reporter are last year’s Bill Maher cover story and the 2011 exclusive on “The Kennedys” miniseries getting axed at The History Channel. Also, while Matt was a student at Cal, he worked as a staff member at CAA’s Lair of the Golden Bear summer camp.


Interested in Being a Speaker?

If you would like to be featured at an LA Breakfast, please contact
Anjeannette Schnetz
Director, Executive Office 
aj.schnetz@alumni.berkeley.edu