Valencia, CA, June 25, 2007 - -CalArts has welcomed two distinguished Los Angeles civic leaders, Colleen Shea Morrissey and T. Willem Mesdag, as the newest members of the Board of Trustees. Morrissey was confirmed by the board in March, while Mesdag was elected in May.
Morrissey is a passionate advocate for children’s health and a longstanding supporter of civic and cultural institutions across the city. She is a member of Las Madrinas (“The Godmothers”) of Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and has served as president of the Westside Guild of Childrens Hospital and co-chair of The Founding Families of Children’s Hospital. She also is a director of Los Angeles Opera.
“Colleen is a person who just brims with enormous energy,” said President Steven D. Lavine. “She has keen interests across the arts and in the health, education and well-being of underserved young people. Her philanthropic work stretches from right here in our own city to as far away as Thailand. We know Colleen will bring fresh ideas and open new possibilities in a broad array of the arenas and initiatives in which CalArts is involved.”
A Los Angeles resident since 1990, Morrissey and her husband, John, provide vital financial support to several leading medical research programs through The John and Colleen Morrissey Family Foundation, of which she is president. She also is the founder and chair of the Edmund Shea III Fund for The Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins University, and a director of The John Douglas French Alzheimer’s Foundation.
Morrissey holds a BA in business administration from the University of Southern California. The Morrisseys have two daughters and live in Pacific Palisades.
Willem Mesdag is founder and managing partner of Red Mountain Capital Partners LLC, a private investment firm based in Los Angeles. Previously, he was a partner at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and the head of the Wall Street giant’s Los Angeles office. Mesdag currently serves on the boards of the Pacific Council on International Policy and the Los Angeles branch of the Museum of Television & Radio. He was formerly the president of the Board of Trustees of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and a trustee of Scripps College.
President Lavine noted Mesdag’ exceptional fit with CalArts. “As a seasoned trustee of institutions such as MOCA and Scripps College, and an astute investor in micro- and small-cap companies, Willem is uniquely qualified to help shape the future of CalArts—in its own way a small-cap investment,” he said. “His broad international experience and current involvement with the Pacific Council on International Policy will no doubt be of direct relevance as CalArts continues to build exchange and cooperative programs around the world.”
During his 20-year tenure at Goldman Sachs, Mesdag helped shepherd a number of high-profile transactions: He advised ARCO on its sale to BP, the Mirage casino on its sale to MGM Grand, Charles Schwab on its acquisition of U.S. Trust, and Edison International in connection with its financial restructuring during the California electricity crisis.
Raised in South Dakota and Illinois, Mesdag has degrees from Northwestern University and Cornell Law School. He and his spouse, Lisa Miller Mesdag, also have two daughters. The Mesdags live in Brentwood.