MEET THE TEAM

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ARAM NADJARIAN

Founder & Managing Partner

Aram Nadjarian is an environmental policy and sustainability influencer, an award-winning producer and a media/public affairs strategist with more than 15 years of experience with local, national, and international organizations. 

Previously, Nadjarian served as a Senior Advisor & Chief of Staff to California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) Secretary Linda Adams, as well as Senior Environmental Policy Advisor to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. During his tenure, he aided in the policy development and implementation of AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006; spearheaded the roll-out of a series of high-profile international global summits on climate change; worked on strengthening relations between California and the Republic of Mexico on issues related to the environment, education, and public health; and provided communications support to the Governor in times of crisis.

In the public relations/public affairs sector, Aram spearheaded strategy and implementation efforts on dozens of advocacy campaigns covering a range of issues, including environmental/regulatory affairs and compliance, protecting the California grant program for the state’s most deserving students, advocating for veterans seeking support as they re-enter civilian life and most recently leading communications for Listos California, a $50 million multi-lingual, culturally competent emergency preparedness campaign across California. 

 

He has also represented Fortune 500 companies, Associations and Non-Profits. Prior to his work in Government & PR, Aram served as an award-winning television producer for a nationally-syndicated children's television program.

Aram is an active member of Rotary International. He currently serves as the national board chair of the small business/entrepreneurship policy think tank NextGen Chamber of Commerce, serves on the board of directors of the environmental advocacy organization Climate Action Resolve, is the Chairman of the Board of NextLA (formerly the LA Junior Chamber of Commerce and now a part of the LA Area Chamber of Commerce) and serves a board member of the LA Chamber of Commerce. Aram is also a Trustee of the Donald A. Strauss Scholarship Foundation , serves on the Young Presidential Associates Council at Loyola Marymount University and is the US Alumni Ambassador for his alma mater the University of Sussex. 

Aram holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Urban Studies from Loyola Marymount University, a Master’s Degree in International Relations and Environmental Policy from the University of Sussex in England, and an Executive Session Certificate in Situational Awareness & Intergovernmental Communication from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

 

Aram is a native of Los Angeles.

e-mail: aram@mozaicmc.com

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THE HONORABLE LINDA S. ADAMS

Executive Advisor

Linda Adams serves as senior counsel at Mozaic, and brings her experience as a seasoned policy advisor, political strategist, and respected public servant to the firm.

 

For almost four decades, Linda has served the people of the State of California as a leading environmental advocate. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed her the first woman to serve as Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA). In that role, she oversaw the environmental activities of the California Air Resources Board, State Water Resources Control Board, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, Department of Toxic Substances Control, Department of Pesticide Regulation, and the approximately 5,000 employees that serve the state’s diverse environmental programs.

 

Linda served as Schwarzenegger’s lead negotiator for the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006; implemented some of the first environmental justice programs in the United States; and was instrumental in a number of environmental policies, including the Green Chemistry Initiative. She also served as the chair of California’s Climate Action Team, chair of the California-Mexico Border Relations Council, and member of the Ocean Protection Council and the Strategic Growth Council. Most notably, she helped shape the creation of the state’s first environmental education curriculum.

 

Prior to CalEPA, Linda served under former California Governor Gray Davis as his legislative secretary. She was later appointed as the first female director of the State Department of Water Resources and was chief of staff to former California State Controller Steve Westly.

 

Linda also served as the lead staff member to several Legislative committees for 20 years, providing counsel to both houses of the California Legislature.

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RICARDO MARTINEZ

Executive Advisor

Ricardo G. Martinez’ career with the State of California spans 33 years in the Natural Resources, Agriculture, Environmental and Procurement sectors. Most recently, Ricardo served as Acting Chief Procurement Officer for the state of California and Deputy Director for the Procurement Division at the Department of General Services (DGS). Previously, he served as Branch Chief for Statewide Policy, Training and Customer Services at DGS and as Deputy Secretary at the California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where he was chief advisor to the Secretary for Environmental Protection on issues related to Mexico, Environmental Justice and Tribal Affairs. He also served as Policy Advisor to Governor Schwarzenegger on matters related to Mexico and Latin America for over 5 years.

 

During his multi-year tenure with DGS as the Deputy Director of the DGS Procurement Division, Ricardo was responsible for driving the planning, direction, and coordination of all functions and activities related to the purchasing of goods and services for the state of California.  He was also responsible for providing guidance and direction to the division on the strategic acquisition of goods and services and updating the policies and procedures used by all state agencies in their purchasing and contracting activities. Ricardo was pivotal in developing procurement solutions, including statewide contracts, purchasing portals, end-user training and policy interpretation. Under Ricardo’s direction, DGS developed and implemented the Non-Competitively Bid Portal, IT Procurement Modernization, Purchasing Authority Accreditation, On-Line Procurement and Contracting Academy and Environmentally Preferable Purchasing. Ricardo led the negotiations on the State’s 401IT terms and conditions as well as Cloud general and special provisions.

 

While at the California EPA, Ricardo developed and implemented the first-ever California-Mexico border environmental program, where he secured close to one billion dollars in funding for environmental infrastructure projects. He also helped create and managed the California-Mexico Border Relations Council created under AB 3021 (Nuñez).

 

In his capacity as policy advisor to Governor Schwarzenegger, Ricardo served as an Ambassador to Mexico and Latin America on Climate Change policy. He was responsible for engaging and securing the involvement of several countries in promoting renewable energy projects, use of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel, consideration of forestation and degradation projects and the adoption of California standards to combat the effects of Climate Change. Since 1994, Ricardo has worked on California-Mexico environmental issues, specifically addressing water and air quality issues, acquiring NAFTA financing for environmental infrastructure projects, building relationships at the three levels of government in Mexico, and developing the concept and structure of the Border 2012 Environmental Program.  Under Ricardo’s direction, Cal/EPA has been one of few State agencies to sign unprecedented environmental agreements with the Republic of Mexico, Chile and Peru.

In the community, Ricardo served as the State Representative to the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, and the Good Neighbor Environmental Board (GNEB); two positions appointed by the USEPA Administrator. Ricardo currently volunteers his time as a patient advisor on the Kaiser Patient Advisory Council.

Ricardo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Animal Biology from California State University, Sacramento and is a Graduate of the California Leadership Institute. Additionally, his work is widely published, and he has been the keynote speaker at several international venues. Ricardo is a seasoned proven leader and coalition builder across many fronts. His many accomplishments have led him to be the recipient of several awards. On April 1, 2020 Ricardo retired from state service.

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YIANNI KAZANIS

Vice President

Yianni is an experienced, Sacramento-based communications strategist and media relations professional, who has held several senior roles – both in-house and as a consultant – in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

 

While a communications pro at his core, his career track has enabled him to gain substantial knowledge of a range of high-profile California policy areas, including K-12 education, housing/homebuilding, and forest management and wildfires. Furthermore, he is a well-connected political operator in and around the State Capitol with an intimate knowledge of navigating state government.

 

Prior to joining MC Squared Strategies, Kazanis worked as a consultant for the California Forestry Association, HomeAid Sacramento, the California Faculty Association, Mike Bloomberg 2020, and Bobbie Sing-Allen for Elk Grove Mayor. His previous experience includes working for the North State Building Industry Association, Edelman Public Affairs, the California Departments of Insurance and Education, the California School Boards Association, in the California State Assembly, and in the Office of Governor Gray Davis.

 

He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Davis and his Master’s in Public Administration at the University of Southern California – State Capitol Center.

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DENISE LOPEZ

Partner

Denise is a 10-year veteran of bi-cultural community engagement, public affairs and political campaigns, experienced in recruiting and building grassroots and grasstops coalitions comprised of influential political figures, media outlets and opinion leaders in key states and congressional districts. Denise understands grassroots organizing and how media, marketing, and other strategies fit into an advocacy campaign.

Most recently Denise served as a strategic communications consultant in Washington, D.C., at one of the largest public affairs firms of its kind, where she was responsible for multiple public engagement campaigns for Fortune 500 companies, issue advocacy groups, and national non-profits. She is a former program manager  for a mobile messaging and lifestyle marketing startup, a past field representative for a California State Senator from Los Angeles, and regional political strategist for local, state and national electoral campaigns in California, Nevada and Colorado. She is fluent in Spanish, a seasoned cultural interpreter, and a digital marketing strategist. Her passion is connecting people and ideas to drive growth and social impact for her clients.

e-mail: denise@mozaicmc.com

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CORNELIOUS BURKE

Senior Advisor, State & Urban Affairs

Cornelious is a veteran political and urban affairs strategist. His expertise is in state and local government relations, coalition building, strategic communications, issues management, public policy analysis, diversity and inclusion consulting, urban planning and nonprofit management. 

His career experiences includes working as director of government relations for a major California business association representing Fortune 500 companies. He has also served a legislative aide to former California State Senator Kevin de Leon and former State Senator and current Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price. Cornelious has also worked in the real estate industry and a political campaign consultant to numerous state and local candidates and ballot measure campaigns. City councilmembers, state legislators, and mayors throughout the country often seek his advice and counsel on a myriad of public policy issues. Media outlets such the Sacramento Bee and the Guardian have featured his analysis and opinions on California state and local government politics and policy. 

He earned undergraduate degrees in political science and urban studies from Loyola Marymount University and graduate degrees in urban planning and public administration from the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. Cornelious also holds a real estate license from the State of California and is a senior fellow with the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program. He volunteers as a city planning commissioner and as the Governor’s appointee to the board of directors of the California African American Museum. When not working with clients he enjoys watching Shakespeare plays and cheering for the USC football team. 

e-mail: cburke@mozaicmc.com

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FELIX RODRIGUES-LIMA

Senior Advisor

Felix Rodrigues Lima has 15 years of experience from all angles of the communications spectrum. Most of that experience comes from his time as a multimedia journalist for ABC, NBC and Fox affiliates in numerous communities across the country. His work has been featured on CNN, the BBC, and the Tonight Show.

 

Felix is an expert storyteller, and he draws upon that experience to shape the narrative for private and public sector PR clients, including various government watchdog organizations. He is a firm believer in the unique power of brand journalism to enable clients to engage directly with their audience.

 

From 2015 to 2018, Felix was a Senior Reporter and Fill-In Anchor at WPMT-TV, the local FOX affiliate in York, Pennsylvania. There, he shot and edited reports by himself in addition to collaborative reporting with a photographer/editor for over-the-air and online outlets. He also anchored weekend newscasts on a fill-in basis, supervising the news-gathering efforts of a team of around ten employees.

 

Felix also worked as a Multimedia Journalist at WISH-TV, the CW affiliate station in Indianapolis, Indiana. There, he shot, wrote, edited and presented all stories independently for over-the-air and online outlets. Felix served as the Bureau Chief in Western Kansas when he worked for the local NBC and FOX affiliates in Wichita, Kansas. That role involved anchoring, writing and producing daily two-minute bureau segment cut-ins. 

 

On the Public Relations side of the media business, Felix served as a PR Account Executive at Riester in El Segundo, California. There, he pitched and coordinated successful campaigns and initiatives for several clients, garnering impactful placements and generating millions of impressions. Felix graduated with  Bachelor of Arts degrees in Broadcast Journalism and History from the University of Southern California. While at USC, he served as an executive producer for Annenberg TV News (ATVN) and held an internship with NBCUniversal Media.

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JHONA LEVINGSTON

Senior Advisor - Creative Services

PENDING

 

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