About Our Team

Nick Corso

Founder
Mr. Corso is a C-level executive with an extensive background in finance and is a former senior manager with major Wall Street firms. He is a well-rounded and highly respected leader within the Los Angeles business community and brings with him a 27+ year career in finance and banking. Over his 27+ years in the investment and banking industries, Mr. Corso has managed sales operations in excess of $45 Million in revenue and $8 Billion in assets.

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As a talented entrepreneur, Mr. Corso has most recently served as a Chief Executive Officer in the commercial insurance industry and as president of his own premium finance corporation. His expertise in the world of banking, investment banking, wealth management and finance has led him to additional areas of specialization including film financing for the motion picture industry and bankcard processing for the globally expanding e-commerce industry. In addition to his senior management and entrepreneurial acumen, Mr. Corso also pursues his passion through his nonprofit and fundraising foundation supporting youth sports organizations. Mr. Corso holds a Masters degree in Sports Management and is the author of the book “Aspire to Greatness” and founder of Elite Leaders Academy. Mr. Corso, his wife, Linda, and their three children live in Thousand Oaks, California.

Aspire To Greatness – Book

Neal Spruce

Neal Spruce is an industry business leader, fitness specialist, author, licensed teacher, researcher, bodybuilding champion, personal fitness consultant and public speaker. Mr. Spruce has founded, owned, and operated some of the largest and most successful brands in the sports and fitness industries; these include such brands as Gold’s Gym, Apex Fitness, National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and 24Hour Fitness, among others.

As the former owner of The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), Neal and his team built NASM into the undisputed leader in fitness & sports performance education.

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Together they established a research center at the University of North Carolina where they created Bachelors and Masters degree programs for fitness professionals.

With the foresight to bring together sport and fitness leaders, universities, and businesses, Neal assembled a coalition to produce holistic, evidence-based health and fitness programs for all ages and levels of athletes. This coalition resulted in the founding of dotFIT, LLC, the research and development company behind the programming currently being delivered by sports, fitness and health professionals around the world.

Today, dotFIT is the industry’s largest provider of live and online sport and fitness solutions to schools, amateur and professional athletes, teams, fitness facilities and consumers.

Jeffrey A. Mannisto

Jeffrey is a partner at Manatt, Phelps, and Phillips LLP where he serves as chair of the firm’s tax, employee benefits and executive compensation practice group. He has a broad-based tax practice in corporate, partnership and individual income tax, including choice of entity considerations, mergers and acquisitions, transactional matters, including tax-deferred exchanges under IRC Sections 1031 and 1033, employment tax issues, tax ruling requests, and tax controversies.

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During his 20 years of practice, Jeff has specialized in taxable and tax-free mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs, restructurings, joint ventures, debt and equity financings, partnership transactions, start-up and venture capital investments and taxation of special entities such as S corporations, REITs and tax-exempt entities. In his tax practice, Jeff works on the formation, capitalization, reorganization and dissolution of many private and public corporations, S corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and tax-exempt entities. A focus of his practice includes the design and implementation of tax-efficient, multi-entity acquisition, holding and operating structures for real estate developers, financial partners, private businesses and/or subsidiary operations, including multistate businesses, liability-remote real estate and intellectual property holding companies and special purpose entities for complex financing transactions. Jeff and his wife Gretchen are also the proud parents of Westlake High School multi sport athletes and Warrior football alums.

Davis R. Blaine, ASA

Davis Blaine, Chairman of both The Mentor Group, Inc. and Mentor Securities, LLC (FINRA registered), is expert in the accounting, tax, and financial aspects of acquisitions, recapitalizations, valuations and appraisal. He has frequently lectured and written on technical valuation issues. Mr. Blaine has counseled many clients on buying, selling, or raising capital. In addition, he has prepared companies for public and private investment, strategic partnership, and joint ventures.

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He has initiated and completed many corporate transactions, such as management buyouts, acquisitions and mergers, restructurings, partial spinoffs, joint ventures, bridge financings, private placements, and venture fundings. Investment banking services provided by Mr. Blaine involved business and asset appraisals (including fairness and solvency opinions); structuring the price, terms and levels of participation; finding investment partners, corporate buyers, and debt sources; and, effecting strategies for growth, exit, and minimizing taxes.

Prior to forming The Mentor Group and Mentor Securities, Mr. Blaine was executive vice president of Arthur D. Little Valuation. He also founded and served as chairman of American Valuation Consultants. This national company was sold to Valuation Research in 1978. Subsequent to the sale, Mr. Blaine was president of the combined companies.

Education

MBA, Finance, The University of Michigan BA, Dartmouth College

Professional Affiliations/Speaking Engagements

American Society of Appraisers, Senior Member (ASA) AthletesTouch, Board of Directors California Real Estate Broker FINRA Member, Broker-Dealer (Series 24, 62, 63 and 65) Legacy Forum, Inc. – Founder Marquis Who’s Who in America ProVisors (formerly PNG) – Founder Speaker at numerous seminars on valuation, appraisal, M&A and capital raising

Author

Coach Daddy Naked Without a Network The Book on Business – From A to Z

Michael G. Tingus

Since 1994, Michael G. Tingus has served as President of Lee & Associates-LA North/Ventura. In addition to the 26 years of commercial real estate expertise Mike brings to the Foundation, Mike is also the parent of a Westlake High School football alum and has been unwavering in his support for the program. He is a well respected member of the community and an integral part of its development. His expertise includes sales and leasing of industrial, R&D, office and retail commercial real estate as well as the development of land throughout Southern California with a focus on Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

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During his tenure as president, Mike has spearheaded the growth of the company from a single office to four locations with sales and leasing revenues in excess of $650 million annually. He has also served on the management team of the Lee Group of Companies, playing a vital role in the company’s expansion from 20 to 54 offices nationwide. As a valued member of the community, Mike has also served as a member and chairman of the City of Calabasas Planning Commission from 1993-2001 where he co-authored the city’s general plan, land use and development code.

Jon Muir

Trust Officer

Mr. Muir has over 27 years of trust administration experience and expertise in developing, implementing, and administering estate and financial plans. As a Trust Officer, he manages a wide range of trust and estate matters in accordance with sound fiduciary principles. Jon specializes in creating solutions to meet the complex estate and financial needs of high net worth individuals, non-profit organizations, business owners, corporate executives, and professional service firms.

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Jon has been a trust officer and vice president for Mellon Private Wealth Management in Newport Beach, the Private Bank of Wells Fargo in Westlake Village and Raymond James Trust Company. Prior to his banking career, Jon practiced law in the trust and estate planning areas in Portland, Oregon.

 

Jon has a B.A. from Juniata College, in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania and a J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law, in Eugene. He has visited 31 foreign countries and played golf in many of them.

Dave Hooper

Dave is a professional touring and studio drummer having performed with Sheryl Crow, David Byrne, Chaka Kahn, Toni Braxton, George Duke, Manhattan Transfer, Sheila E and many more.

Dave is also a web developer and project manager with 20 years of experience. He began as a development lead for Vitamins.com and The Young Chefs Academy where he created some the internet’s first SAAS systems. These innovative websites garnered the attention of Microsoft who recruited Dave and moved him to Seattle where he was a Development Lead and Project Manager for many of their cloud based products.

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Dave then became the Artist Relations Manager for Behringer USA, the 4th largest music product company in the world where he worked with huge names in the music biz like The Foo Fighters, Joe Walsh (the Eagles), and lead custom signature product development and internet marketing efforts.

Now back in Los Angeles, Dave has his own web development company and has been creating web presence, social media marketing and ecommerce solutions with a unique focus on the entertainment industry.