Ron Burkle founded The Yucaipa Companies in 1986 and is widely recognized as one of the preeminent investors in the retail, manufacturing, distribution and hospitality industries. The Yucaipa Companies have sponsored acquisitions exceeding $30 billion in M&A activity since inception. Ron also founded A-Grade Investments in 2010 with Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary. Ron has served as Chairman of the Board and controlling shareholder of numerous companies including Alliance Entertainment, Golden State Foods, Dominick's, Fred Meyer, Ralphs and Food4Less.
Ron is Co-Chairman of the Burkle Center for International Relations at UCLA and is broadly involved in the community. He is a trustee of the Carter Center, the National Urban League, Frank Lloyd Wright Conservancy and AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA). Ron was the Founder and Chairman of the Ralphs/Food4Less Foundation and the Fred Meyer Inc. Foundation. He was a member of the board of Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: OXY), KB Home (NYSE: KBH), Kaufman & Broad S.A. (Euronext: KOF), Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO), the J. Paul Getty Trust, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Music Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
Ron has received numerous honors and awards including the AFL-CIO's Murray Green Meany Kirkland Community Service Award, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Man of the Year, the Los Angeles County Boy Scouts Jimmy Stewart Person of the Year Award and the APLA Commitment to Life Award.
D.A. Wallach is best known as a recording artist and songwriter who Kanye West and Pharrell Williams discovered while he was an undergraduate at Harvard College. He has been featured in GQ, Rolling Stone, Vogue, and numerous other publications, and has performed on TV Shows including Jimmy Kimmel Live and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. His solo debut for Capitol Records, Time Machine, is available at www.TimeMachineAlbum.com
As an investor, D.A. has backed groundbreaking technology businesses, including Spotify, Doctor On Demand, SpaceX, Ripple, and DAQRI. Forbes selected D.A. as one of its 30 Under 30 and Fast Company named him one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business. As one of facebook's first users and one of the most followed artists on twitter (@dawallach), he is a recognized social media pioneer, and frequently publishes essays on media, technology, and philosophy at www.medium.com/@dawallach.
Chris joined The Yucaipa Companies in 2009 and oversees Ron Burkle's venture capital investments. Chris is also the Managing Partner of A-Grade Investments, a venture capital fund founded by Ashton Kutcher, Guy Oseary, and Ron Burkle to opportunistically invest in technology start-up companies. Chris has been involved in more than 100 venture capital deals over the last several years (including Uber, Airbnb, Spotify, and Soundcloud) and was named one of the 32 most influential investors (outside Silicon Valley). Chris has judged several start-up competitions including Global Startup Battle and Start-Up Weekend Los Angeles. Prior to A-Grade and Yucaipa, Chris was an investment banker where he was involved in a wide range of corporate finance activities including debt and equity offerings as well as merger and acquisition transactions. Chris graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Vanderbilt University.