Disney and King Hall
Posted By Kevin R. Johnson, Jul 31, 2009
I spend a fair amount of time traveling on Law School business, but few of my meetings are held in settings as exciting as the Walt Disney headquarters. Located in Burbank, it's where you'll find the studios and corporate offices of Disney, ABC, and ESPN. It's also where I had the pleasure of having lunch with King Hall alum Robert Mendez '80, Senior Vice President of Diversity for the Disney-ABC Television Group.
Bob has an impressive resume. Before joining Disney-ABC, he was Senior Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs for Buena Vista Television, Senior Vice President of Business Affairs for Paramount Pictures Domestic Television, and Senior Attorney for NBC, where he was involved in litigation management on First Amendment and other issues. Bob's full resume is here: http://www.disneyabctv.com/bios/bio_mendez.shtml
Bob, a past president of the Hispanic National Bar Association, is responsible for handling diversity strategy at Disney-ABC. Over lunch, we discussed entertainment law (a practice area in which many King Hall students are interested) and the need for diversity in the legal profession. I told Bob about the King Hall Outreach Program (KHOP), the summer program for undergrads that aims to increase diversity in the law school pipeline. More about KHOP here: http://www.ucdavis.edu/spotlight/0209/lure_of_the_law.html
Alan Braverman, Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel, and Manny Grace, Senior Vice President and Counsel, joined us for lunch in Disney's executive cafeteria, called the Rotunda. The customers were a who's who of entertainment industry leaders. Disney President and CEO Robert Iger was there, and he stopped by our table to say hello. His bio can be found at http://corporate.disney.go.com/corporate/bios/robert_iger.html.
A little trivia about the famed Rotunda dining room: Since Iger's predecessor, Michael Eisner, had an emergency quadruple bypass surgery in 1994, the menu is skewed toward heart-healthy offerings. Instead of a bread basket, the waiters bring you a plate of crunchy raw vegetables with dip. I noticed that nobody touched the dip.