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What's Next In Politics Event - Guest Speakers

Join us for lunch on Thursday, February 2nd, at the DoubleTree Santa Ana for our exclusive What's Next In Politics? Luncheon Event! OC Forum is honored to welcome our guest moderator Rick Reiff, and our distinguished panel of guest speakers, including executive director Ajay Mohan (Democratic Party), Randall Avila (Republican Party), Rusty Hicks (Democratic Party), and Shawn Steel (Republican Party).


Click Here to get your tickets before they are gone. Meet our panelists for the program below!


Rick Reiff, Editor at Large, OC Business Journal (Moderator)

Rick Reiff is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, editor at large of the Orange County Business Journal, and host and producer of public affairs programs. Reiff has over 30 years of professional experience in journalism covering all of Southern California. He is a four-time Golden Mike winner, three-time Emmy nominee, and 2018 recipient of the Orange County Press Club's Lifetime Achievement Award. Reiff has been with the Orange County Business Journal since 1990. He served 10 years as an editor and originated and wrote the paper's "OC Insider" column for 15 years. To learn more about Rick Reiff, click here: https://rickreiff.com/about-rr


Ajay Mohan, Executive Director, OC Democratic Party

At 23 years old, Ajay Mohan is the youngest ever Executive Director to helm the Democratic Party and the first Indian American to hold this role. Mohan has a decade of experience electing Democrats across California, where he has worked on successful campaigns for public office from water boards to Congress. During Mohan’s three years with the Democratic Party, he has successfully led programs to flip the OC Board of Supervisors for the first time in half a century, flip over 40 municipal and school board seats, and put forward data-driven strategies to elect Orange County Democrats long term. Click here to learn more: https://www.ocregister.com/2021/02/10/at-23-new-executive-director-of-orange-county-democrats-is-youngest-in-party-history/


Randall Avila, Executive Director, OC Republican Party

With a degree and education from UCLA, Randall Avila was appointed to serve as Executive Director in 2018. At only 30 years old, Avila has a lot of previous experience, which includes three terms as a City Commissioner at the UCLA department of Government and Community Relations and Quimby Group Consulting. He currently serves as a delegate to the California Republican Party, where he was appointed by Chairwoman Jessica Patterson to the California Republican Party Executive Committee and elected to the California Republican Party Platform and Platform Drafting committees. To learn more about Randall Avila, click here: https://ocgop.org/staff/


Rusty Hicks, Chair, CA Democratic Party

In 2021, Rusty Hicks was reelected as Chair of the California Democratic Party – the Nation’s largest State Party comprised of more than 10 million California Democrats. During Hicks's political lifespan, he has built and directed strategic grassroots organizing campaigns to engage the Red, Blue, and Purple parts of California. Prior to his election as Chair, Hicks served as both President and Political Director of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. In 2008, Hicks served as the California Political Director for Obama for America. To learn more about Hicks, click here: https://cadem.org/team/rusty-hicks/


Shawn Steel, National Committeeman, Republican Party

Shawn Steel is the National Committeeman for the Republican Party. He earned his Master of Arts at USC and then earned his Juri Doctor from Northrop University. Steel became an American politician serving as the Republican National Committee Member from California since 2008. His colleagues voted him to the Executive Committee of the Republican National Committee in 2018. In 2012, he served as Deputy Permanent Co-chairman of the convention. He was elected Chairman of the California Republican Party from 2001 to 2003. To learn more about Shawn Steel, click here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shawn_Ste

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