John Ek has over 18 years of government and lobbying experience at the federal, state and local level. He was an aide to Congressman Glenn M. Anderson when the Congressman served as Chairman of the Public Works and Transportation Committee. John then went to work for the Southern California Rapid Transit District as their Federal Representative managing the Federal Legislative program for the largest Mass Transit Agency in the country. While at the RTD, he was responsible for obtaining funding for the MTA Gateway Center which now houses the MTA headquarters and also obtained funding for RTD’s nation leading alternatives fuel program providing the first of its kind funding from the federal level for RTD’s fleet of alternative fueled buses.

Building upon his experience in government and transportation, John worked for the trade industry group for the US Airline Industry, the Airline Transport Association. Representing this group at the state and local government level from the Mountain Time Zone west to Hawaii, he used his legislative know how and strategy to pass legislation supporting the growth of the airline industry in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Hawaii as well as defeated tax increases in both Montana and Hawaii. John also led the industry to victory in its battle against increased landing fees and attempts by the City of Los Angeles to divert revenue from the Airport to the City’s general fund in violation of Federal Law. John has spent the past six years as a contract lobbyist representing companies, public agencies and non-profits at the City and County of Los Angeles. His transportation background has led to him being the lead consultant at Los Angeles World Airports and the Port of Los Angeles.

A resident of San Pedro, Mr. Ek spends many hours giving back to his community. He is the President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Los Angeles Harbor, President of the Port of Los Angeles Charter High School Foundation, sits on the board of the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce and on the Boards of the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles, The Manny Mota Foundation, and the Central City Neighborhood Partnership. John and his wife Esther have three children, Sergio, Pilar and Mia.

Esther Ek has over 10 years of corporate and consulting experience serving as a business liaison, lobbyist and community outreach specialist. She was a corporate liaison for Universal Care, one of the largest HMO’s in Southern California and represented their interest with its HMO partners assuring they were following all federal and state regulations. Esther also provided Universal Care’s HMO partners with briefings on the latest state and federal regulations as well as briefings on pending legislation at the State level.

Esther has spent the last five years as a contract consultant providing clients with representation at the City and County of Los Angeles,. She has also provided clients with expert Community Outreach services representing clients on such major issues as the Belmont Learning Complex and LAUSD’s Proposition K Bond initiative. She currently represents such clients as the City of Los Angeles’ Bureau of Sanitation.

Esther is a San Pedro resident and spends numerous hours giving back to her community. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the South Bay Boys and Girls Club and the South Bay Latino Chamber of Commerce. Esther is also an elected member of the Northwest Neighborhood Council of San Pedro. She and her husband, John, have three children, Sergio, Pilar and Mia.

The Ek & Ek Team

Ek & Ek is committed to providing one-on-one personalized service to each client, anticipating every need and fulfilling it to achieve the end goal. This promise wouldn’t be possible without our exceptional team of experts.

Gloria Michel Leon

Gloria Michel Leon has a strong background in providing government affairs services to private clients at the state and local levels. Previously serving as a principal at another Los Angeles based governmental affairs firm, Ms. Leon was responsible for representing several Fortune 500 companies before public entities in Southern California. A former Commissioner on the L.A. City Charter Reform Commission, Ms. Leon has dedicated over ten years to providing governmental affairs consulting services.

Ms. Leon has a proven reputation in resolving complex client issues before various public entities, specifically the City of Los Angeles, County of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Unified School District and multiple municipalities throughout Southern California. Ms. Leon has worked on a wide array of issues, including information technology, procurement, and land use matters.

Previously, Ms. Leon participated in distinguished leadership programs that include the Southern California Leadership Network and the USC Ross Minority Real Estate Program. She also served as a board member for the Loyola Marymount University Alumni Board and the East Los Angeles Classic Theater.

Ms. Leon earned her Master of Arts degree from the University of Southern California’s School of Policy, Planning and Development and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University. She and her family reside in the City of Long Beach.

Mark A. Waronek

Mark A. Waronek has over 16 years of experience in advocacy, government and community relations and public affairs.  He joined Ek & Ek in January of this year. Mr. Waronek is the former Mayor and Councilmember for the City of Lomita. He has worked with a wide array of clients in the South Bay, City of Los Angeles and most of the cities in Los Angeles County.

As Mayor/Councilmember he was involved in many organizations and associations in the South Bay and the Los Angeles County region. He served as Secretary/Treasurer for the California Contract Cities Association and was in-line to become president. He was also a board member on the League of California Cities Transportation Policy Committee and many other regional organizations/ associations.

He previously was the Principal and Owner of Waronek & Associates, a consulting firm he started in 2005, after several years as an associate and project manager for three top advocacy and public affairs consulting firms in Los Angeles. He was the Director of Government and Public Affairs for Olivito and Associates as the lead representative for two associations: the California Contract Cities Association and the Western Carwash Association.  He also was the Director of Government Affairs for Svorinich & Associates, Inc. and interfaced directly with the Los Angeles City Council, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Los Angeles Unified School District and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).  Mr. Waronek has fostered relationships with several of the 88 cities within the Los Angeles County region.

Prior to rejoining forces with former Councilman Rudy Svorinich Jr., Mr. Waronek was employed by Cerrell Associates.  While at Cerrell Associates, his focus was on resolving client issues and numerous public relations projects within the greater Los Angeles region.  Previous to Cerrell Associates, Mr. Waronek was a key figure within the Afriat Consulting Group for three years.  He managed several initiatives and issues including advocacy/lobbying, public affairs, political campaigns and communications, fundraising, and special events.    

As a public servant, he served the City of Los Angeles and specifically the five diverse (Harbor City/Harbor Gateway, San Pedro, Watts and Wilmington) communities of the 15th Council District as Economic Development Deputy to Councilman Rudy Svorinich, Jr.  Mr. Waronek s chief duties were to provide assistance to individuals and entities from the private sector as they navigated the bureaucracy of local government.  His diligence inspired the co-creation of the Harbor areas first marketing relocation package for the purpose of attracting and retaining businesses to the district.  In addition, he was the Councilman s liaison to the Port of Los Angeles, Cultural Affairs Department and the harbor area chambers of commerce. 

Waronek graduated with a B.A. in Communications with an emphasis in Communication Studies from Loyola Marymount University and currently resides in the city of Lomita, with his wife, Kristine (married 14 years), and two children, Madeline, twelve years and Marky, eight years old. He enjoys spending time with his family and traveling with family and friends. He coaches his kid s athletic teams. He also has a taste for fine wines and on is spare time he is the public address announcer for football and basketball games at his high school alma mater, Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance.

Victor Franco, Jr.

Mr. Franco brings a wealth of professional experience to his work at Ek & Ek, coming from both the public and private sectors. He worked in Washington, D.C., as a Congressional staff member. He has held a variety of public affairs positions with United Parcel Service and worked on marketing campaigns for the U.S. auto industry at a Hispanic-focused advertising agency. Most recently, he was senior vice president of government affairs for Central City Association of Los Angeles, representing the interests of its 450 members to government bodies and elected officials at the local, state and federal levels.

Active in the community, Mr. Franco has served on Pasadena’s Transportation Commission and is a civilian member of the Pasadena Police Department’s Discipline Review Board. He and his family reside in Whittier.

Sergio Preciado

Mr. Preciado recently graduated from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, with a degree in political science. He has held intern positions with Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn and Minnesota State Representative Joe Hoppe.

Mr. Preciado is a resident of San Pedro.

Shirley Martinez-Osornio

Ms. Martinez-Osornio has been your first point of contact at Ek & Ek since April of 2006. She is responsible for managing all aspects of office organization, productivity, client communication and executive administrative support for both the President and Vice President of Ek & Ek. Prior to joining Ek & Ek, Ms. Martinez-Osornio has been in the business management field for well over 22 years, with 17 of those years being the owner/operator of 7 floral design studios that catered to high profile Hollywood clientele.

A native of El Paso, Texas, she currently lives in San Pedro with her husband and has 2 daughters, Jennifer and Barbara.


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