Arlene Withers

Based in: Glendale, California
Board member since: 2006
Board Position: At-Large Director

A picture of Heifer Board Member Arlene Withers.

Arlene Withers currently serves as the National Director of Organizational and Employee Development for SAG-AFTRA, the union representing 165,000 performers and broadcasters in the entertainment industry. In that capacity she is responsible for employee engagement, training and development, employee communications, performance management, and executive coaching.

Previously, Withers served as Chief Administrative and Legal Officer for the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plans (MPIPHP), where she administered and managed the provision of health care and retirement benefits for more than 110,000 active and retired participants in the motion picture industry.

Prior to this, she was a principal of Eddy Associates, Inc., an executive coaching and outplacement consulting firm. Her expertise includes leadership development, as well as conflict prevention, management, and resolution, among other skills. She is an experienced, certified mediator.

Withers' previous experience includes her service as Vice President of Human Resources for Catholic Healthcare West, the largest nonprofit healthcare system in California; President of Transamerica Life Companies’ Benefits Division, where she was responsible for a $6 billion annuity and long-term care insurance business; and several roles for Transamerica Life Companies, including Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, and employment attorney.

Early in her career, she worked as an employment and labor attorney with a firm in Los Angeles, as Senior Counsel for MGM/UA Entertainment Co., and as Adjunct Professor at UCLA School of Law.

She is a committed leader, serving on a variety of boards, committees, and councils, and holds memberships in various national and regional organizations. She is past Vice President of California Women Lawyers and served for many years on the Board of the Women Lawyer’s Association of Los Angeles. She is currently on the Board and chairs the Investment Committee of Fielding Graduate University. She is a member of the Organization of Women Executives, the International Coach Federation, and the California State Bar Association.

Withers received a BA in Cultural Anthropology with highest honors from the University of Connecticut and a Juris Doctor degree from the UCLA School of Law. She has also pursued doctoral studies in Anthropology on full Fellowships from Yale University and the University of Rochester.