Focus LA April 2017

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B E V E R LY H I L L S | B R E N T W O O D | M A L I B U | W E S T H O L LY W O O D | S A N T A M O N I C A















Realtor, NRT’s Top 1,000 Sales Associates


Operated by Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc.




Re: In Recognition of Your Outstanding Performance Dear Lisa, I want to take this opportunity to personally congratulate you on your outstanding sales results for the year 2016. Your accomplishment is a true testament to your ability and your expertise in meeting the needs of your clients in this challenging real estate market….


of Sales Associates Nationwide

– Frank G. Symons, Executive V.P. and Chief operating Officer, Western and Mountain Regions


2 IMPORTANT REAL ESTATE FACTS!!! - Existing-home sales stepped out to a fast start in 2017, surpassing a recent cyclical high and increasing in January to the fastest pace in almost a decade. (National Association of Realtors®.) And - CoreLogic predicts that home prices will appreciate by another 5% by this time next year. (The KCM Crew)




CELL: 310.993.2303

LISA’S RECENT TRANSACTIONS...!!! 11426 Chenault St. 11421 Chenault St. 1632 Camden Ave. 204 11413 Bolas St. 513 N Plymouth Blvd. 9039 Norma Pl. 1508 12th St. 4 201 N Bundy Dr. 400 N Saltair Ave.

537 Beloit Ave - Duplex 2 Beds + 2 Baths + Den

Brentwood 1 Bed + 1 Bath + Office Asking Price $1,669,000

*In Escrow!!! *In Escrow!!! *In Escrow!!! *Just Sold!!! *Just Sold!!! *Just Sold!!! *Just Sold!!! *Just Leased *Just Leased

Contact me to hear about my upcoming listings! – Lisa

Focus TV

Dr. Tabasum Mir

Vanna White

Lisa Arturo

Courtney Friel

Catch LA

Peter Engel

Victoria Nodiff-Netanel

Kristine Givas

Shuari Matcha CafĂŠ

Project Knapsack

Empower Her - Breathe

Brentwood Gardens


Tambi Saffran (Stollman) Tambi grew up in NY. She left a producer job at MTV to start a family. Returning to her passion of producing and music, Tambi is currently producing a documentary called She Rocks! about female guitarists. In her spare time she enjoys being a mom, hiking, boxing and live music.

Suzan Brittan A Southern California resident, but forever native New Yorker, started in Los Angeles as a singer/songwriter/ actress. However, to pay for luxuries like rent, a car and food, she climbed many corporate ladders and climbed right back down. She finally found her niche and outlet as a creative and non-fiction writer.

Melissa Meyers As a tastemaker and lifestyle blogger, Melissa’s passion is to share her best-kept beauty, style and wellness secrets with other women to enhance and simplify their lives. Through her experience as Founder of AskMelissa, PageDaily and now her personal blog Melissa Meyers Glow Girl, Melissa has spent over 15 years sharing valuable tips and product picks to help women with everything from selecting the best skincare lines to chic activewear, street style and healthy eats.

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Wendy Brokaw Kretchmer Wendy is an editorial producer at CNN but considers her most important job to be raising her 2 girls. Her rare spare time is spent on a multitude of passions including fundraising, cancer awareness, fitness, and her guilty pleasure – Pinterest.

Janet Gunn a Texas gal, born and raised, currently soaking up the sun in Southern California and day dreaming of life in Italy. I love jazz, scarves, Diane Keaton movies, fitness, flowers and creating in my kitchen.

Shayla Hess Shayla has been training and performing for over 19 years in the entertainment business and just last year was a professional dancer and host for the NBA. In January of 2016 Shayla was cast in a girl group where she flew to the Philippines for 1 month to shoot the making of “No Grey Skies” girl group and a full reality season at the Big Foot Production studios. She has been seen in features, TV series and movies such as “Hellcats” & “Supernatural” on the CW network as well as “Diary of A Wimpy Kid 2”, “Girl In Progress” and much more. She was crowned Miss Teen Canada Global 2010, and Miss Tropic Beauty Vancouver 2011.

Dina Manzo Dina Manzo is an artist first and artist, a curator of all things beauty. You may have seen a glimpse of her passionate spiritual force on Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise or HGTV’s Dina’s Party. Wherever you have seen her, it’s only a small window into her world of inspired living. Consider her your guide on your personal path to beauty, wellness, health and joy. “The simplest ritual of beauty can elevate and transform...”

Michelle Gillette Certified Martha Beck Life Coach Owner of Thrive + Fly Coaching Over 10 years experience in personal growth, health & wellness.

Shirin Yadegar Shirin Yadegar is the Founder of LA Mom Magazine. The mission of the magazine is to empower moms to feel self-confident about the decisions they make for their families. aims to help thousands of moms find the products and services they need to make motherhood easy and fun.


Dear Readers, Community powered. Editor Andrew Waldman Focus TV Editor/Hosts Tambi Saffran Alex Wehrley Janet Gunn Michelle Gillette Wendy Brokaw Kretchmer Sande Charles Hillary Gadsby Staff Writers Felicia Waldman Suzan Brittan Sabrina Blatteis Photographers Dalen Muster Ben Shani Dana Adams Videographers Dalen Muster Ben Shani Racquel Levin Publisher + Creative Director Mark Castellino Copyright 2017 by Focus Media Agency. Focus (ISSN 2328-1359) is published 6 times per year. Please do not to reproduce any of the content without permission. Subscription and distribution inquiries:

We invite you to indulge in a little Spring Fever with us! If you are in the mood for a little romance, please take a seat and read on… Our April issue is bursting with all things about being single and DATING. We profile local, expert matchmakers, a dating show called “It’s Complicated”, and we sit in on a roundtable of gals discussing the ups and downs of their good and bad dates. Dating and Empowerment coach, Laurel House, from the hit Bravo TV show “Famously Single”, offers up a steamy gift idea for the man or woman in your life. We are thrilled to feature Tabasum Mir, renowned celebrity dermatologist, host of Glammir podcast , and star of “Famously Single”. She may not have found love on the show, but she learned so much about herself and what she wants in a relationship. We are impressed with her medical expertise, her passion, talent, drive, and success. If you are a dater yourself, perhaps you’ll need a new restaurant to take your date. After meeting the owners and chef, we think that the hot, new Catch LA in Weho is a delicious option. On the non-dating front, we were honored to sit down with two TV icons. The lovely Vanna White of “Wheel of Fortune” fame graced our presence with some of her life stories...and Peter Engel, TV producer extraordinaire, discussed his new book, “I Was Saved By The Bell”. For animal lovers, we profile two wonderful charities, Mini Therapy Horses, and Hope For Paws. And most importantly, please check out all of the VIDEO INTERVIEWS and FEATURES that accompany most of our articles at We have been busy, please enjoy, and Happy Spring!

The Focus Team

ISSUE 24 Cover photo: Dalen Muster


6 issues for $20 BUY ONLINE

Write: 149 South Barrington Place #178, Los Angeles CA 90049 Email: Advertise: 5


“Children are resilient”… I kept hearing over and over from well-wishing friends and family in the early months of my impending divorce. During that difficult time, I tried desperately to keep my children safe and shielded from the ugly realities of my situation. I wasn’t WILLING to trust in the innate existence of RESILIENCE. Like many others before me, I was going through a painful personal journey trying to return to my AUTHENTIC self. I quickly realized that in order to overcome this obstacle in my life, instead of shielding my kids, I would have to include them. My daughter Taylor, being the oldest and having the deep soul of a person far beyond her years, was the first to reveal the key to our family healing. She started volunteering at Teen Line, a non-profit teen crisis hotline based out of Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA. Once she heard the different stories from teens around the globe, struggling with depression, abuse, suicidal thoughts… etc., she realized that she wasn’t alone in trying to overcome the hurdles life propels at us. Taylor shared her experiences with me, and my son Tye. Together we became fiercely determined to find a way to empower people to trust in their own resilience. For close to two decades I’ve been designing jewelry, and my son Tye has always been by my side watching me brainstorm new designs. He quickly followed in my footsteps and started designing his own T-shirt lines. When he asked if he could help me create a line that would give people strength, I jumped at the offer. Taylor and Tye encouraged me to create a brand that had more than just design appeal. A brand that would remind us, as human beings, that we have the power to transform our vulnerabilities into strengths. Before we knew it, the three of us evolved and willingly uncovered our authentic selves. Together in this journey, we became resilient and our will to persevere was stronger than it had ever been. Thus, BE R.A.W came to life… RESILIENCE only comes when you are WILLING to be AUTHENTIC. Lastly, because nothing depicts the true essence of Being R.A.W like the young courageous teens that called in to Teen Line… a portion of all sales from BE R.A.W go towards the funding the Teen Line program.

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Better Than Sex… ALMOST

Better Than Sex mascara will make your lashes lust-worthy. Buy it and get to batting those lashes after applying the collagen-fueled formula with its specially shaped brush. This mascara is the perfect New Year for your peepers. So Suzy Says.

Suzy Houghton Creator of So Suzy Says So Suzy Says was born out of my love for sharing all of my personal resources and innate sense of style with those I care about. I’ve been told that I can ‘sell ice to Eskimos’ and connect people together on many mutually beneficial levels. I grew up on New York’s Locust Valley then traveled the world via Semester at Sea before graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. My first job was in New York Hospital’s public relations department where I handled VIP donors and helped plan fundraisers to benefit the hospital. While on the East Coast, I also worked in the fashion industry and for the Fox television show “A Current Affair”. Following my move to Los Angeles, I became a wardrobe stylist working with celebrities including Michelle Pfeiffer and Jack Nicholson. Then, came motherhood which was my primary focus for a decade plus. After my second child was born, I was inspired to start the first of my successful ventures, my Just Had a Baby line of t-shirts and onesies. The line was sold in 60 plus cities around the USA and featured in People Magazine. Now that my children are teenagers I’m undertaking a second entrepreneurial venture … So Suzy Says which will be a weekly blog and email of my curated finds where I’ll share my tips, resources and wisdom on how to find the best of everything. I’m fortunate to be able to combine my finds on both the East and West coasts – and all of those gems in between – since I live bi-coastally. 9

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Confidently Vulnerable in my New Mom Body And why I suggest a boudoir photo shoot to all of my dating coaching clients. BY LAUREL HOUSE, DATING AND EMPOWERMENT COACH ON E!’S “FAMOUSLY SINGLE” PHOTOGRAPHY BY JENNY TAYLOR BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY


ou might not think that, as a dating and empowerment coach, one of the suggestions I make for my clients is to strip off their clothes for a sexy boudoir photo shoot. You might think that it’s counterintuitive. I'm sitting here trying to build my clients up, empower them, make them feel like they’re unstoppable women, and then I tell them to take sexy photos in lingerie. Yes. That's exactly what I do.

Boudoir photos are not taken with the intention of showing them to any man. At least not the type of boudoir photos taken by a team of empowering female photographers, hair and makeup artists, in a elegantly sexy dedicated studio designed to make clients feel safe, sexy, and strong (though, if you have a man in your life, he will be a very lucky man to see these)! These photos are taken with the intention of feeling sexy, empowered, getting in touch with and feeling confident in your curves, and owning your sexuality in a confidently vulnerable way! Confident vulnerability. That's right. The two words might not seem to coincide, but, when combined, they are two of the strongest words that you can embody. Confident vulnerability is owning who you are. It's a mentality that I call "Here I Am." It's not "here I am, what do you think?” Or "here I am, am I good enough for you?” Or "here I am, you better like me!” It's simply and confidently, vulnerably, unapologetically- "Here I Am. This is me. I'm not perfect. I have made mistakes. I have done things that I'm not proud of. I have made midcourse corrections. I have seen and done things that I wish I hadn't. And in the end, those experiences and actions have allowed me to grow as a person.” The thing is, vulnerability can be difficult. Some people find it easier to be vulnerable physically than emotionally. It's almost scarier to reveal ourselves, our true internal selves, than it is to reveal our bodies. What’s great about a boudoir photo shoot- the right type of boudoir photo shoot- is that there's nothing sexual about it, yet you are able to feel vulnerable and be empowered by it! When working with the right boudoir photographer, your inner essence is liberated, enlivened, and you shine- from the inside out! It's time to start feeling comfortable being vulnerable- physically and emotionally. Which brings me to my boudoir photo shoot. As a dating coach, it’s my belief that I have to be the example of my expectation. If I’m asking my clients to be vulnerable, I have to do it first. In that way I am creating an environment of safety and trust in what I call“I’ll show you mine, now you show me yours…” I’m a new mom. I have a new body, new curves, and a new C-section scar. And as a dating coach, I know the life/confidenceshifting reality that a baby creates when it comes to dating and romance. Entering the dating world with a new baby, new body, new identity, and new priorities, I was in need of getting comfortable and feeling sexy in my new skin. In order to do that, I needed to experience it moving in a non-mommy way, I needed to feel and see my curves as sensual again. I needed to pull out my

lingerie (hoping it would fit me again) and have the confidence to slip it back on and face the mirror. So I decided to do a boudoir photo shoot with one of the most reputable boudoir photographers in the country- Jenny Taylor Boudoir Photography. I’ll admit it… I have scrolled through the “galleries of sexy photos of women on and flipped through the pages of scantily clad models in Maxim, and the seductively posed celebrities in GQ and Esquire. My eyes roll over their curves, but more than looking at their bodies, I imagine myself in those positions, wearing those clothes, and feeling that beautiful, and I think about how I want to look that sexy. But more than that, I want to feel that sexy. So I decided to strip down and be photographed too… just to see what I look like. Jenny and her team helped me decide on four outfits- sweet, sexy, hot, and naughty! I was stepping outside of my comfort zone, but if there ever is a safe place to expand beyond our self-established boundaries and even flirt with our Fifty Shades fantasies, it’s here. From the moment I stepped out of the dressing room, I felt completely safe, but more than that, I truly did feel like a model in a photo shoot for one of those magazines. I loved feeling my body move as the photographer told me how beautiful I looked and suggested poses that best showed and even enhanced my sexy curves. I felt liberated and energized and gorgeous! And it was so much fun! I felt like I was on a high. A week later, when I saw the photos during my big reveal, I was able to see my body through someone else’s eyes- my photographer’s. And within that fresh view I saw, and finally felt, beautiful. A boudoir photo shoot just might be one of the most confidence-boosting, self-loving gifts you can give yourself. And if you’re in a relationship it’s one of the sexiest gifts you can give your guy. With the right hair, makeup, clothes, angles, photographer, and maybe a little stretchmark/scar/cellulite photo-shopping (which is EXACTLY what the women in the magazines experience) you can transform your confidence. Look good/feel good. Feel good/look good. Single? Give this gift to yourself- because you’re worth it and you deserve to feel sexy and confident and beautiful. Coupled? Give this as a gift to him (knowing that it’s really for you), and you will blow his mind. In the end, my boudoir photo shoot allowed me to not just see beauty (though in the photos I definitely did), but to simultaneously feel vulnerable and confident- which made me truly feel sexy. Within that space, on those sheets, in those sexy outfits, with my hair and makeup done- my true radiance was revealed- and it had nothing to do with my face or body. 11

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Chic comfort with a body positive message that fits all.


hether you are a true yogi or just want to throw on some uber comfy leggings and workout clothes for the day, you will definitely get your money’s worth and live in Beyond Yoga’s luxurious ‘athleisure’ apparel. Beyond Yoga, was created to fit and Founders, Michelle Wahler and flatter women of all shapes Jodi Guber Brufsky and sizes. Growing up in the entertainment industry, Founder Jodi Guber Brufsky was well aware of the pressures to look a certain way and struggled with her own body image. It was often difficult for her to find clothing that was both comfortable and flattering, and did not tug and define any body parts that could make a person feel insecure. Through her own personal journey, she worked as a life coach and yoga teacher, which opened her eyes and she wanted to help women celebrate and love who they are at this very moment. She and her design partner Michelle Wahler created Beyond Yoga. They want women to feel confident, amazing and beautiful in their workout and leisure clothes, and not feel they need to fit in…to the usually tight fitting workout clothing of their competitors. Beyond Yoga apparel, now a globally recognized brand with positive message, is the ultimate combination of comfort meets style. Super soft and perfect for workouts, their extensive selection of styles and colors give flattering support to the body without feeling restricting. Their decadent “Space Dye” fabric touts “a level of comfort unparalleled by any activewear you currently own”. Their mission is to help people celebrate who they are, not who they wish they were. Their goal is to help promote positive body images and self confidence to love yourself as you are right now. The Beyond Yoga company is committed to supporting and inspiring women to live passionate, authentic lives and love who the are inside and out. Their mission is “to empower people of all shapes, sizes and color through considerate design aesthetics and positive business practices.” They believe “this is accomplished by nurturing one’s self-esteem and celebrating the uniqueness of every person’s body, just as they are. We reflect this mission by never retouching our models’ bodies and by featuring amazing women doing amazing things.” The company supports several empowering women focused charities, including I Am That Girl, which promotes self-esteem for college aged girls. The message…the comfort…the style..we’re sold! Their own words describe it best…

kinds of beautiful. Our goal is to empower our community to be fearlessly authentic with a positive body image.

BEYOND YOGA BODY POSITIVE STATEMENT: Body positivity is recognizing that every body is a beautiful body. We are devoted to our diverse community – people of all shapes, sizes and colors – because we believe that there are all

Beyond Yoga ‘Space Dye’

PRODUCT OFFERING Made with love in Los Angeles, Beyond Yoga products are crafted from luxuriously soft and durable wash-and-wear fabrics. Each piece is meticulously designed and tested to ensure optimal comfort and functionality. Our attention to detail sets us apart in the industry. This includes featuring contoured elastic-free waistbands that prevent uncomfortable digging and flatlock seams that ensure maximum comfort. DISTRIBUTION Beyond Yoga is currently sold in over 2000 doors across studios, gyms, specialty sport retailers, departments stores, online retailers, specialty fashion boutiques, as well as resorts and spas. Our roster of distinguished brands include Pure Barre, Core Power Yoga, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Revolve. This is all in addition to our E-commerce site 13

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Saturdays & Sundaes KELSEY WILHM’s modern swimwear line combines the lover of H2O & Fashion


am a creative being, through and through. I credit my exposure in this crazy, amazing, industry to my parents, who are both creative directors. I grew up in photo studios working with models, stylists and other photographers and always aspired to be a part of that world! Priding myself on being Midwest raised and California washed – shortly after starting my own photography company in high school in Madison, WI, I moved to California. Seeking a school with an underwater program, I attended and received my Bachelor of Fine Arts for Photography at Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, CA. With water in my veins, I derive my inspirations from fashion, traveling, swimming and scuba diving. Now, located in Los Angeles or found on the beaches of the world, I am a strong believer that travel is the only thing you can buy that will make you richer. After becoming a seasoned vet of embodying the water lifestyle, I started my own swimwear label, Saturdays & Sundaes. I’ve always dreamed of the opportunity to create something that combined my love for H2O and fashion. With water as my muse, I find magic in the outfits by the sea. Having worked with many of the current swimwear brands and with a background in swimming, I set out to create swimwear using competitive Italian fabrics, focusing on the fit. Influenced by the backdrops of my images, my designs don’t distract from the views but complement them. In a crazy world of mass consumption, Saturdays & Sundaes finds it imperative to source recycled material and gives 5% of all sales to the Ocean Clean Up foundation []. Whether below or above the surface, my photographs tell the stories. I am the designer, creative director and - naturally - the photographer for the brand. Cheers, to unpathed waters and undreamed shores! 17

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Hooved Angels Healing Hearts & Minds: The Mini-Therapy Horses of Victoria Nodiff-Netanel STORY BY MICHELLE GILLETTE INTERVIEW BY DINA MANZO


his is what happens when people see Victoria Nodiff-Netanel’s tiny, impossibly cute, delicatelyfeatured mini therapy horses for the very first time. They exclaim, “Wait! Are those REAL?” And then, “I WANT ONE!”

Shortly thereafter she began the intense (but always loving) training process. Over time, Pearl became potty-trained and desensitized to everything imaginable. She trained Pearl to be able to ride elevators, walk up and down stairs and travel in cars, enabling Victoria to start taking Pearl out into the community to comfort those in need. Seven mini horses and thousands of training hours later, Victoria is the proud President and Executive director of the most active and impactful mini therapy horse charitable organization in California, and perhaps the country.

But while these impeccably-groomed mini horses truly do look like the cutest, most spectacularly made animated toys to ever exist, they are very real and their true magic reveals itself via the important work they do: As author Pamela Robins points out in her book MEDITATING They are trained healers. Hope comes in many forms but in the these cases, hope is a four-legged mini-equine, wearing a vest that says “Mini Therapy Horses.” The amazing woman behind these blessed beings is change-maker Victoria Nodiff-Netanel. Under the loving tutelage and guidance of Victoria, these mini horses have comforted over 50,000 people—from California to New York and Washington DC. A huge impact has been made by these diminutive beings and this charitable organization, MiniTherapy Horses, an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization. In their own unique way, what Victoria and her (now seven) mini-horses do is gain access to peoples’ hearts. Wonder at the mini-horses uniqueness, awe at their beauty, and a sense of their gentle nature becomes the access point for people in pain to open up. Traumatized children who are too afraid to talk to anyone will talk to the minis. War veterans who suffer from PTSD and traumatic brain injuries and show no interest interacting with others, start to respond. Children who are withdrawn from their peers or ostracized due to severe medical procedures, find a friend in a little horse and feel accepted. Victoria is a mom, wife, talented artist, accomplished horsewoman and a civilian volunteer with the Los Angeles County Sheriff ’s Department, as well as a member of the Los Angeles Mayor’s Crisis Response team with which she is on call 24/7. In 2008, as Victoria’s daughter was leaving for college, Victoria found that she had more time on her hands and lots of room in her heart. That’s when Victoria began training her first miniature horse, Pearl, and her world changed dramatically. She was astounded at the transformation in people’s moods and demeanors when they encountered Pearl on their training expeditions. That’s when she realized their potential together.

WITH ANIMALS in her section dedicated to Victoria, “The experience that a person can share with one of these special horses can be incredibly powerful and have a lasting effect on their day or even their life.” Robins goes on to write in detail about one particular case where one man’s dying wish was to receive a final visit from mini-therapy horse Pearl. Of course, Victoria and Pearl did not disappoint. It was one of his last days on earth and they were there to help him transition. There’s a beautiful, touching photo of Victoria, Pearl and the gentleman in Robins’ book. While in his hospital bed with tubes in his nose, he shows absolutely no trace of fear on his face, but rather a look of pure wonder, youthful ebullience, peace and joy as he gently touches Pearl’s face. It’s an extraordinary tribute to the transformative powers and healing capabilities of animals, and people like Victoria who help facilitate these connections.

While many peaceful, loving moments occur like in the scene above, some of the Victoria’s work does requires her to witness painful, disturbing experiences that most of us can only imagine -- or perhaps we try not to because it’s too painful: she’s been on call for a murder scene where the child of the victim witnessed the crime and the child desperately needed comfort. She and her mini sit for hours comforting children at the Sheriff ’s Department waiting for Child Family Services to arrive while their parents are being incarcerated. She’s on call for traffic accidents and the mini therapy horses will be requested as a follow-up to comfort survivors and family members as part of the Mayor’s Crisis Response Team. So, beneath what might look like irresistible, undeniably cute, playful visits are actually very serious, powerful moments of comfort and healing. When you learn what Victoria’s work is about, you may still call it magical, because it is truly transformative—but for reasons that have nothing to do with mythical creatures and fairy dust. 19

Pearl and the other mini therapy horses are small, but mighty agents of peace. Their language is wordless and yet they’re excellent communicators of gentle healing, comfort and hope; reaching people who might otherwise reject connection out of fear or pain. As prey animals, the mini-horses themselves are vulnerable. Perhaps patients can identify with this same vulnerability and yet feel safer by simply having a little horse rest its head in their lap; share a sense of comfort, relief, trust and yes sometimes even joy. Victoria’s mini horses have been trained to stand on two legs doing a “Hi-Ho Silver”, smile for the camera, squeak a rubberchicken, push a ball around, stand with two legs on a pedestal and they even play the keyboard with their muzzle. These tricks are actually used as tools to help create interactions with children and adults. It is impossible not to love them and how entertaining they are. But while their novelty may draw people in…it is their beauty and gentle nature that makes people stay. The other less obvious, but equally impressive aspect of Victoria’s story only reveals itself when you spend time getting to know her; watching her work from morning till dusk, year after year. Only then do you realize how much love, attention, time, detail, money, energy, and heart she’s devoted to her horses and this program. Victoria works tirelessly on behalf of her charity and the community benefits greatly from that. She is a woman who shows up. It doesn’t matter what time it is or if she just fell asleep after a sixteen hour work day. If she get’s a call from the Mayor’s Crisis Response Team or from The Lost Hills Sheriff ’s

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Department asking her to show up—she does it. She and her mini put on their respective uniforms, get in their van and go. And when they do, they deliver something that may seem calm, kind, and effortless to the naked eye but behind it was thousands of hours of her experience and dedication. Countless hours of loving, caring, grooming, and doting on her animals goes into Victoria’s work, transforming her horses into the amazing agents of change that they’ve become. Luckily, Victoria has partnered with Steve Sullivan, Mini Therapy Horse’s co-director, a Reserve Deputy with the Malibu/ Lost Hills Sheriff ’s Station. Steve is an exceptional horseman and passionate champion of the Mini Therapy Horses program. With Steve’s dedication and the help of several other trained volunteers and horse handlers, Victoria has grown her charity and outreach capabilities into what they are today. She is beyond grateful for the assistance, as is anyone who has watched the remarkable amount of heart and hours Victoria dedicates to her mini horses and this cause. It must be mentioned that Victoria’s program is primarily self-funded. Since Mini Therapy Horses is a non-profit, she welcomes all donations, fundraising ideas and sponsorships. In the meantime, she is changing the world, one mini hoof print forward at a time. • For more about Victoria Nodiff-Netanel and Mini Therapy Horses, please watch the video interview by Dina Manzo, Focus

TV Host & Lifestyle Expert: • To learn about MEDITATING WITH ANIMALS, tune into Dina Manzo’s interview with author Pamela Robins. 10% of the net proceeds will be donated to Mini Therapy Horses. • To make donations directly go to and look for the PAYPAL link

Mini Therapy Horses participates in the following programs and much more…. The Ronald McDonald Houses The Greater Los Angeles Veteran’s Hospital The Los Angeles Mayor’s Crisis Response Team The Los Angeles County Sheriff ’s Department Maryvale Orphanage A Place Called Home Middle School through University Programs and Presentations Individual Sessions with Children on the Autism Wounded Warrior Projects Camp Gung Ho, for Children who are burn survivors 21

Photos: Chris Daniel

Passion, Love, Pursuit. Exploring the world with the lens of gratitude and compassion. BY ERICA LIPPY


ASSION, LOVE, PURSUIT – our purpose is to explore, enhance and learn from the places we visit, the people we encounter and the passions we pursue. Exploring the world with the lens of gratitude and compassion. To create an inspired, purposeful life simultaneously encouraging others to do the same. Join us in our Passion, Love, Pursuit for life. Discover new landscapes of the countries we visit, indulge in the local cultures and cuisines, identify needs on an international scale with charities we support, as we give you a deeper look at who they are. This is your guide to a beautiful life…embrace it, be inspired, and live it purposely. Erica Lippy, a Los Angeles, Angeleno, grew up in South Bay, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. An adventurer, wanderlust, and passionate philanthropist. She continues to strive for more purpose, personal growth, and life experiences. She is passionate about many things and says: “I want to give a piece of myself to the world. I want to see and experience the world through my passions and share what enlightenment I have cultivated through personal experiences. I want to inspire others to live life to its fullest, and inspire people to cherish what sits closest to their hearts. I want to have a purpose and live a selfless life helping others, supporting good causes, and fulfilling my passions. I believe life is meant to be lived—passionately—and to gain knowledge along the way” Passion, Love, Pursuit is about being inspired and continuing to inspire others while living a life filled with passion and purpose. We all have our unique passions and what has become our

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purpose. We want to be that inspiration for you, to motivate you to seek what ignites your fire within, your drive, your passion— being present with yourself, feeding your soul, exploring new avenues, enriching your mind, and stimulating your own self. Seek your moments of reflection and moments of doubt. Most importantly, take your time to simply be present and observe what captures your heart. This space resides a place of positive energy, positive affirmations, and positive outlook on life. A quote fanatic. Nothing is perfect nor does it ever have to be, but everything is perfectly imperfect. You are the creator of your own destiny. It all begins with a vision, an inspiration, and a goal. Join us…


Near and abroad. Expand your horizons. Follow us along in destinations we travel to, adventures we embark on, and an experience to never be forgotten. Learn about different cultures and see things from a different lens. Join us in a journey through our travels and be enticed to book one yourself.


Give selflessly. Be a part of something bigger than yourself. Let us show you a deeper look into movements that matter. Through our first hand experience and doing our diligence we give you a deeper look into organizations we support that create movement and work actively in positive change. We share with you true authenticity in organizations and the day in a life of charities we are proud to support.


An adventure is always ahead. Get outside. Explore. Keep moving. Life isn’t meant to be lived in one place. Experience life to its absolute fullest. Try something new, learn a new skill, climb a mountain, and let all your fears go. Don’t stop where you are, just to be where you are at. Search further. Never sell yourself short. Find your purpose, indulge in your passions and let it seep through your pores. Twitter: @Erica_Lippy 23

Children of the World Wanting to help children in need, ERICA LIPPY travelled to the Philippines and came face to face with the child whose life she is changing for the better. BY SANDRA LUESSE

What made you decide to become a sponsor with Children International? I had been looking to build a relationship with a child, and to help them in pursuing their dreams. Fortunately, I was told about Children International from a personal experience and by someone who has knowledge of what they do. Children International provides 83% of the money contributed to the actual cause. They have also been in business for more than 75 years. I found those to be very important factors. How did you pick the children you sponsor? On their website, they have a database of children from 2-17yrs, from countries all around the world. I had in mind that I wanted a child from Columbia. Reason being, I love the culture, I’m a salsa dancer, and I love latin music and I wanted to embrace even more of the culture. It was important to me to be able to develop a relationship with the child. I wanted an age old enough to communicate with her. So I found my girl. Her gentle smile captured me. Also I loved that she enjoyed singing and dancing as her hobbies. Though I didn’t stop there, I wanted to sponsor another one in a location I wanted to visit. I choose the Philippines. Once again I found a girl that captured me. With each profile they provide details on how much the family earns, their siblings, do they have fresh water, go to school, what they sleep on and so forth. All of which helps you understand their needs. You went to the other side of the world to visit your child after only sponsoring her for several months? Yes, and I have to say it was one of the best experiences of my life. I feel very blessed that I had the ability to do so. I wanted a full day with her so I arrived very early in the morning and flew out the next early morning. I wanted to see everything first hand. Children International was so gracious in accommodating me and

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made my experience incredible. It completely filled my heart to meet her mom, and also the staff at Children International. I could see how much it meant to my sponsor child, Nicole and her mother. Her mother seemed lost for words and I could see how grateful she was. About 800 sponsors a year visit their sponsored children. It is the most rewarding thing we can do for them and ourselves. Could you tell us about your experience? When I arrived at Children International the whole staff warmly welcomed me. There I met Nicole and her mom. We went over the visit and their guidelines. One of my requests was to view the community center so that I could see what Nicole is provided. I met the staff and I was shown what the children have access to. I was able to see a boy writing a letter to his sponsor while I was there. Then we went to lunch at Jolliblee – it is their Philippines fast food chain. From there we were taken to visit Nicole’s home. I watched as we drove through their village on unpaved dirt roads. The people seemed just to be present, with not much purpose. Kids and dogs wandered the streets. It was unlike anything I have seen first hand. I was introduced to the whole family. Their home was a shack, very small. Their sleeping area was closed off from the living area with a curtain. There was a child sized bed that slept all three children. In front, would lay the parents on the floor with blankets. They did have running water, though it was from a faucet with no filtration. Their surroundings overlooked the next family’s home, clothing hung from the wires. It was an eyeopener to see and experience. I wanted to enjoy the day with Nicole and do something fun. We went to Ocean Park in Manila, an ocean aquarium. We saw shows, different ocean life, and even did the fish foot bath. Nicole and her mom were smiling the whole time. I was filled with complete happiness to be a part of this with them. I asked what gift I could get Nicole and also something for the family. Nicole wanted clothes and her Mom wanted groceries for the family. That told me a lot about their situation, knowing generally that an 8yr old would want toys. Every place we had been throughout the day was new for them. Her mother, 38,

<<FOCUS REWIND First published – April 2015

Left: Nicole’s bed which she shares with her 2 siblings. Center: The kitchen Right: with Nicole and her mom at Ocean Park.

has never left her area, never been to a mall, a grocery store, or been able to enter Ocean Park since there is an admission fee. At the grocery store her mom took a basket, though I wanted her to grab a cart. I told her please go pick anything you need. She bought canned food, boxed milk, rice. This is what she is familiar with. I tried to help and welcome her to buy more. I believe she was intimidated and shy to buy much. At the end of our visit we exchanged hugs. My heart was full. I couldn’t have asked for a better visit and to know where my money is going. Truly I know I am making a difference and Children International is helping achieve that.

It’s like receiving a gift every time you open your mailbox. One of my children writes English and the other in Spanish. They are so well spoken, grateful, proud, and happy children. I’m impressed and touched every time. One time my child from the Philippines wrote me about school. She wrote, I promise I will try harder this year. I just melted. Keeping communication and encouraging them is very important. I am truly grateful and humbled by my experience. I hope sharing my story and visit has in turn also inspired you. I believe each and everyone of us can make a difference in this world. I feel blessed to be able to provide a small donation monthly to help Nicole and Nelly. I hope you too will consider sponsoring a child of your own. Developing a relationship with him or her and giving them a chance to break out of their poverty. It was the best decision I could make.

Why would you suggest others to go with Children International? Children International has a long history in helping children become self reliant adults. Their approach is successful and continues to advance. I know that my small contribution is making a difference in that child’s life. The children have a chance at a better future and the ability to battle their poverty. What does the money you contribute monthly go to? My monthly $28 gives the child access to their community centers, which provide full-time doctors and dentists, pharmacies, library, computer labs, playgrounds, school supplies or uniforms if needed. CI provides resources, programs and services that help reduce the burden of poverty on impoverished children and youth. Sponsorship provides important assistance and services like medical and dental care, educational support, and access to youth programs that help young people learn life and leadership skills. In addition, as children establish skills, they give back by teaching the younger children. Do you communicate with your child? CI makes it easy for you to email your child and send photos. The best part though, is the kids send an actual letter through the mail.

Erica Lippy 25

Lisa Arturo Hope For Paws

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ue the Super Hero music, because Lisa Arturo... is one — in the form of a passionate, selfless animal activist who ventures into the worst areas of Los Angeles just to save any animal with four paws (but mainly dogs). I’m not joking; this fit, blonde haired beauty infiltrates the most dangerous neighborhoods to rescue any dog any where at any time. She will use her stealth like powers of invisibility and literally sneak into (sometimes by her lonesome) and escape from the backyards of gang members to save mistreated or beaten animals despite the guns, drugs and gangsters holed up inside. If she gets a call, email or yelp for help, Arturo will follow up and complete her rescue mission no matter what “Do Not Trespass” sign is in front of her. I’m not sure if she needs a straight jacket or a cape and theme song.

Shelter. By the way, according to Lisa - if you want to give away your dog because you’re having a new baby... that’s like saying you want to get rid of a part of your family because a new family member is coming. She’ll have no problem telling you to your face; “Lame. Shame on you!”

Get your tissue box out. HOPE FOR PAWS website, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages have numerous mini documentary videos starring Ms. Arturo and other rescuers saving the worst, gasp-worthy cases complete with the perfect sound track pulling sad tears from viewers until you reach the happy finale and alas, tears of joy – Visit their YouTube channel “Hope For Paws - Official Rescue Channel” for some wonderful tearjerking videos showing Lisa in action. “TINKERBELL,” is a sweet gentle Mastiff who ran away because Fireworks spooked her during 4th of July celebrations in Los Angeles. She was missing for about twenty days. After being rescued with a broken leg, by Arturo and Hagar with some heroic FOCUS TV’s celebrity host Tanya Memme sat down for a face-toLA Firefighters assistance, TINKERBELL was scanned at the vet’s face with the designer clad animal savior, Lisa Arturo. She has been office. Her implanted microchip information reunited her with working with the rescue group HOPE FOR PAWS, (founded by Eldad her very thankful family (from Arizona!). Her taped rescue left Hagar) for about four years, but has been in animal rescue for over a lump in my throat the size of a golf ball. Watch her incredible twelve. No matter what the circumstances, be it a happy hour with transformation into a safe, healthy and happy doggy here - https:// friends, a second date with a hot man or an upscale dinner party, Arturo will drop it all and race to the rescue in her Louboutin heels Lisa is “Robin” to HOPE FOR PAWS’ “Batman” aka owner, Eldad and Herve Leger dress leaving all else in her wake to save the doggy Hagar (another Rescue Angel/Super Hero); together they have day. There are no vacations or days off from saving an animal. She’s been known to return home with nips, bites, scratches, fleas, ticks and countless successful rescues and built a surrounding team of practitioners, donators and foster families to help the ‘Paws’ Cause. ringworm – oh well, all in a days work of this Animal Rescue Angel. It’s a 501c3 charity (Woohoo - yes, a tax write off too), so when you “But why...?” pleads Tanya. Lisa simply answers perfectly, “I’m their click on their website – be sure to click on the voice; someone needs to be their voice to save them...” big, orange square button which states, “Please Donate Today, Every Here are some sad, but true statistics the LA TIMES reported in 2015: Little Bit Helps.” Lisa mentions, “Also, we raise money by people “...Close to 50% of the 72,000 animals brought to the six Los Angeles sharing our videos on social media... Asking everyone to make a County shelters were killed by lethal injection last year. That’s $5.00 monthly donation.” It also helps to have some star power down from 62% a few years ago and about on par with the national like Anderson Cooper along with animal lover Kristin Chenoweth average, but it’s still higher than the city of Los Angeles, which had a supporting their efforts on the main TV stage. The TODAY SHOW, 26% euthanasia rate last year. The rate for dogs was down to 30%.” MSNnow, CNN iReport and Martha Stewart also featured their There is a clear message from these bleak numbers - Please don’t buy rescue efforts with special segments. a pure breed from a dog breeder when tens of thousands of shelter If you see an animal in need of being rescued from its sad state, and rescue animals are in need of loving homes. reach out to HOPE FOR PAWS, write an email, Facebook post or Arturo will often take animals home if she’s in a bind to find a ready tweet and Lisa Arturo will put on her cape, play her theme song and foster home. If she’s not feeding few week old infant puppies by help save a life. Like many written about Super Heroes and their hand, she’s visiting other rescue partners getting veterinary attention journey, it’s her calling. This isn’t what she does; this is who she is. for an abused dog or at groomers putting the final touches on an animal that’s being chipped, clipped and snipped. Her work doesn’t end there. Lisa explains; “Once we rescue an animal from the streets we pay for whatever they need: Medical care, training, grooming, surgeries...etc. When the dog is ready for a foster home we partner with other rescue groups that we love and trust and they do the home check and adoption process. That’s why you will always see another rescue labeled on our videos. We just don’t have the time to do adoptions - too many dogs to save!” From Arturo’s experience she states, “...A lot of people in the lower income communities don’t want to (or can afford to) spay and neuter their animals and are having backyard puppies… they end up in the shelter or the street and getting hit by cars (if unwanted).” Lisa warns, “Don’t get a dog if you don’t have the money to take care of it medically; they are a family member.” Every animal should Facebook: be vaccinated, have updated booster shots and be micro-chipped, which identifies the owner when scanned by a Veterinary Doctor or Instagram: 27



t’s been said by many wise people: the most important relationship you have is the one with yourself. After interviewing dozens of Empoweristas, I can confirm, they live by this wisdom. Here is self-empowerment advice straight from four of the empowered, purposeful and successful women in our #Empowerista community.

Jodi Guber Brufsky “It is a journey and it takes patience and effort.”

Alisha Wainwright

“Empowerment is the realization that you have the tools to do whatever you want in life. We are in control of our life trajectory, Jodi Guber Brufsky is the Creator, Founder and Chief Creative and with the help of friends and mentors, we can exceed our own Officer of Beyond Yoga, a luxury athleisure brand that empowers expectations.” women of all shapes and sizes, setting a tone of body positivity and inclusivity. Beyond Yoga was created out of her personal Alisha Wainwright is best known as Maia the werewolf in the experience, as she grew up struggling with low self-esteem and Free Form show, Shadowhunters. She has a degree in botany, body image issues. has worked in the Panama Canal, was a winemaker in Northern California, and is now a successful actress in Los Angeles. Jodi’s self-empowerment advice is: • Make introspection and mindfulness a priority. Alisha’s self-empowerment advice is to: • Read books to learn tools on how to grow, and be open to • Journal for greater self-discovery. hearing the truth. • Research your craft or passion (including the business side). • Love yourself as you are now. • Take an accounting or finance class (having a handle on your money will put you at ease).

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A bit more about the woman behind Empowerista... The founder of Empowerista, Alex Wehrley, is a TV host seen co-hosting for E!, ABC red carpets and the Miss USA telecast. Los Angeles Business Journal honored Alex on their “20 in their Twenties” list of most successful entrepreneurs for Empowerista, her media movement and mentorship program to empower women to embrace their individuality, discover their purpose, speak up, take action, and ultimately, tell their best and truest story.

Dr. Corinne Devin

Dr. Nina

“The ‘universe’ isn’t going to take care of you. You aren’t going to be “You must be in a good, supportive, encouraging and loving ‘discovered.’ Life doesn’t ‘happen.’ You Make it happen. If you want relationship to yourself to have good relationships with others.” to experience success, you have to make it happen yourself.” Nina Savelle-Rocklin, Psy.D. is a psychoanalyst, author, speaker Corinne Devin is a doctor, an officer, and… a beauty and internationally-recognized expert in weight, food and body queen. Specifically, she is an orthodontist, Navy Lieutenant image issues. She brings a fresh perspective by helping people Commander, and 2014 Ms Galaxy. She believes being well understand ‘why’ they turn to food instead of focusing on what rounded in a multitude of areas can inspire, motivate, and place they’re eating. the seed of determination into our youth and their peers. Dr. Nina’s self-empowerment advice is: Corinne’s self-empowerment advice is: • When you’re nervous, be an observer. When you’re looking at • Connect: Be able to link and introduce those around you. This the world, you don’t feel as if the world is looking at you. will pay dividends in the future to whomever you meet. • If you talked to your friends the way you talked to your body, • Drive: Maintain strength and drive, but work on softening the you’d have no friends left. Be kind to yourself, and treat edges. Remember: you can be a powerfully feminine yourself as a friend. WOMAN. • Throw out your scale. It does not measure your value. • Balance: learn to set realistic expectations with colleagues and friends, so you can maintain a balance between your personal You can watch the full interviews with them (and many more) and professional life. here: To connect or collaborate with me (the founder of #Empowerista) head to: 29

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Lash, Beverly Hills BY PALWASHA WALI


y name is Palwasha Wali and I’m the owner of the exclusive eye & lip salon and Academy, LASH BEVERLY HILLS EYE & LIP BAR & ACADEMY. We presently have two locations: one in the beautiful Rodeo Collection Shopping Plaza at 421 No. Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, and one in the gorgeous El Camino Shopping Center in Woodland Hills/Calabasas area. Our full service eye & lip salon and accredited career school for Permanent Makeup/Microblading and Eyelash Extension and lifts offers exceptional services and education by highly trained licensed beauty professionals and instructors. LASH BEVERLY HILLS is a combination of eye & lip salon and a career school for professionals in the beauty industry. Our concept is unique, as clients actually see the process of learning the procedures performed on them in action, which eliminates any fear of the permanent make-up applications.

realistic looking brows. I work with some of the top Plastic Surgeons who are reconstructing their patients breasts after surgery. Using my micro-pigmentation technique, I re-create a natural areole, the finishing touch to the breast. Seeing their smiling faces has been incredibly rewarding. I also provide hope for people who suffer from the disorder Vitiligo. This disorder creates a loss of pigment in the skin and there’s no cure; it only becomes worse in time. Using this same micropigmentation technique used in breast reconstruction, I’m able to correct distorted skin tones to appear normal.

OUR ACADEMY LASH Beverly Hills Salon and Academy has grown into becoming known as one of the premier Lash and Permanent Make up Academies in the country. Students have come from all over the world, as far away as Japan, to learn my techniques. In addition to teaching them, I also spend time OUR SALON counseling them on how to set up a successful business We specialize in lash extensions, lash lifts, permanent when they return home. They will know when they leave, makeup, micro-blading, micro-needling and lastly, microI’m a phone call away if they need any help or assistance pigmentation. Our clients range from housewives, to with their techniques or their business. These two salons and professional women in business, to socialites and even college schools are just the beginning……..I’m looking forward to students. Most patrons come in for a full set of lashes and expanding my eye and lip salon & school concept by aligning then every two weeks, for a lash re-fresh. Although many of with qualified partners who are interested in the franchising my clients can go for up to three to four weeks before they opportunities I can provide. The key is they must have the need refreshing. same passion, focus and dedication to the business as I do. LASH BEVERLY HILLS is known for creating natural and realistic sets of lashes in the most glamorous form in as little time as one hour. How are our lashes different? I developed my own lash application technique which makes your lashes appear as if they’re your own; you will be as beautiful as any celebrity walking the red carpet. And ,if you follow my instructions, you will wake up in the morning looking as fresh as when you went to sleep! The other concept which sets LASH BEVERLY HILLS apart from other salons, is my knowledge of the techniques in the new field of micro-blading and micro-pigmentation. I’m pleased I’m able to offer help for women recovering from the effects of breast cancer treatments, in addition to creating @lashbeverlyhills 31

Focus TV Shows

Content Served Focus TV is looking for outgoing, interesting presenters to create 5-10 minute weekly shows for our Focus TV network. The subjects can range from current affairs, to fitness, healthy lifestyle topics, design and sports. If you have an idea for a show, please email and we will get in touch with you. These are some of the shows that we currently produce.

Empowerista Each week #Empowerista by Alex Wehrley brings you interviews with empowered women around Los Angeles from a wide range of industries, talking about their unique journey and success secrets. What they all have in common is: ambition, purpose, confidence and empowerment. Guests include, among others, Eden Sassoon, Heather McDonald, Lauren Gores-Ireland, Lauryn Evarts and Danielle Cuccio.

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Focus Events Each week there are dozens of newsworthy events, either for charities, store openings or high profile gatherings. Focus Events aims to cover these events with enthusiastic presenters and interviewers. Please let us know if you wish to be considered.

What’s Good What’s Good is a weekly show hosted by Amy Paffrath and Justin Walter. Each week, they talk about feel good news stories, positive vibes, world changers and good samaritans. Recent guest stars included Kristin Brockman from Hollywood Today Live and Laura Linda Bradley from The Laura Show. 33

Michelle Carlson Executive Director, Teen Line

<<FOCUS REWIND First published – November 2014

The Meghan Markle Interview

How did you become involved in acting? I grew up in LA and my dad was the lighting director for a show called “Married with Children” - so every day after school I would go to set, and I think that’s where my comfort level in that environment began. I didn’t intend to be an actress - I went to Northwestern University as an English major but quickly changed to a double major in Theater and In ternational Relations. It really wasn’t until after working for the US Embassy abroad and coming home for the holiday that a friend from college gave a manager a student film I did - he watched it and called me, telling me he thought I should stay home and give acting a shot. I did, and I was so grateful. Congratulations on starting the 4th season of Suits. Tell us about your evolving role. We are currently filming season 4 of Suits, though we were just picked up for season 5 which will begin airing next June (after the back half of season 4 airs in February 2015). Rachel is such a great character to play because she started off rather stand-offish and mostly anchored to this cat and mouse game with her love interest, Mike Ross. As the seasons have evolved, Rachel has really grown - showing her vulnerability, her layers of intelligence and drive in trying to become a lawyer, and the softness we see in her with her family. Her life outside of the firm is as interesting to me as her role in the office. Gabriel is currently making his directorial debut on this episode, so we are all having so much fun. You’re noted as being interested in international diplomacy. The world needs diplomats, now more than ever. What’s your interest in mediation? I majored in International Relations and worked for the US Embassy in Buenos Aires. I am now working closely with UN Women on their gender equality campaign, He for She, and am very proud to stay actively involved not just in politics but in social issues that I think need more attention.

amazing ghormeh sabzi. But with all of that said, nothing does it for me like a taco. Good god, what are they so good?? You recently did the ALS Ice Bucket challenge. How did that come about? Rory McIlroy and I are friends and when he nominated me I told him I couldn’t do the challenge because I was traveling and in NY. He let me know he was also in NY and that he could do the video with me - we had a blast and shot it on the roof of my best friend’s apartment. It is so important to raise awareness for ALS, and the buzz our video generated hopefully helped make that happen. What are your plans for the future? I hope to be doing Suits for a few more seasons, to continue to grow The TIG as it is my passion project and I do the writing and bulk of the photography, and to do some more film roles in my hiatus - we get four months off between scenes so I am looking to sink my teeth into a juicy role that’s very different from the character I play on Suits. Favorite TV Show Homeland Favorite Book The Four Agreements Favorite Designer Elie Saab Women You Admire Most The ones who love being a woman and relish being a lady

What are you passions, and how do you relax in-between filming? I absolutely love to cook and to try new restaurants - I was just writing about it on The TIG the other day that I will always be a better cook than baker because the technicalities and exactness of baking is not part of my DNA. I have included a couple links to recipes I made and shared on The TIG, which should give a good sense of what I like to dig in to. When I have a bit more time off, I am generally on a plane chasing a life of wanderlust. Travel is one of the most important things in my life. Which are you favorite foods and restaurants? I love clean fresh ingredients with bright flavors - so the whole fish (in whatever iteration) Suzanne Goin makes it is usually right up my alley - be it flecked with pomegranate seeds or bursting with citrus. Growing up in LA, I was so lucky to try endless flavor profiles and go with my parents to Thai Town for amazing mee krob or chicken satay, and then to Little Tokyo for sushi and the Westside for 35

Catch LA Catch’ing Success



ow many people can say they’ve eaten dinner on top of a building, under a retractable rooftop while looking at stars... not just the celebrity kind, but actual stars? CATCH LA in West Hollywood has it all: Fabulous food, sexy surroundings, luscious libations and a ceiling made of Heaven. This is all brought to you by New York natives, Mark Birnbaum and Eugene Remm. Thank you!

It’s no mystery or accident why his endeavors in the food and bar realm are noticeably lucrative. Looks are great in this town sweetheart, but you have to have the goods too. Clearly, the instant sensation of CATCH LA proves he does. THE GOODS: delicious food, great service, and good vibes. Food, booze and mood. When they all equal out, you get a very swanky and successful establishment.

FOOD: Seafood is the main theme on the innovative menu. Executive Chef, Andrew Carroll is their go-to guy for every kitchen opening in each venue and found his home in Los Angeles, for now. Birnbaum notes that their most popular sushi dish is the ‘Catch Roll’ with crab, salmon and Miso honey – The luxury brand, EMM Group, founded in 2006 is a band of yummy. Excuse me, how could that actually beat the signature two biz brothers, a.k.a The Kings of New York Hospitality as cold dish, ‘Truffle Sashimi’? After all, it’s made with the magic deemed by Forbes Magazine. Although not actual brothers of the earth, Black Truffles... also mixed in with Tuna, Hamachi, or kings for that matter, Mark Birnbaum and Eugene Remm already have a lifetime of Bro-like stories, memories and lessons Chili oil and some caviar... but, ya had me at ‘Truffle.’ Vegan eaters will love their ‘Crispy Cauliflower’ with spicy vegan Mayo from navigating their EMM dynasty. They even named a steak and the ingenious, ‘Hearts of Palm Crab Cake’ and its side dish house after both their Grandfathers, Abe & Arthur’s. Their of ‘Jicama Mango Slaw and Pipián Sauce’ – FYI... all Gluten Free union started in New York City as the devilishly handsome too. CATCH’S famous dessert ‘Hit Me’ Chocolate Cake has its Mark Birnbaum recalls; “...two young kids looking to get our start in the industry…found a place in the Meatpacking District own hash tag: #HitMe – so take pics and post away while you devour the layers of sinful, chocolatey, gooey goodness. Yes, (not as popular then as it is today) in 2006 or so, and opened our first venue. Their original concept of a “One-Stop-Shop” of CATCH even serves brunch (Sat. & Sun. 11am-3pm) offering seamless eating and after hours experience in one establishment ‘The Anytime Waffle Tower’. (Gluten Free!) was an instant success. BOOZE: It’s a varied and spirited menu, but I doubt cocktails FOCUS TV’s Tambi Saffran had the honor of sitting with Mark called, ‘The Casting Couch’ and ‘All That Glitters’ made the drink menu in the Fairmont’s, CATCH Dubai...however, ‘Secret Birnbaum to talk about the 2016 opening of CATCH LA. Birnbaum stated, “L.A. chose us.” Their New York CATCH was Escort’ might have. There are the usual suspects of Sparkling, already ‘taking care’ of the Los Angeles celebrity types, so it was Reds and Whites both domestic and international, a hit list of Mezcal brands, Tequilas, Sake and Whiskey blends, tons of a natural city to open up their next branded venue. Right away unique top-shelf-ers, Hipster Beers, Malts and Ales and the it’s apparent Birnbaum’s a natural for the hospitality business.

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$400 shot of Louis XIII. Don’t worry, the old fashioned among you can still get a ‘Cosmopolitan’. MOOD: Right away, you’re drawn in by the extraordinary ambiance and tone of CATCH’s atmosphere. You might run into someone you know, want to know or an ex you want to hide from in this 12,000-square foot brick and steel palatial sexy, cozy-fied space. CATCH serves up to 400 seats and is perfect for special events of any sort. Every corner, nook and cranny filled with foliage, flowers and furniture was well thought out, debated and created by Birnbaum and their team of designers, builders and partner Eugene Remm. Each square inch is utilized to give the experience of luxury outdoor dining and drinking. You’ll rub elbows or knees with every type: A- to C-List Celebrities, Business Tycoons, Up and Comers, First Date Hopefuls and your Cosmetic Dentist. It took over four years from purchase to completion and it’s a bonafide beaute. You can watch the mesmerizing rooftop transformation popup video on Birnbaum said, “We have a Cheers mentality.” I’m sure he means he treats everyone like family and regulars whether it’s their first visit or fiftieth, or whether they are a Dignitary or “Cliff ”, the mailman. All guests are treated like gold. As such, Birnbaum mentions the clientele in New York seems to be more diverse from all different careers, ethnicities and countries, whereas Los Angeles sticks to one major industry and overall feel. I get it... L.A. is sort of a bubble surrounding the entertainment industry, which loves to be seen and fed. No matter which of their restaurants you’re in, Birnbaum remarks; “It starts and ends at the front door.” He admits that his biggest challenge in this hospitality business amongst many is; “... how can we make every customer happy?” Well, Marlon Wayans is happy. I know this because Marlon video bombed Tambi’s FOCUS TV interview with Mark to say a quick “hello.” He had to shake Mark’s hand while bragging about CATCH’S, “ on the planet Lobster Mac and Cheese” dish. Birnbaum thanked him and continued; “It’s a great business to meet everyone.” But, his all-time favorite celebrity is Larry David, who graciously supported the opening night of CATCH LA. The Birnbaum and Remm CATCH brand success caught on and has expanded from their New York City roots to Playa del Carmen, Mexico to Dubai and now Los Angeles. I doubt they’ll stop expanding since the new opening nine months ago in La La Land. I’m envisioning a CATCH: THE MOON opening in the not so distant future. Quick, someone call Sir Richard Branson or Elon Musk to help make this happen. 38 FOCUS | A P R I L 2 0 1 7 39




ou can take the girl out of the South, but you can’t take the South out of the girl. How is it possible to arrive in Hollywood, become an American TV Pop culture icon for almost thirty-five years while surviving the shark infested waters of the entertainment business and still be one of the sweetest, respectable, positive people you could ever meet? I’ll tell you how; keep your Southern sensibilities and be Vanna White. As Vanna celebrated her 60th Birthday year this past February, we also join millions of others gasping at her forty is the new sixty age-defying beauty. For over half of her life she has given us smiles, laughter, money and helped turn those legendary puzzle letters as co-host of the famous, award winning game show, Wheel Of Fortune.

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Another fabulous and experienced host is Janet Gunn of FOCUS TV’s new series – “Fearless Females”, who had the immense pleasure of chatting with her long time gal-pal. Janet and Vanna have known one another for about thirty years and it’s their South-ern way, which made them initially connect and stay connected. Vanna shared, “I still hook up with childhood girlfriends yearly without fail (in South Carolina)... it’s therapeutic.” However, she was bound for much greater things with much smaller odds. After graduating from High School, Vanna set a path to Atlanta, Georgia and studied at the Atlanta School of Fashion while modeling to earn a living, then tried to start her act-ing career landing in Los Angeles. Her mother was sadly taken by ovarian cancer and Vanna returned home to care for her mother until she passed. In 1980, she moved back to Hollywood with her sweet Southern accent, her best friend and drove a twenty-foot U-Haul with all their belongings. Vanna reminiscences, “She wanted to have a government job and I wanted to be a movie star.” They couldn’t have had more opposite dreams. But, dreams they were. While Vanna was waiting tables and struggling through her acting career she had booked some nice roles here and there. But, it wasn’t until she was on the set of Dance Fever with friend and fellow actress Janet Jones (today Janet Gretzky) who set her up with a handshake and a chance meeting that would change her life forever. Vanna recalls, “She introduced me to Merv’s (Merv Griffin) right hand man at Dance Fever and I said, ‘Hey, I hear you’re looking for a replacement on Wheel of Fortune. Can I audition?” He ex-plained that they had narrowed it down to some women, but if they hadn’t picked one by a certain date, to call him…and she did just that. She did and they hadn’t chosen yet. Out of 200 women, Merv Griffin chose our Vanna White off a taped audition and she got the incredible news the day before Thanksgiving Day in 1982, giving her something to truly be thankful for the rest of her life. Since then it’s been a whirlwind of love and loss, public heartbreak, two beautiful chil-dren and tons of travel. In 1987 the nation happily suffered from “VannaMania” while she was every man’s dream woman who had every woman’s dream job.

Imagine getting fitted every two weeks to wear a glamorous evening gown on television to be seen by millions of people. It’s as if she’s in a beauty pageant and winning the crown every day. Vanna has worn over 6,500 gowns without a repeater. Out of forty to fifty gowns per fit-ting, they choose only the top twelve and the others get returned. Don’t get too excited, she never keeps any of the dresses. However, her shoes and jewelry worn are from her own collection. I’m sure her closet thanks her for that rule. If you like to do Math, here goes: She works 4 days per month, tapes 6 shows per day, and has worn 6,500 dresses from the top 12 they choose per month. I know there’s an answer, and I don’t have it. However, that’s more than a measured ton of sequins, lace and beads for sure. What is 16.5 feet in diameter and weighs about 2,400 pounds? The answer: the wheel on Wheel of Fortune. In the beginning of April 2014, Wheel Of Fortune spun its 6,000th epi-sode and is one of the highest rated programs in TV syndication history. Turning those letters all these years and for every single show seems like a lot of manual labor. No wor-ries, in 1997 her job was made easier after the puzzle board of letters was controlled by computers and not manually flipped by the always-cheerful White. She knows all the an-swers to puzzles before each game starts to tape and admittedly tries to send the letter an-swers telepathically to the contestants. Her chemistry with Pat Sajak was a magic pairing. Vanna states, “What Merv saw was a brother-sister team. He’s a great partner to work with. It’s a great job. I show up, we make people happy by giving them money. Most eve-ryone (she’s worked with over the years) is still there.” At the age of ten, Vanna was healing from an appendectomy and watching, The Rat Pa-trol, which was a favorite TV show of hers. Her mother walked in while she was watch-ing and said, “Hey that’s your Uncle Christopher George, he’s on that show.” From then on, she was hooked. She dreamed of being a movie star and upon arrival to Los Angeles in 1980, she visited the Hollywood Walk of Fame and shouted to the heavens that one day too, she would earn a star on this street. Vanna continues, “The day I got that star (April 2006), I felt like I achieved it myself. Follow your dreams; don’t give up. You can achieve it.” Her idol was 41

Dolly Parton and after having met her calls her, “The sweetest little thing.” She admires Dolly’s drive, business mind, amazing talent, but mostly stay-ing true to herself. Here are a few facts about Vanna you might not know: She carried the Olympic Torch with co-host Pat Sajak in 1996, she had her own coined perfume, “Vanna”, had a fashion line and home bedding offered on the Home Shopping Network and penned her autobiog-raphy, Vanna Speaks, which became a best seller. Vanna’s birth surname was Rosich and her adopted stepfather gave her his last name of, White. She still visits her birthfather in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, who is 91 years young originally born in Puerto Rico. She was given the Guinness World Record for clapping in 1992. With an estimated 100,000 individual claps per season, Wheel calculates that White has clapped about 3.8 million times in her decades (33 seasons!) as co-host. (Seriously, who has this much time to watch and count and what is her clapping count since ‘92?) Her passion, besides her children is her love of Crochet. Her granny taught her the art of this craft. She brought her children home from the hospital after they were in born in the crocheted blankets she hand made. They still have them to this day. If she’s not using her hands pointing out letters, she’s crocheting. White even started her own yarn line, Van-na’s Choice for which half of the proceeds go to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital for cancer research. To date she’s donated approximately $1.7 million dollars to the cause. She expresses, “I’m grateful for health, friends, my children’s health. It’s my way of giving back.” Janet asked Vanna, “What’s in store for your future?” Her answer is expected; “I love my job. We are one big happy family. Not sure other than that. I want to thank all my friends and family and fans for watching.” She just released her very first mobile game, “Wheel of Fortune Puzzle Pop,” and developing a few others coming soon. For now, try and keep up with her boundless energy and life happenings on her social media links: - https:// - officialvannawhite/?hl=en Her beau since 2012, John Donaldson keeps her happy and is great company. What more can she ask for? She has a dream job, travels around the world, has great kids and is loved by millions. As for her ‘across the country’ best friend and travel buddy from 1980, she is happily retired from her government job today. Both of their dreams really did come true.

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Dr. Gla-Mir-ous

Focus Cover Feature, Celebrity Dermatologist, Host and Star of Bravo’s ‘The Single Project’, DR TABASUM MIR STORY BY SUZAN BRITTAN INTERVIEW BY JANET GUNN


er exotic bedroom eyes, sinewy figure and warm smile immediately draw you in like the smell of chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen fresh from the oven. She could be a bikini model, old money socialite or an actress, but she’s not. DR. TABASUM MIR is a genius celebrity Dermatologist, hailing from New York, who earned her stars and stripes climbing the medial ranks since the age of twenty when she started medical school. Her brains matched her beauty from a very young age, and were apparent when she started high school at age twelve and graduated at sixteen. She mentions, “I was still a senior without a driver’s license.” Mir (pronounced meer - like cheer) started her own practice over twelve years ago and through her entrepreneurial spirit and personality has since has taken reality TV and various media markets by storm. Dr. Mir mentioned that after plowing straight through to her medical degree from NYU and finishing as a resident with NYU and the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, the new doctor decided being an internist wasn’t for her. “I just wanted to get that ‘doctor’ thing over with,” she admits. Dr. Mir has been a Dermatologist for over 18 years. She was tired of not

being heard, constantly mistaken for a nurse or assistant, treated like a “puppet” and not taken seriously by the male dominated industry. Thus, she started her own, now successful dermatology practice first on the East Coast and now in Beverly Hills and Newport Beach, California. Why stop there? She didn’t stop with just her practices. Her expertise in the natural and chemical attributes of skin led her to create her own “active ingredients” skin care line, MirSkin. (products ranging from $4 lip balm to $150 serum). You can also watch her and learn how to make and apply your own homemade honey and mayonnaise hair mask. Dr. Mir is considered one of the leading authorities in noninvasive and non-surgical skin care. Using her Zen-like approach, she educates her clients on their many options. Her mission is to make women and men feel great on the outside so it helps them on the inside. Tabasum professes, “If you feel your absolute best, you’re gonna perform your absolute best. Taking care of your external also takes care of your internal... work from the soul to the skin.” She heals, tightens, sculpts and lifts skin primarily with injectables. Mir adds; “I was a pioneer in todays injectables long before they became available in the US. I took extra training in London while I had a practice to learn injectables like JUVEDERM, KYBELLA and so many others.” She also uses lasers and radio frequency based devices like THERMAGE TISSUE TIGHTENING without cutting or sculpting with a knife. Among the varied list of treatments and procedures you can procure, 45

she offers a ‘Myers Cocktail’ in her office. Don’t get excited, it’s not a mixologist trendy happy hour special. It’s a powerful vitamin booster shot right in your veins. It improves your mental clarity, gives you more energy and elevates your immune system, healthier than a Dirty Martini... sadly. FOCUS TV’s, Janet Gunn, had a couch chat with Dr. Tabasum Mir and discovered that her reputation proceeded her hence, the media found her; “BRAVO knocked on my door... if you’re given that voice (Being the media), I wanted to use it for good, and to educate people - that’s where I realized my real passion was.” Dr. Mir’s exotic beauty and brains took flight backed up by her wealth of knowledge. Numerous publications have featured her including: W, Lucky, Esquire, First, Maxim, More, and Shape magazine, the Daily News, New York Times, Dermatology Times, Plastic Surgery Times. Mir writes articles for Verve and Nirvana magazines as a skin care consultant. For the second year in a row she is on the physician committee for the In Style magazine “Best Of Beauty Awards.” This year will be the In Style magazine (@instylemagazine) 22nd annual awards and the best issue yet Spring 2017. Pick it UP!

Philanthropy is just as much a passion as her own practice. Dr. Mir was an Ambassador and helped garner funding for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals so children could get the care they deserve with no bills to the families. Operation Smile ( is a 501c3 charity where she donates her time and expertise to help children with cleft lip and palates get back their smiles. If she’s not funding missions to drill for clean water in Africa for Charity Water or helping to raise money for the treatment and research of lung cancer in the name of Joan’s Legacy, you’ll find her developing modernized ways of making you feel better outside and in. Good luck trying to keep up with this busy brilliant beauty. Keep yourself updated with her cosmetic and dermatological practice and goings on by visiting her website: www.DrTabasumMir. com. You can reach out to her on all her social media platforms: Instagram, Periscope & Twitter: @tabasum, and on Facebook: Dr. Tabasum Mir & MirSkin Dermatology. It’s tough to pin her down though, as she’s ambitious, sought after, bi-coastal and single. So, if you need skin care or want a date, get in line or buy a plane ticket and make an appointment... Dr. Tabasum Mir - is worth the wait.

Rightfully so, Dr. Tabasum Mir has her own Podcast via CBS News Radio Studios: where she has interviewed fabulous celebs such as: Deepak Chopra, Eden Sassoon, Ross Mathews, Kyle Richards, Carson Kressley & Lisa Vanderpump. She’s a natural at hosting behind and in front of the mic and even starred on the tastefully done reality show, The Singles Project ( a few years back (FYI - she hasn’t found her love yet). She has also appeared as a skin care correspondent on TV news programs such as: The Doctors, The Today Show, NBC’s Live at Five, CBS Early Show, Fox 5 NY Morning News, WB 11 Good Day New York, Telemundo, and UPN 9. @tabasum 46 FOCUS | A P R I L 2 0 1 7

Alitura Naturals

The Inspiring Story That Led ANDY HNILO To Create Alitura Naturals


t has been quite a ride for me. I woke up in an ICU hospital bed on the night of March 20th, 2011 and realized I had been struck by a series of large vehicles while crossing a busy street. I had a collapsed lung, seven broken ribs and a severe compound fracture of my jaw, which was broken in five places… As someone who has always made a living based upon my appearance — modeling and acting — and the execution of demanding physical tasks — as an athlete, the outcome of this incident had far-reaching implications. I approached my problem from a nutritional perspective, rebuilt myself and was back on a runway in a mere 7 weeks. How did I do that? By attacking my injuries both from the inside and outside. The most critical tool for healing my exterior was a handcrafted blend of unique, specialized ingredients from around the world, which I formulated myself. I moved everything out of my bedroom into my living room and went to work on fine-tuning my formula. Soon after, Alitura Naturals and The Clay Mask were born! Alitura Alitura is Latin for “feeding and nourishing”, something all our products do. Since the creation of The Clay Mask, we have released a Night Cream, Moisturizer, Herbal Supplement and a Shaving Serum. All the products benefit from Alitura's intense mission to provide only the highest quality products. This means anti-laboratory, anti-GMO and anti-chemicals. Instead, only the most pure, organic and effective ingredients go into all of our products. This is what truly sets us apart from the many other skin care lines. Our skin is our largest organ and protects what lies within

our bodies. The skin responds best to ingredients that come directly from the earth, rather than synthetic formulations or chemicals. A Bright Future In 2016 Alitura experienced triple digit revenue growth. We continued our international expansion, now in 73 countries. And most importantly, our strong focus on customer satisfaction was reflected in our 4.9/5.0 customer ratings! In 2017, Alitura is launching three new products: The Body Lotion, Presence (organic unisex fragrance) and The Pearl Cleanser. I am so proud and excited to share these products with you. They really will make a impactful difference. Alitura Naturals wishes you all the best in your pursuit of a healthy and vibrant existence. 47

Locations 109 North La Cienega Blvd. Beverly Hills, CA 90211 310 855-1059

2924 Beverly Glen Circle Los Angeles, CA 90077 424 832 3056

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Matchmaker, Matchmaker Find Me A Find…Catch Me A Catch! BY MICHELLE GILLETTE

“I want to find the right partner. How do I do that at this stage of my life?” As a life coach who caters mostly to the over-35 set, that is my MOP (“most often pitched”) question asked by singletons and the recently divorced. That question is frequently followed by one of the addendums below: - now that I am so engaged in my career that I don’t have the time to date a lot; or - now that I’m no longer interested in bar hopping and don’t know where to go to find “good people”; or - now that I have kids to consider; or - now that most of the people I know are married; or - now that I don’t feel as confident as I did the last time I was single; or - now that technology and dating rituals have changed and I feel like a troglodyte! And if my clients are female, there is usually this one - now that the men my age are typically interested in younger women! There are certainly successful ways to coach around and overcome the limiting beliefs above and the myriad of other thoughts that might enter one’s psyche when faced with this life transition. Great strides can be made to elevate one’s confidence and the energy that the client is putting out into the world, as well as to activate some much needed resiliency just by helping clients change the way they think about and process situations. The coaching work can be powerful and transformational! …But my number one secret arrow to pull out once a client is indeed ready to find her/his life partner and wants help doing it? It comes in the form of a very savvy, fiery red-head named Kristine Givas, the National Director at Kelleher International, The Nation’s Premier Matchmaking Firm providing high-end, selective searches and introductions. She’s a strategic thinker, and an intuitive, natural born “connector” with decades of professional experience matching people to what or who they need in life, whether it was during her years in the media/ marketing industry or now, where love matches are the goal. Kristine joined Kelleher International in 2011, but the firm itself was founded in San Francisco over 30 years ago. It is led by a mother-daughter team, Jill Kelleher and Amber KelleherAndrews, both of whom have become media darlings known for their beauty, great taste, discretion and very high success rate. While the firm is based in San Francisco, they’ve created a niche in the highly personalized matchmaking market catering to a highly selective demographic that spans the country, if not the globe. Their clients are very successful people who know

who they are and what they want in life but may not have had the time to search for the right person due to their busy careers. In some cases, the clients may be very high-profile or may actually have too many options, making the clients want to hire Kelleher International even more, just to have experienced professionals on their side to pre screen possibilities so clients can use their time, energy and heart in the most efficient, dedicated way possible. The firm’s success is due (in part) to the very personalized service that includes face-to-face meetings, screenings, in-depth interviews, a highly skilled team and set of recruiters that spans the US, and a huge data base of vetted, quality people. Add to that decades of experience, a lot of well honed intuition, and there you have the recipe for some amazing love matches: Kelleher International has a success rate reported at being around 85%. I was thrilled to sit down with Kristine Givas, my go-to guru on all things current as it pertains to dating amongst this demographic. I couldn’t wait to ask her all of my burning questions about matchmaking and how it all works: What’s the process of signing up as a client? Who are the firms “ideal clients”? What makes someone ready or not ready by firm standards? What are the costs involved? What’s the most advantageous mindset to adopt for someone hoping to meet their right partner? How does being open-minded increase the odds for meeting the right person? What criteria is being prioritized when trying to make a match for a client? Are there suggested “rules” to follow when going on a date? Do clients get coaching and feedback along the way? Kristine answered all of these questions and more in our video interview, and it’s well worth the tune-in. T: 415.945.5629 53

It’s Complicated Diving into the oh-so-complicated world of dating ABOUT THE SHOW: It’s Complicated, hosted by Jenifer Golden and Lauren Leonelli, dives into the oh-so-complicated world of dating and relationships with funny anecdotes, opinions, guests and games. While celebrating with a drink of the day, they will cheers to what they've learned and are still adult beverage at a time. It’s Complicated is a guilty pleasure, as well as a road map for singles and couples. It’s one of those shows guests want to be invited back on and listeners can’t get enough of. Produced by the AfterBuzz TV Network and E! Host Maria Menounos, It's Complicated has featured interviews with the likes of Michael Rosenbaum, to Heather McDonald, Kenny Santucci, Josh Wolf, Cerina Vincent, Reality Steve and Ariana Madix. WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING: “In a world with too many talk shows and podcasts, It's Complicated is one of the best experiences I’ve had. Lauren and Jen are so quick witted and have a hilarious take on the dating scene. I enjoyed being a guest many times. There’s nothing more satisfying than sitting around with two hot chicks and making fun of yourself for an hour.” - Michael Rosenbaum, TV Land’s Impastor “Love these beautiful girls! Loved being a guest! …. "I think I said too much, I haven’t said enough." I’m pretty sure REM was talking about Jen and Lauren’s podcast.” - Krista Allen, actress “I’ve guested on dozens of podcasts, but nowhere do I feel happier, luckier, funnier, and even a little smarter than when I get to spend an hour with Jen & Lauren.” - Brian Howie, creator and moderator of The Great Love Debate “I stumbled upon this podcast and was intrigued cause the girl were hot. The show was hilarious and I've downloaded them all and told all my friends. I highly recommend!” - Justin, iTunes “I think every woman should watch this podcast. Some of the best advice I have ever heard about dating.” - Katrina McCaffery, YouTube “Raw & real. I really enjoyed listening.” - Michael Hebrew, YouTube “So worth the time. Must watch!” - Elijah Hebrew, YouTube It’s Complicated is live every Thursday at 10AM PST on Afterbuzz TV, and available anytime on iTunes and the ACast app. @complicatedshow 55

“The best way to find love is not to change someone, but instead, help them reveal the greatest version of themselves.”

Wife Shopping Looking for an intelligent connection in a complicated, fast paced world. Elite matchmaker APRIL BEYER is an expert at finding the alchemy that bonds two people in a successful relationship BY ALESSANDRA BRUS INTERVIEW BY NIKKI JOEL

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<<FOCUS REWIND First published – June 2015


s a woman who didn’t meet her husband until she was 36, it’s through first hand experience that I learned it’s not always easy to find a partner in life who will bring out the best in you, and vice versa. “The best way to find love is not to change someone, but instead help them reveal the greatest version of themselves.” says April Beyer. There are many women out there in their late 20’s and 30’s looking for Mr. Right in all the wrong places and sometimes we don’t discover that until later in life. There is a better way than going to bars and clubs in hopes of finding a prince charming. There isn’t just one Mr. Right for some as it truly comes down to a multitude of dynamics that can bring people happily together for a lifetime. Timing and maturity have a lot to do with a person’s readiness, but having a consultant/mentor can be a very powerful thing in the whole process of meeting your match. April Beyer is the Founder and President of Beyer & Company, an exclusive Matchmaking and Relationship Consulting Firm based in Santa Monica, catering to the country’s most influential single men. Top CEO’s, successful politicians, high-profile entrepreneurs, and other sought after thought-leaders rely on Beyer & Company when finding themselves ready for love and marriage. For more than 17 years, April has been considered the most trusted, elite, and innovative matchmaker on the West Coast, responsible for bringing hundreds of happy couples together. She has been touted by Dr. Phil as “the Best of the Best,” and voted Top Los Angeles Matchmaker by Newsweek Magazine. She recognized early in her career that the high-volume environments common in traditional large scale matchmaking agencies could not offer the personal care she feels clients deserve. She founded Beyer & Company in 2003 as a specialized alternative, pioneering what is today known as Personal Matchmaking. In doing so, her influence and success have

inspired the entire industry to move toward a higher level of expertise, exclusivity and personal attention. April curated her team and designed Beyer & Company specifically for highly successful, seriously marriage minded men. Unique in her approach, April gets to know each client personally, emphasizing preparation, soul-searching, and open communication as the recipe for chemistry and connection in love. A trained Meisner practitioner, April has a powerful ability to relate to clients in an unusually skilled yet comfortable manner, bringing clients to a new awareness of their desires and needs regarding affairs of the heart. The matchmaking process and its success is a testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts FOCUS Magazine recently had the opportunity to interview April Beyer. How did you start your career in the business of professional matchmaking? I started out by working with a fairly large matchmaking company in Los Angeles and after spending 6 years I left as the company was heading into a more corporate direction. I took some time off and realized that when it comes to the search for love and relationship, clients really needed a more personal, hands on level of service then most matchmaking firms could offer. I work with a select group of men each year and am always very selective with the men I choose to conduct searches for. I tend to become a friend, trusted advisor and therapist to my clients. Since it’s a job so personal in nature, it’s important that my clients like me as much as I like them. After all, I become a part of their lives and journey. I take a more holistic approach with what I do and that means knowing quite a bit about past relationships, family, friends, career and lifestyle. Do you believe in soul mates? I believe in soul mates for certain times of our lives. I do think people should be getting married later in life, because who could be your soul mate at 25 can be an entirely different type of person when you reach 40 or 50. We evolve as we mature and this should be taken into consideration when choosing a partner. What should people do to prepare for success in their relationships and marriages? Marriages are most successful when two people come together who have become the best version of themselves prior to getting married. It’s challenging for me to separate the Matchmaker from the Dating Coach because so many of the relationships 57

I’ve inspired have needed a little push in the right direction and would not have made it with just a simple introduction. I teach singles how to be authentic in their dating life, practicing selfawareness and having a solid foundation and knowledge of how they are being received and perceived. I can proudly say that I have only a 1% divorce rate, and that’s primarily due to the fact that I take the time to help my clients choose the best mate for their future. What information do the clients get about the women they are being introduced to? My clients are sent full profiles after we have carefully vetted and personally interviewed the women we have in mind for them. The profiles include photos, family and relationship history and pretty much anything we learned during our meetings. It never feels like a blind date but rather an introduction to a woman we have met and really like. We also have a phone call with our clients to discuss the match in detail and always have a thorough follow up process post date. Feedback is always shared and helps us to continually refine our search. How do you manage expectations for both the women and men you speak with? This is a journey, not a destination. We don’t just set up random dates so the expectation of having a profile in their inbox every day is not realistic. Unfortunately, online dating sites and dating apps have created a dependency on instant gratification with the ability to look at hundreds of photos and profiles at a time. This is too time consuming for our type of clientele and not an effective way to date. We take all of the work and mistakes out of that type of dating and provide a more thoughtful and careful approach. My clients do not receive an introduction from me unless my team and I are excited about a possible match. If I meet with a new potential client and I think his expectations are unreasonable, then I simply won’t take him on as a client. I have to feel I can be successful with a client in to begin working with him. We don’t waste anyone’s time. What do you look for in the women who might be right for your clients? First and foremost, a woman who is beautiful inside and out, 58 FOCUS | A P R I L 2 0 1 7

intelligent, feminine, healthy in mind, body and spirit, confident and ready for a significant relationship. Confidence can make a woman so much more beautiful. It’s also the number one most requested trait from the men I meet. Beauty truly comes from within and when a woman is confident she possesses an attractive and sexy quality that my clients gravitate towards. We receive hundreds of profiles each month, and we invite only a handful of women into our office to meet with us. Essentially, I’m wife shopping! Can you give us a profile of your typical client? Our average client is between the ages of 38 and 55. He is educated, successful, athletic, and marriage minded. The men we work with are very dedicated to the search as it’s a substantial financial and emotional commitment. How do you find the women for your network? Actually, more often that not, the women find us! I advertise, I’m active on social media, and host speaking engagements and seminars for women. I have a popular blog where I offer dating advice and insights from my years of experience working intimately with the caliber of men that women are dying to know and love. I’m also a regular TV personality, which brings all kinds of interesting and dynamic women into my network. Every woman we meet with knows other incredible women, so my referral network is large. Where are most of your clients? Most of my clients are in Los Angeles and San Francisco with just a few in other cities. I’m in San Francisco quite a bit, since half of my clients are living and working there. I welcome inquiries from all over the country, as my reach and network is actually nationwide. Many of my clients are willing and able to travel for a great match. Do you have any final advice for someone who is divorced with children in finding their next husband? Yes! Take your time after your divorce. Discover what you truly want today that maybe you didn’t want when you first got married. Give yourself time to get to know people without an agenda, and find out who you are as a single person.

What does it take to be a great Matchmaker? Being a great matchmaker is really about having intuition skills, a unique insight and vetting process. Then of course, it’s vital to have a solid foundation so that when clients inquire and invest their time and resources, you have a professional background and network to back up your promises. I see too many people getting into this business simply because they’re social and know pretty women. It’s so much more difficult and involved. It’s a serious business and one that should be handled with care and experience..

Always in demand, April maintains a nationwide media presence, and her expert advice is frequently sought after by national print, radio, online, and television shows including MSNBC, ABC 20/20, Dr. Phil, the CBS Early Show, Good Morning America, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Martha Stewart Radio and Playboy Radio, among others. In addition to working one-on-one with elite, professional men looking for enduring love, April is a prominent relationship coach to modern and successful women, empowering them to challenge the conventional dating advice that may be holding them back from finding love. She also shares her advice and knowledge on her popular blog Sparks!. April and her husband Todd split their time between San Francisco and Santa Monica, where they live with their two dogs, Winston and Lucy.

“My click through rate on print ads is approximately 100%.” – Barry Sullivan, CNBC

ADVERTISE IN FOCUS MAGAZINE Transparent pricing. No long term commitments, and no pressure. To reserve a space, email: 59

The Art of Virtual-ationships A Dating Roundtable discussion HOSTED BY ARIANNA THOMOPOULOS

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id he really just check his text messages while we’re toasting to our love over our plates of cracked crab and garlic noodles? Sound familiar? Remember when, “Hey, eyes up here!” meant, stop looking at my boobs? Well, times have certainly changed. Go-to dating advice website gal, Arianna Thomopoulos (@ moderndaygf) of, The Modern Day Girlfriend asks a panel of thirty plus something-ish women, “Do you think the rise of social media and the digital age has changed the way we talk to one another?” Since technology reared its fast-paced, ones and zeros head, the method of how we communicate with our businesses, families, friends and kids has transformed dramatically. Thus, if it has changed our business and personal lives, then it has undoubtedly messed with our love lives. I found out while listening to each of their candid and well-crafted answers that some like connecting via technology, and some, not so much.

Here’s the issue with ‘instant gratification’ texting according to these accomplished, wine sipping, educated women in the opinion circle; Danielle Bisutti (@daniellebisutti) explains, “Being in the moment with others has been robbed of true human connection - I sometimes wonder if the Millennial and post Millennial generation of having the courage to just be with someone face to face, human to human has been lost… using your voice. There’s no bravery – it’s vulnerable.” Maria Provenzano (@fromscratchwithmaria) picks it up, “There are some negative aspects, but I’ve found it (texting) to be very beneficial to maintain relationships… and friends across the country…to let them know I’m thinking of them.” Dawn McCoy (@iamdawnmccoy) continues, “I think we miss moments of people standing right next to us, like in the grocery store, because we are on the cell phone, looking down and not looking up or at another person who could be the one we are meant to meet.” This might explain why all of your, ‘Mr. Rights’ behind you in line quickly become your ‘Mr. Lefts’ walking out the sliding store doors. Ms. Thomopoulos brings up a great point about our selfabsorbed, self-ie nation addiction and has her own expression to wrap it up, “Not everybody is who they post to be.” Do we put too much emphasis on what we look like and who we are trying to portray to our “followers” – “Liker’s” – “Friends”? You’ve seen those shots of your, ‘keeping up with the Joneses friends-ies and their fabulous, private jet, champagne infused lifestyle. It’s not that you’re jealy; it’s more that…you want to secretly push them into the La Brea Tar Pits. Amy Paffrath (@amypaffrath) warns us; “There are a lot of negative effects - when you’re looking at someone else’s life and how fabulous their life looks and comparing how popular you are…and thinking, ‘My life is really boring’.” I think Rachel McCord (@iamrachelmccord) wraps up the posting popularity competition perfectly with; “It’s like high school, but for the rest of your life.” There was an entire uproar recently about ‘engagement ring’ shaming and how tiny some newly fiance’d woman’s ring looked in her post on Instagram. Shallow, much? Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and social media, “…are like trolling…oh, that was a Freudian slip…a scrolling Christmas card...these are the most perfect moments ever.” Describes Dawn McCoy. Ms. Thomopoulos asks the ladies to admit if technology and the use of cell phones and gadgets has changed their relationship, marriage or the way they date. Mrs. Paffrath loves how she can stay in touch with her actor/musician husband since he’s always on tour (with Jersey Boys) and in different time zones; “When he’s gone, we send each other selfies and cute pictures, that’s our relationship, always from the neck down. The key to sexting; never put your head in the pic.” A couple’s therapist gave the Paffrath’s sage advice: Ask permission from your partner if you can use the phone. Thomopoulos admits that being neglected and always losing the text waiting game with her boyfriend made her start her website, She was begging for only thirty minutes of her boyfriend’s undivided attention to look at her and her face. Hey guy…she’s like totally hot, what’s your deal? Don’t you just want to punch some of those infuriating Emoji’s in the kissy-face? These little iconic symbols are not real emotions people. Either text what you want to express, or pick up the darn phone! There are always misconstrued, misread and misinterpreted texts, which are only made worse if read with the wrong intonation in your head. We’ve all read texts with the wrong tone attached. Who does the responsibility belong to when this happens? We can’t blame the text-er or the reader of the text. It’s all so vague and gloomy in the cyber cloud rulebook. Wait; is there a text-etiquette rulebook? If there is, I can’t imagine the rules of texting, as a tween and teenager are the same as when you’re texting as adults. Thomopoulos asks her panel, “When going on a date today, do you want him to call you or text you?” A loud unanimous, “Call!” was their answer on high. Leslie Durso (@lesliedurso) adds, “When you see their name pop up on your cell, it’s like, you have to prepare yourself, I don’t know if I’m ready.” It’s become a social anxiety hearing someone’s actual voice on the phone. “There was a study done… 65% of high school girls want to be asked to prom via text.” Bisutti expounds; “With the Millennials, it’s like an appendage, second nature. The anxiety they are feeling about hearing the voice, does concern me.” It’s gotten to the point where we feel as if our friends, colleagues and loved ones have the nerve to call us first instead of warn us they are doing so via text. Tambi Saffran-Stollman (@just_tambi) chimes in; “I think it’s really polite when a guy texts and asks if it’s okay to talk. I appreciate that, because I’m so busy with children and work.” Text-lationships are insane, because you never really have a chance to be intimate with that person. Sexting isn’t cutting it. Besides it being awkward, where’s the sexiness in misspelled, miss-autocorrected words? No, I don’t want to ‘Duck’ you! What happened to good old-fashioned phone sex, using your voice in a hushed tone? It’s all so impersonal now. Living, loving and dating in the virtual world of virtually everything at your fingertips can either paralyze us as humans or help us expand our realms of relationship possibilities. Although we can use common sense while navigating through the texting arena like no ‘drunk texting’, it’s still a murky swim in the dating and mating pool. Each one of these entrepreneurial, beautiful, intelligent women pieced together well thought out ideas, answers and advice, like throwing us a virtual life preserver. So, will you sink…or will you swim in the cybernetic water?

Check out the entire dating roundtable video at: 61

The Evolution of The Modern Day Girlfriend Living & loving in the digital age, one swipe at a time. PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOLLY LYNCH


lways the girl that friends and family looked to for advice on life and love, I found myself sharing personal stories, lessons learned, and wisdom that I gathered along the way. After years of sharing these life moments, I wanted to create a safe place for my friends and family and anyone else trying to navigate through this new frontier of “living and loving in the digital age.” This became the seeds of The Modern Day Girlfriend.

Today’s singles have more ways to find love than ANY generation before them. Seemingly, it is safe to say that the iPhone has become the new little black book by creating more options to finding love than ever before, but leaving us so digitally connected that we are disconnected to the actual people around us. We are living life one swipe removed from human contact; electronic communication has changed the world of dating, the way way we conduct business, living everyday life, family dynamics and friendships as we once knew them, and has created a new reality. Millennials and the generations to follow will not know what it is like to be in a photo without the fear of being “tagged”, or experience a sunset through their eyes instead of a touch screen. The so called digital age has not only changed the way we physically communicate with each other but has “swiped right” on how we find love, remain friends and, in some cases, equate our self worth. Even though we all “might” (I know I am) be “guilty” of all of the above, I noticed a common thread which was, we want to find a way to put our phones down and connect face to face, eye to eye. “I know, easier said than done!” At the end of the day, life and love shouldn’t be defined by a post on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Remember not everyone is who they POST to be, and that’s why at The Modern Day Girlfriend you will find real, personal, honest, sometimes embarrassing, fun, funny and raw stories of “living and loving in the digital age.” 62 FOCUS | A P R I L 2 0 1 7

When you visit The Modern Day Girlfriend you will be inspired and empowered by the stories you read, and find helpful tips for building and sustaining friendships, relationships and raising your family in an age where it is easier just to “phone it in.” LITERALLY! (Created by Arianna Thomopoulos & based off The Modern Day Girlfriend website) ©2015 The Modern Day Girlfriend @moderndaygf


have to admit, one of my guiltiest pleasures is watching reality TV. My favorite: The Bachelor franchise. When I was asked to interview, Courtney Robertson, The Bachelor’s most notorious villainess “of all time” and winner from Ben Flajnik’s season, I got really excited! I devoured her new tell-all book, I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain. The book did not disappoint and has made its way onto the NY Times Best Sellers list. She clearly is winning!

Courtney does not hold back. Aside from sharing her side of the story, this book contains many behind-the-scenes details about what goes on during the filming of The Bachelor. I was surprised she was allowed to reveal so much! She doesn’t apologize for much of her behavior – rather, she explains it. For instance, when she was on a group date and the other girls would hang out with each other waiting to get noticed by Ben, she takes full advantage and turns her group date into what felt like a a one-on-one date with Ben. The girls were seething! Her response: “I was surprised at how little game these girls had. There is this man here who we are on a date with, make a move. They made it so easy for me. I was there for Ben, not the friendship with these girls.” Hence, the title of her book!


Why were you the villain? I think the producers knew from day one. I feel like I was cast to play the villain but I didn’t know that until the show aired. They used only 1% of what was actually filmed. I wish they would have focused more on the love aspect. When you watched your season, did you see yourself as a bitch? I was just blown away. I thought, I don’t like that person either. But a lot of those girls weren’t really nice to me. I wasn’t running around the house being mean to them. What most people don’t realize is that I didn’t associate with the girls. I kept to myself. Do you think of yourself as a mean girl? No, I’m a girl’s girl. I have great girlfriends in my life. It was a very unnatural situation – to be living in a house and falling in love with a guy, who is dating 24 other girls that I am living with. I’m tough and direct, and I guess it didn’t translate that well on to national television. Why did you write this book? To give an inside scoop, go behind the scenes and to share the whole story about why we really broke up. There were so many lies. Hopefully this book will also inspire women who are stuck in a bad relationship to have the courage to get out. Do you wonder what life would have looked like had you not gone on the show? I used to think about that a lot, especially after the break-up. I regretted going on the show. I lost my privacy, and my reputation was affected which was really hard. But, I had a lot of fun experiences. And at this point, it’s been more positive then negative. So I’m definitely glad that I did go on the show. Are you dating now? I’ve been focused on this book and working on myself. I’ve been single for the last 10 months. But, I recently started dating and meeting some interesting guys. Now I’m ready. Are you still modeling? No, that came to a screeching halt after the show aired. But I wrote this book. And I’m writing another – a novel. I also got my real estate license last year and I’ve been doing that. Also, I might be doing another reality show. Stay tuned… This is an edited version. For the full length interview, go to

...How The Bachelor’s Most Notorious Villain Comes Out Smelling Like A Rose! BY WENDY BROKAW KRETCHMER

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Marla Martenson Marla Martenson is a professional matchmaker and the author of three memoirs, Diary of a Beverly Hills Matchmaker, Hearts On The Line and The Buddha Made Me Do It.

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She has appeared on over 100 radio and TV shows including the Today Show, WGN Chicago Morning News, San Diego Living, CTV Calgary, Beyond Belief and Coast to Coast am with George Noory. Marla lives in Los Angeles with her husband, composer, Adolfo Jon Alexi and their fur daughter, Macie. When not playing Cupid or writing, Marla can be found scouring the city for just one more crystal to add to her collection, whipping up something delicious in her Vitamix, and trying to perfect her downward dog. 65

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Shuhari Matcha Cafe The first and only authentic Japanese green tea café arrives in Venice


HUHARI Matcha Café’s menu delivers a twenty-first century spin on classic flavors with craveable offerings ranging from matcha green teas, lattes, smoothies and shakes, to grab-andgo Japanese fare and sweets. Our founder has been in the business of bringing green tea to the U.S. for over 30 years. As one of the pioneers in bringing quality, authentic Japanese green tea to the U.S., SHUHARI’s parent company, Maeda-en [http://maeda-en. com/], has been an industry trailblazer since its founding. In addition to its green tea distribution operation, Maeda-en was the first to develop and introduce matcha ice cream to American consumers. Our partners include the Cool Japan Fund [], a joint public-private fund with a mission to bring you the best in Japanese culture, cuisine, art, fashion and content.

1522 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice 69

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Chic Mama Anne Stedman Herwick Chic Mama Carpool is heading your way.


reator and CEO of Chic Mama LA, Anne Stedman Herwick decided to do a new web-series that rides along with chic celebrity moms where the destination is not a red carpet but the school drop off line! In each episode, Anne will pick up her high profile guest and kids first thing in the morning for the always adventurous drive to school. As they navigate the famous LA traffic, Anne and her chic mama counterpart will talk all things fashion in a fun, casual and relatable way, and their precious cargo will be sure to provide some comic relief. Chic viewers all over the world will get fashion, beauty, and lifestyle tips from these inspiring moms who juggle it all with style and grace. You can find Chic Mama Carpool on YouTube ( UCBVIFuDBJqeFwqhKeCCG3ug) or on www.chicmamala. com. The pilot episode aired January 30th with actress Marla Sokoloff. New episodes begin mid-February with actress Jordana Brewster and chef Catherine McCord to name a few. Make sure to tune in. 71



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Peter Engel



n 1989 Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and US President George H. W. Bush, declare the Cold War over, the Germans begin demolishing the Berlin Wall, the film When Harry Met Sally was released, The Simpsons animated series first aired, on July 23rd, Daniel Radcliff (a.k.a Harry Potter) was born and while we were all wearing waist high jeans on Saturday, August 20th, one of the biggest ever Tween to Teen television mega hits aired called, Saved By The Bell.

This TV phenomenon lasted from 1989 to 1992 and was predecessor to Saved By The Bell: The New Class, which aired from 1992 to 2000. In between, from 1993 to 1994 we witnessed the graduated class in, Saved By The Bell: The College Years. Among those years were show specials of a summer holiday in Hawaii and a wedding in Las Vegas, but all shows stopped in the new millennium, 2000. However, you can still watch their re-runs today, which are just as addictive now as they were when they first aired. The Saturday morning habit was help formed by the creative capped writer and executive producer - PETER ENGEL. You can take the boy outta Manhattan, but ya can’t take the Manhattan outta the boy. Engel’s New York City accent has lasted 80 years and is still clear as a bell. FOCUS TV’s TAMBI SAFFRAN had the privilege of a face-to-face with Engel in Malibu, California. He tells Saffran that his family was one of the first in his Manhattan neighborhood to own a television, which was when he fell in love with broadcasting. Watching comic Milton Berle, a.k.a “Mr. Television,” in the Milton Berle Show, was his fave. After Engel talked his way into NBC as a Page, it was only up the corporate and creative ladder from there. A notable moment in time was when, as a campaign volunteer of the Democratic Party, he shared an elevator with John F. Kennedy before he became President. You can read all about his valued time with JFK, John Lennon and major celebrities, learn about his childhood, rise up the Television food chain, family, marriage and the detailed depths of a mid-life crisis in his heart-covered memoir chronicling his life’s journey, I Was Saved by the Bell: Stories of Life, Love and Dreams That Do Come True.

Engel was not only saved by Saved By The Bell, but also by NBC President Brandon Tartikoff, and especially Engel’s wife. While Engel was under contract with Tartikoff, he presented the opportunity to Engel to write a Saturday Morning kids show, which Engel’s knee-jerk reaction quickly rejected with the reply; “... give it to someone else.” It was Engel’s wife who truly convinced him this was what he said he had always wanted; to write TV shows his kids would watch and grow up with. Not only did he architect and co-pen the mega smash teen show, but he also was the Executive Producer and became the casts’ Papa and Principal of sorts. Engel explains, “I ran a real school and I had to be with two full time teachers... I had to be the Principal.” Actors who are considered minors (making money), had to have ‘set teachers’ guiding and testing them through their age appropriate curriculum. If any of the kids had less than a B grade, they could not work on set until their grade was brought up to a B or above. Engel was a stickler for their educational cause. He boasts, “Tiffani (Thiessen) could have gone to MIT, that’s how brilliant she was... Elizabeth (Berkley) got accepted to UCLA.” Berkley also wrote a selfhelp Teen Girls guide, which made it on the New York Times Bestseller list in 2011 (coincidentally with a heart on its cover), Ask Elizabeth: Real Answers to Everything You Secretly Wanted to Ask about Love, Friends, Your Body... and Life in 75

General. He was their work father and a father figure to all of them and considers them his family. Engel is most proud of his cast who became like Rock Stars; “I love the kids... they love me.” Some of his talented class continued their successful acting career like, Mark-Paul Gosselaar (“Zack Morris”) starring in his own TV shows: Hyperion Bay (“Dennis Sweeny”), NYPD BLUE (“Det. John Clark, Jr.”), Raising the Bar (“Jerry Kellerman”), Franklin and Bash (“Peter Bash”), Truth Be Told (“Mitch”) and now Pitch (“Mike Lawson”). Mario Lopez (“A.C Slater”) starred in: Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story (“Greg Louganis”), Pacific Blue (“Officer Bobby Cruz”), played “Dr. Hamoui” on a few seasons of Nip/Tuck and is the consummate host of the award-winning entertainment news program, EXTRA!, since 2007. Tiffani Thiessen played “Valerie Malone” on the epic Beverly Hills, 90210 from 1994 to 2000 and returned promptly to, Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizza Place then led a variety of one-season shows up to her most recent costarring role in the successful series, “White Collar” as Elizabeth Burke. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Berkley released a book, starred in a myriad of TV treasures like: NYPD BLUE, The L-Word, CSI: MIAMI, loved her in the First Wives Club film and the cult-y classic, Showgirls. If you’re wondering about the rest of the graduating class cast, you’ll have to check out IMDB to see where they landed today. Between 1998 and 2000, Peter Engel was heading up six different shows simultaneously. Most of which were hits. In 2003 he brought us the insanely popular, Last Comic Standing, which lasted nine years on NBC. How is this guy still standing? Since 1995 his production company, Peter Engel Productions, produced 765 episodes of various programs and took almost five years to write his life’s story - he must be exhausted! His life, his career, his moments in time can all be downloaded or page turned by ordering your own copy of his book - www. 76 FOCUS | A P R I L 2 0 1 7

Tambi asked Peter in so many words, if it was all worth it and if he enjoyed his journey thus far. Engel’s answer followed suit, “ Baby said to Johnny in Dirty Dancing, ‘I had the time of my life’. It was a great ride.” What’s next you ask? How about, “Saved By The Bell: The Millennials”? @RealPeterEngel Ceremony Meditation 417 Rose Ave, Venice The Hall Center 406 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica Crown Diva Boutique 1247 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica Banc Of California 2635 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica Cure Spa 2247 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu Base Color Bar 11677 San Vicente Blvd, Brentwood Banc of California 2528 San Vicente Blvd, Brentwood Marck’s Newsstand 11737 San Vicente Blvd, Brentwood One West Bank 2932 Beverly Glen Circle, Bel Air LIVV TV Studios & Boutique 9020 Beverly Blvd, West Hollywood Vibrato Grill & Jazz 2930 Beverly Glen Cir, Bel Air Alchemy 43 440 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills Lash Beverly Hills 421 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills

Buy Online: 77

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The Fab Mom’s Guide


he FAB Mom’s Guide: How to Get Over the Bump & Bounce Back Fast After Baby is unlike other pregnancy books available today. Author and CBS Los Angeles parenting contributor Jill Simonian guides first-time moms through developing and maintaining resilience for mind and spirit (and a bit of body) during the first year of motherhood. With F-A-B meaning “focused after baby,” the book is a fast and practical read packed with celebrity stories and sometimes-controversial to-do’s to keep a new mom emotionally refreshed and mentally reinvented after baby – detailing confidence-building benefits of tending to a newborn wearing only your underwear, when opting out breastfeeding can actually be good for mom and baby and a warning about the most damaging F-word new moms must steer clear from (it’s not the word you think). Endorsed by some of today’s leading editors in the parenting world, including Rebecca Dube of TODAY Show’s Parenting Team and Emma Bing of, The FAB Mom’s Guide offers exclusive tips and advice from renowned lifestyle experts including author Samantha Ettus, pediatrician Dr. Tanya Altmann, family food guru Catherine McCord, TV personality Ali Landry, host of CBS’ “The Insider” Debbie Matenopoulos and more. Additionally, Jill’s new-mom tales including famous faces Ellen Pompeo, Eva Mendes, Soleil Moon Frye and Russell Brand make for entertaining and motivational reading for any mom. Available at and now. 79

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<<FOCUS REWIND First published – October 2016



emember when your mother warned you, “You can’t judge a book by its cover?” This statement never rang truer I found out as I dove into the world of COURTNEY FRIEL. To look at this fantastic picture of a successful American beauty, KTLA News anchor, journalist and reporter, you’d never guess how much pain she held on to for most of her life. And it wasn’t the pain that hurt her the most, but the way she swallowed it with drugs and alcohol. There’s a certain type of woman who can carry that amount of personal stress, ache and static and still deliver flawlessly on a professional performance and promise. She’s driven and dedicated. But, when it all got to be too much to handle by herself, she did the responsible thing to save her own life.

alcohol together as a lethal mix such as, Anna Nicole Smith, Heath Ledger, DJ AM, Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston. She didn’t want to be on that list, or a statistic. Friel warned her future self; “I’m just not gonna wake up one day. I was thinking I would get caught if I bought coke on the street and lose my job and the New York Post rips those people (public figures) apart.”

FOCUS MAGAZINE was granted an exclusive on-camera interview regarding Friel’s drug and alcohol abuse and almost seven-year sobriety. Let’s go back. In her own words, “I grew up, really, really shy and people took that as being snooty. People are mean. I was bullied. Alcoholism runs in my family. When I discovered alcohol I got to ‘numb that out’ and become this really funny and out going person. I didn’t understand the point of having one glass of vodka… you drank to get drunk.” She kept it going. As long as there was pain, there was vodka to self medicate.

Her children, 5 ½ year old son Cash and 4 year old daughter Cameron were also life saving factors, which help her stick to her promise of sobriety. Friel says, “Eight months into my sobriety I got pregnant with my son after I had him I was ‘accidentally’ pregnant with my daughter and they are blessings. They helped me get through the first couple years of that (sobriety). I can’t imagine being hung over on the couch and my kids yelling – ‘Mommy! Mommy! I need this.’ It becomes a habit of ‘not doing’.” Now, she’s a single mom and sharing a friendly 50/50 custody with her ex husband, and fellow news journalist, Carter Evans. After fifteen years plus of being in a relationship, Friel admits, “The dating world has been a challenge, I’m done figuring that out… the right person is going to like me for me.”

Her career took her to New York City to a high-pressure position working as a FOX NEWS entertainment reporter. There, she met with very social people after work and mingled in drug infused atmospheres in clubs open until 4 a.m. willing to look the other way when cocaine was introduced. She describes her reputation, “I was a work hard, play hard person. I had a fifteen-year successful party career that involved being the wasted ‘fun chick’, out of control. Adderall, Xanax and Ambien came on the scene. It was a mess. I was getting older and it wasn’t cool being ‘that girl’ who was blacking out all the time.” Back in 2007 to 2012 when Friel was working for FOX there were numerous stars falling from the sky from drugs and

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“Anyone who gets an intervention is blessed.” She advocates and was lucky to have friends and family rally around her to support her sobriety. But, if it wasn’t for an ultimatum given by her now ex husband and seven other caring people imploring her one holiday weekend to seek help, she might not be here now. Even though to the majority rehab has a horrible stigma attached to its services and most addicts are forced to participate, she knew it was the only option. So, she checked herself into voluntary rehab for 28 days and finished the program like the stellar, straight ‘A’ student she is. She was fully devout, “I’m gonna sit at the front of the class and take notes - be the best and when I got out did everything they told me to do. I got a sponsor and was doing it (working the program). It was a very scary and vulnerable time and I hope to never experience that again.”

Her true passion besides her career and kids is meditation and yoga. About Meditation she explains, “I’ve been doing it for over a year, and it’s not something I ever thought I would do. I was like, I’m not gonna pay a baby sitter to go sit on a floor somewhere in silence. I need to be burning calories. But, I just started doing it. The number

one thing is - just being present, being very mindful and focused on what you’re doing not worrying about the future. Meditation 83

extends the time. Time seems to move slower. I go to meditation and go to classes and it’s almost like a natural high. Meditation keeps me sane. This career in the News business - everything is so uncertain. I’m dealing with all of the horrible stories - I’ll cry with people on stories. I keep going. I’m in a great place, but it’s very busy…sometimes the more you have to do - the more you do.” As for the pain of Friel’s past, she deals with it through meditation and yoga and helping others by donating her time, public stature and money to charitable organizations. Just today, July 14th, 2016 she was in the news making headlines, which read, “KTLA reporter Courtney Friel and News Director Jason Ball rappelled down a 26-story building in downtown Los Angeles Thursday to benefit ‘Shatterproof,’ an organization that is trying to change how people think about addicts. It’s time to end the stigma.” For all the horrific stories she has to report and endure, there are the ones that touch your heart and make her want to get involved. One heart-wrenching story she took on is of a three-year old little girl named Finley Smallwood who has dreams of being a dancer, but is stricken with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy. Her story reported on KTLA moved Friel enough to start her own “Dare to Dance” campaign to raise money for this baby’s $60,000 surgery. After reporting the story the KTLA news crew, they were happy to “Dare to Dance” on camera and help spread awareness of this disease and get audiences to donate. You don’t have to dance to donate at Courtney Friel has a lot to dance about. She has an incredible career with KTLA, for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award, a great family, kids, supportive friends and keeps herself on a healthy and clean living sober path. She is a certain type of woman, one of strength, determination, heart, and obvious beauty inside and out. I’d watch her “Friel-ality” show any time, any day. @courtneyfriel 84 FOCUS | A P R I L 2 0 1 7

Happenings SEXY SOBER SUNDAY 22 January, Santa Monica Sexy Sober Sunday founded and hosted by Courtney Friel, Red Carpet hosted by Shayla Hayes. The event was held at Hotel Casa del Mar, Santa Monica. 85

Happenings EMPOWER HER 9 February, Blushington, W. Hollywood GirlTalk Network + #Empowerista hosted a night of self-love with special guest speakers Stephi Maron & Cassandra Bodzake.

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Happenings PATAGONIA MUSSEL DEMO 19 January, Herringbone Restaurant, Santa Monica The Patagonia Mussel Demo was sponsored by Chef’s Roll and Produce Services of Los Angeles who partnered with Hakkasan Group and Chef Brian Malarkey’s Herringbone in Santa Monica. LA Chef’s Host Tambi Saffran attended the event hosted by Food Network’s Celebrity Chefs Penny Davidi and Michele Ragussis. Instagram - @produceservices

Photography: courtesy of Field Guide 87


Ceremony Meditation, Venice Founder of #empowerista & Founder of The Girl Talk Network Sarah Pendrick Host. Held at Ceremony Meditation in Venice.

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Happenings BRENTWOOD GARDENS HOLIDAY EVENT Brentwood Gardens, Brentwood An event featuring The Brentwood Gardens Shopping Center on San Vicente Blvd. Hosted by LA Mom Magazine Founder Sharin Yadegar. 89

Happenings PROJECT KNAPSACK 9 December, DVF, The Grove Project Knapsack annual shopping event held at DVF at the Grove in Los Angeles. Hosted by Kelly Campbell, Molly cody, Julianne Goldmark, Suzi Kaltman, Ali Kay, Camelia Somers, Violet Somers & Talita von Furstenberg. Founding Committee Porcha Dodson, Quinn Ezralow, Soomi Goldmark, Michelle Katz & Katie Kornfield.

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#lovefocus 93

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Who, What, B E V E R LY H I L L S | B R E N T W O O D | M A L I B U | W E S T H O L LY W O O D | S A N T A M O N I C A
































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CHAUTAUQUA BLVD Pacific Palisades

Video coverage of the preview party for Partners Trust to reveal a new construction property for sale. Video coverage/photo gallery


Coverage of a wine store opening in Beverly Hills. Video coverage/interviewer/photo gallery


Red carpet coverage of the Catt Sadler hosted, Women of The Agency event in Beverly Hills. Co-branded/banner/Red Carpet/ Interviewer/ Video coverage/Photo gallery

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