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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

WOMEN IN MANHATTAN BEACH: DETERMINATION, VISION, AND HARD WORK CONTINUE TO CONNECT THE CITY TO ITS DEEPLY ROOTED PASSIONS FOR EDUCATION, EXCELLENCE, AND PHILANTHROPY

BY LIZ SPEAR I MB RESIDENT

W

omen have long made Manhattan Beach the beautiful civic-minded paradise that it is. Three years before MB incorporated as a city in 1912, ten women formed the Neptunian Woman’s Club to make life better and meaningful for the growing sand dune community of around 600 year-round residents. To that end, in 1910, they opened the community’s first library at 12th Street and The Strand in the Cleaver Building, making an astute decision in 1915 to merge their 255-book library with Los Angeles County’s existing 84-branch library system. Little did they know that 100 years after that insightful decision, the city and LA County would open a brand-new state-of-the-art library equipped for the digital age at 1320 Highland Avenue. The library’s Sunday hours, interactive exhibits specifically designed for children, and work areas and rooms outfitted for the use of portable devices demonstrate the city’s ongoing commitment to excellence in education. The Neptunian Woman’s Club (which remains strong and active 100+ years after its inception) also ushered in the city’s first school and turned an eye to beautifying the city (as did other women’s groups) by planting trees and attractive vegetation. In fact, the MB Botanical Garden, a nonprofit formed in 1997, owes its origins to women who wanted to put an emphasis on resource conservation. And in the 1950s, several women’s clubs raised funds for the construction of the city’s Begg Pool. In those early years, women didn’t work (or vote), staying home to care for their households. In Manhattan Beach, women took on more than their home turf, a legacy that continues to this day. MB women hold prestigious corporate and consultant positions, run for and win elections to serve in city government and the public school district, develop and operate successful businesses, and are fundamental to one of the nation’s top public school educational foundations, the Manhattan

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Beach Education Foundation. MBEF was founded in 1983 and for the 2019-2020 academic year, raised $6.5 million to provide grants to support the community’s ongoing history of excellence in education. Now, with close to 36,000 residents, the community that grew from summer beach cottages to one of the most beautiful cities on any coast still benefits from women who have the foresight to push, prod, and shape this city by the sea. For Linda McLoughlin Figel, who opened {pages} a bookstore ten years ago with two female business partners, the opportunity to open a store in the city made sense. “Downtown Manhattan Beach is a very special place and is where we live and raised our families,” she says. “It was the perfect place!” Even in a time when bookstores are disappearing, this small but mighty bookstore continues to thrive. McLoughin Figel says some of the highlights of owning {pages} have been “getting to know our customers, working with the schools, MBEF, Roundhouse, and other non-profits in our town.” And she’s also enjoyed “bringing world renowned, New York Times Bestselling and award-winning authors to Manhattan Beach and the South Bay.” For Homie owner Kelley Haley, opening an eatery in the city has been an amazing experience. “MB is my hometown and all of my family still lives here,” she says. “It was a ‘dream choice’ to open Homie in MB and I quickly found out that our community goes out of its way to support each other. I’m honored to be so embraced.” Next year’s issue of the Destination Guide will feature women in business in Manhattan Beach and we’d love for you to tell us who you think we should include. Tell us at: www.manhattanbeachguide.com/women

I @mbchamber F @ManhattanBeachChamberofCommerce 1/29/20 2:31 PM

Profile for Chamber Marketing Partners, Inc.

Manhattan Beach Destination Guide & Business Directory 2020  

Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce Annual Destination Guide and Business Directory 2020

Manhattan Beach Destination Guide & Business Directory 2020  

Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce Annual Destination Guide and Business Directory 2020