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Women of Larchmont 1 2 20 Sharon Cohanim

Nancy Cohen

Neville Anderson, M.D.

Nora Houndalas

Rebecca Fitzgerald, M.D.

100 years Helga Kasimoff

Julie Levtow

Pam Rudy

Lisa Nahabedian

Kristen Sato

Kathy Whooley

Leisha Willis


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Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

WOMEN OF LARCHMONT 2021

This year’s Women of Larchmont are On the Boulevard

By John Welborne During the past 55 years, the Larchmont Chronicle has featured many prominent women in our annual Women of Larchmont issue, and we are happy to add to that group this year. The Larchmont Boulevard

shopping district is celebrating its 100th anniversary this October. Created in 1921 to provide neighborhood shopping opportunities to residents of the new homes then being built in the surrounding subdivisions, the Village long

has included local merchant families. In honor of the 100th anniversary of the district, we are featuring a dozen prominent modern women from the Boulevard in our 2021 annual Women of Larchmont issue. Each one presented here is

LARCHMONT BOULEVARD, view south from Beverly Boulevard, 1930.

Photo: Historical Collections, Security Pacific National Bank

outstanding for being known on Larchmont Boulevard, whether as a shopkeeper, a doctor or an entrepreneur businesswoman. But regardless of vocation, these are welcoming and longtime members of our community. The Larchmont Chronicle always has celebrated Boulevard-oriented Women of Larchmont, of course. Some from the past two decades include: Heather Duffy Boylston, Larchmont Village BID co-executive director; Patricia Carroll, historic Hollywoodland Realty owner; Edie Frère, Landis Gifts & Stationery owner; Elizabeth Fuller, “Larchmont Buzz” co-owner and publisher; Jane Gilman, “Larchmont Chronicle” cofounder; Vivian Gueler, Pacific Trust Group chief financial officer; Rebecca Hutchinson,

Larchmont Village BID coexecutive director; Patricia Lombard, “Larchmont Buzz” co-owner and publisher; and Joane Henneberger Pickett, owner of Pickett Fences. In the pages that follow, meet our 2021 Women of Larchmont.

INSIDE HANCOCK PARK “Author Jane Gilman has done a remarkable job of chronicling the people and events that shaped this singular neighborhood. From ranch land to oil field to a premium residential area, Hancock Park’s trajectory is the story of Los Angeles. A great read and a marvelous reference.” — G.S.

LARCHMONT SHOPPING DISTRICT, Christmas, 1948.

Available at Chevalier’s Books 133 N. Larchmont Blvd.

and amazon.com MODERN LARCHMONT includes weekly Farmers Markets at the city parking lot.


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AUGUST 2021

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WOMEN OF LARCHMONT 2021

Dr. Anderson knows the importance of giving back to community

By Talia Abrahamson Dr. Neville Anderson has been working to keep thousands of local children healthy, now more than ever. Anderson, who opened Larchmont Pediatrics on the 10th floor of Larchmont Medical Center in 2014, has been conducting telemedical and distanced in-person appointments, fielding COVID-19 questions from parents and organizations and balancing the administrative tasks of owning a small business. “We’re actually looking forward to seeing regular colds and ear infections,” Anderson laughed. “And seeing our patients more often and helping them grow and navigate this world, reintegrated into our new normal.” Anderson, who lives in Hancock Park, has always wanted to open a pediatric practice in the community because of its real neighborhood feel. Her greatgreat-grandparents built the family house in Windsor Square where her maternal line grew up, including her grandmother and mother, Betsy Anderson, Woman of Larchmont ‘04. “It’s still a place where you run into people,” Anderson said. “My great-grandmother used to always say, ‘You never want to be caught on Larchmont without your pearls on.’” Anderson attended St. James Episcopal School, where she currently sits on the alumni council and medical task force for COVID-19. She went to Marlborough School from

seventh to 10th grade, during which she volunteered in the Child Life Department at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and became interested in pediatrics. After graduating from Stanford University for undergraduate and University of Rochester for medical school, she returned to CHLA for her residency. Now, she serves on the Board of Managers and as the Chair of the Finance Committee for CHLA’s Health Network, which connects pediatric practices across the city. She is also the president of Los Angeles Pediatric Society, which says it is the world’s oldest and largest independent pediatric society. Anderson said her family instilled in her since a young age the importance of giving back to the community. She is an active member of the Larchmont Boulevard Asso-

ciation and helps out at the Family Fair each October. And, each December, with her church, All Saints’ Episcopal Church, she coordinates Christmas presents for kids who have a parent in prison. She can also be found cooking new recipes, hiking around Griffith Park, relaxing at the beach, going to her church, reading or spending time with family. Otherwise, she is at Larchmont Pediatrics, which overlooks Larchmont Boulevard. In addition to excellent customer service, she said this community is what sets her practice apart. “Taking risks can be really worth it. If you have a dream, it’s important to go after it,” Anderson said. “And, how fun it is to be a part of the Hancock Park, Windsor Square, Larchmont community because it is a real neighborhood, and it’s fun to be a part of that.”

DR. NEVILLE ANDERSON

FROM THE WOMEN OF

WILSHIRE ESCROW JULIA BENDEWALD TAMRA CUNNINGHAM BEVERLY HARPER JULIE KIM LESLIE LIM SHARON MELANCON

SALUTING THE

2021 WOMEN OF LARCHMONT

MEGHAN MONTOYA ELLEN SHEWFELT MULTARI ELIZABETH PEÑA SHEIBA RAJADAS KRISTIN SHEWFELT

100 years

MAKI MOON SHEWFELT MARTHA TREJO

Owned and operated

is published annually by the Larchmont Chronicle 606 N. Larchmont Blvd., #103 Los Angeles 90004 323-462-2241 Larchmont Chronicle is published monthly and read by 77,000 residents in Hancock Park, Windsor Square, Fremont Place, Park LaBrea, Miracle Mile and Larchmont Village. Cover and inside photos by Bill Devlin

by the Shewfelt Family since 1944 4270 Wilshire Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90010

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Women of Larchmont

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WOMEN OF LARCHMONT 2021

Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

Cohanim has been making the Boulevard beautiful for decades By Billy Taylor For nearly three decades Sharon Cohanim has been serving local residents from behind the counter at the Larchmont Beauty Center. “I feel really blessed to be here and to be a part of the Larchmont Boulevard family — and it does feel like a family,” Cohanim told us last month at her luxury beauty store, located at 208 N. Larchmont Blvd. “The children that used to shop here with their parents now have children of their own. It’s a pleasure to watch them grow and become successful in life,” she says of her longtime customers. Cohanim and her husband Fred, who are celebrating their 50th anniversary together this year, opened Larchmont Beauty in April 1992, a time when luxury beauty products were hard to find outside of major department

stores. The couple felt there was an opportunity to bring European hair and skin care products to Larchmont. “It was a very exciting time,” says Cohanim. “When we first opened the store, we would stretch the products across the shelves to make it look like more was there,” she says with a laugh. “Now the shelves are brimming with products.” In fact, for many residents, the location has become a one-stop shop for all things beauty. A salon in the back of the shop offers manicures and haircuts seven days a week. Cohanim says that the couple picked Larchmont because of its quaint neighborhood and shopping district. “From the start, we

SHARON COHANIM

felt very comfortable here,” she explains. “There are some places that you don’t want to go, even to work, but here on

Larchmont it’s the opposite. You feel happy to come to work.” Still, it was a risk. “We were nervous when we first opened the shop on Larchmont. Would anyone shop there? Would we make rent? It was scary,” Cohanim reflects. She credits her late father for pushing them to start the business: “He told us not to be scared. To do it.” In the end, her parents were proud of the business that the two built. Over the years, Cohanim says that she has witnessed Larchmont Boulevard evolve, with family-owned business-

es replaced with chain stores. The Cohanims compete by doing what they do best: offering a personalized service to a community that they love. “We try to stay in business. As long as the customers support us, we will stay,” says Cohanim. That outlook was threatened last year during the pandemic lockdown. “We were closed for six weeks,” says Cohanim, who admits she was nervous for the future. “We didn’t know when it would be safe to open again, and not knowing was difficult.” However, Cohanim says that she was pleasantly surprised when they finally opened the doors: “People would come in and say that they were stopping by just to support us; that they wanted us to stay in the community. “That makes you feel good. And happy to be a part of the Larchmont family,” she concludes.

Nancy Cohen: Building community with pizza and heart

By Helene Seifer The minute Nancy Cohen saw Larchmont Boulevard, she fell in love. The Queens, New York native explains, “It felt very homey to me.” Her brother-in-law had moved to Los Angeles from San Francisco where Nancy Cohen and her husband Steve still lived and made a point of showing them Larchmont Boulevard when they visited, saying, “Isn’t it a cool street?”

They not only agreed, they immediately made plans to sell their home and Village Pizzeria restaurant in San Francisco and start anew here. While Cohen closed up their San Francisco life, her husband started developing the new restaurant location and found a house around the corner from the boulevard, which he bought without his wife having a chance to see it. It’s still where they live today.

Few would disagree that Village Pizzeria, which she and Steve opened roughly 25 years ago, helps create the unique neighborhood character of the street, an atmosphere she both cherishes and works to protect. “When new stores open we welcome them to the block by bringing them a pizza!” she enthuses. Cohen values the relationships she and her husband maintain with other business

owners and employees on the block. “Dimitris [Houndalas, owner of Le Petit Greek next door] and my husband are always talking to each other about business and helping each other out,” she notes. They helped each other fill out loan applications and they provide emergency onions and the like when one restaurant runs out and the other has some to spare. Cohen continues to tick off the Larchmont businesses that contribute to the community feel. “I am delighted the bookstore is next to us. I love them! I know the people in the beauty supply store because I shop there. The people who regularly work in Kiku are lovely, lovely people.” Cohen is concerned about the rash of stores going out of business. “When Picket Fences left, I was crushed. They were here as long as we were!” Survival during the coronavirus was difficult for all businesses, and post-pandemic recovery is equally hard. Back rent will need to be repaid starting in January 2022, and finding reliable employees so the pizzeria can operate at full capacity has proven impossible. Their two children, Alicia and Matthew, work with them, but it’s exhausting for the four of them to keep up with the demand for their cheesy, delicious pies. “We closed for three weeks because we were fried!” Cohen states. What really touches her and makes it all worthwhile is the support of the commu-

NANCY COHEN

nity. “Our loyal customers are amazing! Cohen explains that when their landlord wanted to raise their rent, “There was an outpouring of people signing their names on the petition saying ‘Please don’t let them leave the street. Negotiate with them.’ There were about 3,000 signatures!” In one remarkable gesture of support, a customer who wishes to remain anonymous suggested that they follow the lead of others on the street and build some outdoor space. The Cohens teamed up with Le Petit Greek and got an estimate for a patio project they could share. “It was about $12,000. That was too much.” Instead of that being the end of the idea, the customer said, “I’m going to build this for you.” Cohen explains what happened next. “He got a work crew together. The very next day they began building.” She pauses, contemplating the enormity of the gesture. “That’s the nicest thing anyone has done for me in my whole life.”


Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

WOMEN OF LARCHMONT 2021

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Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

WOMEN OF LARCHMONT 2021

Dr. Fitzgerald’s cosmetic dermatology blends ‘science and art’ ing HIV/AIDS patients with facial fillers, to reduce sunken cheeks from fat loss. She found cosmetic dermatology to be a “nice blend of science and art” — with miraculous side benefits. “It made these people so happy to get their face back… It’s been very rewarding.” Today, when patients first arrive at her office, “they’re a little uncomfortable” and often apologetic, she says. But mostly they’re tired of being told they look tired, or mad or sad. Their stories range from the young woman who wants a lip filler to attract a husband. A 50-year-old man in a new tech job who doesn’t want to be “treated like yesterday’s newspaper.” Or, there’s the 42-yearold mom whose child asks, “Why are you so much older than the other moms?” Others want to get rid of acne or brown spots. Fitzgerald offers a host of solutions, from topical treatments, body sculpting and lasers to wrinkle relaxers (Botox) and an array of

fillers to fill, augment and contour your face. “There’s something for everyone,” she says. People who walk in afraid they’ll walk out with a frozen face and oversized lips are quickly put at ease by the doctor’s Southern hospitality. “I say, ‘You see a lot of people with fillers and Botox, and you have no idea they’ve had anything done.’” Her office is blessed with a “wonderful” north-facing light that streams through large plate glass windows. “Everybody comments all day about the view, every day,” says Fitzgerald. She’s enlarged her whitedécor office as more square footage became available, and two dermatologists have joined her practice. (One of them, Dr. Helen Fincher, walks her two Great Danes in the neighborhood.) Fitzgerald first came to Los Angeles for her medical residency at UCLA/Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Coming from humid Louisiana, she loved Los Angeles’ mild weather

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and its variety of cultures and peoples. “They spoke 50 languages at the hospital. It was so diverse and so new to me.” She realized, “There’s a whole world out there I was missing.” She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology, a Fellow of both the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Soci-

ety of Dermatological Surgery, and she is on the clinical faculty at UCLA. She stays on the cutting edge by writing papers, traveling and giving talks. And she treats a clientele from the neighborhood and beyond. “I would rather be here than in Beverly Hills or the Westside… I’m very grateful to have landed here.”

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A few years from now, we shall mark 100 years since the Poker death of Annie Oakley, who made a major impact on sports for All and poker. Becoming the icon by for women in the sport of rifle George shooting, she is best rememEpstein bered as the legendary front woman for Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and as a strong ad- about some of these wondervocate for women to learn a ful women, including Linda sport that was long dominated Johnson (the First Lady of by men. In so doing, she likely Poker), Jan Fisher (a member also encouraged many women of the Women in Poker Hall of to learn to play the game of Fame), and Barbara Enright poker — our favorite sport. (also a member of the Women Indeed, over the years many in Poker Hall of Fame). There women have gained the cour- are now excellent poker books age to come to the casinos written by women that help to defy the once-common us all — men and women — practice of excluding wom- become better players. Withen from the poker tables. I out realizing it, Annie Oakley have written poker columns Congratulations to the (Please turn to page 7)

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By Suzan Filipek When Dr. Rebecca Fitzgerald branched out on her own 18 years ago, she chose Larchmont for its small-town neighborliness to make some high-power changes in her patients’ lives. “Cosmetic dermatology is not about vanity,” she says in a faint New Orleans drawl. “It’s about empowerment.” Her ninth-floor office in the Larchmont Medical Center boasts a sky-high view of the Hollywood hills and cityscape. “It’s such a lovely neighborhood. It’s such a great place to be,” she says. She didn’t start out mixing anti-aging cocktails of fillers and Botox after she graduated from Louisiana State University Medical School. In medical school she was drawn to dermatology, because “you get to see everybody … the young, old, men and women.” She began her career at Kaiser as a medical dermatologist, and she volunteered on evenings and weekends treat-

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Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

WOMEN OF LARCHMONT 2021

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Houndalas finds magical, extended family in Boulevard community install drywall and all the while Thomas told her about his brother Dimitris, who was in the Greek military, and who he said she would like. A lot. A year after they opened, Dimitris moved to Los Angeles. Nine months later, he and Nora married. Although Houndalas developed a Chinese medicine practice in acupuncture and herbalism, she never strayed far from Le Petit Greek. She runs the office, manages payroll and always lets Dimitris be the face of the restaurant. “[It] is not only his bread and butter, it’s his social life,” she acknowledges. “He will stand outside the restaurant and talk to people as they go up and down the boulevard. It’s very European. We got to know people, the commu-

Poker for All

ignated as “Annie Oakley’s.” Another of her most popular marksmanship tricks was  splitting a playing card, edge on, from a distance of 30 paces. Quite an accomplishment. Recognized for her rifle-shooting marksmanship achievements, starting in the U.S. and spreading into Europe, Annie Oakley became one of the most famous women in America. Little Miss Sure Shot Growing up nicknamed “Little Miss Sure Shot,” Annie ANNIE OAKLEY in 1894. (Please turn Photo by D.F. Barry, collection of Buffalo Bill to page 14) Center of the West

(Continued from page 6) blazed new ground by demonstrating that women can compete on equal footing in traditionally male-dominated endeavors. Today, it is estimated that about 20 million people compete in rifle shooting here in the U.S., whereas over 60 million play the game of poker. And, among them, women are participating in both of those sports more and more. Apparently, Annie Oakley didn’t play poker, but she made good use of playing cards. She could hit a playing card  from a distance of 90 feet — riddling it five times before it hit the ground. That rifle-shooting accomplishment resulted in “free tickets” with holes punched in them being des-

nity.” And the community has been there to support them. “We were very young when we opened the restaurant,” Houndalas recounts. “Dimitris’ family is in Greece and mine on the East Coast. We literally relied on our Larchmont Village community as our extended family. We sought counsel, and still do, in every area of our personal and professional life.“ In fact, their dentist and accountant came through the restaurant. Their house in Windsor Square was purchased from a regular diner. When their now 19-year-old son Nicholas was born, customer advice led them to local options Wagon Wheel preschool, St. James Episcopal School and Pilgrim School. Customers helped their bottom line during the pandemic

with to-go orders and arranged for them to provide meals to medical centers and homeless youth shelters. A customer hired a crew to build the outdoor seating Le Petit Greek shares with neighboring Village Pizzeria. Houndalas cherishes that boulevard business owners help each other when needed, loaning chairs, for example, and patronizing each other’s stores and restaurants. She would stroll with Nicholas to Sam’s Bagels when he was a baby; now they enjoy mother-son dinners at Vernetti. All the pictures in their house were framed by Silver Lining. Even though money was tight during the pandemic, Houndalas made a point of frequenting Larchmont establishments. When Chevalier’s moved, Houndalas bought a book from them minutes before they officially opened their doors. Reflecting on the support she gets and gives on the bou-

NORA HOUNDALAS

levard, Houndalas summarizes, “This is what community truly is. It is the unfolding of the heart. That is what Larchmont Village means to me.” She continues, “That’s why three walls of our home have new wallpaper. Customer receipts! We grabbed a few every night for over a year and taped them to the walls as a reminder of the generosity, love and support of Larchmont Village.”

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WOMEN OF LARCHMONT 2021

The following organizations involve many Larchmont Chronicle neighbors. If your group is not listed, or if you see information that needs to be updated, please write to circulation@larchmontchronicle.com or call 323-462-2241, ext. 13.

Philanthropic ALEXANDRIA HOUSE

DIRECTORY OF WHO'S WHO

children and their families, typically chil- 323-845-1800; angelfood.org. dren from three months through age 22. Purpose: Supports Children’s Institute, Inc. 323-965-7536; thejeffreyfoundation.org. SISTERS OF SOCIAL SERVICE to help children affected by violence, abuse Purpose: Fundraising and other support for and other trauma through fundraising and JUNIOR LEAGUE OF LOS ANGELES Regis House Community Center: 818-285operating The Colleagues Boutique, a design- Sarah Christian, president. Founded in 1926. 3358, sssla.org. Regis House: 213-380-8168, er resale and vintage clothing store at 3312 Seven general meetings Sept. to May. Purpose: regishousecommunitycenter.com, regisPico Blvd. 213-260-7621; thecolleagues.com. Promote voluntarism, develop women’s poten- housecc@att.net.  tial and improve the community through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. COLLEAGUE HELPERS IN UPLIFT FAMILY SERVICES PHILANTHROPIC SERVICE (CHIPS) 323-957-4280; jlla.org.

THE COLLEAGUES

Michelle Tonn, executive director. Judy Vaughan, founding director. Purpose: A transitional residence for single women and women with children in the process of moving from homelessness to permanent housing. Contact Michele Richards, development director, 213- Purpose: Support Children’s Institute, Inc. with its work to help children affected by vio381-2649 or michele@alexandriahouse.org. lence, abuse and other trauma. Fundraising and volunteer efforts include its annual spring ANDERSON-MUNGER YMCA fashion luncheon, and community outreach Rae Jin, Executive Director. Purpose: To projects such as the CII Dream Big graduastrengthen community through youth tion, CII Works event, CII holiday celebration, development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Contact: 213 427 9622. Web- and project prom. 213-260-7621; thechips.org. site: ymcala.org/anderson-munger

CUISINE Á ROULETTES

Purpose: Founded in 1983. Fullfill the misASSISTANCE LEAGUE sion to fundraise and provide volunteer supOF LOS ANGELES port for St. Vincent Meals on Wheels. For Adrienne Seltzer, Board President. Melanie information, contact Veronic Dover, C.E.O, at Merians, Chief Executive Officer. 300+ mem213-484-7112; vdover@stvincentmow.org. bers. Purpose: Improve the quality of lives of at-risk children and their families. Programs DIDI HIRSCH include: accredited preschool, two clothing MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES and school supplies programs for homeless and foster youth, a theater for children and Michael Wierwille, board chair. Dr. Jonathan a scholarship program for graduating high Goldfinger, CEO. Established in 1942. Purschool seniors who are homeless or in foster pose: Provide mental health and substance use care. Auxiliaries and their chairs include: Anne services to low income children and adults in Banning Auxiliary (Operation School Bell the Los Angeles area. Two annual fundraisers: program), Debbie Roper; Hilltoppers Auxil- Erase the Stigma Awards in April and Alive and iary (Foster Children’s Resource Center), Judy Running 5K for suicide prevention in SeptemDavis; Nine O’Clock Players Auxiliary (Theatre ber. 310-751-5331; didihirsch.org. for Children Program), Lenore Schlachtman; Preschool Auxiliary (Preschool Learning CenEBELL OF LOS ANGELES ter), Yvonne Cazier; Founder Assisteens, Tif- Patty Lombard, president. 500+ members. fany Arrington, Sue Moyer and Teresa Antaky; Purpose: Women’s club with philanthropic, College Alumnae Auxiliary, June Bilgore; cultural and educational programs that supMannequins Auxiliary, Rachel Abano-Trail; port 20 charities that help women and chiland League at Large, Kiel FitzGerald. Contact dren. The club also grants over 50 college Kai Tramiel, senior director of membership at scholarships each year. Holds lunches with 323-545-4847, ktramiel@assistanceleaguela. guest speakers, wine and dine dinners, barbeorg or visit assistanceleaguela.org. cues, art receptions, dances, holiday events, plays, readings, film screenings, book clubs and crafts workshops in a National Register AVIVA FAMILY AND CHILDREN SERVICES PLATINUM ASSOCIATES historic Italian Renaissance building. MerePurpose: Fundraise for Aviva Family and Chil- dyth Deighton, membership director. 323dren’s Services, which provides support and 931-1277 or visit ebellofla.com.   therapeutic services to at-risk women, children and families. 323-876-0550, ext. 1107, or FREEDOMS FOUNDATION development@aviva.org. AT VALLEY FORGE Tanya Caligiuri, president. Purpose: Raise funds to provide scholarships to students BIG SUNDAY David Levinson, founder and executive director. and accredited teachers to participate in the Purpose: Connects people by providing a variety Foundation’s educational programs. 805of volunteer opportunities to improve lives and 497-2344; freedomsfoundation.org/califorbuild community. Board of directors meet four nia/los-angeles-county-chapter. times a year. 323-549-9944. bigsunday.org.

BLIND CHILDREN’S CENTER

Jeff Leitzinger, board president. Sarah Orth, CEO. Scott Kassel, director of development and communications. Purpose: Provide family-centered early intervention and education services for children birth to kindergarten who are visually impaired. Fundraiser each May. 323-664-2153; blindchildrenscenter.org.

Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

GOOD SHEPHERD CENTER FOR HOMELESS WOMEN AUXILIARY

Beverly Weir, president. Mary Kane, auxiliary contact. Purpose: Raise funds and assist at four centers for homeless women and their children. 213-235-1965 or email asandoval@gschomeless.org.

HOLLYWOOD YMCA

AT HOLLYGROVE

Purpose: Family-centered community orgaLAS FLORISTAS nization serving abused and neglected chilAmanda Settlage, executive director. Pur- dren to age 18, and those at risk of abuse pose: Serve the special needs of children with or neglect or in poverty. 323-463-2119; upexceptional physical or cognitive challenges at liftfs.org/service/hollygrove. Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center with wheelchair sports, scholarships, recreational therapy, adolescent support and pediatric art therapy. Meets once a month. ARCS FOUNDATION, INC. Fundraisers include holiday boutique luncheon in December and spring gala in May. LOS ANGELES FOUNDER CHAPTER Annual scholarship and awards dinner is in Purpose: Advance research in America by raisJune. 562-298-3508; amanda@lasfloristas.org. ing scholar awards for the best undergraduate, graduate, medical students and postdoctoral fellows  in the fields of science, math, engiLES AMIES CHILDREN’S neering and medical research. 310-375-1936; INSTITUTE, INC. arcsfoundation.org/los_angeles Purpose: Support Children’s Institute, Inc. with its work to help children affected by vioBANNING RESIDENCE lence, abuse and other trauma. Fundraisers MUSEUM VOLUNTEERS include the Patron Drive and Annual Winter Party, in addition to various other events. 213- Purpose: Support the educational and cultural programs and restoration and conser260-7621; childrensinstitute.org. vation of Banning Residence Museum. 310548-7777; thebanningmuseum.org.

Civic

NATIONAL CHARITY LEAGUE LOS ANGELES FOUNDER CHAPTER

NATIONAL SOCIETY DAUGHTERS

Purpose: Mother-daughter philanthropy organization. Annual benefit in December. Time- OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION less Treasures Thrift Shop open Tuesdays, Fri- Eschscholtzia and Hollywood Chapters. days, Saturdays and Sundays at 9441 Culver Founded in 1890 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., D.A.R. is a nonprofit, nonBlvd, Culver City, 323-665-5981; nclla.org. political volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, NATIONAL CHARITY LEAGUE preserving American history, and securing CORONET DEBUTANTE America’s future through better education.  BALL BOARD Visit laedar.com, or follow on Facebook at Julie Barker, ball director. Carroll McEachern, facebook.com/Los-Angeles-Eschscholtziapresident. Purpose: Annual Coronet Debutante Chapter-DAR-154076664662448/. Ball is Sat., Nov. 27, 2021 at Beverly Hilton. The announcement event of the 2021 Coronet FamFRIENDS OF THE ilies is Sat., Aug. 7, 2021. Event fundraising supFAIRFAX LIBRARY ports philanthropic projects of National Charity Liz Goralka, contact. Purpose: Support the League, Los Angeles, coronetdebutanteball.org. library acquisition fund and various programs. 323-936-6191; lapl.org.

NGA HANCOCK PARK NEEDLEWORK GUILD OF AMERICA

Beverly Brown, president. Purpose: Improve the quality of life for disadvantaged members of the community by purchasing and distributing new clothes, linens and personal care items through seven local charities. Annual fundraiser event in February. ngahancockpark.org; ngahancockpark@gmail.com.

ORPHANAGE GUILD

FRIENDS OF THE JOHN C. FREMONT LIBRARY

Thomas Garbrecht, president; Michelle Commardo, secretary; David Kendrick is treasurer. Polin Cohanne is co-treasurer. Eight members. Purpose: Fundraise to support the library’s programming for the community. Always looking for more volunteers. 323962-3521; lapl.org/branches/john-c-fremont.

Purpose: Support Maryvale, Los Angeles’ FRIENDS OF THE MEMORIAL oldest children’s charity, founded in 1856. LIBRARY Maryvale offers mental health, therapeutic and community-based services, and a pre- Chris Metro, president. Deborah Matthews, school for children ages infant to five years. contact. Purpose: Support the library through various programs. 323-938-2732; lapl.org. 626-280-6510; laorphanageguild.com.

Merton Harris, executive director. Purpose: PEGGY ALBRECHT CALIFORNIA WOMEN’S Strengthen the community through youth FRIENDLY HOUSE development, healthy living and social re- Peter White, board president, Monica PhilLAW CENTER Betsy Butler, executive director. Pur- sponsibility. 323-467-4161; ymcala.org. lips, executive director. Founded in 1951. First pose: Break down barriers and advance the home for women recovering from alcohol and potential of women and girls in California. drug addiction in the U.S. Purpose: Provide HOPENET First law center in California solely dedi- Brandy Muñiz, executive director. Board opportunity for women to recover physically, cated to addressing the comprehensive and meets monthly. Purpose: Provide direct spiritually and emotionally from drugs and allegal needs of women and girls. The three services to families and individuals in the cohol through love, compassion and support. primary activities are education and sup- Metro Los Angeles area to improve quality 213-389-9964; friendlyhousela.org. port services; impact litigation and policy of life. The food pantry program is a network advocacy. Particular emphasis on effecting of 13 food pantries that are run in collaboPROJECT ANGEL FOOD change for low-income and indigent women ration with inter-faith agencies spanning Richard Ayoub, executive director. Jason Ball, and girls. 323-951-1041; cwlc.org. 20 miles and providing free, accessible and chair. Founded in 1989 by Marianne Williamhealthy food to anyone that wants or needs son and a group of volunteers to provide food it. Taste of Larchmont fundraiser is usually to those combating the effects of HIV/AIDS. CHILDHELP Carol Rush, president. 100 members. Purpose: the last Monday in August. 213-389-9949; Project Angel Food continues to serve the Address the physical, emotional, educational brandy@hopenetla.org. critically ill, providing more than 2,000 free and spiritual needs of abused,  neglected and meals per day, along with love and support, at-risk children, focusing efforts and resources to men and women battling cancer, kidney JEFFREY FOUNDATION on advocacy, prevention, treatment, and com- Alyce Morris Winston, founder and CEO. failure, diabetes, congestive heart disease and munity outreach. 323-465-4016; childhelp.org. Purpose: Provide services for special needs other illnesses, and their dependent children.

FRIENDS OF THE WILSHIRE LIBRARY

Purpose: Support the library through purchasing supplemental books, equipment, and items that assist library staff, enhance community programming, and maintain the thriving garden. Fundraising through book and bake sales and donations. 323-957-4550; lapl. org/branches/wilshire.

HOLLYWOOD BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL WOMEN

Marjory Hopper, president. Founded in 1920 as advocates for women. Purpose: Achieve equity for individuals in the workplace through advocacy and education. Meets monthly over Zoom. Email marjoryhopper@gmail.com or visit bpwcal.org.

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS, LOS ANGELES CHAPTER


Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

IN OUR COMMUNITY

Mona Field, president. Meets monthly Sept.May. Purpose: non-partisan organization to inform citizens about government. 213-3681616; lwvlosangeles.org.

Bonnie McClure, chairman. 37 Guilds and Auxiliaries operating since 1914. Purpose: Raise money for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Email associates&affiliates@chla.usc. edu, call 323-361-2367 or visit chla.org.

LOS ANGELES GARDEN CLUB

Meets 2nd Mon., Sept. to June. First meeting GOOD SAMARITAN is free. Purpose: to increase knowledge and HOSPITAL AUXILIARY love of gardening, to educate, and to support Purpose: Philanthropy, staffing of the Good philanthropic causes. Annual toy collection/ Samaritan Gift Shop and public relations. monetary donations in Nov. for Homeless 213-977-2939; goodsam.org. Health Care Los Angeles. Three horticultural scholarships are given for students at Mt. San LAS MADRINAS Antonio College. losangelesgardenclub.org. Kristin Harrison, president. Shane Fermelia, public relations chair. 185 members. Meets NATIONAL ASSOCIATION three times yearly. Purpose: Philanthropic orOF WOMEN BUSINESS ganization dedicated to a tradition of supporting pediatric care and research at Children’s OWNERS, LOS ANGELES Renee Young, president. Purpose: Propel Hospital Los Angeles by honoring families women entrepreneurs into economic, social who have shown exceptional commitment to and political spheres of power through advoca- the Southern California community. Contact correspondingsecretary@lasmadrinas.org. cy, innovation and community. nawbola.org.

NATIONAL COUNCIL OF JEWISH WOMEN, LOS ANGELES

LUMINAIRES, FOUNDER CHAPTER

ST. JOHN OF GOD HELPER’S CLUB

LOS ANGELES

WINDSOR SQUARE-HANCOCK PARK HISTORICAL SOCIETY

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE ORTHOPAEDIC GUILD

WOMEN’S LEAGUE

Margaret Cherene, president. 100 members. Purpose: Volunteering and fundraising to assist patients in St. John of God Retirement and Care Center. 323-731-7141; info@hospitallerfoundation.org.

Art-Music

WOMEN LAWYERS ASSOCIATION OF LOS ANGELES

Jennifer Leland, president. Purpose: Promote \ participation in the legal profession of women lawyers and judges from diverse perspectives and racial and ethnic backgrounds, maintain the integrity of legal system by advocating fairness and equality, and improve the status of women by supporting their exercise of equal rights, equal representation, and reproductive choice. 213-892-8982; wlala.org.

BARNSDALL ARTS / FOJAC

Shelah Lehrer-Graiwer, executive director. Purpose: Provide quality art education and exhibits that nurture creativity, artistic skills, and aesthetic appreciation of art. Build community through access and engagement. Zoomed programming includes Sunday free family art workshops throughout the year. LAS AMIGAS DE LAS LOMAS Purpose: Support the OIC’s charitable care pro- Call 323-363-4629. Visit barnsdallarts.org. gram. Visit lasamigas.org.

Richard Battaglia, president. Board of Trust- Mother /daughter organization. Purpose: Supees meets quarterly via Zoom. Researches and port OIC’s charitable care program. Evergreen preserves historical information on Windsor Ball is in January.  Square, Hancock Park and Greater Rancho La Brea. Historical tours, social events and annuLAS NIÑAS DE al Homes / Gardens Tour. Contact: wshphs@ LAS MADRECITAS gmail.com, wshphs.com. Members are girls grades nine to 12. Purpose: Volunteer at OIC and in the community; WOMEN AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE fundraising projects benefiting the patients Margot Bennett, executive director. Purpose: of OIC include a spring fashion show and Prevent gun violence by educating the public, Christmas See’s Candy Sale; presentation of policymakers and the media about the human, seniors at annual Evergreen Ball. financial and public health consequences and dangers of firearms. 310-204-2348; wagv.org.

FRIENDS OF HANCOCK PARK ELEMENTARY

Purpose: Fundraising and implementing projects. hancockparkschool.com.

FRIENDS OF THIRD STREET

Purpose: Parent booster group to provide classroom support and raise money for enrichment programs. 323-939-8337; friendsofthird.org.

HARVARD-WESTLAKE SCHOOL PARENTS’ ASSOCIATION

Purpose: Support school and build community. Visit hw.com/parents/parents-association.

IMMACULATE HEART PARENTS’ COUNCIL

Purpose: Communication and information for ​parent / student events, including parent information nights and fundraising events. Call or 323-461-3651; immaculateheart.org/ support-ih/donate/parent-council.

LOYOLA HIGH MOTHERS’ GUILD

LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART DOCENT COUNCIL

ST. BRENDAN SCHOOL PARENT TEACHER BOARD

Purpose: Hospitality, service and fundraising. Council members enjoy six to eight fashion- 213-381-5121; or visit loyolahs.edu/mothers. centric programs annually. Purpose: Acquisitions and special project  support for the MARLBOROUGH PARENTS’ Costume and Textile Curatorial Department ASSOCIATION of the Los Angeles  County Museum of Art. 323-857-6558;  costumecouncil@lacma.org.  Purpose: Provide leadership and support. 323-935-1147; marlborough.org.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART MUSEUM SERVICE COUNCIL

Maureen Manion, president. 165 members. Purpose: Fundraising to assist Sisters who are RNs, LVNs, CNAs in carrying out their mission Tim Deegan, chair. 150 members. Annual to care for patients in the patient’s own home, meeting at museum. Purpose: Guest servicregardless of illness, race or religion. The an- es. 323-857-6228; tdeegan@lacma.org. nual benefit luncheon for this year has been rescheduled for spring 2022. For further inLOS ANGELES formation regarding the Sisters or the Guild PHILHARMONIC please contact maureen.manion@ca.rr.com or AFFILIATES call 323-896-9906. CEDARS-SINAI Purpose: Support the mission of the LA Phil WOMEN’S GUILD through volunteer service, community enST. ANNE’S GUILD Shelley Cooper, president. Purpose: Supgagement, and fundraising; be ambassadors port Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, primar- St. Anne’s Guild supports St. Anne’s, a social for music and connect communities.  Call ily through fundraising, support programs, service agency offering an array of services 213-972-3537 or email volunteer@laphil.org. research and education. 310-423-3667; wo- promoting the safety, resilience and ongomensguildcs.org or womensguild@cshs.org. ing achievement of young mothers, their MUSES OF THE children and families. Located at 155 N. Occidental Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026. CALIFORNIA SCIENCE CENTER CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL Fundraising thrift shop at 3315 W. Burbank FOUNDATION LOS ANGELES Blvd. Contact: Dana Valenzuela Marez 213- Purpose: Support and promote the CaliforASSOCIATES & AFFILIATES 381-2931 x229; dvalenzuela@stannes.org. nia Science Center and its education pro-

Hospital-Medical

BUCKLEY SCHOOL PARENTS’ ASSOCIATION

LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART COSTUME COUNCIL

Emily Craig, docent council coordinator. 401 members. Purpose: Volunteer educational services for students and adults in LOS AMIGOS Purpose: Volunteer at OIC and in the com- the form of tours, lectures, and informal munity; support Las Amigas de Las Lomas conversations. Email ecraig@lacma.org, call 323-857-6109 or visit lacma.org. through volunteerism.

SISTERS SERVANTS OF MARY GUILD

Education

Purpose: Support the school; assist in social and cultural activities; foster a good relaUSC MEDICAL CENTER tionship among the school, the students, CARES AUXILIARY Mindy Halls, president. Purpose: Support Los and the parents; assist in fundraising. Visit Angeles County+USC by providing financial sup- buckley.org/about/parents-association. port and volunteer services to benefit patients by adding comfort to their hospital stay and provid- CATHEDRAL CHAPEL SCHOOL PTO ing services that help the patients access quality BOARD health care. Email lacusccares@gmail.com, call Purpose: Fundraising events for Cathedral 323-409-6941 or visit lacusccares.org. Chapel School and general support of school. 323-938-9976; cathedralchapelschool.org.

Purpose: Support OIC’s charitable care program. Main fundraiser is a Book & Author Luncheon held in October. Collects holiday gifts throughout the year.

LAS MADRECITAS

grams for youth. 213-744-2035 or acontreraz@californiasciencecenter.org.

Purpose: Raise money for St. John of God NATIONAL MUSEUM OF WOMEN IN Retirement and Care Center. FundraisTHE ARTS COMMITTEE, ers include the “Charity Golf Classic.” Also SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA sponsors the Foundation’s newsletter. 323- Purpose: Support the National Museum of 731-7141; info@hospitallerfoundation.org. Women in the Arts and to increase public awareness of the work of California women artists locally and nationally. nmwa.org. ST. JOHN OF GOD

Pam Brown, board president. Purpose: To ad- Purpose: Support vision research at Doheny vance economic justice and equity for women. Eye Institute, now affiliated with UCLA’s Jules THE BLUE RIBBON Operates five thrift stores and an ecommerce Stein Eye Institute. 323-342-7101; doheny.org. Terri Kohl, president. Suzy Boyett, associate site in Los Angeles. 323-852-8500;  ncjwla.org. director, By invitation only: meets on a speORTHOPAEDIC INSTITUTE FOR cial events basis.  Purpose: Founded in 1968 CHILDREN (OIC) TOWN AND GOWN OF USC by Dorothy Chandler, this charitable support Hilary Crahan, president. Established in 1904. CHARITABLE CHILDREN’S GUILD (CCG) group of The Music Center is comprised of Purpose: Philanthropic organization support- Purpose: Founded in 1911, the CCG supports women leaders in the Los Angeles communiing USC through scholarships for students, OIC’s charitable care program with financial ty. Funds raised go to its education programs building and campus enhancements and cul- resources and volunteering. Main fundraiser and resident companies — Los Angeles Optural programs. townandgownofusc.org. is a tea in springtime. Contact michaelwillis@ era, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles mednet.ucla.edu; ortho-institute.org.  See the Master Chorale and Center Theatre Group. five auxiliaries of the CCG below. WILSHIRE ROTARY CLUB OF 213-972-3347;  sboyett@musiccenter.org. Joyce Kleifield, president. Meets at The Ebell of Los Angeles, 743 S. Lucerne Blvd. , the first Wednesday of the month. Check website calendar for other meetings and locations. Purpose: “People taking action to help our community for 87 years.” Contact Dan Hodgkiss, membership chair: membership@wilshirerotary. org. Visit wilshirerotary.org or facebook.com/ wilshirerotary.

WOMEN OF LARCHMONT 2021

Purpose: Fundraising, communication forum, support of co-curricular activities and welcome for new families. Email info@stbrendanschoolla.org, call 213-382-7401 or visit stbrendanschoolla.org.

ST. JAMES’ EPISCOPAL SCHOOL PARENT ASSOCIATION

Meets monthly, year-round. Purpose: Community building, fundraising and hospitality. 213-382-2315; sjsla.org/community-life/ parent-involvment/parent-association.

THIRD STREET PTA

Monthly virtual meeting times. Purpose: Promote and build parent/family engagement, support and encourage staff, and work with Friends of Third to raise funds for enrichment and curricular programs for students. Visit thirdstreetpta.org or email info@thirdstreetpta.org.

WILSHIRE CREST PTA

Purpose: Fundraising and support for school and student needs. Contact 323-938-5291, or info@wilshirecrestpta.org. Visit wcelausd-ca.schoolloop.com/pta.

WILTON PLACE SCHOOL PTA

Call 213-389-1181 or visit wiltonplaceeslausd-ca.schoolloop.com/parent_links.

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WOMEN OF LARCHMONT 2021

Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

Besides music, Larchmont Boulevard is Helga Kasimoff’s world

By Helene Seifer When Helga Kasimoff was a seven-year-old child in Germany, she received a single opera ticket from her sister. She sat alone, enthralled, and thus began her lifelong love of music and, eventually, her career as a purveyor of fine keyboard instruments. Her love of Larchmont Boulevard came later. Kasimoff and her late husband Vasilly (Bill) relocated their home and their KasimoffBlüthner Piano Co. showroom from Pasadena to North Larch-

mont Boulevard in 1973 when they decided to find a more central location to the venues they regularly serviced, such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Long Beach Symphony and Capitol Records. “We didn’t want a showroom where there was walk-in traffic,” Helga explains further. “And we wanted a neighborhood.” She doesn’t drive, so she needed to live close to stores and restaurants. When they discovered Larchmont Village, they knew it was perfect because, she says, “I could

Dr. Rebecca Fitzgerald Although we sometimes seem to be living in somewhat divisive times, I feel sure that we can all agree that 2020 will be a year we all remember vividly. Safety, of course, is on everyone’s minds. I’m profoundly grateful and proud of the way my colleagues, Dr. Fincher and Dr. Jalian, as well as our wonderful staff, have pulled together during these unprecedented times to restructure our office environment in order to ensure the safety of everyone concerned while continuing to provide patient care. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our loyal patients and the unique community of Larchmont for their ongoing support. I feel honored to practice what I love in our cherished community. We extend our deepest sympathies to our patients and community members who have been personally affected by COVID-19, and would like to recognize and thank the dedicated first responders and medical workers on the front lines fighting for us every day. We know that we are all in this together, and that together we will get through this challenging time stronger than ever. Meanwhile, stay safe, stay strong, and stay calm.

Dr. Helen Fincher I joined Dr. Fitzgerald’s practice full time in 2017, and really enjoy working in the neighborhood where I live. Our practice continues to provide the Larchmont Community with a variety of treatments individualized to each patient’s needs. This year I’m so proud of our practice and the way we’ve come together during this challenging time. Everyone is working hard to provide a safe environment while continuing to offer comprehensive cosmetic and medical dermatology treatments. The quarantine presented a rare opportunity to have everyone together at home – myself and my husband and our three children. We also welcomed another Great Dane to the family. Our puppy, Moose, is already huge and keeping us all very busy! Now that we’re back in the office and masks are the new normal, patients are focused on their upper faces. A great combination of procedures is Thermage to tighten and tone skin of the upper and lower eyelids, Ultherapy to lift the brows, and Botox to address frown lines. You can even add Latisse to lengthen lashes. These can all be done on the same day to refresh the upper face (while wearing a mask). To reduce post-quarantine bulges, patients are choosing Coolsculpting and following it up with Cooltone to tighten and tone skin.

Angela Sarff, Nurse Practitioner I joined the practice in 2012 as a registered nurse and went on to complete my Master’s Degree at the University of California, Irvine. I continue to enjoy my new role as a Nurse Practitioner and am so fortunate to be able to work with physicians who are leaders in the field of Dermatology. I’m currently expecting baby number two - a girl due at the end of August. As my due date quickly approaches, I’m working from home helping with social media and marketing initiatives. We will be launching a skin care membership program in the upcoming year that I’ve been working on with Dr. Fitzgerald. The products are based on our philosophy that frequent treatments with minimal downtime combined with evidence-based skincare can transform your skin. I can’t wait to share it with our patients. I’m grateful for the opportunity to spend time with my son who is almost two, and my husband, who is also working from home. I relate to all the working-from-home moms out there with small children. It’s challenging to find to time to get things done! I am so thankful to Dr. Fitzgerald and our practice for the opportunity to work from home until the baby arrives.

Visit www.RebeccaFitzgeraldMD.com or call (323) 464-8046. 321 N Larchmont Blvd. Ste. 906

live here without ever leaving.” To meet her new community, Mrs. Kasimoff offered the store as a polling place. She sat on the stairs and watched the parade of neighbors, including actress Mae West, who emerged from a stretch limousine to cast her ballot. The Kasimoffs quickly became part of the neighborhood. They would roll an upright piano down Larchmont Boulevard and park it in the Wells Fargo lot to provide music for the annual community police night out. They loaned Rhodes School of Music one of their pianos for a year; now the school rents two for their students. Muhammad Ali had one of their harpsicords in his home on Fremont Place. Nat King Cole recorded on a Blüthner when he lived in Hancock Park and rented one for his daughter, Natalie. On one notable occasion in 1976 the Kasimoffs received a phone call at 7 a.m. from the live-in houseman at the Ebell of Los Angeles who requested a piano mover immediately. Confused, Helga Kasimoff asked, “Where is the piano?” and was told, “In the alley.” Apparently, the houseman interrupted an attempted robbery. The scofflaws fled, leaving the piano where they had wheeled it behind the building. Her husband raced over and safely repositioned and tuned the instrument. Kasimoff is very enthusiastic about the boulevard. She recalls that when their sons Sergei, Ivan and Kyril were young, “They loved the Village Fair, the Christmas Fair and carolers.” Helga Kasimoff enjoyed riding her bicycle to Dawson’s bookstore. “That was my library. I’d marvel at all the different kinds of books available.” She fondly remembers that “I went to the post office there, the health food store, baker, butcher.” Helga continues, “There was Jurgensen’s, a shoemaker, hardware, drug store, banks, liquor and wine store. We had everything here!” Kasimoff is grateful that all her doctors are in the Larchmont medical building and she relies on boulevard restaurants. When Mr. Blüthner, the piano company owner, visited from Leipzig, Germany, the Kasimoffs entertained him at Le Petit Greek. When composers or soloists are in town, Helga Kasimoff orders from

HELGA KASIMOFF

Vernetti and enjoys an Italian repast in the courtyard of their home behind the showroom. The showroom guest book includes signatures from Jerome Kern, the Marx Brothers and a veritable Who’s Who of musicians, composers and celebrities who want to experience their harpsicords, celestas and the warm tone of the $98,000-$210,000 Blüthner pianos. Most recently “High School Musical” actress, singer and songwriter Olivia Rodrigo shot a music video in the showroom on the piano that both Henry Mancini and

Stevie Wonder once played. Ninety-year-old Kasimoff stays active in Kasimoff-Blüthner Piano Co., with invaluable help from her sons. Sergei, a composer and jazz pianist, and Ivan, an art history buff, are on-call piano movers and tuners. Kyril lives with her and works full time in the family business. Her bicycleriding days may be behind her, but Kasimoff keeps informed about life along the street she has embraced. “I read the Larchmont Chronicle cover to cover,” she says. “It keeps me in touch.”

NEWLY-REFURBISHED GREEN HOUSE at Alexandria House will have an official two-day opening in September.

Birthday bingo bash at Alexandria House Aug. 8 Alexandria House invites supporters to come help founder Judith Vaughan celebrate at a Birthday Bingo Bash Sun., Aug. 8 starting at 7 p.m. The virtual event features trivia, games, prizes, and, of course, bingo. Tickets are $75, and funds raised will be used to help complete the dining room and living room of the organization’s Green House building, which had a roof fire in March 2020. The official grand opening of the Green House is Sat.,

Sept. 18 and Sun., Sept. 19 between 1 and 5 p.m. The twoday event features blessings of the home, special guests, tours and more. And finally, Casino Night at St. Sophia’s returns Sat., Nov. 6 from 7 to 10 p.m. Funds raised from the event help support this longstanding local transitional shelter for women and children, located at 426 S. Alexandria Ave. For more information, call 213-381-2649 or email Pam Hope at pam@alexandriahouse.org.


Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

WOMEN OF LARCHMONT 2021

Four generations have been served by Village Mail-Call team

By Talia Abrahamson Longtime locals, new parents, budding professionals and world travelers walk into Village Mail-Call to see Julie Levtow, whose expertise and vibrance have fostered a devoted community of four generations. Levtow, who has owned the shipping, mailing and live scan shop since November 1985, is an expert. She notarizes papers, takes passport photos and packs family heirlooms and significant items –– which have included everything from a fabric loom, to antique baby carriage, to two human skulls. She can gauge whether someone has a good fingerprint just by talking over the phone, and she has taken thousands of live scans. Her mission, however, is to leave a legacy of having learned to live an engaged and healthy life. Levtow opened Village MailCall with her husband, Ken-

JULIE LEVTOW

neth M. Levtow, who passed away in 2005. They first saw each other in Hong Kong, when he traveled there in 1978 as a garment quality control person and met Levtow, a journalist covering big business news. She eventually joined him in America, getting married and attending United

States International University (now Alliant International University) in San Diego to earn a master’s degree in international business administration. They opened Village Mail-Call on Larchmont when the independent mail and shipping industry began to boom. Levtow’s husband selected the industry and store location because she was still new to the country. “He just had an eye on the mail business. Actually, he also wanted to do a Taco Bell, but I didn’t like that,” Levtow laughed. She considers it the highlight of her life that, through Village Mail-Call and living in Larchmont, she has gotten to know the community. “It was my own dream to explore the world, and I happened to stumble into the United States,” Levtow said. “It is a very, very significant achievement of mine to have

Lisa Nahabedian came to Larchmont Cleaners by way of Aleppo By Suzan Filipek Lisa Nahabedian brings seven generations of textile experience to her shop, Larchmont Cleaners, which is nestled in a mini-mall on North Larchmont Boulevard. She has loved the rich colors and textures of carpets and fabrics since she learned Old World techniques from her Turkish grandfather. “I do everything. If somebody is not there I can cover,” she says on a recent summer day on a patio behind the shop. She is shaded under a pomegranate tree she planted years ago. At the front of the cleaners, she greets her customers, many of whom come from Hancock Park. “It’s like a big family,” she says. She also tailors clothes to fit just so, having studied fashion and design during the summers in her youth. “I love fabric,” she says again, adding her specialties include repairing antique carpets and tablecloths and crochet, knitting and anything to do with her hands. During the pandemic, she made baby blankets and hats for patients at the Shriners for Children Medical Center in Pasadena and for orphans in her hometown of Aleppo. Lisa and her husband came to the U.S. from Aleppo, the capital of Syria, in 1978. The young couple liked the American way of life they learned about in college, so

when her husband suggested a honeymoon in the States, she agreed. It was sad to leave Aleppo, a paradise at the time. But the ensuing civil war has devastated the country, she laments. The Nahabedians are the third owners of the cleaners, at 415 N. Larchmont Blvd. It first opened in 1972. Lisa’s family came aboard in 1999. LISA NAHABEDIAN It was only after her son and daughter tomers her extended family. were older that she joined the At Christmas she lays a table family business, which had with her homemade Armegrown by then to four dry nian cinnamon, date and cleaners. Her place has always butter cookies and baklava been at the one in Larchmont pastry. The elaborate spread Village. impressed one of her “best “It started like a hobby. I friend” customers, the late TV wanted to work,” she said. She host Huell Howser, so much clocked 12-hour days until that he featured her in 2003 only recently — pulling back on a PBS “California Gold” after the birth of her grand- program. son. “He was a good friend,” says While Lisa still has family in Lisa. “I miss him.” Aleppo — her Turkish ances- She’s made many friends tors were displaced by the these 23 years at Larchmont Armenian Genocide and fled Cleaners. “I love Larchmont. into the Syrian desert — she “I don’t work here to only considers Hancock Park her make money. I work here to neighborhood and her cus- make good friends.”

been able to learn the culture and experience it firsthand and deal with people on a daily basis on a very close relationship.” She shares with younger customers the importance of staying healthy and building strong and deep relationships with others. She is an active volunteer and promoter of the Opera League of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Doctors Symphony Orchestra, where she used to take her mother, who did not speak English, to be

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able to interact with and enjoy the community. “I always felt myself having a mission to bridge between two parties. Here, I’m bridging between the shipping company and my customer,” Levtow said. “And between me and my mother and the organizations, I bridge the gap, overcome the language barrier. I have been here long enough, much longer than before, and I’m feeling myself more important in my role than just having a business.”

Dr. Neville Anderson Dr. Anderson grew up in the Windsor Square area. She attended St. James’ School and Marlborough School. After graduating from Stanford University, she was an assistant teacher at Bing Nursery School. She received her medical degree from the University of Rochester. She completed her internship and residency at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. There she received the Victor E. Stork Award for Continued Excellence and Future Promise in the Care of Children. For seven years, she practiced in La Cañada at Descanso Pediatrics. In 2014 she followed her dreams and opened her own practice on Larchmont Boulevard. She was named a Top Doctor in Pasadena magazine and a Top Rising Super Doctor in Los Angeles magazine for multiple years. Dr. Anderson is one of the founding members of the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Health Network, is on the Board of Managers and is the Chair for the Network’s Finance Committee. She is also an attending physician at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and is on the Board of the Los Angeles Pediatric Society. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, hiking, going to the beach, reading and playing tennis.

Dr. Courtney Mannino Dr. Courtney Mannino grew up in Hartsdale, New York. She attended Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and then continued on to the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University. After spending her entire life in the North East, she decided to explore residencies in Southern California, which led her to UCLA in 2015. She completed her internship and residency at UCLA in 2018. She worked for a year and a half at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center as a neonatal hospitalist, splitting time between caring for newborns in the nursery and in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). While working at the hospital, she realized how much she missed caring for older children and being the primary care provider. While not at work, Dr. Mannino enjoys spending time with her miniature poodle named Maisy, enjoying the beautiful weather in Southern California, and finding new restaurants and bakeries to enjoy.

Dr. Amaka Priest Dr. Amaka Ajalla Priest joined Larchmont Pediatrics in January 2019. She moved from Oklahoma City in the fall of 2017 to Southern California after her husband was accepted to the graduate screenwriting program at UCLA. She spent her first year in California practicing in the primary care and adolescent medicine clinic at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County before relocating to Los Angeles. A proud Sooner alumni, she graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine in 2012 and completed her pediatric residency at the OU Children’s Hospital at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 2015. After finishing her residency, Dr. Priest joined a fast-growing pediatric clinic in Oklahoma City, where she was a primary care pediatrician by day and an urgent care pediatrician by night. Dr. Priest enjoys seeing all ages but has a soft spot for teenagers and is happy to treat them at any stage in their adolescence. When she’s not working, she enjoys listening to music, editing her husband’s scripts, cultivating deep conversations over a hot cup of coffee, and cheering on the OKC Thunder. Dr. Priest is thrilled to be part of the Larchmont Pediatrics family and looks forward to watching her patients grow up for many years to come.

321 N. Larchmont Blvd., Suite 1020 • (323) 960-8500


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WOMEN OF LARCHMONT 2021

Pam Rudy: advertising pillar of the paper By Jane Gilman Although she has taught primary school grades and trained Santa Clauses, Pam Rudy admits her biggest challenge is her role as the Advertising Director at the Larchmont Chronicle. The newspaper’s advertisers sing Pam’s praises for her marketing skills and her ability to translate a concept into a successful advertisement. Pam credits her artistic talent to her father, an aerospace executive. Her good looks came from her mother, who was an understudy for the actress Ava Gardner. Chronicle publisher John Welborne describes Pam as “the pillar of the paper” who “represents perfectly the 59-year-old newspaper’s continuity and connection with the community.” Pam celebrated her 26th

anniversary working at the paper last month. Pam’s off-duty hours are spent in volunteer work. She is a past president of the Wilshire Rotary Club, and she continues in support of the club’s activities. She is a former board member of the Greater Miracle Mile Chamber (Please turn to page 13)

PAM RUDY

Maria Arellano Assistant Head of School, Hollywood Schoolhouse Maria Arellano is beginning her first year as Assistant Head of School at Hollywood Schoolhouse. This magical place was the impetus for a move from New York City, as it is where the preservation of childhood and the development of compassionate, mindful citizens permeates every aspect of each child’s education. Maria has taught preschool special education and children in grades 3-8 in a variety of subjects and was a founding board member of a charter school in New York City. She has a BS in Elementary and Special Education from New York State University, an MS in Reading Specialization from the City University of New York at Hunter College, an MEd in School Leadership from Columbia University, and a Doctorate in Education Policy and Management from Seton Hall University. Maria is a dedicated advocate of foster children and an active participant in Allies for Every Child and Kidsave. She loves listening to podcasts — from NPR to Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations. As a new resident of Los Angeles, she is mesmerized by the beauty and peace that the ocean and mountains provide and spends much time on weekends swimming and paddleboarding.

maria@hshla.org • (323) 465-1320

Angelique S. Campen, MD Esthetic Medicine Specialist and ER Doctor Providence St. Joseph Medical Center Asst. Adj. Professor of Medicine, UCLA Emergency Dept. Angelique S. Campen, MD is a mother of three, an Emergency Medicine Physician, an entrepreneur, and an expert in the field of esthetic medicine. A graduate of Marlborough, Georgetown University, and UCLA School of Medicine, Angelique has served as Medical Director of the Emergency Department at Providence St Joseph Medical Center and faculty in emergency medicine at UCLA. She is founder of Vital Medical Services, which serves law enforcement facilities and thus reduces ER overcrowding. She also owns “The Best Kept Secret in Larchmont,” where she offers in-home confidential botox and fillers. You have likely seen many of her clients either on the big screen, TV, or along the streets of Larchmont, but you would never know it (with her talent for achieving the natural look). In her “free time” she is mom to Hunter, Paris, and Scarlett, travels on medical missions to Peru, Cambodia and Nepal, is a member of Wilshire Rotary and The Ebell, and leads the $70 million campaign to build a new ER at Providence.

323-788-3409

Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

Sato’s Flicka children’s shop is a small part of something very special

By Suzan Filipek Kristin Sato greets you at the welcoming Dutch door of her children’s clothing store, Flicka. The Larchmont shop, known for its creative displays and great clothing and gift wrapping, has been warming hearts and lifting spirits for three generations. Even during the pandemic, the little girl party dresses sold, and Kristin made home deliveries. It’s part of the five-star customer service she is known for. “That was kind of fun … seeing where people live and seeing the different neighborhoods,” she said. She is wearing a boho-chic style dress, which comes in mother and daughter sizes and is among popular items at the store. Since other longtime Larchmont favorites have closed, such as Pickett Fences and Landis Toys, Sato has brought in more mommy and me and daddy and me designs, toys and accessories. “We’re doing what we can to fill that void,” Sato says. She found new life for display fixtures from Joane Pickett’s former store, including a white-washed shelf stand hand built by Wiley Pickett. “[Joane] was very supportive… Her legacy lives on in a small way at Flicka.” Sato celebrates 29 years on Larchmont at the familyfounded shop. It has served three generations of customers since Sato’s mom, Liz Reilly, opened the store in 1992 with Kristin’s sister, Lisa Sato. Reilly named it Flicka, which means little girl in her home country of Sweden. Flicka was inspired by the closing of children’s clothing store Lemonade Lake. “My mom shopped there for our little sister, Caitlin,” Kristin says. When Reilly retired in 2013, Kristin joined her sister in running the family business, and expanded it to include toys and clothes for infants through preteens for boys and girls. Kristin grew up in Hancock Park and attended Third Street Elementary, John Burroughs and Immaculate Heart High before graduating from Loyola Marymount University. While her mom came from Sweden, her father was born in a horse stable at a relocation camp for Japanese Americans at Santa Anita racetrack. Things got better, and the family has lived on Las Palmas and Lucerne, Kristin notes amid stuffed unicorns and a four-foottall dinosaur that greets customers at the front door. Some customers who had brought their children are now grandmothers, and they are now shopping for their grandbabies. Her sister Lisa has moved

KRISTIN SATO

into children’s wholesale downtown, and, in 2019, Kristin opened a second Flicka shop in another tight-knit community, The Glen Centre in Bel Air. She credits her Larchmont landlord, Tom Kneafsey, for his support. “He sees the long

term value of having a mom and pop shop. “I provide memories and experience and tradition… “We’re all a small part of something really big. Larchmont is really special,” says Kristin.

Myra Chen Supporter and Governing Board member Pilgrim School

Myra Chen is a Pilgrim School superhero! Born in China, she pleased her parents by graduating from medical school as a general surgeon. She then promptly disappointed them by pursuing a career in the food and beverage industry instead, where her ambitious and indefatigable spirit made her one of the most successful women in Shanghai. She started by supplying food and beverages to 5-star hotels, airlines, and cruise ships. By the time she moved to the US, she left behind a vast business in China as the largest luxury food and beverage supplier to cruise ships docking at Shanghai and developer of a trading company that was the exclusive importer/distributor of a variety of French and European comestibles in China. She was also the creator of one of the first specialty dairy companies in the country, building a factory that supplied hotels, cruise ships, and supermarkets with domesticallyproduced cheese, yogurt, creme fraiche, and more. She carried three phones, one for each business, so anyone who called would feel their concerns were met by speaking to the owner. When Myra came to Los Angeles, she gave up the 3 phones, became a fulltime Mom, and got involved in real estate and home renovation, where she discovered a new passion. She was introduced to Pilgrim School by friends in the community, and enrolled her son John at age 10 before he had learned any English. His experience was so positive that she brought her niece Miku from Japan and enrolled her at 10 before she could speak English as well. They both went on to become active and beloved members of the student community, and graduated very successfully—John to UC Berkeley in 2020 and Miku to UCLA in 2021. Myra and her husband Robert Koven are now empty nesters and Myra is going back to her medical roots by watching the health of family and friends. She is also concentrating on a four-year project restoring the historic William Mead Estate in Los Feliz to its original beauty. She remains a great supporter of Pilgrim School where she is now a member of the Governing Board. Myra will always be a precious part of the Pilgrim family. 540 S. Commonwealth Ave. • pilgrim-school.org • (213) 385-7351


Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

WOMEN OF LARCHMONT 2021

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Whooley runs a people-service business in ‘wonderful’ Larchmont By Talia Abrahamson Kathy Whooley has been working wonders on the eighth floor of Larchmont Medical Building for 39 years. Whooley, the owner of Larchmont Physical Therapy, is a neighborhood staple and treats thousands of patients, but she could never have foretold it in her adolescence. “I didn’t grow up thinking I wanted to own a business, but I’m certainly glad now that I ended up on Larchmont,” Whooley said. She was an athlete in high school, and she said a guidance counselor suggested she might be interested in physical therapy, which turned into her B.S. degree at Boston University. After a terrible snowstorm in 1978, she moved out to sunny California, where she earned her MBA at Pepperdine University. “I’m certainly a happier girl with this kind of weather than dealing with New England’s humidity and bugs and snow,” Whooley said. “Larchmont to me feels like Back East, a bit. People know each other for generations and still live in

the same area. It’s a good fit for a Bostonian.” She became owner of Larchmont Physical Therapy in 1985, when the previous owner wanted to pass on the business. A year later, she married her husband, Jay Jacoby. Larchmont Physical Therapy has 10 other employees and operates every weekday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Whooley kept the practice open during the pandemic, incorporating telehealth visits that stopped on July 15. She said the return to more in-office appointments is better not only for understanding someone’s range of motion, but for connecting with patients. She usually sees patients twice a week, which she says makes physical therapy a rewarding profession. “We’re very much a peopleservice business, and there’s some intimacy with sharing pain or dysfunctions,” Whooley said. “We have a deeper level of communication with our patients when they have difficulty sleeping, grooming [and] dressing, and we can help people.”

Patricia Carroll President Hollywoodland Realty Patricia Carroll grew up in the real estate business as the daughter of Hollywoodland owner Ed Carroll. She is now president of the firm her late father operated in two offices since the 1940s on Larchmont Blvd. and Beachwood Dr. Patti actively works for preservation, and is the Treasurer for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, where she also serves on the Land Use and Outreach committees. She is a member of the Ebell Club, SASNA, Friends of Hope-Net and is on the boards of the Anderson-Munger YMCA and the Larchmont Boulevard Association. She also commutes to Paris and Majorca with her husband Mark, where they served for many years as directors of international marketing for French Vogue and French Architectural Digest magazines. Her address is in the Hollywoodland Realty office at 584 N. Larchmont Blvd., and the original 1923 Hollywoodland Realty office is at 2700 N. Beachwood Dr. (323) 469-3171 • Cell: (213) 268-3171

Careylyn Clifford Controller

I am a Hancock Park native and a blessed mother of two All Stars: Noah, 14, & Natalee Carey, 10. During the COVID-19 pandemic as the world shut down both children advanced with LCS online at Mom’s work. Several years ago I earned my Contractor’s license, MBE, SBA8(a). I also started a global Health & Wellness business with Arbonne Int., offering plant based skin care, nutrition & an opportunity to change your life, (www.careylynclifford.arbonne.com). I am also an active member with National Women In Roofing. This year we donated a complete new roof at Alexandria House. I have enjoyed working with Doug Ratliff at Supreme Roofing on Gower since 2004. I implemented a Safety, Injury & Illness program in addition to COVID protocols with a 100% success rate. I am most appreciative and admire Doug at Supreme Roofing! He has been a monumental mentor and positive influence in my life. I am most grateful for my children and the continual joy they bring to my daily life.

1015 N. Gower St. • 323-469-2981

Whooley gets in her own exercise three to four times a week on the putting green. She has a 12 handicap and enjoys golfing at the first tee time, which is around 6 a.m., so that she can head to work. “I’m certainly an early morning person, but that helps,” Whooley said. “Because I love it, I don’t mind getting up early.” She worked as a fitness consultant for the Wilshire Country Club for 10 years. Most of all, she said working at Larchmont is her great privilege. “My business logo has been to ‘serve the community with caring professionalism,’ and I feel the same way,” Whooley said. “I’m in a wonderful neighborhood, I have a great staff, and I feel very proud of the work that we do here.”

WomenSpeak raises funds for Sisterhood

Speakers at WomenSpeak, Alexandria House’s recent fundraiser, included Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, and four Alexandria House leaders: board chair Caroline Fitzgerald, executive director Michelle Tonn, development director Michele Richards and founder Judith Vaughan. This year, the transitional shelter, 426 S. Alexandria Ave., raised funds for a new program, “Start-up Sisterhood LA,” which supports women at Alexandria House as they develop entrepreneurial skills and start-up businesses as another way of supporting themselves in becoming more independent and financially secure. Alexandria House is still accepting donations for the program. To donate, visit tinyurl.com/52b4rm7k or, to watch the event, visit tinyurl. com/zeubnewr

Pam Rudy:

(Continued from page 12) of Commerce and a docent with the Windsor Square-Hancock Park Historical Society. Pam grew up in the Larchmont community, in St. Andrews Square, where she still resides with her partner Pierre Debbaudt and their two golden retrievers and cat. Her son Glenn and daughter Kim grew up there, and they attended Loyola and Marlborough. When time permits, Pam visits Glenn and his wife Lisa and their two daughters in Ladera Ranch, in Orange County. Pam travels a bit further to see daughter Kim, her husband Patrick and their two sons at their Bradford Bed and Breakfast, in the town of Sonora, up in California’s Gold Country.

KATHY WHOOLEY

HEIDI DAVIS Realtor Humbled & grateful is how I feel about helping my clients navigate the LA real estate market. I have had the privilege of being a Realtor for 14+ years and having my clients put their trust in me to help guide them with such an important process in their lives is truly an honor. I came to real estate after a long career producing television commercials, yielding me a lifetime of experience and an abundance of great friendships. People would ask me “how did you make a career change?” And the answer was simple. Passion. If you don’t have a passion to do something, you simply won’t do it. It sounds cliché but I truly love what I do. I work with sellers & buyers all over this vast city. Being a native to Los Angeles gives me a wealth of expertise about the market in general and the nuances that each neighborhood offers.I currently live in Larchmont Village with my son & daughter, who are nearly grown! I feel so blessed to be part of this community and to be considered a specialist in my field. For me, every client is important and every client has a story. Listening to their stories and understanding how I can be of service is an incredible honor. 213.819.1289 • HeidiDavis5@gmail.com • www.simplyheididavis.com

Jennifer Kim

MS, CFP®, CMFC, CHFC, CLU

Senior Partner, Signature Estate & Investment Advisors, LLC (SEIA) Active Member of the Larchmont Community, Wife, and Mother, Jennifer Kim is a native of Los Angeles and a resident of Larchmont for over 20 years. She received her BA degree in Economics from UCLA in 1992. Jennifer is a Senior Partner in SEIA where she customizes wealth and investment strategies for families and corporations. She has been in the securities and insurance business since 1993. Jennifer is married to Mark Kim, a Los Angeles native and District Attorney in Downtown LA. They have four children, ages 10-17. Sterling graduated from Harvard-Westlake and will be attending the University of Michigan in the fall. Fiona and Sullivan attend Harvard-Westlake where Jennifer is the president of HW KAPA, and Remington attends St. James, where Jennifer serves on the PA Committee. Jennifer’s family is also active with Los Angeles International Fencing Center and local sports.

310-712-2323 • jkim@seia.com Securities offered through Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. (RAA), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through SEIA, 2121 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 1600, Los Angeles, CA 90067, (#!)) 712-2323. RAA is separately owned and other entities and/or marketing names, products or services referenced here are independent of RAA. CA Ins. #OB11807.


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WOMEN OF LARCHMONT 2021

Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

Like a good neighbor, Leisha Willis is there … on Larchmont

LEISHA WILLIS

Meredith Scott Lynn Founder & CEO,

WRiTE BRAiN BOOKS

From Legally Blonde to Literacy Building! After seven years on Larchmont (in the red Craftsman north of Rosewood) the company has expanded into 48 states and a few other countries with students PreK-12! WRiTE BRAiN’s project-based narrative & creative writing programs and suite of social-emotional learning programs — tangible and now also virtual — increase academic and personal confidence in youth of all learning styles and ages, as well as scores and skill sets! You may have seen Meredith in studio and indie films and in countless TV shows over her 33-year acting career, though she’s been full-time WB for a long time. Teachers and school-active parents, stop by or call! The company is about to do a growth-capital raise after at an exciting time for WB, and Meredith would love to meet any interested investors. Visit our site and see inspiring videos!

www.writebrainbooks.com • 855.WB.WORLD

Rachel V. Olivier Putt Putt Productions Writer, proofreader, copy editor, developmental editor: From books to website content, Rachel Olivier, soleproprietor of Putt Putt Productions, has been helping clients clarify their communications for over 20 years. A champion of the motto, “slow and steady wins the race,” Rachel believes thorough and thoughtful work stands the test of time. She has volunteered at AIDS Project Los Angeles and the Larchmont Boulevard Association’s Family Fair, as well as mentored students through online leadership programs at her alma mater, Western Washington University, organized and participated in local writers groups, read slush for the online speculative fiction and poetry ’zine “Bewildering Stories,” and has been a member of The Hatchery. A resident of Larchmont since 1999, she joined the Larchmont Chronicle in 2008 (you can read some of her articles online). Visit her websites to check out her business Putt Putt Productions and her published poetry and speculative fiction. Visit her Instagram page to see her “COVID projects,” including crocheting items to donate where needed, experiments with box cake mixes, growing herbs on her window sill, and hanging out with her cats.

puttputtproductions.com • rachelvolivier.com • @raevolivier

By Billy Taylor If you don’t know her name as your local insurance agent, you might recognize her face from a State Farm bench advertisement because Leisha Willis has been serving the greater Larchmont community since Nov. 1, 2013. “I couldn’t believe my good fortune,” Willis told the Chronicle last month when asked how she first discovered Larchmont Village. Working on the east coast for State Farm, Willis transferred to Los Angeles after being promoted as the company’s HR director for the state of California. In that role, she was living in Woodland Hills, and loved her work, but she wanted to be an agent and business owner. “I knew at some point I was going to open my own business, and I felt like Los Angeles was going to be home,” said Willis. However, at the time that she took the leap into operations, agents did not get to choose their office locations.

“It was a little frightening,” she admits. “I told State Farm that I was open to any opportunity in greater Los Angeles, but I had no idea where I would end up.” That’s when she got a call. Agent Brian Boyd was leaving his business and they wanted a new agent to take care of his Larchmont clients. “I immediately got in my car and drove here,” said Willis. “When I pulled onto Larchmont Boulevard, I thought, this is perfect. Larchmont is Main Street USA located within one of the largest economies in America. I parked my car and sat at the Coffee Bean just soaking up the environment,” she recalls. Willis was born and raised in Michigan and attended Spellman College in Atlanta, Georgia. “I did not intend to go into insurance, I was planning to study law,” Willis explained. But that’s when her father, who worked for State Farm, encouraged her to apply. “I did it, and I’ve never looked back,” said

Poker for All

fighting and keep believing in yourself.” – David Greenberg (L.A. Times, June 10, 2021)

(Continued from page 7) Oakley was born Phoebe Ann Moses in rural Ohio in August 1860. Her childhood was not a happy one, and she was put into the care of a family who treated her abusively. After returning to her own family, she helped support them using her rifle-shooting and hunting skills and, at age 15, she paid off her mother’s $200 mortgage. She got started in rifle shooting when, at age 7, she trapped birds and small animals to help provide food for her family. She tried using her father’s old muzzle-loading gun to bag even more game. This led to her career as an expert rifle shooter. She met Frank Butler, who later became her husband, when she accepted his challenge at rifle shooting — and won the match. A year later, they married and joined forces in their favorite sport. Soon after, they became the stars of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. They remained with the show for 16 years. Annie died in 1926. During her life, she not only made her mark as a great rifle shooter, but also set an example for women to participate in sporting events in competition with men who had previously dominated those games — including poker. George “The Engineer” Epstein, a long-time local resident, is the author of three poker books, including “The Art of Bluffing” and “Hold’em or Fold’em – An Algorithm for Making the Key Decision.” Life/Poker quote of the month “No matter how many times you try and fail, keep

Willis. “I love the organization.” In January, she celebrated 30 years with the company. As the old motto goes, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there,” so too is Willis. “Customers tell me that they like to have a local agent in the neighborhood. An agent that knows them, and knows what’s important to them. We take great pride in knowing all of our clients personally,” said Willis, who credits her “amazing team members” Ingrid and Hannah, who have worked with her for many years. Willis is busy with more than just managing her own small business. She serves on the board of the Larchmont Boulevard Association, is a member of West Angeles Church, is active with the alumni chapter of Spellman College, and she supports the St. Joseph Center. “Do you know what I love most about Larchmont Boulevard?” Willis asked. “That everyone wants the merchants to succeed. To have that community support is rare and important — at least to me as a small business owner,” she concluded.

Naomi Reem Executive Director of Education, Wilshire Boulevard Temple Naomi Reem, the first Executive Director of Education for Wilshire Boulevard Temple, has spent her entire professional life serving the Jewish community and developing educational frameworks that provide life-changing experiences for children and their families. As Brawerman Elementary School and the Early Childhood Center grow and thrive, her appointment demonstrates the Temple’s commitment to its schools and the value of Jewish Education. Naomi joins Wilshire after an exceptional 15-year tenure as Head of Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School of the Nation’s Capitol. Under her leadership, the school transformed from a small community day school in Washington, DC to one of the top Jewish and independent schools in North America. A brilliant strategic leader and educator, Naomi’s experience in Jewish education includes religious school, preschool, elementary, and middle school, serving students across the spectrum of Jewish observance on three continents. A true builder, she established a Jewish preschool in a Buenos Aires suburb, created a parent co-op nursery school in Jerusalem, and grew and transformed two Jewish day schools in the U.S. 3663 Wilshire Boulevard • wbtla.org • (213) 388-2401

Lisa Rosenstein Founding Head, The Willows Community School We salute Lisa Rosenstein for her visionary leadership since the founding of The Willows 25 years ago and for her uplifting devotion to our community during the current unprecedented times.

Lisa has over 40 years of experience as an educator and has overseen the development of The Willows from 90 students in a single building to 460+ students on a six-building campus. Through her leadership, The Willows is nationally recognized as a progressive educational leader with a strong academic program incorporating experiential learning, social emotional learning, critical thinking, and thematic instruction into cutting-edge curriculum. Lisa has collaborated with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence to bring RULER, Yale’s social/emotional learning approach, to the West Coast. She is a leader in community education who has established a lauded parent education program, speaker series, and professional development program. Lisa was the founding head of Temple Isaiah Day School and worked at the Steven S. Wise School. A graduate of American University, she has served on the boards of Windward School and Cal/West Educators. 8509 Higuera St., Culver City • (310) 815-0411 • www.thewillows.org


Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

WOMEN OF LARCHMONT 2021

15

LOCAL WOMEN TEAMED UP TO START LARCHMONT CHARTERS

Students, teachers at Lafayette Larchmont Charter breathing easier

By Suzan Filipek When students head back to Larchmont Charter School at Lafayette Park this month, they will be breathing easier. Eighty portable air purifiers have been installed in

the school’s classrooms, bathrooms and teachers’ lounges. The HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) purifiers’ technology captures over 99 percent of virus and allergen particulates from the air, including COVID-19, according to Texas-based company Alen, which made and installed the purifiers. It’s like a mask for an entire classroom, a company spokesperson added. The company partnered with the 600-student Lafayette charter campus of 8th-12th graders, at 2801 W. 6th St., and Amy Held, executive director for all four Larchmont Charter campuses: Lafayette, Hollygrove (TK-4), Fairfax (TK-4) and Selma (grades 5-7). Larchmont Charter history Larchmont Charter EIGHTY of the portable air filters were began in 2004 when a installed at the Lafayette campus. group of local parents

Julie Stromberg

Attorney, Activist, and Advocate An active community member, Julie is a civil rights attorney with the Disability Rights Legal Center where she is leading their special education practice. Julie is very active in local Los Angeles Democratic efforts and is a delegate to the California Democratic Party for Assembly District 50. She is a member of the Executive Committee for the Los Angeles City College Foundation, serves on the board of directors for Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, and is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Craft Contemporary. An Emerge California alumna, Julie was recognized as a “Woman of Larchmont” in 2015, “Wonder Woman of Council District 4” in 2019, and by the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust (LANLT) in 2021 for her work in creating more parks, open spaces, and park equity throughout Los Angeles County. Julie is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and Loyola Law School. Although she takes pride in her civic service, she is most proud of her role as mother of three young children, three rescue dogs, a rescue bird, and a fish.

1541 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 400, Los Angeles js@drlcenter.org • (323) 430-8658

Frances Tario Owner I attended Cal State Northridge University where I majored in business. Throughout the years I developed a passion at an incredibly young age for working in a foodoriented business. To expand and evolve my passion in business, I started working closely with private social clubs such as the Bel Air Bay, The Jonathan, and The California Club. There is always a learning curve in any line of work; that is why it is so important to stay physically and mentally strong. It can be a struggle, but you need to remember to be self-confident and to know your self-worth. I worked extremely hard to become successful in a food-oriented business. 2020 was a difficult year, but we have conquered staying healthy and in business. After experiencing the 2020 pandemic, I thank our community for helping us make it. We are so grateful! I always tell my daughters & nieces that a woman in business is a woman in power. We can build anything we choose to. I am proud to instill that message in young girls today. I tell them “Find your passion, know your worth and thank God.” I am thankful to say I have found my passion in life and that same passion has turned me into the woman I am today.

frances@dupars-psr.com • (323) 933-8446

LARCHMONT CHARTER Executive Director Amy Held spoke at an unveiling of the air filters at the Lafayette campus. She oversees all four Larchmont Charter campuses.

convened in their neighbor Lindsay Sturman’s back yard on Beachwood Drive to discuss creating an alternative neighborhood school within the Los Angeles Unified School District. At the time, their existing local elementary school in the Hollywood area lacked diversity, was overcrowded, and was under-performing.  The parents wanted a more progressive, constructivist curriculum and academic rigor. Partnering with fellow Harvard alumna, Dvora Inwood, and co-founders Heather Boylston and Rebecca Hutchinson, the women created a team that would make Larchmont Charter a reality. Larchmont Charter opened in September 2005 as a K-2nd grade elementary school with 120 students. Today Larchmont Charter School has more than 1,400 students enrolled in grades TK-12 across four campuses and is one of the most soughtafter charter schools in Los Angeles, school officials say. Larchmont graduated its first senior class in June, 2016.

100 years

Kathy Whooley PT, OCS, CSCS, CPI, MBA Owner, Larchmont Physical Therapy (LPT) “Providing a safe and clean environment while keeping you moving” An accomplished physical therapist, Kathy Whooley has enjoyed serving the orthopedic and sports medicine community for over 36 years. LPT is regarded as one of the most respected outpatient practices in the city, where Kathy oversees a dedicated team of professionals whose goals are to ensure optimal results for a variety of clients with ever challenging sets of needs. Kathy is a Boston University Magna Cum Laude graduate who relocated to Southern California, where she earned her MBA in Business Administration from Pepperdine University. Her other credentials include: • Orthopedic Clinical Specialist Certification (OCS) • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Certification (CSCS) • Certified Pilates Instructor (CPI) • USGAFA Golf Specific Fitness Trainer

Kathy Whooley, PT, OCS • Larchmont Physical Therapy 321 No Larchmont Blvd #825 LA, CA 90004 • 323 464-4458

Leisha Willis CPCU, AU, API Owner & Agent Leisha opened her State Farm agency in Larchmont Village in 2013 following a 20-year career in management with the organization. Prior to becoming a State Farm agent, she directed human resources operations in California and led recruiting efforts in the southeast states for State Farm. A Michigan native, Leisha graduated Magna Cum Laude from Spelman College with undergraduate studies at Oxford University as a Luard Foundation Scholar. Her professional accreditations include Chartered Property-Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Associate in Underwriting (AU), and Associate in Personal Insurance (API). She is a Leadership America alumna and former board member for the United Way. Leisha holds her Life/ Health and Property/Casualty licenses and is a Registered Representative for State Farm VP Management Corp. In her spare time, Leisha enjoys running, traveling and spending time with family. She is active in community outreach organizations, serves on the board of the Larchmont Boulevard Association, and is honored to have mentored many young people in their careers.

500 North Larchmont Blvd • 323-785-4080 • leisha@leishawillis.com


16

Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

WOMEN OF LARCHMONT 2021

The Women of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Salute the

Women of Larchmont LISA HUTCHINS Celebrating 27 consecutive years as the #1 Office Agent & the #5 & #9 Company Agent in Greater L.A. for 2019 & 2020! Graduate of local 3rd Street and Marlborough schools and Stanford University. Born on Norton Ave and currently lives in Windsor Square. Over 34 years in Real Estate. CalRE #01018644

Call Lisa (323) 216-6938

CalRE #01188513

CalRE #00769979

CalRE #01883730

CalRE #01510192

Celebrating 23 years of residing in the Hancock Park area with her family and sixteen years with Coldwell Banker. Shar thrives on the sales skills and negotiations paramount to closing the deal. Your referrals are always welcome. Shar has been named to the International President’s Circle and is certifield Global Luxury Specialist. Call (323) 860-4258.

CalRE #01206447

Maria is an Award winning sales producer since 1995. Her specialties are Single Family, Multi Family, Short Sale, Bank Owned, (REO), Probate & Trust Sales. Maria has been awarded the Coldwell Banker Int’l President’s Circle Award . Maria ranks in the top 3% Sales producer Nationwide. For a free and private consultation. English and Spanish languages. Call (213) 705-1603

CECILLE COHEN

As an agent who’s an expert in this local area, I bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise about buying and selling real estate here. It’s not the same ever ywhere, so you need someone you can trust for upto-date information. I am eager to serve you.

Cecille delivers results. Resolves problems. Reliable, responsive, effective. Over 37 years distinction. President’s Club. Top awards. She & her husband are parents of 5 children who attended Yavneh, Toras Emes, YULA, Bais Yakov, Yeshiva Gedolah.

Call (323) 252-7287

CalRE #00884530

Call (213) 810-9949 cecille.cohen@camoves.com

CINDY DEFATTA

KATHY GLESS

I am a neighbor. I love our neighborhood! I am passionate, ethical and smart. I do not take lightly the responsibilty that I am given. I do try to make every sale as stress free and yes..even fun and exciting.

Holding the title of Executive Sales Director & Global Luxury Specialist, Kathy is celebrating her 36th year with Coldwell Banker. She is a graduate of SC. Kathy & her partner are noted for pleasant, stress free & successful transactions. Charities include Meals on wheels, Good Shepherd Center for Women & Children and Hope net. CalRE #00626174

Call (323) 460-7622

“Each transaction is like a puzzle and it excites me to make sure all the pieces fit as easily as possible! I love helping people achieve the American Dream!” I was born & raised in Los Angeles with over 25 years of experience in real estate & graduate of Pepperdine Univer University. When she is not selling real estate she is serving @ St. Brendan’s School or Loyola H.S. where her children attend. Call (213) 923-8086

CalRE #01118844

Started her career as a real estate agent 30 years ago in the Coldwell Banker Beverly Hills office. Fluent in English and French. Recently relocated to L.A. from Australia. Hardwork ing, great local knowledge and marketing skills to achieve her client’s goals. Loves working with sellers, preparing their homes for sale. Hancock Park resident (310) 739-3070

CalRE #00887754

Victoria is a Los Angeles native and a long-time resident of Hancock Park/Windsor Square. Her real estate career spans 25 + years with such achievements as Rookie of the Year, Assistant Manager, Top Producer and Woman of the Year. She has sold from Santa Monica to Palm Springs & is a member of numerous charitable & religious organizations. (323) 823-6869.

CalRE #01293183

CalRE #00918577

A long-time resident of the area, Jenny specializes in residential and commercial real estate. She has more than 34 years experience and is a consistent top producer. Jenny is a native of Taiwan & speaks three dialects of Chinese. She is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers & Altrusa International. She is married with two sons. Call (213) 810-8791

CalRE #01005153

Sandy is dedicated to bridging the needs of buyers and sellers with personalized, one-on-one service from the starting line to the dotted line. She has the comprehensive knowledge, negotiating experience and marketing skills helping her clients since 1988 to achieve their goals. Sandy grew up in Hancock Park and has lived in Brookside for over 40 years. Call (323) 687-6552.

CalRE #01440214

Grace Kim understands that buying and selling a home can be a challenging experience. As an experienced real estate professional, Grace provides the highest quality service with attention to details that will make your sale or purchase a smooth and seamless process. You can rest assure that Grace will take care of your real estate needs every step of the way. Trust in Grace to have your best interest at heart. Call Grace at (213) 700-6833.

F or

LEAH BRENNER

CalRE #00917665

Call (323) 860-4245

CalRE #01487763

Over twenty years ago, Barbara relocated from Massachusetts with a Master’s Degree from Boston University’s School of Communications. She specializes in residential homes & residential income properties in the Hancock Park, Miracle Mile, Hollywood, Silver Lake & Los Feliz areas. She’s a member of International President’s Circle. Call (323) 610-1781 www.BarbaraAllenla.com

BARBARA ALLEN

TERRI MCCORTNEY

CalRE #01161421

SANDY BOECK

For 21 yrs, Laura Kate has lived within 5 mins of her Larchmont office. An avid traveler, she brings an Int’l perpective to her work - she understands what draws people from all over the world to LA, but also knows what makes Angelenos feel at home. CalRE #01865790

I have worked in Real Estate since 1974, selling property from BWI’s to Mexico, Virginia, Florida, Utah, and California. I know how to find the best value and use it to your advantage. If you are thinking about a move, please call me Ginger (323) 252-6612 CalRE #01884677

CATHIE WHITE

Cathie’s philosophy as a real estate agent mirrors her philosophy for life - listen learn and care. She lives, works and plays in Larchmont but her experience expands beyond these boundaries. Cathie’s goal at Coldwell Banker is to be an advocate for her clients, be it as they buy, lease orsell,andmakesuretheyreceivethe best information service and overall experience available. CalRE #02088625

JUNE LEE

CalRE #00601286

June has been a long-time resident and prominent realtor in Hancock Park meeting the individual needs of each client with her expertise and knowledge of the area. In each of her year’s affiliation with Coldwell Banker, June has been named to the International President’s Circle / Elite and is a certified Previews Property Specialist. (323) 860-4262.

more listings and inFormation visit us online at

ColdwellBankerHomes.com

Call (310) 600-4723

GINGER LINCOLN

SALINA CORTEZ

CalRE #02070839

Terri has lived in the Hancock Park area since 1971. She has been with the Coldwell Banker Hancock Park North office since 1995 where she has been a multi-million-dollar producer. She specializes in Westside residential real estate to include Hancock Park, Miracle Mile, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz and Silver Lake. Please call Terri at (323) 251-7792

LAURA KATE JONES

GRACE KIM

Salina holds a degree in design which she incorporates strongly into the real estate market. Inheriting a strong work ethic since childhood believes being honest, available and following through has sustained the elite clientele throughout her professional life. She has a calm sense in wisdom of knowing they connect with her. “Believe in yourself and anything is possible”. (310)487-0447

Call (323) 864-3004 www.LovelandCarr.com

Leah has three loves: family, real estate and community. A proud grand mother, resident of HP, supporter of local charities and a top producing agent, Leah has achieved many accolades over her 38-year career. Leah and her partner Naomi are members of the prestigious Society of Excellence and earned a position on TheWallStreetJournal/REALTrendslist of the nation’s top 1,000 REALTORS®

JENNY CHOW

Beata has been a part of the Naomi & Leah Team for the last 15 years. She is committed to honesty, hard work, and being a true partner to every client. Her pledge is to strive to provide clients with an exceptional service every step of the way and an excellent Real Estate experience that exceeds your expectations Call (323) 244-6157

CalRE #01467820

BETSY MALLOY

BEATA SWIDERSKA

CalRE # 01514853

A Tradition Of Excellence, Integrity, Hard Work And Innovation. Among The To p R e a l E s t a t e A g e n t s From Hancock Park To The Coastline. Specializing In All Aspects Of Residential And Income Properties. Distinctive, Personalized And Attentive Service. Call Anne at (213) 718-1527

Betsy is a very trustworthy real estate agent. Her expertise in preparing a house for sale is incredible. She takes a marginal house and with minimal expense, turns it into a home where people put multiple offers to live in. She is a fullservice agent whose warmth and genuine caring has made her loved by all who know her. She is deeply committed to her clients getting them top dollar for their homes. (323) 806-0203.

VICKIE BASCOY

BELLA KAY

Bella Kay, with over 39 years of experience in the local real estate industry, speaks five languages fluently: English, Arabic, French, Italian, and Spanish, taken courses in interior design. Known for her patience, persistence, and enthusiasm, she has a loyal following of satisfied clients throughout Hancock Park, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, & the Westside. (323) 972-3408.

CalRE #00877506

JEANNINE YATES

HANA ALI

Hana Ali is the daughter of M uhammad Ali. Like her father she is a people person and enjoys being of service to others. Hana grew up in Fremont Place Hancock Park and went to Paige Elementary school on Larchmont Blvd. Hana will provide the highest level of service for every buyer and seller. Call (310) 775-5307

Call (323) 864-7407 www.LovelandCarr.com

ANNE AUSTIN

MARIA GOMEZ

MICHELLE HANNA

CalRE #01007407

CalRE #00855785

SUSAN YIM

CalRE #01011584

CalRE #02021986

36 years and counting! Mastering the art of real estate requires close attention to detail, patience and a healthy dose of humor. Long and strong client bonds have made the years fly by!

SHAR PENFOLD

Call Cindy at (760) 703-3877

CalRE #01068814

ANNE LOVELAND Armed with an MBA from USC, Anne brings business discipline to the team, its staff & her clients. Loveland Carr is consistently among the Top 100 producing teams nationwide. Anne loves architecture, creative problem solving and applying technology to the buying & selling process. She always answers the phone!

CalRE #00888374

NAOMI HARTMAN

Buying or selling in Hancock Park or Miracle Mile? Look no further. Respected by clients and colleagues, Naomi has 41 years of real estate experience. She and her partner Leah have a history of setting records and garnering accolades, including their membership in the Society of ExcellenceandTheWallStreetJournal/ REALTrendslistofthenation’stop1,000 REALTORS® (323) 860-4259 www.naomiandleah.com

JANET LOVELAND Janet always loves a challenge and a chance to be creative. Working with Sellers to fix up their homes prior to listing & complex negotiations remain her greatest joys. Preserving is her new hobby. See her in action & the fruits of her labor at the Loveland Carr Facebook page!

Call (323) 864-7406 www.LovelandCarr.com

JUNE AHN

June Ahn is a top producing agent and an estate director with Coldwell Banker Hancock Pa r k . A m e m b e r o f t h e International President’s Elite, June has been recognized as one of the top 100 agents of Coldwell Banker in all of Southern California. She has earned many awards for her outstanding achievements. Please call (323) 855-5558.

SUE CARR

Call (323) 371-3152

SEV CAMERON Sev is a friendly problem solver professional with a positive attitude and engaging personality. Strong business background. She is dedicated to her work and a good communicator. Lifetime learner. Earned degrees in Real Estate and Paralegal. Speaks English, Turkish and French. CalRE #02081494

Call (310) 717-8519

Hancock Park 251 Larchmont Blvd. 323.464.9272

©2021 Coldwell Banker. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker logos are trademarks of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. The Coldwell Banker® System is comprised of company owned offices which are owned by a subsidiary of Realogy Brokerage Group LLC and franchised offices which are independently owned and operated. The Coldwell Banker System fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. CalRE #00616212

Profile for Larchmont Chronicle

LC Women of Larchmont 08 2021  

Los Angeles, local news, Larchmont Village, real estate sales, gallery, theater, movie reviews, museums, libraries, local schools, youth sp...

LC Women of Larchmont 08 2021  

Los Angeles, local news, Larchmont Village, real estate sales, gallery, theater, movie reviews, museums, libraries, local schools, youth sp...

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