Conejo Valley MAY 2017
SUPER WOMEN AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY WOMEN MAESTRA MAKES HISTORY
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Onward & Upward! L
ast year, our May issue featured several leading women in our Conejo Valley community. It was so well-received by our readers that we decided to see if we could do an even better job this year. I believe we did. I hope you all agree. Many, many thanks to our wonderful Editor Tracy Marcynzsyn. She pulled it all together, interviewed some fantastic women and, to use one of my co-publisher’s favorite analogies, she “knocked it over the fence.” He loves baseball!
These are challenging times for women. If we do not pay attention, we will see all of our progress during the past 100 years (yes, way back beginning with the Suffragettes) diminished. It’s time to stand tall, and the women we feature in this issue do exactly that, in business, the arts, education, nonprofits and other endeavors. They are leaders who are forging their identities through their accomplishments. Before Ben and I started Conejo Valley Lifestyle, I had never dreamed of starting my own business. Frankly I was not any sort of career leader. My focus had been on my family and for a time, my Temple. The past two years have changed all that. What is really interesting is that my daughter beat me to the punch as an entrepreneur. While raising a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old, she started a thriving wedding planning and events business, which often results in 18-hour days. Ben recently challenged his daughter, a university professor with 11- and 13-year-old girls, to stop complaining about politics on Facebook and run for office in Pennsylvania. If she does, her opponents better watch out. Tia is her name, and years ago, her brothers nicknamed her T-Rex, so you can imagine the rest. As you can tell, our family is proud of our women, and here in the Conejo Valley, we have an incredibly strong sisterhood of leaders. Onward and upward ladies!
MAY 2017 PUBLISHER
Ben Malkin | Ben.Malkin@LifestylePubs.com Robin Chesler | Robin.Chesler@LifestylePubs.com EDITOR
Tracy Marcynzsyn | Tracy.Marcynzsyn@LifestylePubs.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Adrienne Wigdortz Anderson, Alicia Doyle, David Kreinces, Tracy Marcynzsyn, Rocky Mills, Michael Radka CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS
Ben Malkin, Robert Yeager
CORPORATE TEAM | Steven Schowengerdt
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
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| Nicolette Martin
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Conejo Valley Lifestyle | May 2017
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P.O. Box 12608 Overland Park, KS 66282-3214 Proverbs 3:5-6 Conejo Valley Lifestyle™ is published monthly by Lifestyle Publications LLC. It is distributed via the US Postal Service to some of Conejo Valley’s most affluent neighborhoods. Articles and advertisements do not necessarily reflect Lifestyle Publications’ opinions. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written consent. Lifestyle Publications does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. Information in Conejo Valley Lifestyle™ is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy of all information cannot be guaranteed.
24 Ladies Who Lead
Paving a path for prosperity and progress
28 NAWBO Awards
Honoring women who create and inspire Ventura County
36 Artful Visionaries
Fostering the arts
44 Orchestrating Destiny
Female conductor scores firsts
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©2016 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage oﬃce is owned by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker® and the Coldwell Banker Logo, Coldwell Banker Previews International® and the Coldwell Banker Previews International Logo, are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Real estate agents aﬃliated with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage are independent contractor sales associates and are not employees of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. CalBRE Lic # 00545184.
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Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
©2016 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage oﬃce is ©2016 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage oﬃce is owned by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker® and the Coldwell Banker Logo, Coldwell Banker Previews International® and the Coldwell Banker Previews International Logo, are registered service marks owned by Coldwell owned by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker® and the Coldwell Banker Logo, Coldwell Banker Previews International® and the Coldwell Banker Previews International Logo, are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Broker does not guarantee the accuracy of square footage, lot size or other information concerning the condition or features of property provided by seller or obtained from public records or other sources, Banker Real Estate LLC. Broker does not guarantee the accuracy of square footage, lot size or other information concerning the condition or features of property provided by seller or obtained from public records or other sources, and the buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of that information through personal inspection and with appropriate professionals. CalBRE Lic # 00545184. and the buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of that information through personal inspection and with appropriate professionals. CalBRE Lic # 00545184.
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READ THIS Local award-winning screenwriter/producer, author, food and lifestyle journalist, and TV host (“Simply Delicious Living,” PBS-TV) Maryann Ridini Spencer announces the hardcover release of Lady in the Window, her new novel about hope, healing and the mother-daughter bond. Available online at BarnesandNoble.com, Lady in the Window is the story of Kate Grace, a woman who seemingly has it all and faces the trials and tribulations of death, romance and finding one’s authentic place in the world. Set in Hanalei, Kauai, the novel was inspired by the author’s visit to Hawaii. “I knew that I wanted to write about family and healing,” says Spencer. “It was during a visit to Kauai in 2014 that I decided to place my novel in Kauai because of the affinity I had for Hawaii and its people. Then after my dear mother passed... the story of Lady in the Window just unfolded for me,” Spencer says. Lady in the Window leads Kate towards her path of destiny: discov-
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ering true love, purpose and the infinite bond between mother and daughter. For more information, visit MaryannRidiniSpencer.com.
WELCOME TO WESTLAKE! A revolutionary hypnotherapy and wellness center specializing in weight loss and lifestyle enrichment recently opened in Westlake Village. Thinessence celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting last month. At Thinsessence, taking a holistic approach to wellness allows clients to make positive changes. “Health is not the absence or presence CONTINUED >
Conejo Valley Lifestyle | May 2017
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of one thing. Instead, it is a proprietary blend of various factors that contribute to mental, physical and emotional well-being. The goal is to help educate the mind and body to work together, as they were designed.” Thinsessence’s resourceful team includes specialists in clinical hypnotherapy, personal training and vibration therapies. “Every single service we offer provides positive momen-
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The 18th Annual Bravo Awards Honoring Women Who Create and Inspire Ventura County recognized incredible women who are “creative in their passions, talented in their fields and humble in their roles” at its annual awards ceremony last month. THE Small Business Expert Susan Solovic served as event host and keynote speaker. A bestselling author and award-winning serial entrepreneur, Susan inspired the crowd with her enthusiasm and words of
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wisdom. Mimi Donaldson, the “pitch coach” from “American Inventor” served as the Mistress of Ceremonies recognizing the
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Conejo Valley Lifestyle | May 2017
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ABOUT New Zealand Cuisine
Back in New Zealand, whether surrounded by the backdrop of the Auckland harbour or the rolling hills of green grass and the smell of feijoa trees, locals are accustomed to fresh and organic meals at home and at the local restaurants. In one of Auckland City’s top restaurants, dining out is not just another outing but a one-of-a-kind experience complete with top quality ingredients, beautifully plated dishes, and most importantly, an environment designed for the laid back Kiwi lifestyle. Many restaurants flaunt their trustworthy kitchens with open passes, allowing the customers to view the chefs from their seats. While a typical United States kitchen relies on pepper and strong seasonings, the Kiwi chef creatively designs dishes to showcase the best combination of flavors, without masking the natural flavors of the food. Aroha, New Zealand Cuisine was founded in 2014 by Award Winning Kiwi Chef Gwithyen Thomas (at age 26) and his wife, Justine (at age 23). Meaning love and compassion in Maori, Aroha is dedicated in loving memory to Gwithyen’s mother, Athena, and Justine’s grandfather, Harold.
Chef Thomas has created a menu designed to represent the mouthwatering flavors of New Zealand with only the highest quality ingredients. Our menu features hand-grown and predominantly organic produce (our passion fruit and feijoa are grown on our back patio!), free-range and grass-fed organic meats primarily from New Zealand, and fresh New Zealand seafood that’s flown in less than 48 hours out of the water. Dishes are seasoned with native New Zealand plants including horopito and kawakawa. Chef Thomas and his team take pride in creating house-made dishes. Ice creams, ricotta cheese, chutneys, cured and smoked meats and seafood, are all made in house.
eaching to the middle” is a widely used characterization of a teacher’s efforts in a classroom environment. Sadly, this notion has
taken on a negative connotation rather than a positive one. So, if you’re a classroom teacher with a class size of 15 or more, would you assume it’s appropriate to bend your instructional approach more toward accelerated students or toward students needing increased attention? “Teaching to the middle” is an overly simplistic way to describe what classroom teachers try to achieve every day. Simply, a teacher is trying to leverage the effective sum of their abilities across a cohort of students. The challenge is to effectively teach every student at every level within the
TEACHING TO THE MIDDLE & WHY HALSTROM ACADEMY EXISTS ARTICLE MICHAEL RADKA
cohort. As class sizes have increased, so too has the challenge to effectively instruct the growing number of students who may not respond well to classroom instruction efforts. Often there are education casualties in the classroom environment. These casualties often have to do with some of the varied ways students are wired to learn. Some students may have a specific learning challenge that creates hurdles in a learner’s mind and diminishes the rate of learning for newly taught concepts. In this student’s case, it is often found that, without the learning challenge, the student may learn new content at a normal pace. Some students find themselves bored repeatedly. As instruction continues and questions are being answered from the cohort, this student has already understood the content and is often waiting for everyone else to catch up. In this case, might that student be able to complete courses in a much faster amount of time if given the opportunity? In the case of both students, a specific individualized instruction approach could benefit their unique learning rates and styles. If placed in a one-to-one education environment, the student with a learning challenge may easily receive, on a daily basis, the remediation that is specific to his or her learning needs. If placed in a one-to-one education environment, the bored student may be able to consume course content at a pace more suited to his or her learning appetite. This might result in the student completing courses much earlier than their peers. At Halstrom Academy, we designed our education approach to be conducted in a one-to-one format to effectively address the learning needs of the students described earlier. Often times the “learning challenge” student and “bored” student visit our school after having spent years experiencing learning environments that don’t address their needs. When they arrive, we see that their love of learning has greatly diminished or even disappeared. So, our approach not only entails providing an academic model that addresses their learning needs, it may also involve recovering a desire or love for learning within the student. Many times students have come to us with deep frustrations and dislikes about school. After spending three to four months at Halstrom Academy, they find themselves enjoying courses they once disliked and emerge seeing a future for themselves. We opened our Halstom Academy Westlake Village campus in June of 2014. Since that time we have established a reputation in the Conejo Valley as an alternative education source that facilitates a dynamic learning environment for our full- and part-time students. If your learner is “bored” in school or experiencing academic hurdles that are difficult to resolve, Halstrom Academy may be an ideal school choice for you. Michael Radka is the director at the Halstrom campus in Westlake Village. He is available to discuss your situation, meet your learner and help devise an academic plan that works. He can be reached at 805.409.7921.
Conejo Valley Lifestyle | May 2017
MEAN TO YOU?
At the My Health Studio Lifestyle Enrichment Network we call “wellness” that feel-good, lookgood feeling. It’s a state of being that is physical, spiritual and psychological…yet uniquely different for each of us. It may be the sound of laughter, the peace of calming conversation or the courage to navigate your own path. Since the inception of MHS, it has been our passion to provide integrative services to help our clients improve their overall health. The wait is over – we have just what you have been searching for! We are excited to have practitioners who are among the best in their respective industries. We all share the same philosophy: OUR CLIENTS COME FIRST!
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CUSTOMIZED PROGRAMS TO HELP YOU THRIVE. ALL UNDER ONE ROOF! L I N D E R O O A K S S H O P P I N G C E N T E R I 3 1 1 3 9 V IA COL INAS, # 30 3 I W E S T L A K E V I L L A G E
ARTICLE PACIFIC FESTIVAL BALLET PHOTOGRAPHY ROBERT YEAGER
A Performance of Biblical Proportions: NOAH’S ARK APPEARS IN THE CONEJO VALLEY
n Saturday, May 20, Pacific Festival Ballet will present an encore performance of “Noahʼs Ark,” a multimedia presentation featur-
ing ballet, contemporary dance, aerial work, video and special effects performed by guest artists and select students from California Dance Theatre, the companyʼs training school. Another bravado is the original 90-minute score recorded in Russia with a 60-piece orchestra. The second collaboration between Pacific Festival Balletʼs Artistic Director Kim Maselli and composer Eric Allaman, “Noahʼs Ark” is a retelling of the well-known biblical story. This theatrical ballet trans-
“We have created a beautiful balance in ‘Noahʼs Ark’,’” noted Eric Allaman, Pacific Festival Ballet’s resident composer. “The music had to reflect the magnitude of the story, from the gathering of animals, to the devastation of the Flood and on to the promise of a new beginning. There is a rich tapestry of emotion woven into the score.”
ports the audience on a melodic voyage as this timeless saga is brought to life through dance.
Pacific Festival Ballet’s out-of-the-box thinking is a signature
“Our production is of epic proportions,” observed Maselli, “rich in
of the company, but the dazzle element for which they have
drama, colorful characters, hope and a storyline that allows me to frame
become known is also there. “One of our dancers who is also
Noah's personal journey against the most compelling of backdrops.”
an aerialist will be performing the role of the Dove on silks sus-
Such an undertaking went beyond the bounds of mere ballet, Maselli
pended 20 feet in the air,” reminiscent of something one might
observed, “which is why I felt inspired to take a multimedia approach
see in Cirque du Soleil, Maselli noted. “It is breathtaking the way
to telling Noahʼs tale.” The flood and other scenes are film-projected
this conveys a sense of flight and freedom.”
behind the dancers on a 40-foot screen, delivering a powerful impact.
Pacific Festival Ballet presents “Noahʼs Ark” on Saturday, May 20
With a blank canvas but limited budgets, the company was chal-
at 2 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza.
lenged to find creative ways to remain faithful to the storyʼs essential
Tickets are available online at Ticketmaster.com, in person at the
message while conveying the scale of its undertaking. The innovative
Civic Arts Plaza box office or by phone at 800.745.3000. More infor-
use of hand puppets allowed one dancer for each animal represented
mation can obtained at the companyʼs website, PacFestBallet.org,
while suggesting the notion of two by two.
or by calling 805.906.2087.
Conejo Valley Lifestyle | May 2017
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Get F it for Life AT MY HEALTH STUDIO ARTICLE TRACY MARCYNZSYN | PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED
n an unassuming 3,600-square-foot studio located across from the Four Seasons in Westlake Village, life-changing transformations and personal breakthroughs are familiar occurrences. During its nearly 10
years in business, My Health Studio has provided an alternative fitness environment where those who would rather not attend a big-box gym have successfully made great strides to achieve healthy, fit bodies. “Encouragement” and “lots of fun” are essential ingredients in My Health Studio’s winning formula, of a healthy, slim body has been a lifelong endeavor for me,” explains Esta, who grew up with obese
MY HEALTH STUDIO SERVICES
parents and struggled to lose weight throughout her life.
• Group Classes
developed by founder Esta McIntyre, no stranger to exercise and weight loss struggles. “The pursuit
“I continually found myself in a large gym, disliking every minute,” recalls Esta, who explored med-
& Private Training
ication and plastic surgery in her quest to lose weight. After a fateful meeting with a former trainer to
• Muscle & Trampoline Classes
the stars changed her life, the longtime marketing research executive was motivated to achieve her
• Zumba® & “Just Move 4 Life®”
goals and inspired to “pay it forward” by helping others overcome their fitness obstacles.
• Fitness Drumming
“I went back to school in pursuit of an accredited fitness certification,” says Esta, who attended the esteemed National Academy of Sports Medicine to further her education. Today, Esta combines her busi-
• FitMetrix Heart Rate Monitoring
ness success and insights gleaned from her journey to achieve a healthy body with her NASM training
• Fitness on Demand
and multiple credentials to help others get healthy.
• HydroMassage • CPR & First Aid
Conejo Valley Lifestyle | May 2017
“I always dreamed about building a fitness community where all are welcomed—a place where no one cares what you’re wearing and everyone is encouraged to achieve their personal best fitness formula,” says Esta. She takes pleasure in the fact that My Health Studio has become a home to those who are extremely fit, as well as those overcoming injuries and obesity. Esta notes that people find the Studio in a variety of ways, including word-of-mouth, online, referrals from therapists and print advertising. Esta works with each client to design a personalized course of action that includes an effective and fun motivational team approach to success. My Health Studio’s 100+ members and clients enjoy HydroMassage, personal training sessions and group fitness classes, including dancing, heart rate monitoring, muscle work and “just the right amount of laughter and fun” to burn calories, tone muscles and “lift everyone up,” says Esta, who sets a supportive, safe tone in the studio, where people can relax and feel like part of a family. Scott McIntyre, cofounder of MHS and Esta’s husband of 42 years, is an EMT, first aid and CPR instructor, who teaches classes on disaster preparedness at the Studio. “I could not have built this without Scott. He is my voice of reason and keeps us all safe,” says Esta. “I love what I do. I get to do something that makes a difference for people, and I am so grateful I overcame my own fears,” she adds, encouraging others to push through their obstacles. “Don’t give up. If you quit, your fate is sealed.” Esta’s recipe for success involves a holistic approach to health that addresses lifestyle issues beyond diet and exercise to include stress reduction, energy enhancement and various life-enhancing treatments. “We teach you how to make small changes and achieve long-lasting results. We want you to live a life of accomplishment through balance,” says Esta. Recently, MHS expanded to include the My Health Studio Lifestyle Enrichment Network, providing clients the ultimate in health and wellness, aesthetic treatments and safety training all under one roof. Taking a team approach to health, the Lifestyle Enrichment Network houses practitioners who are among the best in their fields and collaborate to offer customized services to enhance clients’ health and well-being. From a dietitian/nutritionist, marriage and family therapists and estheticians to an aesthetic nurse practitioner, massage therapist, eyelash extension and sunless spray tan artists, and even a financial
Christine Wilson, M.S., CCC-A
Raye Ann Clayton, Au.D.
planner, My Health Studio’s Lifestyle Enrichment Network shares one philosophy: “Our clients come first!” With reasonably priced memberships (from $38/month for unlimited group dance/fitness classes), My Health Studio is dedicated to helping clients live their best lives. “We can help guide you to your goals,” invites Esta. “Come take a free class today!” Visit My Health Studio at 31139 Via Colinas #303, in Westlake Village or online at MyHealthStudio.com. Call 818.889.3737 for a class schedule and additional information. May 2017 | Conejo Valley Lifestyle
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*Manufacturer’s mail-in rebate offer valid for qualifying purchases made 9/17/16 –12/12/16 from participating dealers in the U.S. only. For certain rebate-eligible products, the purchase of multiple units of such product is required to receive a rebate. If you purchase fewer units than the required multiple you will not be entitled to a rebate; partial rebates will not be awarded. Offer excludes HDOrigins and Nantucket™ Window Shadings, a collection of Silhouette® Window Shadings. Rebate will be issued in the form of a prepaid reward card and mailed within 6 weeks of rebate claim receipt. Funds do not expire. Subject to applicable law, a $2.00 monthly fee will be assessed against card balance 6 months after card issuance and each month thereafter. Additional limitations may apply. Ask participating dealer for details and rebate form. © 2016 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas or their respective owners.
Conejo Valley Lifestyle | May 2017
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Trailblazers Follow their Dreams ARTICLE TRACY MARCYNZSYN
ESTHER C. BLEUEL MA, MFT, MDR, TOUGH TALK COACH
GREATER CONEJO VALLEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR
A Chamber Ambassador since 2012, Esther Bleuel currently serves
as a team captain on the executive committee, sharing her extensive business knowledge and inspiring the group. The founder of Tough Talk Coach, Esther provides executive coaching and training to empower employees to resolve conflict successfully, to have difficult conversations with ease and confidence, and to deal with challenging people effectively. “I am passionate about helping people become their best selves,
to use and share their gifts, to be free and independent, and to live lives of purpose, meaning and joy,” says Esther, whose desire to lead others to their own gifts began in childhood.
“I wanted to be a teacher who would inspire people to become
their best selves. To help people discover, use and share their unique gifts and not to waste their talent or potential,” she adds. “Hard work” and a “love of learning” helped Esther succeed in her
career—first as a sales and marketing executive—and later, when she decided to pursue more meaningful work in psychotherapy, teaching/training, writing and problem-solving.
“Getting a good education and having diverse work experiences gave me a deep and broad per-
“IT IS CRITICAL TO KNOW YOURSELF AND BE CLEAR ABOUT YOUR
VALUES AND PRIORITIES. AUTONOMY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
ARE IMPORTANT, AS IS THE ABILITY TO DEAL WITH REALITY.
spective on life and people,” reflects Esther, who plans to write a book about achieving self-respect and fearlessly
BE OPEN TO SHARING WITH AND LEARNING FROM OTHERS.
handling any situation.
CREATE A LIFE THAT YOU ARE PROUD OF, THAT’S MEANINGFUL
able to make a meaning-
AND FULFILLING AND ENJOY THE JOURNEY.”
ful difference in the lives
“Being of service and
of others,” drive Esther to
maintain her focus and commitment to her passion of helping others gain clarity about their priorities and achieve their goals. While continuing to learn and deepen her skills and wisdom, Esther enjoys spending time with friends and family, travel adventures and live theater. 24
Conejo Valley Lifestyle | May 2017
BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF GREATER CONEJO VALLEY YOUTH OF THE YEAR
As the winner of the 14 and up Boys & Girls Clubs
Youth of the Year award, ninth grader Danielle Conner adds another notch to her list of accolades—she was also named Youth of the Year as a sixth grader!
“I feel extremely honored to be selected and will do
my best to represent the organization in a positive way,” says Danielle, a student at Westlake High School who attends the Boys & Girls Clubs’ Anderson Club at Los Cerritos Middle School.
In school, English is Danielle’s favorite subject,
because “I enjoy being creative,” she says. Danielle also participates
and yoga and enjoys singing, traveling and
“BE THE BEST YOU.”
being with family.
“My family is very important to me and I enjoy spending
quality time with them,” says Danielle, who looks up to her brother as a mentor.
“He has always been a positive role model for me,” she
says. Family support and a strong resolve will undoubtedly help Danielle achieve her goals to excel in high school and attend a four-year university. “I do my best to be prepared and not lose determination.” CONTINUED >
May 2017 | Conejo Valley Lifestyle
F N LEADING LADIES (CON TI N U ED)
PRESIDENT & CEO, LOS ROBLES HOSPITAL
& MEDICAL CENTER
NAWBO VC MEMBER OF THE YEAR
GREATER CONEJO VALLEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Business Change and Transition Coach Fern Perusse-Filzen spent
many years in a corporate environment before employing her organi-
In January 2014, Natalie Mussi made history with her appoint-
ment as the first female CEO of Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center in the organization’s 49 years of operation.
zational, creative and leadership skills to inspire and nurture others to learn, grow and prosper.
“Having had a unique experience of working with a company that
“This career path has been a perfect fit for me,” says Natalie, who
achieved a wonderful mix of developing people and holding to high
pursued a Masters in Health Care Administration after finishing her
production and quality standards, I wanted to work with other organi-
Bachelor of Science. “I thought I wanted to be a doctor,” she shares,
then, “In college, I learned that there was another side to healthcare and a degree for it.”
“MAKE SURE YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING YOU LOVE TO DO. YOUR PASSION WILL HELP DRIVE YOUR SUCCESS. FIND GOOD MENTORS WHO CAN GUIDE AND SUPPORT YOU. ALWAYS
BE A STUDENT WILLING TO LEARN. TAKE THE PROJECTS/ DEPARTMENTS NO ONE WANTS. WORK HARD.”
As president and CEO of Los Robles Hospital & Medical
“THERE ARE MANY METHODS FOR ACHIEVING SUCCESS. FIRST AND FOREMOST, ANSWER THE QUESTION: ‘HOW/WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE?’ THIS IS DIFFERENT FROM ‘WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?’ BEING
WHO I AM—IT’S GREAT TO HAVE A PLAN THAT CAN GROW WITH YOU
THAT OUTLINES BUSINESS PURPOSE, DEFINES CLIENTS, ADDRESSES CLIENT NEEDS/WANTS, SETS UP ACHIEVABLE GOALS, AND CONSIDERS PEOPLE AS INTEGRAL AS PROCESS. PROCESS + PEOPLE = PROSPER.”
zations to help them develop their own processes and leadership that would contribute to their success,” says Fern.
Center, Natalie oversees operations on the three campuses,
Today, she reflects on the rewards of striking out on her own and
including the main hospital, Thousand Oaks Surgical Hospital
pursuing her passion. “I am most proud of having a legacy with so
and the East Campus.
many businesses and people I’ve worked with over the years. My last
“It challenges the business side of my brain with finance, opera-
company continues with the Vision of Leadership program I facilitated
tions and strategic planning, but it allows me to practice business
for 15 years, and I still hear from people I’ve mentored regarding the way
around people and in a way that allows me to still help people,
they approach life using the skills and tools presented to them.”
which is why I wanted to be a doctor to begin with,” Natalie says.
Fern ascribes her success to “focusing on my purpose, highlighting
Natalie attributes much of her professional success—including her
skills and experience that would benefit others, becoming a certified
leading role in the May 2016 opening of the county’s only Pediatric
coach and joining organizations that matched my philosophy and busi-
Intensive Care Unit at Los Robles and oversight of the only Level II
ness ethics, such as NAWBO.”
Trauma Center in East Ventura County with 600+ board-certified
With plans to continue assisting organizations with strategic plan-
physicians—to having great mentors “who always believed in me and
ning, efficient processes and employee growth, Fern likes working with
gave me opportunities to learn” and incredible coworkers.
individuals as well.
“In healthcare, it is all about people; when you have great people to work with, it makes a big difference.” Outside of work, Natalie enjoys spending time with her husband and three beautiful daughters. 26
Conejo Valley Lifestyle | May 2017
“I also love to mentor and will continue with opportunities to connect with emerging leaders.” World travel, reading and growing a vegetable garden top Fern's list of free-time activities.
path to happiness.
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LIFTING LIMITS: NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN BUSINESS OWNERS 18TH ANNUAL BRAVO AWARD WINNERS
HONORING WOMEN WHO CREATE & INSPIRE VENTURA COUNTY ARTICLE TRACY MARCYNZSYN | PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED
Creative. Talented. Humble. Powerful. These shining stars have shattered the glass ceiling, empowering others to shoot for the Moon!
Conejo Valley Lifestyle | May 2017
M MARTA ALVAREZ
FOUNDER/OWNER/ENGINEER, YCE, INC., CIVIL ENGINEER & LAND SURVEYOR
INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR
As a child, Marta dreamed of being a stewardess, but changed her
mind as a teenager, deciding to pursue engineering instead.
“I loved math and science and figuring out how things worked,” says Marta,
who aspired to have her own company throughout college. “I worked at various companies and government agencies from junior high through college trying to really figure out what I liked best in engineering and where I wanted to go with it.” A true innovator, Marta believes taking calculated risks is necessary for
growth. She strives to keep learning and stay current with technology, “to always improve and move forward” and “not be afraid to try new things.”
In addition to NAWBO’s award, the Society
of Women Engineers named Marta “Engineer
of the Year” in 2016, an honor that has bol-
stered her community outreach efforts.
“I want to continue to give back to the com-
munities we serve by being a role model for this great profession and continue to award scholarships to engineering and agri-business students,” she shares, noting YCE’s recent scholarships to two “very deserving young ladies.”
Angela’s plans to expand her business
with quality clients and “not necessarily by increasing the quantity of projects” allow her to continue “providing the best service that I can to my clients, giving back to my community and to my profession, being ethical in all that I do,” and maybe even a little time for traveling the world. “I guess part of me still wants to be a stewardess!”
“HAVE A VERY CLEAR IDEA OF WHAT AND HOW YOU
WANT YOUR BUSINESS TO BE, MAKE 200% SURE THAT IT
IS WHAT YOU REALLY WANT,
AND THEN BE DETERMINED/ BE STUBBORN, CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT, BUT DON’T GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS!” CONTINUED >
May 2017 | Conejo Valley Lifestyle
T J LIFTING LIMITS (CON TI N U ED)
TOBI JO GREENE
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE GIRLS EMPOWERMENT WORKSHOP EDUCATION ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR
Tobi Jo Greene discovered her passion for helping teens learn “to value
and respect themselves and have healthy experiences that shape them into adults” after serving in the Rape Crisis field.
“Paired with my time as an educator in sex education, I learned that this is
something I deeply care about,” says Tobi Jo, who began by establishing a small program in Oak View. Driven
and a deep belief in the value of her work, Tobi Jo developed her workshop, and “… because teens are hungry for
this information, the program grew.” Today, thanks to school,
administrator and community
support, Tobi Jo reaps the rewards of her program.
“Watching girls learn to value
relationships, leave workshops with the belief they are worthy
and capable of creating the life they want for themselves” fuels
her to grow the program, with plans to license her curriculum for use by educators nationwide. When she’s not empowering teens, Tobi Jo is likely participating in her favorite pastime: “Mountain biking, mountain biking and mountain biking.”
SKILLS, LEARN TO VALUE YOURSELF
AND SPEAK ASSERTIVELY. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO STAND YOUR GROUND AND ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT. WOMEN
OFTEN PUT THE NEEDS OF OTHERS
BEFORE THEIR OWN, AND WHILE THAT IS
A BEAUTIFUL QUALITY, IT OFTEN HOLDS US BACK OUT OF FEAR WE MAY HURT SOMEONE’S FEELINGS OR OUTSHINE ANOTHER PERSON OR PARTNER.”
Conejo Valley Lifestyle | May 2017
JILL HANEY MONTECITO BANK & TRUST CORPORATE LEADER/PARTNER OF THE YEAR
What started as a “temporary” position has become a decades-long
career for Montecito Bank & Trust’s Jill Haney. “I saw an ad in the paper for a receptionist position at a bank and
applied for it.” The job had been filled, but Jill was offered an open teller position. “I took the job, thinking it would be temporary, and 38 years later, I am still in the same industry!” As vice president/branch manager of MB&T, Jill takes pride in her job, helping
clients and volunteering in the community. Her family is also a source of happiness. “Personally, I am most proud of my son and grandchildren. They are my biggest,
and I think best, accomplishments,” says Jill, who points to her parents’ example. “ They showed me that you need to work
hard and do what you believe to be right.” Jill plans to retire in 10 years and spend more time with family and friends. “ They are what is most important to me in my life.”
“WORK HARD. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP. TREAT PEOPLE WITH RESPECT. LEARN FROM THE PEOPLE YOU ADMIRE.”
May 2017 | Conejo Valley Lifestyle
T K LIFTING LIMITS (CON TI N U ED)
TRACIE KARASIK PRESIDENT, TLKMULTIMEDIA
YOUNG WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR
Scouted by UCLA as a competitive basketball player at age 10, Tracie
Karasik is no stranger to breaking through barriers in male-dominated fields.
“As a woman working in the primarily male-dominated fields of film,
photography and technology, I’ve found that being a woman has contributed
greatly towards my success by pushing through barriers and possessing a cer-
tain sensibility and intuitive approach that my clients appreciate,” says Tracie, founder of local multimedia company, TLKmultimedia.
"I was always interested in film and photography as a teenager,” says Tracie, who found
her passion for technology while earning a bachelor’s degree in Cinema and Television Arts and Multimedia Production from Cal State University, Northridge.
In college, “my parents purchased their first Apple computer, and my world was forever
changed.” Despite working in the film industry, “deep down, I had a drive for entrepreneurship, so I started TLKmultimedia at 24.”
Her parents’ lessons “to pursue and cultivate my passions, to embrace my talents,
to work hard and to work smart, to strive for greatness, to be a leader, to have
courage and grit in times of struggle, to have a positive attitude no matter what life throws my way, and to go out into the world to make a difference in the lives of oth-
ers” coupled with her desire and strong resolve to “go boldly towards the direction of our goals and dreams” inspire Tracie.
Just as “planning, goal setting and taking action” are vital to success, so is supporting
“We not only need to work towards advancing
our own careers, but to be encouraging of other women,” says Tracie. With plans to expand her company nationwide and, ultimately, globally through online education,” Tracie continues to forge ahead in her career, while striving for balance. “I strongly believe that if you build a healthier you, inside and out, you’ll be the best version of yourself—for you and for others.” 32
Conejo Valley Lifestyle | May 2017
“SUCCESS COMES TO THOSE
WHO OWN THEIR DESTINY BY TAKING AN ACTIVE ROLE IN DEFINING THEIR FUTURE.”
KATHY LONG VENTURA COUNTY SUPERVISOR, THIRD DISTRICT (RET) LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Kathy Long’s 26 years of public service has yielded many rewards—from
strengthening opportunities for women and families, serving on the County Medical Oversight Board to bolster our health care system and reopening Santa Paula Hospital for the communities in the Santa Clara Valley—to working toward the expansion of the VC Medical Center and providing for the improvement of health, welfare and public safety for the residents of our county. Kathy’s decades of experience in elected offices began in Michigan, where she worked in
the Mayor’s Office before moving to
Los Angeles in 1981. Working in City Council until 1986, Kathy moved to Camarillo to start a small business, and then went to work for VC Supervisor Maggie Erickson Kildee in 1991.
“She retired in 1996, and I
ran and was elected to the seat
in 1997,” says Kathy, who says “engaging community in solutions and being a good listener” are essential to her success.
With almost three decades of ser-
vice under her belt, Kathy recently retired and enjoys spending time reading, golfing, gardening and traveling, as well as “swimming and enjoying my backyard and my hus-
band and cheering on my son as he finishes graduate school.”
KNOWLEDGE BASE AND EXPERIENCE, AND NOT BE AFRAID TO TAKE SOME RISK. RELATIONSHIP BUILDING IS IMPORTANT TO SUPPORT YOU WHEN YOU HIT BUMPS IN THE ROAD, AND TO MENTOR YOU. BUILD A CORE GROUP OF ‘GO TO’ FRIENDS/ASSOCIATES THAT YOU CAN CALL ON AND COUNT ON.” CONTINUED >
May 2017 | Conejo Valley Lifestyle
S H LIFTING LIMITS (CON TI N U ED)
SHANTÉ MORGAN-DURISSEAU FOUNDER & OWNER, MORGAN COMMUNICATIONS COMMUNITY ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR
“Faith, focus and good friends and mentors” fuel Shanté Morgan-
Durisseau’s success as an educator, communicator and advocate.
“My mother was my inspiration; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. has been
the vessel for most of my community service; and Jesus Christ has been my
strength,” says Shanté, describing her faith as a “guiding light for everything in my
life from raising my children to decisions in my career and my work in the community.”
A professor of communications and critical thinking at Cal State University, Channel
Islands, Shanté’s inclination to serve others began as a young child.
“I toggled between wanting to be a lawyer and a writer. I knew individuals who had
been treated unfairly by the justice system and there were laws in place that had not
been equitable to African-American people,” she explains. “It seemed to me the best way
to fight for justice and right wrongs was to become a lawyer.” In high school, journalism became a career option. “I loved to write short
stories and read biographies.… It seemed like the perfect fusion of my passions by using my writing to fight for justice.”
Today, Shanté finds working with college stu-
dents enables her to make a greater impact. “As
a professor, I’m able to see the ‘lightbulb’ come
on in my students’ eyes as they are exposed to new concepts and theories about race, culture and gender. I help them become critical thinkers, and I think, better global citizens.”
As a parent, Shanté takes great pride in her children (20 and 14) “growing up to be good people who I envision as givers and not takers from the world.” With plans to earn a doctorate and continue her work in intercultural communications and race, gender and communications, Shanté cherishes her free time, when she can luxuriously “just snuggle in a blanket on my couch and watch comedies.” 34
Conejo Valley Lifestyle | May 2017
LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES, AND
DON’T LET YOUR FEARS LEAVE YOU WITH REGRETS. IF YOU DON’T TRY, YOU’VE FAILED BEFORE YOU EVEN GET STARTED.”
HEIDI WHITCOMB CEO, VENTURA RENTAL PARTY CENTER INC. WOMEN BUSINESS OWNER OF THE YEAR
Her love of “celebrating life's great events” sparked Heidi Whitcomb to
establish a special events division in her parents’ rental company. Thanks to her parents’ guidance and support and resources from the
American Rental Association and the National Association of Catering Executives, Heidi’s business venture experienced “huge” success early on. An even bigger achievement to Heidi is her family. “I am most proud of my success
as a wife and mother. My husband, Mike, and I have been happily married for 34 years and our biggest accomplishment is three beautiful children, who are now kind, gracious and thriving adults.”
And while she’s optimistic that
her business will continue to thrive, Heidi hopes to spend more time
“serving in philanthropic ways and ‘smelling the roses.’”
“I actually love to work and help
people celebrate life events, so the
‘smelling the roses’ part is proving to be a bit difficult,” but “We are
expecting our first grandchild in the fall, so I am sure this will slow me down a little.”
When she does find time to relax,
Heidi loves traveling, hiking, gardening and spending time with friends, family and her sweet Lab, Libbey.
“FOLLOW YOUR PASSION AND HAVE A LOT OF TENACITY. PUSH YOUR LIMITS AND GET UNCOMFORTABLE.
YOU’LL FEEL STRONGER THE NEXT
TIME. LISTEN TO YOUR GUT AND FOLLOW IT. MAKE SURE TO PREPARE FOR A RAINY DAY AND ALWAYS STAY HUMBLE, NO MATTER HOW MUCH SUCCESS YOU HAVE.” May 2017 | Conejo Valley Lifestyle
CREATING COMMUNITY Cultivating the Arts
N K KIM MASELLI ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
PACIFIC FESTIVAL BALLET/CALIFORNIA DANCE THEATRE
Growing up in a theatrical family in Vermont, Kim Maselli devel-
oped a love for the arts at a young age.
“My father loved to sing and my mother was a professional dancer.
One of my first childhood memories is sitting in the corner of my mom’s dance studio watching the ‘big girls’ dance,” Kim recalls, whose passion for the stage fueled her desire to dance.
Since age 14, Kim’s passion, dedication and perseverance have
helped her realize her dreams. “The fulfillment of expressing myself
onstage or telling a story through dance gave me deep satisfaction
ARTICLE TRACY MARCYNZSYN PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED
and joy,” says Kim, who credits her mentors and teachers for encouraging her while helping refine her talents and abilities.
With a strong work ethic and a firm belief in God, Kim developed
into a teacher and choreographer, cofounding California Dance Theatre and Pacific Festival Ballet. “I have a firm belief that God
directs our lives and He opened some pretty amazing doors for me,” says Kim, noting how rewarding it is to instill a love for creativity and dance in the next generation.
“The art of classical ballet is handed down through generations
and I feel privileged to be a part of this lineage,” she says. Having trained thousands of dancers in the Conejo Valley over the past 30 years, Kim and her strong professional faculty have made a lasting impact on the community. Continuing her commitment to excellence in the arts, Kim plans to keep educating and inspiring students and sharing her love of ballet. “Our residency at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza allows
“BE TRUE TO YOURSELF AND DREAM
TRYING TO BE REALISTIC. THINK BIG,
community support will keep Pacific
AN INDIVIDUAL YOU ADMIRE.”
Conejo Valley Lifestyle | May 2017
bring renowned artists to the Conejo
BIG. DON’T DOWNSIZE YOUR GOALS DO THE WORK AND MENTOR UNDER
us to stage full-scale productions and Our
Festival Ballet preserving the classics as well as creating original work.”
NATALIA STANEVA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NEW WEST SYMPHONY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NONPROFIT OF THE YEAR
Cryo active provides top of the line cryotherapy services aiding in weight loss, anti-aging & beauty, athletic recovery & health & wellness
Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, the New West Symphony presents six Masterpiece Series concerts annually and provides educational opportunities for the communities it serves. As executive director since 2011, Natalia Staneva takes pride in the organization’s mission.
“Specifically, I’m proud of our artistic programs and com-
munity collaborations,” notably a YouTube competition for young soloists, a world premiere outreach performance and the Harmony Project, with philanthropists Sandra and Jordan Laby. The project serves 160+ at-risk youth. “All artistic and education initiatives take time and a lot of nurturing and I’m proud of my team and board of directors for their superb job in making them happen,” Natalia says. Natalia’s passion for student outreach began early on. “I wanted to be a teacher,” she says. “I would gather the neighborhood kids and sit them down for lessons. When I entered music school, I performed for them and taught them how to play piano. I was my sister’s first music teacher and she grew up to earn a doctorate degree in music performance.” Leading NWS to new heights, Natalia looks forward to expanding programs and outreach and creating new projects. “When our organization succeeds, I feel that I succeed,” she says. In addition to excelling professionally, Natalia believes in life-work balance. “I just became a new,
“BE YOURSELF AND CONTINUE TO
first-time mother, so I am
IMPROVE, LEARN AND EXPOSE
trying to live the right balance every day.”
YOURSELF TO NEW IDEAS AND NEW OPPORTUNITIES. BY DOING SO,
YOU MOST HAPPY.” CONTINUED >
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www.cryo-active.com May 2017 | Conejo Valley Lifestyle
CREATING COMMUNITY (CON TI N U ED)
OWNER, VERY VENTURA GIFT SHOP & GALLERY
FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
NAWBO RISING STAR OF THE YEAR
VENTURA COUNTY ART EVENTS NAWBO ARTS ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR
Following her passion panned out per-
host of people that support me,” adds
fectly for Angela Rosales, who resourcefully
Angela, naming husband, Michael, as
When Barbara Hinton has an
adapted her skills and talents to forge a path
“No. 1 on that list.” The nonprofit Women
idea, she applies her determination
down the yellow brick road, leading to the
Economic Ventures also helped her
and focus to turn it into a reality, like
creation of what’s now a community main-
create a business plan, connect to key
when she decided the city of Ventura
stay, the Very Ventura Gift Shop & Gallery.
members in the business community
needed an art festival.
When life served her lemons and she and
and hone her business skills.
“I didn’t give up,” says Barbara,
her husband’s careers in the building industry
“Through WEV, I have gained a sister-
founder and director of the Ventura
dipped during the recession, Angela decided
hood in the business community,” says
Art & Street Painting Festival. Hinton’s
to explore other options, beginning in her
Angela. She is also grateful for her two part-
festival idea has become a popular
hometown of Ventura.
time employees (one is her mom!) who
community event recently featured in
help keep the store running smoothly and
Westways Magazine and even helps
profitably and her customers.
feed hungry people.
“Uncertain that we would even keep our jobs, we founded a website/blog about Ventura, simply because we enjoyed living
“I feel a great sense of responsibility by hav-
“The festival enables us to raise
here. Not really knowing where this would
ing a store named ‘Very Ventura.’ I want to do
funds for FOOD Share, Inc.,” says
lead, I put my writing skills to use and my
it right, so I’m grateful for the customers who
Hinton, who’s working on creating
husband designed the site,” explains Angela,
have awarded me their trust and business.”
future events. In her free time, Hinton
who has a BA in English from Cal State University, Northridge.
Proud to help local artists reach a wider
enjoys spending time with her hus-
market, Angela hopes to hire a full-time
band and cats and planning a visit to New Zealand.
Discovering an abundance of artistic tal-
manager. For fun, Angela enjoys stayca-
ent in the area, Angela decided to showcase
tioning along the beach where she can
it, renting a small space to store products
recharge her batteries and gain a creative
for online sales.
perspective on her business.
“It became apparent that the store filled a
“FOLLOW YOUR DREAM AND BELIEVE IT WILL HAPPEN.”
needed niche in the souvenir market,” says Angela, noting the gift shop has twice outgrown its space in the past 3.5 years. Currently located in the heart of downtown Ventura, the store is open daily and hosts art exhibits. “I wouldn’t be successful without a whole 38
“MY NO. 1 PIECE OF ADVICE IS TO NOT ONLY ASK FOR HELP, BUT LET PEOPLE HELP YOU AND NOT FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT. …AS WOMEN, WE TEND TO FEEL BAD IF WE LET SOMEONE TAKE A TASK OR LOAD OFF US, BUT DON’T HESITATE TO BE THERE WHEN SOMEONE ELSE NEEDS OUR HELP. THE RESULT IS FEELING OVERWHELMED AND THEN WE MAY GIVE UP. YOU SHOULD NOT GIVE UP. YOU GOT THIS!”
Conejo Valley Lifestyle | May 2017
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AAUW: Empowering Women Since 1881 ARTICLE ALICIA DOYLE | PHOTOGRAPHY ONE SPARK ACADEMY
n celebration of Women’s History Month, five young ladies portrayed
of the global population, after all. There are too many women being
five women who have earned a reputation for leading their lives
with conviction—including a marine biologist, politician, author, ballet dancer and shark expert. The portrayals were part of this year’s Women in History
Thirteen-year-old Jasmine Chang portrayed Misty Copeland, who was born in 1982 and became the first African American principal dancer for a major ballet company.
Project, presented by the Thousand Oaks chapter of the American
“She was oftentimes told that she could not become a dancer
Association of University Women. The presentations took place in
because of her body type, skin and age,” says Jasmine, who lives
March at the Grant Brimhall Library in Thousand Oaks.
in Thousand Oaks. “However, she knew what her passion was and
“In the words of Shirley Chisholm, these young ladies represent the
accomplished her dreams anyway.”
female leadership of tomorrow: they are ‘un-bought’ and ‘un-bossed’,”
Haiden Corwin, an 11-year-old who lives in Newbury Park, por-
says Lori Peters, a member of the women’s history committee and the
trayed author J. K. Rowling, who was born in 1965 and is known for
Thousand Oaks chapter of AAUW.
her incredibly successful Harry Potter books.
The five young women presenters are students in Grades 6
But before Rowling became such a huge success, she suffered
through 9 at One Spark Academy, which was founded by Peters, of
from a broken marriage as a single mom to her baby daughter,
Jessica. Rowling struggled to make ends meet while writing and
The Women in History Project was started by Sandy Hindy, an
had to rely on welfare. She often wrote in cafes because they were
AAUW member who saw a need to prove that women's aspirations
heated, and Jessica would fall asleep more easily. Rowling also
shouldn’t be limited by gender. Her mission started when her daugh-
tried desperately to get her story noticed, but was rejected by a
ter said she wanted to be a nurse, because only men are doctors.
dozen book publishers.
With that, Sandy decided to research, write and then present several first-person monologues to students at her daughter's elementary school. One of the women she presented was Elizabeth Blackwell, America's first woman physician. “Our Thousand Oaks branch of AAUW built upon what Sandy
Haiden says she was inspired by the fact that Rowling went from poverty to one of the most influential people in England. “She inspires me to try harder in school, to never give up,” Haiden says. “Being part of Women in History has opened my eyes to so many amazing women that I had never known of before.”
started by writing and presenting more scripts in local schools, filling
The presentations join other AAUW efforts that take place year-
three volumes of the book of scripts called Profiles of Women Past &
round, such as Tech Trek, an overnight summer camp for girls in the
Present,” Peters says.
seventh grade that’s focused on science, technology, engineering and
Based on these scripts, 15-year-old Mhlani Polo Johnson portrayed Rachel Carson during the presentations in March.
mathematics. The AAUW also awards scholarships for young women at Moorpark College that are transitioning to four-year universities.
Carson was a marine biologist and environmentalist born in 1907,
While this year marks the 31st anniversary of the Women In History
and her most famous book, The Silent Spring, was published in 1962.
Project, there’s still a lot of work to be done, Peters said to the audi-
Two years later, Carson died of cancer at the age of 56. And in 1980,
ence during the March presentations.
she was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter. Mhlani says that Carson represents the epitome of what she wants to do when she is old enough to start her career.
“The World Economic Forum predicts that, at the current rate, the global gender gap will not close until the year 2186,” Peters noted. “So, on this day, International Women’s Day, let us all in this room be feminists. Let us all in this room aspire for the day that there’s gender equity.”
“These experiences will help me to always remember that women truly do have power in this world, no matter how prevalent misogyny
For more information about the Thousand Oaks AAUW, visit
and sexism may be,” says Mhlani, of Thousand Oaks. “We are 52%
“IN AMERICA ALONE, THE NUMBER ONE ECONOMY IN THE WORLD, WE RANK 45TH OUT OF 144 RANKED COUNTRIES IN GENDER EQUITY,” SHE SAID. 40
Conejo Valley Lifestyle | May 2017
The girls at a dress rehearsal at the TO Library.
Girls planning their presentation boards. L-R: Haiden Corwin (J.K. Rowling), Jasmine Chang (Misty Copeland), Mhlani Polo-Johnson (Rachel Carson), Guinevere Buchanan (Eugenie Clark), assistant educator Melanie Ware, and Fiona Morris (Shirley Chisholm). Jasmine Chang as Misty Copeland, presenting on March 8.
With their gifts from the AAUW Women in History committee; Lori Peters (far right).
May 2017 | Conejo Valley Lifestyle
Financial Buzz Since 2000, the U.S. stock market, measured
processes, or “algorithms,” to remove human
by the S&P 500, has already crashed by more
emotion from investment decisions. Instead of
than 50% twice, and the Japanese stock market
trying to predict future asset prices, these strat-
recently fell by 80% over 23 years (‘89 to ‘12).
egies react efficiently to existing market trends
While developed country’s stock markets
based on relative price performance.
do not crash often, they do not always bounce
The main difference between the two strat-
back quickly either. Therefore, many experi-
egies is that indexing makes portfolio changes
enced investors seek extra portfolio protection
very slowly and is always fully invested, while
through a leading strategy
trend following can rotate to new investment
called “Trend Following.”
trends quickly and/or shift to cash if needed. At ETF PM, our research concludes that an equal
STEPS TO INVESTMENT
SUCCESS (Part 3 of 4)
Before I became a
combination of passive indexing and active trend following has been ideal for long-term investors.
retail financial advisor, I worked as an institutional research
Broad diversification by asset class and by
investment process helps to protect your invest-
Stearns in Manhattan
ments from rare events, such as stock market
and as a hedge fund port-
crashes, earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, etc. To
folio manager in Thousand
appreciate the combination of indexing and trend
Oaks. In those positions, I learned
following, picture your investment portfolio as your
n the first two parts of this series, we explained
firsthand why many institutional investors
how InvestableBenchmarks.com uses lead-
employ trend following strategies.
belongings on a wonderful trip around the world. The indexing items would include your
ing exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to deliver
During the Internet bubble, leading trend
core clothing, such as underwear, socks,
extraordinary performance. In fact, these effi-
following investors successfully delivered
shirts, pants, sweaters, shoes, etc., while
cient investment portfolios may enable you to
gains as the bubble inflated (’95-’99), and
the trend following components might add
grow a “free retirement nest egg!”
again through the stock market crash that fol-
extra clothes and shoes, in addition to spe-
In this third part, we discuss another lead-
lowed (’00-’02). Upon further research, I was
cial items such as boots, bathing suits, hats,
ing strategy that may enhance your protec-
even more intrigued to learn that trend follow-
jackets, gloves, thermals, an umbrella, etc.
tion from a stock market crash.
ing delivered gains in the crash of ‘87 as well.
Since the weather, like the financial markets,
Over the following three years (’03-’05), I
can vary widely and change quickly, it is best
developed an efficient trend following strategy
to maintain a diverse range of solutions that
for ETFs that enabled our firm, ETF Portfolio
enable you to adapt efficiently as needed.
3. Risk Control
Management (ETF PM), to deliver gains for
4. Leading Growth Stocks
our clients in the stock market crash of 2008.
LEADING GROWTH STOCKS
this series will cover leading growth stocks
FOUR STEPS TO INVESTMENT SUCCESS
In the June CVL issue, our fourth part in RISK CONTROL
Over the past decade, the investable bench-
Trend following and indexing actually employ
mark portfolios delivered 7% to 19% annualized,
similar core principles. Both of these leading
While past performance is never a guaran-
or 92% to 463% in total return, with relatively low
institutional strategies use reactive rules-based
tee of future results, be sure to catch all four
risk (see chart). The worst annual
and our top picks for the second half of 2017.
steps to investment success!
returns were just -4% to -17%, due to their strategic diversification. Still, investors may need
David Kreinces is the Founder &
extra risk control at times.
Portfolio Manager for ETF Portfolio
Management (ETF PM), a Thou-
No matter how impressive the
sand Oaks-based financial advisor.
historical performance has been,
To learn more, visit ETFPM.com or
every investment portfolio and/
or asset class has some risk of extreme “worst case scenarios” that may be unprecedented. 42
Conejo Valley Lifestyle | May 2017
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Inspired By LOCAL WOMAN CONDUCTOR CRACKS GLASS CEILING
LEADING THE W
hen picturing a conductor, most people conjure up the image of someone standing on a podium dressed in a tuxedo, baton in hand, and decidedly
male. Like many professions, the world of music has a glass ceiling few can crack. Oak Park resident JoAnne Wasserman faced discrimination on her path to
ARTICLE ADRIENNE WIGDORTZ ANDERSON | PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED
becoming a conductor of note. She made history when she was hired, in 1993, as the first female artistic director of the Santa Barbara Choral Society. Established in 1948, it is the oldest performing arts organization in Santa Barbara. “It was difficult to find a position,” says Wasserman, who is now in her 24th season with the ensemble. “Women were accepted as musical directors in schools, but outside that setting, there was sexism.” Several would-be employers admitted she wasn’t hired because of her gender. But Wasserman wasn’t deterred. She had wanted to head a music group since she was a child. Her mother, who sang professionally on the radio, had always encouraged her daughters to sing. When 10-year-old Wasserman saw her older sister perform in a chorus, she wanted to be part of it—but as the conductor! “Growing up in Los Angeles, I was inspired by the great Los Angeles-based conductors Roger Wagner, Paul Salamunovich, Howard Swan and John Alexander,” she says. It was another prominent conductor who motivated her to pursue a music career. “One teacher can change a student’s life,” says Wasserman. “For me, it was Albert McNeil, the choral teacher at Dorsey High School in Los Angeles.” McNeil, the founder of the world-re-
Dedicated to the group’s mission of serving the community, Wasserman has conducted performances at local events and has boosted music education by incorporating student vocalists in holiday concerts and establishing a student scholarship program. Additionally, under her direction, the Choral Society has performed internationally, including in Italy last year with composer Morten Lauridsen, whose works were featured. “We think of ourselves as cultural ambassadors of the lively Santa Barbara arts scene to the wider global community,” she says.
nowned Jubilee Singers, encouraged Wasserman to follow her dreams.
Her most meaningful musical experiences were conducting the
She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Voice and
Worldwide Rolling Mozart Requiem on the first and again on the 10th
Conducting at California State University Northridge. She did
anniversary of 9/11. “The music was uplifting and healing, reaching
post-graduate work at the University of Southern California and par-
the soul in a way words cannot,” she recalls.
ticipated in master classes with several well-respected conductors, including Robert Shaw, Salamunovich and Wagner.
There have been many other highlights, but working with Beatles producer Sir George Martin in 2010 was a standout. “We premiered
While in graduate school, Wasserman taught at Los Angeles City
Sir George’s composition ‘Mission Chorales’ under his baton,” she
College and conducted church choirs, eventually becoming the first
says. “That was followed by ‘LoveLoveLove,’ William Soleau’s ballet
female conductor at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Los Angeles.
created for the State Street Ballet company set to a medley of Beatles
More recently, she has acted as a Master Class Conductor at the
songs we performed. What a thrill to work with Sir George!”
Oregon Bach Festival, Chorus Master for Opera Santa Barbara and has served on the faculties of CSUN and Westmont College. The maestra may be petite at 5’1”, but she wields a mighty baton
Wasserman is married to college sweetheart, Gary, and has two adult children. She is a Tae Kwan Do black belt, an avid Dodger fan and a golfer. But, she says, music is her life.
leading the Santa Barbara Choral Society, 100 voices strong, and the accompanying orchestra. “The focus of our repertoire is great masterworks, such as Brahms’ ‘A German Requiem,’ which we presented last month,” Wasserman says. “We perform works of contemporary composers, as well.” The group presents a minimum of four concerts a season at venues such as the Lobero and Granada Theatres and often partners with the Santa Barbara Symphony and other arts organizations. Under Wasserman’s leadership, the Choral Society has evolved
“I’M FORTUNATE TO DO WHAT I LOVE,” SHE SAYS, ACKNOWLEDGING HER PROFESSION IS MALE-DOMINATED. “MY ADVICE TO ANY WOMAN ENTERING THIS FIELD IS TO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, WORK HARD AND DON’ T LET ANYONE ELSE DEFINE YOUR GOALS. BE PERSISTENT AND WHEN AN OPPORTUNITY PRESENTS ITSELF, EMBRACE IT!”
from a community choir into a semi-professional group with a policy of auditioning members. 44
Conejo Valley Lifestyle | May 2017
For more information visit SBChoral.org.
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What’s Your STRATEGY for the Next Downturn in the Market? ARTICLE ROCKY MILLS
ith the stock market at record highs, it’s a great time to review the strategy you have in place to deal with the next market
downturn, whenever it comes. Let’s start here: Hope is not a strategy. Hoping the losses won’t be too big, or hoping the market will come back up does not qualify as a sound financial approach. You need a plan. You need to put something in place today with
a goal of cushioning your nest egg from what otherwise could be a devastating blow from a significant market drop. The plan does not need to be elaborate, nor do you have to pay someone to do it. But if you are paying someone to manage your investments, make sure they have a plan! Here are some of the elements that go into a sound strategy: • NON-EMOTIONAL.
Behavioral Finance examines how human behaviors affect financial
• The qualifiers. Simply crossing a threshold may not be enough
decision-making. It’s not good. The volumes of studies done since
to trigger an action; you may want to add some qualifiers. In the
the late 70s conclude that emotions lead to reduced performance.
example above, you may want to add that the price must stay
It causes buying near a market top (“I have to get in–I don’t want to
below $35 for three consecutive daily closes.
miss this”) and selling near a bottom (“I can’t take this”). And once
• The action. Here’s where you define the action you will take once
they’re out of the market, they stay out and miss the next leg up
a fact violates a threshold and meets other qualifying criteria. To
(“That didn’t work so well last time—I won’t do that again”).
complete the example above: if the price of XYZ stays below $35 for three consecutive daily closes, sell the entire position.
To be non-emotional, you need to use measurable facts instead of subjective interpretations. • Examples of measurable facts: the price of a stock or an index, the dividend payout ratio, the interest rate on the 10-year US Treasury note.
These rules establish, in advance, the actions you will take. Non-emotionally. Objectively. Don’t go into the next market downturn—whenever it comes— without a formalized strategy in place.
• Examples of subjective interpretations: a news flash on TV, what you heard at a cocktail party, your feelings (pro
Robert A. "Rocky" Mills is president of Westlake Investment
or con) about the president or congress.
Advisors in Westlake Village: 805.277.7300 | WestlakeIA.com.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general informa-
• RULES-BASED ACTIONS.
tion only and are not intended to provide specific advice or
Once you have chosen the set of measurable facts you want to
recommendations for any individual.
use, you need to set up rules for action. For each measurable fact,
He is a registered representative with and securities offered
you will establish:
through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC.
• The threshold. Once your measure violates a threshold, you
Investment advice offered through Westlake Investment Ad-
take action. For example, if you were measuring the price of
visors, a registered investment advisor and separate entity
XYZ stock, and if XYZ was currently trading at $40, you might
from LPL Financial.
set a threshold of $35. 46
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CALABASAS FINE ARTS FESTIVAL
tura County chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and supported
CALABASAS CIVIC CENTER
by Slow Food Ventura County features a tour of four homes with
This premiere, two-day outdoor event features live entertainment and
Ocean Friendly Gardens. Surfrider Foundation volunteers will dis-
150+ painters, sculptors, photographers, jewelers and fine artisans.
cuss how to design and build a garden that practices CPR: Con-
Free admission and parking. CalabasasArtsCouncil.com/Calaba-
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Tickets limited. EventBrite.com
MAY 6 & 7
17TH ANNUAL RELAY FOR LIFE OF MOORPARK
BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF VENTURA COUNTY
ARROYO VISTA COMMUNITY PARK
This life-changing event helps communities across the globe cele-
SATICOY COUNTRY CLUB
brate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved
Support community youth with Ventura County's golf classic. Vince
ones lost and fight back against the disease. Each dollar raised helps
Ferragamo, the Los Angeles Rams Quarterback and owner of Ferrag-
save lives. Main.ACSevents.org
amo Realty, hosts the tournament. BBSVC.org
BARK IN THE PARK EVENT
THROUGH A GENDER LENS: ISSUES OF IMPORTANCE TO
CONEJO CREEK NORTH PARK
WOMEN - RAISING FEMINIST SONS
Bring your dog to this free event, featuring 85+ vendors, local veterinarians,
adoption agencies and area rescues. Activities include water play, dog cos-
tume contests, a dog agility course, dog entertainers and more. Make some
Guest presenter Kandee Kosior (De-
crafts and enjoy food from the food trucks. No aggressive dogs; dogs MUST
meter Press) will discuss current fem-
be on a leash. CRPD.org/events/bark_in_the_park.asp or call 805.375.1003.
inist perspectives of boyhood along
SURFRIDER FOUNDATION GARDEN TOUR/FUNDRAISER IN THOUSAND OAKS EICHLER HOMES NEIGHBORHOOD
MAY 6 & 7
This Ocean Friendly Gardens Tour and Fundraiser by the Ven-
with practices that aim to encourage
N OR LLI CAMARILLO HOSPICE SCHSUMMNG OO ERmusic, art, a bouThe Spring Garden Tour features five beautiful gardens, L! EN OW 21ST ANNUAL CAMARILLO HOSPICE RO GARDEN TOUR F SPRING
boys to actively embrace the benefits of gender equality throughout their lifetimes. VCWF.org
tique and more to benefit Camarillo Hospice. $25. CamarilloHospice.org
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(CON TI N UED)
MAY 11 - 14 61ST ANNUAL CONEJO VALLEY DAYS CONEJO CREEK PARK SOUTH Celebrate the area's western roots and community spirit at this fourday event featuring entertainment for kids, teens and the whole family, including carnival rides, games, live music, motocross freestyle exhibitions, kids’ arts and crafts, a children’s parade, outhouse races and hands-on exhibits. $10/adults, $5/kids. For festival hours, tickets and schedule, visit ConejoValleyDays.us or call 805.638.2007.
MAY 20 & 21 34TH ANNUAL CALIFORNIA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL IN OXNARD STRAWBERRY MEADOWS OF COLLEGE PARK This two-day event features 50+ food booths offering all things berry, live concerts, gooey contests, Strawberryland for Kids with rides and attractions, hundreds of fine arts and crafts, celebrity cooking demonstrations and more taking place on 15 acres of scenic parkland. $12/$8 seniors/$5 children. Strawberry-Fest.org/888.288.9242
MAY 20 CITY OF AGOURA HILLS 6TH ANNUAL FIRE SERVICES AND PUBLIC SAFETY DAY AGOURA HILLS RECREATION CENTER The City of Agoura Hills Department of Community Services and the Los Angeles County Fire Department event includes a fire station open house, fire demonstrations, fun activities for children, food and entertainment. Call 818.597.7361 for more information or visit the Recreation Center at AgouraHillsRec.org.
MAY 21 57TH ANNUAL TOPANGA BANJO-FIDDLE CONTEST AND FOLK FESTIVAL PARAMOUNT RANCH This annual event features a main stage with 100+ instrumental and singing contestants competing for cash and gift awards, professional bands, square dancing, clogging and other dancing to live music, CONTINUED >
Conejo Valley Lifestyle | May 2017
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MAY 27 & 28 40TH ANNUAL OJAI ART IN THE PARK
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MAY 29 MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT IN THE PARKS CONEJO COMMUNITY PARK LA Allstars kicks off the City of Thousand Oaks' Summer Concert in the Parks series. The high-energy 10+ piece band plans a dynamic show with outstanding vocalists covering multiple music styles, including
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Conejo Valley Lifestyle | May 2017
current hits, classic rock, rhythm and blues, Motown, disco, standard jazz and swing. Bring a blanket, chairs and a picnic! CRPD.org
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Be Your Own Hero ARTICLE KIM PAGANO
n a world filled with so many expectations for women, I like to live in a world full of unexpected surprises, where we can all choose our lifestyles and our careers according to our dreams. For as long as I can remember, my mom always did her best to help out in my childhood classrooms, as well as offering to help anywhere else that she possibly could. As you all may know, I have four amazing children, and I guess you can say that I followed in the same footsteps as my mother when it comes to helping in any way that I can. Starting my own salon of 20 stylists, manicurists and makeup artists, while founding a construction company with my husband, I also found the time to help in all my children's classrooms, and in the school PTA, which altogether felt very rewarding. That chapter of my life included focusing on my kids and trying to make their school year positive and successful, at the same time as nurturing my marriage and building two businesses. Let's just say my family was very busy during those times, but it was a great time in our lives, where there was never a dull moment. Now that my kids are older, a lot of things have changed. Both of my daughters have their own families, and they have brought three beautiful grandsons into our lives. I have been so blessed
to have had the privilege of seeing both of my daughters become such wonderful mothers. Watching my children's natural progressions has effortlessly pushed me into the next chapter of my life. I am currently in the process of recreating my life. Since my adult children do not need my assistance as often as they did when they were younger, it has finally become my turn to concentrate on the next chapter of my life, and the goals that my husband and I have created. I think this next chapter is more relevant to women than to men. Don't get me wrong, men go through many changes as they reeval-
man A strong wo has knows she ough n strength e ey, for the journ of n a but a wom ows it strength kn rney is in the jou will where she ong. become str
uate their lives, for example, my husband is ready to slow down and travel the world. As a mother, I seem to always be multi-tasking and sometimes my needs end up last on my list. Does this sound familiar? Regardless of what stage you are in, how do you make time to find the life that you love? As women, we should celebrate that we are able to pick and choose our careers and lifestyles. As humans, we have so many daily responsibilities, so how do we balance it all while keeping our sanity? Personally, I am always creating new goals in order to better myself. By doing so, I am constantly growing and learning. This is why I love what I do as a hair therapist and radio show host, because I am always connecting with interesting people who have shared such inspiring real life stories. Connecting with others from different paths of life has helped me to better myself and reach new heights with my goals. I like to think that we are all just like a diamond with many facets. The light that you reflect back at the world changes depending on the people you are surrounding yourself with. We all need to make sure that we have friends who support us and make us shine, while returning the favor and making them shine even brighter. The hardest lesson I have faced in life thus far has been the act of self-love. I have learned that loving ourselves on our own terms is a lesson within itself. This is a lifelong practice that some of us have yet to implement into our lives. I hope that some of the things I have mentioned here will speak to you. Are you constantly moving forward in your life? I hope your answer is yes, because as life moves on as fast as it does, our only option is to look back and cherish all the memories we've created and how far we have come. What will be your next chapter in life, and how will you make the most of it? Kim Pagano is brought to you by the award-winning talk radio station AM 1590 KVTA, bringing you the Brighter Side of the 805, Saturdays from 6 to 8 a.m. Subscribe to her podcast: iTunes/The Kim Pagano Show. Kim is a hair therapist, a motivational speaker, a mother and so much more.
Conejo Valley Lifestyle | May 2017
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