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THE ARTS ISSUE

A Matter of Time SOUTHBAY.GOLDENSTATE.IS

SIX DOLLARS

FEB/MAR 2021

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ACTUAL PATIENTS


50 ART & FUNCTIONALITY George Renfro

62 WHAT’S THE BUZZ Hi-Fi Espresso

78 BLUES IN HER BONES Kira Lingman

92 PETAL PUSHER Scotti Wells

104 SEEN Who’s Who Around the South Bay

154 LAST WORD Hold the Stage

50 62

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COVER Simon Ford Photographed by Jeff Berting

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ALSO...

LOVE & LEADERSHIP

PAST PRESENT

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Through art and activism, South Bay couple

From his San Pedro studio, Simon Ford

SCHOOL SPOTLIGHT

Mukarabe and George Makinto coalesce their

treats his subjects to a wet-collodion

Rolling Hills Preparatory School

passions for the greater good.

process—an early photographic technique—

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and, in turn, exposes something beautifully

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deep and enduring.

TOP TIPS

THE GOLDEN BOY

Coastal Anti-Aging Medical Group

The legacy of Hollywood writer-director

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Preston Sturges shines brightly through

PVAC AT 90

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his South Bay-based son Tom.

As the Palos Verdes Art Center hits an

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

important milestone, a longtime employee

Running Point Capital Advisors

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revisits a storied history and looks ahead to an

STILL LIFE

innovative future.

106 PROFILES

Taking time to reflect during the pandemic, a South Bay artist creates a new art series based

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on something personal.

THE 2020 HIATUS

Real Estate

Amy and Brian Micheletti didn’t decide to

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hike the Pacific Crest Trail on a whim; they

REAL ESTATE

EASTERN INFLUENCE

started planning their trip years ago. It just so

Spectacular local listings

Blending two cultures in perfect harmony, a

happens their timing was perfect.

Palos Verdes Estates–based interior designer

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helps a couple transform a ranch-style home

AGENT SPOTLIGHT

into a modern oasis.

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GIVE BACK TO YOUR COMMUNITY AND YOURSELF Torrance Memorial’s planned giving programs can make a lasting difference for your community through your estate planning. Whether you’re looking to supplement your income during retirement, reduce taxes, eliminate capital gains tax or pass assets to family members at a reduced cost, planned giving provides many benefits to you and Torrance Memorial. Your future gifts help others receive expert care and treatment for years to come. We can help you discover the best programs for you and your loved ones today. Learn more about starting your own legacy at TMPlannedGiving.org


EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

PUBLISHER | Amy Tetherow

Darren Elms

Michelle Villas

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PHOTOGRAPHERS

Bonnie Graves (Food & Wine),

Jeff Berting, Siri Berting, JL Cederblom,

Kara Mickelson (Food), Tanya Monaghan

Nate Dumlao, Amy and Brian Micheletti,

Marcie Gutierrez

(Style), Jennie Nunn (Home)

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424-220-6337 | marcie@goldenstate.is

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Sara Debevec, Amber Klinck, Kat Monk,

Jen Turquand

Gail Phinney, Jenn Robbins, Jared Sayers,

424-220-6335 | jen@goldenstate.is

Scott Sanford Tobis

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MARKETING & OPERATIONS PARTNER/BRAND PUBLISHER | Emily Stewart PARTNER/MANAGING DIRECTOR, MEDIA & ANALYTICS | Warren Schaffer DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL | Charles Simmons DIRECTOR OF FILM & VIDEO | Bryce Lowe-White OPERATIONS DIRECTOR | Allison Jeackjuntra COMMUNITY MANAGER | Liesl Breuner ACCOUNTING | Janet De La Cruz, Ljay Farris, Margy Way To learn more about us, visit thegoldenstatecompany.com.

No part of this periodical may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written consent from The Golden State Company, LLC. Any and all submissions to this or any of The Golden State Company, LLC publications become the property of The Golden State Company, LLC and may be used in any media. We reserve the right to edit. SUBSCRIPTIONS: info@goldenstate.is or 310-376-7800. Subscriptions are $29 per year. TO OUR READERS: Southbay welcomes your feedback. Please send letters to Reader Response Department, Southbay magazine. Please include your name, address and email. Edited letters may be published. 200 N. Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 110, El Segundo, CA 90245 Tel 310-376-7800 | Fax 310-376-0200 | goldenstate.is | southbay.goldenstate.is


Hold the Line The Scream, Edvard Munch’s famous Expressionist paint-

the Black Lives Matter marches in photography and film.

ing of an agonized figure, palms bookending its horrified

Despite these positive energy shifts, I don’t know

face, may perfectly depict the collective distress many

many in the art world who don’t crave a return to

of us experienced during this pandemic. Munch, who

some “normalcy.” The precariousness of this moment

painted this scene in 1893, survived the 1918 flu pandem-

reminds us not to take these joys for granted. There’s

ic some 25 years later—though some of his contempo-

no substitute for the spark of human interaction. And

raries, like Gustav Klimt, did not. The current pandemic,

yet, despite an unprecedented interruption to that ex-

though challenging for all, has been uniquely burden-

perience, artists proved the show must go on.

some for artists, many of whom rely on live performance for inspiration and livelihood. With bars, theatres, galleries and other venues closed,

In our annual Arts Issue we spotlight a handful of talented locals who thrived despite last year’s difficulties. We also highlight a creative family giving back with the

local artists have sought new ways to reach their audi-

help of the community and take a moment to recognize

ence. Most have taken to the internet, posting live

the Palos Verdes Art Center as it celebrates 90 years in

concerts on social media and scraping together tips from

the South Bay. Yes, art endures.

a loyal fan base. These daily offerings have become a welcome break from the stream of Zoom calls for the work-from-home crowd. Other artists have seized the opportunity to hone their craft—sculpting, painting, recording, writing—to great success. Some have found stimulus in the moment, documenting 2020 events like

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Darren Elms


JARED SAYERS | Jared is a by-product of the salty waters of the Southern California coastline. He is a South Bay native who somehow found his way into media and publishing, only to discover a love for writing. His subjects vary but all hold one common truth: Their appetite for life is large, and they choose to lead extraordinary lives in very uncommon places.

JENN ROBBINS | Jenn is a professional actor, writer, creative producer and teaching artist. Most recently she was making theatre with inmates at Folsom State Prison and associate-producing a New York-based eco-theatre project, On the Hook: A ClimateConscious Exploration of Anna Christie. She also offers private coaching for all ages. jennrobbins.actor

GAIL PHINNEY | Gail is an educator, art historian, curator and writer. A passionate advocate for arts education, she is inspired to make the arts accessible through innovative programming and creative collaborations. She enjoys a rewarding career as Palos Verdes Art Center’s community engagement director. Her Artful Daze reflections can be found at pvartcenter.org.

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FEBRUARY/ MARCH 2021 Bad Case of the Blues Manhattan Beach musician Kira “Bones” Lingman takes aim at new success. More on page 78.


love & leadership THROUGH ART AND ACTIVISM, SOUTH BAY COUPLE MUKARABE AND GEORGE MAKINTO COALESCE THEIR PASSIONS FOR THE GREATER GOOD. Written by Tanya Monaghan | Photographed by Shane O’Donnell


“Peace through empowerment and

in his town, he experienced many forms of racism but

transformation.” This is the mission

considered himself a rebel. He studied classical music,

statement of Amahoro International, a nonprofit organization founded by South Bay residents George and Mukarabe Makinto. Amahoro is the

person living in a monoethnic place. George’s struggle with his cultural identity as a young adult led him to Africa to explore his heritage. He first went to Liberia and the Ivory Coast and found most of his African inspirations through music. While living in the

conveys blessings, well-being and

Ivory Coast, George formed a band that rose to the fore-

meet the Makintos in person, you will feel all of this in their energy and see it in their eyes and bright, wide smiles. Originally founded in 2000 in New York City, the orga-

front of the world music movement. He then moved with his band to Paris for a 10-year stint. In Paris he was introduced to the African American jazz scene and, through a connection, jumped on a state department tour with jazz saxophonist and flutist T.K. Blue. The first stop: East Africa. George nostalgically remembers one post-concert night after performing in

nization advocates for AIDS orphans in Burundi, a small

Burundi. “We went out with some friends. Amongst them

country in East Africa. In the past two decades, it has

was a young woman who danced very well. We danced

given hope and restored dignity to Burundian refugees

the night away.”

and equipped them to participate in the transformation of

Several years later he began to tour with a South

African communities. All the incredible work George and

African star named Miriam Makeba. By this time George

Mukarabe do is deeply rooted in their personal histo-

had traveled the world, been married and divorced,

ries. Theirs is a story of two beautiful souls—living on

released a few albums and become an acclaimed interna-

different continents—who found each other and created

tional artist. He joined Makeba’s band as her piano player

something bigger.

and flutist. One of his fondest memories was playing for

Mukarabe was born in Burundi, the youngest of seven children. Her father, a visionary who championed the education of girls, died when Mukarabe was very young.

Nelson Mandela, who was so happy to see their act he climbed onto the stage to dance with them. In 1997, on a Canadian-American tour with Makeba,

His legacy, however, lives on in his daughter, who went to

the band played in Portland, Oregon. While playing, he

school and earned a college degree in the English language.

noticed a beautiful woman dancing. She eventually came

Her future seemed bright until a genocide began in

to the stage to meet the band members. As fate would

1993. Fleeing to Kenya, she refused to go to a refugee

have it, the beautiful dancer was the same young woman

camp in fear of becoming a statistic. Instead, she used

he met dancing at the club in Burundi nine years before:

her degree and language skills to work and earn a living.

It was Mukarabe.

A job at the United Nations offered her a way out.

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school. But he found a cultural disconnect being a biracial

Kirundi expression for peace, which fullness of life. If you get the chance to

28

venturing into jazz and playing in bands during high

They fell in love quickly, managing a long-distance

George was born in Germany to a Liberian mother and

relationship between Portland and Paris until Mukarabe

a German father. His mother left the family when he was

made the move to Europe so they could be together. The

only 6 months old, and George was raised in a purely

young couple moved to New York City with their firstborn

German household. Growing up as the only black person

son so Mukarabe could reconnect with the United Nations


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“WHAT WE ARE DOING IS A TESTAMENT TO THE FACT THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO HAVE A GOOD HEART AND WANT TO GIVE.”

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and George could join the New York jazz and music scene.

reached out to a pastor they had previously worked

Mukarabe became deeply devoted to eradicating poverty,

with and asked if the 13 refugees could live with him in

helping draft the African Caucus Resolution to End Poverty

Uganda. He generously housed them before helping the

for the U.N. George became a goodwill ambassador for

Makintos find land to build a new home.

peace and justice through his work with Miriam Makeba.

All of the funds for this project came from their con-

Both George and Mukarabe share a deep compassion

nections in the South Bay. Makinto began performing

for the needy, especially in Africa. At various institutions

with his band at fundraisers in private homes to raise

in New York, the two taught about African culture and the

enough money. In 2016 the Makinto family, along with

issues the continent was facing—from AIDS to poverty.

many who helped fundraise in the South Bay, traveled to

Although Mukarabe was working for the U.N., she wanted

Uganda to inaugurate the Joyful House of Refuge. They

to do more at a grassroots level and help people directly.

held a huge celebration and invited the community to eat,

For her it wasn’t about numbers; it was very personal. It

sing and dance.

was about hearing someone’s story and catering to their individual needs. At this time, AIDS was killing Africans at a startling

But the Makintos had to face the reality of how to help these refugees going forward. The answer came in empowerment through leadership training. “The initia-

rate, with many thousands of orphans left to fend for

tives had to come from within Africa for Africa to sustain

themselves. Tragically, AIDS devastated Mukarabe’s own

itself,” shares George. “It starts with nutrition and food,

family when three of her sisters and their husbands died

but that is just the beginning. We are an African initiative

from the disease—leaving her nieces and nephews with-

by Africans for Africans. The South Bay donors recognize

out parents.

this and know that all the money they are giving goes

When founding Amahoro International, the first project was to help Mukarabe’s family. They sought a way to

straight to the people we are helping. It is very personal.” The organization looks to expand the Joyful House of

allow sibling orphans to stay together rather than get

Refuge by buying more land so they can bring in more

dispersed and separated into other families. In 2006 they

refugees. Volunteers teach the residents English, comput-

established Rugaba’s Children Group Home to house

er technology and programming, and even barber skills.

Mukarabe’s orphaned nieces and nephews, among oth-

The Makintos’ long-term goal for Amahoro

ers. Rugaba’s Children became a successful incubator

International is to become a global platform for durable

for other orphan ministries, including the Association of

and deep-reaching transformation in Africa through

Young Orphans Against Poverty and HIV/AIDS in Burundi.

advocacy and sustainable development. George attributes

All of Amahoro’s work has been funded on a donor basis through their connections. For example, women

most of the work to his beloved wife. “She is amazing. She is the perfect community orga-

here in the South Bay handle the financials. They were

nizer. The way that she can motivate people to give their

very lucky to have Cindy Akiyama, whom Mukarabe met

best is a gift. Being an African and being able to speak

in a women’s prayer group, as a passionate supporter and

to the East Africans is really very remarkable. When she

board member. Cindy even took her two daughters all the

moves—even in Uganda, which is not her country—she is

way to Uganda to see the camps. Cindy and all the other

able to rally people.”

donors have been integral to the cause. Amahoro International focuses on the common needs

In one of her missions there, she met the brother of the king of Buganda—one of the Ugandan kingdoms—who also

of those they are helping. When the orphans they once

happens to be the head of the Uganda land board. He wit-

assisted grew up and became refugees, the Makintos

nessed her light firsthand and the power of Amahoro’s work

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in Uganda. He gave the Makintos title of the land on which

men and women. This model also allows for the cycle to

Joyful House of Refuge was built, as well as the prospect of

continue to bring in new refugees in need of help.

50 acres of land in a very fertile part of Uganda. The home currently houses 15 refugees, including three

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“What we are doing is a testament to the fact that there are people out there who have a good heart and want to

college students who are graduating this year. The Makintos

give,” says George. “All of the work we have done has

want the home to be a safe place where the refugees can

been funded solely through connections and friends we

learn and grow and then move on to become independent

know in the South Bay. We are eternally grateful.” ■


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the golden boy THE LEGACY OF HOLLYWOOD WRITER-DIRECTOR PRESTON STURGES SHINES BRIGHTLY THROUGH HIS SOUTH BAY-BASED SON TOM. Written by Scott Sanford Tobis | Photographs courtesy of Tom Sturges


Preston Sturges, the first Hollywood

mere $1 (or $10, depending on which source you want to

writer-director of the sound era and

believe) if he was allowed to direct it. His 1940 movie The

a raconteur with a gift for clever and

successful. It garnered Preston the very first Academy

run of critically acclaimed and

Award for best original screenplay and established him as a powerful creative force in the film business. But Preston was just getting started. His run in the

gifts have clearly been passed down

1940s as a writer-director of screwball comedies—a genre

to his son, Tom Sturges, a South Bay

he pretty much invented—was unequaled. Working with

resident of more than 30 years. Born in Paris (one of only seven Americans baptized at

the likes of Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Veronica Lake and a stable of gifted supporting players, Preston churned out seven hugely successful films, including The

Notre-Dame), Tom achieved considerable success in the

Lady Eve, Sullivan’s Travels and The Palm Beach Story. All

music industry as an executive, signing such luminaries

three were chosen by the American Film Institute as part

as The Smashing Pumpkins, Jack Johnson and 50 Cent.

of their 100 funniest films in American cinema. He was

He is also an author with several books, including the

twice more nominated for best original screenplay.

soon-to-be-published A Good Divorce Begins Here. Recently, the Manhattan Beach local has turned his attention to ensuring that his father’s achievements are not only recognized by the modern world but also

Preston’s artistic output at the time has rarely, if ever, been matched. The only other filmmaker that comes to mind is Francis Ford Coppola and his run in the 1970s. Unsurprisingly, Preston’s undeniable talent came at

preserved—including old celluloid prints that have lan-

a cost. Abandoned by his birth father as a child, he was

guished in less-than-ideal settings.

forced into early adulthood by his mother, Mary Desti, who

Last year saw the release of his book Preston Sturges:

pursued a cosmetics career in Europe and took 3-year-old

The Last Years of Hollywood’s First Writer-Director, co-

Preston along for the ride. He survived by developing his

written with Nick Smedley, as well as a new Criterion

considerable gift for language, wit and an understandable

Collection Blu-ray/DVD of his father’s classic romantic

mercurial nature. There’s also a fascinating and tragic tale

comedy The Lady Eve. The latter included an entertain-

involving his mother, a scarf and the renowned dancer

ing roundtable (via Zoom, because that’s the way we roll

Isadora Duncan; this would take an entire article to detail.

these days) with Tom moderating a discussion between noted filmmakers James L. Brooks, Peter Bogdanovich and Ron Shelton. In case the genius of Preston Sturges has somehow

After his great success at Paramount, Preston struck out on his own with uneven results. One definitive classic, Unfaithfully Yours, debuted during this time. After forming an independent film company with the tempera-

escaped you, here’s a primer. After a degree of suc-

mental Howard Hughes that produced one less-than-

cess as a playwright on Broadway, he became one of the

stellar film, Preston headed to Europe in an attempt to

most respected as well as the highest-paid screenwriter

find kindred spirits who appreciated his unique talent.

in Hollywood in the 1930s, crafting works such as Easy

Despite writing scripts and plays that often rose to

Living, Diamond Jim and, most famously, The Power and the

the level of greatness we associate with his earlier work,

Glory (an inspiration for Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane).

he was unable to obtain the funding to get his work

After watching some of his beloved screenplays fall into

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not, the timeless American topic of voter fraud—was quite

witty dialogue, enjoyed a successful commercial films. These particular

36

Great McGinty—a political satire involving, believe it or

produced. Tragically, he seemed on the road to a career

the hands of lesser directors, Preston decided to gamble

resurgence when he died in 1959 of a heart attack at

and let Paramount Pictures have his latest script for a

Manhattan’s famed Algonquin Hotel—ironically, or not


Between takes of The Lady Eve with Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck

Playing the lion to Harold Lloyd’s tamer for the Howard Hughes-produced flop The Sin of Harold Diddlebock

With Barbara Stanwyck improvising “Heart and Soul” during filming of The Lady Eve

Veronica Lake and Joel McCrea take direction in the Owl Wagon scene from Sullivan’s Travels


Grandview lads and Oscar: Jonny Herrouin, Kian Sturges, Dash Zenner, Tom Sturges, Matteo Rodriguez and Giorgio Marescalchi

so ironically, while writing his autobiography, which he planned to title The Events Leading Up to My Death. Preston Sturges has not been forgotten. He was given

current scene. Born Edmund Preston Biden, he is

Writers Guild of America (WGA) awarded him with the first

likely a distant relative of President Joe Biden. Not only

posthumous Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement.

that, but his second wife was the daughter of Marjorie

His influence has been cited by filmmakers as varied as

Merriweather Post—one of the founders of Mar-a-

Pixar’s John Lasseter and the Coen brothers (their film, O

Lago, the “Winter White House” to the 45th president.

Brother, Where Art Thou?, was a tribute to Sullivan’s Travels).

Somehow Preston has always found a way to be relevant. Locally, Tom makes sure his father’s life’s work will

the studio lot The Preston Sturges Building. The WGA

never be forgotten. For the past 20 years, he has hosted

and Director’s Guild of America share the Preston Sturges

the Grand View Oscars in Manhattan Beach. Fifth graders

Award, given to only a few distinguished writer-directors.

dress the part of Oscar winners and parade down actual

I can personally attest to the continued relevance of his

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In case you think Preston is old news, the writerdirector-raconteur has surprising connections to the

a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame in 1960. In 1975 the

In the ’80s, Paramount named the writers building on

38

audience had even been born. It was an exceptional night.

red carpet from the Academy Awards. Each gets to hold

work, having attended a sold-out screening of a Preston

Preston’s Oscar in their tiny, excited hands as they give

Sturges double feature at the Aero Theatre in Santa

their acceptance speech. Students are also asked detailed

Monica not long before the pandemic hit. The packed

questions about Preston Sturges as part of the ceremony,

crowd, varying in age from 8 to 80, roared with laughter

encouraging his legacy to live on here in the South Bay

throughout two films made before most people in the

for generations to come. ■


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S C H O O L S P OT L I G H T

RHP basketball team competing at 40CIF | regional championships the

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S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G S E C T I O N

S C H O O L S P OT L I G H T

THE TOTAL PACKAGE Blending academic offerings and an integrated advisory program with co-curricular activities and community service, a local school helps prepare students for college and beyond.

A

cademic, personal and professional success have long been the focus of parents seeking transformative educational experiences, but many

often struggle to understand how those outcomes are achieved. Rolling Hills Preparatory School (RHP), a college preparatory school in San Pedro serving grades 6–12, has always embraced the dynamic nature of education and continues to improve on a formula that encourages student success through a challenging but supportive individualized curricu-

“ROLLING HILLS PREP HAS LONG IDENTIFIED ACADEMIC RIGOR AS A CORE COMPONENT OF EDUCATION.”

elementary school and builds the groundwork for skills and understanding that are crucial for success in high school and beyond. Recently, RHP became a candidate for the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program, which reinforces an already progressive approach to education with inquiry-based learning that encourages cross-curricular collaboration, such as a science project that ties in with topics learned in social studies courses. Numerous social-emotional support programs, such as professional counselors and a high school-

lum that is constantly adapting to the needs of

led peer mentoring program, exist to nurture

its student body. integrated advisory program ensures that

interpersonal development, prevent stress,

A BALANCED APPROACH

every student is matched with a faculty mentor

celebrate diversity and confront bullying

A foundational aspect of RHP is its Four Pillars

who goes above and beyond to ensure

before it begins.

of student-oriented education that guide

positive outcomes by identifying key academic

institutional decision-making and encourage

or co-curricular opportunities and addressing

academic program that promotes the

students to be thoughtful and accomplished

learning or social difficulties quickly.

development of individual agency and

global citizens. The Four Pillars are Disciplined

Each year, these faculty advisors come

High school students are met with an

incorporates college counseling directly into

Minds, Sound Character, Healthy Bodies

together to assess student performance,

the curriculum to ensure that students are

and Creative Spirits. One of the secrets to

course requirements and course placement

informed and prepared for life after RHP.

Rolling Hills Prep’s approach to education is

and build the following year’s curriculum from

Students who wish to highlight excellence in

the need for balance, including a rigorous

the ground up, referencing opportunities and

specific subjects can apply for one of three

academic curriculum, robust social-emotional

needs of every RHP student throughout the

specialized diplomas in the arts, math and

support networks and numerous co-curricular

process. In some cases, this leads to large

sciences, or history and world languages—

offerings that allow students to develop their

shifts in course offerings and structure—

requiring these students to demonstrate a

sense of identity and agency.

making student success an institutional

commitment to their fields of focus beyond

priority with curriculum, staffing and

the standard curricular requirements.

Rolling Hills Prep has long identified academic rigor as a core component of

allocation of resources.

Students are encouraged to embrace “Sound Character” by giving back to the

education. However, the school’s definition of “rigor” recognizes the importance of

THE ACADEMIC PROGRAM

community in the form of community service

challenging students’ strengths and providing

Beginning in middle school, RHP students are

learning, and many students go even further

support or new learning approaches in

met with a dynamic learning environment

in conjunction with service groups, athletic

areas where students may struggle. A deeply

that focuses heavily on the transition out of

teams or the National Honor Society. Other |

41


S C H O O L S P OT L I G H T

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nonacademic traditions and opportunities

their creative endeavors, such as the fall

learning experiences and is prepared to

encourage students to develop “soft skills”

play, spring musical, classical night, visual art

address learning impact upon a full return

that can be crucial to future success, such as

shows and recurring talent shows.

to campus. In the coming years, the school

requiring every graduating senior to develop

No-cut policies extend into athletics in both

anticipates helping new students navigate

their public speaking abilities and address the

middle and high school teams, including

subjects and skills that may have been

student body on a topic of their choice.

high-performing basketball teams that have

impacted by unsuccessful experiences with

won regional and state championships in

virtual learning at other schools. To increase

DEVELOPING PASSIONS

recent years and have featured top-ranked

accessibility and address the financial impact

In addition to academic offerings, students of

players, such as Clarice Akunwafo, class of

of COVID-19, RHP has also committed to

all grade levels are provided with numerous

’21, who is ranked as the #2 center in varsity

freezing or lowering tuition for its programs

opportunities to explore and develop their

girls’ basketball nationwide and was recruited

and offerings.

interests in co-curricular activities with

in her junior year to play for USC. Students

no-cut policies. Middle school students are

interested in STEM have opportunities to build

round on a rolling basis. More admission

encouraged to explore their creative side

problem-solving robots on the robotics team,

information, including recordings of

with rotating arts courses that give them

imagine the future of municipal planning

virtual admission events, can be found at

an introduction to visual and performing

with a “Future Cities” team, and have

RollingHillsPrep.org/visit.

arts, and the high school curriculum builds

several opportunities to present projects and

on that with advanced offerings in drawing

research at the annual STEM Expo.

The school accepts applications year-

ROLLING HILLS PREPARATORY SCHOOL

and painting, 3-D art, darkroom and digital photography, design, music and composition,

LOOKING AHEAD

ONE ROLLING HILLS PREP WAY, SAN PEDRO

and theatre studies. There are also several

Even in the time of COVID-19, the school

310-791-1101

annual opportunities for students to highlight

has succeeded at fostering positive virtual

ROLLINGHILLSPREP.ORG

Journaling during an outdoor education trip

42

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Performing Hello, Dolly! at the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro


Performing an in-class chemistry experiment

Working on a STEM activity using LEGO Robotics

Performing in an all-school talent show


still life TAKING TIME TO REFLECT DURING THE PANDEMIC, A SOUTH BAY ARTIST CREATES A NEW ART SERIES BASED ON SOMETHING PERSONAL. Written by Jennie Nunn | Photographed by Monica Orozco


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When elementary school let out, young Paula Langstein would often spend her afternoons experimenting with coloring paper, crayons and paint. “I was always a shy and quiet kid and didn’t come out of my shell until middle school,” recalls Paula, who grew up in Redondo Beach and is now a Manhattan Beach–based abstract artist and graphic designer. “I would spend countless hours in my

artwork for their home. “To be around other artists and that energy is incredible, and it helped my art. I really couldn’t stop,” adds Paula, who sold her first piece at an El Segundo Art Walk. “It’s showing your soul and being open to judgment. Not everyone is going to love your work, but when someone tells you a story of how it made them feel or that it resonated with them, it makes everything worthwhile.” Paula’s laborious layering process (involving color upon color, upon color) doesn’t have a timeline. “I start with an abstract piece, and when that dries I start the figure. A piece could take me a month or two months. I don’t always know where the painting is going to go, and I don’t always know when I’m done.” Most recently, the self-taught artist and mother of

room drawing in my younger years

three turned to a new subject: family. “Before the pan-

through fifth grade. Colors side-by-

demic hit, my family would leave in the morning and I

side and different shapes intrigued me. As I got older, the blank sides of my notebooks were my canvas.”

would have hours to myself to paint and create without interruptions,” says Paula, who paints from an open, in-home studio. “Family Series was sparked by my kids being home all day, and this new way of life intrinsically carried over into my paintings. When everyone was home

Paula, who studied business at California State

and I was unable to paint, I realized that my life is not

University, Fullerton and became a graphic designer,

complete if I am unable to paint. Without painting, I do

didn’t think art would ever be a plausible career. “I took

not feel whole.”

the ‘safe’ route with a business major but found that I

The new, 13-piece collection features works such as

spent more time designing the look and feel of my pre-

With Me Through It All, The Road Ahead and A Family

sentations and reports than I did on the actual content,”

Journey. “The series represents everyone moving through

she says. “While I was in college, my older sister was

this journey together, interwoven like never before,” she

working at Mattel and she took notice of my creative

explains. “It makes you reflect on who and what you hold

inclination. She told me I could make a great career as a

close during times of crisis. Paintings have their own energy

graphic designer. I thought, ‘Getting paid to be creative?

field, and my goal with Family Series is to make people feel

Yes, please!’ I quickly added design courses to my pro-

hopeful and connected during a time that is so difficult.”

gram load, and from there my art path was set.” It wasn’t until she and her husband moved into their

As for the future, Paula hopes to extend her work beyond the South Bay. “I’d like to pack up my car and

house about 10 years ago that she started seriously pon-

do art shows around the country and be able to show my

dering painting in addition to her graphic design career.

art in different venues,” she muses. “I’d love it to be in a

“We had walls that I didn’t have paintings for,” she

museum somewhere one day, but for me, what’s honestly

shares. “We had to combine our styles and make some

more important is to share it in people’s homes. I love

compromises, as most couples do.”

the freedom of it, how tactile it is, making meaning out

So she began taking abstract painting classes led by

of it and the fact that there are no rules.” ■

artist Terri Burris at South Bay Art Department to create

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LOOK FOR THE SPRING ISSUE THIS MAY TO READ MORE ABOUT HEALTHY LIVING IN THE SOUTH BAY


50

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Art & Functionality FOURTH-GENERATION EL SEGUNDO RESIDENT GEORGE RENFRO EMBRACES A DIGITAL FUTURE. Written by Sara Debevec | Photographed by Monica Orozco

George Renfro VI is El Segundo. The previous George

so his creativity never came out in just one form. “I

Renfros—his dad, grandfather and great-grandfather

was never really good at skateboarding or baseball

—all grew up there. But he admits never appreciat-

or BMX, but I always found myself in love with the

ing his town’s uniqueness until he left, first to study

graphics or merchandise,” he shares.

in San Diego and then to London … only to come back home and start again in his beachside hometown. “El Segundo has an old-timey vibe that allows it to

He found meaning in the intersection between art and functionality. After graduating with a degree in graphic design from San Diego State University,

exist on its own and not be found out,” George says.

he began freelancing and eventually founded the

“People who live here—like my dad—are crafty, and

brand and digital design studio Boundary Digital in

they’ve been good at living on their own and exist-

Downtown El Segundo with his friend and business

ing in a bubble. It’s quirky. It’s like a small town that

partner, Tyler Leonard.

should be in the South or Midwest, but it’s just plopped on the coast of Los Angeles.”

George recalls how the idea of starting a business came about. “At the time I was freelancing, and he was

You may recognize George from the El Segundo Art

taking a break from his job. We had a few beers one

Walk. The annual summer event, conceived in 2015 by

night in Thailand, and he said, ‘When we get home,

local artist Holly Socrates, set out to capture the town’s

we should pitch Red Bull.’ I said, ‘Let’s see.’ And now,

hidden charms through self-guided art tours through-

five years later, Red Bull is one of our biggest clients—

out its industrial corners. In addition to a variety of

along with many others.”

locally made art, visitors could eat, drink, meander,

During the pandemic, the art world is experiencing

enjoy unforgettable performances by bands like Glue

a major shift, but it’s not necessarily bad. Boundary

LA and Feisty Heart, or participate in glassblowing

Digital has stayed busy throughout 2020. “I think

demonstrations at Revolution Glass Studio. There was

the digital world has grown altogether, and we’ve

something for everyone.

been here to help our clients figure out a lot of the

Growing up, George was always switching interests,

changes they need to make,” George says. “Business

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51


has been good. We’ve even had to hire a couple new

range of projects, and George remains optimistic about

nice to be able to offer a salary to someone.”

the future. “I think when a new reality is forced on

When George sees a challenge, he wants to solve it

come from it. Once technology becomes more ubiqui-

all about doing good work, being humble and say-

tous, there is going to be a lot more amazing art com-

ing ‘yes’ more than the next person,” he says. “If the

ing out of this.” ■

off and opened a lot of doors.”

|

someone, that’s where a lot of great art and music

and not stray away from it. “For us, it has really been

budget is a little low, try to make it work! It has paid

52

Currently, the business grows while working on a

designers to handle the workload, which is great. It’s


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eastern influence BLENDING TWO CULTURES IN PERFECT HARMONY, A PALOS VERDES ESTATES–BASED INTERIOR DESIGNER HELPS A COUPLE TRANSFORM A RANCH-STYLE HOME INTO A MODERN OASIS. Written by Jennie Nunn | Photographed by Lauren Pressey


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When searching for a house in the South Bay, Ray and Chika Kato couldn’t pass up the view from the fourbedroom, three-bath home they found in Rolling Hills Estates. “On a clear day, you can see the Hollywood sign,” says Chika, originally from Hiroshima, Japan. “And we have a Queen’s Necklace view on one side and a view of the harbor on the other.” But the existing ranch-style house didn’t fit their modern aesthetic. To make it their own with cherished family heirlooms and vintage textiles from Japan, the couple turned to general contractor Steve Den Besten of CMS Construction, Inc., who recommended interior designer Megan Dufresne, principal designer of MC Design in Palos Verdes Estates. The two have worked together previously on several projects. “Our directive for Megan was that we wanted a modern, warm and comfortable space where we could host our family and friends,” adds Chika of the home, which is now 2,393 square feet. “We have several pieces of art that I brought from Japan, and it was important that we incorporated them into our design. It helped warm up the modern finishes and created the warmth that you feel the minute you step through the front door.” By reconfiguring the layout specifically for their needs, Megan created a neutral palette with pops of blue (one of Chika’s favorite colors) and design elements such as a mudroom with porcelain tile and walnut built-ins for shoes; two living rooms; a designated sewing and craft room; and at least three dozen family obis and Japanese textiles framed as artwork. During design meetings and frequent shopping trips with long talks in the car, Megan and Chika formed a

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57


close friendship and devised a clear design plan. “We spoke about her style, colors she liked, and how she wanted to weave in a lot of decor pieces passed down from her mother and aunt,” says Megan. “Inherently, that meant integrating Japanese textiles and ceramic wares. From there, we spoke about how they envisioned using their new home (no shoes in the house, importance of sewing space), which informed the choices we made. I think one of the reasons they chose to work with me was that I took to heart what they were asking for, and I had a great time incorporating their culture into my design.” Taking on a modern project along with a culture different from her own was admittedly a first for Megan. “Growing up, one of my best friends was Japanese (born here), and I developed an appreciation for the Japanese culture,” she explains. “It brought me into this with some knowledge, and that knowledge was expanded by working with Ray and Chika. I think what I love most is that it pushed me outside my comfort zone. The love that they have for the culture rubbed off on me.” Throughout the space, Japanese textiles passed on from Chika’s relatives and unique design features include the guest room lined with a Brio bed and bedside tables by Sacha Lakic from Roche Bobois; and a custom-draped kimono art installation with walnut wooden pegs by MC Design. More stretched and framed artwork resides in the living room, such as a vintage Japanese indigo tie-dyed tapestry gifted to Chika by her aunt that hangs above a Scenario sofa and ottoman from Roche Bobois; a vintage Japanese table runner reimagined as wall art; and vintage Japanese Bizen ware vases from Chika’s mother. In the sewing room (once an underutilized, open-air courtyard), pieces range from a custom walnut desk, cabinetry and a convertible sewing table/wall mirror by MC Design to artwork hand-embroidered by Chika’s mother and framed by Gilt Edge in Rolling Hills Estates. “We made a craft room with tons of storage and hidden features, which brings me joy,” says Chika. “I love to

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sew, so this is my happy place in the home.” Another example of carefully executed design is the kitchen, appointed with semi-custom, Shaker-style cabinets from Builders Surplus in Orange County; textile art in katazome, a stencil dyeing technique designed by Living National Treasure of Japan Keisuke Serizawa and framed by Gilt Edge; and Rimadesio glass-and-iron sliding doors with a hidden ceiling track from Dom Interiors in Chicago. “One of the things I love about Chika is she’s extremely organized, and she definitely knew what she wanted—especially in the kitchen with a custom pantry, knife drawers and hidden storage everywhere,” says Megan. “The goal with the sliding doors was twofold: When closed, it creates a barrier to not show the mess in the kitchen while cooking, but when open, it almost acts as art on the wall.” The finished design is modern but personal and layered with significant pieces that accurately reflect Ray’s and Chika’s lives. “Just trying to warm up modern is a difficult thing to achieve, and I feel like we definitely accomplished it,” remarks Megan, who confesses she misses the one-on-one time with the couple. “When I work with someone almost daily for a significant amount of time, there is a friendship that develops beyond the traditional designer-client relationship. It’s one of my favorites of my job.” ■

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What’s the Buzz? DESPITE THE CHALLENGES OF THE PANDEMIC, HI-FI ESPRESSO’S CUP OVERFLOWS WITH SUPPORT. Written by Tanya Monaghan | Photographed by Nate Dumlao

Hi-Fi Espresso loves and adores all things Los

goods. Jeff and Karen realized they could bring

Angeles. Founded in 2017 by husband-and-

their love for coffee and design together and cre-

wife Jeff and Karen Prugh, the South Bay coffee

ate a cool, inviting environment with a stylistic

spot with two locations pays homage to the

edge right here in the South Bay.

cinema, fashion and groovy ’70s vibes. This

Karen and Jeff opened their first location

all comes naturally for Jeff, a USC School of

of Hi-Fi Espresso in Hermosa Beach, right on

Cinematic Arts graduate, and Karen, a Fashion

the Pacific Coast Highway. Every inch of the

Institute of Design & Merchandising graduate

541-square-foot space (which, coming from

and El Segundo native.

New York, seemed huge) is thoughtfully curated.

Jeff, who grew up in Florida, met Karen at

It is a single roaster shop serving Counter

the hair salon where she worked. He jokes,

Culture beans, roasted once a week in a space in

“Karen caught my eye at the first visit, and it

Downtown LA.

only took me seven years of going to that salon

Relying mostly on word of mouth, the Prughs

to get the nerve to ask her out.” It was worth

created their own buzz, doing fun little pop-ups

the long wait, as the two got married not long

and bringing in vegan donuts or bagels from

after that first date.

other small businesses. Jeff reflects, “At first it

Two years after happily living in the South

was frustrating because people in the neighbor-

Bay, the young couple decided to uproot and

hood didn’t even know we were there or that

have a little adventure in New York. They took

there is ample parking in back. Ironically, with

full advantage of all the metropolis had to offer.

COVID-19, the quarantine and people staying at

They enjoyed the diversity of city life along with

home, more people are finding us.”

the strong sense of community and support for the arts that New York is known for. When Karen became pregnant with their first

Just before the pandemic, they opened their second location in the heart of Riviera Village in Redondo Beach, where a kitchen serves an

child, Quincy, the expecting parents decided

all-day, tantalizing food menu from organic

to return to the South Bay, where both sets of

and locally sourced ingredients. Karen’s favor-

grandmothers live. But they soon found them-

ite is the house-made waffle, and Jeff’s is the

selves longing for the New York coffee shop vibe

“Low East”—a vegan Soyrizo hash sandwich

so prominent in Brooklyn and the Lower East

on a bagel.

Side, where coffee meshed with style and fine

The creative couple thoroughly enjoyed the

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63


process of designing their stores. A scene in Jeff’s favorite movie, Boogie Nights, inspired the name Hi-Fi, and the concept is an ode to the ’70s—including the names of some of their menu items. In addition to serving the highest fidelity in Hi-Fi is certified as a member of the California Green Business Network—striving to lower our carbon footprint and protect our oceans. All foods are vegetarian except one pescatarian dish. There is plenty to peruse in their perfectly curated space, including small-batch items from honey and candles to T-shirts and ceramics. Film books are scattered around the store, and free Wi-Fi encourages customers to sit down and chill for a while. Jeff and Karen now have a second daughter, Wesley, so operating two shops has been a juggling act for both. During the first lockdown, they completely closed both stores for two months but have found great support from their patrons and community. With no deferred rent, the small business owners opened back up in mid-May in an all-online, contactless manner. Through all of this, Jeff and Karen continue to take it one day at a time. Their regulars have been faithful, and they are grateful to anyone who comes through their doors. “We believe in the positive powers of coffee and design,” says Jeff. “A high-quality cup can kick-start a day, ignite the imagination and inspire creativity. Coffee is our passion, community is our mission and collaboration is our desire.” ■

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY UTE RECKHORN

coffee, tea, kombucha, food and fine goods,


past present FROM HIS SAN PEDRO STUDIO, SIMON FORD TREATS HIS SUBJECTS TO A WET-COLLODION PROCESS— AN EARLY PHOTOGRAPHIC TECHNIQUE—AND, IN TURN, EXPOSES SOMETHING BEAUTIFULLY DEEP AND ENDURING. Written by Jared Sayers | Photographed by Jeff Berting


The first time I met Simon was

glasses, a shiny bald head and a pair of Adidas Adilette

through a simple suggestion from a

slide sandals covering what had to be a size 13 foot.

mutual friend: “Hey, you guys should meet one another.” Honestly, at the time I didn’t even really know what

I had heard that Simon was a craft beer lover and part of the early craft beer movement in Los Angeles (he is

I had was that he was a photographer

the creator of Phantom Carriage Brewing, for all you beer

living in San Pedro.

lovers out there). I too am a craft beer lover, so I brought a few nice bottles as a nice-to-meet-you offering. As Simon was pouring the bubbly water, I said, “Hey,

there was time to meet a kindred spirit. Prior, it was

Simon, I brought some tasty beers for you to try. Not sure

wake up, cram as much stuff into one day as possible, lie

if you’d had any of these, but there should be enough

down after it’s all over, pass out and do it all over again

here to get you through the next few days.”

the next day. Fine for a season, but this season had a little more margin. There’s time. Initially, I linked up with Simon on a text thread. “Come over whenever” is what I think his text said. “Whenever?” I thought. You mean we don’t have to do

Without looking up he said, “Oh yeah, cool. Stick ’em over there on the dryer.” “On the dryer?” I thought. Interesting. Maybe the refrigerator was full? “So, you drinkin’ anything tasty these days?” I asked.

the mundane, back-and-forth dance around people’s

Figured it would be a nice icebreaker. He hands me the

overly scheduled days? That’s what I’m used to, so

bubbly water and goes right into his refrigerator and pulls

“whenever” caught me off guard.

out a bottle.

Within a couple of days, I found myself driving to San

“You know what, I am,” he said with some exuberance

Pedro to meet Simon—on a simple whim from a very good

as he handed it to me. “This stuff is killer. In fact, drink-

friend who gave me the wink to say, “You must see to

ing a bunch of it right now. It’s nonalcoholic.”

believe.” Prior to my arrival, Simon requested that I pull in

“Really?” I said.

the back alley. “Odd—front door doesn’t work?” I thought.

“Yeah, sometimes I just like to trick my body and do a

As I walked down the alley attempting to eyeball which backyard may be his, I saw a large figure emerge from

little experiment.” So there I am, in a garage in the back alley with a 6’6”

the back gate. It seemed to have ducked under the entry’s

man dressed in all black, wearing a black apron and black

overhang leading from the backyard into the alley. From

latex gloves, beers on the dryer, with a homemade bubbly

my vantage point, I’d put the figure at around 6’4” to

water in my hand. Did it suddenly get hot in here?

6’6” tall. I saw a silhouette turn my direction, and from the large

Nerves began to take over. Not much of this was making a whole lot of sense, and I’d only been there for five

shadow a long arm emerged like a tree branch extending

minutes. When nerves take over, my mouth runs. I yam-

from its trunk. Then the branch waved at me. This must be

mered on about god knows what—my life, my career, my

Simon, I thought. As I got closer, the figure kept waving.

blah, blah, blah.

As I got even closer, I began to see that his hands were

|

“Sure,” I said. But in my head: “You make your own bubbly water?”

that meant, and the only real context

This all came about during a period in my life when

68

“You must be Jared—nice to meet you,” he spoke in a very upbeat tempo. “You want a bubbly water? I make it myself.”

When I was done yammering, Simon just looked at me

covered in black latex gloves that led into a black T-shirt,

and smiled—almost to say, “Why did you just tell me all

with a black apron, black shorts, thick black-framed

of that?” And then without hesitation, he followed it up


“SO THERE I AM, IN A with, “Want to go see the photo studio?” “Uh … yeah … sure,” I said. “Cool, follow me.” We left the garage and started to walk up a flight of stairs toward the studio. On the way up, I noticed a vine of some sort twisting its way along the stairway banister. “Cool plant,” I said. Clearly, the nerves still were defaulting to meaningless words, filling the air for no particular reason. Cool plant? Good grief, Jared. Pull it together. “Oh yeah, that’s my Frontenac vine. It’s a Native American grape I use to make some pretty darn good table wine. I’m expecting about four gallons of juice this season from that baby.” “Okay, is this dude messing with me?” I thought. Homemade bubbly water, nonalcoholic beer, grapes, homemade wine? What is going on here? Just then Simon opened the door to his studio, and at a glance everything looked pretty normal. Backdrop, lights,

GARAGE IN THE BACK ALLEY WITH A 6’6” MAN DRESSED IN ALL BLACK, WEARING A BLACK APRON AND BLACK LATEX GLOVES, BEERS ON THE DRYER, WITH A HOMEMADE BUBBLY WATER IN MY HAND. DID IT SUDDENLY GET HOT IN HERE?“

desk, computer—nothing out of the ordinary except for one glaring difference. Simon does not use the latest and greatest camera

rendered an absolutely stunning piece of art. I just stood

body, lens, tripod, etc. He actually has reverted to a cam-

there trying to understand how such an archaic process

era body dating back to 1918 and a lens that is made in

could produce something so beautiful.

1878. More specifically, a Graflex Series DRV body and a Dallmeyer 2B lens, for all you photography historians out

“Yeah, these types of photos last up to a couple hundred years,” he said while looking over my shoulder.

there. The type of photography Simon does is called the

I stood there speechless. Nerves were gone because

wet-collodion process—an early photographic technique

there wasn’t any more room for nerves. You know, that

invented by Englishman Frederick Scott Archer in 1851.

feeling when something grabs you with its beauty and

As Simon began to take me through the collodion

forces you to just sit there for a moment. It’s like your

process, it seemed to be a bit more of a chemistry experi-

brain is trying to understand what it’s looking at. Then

ment than anything else … consisting of adding soluble

it begins to understand this is no job for the brain but

iodine to a solution of cellulose nitrate on a steel plate

something only the heart can get its arms around.

that is exposed to the camera while still wet and washed

One of my favorite quotes is by Pablo Picasso: “Art

off with some sort of acid. I’m not going to act like I

washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

know exactly how it was all done. Simon was doing his

Somehow Simon with a camera from the early 20th cen-

best to walk me through the whole process, but a chem-

tury is able to pull something far larger from his subjects.

istry major I am not.

A selfie pales in comparison.

Then he held up one of his recent portraits, and I froze.

Is it essence? Soul? I can’t quite explain it, but I know

I’d never seen anything like it. The level of detail, lights

what I saw in that little garage photo studio in the back

and darks mixed with an imperfect development process

alley of San Pedro. Simon washed the dust of everyday

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71


Xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxx x x x xxxxxxxx x xxxxxxxx x xxxxxxxxx x xxx xxxx xx x x xxxx x x x xxxxxxxx x xxx x x xx xxxxxxx xxx x x x xxxxxxxx x xxxxxxxx x xxxxxxxxx x xxx xxxx xx x x xxxx x x x xxxxxxxx x xxx x x xxxx xxxxxxx xxx x x x xxxxxxxx x xxxxxxxx x xxxxxxxxx x xxx xxxx xx x x xxxx x x x xxxxxxxx x xxx x x xxxx xxxxxxx xxx x x x xxxxxxxx x xxxxxxxx x xxxxxxxxx x xxx xxxx xx x x xxxx x x x xxxxxxxx x xxx x x xxxx xxxxxxx xxx x x x xxxxxxxx x xxxxxxxx x xxxxxxxxx x xxx xxxx xx x x xxxx x x x xxxxxxxx x xxx x x xxxx xxxxxxx xxx x x x xxxxxxxx x xxxxxxxx x xxxxxxxxx x xxx xxxx xx x x xxxx x x x xxxxxxxx x xxx x x xxxx xxx xxxx xxx x x x xxxxxxxx x xxxxxxxx x xxxxxxxxx x xxx xxxx xx x x xxxx x x x xxxxxxxx x xxx x x xxxx xxxxxxx xxx x x x xxxxxxxx x xxxxxxxx x xxxxxxxxx x xxx xxxx xx x x xxxx x x x xxxxxxxx x xxx x x xxxx xxxxxxx xxx x x x xxxxxxxx x xxxxxxxx x xxxxxxxxx x xxx xxxx xx x x xxxx x x x xxxxxxxx x xxx x x xxxx xxxxxxx xxx x x x xxxxxxxx x xxxxxxxx x xxxxxxxxx x xxx xxxx xx x x xxxx x x x xxxxxxxx x xxx x x xxxx xxxxxxx xxx x x x xxxxxxxx x xxxxxxxx x xxxxxxxxx x xxx xxxx xx x x xxxx x x x xxxxxxxx x xxx x x xxxx xx ■ ■

72

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life off my soul as I looked through his portfolio of sub-

lawyer who understands the value of creating things for

jects—most of whom I’ve never met, yet all had the same

the betterment of another, and in this case it comes in

trait. They all possessed this inexplicable depth.

the form of 19th-century-style photography.

And it should be said: This is not Simon’s vocation.

So, yeah. Maybe we need to take a note out of

He’s a lawyer. I know. Crazy. A patent lawyer—and a

Simon’s book. Make things. Make bubbly water. Grow

successful one at that. Yes, one more thing to add to

grapes. Give someone a printed photo you took of them.

the mixed bag of idiosyncrasies that make Simon, well,

Unapologetically march to the beat of your drum, because

Simon. So why does a lawyer moonlight as a colloidal wet

guess what … that beat is infectious.

plate photographer? It’s not cheap. It’s not easy. It’s aw-

Days after my time with Simon, I bumped into the

fully time-consuming and very complex. I couldn’t figure

mutual friend who had initially put us in contact. We

it out.

immediately began to ping-pong on Simon stories. He

“Why, Simon?” I asked. “Why build out this studio,

proceeded to tell me about a time when Simon unexpect-

purchase all the materials and invest in a camera that

edly broke out a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle (premium

feels like it belongs in a museum?” He just smiled and

bourbon for you nondrinkers) and poured them both a

without hesitation said, “Because everyone deserves a

glass. No occasion. Just because. Could’ve even been the

good picture of themselves.”

middle of the day.

You know, we live in a funny time. Tension is high. We

I so wish I could have been there for that moment be-

are working through some major issues—things like di-

cause I would have asked him, “Why did you just open a

vision, racial injustice, gender inequality, the information

bottle of Pappy? What’s the occasion?” I bet his response

era, fear, anxiousness, depression, health care and the

would have been: “Because everyone deserves a good

endless pursuit of more. But then there’s this: a patent

glass of bourbon.” ■

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73


B U S I N E S S S P OT L I G H T

L to R: Joshua Forrester, Tammy A. Trenta, Michael Ashley Schulman, Susan Lash, Todd Stern

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION


S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G S E C T I O N

B U S I N E S S S P OT L I G H T

KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY Running Point Capital Advisors shares what you need to know to navigate Proposition 19 and plan for the future. WRITTEN BY TAMMY A. TRENTA, MBA, CFP | PHOTOGRAPHED BY SHANE O’DONNELL

A

s a member of Running Point Capital Advisors’ multidisciplinary financial services team, a South Bay local and a de facto CFO for

numerous families, I love diving into new tax legislation to understand how the changes may affect our clients’ financial well-being. For example, many clients of our multifamily office who own California real estate are anxious about the impact of Proposition

“IT’S SO IMPORTANT TO DRAW ON A TEAM LIKE WE HAVE AT RUNNING POINT, WHERE ALL OF YOUR QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS CAN BE ADDRESSED BY TEAM MEMBERS WHO REPRESENT MANY DIFFERENT DISCIPLINES.”

19 and how to plan for it. Let’s look at the new law from a holistic, Running Point perspec-

their lifetime or at death, while preserving

PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS

tive—that is, with the input of several of our

the property tax basis. In other words,

In terms of transferring or selling property,

team members representing different finan-

their children would pay essentially the

there are additional planning considerations

cial disciplines.

same property tax as did their parents or

such as property title, financing conditions and

grandparents.

valuation discounts (if a partial interest). It’s

PROPERTY TAX CHANGES UNDER PROP 19

Now under Proposition 19—which took

also helpful to know whether a property will be

Previously, Proposition 13 allowed seniors

effect on February 16—only transfer of a

sold at some point or if it’s an asset that will be

(55+) a one-time-only opportunity to sell their

primary residence up to the current assessed

held and remain in the family for generations

home, buy a different one at the same or less

value based on the property tax bill plus

to come. This is why it’s so important to draw

value and retain the tax basis of the original

$1 million (as annually adjusted) qualifies for

on a team like we have at Running Point,

property. Homeowners 55+ could therefore

the exclusion from reassessment. The new

where all of your questions and concerns

downscale in size without incurring a property

law also requires the child/children to occupy

can be addressed by team members who

tax penalty.

the home as a principal residence within one

represent many different disciplines.

Prop 13 also permitted homeowners 55+ to transfer a primary residence of any value to

year. Any other real estate transfers will be reassessed to the full market value.

For example, I brainstormed with Running Point Tax & Consulting’s tax manager, Todd

The silver lining of Proposition 19: Seniors

Stern, to get his thoughts on strategies that

reassessment, regardless of how the

are free to purchase another home anywhere

can be implemented. “Prop 19 is a property

child used that residence. A parent could

in California of any value. They can do this up

tax matter,” he said, “but there are still some

also transfer other real property up to $1

to three times and retain the tax basis on the

income tax strategies that may enable the

million in value per qualified spouse during

home being sold.

heirs to hold onto family properties while still

a child or grandchild without a property tax

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75


B U S I N E S S S P OT L I G H T

Tammy A. Trenta, CFA, MBA Partner

avoiding property tax reassessments.” He added, however, that there will always

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Michael Ashley Schulman, CFA Partner, Chief Investment Officer

Todd Stern, CPA Tax Manager

SO WHAT MAKES THE MOST SENSE?

RUNNING POINT CAPITAL ADVISORS

What strategies make the most sense for a

101 NORTH PACIFIC COAST HWY., SUITE 305

be tradeoffs. Todd goes into detail on these

family? The short answer: It depends. Each

EL SEGUNDO

considerations on the Running Point blog

family has different financial circumstances

424-502-3500

(runningpointcapital.com/insights).

and different family values. At Running Point

RUNNINGPOINTCAPITAL.COM

Capital Advisors, our clients benefit from the REAL ESTATE IN THE LONG RUN

input of an experienced, multidisciplinary

I also sought out Running Point’s chief invest-

group of professionals—all under one roof. We

ment officer, Michael Ashley Schulman, for his

start by listening to gain a clear understanding

perspective on the place of real estate in one’s

of your goals. We then work together to

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are those of Running

investment portfolio. “We often see real estate

develop a comprehensive financial plan,

Point Capital Advisors, LLC (Running Point) and are subject

as a desirable core asset within long-term

presenting you with options on smart ways you

to change without notice. The opinions referenced are

investment portfolios,” Michael said, “and we seek

can accomplish your objectives.

as of the date of publication, may be modified due to

to diversify clients out of state—for example, Utah,

Planning can seem complicated, but it

changes in the market or economic conditions and may

Colorado, Texas, South Carolina—into attractive

does not have to be. Running Point puts a

not necessarily come to pass. Forward-looking statements

residential, warehouse or bespoke opportunities

team of financial, tax and legal specialists by

cannot be guaranteed. Running Point is an investment

with tax and depreciation benefits.”

your side to help you navigate Proposition

advisor registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange

19 and any other financial headwinds—or

Commission. Registration does not imply a certain level of

opportunities—that may come your way.

skill or training. More information about Running Point’s

Michael continues to actively vet real estate investments such as opportunity zone deals, 1031 exchanges and private real estate

investment advisory services and fees can be found in its

offerings for our families.

Form ADV Part 2, which is available upon request. RP-21-02

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B Y C H E F TA R A P U N Z O N E

Now Open 3 2 0 s c ata l i n a av e . R e d o n d o b e a c h , c a 9 0 2 7 7 P U R AV I TA L O S A N G E L E S . C O M 4 2 4 - 3 0 4 - 2 2 4 7


Blues in Her Bones BLUES GUITARIST AND SINGER KIRA LINGMAN FINDS HER GROOVE. Written by Sara Debevec | Photographed by JL Cederblom

I met Kira Lingman (aka Bones) at a dinner party hosted by a mutual friend, Mande Dahl, early in 2020. It was a

started The Hollow Legs. “He did the drums and bass, and I did the guitar work,

get-together of South Bay artists, musicians and creators

harmonica and singing,” she says. “We put this album

who were organizing a teen music and mental health

together and recorded it in the surf shop after hours,

festival that was to take place in Hermosa last summer.

which was cool. People who were getting dinner would

As I did my rounds of introductions, Bones stood out to

walk by and be like, ‘Oh, there’s an actual band playing in

me with her long, straight hair, leather jacket and an air

there!’ That’s the evolution of The Hollow Legs.”

of rock ‘n’ roll. “My father gave me that nickname when I was like

Kira and Zach honed their creative style for years, and in 2018 they added multi-instrumentalist Hugh DeFrance

4 or 5 years old, or whenever you learn how to rhyme!”

to play bass. “My bass player, Hugh, is a phenomenal

she recalls. “We were driving, and he asked me to rhyme

guitarist and bassist, and he adds such a great element

words. He was like, ‘OK now, what rhymes with your

on the back line with Zach, whose drumming style is so

name?’ which is kind of hard since nothing really rhymes

unique,” Kira says. “It’s awesome having those two guys

with my name. I said ‘Bones,’ and the nickname stuck!”

backing me up, ’cause the two of them together really

Growing up in Manhattan Beach, Kira was drawn to

find that groove that’s reflective of great musicians.”

blues and rock. Led Zeppelin, Albert King, B.B. King and

With the newer material they are writing, Kira has

Muddy Waters inspired her from an early age. She was

challenged herself to be more introspective. Noting their

drawn to music with soul that was not over-produced.

earlier music was “simpler,” she believes the current

“When I was younger, I’d say, ‘I want to sing like Peggy Lee and be really raw like Janis Joplin and have the warmth of Patsy Cline.’” Determined to be a blues guitar

work has more meaning, reflecting the evolution of the band, creatively and spiritually. On February 14 they released a studio version of their

player, she took up the instrument in high school. “I

newest song, “G Song Groove,” recorded on tape to pre-

would play in my bedroom,” she shares. “I didn’t form a

serve the warmth of the music. “It’s recorded on tape and

band or anything. It was something that was for me very

then we digitize it,” she says. “We wanted to record those

cathartic. I just wanted to play blues.”

songs [the way] bands did in the past. We have a 16-track

After graduating from Arizona State, Kira came back to the South Bay and started working at Becker Surfboards, which also became her recording studio. It was there she met her husband, Zach Bozeman, and together they

tape recorder, and we decided to use it. I am excited for the new stuff that is about to come out.” As music is a part of Kira’s soul, she doesn’t pay much attention to how many times the music is streamed. “It’s

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“IT’S COOL TO SEE MORE AND MORE WOMEN BEING OUTSPOKEN, ESPECIALLY ABOUT THEIR ART AND MUSIC, HOPES AND DREAMS.”

more about the process and these connections you make with your band members and challenging yourself creatively and honing your craft,” she shares. “That’s what I want to continue doing.” Kira would like to see more women in the music industry. According to Amplify Her Voice—a platform created to promote gender equality in the music industry—only 22% of the business is female. “I am a woman who is a singer-songwriter, guitarist and manager of a band—and that is rare,” she explains. “To be outspoken as a woman is hard. It’s cool to see more and more women being outspoken, especially about their art and music, hopes and dreams. We are not falling into stereotypical norms when it comes to anything.” While Kira and the band wait out quarantine, they look forward to playing at their regular haunts like Hermosa Saloon. “Part of playing a show is seeing everyone scrunched up together, and there is a beauty of that collective being,” she says. “I am waiting for those days.” ■

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You’ve done all the silly stuff. Now it’s just about health, happiness and living with purpose. The SheSez Podcast Available wherever you listen

More at SheSez.com Follow @she_sez


PVAC at 90 AS THE PALOS VERDES ART CENTER HITS AN IMPORTANT MILESTONE, A LONGTIME EMPLOYEE REVISITS A STORIED HISTORY AND LOOKS AHEAD TO AN INNOVATIVE FUTURE.

PHOTOGRAPHED BY MONICA OROZCO

Written by Gail Phinney


If it seems like the Palos Verdes Art Center has been around forever, that’s because it has. Palos Verdes Community Arts Association was founded in 1931 as the cultural arm of Palos Verdes Estates. Since then, it has played a significant role in the development of the Palos Verdes Peninsula and in the lives of its people. Perhaps your parents and grandparents are longtime members and you grew up taking classes and visiting the galleries on school tours. Or maybe your elementary

Malaga Cove Library by Myron Hunt, 1930, Palos Verdes Estates (Palos Verdes Homes Association Photograph Collection, Local History Center, Palos Verdes Library District)

school children enjoy quality art instruction through Art At Your Fingertips, PVAC’s venerable school-based volunteer outreach program. Throughout its 90-year history, Palos Verdes Art Center has been more than an educational resource to the community; it has been a cultural touchstone to generations of its residents. The story of the Palos Verdes Art Center begins in the early days of the Peninsula’s development. When Myron Hunt was commissioned to design a public library in 1929, it was determined from the start that the building would include an art gallery. The Committee on Art Exhibits and Art Functions was formed when the Palos Verdes Public Library and Art Gallery opened in 1930, organizing exhibitions and events. Within a year the committee determined that a nonprofit membership organization should take over responsibility “for the advancement of knowledge and study of painting, sculpture, architecture, landscape

Students from Malaga Cove School view Paul Lauritz’s Western Sea and Coast in the 1931 Second Annual Purchase Prize Exhibition


Dr. Grant Beckstrand House by Richard Neutra, 1940, Palos Verdes Estates

architecture, music, drama and the applied

population to a rich variety of artists, art

exhibition 20th Century Paintings from the

arts.” Annual membership dues would

forms and art-making processes.

Museum of Modern Art, NY. It cost $60 to

begin at $1.

Enlightening audiences by showcasing

travel and mount the exhibition.

art of the moment became an overarching

“We had to make our own entertain-

Community Arts Association (renamed the

theme of the exhibitions program. Because

ment,” she said, “because there was very

Palos Verdes Art Center in 2000) received

the Peninsula was geographically isolated

little art in Los Angeles.” Mildred became

its state charter. What followed was a series

and sparsely populated, partnering with

the first female president of the associa-

of exhibitions, programs and community

well-established cultural institutions enabled

tion in 1949 and continued to be an active

events that set a standard of excellence for

exhibitions to continue, even during the

member for nearly 50 years.

the next 90 years.

difficult WWII years. This was due in part to

On May 11, 1931, the Palos Verdes

Beginning in the 1930s, Annual Purchase Prize Exhibitions featured the leading

Another extraordinary member who made

extraordinarily forward-thinking members

a lasting contribution to the art center was

like Mildred and Grant Beckstrand.

film enthusiast Curt Wagner. In 1956 Wagner

painters of the time, garnered the winner a

A modern couple in their own right, the

$500 award and gave the center a collection

Beckstrands commissioned architect Richard

ings held at The Strand Theater in Redondo

of premiere California plein air paintings.

Neutra to design their Palos Verdes home,

Beach. These events often included local

In addition to showcasing local artists,

completed in 1940—the same year they

Hollywood luminaries. Hermosa Beach

collaborations with regional organizations

joined PVCAA. The glass and steel design was

resident and silent screen actress Mae Marsh

such as the California Watercolor Society,

a direct departure from the accepted Spanish

was present at the screening of her 1916 film

California Society of Printmakers, California

Revival style and well ahead of its time.

Intolerance, directed by D.W. Griffith.

Art Club, Women Painters West and the American Institute of Architects exposed the

Mildred, who had a brother in the New York art world, arranged for the 1941

founded the Film Society, with screen-

In 1980 Wagner purchased a collection of early Hollywood ephemera from collector

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Paul Ballard for $50,000, expressly for donation to the center. Along with an impressive array of rare art books and art and architecture color slides, it included 18,000 black-and-white slides of movie stills taken by set photographers of rising stars, as well as Hollywood giants Greta Garbo, Rudolph Valentino, Clark Gable and Marlene Dietrich. The collection documented the film industry from its silent years in 1912 through the WWII years and included rare vintage films dating from 1909 to 1921. In addition to being a valuable resource for the art center and the community at large, it launched a successful Garbo Film Festival and became the catalyst for an ongoing film series and lecture program hosted by Wagner and USC film school graduate Frank Brown throughout the 1980s. PVAC donated the Ballard Collection to the USC School of Cinematic Arts in 2013. The postwar era brought growth and change to the Peninsula and, by extension, to the Palos Verdes Art Center. Attracted by the scenic landscape, clean air, ocean views and proximity to Hughes Aircraft Company and Northrop Corporation, the Palos Verdes Peninsula became a desirable destination. Between 1950 and 1970, the population of Palos Verdes Estates grew from 2,000 to 13,300. The Palos Verdes Art Center was woven into the fabric of the mid-century modern community with the opening of the Lowell Lusk-designed building in 1974. The purchase of the land for the building was largely made possible by Art for Fun(d)s Sake—a two-day, family-friendly, outdoor community extravaganza run by an army of volunteers. It was a much-anticipated annual event combining art, entertainment and food. Started in 1963, it was a major fundraising source for the center and continued for the next 40 years.

86

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Left: Promo for Garbo Film Festival and silent still from Ballard Collection. Above: 1973 Art for Fun(d)s Sake at Marineland

It reached its heyday in the ’70s when it

held at satellite locations throughout the

have for the institution makes it what it is.” Now a beloved ceramics instructor, Jan

was held at the 32-acre Northrop Research

South Bay, were now consolidated under one

Park. It was moved to Marineland in the

roof. PVAC quickly established itself as a lead-

believes that PVAC developed a reputation

mid-’70s, where attendance peaked at

er in the field of art education. One discipline

for having the best ceramics department

40,000 in 1974. The total profits of $34,000

in particular—ceramics—was experiencing a

outside the university system because it

went to the building fund.

Southern California revival and flourished at

drew from the university system. Influential

the new location. It remains one of the most

ceramicist Adrian Saxe led the department

popular departments to this day.

before going on to an illustrious teaching

Artists and craftspeople were drawn from arts communities up the coast as far

career at UCLA.

as Northern California, with an emphasis

Many new members were introduced to

on introducing the public to a new range

PVAC through the school. One new member,

of styles and materials—often providing a

Jan Napolitan, had a practical reason for

instructors from mainly UCLA at Adrian’s

showcase for young, up-and-coming tal-

taking a ceramics class in the early ’70s:

recommendation,” Jan says. “We had so

ent. In 1972 Los Angeles architect Frank O.

She had broken a cherished serving dish and

many opportunities to learn from some

Gehry displayed his innovative laminated

wanted to learn to craft another. Then, in

really great people.” This included work-

cross-section cardboard in the sculpture

her words, she “got stuck there.”

shops that introduced students to diverse,

garden. Gehry’s cardboard furniture was

Nearly 50 years later she’s still there,

“We then were able to get our ceramics

multicultural aesthetics from visiting artists. Outstanding exhibitions showcasing

later featured in the 1989 PVAC exhibition,

embodying the spirit of volunteerism that

The Corrugated Show.

sustains the organization. She has held

important California leaders in the field

virtually every position on every commit-

of ceramics followed, foregrounding new

Center expanded to meet the demands of the

tee and currently serves on the board of

techniques and processes. In 2008 PVAC pre-

community. Classes, which were previously

trustees. Jan observes, “The love that people

sented Influences, a survey of contemporary

As the Peninsula grew, Palos Verdes Art

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87


Above: Chizuko Judy Sugita de Queiroz, It seemed like a lot of babies were being born in the camp (1942), 2003, Giclee Print Opposite: Paul Lauritz, Western Sea and Coast (Crashing Harmony), 1930, oil on canvas

Southern California ceramics that celebrated

of artists and developed working relation-

the many artists who shaped the art center’s

ships with notables Larry Bell, Charles

ceramics department and went on to great

Arnoldi and Lita Albuquerque—all of whom

acclaim, including Ralph Bacerra, Lukman

exhibited and lectured at the art center in

THAT PEOPLE

Glasow, Richard McColl, Harrison McIntosh,

the early 2000s.

HAVE FOR THE

curated by Jan Napolitan, Jackee Marks and

ries was working with a former art teacher

exhibitions director Scott Canty.

and department chair in the Palos Verdes

“THE LOVE

INSTITUTION

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Neil Moss and Peter Shire. The show was co-

Beginning in 1998 and throughout his

However, one of Canty’s fondest memo-

Peninsula Unified School District. Exhibited

15-year tenure as exhibitions director, Canty

in 2009, Camp Days: 1942-1945 presented a

MAKES IT

was instrumental in bringing the L.A. art

series of watercolors by Chizuko Judy Sugita

scene to Palos Verdes. As curator at the

de Queiroz, narrating her years as a child in-

WHAT IT IS.”

L.A. Municipal Art Gallery in Barnsdall Art

terned at a camp in Poston, Arizona. The ex-

Park, he had access to an extensive registry

hibition resonated deeply with the South Bay


Palos Verdes Art Center/Beverly G. Alpay Center for Arts Education and reopened in 2013 with the comprehensive exhibition Then and Now: One Hundred Years of California Impressionism—a collaboration with the California Art Club. Harkening back to PVAC’s roots, the exhibition included the historical work Western Sea and Coast (Crashing Harmony) by Paul Lauritz. This piece had been the winning entry in the 1931 Second Annual Purchase Prize Exhibition of Paintings. Beginning in 2013, executive director and curator Joe Baker entered the scene and made his mark on the building by transforming it into a large-scale public art project. First he wrapped it with the iconic celebrity portraits of photographer Douglas Kirkland, followed by the neobaroque floral design of Portland, Oregon artist Deb Stoner, whose work was selected from nearly 200 international entries. Baker, a mid-century modern enthusiast, also put his spin on the already popular Palos Verdes Dream House Raffle by including a number of architecturally significant homes. Accompanying exhibitions shed imJapanese American community, and Canty

the International Architecture Competition

portant light on architects John Elgin Woolf,

recalls a moving encounter in the gallery.

solicited ideas for the renovation and

Pierre Koenig, Aaron G. Green and the firm

“Two Japanese men came up to me and

expansion of the Palos Verdes Art Center;

Ladd & Kelsey.

said how thankful they were that we had this

652 teams (many consisting of university

exhibition,” Canty shares. “The last time

students) from 37 states and 44 countries

Sheppard, is no stranger to the organization,

they saw each other was at Manzanar as

on five continents participated. The online

having served as chief preparator for seven

children. They recognized each other in the

forum was a first for the center. Although

years before assuming his new position in

exhibition, and they broke down crying. It

the winning design by Italian architect

March 2020. Shortly thereafter, the art center

was her exhibition that brought them back

Andrea Ponsi was never executed, the com-

was closed in compliance with state-man-

together; it was such a beautiful experience.”

petition culminated in an exhibition of the

dated COVID-19 restrictions, but the work

outstanding entries.

of bringing art to the community continued.

As community involvement continued to grow, it became apparent that the old facil-

After a series of minor upgrades, the

PVAC’s newest exhibitions curator, Aaron

Sheppard observes, “It’s the same players, but

ity could no longer meet the needs of the

Lowell Lusk building ultimately underwent

with COVID-19 the game has changed and we

institution in the new millennium. In 2000

a major renovation. It was renamed the

had to reinvent ourselves using technology.

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89


Trending has provided an annual showcase and scholarships that have enabled these students to pursue their passion. So when COVID-19 restrictions preempted the 2020 exhibition, the art center responded with Still Trending, a “where are they now?” online exhibition revisiting six talented artists who won Alpay scholarships or received honorable mention in the past. The transition from engaging the public in the physical space to the presentation of online exhibitions, programs and classes would not have been possible without the commitment of the board of trustees and the leadership of executive director Daniela Saxa-Kaneko. While other arts nonprofits suffered debilitating cutbacks or shuttered completely, Palos Verdes Art Center entered its 90th year without interruption—having evolved creatively during this period of innovation thanks to a small but dedicated staff. What lies ahead? A celebration of the Palos Verdes Art Center’s 90th anniversary is scheduled for 2021, with a series of virtual exhibitions that look back at its history

Mark Steven Greenfield, Problem Child, 2001, Inkjet Print

while continuing to showcase the best and brightest in contemporary art. Although a highly anticipated reopening celebration is

their work. Included in the roster of artists

the ultimate goal, due to uncertainty about

was former Municipal Art Gallery director

the pandemic that date has yet to be deter-

developing new methods to present content;

Mark Steven Greenfield. He had curated the

mined at the time of this writing.

it also involved determining what content

2006 PVAC exhibition Bling, which showcased

to present in a rapidly changing climate.

emerging Black artists like Sadie Barnett—

asserts, “Because we opened the interwebs,

PVAC’s response was the exhibition Skin in

still an art student at the time—who has

when we do open the doors, I think it’s go-

the Game, curated by Brent Holmes. It pre-

since gone on to national prominence.

ing to be a much more inviting place. This

It’s been a learning curve.” The learning curve not only involved

sented works by 17 artists that challenged

90

Supporting and showcasing student

mainstream assumptions of Black identity

artists has become a PVAC tradition. Since

and artistic practice.

2014, thanks to the generous support of

The accompanying series of video talks

Dr. O. Allen Alpay in memory of his wife,

moderated by Holmes enabled an expanded

Beverly G. Alpay, PVAC’s Alpay Scholarship

audience to better understand the artists and

University Student Juried Exhibition: Now

|

But Sheppard remains optimistic. He

has made us better people, better at our jobs, more sensitive, more caring.” And so, the story continues ... Learn more about this year's anniversary programming at pvartcenter.org/pvac-90. ■


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Petal Pusher THE HANDS BEHIND YOUR FLORAL ARRANGEMENT, FREE-SPIRITED SCOTTI WELLS FINDS POWER IN FLOWERS. Written & photographed by Kat Monk

Scotti Wells loves beauty in any form. But most of

in Hollywood called The Odyssey. Opting to dance

all, she loves the natural splendor the planet Earth

in a less crowded foyer of the club rather than

provides. It’s part of the reason she spent the last

the actual dance floor, she moved as if she was

25 years arranging flowers at Growing Wild in

the only person there. Her body swayed with the

Downtown Manhattan Beach. Her creations ex-

music as if they were one. Confidence was nothing

emplify her story, every placed stem revealing her

Scotti struggled with, and she inarguably didn’t

current joy, emotion and vision.

care what anyone thought.

“Her talent as a floral designer goes without saying,” says Rebecca Perry, lifelong friend

known to play in most of the 4-Man beach vol-

and owner of Lily Pad Floral Design in Hermosa

leyball tournaments and engage with a group of

Beach. “One thing that stands out to me is, ever

women players whenever she is home. Born from

since high school, she has had her fingers on

strong athletic genes, her dad, Billy Wells, played

the pulse of the music and dance scene in Los

in the NFL with the Washington Redskins (known

Angeles and worldwide. She’s always been such

today as the Washington Football Team) as a

a wild and free spirit.”

halfback from 1954 to 1957.

A bit of a spitfire, this blond-haired, blue-

while attending El Camino Community College—

stands out with her bright red lipstick and infec-

an event that monumentally reshaped her attitude

tious smile and laugh. She believes that there is

toward life. Owning and acknowledging that she

grace in humility and lives a modest and humble

should have died, she is keenly aware that every

lifestyle that allows her to travel the world and

day is a blessing and lives her life to the fullest.

I remember seeing Scotti for the first time when she was 14 years old, dancing at an underage club

|

Scotti experienced life-changing violent trauma

eyed beauty reaches 5’6” on a good day and

not be tied down.

92

She’s also an avid beach volleyball player,

A self-starter, she earned her master’s degree in French at California State University, Long Beach and also taught herself Spanish and


|

93


Portuguese. Now, in addition to a passion for

gether with her own brand of joy and optimism, a

While she considers the South Bay her home

moment of beauty can arrive when we least expect

base, she’s a proud nomad. Arranging flowers

it. “Sometimes when you feel like everything is

offers her a great career without being tied down.

dark,” she shares, “remember that there is always

She can travel, tutor and, most importantly, not

a light that will shine once again.” ■

get bored with any one thing.

94

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Like one of her floral arrangements, put to-

traveling, she tutors others in foreign languages.


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the 2020 hiatus AMY AND BRIAN MICHELETTI DIDN’T DECIDE TO HIKE THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL ON A WHIM; THEY STARTED PLANNING THEIR TRIP YEARS AGO. IT JUST SO HAPPENS THEIR TIMING WAS PERFECT. Written by Amber Klinck | Photographed by Amy and Brian Micheletti


When Amy and Brian Micheletti

would come up to us and say, ‘How long have you been out

made the decision to hike the Pacific

here? Do you know there’s a pandemic?’” Any news they may have missed on the trail, they were

Crest Trail (PCT) roughly eight years

able to catch up on during their stops along the way.

ago, they had no way of knowing

“We had 32 stops,” Amy notes. The duo would hike for

they’d be embarking on a 2,653-mile

roughly 100 to 150 miles, pop into a town, resupply and

journey during a global health crisis. To Amy and Brian, 2020 was the year both their son and daughter would be in college—making the roughly six-month commitment to the trail more feasible. They couldn’t have anticipated that their kids would be attending classes virtually from home.

make their way back to the trail. At every stop was a supply box shipped to each of the 32 preplanned locations, packed with food Amy and Brian dehydrated themselves. “That preorganization took longer than anything,” Amy points out. “We needed to know how many days and how many miles we were going to go.” Amy and Brian soon realized, however, that they underestimated how many miles they’d travel in a day. “When we started, we thought we’d average 17 miles,” Amy notes. But 17 quickly turned into 20 to 25, and eventually the pair had to alter the shipping locations of their supply boxes. Not all PCT hikers plan ahead as meticulously as Amy

In October 2019 they received their permit from the Pacific Crest Trail Association. Their hike was set to start

store you may be relying on to restock could be under-

19 Safer at Home emergency order.

stocked themselves or possibly even closed. There were, of course, more perks that came with

could have easily opted out of the adventure they spent

heading into towns along the trail than just resupply

years planning and preparing for—but they didn’t. They

boxes. Sleeping in an actual bed was a welcome change,

continued on their journey and overcame both physical

along with well-earned indulgences like cookies, milk-

and mental hurdles that, at times, had them doubting why

shakes and cheeseburgers.

they were on the trail. They focused on the things that

Creature comforts aside, Amy and Brian noticed each

were most important to them and relished the simplicity

town had its own approach to COVID-19. “Every time

of being disconnected from the distractions of daily life.

we were in a town, we wore a mask,” Brian notes. “And

They weathered the cold, the heat and the physical

we never met a hiker who didn’t follow the rules. People

challenges that come with hiking 20 to 25 miles a day.

were really respectful. There were a couple of towns we’d

And they were rewarded with awe-inspiring natural

walk into, though—you’d walk up, and the sign would

beauty, the kindness of strangers and a sense of accom-

say ‘masks required’ and ‘takeout only,’ and then you

plishment that only comes with setting out to do some-

open the door and the bar would be packed and not one

thing incredibly hard … and actually doing it.

person had a mask on.”

During the six months Amy and Brian were gone, the

|

ahead of time during a year like 2020, however, is the

on March 22, just days after Los Angeles began its March With so much uncertainty in the air, Amy and Brian

98

and Brian. The problem with not prepping your supplies

What was consistent from town to town was the ap-

world was changing fast. “We definitely knew the basics of

preciation for PCT hikers and their business. “A lot of

what was going on from our kids,” Amy notes. On the trail,

businesses really rely on the hikers for their income,” Amy

however, days would pass with no cell service. “There were

notes. Though the number of permits given each year by

times we’d be in the middle of the wilderness and someone

the Pacific Crest Trail Association is highly regulated to


100

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“BEING ON THE TRAIL, I STARTED TO FOCUS ON WHAT WAS REALLY IMPORTANT TO ME: FAMILY, FRIENDS AND ENJOYING LIFE.”

minimize the number of people on the trail, during a typical year thousands of permits are granted. “This year we think only 400 people [hiked the PCT],” Brian says. Not only does having fewer hikers affect the economy of the towns they pass through, it also affects the social element of the PCT hiking community. “A lot of people do the trail for the social aspect of it,” Brian explains. “They get to meet people and find themselves. There are trail families—you find people who have similar interests, and you hike together. If you don’t hike together during the day, you camp together at night. It becomes this moving family. That was a lot different this year.” Having fewer hikers may have made an impact on the social aspect of the journey, but it also offered those who were on the trail in 2020 a rare opportunity to hike the Pacific Crest without the traffic of thousands. “We did see a lot of wildlife just cruising along. We saw nine bears, all black bears. One of them had a cub with her,” Amy says. “There were a lot more deer out and about,” Brian adds. “In the Sierra—the John Muir Trail—that’s where there are usually so many people, just crazy amounts of people,” Amy points out. “We even summitted Mount Whitney with not one other person on top. And they normally give 160 permits a day. We were the only ones up there, with a 360º view. It was phenomenal.” Not every moment of their experience was on par with a solo summit to the top of Mount Whitney. There were

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101


days they really missed their kids, days they were hot and

her tracks when she spotted a tiny flower on the trail. “It

sweaty, hiking through parts of the trail that weren’t par-

looked like something from a Dr. Seuss book,” she says.

ticularly remarkable. There were 17 back-to-back nights

from more than just wanting to sightsee. “You discon-

trail name, Double Down,” Amy fondly notes.

nect. You’re not grabbing your phone, checking emails

Toward the end of their journey, Brian struggled with

and checking texts,” Brian says. “Being on the trail, I

shin splints and blisters on his feet, and both were taking

started to focus on what was really important to me:

Aleve nightly. “I was worn out,” Brian says.

family, friends and enjoying life.”

“We were definitely depleted,” Amy adds. “We are

|

Being away from home gave Brian the perspective

50 and 51. Most of the people on the trail are younger—

to delve into what he wanted from his life. A physi-

that’s just the norm. By that last month, our bodies were

cal therapist, he had been thinking of opening his own

for sure breaking down.”

practice for a while.

So why do it? Both Amy and Brian are avid hikers.

102

Still, their desire to travel on foot for six months stems

that Amy slept in two down jackets. “That’s how I got my

“It was a lot easier being away from it all, so I could

They started backpacking roughly 14 years ago—mostly

focus on my feelings and what I want in life,” he says.

weeklong trips. There’s no doubt they have a deep appre-

“How far are we going to go? That’s a common question

ciation for nature. It’s evident in the way Brian describes

among hikers. If this was easy, everyone would be out

the beauty of Crater Lake, or how Amy stopped dead in

here. I’m trying to take some of that same mindset into


opening my own business.” Ironically, isolating from society at large also gave

but due to the U.S. travel restrictions they had to backtrack 35 miles—eventually flying home from Seattle. In

Amy and Brian a new appreciation for people in general.

addition to recovering from the aches and pains that took

Each small act of kindness from a stranger made a big

nearly a month to go away, Amy and Brian had to adjust

impact—whether it was a local offering a ride into town,

to their new normal—a home life that was very different

the widespread support they received on the blog where

from the one they had in March 2020.

they documented their experiences, or the “trail magic” they found along the way. Trail magic could be something as simple as a cooler

“It’s a different normal,” Brian says. “We’ve been gone for six months, and we can’t go see friends and family. That part is really hard.”

filled with cold drinks and food for the hikers along the

With all that has happened in 2020—from the pan-

trail. “Random people would park by the trail and set it

demic to civil unrest and political divisiveness—it’s re-

up. It’s free; they don’t want anything in return,” Brian

markable to think of hitting the pause button and finding

explains. “There are some really neat people in this

solace in nature. While the physical toll the trip took on

world—especially this year when there were so many

their bodies had Amy and Brian thinking they were done

horrible things going on.”

after the PCT, a few months at home and a solid recovery

Amy and Brian got home on September 20, 2020. On a

have them itching for their next big adventure. ■

normal year they would have flown home from Canada,

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103


SEEN

Toberman Neighborhood Center Zoom with Santa Toberman Neighborhood Center held their annual holiday toy giveaway event (previously Breakfast with Santa) on Zoom with Santa this year. Thanks to local partners, Toberman gave away more than 1,000 gifts and gift cards to more than 300 families in San Pedro and the surrounding areas. Families also received meals, delivered along with the gifts by 40+ volunteers from local groups (San Pedro UMC, Rolling Hills UMC, PV NCL, Torrance Y’s Men’s Club, Los Hermanos).

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ALEX TORRES

Board chair Patty Koester, Gene Koester, Amanda Martelli

Skechers Raises Funds for Local Restaurants The Skechers Restaurant COVID Relief Fund

heartbreaking stories of their hurdles, so we

community to continue to support local res-

has raised over $600,000 in grants gifted to

hope this campaign started by Skechers and

taurants and the Skechers Restaurant COVID

28 Manhattan Beach restaurants. According

the Skechers Foundation will help our local

Relief Fund (about.skechers.com/skechers-

to Skechers president Michael Greenberg,

restaurants through these unprecedented

foundation), and as we get through this

“These funds not only validate the care

times. We must continue the restaurant

together, the enchantment of our community

residents have for local restaurants but also

relief mission, as the ban on outdoor dining

will return stronger than ever before.”

showcase the vibrancy of our community.

in Los Angeles has been extended and will

Restaurant owners and employees shared

likely continue until February. We ask the

104

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21 ST GENERAL ASSEMBLY

March 18 • 9am

Kelly Cheeseman

COO LA Kings | AEG Sports

Kate Gordon

Director, Governor’s Office of Planning & Research

Allen Sanford

Principal, Sanford Ventures

Jason Gannon

Managing Director, SoFi Stadium

Lynn von Koch-Liebert Deputy Secretary of Housing & Consumer Relations

to

4Pm

Hon. Ben Allen

California State Senator SD 26

JOIN THESE THOUGHT LEADERS & MANY MORE FOR A VIRTUAL EVENT FEATURING TED-LIKE TALKS ON Transportation • Housing • Public Safety & Health • Homelessness • Environment • Economic Development • Technology AND Panels Exploring the Intersections Between State and Local Governments • Private and Public Sectors

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Sponsors 2,500 Northrup Grumman Southbay Magazine

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2/3/21 3:56 PM

discover southbay on instagram @OURSOUTHBAY

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105


“The days of putting a sign in the yard, taking pictures with your iPhone and letting the listing syndicate on the MLS are over. 2020 revealed who was ready to serve their clients virtually and who wasn’t. Agents must be innovative to compete in our market, including virtual open houses, agent-guided video tours, short-form enticing video ads on social media, video email marketing and more. The agents who are rising to the occasion virtually with custom video and online marketing skills are the ones helping their clients maximize their position and profit.” – TAYA DICARLO, COMPASS


REAL ESTATE Buying or selling a home can be one of the most impactful decisions we make in life. That is why having an experienced, proficient real estate agent at your side is essential—and now more than ever. Being successful during a global pandemic means getting creative. From one-on-one open houses to 3-D home tours, the industry is changing to meet the challenges of our times. Here we share our annual real estate profiles section, showcasing some of the most accomplished professionals of the South Bay. Through all the changes, they have facilitated seamless experiences and successful transactions for their clients.

108

TAYA DICARLO COMPASS

110

TONY ACCARDO & MARINA ACCARDO ACCARDO REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATES | COMPASS

120

EDWARD BARRIOS VISTA SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY | SANDHILL REAL ESTATE, INC.

122

ALISON CLAY-DUBOFF SALTY WATER PROPERTIES, INC. | RE/MAX ESTATE PROPERTIES

112

NICK SCHNEIDER SCHNEIDER PROPERTIES SOUTH BAY REAL ESTATE TEAM | COMPASS

123

COLIN AITA COLIN AITA REAL ESTATE | STRAND HILL PROPERTIES

114

KATHY MORRIS & ROBIN SMITH KATHY MORRIS & ROBIN SMITH ASSOCIATES | COMPASS

124

DARIN DERENZIS & MEREDITH JOHNSON DERENZIS DERENZIS REAL ESTATE | VISTA SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY

116

118

AMERICA MICHAEL HOMES BY AMERICA | KELLER WILLIAMS BEACH CITIES

125

JENNIFER CARAS JENNIFER CARAS REAL ESTATE | VISTA SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY

RACHEL EZRA VISTA SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY

126

THE HOBIN COMPANY AT BAYSIDE REAL ESTATE PARTNERS

127

NICOLE ODOM-REIS NICOL REAL ESTATE GROUP | COMPASS

128

ANTHONY SELF & COURTNEY SELF HARCOURTS HUNTER MASON REALTY

129

LAUREN FORBES LAUREN FORBES GROUP | COMPASS

130

GEORGIANA ROSENKRANZ, JD THE ROSENKRANZ|FRIEDMAN GROUP LLC | KELLER WILLIAMS PALOS VERDES REALTY

131

SARAH SAYPACK SARAH SAYPACK REAL ESTATE | VISTA SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY

132

KRISTEN NOVOA VISTA SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY

WRITTEN BY LAURA L. WATTS PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN PRESSEY & SHANE O’DONNELL

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION


REAL ESTATE

TAYA DICARLO Realtor , Compass ®

T

aya DiCarlo obtained her California real estate license in 2006 and has worked as a full-time Realtor since 2012. She joined Compass in 2017 and is the founding agent of the South Bay Compass office. She focuses mainly on South Bay beach community real estate but also helps clients with homes on the Westside and Long Beach. Taya earned a bachelor’s degree from the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. She is well-known for her social media presence and online marketing skills. She resides in the South Bay with her husband and two children. SHOULD I CHOOSE A LARGE REAL ESTATE COMPANY OR A BOUTIQUE FIRM? “Although your agreement is with the brokerage, you’re usually hiring that agent because of them, not the brokerage where they hang their license. You should choose someone based on their character, track record and bandwidth—do they have the time and tools to navigate the new landscape of this business? That being said, I see myself as an agent who is empowered by my brokerage, Compass. Since joining Compass, my sales volume has grown by 386%! The support structure provided by our staff and the online platform and tools have elevated my business and gave me more time—time I used to meet more people, study the market and new trends, create more valuable video content and spend more quality time with people.” WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES OF BUYING OR SELLING A HOME DURING A PANDEMIC? “Open houses are now a thing of the past. Many buyers and sellers (and even other agents) see this as a challenge. I see it as an opportunity! For my sellers, I’m still able to maximize the exposure of their homes through online marketing. Instead of having neighbors and looky-loos in their homes, I have prequalified, serious buyers who provide

proof of funds and an approval letter before stepping foot inside. That never happened before the pandemic! Now the only people who come through are prepared and ready to write an offer. With our buyers, we go on every showing appointment with them and preview homes on their behalf to save them time. I feel that not having open houses has made the process of selling and buying more efficient.” WHAT QUALITIES ARE NEEDED TO BE THE BEST IN THIS BUSINESS? “Prior to the pandemic, you needed to know market stats inside and out, be a fierce negotiator and have strong marketing support. Now in 2021, you also need to be ready and willing to adapt to change—especially when it comes to technology. I’ve always been a tech-savvy agent, and I feel that 2020 revealed who was ready to serve their clients virtually and who wasn’t. In this day and age, the agents who are rising to the occasion virtually with video and online marketing skills are separating themselves from the pack and taking a large chunk of business that otherwise would have gone to a veteran Realtor.” HOW HAS SOCIAL MEDIA SHAPED YOUR BUSINESS? “Social media—specifically video content— has been a game changer in my business. I started a weekly Instagram TV show called Taya’s 2 Cents in March 2020, and every week I share my ‘two cents’ about something real estate-related. My following has grown tremendously during the pandemic. I’ve utilized social media to showcase my knowledge, experience and personality, which has given me the opportunity to make more quality connections with people I wouldn’t normally get the chance to meet. Last year I sold more than $40 million in sales volume, and more than 1/3 of those clients found me through Instagram. I’ve also launched a new show on YouTube

called On Trend LA that’s focused on promoting local businesses and teaching viewers about what’s trending in home décor and design. I love it because I’m able to give back to local small businesses while giving my viewers content they can benefit from.” WHAT HOUSING MARKET TRENDS DO YOU FORESEE FOR 2021? ARE ANY OF THESE DUE TO THE PANDEMIC? “I see the demand for single-family homes not slowing down anytime soon. Many companies have given their employees the green light to work from home indefinitely, so people aren’t as concerned about a commute. If you combine that with crazy-low interest rates and not enough homes on the market to choose from, you have a strong sellers’ market and values appreciating.” TELL US ABOUT THE HOME YOU GREW UP IN. “I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in a suburb called Burlingame. I lived in a humble, 1,000-square-foot house with my mom, brother and golden retriever. It was a little house that was full of love and wonderful memories. I’ve lived in Los Angeles for over 14 years now, so the South Bay is my forever home. But I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the SF Bay.” WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO UNPLUG? “I recently got a pair of roller skates for Christmas—metallic pink Impalas! I’ve been practicing at least 20 minutes a day, every day (even if it’s inside my house), and I’m having a blast! It’s humbling to learn something new as an adult, but it’s taught me patience. It’s been extremely rewarding to see my practice paying off! On the weekends, my husband, kids and I go to The Strand and ride for miles! It’s such a fun way to stay fit and—let’s be honest—stay cool as well! I post my rollerskating adventures on Instagram regularly, and people seem to get a kick out of it.”

2141 ROSECRANS AVE., SUITE 1120, EL SEGUNDO | 310-431-8251 | @TAYADICARLO | DRE #01751317

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION


REAL ESTATE

TONY ACCARDO & MARINA ACCARDO Broker & President, Accardo Real Estate Associates | Compass

A

ccardo Real Estate Associates (AREA) is a full-service real estate brokerage established in 2007 as Beach City Tony. Marina Accardo partnered with her husband, Tony Accardo, and rebranded to AREA in 2015. They opened M StudioHouse in 2018, adding design and remodeling to the firm. Marina, Tony and their team focus on both new construction and the reconditioning of existing luxury homes. They offer clients financing options for home improvements, staging and corrective fit and finish. WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB? Tony: “The excitement of guiding people on a significant personal achievement that will impact their future wealth. Sometimes it’s a first-time home-buyer or an upgrade of their existing dwelling, and other times it’s a strategic growth opportunity to purchase a second home or investment property. In any scenario, it’s a feeling like no other to help our clients reach their goals.” IN WHAT WAYS IS THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY AN EMOTIONAL BUSINESS? Marina: “It is extremely important to have a voice and the confidence to take action. Trepidation is due to overwhelming fear or self-criticism. This is a gritty business, and that inner voice needs to champion your thoughts and bring your own sunshine to the party. There are many days nobody is clapping for you; you can be the one clapping for yourself.” Tony: “I am fortunate enough to have my life partner as my business partner, and that extra layer of support not only benefits me but also our clients. When choosing to work together, we recognized that our synergy would be greater than the sum of our separate efforts.” WHAT IS YOUR #1 PIECE OF ADVICE DURING THIS UNPRECEDENTED TIME? Marina: “Now more than ever, stay wellgrounded. Be extra patient with your kids. Attitude is contagious, and they look to us as leaders.”

Tony: “Stay calm, navigate your real estate like you would your health and do not make too many adjustments at once. Seek the opportunities to purchase an investment property or second home or upgrade your existing home; with time, real estate will always appreciate. Don’t wait to buy real estate; buy real estate and wait.”” WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENTS DURING THE RECENT CRISIS? Marina: “COVID-19 has accelerated the need for technology in our daily lives and in the workplace. We are positioned as a techenabled brokerage, from marketing your home virtually (both locally and internationally) to geo-targeting prospective buyers or using artificial intelligence to identify homes likely to sell in a particular neighborhood. With these tools under our belt, we have successfully serviced our clients and have grown our business—and that feels pretty awesome.” WHAT HOUSING MARKET TRENDS DO YOU FORESEE FOR 2021? Marina: “For the foreseeable future, we see trends for home offices and school spaces and the need for more convenient and livable outdoor spaces. These trends have emerged from the overall need for emotional well-being our homes provide in our daily lives. In addition, our clients are focused on in-house utility and ease of living. They are wanting updated kitchens to prepare homecooked meals and seating to accommodate their entire family. There’s a desire to spend more time outdoors, so a pool, larger yard and outdoor kitchen have become popular search criteria. We are no longer enduring daily commutes to the office, so communities such as Palos Verdes with its ocean views and larger lots have become popular amongst Beach Cities residents looking to have more space.” IS THERE STILL A MARKET FOR PURCHASING VACATION HOMES? Tony: “We see more clients who have been reassessing the purpose of their second

homes. With work becoming non-proximitybased, more people are spending time in what they considered their vacation home. Now, with the impact of COVID-19, many are using second homes as a primary residence. We see people looking in less dense areas with more neighborhood appeal. More people are moving out of San Francisco and Los Angeles and relocating to beach towns and the lower desert. People are looking for a community connection again, and we believe this is a positive development even though COVID-19 is a very unfortunate situation.” WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SOUTH BAY NEIGHBORHOODS? Tony: “As a South Bay native, I have always been partial to Palos Verdes. Valmonte is one of my favorite neighborhoods—known for its natural beauty of eucalyptus and palm tree-lined streets. It’s an active community with young families, horse trails and the Palos Verdes Little League. Locals enjoy wide flat streets and trails that provide a great place to jog, walk dogs or ride bikes. Malaga Cove is another favorite for its views of the Queen’s Necklace, hiking trails, and rich history and architecture with Spanish influences. Plus, it’s home to one of the best sandy beaches in the area—only accessible to locals. Redondo Beach is popular for its ocean views and its prized ‘Avenues’ that conveniently lead to the beach in one direction and Riviera Village in another.” WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO UNPLUG AND RELAX WHEN YOU’RE OFF WORK? Tony: “Our family loves going to the beach on Sundays— in front of Perry’s by RAT beach. I also love tinkering in the yard while listening to audiobooks. Currently, I am super motivated by The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy.” Marina: “I love to cook homemade Italian meals for our family and friends, and my mornings are always better when I get a ride on the Peloton.”

1820 S. ELENA AVE., SUITE H, REDONDO BEACH | 310-855-3557 | ACCARDOREALESTATE.COM @ACCARDO_REALESTATE | DRE #01863340

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY ZOOM THEORY PHOTOGRAPHY


REAL ESTATE

NICK SCHNEIDER Founder, Schneider Properties South Bay Real Estate Team | Compass

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ick Schneider is a lifelong resident of the Beach Cities and has worked in real estate for more than 11 years. In 2015 he founded Schneider Properties South Bay Real Estate Team, which today is a team of eight professionals. Nick is also the founding member of Giveback Homes, a network of real estate agents dedicated to building homes for those less fortunate. For every home the Schneider Properties team sells, Nick helps build a home for a family in need. TELL US ABOUT THE HOME YOU GREW UP IN. “I grew up in Hermosa Beach in the old Seawright family home on Hermosa Avenue. I have so many fond memories of that home with family, friends and neighbors. When I was in college, my parents purchased another house just three doors down. They developed my childhood home and split the lot to build two brand-new, single-family homes. This was a pivotal point in my life and what started my career in real estate. I witnessed my parents go through buying a new home, developing two homes and eventually selling them both. After seeing the entire process from their perspective and hearing all the challenges they had to go through, I felt compelled to help navigate the process of buying and selling with ease and effectiveness. My connection to the community is something I cherish dearly, and honestly I felt called to this industry. The South Bay has a unique lifestyle, and nothing makes me happier than sharing its history and my knowledge with my clients and friends.” IN WHAT WAYS IS THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY AN EMOTIONAL BUSINESS? “Buying or selling a home is an emotional experience for everyone involved. Typically, a home is one of our clients’ biggest investments. It’s our job and primary goal to

navigate the entire experience with tact and empathy. If emotions run high, the first step is always reminding our clients of their why. Why did they start this process in the first place? The key to transforming a stressful situation into a successful transaction is our commitment to remain empathetic to everyone’s situation and always establish and maintain a level of respect for all parties.” WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL ADVICE DURING THIS UNPRECEDENTED TIME? “From a real estate perspective, stay informed on the market and make sure you are working with someone who knows the nuances of our local South Bay area. Real estate is a cyclical market, and over time there will be ebbs and flows. Having the right strategy in place when selling or buying is crucial. From a life perspective, take it one day at a time. Focus on the positive and stay in gratitude. There is a lot of loss, hardship and emotion happening right now, but the key is to keep the focus on what you do have and what you can do to help others.” WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENTS DURING THE RECENT CRISIS? “At the beginning of the pandemic, we received a lot of calls from clients and friends looking for more space, more bedrooms and outdoor space. With parents working from home and kids doing school at home, upgrading their spaces became a top priority. The challenge was that they would need to sell their current home and navigate the added stress of selling during a global pandemic. Our proudest moments were pulling this off for two close family friends at the height of the pandemic and uncertainty. In one of the deals, we found buyers within the first two days of the house hitting the market. In the other, we sold their home without even putting

it on the market. We hear from both families about how happy they are and how they love their new homes! These were two very proud moments that helped set the tone for us and our business this past year.” HOW ARE 3-D HOME TOURS CHANGING THE REAL ESTATE WORLD? “They are a great way to showcase the property and give buyers a real idea of what it’s like to be inside the home. They allow buyers to see features of the home that aren’t captured in photography, such as flow and spatial aspects, which helps buyers narrow their online search. However, with such a large investment we’ve found that buyers still want to visit the property and tour it in person. There are many aspects that photos and 3-D virtual tours are not able to convey. So when you receive a request for an inperson showing, you know it is a buyer with serious interest.” HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS BEAT THE COMPETITION? “There are a lot of technical strategies we use to help our clients, but there is not a one-sizefits-all strategy. We provide a custom-tailored plan for each client based on their specific goal. Having a team has proven to be a huge asset for our clients’ success—whether it’s getting early access to properties, leveraging our different strengths or being able to service different needs.” WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO UNPLUG WHEN YOU’RE OFF WORK? “Spending time with my two daughters, Stella (8) and Piper (6), is one of my favorite ways to enjoy my downtime. We go to the beach, the park or visit family when we can. Volleyball is also a big hobby of mine, so when I find the time, I love grabbing a game with my friends.”

1145 HIGHLAND AVE., MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-809-4875 | SCHNEIDERPROPERTIES.COM | DRE #01867363

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY ERIN PURDY PHOTOGRAPHY

Back to front: Mike Dodd, Tina Griebenow, Nick Schneider, Mark Leddy, Eric Fonoimoana, Chelsea Schneider, Mary Bracewell


REAL ESTATE

KATHY MORRIS & ROBIN SMITH Realtors , Kathy Morris & Robin Smith Associates | Compass ®

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ealtors® Kathy Morris and Robin Smith assist buyers and sellers throughout the South Bay, focusing on South Redondo Beach, Palos Verdes and Manhattan Beach. Kathy bought her first property at the age of 23 and five years later turned her love of real estate into a career. Robin got her real estate license in 2015, and the two have been business partners ever since. They joined Compass in May 2020.

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES OF BUYING OR SELLING A HOME DURING A PANDEMIC? “For our sellers, we have to make sure the professional photos, videos and virtual tours are of the highest quality to show the home in the absolute best light. First impressions are more important than ever to keep buyers engaged and wanting to take the next step to schedule a virtual or in-person visit. For our buyers, it’s more important than ever to have all their ducks in a row with their lender and be ready to move quickly when the right property becomes available. The South Bay market heated up even more during the pandemic, and we are again seeing multiple offers and short days on market.” HOW HAS THE SHIFT TO WORKING REMOTELY IMPACTED THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY? “Our job has never waited for us to be sitting in our office to have the phone ring or the meeting start. We are used to working around the clock and from multiple desks, kitchen tables and inside our cars. What has changed is we have more out-of-town clients, virtual consultations, FaceTime showings and video tours. We had a client who bought a home and had never stepped foot in the door until move-in day.” HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS BEAT THE COMPETITION?   “It’s no secret that the South Bay market has been hot for years and continues to be very competitive. We definitely have secret strategies that we use to help the offers we

write stand out. However, we believe the relationships we’ve built with the agents in our community also help our offers rise to the top. Agents, while working in the best interests of their clients, need to be able to work well together to make the transaction go smoothly and keep unnecessary stress off their clients. When an offer comes through from an agent that you know is ethical and has integrity, you want to make that offer work out to ensure a pleasant transaction.” WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?   “We love the excitement when we get to hand over the keys to our buyers and when we put up that SOLD sign for our sellers. Real estate is such an emotional roller coaster, and it is the best feeling when your clients are so grateful and happy at the end of a transaction.” WHY DID YOU JOIN COMPASS?   “We were impressed with the innovative tools and technology they were able to offer us and our clients. The company’s forward-thinking collaboration and positivity has proven to be invaluable during the pandemic.” IN WHAT WAYS IS THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY AN EMOTIONAL BUSINESS? “Everything about our industry is emotional.  We are helping our clients with very personal and big decisions. We deal with happy and sad tears, excitement, anxiety and stress, good and bad days. Besides negotiating the best price and terms for our clients, a huge part of our job is supporting them emotionally as we navigate toward the happy ending.” SHOULD I CHOOSE A LARGE REAL ESTATE COMPANY OR A BOUTIQUE FIRM? “The most important thing is that you are completely comfortable and trust the agents you are going to be working so closely with. That being said, one of the big reasons we love having Compass behind us is the tools that only our clients can benefit from, such as the concierge program that fronts the cost

of home improvement services like staging, flooring and painting.” WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A BRAND-NEW REAL ESTATE AGENT? “Study the inventory and know the activity in the neighborhoods you want to focus on. Every transaction is different, and there is a huge learning curve so don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t have an answer. Reach out for help and advice. Have integrity and let go of ego. This business is about the people and families we are helping, and it’s a huge life moment for most of your clients. Be a good listener and over-communicate every step of the way. Also, you need to be able to think outside the box! Every transaction has different challenges, and you need to be creative to ensure the best possible outcome for your client.” WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENTS DURING THE RECENT CRISIS? “At the beginning of the pandemic, there was so much uncertainty and panic. By listening to all of the concerns and fears of our clients and keeping the channels of communication open and calm for everyone, we were able to keep our clients and all parties involved working together in harmony. We are very fortunate to have given the keys to many clients during the crisis and provide that sanctuary to them during a tumultuous time.” HOW ARE 3-D HOME TOURS CHANGING THE REAL ESTATE WORLD? “They make it possible to virtually experience a home without ever stepping foot on the property, which because of the pandemic is happening more and more.” WHAT IS YOUR #1 PIECE OF ADVICE DURING THIS UNPRECEDENTED TIME? “Feel your feelings; we are all going through them. Smile, breathe and welcome change. There is a reason for everything, and there is always a rainbow after the storm.”

310-902-1121 | 213-447-2668 | KATHYANDROBIN.COM | DRE #01745500, 01989112

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REAL ESTATE

AMERICA MICHAEL Founder, Homes By America | Keller Williams Beach Cities

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merica Michael and the Homes By America team are part of the Keller Williams Luxury International group. They specialize in California oceanaccessible and beachfront properties stretching throughout the South Bay. In addition, the Keller Williams preferred agent concierge network assists clients in the purchase or sale of any property anywhere in the United States or the rest of the world. America has worked in real estate for the past decade and is a Certified Negotiations Expert. WHAT DO CLIENTS EXPERIENCE WITH THE HOMES BY AMERICA TEAM? “Having been born in Hawaii with the aloha spirit, I believe in connecting with my clients on an emotional level. When you work with my team and me, we take the time to understand what is important to you and your family. We ask questions, listen and get to know you while developing a strategy and marketing plan to get the best outcome and sales price. My background in marketing, eye for design, extensive network and the skills that come with being a certified negotiator all translate into getting the best result for you. Our goal and mantra is ‘connecting your heart to a home.’ We believe that home is not simply a place where you live; it is a collection of things and people you love, wrapped up in a feeling of safety and comfort. My team members are experts at connecting you with that feeling in a location you love. If you are new to the area, my clients will all tell you that I am a connector of people, so you never know who you might meet when you work with us!” HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS BEAT THE COMPETITION? “It’s a competitive market out there, and it’s easy for clients to get disheartened when they get beat out. We have a unique strategy that we’ve developed over 10 years to give our buyers the best possible chance of landing that dream home. We keep them

focused and provide real-world, practical advice of what it’s going to take to land their next home.” WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB? “I love my clients and being able to help them make their dreams come true. It’s such a joy to go through the process of buying and selling a home with someone and seeing how excited they are when they finally make it to the finish line and move in, or begin their path to financial freedom with investing in real estate. I’m rewarded by their achievements and take the process to heart for them.” WHAT HOUSING MARKET TRENDS DO YOU FORESEE FOR 2021? ARE ANY OF THESE DUE TO THE PANDEMIC? “We see demand remaining strong in 2021 as people look for homes that better suit their needs with the new stay-at-home lifestyle. We do expect more inventory to come onto the market as people who perhaps delayed a move due to the pandemic begin taking that leap in 2021.” DO YOU ANTICIPATE THAT MORTGAGE RATES WILL STAY LOW THIS YEAR? “We expect mortgage rates to remain low as the economy attempts to recover from the pandemic. There’s never been a better time to make the move into your next home.” HOW HAS THE SHIFT TO WORKING REMOTELY IMPACTED THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY? “It has certainly created some challenges, and as a people-person who loves interacting with my clients, it has been a shift for me! To ensure that our clients and our team are kept safe, we have focused on leveraging technology and implementing new processes to safely deliver the exceptional client experience that we are famous for in the South Bay while remaining hands-on with clients when needed.”

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A BRANDNEW REAL ESTATE AGENT? “The real estate industry is hyper-competitive in the South Bay, and you need the knowledge, tools and personality to provide exceptional service to your clients. It helps to love interacting with all types of people—even when faced with challenges—and you have to be someone who isn’t afraid to break the mold of what people think being a real estate agent is. The best piece of advice I can give: Be authentic and be yourself.” IN WHAT WAYS IS THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY AN EMOTIONAL BUSINESS? HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THOSE EMOTIONS? “Real estate can be an absolute emotional roller coaster sometimes. It’s important to stay grounded, stay grateful and efficiently work through any issues while remaining a rock for your client. We’ve never encountered a problem we couldn’t solve for our clients. There are days where it takes its toll, but I keep myself grounded with my team and family of amazing friends.” WHAT IS YOUR #1 PIECE OF ADVICE DURING THIS UNPRECEDENTED TIME? “Stay humble, stay grateful, help others if you can, and ask for help if you need it.” WHAT WAS YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT DURING THE RECENT CRISIS? “My husband and I were able to elope in the desert during the pandemic in a very private ceremony that was simply perfection.” WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO UNPLUG WHEN YOU’RE OFF WORK? “Normally I love to travel and explore new places with friends and family, so with that mostly off the table, my husband and I have focused on making improvements at our house, cooking and learning new recipes, staying virtually connected with our family and friends, and dreaming of taking a honeymoon when we can travel again.”

830 S. PACIFIC COAST HWY, SUITE #200, EL SEGUNDO | 310-363-9871 | HOMESBYAMERICA.COM | DRE #01902672

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Tyler McMillan – Director, Operations Shira Zaidorf – Executive Assistant America Michael – Founder & Lead Agent Stephanie Crothers – Buyers Agent


REAL ESTATE

JENNIFER CARAS Realtor , Jennifer Caras Real Estate | Vista Sotheby’s International Realty ®

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ennifer Caras has worked in real estate for 16 years and has been a Top Producing Agent for the last decade with Vista Sotheby’s International Realty. A Los Angeles native, Jen attended Marymount High School and continued her education at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she graduated with a degree in psychology. In addition to her work as a Realtor, she also develops custom homes in the South Bay with her husband, who is a developer, commercial broker and licensed contractor. WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB? “I cherish my relationships with my clients before, during and after escrow. When you go through an escrow, it’s so incredibly layered. It hits on so many levels—from financial to emotional and everything in between. I am grateful my clients have chosen to work with me, and in the end they often express great gratitude to me for guiding them through every step of the way. By the time I turn over the keys, my clients know that I have their backs and am always here for them.” IN WHAT WAYS IS THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY AN EMOTIONAL BUSINESS? HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THOSE EMOTIONS? “Emotions are entwined in residential real estate because we are selling spaces where people spend their quality time, create memories, host holidays, gather family and friends, raise children … the list is endless! A home embodies our lives. I deal with those emotions by keeping on task, being a good listener and reminding my clients of the bigger picture every step of the way. I am a fierce client advocate and a proven performer during stressful situations. As a result, I am fortunate for 90% of my business to be from referrals and repeat clients.”

WHAT QUALITIES ARE NEEDED TO BE THE BEST IN THIS BUSINESS? “You have to be a team player, having solid relationships not only with clients but with other real estate colleagues as well. Being trustworthy and standing behind your word goes far in this business.” WHAT HOUSING MARKET TRENDS DO YOU FORESEE FOR 2021? ARE ANY OF THESE DUE TO THE PANDEMIC? “Change! And yes, I believe the pandemic has a lot to do with it. So many homeowners are yearning for a change of scenery and analyzing their quality of life—whether it’s locating to a more spacious home with outdoor space or leaving the large home to move closer by the beach. People have had the unique opportunity to pause, take a breath and consider alternatives.” HOW HAS THE SHIFT TO WORKING REMOTELY IMPACTED THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY? “Home office spaces at home are highly desired and sought after. I have a new construction listing coming out soon in North Hermosa, and I think a draw will be that it has two perfect home office spaces. Some people’s career will change for good, and having home office space is definitely on trend.” SHOULD I CHOOSE A LARGE REAL ESTATE COMPANY OR A BOUTIQUE FIRM? “I think it’s most important to pick the right agent to work with, first and foremost. I have been at a boutique firm in the past and now am with a large real estate company. Having the backing of a global real estate firm with the prestige and history of a name like Sotheby’s is like the icing on a cake with my clients.”

WHAT IS YOUR #1 PIECE OF ADVICE DURING THIS UNPRECEDENTED TIME? “Take nothing for granted—health, family, loved ones, this beautiful South Bay area we are so blessed to live in. Being grateful is a daily practice that energizes me.” WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT DURING THE RECENT CRISIS? “I certainly wasn’t expecting to be so busy in a pandemic! I was honored to keep my standing as the #2 ranked Top Producing Agent at Vista Sotheby’s International Realty and the largest producer of Beach Cities sales, totaling $75 million for 2020.” TELL US ABOUT THE HOME YOU GREW UP IN. “I have such fond memories of my childhood home! It was in Brentwood, just off Mandeville Canyon—a tree-lined, picturesque street. Our house was at the end of a cul-de-sac. Our yard backed up to a canyon, and my sister and I would always get a giggle to see wild bunnies and other wildlife in our backyard. This is the home where I started to notice the details and architecture on different styles of homes and became so interested that I initially wanted to go to school for architecture.” WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO UNPLUG? “I love being in the kitchen, trying new recipes and baking all sorts of goodies. On the flip side, we also love trying new restaurants as well as supporting our local faves.” TELL US ABOUT YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM. “My biggest support system is at my home! My husband, Chris, encouraged me to get my real estate license in 2004 after a career in pharmaceuticals that was successful yet unfulfilling. Once I joined a brokerage, my heart was so much more into it right from the get-go. I truly couldn’t run my business without his incredible support and love.”

1144 HIGHLAND AVE., MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-367-9129 | JENNIFERCARAS.COM | @JENNIFERCARASREALESTATE | DRE #01466213

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REAL ESTATE

EDWARD BARRIOS Broker Associate, Realtor , Vista Sotheby’s International Realty ®

Broker, Owner, Sandhill Real Estate, Inc.

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dward Barrios started working in the South Bay real estate industry in 2005 with Shorewood Realtors. As a broker associate with Vista Sotheby’s International Realty, he focuses on the South Bay Beach Cities and the Palos Verdes Peninsula. He also owns Sandhill Real Estate, Inc. and serves in leadership roles with the National Association of REALTORS®, the California Association of REALTORS® and the Palos Verdes Peninsula Association of REALTORS®.

HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS BEAT THE COMPETITION? “Professionalism first, then relationships, then just working relentlessly to get them what they need. Relationships in the Beach Cities and Palos Verdes go a long way as we represent our clients in their best interest. If an agent on the other side knows who I am and knows my professionalism and will partner in a transaction, that helps tremendously.” IN WHAT WAYS IS THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY AN EMOTIONAL BUSINESS? HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THOSE EMOTIONS? “Always listen. When it comes to a home, emotions are inherent, and I never discount the emotions someone feels about their home or a home they want. But in real estate, whether it’s a home or a commercial office space, you gotta be sharp and focused. I keep the facts straight and offer solutions to avoid the errors that emotional decisions can make.” WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A BRANDNEW REAL ESTATE AGENT? “Be patient. Never stop learning. Take the real estate profession seriously. It will bite you in the ass when you aren’t watching.” WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB? “Developing relationships with my clients and understanding their goals. Each client is so unique: engineers and sales executives, hospitality professionals and marketing managers, finance guys and a retired fishing boat captain. Their personalities, experiences, real estate IQ and future needs all differ. I make

it part of my job to know what they want and need—now and in the future—based on really getting to know them.” HOW HAS THE SHIFT TO WORKING REMOTELY IMPACTED THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY? “In my opinion, not good. It’s a trend that’s been happening for a while, with more agents working from home or remotely. There’s nothing better than being in an office where you can learn from one another, share upcoming activity, discuss the market, trends, sales tactics, etc. This is a profession that thrives on interaction with your peers and requires discipline to maintain sales activity. Working remotely can be distracting and can affect productivity. Also, Zoom and FaceTime will never replace the need for face-to-face interaction. I’ve seen a lot of Zoom meetings being unnecessarily created because the casual face-to-face opportunities are gone. But it has brought a lot of people together more often who may not have had a lot of interaction before. So there are some positives.” HOW ARE 3-D HOME TOURS CHANGING THE REAL ESTATE WORLD? “The consumer appreciates it for sure. It’ll never replace the in-person viewing, but I’ve helped two clients buy their homes after only seeing them virtually on a 3-D tour.” IS THERE STILL A MARKET FOR PURCHASING VACATION HOMES? “Yes. Real estate is a constant. If values go down, they’ll eventually be back up. Currently, the market for vacation homes is hot. It’ll eventually cool down when hotels and resorts open back up and travel between states eases. But with the movement toward more employers allowing for remote work, vacation and second homes will continue to be in demand.” WHAT HOUSING MARKET TRENDS DO YOU FORESEE FOR 2021? “The tight inventory will continue to be an issue. With low interest rates and the need to happy in your home, demand will continue to be strong with limited homes available. We are seeing are more people in the L.A. area looking

at the South Bay and Palos Verdes due to the beautiful setting, where we are steps from the ocean, the stunning natural landscape of Palos Verdes to explore, and a community where there’s less hustle and bustle. Having to work from home is drawing people to homes with more outdoor space, walkable neighborhoods, the beach, the peninsula, etc. They’re also looking at updating their current homes, keeping contractors busy and the home improvement ecosystem healthy.” YOUR THOUGHTS ON FAIR HOUSING, EQUALITY AND EQUITY? “It’s something we should all be actively fighting, working, thinking, visualizing to achieve. Working in real estate brings to light the importance of home, and history has made the opportunity of homeownership for some Americans—particularly African Americans—a challenge. We’ve all seen the what is happening in our country, and it’s time for everyone to do what they can to lift up their brothers and sisters. Equality does not mean someone is stepping down a level; it’s about uplifting the people around you. I’ve made an effort to be a part of the change towards greater diversity and equality with the REALTOR® organizations so that we can weave this initiative and change into the organizations and the real estate industry as a whole.” TELL US ABOUT THE HOME YOU GREW UP IN. “It was a single-level, mid-century ranch in North Hollywood with tall windows facing south and a big backyard. A huge plum tree had the sweetest plums. I have awesome memories there, but then we eventually ended up in a newer construction home in Studio City. My parents added a pool, and I used it nearly every day. They’re still there, and now my kids escape the 68º June gloom of the South Bay and go to the Valley where it’s 105º to enjoy the pool.” WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO UNPLUG AFTER WORK? “Surf, play baseball with my boys, eat good food and drink great wine, chill at home in Lunada Bay.”

16 MALAGA COVE PLAZA, PALOS VERDES ESTATES | 310-200-1507 | EDWARDBARRIOS.COM | DRE #01472267

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REAL ESTATE

ALISON CLAY-DUBOFF President, Salty Water Properties, Inc. | RE/MAX Estate Properties

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lison Clay-Duboff has worked in real estate for more than 14 years. She studied at George Washington University and the American University in Paris and has lived in the U.K., St. Barts, France, Sweden and Saudi Arabia. She operates Salty Water Properties, Inc. as part of RE/MAX Estate Properties with her husband, Ken Duboff. HOW HAVE YOU HELPED CLIENTS DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS? “A Redondo Beach client recently said, ‘Some thought we were crazy. Some thought we were brilliant. But we decided to sell and buy a home right as COVID-19 was taking off. Going with Alison as our Realtor was the best decision we made. She navigated the constantly changing rules of COVID-19 like a champ. I cannot recommend Alison enough after all she did for us during these unprecedented times.’ A Manhattan Beach client recently shared, ‘Alison is an exceptional real estate advisor with a combination of responsiveness, attention to detail, empathy and business smarts that make her stand out in her industry. Alison had our home under contract on the day of the brokers open and at our price. But more impressive was how she held the transaction together with a unique knack for defusing seller and buyer emotions and structuring (or adjusting as needed) a deal to satisfy all parties—keeping everyone at the table. Alison is best in class, and I recommend her without hesitation or reservation.’” WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL ADVICE DURING THIS UNPRECEDENTED TIME? “Even during the time of COVID-19, consumers can be easily led astray by technology and automation, but nothing can take the place of a dedicated Realtor. The humanity, negotiation skills, navigation through disclosures and knowledge of the local area— there is no shortcut.” WHAT PERSONALITY TRAITS WOULD YOU SUGGEST ARE MOST IMPORTANT FOR A BRAND-NEW REAL ESTATE AGENT? “The ability to listen, integrity, empathy and generosity of spirit. Also ethics, compassion and education are important for success in any field.” WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE YOU’VE MADE PROFESSIONALLY? “Not getting into the business sooner. I have value that can be shared to better others’ lives.” HOW DO YOU COMBAT THE FEAR OF MAKING WRONG DECISIONS FROM DAY TO DAY? “I don’t allow fear to impact my decision-making. I’m guided by information and asking for help from other professionals.”

1040 MANHATTAN BEACH BLVD., MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-200-3037 | ALISONISREALESTATE.COM | DRE #01786922

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REAL ESTATE

Aita Family: Colin, Malia, Allie, Kainoa

COLIN AITA Realtor , Colin Aita Real Estate | Strand Hill Properties ®

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Los Angeles native, Colin Aita lives and works in the South Bay and has been a licensed real estate agent for nearly seven years. He played baseball at the University of San Francisco, followed by three years of Independent Minor League ball. Colin joined Strand Hill Properties in 2017. HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS BEAT THE COMPETITION? “I’ve always known the importance and power of treating other agents well—it goes a long way when representing both sellers and buyers. When representing sellers, being honest and upfront about correct pricing based on current buyer behavior is key to selling a home. Sometimes it’s not what they want to hear, but when their home sells at a great price while other similar homes sit on the market, they are always happy with the results and just as happy to refer business.”

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES OF BUYING OR SELLING A HOME DURING A PANDEMIC? “The most obvious challenges include safety and availability. Sellers and buyers are much more cautious about letting people into their homes or visiting homes for sale, and rightfully so. As long as all the protocols are adhered to, it can all be done safely and just as well as pre-pandemic.”

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB? “I love working with great people. When you have mutual respect, trust and a true partnership, everything just flows. I’ve been very fortunate to have incredible clients throughout my career, and just about all of those clients have become friends. Having sellers and buyers sincerely thank me for my hard work in representing them is a great feeling.”

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A BRAND-NEW REAL ESTATE AGENT? “The real world isn’t Million Dollar Listing. TV makes it look so easy and fun … and when you work with great clients and have a great sale, it is a lot of fun. But behind the scenes and in the reality of unscripted real estate, most of your time won’t be cashing six-figure commission checks. Make sure you ask a ton of questions, study the contracts associated with transactions and tell everybody you know that you are an agent.”

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO UNPLUG WHEN YOU’RE OFF WORK? “My family is everything to me, so whether it’s spending a day at the beach, coaching my kids’ sports teams or just spending time together at home, my favorite downtime includes my wife and kids. International travel and visiting my parents and sister in Northern California used to be at the top of that list as well, so we cannot wait to get back to normal and resume those irreplaceable moments and memories.”

1131 MORNINGSIDE DR., MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-722-9986 | COLINAITA.COM | DRE #01936603 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY HEATHER LEYSE PHOTOGRAPHY

REAL ESTATE

DARIN DERENZIS & MEREDITH JOHNSON DERENZIS DeRenzis Real Estate | Vista Sotheby’s International Realty

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ealtors Darin DeRenzis and Meredith DeRenzis help clients navigate the South Bay real estate market. Meredith has worked in real estate since 2007, starting in commercial sales. She transitioned to residential and joined Vista Sotheby’s International Realty in 2014. Darin has worked in the industry for 15 years. He joined Vista Sotheby’s in 2006 and became a partner in 2010.

2020 WAS YOUR FIRST FULL YEAR OF MARRIAGE AND WORKING TOGETHER AS PARTNERS. HOW DID IT GO? “As delighted as we were to get married, we were equally excited to merge our business— two top producers coming together to form the DeRenzis Real Estate team! We met our performance goals throughout the year, earning Top 10 awards at Vista Sotheby’s seven months in 2020—including three months in the top spot. It was a solid year for us personally and professionally.”

HOW DO YOU OPERATE AS A HUSBAND-WIFE TEAM? Darin: “At this point in my life, I know my strengths and weaknesses. The benefit of working with a partner who happens to be my wife is that I can focus on using my strengths to help our clients, and Meredith can do the same.” Meredith: “It’s very helpful to have someone at home who knows what I experience at work. Whether it’s a victory or a frustration, I know my husband gets it.” WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENTS DURING THE RECENT CRISIS? “We were able to quickly pivot and actually enhance our ability to help our clients achieve their homes. For example, open houses don’t happen anymore. At first we were concerned about the removal of this avenue we use to connect with new buyers. On the flip side,

it has been a huge positive; the buyers and their agents are qualified, vetted and serious. Now, instead of two hours where we see lots of in-person faces, we are watching the number of viewers climb as we do a virtual tour on Facebook and Instagram.” WITH THE CURRENT SCARCITY OF INVENTORY, WHAT ADVICE ARE YOU GIVING BUYERS? “Seek out a professional. It is not enough to rely on the internet. We stir the pot and dig up homes and opportunities that cannot be found in the public market. We have the relationships locally to accomplish that goal every day. For that matter, we also have the relationships through our Sotheby’s network that allow us to do that same thing in the secondhome markets our clients are exploring.”

2501 N. SEPULVEDA BLVD., MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-418-6210 (DARIN) | 310-600-7973 (MEREDITH) DERENZISREALESTATE.VISTASIR.COM | DRE #01760239, 01907722

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REAL ESTATE

RACHEL EZRA Broker Associate, Vista Sotheby’s International Realty

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achel Ezra has assisted buyers and sellers with their real estate goals for more than 18 years. After starting her career in commercial real estate, she transitioned to residential real estate when she moved to Manhattan Beach. She joined Vista Sotheby’s International Realty four years ago. HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS BEAT THE COMPETITION? “Real estate is a relationship business, especially here in the South Bay. It is such a small community. Agents all know each other and interact on daily/weekly basis. I pick up the phone and call the other agent or, if possible, meet face to face and explain my client’s goals and see if we can together help them achieve that.” WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES OF BUYING OR SELLING A HOME DURING A PANDEMIC? “The main challenge is scheduling in-person showings to see the homes. With most sellers now working from home and kids homeschooling, it has been challenging managing everyone’s schedules—even more so during the lockdown with nowhere for families to go during a showing other than a walk.” HOW ARE 3-D HOME TOURS CHANGING REAL ESTATE? “3-D home tours are a game changer. They have given the buyers the ability to virtually walk through every room of a property, including the exterior grounds, before they decide to preview in person.” WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB? “A home, now more than ever, has meaning to all of us. It’s our shelter, our office and our kids’ school. The best part of my job is knowing that I helped dreams come true. Whether you are a firsttime buyer or a seasoned buyer or seller, everyone has a dream of where they want to live and call home.” WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO UNPLUG? “I love and cherish spending time with my twins. During 2020 we found solace in movie night. We make a fort of sheets, bring out fluffy sleeping bags, arrange pillows, decorate with string lights, make popcorn and put on a movie. It has been a wonderful time in our household.” WHAT IS YOUR #1 PIECE OF ADVICE DURING THIS TIME? “Take this time to pause, reflect, appreciate, recharge, release burdens and surround yourself with happiness. Take care of yourself and your family’s health.” WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENTS DURING THE RECENT CRISIS? “I was able to find the perfect places for my clients to call home during the time when the world was shut down.”

916 MANHATTAN AVE., MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-400-0297 | RACHELEZRA.COM | DRE #01396863 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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REAL ESTATE

L to R: Molly Hobin Williams, Tom Williams, Jaimi Freeman and Bailey Williams

THE HOBIN COMPANY AT BAYSIDE REAL ESTATE PARTNERS

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he Hobin Company is a full-service boutique brokerage company specializing in residential and commercial property with offices in downtown Manhattan Beach as well as Palm Desert. Owned by Molly Hobin Williams and Tom Williams, the firm was started by Molly’s great-grandfather in 1925. IS THERE STILL A MARKET FOR PURCHASING VACATION HOMES? “Vacation homes have been selling like hotcakes since the pandemic hit. People want more space, and since they basically can work from anywhere, more and more people have been buying second homes. We have seen it throughout the South Bay as well as in the Palm Desert market. With interest rates continuing to be at all-time lows, the inventory remains extremely tight as more and more people have been purchasing vacation homes since the beginning of the pandemic in early March.”

HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS BEAT THE COMPETITION? “We always make sure that our clients have a complete package with a very clean, strong offer. We also do our best to establish a good relationship up-front with the other agent. It is very important that you have a nice working relationship with other agents and that your clients trust you and trust your ability to negotiate on their behalf.” HOW HAS THE SHIFT TO WORKING REMOTELY IMPACTED THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY? “The shift to working remotely has definitely impacted the real estate industry, as most people are no longer commuting daily and can now live and work anywhere. We have seen lots of people from all over the country and from other parts of California moving into the South Bay. Why wouldn’t you want to live at the beach, now that you can work remotely?”

IN WHAT WAYS IS THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY AN EMOTIONAL BUSINESS? “How do you deal with those emotions? Residential real estate is a very emotional business, especially in this very competitive environment. Coming from a commercial real estate background has helped us learn to take the emotions out of every transaction, and we pride ourselves on keeping an evenkeel attitude and conducting negotiations without bringing emotions into play.” WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO UNPLUG WHEN YOU’RE OFF WORK? “Tom and Molly love to golf, ski, play pickleball and spend as much time as possible at their home in Palm Desert. Jaimi played college beach volleyball and professional beach volleyball and still enjoys playing on weekends, as well as spending time with her husband, James. Bailey loves chasing balls.”

904 MANHATTAN AVE. #3, MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-925-2529 | THEHOBINCOMPANY.COM | DRE #00819814

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REAL ESTATE

NICOLE ODOM-REIS Realtor , Nicol Real Estate Group | Compass ®

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icole Odom-Reis grew up in the world of real estate, watching her Realtor mother, Karen Odom, make deals happen with clients while maintaining a household and raising three children. Once Nicole’s three sons were old enough and she felt ready to balance being a working mother, she chose to follow in her mother’s footsteps and became a Realtor. She joined Compass in 2019.

WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENTS DURING THE RECENT CRISIS? “2020 was my best year in business. There was so much uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus and how it would affect the real estate market, but I am proud to say there were many victories. I had a very personal transaction in selling my parents’ historic, original Spanish home in the Hollywood Riviera. While it was bittersweet, it was an incredible honor to sell our family home and help my parents’ vision become a reality.” DO YOU ANTICIPATE THAT MORTGAGE RATES WILL STAY LOW THIS YEAR? “Everything I’m reading indicates that rates will remain stable in 2021. There’s potential for a slight increase, but not so much that mortgage rates won’t continue to be historically favorable. Even if mortgage rates increase enough to curtail refinancing, they’re still going to be low enough to keep housing affordable and in high demand.” WHAT IS YOUR #1 PIECE OF ADVICE DURING THIS UNPRECEDENTED TIME? “Control the controllables. The only thing in life we can control is our effort and attitude. Keep that in perspective on a daily basis. There isn’t one right way to live during a pandemic, and everybody has to do what works best for them. Don’t judge; be supportive. We’re all in this together, and nobody’s alone.” WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A BRAND-NEW REAL ESTATE AGENT? “There is no such thing as a successful part-time Realtor. If you want to have success in real estate, you have to work daily to build your business. Approximately 95% of my business is based on referrals; that’s the ultimate compliment in this business. Take care of your clients, treat every transaction with the same integrity and don’t ever compromise your ethics.”

Nicole with husband Matt, son Jacob and twin sons Christian and Weston

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO UNPLUG? “I find most joy when I’m playing ball with my kids. Throwing batting practice at Malaga Cove with my twins and watching my oldest son run routes for football are things that truly fill me up.”

617-459-7544 | DRE #02050314 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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REAL ESTATE

ANTHONY SELF & COURTNEY SELF Brokers/Owners, Harcourts Hunter Mason Realty

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arcourts Hunter Mason Realty is a full-service real estate company. Owners and husband-and-wife team Courtney Self and Tony Self both have been actively engaged in the real estate industry for more than 30 years. They joined Harcourts international real estate company in 2017.

SHOULD I CHOOSE A LARGE REAL ESTATE COMPANY OR A BOUTIQUE FIRM? “It’s not the company; it’s the agent. We recommend clients hire an agent experienced in the area and type of property they are buying or selling. They also need an agent whom they can trust and relate to. Their best bet is to get a referral from someone they trust who has worked with the agent they are referring. At Harcourts Hunter Mason Realty, we are committed to providing the best real estate experience for our clients, but what makes our firm special is our amazing agents and support team.”

DO YOU ANTICIPATE THAT MORTGAGE RATES WILL STAY LOW THIS YEAR? “Yes. Although we are expecting rates to increase by the end of the year, they will still be historically low.” IN WHAT WAYS IS THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY AN EMOTIONAL BUSINESS? HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THOSE EMOTIONS? “This is one of the most emotional businesses out there. You’re dealing with a very large investment for most people, and they are dealing with contracts and real estate terms they may not be comfortable with. We keep our clients informed of every step and help them stay calm, which assists them through the emotional roller coaster that is every real estate transaction. It is important for clients to enter into a transaction trusting that the agent they hired to represent them is knowledgeable and working in their best interest.”

IS THERE STILL A MARKET FOR PURCHASING VACATION HOMES? “Absolutely. We have clients buying vacation homes and rental properties in states like Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Tennessee, Texas and Nevada. We assist these clients by referring them to top agents in the market where they are looking.” WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO UNPLUG AND RELAX? “Unwinding is important both on and off work. Our office is located near the beach, so during our workdays we take walks to the beach or through Riviera Village—often with our Great Dane puppy, Beowulf. Just stepping out of the office for 15 minutes can do a lot to change your attitude. Off work, we love traveling and spending time with family and friends. This year we had to forgo any travel, but we spent much more time with friends and family, either via Zoom or social distancing.”

1617 S. PACIFIC COAST HWY., SUITE D, REDONDO BEACH | 310-901-1000 | HUNTERMASON.COM | DRE #01878029

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REAL ESTATE

L to R: Lauren Forbes, Trevi Sawalich, Michelle Ramkissoon, Kelsey Riggan, Heather Macaulay, Roma Barba, Bri Haydis, Lisa Oberst, Kaveh Shakeri

LAUREN FORBES Owner, Lauren Forbes Group | Compass

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auren Forbes didn’t start out in real estate. She earned her law degree and practiced as an attorney for eight years, specializing in employment litigation. She went on to become a licensed Realtor® in 2000 and obtained her broker license in 2018. Lauren and her team are top producers worldwide and at Compass. WHAT MAKES YOUR TEAM STAND OUT FROM OTHERS? “Our team is extremely special because we are a boutique team with exceptionally talented agents within the #1 brokerage in the country. Each member of the team brings something wonderful and different. We have two lawyers, a doctor and an interior designer. Our agents are spread throughout the South Bay, therefore we live in most of the places we serve. We are tight-knit and teamoriented, so we lift each other up—in business and in life. Once you meet and work with this team, I am confident you will not want to work with anyone else.”

HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS BEAT THE COMPETITION? “Clients benefit greatly from our reputation and relationships with other agents. Our vast knowledge, consistently ethical behavior and market share create a scenario where other agents want to work with our team—thus our buyers often have a leg up when purchasing. The Lauren Forbes Group also has the absolute best marketing plan, coupled with the incredible Compass technology platform that provides sellers with unparalleled sales.” WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB? “We have the most incredible clients! We love helping them find their dream home, or getting their home ready to sell and surprising them with fast sales and high prices.” IN WHAT WAYS IS THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY AN EMOTIONAL BUSINESS? “Since real estate is often the largest investment in a person’s life, the emotions are real. Our team deals with it by putting our

emotions aside and running our business in the most professional way possible. We also take the time to learn about our clients’ needs and wants and check in regularly about how they are doing and what we can do to make the process smoother for them. We are available for all questions and respond quickly and efficiently. Put simply, we really care.” WHAT QUALITIES ARE NEEDED TO BE THE BEST IN THIS BUSINESS? “This business requires hard work. The best agents work long hours. It takes someone who can help others during difficult/stressful times and remain calm and positive.” IS THERE STILL A MARKET FOR BUYING VACATION HOMES? “Yes, stronger than ever. Many of our clients are looking outside the area for places to travel to safely during these challenging times. Several of us own homes outside the area and in other states, so we are uniquely qualified to help advise them on purchases.”

310-901-8512 | LAURENFORBESGROUP.COM | DRE #01295248 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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REAL ESTATE

GEORGIANA ROSENKRANZ, JD Managing Partner, The Rosenkranz|Friedman Group LLC Keller Williams Palos Verdes Realty

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onsistently recognized as one of the top-producing teams at Keller Williams Palos Verdes Realty, The Rosenkranz|Friedman Group is a full-service real estate team of experienced professionals with more than 40 years of industry experience. Founder Georgiana Rosenkranz practiced transactional law for 11 years before obtaining her broker license and forming The Rosenkranz|Friedman Group in 2016. IS REAL ESTATE STILL A GOOD INVESTMENT IN LIGHT OF COVID-19? “Absolutely! Despite these uncertain times, real estate in the South Bay remains a tangible and smart investment that is continuing to increase in value. Because of our excellent schools, weather and air quality—not to mention proximity to beaches, mountains, resorts, airports, great shopping, dining and entertainment— demand for housing in our community is outpacing our inventory like never before. Quarantining and telecommuting caused people to reevaluate the importance of having sufficient indoor space to work and educate at home, while also having a yard and easy access to safe and fun outdoor activities. As we are seeing, the result is a white-hot South Bay real estate market.” TELL US ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF PRACTICING THE GOLDEN RULE IN BUSINESS. “Particularly in such a relationship-based profession as real estate, it is critical for clients to know they can trust our professional judgment and personal advice. We earn that trust through consistent and strict adherence to ethical standards and constantly putting ourselves in our clients’ position. By implementing the Golden Rule, we anticipate our clients’ questions, concerns, desires and needs. This translates into strong, long-lasting relationships with highly successful outcomes for everyone involved.” WHAT MAKES YOU A SOUTH BAY EXPERT? “The South Bay is and always has been my backyard. I was born, raised and educated here and have been fortunate enough to live, work and raise my own family in the South Bay. As a result, I have an in-depth knowledge of our unique community. I have been blessed to help so people turn their property ownership dreams into reality while earning a living doing what I love where I love!” HOW DO YOU GIVE BACK TO YOUR COMMUNITY? “During COVID-19, I have had the pleasure of shopping, making meals and running errands for people who are either high-risk or simply overwhelmed by current circumstances. I am also privileged to serve as a trustee for the Peninsula Education Foundation and to serve on the Palos Verdes Estates Traffic Safety Committee. I am so grateful for the opportunity to give back to the communities that mean so much to me and my family.”

550 DEEP VALLEY DRIVE, SUITE 359, ROLLING HILLS ESTATES | 310-717-8767 GEORGE@GEORGESELLSTHESOUTHBAY.COM | THERFGROUP.COM

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REAL ESTATE

SARAH SAYPACK Realtor , Sarah Saypack Real Estate | Vista Sotheby’s International Realty ®

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arah Saypack worked as a top executive in the marketing and advertising industry for 20 years before transitioning to real estate five years ago. She works under the umbrella of Vista Sotheby’s International Realty and assists clients all over California—specializing in the South Bay. Sarah supports the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation, a community-driven nonprofit that supplements state funding for local public schools. She and her two daughters are part of the National Charity League, which supports philanthropy partners throughout the South Bay and beyond. HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS BEAT THE COMPETITION? “It’s all about being prepared mentally and financially. Buyers do not have the luxury of time right now. If you see something, you must be ready to go in strong! Multiple offers have begun to be the norm, and buyers need to figure out how to stand out from the crowd. I make it a point to reach out to the listing agent and try to learn as much as possible about the seller’s motivation to help sway the decision our way. It’s also really important to stay in touch with the listing agent. Deals fall apart, and they will move on to the next person. You want to make sure they call you first. Patience and persistence pay off.” WHAT HOUSING MARKET TRENDS DO YOU FORESEE FOR 2021? “The pandemic has forced everyone to reevaluate their living spaces. I see the trend toward more outdoor space and multiuse rooms continuing to grow. It’s not necessarily about more space— it’s about more usable space. Workout rooms, office space and homeschooling areas are key, along with a connection to the outdoors. It’s less about being close to everything and more about quality of life.” IN WHAT WAYS IS THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY AN EMOTIONAL BUSINESS? “We’re dealing with people’s largest financial asset; emotions run high. I worked in the advertising and marketing industry prior to real estate, and I had the opportunity to work with many different personality types and business styles. This experience helped prepare me for dealing with the highs and lows of the real estate industry. Some sales are so smooth, and others are extremely challenging. You have to shake it off and move on. I always connect with my family at the end of the day to unwind and reset. A good glass of wine and walk on the beach never hurt either!” WHAT IS YOUR #1 PIECE OF ADVICE DURING THIS UNPRECEDENTED TIME? “Having thick skin is really important. It’s tough out there right now with lots of competition, and sometimes things don’t fall your way. You have to know that it’s for a reason and keep going!”

2501 N. SEPULVEDA BLVD., SUITE 200, MANHATTAN BEACH | 323-385-3366 | SARAHSAYPACK.COM | DRE #01993214 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY KIERON MCKAY

REAL ESTATE

KRISTEN NOVOA Realtor , Vista Sotheby’s International Realty ®

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risten Novoa has spent 21 years working as a real estate agent in the South Bay and joined Vista Sotheby’s International Realty in 2014. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology and worked as a psychologist and a jury consultant before becoming a Realtor. Kristen is certified in negotiations, luxury home marketing and international property. IN WHAT WAYS IS THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY AN EMOTIONAL BUSINESS? “My background in psychology is key in counseling people through the home buying and selling process. They need reassurance and someone who can listen and communicate effectively. My legal background helps me strategize and break down all the moving parts in real estate transactions, which also brings them comfort. I like to get ahead of issues before they arise, which helps ease the stress for my clients. I’m here to be my clients’ chief strategist and trusted advisor through the entire process.”

HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS BEAT THE COMPETITION? “After selling hundreds of homes from less than $1 million to more than $10 million, I have dealt with many other Realtors in this business. I know what I bring to the table for my clients, and I always do the best for them. Maintaining a positive work ethic with my peers has been critical to the success of my clients. Reputation and choice of Realtor is a reflection of you in the real estate marketplace. Those of us blessed to be placed in the top producer category work closely together, even though we are competitors, and appreciate working with those we can trust in this business. This is vital when so much business is done beyond the internet and the Multiple Listing Service.” IS THERE AN AREA OF THE SOUTH BAY OR A PRICE POINT YOU SPECIALIZE IN? “The Strand is a unique market where I have closed 82 transactions and set record-breaking sales. An added benefit

to my clients is how my high-end listings bring higher visibility to my lower-priced listings—providing increased exposure overall. I operate as if each client owns a multimillion-dollar home, even if it is worth under a million. Everyone benefits from a multimillion-dollar level of marketing and professionalism when working with me.” HOW HAVE YOUR CURRENT AND PAST CLIENTS DESCRIBED YOU? “I felt like her only client.” “Always available when I need her.” “Tenacious and works through any obstacles.” “A joy to work with.” “Professional and honest.” “Amazingly unselfish.” “Calm and positive.” “Extremely considerate of needs expressed.” “Dedicated.” “Trusted.” “Love that she has a vast database of household resources that we needed to prepare our home for sale!”

Disclaimer: Each office is independently owned and operated.

2501 N. SEPULVEDA BLVD., 2 ND FLOOR, MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-650-1078 | SOUTHBAYOPENHOUSE.COM | DRE #01291929

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Trump National Golf Club LOS

ANGELES

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“The best course in the entire state of California”

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“Top 100 Golf Course”

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Open to the Public TEE TIMES & PRO SHOP 310 303 3240 • RESTAURANT & EVENTS 310 265 5000 ONE TRUMP NATIONAL DR, RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA

TRUMPGOLF.COM

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Palos Verdes Estates Built on nearly an acre of street-to-street grounds, this exquisite estate boasts some of the most impressive ocean and coastline views, stretching from Palos Verdes to Malibu and beyond. Hand selected materials from around the world make up this 8,800 square foot home, plus extensive gardens, elevator, ocean facing pool and more! $9,500,000 Video at www.chrisadlam.com


R E A L E S TAT E

Beach Deco Steps from the beach, this Art Deco-inspired home explores volume and light in a truly experiential space. The generous owners’ suite and sweeping entertainer’s terrace fill the entire third floor, allowing for 180-degree ocean views. Two-story vaulted ceilings and windows welcome visitors and flood the home with natural light and ocean breezes, begging for friends to be entertained. 3421 Manhattan Avenue, Manhattan Beach | 3421manhattanave.com Darin and Meredith DeRenzis | #01760239/01907722 DeRenzis Real Estate | Vista Sotheby’s International Realty derenzisrealestate.com | 310-418-6210 | derenzis@vistasir.com


AGENT SPOTLIGHT

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AG E N T S P OT L I G H T

KEEPING IT LOCAL Whether they’re working, playing or supporting others in need, this local real estate couple is loving life close to home. WRITTEN BY LAURA L. WATTS | PHOTOGRAPHED BY SIRI BERTING

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ealtors and husband-and-wife team

hometown,” Jen says. “Because I grew up

person industry!” adds Jen. “We believe in per-

Dave and Jen Caskey consider them-

here, I have unparalleled knowledge of the

sonalized service for each and every one of our

selves not only finer home specialists

area—including all of the Beach Cities—which

clients and are pleased to say we have one of

but also experts on the South Bay.

benefits our clients. We have seen incredible

the highest repeat client rates in our industry.”

They’ve lived and worked here for more than

growth here, yet it retains the charm that

30 years, so they know a thing or two about

draws clients to this area.”

Their associates and staff find Caskey & Caskey a wonderful place to work. “Everyone

the area. In fact, Jen grew up in Manhattan

is extremely supportive of each other, learning

Beach and they are now raising their three

and having fun together as well,” Jen explains.

sons in the same Beach City. Jen and Dave founded Caskey & Caskey and Associates in 1991 to focus on the luxury home market in and around the South Bay. Today they specialize in both residential and commercial properties. The Caskey & Caskey team is consistently a top producer in the South Bay and has received numerous recognitions and awards, including those from The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Business Journal and Los Angeles magazine.

“WE ENJOY HELPING OUR CLIENTS FIND THEIR PERFECT PLACE TO LIVE AND WORK IN THE SOUTH BAY.”

As the pandemic swept the nation last year, they banded together and worked right through the crisis. “The protocols were always changing,” Dave shares, “and it took a lot of flexibility and patience, but our entire team dug their heels in and showed up!” THE NEW NORMAL Jen and Dave see new trends due to the pandemic, and they are embracing the necessary changes to help their clients succeed now more than ever before with their real estate

“We enjoy helping our clients find their perfect place to live and work in the South Bay,”

TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK

goals. “People are living and working from

says Dave, who spent his childhood in Orange

Their clients appreciate the fact that Dave

home, which means that they have really

County and graduated from the University of

and Jen work as a team—both bringing

prioritized what they need and how they best

Southern California with a master’s degree in

unique qualities to the table. Along with their

live in their spaces,” says Jen.

real estate finance. Jen graduated from USC

agents and support staff, the Caskeys address

as well, with a bachelor’s degree in commu-

each client’s needs from the first meeting to

will stay low for at least the first half of 2021,

nications. As a child she watched and learned

the closing of a purchase. “After all of these

and the housing market will remain strong

the real estate business from her mom, who

years in this business, there is nothing we can’t

for quite some time. This is encouraging to

was also a local Realtor.

handle!” says Dave.

potential buyers as well as sellers.

“I love living and working in my

“We like people, and this is a great people-

The couple anticipates mortgage rates

To make their clients’ real estate journeys as

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137


AG E N T S P OT L I G H T

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Dave, Jen and their team

simple and safe as possible during this time, Caskey & Caskey offers virtual open houses

family and friends,” shares Dave. “Time with our three boys at the beach and

and there’s nothing more important to the Caskey & Caskey team than making sure

and 3-D home tours. “3-D tours make it super

in town are some of our favorite ways to relax

clients feel valued and appreciated during

easy for anyone to tour homes from any-

and unwind,” adds Jen. “We both enjoy early

each step of the process. They let trust and

where in the world,” Dave says, “which opens

morning beach walks and late afternoon

communication guide them in every transac-

up a whole new market and clientele for

apps on our favorite patios downtown. We

tion and give each situation their full attention.

businesses like ours.” Clients are even opting

also love The Strand, local volleyball games

Their clients have come to expect nothing less.

to purchase vacation homes in other areas

and the wonderful traditions—like the holiday

during the pandemic, so they can safely get

fireworks show and Hometown Fair—that our

away to a place they love without restrictions.

town offers every year.”

NO PLACE LIKE HOME

to support are local. Currently, Caskey &

For the Caskeys, there’s no place they’d

Caskey and Associates proudly sponsors

rather be than their beautiful hometown of

more than 40 local nonprofit organizations,

DAVE CASKEY & JEN CASKEY, OWNERS

Manhattan Beach. “We are beach people

including The Richstone Center and a kids’

1117 5TH ST., SUITE A, MANHATTAN BEACH

and love spending time on the sand and in

baseball team.

310-374-1800

Even many of the charities they choose

the water—surfing and paddling—with our

138

|

Buying and selling a home is a big deal,

CASKEY & CASKEY AND ASSOCIATES

CASKEYANDCASKEY.COM


ON THE MARKET

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

THE HOME OF YOUR DREAMS This magnificent estate entices the entire family to relax in the comfort of home. WRITTEN BY LAURA L. WATTS

140

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S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G S E C T I O N

ON THE MARKET

the Queen’s Necklace and a horse

A

a stunning entryway, and you can’t miss

barn are just a few of the welcom-

that view through 30-foot disappearing

ing amenities the next residents of

La Cantina doors. From your 800-square-

this dream estate will enjoy. Located in the

foot covered patio, the scenery includes

exclusive gated city of Rolling Hills, this prop-

Downtown Los Angeles, the majestic ocean

erty rests on more than 6 acres and features

and picturesque mountains.

n artist studio, a sweeping view of

everything the discerning homeowner might want or need.

Walk through the double Dutch doors into

Outdoor living beckons with a pool and spa; gourmet kitchen with built-in grill,

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141


O N T H E M A R K E T

outdoor range and pizza oven; and gazebo and fireplace. The property also boasts a henhouse, a large vegetable garden with potting shed and fruit trees throughout. You don’t have to leave home to get your workout, whether you play a match on the regulationsized tennis court or trot your horse from the six-stall barn to the riding corrals. Indoors, this incredible estate offers a truly timeless aesthetic. Sleek flooring flows throughout the 7,000-square-foot home and outdoor living spaces for a seamless indoor/ outdoor feel. Craftsmanship of the highest quality is evident in every luxurious element of the house, which has been meticulously updated with function and comfort in mind. The house features seven bedrooms—most with a patio and a view—as well as seven full baths and two half baths. Plentiful skylights and picture windows provide natural light throughout the home. The gourmet kitchen makes home-cooked meals a pleasure to prepare, with Wolf double ovens and appliances, a double fridge, a temperaturecontrolled walk-in pantry with adjacent wine room, and a wet bar that opens to the patio for easy entertaining. You’ll look forward to returning home each evening, when you can enjoy the view of city lights from most rooms in the house. It’s just what you’ve been looking for, so don’t hesitate to make this dream estate your reality.

PINE TREE LANE, ROLLING HILLS OFFERED AT $15,975,000 PALOS VERDES REALTY PALM REALTY BOUTIQUE KEITH KELLEY, BILL DAVIS, TONY PUMA PINETREELNESTATE.COM PALOSVERDESREALTY.COM   310-944-5554

142

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION


Sea Breeze, RPV

Trotwood Ave, SP

Eastvale, PVP

Country Lane, RHE

Mt. Rushmore, RPV

Fawnskin, RPV

Chesterfield Rd, RH

Rolling Vista Dr, Lom

Thank you to all the people I helped find or sell their homes in 2020!

Capitol Dr #68 SP

Capitol Dr #18 SP Harbor Sight Dr, RH

30th St, HB

Lindencliff St, Torr Oak St, Lom

Crestridge Rd, RPV

Gaucho Dr, RHE

310-753-6738  CINDYCHEW@EARTHLINK.NET  FACEBOOK.COM/CINDYCHEWREALTOR  CINDYCHEW.COM 


What type of home are YOU looking for? 2021 could be your year! Cindy is calm and reassuring but equally tough when it comes to taking a stand. Cindy knows Palos Verdes like nobody else. L.& J.H. Chestereld & Harbor Sight

Not only is she a pleasure to deal with, she also produces good results. We can condently recommend her. R.&A.M.B. Sea Breeze & Country Lane

I recommend Cindy for her excellent, unwavering and tireless work she did to sell my property. I have never had any Realtor expend even ¼ of the effort on my behalf as has Cindy, nor have any of them provided anything compared to her support and protection. D.B.

Because of Cindy’s skillful representation, I was chosen by the buyer without ending up in a bidding war. M.M. Mt. Rushmore & Trotwood

I needed a RE agent who knew the community and would handle the sale of the house with the utmost professionalism and empathy. Cindy worked hard on my behalf and was compassionate throughout. E.C.

Cindy is very knowledgeable and is always happy to go the extra mile to make sure you are completely comfortable and satised in either buying or selling. C.L.

Cindy was wonderful. I valued her experience and knowledge in the eld but I also appreciated her honesty and her sincerity. Cindy genuinely wants to see that people are well taken care of when buying. A.M.

Cindy consistently kept us updated, offered excellent advice and was incredibly responsive throughout. We feel that Cindy was really a partner in our home sale. P.J.H.

310-753-6738

CINDYCHEW@EARTHLINK.NET  CINDYCHEW.COM FACEBOOK.COM/ CINDYCHEWREALTOR

CINDY CHEW DRE #00868304

63 MALAGA COVE PLAZA, PVE 90274


LUXURY

COASTAL HOMES Brand new luxury coastal homes. Beautiful two and three bedroom homes built to the highest standards with Bosch appliances, light oak flooring and open floorplans. One home remaining at One South in South Redondo and a few homes left at Ten10 Santiago in San Clemente. Choose to live and work from home in an authentic beach town – with access to shops, restaurants and the beach – yet close enough to the City for business. Live life your way...

www.liveonesouth.com | 800 619 8957

www.Ten10Santiago.com | 800 619 8957

Prices, terms, specifications and descriptions are subject to change without notice. PV CAPE San Clemente, LLC (“Owner”) reserves the right to make changes to the homes and project. Any information such as but not limited to community or neighborhood, features, descriptions are not guaranteed, are subject to change or modification at any time. Home images, colors and sizes are for illustration purposes only. Speak to our representative for additional important disclosures for the community and the home. Equal Housing Opportunity. Offered via COMPASS CA BRE #01145421


JU

4225 Via Alondra, Palos Verdes Estates $1,610,000 | 2,426 square feet Located in the cherished Valmonte neighborhood, this 4 bedroom home is set high above the street with large picture windows in the living room and bedrooms, allowing for both privacy and tree-top views. The sharp kitchen opens to a lovely dining room and has direct access through a slider to the large, multi-level backyard that backs up to a wood chip trail offering the owners private access to an in-theknow nature path. Surrounded by fruit trees and rare succulents, the brick patio off of the kitchen is a wonderful place for entertaining and cooking outdoors. This great location is close to the shops and restaurants in Riviera Village and charming Malaga Cove.

310/938-9167 cariandbritt.com BRITT: BRE# 01799654 CARI: BRE# 00850678

ST

CL

OS

ED


Let the Sun Shine in Imagine sitting on your private deck, gazing out over the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island where your days are enchanted by the plumes of migrating whales and your evenings are enhanced by the spectacular colors of the sunset. This rare, contemporary coastal Spanish home has breathtaking views of the golf course, ocean and neighboring Terranea Resort. Tucked away in an exquisite location on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, this impeccable residence offers more than 6,000 square feet of indoor and covered outdoor living space. Comprising more than 1/3 acre of land, this stunning new five-bedroom, seven-bathroom home is adorned with vaulted wood beam ceilings and wide-plank, matte-finish,

European oak wood floors. Custom cabinetry and smart-home automatio are just some of the many features that elevate this property to the next level. This prized home enjoys sweeping vistas of the golf course along the west side of the property and the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island along the south side. Meticulously constructed over the past two years, this new home offers a quintessential Southern California coastal lifestyle: dining, shopping, spa, golf, parks, beaches, biking, kayaking, paddleboarding, hiking and exploring all await. Consider this an opportunity to escape the mundane … and live a life of splendor.

TERRANEA RESORT’S FLOWERFIELD TRAIL RUNS ALONG THE FRONT, LEADING TO COASTAL TRAILS, THE BEACH, THE RESORT AND PLENTIFUL ACCESS TO OPEN SPACE IDEAL FOR NATURE LOVERS.

21 NANTASKET DRIVE RANCHO PALOS VERDES 5 BD | 7 BA | 5251 SqFt OFFERED AT $5,899,000 TRICIA RAPAPORT THE GO-TO REALTOR RE/MAX ESTATE PROPERTIES 310-704-4922 TRAPAPORT@REMAXPV.COM DRE #01339473


29CrestEast.com CrestEast.com 29

LIVE ON YOUR OWN ACRE PRIVATE PENINSULA LIVE LIVEON ONYOUR YOUROWN OWN7 7ACRE ACREPRIVATE PRIVATEPENINSULA PENINSULA LIVE ON YOUR OWN 77 ACRE PRIVATE PENINSULA Kevin and Brigitte Pratt Kevin and Brigitte Pratt Kevin and Brigitte Pratt Kevin and Brigitte Pratt REALTOR® | Lic# 01023090 | Lic# 01910418 REALTOR® | Lic# 01023090 | Lic# 01910418 REALTOR® | Lic# 01023090 | Lic# 01910418 REALTOR® | Lic# 01023090 | Lic# 01910418

kpratt@strandhill.com || bpratt@strandhill.com kpratt@strandhill.com || bpratt@strandhill.com kpratt@strandhill.com bpratt@strandhill.com kpratt@strandhill.com bpratt@strandhill.com 310.738.2348 | 310.613.6609 310.738.2348 | 310.613.6609 310.738.2348 | 310.613.6609 310.738.2348 | 310.613.6609 1131 Morningside Drive, Manhattan Beach 1131 Morningside Drive, Manhattan Beach 1131 Morningside Drive, Manhattan Beach 1131 Morningside Drive, Manhattan Beach

HOME THE FINEST COLLECTION HOME TO TO THE FINEST COLLECTION HOME THE FINEST COLLECTION HOME TO TO THE FINEST COLLECTION REAL ESTATE EXPERTS IN THE SOUTH BAY. OF OF REAL ESTATE EXPERTS IN THE SOUTH BAY. REAL ESTATE EXPERTS IN THE SOUTH BAY. OF OF REAL ESTATE EXPERTS IN THE SOUTH BAY.

STRANDHILL.COM STRANDHILL.COM STRANDHILL.COM STRANDHILL.COM

STRANDHILL|CHRISTIE’SINTERNATIONALREALESTATELICENSE#01968431.THEINFORMATIONCONTAINEDINTHISDOCUMENT,INCLUDING,BUTNOTLIMITEDTO,SQUAREFOOTAGEAND/ORACREAGE,HASBEENPROVIDEDBYVARIOUS STRANDHILL|CHRISTIE’SINTERNATIONALREALESTATELICENSE#01968431.THEINFORMATIONCONTAINEDINTHISDOCUMENT,INCLUDING,BUTNOTLIMITEDTO,SQUAREFOOTAGEAND/ORACREAGE,HASBEENPROVIDEDBYVARIOUS STRANDHILL |CHRISTIE’S INTERNATIONAL REALESTATE LICENSE #01968431. THEINFORMATION CONTAINED INTHISDOCUMENT, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, SQUARE FOOTAGE HASBEEN BYVARIOUS SOURCES WHICH MAY INCLUDE THE SELLER, PUBLIC RECORDS, THE LISTING SERVICE OTHER SOURCES. BROKER HAS NOT AND WILL NOT INVESTIGATE ORAND/OR VERIFYACREAGE, THEHAS ACCURACY OFPROVIDED THISBYINFORMATION. STRAND HILL |CHRISTIE’S INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE LICENSE #01968431. THEMULTIPLE INFORMATION CONTAINED INOR THIS DOCUMENT, INCLUDING, NOT LIMITED SQUARE FOOTAGE BEEN VARIOUS SOURCES WHICH MAY INCLUDE THE SELLER, PUBLIC RECORDS, THE MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE OR OTHER SOURCES. BROKER HASBUT NOT AND WILL TO, NOT INVESTIGATE ORAND/OR VERIFYACREAGE, THE ACCURACY OFPROVIDED THIS INFORMATION. SOURCES WHICH MAY INCLUDE THE SELLER, PUBLIC RECORDS, THE MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE OR OTHER SOURCES. BROKER HAS NOT AND WILL NOT INVESTIGATE OR VERIFY THE ACCURACY OF THIS INFORMATION. SOURCES WHICH MAY INCLUDE THE SELLER, PUBLIC RECORDS, THE MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE OR OTHER SOURCES. BROKER HAS NOT AND WILL NOT INVESTIGATE OR VERIFY THE ACCURACY OF THIS INFORMATION.


LI NE ST W IN G

LI NE ST W IN G

32033 Cape Point, Rancho Palos Verdes $8,688,000 | 6 Bd | 9 Ba | 7,100 sq.ft | 23,261 sq.ft lot | 3 Car Garage www.golfersdreamhome.com

LI NE ST W IN G

941 Via Nogales, Palos Verdes Estates $9,888,000 | 5 Bd | 8 Ba | 7,434 sq.ft | 20,296 sq.ft lot | 3 Car Garage www.palosverdesbestviewhome.com

Rancho Palos Verdes $7,298,000 | 4 Bd | 6 Ba | 8,320 sq.ft | 24,377 sq.ft lot | 3 Car Garage www.elegantvillabythesea.com

LE FO AS R E

905 Via Del Monte, Palos Verdes Estates $6,998,000 | 6 Bd | 7 Ba | 6,000 sq.ft | 13,080 sq.ft lot | 3 Car Garage www.905viadelmonte.com

38 Via Del Cielo, Rancho Palos Verdes

605 Paseo Del Mar, Palos Verdes Estates

$4,380,000 | 7 Bd | 8 Ba | 6,288 sq.ft | 24,296 sq.ft lot | 3 Car Garage www.38viadelcielo.com

$28,000/Month | 6 Bd | 7 Ba | 6,872 sq.ft | 32,943 sq.ft lot | 3 Car Garage

LILY LIANG

L.COM

EDBYVARIOUS FORMATION.

HOME TO THE FINEST COLLECTION HOME TOESTATE THE FINEST COLLECTION OF REAL EXPERTS IN THE SOUTH BAY. OF REAL ESTATE EXPERTS IN THE SOUTH BAY.

+1 310 373 3333 STRANDHILL.COM STRANDHILL.COM

STRAND HILL | CHRISTIE’S INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE LICENSE #01968431. THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS DOCUMENT, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, SQUARE FOOTAGE AND/OR

STRAND HILL|CHRISTIE’S REAL ESTATELICENSE #01968431. THE INFORMATION INTHIS DOCUMENT, INCLUDING, BUTNOTLIMITED TO,SQUARE FOOTAGE AND/OR ACREAGE,HAS BEENPROVIDED BYVARIOUS ACREAGE, HAS BEENINTERNATIONAL PROVIDED BY VARIOUS SOURCES WHICH MAY INCLUDE CONTAINED THE SELLER, PUBLIC RECORDS, THE MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE OR OTHER SOURCES. BROKER HAS NOT AND WILL SOURCES WHICH MAY INCLUDE THE SELLER, PUBLIC RECORDS, THE MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE OR OTHER SOURCES. BROKER HAS NOT AND WILL NOT INVESTIGATE OR VERIFY THE ACCURACY OF THIS INFORMATION.

NOT INVESTIGATE OR VERIFY THE ACCURACY OF THIS INFORMATION.

lily@lilyliang.com | www.lilyliang.com 550 Silver Spur Road, Suite 240, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274 BRE# 00837794


The Strand

Manhattan Beach, CA

ChhabriaRE.com/2316TheStrand

$17,500,000

Coastal Contemporary

|

Built 2016

|

5,475 SF with 6 BDs & 7 BAs

|

Stunning Ocean Views

Colt Road

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

$4,450,000

ChhabriaRE.com/2800ColtRoad

Panoramic city lights, ocean and the harbor views

Raju Chhabria BRE: 00874072

|

Built 2019

Philo Chhabria BRE: 00897605

ChhabriaRE.com

|

3,740 SF

Neil Chhabria BRE: 01821437

(310) 902-7227

|

Over 1/2 acre lot

Anand Chhabria BRE: 01908741

chhabria.realestate

Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed, buyer to conduct own investigations.

|

5 BDs & 4 BAs


2020: A YEAR IN REVIEW

# OF UNITS SOLD

100+

SALES VOLUME

$71,000,000+

WE HELPED OUR SELLERS GET TOP DOLLAR FOR THEIR HOME, WE CAN HELP YOU TOO! CALL US TODAY FOR OUR MARKETING PLAN. 310.740.5742 | HELLO@THEKONDOGROUP.COM |

WWW.THEKONDOGROUP.COM

DRE #01438455 | DRE #01969527 | DRE #01965939 | DRE #02013555 | DRE #01958495 | DRE #01928661 | DRE #01953697 | DRE #01963711 | DRE #01972569 | DRE #02026278 | DRE #02013555 | DRE#01999701

TOP RANKED REAL ESTATE TEAM


HOME FILMS

HOME FILMS

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LAST WORD

Hold the Stage A PALOS VERDES THEATRE PROFESSIONAL SHARES WHY WE NEED LIVE THEATRE … MORE THAN EVER. Written by Jenn Robbins | Illustrated by Nikki Smith

“I regard the theatre as the greatest of art forms, the most

fact, during the influenza pandemic of 1918, it was Hollywood

another the sense of what it is to be a human being.”

theatre owners—having been among the first business owners

– Oscar Wilde Lighting up the 2021 inaugural stage, youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman gave us a glimpse as to why theatre, in its

and city council demanding citywide cooperation. Wearing controversial white “flu fences,” they argued for the closure of all nonessential businesses and the mandated wearing

forms. By bravely sharing her humanity, Amanda invited the

of masks. Only if everyone came together, they argued, and acted

audience to sense its own. Against the backdrop of COVID-19,

swiftly and completely, could Angelenos restore their own health

the worldwide Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, and a cul-

and open the bustling economy once more. Theatre reflects society. It raises up voices and challenges us

invited us to confront, heal and act—in a way that only theatre

to do better. As in Amanda’s embodied performance, theatre

can. Some say she stole the show.

invites us to confront the past, face the present and change our

And it was quite a show. We listened to songs from Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, rousing speeches and ceremonious prayers. We marveled at the regal, jewel-toned coats and

future. We listen, watch and breathe through the tension and joy of the unknown as one. I desperately miss live performances. I long for that pre-

matching masks, and Garth Brooks in a cowboy hat lunging for

pandemic shared experience of laughter, tears, candy wrappers

hugs. The show contained no second camera takes or postpro-

and snores. As an actor, I never thought I would long for the

duction magic. It was imperfectly wonderful, risky and live.

sound of a woman in the front row shout-whispering “What

The familiar players and scenes of presidential inaugurations

|

forced to shutter their doors—who descended upon the mayor

immediacy, is what Oscar Wilde called the greatest of art

ture of racism and violence, her transformational performance

154

Theatre is political. It is necessary for a healthy society. In

immediate way in which a human being can share with

did she say?” But I do. Like so many imperfect, spontaneous

took on new meaning, as if to defy the dark moment of the at-

things before, I long for all of it. I long for the day when we

tack on the Capitol weeks before. It was theatre.

hear and see—what Amanda said—together. ■


TORRANCE MEMORIAL’S LUNDQUIST ORTHOPEDIC INSTITUTE IS THE LEADER IN THE SOUTH BAY. Our

te a m o f m u l t i - d i s c i p l i n a r y e x p e r t s o ff e r s o n e o f t h e m o s t advanced, comprehensive, and minimally invasive orthopedic care programs in Souther n Califor nia, including Mako® robotic arm-assisted technology. We have the expertise and the experience with three times the number of orthopedic cases than any other hospital in the South Bay.* We'll help you get back to doing what you love faster and healthier. Lear n more TorranceMemorial.org/Ortho

Do More of What Moves You

"I was in a lot of pain leading up my life back." LUNDQUIST ORTHOPEDIC INSTITUTE

*Reflects inpatient cases reported to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) 2019 data.

- Jill Lynch, Yoga Instructor & Bilateral Hip Replacement Patient

Profile for Moon Tide Media

Southbay February/March 2021  

Southbay February/March 2021