Southbay September | October 2022

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THE WOMEN’S ISSUE

Get in Formation THE WOMEN OF ANGEL CITY FOOTBALL CLUB ARE READY TO LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD

SOUTHBAY.GOLDENSTATE.IS

SIX DOLLARS

SEPT/OCT 2022


More Neuro Experts.

TORRANCE MEMORIAL AND CEDARS-SINAI’S AFFILIATION BRINGS MORE EXPERT CARE AND INNOVATION TO THE SOUTH BAY. More access to state-of-the-art technology and minimally invasive treatments. More multidisciplinary specialists and clinical research. More expert care for our patients and the South Bay. Learn more at MoreNeuroExperts.org Left to Right: Richard Krauthamer, MD, Interventional Radiologist; Jeffrey Quinn, MD, Neurologist; Paula Eboli, MD, Neurosurgeon; Ben Tseng, MD, Neurologist. Opposing page: Monquen Huang, MD, Neurologist.


More Innovation.








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THANK YOU TO ALL OF THE FANS WHO SUPPORTED THE RACERS

WE ALSO WANT TO THANK FAMILIES FOR BRINGING THEIR KIDS TO THE CHEVRON KIDS ZONE

SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!

A Proud Member of the Community Since 1911


THE LUNDQUIST INSTITUTE ON THE CUTTING EDGE OF

SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY INCLUDING

BIRTH CONTROL FOR MEN

Not just women, but one man after another has come to our institute, telling us that it was time for men to step up and take responsibility for birth control. Here at the Lundquist, our researchers have been ahead of the curve and running clinical trials with NIH sponsorship on various male birth control methods including contraceptive gels, oral pills, and long-term injectables. So far, these trials have shown that a totally reversible inhibition of sperm production could be successful, without showing any change in mood or sexual function. Once FDA approved and on the market, we already know that more than 40% of unplanned pregnancies would be avoided with better and more effective male contraception options. The Lundquist Institute is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. One of our hallmarks during the last 70 years is knowing that our award-winning researchers work every day at the cutting edge of scientific discovery.

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38 COWGIRL SURFING BeachLife Ranch

46 DARK INTO LIGHT Isabelle Gray

62 GRACE UNDER FIRE El Segundo Fire Chief Deena Lee

66 STRINGS ATTACHED Violinist Emily V

88 LIKE MOTHER, LIKE DAUGHTER Vickie Bronaugh and Mary Bronaugh

92 AN INTIMATE DIRECTION Intimacy Coordinator Katie Groves

98 YOUNG AT ART Young Artist Society

104 BEYOND BORDERS Sophie Daushvili-Schoenfeld

120 TRAVEL San Miguel de Allende

98 126

142

88

HORSE OF KINGS From Southern Spain to Palos Verdes

142 LISTEN CLOSELY Jereme Butler, MD

144 CHOOSING MAGIC Author Karina Pacific

242 LAST WORD Class Dismissed


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32

32

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AMPED UP

THE PERFECT FIT

NEW IN TOWN

Buoyed by twin passions of surfing and

A Manhattan Beach interior designer

Amico Salon

running her own video production company,

reinvents her Mediterranean-style home in

Redondo Beach’s Marci Klein is riding high.

the Sand Section with nuances blending East Coast and West Coast.

52

AGENT SPOTLIGHT 70 Lauren Forbes Group

RIGHTING A WRONG

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Like many Manhattan Beach residents,

SALTWATER & SISTERHOOD

Jen Caskey Group

Kavon Ward had never heard the history of

Lawyer, surfer and social changemaker

106

Bruce’s Beach. But once she did, she knew

Becky Mendoza is promoting women’s

Accardo Real Estate Associates

she couldn’t rest until justice was served.

empowerment by riding waves.

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ALSO...

Homes by America Michael Team

DOWN TO EARTH Sleek silhouettes along with warm, neutral

160 BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

tones and bold geometric accessories fashion

42

an alluring preview of the fall season.

Maison Luxe

PROFILES Women of the South Bay

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230

108

Treasures Interior Design

REAL ESTATE

JUST LIKE HEAVEN

116

Spectacular local listings

Angel City Football Club is a powerful

Beach Life Fitness Boutique

beacon of positive change. Los Angeles’

130

newest professional soccer team is also a

The Portofino Hotel & Marina

movement for equal rights, a women-led

146

COVER

model of entrepreneurship, a celebration of

Tapizôn

The women of Angel City

diversity and an incubator of community.

Football Club

58

Photograph courtesy of

IN GOOD HEALTH

Angel City Football Club

Coastal Anti-Aging Medical Group




EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

PUBLISHER

Darren Elms

Michelle Villas

Amy Tetherow | 424-220-6338

COPY EDITOR

GRAPHIC DESIGNERS

Laura Watts

Ajay Peckham and Yuiko Sugino

DIRECTOR OF BRAND PARTNERSHIPS

DEPUTY EDITORS

DIGITAL MARKETING

erika@thegoldenstatecompany.com

Bonnie Graves (Food & Wine)

Paul Fisher

amy@thegoldenstatecompany.com

Erika Carrion | 310-897-2424

Kara Mickelson (Food Style)

DIRECTOR OF BRAND PARTNERSHIPS

Tanya Monaghan (Style)

PHOTOGRAPHERS

Marcie Gutierrez | 424-220-6337

Jennie Nunn (Home)

Jeff Berting, Siri Berting,

marcie@thegoldenstatecompany.com

Adelaide Brannan, Grant Ellis, WRITERS & CONTRIBUTORS

Tameka Jacobs, Kat Monk,

Diane E. Barber, Ashtyn Douglas-Rosa,

Shane O’Donnell, Monica Orozco,

DIRECTOR OF BRAND PARTNERSHIPS Jen Turquand | 310-528-5351

Evy Gallagher, Michele Garber, Amber

Ken Pagliaro, Azahara Perez,

jen.turquand@thegoldenstatecompany.com

Klinck, Kailani Melvin, Kat Monk, Gail

Lauren Pressey, Kelly Sweda

Phinney, Brenda Randall, Quinn Roberts, Cat Sherwin, Nancy Sokoler Steiner

SOUTHBAY IS A DIVISION OF THE GOLDEN STATE COMPANY

MANAGING PARTNERS Charlie Koones

Todd Klawin

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 ACCOUNTING | Emilie Artacho, Janet De La Cruz, Tanisha Holcomb 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


Dream Big Another year has flown by, and here we are celebrat-

red carpet, etc. I guess my point is: Whatever your dream

ing our annual Women’s Issue again! I am officially old

was as a child, you can be anything you want to be.

because I am always talking about how time is flying.

Always dream big!

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an actress, a

I have been at Southbay magazine for six years now,

store lady (I think that meant a cashier at McCowans

and it has truly been an amazing experience. I am

Market) and a singer when I grew up. Turns out I didn’t

blessed with a wonderful team, mainly made of women.

become any of those things. I do love to sing, but I am

We all respect one another and love what we do for our

shy about it—and some might say I’m a bit dramatic

community. I hope you feel that as you read through the

at times. The closest I came to a store lady was when

pages of one of our most adored issues.

I worked at The Limited at the Courtyard Mall in Palos

And I hope to see you at our event on September 24 at

Verdes (you are truly from the South Bay if you know

Resin in Hermosa Beach to celebrate this issue and all the

this mall). I bailed after folding too many T-shirts with a

dynamic women in our community! Here’s to the ladies!

clipboard and taking different sizes of Forenza jeans and Outback Red button-downs to customers. Bye! The truth of the matter is, I have tried on different versions of myself throughout the years to see what fit

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career-wise. I was a nanny, an executive assistant to a

Amy Tetherow

CEO, sold corporate events, walked celebrities down the

Publisher


ERIKA CARRION | Erika has South American roots, having grown up in Chile. She has been a South Bay resident for 25+ years and loves the small-community beach lifestyle. Erika has been with Southbay for 11 years, working with local businesses across all categories. She loves traveling, music and dance. When not at work, she spends quality time with family and friends, soaking up the South Bay sun.

MARCIE GUTIERREZ | Marcie is a South Bay native living in Rancho Palos Verdes with her husband and two sons. She worked in the newspaper field for 26+ years before landing at Southbay for the last six. She helps Realtors, wealth management teams and insurance agents with their brand message and strategic campaigns. Marcie enjoys travel, reading, the beach, and the sun and cool ocean breezes.

JEN TURQUAND | As a five-decade South Bay resident, Jen loves the fun-in-the-sun atmosphere of the Beach Cities. She works with medical, wellness and fitness clients as well as local restaurants. Moving from national corporate ad sales to Southbay has afforded her the opportunity to help local businesses, turn clients into friends and truly appreciate the lifestyle our community offers.

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- Celebrating the Release of the 2022 Women's Issue -

E • LIVE SPEAKERS • CURATED EXHIBIT • SOUNDBATH • AN EXPLORATION OF THE DIVINE FEMININE RISING • OVER FORTY LOCAL FEMALE ARTISTS • LIVE MUSIC • DJ ERIN VEE • LIVE SPEAKERS • CURAT

• SOUNDBATH • AN EXPLORATION OF THE DIVINE FEMININE RISING • OVER FORTY LOCAL FEMALE ARTISTS • LIVE MUSIC • DJ ERIN VEE • LIVE SPEAKERS • CURATED EXHIBIT • SOUNDBATH • AN EXPLORA

HE DIVINE FEMININE RISING • OVER FORTY LOCAL FEMALE ARTISTS • LIVE MUSIC • DJ ERIN VEE • LIVE SPEAKERS • CURATED EXHIBIT • SOUNDBATH • AN EXPLORATION OF THE DIVINE FEMININE RISING •

618 CYPRESS AVE HERMOSA BEACH

SATURDAY, SEPT 24 // 4 - 9PM


SEPTEMBER/ OCTOBER 2022 She Rocks Violinist Emily V is a little bit Janis and a little bit Stradivarius. More on page 66.



amped up BUOYED BY TWIN PASSIONS OF SURFING AND RUNNING HER OWN VIDEO PRODUCTION COMPANY, REDONDO BEACH’S MARCI KLEIN IS RIDING HIGH. Written by Nancy Sokoler Steiner | Photographed by Jeff Berting



It’s a Friday morning, which means

differences in the picture,” Marci says. She instructed

Marci Klein is catching the waves

the cameraman to shoot 23.98, referring to the frames

in Redondo Beach. There’s plenty of

per second. “It’s more cinematic.” With the teleprompter ready, Marci coached Chandra

work waiting for her at the office,

before beginning to shoot. “You’re going to be looking

but Friday mornings are reserved for

directly at the camera. I’ll have you do two takes so we

surfing, which feels as vital to her as, well, water. “Surfing grounds me,” says Marci, who lives with

have a backup. Be yourself and have fun.” Marci’s work benefits from her background in television production. Starting as a production assistant, she climbed the ranks to roles of director, supervis-

her family in Redondo, 12 blocks from the beach. She

ing producer and senior producer. She worked on E!

lived on the Westside only a year before realizing she

Entertainment Television, Dr. Phil and Inside Edition and

needed to be closer to the water. “It refreshes me and

directed Greg Kinnear’s first network television show,

helps me be my best self. Half my ideas come to me in

Best of the Worst. She is a member of both the Directors

the water.”

Guild and the Producers Guild of America.

She learned the sport while attending UC San Diego,

A career highlight involved working on Dick Clark’s

where the campus overlooks La Jolla’s beaches. “The

Your Big Break, which she describes as “American Idol

boys were doing it, and I love the beach, so I would

before its time.” Marci produced videos about the con-

surf with the guys from school,” says Marci, a self-

testants—all hoping for their big break—which aired

described tomboy who played tennis in high school and

before they performed. She traveled around the country

learned to fly-fish from her father. “I was one of the

to film the vignettes.

few female surfers at the time.” Smitten, she gave up tennis to spend more time in

She left television production to raise her two sons, now 17 and 18, with her husband, Ken. In time, she

the water. “Some people go to church or do yoga. For

started making videos for friends and acquaintances.

me, surfing is a spiritual experience where I can con-

There were bar mitzvah and vacation videos, and a video

nect with myself,” she says, noting that she can adjust

for a plastic surgeon performing a pro bono makeover.

her work schedule to accommodate her passion. Marci, who has taken solo surfing trips to Bali and

In 2017 Marci found office and studio space five blocks from the Redondo Beach Pier and formally

Costa Rica, gets in the water whenever she can. “If the

opened her business. Working with real estate clients,

waves are good, I go,” she says.

she decided she needed a drone, which at that time

Her video production company, Klein Creative Media,

required users to be licensed pilots. Despite her fear of

creates promotional videos for businesses and indi-

heights, Marci became a sport pilot at the age of 50.

viduals. A recent job took her to Laguna Hills to film

Drone piloting has come in handy for many shoots,

vignettes of therapist Chandra Baylor describing her

including the San Diego-based launch of a newly built

nine areas of specialization.

ship for a major shipping company. Her footage aired

There, Marci and her camera operator replaced set lights and a chair to take advantage of the natural light

on the local news. She is currently working on Fly Girls, a documentary

in the room. They tinkered with Chandra’s angle and

about five flight attendants learning to become com-

the items in the background, taking photographs to get

mercial pilots through a program with a major airline.

the framing just right. “Small adjustments make big

The women have become a support group for one

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35


another. Marci has followed them for a year and will track them until they interview for pilot positions with their airline. She has embraced her South Bay community, serving as a public arts commissioner for the city of Redondo Beach and the member services chair for the Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce. She sits on the board of Waterfront Education, a nonprofit designed to educate students and the public about ocean stewardship through hands-on programs, classes and summer camps. Marci and Ken belong to the King Harbor Yacht Club and last year purchased a 35-foot motor yacht, which

“SURFING GROUNDS ME. IT REFRESHES ME AND HELPS ME BE MY BEST SELF. HALF MY IDEAS COME TO ME IN THE WATER.”

they named the Mar Sea. “It’s like having an oceanfront house,” says Marci, who recently took the vessel on a girls’ trip to Catalina with two friends. The South Bay lifestyle clearly agrees with her. “I’m

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really grateful because I’m living my best life,” she says. “I can’t believe I’m so fortunate.” ■


CUSTOM, CONTEMPORARY, CLASSIC

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Cowgirl Surfing THE SECOND BEACHLIFE EVENT OF 2022 GRACES THE SOUTH BAY IN SEPTEMBER. THIS TIME, IN BOOTS. Written by Kat Monk

Western style has taken hold of many unsuspecting households since Yellowstone became a beloved hit

Starting Friday, September 16, the festival kicks off

television series. Maybe you have been hankering for an

with some Americana favorites: The Lumineers with

opportunity to don some fringe and cowboy boots.

none other than Old Crow Medicine Show. Both bands

Well, you’re in luck … BeachLife Ranch is bringing

are sure to bring the house down. While I have never

country music and Americana to the warm sounds of

thought of Hall & Oates as Americana, the nostalgic

the South Bay on September 16–18. BeachLife Festival

folks here in the South Bay are beyond excited to see

founder Allen Sanford says the annual event “brings

them perform their hits.

together two different cultures, finds the common

Ashley McBryde

ground and throws a party right on that spot.”

Going a bit deeper into the South, some good

Cam


Brandi Carlile


Tenille Townes

old-fashioned country music takes the stage on

with her hits “The Joke,” “The Mother” and “The Eye”

Saturday. Grab some “Beers on Me” with the one and

or “The Story.” Oozing with talent, this self-taught

only Dierks Bentley, and just maybe his alter ego ’90s

musical supernova crosses genres on the banjo, guitar

parody band Hot Country Knights will make an appear-

and piano.

ance. Dierks’ guitar player, Charlie Worsham, formerly

talented offspring Lukas Nelson playing with his band

a solo career of his own and was recently inducted into

Promise of the Real at Saint Rocke, but after his perfor-

the Grand Ole Opry family.

mance playing guitar for the character Jackson Maine in

but son Shooter Jennings and an all-star cast will play Waylon’s songs with heavy hitters like Ashley McBryde,

the recent adaptation of A Star is Born, anyone would be lucky to see him in a venue of that size these days. Drive-By Truckers is sure to be a huge hit. This

Yelawolf, Devon Allman, John Doe, Lukas Nelson and

Americana band has been based in Athens, Georgia,

lead guitarist for the Foo Fighters, Chris Shiflett.

since 1996.

And don’t miss Tenille Townes. This beauty with her

“BeachLife Ranch is a celebration of the cowboy-

white cowboy boots and customized guitar hails from

surfer way of life—women, men, children and families

Canada but sings straight out of Nashville. If you get

who make memories weekend barbecuing and listing to

a chance, there is an amazing video clip of her “killin’

tunes, whether on a ranch or at the beach,” adds Allen.

some time in the dressing room” and belting out Dolly

So whether you city slickers prefer a band on the Hither

Parton’s “Jolene” on Instagram.

stage or the Yonder stage, true music lovers will not be

Americana and alternative country reclaim the stage on Sunday. Brandi Carlile takes over the main stage

|

Not that long ago, you could see Willie Nelson’s

a moonlight player in Old Crow Medicine Show, enjoys

Original outlaw Waylon Jennings passed away in 2002,

40

Maddie & Tae

disappointed. ■


There’s a better way to do high school.

Vistamar prepares students with the skills they need to excel in college & life.

Join us at an open house: Sept. 10, Oct. 22, Dec. 10

Learn more at vistamarschool.org/admissions

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C AT E G O R Y

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

THE STYLE GUIDE Talented interior designer Carrie Quinn draws clients in with a friendly smile and a listening ear. WRITTEN BY LAURA L. WATTS | PHOTOGRAPHED BY SIRI BERTING

S

ettle in for a cozy, openhearted

I have enough information to make choices

FULL-SERVICE SOLUTIONS

conversation with a friendly profes-

that reflect what my clients want.”

Carrie offers complete design services for

sional who focuses all her attention

existing homes—right down to bedding and DESIGN DIRECTION

accessories—as well as styling and staging

est desires and goals. No, it’s not a session

Carrie has seen many changes in the indus-

for remodels and new construction. A couple

with your therapist—it’s a consultation

try over the years. Much of the transforma-

of her staple services are window treatments

with Carrie Quinn, an experienced interior

tion is due to technology, with the availability

and rugs.

designer who knows home style as well as

of items online. “When I grew up in this busi-

she knows people.

ness,” she shares, “there were showrooms

is a lot of linen fabrics, simple and not pat-

on you while you share your deep-

“I’m a really good listener,” she shares. “For

The current trend for window treatments

all along Robertson Boulevard and Melrose.

terned. Carrie and her team install shades—

clients who don’t know how to express what

The Pacific Design Center was full of show-

grass, automated, Roman—and stylish

they’re trying to convey about their house,

rooms. They’re all gone now. Everything’s

draperies with custom iron rods and rings.

I’m really intuitive and can pick up the vibe

online unless you go to the trade shows.”

of what they want just from their personality

A hot choice right now for rugs is the

And that’s exactly what she does, attend-

Amber Lewis brand, and Maison Luxe is one

ing trade shows in Las Vegas and High Point,

of the few dealers in the area to carry them.

North Carolina, several times a year. It helps

“They are a great price point and they look

similar to being a therapist? “For sure!” she

her stay on trend with her design recom-

vintage, but they are power-loomed,” Carrie

laughs. “I get to be a moderator, the tie-

mendations. She enjoys taking her team

explains. “So you have the look of an antique

breaker. I use my people skills and listening

with her on these buying trips, including her

rug but the maintenance of an inexpensive

skills a lot in this industry, and that’s part of

assistant, Allie. “I couldn’t do these projects

rug. People are going crazy for them.”

what makes me a good interior designer …

without her!” Carrie says.

or looking at a picture.” So is working as an interior designer

and therapist!”

With everyone shopping online these

Once they are equipped with the latest the trade shows have to offer, Carrie and

LEANING ON INTUITION

her team are better able to collaborate with

A graduate of the Fashion Institute of

clients—mixing Carrie’s professional ideas,

Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles,

the client’s aspirations and the budget. “The

Carrie has more than three decades of

end result is always a fun surprise—you don’t

experience in the world of interior design.

ever know in advance what it’s going to look

Over the years she has learned to use

like 100%,” she says.

instincts in her work, rather than decorating with a formula. “I need to know my clients’ tastes, desires

They also take new ideas home to Maison Luxe, the retail store Carrie opened in Hermosa Beach. Customers love the vibe and

and even some of their life stories, as this all

how the store changes things frequently. In

plays into creating interior spaces that are

addition to the products they always carry,

reflections of the lives they lead,” she says. “I

like pillows, artwork, frames and upholstery,

observe subtle clues, verbal exchanges, the

they’ve been trying new things—like fashion

homes they already live in and the things

items: sundresses, hats, sandals. “We don’t

that excite them. I then can trust my gut that

want you to get bored!” she says, smiling. |

43


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

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

days, Maison Luxe also has a strong

with girlfriends would be a highlight of the

e-commerce presence. Carrie and her team

day, and the afternoon might include a chat

frequently add products to their website.

with her two grown sons, who both take after their mom and have an eye for quality

HOME, SWEET HOME

home goods. And the evening would center

At her own home, Carrie keeps things

around a good movie, some sushi, and her

neutral with plenty of texture. “I have a lot

snuggle-buddy Naya by her side.

of color and patterns in my store, but when

A veteran interior designer of more than

I come home, I like it serene and calm,” she

20 years, Carrie is in her element when she’s

points out. “I find it easy to live in an all-white

working with clients who are appreciative of

house with sisal, seagrass and neutral art-

her tips and tricks—regardless of their budget.

work. Most of my pieces are classic—I’ve had

She’s happy to share her expertise, and fre-

them a long time. My style is contemporary

quently clients become her personal friends.

neoclassical with a bit of beach-bohemian

With her engaging personality and her rare

mixed in. Not a lot of clutter. Because I’m

ability to focus all her attention on the person

dealing with so many items at the store, I

in front of her, it’s easy to see why!

need to have zen at home.” A perfect day off might include a walk by the ocean with Naya, her rescue dog

MAISON LUXE

who is a blond German shepherd. Carrie

138 PIER AVE., HERMOSA BEACH

would likely devote some time to self-care,

SALES@MAISONLUXEHOME.COM

like meditating or getting a massage. Lunch

MAISONLUXEHOME.COM

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Jordan’s Keck Effect

FROM PAIN TO PLAYING AGAIN The experts at USC Epstein Family Center for Sports Medicine treat all kinds of sports injuries, from simple to complex. Whether you’re an athlete or a weekend warrior, the official physicians of the LA Kings and USC intercollegiate athletes can get you back in top shape. We provide a full range of services, including orthopaedic urgent care, non-invasive treatments and personalized care plans in El Segundo at the state-of-the-art Toyota Sports Performance Center. We’ll treat you like a pro. Together we are limitless.

USC EPSTEIN FAMILY CENTER FOR SPORTS MEDICINE • (323) 402-6253 • KeckMedicine.org/ToyotaSportsMed

© 2022 Keck Medicine of USC



Dark Into Light WHEN ISABELLE GRAY ALLOWED HERSELF TO SINK INTO PAIN, FEAR, DOUBT AND DISCOMFORT, THAT WAS THE MOMENT SHE CHANGED AND RECLAIMED HERSELF. Written by Tanya Monaghan | Photographed by Kelly Sweda

Isabelle Gray is driving a female empowerment move-

I’m like, ‘I’m not postpartum. I work out. I get dressed

ment. Her programs, courses and therapeutic sessions

up every day. I throw the best parties. I’m good.’ But I

through her business A Touch Of have helped many heal

was not. I was dying inside. It makes me almost want

from past trauma, connect to their deeper selves and un-

to cry just thinking about it.”

leash the potential to live happier, more fulfilling lives. At age 26 Isabelle moved from Belgium to the United

For Isabelle, having her son was pivotal in her journey to self-realization. “There was so much love that

States with her American husband. In her home coun-

came in, that the love for myself had no room,” she

try, she had a cozy life, living in an apartment in an old

says. “There was such a big clash that I started devel-

abbey above a bakery. She would wake to the comfort-

oping obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) behavior,

ing smell of bread baking before heading off to work.

and I had nightmares and fears that just were not

Yet she was independent, openhearted and ready to

relevant.” Though she wanted to forge her own path

spread her wings.

as a new mother, she found herself repeating the same

The young couple first moved to the Bay Area, then to Spokane, Washington, and then finally to Los

patterns as her mother had done. Bewildered, she delved deeper and awoke to the real-

Angeles. Getting a green card was difficult, and she in-

ization that she was codependent on her husband. “This

advertently became dependent on her husband and his

kind of made me dim my light,” she shares. “Not neces-

family. This dependency became compounded when she

sarily by him, but just me not being in my full self.”

got pregnant with her first son after their move to L.A. On the weekends she and her husband would ven-

After years of moving around, the South Bay finally provided Isabelle with the feeling of community she

ture from their home in Pasadena to the South Bay.

craved. So when she had her second son, Noah, she

Captivated by the lifestyle, the young expectant couple

had a support system in place. But Isabelle was still

felt inspired to live near the water and bought a house

unhappy, and her marriage was not like it was before.

in Hermosa Beach two months before Isabelle gave

Knowing she had to once again be the cocreator of her

birth to their first son, Finn. She remembers feeling

existence, she took the step to enroll in intensive hyp-

very lonely at the time, but that was also the genesis of

nosis sessions.

her awakening process. “I went to a doctor for a checkup, and she asked

Growing up, Isabelle had a great sense of intuition. When Noah was 2, she found the deep urge to get back

me, ‘How are you doing?’ And I just started bawling,”

to that “magical self” and tap back into that deeper

Isabelle shares. “She said, ‘You’re postpartum.’ And

sense. Isabelle believes that hypnosis was the gateway

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47


to reopening her spiritual connection, and she went on

out what it is that I want to do,” she says. “From that

to study hypnosis through intensive training workshops

place, what I learned is that we can be the cocreators

in Texas.

of our lives and be intuitive, but we have to look at

She never thought she would practice hypnosis as part

what’s weighing us down. Sometimes we have to just

of her work, but a whole new world opened up to her, in-

break down the armor that has kept us from being who

spiring her to share the gift. “Doing what I do in my work

we are—our true selves. And that’s how my business

is like a superpower,” she says. “It’s like I can literally

started. The more I discovered all parts of me, the more

feel what my client is feeling. It’s through this that I can

my business grew.”

help them process what they are going through.” As Isabelle continued on her spiritual path, she

Isabelle has also focused on healing women “through the womb.” She explains: “Through this type of heal-

studied Reiki at Amaloa Healing Arts in the South Bay.

ing, we release the energetic blockages a woman holds

“I remember walking by that store so many times.

in that part of her body. These blockages can be noticed

When I finally went in, I started opening up again, and

as physical manifestations such as fibroids, infertility,

that’s when I began getting back to who I really was.

low libido or any issues related to that area of the body.

Unfortunately, my marriage didn’t survive that part of

Mentally and emotionally, it shows up as women not

my development. He’s an awesome person, but I just

feeling good in their bodies, not dreaming big, literally

didn’t feel aligned anymore.”

being turned off.”

Isabelle separated from her husband during the pan-

Isabelle helps women be comfortable in their bodies,

demic lockdown, moved into a new place and started

trust their intuition and find their purpose. Her passion

focusing on building her clientele. Her goal is to help

is to empower women. “We’re all powerful. We’re all

other women “find their own light.”

intuitive. We’ve just closed it off. We can all live how

“COVID gave me the time to sit with myself and do

we want to live.” ■

the healing that I needed to do on my own and figure

“SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO JUST BREAK DOWN THE ARMOR THAT HAS KEPT US FROM BEING WHO WE ARE—OUR TRUE SELVES.”

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New in Town

A Dream Come True Amico Salon

WRITTEN BY LAURA L. WATTS | PHOTOGRAPHED BY SIRI BERTING

A

mico Salon is finally here—after

a robust apprenticeship program he created

months of anticipation and city

sharpens their skills and techniques.

approvals. Located in the heart of Downtown Manhattan Beach, steps

Knowing that hairstyling was his chosen career path at a young age, this Connecticut

from The Strand, the salon was designed to

native started cutting hair at age 14, appren-

reflect owner Stephen D’Amico’s fondness for

ticed at age 15 and graduated from cosme-

both travel and the beauty industry.

tology school at age 18. His craft led him to

“I wanted to create an environment that

salons in New York City and Beverly Hills, as

feels like you are on a tropical vacation,” he

well as traveling the country as an educator

says. “I have an affection for traveling and

for Brazilian Blowout.

am blessed to have traveled all over the

While maintaining lifelong friends and

world, but I am always ready to return to

a large, supportive extended family in

the South Bay.”

Connecticut, Stephen grew to love the

Stephen and his team of stylists are

Southern California life after moving to

dedicated to maintaining a high level of skill

this area. “I love the South Bay, especially

and immersing themselves in all the latest

Manhattan Beach,” he says. “Living and

beauty techniques and trends. He has long

working here for 12 years, I have made some

held the vision of opening a salon where

really good friends. Guests of Amico Salon

clients can fulfill their beauty needs and styl-

are treated like good friends and family. Our

ists can grow and enhance their careers in a

goal is for them to be confident, knowing

positive environment.

they look their very best.”

“I am very particular in selecting staff with great energy and amazing chemistry to become part of our team.”

“Our hairstylists are highly trained to offer

Stephen has lofty goals for the future of

guests the latest haircut, highlighting, balay-

Amico: opening multiple salons, creating a

his early-morning walks on The Strand with

age and color to fit their face shape and

distinct brand that includes his own line of

his dog, Lola, stop and say hello. He will

skin tone,” he says. “I am very particular in

products and setting career paths for his

likely share with you his appreciation for the

selecting staff with great energy and amaz-

stylists to earn six-figure incomes. He stays

opportunity to open his own salon and live in

ing chemistry to become part of our team.

grounded by practicing gratitude and help-

a place as special as the South Bay.

We strive for our guests to feel that energy

ing those less fortunate.

and excitement as they are enjoying their Amico Salon experience.”

“I have had the opportunity to build homes and cut orphans’ hair through

If you happen to see Stephen on one of

AMICO SALON 1100 MANHATTAN AVE., SUITE 103,

Stephen is committed to empowering his

participation in missions to Guatemala four

MANHATTAN BEACH

stylists by teaching them to excel at their craft.

times and twice to Tijuana, Mexico, and will

424-294-8382 | AMICOSALON.COM

Attendance of weekly classes and seminars in

continue to do so,” he shares.

@AMICOSALON

50

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righting a wrong LIKE MANY MANHATTAN BEACH RESIDENTS, KAVON WARD HAD NEVER HEARD THE HISTORY OF BRUCE’S BEACH. BUT ONCE SHE DID, SHE KNEW SHE COULDN’T REST UNTIL JUSTICE WAS SERVED. Written by Amber Klinck | Photographed by Monica Orozco




Poetry has been a part of Kavon Ward’s life since she was a teen. Born and raised in Harlem, expression through spoken word has served as

I love water.” When the pandemic started in 2020, and then George Floyd was murdered on May 25 that same year, Kavon—like so many of us—found herself confined to her home and in need of community. With the help of

her therapeutic outlet. The power

other South Bay moms, Kavon started ARMs (Anti-

of her poetry has served others

Racist Movements) Around the South Bay. After forming this group, Kavon received a 2007

by raising awareness through her

Daily Breeze blog post that she had seen before, but it

advocacy work.

hadn’t grabbed her attention. She took a closer look and

“I was what people would call a poetic activist. I performed a lot of spoken-word poetry, specifically around

learned the history of Bruce’s Beach. Willa and Charles Bruce, after years of harassment

social justice issues and the murder of Black people.

from racist neighbors and the Ku Klux Klan, had their

That’s where I started my advocacy. Well, that’s where

land seized by the city of Manhattan Beach in 1924.

I started my creative advocacy.”

The Bruces purchased their beachfront property in 1912

Early in her career, Kavon was a Congressional Black

in order to build a resort for Black people in Southern

Caucus Fellow. Shortly afterward, she worked as a lob-

California but were met with countless attempts to de-

byist in Washington, D.C. It was during this time that

ter visitors—until the land was eventually seized.

Kavon faced racial discrimination within the organization she was lobbying for. “I ultimately sued them,” she shares. “I was 25 years old. I think that’s when I realized that no matter how

“It was even more baffling for me because I lived in Manhattan Beach, and I had no knowledge of this,” she says. “I wanted to know if other people knew.” To raise awareness, Kavon organized a picnic at

hard I worked, no matter how many degrees I obtained,

Bruce’s Beach on Juneteenth 2020. It was meant to be

this thing called racism would still rear its ugly head

relatively small, keeping in mind the importance of

and essentially affect my life and my career. But I’ve

staying socially distanced. But it got the attention of

always been a fighter. I grew up in Harlem during the

the Daily Breeze, which published a story the morning of

crack epidemic in the 1980s to a mom who was addicted

the picnic—drawing more people to the event.

to drugs, to a father who was incarcerated, to a stepfa-

“Two of those people were Vivian and Patricia

ther who was abusive. My entire life, I’ve had to fight.”

Bruce,” Kavon shares. Having policy experience and

It was during what would become a five-year legal

years of advocacy work under her belt, she offered to

battle that Kavon started performing spoken-word

help the Bruce family, and the grassroots movement

poetry. “It was my therapy, my outlet. And it ultimately

Justice for Bruce’s Beach was born. The mission was to

opened up doors to acting. I did a lot of theatre work in

get restitution and restoration for the Bruce family, but

New York City and D.C., Maryland and Virginia.”

there wasn’t a blueprint on how to do that—until now.

This inspired Kavon to focus more on television and

On Wednesday, July 20, 2022, Anthony Bruce, a

film. So when the lawsuit settled, she decided to move

great-great-grandson of Charles and Willa Bruce,

to California—eventually landing in an unfamiliar

along with his wife, Sandra, were presented the deed

beach town. “I had no knowledge of Manhattan Beach

to the property stolen from the Bruce family nearly 100

whatsoever. I just knew it was a beach community, and

years ago. And people were watching as history was

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55


PHOTOGRAPHED BY DAVID MCNEW / STRINGER

being made. Kavon started getting flooded with requests from people asking for help getting their family’s land back. “I knew that if I wanted to help all these people across the country, I needed to establish a national organization—to help and to guide and to advocate. And so that is how we gave birth to Where Is My Land.” Kavon feels this is a calling—to help as many people as she can. The Where Is My Land organization is working tirelessly to build a stronger infrastructure, hire more people and raise more funds. We can’t change our past, but we can acknowledge it, learn from it and do everything we can to make it right. ■

56

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“I KNEW THAT IF I WANTED TO HELP ALL THESE PEOPLE ACROSS THE COUNTRY, I NEEDED TO ESTABLISH A NATIONAL ORGANIZATION— TO HELP AND TO GUIDE AND TO ADVOCATE.”


R J S M I T H C O N S T R U C T I O N .C O M FO L LOW U S O N FAC E B O O K A N D I N S TAG R A M @R J S M I T H C O N S T R U C T I O N


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I N G O O D H E A LT H

CHANGE YOUR MIND PHOTOGRAPHED BY SIRI BERTING

As a board-certified internist who is trained in anti-aging and restorative medicine, Chong Kim, MD, focuses on disease prevention and mental

W

hen did you last misplace

dementia, so the scientific community has

your keys or not remember

been more active in looking for better pre-

an important detail? Has this

vention methods and treatment tools.

been happening more fre-

quently lately? When does simply forgetting

CAUSES OF DEMENTIA

things become a sign of early dementia?

Dementia can be caused by a loss of brain

As the command center of the body,

cells or an abnormal formation of proteins

the brain is a complex organ that must be

in the brain or parts of the brain that can

nurtured to avoid damage and malfunc-

affect memory or behavior. Simple vitamin

versed in traditional Western

tion. Exercise, food and drink, stress reduc-

deficiencies can also cause dementia, which

medicine, early on Dr. Kim

tion, sleep and socialization are all critically

sometimes can be reversible. However,

important areas we need to focus on to care

most types are considered to be progres-

recognized its limitations and

for our bodies and our minds as we age.

sive and irreversible—the damage that has

developed an alternative style

ber who has been affected by dementia in

years prior to the diagnosis. Some types of

various levels of severity. Recent research

dementia are caused by diseases, such as

has found a genetic marker for Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

health care. While he is well-

of health care using a holistic,

Many of us know a friend or family mem-

been incurred has been ongoing for many

integrative approach. He emphasizes prevention in his practice and is trained in metabolic functional medicine. It’s no wonder he is well aware of the need for keeping the mind sharp as we age. Here, Dr. Kim speaks about the importance of brain health.

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59


Infections and immune disorders can also cause dementia-like symptoms. Multiple sclerosis and lupus can impact the mental status. Studies have shown that persistent and untreated testosterone deficiency can lead to early dementia in men. DEMENTIA-RELATED SYMPTOMS There are typical cognitive and psychological changes that are observed in various stages of dementia:

“THE BRAIN IS A COMPLEX ORGAN THAT MUST BE NURTURED TO AVOID DAMAGE AND MALFUNCTION.”

BRAIN HEALTH STRATEGIES If you feel that you or a friend or family member are demonstrating any of these behaviors, make an appointment with your health care provider or a neurologist for an evaluation. There are many alternative and functional health professionals who can also give you resources to prevent and treat dementia, such as our practice in Torrance, Coastal Anti-Aging Medical Group. Research shows that lifestyle choices can help us reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

• • •

Memory loss, usually noticed by some-

Surprisingly, brain games and apps only

one else—family or friends

have a minimal effect on the prevention of

Difficulty communicating or

dementia. Other more active treatments are

finding words

better at reducing the risk and progression

Difficulty with visual and spatial abili-

Difficulty with coordination and

ties, such as getting lost or forgetting the

motor functions (usually seen in later-

destination while driving

stage dementia)

of cognitive decline. Here are some tips that are a good idea for all of us to incorporate into our daily lives:

Difficulty reasoning or problem solving

Depression and anxiety

Difficulty with handling complex tasks

Inappropriate behavior

Reduce stress

Difficulty with planning and organizing

Paranoia

Stress is considered an inflammatory insult

Confusion and disorientation

Agitation

on the brain. Lowering stress can lessen

Personality changes

Hallucinations

brain decline and injury.

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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

I N G O O D H E A LT H

CONCIERGE MEDICINE For the most discerning patients, Coastal Anti-Aging Medical Group offers a unique, personalized service catered specifically to your needs. Concierge medicine allows Dr. Kim to give you individualized care at your convenience—spending more time with you than a regular office visit and enhancing the doctorpatient relationship. Some of the benefits of concierge medicine are: •

Shorter wait times

Same-day or next-day appointments

Exercise regularly

probiotics, as well as vitamins that sup-

Easier prescription renewal

Physical activity and exercise have

port brain function and integrity, such as

Priority access to appointments

been shown to improve brain plasticity,

vitamins B1, B5 and B12.

Comprehensive annual

A combination of cardio and weight

Balance hormones

resistance three to four times weekly

Work with your practitioner to correct any

is recommended.

hormonal imbalance.

thus extending the protective factor.

physical exam Expedited testing and reporting results •

More time to discuss your concerns with Dr. Kim—in

Reduce toxins

person or over the phone

Cut down on alcohol consumption. Reduce the risk of heavy-metal toxicity by

Dr. Kim has been practicing internal and

For those who are disenchanted

avoiding exposure. Treat chronic fungal or

functional medicine for more than 20

with one-size-fits-all medical

bacterial infections.

years. He earned his medical degree from

solutions and desire a more custom

Drexel University and completed postgradu-

experience, concierge service is an

Nutrition

ate training at the University of California,

excellent choice.

Eating a diet high in vegetables and

Irvine Medical Center. He opened Coastal

unsaturated fats has been shown to

Anti-Aging Medical Group in Torrance in

reduce the risk of cognitive impairment

2007 and maintains an independent hospi-

and dementia.

tal practice at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center and Torrance

Supplements

Memorial Medical Center. Dr. Kim now

COASTAL ANTI-AGING MEDICAL GROUP

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offers Telehealth, giving patients access to

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of dementia by 25%. Take prebiotics and

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61


Grace Under Fire AS THE SOUTH BAY’S FIRST FEMALE FIRE CHIEF, DEENA LEE KNOWS WHAT IT TAKES TO ASCEND THE LADDER OF SUCCESS IN A TRADITIONALLY MALE-DOMINATED FIELD. Written by Michele Garber | Photographed by Siri Berting

Growing up in Lucerne Valley, Deena Lee always had

do a weekly 24-hour shift at the academy, work the

impressive physical strength and sharp protective

graveyard in the ER and I was studying at LBCC,” she

instincts, but channeling those skills into becoming a

says. “I was just paying my dues.” She modestly omits

firefighter never crossed her mind. Ironically, a simple

that she was also a single mom while working, studying

act of responsible parenting ignited the spark that be-

and volunteering.

came her lifelong passion. As a recently divorced single mom with two toddlers, Deena thought it prudent to learn CPR. She enrolled in

accepted by her male colleagues. “When I started here,

an emergency medical technician (EMT) class, and as

I dragged around the heaviest guy and then they knew,

she recounts, “I just fell in love with it. I got 100% on

‘OK, she can pull me out of a burning building.’”

all my tests and knew this is what I want to do.” She promptly got a job in the emergency room at

captain. Her promotion, though well-deserved, was not without drawbacks—leading to a more complicated

center, and began taking prerequisite courses for

period in her career.

rewarding and exciting,” she adds. While working in the ER, her stamina caught the eye

The leap from coworker to supervisor is always challenging, especially in the hierarchy of a fire department and before considering gender. “I had a tough couple

of local first responders. Among her EMT tasks, Deena

of years,” she recalls. “Every time you promote to a

often performed physically demanding compression,

higher rank, you have to prove yourself all over again.

sometimes for an hour straight without tiring, and ef-

When I promoted to captain I thought everyone would

fortlessly lift and move patients. Observing her abilities,

accept me, but I was starting over.”

Long Beach firefighters and paramedics urged her to consider becoming a firefighter. “I would ride along in the rescue ambulance with

Deena had a learning curve and needed to enhance her leadership skills while navigating the complexities of being a female supervisor in a predominately

Long Beach fire stations, bringing patients into the ER

male workplace. It was trial by fire, but she turned her

where I worked,” she recalls. “One day—and I get the

mistakes into learning opportunities, ultimately earning

chills just talking about it—one of the doctors said,

her team’s respect and loyalty.

‘Deena, you’re glowing. This is your calling. This is

In March 2018 Deena attended the ARISE Summit

what you’re meant to do.’ So I switched my major to

(A Reason to Include and Support Everyone) hosted

fire science.”

by the Los Angeles County Fire Department for female

Deena went to a volunteer fire department in La Habra Heights and completed a 20-week academy. “I’d

|

Deena thrived, and in 2007 she was promoted to

Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, a Level II trauma nursing at Long Beach City College. “I found it all so

62

In 2003 Deena was hired by El Segundo as a firefighter. With her work ethic and strength, she was quickly

firefighters in leadership positions from throughout the southland. The experience proved pivotal for her.



“I’d never seen so many women firefighters in one

I signed up for in 2003. I was pulling hoses and throw-

Manhattan or Redondo and only a handful in Torrance.

ing ladders. This is administrative. There’s politics,

When you promote from captain to battalion chief, your

public speaking. I want everyone to have these skills

uniform changes from blue to black. I believe you have

before they ascend to this office.”

to see it before you can be it. Though I’d aspired to be chief, I needed to see the next rank up.” Seeing other women in those black uniforms reig-

of Women’s Fire Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting women in the fire service. She held Fired Up! Girls Empowerment Camp, a two-day educational

a year she became the first female battalion chief in the

experience for girls ages 12 to 19. “It was like a dream come true, and it’s so rewarding,”

Deena became acting fire chief and was officially pro-

says Deena. “We tell them about all the possible jobs

moted on November 2—making her the only female fire

in the fire service. They pull hoses, climb ladders, drag

chief in all of L.A., Ventura and Orange counties. Five

dummies and extinguish small fires. It builds confidence

months later Kristin Crowley became fire chief of the

and self-esteem. You may go in thinking you can’t do it,

Los Angeles Fire Department, so now there are two.

but when you’re able to do things you couldn’t imagine

“I’m always striving to be a better leader,” says

|

Deena serves as vice chair on the executive board

nited Deena’s ambition to pursue a higher rank. Within South Bay. In July 2021, when her predecessor retired,

64

Deena. “This position is completely different than what

place. There are only two of us in El Segundo, none in

doing, you realize you can do anything.” ■


DESIGNING JEWELRY WITH YOU IN MIND

516 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Manhattan Beach | (310) 970-4485 | www.ounceofsaltjewelry.com



Strings Attached MUSICIAN EMILY V FLIPS THE SCRIPT ON VIOLIN MASTERY. Written & photographed by Kat Monk

For Emily Kilimnik, also known as Emily V, it was love

a professor demanding to know what she was doing

at first sight. At just 5 years old, she had an instant

there. He asked her to play a song, and she nervously

affinity for the violin. The only daughter of a family

complied. Expecting to be reprimanded, she was told

with six kids, she learned that hard work and practice

that she was now a music major.

get you noticed. Her passion to follow her own path

But it was not until she received a partial scholar-

paid off with a signature style that has been likened to

ship to California State University, Long Beach that she

a female version of Jimi Hendrix—with a violin rather

really started to branch out and “figured out her rig.”

than a guitar. Atascadero, midway between San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles, was home to young Emily. Unlike the South Bay, strings were not an option in the elementary schools there. Her love for classic rock began at home while the family did the household chores or cooked with The Rolling Stones, The Doors, The Beatles and especially Pink Floyd filling the walls. “I remember my dad would come home from work at night, and he would go into the office after dinner. He would lay on the ground and listen to music,” Emily says. She would listen to her father tell stories about what

“HER TONE AND PERFORMANCE ARE ENCHANTING, SEXUAL, SENSITIVE AND FLAT-OUT ROCK ‘N’ ROLL ALL AT ONCE.”

the music was about and the meanings behind the songs. Emily specifically remembers him talking about the Animals album by Pink Floyd, released in 1977. She

Although she majored in violin performance, she also

also credits her parents for introducing her to It’s a

studied theory and composition as well as Brazilian and

Beautiful Day, a psychedelic rock band from the late

West African percussion. Soon she became one of the

1960s that featured an alternative violinist.

main West African dancers for that class.

At 16, Emily paid a neighbor $50 for a violin—a bar-

While in college, Emily worked as a waitress and

gain compared to the ones many of her friends owned.

taught violin lessons to help cover the costs of her edu-

With her violin in tow, she would sneak into the prac-

cation. Still in her uniform, she would go to the Irish

tice rooms at Cuesta College to play before she headed

pub next door because they had bands playing five or

to work. One Friday afternoon, she was confronted by

six nights a week. She got to know each of the bands,

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67


and eventually they invited her up to play with them. Classical is not Emily’s genre, and she says there are purists who believe she sold her soul. While classically trained, she figured out a rock style for herself, flipping her violin upside down to create her sound. “I’d never seen the violin played that way before. It was like Hendrix had birthed a child with Janis Joplin and Stradivarius,” says musician and friend Kevin Sousa. Her passion, energy and talent are unmistakable as she jams on stage. Locally she is known for playing alongside Kevin or as part of the band Monkey Finger Duo. Emily has toured with iconic punk band The Adicts and has performed with Gov’t Mule’s Jorgen Carlsson, Lukas Nelson, Blind Melon’s Travis Warren and Jimmy Paxson, drummer for Stevie Nicks. Emily has her sights set on a solo career too. She is working on an album with producer Johnny Avila, formerly of Oingo Boingo. “Emily V plays her own unique style of rock and alternative violin that will satisfy your soul,” shares Johnny. “Emily V rocks hard!” “Her tone and performance are enchanting, sexual, sensitive and flat-out rock ‘n’ roll all at once,” adds Kevin. “Emily provides an edge to our music that drives the band and lifts us up at every live show. In a word, she is stunning—sonically, physically and charismatically.” After watching her perform, it’s apparent that everyone is left with the feeling that they were lucky enough to have just witnessed a true rock star. ■

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LAW & ORDER Realtor® Lauren Forbes and her team set the standard for completing real estate transactions with expertise and professionalism. WRITTEN BY LAURA L. WATTS | PHOTOGRAPHED BY SIRI BERTING

S

trong ethics and professionalism—

1991, she knew it was home. She became a

THE DREAM TEAM

these are qualities Lauren Forbes

South Bay homeowner in 1996 and shortly

Lauren has a vast network of in-house

embraced during her work as an

thereafter became a mom to a daughter,

support to get deals done as quickly and

attorney, and they serve her well

and a son two years later. She thoroughly

efficiently as possible while paying attention

today as an award-winning South Bay

enjoyed her work as a lawyer with Keesal,

to the details. Her team includes one attorney,

Realtor. Thanks to her experience in the legal

Young & Logan in Long Beach, but after her

three brokers, a medical doctor, a former

industry, she is adept at finding resolutions to

daughter was born she knew she wanted to

mortgage broker and the former regional

her real estate clients’ challenges.

work closer to home.

marketing director for an international real

“Lauren is extremely diligent with the con-

In the 23 years since, she has gained a

estate broker. They have more than 65 years

tractual elements of the transaction, and her

unique perspective on home valuation and

of combined experience and are well-versed

team manages the process from start to fin-

market timing, and she has topped more

in executing complex real estate deals.

ish very smoothly,” say clients Colin and Ann

than $1 billion in sales. Some of her record-

Cowherd, who have worked with the Lauren

breaking transactions have included the

at all levels—from entry to ultra-luxury—in the

Forbes Group on the purchase and sale of

second-highest sale in the Hill Section, the

South Bay,” says Lauren, who helped national

three different properties in the past year.

second-highest price-per-foot sale ever in

brokerage Compass open their South Bay

Manhattan Beach (on The Strand), and the

office in 2019. “We love what we do and

firm informed the way Lauren is there for

Vanderlip Estate—the highest sale ever in

who we do it with. We are very blessed with

her real estate clients today. “I pride myself

Rancho Palos Verdes.

amazing clients who keep us busy.”

The eight years she worked with a law

on being completely ethical and profes-

“I lead an incredible group of agents selling

The team’s prestigious rankings include

sional and running my business the way I learned as an attorney,” she shares. “I am and have always been in this business for the long term.” FEELS LIKE HOME Originally from Maryland, Lauren moved to California in 1975. When she found Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach in

“MAKING A REAL DIFFERENCE IN MY CLIENTS’ LIVES IS WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT FOR ME.” L to R: Roma Barba, Jagger Kroener, Michelle Ramkissoon, Kelsey Riggan, Lauren Forbes, Sean Goodsell, Bri Haydis, Trevi O’Neill

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best hands possible—from their initial meeting to closing escrow—when the Lauren Forbes Group helped her sell her home. “They set the platinum standard for the home-selling experience,” Betsy says. “Thank you to the entire team!” A BALANCED LIFE Lauren not only works hard, but she also plays hard! She enjoys hiking, brunching at one of her favorites, Un Caffè Altamura, and traveling to locales nearby, like San Diego, Palm Springs, Deer Valley, and far away, like Bali. She has fun riding her bike locally on The Strand and internationally in places like Croatia and Montenegro. She takes care of others—serving on the boards of several nonprofits including NextStep Fitness, Freedom4U and P.S. I Love You Foundation. And she takes care of her-

“WE ARE VERY BLESSED WITH AMAZING CLIENTS WHO KEEP US BUSY.”

self—with hot yoga classes, working out most days of the week, cold plunging, meditating and journaling daily, and ensuring that she gets enough sleep. Lauren practices gratitude and purposely surrounds herself with positive people. She consults regularly with a spiritual/business coach who helps her stay centered so that her purpose is aligned with how she runs her business. And it’s evident to her clients. “Lauren is whip-smart, one step ahead, tenacious and brings a confident energy that is priceless,” Betsy points out. “I know I am helping others in this amaz-

being part of the Real Estate All-Stars list

“We are continually impressed by their mar-

ing community, and that makes it all worth

in Los Angeles magazine, The Top 100

ket expertise and professionalism.”

it,” Lauren says. “Making a real difference in

Residential Real Estate Agents In L.A. County

Lauren says the accomplished real estate

my clients’ lives is what it is all about for me.”

list in LA Business Journal and RealTrends

agents on her team are the most conscien-

America’s Best Real Estate Professionals list.

tious group of people she’s ever encoun-

They are ranked #1 on Zillow in Manhattan

tered. “We like each client to feel they are

LAUREN FORBES GROUP

Beach and Hermosa Beach based not only

the only client and feel taken care of from

1221 HERMOSA AVE. #210, HERMOSA BEACH

on sales but also on client testimonials.

beginning to end. We really care, and we

310-901-8512 | DRE #01295248

really make them feel important.”

LAURENFORBESGROUP.COM

“Lauren and her team are the go-to Realtors if you want to buy or sell your home in Manhattan Beach,” say the Cowherds.

72

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Client Betsy McLaughlin, the former CEO of Hot Topic, says she knew she was in the

IG: @LAURENFORBESGROUP FB: LAUREN FORBES GROUP


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Thank you for a successful 2022 White Light White Night! 1 6 TH ANNU AL

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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

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

IN GOOD COMPANY “Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people.” – Steve Jobs WRITTEN BY LAURA L. WATTS | PHOTOGRAPHED BY SIRI BERTING

T

here are several common threads

parallels—as well as their individual talents and

SEVERAL OF YOU ARE TRUE LOCALS. HOW

that tie together the team members

areas of expertise—that make the Jen Caskey

DOES YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE SOUTH

of the Jen Caskey Group—a luxury

Group a trusted resource for home buyers and

BAY BENEFIT YOUR CLIENTS?

real estate team formed early this

sellers in the South Bay and beyond.

Avery Hazelrigg: I was born and raised in

year by Realtor® Jen Caskey with agents she’s

We recently sat down with six of the team

Manhattan Beach, so I have a deep level of

worked with for years. Most of them are South

members (Jillian Kaplan, who splits her time

knowledge about the city. I understand the

Bay natives, several grew up in a family of real

between California and Tennessee, was out

subtleties of each street, neighborhood and

estate professionals and they all contribute to

of state) for a roundtable-style conversation

school. That helps me find the perfect fit for

their community and worthy causes. It’s these

about their expertise within our community.

each client’s unique personality.

The Jen Caskey Group toasts another successful closing at Un Caffè Altamura in Manhattan Beach—the team’s favorite gathering spot. |

85


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

Jen Caskey: Having grown up in

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Patrice: I agree—it’s an incredible feeling

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVEN’T

Manhattan Beach and raised my fam-

of community. I love that it still feels a bit

WORKED IN REAL ESTATE YOUR ENTIRE

ily here, I know everything there is to know

like a hidden secret with our great beaches,

CAREER, YOU HAD SOME PRETTY

about the South Bay—the qualities of each

fabulous schools and great restaurants.

AMAZING EXPERIENCES BEFORE

neighborhood, the local schools, the people.

Stacia Janus: It doesn’t get better than that!

BECOMING REALTORS. TELL US WHAT YOU DID.

Clients will ask, “Where should I get on the list for preschool? Where should I take my

IT MUST BE A DREAM HELPING CLIENTS

Starr: My career started in real estate in

parents to lunch?” I love to see people get

BUY AND SELL HOMES IN THIS

Florida, but when I moved to Los Angeles

settled and know that they are going to be

COMMUNITY THAT YOU ALL ADORE.

more than 15 years ago, I shifted into well-

so happy here.

WHAT’S GREAT ABOUT YOUR JOB AND

ness. I was a bodyworker, Ayurveda practi-

BEING PART OF THIS TEAM?

tioner and yoga teacher. I eventually came

of the area, I’ve spent more than 17 years

Patrice Radden: While I’m not a native

Stacia: Every day is different. I’m from

full circle and started selling real estate

in Manhattan Beach. I love exploring new

Manhattan Beach and a family of real

again, but with a holistic twist.

restaurants, enjoying the wide range of

estate professionals, so I have a strong local

outdoor activities available, and meeting

networking group. Yet through my work I

sional athlete traveling the world and play-

new people through volunteer work in our

meet amazing people who I might not typi-

ing beach volleyball for 16 years. I earned a

schools and community. I also enjoy col-

cally meet. And I absolutely love being on a

Gold Medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

lecting recommendations from clients and

team where the support and collaboration

friends and passing along what we all love

are amazing.

about the South Bay to others who may be new to the area.

Eric: Before real estate, I was a profes-

Ali: I lived in Chicago and worked for a transportation/logistics company. I loved my job!

Avery: Real estate is a life transaction

Stacia: I worked in the fashion/retail

that requires friendship, support and a little

industry. It was an exciting line of work. I

bulldog tenacity. Nothing is more fulfilling

absolutely loved traveling to different cities

IT’S SAFE TO SAY YOU’RE ALL BIG FANS OF

than helping others experience “home” in

and going to fashion week in New York City!

THE SOUTH BAY. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR

the South Bay.

FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT LIVING HERE?

Ali: When I started my career nearly

Patrice: I spent my entire career in public relations and marketing for global consumer

Ali Snider: I love its proximity to many

20 years ago, I worked with my mother

lifestyle brands, including more than 15 years

things—the beach obviously, but we’re also

who was a broker for more than 35 years.

at Red Bull Energy Drink.

close to the theatre and awesome restau-

I love continuing the legacy of my real

rants of Downtown Los Angeles. Skiing is a

estate family.

short drive away, as is the desert, the airport,

Starr: The relationships I form with my

The members of the Jen Caskey Group are your friends and neighbors. They are good

hiking in Palos Verdes. Or we can park our

clients are my favorite part of this job. Riding

at what they do and love where they live.

cars and walk to everything within our South

an emotional wave together through a

Having a team like this on your side when

Bay bubble.

transaction almost always bonds us for life.

you’re going through the challenge and

Starr Dill: For me, it’s the charm. In the big

Eric: I love sharing my knowledge and

thrill of buying or selling a home gives you a

city of Los Angeles, we have managed to

experience with new friends and old ones—

distinct advantage. Like Jen often says: “Our

keep our community small and special. The

stories of what the homes were like when I

friends become our clients, and our clients

beach cottages have my heart, and I always

was a kid. There have been so many changes

become our friends.”

do my best to save them from being torn

and upgrades in the housing market.

down if they still have life. Eric Fonoimoana: I’m also a native

Jen: Our luxury boutique firm is headquartered in Downtown Manhattan

JEN CASKEY GROUP 805 MANHATTAN AVE., SUITE 201,

of the South Bay, and I love the beach,

Beach but has a global reach powered

MANHATTAN BEACH

volleyball and surfing. Our weather is fan-

by Compass. We have been so impressed

310-200-5900

tastic, and the community is even better.

with its cutting-edge technology and the

JENCASKEYGROUP.COM

We live in a little paradise that I don’t take

Compass Concierge program, which fronts

IG: @JENCASKEYGROUP

for granted.

sellers the money needed for improvements.

DRE #01075946

86

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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

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

L to R, back: Avery Hazelrigg, Eric Fonoimoana, Elizabeth Welch, Stacia Janus, Jen Caskey Front: Ali Snider, Patrice Radden, Starr Dill |

87


Like Mother, Like Daughter VICKIE BRONAUGH, A SEASONED FILM AND TELEVISION DIRECTOR, WATCHES PROUDLY AS DAUGHTER MARY GETS HER START IN THE BUSINESS. Written by Kailani Melvin | Photographed by Siri Berting

It’s dawn. Vickie Bronaugh stands on the set of Power

for the series. Then one day, due to changes with the

Rangers, watching the monitor as her actors dash across

production, it stopped. “I was working, and then all of

the Hollywood Hills on dirt bikes. Dust swirls around

the sudden I ran into a brick wall,” Vickie recalls.

her feet as the bikes zoom over the edge of a cliff. “Cut!” yells Vickie. She looks down and gasps when she

new one—the best one—began to open. Vickie always

sees the image on the monitor—the Hollywood sign,

wanted to adopt, but her career ambitions had gotten in

illuminated by the golden sun.

the way. “God pretty much has to shut me down for me

She thinks: Dreams do come true! Little does she know that as her time with Power

Vickie and her husband, Charlie, traveled from Redondo Beach to China to adopt Mary, returning to

stories opens her eyes in China. A girl named Mary.

China two years later to bring home baby sister Ruby. Mere months after Mary came home, her mother

a southern twang. Mary is a go-getter raised in the

took her to Hermosa Beach to play on the swings. “It

South Bay, sporting winged eyeliner and a bright smile.

was the first time in my entire life I felt 100% peace,”

This mother-daughter pair are best friends, and both

Vickie says. “I didn’t feel driven or like I had to be

work in the film and television industry.

somewhere … this was all I wanted. Anything after was

Vickie considers herself more naturally a director, while Mary considers herself more naturally a writer— though both will do either job because they like carrying out their creative endeavors from start to finish.

icing on the cake.” Fortunately for Vickie, there was some pretty amazing icing on the horizon. Moonrise, Vickie’s feature film, tells the story of a

“We’re the same person,” Vickie says. “We can never

widowed father’s journey to find wholeness again.

find our phones,” Mary chimes in.

Having just lost her mother, Vickie and her sister were

Vickie landed her big break in the industry when she

trying to urge their grieving dad off the porch to go

met the creator of the hit kids show Power Rangers in

inside and celebrate Christmas. Then he looked up into

New York City. “As a good wanna-be director always

the night sky and saw the supermoon.

does, I was prepared,” she jokes. He asked if she had a

“Dad realized the moon rises, the sun sets, tomor-

reel, and out of her backpack she pulled a VHS tape. He,

row’s another day,” Vickie says.“Every story I write

in turn, proceeded to pull out a portable VHS player.

is about one incident.” In a serendipitous moment,

“He said ‘If you are ever in L.A., give me a call,’” she says. “I was there the next day!” She was the first woman to direct multiple episodes

|

to do the next best thing,” she says.

Rangers comes to a close, a baby girl with a mind full of Vickie is a Texas-born firework with auburn hair and

88

However, as one chapter of her life came to a close, a

Granger Smith, the lead in Moonrise, was watching the same supermoon on his mother’s ranch just a few miles away from Vickie.




“It was like heaven,” Vickie recalls about directing the film, which is set for release this December by Sony Pictures. “That’s the feeling I’m always chasing when I’m writing,” Mary agrees. When asked what attracted her to the film world, Mary jokingly gestures to her mom. “It was always part of the conversation,” she says. Mary attended the highly competitive screenwriting program at USC. As a freshman, she wrote and directed her own web series, Ensemble—a comedy/drama

“THE REWARD IS IN THOSE LITTLE MOMENTS WHERE YOU ARE ENJOYING THE WORK.”

centered around college theatre kid antics. “I wanted to shoot the things I was writing,” she says, even though

color. Vickie finds power in rising above comments and

that wasn’t part of the curriculum.

focusing on the work. “No matter what I heard or what

Over the next two years the Ensemble team, led by Mary, grew to 300 students and produced six halfhour episodes. The ability to teach people was the most

came at me,” she says, “all I could think was, ‘I’m the director. I got the job. I’m here, and you’re not.’” Mary’s struggles inform how she will lead writers’

fulfilling part of the experience. “I think that’s an

rooms in the future. “I want people to know their voice

important skill on a team. To be able to say, as a leader,

matters and we want to hear from them, even if it’s

‘How can I help you be your best?’ Not ‘How can you do

hard and uncomfortable for us.” In fact, giving a voice

your best for me?’”

to those who are often ignored is part of the reason

Hired one month before graduating from college,

Mary and Vickie love their jobs so much—whether it’s a

Mary became an apprentice writer on the Disney

grieving country singer or a little boy trying to find his

Channel show Big City Greens. Shortly after, she was

place in the big city.

promoted to full-time staff writer, making her the

“A large role narrative plays is helping us understand

youngest writer at Disney. She wrote five episodes

the messiness and chaos of being a human being,”

across two seasons.

Mary says. Vickie adds, “Being a human is difficult, and

Mary’s process is somewhat different than her moth-

life is difficult. If you can tell one story of how a char-

er’s. Rather than drawing from real life and what she

acter gets through something and makes it to the other

already knows, she finds inspiration in what she doesn’t

side and you can impact one person in the audience,

know. “I usually have some kind of question I’m wres-

they can walk out changed.”

tling with,” she says. “My best work always comes from a burning-inside-me need to understand something.” This process informed the creation of her short film

It’s dusk. Vickie Bronaugh sits in a theatre crowded with people engrossed in the short film playing. She glances over in the dark at her daughter, fully grown,

Swearing. Like her mom, Mary adores the experience of

and watches the light from the screen dance across

being on set. “The reward is in those little moments

her face. So much anticipation builds up to this night,

where you are enjoying the work,” she says. Vickie

and it’s all for the moment the credits roll: Written and

leans over and whispers, “She’s got a good eye. She’s

directed by Mary Bronaugh.

such a good director.” However, being in the film industry is not easy for

Vickie smiles to herself and thinks: Dreams do come true! ■

women, especially—in Mary’s case—for a woman of

|

91


An Intimate Direction INTIMACY COORDINATOR KATIE GROVES BRIDGES THE GAP BETWEEN DIRECTORS AND ACTORS DURING THEIR MOST VULNERABLE PERFORMANCES. Written by Amber Klinck | Photographed by Ken Pagliaro

Katie Groves didn’t set out to build a career in film and

Euphoria, and a new show called The Idol that’s going to

television. “I kind of fell into it,” she explains. “I went

be amazing.”

to school for journalism, and then it evolved into working in entertainment.” Whether kismet or by design, for roughly a decade

ing intimacy coordinators mandatory on set. In 2018 HBO became the first network to mandate the position,

ties in front of the camera, as well as behind the scenes.

with heavy hitters like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu fol-

Friendships have evolved into partnerships—one might

lowing suit. “I think mandating the position is a good idea be-

Bay. But it’s her relationship with director and stunt

cause it sets a precedent for the industry and, I believe,

performer Mam Smith that led Katie to her role as an

puts a spotlight on scenes that have needed a spotlight

intimacy coordinator.

for a while,” Mam says.

“We met on a cop show in New York a long time ago.

With intimacy coordinators suddenly in such high

We basically kept each other sane for years. She’s one

demand, Mam approached Katie about assisting her on

of the most badass people I’ve ever met,” Katie says. “I

a number of projects. After a few years of training with

was the stunt double, and she was the photo double—

Mam, Katie started working on projects independently,

we played the same person on TV for about four years,”

forming relationships with different studios and bounc-

Mam adds.

ing from one opportunity to the next.

As a stunt performer, choreographer and acrobat,

Both women’s experience in entertainment gives

Mam’s experience spans film and television, Broadway

them a unique perspective. “A lot of times you’re the

and Cirque du Soleil. But after roughly two decades in the

one put in positions where you’re getting beat up, left

industry, Mam was looking to transition into directing.

in the street, left for dead, whatever your character

She traveled to Ireland for a director’s training

is going through. So I knew what it was like to be on

centered around intimate themes. Shortly after she re-

camera and to be exposed and vulnerable,” Mam says.

turned to the United States, Mam learned that HBO had

“I have so much experience on the other side. I take

just mandated intimacy coordinators on set. And just

a situation and I’m like, OK, what would I need? What

like that, her new expertise was in high demand.

would I want to know? What would I want to happen

“At first I didn’t want to do it. I really wanted to direct,” Mam says. “But it was an interesting posi-

|

new, but the position itself is not. What is new is hav-

and a half Katie’s path has led to creative opportuni-

even lead to a reality show based here in the South

92

The term intimacy coordinator may sound relatively

now?” Katie notes. Having an intimacy coordinator on set ensures

tion, and I think it’s needed. It’s been an incredible

everyone is on the same page and that there won’t be

experience. I’ve worked on shows like Westworld and

any surprises. “It allows us a sense of freedom if we set



healthy boundaries for the performer and the perfor-

campy at times. It’s just a really fun, smart show.

mance. Then the actors have a tendency to relax and

Honestly, we got so lucky with everybody that’s

enjoy the process rather than feeling unsafe or pushed or

involved—from cast and crew to producers. It’s like

not looped in to what’s going to happen,” Mam explains.

lightning in a bottle.”

Because no two scenes are exactly the same, the role

Katie is the COO of Poppy Montgomery’s Wild Poppy

very different when you have one or two actors that

Entertainment. “We’ve worked together for so long. It’s

you’re hyperfocused on versus eight nude people for a

such a big part of my life because I’ve literally worked

magazine shoot. It ends up becoming a team effort,”

with her since 2011.”

Katie points out. Then there’s the context behind the performance itself, whether it’s comedic, romantic or dark. One of Katie’s most recent projects, Minx, a new comedy series on HBO Max centered around an erotic magazine for women set in the 1970s, is a prime example. “Comedy is just lighter, especially a show like Minx,” she explains. “It was fun and colorful and cheeky and

94

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In addition to her work as an intimacy coordinator,

of intimacy coordinator requires some nuance. “It’s

From New York to Manhattan Beach, Katie’s career has evolved in so many different directions, and she shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. ■


Edgar Alwin Payne, Rockbound, 1921, Oil on canvas. Gift of the Class of 1921.

Sept 17 - Nov 12

Palos Verdes Art Center

pvartcenter.org


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BATHROOM BEAUTY Valerie Sartini of Treasures Interior Design shares ideas that make a bold statement. PHOTOGRAPHED BY SIRI BERTING

V

alerie Sartini of Treasures Interior

surprise in that small space—to wow your

Design sits smiling with her legs

guests with a splash of style. It’s fun to be

crossed, laughing easily. “Of course,

charmed and surprised as a guest too!”

I always spend time perched on a

how technology has allowed people to try

says with a wink.

new kinds of treatments on bathroom walls.

She’s front and center with a backdrop

“Paper is made and installed much better

that is both beautiful and artistic—a swirl of

than it used to be. It’s more durable and can

greens, blues and greys behind her. She’s

be sealed to protect it from moisture dam-

being photographed on this day because

age.” She points to beautiful vinyl wallpapers

she is genuinely excited and passionate

(yes, vinyl!) that look like grass cloth and are

about her craft. One of the things she loves

durable and long-lasting.

is discovering what is new and unique in

Recently she designed a bathroom with

bathroom wall treatments and finding inno-

ice-blue glazed ceramic tile on one wall and

vative ways to incorporate them into her

continued it on an additional wall into the

clients’ aesthetics.

shower. She mixed the patterns of the stone

“Hey, people have been hanging decora-

and complementary glass, wood and tiles to

tive paper on walls since 200 B.C., but it

create an elegant and beautiful retreat for

wasn’t a thing until the late 1600s in France,

her clients.

where the artistry of it was really honed. Can you imagine how hard that would have been—adhering paper to stone walls?

FAR RIGHT BOTTOM: PHOTOGRAPHED BY JOSH CAVALLO PHOTOGRAPHY

Valerie discusses what’s new, describing

bathroom counter in a dress and heels,” she

She shifts her weight and continues smiling. Almost done, she is promised. “Another style element I use is tongue-

And maybe if you didn’t line it up just right

and-groove ceilings in bathrooms,” Valerie

… well, who knows what would happen to

shares. “They are warm and versatile and

you?” she grins.

popular at the beach.”

Click, shift, smile. “We’ve come such a long way, even

Valerie is released! She jumps down from where she sits, still enthusiastic about what

recently,” Valerie continues. “Now there are

she’s saying. “There are so many options, dif-

so many options in bathrooms: wallpaper,

ferent kinds of pieces that fit together when

tile, shiplap, paneling. We love playing

you design a bathroom that make them fun

around with textures, colors, fabrics and

and creative to work on. And unlike other

placement. We may do one wall as an

rooms, bathroom wall treatments offer so

accent or cover all walls and the ceiling.”

much variety. The possibilities are endless!”

Valerie is not one to shy away from bold. “It makes a statement and is stunning when

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97


Young at Art THREE SOUTH BAY TEENS WANT THEIR GENERATION OFF THEIR PHONES AND ON TO CREATING SOMETHING LIVE AND MEANINGFUL. Written by Quinn Roberts | Photographed by Monica Orozco

When people think of Generation Z, one of the first

performed, and a handful of young artists showcased

things that pops into their heads is an incurable at-

their work. After a successful show in June called Sun

tachment to smartphones. Audrey Whitehead, Gwyn

Jam, the three quickly began planning for another event

Dowdee and Sasha Lerman are trying to change that

in July called Moon Jam. Moon Jam was their biggest

perception as cofounders of the Young Artist Society

event yet, a nine-hour happening with 12 local bands

(YAS) in Hermosa Beach.

performing and a visual art exhibit.

The three, all 18 years old and recent high school

world. It has been easy to stay in your room the whole

volunteer. One day after working at Resin, the three

day. A lot of adults will look at Gen Z right now and

walked down to the beach just a few blocks from the

think we are just connected to our screens and are anti-

gallery and an idea hit them.

social,” says Gwyn. “When you have experiences like

“We saw the adult artist collective and thought, ‘How do we bring that to young people? How do we give them a way to show their creations in the same

those experiences.” There was a noticeable buzz in the air. Those who were not right near the stage were socializing on

don’t have connections. Our goal is to give young

couches in the back, while others were scattered on the

people a starting point.”

sidewalk listening on their skateboards and bikes. All three said they found new friends at these shows

Rafael McMaster, they began to promote YAS on social

who share similar interests and passions. “We got texts

media in July 2021 and since then have garnered 86

saying this is the coolest thing they’d ever been to,”

members. Most of the members are in their late teens,

says Gwyn.

but anyone between the ages of 15 and 25 can submit their work to be included. “It gives teenagers a positive community where dif-

After Moon Jam, YAS worked with local band Acolyte to throw another event in August called Music Mingle. Musicians could perform together, but they

ferent forms of creativity are welcomed and can help a

couldn’t play with their own band and nothing could

lot of people,” says Sasha. “I feel like we have created a

be rehearsed.

family-friendly environment that is still fun. All kinds of people show up.” Things quickly progressed from there, with the first show happening last September. Two local bands

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we did in July, not an iPhone was in sight. We cherish

way?’” says Gwyn. “Some don’t have funds. They

After getting support from Resin Gallery founder

98

“A lot of teens had a hard time getting back into the

graduates, met at Resin Gallery, where they work and

Audrey, Gwyn and Sasha each have their own passion within the arts community, which is one reason why YAS is so successful. Audrey and Sasha plan to attend Pratt Institute in Brooklyn this fall, while Gwyn plans



“BEING IN A CREATIVE ENVIRONMENT BRINGS EVERYONE TOGETHER, AND THAT IS WHAT WE HAVE. WE AREN’T LETTING EACH OTHER GO. I WILL GIVE UP EVERYTHING BEFORE LOSING THIS.”


to stay in the South Bay and continue to work and

and that is what we have,” says Gwyn. “We aren’t

volunteer at Resin and YAS. The passion Gwyn felt for

letting each other go. I will give up everything before

planning these events with local musicians is some-

losing this.”

thing she wants to continue. Sasha’s focus moving for-

Even though they will not all be in the South Bay

ward is on illustration. She designs everything related

this fall, all three are still devoted to YAS and want it

to YAS and even designed T-shirts for Moon Jam that

to be more than just a local movement. “The South

raised around $1,000.

Bay will always be my home, and I feel so dedicated to

“My dad is an immigrant and my mom is the child of

making things better here—especially for the teenag-

an immigrant, so it has always been in me to remember

ers and young artists to help elevate their voices,” says

and tell their stories,” says Sasha. “I want to listen to

Sasha. “Our dream would be to have that in the South

others and hold space for them. I want to be an illus-

Bay and beyond.” ■

trator so I can take stories and make them into art.” Before Resin, Audrey didn’t do much to express her creativity. Now she’s more focused on that and in the future wants to help others by becoming an art teacher. She’s seen firsthand how much the arts can help people’s mental health. Friends for about two years since meeting at Resin, all three believe that being in such a unique environment allowed them to become close very fast. “Being in a creative environment brings everyone together,

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Beyond Borders AS A NEW CONFLICT RAGES IN UKRAINE, SOPHIE DAUSHVILI-SCHOENFELD REFLECTS ON HER OWN WAR-TORN CHILDHOOD AND OVERCOMING PAST TRAUMA. Written by Gail Phinney | Photographed by Monica Orozco

For Georgian-born Sophie Daushvili-Schoenfeld, wartime

Her mother was a psychiatrist; it was in her blood.

trauma is more than a lived experience. It is embedded in

Moreover, the work appealed to her creative side.

her DNA. Her mother’s family included prominent intel-

“Every time you’re with a new person, you have to put

lectuals and separatists who shaped the country’s history

your creative hat on to understand their framework and

and engaged in its century-long battle for independence

learn their language,” she offers. “In that sense, I’m

from Soviet rule.

constantly learning new languages, and it connects to my

One relative died at the hands of the Red Army during the Russian Civil War; another helped develop the

history overall.” Sophie’s creativity extends to her Urban Voodoo line

H-bomb that ushered in the Cold War. As for her father’s

of jewelry and fashion as well as her visual art creations,

family, “They were gangsters,” she says with a smile.

which she considers deeply personal. Reluctant to label

On April 9, 1989, she became a witness to history

herself an artist, she sees her creative process as thera-

when her parents survived what would later be called the

peutic. “It comes from a place in me that has no words,”

Tbilisi Massacre—an anti-Soviet demonstration that was

she explains. An immigrant who lost everything, she

brutally crushed, killing 21 people and injuring hundreds.

holds on to the belief that the things she makes are the

Russian tanks rolled into the Georgian capital, military

only things she can truly call her own.

rule was established and everything changed. She was only 11, but the visions of death and destruc-

As a licensed therapist, Sophie brings all her life experience to bear in serving the South Bay community from

tion still haunt her—recently triggered by images of the

her Palos Verdes location. Highly skilled in the treatment

war in Ukraine. For Sophie, it’s all too relatable.

of trauma, her practice focuses on families in transi-

Although the Republic of Georgia regained its in-

tion—often battling their own internal war. Her tumul-

dependence in 1990, the country was in chaos. Three

tuous history has given her the unique ability to facili-

years later, her father fled to Russia with a price on his

tate resolution in high-conflict situations, making her

head, and she became a refugee living in London with

a trusted guide in each client’s journey. She shares her

her mother. With only a rudimentary knowledge of the

perspectives on mental health and her social commentary

language and even less familiarity with Western culture,

in a monthly column for San Pedro Today.

she recalls, “It felt surreal to be transported to this very

Once a child of war and now a single mother of two,

different world.” Despite the difficulties, she reinvented

Sophie is committed to making her children feel safe

herself as a British teen.

while giving them the tools to navigate adversity in the

Her remarkable resilience and ability to adapt have served Sophie well since moving to the United States in 2003 and making San Pedro her home. But it wasn’t until

world. A survivor, she isn’t afraid to embrace the trauma that shaped her. “In a way, personality doesn’t form without trauma,”

she started therapy to process her early childhood trauma

she shares. “We have to have trauma in order to over-

that she found her vocation and embarked on a career in

come and figure out who we are despite it, what we are

clinical psychology. It seemed like a natural progression.

made of and what we are able to survive.” ■

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

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS The powerful women of Accardo Real Estate Associates exceed their clients’ expectations—and have fun doing it! WRITTEN BY LAURA L. WATTS | PHOTOGRAPHED BY MEREDITH GRADISHAR, ZOOM THEORY PHOTOGRAPHY

L to R: Jacqueline Enriquez, Samantha Littrell, Penny Wales, Marina Accardo, Carly Potter, Karina Castillo

106

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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

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

hat does a true team look

W

Carly Potter (@carlypotter_realestate) is

elevate the real estate experience. And that’s

like? According to Aristotle,

a South Bay native who worked as a leasing

exactly what clients discover when they work

“The whole is greater than

consultant and real estate assistant before

with Accardo Real Estate Associates, which

the sum of its parts.” When

becoming a Realtor. She holds the distinction

was included in RealTrend’s 2022 list of the

you work with the Accardo Real Estate

of making the highest neighborhood sale in

top 1.49% real estate professionals nationally.

Associates (AREA) team, you get great

San Pedro’s The Gardens. Carly volunteers

Clients benefit from the team’s deep knowl-

“parts”—each Realtor® is chosen carefully

with the children’s ministry at her church.

edge of the real estate industry; a powerful

by the firm’s founder, Tony Accardo, and his wife and marketing expert, Marina.

For two decades, Jackie Enriquez

marketing strategy; an in-house design firm;

(@1southbayladyinrealestate) has worked

exclusive fix-to-sell services; all-cash offers;

“Team culture is very important to us,

in both real estate and mortgage. She is a

and the technology of Compass. These

and we celebrate our diversity because

strong resource for her clients through the

advantages help clients sell their homes

we believe it makes us stronger,” says Tony,

buying and selling process, including residen-

faster and at higher prices.

who was recognized as Realtor of the Year

tial and investment properties, second homes

for 2022 by the Palos Verdes Peninsula

and new construction. Jackie has three

community, passionate about helping others

Association of Realtors. “We take the stress

children and volunteers with the Peninsula

and invested in continuing their education to

out of buying or selling a home, and we

Education Foundation and the Palos Verdes

bring the very best to their clients. “Our goal

encourage our team to lean on one anoth-

Peninsula Association of Realtors.

is to impress clients every time,” shares Tony.

er’s experiences to get the deals done.” “Who you work with matters,” Marina

Before becoming a Realtor five years ago, Karina Castillo (@itskarinacastillo) worked

AREA’s team members are active in their

“We aim high because we want to be our clients’ Realtors for life.”

points out. “Our team is committed to being

in corporate America with a high-profile

local experts.”

mutual fund company. She is familiar with

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female, and the women of the AREA team

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Samantha Littrell (@sam.littrell.realestate)

this industry. They each bring an entrepre-

was born and raised in Manhattan Beach,

neurial spirit, professionalism and expertise

giving her keen insight into the Beach Cities

to their clients.

as well as a network of connections through-

As president of AREA, Marina Accardo

out the area. She specializes in residential

(@accardo_realestate) collaborates with

real estate and was named Rookie of the

Tony to deliver a truly comprehensive real

Year for representing a buyer on a $9 million

estate experience to clients. She supports the

oceanfront property purchase only a year

team with personalized digital marketing

after entering the business.

strategies to maximize each seller’s home

administrative capacity: operations man-

staging and remodeling and keeps clients

ager Amy Raabe and marketing and digital

informed with weekly real estate blogs. This

media manager Alexa Evans. Collaborating

mom of three is an advocate for supporting

with these eight strong women are three

local community businesses.

men who bring their A-game to the AREA

Wales (@penny.wales.realtor) is a former retail and wholesale executive who honed

team—Tony, his brother John Accardo and Realtor Mike Naylor. “Our dynamic team has been hand-

her skills for negotiation over her 30-year

selected for their individual strengths to help

career. Her strength as an agent is in her

complete the big picture,” says Marina.

ability to draw out clients’ needs and goals.

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Two other women support the team in an

value. Marina has a keen eye for design,

A South Bay resident since 2000, Penny

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The power of teamwork can immensely |

Tony & Marina Accardo

107


just like heaven ANGEL CITY FOOTBALL CLUB IS A POWERFUL BEACON OF POSITIVE CHANGE. LOS ANGELES’ NEWEST PROFESSIONAL SOCCER TEAM IS ALSO A MOVEMENT FOR EQUAL RIGHTS, A WOMEN-LED MODEL OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP, A CELEBRATION OF DIVERSITY AND AN INCUBATOR OF COMMUNITY. Written by Tanya Monaghan | Photos courtesy Angel City Football Club



As we deal with our current challenging times of disharmony and struggle for equal rights in America

is accustomed to being one of the only women in the room. Her grit and determination power her success, and when Natalie and Kara were looking for someone to

(ACFC), Los Angeles’ new women’s

help bring a professional women’s soccer team to L.A.

moments of unity: selling out soccer

in 2019, it seemed no one was more fitting for the role of president. Breaking down barriers is built into the DNA of the

stadiums, giving back to communities

club. Natalie played a significant role in shining a light

and empowering women all along

on gender inequity in Hollywood entertainment. “There

the way. Its mission is as ambitious

was a strong push toward female empowerment and women demanding equal pay and equal representa-

as it is inspiring—to make an impact

tion,” shares Julie. “And certainly in Hollywood there

on and off the field, and to provide

were cases of abuse where women were kept quiet. But

an opportunity to some of the best professional female athletes in the

women were starting to use their voices, and Natalie was a significant vocal player.” Natalie is passionate about building more aware-

world to play on a stage as powerful

ness to increase representation and fairness for female

as Los Angeles.

directors and actresses. She joined the board of the

ACFC played its first game in April, selling out the Banc of California Stadium in Downtown Los Angeles. The joyful crowd deliriously cheered to victory the

Time’s Up movement, fighting for a future where no one was harassed, assaulted or discriminated against at work. On the board, Natalie met Becca Roux, executive

National Women’s Soccer League’s newest expansion

director for the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT)

team, as the outpouring of emotion crowned a monu-

Player’s Association, who was deeply involved in the

mental building process that had begun years before.

lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation—battling for

The club was founded by award-winning actress, di-

equal pay for women athletes. Her fight resonated with

rector and activist Natalie Portman, technology venture

Natalie. As she learned more about the pay inequity

capitalist Kara Nortman and entrepreneur Julie Uhrman,

for women in sports and met the players, she became

who is Angel City’s president. ACFC’s ownership and

invested in them and their success—culminating in the

leading investors boast an iconic and diverse group of

idea of launching a women’s professional soccer team

well-known performers, sports figures and business

in Los Angeles.

moguls including such powerhouses as Alexis Ohanian,

In May the USWNT finally won their suit, granting

Serena Williams, Billie Jean King, Becky G, Rachel

equal pay and benefits to both U.S. women’s and men’s

Zoe, Christina Aguilera, Sophia Bush, Jessica Chastain,

teams. This victory ignited a global movement for equal-

Glennon Doyle, Abby Wambach, Mia Hamm, Gabrielle

ity in national sports and formed an inspiring backdrop

Union, Cindy Holland, Jennifer Garner, Cobi Jones, Eva

for Angel City Football Club’s inaugural season.

Longoria and many more.

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gaming, technology and entertainment world, and she

and beyond, Angel City Football Club soccer team, has created glorious

110

Julie spent most of her career in the male-dominated

Launching ACFC was a massive undertaking. The




L.A. market is already home to many successful sports franchises, yet the three female founders were deter-

we have, the more impact we can have.” L.A. has the largest community of youth female soc-

mined to make it happen and are running the business

cer players in the U.S., and Angel City has now be-

like a start-up.

come a beacon for them. Julie is passionate about that

“We built Angel City differently,” explains Julie. “We are raising money as we go, as we choose certain goals

responsibility. “There’s the saying, ‘If you can see it, you can be

and milestones, and eventually we’re working toward

it.’ Right? There is this general perception that people

being profitable. We wanted to build Angel City as an

don’t care about women’s sports and people won’t

organization where mission and capital coexist—with-

watch women’s sports. Well, that gets recycled because

out sacrificing one for the other.”

you couldn’t watch them, and so it’s almost a self-

They also found an incredible advocate, ally and supporter in Alexis Ohanian, a successful entrepreneur and husband of Serena Williams, who came on board

fulfilling prophecy.” But Julie contends that ACFC is the visceral proof that the women’s game is thriving. Social impact is a massive part of ACFC’s mission,

as a controlling owner. Instead of having all female

and it leads with its values. The club gives back 10% of

owners, the founders believed in the idea of uniting

all its sponsorship dollars to the community through

with those who were fully supportive of their mission

their platform of equity, essentials and education. ACFC

regardless of gender.

has also given their players a stake in ticket sales,

One of the greatest challenges they faced was how to tap a crowded market—there are 11 professional sports teams in the area. But the bigger question was

which encourages them to tell stories to their network of fans. The club’s social impact program involves running

whether there were enough soccer fans to support three

coaching clinics and clinics for kids, teaching about

L.A.-based soccer teams (including LA Galaxy and Los

leadership, bringing STEM into schools, as well as feed-

Angeles Football Club).

ing those who don’t have access to food. They have also

The answer to that question has been a resounding

partnered with Nike to donate 22,000 sports bras to

yes. ACFC has found a way to stand out, which Julie at-

young girls in need, to encourage more participation in

tributes to “being intentional about defining who we are,

the sport.

what our values are, building Angel City with the com-

According to Julie, their model is working. “We’re

munity and having a different identity in the market.”

seeing that our relationships with our partners are

ACFC has been very intentional about creating a

extending beyond what we originally signed up to

game-day experience that is not only entertaining but

do.” She believes this impact model will bring in other

connects with the entire community. L.A.’s response

brands and sponsors who understand their values and

has been overwhelming, selling out stadiums while cre-

want to align with them.

ating an inclusive, welcoming and electric atmosphere.

The ACFC team culture is a positive one. Management

Their first victory was more than just three points in

wants to ensure their players are happy, fulfilled and

the league; it was a celebration for all women and girls

feeling supported—and not just while playing. That’s

watching in the stands.

why Angela Hucles Mangano, Angel City’s vice presi-

“We want to be recognized as a global brand,” Julie

dent of player development and operations, is so in-

says. “We want people around the world to know who

vested in the Player 22 Future Program. This innovative

Angel City is because we believe the greater awareness

fund aims to support retired National Women’s Soccer

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113


League players who are interested in careers in the sports industry as they move on to the next chapter in their lives. Angela, a two-time Olympic gold medalist with the U.S. Women’s National Team, knows only too well the challenges these current players face. “Because of my background—both as a player and then seeing the sport in a variety of roles, from commentating to coaching to

“WE SERVE A BEAUTIFUL COMMUNITY OF REIMAGINERS THAT INSPIRE US EVERY DAY.”

working in corporate and nonprofit management—my approach to player development is a very holistic one,” she says. “There’s a unique opportunity, especially

athletes, we were motivated to build something that

within the platform of Angel City, to think about how

would help be the change the world needs,” she says.

we can better the player experience through off-field player development. We need to look for opportunities,

“We serve a beautiful community of reimaginers that

resources, connections and education we can provide

inspire us every day.” They have grown almost entirely

our players to not only enhance their experience right

organically—their community has found them either

now, but also to start to build those connections and

through following their careers in soccer or through

networks. The idea is that they are prepared when they

their fight for pay equity.

leave the sport as a player and already have a road map for their future.” Many of the players are already entrepreneurs in

ress and art. “It’s where I get to be creative. It’s where I get to lead. It’s where I get to be my best and most authentic self. And for that, I’m forever grateful to my

vegan cookbook. Jasmyne Spencer has a business creat-

team and community.”

DiDi Haračić is a talented photographer.

Angel City is much bigger than a club. It’s a purposedriven organization striving for equity. As a team

ACFC’s first signing and star player Christen Press is

mainly operated by women, there was no example for

a former resident of the South Bay who graduated from

them to follow. So they had to step up to be the first.

Chadwick School in Palos Verdes. She is a key player

“Just because it doesn’t exist doesn’t mean it can’t

for the USWNT, and along with Tobin Heath, Meghan

exist,” Julie emphasizes. “We wanted to show what

Klingenberg and Megan Rapinoe—other titans of the

is possible. Our team is motivated by the tremen-

women’s game—founded a brand called re—inc that

dous project that is Angel City. We are inspired by the

creates collections, content and a community that pro-

community of people who have rallied around us to

pels changemakers to boldly reimagine the world.

celebrate sport and equity and progress. It’s a huge

Along with creating eco-conscious and gender-free

honor to represent a new future that brings us together

fashion, their goal is to amplify narratives from under-

on and off the pitch. We’re lighting the fire that catches

represented voices and unite a global community of folks

and spreads everywhere.” ■

interested in social service. Christen is extremely passionate about their mission. “In our own recognition of how status quo structure had devalued us as professional

|

Christen says re—inc is for equity, creativity, prog-

their own right. Team captain Ali Riley has written a ing fashion to support climate change. And goalkeeper

114

Three years after its launch, re—inc is still her baby.


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

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

SUPPORT SYSTEM Beach Life Fitness Boutique offers female-focused fitness in a welcoming, inclusive atmosphere. PHOTOGRAPHED BY SIRI BERTING

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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

M

eet Danielle Spangler, owner of Beach Life Fitness

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

Redondo seven days a week. The studio recently partnered with Shine

Boutique and creator of the

Society Fitness, a local favorite for more

Core Mom Fitness program.

than five years. Owners Hillary Lewis and

This tireless powerhouse and mother of

Yaya Margarita offer high-energy, “burn to

three to Lilly, Jake and Ben is serious about

the beat,” dance-based fitness classes. “This

bringing safe and effective exercise pro-

partnership has been great for expanding

gramming to the South Bay. She is a 30-year

our class options,” says Danielle.

veteran of the fitness industry and has

Bringing people together and form-

brought her experience working for all kinds

ing community bonds is one of her pas-

of fitness facilities—from gyms to universi-

sions, and Beach Life Fitness embodies

ties to small fitness studios and all-inclusive

that message. Danielle and her team have

resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico—into

created an inclusive, welcoming culture.

her Pilates studio that she opened more

The compassionate teachers—certified in

than three years ago.

Pilates, prenatal and postpartum fitness,

Beach Life Fitness Boutique offers small-

functional movement, private trainer and

group Pilates reformer classes, prenatal and

kinesiology—have the skill set to assist clients

postpartum programming with Core Mom

with any modifications they might need due

Fitness and JumpSport mini-trampoline

to injury or limitation.

workouts, as well as private training in a beautiful space a block off the beach in South

“WE WANT TO HELP OUR CUSTOMERS LOOK AND FEEL THEIR BEST FROM THE INSIDE OUT.”

“Our team of instructors are some of the best I have ever had the pleasure of working

Hillary Lewis & Yaya Margarita

with,” says Danielle. “They are amazing teachers, and they share my core values of creating an exercise studio space that is welcoming and nonintimidating.” The Beach Life Fitness Boutique team of rock-star instructors includes Kelsi Knudson, Manuela Schraner, Michelle Gierst, Alyssa Crawford, Payton Cahallan, Allison Heilmann, McCall Richards, Cory London, Erica Hawkins, Fabienne Naples and Carolyn Smith. Once clients sign up using the Beach Life app, studio manager Allison Heilmann welcomes them and helps customize their workout based on the client’s needs and goals. “Our intention is to create an atmosphere that helps our customers have a positive and effective fitness journey, and that is what L to R, back: Danielle Spangler & Alyssa Crawford Front: Megan D’Amore & Leah Breen

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“WE ARE SO EXCITED ABOUT THE FUTURE OF BEACH LIFE FITNESS BOUTIQUE.” you get with small boutique fitness,” says Danielle. “We want to help our customers look and feel their best from the inside out.” The studio’s main demographic is women and mothers. For the past 20 years, Danielle wrote continuing education courses on

Vellany Nelson

prenatal and postpartum fitness for the National Academy of Sports Medicine, MedFit Network and Fitness Learning

wellness businesses and has expanded to

Systems. She created her Core Mom Fitness

three beautiful spaces in the same building.

Beach Life Fitness Boutique,” shares Danielle.

program (Corrective Obstetrical Related

These businesses include White Light Sounds

“We have a lot of really cool offerings on the

Exercise) when she saw a lack of exercise

(sound bath classes), South Bay Jazzercise

horizon, so please follow us as things unfold.

programming specifically for pregnant

and Access the Light Meditation, as well as

We are grateful to the incredible South Bay

women and new mothers. Alyssa Crawford

pelvic floor health physical therapist Julie

community for the support we have received

is the director of Core Mom Fitness classes

Gillespie, DPT, who treats patients three

the past few years and look forward to

and has helped manage medically vetted,

days a week. Beauty partners include Everly

growing even more.”

highly effective functional movement exer-

Reese Esthetics, owned and operated by

cise program since 2018.

experienced esthetician and brow shaper

Pre-pandemic Core Mom was offered as a

“We are so excited about the future of

Vellany Nelson, and Elevated Beauty (offering

BEACH LIFE FITNESS BOUTIQUE

satellite workout program in other fitness facili-

Endermologie Body Scuplting and brow and

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ties, and Danielle is hoping to do that again

eyelash lifts).

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post-pandemic. Beach Life is now part of

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ers while supporting other local businesses

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that align with the studio’s mantra “Fitness

as a co-op for other mom-owned small

that feels good in a feel-good space.”

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CSCSOUTHBAY.ORG

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COMEDY SHOW FOOD + DRINKS AUCTION + PRIZES $175 per person For details & tickets, visit www.CSCSouthBay.org Call your girlfriends, throw on a boa, and join us as a line-up of premiere comedians (as seen on SNL and Comedy Central) bring laughter and entertainment to this inspirational evening. Food, drinks, and fun are all-inclusive! Proceeds benefit CSC South Bay, providing education, support, and hope to cancer patients and their loved ones.


El Corazón SOULFUL SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE OFFERS A FEAST FOR ALL THE SENSES. Written by Darren Elms

First, there’s anticipation. The private car rolls through

one- to two-hour car ride from any of these airports.

arid grasslands and hills of Guanajuato state in central

Fortunately, resorts like the Rosewood offer door-to-

Mexico, revealing the occasional cactus and roadside

door shuttle service to make your journey less hectic.

restaurant. The expectancy builds slowly during the

You won’t need a car in San Miguel, so skip the

two-hour ride from the nearest airport as signs begin

rental. If you’re feeling ambitious, package your trip

to appear for your final destination.

with a stop in Mexico City, about three hours away.

Buildings along your path transition from white and beige to earthy yellows, oranges and reds, as if a magic

WHERE TO STAY

paintbrush suddenly colored your journey. As the hues

Though only opened in 2011, Rosewood San Miguel

become more vibrant, so do the people—tourists and

de Allende skillfully recreates the historical charm of

locals commingling on a narrow cobblestone street, a

this beloved Mexican city. Dramatic courtyards, lush

vintage VW Beetle trying to navigate around them while

gardens and locally significant art pieces set a beau-

a vendor with a dozen hats stacked on his head looks

tiful stage upon arrival. Guests can choose from 67

for customers. There’s the sweet fragrance of blossoms

handsome rooms and suites featuring wood-beamed

and fresh fruit. There’s music. There’s joy. This is San

ceilings, hand-carved furniture, fireplaces, spacious

Miguel de Allende.

bathrooms, balconies and more. If you’re visiting with a

A missionary town that dates back to 1542, San Miguel

large group, the resort also offers private residences for

el Grande was an important stopover on Spain’s silver

rent, each with a fully functional rooftop, Jacuzzi and

route. It also played a vital role during the Mexican War

grill—perfect for outdoor entertaining.

of Independence and was renamed to honor the famous son and local hero Ignacio Allende in 1826. The most recognizable appeal of the hillside town is

WHERE TO EAT The Rosewood offers first-rate dining on property.

the 16th-century Spanish Colonial Baroque architecture,

Ideal for both breakfast and dinner, 1826 Restaurant

vividly painted in a warm and welcoming palette. But

celebrates the region’s rich heritage and culinary tradi-

look deeper, and you’ll find that San Miguel is more

tions. Dine inside or alfresco on farm-to-table cuisine

than just a pretty face.

featuring locally sourced ingredients from nearby farms and food producers. The adjacent 1826 Tequila Bar of-

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HOW TO GET THERE

fers more than 120 labels of tequila and more than 20

There are no airports serving the town of San Miguel

mezcals—guided by a resident tequilier (tequila som-

de Allende, so you will need to fly to a neighboring city

melier), who will gladly walk you through the process,

like Guanajuato, Querétaro or León. Expect at least a

traditions and folklore behind the vast selection.



Luna, on the Rosewood rooftop, is your destina-

Once you’ve taken a dip in the pool and indulged in

wonderful place to sit, sip and converse, it will be hard

a signature treatment from Sense, A Rosewood Spa,

to keep your attention on your company with such an

it’s time to hit the town running. Although small, San

incredible city vista surrounding you.

Miguel de Allende is layered with quaint streets that

For special occasions, reserve a seat in La Cava, the

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WHAT TO DO

tion for tapas, sunsets and spectacular city views. A

climb to the Parish of St. Michael the Archangel and the

private wine cellar paying homage to iconic artist Frida

main square, El Jardin. Though the church itself dates

Kahlo, and sample one or more of 800 bottles of wine

back centuries, the neo-Gothic facade was introduced

from Mexico and around the world. The resort will also

in 1880 by self-taught architect and master stone-

happily arrange a grilled feast at a private residence or

mason Zeferino Gutiérrez. A grand fantasy with soaring

elsewhere on the gorgeous grounds.

turrets, the church is one of the most photographed in


Mexico. On most days the plaza outside comes alive

a former textile mill. If you’re looking for folk art,

with musicians and a variety of food vendors.

Mercado de Artesanías links three blocks of stalls and

Leisurely strolls off this main axis will introduce you to all kinds of shopping, including jewelers, artisans and antiques. Lucas Rise, an Argentinian artist known

storefronts with hand-painted pottery, textiles, toys, tableware and more. When your shopping bags and stomach are at capac-

for his vibrant patterns, recently opened a clothing

ity, take some time to just wander. Enjoy the uneven-

store called Rise, featuring his flair for color and shape.

ness of the stone streets under your sandals. Reflect

If you’re interested in his technique, Lucas frequents

on the charming residential fountains that locals relied

Rosewood with private art lessons.

on as a water source. Dare to use one of the metal door

Fabrica La Aurora is home to the city’s largest collection of art galleries and design studios, housed in

knockers shaped like a hand on someone’s wooden door. Who knows what waits on the other side? ■

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Horse of Kings SOUTHBAY CONTRIBUTOR AND SEASONED EQUESTRIAN DIANE BARBER SHARES THE JOURNEY OF HER NEW ANDALUSIAN HORSE FROM SOUTHERN SPAIN TO PALOS VERDES. Written by Diane E. Barber | Photographed by Azahara Perez, Epona Equestrian Centre & EEM

“The wind of heaven is that which blows between a

for hundreds of years. I was familiar with the noble

horse’s ears” is an Arabian proverb that resonates with

Andalusian breed (also known as Pura Raza Española or

horse lovers around the globe. Those words profoundly

PRE) from Hollywood films, such as Lord of the Rings, as

speak to the unequivocal pleasure that many equestri-

war horses portrayed in historical paintings in muse-

ans experience with their equine partners.

ums and as statues adorning architectural buildings

In a quest to learn more about my horse Jesse’s acclaimed Spanish Arabian lineage, I traveled to southern Spain 18 years ago. An internet discovery and leap of

abroad. Experiencing them in person, however, was (and still is) otherworldly. Not long after I returned from Spain, my friend and

faith led me to the province of Seville in Andalusia for

South Bay veterinarian Alice Villalobos called me and

an incredible riding adventure at Epona Equestrian

proclaimed, “I am going to Europe with a group of vet-

Centre, which was named after the ancient Celtic god-

erinarians for a 21-day equine trip through Spain and

dess Epona, the protector of horses. Unbeknownst to

Portugal. Would you like to join us?” Without hesitation

me at the time, my equestrian life would be forever

I replied, “Absolutely!”

changed, and Spain would become my home away from home in the years to follow.

As luck, or perhaps fate, would have it, the culturally rich itinerary included visiting the Royal School,

During that first soulful explorative journey to the

where I again found myself perched in the grandstands

Spanish countryside, I rode horses through olive groves,

of the coliseum—wide-eyed as the elegant Andalusians

explored trails with sightings of architectural remnants

performed. Afterward, I had a behind-the-scenes op-

of the Roman Empire and galloped on the beach at a

portunity to visit the stables. It was there that I met the

nearby nature preserve. I also toured the farm where

school’s lead veterinarian, who invited me to apply for

Jesse’s grandsire hailed from and visited the Royal

a two-week intensive dressage training course with the

Andalusian School of Equestrian Art (Royal School)

show horses that I dreamed of riding. I was accepted

in the city of Jerez, where I watched the beautifully

and returned a short three months later with my vastly

choreographed world-famous show How the Andalusian

different American western-style riding background

Horses Dance. As I relished every step of the pageantry

and a heightened sense of adventure in tow.

in wonder, I dreamily whispered to myself, “I am going to ride horses in that arena someday.” Spanish horses were revered as the horses of kings

Esteemed Olympic medalist and head of the Royal School’s riding program Rafael Soto was my personal instructor, assisted by his then full-time student Vivi

for centuries, both on and off battlefields. Renowned

Garcia. Fantasy became reality as I rode some of the

for their captivating beauty, courage and gentle

school’s world-class performance horses not once,

spirits, their pure bloodlines have been safeguarded

but a few times every day in the coliseum where I had

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127


been an awestruck spectator. I also experienced their

you have a super horse! The more I see him, the more

immense power and grace while carriage driving in the

I like him.” When I asked about his preferred color of

palace’s outdoor arena.

Spanish horses, he wisely shared, “The best color of a

I have since returned year after year to train at the

Tentador will be exported to the United States by

Centre to experience countless memorable moments

Belgium-based European Horse Services (EHS)—an

with Spanish horses. Each time, I immersed myself in

elite, full-service equine transportation company. He

the local culture as my dressage riding improved, which

will first travel by road to Belgium for a brief stay-over

always left me longing for more. Then, with encour-

at EHS headquarters and then on to Amsterdam for a

agement from my husband, Alex, I decided to import a

nonstop flight in October to Los Angeles in a specially

horse to enjoy in California that was trained for me by

equipped cargo plane. Upon arrival (with his horse

my Spanish “family.”

passport, of course) Tentador will be received by Apollo

Tentador (“the tempter”) found me, I believe. Vivi

quarantine for a few days before clearing customs and

soon after I asked her to keep an eye out for my dream

traveling by trailer to his new home in Palos Verdes. According to Dr. Andrades, who has personally flown

that he was not a grey horse as I hoped for, I was un-

with horses internationally, “Tentador will have blood

sure until we spoke. Vivi’s enthusiasm was contagious,

tests before he travels and more tests during quarantine

and I trusted her keen professional trainer instincts.

upon arrival in the United States, which is paramount

When I asked her why she specifically chose him for

to avoid spreading diseases to other countries. Each

me, she said, “When I rode Tentador the first time, I

country has different rules and requirements. Regarding

loved him right away and thought he would be amaz-

the flight, some people worry about horses traveling by

ing for you for several reasons. He is kind, sensi-

air in portable stables, but it is safer than road travel.

tive and comfortable to ride with great smooth gaits.

The rate of incidents is far less, and it is more comfort-

Though he is young, he is very keen to please his rider

able for them without constant stops, turns and road

and willing to work, which will help you both learn

vibrations. Horses may have a little stress in the begin-

and grow together. And, of course, I knew you would

ning before they are in the stable and with takeoff and

love him because he does your favorite movement—

landing. But once they are stabled with hay and water,

the Spanish walk!”

with people caring for them on board, they do not usu-

After passing a rigorous prepurchase evaluation by Dr. Antonio Andrades, who specializes in equine

ally worry about flying.” From the Iberian Peninsula to the Palos Verdes

orthopedics and is the veterinarian for some of the top

Peninsula, our new family member, Tentador, is about to

horses in Spain, I purchased Tentador. He was then

blaze an exciting trail in my heart as Jesse has for many

moved to Epona Equestrian Centre to continue his

years. There will undoubtedly be moments that will take

advanced training with Vivi before being exported to the

my breath away, as often happens with horses—espe-

United States.

cially when the wind dances between his ears. ■

When I met him in April, I knew he was the perfect horse for me. Rafael also confirmed that I made the right decision when he coached me riding him. “Diane,

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Equine Transport headquartered in Playa del Rey. He will

saw him by chance at a friend’s stable in Spain in 2021, horse. When she sent videos of him to me and I realized

128

horse is a good horse!”

school and at Vivi’s family-owned Epona Equestrian



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A LOCAL ESCAPE We’ll see you soon at this nearby oasis featuring lighthearted luxury.

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estled on a serene Redondo Beach

views. The upgraded guest rooms, baths and

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luxury suites evoke a glammed-up beach feel

Bay area, The Portofino Hotel &

with mirrored glass décor and crisp nautical

Marina is a haven that feels worlds

details. Rooms on the ocean side come with

away but is just a stone’s throw from the

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excitement Los Angeles and Hollywood have

water, while rooms on the marina side offer

to offer. Sophisticated but never pretentious,

dock views of sailboats and basking sea lions.

The Portofino isn’t just a place to get away. It’s a place to get together. Opened in 1962 by race car enthusiast Mary

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THE PORTOFINO ISN’T JUST A PLACE TO GET AWAY. IT’S A PLACE TO GET TOGETHER.

overlook the ocean. The oceanfront bike

Davis, The Portofino was famously the final

path spans more than 27 miles along the

playful seasonal menus and out-of-the-box

destination of The Cannonball Run—a car race

California Coastal Trail—all the way to Malibu!

craft cocktails. Like all hotel and resort brands

from New York to Los Angeles that first was

Complimentary cruiser bicycles are always

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held in 1971 and eventually was the basis of a

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lection, The Portofino Hotel & Marina offers

feature film. Race enthusiasts still make the trip

Center offers kayaks, paddleboards and

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today, and the hotel has built a following on its

more for those looking for ocean adventures.

for the perfect Southern California getaway.

luxury-with-a-touch-of-levity vibe. The hotel recently completed a multi-

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the perfect fit A MANHATTAN BEACH INTERIOR DESIGNER REINVENTS HER MEDITERRANEAN-STYLE HOME IN THE SAND SECTION WITH NUANCES BLENDING EAST COAST AND WEST COAST. Written by Jennie Nunn | Photographed by Lauren Pressey



When Mary Beth Christopher,

It was a diamond in the rough, and it was meant to be

founder and principal designer

our home.”

of MBC Interior Design, and her husband, David, moved to Manhattan

Construction to help with a kitchen remodel; new exterior and interior paint; a full gut of the primary

with their two daughters, their

bathroom; refinished French walnut floors; and skim-

much longer than they expected. “We had been looking for months and not finding

coating of the walls. “We got lucky because there are so many Mediterranean homes that have big, heavy concrete balusters and wrought iron curlicue detailing, but none

the right thing,” recalls Mary Beth, who relocated to

of that was on this house. So that made it feel like a

the area for David’s job. “This house popped up on my

clean exterior and lent itself to be easily modernized.

online search, and we called our Realtor about it. She

We knew we had to lighten it up with paint; just paint-

said, ‘Oh, it’s really dark and dated.’ She didn’t think

ing it white made all the difference,” says Mary Beth.

we would like it. We scheduled a visit anyway, and

“The walls were all muddled textured walls. We went

the minute my husband and I walked in, I just knew it

through the process of skim-coating the entire home,

was our house. It was a great location, and it had great

which was the most time-consuming. But it’s one of

bones and tons of natural light.”

those subtle details that was totally worth it, and I’m so

But the original finishes in the 5-bedroom, 5½-bath residence with a salmon pink-hued facade weren’t

glad we did it.” They kept the existing layout and cabinet boxes in

aligned with Southern California living and its prox-

the kitchen and replaced cabinet doors and added a

imity to the ocean. “There were stained doors and

breakfast nook and office area. “I never had an all-

cabinets, coffered ceilings and there was brown tile

white kitchen in previous homes, and I always wanted

even on the range hood,” explains Mary Beth about the

one,” explains Mary Beth, who incorporated color and

house, which has an upside-down configuration—the

texture into the space with custom counter stools up-

kitchen and main living areas are upstairs. “My joke

holstered in Susan Connor Indro fabric in lake oyster.

is that all of the light fixtures were something out of

She continues: “A white kitchen will always be

Game of Thrones; they looked like they could hurt you.

timeless, and I was trying to figure out a way to make

They were primitive and old-world. All of the finishes

the breakfast room my office but still keep a breakfast

together gave the home a very specific look.”

nook. It took some convincing, and I saw it right away

Initially the kitchen was outfitted in travertine

but second-guessed myself when both my husband and

tile, but there was little cohesion with wood floor-

the contractor thought it would feel like it was blocking

ing on either side in the living room and family room.

the walkway into the family room. We finally decided to

“Everything was painted a dark taupe color, and it felt

go for it, and we flanked it with two china cabinets. It

disjointed. The fireplaces had heavy stone, and it all

feels like a purposeful space that blends in nicely with

felt very heavy,” says Mary Beth. “But the irony is, I’m

the rest of the kitchen.”

actually grateful for those details because it’s those finishes that caused the home to be overlooked by others.

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originally from Massachusetts—turned to RJ Smith

Beach from Atlanta five years ago search for the perfect home took

134

For the 10-month transformation, Mary Beth—

For the adjacent light and airy living room, Mary Beth appointed the space with a rug from Jaipur Living,




“IT COMBINES OUR EAST COAST AND WEST COAST LIVES AND THE HISTORY OF WHERE WE HAVE LIVED AND WHO WE ARE.”

a pair of Brooks table lamps by Visual Comfort, a metal parquet table from RH and a sofa lined with Perennials’ Whippersnapper fabric in sea salt. A bold yellow abstract original painting by Bert Carpenter hangs above the fireplace. “It was gifted to David from his grandmother,” shares Mary Beth. “It’s kind of a surprise in there; it sort of goes and doesn’t go. And it has meaning to us.” Each room throughout the home has thoughtful and meaningful touches blended with pieces from their previous homes, including their youngest daughter’s bedroom with a rattan hanging chair by Serena & Lily and lavender-hued accent pillows and an accent wall clad in Galbraith & Paul’s Little Lotus wallpaper in phlox. The dining room is home to a reclaimed wood table, a black iron Linear Branched chandelier by Visual Comfort and an abstract painting by Michelle Armas from Gregg Irby Gallery in Atlanta. “Overall what we did was honor the bones of the home, but I think it still feels like it belongs in L.A.,” explains Mary Beth. “It combines our East Coast and West Coast lives and the history of where we have lived and who we are.” ■


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THE WILD BLUE YONDER You never know where life is going to take you. Just ask Realtor® America Michael. WRITTEN BY LAURA L. WATTS | PHOTOGRAPHED BY SHANE O’DONNELL

“P

eople have no idea what I’ve

America was born in Hawaii, so it was

been through,” says America

only fitting that the love of her life was

Michael about her unbeliev-

also a native islander. Tyler McMillan was

able journey over the past

born in Australia and was living in Canada

couple years—a story that she described

when he and America met on a beach in

to me recently through tears and laughter.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, while on separate

“It’s the saddest yet most beautiful thing I’ve

vacations. They both loved to travel, and

ever experienced.”

together they visited many destinations

“I AM A LUCKY WOMAN TO BE AMONG SUCH SPECTACULAR FEMININE FORCES!”

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

Eventually Tyler relocated to California

AN UNEXPECTED TWIST In the spring of 2021, Tyler’s immigration

to be with America. When they decided

approval finally came through. To celebrate,

to marry in mid-2020, the coronavirus

the couple returned to Puerto Vallarta. And

pandemic shutdown was in full swing. So

then tragedy struck.

they came up with the perfect solution:

Completely out of the blue, Tyler suffered

“My husband and I were able to elope in

a catastrophic aneurism due to arterio-

the desert during the pandemic in a very

venous malformation—a genetic condition

private ceremony,” America shares. “It was

where arteries and veins rupture, causing

simply perfection.”

bleeding into the brain or spinal cord. While

They were planning for a honeymoon

in some cases it can be treated, Tyler fell

and, when the time was right, a baby. They

into an almost-instant coma from which he

worked hard to finalize Tyler’s immigration to

never recovered.

the United States and to keep America’s real

America stayed by his bedside in a

estate business, Homes By America Michael

Mexican hospital, while multiple friends

Team, thriving during such strange times.

jumped on flights to be with her and support

Tyler helped out by volunteering to handle

her—without her even having to ask. “There

the administrative and systems operations.

are so many angels in this story,” she says.

“I loved very much having him involved

“TELLING THIS STORY IS MY WAY OF HONORING TYLER.”

“So many people showed up.”

in the business and conversation,” America

Before Tyler passed away on April 16,

says. “We aligned on future goals, and he

2021, America spoke with fertility doctors in

was wonderful at adding value to our team.”

Mexico and the U.S. about her options for parenting a child with her husband—regard-

America & Tyler

less of his prognosis. For months after Tyler’s passing, America endured multiple medical procedures and repeated trips back to Mexico—and her tenacity paid off. Thanks to the miracle of modern medicine, when she’s ready she will be able to carry and birth a baby that is biologically hers and Tyler’s. MOVING FORWARD It was difficult for America to return to the home she shared with Tyler, but she knew she needed to get back to work—both for her own sake and that of her clients. In May, she gathered with friends and family in Yucca Valley—where she and Tyler had eloped—to celebrate his life with a Peruvian despacho ceremony. She also took a long road trip through some national parks across the West to spread her husband’s ashes. “Grief is really hard. I did my best with how I handled it,” she says. “Telling this story is my way of honoring Tyler. He would have

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America at The Wild Blue, her new desert home

PHOTOS COURTESY OF AMERICA MICHAEL

during their long-distance relationship.

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encouraged me to pull myself out of this hole and live my life.” As a nod to the significance of the location and a step forward in her healing journey, America recently bought a home in Yucca Valley to share with friends and family. “I’ve been visiting there for about five years,” she says. “I’ve made a new community of friends there, and I intend to expand my market there as well.” The house will be ready this fall, and she has given it a name: The Wild Blue. BACK TO WORK Back home, America and the Homes By America Michael Team banded together and barely missed a beat throughout this ordeal—continuing to deliver outstanding service while assisting clients with their luxury residential real estate needs. “I am so proud of my team for persevering, and I am honored to have such wonderful clients who stuck with us at such a trying and devastating time,” she shares. Rest assured that America is finding her way in the midst of her new normal. While she will forever cherish the memories of her marriage and her soulmate, she is boldly pressing forward—servicing her clients with a high level of dedication, preparing The Wild Blue home as a desert retreat and considering the possibility of motherhood

America often meditates near the altar she created to honor Tyler’s memory.

one day. Through her heartbreak, she’s living a great life—surrounded by the community she loves. “I’m constantly in awe of the circle of

today is helping others—in all sorts of ways.

themselves. While that’s been a tough lesson

“Over the years I’ve helped many widows

for America, she presses on and starts each

women I surround myself with—both in real

and widowers in the process of buying and

day with a gratitude practice. “The South

estate and in my social circles,” she says.

selling their homes, and now I have a new

Bay is truly a special community,” she smiles,

“These women are all so dynamic and

perspective on it. I know how complicated

“and I am grateful to be a part of it.”

inspire me with their hearts, intellect, talents,

and exhausting grief is. I know that when

business acumen, drive and all they bring to

family, money and real estate are involved, it

the table. I am a lucky woman to be among

only gets more complicated.”

such spectacular feminine forces!”

She also hopes her story offers support to

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a second home in a new location, or even

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One of the things that brings America hope

someone who is learning to be gentle with

IG: @HOMESBYAMERICA |

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Listen Closely PEDIATRICIAN JEREME BUTLER LENDS BOTH EAR AND HEART TO HER YOUNG PATIENTS. Written by Kailani Melvin | Photographed by Siri Berting

Everyone remembers the feeling of visiting the doctor as a

“I like to treat every patient how I would want to be

child. Sitting on the crinkly paper, staring at the bone dia-

treated or how I’d want my child to be treated,” she says,

grams on the wall and squirming uncomfortably as you wait

“like they’re the only one who exists.”

for the physician—a figure who seems untouchable—to

142

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Born in Maryland, Dr. Butler grew up in a robust fam-

enter the room. For most, the story ends with a pediatrician

ily—her mother was one of 13 children. “I had hundreds of

quickly administering a checkup, then curtly running off

cousins,” she says, laughing. “There was always a baby!”

to finish the rest of their day. But not with Jereme Patricia

Combine this with her parents’ occupation as teachers, and

Butler, MD.

you have a recipe for little children always needing care.


“That’s where my love for children came from,” she says. She graduated magna cum laude from Wake Forest University in North Carolina before moving to California to complete her residency at Children’s Hospital of Orange County. For the past 22 years, Dr. Butler has been a pediatrician for Kaiser Permanente in Harbor City. Her ability to speak Spanish and American Sign Language allows her to see a broader range of patients, including the children of her former patients. Although she loves every aspect of pediatrics, Dr. Butler delights in working with adolescents. She is the listening ear teenagers need but often don’t find. “With a 2-monthold, every two hours something is needed. Teenagers take care of things for themselves, but my office gives them a chance to communicate.” With the stress teenagers face, Dr. Butler provides a safe space for them to open up. “We all want to be heard,” she says. “I think when [teens] know they’re heard, that’s where the love comes in. Knowing they were heard can help them take better care of themselves.” Diving into the next chapter of her career, Dr. Butler is becoming a REACH coach at the Kaiser Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine. “REACH was developed to provide medical students resilience and problem-solving skills that will help them now and in the future,” she says. The program—which stands for Reflection, Education, Assessment, Coaching, and Health and well-being—emphasizes diversity, leadership and inclusion practices, so doctors can become aware of their own preconceived biases. “It’s a

enough water and finds bliss through prayer and positiv-

beautiful thing to learn how to see other perspectives and

ity. “You have to sleep, you have to drink water, you have to

learn to give yourself grace,” she says.

take care of yourself,” she advises. “When things get chal-

The program stresses the importance of doctors ask-

lenging—because they will—stop, breathe and rebalance.”

ing for help and taking care of their well-being. Dr. Butler

Much of her happiness comes from spending time with

teaches students the power of collaboration and asking

her two daughters and husband, who encourage and support

questions. With increased levels of burnout due to the

her career. Dr. Butler’s joy is infectious (pun intended!). Her

coronavirus pandemic, mental health awareness has be-

optimistic outlook is something we can all admire.

come a priority. “Power naps!” Dr. Butler answers, laughing, when asked what she does for self-care. She also makes sure to consume

“When you are helping others, you are learning and receiving that blessing tenfold,” she says, her smile lighting up the room. ■

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Choosing Magic REAL ESTATE AGENT AND WRITER KARINA PACIFIC TURNS A TROUBLED CHILDHOOD INTO A MESSAGE OF HOPE. Written by Evy Gallagher | Photographed by Adelaide Brannan

Karina Pacific was determined to change her life for the

and currently serving as the community service board

better. Once a fatherless girl growing up in Mexico, a

member of the Redondo Beach Rotary Club.

victim of child abuse and daughter of a reticent mother,

ter development in classic movies and novels, Karina

philanthropist living in the South Bay with a family of

believed she had a story to share. The film adaptation

her own.

of The Miracle Worker made a strong impact on her,

Karina attributes much of her success to her strong faith. “[In Mexico] Catholicism is fed to you like beans and rice,” she says. Karina recounts stories about

overcome anything, she explains. She started writing about her own character development, hoping to help others overcome similar struggles.

who offered her silent protection and taught her about

She called the story Choosing Magic. The book dives deep

discipline and the importance of accepting God into

into her personal trauma while presenting an optimistic

her life.

outlook on life. Karina says the book-writing process did not come

right direction. Karina believes that friends, acquain-

naturally at first. With no experience in writing, the

tances and strangers were sent her way to act as angels,

first draft was essentially a therapy session. Words

some staying in her life for good and others just pass-

poured out onto paper, and with a little guidance from

ing through to share their wisdom. Karina’s mother,

friend and poet Stellasue Lee and proofreading and

with whom she did not have a close relationship,

designing by artist Jenny Mendoza, Choosing Magic was

showed her the security of homeownership, eventually

completed. Karina points out that these women were

leading Karina to pursue a career in real estate.

fundamental in the creation of her book and that she is

After moving to the United States, Karina went through her fair share of toxic relationships before

appreciative that they helped her bring this idea to life. After seemingly living a thousand lives—an ex-

starting to chart her path. She read other people’s sto-

tremely difficult childhood, struggling through early

ries of transformation and changing the path they were

adulthood, and then turning her life around and helping

given, and it ultimately led to a period of self-healing.

those in need—Karina has maintained an extremely

When she first moved to the South Bay in 1999, she

positive attitude. “It’s more fun,” she explains about

saw how the community helped charities and took part

her happy perspective. “Don’t you feel better when

in local service opportunities. It was an aspect of the

you’re optimistic?”

South Bay that she took seriously and wanted to be a

|

encouraging her to “use pain and struggles for fuel” to

growing up with daily guidance from priests and nuns

She speaks of the people who have nudged her in the

144

Inspired by other people’s journeys and the charac-

she is now a successful Realtor, author and dedicated

Karina appreciates the beauty of every day and

part of. Karina has supported many philanthropies over

believes that good things come from your outlook on

the years—fundraising for water wells in her hometown

life. This practice has helped her maintain a positive

in Mexico, volunteering at Richstone Family Center

mindset and the power and ability to change. ■



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

BLAME IT ON RIO From Ipanema Beach to the Beach Cities, two friends deliver their shared passion for connecting people through healthy food and a festive atmosphere. WRITTEN BY LAURA L. WATTS | PHOTOGRAPHED BY TAMEKA JACOBS

I

t’s been a mystery for three years—the

consulting business.

Most of the food is gluten-free, thanks

changes happening at the corner of Main

After Eric’s NYC restaurants closed and

Street and East Pine Avenue in El Segundo.

Almir moved back to Brazil, the two always

(except Mondays, when they’re closed)

Tapizôn is finally open, after years of plan-

stayed in touch. About five years ago, Eric

features small bites and drink specials.

visited Almir in Sao Paulo. They were eating

Customers rave about the 1918 Original

tapioca, and the two had an epiphany.

Caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail.

ning, development and a pandemic. The restaurant’s name is part “tapioca”— a starch extracted from the cassava plant,

“Our creative minds went into overdrive!”

to the use of tapioca. A daily happy hour

“We hope to give the South Bay a very

native to Brazil—and part “Amazon.” Tapizôn

Eric exclaims. “By fusing natural ingredients

special experience—something new and dif-

aims to transcend borders and unite cul-

and original recipes with Brazilian flavors

ferent,” Almir says.

tures with a fusion cuisine that owners Eric

and culture, we could create our own res-

Petterson and Almir Araujo call Tropi-Cali:

taurant to bring people together and enjoy

believe the purpose of restaurants is to

modern Brazilian fare with a SoCal flair.

exciting new experiences.”

serve the community—in more ways than

This venture was born from a friendship

Both being family men—Eric has three

As career restaurant guys, Almir and Eric

just feeding them. They have beautified

more than 30 years in the making. The two

grown kids, and Almir’s three still live at

their landscaping, volunteered with the El

met by chance in the streets of Almir’s birth-

home—they knew they wanted a location

Segundo Education Foundation and local

place, Rio de Janeiro, while Eric was there on

for their dream restaurant that was family-

chambers of commerce, and held several

a research trip with business partners in 1989.

friendly and had plentiful parking. Los

community events on their property.

They operated restaurants together in New

Angeles didn’t fit the bill, so they researched

York City for years, reconnected in Sao Paulo

other California locales starting in 2018.

and now make their homes in the South Bay. Eric was born in Florida, graduated from

A friend told Eric about a dilapidated cor-

And they’re thrilled to bring a taste of their favorite place in the world to the South Bay— one delicious bite at a time.

ner in El Segundo that reminded him of his

the University of Miami and traveled the

NYC restaurant Luna Park. “I went to look

TAPIZÔN

world working in the fashion industry for

at it,” Eric shares. “I took a picture, sent it to

450 MAIN ST., EL SEGUNDO

six years. He landed in New York City and

Almir and instantly we both knew this corner

310-648-8401 | TAPIZON.COM

owned several successful restaurants, includ-

had to be the birthplace of Tapizôn!”

ing Live Bait, Luna Park and The Coffee Shop,

El Segundo might not bring to mind

which counted many celebrities among its

thoughts of “sensual” and “exotic,” but Eric

clientele over 28 years of business.

and Almir are creating that vibe inside the

Almir left Rio at age 18 and graduated

Where it all began: Almir and Eric in 1989, high above Ipanema Beach

doors of Tapizôn. As anyone who has lived or

from the University of Florida. In 1990 he

vacationed there knows, Brazil is brimming

relocated to NYC, where he worked for years

with color, rhythm and beautiful people.

in the hospitality industry—including 12 years

“Tapizôn is a place where the cultures

with Eric’s restaurant group. He met his wife,

of Rio de Janeiro, the Amazon and the

Juliana, also a native of Brazil, and they

South Bay come together,” Almir says of the

had their first child. They relocated to her

restaurant that opened in January. “We’re

hometown of Sao Paulo and had two more

recreating the warmth and exotic feeling of

children while Almir operated a successful

Brazilian tropical living here in SoCal.” |

147



as seen in

In every issue, we share one story across our network that explores topics beyond the limits of the South Bay. These California stories speak to the meaningful impact our state and its residents are making on the global stage. To learn more about Golden State and discover more stories like this, visit goldenstate.is.

saltwater & sisterhood LAWYER, SURFER AND SOCIAL CHANGEMAKER BECKY MENDOZA IS PROMOTING WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT BY RIDING WAVES. Written by Ashtyn Douglas-Rosa | Photographed by Grant Ellis


In the parking lot behind the Encinitas building rented by Changing Tides Foundation (CTF), a women-led

she didn’t learn how to surf until she was in her second semester of law school. “I didn’t even get up on a wave

young girls through the act of surfing,

my first time, and I got sun poisoning on the back of

seated in a circle beneath an E-Z Up. They are ready to start their fifth week of an eight-week surf camp. Everything about the scene seems like a normal

my legs. But I was so determined,” she remembers. “The fact that I kept going back, I was like, ‘OK, this is something I’m going to learn.’” She was instantly hooked. Between her law classes (while also earning a master’s degree in sport administration), Becky spent all her free time traveling up and down the East Coast improving her skills in the lineup.

camp—wetsuits hanging in the background, talk of last

After graduating from law school in 2004, she moved to

week’s session, a colorful mural of a woman nose-

the wave-rich coast of Encinitas to work as a contract

riding. But the topic of discussion for this afternoon’s

attorney for Major League Baseball players.

lesson, led by a local female physical therapist, is anything but wave-related. We’re talking menstrual cycles. Surrounding the crew of young girls (who understandably break out blushing and snickering at times)

In 2009, she started Action Sports Law Group and began working on contracts and obtaining visas for worldclass athletes. All the while, she never stopped surfing. Becky never dreamed of starting a nonprofit post-bar

are CTF founders and volunteers, including 41-year-old

exam, but CTF eventually evolved one year after an in-

contract lawyer Becky Mendoza. Becky started CTF six

jury she sustained while surfing her home break—right

years ago alongside some of her closest friends with

before a planned trip to Nicaragua. “I did the splits on

the goal of creating a diverse community of people who

my board tucking into a barrel, pulled my hamstring

feel connected to the sea and want to advocate for the

really bad, and my PT was like, ‘You’re probably not

planet and its inhabitants.

going to surf,’” she shares. “Rather than canceling my

One of CTF’s projects is the Women’s Outreach

trip, I made the decision to start fundraising to take

Mentorship Program (WOMP), a surf camp that em-

water filters with me. I ended up getting enough to

powers young girls to discover their strengths, find

take 50 water filters. Afterward it was just one of those

sisterhood and protect the ocean. Each week the orga-

things where I was like, ‘I can’t not do this.’”

nization shuttles the group of girls from a local Boys

A year later (with her surf injury healed), Becky at-

& Girls Club to the CTF headquarters, where they’re

tended a wedding in Mexico near Puerto Vallarta and

provided with wetsuits, a surf lesson, free gear, dinner

took more filters with her, distributing them to locals

and various lectures on breath work, journaling, body

in need of clean water. She ended up returning to the

positivity, protecting the environment, ocean safety or,

area three more times; helping disadvantaged com-

in this week’s case, female physiology.

munities was as much in her blood as was surfing and

When the conversation veers toward the cocktail of hormones that lead to PMS, Becky offers her experience

|

Anyone who’s crossed paths with Becky knows she is the antithesis of a mean person. Originally from Miami,

organization aiming to empower a group of middle school girls are

150

At that, the teenagers nod their heads in empathy.

practicing law. When she returned home after one of her trips south,

to the group. “Right before my period, around when I

Becky got on a FaceTime call with four of her best

start to eat chocolate, I’m kind of mean,” she laughs.

friends—Anna Santoro, Jianca Lazarus, Leah Dawson



“THE MORE GIRLS WE GET INTO THE OCEAN, THE MORE GIRLS ARE GOING TO WANT TO PROTECT IT.”




and Leane Darling Horton—to talk about starting an

The break forced them to turn their attention stateside

official nonprofit with the aim of helping communities

to their own community.

wherever their travels (which were mainly wave-hunt-

“We realized that there’s a need here,” admits Becky.

ing in nature) took them. The women were all game,

“There are kids who live 20 minutes inland who have

and CTF was born. They returned to Mexico as a group

never been in the ocean. For us, it was important to

in 2016 to continue the work Becky had started.

bring our WOMP program here by switching from

In the following years, the crew broadened their

a travel-based organization to a community-based

scope, first partnering with an organization in Panama

organization. In the future we’d like to have different

called Give and Surf to develop a 10-week WOMP

chapters that run WOMP programs all over the country,

program, which taught teenage girls—in a community

all over the world. The hope is that we can implement

struggling with high teen pregnancy rates and few ca-

this curriculum on a broader scale and invite more

reer and educational opportunities for young women—

inclusivity and diversity in the ocean.”

how to swim, surf and be stewards of the ocean. They

Now that CTF has found its sea legs, so to speak—

then went to the Dominican Republic to administer a

with an HQ that regularly hosts community events—

one-week WOMP, followed by two more in Peru and El

Becky is moving to a more hands-off approach,

Salvador. The more volunteer work they did, the more

stepping down as executive director to serve as a board

opportunities arose to help empower young women on

member and also to set her sights on other socially

a global scale.

conscious entrepreneurial opportunities.

For Becky, teaching young girls how to surf is so

“I don’t know what’s next for me,” she says. “I

much more than just pushing them into waves. It’s

just really, really want to help people— not only in

about showing the next generation of young women the

a way that helps them pursue their passions but also

power of lifting each other up and looking at their fel-

that those passions could make the world better. It’s

low female peers as allies rather than rivals.

this social, entrepreneurial feeling I have inside me. I

“Growing up, I was totally a tomboy,” she says. “I was the youngest of eight cousins and brothers and I was the only girl, so I learned to speak the boy lan-

feel connected to bringing people along to experience beautiful things.” But for now Becky is working on building connec-

guage. I didn’t grow up in a very welcoming female en-

tions, both in and out of the water, with this specific

vironment and often looked at women as competition.

group of middle schoolers–even if that means she has

I never really understood the power of female com-

to disclose some of her premenstrual tendencies in

munity, especially in sports, until I found the girls [the

front of them. She knows that helping young girls feel

CTF cofounders]. Once I felt that connection, it was like

recognized and emboldened will ultimately benefit the

nothing could stop us. I felt incredibly empowered—

community and the environment as a whole.

more empowered than I’ve ever been in my life—from

“The more girls we get into the ocean, the more girls

other women. When I reached that deeper connection

are going to want to protect it,” says Becky. “And I

with nature and my female friends, it was so soothing

think that’s our bottom line here, that’s the thing that

for my soul. I think I would have been very different if I

resonates with us: How do we get more people to care

had been exposed to that at a young age.”

about taking care of our planet? Surfing is a great tool

As CTF began gaining momentum with its global initiatives, the COVID-19 pandemic reared its ugly head

for that. And it’s got all these other benefits—saltwater therapy, empowerment and sisterhood.” ■

and grounded Becky and her team for most of 2020.

|

155


SEEN

Torrance Memorial Patrons Evening In appreciation for their generous support, Torrance Memorial treated its Patrons to dinner under Air Force One at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on July 30. Donors toured the museum and posed for photos at the entrance to Air Force One before enjoying an elegant dinner.

Patricia Padelford and Steve Nash

Major Lin

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Darrin Del Conte, Michelle Del Conte, Noelle Giuliano, Paul Giuliano

Paul Hennessey and Jennifer Hennessey

Michael Zislis, Sam Sheth, Bharti Sheth, Kay Sheth, Allen Alpay, Allen Lay

PHOTOGRAPHED BY DEIDRE DAVIDSON

Serena Ngan and John Ngan


SEEN

Chevron Manhattan Beach Grand Prix The 59th annual Chevron Manhattan Beach Grand Prix was a fun-filled day for cyclists, runners and their families. The event consisted of professional cycling races, the Manhattan Mile running race and the Chevron Manhattan Beach Grand Prix.

Racers line up at the start/finish line of the 59th annual Chevron Manhattan Beach Grand Prix.

Manhattan Beach Mayor Steven Napolitano waits to present Chevron Manhattan Beach Grand Prix winners with their medals.

PHOTOGRAPHED BY TAMEKA JACOBS

Kids’ Community Race competitors speed to the finish line on their tricycles.

Chevron Kids’ Zone visitors walk their balloon dogs.

Manhattan Mile women’s first-place winner Casey Monoszlay.

Dave Lin and son Oliver run the Manhattan Mile.

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157


SEEN

Healthy Hearts for Women Women of the Ambassadors program of the Torrance Memorial Foundation gathered for a luncheon at Shade Hotel to hear about the Lundquist Lurie Cardiovascular Institute’s new Women’s Heart Health Clinic from director Nadia Jafar Curran, MD. She spoke about the inequities and gap in cardiovascular care for women, emphasizing the importance of preventing

Front: Cynthia Williams, MD, Christy Abraham, Nadine Bobit, Kak McKinnie Back: Patricia Sacks, MD, Pat Lucy, Kathleen Krauthamer, Angela Furkioti, Judith Gassner, Ann Zimmerman

Front: Karen Odom, Diana Brandt, Cindy Hagelstein, Lisa Noski Back: Linda Artiano, Grace St. Clair, Elaine McRae

Celebrate Wellness 2022 Cancer Support Community South Bay’s 25th annual Celebrate Wellness generated proceeds of more than $260,000 to benefit free support programs for cancer patients and their families. More than 500 guests sampled fare from 30 of the finest restaurants and beverage companies as they strolled through the late-afternoon garden party. Christy Barner, Kathleen Johnson, Jackie Suiter, Jacqui Withers, Kate Peters, Mindy Webster, Sharon Lam

Lynn Wolf, Natalie Muckley, Joanne Hunter, Jim Hunter, Anna Pinto, Tati Wennekamp

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Deborah Wong and Kenneth Wong

PHOTOGRAPHED BY DEIDRE DAVIDSON

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Laser Treatments & Injections Since 2004 310.373.5000 | www.celibre.com | Torrance, CA

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“I cherish my relationships with my clients before, during and after an escrow. When you go through an escrow, it’s 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 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 I have their back and am always here for them.” – JENNIFER CARAS, JENNIFER CARAS REAL ESTATE


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NICOLA LOWREY N2 AESTHETICS

196

A. MICHELE BROWN LIFESTYLES BY MICHELE BROWN

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DR. CLAIRE DELCAMBRE HEY BABE PHYSICAL THERAPY & WELLNESS

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DR. KRISTIN EGAN

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BRYANNE DEGOEDE BLND PUBLIC RELATIONS LLC

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GRETCHEN TIERNAN & MEGAN TIERNAN SAND SPA

DR. STEPHANIE CULVER, JOHANNA MOONEY, PATTY WU MENOSPLAIN

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ANITA LUGLIANI & ALEXANDRA LUGLIANI ASPYN METHOD

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MANHATTAN BEACH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

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EDITED BY LAURA L. WATTS PHOTOGRAPHED BY SIRI BERTING, TAMEKA JACOBS, SHANE O’DONNELL, LAUREN PRESSEY

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

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Los Angeles native, Jennifer Caras attended Marymount High School and graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has worked in real estate for almost 18 years and has been recognized as one of the South Bay’s top producing agents for the last decade. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS LINE OF WORK? I landed in real estate after a successful yet unfulfilling career in pharmaceutical sales. My husband encouraged me to get my real estate license, and initially I was just trying to find lots for him to build on. After forming a handful of valuable client relationships in the first few years, my heart was in it and it continued to grow and expand year after year. WHAT HAS BEEN A GAME CHANGER IN YOUR CAREER? I started my career with a smaller, local boutique firm in 2004. In 2015 our brokerage became Vista Sotheby’s International Realty. Having the backing of Sotheby’s—a global real estate firm with a long history of excellence and prestige—has taken my career to the next level. TELL US YOUR PHILOSOPHY ABOUT WORKING IN THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY. My business is so much more than just helping clients buy and sell homes. It’s about being relatable and understanding while incorporating my experience and knowledge and fostering relationships. I am committed to providing the highest quality of service in each step of the transaction, and I pride myself on being approachable and consistent. HOW HAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS? I never dreamed I’d sell over $100 million of homes in a single year. That’s a level I

didn’t think was attainable since I don’t have a large team of agents working for me. Last year I sold close to $120 million, which exceeded my expectations and is an all-time career high. It’s proof that bigger isn’t better; it’s about quality not quantity. HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE HONEST, OPEN CLIENT DIALOGUE? I always remind clients that I’m on their side, and the more I know about their thoughts about a particular property, the more it will help me during negotiations. 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 IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU LIVE BY? Be authentic. As simple as that sounds, I think it’s been critical advice and a key to my success. I don’t “sell” my clients on a home I don’t think is right for them. I may lose a sale in the short term, but it’s about putting the needs of my clients ahead of everything else. That is what is valued in the end and where the trust is earned. The trust I build with my clients by being genuine and honest generates more long-term value than any individual sale. WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST SIGNIFICANT BARRIER IN YOUR CAREER? Lack of inventory! Which is why it’s so critical to be working with the right agent first and foremost—one who is connected with and respected by other top agents, has knowledge of off-market and coming-soon properties, and is a fierce client advocate with a proven track record. WHAT ROLE DOES YOUR FAMILY PLAY IN YOUR CAREER? My family plays a critical role in my career. I truly could not do it without their love

and support. My husband is a developer, commercial broker and licensed contractor, so he understands my business and is very hands-on with help whenever I need it. I’ve also fondly dubbed my twin daughters “the interns” since they were little. Now that they’re entering high school, they are legit interns helping their mama! WHAT ADVICE DO YOU GIVE YOUR KIDS? Be kind. I believe this wholeheartedly— whether you’re a child in school, an adult at work or just running errands at the grocery store. You never know what is going on in other people’s lives. Our oldest child has special needs, and when others look at him and smile and are compassionate, it makes such an incredible difference to him and our family. Kindness matters, and we can never have enough of it in this world. TELL US ABOUT A FEW OF YOUR PASSIONS. I have a renewed passion for traveling as a family! We just returned from two weeks in Greece, an itinerary originally planned for 2020. I think it was that much sweeter that we had to wait until 2022 to embark on the journey. We were so grateful to finally be there again. We soaked in every moment and didn’t take anything for granted. TELL US YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky HOW DO YOU STAY GROUNDED? I’ve been through an incredible amount of loss in my life, between losing my sister at a young age and my dear father more recently. I’m a firm believer that my strength and tenacity have brought me through these tough times. My colleague recently referred to me as “velvet steel,” relaying that I was kind and empathetic yet have a strong backbone. I took it as a massive compliment!

1144 HIGHLAND AVE., MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-367-9129 | JENNIFERCARAS.COM | IG: @JENNIFERCARASREALESTATE | DRE #1466213

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MARCUS MEDICAL SPA

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arcus Medical Spa offers a wide variety of aesthetic treatments— both surgical and nonsurgical—for facial rejuvenation and body contouring. These services are performed by a team of experienced nurses, physician assistants and aestheticians, led by founder Keith Marcus, MD. Marcus Medical is involved in various community activities in the South Bay and donates time and facilities to benefit local schools and charitable programs each year. WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE HEARD? Sheena Samra, MD, facial plastic surgeon: To be present in the moment and take your time. This advice came from my family and has been my guiding light both personally and professionally. I love the artistry in aesthetic medicine. It is something I know I would not be able to attain without presence and patience as my foundation. HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE OPEN AND HONEST DIALOGUE IN THE WORKPLACE? Kelly Gutshall, registered nurse: By being open and honest myself. It is inevitable that things come up that need to be addressed—especially in the workplace— but someone has to open that door. I have learned it is easier to initiate and better done by example. HOW DO YOU FIND TIME TO FIT IT ALL IN? Donna Duffy, registered nurse: Those who know me will attest: I have a lot to fit in. I am a part of several pickleball groups, one of which I manage weekly. I am in a book club that meets bimonthly, as well as The South Bay Film Society. At my center is my family. We are intentional with our time together, whether a sunset walk along the beach on a weekday or a weekend getaway. Practicing aesthetic medicine on a daily basis can be as demanding as it is rewarding, but these are the things that replenish and ground me. They are what invigorate me to show up focused, ready to collaborate with my clients and coworkers.

Dr. Samra: I don’t always, but being intentional with my time—as well as flexible and forgiving with myself, because not everything can be planned—allows me to strike a balance between my personal and professional lives. I use a paper planner to write my long-term and short-term goals. By making these tangible, I am able to prioritize and shape my day in a way that feels both balanced and productive. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WORK FOR THIS PRACTICE? Sarah Ozer, physician assistant: I chose Marcus Medical because of their stellar reputation and aesthetic values that reflected my own. After moving to the South Bay, I was looking for a workplace to call home. Marcus Medical has been that for me. It has given me roots in this community and an enriching environment to grow in. Dr. Marcus is a great mentor, and I have learned so much from him and the other providers here at Marcus Medical. WHAT IS THE #1 THING YOU DO TO ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS IS SUCCESSFUL? Stephanie Walsh, esthetician: Continuous communication with clients is the key to my success. When I first meet with a client, I discuss their history, current skin care regime and goals. Then I formulate a customized treatment plan, write their regime step-by-step, and discuss the timing of regular appointments and follow-ups in between if needed. HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK AND PLAY? Donna: Through modifying my work schedule (I am out of the office on Wednesdays). Still, it is important that I’m available to my loyal clients, many of whom I have seen for nearly 18 years, so I now accept new clients through referral only. This keeps my schedule full without existing clients having to wait months to see me. TELL US YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE. Stephanie: “Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Nietzsche

HOW DOES YOUR FAMILY PLAY A ROLE IN YOUR CAREER? Krista Jacobson, esthetician: I’m beyond blessed to have a supportive husband. He works from home and is a superdad, allowing me the freedom to grow my career. I’m able to focus 100% of my attention on my clients and their care, assured that my boys are taken care of at home. If I need to train or test out new products, he’s the first to raise his hand! WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO STAY GROUNDED? Sarah: Connecting with others has always kept me grounded. This is one of the reasons I went into aesthetic medicine: I wanted that ability to connect with my patients, oneon-one. Outside work, I have my network of friends and the Sandpipers, a South Bay philanthropic group I joined this past year. Their mission, as well as the women that comprise it, ground me not only in myself but also in my new home in the South Bay. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU GIVE TO YOUR CHILDREN? Kelly: Be kind. This is the #1 thing I want to instill in my children. Many of my patients come to me to address an insecurity. While there is an anatomical and tangible component, there is also a mental and emotional one. While addressing and relieving my patients’ insecurities is one of the most rewarding aspects of my work, it has made me acutely aware of how one quick, cruel moment can last a lifetime. I never want my children to be that memory. Krista: Wear SPF! Starting now (my boys are 11 and 7), and apply it daily! Unlike my generation, which basked in the sun unprotected and unaware of the damage we were causing, my boys will have the knowledge to protect themselves. They will be able to prevent sun damage, early aging and, worst of all, skin cancer. They may hate it now, but they will thank me later!

1815 VIA EL PRADO, REDONDO BEACH | 1000 N. SEPULVEDA BLVD., SUITE 220, MANHATTAN BEACH 310-316-1400 | MARCUSMEDICALSPA.COM | IG: @MARCUSMEDICALSPA

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L to R, back: Dr. Sheena Samra, Stephanie Walsh, Kelly Gutshall, Donna Duffy; front: Sarah Ozer, Krista Jacobson


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CARI CORBALIS & BRITT AUSTIN

Owners, Cari & Britt Properties | Vista Sotheby’s International Realty

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ari Corbalis and Britt Austin are a mother-daughter real estate team specializing in residential sellers and buyers throughout the South Bay. Together they have decades of experience in the industry. They started their firm, Cari & Britt Properties, in 2011. HOW HAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE EXCEEDED YOUR CLIENTS’ EXPECTATIONS? We always put ourselves in our clients’ shoes. Some people like to have separation between work and personal life; we tend to blur the lines. Each client is treated as if they are our own family, and we advise them as such. This is felt by every client we work with. They know they can trust us and we truly want the best for them, regardless if it results in a sale or not. WHAT IS THE #1 THING YOU DO TO ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS IS SUCCESSFUL? The majority of our business comes from referrals. We always answer our phones, and we are always honest with our clients even if it hurts us. We go the extra mile and don’t take the easy way out. It’s because of these things that we have a loyal group of clients who promote our business. It’s so gratifying. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WORK IN THIS CAREER FIELD? Cari: I took a real estate law class in college and thought it was fascinating. This led me to take a real estate licensing course. During the summer I started working at a local real estate company and never looked back. DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE. We don’t look at our leadership as leading as much as collaborating with our other team members. It’s important that everyone on our team is happy and feels supported. Our team is not just about work; it’s an extension of our family.

HOW DO YOU FIND TIME TO FIT IT ALL IN? We have built an amazing team that allows us to maintain a high level of service as we have grown over the years. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes, and it’s important for us to make it look seamless. The goal for our clients is that the moving process is as easy as possible. With our incredible team, we do a great job accomplishing this. DESCRIBE A RECENT HAPPENING THAT RESTORED YOUR FAITH IN HUMANITY. Many times a real estate transaction can get very emotional for both buyers and sellers and result in hurt feelings. We had two recent transactions that had quite the opposite outcome. When we went to a final walkthrough with the buyers and sellers, there was wine and cheese and we watched the sunset together. They have since forged a friendship. We also had a client whose wife just passed away, and he is very close with the sellers of the home he bought. They keep an eye on him. It’s so gratifying when we see these friendships form because of the people we connected. WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED? Don’t follow the money. Work hard with moral integrity, and success will come. WHAT ROLE DOES YOUR FAMILY PLAY IN YOUR CAREER? Family is a huge component in our career, considering we are a mother and daughter working very closely together. We are a team both personally and professionally. If someone is at an open house, maybe the other one is preparing a family dinner. We are also lucky to have many other immediate family members in the South Bay who help support us by babysitting Britt’s kids or running errands needed to keep things rolling along.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU GIVE YOUR KIDS? Do what you love and are good at. Success will come. If you don’t have a direction, take aptitude tests! There are hundreds of them free online. Everyone likes to know what they are naturally good at and have a proclivity for. It’s fun and interesting! TELL US ABOUT A FEW OF YOUR PASSIONS. Because we are mother/daughter and we work together, we make it a priority to have a fun Sunday family dinner and game night each week. It gives us a chance to shed the work clothes and bond as a family. Our game nights can get very competitive. TELL US YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky TELL US ABOUT SOMETHING YOU RECENTLY LEARNED THAT SURPRISED YOU. We just learned that Palos Verdes was the most extensive suburban community commission ever undertaken by the Olmsted Brothers, who had numerous high-profile projects including national park systems, universities and state capitols. Under their planning, Palos Verdes became a case study in thoughtful, ecologically minded design adapted to the special conditions of Southern California—very forward-thinking for a community that was planned in the 1920s. WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL? Britt: Cari is my role model. Growing up, I watched how hard she worked and still was able to be a spectacular mom to not only myself but my three siblings as well. She is the hardest working person I know while still having fun and maintaining a strict moral compass. I’ve never seen anyone with as much energy as my mom.

1801 S. CATALINA AVE., REDONDO BEACH | 310-938-9167 | CARIANDBRITT.COM FB: @SOUTHBAYREALTOR | IG: @CARIANDBRITT.REALESTATE

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W WO OM M EE N N O O FF TT H H EE SS O OU U TT H H BB AA YY

KRISTIN EGAN, MD, FACS

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r. Kristin Egan specializes in facial plastic surgery and otolaryngology. She earned her medical degree at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completed a residency program at the University of California, San Francisco. Upon completion, she joined the staff of the school’s Department of Otolaryngology. After a fellowship in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery in New York, Dr. Egan opened her practice 11 years ago. TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORK. I am dual board-certified in otolaryngology head and neck surgery as well as facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. My practice incorporates my surgical skills with a focus on aesthetics and the desire for a more youthful and natural appearance. I am cognizant that a healthy, active lifestyle predominates in the South Bay and that patients desire subtle changes to their appearance to restore an image of themselves that matches how they feel. I have won numerous research awards and have published widely, including multiple chapters in the main textbook used to teach facial plastic and reconstructive surgery fellows. I have been in Manhattan Beach for 11 years and was a clinical instructor at UCSF before moving to Southern California. WHAT CAN PATIENTS EXPECT WHEN THEY VISIT YOUR OFFICE? I pride myself on taking the time to truly listen to my patients and find what is bothering them. As we age, gravity and sun damage take a toll on our skin and soft tissues. Patients desire a return to the characteristics associated with youth, to look more well-rested or simply to eliminate lines and wrinkles that bother them when they look in the mirror. There are both surgical and less invasive procedures to help achieve these goals. Discussion with each patient to find out his or her goals and desires allows me to better tailor a plan to achieve that.

HOW DO YOU ENSURE THAT YOUR PRACTICE IS SUCCESSFUL? I treat each patient in the same manner I would treat a family member, and I work hard to ensure that if they need care outside my purview, those concerns are facilitated as expeditiously as possible. I stay in contact with my patients through different means of communication and am always available to address their questions and concerns. DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE. In the operating room, the surgeon sets the tone for the whole room. While everyone works as a team, I think it is important to lead well. In order to lead most effectively, I believe a calm, knowledgeable demeanor is vital to keep the team relaxed and focused on the tasks at hand. It is important for everyone to be focused in order to ensure the best results for the patient. IF YOU COULD BEGIN AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO “DO OVER” IN YOUR CAREER? I consider myself extremely fortunate that, despite the hiccups and bumps along the way, I would not want to “do over” anything. I have accomplished a career in the field that fascinates me. I live and work in the beautiful beach community that I only dreamed about growing up. I have a supportive team at work and family/team at home that allow me to practice every day. For that I will be eternally grateful. DESCRIBE WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE A WOMAN WORKING IN YOUR FIELD. I have been extremely lucky in my career to have cisgendered males in leadership/mentor relationships who were supportive and encouraging of my ambitions and interests— from medical school to current day. I have been welcomed into the field of surgery, and being a woman has never been used as a reason to exclude me.

WHAT TREND IS DEFINING YOUR SPECIALTY TODAY? Patients are increasingly requesting less invasive procedures with less recovery time and the ability to return to work quickly. More patients are turning to the multiple in-office services that can be done without general anesthesia or a long recovery period. For those patients who want minimal recovery time and an in-office procedure without the need for general anesthesia to address their jowls and neck, LazerLift is the perfect option. LazerLift is a one-time, one-hour, minimally invasive treatment designed to tighten the skin of the face and neck and remove excess fat using SmartLipo technology and no scalpel. It uses the latest technology to take laser energy underneath your skin and stimulate collagen production in the dermis, which leads to improved skin elasticity, thickness and texture. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR THOSE WHO CHOOSE A HEALTH CARE CAREER? Love what you do! I love seeing patients improve and feel better about themselves. I love operating and performing procedures in the office. I enjoy each day that I can use my skills and training in helping others. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU GIVE YOUR KIDS? I talk to my daughters about following their passions. They are young, but my hope is that starting this conversation early will influence them someday. In the meantime, I look for sparks of interest and support them with books and travel. I try to expose my daughters to varied experiences so they develop an understanding of what they like and dislike. I am keen for them to learn about various careers by talking to other adults and possibly shadowing in different fields as they grow. I do my part by spending time with students who are interested in my field.

2809 SEPULVEDA BLVD., MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-426-8415 3655 LOMITA BLVD., SUITE 300, TORRANCE | 310-361-3650 DRKRISTINEGAN.COM

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BRYANNE DEGOEDE

Managing Partner, BLND Public Relations LLC

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LND Public Relations is a boutique communications agency for lifestyle, beauty and wellness brands. Owner Bryanne DeGoede and her team blend media relations, social media management and influencer marketing to increase brand awareness, reach and revenue. Bryanne has worked in public relations, marketing, branding and events for 14 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego, and started BLND in 2014. WHY DID YOU START YOUR BUSINESS? When I was first introduced to the world of PR, I worked at a firm in Beverly Hills and had a terrible experience. The industry itself was tired, and the atmosphere was catty and exclusive. After leaving that position, I worked as an investment banker before switching to a role with a South Bay newspaper. I realized that many local businesses needed better external communications and PR. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial drive, so I took the plunge into business ownership and opened BLND in Hermosa Beach. Today—nearly eight years later—we’re one of the top boutique PR firms in the country. IF YOU COULD BEGIN AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO “DO OVER” IN YOUR CAREER? I hate to sound cliché, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m a big believer in “everything is meant to be” and that you are made up of all of your experiences. If something happens that I feel could be negative, I will always put a positive spin on it and trust that the universe knows what it’s doing. You can’t control the things that happen to you, but you can control the way you feel about them—and this often ripples into your life.

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE HEARD? My business mentor once told me that I needed to learn how to live in the “uncomfortable.” As a business owner, there are bound to be unexpected twists and turns that could derail your plans or completely throw you off. Being able to stay calm and adapt in even the most trying situations is essential, and for the right person, you can not only survive but thrive in the uncomfortable. HOW DO YOU FIND TIME TO FIT IT ALL IN? It’s not easy, but I stay very organized with my calendar and prioritize my tasks. I’m big on to-do lists and get a rush every time I’m able to check something off before moving on to the next project. I actually thrive on stress and love a fast-paced environment that is constantly moving and evolving—so this lifestyle really works for me. DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE. I try to lead by example and serve as a mentor for my team. My door is always open for them to chat with me or ask questions, and I encourage them to bring their ideas to the table, knowing it is a space free of judgment. While I try to be very hands-on, I also ensure that they have the freedom to make and learn from their own choices without too much micromanaging. WHAT IS THE #1 THING YOU DO TO ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS IS SUCCESSFUL? I never stop pushing. When I’ve hit all my goals, I make new ones. I firmly believe that there is always more room to grow and get better. As an entrepreneur, success is a never-ending process and you always strive for more. I think that mindset has helped ensure BLND never stops growing, and I never stay stagnant in my career.

HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE HONEST, OPEN EMPLOYEE DIALOGUE? I’m very transparent and open with my team about my ideas or day-to-day challenges, and I encourage them to be the same with me. I’ve cultivated a workplace where mistakes aren’t punished, but instead they’re looked at as opportunities to learn and grow. With that mindset, my team understands that they can come to me with questions, concerns or ideas; feel comfortable giving their honest opinions; and know that their voices are heard and taken seriously. HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK TIME AND PLAYTIME? PR is an industry that is always on, but I’ve continuously emphasized to myself and my team to have a strong sense of work-life balance. As a mom to an almost 2-year-old, it can be hard to juggle a business, time with family and time for myself. But at the end of the workday, I try to shut off the computer and spend quality time with my husband and my baby boy. Ultimately, when I prioritize my personal life as much as my professional success, it allows me to be refreshed, productive and a better leader for my team. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO STAY GROUNDED? I remind myself of how far I’ve come in my career and stay grateful for the opportunities and challenges that have led me to where I am today. I also try to give myself some me-time at least once a week, like taking a spin class, relaxing in a hot bath or enjoying a cold glass of sauvignon blanc.

1316 HERMOSA AVE., HERMOSA BEACH | 310-594-7989 | BLNDPR.COM | FB & IG: @BLNDPR

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GRETCHEN TIERNAN & MEGAN TIERNAN

Owners, Sand Spa, Polish by Sand Spa

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE HEARD? To never stop growing and learning as a person. The more you learn and grow, the better your life will become. Grow your current professional skill level. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, he states that to achieve greatness in an area, you need to spend 10,000 hours of deliberate, focused practice developing your skill in that area. Beyond expertise in work, we emphasize people skills, leadership skills, our attitude and ability to handle difficult situations, creativity and problem-solving skills.

HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK AND PLAY? We are always improving and evolving in this area of our life. We got married last September and decided to fully lean in to that moment. We had been together 10 years, we own businesses together, we survived a global pandemic and one wedding postponement, so we really wanted to enjoy every second of finally getting married and what we have been able to create for ourselves since opening Sand Spa. The vision for our brand is vast, but if our foundation isn’t solid and if we aren’t watering our relationship, how can we expect to add bricks on top of a cracked foundation? Being married and also being business partners is not easy. It is a weekly and sometimes daily challenge, but we wouldn’t want it any other way. We’re on the same team, we have the same goals, and this relationship is our springboard for all our big ideas and dreams.

HOW DO YOU FIND TIME TO FIT IT ALL IN? We prioritize and plan ahead. We must have a baseline for each day. Things that need immediate attention, things we can delegate and things we can outsource. As business owners, we wear many hats, but we really try to manage our energy. The core problem with working longer hours is that time is a finite resource. Energy is a different story!

WHAT IS THE #1 THING YOU DO TO ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS IS SUCCESSFUL? We have spent more than eight years creating a culture around our clients and their needs. At Sand Spa, it is our privilege to meet client expectations and to strive to go above and beyond for our client base. Clients are the focal point of all decisions related to delivering our products, services and experiences to create customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy. Our keys to winning are to treat customers with respect, offer great services and build relationships with them. We have deep roots in the Beach Cities, and serving this community isn’t something we take lightly. We feel very fortunate to have businesses here and very grateful to have had the community support over the years.

TELL US YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE. “Get comfortable being uncomfortable or find another place to fail.” – Tim S. Grover

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO STAY GROUNDED? Constantly checking in with ourselves and

TELL US ABOUT A FEW OF YOUR PASSIONS. We are passionate about overall health. Recently we overhauled our diets and have had a lot of fun with that. Gretchen loves to cook, and Megan loves her spin bike! We work out together during the week, and we love our dogs (Shark, Sally and Shrimp).

with each other while practicing gratitude. We get to do this life! We are very excited and blessed to be around the people who surround us on a daily basis, and this community has changed our lives. Connecting with this community championed the ways we believe in ourselves. It is important for us to lead from a place where we prioritize mental and emotional health. While advocating for self-care, we are able to have a little fun along the way! HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE HONEST, OPEN EMPLOYEE DIALOGUE? Encouraging honest and open employee dialogue is a part of our culture. We ask employees for their input; we’ve created services and implemented efficient ways to share ideas so that we are evolving too. To take it a step further, we take feedback from clients and are constantly finding ways to improve where we can. Our employees are like family to us. We know their kids and their families, and we do things together. WHAT STRATEGIES CAN WORK WELL TO PROMOTE INCLUSION IN THE WORKPLACE? We celebrate everyone, and we celebrate our differences. Being inclusive is a continuous process for us. We hire people who understand the importance of inclusion and who always keep an open mind. We want everyone to feel comfortable expressing themselves and have a safe space for everyone’s beliefs. WHAT IS THE #1 THING YOU DO TO ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS IS SUCCESSFUL? As Tim Grover said in his book Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable, “There is no off-season when you’re serious about being a winner.” We show up every single day and do the work. We’ve evolved so much since we were the 23- and 24-year-olds who opened Sand Spa, and we still do the things we did when we started.

3408 & 3219 HIGHLAND AVE., MANHATTAN BEACH | 325 & 327 PIER AVE., HERMOSA BEACH | 952 N. SYCAMORE AVE., LOS ANGELES SAND-SPA.COM | IG: @THESANDSPA

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY CREATE WHAT’S TRUE

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and Spa, founded by Gretchen Tiernan and Megan Tiernan in 2014, is a selfcare brand composed of three pillars: body, skin and polish. Sand Spa has five brick-and-mortar locations as well as partnerships with several hotels. This onestop, affordable spa offers highly flexible, customizable treatments and services such as massages, facials, skin care, waxing and nail care.



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HEIDI SMITH, DC

Owner, Life Chiropractic | Heidi Smith Chiropractic Inc.

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ife Chiropractic is a family wellness office that serves patients of all ages, including newborns and pregnant moms. After receiving her Bachelor of Science degree from Azusa Pacific University, Dr. Heidi Smith earned her Doctorate of Chiropractic from Cleveland Chiropractic College, Los Angeles, graduating cum laude. Dr. Smith worked as an associate chiropractor in Torrance before she moved her practice to Redondo Beach and merged with Life Chiropractic in 2019. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO GO INTO THIS CAREER FIELD? Growing up, I took hours of ballet classes every week. The first time I visited a chiropractor was to tune up my body after years of injuries that resulted from ballet. I also had a positive experience with chiropractic and healing after a major car crash when I was in high school. It was fascinating how much my chiropractor knew about my injuries without me having to verbalize it. Chiropractic helped me heal without a lot of residual effects. WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE HEARD? That life is not a competition. It’s OK to be competitive, but it’s you vs. YOU, not you vs. others. Honor the commitments to yourself and stand strong in your convictions to YOU, or you’ll be unable to lead anyone else! Things will test you … we’ve seen that in the last few years, but having a victim mentality only hurts yourself. HOW HAS YOUR WORK PERFORMANCE EXCEEDED YOUR EXPECTATIONS? I enjoy seeing my patients thrive! I ask about their goals—not just about health but the whole picture. I’ve had patients who gave up trying to do the things they enjoy because of injury or fear of injury. We work together to unlock their potential. Their body heals, and they can continue doing things that bring

them joy. I have a great team of assistants who have the same mindset—helping people realize their health potential. WHAT ROLE DOES YOUR FAMILY PLAY IN YOUR CAREER? They play a huge role. When I was going through chiropractic school, my mom and in-laws were supportive and watched my daughters while I was in class. I saw firsthand how chiropractic affects pregnancy, birth and postpartum, which was motivation for me to get additional chiropractic education regarding pregnancy and birth. Chiropractic has helped my kids—from the time they were toddlers to the present— grow into happy, healthy humans ready to thrive on the field or in the classroom. They are great walking testimonials! My older daughter just started filling in at the front desk at my practice and will (hopefully) continue to do so until she graduates next year. My husband is very supportive of my practice. His teaching job allows him to drop our kids off at sports practices and start dinner most nights. IF YOU COULD BEGIN AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO “DO OVER” IN YOUR CAREER? I would have gotten a mentor early! When I graduated, I knew nothing about how to run a business. I was passionate about helping people, I just didn’t know how to market myself and my practice. It was a long time before I was able to shift my mindset and have confidence as a business owner. I invested in myself and joined a great group of chiropractors who have the same heart to help people but also have balance in life. HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK AND PLAY? This is something I am still working on! There are weeks where there is very little downtime unless I’m intentional about setting it up and scheduling it. It sounds counterintuitive to

schedule downtime, but even though I enjoy being social, if I don’t get time to recharge I can get burned out. I usually schedule something fun to look forward to: a concert, a staycation or a trip. If there’s a weekend full of kids’ activities, we enjoy the time spent cheering them on and hanging out with other sports parents. If Weezer is playing, I’m likely in the pit dancing and singing along! TELL US ABOUT A FEW OF YOUR PASSIONS. I love dance and anything that keeps me active. I work on maintaining flexibility at home and even when teaching patients certain stretches and exercises—a nice perk of my profession! I like strength training, Pilates, yoga, waterskiing, walking my dogs and playing with my kids. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR TRYING TO STAY POSITIVE? Our thoughts change our physiology. So when you speak with positive intention, your brain (both consciously and subconsciously) will work toward that. For example, if you say, “I am bad at kicking the soccer ball with my left foot,” your brain will “believe” you and you will always be weak in that area. If you say, “I am learning and working on making my left foot stronger,” your brain will work out how to increase coordination and strength on your left side and even increase balance on the right side. I’m a firm believer in positive affirmations and encouraging others to view things positively.

Disclaimer: This is for informational use only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Health is a state of optimal physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Health is individualized, and it is recommended you seek direct advice from a qualified health care provider if you have questions regarding a medical condition or treatment.

510 N. PROSPECT AVE., SUITE 207, REDONDO BEACH | 310-376-5433 | DRSMITHFAMILYCHIRO.COM FB & IG: @DRSMITHFAMILYCHIRO

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MEG WALKER

CEO & Executive Chef, Made by Meg Catering Operator, La Venta Inn

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eg Walker’s professional life began as a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney for five years, but her passion for cooking eventually became undeniable. She attended culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, and during the final school semester—while still working her financial advising job—Meg started an externship at Michelin-starred restaurant Ortolan in Los Angeles, working with chef/owner Christophe Émé. During that stint, she agreed to cater a small dinner for her friend’s company. After that night in 2007, the private catering event requests never stopped and Made by Meg Catering was born. The catering service, which employs more than 250 people, focuses on fresh, seasonal cuisine and a high caliber of service at more than 700 events each year, such as milestone celebrations, weddings, sporting events and movie premieres. Recently, Made by Meg expanded to operating La Venta Inn, an iconic landmark venue on the Peninsula. Following a 2021 interior and exterior refresh led by Meg and local interior designer Dannielle Albrecht, the venue continues its legacy of hosting intimate seaside gatherings. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO GO INTO THIS CAREER? When I was 13, my parents decided to travel for the holidays, so I hosted the family for Christmas dinner. As you can imagine, the cooking left something to be desired at that age, but the family smiled through it all. That experience showed me that cooking brings people together and that I loved that feeling. In catering, we play a part in bringing people together 700 times a year—that’s a lot of parties! WHAT ROLE DOES YOUR FAMILY PLAY IN YOUR CAREER? Family is everything. It sounds cliché, but it’s true.

TELL US ABOUT SOMETHING YOU RECENTLY LEARNED THAT SURPRISED YOU. As I get busier, the word “priority” continues to show up in a new way. The meaning has emerged as knowing what really is important and what is just filling time. Learning how to politely turn down projects, relationships and toxic patterns has made room for real growth and connection with my family. Time is short when you’re not immortal! HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK AND PLAY? There is a firm schedule of work time and family time in my life. Whenever work crosses into family time, it has to be important. I try to integrate my daughters into playtime, but my time is in the morning before anyone wakes up, on my Peloton. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU GIVE YOUR KIDS? Always be nice. My 2- and 4-year-old are both learning their words and really starting to communicate with the world, so right now especially, this is something I always remind them of. If you can be nice, 99% of the time everyone gets what they need and we’re all happy about it. There is no need to create unnecessary frustration or hurt someone’s feelings. One of my favorite quotes is, “If you can be anything, be kind.” TELL US ABOUT YOUR PASSIONS. Being on the water. My husband, Anthony, and I love being on boats, traveling by boat and spending time on boats. There’s something so soothing about the ocean—it’s where I grew up. I need to see the ocean once a day—it’s a grounding point for me emotionally. Also, I love planning the trips in our house and being an amateur travel agent! Everything from finding the perfect hotel and delicious local restaurants to the quintessential experiences. It’s amazing how much more you can enjoy a well-deserved trip when you take the time to envision what you want from it.

TELL US YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE. “Breathe. Focus. Perform.” Sometimes I only have a short amount of time to do a really important project, and all I want to do is procrastinate. However, I always try to just take a few deep breaths and then push through it with my best effort. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO STAY GROUNDED? Coming home at the end of a long day. There is no greater equalizer than being a parent, and after a day of meetings I love coming home to big hugs from my girls and getting immediately pulled into something they want to share with me. WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL? My mother is the fountain of my courage and strength. Without her, I wouldn’t be who I am today. WHAT IS THE #1 THING YOU DO TO ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS IS SUCCESSFUL? Show up. As the saying goes, “75% of life is showing up.” Be on time, be present and do what you say you’re going to do. If you can’t do anything, don’t offer. As a woman and an inherent people-pleaser, I want to offer to do it all. The hardest part of growing as a business has been showing discipline in knowing my bandwidth. TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEW HEADQUARTERS. I’m so excited to have just purchased a new building in Torrance that is being custom-built for the new Made by Meg headquarters. The design, permitting and build-out process is one of my favorite mountains to climb. 2023 will surely be an exciting year!

234 S. PACIFIC COAST, HWY. 101, REDONDO BEACH, 310-376-8600 | MBMCATERING.COM | FB & IG: @MADEBYMEGCATERING 796 VÍA DEL MONTE, PALOS VERDES ESTATES, 310-373-0123 | LAVENTA.COM | FB: @LAVENTAINNPV | IG: @LAVENTAINN_PV

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WENDY RICH-SOTO & RACHEL RODRIGUEZ

Co-owners, Rich-Soto & Associates | Keller Williams South Bay

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ich-Soto & Associates has been in business since 2001 and operates under the umbrella of Keller Williams South Bay. Owner Wendy Rich-Soto started her real estate career in Northern California and spent five years working in new home development, marketing and sales. Moving to San Pedro in 2008, Wendy started working under the Keller Williams umbrella with her own team and was CEO for Keller Williams market centers in City of Industry and Long Beach. Wendy has sold more than 1,200 homes so far during her career. Her daughter Rachel Rodriguez gained professional management experience by working for years with large corporations before she joined Rich-Soto & Associates. HOW DOES YOUR PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE EXCEED YOUR CLIENTS’ EXPECTATIONS? We are problem-solvers. We listen to clients’ needs and wants and work to remove obstacles and find creative solutions. Our goal always is to exceed clients’ expectations. We utilize a variety of market strategies. We make ourselves available to our clients, other agents and other consumers who may be interested in the properties we represent. We have a strong network of local vendors as well as access to the connections and services that Keller Williams provides nationally and internationally. We are plug and play. WHAT IS THE #1 THING YOU DO TO ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS IS SUCCESSFUL? We build a relationship with each client that will go beyond the close of a transaction. It is important to gain someone’s trust not just as a professional but as an individual in their community. We cherish our relationships with clients and work to maintain them.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THE REAL ESTATE CAREER FIELD? Wendy: I’ve always known that I wanted to be a Realtor® since I was a child. I was always going to open houses and model homes with my grandmother. As an adult, I was buying a new home and needed to sell my existing home. My broker had his daughter list my home, but she didn’t do much to help sell it. It was very stressful. I decided to be my own Realtor at that point and sell my own home. I was successful, and the broker was so impressed he offered me a job. The rest is history. I love helping people, and I know what it is like not having someone help you when you need it. I take great pride in the work that we do and always make sure we are there for our clients 100% of the time. WHAT ROLE DOES YOUR FAMILY PLAY IN YOUR CAREER? Wendy: Two of my daughters are also Realtors. It is a privilege to work with Rachel and have the experience that she brings to our team from corporate America to enhance our clients’ experience. My other daughter is great with marketing and helps us with video production and social media exposure. We come from a long line of business owners and Realtors. Our family has an entrepreneurial spirit. I have coached multiple agents to success, and teaming up in partnership with Rachel is actually a dream come true! WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE HEARD? Help others get what they want so you can also have what you want. Seek first to understand. Find out what their needs are so you know how to help them get those things. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU LIKE TO SHARE? Stay hungry and stay passionate in what you want. Go after your goals with tenacity.

TELL US YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE. Wendy: “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do”. – Eleanor Roosevelt Rachel: “Begin with the end in mind.” – Stephen R. Covey DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE. Rachel: I would describe my leadership style as “servant leadership.” I say this often: “Know your audience.” It is so important to understand who you are leading so you can explain, teach and recognize them in ways that make sense to them. No two people are the same. Trying to use a one-size-fits-all approach may get things done, but tailoring the experience to whom you are working with results in a much more successful, rewarding experience for the leader and those being led. WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL? Wendy: When I moved to the South Bay in September 2008, I was at Main Street Realtors in Long Beach, which was owned by Geoff McIntosh. He was the broker of record and always seemed to have time for me even though I wasn’t a top producer at the time. Geoff has been the president of the California Association of Realtors multiple times and had a thriving business of his own as a Realtor. Yet he had time to give me one-on-one advice and guidance to help me help my clients. Geoff was and is an inspiration to me. He always puts others ahead of himself, and it showed in all that he did. That opened me up to giving all I have to help others just like he has done.

23670 HAWTHORNE BLVD., TORRANCE | 310-944-8062 (WENDY) | 424-536-7511 (RACHEL) SELLINGLASOUTHBAY.COM | IG: @WENDYRICHSOTO_SOUTHBAY_REALTOR

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ROLLING HILLS PREP, REACH & RENAISSANCE SCHOOLS

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olling Hills Prep, REACH & Renaissance Schools are three independent schools and one school community specializing in a college prep program for both neurotypical and neurodiverse students. HOW HAS YOUR WORK PERFORMANCE EXCEEDED YOUR EXPECTATIONS? We believe that high performance does not happen by accident. We are a diverse team with varied backgrounds, lived experiences, and skill sets. Through this lens, our intention is to guide our school in such a way that is supportive of the needs and expectations of the community. We strive for excellence in ourselves and our team every day. DESCRIBE SOMETHING THAT RESTORES YOUR FAITH IN HUMANITY. Our community of schools restores our faith in humanity daily. We have a community with a lot of variety, in terms of our beliefs and backgrounds. In a community with so much diversity in beliefs, we encourage everyone to share their stories and listen to the stories of others. We understand that our differences bring us closer together rather than push us apart. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO STAY GROUNDED? We start every team meeting with a check-in about our personal lives. We always take time to hear what is going on in each other’s lives, connect and understand each other. DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE. We lead by listening and being curious. We are intentional leaders who approach every situation first with compassion and seeking to understand, then providing support. Being school leaders, we have to make difficult decisions all the time. We always want to listen to others to hear how they are experiencing situations. When it is time to make a difficult decision, it is important to understand what the student experience is like, the faculty and staff experience, and the family experience. We lead our school community every day by being vulnerable and staying curious.

WHY DID YOU START YOUR SCHOOLS? We believe all students deserve educational experiences that support their unique needs. We specialize in an approach that is the “right fit” education. We all believe strongly in the mission of providing a high-level educational experience where all students have what they need to be successful and feel like they belong. We know that students are most successful when they are challenged academically, supported emotionally and given an environment where it is safe to be who they are. Our schools aspire to create this space for our students daily. TELL US YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE. Amy Hollinger, Head of Schools: “Tell stories to help others understand your beliefs and opinions. Offer your stories, not in the hope that they will change anyone else, but because they are your stories to tell and they deserve to live outside you. And when you are a listener, allow the stories of others to change you.” – Elena Aguilar Christina Morse, Director of Counseling & Wellness: “No mud, no lotus.” – Thich Nhat Hanh Christina Pak, Associate Head of Schools: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou Jennifer Stroud, Director of Schools for Academics: “I am still learning.” – Francisco Goya Sharon Chia Claros, Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: “To live our lives based on the principles of a love ethic (showing care, respect, knowledge, integrity and the will to cooperate), we have to be courageous. Learning to face our fears is one way we celebrate love. Our fear may not go away, but it will not stand in the way. Those of us who have already chosen to embrace a love ethic, allowing it to govern and inform how we think and act, know that when we let our light

shine, we draw to us and are drawn to other bearers of light.” – Bell Hooks WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST SIGNIFICANT BARRIER IN YOUR CAREER? Our identity markers, gender, race, etc. We are a strong leadership team with excellent qualifications. Sometimes people see a group of female leaders and have biases about our abilities and/or lack of gender balance on our team. WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL? Amy: My mom, grandma and mother-in-law were/are very strong women. I am lucky to have grown up seeing women who are loving and strong. My professional role models are Elena Aguilar and Brené Brown. They are both vulnerable, and their work and stories resonate with me. Sharon: My role models have been the college students and my chosen family with whom I have had the privilege to build relationships. They have shown me future possibilities of what our world could look and feel like with our collective action, especially BIPOC, queer and trans community members who have shared their beauty and stories and their light and love with me. Christina M.: My role model is my mother, a highly skilled medical doctor who emigrated from India in the 1960s. Her experience taught me that love, compassion and resilience are the key ingredients that will sustain me in life. Jennifer: My grandmother, who homeschooled all seven of her children, ran a children’s theatre and had an extremely creative spirit. Her dedication to the community and children has informed my path in education. Christina P.: My role models have been those who have stood in the gap and in service for others, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Lewis and Maya Angelou. These individuals acted with bravery and selflessness for the benefit of the greater good of others that is purposeful and impactful.

ONE ROLLING HILLS PREP WAY, SAN PEDRO | 310-791-1101 | ROLLINGHILLSPREP.ORG | FB & IG: @RHPANDREN

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L to R: Amy Hollinger, Christina Morse, Jennifer Stroud, Christina Pak, Sharon Chia Claros


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HEIDI GASTLER, DPT & NATALIE ECKHARDT

Mountain to Sea Physical Therapy

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ountain to Sea is a physical therapy clinic offering treatment for pelvic floor, orthopedic and sports disorders; manual therapy (myofascial release, cupping, Graston Technique, trigger point) and modalities (ultrasound, taping, electrical stimulation); and personalized exercise programming. Owner Heidi Gastler is a doctor of physical therapy who has worked in the medical field since 2005 and opened Mountain to Sea in 2016. Natalie Eckhardt joined the practice in 2019 as business administrator and also serves as a postpartum doula and perinatal educator. WHAT MAKES MOUNTAIN TO SEA DIFFERENT FROM OTHER CLINICS? Mountain to Sea is the hub for your overall wellness. We know we can’t fix everything, so we sometimes connect patients with other providers who may move their care along faster—whether it be chiropractic, acupuncture, functional medicine or other specialists. By tying all of those threads together, we make real progress and see more improvement in a person’s overall mental and physical health. Our office is light, airy and your space alone for the entirety of your session. We want you to be comfortable and the only focus of our time and attention. That means you can come as you are, say what you want and be yourself. If you’re in pain that day, you can be in pain that day. If you need to vent during your bodywork, we’re all ears. WHY IS PELVIC FLOOR HEALTH SO IMPORTANT? Orthopedic injuries, back pain and other issues patients experience are often tied to pelvic floor dysfunction. Many people think that pelvic floor physical therapy only applies to pregnant or postpartum women, but that’s a myth. Everyone has a pelvic floor, and people of all ages and genders can benefit from improved pelvic floor health.

We enjoy working with others in the wellness community to help spread the word on pelvic floor health because it’s so vital to our stability, breathing and core. Dr. Gastler is a medical advisor for Tabu, a company that focuses on sexual health and wellness, and we work with other wellness practitioners, coaches and trainers to educate them on the pelvic floor and how to address it with their own clients. We’re building a gym space to include weight-lifting equipment precisely to help patients in this area. The equipment helps us simulate activities where patients are loaded with weight. The therapy not only helps athletes in powerlifting, Olympic lifting or CrossFit pursuits, but it can also help average people learn how to manage their core when being loaded with weight for everyday tasks. WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE HEARD? Just start. Stop waiting for the perfect timing or for everything to line up. If you want something, jump in and work toward your goal. Don’t hold back; keep pushing forward. TELL US YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE. “The women whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because shit worked out. They got that way because shit went wrong, and they handled it. They handled it in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it.” – Elizabeth Gilbert WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO START YOUR PRACTICE? Dr. Gastler: After more than 10 years in the business, I decided that I wanted to offer the kind of physical therapy that I’d want for myself. I wanted to take patients out of the therapy “mill” and give them a unique, oneon-one experience. Mountain to Sea is what that looks like: a highly personalized, deeply skilled, holistic approach to helping all types of people obtain their goals.

The South Bay embodies so many things I love. The sun, ocean and nearness to nature are just part of why I chose the area for my practice. People here put a value on being active and investing in their health. Everyone tries to maintain a healthy lifestyle regardless of their age or abilities. I enjoy being part of such a wellness-oriented community. WHAT SHOULD WE KNOW ABOUT YOUR TEAM? Natalie: We offer more than just physical therapy. I became a full-spectrum doula and have been developing a postpartum planning program and childbirth education course centered on postpartum recovery and care. It’s something I never even considered doing before joining Mountain to Sea and discovering major gaps in pregnancy and postpartum care. But I’ve found a new career path, and I really enjoy it. Working with this company gives me the space, confidence and support to do this work and help the people of the South Bay while raising my family. WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST SIGNIFICANT BARRIER IN YOUR CAREER? Dr. Gastler: In 2020 my life was flipped upside down when I was diagnosed with brain cancer. It was inconceivable that I had been running my business, powerlifting and crushing long weekend hikes with a tumor the size of a baseball in my head. Suddenly other things like my diagnosed fertility issues and recurrent foot weakness began to make sense. They were all a product of cancer. Since then, I’ve had two brain surgeries, kept my business open and navigated it all through a pandemic. My illness has put my dreams to have a family on hold, but I hope to fulfill them in the future. I’m now undergoing chemo and radiation. Through it all the business is still thriving, and we’re looking to hire another doctor of physical therapy who shares our patientcentered, community care approach.

3212 HIGHLAND AVE., MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-567-2293 | MOUNTAINTOSEAPT.COM | @MTN2SEAPT

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Dr. Gastler, Natalie Eckhardt & Doc


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SOLANGE COMER

Owner, Cultured Slice LLC Cheese Shop & Sandwich Shop

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olange Comer has always been interested in food, making things look pretty and feeding people. For years her dinner party guests would suggest she start her own catering business. After teaching preschool for 22 years, she retired from that career and started selling cheese and charcuterie platters that she made at home. Her dream of operating her own food store came true in 2017 when she opened Cultured Slice Cheese Shop, featuring cheese and charcuterie from around the world. This summer she opened Cultured Slice Sandwich Shop. Both stores also offering catering services. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO START YOUR BUSINESS? I grew up in the South Bay and remember there was cheese shop here in the ’80s. When I decided to make a career change, I thought about the possibility of opening my own cheese shop and filling that void. It was crazy, daring and something I knew nothing about (other than my own love for cheese and charcuterie). But I had nothing to lose and so much to gain. My dad had just started hospice, and I told him about my crazy idea. He loved it. He believed in me and said, “Go for it, kiddo.” That’s all I needed to take a giant leap of faith with something that terrified me. I chose to take this path to push myself. To try something new. To service the community that I grew up in and love so much. And to make my dad proud. WHAT IS THE #1 THING YOU DO TO ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS IS SUCCESSFUL? Be on site and have excellent customer service. The public likes to see the proprietor of the business behind the counter. It’s important to me to be at the shops to establish relationships with my customers. I like being able to greet everyone by their first name and know what they order. My customers are why I am

still in business and why I have been successful. Offering the very best customer service is a small way to say thank you. WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST SIGNIFICANT BARRIER IN YOUR CAREER? Honestly, myself. I get in my own way a lot, and sometimes it takes me a while to clear the path. I am an overthinker at times, and that can hinder creativity, progress and growth. HOW DO YOU FIND TIME TO FIT IT ALL IN? I get asked this question often, and my answer is: I have no idea! I tend to thrive on chaos, and the busier I am, the more I get done. Not only do I have the two businesses, I am on the executive board for the Hermosa Beach Chamber, and I have a 16-year-old son. Life is busy, but I love it. WHAT ROLE DOES YOUR FAMILY PLAY IN YOUR CAREER? My mom has had a huge role in my foodie career. She is an incredible cook and shared many family recipes with me. She would feed me grown-up foods as a small child and expand my palate whether I liked it or not. I was eating Stilton cheese at the age of 2, and my mother would catch me with my hand in the pickled onion jar. Lamb chops and mint sauce, pâté and many assorted cheeses were often for dinner. I am self-taught, but I do attribute my French-Italian background and being born in Brazil to influencing my culinary journey. I was lucky to have so many amazing European and South American food and drink influences growing up. They definitely contributed to my love for food and playful approach to flavor combinations and recipes. One of my all-time favorite memories is from my grandmother’s kitchen in Brazil with my mom, grandmother and greatgrandmother making gnocchi. My greatgrandmother spoke Italian and only very

broken English, but she and I found a way to understand each other. No matter what language you speak, you can understand food. It connects people, and that’s important to me. I honestly believe I was destined to be in the food world. And owning a cheese shop ain’t so bad either! WHAT ADVICE DO YOU GIVE YOUR KIDS? Dream big and persist. And never say never! As a parent I want my child to be happy and thrive. So to do that, I say think big and outside the box. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about who you are and what you do. Those will be the people who will help you stay true to what you believe in, and to yourself. HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK AND PLAY? I am pretty sure my balance is off, but I believe “you gotta work hard to play hard.” Right now my work life is outweighing my play life, but I expected that after recently opening my second location. I did manage to sneak away to Mexico after my grand opening for a much-needed vacation with my son, Max. My businesses mean everything to me, but remembering to take time for my family and myself is just as important. If these last few years have taught me anything, it’s to not take time for granted and to take the chance. Eat the cheese. Book the vacation. And put 110% into everything you do. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO STAY GROUNDED? Having my feet in the sand and the sun on my face. The beach has always been my happy place. And music grounds me when I feel like I am floating around trying to figure out what’s next. I have pretty cool stacks of old vinyl from my dad’s collection and my own that I love to spin on my player. There’s just something soothing about when the needle drops and the sound of the crackle.

229 PCH, HERMOSA BEACH, 424-390-8153 | 136 PIER AVE., HERMOSA BEACH, 424-237-2032 CULTUREDSLICE.COM | FB: CULTURED SLICE-CHEESE SHOP | IG: @CULTURED_SLICE

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KATHY MORRIS & ROBIN SMITH

Owners, Kathy Morris & Robin Smith Associates | Compass

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ister-in-law Realtor® duo Kathy Morris and Robin Smith operate with the motto “Hustle & Heart.” Kathy has worked in real estate in the South Bay for more than 18 years. After graduating with a degree in communication disorders from UMass, Amherst, she returned to her hometown of Redondo Beach and bought her first property at age 23. Five years later she turned her love of real estate into a career. Before partnering with Kathy, Robin’s background was in health care. From a small town in Northern California, she migrated south to attend USC and earned her real estate license in 2015. The two have been business partners ever since. IN WHAT WAYS HAS YOUR PERFORMANCE AT WORK EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS? We are super proud this year to have been recognized by RealTrends as being in the top 1.5% of agents nationwide. We have been working diligently on our behind-thescenes business over the past seven years. It paid off when the pandemic hit. Not only did we have kids home 24/7, but the real estate market got very busy! Because of our experience, reputation and the systems we had in place, we were able to service more new client referrals and repeat business than ever before while still keeping our households running. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL SKILL FOR YOUR INDUSTRY? We come from a construction family and both have personal experience with remodels and building homes from the ground up. Our clients appreciate our knowledge of this industry and the resources we have to help them not only with a vision of what can be done to add value, but also the connections to help them get it done.

HOW ARE YOU SUPPORTING OTHER WOMEN IN YOUR INDUSTRY? We are founding members of the “Compass Queens”—a powerful group of top women Realtors from across the country. We meet weekly to support, connect and help build each other’s businesses. We love the close relationships we have made with these women, and it’s been so helpful to have strong referral partners everywhere in the country. Whether you are moving to Northern California or North Carolina, we have amazing Realtors whom we know on a personal level and wholeheartedly trust to take care of our clients. Locally we are part of a women’s networking group that we meet with and collaborate with regularly. We know that supporting each other and networking make us all stronger. HOW DO YOU FIND TIME TO FIT IT ALL IN? We are so grateful to have each other! It’s not every day that you find a business partner (not to mention a family member) whom you can work with day in and day out and not drive each other crazy! We trust each other completely, and our personalities and different strengths complement each other perfectly. Thankfully, because there are two of us, we can take turns with personal time off to recharge while the other one makes sure our business doesn’t skip a beat! WHAT IS YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR A WOMAN JUST STARTING IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? We are mentoring a few brand-new agents right now. Our biggest advice to them is to stay positive no matter what the challenge. Every problem has a solution, so trust yourself to find it and make it happen. And don’t be afraid to ask questions! Remember that everything is hard before it is easy, so keep moving forward with a smile.

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR MOTTO “HUSTLE & HEART”? The transactions we handle are deeply personal and important to the people we work with on all sides of the deal. We hustle by going above and beyond in our quest to exceed our clients’ expectations, and we do everything by following our hearts. Isn’t happiness the main goal for everything in life, after all? TELL US YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go.” – Dr. Seuss WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO STAY GROUNDED? In this busy industry, it’s so important to stay grounded. We both have our ways of maintaining stability. Kathy enjoys yoga and sound baths and recently got her Reiki and crystal practitioner certification. Robin enjoys her time at The Blueprint L.A. gym, playing pickleball and traveling with her family. HAS MOTHERHOOD MADE YOU A BETTER ENTREPRENEUR? Having kids has taught us both how to multitask very well! We are motivated every day by the fact that we want to be strong role models for our children and teach them the value of hard work and perseverance. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU GIVE YOUR KIDS? Follow The Four Agreements: 1. Be impeccable with your word. 2. Don’t take anything personally. 3. Don’t make assumptions. 4. Always do your best.

21250 HAWTHORNE BLVD., SUITE 750, TORRANCE | 310-902-1121 | 213-447-2668 | KATHYANDROBIN.COM | IG: @KATHYANDROBIN

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LINDA GRASSO

SheSez

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inda Grasso is a Los Angeles-based veteran journalist who has worked in every medium. After a 17-year career as an on-air reporter/anchor and entertainment correspondent, Linda stepped away to raise her two sons. When she tried to return to the workforce several years later, she experienced challenges. Linda switched gears—ultimately getting her mojo back—by helping launch Ventura Boulevard (the sister platform to Southbay), which covers lifestyle in the San Fernando Valley. That experience led her to launch the SheSez podcast. In the 40-minute show, Linda interviews fascinating, inspiring, accomplished women–from Fortune 500 executives to Oscar winners to women who have pulled off remarkable midlife pivots. The common thread? All are achieving success—no matter how they define it—on their own terms. WHO ARE YOUR LISTENERS ON SHESEZ? They tend to be educated and savvy. They realize what is important in life. And they want accurate, meaningful information to apply to their own lives. In addition to featuring inspiring women, I also have a fair number of guests in health and wellness. But it’s not what you typically see on womencentric podcasts, which is guests who are trying to sell product. If we are talking about antiaging, for example, I’ll have a guest who has conducted research about what to look for on product labels—specific ingredients that can make a difference. On another episode with a well-regarded beauty industry critic, we examined this: Retinol can reduce the appearance of fine lines somewhat, but in the long run is it damaging your skin? When it comes to health and wellness, I interview scientists, researchers and physicians who are immersed in state-ofthe-art medicine. I just interviewed two National Institutes of Health researchers,

for example, about studies they’re conducting that show a link between low estrogen and depression. Ever wonder why so many women experience depression for the first time in their 40s and 50s? It has to do with the fact that they are perimenopausal and menopausal. And the studies are part of an effort to develop a pharmaceutical drug specifically for midlife women suffering from depression. WHAT DIFFERENTIATES THE SHESEZ PODCAST FROM OTHER SHOWS THAT ARE AIMED AT WOMEN? I try to have candid, compelling conversations. I key in on the how and why of a guest’s story and keep the discussion relatable. So yes, we share what the woman has done or is doing, but I avoid unnecessary puffery. I believe we are all more alike than different and we can all grow by sharing honestly. We also discuss struggles and stumbles, keying in on how challenges were overcome. With each show, I want the listener to walk away with at least one solid takeaway. If she hasn’t learned something that inspires her or she can apply to her own life, I’ve missed my mark. I like to think of SheSez as a master class for the modern woman. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? I get inspired by women who are able to step over the no’s—women who repeatedly get rejected and have their ideas shot down but are somehow able to overcome it and forge ahead until ultimately they’re successful. The founders of successful brands like Yasso, Beauty Pie, Barney Butter, One Kings Lane, Koia and News Not Noise have all come on SheSez and talked about how their ideas were repeatedly shot down by people “in the know.” Most of us hear a succession of no’s and think: This must not be a good idea; they must be right. Sticking to what you know to be true—in the face of abject rejection—is a talent I admire.

AFTER FIVE YEARS OF HOSTING SHESEZ AND INTERVIEWING SO MANY WOMEN, HOW DO YOU REFLECT ON YOUR STRUGGLES WITH REENTERING THE WORKFORCE? I think: Geez, I was at my peak. In my early 40s and after five years at home, I finally knew who I was and was smarter and more capable than I’d ever been! But I let all this crap get into my head and wipe out my professional confidence. There are so many negative messages from society for women who have been at home raising children. You are out of the loop, dated, irrelevant, and you don’t know the latest technology. It is ridiculous. Does the ability to learn somehow get obliterated after the age of 35? The detail-oriented, multitasking skills that a stay-at-home mom develops can be applied to a multitude of mid- and high-level jobs—not to mention her ability to manage stress. A stay-at-home mom’s stress would bring most Fortune 500 CEOs to their knees. WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT? I am an avid cook and gardener (flowers, citrus and veggie), and I love interior design. That’s why if you go to SheSez.com and SheSez’s Instagram and Facebook pages, you’ll see a lot of those kinds of posts. Sometimes I’m the one sharing the how-to, but in most cases I’m the student. I tap my contacts as editor of Ventura Blvd—well-known and accomplished chefs, landscape and interior designers in L.A.—and query them. My curiosity, essentially what got me into this business, is endless. Sign up for the SheSez twice-a-month newsletter on our website if you want to come along for the ride.

SHESEZ.COM | FB: @SHESEZ | IG: @SHE_SEZ | SHESEZSHOW@GMAIL.COM

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ROCKIT BODY PILATES

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ockIt Body Pilates first opened in 2009. After teaching there for 10 years, Kaci Bacher bought the business in July 2019 and brought in Jennifer Chan and Brooke Ricciardi as business partners at the beginning of 2020. The studio offers an upbeat workout that tones, strengthens and elongates clients’ bodies. Here, Kaci shares more about RockIt Body Pilates with us. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO GO INTO THIS CAREER FIELD? Health and fitness have always been a priority, but it wasn’t until about 15 years ago that I was able to turn my passion into a career. I graduated from Baylor University with a degree in business marketing. My first job moved me from Texas to California. Ten years later, I got a degree in fashion design and had a clothing line until I became a mom, which lead me to career #3: fitness. I was teaching a couple of Pilates classes for fun when I became a single mom. I needed to go back to work to care for my three boys, but I had been home with my kids for 10 years so the thought of getting a full-time corporate job seemed daunting. Fitness offered flexible hours, so I was able to tailor my work schedule to be home when the kids were with me. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE CLIENTS TO KNOW ABOUT ROCKIT BODY PILATES? We offer an innovative upbeat workout to music that will keep you motivated and having fun while toning, strengthening and elongating your body. Along with an incredible workout, we have developed a close-knit community that celebrates momentous victories and supports each other through adversity and challenges. DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE. To put it simply, I lead by example. There is not a job or task I haven’t done or won’t do if it needs to be done. Nothing is “beneath” me. That being said, I’m also a get sh*t done type

of person. I’m not a micromanager, and with my team I give ownership to projects. If a task is assigned, I let it go and expect it to be done because I believe in their capabilities. HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE HONEST, OPEN EMPLOYEE DIALOGUE? I am kind but direct. Life is precious, and time is fleeting. I don’t believe in wasting it by not speaking the truth or beating around the bush. I take time to listen. I try to see situations from a different perspective, and I take time to process before I respond. I never react.

WHAT IS THE #1 THING YOU DO TO ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS IS SUCCESSFUL? Keep it real. IF YOU COULD BEGIN AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO “DO OVER” IN YOUR CAREER? Absolutely nothing! I believe our path is our path. We learn and grow from our mistakes. We don’t look back and continue to move forward. HOW DO YOU FIND TIME TO FIT IT ALL IN? I don’t sleep—LOL!

WHAT STRATEGIES HAVE YOU USED TO PROMOTE INCLUSION IN THE WORLD OF PILATES? Although Pilates has predominately been practiced by women, it is certainly not “just for women” and the benefits are certainly not gender-biased. After all, Pilates was developed by a man. Because Pilates has been around since the 1920s and practiced mostly by women, we needed to bring greater awareness to imagery and cueing. For example: “stand up on your highheel shoes” (lift your heels) or “tighten your corset” (pull your ribcage in). Most men have never experienced wearing high heels or wearing a corset, so we have changed the language in our teacher certification to be more inclusive. We are practicing being more deliberate with our language choices to be relevant and relatable to all genders.

TELL US ABOUT SOMETHING YOU RECENTLY LEARNED THAT SURPRISED YOU. The first line of “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea does not say “First things first, Cin-da-realla” (slang for Cinderella). It says, “I’m the realest.” I’ve been saying it that way for years and don’t plan on changing it anytime soon.

HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK AND PLAY? Work time and playtime are synonymous. When I’m “working,” I’m surrounded by clients and employees I call friends. Sometimes work can consist of listening to fun music during a sweat session or a planning meeting over a Friday happy hour. When I’m “not working,” I’m working out, enjoying the beach or stuffing my face in the company of the exact same people.

TELL US YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE. There are two: “Don’t knock on opportunity’s door. Kick that b*tch in, smile and introduce yourself.” – Dwayne Johnson “I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.” – E.B. White

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE ANYONE HAS GIVEN YOU? Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU GIVE YOUR KIDS? I encourage them to make their own decisions. I guide them through the possible outcomes but ultimately leave the answer for them to discover. I want them to be independent free thinkers, not influenced by other people or circumstances.

1834 N. SEPULVEDA BLVD., MANHATTAN BEACH | 1718 S. CATALINA AVE., REDONDO BEACH | 424-452-6040 | ROCKITBODY.COM FB & IG: @ROCKITBODYPILATES

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L to R: studio manager Cameron Paulson; owners Brook Ricciardi, Kaci Bacher & Jennifer Chan


WO M E N O F T H E S O U T H B AY

TAMMY TRENTA KNOWLTON

Founder/CEO, Family Financial LLC

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ammy Trenta Knowlton’s financial advisory firm has one specific focus: helping clients accelerate their wealth and keeping more of what they earn. They provide financial planning, investment management, estate planning, tax preparation and other business management services. Tammy launched the company this year and has worked in the financial industry for 26 years. She is a Certified Financial Planner, a Certified Tax Coach and a Certified Exit Planning Advisor. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO START YOUR FIRM? Thinking back, I believe that each career move has been a stepping stone to starting my firm. After 26 years of professional experience and two or three major life experiences, I realized that my passion for helping people and my specific skills could be best utilized by having the freedom to advocate for clients without conflict of interest, corporate objectives or bureaucracy. It is incredibly empowering to know that nothing gets in the way of helping my clients achieve their financial goals. HOW DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR CAREER IN FINANCE? I grew up on the East Coast in a middle-class family, and my parents were big spenders. During my first year of college, I received a call from my dad that my parents were splitting up. They were highly leveraged in real estate and ended up losing everything— including my college fund. In order to finish college, I took on student loans, waited tables and then applied to law school. However, the thought of incurring more debt for my education without having a clear career path gave me pause. I decided to work for a few years to see what type of career resonated with me. When I discovered finance, I was extremely motivated to become financially literate so

I could support myself, make good financial decisions and prevent what happened to my parents from happening to me. It was at that point that I decided to pursue my MBA in finance and obtain my CFP. Now I have the privilege of helping others. IF YOU COULD BEGIN AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO “DO OVER” IN YOUR CAREER? You need to experience the highs and lows in order to grow as a person. I have certainly endured my share of challenging times, but it has made me appreciate all that I have achieved and has undoubtedly made me a better financial advocate for my clients. I think you need to look back and be grateful for those experiences that shape you as a person. If I could change one thing, I wish I had started my firm 10 years ago. WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST SIGNIFICANT BARRIER IN YOUR CAREER? It’s hard not to look inward to see what holds us back. Fear has been my most significant barrier. Fear of rejection, failure, the unknown—it clouds good decision-making. There will always be an excuse or reason standing in the way of a goal or dream. I no longer allow it to control me or define me. WHAT IS THE #1 THING YOU DO TO ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS IS SUCCESSFUL? It’s an interesting dynamic, but to me it’s simple. I think you genuinely need to care. At some point, as companies grow they start to focus on the wrong things. If your clients feel that you care and your team members feel that you care, success comes naturally. HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK AND PLAY? In addition to work and play, I think you need to include “me” time. I am in a profession that requires me to serve others. I think it’s important to periodically take some time for myself so I can show up at my best

for others. Spending a long weekend at a wellness spa definitely helps me recharge my batteries. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU GIVE YOUR KIDS? I’m not sure how well my 5-year-old son, Jack, listens to my advice. I think it has to be more of an experience at this age. He has a piggy bank, and there are some ways he can earn money. I help him sell or donate his clothes and toys. He gets the money and can count it and decide what he wants to spend it on. It’s fun to see him make choices, trading one want for another—immediate gratification versus delayed gratification. It gives him a sense of accomplishment and freedom. TELL US ABOUT A FEW OF YOUR PASSIONS. I am passionate about teaching others and about health, wellness and longevity. I also enjoy cooking and hosting dinners with family and friends. HOW DO YOU FIND TIME TO FIT IT ALL IN? Time is without question our most valuable asset. I love that many of us have gotten some time back by having the freedom to work from home and spend quality time with family. I encourage it because I know how much I value it. I think the trade-off to remote work is the risk of losing connection with your team and your employees. I like to set up quarterly retreats to spend quality time with my work family. Feeling happy and fulfilled both personally and professionally helps maintain relationships and inspires a good work ethic. Disclaimer: This should not be considered investment advice or an offer to sell any product. Family Financial is an independent investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about Family Financial’s investment advisory services and fees can be found in its Form ADV Part 2, which is available at www.familyfinancial.biz.

1117 5TH ST., UNIT D, MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-486-6763 | FAMILYFINANCIAL.BIZ FB: TAMMY TRENTA KNOWLTON | IG: @TAMMYTRENTA

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NICOLA LOWREY, PA-C

Founder, N2 Aesthetics

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2 Aesthetics offers skin care, injectables such as Botox and fillers, and regenerative treatments such as microneedling and PRF. The business was founded by Nicola Lowrey, who has practiced medicine for 19 years. She spent many years working in emergency medicine after graduating from Keck School of Medicine of USC. In 2004 she became certified as a cosmetic injector and split her time working in both specialties. Five years ago Nicola started her journey as a clinical educator in the aesthetics industry and retired from the emergency room. She opened N2 Aesthetics early this year and celebrated with an official grand opening in Manhattan Beach in June. WHAT IS THE #1 THING YOU DO TO ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS IS SUCCESSFUL? It’s all about the team. No business can be successful if there isn’t a team of people working in concert toward that common goal. I have hired some of the most talented, intelligent, sophisticated and experienced injectors. We spent months together training on all of my signature techniques so I could ensure that each provider is offering the same level of care to our patients. I have learned that creating success is creating a reproducible model where the experience you provide is always at a level that is expected. This doesn’t happen often in aesthetics. Outcomes often vary greatly from provider to provider. It takes time invested in the consistent education of your providers, and I offer this to our amazing team. Whether you see Diana, Ashely, Cambria or me, you can trust that your results will be natural, consistent, safe and beautiful. TELL US SOMETHING OUR READERS MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU. I am a big health nut. I love to run. I live for delicious, healthy food. I truly believe that youth and beauty start from the inside out. Nutrition. Exercise. Restorative sleep. These

are passions of mine and have been since I was in my early 20s. My undergrad degree was in exercise science, and it laid a strong foundation for my lifestyle choices. I think it’s one of the reasons I love living in the South Bay. We are all aligned with our lifestyle and health choices—it makes it easy to maintain. WHY DID YOU GO INTO AESTHETICS? I have always been artistic. I was a ballerina growing up. I am a Libra and eternally attracted to beauty. Somehow I was able to mesh my love of science, anatomy and beauty and turn it into a career with many facets of complex yet fulfilling opportunities! HOW DOES SOCIAL MEDIA IMPACT YOUR BUSINESS? As a medical provider, never in a million years could I have guessed what social media could do for my practice. Four years ago I was hesitant to start marketing myself on Instagram. Now, 78,000 followers later and with more patients on my waitlist than I could ever imagine, I realize the magnitude of what social media platforms can do. WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL? One of my greatest role models and mentors is our medical director, Dr. Steve Yoelin. I met Steve over 12 years ago. He was one of the first and most impactful educators in my career and one of the kindest, most generous humans I had ever met. He was once my teacher, and now we often share the stage and present together! I am so grateful and feel so blessed to be able to partner with him now at N2 Aesthetics. DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE. It’s funny—I have a hard time identifying as a “leader,” even though I am often told that I am one. I feel like I am still learning every day what it means to lead well. Heck, I am still learning after 15 years how to be a better parent! But I think it’s important that we continually work at it. I value honesty, vulnerability and hard work. The best leaders

lead by example, and I hope that how I am choosing to live my life both professionally and personally helps my team evolve as individuals and collectively. WHAT ROLE DOES YOUR FAMILY PLAY IN YOUR CAREER? My husband is a huge part of my career. Not only is he my #1 cheerleader (OK, my mom would say she’s #1), but he runs the business side of N2 Aesthetics. There is no one I trust more in this world, and I’m so lucky to do this with him. It’s no longer my goal, it’s our goal! WHAT ADVICE DO YOU GIVE YOUR KIDS? Giving advice to kids doesn’t work. Believe me, I have two teenage boys! I hope my kids see how hard I work and how much I love what I do, and that this sets an example for them. I hope they can appreciate that achieving your dreams comes from a deep passion, major grit and a willingness to work hard for what you want. HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK AND PLAY? This is the eternal struggle. I need balance. I don’t perform well in any of my roles in life without it. But opening a business and having a very busy career will tend to squash this. It’s been a challenging couple of years, but I am realizing it is all for nothing if I don’t take care of myself. I am scheduling it in. I am making it a priority. It is just as important as anything else. That’s it! Non-negotiable. TELL US YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE. “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” — Theodore Roosevelt

3500 N. SEPULVEDA BLVD., SUITE 220, MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-510-6262 | N2AESTHETICS.COM | IG: @N2AESTHETICS, @PA_NICOLA

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L to R, back: Ashley Lundy, Cambria Hunter, Diana Rand, Hilary Moore; front: Nicola Lowrey, Emmalee Hershberger, Amanda Trutanich, Natasha Dutko


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A. MICHELE BROWN

CEO, Lifestyles by Michele Brown

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ealtor® Michele Brown began her career in Dallas 40 years ago. She relocated to the South Bay in 1992 and opened a property management/ apartment locater company. In 2006 she joined KW Commercial, a real estate company affiliated with Keller Williams Realty International. Michele’s team serviced commercial as well as single-family residential and luxury property clients and frequently won top producer and Realtor of the year awards. During that time, Michele served as president of the South Bay Association of Realtors for a year. She was awarded the regional ambassador position for Keller Williams’ Sports + Entertainment community of agents—one of only 32 agents in the United States awarded that designation. The Sports + Entertainment agents are a national network of vetted specialists dedicated to serving exclusive clientele with confidentiality, integrity and discretion. Michele was also chosen as one of five agents with Keller Williams South Bay to represent KW Relocation. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO GO INTO THIS CAREER FIELD? A love of real estate, a passion to educate clients every step of the way and a dedication to integrity, transparency and confidentiality. TELL US ABOUT YOUR COMPANY. Through the years of meeting and exceeding clients’ expectations, our clientele grew and so did the services we offer. The root of our success is that we maintain absolute confidentiality, discretion and integrity with our clients at all times. In order to expand our brand to the degree that our business had expanded, we changed our business name from Michele Brown & the Real Estate Professionals to Michele Brown Lifestyles.

WHAT DO YOU OFFER YOUR CLIENTS? We pride ourselves on our dedication to providing an extraordinary client experience, offering a complete customized package tailored to fit clients’ property and lifestyle. High-level digital marketing campaigns include professional photography and video, as well as catered open houses that highlight the home’s lifestyle and the benefits and features of the city and neighborhood. We provide a carefully curated team of service providers to help prepare homes for sale or assist our buyers when moving in, decorating or furnishing their new home. We are available to act as project managers for clients to ease the stress and remove any inconvenience. A specific, customized strategy is created for every client who is buying or selling a home. DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE. The Team Comes First. We meet weekly to maintain a shared vision for ourselves and each one of our clients. Communication is key on so many levels—within the team and with our clients. To be learning-based, and always come from curiosity. We keep things simple; simplicity provides structure without confusion that comes from convoluted goals and objectives. Being present and listening to new ideas, frustrations, successes and tolerance for risks. HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE HONEST, OPEN EMPLOYEE DIALOGUE? By always bringing honest open dialogue to them. Everyone is encouraged to share their thoughts and opinions, because their perspectives and ideas matter. And never shut down their dialogue. Well, almost never! WHAT IS THE #1 THING YOU DO TO ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS IS SUCCESSFUL? Constantly checking with our clients and our agents to see how we can better serve them.

WHAT ROLE DOES YOUR FAMILY PLAY IN YOUR CAREER? Their support is the most important role they play. Love, joy, happiness and ultimate trust are huge too. WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED? To hire talent smarter than me and to always come from curiosity. HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK TIME AND PLAYTIME? With intention. Important dates for holiday celebrations, birthdays, vacations and family celebrations are scheduled for the year in advance. However, the nature of our business is to be available to our clients when they are not working. It takes a bit of juggling and partnering with team members. TELL US ABOUT SOMETHING YOU RECENTLY LEARNED THAT SURPRISED YOU. My 14-year-old niece, who is in a culinary arts program, advised me to peel garbanzo beans before using them in recipes. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU GIVE YOUR KIDS? Listen to “the voices”—follow your intuition. And follow your passion—do the things that bring you joy and happiness. TELL US ABOUT A FEW OF YOUR PASSIONS. My work is my passion. I love what I do, and that makes me good at it. Also, delivering a “wow factor” to someone every day—family member, friend or client. Make someone’s day brighter: random greeting card, putting extra money on their Starbucks card, an inspiring text, Sunday morning breakfast delivered on their birthday!

310-465-2334 | REALESTATEPROFESSIONALSINTERNATIONAL.COM | DRE #01165450

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CLAIRE DELCAMBRE

Owner, Hey Babe Physical Therapy & Wellness

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ey Babe Physical Therapy & Wellness is a woman-owned and operated clinic specializing in treating women, men and children for sports and athletic-related injuries, pelvic floor dysfunction and pain. Owner Claire Delcambre earned her undergraduate degree in exercise science and her doctorate in physical therapy from Mercer University in Atlanta. She moved to Los Angeles in 2019 and started Hey Babe in 2021. WHAT SERVICES DO YOU PROVIDE? From pain and injury to injury prevention and wellness visits, we treat individuals for all conditions related to sports and orthopedic physical therapy including athletic injuries like ankle sprains or rotator cuff tears; orthopedic issues like low back pain or knee osteoarthritis; and individuals who are post-op from orthopedic surgeries. We treat a variety of pelvic floor conditions, which can affect all genders (yep, even guys!). These conditions include urinary urgency and frequency, incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic pain, painful periods, endometriosis, PCOS, constipation and bloating, prostatitis, pregnancy and postpartum, menopause and individuals after gender affirmation surgery. HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR PATIENTS REALIZE THEIR BEST OUTCOMES? We connect with our patients. Our role is to understand our patients’ stories, the demands of their lives and their goals, and develop care plans with these considerations at the forefront. We empower patients by providing them with the tools and information they need to thrive and improve long term, so they can move forward with confidence and independence in their health. We believe in a comprehensive approach to health and communicate with your other providers to ensure synchronized care. WHAT WERE YOUR GOALS IN OPENING THE CLINIC? Having worked in extremely busy physical

therapy clinics before, we understand how chaotic, noisy and crowded it can feel. Trust us, we don’t like that either. We felt that patients weren’t healing optimally due to time limitations and distractions in the clinic. We provide our patients with higherquality care by giving them more time and individualized attention in their private treatment rooms so they can feel safe to share pertinent information about their health without concern of being overheard by others. HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE HONEST, OPEN DIALOGUE WITH PATIENTS? TMI? Never heard of her! We are here to help our patients deal with all the “private” and “taboo” topics. We are a source of knowledge, empathy and comfort with any and all uncomfortable details. Our approach to physical therapy is to first listen to our patient’s concerns and symptoms. We will always follow up with related and pertinent questions to guide our assessments. We will examine your movement, mobility and strength, asking open-ended questions to discover what is important to you. Next, we educate you on why you may be experiencing pain and what may exacerbate the symptoms, and we provide treatment to strengthen muscles and improve dysfunction. This method provides an opportunity for the therapist to dive into concerns and truly listen to the patient to understand the demands in their lives and limitations caused by their pain. WHAT ARE A FEW KEY THINGS WOMEN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THEIR HEALTH? Being a woman is not a life sentence to pain or discomfort! Women deserve a space where they can find answers to their very valid questions and where their concerns will be heard and addressed—in a fun healing environment. Common symptoms we treat women for include painful periods, peeing a little when you laugh/sneeze/jump, pain during or after sex, chronic UTIs without positive

lab cultures, increased frequency to pee when you are less than 36 weeks pregnant, and any pain related to pregnancy. All these symptoms are completely treatable, no matter how old you are or how long you have been living with these issues. Being a woman is hard enough; you deserve to have these issues managed so you can focus on the other things in your life that matter to you. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS THAT LET ME KNOW I NEED PHYSICAL THERAPY? The first indicator is pain or injury anywhere. We treat every joint and body region and are experts in pain and healing the body. However, pain is not the only indicator. Generally, those who experience pain or discomfort with sex, significantly increased urinary frequency (once an hour or more), constipation, or urinary or fecal incontinence should seek a pelvic floor physical therapist. Furthermore, if you are pregnant, we work to optimize your birth outcome and postpartum healing times, reduce your risk of tearing and improve your body’s adjustment throughout the pregnancy. We recommend seeking our help either when you start to experience pain or symptoms or between weeks 32 and 34 to begin birth prep! If you are postpartum, you can see us between four to six weeks after birth or later. We highly recommend seeing a physical therapist prior to returning to exercise to make sure your body is ready for activities like running, strengthening, intervals or whatever else you would like to get back to. If you are perimenopausal or postmenopausal, we can help address and prevent a lot of the common issues that arise due to hormonal changes by working with you and your doctor to create an effective treatment plan. DO YOU TREAT MEN TOO? Absolutely! We treat all genders and believe that all people are deserving of specialized, individualized care tailored to their needs. We’re here for you!

1200 ARTESIA BLVD., SUITE 305, HERMOSA BEACH | 310-529-3191 | HEYBABEWELLNESS.COM | FB & IG: HEYBABEWELLNESS

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L to R: Ariel Andrade-Trevvett, Physical Therapy Aide Weslynne Rosa, Doctor of Physical Therapy Claire Delcambre, Doctor of Physical Therapy


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STEPHANIE CULVER, MD, JOHANNA MOONEY, PATTY WU

Founders, Menosplain

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enosplain’s mission is to help women thrive during perimenopause, menopause and beyond with education, insights, practical solutions by health professionals, and candid conversations with women. Founders Johanna Mooney, Patty Wu and Dr. Stephanie Culver started Menosplain in 2020. Dr. Culver is a board-certified OB-GYN, a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a North American Menopause Certified Practitioner (NCMP). Patty and Johanna both earned their MBAs at Harvard Business School.

WHAT ARE SOME MYTHS ABOUT MENOPAUSE? Women have been pressured by societal beliefs to see lack of sleep, weight gain, incontinence and even silent conditions such as osteoporosis as natural and acceptable as we age. Women do not need to settle. We can create our own narrative with knowledge, wellness and advocating for solutions for a better quality of life. As a patient empowered with information, you can pose the right questions to your physician and both of you can work together to find solutions or specialists.

WHY DID YOU CREATE MENOSPLAIN? We were shocked that although we are highly educated women with different backgrounds and experiences, we knew next to nothing about menopause. That pushed us into action, and the first thing we did was find an expert. We were so fortunate to find one close to home, and with Stephanie’s expertise, we decided to start Menosplain. Menosplain’s goal is to empower women to take charge of their physical, emotional and mental transitions. We want to normalize menopause so the next generation embraces this stage as an opportunity to live, realize the best years are ahead, and have the medical and emotional support to be ready and eager for the journey. Our ultimate wish is for women in our community to be part of this mindset of agency and liberation from what has defined us previously. Menosplain is committed to making it happen. We are creating a supportive community and culture for women starting right where we are with the fantastic women of the South Bay.

DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE. We strive to lead by example and by ensuring our work encompasses values of empathy, respect, honesty and sense of purpose. Numerous scientific studies show that people live better and are happier when they have meaning in their lives. As leaders, we wish to work with other community leaders to unlock untapped resources for women who recognize that a sense of purpose is critical to well-being and longevity. TELL US ABOUT SOMETHING YOU RECENTLY LEARNED THAT SURPRISED YOU. It has been documented that both women and their doctors know very little about menopause. Knowledge gaps and misunderstandings prevent women from receiving standard care and options. It is troubling that even some of the most educated women we’ve spoken to in our community have been ill-prepared for the second half of their lives. Women want evidence-based solutions and trustworthy resources to ensure our lifestyle choices are the best to maintain a strong, healthy, vital outlook. Topics surrounding midlife and menopause can cause misconceptions, taboos and stereotypes, all of which we seek to dispel.

Let’s acknowledge that we are battling many fronts: 1. Society’s prejudices. 2. Our own prejudices (you know you judge too). 3. Physical and mental changes—our bodies and minds are testing us at every turn, and the experiences vary widely among women. Many women find transitions a time for accepted challenges, an opportunity to reinvent ourselves and the freedom to be who we are once more. Menosplain is a community that engages women to walk side by side along the way through this natural process. Why not? Our community has strength in numbers and expertise. Midlife women have nothing to be ashamed of or afraid of. Instead we should seize the opportunity to enjoy life and laugh at all the changes and opportunities it brings—together! We were driven to change legacy prejudices, celebrate shared experiences and provide scientific, evidenced-based education. When women are educated with the correct information, we are equipped to have a more directed and successful conversation with our health care providers and more agency in shared decision-making for our wellness. WHAT STRATEGIES CAN WORK WELL TO PROMOTE INCLUSION IN THE WORKPLACE? There is much talk about inclusion in the workplace. Our perspective is that it needs to be rooted authentically in the appreciation of the contribution that different life experiences, views and backgrounds can make to enrich the culture of and performance of an organization. It requires honest intention to listen and willingness to give the other person grace and sincere appreciation for their point of view and what they can contribute. Disclaimer: Content on Menosplain should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

MENOSPLAIN.COM | FB: @MENOSPLAINFORMENOPAUSEHACKS | IG: @MENOSPLAIN

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Dr. Stephanie Culver & Johanna Mooney (not pictured: Patty Wu)


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MAURA DAVIS

Owner, Beauty at the Bay

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beauty and wellness retreat and medical spa, Beauty at the Bay was founded by Maura Davis in 2013. Maura grew up in Southern California and graduated from Studio Makeup Academy at the Gower Studios and Aesthetic Treatment Technology of Southern California. She has worked in aesthetics for 32 years. Beauty at the Bay offers a variety of treatments including vitamin IV infusions and booster shots, colon hydrotherapy, Emsella pelvic floor strengthening, EmSculpt treatments (burn fat and build muscle), cellulite reduction, skin tightening and overall body contouring, medicalgrade facials, peels and laser treatments, microblading, eyelash extensions, waxing and massage. WHAT DO YOU DO AT BEAUTY AT THE BAY? We offer everything from medical-grade facials to the newest treatments such as EmSculpt and Morpheus8. If we do not provide a specific service, we find the best providers in the community who do. We currently collaborate with life transformation coach Mandy Demetsky and Lissa Solis, the founder of Vibrancy Health. It has been a habit of mine to keep my finger on the pulse of the newest, safest and most effective technology. As the owner, I’m so proud of the climate we have created and excited to see where we have yet to grow. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ASPECT OF THE BUSINESS YOU CREATED? My team and our guests! Every day I have the pleasure of working with my team of incredible, professional women, who are every bit as passionate as I am about meeting our guests’ needs. My other favorite aspect is the people in the community whom we are privileged to meet.

HOW WOULD YOUR CLIENTS DESCRIBE YOUR SPA? Our guests always describe Beauty at the Bay as relaxed, fun, professional and friendly. Our goal for everyone who walks in the door is that they feel at home. Quite often we receive the compliment that a guest wishes they could live here at the spa. It is one of the best compliments we hear. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WORK IN THIS INDUSTRY? A love of enhanced beauty led me to the field of skin care, where true beauty resonates. It is my passion to bring nonsurgical and therapeutic treatments to my clients. The greatest gift you can give yourself is the gift of confidence and prolonged youth through today’s groundbreaking technologies. HOW HAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE EXCEEDED YOUR CLIENTS’ EXPECTATIONS? Some assume that aesthetic beauty is superficial. This notion cannot be further from the truth! At Beauty at the Bay, it is not only about aesthetic beauty but also about the health and wellness of the whole person. We are here to make you feel beautiful inside and out! TELL US ABOUT YOUR PASSIONS. I am passionate about my family. Both the family I was born into and the family I married into mean the world to me. I am passionate about all animals and the proper care of them. I am very passionate about my rescue dog, Milo, and all the time I get to spend with him. I have long been passionate about travel. I love everything about traveling—experiencing new environments, new people, new food and new music. Finally, I am passionate about people. Whether I am traveling or here in the South Bay, I love spending time and creating memories with friends new and old.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU GIVE KIDS? I have 22 nieces and nephews whom I absolutely love. Coincidentally, as I was preparing for this interview, my nephew Mark came into the spa to visit. I mentioned this question, and he answered: “You have always encouraged me to go after my passion. You have also modeled exactly that. I have watched you work hard and take on every obstacle with a great attitude as you achieve all that has been set out to do.” TELL US YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE. I’m an optimist by nature, and my eyes are always set on the rainbow. The quote is: “You have to go through the rain to get to the rainbow.” I have learned throughout the process of running a medical spa to appreciate and embrace the rain. Even if that means difficulties and challenges, they become lessons and opportunities for growth. I’m forever learning and believe it is OK to slip and fall here or there on the way to reach your goals—as long as you do it with grace and a great sense of humor. WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT LIVING IN THE SOUTH BAY? This is a great question. Honestly, everything! I feel very fortunate to have been born and raised in the South Bay. Being a visual person, I appreciate the beauty of my home: the blue ocean, the rocky cliffs, the sandy beaches and the uniqueness of the cities within. These things never fail to inspire me! But the best part of living here is sporadically running into friends I have known for decades! WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF DAY? My absolute favorite time of day is bright and early in the morning, between a cup of coffee and getting ready for the day. I put my favorite face mask on and take Milo for a walk. This is a peaceful time when I can clear my mind and set my intentions for the day ahead.

831 N. HARBOR DR., REDONDO BEACH | 424-383-1898 | BEAUTYATTHEBAY.COM | @BEAUTYATTHEBAYRB

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L to R, back: Sue G., Camilla B., Connie S., Patty P., Lissa S., Heather C., Latisha J.; middle: Olivia W., Mariah M., Tami D., Mandy D. front: Helen B., Laura A., Maura D., Milo, Alicia Y., Lily M.


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ANITA LUGLIANI & ALEXANDRA LUGLIANI

Owners, Aspyn Method

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spyn Method offers a variety of Pilates and other fitness classes to clientele of all levels. Anita Lugliani and Alexandra Lugliani, a mother-daughter duo, opened the business in 2019. Anita grew up in Sweden and enjoyed the outdoor, athletic lifestyle that surrounded her. After working as a flight attendant and having four children, she often suffered neck and back pain and migraines. A physical therapist introduced Anita to Pilates 16 years ago, and her body responded so well that her chronic pain went away. She loved the results so much that she became certified as a Pilates instructor and an integrative nutritional health coach. A South Bay local, Alexandra took her first Pilates and barre classes 12 years ago. She is a certified Pilates instructor, trained in both classical and contemporary methods. She is the founder of Aspyn Method’s teacher training program. WHY DID YOU START ASPYN METHOD? Pilates is one of the most inclusive and accessible forms of exercise. We have clients in their 20s up to their 90s! It can be intense and body-sculpting or rehabilitative and restorative. We wanted to create a place where we can offer both styles and reach more people. Our goal is to offer a style of fitness that is results-driven and good for the body in the long term. Pilates is not something that you should have to phase out of your life when you reach a certain age. WHAT DOES YOUR STUDIO OFFER? At Aspyn Method, we pride ourselves on offering a variety of Pilates classes to all levels of clientele. Our Reformer Pilates classes offer both the foundational classical methods created by Mr. Pilates himself as well as targeted contemporary repertoire. This combination allows our instructors to teach dynamic classes that restore, tone and align the body. We pride ourselves on our ability to make fitness accessible to clients of all ages and stages of life.

HOW HAS YOUR BUSINESS EXCEEDED YOUR EXPECTATIONS? Despite all of the challenges we’ve faced together and individually, we’ve exceeded even our highest expectations. We are incredibly proud that Aspyn has become a place where our clients can come to connect, support and motivate one another in fitness and in life. We have come together to create a community of the strongest, kindest, most genuine people—including Aspyn’s clients, instructors and trainees. We have forged a culture where friendships made in the studio extend far beyond our classes and reflect a brand of loyalty that is simply unparalleled. DESCRIBE A RECENT HAPPENING THAT RESTORED YOUR FAITH IN HUMANITY. This year our staff member Gracie experienced a life-threatening event, and we didn’t know if she was going to pull through. This was felt throughout our entire community and triggered a wave of love and support in and out of the studio. We managed to raise more than $10,000 in four days to provide medical assistance funding. It was incredibly humbling to see our clients view our staff as though they are family. Thankfully Gracie made a full recovery and is back with us teaching at her favorite studio. WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN? Time and energy are currency; spend them wisely. WHAT ROLE DOES YOUR FAMILY PLAY IN YOUR CAREER? Family is a large part of what makes our studio so unique. We run the studio sideby-side as mother and daughter, creating an atmosphere that feels like a home away from home for our clients. We went through our Pilates certifications together and have been a team since the inception of Aspyn Method. We’re very fortunate to have each other to bounce ideas off of and also to lean on when life gets a little crazy.

HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK AND PLAY? Work and play balance can be difficult no matter what field you work in. Building a team you can rely on is critical. It takes time to get to a place where you’re not trying to catch up with yourself. Knowing you can depend on the people working with you is key to managing a business and enjoying life. TELL US YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE. “Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences.” – Norman Cousins HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE HONEST, OPEN EMPLOYEE DIALOGUE? Transparency is key when it comes to keeping an open dialogue with our employees. Every decision we make for the studio always comes with a detailed explanation. This way everyone stays on the same page and feels they are in the know. We have an open-door policy at Aspyn Method so our instructors know they can come to us with ideas and or concerns. Our entire team is incredibly invested in making Aspyn the very best place to take a class, so we are all constantly brainstorming together. WHAT IS THE #1 THING YOU DO TO ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS IS SUCCESSFUL? We are constantly running business health checks. We are lucky to be in an industry that generates so much data on a daily basis. This allows us to run projections into the future. We see what is working and what isn’t, and then we make the necessary changes. It’s not the most exciting part of business ownership, but it has helped us tremendously. IF YOU COULD BEGIN AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU “DO OVER” IN YOUR CAREER? Start smaller. Overhead can be a killer (especially when the world closes). We’ve learned it’s much easier to expand than to grow into a large space. Hindsight is 20/20, so as we grow as a company we’ll get to smooth out the kinks and learn from mistakes for future locations.

800 TORRANCE BLVD., REDONDO BEACH | 213-946-4946 | ASPYNMETHOD.COM | FB & IG: @ASPYN.METHOD

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JULIE LYON, STEPHANIE LYON, LESLEY LYON

Team Lyon Inc. | Lyon Stahl Real Estate

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ulie Lyon, owner of Team Lyon Inc., has a background in sales and owned a sporting goods company before starting her real estate career in 2005. She and her husband, Derrell, a builder, have raised three children in Manhattan Beach. Their son Sean owns a construction company with Derrell that focuses on remodeling and building custom homes. They have helped many of Team Lyon’s clients prepare for a listing, remodel or build their home. Their son Brett owns Lyon Stahl Investment Real Estate; Julie joined the firm in 2017 to head residential luxury sales. Rounding out Team Lyon are Julie’s daughter, Stephanie Lyon, and her daughterin-law, Lesley Lyon. Like her mom, Stephanie is a lifelong resident of Manhattan Beach. She began her real estate career in 2013 after attending USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She recently purchased her first home in Redondo Beach, followed by a major renovation. Lesley grew up in Huntington Beach and graduated from the University of Southern California in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in marketing and advertising promotion. She worked in advertising for several years before joining Team Lyon in 2019. Lesley lives in Manhattan Beach with her husband, Brett, and their two children. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WORK IN REAL ESTATE? We chose real estate because we love interacting with people and the bonus of the new lifelong friendships that are created. This career is a dream for us. We wake up every morning thankful and excited to go to work. Lyon Stahl Investment Real Estate is fun, engaging, vibrant and has the most amazing culture. Every agent in this office pushes each other in the most beneficial way while cheering each other on! We are blessed to work in a family-owned business.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR TEAM. Team Lyon’s passion, work ethic and integrity allow us to provide unparalleled service and market knowledge to clients and investors who are buying and selling real estate. We pride ourselves on our reputation for consistent hard work and professionalism. We help our clients make well-informed real estate decisions throughout the buying and selling process. We have decades of real estate experience, plus a wealth of knowledge of the Beach Cities. We are all well-informed about current residential projects and historical trends in the South Bay community and the surrounding coastal area. WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE HEARD? Work hard, play hard. Life is short, enjoy every minute of every day and never take anything for granted. Our clients are our top priority, but you might find us on a Friday afternoon enjoying the backyard pool or a nice round of golf. When you take time to focus on yourself, you are a better worker, friend and mate. Make work and play indistinguishable. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE? “You ask, ‘What if I fall?’ Oh, but my darling, ‘What if you fly?’” – Erin Hanson We absolutely love this quote and have it framed in our office. Don’t doubt yourself. We cannot let the fear of falling keep us from spreading our wings. Fly high above the clouds and the storms. Live fearless, confident and strong! WHAT ADVICE DO YOU GIVE YOUR KIDS? Always be kind, and go out of your way to make someone smile. You never know what that person is going through. If you commit to something, follow through and be polite, honest and positive. When friends and family need help, be there for them. Work hard to make a difference in your life and the other lives around you.

WHAT IS THE #1 THING YOU DO TO ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS IS SUCCESSFUL? Excellent communication. We answer our phones whenever possible and give clients our honest opinion—whether it’s news they want to hear or not. We treat our clients like family and hope to make them feel they are the only clients we have at that time. Attention to detail, savvy negotiating and thoroughness are other key factors in our business that are very important in ensuring our success. WHAT ROLE DOES YOUR FAMILY PLAY IN YOUR CAREER? Family is truly everything in our career! We are blessed to get to work together every day. Each person in our family has their own unique strengths that enhance our desire to push harder and be better at what we do in our profession. TELL US ABOUT A FEW OF YOUR PASSIONS. In our free time, we love going to the beach, boating on the lake, golfing, playing tennis, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE. Lead by example. Allow people to learn from their mistakes. If they don’t take risks and try, they are never going to succeed. The sky’s the limit! Dream big and support one another. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO STAY GROUNDED? It can be hard when we get swept up in everything, but it’s all about taking a step back and appreciating what we have been given. At the end of each day, it’s thinking about the highs and the lows and how to make tomorrow even better than today.

239 OREGON ST., EL SEGUNDO | 310-345-1239 | TEAMLYON.COM | FB: TEAM LYON | IG: @TEAMLYONRE

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Team Lyon, L to R: Lesley, Julie and Stephanie


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LISSA SOLIS, DACM, A-CFMP, DIPL. OM, LAC

Owner, Vibrancy Wellness

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS CAREER FIELD? My own health struggles led me to this career. In my youth, I saw multiple specialists with no resolution of my poor health. I chronically felt ill, experienced immense pain and had terrible weakness that kept me in bed. I was prescribed many different medications, which often made me feel worse. After years of struggling, I decided to step outside conventional medicine and seek other therapies. I saw an acupuncturist and a functional medicine doctor; together they took all of my pain away, corrected my deficiencies, regulated my digestion and rebalanced my entire body. I felt amazing for the first time in years and even got pregnant easily after previously being told I would not likely conceive. Regaining my youth and vitality inspired me to help others. I switched careers from law to medicine, and I found my true path. I decided to study both Chinese and

functional medicine to offer integrative care in my practice. My own experience and understanding help me compassionately support my patients. HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK TIME AND PLAYTIME? Luckily we live at the best playground: the beach. This makes it easy to ensure plenty of playtime. When I am not working you can find me boogie boarding, roller-skating, biking or skateboarding on The Strand. WHAT ROLE DOES YOUR FAMILY PLAY IN YOUR CAREER? Single-mom life guarantees that my kids play a big part in my career. Becoming pregnant inspired me to dive deep into wellness, as I wanted to give them the healthiest start. When they were little, bedtime stories often included medical books so I could simultaneously study while spending time with them. Taking my kids to work with me was sometimes necessary, so they have seen me in action. I love when they ask me questions about what I do. Watching my kids grow motivates me to learn more so I can continue to encourage them to live healthy and happy. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU GIVE YOUR KIDS? I tell my kids how important it is to stay true to themselves and that it is OK to take as much time as they need to figure that all out. There is no rush to grow up, and they should appreciate the little things in life as much as the big stuff. And of course I am always giving them advice about how to make healthy choices. HOW DO YOU FIND TIME TO FIT IT ALL IN? My life is a balancing act. Some days I feel like a wonder woman, and other days I feel like a hot mess. On the days of chaos, I give myself grace and take comfort in knowing that each new day is an opportunity to make everything better.

TELL US YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE. So many amazing quotes to choose from; it is hard to choose just one. At the top of my list is Deepak Chopra: “For everyone, wellbeing is a journey. The secret is committing to that journey and taking those first steps with hope and belief in yourself.” This message is something I try to instill in my patients to help them commit and trust in their healing journeys. WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST SIGNIFICANT BARRIER IN YOUR CAREER? I became a single mother of two toddlers in the first semester of pursuing medicine. I do not have family in California, but my parents along with other relatives took turns coming out to help me take care of my kids. It was extremely challenging, but I was able to graduate with my class due to the loving support of my family. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO STAY GROUNDED? My favorite way to stay grounded is to get out into nature regularly. Californians are lucky to have the ocean, mountains and desert in close proximity. Walking barefoot in any of these magical places is grounding. After work, I love walking on the beach with my kids and dipping my toes into the waves even during our winter months. WHO HAS BEEN YOUR ROLE MODEL? My parents have been my biggest mentors. They have always encouraged me to follow my heart, pursue my passions and never give up. Thanks to them, I have learned how to follow my dreams, I know that it is never too late to make changes, and I can always pick myself up and try again when things don’t go as planned.

PHOTOGRAPHED BY DAVID LEE

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ibrancy Wellness provides individualized health care by integrating Eastern and Western medicine to address the root cause of illness and prevent disease. Dr. Lissa Solis utilizes functional medicine, acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, cupping and red light therapy for holistic healing. She specializes in gut health, chronic illness, mental health, nutrition, women’s health, pain management and longevity. Dr. Solis started Vibrancy Wellness in Hermosa Beach in 2018. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Texas, completed a four-year master’s program in traditional Oriental medicine at Emperor’s College, earned a doctorate with a focus in integrative medicine at Pacific College of Health and Science, and holds the ADAPT certification in functional medicine from Kresser Institute. She is currently working on IFM certification from the Institute for Functional Medicine.

727 2ND ST. #101, HERMOSA BEACH | 310-779-1563 | VIBRANCYLIVEWELL.COM | IG: @VIBRANCYLIVEWELL

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L to R: Latrice McGlothin, Kinecta Federal Credit Union Foundation & past chair of the board, MBCC; Jill Dunn, Chevron & chair of the board, MBCC; Abby Waddell, Compass; DeAnn Flores Chase, Chase Law Group; Tamala Lewis, Dignity Health Sports Park; Jill McCurry, Manhattan Village; Hibah Samad, Manhattan Beach Unified School District; Maureen McBride, Tabula Rasa Essentials; Danica Dusevic, MBCC finance manager, Beachfront Business Services; Ann O’Brien, El Camino College Not pictured: Jordan Austin, Residence Inn MB; Robin Curren, Skechers; Cristan Higa, Beach Cities Health District; Sherry Kramer, Continental Development Corporation

MANHATTAN BEACH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (MBCC)

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he Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce drives a strong local economy by promoting the community, providing valuable business connections and representing business with government. The Chamber was founded in 1941 and is led by president/CEO David Archer. It has 13 women serving on its board of directors including two women on the executive board. WHAT DOES YOUR COMPANY STAND FOR? The Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce stands for helping businesses, organizations and people in Manhattan Beach and throughout the South Bay to thrive. We want to promote a strong local economy by partnering with local government, the business community, and local nonprofit and business organizations. WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING WITH YOUR BUSINESS? Recently, the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce initiated a community-based

newspaper, The MB Pier Review, that will be sent to all Manhattan Beach residents, businesses and Chamber members. Content and advertisements will be exclusive for our members, creating a unique benefit that sets the Manhattan Beach Chamber apart. IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU EMPOWER WOMEN TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS? In March 2022 we held a virtual event called Phenomenal Women: Unite. Empower. Inspire. Denise Austin was the keynote speaker, along with four local women serving on the discussion panel: Tanya Monaghan, social influencer and deputy editor of Southbay magazine; Peilin (Payleen) Pratt, founder and principal of Peilin Pratt Advisory; Jennifer Clay, VP of corporate communications and marketing at Skechers; and Malissia Clinton, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary at The Aerospace Corporation. They addressed topics such as inequity and stereotypes in the workplace; supporting women in the workplace; celebrating

differences and diversity with family; and being intentional about breaking barriers. HOW DOES YOUR BUSINESS PROVIDE CLIENTS A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE? A Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce membership immediately gives you credibility and signals to consumers, other businesses and potential investors that you support the community and are serious about business ethics, integrity and scaling your brand. We do business better in the Beach Cities, and having a membership with the Chamber offers a variety of benefits to help you build your brand. MBCC has a dedicated and active membership base that is successful in making its mark within our community. Those members work in tandem not only with the Chamber but also with other members to promote longterm partnerships and strategic plans to help achieve business goals. It is our mission to help you grow your sales channels, educate you on best practices, and get you the exposure you need to promote your products and services.

425 15TH ST., MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-545-5313 | MANHATTANBEACHCHAMBER.COM

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NICOLE LONGO

Owner, NEAT Method South Bay

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EAT Method is a full-service organizing business that delivers order, function and style to clients’ homes—from the working professional to the stay-at-home mom. The business was founded in 2011, and a Manhattan Beach franchise was formed in 2020. Nicole Longo took over the franchise at the beginning of this year and expanded it to the entire South Bay. Before transitioning to this career, she worked for 15 years as an entertainment and tech marketing executive with firms including Snapchat, Sony Pictures and Paramount Pictures. WHAT MAKES NEAT METHOD UNIQUE? NEAT Method is the largest home organizing company in the industry, with 95+ markets across the U.S. and Canada. The business was founded by women and is operated by a beautiful community of entrepreneurs who are passionate about helping others live NEAT and empowering each other to grow. We also design a line of organizing products based on years of experience in clients’ homes. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO GO INTO THIS BUSINESS? When your passion comes knocking, you open the door. I’ve always enjoyed organizing, planning and visual aesthetics. I’m a Virgo who also grew up in a military family that moved often, so the art of purging, unpacking and organizing are second nature to me. In 2021, I started organizing on the side for my friends and family as a creative outlet while working a full-time job as a marketing executive. I quickly realized that transforming spaces for other people was fulfilling my sense of purpose while allowing me to lean in to a passion at the same time. When the opportunity arose to own NEAT Method Manhattan Beach and expand it into a larger business, I knew it was the right time to make a bold move and change careers. WHAT IS THE #1 THING YOU DO TO ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS IS SUCCESSFUL? We take a realistic and honest approach to containing clutter and customize every system to fit the needs of each household. We also provide a white-glove experience that includes a lifestyle consultation, shopping for and implementing products, and donating unwanted items, which leaves our clients with nothing left to do but enjoy their space. HOW HAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE EXCEEDED YOUR CLIENTS’ EXPECTATIONS? We often hear from our clients that organizing is life-changing. When everything has a place (with labels!), you can find things easier and faster and move about your day more seamlessly. Having a composed living space also helps get rid of mental clutter; when you see an organized space, you aren’t wasting mental space thinking about cleaning it.

310-402-6447 | NEATMETHOD.COM | FB: @NEATMETHOD | IG: @LASOUTHBAYNEAT SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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MOLLY HOBIN WILLIAMS

President & CEO, The Hobin Company at Bayside

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he Hobin Company at Bayside is a full-service boutique brokerage firm with offices in Downtown Manhattan Beach and Palm Desert. Molly Hobin Williams is the fourth generation of her family to run the firm, which was started in 1925 by her great-grandfather. She has worked in real estate for 41 years. WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE HEARD? Right after college, when I was working in commercial real estate, someone told me on a Friday afternoon that I needed to learn to play golf. I realized that if I did not do it, I would be sitting in the office on Friday afternoons while the guys were out playing golf and doing deals on the golf course. I learned the sport, and it has been amazing how many clients I have met while playing golf or through our country club. TELL US ABOUT THE TV SHOW YOU ARE ON! I recently was selected as a host of a nationally syndicated lifestyle TV show, The American Dream: Selling Southern California. I have filmed six episodes so far, and although it is completely out of my comfort zone, I have enjoyed it and am having fun coming up with the content, interviewing people in our community, and highlighting local businesses and our current listings. HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK AND PLAY? I have always believed in “work hard, play hard.” I am available to my clients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but I also make time for fun and traveling and spending time with my family and friends. It is a balancing act, but I love what I do—so it does not feel like work. TELL US ABOUT A FEW OF YOUR PASSIONS. I am passionate about connecting people and helping people who are new to our community. My website, justaskmolly.com, is a great resource for clients, friends and family. It has a curated list of local vendors, favorite hot spots and a calendar of events. People who are new to the area love it and use it frequently. DESCRIBE A RECENT HAPPENING THAT RESTORED YOUR FAITH IN HUMANITY. I recently stopped at a gas station on a road trip and got coffee, doughnuts and a newspaper. When I checked out, the cashier said, “The lady next to you just paid for your items.” I could not believe it. She said, “Pass it on, it is God’s will.” She made my day, and I could not stop thinking about how nice she was to do that! There really are good people out there, and you run into them when you least expect it.

904 MANHATTAN AVE. #3, MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-318-1212 | THEHOBINCOMPANY.COM FB: @THE HOBIN COMPANY | IG: @THEHOBINCOMPANY

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AMANDA DEWYSOCKI, RN

Owner, ModernArt MedSpa & Salon

L to R: Olga Voloshyna, Amanda deWysocki, Rousey, Tara Liebergen

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odernArt MedSpa & Salon specializes in injectables, medical-grade skin care, body sculpting and other popular minimally invasive aesthetic procedures. Owner Amanda deWysocki has been a registered nurse for 16 years. She earned bachelor’s degrees from both UC Berkeley and Arizona State University and completed graduate coursework at both Cal State Fullerton and Grand Canyon University. She made the leap from ICU nursing to aesthetics in 2009, opening ModernArt MedSpa & Salon in 2014. HOW DO YOU ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS IS SUCCESSFUL? We listen to our clients. My two medical estheticians, Tara and Olga, and I have a combined 52 years of experience, and our loyal clientele is a testament to that. Sometimes listening means choosing an appropriate treatment only after understanding our client’s goals, expectations, lifestyle and budget. And sometimes it means being a sympathetic ear to talk to. Our clients have become like family over the past eight years, and we want them to know how much we appreciate them. WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE ANYONE HAS GIVEN YOU? Don’t try to do everything. It’s tempting, especially in this industry, to get excited by every new technology and want to do it all. But often people who try to do everything end up being great at nothing. I was reminded recently at a conference that the general public isn’t as comfortable with new technology as we clinicians are. Most people prefer the least amount of intervention and the most natural approach possible—another reason we remain focused on the quality of services we offer and not the quantity. It’s the Zen principle of “do one thing well” that has helped get me to this skill level and in turn has helped the whole business thrive. DESCRIBE A RECENT EVENT THAT RESTORED YOUR FAITH IN HUMANITY. Our esthetician Olga, who has been part of the ModernArt MedSpa family for six years, is a Ukrainian immigrant whose entire family still lives in the war-torn country in the city of Kyiv. The outpouring of love, support and charitable donations that our clients and extended community have shown her has been truly heartwarming. Amid all the negativity and chaos over the past couple years, it’s a beautiful thing to be reminded of the innate goodness of humankind. TELL US ABOUT A FEW OF YOUR PASSIONS. I am very passionate about music. I play the piano and a little ukulele and I sing—loud, proud and daily. I’m not great at any of it. The secret is: You don’t have to be! I’m also a dedicated yogini of nearly 20 years, and I have an overwhelming wanderlust that is rarely satiated.

1620 AVIATION BLVD., SUITE A, REDONDO BEACH | 310-374-7878 | MODERNARTSPA.COM | IG: @MODERNARTSPA

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JESSICA LOCOCO CANNIS President, Town Social Events, Inc.

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own Social Events is a full-service event planning company based in Southern California. Before starting her own firm in 2013, owner Jessica Lococo Cannis worked for a red-carpet event production company creating high-profile parties.

TELL US ABOUT SOMETHING YOU RECENTLY LEARNED THAT SURPRISED YOU. When the wedding planner becomes the bride! As an event/ wedding planner, I see it all. From early prep to the day-of magic, I am there every step of the way. I wear the hat of a therapist, a friend, a boss, a confidant, a guide. But taking on the role of bride for my own wedding was a wildly different experience. I learned so many valuable lessons through the planning process. After accomplishing our fairytale dream wedding, I am now a better event planner and can offer specific insight to clients.

TELL US YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE. “A wedding is a party, not a performance. If at the end of the day you are married to the one you love, then everything went perfectly.” I had to constantly keep this in mind and make our wedding about us, rather than focusing on it being a Town Social event. My husband and I centered everything around our beautiful, inspiring love story, and this is crucial when I plan clients’ weddings. I do my job in creating a gorgeous wedding and allow the bride and groom to make it personal and celebrate their own love story. IF YOU COULD BEGIN AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO “DO OVER” IN YOUR CAREER? I would have started my business sooner. I find the things that give me the most joy are also the ones that scare me the most. I get to play the role of producer, collaborate with colleagues and clients, immerse myself in creative conversation, surround myself with things that inspire beauty, happiness and celebration, work with an amazing team of people and create relationships that will last a lifetime.

324 33RD PLACE, MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-529-8686 | TOWNSOCIALEVENTS.COM | FB & IG: @TOWNSOCIALEVENTS

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY LYN WATANABE PHOTOGRAPHY AT WESTDRIFT MANHATTAN BEACH

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE HEARD? The first rule for choosing vendors is to avoid those who suggest that your budget isn’t sufficient. The planning process should be about taking your ideas and making them work. And when you select a team of the right professionals, trust them to have your best interest in mind. The vendors I work with are the best in the business, and they listened to our budget requirements and executed what we wanted. We met new vendors who have become part of the Town Social family, and I am thrilled to bring them on for future events. Take all the photos, hire the videographer, buy that dream dress you feel best in, make sure to add the small details that are important to you … so many things that I learned.


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AMERICA MICHAEL & STEPHANIE CROTHERS

Realtors®, Homes By America Michael Team | Compass

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ealtors America Michael and Stephanie Crothers specialize in Los Angeles and South Bay luxury real estate and residential properties. America founded Homes By America Michael Team, which operates under the umbrella of Compass. She has worked in real estate for more than a decade and is a Certified Negotiations Expert. Stephanie joined Homes By America Michael Team in 2019 and has worked in real estate for four years. When she’s not assisting real estate clients, she also works as a stage actress, scenic painter and muralist. HOW HAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE EXCEEDED YOUR CLIENTS’ EXPECTATIONS? We’ve been tasked with some interesting challenges over the years, as not all properties are quite plug-and-play or necessarily easy to sell. Our mission to find the answer to any objections, creatively think outside the box and ultimately put our clients’ needs first has given us the results we’ve aimed for and more than 100 5-star reviews! We pride ourselves on our determination and thrive on taking as much as possible off our clients’ plates—starting with our initial meeting to create our “master plan.” It’s often a collaborative effort, as not all clients work the same. But we know how to pivot and cater to our clients’ vast needs. I’m proud of how nimble we’ve become over the years, as it shows our commitment to the job and how extensive our list of resources has gotten. WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED? Stay true to yourself and above anything, do the right thing. Be a good human. Be someone you are proud of. Live life fully. Give to others and share your talents and gifts. The world is an abundant place—so come from abundance! TELL US ABOUT A FEW OF YOUR PASSIONS. America: I’ve been an avid traveler since I got my driver’s license—it recalibrates and inspires me. I’m also really into nature and love to hike and explore, climb a mountain and be in the trees. I’m proud to say I’ve hiked Half Dome in Yosemite, although I was absolutely terrified. I also love design, home projects and fixing up spaces. It’s something I’ve been doing since I was young and have loved the thrill of taking something from before to after and making it feel and look better. Stephanie: Telling stories and creating collaboratively with other artists has been a longtime passion of mine! I grew up as a classical dancer, studied the dramatic arts at USC and joined a theatre company after graduating. A knee injury led me into other creative avenues, and one day I decided I’d teach myself how to paint. Over the years, I scaled my painting skills up to larger canvases and recently began doing murals. I have also been hired as a scenic painter for theatre productions around Los Angeles!

1221 HERMOSA AVE. #201, HERMOSA BEACH | 310-817-0960 (AMERICA) | 424-218-6392 (STEPHANIE) HOMESBYAMERICA.COM | IG: @HOMESBYAMERICA, @STEPHANIECROTHERSRE | DRE #01902672, 02075685 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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NICOLLE HOWARTH & MICHELE GUTIERREZ

Silvio’s South American Lounge & Grille

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ilvio’s South American Lounge & Grill, formerly Silvio’s Brazilian BBQ, has been a part of the South Bay community since 2008. COO Nicolle Howarth is married to one of the original owners of Silvio’s and worked there for a short time when they first opened. She has worked in the hospitality industry for 30 years on and off and rejoined Silvio’s this year. GM Michele Gutierrrez grew up in a family that owned and operated restaurants in Las Vegas. She studied communications at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and was a mixed martial arts athlete competing on the MMA circuit around the world before she joined the Silvio’s team this year. TELL US ABOUT THIS NEW PHASE FOR SILVIO’S, AN ICONIC SOUTH BAY RESTAURANT. Nicolle: The pandemic was a difficult time for our family and the business. We decided that my husband would go back to school to earn his MBA, and I would step into his role as managing partner of the business. The plan was a light rebranding of Silvio’s—giving it a fresh new look and feel, coupled with new management. And Silvio’s South American Lounge & Grill was born! HOW HAS YOUR WORK PERFORMANCE EXCEEDED YOUR CUSTOMERS’ EXPECTATIONS? Michele: I am focused on making the guest experience memorable. Bringing in live music has been an amazing addition that people are loving. I try to talk with every table and make a connection with all of our guests. Coming on board at Silvio’s during the remodel and rebranding has been a whirlwind! My goal has been to build a team that is just as focused on the guest experience as I am. I’ve also been instrumental in developing the new beverage program. Lots of yummy concoctions to enjoy! HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE HONEST, OPEN DIALOGUE WITH EMPLOYEES? Nicolle: You need to walk the walk and talk the talk. I can’t expect my employees and manager to be honest and open and have continuous dialogue if I’m not doing the same. Giving a bit of grace during the growth process is also a big part of it. Without that people will hold back, and that doesn’t serve anyone. I think that’s one of the reasons Michele and I work so well together. TELL US ABOUT A FEW OF YOUR PASSIONS. Michele: I have a passion for the bar and restaurant industry as well as the music industry. I’ve owned a music booking company for a few years now and have developed a great local following. The pandemic has allowed musicians the space to work in the South Bay and share their talent with the community. My ultimate goal is to own my own restaurant/bar/music venue.

18 PIER AVE., HERMOSA BEACH | SILVIOSLOUNGEANDGRILL.COM | FB: @SILVIOSBBQ | IG: @SILVIOSGRILL

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CAROL GLOVER, JD & MARIA ZUNIGA

Salzman Real Estate Team | Engel & Völkers – LA South Bay

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he Salzman Real Estate Team serves the Greater South Bay real estate market from LAX to Long Beach, representing both buyers and sellers of residential and multifamily properties. Realtors® Carol Glover and Maria Zuniga specialize in working with individuals and families to build generational wealth. Carol has worked as a real estate broker, developer and real estate attorney since the 1980s. Maria has been involved with real estate since 1992, initially as a certified real estate paralegal and then transitioning to sales as a broker. HOW HAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE EXCEEDED YOUR CLIENTS’ EXPECTATIONS? To quote one client, “They showed us that we mattered and made us feel like we were their only client.” We are highly responsive and “walk the talk.” We are both longtime owners and investors and know how critically important it is that we understand our clients’ needs and goals. In this role, we are advisors

to our clients and transform their ideas into successful purchases and sales. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WORK IN THE FIELD OF REAL ESTATE? We were both introduced to real estate at an early age through our families and experienced how quickly it can build and sustain wealth. After working in the practice of real estate law, we realized that we worked well together. We also saw how problems can quickly emerge if people are not properly represented. Real estate transactions are complex, and you need a good “tribe” around you to succeed. We have both had great advisors and mentors along the way, and we feel strongly that it is up to us to help others get on the real estate escalator to building wealth. WHAT ROLE DOES YOUR FAMILY PLAY IN YOUR CAREER? Maria: My husband has been my partner in all of my real estate ventures and is supportive of everything we’ve done.

Following our lead, our kids, who are 18 and 23, are building nest eggs to create their own real estate portfolios. Carol: Family is everything. Dave Salzman, who works as our team lead, is my husband and partner. We are highly collaborative—especially on our development projects—because we both bring our special talents to the deal. 2022 was an exciting year for us as we assisted our kids, who are 32 and 27, in purchasing homes in Brooklyn and New Orleans. WHAT QUALITIES DIFFERENTIATE YOU FROM OTHERS IN YOUR FIELD? We envelop our clients with 360 degrees of support. Dave is a real estate finance guru, Carol is a real estate attorney and together they share expertise in development projects. Maria excels at deal structuring and is our customer service ace. Working our respective strengths enables us to provide our clients with full-service attention before, during and after the transaction.

1147 HIGHLAND AVE., MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-545-2260 | SALZMANTEAM.COM | @SALZMANREALESTATE | DRE #01738368 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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CINDY SHEARIN

Founder, The Shearin Group | Strand Hill – Christie’s International Real Estate

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indy Shearin has worked in South Bay residential sales and development for the past 30 years. Among her many certifications, she is a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist, Certified Residential Specialist, GRI graduate, Certified Senior Resident Specialist and e-Pro Certified. HOW HAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE EXCEEDED YOUR CLIENTS’ EXPECTATIONS? I deliver a very hands-on approach. My clients know that they will deal directly with me and that I am always available via my direct cell number: 310-200-8318. I’m not just a highly skilled Realtor®; I design both the exterior and interior of homes, develop projects from the ground up, select all the finishes for homes I create and personally stage my listings. HOW DO YOU ENSURE THAT YOUR BUSINESS IS SUCCESSFUL? I consider myself a generational Realtor because my excellent client retention rate often extends to many generations in a family. Many clients started as first-time home buyers, and their young adult children are also becoming clients. Also, I listen! I attribute my success to my ability to interpret and deliver my clients’ dreams and visions with seamless transactions every time; my clients trust that all my decisions are motivated solely by their best interest. AS A DESIGNER, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE NEWEST TRENDS IN THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY? With so many people working remotely, there is more demand for home office space. Likewise, home gyms and workout areas are near the top of the list; it is not surprising to see a stationary bike in someone’s living room these days. There are fundamental shifts in how people work and live in the post-COVID world. The movie theatre room has morphed into multipurpose rooms to include theatre, bar, pool/game tables … it becomes a flex space for the whole family. Aesthetically, we see more neutrals, textures and wood-stained cabinets ranging from neutrals to greys instead of mainly paint-grade cabinetry. And yes, gold and black are still in!

WHAT IMPACT DO YOU THINK THE CURRENT STOCK MARKET VOLATILITY AND INCREASED MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES MIGHT HAVE ON REAL ESTATE VALUES IN THE SOUTH BAY? There continues to be low inventory, as well as recognition of the South Bay as one of the most desirable communities in the United States. These factors create strong support for home values in our area. There is currently a modest cooling and a move toward more normal conditions in our market, but the South Bay will continue to be a highly sought-after community.

1131 N. MORNINGSIDE DR., MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-200-8318 | THESHEARINGROUP.COM | DRE #00925580

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY LINDA COTTER

WHAT ARE SOME TIPS FOR ENHANCING A HOME TO PREPARE IT FOR MARKET IF YOU DON’T WANT TO DO A FULL REMODEL? Some of the most modestly priced improvements can have a huge impact. Changing hardware in the kitchen and baths is a perfect example. Other high-impact changes are updating light fixtures and changing out accessories. Fresh paint can magically transform a whole space.


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RONNA PARSA, DO, FAAOS

Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon, Parsa Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute

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arsa Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute helps individuals of all levels achieve a healthier quality of life using regenerative therapies, like PRP, and minimally invasive treatments, like arthroscopy, to accelerate healing and ease recovery. Dr. Ronna Parsa is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine. She started her private practice in the South Bay in 2017. HOW DO YOU ENSURE THAT YOUR BUSINESS IS SUCCESSFUL? I value and care for my patients with the same respect as I would a member of my family. I know the importance of trust and confidence a patient must have in their physician to be able to reach the best results. My patients and I work together as a team, not only to ensure the greatest outcome but also to optimize their overall health and maximize their quality of life. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU GIVE KIDS AND THEIR PARENTS? Never stop pursuing your dreams no matter how many obstacles you think stand in your way. Don’t be afraid to try new things and see what you love best. Play all types of sports to help support and build all muscles of a growing body. Studies show that children who play only one sport have a higher risk of injury and burnout. Overuse injuries have become a significant issue, especially in young athletes. Learn more at STOPsportsinjuries.org. WHO HAS BEEN YOUR MENTOR? I trained under the world-renowned sports surgeon and my mentor, Dr. James Andrews, who taught me the importance of teamwork, leadership and communication when treating patients. His support and encouragement throughout my career have inspired me to continue to pay it forward by teaching and mentoring the next generation of surgeons. HOW HAVE YOU DEALT WITH BARRIERS IN YOUR CAREER? As a female going into a career in surgery—especially a field like orthopedics—there were plenty of challenges and barriers to overcome. I quickly learned to turn my perceived disadvantages into advantages and use them as sources of motivation. Nonstop dedication to hard work and staying focused on my goals have allowed me to excel in even the harshest of environments. TELL US ABOUT A FEW OF YOUR PASSIONS. Growing up in the South Bay with a family and a community dedicated to an active lifestyle, I have always loved year-round outdoor sports—from tennis, golf and swimming to running on the sand and The Strand. These activities have helped me fully realize my passion to get patients back to their favorite activities as quickly and as safely as possible. I use a comprehensive approach to address any issues that may be slowing down your recovery.

1200 ROSECRANS AVE., SUITE 110, MANHATTAN BEACH | 424-220-4411 | DRRONNAPARSA.COM | IG: @DRPARSA_ SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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AUDREY JUDSON

Realtor®, Audrey Judson Real Estate | Strand Hill Properties

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fter earning a degree in mechanical engineering from USC, Audrey Judson moved to the South Bay to be close to work and enjoy the beautiful Beach Cities. She purchased a home and was intrigued with the process, so she decided to obtain her real estate license—not with the intention of becoming a full-time Realtor but rather to learn more about real estate contracts and laws. When the engineering company she was working for was sold, she decided to pursue a real estate career temporarily—planning to return to a career in alternative energy. In the meantime, she realized that she enjoyed helping people purchase or sell their homes. “I love living in the South Bay and realized that I’m passionate about sharing my excitement for this area,” Audrey shares. “It’s easy to sell something I believe in!” She has now worked in the real estate industry for more than 30 years. WHAT IS THE #1 THING YOU DO TO ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS IS SUCCESSFUL? I treat my clients with care and respect. They are never just another sale to me. Many have become close friends. I think my clients understand and appreciate my honesty and my commitment to helping them achieve their goals, which is why my business is primarily made up of repeat business and referrals. WHO HAS BEEN YOUR ROLE MODEL? My mother and grandmother taught me what unconditional love and support are. They persevered through unbearable times. They are and always be my role models. TELL US ABOUT A FEW OF YOUR PASSIONS. My family is everything to me. I have an amazing husband. We’ve been married for 35 years, and he makes me laugh every day. I couldn’t be prouder of my son and daughter. My daughter is a Division 1 student-athlete at Columbia University where she is pursuing a career in sustainable development while being a member of their crew team. My son works in finance and was recently married to a wonderful young woman. They just bought a home and had a baby boy—lots of changes in their lives that past year. And my husband and I are officially grandparents! My only regret is that they live so far away. There are going to be a lot of trips back and forth to the East Coast in the coming years. I also enjoy exercising outdoors—running on the Greenbelt and beach, biking, walking/hiking, and climbing Sand Dune Hill each week. The fact that I live in an area perfect for outdoor sports is one of the reasons I love living here.

1300 HIGHLAND AVE. #208, MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-902-3234 | AUDREYJUDSONHOMES.COM | DRE #00872303 FB: @AUDREYJUDSONREALTOR | IG: @ AUDREYJUDSON

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MORA SEPEHRNIA

Realtor®, The Kondo Group | Compass

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he Kondo Group is a full-service real estate team working under the umbrella of Compass. Led by Tadashi Kondo since 2014, the team is comprised of 12 agents and staff with more than 60 years of combined experience. Realtor Mora Sepehrnia joined The Kondo Group more than seven years ago. She started her real estate journey in Toronto in 2010 while completing her bachelor’s degree in business from York University. Later she met her husband, moved to the United States and obtained her broker’s license in Chicago. The couple moved to Los Angeles about eight years ago, and Mora acquired her California real estate license. In 2019 she also became licensed in Abu Dhabi. HOW HAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE EXCEEDED YOUR CLIENTS’ EXPECTATIONS? It comes down to how much I care—that’s what makes me stand out among the crowd. I want every client to feel they have my 100% focus and attention. Every Realtor can put up a for-sale sign in front of a house or suggest staging or projects to get the home ready for the market, but it’s that extra mile that takes home buying and selling from good to extraordinary. I don’t want to meet clients’ expectations, I want to exceed them. WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED? “Eddie would go!” It was given to me by one of my first mentors in California, Matt Jacobs—God rest his soul. He always encouraged me to keep going and be courageous in this business. You have to be self-motivated in this business, and this motto reminds me to stay committed and persevere through any hurdles. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU GIVE KIDS YOU KNOW? Although I don’t have any kids of my own, my advice for all kids is to be bold, be fearless, stand up for what you believe in and to follow your passion. TELL US ABOUT A FEW OF YOUR PASSIONS. I am a very passionate person, being moved by art, music, performances, stories and anything that can deliver a message. Art and a good song can give me goose bumps and make my heart race. Whenever I need a creativity boost, I enjoy creating art. WHO IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL MENTOR? When Tadashi Kondo asked me to join his team, The Kondo Group, I thought I may only stay for a couple of years. But here I am seven years later, still under his wing and learning something new every day! He’s created a great team, and I love getting to collaborate with top agents.

550 SILVER SPUR RD., SUITE 110, RANCHO PALOS VERDES | 626-233-6637 | THEKONDOGROUP.COM | DRE #01969527 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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ERIN ENNIS

Owner, Skin Topic Skincare

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rin Ennis has been a licensed esthetician since 2004. She opened Skin Topic Skincare in 2010 to offer clients targeted, results-oriented skin care backed by science and delivered therapeutically. The business is an authorized retailer of Éminence Organic Skin Care products and offers services such as facials and waxing, plus red and blue LED light therapy. WHY DID YOU GO INTO THIS CAREER FIELD? We all have experienced various roadblocks in our lives. Adapting to change has been my biggest tool navigating my journey. I started out in life as a dancer. I had some unfortunate injuries in other activities that required three knee surgeries, two back surgeries and even a broken elbow. This derailed me from the path of professional dancing. When I was in college pursuing a degree in fashion merchandising, my mother tragically and suddenly passed away. While I was coping with her loss, I gravitated toward wellness. Having grown up struggling with cystic acne for most of my teen and young adult years, I turned my focus to skin care and became a licensed esthetician. I discovered that skin care and helping others is my life’s passion! I am 45 and really proud of my innate perseverance and accomplishments thus far. I am happy with my dramatically improved skin, my health, my thriving skin care business that is going on year 12 (voted the South Bay’s BEST Skin Care in 2021 and 2022 in the Daily Breeze’s Readers’ Choice Awards) and my ability to use my experience and expertise daily to help my clients achieve their goals. HOW DO YOU ENSURE THAT YOUR BUSINESS IS SUCCESSFUL? My facial services are more than just skin care. A client’s concerns with their skin may be what initially brings them in, but I offer more value with my services beyond just a great moisturizer. Wellness of body and mind are so important, and this is the environment that I strive to create. During a service, the client can decompress so their body can reset and align from within and they can better receive the benefits of my treatment and therefore obtain optimal results. At Skin Topic Skincare, the best foundation you can wear is healthy, glowing skin! TELL US YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE. “If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.” I am so grateful for the ups and downs that ultimately led me to realize that wellness is my purpose in life! I get to live my life’s passion every day as an esthetician. I consider myself very lucky! TELL US ABOUT A FEW OF YOUR PASSIONS. Dancing; I still take a class once a week. I love the ocean and enjoy staying healthy, mentally and physically. I am blessed to be able to live and work in the South Bay!

4201 TORRANCE BLVD., SUITE 740, TORRANCE | 310-308-8421 | SKINTOPIC.COM | @SKINTOPICSKINCARE

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DIANA TURNER

Real Estate Advisor, Vista Sotheby’s International Realty

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iana Turner grew up in West Los Angeles and Palm Springs, where her father was a successful real estate broker. After graduating from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and communications, she worked in major media for 20 years at Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Los Angeles magazine and Disney Internet. She started her career as a Realtor® in 2004. HOW HAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE EXCEEDED YOUR EXPECTATIONS? In the last couple years, I’ve received some important awards such as a Top Producer for Vista Sotheby’s, ranked in the top 1.5% in the nation by RealTrends and was named a Real Estate All-Star by Los Angeles magazine. My wonderful clients have helped me achieve this. And the Sotheby’s global brand elevates us to the next level. HOW IS THE REAL ESTATE MARKET? It’s good! There is still big demand for our area. Our beach communities always endure economic storms better than other areas. Where else can you find our fabulous weather, beautiful beaches, great schools, fantastic shopping and restaurants with easy access to LAX? TELL US ABOUT SOMETHING YOU RECENTLY LEARNED THAT SURPRISED YOU. How well we managed work during COVID-19. In spite of all the uncertainty and physical challenges to show homes, we masked up and took precautions following rules. Videos were created more, and buyers bought homes—sometimes without actually walking into them. We made it through with record sales. DESCRIBE SOMETHING THAT RESTORES YOUR FAITH IN HUMANITY. I’m a big believer in random acts of kindness. It costs nothing and makes a big difference in someone’s day. This is why I enjoy shopping at certain stores where employees are so pleasant, such as Trader Joe’s and Skechers. WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED? Be prepared. Know the market and latest sales. Have an ear to the ground for off-market buys too. At home, have emergency kits at the ready with medicines handy, in case a flu suddenly happens. HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK TIME AND PLAYTIME? This balance is very important. I like to combine both, such as being a member of the Trojan League of the South Bay. We have fun raising funds for USC scholarships to give to local South Bay students. And I managed to fit in some trips this year to islands off Seattle (fishing for our dinner) and a friends’ reunion in Hawaii.

2501 N. SEPULVEDA BLVD., SUITE 200, MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-213-2450 | LOSANGELESBEACHHOME.COM | DRE #01442365 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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DEBORAH RICHIE-BRAY, ASLA

Owner, Richie-Bray, Inc.

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ichie-Bray, Inc., a landscape architecture studio owned by Deborah RichieBray, offers custom designs on both the East and West coasts that encompass commercial and residential properties as well as numerous horse farms and estates in Kentucky and Rolling Hills. Deborah founded her studio in 2004, designing lawns, gardens, pools, spas, BBQs, fireplaces and water features. Installations highlight diversity, low water, low maintenance and fire safety. WHAT IS THE #1 THING YOU DO TO ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS IS SUCCESSFUL? Each project has its own identity starting with our clients’ wish list that they fill out on our website. Since no garden is the same, both hardscapes and planting designs are uniquely individual expressions of our clients, the architecture and the site. I pride myself on being able to communicate with my clients—quickly and openly—understanding their needs and creating designs that will fulfill and exceed their expectations.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS LINE OF WORK? I knew at a very early age that I had a passion for garden design, which led to my degree in landscape architecture from the University of Kentucky and extending studies at UCLA. Early on I was given the opportunity to work on horse farms and landmark properties in Kentucky and later on the Getty Villa in Malibu in 1998. WHAT ROLE DOES YOUR FAMILY PLAY IN YOUR CAREER? Both my mother and father appreciate gardens and the natural landscape. They volunteered to enhance forests by protecting trees for the future. I’ve learned to appreciate the beauty of natural textures and layers. The future of the land depends upon us protecting our natural resources. Native plants will grow better without a lot of water or maintenance. I’ve become an expert on trees, native plantings and low-water gardens. I love the organic forms of nature and the classic structures of architecture. Combining both creates unique outdoor environments.

DESCRIBE SOME OF YOUR MORE RECENT PROJECTS. The Richie-Bray, Inc. portfolio includes residential estates in Southern California. A design of a modern farmhouse is shown above. Completed projects include the master plan for the South Coast Botanic Rose Garden on the Palos Verdes Peninsula and Descanso Beach Club on Catalina Island. Recently licensed in Tennessee, I’m getting back to my roots—designing new and old estate properties with my Southern, classic style. WHAT IS SOME GREAT ADVICE? Do what you love, and you will love what you do, and you will live a rich life. TELL US YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE. “If you can imagine it, you can create it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” – William Ward Gardens are like this too. It’s the imagination that holds the possibilities, but we sometimes must slow down enough to create our dreams. By listening, we get to help our clients’ dreams come true.

PALOS VERDES, CA; BARDSTOWN, KY; WINCHESTER, TN | 310-377-5868 | RICHIE-BRAY.COM

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LESLIE IRVINE, MD

Facial Plastic Surgery

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riginally from the Midwest, Dr. Leslie Irvine has spent the last decade in Southern California as a dedicated head and neck surgeon and facial plastic surgeon. She graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Medical School before completing her residency at USC and her fellowship in Beverly Hills with one of the top rhinoplasty surgeons in the world. After practicing in Santa Barbara, she moved to the South Bay in 2019 and opened her facial plastic surgery practice in Manhattan Beach. Dr. Irvine specializes in facial rejuvenation and nasal surgeries with an emphasis on rhinoplasty, considered one of the most complicated and high-pressure plastic surgeries. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO GO INTO THIS CAREER FIELD? I chose otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat surgery) because I love the fine details of the head and neck anatomy, and I chose facial plastic surgery to help people with more complex anatomy. My favorite surgery to perform is rhinoplasty with septoplasty. It can help significantly with quality of life, making people who need it both breathe and look better. HOW DO YOU ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS IS SUCCESSFUL? My goal is that patients’ results exceed their expectations. This means I have to understand their goals and also their anatomy to find treatment options that work for them. I listen to patients and am honest with them. I am fortunate to have the advantage of more than a decade of surgical experience and years of continued followup on my patients, so I can really get a sense of how my work holds up over time. WHY ARE YOU CONSIDERED A GO-TO PERSON IN THE COMMUNITY? I am known for doing complicated nasal surgeries including revision cases. I am double board-certified, and I trained on some of the most complex revision surgeries during my fellowship with Dr. Paul Nassif on the TV show Botched. After treating extremely tricky revision patients, I have learned what complications can arise and how to manage and avoid them. Local physicians and patients choose me because I have the experience to not only make the shape of the nose look beautiful on the outside, but also to breathe beautifully on the inside. TELL US ABOUT A FEW OF YOUR PASSIONS. Outside of work and spending time with my husband and three small children, I enjoy running and Pilates—which help me with my endurance for long workdays. I also love cake decorating. This therapeutic and creative outlet has become a great way to bond with each of my kids. I am grateful that my family and I have become a part of this wonderful South Bay community!

1200 ROSECRANS AVE., SUITE 110, MANHATTAN BEACH | 424-225-1280 | DRLESLIEIRVINE.COM FB: @DRIRVINEFACIALPLASTICS | IG: @DRLESLIEIRVINE SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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L to R: Amber Caudle, CEO/chef; Cindy Van Pelt, COO/pastry chef; Beth Hannemann, CFO

NINE24 KITCHEN, SOURCE CAFÉ & SWEETRISE

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hef Amber Caudle, Beth Hannemann and Cindy Van Pelt began their partnership in 2018 and established Source Collab hospitality group in 2022, which features Source Café in Hermosa Beach, Nine24 Kitchen in Manhattan Beach and the soon-to-be-launched custom cake company Sweetrise. Amber and Cindy have worked in the restaurant industry since they were young teenagers, and Beth worked in data analytics before joining the team. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO GO INTO THIS CAREER FIELD? Amber: I opened The Source Café 10 years ago when my health took a crash and I was desperate to feel better. I was determined to heal my body with nourishing food and also inspire others about the importance of what we put into our bodies. To this day, my mission is to make a paradigm shift in the world through food.

Beth: After dealing with daunting family and health issues, I left the corporate world to focus on my health and well-being. Once I met Chef Amber, I finally found a place where my passions for food and numbers collided. DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE. Cindy: I like to lead our team with a style that says coworker before boss. We are in the service industry, and being of service to each other is the perfect segue to how we as a team treat our guests. It’s really important not to micromanage our team members. When they have the freedom and support to do what they do best, then we are all shining in our own light. WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE HEARD? Beth: All of the struggles and failures will make you stronger on the other side. Don’t dwell on the past—move forward and learn from your mistakes. The more you take care of your health and well-being, the better you will be to all others in the world.

TELL US ABOUT SWEETRISE. Cindy: I’m so excited about our newest Source Collab addition, Sweetrise. It’s a passion project of mine and has definitely been a labor of love. As an alternative baker, I strive to twist traditional sweets into clean, allergen-free treats. Seeing the happiness on kids’ faces when they try something new is such a source of joy for me. HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE HONEST, OPEN EMPLOYEE DIALOGUE? Amber: I wanted to create an environment where our team members feel they have a voice. We have worked hard to build an open dialogue with all of our teams. We are honest with our employees about what we need, and they feel safe coming to us whenever they need to voice something. We allow space for everyone to be heard. When there is an issue, nothing is swept under the carpet. We deal with it, find a solution and move on.

924 N. SEPULVEDA BLVD., MANHATTAN BEACH | 301-921-8505 | NINE24KITCHEN.COM | IG: @NINE24.KITCHEN

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ALY PEDERSEN

Executive Chef & Owner, The Inspired Palate

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he Inspired Palate offers full-service custom catering and private chef services in the South Bay and surrounding areas. Chef-owner Aly Pedersen has worked in the culinary education and catering industry for the past 11 years, including with many high-profile clients such as the Los Angeles Kings and professional athletes. WHAT IS THE #1 THING YOU DO TO MAKE SURE YOUR BUSINESS IS SUCCESSFUL? When you have a small business, each and every client is valuable and important. We make sure to create a unique experience customized to the clients’ needs. We are especially good at creating dishes that are flavorful and fun but also fit a wide range of dietary restrictions. In southern California, it’s key to cater to a range of dietary requests. Everything from the food and service to special touches is what makes us stand out. HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE OPEN EMPLOYEE DIALOGUE? I constantly ask for feedback from my sous chefs and team leads. Oftentimes we come up with solid solutions and ideas together. We test recipes, have honest communication about how we can improve, and simultaneously we put those ideas into action. DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE. I have always been described as a natural leader. I lead with trust, established between myself and my crew. I push my team to do great work by building them up with encouragement and support. Their achievements are a reflection of me, and I want nothing more than to see my team thrive.

PHOTOGRAPHED BY LYN WATANABE PHOTOGRAPHY

WHAT HAS BEEN A SIGNIFICANT BARRIER IN YOUR CAREER? Work-life balance can be a struggle. This past year I made a list of nonnegotiables to stick to so I could have better boundaries and not feel overworked. In doing that, I have been able to enjoy my personal time more and not feel pressed to get everything done immediately. It’s made me a better person and business owner. Time to reset and refresh is vital! WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO STAY GROUNDED? I was a competitive swimmer for 10 years and still lap swim several times a week. The pool is my sanctuary—a place for me to let go, unwind and just flow. Some of my best appetizer ideas have popped up mid-lap when my mind is fresh and free. There is nothing better to start the day! HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE NAME OF YOUR BUSINESS? When I started culinary school, my dad gave me his copy of The Silver Palate—my most treasured cookbook. Combining my inspiration and love of that cookbook, The Inspired Palate was born.

18509 CRENSHAW BLVD., TORRANCE | 310-283-4114 | THEINSPIREDPALATE.COM SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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DR. CINDY P. CHUN

Head of School, Peninsula Heritage School

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ounded in 1961, Peninsula Heritage School serves kindergarten through eighth grade students. Under the direction of head of school Dr. Cindy Chun, Peninsula Heritage welcomes students who represent diversity in ethnicity, backgrounds and talents from Palos Verdes and throughout the South Bay, as well as international exchange students. TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEW POSITION WITH CAIS. While I continue as head of school at Peninsula Heritage, I have been selected to serve on the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) board of directors. CAIS accredits nonprofit independent schools, holding member schools accountable to high standards of curriculum, care for students and management of resources while providing ongoing training and networking opportunities for school leaders. I will work with the board setting the standards to which schools are held and ensuring that CAIS continues to proceed effectively. I am so honored and look forward to being a part of the leadership team of our accrediting organization and to giving small schools a voice on the bigger stage. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE US TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR SCHOOL? Peninsula Heritage School prides itself on cultivating learners who are poised to be compassionate innovators of the future. With the skills, intellectual curiosity and strength of character they develop during their years at our school, our graduates flourish in the South Bay’s most challenging high schools—and in their lives thereafter. Our small class sizes provide each teacher and associate teacher the opportunity to assess every child’s academic, social and emotional profile and continually create engaging programs that maximize each student’s learning. Parents frequently express their appreciation for our caring attitude and our teachers’ connection with their students and genuine interest in their progress and success. HOW DOES YOUR SCHOOL EMPOWER STUDENTS? Students can exercise their decision-making skills in all areas of the curriculum. Classroom discussions and authentic writing opportunities enable students to express their views and decisions, and opinions are carefully discussed and honored. Individual students’ passions and areas of personal focus are celebrated, and teachers provide encouragement and resources to further knowledge acquisition in these selected areas. We understand that the foundation of a successful student is a happy child who knows they are valued. TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND. I am a native Hawaiian. I have a deep sense of family and an “aloha spirit.” I’ve been an independent school educator and administrator for more than 20 years and consider myself a lifelong learner, a world traveler and always a teacher at heart. I teach a class every year to stay connected with the students.

26944 ROLLING HILLS RD., ROLLING HILLS ESTATES | 310-541-4795 | PENINSULAHERITAGE.ORG

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iACT’s annual fundraising event, impACT, will honor its founders, Gabriel Stauring and Katie-Jay Scott, Continuing the Vision after their tragic passing in 2021.

JOIN US September 24 6:00pm - 11:00pm Cross Campus El Segundo, CA Reserve your tickets today!


DRE#00967574

Palos Verdes Estates Panoramic ocean, coastline and city lights views from this KAA designed estate. With over 7,200 square feet and five bedrooms, this one level home is truly one of a kind. $16,900,000


R E A L E S TAT E

Stunning Malaga Cove View Home One of the most beautiful remodeled homes in the Malaga Cove area, with sweeping and unobstructed views— from the Queen’s Necklace, white water, city lights and L.A. basin all the way to the mountains. Beautiful 4-bedroom,4-bath, 3,337 square-foot home on an 11,500 square-foot lot with an oversized, two-car garage. The resort-like backyard backing the Parkland offers a pool, spa, waterfall and BBQ area. This home is on a sweet spot of the hill: It’s close enough to walk or ride bikes to the beach, less than 10 minutes to the Hollywood Riviera, and up on the hill far enough away from the city that it feels calm and tranquil. It’s really the “best of both worlds”! 581 Via Del Monte, Palos Verdes Estates | $4,750,000 Lily Liang | Strand Hill Christie’s International Real Estate 310-373-3333 | lilyliangpv@gmail.com | DRE #00837794

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2022 IS OFF TO A GREAT START! LEFT TO RIGHT: AVERY HAZELRIGG (DRE 02094523). ELIZABETH WELCH (DRE 01501746), ALI SNIDER (DRE 011221875), JEN CASKEY (DRE 01075946), STACIA JANUS (DRE 02033099), PATRICE RADDEN (DRE 02100059), STARR DILL (DRE 02102888), ERIC FONOIMOANA (DRE 01432787), NOT PICTURED: JILLIAN KAPLAN (DRE 09144325)

JEN CASKEY GROUP 310.372.2200 INFO@JENCASKEYGROUP.COM DRE 01075946

JENCASKEYGROUP JENCASKEYGROUP.COM


MONTEREY BLVD, HB $30,000,000 Sold – Represented Buyer

1500 WALNUT AVE, MB $2 ,600,000 Sold – Represented Buyer

1714 STANFORD AVE, RB $1, 580,000 Sold – Represented Buyer

651 OXFORD AVE, VENICE 515 GERTRUDA AVE #9, RB 9 AVOCADO LN, RHE $1,350,000 $3,150,000 $1, 527,000 Sold – Represented Buyer Sold – Represented Seller Sold – Represented Buyer

2808 VIA NEVE, PVE $5,300,000 Sold – Rep. Seller & Buyer

125 BREEZE AVE, VENICE $2 , 485,000 Sold – Represented Buyer

2024 W 159TH ST, TORRANCE 5413 PASEO DE PABLO, $1, 200,000 $2 , 236, 575 Sold – Represented Buyer Sold – Represented Buyer

425 2ND ST, MB $6, 500,000 Sold – Represented Seller

557 3RD ST, HB $3, 500,000 Sold – Represented Seller

812 5TH ST, MB $9,000,000 Sold – Represented Buyer

8218 HANDLEY AVE, LA $1, 460,000 Sold – Represented Seller

1014 10TH ST, HB $3,950,000 Sold – Represented Buyer

429 21ST PL, MB $2 , 800,000 Sold – Represented Buyer

623 S IRENA, RB $3,025,000 Sold – Represented Buyer

2105 N MEADOWS AVE, MB 3521 ELM AVE, MB $3,025,000 $2 ,300,000 Sold – Represented Seller Sold – Represented Buyer

301 4TH ST, MB $4, 200,000 Sold – Represented Seller

316 7TH ST, MB $4, 240,000 Sold – Represented Buyer

1208 THE STRAND #A, MB 615 23RD ST, MB 207 S REDONDO AVE, MB $4,850,000 $6, 250,000 $4,300,000 In Escrow – Represented Seller In Escrow – Represented Buyer In Escrow – Rep. Seller & Buyer

Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. License Number 01991628. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but has not been verified. Changes in price, condition, sale or withdrawal may be made without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footage are approximate. If your property is currently listed for sale this is not a solicitation.

8100 AIRLANE AVE, LA $2 ,100,000 Sold – Represented Buyer


LI NE SI W TN G

R P ED R U ICE C TI O N

629 Via Horquilla, Palos Verdes Estates | $8,900,000 www.629viahorquilla.com

581 Via Del Monte, Palos Verdes Estates | $4,750,000 www.581viadelmonte.com

7 Bd | 10 Ba | 7,464 sq.ft. | 26,494 sq.ft. lot | 4 Car Garage

4 Bd | 4 Ba | 3,337 sq.ft. | 11,500 sq.ft. lot | 3 Car Tandem Garage or oversized two car garage

30533 Camino Porvenir, Rancho Palos Verdes | $3,198,000 www.30533caminoporvenir.com

2513 Via Sanchez, Palos Verdes Estates | $2,100,000 www.2513viasanchez.com

5 Bd | 4 Ba | 3,520 sq.ft. | 11,163 sq.ft. lot | 3 Car Garage

3 Bd | 2 Ba | 2,284 sq.ft. | 5,654 sq.ft. lot | 2 Car Garage

LILY LIANG

L.COM

EDBYVARIOUS FORMATION.

+1 310 373 3333 | 310 902 7799 Text 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.

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

STRANDHILL|CHRISTIE’SINTERNATIONALREALESTATELICENSE#01968431.THEINFORMATIONCONTAINEDINTHISDOCUMENT,INCLUDING,BUTNOTLIMITEDTO,SQUAREFOOTAGEAND/ORACREAGE,HASBEENPROVIDEDBYVARIOUS ACREAGE, HASMAY BEEN PROVIDED BY VARIOUS WHICH MAY INCLUDE THE SELLER, PUBLIC RECORDS, THE LISTING OR OR OTHER SOURCES. BROKER HASINFORMATION. NOT AND WILL SOURCES WHICH INCLUDE THE SELLER, PUBLICSOURCES RECORDS, THE MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE OR OTHER SOURCES. BROKER HASMULTIPLE NOT AND WILL NOT SERVICE INVESTIGATE VERIFY THE ACCURACY OF THIS

NOT INVESTIGATE OR VERIFY THE ACCURACY OF THIS INFORMATION.

lily@lilyliang.com | www.lilyliang.com 716 Yarmouth #202, Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274 BRE# 00837794


4400 Via Azalea, Palos Verdes Estates 3,800 sq. ft. | $2,999,000 Nestled in the prized Valmonte neighborhood sits this gorgeous home with sweeping city light views, vaulted ceilings, remodeled kitchen and manicured gardens. The family room, anchored by a cozy fireplace, leads through beveled glass doors to the backyard oasis which includes a pool, spa, complete outdoor kitchen and a relaxing gazebo. Rarely do you see this much living space combined with a triple car garage in this intimate community.

310-704-4014 | cariandbritt.com | Britt: DRE# 01799654 | Cari: DRE# 00850678


Recent 2022 Redondo Beach Sales

Daniel Assayag Realtor®, DRE # 01762501 Daniel@LiveInLA.net 310.493.2100 • liveinla.net

@dan_realestate

TOP 1%

New Construction 748 Avenue A, Redondo Beach Sold For: $3,300,000

of agents in California

TOP 1.5% IN THE US

New Construction 1710 Clark Ln #B, Redondo Beach Sold For: $2,350,000

1801 S. Catalina Ave, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Each office is independently owned and operated

703 Esplanade #4, Redondo Beach Sold For: $2,700,000

© 2022 VISTA SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THE SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY® AND THE SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY LOGO ARE SERVICE MARKS LICENSED TO SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY AFFILIATES LLC AND USED WITH PERMISSION. VISTA SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY FULLY SUPPORTS THE PRINCIPLES OF THE FAIR HOUSING ACT AND THE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY ACT. EACH FRANCHISE IS INDEPENDENTLY OWNED AND OPERATED. ANY SERVICES OR PRODUCTS PROVIDED BY INDEPENDENTLY OWNED AND OPERATED FRANCHISEES ARE NOT PROVIDED BY, AFFILIATED WITH OR RELATED TO SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY AFFILIATES LLC NOR ANY OF ITS AFFILIATED COMPANIES. INFORMATION HEREIN IS DEEMED RELIABLE BUT NOT GUARANTEED.


Our neighborhood, your home. Over the last 25 years I have bought and sold nine homes working with very seasoned realtors, but I have never experienced the level of expertise and professionalism that Meredith provided. She handled the sale of two properties for me simultaneously in a very hot market in the South Bay. Her analytical approach to pricing, marketing and multiple offer comparisons left no doubt that we were making the right decisions throughout the entire process. It was great having Meredith in our corner and I would highly recommend her for all your real estate needs.” -Joni, Redondo Beach, CA

DARIN DERENZIS 310.418.6210 | darin@vistasir.com DRE# 01760239

MEREDITH JOHNSON DERENZIS 310.600.7973 | meredith@vistasir.com DRE# 01907722

Scan here to learn more about DeRenzis Real Estate

ROSE GAVAGAN 713.264.1275 | derenzis@vistasir.com DRE #02157998

Each office is independently owned and operated.


Home is Palos Verdes & Hermosa Beach Meet our Agents and learn more about our real estate programs and services.

1221 Hermosa Ave, Suite 201, Hermosa Beach 90254 550 Silver Spur Rd, Suite 110, Rancho Palos Verdes 90275 PV: 424. 208 .1270 | H B: 31 0. 362.0596 Compass is a licensed real estate broker with a principal office in City, XX and abides by all applicable Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. No statement is made as to the accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Nothing herein shall be construed as legal, accounting or other professional advice outside the realm of real estate brokerage.




What we’ve been up to so far this year • $28+M in closed and pending transactions YTD • 100 % of our listings have CLOSED/SOLD Work with the team who knows how to close! JENNY MORANT 424.409.8976 DRE 01874517 hello@jennymorant.com IG: @jenny_morant jennymorant.com Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. License Number 01991628. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but has not been verified. Changes in price, condition, sale or withdrawal may be made without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footage are approximate.


LAST WORD

Class Dismissed A PROFESSOR SAYS GOODBYE TO THE NOW-SHUTTERED MARYMOUNT CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY. Written by Gail Phinney | Illustrated by Yuiko Sugino

It was a shock to learn that Marymount California University,

infrastructure designed to prepare students to transition to the

be permanently shuttered on August 31. You may remem-

rigors of a four-year institution. Small classes with individu-

ber it as a Catholic junior college called Marymount College,

alized instruction were an important component; so were the

Palos Verdes. In 2013 it was renamed Marymount California

resources at the library and Learning Center that supported

University (MCU) to reflect its expanded offerings as an under-

students who needed a little extra help along the way.

graduate and graduate degree-granting institution.

Art can be a controversial subject, and I wondered if my

A victim of declining enrollment and pandemic-era finan-

curriculum would be scrutinized at a Catholic university. In

cial woes, much has been written about what went wrong with

my six-year tenure at MCU, I was always encouraged in my

MCU. As an adjunct professor in arts and media from 2013 to

efforts to expose students to a wide variety of artists with

2019, I’d like to reflect on what went right. Because what went

multiple perspectives on the world. It was an open learning

right goes to the heart of what made Marymount, in all its

environment.

iterations, so beloved. In 2013 Marymount was in transition, and so was I. A newly

More importantly, the school had a conscience. Messaging about social awareness was integrated into student life, and

minted professor, I was admittedly green. The faculty, admin-

the commitment to environmental stewardship was visible in

istration and staff were always gracious whenever I needed

daily operations on campus. International students enriched

assistance, and in my first year that was often. The culture at

the student body, making it a more global and inclusive com-

academic institutions can be fiercely competitive, but if that

munity of caring.

was the case at MCU, I never saw it. What I saw was a team of professionals dedicated to helping

242

One great carryover from its junior college days was an

a fixture on the Palos Verdes landscape since 1968, would

So we bid adieu to MCU and its beautiful campus with ocean views. Your legacy lives on in the hearts of grateful faculty like

students succeed. “Meet the students where they are,” was my

me and the thousands of students who found their footing in

department head’s mantra, but sometimes they were struggling.

your hallowed halls over the past 54 years. ■

|


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