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THE WOMEN’S ISSUE

Finding Her Voice PALOS VERDES NATIVE ALYSE NELSON CREATES A SPACE FOR WOMEN TO BE HEARD

SOUTHBAY.GOLDENSTATE.IS

SIX DOLLARS

SEPT/OCT 2021


Expert cardiac care

TORRANCE MEMORIAL AND CEDARS-SINAI’S AFFILIATION BRINGS MORE EXPERT CARDIOLOGY CARE TO THE SOUTH BAY. More access to cardiac specialists and programs located within Torrance Memorial. More patient benefits from innovative cardiology research and the latest advancements in cardiac treatments. More expert care for our patients and the South Bay. Learn more at MoreCardiacExperts.org Left to right: Cedars-Sinai Smidt Heart Institute: Aamir Shah, MD, Aziz Ghaly, MD, Joanna Chikwe, MD; Torrance Memorial Lundquist Lurie Cardiovascular Institute: Victoria Shin, MD, Mark Lurie, MD.


just got more experts.


at marea

810C BART EARLE WAY ROLLING HILLS ESTATES www.medawarfinejewelers.com 310.544.0052


Acclaimed designer Jamie Roddy’s Manhattan Beach based interior design firm focuses on medium to high end residential projects; transforming homes and businesses into unique, elegant, and comfortable spaces for satisfied clients in the community for over a decade.

"I take extra time to listen to my clients desires and needs from Day One so that the entire design process is collaborative and efficient. This increased diligence in the beginning to streamline respective visions into one results in not only a successful end result for all involved, but a delightful process throughout."

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40 WHY SHE RIDES Chrissy Roth

42 CATALYZING CHANGE BiomediGirls

60 HOLD THE LINE Stephanie Uchima-Carney

70 PITCH PERFECT April Vitkus

74 SOURCE OF JOY Chef Amber Claude

80 WINE WIZ Heidi Scheid

94 INSPIRED BEAUTY Casey Georgeson

112 THE SALTY LIFE Rachael Wixom

70 40

114

114 LAYER BY LAYER Ami Hatami

116 SOARING AMBITION Jennifer Rodriguez

130 POWER IN NUMBERS Jessica Patay

218 LAST WORD Me, Myself and I


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COURAGE & COMPASSION

AROUND THE BEND

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At the worst of the pandemic, these South

Spectacular fall fashions from local

Providence Little Company of Mary

Bay women took action—putting their

boutiques manifest at the beautiful

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unique talents and skills to work for others.

Portuguese Bend Riding Club.

The Health & Wellness Center @ BCO

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We honor their service to the community with a window into their inspiring efforts.

IN GOOD HEALTH

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Coastal Anti-Aging Medical Group

OUT OF THE BLUE 50

Experience the magic of Tahitian island Bora

58

BE HEARD

Bora at two spectacular resorts.

NEXT GEN

As a trailblazer for a female-focused

Dr. Diego Bignone, Beach Cities Chiropractic

international organization, Alyse Nelson

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invests time and passion empowering

SAY CHEESE

142

women across the globe to solve the world’s

Two decades after a creamery opened its

PROFILES

greatest challenges.

doors, a new generation of leaders steers the

Women in Business

ship toward even more success.

64 STARING AT THE SUN

206

ALSO...

Undeterred by being a woman—much less a Black woman—Willa Bruce set out to

REAL ESTATE Spectacular local listings

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

break barriers and forged a path that led to a

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successful and bustling “resort by the seaside.”

Terranea Resort

COVER

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Alyse Nelson

84

Treasures Interior Design

Photographed by

THE BODY BEAUTIFUL

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Michael Becker

Christine Bullock celebrates the resilience of

The Portofino Hotel & Marina

the human form—inside and out.

90 118

Corduroy jacket by Forte Forte, $730, matching corduroy pants, $474, concert tie neck blouse by Zimmermann, $796, 14k angelic gold necklace with diamonds by Robin Haley, $1,450, 18k matte gold ring with opal by Elizabeth Street, $2,882; all at Wright’s in Manhattan Beach.

Ounce of Salt Jewelry

Hair & makeup by Jenny Karl

Maison Luxe


Photo: Shane O’Donnell


EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

PUBLISHER

Darren Elms

Michelle Villas

Amy Tetherow | 424-220-6338

COPY EDITOR

SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Laura Watts

Nikki Smith

DIRECTOR OF BRAND PARTNERSHIPS

DEPUTY EDITORS

PHOTOGRAPHERS

erika@thegoldenstatecompany.com

amy@thegoldenstatecompany.com

Erika Carrion | 310-897-2424 Bonnie Graves (Food & Wine)

Michael Becker, Siri Berting,

Kara Mickelson (Food)

Jeff Berting, JP Cordero, Tara Engle,

Tanya Monaghan (Style)

Kate Keating, Wonho Frank Lee,

Marcie Gutierrez | 424-220-6337

Jennie Nunn (Home)

Lauri Levenfeld, Laura Malandrino,

marcie@thegoldenstatecompany.com

DIRECTOR OF BRAND PARTNERSHIPS

Shane O’Donnell, Sarah Orbanic,

WRITERS & CONTRIBUTORS

DIRECTOR OF BRAND PARTNERSHIPS

Monica Orozco, Kathryn Page,

Diane E. Barber, Victoria Clayton,

Lauren Pressey, Hailee Repko,

Sara Debevec, Chloe Dowling, Beth Follert,

Joel Silva, Carissa Woo

Jen Turquand | 310-528-5351 jen.turquand@thegoldenstatecompany.com

Linda Grasso, Jenny Karl, Jam Leonard, Crea McKeen, Kat Monk, Quinn Roberts, Emily Tecklenburg, Shaun Tolson

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 SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER | Melissa Hattab ACCOUNTING | Janet De La Cruz, Margy Way To learn more about us, visit thegoldenstatecompany.com.

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


Better Together I am always so excited this time of year when our annual

remembering to take a deep breath—these things have

Women’s Issue comes out. I have been with the maga-

made a big impact on my life during uncertain times.

zine for five years, and it’s still our biggest and most

So I invite you to sit back and enjoy this issue. There’s

beloved issue—especially after these last 16 months as

nothing better than flipping through a magazine and

we navigated the pandemic and what that meant to our

learning about rock-star women who inspire and live

community and our magazine. Luckily I have an amazing

among us in our South Bay. It really is impressive. I’m

team made up mostly of women, and we all lean on one

so proud of this issue. I’m also so very proud of our team

another for support. We stuck together and put out a

and contributors for all of the hard work that goes into

product that we are all extremely proud of.

putting this together and into your hands. Enjoy.

As I reflect on this past year since our last Women’s Issue, I am filled with hope and peace as we get back to some normalcy. School is back in session. Our local businesses and restaurants are back in action. It’s exciting to see some new businesses opening up around town as

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well. Learning to appreciate the little things in life—tak-

Amy Tetherow

ing a walk, watching the sunset, listening to music and

Publisher


TANYA MONAGHAN | Tanya is a fashion stylist, style influencer, editor and writer. She has worked for numerous international publications, such as InStyle and GQ, and served as fashion editor for Glamour South Africa. After relocating back home to Manhattan Beach with her husband and three children, she became a guest editor for Southbay where she enjoys shining a light on inspirational people within the community.

MICHAEL BECKER | Michael is a celebrity, entertainment and editorial photographer. Clients include FOX, NBCUniversal, Netflix, and Bravo. He’s also an accomplished musician and graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, with both Oscar and Grammy nominations as a songwriter and producer. michaelbeckerphotography.com

LAURA WATTS | Laura has been a writer and editor for more than two decades, working with national and regional magazines. She has been Southbay magazine’s copy editor for 11 years, and she writes business profiles and advertorials for Golden State’s various magazines. She is also a professional musician and mom to a 14-year-old son.

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SEPTEMBER/ OCTOBER 2021 Autumn Allure The beautiful Portuguese Bend Riding Club inspires our fashion feature. More on page 98.

Concert lace blouse by Zimmermann, $596; Wright’s in Manhattan Beach. Raindrop earrings with turquoise, $205, vintage American turquoise tab necklaces, $750 each, necklace with coral with turquoise tabs $850, sterling silver rings with turquoise and coral, $120 to $425; vickiturbeville.com


courage & compassion AT THE WORST OF THE PANDEMIC, THESE SOUTH BAY WOMEN TOOK ACTION—PUTTING THEIR UNIQUE TALENTS AND SKILLS TO WORK FOR OTHERS. WE HONOR THEIR SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY WITH A WINDOW INTO THEIR INSPIRING EFFORTS. Written by Quinn Roberts | Photographed by Shane O’Donnell


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Anita Sircar, MD, traveled the world

they had. Additionally, she had to figure out how the

as an infectious disease doctor,

hospital would find more rooms as cases began to rise. One case she vividly remembers was a pregnant

working for Doctors Without Borders

woman in her last trimester who contracted COVID-19.

and the Centers for Disease Control

The woman began to rapidly decline and was even

and Prevention during the Ebola

placed on a ventilator. However, the baby was deliv-

outbreak. So when Providence Little Company of Mary hospital needed

ered via C-section and the mother survived—holding a healthy baby boy in her arms as they left. “Last year taught me to live each day completely

a doctor to lead a task force for

and fearlessly because tomorrow isn’t promised to any

the COVID-19 pandemic response,

of us,” says Dr. Anita. “You must relish the time you

Anita was ready for the job and the challenges it would bring.

spend with the ones you love because you never know if it will be your last. And the ability of people to come together in the darkest of times to achieve great things will never cease to inspire me.”

“I had to get people in the mindset that it isn’t a matter of if the virus is coming to the South Bay, but

It didn’t take much time for Jill Lamkin, executive

when. Do not live in denial. The earlier we are prepared,

director for the Manhattan Beach Downtown Business

the better we are going to be able to operate,” she says.

and Professional Association, to recognize early in the

In the early days of the pandemic, she remembers the

pandemic that the restaurant industry would be one of

extra steps required to mitigate fear among her crew.

the hardest hit. So when Los Angeles County restricted

“It was scary, especially not having enough critical

restaurants to takeout only on March 16, she sprang

supplies with PPE and masks in the beginning. I de-

into action.

cided that I would never put the staff in a position that

Hearing from many restaurants that they would not

I wouldn’t do myself. If they see I’m doing it, they are

be able to survive under the new ordinances, she had

going to have confidence.”

an epiphany. Why not have these restaurants provide

As one of only a handful of infectious disease doctors

meals for health care workers? She contacted restau-

at the hospital, Anita’s importance cannot be overstat-

rants downtown to see if they would be interested and

ed. During the height of the pandemic, she worked 155

then posted on social media about the website where

days in a row and saw 41 patients during one shift. She

people could donate. On the first day—March 19—Feed

got to the hospital before sunrise and left after sunset.

the Heroes received almost $10,000 in donations.

“My previous experience taught me grace under fire.

Jill reached out to Little Company of Mary and

Do not panic. It is high pressure with a lot of informa-

Torrance Memorial Medical Center to figure out how

tion coming at you and changing rapidly. You have to

many workers were on each shift and calculate how

focus and pivot quickly,” she says. “All of the things I

many meals would need to be made for breakfast, lunch

did in other countries, I did here.”

and dinner. Crunching the numbers, she targeted a $12

At each shift, Anita did a little bit of everything. Not

meal price. It was quite an adjustment for some of the

only was she focused on seeing patients, she also joined

restaurants, as this wasn’t their typical price point and

virtual meetings with the California and Los Angeles

they were making some food that had never been on

health departments to get updates on what information

their menus. However, restaurants like Love & Salt, Rice,

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Nando Trattoria, Petros and The Kettle stepped up. “Both sides got so much out of it,” says Jill. “It

talked about the comfort the nurses gave her while her father was in the hospital. “Even though they had so

became a challenge in a good way for these restaurants:

much on their plate, they continued to call and give me

‘What can we do to keep them happy and sustained for

updates and provided strength when I needed it most.”

the day?’ They want people to feel happy and comforted by their food.” Every day the restaurants distributed 75 meals at a time to the hospitals. The workers were overjoyed since the cafeterias were closed—and they had never had such amazing meals at the hospitals. “It just felt so good. The employees at the hospitals

The program lasted for nearly a year and raised $126,000, which provided more than 10,000 meals. Jill is still in awe of the community’s support and the restaurants that were willing to help during a time of need. “So many of the interactions I had with the restaurants were almost therapeutic,” she says. “The conversations I had with these restaurants were really

would text us pictures and then put them on social

personal, and I got to know them in a way I hadn’t be-

media for the restaurants,” says Jill. “It was a labor

fore. I would call many of these owners ‘friends’ now.”

of love, and it was so nice to have something positive because everything was so bad then.” Helping all of these health care workers became personal for Jill after her father died of COVID-19. She

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When in-person learning stopped in the spring of 2020, Meadows Elementary School librarian Chris Primm knew she had to do something. Chris got


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creative and figured out ways to keep kids interested

“After the challenges of the past year, I can’t wait to

in books and reading.

see kids in the library again!”

“I felt particularly at a disadvantage because, being over 60, I wasn’t as technologically savvy as some of

Joanne Yoshida has been a nurse for more than 40

my colleagues,” says Chris. “I quickly learned how to

years. Every single thing she learned and experienced

record and, more importantly, edit videos of me read-

during that time came into play in her role as manager

ing stories and sent links out to our teachers so our

of the infection prevention department at Torrance

students could still have story time.”

Memorial Medical Center once the COVID-19 outbreak

Working closely with Meadows’ principal and teachers, Chris created a schedule where students would

tion unit, Joanne was the most senior person in that

her reading every week. This accomplished the school’s

department and was ready for the role and all of the

goal of weekly providing a familiar face and activity.

challenges it would bring. When she first started with the unit, there were three people in it. Fast-forward to

via Zoom or YouTube, librarians gave kids a sense of

the COVID-19 outbreak, and six people were assigned to

normalcy,” says Chris. “Students might have a different

the team.

routine, a different teacher, but they still have their same librarian reading wonderful stories.” Chris also established a drive-by pickup and drop-

Joanne and her team were responsible for reporting cases and deaths to the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, dealing with staff who had COVID-19,

off service so students could borrow books from the

contact tracing, and educating employees. They also

library. She occasionally left sticky notes on the books

had to check on patients to make sure they were being

and often got messages in return. Living in the same

properly isolated.

Manhattan Beach neighborhood as the school, she was

“They trusted us to provide them with the right

also able to connect with students in another way: They

guidance. For the staff and myself, it was challenging

would leave chalk messages on her driveway, and she

and emotionally draining. We were pivoting so much,”

wrote messages back.

says Joanne.

When it came to deciding what books to choose,

She remembers the many interventions she and her

Chris wanted to make sure they not only reflected the

staff endured since the start of the pandemic. “During

students’ curriculum but addressed issues of the day

the three major surges, there was so much fear among

and were also fun. One of the most important books she

the staff. We were the communicators from everyone

selected was Ruby Finds a Worry by Tom Percival. Chris

and translating that into making sure they were pro-

read this book after finding out that many students

tected,” she says. “We wanted to be supportive of the

were anxious about the school year. A lighthearted book

staff and help them go through everything.”

for the children who are sports fans was I Promise by NBA superstar LeBron James. The job never gets old for Chris, who has been the

When the first surge began, one of the most glaring problems was that the supply chain of hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies was drying up. Joanne leaned on

librarian at Meadows for more than 15 years. She fell in

her experience and problem-solving skills to combat

love with the job and, most importantly, the students.

the dilemma.

“I still look forward to a new school year,” she says.

|

With 12 years of experience in the infection preven-

either see her on Zoom or watch a YouTube video of

“I think that by continuing to see our kids, whether

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began to affect the South Bay.

“All of us have had sleepless nights, but as things


have calmed down, we’ve tried emotionally and physically to not set the bar too high,” she says. “With the

“DURING THE THREE

ter work-life balance.”

MAJOR SURGES, THERE

Five years ago, Linda Morgan began volunteering for

WAS SO MUCH FEAR

way things are now, it’s more important to have a bet-

Project Joy at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Redondo Beach, which feeds meals to homeless people twice a week. She began by washing dishes, then became a cook and now is the leader of the program. She took over right at the beginning of the pandemic. As quarantine began in March 2020, Linda did what many others were doing: She stayed home. Yet she had a pit in her stomach and began talking to her husband about how she may be able to help the homeless people she’d grown to know.

AMONG THE STAFF. WE WANTED TO BE SUPPORTIVE OF THE STAFF AND HELP THEM GO THROUGH EVERYTHING.”


“When the pandemic was so difficult, I thought of these people out there with no food to eat. I couldn’t sit at home being comfortable knowing these people had nothing to eat,” says Linda. “It took me one week to know we had to do something.” She began preparing meals by herself at home before getting help from a few other women in the congregation. Together they created about 60 boxed lunches. Soon they began to use the church kitchen to assemble the meals, making sure to follow the necessary health and safety protocols. That went on for a few months before Linda floated the idea of boxing up hot meals, which would allow her to make more than just sandwiches. Some of the most popular dishes she made included barbecue and chicken pot pie. “One of the fun things about it is that I’m pretty creative in what we serve,” she says. “That makes it so much greater when the guests talk about how much they like the food.” Project Joy serves meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Linda gets to the church around 8 a.m. She begins by taking food out of the freezer and getting things ready for other volunteers. Since the updated COVID-19 restrictions, lunch-goers start to arrive around 9:30 a.m. and sit at tables in the dining hall. It’s not just the pastor and young people volunteering but women in their 80s and even one woman who is 90 years old. For the most part, Linda likes being behind the scenes. But occasionally she’ll walk out and see guests sitting at the tables enjoying the food she helped make. It brings a smile to her face knowing that for just a small amount of time, she has given someone not just a hearty meal but joy. “I’m an introvert,” she shares. “When I contacted people mostly by text, I would see them come in and realized they weren’t doing it just because of Project Joy but because I asked. I never thought if I asked they would do it. You can see that the camaraderie is back.” ■

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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

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

TERRANEA PROUD As travel resumes, Terranea Resort’s long-standing dedication to a healthy workplace culture proves more important than ever. PHOTOGRAPHED BY SIRI BERTING & SHANE O’DONNELL

S

ince its opening in 2009, Terranea

extraordinary guest experience as there is in

opening in 2009. Terranea also encourages

has been dedicated to making fam-

providing a positive and robust work culture.

its female leaders to join the resort’s Women

ily, work-life balance and community

For its efforts, Terranea has been recognized

In Lodging chapter, which supports growth,

a top priority. By creating a unique

as the “Top Employer in Los Angeles County”

community and advancement within the

workplace culture, leadership encourages

and “Best Hospitality Company to Work For”

hospitality industry.

team members to build their careers, provide

and nationally recognized as a Great Place to

for their families and pursue their dreams

Work-certified company.

The Terranea family is proudly diverse. Though employees come from different

At Terranea, lines of communication are

backgrounds, they share a common thread

resort guests. In this rewarding environment,

open and encouraged. With personal and

of caring for each other and valued guests.

associates enjoy a sense of personal value

professional aspirations on the table, team

At their core, they remain enthusiastic, ethical,

and feel Terranea Proud.

members deserve an environment that

respectful and compassionate.

while creating a distinctive experience for

inspires, motivates, empowers and rewards.

Aligned with those values is the com-

Offering a true Californian atmosphere,

Through cross-training courses, professional

pany’s philosophy of giving. Philanthropic

Terranea provides guests a genuine yet

memberships and management classes,

investments and charitable efforts are at the

relaxed stay. These experiences are created

Terranea provides tools and resources to

heart of Terranea. As stewards of a beautiful

by associates who are passionate about the

help employees expand their expertise, learn

property, the resort provides service to the

art of hospitality, which focuses on enriching

new skills and realize their career goals. To

local area and protects the natural habitat for

the lives of others through caring, empathetic

date, the property has celebrated more than

future generations.

and welcoming values.

3,000 promotions and transfer opportunities

Terranea Proud begins with passion.

There’s equal pride in delivering an

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as associates grow into new roles since its

Some of Terranea’s charitable and nonprofit partnerships include Chefs to End


THERE IS EQUAL PRIDE IN DELIVERING AN EXTRAORDINARY GUEST EXPERIENCE AS THERE IS IN PROVIDING A POSITIVE AND ROBUST WORK CULTURE.

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Hunger, Midnight Mission, Marine Mammal

to offer additional laid-off employees the

Care Center Los Angeles, Cancer Support

opportunity to return as business conditions

Community Redondo Beach, Breast Cancer

permit. Terranea proudly continues to wel-

Research Foundation, Palos Verdes Peninsula

come back its associates and community with

Land Conservancy, Children’s Hospital Los

the promise of a bright future ahead.

Angeles, Peninsula Education Foundation,

It remains dedicated to providing world-

Art To Grow On, Vistas for Children, Walk with

class service while maintaining a commitment

Sally, American Red Cross Los Angeles, Palos

to the safety and well-being of both guests

Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce,

and the treasured Terranea family.

Habitat for Humanity, St. Vincent Meals on Wheels and Rainbow Services. The resort continually supports these local organizations through a variety of programs, events and

TERRANEA RESORT

ongoing projects throughout the year.

100 TERRANEA WAY,

As part of the Terranea Proud mission,

RANCHO PALOS VERDES

the company has recalled more than 600

866-547-306

employees to the property and will continue

TERRANEA.COM/CAREERS


15TH ANNUAL

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Why She Rides FOR LONGTIME TOUR DE PIER INSTRUCTOR CHRISSY ROTH, THIS YEAR’S RIDE MEANS THAT MUCH MORE. Written by Darren Elms | Photographed by Jeff Berting

When approached about becoming a lead instructor at a

on the stage because I needed her energy with me,”

new event called Tour de Pier—an outdoor stationary

Chrissy remembers. That tradition continued each year.

cycling event for cancer charities—Chrissy Roth didn’t

absence will be felt. Flo donated her bike to Tour de

care treating one person at a time as a physical thera-

Pier, and Chrissy will ride alongside the bike in her

pist, so any opportunity to have a platform where I can

honor. “Flo Rider will be with us,” she says.

speak to 1,000 people in an hour or two is amazing. So it was a hard yes.” An instructor at The Bay Club, Chrissy led one of sev-

the pandemic. “We’ve lost a lot of connectivity this last year. We all need an event like this right now. We all

the Manhattan Beach Pier. Eight years later, she’s still

need to come together as one and work for a common

leading the charge.

cause, which is fighting cancer.”

From her position on the mainstage, Chrissy enjoys

The Tour de Pier raises funds for three cancer charities: the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic

joined for a cause. “I love the feeling of community,”

Cancer Research (pancreatic.org), the Uncle Kory

she says. “I don’t think there’s a person down there

Foundation (unclekory.org) and Cancer Support

who hasn’t been touched in some way by cancer.

Community (cancersupportredondobeach.org). Riders

Bringing all these people together offers so much

often wear matching T-shirts, hats or costumes as

camaraderie, hope and togetherness.” One of those smiling riders for many years was Flo, who had ridden with Chrissy in her other spin classes for nearly two decades. In her early 70s, Flo would sit in the center of the class and formed a bond with her instructor. “Everyone wanted to keep up with her. She was full of life, energy and goodness,” says Chrissy. In July of last year, Chrissy received a call from Flo

|

While the event successfully went virtual in 2020, this will be the first in-person ride since the start of

eral hour-long sessions to a packed crowd just outside

the unique perspective of smiling and sweaty faces

40

When Chrissy takes the stage on September 12, Flo’s

hesitate with her answer. “I spent many years in health

teams. Special guests make appearances—from celebrities on the stage to local high school and college cheerleaders in front of the crowd. Tears are shed. High fives are abundant. The overall feeling is electric. “A lot of people haven’t even been on a bike in a while, so it’s gonna be special by nature of what we’ve lost in the last year,” says Chrissy, who can’t wait to

with the news that she had lung cancer. Six months

see familiar faces on the bikes. “People are really going

later she was gone. “The first year she rode with me

to be bringing the energy this year.”■


“I LOVE THE FEELING OF COMMUNITY. I DON’T THINK THERE’S A PERSON DOWN THERE WHO HASN’T BEEN TOUCHED IN SOME WAY BY CANCER. BRINGING ALL THESE PEOPLE TOGETHER OFFERS SO MUCH CAMARADERIE, HOPE AND TOGETHERNESS.”

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41


Catalyzing Change THREE RECENT HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES EXPAND BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG WOMEN THROUGH EDUCATION, ADVOCACY AND SCHOLARSHIP. Written & photographed by Chloe Dowling

Clockwise from top: Melissa, Abigail and Amy


At age 18, Palos Verdes High School graduate Abigail

The young team pivoted to using social media and

Maemoto has already raised $85,000 for lymphoblastic

Zoom and created a virtual six-week summer course,

leukemia research, published a children’s book called

Introduction to Biomedical Research. More than 100

What is So Special About an Unspecialized Cell? and was

students worldwide signed up to research cancer,

named one of the Top 5 biomedical research and devel-

diabetes, neuroscience, immunology and regenera-

opment scholars by the Southern California Biomedical

tive medicine with professors from Brown, Yale, the

Council. Yet Abigail recognizes the uphill battle females

University of Southern California and the University of

still face in STEM careers.

California, Los Angeles.

“Studies reveal that female science researchers earn

The interactive program enabled students to engage

$10,000 less annually and receive less than 50% in grant

in group research projects and compete for prize

allocations compared to their male counterparts,” she

money that would fund their future research. Going

shares. “I want to find a way to keep doors open to all

virtual made their local plan a global one and launched

students, regardless of gender or socioeconomic status.”

BiomediGirls as a resource for young girls from all over

In 2018 Abigail and two fellow female research students, Amy Huang and Melissa Qin, decided to be the

the world. “Through our webinar series Advocacy in Science,

change. They founded BiomediGirls—a student-run

participants were able to learn from and interact with

organization that provides young researchers with

California state treasurer Fiona Ma and university

equitable access to research and educational opportuni-

professors from leading colleges such as Stanford and

ties in biomedical science.

Columbia,” says Amy. BiomediGirls even partnered with

“We jumped at the opportunity to tie together our

the Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program at the

passions and help a larger community of students,”

University of Southern California, which granted stem

says Melissa. Together, the three young women com-

cell research scholarships to four female high school stu-

mitted themselves to connecting young girls and

dents from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds.

underrepresented minorities with the best minds in

In the last two years, BiomediGirls clubs have sprung

biomedical research in order to redefine equity and op-

up across the United States, Canada and India. The

portunity in the male-dominated field of biomedicine.

team has also expanded with a podcast, newsletter and

“BiomediGirls wants to close the gender gap in

website. Former BiomediGirls student Camila Jongsma

STEM (science, technology, engineering and math),”

shares, “I had a very positive experience in the program,

Amy explains. “We’re doing it by exposing young

which stemmed from the courses’ focus on many

female students to free educational programs, raising

cutting-edge treatment opportunities and research

awareness about the inequities women and minorities

methods. I think that access to programs like these are

face in the research space through podcasts, and

very important to allow driven students to reach a deeper

providing scholarships to local, underserved female

level of understanding in a multitude of subjects.”

high school students.” In 2019 BiomediGirls began planning research pro-

“Be proactive and reach out to as many laboratories, professors and internships as you can,” Melissa advises

grams and a lecture series. Just two weeks later, the

young researchers. “Show interest in their work and

pandemic hit. “We initially wanted to do an in-person,

provide your resume and experience. You will, without

hands-on summer course with elementary and middle

a doubt, receive lots of rejections and disappointing

school students,” Abigail recalls. “We had to completely

results, but as long as you get one positive response,

change our course of action.”

you’re on your way to where you want to be.” ■

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43


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I N G O O D H E A LT H

“WOMEN CAN FEEL OUR DEDICATION AND THAT WARM, NURTURING EMBRACE FROM THE MOMENT THEY ENTER THE FACILITY.” Dr. Ishimaru says that of all the perks that moms and families appreciate most, which set the Providence maternity department apart from other birthing experiences— including the comprehensive suites that offer a home-like environment—the highlight is that the team listens and respects their choices. “We provide information and education, but women decide what kind of birth they want. We welcome doulas (a support person who provides guidance and encouragement throughout childbirth) and certified nurse midwives with open arms. We also have laborists (board-certified physicians who specialize in OB-GYN) available 24-7 to provide backup for the attending obstetrician and to quickly intervene in case of emergency.” PEDIATRICS Being a mom herself, pediatrician Tristy Shaw, MD, knows that taking care of a child is a whole-family endeavor and that reducing parental anxiety makes for the healthiest, happiest kids. “Whether educating about breastfeeding or discussing immunizations, we take a lot of time with families and answer all of their questions,” she shares. Providence provides 24-7 on-call pediatricians in an office that may feel small but offers the advantages of a large medical network. “Many of our families stay within

Pediatrics, L to R: Jessica Ramirez, MD, Alice Diego-Malit, MD, Tristy S. Shaw, MD, Hannah Kim, MD Not pictured: Kristen Andersen, MD, Emily Curran, MD, Genesa Wagoner, MD

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I N G O O D H E A LT H

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because of our office feeling like the neigh-

beach community has all the resources of a

borhood doctor yet being part of a large

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urogynecologist Erin M. Mellano, MD, whose

easy to share information and get consistent

office is at Torrance OB-GYN.

care,” says Dr. Shaw. When a child requires hospitalization, the

Dr. Mellano’s devotion to women starts with simply getting the word out that while

Providence pediatric unit offers a family-

pelvic health, bladder or rectal issues may be

friendly environment designed with age-

common, they are not something you have to

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“WE TAKE A LOT OF TIME WITH FAMILIES AND ANSWER ALL OF THEIR QUESTIONS.” PELVIC HEALTH For many women with pelvic floor disorders, their condition feels uncomfortable and embarrassing. Providence Little Company of Mary, in collaboration with UCLA Health, offers innovative treatment by expert urologists and urogynecologists for a range of urinary and pelvic health issues. They offer compassionate care in a peaceful and sympathetic environment. “The partnership means that our small

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Dr. Mellano trained for an extra three

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A breast cancer survivor herself, Dr. Gonzalez considers it her calling to help other women beat cancer. “Everything a patient could need is here at Providence Little Company of Mary and at City of Hope | South Bay,” she says. “This partnership ensures the latest and best treatments are available right here in the community. There’s no need to

“EVERYTHING A PATIENT COULD NEED IS HERE AT PROVIDENCE LITTLE COMPANY OF MARY CITY OF HOPE | SOUTH BAY.” drive to the City of Hope campus in Duarte to get world-class, gold standard care.” HEART CARE A partnership with Keck Medicine of USC and Providence Little Company of Mary means world-class cardiac care at the Del Vicario Cardiovascular Center of Excellence. This South Bay heart care program offers noninvasive diagnostics and interventional

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be heard AS A TRAILBLAZER FOR A FEMALE-FOCUSED INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION, ALYSE NELSON INVESTS TIME AND PASSION EMPOWERING WOMEN ACROSS THE GLOBE TO SOLVE THE WORLD’S GREATEST CHALLENGES. Written by Tanya Monaghan | Photographed by Michael Becker


Sue Molina, Amanda Gorman, Alyse Nelson, Beth Brooke-Marciniak

Alyse Nelson and Malala Yousafzai

Alyse and her husband, Hardin Lang, with President Joe Biden


Alyse Nelson’s mom, Mary, often tells

for the first nine months until she was well enough to

the story about the time her daughter

run it and give her speech to the U.N. “To be able to

found a doll with no fingers at a garage

partner with people like her is incredibly rewarding,” shares Alyse. “She signed and gave us a duplicate copy

sale. “She was dirty, and one of the

of her Nobel Prize. It’s those moments that make me

eyes didn’t open,” remembers Alyse.

realize that we have not yet reached our end, but we are

“I picked her up and said, ‘I need to

on the path. There are so many more women to tap.” Far from the world of freedom fighters and Nobel

have her.’ I paid for it and carried

Prizes, I first met Alyse in fifth grade at Lunada Bay

that doll around like a baby. I said to

School in Palos Verdes, where we became fast friends.

myself, ‘I’m going to nurture and love

Her mother was our Girl Scout troop leader. I hadn’t met

this baby that everyone forgot.’” A young Alyse understood her capacity for empathy,

a mom quite like Mary Nelson before—independent, strong and remarkable. Nothing seemed to faze her. Comfortable in nature, she didn’t depend on anyone

even if she didn’t fully grasp how critical that value

else to do the dirty work. She could light a fire in the

would guide her leadership later in life. A passionate

wilderness and guide a group of young, unruly girls with

activist, today Alyse is the president and CEO of Vital

relative ease. Mary modeled many of the strong attributes

Voices Global Partnership, an organization that invests

so clearly evident in Alyse today. Although very different

in women leaders solving the world’s greatest chal-

in personality, they both exude a quiet strength and

lenges—from gender-based violence to the climate

remain unapologetically and authentically themselves.

crisis and economic inequities.

Although Alyse now resides with her two children

Founded in 1997, Vital Voices offers a space for

and husband Hardin Lang in Washington, D.C., for the

women to be heard, anchored by a diverse board of

past seven months during the pandemic she cocooned

directors that includes actress Sally Field, poet Amanda

with her parents and her own little family of four in the

Gorman and fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg.

house where she grew up in Palos Verdes. “One of the

Believing that women are essential to progress in their

things that I’ve always believed and I feel blessed by is

own communities and around the world, Vital Voices

that when you come from both a family that’s extreme-

members call themselves “venture catalysts”—finding

ly supportive of you and your dreams, but also a com-

those with a daring vision for change and partnering

munity that nurtures those dreams and provides a safe

with them to make that vision a reality.

space, you can really have wings,” she says. “Because

“We need leaders today with authenticity and per-

you always know there’s a safe place to land.”

sonal experiences, and those experiences lead them to

The Nelson family traveled frequently during Alyse’s

take action—to step up to right the wrong. That’s the

childhood. Mary, the ultimate adventurer, started surfing

most authentic form of real leadership,” explains Alyse.

at age 50 and can still be found catching waves today

“And so we talk a lot about a voice. It’s about this con-

at 78. Alyse nostalgically reminisces, “She took us on

cept of a driving force or a sense of mission. And mine

camping trips with Girl Scouts. She even took us to a

has always been to use your power to empower, use

Grateful Dead concert. My mother was very much about

your voice to give voice.”

being part of the local community [when we traveled]

After female education activist and Nobel Prize lau-

and getting to know it. We’d stay in people’s homes in-

reate Malala Yousafzai was injured in an assassination

stead of hotels and become immersed into that culture.”

attempt at age 15, Vital Voices incubated her foundation

She describes her dad, John Nelson, as having an

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53


incredible work ethic and an unquenchable sense of cu-

next to Gertrude Fester—a well-known feminist from

riosity. “He was one of the early pioneers in technology

South Africa—who took Alyse under her wing. Via a

and just had that mind that is always asking questions.

long string of serendipitous events, Alyse miraculously

Having parents who believed in letting their children live

made her way into the convention along with 55,000

their passion set me on my path from a very early age.”

women activists.

When she was a senior in high school, Alyse coached

every tent had a different theme and attendees could

where her mom taught. “I saw the power of drama

visit to listen to the discussions. There were hundreds

to transform these kids’ self-esteem and give them

of venues and people from all around the world speak-

purpose,” she remembers. “I heard a lot of kids say,

ing on issues ranging from women’s sports and educa-

‘No one’s ever told me I’m good at anything.’ It was

tion to human trafficking.

a window into a world out there where people didn’t

with three bunk beds per room and cold showers. They

miles away. I realized the upbringing I have, the family

put all the African women in one set of buildings, all

I have, is my greatest fortune. They could give me love

the Chinese or Asian women in a different place and

and support because they didn’t have to worry about

Americans in another. Alyse was placed in the “wrong”

security or putting food on the table.”

set of buildings because she took one of Gertrude’s

At Emerson College, Alyse delved deeper into womCollegiate Communications Network to bring women

friend’s spots. She laughs, “I was the only American girl in with all the African women. It was the best.” At the time of the conference, Bill Clinton was up for

together who were interested in the field of commu-

reelection, and Hillary Clinton was determined to go

nications. She sought to link these students with more

and speak in Beijing. She received plenty of pushback

established women for mentorships and internships.

from her husband’s administration to just make nice

While building this organization, she discovered the

and not get involved in policy issues or ruffle feathers.

United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women,

But Hillary knew these world conferences held major

which was taking place in 1995 in Beijing. Alyse felt a

historical significance in the progress on policy issues,

deep compulsion to go.

and she was not going to sit back and miss being with

The event would take place not long after the

55,000 female activists from around the world. She

Tiananmen Square student-led protests of 1989 when

made her way from India to deliver a now-famous

the government declared martial law and killed thou-

speech on women’s rights and human rights, calling

sands of demonstrators. At first the Chinese govern-

out the Chinese government for killing girls because of

ment didn’t realize that the women traveling to the

their gender.

conference were activists for women’s rights. Once

Alyse recalls the life-changing moment when she

they did, the organizing committee began limiting

heard Hillary speak on the last day of the conference.

the numbers and making it as difficult as possible to

“You could hear a pin drop,” she remembers. “Here

attend. After frequent visits to the Chinese consul-

was a woman who didn’t really have the formal job title

ate in Pasadena—faking an itinerary to get a visa and

that allowed her to go to China and give this speech.

enduring a flight with four stops over four days—the

But she did. It became a call to action for a generation

21-year-old finally made it.

of the global women’s movement.”

Alyse had no idea how she was going to get into the convention. On one of the flights to Beijing, she sat

|

The activists were housed in prison-style barracks

have the support that I had. And that world was only 20

en’s issues. She set up an organization called the Inner

54

The convention was set up like a tented city where

kids in theatre arts at an inner-city middle school

Those 10 days in Beijing proved truly transformative for Alyse. She decided to reach out to other young


“WE NEED LEADERS TODAY WITH AUTHENTICITY AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCES, AND THOSE EXPERIENCES LEAD THEM TO TAKE ACTION—TO STEP UP TO RIGHT THE WRONG. THAT’S THE MOST AUTHENTIC FORM OF REAL LEADERSHIP.”


women at her university, tell the story and raise awareness. She used her power to empower and her voice to

together 300 women leaders with the purpose of giving

driving force of her life.

them visibility and credibility. Hillary Clinton signed on as a speaker. The first conference was planned as a one-

from the U.N., the White House and others who had

off, but fortunately for Alyse more women around the

gone to the conference to talk about the meaning

world began calling her office in need of Vital Voices to

and importance of the women’s movement around

come to their communities. She not only kept her job as

the world. Theresa Loar, head of the President’s

contact person, but her role evolved into finding incred-

Interagency Council on Women, attended as a represen-

ible women and traveling the world to recruit the ones

tative of the White House. Impressed with Alyse’s drive

whom Hillary was going to meet with.

and ability to bring young people together and generate

People recognized the critical role that women play

interest in human rights issues, Theresa offered Alyse

at the highest levels. It wasn’t just about what’s fair or

an internship at the White House.

what’s right; it was about what’s smart for economies

On her first day, Alyse walked through the White House doors and saw a photo of Hillary giving the

and democracies. In 2012 Alyse wrote a book about the Vital Voices

influential speech at the women’s conference. She took

leadership model. It struck her that despite our differ-

that as a sign that she’d found her place and worked

ences—from culture to socioeconomic status to religion

tirelessly to prove herself.

and language—there were core elements that each

“I was afraid to go to the bathroom,” she says. “I

phenomenal woman leader brought first.

didn’t want to miss anything. I ate lunch at my desk.

“It’s that driving force. That motivation is there to

I was always there before anybody was there. I waited

right the wrong that they personally were impacted by.

until the last person left before I left. I was so excited

And then from there, it’s that empathy—being able to

to be there and so deeply wanted to get a job there. My

understand the people who you’re leading,” she says.

goal was to learn everything.”

“I’m not a leader because I’m the person on high. I’m

When Theresa moved to the state department, she

|

That became the first Vital Voices conference, bringing

amplify other voices. That became her mantra and the She held a gathering at Emerson and invited people

56

contact in Theresa’s office.

the person below pushing everybody else up, listening

asked Alyse to join her. It was an exciting time. As

more than talking at them. I firmly believe in search-

Alyse explains, “We were sitting at the nexus between

ing the world for women who have a daring vision for

Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine

change—women like Amanda Gorman and Malala. We

Albright at a moment where these two women were

don’t ever step back from investing in them. We are al-

working to integrate women’s issues into the main-

ways there. And because we invest in them as individu-

stream of American foreign policy. I cannot tell you

als, there’s great loyalty. That network has now grown

how exciting it was.”

to 18,000 women across 184 countries.”

At the beginning of 1997, an ambassador named

Alyse believes her entire career has built up to this

Swanee Hunt came to town and changed everything.

moment—when the world finally realizes that invest-

She was known as a total maverick, working on wom-

ing in women is not only the right thing but the smart

en’s issues in many countries. She planned a meeting

thing to do. “Diversity only makes us stronger,” she

with Theresa and others, and Theresa asked Alyse to

says. “Now obviously there’s also a great tide against

go to the meeting to take notes. Swanee was setting

that. But I think we’re at a moment where there are

up a conference bringing together women leaders, and

enough people pushing in the right direction that we

during that meeting she asked Alyse to be the point of

can really make change.” ■


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NEXT GEN

PAIN-FREE LIVING Early in his career, Dr. Deigo Bignone is making a big splash in the world of holistic health care. WRITTEN BY LAURA L. WATTS

P

ain. Medication. Surgery. Those

human body and most importantly the spine,”

aren’t the things we want to

explains Dr. Diego. “We examine the body

deal with here in sunny Southern

completely differently than other physicians

California. We prioritize health, well-

and therapists. We look to the spine first for

ness, a positive attitude, an active lifestyle.

health concerns, and we also trace the organ

But it’s difficult to be positive and active when

functions and effects.”

you’re dealing with back or neck pain. “A patient recently came into our office with

The result is a natural cure for pain, helping patients avoid surgeries and medication. “There

back pain that has been going on for seven

are a lot of medications out there. Some of it

years,” shares Diego Bignone, DC, owner of

is good, but a lot is unnecessary,” he says. “We

Beach Cities Chiropractic in Redondo Beach.

help people get rid of low back and neck pain

“She limped into our office, taking baby steps

without the need for surgery or medications.”

to get to the exam room and using a brace around her waist for support.”

“We help people get rid of low back and neck pain without the need for surgery or medications.”

Often patients seek treatment at Beach Cities Chiropractic because of pain that

into this industry to help people experience

comes from sitting at a desk all day in front

the miracles millions of other patients have

in his work as a chiropractor. “Most patients

of a computer screen. “We see people who

experienced through this area of health care.”

come to us to get rid of their pain,” he says.

have tried everything from physical therapy

“As people begin to go through their treat-

to cortisone injections,” shares the doctor. “We

the quick success of his practice. “Everything

ments, they start to see all systems of the

teach the proper posture—the perfect way

is a team effort. When a patient comes in and

body improve.”

to sit, stand and sleep in order to reduce this

has an amazing experience, it’s because the

type of pain.”

entire team helped that person. Healing starts

Dr. Diego sees situations like this frequently

And that’s exactly what happened to his recent patient. “Since starting care with us,

Chiropractic care stresses preventive health

He’s grateful to his team for contributing to

the moment they walk through the door.” What’s next for this rising young star?

she is no longer using a brace, walks normally

before a patient ever needs the help of a

and has regained her life.”

professional. “We should not wait for the next

He’d like to expand into more modalities in

crisis to get healthy,” says Dr. Diego. “We want

addition to chiropractic. “Physical therapy,

noninvasive treatment for pain and approach

to keep our bodies as healthy as possible so

acupuncture and massage therapy are all

to health care? It’s because of the holistic

when there is a crisis, our body is in its best

amazing forms of health care,” he says, “and

method of chiropractors like Dr. Diego. They

possible position to defend itself. The ideal

I would like to create a place where a patient

analyze the spine, looking for spinal curvature

time to get healthy is now.”

can depend on us for multiple avenues.”

Why is chiropractic care such an effective,

and reducing misalignments along the spinal

A Los Angeles native, Dr. Diego opened

column. Called subluxations, these misalign-

Beach Cities Chiropractic this April. In less

ments can put pressure on the nerves that

than six months, he is taking care of 200

Diego Bignone, DC

control joints, muscles and organs.

patients a week. “I was surprised to be able

Owner, Beach Cities Chiropractic

to help so many people so soon in my career,”

213 S. Pacific Coast Hwy., Redondo Beach

trolled by the central nervous system, which

he shares. “I love chiropractic care. It is the

310-402-2463

is protected by the bony structures of the

most misunderstood health profession. I went

BeachCitiesChiropractor.com

“Every organ and cell in the body is con-

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Hold the Line WITH “MOMMY’S ON A CALL,” STEPHANIE UCHIMA-CARNEY NURTURES A COMMUNITY OF WOMEN NAVIGATING MOTHERHOOD. Written by Tanya Monaghan

Before the pandemic, while Stephanie Uchima-Carney

math nerd.” At UCLA she studied math and physics, but

was pregnant with her third child, she dreamed of being

she says she never fit in the engineering world. She ex-

a career mom and running a business. She wondered

plored finance and realized she had a passion for busi-

how the moms she admired could do this and still hold

ness and entrepreneurship. That took her to USC, where

it all together.

she earned her MBA and master’s in real estate devel-

awesome brands but make it look so easy, with their

a retail real estate empire. Unfortunately the economic

perfect hairdos and perfect children matched in these

crash drastically cut her options, so she pivoted.

gorgeous outfits?’ she says. “It can’t be real … I want the nitty-gritty.’” So she started interviewing moms she knew, asking

at various events, but it wasn’t until someone suggested that she start charging for her services that she

source to get things done? What did they leave messy?

decided to launch her first entrepreneurial venture. She

What did their typical day look like? Did they make time

called her company Preppy Chic Events, which evolved

for self-care?”

into catering for luxury destination weddings and big

the same dialogue. She incorporated the interviews

corporate events. Stephanie has long been involved with nonprofits.

into a podcast to widen the audience. The name of the

She was on the board of Sandpipers, where she handled

podcast came up in the middle of one of her interviews.

marketing and public relations. “Community and phi-

Her kids were all over the place, and she stopped and

lanthropy is something that has been embedded in me,”

shouted, “Mommy’s on a call!” The person on the

she says. “I credit that to Chadwick School. Ever since

other end of the line said, “Stephanie, that’s your new

I was probably 8 or 9 years old, I’ve been involved in

podcast name.”

giving back to the community—and plan to always be.”

Born and raised in Redondo Beach, Stephanie left

She worked at her alma mater as the alumni direc-

briefly before graduate school to live in San Francisco,

tor, fundraising and helping build that community.

where she worked as a management consultant. She

During that time, Stephanie and her husband wel-

eventually worked in cities all over the country, but her

comed their first child. “I had a lot on my plate, and

heart was always in the South Bay. “I’m an only child,

I thought everything in my life could coexist. And I

and so family is really the most important thing to me,”

was apparently incorrect,” she explains. “My entire

she shares. “Being close to them is a top priority.”

identity shifted. I added the role of motherhood and

Stephanie describes herself as a “giant science/weird

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Stephanie loves to bring people together, so she tried her hand at event planning. She often volunteers

them behind-the-scenes questions: What did they out-

Stephanie soon realized that other moms craved

60

opment. She graduated in 2009 with plans of building

completely lost myself and had no idea who I was

PHOTOGRAPHED BY KATE KEATING PHOTOGRAPHY

“I was like, ‘How are they being CEOs or building


anymore. I ended up pregnant with another kid and

put our kids first. When we do have the time to put

then pregnant with a third.”

ourselves first, we often have no idea what to do. And I

the pandemic. She had been dealing not only with being sleep-deprived but also with the stress of COVID-19,

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and why I lost my way.” Building on the success of her “Mommy’s On a Call”

breastfeeding a newborn, postpartum issues and more.

podcast and the warmth of the community around

When Zoe was 11 months old, Stephanie was feeling off

it, Stephanie is now working on launching the Hana

one day but decided to power through it. She assumed

collective—a supportive, collaborative community for

her pelvic pain was from the scarring of her third

the modern mom. She plans to open a physical space

C-section, so she sought the help of a physical thera-

with a mix of coworking, workshops, networking events

pist. The therapist told her she was holding a lot of

and mommy-and-me programs—all with the goal of

frustration and that she should journal more.

providing great resources for working moms.

A short time later, Stephanie collapsed. Thankfully, her

62

realized that was a lot about why I lost my own identity

Stephanie is also writing a book, You Don’t Have To Do

husband was home and he called an ambulance. A laparos-

It All, threading together lessons from her many inter-

copy and surgery would uncover tumors on her ovaries.

views. “As moms, we don’t like to share some stories.

As she recovered from the traumatic experience,

We don’t like to show our vulnerability, and I want to

Stephanie’s calling to help other moms deepened.

make that OK,” she says. “You need to talk about these

“We tend to burn ourselves out, and we tend to make

things because I’m sure there are so many other women

excuses—like it’s OK to be strained and we’re supposed

out there that are experiencing just what you are. You

to be this exhausted. And it’s not OK,” she says. “We

are not alone.” ■

PHOTOGRAPHED BY CARISSA WOO PHOTOGRAPHY

Stephanie gave birth to her third child, Zoe, during


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staring at the sun UNDETERRED BY BEING A WOMAN—MUCH LESS A BLACK WOMAN—WILLA BRUCE SET OUT TO BREAK BARRIERS AND FORGED A PATH THAT LED TO A SUCCESSFUL AND BUSTLING “RESORT BY THE SEASIDE.” Written by Kat Monk | Illustrated by Nikki Smith


Los Angeles at the turn of the

was a fairly time-consuming and inconvenient process.

century saw a burgeoning Black

“It was customary for folks to take a train, streetcar or

population that was vibrant and highly motivated. The city attracted a particularly driven and entrepreneurial group of Black people, according to Alison Rose

Once they arrived, visitors needed a place to change into their bathing suits. Bathhouses soon opened for this purpose, but Black people were not allowed to enter due to legalized segregation. “Initially she [Willa] started with a pop-up tent and sold water on her property,” explains Alison. “She was

California Dream: African American

feeling out the business because this was at a time

Embarking on a journey to the Far West was not cheap and required both guts and resources to succeed. Willa Bruce certainly fit the mold of “a mover and a shaker.” Born in Missouri in 1862, Willa relocated to Los Angeles from New Mexico sometime between 1904

when water was being trucked into Manhattan Beach. She had a bigger plan and was methodical about how she was thinking of her business evolving.” Soon Willa designed a resort where her guests would not only have a place to rent and change into bathing suits but also the ability to enjoy the beach and sea. Swimming pools were not common until the ’20s, so the opportunity to enjoy the beach was welcomed by many. An article in the Los Angeles Times dated June 24, 1912,

and 1907 along with her husband, Charles, and their

shared this description: “The new summer resort which

son, Harvey.

at present consists of a small portable cottage with a

While Charles took a job as a chef on the Union

stand in front where soda pop and lunches are sold

Pacific train between L.A. and Salt Lake City, Willa set

and two dressing tents with shower baths and a supply

her sights on property close to the ocean. She negotiat-

of 50 bathing suits.”

ed with real estate agent Henry Willard to buy a beach-

According to Allison, racism forced Black women to

front property owned by George H. Peck Jr. between

start entrepreneurial businesses because they couldn’t

26th Street and 27th Street for $1,225.

find employment elsewhere. Willa’s vision of opening a

The rural community where the property was located would soon be known as Manhattan Beach. Willa’s

resort at the sea for people of her race soon materialized. She ran an advertisement in local newspaper The

choice to negotiate a property deal with a White man

Liberator on June 17, 1912, announcing, “the Bruce

during this period of history highlights her bold char-

beachfront” would be a “grand affair,” offering access

acter. Moreover, the opportunity for a Black person to

to the beach and fishing for customers. Selling sodas

purchase beachfront property was extremely rare.

and renting bathing suits would soon transform into a

Before basic infrastructure arrived at the Beach Cities, the area remained mostly undiscovered to the majority of Los Angeles residents. To spend a day at the beach

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beach,” says Alison.

Jefferson, author of Living the Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era.

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horse and wagon, fully dressed while they headed to the

booming business for the Bruce family. Willa eventually purchased a second beachfront property for $10. She continued to add services to the resort,


expanding to three buildings that included a dance hall,

running her resort as she desired by forbidding her

a café and lodging. Live music would echo from the

patrons ocean access through his land. He posted “no

resort as patrons enjoyed hosted parties for a variety

trespassing” signs and brought in a constable to arrest

of occasions. The California Eagle, owned by a friend of

Black people who attempted to cross his property.

Willa’s, ran advertisements about local church parties to be held at Bruce’s resort. But the more successful Willa and her resort became,

Though determined to keep her resort in operation, she finally met a threat she could not win. In 1927 the city of Manhattan Beach forced her to close the

the more harassment she endured—especially during

business, and the property was seized in an eminent

the early 1920s when there were rising local sentiments

domain proceeding. The city stated they needed the

of a “negro invasion.” Willa was quoted in the Times

property to build a park, which it did decades later.

saying, “Wherever we have tried to buy land for a beach

Willa left Manhattan Beach soon after at the age of

resort we have been refused, but I own this land and I

65. She passed away in 1934. As the South Bay contin-

am going to keep it.”

ues to confront hard truths of a troubling past, Willa

Peck, a wealthy developer and one of the founders

Bruce should be remembered as a trailblazing Black

of Manhattan Beach, owned the waterfront property

female entrepreneur of her time—forging her way

in front of Willa’s land over a half-mile from Peck’s

against all odds. ■

Pier to 24th Street. He attempted to deter Willa from

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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

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

DELIGHTFULLY UNCONVENTIONAL

D

Valerie Sartini captivates her clients with the unexpected.

ecember 2018. Valerie Sartini is hosting her traditional holiday party for family and friends. To say this is no ordinary Christmas party

undersells it. For the event, Valerie secures space at a friend’s cool old warehouse-y art studio in Venice, has 15 Christmas trees delivered and hangs them upside-down from iron chandeliers in the ceiling. She twinkles and zhuzhes them until the whole place reads “Alice in Wonderland enters magical holiday forest gone rogue.” When asked how she comes up with these kinds of original ideas that are part of her personal and professional DNA, Valerie

straddling carpet, headboard placed far-

suspending a dozen brass-topped Edison

laughs long and loud. “I can’t really say,” she

right between symmetrical windows, artwork

bulbs from individual orange conduit cables

says. “I thought it would be really fun to do,

uncentered above headboard. “The result

to create a bold lighting fixture front and

and I’d never seen anything like it. It really

is so much more interesting than lined-up

center. Clean white shelving, a concrete floor

just comes out of my head.” (Still laughing.)

squares and rectangles,” she says.

and a chalkboard for incoming and outgoing

Present day. Sitting in her chic office full of

notes to the fam (“Good luck in your match today!”) finish this small but mighty room.

bright light, Valerie describes her approach to

long lockdown, Valerie is busier than ever—

design. “I do follow trends,” she says, “in color,

her creativity in full swing. “We just finished

design, architecture—and sometimes I am

designing a child’s bed with small sliding

ples and checking her computer for orders

inspired by them. My goal, though, is never to

pockets in the headboard so he can have

behind her oversized desk—a vase of white

imitate but rather to create for my clients.”

secret spaces of his own. I love working with

hydrangeas perched in a corner. She juggles

Valerie is fielding calls, surveying her sam-

kids, listening to their asks and bringing them

it all with grace and humor, while developing

the work of her company, Treasures Interior

ideas they’ve never seen or thought possible.

and creating originality and beauty for her

Design. “Sometimes it’s not the big statements

That is really fun,” Valerie says.

clients. It’s what she does. It’s who she is. It’s

This creative mindset shows up regularly in

that make spaces unique,” Valerie says. “It

Christmas trees aren’t the only thing she

can be the small, thoughtful adjustments that

uses to embellish ceiling spaces. She’s been

make something different and fresh.”

known to—among other things—beam,

Recently, Valerie worked on a boy’s room PHOTOGRAPHED BY SIRI BERTING

Since restrictions have eased following the

part of her DNA.

lacquer and wallpaper, which is her current

and mixed a Moroccan area rug and African

obsession. “We try to get everyone to wallpa-

stools as bedside tables with a contemporary

per their ceilings,” Valerie smiles. “There are so

upholstered platform bed. The room was

many beautiful colors and textures now. It can

TREASURES INTERIOR DESIGN

tied together with soothing, monochromatic

really complete a room, and I love it!”

310-545-9404

creams and greys. The twist: All the pieces in the room were slightly off-center—bed

Recently Valerie completed a mudroom where she drew on industrial elements,

VALERIE SARTINI

TREASURESINTERIORDESIGN.COM @TREASURESINTERIORDESIGN |

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Pitch Perfect WHEN IT COMES TO MARKETING LIFESTYLE BRANDS, APRIL VITKUS KNOWS THE VALUE OF SETTING THE RIGHT TONE. Written by Diane E. Barber

| Photographed by Shane O’Donnell

When Palos Verdes resident and global brand marketing

lifestyle here and wanted to raise our children close to

strategist April Vitkus consciously integrated wellness

family,” says April.

and mindfulness into her career, she realized a gratify-

After eight years of leading marketing and com-

ing and soulful shift. Work was no longer “work” in the

munications in the fashion industry for contemporary

traditional sense.

designer label BCBG Max Azria and designer start-up

“Most of my career has been in consumer goods and

Trovata, April accepted a product and lifestyle market-

fashion,” shares April. “Though I am not saving lives,

ing position at Vans in 2008. Six years later, she was

I believe it is incredibly important to find a career that

promoted to senior director of global brand marketing

aligns with your core values. By doing that, I personally

and strategy for the iconic marque and was charged

enjoy my work more, and my team and I have a greater

with attracting newcomers to the brand while rewarding

positive impact on a brand.”

loyalists worldwide. During her 13-year tenure, she led

April was born in San Jose, and her family relocated

strategic growth initiatives, digital content campaigns

throughout California and the Midwest while her father

and experiential marketing for the 50+ year company.

pursued his executive management career. She gradu-

“Brand means so much more to consumers than the

ated from UCLA in 1998 with a B.A. in English literature

product. They want a deeper connection and to know

and landed her first job at an ad agency in Los Angeles.

that it stands for something, such as sustainability and

“I knew I wanted to work in advertising and marketing

the environment or racial and social justice,” she says.

when I interned there before I graduated,” she recalls.

“There is so much we can do as marketers to engage

Two years later with her new career underway, she

consumers with deeper meaning. At Vans, we tapped

moved from Brentwood to Hermosa Beach so she could

into creative expression—art, music, street culture and

be closer to the ocean. “The ocean is everything to me.

fashion—to broaden the brand’s reach beyond skate-

It is my calm. It grounds me,” she says. “I spent a lot

boarders and boys.”

of time surfing in Santa Cruz when my family lived in Northern California. I can never be too far away from it.” April’s husband, Linas, a South Bay native and UCLA

Recently, April was appointed the global head of integrated marketing for Alo Yoga—a position she attributes to serendipity and her unwavering quest to

engineering school graduate, briefly returned to Palos

align with the beat of her own soulful drummer. “The

Verdes before the college sweethearts’ careers led

opportunity at Alo was a no-brainer for me, not only

them to Orange County. They married soon after they

because of the amazing people and company culture—

moved and stayed for 10 years before returning to the

including at-work yoga classes and meditation—but

South Bay. “We love the sense of community and active

also my path to get there,” she says.

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71


“THE OCEAN IS EVERYTHING TO ME. IT IS MY CALM. IT GROUNDS ME.” April injured her hamstring at the end of 2020 while working out at a boot camp and sought something to help her recover. She started using the Alo Moves app for yoga, meditation and sound baths and became hooked. “I was taking classes on the app every day when the VP of recruiting for the company happened to send me a message on LinkedIn about a new leadership role,” she says. “When I explored the opportunity, it ticked all of the boxes for me. It is an exciting, forward-thinking business that is growing leaps and bounds. It resonates with my active lifestyle, personal values and my purpose, which is to inspire, lead and develop a team. And Alo is an acronym for “air, land, ocean,” and the ocean is my grounding force. So I am meant to be there!” When April’s sights are not set on strategizing mindful and innovative growth for Alo and bringing up the next generation of talent, she immerses herself in her beloved family life with Linas and their two sons and enjoys nature, fitness, vegan cooking, contemporary art, music and playing the guitar. In startling contrast with her ever-present Zen demeanor, her favorite music is hard-core punk and heavy metal. “I heard Metallica for the first time on MTV when I was 13 years old, and I loved the sound of the guitars,” she says. “My parents told me if I was going to blast the music from my room, I had to learn to play it—and I did. It is actually another form of meditation to me,” she says with a smile. Om. ■

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Source of Joy WITH HER POPULAR RESTAURANTS IN MANHATTAN AND HERMOSA, CHEF AMBER CLAUDE ELEVATES HEALTHY EATING IN DELICIOUS AND CREATIVE WAYS. Written by Darren Elms

Raised in Atlanta, young Amber Claude would sit in the

she jumped into the restaurant industry, taking on

kitchen and watch her grandma cook and read her rec-

every position from dishwasher and busser to bartender

ipe cards. “I have the best memories of making cherry

and manager. After college, she moved to Fort Collins,

pies, pumpkin bread, meatloaf, her famous brown rice

Colorado, and worked under an Italian chef—falling in

and tons of cookies,” Amber shares.

love with the beauty and simplicity of the cuisine and

After her parents sent her to a weeklong culinary

“Training in this kitchen pushed me to my limits

PHOTOGRAPHED BY HAILEE REPKO OF CNW AGENCY

school for kids at age 10, she was hooked. As a teenager

diving deeply into everything wine.

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY WONHO FRANK LEE

every day,” she remembers. “I was the only woman in

feeling inflamed, tired, full of pain, addicted to sugar

a male-dominated kitchen, and I was determined to

and caffeine, stressed, bloated, anxious and overall un-

make it.”

happy. I also knew I was losing my passion for the food

After three years, she moved to Los Angeles and worked as executive chef of Mediterraneo in Hermosa

food, Chef Amber shifted her focus to the healing

and ventured to Spain to enhance her expertise. “When

properties certain ingredients could bring into her life.

I returned from Europe, I started to fuse my love for

“I knew in my soul that my food could help not only

Spanish tapas and Southern Italian cuisine,” she says.

myself but also many others heal their bodies,” she

Chef Amber opened her first location of The Source time in her personal wellness. “I hit a breaking point with my health,” she says. “I was walking around

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Once she addressed her unhealthy relationship with

Beach for a decade. During that time, she revisited Italy

Café in Hermosa Beach nine years ago during a critical

76

I was cooking at the Med. It was time for a change.”

says. “From this drive and determination, The Source was born.” Chef Amber took inspiration from her love of Italian and Spanish cuisine and infused the dishes with healing


superfoods. In the process, she eliminated gluten, dairy,

potato frosting and carob crisp. The beverage offerings

processed sugar and vegetable oils. She also added

include biodynamic and organic wines, local beers and

options to the menu for different diets such as paleo,

organic kombucha.

keto, vegan and no-sugar. “I keep my cooking techniques clean and simple,”

Chef Amber will soon release her cookbook, Sexy Nourishing Food, followed by a second book, HUNGRY:

she explains. “My weekly creations are inspired by the

Why I F*cking Eat, in early 2022. “This book is about my

farmers market and what is in season. I love introduc-

emotional relationship with food and how it is possible

ing new options and substitutions for gluten and dairy,

to form a healthy relationship with food, body and

and showing that they are as satiating and delicious.”

self,” she says. “I also am in the process of creating

Highlights include a fried chicken sandwich on a

an online cooking show called Chef Amber’s Wholicious.

paleo bun with pickles and spicy aioli; gnocchi with

Healthy food has such a bad stigma. It’s something I

braised lamb ragu and Brazil nut parmesan; and the

am determined and passionate about changing.”■

much-loved paleo orange spiced cake with a sweet

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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

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

SOUTH BAY SERENITY A moment of calm awaits guests with stunning views, renovated spaces, exquisite food and ocean adventures. WRITTEN BY LAURA L. WATTS | STYLED & PHOTOGRAPHED BY DMP STUDIO & SHANE O’DONNELL

A

popular destination for those in

stand-up paddleboards, scuba, deep-sea

search of adventure and exploration,

fishing and boat charters for an endless

the expansive region of the South

day of fun on the water.

Bay is comprised of Redondo Beach,

Renowned for its light mood and seri-

Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach. At the

ous food, BALEENkitchen brings a chic,

heart of it lies The Portofino Hotel & Marina—

fine-dining experience to the hotel. Enjoy

offering guests the perfect jumping-off point to

seafood-forward fare on the patio over-

live like true South Bay locals.

looking the marina, in the upstairs bar or

Situated at the end of a serene peninsula

in the comfort of your own ocean-view

directly on the water, The Portofino offers close

guest room. With an expert culinary team

proximity to all the top activities nearby, such

on-site, handcrafted and customizable

as local retailers, famous amusement parks

made-to-order moments truly “wow” guests

and stunning stretches of sandy beaches. The

during their stay.

breathtaking ocean views, private balconies,

ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS BASK IN THE OCEANFRONT RESPITE THAT YOU DESERVE.

From a wide variety of unique special offers,

It is the resort’s goal to provide guests with exceptional service and lifelong memories at

captivating marina-front restaurant and

guests can choose their adventure in the sunny

this serene peninsula in the South Bay. Their

stunning waterfront venues make this an all-

South Bay. With a friendly smile and strong

dedicated team of experts will handle all the

encompassing coastal hideaway.

attention to detail, The Portofino team is sure

details. All you need to do is bask in the ocean-

to make you feel like you have found your new

front respite that you deserve.

Surround yourself with fresh ocean breezes and refreshing interiors. The Portofino Hotel & Marina’s recently renovated oceanside and

home away from home. The Portofino Hotel & Marina is committed

marina-front guest rooms and suites make it

to protecting the well-being of guests and

THE PORTOFINO HOTEL & MARINA

difficult to avoid slipping into vacation mode

team members by providing a comfortable

260 PORTOFINO WAY

immediately upon entering. If you’re more

and safe environment. With the resort’s Stay

REDONDO BEACH

into adventure and aquatic activities, the new

Safe, Start Living program, the safety of guests

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Dockside Adventure Center offers kayaks,

and colleagues comes first.

HOTELPORTOFINO.COM

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Wine Whiz A DYNAMIC FORCE BEHIND SCHEID FAMILY WINES, HEIDI SCHEID CONTINUES A LEGACY STARTED BY HER FATHER NEARLY 50 YEARS AGO. Written by Bonnie Graves

You need only spend a few moments in the room

employees, suppliers or industry associates. Work

with Heidi Scheid to admire her charisma and stam-

your ass off. And good Lord, have fun!

ina. A mother of three who splits her time between Manhattan Beach and moody Monterey, Heidi acts

Tell us a little bit about the history of Scheid,

as executive vice president of the eponymous family

founded by your father, Al. How did he come to

vineyard—purveyor of delicious grape juice since

choose the Monterey Peninsula? What is it about

1972. As part of the “Gang of Four” with dad Al,

the area and the microclimate that keeps it special

brother Scott and COO Kurt Gollnick, Heidi honed

for you all?

her skills outside the vineyard, eventually bringing

When my father started in the wine grape-growing

her financial prowess to the operation. We caught

business in 1972, he knew very little about farm-

up with Heidi to discuss the wine business and her

ing. But he was a great student. He consulted with

strategies for balancing work and family.

Professor A.J. Winkler, a viticultural authority at the University of California Davis, who had published a

In an industry riddled with slim margins and

report classifying grape-growing regions by climate.

outright failures, you’ve managed to grow Scheid

Monterey County was classified as comparable to

Family Wines from 4,000 cases to more than

Napa, Sonoma, Burgundy and Bordeaux—mak-

600,000 cases in just a decade. What advice might

ing it one of the most diverse climatic regions in

you offer to family-owned businesses looking to

California for growing high-quality wine grapes.

recreate your kind of stratospheric growth?

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The Monterey appellation truly is a wonder due

Our employees are the heart of our business and are

to the confluence of the Gabilan Mountains to the

a company’s most valuable assets. Be approachable

east, the Santa Lucia Mountains to the west and the

and support the efforts of everyone in the company

maritime influence of the Monterey Bay that creates

by being available, dependable and transparent.

a cool climate in the northern part of the Salinas

Be scrappy and agile and look at pockets in your

Valley—ideal for chardonnay and pinot noir. Our

industry that aren’t being filled or well-serviced

vineyards in the southern part of the county are

by the large players. Build strong relationships as

more sheltered and achieve dramatic diurnal shifts

you grow—not just with your upstream customers

in temperature from day to night, allowing us to

but with all of your stakeholders, whether they be

develop complex flavors in our bold red varieties.


What makes you a good boss? How have you helped manage and grow the careers of other women while building your own? I make myself available—my joke is that I’m available 18/7 ’cause I don’t really want to talk at 2 a.m. But just about any other time, if you have an idea, problem, whatever, I’m accessible. I think it’s important to be upbeat and optimistic; nobody likes to work for a grump. I like to have fun and remind people that at the end of the day, we’re making wine, not trying to solve world peace (although wine could certainly help there). We have a lot of great women in our company who I have worked with, learned from and mentored. As I’ve grown in my career (and gained some wisdom that comes along with age), I’ve realized the importance of every employee feeling valued and heard. Particularly for women in a male-dominated industry, it’s important for them to feel [they] belong here, and I strive to bring out the best in them so they can achieve their career aspirations. You’ve been a resident of Manhattan Beach for nearly 30 years now. What keeps you in the South Bay instead of relocating fully up to wine country? How do you manage work travel? What makes you feel like Manhattan Beach is home? I’m incredibly lucky that I get to work in Monterey and come home to Manhattan Beach. I mean, you couldn’t pick two more beautiful places! There’s something about MB, though, that has made it impossible for me to leave. I loved raising my three kids here, the sense of community, great public schools, active lifestyle, walkability and of course that gorgeous ocean. MB is also so close to LAX. There’s a 45-minute flight back and forth from LAX to Monterey airport that I fly regularly, so it’s a manageable commute.

|

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“WORK YOUR ASS OFF. AND GOOD LORD, HAVE FUN!”

Vineyards pinot noir Clone 667. It’s everything a pinot should be: elegant, smooth and silky! One of the hottest market sectors right now is no- or low-alcohol, “better for you” wines. Tell us a little bit about your latest launch, Sunny with a Chance of Flowers.”

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We won’t make a mom of three pick a favorite child,

Sunny with a Chance of Flowers is a zero-sugar, 9%

but if you had to pick a favorite wine child, what is

alcohol, 85 calories per serving wine that is my go-to

the Scheid bottle you’d most like to recommend to

weekday wine! It’s also sustainably certified and pro-

our readers?

duced from grapes grown on our family-owned estate

Oh wow, that’s a mean question. Can I choose one

vineyards in the Monterey appellation. What I’m most

white and one red? For a warm summer evening,

proud about is that it’s delicious, and you don’t feel

I’d choose the Scheid Vineyards grüner veltliner. It’s

like you’re giving up anything. We’ve earned 90+

clean, crisp and has beautiful fruit. For red I’m ex-

scores on all of the varietals, so not only is it a “better

tremely partial to pinot noirs, so I’d choose our Scheid

for you” wine, it also really delivers on taste. ■


Please join us for our 24th Annual Food & Beverage Tasting Event supporting Cancer Support Community Redondo Beach Hosted and Sponsored by

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the body beautiful CHRISTINE BULLOCK CELEBRATES THE RESILIENCE OF THE HUMAN FORM—INSIDE AND OUT.

PHOTOGRAPHED BY KATHRYN PAGE

Written by Tanya Monaghan


In the world of wellness, Christine

incorporates what’s worked for her during her battle

Bullock wears many hats. An

with health conditions including thyroid and infertil-

guru and working mom, she’s enjoyed a well-rounded career while navigating the challenges of starting her own family. Both Pittsburg natives, Christine and her husband, Robert Simon, met in Santa Monica and settled in

Christine first became passionate about the human body at age 3, when she dreamed of being a ballerina. Sadly, a series of injuries forced her to choose a different path. She went to massage therapy school for a year and then to college to study behavioral psychology and education, while teaching yoga to support herself. Christine stretched her knowledge to the beauty arena when she began working for Sephora as a na-

family. After struggling for five years to conceive, the

tional trainer, educating new employees on ingredients,

couple adopted a baby girl, Remington. They built their

fragrance and skin aging. “It was such an amazing

dream home in Manhattan Beach and then welcomed a

experience for me. We learned from Dr. Perricone and

second daughter, Poppy Sky.

the creators of StriVectin, philosophy, bareMinerals and Anastasia,” she says. “I gained so much information—

long explored her passion for wellness—most recently

not only on the aging process on products and ingredi-

in skin care. When an opportunity to develop her

ents but on branding and what the consumer wants.”

own line presented itself, she jumped on it. Christine

She switched gears to work for a plastic surgeon in

partnered with a family who not only created a top

Beverly Hills in the microcurrent business, traveling

global skincare company but also owned their own lab.

around the world helping spas understand the benefits

Christine shares, “They realized that having their own

of the technology, “Microcurrents operate at a cellular

lab allowed them to control all of the ingredients.”

level, so I learned deeply about how the cell works, the

That insight, coupled with Christine’s creative and

mitochondria and the energy—the pure youth of the

marketing know-how, inspired Christine to cre-

body. I also gleaned information from doctors from

ate Kayo. The body care products are designed free of

India and Asia about all this natural health.”

chemicals, toxins and other harmful ingredients but

While working for a medical device company,

incorporate scientific delivery methods like peptides to

Christine would go into surgery with plastic surgeons

improve results. Shape awarded them with the “Best

in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. That inspired her to

Scrub” and “Best in Beauty” awards for their firming

get back to fitness and wellness and help people pre- or

serum for cellulite treatment, and Remedies recognized

postsurgery. Her husband encouraged her to leave that

them for the remodeling serum.

lucrative career to pursue her love of fitness full time.

Christine has her sights set on evolving Kayo to a full

|

restored my body naturally,” she says.

the South Bay after marrying and preparing to start a

Though family remains her top priority, Christine has

86

ity issues. “I feel like I’ve been through a lot, and I

She received her barre certification and got hired im-

wellness brand, believing the only way to get the best

mediately at Equinox to run their Pilates studio. During

results is to approach your self care from the inside

that time she became a successful fitness model and

out. Kayo formulated supplements based on Christine’s

trainer, leading multiple instructional videos.

20 years of experience meeting with physicians, ex-

She expanded her repertoire further as a pre- and

perts and nutritionists from all over the world. She

postnatal specialist, trained by Julie Rader and Chelsea

PHOTOGRAPHED BY SARAH ORBANIC

entrepreneur, health expert, fitness


“IT’S ALL ABOUT THE REGIMENS AND THE ROUTINES OF CARE. I BELIEVE THIS TO BE TRUE FOR OUR SANITY, AS MUCH AS IT IS FOR

Rothert. “Chelsea was a doula. And so training under

FitOn app,” she says. “It’s amazing, it’s free, it’s global

a doula, you actually prepare women for delivering

and it’s actually bigger than Peloton or anything simi-

instead of teaching them to stay fit for pregnancy,”

lar. I have loved working with Brooke Burke too, who

she shares. “I started focusing on the changes that my

is just such a beautiful individual. We’ve done tons of

clients were having as pregnant women, and it opened

workouts together on her app, and we are working on

my eyes to skin changes on the body. Everyone is pay-

the newly launched Sports Illustrated online channel.”

ing top dollar for juices and clean water and everything

88

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All the experience, knowledge and goodness of

else, but what about applying clean products directly to

Christine’s journey of health, fitness and wellness have

your largest organ: your skin? There was nothing on the

cumulated in Kayo, with the ultimate goal of being the

market like that.”

global leader in body care. “It’s all about the regimens

Even while running Kayo, Christine continues to

and the routines of care,” she says. “I believe this to be

teach fitness to people online. “I teach through the

true for our sanity, as much as it is for our wellness.” ■

PHOTOGRAPHED BY SARAH ORBANIC

OUR WELLNESS.”


63RD ANNUAL PORTUGUESE BEND NATIONAL HORSE SHOW

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS GRAND CHAMPION RIBBON $25,000+ Terry & Wally Durham Diana & Michael Grannis Pat & Rich Lucy The Scharffenberger Family Lon V Smith The Tuffli Family Foundation

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Patty & Ken Ochi Lori & Tom O’Hern Louanna Robeson Rolling Hills Living Magazine Rolling Hills Nursery of Long Beach S & S Bankcard Systems – Jeff Skelton S.C. Distributing – The Leimbach Family Marcia & Mike Schoettle Showcase Concrete Corporation Storm Management, Inc. in memory of Georgia Claessens Karen & Scott Stuckman McKenzie & Eric Stuckman U.S. Storage Centers Kelli & Alan Vieweg Family Watson Land Company Whitney Young Children’s Foundation Sue & Kirk Wilkinson Windes

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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

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

SCENE CHANGE Carrie Quinn combines a calm vibe with design know-how to transform clients’ homes. WRITTEN BY LAURA L. WATTS | PHOTOGRAPHED BY SIRI BERTING

C

arrie Quinn has always been

location was in Manhattan Beach, but when

intrigued with the idea of transfor-

the building changed owners, she relocated

mation. When she was a little girl,

to a charming historic building on Pier Avenue

she was mesmerized by the magic

in Hermosa Beach.

machine on her favorite television show, Hobo Kelly. “She placed large pieces of ‘junk’ into

A COOL VIBE

the machine, turned the crank several times,

“When we moved to the new location, I was told

and whoosh—toys would come rushing out of

by a few locals that one of the building’s original

the chute for kids lucky enough to have their

owners was a member of the Beach Boys—and

names drawn from a basket,” Carrie remem-

that Jim Morrison used to practice in the very

bers. “The junk had been transformed into

spot where my desk sits now,” she says.

toys—it was magic!” After school, Carrie would rush home to an

Carrie remembers shopping in the building when it was the eclectic Either/Or Bookstore—

arts and crafts book that she used to make all

filled with New Age books and incense and

kinds of treasures. Recently she was helping

cats sunning themselves in the windows. Next

organize some drawers in her mom’s home

the space became Re:Style, carrying alter-

and found the napkin holders she made all

native streetwear. “I remember taking my

those years ago from toilet paper rolls, scraps

son shopping there,” she says. “The display

of fabric and white glue. “I was blessed with

window showcased different styles of Doc

a mom who always encouraged my creative

Martens boots.”

endeavors,” Carrie beams.

“OUR CLIENTS’ MOST PERSONAL SPACES ARE UPGRADED AND UPLIFTED! IT’S KIND OF LIKE MAGIC.”

She transformed the space so it reflected her vibe as Maison Luxe—bringing in antique

LEARNING THE TRADE

vintage doors from Europe to separate her

In high school, Carrie took an interior design

design office from the retail space, and keep-

class and fell in love with the work. She was

ing the original wood floors. The view of the

assigned a project to redesign her bedroom,

surf from outside the shop adds to the charm.

and her supportive mother agreed to let her

“Sometimes I sit at my desk and smile,

rearrange the furniture and even pick out

knowing that where the cats once sat in the

some wallpaper.

window—and then the Doc Martens—now

After high school graduation, Carrie

there sits a beautiful bed with a blush-colored

attended the Fashion Institute of Design and

duvet and vintage pillows made from antique

Merchandising in Los Angeles. At the same

rugs,” Carrie smiles. “So many people who

time, her parents were building a French-style

enter our shop comment on the good energy

home in Palos Verdes. She worked with her

of the place. I wonder if it is this old building

mother’s interior designer, learning the ropes

itself—which has housed so many creative

and gaining invaluable hands-on experience.

endeavors, musicians, entrepreneurs and

Carrie founded her interior design company, Maison Luxe, in 2007. Her original

small businesses—that gives a warmth and comfort to all that enter.” |

91


SEEN

DESIGN MAGIC

to detail and follow-through so the client

along the tricks of the trade. She encourages

Carrie spreads that coziness to her clients’

knows that each phase of the project is being

clients to be mindful of what they want to be

homes as she works with them to match

handled properly. She also offers “quick

surrounded by in their home environment,

design plans to their tastes, lifestyles, budgets,

refresh” projects, where the design team

and she helps them add those extra comforts.

kids, paint colors, furniture plans and timing.

brings merchandise from the store and other

“We take all that info and all our years of

retail outlets and transforms a client’s room in

uncertainty—especially in the world we live in

experience and drop it into our ‘magic design

one day.

today. But in Carrie’s opinion, despite the ups

machine’ to produce a cohesive design that is tailor-made for each client.” Carrie and her team find the collaboration

In addition to her store on Pier Avenue— which carries a fabric library, furniture, a website that is frequently updated with

transformation that takes place on installation

curated collections of Carrie’s favorite items.

day is the best part of the job. “Our clients’

She offers Zoom consultations and works

most personal spaces are upgraded and

remotely with customers who live out of state.

When making significant changes to a client’s home, Carrie emphasizes attention

92

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and downs, transformation of the spaces you hold dear is always worth the challenge.

candles and gifts—Maison Luxe also features

with their clients so rewarding. Watching the

uplifted! It’s kind of like magic.”

Change can be challenging and full of

Owning a retail store for 14 years and

CARRIE QUINN MAISON LUXE 138 PIER AVE., HERMOSA BEACH

an interior design business for 21 years has

SALES@MAISONLUXEHOME.COM

taught Carrie a lot, and she loves to pass

MAISONLUXEHOME.COM


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Inspired Beauty WITH ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN HER DNA, CASEY GEORGESON AIMS TO TAKE THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY IN AN UPLIFTING DIRECTION. Written by Tanya Monaghan | Photographed by Lauri Levenfeld

Casey Georgeson’s great-grandmother Teresa Franzia

her new home, and in 2005 she landed a unique role

was a 4’11” Italian mail-order bride. In the early 1900s,

in the wine industry developing a wine brand for

this tenacious woman made a move that led to her

younger consumers. That brand, Cupcake, went on to

role as a successful entrepreneur. While her husband,

great acclaim, and Casey built a name for herself as a

Giuseppe, was in Italy visiting family, Teresa marched

brand developer.

into the Bank of Italy (now Bank of America) and took

attend business school at Stanford while interning

sons and to help son-in-law Ernest Gallo start his own

for Sephora. “They’d never had MBA interns before,”

winery. Ernest’s business became Gallo Winery—the

laughs Casey. “They couldn’t pay me, so they paid in

largest family-owned winery in the United States—

makeup.” She made her mark, and after graduation

while Franzia also became a well-known wine brand

Sephora offered her a job.

around the world.

Casey considers the years she spent there a PhD in

Casey’s family history is indeed impressive, but her

branding. Her role was to develop exclusive brands

drive for success comes from deep within. She spent her

like Marc Jacobs Beauty, Disney, and Elizabeth and

career creating extremely successful wine and beauty

James. “It was fascinating,” she recalls. “I worked

brands and now makes a name for herself pioneering

with formulas, packaging and the storytelling of it all,

the use of CBD in the

which gave me a deep understanding about what mat-

beauty space.

ters most to the clients.”

She started her

wine industry lured her back in. She created 50 wine

a producer for CNN on

brands before deciding it was time to build something

their morning show. She

of her own. She was hesitant at first, knowing what it

enjoyed the fast pace,

would take to be a founder and the time she would need

the storytelling and the

to spend away from her husband and three daughters. she was introduced to CBD and its anti-inflammatory

an end when she returned

properties. It was her clearest idea for a brand: bring

to California to help a

the healing effect into the skin care realm. “I started

family member deal with

playing with CBD and making formulas in my kitchen,”

some health issues. That

she shares. “I realized it’s truly one of the most excit-

challenge turned into joy

ing skin care ingredients of our time.”

husband, Zack. San Francisco became

|

But she realized she was onto something big when

However, the job came to

when she soon met her

Teresa Franzia (left) with her sister

Casey consulted for Sephora until 2015, when the

career in New York as

hardworking culture.

94

Eventually she decided to leave The Wine Group and

out a loan to start Franzia Brothers Winery with her

In that kitchen Saint Jane Beauty was born, inspired by an actual saint who lived in the 1500s and dedicated her life to healing women—specifically women society


shunned, the very old, the sick and unwed mothers.

Jane donates all their proceeds from Ritual, one of their

“It’s in her honor that we take a healing-centric

lipstick shades, to Lipstick Angels, which offers beauty

approach to skin care with this unbelievable heritage at

and skin care services to women experiencing cancer.

the heart of everything we do,” Casey shares. Saint Jane launched in 2019, and even through the

Looking for a change of pace during COVID-19, Casey and her family packed up their lives in Northern

COVID-19 shutdown, the brand continued to grow.

California and made a home in Manhattan Beach. “The

Casey says, “During quarantine, people began thinking

South Bay has captivated us,” she says. “It used to be

about their self-care ritual differently. That was really

hikes on the weekend. Now we take the girls to the

good for us because we’re all about wellness, clean

beach and look for sand crabs and seashells. Being by the

beauty and helping people nurture their skin. I wanted

water has been good for our souls. We are in heaven.”

Saint Jane to be special and different.” As a mother of three daughters, Casey is passionate

Back at work, Casey is facing interesting challenges but is excited about the opportunities ahead. The can-

about empowering women. Saint Jane Beauty supports

nabis industry is highly regulated, making it very diffi-

organizations that help girls and women achieve a

cult to do business—much like her great-grandmother

brighter future. Girls Crushing It empowers young

Teresa experienced while running a wine business dur-

women to build confidence through entrepreneurship.

ing Prohibition. Still, there is a lot of room for brands

The Loveland Foundation’s goal is to ensure that black

in the beauty space to succeed, and Saint Jane plans to

mothers have equal opportunities and access. Saint

be one of them. ■

|

95


THE CALIFORNIA MEDIA AND CONTENT COMPANY.

Explore our brands at

goldenstate.is


@ourgoldenstate


around the bend SPECTACULAR FALL FASHIONS FROM LOCAL BOUTIQUES MANIFEST AT THE BEAUTIFUL PORTUGUESE BEND RIDING CLUB IN PALOS VERDES. Photographed by Shane O’Donnell | Styled by Tanya Monaghan Hair by Jam Leonard | Makeup by Beth Follert | Styling Assistance by Brenda Randall


Handwoven beaded jacket, $400; Right Tribe in Manhattan Beach. Chambray wide-legged pants by Current Air, $82; Alandrea in Redondo Beach. Wide leather belt by Ulla Johnson, $476; Wright’s in Manhattan Beach. Sterling silver turquoise and coral rings, $120 to $425, wide sterling silver cuff, $550; vickiturbeville.com. Black leather cowboy boots, $85; Vintage Dirty Laundry in Redondo Beach.


Matador jacket, $80, vintage lace linen blouse, $28, black wool

Opposite Page:

hat, $74; Right Tribe in Manhattan Beach. Red poppy print

Cream blouse by Ulla Johnson, $426, Luz corset top by

skirt by Ulla Johnson, $446; Wright’s in Manhattan Beach.

Ulla Johnson, $245; Wright’s in Manhattan Beach. Black

Sterling silver belt, $425, Navajo bolo tie with sterling silver

leather pants, $100; Vintage Dirty Laundry in Redondo

and turquoise, $350, assortment of sterling silver rings with

Beach. One-of-a-kind embroidered hat by Bone By

turquoise and coral, $120 to $425; vickiturbeville.com.

Dawn, $325; Bone at the Beach in Manhattan Beach. Sterling silver with coral ring, $120; vickiturbeville.com. Hide bag, $120; Vintage Dirty Laundry in Redondo Beach.


Chiffon black cape dress by Louiza Babouryan, $998; Wright’s in Manhattan Beach. Ivory felt hat by Bone by Dawn, $150; Bone at the Beach in Manhattan Beach. Cream leather boots, $150; Vintage Dirty Laundry in Redondo Beach. Vintage Navajo squash necklace, $750, coral earrings, $375; vickiturbeville.com.

Opposite Page:

Ivory dress by Free People, $178; Beach & Beverly in Hermosa Beach. Wool gaucho hat with leather chin strap, $100, polkadot vintage scarf, $12; Right Tribe in Manhattan Beach. Sterling silver bracelets and cuffs, $375 to $1,450, sterling silver ring with coral, $120; vickiturbeville.com. Native American sterling silver necklace, $20, African silver necklace with large pendant, $85; Right Tribe in Manhattan Beach.


Vintage corduroy dress, $65, brown leather boots by HarleyDavidson, $85; Vintage Dirty Laundry in Redondo Beach. Agate pullover top by Ulla Johnson, $346; Wright’s in Manhattan Beach. Bandana neckerchief, $65, turquoise pin, $65; Bone at the Beach in Manhattan Beach. Vintage Alice Quam coral earrings, $2,400, sterling silver and coral bracelet, $850; vickiturbeville.com


Opposite Page:

Denim skirt, $45, brown leather saddle bag, $100, black leather

Black fitted dress by Raquel Allegra, $216; Wright’s in

cowboy belt, $50; Vintage Dirty Laundry in Redondo Beach.

Manhattan Beach. One-of-a-kind sterling silver earrings,

Sierra blossom shirt by Xirena, $226; Alandrea in Redondo

$625, vintage Navajo squash necklace, $750, sterling

Beach. Bolo tie with vintage turquoise buckle and leather fringe,

silver bracelets, $550 to $1,450; vickiturbeville.com. Black

$375; Bone at the Beach in Manhattan Beach. Long turquoise

wool hat, $74; Right Tribe in Manhattan Beach.

sterling ring, $275, sterling silver rings with turquoise and coral, $120 to $425, sterling silver and turquoise earrings, $400; vickiturbeville.com.


I N G O O D H E A LT H

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

WHOLE-BODY WELLNESS The medical team at The Health & Wellness Center @ BCO helps patients find the path to their best life. WRITTEN BY LAURA L. WATTS | PHOTOGRAPHED BY SIRI BERTING

“W

e believe strongly in the

alternative for Beach Cities Orthopedics

an injury can affect both athletes and nonath-

body’s ability to heal

patients, The Health & Wellness Center

letes and how to best get anyone injured back

itself if we create

focuses on the whole body to get to the root

to their top form.

an optimal healing

cause of illness or injury.

“I pursued a career in orthopedic surgery because I felt it was a good balance between

state,” says Julia Moen, DC, a chiropractor

The practice offers an array of treatment

and head of The Health & Wellness Center

and preventive services. “Our goal is to provide

the intellectual side and hands-on side of

@ BCO. Established in 2014 as a holistic

patients with a single organization that com-

medicine,” she says. “Specifically focusing on

bines both Eastern and Western

sports injuries and issues, I feel I have a good

medicine under one roof,” says

connection with my patients.”

Dr. Moen, who had a life-altering injury as a competitive athlete

EASTERN MEDICINE

when she was younger.

Another way the medical professionals at The Health & Wellness Center treat the body as a

ATHLETIC CARE

whole is through acupuncture. That division is

After enduring numerous surger-

headed by Diane Kim, a licensed acupuncturist

ies, nerve damage and chronic

and clinical herbalist who grew up seeing an

pain, Dr. Moen spent many years

acupuncturist when she was injured or sick.

trying to heal herself. “I can relate to most of the patients who walk

shares, “my family didn’t have health insur-

through our door,” she says. “I am

ance, so going to the doctor was an expense

truly passionate about getting

we couldn’t always afford. My parents chose

people out of pain and helping

to take me to an acupuncturist instead

them get back to doing what they

because one visit would entail an exam, a

love to do.”

treatment and herbs. I learned then that

Athletes who are experiencing pain and injury often consult with Lindsey Spragg, MD, an

108

|

“Growing up as a child of immigrants,” she

medical care should make you stronger from the inside.” She chose to study acupuncture and Eastern

orthopedic surgeon special-

medicine because she knew she wanted to

izing in sports medicine and

practice something accessible to the masses

arthroscopic surgery of the

that provides a means to healthy living. “I’ve

shoulder and knee. Dr. Spragg

been in practice for 16 years, and the incred-

also grew up playing multiple

ible ways the body reacts to the needles never

sports, so she understands how

ceases to amaze me,” Diane says.


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

L to R: Dr. Melissa Szymankiewicz, Dr. Randi Christ, Dr. Julia Moen, Dr. Austyn Yarbrough, Dr. Lindsey Spragg, Diane Kim

I N G O O D H E A LT H

|

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I N G O O D H E A LT H

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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The Salty Life WITH HER UPF50 SHRED GUARDS, RACHAEL WIXOM’S MISSION IS TO KEEP YOUR GROM SUN-SAFE AND COOL. Written by Tanya Monaghan | Photographed by Joel Silva Photography

A California girl through and through, Rachael Wixom

an economics and accounting degree, and spent a few

grew up in the San Francisco Bay area but has lived in

years working financial jobs in San Francisco during the

Manhattan Beach for many years. As a mom of three young

dot-com era before she met Tim.

towheaded boys, she was often seen running with them in a stroller—with her perfectly bronzed skin, sun-kissed

a financial services recruiter who first pointed out that

hair, sparkly green eyes and bright smile. Being outside in

she was in the wrong industry. During the dead of winter

the South Bay is one of her great pleasures in life.

in San Francisco, Rachel arrived for her interview in a

The Wixoms are a beach family. They live in Manhattan

crinkled, linen, pin-striped BCBG ensemble—amidst a sea

Beach, where Rachael and her husband, Tim, first met. “We

of black-suited job seekers. “She took one look at me and

have a small house, so the beach is like our yard,” she says.

said, ‘You don’t belong in finance. I have a job you will

“Cooper, my eldest, grew up in the water. He would be in it

like a lot better,’” remembers Rachel.

from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on summer days. He would only get out to switch a surfboard and then go back in.”

Hennessy Louis Vuitton), and the recruiter couldn’t have been more right. After her time at LVMH, she worked

would often come home with a sunburn and rash after

several other retail jobs, which gave her experience in

spending so many hours a day in the water. Rachael

merchandising and buying. Eager to learn more, Rachael

looked for something he could wear underneath his wet-

made the move to Los Angeles and enrolled in design

suit to act as a barrier, but she couldn’t find anything that

classes at L.A. Trade Technical College and Otis College

would work the way she wanted it to. At first she settled

of Art and Design. When her boys were born, she put her

on a Speedo but then thought she’d make one herself—

career on hold. But eventually it was her caring for them

but more her style.

that inspired the Salty Grom line. Featuring items for infants through kids size 14, her

my mom and I would always rotate different wallpapers.”

line has both delighted and protected young skin in equal

She went to work with a graphic designer to create

measure. “The infant suits—little onesies that cover the

one-of-a-kind prints for her line of rash guards, which

body with an easy zip—are some of my best sellers. No

are not only UV-protected and chlorine-resistant but also

one else seems to be doing them,” she shares.

made from recycled materials. She made her first run in a

The Tribal Collection, Hibiscus Collection and Birds of

print, and it started selling. “I started out small and kept

Paradise Collection make up Salty Grom’s most recent line

my goals simple: If we turn a profit, I’ll do another run.

for Summer 2021, available at ET Surf or on her website,

And fortunately, I have squeaked by.”

thesaltygrom.com.

Looking back at her journey, the dots connect but her

|

That job turned out to be for fashion giant LVHM (Moët

As surfing became a huge part of their lives, Cooper

“I’ve always loved prints,” she says. “Even as a little kid,

112

She found the financial world unfulfilling, and it was

“Whether it’s on the beach, surfing, skimboarding,

path to swimwear entrepreneur was unusual. She at-

playing in the salty ocean waters or laying poolside,”

tended the University of California, Santa Barbara, earning

Rachael smiles, “we got you covered.” ■


Layer By Layer A TORRANCE–BASED CLOTHING DESIGNER INFUSES RESPONSIBLE AND SUSTAINABLE SENSIBILITIES INTO EACH ITEM OF APPAREL SHE CREATES. Written by Jennie Nunn | Photographed by Laura Malandrino

For most of us, the process of buying a sweater or scarf

and inspirations include Alexander McQueen, Sonia

is as rudimentary as going to a boutique and hand-

Rykiel and Dries Van Noten. “I loved that I could create

selecting a piece from the rack. But for Torrance–based

design for movement, and how it can move and flow. I

fashion designer Ami Hatami, it’s a multifaceted

started focusing on sweaters. They are pieces that can

approach that goes way beyond that.

be worn together or separately, tying in the rest of your

Ami, design director and founder of Camille Reau, hand-selects small, family-run mills and artisans

double merino wool crewneck sweaters and half-zip

the ethical clothing line in 2018 and focuses on hand-

cashmere sweaters and women’s cashmere blend capes

made, sustainably crafted cashmere and merino wool

and infinity scarves, Ami’s designs are knitted in factories

layering pieces.

in China and Italy, while the yarn is culled from Italy. She

“I wanted to work with mills that sought to be ethi-

utilizes all-female skilled knitting artisans in Bolivia. “Through almost 20 years of sourcing and research

ethos,” says Ami. “It was important for me to gather a

through all the companies I’ve worked for, I’ve watched

supply chain that supported responsible production—

how the industry is evolving and being influenced by

from fiber to finished goods. The ultimate goal was

the sustainability trend,” Ami says. “The mills we work

to meticulously source and design classic pieces with

with that spin the yarns are ones that adhere to the

quality and construction that will stand the test of time

detox and Cradle to Cradle Certified programs, making

while minimizing our carbon footprint and giving back.

sure their quality, humanistic approach and sustainable

By eliminating the middleman and going directly to

practices are held to the highest standards.”

the mills, I am able to provide high-quality products without the high retail markup.” Ami, who majored in fine arts with an emphasis in

Last year, she donated proceeds to The Water Project in Kenya to help build a protected spring for clean, safe drinking water. “Giving back has been important for my

sculpture and public art at the University of Southern

family ever since I could remember, and my grandpar-

California, tried her hand at everything from welding and

ents fostered the idea that it was essential to human-

bronze casting to ceramics and woodworking. She even

kind,” explains Ami. “I’ve been in search of my own

built a violin. Before launching her company, she worked

place within the fashion industry for years, and it was

for the likes of Robert Rodriguez and Tommy Bahama.

only natural to create a line that gives back from the

“I love working with my hands to create pieces,

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With a 12-piece capsule collection featuring men’s

that use natural and traceable fibers. She established

cal and sustainable, and had a green manufacturing

114

wardrobe. It’s like the cherry on top.”

source. I believe that while focusing on material health,

which naturally made me fall in love with the sculptural

the recycling/material reutilization and fair working

aspect of fashion,” explains Ami, whose industry idols

conditions, I am able to give back to many people


without having to just donate money. I’ve found part-

to life. “Seeing something that you have envisioned

ners who care about the environment and their work-

come to fruition is an exciting moment,” says Ami, who

ers because they understand that destroying their local

plans to expand her collection next season to include

environment affects them on a personal level. It is their

easy-to-wear dresses and separates. “If wearing one

communities that are affected, and they are doing their

of my pieces makes someone feel confident about

best to try and change the trend of the fashion industry.”

themselves, it drives me to continue to design. I am

Beyond the research and careful selection of likeminded artisans and factories for every single hand-

continuously inspired by the empowerment of women and clothing that makes them feel and look good.” ■

made item, Ami takes pride in seeing her pieces come

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115


Soaring Ambition JENNIFER RODRIGUEZ RISES TO THE TOP AND GIVES BACK TO HER COMMUNITY ALONG THE WAY. Written by Sara Debevec | Photographed by Monica Orozco

Manhattan Beach native Jennifer Rodriguez didn’t always think she would become a pilot—much less

where I’m at and looking back, I feel blessed.” Her most exciting moment at Southwest was in 2015

a captain for a major airline like Southwest. After

when she became captain. “I still remember the guy

graduating from Mira Costa High School, she played

who handed me my wings,” she says. “He happened to

volleyball for Hofstra University in New York and

call the office the other day, and I said, “You gave me

planned to become an accountant.

my wings. I have a picture of it!” That was my pinnacle.

But in her senior year, she said to her mother, “I don’t think I can sit behind a desk and do account-

I wanted to be a captain at Southwest, and I did that.” Jennifer has been flying for 27 years and recently

ing my whole life. I want to do something different.

was promoted to assistant chief pilot for LAX flight

I want to be a pilot.”

operations. She is married to her loving and support-

Jennifer’s father had worked as an electrical engineer in the aerospace industry. Her mother, an entrepreneur and proponent of going after what you want, fully supported this revelation. After consulting a family friend who worked for

ive husband, Tom, whom she met at Mira Costa. They have two children, Sawyer and Tucker. Jennifer comes from a giving family involved in the community, churches and schools. With her sister and best friend, Kirsten Dorr, she prepares Lenten dinner

United, Jennifer decided to go to the University

for 300 people as part of American Martyrs Church in

of North Dakota for flight school and a degree in

Manhattan Beach—a tradition that has been in her fam-

aerospace science. She enrolled in what is now called

ily for 25 years.

a Pathways Program, which gave her the option to

When Jennifer was in high school, her mother

work for a regional airline after graduation. She even

opened Round Table Pizza. “She had this business

inspired her older brother to follow in her footsteps.

for 30 years, but she passed away from cancer and

“When you’re up in the airplane, it’s just like ‘wow,’” she says. “It’s kind of like playing a video game in the air. The first stall was different; they shut the engine

we stepped in,” Jennifer says. “During COVID-19, we decided to shut its doors.” For 12 years, Jennifer has participated in the

and you get yourself in a stall and it’s kind of freaky,

Adopt-A-Pilot Program at Wood Elementary School

but when you understand the aerodynamics it’s very

in Torrance. In a job that only 1% of women hold,

controllable. It becomes more like second nature.”

Jennifer shines as an advocate for strength, tenacity

After receiving instruction at Torrance Municipal

and inclusion. Her advice to women who want to be-

Airport – Zamperini Field and completing her last

come pilots: “Do it. It’s just that simple. You wanna

training, she flew for Mesa Airlines and finally landed

ride a bike? You go ride a bike. You wanna fly a plane?

a dream job at Southwest Airlines. “I feel like I won

You go fly a plane. It’s no different than anything

the lottery and still do—15, almost 16 years later,”

else. If you want anything badly enough, you can do it

she shares. “I would say my timing was good because,

… and find support if you need it.” ■

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117


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

RADIANT METAMORPHOSIS A South Bay woman transitions from New York corporate life to following in her family’s footsteps as a fine-jewelry designer. WRITTEN BY CREA MCKEEN | PHOTOGRAPHED BY SIRI BERTING

J

en Oliak is best known for her unique-

nothing about Jen signals “business as usual.”

ness. Truly an industry disrupter, she’s

She is committed to removing intimidation

comfortable getting all the looks—for

from her customers’ experience by offering an

her sparkle and as a trailblazer.

elevated level of integrity and transparency.

Her signature series is called The Butterfly

She first launched Ounce of Salt to deliver

Collection, which symbolizes her life’s jour-

the most sparkle possible in an eternity band.

ney—and every woman’s journey—of becom-

Her high-carat designs use settings that allow

ing the person they were truly meant to be.

an abundance of light to pass through the

Jen’s story is one of transformation.

diamonds, resulting in a remarkable amount

Descending from a family of jewelers, her

of sparkle. Her customer promise supports this

childhood memories involved playing with

vision: “No Shade, Only Sparkle.”

her mother’s jewelry as a way to feel close

“THE PANDEMIC HAS HELPED PEOPLE REALIZE THAT OUR TIME IS PRECIOUS.”

Jen has been gaining a following among

to the father she lost too soon and the

those who understand the value of her

mother who was largely vacant in the years

designs. Through Ounce of Salt Jewelry,

BUILDING TRUST

that followed.

clients can be confident in what they’re get-

A Manhattan Beach resident for nearly two

ting and enjoy the same peace of mind that

decades, Jen’s been sharing her unique point

spent deep in the world of corporate finance

previously drove them to elite jewelry retailers

of view through her lifestyle blog, Ounce of

in New York City, her love and curiosity for

with higher markups.

Salt, since 2016. There she discusses topics

While the first stretch of her career was

jewelry remained a constant in her life. So

Jewelry imbibes a powerful self-worth

relevant to inspired living by women over age

when the opportunity arose, Jen returned to

message that positively affects the wearer

40—including her own metamorphosis as a

her roots and spread her wings.

and becomes a part of a family’s legacy.

woman, wife and mother.

By leveraging the analytical skills she

Featuring clean lines and understated luxury,

“My clients love getting to know my values

gained in New York, this third-generation

Jen’s designs are both sophisticated and

through my blog,” Jen says. “It’s the combina-

jeweler researched, shook hands and

accessible. She specializes in high-carat

tion of knowing who I am and that they can

eventually formed a network that opened

diamond eternity bands, signature designs

trust me to exceed their expectations that keeps

doors to the very best quality in workman-

and custom orders.

them coming back to Ounce of Salt Jewelry.”

ship, diamonds and gemstone suppliers.

By working virtually, she designs dream

During the coronavirus shutdown, jewelry

She opened Ounce of Salt Jewelry, an online

jewelry for a global audience. Jen offers

customers became more comfortable learn-

boutique where she creates original and

complimentary jewelry consultations by video,

ing about and browsing jewelry online. Jen’s

custom designs from her heart.

telephone or in person. Her online fine-

website has in-depth information about each

jewelry store features an original collection

piece, including detailed photos and videos

SOPHISTICATED DESIGNS

of Ounce of Salt Jewelry designs as well as a

that give customers a sense of what the piece

Within minutes of meeting her, it’s clear that

curated collection of her favorite designs.

looks like when it’s being worn. |

119


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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

“The pandemic has helped people realize that our time is precious,” Jen says. “The way we all view the idea of ‘later’ has changed. Waiting for another day is not a guarantee, so why wait to do and be what you want?” SPREADING HER WINGS The Butterfly Collection was inspired by the transformation of a young caterpillar that matures into something graceful, elegant and beloved. The pieces are intricately designed to portray change, progression and radiance—a succinct expression of every woman’s story. Jen is also working to release a unique Ounce of Salt original engagement ring collection and continues to expand on her highcarat eternity band collection. “People in the industry have told me that I’m too picky and that if I spend this much time on my clients, I’ll never be able to grow my business,” Jen shares. “On the contrary, my attention to detail and treating each client’s will continue to grow.” Redefining the fine-jewelry industry by offering transparency, education and concierge services—that’s Jen Oliak and Ounce of Salt Jewelry. Clients can relax and enjoy the shopping experience, knowing they’re in good hands and getting the ultimate quality

PHOTOGRAPHED BY IT JEWELERS

piece as if it were my own is why my business

and value.

JEN OLIAK OUNCE OF SALT JEWELRY BY APPONTMENT ONLY MANHATTAN BEACH 310-970-4485 OUNCEOFSALTJEWELRY.COM

120

|

PHOTOGRAPHED BY BENJAMIN BENOIT

516 N. SEPULVEDA BLVD.


A master class for the modern woman. The SheSez Podcast Available wherever you listen

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out of the blue READY FOR A LONG GETAWAY? EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC OF THE TAHITIAN ISLAND BORA BORA AT TWO SPECTACULAR RESORTS. Written by Linda Grasso


When a friend invited me to go to the Tahitian island of Bora Bora with her a few years back, I declined. It felt like a long way to go for a beach vacation. When you live in Southern California, you have gorgeous beaches at your fingertips. If you want something a little different, you can be in Mexico or Hawaii in a few hours. At the time, I was under the impression that the Tahitian Islands were a 12+-hour flight away. But this year, when our friends Jeffrey and Nadia Saad invited us to go to Bora Bora with them to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, they tipped us off that the flight was only eight hours. That was a game changer. We booked the red-eye flight on Air Tahiti Nui and started planning our nine-day trip. We decided to split our time in Tahiti: the first leg at Conrad Bora Bora Nui and then join up with our friends at The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort for the second leg.

CONRAD BORA BORA NUI You feel it from the moment your boat pulls up to the Conrad’s dock: a visceral release of stress and the general busy-ness of life. The resort manager is there to greet you, making it crystal clear that it is of utmost importance that your stay be everything you want it to be and that they are there to make it happen. “What is there to do here?” I inquired. “R-E-L-A-X,” she stated confidently. I nodded but was secretly thinking, “Yeah, but what else?” Located on the private island of Motu To’opua (just a 15-minute boat ride from the airport), the resort is nestled between the dramatic backdrop of Mount Otemanu and the ocean. The beach is the longest private stretch of soft white sand on Bora Bora. Situated on 20 acres, with the entire resort facing the Pacific Ocean, the Conrad has an earthy vibe—one

A luxurious couples massage room at the Conrad’s Hina Spa. Above: The open-air Upa Upa Lounge.


with nature. It seamlessly blends into the lush, vibrant

program with four distinct retreat packages: sleep well

scenery, minus the over-the-top, Disney-like vibe of

and breathe, antiaging and longevity, reshaping and an

some five-star oceanside resorts.

immersive Tahitian experience. The packages include

Architecture is traditional French Polynesian with

a consultation with a personal chef and a wellness

an Asian touch. Koi ponds are scattered throughout

guru, private coaching session, personally designed

the property.

spa treatments, wellness and holistic activities, and

Guests can choose from a multitude of accommodations including villas over the water, on the beach

in-room amenities. The spa, perched dramatically on a hill overlooking

or nestled up in the hills. We stayed in an overwater

the resort, recently adopted the entire high-end

villa with a large deck, complete with a small pool and

Biologique Recherche skin care line. The products boast

a hammock, all facing the dramatic mountainscape.

“botanical, marine and biological extracts” as well as

Sliding glass doors disappear into the wall, offering a

higher-than-average active ingredient concentrations

seamless view of the outdoor beauty.

(20% in most products). The company espouses some

A beachside concierge provides toys—from snorkeling

unusual practices, which for me is a positive; I like new

gear to stand-up paddleboards. Boats are available for

experiences. For example, estheticians use ice water

rent. Bikes are on stands at several spots for the taking.

for facials, which they believe better stimulates blood

Guests can sit and relax at the resort’s expansive

circulation and permits deeper product penetration.

infinity pool or on the beach. Dual lounge chairs are

Whether you do one of the packages or opt for an à

nicely spaced out on the sand, allowing for privacy.

la carte treatment, I suggest visiting the spa. If you are

Guests can also sit inside a comfy, cushioned wicker

with your partner, I suggest a couples massage right

cabana for no extra charge—a feature I appreciated.

before sunset. Then luxuriate in a hot tub—infused

The Conrad offers five distinct dining spots. We

with an exotic fragrance—and sip champagne while

enjoyed sumptuous breakfasts and lunches at the Beach

you watch the sun go down over the water. Oh, my.

Grill, served at the pool and on the beach. The staff aims

R-E-L-A-X indeed.

to please—even politely lobbying a bit when you steer

conradboraboranuiresort.com

off course. Our breakfast waitress, for example, looked crestfallen when I declined the fresh-squeezed juice.

THE ST. REGIS BORA BORA RESORT

I’m just not a juice person, I explained. Second morn-

The St. Regis is more than twice the size of Conrad Bora

ing, same reaction. But this time she just couldn’t stand

Bora Nui. Getting around its 44 acres, though, is easy.

it. “You have not experienced the fresh juice here!” she

The villas come with bikes, or you can ring anytime for

exclaimed, setting down a glass of fresh papaya juice.

a chauffeured golf cart. It is meticulously landscaped

Just to make her happy, I took a swig. OMG! I ordered

throughout with enchanting lighting that makes a bike

juice every morning from there forward.

ride home the perfect nightcap.

We also loved our dinner at the plush, open-air sushi

Each villa comes with a butler who is solely dedicated

eatery Upa Upa Lounge, which overlooks the water. The

to making you happy. I recoiled at first. Is this guy gonna

meal was simple in the best way: unbelievably fresh

follow us around, constantly watching us? I like to disap-

fish that needed no adornment, served atop perfectly

pear while on vacation. But our butler, Paul, immedi-

steamed rice. We also ate one night at the property’s

ately alleviated any concerns. With grace and an almost

terrific modern Chinese restaurant.

uncanny ability to know our preferences, he booked

Conrad Bora Bora Nui recently revamped and up-

activities, excursions and reservations. Later he’d circle

graded its program at Hina Spa, kicking off a wellness

back at just the right time to make sure everything had

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127


been executed to perfection. The St. Regis is the only resort in Tahiti with its own

the middle of the sail, slicing it half. While Nadia and I

One afternoon we headed over for a tour with the natu-

wondered if we’d be dining alone that night, we spotted

ralist who presides over the delicate ecosystem. The la-

the beach attendant in the distance. He swiftly boarded

goon, roughly the size of a soccer stadium, is home to 23

his tricked-out jet ski, rescuing the guys—and the boat. With the catamaran out of commission, for our

and anemones. All predators, and anything else scary-

final day we chartered a boat with a Tahitian captain.

looking, have been removed, so it is perfect for families.

He took us to a spot where you could “swim with the

Just as we were about to hop into the water with our

reef sharks and pet the stingrays.” After a quick “no

snorkeling gear, butler Paul pulled up on his golf cart

thanks” from me (Anyone here ever heard of Crocodile

sporting fresh towels. “I’ll bet you forgot your towels!”

Hunter Steve Irwin?), the guys and Nadia dove in.

Indeed we had. Another time we rode bikes to breakfast.

I did hop in the water, though, when we arrived at

We ended up running into the Saads and took off on foot

what our captain described as the “most beautiful coral

with them, sans velos. When we got back to our villa late

reef in the world.” We were entranced by the vibrant

that afternoon, there were our bikes.

fish and bright purple, pink and turquoise figure-

One morning we opted for the enchanting “hosted

8-shaped bivalves. At one point the captain dove deep,

canoe breakfast.” The canoe arrives at your dock, and

motioning for us to follow. Out of a cave snaked a 7- or

while the waitress arranges the flower-adorned feast

8-foot black eel. Incredible sight.

on the outdoor patio table, the muscular paddler takes

As far as dining goes, The St. Regis has several

you out for a short ride. (“Want a paddle?” he quipped.

eateries, the most exquisite of which is Lagoon by

Nope.) When you return, a sumptuous meal—which

Jean-Georges. It is a dramatic structure—suspended

included the best banana bread I’ve ever had—awaits.

over the water with a glass floor. We’d been advised

Iridium Spa is dramatically situated on its own

to have a cocktail first on the deck, simply telling the

island in the middle of the lagoon, offering a selection

mixologist our alcohol preferences and offering an

of Polynesian and Asian treatments. My masseur

adjective or two—i.e., sweet, sour, etc. We did exactly

intently listened to my preferences and fully delivered

that, and it was delightful to experience his creative

with his hands, complemented by premium, delicious-

concoctions. Similarly, we let our superb waiter guide

ly scented products.

us through the Asian fusion menu, which highlights

Guests can check out a number of toys from the beach attendant without additional fees. My husband, Charlie, and our friend Jeffrey were like two teenage

local produce and fresh catches. In short, the entire evening was extraordinary. As we walked out of Lagoon—the last guests to

boys taking out the catamaran every day, laughing up-

leave—my husband suddenly dove onto the glass floor. I

roariously as they tried to make it go faster.

thought he might have tripped, but instead—clad in his

One day it was quite windy. From the beach Nadia

white dress shirt and loafers—he started doing a break

and I watched them drift farther and farther out, strug-

dance-like spin on his back. Suffice to say, even for a guy

gling to get the sail up and catch the wind to bring

well known as someone who likes to have fun, it was un-

them closer to shore. At one point it looked like they

usual behavior. I chalk it up to the intoxicating magic of

had it, and I went back to reading my book.

Bora Bora. I hope we get to experience it again someday.

A few minutes later Nadia exclaimed, “Uh-oh!” Our boys had caught a lofty gust of wind that suddenly

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was propelled upward, ricocheting across the bow into

private, man-made lagoon—called the Lagoonarium.

varieties of fish and a stunningly beautiful array of coral

128

lurched the catamaran in the opposite direction. Charlie

marriott.com/hotels/travel/bobxr-the-st-regis-borabora-resort ■


The white sand beach at The St. Regis. Above: The canoe breakfast; a sushi dish at the resort’s signature eatery, Lagoon.


Power In Numbers INSPIRED BY HER SON, A PALOS VERDES RESIDENT HELPS OTHER MOTHERS OF CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS—FROM COMMON TO EXTREMELY RARE—AND FOSTERS A TRUE SENSE OF COMMUNITY. Written by Jennie Nunn | Photographed by Tara Engle

Jessica Patay, founder and executive director of Palos

everything they could and sought help and resources

Verdes–based nonprofit organization We Are Brave

from the Prader-Willi California Foundation. Just a

Together, knows life can change in an instant. She

week after learning his initial diagnosis, they received a

remembers that moment clearly from 18 years ago

phone call from a local “mentor mom,” Lisa, who had

when she was in the hospital following the birth of her

a son five years older with special needs and who only

second son, Ryan.

lived 15 minutes away.

“I had a typical healthy pregnancy, labor and delivery. When Ryan was born, he cried for maybe five or

recalls Jessica, who also had a daughter, Kate, two years

six seconds. It stood out to me, and I thought, ‘Well,

after Ryan. “I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m not going

maybe I have a really quiet newborn.’ I already had a

to be alone.’ That mentoring that we received and the

2½-year-old son, Luke, so I had been through that

support groups that we attended and meeting all of

process,” recalls Jessica. “[Ryan] had some breathing

these other families in L.A. and the South Bay—that

issues and medical issues, but it was kind of a blur that

made all of the difference.”

first day.” Exhausted, overwhelmed and confused, Jessica spent

knew she wanted to do something for special needs

diagnosis—while her husband, Chris, spent hours

moms and began scheming. “I believe so strongly that

researching the symptoms and consulting with doctors.

when women come together, we have so much to offer

About a week after they were sent home, their pediatri-

each other,” she says. “I wanted to offer retreats to the

cian confirmed the answer: Prader-Willi Syndrome, a

moms of special needs children for them to have sup-

complex, rare genetic disorder commonly characterized

port, validation, breaks and respite, and mentoring.” Because she knew the overwhelming aspect of daily

poor development and later an insatiable appetite that

caregiving tasks, medical appointments and IEP meet-

can lead to death.

ings, Jessica thought she could fill a need. A year later,

“Having that answer was very scary because we weren’t surrounded by anybody with children with disabilities or rare diseases,” explains Jessica. “It set us on a path to frame it and understand it.” Right away, she and Chris knew they wanted to learn

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Jessica, who along with her best friend previously organized girlfriend retreats throughout the country,

a month in the hospital with Ryan—not knowing the

in infancy by diminished muscle tone, failure to thrive,

130

“I still get choked up to this day talking about it,”

she had her first launch party in 2017 for We Are Brave Together in her own backyard with 50 to 60 women. “It was so very clear the need was there and moms were truly hungry for support, community and retreats,” she says. “We welcome any mom to any child,


any age with any diagnosis, disability or challenge in-

year—addressing everything from compassion fatigue to

cluding educational and mental health challenges, and

mom guilt syndrome. “To look moms in the eye or share

if a mom has a child with medical or special needs and

online and say, ‘You are not alone,’ and for them to say

no diagnosis, she is welcome to be a part of the sister-

that they don’t feel alone anymore, is fuel for my soul.”

hood and tribe. So it’s a really big umbrella, and we are

Now more than ever, Jessica knows she’s landed in

very inclusive.” In 2018, the organization achieved nonprofit status

the right place. “Ryan has changed us all for the better, and I’m so grateful,” says Jessica. “We Are Brave

and has grown from 125 moms to 1,325 internation-

Together has brought me so much purpose. I knew

ally. Jessica also launched a podcast, Brave Together, last

something had to come out of this, and it did.” ■

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I N G O O D H E A LT H

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION


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

I N G O O D H E A LT H

BEAUTY FROM THE INSIDE OUT Dr. Chong Kim’s integrative approach to wellness leaves no stone unturned when it comes to women’s health. WRITTEN BY LAURA L. WATTS | PHOTOGRAPHED BY SIRI BERTING

W

hen it comes to women’s

Lack of energy is a common complaint for

health, a whole-body

busy women. In some cases, simply replac-

approach is crucial to achiev-

ing estrogen can make women feel young

ing optimal wellness and

again. Likewise, irritability, short temper,

preventing the effects of aging. At Coastal

anxiety and even insomnia can show excess

Anti-Aging Medical Group, owner Chong Kim,

estrogen due to improper dosing.

MD, offers patients personalized, concierge-

Correcting hormone imbalance is one of

style primary care—combining internal and

the best ways to keep the bones strong and

functional medicine. Dr. Kim is board-certified

prevent osteoporosis. For patients who have

in internal and anti-aging medicine and certi-

developed osteoporosis already, Dr. Kim dis-

fied in anti-aging and restorative medicine.

cusses alternative treatments.

He is also fellowship-trained in metabolic functional medicine. When a patient visits Dr. Kim’s office, he first

Dr. Kim provides patients with pharmaceutical-grade supplementation formulated to promote longevity, combat stress and boost

evaluates her to learn who she is, how she is

the immune response. He recommends 

feeling and any medical weakness or areas

bloodwork and state-of-the-art testing. The

of concern. He provides a nutritional evalu-

DXA full-body scan offered in-office evalu-

ation to determine the need for support for

ates bone mineral density and measures total

adrenal dysfunction, hormone optimization

body composition and fat content—useful

and weight loss assistance.

for tracking changes in muscle and fat over

Dr. Kim may suggest IV nutritional ther-

time. The noninvasive DXA scan determines

apy—a “beauty cocktail” that treats health

bone health and osteoporosis and is useful for

issues without the negative side effects of

athletes to see if an injured limb is properly

medication. “I have been studying and using

regaining muscle.

an unbiased viewpoint, saving time and reducing stress for my patients.”

IV therapy for medicinal purposes for well

There may be a time when Dr. Kim needs

over 10 years—before it became a fad,” he

to refer to a colleague who is an expert in a

Patients report that Dr. Kim’s treatments

says. “I understand the value, proper dosing

particular area of medicine. He has a virtual

result in looking radiant and feeling youthful.

and when to pull in traditional medicine.”

“medical Rolodex” of high-quality, trusted

“When you feel better, you have the energy

South Bay specialists he can call on, thanks to

to exercise, keep active, and enjoy family and

nutritional IV pre- or post-travel, as well as

his work as a hospitalist at Providence Little

friends,” he says. “When you feel good, you’re

monthly doses for maintenance to help ward

Company of Mary Medical Center and

less stressed—a huge part of anti-aging.”

off viruses during this pandemic—especially

Torrance Memorial Medical Center.

He recommends getting a customized

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133


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.

say cheese MORE THAN 20 YEARS AGO, A BAY AREA CREAMERY OPENED ITS DOORS AND USHERED IN AN ARTISAN CHEESE-MAKING REVOLUTION BOTH IN CALIFORNIA AND ACROSS THE UNITED STATES. AS A NEW GENERATION OF LEADERS STEERS THAT SHIP, THE ORGANIC BUSINESS IS POISED FOR EVEN MORE GROWTH AND GREATER SUCCESS. Written by Shaun Tolson


Around the same time that a youthful

that milk. With the dream of starting an artisan cheese

Leonardo DiCaprio was charming

business, Sue and Peggy purchased a downtrodden

millions of theatre-goers, declaring

barn near the center of Point Reyes Station. After almost three years spent renovating and restoring the

himself “king of the world!” in

property (at the same time securing the necessary per-

the 1997 film Titanic, Sue Conley

mits), the aspiring cheesemakers christened Cowgirl

and Peggy Smith were taking their first steps in a joint career that

Creamery—the first new cheese business to open in Marin County in several decades. Over the years that followed, the creamery success-

would span more than 20 years

fully pioneered the artisan cheese movement—not just

and ultimately position the former

in the Greater Bay Area and throughout Marin County

chefs as queens of America’s artisan

but across the entire state. In fact, the California Cheese Trail offers road trips and suggested driving routes to

cheese-making. Theirs is a story

almost 80 Golden State cheesemakers—from Silverdale

rooted in a shared enthusiasm for

Cheese in El Centro, 8 miles north of Mexico, to

fresh, organic food—a passion that ultimately sparked the creation of Cowgirl Creamery.

Rumiano Cheese Company in Crescent City, less than 20 miles south of the Oregon border. It’s not hyperbole to suggest that none of those businesses—nor the cheese trail itself—would exist without Cowgirl Creamery. Sue and Peggy were both inducted into the Guilde

When Sue and Peggy arrived in San Francisco as recent graduates of an East Coast college in 1976, they

zation that honors the world’s most passionate and

were effectively wooed by the Bay Area’s burgeoning

dedicated cheese specialists. Their induction in 2010

food scene. It didn’t hurt that the region was also a

was a deserved recognition—not only for their roles

focal point of a growing movement that advocated the

shepherding the artisan cheese movement in California

benefits of natural foods.

(and the rest of the United States) but also for the

After almost two decades spent pursuing traditional

products boldly and authentically reflect the ethos of

friends were on the move again—not across the

Northern California and the terroir of the creamery’s

country, as was the case during the mid-1970s, but an

local environment. On the topic of those influential cheeses, it all began in

Reyes Station, where they helped develop a sustainable

2000 when Cowgirl Creamery debuted Mt Tam—a triple

milkshed that could support and foster the creation of

cream cheese that epitomized America’s melting-pot

organic dairies. (At that time, not a single organic dairy

ideals. Named after Mount Tamalpais, a mountain peak

farm existed west of the Mississippi River.)

that many consider a symbol of Marin County, the aged

Early on, Sue and Peggy worked as distributors,

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award-winning cheeses that they created. Those dairy

culinary work at the restaurant level, the two college

hour’s drive north of San Francisco to bucolic Point

136

Internationale des Fromagers, a membership organi-

cheese is produced through the marriage of French and

bringing frothy bottles of milk from West Marin

Dutch cheese-making techniques. At its core the cheese is

County to Greater San Francisco. But it wasn’t long

densely fudge-like, and it delivers notes of crème fraîche

before the duo seized the opportunity to do more with

and cultured butter as well as hints of salted butter, fresh


Peggy Smith and Sue Conley


pasture and a white mushroom-like umami. “It looks like a brie or camembert,” says Amanda Parker, Cowgirl’s deputy managing director. “But the

without a group of empowered, informed and savvy women leading the business.) Sue and Peggy may no longer be at the helm, but their

interior is slightly different—it’s creamy right beneath

ideals, their vision and their entrepreneurial exuberance

the rind and has a denser center. It’s a pretty approach-

remain very much intact within the company’s next

able cheese.”

generation of leaders. “They were pioneers. Trailblazers.

Perhaps the most intriguing cheese within the com-

They had this idea that was so new at the time in so

pany’s core lineup (at least thus far) is one that best

many ways,” Amanda says of Cowgirl’s founders. “They

reflects the creamery’s distinctive locale. It’s also a

were able to take this tiny hay barn and create this entire

cheese that was born, quite literally, by accident.

ecosystem of businesses over the next 25 years. It’s the

Shortly after Sue and Peggy unveiled Mt Tam, they were aging a new batch of the cheese in the same vicinity as some natural rind cheeses they had imported

spirit of true entrepreneurship that I’ve always admired. We like to call it the Cowgirl spirit.” As it pertains to the future, that Cowgirl spirit is

from Great Britain for sale in their cheese shop. When

focused on widespread growth. In 2017—one year after

Sue discovered that the cheese mites on the natural

Cowgirl was acquired by Emmi, a Swiss dairy company

rind cheeses had attached themselves onto the still-

that values craftsmanship, environmental stewardship

developing rounds of Mt Tam, she tried to save them by

and preservation of local character—the brand opened

reinoculating those rounds with a special solution. Then

a second, state-of-the-art creamery in Petaluma, about

she stored them in plastic containers in the creamery’s

16 miles (as the crow flies) northeast of its original

walk-in refrigerator.

location in Point Reyes Station. With two production

Two weeks later, those rounds had developed a red

facilities up and running—and with no concerns about

tint and an unmistakable pungency. Yet when Sue and

exceeding its available organic milk supply—Cowgirl

Peggy sampled them, they discovered that the cheese

Creamery is well positioned to ramp up its production

was delicious. Since then the creamery has reproduced

even further. With it, more examples of the brand’s

that cheese, now called Red Hawk, by washing the rind

unique cheeses are reaching even more locales.

with a brine that attracts indigenous yeasts and bacteria that thrive in Point Reyes’ cool, damp air. “We could make it elsewhere,” Amanda says, “but

“There’s been so much interest and demand for our products, and for many years we were constrained by our creamery spaces and couldn’t fulfill that demand,”

it wouldn’t be the same cheese. It’s so reflective of the

Amanda says, explaining that their flagship products were

very specific coastal climate of Tomales Bay.”

widely available—even across the country—but their

Earlier this year, Sue and Peggy announced their joint

seasonal offerings and cheeses produced in lesser quanti-

retirement. “Creating and building Cowgirl Creamery

ties never ventured far beyond the Bay Area. “Our cheeses

has been the greatest adventure in our lives,” they wrote

have always been accessible to the West Coast, and we’ve

in a letter that circulated in January. However, the duo

always had national distribution with Whole Foods. But

waited to step away from that adventurous company

beyond that, we were somewhat focused on this most im-

until they had a strong team in place to carry the brand

mediate Northern California region. Even in the South Bay

into the future. Incidentally, that team includes a half-

region, we haven’t been able to get as much cheese there

dozen women in executive and managerial roles, all led

to those consumers as we might like.”

by Amanda. (After all, it wouldn’t be Cowgirl Creamery

Those difficulties may soon be a thing of the past.

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Additionally, Cowgirl Creamery may soon introduce entirely new, inventive cheeses. After all, as Amanda acknowledges, the past 15 years have produced widespread interest and an exponentially increasing appreciation and demand for cheeses that once would have been considered rare or niche. That’s opened the door for even greater creativity. “We’re continuing to be inspired by the raw ingredients that we’re surrounded by,” she says, “and there’s more room for experimentation, especially as it pertains to the inspiration that we find from the special microclimate and the terroir of our region here in the North Bay. We plan to keep forging ahead to bring a bit more deliciousness to people’s lives on a regular basis.” ■

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“WE COULD MAKE IT ELSEWHERE, BUT IT WOULDN’T BE THE SAME CHEESE. IT’S SO REFLECTIVE OF THE VERY SPECIFIC COASTAL CLIMATE OF TOMALES BAY.”


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“Being the #2 Top Producing Agent at Vista Sotheby’s International Realty for the last two years has been a highlight in my career. Selling more than $100 million in real estate just this year is also on that list of biggest accomplishments. I am so grateful for all of my amazing clients, who I am so honored to work for.” – JENNIFER CARAS, JENNIFER CARAS REAL ESTATE


WOMEN IN BUSINESS 144

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

166

KATELYN CTVRTLIK FORM PILATES LA

168

BRYANNE LAWLESS-DEGOEDE BLND PUBLIC RELATIONS

193

MARY KELLEY MARY KELLEY’S 23RD STREET

194

DR. KELLY A. SHIMADA SOUTH REDONDO DENTAL GROUP

TAMMY TRENTA KNOWLTON & LIZ DESOUSA RUNNING POINT CAPITAL ADVISORS

195

GEORGIANA ROSENKRANZ THE ROSENKRANZ|FRIEDMAN GROUP | KELLER WILLIAMS PALOS VERDES REALTY

174

PACIFIC STANDARD PRIME

196

176

MELANIE BARR SHE BUILT IT™

MARLA DIANN MARLA DIANN MENTORING INTERNATIONAL

178

DIANE NUMARK & TRACEY LEE BARREWORKS STUDIO REDONDO BEACH

197

JENNY MORANT COMPASS

198

DIANA TURNER VISTA SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY

199

ALY PEDERSEN THE INSPIRED PALATE

200

MOLLY HOBIN WILLIAMS THE HOBIN COMPANY AT BAYSIDE

201

DR. JAIMIE SUN SIEGEL CONCIERGE MOBILE ANIMAL HOSPITAL

202

JORDAN HOLBERT MINTWICH CREATIVE

203

KARYNNE THIM & LYNNE LEAR PACIFICA PROPERTIES GROUP

204

JESSICA LOCOCO TOWN SOCIAL EVENTS

146

JEN ROBIN LIFE IN JENERAL

170

148

DANIELLE SPANGLER, BEACH LIFE FITNESS BOUTIQUE TARA PUNZONE, PURA VITA

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

172

150

KERI MURPHY INSPIRED LIVING

152

MARY LOU SCHATAN SCHATAN OPTICAL GALLERY

154

AMY HOLLINGER ROLLING HILLS PREP, RENAISSANCE & REACH SCHOOLS

156

DR. KRISTIN EGAN

158

VICTORIA MCLAUGHLIN MCLAUGHLIN FAMILY LAW & MEDIATION

160

GRETCHEN TIERNAN & MEGAN RICHARDSON SAND SPA

162

RACHEL EZRA RACHEL EZRA SOUTH BAY REAL ESTATE SERVICES | VISTA SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY

164

ANN GRANT, MANHATTAN BEACH FAMILY LAW JACKIE MILLER, JACKIE MILLER COACHING AMY LANGE, COVINGTON CAPITAL MANAGEMENT

192 CHRISSY KARASAVAS-MEISTERHEIM THE KONDO GROUP | COMPASS

180

ANGELA DORSEY DORSEY WEALTH MANAGEMENT

182

KACI BACHER, JENNIFER CHAN, BROOKE RICCIARDI ROCKIT BODY PILATES

184

AMERICA MICHAEL HOMES BY AMERICA

186

DR. LISSA SOLIS VIBRANCY WELLNESS

188

CHRISTIE HAVEY SMITH THE GREENHOUSE

190

MANHATTAN BEACH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

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CHRISTINE ZIPPERT CC ZIPPERT DESIGN

EDITED BY LAURA L. WATTS PHOTOGRAPHED BY JP CORDERO, SHANE O’DONNELL & LAUREN PRESSEY

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION


WOMEN IN BUSINESS

JENNIFER CARAS

Real Estate Agent, Jennifer Caras Real Estate | Vista Sotheby’s International Realty

A

Los Angeles native, Jennifer Caras attended Marymount High School and continued her education at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she graduated with a degree in psychology. In 2004 she began her career with South Bay Brokers, which became Vista Sotheby’s International Realty in 2015. TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS. “Technically my business is about selling houses, but to me it’s so much more than that. It’s extremely layered between finances, emotions, family dynamics, careers—it’s probably easier to list what buying or selling a home doesn’t involve, but that’s the part I enjoy the most about it.” IN WHAT WAYS HAS YOUR PERFORMANCE EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS AT WORK? “By the end of the third quarter of 2021, I will have sold more than $100 million in real estate, which not only exceeded my expectations and goals, but it is an all-time career high in terms of numbers! It’s been a wild ride this year!” HOW DOES YOUR BUSINESS PROVIDE CLIENTS A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE? “The dynamic level of involvement in real estate. I don’t just sell new construction homes but am intricately involved in the development of new homes also. So by being hands-on and part of the development team, I have an extra layer of knowledge and understanding of new building codes, city requirements, the latest in design choices, etc. It ultimately helps my clients because I have that extensive knowledge.” WHAT IS YOUR #1 PIECE OF ADVICE DURING THIS UNPRECEDENTED TIME? “Take nothing for granted—your health, your family, your loved ones, this beautiful South Bay we are so blessed to live in. Being grateful is a daily practice that energizes me.”

WHAT IS THE SILVER LINING OF THE RECENT PANDEMIC FOR YOUR BUSINESS? “Our South Bay market is typically a strong market where demand runs high and inventory runs low. However, the pandemic turned things up a notch for the South Bay real estate market. People yearned for change, whether it was a bigger yard, a pool, being closer to the beach, moving out of state or buying a second home. There has been so much change and movement, which has kept our market strong.” WHAT IS A UNIQUE FEATURE OF YOUR BUSINESS? “A unique feature is that I am focused on working one-on-one with clients. This is the heart of my business. Despite the growth in my business, I want to be my clients’ point of contact and give guidance throughout the process. I believe it’s something they appreciate, given that 90% of my clients are referrals or repeat business. I get deeply involved in each escrow and each relationship. Although I have people assisting me behind the scenes, adding others to the mix on the front line would change the nature of my business.” DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE. “My style is to be genuine, and therefore my clients know that I have their best interest at heart. When I’m showing properties, I always tell clients I’ll give them the positives and the negatives because every property has both—no matter what the price range is. My goal is to be real with them, as I’m on their side, guiding and protecting them throughout the process.” WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? “I think it’s so important to love what you do, as then it doesn’t feel like ‘work.’ When I’m working with great people and I have the opportunity to take them through this process from start to finish, it’s so rewarding and inspires me. I truly love what I do, and my clients are in the best hands with me.”

WHAT PUTS A SPRING IN YOUR STEP AND KEEPS YOU FEELING ENERGIZED? “An oat milk latte from Peet’s!” WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR A WOMAN JUST STARTING IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? “Give it time and be patient. My first five years in real estate was a time that was more about learning our local market and building relationships than selling homes. During those years I was building a solid foundation; looking back, they were critical to my success in my real estate career today.” IN WHAT WAYS ARE YOU HELPING THOSE IN NEED IN OUR COMMUNITY? “Giving back is something that has always been important to me. My daughters (whom I fondly refer to as ‘the interns’) and I volunteer with different charities. Our oldest child, CJ, is 15 and has Down syndrome, so organizations like the Friendship Foundation and Mychal’s Learning Place really mean a lot to us.” HAS MOTHERHOOD MADE YOU A BETTER ENTREPRENEUR? “Yes, motherhood makes you better at everything! Being a mom is by far the toughest and most rewarding job all bundled together. In my career, it has made me more relatable toward priorities and needs when families are looking for their next home or selling their current home. Motherhood has made me more flexible and understanding. Let’s be honest— having your home on the market while you have children in the house is no easy feat!” WHAT VACATION DESTINATION ARE YOU DREAMING OF THESE DAYS? “Greece! We had the most incredible family vacation there in the summer of 2019 and have been trying to go back ever since. I’m optimistic that we’ll finally get back there next summer. We are also big fans of the island of Maui and have escaped there twice already this year.”

1144 HIGHLAND AVE., MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-367-9129 JENNIFERCARAS.COM | INSTAGRAM: @JENNIFERCARASREALESTATE

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

JEN ROBIN

Founder & CEO, Life in Jeneral

HOW DOES YOUR BUSINESS PROVIDE CLIENTS A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE? “Life in Jeneral has been successful because of the care and attention to detail each team member puts into their work. I find it more important to hire for personality than skill. You can teach someone organizing techniques, but integrity, compassion and kindness cannot be learned in the same way. Without those qualities, our work would be entirely one-dimensional. Because of the intention each team member puts into organizing each client’s home, we’re able to truly transform their lives— creating a holistic change from within and ultimately making it a one-time investment.” HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE NAME OF YOUR BUSINESS? “I’ve long been a fan of puns, and this one felt meant to be. When I started organizing for family and friends, at the consultation phase I would listen to them explain how their belongings continued to accumulate over time. They’d tell me about how life, in general (get the pun?), often felt too fast-paced, frantic and chaotic to stop and make a lasting change. I realized that the real reason they were seeking help was not because they had too many pots and pans, but because they were ready to make a shift in their lifestyle. I knew that while, yes, I was called in to organize their things, the only way to make a lasting change was to ensure that I was helping them get to the root of the obstacle and then providing a solution for it.”

TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOB AS A FULL-TIME EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT. “I went to school at Cal State Long Beach on a soccer scholarship, then I started my career as an executive assistant for a professional athlete. In the midst of an already busy life, he moved five times in about as many years. While anyone else in this position might have dreaded it, I saw these moves as opportunities to streamline and continually improve his life—incorporating organizational systems that each ran more smoothly than the last. This experience helped me learn the impact that organization could have on a person’s life, and this is when I realized that what I was doing could transform lives for the better.” WHAT’S NEXT FOR LIFE IN JENERAL? “I’m very happy with the hard work that’s gone into Life in Jeneral. But I’m most excited for what’s to come. We have a sister company, LIJ Spaces, which designs custom cabinetry build-outs for any space in the home—all from the unique viewpoint of professional organizers. We moved into a 5,000-square-foot building that serves as Life in Jeneral’s headquarters, a showroom for LIJ Spaces and a warehouse for a product line in the works. My goal for our office is to make it a place where clients can come and get a hands-on feel for the work we can do—both Life in Jeneral’s organizing and LIJ Spaces’ build-outs. Also, I have a book coming out at the end of 2021. I am bursting at the seams to get it out into the world! It’s all about the transformative soul work of organizing and how space and mind are interconnected. We’ve also recently launched LIJ Academy, which features online courses teaching aspiring organizers how to start, grow and scale their dream organizing business. I’ve always been a dreamer, and the sky’s the limit for us!” IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU EMPOWER OTHER WOMEN TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS? “Professional organizing is a female-dominated industry, and I feel very fortunate to be

surrounded by so many strong and inspiring women on a daily basis. Life in Jeneral was founded on the principle of helping others succeed and live their most joyful life, and that’s something I strive to uphold with every person I meet—clients, employees and fellow organizers alike. I’m a firm believer that we are all stronger when we uplift each other, and that is especially true when it comes to women in the same line of work as me. I’m now at the point where my hard work is being recognized, so if I can use that recognition to empower other women and let them know that they can do the same, I’ll know the hard work has been worth it.” WHAT PUTS A SPRING IN YOUR STEP AND KEEPS YOU FEELING ENERGIZED? “The work I do goes far beyond organizing someone’s home. An organized space creates room for what matters most in life: connection, love and purpose. Helping others live wholeheartedly fills me with energy. Helping people feel their best, in turn, makes me feel my best.” WHAT IS THE SILVER LINING OF THE RECENT PANDEMIC FOR YOUR BUSINESS? “While easily the greatest challenge I’ve faced as a business owner, the pandemic inspired a beautiful, unexpected shift in my vision for Life in Jeneral. At the start of 2020, I had more than 20 full-time team members working on four to six organizing jobs per day. At the time I thought this was the way to go, and that the future of the business was in expanding the organizing team. When we could no longer go into clients’ homes to organize, we had to re-strategize. I realized that building an online community could further our mission of transforming lives through the power of organization— and on a grander scale. In addition to the in-home organizing we’re doing in Los Angeles, we’re also focusing on empowering organizers around the world to spread the work throughout their communities. We’re still transforming lives, just in another way.”

500 E. FRANKLIN AVE., EL SEGUNDO | 310-421-8074 | LIFEINJENERAL.COM

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY VALORIE DARLING

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n 2014 Jen Robin started organizing for friends and family on the weekends—in addition to her full-time job as an executive assistant for a professional athlete. A year later, she decided to use her skills in the areas of to-do lists, time management and organizational systems to open Life in Jeneral—an organization and lifestyle company that helps clients maintain their everyday lives.


WOMEN IN BUSINESS

DANIELLE SPANGLER & TARA PUNZONE Owners, Beach Life Fitness Boutique & Pura Vita

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n almost 30-year veteran of the fitness industry, Danielle Spangler always had a passion to teach healthy lifestyle habits to her clients—including nutrition. In fact, she and her husband, Jay Spangler, had decided years before to switch to plant-based eating, partly influenced by their friend Tara Punzone. Tara and Jay, who met by chance in 1993 at Club Med in the Turks and Caicos, had often talked about Tara’s lifelong dream to open a vegan Italian restaurant. In 2018 they turned her dream into a reality and opened Pura Vita—a plant-based Italian restaurant and bar—in West Hollywood. (They opened Pura Vita Pizzeria right next door two years later.) In 2019, Danielle and Jay established Beach Life Fitness Boutique in Redondo Beach, where they have lived for more than 20 years. The studio offers a wide range of classes and services, including Pilates, yoga, teen fitness, trampoline, private training and nutritional coaching. When the restaurant adjacent to Beach Life Fitness closed during the COVID-19 shutdown, Danielle, Jay and Tara seized the opportunity and opened a Pura Vita location next to the studio—joining food and fitness in their own little compound. TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESSES. Danielle: “The motto of Beach Life Fitness Boutique is ‘fitness that feels good.’ I wanted to bring the relaxed, fun, active vibe of a resort into our studio while providing highquality, safe, effective exercise programming for all members regardless of age, ability or injury. We want to help everyone feel their best. We are also very inclusive and have a wonderful community.” Tara: “At Pura Vita, I use my Italian heritage and traditions—combined with my passion for veganism—to create traditional Southern Italian dishes that are 100% plant-based. I love to share this food with the community! We believe in treating all animals and our planet with full respect. We also pride ourselves on being 99% organic and making everything from scratch in our kitchens.”

WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING WITH YOUR BUSINESS? Danielle: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been offering outdoor Pilates reformer classes. We recently added JumpSport trampoline fitness. Every month we offer many fun events, including workout popups like Burlesque and Bubbles and mindbody pop-ups themed around topics like breathwork or mindful eating. We collaborate on many events with Pura Vita like stand-up paddleboard yoga.” WHAT IS YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR A WOMAN JUST STARTING IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? Tara: “Women are strong. If you are truly passionate about the restaurant industry, set your intentions and prepare your mind for hard work. Don’t ever listen to anyone who says you can’t do it. You can and you will!” TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND. Danielle: “I have a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and multiple certifications in private training and functional movement. I serve on the medical education advisory board for the Medical Fitness Network and specialize in prenatal and postpartum fitness. I created a program for mothers and mothers-to-be called Coremomfitness (‘core’ stands for corrective obstetrical-related exercise). I am a national medical fitness presenter and continuing education course creator for women’s fitness for health care practitioners and fitness professionals.” Tara: “I have been working in the food industry for more than 20 years. I attended the School of Visual Arts and have a master’s degree in fine art and photography. Culinary school was not an option for true vegans back in the day, so my kitchen experience comes from working my way up from the very bottom. I am from New York and worked at several fine-dining vegan restaurants in New York City before moving to L.A. and making my dreams a reality.”

IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU EMPOWER OTHER WOMEN TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS? Danielle: “I love to support other women entrepreneurs. I collaborate with many female business owners, whether it is offering a special class or service. I also provide space for female health care practitioners and fitness professionals to rent part time or full time and have their business at Beach Life Fitness Boutique. Working with Pura Vita Redondo and Chef Tara on events that combine food and fitness has been so great, and exposing Beach Life members to delicious vegan food is such a bonus.” Tara: “I try to empower other women by sharing my story and always being honest. There is nothing women cannot do.” WHAT WOULD BE YOUR IDEAL NEXT BIG OPPORTUNITY? Tara: “I want to write and design a beautiful recipe book filled with amazing food photography.” IN WHAT WAYS ARE YOU AN INNOVATOR OR AN INFLUENCER? Danielle: “I pride myself on knowing what works in the fitness industry and what doesn’t. I saw a gap long ago in the lack of specialized exercise programming catering to women—especially pregnant women and new mothers. I wanted to acknowledge this and help them; when I started offering those services, there were not many fitness professionals doing that.” GIVE US AN EXAMPLE OF A TIME YOU THOUGHT OUTSIDE THE BOX. Tara: “I think most of the things I do are considered to be outside the box. Vegan Italian—untraditionally traditional. I never do anything ‘normal.’”

312 S. CATALINA AVE., REDONDO BEACH | 310-779-8641 | BEACHLIFEFITNESSBOUTIQUE.COM 320 S. CATALINA AVE., REDONDO BEACH | 424-304-2247 | PURAVITALOSANGELES.COM

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

KERI MURPHY Founder/CEO, Inspired Living

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nspired Living teaches on-camera techniques and video strategies that allow business owners to be seen, known and paid for their brilliance. Owner Keri Murphy became an entrepreneur at age 23 and used video to grow her businesses using traditional media. She previously owned a talent agency and started Inspired Living in 2011.

WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING WITH YOUR BUSINESS? “We’re getting ready to host our annual Brilliant event September 20–22. If you’re a female business owner who wants to learn from other exceptional businesswomen how to build a seven- to eight-figure business, learn more at thebrilliantevent.com.”

HOW DOES YOUR BUSINESS PROVIDE CLIENTS A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE? “There are a lot of ‘media’ coaches out there. That is not what we do. We bring decades of on-camera experience along with a proven business strategy, which moves our clients to a category of one in their industry.”

WHAT IS YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR A WOMAN JUST STARTING IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? “Understand that what you do is not about you; it’s about serving other people. So often business owners don’t use video because they make it about themselves. When you realize it’s simply a conduit to connect with that ONE person looking for you online, it takes the pressure off. Also, consistency is key! Building a brand is a marathon—not a sprint. Do one thing each day to move toward your goals. You’ve got this!”

IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU EMPOWER OTHER WOMEN TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS? “We help women move past their fear of being visible. Being on camera is not something that comes naturally to most people. Women are so self-critical! We empower them by giving them a whole new sense of confidence along with tangible tools that will open endless possibilities for their business.”

HAS MOTHERHOOD MADE YOU A BETTER ENTREPRENEUR? “Motherhood has made me a better entrepreneur in so many ways. It’s made me more compassionate and empathetic to all the working mommas out there. It has also helped me set boundaries and priorities around my schedule and never-ending to-do list. It’s made my ‘why a lot stronger—I want to leave a legacy for my children.”

WHAT VACATION DESTINATION ARE YOU DREAMING OF THESE DAYS? “I’m a newlywed! My husband and I are looking forward to our honeymoon in Jamacia this fall.” WHAT PUTS A SPRING IN YOUR STEP AND KEEPS YOU FEELING ENERGIZED? “There are so many things that invigorate me. I love what I do and watching our clients in that light-bulb moment where they start to truly grasp what they’re capable of in their business. I also love to teach, whether I’m hosting an event or master class, speaking on stage or running our signature two-day on-camera training. When I start feeling a bit depleted, I jump on a call with a team member or client, and I get that spring in my step once again.” WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR DAY? “At the end of each day, I get to go upstairs and be with my family. Shortly after I started Inspired Living, I became a single mom. I would play with my daughter, Lauren, for a few hours at night. Once she went to bed, I would go back to work. Now, married to the love of my life and having two children, the best part of my day is turning off my computer at 5 p.m. and spending the evening with them. It can be a lot to juggle! I don’t really believe in ‘work-life balance,’ but I do believe as women in business we can find harmony.”

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ISAIAH MAYS

WHAT IS THE SILVER LINING OF THE RECENT PANDEMIC FOR INSPIRED LIVING? “Before 2020 our company relied heavily on in-person events for revenue. 2020 gave us the opportunity to move everything online. We were able to serve so many more people virtually, and because of that we had the best year yet. We now host our signature master class, Video Confidence and Conversion, every eight weeks—and it’s been a game changer for us. Although we plan on going back to in-person events, we now truly understand how to monetize the virtual space. Video really does work!”

TAKE A RISK OR PLAY IT SAFE IN BUSINESS? “If you play it safe, you won’t be in business. When it comes to building wealth, there are three things each business owner should do: Hire the right team, invest in marketing and advertising, and invest in yourself with mentors and coaches. All of those things take a level of risk, but it’s impossible to grow without them.”

HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE GREATNESS IN YOUR TEAM MEMBERS? “I have the most amazing team! I encourage them to take ownership in their role. We all believe in the big vision for Inspired Living, and each of them has an integral part in building it.”

703 PIER AVE., SUITE B 230, HERMOSA BEACH | 424-488- 6063 | INSPIREDLIVING.TV

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

MARY LOU SCHATAN Owner, Schatan Optical Gallery

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ary Lou Schatan, owner of Schatan Optical Gallery in Torrance’s Hillside Village, has worked in the optical field for more than 50 years. She was with Ballard Optical for 20 years before starting her own business in 1988. Mary Lou began her career with five years of apprenticeship and has taken many continuing education courses in the latest optical techniques and products. She has been published in optical magazines and newspapers and has given many presentations around the South Bay. Schatan Optical Gallery features an extensive selection of women’s and men’s eyewear, displayed artfully in a gallery setting. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS? “I enjoy the challenge of finding the perfect pair of eyewear for each client. It takes three things: psychology, architecture and mechanics. Psychology helps me understand what the customer is looking for and if the style is good for them. Most people come in asking to see the wrong style or shape for their face. It takes everything I have learned in psychology to bring them around to accept the style that does look best. Architecture is the plan of the face. The width of their eyes, the bridge of their nose and the level of their ears are the elements I need to pick the perfect frame or frames from my inventory. I apply mechanics to understand their lens prescription limitations. My knowledge of mechanics allows me to visually see the finished product before it’s made. This process is what I enjoy most about my business.” WHAT IS THE SILVER LINING OF THE RECENT PANDEMIC FOR YOUR BUSINESS? “Appointment-only is the silver lining of the pandemic. Appointments allow more time for me to know my client. The client also learns more about me and can ask me questions concerning their eyewear. Working by

appointment ensures I will always be able to work by myself if necessary.” HOW DO YOU HELP NEW CLIENTS FEEL THEY ARE IN GOOD HANDS? “I introduce myself to each new client and explain a little bit of my background. I then like to find out how they know about me—whether it’s through a friend, advertisement or the internet. I let them look around and get a feel for the frames in the store before we sit down and look at their current prescription. Their previous prescription is also very helpful, or I can read their glasses on the lensometer to compare how different the prescriptions are and let them know what to expect from their new prescription. Next comes the best part: I analyze their facial features. Then I pick several frames for them to try on until we find the perfect one!” WHAT IS YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR A WOMAN JUST STARTING IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? “Number one would be to be financially solvent. Number two would be to have at least five years of experience filling prescriptions and fitting eyewear. Number three would be to hire someone to help you write a solid business plan. And most importantly, take advantage of optical conventions and visit other optical shops. Visit as many as you can until you find aspects you would like to incorporate into your own optical store. That is exactly what I did!”

money. Now that the pandemic has happened, I have had more new customers come in who require personal service that the internet can never provide. They need a well-trained optician who isn’t afraid to touch a person’s face and to be hands-on to assure a perfect fit. It is becoming a lost art because of the internet.” WHAT IS YOUR BEST-KEPT SECRET TO SUCCESS? “My customer list is a secret! No one has it but me. I have never put my customer information list on the internet. I take pride in keeping my clients’ information private.” WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT LIVING IN THE SOUTH BAY? “I have lived in the South Bay since I was 22 years old. The South Bay represents my family life. My son and granddaughters have all grown up going through the Redondo Beach School District. I cherished spending all the years in the PTA. I will always treasure the fun I had creating Frontier Days in the Riviera Village with Paul Hennessey of Hennessey’s Tavern and Jonathan Gilbert of Jonathan’s. It is a wonderful area with a lot of great people living here, and I feel very blessed.”

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR IDEAL NEXT BIG OPPORTUNITY? “I would like to write a book on the psychology of eyewear that would include the history of eyewear and the concept of how you see with your glasses.”

TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY. “My family consists of my wonderful son, Matt Schatan. He started his own successful business, Handyman Schatan, when he was 24. I am so proud of him! I have two beautiful granddaughters. The oldest, Brittany, is in college at Boston University, and the youngest, Courtney, is graduating from Redondo Union High School this school year. She took a Drum Corp International course this summer, and we even got to see her perform at the Rose Bowl! We are very proud of her!”

HOW HAS THE INTERNET HELPED OR HURT YOUR BUSINESS? “Before COVID-19, it hurt my business because everyone was buying cheap glasses to save

WHAT PUTS A SPRING IN YOUR STEP AND KEEPS YOU FEELING ENERGIZED? “A Red Bull or two a day and a new pair of cowboy boots!”

24580 HAWTHORNE BLVD., TORRANCE | 310-378-3936 | SCHATANOPTICALGALLERY.COM

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

AMY HOLLINGER Head of Schools, Rolling Hills Prep, Renaissance & REACH Schools

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olling Hills Prep, Renaissance and REACH Schools focus on individualized learning approaches that are inclusive toward all styles of learners—ranging from self-directed students seeking opportunities and challenges to students with a variety of learning differences who benefit from alternative approaches to learning that allow them to thrive. Head of schools Amy Hollinger began her position in July. An educator with 27 years of experience, she was previously the head of school of an independent school in Seattle. She has worked in both public and independent schools and has taught all grades from kindergarten to college, as well as serving in various administrative and leadership roles across the country. WHAT DOES YOUR SCHOOL STAND FOR? “We focus on fit—we provide the ‘right-fit’ education for every student and make sure they move on to the ‘right fit’ in terms of college placement. We provide a high-quality, individualized education for all students, maximizing their potential. We are a small school environment, which allows us to be nimble, provide opportunities for students across disciplines (the arts, athletics, academics) and provide the right amount of scaffolding to allow students to be successful. Students are challenged in their areas of strength and supported in areas that need improvement.” WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING WITH YOUR SCHOOLS? “Apart from having a new head of schools (me), we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Rolling Hills Prep’s founding. Also, we are working to create a more cohesive community identity and environment for all three of our schools.” WHAT WOULD BE YOUR IDEAL NEXT BIG OPPORTUNITY? “Growing our community of schools. We are the best hidden gem in Southern California.”

IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU EMPOWER OTHER WOMEN TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS? “As a female leader, I work diligently to observe and name biases in myself, my organizations and those I lead. This fosters honest conversations about gender bias that negatively affect women in the workforce and other facets of society. I have witnessed difficulties with gender bias as I’ve moved through organizational ranks, and I feel that one of the most important steps of inclusivity is naming and identifying dynamics that hold women back in the workforce.” WHAT IS THE SILVER LINING OF THE RECENT PANDEMIC FOR YOUR SCHOOLS? “The pandemic has drastically altered practically every facet of daily life for our schools. However, these changes have encouraged us to seek new opportunities and think outside the box with our programming, activities and even learning spaces to the degree that many of our COVID-19 solutions have highlighted positive practices that can take place when normalcy resumes. Additionally, limitations with social interaction have highlighted how enthusiastic both our students and teachers are to connect—making us more grateful for the time we can spend with each other, even when we’re implementing safety measures such as masks and distancing.” WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? “I find my inspiration in looking both inward and outward. In my organization, looking inward I am inspired by the commitment and dedication of the people in my community of schools. From our teachers to our students to our parents and board members, the people I get to work with are amazing. Outwardly I look for strong female and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) leaders. Hearing their stories is both inspiring and a call to action for me.”

HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE GREATNESS IN YOUR TEAM MEMBERS? “I believe strongly in hiring great people, giving them the tools and resources they need to be successful and then getting out of their way to allow them the freedom and flexibility to do the things they were hired to do.” WHAT IS YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR A WOMAN JUST STARTING IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? “Find a cohort of other female leaders in education. Having a group that is living the same experience as you will not only inspire you to do great work but also support you when times are hard—like leading a school during a global pandemic.” HOW WOULD YOUR SCHOOL COMMUNITY DESCRIBE YOU? “Our community knows I care deeply about our students and their education. I am a straight shooter, facing challenges head-on using an empathetic lens. I have a solid foundation in progressive individualized education and a front-burner commitment to educational equity.” IN WHAT WAYS ARE YOU REACHING OUT AND HELPING THOSE IN NEED IN OUR COMMUNITY? “Due to our direct involvement with young people, we are constantly assessing and supporting their well-being—providing a positive school experience and working to ensure that our educational programs are equitable and accessible. The lives of young people have been drastically affected by the pandemic, and we encourage everyone to be empathetic, supportive and patient with young people because many of the important coming-of-age experiences in their lives have been minimized or altered in ways that are difficult for them.”

ONE ROLLING HILLS PREP, SAN PEDRO | 310-791-1101 | ROLLINGHILLSPREP.ORG

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

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 10 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 nine years and was a clinical instructor at UCSF before moving to Southern California.” 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. I am currently one of a few physicians in the L.A. area offering the FDA-approved, noninvasive, laser-assisted facelift in my office.”

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 IS UNIQUE ABOUT YOUR STYLE AND TECHNIQUE? “As a female surgeon in a largely maledominated field, I bring the personal experience of aging in today’s society from a woman’s perspective. I actively try out new technologies and products on myself so I can better educate my patients about them.” 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.”

WHAT SERVICE DO YOU RECOMMEND? “I am a leading innovator in minimally invasive procedures and perform LazerLift— the only FDA-approved laser liposuction for the face and neck. 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 #1 PIECE OF ADVICE DURING THIS UNPRECEDENTED TIME? “Washing hands, social distancing, vaccinating yourself and loved ones, and wearing masks will protect not only yourself but everyone in the community. This will allow our community and the world at large to get back to normal as soon as it is safe and possible. We need to take it one day at a time, with each person doing their own part for the community.”

WHAT CHALLENGES ARE SPECIFIC TO YOUR INDUSTRY? “The medical field is not amenable to work from home. I examine the ears, nose, throat and face, which is not possible over video. We have worked hard to stay open for patients during the crisis as non-COVID-19 emergencies continue to occur. We have continued to treat patients safely and expediently.”

2809 SEPULVEDA BLVD., MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-426-8415 | DRKRISTINEGAN.COM

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

VICTORIA MCLAUGHLIN Principal Attorney, McLaughlin Family Law & Mediation, APC

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cLaughlin Family Law & Mediation, APC, specializes in facilitating the peaceful resolution of family law disputes. Founded by attorney Victoria McLaughlin this June after she worked with other law firms for the past 10 years, the practice focuses on divorces, prenuptial agreement negotiations and postdivorce issues.

WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? “I start from within. I always wanted to be a lawyer, but I’ve also always had a calm disposition. At the law firms where I previously practiced, I admired my colleagues and mentors immensely but didn’t see attorneys exemplifying the tone and strategy I envisioned for myself. Now I trust my intuition and lean into my personality.”

TAKE A RISK OR PLAY IT SAFE IN BUSINESS? “I am instinctively a risk-averse person, but in business (and in life) I make a conscious effort to overcome that because I know that playing it safe limits my potential. I took a huge risk opening a peaceful family law practice, given the common assumption of that being an oxymoron. But it was definitely the right move for me. Most family law firms focus on litigation; I am an outlier. Even when couples experience tension and disagreement, I’ve had success advocating for clients with a more zen approach. I like keeping everyone out of the courtroom.”

IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU EMPOWER OTHER WOMEN TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS? “I have worked to empower other women to achieve their professional goals my whole career. A few years into my practice, I joined the board of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles where I chaired the Young Lawyers Section. I loved hosting panel events where new lawyers could hear from women who had excelled in their respective legal careers. We would often keep them fairly intimate so the attendees could have real access to the speakers. Since then I have been fortunate enough to have a group of incredible young women attorneys who are my good friends, and we always help each other with legal questions, business questions and life questions. Whether it’s being transparent about earnings to help a friend gauge the market or simply being a test subject for a legal argument, I think every day is an exercise in empowering other women around me to succeed.”

IN WHAT WAYS ARE YOU AN INNOVATOR OR AN INFLUENCER? “Since starting my firm, I’ve realized I’m changing the way people think about getting a divorce. Whenever I meet new people and they inevitably ask me what I do, the phrase ‘family law’ often elicits musings of the negativity I must face every day. The truth is that I decided at the outset I would only take cases with clients who were on board with maintaining a certain level of civility and positivity. With our parameters set, my clients and I navigate their cases in a completely different way than I saw in previous law firms centered on contentious litigation. I’ve found that many clients want to do things my way, and I’m happy to be here for them.”

WHAT IS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST, PROFESSIONALLY OR PERSONALLY? “I’d like to be a mom someday! Until then, I’m taking advantage of my freedom and prioritizing the success of my firm and lots of travel.”

WHAT VACATION DESTINATION ARE YOU DREAMING OF THESE DAYS? “All of them. I love active trips with hiking and activities; I love relaxing trips with beaches and lounging; I love city trips with food and culture. I cannot wait for regular travel to resume. Before the pandemic, I traveled internationally quite often. During the past year and a half I have missed it, although I have loved taking advantage of all the outdoorsy domestic options at our disposal like Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Zion and Bryce. I am feeling ready for an adventure, so I’d say a top item on my travel to-do list right now is hiking Machu Picchu.” WHAT PUTS A SPRING IN YOUR STEP AND KEEPS YOU FEELING ENERGIZED? “My girlfriends bring so much joy to my life— they are a huge source of fun and inspiration. Most of them are lawyers as well, and we hit brunch or happy hour as often as we can. We manage to fit in some girls’ trips too! Watching them achieve their professional goals and then set new ones inspires me to aim higher and be better.” WHAT IS YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR A WOMAN JUST STARTING IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? “Find good mentors and observe the habits of people you admire, but ultimately tread your own path and do things your way. I was extremely lucky to have one particularly good mentor early on (another South Bay attorney, actually). I remember after our first meeting he told me he would open doors for me but that it was up to me to walk through them. That ended up being true, and I am still so grateful.”

1230 ROSECRANS AVE., SUITE 300, MANHATTAN BEACH | 424-256-8986 | MCLAUGHLINFAMILYLAWFIRM.COM

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

GRETCHEN TIERNAN & MEGAN RICHARDSON Owners, Sand Spa

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and Spa, founded by Gretchen Tiernan and Megan Richardson in 2014, is a self care brand in Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach and coming soon to West Hollywood. Sand Spa is composed of three self-care pillars: body, skin and polish. The duo has grown their brand into five brickand-mortar locations as well as partnerships with a handful of hotels. Sand Spa strives to bring high-quality and current treatments to clients in a modern, affordable and convenient package. TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS. “Sand Spa is a modern-day self-care haven. We believe self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly. We are a self-care destination for locals and visitors from near and far. We specialize in high-quality massage, skin care and nail care services that are custom to your specific needs. Self-care is giving the world the best of you instead of what’s left of you. Self-care starts here.”   WHAT DOES YOUR COMPANY STAND FOR? “Sand Spa stands for prioritizing self-care and wellness. We believe taking care of yourself is the most powerful way to begin to take care of others. Our staff is here to provide you with tangible self-care experiences—an escape from the hustle and bustle of your modern lives. Self-care is essential for feeling enlightened and empowered. When you take care of your mind, your body will thank you. When you take care of your body, your mind will thank you.”  

WHAT IS THE #1 WAY YOU SUPPORT YOUR CLIENTS? “One of our main pillars at Sand Spa is customer service. We value where you spend your time and your money. We stand for diversity, equality and inclusion. Every member of our staff customizes the experience to the client’s liking. We create self-care havens that become a part of your lifestyle. We don’t just do one thing, because neither do you. We are here to serve you.” WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING WITH YOUR BUSINESS? “We recently took over the space next to our original Hermosa Beach location. We are making it our one-stop self-care haven. We will be offering a range of services, including some new offerings, and broadening our wheelhouse. We will also be launching memberships and cannot wait for the community to enjoy this new location.” IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU EMPOWER OTHER WOMEN TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS? “We love connecting with other women in business or women who are thinking about starting their own business. We put a lot of time and energy into our personal social media outlets and would love to continue to build our influence to connect with more women.”   WHAT IS THE SILVER LINING OF THE RECENT PANDEMIC FOR YOUR BUSINESS? “We used that tumultuous time for introspection and were able to reassess and refine our operations. We have discovered many upsides, from finding inspiration in unexpected ways to tapping into personal passions. We had a lot of creativity inside us that we didn’t know existed. There were many bright spots that were fueling our optimism and helping us to identify new areas of opportunity.”

HOW DO YOU COMBAT THE FEAR OF MAKING WRONG DECISIONS FROM DAY TO DAY? “A lot of times the fear of not doing something scares us more than the fear of making the wrong decision or even failing at something. We are always striving to grow, improve and learn more on our entrepreneurial journey. We always weigh the pros and cons of each situation or decision. When we make a decision, we commit to it. But if that decision ends up failing, we learn from it and quickly pivot.” WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER COUPLES WHO WANT TO WORK TOGETHER ON A BUSINESS ENDEAVOR? Gretchen: “Working as a couple has been rewarding and demanding. We both have different strengths and learned early on how to communicate effectively. We know when we need to leave work at the door. Creating boundaries for our relationship and taking the time to continually learn about each other has been an area where we choose to spend a lot of time. When we are at work we are working, and when we aren’t at work we are working on our relationship. The advice I would give couples who want to work together is that you have to work at what you want—in business and in life. Create defined roles, have your priorities straight and never forget what brought you together.” Megan: “The best advice I could give someone is to always work on your foundation. A lot of people say you can’t have it all—a loving relationship and success. I disagree with that. Gretchen and I choose to always work on our relationship—our foundation—and without a doubt that drives the success of our businesses.”

3219 & 3408 HIGHLAND AVE., MANHATTAN BEACH | 325 & 327 PIER AVE., HERMOSA BEACH 953 N. SYCAMORE AVE., LOS ANGELES | SANDSPAMB.COM

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

RACHEL EZRA Broker Associate, Rachel Ezra South Bay Real Estate Services | Vista Sotheby’s International Realty

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s a dedicated real estate broker, Rachel Ezra guides clients in buying and selling their homes. Working under the umbrella of Vista Sotheby’s International Realty, she offers clients the firm’s global reach comprising nearly 1,000 offices in 74 countries—in addition to her local expertise in the home market. HOW DOES YOUR BUSINESS PROVIDE CLIENTS A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE? “I believe in using my skills in finance, contracts, negotiation and marketing to my clients’ best advantage. Buying, selling or investing, I am here to guide them every step of the way. My marketing team is superb. We have cutting-edge technology. The staff is very talented. We think outside the box. We love collaborating. Each property is different, and we highlight each property’s uniqueness.” WHAT PUTS A SPRING IN YOUR STEP AND KEEPS YOU FEELING ENERGIZED? “Finding the perfect home for each family is my passion in life. I love making dreams come true. A home is not just a house—it’s where you make memories. It’s where your child takes their first step, loses their first tooth, has their birthdays, graduations, family parties. A home is where the heart is.” HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE GREATNESS IN YOUR TEAM MEMBERS? “I’m the ‘glass is half full’ kind of gal. I always look at the bright side. I stay positive no matter what and look ahead with a smile. When a team member is having a rough time, I ask them to take a moment and be grateful for what they have. What we do gives us the privilege of servicing our clients. We live and work in paradise—what else could you want?”

WHAT IS THE SILVER LINING OF THE RECENT PANDEMIC FOR YOUR BUSINESS? “First and foremost, health is the most important thing in our lives. It has been a challenging year and a half for everyone, although real estate has skyrocketed. Be present in the moment and enjoy your family time.” WHAT IS YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR A WOMAN JUST STARTING IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? “Put in the hard work! No one made it in real estate working 9–5. In our line of business, we work 24/7. Hard work does pay off; you’ll reap what you sow. We are constantly planting seeds in our business, whether we’re aware of it or not. This means you will be reaping the benefits of the seeds you planted in the past.” TAKE A RISK OR PLAY IT SAFE IN BUSINESS? “Always take risks, baby!” HOW WOULD CLIENTS DESCRIBE YOU? “Here is a recent client comment: ‘Rachel is professional, knowledgeable, works really hard to get things right and is truly a nice person! She arranged to sell our house of 45 years in Manhattan Beach and buy our new home in Manhattan Beach. Rachel was very patient with us, for we had a specific type of house and location in mind. When we found THE house, Rachel acted quickly to secure the purchase. She orchestrated simultaneous escrows on both properties and closed both on schedule. What a feat! We beyond highly recommend Rachel to anyone considering selling or purchasing a home!’” WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR DAY? “The best part of my day is coming home from work and seeing the smiles on my twins’ faces. Spending time with them is what I live for.”

HAS MOTHERHOOD MADE YOU A BETTER ENTREPRENEUR? “Motherhood and raising a family of my own here in Manhattan Beach have made me a better entrepreneur because I have a greater understanding of the family dynamic. As families evolve, so do their real estate needs. A home with a backyard may be essential for a family with young kids, or a pool for families with older kids, or an in-home office for a work-fromhome parent. The empty-nesters may want to downsize and get closer to the beach.” IN WHAT WAYS ARE YOU AN INNOVATOR OR AN INFLUENCER? “I always look for innovating technology to service my clients better. I am the first in line to try new things. I love when I hear new ideas that can better me as an agent, a wife, a mom and a person.” WHAT IS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST? “I’m ashamed to say that even though I’ve lived in Manhattan Beach for over 14 years, I have not taken up surfing. I’m originally from Tel Aviv, Israel, where the Mediterranean Sea is so much warmer than our beautiful Pacific Ocean. Maybe it’s time to buy a wet suit and hit the waves.” WHAT VACATION DESTINATION ARE YOU DREAMING OF THESE DAYS? “I want to visit Greece: island-hop on a yacht with friends eating great Mediterranean food and drinking great wine.” IN WHAT WAYS ARE YOU HELPING THOSE IN NEED IN OUR COMMUNITY? “Kids are our future. I focus on children’s charities like Richstone Family Center, Larger Than Life L.A. Family and Walk With Sally. If we all do just a little bit, we can create a huge impact.”

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

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

ANN GRANT, JACKIE MILLER, AMY LANGE

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trio of female South Bay business owners has combined forces to help clients navigate the divorce process. Divorce coach Jackie Miller, wealth manager and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional Amy Lange, and family law attorney Ann Grant offer clients legal, financial and emotional support throughout their divorce proceedings and beyond. Jackie Miller has been a South Bay resident for more than 20 years and raised her two daughters here. She started Jackie Miller Coaching after experiencing her own divorce and specializes in high-conflict divorces, helping clients navigate the family court system during a very emotional time. She is the founder and host of the podcast Out of Crazytown: Your Guide to Divorcing a Narcissist. Ann Grant was a partner and corporate litigator at a large international law firm before she opened Manhattan Beach Family Law following her divorce. She founded the firm in 2008 with a mission to help those going through divorce create a new and better life. Ann has been practicing law for 30 years and is the developer of The Divorce Hacker app. Her book is entitled The Divorce Hacker’s Guide to Untying the Knot: What Every Woman Needs to Know about Finances, Child Custody, Lawyers, and Planning Ahead. A 28-year veteran of the financial industry, Amy Lange is an equity owner of Covington Capital Management—a firm she has worked with since 2005. She believes strongly in giving back to the community and is a sustainer member and former board member for National Charity League ManhattanHermosa chapter, a former Girl Scout leader, a member of the Women’s Leadership Council in Los Angeles, and continues to serve as committee chairperson in Manhattan Beach schools and Vistamar School.

WHAT DOES YOUR TEAM STAND FOR? “We can be your total support system—a resource you turn to with any need. We each provide highly personalized service in emotional, financial and legal terms. But even more than that, we want to be the first call you make with any need. Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to make your divorce ‘successful’ and the emotional support to confidently move forward to create a new life.” IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU EMPOWER OTHER WOMEN TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS? “It can be daunting to get back into the workforce if you have stepped away to focus on family. We connect our clients with career coaches so they can utilize their strengths and find meaningful work, which we have found is essential to independence and empowerment.” WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? “We find inspiration in successful women who strive to empower other women. It is possible to be successful and have an empathetic approach to leadership and service.” HOW WOULD CLIENTS DESCRIBE YOU? “Our clients would say we have a knack for communicating complex legal and financial concepts into clear, succinct language that is easy to absorb and nonpatronizing. The bond we create through this compassionate communication turns clients into friends and friends into clients.” WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR DAY? “The best part of our day is when we have happy clients. Our greatest joy is to see the progress our clients make as they work with us and realize that they can have a new and even better life. Divorce is not the end—it’s just the beginning!”

HAS MOTHERHOOD MADE YOU A BETTER ENTREPRENEUR? “We believe motherhood gives you the confidence you need to be an entrepreneur. You need to be able to take risks, be an empathetic leader and delegate, as well as serve as a role model for your children—demonstrating hard work and perseverance.” TELL US ABOUT YOUR UPCOMING WEBINAR, IT’S TIME. “We are hosting a webinar on Wednesday, September 22 at 6 p.m. entitled It’s Time: What Every Woman Needs to Know About the Legal, Financial and Emotional Issues of Divorce. The COVID-19 quarantine has led many people to step up and make a change for their own mental or physical health. We want to tell women that ‘It’s Time’ to take charge of your life, and we can help you!” WHAT VACATION DESTINATION ARE YOU DREAMING OF THESE DAYS? Ann: “I just got back from Iceland with my son, and we are already planning our next adventure. Being independent and running my own business allows me to do that. It is one of the unexpected results of being a single mom— and I love it!” Jackie: “I am a huge football fan and cannot wait to attend both college and professional football games this coming season. Los Angeles will be hosting the Super Bowl in 2022, and my daughters and I will be in attendance!” Amy: “My daughters and I are devout fans and supporters of the U.S Women’s National Soccer Team, and we can’t wait to see them compete in the World Cup in Sydney, Australia in summer 2023!”

MANHATTAN BEACH FAMILY LAW | 1500 ROSECRANS AVE., MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-706-4149 | MBFAMILYLAWYERS.COM JACKIE MILLER COACHING | 310-600-3775 | JACKIEMILLERCOACHING.COM COVINGTON CAPITAL MANAGEMENT | 601 S. FIGUEROA ST., LOS ANGELES | 213-629-7529 | CCMWEALTH.COM/AMYLANGE

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

KATELYN CTVRTLIK Owner/Founder, FORM Pilates LA

TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS. “Our goal is to build strong, flexible, toned bodies for all stages of life. We are committed to teaching precise technique in order to both prevent and rehabilitate injury. Our dedicated and well-trained teachers are devoted to helping clients achieve their long-term health goals within a clean and welcoming environment. We are now rebranding, adding an online platform with corporate wellness options and launching a FORM Fit Kit with every at-home tool you could ever want. More details will be coming soon on our website.” DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE. “I am a big believer in servant-leadership. Being in the service industry, this seems to be the most natural way of leading—by putting the clients, the instructors and the environment first. The rest of the pieces seem to fall into place harmoniously.”

HOW DO YOU ATTRACT THE BEST TALENT TO JOIN YOUR STAFF? “I look for accomplished, warmhearted, devoted teachers who share the values and mission of FORM Pilates. My FORM team has a strong work ethic, a passion for health and wellness, and of course they are a lot of fun! As many studios across the world crumbled and closed their doors, my team loyally stayed by my side. I am proud to have them under my roof. I am grateful for their dedication to our clients and the studio, and their attention to good FORM.” HOW WOULD CLIENTS DESCRIBE YOU? “My clients include professional athletes, couples, teenagers, moms, dads and seniors. While they tell me I am energetic, positive and encouraging, I would hope that above all they describe me as kind. I grow close with my clients, and they become dear friends. Even though I am their teacher, I find they teach me so much. I hope at the end of the day they know how much I care for them.” WHAT IS THE SILVER LINING OF THE RECENT PANDEMIC FOR YOUR BUSINESS? “As a small-business owner, the stress of COVID-19 was more than I had ever experienced, and I am grateful to have movement as my outlet. The pandemic forced me to think differently and become creative about how to meet my clients’ needs within the mandated restrictions. I created a new component for business and grew the brand as a whole. We have completely reinvented ourselves. I offer more than 75 classes on demand, weekly live sessions and corporate wellness packages. The digital platform inspired me to rebrand the studio from Pilates Place Hermosa Beach to FORM Pilates LA.”  

HOW DOES YOUR BUSINESS PROVIDE CLIENTS A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE? “We offer the whole package. You can be with us in person or online. Your movement practice can now stay consistent. We are available anytime, anywhere.” IN WHAT WAYS ARE YOU HELPING THOSE IN NEED IN OUR COMMUNITY? HOW CAN OTHERS BE OF HELP? “Through COVID-19, I grew closer with many small businesses. Specifically, I developed relationships with a lot of the businesses on Pier Avenue. I collaborated several times this past year with Beach & Beverly, H20 Hermosa and Wicked+. It’s so fantastic to do corporate classes and events with so many different types of businesses. In terms of supporting our local community, I always suggest shopping local. It keeps our community strong, connected and thriving. Another easy way to help is to write a review online, follow a business’s social media account and most importantly tell a friend about your favorite local spots.”   WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR DAY? “Is it wrong to say coffee time? I think in another life I was a barista and owned a café. It is by far my favorite time of the day. Bring me a cappuccino with almond milk, and you will be my best friend.” WHAT PUTS A SPRING IN YOUR STEP AND KEEPS YOU FEELING ENERGIZED? “Above all, Pilates and Gyrotonic! After numerous dance injuries, I found Pilates and Gyrotonic and they truly saved my body. They move and invigorate me and give me joy, a sense of peace and everything I need to strengthen my life.”

555 PIER AVE., SUITE 10, HERMOSA BEACH | 310-955-4045 | FORMPILATESLA.COM

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY RIAN BASILIO, MAKEUP BY BLAIR BERNDES

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stablished in the heart of Hermosa Beach, FORM Pilates LA offers instruction in classical Pilates and the Gyrotonic® Method through private and semi-private sessions. The studio also offers an online membership, FORM By Katelyn, for live and on-demand classes. FORM’s mission is to teach individualized, healthy and full-bodied movement to strengthen and empower the mind, body and soul of clients. Owner Katelyn Ctvrtlik started her studio six years ago. She was a dancer from a young age and studied psychology, dance and entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Boulder. She also trained at In-Spiraling Movement Arts in Santa Monica and participated in a Duke University health coaching program and multiple continuing-education workshops around the globe. Katelyn has been teaching movement classes for the past 11 years.


WOMEN IN BUSINESS

BRYANNE LAWLESS-DEGOEDE Managing Partner, BLND Public Relations LLC

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or the past 13 years, Bryanne LawlessDeGoede has worked as a public relations, marketing, branding and events expert, helping businesses and entrepreneurs expand and promote their brand and social media strategy. Bryanne earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California San Diego, where she first found her love of PR interning for Hard Rock Hotel. WHAT EXACTLY IS A PR FIRM, AND WHAT KINDS OF BUSINESSES NEED YOUR SERVICES? “Ten years ago, the only businesses utilizing a PR firm were big, corporate brands. Today every business and brand could use a PR firm to make a splash in such a saturated market— to connect their brand with local and national news outlets, influencers and consumers to drive sales and best tell your brand story. Rather than buying an ad and hoping for the best, you can now hire a PR firm to deliver personalized strategy across social media, media outlets and organic partnerships to increase brand awareness. At BLND, we have a variety of clients both local and national—like Forever 21, AltaMed and SandSpa, to name a few. We can help you reach an authentic audience that will contribute to your success as a brand.” WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING WITH YOUR BUSINESS? “Influencer relations has become an essential part of our business as social media platforms evolve. Brands look to influencers to connect on a deeper level with their consumers. At BLND, we work on both sides of the industry—influencer and brand. For example, when representing a brand like Forever 21, we assist with influencer campaigns and outreach, targeting key platforms to promote them. On the influencer side, we connect the talent with brands that can use their voice to amplify sales, benefiting both parties.” WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR DAY? “Getting that big media hit for a client in a top-tier outlet, celebrating my team members’

successes, pouring that cold glass of sauvignon blanc or going home to see my perfect boy after work!” TAKE A RISK OR PLAY IT SAFE IN BUSINESS? “I’ve always advocated for risk-taking. My philosophy is that you will always gain something from taking a risk—whether it be the experience or the reward. Taking risks is part of being a business owner, and it’s more about how you move forward after the opportunity rather than letting the outcome affect you personally and mentally. I never let myself think that I failed—even though by dictionary definition, I may have. Experience is everything, and at the end of the day I sit down with my team and ask, ‘What did we learn from this?’ and try not to make the same mistake twice. The bottom line is that you will never regret taking the risk. There’s always something to be learned.” HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE GREATNESS IN YOUR TEAM MEMBERS? “I try to lead by example. I want my team members to look to me for guidance, whether it’s learning more about managing a client, staffing an event or even just day-to-day operations. Leading by example is so important for women in business to inspire and lift each other up. I also can’t stress enough to my employees to find joy in what they do, and in turn tap into their talents. Positive reinforcement is another way I encourage my team, as people love to hear what they’re good at and how impactful they are.” WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR A WOMAN JUST STARTING IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? “Intern, intern, intern! It’s so crucial to soak up as much experience as you can and learn whether or not you actually want to work in the industry. If you’re feeling stuck, or are a new college grad unsure of what to do in life, look for what you’re good at—what you feel good doing—and find a way to get paid doing that! Make sure you are always networking and building authentic relationships

with the people around you and keeping those connections over the years.” GIVE US YOUR THOUGHTS ON WORK-LIFE BALANCE. “I’m a new mom to a 10-month-old, and let me tell you, mom life is hard but so worth it. It’s given me even more personal drive to be successful. It’s also made me rethink what is truly important in life. I think most of us reevaluated this during our COVID-19 year. We really paused to take a deeper look at our lives—we were living so intently focused on the future, as opposed to appreciating each moment and opportunity we have in order to truly enjoy life. Many millennials are quitting their jobs, trading lower pay for a better lifestyle—and I get it. Work-life balance is everything and is a concept I emphasize to my team members. PR is always on, but in order for my team to feel happy and live a truly successful life, I encourage them to close their laptops, get outside, go to dinner and enjoy their time so they come back to work feeling refreshed and motivated to get the job done.” WHAT VACATION DESTINATION ARE YOU DREAMING OF THESE DAYS? “My husband and I love Cabo! We’ve traveled there at least once a year, if not more, since we’ve known each other—and even got married there. Cabo has always been such a special place to us, so we’re dying to go back. But with a new baby, we haven’t found the time. Maybe New Year’s 2022 if the pandemic calms down a bit.” WHO ARE SOME SOUTH BAY WOMEN WHO INSPIRE YOU? “I’m inspired by so many incredible women who have been part of my journey—especially my South Bay boss business ladies! In no particular order, these phenomenal women motivate me to be the best: Gretchen Tiernan, Megan Richardson, Jill Dunn, Amanda Bauer, Devynne Honsa, Kashi Walmer, Robin Curren, Kate Lester, Lori Tostado, Lori Ford and of course my mother, Valorie Hart.”

840 APOLLO ST., SUITE 320, EL SEGUNDO | 310-616-3049 | BLNDPR.COM

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L to R: Devynne Honsa, Gabby Bongiovi, Madison Reynolds, Bryanne DeGoede, Samantha Hartley, Colette Nguyen, Cynthia Albano


WOMEN IN BUSINESS

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

WHY DID YOU RECENTLY JOIN FORCES WITH COMPASS REAL ESTATE COMPANY? “Compass has quickly grown to be the #1 independent brokerage for a reason. Its mission is to help everyone find their place in the world. They search for the industry’s top talent and pair them with technology to make the buying and selling experience intelligent and seamless. We were honored to be invited to join this forward-thinking company that empowers us to help our clients make important life decisions and find their place in the world.” WHAT IS NEW AND EXCITING ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS? “The Compass Concierge program has been extremely helpful to our clients. When we walk through a seller’s home, we offer advice on ways they can increase their value. The concierge program fronts clients the money to cover the costs of these suggestions with no interest or fees! This amazing service helps our clients with simple things like staging, painting and landscaping and with bigger projects such as installing new floors, remodeling parts of the home and mold remediation.” IN WHAT WAYS HAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS? “We have been working diligently on our behind-the-scenes business over the past six years, and it paid off when the pandemic hit.

We had kids at home 24/7, and the real estate market got very busy! Because of 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. We are proud that we quadrupled our business this year.” WHAT CHALLENGES ARE SPECIFIC TO YOUR INDUSTRY? “Being someone’s trusted real estate consultant is an around-the-clock job. There are so many time-sensitive items and emotional roller coasters to navigate during a home purchase or sale. We are always striving to be the best and do the best for our clients. In every transaction there is something new to be learned. We have to think on our toes and problem-solve all the time. We believe that as long as we are acting with integrity, we can’t go wrong.” 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. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Remember that everything is hard before it is easy, so keep moving forward with a smile.” WHAT ARE YOU ESPECIALLY GRATEFUL FOR TODAY? “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. 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.”

HOW DOES YOUR BUSINESS PROVIDE CLIENTS A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE? “In this current hot South Bay real estate market, our experience, contacts and reputation have proven invaluable in working with other agents to get our clients’ offers accepted and in negotiating the best price and terms possible for both our buyers and sellers.” 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 expectations, and we do everything following our heart. Isn’t happiness the main goal for everything in life, after all?” HOW WOULD CLIENTS DESCRIBE YOU? “We are extremely hardworking, responsive, good communicators and we keep things fun!” WHAT VACATION DESTINATION ARE YOU DREAMING OF THESE DAYS? Kathy: “Costa Rica is our go-to spot for the surf and yoga, but I think on our next adventure I’d love to go to Indonesia. We love beaches and jungles, and now that my kids are older we would love to explore a new culture. I’ve heard the people there are some of the nicest in the world.” Robin: “Kauai with the warm sandy beaches on one side and the tropical jungle on the other. We love a good balance of adventure and relaxation. I have an active husband and two busy boys, and having something for all of us to do is important for a dreamy vacation.” 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.”

21250 HAWTHORNE BLVD., SUITE 750, TORRANCE | 310-902-1121 | 213-447-2668 DRE #01745500, 01989112 | KATHYANDROBIN.COM | @KATHYANDROBIN

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY SERGIO GARCIA

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athy Morris has worked in real estate in the South Bay for more than 17 years. After graduating from UMASS, Amherst, she returned to her hometown of Redondo Beach and bought her first property at the age of 23. Five years later she turned her love of real estate into a career. Before partnering with Kathy, Robin Smith’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. Since then, this sister-in-law duo has grown their business year after year.


WOMEN IN BUSINESS

TAMMY TRENTA KNOWLTON & LIZ DESOUSA Running Point Capital Advisors

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unning Point Capital Advisors is a multifamily office of financial professionals representing multiple disciplines. Focusing on the total well-being of clients and their families, Running Point’s team offers services including wealth management, financial planning, estate and trust planning, tax preparation and consulting and insurance—all under one roof. Tammy Trenta Knowlton has worked as a Certified Financial Planner for the past 25 years. She is a partner at Running Point. Liz DeSousa is a senior financial advisor and has worked in the industry for 21 years. WHAT DOES YOUR COMPANY STAND FOR? Tammy: “The Running Point name stands for one main advisor ‘running point’ for all things financial. This means collaborating with accountants, lawyers and lenders in order to provide optimal financial outcomes for the clients we serve.” Liz: “We firmly believe in being there for and supporting our clients as a team. Everything we do and the decisions we make as a firm are so we can best serve our clients. As a multifamily office, we make things easy for clients and eliminate the burden of them needing to managing everything.” TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORK. Tammy: “I have the privilege of empowering successful entrepreneurs and families to keep more of what they earn while protecting and growing their personal wealth.” Liz: “I work with women who want to regain financial control over their lives after a divorce or death of a spouse. Women who go through a divorce or lose a spouse need to know they will be OK, and I give them that financial confidence. My main objective with clients is to get them to a place where they can embrace and be confident about their future.”

IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU EMPOWER OTHER WOMEN TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS? Tammy: “I have been described by my female clients as a therapist, advocate, negotiator and coach—not only for them but also for their children. I am obsessed with all things entrepreneurial and love to brainstorm. Understanding the financial aspects of one’s life is critically important, and I am committed to educating and empowering those who have the desire to learn.” WHAT IS YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR A WOMAN JUST STARTING IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? Liz: “Don’t be intimidated by the shortage of women in wealth management. The face of wealth and those who manage it is changing in the U.S. More women are controlling assets and making financial decisions for themselves and their families, so female advisors will be in high demand. This is a terrific opportunity for women to have a voice in the future of wealth management.” Tammy: “Always be learning, doing and striving to be the best version of yourself. Align yourself with a female mentor and stay current with technology.” HOW DOES YOUR BUSINESS PROVIDE CLIENTS A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE? Liz: “Running Point is not a huge, impersonal firm where advisors don’t know their colleagues or clients well. We know each other personally at the firm and genuinely care about each other. Each of us knows the name of every client. We are a family, and clients are part of our family. When clients know they have a smart, caring team behind them, they can make better financial decisions.” WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING WITH YOUR BUSINESS? Tammy: “This has been a big year for mergers and acquisitions. I recently navigated a

client through the sale of his business while coordinating a professional team of advisors. Many entrepreneurs have so much information coming at them, they lack the time and resources to do this effectively on their own— and as a result end up leaving a lot of money on the table.” WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? Tammy: “My clients inspire me every day. Many of them are young, some are influencers, and they are taking the world by storm. I love their energy.” WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR DAY? Liz: “The moment after I wake from sleep but before I get out of bed. This is ‘me’ time when I can organize my thoughts and reflect on the day ahead.” TAKE A RISK OR PLAY IT SAFE IN BUSINESS? Tammy: “I would definitely consider myself a calculated risk-taker. I am highly analytical, and it is important to consider in any decision the best and worst possible outcomes and the probability of those outcomes. Once I have considered the best and the worst, I make a decision to move on and do not second-guess myself. Living in a world of fear and selfdoubt is not productive.” HOW WOULD CLIENTS DESCRIBE YOU? Liz: “They would say I am calm, patient, authentic and a grounding force for them.”

Disclaimer: This should not be considered investment advice or an offer to sell any product. Running Point is an independent investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about Running Point, including our investment strategies, fees and objectives can be found in our ADV Part 2, which is available upon request. RP-21-21

101 NORTH PACIFIC COAST HWY., SUITE 305, EL SEGUNDO | RUNNINGPOINTCAPITAL.COM 310-486-6763 – TAMMY | 424-502-3500 – LIZ

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

PACIFIC STANDARD PRIME

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acific Standard Prime is a modern steakhouse with a California vibe serving seasonal, sustainable, natural food and wine. Husband-and-wife team Kevin and Caroline Leach opened the restaurant on August 12, 2020, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Someone asked Kevin in early 2020 when the restaurant would open, and he replied, “Soon—only the plague could stop us now.” The plague came a few months later, in the form of the coronavirus. The team—including executive chef Christine Brown and sommelier Peggy Dean— started small last summer, with nine tables on the outdoor patio. This year they gradually evolved to 100% capacity. Together Kevin, Caroline, Christine and Peggy have more than 50 years of combined experience in the restaurant and wine business. WHAT DOES YOUR COMPANY STAND FOR? “We’re passionate about bringing people high-quality ingredients—many of them sourced from organic, sustainable ranches and farms. The menu by Chef Christine changes seasonally, and new specials are often inspired by each week’s farmers market delivery. There’s always a new dish for guests to discover. Many people—especially in the healthconscious South Bay—have become keenly interested in the quality and origin of the food they eat, as well as the way we treat our planet. All of this factored into the seasonal and sustainable vision and concept. Kevin and Peggy have carefully curated a wine list featuring a variety of small, family-owned vintners who bring a sense of pride to the wine they make, with a profound respect for nature through sustainable, organic and biodynamic practices.” TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND. “Kevin, Caroline and Christine all attended what is now Peninsula High School, and Christine and Kevin dreamed of opening a

restaurant together as far back as 1997. Kevin spent years on the road as a professional golfer—driving across the U.S. and Canada and spending months at a time in Asia. He ate restaurant meals night after night, with a fascination about how dishes were made and an interest in chatting with the chefs about their creations. After his golf career, he became a restaurant manager and worked for the biggest wine importer in the U.S. Eventually teaming up with Christine— a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and owner of the former Restaurant Christine in Torrance—was a dream come true. Caroline wears many hats as an investor, marketer and human resources professional. Peggy rounds out the trio of key women with her extensive wine knowledge as a sommelier.” WHAT IS YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR A WOMAN JUST STARTING IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? Christine: “Work for an owner who truly cares about their employees. Start at the bottom and work for each company for at least two years. Further your education at a prestigious culinary school, and then choose your path wisely. A chef/mentor is key.” Peggy: “Wine has been traditionally a maledominated field, especially when it comes to the sommelier role. But that is certainly changing. Women have heightened senses and are great communicators, which are necessary skills for a somm. Women interested in wine should embrace those traits, study and work hard, and be confident in their knowledge and abilities.” HOW DO YOU ATTRACT THE BEST TALENT TO JOIN YOUR STAFF? Kevin: “We strive to create a collegial and fun work environment. We want everyone to feel respected and appreciated for what they contribute to an exceptional guest experience. We’ve held friendly contests among servers,

with Handel’s Ice Cream gift cards as prizes. Sundays are ‘family dinner night.’ At the end of the evening, we have food for our team members to enjoy and take home to their families.” TAKE A RISK OR PLAY IT SAFE IN BUSINESS? Caroline: “Business and life are inherently risky, as the pandemic brought into sharp relief. So take a risk, yes absolutely, and play it safe by having multiple backup plans and new ways to generate revenue and access cash when your ability to operate a business is significantly restricted. It’s like improv—you accept what is thrown at you, pivot as best you can and keep moving forward no matter what.” WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? Christine: “It comes from seasonal ingredients, motivated staff and grateful guests. My inspiration is driven by my love for this business and my hope to serve the best-quality food possible.” Peggy: “I’m inspired by Pacific Standard Prime’s mission to bring seasonal, sustainable and natural food and wine to our guests.” WHAT IS THE SILVER LINING OF THE RECENT PANDEMIC FOR YOUR BUSINESS? Kevin: “The silver lining of an out-of-theordinary year was being able to practice and refine our vision and then scale it over time.” Caroline: “We are so grateful to the South Bay community members who supported us and cheered us on during a difficult time. People who ordered takeout when outdoor dining was closed. People who shared their positive experiences on a review site. People who told their friends about us. People who offered encouragement. People on our team who do an amazing job every day. Vendors and suppliers who worked with us. The list goes on. We would not be where we are today without this community of very special people. Thank you!”

1810 S. PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY, REDONDO BEACH | 424-247-7521 | PSPSTEAK.COM

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L to R: Peggy Dean, Sommelier Caroline Leach, Owner Kevin Leach, Owner Christine Brown, Executive Chef


WOMEN IN BUSINESS

MELANIE BARR Founder & CEO, She Built It™

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he Built It™ is a membership collective that supports entrepreneurs and corporate leaders through events, coaching, and the She Built It™ podcast, weekly blog and shop. Owner Melanie Barr launched She Built It™ in 2015 after a successful career in business development and sports. She earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Loyola Marymount University and has led boards and assisted organizations with female-focused missions. Melanie and her husband, Jonathan Levey, are raising their twins, Parker and Elliott, in the South Bay. WHAT DOES SHE BUILT IT™ STAND FOR? “She Built It™ empowers members and clients to experience the life and business they crave. We believe in building a career and business fueled by your unique interests and thriving financially. We know that magic happens when we focus on the part of ourselves and our business that brings us joy. We believe in the importance of surrounding yourself with a community that empowers you. We all need motivation and innovation at times. We share knowledge and resources to inspire you in your business and in life.” IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU EMPOWER WOMEN TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS? “The key to business success is having the confidence to make leaps—big and small— and finding ways to surround yourself with the right support, motivation, resources, community and teams to make your life goals a reality. We empower you through events such as our She Built It™ lunch series, fireside chats and masterminds. We share business knowledge, resources, tips and stories of how we’ve overcome obstacles to experience our wins. We’re creating additional resources for you all the time, so follow us and stay tuned for what’s next.”

HOW WOULD CLIENTS DESCRIBE YOU? “I’ve had so many She Built It™ coaching clients, members and friends say they made a business decision or bought or launched their business because of something I said. When you go above and beyond to make the lives of your clients, members and supporters easier and their businesses better, they will stay with you and you will be more successful.” WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR A WOMAN JUST STARTING OUT? “If you listen to my podcast, you will hear me suggest that when you are considering the various ways to move forward in life and business, ask yourself the question, ‘If I make the decision not to do this, will I one day regret it?’ If you trust your instincts when you ask this question, you receive your answer pretty quickly. If the answer is yes, dig deep, find your confidence, understand that if you fail it’s really only a learning experience and make your leap.” HAS MOTHERHOOD MADE YOU A BETTER ENTREPRENEUR? “Mastering multitasking skills started pretty early in my life when I attended college full time while also working a full-time job for Marriott hotels. I learned to surround myself with knowledge and positive content as a way to continue making leaps forward. I thought I had my organizational skills nailed down— until the birth of our twins. They changed my life in so many incredible ways. Life went from being fairly predictable to not predictable at all. The motherhood skills I learned spill over into my experience as a leader in organization, preparation, the ability to make quick decisions and finding the best ways to move forward. I also realize how important it is for my twins to see a mom who has found purpose and joy in her work. My hope for them—and anyone reading this—is to find work that brings you joy. If you do, the joy by far outweighs the difficult days.”

HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE GREATNESS IN YOUR TEAM MEMBERS? “By realizing what they enjoy doing and what they do well, then finding ways that they can do more of it. I like to stay innovative by asking, ‘How can we make this part of the business better?’ and by getting my team members’ ideas so our work is a collective and collaborative effort. I keep communication open with weekly calls or through collaboration apps. If a team member does something well or creates something I love, I’m quick to let them know what I like about it and say thank you.” HOW DOES YOUR BUSINESS PROVIDE A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE? “Our competitive advantage is our members. Our collective is made up of women from many career paths who are open to sharing their knowledge, resources and business experience. In addition to our virtual events, we host intimate events and masterminds where it’s easy to meet and get to know the featured speakers and each other. She Built It™ makes your life easier by helping you find the resources and knowledge needed to grow.” TAKE A RISK OR PLAY IT SAFE IN BUSINESS? “Take a risk. If you are gravitating toward something so much that you keep thinking about it, take a calculated and well-thoughtout risk—but not so calculated that you talk yourself out of doing it and never try. Is it scary, yes. Could you fail? Yes. But you could also grow as a person and a business and learn a lot along the way. Winning is finding joy in the journey—not just the destination.”

MANHATTAN BEACH | HELLO@SHEBUILTIT.COM | SHEBUILTIT.COM SOCIAL MEDIA: @SHEBUILTIT @MELANIEJBARR

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

DIANE NUMARK & TRACEY LEE Owners, Barreworks Studio Redondo Beach

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT THE BARRE WORKOUT? “Barre strengthens, lengthens and tones while giving you a mind-body connection to keep you coming back for more! Our classes— incorporating great music and isometric moves—will get your heart pumping and give you just the right amount of energy to take on any challenge you face. Barreworks is more than a workout group; it’s a way of life.” WHO IS YOUR CUSTOMER? “Those who seek fitness, friendship and transformational classes to enhance their bodies, minds and souls. All ages are welcome. With fun classes, great music and dynamic instructors, we offer more than just a workout.”

WHAT IS THE SILVER LINING OF THE RECENT PANDEMIC FOR YOUR BUSINESS? “We had not thought seriously about an online offering. But when the pandemic struck, we had no other choice but to find a way to keep our doors open—even though they were closed. We moved to our digital platform on Zoom, utilizing FitGrid to deliver classes right to our clients’ living rooms. We also created a private Facebook group for updates and announcements including a daily morning greeting from the Barre Boss called Tuck & Talk. We trained teachers to instruct from their homes and encouraged clients to push themselves with challenges like taking seven classes in seven days and competing in the Barreworks Olympics. It was inspiring and showed that women can accomplish the impossible when we empower each other.” GIVE US AN EXAMPLE OF A TIME YOU THOUGHT OUTSIDE THE BOX. “When California went into lockdown last summer, we approached Rock & Brews—our next-door neighbor—and asked if we could use their parking lot for outdoor classes. Starting on July 4, 2020, we launched the Barreworks Outdoor Summer Series offering trampoline, barre, yoga, POUND®, PlyoJam and cardio dance to hundreds of clients outside. We even had portable mini-barres (like a ballet barre, just 3 feet wide) created by a local carpenter and took advantage of the ocean breeze. Today we continue to offer classes outside on the patio.” WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? “The founder of the barre movement is my inspiration. Barre is based on the balletbarre technique developed in the 1950s by the German-born modern dancer Lotte Berk. After a back injury, Lotte created a fitness system that honed rehabilitative therapy with cutting-edge exercises to sculpt and tone the bodies of students and celebrities.”

HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE GREATNESS IN YOUR TEAM MEMBERS? “We have professional performers, former Laker Girls, Disneyland dancers and Broadway entertainers. We collaborate with our amazing staff to create innovative and challenging classes that make working out not only fun, but never the same class twice. I spend time brainstorming with my team on everything from camera angles to dance moves, and our instructors (including me) motivate each other to help our clients get to the next level.” DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE. “My leadership centers around the core values we had when we bought the business: be authentic with our community and with each other; push ourselves by working (and working out) hard; be bold and have purpose; and serve our community by empowering women to be the best versions of themselves. We do not seek impossible perfection, but we strive for progression.” HOW WOULD CLIENTS DESCRIBE YOU? “My clients would say I’m a Jane Fonda-Katie Couric mash-up: Jane’s passion for fitness and Katie’s girl-next-door demeanor. I consider myself an optimist and try to always be positive and supportive while challenging clients to work harder. And maybe, while pushing you to get to the next level, I can make you laugh through your workout!” WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING WITH YOUR BUSINESS? “Barreworks now has an on-demand library with hundreds of classes from every category and each instructor. Want a sample? Email us at redondo@barreworksstudio.com.”

129 PALOS VERDES BLVD., SUITE 103, REDONDO BEACH | 310-944-1001 | BARREWORKSSTUDIO.COM/REDONDO

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY ROSE PIERCE PORTRAIT/JUST ADD COLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

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iane Numark began her love of dance at age 3. When she was 16, she started teaching jazz, tap and ballet classes and added circus choreography to the mix at 18. She majored in broadcast journalism at Pepperdine University, and then put her passion into the television industry as an Emmy-winning producer. For a decade she worked for ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition before deciding to take a break from her career to focus on her kids. It was then that she discovered barre and fell in love with the workout. In 2016 Diane was recruited to teach barre and eventually trampoline and cardio sculpt classes. In 2019 she bought Barreworks Studio Redondo Beach with her good friend, Tracey Lee, who runs the behind-the-scenes operations for the business. Barreworks offers a variety of classes, including barre, yoga, trampoline and cardio—as well as a community that helps each other stay strong mentally, emotionally and physically. Classes are offered seven days a week in several formats: live, virtual livestream and on demand.


WOMEN IN BUSINESS

® ANGELA DORSEY, CFP , MBA Founder, Dorsey Wealth Management

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orsey Wealth Management is a fee-only financial planning firm providing wealth management and retirement planning for women and couples. Owner Angela Dorsey has been investing for family and friends for more than 25 years. After two decades of working as a senior compensation consultant, she followed her dream to start a financial planning and wealth management firm in 2011. WHAT DOES YOUR COMPANY STAND FOR? “Dorsey Wealth Management stands for trust, integrity and transparency. These qualities are critical to having successful client relationships. Financial planning is very personal, and clients need to feel understood and safe to have a successful relationship with their financial planner.” WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A FEE-ONLY FINANCIAL PLANNER? “Fee-only means that I receive no commissions from the investments I recommend to my clients. I do not sell financial products. I am paid exclusively by my clients, like an attorney or CPA. I am a fiduciary, which means I take an oath each year to put my clients’ needs first.” WHAT IS THE SILVER LINING OF THE RECENT PANDEMIC FOR YOUR BUSINESS? “The silver lining is that it brought me closer to my clients. During the pandemic I would frequently call clients just to see how they were doing. I would spend a few minutes talking about their investments and assuring them that they will be OK. But most of the conversation was spent talking about what mattered most to my clients: their family’s well-being and their health. That difficult time gave me an opportunity to dive more deeply into what matters most in my client’s lives. Now I’m even more attuned to what’s most important to my clients and that their financial plans reflect what matters most to them.”

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO SPECIALIZE IN THE FINANCIAL PLANNING NEEDS OF WOMEN? “Women have unique financial challenges that, in general, men don’t have to manage. Women are more likely to live longer than men, which means they need to save enough money to last them for more years. Women are more likely to need long-term care and may have to face these needs alone after their spouse dies. Women are more likely to live on their own—whether by choice, divorce or death of a spouse. Some may find themselves managing their finances for the first time due to the death of their spouse. Women in general tend to be more conservative investors. This means that their savings might not be on track to meet their financial goals. The Dorsey Wealth Management team empowers women to achieve a secure financial future.” WHAT SERVICE DO YOU PROVIDE YOUR CLIENTS? “The Empowered Wealth Management service partners with clients on an ongoing, personalized basis—providing comprehensive financial planning and investment management. I provide each client with a tailored financial plan based on their values, goals and financial situation. I also provide ongoing education for my clients. I want them to understand their finances and how my recommendations will help them. Each client receives a portal that pulls together their financial picture and is updated nightly. This helps clients get organized and stay engaged with their finances.” WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? “I find inspiration from my clients. When a client tells me that she feels peace of mind from working with me or that she now understands how her investments are working for her, it makes me feel wonderful.”

WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR A WOMAN JUST STARTING IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? “For women who have a passion for financial planning and are interested in becoming a financial planner, I’d say, ‘Just do it!’ In 2020 the number of female Certified Financial Planners was only 23%. This surprises me because financial planning can be such a rewarding career for women! You get to help people understand their financial picture, assist them in reaching important life goals, and you can have work-life flexibility. There are so many different paths to becoming a financial planner. You can join a large firm or start your own firm, as I did. The first step is to talk to female financial planners and ask them about their journey to get clues toward the best path for you.” WHAT IS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST, PROFESSIONALLY OR PERSONALLY? “My husband and I are now empty nesters, so I would like to travel more. At the top of my bucket list is Tahiti. I want to spend a night in one of those huts over the water with a glass bottom where I can see the fish swimming below!” HAS MOTHERHOOD MADE YOU A BETTER ENTREPRENEUR? “I have two wonderful children: a son and a daughter. Both are amazing and the center of my world. As I watched them grow up to be wonderful young adults, I was reminded how being a mother requires love, patience, dedication and faith. I can compare this to being an entrepreneur, which requires a similar level of commitment and passion to thrive and be successful. Sometimes I think of my business as my third child!”

21250 HAWTHORNE BLVD., SUITE 500, TORRANCE | 310-370-7776 | DORSEYWEALTH.COM

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

KACI BACHER, JENNIFER CHAN, BROOKE RICCIARDI Co-Owners, RockIt Body Pilates

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ockIt Body Pilates is a fitness studio that blends classical Pilates philosophies with modern elements. Owners Kaci Bacher, Jennifer Chan and Brooke Ricciardi and their team of instructors offer a variety of class formats to suit all fitness levels—from intense, fast-paced, muscle-shaking classes to slow-and-steady burns—all set to fun upbeat music. Kaci joined the business in 2009 and taught classes until she bought the business in 2019. She brought Jennifer and Brooke into the business in January 2020. WHAT DOES YOUR BUSINESS STAND FOR? “Community and care through physical and mental health.” WHAT IS THE SILVER LINING OF THE RECENT PANDEMIC FOR YOUR BUSINESS? “When we took on this business, we had a fiveyear growth plan in place. Many of those goals would have been time-consuming and challenging to complete while keeping our business up and running. With the downtime, we were able to fast-forward our plan by three years.” WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING AT ROCKIT BODY PILATES? “The COVID-19 shutdown pushed us to explore the virtual world of fitness three years earlier than planned. Within three weeks of being physically shut down, our team had online classes up and running. We are currently converting our COVID-19 virtual pop-up studio to a branded workout app, RockIt Remix. In addition, we’ve created equipment bags for purchase to support your at-home workouts.” WHAT WOULD BE YOUR IDEAL NEXT BIG OPPORTUNITY? “Manufacturing our own proprietary machine is in the works. Our goal is to improve on an already very effective piece of fitness equipment and make it available on a larger scale. That would include opening more RockIt Body corporate studios as well as providing others

with licensing opportunities. Impacting more people positively is always the end goal.” IN WHAT WAYS ARE YOU AN INNOVATOR OR AN INFLUENCER? “Our goal is to empower every client who walks through our doors. No matter what is going on in their day, we want to provide a venue that helps build confidence not only by improving physical fitness but by being a safe place mentally without competition or judgment. Influencing mental health is just as important as physical fitness.” HOW DO YOU ATTRACT THE BEST TALENT TO JOIN YOUR STAFF? “We don’t. Talent is typically associated with education, experience or what you know. Those things can easily be taught or gained in-house. Character, on the other hand, cannot. We strive to be the kind of people we want to attract. We seek individuals with a moral compass who want to become involved members of our community. With those qualities in place, learning the technical part of our business and skills to train clients is second nature.” HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE GREATNESS IN YOUR TEAM MEMBERS? “Connection. While becoming friends with your team may not be normal in most business landscapes, we create personal relationships with our entire team. If you care about another person on a more intimate level, you work harder to reach a common goal. A top-down leadership style of control and fear never works. We treat each other with respect and consideration because we truly care for one another. We find it inspires an ‘all hands on deck’ mentality.” WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? “Through something that seems so simple but is a difficult skill to master: listening. We see hundreds of people each week, from different backgrounds and with varying needs. Listening to our clients has inspired us to add entirely

different class formats to our schedule. We are always open to learning from anyone who walks through our doors.” HOW WOULD CLIENTS DESCRIBE YOU? “We hope they would describe us as a community and their happy place. We want to provide a space where our clients can quiet the outside noise and focus on themselves without distraction. Women in general tend to forget to take time for self-care. We want to foster an environment where they have that ability. Nothing makes us smile more after a class than hearing, ‘I needed that!’ or ‘That was the best part of my day!’” TAKE A RISK OR PLAY IT SAFE IN BUSINESS? “Take a risk. After all, if it doesn’t scare you a little, it’s probably not worth doing.” WHAT PUTS A SPRING IN YOUR STEP AND KEEPS YOU FEELING ENERGIZED? “We all feel so blessed to be able to walk in the studio doors, plug in our music, dance and hang out with our friends (aka clients). I think we would all agree that no matter how crazy or bad our day may have been, once the music is turned on, it all melts away. It’s amazing how healing it can be to put your focus on someone else.” WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR A WOMAN JUST STARTING IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? “In this new world of social media, don’t let others criticize your decisions. Social media is part of marketing, but keep it real and relevant. Don’t get caught up in just the pretty pictures. Know your s—t. Pictures may get you followers, but the real work pays the bills. It’s not pretty. It’s long days and continual education, compassion and connection. It’s hard work, but it is all worth it.”

1834 N. SEPULVEDA BLVD., MANHATTAN BEACH, 424-452-6040 | 1718 S. CATALINA AVE., REDONDO BEACH | 424-452-6086 ROCKITBODY.COM

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

AMERICA MICHAEL Founder, Homes By America

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ealtor® America Michael and the Homes By America team are part of the Keller Williams Luxury International group. They specialize in California luxury real estate and residential properties stretching throughout Los Angeles and the South Bay. In addition, they are a part of a Keller Williams preferred agent concierge network that assists clients in the purchase or sale of property anywhere in the world. America has worked in real estate for the past decade and is a Certified Negotiations Expert. Prior to entering the real estate industry in 2011, she worked in marketing and operated a home-organization business. WHAT DOES YOUR TEAM STAND FOR? “At Homes By America, you can expect fivestar, premium customer service and creative problem-solving with expert, authentic negotiators who are determined to create the WIN for our clients.”

WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING FOR HOMES BY AMERICA? “We were recently ranked in the top 1.5% of all Realtors in the country by 2020 Real Trends ‘The Thousands’ rankings.” WHAT IS THE SILVER LINING OF THE RECENT PANDEMIC FOR YOUR BUSINESS? “Given the market’s craziness and uptick, we’ve been keeping really busy helping as many people as possible buy and sell, which seems surreal in the middle of such an unprecedented time. That’s a silver lining to us—we get to continue to do what we love and help people make their dreams come true! We put our heads down and pivoted in the way business had to be done, which helped us become more adaptable and creative at doing our jobs better and with more efficiency.”   HOW WOULD CLIENTS DESCRIBE YOU? “Personable and persistent.”   

IN WHAT WAYS HAS YOUR TEAM’S PERFORMANCE EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS? “Our team recently suffered a major loss with the passing of my husband, Tyler, this spring. He was our director of operations and handled all of our back office, trainings and systems. While this has been the hardest time for us, we’ve implemented everything he developed and continued our track record of delivering outstanding service to our clients without missing a beat! He would be proud to see that our team learned to really lean on one another. I am so proud of the team for persevering as well as honored to have such wonderful clients who stuck with us at such a trying and devastating time.”   TAKE A RISK OR PLAY IT SAFE? “I’m naturally a risk-averse person and have built my business in what I consider a very safe way, but I am learning to take more calculated risks as we grow and come up with new ways to serve our clients.” WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? “I’m constantly in awe of the circle of women I surround myself with—both in real estate and in my social circles. These women are all so dynamic and inspire me with their hearts, intellect, talents, business acumen, drive and all they bring to the table. I am a lucky woman to be among such spectacular feminine forces!”   HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE GREATNESS IN YOUR TEAM MEMBERS? “I’ve always led with authenticity and being 100% real. My team knows this is a nonnegotiable for our culture, and we subscribe to the ABG policy: Always Be Growing. If something doesn’t work, we go back to the drawing board and pivot. I try to be humble and human so my team always knows that not only do I have their back, I am a real person too.”  

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK? “I love my clients and being able to help them make their dreams come true. It’s such a joy to go through the process of buying and selling a home with someone and see how excited they are when they finally make it to the finish line and move in, or begin their path to financial freedom with investing in real estate. I’m rewarded by their achievements and take the process to heart with them.” WHAT IS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST? “Professionally, I want to take my team to Mexico and show them some new places and markets! Personally, I hoped to go to Africa and Greece this year for my honeymoon, but plans have shifted and I’m taking a long road trip through some national parks across Montana, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico instead—a close second.” WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR DAY? “Waking up and starting my day with gratitude, meditation and exercise. It’s a newer habit I’ve adopted over the past year slowly and have grown to love it!”   WHAT PUTS A SPRING IN YOUR STEP AND KEEPS YOU FEELING ENERGIZED? “When we tell clients that we got the house or closed on the house! It’s such an exciting feeling, and my team celebrates it when we deliver that news. It’s such a rewarding feeling, and we are thrilled every time for each client.” WHAT ARE YOU ESPECIALLY GRATEFUL FOR TODAY? “I am so grateful to live in a community that values people’s talents and personalities. The South Bay is truly a special community, and I am grateful to be a part of it.”

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

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L to R: Executive assistant Shira Zaidorf, Realtor® America Michael, Realtor® Stephanie Crothers


WOMEN IN BUSINESS

LISSA SOLIS, DACM, DIPL. OM, MTOM, LAC Owner, Vibrancy Wellness

WHAT DO YOU OFFER PATIENTS? “After years of dealing with frustrating health struggles, I was grateful to discover a new path to wellness. This experience and understanding make me a great guide to those battling chronic health issues. My education is a great combination of East-meets-West, enabling me to provide true integrative care. I am a compassionate listener and take time to consider patients’ situations. My passion for natural medicine expanded when I became a mother. It was important for me to be able to treat childhood issues in the most natural way possible. I have experienced great success using natural integrative medicine for the treatment of my two children.” WHAT PUTS A SPRING IN YOUR STEP AND KEEPS YOU FEELING ENERGIZED? “Practicing what I preach keeps me energized. I receive regular acupuncture treatments, eat clean food, take Chinese herbs and exercise regularly. I believe it is important to set a good example for my patients.”

WHAT IS THE SILVER LINING OF THE RECENT PANDEMIC FOR YOUR BUSINESS? “The pandemic has helped people realize that their health is vital. I think it has inspired many to take more control of their well-being. Preventive medicine is coming to the forefront. People are slowing down and taking more time for self-care. Both Chinese and functional medicine are focused on preventing illness before it happens. My practice provides patients with the education and tools to maintain vibrant health.” WHAT DOES YOUR COMPANY STAND FOR? “My company stands for vibrant health. It is my desire to help my patients live their best lives by achieving optimal wellness. I integrate Eastern and Western medicine to give my patients individualized care.” WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? “I find my inspiration in other women business owners. When I first started, I was quite intimidated. Starting my own business was exciting but scary. I reached out to other women for advice, and I was thrilled to receive so much love and support from people I knew personally and complete strangers. If you’re just starting out, don’t be afraid to reach out. I feel there is a society of us who are all cheering for each other’s success. I would be honored to help other women who feel as lost as I did in the beginning.” HOW WOULD CLIENTS DESCRIBE YOU? “My patients describe me as calming—some of them have nicknamed me Dr. Zen. I like to provide a place of serenity for my patients to escape the hustle and bustle of our fastpaced lives.” TAKE A RISK OR PLAY IT SAFE IN BUSINESS? “I think you have to take a risk and go after what you want. It was a big risk for me to open my practice, and it would have never happened if I had chosen to play it safe.”

HAS MOTHERHOOD MADE YOU A BETTER ENTREPRENEUR? “Being a single mom has given me the strength to take the risk of starting my practice. Motherhood is what initially started my journey into integrative medicine. When I became pregnant I was in law school, but I became obsessed with reading every book on raising healthy babies. All my law books eventually got replaced by medical books, and I took a huge turn professionally. My kids helped me discover my passion. Commuting to work took me away from them too much. I want to spend as much time with my kids as possible, so it made complete sense to open my practice in our neighborhood. I like being part of the local community.” HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE NAME OF YOUR BUSINESS? “My last name, Solis, is a Spanish name derived from the Latin word sol, meaning sun. I wanted to creatively include my name in my business. I used the sun as my logo. Within the sun is the tree of life for continued strength and growth balanced within the yin-yang symbol, directly related to ancient Chinese medicine. Vibrancy is the perfect representation of sunshine—being full of energy and life.” WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING WITH YOUR PRACTICE? “I am in the process of adding a red-light therapy room. Soon patients will be able to receive acupuncture treatments while soaking up the benefits of red-light therapy.” WHAT VACATION DESTINATION ARE YOU DREAMING OF THESE DAYS? “I want to go back to the islands of Spain. Mallorca is my favorite. I could see myself living there someday.” PHOTOGRAPHED BY DAVID LEE

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r. Lissa Solis, a California-licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist who is certified in functional medicine, discovered her passion for holistic medicine through her own journey of healing, in which Chinese and functional medicine profoundly changed her life. She has a B.A. 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. Dr. Solis started Vibrancy Wellness in Hermosa Beach in 2018. She specializes in gut health, all-encompassing women’s health, chronic conditions and mental health. Her practice focuses on educating patients about how to live vibrantly.

727 2ND ST. #101, HERMOSA BEACH | 310-779-1563 | VIBRANCYLIVEWELL.COM

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

CHRISTIE HAVEY SMITH Owner, The Greenhouse

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or 12 years, Christie Havey Smith has been leading workshops throughout Los Angeles that support the growth of awareness, creativity, healing and personal development. She completed studies in holistic and integrative wellness at Loyola Marymount University and in mindfulness and meditation at the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley. She also earned a master’s degree in theology and spiritual direction at LMU with specialized study in Jungian psychology. In August 2020 she opened The Greenhouse, a wellness studio and shop in Palos Verdes that offers yoga classes and workshops. HOW DID THE GREENHOUSE GET ITS NAME? “We are a warm, sunlit studio that is growing more than plants. We are growing holistic health. We are ‘growing well’ as a community.” WHAT’S NEW ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS? “The Greenhouse is celebrating its first anniversary. We opened during the pandemic with a virtual platform and are now live and in person with yoga and workshops. Our class content and community are expanding. We are cultivating incredible connections, healing and personal growth.” HOW DO YOU ATTRACT THE BEST TALENT TO JOIN YOUR STAFF? “I have been incredibly blessed and guided well, but perhaps there is a bit of magic in this too. The familiar sentiment ‘If you build it, they will come’ rings true. I put a lot of thought and care into creating a space that appeals to instructors and allows them to show up and simply teach. The natural light, live plants, serene space and fountain outside create a nurturing atmosphere. We have 12 exceedingly talented instructors currently offering classes at The Greenhouse.”

WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? “I find inspiration in the people who walk through the door. Because we are a small, intimate retreat space, I get to know most of our guests. Their stories, challenges and triumphs truly inspire class content. This fall we are introducing three paths of intention with recommended classes for each: Holistic Reboot, Creative Exploration and Restorative Journey. We anticipate this will be an inspiring season for all.” WHAT IS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST? “Nearly every year I go on a wellness retreat and submerge myself in a new experience of self-care, delving into various traditions and gaining insight into new practices. This personal ritual has inspired my professional life. There have been many special places on the list, from Esalen at Big Sur to Blackberry Mountain in Tennessee, as well as destinations as far as New Zealand. One extraordinary place I’d love to travel to someday is Arctic Bath in Sweden. It has long been a dream of mine to see the northern lights. That said, sometimes the best retreats are the ones we can step into easily, such as the shores of the Pacific. Surf Sundays at our very own RAT Beach are my family’s favorite retreat.” WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS SEASON? “This fall I will be teaching The Story Workshop, a three-part series designed to help participants write their living story in a new, transformative way. We’ll explore archetypes, themes, intentions and how one’s inward path often mirrors their outward journey. We’ll expand perspectives and pen new pages, honoring the power of story and the depth of our creativity.”

HAS MOTHERHOOD MADE YOU A BETTER ENTREPRENEUR? “I am absolutely made stronger as a business owner by being a mother. Caring for others continues to bring me so much joy. And if you ask mothers and caretakers how everything gets done in a day, they will likely put up their hands in wonder. There’s always a to-do list that makes it possible for one to move from one day to the next. I have learned to value the small tasks that are often invisible to others but ultimately result in something tremendous. When I put my head on the pillow at the end of the day, I try not to linger on the list but instead ask the only question that really matters: How did I make people feel today? If they felt truly cared for, then it was a meaningful day.” IN WHAT WAYS ARE YOU HELPING THOSE IN NEED IN OUR COMMUNITY? HOW CAN OTHERS BE OF HELP? “This is a challenging period in history. In one way or another, we’ve all been impacted and asked to adapt, to assist. At The Greenhouse, we’ve assisted in our own way by offering workshops that provide individuals a safe space to express what they’re going through and feel connected to others. Collectively, we’ve lost family members, jobs and a bit of patience this year, but we’ve also grown friendships, renewed hope and gained wisdom. We are many voices, many experiences, but we are one community. And the support I’ve witnessed is powerful. What we can all do as we go forward is try to approach each other with compassion. We can do a little extra right now to help others feel safe. We can work as a team and grow well together.”

2325 PALOS VERDES DRIVE W., SUITE 205, PALOS VERDES ESTATES | THEGREENHOUSEPV.COM

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

L to R: Kelly Stroman, President/CEO, MBCC; Jill Dunn, Chevron & Chair, MBCC; Latrice McGlothin, Kinecta Federal Credit Union Foundation & Past Chair, MBCC Not pictured: Faviola Ochoa, SoCalGas & Secretary, 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 local companies with government agencies. The Chamber is celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2021, culminating with this year’s Best of Manhattan Awards on October 21 at westdrift Manhattan Beach. WHAT DOES YOUR ORGANIZATION STAND FOR? “The Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce stands for helping businesses, organizations and people thrive—throughout Manhattan Beach and the South Bay. We want to promote a strong local economy by partnering with local government, the business community, and nonprofit and business organizations.” WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING WITH YOUR BUSINESS? “After the death of George Floyd, the

Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce formed its Inclusion Committee to help the Chamber consider how it can be more inclusive of all populations and help the business community navigate the same issue. Our goal is to create an inclusive business environment in Manhattan Beach in which all populations are welcome to conduct business.” IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU EMPOWER WOMEN TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS? “The Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce is led by president/CEO Kelly Stroman and has 12 women on its board of directors, including three women on the executive board. In March we held a virtual event, Phenomenal Women: Purposefully Powerful, which focused on understanding the power of purpose (and of women). The Chamber also holds quarterly women-focused networking events that afford local women the opportunity to meet one another and share their personal and business experiences.”

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 Manhattan Beach Chamber offers a variety of benefits to help you build your brand. We have a dedicated and active membership base that is successful in making its mark within our community. Our members work in tandem not only with the Chamber but also with other members to promote long-term partnerships and strategic plans to help achieve business goals. It is our mission to help you grow your sales channels, educate 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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PHOTOGRAPHED BY JP CORDERO AT DACHA STYLED BY LAUREN GREGORY, OWNER OF DACHA

MANHATTAN BEACH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (MBCC)


WOMEN IN BUSINESS

CHRISTINE ZIPPERT Design Principal & Owner, CC Zippert Design

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full-service interior design studio, CC Zippert specializes in crafting bespoke residential and commercial interiors. Christine Zippert established the firm in 2019 with the goal of merging her fine arts background with her love of architecture, antiques and interiors. Previously she led the West Coast offices of a public relations and brand marketing agency for 10 years. Christine earned a bachelor’s degree in painting and then went on to complete UCLA’s interior design program. WHAT DOES YOUR COMPANY STAND FOR? “Creating spaces that are deeply considered, personal and timeless. We like spaces that have a spirit all their own—with quirks, whimsy and unexpected details. Everything we do is customized— from architectural detailing to furniture. I have a lot of passion for architectural history and antiques, which are perennial anchors for our work. Also, building thoughtful, collaborative relationships with each of our clients is so important.” WHAT PUTS A SPRING IN YOUR STEP AND KEEPS YOU FEELING ENERGIZED? “We feel pretty energized when our design work helps a client imagine a different version of life and when a client is openminded to new concepts and ideas.” WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR A WOMAN JUST STARTING IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? “Just start. I spent so many years dreaming of this other version of my life, but the time and energy required to get there—not to mention the financial demands of living in California—made it seem impossible to pivot careers. But then I said my dream out loud to my husband and then a few friends and colleagues, and it started to feel real. Interior design is not just pretty pictures—it’s a 24/7/365 business that requires working with so many different people and making thousands of little decisions that add up to a finished project. If you’re passionate about your work, I believe you’ll be successful.” WHAT WOULD BE YOUR IDEAL NEXT BIG OPPORTUNITY? “I hope to go back to my roots as a painter and start a textile line. In the meantime, we’ve been pouring our hearts into several whole-home renovation projects, which honestly is right where we want to be.” HAS MOTHERHOOD MADE YOU A BETTER ENTREPRENEUR? “Absolutely. I have two little girls, and they have made me so much braver. I want them to know that doing something they’re passionate about is possible—but only with hard work. I also want them to learn to constantly self-critique and adjust accordingly. No one’s going to do it for them.”

3704 VIA CARDELINA, PALOS VERDES ESTATES | 310-483-9845 | CCZIPPERTDESIGN.COM SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

CHRISSY KARASAVAS-MEISTERHEIM Realtor , The Kondo Group | Compass ®

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Realtor for the past eight years, Chrissy KarasavasMeisterheim joined The Kondo Group—operating under the umbrella of Compass—in 2017. After earning her marketing degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Chrissy spent 14 years in the fashion business working as a sales manager in New York and Los Angeles before transitioning to the real estate industry. She lives in Rolling Hills Estates with her husband, Jeff, and their son, Loukas, and daughter, Effie. WHAT IS THE SILVER LINING OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC FOR YOUR BUSINESS? “A very tough and scary time has given people the insight to make decisions that will benefit their families and lives long term. I believe the most interesting thing that came out of this pandemic was people reevaluated their lives. Many of my transactions this year were based on clients looking deeply at their priorities and making life changes. Two of my recent listings were for sellers who realized that they wanted to move closer to their families. The pandemic reminded them how important their support network was.” WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? “My mom has always been my inspiration—in life, motherhood and work. She taught me to never feel sorry for myself, not to focus on the negative or waste energy with worry. Instead, have faith and be strong, keep trying and look for the positive in each situation. I lost her last year, and now more than ever I strive to continue to make her proud and do my best to live by her advice.” HAS MOTHERHOOD MADE YOU A BETTER ENTREPRENEUR? “Motherhood was the reason I changed careers and pursued real estate. I was working in fashion—traveling and rarely home. It was a lucrative career, but I knew as a new mother I would miss out on watching my son grow up. I decided to pursue real estate when he was just 3 months old, and I didn’t even realize then what a blessing it would be. It allows me to be a present parent. It’s so important for me to be efficient in my job and utilize effective time management. ‘Working smarter not harder’ is my mantra because of my kids.” HOW DOES YOUR BUSINESS PROVIDE CLIENTS A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE? “I’m proud to be a part of The Kondo Group—a team of 12 amazing and accomplished Realtors. We are diverse in our overall expertise and niche, so we advise and accommodate all types of clients, properties and needs. There is an expert on the team for each unique situation.”

310-991-5926 | THEKONDOGROUP.COM | DRE #01953697

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

MARY KELLEY Owner, Mary Kelley’s 23 Street rd

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ary Kelley and her sister opened their fine jewelry boutique, 23rd Street Jewelers, in 1981. Their custom designs and attention to detail caught the attention of celebrities, doctors, homemakers and professionals alike. The business closed after 38 years, and today Mary operates her new business, Mary Kelley’s 23rd Street, in her hometown of Manhattan Beach. WHAT DOES YOUR COMPANY STAND FOR? “Integrity, style, customer service and value. My deep understanding of the manufacturing of fine jewelry allows me to provide my customers with the highest quality designs and manufacturing at the lowest prices possible.” WHAT CHARACTER TRAITS DO YOU POSSESS THAT HAVE MADE YOU A SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEUR? “When I started my business in 1981 at the age of 22, I had just graduated from the Gemological Institute of America. Little did I know that 23rd Street Jewelers would become the success that it was for 38 fabulous years. Creating that success was the result of my persistence and determination. My family called me ‘the bulldog’ because I never gave up when I set my mind to something. These characteristics have led me to open my new business located on Manhattan Beach Boulevard. My motto is custom, contemporary, classic fine jewelry.” HOW DO YOU BUILD TRUST, CREDIBILITY AND AUTHENTICITY WITH YOUR CLIENTS? “I am an approachable person. I build trust, credibility and authenticity one client at a time. If they want to ask questions about their diamonds or gemstones, I take the time to teach them. The tools of the trade for me are a 10x jeweler’s loupe and my 40 years of experience, plus my education at the Gemological Institute of America. In addition, I create relationships that show I sincerely care about clients. I focus on customer service and creating jewelry I know they will love. I demonstrate to them that I am committed to their experience and expectations.” HOW DO YOU GIVE BACK TO YOUR COMMUNITY? “As a resident of Manhattan Beach, I am very passionate about public education and keeping the arts in education. Since the year 2000, I have been the ‘premier fine jewelry partner’ for the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation. I am proud to be a partner with this program, which has been funding critical education programs since 1983. I have continually donated to their main fundraising event, the MBEF Wine Auction, for more than 21 years. My donations have helped raise more than $300,000 for this very important program. Of this I am very proud!”

1020 MANHATTAN BEACH BLVD., SUITE 203, MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-740-2267 | INSTAGRAM: @MK23RDST SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

KELLY A. SHIMADA, DDS, FACP Owner, South Redondo Dental Group

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outh Redondo Dental Group is a multispecialty dental practice owned by prosthodontist Dr. Kelly A. Shimada, who recently partnered with co-owner Dr. Greg Shvartsman to help grow his existing practice. Dr. Shimada has worked in the dental industry for nine years, graduating from the UCLA School of Dentistry and performing residencies in hospital dentistry and advanced prosthodontics WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING WITH YOUR BUSINESS? “Dr. Shvartsman has been running a successful sole-provider general dentistry practice for several years. Over the last year we have worked tirelessly to double and remodel the physical space and improve the patient experience in our practice. We are excited to offer a multispecialty practice that includes general dentistry, prosthodontics and periodontics. Since Dr. Shvartsman and I went to school together, we know we work well together and are looking forward to growing our practice.” WHAT IS YOUR SILVER LINING OF THE RECENT PANDEMIC? “While the pandemic posed many challenges for nearly every person and business, I was able to turn lemons into lemonade and utilize the time to work with Dr. Shvartsman and create our vision. Of course there were some delays, but all things considered, we have been very fortunate and wise with our time and accomplished a lot over the last year and a half.”

HOW WOULD PATIENTS DESCRIBE YOU? “I believe patients would describe me as thorough, friendly and compassionate. I strive to always achieve the best quality of work. It may not always be the quickest route, but in many instances it’s better to be the tortoise rather than the hare. Another very important part of dentistry is listening. Often when a patient sees a prosthodontist, they need extensive dental treatment and have a difficult dental history to go along with it. A huge part of my job is to listen and understand where this person is coming from; by doing so, I can tailor my treatment recommendations to fit their dental needs and also their emotional needs. Anyone who has lost a tooth or had an accident can understand that having dental work done can be an emotionally and physically taxing process, so it is essential for me to make sure they are comfortable throughout.”

1711 VIA EL PRADO, SUITE 400, REDONDO BEACH | 310-792-8610 | DENTISTREDONDOBEACH.COM

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY ERICH CHEN PHOTOGRAPHY

WHAT IS A PROSTHODONTIST? “I joke that a prosthodontist is a ‘general dentist on steroids’—meaning years of additional specialty training where I focused on collaboration efforts with other dental specialists to rehabilitate patients’ bites and smiles after years of wear and tear. I am well equipped to treat basic dental needs, as well as more complex issues.”


WOMEN IN BUSINESS

GEORGIANA ROSENKRANZ, JD

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

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

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

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

MARLA DIANN Owner, Marla Diann Mentoring International

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arla Diann is a success coach and business strategist for high-achieving creative entrepreneurs and professionals seeking to be change-makers in their industries. Marla started her coaching business in 2008 after operating an entertainment public relations company for 12 years. WHAT DOES YOUR COMPANY STAND FOR? “My brand tag line is ‘Stand for your worth and dignity.’ One of my signature teachings is transforming clients’ relationship with money. I am helping them raise their wealth consciousness and, in turn, improve all areas of their lives. A rising tide lifts all ships. My clients walk away with lifelong tools to sustain the changes and continue upgrading that relationship.” WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING WITH YOUR BUSINESS? “As a result of the pandemic and re-examining what brings me joy, my team and I are adding a lifestyle division to my coaching company. We are collaborating with a stellar Italian company that offers beauty and home products crafted in Italy. As part of the brand launch, I am offering a two-day women’s retreat at Shade Hotel Redondo Beach on November 4-5 that will be announced very soon!” IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU EMPOWER OTHER WOMEN TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS? “Two ways. First, how to have empowering money conversations during the sales process resulting in higher revenues completed in a graceful, confident way. I also teach clients how to qualify their leads. Second, how to have a masterful blend of masculine and feminine talents and skills to run a business without burning out.” HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE GREATNESS IN YOUR TEAM MEMBERS? “I am always appreciative of their talents and tell them so. I ask them for their input and ideas and use them! I respect them, their lives and their genius talents by treating them with kindness and patience.” IN WHAT WAYS ARE YOU HELPING THOSE IN NEED IN OUR COMMUNITY? “I have always been a passionate advocate for creativity, youth and leadership. As a recent new volunteer, I am supporting South Bay Artist Collective in various ways. I love what founder Rafael McMaster is doing for our South Bay youth and artist community!” HAS MOTHERHOOD MADE YOU A BETTER ENTREPRENEUR? “Raising my now-30-year-old son prepared me to be a better leader and entrepreneur. As I mentored him in his younger years and did my best to be a role model of good values, work ethic and love, motherhood became the core contributor to my success in coaching and running my two businesses over the last 25 years. It’s the most challenging job on the planet!”

PALOS VERDES ESTATES | 805-407-2290 | MARLADIANN.COM

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

JENNY MORANT Realtor®, Compass

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ealtor Jenny Morant specializes in residential real estate in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Venice and Santa Monica. She has worked in the industry since 2010 and joined Compass in 2019. She is also a fourth-generation real estate investor and heads up the management of her family’s multi-unit residential properties. WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING WITH YOUR BUSINESS? “My company and team are growing like I never expected. Until this year, I have been a solo agent and handled everything myself. I got to a point last year when it became clear I really needed to expand in order to keep growing. To accommodate my business’s growth, I added my first employee, Devon Stull, who is my administrative assistant and marketing and deal coordinator. My husband, Tyler Morant, recently joined my team as vice president and general counsel. With the addition of Tyler and Devon, I have now expanded my business to a whole new level.” WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? “My inspiration comes from sharing my passion for residential architecture and design with my clients (I have remodeled several of my own homes and rental properties). I love keeping up with the latest hot neighborhoods, investment opportunities and home design trends. I am so fortunate to be able to help my clients imagine themselves living in their next home or finding that great investment deal.” HOW WOULD CLIENTS DESCRIBE YOU? “Attentive, honest, dedicated, experienced and knowledgeable.” HOW DOES YOUR BUSINESS PROVIDE CLIENTS A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE? “The culmination of my years of experience sets me apart from my peers. As a Realtor I have learned that there is always a deal to be done, and that creative and analytical thinking helps get deals done quickly, efficiently and as stress-free as possible. As a real estate investor, I bring a long-term perspective to my clients’ buying and selling decisions and share the principles that have brought my family success over so many generations. I am honest with my clients about what they have to gain or lose—even if it means I won’t get the opportunity to help them buy or sell their home today. It is most important to me that my clients get the best deal and make a sound investment. I also have a great eye for design and can offer clients lots of tips and tricks to fix up properties without breaking the bank. This can be helpful when getting a home ready to sell, fixing up a new house or helping a rental property shine.”

MANHATTAN BEACH | 424-409-8976 | JENNYMORANT.COM | DRE #01874517 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

DIANA TURNER Realtor , 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 before becoming a Realtor in 2004. WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING WITH YOUR BUSINESS? “In spite of COVID-19, I had my best year ever last year. Our area continues to be very popular with its great schools, good weather and strong communities.” WHAT IS THE SILVER LINING OF THE RECENT PANDEMIC FOR YOUR BUSINESS? “If you want to spend more time outside, where better to do that than on our beautiful beaches? Many families are looking for bigger home spaces since more time is spent there. A yard has become more important.” IN WHAT WAYS HAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS? “I have received several awards recently. I ranked 11th Top Producer among all Vista Sotheby’s agents for 2020 and was recognized by Real Trends in the Top 1.5% in the U.S.” WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? “It’s very rewarding to see how happy my clients are in their homes! I love my job.” IN WHAT WAYS ARE YOU AN INNOVATOR OR AN INFLUENCER? “My clients call me often wanting my opinion about home improvements, local vendors, etc. They consider me knowledgeable, a pro, well-respected in the community, calm and a good friend.” WHAT ARE YOUR SPECIALTY SERVICES? “I’ve lived in the South Bay since 1996, so I am very familiar with the niche neighborhoods. I have a great network of Realtors who share information about properties. This is not insight you get from public websites. My marketing materials (videos, brochures, etc.) are the highest quality for my clients. I’m hands-on in helping sellers present their homes in the best light, which has paid off for them this year. My team members are consummate professionals. It is a reflection of who I am and our company.” IN WHAT WAYS ARE YOU HELPING THOSE IN NEED IN OUR COMMUNITY? “I contribute to our local school district foundations. As a member of the Trojan League of the South Bay, I help raise scholarship funds for local students to attend USC.”

2501 N. SEPULVEDA BLVD., SUITE 200, MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-213-2450 | LOSANGELESBEACHHOME.COM

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

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 10 years, including with many high-profile clients such as the Los Angeles Kings and professional athletes. IN WHAT WAYS HAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS? “Six years ago I had the opportunity of a lifetime: I traveled to Sicily for three months to complete a full immersion culinary program called Cook The Farm. It had always been my dream to study in Italy, and when the opportunity became a reality, it changed my life.” HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE GREATNESS IN YOUR TEAM MEMBERS? “My crew is everything to me. They work hard to make me look good. As a business owner, having a solid team is invaluable! I give credit where credit is due, and I make sure that everyone is taken care of.” WHAT IS YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR A WOMAN JUST STARTING IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? “Stand strong and fight for what you want! This is a maledominated industry where handouts don’t come easy. But let’s be honest, we ladies can take on any challenge and come out on top! Hard work does pay off, and success is just a measure of how much effort is put in. So get out there, set some goals and make your dreams a reality!”

PHOTOGRAPHED BY LYN WATANABE PHOTOGRAPHY

WHAT PUTS A SPRING IN YOUR STEP AND KEEPS YOU FEELING ENERGIZED? “I am super passionate about pugs! Our pugs, Panini, Pasta and Bento, were all adopted from The Pug Queen Foundation, where I serve as an active volunteer and foster mom. When our first pug, Winston, passed, I made it my mission to help as many pugs as I could. A percentage of all catered events is donated to the rescue organization to help save lives.” HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE NAME OF YOUR BUSINESS? “My dad was a total foodie and skilled cook. He even worked as a line cook at The Kettle during grad school. I started cooking with him at a young age, and he inspired my love of food and cooking. When I started culinary school, he gave me his original copy of The Silver Palate, which is 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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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

MOLLY HOBIN WILLIAMS President & CEO, The Hobin Company at Bayside

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he Hobin Company at Bayside is a real estate brokerage company with offices in Manhattan Beach and Palm Desert. Owners Molly Hobin Williams and Tom Williams and their team represent buyers and sellers and also facilitate leasing. The Hobin Company was started by Molly’s great-grandfather in 1925. He and Molly’s grandfather and father ran the business, and Molly took over in 2010 after working in commercial real estate for 24 years. WHAT IS THE SILVER LINING OF THE RECENT PANDEMIC FOR YOUR BUSINESS? “It is hard to believe, but I had my best year in business in 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. I had clients moving to the South Bay from all over the country. It was wild, as people no longer had to drive to an office every day and were now working remotely. So of course they want to live at the beach. We also found a lot of people wanting second homes in the desert as a weekend escape.” WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? “I find my inspiration from my father, who passed away suddenly three years ago, and my three brothers, who all have their own companies and are incredible entrepreneurs. My dad ran The Hobin Company for years and loved real estate; he spent hours with me talking about it. He was my biggest fan. I am very close to my brothers; we talk all the time and share stories and collaborate.”

WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR A WOMAN JUST STARTING IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? “Work your network. The majority of my deals are referrals from past clients, friends and family, my commercial real estate network and my UCLA real estate network. Also, learn to play golf! I know it sounds crazy, but I can’t tell you how many deals I have done with people who I have met playing golf or at our country club. People enjoy working with like-minded individuals who enjoy a similar lifestyle. If you have something in common like golf, they will feel comfortable working with you.” WHAT PUTS A SPRING IN YOUR STEP AND KEEPS YOU FEELING ENERGIZED? “I love the thrill of the deal. There is nothing better to me than when I meet with clients for the first time and they tell me what they are looking for and I find them their ideal dream home. I also am very excited about my team—how we are growing and all of the exciting things we have on the horizon.”

904 MANHATTAN AVE. #3, MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-318-1212 | THEHOBINCOMPANY.COM

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

JAIMIE SUN SIEGEL, DVM Owner, Concierge Mobile Animal Hospital

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oncierge Mobile Animal Hospital is a full-service veterinary hospital that meets you and your pet at your home—saving you time and reducing your pet’s stress. Veterinarian and owner Jaimie Sun Siegel (known to her patients as Dr. Jaimie) has worked in animal care since she was 16 years old—starting out cleaning kennels and walking dogs at a large animal hospital. She completed her veterinary degree in 2007 at Western University of Health Sciences and opened Concierge Mobile Animal Hospital in 2015. TELL US ABOUT THE WOMEN IN YOUR INDUSTRY. “The veterinary field is more than half female, and veterinary colleges have even higher percentages of women graduating into the field. We are proving to the business world that we are powerful enough, strong enough and fully able to lead. My favorite thing about this movement is that we are still leading with compassion and a feminine presence.” WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR A WOMAN JUST STARTING IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? “To every little girl who wants to be a vet: Follow that dream, because the world needs you! I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian at 3 years old and never lost sight of that dream. If I could advise any woman who wants to join the animal industry, I would remind them to always take care of themselves first. If you are not mentally and physically healthy, you cannot take care of others. If your brain is not rested, you cannot come up with new ideas. If you do not have a strong support system around you, you can only climb so high. You are the heart, brain and soul of your business; it can be toxic and sick, or it can glow with health and empowerment.” WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? “I find inspiration in my patients and their families. Every patient I meet is a new being, both physically and emotionally. Each family has different needs and individual ideas about how their pets and veterinarian fit into that family. I am constantly evolving to meet all these needs.” HAS MOTHERHOOD MADE YOU A BETTER ENTREPRENEUR? “Motherhood absolutely made me a better entrepreneur and veterinarian. My son taught me to lead with love, above all things, and my business would not be as successful or as popular if I did not constantly use this as my mantra. You cannot be a full-time, single, working mother without being organized, efficient and in control of your world—the perfect business model.”

310-818-3294 | CONCIERGEMOBILEANIMALHOSPITAL.COM SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

JORDAN HOLBERT

Owner & Creative Director, Mintwich Creative

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ordan Holbert, owner and creative director of Mintwich Creative, has more than 20 years of graphic design and marketing experience. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in graphic arts from California State University, Fullerton. Jordan is active in the South Bay community and serves as president of the Manhattan Beach Rotary Club. She started her design studio in 2008. IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU EMPOWER OTHER WOMEN TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS? “Most of my clients are women entrepreneurs. Women tend to be more in touch with the creative aspects of life and design. The collaboration I have with my female clients helps me take their vision to the next level. It gives the brand a personality, provides business value and creates clarity that customers connect with.” HOW WOULD CLIENTS DESCRIBE YOU? “I have become an integral asset to my clients’ businesses in establishing and maintaining their brand identities through a myriad of evolving outlets and special projects. Through website design and social media-focused marketing, I believe they would say that I am the ideal combination of creativity and professional delivery—not easy to find in the marketing industry.” IN WHAT WAYS ARE YOU HELPING THOSE IN NEED IN OUR COMMUNITY? “I was recently inducted as president of the Manhattan Beach Rotary Club. I am excited to start our Rotary year by reconnecting with our members and the community. The opportunity to meet in person after 18 months of Zoom meetings has given us more enthusiasm to enrich the lives of our neighbors and assist those who cannot help themselves. This can be in the form of providing potable water, medical care, medicine, housing, schooling or clothing. Manhattan Beach Rotary undertakes projects independently and in collaboration with other organizations in the community.” HAS MOTHERHOOD MADE YOU A BETTER ENTREPRENEUR? “Absolutely! I am more efficient with my time and have learned to be more agile. By keeping an open mind and willingness to explore new opportunities and pivot, I have been able to position myself for success no matter what the future holds.” HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE NAME OF YOUR FIRM? “People who know me know that I have a major sweet tooth! The name Mintwich came from my mother and my favorite Christmas cookies she made when I was growing up. It’s a soft mint chocolate cookie, rolled in sugar and sandwiched with mint frosting. So delightful!”

MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-658-7404 | MINTWICHCREATIVE.COM

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

KARYNNE THIM & LYNNE LEAR Partners, PACIFICA Properties Group

R PHOTOGRAPHED AT A PACIFICA LISTING AT 938 DUNCAN AVE., MANHATTAN BEACH

ealtors® Karynne Thim and Lynne Lear recently launched a new residential real estate brokerage, PACIFICA Properties Group, with partners Jeremy Shelton, Chris Plank and Dan O’Connor. Together the five agents have more than 100 years of experience in the real estate industry. Karynne double-majored in finance and real estate at the University of Arizona, and Lynne attended Dartmouth College and worked in advertising sales and marketing before becoming a Realtor. WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING WITH YOUR BUSINESS? “Forming our brokerage this year was a natural progression of our careers. It is an endeavor born from the desire to create a strong local boutique firm with five of the area’s most accomplished, respected agents who have worked together for 20+ years. It’s been so energizing to start this business together. We support each other and share a unique sense of trust and respect with an undeniable esprit de corps.”

IN WHAT WAYS ARE YOU AN INFLUENCER OR MOTIVATOR? “There are many talented female Realtors in the South Bay, yet very few are principals in brokerages. We are forging a new path with new tools offering a fresh perspective. Jessica Burns, our director of operations, is our young rising star keeping our veteran agents on the cutting edge. Stay tuned for some exciting new announcements!” HOW DOES YOUR BUSINESS PROVIDE CLIENTS A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE? “As the real estate world continues to sell out to corporate conglomerates, this boutique agency stands its ground keeping things local. We do this by answering only to ourselves and our clients, who also benefit from our in-depth market intel. Clients feel some comfort knowing that their broker has boots on the ground alongside them. Since our genesis in April 2021, PACIFICA agents have closed or are in escrow more than $225 million!”

WHAT IS THE PLAN TO GROW THE BROKERAGE? “We have added a few choice agents already and plan to thoughtfully add more and focus on quality over quantity. We will add agents who subscribe to our model’s advantages and who share our unique sense of family, trust and respect.” WHAT DO YOU WANT THE PUBLIC TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR FIRM? “First, we would like to acknowledge and thank our clients who are genuinely thrilled and supportive of us starting our brokerage. To potential clients as well as agents who may want to join us: While we are committed to sharing our well-networked brain trust of experience with you, we also know how to have fun while doing it. We look forward to our next big celebration—PACIFICA-style!”

3201 MANHATTAN AVE., HERMOSA BEACH | 310-374-0303 | PACIFICA-PROPERTIES.COM | DRE #01242076 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

JESSICA LOCOCO President, Town Social Events, Inc.

WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING WITH YOUR BUSINESS? “There are so many new and exciting things in the events industry now. We had the opportunity to capitalize on our creativity and think outside the box over the past year when producing parties. Current trends center around more intimate gatherings, outdoor celebrations and hosting at private locations. We have challenged ourselves with finding the balance between spacing guests out comfortably and at the same time bringing people together to reunite them safely. We have also become quite tech savvy in including folks over Zoom so no one misses the party!”

WHAT IS THE SILVER LINING OF THE RECENT PANDEMIC FOR YOUR BUSINESS? “We expanded our business and created Town Social Parties In A Box. We saw small businesses struggling last year, and we witnessed clients’ frustrations with not being able to host parties. We created boxes that not only benefited small businesses by including their curated items but also allowed customers to celebrate. Now we create custom thematic boxes for corporate clients. It’s been a source of support and comfort during a challenging time—and a huge success.” WHAT WOULD BE YOUR IDEAL NEXT BIG OPPORTUNITY? “Our next big goal is to work with the Los Angeles Chargers. They are moving from San Diego to Los Angeles, so it would be an ideal partnership. My mother has been a season ticket holder for 46 years, so I was born a fan. It would be a personal dream come true.”

WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR DAY? “When starting Town Social, I learned quickly that setting my routine is important. Waking up early—before sunrise—is the best, most productive part of my day. It allows me essential personal time to go to the gym, catch up on projects and create my to-do list to prepare for the day ahead.” WHAT PUTS A SPRING IN YOUR STEP AND KEEPS YOU FEELING ENERGIZED? “My vendors keep me feeling most energized. We all went through this tough time together, and we leaned on each other to get through it. We were scared of losing what we worked so hard for. We were sad that many of our fellow teammates in the industry went under. And we grew closer as we survived. I am only as good as the team I have around me, and they all showed up in a way that inspires me every day.”

324 33 RD PLACE, MANHATTAN BEACH | 310-529-8686 | TOWNSOCIALEVENTS.COM

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY LYN WATANABE PHOTOGRAPHY

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own Social Events is a full-service event-planning company based in Southern California. Before starting the firm in 2013, owner Jessica Lococo worked for a red-carpet event production company producing high-profile parties.


HOME FILMS

HOME FILMS

C R E AT I N G V I D E O F O R YO U R L I S T I N G S I S O N LY E X P E N S I V E I F N O O N E I S W AT C H I N G . H o m e F i l m s i s a f u l l y i n t e g ra t e d , re a l e s t a t e v i d e o p ro d u c t i o n a n d d i g i t a l d i s t r i b u t i o n p a c ka g e . O u r t a l e n t e d f i l m m a k i n g t e a m a r t i s t i c a l l y t e l l s t h e s t o r y o f w h a t m a ke s y o u r l i s t i n g u n i q u e . A n d o u r t a rg e t e d d i g i t a l d i s t r i b u t i o n e n s u re s t h a t t h e r i g h t p o t e n t i a l b u y e r s a re s e e i n g y o u r p ro p e r t y i n t h e m o s t b e a u t i f u l l i g h t.

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SMART DISTRIBUTION

Fo r m o re i n f o r m a t i o n : M a rc i e G u t i e r re z a t m a rc i e @ g o l d e n s t a t e . i s .


DRE#00967574

Palos Verdes Estates Spectacular views from this stunning one level, California Cape Cod! Approximately 7800 square feet with 4 bedroom suites plus an office, pool, spa, pool house, sprawling lawns, gym, wine cellar and more! Situated on a 42,000 square foot parcel on a quiet cul-de-sac, this incredible home boasts expansive, open living spaces. $7,499,000


R E A L E S TAT E

Classic Cape Cod Living with Panoramic Ocean Views Fresh ocean breezes and stylish living await at 117 Crest Drive in Manhattan Beach. This three-level, 2520 square foot home offers four en suite bedrooms plus a powder room and is sited on a 1666 square foot lot. Built in 2013 by White Sands Development and tastefully finished on every level, this residence is literally two blocks from the Strand and within walking distance to downtown Manhattan Beach. 117 Crest Drive, Manhattan Beach $4,399,000 | 4 beds | 4.5 baths | 2,520 SF | 1,666 SF Lot Caskey & Caskey 310-374-1800 | caskeyandcaskey.com | DRE#01198999


732 THE STRAND, HERMOSA BEACH

MODERN COASTAL ESTATE | 3 BEDS | 4 BATHS | 3412 SF | 2391 SF LOT | $8,989,000

1145 FISHER AVENUE, MANHATTAN BEACH CUSTOM BUILT | 5 BEDS | 6 BATHS | 4716 SF | 3000 SF LOT | $5,999,000

216 1ST STREET, MANHATTAN BEACH

ONE BLOCK FROM THE SAND | 3 BEDS | 4 BATHS | 2200 SF | 2705 SF LOT | $3,499,000

234 LARSSON STREET, MANHATTAN BEACH FRENCH PROVINCIAL CHARMER | 3 BEDS | 2.5 BATHS | 2307 SF | 6878 SF LOT | $1,999,000

941 24TH STREET, HERMOSA BEACH 5 BEDS | 3 BATHS | 2850 SF | 5340 SF LOT | $2,300,000


117 CREST DRIVE, MANHATTAN BEACH

137 15TH STREET, MANHATTAN BEACH

MODERN BEACH BUNGALOW | 2 BEDS | 2 BATHS | 889 SF | 1347 SF LOT | $2,599,000

201 21ST PLACE, MANHATTAN BEACH

THE PERFECT BEACH HOUSE | 3 BEDS | 2 BATHS | 1349 SF | 2699 SF LOT | $2,549,000

OCEAN VIEWS | 4 BEDS | 4.5 BATHS | 2520 SF | 1666 SF LOT | $4,399,000

3405 BAYVIEW DRIVE, MANHATTAN BEACH LUXURY BEACH LIFESTYLE | 3 BEDS | 5 BATHS | APPROX. 3250 SF | $6,799,000

4117 OCEAN DRIVE, MANHATTAN BEACH

TRIPLEX | 5 BEDS | 3 BATHS | 1994 SF + 810 SF + 2804 SF | 3500 SF LOT | $5,999,000


238 First Street

528 The Strand Hermosa Beach, CA

Hermosa Beach, CA

Panoramic ocean views, two blocks from The Strand Fully remodeled in 2016 | 3,340 SF | 5 BD, 3.5 BA including attached ADU – $3,599,000

Great triplex on The Strand, Owner user or investment property | 2 x 1 BD, 1 BA units and 1 x 2 BD, 1 BA units | 2,300 SF living space – $5,999,000 – $500k Price Reduction

Recently Sold & In Escrow Sold – 1771 Ruhland Ave, MB | Represented seller | In escrow within 2 weeks of listing

In Escrow – 43 15th Court, HB | Representing both seller and buyer | In escrow within 3 days of listing

Sold at $2,950,000

Listed at $2,635,000

Sold – 7321 Lunada Vista, RPV | Represented both seller and buyer In Escrow – 2316 The Strand, MB Representing seller

Sold at $3,300,000

Listed at $16,500,000

Sold – 23 Santa Bella, RHE | Represented buyer Sold at $2,387,500

Raju Chhabria BRE: 00874072

Philo Chhabria BRE: 00897605

ChhabriaRE.com

Neil Chhabria BRE: 01821437

(310) 902-7227

Anand Chhabria BRE: 01908741

chhabria.realestate

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


LI NE ST W IN G

32007 Isthmus View Dr, Rancho Palos Verdes | $4,999,000 | www.32007isthmusview.com 4 Bd | 5 Ba | 4,186 sq.ft. | 14,148 sq.ft. | 3 Car Garage

964 Via Rincon, Palos Verdes Estates | $5,495,000 | www.964viarincon.com 2 Bd | 4 Ba | 3,147 sq.ft. | 21,684 sq.ft. | 2 Car Garage

999 Paseo La Cresta, Palos Verdes Estates | $9,899,000 |www.999paseolacresta.com 7 Bd | 8 Ba | 10,484 sq.ft | 42,718 sq.ft lot | (Almost 1 Acre Lot) | 4 Car Garage

LILY LIANG

L.COM

EDBYVARIOUS FORMATION.

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

+1 310 373 3333 | 310 902 7799 Text STRANDHILL.COM STRANDHILL.COM

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

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

NOT INVESTIGATE OR VERIFY THE ACCURACY OF THIS INFORMATION.

lily@lilyliang.com | www.lilyliang.com 716 Yarmouth #202, Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274 BRE# 00837794


JU

5822 Finecrest Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes 4 bedrooms | 2 bathrooms 1,815 square feet $1,549,000 Gorgeous city light views | hardwood floors | remodeled kitchen

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

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Our neighborhood, your home.

Wishing a safe and fun return to school for all our South Bay students! MEREDITH JOHNSON DERENZIS

DARIN DERENZIS

EIMILE GAVAGAN (GAVS)

310.600.7973 | meredith@vistasir.com

310.418.6210 | darin@vistasir.com DRE# 01760239

713.264.1275 | derenzis@vistasir.com

DRE# 01907722

Each office is independently owned and operated.


OVER $60M IN ESCROW SOLD THIS SUMMER! IN ESCROW 11 Dapplegray: List Price $1,995,000

IN ESCROW 26 Gaucho: List Price $1,499,000

SOLD 34 Saddleback: List Price $8,500,000

IN ESCROW 115 Via Alameda: List Price $1,799.000

IN ESCROW 609 Paseo Lunado: List Price $1,900,000

SOLD 21510 Reynolds: List Price $1,129,000

IN ESCROW 2833 Calle Aventura: List Price $1,950,000

SOLD 1 Pine Tree: List Price $15,975,000

SOLD 7 Outrider: $5,200,000

SOLD 2950 Crownview: $3,200,000

SOLD 6414 Via de Anzar: $2,095,000

SOLD 27252 Eastvale: $2,150,000

SOLD 30389 PV Dr: $3,100,000

SOLD 30399 PV Dr: $3,610,000

ACTIVE 2901 Via Alvarado: List Price $3,199,000


LAST WORD

Me, Myself and I GELATO MAMA MAKES A DECISION. Written by Emily Tecklenburg

Time. We’ve had so much of it to fill these last 18 months.

everybody is supposed to leave. They need to leave. My

family bike rides and forced game nights, to the present

kids are my most favorite people in this world, but they

days of the pandemic, sponsored by this ride of redun-

need to leave.

of lethargic days. As I sit here and type this, we are at the precipice of

Last year’s six weeks of piddly half-day school doesn’t count. It doesn’t count if they come home and I have to make them lunch. I can’t make lunch anymore,

a new school year that’s teasing me with its promise of

you guys. They have to leave. For seven hours. Monday

full-day, in-person instruction, and I can hardly believe

through Friday. Just as the Lord intended.

that after the longest spring break ever recorded, the

I will do the same duties I’ve always done. I will

day is finally coming to send everyone away for a full

clean, I will cook, I will Uber. I will stand perplexed

seven hours so I can finally have some … time.

over the shoe basket, scattered sandals surrounding

Time that belongs to me and nobody else.

it, wondering if I’m the only person who understands

So much time we’ve had to fill these last long

what a shoe basket is for. I will cry about dinner and its

months, yet I could barely carve out an hour to sit and

relentless insistence on being made. I will manage our

write. Endless hours of time, but then the dog needed

schedules. I will ignore the bathrooms in the hope that

to be walked again, the meals needed to be made again,

someone else will clean them, then clean them when I

the dishes needed washing again. The laundry begged

remember I live with monsters who can’t even get the

to be folded. The house was just one chore followed by

shoes in the shoe basket.

another and another. And now my son needs a ride here, then picked up

But between all those things, squeezed somewhere in the middle of those seven hours, I will find my time

there; my daughter regressing and fearful of being

to shed all the duties, destroy my hamster wheel and

alone; my sticky shadow relentless in her quest to fill

just be me. Just be Emily.

her time. My life, flatlined in a hamster wheel of do-

The time has come. ■

mestic duties; all my time spent serving others.

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a partner, the boss of my house. But that’s because

From the early days of the pandemic, sponsored by

dancy that just won’t quit, we have all had our fair share

218

I don’t usually resent using my time being a mother,


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Southbay September | October 2021  

Southbay September | October 2021  

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