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18 PROGRESSIVE AND PROUD LA city councilmember Nithya Raman
22 MEATLESS MAVEN
Unreal Deli founder Jenny Goldfarb
AND THEN SOME...
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In Bora Bora; story on page 96
Y, Z, and Invisible Me We’ve seen much change over the past year in terms of
who are often looking down at phones. “Look up!” I sometimes
the way we view and treat our fellow man. As I’ve learned,
want to shout. The secrets of life are not on a screen. But I’d
prejudicial viewpoints and behaviors can be both overt and
venture to bet that some of them can be gleaned from people
subtle. As a society, we must continue to listen and learn from
who have actually lived.
minorities. The same goes for women who have been sexu-
By helicopter parenting and spoiling our kids, I believe we
ally harassed and assaulted. While those biases and behaviors
have created a self-centric generation. Seriously: When was
continue to be addressed, I’m going to toss out an assertion: I
the last time your kid asked you about YOU? Middle-aged (and
believe that the way we view and behave toward middle-aged
older) men are victims of these one-way conversations as
women also needs to evolve. I’m not just talking about age-
well—but not to such a great extent. I see the 20-somethings
ism as it relates to the workforce, but rather the ageism that
asking the men about their jobs and businesses. By the way,
is deeply ingrained in our culture. How do we ford that tide? I
it’s not like I’m dying talk about myself. But the omission is
believe it starts with our own children.
glaring, and one can’t help but ponder: Why the disinterest in
A story. I was at a large annual gathering of friends and family on the East Coast this past summer. During the fun
the women? I think we are teaching our children—again, overtly or sub-
week—filled with nightly dinner and cocktail parties—conver-
tly—that women beyond a certain age don’t matter. It happens
sations abounded. I chatted with dozens of 20-somethings—
by fostering conversations without them and making a habit of
affable, fully conversant, educated young people. I heard about
shining the spotlight elsewhere. Let’s face it, typically family
their jobs, promotions, new digs, career aspirations, signifi-
conversations are focused on the children and, if there is a
cant others, how their families survived the pandemic, recent
man present, they might occasionally shift to him. How do we
vacations, etc., in detail. Save for my 28-year-old nephew, not
change that? Maybe it starts at our dinner tables. After the kids
one asked a single question about my life. Nothing—the entire
share about their day, perhaps one of the parents could make
time. And I’d venture to bet that most, if not all, the middle-
a point of asking the women present about the events of their
aged women there fared like me.
day, listening to the answer, and actually volleying a comeback
Now granted, the 20s are an exciting time of life with much
question. In short, I think it is incumbent upon us to find ways
newness and many “firsts.” But zero curiosity about me or any
to teach our children that middle-aged women—and older—
aspect of my life? This is not the first time I’ve noticed this self-
are interesting and worthy of esteem. Any questions? Just ask.
centric phenomenon when I’m around a group of young people,
Follow me on Instagram @she_sez
Linda Grasso, Editor-in-Chief
PHOTOGRAPHED BY MICHAEL BECKER
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SEPTEMBER 2021 FOR SHORE Meet a muralist who has no bounds. More on page 58.
progressive and proud ONE OF THE BIGGEST SURPRISES OF THE NOVEMBER ELECTIONS WAS THE VICTORY OF POLITICAL NEWCOMER NITHYA RAMAN. THE ACTIVIST AND URBAN PLANNER WON HER CITY COUNCIL SEAT ON A WAVE OF REFORMIST SENTIMENT LAST NOVEMBER, UNSEATING AN INCUMBENT COUNCILMEMBER FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 17 YEARS. HERE, WE TALK TO RAMAN ABOUT HER VISION OF CREATING A MORE “JUST AND SUSTAINABLE” LA AND HER PLANS FOR THE VALLEY. Written by Anne M. Russell | Photographed by Michael Becker
“Nithya Raman doesn’t look like a
Carbide’s 1984 plant explosion and gas leak on the poor
politician.” A couple decades ago,
in Bhopal. That work prompted her to seek a master’s
that’s how this profile might have begun. Today, though, that statement is the kind of exclusionary (even if well-meaning) stereotype Raman
degree in urban planning from MIT, after which she returned to India to do further anti-poverty research in the slums of Delhi and Chennai. In 2013, she joined her husband, television comedy writer Vali Chandrasekaran (My Name is Earl, 30 Rock, Modern Family), in LA. Her first brush with local government came
has often battled. She grappled
when she produced a report on housing issues for the
with it during her year as executive
city administrative officer. Then, in 2017, Raman helped
director of Time’s Up Entertainment
found SELAH, a nonprofit group providing services to the unhoused in Silver Lake and the surrounding areas. Three
and again now as one of only two
years later, she took on an even bigger challenge—run-
female members of the 15-person Los
ning for public office. She resigned her Time’s Up job and
Angeles City Council. (The other is council president Nury Martinez.)
began to teach herself how to campaign, enlisting both her husband and father as “ambassadors” to canvas, phone bank, and table at events. She also rallied celebrity support from district constituents: actors Natalie Portman and Busy
Raman’s city council win in November 2020 during the height of the pandemic was a shock to the establishment.
proving the affordable-housing situation and by exten-
David Ryu, marking the first time in 17 years a city coun-
sion, reducing homelessness. Both the north and south
cil incumbent lost a seat. And she’s the first woman ever
Sherman Oaks community plans are currently up for
to represent Council District 4, which covers the Valley
review and Raman sees this as an opportunity to create
neighborhoods of Cahuenga Pass, Sherman Oaks and
change. “We want to act as the bridge between the plan-
Toluca Lake, as well as Silver Lake, where Raman lives
ning department and residents to make sure people have
with her husband and 5-year-old fraternal twins Karna
their voices heard,” she says. “We’re talking to different
community partners to see how we can use this as an
The Harvard-educated, Boston-raised Raman (B.S. po-
opportunity to find places for affordable housing in the
litical science, ’03), whose family emigrated to the United
community that are right along the major boulevards.” She has already hosted a backyard-tree giveaway at
when she was 6, is enthralled by big, sprawling megalop-
the Sherman Oaks farmers market and a food distribu-
olises. “I love cities,” she says. “I studied cities, I deeply
tion event at Fashion Square. She is also working with the
care about cities. What gets me up in the morning is local
Sherman Oaks chamber of commerce to help small local
issues and working on local issues.”
businesses and restaurants get back on their feet, post-
After college, she produced research reports for various nonprofit groups fighting poverty in India. One of her more memorable projects was for Amnesty International. It examined the ongoing disastrous impact of Union
When it comes to the Valley, Raman is focused on im-
A political neophyte, Raman beat out fellow Democrat
States from the tropical coastal state of Kerala, India,
Phillips, both of whom have huge social media followings.
pandemic, by speeding up permitting and continuing the al fresco dining waivers. Since Raman’s win, State Assemblymember Laura Friedman, a Glendale resident who represents California’s
43rd District, has worked closely with her. Raman considers Friedman to be a mentor, saying, “She’s been a partner for shared priorities. She really cares about affordable housing; she cares about environmental protections, safer streets, water conservation.” Friedman, in turn, praises Raman for her focus. “I have found Councilmember Raman to be extremely thoughtful and dedicated,” the Assemblymember says, adding “I deeply appreciate her as a partner and colleague.” This summer Raman turned 40. For her, it was a moment of contemplation. “I was reflecting on my life and I thought how lucky I am to be doing this work. I feel incredibly humbled and privileged to be in this role.” Her enthusiasm for her new job, however, hasn’t prevented her from getting swept up in the recall fever tsunami. Like Governor Gavin Newson, LA County District Attorney George Gascon, and fellow councilmember Mike Bonin, Raman is on notice about a pending effort to remove her from office. Leading the recall charge is Los Feliz Ledger founder and publisher Allison Cohen, representing that neighborhood’s frustration over a homeless encampment that sheltered gang members. In spite of impassioned pleas to Raman’s office from neighbors, the site—since removed—remained entrenched on Berendo Street for months. “There’s a distain for her constituents. It’s a dereliction of duty,” says Cohen, who derisively calls Raman “LAOC,” a reference to Raman’s fellow Democratic Socialist, U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Raman’s response to the recall effort is muted. “I do feel like people are really frustrated, and honestly, I share that frustration,” she says. “That’s what led me to run for office. I feel like we have already made headway on some of the more intractable challenges (i.e., homelessness, housing costs) in a short amount of time.” As far as mounting a counteroffensive against the recall goes, she says, “We haven’t done any fundraising yet. I suppose I will if I need to, but as of now it feels like what I need to do is to do the work. I just got here.” ■
“I DO FEEL LIKE PEOPLE ARE REALLY FRUSTRATED, AND HONESTLY, I SHARE THAT FRUSTRATION,” SHE SAYS. “THAT’S WHAT LED ME TO RUN FOR OFFICE. I FEEL LIKE WE HAVE ALREADY MADE HEADWAY ON SOME OF THE MORE INTRACTABLE CHALLENGES IN A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME.”
meatless maven THE STORY OF HOW THE VEGAN MEAT COMPANY UNREAL DELI, BORN OUT OF JENNY GOLDFARB’S WOODLAND HILLS KITCHEN, WENT FROM SHARK TANK TO THE GROCERY STORE AISLE. Written by Heather Platt | Photographed by Shane O’Donnell
meatless maven THE STORY OF HOW THE VEGAN MEAT COMPANY UNREAL DELI, BORN OUT OF A MOM OF THREE’S WOODLAND HILLS KITCHEN, WENT FROM SHARK TANK TO THE GROCERY STORE AISLE. Written by Heather Platt Photographed by Shane O’Donnell
Despite witnessing her grandfather
the producers of meatless burgers were doing. She came up
own and operate successful delis in
with a recipe for “corned beef” on her blog. “It’s not a hard google search to learn the kinds of brines
Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York,
that are used in corned beef or pastrami. Then I mar-
Jenny Goldfarb didn’t have plans to
ried that into the structures that you’ll find in a lot of faux
get involved in the food business.
meat.” Jenny’s creations are made by combining protein-
Then everything changed. “After I learned about some of the sad truths about
rich grains with the spices typically used in deli meats. After rave reviews from family and friends, she began making her deli “meats” at a small commercial
factory farming, I said to my very meat-and-potatoes
kitchen in Newbury Park each day after dropping off
husband, ‘I have got to find another way,’” says Jenny
her kids at preschool.
Goldfarb, founder of Mrs. Goldfarb’s Unreal Deli. Prompted
“On the days I wasn’t doing that, I would drive the
by an animal rights video posted on Facebook by a friend,
product around Los Angeles to try and sell it and I sold it
the wide-eyed and bubbly 39-year-old stay-at-home
in so many delis and little sandwich places that we got ar-
mom began to explore vegan cooking. Jenny, who had
ticles written about us. Whole Foods in the region became
previously had a career in tech, had no prior professional
interested in us and I said, ‘Wow! I’m on to something.’”
culinary experience and at the time was not vegan. “I slowly and painstakingly learned how to cook from
As the business started getting traction, she did something a bit unusual: She submitted an application
the produce and grain section of Ralph’s grocery store
for the reality competition show Shark Tank in which en-
at Winnetka and Ventura,” says Jenny, whose New York
trepreneurs pitch business plans to a panel of celebrity
accent remains prominent despite having lived in the
investors. After a lengthy process that included back-
San Fernando Valley for a decade. She resides with her
ground checks and months of vetting, Jenny got the call.
husband, Emmy-award-winning reality show editor Eric
Even better, on the show she landed a deal with
Goldfarb (The Amazing Race, Naked and Afraid), and their
“shark” Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks:
three children on a scenic lot in Woodland Hills. “After
$250,000 for 20% of the business. “It was the most
a lot of lousy meals, the food started getting good and
thrilling experience of my life,” she says. With Cuban’s
better and I said to family and friends, ‘I want to make a
backing, Unreal Deli broke out into food service including
vegan food blog.’”
many hotels and restaurants like Mendocino Farms and
Jenny went on to make a video food blog called Count Your Colors where she showcased her homemade vegan
Veggie Grill. Unreal Deli was about to launch in the sandwich chain
recipes. The vlog was not a great success, but still she
Quiznos in a large North American expansion when
views it as a worthwhile experience.
“I like to encourage people to do what you love! Get
“The business could have vanished in a moment be-
out there! Be scrappy! Get messy in it and then maybe it
cause our restaurant partners were struggling and that’s
will lead to this hidden door.” For her, the hidden door
the only place we were,” recalls Jenny. Her father, who
was the realization that there were no good vegan deli
she says is her closest mentor, also ended up intubated
meat options out there.
from severe COVID illness and miraculously survived.
“I come from New York City originally. I wasn’t always
“In the nick of time, we started quickly pivoting into
from Ventura Boulevard, and I know a good deli sandwich.
retail. It doesn’t happen that quickly, but we were claim-
And I wanted it,” says Jenny, noting the abundance of great
ing it. I’d be reaching out to stores like, ‘We’re retail
plant-based burgers on the market. She wanted to fool
ready!’’ And we totally weren’t. There were many months
people in a blind taste test with deli meat similar to what
“I LIKE TO ENCOURAGE
As fast as it could, the company developed the packaging and lab work to confirm shelf stability and soon
PEOPLE TO DO WHAT
began selling in grocery stores. Then a stroke of luck:
YOU LOVE! GET OUT
Waypoint, signed a national contract to bring them to
THERE! BE SCRAPPY! GET MESSY IN IT AND THEN MAYBE IT WILL LEAD TO THIS HIDDEN DOOR.”
The largest food brokerage company in North America, even more outlets. Currently, Unreal Deli—which now also sells a “taco meat” product—is in more than 1,000 grocery stores and hundreds of restaurants. Locally, Unreal Deli products can be purchased at Ralphs, Gelson’s and Lassens, and is coming soon to Whole Foods. With the success of Unreal Deli, a lot has changed in Jenny’s life. As an innovator, business founder and leader, she has attracted a fair bit of notoriety. But she takes pride in keeping some things the same. “I’m a real Valley chick,” she says, noting the area’s beauty and affordability. “I send my kids to a school that is just four minutes away. We think it’s an amazing place to have a family.” ■
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Fierce Females Westfield Fashion Square is a fashion-forward boutique shopping destination in the heart of the San Fernando Valley. The center is home to a curated mix of fashion, dining and lifestyle retail. Here, some of the women who manage stores in this Valley hub share their thoughts on finding success and empowerment as a woman in business.
WESTFIELD FASHION SQUARE 14006 Riverside Drive | Sherman Oaks | westfield.com/fashionsquare
STYLED BY ALLISON RAE MARSH | PHOTOGRAPHED BY SHANE O’DONNELL | HAIR & MAKEUP BY JENNY KARL | EDITED BY LAURA L. WATTS
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
MALISA OTA STORE MANAGER
“Being able to work with such amazing colleagues is truly inspiring; there is always something to learn from one another. Seeing my team grow and gain confidence in their roles is so important to me. I encourage other women in business to have a voice and not be afraid to be heard. We have to stand with each other and advocate for one another. My advice is to stand out from the crowd and do not hold back your ideas just because they may be different. Know your worth and give yourself the credit you deserve. There is nothing trendier than being confident! Always look to grow and learn. Challenge yourself and aim high. Don’t ever settle—life gets stagnant that way. Be open to new opportunities, and don’t ever be afraid to try something new!”
Tumi 19 Degree aluminum trunk, $1,695, and international carry-on, $995. High-rise denim pants by Levi’s, $70; one-piece top by Nina Parker, $99; chain belt by Giani Bernini, $35; earrings by Anne Klein, $40; Frye Suede booties, $278.
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
“When I started in my career, there were few paths available to women—typically a nurse, teacher or secretary. I had no one to really look up to. I always had a love for fashion, so I went to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and was lucky enough to start my career in management. Women need to understand how valuable they really are and what they bring to the table. They need to speak up and learn how to make their voices heard. This can be intimidating, and if they are uncomfortable, I recommend a public speaking class to become at ease standing out in a crowd. Know your worth, and work hard! Bloom where you are planted! Do the best job you can in the job you have now, and don’t worry about the next job. If you work hard, you will get where you need to be.”
Bloomingdale’s CATHY MUHLENFORTH GENERAL MANAGER
The Kooples foil blue poppy dress, $425; The Kooples blue wrap coat, $650; Zadig & Voltaire Lena smooth boots, $548; David Yurman jewelry.
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
ASHLEE NARR GENERAL MANAGER
Kicker boot mid-rise pants, $35; long-sleeve openneck brown floral blouse, $30; textured open-front rust cardigan, $45; Old Navy suede bootie, $40.
“My philosophy on fashion is to stick with classic basics and add a fun, trendy accessory or shoe to refresh your look from season to season. Comfort and authenticity are key—if you don’t feel good in it, it’s not going to look right. Old Navy is an amazing, all-inclusive brand. We love to bring the fun every day in everything we do for customers and employees alike. We also have a lot of love to give, and helping our communities is what we’re known for. My advice for women trying to succeed in business is: Know your worth, and don’t be afraid to promote yourself! Be a sponge! Listen and learn everything you possibly can. The more knowledge you have under belt, the more successful you will be. And I think it’s important to be honest. Honesty opens up the discussion on our behaviors and performance, which enables us to constantly improve ourselves.”
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
“As an entrepreneur, being able to improvise and have control over what my business needs keeps me energized and thinking outside the box. I get inspired by seeing the success of my peers, connecting with guests and thinking about how I like to shop. Being able to work out, plan a getaway, and connect with friends and family helps me de-stress and creates a good work-life balance. My advice to other women is to be all in and don’t limit your growth. You may think the job you are doing is not going to lead to anything, but you never know. Write down your goals, create a plan and share it with others to help hold yourself accountable. Sometimes it’s not what you know but who you know that gives you a little push to get where you want to go.”
lululemon AMANDA SWAN STORE MANAGER
Align pants, $118; tie-dye Flow-Y Bra Nulu, $48; yoga bag, $68; yoga mat, $68.
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Macy’s JILL PAN SENIOR DIRECTOR/ STORE MANAGER
Dress by Marciano | GUESS, $158; boots by Schutz, $175; jewelry by Macy’s: chain necklace with gold coin, $1,850, smaller solid gold chain, $850, gold chain bracelets, $550, earring set, $350.
“At Macy’s we encourage everyone to bring their authentic self to work. This is one of the best forms of empowerment. I try to educate, encourage and inspire women to see themselves in a different light, take risks and ensure their voice is heard. My store team is my own main motivation and inspiration. The work they put in every day to make magic for our customers—bringing merchandise to life through execution, visuals and selling—is nothing short of amazing. Each day is a new adventure. Always bringing your best self—inside and out—is so important. Set your goals high, and when you achieve them, set them higher. Make sure your voice is heard, and know that your contributions make a difference.”
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“My passion and love for what I do keeps me motivated and energized. I wake up every day excited to go to work and accomplish my goals and tasks. My team and I are extremely goal-oriented but have fun at the same time. I feel super privileged to be leading a group of amazing individuals who inspire me to be the best leader I can be. I empower the women in my life by celebrating their wins and supporting them in their opportunities. I am always willing to lift others up and help them feel empowered and supported. As women, we should believe in ourselves enough to go after anything we set our minds on. Put yourself out there and allow others to see your potential—there’s so much greatness that can come out of it!”
Bath & Body Works Bath & Body Works Garden Harvest gentle foaming hand soap, $7.50. Gold hoops by Zenzii, $28; beige vest by Sandro, $265; Sandro Marron skirt, $325; scarf by Tory Burch, $78; See By Chloé boots, $445
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JACKIE DZHULFAYAN STORE MANAGER
front row center PHOTOGRAPHER SHERRY RAYN BARNETT HAS CAPTURED SOME OF THE MOST ICONIC LEGENDS IN MUSIC. AND NOW, MORE THAN 50 YEARS AFTER SHE EMBARKED ON HER FIRST PROFESSIONAL ASSIGNMENT TO SHOOT IKE AND TINA TURNER, HER WORK REMAINS AS RELEVANT AS EVER. Written by Karen Young | Photographs by Sherry Rayn Barnett
A shot of Sherry’s from the Forum in 1984 when Tina Turner introduced her hit “What’s Love Got to Do with It.”
A James Taylor concert at Queens College in 1970 closed with Joni Mitchell as a surprise guest.
Sitting in the living room of the cozy Toluca Woods home she shares with a couple of felines, surrounded by her eclectic collection of music memorabilia, Sherry Rayn Barnett reflects with boundless enthusiasm on her life as a photographer and musician. “I am captivated by what I see on stage and always want
epicenter of music history. It’s a story that might not have been told had the pandemic not happened. Mustangs of the West, the all-female country rock quintet for which she plays lead guitar on a turquoise blue Fender Stratocaster, had just released their first album in 20 years. It was the second incarnation of the band, and they were set to go on tour. Instead, Sherry shifted her focus to the book she long wanted to write. Her photos have been licensed across all media but have never been seen together in one place.
to capture those feelings,” says Sherry, who adds she was
Choosing to focus on two decades, Sherry tells a remarkable
never comfortable performing solo. “Having the advantage of
historical, visual story through many rare and previously
playing music, I can anticipate the moment. It’s something
very intrinsic to me.” A petite brunette with an infectious grin, she regales with
Eye of the Music: The Photography of Sherry Rayn Barnett: New York to LA, 1969-1989 is a stunning collection of more than
tales forged through five decades of rock, folk, pop, disco,
200 images, all shot on film—raw and emotive, powerfully
jazz, country, punk and blues—a journey that began as a
capturing the core essence of the performers.
New York teen in the late ’60s—ultimately landing her in the
Sherry on the job, with one of the half dozen cameras she owns.
“I wanted to include popular artists, but also others I felt
needed to be honored and validated for their contributions to
LORE—THROUGH THE LENS
music—people who had something to say with socially con-
Hearing Sherry talk about her career is like speeding through
scious songs, or female musicians who never got their due
a time machine. She vividly recalls a 1970 concert with James
from a time when females were considered a novelty instead
Taylor at Queen’s College, referring to it as a “magic night.”
of legitimate musicians.” She cites Birtha and Fanny, two female groups, who were
James had already hit the charts with “Sweet Baby James” and chose a relatively unknown Carole King to open for him.
considered the precursors to The Go-Go’s, as examples.
She introduced songs that would make up “Tapestry,” which
Fanny, about which David Bowie once said, “one of the most
would become one of the best-selling albums of all time.
important female bands in American rock has been buried
“The crowd grew impatient waiting for James,” Sherry
without a trace,” is currently the subject of a new documen-
recalls, “so Carole brought him onstage to play ‘You’ve Got a
tary—Fanny: The Right to Rock—which features Sherry’s photos.
Friend.’” But the icing on the cake, she says, was his special guest, Joni Mitchell. Sherry happened to be the only photog-
COMING INTO FOCUS With a songwriter mother who introduced her to rock and roll, Sherry grew up with music ingrained in her home. She
rapher present. “Who knew what a rare, historic performance that would become?”
studied classical guitar at the High School of Performing Arts, which, after the popular ’80s movie and TV show, became
known as the “Fame” school.
By 1971, lured by the sound of the folk singer-songwriter
Attributing her passion to her father who let her play with
way to LA for what would become a period of defining, electri-
camera at age 10, bought her first single-lens reflex Nikon
fying moments covering solo performers and bands.
at 15, and by 17 was leading a dual life. Attending school by
small clubs like the Troubadour, McCabe’s Guitar Shop and
to Greenwich Village clubs and coffeehouses with a camera
North Hollywood’s notorious Palomino (where her band the
strapped to her back, reporting for underground papers.
Mustangs also played) to the grandeur of the Hollywood Bowl and the Forum. Among those she photographed during that
professional assignment in 1969: to shoot Ike and Tina
period: the Carpenters, The Go-Go’s, Little Richard, the Bee
Turner at their Chelsea Hotel room, followed by a perfor-
Gees, Chuck Berry, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, the Motels and
mance at the infamous Electric Circus. In the room’s dim
light, Sherry captured the faux-leopard-clad duo sitting on
One fateful night in 1979 she was at the Roxy on assign-
a bed, as Tina, who had just awakened from a nap, flipped
ment to shoot comedian Judy Carter, who was opening for a
through a magazine.
singer from Minneapolis making his Los Angeles debut. Clad
In retrospect, Sherry says it was a “profound way to begin her career.” She would photograph the iconic Tina, who went on to have an illustrious solo career, several more times. Among the soon-to-be legends she shot through her lens eye were Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, Joni Mitchell and Nina
Toting her Nikon, she could be found everywhere—from
day and music clubs by night, she biked across Manhattan
Describing herself as self-taught, Sherry recalls her first
movement coming out of Laurel Canyon, Sherry hitched her
his camera collection, Sherry started with a Brownie box
in zebra-patterned briefs, Prince commanded the stage. “It’s funny, because the photo isn’t sharp, but Rolling Stone flipped out and published it because it was Prince’s first performance here in LA and nobody else had it.” Sherry credits much of her success to making the right
Simone—all of whom she continued to cover in the follow-
choices. “The difference between what I was doing and other
ing decades. Other subjects: Joan Baez and Judy Collins at
rock photographers is that the majority were guys who were
Carnegie Hall, Don McLean first singing “American Pie,” and
going for the big rock bands, shooting Led Zeppelin and the
Janis Joplin just months before her death. “If I had to rate the
Rolling Stones. But I was kind of following my passion for
hundreds and hundreds of shows I’ve shot, that Janis Joplin
the music that resonated with me, so I’d end up at the small
concert out of all would have to be in my top 5. Very possibly
clubs, or I’d find my way at the bigger venues to shoot the
Carpenters, The Go-Go’s, Cyndi Lauper, and Bette Midler.”
David Bowie appearing on the TV show Top of the Pops in 1987.
Prince making his LA debut in 1979 at The Roxy in a photo that would appear in Rolling Stone.
Janis Joplin at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium a few months before her untimely death at 27.
Sherry caught Nina Simone performing by chance one night in 1971 in Greenwich Village. Sixteen years later she would shoot the cover of “Let It Be Me.”
Miles Davis in 1970 at the Central Park Schaefer Music Festival, where he laid the groundwork for what would become jazz fusion.
With Jackso Browne
“THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT I WAS DOING AND OTHER ROCK PHOTOGRAPHERS IS THAT THE MAJORITY WERE GUYS WHO WERE GOING FOR THE BIG ROCK BANDS, SHOOTING LED ZEPPELIN AND With Tina Malave and Toni Basil
With The Manhattan Transfer
THE ROLLING STONES. BUT I WAS KIND OF FOLLOWING MY PASSION FOR THE MUSIC THAT RESONATED WITH ME, SO I’D END UP AT THE SMALL CLUBS, OR I’D FIND MY WAY AT THE BIGGER VENUES TO SHOOT THE CARPENTERS, THE GOGO’S, CYNDI LAUPER AND BETTE MIDLER.”
Plus, Sherry says that access to musicians at concerts was
THE CAREER CHORUS
not controlled as it is now. With press credentials and her
In recent years, Sherry has had a sense of coming full circle.
petite frame—she’s just 5’1”—she could easily maneuver to a
Her band’s latest album was recorded at Jim Henson Studios
front-and-center spot. Being up close was critical because at
(formerly A&M Records) where she photographed several
that time she always shot with a single lens.
intimate recording sessions, including one with Joni Mitchell.
“I learned how to make 36 exposures count. I wasn’t looking to get one shot,” explains Sherry. “I was looking to get several shots at one time. And that’s not from an ego standpoint. I didn’t have money for multiple cameras or rolls.” For the 1987 British import TV show Top of the Pops, Sherry photographed Sting, Natalie Cole, Joe Cocker, Roy Orbison, Carlos Santana and Gloria Estefan, among others. A moment
Several of Sherry’s photos will be used in the artist’s upcoming archive set. And then, there’s Sherry’s new book. “I’m just thrilled to see the scope of my work in one place. As a musician, I hope the photos bring us closer to the music and closer to what the artist is conveying, so people can feel like they were there.” With Carole King, Tina Turner and The Go-Go’s being in-
on the set is recalled in her book: “witnessing the undeni-
ducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in October, it’s fair
able, almost otherworldly energy of David Bowie rehearsing
to bet that Sherry Rayn Barnett’s images will be there too.
‘Never Let Me Down’ multiple times before the actual taping
Just like when her 1972 photo of Chuck Berry closed the show
two years ago, Sherry will be up close and personal. ■
Go-Go’s singer Belinda Carlisle at the Greek Theatre during their Beauty and the Beat tour in 1981.
Ray of Light TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION (TMS) TREATS DEPRESSION WITHOUT MEDICATION. A Q&A WITH ONE OF TMS’S STRONGEST ADVOCATES, DR. SARAH LISANBY. Illustrated by Nikki Smith
More than 16 million people in the U.S. suffer from
WHO CAN PRESCRIBE TMS?
depression and the disease affects women twice as often
Because TMS is a medical procedure, you do need to be
as it does men. For some patients, traditional pharma-
a clinician. It’s typically a physician who is trained in
ceuticals don’t work. Now a procedure called transcranial
TMS—a psychiatrist if it’s for the treatment of depression
magnetic stimulation, or TMS, could help those patients.
or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Psychiatrist and medical researcher Sarah Lisanby leads a division at the National Institute of Mental Health.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS ARE NEEDED
Here VB editor Linda Grasso queries Dr. Lisanby about the
TO SEE IMPROVEMENT?
parameters of TMS treatment and its efficacy.
A typical treatment course takes anywhere from four to six weeks. The treatments are given daily, Monday
WHAT EXACTLY IS TMS?
through Friday, and then repeated for four to six weeks
It is a modern medical procedure. First of all, it does not
until the person improves. After you improve, it is helpful
induce a seizure like electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT.
to do a maintenance treatment to prevent the depression
Instead, it uses a magnetic field to stimulate the brain.
from coming back.
You walk into a room and sit in a comfy, partially reclining chair. The device would be on a cart next to you. The
HOW EFFECTIVE IS IT?
clinician would put a magnetic coil on your head, which
It is about as effective as our antidepressant medications.
is typically about the size of a ping-pong paddle. The coil
In practice, the response rates tend to be higher than
touches your scalp—specifically the prefrontal cortex, the
in the research studies because in practice, there is no
part of the brain circuitry involved in depression.
placebo and the person is able to also take medication or
When the device is turned on, that coil generates the magnetic field, inducing tiny electrical currents that
get psychotherapy or other care. A typical rate of people responding might be around 50 to 60%.
stimulate the part of the brain that’s being targeted. You’re awake for the whole thing. There’s no anesthesia.
EXACTLY WHAT KIND OF PATIENT DOES TMS WORK BEST FOR?
WHAT DOES THE PATIENT FEEL EXACTLY?
TMS is labeled for individuals who have not responded
Your brain doesn’t feel the stimulation. Your scalp does.
to at least one antidepressant medication in the current
You might feel a slight tapping on your head and hear
episode of depression. Typically we try medications first.
a clicking noise, which is the coil vibrating during the
If those don’t work, or side effects are an issue, then that
stimulation. It lasts anywhere from five to 35 minutes.
would be a reason to look at an alternative like TMS.
Then you go on with your day. There’s no restrictions on your activity after getting the TMS.
THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE SEVERE DEPRESSION
WHERE THEY CAN’T GET OUT OF BED. AND THEN
On its way to the brain, the magnetic field stimulates
THERE ARE THOSE WHO JUST FEEL OFF, OR DOWN.
your scalp muscles, causing them to contract, so it can
DOES TMS WORK FOR BOTH TYPES?
cause a muscle-tension type of headache. If a person is
When we talk about a major depressive episode, or MDE,
susceptible to migraines, it might trigger a migraine, but
what we’re really referring to is a period of time where
it is typically mild.
you have a specific set of symptoms: low mood, reduced
A more serious side effect is seizure. The risk depends
interest in activities, disruptions in appetite and/or sleep.
on the dosage. It’s important that you be carefully moni-
TMS is most appropriate for a person who is in a major
tored and that a prescribing clinician determine what
depressive episode and has a moderate degree of severity.
dose is right for you before you have the procedure.
The patient is probably still able to function at home, maybe still working, but really not at their best and really
IT SEEMS THAT PART OF YOUR MISSION IS TO GET THE
suffering internally. You know how people can put a good
WORD OUT SO MORE PSYCHIATRISTS PRESCRIBE TMS.
face on things, but inside they’re struggling.
It is part of my goal to do science that matters. And for
When a person has a more severe form of depression—
it to matter, it has to help people. It has to get into the
no longer really able to function—they need a faster-act-
clinic and people have to have access to it. The story of
ing, more-definitive treatment with a higher likelihood of
TMS is still being written in that regard. It started as a
success. That’s where other forms of brain stimulation like
research procedure and then it got FDA approved and
electroconvulsive therapy might be considered.
then insurance approval. I’m also involved in teaching other clinicians how to do TMS because training is es-
WHY DO YOU THINK THAT WOMEN SUFFER
sential to be able to practice it.
FROM DEPRESSION MORE THAN MEN? There are certain phases in a woman’s life when she
IS DEPRESSION HEREDITARY IN YOUR OPINION?
is at more risk of depression. These phases have to do
Research shows that there is a hereditary component
with the reproductive life cycle—during pregnancy or
to depression. It runs in families. There is an increased
immediately after pregnancy—when depression can be a
risk of both depression and other psychiatric disorders in
serious health risk, not only for the mother, but her child.
certain families. That’s why we are investing in research
And then around menopause and perimenopause there is
to study the genetics of depression and what puts people
at risk for it.
HOW COME WE DON’T HEAR OF MANY PEOPLE
us in our lives, what we’re exposed to environmentally, the
ACTUALLY GETTING TMS?
relationships, the family situation and life events. All of
TMS was approved by the FDA in 2008, so it’s been
these things together are important parts of understanding
around for a while and its availability has been growing.
how depression comes to be and what we can do to treat
But for more people to access it, insurance needs to pay
it. So yes, there’s a genetic component, but genes aren’t
for it. Each insurance company has different require-
destiny. There’s more to it that we can influence. ■
But I think it’s not just that. It’s also what happens to
ments based on diagnosis and treatment history. For more information on TMS, go to nimh.org. For more of WHAT IS THE COST OF TMS? There are regional differences but I can give you a ballpark of $300 to $500 per treatment.
Linda’s conversation with Dr. Sarah Lisanby, go to SheSez.com.
Fall 2021 Open Houses Elementary School · TK-5 October 14 · 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. December 2 · 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. January 13 · 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Middle School · 6-8 November 14 · 9:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Register at: www.Heschel.com/magazine
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A joyful community of lifelong learners.
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S C H O O L S P OT L I G H T
Head of school Scott McLarty
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S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G S E C T I O N
S C H O O L S P OT L I G H T
A COMMUNITY OF PIONEERS Drawing on a long and rich heritage, Providence High School combines the best of tradition and innovation in its quest to prepare students for the rest of their lives. WRITTEN BY LAURA L. WATTS | PHOTOGRAPHED BY JP CORDERO
xpressions of God’s healing
love”—that’s what the mission of
A school’s academics and programs are only
Providence High School encour-
as good as the individuals running them, and
ages its students and leaders to
the faculty, staff and students demonstrate
be to one another, as well as to the local and
the “Pioneer spirit” throughout Providence
worldwide community. Given the global public
High’s departments and activities. “Our com-
health crisis and the racial unrest in our country
munity’s values are more than words on a
over the past year, the school’s mission has
poster. They are lived every day: compassion,
never been more relevant.
dignity, justice, excellence and integrity,” says
“Providence Pioneers are never satisfied
Scott, whose guidance helped the school
with the status quo and continually seek inno-
shift to remote learning during the COVID-19
vative ways to improve and develop as indi-
shutdown without losing a single instructional
viduals, a school community and the world
day, while increasing enrollment and retention
around us,” says head of school Scott McLarty,
who has been with Providence since 2019.
“Providence is a place of learning where
“PROVIDENCE IS A PLACE OF LEARNING WHERE STUDENTS CAN BECOME THE BEST VERSIONS OF THEMSELVES.” roles, including admissions and enrollment management and his first headship in San
“We don’t do the same thing year after year;
students can become the best versions of
Francisco. A Valley native, Scott attended St.
at Providence we are always learning and
themselves,” he says. Students connect deeply
Mel School in Woodland Hills and Loyola High
adapting because that is what our students
and directly with the school’s motto “You
School in Los Angeles before getting his BA
and families need and expect from us.”
Belong Here.” They are involved in decision-
and MA at Loyola University Chicago.
Drawing on the legacy of the Sisters of
making processes about things that directly
He is passionate about transforming
Providence, who founded the school in 1955,
affect them, such as uniforms, the school
education to better inspire students and meet
Scott and his team are passionate about edu-
lunch menu, spirit events, faculty hiring, and
their needs in a rapidly changing world. He
cating students who are intellectually engaged,
engaging the school community in and out of
recently became an education advisor for
spiritually grounded and steadfastly commit-
#HalfTheStory, a national nonprofit founded by one of his former students with a mission
ted to serving all. “A Providence education is about so much more than four years as an
to empower the next generation’s relationship
enrolled student,” Scott shares. “We provide
Scott brings more than two decades of expe-
with social media through advocacy, educa-
a Providence education so our students can
rience in the world of education with him to
tion and access to resources for youth.
spend the rest of their lives giving it away to a
Providence High School. He taught full-time
world that desperately needs them.”
for 11 years before taking on formal leadership
In 2020 Providence became the first Work2BeWell school in California, and |
S C H O O L S P OT L I G H T
Providence students now serve on the organization’s National Student Advisory Council (NSAC)—a group dedicated to empowering other teens to thrive through access to mental health resources, authentic connections with peers and educators, and digital platforms for resiliency. With its central location near Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center and major television and movie studios, the school is well equipped to offer three unique four-year programs in the fields of cinema arts, medicine and technology. Students in these programs explore their passions and find out what inspires them. FORWARD THINKING Under Scott’s leadership, Providence not only endured but experienced a strengthening during the pandemic. The school forged partnerships to better meet the shifting needs of the community. As part of its faith-based heritage and commitment to Catholic social teaching, Providence continues to offer three task forces that demonstrate a focus on equality and inclusivity: Wellness, Environmental Sustainability, and Equity & Social Justice. As it celebrates its 65th anniversary, the school is devoted to evolving as an institution and growing as a “community of Pioneers.” “Providence is a stronger school today than it was when I came here in 2019, and that is because of our incredible team—from our dedicated leadership and board of regents to our passionate and innovative faculty and staff,” Scott shares. “Together we as a community will continue to create an equitable and inclusive culture for our Pioneers.”
PROVIDENCE HIGH SCHOOL 511 S. BUENA VISTA ST., BURBANK 818-846-8141 PROVIDENCEHIGH.ORG
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CELEBRATING THE BEST OF CALIFORNIA
Root Reboot GREENWOOD SHOP MOVES TO STUDIO CITY’S VENTURA PLACE, ADDING A VERDANT SHOPPING EXPERIENCE WITH EXPANDED OFFERINGS. Photographed by Nikki Smith
Jaime Curtis has been many things in life, including a TV network marketing executive and an author of books for teenagers. But it wasn’t until she started selling plants that she found her passion. “I’ve always loved plants,” Jaime shares. “Although chains like The Home Depot and Armstrong’s are great stores, I wanted a place with a larger selection. I’m really into rare plants, for example, and there wasn’t anywhere in the Valley to buy them.” So Jaime opened Greenwood Shop in Valley Village two years ago and ran a decent business until being forced to close due to the pandemic. Then, a surprise: “Turns out sales were good! People were trapped at home, and they had nothing to do, and they started watching our Instagram stories and buying plants.” That success inspired Jaime to expand to a larger retail space on Ventura Place in Studio City. Now housed in a light, airy space with high ceilings, Greenwood Shop also sells home accessory items, small-batch locally produced food products, and beauty lines. “As I see it, Greenwood is where plants and home decor intersect,” quips Jaime. But the showstoppers are still the pristine verdant items. Customers can pick out a plant and a ceramic pot (or they can bring in their own) and a store employee will take it over to a potting bench and pot it. They also provide instructions about care. Most of the plants are arranged on a living wall according to ease of care. Rare, tricky-to-grow houseplant varieties—which swath through the middle of the wall—include the pink princess and an unusual, variegated variety of monstera called albo monstera. “But those aren’t for everyone. I always caution people not to buy the trickier varieties if you don’t want to keep your eye on them. There are plenty to choose from that you barely have to water, like the rubber plant,” notes Greenwood employee and resident plant expert Christian Beasley. ■
I N G O O D H E A LT H
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A WOMAN’S WORLD Helping women of the Valley with their medical needs is what these female physicians are all about. PHOTOGRAPHED BY TAMEKA JACOBS, MONICA OROZCO, SHANE O’DONNELL
acey Medical Group and its more
providing connected, patient-centered care to
News for the last 13 years. Facey Medical is
than 200 physicians throughout the
generations of Southern California residents.
affiliated with Providence, a nonprofit health
San Fernando, Simi and Santa Clarita
As a result, they’ve been voted the best medi-
system that serves seven Western U.S. states.
valleys have built a reputation for
cal group by readers of the Los Angeles Daily
The six female doctors at Facey’s Tarzana office offer primary and specialist care in a modern, welcoming space. Here, they share the joys of working with women as patients. Dr. Dafna Trites is an OB-GYN who grew up in the San Fernando Valley and joined Facey in 2016 after 17 years at a private practice in Northridge. “OB-GYN is such a broad, exciting field of medicine,” she shares. “I love seeing the different generations of women, and my passion is helping them navigate the enormous changes of menopause with expert advice and treatment. My greatest joy is helping empower women to feel vibrant and healthy and lay the foundation for the most optimal second half of their lives!” Dr. Tina Verder earned her doctor of medicine degree at Chicago Medical School, interned at USC School of Medicine and completed residency training at Danbury Hospital. “I have more than 25 years of experience in obstetrics and gynecology in the San Fernando Valley,” Dr. Verder explains. “I specialize in minimally invasive surgery with the da Vinci robot for disorders of the female genital tract. Over the years I’ve enjoyed doing medical missions in the Philippines and being able to provide surgery for women who might otherwise not be able to afford it.” Dr. Diana Wong has been an OB-GYN in Tarzana since 1994. She earned her medical degree from Wayne State University and performed a residency at USC L.A. County Women’s Hospital. “I initially wanted to be a pediatrician,” she shares, “but while doing
56 | Trites, DO, Diana Y. Wong, MD, Tina B. Verder, MD Dafna
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I N G O O D H E A LT H
my rotations as a medical student I realized I
to have joined Facey Medical Group almost
loved surgery and really enjoyed working with
two years ago and honored to have so many
women. The positive of being an OB-GYN is
of my previous patients join me at Facey for
that you get to see the babies you delivered—
continued care.” Facey Medical Group, along with
years down the road when they come in with their moms for appointments. After 24 years of
Providence, is a convenient, compassion-
practice, I feel like I have seen everything!”
ate choice for all your health care needs.
Dr. Hitasha Singh, a rheumatology special-
Connect with them at facey.com and dis-
ist, volunteered at Tarzana Hospital as a teen
cover why so many of our neighbors choose
before attending Virginia Commonwealth
a Facey doctor.
University and earning her medical degree. She completed her rheumatology fellowship at the University of Southern California. “Rheumatologists are the Sherlock Holmes of medicine; we listen carefully to our patients and assess the clinical scenario with the help of lab testing and imaging,” she shares. “I enjoy helping patients gain control of their diseases with a personalized care plan so they can live their best lives.” Dr. Mina Moussavian-Assadi is a pediatrician who practiced in Boston for 13 years before joining the Facey team. She received
Mina Moussavian-Assadi, MD
her medical training at the University of Montpellier School of Medicine in France and completed a residency at Monmouth Medical Center in New Jersey. “Our pediatric group at Facey Tarzana has the feel of a private practice,” says Dr. Moussavian-Assadi. “I consider myself an extension of my patient’s family. Being a parent of a child with special needs has raised my level of compassion for all my patients, and I try to help patients and parents by being their advocate through their emotional or physical challenges.” Dr. Jody Levy has practiced internal medicine for 39 years. She attended medical school at UCLA and completed residencies at Baylor College of Medicine and LAC-USC
Jody D. Levy, MD
Medical Center. Her area of interest is the prevention of cardiovascular diseases such
Hitasha Singh, MD
as heart attacks and stroke. “I have practiced
FACEY MEDICAL GROUP
medicine in this community for 21 years,”
18133 VENTURA BLVD., SUITE 203 & 404
says Dr. Levy. “I enjoy working with so many
outstanding colleagues. I’m extremely happy
818-466-7700 | FACEY.COM |
(CLOCKWISE FROM UPPER LEFT) PHOTOGRAPEHD BY JLA PROJECTS, ARIAN SOHEILI, JASON TRAVIS
color my world A FULL IMMERSION INTO ERIN MILLER WRAY’S JOYFUL STYLE OF ART. Written by Hadley Hall Meares
When artist and designer Erin Miller
downtown Memphis. Her clients also include several
Wray moved from West Hollywood to
Valley homeowners. A recent job was painting a mural on
the east Valley during the pandemic,
a guest house in North Hollywood. Erin’s art is inspired
modern design—and simple shapes and tones found in
hill. She wondered what the artistic
in the work of many California-based ceramic artists and textile designers. She also collaborates with major corporations, includ-
feel at home? As luck would have
ing Target, Walmart, Tastemade, and the NBA on ad
it, she quickly found the Valley’s
campaigns, branding and installation work. While many
friendly, neighborly vibe suited her
artists often wither working with large companies, she thrives. “I think that has a lot to do with my time as a
perfectly. “It’s been a sanctuary,”
producer and just connecting with people,” she says.
Erin says. “I think it’s allowed me the
“I really love diving into an idea and figuring out what
opportunity to go more within and
works best and how it operates and how to problemsolve. I think for a lot of artists that’s the miserable part
find some serenity in creating. I feel
of the process. For me that’s where I light on fire. I just
way more patient in my process.”
light up.” But her real joy comes from community collabora-
For the charismatic, extroverted artist, who special-
tions. This spring, she teamed up with the nonprofit 2K
izes in murals, lettering, hand-painted visual branding
Foundations to paint the basketball court at the historic
and large-scale public works, art is about community
Cal Johnson Park in Knoxville, Tennessee.
and connection. Originally from Memphis, Erin majored
Erin says she relished working with locals, collabo-
in interior design at the University of Tennessee before
rating with them on the design and production of the
moving to LA in 2009 to pursue acting. She spent six
piece. Over 12 days, 40 volunteers joined her crew of six
years writing and producing sketch comedy before dis-
to help paint the court. “Once we’re on site, it’s a party,
covering a new passion: drawing in chalk.
especially for that one,” she says. “It’s about getting
Soon Erin was making a living doing vibrant chalk art
everybody involved as much as possible so that they feel
for weddings, businesses and shops. “Simultaneously,
like they have a hand in it, and it feels like theirs,” she
Instagram was getting really popular,” she says. “You
says. “That’s really important to me. When I leave this,
started to see a lot of people taking pictures in front
this is yours. I want people to feel like they can come
of these big walls. Lettering artists got really big on
experience it and take ownership in it, take care of it and
Instagram and I just got obsessed with it. It was like, how
take pride in it.”
do I do that? So I self-taught myself this whole new skill
Thus far this year has been an exciting one for Erin,
set of becoming a lettering artist. Each job progressively
with new projects and experiences, and a baby due in the
got bigger and bigger and then snowballed into murals.”
fall. She is currently working on a large-scale project
Her murals—bright, joyful and colorful—have graced locations from the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica to
George Hunt, and SoCal influences—clean, mid-century
would acclimate to living over the community would be like. Would she
by the loose, raw authenticity of southern artists like
at Hillcrest Drive Elementary in LA. “Our intention is to hire local artists to paint 14 different murals with
PHOTOGRAPEHD BY SHELBY MOORE, MICKEY SCHWARTZ
she was nervous about how she
One of Erin’s murals adorns the walls at Lucky Bird Fried Chicken in Eagle Rock. Above: Another, on the facade of the Viceroy in Santa Monica.
a multicultural, representative and intentional lens to inspire encouragement, excitement, pride and creative thought for Hillcrest’s students.” Always looking for new ways to connect and inspire, Erin was spurred by the pandemic to branch out into working on an upcoming ceramic and textile line. “I ended up challenging myself to think how to take (my art) off the wall,” she says. “And so I’m exploring new ways
PHOTOGRAPEHD BY STEVE MORISSETTE
of allowing people a chance to experience my art.” ■
“I REALLY LOVE DIVING INTO AN IDEA AND FIGURING OUT WHAT WORKS BEST AND HOW IT OPERATES AND HOW TO PROBLEM-SOLVE.”
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Plated With Passion When your love of food becomes so much more. Details on page 70.
Beyond Sushi TAISHO IS NOT YOUR AVERAGE SUSHI BAR. THE EATERY IN SHERMAN OAKS DEBUTS WITH A FRESH CONCEPT AND AN ELEVATED DESIGN. Written by Jean Trinh | Photographs courtesy of Taisho
After years of opening restaurants for other companies,
“The vibe we’re going for is we’re on Ventura
Christian Corben and Paul Carroll decided to launch one
Boulevard, but we really want to have that Soho House-
of their own. Their concept—which combines sushi and
meets-Nobu Malibu feel,” Christian says.
robata, the Japanese technique of slow grilling—came to life with the opening of Taisho this summer. Taisho is as much a restaurant as it is a bar. Behind its
Taisho, originally scheduled to open in May 2020 but delayed by the pandemic, has been a long time coming for the partners. Christian, who worked for over 20 years
unassuming facade of Brazilian walnut panels lies a hid-
at Innovative Dining Group (IDG) and spearheaded res-
den, renovated space that last housed the long-standing
taurants like Sushi Roku and Katana, was hesitant at first
French restaurant Café Bizou.
to launch his own venture.
Instead of a sushi bar, a drinking bar topped with white
“I was doing so well at that company for so long, I was
quartz serves as the restaurant’s centerpiece and is situ-
scared to branch off and really do it,” Christian says. “My
ated under a vaulted ceiling lined with complementing
wife’s the one that really pushed me to make it happen.”
light-hued oak. The back patio has black-and-white tiles
His wife, Pilates instructor Alexxa Corben, designed the
imported from Italy, a living plant wall, and a 45-year-
space with Cristoph Kapeller of CK Architecture.
old bonsai tree.
Christian and Paul met in 2006 at IDG and worked together for nearly a decade. Paul says they decided on
“THE VIBE WE’RE GOING FOR IS WE’RE ON
fun than working in a Japanese restaurant.” The convivial restaurant can be packed on a weeknight, filled with conversations and music loud enough that
diners may have to raise their voices to get a word in.
BUT WE REALLY WANT
Torres, formerly at Sushi Roku Santa Monica. Take his
TO HAVE THAT SOHO
leaves are lightly dusted with tempura flour, fried, and
with toppings like shiso chimichurri, dried miso and
opening Taisho together because they’ve “never had more
Taisho has playful dishes from executive chef Macario rendition of crispy Brussels sprouts: the hand-peeled tossed with truffle oil and salt. His sashimi is dressed yuzu kosho. For the robata, the restaurant uses two custom-made grills with binchotan charcoal imported from Japan. The
smoky flavor seeps into sea bass skewers and A-5 Wagyu
tables and pour samples of chilled sake while casually
beef short ribs.
explaining their flavor profiles to the uninitiated. It may
Lead mixologist Elizabeth Strano features a humble selection of smooth and balanced cocktails, such as a ginger lychee mojito and a yuzu margarita. The majority
translates to “leader.” “We want to focus on genuine hospitality from the
of the robust drinks menu is filled with wine, beer and
heart, like a commanding general leading hospitality,”
notes Christian. ■
It’s not uncommon for the two partners to stop by
have something to do with the restaurant’s name, which
Loving the Heat MEET THREE WOMEN WHO HAVE CRAFTED A CAREER OUT OF THEIR PASSION FOR FOOD. Written by Karen Jordan
MARGARITA KALLAS-LEE Margarita Kallas-Lee may not be as well known as her husband, the serial entrepreneur Phillip Frankland Lee, but she is every bit as much the masterful chef. While he is viewed as the front man to their chain of eateries (which include Scratch|Bar & Kitchen and Pasta|Bar here in the Valley, and Sushi|Bar in Montecito), she is quietly working behind the scenes, creating beautifully assembled, decadent pastries and desserts. One day she might be making her much-ballyhooed, fresh-baked sourdough bread with a 60-year-old starter. On another day, it’s an eggplant hued corn cake made from organic purple corn flour, brown butter, caramel and lemon thyme, topped with apple sherbet. “For me, as cheesy as this is going to sound, inspiration comes from anything,” Margarita explains. “A
PHOTOGRAPHED BY (TOP ROW) LIAM BROWN, (BOTTOM ROW) JOHN PINGRY, JOHN TROXEL
photograph, a story, a place I’m at currently. A smell. Sometimes it is as simple as trying an ingredient that I haven’t tried before.” The pastry chef says that her roots greatly influenced her appreciation for all things culinary. She grew up splitting time between two farms—one in Latvia and the other in the Ukraine—and she easily rattles off memories: “The salmon roe toasts my mom would make for me in the morning before kindergarten while she made herself coffee in our beautiful kitchen in Kiev,” she recalls. “And summer nights on the farm when my great-grandmother made just the freshest, most delicious salads entirely from what she grew in her garden.” She became a vegetarian in high school and started
Goldberg as a chef. Anais insists that title should be
A PHOTOGRAPH, A STORY, A PLACE I’M AT CURRENTLY. A SMELL. SOMETIMES IT IS AS SIMPLE AS TRYING AN INGREDIENT THAT I HAVEN’T TRIED BEFORE.” —MARGARITA KALLAS-LEE
She may cook for a living, but do not refer to Anais reserved for people who graduate from culinary school. However, her thousands of social media followers don’t care. Nor do her Zoom cooking lesson students. Anais teaches how to make everything from collard green wraps to rack of lamb, a family favorite—all with a no-nonsense sensibility that is guided by personal tastes rather than exact recipe measurements. “Beans take a long-ass time to cook, even in the pressure cooker,” she warns in one post. “Don’t kid yourself that it takes 30 minutes like the instructions say. It doesn’t.” Anais first learned to cook from her Cuban grandmother. While she is also of Mexican heritage, she says the flavors of Cuba tend to dominate her palate. “Cumin, oregano, lots of lemon, paprika—Cuban food is very similar to Spanish food.” Being a person who has built a career around food is something of a surprise to the always-bejeweled mom
“I would cook for all my friends, which eventually
weight in high school. Later, she went on the South Beach
school,” she said. “I loved it so much that I began to
Diet and focused on a “low-carb way of eating.” She also
self-educate by reading baking books.”
suffered from a low-thyroid condition, but says when she
she reconnected with Phillip—the two had attended school as kids here in the Valley. The couple moved to Chicago, where she learned the ropes of working in a professional kitchen before moving back to the Valley and opening Scratch|Bar & Kitchen,
read the book The Plant Paradox by Steven R. Gundry, MD, which espouses a lectin-free diet, her health improved. “I looked better than I had ever had in my life,” she says. “That opened me up to the knowledge that some foods are highly inflammatory, and I can’t tolerate those.” It wasn’t until recent years that she began to see her
Sushi|Bar, and finally Pasta|Bar, which boldly debuted in
passion for food as her calling. A neighbor, who happened
the middle of the pandemic (scratchrestaurants.com). And
to be a business coach, helped her make that discovery.
the couple’s chain continues to expand. In the past year,
“She asked, ‘What do you like to do?’” Anais says. “I
they’ve opened eateries in Austin, Texas, and Bangkok,
said, ‘I’m good at cooking, but I never show anybody
Thailand. In her signature soft-spoken style, Margarita
that because I don’t want to be a showoff.’ She said,
takes it all in stride.
‘That’s not being a showoff. If that’s your gift, why not
“We like to focus on what’s in front of us and seize as many opportunities as possible. Otherwise life would be kind of boring, right?”
love-hate relationship with food. She struggled with her
led to baking treats and bringing them to my friends at
Margarita attended culinary school in New York until
of three. In her earlier years, Anais had something of a
let people know?’” It was all the validation Anais needed. She began teaching online cooking classes from her Sherman Oaks
PHOTOGRAPHED BY MONICA OROZCO
teaching herself how to make an array of raw desserts.
home last summer to check in with friends during the shutdown and now offers a variety of Zoom classes (cookwithanais.podia.com). Some are focused on minimizing inflammation; others help participants “detox” from sugar addictions. She aims to show her students that they don’t have to radically restrict their diets. “You just have to change your mindset,” she insists.
GINA CLARKE-HELM For Gina Clarke-Helm, a whirlwind life as a model, in a roundabout way, prepared her for a career as head chef and owner of the events/catering company Malibu Seaside Chef (malibuseasidechef.com). She says jaunts to destinations including Italy, Paris and Germany helped open her eyes and her palate to a whole new world. “I had been exposed to so many different cultures and foods and traditions that I just started thinking about my future after modeling,” she says. It wasn’t just exposure. Gina paid attention, observing the work of international chefs she met on her travels, which helped her to develop her own technique. Eventually, she apprenticed under famed Italian chef Giuliano Bugialli at Granita, Wolfgang Puck’s Malibu restaurant. Whether she’s catering a birthday party for a showbiz or sports luminary (Brian Grazer and Joe Montana are clients) or an event for a large corporation, Gina makes it completely custom—from the playlist to the menu. “I create an experience that’s unique,” she says. “So it’s not just a menu that is just pulled off my website. It’s a menu that is detailed for each of my clients with their dietary needs—even their friends’ dietary needs.” Often those needs take her on the road. “I source my ingredients at all the farmers markets,” she says. “I go to the Valley, Malibu, Santa Monica, so I am sourcing from the top places.” It is no surprise that the pandemic shutdown changed her business. It wasn’t just the dearth of parties and events. Gina is the wife of a first responder and has a three-year-old daughter at home. Never one to rest on her laurels, she pivoted to meal delivery. It was challenging at first, but after she got a couple of British royals as clients, things started picking up. “That kind of saved me mentally because it gave me back my creative outlet.” ■
BACK TO SCHOOL With school back in session, teachers and students are settling into this year’s “new normal” approach to education. Amid that buoyant spirit, we introduce the professionals at the helm of several of the Valley’s most impressive schools. They are accomplished and forward-thinking, helping cultivate the next generation with commitment and great care. Discover who they are and what they are doing to make their schools— and students—beacons of excellence.
THE BUCKLEY SCHOOL ALONA SCOTT
BERKELEY HALL SCHOOL DR. NIKKI GAMRATH
WESTMARK SCHOOL CLAUDIA KOOCHEK
SIERRA CANYON SCHOOL JIM SKRUMBIS
THE WESLEY SCHOOL JULIE GALLES
THE COUNTRY SCHOOL HOLLY NOVICK
CHILDREN’S COMMUNITY SCHOOL AZIZI WILLIAMS
EDITED BY LAURA L. WATTS
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HEAD OF SCHOOL, THE BUCKLEY SCHOOL Alona Scott Alona Scott joined The Buckley School in 2019 as its first female head of school since it was founded by Isabelle Buckley in 1933. Drawn to Buckley as both an educator and a parent, Alona moved back to her native Los Angeles with her husband, Lacarya, and their two boys, Mo (13) and Zeke (11). She has enjoyed returning to favorite childhood haunts and discovering many new gems the city has to offer. A graduate of Princeton University with a degree in religion and a minor in education, Alona also earned graduate degrees in reading and literacy, and private school leadership. She has spent her career in independent school education—teaching, working as director of a preschool, lower school and middle school, and more recently serving as head of Keys School in Palo Alto. A firm believer in constructivism—an educational approach that allows children to learn by doing—Alona is also deeply committed to equity and inclusion. “It’s very rare to see ‘equity and inclusion’ in the first sentence of a school’s mission statement, and that’s a key reason I was attracted to Buckley,” she says. Last year, Alona led Buckley’s faculty and staff to develop a “Portrait of a Graduate,” the set of personal attributes and demonstrated behaviors the school believes every senior should possess upon graduation. This portrait will help inform a new strategic plan that will launch Buckley into its next chapter of leading in teaching and learning. “Dr. Buckley’s founding philosophy, which put equal weight on academics, athletics, the arts and moral education, together with our outstanding faculty and a mission to stay dynamic and innovative will continue to prepare students for college, life and a future of endless possibilities,” Alona states. “As our alumni attest, a Buckley education is a lifelong gift of intellect, opportunity and community.”
3900 STANSBURY AVE., SHERMAN OAKS 818-783-1610 BUCKLEY.ORG @THEBUCKLEYSCHOOL
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HEAD OF SCHOOL, BERKELEY HALL SCHOOL Dr. Nikki Gamrath Founded in 1911, Berkeley Hall School serves children age 3 through eighth grade on its 66 acres in Los Angeles. The new head of school, Dr. Nikki Gamrath, shares Berkeley Hall’s mission to empower children to fulfill their unlimited, God-given potential as fearless scholars and conscientious citizens. “This is exactly what our world needs more of right now,” she says. Nikki earned her master’s degree in education from Antioch University and her doctorate of education and educational specialist degree from McKendree University. She has taught middle school, high school, college and graduate students and has served as dean of academics, acting head of school and assistant head of school at independent schools across the nation. Nikki comes to Berkeley Hall from Mountain Academy of Teton Science Schools in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where she served as the vice president of educator development and as an academic dean. Her approach to teaching and learning is built around inquiry-based learning, place-based education, curiosity, studentcentered learning and critical thinking. Her expertise and research areas focus on cognitive rigor assessment and higher-order thinking skills in experiential learning environments. Nikki also has strong credentials in diversity, equity, inclusion and justice work, having taught related courses to undergraduate and graduate students while also supporting the development of a social justice curriculum across all grade levels. In her time off, she enjoys playing soccer, swimming, climbing and hiking with her husband, Craig. She has her captain’s license and loves blue-water sailing. “Berkeley Hall School is a special place to work and learn,” Nikki reflects. “My hope is to elevate and amplify the uniqueness and wonder that already exists on our campus by working to embrace our community’s culture of care.”
16000 MULHOLLAND DR., LOS ANGELES 310-476-6421 | BERKELEYHALL.ORG INSTAGRAM & FACEBOOK: @BERKELEYHALLSCHOOL
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HEAD OF SCHOOL, WESTMARK SCHOOL For Claudia Koochek, a leader in learning disabilities (LD) education, empowerment is at the heart of the Westmark School community. “We empower our students to cultivate their strengths and exercise their voices as learners,” she explains. “With self-confidence, self-esteem and caring support, we believe they can accomplish anything.” The Los Angeles college preparatory school uses a research-based curriculum to nourish the bright minds of more than 200 neurodiverse learners with language-based learning differences such as dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia. Westmark celebrates the distinct learning styles of its students. “My greatest joy is to see children discovering their unique talents and passions,” says Claudia, who has been head of school since 2015. Her dedication to LD education stems from her teen years, when she volunteered for the Special Olympics in her native El Salvador. This inspired her to pursue a career teaching kids with learning differences, which she has done for more than 30 years— including a successful tenure leading the Charles Armstrong School in Northern California. A beloved mentor to countless educators and families, Claudia has made it a priority to empower Westmark’s teachers, providing topnotch professional development informed by the latest neuroscientific findings and best practices in LD education. She believes teacher training is crucial to ensuring the best academic and socio-emotional outcomes for each learner. “We empower the faculty to continually fine-tune our methodologies so our students can benefit from an innovative, nurturing environment and reach their full potential,” she shares. Claudia is grateful that even during these exceptional times, Westmark School has remained true to its mission: to provide the tools necessary for students to achieve successful and fulfilling futures. She is confident that Westmark will fulfill its commitment to transforming the lives of its students and families for many years to come. 5461 LOUISE AVE., ENCINO 818-986-5045 WESTMARKSCHOOL.ORG @WESTMARKLIONS
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HEAD OF SCHOOL, SIERRA CANYON SCHOOL Jim Skrumbis The founding trustees of Sierra Canyon School shared a vision: to expand the elementary and middle school cofounded by Mick Horwitz and Howard Wang in 1978 into an institution for prekindergarten through 12th grade that would propel students toward a lifetime of success. With the hiring of Jim Skrumbis in 2004 as founding head of school, Sierra Canyon secured a visionary leader who has taken the school to a place of unparalleled growth and development. During Jim’s tenure, Sierra Canyon opened an upper campus in 2009, built a 20,000-squarefoot gymnasium and developed an additional 12-acre tract into top-notch athletic fields. With 42 contiguous acres spanning two campuses, Sierra Canyon has one of the largest independent-school footprints in Southern California. Over the past 18 years, Jim has assembled a team of entrepreneurial-minded leaders to create a comprehensive program that draws creative thinkers, leaders and learners from all over Los Angeles County. Sierra Canyon aims to be inclusive and cosmopolitan, demonstrated by its national search for a director of diversity, equity and inclusion. Roya Fahmy accepted this role, beginning with the 2021–2022 school year. “Every day, we honor our commitment to our students by helping them grow into thoughtful and compassionate scholars and citizens,” Jim shares. The past 18 months have been challenging for everyone, and the world of independent schools is no exception. Under Jim’s leadership, Sierra Canyon safely offered its complete curriculum to the student body with a choice of two modes of learning. As the Los Angeles County guidelines changed, students were able to return to campus for in-person learning. Sierra Canyon School’s administration and faculty look toward the coming year with excitement and focus on their most important goal: to prepare students for the next step in their educational journey. 11052 INDEPENDENCE AVE. & 20801 RINALDI ST., CHATSWORTH 818-882-8121 SIERRACANYONSCHOOL.ORG INSTAGRAM: @SIERRACANYONSCHOOL FACEBOOK: @SCSTRAILBLAZERS
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HEAD OF SCHOOL, THE WESLEY SCHOOL During the height of the pandemic, The Wesley School was grieving the sudden and tragic loss of head of school Ernie Levroney. As Julie Galles stepped in as interim head of school in August 2020, she excelled at the difficult tasks of consoling the community, overseeing its exciting growth and development during the toughest year in its history, and honoring Ernie’s legacy and desire to promote Wesley’s mission. “When I reflect upon the tremendous work the Wesley faculty and staff have accomplished this year, I am inspired and proud,” she says. “The efforts of our parent volunteers have been no less heroic. Through the truly sacrificial efforts of these groups, the students have learned and grown, and the Wesley community remains as vibrant and committed as ever.” After growing up in Alaska, England and California, Julie earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in education from Stanford University. She served as a classroom teacher for 15 years, and she has also served various educational organizations as dean of faculty, academic coordinator, assistant head of school and, for the last six years, head of school. Julie brought her experience in crisis management and strategic programming to Wesley, along with an empathetic approach to K–8 teaching and learning, an innovative perspective on pedagogy, and a commitment to equity and inclusion. When she’s not at school, she enjoys spending time with her wife and two nearly grown children. She holds a second-degree black belt in the Korean martial art of Tang Soo Do and also serves on various nonprofit boards. “I am grateful to all within the extended Wesley family who continue to support and encourage our school and who have extended grace and kind words to me in my first year,” Julie shares. “In the words of Mr. Ernie Levroney, we are Wesley Strong.”
THE WESLEY SCHOOL 4832 TUJUNGA AVE., NORTH HOLLYWOOD 818-508-4542 WESLEYSCHOOL.ORG @THEWESLEYSCHOOL
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY SARAH FRANCIS, THE WESLEY SCHOOL
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HEAD OF SCHOOL, THE COUNTRY SCHOOL Holly Novick When Holly Novick first stepped onto The Country School campus in 2001 with her preschool son, Jackson, she knew she had found someplace different. “TCS became a second home for both of us,” Holly says. “Jackson went on to Mirman, Harvard-Westlake and NYU, where he recently finished a degree in biology. I stayed.” Moving from classroom teacher to principal and then head of school, Holly embraced, refined and championed the vision of a school that honors the whole child, digs into emotional intelligence, thinks big with project-based learning, and steps boldly forward with a commitment to antibias, anti-racist programming. “We pioneered the No Homework movement in Los Angeles in 2013,” she says, “and since then, we’ve become known for finding a healthy balance of education and scholarly rigor on one side with an intentional approach to self-care and downtime on the other.” Performance data has shown that students not only thrive at TCS but move on to secondary schools fully prepared, regularly placing into honors and AP classes. Holly is deeply committed to racial justice and equity and to creating an environment where students see themselves not just in the community but in the lessons taught in the classrooms. She collaborates with the director of equity and the equity steering committee in an ongoing assessment of curriculum, professional development opportunities and parent education events— recognizing that these are integral parts of the school’s educational philosophy and community. “Our students have opinions and questions,” Holly says, “and our teachers—across all divisions of TCS—are facilitating these conversations.” Holly is proud that The Country School is an outside-the-box kind of place. “We make space for children to shape their own path while feeling valued,” she says, “with their entire school community cheering them on.”
5243 LAUREL CANYON BLVD., VALLEY VILLAGE 818-769-2473 COUNTRY-SCHOOL.ORG INSTAGRAM: @TCSVALLEYVILLAGE FACEBOOK: @THECOUNTRYSCHOOL
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HEAD OF SCHOOL, CHILDREN’S COMMUNITY SCHOOL Azizi Williams Azizi Williams has a deep and abiding commitment to progressive education, which made her the perfect candidate to follow in the footsteps of Neal Wrightson, cofounder of Children’s Community School and head of school for more than 40 years. Upon his retirement this year, Azizi stepped into the role of head of school. She has spent her life in progressive schools as a student, teacher, parent and leader. Educated at UC Berkeley and Columbia University, she joins a passionate team of educators at Children’s Community School who are celebrating the 40th year of “education for democracy” in Van Nuys. Azizi’s participation in the community beyond the campus is noteworthy. She’s a trustee at Wildwood School, The Alliance for Minority Affairs and SoCal People of Color in Independent Schools and is a cofounder of the Women in Leadership Circle. Additionally, Azizi has been a featured speaker and presenter at the NAIS People of Color Conference, SoCal POCIS Parent Voices events and the California Teacher Development Collaborative. Having worked as a teacher for 24 years, Azizi’s approach to education is to seek to answer the question: “How can we best support our students’ outcomes?” The problem-solving nature of the head of school position appeals to her, as does the opportunity to work directly with students. She also revels in her work in professional development, which she has individualized and tailored to teachers’ needs. “At Children’s Community School, students are respectfully engaged in meaningful exploration and problem-solving,” Azizi says. “It’s such an honor to partner with families, faculty and staff who are all passionate about a child-centered approach to education.”
14702 SYLVAN ST., VAN NUYS 818-780-6226 | CCSTEACHES.ORG INSTAGRAM: @CHILDRENSCOMMUNITYSCHOOL FACEBOOK: @CHILDRENSCOMMUNITYSCHOOLVANNUYS
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PLEASE JOIN US FOR
An Open ouse
Interested in Kindergarten-4th Grade? Adults please join us at 8:45am on one of these dates:
Oct. 20, Nov. 17, DATE or Dec. 8
Interested in 5th-8th Grade? Adults and students please join us at 9:30am on:
We invite you to join us for a tour of our campus, including classroom visits; to hear from students, faculty, and administrators; and to learn about the warmth, compassion, and learning environment of the Wesley community.
Register at www.wesleyschool.org 4832 Tujunga Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91601 - 818.508.4717
Creating Exceptional Readiness for Extraordinary Futures
Our World Ready Promise to our TK through Twelfth Grade Students Visit www.viewpoint.org/admission/visit to learn more.
While Everyone Else Is Watching Football MANY PEOPLE THINK OF SUMMER AS THE TIME TO PLANT A VEGGIE GARDEN, BUT OUR VALLEY CLIMATE IS IDEAL FOR CULTIVATING PRODUCE IN FALL AND WINTER. One of the most important things to do for a cool-season garden is to choose the right spot. Whether you are using beds or
to get as much sun as possible,” Whitney says. If you have a summer garden, Whitney suggests leaving
containers, Valley-based urban gardener Whitney Wade sug-
plants in until they stop producing and flowering. Continue
gests choosing an area that, on a summer day, has six to eight
watering two times a week for four or five minutes, be-
hours of full sun. “And realize that, as we head into fall, the
cause water keeps the soil alive with beneficial bacteria and
area will have less light as the sun and earth shift. The idea is
well together, like lettuce and carrots. Kale, broccoli,
For most of her Valley clients, Whitney plants peas, broc-
cauliflower and brussels sprouts like to be together. On
coli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, carrots, radishes
the other hand, lettuce does not do well near broccoli.
and all types of lettuce. Herb choices include dill, chives, oregano, thyme and rosemary. “It’s important to plant herbs
broccoli, three months. Carrots can take up to five months!
established before it gets cold.” Here’s Whitney’s 10 top tips: 7. 1.
work, use organic insecticidal soap.
amendment) to replace lost nutrients, as well as some 2.
the center of the leaf or bites taken out along the edges.
degrees and continuing to drop, it’s time to plant—typ3.
If we hit an extreme weather snap—a freeze or a scorcher—protect your plants with an umbrella or tarp.
With root veggies like beets, carrots and radishes, as well as peas and lettuce, I use seeds. It’s easy to get results
Look out for green caterpillars—especially on kale— which often hide under the leaf. Telltale signs: a hole in
When temperatures at night are consistently below 55 ically in mid- to late October or November.
Check for aphids once a week. If you see them, try washing them off with the hose first. If that doesn’t
In September, top your soil with compost (bagged soil granular fertilizer.
Be patient. Although you can harvest lettuce after four to six weeks, kale and peas can take six to eight weeks and
when the weather is still mild. To thrive, they’ll need to be
Monitor watering. For automatic timers, do two minutes
and it’s cost-efficient. With the rest, I prefer seedlings.
three times a week. If it is raining, turn off the sprin-
Two weeks after planting, apply granular fertilizer and
klers. Avoid letting your beds dry out completely.
continue doing so once a month. Then rotate granular 5.
fertilizer with seaweed kelp extract and fish emulsion.
For more on Whitney, go to plantgroweat.com or join her free
Be aware of companion planting. Certain veggies grow
Instagram Live class @plantgroweat on Saturdays at 9 a.m. ■
calabasas forever A CALABASAS FAMILY, ALONG WITH AN IMAGINATIVE INTERIOR DESIGNER, EMBARKS ON AN AMBITIOUS RENOVATION FOR THEIR FOREVER HOME. Written by Karen Jordan | Photographed by Lauren Pressey
Nestled on a quiet street in the guardgated Mountain View Estates in Calabasas, Aaron and Laura Zolonz’s
“I’m excited for them,” Laura says. “I mean, it’s like this is our home. This is where all our kids are going to grow up. We’re not moving.” They previously lived in Porter Ranch in a house they
6,188-square-foot home is more
loved, but with the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak, it
than the result of the marriage of a
wasn’t somewhere they felt they could stay. So three
modern farmhouse with a Cape Cod.
years ago, the couple zeroed in on Calabasas, where Aaron works as the vice president of an insurance agency
The couple plans on the sprawling
and a private equity investor. It’s also where he grew up.
structure being the forever home for
However, what really sold Laura on moving was seeing
their family, the epicenter of which is their three young children.
the huge backyard with a sports court, swimming pool and Viking barbecue. “We wanted a bigger yard for the kids to play and just
grow up in,” Laura recalls. “Aaron was like, if you want a
the architecture of the home, so we reconfigured the
good yard, you move to Mountain View.”
room and extended the cabinetry, which made it feel
Although the yard was pristine, the home’s interior
to be very large, so we made it 8 by 8 feet.”
floors throughout as well as numerous room recon-
Calacatta Vagli quartz countertops from Modul Marble
figurations and additions. The kitchen also needed a
were installed, along with two large custom-made cor-
bels to support the custom range hood. Underneath the
“Their kitchen was very dated and inconsistent with
much larger,” Nicole explains. “Laura wanted the island
needed some serious work, which included replacing the
hood, a backsplash with a white and Spanish gray micro
basketweave marble mosaic was installed. Other features include an oversize pantry and custom wood cabinetry painted in two Dunn Edwards tones—Whisper White and Reclaimed Wood. The color palette is muted and subtle throughout the home, selected for its “timeless” quality, according to the interior designer. The Zolonz daughters’ upstairs bedrooms are enchanting. The bedroom for Abigail, 6, has pink floral wallpaper by York Wallcoverings above the wainscoting and a charming window seat with glass hardware on the drawers. “It’s youthful and sophisticated all at the same time,” Nicole shares. Four-year-old Charlotte’s room also features wainscoting and York wallpaper with pink and purple butterflies. Both girls’ bathrooms have pullout step stools in the cabinetry. Down the hall in the master suite, wainscoting was added along with cast stone around the fireplace. The master bathroom features Thassos white tile and a freestanding Whirlpool bathtub as well as a steam shower featuring Calacatta Bella Marble. Calacatta Gold Marble was used for the floor borders. “The master bathroom is very large, but it felt choppy because of the way it was laid out. We demolished everything and reworked the space, which really opened up the room,” Nicole says. “The use of natural stone everywhere really elevated the space.” Due to the master bathroom’s expansive size, 18 by 18-inch tiles and strips of marble (used along the border) were crafted create a pattern that is decidedly refined. Although the house is everything the couple dreamed of, there’s still work to do. The couple would like to eventually landscape the backyard. In the meantime, they simply enjoy the fruits of their labors with an eye toward the future. ■
out of the blue EXPERIENCING THE MAGIC OF THE TAHITIAN ISLAND OF BORA BORA AT TWO LUXURY RESORTS Written by Linda Grasso
A luxurious couples massage room at the Conrad’s Hina Spa. Above: the open-air Upa Upa Lounge
When a friend invited me to go to the
Pacific Ocean, the Conrad has an earthy vibe, one with
Tahitian island of Bora Bora with her
nature. It seamlessly blends into the lush, vibrant scen-
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
ery, minus the over-the-top, Disney-like vibe of some five-star oceanside resorts. Architecture is traditional French Polynesian with an Asian touch. Koi ponds are scattered throughout the property. Guests can choose from a multitude of accommoda-
fingertips. If you want something a
tions including villas over the water, on the beach, or
little different, you can be in Mexico
nestled up in the hills. We stayed in an overwater villa
or Hawaii in a few hours. At the time, I was under the impression that the Tahitian islands were a 12-hour-plus flight away. But this year, when our friends Jeffrey and Nadia Saad invited
with a large deck, complete with a small pool and a hammock, all facing the dramatic mountainscape. Sliding glass doors disappear into the wall, offering a seamless view of the outdoor beauty. A beachside concierge provides toys from snorkeling
us to go to Bora Bora with them to celebrate their 25th
gear to stand-up paddleboards. Boats are available for
wedding anniversary, they tipped us off that the flight
rent. Bikes are on stands at several spots for the taking.
was only eight hours. That was a game changer. We
Guests can sit and relax at the resort’s expansive infin-
booked the red-eye flight on Air Tahiti Nui and started
ity pool or on the beach. Dual lounge chairs are nicely
planning our nine-day trip.
spaced out in the sand, allowing for privacy. Guests can
We decided to split our time in Tahiti: the first leg at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui and then join up with our friends at the St. Regis Bora Bora for the second leg.
also sit inside a comfy, cushioned wicker cabana for no extra charge, a feature I appreciate. The Conrad offers five distinct dining spots. We enjoyed sumptuous breakfasts and lunches at the Beach
CONRAD BORA BORA NUI
Grill, served at the pool and on the beach. The staff really
You feel it from the moment your boat pulls up to the
aims to please—even politely lobbying a bit when you
Conrad’s dock: a visceral release of stress, and the
steer off course. Our breakfast waitress, for example,
general busy-ness of life. The resort manager is there
looked crestfallen when I declined the fresh-squeezed
to greet you, making it crystal clear that it is of utmost
juice. I’m just not a juice person, I explained. Second
importance that your stay be everything you want it to
morning, same reaction. But this time she just couldn’t
be and that they are there to make it happen. “What is
stand it. “You have not experienced the fresh juice here!”
there to do here?” I inquired. “R-E-L-A-X,” she stated
she exclaimed, setting down a glass of fresh papaya juice.
confidently. I nodded, but was secretly thinking, yeah, but
Just to make her happy, I took a swig. OMG! Ordered juice
every morning from there forward.
Located on the private island of Motu To’opua (just a
We also loved our dinner at the plush, open-air sushi
15-minute boat ride from the airport), the resort is nes-
eatery, Upa Upa Lounge, which overlooks the water. The
tled between the dramatic backdrop of Mount Otemanu
meal was simple in the best way: unbelievably fresh fish
and the ocean. The beach is the longest private stretch of
that needed no adornment, served atop perfectly steamed
soft white sand in Bora Bora.
rice. We also ate one night at the property’s terrific mod-
Situated on 20 acres, with the entire resort facing the
ern Chinese restaurant.
The Conrad recently revamped and upgraded its program at the Hina Spa, kicking off a wellness program with four distinct retreat packages: sleep well and breathe,
the right time to make sure everything had been executed to perfection. The St. Regis is the only resort in Tahiti with its own
anti-aging and longevity, reshaping, and an immersive
private, man-made lagoon, called the Lagoonarium. One
Tahitian experience. The packages include a consultation
afternoon we headed over for a tour with the naturalist
with a personal chef and a wellness guru, private coaching
who presides over the delicate ecosystem. The lagoon,
session, personally designed spa treatments, wellness and
roughly the size of a soccer stadium, is home to 23 vari-
holistic activities, and in-room amenities.
eties of fish and a stunningly beautiful array of coral and
The spa, perched dramatically on a hill overlooking the resort, recently adopted the entire high-end Biologique Recherche skin care line. The products boast “botanical,
anemones. All predators, and anything else scary looking, have been removed, so it is perfect for families. Just as we were about to hop into the water with our
marine and biological extracts” as well as higher-than-
snorkeling gear, butler Paul pulled up on his golf cart
average active ingredient concentrations (20% in most
sporting fresh towels. “I’ll bet you forgot your towels!”
products). The company espouses some unusual practic-
Indeed we had. Another time we rode bikes to breakfast.
es, which for me is a positive; I like new experiences. For
We ended up running into the Saads, and afterward took
example, estheticians use ice water for facials, which they
off on foot with them, sans velos. When we got back to
believe better stimulates blood circulation and permits
our villa late that afternoon, there were our bikes.
deeper product penetration. Whether you do one of the packages or opt for an à la
One morning we opted for the enchanting “hosted canoe breakfast.” The canoe arrives at your dock, and
carte treatment, I suggest visiting the spa. If you are with
while the waitress arranges the flower-adorned feast on
your partner, I suggest a couples massage right before
the outdoor patio table, the muscular paddler takes you
sunset. Then luxuriate in a hot tub—infused with an ex-
out for a short ride. (“Want a paddle?” he quipped. Nope.)
otic fragrance—and sip champagne while you watch the
When you return, a sumptuous meal, which included the
sun go down over the water. Oh, my. R-E-L-A-X indeed.
best banana bread I’ve ever had, awaits.
The Iridium Spa is dramatically situated on its own island in the middle of the lagoon, offering a selection of
ST. REGIS BORA BORA
Polynesian and Asian treatments. My masseur intently lis-
The St. Regis is more than twice the size of the Conrad.
tened to my preferences and fully delivered with his hands,
Getting around its 44 acres, though, is easy. The villas
complemented by premium, deliciously scented products.
come with bikes, or you can ring anytime for a chauf-
Guests can check out a number of toys from the beach
feured golf cart. It is meticulously landscaped throughout
attendant without additional fees. My husband, Charlie,
with enchanting lighting that makes a bike ride home the
and our friend Jeffrey were like two teenage boys tak-
ing out the catamaran every day, laughing uproariously
Each villa comes with a butler who is solely dedicated
as they tried to make it go faster. One day, it was quite
to making you happy. I recoiled at first. Is this guy gonna
windy. From the beach, Nadia and I watched them drift
like follow us around, constantly watching us? I like to disap-
farther and farther out, struggling to get the sail up and
pear while on vacation. But our butler, Paul, immediately
catch the wind to bring them closer to shore. At one point
alleviated any concerns. With grace and an almost uncan-
it looked like they had it, and I went back to reading my
ny ability to know our preferences, he booked activities,
book. A few minutes later Nadia exclaimed, “Uh-oh!”
excursions and reservations. Later he’d circle back at just
Our boys had caught a lofty gust of wind that suddenly
The white sand beach at the St. Regis. Above: the canoe breakfast; a sushi dish at the resort’s signature eatery, Lagoon
lurched the catamaran in the opposite direction. Charlie was propelled upward, ricocheting across the bow into the middle of the sail, slicing it half. While Nadia and I wondered if we’d be dining alone that night, we spotted the beach attendant in the distance. He swiftly boarded his tricked-out jet ski, rescuing the guys—and the boat. With the catamaran out of commission, for our final day we chartered a boat with a Tahitian captain. He took us to a spot where you could “swim with the reef sharks and pet the stingrays.” After a quick “no thanks” from me (Anyone here ever heard of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin?), the guys and Nadia dove in. I did hop in the water, though, when we arrived at what our captain described as the “most beautiful coral reef in the world.” We were entranced by the vibrant fish and bright purple, pink and turquoise figure-8-shaped bivalves. At one point the captain dove deep, motioning for us to follow. Out of a cave snaked a 7- or 8-foot black eel. Incredible sight. As far as dining goes, the St. Regis has several eateries, the most exquisite of which is Lagoon by Jean-Georges. It is a dramatic structure, suspended out over the water, with a glass floor. We’d been advised to have a cocktail first out on the deck, simply telling the mixologist our alcohol preferences and offering an adjective or two—i.e., sweet, sour, etc. We did exactly that, and it was just delightful to experience his creative concoctions. Similarly, we let our superb waiter guide us through the Asian fusion menu, which highlights local produce and fresh catches. In short, the entire evening was extraordinary. As we walked out of Lagoon—the very last guests to leave—my husband suddenly dove onto the glass floor.
“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?
I thought he might have tripped but instead, clad in his white dress shirt and loafers, he started doing a break dance-like spin on his back. Suffice to say, even for a guy well known as someone who likes to have fun, it was unusual behavior. I chalk it up to the intoxicating magic of Bora Bora. I hope we get to experience it again someday. marriott.com/hotels/travel/bobxr-the-st-regis-bora-boraresort/ ■
With my husband, Charlie Koones, and Nadia and Jeffrey Saad at Lagoon
discover ventura blvd on instagram @OURVENTURABLVD
WOMEN IN BUSINESS
As most professional females know, women in business have had to work harder and longer to achieve their successes. Here we salute some women who have done all that heavy lifting—with dedication and passion— and now are at the pinnacle of their careers. From real estate to health and wellness, their fields of expertise are diverse. But there’s a common thread: a keen ability to step over all the no’s, problem-solve, and make it happen—for them and their clients. In this annual Women in Business profiles section, meet some of the Valley’s most accomplished, highly regarded professionals. Their stories, their expertise, their contact information—it’s all here for the taking.
PROVIDENCE SAINT JOSEPH MEDICAL CENTER
PROVIDENCE CEDARS-SINAI TARZANA WOMEN’S HEALTH SERVICES
DR. SHERLY SOLEIMAN COSMETIC INJECTABLES CENTER
VENTURA BLVD LIFESTYLE PLATFORM OF THE VALLEY
STEFFI GAINES & DEVYN REGGIO A BETTER WAY IN HOME CARE
GINA MICHELLE THE AGENCY CALABASAS
STEPHANIE PAYAB BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES CALIFORNIA PROPERTIES | THE PAYAB GROUP
DR. GLENNA TOLBERT TOLBERT CENTER FOR REHABILITATION AND WELLNESS
DANIELLE PERETZ THE AGENCY
NICOLE BASSERI & ARIANA BASSERI STEAMER CLEANERS
WRITTEN BY LAURA L. WATTS PHOTOGRAPHED BY JP CORDERO, TAMEKA JACOBS, SHANE O’DONNELL
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
WOMEN IN BUSINESS
PROVIDENCE SAINT JOSEPH MEDICAL CENTER
ounded in 1943 by the Sisters of Providence, the 2,500 employees, 300 volunteers and 700+ physicians of Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center provide diagnostic, treatment, care and support services for San Fernando Valley communities. The medical center’s emergency department is certified as an Emergency Department Approved for Pediatrics, a Comprehensive Stroke Center and a STEMI Receiving Center for heart attacks. Leading the emergency department staff are medical director Dr. Celina Barba-Simic, executive director Debbie Buffham and manager Bailey Wojcik. Dr. Barba-Simic has been a member of the Providence Saint Joseph medical staff since 2004. She is board-certified in emergency medicine and a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians. Debbie has worked as an RN for 25 years and is a Certified Emergency Nurse. She started working with Providence Saint Joseph in 1995 as a nursing assistant. Bailey joined the Providence Saint Joseph team in 2010 and holds the Mobile Intensive Care Nurse certification. THE NEW EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT (ED) WAS UNDER CONSTRUCTION WHEN THE PANDEMIC HIT. HOW DID YOU MAKE THE NECESSARY CHANGES? Dr. Barba-Simic: “We used this incredible opportunity to review the construction plans through the lens of the current pandemic. We were able to increase the number of negativepressure rooms, review patient flow inside the ED and improve outside waiting areas.” Debbie: “We worked together to align with the developing information, the executive leadership team and the architect. Dr. Barba-Simic has been instrumental in leading the way to ensure we are providing a safe environment for our patients and the caregivers in our current ED, so we frequently reviewed the plans
and discussed the best options. She is an expert in emergency medicine and an incredible advocate for our community.” HOW WILL THE NEW EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT EMPOWER YOU TO CARE FOR THE COMMUNITY? Bailey: “Time is tissue in so many emergencies (heart attack, stroke, sepsis). With our new ED, we will be able to care more quickly for these patients. Having the CT scan in the ED will save precious moments that matter for stroke patients. We will also be able to provide more timely care and decrease the number of patients in the waiting room as we go from 24 beds currently to 44 in the new ED.” Debbie: “The new ED is designed to empower caregivers to provide the most efficient and timely care to our patients in need. We designed a more efficient triage area to minimize a backlog of patients in need of our care. We have rooms designed to keep our behavioral health patients safe from harm and cared for in a dignified manner while minimizing disruption to other patients. In every phase, we focused on caregiver satisfaction and the patient experience as much as we could with the footprint we were provided. We are so blessed to be part of this new ED, made possible by generous community philanthropy.” WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? Debbie: “I find my inspiration in my faith. Knowing my calling. I am a nurse, but I am responsible to a much higher power, to my family and to my caregivers. I am inspired by the care our team provides to patients at their most vulnerable times. I see the moments that make me grateful to be a nurse and for this life. My colleagues, especially Dr. Barba-Simic and Bailey, challenge me to be my best and support me when I need the love. I am part of an incredible team that inspires me daily.”
WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR DAY? Bailey: “Nursing is the greatest, most rewarding career. We all enter this profession because we want to help our community. As manager, my favorite part of the day is when I round on patients and hear from them how great my team has been caring for them. It is rewarding to see people feel better and know that my team made a difference! When this job gets tough, and it will—like during a global pandemic—we need to remember why we became nurses.” HAS MOTHERHOOD MADE YOU BETTER? Bailey: “Absolutely. Being a mother has impacted my life tremendously. This has allowed me a different perspective on our patients and caregivers. I always considered myself nurturing, but after becoming a mother I feel that even more.” Debbie: “Motherhood made me understand love like nothing I have ever experienced. That indescribable feeling you have with your child makes you understand others as well. It makes you kinder but more protective. It makes you think before you act because you have a constant audience that parrots you. It makes you choose your words and actions, because children learn first at home. Being a mother made me understand my mother. It made me better.” WHAT IS THE SILVER LINING OF THE RECENT PANDEMIC FOR THE HOSPITAL? Debbie: “The silver lining is that we banded together to do what was needed for one another and the community. Everyone worked together to not only care for our patients but one another. The community embraced health care workers and supported us through words of encouragement, supply/ PPE donations and food. We truly were—and are—exhausted, but we felt the love and it was an honor.”
501 S. BUENA VISTA ST., BURBANK | 818-843-5111 | PROVIDENCE.ORG/LOCATIONS/SAINT-JOSEPH-MEDICAL-CENTER
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
L to R: Debbie Buffham, BSN, RN, CEN, Executive Director, Emergency Department Celina Barba-Simic, MD, Medical Director, Emergency Department Bailey Wojcik, BSN, RN, MICN, Manager, Emergency Department
WOMEN IN BUSINESS
PROVIDENCE CEDARS-SINAI TARZANA WOMEN’S HEALTH SERVICES
rovidence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center provides health care, wellness education and support to meet the unique medical needs of women throughout their lives. Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Women’s Health Services was established as a comprehensive resource for women in the San Fernando Valley. The experienced team of health care professionals partners with each patient, empowering her to take control of her health through wellness programs, exams and education. If illnesses or conditions arise, they blend medical expertise with the latest technology and treatments. HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU BEEN IN THIS COMMUNITY? “Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center has been serving the San Fernando Valley and surrounding communities since 1973, building a legacy of excellence and compassion for well over four decades. Our mission remains rooted in service—providing care to all in need—and our teams are as dedicated as ever.” TELL US ABOUT THE CARE YOU PROVIDE SPECIFICALLY FOR PREGNANT WOMEN. “The birth of a baby is the birth of a family. At Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana, caring for women also includes caring for babies. Opened in 1993, the Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Women’s Pavilion was established to provide a full spectrum of care before, during and after pregnancy in a state-of-the-art facility, all in one convenient location. We focus on family-centered care, beginning with education classes about pregnancy, childbirth, baby care and parenting. Obstetricians, maternal-fetal medicine specialists, certified nurses and lactation consultants work together to provide the best possible birth experience. For those times when the unexpected occurs, our Level III Neonatal Intensive
Care Unit steps in. It has consistently ranked in the top 10% in the nation.”
to see strong bonds develop between new nurses and their preceptor.”
IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU EMPOWER WOMEN TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS? “We encourage each manager to view their unit as a business that is providing safe and excellent care for our patients. It is important to empower our staff in a way that allows them to provide the best treatment for patients. Together, we problem-solve and think through issues that arise. In the labordelivery and postpartum units, we work in the ‘happy place.’ We help deliver babies, and after the birth we send new mothers home with the newest addition to their family—all within 24 to 48 hours. So we have a short window to make a big difference in the lives of these families. It is key that our staff are sending moms home feeling prepared. Often the moms share what a wonderful experience it was to give birth at Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center. We also see a lot of familiar faces—mothers who are delivering their second or third baby with us. It’s the most rewarding feeling. We are a community hospital, and we are happy to serve our community.”
HOW DO YOU ATTRACT THE BEST TALENT TO JOIN YOUR STAFF? “Word-of-mouth and having existing staff members refer people are great ways to attract the best talent. Oftentimes staff members choose to transition to our area from other units, including new moms who work here in other units and—after delivering their baby with us—decide to join women’s services. Because our hospital has a great reputation, it makes it easy to attract great talent and people whose values resonate with Providence.”
WHAT IS YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR A WOMAN STARTING OUT IN NURSING? “We always advise new nurses or nurses transitioning to this area to ask a lot of questions and take every opportunity to experience something new and different. This is not the place to be shy. Ask, learn, grow. There are no silly questions, and there are a lot of opportunities to learn from nursing leaders and peers—so speak up. Find a mentor or a role model. For our nurses, this usually ends up being their nurse preceptor—an experienced registered nurse who is enthusiastic about the nursing profession and has a desire to teach. It’s rewarding
DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE. “We believe in transformational leadership. Transformational leadership is defined as a leadership approach that causes change in individuals and social systems. In its ideal form, it creates valuable and positive change in the followers with the end goal of developing followers into leaders. So as nursing leaders, it is our job to empower our staff to make their own decisions and to do so with confidence. We are happy to guide them and get them what they need, but it comes down to making sure they have an active role in their job and responsibilities.” WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? “Nursing is the best profession around, and we love what we do. As nursing leaders, we love being able to inspire and empower those caring for our patients. We are there for support, making sure our nurses have the tools and the knowledge to excel at their job. There is great joy in seeing them succeed. We hope we’re inspiring them as much as they inspire us. We have a strong team, and it makes it easy and enjoyable to go to work when you love what you do and who you’re doing it with.”
18321 CLARK ST., TARZANA | 818-881-0800 | PROVIDENCE.ORG/LOCATIONS/TARZANA-MEDICAL-CENTER/WOMENS-HEALTH
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
L to R: Karen Pelone, RN, MSN, Manager, Labor & Delivery Natalie Nevin, RN, MSN, Manager, NICU, Pediatrics & Pediatric ICU Deborah Smith, RNC, MSN, Manager, Mother/Baby Unit Michele Curtis-Lavin, MN, RN, PHN, Director, Women and Children’s Services
WOMEN IN BUSINESS
SHERLY SOLEIMAN, MD Owner, Cosmetic Injectables Center
fter earning her medical degree from Loma Linda University and performing a three-year residency at the University of California Irvine, Dr. Sherly Soleiman opened Cosmetic Injectables Center in 2008. She works as an investigator with companies like Allergan (the makers of Botox, Juvéderm, Voluma, Latisse and Kybella) and Merz (the makers of Radiesse, Belotero and Xeomin), keeping her at the forefront of new developments, techniques and products in the field of nonsurgical cosmetic procedures. The team at Cosmetic Injectables Center specializes in noninvasive and minimally invasive procedures to rejuvenate and enhance aesthetic features for their patients. WHAT IS YOUR MOST POPULAR LIP FILLER PROCEDURE? “Mild to moderate lip enhancements are currently the most popular filler treatments requested. Our techniques have become much more advanced and fine-tuned, so outcomes are more natural looking and less likely to move into unintended areas.” HOW IS IT DIFFERENT FROM BEFORE, AND WHAT ARE THE BEST TECHNIQUES? “As advanced injectors in the field, we noticed that many fillers known for their longevity and voluminous results tended to attract water and expand in the longer term, causing rounded lip borders instead of a properly positioned, natural-looking, narrow, defined lip border. Cannula, which was advocated for use due to less pain and higher safety profile, appears to place the fillers deeper—resulting in closer vicinity to the vasculature (hence making the safety profile controversial) and more likely to move. Our advanced injectors have now adopted a modified approach, individualizing lip enhancement using different techniques to establish the most naturallooking results in a safer manner.”
ARE THEY REMOVABLE? “FDA-approved hyaluronic acid fillers in the U.S. are currently all reversible within minutes or hours by injecting an enzyme called hyaluronidase. This is a safe product that also exists naturally in our bodies and keeps our innate levels of hyaluronic acid within the norm.” DOES IT LOOK NATURAL? “When the correct product is used with the right individualized technique and in the appropriate amount, the resulting lip shape and texture will appear beautifully hydrated and too natural for people to notice. Only the ones with poor results or an extra-large size stand out, which creates a bad reputation for lip enhancement procedures. The answer isn’t to be afraid of the procedure, but find the right injector who is experienced and knowledgeable about the different techniques and products, and who will listen to your desire for your final result.” WHAT IS A LIP FLIP, AND HOW IS THAT DIFFERENT FROM FILLERS? “The lip flip procedure refers to the use of Botox to relax the orbicularis oris. This muscle is normally responsible for pursing the lips and turning the lips inward, which in the long term can contribute to lipstick lines and thinning of the lips. With very few units, lips can be positioned in a more relaxed shape and appear fuller by turning out. This prevents the development of smoker lines as well. The lip flip can be used alone or as an adjunct to lip fillers.” HOW DOES BEING A FEMALE IMPACT YOUR BUSINESS? “While these procedures are gaining more popularity among men, the majority of my patients are still female. Being a woman myself helps me relate and understand the impact that even small facial changes have for a woman. That gives me empathy and the
patience needed to pay close attention and fine-tune results toward perfection.” WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN CHOOSING A PROVIDER? “The most important factor is experience. This investment isn’t like buying a purse or art supplies. It’s investing in an artist to individualize the best, most natural-looking enhancement for each face—and to also be medically knowledgeable, as all bodies can react differently. Medical complications can happen. After thousands of good and bad results and both upset and happy patients, an experienced provider can predict and avoid undesired outcomes. Experience allows better hand-eye coordination. It takes an extreme amount of hand control and developed intuition, detail and skill to be able to administer a single thread of injection. The provider needs to monitor the patient’s comfort level and the size and shape of enhancement being created; look for skin changes to prevent complications; and monitor the look and feel of the plunger that is being pressed. Sometimes the injection is 1/10 of a drop, and the plunger shouldn’t move at all. The provider should be able to modify the pressure on the plunger and change direction of the needle possibly multiple times in the same single injection, depending on the location and depth of the needle—especially in the dynamic lips. While all this is happening, the injector should concurrently look at the measurement bars on the syringe to help ensure even placement on the other side. Having seen the long-term effects of each product is also important. This helps the provider predict how it will behave weeks and months later by choosing the correct product for each strand/area. At our office, every injector is advanced, skilled and experienced. With ongoing classes and meetings, our providers ensure the absolute best, most naturallooking results available.”
14460 VENTURA BLVD., SHERMAN OAKS | 818-322-0122 | COSMETICINJECTABLES.COM
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
WOMEN IN BUSINESS
ow in its 11th year, the Ventura Blvd lifestyle platform provides enlightening and entertaining stories of the San Fernando Valley—from the people to art and culture to the dining scene. Those stories are available in a magazine published eight times a year, on a website and through various social channels. The through line across all Ventura Blvd media: We focus on the things that matter to our community. Here, meet the women who make it happen. WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? Michelle Villas, Creative Director: “I’m constantly inspired by the people we feature in the magazine. When I’m on location directing our photo shoots, I come in contact with so many interesting people with unique stories.” Sue Williams, Director of Brand Partnerships: “I gain a great deal of inspiration from the community. The Valley is a living, breathing entity. No matter what happens in the world, Valley businesses rise to the challenge. I find that inspiring!” Nikki Smith, Senior Graphic Designer: “When I find myself in need of inspiration, I start my search on Instagram. I follow a handful of artists who produce authentic pieces that give me the urge to create something new. Afterwards, I take a walk or visit someplace new. This allows me to break routine and absorb the world around me. Nature is a fantastic source of inspiration. From a glowing droplet of morning dew on a leaf to the melting sky at sunset, everything in nature has some sort of beauty and texture that I take a mental note of.” WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR A WOMAN STARTING IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? Robin Sanders, Publisher, Ventura Blvd magazine: “Anyone starting out should be flexible, roll with the punches and be open to doing things that aren’t in your job description. I have learned so much by doing tasks that are outside my purview. It’s great to get
a bigger picture of how everything comes together, and it makes you better in your field.” Nikki: “If you have an idea, fight for it. I used to give up at the first sign of resistance, since I’ve always been one to avoid conflict. However, I’ve come to understand that you can learn so much more about a topic through debate and intentional critique. If you give up on a concept right away, that removes the opportunity for you to think critically about it. You might end up changing your mind, and you might not. But it’s all about the process and allowing yourself to articulate what you think is right and why.” Sue: “Become a great listener. Media sales is about listening and partnering with clients to create solutions that allow them to tell their stories. It’s about satisfying their individual needs.” WHAT PUTS A SPRING IN YOUR STEP AND KEEPS YOU FEELING ENERGIZED? Linda Grasso, Editor-in-Chief, Ventura Blvd magazine: “Meeting people—which I do daily with my job. I find it invigorating to meet new people with each new issue of Ventura Blvd. I get to learn about them and their lives. I’ve made so many friends since I got this job 11 years ago—real friends—and it has been tremendously meaningful.” Michelle: “I love finding creative ways to visually tell stories. Pulling together all of the elements of the magazine is a bit like putting together a recipe, and I love creating that balance every issue.” WHAT IS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST, PERSONALLY OR PROFESSIONALLY? Linda: “It is important in life to keep growing. As humans, we tend to settle into our comfort zone. On my bucket list: keep pushing myself, getting outside my comfort zone, trying new things, striving to accomplish.” Nikki: “There’s no better way to understand
the world and the people in it than to travel. I find differences in architecture, artwork and language remarkably compelling. Immersing myself in another culture by learning about others’ values, beliefs and histories helps give me a greater sense of place in this world.” HOW WOULD CLIENTS DESCRIBE YOU? Sue: “I like to think they see me as a trusted advisor. My career has been about building long-term relationships based on helping businesses succeed. I have clients of many years who have become good friends.” Robin: “I’m a collaborator. It’s important to me to understand a client’s business and their goals. Every person I work with is important, and I believe it shows in how I interact with them. My entire team takes a holistic view on how we work with local businesses.” HOW HAS MOTHERHOOD CHANGED YOU? Linda: “It has made me a better person. I believe I have a greater sense of empathy and an appreciation for kindness—and it has helped me set my priorities. I know what is important in life and what is not.” HOW DOES YOUR BUSINESS PROVIDE CLIENTS A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE? Robin: “Ventura Blvd places a client’s message into the living rooms of the highest-value homes in our community. We offer the ability to speak to people when they are relaxed so they can take in our engaging stories about their neighbors and their endeavors. There is no other platform that can offer that in the San Fernando Valley.” WHAT IS THE SILVER LINING OF THE RECENT PANDEMIC FOR YOUR BUSINESS? Michelle: “Working through the pandemic brought us all closer as a team. We were challenged to adapt, think on the fly, strategize how to keep production in motion and give our clients creative solutions. Now that we get to spend some time face-to-face, we just appreciate it more.”
200 N. PACIFIC COAST HWY., SUITE 110, EL SEGUNDO | 310-376-7800 | VENTURABLVD.GOLDENSTATE.IS
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
L to R: Michelle Villas, Nikki Smith, Robin Sanders, Sue Williams, Linda Grasso
WOMEN IN BUSINESS
STEFFI GAINES & DEVYN REGGIO Owners, A Better Way in Home Care
Better Way in Home Care is a private caregiving referral agency that provides hourly and live-in assistance for clients. Caregivers offer companionship, meal preparation, personal grooming, transportation, light housekeeping and other caregiving services, and assistance during recovery from surgery. A Better Way is operated by mother-and-daughter team Steffi Gaines and Devyn Reggio. Prior to opening A Better Way in Home Care in 1998, Steffi Gaines worked at the United College of Business assisting refugees new to the U.S. She also worked with the disabled in her position at Handcraft Industries. Devyn Reggio joined A Better Way while attending UCLA and has remained with the agency for the past 22 years.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR A WOMAN JUST STARTING IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? “Make friends with your fear, then keep it in perspective. It’s natural to have some doubt when you’re starting a new business. It’s important to balance that doubt by realizing we often know more than we think we do to succeed. Trust your instincts, and keep yourself open to practical guidance. Listen, learn, then go with your own unique flow. Ours is a business that relies on human connection.” HOW WOULD CLIENTS DESCRIBE YOU? Steffi: “I think clients would describe me as an open book. When I’m trying to match a caregiver for a client, I have to ask personal questions in terms of what the patient’s current health situation is and what their lifestyle is like. To help encourage communication, I often share aspects of my life. My shared experiences can help a client feel more comfortable with sharing theirs. For instance, being a cancer survivor allows me to better understand a client facing a life-threatening illness. The openness is a bridge to build trust.” WHAT IS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST? Devyn: “Once the world reopens on a wider scale, more family travel is high on my bucket list. I have three young sons, and the trips we take together as a family are not only chock-full of wonderful memories that will last a lifetime, but they’re also great educational experiences. Seeing and experiencing different cultures is a gift I hope to continue to give to them.” HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE GREATNESS IN YOUR TEAM? Steffi: “By giving them free rein to do what they do best. I often say when it comes to talent, I hire people whose strengths are my weaknesses. It makes for a rewarding balance and a better team effort.”
13547 VENTURA BLVD., #131, SHERMAN OAKS | 323-650-2211, 818-788-9995 | ABETTERWAYINHOMECARE.COM
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
WOMEN IN BUSINESS
GINA MICHELLE Estates Director, The Agency Calabasas
real estate broker for the past 17 years, Gina Michelle and her partner, George Ouzounian, run a high-volume team that specializes in luxury Los Angeles properties with a focus on Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Sherman Oaks and Encino. Gina, an estates director at The Agency, is ranked in the top 1% of brokers nationwide. WHAT MAKES YOUR BUSINESS WORK? “Collaboration, relationships and a positive attitude. One of the reasons repeat clients and referrals make up nearly all of my business is my personal attention and compassion for what they are going through. Customer service is all about being their advocate and being a bulldog negotiator when I have to be. In addition, my clients can get what they need whenever they need it because of our team mentality. We deliver the highest level of service and are known for our innovative use of every level of marketing.” IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU EMPOWER OTHER WOMEN TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS? “As team head to some amazing and powerful women, I coach new agents on how to be their best—and I love doing that. I want them to maximize their production by capitalizing on their strengths, educating themselves continually and putting in the work. Going that one step beyond will take you many miles ahead in this career. Our team has been on an upward trajectory for several years, and we plan to keep it going!” WHAT IS THE SILVER LINING OF THE RECENT PANDEMIC FOR YOUR BUSINESS? “With record-low interest rates, a boom in demand and limited supply, we have worked diligently to maintain record-setting sales even in the most challenging of times. Now more than ever, we are seeing a massive increase in demand in Calabasas, Sherman Oaks and Encino as people relocate from the busier city areas. The Valley is where it’s at right now, and that has been amazing for our team!”
PHOTOGRAPHED BY LESLEY BOHM
WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? “I am surrounded daily by inspiration—from my coworkers, mentors and mentees, and my husband, who also has been my business partner since I started real estate. Together, we worked and learned the business side by side, and yes, we still actually like each other! I have a rock-solid family that provides me with a continual and strong support system. I am also a special-needs mom, and my children keep me grounded, humble and grateful for each day and every smile.”
23622 CALABASAS RD., CALABASAS | 818-850-1458 | THEAGENCYRE.COM/AGENT/GINA-MICHELLE | DRE #01503003 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
WOMEN IN BUSINESS
STEPHANIE PAYAB Realtor , Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties | The Payab Group ®
eal estate agent Stephanie Payab has been with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties since 2003 and started The Payab Group in 2016. Stephanie has consistently earned some of the highest awards presented to agents within Berkshire Hathaway. In addition, she has been recognized nationally in the Top 1% of all BHHS agents. WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING WITH YOUR BUSINESS? “New trends are popping up in homes after a year like no other. The ‘bar room’ is making a comeback. Lighting has become an essential part of new homes and home renovations. Televisions are popping up in every room in the house, but masking them as art is becoming all the rage. This past year forced families to consider outdoor living spaces with furniture updates, firepits and landscaping improvements.” WHAT IS THE SILVER LINING OF THE RECENT PANDEMIC FOR YOUR BUSINESS? “During the lockdown between March and May 2020, real estate transactions continued to happen virtually, which turned out to be a silver lining when we thought the industry was going to be shut down. The pandemic highlighted that a home is the most important investment and is the safest place to be in a crisis. So there’s been a greater urgency to own. The Payab Group pivoted quickly and continued to provide the highest level of service to our clients. One of the biggest realizations of this unprecedented time was that real estate stood strong.” HOW DO YOU ATTRACT THE BEST TALENT TO JOIN YOUR STAFF? “In addition to helping my clients, I truly enjoy helping others learn the business of real estate. To attract the best talent for my team, I work very hard to create a reputation as someone others want to work with and learn from. Training and teaching are key, and doing it to ensure their success is so important. By helping and encouraging my staff to succeed, The Payab Group grows and continues its success.” HOW WOULD CLIENTS DESCRIBE YOU? “I believe my clients would describe me as honest, trustworthy, knowledgeable and someone who they truly know is on their side. In addition, they would say I am someone who keeps it real, who is passionate about making sure they’re happy but also someone who makes the process fun with a side of snark!” TAKE A RISK OR PLAY IT SAFE IN BUSINESS? “Definitely take a risk! I think my choice of hair color shows my adventurous spirit and captivating personality. I am willing to take risks to get the very best results for my clients.”
Disclaimer: ©2021 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC.
16810 VENTURA BLVD., ENCINO | 818-269-2796 | THEPAYABGROUP.COM | DRE #01394407
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
WOMEN IN BUSINESS
GLENNA TOLBERT, MD, QME, FAAPMR Owner/Medical Director, Tolbert Center for Rehabilitation and Wellness
he Tolbert Center for Rehabilitation and Wellness, founded by Dr. Glenna Tolbert in 2005, is a Los Angeles-area medical facility offering nonsurgical and minimally invasive techniques and procedures that help patients enjoy long-term pain relief. Dr. Tolbert, a board-certified physician specializing in physical medicine, rehabilitation and spinal cord medicine, has practiced medicine for 28 years.
WHAT DOES YOUR COMPANY STAND FOR? “At the center, we incorporate our love for medicine into everything we do. The philosophy here is to offer everything we can to help people be all that God intended for them to be, which is fabulous regardless of what their insurance covers. Our goal is to remove the healing barriers and provide tools that help patients be their best selves.” WHAT IS THE SECRET TO YOUR SUCCESS? “Having fun, a listening ear, a compassionate heart and Southern hospitality.” WHAT SETS YOUR PRACTICE APART FROM THE REST? “We specialize in treating patients with minor functional challenges and/or complex disabilities and problems, requiring a total-person and individualized approach. We seek to find the root cause of the problem and reverse it whenever possible, and focus on repairing and rebuilding our patients after prolonged illnesses or injury. We diagnose and treat nutritional, genetic and environmental risks that contribute to many chronic and degenerative conditions. We also provide evaluations and prescriptions for power wheelchairs and other durable medical equipment.” HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE GREATNESS IN YOUR TEAM? “I challenge my team to be bold with an idea that might save a patient’s life. I also challenge them to be scared when others in the health care industry shun our nontraditional approaches to medicine, because they know that our treatment could actually heal someone. Most of all, I encourage the team to take those bold steps not just to be different—but for the love of medicine.” PHOTOGRAPHED BY THOMAS CUNNINGHAM IV
IN WHAT WAYS ARE YOU AN INNOVATOR OR AN INFLUENCER? “I empower patients to take control of their own health by introducing them to a world of wellness and healing options that insurance companies and health care plans will not offer and actually downplay or criticize. These services include advanced nutritional testing and supplementation, hormone optimization, and regenerative injections to heal joints and potentially prevent the need for joint replacements.” TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY. “I dedicate this profile in loving memory of my brother, John Timothy Watkins, July 25, 1974—July 18, 2021.”
17609 VENTURA BLVD., SUITE 114, ENCINO, 818-784-7197 | 240 S. LA CIENEGA BLVD., SUITE 250, BEVERLY HILLS 424-355-0344 | DRGLENNATOLBERT.COM SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
WOMEN IN BUSINESS
DANIELLE PERETZ Realtor , The Agency ®
or more than two decades, Danielle Peretz has lived and worked in Studio City—buying, selling and renovating countless homes while providing real estate investment services for builders and luxury developers and assisting buyers and sellers across Los Angeles. She has worked with The Agency since 2018. TAKE A RISK OR PLAY IT SAFE IN BUSINESS? “There is truly a balance of both in every major decision I make. I live by the saying ‘high risk, high reward’ and challenge myself to apply not only sentimental valuation but also concrete evidence to support my decision. In order to achieve the lifestyle you dream of, taking calculated risks is necessary. There is always something to lose—money, time—but it’s imperative to consider how much there is to gain.” WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR A WOMAN JUST STARTING IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? “Embody the role of a lifelong student. Always be ready to learn from experiences. Question the ‘experts.’ Be open to change. Expose yourself to new ideas. Learn new skills. Never be satisfied with what you think you know, and more importantly, do not consider yourself an expert. Every single deal in real estate is specific and unique; it is impossible to apply the same methods to each transaction and expect the same result. As a Realtor you are dealing with emotions, life savings, sentimental values and the dream of homeownership. Consider these facets of the job, and apply your broad range of skills accordingly.” WHAT PUTS A SPRING IN YOUR STEP AND KEEPS YOU FEELING ENERGIZED? “My clients’ happiness and spending time with my family. I treat every transaction as if it were my very own and become personally invested in securing happiness for my clients. Coming home to my beautiful family gives me all the energy I need after a busy day. Having an intimate dinner with my supportive husband, our three beautiful children and our precious dog is the highlight of my day.” DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE. “I pride myself on being a team player. Being honest and considerate, motivated yet humble, and exercising patience and dedication provides my team with the necessary skills to succeed. Being supportive and available 100% of the time to my clients is what I aim for, and I understand that to do that, I need open communication with my team. Being a team player is everything!”
331 N. FOOTHILL DR., STUDIO CITY | 818-644-1477 | DANIELLEPERETZ.COM | DRE #01897529
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
WOMEN IN BUSINESS
NICOLE BASSERI & ARIANA BASSERI Owners, Steamer Cleaners
teamer Cleaners has been offering dry cleaning, laundry and tailoring services to Valley customers since 1987. Owners Nicole and Shahrokh Basseri met at a dry-cleaning establishment, married and started their business together. Ariana was born into the industry and has been a part of Steamer Cleaners her entire life. Nicole graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in sociology. She worked for more than 30 years contracting with hospitals and MRI sites. Ariana attended Emerson College in Boston and studied marketing and creative writing. She is a comedian, script consultant and writer. TAKE A RISK OR PLAY IT SAFE IN BUSINESS? “Taking big risks is how we’re still on the corner of Ventura and Woodman. When we had the chance to change our cleaning solution to GreenEarth nontoxic, odor-free, petroleum-free solvent, we jumped at the
opportunity to give our customers this cleaning that is better for your clothes and skin. Shahrokh heard that Metalprogetti is the most effective way to keep track of customer clothes. So we took a chance on this robotic system that automatically bags and racks each barcoded garment, even though it cost many dollars and created obstacles while we stayed open during its assembly. This has streamlined the way we do business.” HOW WOULD CLIENTS DESCRIBE YOU? “There’s a family feel when you step through those sliding glass doors onto the marble floors. We’re a mom-and-pop business—if your mom and pop were very cool and gave you candy. We all are completely involved in every aspect of the business.” TELL US ABOUT A TIME YOU THOUGHT OUTSIDE THE BOX. Nicole: “I thought of gifting clients Steamer
Cleaners T-shirts with our family’s faces on them. The art is by Faye Orlove—a female artist and fellow woman in business. I also created a program to dry clean an outfit for free for an unemployed person who has a job interview. Along with the clean outfit, we include a note with tips on snatching the job, based on my knowledge from my previous career.” IN WHAT WAYS ARE YOU AN INNOVATOR OR AN INFLUENCER? Ariana: “I’m an influencer because six people got nose jobs with my doctor after I posted about Dr. Carlo Honrado. And I made my dad famous on TikTok—look up #hotbreaddad! We love to be these iconic characters of dry cleaning. I feel like an actual famous person when we strut the aisles at any cleaning convention because we’re that innovative and influential. Also, multiple production companies have worked on making a reality show about us happen.”
13646 VENTURA BLVD., SHERMAN OAKS | 818-906-2345 | STEAMERCLEANERS.COM SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
CLOSED TRANSACTIONS Lifetime Sales Volume
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5,500+ CLOSED SALES Lifetime Estimated Sales Transactions
SATISFIED CLIENTS Andrew was the #5 Agent Nationwide for BHHSCP Network in 2020 Proud to be Named The Thousand Winner among the nation's top 1,000 REALTORS® - Ready to Help You
3623 Ballina Canyon Rd l Encino Encino Pool Home l 5BD l 3 BA l Apx. 2,816 SqFt l Apx .36 acre Lot l Price Available Upon Request
3610 Dixie Canyon Ave l Sherman Oaks 5BD l 6.5BA l Apx. 6,911SqFt Home l Expansive Gated Private 1+ Acre Lot l Price Available Upon Request
ANDREW MANNING l REALTOR® Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices CA Properties 14141 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks CA 91423 818 380 2147 PH l firstname.lastname@example.org DRE LIC #: 00941825 © 2021 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHSCP) is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. BHHS and the BHHS symbol are registered service marks of Columbia Insurance Company, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. Properties may or may not be listed by the office/agent presenting this information. Based on information obtained from the MLS as of (include the date data was obtained). Display of MLS data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS. BHH Affiliates LLC and BHHSCP do not guarantee accuracy of all data including measurements, conditions, and features of property. Buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of that information. Listing status may have changed by the publication date. Buyer is advised to verify current status at the time of publication.
R E A L E S TAT E
Jetliner Views A truly spectacular gated modern farmhouse with jetliner valley views. The open floor plan is anchored by its central culinary kitchen, perfectly detailed with massive breakfast center island, stainless Viking appliances & walk-in pantry. The main living outfitted with Fleetwood pocketed sliding doors to immerse yourself with its sensational indoor/outdoor flow! Encompassing four spacious bedrooms that includes its spectacular master suite with pocketed walls of glass & spa styled bath. Relax in the magnificent rear yard with Baja shelf sparkling pool, spa, and built-in BBQ. Come experience the overwhelming emotion you will feel once you step inside this truly sensational residence! 16813 Ivyside Pl, Encino, CA 91436 | $2,890,000
Oren David Mordkowitz
4 Bedrooms | 4 Bathrooms | 2,730 Sqft
818.933.5866 | Oren@OrenEstates.comz
Encino Towers, Luxury Guard Gated Condo, South of the Blvd in Encino 4700 Park Encino Lane #227 | 2 Bedroom En Suite | 2.5 Baths | 1985 Sq ft | Single Story | Only 2 Homes per Floor www.4700ParkEncino227.com Luxury condo south of the Boulevard in the prestigious guard-gated Encino Towers. Close to the studios (Disney, Warner, NBC, CBS, ABC). Newly remodeled, featuring new sustainable flooring, updated kitchen, updated bathrooms and more. Master with two walk-in closets, spa tub, shower and double vanity. Second bedroom also en suite. Complex surrounded by waterfalls and greenery. Pools, tennis and two secured side-by-side parking spaces. Cindee Zabner | VIP Real Estate Advisor | Keller Williams Realty email@example.com | www.thezabnergroup.com | 818-517-0018 | Text ParkEncino227 to 79564
MATTEPSTEIN.COM SOMATT@AOL.COM 818-681-2000
Matt Epstein #1 #2 #5
Agent San Fernando Valley Agent Los Angeles Agent Nationwide for
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
Top one-half of 1 percent of more than 1,250,000 REALTORS® nationwide
Follow me on Facebook: MattEpsteinRealty Follow me on Twitter: @SoMattEpstein Follow me on Instagram: @MattEpsteinRealEstate
With proven results from the market leader, why call anybody else?
Dreaming about getting away from it all, and yet it’s difficult during these unprecedented times. Just an hour away in Oxnard, Ventura and Santa Barbara the dream of long luxurious days by the ocean, kayaking through a harbor, bicycling near the beach and watching sea lions, dolphins and pelicans sounds pretty good - doesn’t it? I’ve been assisting many of our clients who are now buying weekend/ vacation homes in Ventura and Santa Barbara County. Call me if you’re interested, and I’ll show you how that feeling of vacation can be yours more than just once a year! Jane Kaplan Epstein Dre#01922991
11555 Amanda Dr. – SC- $3,250,000 4Br+4Ba in 3,001 SqFt on a 34,167 SqFt Lot- Spectacular Studio City gated property w/ 270-degree views from every room. Enter the foyer into a beautiful open floor plan & views of the mountains, canyons & city lights. The entertainer’s backyard is perfect for lounging or dining al fresco around the pool. The grassy area is perfect for relaxing and enjoying the outdoors.
11690 Laurelcrest Dr. - SC- $1,995,000 5Br+4.5 Ba in 3,371 SqFt on a 8,541 SqFt LotThis stunning & sophisticated home in Studio City features 5 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms Features include picture windows and a fireplace in the living room and french doors that lead to the backyard that has a spa & patio area that is ideal for endless summer BBQs, al fresco dining under the stars.
11680 Sunshine Ter.– SO - $1,175,000- 2Br+2Ba in 1,484 SqFt on a 6,686 SqFt Lot- Charming 2 bd 2 ba home in prime Studio City neighborhood s. of Ventura Blvd. Hardwood floors run throughout this beautiful home which is filled w/ windows & lots of great natural light. Very large living room w/ brick fireplace & a fantastic wood-paneled vaulted ceiling dining room/ family room. And to top it off there’s a beautiful backyard with multiple sitting areas w/ room for a pool. Also includes a two-car garage. 13328 Galewood St.– SO- $1,725,000 3Br+3 Ba in 1,854 SqFt on a 9,258 SqFt Lot– This beautifully landscaped one-story home located in one of the best neighborhoods in Sherman Oaks. It features a large open living room w/ a fireplace & floor to ceiling windows with a view of the valley, dining area & a modern kitchen. The backyard has heirloom roses, lemon, olive, & apple trees that add to the beauty and joy of California living. This 1953 home is GreenPoint Rated, highly insulated with a new, hyper-efficient HVAC, level-2 electric car charger, and new, energy-efficient washer dryer. 4712 Park Encino Ln Unit #221– EN- $1,499,000 3Br+3Ba in 2,500 SqFt on a 338,373 SqFt Lot – Here’s your chance to own one of the hardest to obtain and most desired units in the valley. 24-hour security guard gated complex. This unit features a view, lots of natural light, recessed lighting and much more. The Resort-Style Amenities include Landscaped Grounds, Pool & Spa, Waterfalls, Tennis Courts, Tree-Top Views. Each Floor Contains Only 2 Units Maximizing Even More Security And Exclusivity.
Call for your FREE market analysis! © 2019 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHSCP) is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. BHH Affiliates LLC and BHHSCP do not guarantee accuracy of all data including measurements, conditions, and features of property. Information is obtained from various sources and will not be verified by broker or MLS. Buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of that information.
THE LIVYATAN GROUP 1 UNIT REMAINING
5110 Whitsett Ave #102| Valley Village 3 Bed | 3 Bath | Approx: 2,248 sq ft Offered at: $1,130,000
5115 Encino Ave | Encino 7 Bed | 7.5 Bath | Approx: 9,000 sq ft | 28,301 lot Offered at: $8,995,000
15601 Meadowgate Rd | Encino 7 Bed | 10 Bath | Approx. 10,420 sqft | 15,751 Sold: $10,350,000
12225 Gorham | Brentwood 4 Bed | 4.5 Bath | Approx. 3,857 sqft | 7,500 sqft Sold: $3,695,000
3951 Royal Oak | Encino 6 Bed | 10 Bath | Approx. 10,902 sqft | 23,296 sqft lot Offered at: $10,530,000
5155 Paradise Valley Rd| Hidden Hills 7 Bed | 7.5 Bath | Approx: 11,000 sq ft | 43,855 lot Offered at: $13,495,000
4422 Camelia | North Hollywood 5 Bed|8 Bath |Approx 5,198 sqft | 6,751 sqft lot Sold: $3,465,000
3950 Royal Oak | Encino 6 bed | 10 bath | Approx: 10,902 sqft | 23,296 lot Offered at: $13,750,000
16766 Bosque Drive | Encino 5 bed | 9 bath | Approx: 8,500 sqft | 25,607 lot Offered at: $6,800,000
4926 Petit | Encino 5 bed | 7 bath | Approx: 4466 sqft | 8,249 lot Sold: $3,145,000
12223 Gorham Ave | Brentwood 4 Bed | 4.5 Bath | Approx. 3,857 sqft | 7,500 sqft lot Offered at: $3,695,000
New Construction and Luxury Home Specialist Wall Street Journal Ranked #15 in CA | #28 in the Nation Mobile: 818.919.4060 • Office: 818.285.3220 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org DRE# 1892750
SOLD OVE R $25 0 M I LLION I N 2 0 2 0
PENDING 1 TOLUCA ESTATES DRIVE, TOLUCA LAKE | $2,795,000
10339 WHIPPLE STREET, TOLUCA LAKE $3,099,000
4424 PONCA AVENUE, TOLUCA LAKE $1,995,000
4443 AUCKLAND AVE, TOLUCA LAKE $1,345,000
PENDING 4700 SANCOLA AVENUE, TOLUCA LAKE $2,350,000
4343 TEESDALE AVENUE, STUDIO CITY $2,795,000
4901 PLACIDIA AVENUE, TOLUCA LAKE $1,700,000
CRAIG STRONG DRE # 01450987 VP, Luxury Home Sales Top 1 % Nationwide #1 Individual Agent Companywide 1.3+ Billion Total Sales Volume strongrealtor.com
Compass does not guarantee the accuracy of square footage, lot size, or other information concerning the condition or features of the property provided by the seller or obtained from public records and other sources and the buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of that information. CalBRE 01450987
THE DINSKY TEAM JUST LISTED
4026 VAN NOORD AVE | STUDIO CITY 3 BD | 2 BA | 2,155 SQ. FT. | 7,996 SQ. FT. LOT
11520 DONA PEPITA PL | STUDIO CITY 4 BD | 3 BA | 2,768 SQ. FT. | 10,857 SQ. FT. LOT
4218 FARMDALE AVE | STUDIO CITY
11934 HARTSOOK ST | VALLEY VILLAGE
3742 WRIGHTWOOD DR | STUDIO CITY
5460 WHITE OAK #A319 | ENCINO
14806 OTSEGO ST | SHERMAN OAKS
7444 MAMMOTH AVE | VAN NUYS
11110 HORTENSE ST | TOLUCA LAKE
18844 HATTERAS ST #A | TARZANA
4233 IRVINE AVE | STUDIO CITY
LET US SHOW YOU WHY WE TRULY ARE THE BEST VALUE IN REAL ESTATE.
ANDREW DINSKY 310.729.3393 Andrew@TheDinskyTeam.com Ranked Top 1.5% Nationwide as seen in RealTrends
Each office is independently owned and operated. The information contained herein has been obtained through sources deemed reliable but cannot be guaranteed as to its accuracy. Buyer to verify accuracy of information. DRE #01724985 & #01811831
MICHAEL BERGIN |
LUXURY ESTATES DIRECTOR
LO S A N G E L E S | N E W YO R K | H A M P TO N S | U K | F R A N C E | M I A M I | S PA I N | I TA LY S A N F R A N C I S C O | P O R T U G A L | F T L AU D E R DA L E | R U S S I A | D U BA I | A S P E N
I N T E R N AT I O N A L
East Hampton, New York
New York, New York
Saint Petersburg, Russia
L O CA L
6413 N Vista Street, San Gabriel $1,689,000 5 Beds 3 Baths 3,670± Sqft Representing Buyers
6002 Allott Avenue, Valley Glen $1,930,000 5 Beds 6 Baths 7,613± Sqft Media Room Huge Basement Wine Cellar
4837 Laurelgrove Avenue, Valley Village $1,975,000 2 Beds 3 Baths 2,000± Sqft Incredible Opportunity on Large Corner Lot
Michael Bergin Luxury Estates Director 310.600.0715 Michael@MichaelBergin.com DRE 01845572
Your #1 Real Estate Expert Compass is a licensed real estate broker and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdraw without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate. Exact dimensions can be obtained by retaining the services of an architect or engineer. This is not intended to solicit property already listed.
15680 High Knoll Rd. ENCINO, CA 91436
B AT H S
4222 RHODES AVE | STUDIO CITY
12050 GUERIN ST #302 | STUDIO CITY
11629 HUSTON ST | VALLEY VILLAGE
5523 LONGRIDGE AVE | SHERMAN OAKS
4161 CAMELLIA AVE | STUDIO CITY
12221 VALLEYHEART DR | STUDIO CITY
1 5 5 3 7 VA L L E Y V I S TA | E N C I N O
SOLD IN 2020
4433 SAINT CLAIR AVE | STUDIO CITY
13001 GREENLEAF ST | STUDIO CITY
1 4 5 4 0 VA L L E Y V I S TA | S H E R M A N OA K S
4848 ENCINO AVE | ENCINO
3581 WOODHILL CANYON | STUDIO CITY
12486 VIEWCREST RD | STUDIO CITY
4141 ALLOTT AVE | SHERMAN OAKS
5101 HASKELL AVE | ENCINO
4121 LAURELGROVE AVE | STUDIO CITY
818.432.1524 INFO@CHERNOVTEAM.COM WWW.CHERNOVTEAM.COM DRE #01850113
#1 TEAM IN THE VALLEY | #6 IN LOS ANGELES | #16 IN CALIFORNIA
Each ofﬁce is independently owned and operated. If your property is listed with another broker, this is not a solicitation. Keller Williams Realty does not guarantee the accuracy of square footage, lot size, or other information concerning the condition or features of the property provided by the seller or obtained from public records or other sources and the buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of that information through personal inspection with appropriate licensed professionals.
4533 GENTRY AVENUE
S T UDIO CI T Y | $ 4 ,699,90 0 | NE W L IS T IN G
17143 ADLON ROAD
EN CIN O HIL L S | $ 7,799,90 0 | NE W L IS T IN G
6 BEDS | 8 B AT HS | 6,50 0 S Q . F T. | 10,079 S Q . F T. L O T
6 BEDS | 7.5 B AT HS | 8, 4 0 0 S Q . F T. | 23, 493 S Q . F T. L O T
6310 MIRROR L AKE
839 N. OGDEN DRIVE
L A K E H O L LY W O O D | $ 6, 499,90 0 | NE W L IS T IN G
W E S T H O L LY W O O D | $ 3,850,0 0 0 | S O L D
6 BEDS | 8.5 B AT HS | 6,50 0 S Q . F T. | 10,14 3 S Q . F T. L O T
5 BEDS | 5.5 B AT HS | 4 ,90 0 S Q . F T. | 6,50 0 S Q . F T. L O T
4158 BECK AVENUE
6207 MEL BA AVENUE
S T UDIO CI T Y | $1, 475,0 0 0 | S O L D
W O O D L A ND HIL L S | $1, 4 0 0,0 0 0
2 BEDS | 1 B AT H | 1,163 S Q . F T. | 4 ,158 S Q . F T. L O T
4 BEDS | 3.5 B AT HS | 2, 256 S Q . F T. | IN E S CR OW
4274 FARMDAL E AVENUE
4177 FAIR AVENUE
C O L FA X ME A D O W S | $1,50 0,0 0 0
3 BEDS | 3 B AT HS | 1,870 S Q . F T. | 6,74 3 S Q . F T. L O T REPRE SEN T ED BU Y ER & SEL L ER
DANIELLE PERE T Z
DANIELLE.PERE T Z@THE AGENCYRE.COM 818.644.1477 LIC. #01897529
S T UDIO CI T Y | $1, 299,0 0 0 | NE W L IS T IN G
3 BEDS | 2 B AT HS | 1,596 S Q . F T. | 6,320 S Q . F T. L O T
Oren David Mordkowitz ESTATES DIRECTOR | REALTOR ®
818-933-5866 JUST LISTED
CalDRE License #01246402
email@example.com JUST LISTED
16813 Ivyside Pl. | Encino | $2,789,000 3601 Dellvale Pl. | Encino | $2,499,000 17711 Corinthian Dr. | Encino | $1,699,000
4721 Alonzo Ave. | Encino | $2,489,000 17821 Twilight Ln. | Encino | $3,589,000 4149 Adlon Pl. | Encino | $1,899,000
4944 Garden Grove Ave. | Tarzana | $1,189,000 16456 Westfall Pl. | Encino | $1,989,000 4915 Rupert Ave. | Encino | $2,499,000
4239 Hayvenhurst Ave. | Encino | $3,485,000 15146 Hartsook St. | Sherman Oaks | $1,299,000 20047 Chapter Dr. | Woodland Hills | $2,225,000
Curious what your home is worth? Contact Oren for a complimentary home analysis!
Nobody does it better...
16957 Encino Hills Drive, Encino $2,500,000 Encino Hills
18164 Chardon Circle, Encino $2,335,000 Lake Encino
16397 Mandalay Drive, Encino $2,000,000 Encino Hills
20335 Howard Ct., Woodland Hills $2,499,000 Magnificent Woodland Hills Estate
17035 Oak View Drive, Encino Encino Hills
16411 Otsego St., Encino $1,575,000 Encino Woods
Coming Soon Amestoy Estates (New Construction) Amestoy Estates (Development Opportunity) Encino South of Blvd. (Quiet Cul-De-Sac) Encino Village (First Time on Market)
10760 Missouri Ave., #102, West LA $890,000 West LA Condo
818.285.3688 www.CarolWolfe.com DRE #00477745
WALL STREET JOURNAL
$4,999,000 $1,799,000 $1,699,000 $ 899,000
A home that exceeds expectations deserves a mortgage to match
• Mortgage discounts with Relationship Pricing1 • Dedicated support every step of the way • Jumbo loan sizes up to $3 million; loan sizes up to $8 million available to well-qualified buyers who meet Citi’s High Net Worth2 requirements
We’ve got a mortgage to fit your needs. Call me today. John Musso Home Lending Officer 818-518-1008 firstname.lastname@example.org citi.com/johnmusso NMLS# 448606
Terms, conditions and fees for accounts, programs, products and services are subject to change. This is not a commitment to lend. All loans are subject to credit and property approval. Certain restrictions may apply on all programs. Offer cannot be combined with any other mortgage offer. This offer contains information about U.S. domestic financial services provided by Citibank, N.A. and is intended for use domestically in the U.S. 1
A Citibank deposit account and automated monthly transfers of the mortgage payment from a Citibank personal deposit account using automated drafting will be required to receive Citibank mortgage relationship pricing. Ask a mortgage representative for details on eligible balances and the qualifying closing cost credit or rate discount. Availability of the Citibank mortgage relationship pricing for Citibank account holders is subject to change without notice.
Available for clients with a minimum of $500,000 or more in investable post-close assets, and at least $50,000 in traditional assets must be on deposit with Citi at least 10 days prior to closing. This amount may be part of the $500,000 eligibility requirement. Real estate, loan proceeds, stock options, restricted stock and personal property will not be counted as part of the $500,000 or more investable post-close assets or the $50,000 in traditional assets. Net cash value of life insurance can be counted as part of the $500,000 but not part of the traditional assets. Investable assets are defined as deposit accounts (checking, savings, money market, Certificates of Deposit), unrestricted stocks, non-vested stock and restricted stock, bonds and retirement accounts held by the individual who is personally liable on the loan. These asset types held in revocable trust may be used provided the trust document meets the Trust Policy. 100% of the face value of all assets, except non-vested stock and restricted stock, may be used to calculate the amount of funds available to meet the eligibility criteria. For non-vested stock and restricted stock, the borrower must be 100% vested within 1 year of closing and a maximum of 70% of value may be used to calculate qualifying equity. Additional conditions apply. ©2020 Citibank, N.A. NMLS# 412915. Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender. Citi, Citi and Arc Design and other marks used herein are service marks of Citigroup Inc. or its affiliates, used and registered throughout the world.
Home Is Where the Flight Fight Is REAL BONDS CAN BLOSSOM IN THE MOST UNLIKELY OF PLACES. Written by Chloe King | Illustrated by Nikki Smith
I can remember the exact day I became a Valley Girl: August
what was happening in the skies was indeed an assault, and it
20, 2020. That’s the day escrow closed on my new home, and
had to be curbed. So, step 3: Fight! And this brings us to the
I went from a being forever Westsider to a resident Sherman
unexpected best part of this unanticipated journey: friends.
Oaksian. A great day. Great home. Great hood. Pretty much perfect, save for two things…
Yup, friends. The local kind. The Valley kind. The kind who live under a flight path just like I do. They didn’t always,
One, no friends near me to speak of. For my Westside
but as programs like the FAA’s NextGen were implemented,
pals I might as well have moved to Ovagadougou. And two,
they do now. Suffice to say, these new peeps are an eclectic
the planes! The planes? That’s right. I bought my home at
lot. Because here’s the deal: These jets are equal-opportunity
the height of COVID. The streets were quiet, and so were
abusers. Doesn’t matter your socioeconomic standing, race,
the skies. But that all changed one day when suddenly, out
creed, sexual orientation or political belief. If you live in their
of seemingly nowhere, a jet was screaming above me at an
path, you’re on the same side. That’s the thing about activ-
ungodly low elevation. Then another. And another, until I
ism—it not only connects the like-minded, but it creates
thought I hadn’t bought in Sherman Oaks, but rather, a veri-
a sense of community. And if that sense of community has
table war zone.
actual ties to where you live, it creates a sense of home.
I prayed it was just some sort of fluke. The wind had
They say home is where the heart is. In this case, it’s also
shifted? Nope. The jets kept coming. My heart sank. My soul
where the fight is. All of us in it together. Bonded by the planes
ached. I put everything into this, my forever home. What was
for sure, but now, so much more. Bonded more by our dif-
I to do now? Pack up? Throw in the towel?
ferences than our sameness. And that’s a beautiful thing. The
Hell no. I decided to do what I always do. Educate, regroup,
silver lining for sure. As for the fight, I sure hope we win. But
and if necessary, fight. Game on! First stop, Nextdoor.com.
come what may, it’s a lot more fun trying with a few pals by
One-stop-shopping when you want to hear all sides, the
my side. ■
good, the bad, and the downright ugly. Within weeks I was remarkably well versed in unchecked airport expansion, con-
Chloe King is a writer who creates from her home in Sherman Oaks
densed flight paths, NextGen technology and the FAA.
in spite of all the airplane noise. To learn more about the eﬀort to
Step 2: Armed with newfound knowledge, I concluded that
quiet our skies, go to sosla.org.
The Spitz | Cameron Group G U I DA N C E & T H E R I G H T R E P R E S E N TAT I O N A R E C R U C I A L F O R B OT H B U Y E R S & S E L L E R S I N T H I S H OT M A R K E T. LI JUS ST T ED
5142 Gaynor Avenue, Encino $1,749,000 IN
13044 Dickens St, Studio City
15990 High Knoll Rd, Encino
3927 Westfall Dr, Encino* Encino
Call Us To Find Out How List Price & Offer Strategy Make All The Difference Andrew Spitz
* Represented Both Buyers & Sellers © 2021 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHSCP) is a member of the franchise system of BHH Afﬁliates LLC. BHHS and the BHHS symbol are registered service marks of Columbia Insurance Company, a Berkshire Hathaway afﬁliate. BHH Afﬁliates LLC and BHHSCP do not guarantee accuracy of all data including measurements, conditions, and features of property. Information is obtained from various sources and will not be veriﬁed by broker or MLS. Buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of that information. DRE #01317331
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