NONPROFIT EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR (ENTERPRISE)
President and CEO
Exceptional Children’s Foundation
Scott D. Bowling, Psy.D., president and CEO of Exceptional Children’s Foundation (ECF), has dedicated his career to improving the lives of thousands of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
Dr. Bowling has over 30 years of experience working with nonprofits that serve people with special needs, including direct service work with clients and in management positions. He joined the Exceptional Children’s Foundation in 1999 as its second president and CEO, where Dr. Bowling is responsible for a complex nonprofit human services organization with a $28 million operating budget (a budget that has tripled in size over his tenure), 15 service sites throughout Los Angeles County, 375+ employees, a 21 member Board of Directors and the provision of services to more than 5,000 clients and their family members annually. Dr. Bowling’s accomplishments at ECF include implementing a long-term strategic planning approach to management.
Dr. Blayne Cutler
President and Chief Executive Officer
Blayne Cutler, MD, PhD, joined Heluna Health, based in the City of Industry in 2014, as its president and chief executive officer. As a new employee who joined Heluna Health just under one year ago during the height of the COVID-19 global pandemic, it could not be more clear that Dr. Cutler embodies and is committed to the mission and vision of Heluna Health – enhancing the health, wellness, and resilience of every community the organization serves.
Dr. Cutler is and has been committed to ensuring that positive health outcomes are achieved for all populations and communities that Heluna Health’s over 500 projects, empower. The organization has over doubled in size from the start of 2020 as it now employs over 2,500 individuals across the state of California and beyond. Prior to joining Heluna Health, Dr. Cutler served as New York City’s assistant commissioner for HIV Prevention and Control.
Community Health Councils, Inc
Veronica Flores has grown CHC from less than $1 million to just under $20 million in the last five years. Her leadership in building and advancing innovative approaches to revenue creation through social enterprising and strategic partnerships has positioned Community Health Councils to continue fulfilling its mission and vision now and in the future.
Flores joined the organization in 2015 during a critical period of restructuring and turn-around. Motivated to see the capacity and legacy of the organization succeed and driven by a desire to see outcomes and change in South LA, Flores spearheaded four key initiatives: the South LA Food-Tech Hub, the Coalition on Economic Resilience, The Social Change Institute, and established a pipeline of Social Enterprises. The intent was and continues to be the development of a holistic ecosystem approach to increasing food access, quality healthcare, systems change, and community wealth building opportunities.
Chief Operations Officer
Union Station Homeless Services
Amanda Green serves as the chief operations officer for Union Station Homeless Services. She oversees the work of her 18-person team which is responsible for volunteer services, IT, food services, facilities & capital improvements, office administration, event management and in-kind donations. She has been with Union Station since 2012, and during that time she has been a part of running the day-to-day operations of an organization that tripled in size in the last five years from $13.5 million to $37.4 million.
Green oversees the operational logistics for the lead county agency for coordinating homeless services with 36 communities across the San Gabriel Valley as well as recently expanding into El Sereno, El Monte and Eagle Rock. Her department coordinates the efforts of over 1400 volunteers who work in kitchens to prepare meals; virtually to provide story time and tutoring; in the offices to help with administrative projects, and much more.
NONPROFIT EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR (LARGE)
Chief Executive Officer
CASA of Los Angeles
Charity Chandler-Cole brings a unique perspective to CASA/LA as its first Black, female CEO, former foster youth, mother, relative caregiver to her nephew, Los Angeles native, motivational speaker and social justice advocate for issues ranging from criminal justice and foster care to human trafficking. Chandler-Cole has strengthened CASA/LA’s connections to community partners, elected officials and local businesses.
When Chandler-Cole began her tenure at CASA/LA last year, she identified that the organization has a unique platform unlike any other – with the trust, access, and attention of the courts to relay key information typically not be accessible at crucial moments in a child’s case. CASAs can change the trajectory for outcomes in a child’s life by guiding the court’s decisions towards more restorative solutions. She has been advocating for CASA of Los Angeles to be re-allocated as a line item in the state, county and other local government budgets.
Starlight Children’s Foundation
“Who dares, wins” are words Adam Garone, CEO of Starlight Children’s Foundation, continues to live by since hearing them for the first time spoken by his mentor when he served as an officer in the Australian Army early in his career. Before taking the helm of the Culver City-based nonprofit Starlight Children’s Foundation, Garone co-founded and led the Movember Foundation, creating the world’s first digital-only organization. From its humble beginnings in 2003, the no-shave movement became a global phenomenon, raising $1.5 billion to date and bringing awareness to men’s health.
In 2019, Garone accepted the role of CEO at Starlight, leading the organization through a transformational change by applying his digital fundraising expertise and cultivating a work culture of innovation while making a significant contribution to the Los Angeles community. As the organization leader, Garone and team continue to grow and steward longstanding relationships with iconic LA-based companies.
NONPROFIT EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR (MID-SIZE)
Director, Finance and Operations
The Giving Spirit
Tim Ingram is an attorney residing in Los Angeles who has dedicated 17 years of personal and professional services to meeting the immediate basic needs of our unhoused neighbors living in Greater Los Angeles. After serving on The Giving Spirit’s board of directors for ten years, Ingram is currently serving as the finance and operations director. He has invested his time and talents in a variety of roles as both a resolute volunteer and an inspiring civic leader. In 2015, Ingram became the operations director for The Giving Spirit where he oversees the day-to-day management needs of the organization.
Ingram specifically provides expertise in program implementation and expansion and quickly responds to the emerging needs of unsheltered groups and individuals that often include people with companion animals, new mothers, women and children, youth in transition to adulthood, and LAUSD students in dire need of survival kits and school supplies.
Better Business Bureau
Steve McFarland is the CEO of the nonprofit Better Business Bureau serving Los Angeles County and Silicon Valley. Previous to the BBB, while he was a senior executive at Deloitte, he served as a BBB board director for 21 years.
Each day, McFarland manages the largest BBB in the US with over 12,000 accredited businesses serving over 15 million Southern California consumers. BBB Los Angeles processes about 950 consumer complaints per day, many including scams against seniors and unsuspecting victims. As a private investigator, certified fraud examiner, and certified internal auditor, McFarland involves himself personally in solving various schemes where he can use his skills to provide relief to victims as well as advice to firms to help prevent consumer complaints before they happen. McFarland works closely with the Los Angeles DA Office, Department of Consumer Affairs and Attorney General to halt egregious businesses from taking advantage of the community.
Play Equity Fund
Renata Simril’s leadership has been invaluable as she has created new partnerships and developed innovative programs as the Play Equity Fund – the 501(c)3 charitable partner of the LA84 Foundation – has supported community health and childhood well-being in robust ways over the last year. To advance creating conditions for kids to succeed through sport, Simril has forged partnerships with the 12 pro sports teams in greater Los Angeles, as well as partnered with Riviera Country Club to bring access to golf to underserved communities through the “Golf For All” program.
Simril was instrumental in developing the Super Bowl LVI Legacy Program – a partnership with the NFL and Los Angeles Super Bowl Host Committee where 56 nonprofits across the region received $10,000 grants, six of those received a total of $50,000 in grant awards, and the missions of all were given publicity by being associated with the Super Bowl.
Alyce Morris Winston
The Jeffrey Foundation
Alyce Morris Winston started the Jeffrey Foundation in 1972 with the desire to give her son, Jeffrey, who had muscular dystrophy, a better life. After quitting her job as a model and makeup consultant for Max Factor, Winston began to develop a grassroots program to provide special needs children with activities and outings they could enjoy. These outings, which instilled a sense of pride and accomplishment in youths with special needs, also provided their families with much-needed companionship and support.
Throughout the years, Winston has created business and donor relationships with major corporations, banks, entertainers, entertainment executives, and many other high profile organizations and individuals whose support is vital to funding the Foundation’s much-needed operations. Winston is always implementing creative events – fund-raising galas and events, special education and art projects, and other events to assist children with special needs and their families.
NONPROFIT EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR (GROWING)
Debra Donovan has been the executive director of Valley Village for 32 years. She has proven to be a great leader of a very large community based organization serving the disabled in SFV. She has developed a strong team of leaders and devoted employees with long term tenure. Donovan and her team have managed their organization among shortages in government support and proven they are a sustainable organization among the community, located in Winnetka.
Under Donovan’s stewardship, Valley Village serves more than 400 men and women with developmental challenges through semi-independent condos, 14 family-style homes, three homes that offer nursing care, an adult development center and two adult day health care centers. All of their programs are located in the San Fernando Valley and operated by a staff of over 350 people that love what they do.
President/Domestic Violence Advocate
Shepherd’s Door Domestic Violence Resource and Educational Center
Tunisia M. Offray has founded organizations helping the survivors of domestic abuse and supporting women business owners. Having been certified as a domestic violence counselor through Project PeaceMakers at the 77th District Community Police Station in Los Angeles, Offray co-founded the Shepherd’s Door Domestic Violence Resource Center in 2000. In this position, she provides youth violence prevention education in high schools and middle schools in her community. As a teenager, Offray had suffered from domestic abuse and wished to help women who have lived through similar experiences.
In 2009 Offray established Women, Wealth, Warriors, a platform supporting women entrepreneurs and women in business. Her goal for creating the organization is to provide women with the support, resources and encouragement needed to create the life that they envision for themselves through business ownership.
President and Chief Philanthropy Officer
Donella Wilson has served the nonprofit community for decades. She leads GHJ’s Nonprofit Practice, which provides discounted accounting services to more than private foundations and public charities. Wilson also serves as president and chief philanthropy officer for the GHJ Foundation, GHJ’s vehicle for purposeful and proactive giving to the community. She has been instrumental in the Foundation’s establishment in 2020, and leveraged her decades of experience in the nonprofit to define the mission and lay the groundwork for the GHJ Foundation.
In 2021, the second year of operation, the GHJ Foundation accumulated $150,000 in contributions and distributed $101,000 for program services. This includes foundation grants and charitable donations. All of these efforts were driven by Wilson’s leadership, passion and connectivity. Recently, in less than a week, Wilson launched a significant GHJ fundraiser to support the Ukrainian people and all money donated to the Foundation will be matched by GHJ.
The Rescue Train
For over 20 years, Lisa Young has fought every day to help animals and the people that love them with her many innovative community programs – that have now helped 3,484 animals. Young has ensured that animal welfare was not forgotten during a global health pandemic. Her community programs have helped seniors, veterans, low-income and homeless pet owners keep their pets instead of winding up in the city shelters or streets.
Young created a pet care partnership with “Hope of the Valley.” The Rescue Train handles the needs of the pets of the homeless living in their shelters including the “Tiny Homes” projects. Pets of the homeless receive pet food, beds, supplies, veterinarian care and grooming. She also helps other local homeless nonprofits with their clients’ pets. Many times, pets are the only thing that gives seniors, veterans and homeless people the will to keep going.
PHILANTHROPIST OF THE YEAR
Full Time Volunteer Fundraiser
For over 32-years, Rick Powell has been an amazing JVS SoCal volunteer advocate, ambassador, master fundraiser, former board chair, Development Committee member, honoree, Executive Committee member, co-chair of JVS SoCal’s current 90th Anniversary $5 million two-year campaign, chair of JVS’ Ambassador Board, Scholarship Committee member and major donor.
Last year, in addition to his own significant giving, Powell solicited and raised $2.6 million of the $5 million for JVS SoCal’s 90th Anniversary campaign – these funds are over and above any annual funds these donors normally commit to. Powell continues to open doors of opportunity to prospective donors, board members, employers for JVS clients seeking careers, corporate sponsors for the organization’s events, volunteers and more. In addition to his tireless efforts on behalf of JVS SoCal, Powell plays a major fundraising role at Concern Foundation, Wilshire Blvd. Temple, Cedars Sinai and City of Hope, to name just a few.
Joe Sanberg is a native Los Angeles business leader and anti-poverty activist with an exceptional track record of providing charitable support for working people and struggling families. He has dedicated his time, money, and voice to fighting poverty and confronting major challenges for Los Angeles.
Sanberg has contributed significant financial support to promote a minimum wage increase, assist low-income families with tax relief and services, provide resources to LA County hospitals, and combat climate change. Sanberg is also the co-founder of Aspiration, a green financial services firm that invests in reforestation and promotes the good economy. Sanberg’s leadership has had a profound impact on Los Angeles and the State of California. He was a lead donor for the Los Angeles Emergency Supply Donor Group, which provided PPE and other supplies to LA County healthcare workers that were under-resourced in the wake of the pandemic.
BUSINESS ANGEL OF THE YEAR
Pinnacle Communication Services
Junior Achievement of Southern California board member Avo Amirian has exhibited remarkable efforts in supporting the organization, which in turn, has strengthened Los Angeles’ economy and aided in the growth of hundreds of thousands of students during his 21-year tenure. Amirian has nurtured a successful avenue to leverage his business network in generating tremendous financial contributions on behalf of JA by hosting a full-scale annual golf tournament, The Avo Amirian Golf Classic. This event, which celebrated its 20th anniversary, broke its fundraising record by raising an extraordinary $110,000 in 2021 adding to the more than $1.6 million total dollars raised since its inception.
Additionally, Amirian’s company, Pinnacle, provides audio and visual support in JA’s local financial literacy lab, JA Finance Park, where local middle and high school students take part in an immersive budget simulation to prepare them for the future.
Chief Operating Officer
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
In her previous role with the LA Sparks, Christine Simmons brought joy and wonder directly into the lives of LA’s BEST students. Simmons arranged for in-kind donations of tickets and transportation to LA Sparks games, creating magical field trips for LA’s BEST children.
In 2019, Simmons was named to the position of chief operating officer at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – the first Woman and Black person to hold the position. There, Simmons leads the first-ever Office of Representation, Inclusion, and Equity, which will lead internal and external initiatives to broaden the Aperture through which excellence is recognized. She also continues to oversee the Academy Foundation, comprised of the Margaret Herrick Library, Academy Film Archive, its many talent diversity spotlight and development programs, and the Science and Technology Council. Her groundbreaking equity work is accompanied by her ongoing dedication to championing LA’s BEST.
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
Mary Connors is passionate about providing food relief to as many people in LA County as possible. As someone who experienced food insecurity as a child, she doesn’t want anyone to face hunger. For over 10 years, Connors has been a volunteer at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. She not only helps sort, glean and package food at the Food Bank’s warehouses, but she also volunteers her time at drive-through food distributions in some of the most pandemic-impacted areas of Los Angeles County.
Connors participates monthly in the food distributions at Clara Street Park in Cudahy and the Carson Senior Center in Carson. Additionally, thanks to her expertise and time with the Food Bank, she helps other volunteers understand their roles and responsibilities, and makes sure that every food recipient receives the food they need and are treated with dignity and respect.
Chair, The Giving Spirit Outreach Committee
The Giving Spirit
Dick Koopmans volunteers as the chair of The Giving Spirit’s Outreach Committee, which manages the distribution of care kits assembled by the staff and volunteers of the organization. The Giving Spirit is a 22-year old charitable nonprofit founded in Los Angeles to provide immediate help to homeless lives in Greater Los Angeles by assembling and giving out survival kits while also informing and educating (through various platforms) volunteers, members of Greater Los Angeles and beyond, about the human face of homelessness and workable solutions to alleviate and ultimately end homelessness.
As leader of The Giving Spirit’s Outreach TEAM during the pandemic, Koopmans took charge of organizing the distribution of the 10,000 kits to various organizations throughout Greater Los Angeles over three kit-building events. Koopmans’ work played a key role in getting the Health + Safety kits to the homeless who needed them most.
NONPROFIT OF THE YEAR (ENTERPRISE)
Children’s Bureau is a nonprofit leader in how to prevent child abuse and reduce its devastating impact. The agency has faced numerous times of peril in its 118 years – two world wars, a generation-long conflict in the middle east, a depression, recessions, racism, inequities, and, yes, two pandemics. Yet Children’s Bureau has never failed to serve those most vulnerable in our community.
Children’s Bureau was founded in 1904 as an advocacy group who cared about the plight of young children. Child abuse prevention is minimally funded by LA County but that’s changing. Children’s Bureau president & CEO Dr. Ron Brown has been instrumental in moving that conversation forward on a local and state level through active involvement and leadership with the California Family Resource Center Association, the Association for Community Services Organization, Alliance for Children & Family Services and the Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect.
LA Family Housing
As one of the leading affordable real estate developers in LA, LA Family Housing (LAFH) was instrumental in increasing the critically-needed affordable and permanent supportive housing stock in Los Angeles. In 2021, LAFH broke ground on Silva Crossing, a new permanent supportive housing community that will provide 56 new homes for individuals experiencing homelessness. LAFH also opened The Willows, an interim housing site for individuals and couples transitioning out of homelessness. LAFH also began the process of converting four motels into permanent apartments through California’s Project Homekey initiative, the fastest, largest, and most cost-effective method for creating new permanent homes in state history.
In 2021, LAFH raised over $20 million to support its housing development and homeless services, including $8.5 million in unrestricted funds for general operations and an additional $12.2 million for its Project Homekey conversion campaign.
Under the leadership of Dr. Christina Miller, President and CEO, Mental Health America of Los Angeles and its full range of services have remained uninterrupted during the pandemic. In 2020-21, in fact, MHALA supported nearly 16,800 low-income and no-income individuals with integrated services, surpassing the agency’s outcomes of previous years throughout LA County.
Powered by the evolving needs of the community, MHALA has partnered with local organizations to open food pantries and provide individuals in need with hygiene kits, masks, and information about the prevention of COVID-19. In 20-21, MHALA administered 1,249 COVID tests, while 238 received vaccinations. In addition, 13,207 meals were provided to members. MHALA achieves impact in the areas of mental health, healthcare, homelessness and housing, supported employment, wellness, training for the behavioral health workforce and for community members, and public policy and advocacy.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California
Since 1977, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California (RMHCSC) has provided comfort, care, and support to children and families confronting a pediatric medical emergency. Whether at one of its seven Ronald McDonald Houses across the region or through year-round programming at Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times (a cost-free, medically-supervised camp for children with cancer and their families), the organization provides vital support services to families facing a pediatric health crisis. As we continue to navigate the coronavirus pandemic, our collective commitment to the children and families we serve has not wavered.
RMHCSC operates two Ronald McDonald Family Rooms at CHOC Children’s Hospital in Orange and CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital. The organization is developing a new Family Room in Ventura, at the Ventura County Medical Center, and a new House near the UCLA/Mattel Children’s Hospital on the Westside Los Angeles.
NONPROFIT OF THE YEAR (LARGE)
American Cancer Society
American Cancer Society (ACS) has a mission to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. To ensure that all communities receive best possible equity and access, ACS’ structure empowers market areas throughout the country that each involve an Area Board of Directors.
Cancer affects everyone, but does not affect everyone equally. ACS’ vision is a society where everyone has an opportunity to be healthy and cancer-free The ACS Los Angeles Area Board and staff have prioritized health equity to engage and to empower those hardest to reach and those disproportionately impacted by high mortality rates cancer. In 2021, the Board has developed and helped to advance in Los Angeles County an African American Early Detection initiative, Latinos Contra El Cancer, Asian American Care initiative, various youth empowerment initiatives, and an LGBTQIA approach called Come Out Against Cancer.
Olive Crest is dedicated to preventing child abuse by strengthening, equipping, and restoring children and families in crisis – “One Life at a Time.” Olive Crest has been a leader in the prevention and treatment of child abuse, serving 5,000 children and families each day throughout California, Nevada, and the Pacific Northwest.
Olive Crest’s commitment to the individual needs of at-risk youth continues to fuel our mission to make a difference. Its mission is to help break the cycle of child abuse, and enable at-risk children and families to become healthy, productive citizens. In the past two years, Olive Crest has pivoted the organization to provide more resources and one on one support for families in need all while managing COVID protocols and restrictions. On top of daily services for these families and children, Olive Crest hosts over a dozen events throughout the year, each serving 200-300 families at a time.
Raise A Child
The Raise A Child Parent Advocate Program is a unique service designed to advance prospective foster and adoptive parents with their family-building goals. The program includes personal mentor services, a nationwide referral network, and proprietary software case management program that enables Raise A Child to follow and support parents throughout the process. From orientation to training and throughout the child matching process, parent advocates are there to assist with concerns and questions.
As Raise A Child is currently the nationwide leader in the recruitment and support of LGBTQ and all prospective parents interested in building families through fostering and adoption, its staff mirrors that of its constituents with regard to gender, race, and sexual orientation. Raise A Child consistently advances a climate that fosters insightful inclusion. Raise A Child serves an important role in ensuring its constituent agency and governmental partners embrace the widest definition of equity and inclusion.
Starlight Children’s Foundation
At Starlight Children’s Foundation, the team understands the power of play and its role in promoting the well-being of children. That’s why its innovative programs inspire pediatric patients to have moments of fun through imaginative play and game-based learning, while providing a welcome distraction from stressful medical procedures.
From Starlight Gaming to Starlight Virtual Reality to Starlight Hospital Wear, Starlight programs transform the hospital experiences of young patients and help make an unfamiliar place feel safe and comfortable. For over 40 years, Starlight has been delivering happiness to sick kids across 800 U.S. hospitals because happy kids heal faster. The organization’s think tank committee, Starlight’s Truth & Restoration Think Tank (STARTT), is a voluntary group that looks internally at how and where it can be more inclusive and diverse as an organization.
NONPROFIT OF THE YEAR (MID-SIZE)
Clifford Beers Housing
Since 2005, Clifford Beers Housing has developed permanent supportive housing for the most vulnerable. Its commitment is to create thoughtfully designed, affordable, and integrated communities to enhance the lives of those who have experienced homelessness and mental illness. To date, CBH has developed 761 affordable apartment homes in 16 properties throughout Southern California, including 507 apartments in operation, 144 in construction, and 110 in development. In 2022, CBH is evolving to become a more holistic developer, with the new mission of creating spaces for all.
Within this new holistic direction, CBH has implemented a program, the Small Business Resiliency Strategy (SBRS), which makes available CBH commercial spaces to small, locally-displaced Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and/or women-owned businesses at a discounted rate.
ICAN California Abilities Network
ICAN directly impacts the lives of more than 250 individuals in the community with developmental disabilities on a daily basis through life skills, social events, and supported employment services. ICAN helps its clients say “I can” as they achieve their independent living and employment goals, both at its facilities and throughout Los Angeles County.
ICAN serves the South Bay and Long Beach, impacting the more than 250 clients to be more engaged within our community. People who become more engaged with their community have a greater sense of belonging that most of the population takes for granted, whether being able to participate in meaningful work or building friendships. ICAN’s vision is a world where individuals with disabilities are given the opportunity to live, work, and learn through the programs and services of their choice.
Jazz Hands For Autism
Autism affects one in 59 Americans, that is 1.5% of the American population. This means that 4.9 million Americans are on the autism spectrum. Of this 4.9 million, 50,000 teenagers on the autism spectrum turn 18 and age out of secondary school based services every year. Upon leaving secondary school, there are very few services available to this 50,000. This renders over 90% of adults on the autism spectrum either unemployed or underemployed.
At Jazz Hands For Autism, these odds are considered to be simply unacceptable. Through its programs, the organization is providing the necessary job skills and soft skills training and liaising necessary for adults on the autism to gain access into the workforce. Jazz Hands For Autism has provided individualized music-based training, vocational development and/or job placement for over 200 musicians with autism.
LACBA Counsel for Justice
The mission of the LACBA Counsel for Justice is to improve the administration of justice and help deliver legal services to the most vulnerable in our community. Counsel for Justice brings together law firms, foundations, corporations, donors and volunteers in support of a more just LA. Together, they stand at the forefront of providing equal access to legal services by raising funds and directly contributing at the frontlines of justice in four key areas: domestic violence, support of our veterans, immigration assistance and AIDS services.
With over 50 years of service as the charitable arm of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Counsel for Justice’s efforts have raised millions of dollars in giving and impacted hundreds of thousands of lives with better, more powerful paths to justice. In addition, law firms, especially national firms, rely on Counsel for Justice to guide them on a local level.
NONPROFIT TEAM OF THE YEAR
Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
The LA Regional Food Bank has provided food assistance to families and individuals in LA County for the last 48 years. The pandemic impacted many business models and the distribution of food was no exception at the Food Bank. The Food Bank’s Programs Team quickly transitioned to the Mobile Food Pantry Program at the onset of the pandemic to keep volunteers, clients and everyone as safe as possible while distributing food resources to a record number of families and optimizing the process as it was completely brand new for the Food Bank.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been over 500 distributions serving communities across LA County, coordinated and managed by the Programs Team. The Programs Team has worked tirelessly, frequently six or seven days a week during the peak food assistance levels during the pandemic, to help provide help to those who need it most.
A remarkably impactful trio co-led by Kenya Beckmann and Jeremy Elkins (director, government programs) and third teammate Jonnette Miller (principal project manager). This team has been leading/running Providence’s Health Equity Hypertension Project since April 2021.
The key objectives are to reduce high blood pressure as a health disparity among communities of color in Southern California through evidence-based treatment, increased awareness, increased screening, education and social/emotional support. Controlling high blood pressure is an important step in preventing heart attacks, stroke and kidney disease, and in reducing the risk of developing other serious conditions. This dynamic team has been leading the Health Equity Hypertension Project since April 2021 with the goal of impacting 100,000 individuals in the community through clinical intervention and education and are making huge strides toward achieving this goal. Their collaboration also extends to a network of internal and external community partners in Los Angeles.
Tania Velazquez (program manager for mentorships and talent development, STEM Advantage), Raquel Marquez (board member and director of IT Strategy, execution and professional development, Farmers), and Maben Jimenez (board member and associate principal director, The Aerospace Corporation), lead the STEM Advantage Mentorship program that includes 200 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) professionals who volunteer as one-to-one mentors for STEM Advantage scholars. Scholars are women and underserved communities, and mostly first-generation college students from low-income families. All the students attend California State University, the largest and most ethnically diverse four-year public university system in the nation.
Each STEM Advantage Scholar is paired with a mentor who is a STEM professional who serves as a role model and offers one-to-one social-emotional support, personal and career guidance, and coaching. Working together, Velazquez, Marquez and Jimenez are strengthening the mentoring program to be a best practice for supporting low-income, first-generation college students.
Your Golden Ticket
Jack, Ryan and Marley (three siblings and teenagers) started Your Golden Ticket in 2013, when they were in elementary school. At the dinner table one night, the conversation focused on the exciting live event experiences they have been fortunate to attend. They wanted to provide those opportunities for others. YGT was born.
YGT raises money and donations to provide once in a lifetime experiences to those less fortunate. They partner with other nonprofit organizations to get the tickets in the hands of kids. Along with the tickets, they provide transportation and a stipend for food and souvenirs. They also have started a Junior Ambassador Board to engage peers across the country in this mission and model the importance of giving back. Now all in high school, and hopefully with the pandemic moving in the right direction, the philanthropic siblings are even more committed than ever to offer these once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
BUSINESS ANGEL OF THE YEAR
Inaba Foods USA
Since the start of the pandemic, Inaba Foods USA has been a treasured partner of The Rescue Train. Inaba donates over 600 lbs. monthly of its premium dog and cat treats to the nonprofit organization to distribute at its monthly ‘Mobile Pet Assistance’ event – as well as all of The Rescue Train’s other community events so the organization can put the treats in the hands of its most vulnerable pet owners – seniors on a fixed income, veterans, low-income families and the homeless.
In short, Inaba Foods USA is a company that gives back to the communities – not just occasionally, but throughout the year. Inaba donates hundreds of thousands of dollars of its pet products annually to animal welfare nonprofits and city shelters. Inaba donates to many small animal nonprofits as well as some of our Los Angeles City Shelters.
NorthStar Moving Company
NorthStar Moving and its co-founder Laura McHolm have been dedicated to supporting Claire’s Place Foundation for over ten years. Claire’s Place Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing support to children and families affected by cystic fibrosis (CF). Ever since McHolm met Claire’s Place’s namesake Claire in 2011 when she was just 13 years old, McHolm has been inspired to help build the foundation.
Over the past decade, McHolm and her marketing team at NorthStar Moving have donated thousands of hours and their expertise to Claire’s Place. From biweekly calls to helping to create annual fundraisers, campaigns and promote groundbreaking films such as “Claire” the documentary, the NorthStar Moving marketing team demonstrates every day that Claire’s Place is a part of their daily responsibilities. In addition, NorthStar Moving established a corporate partnership with Claire’s Place to donate their moving services to its low-income grant recipients.
Ralphs and John Votava have taken a lead in the community by being a company that cares about the poor and helps the homeless. Ralphs has pioneered an outreach program serving the homeless in partnership with the LA Mission at its store locations. This innovative approach helps develop a relationship with the homeless encampments near Ralphs stores in hopes of offering better opportunities for their future.
Ralphs has funded outreach workers at the Mission to visit its stores, develop relationships with the homeless, and offer them help, hope, opportunities for housing, meals, shelter, recovery, medical aid, job assistance, and more at LA Mission. This program is serving hundreds of homeless per month and developing innovative solutions to address the homeless epidemic. Additionally, through its ‘Zero Hunger, Zero Waste’ program, Ralphs has donated over 60,000 meals to hungry and hurting families in LA through the LA Mission alone.
U.S. Bank has partnered with United Way of Greater Los Angeles for over 20 years. Through its Employee Giving Campaign, Employee Matching Program, corporate grants and volunteering, it has supported both United Way and hundreds of LA-based nonprofits ensuring continued investment in innovative programs to serve our local community’s needs. During their Fall 2021 Los Angeles Employee Giving Campaign the bank raised over $320,000 – an increase of 48% over the prior year. It also raised an additional $296,000 to support additional Southern California counties where they serve.
Rudy Medina, U.S. Bank’s Southern California market president and United Way of Greater Los Angeles board member, is also a strong community advocate. He, along with his Campaign Committee, are actively engaged in their Employee Giving Campaign providing opportunity for their employees to give back. Many of the team members also serve on nonprofit boards and donate their time.
OUTSTANDING SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Farmers & Merchants Bank
In 2021, F&M Bank provided $2.8 Million in community support to more than 690 organizations across Southern California. Over 340 Los Angeles County organizations benefitted, whose causes range from fighting food insecurity and providing resources for persons experiencing homelessness, to education, after-school programming, and the arts.
Beyond financial support, contributions have come in the form of in-kind donations such as bottled water for charity events, charity auction item donations, and waived fees. As a financial institution, they recognize the importance of providing critical banking services that allow businesses, specifically nonprofits, to be able to serve their missions. Specialized nonprofit services include tax-exempt loans, capital campaign bridge loans, operating lines of credit, construction lending, secure corporate online banking services and nonprofit earning credit rates.
Greenberg Glusker LLP
Greenberg Glusker has played a significant supporting role within the Los Angeles community for over 60 years. Its founding partner Arthur Greenberg likes to say that the firm has “done well by doing good.” To this end, the firm is focused on various components of its corporate social responsibility commitment, including initiatives focused on diversity, charitable giving, and leadership in various nonprofit organizations.
Philanthropy is a key component that contributes to Greenberg Glusker’s culture, providing team members consistent opportunities to give back to the community while simultaneously bringing team members together for a cause. Members of the firm are quick to get involved in activities that give back to the community such as Food From The Bar, an annual fundraiser for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. Greenberg Glusker employees raised a total of $9,295.
Los Angeles Rams
In addition to continued on-field success, the Rams also executed social responsibility. In 2021, the Rams raised more than $2 million and donated more than $250,000 to benefit the LA community, engaged more than 14,000 youth in football and character development programs and more than 230 high school football programs in virtual and in-person initiatives, partnered with more than 30 nonprofit organizations, and distributed more than 18,300 meals to individuals battling food insecurity.
The Rams also continue to reinforce the team’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Currently one of the most diverse teams in the NFL, the Rams hired two women to their C-suite in 2021. On the corporate side, the Rams have an approximately 50-50 gender split and promoted Sophie Harlan to become the first female director of football operations in the NFL.
The PENTA Building Group
Beginning in September 2020, general contractor The PENTA Building Group (PENTA), using its building experience and strong relationships with local skilled trade partners, donated its expertise to a Los Angeles community in need. The previously licensed childcare space at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in downtown Los Angeles, which intends to serve the Skid Row community and 90007 zip code, was long overdue for a remodel and PENTA answered the call when its partner Dignity Health reached out with the opportunity.
In partnership with Dignity Health California Hospital Medical Center (CHMC), and architectural firm Perkins&Will, PENTA managed the construction of an outside playground, including earthwork, fencing, landscaping, installing a playground set, as well as rubber flooring installation and overseeing the subcontractors on-site. The project was completed summer of last year.
OUTSTANDING COLLABORATION BETWEEN A BUSINESS AND A NONPROFIT
etco HOMES / One Coast / The Surfrider Foundation Los Angeles
With a love for the communities it serves, Southern California developer etco HOMES established a partnership between one of its developments – One Coast, a community located at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Sunset Boulevard in the Pacific Palisades – and The Surfrider Foundation Los Angeles, a grassroots nonprofit environmental organization that works to protect and preserve the world’s oceans, waves and beaches.
The strategic partnership had three initiatives, beginning with One Coast’s adoption of nearby Sunset Beach through The Surfrider Foundation’s program, where individuals or entities can adopt a local beach. Secondly, One Coast hosted a philanthropic event to bring the community together and raise awareness and money for the nonprofit. Thirdly, to hold monthly beach clean-up events at Sunset Beach. One Night at One Coast brought hundreds of community members together for a rooftop live auction that raised a total of $30,000.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP / Alliance College-Ready Public Schools Foundation
The Alliance College-Ready Public Schools Foundation supports Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, one of the largest and most successful nonprofit public charter school networks in the nation, operating 28 high-performing, tuition-free middle and high schools in disadvantaged communities of Los Angeles. Alliance is an evolving organization, committed to continued improvement so that scholars not only graduate from high school, but thrive in college and beyond. Alliance has a proven record of success for its 13,000 scholars and 14,000 alumni.
Kirkland & Ellis is one of the world’s leading law firms, with more than 3,000 lawyers practicing from 18 offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. In 2020, Kirkland pledged $5 million over five years to support organizations focused on ending racism, and committed to a five-year partnership with Alliance. The partnership is focused on ensuring that all Alliance schools are welcoming and affirming for all scholars.
U.S. Bank / United Way of Greater Los Angeles
U.S. Bank has partnered with United Way of Greater Los Angeles for over 20 years. Through the bank’s Employee Giving Campaign, Employee Matching Program, corporate grants and volunteering it has supported both United Way and hundreds of LA-based nonprofits ensuring continued investment in innovative programs to serve the local community’s needs. During the Fall 2021 Los Angeles Employee Giving Campaign, U.S. Bank raised over $320,000 – an increase of 48% over the prior year. The bank raised an additional $296,000 to support additional Southern California counties where they serve.
Rudy Medina, U.S. Bank’s Southern California market president and United Way of Greater Los Angeles board member, is also a strong community advocate. He, along with his Campaign Committee, are actively engaged in their Employee Giving Campaign providing opportunity for their employees to give back. Many team members are also active in the community serving on nonprofit boards and donating their time.
Wells Fargo / Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation / The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce / Local Initiatives Support Corporation Los Angeles / The Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society / The Institute for Sustainable Development
Wells Fargo awarded a $1.5 million dollar grant to Together for L.A., a Los Angeles collaborative for small business recovery and resilience. Together for L.A. was formed to address the COVID-19 economic crisis by significantly expanding business technical assistance services to LA County’s small businesses and microenterprises led and owned by women and Black, African American, Latinx, Asian American, American Indian, and Alaska Native people, focused on those in low and moderate income (LMI) communities. The collaboration advances a more equitable, sustainable and resilient economic recovery.
FUNDRAISING EVENT OF THE YEAR
Claire’s Place Foundation
Claire’s Place Foundation, a nonprofit organization providing support to children and families affected by cystic fibrosis (CF), is a small organization with immense creativity. The foundation continually finds new and unusual ways to heighten awareness for CF and raise needed funds to support families of children and to individuals diagnosed with CF.
The annual “Glow Ride for Cystic Fibrosis” in Hermosa Beach is a short 3.4 mile ride makes a big scene on the California Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach Piers; and makes an even bigger impact on families with CF struggling to make ends meet while dealing with extended hospital stays. After having to pause the Glow Ride in 2020 due to the pandemic, Claire’s Place was thrilled to once again gather the community to light up the night. On August 21, 2022 Claire’s Place hosted their 7th Annual Glow Ride and it was their biggest turn out yet.
“Law Rocks Los Angeles: Celebrating Ten Years” was held Friday, September 17, 2021 at the historic Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood. The rock concert fundraiser celebrated a decade of Law Rocks in Los Angeles and was the first in-person concert in 18 months and featured an all-star lineup of winning bands from the last ten years. The energy at the Whisky was electric as friends, colleagues, and family of legal professionals-turned-rock stars took the stage to rock out for charity.
Each Law Rocks band selects a local nonprofit they are passionate about as a beneficiary. Representatives from each Los Angeles nonprofit took the stage and shared a bit about their mission before introducing the band. The event raised over $64,000 and raised funds for City of Hope, Kids in Need of Defense, LA Family Housing, Mental Health Advocacy Services, and Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles.
Race for the Rescues
Race For The Rescues helped 15 local nonprofit animal welfare organizations raise over $400,000 to help save the lives of save hundreds of dogs, cats, horses and farm animals. Funds raised at this event also provide vital services to our community including access to free spay/neuter and veterinary care, pet food and supplies, and resources to pet owners in crisis.
Race For The Rescues supports and celebrates the human animal bond. The event traditionally is held at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena and includes a 5K and 10K race and also holds dog and cat adoptions for Los Angeles Animal Services and The Pasadena Humane. Due to COVID-19, the 2021 Race was virtual, but did include a live-streamed adoption program, hosted by actress Jane Lynch, and broadcast from the Los Angeles Animal Services South Shelter. All of the dogs and cats featured during this broadcast found loving homes.
Water Buffalo Club
The Water Buffalo Club (WBC) is a local nonprofit that was founded back in 1989. Since inception, the WBC has been working hard to help underserved children in need across greater Los Angeles. Annually the WBC hosts local Thanksgiving Meal Giveaways where members and supporters gather the day before Thanksgiving and drive rental trucks to various locations throughout LA and pack and distribute fresh turkeys, rolls, pumpkin pies, veggies, salad, and stuffing etc.
Due to COVID-19, the WBC pivoted its campaign back in 2020 and again in 2021 and raised funds to provide grocery store gift cards to families. In 2021 the WBC proudly set a goal to assist 2000 families. This was an increase from 2020 of 400 more families. In a matter of a few short weeks, the WBC raised the $200,000 necessary to fund the distribution of 2000 $100 grocery store gift cards.
MOST INNOVATIVE AWARENESS CAMPAIGN
Goldhirsh Foundation’s LA2050 Campaign
LA2050 is a community-guided initiative driving and tracking progress toward a shared vision for the future of Los Angeles centered around five goals and tracked via 65+ regional metrics. The main initiative of LA2050 is the LA2050 Grants Challenge, an annual open call for ideas to make LA the best place to learn, create, play, connect, and live with $1,000,000 in grants awarded to 25 local social impact organizations. In 2021 alone, according to LA2050’s grantees, nine million people were be directly impacted and 3.6 million indirectly by the projects LA2050 funded.
The LA2050 Grants Challenge accepts proposals for funding from nonprofit organizations, for-profit groups, and government entities working on initiatives at all stages of development within Los Angeles County. This allows funding to go directly toward solving some of Los Angeles’ most pressing issues.
Los Angeles Regional Food Bank Campaigns
NBC4 has supported local food banks, including the LA Regional Food Bank, with its annual Help For the Hungry campaign since 2018. From 2018 to 2021 during the holiday season, NBC4’s Help For The Hungry raised more than $2.2 million in cash donations and generated 8.9 million meals to help regional food banks across Southern California.
Meanwhile, Food From The Bar is an annual, month-long fundraising and volunteering effort, held every Spring. The campaign is a friendly competition including legal firms, law schools and legal services organizations, to see who can raise the most funds, acquire the most food, and work the most volunteer hours for the LA Regional Food Bank. In 2021, the campaign surpassed its $600,000 goal by raising $624,500 – the equivalent to 2.4 million meals.
OneLegacy’s DonateLife Rose Parade Float Campaign
On January 1, 2022, OneLegacy once again served as the lead sponsor for the DonateLife Rose Parade Float in Pasadena. Celebrating 19 years of participation in the Rose Parade and other Tournament of Roses events, this event is the world’s most visible campaign to inspire organ, eye and tissue donation and to share the important message that donation saves lives.
The campaign is an opportunity to celebrate and share the inspiring message of the power of organ, eye and tissue donation and, by doing so, motivate individuals from around the world to register to be a donor. Since 2004 when the first OneLegacy Donate Life float shared the powerful message of the value of donation, more than 17 million people in California and over 100 million across the country have registered to be donors and deceased donation has doubled, saving hundreds of thousands of lives.
Play Equity Fund’s Super Bowl LVI Legacy Program
The Super Bowl 56 Legacy Program is a partnership between the Play Equity Fund, the Los Angeles Super Bowl Host Committee, the LA84 Foundation, and the NFL Foundation.
There were two phases of the program, which was supported by a $2 million grant from the four partners. The first phase — “Champions Live Here” – included the selection of 56 “unsung hero” organizations across the Los Angeles region driving impact in the following areas: youth development, jobs & economic opportunity, and social justice. The impact of the Super Bowl 56 Legacy Program will carry on with the “Park on the Move” program. Functioning as a park on wheels, the Park on the Move program will serve communities across the region with limited park and recreation space, to meet youth in their neighborhoods and provide them an opportunity to play for years to come.