Some people who run into Abby Oliver in Los Angeles might think "fish out of water" when they hear she hails from Maquoketa, a small Iowa town with a population of 6,000. But they couldn't be further from the truth. The Midwest transplant has quickly put down L.A. roots and has embraced Southern California's beach culture.

After graduating from the University of Iowa in 2004, Oliver made the move west with no work or social contacts in Los Angeles. She tapped into that same confidence lining up her first L.A. job, at Great Scott P.R.oductions, a PR firm with a focus on jazz music clients. Oliver called firm founder Rick Scott and talked her way into a part-time position.

The job at Great Scott led to a full-time gig at Shock Ink, which was followed by a stint at Sony BMG Music Entertainment. That position required her to move to Nashville, Tenn., but she returned to Los Angeles and Shock Ink after about a year.

In March, Oliver joined Levine Communications Office as an account manager, where she focuses on musical clients, including Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley. Taking a nontraditional approach to promoting her clients is a priority for her.

In her free time, Oliver loves to surf, a pastime she said influenced her decision to move to Southern California.

"The first time I was exposed to surfing was watching the original 'Gidget' movie on AMC when I was young. And that has always stuck with me," she said.

Her wave-riding passion also provided Oliver with the name of her executive consulting business, Wahine Consulting, which she runs alongside her PR work. Wahine is
Hawaiian for woman surfer. Unlike her music focus in the PR realm, she works with execs from a variety of industries at Wahine.

"There are extremely creative people out there who struggle with the business aspect, and there are other people who are talented when it comes to business and struggle to keep the creativity alive in what they do," said Oliver, who sees it as her job to make sure her clients are strong in both categories.

Oliver is single and lives in Beverly Glen Canyon with her Boston terrier, Josie, whom she likes to take on shoreline bike rides. One of her favorite local haunts is Venice bar Hinano.

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