LABJ INsider


Inglewood Mayor James Butts Jr. had plenty of reasons to smile as he worked his way across the crowded terrace at the Montage hotel. On a warm evening in Beverly Hills, surrounded by fellow honorees in the Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2019 class of the LA500, Butts showed the easy confidence of a man whose years-in-the-making vision will soon become a reality. In little more than a year, Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park opens its doors to the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers. Butts already had his game face on, with a grin polished by three terms in office. He extended invites for a tour “into the belly of the beast” — a.k.a. the stadium’s construction site — and delighted at Inglewood’s buzzy transformation into one of L.A.’s most talked about areas. The way he sees it, the City of Champions is about to regain a luster it hasn’t seen since the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings left town.

There were plenty of business cards, congratulations and LinkedIn invites exchanged at the LA500 event. Among those on hand from the finance and banking sector were Lloyd Greif from Greif & Co., new City National Bank Chief Executive Kelly Coffey and Union Bank Managing Director Bita Ardalan.

New Television Academy Chairman and Chief Executive Frank Scherma, American Film Institute Chief Executive Bob Gazzale and Ilyanne Morden Kichaven, Los Angeles executive director for SAG-AFTRA, added some Hollywood sizzle. Former stand-up comic and current Weather Channel Co. owner Byron Allen shared stories about working alongside Eddie Murphy.

Anastasia Soare, the “eyebrow queen” behind Anastasia Beverly Hills, showed no signs of slowing down, even after selling a stake in her company last year to TPG Capital. In fact, she said the investment and her daughter Claudia’s expanding role in the cosmetics company is helping Soare expand the business globally.

Plenty of off-the-field players from L.A.’s sports world turned up, including Dodgers Chief Executive Stan Kasten, former Dodgers exec and current JP Morgan

Private Banking Vice Chairman Bob Graziano, and LA84 Foundation Chief Executive

Renata Simril.

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