Two nights ago we honored 22 remarkable individuals for the 2019 Impact-Makers to Watch awards in Los Angeles City Hall.
Despite the torrential rain, more than 200 supporters found their way to City Hall’s rotunda where they were greeted with Chef Michelle & Co’s “conscious catering” of hot soups, charcuterie, meatballs and other delicious bites. We were delighted to catch up with many old friends who have come to events in the past, including past honorees and regular attendees of our City Impact Lab, as well as meet many new friendly faces.
At 6pm, the crowd made its way to the historic City Council chambers to begin the program. John Bwarie hosted the evening, introducing first LA City Councilman Paul Koretz to offer a short welcome, and then MeHee Hyun of Antioch University to introduce our Impact Address speaker: Antonia Hernandez, President & CEO of the California Community Foundation. Antonia spoke passionately about her origins, personal growth and commitment to helping young Angelenos realize their potential in this “imperfect utopia” of ours.
Following her inspiring words, the 2019’s Impact-Makers to Watch were presented to the capacity filled room to receive their honor, which included a certificate signed by LA City Councilmember David Ryu and an engraved bottle of wine, to be drunk with friends and remind them that their best is yet to come. The audience, composed initially, grew in the enthusiasm of their applause as each Impact-Maker stood to receive their recognition and by the second dozen were cheering and yelping with pride.
As the formal program drew to a close, the honorees remained for official and unofficial photos. For more than 30 minutes, until security asked us to leave the chambers, various combinations and backgrounds were posed as photos on every imaginable device were taken. It was true celebration. The group then returned to the rotunda for more food and celebration, where connections were made for greater impact.
Though that night’s festivities are behind us, 2019’s Impact-Makers will go on to do great things in the coming years. To make sure you’re able to keep up with their inspiring work and opportunities to get involved, we will continue to feature them across our various other projects.
The 2019 Impact Makers to Watch:
Richard Ayoub – Executive Director, Project Angel Food
Nancy Baker Cahill – Artist
Dyhan Cardona – Client Engagement Specialist
Francisca Castillo – Los Angeles Recreation and Parks
Lisa Colicchio – CBRE
Lenore French – Art Consultant and Organizer
John Girodo – Preservation Issues Hollywood Heritage, Inc.
Russell Greene – The Climate Mobilization
Dr. Astrid Heger – Violence Intervention Program
Rev. Stephanie Jaeger – NoHo Home Alliance
Jeff Kalban – Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council Boardmember and Architect
Naima Keith – Deputy Director and Chief Curator of California African American Museum (CAAM)
Chris Ko – Director, Homeless Initiatives at United Way of Greater Los Angeles
William Levewood – Koreatown Youth and Community Center
Leynea Lightman – Independent, curator, artist, activist
Albert Melena – Executive Director, San Fernando Valley Partnership, Inc.
Tiffany Mayberry – Manager, legal programming, HBO
Marsha Novak & Soraya Deen – Interfaith Solidarity Network San Fernando Valley
Tracy Stone – Architect, Community Advocate
Kenya Yarbrough – Director, Marketing and Advocacy at Girl Scouts of Greater L.A.
Jeanne Woo – Senior Disaster Program Manager, American Red Cross, LA Region
Natalie Zappella – Program Director, Southern California, Sustainable Connected Communities, Enterprise Community Partners Inc.