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Thirty-one leaders will be honored as LA’s Impact-Makers to Watch at LA City Hall on January 29th. Among those 31 will be nine leaders working to empower students and youth in their respective roles. Because they are making a positive impact on entertainment, universities, infant care and more, the future of LA is in good hands with this group charging forward in LA.

John Bwarie, CEO of Stratiscope and founder of the awards, notes, “Without community, you are nothing. These are the people proving that as an individual, you can captivate and activate others to create positive social change. In fact, you have to. From the tiniest baby to graduate students, a person’s life can be dramatically changed by the work of an impact-maker like those be recognized.”

Dave Ford, Government Relations Manager, Southern California Edison

With years of service, Dave has helped inspire young people to success through his various volunteer roles. He currently serves as Chairman of the GLAAACC Eduation Foundation as well as Vice-Chair of the Southwest Community College Foundation. David is a cancer survivor on a mission to encourage more men and women, especially in African American communities, to get screened and care for each other to overcome health risks. David is also a Health Equity Champion and Board Member for American Cancer Society in the Los Angeles Central Coast area.

Chanel Frampton, Director of Programs, Greater Los Angeles American Chamber of Commerce

For more than five years Chanel Frampton has served as the Director of Programs for the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce (GLAAACC) and the Director of GLAAACC’s Education Fund and Foundation. Throughout her career Chanel effortlessly shines in the areas of donor relations and large-scale event execution. An advocate for professional development and youth education, Chanel regularly engages with donors and sponsors to support African American entrepreneurs and students in the Los Angeles area. In 2020, Chanel will guide young people poised to be the next generation of community and civic leaders.

Timothy Gaspar, CEO, Gaspar Insurance Services

Growing a small business into the largest independent insurance agency in the San Fernando Valley, Tim Gaspar has used his company and his position to support and advance causes in Los Angeles. In 2020, he begins his first full year on the Discovery Cube LA Board, as well as seeing the launch of a insurance-focused scholarship at CSUN. He continues to provide staff time and financial support to organizations across the Valley and LA.

Christopher Gonzalez, Wellness Advisor & Student

In his senior year at John Marshall High School, Christopher created LAUSD’s first student-led wellness center and solely wrote and received a $5,000 grant from California Mental Health Services Authority (CALMHSA) to promote social emotional learning and improve school climate and culture. As he continues his education at Mount Saint Mary’s University, he will continue to inspire and empower others.

Aubrey Hicks, Executive Director, Bedrosian Center

As Executive Director of the Bedrosian Center, Aubrey is bringing democracy to the university setting and all of Los Angeles. Recognizing the unique assets and role of her Center at USC in the 2020 Los Angeles, she is working to bring a voice to more staff and students to democratize the university.  

Larry Laboe, Executive Director & Co-Founder, New Filmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA)

As founder of NFMLA, Larry has created programs to engage the creativity of LA to support LA. NFMLA’s On Location: The Los Angeles Video Project is a community initiative that celebrates and enlists LA’s remarkable filmmakers to act and serve as Ambassadors of LA, offering an insider perspective into this diverse city and its neighborhoods. He has also created the CineSessions High School mentorship program and works to support diverse voices in filmmaking with monthly film festivals planned for the year. Larry is connecting the entertainment industry to Los Angeles to shape a more inclusive future.

Joan Maltese, Executive Director, Child Development Institute

In addition to co-founding and leading CDI and serving youth of the San Fernando Valley and LA for decades, Dr. Maltese has provided visionary leadership for the Reseda community through creating an entire campus for CDI and for other nonprofits quartered there, as well as spearheading the Reseda Community Network, bringing together community leaders in this Valley neighborhood. Her creativity, partnership, and leadership will continue to shape the future of youth in the city.

Kit Miyamoto, President, Miyamoto Relief

Through his nonprofit, Miyamoto Global Disaster Relief, Kit has worked to bring Angelenos together for the city’s common good, creating “Night of 1000 Drawings Los Angeles,” a global arts initiative and exhibit that inspires people from all backgrounds and walks of life to draw and “doodle for a difference” for a common cause, raising money and awareness. The event returns in 2020, this time to unite L.A. behind assisting children and families served by Hope Street Margolis Family Center.

Richard Reyes, Executive Director, PLUS ME Project

Richard Reyes is the Founder and Executive Director of PLUS ME Project, a community partner dedicated to empowering middle and high school youth to build their confidence for college and career advancement by teaching the art of storytelling. He has grown PLUS ME from a $40,000 staff-of-one nonprofit to a $300,000 staff-of-five organization in less than three years. In 2020, he will continue to implement their strategic vision across LA to reach even more students to tell their story.

See the full list of 2020’s Impact-Makers to Watch.

About Impact-Makers to Watch

The Impact-Makers to Watch Award is an annual distinction given to those who are doing foundational work to make a positive impact in Los Angeles and will continue to do so throughout the coming year. It is based on the work they have done in the past and the work they are projected to do. Honorees may have a career of impact that continues to show results or may be just starting out, with equally impressive results. Honorees are nominated at the end of the previous calendar year, and a panel of civic leaders helps make a selection of 30 individuals. The award was presented in 2016, and more than 100 leaders have been recognized with it since then. 

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