Select Page

Impact-Makers to Watch

Recognizing and celebrating the passionate, committed Impact-Makers who are shaping the Los Angeles of the future.

In the last five years, the highly anticipated Impact-Makers to Watch list has shined its spotlight on more than 150 civic-minded individuals who are making a positive impact in their neighborhoods and are expected to take their leadership and contributions to new heights in years to come.

Be our guest (virtually) on February 3 at 6pm as we honor 2021’s Impact-Makers To Watch. Register here (it’s free)!

Last year we called on civic-minded people like you to help us identify the leaders and innovators in greater L.A. who were on their way to achieving notable results in 2020. While we have all faced unprecedented challenges this year, these honorees thrived:

While we can’t gather in person this time around, that won’t diminish the spirit of the celebration—or the critical importance of the leadership of 2021’s Impact-Makers to Watch. Please join us to recognize impactful achievements and a promising future for Los Angeles!

Past Honorees

  • Nicole àBeckett — Co-Founder & CEO, SameSide
  • Ashley Atkinson — City Planner, Los Angeles City Planning
  • Elvina Beck — Founder, PodShare
  • Tonja Boykin — Chief Operating Officer, Weingart Center
  • Kelly Bruno — President and CEO, National Health Foundation
  • Deborah Brutchey — Executive Director, L.A. Works
  • Isaac Bryan — Director of Public Policy, The Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies
  • Lyn MacEwen Cohen — Founder & President, First-In Fire Foundation
  • Winnie Fong — Senior Associate, Estolano Advisors
  • David Ford — Government Relations Manager, Southern California Edison
  • Chanel Frampton — Director of Programs, Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce
  • Tim Gaspar — CEO, Gaspar Insurance Services
  • Christopher Gonzalez — Wellness Advisor & Student
  • Dan Halden — Director, HEART of Hollywood
  • Aubrey Hicks — Executive Director, Bedrosian Center
  • Larry Laboe — Executive Director & Co-Founder, New Filmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA)
  • Catherine Landers — Director for Special Projects, Office of Councilmember David Ryu
  • Karen Mack — Founder, LA Commons
  • Joan Maltese — Executive Director, Child Development Institute
  • Jennifer May — Executive Director, Designmatters, Art Center College of Design
  • Kit Miyamoto — President, Miyamoto Relief
  • Kerry Morrison — Co-Founder, Heart Forward LA
  • Rick Nahmias — Founder & Executive Director, Food Forward
  • Brandi Orton — Managing Director, The Los Angeles Aging Advocacy Coalition (LAAAC)
  • Addy Gonzalez-Renteria & Erin Stone — Founders, 11:11 A Creative Collective
  • Richard Reyes — Executive Director, PLUS ME Project
  • Jennifer May — Executive Director, Designmatters, Art Center College of Design
  • Meghan Sahli-Wells — Mayor, City of Culver City
  • Nathan Sheets — Executive Director, The Center of Hollywood
  • Erin Tanenbaum — Senior Managing Director, Southern California Leadership Network
  • Elizabeth Timme — Co-Executive Director, LA-Más

Read the Full Bios

  • Richard Ayoub — Executive Director, Project Angel Food
  • Nancy Baker Cahill — Artist
  • Dyhan Cardona — Client Engagement Specialist, Homeless Health Care
  • Francisca Castillo — Gender Equity Director, Recreation and Parks
  • Lisa Colicchio — Vice President of Sustainability, CBRE
  • Soraya Deen — Interfaith Solidarity Network
  • Lenore French — Art Consultant and Organizer
  • John Girodo — Vice President of Preservation Issues, Hollywood Heritage
  • Russell Greene — Board Member, The Climate Mobilization
  • Dr. Astrid Heger — Founder and Executive Director, Violence Intervention Program
  • Rev. Stephanie Jaeger — Executive Director, NoHo Home Alliance
  • Jeff Kalban — Board Member, Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council
  • Naima Keith — Deputy Director and Chief Curator, California African American Museum
  • Chris Ko — Director of Homeless Initiatives, United Way of Greater LA
  • William Levewood — Koreatown Youth and Community Center
  • Leyna Lightman — Community Organizer
  • Tiffany Mayberry — Manager, HBO Legal/West Coast Programming
  • Albert Melena — Executive Director, San Fernando Valley Partnership, Inc.
  • Marsha Novak — Interfaith Solidarity Network
  • Luis Perez — Legal Service Director, CHIRLA
  • Tracy Stone — Architect and Community Advocate
  • Jeanne Woo — Senior Disaster Program Manager, American Red Cross LA Region
  • Kenya Yarbrough — Director of Marketing and Advocacy, Girl Scouts of Greater LA
  • Natalie Zappella — Program Director, Sustainable Connected Communities
  • Tom Bagamane — Founder, The Giving Spirit
  • Joon Bang — Executive Director, Korean American Coalition
  • Kim Biddle — Executive Director, Saving Innocence
  • Darlynn Childress — Co-Founder, Suburban Women’s Advocacy Network (SWAN)
  • Debbie Decker — Executive Director & CEO, West Valley Food Pantry
  • Azusena Favela — Director of Programs & Operations, LURN
  • Kari Garcia — Miracle Mile Residential Association
  • Harry Grammer — Founder & President, New Earth
  • Amy Inouye — President, Photo Friends
  • Dr. Jackie Filla — Associate Professor of Political Science, Mount St. Mary’s University
  • Don Larson — President & CEO, Northridge Beautification
    Genevieve Liang — Executive Director, Cardborigami
  • Lynda Moran — Executive Director & Founder, New Image
  • Niki Okuk — RCO2 Material Reuse
  • Nancy Olson — Executive Director, Southern California Leadership Network
  • Omar Perich — Pastor, Victory Outreach
  • Kelly Perkins — Miracle Mile Residential Association
  • Shane Phillips — Director of Public Policy, Central City Association
  • Eddie Sanders — Associate Director of Grants, Northeast Valley Health Corp.
  • Danielle Walsmith — Co-Founder, Suburban Women’s Advocacy Network (SWAN)
  • Brenda Wilson — Executive Director & Founder, New Image
  • Karina Acorda — Private Citizen Advocate: League of Women Voters, Center for Inquiry, Online Open Government and Civic Tech Group, and Karma Rescue
  • Betty Avila — Associate Director, Self Help Graphics & Art
  • Omar Brownson — Executive Director, River LA
  • Jennifer Cohen — Director of Government Affairs, LADOT
  • Mike Dennis — Director of Community Organizing, East LA Community Corporation
  • Lydia Floyd — Executive Director, Hands 4 Hope
  • Lloyd Hitt — Co-Chair, Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition Board
  • Marlene Hitt — Co-Chair, Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition Board
  • Kathleen Johnson — Silver Lake Neighborhood Council, Silver Lake Reservoir Conservatory
  • Dylan Jones — Architect, AIA and AIBC
  • Jessica Lall — Executive Director, Central City Association
  • Robert Larmore — Chief Operating Officer, Jive Live Entertainment
  • Molly Larson — Director of Operations, Chrysalis Enterprises
  • Chad Maender — Executive Director, Mid Valley YMCA
  • Cyndi McAuley — Executive Director, Therapeutic Living Center for the Blind
  • Jessica Meaney — Executive Director, Investing In Place
  • Heddy Nam — Director, SLATE-Z
  • Stephanie Ramirez — Associate State Director, Advocacy, AARP
  • Anthony Ruffin — Case Worker, Housing Works
  • Scott Sanders — Feeding Ministry
  • Pamela Sanders — Feeding Ministry
  • Lori Shapiro — Rabbi/Artistic Director/Founder, Open Temple
  • Jeanne Roe Smith — Campus Minister/Executive Director, Wesley Foundation Serving UCLA
  • Zaneta Smith — Associate Director, Clinical and Student Services at LAK
  • Chris Stanton — Watch Captain, Lakeview Terrace Eagles Neighborhood Watch
  • Wade Trimmer – Director, San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission
  • Doug Walker — President, East Hollywood-Los Feliz Homeless Coalition
  • Steven Wynbrandt — Founder, Wynbrandt Farms
  • Pierre Arreola — Co-Founder, The Gr818ers
  • Tafarai Bayne — Principal, EMH Creative Group; Commissioner, Los Angeles Department of Transportation
  • Austin Beutner — Vision to Learn
  • Donna Bojarsky — Co-Founder, LA Works; Founder, New Leaders Project, Jewish Federation of Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission; California Volunteers State Commission; Founder, Future of Cities: Leading in LA; Director, Foreign Policy Roundtable
  • Sue Bruno — Executive Administrator, The Greig Smith LAPD Devonshire Youth Center
  • Rick Cole — City Manager, City of Santa Monica
  • Leigh Collier — EVP Development, bBooth
  • Colleen Corcoran — Designer, Designed By Colleen; Board Member, CicLAvia; Steering Committee Member, Los Angeles Walk
  • Nat Gale — Program Director, Great Streets Studio, Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti
  • Peter Marx — Chief Technology Officer, Los Angeles City Mayor’s Office
  • Michelle Miranda — Executive Director, RUTH YouthBuild
  • Luis Oliart — Chair, North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry
  • Alberto Retana — Community Organizer, South Los Angeles
  • Christina Rice — Senior Librarian, Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
  • Isabel Rojas Williams — Executive Director, Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles
  • Rachel Torres — Organizer & Research Analyst, UNITE/HERE Local 11
  • Jenny Vinopal — Program Director, California Youth Connection
  • Valerie Watson — Transportation Planning Associate, Active Transportation Division, Los Angeles Department of Transportation
  • Jeff Zarrinnam — Vice President, East Hollywood Business Improvement District