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Portraits of the Valley

It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them the fundamental questions about who they are and how they became the person they are today. Understanding and empathy are essential building blocks for a better, more compassionate world. We’re incredibly fortunate to be able to ask these questions each week through our interview series. Below you’ll find inspiring interviews from in and around the Valley.

Romeyo Wilson

Romeyo Wilson made his introduction into the industry in 2007, which produced an immense reaction to a now ever-growing fan base throughout Brampton, ON. Fast Forward 2016, Wilson released 8 music videos in that year alone, which led to the very much anticipated release of his first EP, 7/30 and eventually his first album Angela Vibes and sold out shows across the GTA including Lee’s Palace and The Phoenix. Read more>>

Kristi Mason

I grew up in a really small farm town in Kansas. I loved living there but honestly I knew never really fit in and my dreams were different than the majority of people my age. I wanted to be a singer, a true performer. I escaped my world through music. Read more>>

Fonnita Gumulia

Hi my name is Fonnita Gumulia, my baking career started back in 2010 making my son’s first birthday cake. My baking experience started at my mom kitchen at an early age with my curiosity of watching and assisting her baking those specialty Indonesian layer cake for the special occasion. Read more>>

Larry McGee

Larry Q. McGee here born in Jackson, MS. Raised in Nashville, TN where I went to Tennessee State University and studied film production. After college, I began to produce music videos and short films. Read more>>


I grew up in the beautiful mountains of Sandy, UT. That’s where I took my first dance class at 7 years old and where I was casted as a Principle Dancer in High School Musical 3, I knew dance and I are were set for long term relationship!!! Read more>>

Niki Skistimas

I moved to Los Angeles to pursue my passion for playing drums and find a way to make a living with music. I started playing drums pretty late in the game compared to most musicians. I began after my first year in college when I finally came to terms with the fact that nothing moved me more than music.

John George Wigmanich

It’s been an evolution and culmination of passions that turned into this career. I’ve always loved creating beauty, helping people, and making my living space beautiful and inviting for gatherings. Read more>>

Sarah Jane Irwin

I started playing guitar a few years ago and learned by copying my favorite folk artists like Elliott Smith. I’ve always had a taste for the sad. Now I write my own sad music and just released a self-titled EP! Read more>>

Sarah Jeffries

Well, ill start with the fact that I’m not from the US, I’m originally from the UK, a little town in the North East of England called Sunderland. That’s where I learned my trade as an ER Nurse. Read more>>


I originally was born in Costa Rica and when I turned 7 years old I came to the US and lived in Florida for almost all my life. Throughout my whole life in Florida I noticed that was different from my family and friends and always wanted bigger things in life than just a family and a normal career. Read more>>

Lily Hernandez

Sometimes you have your life goals all planned out. Then when you least expect it, something takes you off track pushing you off the path you were once on. I never imagined going down this road with photography. Read more>>

Tiara Imani

Creativity has always been at the forefront of who I am. My earliest creative moments that I can recall have always come from music. If you asked me what I wanted to be when I got older it was always, “a singer”. Read more>>

Shuang Sang

My interest in nature began at an early age. I’ve had a profound interest in nature since I was a child. I’ve always found great pleasure in plants, animals, and natural landscapes. I decided to pursue a career in landscape design when I enrolled in the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program at Nanjing Forestry University, Read more>>

Bradley Palermo

The current owners of Val Barber (Bradley Palermo & Rafael Bermudez) were working in this space under another barbershop when the owner of that shop up and moved with very notice in early 2022. Read more>>

Richard Zelniker

I love movies. I love television. I love storytelling of every kind — mid length, episodic, shorts, music videos and documentaries. I am thrilled when I’m transported to a place and time by riveting and compelling characters. Read more>>

Jon Calvin

I’m a pop artist, songwriter, vocal producer, a&r, and manager. When I was 7 years old I got my first guitar and fell in love. I started taking lessons and writing music. I knew I was meant to network and get into music for a living by the time I was 14 years old. Read more>>

Era Queens

The fabulous ladies that make up The Era Queens are Dominique Toney, Jasmin Handon, and Princess Fortier. Our group was formed in the summer of 2014, when a special events company was looking for a Supremes trio to perform at a 60th Wedding Anniversary at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Read more>>

Aja Allen-Abraham

I grew up in a small suburb of Chicago, IL. I watched black people work hard and hustle harder for less than they deserved. I’ve had a heart for my people ever since I can remember. How can I impact the present and future for black people? How can I walk the walk? Read more>>

Laurasia Mattingly

Following the loss of my mother in 2011, I began my meditation journey. I was guided towards self-compassion meditations as my therapist suggested that would help me cope with the loss in a healthy way. Read more>>

Sabrina Habibi

I decided that I wanted to do hair right after high school. I took a tour of the beauty school Paul Mitchell Sherman Oaks and I was immediately drawn to the atmosphere. I applied before graduating high school and soon received my acceptance letter. Read more>>

Joey Hartstone

I was born in Los Angeles but grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona. I went to college at Brandeis, in Massachusetts. After graduation, I moved to L.A. and have been here almost all of my adult life. I met my wife, Abby, in 2006. Read more>> 

Stephen Lang

I move to California from New Jersey in 1997. I lived for 18 months up in the Sierra Foothills north of Sacramento and moved down to L.A. in 1999. The TV and film licensing business was just starting to evolve from production music to sound-alike music since production companies were tired of paying huge license fess for big hit songs. Read more>> 

Joseph Kim

My story: My father owned a small clothing store in South Sacramento for 14 years. We sold urban clothing for men and women. It was a local storefront that was able to provide for my family but once a Walmart opened less than a mile away, it leveled my father’s business in half. Read more>>

Jacob Letson

I have always been intrigued by real estate. Real estate is a part of everyone’s life wither you realize it or not. I got involved in real estate to build relationships, expedite the learning process, build my personal portfolio and of course help as many people as possible along the way. Read more>> 

Jenna-mae White

I was born and raised in Northampton, England and took the leap to move to Los Angeles, California when I was just 18 years old. When I was 11 years old I caught the attention of Actor and Director Gary Sefton, who is known for his performance in ‘Saving Private Ryan’ alongside Tom Hanks and Matt Damon. Sefton selected me to perform in three of his productions at The Royal and Derngate Theatre that ran over the course of three years. I performed on stage with Cherelle Skeete from Amazon’s ‘Hanna’ and Colin Morgan from the Oscar winning movie ‘Belfast’. Read more>>

Holly Patterson

Having the entrepreneur drive my whole life, Real Estate really allows me to express my highest self. I have always been passionate about Marketing, helping others, and the community, so when I was 22 years old, right out of college, I decided to start a local community newspaper, to help the community know more about its local businesses and to spread the good news! I always knew the SFV had so much to offer, things going on, great restaurants, shopping, and history, but never knew where to find it… so I create my own outlet, which is now a Facebook Page called The San Fernando Valley Scoop. Read more>>

Gina Cinardo

I grew up in Los Angeles with artistic parents. My father, Nick Cinardo, owned a custom black and white photography lab in Hollywood in the late 60s – early 70s. It was called CPS Labs. Because my Mom, Jinny Cinardo, was an artist, she would request planning a photoshoot so she could have painting material. She and my father would conceptualize a photoshoot with costumes and sets. Of course, this meant my brother and me, and friends of the family would be the models. Read more>>

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