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Inspiring Stories from Pasadena

The heart of our mission at VoyageLA is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the LA’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool.  Check out Pasadena’s rising stars below.

Bob Mongiello

Having grown up back east in a small town in Pennsylvania where there was practically a pizza shop or an Italian bakery on every corner, so when I set out to open my first pizzeria in 1985 I knew that the standard was high but my family was up for the challenge. It didn’t take long for us to become the most successful pizza shop in a town that already had 125 to compete with. Read more>>

Curtis McElhinney

I’ve always been involved in visual communication in some shape or form. It started for me back in junior high with being the editor of my year book and continued on from there. In college, it took the form of a marketing degree. After college, I was in the advertising department for Robinsons-May Department Stores. After all of that, I embarked on a career as a photographer. Read more>>

Charlie Sin

I grew up in an Asian family that prepared you to become a doctor, lawyer, or a business owner. I did art for sake of extracurricular and to look good for the college entrance. I even had a time when I wanted to pursue a career that was related to the biology at the beginning of my high school year. Read more>>

Patrice Washington

I always find that people are impressed by the best-selling books, international speaking and media platform I’ve built over the last decade, but the road to becoming America’s Money Maven hasn’t been easy. My brand and business were birth out of the Great Recession of 2008. Read more>>

Goh Kurosawa

I started touring internationally in 2005 when I was booked for the International Guitar Festival in Zihuatanejo in Mexico. Since then, I have been a frequent headliner there, as well as different parts of the globe including Taiwan, Brazil, France, Canada, Myanmar, and Japan. Read more>>

Lindsey Mortensen

When I was young I was really into art and fashion. The public high school I attended in Ohio didn’t have much of an art program, but there was a trade school close by that did, which also took in students from all over the city. Read more>>

Julie Caruso

My career started in higher education where I worked for almost ten years. After years of counseling students and helping them prepare for jobs in the corporate world, I made my own transition, from academia to the corporate environment. Read more>>

Keeley Bumford

I am a freelance artist, songwriter, producer composer for ads and tv. I grew up in Northwest Washington State playing flute, piano and participating in choir and musicals. It wasn’t until my junior year in high school that I discovered my love for jazz through Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. Read more>>

Heidi Rose Robbins

I grew up in Fargo, North Dakota with an astrologer father and an architect mother. My father taught me the zodiac with my ABC’s and we colored chakras in blank notebooks at the kitchen table. My mother taught me to appreciate the beauty of the natural world, to love art and to be a keen observer. Read more>>

Dara Barlin

As I started entering my professional career, I noticed a disturbing pattern. Many of my friends and partners who work in the non-profit field or in education were in terribly toxic work communities. They all had great jobs that they loved – but the relationship with their bosses and/or colleagues was so bad that it led to really harsh consequences for the people I loved. Read more>>

Limei Zhao Hshieh

Six years ago I came to the U.S. to study illustration at the ArtCenter College of Design. After graduating, I worked at a theme park design company for about a year. Theme park design greatly contributed to my illustrations, because it deepened my understanding of image-making by teaching me how to design the basic structure of buildings and how to make viewers feel more involved with a picture. Read more>>

Genevieve Mariani

I am a professional artist, I went to art school in Minnesota, where I graduated with a BFA in illustration. I have always been an animal welfare advocate, interested mainly in wildlife and the issues surrounding humans interacting with wild animals. Since childhood, I have been enamored with non-human animals, especially large carnivores. Read more>>

Gloria Lucas

During my teen years and through my early 20’s, I struggled with an eating disorder. As a womxn of color with a low income background, I faced many obstacles with seeking support. It was very difficult for me to come to terms with my own struggle because I had no representation in media and my story was not heard within the eating disorders recovery world. Read more>>

Malini Taneja

I have always been a lover of the performing arts. I acted in productions at the Toronto ISKCON temple since the age of 3, and I had dabbled in all kinds of dance styles, from tap, hip hop, ballet and Bollywood. I began training in my early teens in a classical Indian dance form, known as Bharatnatyam from Los Angeles based dance master Viji Prakash. I dedicated a lot of time to the classical art form. Read more>>

Masato Di Santo

I started acting at the age of 15. I had always a passion for movies and tv shows, and I had the opportunity to be part of several plays staged by the school I went to. At those early experiences on stage, I fell in love with the feeling of performing a role, and I was lucky enough to have the support of my family to do so. Read more>>

Emma Calvillo

I am born and raised in Los Angeles, and was raised in a very musical family. My sisters and I grew up singing together, and started pursuing music professionally when I was about 12 years old. We started working with vocal producer Kuk Harrell and his team Red Zone Ent in 2006. Read more>>

Walter Askin

Growing up in a rented house on Mar Vista in Pasadena I had delighted in drawing small figures and boats in the rose-patterned wallpaper. One day my mother noticed my designs while talking to a salesman at the front door. I was in awe that my drawings had made such a wonderful, kindly and generous person so angry and have, since this very early age, been addicted to artistic expression and committed to a life in art. Read more>>

Sonia Marie Desormeaux

My name is Sonia Marie, and I’ve been in the health and wellness field for over twenty-four years. I am a single mother of two, and I have first-hand knowledge of clean eating and healing my body from disease. When I had my first child twenty- six years ago, I almost died. Read more>>

Kasi Royster

I have always been intrigued with education. As a student, I was the “teacher’s pet” and the classroom nerd. Exploring knowledge, expanding my knowledge, and educating others have always been a passion of mine. I knew that right out of college I wanted to go to college and study education; I was unsure of the exact degree. Read more>>

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