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The Valley 2.6.2017

John Armentrout

As a kid, like many others my age, I grew up with a true love of music. I started playing guitar at 12 and have enjoyed playing in many bands through the years. As a young musician with low funds, I found a need to repair and customize my equipment on a budget. Years later, I was able to convince management at Guitar Center Hollywood to give me a 25 square foot area where I could provide the service of guitar and bass repair. Read More>>

Zachariah Bennett

I started Enjoy Music on my own in 2010. While working for a private elementary school I realized my true calling in life was music and kids. I filed for my business license, quit my job and charged all of the necessary start-up tools and gear to my credit card. Read More>>

Janine Pierce

Started out competing in performance dog sports with my own dogs and developed a passion for dog training. Read everything I could get my hands on, volunteered extensively with rescue organizations and went to countless seminars etc., just because I was fascinated by human/dog relationships. Read More>>

Dawn Bianchini

Back in February 2013, a friend of mine that I met through a charity I run owned a bird store for over 25 years. She stated she was burned out and was going to move out of state and was I interested in taking over the business. She stated if I was she would just give it to me. Read More>>

Paul Rangel

In 2009, I helped a friend of mine startup an on-site computer consulting firm called “the GEEKsters”, which provided only in-home computer services in the Los Angeles Area. Thankfully due to the increasing consumer dependency on computers and technology, they were able to steadily grow the business and open the first walk-in repair shop in 2011. Read More>>

David & Jimmy Schuelke

We were taught the plumbing trade from our father Dave Schuelke during our high school days, she wanted to give us something to fall back on if college or our future career choice did not go as planned after graduation. Read More>>

Steve Reisman

We’ve been in business since 1959 when my grandfather started the company. Back in those days, you’d have to prove to homeowners that insulation actually helped a home stay more comfortable, this was when insulation wasn’t even required when building homes. My father ran the company for some 42 years and today, a half century later, my children even have an interest in continuing it as well. Read More>>

Jim Murphy

We’ve been in communications since the early 90s. We like to say that it all started with an earthquake, an aquarium, and two guys in college. Jim and Ari were young entrepreneurs with a dream. A dream to sell the latest and greatest communications technology (at the time)—pagers. When Ari wasn’t selling pagers with Jim, he was taking care of his aquarium. Read More>>

Arin Gregoryona

My career journey started not too long ago when I graduated from UC Irvine and went straight into public accounting. I remember it wasn’t the best time to be in the job market, but my passion for working with numbers (I was the “numbers” guy all my life) and helping others realize financial benefits as a result, along with my persistence and determination to find my first real gig after college kept me going until I landed my first job. Read More>>

Giovanni Longo

Coming from an Italian family that was in the plumbing business back in the old country and as a third generation plumber myself, you could say I have water running through my veins? Read More>>


Jessy and I got married very young. I was going to college and he was going to ATC at the time. ATC was sponsored by Toyota and it offered job placement. He was hired by a shop in culver city in October of 2001 He was given the opportunity to work for a shop in Culver City right after he finished his classes at ATC. His manager took him under his wing and taught him everything he knew about front end repairs and alignments for any vehicle. Read More>>

Alex Back

We opened our virtual doors in 2011- at that time, the economy wasn’t strong and many people were downsizing their lives. At the same time, the e-commerce boom was just starting to move into the furniture and home decor sector so we saw a lot of opportunities there. Read More>>

Ian Taras

TLC: A Tradition of Listening & Caring!That’s not just a phrase, but a motto. Every patient in front of me is treated like I would my wife, sister, mother or daughter. By the way, I love all those people so that’s a good thing! Dr. Edward Taras, my Father, started this practice in 1968 & we’ve been in the same place, ever since. He’s since passed away, but I came on board in 1996. Read More>>

Ariel Azriel

I have been fascinated with building since a young age. I started working in the construction industry at the age of 20, which really helped me gain the experience I needed. I learned a lot throughout the years and decided it was time to open up my own company. Read More>>

Wil Jackson

Originally from St. Thomas, I spent time fishing & diving, but my pride came by serving locally with St Thomas’ Water & Power Department.While attending Parks College of Aeronautical Technology in Illinois, I met Anne, who would become my wife. Read More>>

Bryan Hudson

Brief would be a little hard but I guess the short and sweet of how I got started into weddings was me being unhappy with the photographers we hired for our wedding and instead of making a big deal out it. Read More>>

Roy Gelbart

Before I begin, let me tell you a bit about my past. Ever since I was about ten years old, I have been fascinated by Green Screen photography, chroma key technology, and the entire “Photoshop” editing and warping of images. I recall being in elementary school when I’d often go to my local crafts store and purchase four green posters, tape them together, and build myself a green backdrop. Read More>>

Tal Orion

A few years ago, after working as a journalist and a public relation specialist for almost two decades, I realized that it was a time for a career change. Being so passionate for design I have decided to try and design my close friends’ wedding voluntarily. Read More>>

Shaleena Tareen

I am a business graduate, however, my interest in Early Childhood Education was sparked by the birth of my daughter. I wanted to make sure that I, her first teacher understood her needs and provided her with the best care possible. I have since been in the field of education. Read More>>

John Roemer

I’m on my second “tour of duty” with Logix. I started in 1999 as a Market Research Analyst, and by 2008 had advanced in the company to Senior Vice President of Strategy and Call Centers. My wife and I then relocated to Wisconsin (my home state) in order to raise our newly born daughter around family, so she would get to know her grandparents, cousins, and aunts and uncles. Read More>>

Mike Evans

A long, long time ago, back in 1982, we started to make wine for ourselves. We had the wine fermenting in one bedroom of our two bedroom apartment and our son, Shawnn, at only 10 months old, would sometimes pull himself up and lean on the trashcan to smell the wine. We never thought he would one day be making wine and beer on his own! Read More>>

Ja’Net Wyatt

I had about 3 or 4 people tell me over the past 15 years that I needed to go into business for myself. I’ve always been a creative person since a child in creating comic scripts at 10, writing poetry & short stories, dancing, acting, and later on working behind the scenes at our local station channel 8 in Pacifica. Read More>>

David Neubauer

As a young boy I was interested in magic, but like most magicians, the bug really bit at age 12. For my birthday that year, a neighbor gave me a magic set that her son had had. Half the pieces were missing and there were no directions, but that did it. Read More>>

Joel Del Valle

It all started when one of my friends was getting married. It was supposed to be a low budget wedding, like at the parent’s backyard kind of thing. At that point, I wanted to make a photobooth just for them. So I researched it. At the same time on my desk was one of my sister’s flipbook from her wedding. Read More>>

Karl Slovin

Started in 1991 in New York City, MWest Holdings has become the premier fully-integrated boutique owner/operator real estate firm in Los Angeles. We specialize in renovating and preserving 1920’s era apartment buildings, making them exciting for today’s renter, while maintaining the unique character of each building and location. Read More>>

Brandon Peterson

In my twenties, I needed work on the weekends to supplement acting revenue. After a few years, I became one of the leads for that company I was working for and was asked to light Seal and Hiedi Klum’s wedding in Mexico independently to save costs. Read More>>

Laura Vorreyer

I love Dogs! Ever since I was a young girl I felt very connected to dogs and feel immense compassion for them especially when I see strays or dogs without loving homes. I grew up with Black Labrador Retrievers and considered them my best friends. Not knowing exactly what I wanted to do when I grew up, I gravitated towards doing something I love and that something turned out to be hanging out with dogs. Read More>>

Courtney Colato

I’ve been behind the chair for almost 11 years now and I’ve always had the desire to start my own business. Just over two years ago I finally decided to take the jump up to the next level in my career and open Haar Haus LA. Read More>>

Lindsey Ta

My parents were Vietnamese/Chinese refugees who fled to Norway. I was born in a small town called Lillehammer. When I turned 18, I moved to Los Angeles and worked at my family’s nail salon. Read More>>

Huong Nguyen

My two greatest priorities in life have always been to constantly be creating, and to better the lives of others in any small way that I can. After three years of working in corporate fashion and feeling disconnected from those two priorities, I took a leap of faith. I quit my desk job and Heartlab Beauty was born. Read More>>


My daughter and I moved to California so she could attend college, there wasn’t really any hot yoga that we liked out here at that time so we opened a place of our own. We had been living in Arizona and studied with Sumit from Sumits yoga, he taught a style of hot yoga that was far better than any yoga I had ever done. Read More>>

Conni Ponturo

I started in New York as a dancer and stopped dancing because of an injury. After that I became a massage therapist and an actor, I came to Pilates in 1998. I love what I do and I feel I am a motivational teacher. Getting clients back into their bodies and moving with joy. I have three other teachers that are all different and dynamic. Read More>>

Kelly Jennings

After years of pestering, my parents bought me a package of horseback riding lessons as a Christmas gift–they thought spending hours outdoors in the middle of winter would dissuade me; boy were they wrong. After one lesson with temps in the mid teens and several feet of snow on the ground, I was hooked. Read More>>

Leslie Maltz

My fitness career did not begin until after I’d had both of my children when I was 31. I had gained quite a bit of weight and when my son was 2, I decided to get a trainer to help me get on track. Read More>>

Cal Iseminger

I’ve always been into the game night as far back as I can remember and have always been known for hosting game nights. I started out hosting game nights for my friends only and then was asked by a close friend Marc Cherry if I would do a game night for his birthday. Read More>>

Art Altounian

Pilates Sports Center was founded by Kelli Altounian and Dr. Andromeda Stevens in 2004. Their professional relationship began in 2000 when Kelli worked as a Pilates Instructor with Dr. Stevens at Pilates Studio City. In early 2004, due to a lack of quality instructors, they created the Pilates Sports Center Comprehensive teacher training program to educate and create fantastic new Pilates Instructors. Read More>>

Conrad Spriggs

I’ve played basketball since I was young, I played at Reseda High school, a graduate of ’01 and went on to play for Citrus College. In 2004, I got injured playing basketball, had a torn meniscus on my right knee. Read More>>

Randy Mulkey

I was already at “Active Senior” status – fit, but at 54 bored with my training – when I found CrossFit. Nine years and four trips to the CrossFit Games (our Olympics) later, I’m still fascinated with this continuously evolving method of developing a “broad, all-inclusive fitness,” utilizing “constantly varied, functional movements are done at high intensity.” Read More>>

Pozi Pozi

Founded by Peter Pozirekides in 1979, Pozi’s Grill fast became the go-to spot for delicious authentic Greek food.We are very proud in continuing this long family tradition up to this day. Read More>>

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