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The Valley 7.31.2017

Amy Huynh

We started as a provider service group based in hospitals. However, we came to see the disconnect with patients. Then we developed mobile applications to connect patients and providers. Now we have evolved our practice around patient service. We look forward to working directly with patients that have not responded to mood disorder and pain treatments. PointKetamine’s goal is to raise awareness about ketamine IV infusions and creating options for patients. It has not been an easy journey. We battle and continue to battle ketamine’s bad reputation. Recreational misuse of the drug left us having to re-educate the public about this safe drug. Read more>>

Jennifer Jackson

I’m a Canadian girl and I fell for an Australian guy back in 2001 (it was his accent)! We were married in 2007 and went to live in Australia after our wedding. Moving to Australia felt like a fresh start and the perfect time to try my hand at something new. I’d always loved taking photographs. So I studied photography in Melbourne, Australia for 2 years. I went into my college course in Melbourne wanting to photograph people. I was told by my instructors that most students end up changing their focus throughout the program. But my desire to photograph people stayed strong throughout the two years. Read more>>

Sarah Barker

I began my journey as an editor and director of video production and documentary filmmaking in 1999. I had recently re-located back to California, after many years of grand adventuring, beginning with a stint in the U.S. Army in 1991. I spent some time in Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and New York, and Virginia, where I earned a B.A. in English Literature from James Madison University. I returned to my “home town” of L.A., to begin an M.F.A. program in Film Production at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film & Television. I graduated Cum Laude with an M.F.A. in 2005, and was awarded the “Most Promising Graduate Filmmaker Award, and a $5,000 scholarship. Read more>>

Jillian Rose Kling

Photography has always been a fun hobby for me but never did I ever think I would own my own business, let alone one in photography. School was never my favorite so when I graduated high school, I attended a few junior colleges and universities searching for my calling. Finally, after 3 major changes, I stumbled upon photojournalism and never looked back! I got my degree and now earn a living documenting love stories! It’s pretty wild. Starting and running your own business is no walk in the park. Sometimes I wonder if I am cut out for it. Then I remember the alternative and that’s even more scary. I’ve worked full-time in corporate jobs since I was a teenager and I always day dreamed about being able to make my own hours. Read more>>

Daniel Rivas

I became interested in photography while taking a photography class in High School. I bought my first 35mm camera and started learning. My main subjects were my girlfriend, who is now my wife, and the track team, which I was a member. I would photograph the team and make prints and give them to my teammates. I found myself interested in photographing people. I continued taking photography courses at East Los Angeles Community College. In 1980. when I was 20 I introduced myself to a wedding photographer at a family wedding. This was the big moment for me. Ray Belis of Belis Photography was talented and a good businessman. Read more>>

Phil Vitek

I have been a sports photographer in various capacities since the late seventies. Having held other full-time jobs during that period of time I always gravitated back to photography mainly to exercise the creative part of me. Both of my kids took to athletics at an early age so I became the team’s photographer by default. As they got older I realized nobody was doing anything creative, they were simply taking snapshots and occasionally putting names and a number on the print. So what’s a parent to do. Well, I decided that as a parent of athletes myself I wanted more. Read more>>

Kevin and Amy Mattison

Hot Yoga 1000 is the brain child of Kevin & Amy Mattison. They literally spent nearly a decade formulating their venture in their minds and on paper. Kevin & Amy allocated themselves 2-months beginning in July 2012 to drive across the country visiting Hatha Yoga studios in numerous towns and cities to establish a ‘pulse’ that would ultimately guide selection of a location to establish their business in the Yoga industry. After arriving in San Diego, living and teaching in Petaluma, and finally settling down to teach in Santa Barbara, they we able to capitalize on a studio location opportunity in Newbury Park. “We conceptualized the yOMa Center, LLC over 10-years ago. The yOMa Center is the parent company to our Hatha Yoga Studio / School that we’ve named Hot Yoga 1000.” Read more>>

Alexander Wolf

Started with a dollar and a dream!!! In 6 months with no money for marketing, I have worked with A-list clients making all types of videos!!! THE MOST DIVERSE Entertainment Company in The World…A big concern these days about creating video content is that using a video production company will be costlier and involved than buying your own equipment and creating your own video content in-house. But, to the contrary, using a full-service video production company will, in most cases, be the most efficient and effective use of your time and budget. Read more>>

Laura Sadler

After experiencing several sports injuries and having a sedentary job as a graphic designer, I became prone to chronic pain. Sometimes physical therapy helped, but it was never a lasting solution. I found that I had to find a way to manage and eliminate my pain on my own. Through my experiences trying to figure out how to accomplish this, I realized that I want to help others manage their pain from soft tissue injuries. I eventually discovered Trigger Point Therapy and decided that medical massage was the perfect fit for me and now I specialize in helping people recover from injuries and chronic pain. Read more>>

Shannique Austin

Shannique Austin has been in the beauty business for over 20 years. Known today as the talented, lash artist ‘it-girl’ providing lash services for women and high profile celebrities in the SoCal area, she’s always been deeply inspired by the beauty industry. At 19, she received a Bobbi Brown makeup book and from there was hooked. Her career officially took off in Santa Monica as a junior artistic member for Sebastian International, the go-to and innovative beauty brand of its time. There she brought hair styles and makeup looks to life for runway. As a quickly growing talent, she discovered the beauty industry was where she was meant to be. No dream was too big, and the possibilities seemed endless. Read more>>

Aurea Luna

I always like photography. I used to have a small pocket camera and would take pictures of everyone and everything. Close friends and relatives would tell me that I really had an eye for it. When I was in high school, I took a trip to Catalina island took many landscape and natures pictures and I only got better from there on. Now by the time I was in college, my friends started to ask me to take pictures of their kids, family members would ask if I could take pictures for birthday parties and so on. I was practicing more and more and my passion grew even more. My parents have been the biggest supporters in my life, so one day they gave me a huge surprise… they gave me my first DLSR camera. I was so excited! So you can imagine I didn’t stop taking pictures, I went and looked at tutorials online and put what I had learned to practice ASA. Read more>>

Alen Kevorkian

I was working at Parsons Engineering at the time, during my 10 years at the company I had been laid off 2x, I knew there was something better out there for me with more security and something I would love to do, I also knew that I could not work for a company that I was simply a number to them, I knew one day I would be married, mortgage and kids, and could not afford to be laid off. During the same time frame, our department had decided that we should get a website put together, now this was going to be an intranet, access to our department only, and at that time it was around 1996 / 1997 – I took this challenge of doing the job with no experience before hand, I tough myself how to put a website together and launch it, allot of trial and error before I had everything working, but I also noticed how much fun I was having. Read more>>

Jacob Reitzin

It all began one fateful day by placing an ad on Craigslist in 2014, Me, the chief dude- Jacob and my-truck (a faithful Ford F-150) and just started helping people move things around locally in my spare time. Calls started to come in along with checks, and that’s when I realized I had a business. Then the next thought hit me. I need to build an app that can make this whole experience and service better and empower other hard working cool dudes in their communities to do the same thing I am doing! I started to see there was this massive need, a massively underserved marketplace, with people that don’t want a traditional mover or don’t want to stand in line and wait for a u-haul. Read more>>

Roie Edery

Bistro Planet was co-founded by me and Aleksey Klempner. We previously worked together to create the technology solution behind the cannabis software company Eaze. The food truck industry was an attractive “next” market for us because street food is extremely popular in California, yet it’s still very fragmented and we saw an opportunity for a technology approach that would address some of the serious supply/demand challenges. We spent a lot of time with long term players in the industry and worked to create a technology solution that would provide the food truck industry the convenience of on-demand order fulfillment with reasonable fees, and ultimately food that’s hot and in your hands right after it’s made. Read more>>

Colin Macleod and Caroline Cardenas

The owner Eric started building the customer base four years ago. Once the business grew drivers were brought on to help with deliveries. I was one of the drivers and eventually Eric promoted me to manager. Now Eric has stepped back from the business to start a grow up north while I continue to run Fly High 7 days a week, 13 hours a day. None of it is smooth. From building a strong customer base to keeping a varied menu it all requires balance and strict financial discipline to remain profitable. Every day is a new fire to put out whether its securing a restock, dealing with difficult customers, or even traffic, the struggles are endless. Good thing we are stress relief experts! Read more>>

Monica Ahumada

I had just finished Basic Combat Training (BCT) and AIT (Advanced Individual Training) for the Army and I was having a hard time finding a job that would hire me. Because I was upfront from the beginning that I would have certain times during each month that I would be unavailable due to my military commitment, I feel that some employers ruled me out right off that bat. One day I got a call from a cat place in Mar Vista, one of the places I had submitted my resume to, and they wanted me to come in for an interview. I had no formal experience working with animals, only what I may have picked up from owning them over the years. Just like with everyone else, I was upfront about being the Army Reserves and gave it my all. Read more>>

George Adjieff and Joe Taupier

We took over the company as a management buy-out from Westlake Audio and became Westlake Pro. We relied heavily on the 20+ year relationships we had built with the top vendors and clients in our industry. Luckily, they trusted in our vision and helped us to get going quickly. We started with a small core team, most of whom are still with us today. We have grown to require multiple locations across the city. Our sales staff and technical staff are some of the most knowledgeable experts in the entire industry. We are very proud of the team we have built. We have become one of the largest dealers for many of our vendors, including being named Avid Audio Dealer of the Year for the last two consecutive years. Read more>>

Ben Mallare

I have been a musical entertainer since a young age. I grew up performing covers of popular songs for variety shows in my hometown of Severna Park, Maryland. I attended college at Northeastern University, where I majored in music industry with a minor in business administration. The business knowledge learned here, as well as on-the-job experience from internships with Sony Music, Big Machine Label Group, Creative Artists Agency, and Country Music Association, gave me the acumen I needed to start my own company. Upon moving to Los Angeles in 2013, I combined by musical and business skills to form Ben Mallare Events & Entertainment. Our company is strongly centered in the principal of superior quality and customer service. Read more>>

Lin Lin Heine

Dr. Lin Lin Li Heine comes from a family that goes back generations of herbalists and oriental physicians specializing in the use of ear point acupuncture therapy. Lin Lin Li Heine was a medical doctor in China. She practiced as a pediatric physician in Wuhan using traditional Western Medical techniques along with massage therapy and herbs. She was an attending Pediatric Physician at a hospital, as well as practicing in a private practice, educating children with asthma in the use of medication and other techniques to prevent asthma attacks. Lin Lin was named Vice Chief Physician of the hospital. From 1985 to 2001 she published many articles in medical journals in China. Read more>>

Christine Chen

2014 was when I first started my personal training career. I worked as a personal trainer for a commercial gym for about 3 years from there I moved up to a fitness manager. I found a better position at St Jude Medical Center with synergy and continued personal training. I am now a Heath coach at synergy in a lifestyle program. 2016 was when I decided to take the leap and open my own fitness studio in Rowland heights. I currently do 1:1 personal training as well as group training. The struggles that occurred would be not realizing how much time and constant working to make sure everything was running smoothly. There are long hour days and struggle would be having the time to ensure all my clients get the best quality of work from me.  Read more>>

Robert Kandell

It’s been a fascinating journey. In 1998, I was running a successful computer programming consulting business in San Francisco and teaching for the University of Phoenix. To the outside world, it looked like I was living the American Dream. I had a six-figure salary, a house in SF, married to a beautiful woman, and building up my 401k with smart investments. On the inside however, things were not as pristine. I was overweight, disconnected from my wife, and terribly bored. I then went for the first time to Burning Man. There are many stories to tell but the main was that I flashed that the life I was leading, the one handed to me by my father, was not the one I wanted. Read more>>

Nikki Hilton-Engstrom

Growing up, my dad has always been John the barber. He learned from his uncle when he was a young guy with very little direction in his life. He’s always said being a barber has given him freedom and he never felt like he went “to work” every day. He has always said it was like going to hang out with friends all day. He opened a shop in the early 90’s here in Simi Valley. We couldn’t go anywhere without someone stopping us to say “hey John, how’s it going?” Then in early 2000’s he came across this shop and this is where we are today. When I finished cosmetology school about 5 years ago, I was working for a friend at a salon in Newbury park. Read more>>

John Hank

In the summer of 1980, the 12-inch sub woofer on one of my stereo speakers went out. I went to the local electronic shop to buy a new 12-inch sub woofer. I was informed that I needed to buy them in pairs. But I only needed one, I was not employed at the time and did not want to invest $300.00 each to fix my problem. Now what was I going to do, I needed my stereo system to sound good. So I saw a label on the back of my speaker with the name, address & phone number of the manufacturer, VERIT who was located in Sun Valley. So I called and introduced myself as John Hank with Hank’s Audio and made an appointment with the President, Estelle Finney. Read more>>

Christopher Babayans

My second year of college was coming to an end and I needed a job. My Dad went to Costco to get our collection of home videos (50+) converted to digital but came back home saying the price was too high and offered to give me $10 per tape. Once I figured out how to convert my own tapes, I asked my elementary school friend if he had any home videos to convert. To my benefit he did. We decided to go into business together. I signed up for a phone number through Google Voice, and used previously learned web design skills to make a website. My Dad printed out 100s of flyers in color at his work, and we spent a week putting them on doorsteps in Woodland Hills. Read more>>

Mike Vannelli

I started my video career producing music videos for artists like Three 6 Mafia and Machine Gun Kelly. A friend from high school was working for Three 6 Mafia as an Engineer and reached out when they needed some new and fresh music video produced. I wanted to get more into commercial and film work so I phased out of the Music Videos sector. I started from the ground up, with some of the equipment I had, to start making commercials. At the beginning, I did a lot of different styles of videos and commercials, to see what style I liked and what I knew I could do well. Then, Envy Creative started getting attention. Companies, brands, and startups started asking us to make their videos and commercials. Read more>>

David Kamjoo

I started about 7 years ago when my sister’s dental office needed a website. She had injured with several website development companies who had quoted her extremely very high costs. Since I had international experience, and I knew many large companies outsource their IT work, I decided to start finding some overseas developers. To my surprise, not only was I able to find a quality developer, but nearly half the cost! I figured, why not provide the same or even higher level of quality service, but with more competitive pricing. That’s when I started No, it definitely wasn’t the smoothest process. Imagine working with overseas developers who are 12 to 15 hours ahead and not very FLUENT. Read more>>

Vivian Wieder

I decided to become a massage therapist after my divorce. I was a single mother working to make ends meet. Needless to say, my life was full, sometimes overwhelming, and definitely stressful. During the process of the divorce I went to a massage therapist to help me relax and found that it not only helped me physically, but emotionally as well. The calm, quiet, and nurturing touch helped me gather the strength I needed through rough times. I became a massage therapist because I believe in the work and its ability to heal. I hope that I can bring the same sense of peace to others who are in pain. Read more>>

Eric Paczkowski

I started working as a union drapery person on the movie Scorpion King back in 2000 and I enjoyed my job very much. But after a few years I saw the industry was changing and decorators were buying readymade draperies to keep costs down. So I moved into set dressing and in 2008 I moved up to the production side as an on-set dresser, this is a job I still maintain today. Then around 2012-2014 the industry was changing again. The DSLR revolution began. I have always wanted to tell stories visually, but the quality equipment before this time was expensive or out of reach. Canon shook things up with their 5D and how cinematic the picture looked. I began to think that this could be a way for me to be creative and really enjoy what I do. Read more>>

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