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West LA 05.29.2018

Amanda Sayeg

I was born and raised in Brazil and graduated in Architecture and Urban Planning but it was during 7 years of acting and producing for a theater company where I found my passion for entertainment. Back then it was just a hobby – movies were no more than a dream to me. Read more>>

Cara Thomas

My journey started out as a personal quest to get “unstuck.” I was living in New York, working in consulting and living on a plane. I was burned out, and had just ended a long-term relationship. Read more>>

Adam Amengual

I have a pretty classic story, my father gave me a camera around 13. My earliest pictures were of my friends skateboarding and getting into trouble around our small suburban town in Massachusetts. I had been drawing since I was a child so I was pretty heavy into art classes in school. Read more>>

Silva Mirzoian

Where I am in life right now came through much travel and personal experiences. At times, personal necessities gave me the inspiration to start a design & construction company… then turning my property development background ushered in my lifestyle development company. Read more>>

De Jur Jones

It all began when my uterus was incinerated, aka, removed. Prior to this, I had little to no knowledge of yoga. I thought it was for skinny white girls who could put their legs behind their heads. I was wrong. A friend suggested I go to yoga as part of my recovery. Read more>>

Meghan Morris

It can be so challenging for a woman to live in deep connection with herself in this modern world. Growing up, my biggest challenge was being painfully disconnected from myself, my body, and my true nature. Read more>>

Dr. Shannon Chavez

People are always curious to know how I decided to become a sex therapist. It always felt like a natural fit. I loved working with people and was encouraged by mentors to pursue my passion for sexual health. Read more>>

Woody Woodhall

It was a bit of a circuitous route to my current place in life. I grew up in Connecticut and early on I was motivated by music and filmmaking. I attended college at University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. Read more>>

Kumiko Yamamoto

My passion for natural and holistic healing came to my heart after my own experience of health challenges during my young teenage years. I experienced how mind, body, and spirit are connected and truly affect one and another and also experienced the limitations of western medicine to treat complex health conditions. Read more>>

Keith Jeffreys

We started USVAA in 2004 as a Los Angeles focused, multi-disciplinary arts organization designed to assist military veterans in the arts and entertainment industry. We originally called the organization the Los Angeles Veterans’ Artists Alliance, but by 2007 realized we needed to expand into a national organization. Read more>>

Sierra Rivers Hollister

I am originally from New York City and I moved out to Los Angeles almost a year ago. I started making jewelry for myself because I like things that are unique yet understated, and feminine while maintaining a little bit of an edge. I love jewelry and coming up with new designs and eventually I got to a point where I was making more than I could possibly wear. Read more>>

Tefania Spampinato

I started dancing at 6 years old. I was super passionate about it from a very young age. My parents couldn’t afford to pay for my tuition bc the costumes were so expensive, but my mother was determined to make it happen so she learned to sew & started making my costumes so I could attend. Read more>>

Christine Suarez

I moved to Los Angeles twelve years ago after living in New York City for twelve years. I came here to go to graduate school at UCLA. My goal was to receive an MFA in choreography so I could transition to working in academia. I had founded Suarez Dance Theater in NYC in 2006 as a 501c3 not for profit. Read more>>

Elise Joan

Co-creator of the best selling, inaugural yoga program for Beachbody, and a top lifestyle/yoga influencer for LIVESTRONG, Elise Joan is an innovative and inspiring celebrity yoga teacher, trainer and wellness expert, with a mega watt smile. Read more>>

Dr. Steven Sampson

During my residency in New York City, I was disappointed in the overall focus to treat orthopedic injuries by managing symptoms with cortisone or medications, that gave a false sense of improvement, masked injury and making injuries worse. Read more>>

Ashley Opstad and Darren Lanning

Ashley: Yeah! In 1999, JD Walsh started a theater company called Ultimate Improv. He had done improv comedy around the country and saw an opportunity to create comedy in a more authentic way than he’d been seeing at most of the big comedy theaters. Read more>>

Zac Maywood

As a kid growing up in the States I had only ever been exposed to packaged instant ramen that was available in the grocery store. Maruchan instant noodles to be exact. I ate this stuff all the way through college. During my college years, it was a staple of my diet. Read more>>

Leyla Jordan

Opened a small cafe in 2011 together with my family as we started to get popular moved to a bigger and better location in the heart of downtown Santa Monica and been there since 2014. There were a lot of challenges starting the business , construction was challenging and as well as putting everything together , after 3 years when we had to move to a new location – everything started again – construction , the move. Read more>>

Heather Paul

I fell in love with real estate when my husband and I went to purchase our first home. I at the time owned 3 income tax and accounting practices, 2 in Southern California and 1 in Northern California. We actually had a terrible agent, unfortunately, however, I just loved everything about real estate and felt I could offer clients so much more. Read more>>

Joni Weiss, Kitt Fife

We first met each other in a “parent and me” class when we were brand news moms. Our babies (now almost 10 years old) were 5 months and 6 weeks old respectively at the time. We began volunteering with a small group of dedicated individuals to develop and create a new preschool in our community. Read more>>

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