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West LA 12.18.2017

Ruben Rojas

I met Evan Meyer in a leadership conference and he saw me doodling and said, “Hey, we need to get you on a wall.” Now, here we are four years later with multiple murals around town and the country. I have always been into art and creation whether it was painting, sketching, photography, woodworking, sculpting you name it I have dabbled and enjoyed creating. Read more>>

Matt Miner

I’m originally from Washington, D.C., but I grew up in Colorado and went to college in Boulder before graduating from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington in 2009. Throughout high school and college, I was very active in the indie and punk music scenes and also with electronic music culture. Read more>>

NiK Kacy

A little over 2 years ago, after I left my job at Google as a Senior Producer/Project Manager, I traveled throughout Europe looking for shoemakers to find out why my whole life I could not find the shoes I longed to wear. I went to shoe fairs and tradeshows and ask how come no one has made shoes that are NOT limited by gender. Read more>>

Kim Kapellusch

This business was literally born out of my own journey to becoming a designer, I was so inspired by what WAS MISSING from my training, it drove me to develop something more creative and transforming for others,I remember sitting in my seat thinking, why are there no hands-on exercises for a dry run before I find myself in front of a client having to act like I’ve done this before? Read more>>

Stefanie Templeton

Upon exiting Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology, I was hired as the Lower School Art teacher at Viewpoint School in Calabasas where I taught grades 3 – 8 for 15 years. I really grew up there, professionally speaking, spending much of my twenties and all of my thirties teaching 2 dimensional and 3-dimensional art to my students. Read more>>

Michael Price

I originally planned to be a philosophy professor. I was very privileged in regard to my education. Both of my parents had PhDs, and one of my grandmothers had only a high school degree but prided herself on her perfect grammar and diction. Read more>>

Chanel Mullins

I run Revised Ink, my own small proofreading, editing, and writing business, completely online. My clients’ jobs range from marketing pieces for car dealerships, grocery stores, and political mailers to hospitals and even resumes, graphic novels, books, and screenplays. Read more>>

Elena Roche

Born in Lithuania and raised in Soviet Russia, Elena M. Roché recalls an adverse childhood. Once a withdrawn girl, no one would have predicted that Elena would become a passionate artist, a determined plein air painter, an adoring mother of five home-schooled children, a respected bed and breakfast owner, and least of all, a proud American citizen. Read more>>

Dr. Mani Zadeh

I grew up in England and attended high school in London. I earned my Bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where I graduated with honors. I received my medical degree from the University of California, San Diego. Read more>>

Takashi Yanai

We are an architecture studio that was founded by Steven Ehrlich in 1978 and today led by four partners including Patricia Rhee, Mathew Chaney and myself, Takashi Yanai. We work on all kinds of projects but always in the modern idiom. Read more>>

Steve Hasenberg

I have always been intrigued about the meaning of life. Beginning at twelve years of age, I would lie awake at night imagining where I came from and what would happen to me after my death. I wanted to understand my unique place in the cosmos while living on a spinning planet, 93 million miles from the nearest star, our Sun. Read more>>

John Swartwood

I was originally a pre-med, but soon realized that I could not handle people dying. Switching gears, I became an undergrad studying psychology & classics. I ran through a number of part-time jobs while in college (a waiter, a telemarketer, some commercial print, Best Buy, test prep, etc.). Read more>>

Kris Kelly

The Kris Kelly Foundation was founded by Kris after many years of dreaming of her own Non-Profit to save animals from abuse, slaughter, and neglect. The Foundation is taking an approach to not only work for animals but work for people also. Read more>>

Caitlin Sauer

I have always had a love for beautiful places, things, moments. I can remember even as a child I would experience certain moments and just know I should drink them in and hold on to them. I didn’t discriminate- I loved the beauty of a sunset or a warm breeze as much as I loved rearranging my bedroom for hours or putting together outfits. Read more>>

Cristian Musacchi

I was born in Codigoro (Italy) and I dedicated my life to sport. I tried many kinds of sport to then fall in love for martial arts. For 15 years, I trained competitive Karate and 8 years of acrobatic for adults. Read more>>

Danielle Rothweiler

I never set out to be a wedding and event planner and I actually went to college to study meteorology and political science. But, my whole life, I had planned events and I also have a strong theatre background. Read more>>

Sharon Town Lee

After spending many years as an accountant, specializing in helping small businesses grow and succeed, I was finally able to realize my dream of having a small business of my own! I decided that a pet-related business was a great fit for my interests and skills, I did my research and found that the demographics in my local neighborhood supported a full-service, pet spa and boutique. Read more>>

Brian La Belle

I was always a story teller. I made stories up in my head and sometimes just imagined them for pure self-entertainment. That was my childhood. I used my imagination to take me places. I made short films on a super 8 film camera then tortured my family with abstract stories in our living room by spooling up the film projector. Read more>>

Junior Amazan

I believe that within every person lies a great athlete. The question becomes how do we pull the athlete out? The passion for what I do started as a high school multi-sport athlete in Uniondale, NY. At the time, I didn’t realize the struggle that I was facing was the same struggle a lot of other young high school athletes were facing as well.  Read more>>

Eduardo Manilla

I was born and raised in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. Spent my high school senior year in a small town in Kansas as a Foreign Exchange Student, got crowned Prom King at the end of the year. Went to Architecture School in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico and did a year abroad in Mallorca, Spain. Read more>>

Chris Joffe

I started the company as a CPR and First Aid Training business. At the time, I was in EMS and thought it’d be fun to do some basic training to give back, make some extra money and have something to do with my time off. Interestingly, as I was initially looking at where I could do training, I was encouraged to call schools. Read more>>

Dr. Aristotle Economou

Nothing takes the place of personal experience. This is why as a doctor I understand the difficulties my patients face when dealing with a personal health challenge. In 2006, an event occurred that turned my life upside down and put my years of clinical expertise in healthcare to the ultimate test. Read more>>

Gwynne Pugh

As a child, I grew up in the Mediterranean, including Greece, Turkey, and France, as well as in Britain. I was always fascinated by cities and how they worked. However, the school system in Britain tends to lead you into either science and technology or the arts and social sciences. Read more>>

Daniel Monti

Growing up around the globe has played a big role in why I became an architect and how I approach design. My father’s work took my family to a new country, and often new continent, every two years. Having the opportunity to experience unique cultures, and see and interact with architecture in places as diverse as Argentina, Indonesia, Iran, France, and the United States have shaped how I design. Read more>>

Travis Schneider

PatientPop is the third business Luke Kervin, PatientPop founder and co-CEO, and I have tackled together. We also co-founded ShopNation, a digital marketing platform that enabled media publications to create an online marketplace for products featured in their publications, and StarBrand Media, an affiliate marketing platform serving the television and film industry. Read more>>

Christopher Cummings

I fell into the art world. I was going to college in New Orleans, and all of my associates worked in the galleries along Royal Street. I started with mostly janitorial duties, cleaning, changing light bulbs, etc. After being immersed in that scene I absolutely fell in love with the world of art, high profile collectors, famous artists, everything about it was incredibly alluring. Read more>>

Susan Schueler

I have always been a sensitive and been aware of the Spirit world. My first memory of conversing with a deceased person was when I was 6 years old. For many years it frightened me so I did all I could to shut these abilities down, but being a sensitive intuitive isn’t something that goes away, even when you want it to, so I finally surrendered into it and learned to fine tune my skills so I could help others heal and grow. Read more>>

Keya Nkonoki

I became a birth worker through my own pregnancy journey over 15 years ago. I went to prenatal yoga and meditation classes 3 times a week during my first pregnancy and what I learned in those classes really translated well into my labor and birth. Read more>>

Juri Koll

I started as an artist around age 15 and began showing my work shortly after. I sought out well-known and established artists to study and work with. I felt it was the only way out of the place where I was brought up. I kept making art, and later showing art, as part of developing and participating in the art community. Read more>>

Erika Brechtel

I have been doing branding for about 15 years, and I work mainly with small business owners and women in lifestyle, design, fashion, travel, food, and professional services. But I went to school for Art History (UCLA), then Interior Design (FIDM) and worked in that industry for a few years on projects for Disney, Warner Bros., and Lego before the internet boom when I got the itch and made the switch. Read more>>

Nick Cohen Yahoodain

I am currently 38, and I have been working since I was 9. Start as a bagger in a supermarket, and now I am a general contractor building homes. I have done everything from being a paper boy, selling candy in school, cashier, manger, cashier, sold cell phones, worked at GUESS, sold cars, Real estate agent, sold kids toys, golf caddie, and much more. Read more>>

Avi Kadmon, Sandra Kessler

Fred’s Bakery was founded in 1949 by Fred, an immigrant from Germany. He baked what he knew best: Traditional Jewish and European bread and baked good. . Soon, Jews and non-Jews alike started flocking to the new neighborhood bakery getting the “real” rye bread, challah (Egg bread), pumpernickel, whole wheat, and German spelt bread. Bagels like Fred’s they could find only in Manhattan’s Lower East side. Read more>>


The vision for WEST is to purvey exquisitely hand crafted boots, shoes, leather goods, silver accessories and jewelry in a urban setting – and show that these often Western inspired goods can hold their own in the presence of the high end international fashion houses that dominate the world of fashion today. Read more>>

Mike Dewey

I’ve lived in the LA area for about 6 years now and came here for work opportunities. Mostly in the start-up tech space where I’d been working as a UI/UX designer in the marketing agency world up in Portland before. It was a big move for me to come down here as I didn’t know many people and was leaving my family up in Portland. Read more>>

Jessica Sacks

After 19 years in practice, Dr. Robert Sacks noticed that patients lacked a convenient retailer to find fashionable, high quality and functional frames. After much consideration, Dr. Robert Sacks and his family realized that his belief in one-stop-shop was going to be the new way in the industry. Read more>>

Alexandria Munchak

Ever since I was a little girl, I always knew that I would one day be a teacher. Growing up, I had many passionate teachers who inspired me to become an educator myself. I am proud to say that I have earned both my Undergrad and Master’s Degree in Education. Read more>>

Su Lim

Everyone has a story. That’s what got me interested in psychology and becoming a therapist. Mine began when I hid myself away in my room as a young child to escape the bickering of my soon-to-be-divorced parents.I stared outside my bedroom window, which overlooked the Beatles’ famous Abbey Road pedestrian crossing in North London, and lost myself in stories. Read more>>

Vincent Tran, Riyaana Hartley

Love Entertainment was established in 2010, by Riyaana Hartley and Vincent Tran, to create films that inspire and remind us of the power in our humanity, films that remind us our greatest strength is love. Read more>>

Ellen Ballon Dante

In 2000, I moved from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Los Angeles. I had taken a job here in commercial real estate because that is what I had been doing before I left. I quickly realized that it was time. Time to pursue my passions. Read more>>

Pablo Quintero

I am an immigrant from a small village in Colombia, South America. I was born in an area rich in natural beauty yet humbling in many other ways which has shaped my core values and belief system. My family and I moved to the New York City area when I was only 5 years old for an opportunity to enhance our lives. Read more>>

Jennifer Morey Cunningham

15 years ago, I started capturing the best of Los Angeles through my watercolors that I draw on location. Printing them onto note cards put me on the map with commissions and orders coming in from business’s promoting Downtown. Read more>>

Anita Mccoy

I worked as a nurse for many years, and I truly enjoyed it. One afternoon while at work my teenager daughter called me and said “daddy is blue and not moving” once I heard “blue” as a nurse I immediately knew it was bad. Read more>>

Marc Scarpa

At age 10, Scarpa became deeply interested in the internet and was an early adopter of computing technology. He spent countless hours online to hone his craft as a phone Phreaker. Major influences in this underground landscape included Legion of Doom member King Blotto of Blottoland, Phiber Optik, Bill from New York, Captain Crunch, Woz and broadcast video hacker Captain Midnight. Read more>>

Kareem Assassa and Dr. Fouad Talic

On September 24 of 2015, two friends, Kareem and Dr. Talic, shared ideas of how to standardize the quality of aesthetic medicine, dental aesthetics, and cosmetic surgery on a global scale. “Kareem and I wanted to create a forum that would enable any willing medical professional in the world to learn aesthetics without the restrictions of time, communication, or travel. Read more>>

Danielle Cuccio

I grew up in Los Angeles with a family in the beauty business. They are in the nail business (they sell to nail salons and nail technicians nail polish, nail files, nail art, etc.). It was always super fun going to their warehouse growing up – I was a kid in a candy store – just with beauty products. Read more>>

Diane Marmolejo

Ever since I was a young teenager, I knew that I wanted to own my own business. I grew up in a family of business owners. Almost no one in my family worked for someone else. Even when I chose to go to law school, I knew that I did not want to work for a big firm or even a small firm, I wanted to start my own firm. Read more>>

Brian Cavallaro

I was fortunate enough to win a Regional Emmy while still a film student at the University of Miami – and I was able to leverage that into my first job in Los Angeles at Mandt Bros. Productions. Mandt Bros. has gone through several name changes to get to Mandt Media, but after a few freelance stints along the way, it’s now become something I’ve very proud to be a part of. Read more>>

Vijay Ingam

I have worked as an admissions interview coach for years, helping applicants to college, medical school, business school, medical residency, and physician’s assistant school get into top schools and programs such as Harvard, Stanford, University of Chicago, USC, UCLA, and UC-Berkeley. Read more>>

Danie Spikes

A daughter of two immigrants, I remember as early as the age of 5 that my mother instilled in me that her sacrifices will lay the groundwork to achieve any dreams that my little heart desired. Flash forward years later, I have created an entity that addresses our most basic needs. The need to love and be loved. Read more>>

Brett Marz

BAMKO started from a dorm room at the University of Southern California in downtown Los Angeles. Two best friends from childhood reunited at the University and partnered up to form BAMKO which is now one of the largest global publicly traded companies in the world. Read more>>

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