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Inspiring Stories from West LA

The heart of our mission at VoyageLA is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In recent weeks we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of West 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 West LA’s rising stars below.

Shira Teichman

Before I found my soulmate, I earned my “PhD in Dating” by miraculously surviving years of dead-end relationships, and learning from them— in hindsight. I’d meet guys at singles mixers or get set up on blind dates, and while there was occasionally some chemistry, I could just never seem to take the relationship to the next level. Before I knew it, I’d be back to square one—hoping, wishing and waiting for the right guy to come along. Read more>>

Lauren Cornell, MS, RD

I was raised in a home where my mother prepared most of our meals and taught our family to appreciate food in its simplest form, sourcing local and organic ingredients whenever possible. I took my upbringing and this knowledge for granted, and only as an adult did I truly understand and appreciate it, especially at a time when healthcare and health problems are at the forefront of our nation’s issues. Read more>>

Tisha Morris

Prior to working with spaces, I was a practicing attorney for over 10 years, in addition to clerking for two federal judges. Even though I had a successful career, I craved to do something more creative. I felt out of alignment with my life, which was beginning to take a toll on my health. Yoga became my refuge. Read more>>

Dana Goldstein

Serendipity is an event Floral Design Studio located in beautiful Pacific Palisades, California. I combine my passion for nature and creativity to curate beautiful floral designs and tablescapes. I seek fresh blooms and unique materials to bring beautifully presented arrangements to life, creating an exceptional experience for every event. Read more>>

Patricia Tsai

Grew up in a small town in Oklahoma and my favorite book was The Hobbit. Followed the path of most everyone around me and the pressures of my parents: Get out of the small town, attend an Ivy League and follow the path of being the Lawyer, Doctor or investment Banker. Read more>>

Dana Arnett

My partner Carlos Sapene and I were both entertainment executives with many years of experience between us. I was a VP of Post Production with a top 5 reality TV Production Company for over a decade. Read more>>

Carolina McGilvra

The Aurelia Foundation was founded in 2010 by a group of parents, all of whom had a son or daughter with a moderate to severe developmental disability. These parents quickly learned that after years of being in a school setting, with a set schedule, the next best step wasn’t clear and there was the very real potential their young adult child would sit at home, isolated, with no chance to continue to learn and grow. Read more>>

Jo-e Sutton

My family owned a modern day, more realistic version of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. It was a bakery in the San Fernando Valley, called Weby’s on Ventura Blvd. The smells of white flour baking with white sugar, chocolate and butter smelled like heaven to me, and that is where my family members kept ending up, all too soon. Read more>>

Kartar Diamond

I have always been interested in metaphysical topics as well as design and architecture. The mystical practice of Feng Shui intersects the physical and the ethereal and I felt I had a calling to practice and teach it right away. Read more>>

Dr. Robert Cohen

I first became interested in plastic surgery in high school, when I was trying to find a career that would both utilize my interest in science and allow me to apply my technical/artistic skills that I enjoyed, such as drawing and sculpting. Read more>>

Timothy Culver

As a 23-year-old recent college graduate from Brown University, I moved to San Diego from Ohio to open CulverCareers July 1st 1979. We now have locations in Orange, L.A., San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, Whitefish Montana. We have remote recruiters throughout the U.S. Read more>>

Lynda Malerstein

Before I became a hypnotherapist I had successful careers as an executive recruiter and a professional children’s entertainer, but I never felt fulfilled. Throughout my life, I struggled with problems that I was unable to resolve by traditional therapy. Finally I found that hypnosis was the process that helped me heal deep physical and emotional wounds quickly and powerfully. Read more>>

Sharmila Quenim Herr

My son was diagnosed with Autism after quite a journey to understand what was happening to a child who was born typical without complications and suddenly at about 18 months of age started going backwards instead of continuing to grow and develop like other children his age. Read more>>

David Filsoof

13 years of training and I got my first real job. Of course, one is never ready to be responsible for taking care of patients’ lives and wellbeing despite how many years of studying and training. But in March of 2015, I landed my dream job and joined forces at Cardiovascular Medical Group of Southern California. Read more>>

Danica Thornberry

The story of The Seed Fertility Program began in 2001 when I launched Well Women Acupuncture, a clinic focused on Women’s Health and Infertility. I was only 31 years old at the time, but in that same year, while immersed in helping other women become pregnant, I received a harrowing diagnosis of Premature Menopause and Stage 4 Endometriosis. I was told I would never have children of my own. Read more>>

Leyli Norouz

As for me, I got my start in Higher Education Non-Profit and worked for 10 + years at UCLA, including the Anderson School of Management. After leading in a number of positions in operations, including Director of Annual Giving, it became clear to me that having a more fulfilling life, and to have the kind of impact I hoped to have would only be possible through innovation and entrepreneurialism. Read more>>

Esther Hess

My father, Dr. Leon Cytryn, was a world renown child psychiatrist. He is considered by many to be the first to recognize childhood depression. When I finishing graduate school, I went to him for advice about my future career.  Read more>>

Dovid Einstein

I grew up on the west side, and attended orthodox Jewish schools for my whole childhood. At 17, I decided to attend a rabbinical school in Jerusalem. I spent 3 years there, followed by one in Manchester, England. I then received my rabbinic ordination from an academy in Melbourne, Australia. Read more>>

Deborah McMahon

My business began with my License as a Marriage, Family, Child Counselor. I opened my practice in 1981. I then became a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner. Eventually, I also became an Agape Licensed Spiritual Practitioner. Read more>>

J. Edward Goldman, MFT

I was always the odd duck in my family in a small town in the Midwest. Never quite fit in except with other sensitive, intelligent and questioning creatures like myself. My childhood was rough in some ways and gravitated me towards psychology and philosophy and art. Read more>>

Brother JD

I came to Los Angeles back in 1988 to pursue my electric bass playin’, rock star dreams. After touring with a band across the states behind some MTV airplay, I actually lived those young visions I had. After meetin’ my future wife on Venice Beach, our growing family deserved a bit more cash flow than my music income provided. Read more>>

Grigor Georgiev

I have officially started Bestiale in July of 2016, however the idea about it has been in mind ever since 2010 or so. I have a BS in Computer Science and MS in Computer engineering and have been working as a software consultant for 10 years, however I have always been drawn to cars and racing. Read more>>

Kara Jensen

I founded Bop Design ins 2008 with my husband, Jeremy Durant. My background is in marketing and graphic design and Jeremy’s is sales and marketing. We were tired of our careers being controlled by the companies we worked for and decided to start our own business. Read more>>

Karl Niehaus

My father was a developer in South Africa, so I grew up surrounded by the real estate business and was always fascinated by real estate. In 2003 after graduating from Pepperdine University, I started in commercial real estate by working as a broker with Marcus & Millichap. Read more>>

Michael Naughton

“Rock Star” is becoming a cliché these days in the business world… an employee aces a presentation, makes a sale or wins business and suddenly they are a “Rock Star.” But I consider myself the real deal, and that is what brought me out to Hollywood during the grunge era in the early 90s. Read more>>

Carrie Keller

I came into the world with a high level of sensitivity. Many of my earlier years were focused on learning to be okay in the world. I always felt a bit alien, different. I come from a large family – I am one of five children. My parents have always been a great inspiration to me. Read more>>

Mandy Fard

I started in career-related fields in the early 80’s… A couple of years after graduating college, I wasn’t happy with my job. I went to an employment agency to find a better opportunity. The owners of the employment agency extended a job offer to me to join them and to work as a Recruiter at that same agency. Read more>>

Lawrence Shapiro

I have been involved in photography for 50 years, started out doing anything and everything, also taught photography on the HS level, adult school level, college level and art school. Over the last 17 years I have concentrated on documentary work, doing almost all of my work in Cuba featuring Afro-Cuban Folkloric dance and music. Read more>>

Rohan Ra’Jah

I started my journey in yoga 14 years ago, which lead me experience a higher state of consciousness. I studied with the mystic yogis in India that took me to inner levels of self-awareness. Read more>>

Harel Papikian

My story began quite early. I was one of those kids that pretty much knew what they are going to be when they grow up. My passion has always been figuring out the internal workings of our Mind, as well as the nature of our Universe. It sounds quite grand, but somehow, I had this gut feeling that the two are interconnected, and through the understanding of human psyche I will get a glimpse into the workings of the Universe. Read more>>

Jenny Lorant Grouf

I began reading about alternative healing modalities in my teens and was immediately overtaken with fascination. The interconnection between mind, body and spirit spoke to me on a deep knowing level in such a way that I could not read enough. This still holds true almost 30 years later. Read more>>

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