Outgoing Westchester/LAX-Marina del Rey Chamber of Commerce president Cedric Sutherland rolled on like Johnny Carson. Longtime community resident Morrey Plotkin won the Fritz B. Burns Award.
And Playa Vista President Steve Soboroff made four local organizations doubly happy when he volunteered to match the contributions made in Plotkin’s name by the Burns Foundation.
All told, it was a pretty spectacular evening as members and guests of the Westchester/LAX-Marina del Rey Chamber of Commerce saluted Sutherland and welcomed new president Steve Donell, who will guide the organization through June 30th next year.
The event, which began with wine-tasting and wrapped up with Donell taking over the reins of the chamber, was held Friday, June 16th, at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel.
More than 250 attendees watched as Sutherland presented awards to chamber members who made significant contributions during the 2005-2006 chamber year.
Honorees at the evening’s event included:
– Outstanding Member — Mike Arias from Arias, Ozzello & Gignac, LLC;
– Outstanding Merchant — Howard Pollack from Rainbow Acres;
– Outstanding Event — Protectors Breakfast chair Gwen Vuchsas from Seco Investigative & Security Services;
– Outstanding Service Award — Grant Coonley from Los Angeles Airport Hilton Hotel;
– Public Service Award — Trevor Daley from U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Office;
– Rising Star Award — Christina Neiwirth from Arbonne International;
– Helmsman Leadership Award — Greg Wenger from Greg Wenger Photography;
– Jim Bunch Spirit Award — Sibyl Buchanan from Playa Vista;
– Hugo A. Francis Volunteer of the Year — Judy Delavigne from Loyola Marymount University;
– Pierre Basbous Honorary Mayors Award — Laurie Hughes from Gateway to L.A.; and
– President’s Award — David Voss from Voss & Associates.
The evening also included the announcement of Morrey Plotkin as the 14th recipient of the Fritz B. Burns Outstanding Leadership and Community Service Award.
Plotkin, who has spent a lifetime making a positive impact on the community, has been involved in everything from the Westchester Family YMCA to the Chamber of Commerce to the Computer Access Center.
He is known as the “Father of Flight Path,” as it was his vision to create a place to honor aviation pioneers and educate and support young people who hoped to make a career in the fields of aviation and aerospace.
The award brings with it a $5,000 contribution in Plotkin’s name to the nonprofit organizations of his choice.
Plotkin elected to divide the funds equally among the Computer Access Center, the Westchester Family YMCA, Flight Path Learning Center of Southern California, and the Jim Bunch Memorial Fund.
Those groups were twice as excited about the donation when Playa Vista President Steve Soboroff, who served as the installing officer for the new executive committee board of directors, announced that Playa Vista would match the funds dollar-for-dollar.
The 2006-2007 Westchester/ LAX-Marina del Rey Chamber of Commerce executive committee members are:
– President — Steve Donell from Jalmar Properties;
– President-Elect — John Theuer from Panda Express Restaurant Group;
– Immediate Past President — Cedric Sutherland from CORT Business Services;
– Secretary — Tamara Rosenberg from Arden Realty, Inc.;
– Treasurer — David Voss from Voss & Associates;
– Vice President Governmental Advocacy — Tom Flintoft from GCC Rose & Kindel;
– Vice President Membership — Sibyl Buchanan from Playa Vista;
– Vice President Special Events — Gwen Vuchsas from Seco Investigative & Security Services; and
– Vice President At-Large — Cozette Vergari from Vergari & Associates.
Also installed was the incoming board of directors:
– Robert Barrett from Otis College of Art & Design;
– Diane Barretti from Sievers Burnett Press;
– Jim Burns from Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel;
– Judy Delavigne from Loyola Marymount University;
– Jim Ferro from Peckar & Abramson, P.C.;
– Margie Hanson from Today’s Way;
– Terry Issac from Decron Properties Seymour Kahn;
– Susan Keenberg from Susan Keenberg Attorney at Law;
– Cody Koopman from H.B. Drollinger Co.;
– Richard Moon from Richard Moon & Associates;
– Patricia Morrison Lyon from Pawz The Wild $ Store;
– Geoff Maleman from Maleman Ink Public Relations;
– Paul Maynard from Wells Fargo Bank;
– Christina Neiwirth from Arbonne International;
– Tony Palermo from Tony P’s Dockside Grill;
– Larry Plotkin from LMP Consulting Group, Inc.;
– Howard Pollack from Rainbow Acres Natural Foods;
– Wayne Slappy from First Federal Bank;
– Lisa Wellik from Los Angeles World Airports; and
– Greg Wenger from Greg Wenger Photography.
Appointed as this year’s Honorary Mayor by incoming President Steve Donell was Patricia Morrison Lyon.
Lyon has been a Westchester business owner for more than 15 years and has been a longtime resident in the community.
A member of the Playa Sunrise Rotary Club and the Community Service Board, Lyon is also the elected income property representative and secretary for the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa del Rey.
She also serves on the board of directors for the Westchester/ Playa del Rey Historical Society and will serve as the Chamber’s Education Committee chairperson.
In her duty as Honorary Mayor, Lyon will serve as a goodwill ambassador for the chamber.
SAME SOUND, NEW SPOT — Soundsations co-owners Pete Grasso and Lee Wilson have moved their record store to 8701 La Tijera Blvd. in Westchester, two blocks from the Sepulveda location where the local favorite had been for the past several decades.
A grand opening ceremony is scheduled at the charming new corner location at 5 p.m., Friday, June 23rd. The event is free and the public is invited.
Grasso and Wilson have been friends since grade school. Both had jobs in a number of different record stores while working on their college degrees and always dreamed of opening their own store — a dream that became a reality with Soundsations almost 17 years ago.
The two have been happily doing business there ever since.
“My mom and dad love to tell this story about how, when I was three or four years old, I would grab dinner plates from out of the lower kitchen cupboards, spin them around in my hands and sing songs along with them as if I was some sort of human record player or something,” said Wilson. “Pretty weird.
“And I’m still not sure that I completely buy the story, but you look at something like that and kind of think, ‘Hey, maybe it was meant to be.'”
Soundsations, named friendliest record store by L.A. Weekly in 2000, offers just about everything a music lover could want — from CDs to rare vinyl.