At its annual City of Angels Awards, the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce will honor baseball icon Tommy Lasorda, Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks and his wife Bobbie, and Panda Restaurant Group, the county’s largest woman-owned business.
The event will be held on Wednesday, January 30th, at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel, 5855 W. Century Blvd. in Westchester, and will begin with cocktails at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m.
Also, for an additional charge, attendees can join a VIP reception that includes hosted cocktails and appetizers with the honorees beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Seats are $125 per person for the dinner, or $250 for the dinner and tickets to the VIP reception. A variety of sponsorship packages are also available by calling the chamber at (310) 645-5151.
“This is our opportunity to recognize those individuals throughout Los Angeles who have made a meaningful and positive impact on our city,” said chamber president and chief executive officer Christina Davis. “We have an outstanding line-up of honorees who have, each in their own way, made their mark on Los Angeles, and we are excited to honor them.”
In addition to these honorees, the chamber will honor a local leader with the annual Howard Drollinger Achievement Award, recognizing an individual or company that has made a significant contribution to improving the Westchester community.
That honoree will be selected by the chamber and the Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation and will be presented with $5,000 from the foundation that can be given to the nonprofit charity of the honoree’s choosing.
“We thank the Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation for making such a meaningful commitment,” said Davis, who added that the chamber has already received a number of nominations for the award and will announce the winner before the dinner.
Lasorda, regarded by many as baseball’s most popular ambassador, begins his 58th season in the Dodger organization and his second as special advisor to the chairman. He was named vice president in 1996 after retiring as manager, a position he held for the previous 20 seasons.
His current responsibilities include scouting, evaluating and teaching minor league players, acting as an advisor and ambassador for the Dodgers’ international affiliations, and representing the franchise at more than 100 speaking engagements and appearances before various charities, private groups and military personnel each year.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of Lasorda’s induction into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
Bernard C. Parks is serving his second term as councilmember for the Los Angeles City Council Eighth District, one of the most densely populated areas in South Los Angeles, where Parks represents over 250,000 people.
During his first year in office he was appointed chair of the City Council Budget and Finance Committee and he is now president of the Coliseum Commission. He also sits on the Public Safety Committee, where he says he is committed to improving community safety for his constituents in South Los Angeles.
It is Parks’ belief that public safety involves preventing, reducing or containing the social and environmental factors that negatively impact people’s right to live without fear of crime.
Before being elected to the Los Angeles City Council, Parks spent 38 years as a police officer. Beginning his career with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) at a time when patrol cars had just recently been racially integrated, he rose through the ranks of one of the nation’s largest municipal law enforcement agencies to become chief of police in 1997.
Bobbie Parks’ past work experience includes positions with Continental Airlines, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and KTLA-TV Channel 5. She is the former vice president of public relations for California Litho Arts, a female-owned commercial printing firm in downtown Los Angeles that has been in operation for 59 years.
She is well known throughout the community for her valuable and tireless volunteer efforts. Her charitable work has become her passion, as she is committed to giving back to the community through philanthropic work.
In August 1998, along with then-Chief Bernard Parks, she founded The Los Angeles Police Foundation, an organization developed to provide specialized training, education and equipment to LAPD employees. She is also an avid supporter of organizations promoting nonviolence, such as Justice for Murdered Children, Save Our Children, and Women Against Gun Violence.
Founded by Peggy and Andrew Cherng, Panda Restaurant Group’s mission is to deliver exceptional Asian dining experiences by building an organization where people are inspired to better their lives. The company is considered to be the largest woman-owned business in L.A. County for the second consecutive year and one of the fastest-growing restaurant chains, leading the Asian category by executing a mission-focused strategy of personal growth and company-owned development.
Panda will open more than 350 new company-owned Panda Express restaurants in the next two years. Currently, the company employs more than 17,000 people and operates more than 1,000 Panda Express restaurants, six Panda Inn full-service restaurants and 26 Hibachi-San Japanese grill restaurants.
Despite spending just one percent of sales on marketing, Panda has achieved 11 consecutive years of same store-sales growth.
For information or to purchase tickets for the City of Angels Awards, call (310) 645-5151.