Rowena Ake, a businesswoman and longtime resident of both Westchester and Playa del Rey, was one of the honorees at the state Senate 25th District’s Women of Distinction Recognition Luncheon March 4 at the Palos Verdes Golf Club.
Ake, the president of the Flight Path Learning Center and Museum at Los Angeles International Airport, was nominated by the city of Los Angeles for her longtime volunteerism to the community.
“Rowena is a remarkable woman. Everybody in the community knows and loves her,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, whose 11th District includes Westchester. “She has served my district in so many ways, and is just a sweet woman. Her devotion to her family and to the public serves as a model for us all.”
She was among the 24 women of distinction who were honored at the luncheon by state Sen. Roderick Wright of the 25th District. Wright said that each woman honored has contributed to her community in significant ways and has been chosen based on her continued service. He noted that the ceremony is offered as an acknowledgement of their individual dedication and commitment.
“This was a wonderful honor,” Ake said. “I’ve enjoyed all my years that I’ve volunteered and now this is a very special thank you.”
In addition to her role at the Flight Path Learning Center and Museum at LAX, Ake serves on the executive board of the AERO Club of Southern California.
She has been a local businesswoman for five decades, having owned several businesses in Westchester since 1954, such as several dry cleaning and laundry establishments, and Rowena Ake Properties. The longtime resident has been a real estate broker since 1978, and is now retired.
Ake said her passion for volunteerism started after a life-changing event in her early 30s – the death of her husband due to cancer. She used this personal life experience as motivation to help raise money for the American Cancer Society.
Her drive and dedication toward helping others led to other opportunities, she said. Ake became the first female president of what is now the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce in 1975, the first female member of the Westchester Rotary Club in 1987, and the first female president of that club in 1995.
She also served as president of the Daniel Freeman Hospital Advisory Board, and has participated on behalf of the Westchester YMCA and Explorer Scouts Executive Board.
In addition, Ake is a member of the Westchester Woman’s Club and has been a mayoral-appointed board member of the Westchester Vitalization Corporation since 1985.