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Bringing Laughter to the South Bay

Shima 0 comments 15.02.2016


Every Monday, I will share a resident of the South Bay contributing to making our community a better place. Today’s MCM title belongs to Todd Doram, who is a freelance television producer by day and comic by night, all while mentoring fatherless children and officiating weddings on his free time.

Todd, 34, was born in Torrance and grew up in Redondo Beach. Growing up, Todd knew he always had a desire to make an impact to a wide audience through media. In result, he majored in Communications and Mass Media while in college. For the past six years, Todd and his friends have been creating TV show concepts and pitching them to networks.

Three years ago, Todd was offered a producing role with Glassman Media and has worked with several production companies since. “The thing I enjoy the most is having an idea that starts in our head and eventually makes it on television,” he says.


Today, Todd is a freelance Television Producer for unscripted TV. His role entails casting, pre-production, acquiring permits, preparing storyline and ensuring the show is as entertaining as it can possibly be!

Just a few months ago, two friends and Todd sold their first show to Animal Planet called “Going Native.” Although they only aired one episode, Todd says, “It was a blast making it all happen.”  Together, they create a storyline and entertainment by having the right cast first, and then put them in scenarios where their personalities can shine.

Throughout the years, Todd has been mentored by numerous coaches and trainers who he claims helped him “to be a stand out college football player.” In return, he chose to Pay-It-Forward by coaching/mentoring young athletes or children in fatherless homes or in foster care.

 Every second Saturday, he mentors four young men in the LA Foster Care system through Royal Family Kids which is a worldwide organization. “We start the day with breakfast, then head to our formal “club” activities at church, then go and find something adventurous throughout Los Angeles to do, something they’ve never done before. It’s important for me because looking after fatherless children is one of the most fundamental things Jesus asked of his followers, but even better than that, it’s really a lot of fun and so rewarding,” he says.


When Todd is not producing television or mentoring young children, he is a stand-up comic at Comedy Clubs, Corporate Events, or even at his Church. He has found that the best part of performing comedy is creating entertainment. “Standup comedy is a huge passion of mine, it’s an incredibly unique challenge and distinct art form. To make perfect strangers laugh is incredible,” he says.

Todd believes that everyone always has some sort of challenge or problem in their lives at any given day.  “The way I see it is we all have some huge challenge or problem in our lives at any given day- cancer, dog died, lost a job, brother drank the last of the milk when you wanted Cinnamon Toast Crunch is really bad, so to get in a room and laugh for a few hours is just wonderful,” he says. He doesn’t know if he wants to make it a career, but it’s something he always wants to do.


Comedy in Los Angeles has the highest concentration of amazing comedians in the whole world. On any given night, you can enjoy a free show, and comedians are thankful for audience members. “Without an audience, we are nothing! So come laugh at us, not with us, I’m talkin’ right in your face,” he says.

One unexpected development in Todd’s life is being an Officiant of seven different weddings, with two more scheduled in 2016. “Years ago, one of my best friends since preschool, Randy Evans and his then fiance, Lisset, asked if I would perform their wedding,” he says.  Because he takes public speaking, entertainment, and the sanctity of marriage very seriously, he said yes. “I think what happened after that is people saw a bunch of Facebook photos from the wedding and more invitations kept coming. Every ceremony is fully customized and is as unique as the love story of the couple. It’s a huge honor and I am very humbled each time I get to do it,” he says.


It is clear that Todd’s humor is contagious on and off the stage, joking that when he is not working, he likes to “dominate burritos, emotionally & physically, so much so they advise their immediate family members of the dangers lurking in the dining hall.” He also enjoys a good Tom Hanks marathon on TNT, and out of respect for Tom Hanks, he watches it live, commercials and all.


He is also an active member at his church in Torrance. “I was invited to King’s Harbor Church around 2009 and have been a member ever since. They are a body of people focused on serving God’s purpose in the community and I am grateful to be a part of the mission,” he says.

Todd enjoys living in the South Bay mostly for its proximity to what he identifies as “World Class everything.” However, he values that it doesn’t feel “touristy”

Thank you, Todd,  for being a wonderful contribution to the South Bay community!


“One final thing you should know about me, is that I think YOU should appreciate the musical stylings of Phil Collins more than you currently do. Even if you’re at 100% appreciation, dig deeper. I believe you can do it.”

– Todd Doram`

 You can keep track of Todd’s shows and where he performs on his Twitter @todddoram.

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Giving hope with Jewels

Shima 0 comments 10.02.2016


Every Wednesday, I will share a resident of the South Bay contributing to making our community a better place.

Today’s ‪#WCW title belongs to Bonnie Orona who uses her jewelry business to spread awareness and raise money to rescue and aid young children who are facing human trafficking.

Bonnie Orona, grew up in the South Bay and lived in Torrance all of her childhood life. She later graduated from South High and currently lives in Harbor City. Today, Bonnie is a personal stylist and leader for ViVi formerly Cookie Lee Jewelry.

Her duties include selling fashion jewelry, sunglasses, and scarves as well as building a team. “But my biggest passion is fundraising throughout the community and globally. I have a huge heart to give,” she says. A huge heart indeed, as she likes to help many organizations.

Bonnie uses her ViVI business as a way to help different causes. “I set up my jewelry at events or do catalog fundraisers,” she says. At the end of the event, she donates 50% of her sales to the cause. She has found that this is the best way that she can help a cause.

For over three years, Bonnie had a dream to pay for a house to be built on the Thailand/Burma border by Life Impact International. She says her friend has missionaries in Thailand and has been there for over 14 years rescuing kids that are being human trafficked. “I’ve helped on a smaller monetary scale, but when I heard about this land they purchased and how they wanted to build 17 houses…light bulbs went off,” she says.

She knew she had to be a part of building one of the homes. In result, she pasted a picture of the kids and their needs on her vision board. Today, there are only 3 houses left to build. With the help of Bonnie raising money towards these homes, 14 homes have been built.


Once the money is raised, they will be able to build a house where the children can live and know what it is like to live in a more traditional smaller scale family home. “When all of this started, the kids would be rescued and then they would all live in one massive house. Tons of people in one home…like an orphanage. Lana’s vision was for the kids to live more as a family,” she says. 

She was inspired to help largely in part to her friend, Lana Vasquez. “It’s crazy to think a gal from the valley of Southern California would give up everything and sacrifice her life to be over there in Thailand, Burma, and China rescuing kids from a life of prostitution and slavery,” she says. She realized she was living a comfortable life with her husband, kids, pool, and beaches. Yet, there are kids afraid for their lives and a young brave woman over there risking it all…giving kids a hope and a dream.

She ultimately decided that if she can be connected to something like that, then she would feel like she has received the ultimate gift. She thought if she can sow into those kids lives, then she can help them to bloom into something pretty amazing. Such as, helping them heal from a scary life.

There are two ways others can help the cause:

They can shop for some jewelry and 50% of their total purchase price will be donated to Life Impact International. Her website is www.bevivi.com/bonnieorona.

They can make a tax deductible check out to Life Impact International and drop it in the mail to:

Bonnie Orona: 26315 President Avenue, Harbor City, Ca 90710.

Bonnie explains that the goal is to raise $21,000 by the last day of February. As of this morning, they’ve raised $800.00.

Bonnie would like people to know that Child Trafficking is not just happening on the other side of the world. She says, “It is happening right here in our own backyard. Kids as well as adults are being purchased for sex acts as well as slavery. It is so sad and disgusting.”

She is often asked why she is helping children overseas and not here in the United States. She says, “Why not raise $21,000 for children locally? Honestly, I do help children locally. Anytime I can help a child here…I will. But there is just something inside of me that has been telling me to be a part of this.”

She follows what she calls “a small voice.” She is open to see who she can help by following the voice she hears. “For me, that still small voice is God. And I desire to please Him. Today I believe a community will come together for a group of children on the other side of the country and God will honor us for that. A bigger blessing will come for some kids or even for someone here in our town that decided to sow into this movement,” she says.

When she is not working or finding ways to raise money for the children, she is a huge supporter for Community’s Child- a nonprofit organization in Lomita that houses women and their children as well as feeds 1000’s of children every week in the Lomita, Harbor City, and Torrance area. In addition, Bonnie is a member of The Harbor City, Lomita Kiwanis an organization that supports the kids in the community as well as globally.


Her duties include reading and fundraising for the kids at Lomita Magnet. She says, “I help anyone that I find needs help and wants my help and honestly anytime I hear someone needs to raise money, I offer to help.” In addition, she is involved with a group of women via Social Media called The Company of Women.

She says that they are a group of women that promote Faith in the field. The “field” could be their home, community, or market place. She has found that the Company of Women has helped her to have the faith and courage to raise this $21,000.00. 

Bonnie loves the South Bay mostly for its beaches. “I love beaches so much! I could stay near the coast all day long,” she says. She makes a constant effort to live each day full of Joy and says in the midst of chaos, she chooses joy.

Bonnie, thank you for being a wonderful member of the South Bay community and giving young children hope again through jewels!


“Something has always drawn me into the inner city of the South Bay. I have a huge heart for the homeless community and those that are down and out. Honestly, I just want to make a difference in the community and globally.”

– Bonnie Orona

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Don’t get it TWISTED

Shima 0 comments 09.02.2016


Does real estate confuse you? The terms, the process, the numbers?

Well, don’t get it twisted…

I want to take away the confusion a bit and help you better understand some of the frequently used real estate terms and their meanings.

Appraisal: an estimate of the value of property resulting from an analysis of facts about the property. An opinion of value.

As-Is: means that the seller is offering the home in its current condition and has generally stated that any defects known or unknown to them will not be fixed as a condition of the sale.

Backup Offer: The term backup offer refers to an offer submitted by a potential home buyer to a seller with the understanding that the seller has already accepted an offer from someone else. If the first offer doesn’t go forward for some reason, then the backup offer would be considered. If a home is especially desirable it may be that there is more than one backup offer from buyers interested in the home.

Buyer’s market: There are many sellers and few buyers, so sellers must compete for the available buyers, which usually means lowering the prices.

Closing Costs: In addition to your down payment there are a number of other costs associated with the purchase of and transfer of ownership of a property.

Deed: document that transfers title to real property.


Down Payment: The down payment is the money that you will put down from your savings or other sources towards the purchase of your new home. Minimum down payment requirements are different from lender to lender so you will want to research the options that best meet your needs and resources.

Earnest Money: A sum of money given by the buyer, and held in a trust account by the broker, as a good faith commitment to honor the contract to purchase the home. At the time of closing this money will be credited towards your down payment and other closing costs.

Foreclosure: A situation in which a homeowner is unable to make full principal and interest payments on his/her mortgage, which allows the lender to seize the property, evict the homeowner and sell the home, as stipulated in the mortgage contract.

Fixture: anything permanently attached to the land.

Mortgage: a loan to finance the purchase of your home.

Offer: Offer refers to the amount that the interested home buyer “offers” to the seller for the purchase of a property offered for sale. The offer will be written up and formally by your licensee/broker and presented to the seller’s licensee/broker for consideration.

Prequalified: Before you begin your home search in earnest you will want to meet with a lender(s) and get “prequalified” What this means is that your lender will have you fill out an application and then assess your income, credit score, and other financial information and advise you on how much of a mortgage you will be able to obtain from the bank and thus how much you will be able to pay for a home..

Seller’s market: buyers must compete among themselves for properties.

Title: Title refers to the right to ownership of a piece of property.

Townhouse: One of a row of houses usually of the same or similar design with common side walls or with a very narrow space between adjacent side walls.

Will: A written, legal declaration of a person expressing his or her desires for the disposition of that person’s property after his or her death.

Don’t see a term on here that you would like a better understanding of?  Send me a message & I will gladly give you a greater understanding.

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Raising High

Shima 0 comments 08.02.2016


Every Monday, I will share a resident of the South Bay contributing to making our community a better place. Today’s #MCM title belongs to Aaron Ware who is bringing his discipline and success as an athlete into the workforce all while inspiring kids from the inner city to stick to education.

Aaron Ware, 26, was born in Gardena and raised in Los Angeles. Upon graduating from Bishop Montgomery in 2008, Aaron attended George Washington University on a basketball scholarship from 2008-2012. He chose GW amongst the others because it was the most well-known basketball school and first school that recruited him.

Although initially apprehensive about leaving L.A. to attend college, Aaron’s mother always encouraged him to spend time in another city as well as meet new people. GW began recruiting Aaron in July of 2007 and they stuck with him until he signed his letter of intent to attend the university.  “I attended GWU because it was an opportunity for me to attend college in the nation’s capital, as well as grow as a young adult,” he says.

Playing basketball has given Aaron many opportunities that he says he would have never fathomed. “Traveling around the country, staying in 5-star hotels and getting television exposure is something not too many people that come from my neighborhood get to experience,” he says. Furthermore, he was able to learn the business side of college basketball such as, coaching staff changes, early morning film sessions/practices while balancing it with schoolwork allowed him to prepare for life after basketball, in the workforce.


Going to school in Washington, DC gave Aaron many memorable experiences that he will never forget, such as: taking a white house tour, attending President Obama’s inauguration in January 2009, GW basketball’s marketing campaign and an opportunity to play a basketball game in front of the First Family.

Today, Aaron works as an Order Management Specialist, in which he places orders for K-Swiss Sales Representatives from around the country.  However, in five years, he hopes to be the Sales Representative for the brand for the Southern California and Arizona area.

Aaron’s passion for shoes led him to K-Swiss when his mom’s best friend, John Porter, saw an opportunity for him to have a career in a business he was knowledgeable in. According to Aaron, Porter has been a sales rep for K-Swiss for over 20 years and is responsible for the Southern California and Arizona territory. He finds that the best part of his job is seeing how each department operates, between operations, product, sales & marketing, etc.

K-Swiss has been in existence since 1996 and is best known for producing tennis shoes and a wide range of apparel including shirts, shorts, and bags. Working at K-Swiss and understanding their “Assembly Line” has helped Aaron realize that when everyone commits time to their assignments, the brand will be successful. Aaron believes that what makes K-Swiss so uniqu

e is that it has remained true to court fitness and style, and will continue to influence young consumers with trends for many years to come.


Transitioning from the sports world into the shoe industry is right up Aaron’s alley, since he knows trends and styles that people love on the west coast. “K-Swiss is a brand that was very popular among our parent’s generation. However, the goal within the next 3-5 years is to sell shoes and apparel that resonate more so with people 13-35 years old,” he says.

Aaron’s plan to do so by being a “walking billboard.” He says that people he is around often are always curious as to what shoes he is wearing. He explains that once they realize he is wearing K-Swiss, they are shocked because the shoes are typically known to be basic, all white and black shoes.

Today, Aaron enjoys playing basketball sparingly, sometimes 3-4 times a month. “I have a few friends that play professionally so when they come home in the summer, I play with them on weekends,” he says. However, he remains very active participating in cardio 4-5 times/week.

Aaron pays it forward to his community by speaking to young boys and girls, especially those who come from the inner city. When given the opportunity, Aaron speaks at basketball camps to children aged 7-12 about the game of basketball, but more importantly, life lessons.


When Aaron is not playing basketball or working, he enjoys watching sports and attending games, mainly basketball, baseball and football. He genuinely loves music of all genres, but mainly listens to hip-hop, R&B and Pop. An interesting fact about Aaron is that he owns over 70 pairs of shoes. He still owns some of his shoes from when he was just two-years-old and still wears shoes from over 10+ years ago.

Aaron looks up to his mother, Shirley Warren and her best friend/his Godfather, John Porter who are both of his greatest mentors.  In addition, he admires Doug Mitchell, his high school basketball coach at Bishop Montgomery in Torrance.

Aaron enjoys living in the South Bay mostly for the beach culture, restaurants, beaches, and bars/lounges which he says make it very hip and one of the most underrated areas in the city. He also enjoys going to restaurants around the L.A. area and claims himself to be a huge “foodie.” In addition, he enjoys shopping time to time in the Beverly/Fairfax area of L.A.

Thank you, Aaron, for being a wonderful member of the South Bay community and finding ways to inspire the youth to reach their academic and sport goals.


 “I believe I can inspire young people to achieve their goals and encourage them that school is very important. I have been very fortunate thus far with some of my experiences, and I think if I can share my story with the youth, they can visualize themselves becoming successful.”

Aaron Ware

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The Broad Museum

Shima 0 comments 03.02.2016


When my client said he wanted over-sized chairs for his dining table, I didn’t think he had this in mind. So, for today’s Tourist in your own city, I thought I would share with you L.A.’s latest hype, The Broad.

The often sold-out museum has guest visiting who’ve reserved tickets at least three months in advance!

The Broad is a new contemporary art museum which opened in September of 2015 and was founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad and located on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. According to the museum’s website, it is “home to the 2,000 works of art in the Broad collection, which is among the most prominent holdings of postwar and contemporary art worldwide.”

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The collection of contemporary art at the museum is from the 1950s to present day from the works by more than 200 artists. The museum was created in hopes of “advancing education and engagement through exhibitions and diverse public programming, the museum enriches, provokes, inspires, and fosters appreciation of art of our time.” In result, admission to the museum is free for all!

As an individual who is not very artsy and does not know much about artist and their history, I found myself enlightened to see different kinds of art brought to life in the museum. The art pieces range from paintings to photos to sculptures.

I admire the fact that the museum is large enough where you feel free to roam around. Staff is very friendly and kindly offer to take photos of you next to the art pieces. My favorite piece was by Robert Therrien and was called Under The Table, 1994- which is the large table and chairs. It felt very Alice in the Wonderland.


I also was in awe of the building itself. The Broad was designed to symbolize “the veil and the vault.” When visiting the museum, one will tunnel through the vault- which is a 105-foot escalator taking one straight to the third-floor. In addition, one can take the cylindrical glass elevator that was specifically designed to take one of the art pieces directly to the third floor during creation of the museum.


There are central stairs that wind through the vault, which provides visitors glimpse into the collection storage. The vault was created with 36 million pounds of concreate alone!

Eli and Edye Broad have been creating their collection of postwar and contemporary art for the last five decades. The building of the museum was designed by world-renowned architectural firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, created a “veil-and-vault” concept.


The collection at The Broad continues to grow as one piece of work is added weekly.

Visitors of The Broad are welcome to take photos for personal use, however, are asked to refrain from using flash, tripods or selfie sticks. During your visit, you can download The Broad’s free app to follow a self-guided audio tour.

Visitors may visit The Shop at the museum located in the lobby which features limited-edition prints, books, memorabilia, and gifts. No food or drinks are allowed inside the museum, however, visitors may enter/exit at any time.

General admission to The Broad is free. However, advance online reservations are highly recommended and available online.


Hours of The Broad:

Monday  |  Closed

Tuesday and Wednesday  |  11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Thursday and Friday  |  11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Saturday  |  10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Sunday  |  10 a.m. – 6 p.m.


Information in creation of this blog was supported by the brochure of The Broad museum which can be picked up during your visit.

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Not Just a Temporary Fix

Shima 0 comments 03.02.2016


Every Wednesday, I will share a resident of the South Bay contributing to making our community a better place. Today’s ‪#WCW title belongs to South Bay resident, Nelita Villezon, who is changing the lives of many through her love of fitness.

Nelita,29, was born in North Carolina and raised in Los Angeles since she was one. Growing up, she was surrounded by all aspects of fitness as her parents owned several martial arts/fitness facilities. “I have always trained in many styles of martial arts and dance,” she says.

Nelita grew an immense passion for fitness and owes it to her parents. She says when growing up, it was rare to see people do the things her family did. However, today, she has found that just about everyone is in some way a fitness enthusiast. “They instilled it in me from a young age that fitness is a lifestyle and not just a temporary fix. I grew to love it and it will always be a part of me,” she says.


Today, Nelita remains very active and trains clients at several places. She explains that because she works out daily, she does not stick to one specific gym. Instead, she visits several gyms and occasionally implements outdoor workouts.

Despite working out daily, she finds new ways to mix her workouts up. She lifts daily and also trains in martial arts, takes dance classes, yoga classes, and more.  “It really depends on how I feel on a given day. Every day is different,” she says.


Nelita’s coaching schedule depends on a person’s specific needs or desires. “Some people like to work out for a specific goal. Others want to acquire specific skills. Then there are some that just want to work out for the fun of it,” she says. Based upon that, she is able to create a plan unique for that individual.

In the next five years, she would like to make a larger footprint as a global brand. I would like to travel and share my knowledge with fitness and overall wellness. She has come to realize that more than ever people are becoming more aware of health and fitness. “I would hope that this continues to flourish. It’s a beautiful thing to see,” she says.

When Nelita is not changing the lives of her clients and working out, she likes to pay it forward through charity, donations, etc. Her friends and her often offer free classes in their communities as well as donate their time to various charitable/fundraising events. “I personally have a charitable organization called The Rooftop Project that benefits impoverished families in the Philippines. That is close to my heart because my family is from there,” she says.


Nelita’s greatest passion outside of working out and fitness her passion for people. She seeks to connect with others not only through fitness, but through life. “I think it is important to connect and share with others on any level. That is the only way to grow, understand, and really appreciate this life,” she says.

Nelita enjoys living in the South Bay most because she identifies herself as a “beach girl.” She genuinely believes that the South Bay has many beaches to offer. “It is a completely different vibe than living in greater Los Angeles,” she says.

Thank you, Nelita for being a wonderful asset to the South Bay community and bringing your passion for fitness and people together.

To schedule a workout with Nelita, please email her directly at: nelita@viebrantathletics.com. If you are not located near her, she is also creating online workouts that you can purchase on her site at www.viebrantathletics.com


My biggest hope is that we become more aware of the nutrition that we give ourselves. I believe that is still a huge issue to overcome. Lastly, I hope we become a generation of change and givers. The world needs that so badly right now.”

– Nelita Villezon

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Working Hard to Stay in The Room

Shima 0 comments 01.02.2016


Every Monday, I will share a resident of the South Bay contributing to making our community a better place. Today’s MCM title belongs to Sean Boling, who has turned his love for football into a career at the NFL Network with hopes of only working harder than he did the day before.

Sean, 26, was born in Torrance, CA and raised in the South Bay. Upon graduating from South High School in 2007, he went to El Camino College and then transferred to U.C. San Diego soon after.

Today, Sean is a Production Assistant at NFL Network. Sean’s primary roles include graphics in which he writes, produces and operates the side ticker on live shows. In addition, he works on highlights where he assists the highlight producer and editor in producing a highlight. “I mark shots throughout the game and keep track of the entire game and press conferences,” he says.

A typical day for Sean depends on what he is assigned. “If I’m doing graphics, I will check which shows I’m assigned and prep for shows. This includes talking to show producers to gauge what they want on the show and how they want it written,” he says.


Sean has found that different producers want different ways of presenting their shows. When breaking news occurs, Sean must make decisions on the fly with everyone else since plans can be discarded at any moment for certain levels of breaking news. “If I’m doing highlights. I will check which game or sometimes games I’m assigned for the day,” he says.

Prior to creating content, Sean will do pre-game research which includes knowing story lines/injuries/producer guidelines. He calls this “purely teamwork.”  The Highlight producer, Editor and Sean all have to be on the same page so that they know what to look for and also communicate if they notice anything that has a potential to contribute to the main story line of a highlight. This could entail an injury, arguments on the field or the sidelines, reoccurring themes or chasing a record.

Sean’s role is to essentially be the constant eyes and ears on the game. “It’s a lot of multitasking for all of us because the highlights are built on the fly and edited ASAP,” he says. Despite the fast pace, Sean finds the most enjoyment out of his job doing highlights.

“The process of creating a highlight is a mix of crazy and fun. Most of all it truly is a team effort building the highlights and I have been fortunate to bond and work some of our most talented producers and editors,” he says. He says his team and him have  handled some of the craziest NFL highlights in the year that would often rattle the inexperienced, but they handled it in full stride.

Sean is most proud when his team’s work gets praised because he says it can be a real challenge. He became employed by the NFL Network with what he calls “a lot of luck and coincidence.” His high school friend works at NFL Network on the PR-side and he had met a producer golfing shortly after graduating. He made his interest known in the field and exchanged contact info and got interviewed and hired that fall after graduating.


“I’d love to say that I worked my ass off and got rewarded for it to pursue this career, but that wouldn’t be the truth. Networking is everything in this field to get your foot in the door, but it’s working hard that keeps you in the room,” he says.  It is evident how much pride and commitment Sean has in being a wonderful contribution to the NFL network. Just last year, Sean worked every holiday including Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

When asked how one can become a member of the NFL Network team, Sean explains that there are intern spots and entry-level positions that are usually in the fall for the season (applications start in the summer). “This line of work has a lot of jumping ship to other companies and ties with each other. Somebody always knows somebody here or there and build the right reputation for yourself there will always be an opportunity opened for you likely,” he says.

He says to also make yourself noticeable and be willing to learn new things and take criticism in stride. However, he says one must have a passion in sports or football to survive because that is what is going to fuel you to grind out the long and hard days you will encounter. “Everyone here has grinded out overnight shifts, super long OT shifts, getting up at all hours of the day for work, working sick etc. Times are different. Jobs are hard to come by and it’s highly competitive especially in this field so networking is the key to success,” he says.


When Sean is not working at the NFL Network, he enjoys watching Kings games and golfing during his off time. He has always been a huge hockey fan and says he loved the Kings through the great times winning the cup to the horrible times when they were a bottom feeder team continually floundering year after year.

Golf is something he picked up as a kid and never let go of. Playing golf is the best getaway for him no matter how good or bad the day is. “I could spend a day on the course just enjoy myself and the sights,” he says.

“If there was one thing I want to point out about NFL Network is the ridiculous amount of talent we have working here. There are a lot of men and women that work hard to create an awesome product day in and day out,” he says.

The NFL also engages and gives back to communities in many ways. “Whether it’s having employees volunteer at the Special Olympics, making a family’s dream come true with player’s events or games, highlighting players’ charitable ventures, holding clothing drives or school drives those are just a few ways our company gives back,” he says.

Thank you, Sean, for being a wonderful member of the South Bay community and inspiring others to pursue their greatest passions.322376_10151027306658423_95322296_o-310x423

“Ultimately, if I didn’t take pride in work I contributed to, I was either not trying or wasting my time. I give myself goals every day to keep myself motivated and enjoy the process of the work I put in. I’ll admit it’s not a flawless process for me, but it keeps me grinding on the road of achieving even greater work.”  -Sean Boling

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Reaching for More Than Just a Symptomatic Rush of Adrenaline

Shima 0 comments 27.01.2016


Every Wednesday, I will share a resident of the South Bay contributing to making our community a better place. Today’s ‪#WCW title belongs to South Bay resident, Danielle Castro, who has become an inspiration for many while encompassing independence, relentlessness, passion, and charisma on her way to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Castro, soon to be 26, grew up in the South Bay her entire life. She moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico where she graduated from The University of New Mexico in 2012, participated as a Division 1 athlete, and received a degree in Interpersonal Communications and a minor in Business Management.

Upon graduating, Castro did not know exactly what career path she wanted to choose. “Like a lot of us Millennials, I come from a super traditional home,” she explains. Her parents have worked for the same company, Raytheon, for over 60 years combined. As a compliment to her parents’ legacy, she agreed to intern for three years.


After three years in finance, when offered a job immediately after graduating, Castro happily declined the position. She chose not to take the job at Raytheon because she knew she could never build something for herself there. She didn’t feel as though she was serving people in a way that would leave a positive impact. “It was an easy way out due to the reputation of my parents and I truly believe I’m meant to build a legacy all on my own,” she says.

After this, she went through several jobs ranging from restaurants, to tool sales, patient care coordination in a medical office, a surf shop, and Equinox. Castro says, “It was plain to see that I lacked vision.”


However, she knew in time, she’d find something that she loved that simultaneously served the greater good. She hopped on Craig’s List and responded to the first ad that was semi-appealing – Behavior Therapist for Children with Autism. She worked with Autism Behavior Consultants for 2 years and left the company to begin working for Tai Lopez in November 2015.

Coming from an abusive background (ex-boyfriend), Castro found it was difficult for her to maintain relationships, build trust with anyone, or even believe in herself. For 10 years, she suffered from low self-esteem, body and appearance issues, and slight depression. As she began working with a small group of entrepreneurs, she also adopted a new way of life by operating out of her comfort zone and speaking on stage. “This allowed me to put all my insecurities on display and by doing so I was open to criticism and became obsessed with Personal Development,” she says.


Today, Castro is an aspiring entrepreneur that encompasses all that it means to have passion. “Just 6 letters cultivated by such POWER and MAGNITUDE. The term, in itself, represents much more than its descriptive purpose,” she says. She believes that passion is not random, rather “our calling, and it is something born with us much like our heart or hands.” Castro has found that passions have become the tool that allows ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

Since beginning her entrepreneur journey at the Knowledge Society, she has served a few different roles in the company in a 2-month time frame. Initially, she began in Customer Support, serving the needs of unsatisfied customers, introducing new customers to the products the company provides, and tapping into sales, which she says was far beyond her skill set, but somehow she has thrived without prior experience.

Soon after, she was transitioned into a Product Management position, where her strengths were stretched and tested beyond imagination. “Given the freedom to design and create, it was empowering to know that I exceeded extremely high expectations through proactive awareness and consistent work ethic,” she says.


Her current role in the company is in the Publishing and Public Relations Department. A publishing editor’s main responsibility is for the style and content of the publication. This means that the role is mostly managerial, especially on social platforms, where she is responsible for the entire content of a publication. The social platforms the company utilizes are Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.

In addition, she creates content and manages Alex Morton’s (young entrepreneur who made $2.5 million before the age of 25) YouTube channel.

{Alex Morton – started in real estate and worked with a relationship marketing company. Now, is an aspiring motivational speaker and self branding expert.}

Castro would like those who are not familiar with Tai Lopez to know that the foundation ofTaiLopez.com focuses on the 4 pillars of life, HEALTH, WEALTH, LOVE, and HAPPINESS. “We significantly impact the masses by providing online education for entrepreneurs (young and older) and consulting for small businesses,” she says.

 It is evident that Castro is extremely passionate about the company she works for including what they do, by serving the greater good with knowledge she promises you’ll never learn in school. “Being surrounded by likeminded individuals every single day is incredibly inspiring. I work with some of the most magnetic, influential people of our time. It’s pure magic,” she says.


In the next five years, she hopes to be able to perpetuate herself to a managerial position, grow her network through Public Relations (celebrities, entrepreneurs, investors, motivational speakers, etc.). In addition, she hopes to open her own PR Firm, start a YouTube channel (AmBITCHous) that focuses on building confidence through humor and empowering women to strengthen their entrepreneurial skills.

Danielle has several mantras that keep her inspired including:

 “It’s amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit” – John Wooden

“Those who believe they can move mountains, do. Those who believe they can’t, cannot. Belief triggers the power to do.” – David J. Schwartz

“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish if you forget the errand.” – Woodrow Wilson

One can get involved with Tai Lopez by contributing to the following:

Subscribe to Tai Lopez’s YouTube channel

Visit Taoilopez.com and sign up for Book of the Day newsletter (emails we write in publishing

Watch and like Tai Lopez’s TedTalk – https://youtu.be/7bB_fVDlvhc

Follow Tai Lopez on all social media platforms

Instagram – TaiLopezOfficial

Snapchat – tailopez1

Facebook – Tai Lopez Official

Twitter – Tai Lopez

Subscribe to AlexMortonMinset YouTube channel

Follow Alex Morton on all social media platforms

Instagram – AlexMortonMindset

Snapchat – AlexMortonYPR

Facebook – AlexMortonMindset

Twitter – AlexMortonMindset


Danielle pays it forward by volunteering, along with her family, for the Relay for Life every year in May as her grandmother is a breast cancer survivor.

Prior to her current position at the Knowledge Society (TaiLopez.com), she was a Behavior Therapist for children with Autism for 2 years. She found that helping those that can help themselves, in retrospect, helped her develop significantly as a human. “We supported each other’s growth on a daily basis,” she says.

When she is not working, she enjoys sports of all kinds including paddle boarding, surfing, hiking, camping, biking, etc. An avid reader, she tries to read a book a week or listens to a personal development audio (at least 15 minutes a day). Her goal for 2016 is to read 100 books by year’s end.


Danielle finds the beauty of growing up in the south bay is that “We are unlike any other community in Los Angeles with a strong sense of core values. It’s home and I can definitely see myself confidently raising a family here.”

Thank you, Danielle, for being an inspiring role model for many who are striving to find their purpose and continuously finding ways to inspire others.


For me, passion is much more than a symptomatic rush of adrenaline. It is an infectious entity exacerbated through our deepest desires, our sense of purpose. Without passion we are left without the dreams, that inspire the goals, that achieve the results, that motivate those around us. I have fully equipped myself to not only bring success to my own life, but also to inspire all that I come into contact with. I am committed to the passion burning inside me to influence and reciprocate a healthy lifestyle by optimizing the 4 pillars of life, Health, Wealth, Love, and Happiness.”

Danielle Castro

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Chasing the light at the end of the tunnel

Shima 0 comments 25.01.2016


Every Monday, I will share a resident of the South Bay contributing to making our community a better place. Today’s MCM title belongs to Nick Ekbatani, who has found a way to bring inspiration to those struggling to find acceptance in loss after losing a part of his leg in an accident in 2012.

Nick, 28, grew up in Torrance, CA. During his youth, Nick didn’t have many friends and was often bullied for being “chubby.” When Nick was 11, his mom decided that she would sign him up for Pop Warner Youth Football in hopes of getting him out of the house and active. Soon after signing up, Nick thought he hated the sport and wanted to quit.

Despite his frustrations with the sport, his mom did not let him quit. “We didn’t have a lot of money, so she wasn’t going to just waste it,” Nick says. In order to get through the season, Nick often cracked jokes about himself and found that laughing at himself helped him surpass the bullying too.

After making a conscious decision to work harder in football, Nick continued to get better and better. By the 8th grade, he was one of the best linemen on his team and by his senior year in high school, Nick had been nominated as an All-CIF football player.

Nick participated in nearly every play of the game and owes a lot of his success to his mom, Tracy Ekbatani. “My mom was at every game and practice. She was the one who’d bring pizza, orange slices, Gatorade,” he says.

After graduating high school, Nick joined LA Harbor college. After one semester, he transferred to UCLA with a full scholarship and graduated with a major in Political Science.


In July of 2012, Nick’s life would be forever changed. He was involved in a catastrophic auto accident in which a van collided with his motorcycle. He woke up in the hospital and was delivered the news that doctors had to amputate his left leg.

Though highly drugged, Nick was able to laugh at himself like he did when he was younger. He explains that he went through several stages of grief, such as denial. However, in hopes of lightening an extremely difficult situation, he cracked jokes and tried to make the best of the situation.

Fortunately for Nick, he had been working out tremendously prior to the event, which ultimately is why he is still alive. Doctors explained to Nick his cardiovascular fitness helped to prevent him from bleeding to death. Despite being healthy, Nick remained in bed for 4 weeks while heavily drugged on painkillers.

Nick recalls the first two years after the accident as very challenging. He often fell in the process of recovering due to his eagerness to improve. Since he was visiting the doctor’s office at least once a week, he even moved to Santa Monica so that he was closer.

Nearly four years and a dozen surgeries later, Nick is still recovering. One of his greatest challenges has been battling a stubborn infection in his femur. He uses a prosthetic leg which he has to carefully clean and take care of, which also can be tiring to wear for a long time as it is tight on his skin. Being the joker that he is, Nick explains that he has benefitted by learning a lot about skin care in result.

When asked how Nick has been able to remain so positive during such a difficult time in his life, he explains that he is always seeking ways to chase the light at the end of the tunnel. “It only gets dark when you stop chasing it,” he says.


The accident has definitely had an impact on how Nick lives his life today. At times, he finds himself reacting overzealously in realizing that life is short. Other times, his fear/anxiety holds him back and scares him. Despite it all, he finds himself to be very grateful and has a changed perspective on life.

Nick genuinely feels blessed to have grown up playing football. He explains that he has become very disciplined due to the sport, which has helped him remain persistent to succeed. He loves football most for the virtues he has gained, relationships and mentors he’s found and how he is able to continuously improve his craft like an artist would.

Today, Nick remains as disciplined as ever. He remains very active, waking up at 4 a.m. to train clients and instruct classes at Orangetheory Fitness in Brentwood and West Hollywood. During times where he finds himself frustrated, he remembers that there are others out there who have it worse and no matter how bad it gets, he feels blessed to be alive.


Nick is currently pursuing his MBA from USC. He genuinely loves technology companies like Apple and athletic apparel brands like Nike and he hopes to establish his own business in the next five years where he can lead a team and inspire others.

When Nick is not studying, working or improving his recovery process, he is visiting patients of the doctors who’ve operated on his leg. It is very easy to see why Nick’s doctors value his presence, as he is able to present a positive, welcoming and high energy to others.

Nick spends time with patients who are in the premature stages of recovery and shows them that despite his loss, he is able to still do a lot for being in the position he is in. Helping new amputees throughout their recovery motivates Nick and gives him a deeper sense of purpose.

Thank you, Nick, for being a wonderful member of the south bay community and an inspiring and positive ray of light for those who still need help finding their way in a dark tunnel.


“Adversity has the way to advance us if we allow it. A setback is really a setup for us to come back.” Nick Ekbatani

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The City with a Hometown Feel

Shima 0 comments 20.01.2016


Every Wednesday, I will share a resident of the South Bay contributing to making our community a better place. Today’s ‪#WCW title belongs to South Bay resident, Kelsie Winders, who is a Human Resources Technician, assuring that all testing procedures are conducted accurately and oversees all potential employees for the City of Torrance.

Kelsie, 26, was born in Torrance and has lived in several cities in the South Bay including Hawthorne and Gardena. Despite having moved several times, she explains that her parents always kept her sister and her in Torrance school to make sure they could maintain their established friendships.

 When Kelsie was 15, she started working part-time for the City of Torrance.  She began in the Youth Sports program; and over time, was able to take on greater responsibility to where she was eventually working directly with the supervisor to help run the programs.

 She graduated from CSULB in 2012, and like many, wasn’t sure when or how she would “start” her life.  When she was given the opportunity for temporary work in Human Resources with the City in 2013, she took it almost immediately.


Today, Kelsie is working as a Human Resources Technician for the City of Torrance. She is responsible for coordinating & conducting all of the testing for any job with the City.  Some of her duties include planning, organizing & overseeing all examination processes for routine and recurrent classifications.  Dependent on the position, she is also involved in some recruitment and outreach, as well.

​Kelsie explains that each position has some sort of testing component – whether it is a written exam, performance test or an interview, or both. She is responsible for proctoring the written/performance exams ​and scheduling the interviews.  In addition, she does testing for the Torrance Fire Department & Torrance Police Department, Public Works, Torrance Transit, etc. Lastly, she also deals with employee relations​, including gathering information for employees and ensuring that Department needs are met.

Kelsie’s position of overseeing the testing process for the City requires for her to follow certain rules & guidelines. “Our processes, not just for testing but throughout the City, are in place to keep a standard across the board and to ensure that all are treated equally,” she explains.

 Kelsie genuinely enjoys feeling like she is able to help individuals in some sort of way.  “I’ve always known that I wanted to be able to help others, and I feel like in my position, I’m able to do that a little bit more,” she says. One of my Kelsie’s favorite parts of her job is being connected with applicants/candidates throughout the testing process.  When a person applies for a position in the City, Kelsie is involved in their “journey” until the end, whether they are hired or not.

​She enjoys being connected ​not only with applicants/candidates, but building relationships with employees, as well.  It makes her feel like she is truly connected with her job & the City.


he enjoys working with the candidates by being able to answer their questions and keeping them informed of each step in the process.  She explains that this also leads to one of the more difficult parts of her job – the unhappy applicants.  Whether it is someone who did not make it past the screening process or someone who failed a testing component, delivering bad news does not always go over well.

In result, getting those calls with complaints on the other end aren’t usually very pleasant.  In a City as large as Torrance, Kelsie has found that every day be different. “HR supports all of the City’s Departments, and with as big as Torrance is, anything can happen,” she says.

 When asked how residents can help make the City of Torrance greater, Kelsie explains that one of the easiest ways residents can help contribute to the city is through their Volunteer Program.  There are numerous opportunities for those willing to volunteer all over the City – at the multiple libraries, through the Youth Sports program, with Seniors or docents for various programs.


One can simply fill out an application on the City’s website here:www.TorranceCA.Gov/VolunteerProgram.htm

 Residents can also stay informed on C​ity happenings by attending or watching the live stream of City Council meetings here.

​Furthermore, the Torrance City Council meets every Tuesday in Council Chambers at City Hall, 3031 Torrance Boulevard, at 7:00 p.m.

Kelsie pays it forward to her community by donating blood to the American Red Cross as often as she is allowed to. “I try to help out as much as I can, whether it’s giving waters to the homeless that I see around town or donating to others in need.  I feel that it is extremely important to give back – if you don’t, then who will?” she says.


When she is not working, she enjoys spending her time with her boyfriend, Dylan, and their adopted dog, Apache (lab/shepherd mix).  They also both like to spend any free time with both of their families.  Kelsie enjoys attempting to recreate what she finds on Pinterest – food recipes, baking recipes, decorating, cutesy projects. Since her workweek is busy, she finds enjoyment in being home and enjoying a good book, movie, or spending time with good company.


Kelsie feels lucky to not only work in the South Bay, but to also live here because everything is so accessible. She has found that Torrance is close enough to everything that nothing ever feels out of reach.

“It was always my goal to work in HR and to work in HR in my City was everything that I had gone to school and worked for! Human Resources is the hub of all things Torrance and I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity which I was able to turn into my career!” she says.


hank you, Kelsie, for being a wonderful community member of the city of Torrance and assuring that employees are carefully chosen and all testing is conducted accurately, providing safety to all!


To learn more about the City of Torrance and how you can help or apply, please visit the following links:

City website: www.TorranceCA.Gov

Job Opportunities: www.torranceca.gov/516.htm

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