Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Ebell and Wilshire Rotary Install New Officers

Wilshire Rotary Board members were installed yesterday in a ceremony at Marino’s Restaurant.

This was a big week for two of our local membership organizations, the Ebell of Los Angeles and the Wilshire Rotary, which both installed new officers for the coming fiscal year.

Ebell of Los Angeles


Buzz co-publisher Patty Lombard (highlighted box) takes the oath of office as the 64th president of the Ebell of Los Angeles on Tuesday.

The Ebell held its annual installation meeting on Monday, June 22, via Zoom instead of its traditional in-person celebratory luncheon.

Outgoing president Ginger Barnard, who has served in the position for the last two years, thanked her outgoing board members Janna Bodek Harris (Vice President), Perry Maiorana (Treasurer), Laurie Schecter (Director of Programs), Linda Myerson Dean (Director of Membership) and Geri Hurley (Director of Governance).

Then Barnard swore in the organization’s new nominating committee members – Julie Stromberg, Wilma Pinder, and Natalie Battersbea – and administered the oath of office to the incoming Board of Directors and elected officers.  The full board for the coming year includes (new members in bold):

President – Patty Lombard (who is also the Buzz’s Co-Publisher)
Vice President – Laurie Schechter
Treasurer – Donna Russell
Recording Secretary – Karlene Taylor
Director of Finance – Madelyn Murray
Director of Programs – Phyllis Hansen
Director of Publications – Lizzie Blatt
Director of Historic Collections – Suzanne Wilton
Director of House and Grounds – Caroline Moser
Director of the Rest Cottage Association – Randi Jones
Director of Scholarship – Judith Day
Director of Membership – Aretha Green
Director of Public Relations – Rebecca Hutchinson
Director of Governance – Janis Barquist
Director of Development – Lorraine Spector

Harris followed the oaths with a tribute to Barnard, noting that “it takes a special woman to take on the huge job of  President of the Ebell of Los Angeles,” and promising that a gift from the appreciative board to Barnard will arrive soon by socially distanced mail.

Next, incoming President Lombard thanked the organization for what she called the “extraordinary opportunity” to follow Barnard in the position, as well as “for the honor of allowing me to serve as the 64th president” of the Ebell.  Lombard, who has been an Ebell member for more than 20 years, said Barnard is “one of the best and most effective leaders” the club has had during her years with the club,  and that because Barnard has done such a good job, Lombard initially thought, “this will be easy” when approached to be Barnard’s successor.

But then, Lombard said, the unexpected happened.  “Who could see COVID-19 on the horizon?”

Since the pandemic began, Lombard said, the severe loss of rental and filming business, which brings in the majority of the Ebell’s income, has meant the organization has had to cut staff and reduce salaries for the remaining employees.  But thanks to the huge response of members to an emergency fundraising campaign (which raised more than $69,000 in donations), Lombard said, the future is brighter and the club is now preparing to re-open as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.

At the same time, though, Lombard acknowledged that both COVID-19 and the way recent protests have forced us all to examine systemic racism have presented ongoing challenges.  But she also said she remains optimistic…and the Ebell is “well situated to be the focal point for those conversations.”

“I think we’ve got a lot to do,” Lombard said, but “I thank you for your support and look forward to working with you.”

Wilshire Rotary


Ben David (dark blue jacket) took the oath of office as the new president of the Wilshire Rotary on Wednesday

Members of the Wilshire Rotary gathered in person for the first time in months on Wednesday for their final meeting of the year and the installation of new officers for the coming year. Ben David was installed as president, taking over for Ron Reyes, who will now serve on the board as Immediate Past President. Also, Joyce Kleifield will serve as President Elect.

David, the Citrus Square resident who works as a financial planner when he’s not volunteering at the Rotary, said he didn’t even know what the Rotary was four years ago when he was first invited to a meeting.

“I was told it was a community minded networking group,” said David. “I found a group of amazing people who care about their neighborhood, their community and the greater good of all the people around the world.”

David said the Rotary is a respite from the divisiveness of the national political conversation, where you can find people coming together from all different political and economic backgrounds to work together to provide public service locally and around the world. He noted how much uncertainty there is in the world right now because of the global pandemic, and the recent justified protests for racial equity that were followed by unwelcome looting.

“How can we set our goal when we don’t know if we can even stand shoulder to shoulder?” asked David.

He said that in uncertain times, we can only be certain of our actions…and if we do the right actions, the outcomes will be favorable. He noted that everyone is already doing good work but asked if they could do one more thing — attend one more meeting, invite one more guest, attend one more service project.

“Rotary is about the power of one. We achieve our goals together, but it starts with just one, then one more. All our incremental outcomes add up to make a massive change in our society,” said David. “One is so powerful that if you can the change the course of a ship by one degree, it changes its destination by thousands of miles.”

Finally, David thanked past Presidents Ron Reyes and Christopher Cox for all their guidance. He also thanked his wife Suzie and son Elijah for their support.

The following board members were also installed:

Treasurer – Pearl Leeka
Secretary – Josh Rudoy
Club Service Director – Amy Cuomo
Community Service Director – Angel Amezquita
Vocational Service Director – Andi Ceragioli
International Service Director  – John Duerler
Literacy Chair – Tish Johnson
Rotary Foundation Chair  – Janice Prior
Membership Chair – Ray Schuldenfrei
Sergeant at Arms  – Bruce Streigel
Master of the Interwebs  – Christopher Cox

The meeting was held at Marino Restaurant, on Melrose Avenue, which has converted its parking lot into an outdoor addition to the venerable neighborhood institution. Guests were questioned about their current health and temperatures were taken before anyone was admitted to the patio.

Ben David with his wife Susie and son Elijah
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