Biographies of the Honorees
DeDe Hicks has served as the President/CEO of The Volunteer Center South Bay Harbor Long Beach for 26 years where she is responsible for the administration and operations of the nonprofit corporation, which serves as the hub of volunteer activities for more than 600 nonprofit organizations in 43 cities. The Volunteer Center administers corporate/volunteer liaison programs and the court referral program for the area. In addition, it provides training and opportunity to teen volunteers. The Volunteer Center is often recognized for its Teddy Bear Backpack and Food for Kids programs. Among the many awards, commendations and recognitions, Hicks has received praise from the YWCA, Soroptomists, Chambers, Rotaries and local cities. She is a frequent public speaker on volunteerism. With an impressive background of service with many nonprofits, DeDe has been involved with organizational planning and management for the Community Association of the Peninsula; the Mary and Joseph Retreat Center; St. John Fisher Parish, and Gamma Phi Beta Alumnae Association. Her service with cultural and arts projects has included presidency of The Associates of the Palos Verdes Community Arts Association and board membership in the Norris Theatre for the Performing Arts. She has been involved in civic and public affairs including the League of Woman Voters, the Palos Verdes and Torrance Chambers of Commerce and Marymount College.
Liz Schindler Johnson is the driving force of the Grand Vision Foundation, a community organization whose mission is to “preserve and promote the historic Warner Grand Theatre and foster artistic, cultural and educational activities in the Theatre and throughout the Harbor/South Bay area of Los Angeles." Liz has served on Grand Vision's board and has been volunteer executive director since 2000.
Previous to her work in San Pedro, Liz was an economic development specialist in the community development departments of West Hollywood and Long Beach. She came to San Pedro to manage a business assistance center for the Harbor area in the mid-1990s where she trained and counseled aspiring entrepreneurs. Liz is also a board member of the Crail-Johnson Foundation and The Beacon House Association of San Pedro. She serves on the City of L.A.’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA/LA) Pacific Corridor Community Advisory Committee, as well as on the board of the San Pedro Arts, Culture and Entertainment District.
Burt Arnold is the chairman of the Marymount College Board of Trustees. Professionally, he is the principal of BMA Securities in Rolling Hills Estates, a full-service brokerage firm offering a wide array of financial services for individuals and corporations. During his career, Burt has been instrumental in taking several companies public, including many listed on the New York Stock Exchanges, NASDAQ, the Bulletin Board and the American Stock Exchange. Burt has actively participated in activities of the Palos Verdes Chamber of Commerce, the BRAVO and Encore Circle support groups of the Norris Center for the Performing Arts, the Palos Verdes Sunset Rotary, the Sisters of Charity of Rolling Hills and the Community Helpline. He is an alumnus of Marymount College and California State University, Dominguez Hills, with a degree in political science and a minor in economics.
Biographies of the Honorary Chairpersons
Arline Grotz is a retired Criminal and Family Law attorney who served as a prosecutor for the Inglewood Court and Judge Pro Tem for the Torrance Court. She was president of the South Bay Women Lawyers organization and served on the Traffic Committee for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. Having lived in Chicago, she was secretary of the board of directors for her family’s business. Her local community service contributions are numerous and include chair of the “Save the Costume Closet” campaign and is currently serving on the board of directors for The Costume Closet, a fundraising venue for the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District. She has provided leadership to the Norris Center for the Performing Arts including co-producing the Norris’ Act II show for 2012. She has been the chairperson of the Providence Trinity Care Hospice annual Sunday by the Sea fundraiser and president of The Affinity Group, a support group of the Volunteer Center, South Bay-Harbor-Long Beach. She has also been involved with Las Candalistas, Toberman Settlement House Auxiliary, and Help the Homeless Help Themselves.
Yvonne Bogdanovich is a longtime active community member who provides her time and talents as president of the board of directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor. In addition, Yvonne is a member of the San Pedro Cancer Guild, Town and Gown of USC, Mary Star of the Sea High School Steering Committee and the Mary Star of the Sea Finance Committee. She is also a member of the Marymount College San Pedro Advisory Council providing leadership to the college as it develops its newest campus in San Pedro.
Sue Soldoff, Ph.D., taught psychology at a number of higher education institutions for ten years before embarking on a wholesale travel business, Sue’s Safari Inc., from which she is now retired. She has served her community for more than three decades, including involvement with the Norris Center for the Performing Arts, Las Candalistas and the Palos Verdes Land Conservancy.
Sandra Sanders is the founder of RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty, which was named by the Los Angeles Business Journal, as one of the leading real estate firms in all of Los Angeles County. Sandra’s real estate acumen has earned her many awards. She provides leadership to 12 real estate office locations serving the South Bay and the Westside of Los Angeles, as well as Peninsula Escrow, which comprises eight escrow offices. Sandra is active in community service. Among her many philanthropic and leadership contributions was fundraising for the new St. John Fisher parish school and involvement with the YWCA, Rainbow Services, Children’s Hospital and the Norris Center for the Performing Arts.
Tara Brophy was the chairperson for the 2010 Success By The Sea Scholarship Gala, which raised thousands of dollars to support students in need of scholarships at Marymount College. Agreeing to again lead the event this year, Tara guides the organizing committee for this 2012 event in anticipation of generating even more scholarships for deserving students. A frequent host of visiting guests, faculty and friends of Marymount College, Tara is a compassionate and hard-working community leader. She is a member of the philanthropic group Vistas and is active in her children’s education by volunteering with PTAs as well as St. John Fisher Church’s programs for children. She is a registered nurse, is married to the college’s president, Michael Brophy, and has two sons and a daughter.
Biography of Success By The Sea Emcee
|The emcee for the evening is actress Kathy Baker. Kathy Baker has been a professional actress for more than 30 years, and has won many awards for her work in theater ( Obie Award for "Fool For Love"), film (National Critics Award for "Street Smart"), and television ( three Emmys, a Golden Globe, and the SAG award for "Picket Fences"). Her films include "The Right Stuff", "Clean and Sober", "13 Going on 30", "All the King's Men", "The Jane Austen Book Club", "Nine Lives", and "Cold Mountain". Her most memorable roles in television include in "Boston Public", "Jesse Stone", "Door to Door", and "Too Big to Fail".|
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