An Evening of Inspiration and Impact

LOS ANGELES, CA, June 18, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ — For over two decades, the JVS Strictly Business Awards event has celebrated the impact our partners and donors have made in the lives of thousands of individuals facing hardship and barriers to employment. The Awards Dinner will take place on Wednesday, June 19 at The Skirball Cultural Center with Fritz Coleman of NBC4 returning as event host.

JVS SoCal is a regional leader in workforce development and this event is the agency’s largest annual fundraiser, providing resources to support critical programs and services to underserved communities. The networking event begins with a hosted cocktail reception at 6pm followed by a dinner program from 7-9pm. All event proceeds support JVS SoCal job training and placement programs.

This year’s Presenting Sponsor is AFEX, a trusted global payment and risk management solutions specialist with a heritage that dates back to 1979. AFEX is a dedicated supporter of JVS SoCal with a longstanding commitment to community that continues to set the standard for social responsibility and corporate philanthropy.

Harris Smith, Chair of the JVS SoCal Board of Directors, will receive the Founder’s Award for his visionary leadership in developing and executing a long-term strategic plan that has repositioned, restructured and elevated the agency, increasing its capacity to impact the lives of thousands more individuals in need.

“Change is difficult and complex and we must continue to remain relevant and adapt to the evolving needs of the people we serve,” said Smith.

The prestigious Corporate Partnership Award will be presented to Greystar, a leading, fully integrated real estate company offering expertise in investment management, development, and property management of rental housing properties globally. Larry Kallestad, Managing Director of Real Estate will accept the award on behalf of Greystar in recognition of the company’s commitment to providing access to entry level positions to individuals struggling in low wage jobs through the JVS ApartmentWorks® program.

“We are honored to join other corporate sponsors in our support of this one-of-a-kind model that enables us to hire trained and highly motivated candidates for careers in this growing industry,” said Kallestad.

The inaugural Emerging Leaders Award will be presented to Remmie Maden in recognition of her role as Chair of the Emerging Leaders, a group of dedicated young professionals who have stepped up to contribute their time, talent and resources to develop their own service and fundraising projects in support of JVS SoCal.

“It has been an exciting year and we have learned so much about the incredible breadth and scope of the programs JVS offers to people in need,” said Maden. “Our goal is to educate, engage and broaden the philanthropic impact of the next generation of leaders.”

This year’s outstanding recipients of the Inspiration Award are Mayra Plascencia, Luis Jasso and Lorrie Williams, each of whom overcame substantial obstacles with the help of JVS SoCal. Mayra is an Iraq combat veteran who served in the U.S. Marine Corps and received assistance from the L.A. County Veterans America’s Job Center, which led to her position as Manager of the Veterans Resource Center at California State University, Northridge. Luis is a single parent and JVS ApartmentWorks® graduate, who was hired immediately as a Greystar maintenance technician at the recently opened Circa L.A. property across from Staples Center. Lorrie was a client of the West L.A. America’s Job Center where she received the training she needed to launch a new career and today she is working for Skanska on Metro’s Regional Connector construction project in downtown L.A.

For more information about the event or to register online please visit For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Randy Lapin at [email protected] or (323) 761-8598.

2019 JVS Strictly Business SoCal Awards Sponsors (list to date):

Presenting Sponsor:

Belmont Village Senior Living, Patricia & Marshall Geller, Greystar, Jill & Harris Smith

AvalonBay, Banc of California, Capital Group

Armanino, Asher llc., Debbie & Rick Powell, City National Bank, The Darnov & Maden Family, Grant Thornton, Harris American, Hausberg Group, High Tower, The Jewish Federation, Maximus, Union Bank, MVAT Foundation, Alicia &John Goldsmith, Martin J. Wolff, Pacific Western Bank, Black Equities Group

Boeing, Cooper Design Space, Robbi & Tom Schiff, Sit n’ Sleep, Jamie & Joel Berman, Enterprise, Pam & Steve Hirsh, Sharp Business Systems, Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, Inc., The Karp Family, Ruth Carol and Jon

BakerHostetler, Bel Air Investment Advisors, City of Hope, Lola & Ed Zimbler, Melanie & Jason Kravitz, Nancy & Jeffrey Paul, Public Identity

JVS SoCal is a 501c3 founded in 1931 to address joblessness and rampant workplace discrimination in the midst of the Great Depression. This year the organization celebrates 88 years of empowering individuals to achieve dignity and economic independence through sustainable employment.

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