Being in Fine Company
When the phone call came in, all I could say was, “What? Are you sure? Me?” And Mary O’Keefe sat across the room, laughing at me.
The phone call was from Assemblyman Mike Gatto’s office telling me that I was chosen as a recipient of the Women In Business Empowerment Award. Oh, one other thing: I was nominated by Mary O’Keefe.
The 12th Annual Women In Business recognition luncheon was held last Friday at the beautiful Castaway Restaurant nestled in the hillside overlooking Burbank. Joining me in the celebration were Mary, CV Weekly office manager JoAnn Catalano, salesladies extraordinaire Lisa Yeghiayan and Kim Mekelberg, entertainment reporter and tech gizzard – uh, wizard – Charly Shelton, designer Steve Hernandez and, from my family, husband Steve, mother-in-law Saralyn and my best friend Amy Mandel.
My incredulity at being selected was well founded when looking over the Who’s Who of fellow recipients. These 20 women represented the finest in the 21st Senate and the 44th and 43rd Assembly districts.
As stated in the program, “The innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship and persistence so often demonstrated by the women we are honoring will be the engine of our economic recovery … Simply put – these women mean business.”
The afternoon began with photo ops out on the Castaway patio where recipients were photographed with their representative. Then we were ushered into a dining room that was filled to capacity with people supporting the achievements and recognition of the 21 honorees. It was a pleasure to see Camille Levee from Glendale Healthy Kids, Elissa Glickman of the Alex Theatre and so many other notable folks. Even Warren and Marilyn Boehm were there from the CV Chamber of Commerce. They presented me with a lovely carnation which is still decorating my desk.
When my turn came to ascend the steps to the stage to receive my award (thankfully I didn’t trip) I was awestruck and humbled by the many people who turned out to offer up congratulations – some specifically to a woman who decided to just try and start a newspaper.
But then again I shouldn’t have been surprised – I’ve been shown nothing but support since I started this venture.
Just a few words about our local AAA office.
As some of you may remember, I bought a car in February. While in Florida, a letter from the DMV arrived telling me that, although all fees had been paid, there was a snafu holding up my registration.
I called the DMV and had the option of waiting an undetermined amount of time to talk to someone or I could leave my name and number and someone would call me back later in the day. That’s what I opted to do.
When the gal called, I outlined my problem, reading verbatim the information in the letter that the DMV had sent me. Remember that I’m talking to a DMV representative.
After hearing her type on her keyboard, there was a moment of silence as she contemplated the information. Finally, she said that everything looked all right to her and I needed to contact the dealership.
Really? The dealership?
Instead I opted to visit my local AAA office on Montrose Avenue.
It took less than 15 minutes to be called up to Elsa Trujillo’s window. Elsa looked over the documents that I had brought with me, typed some information into her computer and viola! She had my tags and registration ready to go once I paid the current registration fees for the 2011-12 year.
To Elsa and the entire AAA staff: thank you. My visit was definitely worth the annual membership fee.