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Wednesday, Dec 7, 2022
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Sobel to Retire From Boys & Girls Club Top Spot

Jan Sobel, chief executive of the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley, has announced plans to retire at the end of the year after leading the organization for more than a decade. “For the past 10 years, I have devoted all of my energy into making the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley the best that it could be,” Sobel said. “After working non-stop for 50 years, I plan to retire and do some things I have longed to do. … I have lots on my bucket list.” Sobel is credited with revitalizing the West Valley Boys & Girls Club on multiple fronts. When she was first appointed leader, the club had 800 members between ages 6 and 17, a six-person board of directors and a financial situation that made staying afloat a challenge. Since then, its membership has swelled to nearly 3,000. The board of directors has more than quadrupled to 27. And the organization that once struggled to pay its bills and employees now has a healthy bank account, including reserves. “A significant reason that this club is the success that it is stems directly from the efforts and abilities of Jan Sobel,” Chairman Martin M. Cooper said. “She has provided us with a firm foundation to enable us to grow and serve more kids more often in the coming years.” Prior to joining the Boys & Girls Club, Sobel was chief executive at the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce in San Diego County. Before that, she served as chief executive at the Encino Chamber of Commerce for more than nine years. Cooper plans to organize a strategic staffing committee to find Sobel’s replacement. Sobel intends to work with the board to ensure a smooth transition when she retires, the organization said. Her last day with the Boys & Girls Club will be Dec. 31. Office Style Clinic Women entrepreneurs from around the Valley gathered at OfficeSlice in Sherman Oaks on Sept. 10 for a morning of stylish insights served with a splash of champagne, courtesy of Operation Hope’s Savvy Business Style event. Attendees included current and past participants in Operation Hope’s Entrepreneurship Training Program, a free 12-week course for aspiring business owners that teaches the fundamentals of growing a company. Gail Lara, small business program coordinator at the economic development nonprofit’s Northridge location, organized the Savvy Business Style event after chatting with some of the program’s recent graduates. “I was hearing them say, ‘Now I’ve got my business plan ready, but I think I need a fresh look before I walk into a room with potential investors,’” she said. “They’re already empowered, they’re already confident, but they just feel like they need a few tweaks.” The would-be entrepreneurs pitched their plans to a panel comprised of successful female business owners in the wellness, beauty and fashion sectors. Gretchen Hydo of Any Lengths Life Coaching advised attendees on maintaining a positive mindset, and Kellie Lupe-Smith of Burbank Hypnosis demonstrated the power of “hypnotic yoga” with the help of an audience volunteer. Emmy-award winning celebrity hairstylist Suzan Bagdadi and organic colorist Victoria Cariello talked tresses, while makeup and skincare guru Clara Baum offered tips and tricks for putting one’s best face forward. Stylist Cynthia Stormo capped off the event with advice for cultivating a C-suite-worthy wardrobe. “I loved the caliber of diverse women,” participant Rosalyn Khan said of the speakers, “especially their success stories – from young to old and in between.” Operation Hope’s latest crop of entrepreneurs-in-training will graduate on Nov. 3. Clay Lacy Scholarships Clay Lacy Aviation has announced it will fund a second year of scholarships to the NVOC Aviation Center in Van Nuys. Aspiring maintenance technicians will be awarded monies for tuition, tools and Federal Aviation Administration exam fees. “We greatly value our partnership with Clay Lacy Aviation,” said NVOC Aviation Center Principal Rosario Galvan. “Their support helps make the difference for students who want to pursue rewarding, well-paying careers in aviation and build fulfilling lives for themselves and their families.” Last year’s awards supported 24 students to become airframe and powerplant technicians. With the advent of the institution’s evening program, many more students will be able to take advantage of funds from the scholarship, NVOC Aviation Center said. Staff Reporter Helen Floersh can be reached at (818) 316-3121 or hfloersh@sfvbj.com.

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