Jacques has been a long term investor and developer in various parts of Hollywood. Upon graduating from University of Colorado, he started his first service business (Ori's Service Center) on April of 1981 on South West corner of Highland and Fountain. He is a co-founder of Lombardi House (a historical event venue), and his other projects include Wonderlust Yoga on Highland Ave. Jacques owns and manage numbers of low-income housings projects in various parts of Hollywood. Currently, he is working to transform an existing vacant theater in heart of East Hollywood to a world-class, live entertainment complex called The Vermont. Jacques believes in community work to better the quality of life for everyone. He has served on the Board of Directors of many non-profit organizations and neighborhood councils. Jacques's favorite thing about East Hollywood is being a part of its transformation to a great living and working community, in addition to its diverse culture and population. Jacques is dedicated to enhance the experience and the commercial desirability of the area for residents and visitors, by making it a safer and cleaner community to live in and also attract new businesses. East Hollywood is a hidden gem and has an exciting future. The best way to predict East Hollywood's future is to create it. "To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often."
Berj Tashjian has been deeply rooted in East Hollywood for over 4 decades as a Property Owner, Entrepreneur and Community Activist. Currently, he is the Executive Director of a privately held Real Estate Investment Trust. Formerly, as President/CEO of CBT Int’l Trading Corp and Proprietor of Berjo’s World Famous Discount Center, he specialized in Consumer Electronics and Home Appliances for World-Wide Sales and Distribution.
Tashjian received his Master of Public Administration (MPA) from USC Sol Price School of Public Policy with an emphasis in Organizational Development and Leadership. He is active with the Bedrossian Center on Governance and Public Enterprise and Volunteers with the Athenian Society as a Professional Mentor to International Graduate Students.
In his early career, Berj earned his BS in Microbiology from Cal State LA and worked as a Research Microbiologist for Highland Laboratories. He was later selected for R&D at Aerojet Corp for the US Department of Defense; developing strategic defensive mechanisms used in biological warfare. This background gives him a unique perspective as a recent Member of the Healthcare Committee of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
A long-respected community leader, Berj has been supportive of numerous charitable organizations. For over 30 years, he has collaborated with his wife, Anita, in her work with the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of Childhelp, in combating Child Abuse and Neglect throughout the USA. He is an active member of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles (AAGLA) and the immediate past Vice-Chair of the East Hollywood BID. He serves as the Chaplain for the LA Lodge of Knights of Vartan and as an advisor to the Educational and Charitable Committee.
Born in Jerusalem, Berj immigrated to Los Angeles as a teenager settling in Hollywood. He enjoys spending time with his wife and son, often traveling together to explore the world. His extensive Fine Art and Antique collection began as a hobby and developed into a serious passion of a lifetime.
Mr. Tashjian is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all the residents and business community of East Hollywood.
Maria Elena Aguilar
Mari Aguilar is a senior communications specialist at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center (LAMC) where she leads the critical work of positioning the medical center in the hearts and minds of Kaiser Permanente’s key stakeholders. Ms. Aguilar is responsible for developing and implementing communication strategies that help to enhance Kaiser Permanente’s brand. These strategies include media coverage, social media engagement, online reputation management, as well as internal and external corporate communication efforts. Ms. Aguilar’s internal storytelling has helped to promote engagement among the 6,500 employees and physicians at LAMC. Ms. Aguilar joined Kaiser Permanente in 2010 as a communications specialist for the West Los Angeles Medical Center. There, she secured extensive media coverage for the organization, served as the lead public affairs consultant for issues management, and was a driving force behind numerous employee engagement initiatives. At West Los Angeles, she also managed the production of three Kaiser Permanente “Thrive” commercials, in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente’s national Marketing division. Most recently, Ms. Aguilar served as a senior communications specialist for Community Benefit at Kaiser Permanente’s Regional Corporate Communications department. Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Ms. Aguilar was manager of Public and Community Relations for El Clasificado/Al Borde, a leading Spanish language media organization with a weekly reach of over 2 million (online and print). Ms. Aguilar earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of California at Berkeley in 2005. She is currently pursuing a Master of Communication Management degree from the University of Southern California.
Hyobin Song currently heads Marketing & Strategy at CHA HPMC as well as CHA Health Systems. She is a graduate of Yonsei University, where she earned her B.A. in English and Sociology, and later earned her MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. With over 15 years of experience in marketing and branding, Hyobin has worked for major corporations and companies across various sectors.
After finishing her undergraduate studies, Hyobin began her professional career as an Associate at LG Household & Health Care, Ltd. She quickly climbed the ranks at LG, where she became the Manager/Assistant Brand Manager of Cosmetics. After receiving her MBA, she was hired by Fruits & Passion, the Canadian cosmetic company, as their Marketing Director. It was there she led the company’s marketing and branding campaigns, as well as the transition of their brick and mortar locations to the TheFaceShop brand.
Last year, Hyobin was hired by CHA Health Systems as the Vice President of Corporate Developemnt, Marketing & Strategy and recently made her transition to Vice President of Marketing for CHA Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center.
Robert Schwartz is the Executive Director of the Los Angeles City College Foundation. LACC Foundation, established in 1968, supports the students of Los Angeles City College through its funding of scholarships, awards, emergency loans, and stipends. The Foundation also supports school programs across the campus in both a financial and advisory capacity. Mr. Schwartz oversees all aspects of the Foundation’s activities, including supervision of 285 scholarships and awards. Mr. Schwartz also oversees 15 grant accounts, including the prestigious Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program. Mr. Schwartz has supervised commercial ventures in which the Foundation has been engaged, including the campus coffee shop, a very successful weekend swap meet, and all campus vending machine operations. Los Angeles City College is the flagship campus of the Los Angeles Community College District, which is the largest community college district in the United States. Mr. Schwartz joined the Foundation in 2011 and, during his tenure, the Foundation’s assets have grown from $4.5 million to more than $27 million. This growth includes the two largest gifts ever received by a college foundation on the Los Angeles Community College District; $2 million from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for LACC’s Cinema/Television Department, and $10.1 million from Herb Alpert Foundation for LACC’s Music Department. Prior to becoming the Foundation’s Executive Director, Mr. Schwartz served as a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Board.
Mr. Schwartz is a graduate of George Washington University and New York Law School, and had a versatile career for over 30 years as an executive in the entertainment industry prior to entering the non-profit world. This included positions as Vice President of Business Affairs at MGM/UA Studios; Vice President and co-owner of talent agency Paul Kohner, Inc.; Partner of television production company Gleneagle Productions; and Co-founder and CEO of Slamdance Media Group, a branded television/film distribution and production company.
In addition to his professional career, Mr. Schwartz has demonstrated his continuing commitment to the City of Los Angeles by contributing his time and efforts to religious institutions, community schools, and other important charities and organizations, including his service as a member of the Board of Directors for Stephen S. Wise Temple, and as the President of the Network of California Community College Foundations. Additionally, Mr. Schwartz has an extensive network of political and business contacts in Los Angeles as a result of his 2008/2009 candidacy to represent the Fifth District on the Los Angeles City Council.
Mr. Schwartz is based at the offices of LACC Foundation on the campus of Los Angeles City College.