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Letter from the President of HOLA’s Board of Directors

This was a watershed year for Heart of Los Angeles, a year in which we are celebrating our 25th anniversary! Since our beginning, when Mitch Moore founded HOLA with just five kids and a basketball, we have attracted a family of people who are impassioned to help the children of Los Angeles. Our Executive Board, Advisory Board and Music Advisory Board are made up of individuals who exemplify the spirit of HOLA and who have helped HOLA’s dedicated staff and volunteers grow the organization to serve over 2,300 kids and yet still maintain HOLA’s grassroots feeling and sense of family.

I am proud to say that HOLA is doing so much more than just providing a safe place after school for kids in the Rampart District. Together, we are making lasting change in the lives of HOLA’s kids by providing high-quality academics, arts and athletics programs. In short, we are helping underserved kids achieve their potential.  Here are just a few of the great things that have happened at HOLA this past year:

  • One hundred percent of the seniors in HOLA’s high school program graduated from high school, compared to an average graduation rate of around 50% at the high schools HOLA students attend.
  • All 58 graduates are attending colleges and universities around the country, and all 58 are receiving some form of financial aid and/or scholarships.
  • To date, HOLA has awarded over $1 million in scholarships.
  • Once again, YOLA at HOLA’s student musicians performed at opening night at the Hollywood Bowl, and this spring, four students will travel to Tokyo with the LA Philharmonic to participate in a symposium exploring the future of music education.
  • Students in HOLA’s Visual Arts Program worked with the art collective Fallen Fruit and created LA’s very first Urban Fruit Trail. The project was featured in the LA Times, LA Magazine and a number of tv and radio outlets.
  • HOLA’s students published newsletters, toured colleges, visited museums, created functional objects using a 3D printer, programmed robots and learned leadership skills through sailing.
  • HOLA celebrated 25 years with nearly 600 guests, including special guest Ziggy Marley.

We are now in the 5th year of our flourishing partnership with the LA Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel, providing hundreds of youth with an intensive music education program.  In addition, the renovated Community Center at Lafayette Park, made possible by our historic public-private partnership with the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Recreation and Parks, along with funders like the Everychild Foundation and the Los Angeles Lakers, is now serving as the foundation for taking Rampart back for the kids and the community.

If you are interested in joining one of our Boards, volunteering your time by mentoring a student, teaching a class, coaching a team or simply visiting us to get to know the HOLA family, please do not hesitate to reach out to us by sending an email. With your help, we will continue to positively impact the heart of Los Angeles one child at a time.

J. Warren Rissier
Executive Board President

Photo of Warren Rissier
Warren Rissier HOLA Board President Attorney & Partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
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Photo of Alan R. Adelman
Alan R. Adelman Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer Cinque Partners LLC
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Andrew Bernstein Senior NBA Photographer National Basketball Association
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Tony M. Brown Executive Director
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Rod Carter Managing Director RBC Capital Investments
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Steven Cooper Chartered Financial Analyst & Portfolio Manager UBS Financial Services Inc.
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David Dalton Owner/Designer David Dalton Associates, Inc.
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Daniel S. Floyd Partner Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
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Michael Gallagher National Accounts Dr. Pepper/Snapple
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Debra Gentz Vice President Bank of the West
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Glenn D. Gritzner Managing Director Mercury Public Affairs
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Howard Grobstein CPA/Partner Grobstein Teeple Financial Advisory Services
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Photo of Steven Hauser
Steven Hauser Attorney & Executive Director Wagner Foundation
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Photo of Mary James
Mary James Philanthropist
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Photo of Skip Koenig
Skip Koenig President Emeritus, Attorney & Partner Creim, Macias, Koenig & Frey, LLP
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Photo of Joe W. Lamkin
Joe W. Lamkin Principal Bancroft Capital
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Yvonne Mariajiminez Deputy Director Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County
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Eduardo Nochez Project Engineer The Pankow Companies
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Mauricio Oberfeld Founding Principal Dugally Oberfeld, Inc, the Oberfeld Group, LLC and Infinity Partners, LLC
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Tom Riccard CEO Modern Finance
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Warren Rissier HOLA Board President Attorney & Partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
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Chris Robichaud CEO PMK*BNC
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Paul Schaeffer Co-Founder, Vice Chairman and COO Mandalay Entertainment Group
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Peter Schube President and COO The Jim Henson Company
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Lisa Shapiro Board of Directors
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P.J. Shapiro Board of Directors
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Jim Toth Motion Picture Talent Agent Creative Artists Agency
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Melissa Unger Director of Development & Constituent Relations Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences
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Alison Whalen Attorney and Civic Leader
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Emiliano Calemzuk
Former CEO Shine Group Americas
Bryan Ezralow
Quinn Ezralow
Ginny Mancini
Leading Supporter of Arts & Music
Richard Riordan
The Honorable Former Mayor
Steve Tisch
Chairman & Executive VP New York Giants
Billie Milam Weisman
Director Frederick Weisman Foundation
Mani Baker
HOLA Artistic Music Director
Richard Kaufman
Ginny Mancini
Leading Supporter of Arts & Music
Phil Seymour
Pop Musician

HOLA provides underserved youth with exceptional programs in academics, arts and athletics within a nurturing environment, empowering them to develop their potential, pursue their education and strengthen their communities.


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