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JVS SoCal holds “The Way Forward: Changing Lives Together”

JVS SoCal Holds 90th Anniversary Celebration “The Way Forward: Changing Lives Together”

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (June 17th, 2021) — JVS SoCal held its virtual celebration, The Way Forward: Changing Lives Together which took place on Thursday, June 17th at 5:30pm PST with Fritz Coleman of NBC4 fame as event host. The event is in honor of the historic milestone JVS SoCal reached this year; providing essential services to job seekers for the past 90 years and generated over $610,000 of much needed revenue to serve the underserved.

JVS SoCal is a regional non-profit leader in workforce development serving nearly 50,000 moderate to high-barrier individuals with free job training, career counseling, job placement services and more. Despite current economic performance, locally and across the US, JVS SoCal continues to provide essential services and their yearly fundraising event proceeds provide the much-needed resources to support their critical programs.

The 90thAnniversary event, The Way Forward: Changing Lives Together, featured client honorees, Valeria Elizarraraz and Lovely Porter; who received this year’s Inspiration Award for their perseverance in the face of economic and personal challenges. These women are employed by Pacific Western Bank, an employer partner of JVS SoCal. Pacific Western Bank received the Corporate Sponsorship Award that was accepted by Arbi John, SVP, Operations Administrator, Los Angeles Region.

“JVS SoCal cannot do the work we do alone. It truly takes a village of amazing staff, donors and community partners”, states Alan Levey, JVS SoCal CEO. “As we celebrate 90-years of changing lives here in Southern California, I feel humbled and proud to be a part of such a worthy and timely mission given today’s economy and unemployment crisis. I wish to thank each and every person who attended our virtual event and felt inspired to join with us helping those most in need within our community.”

The evening’s program highlighted long-time donors who have joined the “90’s club”, messages from elected officials, and the recipients of this year’s Founder’s Award recipient, Ronny Bensimon, Generation Impact Award recipient, Adam Abramowitz and Pacific Western Bank, this year’s Corporate Partnership Award recipient.

Although this event was free to view, sponsorship opportunities were available. This year’s Presenting Sponsors were CIT and Wells Fargo. Their generous support and passion for our mission makes us all proud and most grateful. To see a recording of the show, please visit

In 2019, JVS SoCal served 50,000 people in Southern California. With 4 in 10 Americans’ working lives disrupted by COVID-19, the number of people in the community who need help from JVS SoCal is only now beginning to be measured.

The Way Forward Sponsors (list to date):

Presenting Sponsor:
CIT & Wells Fargo

Inspiration Sponsor:
Pacific Western Bank
Pacific Premier Bank
Susan & Fred Kunik
Belmont Village Senior Livin

VIP Reception:
Sit ‘n Sleep

Benefactor Sponsors:
Banc of California

City National Bank
Comerica Bank
Citizens Business Bank
AvalonBay Communities
Capital Group
Jennifer and Adam Abramowitz

Contributor Sponsors:

Northrop Grumman
Cooper Design Space
Martin J Wolff Co
Ashjer, LLC.
Debbie and Rick Powell
Pam & Steve Hirsh
Lawrence Braun of Sheppard Mullin
Linda and Jim Hausberg
Adrienne Horwitch
Carrie & Chip Robertson
Sharp Business Systems
Union Bank

Angel Sponsors:
Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, Inc.

Robbi & Tom Schiff
MVAT Foundation

Advocate Sponsors:

Jim Freedman
Deborah & Alan Levey
Nancy & Jeff Cherry
Ellen & Michael Rosenberg
Swerdlow Florence Sanchez Swerdlow & Wimmer
Intrepid Investment Bankers
Raquel Bensimon
Bonnie and Ronny Bensimon
Claudia Finkel
Charlie Hill and Amy Lerner-Hill
The Berman and Rutenberg Family
Kennedy Wilson
Alicia & John Goldsmith

Patron Sponsors:
City of Hope

Melanie & Jason Kravitz
Jamie & Joel Berman
The Stanley and Joyce Black Family Foundation
Jill & Harris Smith
Robert Pearman
Erica and Leland Felsenthal

About JVS SoCal

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 90 years of empowering individuals to achieve dignity and economic independence through sustainable employment. For more information go to