VICA Weekly
Valley Industry & Commerce Association
Friday, March 19
In This Issue
  • Quote of the Week
  • Women's Event Recap
  • Thank you, Armando!
  • Members
  • Sacramento Advocacy Day
  • Job Opportunity
  • Upcoming Events
  • Media Mentions
  • Hot News
  • Member Spotlight
  • Committee Recap
  • Member Messages
"Make it a priority to level the playing field."
Yvette Rapose, Chief Communications Officer, Metro
At VICA's Extraordinary Women in Leadership Event
VICA's 2021 Extraordinary Women In Leadership Breakfast
The Extraordinary Women in Leadership Breakfast Elected Official Panel expresses challenges they face in the workplace and share advice for women who aspire to be elected officials.
VICA is celebrating a successful Extraordinary Women in Leadership Breakfast, which brought together amazing women from our communities and inspired us to continue advancing equity.

First, VICA heard from opening speaker Angela Reddock Wright of the Reddock Law Group, who started off our event with a motivational speech which encouraged attendees to be extraordinary, even in unordinary circumstances.
Angela Reddock Wright delivers her exciting opening statement at the Extraordinary Women in Leadership Event.
The Business Leaders Panel gives advice to the next generation of female business leaders.
Next, attendees heard from our Business Leaders Panel, moderated by Rashmi Menon of Burns & McDonnell. The panel featured Dean Jayathi Murthy of the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, Deana Ng of the Southern California Gas Company, Kate Phelan of U.S. Bank, and Yvette Rapose of Metro. This panel highlighted the trajectory and potential for women in the workplace, with Yvette Rapose sharing key words of advice: "There is space at the top for everyone. There is no scarcity in success."
This exciting event continued with Special Speaker Erika Beck, President of California State University, Northridge, who explained diverse teams make better decisions. She stated that it was imperative that we integrate women into leadership roles to inspire the next generation of leaders.

Attendees also heard from our Elected Officials Panel, moderated by Christina Sanchez of the Milagro Strategy Group. This panel featured California State Treasurer Fiona Ma, Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, and Assemblywoman Luz Rivas. These truly inspiring women shared the difficulties they faced in elections, but also expressed that it was crucial for women to be included in all policy areas.

Finally, attendees listened to our Keynote Speaker, Stephanie Hseih of Biocom LA, who explained women's role in health care decisions and the rebuilding of our health and life sciences industry in California.
Above: Special Speaker Erika Beck of CSUN spoke to attendees about being role models to the next generation.

Below: Keynote Speaker Stephanie Hseih and VICA's Immediate Past Chair Lisa Gritzner close out our program
Our Extraordinary Women in Leadership Breakfast attendees definitely left motivated and ready to change the world! Thank you to all of our sponsors, especially our presenting sponsors, California State University, Northridge, the Southern California Gas Company, and U.S. Bank. This event was truly extraordinary, and we look forward to hosting it again next year!
Thank you, Armando!
VICA would like to extend well wishes to Armando Flores, VICA's Director of Legislative Affairs, who will be leaving VICA to take a new position at the Southern California Gas Company. Over the course of his 5 years here, Armando has served VICA in many ways - as an intern, Administrative Assistant, Legislative Affairs Associate, Legislative Affairs Manager, and Director of Legislative Affairs. While we are sad to see him leaving VICA, we are excited to work with him in his new role as a VICA member, and we wish him well on his new journey!

Congratulations Armando!
VICA Thanks Our Renewing Members
Silver Member:
  • Republic Services (1998)
  • McDonald's (2011)
  • Valley Village (2001)
Celebrating Another Successful Sacramento Advocacy Day
The VICA delegation brings up concerns about the effect of new legislation on businesses in a meeting with Assemblymember Blanca Rubio.
A delegation of VICA members and staff virtually visited Sacramento this week to speak with lawmakers about how proposed legislation will impact the San Fernando Valley business community.

VICA met with Assemblymembers Blanca Rubio, Steven Choi, Steve Bennett, Mike Gipson, Megan Dahle, Jesse Gabriel, Suzette Valladares, Thurston Smith, Jacqui Irwin, and Rob Bonta.
Assemblymember Meghan Dahle speaks to the VICA delegation about current legislation.
Thank you to all of the elected officials for meeting with us, and for all of the members who joined our March Advocacy Day! If you weren't able to join us this month, click the links below to send letters to legislators on important issues impacting the San Fernando Valley and our business community:

Upcoming Events
Save the Date
VICA Newsmaker Connection with California Redistricting Commissioner Taylor
Monday, April 5
10 to 11:15 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Not-For-Profit Committee
Thursday, April 8
9 to 10:30 a.m.
Online Video Conference
Land Use Committee
Tuesday, April 13
8 to 11 a.m.
Online Video Conference
VICA Advocacy Day
Wednesday, April 14
Online Video Conference
Limited Spots Available!
VICA After Dark with Senator Portantino
Wednesday, April 14
4 to 5:30 p.m.
Online Video Conference
Media Mentions
Hot News
This week, California distributed nearly 2 billion vaccines, but trails behind other states in terms of total population vaccinated.

California unemployment filings jumped to 108,600 this week, up 1,800 from the previous week, signaling that the job market remains volatile and feeble.

The CDC has eased school COVID-19 guidance, reducing the minimum physical distancing required in classrooms from 6 feet to 3 feet.
The LA City Council voted Monday to explore enacting rent freezes on apartments with expiring affordability covenants.

Housing Market
Mortgage and refinance rates are on an upward climb, with 30 year mortgage rates at 3.125%, the highest rates seen all month.

Student Loans
The Biden administration announced this week that the federal loans of students that were defrauded by now closed for-profit colleges will be fully erased.
Member Spotlight
Miri Rossitto
COWE Communications
Miri Rossitto is the Founder and CEO of COWE Communications and is a proud Angeleno, born and raised, though she did spend some years living on the Big Island of Hawaii. Her father was a game show director and growing up in that world was a daily masterclass in communication, innovation, and plenty of drama. On his weekends off, her Dad would drive her all around the city and they would eat at the most amazing restaurants and shop in the most fabulous boutiques. Now, as a mother, wife, and business owner myself, Miri embodies everything he taught her. Miri's communications firm allows her to fuel businesses and brands through innovation and, when there is not a global pandemic happening, she can still be found in a local restaurant or shop. When she is not working, she still goes on driving adventures but instead of a Chevy truck, her family is traveling in a 36ft RV that has taken them all around this great country! Business, branding and road trips – it is what she lives for!!

When VICA asked a few additional questions, these responses were shared:

Tell us about your belief in VICA, how has VICA been most valuable for you?  
VICA is a dream organization for any entrepreneur, business or organization located in and around Los Angeles. The level of expertise and the caliber of talent associated with VICA is always so impressive to me. Even more impressive is that these community and business leaders are coming together because they want to affect change and because they want to move the city forward for the betterment of everyone. And they do! Things get done with VICA and as someone who is consistently looking to connect the dots for myself and my clients, VICA comes through for me every single time.

If you were to share an experience about VICA, what would that be? 
Brad Rosenheim introduced me and my business partner, Nicola Staples, to VICA many years ago. Brad is the only person who can look me square in the eye and tell me that 2+2 = 5 and I will believe him. Well, at least for a minute or so until he laughs at me. However, Brad is as kind and as driven to do good as he is at making people (me) nervous. At our first VICA event, Nicola and I were two lost lambs trying to find our footing. We did not know anyone in the room and Brad spotted us, grabbed us, and immediately started introducing us to everyone in the room. We left with dozens of new friends that night! Brad and everyone involved at VICA is committed to connecting people. They see a bigger and brighter future ahead for all of our businesses and anything that can be done to bring the right people together to bring that vision to fruition will be done.

What do you believe to be the greatest accomplishment VICA has achieved? 
For me personally, I was incredibly inspired and motivated when I attended VICA’s first annual Extraordinary Women in Leadership. The energy in the room was off the charts and it was an honor just to be there. To hear California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis speak about how far women had come in business and government was uplifting but she was quick to show us that there was still so much to do. The keynote speaker was Maryam Brown, President of Southern California Gas Company, and she was absolutely captivating. Finally, there was a panel that consisted of Deanna Austin, Chief Commercial Officer for Princess Cruises, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez, and Rashmi Menon, Vice President of Parsons Corporation. It was simply amazing. VICA’s greatest accomplishment is that is succeeds in fulfilling its mission by steadily bringing industry juggernauts into the same room as everyone else and gets people talking.

What was your organizations and/or your greatest accomplishment in 2020? 
Cowe Communication's greatest accomplishment was immediately pivoting to a remote workplace that still provided a high touch, personalized experience, and delivered expedient and extraordinary work. What we do has many moving parts and our team is very proud of the fact that we were able to not only maintain our level of creativity and engagement, but we actually increased it and did more than we ever have before. 2020 was a painful year for so many in our community and we were honored to help companies and organizations use social media, public relations, and their websites in innovative ways that helped them to continue to do what they needed to. Lastly, because of so much uncertainty, people started trying new things and we got to partner with and build some fascinating, bold new brands that we are eager to see grow on the other side of this pandemic.

Can you share what VICA has meant for you and your business during COVID? 
VICA has meant a lot to our firm. It has been a constant source of support, friendship, ideas, and motivation. We miss the in-person gatherings however VICA has made their virtual events feel like birthday parties and that has been wonderful and much needed during the long, lonely weeks. We could not imagine Cowe Communications not being a part of VICA and when we look at the years ahead and all that this city is going to experience over the next decade, this membership is like a golden ticket. VICA will help Cowe to be properly positioned and among the first to know what is happening, why, who is involved and what that means for me and my business. It just does not get better than that!

> Please share a brief biography and a fun fact about yourself that people would love to learn, ie: you love skydiving, you have run a marathon, you started your own business at a young age, etc. (2-3 sentences) 

> Tell us about your belief in VICA, how has VICA been most valuable for you? 

> If you were to share an experience with someone about VICA, what would that be? 
> Share with us what you believe to be the greatest accomplishment VICA has achieved?

> What was your organizations and/or your greatest accomplishment in 2020?

> Can you share what VICA has meant for you and your business during COVID?

Send responses and headshot to Shauna Carter
Committee Recap
Government Affairs Commitee (3/17)
Sponsored by Amazon

  • Sarah Dusseault, Commissioner at the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) provided updates on LAHSA and the work they are doing amid the COVID-19 crisis.
  • The Committee recommended that VICA oppose Assembly Bill 1296 (Kamlager) / Senate Bill 342 (Gonzalez): South Coast Air Quality Management District - Board Membership.
  • The Committee recommended that VICA support Assembly Bill 811 (L. Rivas): Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority - Contracting.
  • The Committee recommended that VICA support amendments to Los Angeles City Anti-Harassment Ordinance.
  • The Committee recommended that VICA oppose the Los Angeles City Systematic Code Enforcement Fee Increase.
Member Messages
Member Messages
Get Your Message in VICA Weekly!
VICA members can promote their business, events and news in VICA Weekly. Member messages are available for $50 per week or $175 for four weeks. Messages are text-based and may not contain more than 70 words. A logo may be added for an additional $5 per week. For more information or to schedule your member message, contact or call (818) 817-0545.
Presenting the business perspective on behalf of employers in the
San Fernando Valley cities of Los Angeles, Burbank, Glendale, Calabasas,
Hidden Hills, San Fernando and Santa Clarita.