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April 9, 2017

Dear Clubmembers and Friends of PPWC:

The past two years have been full of challenges. I thank the outgoing board and congratulate Haldis Toppel on her vision for this Clubhouse, her hard work and perseverance through these challenges.  Haldis made her Presidency a full-time job and accomplished a major renovation, recruitment of new renters and two successful home tours, along with various social activities. She will be a hard act to follow. 

In recognition of her service, the outgoing Board has commissioned a gift for her from our member Gabrielle Gottlieb. Gabrielle is an accomplished artist who has created a sketch of the Clubhouse, that Haldis has worked so hard to preserve and improve.  

And now I would like to introduce the incoming Board. I am so pleased to have help and guidance from these amazing, accomplished and talented women.

Vice President Robin Weitz – Robin is the Corporate Secretary for ICM Partners, an elite talent and literary agency. She is a graduate of UCLA, but saw the light and obtained a business management certificate from USC. She has completed the LA Marathon and has been sky diving.

Secretary Gina Jakel  - Gina is a past president of the Junior Woman’s Club and an accomplished businesswoman. She owned and ran a 76 service station here in the Palisades and also worked in customer service for Delta Airlines.

Treasurer Sue Beazley – Like me, Sue has a bachelor’s degree from USC in business administration.  Unlike me, she is a CPA who broke some glass ceilings for all of us as a partner in a major international accounting firm. She then went on to run the West Coast office of a New York-based investment banking firm. She has been fly fishing in Costa Rica and other exotic places.

Program Director Cindy Seiler Noori – Cindy is a nurse anesthetist who has also been an airline pilot. I expect her to have wonderful planning skills and be a quick thinker.

Philanthropic Director Joanna Curtis – In addition to being a talented organizer of our very successful rummage sale,  Joanna is a USC graduate in education who has been active as a cub scout leader and is properly referred to as Doctor Curtis. She is so modest I had to find this out from her mother.

Events Director – Judy Hatchett is a nurse who at one time had the job of putting Queen Vicky to bed.

Membership Director Julia Winter – is a myofunctional therapist who worked in Switzerland for a year.  I expect her to keep us all organized and on time and to have amazing patience and perseverance.

Parliamentarian Dorothy Richards – worked in advertising on Madison Avenue. She also makes an amazing hot artichoke dip.

Clubhouse director Nancy Niles is a graduate of the USC school of Journalism who went on to manage the public relations for LAX.  She speaks fluent Italian.

Past President Haldis Toppel is multi-talented. Among other things in her history, she owned and operated a restaurant and she qualified as a pilot and flight instructor.

I have a bachelor’s degree from USC in business and a Juris Doctorate degree from USC. I am a retired lawyer who was a partner at a major downtown law firm. I then co- founded and helped three partners run a small boutique law firm for 10 years.  I have made over 100 scuba dives.

While we have an incredibly qualified and talented Board, please remember that this is a volunteer organization. If you see something that can be improved, please volunteer to improve it.  You and your suggestions are invited to our Board meetings which will be posted online. In short, I am asking for your help to make this Club fun, friendly and philanthropic.

Plans for the coming year:

I want to say a few words about my plans for the coming year.

I would like this coming year to be a celebration of the diversity of the women of the Palisades.

Our first event, next month, will be a potluck where you are asked to bring a dish that reflects some part of your heritage. Roberta will be sending out more details shortly. The following month, we will have a speaker from the La Senora Research Institute about the history of the Palisades, starting with the 1839 Mexican land grant to the Marquez family. Although this is not yet certain, we may be able to visit to the historic Marquez family hacienda in Santa Monica Canyon for our meeting in June. We are planning Mexican food to celebrate our shared history with Mexico. Later in the year, we will be having Greek, Chinese and Japanese food at different meetings, and, hopefully a chocolate tasting.

We are planning Ladies’ Days Out which will include a field trip to downtown LA where we will take a class on perfume-making and make our own perfume. We will a visit a Persian restaurant and have a guided tour of a Persian grocery store. We are also planning to visit to the Frederick Weisman Art Foundation in Holmby Hills, have tea at the Getty Villa, and possibly visit the Adamson House in Malibu and Robinson Gardens in Beverly Hills.

We are planning Ladies’ Nights Out with will include Taco Tuesday at Dukes in Malibu and a play at Theatre Palisades.  More details will be available on the website.

As far as our philanthropy, we ask you to sign up for Meals on Wheels. It requires about 2 to 3 hours on a Wednesday from 10:30 A.M. Please plan to pick up at least one day in the coming months if at all possible.

We need signups to help with our 90th birthday party which will take place on Saturday, June 3.

We need each of you to plan on helping with home tour which is scheduled for Sunday, November 12. This is Veteran’s Day weekend. Please don’t plan a vacation. Please plan to help with this once a year event. We need people to volunteer for the boutique committee, the sponsorship sales committee, the marketing and ticket sales committee and to act as home coordinators, to coordinate the designers, florists, and possibly musicians.

I am looking forward to your help to make this a fabulous year of fun, friendship and philanthropy!


Catherine Ruddy


Copyright 2014 Pacific Palisades Woman's Club.
P.O. Box 292, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
(310) 454-9012

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