Meet our Board of Directors

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Greg McNally

President

So Greg, where did you grow up, and how long have you been in town?

I was born in Hawthorne, and I have lived mostly in Hermosa since the 9th grade. I left college to help open a restaurant in Aspen, and I opened my first business when I was 24 years old. Later I opened a restaurant in San Francisco, where I met my wife Jennifer. 

You are now serving as our President of the Board of Directors, but how did you first get involved with the museum?

I was asked to join by then board member Dorothy Courtney to join the board. I have always loved Hermosa, and thought it was a great opportunity to serve my local community.

 

And what do you enjoy most that we do around here?

 

I continue to learn more about the history and culture of Hermosa Beach. I love that we share that information with others in our community as part of our educational programming for both residents and visitors. I am also very supportive of our Collections Digitization efforts- my daughter Paige enjoys helping out with photo scanning at the Museum. 

 

Hermosa is a busy town with a lot of awesome things to take part in- on a typical weekend, what are you and your family up to?

 

We have a very active schedule on the weekends- my wife Jennifer outrigger paddles Saturday morning, while Paige spends time with her grandparents. We get together again for lunch time at one of our local restaurants, go to the beach, and spend time with the dogs.

 

What is you favorite thing about living in Hermosa Beach?

 

If I am walking the dogs, walking to the beach, or walking to the bank... I get to walk. On the way I pass my neighbors and friends. Hermosa truly is amazing!

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Dan Inskeep

Treasurer

So Dan, where did you grow up, and how long have you been in Hermosa Beach?
 
I was born in Lancaster CA, then moved to La Canada CA at age 6.  I attended La Canada public schools, and graduated Cal Poly SLO (business/accounting) 1984. Then I moved to Hermosa in 1992.
 

How did you first get involved with the HBHS? You are relatively new to the board!
 
I was ambushed by Norm Rosen, then HBHS President, after I’d retired from my treasurer role with the HB Education Foundation.  He thought I needed something to do.  I’ve been on the board as treasurer since September of 2018.

 
That’s funny- we remember Norm talking about how he had a great idea to draft you onto our board- he was right! It was a great idea! What is your role with the board as of now, and what committees do you serve on?

 

I serve as the Treasurer, and am also part of the Development Committee.
 

What has been one of your favorite events we host at the museum?
 
Tours for grade school kids.
 

Not surprised- we are pretty sure we have a video of you rockin’ out with the kids to some Beach Boys on the jukebox! What is a project at the museum that is near and dear to your heart- one that you would like to see the community support?
 
Digitization of as many historical records as possible.  Also, the creation of searchable on-line access to those digital records.
 

And what is your favorite thing about living in the South Bay, and being a part of its community? You know- something you hope never changes!
 
Rarely needing to drive.  Almost everything our family needs is a short walk or bike ride away!

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- Contact Us -

Bonnie Cohn

Secretary

So Bonnie where did you grow up, and how long have you been in the area?

I grew up in NYC and Baltimore.  Came to CA in 1966 and never looked back.

 

And how did you first get involved with the HBHS?

I had no choice – I have HBHS Board Members as neighbors on both sides of my house!  I got involved when I retired from 40 years in public education.

What is your role with the board, and what committees have you served on?

The GALA Committee was the big one – 5 years.  I also serve on the Accessions Committee and I am currently the Secretary to the Board.

 

What has been one of your favorite events we host at the museum? We think we already know the answer... 

 

Loved doing the GALA with Dorothy Courtney.  Lots of work but also lots of fun. I also enjoyed the Beatnik Poetry Night with our local high school students- it  was creative and enjoyable.

 

We liked that event too! We hope to host their fantastic creativity again once our Museum reopens. What is a project at the museum that is near and dear to your heart- one that you would like to see the community support?

 

I really like the Lecture Series and hope to see a video collection develop for online view.  I would also like to see a video of current architectural styles in town- with all the remodeling and development going on we have already lost some “treasures” and are likely to lose more. We also need a good, well-researched history of HB – the “good, the bad and the ugly”.  Like the fine history MB has written by local historian Jan Dennis.

 

We can always use more books on Hermosa and the South Bay! There is so much history disappearing before our eyes. We have to end by asking what your favorite thing about living in the South Bay is- you know, something you hope never changes!

 

The small town feel of small town Hermosa. Too late now to “lower our profile” but I can recall when I had to explain to people where Hermosa was. Not any more!

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Jan Brittain

Board of Directors

Jan, where did you grow up? How long have you been in town?

I was born in Colorado Springs, and first came to the South Bay in 1966. I then moved here to Hermosa Beach in 1992.

And how did you first get involved with the museum?

To be honest, I can't remember! I have been involved with the Museum since we were still in the smaller room (pre- 2007).

You are involved with so many different organizations in town, but what are you working on now with the HBHS?

I was the Docent Coordinator for many years, and now I am serving on the Accreditation Task Force.
 

I have also joined the Museum Accreditation Task Force, and will be helping with some of the educational aspects of the project. 

 

Which we are glad about! Since you worked for the LAUSD for many years, you have a lot of experience! What is a project at the museum that is near and dear to your heart- one you would like to see the community support?

 

I do enjoy giving tours of the museum- it is a great way to get to know people and learn new things. I also enjoy volunteering at all of our events we normally host through the year. 

 

And finally Jan, what is you favorite thing about living in Hermosa Beach? And something you hope never changes?

 

My favorite thing about Hermosa is the ocean, and what do I hope never changes? I hope Hermosa stays funky. 

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Kathy Dunbabin

Board of Directors

So Kathy, where did you grow up, and how long have you been in Hermosa Beach?
 
My life has been a journey from Texas to Colorado after college, then to Hermosa Beach where I have lived now for 40 years.

 

And how did you first get involved with the HBHS? 
 
During the 1980's, two local ladies Jane Gierlich and Missy Sheldon introduced me to the historical society over coffee.
 

Since you have been involved, what have been your roles with the board, and what committees do you serve on?
 
I am currently serving on the TEAM Hermosa Task Force, the Membership Committee, and also the Gala Committee! 

You have given so much support to the museum over the years. What are some of your favorite events we have at the museum?

 

All of the events are great, but I really enjoy our guest speakers and field trips.  

 

What is a project at the museum that is near and dear to your heart- one that you would like to see the community support? 

 

Collecting more historic photos of our community members, and local homes. Video oral history interviews of our residents.  

 

And what is your favorite thing about living in the South Bay, and being a part of its community? You know- something you hope never changes! 

 

Friends. Pride in Community. The Quality of our Schools. Most important... Quality of Life.

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Pete Hoffman

Board of Directors

So Pete, where did you grow up and how long have you lived in Hermosa Beach?
 

I’m a native Southern Californian. I grew up in San Diego, moved to Los Angeles when I went to UCLA, and other than a couple of years in the Army, we’ve lived in the South Bay ever since. We moved to Hermosa Beach more than 25 years ago. Before that, we were in Manhattan Beach for 20 years, but I was always involved in activities that included Hermosa Beach—youth sports and Mira Costa High School—and I did cartoons and contributed to a column in The Beach Reporter for more than ten years that included events in Hermosa. So Hermosa has seemed like home to us for almost 50 years.

You’re a relatively new member of the Board, how did you get involved with the HBHS and why now after all these years in town?


We’ve been members of the Historical Society and enjoyed its events for many years, but for most of the time that we’ve lived in town, I’ve been fortunate to serve on the City of Hermosa Beach Planning Commission. Serving as a commissioner and on several of the City subcommittees and working groups that have evolved out of the commission, I just found that I had to limit the other organizations I got involved with. But one organization I did join was the Mural Project and I was on the Board for our last five murals. When we finished our goal of 10 murals in 10 years, with a little extra time in there for COVID, the Historical Society seemed like the right place for me to devote my newfound free time.
 

So you picked the Historical Society as the next opportunity to get involved in the community along side the Planning Commission, but why the Historical Society of all the great organizations in town?


For one thing, I’ve known most of the Board members as friends and neighbors for years and looked forward to working with them—the Historical Society has really been fortunate to have a great group of concerned and dedicated people on the Board and as volunteers over the years. And, the other thing is Cathy and I are living a bit of Hermosa history every day: a major part of our decision to move to Hermosa was the opportunity to live in a classic Craftsman-style bungalow. Our house was built in 1920. and over the years, we have worked to restore it to its original glory. It’s small and obsolete in so many ways, but we love it and I like to think we’ve made it one of the most authentic bungalow in Hermosa. What can I say, we’re history geeks!
 

What role do you hope to play in the Historical Society and our Museum now that you’ve joined the Board?


I’ve been serving on the Development Committee and look forward to continuing with that group. But I’m also hoping that I can help with the Museum’s efforts to become fully accredited. I’m an academic by profession and hope that I have some expertise they may help the Board and our staff as we do the research and prepare the documentation necessary to complete our accreditation.
 

As someone who has been here for a pretty long time and involved in City affairs for all those years, what do you like most about living in Hermosa Beach?


I wish I had some clever and original response to that question, but I suspect I’m going to say the same thing as everyone else: it’s the people that make Hermosa so special. There’s just something about living at the beach and the lifestyle that goes with it that attracts a wonderful, eclectic group of people. Look at just the Board: we’ve got an accomplished physician, an exceptional artist, former city council members, accomplished people from the business world, beach volleyball fanatics, and, yes, now we’ve even got an eccentric old professor—a seemingly unlikely group of folks, yet we’re all united by our shared beach culture and love for Hermosa.

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John Horger

Board of Directors

So John, where did you grow up, and how long have you been in Hermosa Beach?

I was born in Norfolk Virginia, and I moved out here to California in 1965 for a business transfer from a small company in Washington DC that opened an office in LA . I lived in PV for 10 years, and that is where my late wife Sue and I lived with our two daughters.

Sue and I would often ride our bikes down to the beach and look at the houses, wishing we could live here. One day in 1975 there was an open house that was available for a one year lease, and we thought, "Wouldn't it be fun to live at the beach for a year?" We signed the lease that day, went home to our house in PV, put a for lease sign in our front yard, found a renter, and came to Hermosa. We never did go back to PV though! A year later we were looking for a permanent house. We found a nice one on a walk street in Manhattan one block up from a hill, but with our kids being new bicyclists, we picked the house on the flat lot in Hermosa on The Strand. 

And you are still in that house today- we think it is one of the oldest standing house in Hermosa, built in 1902! So how did you first get involved with the Hermosa Beach Historical Society and Museum, and what made you say 'yes'?

My wife Sue and I were in the founding group that stared everything with Bunny Seawright. Sue was on the Board of Directors. I've been here the whole time! It was the beginning of the society, and it sounded like a good idea to start this for the community. We inherited all these historical pictures from a local teacher, and that was basically the beginning. 

And what has been one of your favorite events we have hosted at the Museum?

Going back one of my favorite events was the grand opening of the new museum in 2007, which was also the city's 100th birthday. Also in 1987 for the 80th, the historical society put on a parade that went from Valley Park to the Community Center. In the parade were our friends with cars, trucks, singing, dancing- I was the parade marshal. I had to keep everyone in line and in their proper spot. We wanted to go to The Strand, but the HBPD said we were too big and had too many people!

We hope you saved a photo of yourself in the parade marshal outfit! John you have supported the Museum in so many capacities over the decades- what has been your favorite committee or project you have helped out with?

I was the Treasurer for 10 years during the major build out of the Museum. It was interesting to help raise and spend money to create the space we have now. 

And what is a current goal at the museum that is near and dear to your heart- one that you would like to see the community support?

I will always want to continue expanding the use of the Museum, and have it open for more hours- especially in the summer when we have so many people visiting Hermosa Beach. 

Last but not least, what is you favorite thing about Hermosa Beach- something that sets it apart from the rest of the South Bay...

The small town feeling, and of course being close to the beach. There are also a lot of people who have been here for a long time, and because of that, we have a close knit community that spans generations. Since I live at 22nd Street, I can go to Martha's for breakfast, the Green Store for lunch, and The Bottle Inn for dinner without even having to get in my car.

Thanks John- and since you are walking home, have an extra drink for us!

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Adam Malovani

Board of Directors

Where did you grow up and how long have you now been in Hermosa Beach?

I grew up in Granada Hills and spent 4 years of my life living in Panama. I moved here to the South Bay in 1982. I spent time living in both Manhattan and Redondo Beach, but Hermosa has been my home for most of the 25 years.

Welcome to the Board of Directors, by the way! How did you first get involved the the HBHS and why?

I first connected with the HBHS about 10 years ago when I started doing research for an audio walking tour of Hermosa I was working on, Experience GPS Tours.

And since then, what have you been helping out with?

Since I spent a lot of time researching our music history of Hermosa, I think I am kind

of the unofficial music historian! I am also serving on the Event Committee, and I hope the Mural Committee soon!

Adam, you can for sure answer a lot of detailed questions about our music history! What has been one of your favorite events we host at the museum? Music related, perhaps?

I really loved the kids program about the Tongva with Tribal Elder Julia Bogany. I did also of course enjoy our punk night with Keith Morris- he can capture the attention of any room!

And what is a project at the Museum that is near and dear to your heart?

I donated my walking Tour and App to the HBHS in 2021, and I would love to see us create more historical walking tours for the community to enjoy. Perhaps a Mural Tour is up next?

Finally Adam, what is your favorite thing about living in Hermosa Beach? Something you hope never changes.

I love so much about our little community here in Hermosa, our people, dogs, music and remaining 100 year old beach shacks...but it's our piers and beaches that I love most and visit every day.

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John Miller

Board of Directors

John, where did you grow up? How long have you been in Hermosa?

I grew up in Westchester, and I came to Hermosa, let me see... in 1968. I got married, and we wanted to live at the beach so we got a house up on the hill. Later on I met my second wife Tish here in town, and she was down on Loma.

My parents moved to Oregon, so we followed them up there- I sold my house and we took off. Tish came with me, so we spent 2 years living in the bush- I had a saw mill, a two and a half ton flatbed to haul logs, and we got two wolf mixes to run the property. We ended up back in Hermosa to find work, plus, it would get 35 below up in Oregon! Tish had kept her house here on Loma, so it was an easy transition. 

We would be wishing for the mild Hermosa winters up in Oregon if that were us too! And how did you first get involved with the museum?

 

13 years ago, maybe 14 now, I was asked by Rick Koenig to get involved. I was a featured artist in the Hermosa Arts Festival.

 

Hermosa is a busy town with a lot of opportunities to get involved, so why did you say yes to Rick when he asked you to join the HBHS?

 

When they expanded the museum, I came in just after it opened, and I was amazed it turned from like an attic with collectables to a real venue. I saw the potential, and I wanted to get involved with that potential. 

 

Which we are glad about! And what do you enjoy most that we do around here?

 

I love being on the Event Committee, because we have the opportunity to have an amazing venue where we get to celebrate history!

 

We like that- celebrating history is actually what we do best around here. Last but not least John, what is you favorite thing about living in Hermosa Beach- something you hope never changes?

 

It's bohemian. When I was a kid at St. Bernard High School, we would all pile in our cars and get into the Insomniac since they would serve us, we would sleep in our van, then surf by the pier in the morning. Good times, and more good times to come.

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Ricardo Reznichek

Board of Directors

Ricardo- you are a familiar face round here.  Where did you grow up and how long have you now been in Hermosa Beach?​

I’m a Badger from Wisconsin who grew up in Madison, went to UW and then to the big city (Chicago) for med school at Northwestern. My urology residency at Harbor-UCLA was my ticket west to liberation. Hard work at the hospital was balanced by moving into a bootleg apartment on The Strand and going straight out front to play beach VB.

Ricardo, you are one of our founding fathers in many ways, and you have served in so many positions. How did you first get involved the the HBHS all those years ago?

At the Seawright VB Tourney in 1987, Bunny Seawright and Rick Learned roped me

into a plot to start a museum. We got together some friends at the Foot of Longfellow and then kicked-off the Society by organizing Hermosa’s 80th birthday celebration (including a parade complete with elephant).

And since then, what have you been helping out with? ​

I‘ve been on the Board from the start and served as one of the earlier Presidents. For many years I was part of the Management Committee that developed policies and procedures, and brought on our early directors. More recently I have chaired the Development/Membership Committee and now serve as leader of our new Accreditation Task Force.​

So far, what has been one of your favorite events we have hosted at the museum?

I really enjoy our Happy Hours with History (education + libation = historic camaraderie).

And what is a project at the Museum that is currently near and dear to your heart?​

Working towards becoming a first-class interpretive center – a special place that explores the unique features of our community including beach culture, music heritage, and history of the indigenous Tongva.   

You and Carol seem to know everything about Hermosa Beach. What is your favorite thing about living in here? 

Hermosa was the perfect place to meet and marry Carol, and for us to raise a family. It doesn’t get any better. Living in this community has been paradise!   

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Jim Rosenberger

Board of Directors

Tell us Jim- where did you grow up? How long have you been in town?

As a Southern California Kid, well sort of (the family moved to San Diego when I was 5) I migrated North to Hermosa after graduating from college, with a degree in history. I first came through on a bus in 1970 and thought, "This is an interesting little town." I have been here now for over 50 years.

I find Hermosa compatible with my desire to live in a town where, due to space and parking limitations, I have to plan on pretty much walking everywhere. Thank God it's bike friendly too!

And what are you working on now with the HBHS? We know long before being on our board you were a troublemaker- suing the Chamber of Commerce, contesting parking tickets, attending protests, and getting arrested! Why now, local history?

 

I think I'm on the Collections Committee, at least my wife thinks so, due to the fact that she claims I never throw anything away.

 

Very funny Jim- poor Sharon! And what is a project at the museum that is near and dear to your heart- one you would like to see the community support?

 

I have recently been involved with culling through the Easy Reader Photographic Collection- even found myself in certain photos from decades ago- ahhh the memories! To think that I'm part of Hermosa's history. Well, I will always be proud that I was on the City Council that negotiated the purchase of the Green Belt.

 

And finally Jim, what is you favorite thing about living in Hermosa Beach? You know, that thing you hope never changes?

 

If I had to list what i enjoy most about living in this small densely populated mile square community, I guess it would be how easy it is to fit in and feel that you can instantly be part of this friendly and quirky little beach town.  There is a little bit of everything here, and it's a real gem of a community. May it always remain so!

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Gregg "Pink" Thomson

Board of Directors

So Greg, many of us know you by your nickname Pink. Where did you grow up, and how long have you been in town? Probably a silly question...

I grew up in Hermosa. I have pretty much lived, worked, surfed and played volleyball in the South Bay my entire life. I attended North, South and Grandview Elementary and Center Junior High, before graduating from Mira Costa High. My first job was at Bocatto's. Been here 63 years.

You are now serving on our Board of Directors, but how did you first get involved with the museum? What are you helping with at the Museum right now?

Dorothy Courtney. She encouraged me and my wife Reena to get more involved. You do what Dorothy says, she is amazing. At the moment I am the regular Friday Docent at the Museum, I am on the Gala Committee and I am joining the Event Committee.
 

And what do you enjoy most that we do around here?
 
Preservation of our history- that's the big one! Surf events are great- I enjoy those events since I myself am a surfer. My friends and I really enjoyed the recent Doc Ball Documentary screening.
 

Hermosa is a busy town with a lot of awesome things to take part in-  what are you and Reena up to in your spare time?
 

Surfing, going to the 21st Street beach, hitting the local restaurants. And of course, hanging out with our senior Labrador Retriever Molly. 
 

Molly the Wonder Dog is a legend, we love her! And what is you favorite thing about living in Hermosa Beach?
 

The people- everyone here is happy and healthy. I have known everyone here my whole life.​ We have one of the best beaches in the world. Maybe not the best waves, but the best beach for sure.

 

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Annie Seawright-Newton

Board of Directors

This is probably a silly question to ask you, but where did you grow up and how long have you now been in Hermosa Beach?​

I have been in Hermosa for 56 years, but I did do a short stint with the airlines as a flight attendant- I got to travel all over! As much as I had a great time, doing that gave me a special appreciation for home. This town is a special place, and it's where I belong.

And how did you first get involved the the HBHS and why?​

 

I always knew I wanted to be involved! My Grandma Bunny and Bill Schnieder, well it was their idea to start the society one day when they were at Marthas for breakfast-

they wrote notes on a cocktail napkin. It was her legacy, so I knew eventually I would end up here! But it ultimately happened when the Neimann's daughter was doing her Scout project, and she wanted to do a volleyball exhibit. Since I know a bit about volleyball, they asked me to help out. Later on tI was asked to join the Board, while they were building the new museum. They wanted to do a fundraiser, and no one was volunteering, so i just finally stepped in! After a few months I talked them into doing a Surf Film Festival. I had so much fun working on that event, I totally got hooked in. It was exciting to be on the ground floor when we were opening the new museum.

And since then, what have you been helping out with?​

​Mostly the events, and the partner events with the City and the CBVA. With both of my kids out of the house now, I am hoping to get more involved, and do something special with my grandparents pictures. 

We are so thrilled to have finished scanning your Seawright Family photo albums. Some of those photos of Hermosa in the 20's and 30's are so beautiful, it's hard to believe! You are one of our most faithful event volunteers and coordinators, but what has been one of your favorite events we have hosted at the museum? ​

Probably the Surf Film Fest- it brings the community together, and it's fun to work with the Surfer's Walk of Fame Committee, the City, and the South Bay Boardriders Club. Our Annual Gala's are also so much fun, and they really are the highlight of the year- I am so glad we have the Gala back on our schedule for next year!

Yes the gala is back on the calendar! And what is a project at the Museum we are working on, that is near and dear to your heart?​

At this moment, bringing people back together for our Happy Hour with History events after being apart for so long has been so great. I am also excited for our new Student Committee that hosted the Carrie screening in October to plan their own events, and develop their own connections and love for the history of the South Bay in the coming year.​

We are excited for their next event as well! And Annie, your family has been part of the heart and soul of Hermosa Beach for so long- what is your favorite thing about living in here? Something you hope never changes.

The beauty of the beach, and the community feel. You can walk out onto The Strand or Pier Plaza and there will always be someone there that you know and love. I have so many memories and family stories here- when my Grandad proposed to my Granny Hesketh, she said that she would only marry him if they lived in Hermosa Beach. It still makes me smile.

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Mark Shoemaker

Event Committee Chair

 

So Mark, your story is a bit different, as you have experienced living in several of the South Bay Cities. Where did you grow up, and how long have you been in the South Bay?

I was born in 1959 and grew up in El Segundo . After I graduated from St. Bernards High School in 1976, I decided to travel and work. I lived in Arizona and learned to fly, and then hitchhiked to, and worked, in the Yukon, traveled to Mexico & Central America and worked in Alaska. I eventually went back to college, and traveled for two more years in Asia after Graduate School at USC in 1985. When I returned home from my travels I spent some time living in Redondo Beach, and have now lived in Manhattan beach since buying a house in 1989 with two grade school friends, and after I married my wife Kathy, we moved six blocks south where we have lived since 1995.


 

How did you first get involved with the Hermosa Beach Historical Society and Museum, and what made you say 'yes'?

 

I was invited to join the Historical Society in 2005 by Rick Koenig who asked me to help expand the museum for the 2007 Hermosa Beach Centennial . For  several years I was the Newsletter Editor;  I have always been interested in the history of Surfing and South Bay Culture- and am glad those things are part of our Mission and the Museum. 

 

And what do you enjoy most that we do around here? 

 

I enjoy being on the Event Committee, and have been serving as the Chair for several years. It is rewarding to be able to bring the community into the Museum to learn more about our local history.

 

We feel like traditionally you are always jetting off to a new destination, hiking some dangerous trail, or cruising around town with your dog LuLu- when you are in town, what do you get up to on the weekends?

 

Between work and personal travel, I have been to more than 80 countries. Now that I recently retired, there are daily honeydo's, and I am working on decluttering some of our collectibles on ebay, remodeling the house I grew up in El Segundo, as well as riding my bike around the South Bay with our dog LuLu in the basket. I do enjoy the beach, backpacking, skiing and dirt-bike riding.

 

LuLu is kind of our unofficial, official mascot at the museum! What is you favorite thing about Hermosa Beach- something that sets it apart from the rest of the South Bay...

 

I have always said: "Work in El Segundo, live in Manhattan, and party in Hermosa ." I have a lot of lifelong friends here, and have always felt welcomed as part of the community.