JVS Los Angeles Gala Celebrates 85 Years Of Service
October 13, 2016
Former JVS CEO Vivian Seigel received a rousing tribute at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Saturday, September 24 as JVS leadership and supporters, along with Los Angeles dignitaries, gathered in a packed ballroom for the agency’s Fall Gala to celebrate its 85th anniversary.
Seigel received the agency’s Lifetime of Service Award for her 39 years of visionary leadership. Presented to her by JVS Board President Harris Smith, Seigel was also surprised with the news of the newly created Vivian B. Seigel Legacy Fund that includes the naming in her honor of the Education Center in the JVS La Cienega Career Training facility.
Proceeds from the Gala, including donations to the new Legacy Fund, were close to $1 million, enabling JVS to sustain and expand its life-changing services to benefit those most in need in our community.
“The Legacy Fund represents an invaluable opportunity to invest in a series of core strategic initiatives and to expand the impact of the JVS Works career training programs,” said JVS CEO Alan Levey, who took the helm from Seigel in January. “It will also enable us to expand our Government Relations effort and advocacy work on the issues that most deeply impact the people we serve.”
The formal evening that included cocktails, dinner, music and dancing began with a video message from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti who sent the agency and Seigel a heartfelt virtual thanks for JVS’ extensive contributions to the region’s workforce and economic development.
The sentiment was echoed throughout the evening as JVS clients and leadership, family and friends took the stage to extol Seigel’s significant role in guiding the 85-year-old agency in growth and expansion that has created high-quality programs that serve nearly 30,000 people across Los Angeles County with skills assessment, job training, career coaching, placement and retention.
Themed “Celebrating a Legacy,” the Gala Tribute was chaired by former Board President Rick Powell and board members Steve Seigel and Matthew Winnick. It was hosted by comedian and actor Larry Miller and featured musical performance by Jump Start and a surprise appearance by the operatic trio, The Three Waiters.
Special recognition was given to Past JVS Board Presidents in attendance, whose tenures spanned three decades. They included Jack Suzar, A. Charles Wilson, Adrienne Horwitch, James Maslon, Susan W. Robertson, Rick Powell, Sunny Caine and James Hausberg.
Guests included LA City Controller Ron Galperin; LA City Councilmember Paul Koretz and his wife Gail, who serves as Government Liaison in the Mayor’s Office; Eran Hazary representing Congressman Brad Sherman and Robert Sainz, Assistant General Manager for Operations in the L.A. City Economic and Workforce Development Department.
Seigel arrived at JVS in 1977 with a master’s degree from UCLA to work as a career counselor. At that time, the agency was serving about 1,000 clients. By 1996, when Seigel became CEO, the agency had grown to 5,000 clients annually with a budget of just over $1 million. She became central to JVS’ efforts to respond to the changing demands of the employment market and the ups and downs of the economy. When she retired, JVS was serving 30,000 people a year with a budget of $17 million.
“I believe JVS has unlimited future growth potential because I know the agency’s core mission is so closely aligned with the economic health of Southern California and the wellbeing and growth of our families and communities,” said Seigel.