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Applicants for Vacant Board Positions

Elizabeth Kerstein

(Applying for Director At Large)

Why are you interested in serving in the HHPNC Board vacancy selected?

I’ve lived in Highland Park the entire time that I’ve lived in LA as an adult. I grew up in San Pedro but lived away from CA for eight years for my schooling. When I returned to LA to make my career at 25, I stayed in the front bedroom of my best friends’ house on Tipton Way for ten days until I found my own place in the neighborhood. Highland Park is where I’ve become a runner and where I trained for my first marathon; it’s where I meet friends for meals and coffee; it’s where I performed with the first opera company to hire me in LA (Pacific Opera Project, who presents operas at the Ebell on Ave 57). Highland Park is where I first practiced Spanish when I began to learn the language in order to be a better neighbor. I love this community and I see that there are very different demographics represented side by side. I am interested in being a leader in this community to help make sure that all voices are heard as we grow into our future.

What skills would you bring to the HHPNC?

I previously served two terms (four years total) on the BOD of Vox Femina, LA’s premiere auditioned women’s chorus, so I have experience making creative and financial big-picture decisions for an organization with a moderate budget. As a teacher and a performer, I am naturally connective; I’m adept at becoming a part of a community and facilitating considerate conversations within that community. I also have a background in arts/non-profit marketing, so I am confident in my ability to tailor the message of my organization to our constituency in a meaningful and personal way. Finally, I work as both a teacher, an administrator, and a freelance artist, so I am highly organized and excellent at managing a lot of moving parts while maintaining a sense of calm!

Personal Statement
I love community at the most local of levels. I was hired as a teacher one year after my school, California School of the Arts – San Gabriel Valley, came into existence. Since then I’ve started a teacher skills swap program, in which any teachers give each other lessons in their respective skill areas at no cost. I have introduced my fellow teachers to mountain hikes; I’ve met them for coffee when they are feeling burned out. I love to connect and to build a circle of people who care for one another. When John O’Hara reached out to me about the HHPNC opportunity, I had just left my role on another BOD, but I knew without hesitation that I wanted to pursue this opportunity. I love my Highland Park and would be thrilled to know and assist the people who take time to manage this community with consideration and intention. Thanks for considering my application to be a part of your team and help make HP thrive for all its residents!

What is your level of commitment to serving on the HHPNC?
I take my commitments seriously. I would want to be in good and frequent communication with the leaders of my organization about what kind of time commitment was necessary.

Laura Olivares

(Applying for Director At Large)

Why are you interested in serving in the HHPNC Board vacancy selected?

I believe it’s important to bridge the gap between old ways of communication and new ways in order to be able to preserve our culture, values, morals, and traditions. It’s important new generations understand the value of how history has changed the world and it’s positive as well as negative impact. By doing so, new generations will have a better understanding, have the access to be better educated and therefore held accountable for their involvement in how history manifests.

What skills would you bring to the HHPNC?

My skills include the ability to engage, organize, educate and protect the community. I am diligent, pay attention to detail, tenacious, respectful yet articulate. I am also fluent in Spanish/English. Certified translator, as well as the ability to face adversity, overcome the challenge, all while maintaining a positive aspect on the situation.

Personal Statement
I am not one to take on a challenge/commitment lightly. When I do, I strives to see it through all the way to the end and ensure of it’s accomplishment. I leave no stone unturned and until all options have been exhausted and there is no place else to turn I will finally take no for an answer. I always stand for truth, justice and fairness. When I do something I put my mind, body and soul into it. I am no stranger to leaving my blood, sweat and tears on something I am committed to. That is how I was trained.

What is your level of commitment to serving on the HHPNC?
I’m all in.