Arthur C. Clarke said “The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.”
SInger/Songwriter, Echo Park, CA
Brian Joseph is an award winning composer and singer-songwriter from Los Angeles who can dunk a basketball. Brian’s 4th cd is called “If I Never Sleep Again,” and is widely known to be the greatest thing in the history of recorded music. Listening to it is guaranteed to make you more sexually attractive, and will increase your odds of winning the lottery. Same goes for the other three brilliant Brian Joseph records. Brian has written music for numerous television shows including America’s Next Top Model, How I Met Your Mother, Trick My Truck, and many more. He is only slightly embarrassed to admit his lifetime love of musical theater.
“A troubador in the classic sense, Joseph is an actor, singer and songwriter of the first order” – The Oakland Tribune
“…more talent in his little finger than Gene Simmons has in his entire lizard tongue.” – SF Weekly
Cal State Fullerton, Irvine, CA
At the age of 48, and with almost no mountaineering experience, Cindy Abbott decides to climb Mt. Everest. A few months after that fateful decision, she becomes functionally blind in one eye and is subsequently diagnosed with Wegener’s granulomatosis, a rare, incurable and life-threatening disease. Thirty million Americans have rare diseases and before her climb Cindy became an advocate to raise rare disease awareness for the National Organization of Rare Disorders (NORD). After fifty-one days of working her way up the mountain, on May 23, 2010, she stood at the top of the world holding a NORD Banner and became the 40th America female to summit Mt. Everest.
In the following months, Cindy wrote and published Reaching Beyond the Clouds: From Undiagnosed to Climbing Mt. Everest.
Cindy is once again reaching for the unreachable: To become the first woman (and second person) to summit Mt. Everest and complete the 1050-mile Alaskan Iditarod Sled Dog Race: two of the world’s most extreme adventure sports.
“My journey shows how adversity can elicit hidden strength, and I hope to inspire people to live life to its fullest and reach for their dreams.”
Cindy is 55 years old and lives in Irvine California. She is a wife and mother, and teaches Health Science at California State University, Fullerton.
Physician / Educator, Redondo Beach, CA
Michelle Charfen has had a lifelong passion for learning. She was fascinated by the human body and from an early age dreamt of becoming a physician. In high school, she began tutoring students, discovering a love of facilitating learning for others as well. She would eventually study Human Biology as an undergraduate at Stanford, teach preschool during the summer vacations, and spend the year after graduation teaching at an elementary school in East Palo Alto.
Michelle’s childhood dream was finally realized upon attending Harvard Medical School. She then completed a residency in Emergency Medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, followed by a research fellowship during which she obtained a Masters of Epidemiology from the School of Public Health at UCLA. Teaching medical students and residents in an academic environment was perfectly suited to her enthusiasm for constant learning. In 2008, she stepped down from her faculty position as an Assistant Professor at the UCLA School of Medicine to devote this period of life to her growing family while continuing to work part time in Emergency Medicine.
Green Idea House, Hermosa Beach, CA
Robert Fortunato, President of ForStrategy Consulting, Inc., is a leadership, strategy and innovation consultant who helps firms turn difficult problems into opportunities. But when his house renovation project turned into one of those potential “opportunities” it personally challenged him to take his own professional advice. The process he went through helped Robert transform himself and has the same effect on others who hear the story.
It was said to be impossible; but in the end Robert pulled together a community that designed and built the Green Idea House, a multiple award winning Net Zero Energy, Zero Carbon retrofit of his family’s home that cost less than standard construction. The Green Idea House is not just a case study for how anyone’s house can affordably harvest more energy than it uses; it is a case study for harvesting the leadership and innovation potential in all of us. Additionally, the emergent economic, health and environmental benefits uncovered in this project are transforming the building industry and how we all think about energy, waste, water and toxicity.
Robert is also a sought after international speaker and facilitator. His credentials include a degree from the Wharton School of Business and he is adjunct faculty at KaosPilot, an international business and social innovation school based in Denmark.
Robert resides in a beachside suburb of Los Angeles with his wife Monica and their son Carter. Being avid travelers, they have visited over 40 countries together. Exposure to diverse cultures and ways of viewing the world plays an important role in their approach to both work and life.
Elementary School Teacher, Redondo Beach, CA
For over 15 years, Julie Tamashiro has been a multiple-subject elementary school teacher. From Title I to the nation’s highest performing schools, Julie has taught every grade level in settings that represent the diversity of our public education system. Throughout her career, art has been the framework used to facilitate various learning experiences in her classroom. Her art curriculum has motivated her students to tap into their creativity, challenge self-limiting beliefs, problem solve, and express themselves in extraordinary ways. Through the process of creating their own artwork, her students have learned to find their individual voices and have focus, determination, and courage.
During the 2012-2013 school year, Julie and her students were the subject of the inspiring documentary, Room 19. She currently teaches at Tulita Elementary School in the Redondo Beach Unified School District. Julie earned her BA from the University of California, Irvine. She resides in Redondo Beach, CA with her husband and two children. Julie comes from a family of public educators with her mother, Charlotte, being the most influential of all.
Musician, Hermosa Beach, CA
Sabina has recorded albums and played with some of the best in the business. From drumming with local all-female bands in Hermosa, to opening for such greats as Pat Benatar, Heart, Fleetwood Mac, and more. But after 35 years of drumming, Sabina Sandoval was re-invented as a drummer. Following a job related back injury, she was forced to give up her drum set and turned to a hand drum, the djembe.
She eventually created an after school enrichment program, “Free To Be Me Kool Kids Drummers,” and now teaches in LAUSD, Redondo Beach, and Manhattan Beach schools. Her non-profit, all volunteer, organization, “Free To Be Me Drum Circle” goes into prisons, convalescent homes, schools and even the beach every third Sunday of the month, for the past 12 years. Sabina helps teach individuals about their natural, innate rhythm.and how to tap into it, celebrate their lives, be free and help each other… through one of the most powerful instruments in the world, the drum.
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