2018 Women of the Year Honorees
Laurie Latham Brandt is co-owner of the Red Car Brewery & Restaurant. She and her husband Bob purchased a historic building in Old Downtown Torrance in 1999, and with redevelopment incentives from the City of Torrance, opened the doors of Red Car Brewery in 2000. They were economic pioneers in an area of Torrance which now boasts close to 10 breweries.
Since the day Red Car opened for business Laurie has been guided by the desire to create a warm, friendly and unpretentious place for the community to feel at home. Her Southern Indiana roots shape her upscale casual menu. She’s also made it a point to actively involve herself and her business to make the community stronger through charitable giving and volunteerism.
Laurie has two children, William, a sophomore at South High School and her daughter, Paige, now a senior at Colorado State.
Laurie is the Current Chairwoman of the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce and was previously membership chair. She is a member of the PTA and received the Honorary Service Award in 2010. She currently serves as the VP of the South High Track and Field Booster club.
Laurie’s civic involvement culminated in both she and her husband being selected as the recipients of the Katy Giesert Award for Excellence in the Arts award in 2013. Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce Citizens of the Year 2014, and her business was recognized by the Chamber during its Centennial celebration as one of the top 75 influential businesses in the city’s history. She and Red Car support many non-profit organizations, including the Cancer Support Community, Providence Trinity Care Hospice, Torrance and Palos Verdes Education Foundations, Pediatric Therapy Network and our local schools and churches, among many others.
She and her husband Bob have been Torrance residents for more than 20 years and attend Rolling Hills United Methodist Church.
Janice Hahn was elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in November 2016. She represents the 4th district which stretches from Marina del Rey through the beach cities, the Palos Verdes Peninsula, the Harbor Area, Long Beach, through the Gateway Cities and east to Diamond Bar.
Supervisor Hahn has already established herself as a leader in the struggle to end the current homelessness crisis, a champion for communities plagued by pollution and health problems, and a dynamic new voice on the Metro Board of Directors.
Supervisor Janice Hahn inherited a passion for public service from her late father, Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, who held public office in Los Angeles County for fifty years and who left behind an incredible legacy of service. Before being elected to the Board of Supervisors, Janice Hahn served for ten years on the Los Angeles City Council and for five and a half years in Congress.
While in Washington, she served on the House Homeland Security Committee, Committee on Small Business, and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. She earned nationwide recognition for founding the PORTS Caucus and recruited over 100 of her fellow House colleagues to advocate for ports issues and infrastructure. She has been a leader on efforts to rebuild our national freight infrastructure system, level the playing field for small business owners, and reducing gang violence in our communities. During her time in Congress, Hahn had a reputation for working to find common ground across the political aisle on behalf of the American people.
Lea Ann King left her home in Elkhart, Indiana, for DePauw University, and after graduation moved to Chicago where she married and had two children, Tim and Alden. Shortly after in 1970, the family moved to Rolling Hills Estates. Lea Ann transferred to the Junior League of Los Angeles and became President in 1984. For three years following she chaired a coalition of 40 Los Angeles County women’s organizations working to further the rights of women.
In 1985 she joined the Multicultural Committee of the Community Association of the Peninsula (CAP) and chaired it for 8 years. During that time she created the Multicultural Dinners for 12 people from diverse backgrounds who met in multiple homes to share experiences and develop friendships. She also led CAP’s PV2000 project to identify the emerging issues facing the Peninsula after the 1990 census.
In recognition of her work, Lea Ann was appointed by Supervisor Deane Dana to the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations where she served 25 years as a Commissioner, two as President.
In 1998, when she was on the staff of Congresswoman Jane Harman, she formed the Human Relations Forum of Torrance, bringing together businesses, organizations and individuals who were addressing issues of diversity in the community. The signature effort is the continuing Martin Luther King, Jr., Visions of Unity Arts Contest for the high schools students in Torrance, now in its 18th year. She coordinates a dedicated team of volunteers and organizations who offer youth an opportunity to artistically express their ideas and ideals, and to take initiative in enhancing unity among diverse groups. The annual Awards Celebration honors the winners, provides a published Literary Anthology and exhibits their art work.
Lea Ann has served on the Board of Directors of the Volunteer Center South Bay - Harbor - Long Beach for 30 years and served as Board Chair.
Lea Ann is also honored on the El Camino College Women’s Wall of Fame.
Lea Ann moved to Manhattan Beach 20 years ago. The focus of her life is her family. Happily, they all live in Southern California where they can celebrate holidays and important life moments together.
Born in Los Angeles, Jill Smisek Maroney has lived in Torrance since she was two years old. She has traveled extensively, but still thinks Torrance is the greatest place to live! Married to her husband Mark, for 33 years, they have two daughters, a son-in-law, and two grandchildren who are fun, silly, and smart.
Jill works as the office manager for Dr. Linda Schack, taking care of teenagers and young adults, and young people with eating disorders.
Jill has been a leader in the volunteer world for many years and has made a significant impact on the South Bay Community. She has been involved with the PTA, serving on their executive board, the Torrance Sister City Association, serving as Vice President and Adult Leader, and the Torrance Historical Society, where she currently serves as President. Jill also finds time to support nonprofits such as Switzer Learning Center, Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation, Golden Heart Ranch and more.
Jill’s friends and fellow volunteers say that she is a great addition to any team. She has an ability to relate to everyone, she’s wonderfully organized, and is always willing to jump in to help with a wide variety of events and activities.
Jill enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, reading, golfing, playing Mah Jong and Bunco.
Join us to celebrate the Women of the Year!