Leadership Pasadena Hears from Area Business Leaders and Innovators

Chris Garner, Co-Founder, Accessory Spaces_ Harriosn Tang, CEO, Spokeo_ Dana Budzyn, Co-Founder, UBDI and Innovate Pasadean President Beth KucharCity of Pasadena\'s Eric Dyshart presenting to Leadership PasadenaCorey Castillo, Phyllis Lynes, Cindy Bengtson, Eric Dyshart, Bill Mannis, Heather Backstrom and Helen Romero Shaw at Business SessionHelen Romero Shaw of So Cal Gas Company with LP Board member Phyllis LynesJulie Pantiskas, Pasadena Angel and moreKathleen O\'Sullivan, Lisa Dadd and Carolina CaroLP leadership coach and program facilitator Carolina CaroLP\'s Cindy Bengtson and Jericho Road Exec Director Melanie GoodyearSo Cal Gas (and past LP Board member) Ken Chawkins, LP Alum Maurico Mejia and So Cal Edison Josh Torres

STAFF REPORT | Photography by Debra Lemattre © dmLemattre

8:18 pm | April 8, 2019


On Friday, April 5, Eric Duyshart, Pasadena’ Economic Development Manager started the Leadership Pasadena Business Session at the Tournament of Roses House detailing the economic base, challenges and future of the city of Pasadena.

Bill Mannis, CEO of San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership, then expanded the horizon with a profile of the large San Gabriel Valley that stretches from La Canada Flintridge to Claremont, including over 30 separate cities. Leadership Pasadena alumni and Manager, Pasadena Water and Power, moderated a spirited panel on energy options and economics, hearing from Ken Chawkins, Business Policy Manager for So Cal Gas Company and Joshua Torres, Senior Policy Advisor from So Cal Edison. Melanie Goodyear, Executive Director of Jericho Road Pasadena educated the class on the economic impact of the non-profit industry and laid out the criteria for the class to use to assess non-profits and determine which ones are the best fit for them to volunteer for.

“We are grateful for So Cal Gas Company sponsoring this important session. For our graduates to be effective leaders in the greater Pasadena area, they must understand the complex economic aspects of Pasadena and the full San Gabriel Valley. This session delivers that information from the area’s top economic experts,” according to Leadership Pasadena’s Cindy Bengtson.

Saturday, April 6 Pacific Oaks hosted the session, thanks to LP Alumni and Pacific Oaks Director of Advancement and External Relations, Johanna Atienza. The class was greeted by Interim President Dr. jack Paduntim and Dr. Donald Grant, Executive Director of the new Center for Community and Social Impact. The day focused on innovative, start up industries. Lisa Dadd, leadership trainer and author, lead an insightful experiential workshop on multigenerational leadership which got everyone thinking about how to understand, lead and motivate those of different ages.

Beth Kuchar, President of Innovate Pasadena, moderated a panel of start up founders of different ages with companies of various ages which complimented the multigenerational work!

Harrison Tang, CEO of very successful 12-year old Spokeo https://www.spokeo.com/, Chris Garnder, Co-founder of Accessory Spaces, https://www.accessoryspaces.com/, started about 18 months ago and Dana Budzyn, Co-founder of 5 month old UBDI, https://www.ubdi.com/ shared their stories of starting a new, non-traditional company and the challenges and lessons learned.

The session wrapped up with an inspiring presentation by Julie Pantiskas, business entrepreneur and leader, philanthropist and Pasadena Angel on start up financing and mentorship provided by those who have succeeded and now give back to those following them!

Leadership Pasadena is accepting applications for its Community Leadership Course for Veterans starting in May 2019 and the 8-month Leadership Pasadena Class of 2020 starting in September 2019. www.leadershippasadena.org