February 2013 Member Profile: Lisa Gritzner
Name: Lisa Gritzner
Organization: Cerrell Associates, Inc.
Organization’s Web site: www.cerrell.com
Brief description of your organization: Cerrell Associates is Southern CA’s most senior public affairs firm with over 40 years of experience. With practice areas encompassing Local Government & Land Use, Energy & Environment, and Campaigns & Issues Management, CAI provides comprehensive strategic counsel designed to help our clients succeed and have an impact on issues of importance.
VICA involvement: Board Member
Birthplace: Alexandria, VA
Education: Government Degree, CA State University Sacramento
Career turning point: My biggest learning experience was causing a major flap in the City after a secession panel I participated in was covered by the Daily News. As the first person ever to break the Daily News’ “Outrage Meter” after I made the first public comments against secession, I was the subject of much heated debate in City Hall – some calling for me to lose my job. While it was hard on me personally, it lead City leadership, including then-Mayor Jim Hahn and Council President Alex Padilla, to take more public positions and to begin the debate in earnest. I was lucky because my boss stood behind me, as did former SEIU labor leader Julie Butcher. I think I learned more from that moment of failure than from the other times when I had been successful with no challenges.
Most influential people: Former LA City Councilmember Cindy Miscikowski; my mother, who always told me I could do anything I put my mind to; and my friends
Favorite book: Candide by Voltaire
TV show you’re embarrassed to like: I'm a TOTAL HGTV junkie
Hobbies: Golf, travel, wine
Vision for the Valley: I’d like to see the Valley help reinvent LA’s future with growth of industries like technology, clean manufacturing, alternative energy and to redefine how we live in our urban/suburban metropolis.
Community involvement: President, Saban Free Clinic Board of Directors
Why VICA membership is important: The connections we make in our professional careers are one of the most important aspects of success. VICA allows me to make connections with people who are leading in their fields. And, more specifically for my company, VICA works hard to support issues that are vital to ensuring that business can grow and thrive in Los Angeles. VICA isn’t afraid to lead the charge against unfair regulation, legislation or undue political influence from interests not conducive to business and is a strong voice that is vital to our region.
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