Meet the Founders - Joan De Souza & Wendy Anderson
JOAN DE SOUZA
Joan De Souza is a successful entrepreneur with her company Joan’s Gifts in her sales of home products and Swarovski crystals since 2002.
She is the founder of a local Pasadena business support group, BUSINESS4BUSINESS, a group of business owners who help other business owners brainstorm on ideas to help with any issue they need to maintain their business, grow their business or start their business. The group is a community of supportive colleagues who work together to move a business to new heights. They meet once a month for one hour to help a business who has asked for help - group uses the face to face concept of communication.
Joan currently serves on the Executive Board of Directors for the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce as Vice Chair of Membership and Lead Ambassador. She is the Fundraising Director of the Pasadena Quarterbacks Club.
She is a former member of the Foundation for Living Beauty & Board of Directors Rosemary Children’s Services, Volunteer Coordinator Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015 and member of Business Networking International. Joan is extensively involved with her community through her children’s schools and church.
Joan De Souza has 20 years managerial experience as the Customer Service Manager at the Los Angeles Times, managing and leading more than 200 staff. She was a decision-maker within the project management team responsible for implementing a firm wide circulation system, which became the central hub of the subscription and delivery process. She was also an influential member of several executive committees responsible for implementing such projects as the home delivery customer service at La Opinion.
Joan was born in Lawrence, MA and raised in Northern California. She graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Social Sciences.
President of WOW! Productions - producing corporate, community, social, and nonprofit events. Owner of www.WhiteSatinWeddingShow.com, a virtual wedding show for SoCal; and co-founder of The Artisan Faire & Authors Tour USA, provides visibility for independent authors. Worked on the nationally aired American Comedy Awards for 14 years as the Assistant Event Coordinator.
COMMUNITY EVENTS: Founder/producer of the Cherry Blossom Festival, (2002-2011) held in Pasadena and downtown LA for 10 years with over 60,000 attendees, a 100% volunteer team and donated 500 cherry trees to the City of Pasadena; Producer of “Six Weddings & A Dress”, was on exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of History in 2013 “I Do I Do Pasadena Ties the Knot.” and at the Aquarium of the Pacific Autumn Festival annually. Produced “Fred Korematsu Day” Pasadena held at the Donald Wright Auditorium, McKinley Elementary and Pasadena High School.
Wendy is business partner in Kellye Wallett Studio with Kellye Nakahara Wallett, a Pasadena artist but best known in her role as Nurse Kellye in the television series M*A*S*H for 11 years. Kellye’s art is currently on loan to the City of Pasadena on the walls of City Hall.
AWARDS: Nominated for 5 international event awards, winning 3 – a Gala Award from The Special Event and 2 Esprit Awards from the International Special Events Society. Won 5 regional/chapter awards from the International Special Events Society, and a Legacy Award from the Western Region. Received the State of California Legislative Women In Business Award from State Senator Jack Scott and Assembly members Paul Krekorian and Anthony Portantino and recognized with a Volunteer Service Award from the Pasadena Council of Women’s Club.
PREVIOUS: Founded City Personnel Services, a temporary-help employment service for 10 years in the Mid-Wilshire district of Los Angeles, with a staff of 250 and sold it in 1992 to Stivers, a national temporary service. Wrote for Working World Magazine and created “Working Around the World” column; provided free community workshops for job seekers and always-capacity filled workshop “Dispelling the Older Myths During the Job Search Process”. Appeared on television and radio shows promoting the value of employing older Americans and dispelling stereotypes and was Guest Speaker at the UCLA Center on Aging Job Fair with over 350 attendees.
COMMUNITY: Served as a Volunteer Certified Court & Community Mediator for the Los Angeles County Bar Association for 14 years - mediated and resolved the first Superior Court Judge-requested mediation in Los Angeles.
Was Co-Chair, Fundraising & Chair, Public Relations, Pasadena Rotary Club (named 2016 Rotarian of the Year). Served on: Board & Executive Board of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce; Board President/Co-President of East West Players (10 years), the largest Asian American theatre in the United States; Board of Directors, International Special Events Society, LA Chapter; Board of Directors, Women’s Transportation Seminar; Friends, Autry Museum of Western Heritage; Business Advisory Counsel, Career Encores; Advisory Committee, Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education; Business Advisory Committee for the Employment Development Department, State of California; Board & Executive Board, California Association of Temporary Services; and President of Board, Association of Asian Pacific American Artists.