A room full of Hollywood’s business and community leaders came together to witness the passing of the gavel at the Chamber’s 95th annual Board Installation & Lifetime Achievement Awards Luncheon at Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City , on Thursday, March 31, 2016.
The ceremony started with the Pledge of Allegiance by Commander Don Schilling of the Hollywood American Legion, Post 43. Fariba Kalantari, DDS, the owner of Famous Hollywood Dental Care, was appointed to lead the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce as Chair of the Board 2016-17, along with other Chamber officers and directors. In addition, actress Marilu Henner was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Chamber. The event also marked the 95th anniversary of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
Incoming Chair Kalantari immediately started her term with a request asking the audience to join her in singing a special song: the national anthem. She talked about her journey to the United States, challenges through dental school, and growing her Famous Hollywood Dental Care practice in Hollywood. In her role as Chair, Kalantari mapped out the Chamber's next phase ahead:
"There are several ongoing issues with which the Chamber is grappling. Critical and entrenched problems can seldom be resolved over the course of one chair’s term of office. I pledge that the Chamber will continue to devote resources to these priorities, including:
- CEQA reform. While the goals of CEQA are laudable, we all know that special interests have used CEQA as a battering ram to hold developers hostage. The Chamber will continue to seek action that will protect the original intent of CEQA but allow critically-needed infill projects to proceed.
- The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative will cause severe damage to the economy of Los Angeles. This anti-growth initiative must be defeated and the Chamber will continue to be part of the coalition working to defeat it.
- The Hollywood Community Plan needs to be adopted and implemented to protect the community and to give developers more certainty as to what they can build. The Chamber will continue to press for action to bring the plan forward.
- The shortage of housing remains one of the most intractable problems in Los Angeles. The Chamber will work to get housing projects approved and built and encourage the inclusion of affordable housing wherever possible."
Kalantari noted that other ongoing issues will also receive Chamber attention, including continuing to press for changes to improve the visitor experience on Hollywood Blvd., and reaching out to improve relations with our neighborhoods.
An award-winning dentist with a 24-year track record, Kalantari is well respected in the field of dentistry. She was the youngest graduate in her class at Columbia University’s School of Dental and Oral Surgery. She completed her post-Doctoral residency at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and has been awarded fellowships from the Academy of General Dentistry and the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. Since becoming the owner of Famous Hollywood Dental Care in 2006, she has been involved with many local charities. Her office has donated the proceeds of teeth whitening services to the Smiles for Life Foundation and raised over $20,000 – half the proceeds benefitting the Hollywood PAL. Last September, she spent 10 days in the Dominican Republic providing dental services to impoverished communities. In 2014, she received the L.A. Top Rated Doctor and Dentist Award. She is the past president of the California Dental Forum and of the Iranian-American Dental Association. She was recently inducted as vice president of the Los Angeles Dental Society. Kalantari has been a Chamber Board member since 2008. During that time, she has co-chaired the Chamber’s Healthcare Committee. She has also chaired the Chamber’s membership committee. She is the first dentist to lead the Hollywood Chamber.
The Chamber honored Marilu Henner with Lifetime Achievement Awards and presented her with a portrait by artist Robert Byrne.
“I have lived and worked in Hollywood for 27 years. My children were born here. Each table at this event from Farmer’s Market to Kaiser Permanente and including this hotel hold special memories in my life (dates available upon request). I am so grateful to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for honoring me today. I can’t believe the list of past honorees. They are actors and actresses that I grew up watching on television and the big screen, and I am so proud to be in their company. The people in this room are what Hollywood is all about and I am so humbled, and honored to accept this award and even if I didn’t have the memory I have, I would never forget this day,” stated Marilu Henner, 2016 Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award honoree.
Henner has starred in over 30 films, six Broadway shows, and two hit classic sitcoms, Taxi and Evening Shade. The five-time Golden Globe nominee is also a New York Times best-selling author of nine books on health, lifestyle, parenting and memory. Recently audiences have seen her as a reoccurring character on Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Crazy Ones (as Robin William’s ex-wife and Sarah Michelle Gellar’s mom), All-Star Celebrity Apprentice, and on Two and a Half Men (as Ashton Kutcher’s love interest). Henner joins a stellar list of past Chamber lifetime achievement honorees, which have included: Steve Allen, Ralph Edwards, Art Linkletter, Debbie Reynolds, Rhonda Fleming, Melissa Gilbert, Tab Hunter, Bob Barker, Esther Williams, Cloris Leachman, Tony Curtis, Tippi Hedren, Barbara Eden, Sally Kellerman, Joe Montegna and June Lockhart.
Joining Kalantari as Chamber officers for the 2016 to 2017 year are: Jeff Zarrinnam of the Hollywood Hotel, senior vice chair; Fabio Conti of the Fabiolus Cucina, vice chair; Bill Roschen of Roschen Van Cleve Architects, vice chair; Carole Sarian of The CrisCom Company, vice chair; Nicole Mihalka of JLL, secretary; and Donelle Dadigan of the Hollywood Museum in the Historic Max Factor Building, treasurer.
Outgoing Chair Beth Marlis made presentation to outgoing director Brian Folb of Paramount Contractors & Developers.
Outgoing Chair Beth Marlis presented The Chair’s Award to Jeff Zarrinnam of Hollywood Hotel.
Incoming Chair Dr Fariba Kalantari and Leron Gubler, President & CEO of the Hollywood Chamber honored Beth Marlis of Musicians Institute as the outgoing chair of the board.
In addition, several new board members were sworn in for the first time, including: Homer Alba of Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Tari Garza of Universal Studios Hollywood, and Francis Y. Park of Park & Velayos LLP.
was presenting the luncheon. Gold Level sponsors included American Legion Hollywood Post 43, FilmL.A., Inc., Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City.
Silver Level sponsors included At The P, Avison Young, Famous Hollywood Dental Care, Hollywood Forever, Hollywood Hotel, Hudson Pacific Properties, Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, Line 204 Film & Event Rentals, Paramount Contractors & Developers, Park & Velayos LLP, and Southern California Gas Company.
About the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
For more than 95 years, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has provided leadership, business development resources, networking, and government affairs programs and services to keep the Hollywood business and residential communities safe, relevant and economically vital. Dr. Fariba Kalantari is the Chair of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors 2016-17, and Leron Gubler is the President/CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. For more information please visit www.hollywoodchamber.net.