Live in Los Angeles

Pre-Oscar Gifting Suites recap - Luxury Experience & Co at Valerie's Part 1

By Joy A. Kennelly

No matter how times change, some things will always remain the same. By this, I'm referring to Pre-Oscar Gifting Suites. All the stars and wannabe stars flock to these like they've never received a gift in their life, or else that's just my impression having been to so many over the years, but seriously, they're the one time all of Hollywood mixes for a daytime party. Free gifts. Fun People. Glamour. Photos. Networking. An Oscar pre-party.

What's not to love?

I enjoyed attending two very different types of gifting suites during this past weekend. One that's been around for years and one that was new and both were unique and special in their own ways. 

Luxury Experience & Co and Valerie Beverly Hills presented a luxury gifting lounge honoring nominees and presenters during Oscars Weekend at the exclusive Valerie Beverly Hills located in the “Golden Triangle” in the heart of Beverly Hills, California. With quality and luxury in mind, LE & Co gifted celebrities an unparalleled level of style and sophistication in beauty, health, home, travel and wellness.

"Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty" actor Kirk Bovill, Selling Sunset star Amanza Smith, "Dollface" actor Gilles Marini, Amber Friendly (Apple TV’s “The Morning Show"), Tyler Perry's "The Have and the Have Nots" actor Celeste Thorson, Filmmaker/Actress Kathy Kolia, Actress/TV Host Caitlin O'Connor, John Singleton’s “Snowfall,” star Angela Lewis, Adrian Dev (Westworld, Mulan), and many others, which created a great mix of film and television talent.

DisplayNewton2 Adrian dev Dr Busso and Selling Sunset Star Amanza Smith Apple TV’s “The Morning Show_ Amber Friendly
The LE & Co experience combined the ultimate customized celebrity experience that featured Dr Busso, Nu Estestica Spa, Protege Footwear, Everlasting Comfort, Jewelry By Swoon, B GREAT, EcoSlay, Valerie Beverly Hills, MoreLife, Elixicure, Scott Porter, KAENA Wines, Batch & Bottle, Monkey Shoulder, Glenfiddich, Hendrick’s, Reyka Vodka and Icelandic Glacial.

Photo by @orelhafotos_Protege_31

  Photo by @orelhafotos_Protege_31

Photo by @orelhafotos_Protege_31

Protégé Footwear was a huge hit among women due to their mechanically engineered fit designed by Candace Chen, the Founder and CEO. A woman's heel is cupped at the heaviest weight of the body on the heel, with gel padding at the ball of the foot, interchangeable straps to vary the look and a toe grip that prevents your foot from awkwardly sliding forward.

I've ordered a pair and am very curious to see how I like the fit since I've had injuries in the past that prevent me from wearing most high heels. Plus, I don't need extra height, but these were too beautiful and interesting not to buy. 

LE & Co founder Melissa McAvoy, named 2019 Top Dynamic Women by Modern Luxury | Angeleno Magazine, toasted to the success of talent walking away from the event with incredible gifts, valuable new connections and a sense of celebration for the amazing past year in entertainment.

"We couldn't have asked for a better partner to host such a successful event with," McAvoy said of Valerie Beverly Hills. Taken from the Valerie's website and I quote:

"Valerie Beverly Hills is a cosmetic company and makeup boutique based exclusively out of Beverly Hills, California. A luxury brand prized for selling a unique line of high quality cosmetics, Valerie Beverly Hills offers an unparalleled beauty experience to its consumers.

Photo by @orelhafotos_Oscars Gifiting Lounge_24

Photo by @orelhafotos_Alyssa de Boisblanc_@alyssad_03Photo by @orelhafotos_Oscars Gifiting Lounge_50So cheers to all who attended, showcased their wares, and gave us a great memory. We enjoyed the experience. It was a great party and can't wait for the next one. And in the meantime, don't mind me. I'm grateful for my gift bag and seeing as it's one of my love languages, very happy now! Thank you Melissa and team! Great Pre-Oscar event!










Thank God for Black Preachers and other thoughts this 9th day of the riots, protests and looting. #BLM #LOVECONQUERSALL #Justice #peace

By Joy A. Kennelly

Have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised to see the peace marches happening in Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach yesterday. But while it's easy to march, it will be interesting to see if the white people marching decide to hire black people for more than delivering their groceries, their take-out orders, or retail jobs. I hate to say it, but talk is cheap and action means more when taken in a new positive direction. 

So, all you investors and celebrities living in the South Bay in your mansions, will you hire minorities on  your sets? Fund their startups? Rebuild their businesses? Fund their dreams? Or merely march once, figure you've done your civic duty and go back to your normal lives feeling better about yourselves? Will you donate to help change inner city kids lives? Will you recognize the constant threat of violence so many children grow up under with no hope for a way out of the vicious cycle because their parents aren't able to get out of years of systematic poverty? 

And yes, minorities do hold some of the responsibility for their situations, just like I do mine. I'm just saying, let's take the high road and create a bridge to another life rather than wave at them from the other side and wish them well. 

And that's all I'll say on that for now. 

I listened to a black preacher my friend Maria and my little Mom used to love named Creflo Dollar who really spoke to me this morning. I want to share the scripture he shared and how he shared it because maybe you need a little encouragement today too. I always love black preachers because they've been through some things and they get how much we need God in times like these. Sometimes I think white preachers are so far removed from the trenches minorities live with on a daily basis they just can't give the comfort necessary to those of us living with the nightmare on a daily basis.

Last night I had numerous thugs walking around near my place setting off fireworks - not just fireworks, cherry bombs that sounded like bombs. Firecrackers that sounded like gunshots. Finally I had enough and yelled at them to cut it out. Then I saw more going off and I called the police. The idiot dispatcher was like where is it? I gave them a general vicinity and because she still refused to understand I told her I'd go do her job for her and raced over to the street the largest display was coming from only to find a group of young kids. 

Interestingly though, earlier, down the street I heard what sounded like a domestic violence disturbance from the messed up house down the street and kept waiting for someone to yell for help. It eventually subsided so I didn't report it. However, when I raced out of my house to track down the explosions I saw a black guy wearing a hoodie scurrying away and two cars ran the stop sign to get away too.

This is my life right now. And what minorities live with on a regular basis in these low income neighborhoods.

I was so mad I called Maxine Waters and demanded she do something to make it stop. I also tweeted at her, and all the black bishops leading these congregations in the hood, and all the black politicians doing nothing to quell the unrest. Whether or not it does any good will have to be seen. But I felt better. LOL

Sometimes you just need to yell and scream which is why I understand why people are "peacefully" protesting. However, allowing Antifa to run wild and not report it as news is where the media is failing society. They're so intent on libeling our President they refuse to report anything else than that which is a total disservice to the black officer who lost his life due to looters, the black businesses that have been devastated, the black homeless living in DTLA and under the bridge near Otis, or anywhere you drive in California lately.


At a certain point we either defend our state and our rights as citizens to live in a city that is devoid of corruption, or accept the results of it. Gavin Newsom acts like Robin Hood, only the poor people he thinks he's saving aren't who most normal people want him to save. We want him to save our Veterans, our Homeless, our Seniors and when he spends $150 million to save illegals I have a problem with that. BIG PROBLEM.

Who is going to bail out the businesses that were just ransacked, looted and damaged? Why are celebrities saying defund the police when they have expensive security protecting them? When will they be as defenseless as the rest of us to hear how insane what they're saying is, or who they're funding is? I just can't understand the depths of ignorance and self-righteous posturing I see. But then again, you may consider what I'm doing the same. LOL And therein lies the conundrum. 

I know I said I wasn't going to say anything else, but this really, really, really bugs me. And 140 characters in a tweet aren't enough to express my sheer frustration and anger at the lack of protection, leadership, and sanctity of human life I see in all areas of California administration. 

I'm glad Jamie Foxx, Stephen Jackson and others are in Minneapolis calling for justice. I stand with them. There needs to be change and justice, but you have to also realize this isn't a one-sided conversation. Watch this:

I was happy to hear Andrew Cuomo back off his statement criticizing the NYPD after what they're having to face with organized rioting. If you don't believe me, then believe this soviet since so many of you love Russia.:)

Or how about Investigative journalist.Winner of Alfred I duPont–Columbia Uni Silver Baton, multiple Emmys, Edward R. Murrow Awards etc Lara Logan Has No Agenda on Fox Nation Just read her twitter feed because it's all there:

Saw this just now and feel it fits my thoughts today. 

SloganAnd with that, I will close out this missive with the words of the Pastor I promised to share earlier, but then got fired up sharing something else.:)

Psalm 91: 1 - 16

 I DECLARE Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]

I DECLARE I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

I DECLARE Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.

I DECLARE He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

I DECLARE You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.

I DECLARE A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.

I DECLARE You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.

I DECLARE If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
    no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.


I DECLARE For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;


I DECLARE they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.


I DECLARE You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.


I DECLARE “Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.


I DECLARE He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

Amen and Amen. May God bless the reading of His word and God bless you. 

What I saw in Santa Monica and Venice yesterday after the looting. Recommendations based on people I believe in and support. #silentmajority #blackouttuesday #tech #entertainment #America

By Joy A. Kennelly

I want to start off by saying these are my thoughts and if you're reading, then you must find them of interest. Just know, I'm not perfect. I don't have all the answers. I'm sharing from my heart and my worldview which may differ from yours. In fact, in all likelihood I know it does because I haven't heard this expressed in a public forum which is why I feel compelled to do so.

That's why I write.

To express a worldview I don't always read or hear when I look out into the world. May add value, may not. But these are my thoughts. It may also reflect certain parts of me that need maturing so give me grace as I will try to give you some too. And as I get these thoughts out of my brain on to "paper" so to speak, then I can look at them objectively and realize there are still areas of growth I need. (So I want to clarify that not all black men cheat, only the ones I happen to have "dated.")

I also look and see how far I've come from where I was. And perhaps, how much I still have to go. Journaling has a way of doing that which is why I love it so much.

Yesterday I drove down to Santa Monica after hearing the press conference put on by their city officials out of a desire to help with the clean up from the looters taking advantage of the peaceful protests. I woke up late, which is typical during this lockdown experience lately despite hours of sleep, and by the time I arrived, the majority of the graffiti, debris, etc was taken care of by Public Works and an army of concerned citizens. 

I drove around the entire city looking for an area I could help and to be honest, many people were doing the same by foot because it was really cleaned up. The business area curfew of 1:00pm had put a sense of urgency around the boarding up of the windows and street clean-up which I also feel was part of it. I posted a bunch of pictures and videos on my insta account here:

I was shocked and saddened at the same time. But also encouraged and the one thought that kept repeating in my mind was Look for the helpers as Mr. Rogers always used to say. And there were so many. It really warmed my heart and helped me to understand we are good people. We want to be kind. We want to hear. We want to be part of the change that is so necessary right now.

Look at Jimmy Fallon. What a lot of guts to be that vulnerable last night with his apology and guest choices.

I was further encouraged waiting in line at the grocery store to see a white couple invite a young black man to step in front of them to buy his small purchase when their cart was full. It's small gestures that show people they're seen. They're heard. They're part of us.

I listened to the heart of Miles McPherson, the pastor The Rock San Diego, and was sad to hear what he's experienced in his life as a black man, but also encouraged by what he had to say. I'm showing it here in full because you might have missed it and it's so powerful. He's a former NFL player, had a cocaine addiction, became a Christian, got his theology degree and now leads a 18,000 person church throughout San Diego.

And if you really want to do a deep dive, read his book, The Third Option: Hope for a Racially Divided Nation, which you can find on Amazon, his church bookstore, and Barnes & Noble.

Book1"Pastor Miles McPherson’s new book, The Third Option: Hope for a Racially Divided Nation, offers guidance on this issue, by identifying the cultural influences that shape our attitudes on race, and explaining why we must honor the priceless value of God’s image in all people." 

I was also really encouraged by the images I saw from the Palos Verdes peaceful protest which you can view on my friend's instagram account too: and here:

If I had my phone with me when I went to the beach the other day I would have taken a picture of the lone female activist standing outside the Manhattan Beach library holding a sign that said, Black Lives DO Matter, Check your privilege. I asked her first if she was from there and she said yes. Then I asked if there was a lot of resistance, knowing the people who live there like I do having grown up with many of them and worked around them too. And again, she said yes.

I sometimes think people just don't want to examine themselves because if they did, then they'd have to change.

I see this in the tech industry which prefers to fund young, white males and excludes minorities (women, blacks, Hispanics.) When I left in 2014 only 4% of female founders were receiving funding. Last year I attended an investment seminar put on by a friend of mine to see if anything had changed. When I asked the most vocal female panelist what the stats were now, she said the marker hadn't changed one iota. It's the main reason I left.

I loved being around smart people who are so innovative, but also being around such a myopic viewpoint that only white men can produce anything of value was too oppressive and small-minded for me to continue to support or participate.

I find it ironic that one of the lead investors is saying he wants to review his view of minorities in light of all the riots and I had to comment, then consider funding minorities because I'm sure if he began reviewing his investments he would have to agree, it's woefully few and far between. Even his conference is probably all white. Not sure, but how many black tech companies have you heard about in this realm lately? Because you know only CEO's generally get a platform at such conferences and if they're not getting funded, then they're not having a platform either. 

Don't believe me? Then read this Crunchbase article:

Untapped Opportunity: Minority Founders Still Being Overlooked 

However, it's not all bad news. Check out this February 2020 article too:

25 Black Entrepreneurs Making Waves

Maybe if more investors see this article they will realize they're missing an entire investment category that has high returns. Perhaps hiring more minorities who are capable of analyzing the ROI potential from a real perspective might help. I say the same for hiring more female investors on their team too. The irony of leaving an industry is that it's like a guy you ignore, when you don't need or want them any more, all of a sudden you're that much more desirable.

Ironic, isn't it? Not to say anything will happen about the conversation I will have next week, but to even have it again after years of radio silence is interesting to say the least.

The entertainment industry is also very myopic, but I think having the changes that have happened recently in the Academy have begun to make a difference. Plus, the fact the film, Black Panther was so successful probably didn't hurt. "'Storylines with a strong black character or identity are crossing cultural boundaries to grab diverse audiences and start conversations. That insight is important for culture and content creators, as well as manufacturers and retailers looking to create engaging, high-impact advertising campaigns,'” said Andrew McCaskill, senior vice president, Communications and Multicultural Marketing, at Nielsen." excerpt from a 2 year old Forbes article which can read if you click the link.

However, it's still an issue which is why I admire Tyler Perry so much. And The Rock. And Kevin Hart. They didn't let race limit their lives and have accomplished so much and overcome so much. Doesn't mean I agree with everything they promote or stand for, or share, but the majority of it I do so...

The image that keeps coming to mind after reviewing everything happening recently is our country is like a child that is deeply hurting and throwing a tantrum where they're kicking and screaming and crying on the ground until they can't cry any more and lay there breathing heavily until they are quiet. I feel like we're still in the raising hell stage and it may take awhile before it ends because the pain, the loss, the heartache, the deaths, the injustice and the economic struggle has been so long, so deep, so below the surface of most white's perception it is taking something this drastic, (whether the protests are invaded by Antifa as I believe, or not), to create radical change. 

I was duly impressed by this one woman's interpretation as expressed in her book and which you can read an article on if you click the following link: Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race

For years, racism has been defined by the violence of far-right extremists, but a more insidious kind of prejudice can be found where many least expect it – at the heart of respectable society Listen to the audio version of this long read

I have lots of black friends, have dated numerous black men, have a mixed race son, and yet, even so, I still learn something about the black experience. I think as a country we need to continue to be open, to hear, to care and to share, but I also feel there needs to be radical changes to how dirty cops continue to escape justice, how tech investment is parsed out, and how entertainment is presented.

We need to change the messages, the system, the money structure to allow there to be true common ground. We can't speak it. We have to live it by our actions. When I ran my short film festival I always tried to represent diverse voices. I'll never forget a black filmmaker friend of mine saying how surprised he was to be the only black guy at the Kodak reception for filmmakers. I told him it was because his film wasn't the traditional black film and it was something white judges felt comfortable recognizing. I think it's changed since the 90's, but I've never forgotten his surprise. 

My son shared a petition he is sharing and I'm not sure how it will evoke change, or if it's feasible, but I offer it here simply because I support my son and his opinion. I'm in disagreement where he calls for the legalization of cannabis, because seeing how it's affected Denver, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, I don't believe it's part of this solution. I think it's a distraction. And I've told him so. But I will let you make up your own mind once you read it. I also am not saying that I believe all cops are bad. I'm just presenting this as part of the dialog needed and because my mixed race son is expressing his viewpoint.

Prevent police brutality with tangible solutions

And now, if you'll excuse me I need to get back to my life again. Been listening to a few webinars at the same time and now need to implement what I've been learning. 





This is the weekend of #Acting #Success #Training! @ActorsFastTrack 7/28 10am - 3pm

By Joy A. Kennelly

Aft_SUMMERGAMES_final (1)My head is spinning a little with all the great information I've been gaining from taking James LeVine's Bring It! On-Camera class and working with him privately too.

Then you layer that with today's class taught by Actor Eric Matheny of The Acting Center where he gave the more cerebral viewpoint of how to prepare for episodic season, it's a lot!

A lot of awesomeness!:)

But that's not all, I'm diving headfirst into applying what I've heard today in Eric's class to actually bring all this home with Valorie Hubbard's 7th Annual Summer Retreat Games tomorrow!

There's only a few tickets left if you care to join me. Listen, learn and apply what you gain at this amazing 1-day event at Kenneth Hahn State Park.

Tickets are only $37 and you’ll spend the day outside with other amazing actors learning what it takes to create a brand that will get you noticed.

You’ll also get the chance to get in front of INDUSTRY GUESTS who want to find their next big thing.

$37. Act now, or regret it for the rest of your life. Just kidding, but seriously, sign up already:


If you're not currently an actor, but need to pitch your startup, your new business, or perhaps propose to your love, then you may also want to consider joining me because what I've come to see is that acting really apply to how you present yourself in the world overall.

Don't believe me? Read this article: Why Everyone (Not Just Actors) Should Take an Acting Class

See you around town!


IMG_4191Sherman Oaks, CA. Director-Producer-Casting Director, James Levine of Action Casting, brings 25 years’ experience both in front of and behind the camera, to his new On-Camera Acting Auditioning class starting this Wednesday, July 24th through August 14th at 7:30 pm at On Your Mark Studios in Sherman Oaks, CA. A second Tuesday class begins on August 6th and will run through August 27. Course fee: $200 with $50 off using discount codes: BringJoy and Frontier.

 Each class teaches the tips and techniques Levine gained over 20 years as a successful actor, producer, director and casting director of 1000’s of commercials and theatrical projects for such notable clients as Apple, Microsoft, Chase, Capital One, Sears, Disney, The Voice, and Comedy Central, to name a few.

The Audition/Acting classes enforce the auditioning tips and techniques he offers in his new book co-written with Charles Carpenter entitled, Bring It! Everything You Wanted to Know About Auditioning, But Couldn't Ask. Answered by the Casting Director!,which will be provided as a FREE PDF copy as a gift to all participants.

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The 4-week course covers such topics as:

  • Comprehension, Delivery, Creativity
  • On-Camera Auditioning Techniques
  • Self-Tape Audition Tips & Tricks
  • Improv for Auditions
  • Cold Readings for Commercials


 Dates:        WEDNESDAY evenings: July 24th, 31st, August 7th, 14th

TUESDAY evenings: August 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th

Time:          7:30pm-10pm

Where:       On Your Mark Studio 13425 Ventura Blvd #200 Sherman Oaks, CA 91423


 Cost:          $200.00 (Receive a $50 discount with BringJoy or Frontier codes at checkout)

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Each workshop session provides students the opportunity to audition on-camera, watch themselves on playback, and receive immediate personalized coaching from James. Private coaching is offered separately online and in-person and includes audition self-taping in On Your Mark Studios on an appointment basis.

Levine has taught classes in Los Angeles and internationally with Stella Adler Academy and TVI Studios. In addition to his “Bring It!” book, he also co-hosts and produces an online interview show for Casting Frontier called The Curve which recently featured such luminaries as Bernard Hiller, April Webster, Stuart k. Robinson and many more.

James Levine (pronounced LeVINE) is a member of the Commercial Casting Director Association (CCDA)Screen Actors Guild (SAG/AFTRA), and represented by BX2 Management.

For more information, please contact bringitclass (at) gmail (dot) com.

 **Please Note: At the conclusion of the class/workshop, the instructor will NOT be taking home nor given access to your headshot, resume, or any other of your promotional materials. Your headshot/resume and any other promotional materials will be returned to you. This is not an audition or employment opportunity. **


Journey of Faith stepped up today to help the #Homeless crisis in the #SouthBay - here's how you can too.

By Joy A. Kennelly

Today I witnessed the most beautiful sight at my Torrance Journey of Faith campus I had to write about it.

Months ago, you may remember I wrote a blog about the lack of homeless resources offered through Journey of Faith church and the City of Manhattan Beach. I wrote the deacons at the church and the city council member I knew to challenge them to do more. 

Not sure if the City of Manhattan Beach has done anything with the homeless resource information I gave because I don't see it on their city website, but perhaps I'm not looking in the right spot?:) I hope they take what Journey of Faith is doing and consider doing more because when I visit the library there, I see homeless people around the city more and more.

Here's what an article in the LA Times entitled Los Angeles’ homelessness crisis is a national disgrace  had to say about the homeless demographic:

"Contrary to popular belief, the homeless in Los Angeles are not mostly mentally ill or drug addicted, raving or matted-haired or frightening — although a sizable minority meet some of those descriptions. They are not mostly people who drifted in from other states in search of a comfy climate in which to sponge off of others; the overwhelming majority have lived in the region for years. Today, a greater and greater proportion of people living on the streets are there because of bad luck or a series of mistakes, or because the economy forgot them — they lost a job or were evicted or fled an abusive marriage just as the housing market was growing increasingly unforgiving.

It will surprise no one to learn that it is the most vulnerable among us who usually end up without a place to live. According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, more than 5,000 of the county’s 58,000 homeless people are children and more than 4,000 are elderly. About one-third are mentally ill. Some 40% are African American. Also heavily represented: Veterans. The disabled. Young people from the county’s overwhelmed juvenile justice system and its foster care programs. Men and women just released from jail, without the tools or skills needed for reentering society. Patients released from public hospitals — often with untreated cancers, infections, heart disease or diabetes. Victims of domestic violence." 

That's why, when I saw that Journey of Faith had prepared an amazing gift for the homeless we packed after service today, it brought me to tears to see Love in Action. Sometimes you don't think what you have to say matters to anyone and maybe I had nothing to do with this new direction, but I like to think I made a small difference.

A finished bag included a bottle of water, sanitary wipes, foot powder, bandaids, snacks, deodorant, toothbrush kit, socks, a McDonalds gift card, a list of the food bank resources in the area, and a pamphlet on the book of John
A finished bag included a bottle of water, sanitary wipes, foot powder, bandaids, snacks, deodorant, toothbrush kit, socks, a McDonalds gift card, a list of the food bank resources in the area, and a pamphlet on the book of John


Loved seeing this little boy learning about giving back at such a young age.
Loved seeing this little boy learning about giving back at such a young age.
Everyone was given a plastic bag to fill up after church this morning
Everyone was given a plastic bag to fill up after church this morning


Your community can do something similar very easily.
Your community can do something similar very easily. Make a difference today!
If you don't have time to donate, but want to give, here's some resources who need your support. Doors of Hope in Wilmington is a shelter for women that isn't listed, but can use financial support too.
If you don't have time to donate, but want to give, here's some resources who need your support. Doors of Hope in Wilmington is a shelter for women that isn't listed, but can use financial support too.

IMG_20180624_104740781Your donation of money, time or resources will go a long way to helping people get back on their feet. Some of the organizations listed above include: 

Harbor Interfaith

"The programs we offer clients are funded by a mix of government and community support.  Without your help, we couldn’t offer programs such as The Children’s Center, the Associated Learning & Living transitional housing program, and others.  Please consider a gift today to help eliminate homelessness and poverty in the South Bay."

Click Here to donate cash.

  • $60,000 pays for one year of case management to house 25 families
  • $6,000 pays for childcare for one child for a year
  • $1,000 pays for one week’s food supply at the Pantry
  • $500 pays for a month of educational materials for the Children’s Center
  • $100 covers the cost of Internet connection for the job-search computer lab
  • $50 pays for lunch for the school-age children for one day of summer day camp
  • $25 pays for one evening of “Movie Night” for our senior clients

Tax ID:  Harbor Interfaith Services, Inc., is a 501.c.3, tax exempt, corporation.  Your gifts are tax deductible.  Our Federal Tax ID number is 33-0031099.

1736 Family Crisis Center

1736 Family Crisis Center relies exclusively on donations and grants to financially support our programs. The Center is a private nonprofit corporation with IRS 501(c)(3) and California tax exempt status. Donations are fully tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.


Donate by Phone

Donate by Cash, Check or Money Order

Memorial Donations

Make a Tribute

Project Halo

Precious Gifts Program

Stock and Estate Planning Donations

Take us to work

Sponsor a Special Event

In-Kind Donations

Holiday Stores

Family Promise 

Family Promise is a community-based approach, engaging both
the local community, as well as houses of faith in the effort to combat family homelessness.  Guests in our program receive a full complement of resources, support, and services as they work toward their own stability and self-reliance.

Doors of Hope/Beacon Light Shelter
We seek to identify the extreme challenges of homeless women and provide support to help them transition from despair to spiritual wholeness. 

There are very few female-focused shelters in Los Angeles, and this one is located in Wilmington. They always need clothes, food, and financial support. They are under the umbrella of Beacon Light Shelter and offer a warm dinner nightly to those in need and housing for up to a week. 

And that's your Sunday message for today. God is love. He loves those who are struggling. There is hope. There is a huge need. Please participate in any way you can.

God bless. 

Good business reads and why I'm proud to call my family "Kennelly tough." #Entreprenuership #Biography #Books

By Joy A. Kennelly

It's really funny to me how different men are than women. I've been reading a lot of great books on female entrepreneurs, leaders and other change makers to have positive female role-models to look to rather than always reading about how men do things.

I really enjoyed Gail Evan's book, "Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman: What Men Know About Success that Women Need to Learn. The book was listed for several months on the New York Times,BusinessWeek, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists." (Stole this from her bio.:) 


Men are really, really competitive! I just saw this in action on a Facebook post I casually posted regarding the woman in Kentucky with the marriage license debacle. Now I haven't formed an opinion either way, because to be honest, I have too much on my plate as it is.

However, I guess all the guys who were going back and forth on this topic sure cared about it. A Lot!:) I've never seen straight men argue so fervently on something that is really minor if you consider everything else going on in the world today, but for some reason this issue of religion caused something close to flame war! Or maybe it was because Ted Cruz said it? LOL (And for the record, no, not voting for him.:)

I haven't been online much due to personal health issues and working on other stuff, but man, these guys went at it! They totally exemplified exactly what Gail writes about in her book, among other topics.

The reason I liked her book so much is because she succinctly, eloquently and in story form, shows through examples in her own life and career at CNN, the White House and other prestigious jobs she's held, how so very different men are than women! And how to deal with them and master these same techniques.

Now I get it!

I'm happy to be having a guy join my team who I think will be a great addition just by virtue of the male chromosome and will be announcing his involvement down the road. I've decided it's time for stealth mode, at least for the moment. As a publicist, I'm always sharing, but now, feel it's time to dive deep and stay low until I have what I want to offer fully actualized.

The other thing I've come to realize as I wrestle with my health issues is that my Dad raised my sisters and I to be extremely entrepreneurial and never give up. I'm very proud of both of my sisters and thought you might enjoy learning about us because I feel like sharing something personal which I don't always.

My youngest sister has been married forever, has three girls, dogs, cats and all now live in CO with her wonderful husband because that's where he was raised. They have bought, with my Dad's help, numerous real estate properties in cool places and renovated each and every single one. Glori and Dad often work together while Dwayne is working full-time in his demanding jobs and she knows everything there is to know about houses.

She's the boy my Dad always wanted.:) 

My parents idea of fun is watching those HGTV shows where homes are bought, renovated, then sold. I'm starting to get into them, but since it's what they've done, they watch knowingly whereas I'm learning. I helped renovate my Dad's rentals growing up and can paint and do basic stuff, but Glori is a master at everything. Very proud of her accomplishments in that realm. Her husband too.


She and her husband are now opening a new business where they're taking the skills and experience she's gained running their own real estate to offer to other investors and property owners in Breckenridge, Blue River and Placer Valley the security and safety of knowing their rental and personal properties are in good hands. They're pretty jazzed and have created an awesome website you can review here: 

(I helped her edit and gave her advice on working with her web guy. I still want her to create an app, but she doesn't understand that technology aspect yet. I'm sure it will come though, knowing her like I do.)

I do have to admit, sometimes I get a wee bit jealous because having a husband support your business while you're launching is a big deal. It's almost like having an angel investor because costs that single female entrepreneurs have to cover like basic living costs, are taken care of by a husband's full-time salary. I see a lot more mommy entrepreneurs find success simply by virtue of that financial fact which they seem to take for granted because they have other struggles I don't deal with, like kids, schools etc.

However, such is life. Now that I have someone who wants to help me who is as passionate about what I've been doing and understands what we need to do, perhaps everything will move along a lot faster now. At least that's my prayer.:)

Now, my other sister is just as entrepreneurial believe it or not. Both sisters have successfully moved out-of-state to develop new lives and opportunities. I think partly, because they have family members there with them. Grace is a single mom to my delightful college graduate niece and recently broke both her feet; yet still managed to drive for Lyft and was making a successful living doing that in Austin, until she now has an even better job more suited to her talents of arranging travel for a Fox production.

I'm proud of her too. Despite being injured, she's worked hard to overcome this and find work that makes her happy while serving others.

That's another thing we all have in common, we like to serve. My Dad was a great role-model and still is in that regard. Mom has always played a more low-key role serving my Dad and the family.

As I was listening to my sister's speak to my Dad on the phone recently, I realized we're a pretty tough bunch. We don't let obstacles like horrible tenants, broken bones, or damaged immune systems keep  us down for long. We see what needs to be done, we do it and then achieve other goals. I don't see that resolve in my neices, or some other women I meet, and have to say it must have come from being raised by my Dad. And Mom (who has different skills and talents.)

Here's an example from my past since I've been sharing about my sisters so much.

One Sunday, while still in high school, I was asked to walk the dog before church. We didn't have a fence around our large backyard yet and he needed out before we left. 

I donned some high heels that we played dress up in, grabbed the leash and the dog and began walking him around to do his business. Well, he saw a cat and began tearing off after it. Now, I'm still in heels remember, walking in grass, through trees and bushes in an unpaved backyard. 

I clung on for dear life and as he tore off, my grasp on the tree I was holding on to with one hand while holding his leash in the other, loosened and I had to let go while being dragged straight into a tree limb sticking out which rammed straight into my throat below my chin. 

I let go of his leash and ran bleeding back into the house crying. I only remember going to Dr. Starr's, our family doctor, that day, or somewhere else and getting lots of stitches before going to church later. At least that's how I like to remember it.:) However, if you don't believe me, ask me to show you the scar some day. It's still there. I recovered fine, but never did wear heels to walk him again! LOL

I like to say we're Kennelly tough.:)

I've also been reading Janet Hanson's book, More Than 85 Broads: Women Making Career Choices, Taking Risks, and Defining Success - On Their Own Terms who started what is now called the Elevate Network and also Milestone Capital. Very inspirational stories of women overcoming amazing odds in the financial industry and ultimately out of it too - sexism, ageism, breast cancer, and other physical ailments to achieve great things. Very inspirational!

More Than 85 Broads

All this to say, I've needed their stories to help me through a very tough time physically.  I won't bore you with the details, but just know I'm damned and determined to live a fully functional, happy life regardless. Just need to find the right medications and help to take care of myself.

Oh, and if you're curious, yes, I have read Sheryl Sandberg's book a few years back, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead and loved it too.:)

Lean In

So, that's all. I need to stop now. It's been fun sharing and I hope you've enjoyed this little dive into my family background. I love them all very much in spite of everything and can't imagine doing life without them. Although we're very different, we're also very similar and I'm choosing to focus on that.:)

God bless.

So many events, so much work, so little help, but working on changing this asap. #JoysTravelAdventures update

By Joy A. Kennelly

Realizing I can't continue to do this all myself, I've brought in Tomiya Eastlin to assist me with social media efforts and more. We get invitations to events to attend and cover almost daily which makes it hard to keep up with here, in addition to all my technology, videography, writing and fundraising efforts, but we're working on changing that asap.

More later. 

Can't wait to share with you all the fun times at The Forum during Happy Hour and the REO Speedwagon concert. Boston was the headliner, but didn't recognize much of their music since I was more into R & B in high school.:) 

Michael Joy and Nicole at Boston Concert
Bumped into good friends Micheal and Nicole of SouthBay Foodies too!

More pix coming soon! Enjoy the sun and hit their outside patio for some refreshments before your next concert why don't you? Here's some pictorial highlights of the food offered to get you in the mood too:

Sharlina, another Joy's Travel Adventures member and long-time friend, Nikki, and I were invited to participate in the Volunteer thank you party for Grand Performances which was a blast. Rocky Duwani and Blitz the Ambassador performed. (This pic is of Blitz- Sharlina says he got flow.:)


Here's more pix from that super fun night: Joy's Travel Adventures Facebook Fan Page We post a lot of events we're attending or recommend on our fan page too so like it already ok?:)

Last night was an absolute blast too attending the Mercedes Benz Evolution Tour concert with Bastille.

Joy & Tomiya at #MBEvolution TourI wore my Demand Media t-shirt to give them a shoutout and because it's one of the few t-shirts I actually like how it fits.:)

We've also posted highlights on our twitter feeds which you can peek at here: and 

More to come.

Oh, and if you notice my hair has magically grown long almost overnight, I owe this magic to Hairdreams and the wonderful team of David Matthew Reid, Danny & Aubry of Studio DNA. I was first introduced to Danny & Aubry by Yelp when Yelp Elite launched in Santa Monica years and years ago.:)

Here's the formal pic from that amazing night with more pix from my amazing transformation available here and here. Can you believe I won all this glamourizing? Really boosted my spirits along with my hair!:)


There's so many other events I need to share, but gotta run! Happy Hump Day everyone!


Observations on Women in Business gained from conferences, books, interviews and more #Startups #Entertainment #Tech #women #mydayinLA

By Joy A. Kennelly

After wrapping up work for a national professional women's organization where I spoke to hundreds of women in all industries, in all levels of their profession, in all areas around the country on a daily basis; attended numerous amazing conferences and special events with panels of female tech founders, entertainment professionals and executives at all levels of their business over the past six months; and read about women who have achieved major success in their fields, I have discovered the following observations to be true about women in business:

1. Those who are majorly successful are part of numerous organizations that enhance, support and provide networking within their chosen field, not only with women, but also men. In addition, they volunteer, sit on boards, and are extremely philanthropic overall whether in support of their own non-profit endeavors, or those they choose to support financially, or with their time.

2. They generally are extremely well-educated with many holding numerous degrees and/or certifications, especially African American women.

3. Many started out in a completely unrelated field and fell into their current profession where they discovered a passion, skill and expertise they developed over time, becoming more successful as they grew in knowledge and experience. 

4. All are passionate, driven, ambitious, hard working and believe in their career choices regardless at what level, what industry or what area of the country they reside in.

5. As women overall, we all struggle with finding balance between work and personal life, whether that means single, married, or otherwise involved.

6. Many women rose to the top of their careers only to discover how unsatisfying, soul-draining and unhealthy a lifestyle it was and completely changed careers to find satisfaction doing something completely different where they once again became successful, but in a more balanced manner.

7. Almost all credited their spouse, or a mentor, in helping them achieve their success.

8. Almost all wanted to achieve and develop their careers when asked future plans, but those who didn't, generally only had a high school education, didn't value advancing themselves professionally on any level, and were very satisfied with status quo and/or ready for retirement. 

9. Women in sales or real estate, were more savvy with negotiation than those who weren't and often asked for, and received, the better price as a result. Many upper-level professionals sniffed out the dishonest business dealings of the company I was working for and declined the offering immediately which was a relief to know not all women are as gullible as might be believed.

10. Most women's default when they didn't want to do something was to say they needed to check with their husband, but when the price point became more comfortable, they suddenly became more autonomous in their decision making process. 

It's been a fascinating sociology study starting with the first panel of all female executives I heard during a conference on the Santa Monica Pier all the way up until now.  

SusanPaleyI took the time to follow up with Susan Paley, ex-CEO of Beats by Dr. Dre because she was most interesting to me during TechWeekLA (next one coming up this November fyi.)

I'm always interested to learn how someone builds their brand into a global success, how they gain the partnerships, publicity and name recognition, and how they achieved their own personal level of success.

Our conversation was enlightening, interesting and answered all these questions and more.

She had met Dr. Dre before, connected again at a CES conference, they went to dinner with a bunch of other people he worked with, he saw her passion and business savvy, got her on board and provided "access at a level that was insane."

She was part of the branding relationships with artists and connected the headphones to athletes during the World Cup who wore them incessantly creating a natural phenomenon unheard of without paying for product placement.

Beats By Dre Headphones_All Colors


Here's some examples of the headphones and relationships she helped cultivate during her time as CEO.

Susan said they had to be careful of who they partnered with to avoid bastardizing the brand like OP did in the 80's because then it became valueless. When Roxy approached them there was "authentic core-synergies in how each brand approached the market."

Roxy JBL Audio Gear Beats By Dre Pill Wireless Speaker_Nicki MinajAs far as reasons companies become successful, she said it's important to start off with a great product, a compelling value proposition fulfilling a consumer need and a simple idea.

It was nice to hear her validate PR as a huge piece in brand building and also to hear her validate that social media works hand-in-hand with overall marketing efforts. So many people still don't understand that fact for some reason.

Part of their success with Beats by Dr. Dre she attributed to giving away product to influencers, and as Jimmy Iovine, his partner, said tongue in cheek, "I know a lot of people." (He may wish he didn't know the Monsters CEO now that there's a huge lawsuit going on between them. Susan left the company years prior fyi and is now working in the car industry integrating music branding still.)

The main takeaway from our conversation and from other marketing gurus I've heard speak since, is the benefits of co-branding since it creates so much more access and opens up distribution channels an entrepreneur, startup, nonprofit or brand may not otherwise achieve on their own.

This leads directly into the cool Scion MotivaTOUR event I recently attended at Smashbox Studios where CoolHaus Co-Founder, Natasha Cole and Ludlow's Cocktails Co-Founder, Freya Estreller, really impressed me, although all the speakers had something of value to say.


Again, they developed both their businesses through strategic partnerships and Freya's entire talk was on what they use to determine whether or not to partner and how their current partnerships have benefited them. 20150430_194404(Please excuse the quality of this pic, it's more to showcase one such partnership. I was actually working for The Hollywood Reporter at the time and enjoyed the benefits of this marketing drive.:)

It was interesting to learn the criteria, depth and breadth of what other companies were willing to provide if they believed in their offerings. They have PR and distribution through key partnerships that leverage their brands into markets they want by simply sharing equity.

Novel concept.

Freya and Scion Event Organizer

I was extremely impressed with both of them because I remember being pitched CoolHaus as a product years ago and it's awesome to see the success they're having now. I'm hoping to have a one-on-one interview with them soon to pick their brains more and learn more about developing partnerships. 

On a more personal level, it was also very encouraging to hear my "fellow" female tech founder friends share their personal stories (Nanxi Liu, Enplug, Founder, and Espree Devora, WeAreLATech, Founder) at the amazing Digital Women event at Cross Campus Pasadena because even though I've known them for years, I hadn't heard certain aspects before.  20150306_151301

Digital LA Producer, Kevin Winston, always pulls together a great bunch of panelists and this conference was no exception. (Register here for his upcoming Silicon Beach Fest June 24-27, 2015 asap because it always sells out.)

I may have complained about the lack of professional women at conference panels in the past, but apparently people are listening because now it's not just me singing the praises of the tech scene in Silicon Beach for women, but also another female VC Investor I recently heard speak at the Digital Hollywood event this past month.

But I digress. 

20150306_153940What I enjoyed about the sharing Nanxi, Espree and also Elvina Beck, PodShare, Founder, gave was how personal their stories were. I learned how Nanxi approaches networking and pursuing her goals and how she has accomplished the success her company has had.

Starting out in an apartment where they all lived and worked together to now traveling the world speaking, fundraising and developing strategic relationships while running a very successful company. (I've written about her before here and she's on my advisory board.)

I learned how much influence Espree's father had in her development as a business person because he never allowed her gender to be a hindrance and always encouraged her to go for it. I think that's why she's the dynamic entrepreneur she is today. Her mother's influence is also seen in her willingness to speak and help those just starting out, and even those of us a little further along the food chain who also need help.  20150306_152417

I recently was drowning with everything I had going on and reached out to both of them for advice and was very happy to receive the support I needed after being so vulnerable and admitting I didn't have it all together and needed help.

That's what our Silicon Beach startup community cultivates, what it's best at doing, and why I like living back in LA. It's just a different vibe and intent which is encouraging and supportive of all, not just a few, like other places I've lived.

20150306_133827It was nice to hear more female investors speak during the Digital Women event too because so often there is a token female VC, but as Alyse Killeen, Investor at March Capital Partners agrees, there's so much more we can do to support all women, not just those who look like us. Alyse is big on being inclusive to African Americans and Hispanics too which I admire seeing as she's lily white herself.:) 

I do believe the more women speak up for themselves, the more we raise awareness of issues that are happening, the more men will see the value of what we're saying and make changes necessary since it benefits the entire eco-culture, not just women.

I especially enjoyed attending the DGA's Women's Steering Committee Presents: WSC 35th Anniversary: Celebrating the Pioneering Women Directors of the DGA because I've been involved in entertainment longer than technology and know many female directors, including my good friend, Martha Cotton seen here with another friend, Pina de Rosa10671376_10152551979943600_3952187923829011001_n

It was so inspiring to hear the founding "mothers" so to speak of the whole female directors movement in Hollywood because so many younger women take for granted the privileges and opportunities those who fight for our rights from years ago earned for them. 

First the original group of women who made the changes spoke, then they honored female directors who carried on the torch and are making a difference today. It was fascinating to hear their stories, relate to their struggles, hear the humor and the hardship involved with pursuing your dreams and goals.

Very inspiring on so many levels. Entertainment is another sector that is a boy's club and very difficult to break into, but we're making headway slowly, but surely.

20150429_110011Seeing how many female professional groups Victor Harwood has included in Digital Hollywood was also very encouraging. I've known of him and his conference for many years and saw friends I always see at such events and have known for years too like Linda Sherman, and enjoyed hearing new people speak too. 

I especially enjoyed hearing a panel entitled, Living the Life: Women Entrepreneurs, Lifestyle Innovators and Disrupters with these accomplished women: 20150428_104408 Anne-Marie Roussel, Venture Partner, IlluminateNina Simosko, Chief Product Officer, NTTi3Devery Holmes, President & CEO, Spark MarketingMelissa Palazzo, President, Ant FarmMiss Kris TurnerJen Mojo, founder, Paper Dolls; and Lisa Kraynak, Founding partner, Propelle partners, Moderator.

It was phenomenal to hear women at these levels speak and not on topics that didn't mean anything to the audience like child raising, although it was touched upon, however, the main focus was on business and it was so refreshing because it was so high-level and honest!

I finally felt like I was amongst my peers and those I could learn from because they've been in the trenches a while and have overcome their own personal, as well as, professional struggles to achieve the success they have now.

It was truly inspiring.

Plus, the Ritz Carlton MDR venue was so lovely it also was inspirational. Don't you agree? 20150428_091523 20150428_135348

Overall, it's been great to be back in LA and in our tech and entertainment scene although I've been taking time off from the majority of events to focus on building my own business since there's only so many hours in the day.

Time waits for no man (or woman) and you have to put first things first.

This won't be the end of the evolution of women's involvement in the tech or entertainment sphere and I hope to continue reporting, living, changing and experiencing it firsthand for many years to come. If all goes well, I will have an even more to share from the entertainment perspective soon too. I'm ready to get back to the creatives.:)