Girls to Greatness Gala

Girls to Greatness Gala 2013

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Elise Buik web

2013 Honoree:
Elise Buik

President CEO,
United Way of Greater Los Angeles.

In March 2005, Elise Buik made history by becoming the first female president and chief executive officer of United Way of Greater Los Angeles (UWGLA). A native of Atlanta, Elise was initially attracted to Los Angeles because of its weather but ended up falling in love with the community and the immediate impact she was able to make at UWGLA. Prior to joining UWGLA, Elise spent seven years in the private sector as the marketing manager for a medical software company. She joined UWGLA in 1994 because of her strong belief in the organization and her personal desire and responsibility to improve the quality of life in Los Angeles County. Beginning her tenure in the marketing department, Elise worked her way up through the ranks, dedicating countless hours to help solve the pressing and rapidly growing social and economic issues facing Los Angeles County. She has been instrumental in transforming UWGLA from its historical fundraising role into a community impact organization that identifies social issues, convenes experts, partners with other organizations and crafts innovative solutions and policy. Under her leadership, UWGLA has launched a strategic 10-year action plan called Creating Pathways Out of Poverty to help tackle poverty in L.A. County through ten comprehensive goals with community and programmatic results. This new plan focuses on the three critical issues driving the social and economic trends in the County: ending homelessness by providing housing stability, improving educational achievement and helping families gain financial stability. Elise has frequently stated that she finds it unacceptable that currently one in five children live in poverty and almost 50,000 people are homeless in Los Angeles County. In addition to her civic and business duties, Elise is also a wife and mother to two small boys, Hudson and Davis. Being a mother has further strengthened her awareness and resolve that the future for her children is in peril if the public, private, business and non-profit sectors don’t unite in their efforts to move more people out of poverty.

DCampos Headsot web

2013 Honoree:
Dannielle Campos
Senior Vice President, Philanthropy Director
Bank of America Charitable Foundation

Dannielle Campos serves as a senior vice president and national philanthropy director for the Bank of America Charitable Foundation providing funding direction and leadership for the national giving program. In this capacity, she is responsible for the delivery of the critical needs philanthropic platform and for implementing programs and initiatives that create impact in local neighborhoods. Dannielle manages strategic relationships with global philanthropic partners addressing the pressing issues of hunger, disaster relief, and integrated services. She also provides oversight for regional grant making and ensures that national foundation goals and priorities are represented to internal and external partners and are aligned with the bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility strategy. Prior to her current assignment, Ms. Campos served as the program officer and California manager for the foundation providing funding direction and leadership for the charitable giving program and was responsible for the evaluation and funding recommendations of charitable requests in the areas of education, arts and culture, community development and health and human services. She also managed a portfolio of grants and initiatives that have regional and statewide impact. Ms. Campos earned a degree in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She currently serves on the boards of the Association of Corporate Contribution Professionals, the Center Theater Group, Valley Economic Development Center, and Advisory Board for the Nonprofit Finance Fund in Los Angeles and is the past president of the UCLA Latino Alumni Association.

Penny Toler

2013 Honoree:
Penny Toler
Executive Vice President &
General Manager
Los Angeles Sparks

Penny Toler has served as General Manager of the Los Angeles Sparks for the past 13 seasons, and since 2010 has held the dual title of Vice President. In 2012, Toler was named the Executive Vice President alongside her General Manager title. Her skill at roster-building – bringing some of the most talented female athletes in the world to Los Angeles – and keen sense of basketball operations are complimented by her years as a professional athlete. Through her experience, she has assembled the rosters of two back-to-back WNBA championship teams with the Sparks in 2001 and 2002. Toler retired from playing professional basketball in November 1999 with a combined 13 years overseas/WNBA experience to become the second general manager in team history. In just two years, Toler became the fastest person in any men’s or women’s professional sports league to win a championship after transitioning from a playing career to general manager. Toler delivered the first WNBA
Championship to the city of Los Angeles by dethroning the four-time WNBA champion Houston Comets (2001). Beyond the WNBA, Toler combined her sense of community and business savvy and began her “Points from Penny” program in 1998. The goal of the program is to teach youth in the Los Angeles and Las Vegas areas the fundamentals of basketball, the importance of teamwork and the value of competition. The program was nominated for several awards during its tenure, including the American Express Entrepreneurial Spirit Award. Since that time she has focused on bringing the same type of community- oriented programs to the Sparksfront office. For the past six seasons, the Sparks players, coaches and staff have participated in the Academic Skills Basketball Clinic, a program created by Toler that emphasizes the importance of academics as well as athletic success.

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