Bill Feathers Award
Each year, SCDF awards an industry professional with the William Feathers Award of Distinction. This award was created in honor of William (Bill), the founder of SCDF and his influence on our community.
A man of humble beginnings, Bill's greatest desire was to help others succeed. Bill was highly personable, kind, compassionate, & extremely generous with his business knowledge. He loved Los Angeles and all that it had to offer its citizens and visitors.
Each year SCDF honors an individual who, like Bill, shares that same passion for Los Angeles and has made significant contributions in our industry. This year's Bill Feather's Award goes to Dan Rosenfeld.
In addition to the Design Awards, Southern California Development Forum has thoroughly enjoyed hosting monthly events throughout 2018, click here for a one minute recap video. We have been able to bring together members of the development community across all segments of our industry. From architecture to developers to business executives, and more, our events serve as a way to connect passionate and visionary individuals to one another. This year’s 2018 Design & Philanthropy Awards were the perfect sign off to a great year. Held at the beautiful and historic California Club in downtown Los Angeles, we honored a number of exceptional organizations for their work. Most notably, we recognized two philanthropies, New Earth Organization, and USC Veterans Association. We also recognized Gensler with a “development team of the year” award for their work on Banc of California Stadium project.
New Earth Organization
Located in Culver City, New Earth provides youth with mentor-based creative arts and educational programs. Currently, New Earth serves approximately 700 young people on a weekly basis. What makes this philanthropic organization unique is that the youth they serve are incarcerated in Los Angeles County detention facilities, and the Orange County Juvenile Hall. Mentors enrich the lives of incarcerated and at-risk youth through programs including: construction, poetry, music production, gardening, and fitness.
Harry Grammer, founder of New Earth, receiving award (click here for video)
Upon release from incarceration, youth may attend meetings at the New Earth Arts & Leadership center in Culver City. However, the meetings at the philanthropy’s Culver City center vary greatly from the programs they receive while incarcerated. At the central location, program attendees receive career training and jobs. There are also opportunities for youth to obtain a fully accredited high school education, as well as mentorship, case management, and other wrap-around services that equip them for success as they become reintegrated into society after release from incarceration.
Since 2004, New Earth has been dedicated to improving the lives of incarcerated and at-risk youth. From humble beginnings, working out of a coffee shop, to a currently 14-site organization serving nearly 2,000 young adults per year, New Earth has thrived. They have not strayed from their mission of transforming the lives of youth in vulnerable populations.
“These kids get labeled young. And it's hard to pull themselves out of that," said Harry Grammer, founder of New Earth. “We're doing everything we can to keep them out of the adult system. That's what drives us."
USC Veteran’s Association
Since 2008, the University of Southern California has been offering various types of support for student veterans. At its inception, the USCVA was formed due to the influx of veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, the student organization consists of men and women from all branches and ranks of the Armed Forces, who have served in a variety of military events. The members include undergraduate and graduate students from a rich diversity of majors. Together, the combination of experiences and perspectives – some in common and some strikingly different – all create an environment where student veterans are able to access opportunities and resources.
USC Student Veterans Association (click here for video)
The USCVA provides members with a sense of belonging that is synonymous with the “esprit de corps” that is found among both veterans and Trojans, alike. This feeling of pride and fellowship from being associated with USCVA not only gives USC student veterans a sense of feeling seen and heard, but also a community which they can call their own. Among the many services that USCVA coordinates for members, housing may be the most crucial. Veterans face significantly higher risk and rates of homelessness. This year, the USCVA was able to launch a housing program for student veterans who are in need.
Brandon Wexler, current president of USCVA is no stranger to the challenges faced by veterans as they re-enter civilian life. Having veered close to homelessness, Wexler, a Navy veteran is now a double major in cognitive science and linguistics. His own experiences and commitment to service suit him well in his current position as resident adviser of a USCVA property.
“Now I have the tools to help other veterans at USC,” Wexler said. “I can tell them ‘the university’s providing affordable housing for us. You have a place to stay.’”
Development Team of the Year
We also recognized a new category for Development Team of the Year. Architectural powerhouse, Gensler, along with PCL Construction and Los Angeles Football Club design and construction teams, took the first win for their work in Banc of California Stadium. Located directly off the I-110 Freeway, the sleek, silver design has caught the eyes of many commuters. Covering 15 acres in the shadows of nearby Exposition Park, which is home to L.A. Memorial Coliseum, the structure is home to the Los Angeles Football Club, a new Major League Soccer franchise.
The 22,000-seat stadium is the first open air sports venue to be built in Los Angeles since Dodger Stadium in 1962. Built to foster a personal relationship between players and fans through experiential architecture reminiscent of European stadiums, the stadium also contains a conference center, restaurants and a soccer museum.
All in all, it was a fantastic event and a great display of support by the SoCal A/E/C community to SCDF’s mission and continued efforts to bring together the best minds in Southern California.
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